All That Glitters is Not a Good Gold Draik
You shakily hold your candle as you pass through the old gate. You make your way through the ancient, frayed yard of weeds and thorns, making your way up to the porch of the creepy old house. You hold you breath and slowly open the door. Upon looking inside, you let out a gasp of surprise and drop your candle, which extinguishes upon hitting the floor.
There, sitting in the corner of the room, is a pet unlike any kind you've seen before... it is Shiny, the golden Draik.
As you approach Shiny, she blows out puffs of smoke from her nose. You retreat back a few steps in fear. You spy a small note on a table. It looks like it was placed there just for you. You pick up the note and carefully read it:
I've left this note to remind you all that Shiny doesn't enjoy random people walking up to her. Even so, she loves to collect food and is very sweet once you get to know her
- Anonymous User
You notice a basket filled to the brim with all kinds of delicious sweets. You take your time to pick the yummiest looking item out of the basket and approach Shiny again. Before you get to close, you extend the hand holding the treat towards Shiny. The Draik's eyes soften and she walks forward, taking the treat from your hand. She happily munches down the sweet and looks at you with a cheerful expression. You know at once you've won her trust.
You once again extend your hand towards Shiny, who graciously reaches out and touches it. Suddenly, in a burst of motion, you meet each other in a huge hug. Shiny might be metallic, but she feels warm to the touch, almost like a fire burning bright on a cold winter night. Shiny's wings flap with joy and lift her off the ground. She makes three laps around the room and comes to a rest near another door. She pushes the door open and signals you to follow. Where could this go?
The stairway is old and creaky, and the light is dim. You grasp the wall and feel your way down. Despite the lack of light, Shiny's body glistens and sparkles in the pale illumination, guiding you safely down. You walk into a room of darkness, unable to see anything. Spot Shiny's sparkling silhouette fly across the room. You hear a switch click and the room is bathed in bright light. The room was filled with all sorts of toys; dolls, blocks,a swing set, even a small carousel.
How could such a wondrous room exist within such an old house?" you wonder. There is not a speck of dust or single spyder-web to be found anywhere. Shiny hovers for a second, staring into your eyes. She flies over to the carousel, which hums for a moment and slowly begins turning around in circles. Shiny mounts one of the Neopets on the ride and continues to stare as she spins round and round. You almost feel compelled to join her, as if the carousel was calling you...
You can hear a voice coming from the carousel. It whispers 'join in the fun. take the ride of your neolife.' You try to fight back every urge, but you force your way up to the carousel, which suddenly stops spinning long enough for you to get on. You ponder which mount you'll take while Shiny watches carefully. You choose the (your favorite neopets species here) and carefully grip the safety pole. The ride begins spin around, but faster than it first did. Faster and faster... what's happening?
The ride is spinning so fast that entire room has become a blur, you cannot see straight outside, yet the view of the Neopet mounts moving up and down is so clear and steady, despite the vibrating of the carousel. You fall into a dream-like state. The whispering voices continue to echo in your ears. 'Prepare to experience a ride like no other. Be thrilled to live the tale of the 'Haunted Carousel'." You snap out of this state and struggle to get off, but you feel glued fast to your mount.
You cannot release your grip from the safety pole nor move from the middle of your mount. The whispering voices are no longer clear; they are distorted and shallow, like a howling wind. You glance at Shiny to see if she experiencing the same sensation. However, the look upon Shiny's face fills you with terror. The once sweet eyes of the Draik you first met have vanished. Now, dark, evil ones take their place.
Shiny's eyes have turned from a honey gold to blazing FireRed. Flames engulf her like an aura. You desperately try to leap from the ride, but it's almost as if Shiny is somehow holding you in place with her evil gaze. The Draik grins and speaks.
"It has been a long time since a Neopian has paid me a visit. I've longed for a new playmate to ride the carousel with me. Now that your here, we shall be friends and ride the carousel... forever."
You clutch the pole and cry out in fear.
The carousel vanishes and all that is left is darkness. Still, the mounts spin the void. You feel your grip loosening, slipping from your mount. You are flung into the dark abyss. All you can hear is the echoing laughter of the Draik you once called a friend. You close your eyes and wish for this nightmare to end.
