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Ahlptraume - Neopia's Little Nightmare


by cdnshedevil666

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Legends tell of a creature that stalks the nights of Neopia, the Ahlptraume (the nightmare). There is no proof that it exists other than first hand accounts of a handful of Neopians. Legend has it that this creature roams the lands, bringing nightmares to all the people of the village it is in for that night. Unable to stand light, it is gone by sunrise, always on the move. Though details of the creature are scarce, people describe it as being a ghost of what once an Uni. While others will contend that it's not a ghost, but more so a shadow... a dark mirror image of an Uni; all in all, the identity of the Uni in question remains a mystery, as does whether it exists or not. Now that you know a little history on our story's star, I can tell you the story of the Ahlptraume and my own encounter with him.

      I had just lain down for the night. My belly was full from the night's dinner, my mood jovial from the company. I turned in for the night. Headed away from the garden, and up to my room in the manor. My night was sure to be as delightful as my evening was. That, however, was far from what came to pass. I drifted off to sleep without event.

      I don't usually remember my dreams, which made this one especially special. It started in my own home, just on the border of the Brightvale kingdom and the Haunted Woods. I had awoken with a thirst so strong that I was unable to go back to sleep. There was only one thing I could do... head down to the kitchen and have something to drink. So, without haste, I got out of bed. From the moment I pulled back my covers, there was sense of dread that overtook me. A foreboding of sadness I couldn't explain. I headed down the hall to the staircase after putting on my night coat, which is when things started taking a turn for the worse. The shadows in the room I just came out of started shifting. "I didn't leave a candle burning in there, did I?" I rationalized with myself that I wouldn't have been foolish to leave a candle burning while I slept, and that the shadows therefore must have been a figment of my tired state. That didn't calm the sense of being watched that followed me with each step I took down the hall, though.

      I picked up the candle that was beside the staircase and held it out in front of me as I descended each step carefully and slowly. I felt something behind me... it was just a bit of movement and air, and then my candle was out. I reached for the railing to finish my descent down the stairs. I don't know if it was my thirst or the darkness and dread that filled the air that caused me to hurry, but I was trying to be swift about it. I had a sense of urgency to get to the kitchen, like it was a life or death situation. If I didn't quench my thirst, something really bad was going to happen. I had to prevent that by getting to the kitchen and getting some water, and I had to do that quickly. I got to the last step of the staircase and nearly stumbled over my own feet. I broke into a slow run and then I did stumble. I turned back to see what it was, and something dark pulled back into the corner hidden in the black shadows. I froze for just a moment, and stared into the corner. Then the thirst was back, and I realized I was nearly at the kitchen. I was very close to getting my drink, and then everything would be ok. Light was streaming in the hall, from the moon outside. I walked past the area of light where I tripped over the... whatever it was. The kitchen was just at the end of this hall (along the wall with the window).

      As I neared the kitchen, everything I was sensing along with my thirst intensified. I knew something bad was about to happen based on the feeling in the air, but my mind told me things would be worse yet if I didn't go into that room. My thirst drove me. By then it was almost unbearable. My mouth was dry, my breathing heavy. I broke into a sprint along the rest of the hallway to the kitchen. I turned the corner at the end of the hall and fell to my knees. There in the middle of the room, basked in moonlight, was a large bowl full of water. I crawled to the middle of the floor, finally able to get rid of this thirst and get back to bed. Finally able to make things right. I picked up the bowl and as I put it to my lips, the thirst had gone. All that was left was the feeling of unease left in the room. I had tried to get up and run, but it was too late. The darkness was upon me. The shadows closing in. I put my hands over my head, as I felt them grabbing at me. They were overtaking me and there was nothing I could do about it. "The light," I remember thinking to myself, "if only I could make the light go away... you can't have shadows without a bit of light, right?" But I was consumed by them. I tried to scream, but nothing came out; something was holding my mouth preventing me from vocalizing my fear or thoughts. I was lying flat on my back in my kitchen... the things were holding me down; they were on top of me, threatening to cover me in the darkness. And then there was no more light. Only darkness, and fear, loneliness.

      ...I opened my eyes. I was covered in a cold sweat, and was in the kitchen of my own house. Outside the window, silhouetted by the black night sky, I could make out the shape of an Uni. But that's all it seemed to be. It had no substance. It was only a shadow. It turned its ugly head towards me, and it was then that I noticed its eyes... They were as red as the glow of the Virtupets Space Station. I didn't have time to scream, I just stood there staring at it. And in the time it took me to blink, he had gone. Whether I was the only one to experience the beast's nightmares that night, I don't know. It wasn't something others spoke of; I surely wasn't about to, that much is for sure.

      Some say that the Ahlptraume was once a shadow Uni, living like you or me, left for walking the earth as some other being, after being abandoned by its family in the Haunted Woods. Others just laugh it off as a silly ghost story told to scare young Neopets. I know what I've seen, but I'll leave the decision up to you on what you want to believe.

The End

 
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