When you finally come to, you notice you are inside a house. But there's something wrong. The furniture is plastic, and the portraits on the wall are stickers! You slowly rise from the couch you were laying on and explore the room. Suddenly, the house shakes and rattles, the force knocking you to the floor. You gaze up at the roof as it is lifted off the house. Shiny peers inside at you from above, observing you like P3s in a habitarium. The evil eyes have vanished and the honey gold eyes return
Shiny speaks to you in a cheerful tone, comparable with that of small, young girl.
"Now that your awake, let us play! The first game we shall play is house! I will be the house master... and you shall be the doll!"
Shiny's eyes glow red finishing this sentence and she reaches inside, grabbing you before you can escape. She cradles you in her palm for a second before thrusting you into the kitchen, forcing you to sit at a small table.
She leaves you for a moment, giving you a chance to consider possible escape options. Before you can put any plan into action, Shiny returns with a small plastic plate containing a single cookie crumb. The crumb is no bigger than the average petpetpet, but it might as well be a whole cake to someone your size. You munch down the crumb and wait while Shiny returns with a thimble of Kau Kau Farm milk to wash it down. You wonder why Shiny seems so interested in dolls, and why you are so small.
Shiny carries you upstairs to the bathroom, where she brushes your hair with a small brush and fastens a Velcro doll Pyjama nightgown over your own clothes. She tucks you into the toy bed in the next room over and puts the roof back on the house. She peers in through the window of the bedroom and exclaims
"Sleep well, new friend! Tomorrow we shall play again!"
Shiny retreats and turns out the light, leaving you in the dark. How will you get out of this mess?
The silence of the basement is almost too much to bear. You cry and cry, helplessly Velcro-ed into the bed by the covers. You cry yourself in a deep sleep in which you formulate a method of escape in your dreams. Though, this all seems illogical. Could this all just be a dream?
The night goes on and the day arrives without warning. The basement is dark as it was before, but now there is a feeling of motion. The rusted pipes clink and clank and the floorboard creak. You awake to hear what sounds like someone descending the steps. You hear a switch click and the entire house is illuminated once more. The roof of the house is raised and Shiny gazes in at you. Shiny unfastens you from the bed and clutches you in her hand.
"Good morning, friend. I hope you have slept well. Today is a new day and we shall spend that day playing!" she exclaims. Shiny undoes the nightgown and lifts you out of the house. You gaze down at the floor from Shiny's hand as she carries you across the room.
The distance feels so great, as if falling to it would cause you to break like an overused Battledome weapon. Shiny gently places you into a small red toy car. The seats are hard plastic, but the elastic belt holding you in place resembles the Velcro that held you down before. Shiny pushes the car forward from behind, making sputtering cars sounds as she goes. Shiny lets the car roll off without her. It rolls quite far and fast on its own. Hmm... perhaps this car could be useful in an escape?
The car stops rolling and Shiny catches up. She raises the car in her hands and explains how it works. She explains that the car is RC and can be steered from the wheel. She grabs an RC remote from a box. You turn the wheel while Shiny operates the remote. Shiny is right. The car twists left and right with each turn of the wheel. Shiny drives you into a tight corner where you notice a space in the wall big enough to go through. Could you...?
Now the gears in your head are turning. Shiny recalls the car and escorts you back into the house. She explains that she desires a break, but trusts you enough to leave you inside the house. Shiny ascends the steps, leaving you seated on the plastic couch in the living room. You look out the window and make an amazing discovery. The car and remote are both within reach! Shiny must think you'd be too scared to try and drive yourself, so she left them both on the floor. Now you can reach them!
There's no telling when Shiny could come back, so you'd better move fast! Leaping from the couch, you race around the house desperately looking for a door or window to get out. A grooved window provides enough space for you to squeeze through, but lands you on the far side of the house. You make your way back to the front and examine the RC remote. The controls are pretty straightforward. Up-down-left-right, accelerate, decelerate, and recall. The remote itself is not much bigger than you are nor is it heavy. Though lifting and carrying it is still no easy task, you walk the remote over to the car and place it across the dashboard. Strapping yourself in, you press the power button and the car springs to life. The remote controls can be locked so they work indefinitely. A good sign to you. You lock the controls into "accelerate-forward" and burst ahead with great speed. Turning the wheel, you maneuver around the toys towards the wall.
You hear a deep rumbling coming from upstairs, as if an earthquake was shaking the house. DRIVE UNDER THE TABLE! QUICKLY NOW! The shaking subsides while you hide underneath the small side table. You proceed carefully out into the open and scan your surroundings. Just when you think the way is clear, a giant hand reaches out to grab you. It's Shiny! She's seen you trying to escape, and will have no part of that. Better punch it now! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Turn left! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Turn right! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Another left around this block SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Shiny follows you in hot pursuit, literally. Gusts of flame blast from her mouth at the ground. Shiny seems to have the intention of barbecuing you now. Your within feet of the wall and escape, but just before you can reach safety the unthinkable happens: the batteries die and the car rolls to a stop.
Shiny snatches you from the car before you can even try to run out on foot. She directs you back towards the house, scolding you.
"You have been a very bad friend. Friends do not leave others behind! Now we'll play a game called 'Trial, error and consequences'. One way or the other, you WILL be my friend... my forever friend."
As Shiny courts you across the room, you spy the carousel that started it all. Virtually untouched from your last ride. The voices have returned, calling you again.
You fight and struggle to break free of Shiny's hold, but the Draik is too powerful. Shiny pauses for a minute to look at some toy, the duration of which decreases the pressure of her hold on you. You manage to squeeze out of her fingers. Shiny suddenly turns her head in your direction, with a look of great anger on her face. Shiny opens her mouth and breathes a gust of fire at you, but you leap from her arm causing her to singe it. While the Draik screams with pain. You run towards the carousel.
"Now," you wonder. "If I went forward on the ride and ended up shrunken down to size, what if I rode this thing backwards. Would it reverse the effects?" There was no telling what the carousel would do if it ran backwards, but it was worth a try. Climbing onto the control panel, you set the ride to turn backwards and scale the safety pole towards your (insert the name of the mount you rode on last time here). The carousel hums and begins to slowly turn backwards.
Shiny, still clutching her burnt arm, now jumps onto the ride with piercing red eyes. The fiery aura that circled her before has returned. Shiny rips off one of the safety poles, causing the wires inside to break and sparks to fly. The electrical level of the ride are going far beyond the limits of normality. The backwards motion of the ride is creating great friction, causing electrical overload. The Draik looms over you and grins evilly.
"Nobody rides for free. This ride is not meant to run backwards, especially with you on board. You were to be my friend forever. Just think of all we could have done. Shrinking down Neopians for our collection. We could have grown a whole city, and named it for us. Just think of all that could have been. Come, leave this ride and join me."
Shiny extends her hand, but you clutch the safety pole harder. Shiny roars with anger and raises it to grab you, but mistakenly touches the active wires.
The electricity surges through Shiny's body, giving off blinding glows. Smoke fills the inner ride mechanisms and the carousel spin out of control. Shiny screams out in agony as sparks fly in all directions. You can see the lighting bolts crackling off her metal scales as if she had Shock -A- Lots. The smoke is thick and black and visibility is poor. The Draik glows bright red and the ride spins even faster. You cling to the pole for dear life and close your eyes tightly. Could this be it?
There is a massive explosion of sparks and light. The darkness of the void is filled with torn images of the room of toys. You still cling to your mount for all its worth. Spinning faster and faster, descending into the everlasting darkness...
"Huh? What's happened?" you ask.
"Oh, nothing! You just had a bad dream that's all," the nurse assures you. You look around the room and breathe a sigh of relief. This new dream device really DOES show your greatest fears!
You slowly rise from the chair and remove the helmet on your head. The nurse is busy to the side taking notes. She returns with news.
"I'd say the experiment is a success. You seem to have been able to conquer the fear presented to you in the dream. Good show!" She hands you a couple thousand Neopoints for your participation. As you leave the waiting room, the nurse calls for the next patient. In the far-end chair, sits a gold Draik playing with toys. You exchange looks as you leave.
You notice something about the Draik immediately. She holds a sweet and quietly plays with a small red RC car. You walk over to the Draik and as for her name. With sparkling honey-gold eyes, the Draik answers
"Hello, my name is Shiny. I've come here because I need a new playmate. My old one ran away. You seem so much like them, though. Why don't you come with me back to my house and we'll play there. You'll love my carousel."