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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 507
You are on Week 508
Week 509

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Five Hundred Eight Ends Friday, May 27

Sometimes, you wake up in the morning with a bright, sunny feeling in your soul. You've slept well, had only the most pleasant of dreams, and you have the entire day planned out perfectly.

Then you go and pull the drapes open only to see that the sky is covered in thick, dark clouds, someone has trampled the flowers in the garden, and, furthermore, your lawn is on fire.

Mack was having just that sort of day. Not in all the specific details, of course. The Chia's allergies meant he wasn't much for planting flowers.

Furthermore, the sun had been shining quite brightly. In fact, it had woken Mack up.

He'd lain in bed, his eyes shut, for a few warm, glowing moments after he woke up, mentally listing all of the things he was going to do that day -- do some grocery shopping, meet his friend Bekah for coffee in the Catacombs, and spend a long, lazy afternoon rereading his favorite book, Sunset on Mystery Island.

Then he sat up, opened his eyes, and looked around.

To his great shock and dismay, he was not in his bedroom.

His mattress was sitting in the middle of an overgrown field, with no buildings or Neopets in sight.

"What in Fyora's name..." Mack shook his head, bewildered. "I have to be dreaming still."

He pinched his forearm to check. He wasn't dreaming.

That was when he saw the note taped to the foot of the mattress...

Author: Cookybananas324
Date: May 23rd
Like anybody else who has ever found themselves mysteriously transported to the middle of a vacant field with only a single leaf of paper to shed any light upon the situation, Mack was inclined to reach over the edge of his mattress and grasp the note. The tape came off with a neat snick, oddly loud in the quiet of his surroundings. The writing was hastily scribbled, the handwriting looping and spindly.

It was a short note, too, and certainly didn't explain much. It simply read,

We're climbing in your Neohomes, snatching your mattresses up.

Understandably, Mack was not equipped to take his situation at face value. Even if the meadow he was now in was not trampled or on fire, its surprise role as his current setting was still enough of a non-fortuitous occurrence to cause a fair amount of hopeful doubt.

He was tempted to crumple the pointless note in his fist, but decided to hold onto it. It was his only clue, after all, as nonsensical as it was.

He rubbed his temples. This had really better be a dream...

But looking around him, it was impossible to deny that something had happened. The Chia liked to say he lived a fairly average life, and he was happy with that. He was a no-fuss, content Neopet, although admittedly his status as content was starting to fall in jeopardy.

Another pinch yielded the same result: that he was wide awake, and his arm would very much rather he stopped manhandling it, thank you very much. He settled for a quick look around.

He was definitely on his mattress -- the red-and-white striped material was soft under him, although he was closer to the ground than usual, thanks to the lack of the bedframe that usually supported it.

"This isn't funny," he called out weakly, in hopes that whoever had moved him would kindly walk forth out of the tall grass, apologise, and relocate him back to his bedroom with amenable speed.

Mack was then seized by a violent sneezing fit. He squinted, peering through watery eyes. Kougra Lilies and Snap Draiks dotted the meadow around him. And it was the worst seasons for his allergies, too.

Rubbing his eyes, Mack finally stood, jumping off his bed into the waist-deep grass. This whole situation wasn't right. And besides, he'd promised to meet Bekah at the Coffee Shop at noon. He was not going to be late.

As he surveyed the field, he saw another piece of paper fluttering in the grass...

Author: dianacat777
Date: May 23rd
...this one with splotches of colour, with specks of red and gold, swirls of blue as bright as the endless expanse sky that stretched above him, and a tiny purple flower painted in the corner.

On the other side was a genuine note:

The flower is a lie.

Who could have sent the note? Bekah? The random colour splatter was definitely her signature style, though he had never heard of her talking about flowers or lies. It just got weirder and weirder. This had to be a dream.

Did pinching himself not work anymore?

Casting his glance around, Mack found that it was practically impossible for him to see, as his vision was blurred by the watering of his eyes. His allergies chose the worst time to act up. Swiping his arm across his face, he found that there was a single purple flower, lost in the midst of the daintily swaying green grasses.

When he reached for it, it slipped through his grasp.

It was definitely there, of course. Mack blinked several times, but he was sure that it was there. It wasn't a delusion. Grabbing for it again, he exasperatedly felt the purple petals escape his fingers once more.

"Looks like the flower really is a lie," he mumbled to himself. "What are the odds?"

Only then did he notice that there were words on the ground.

They were written with tiny pebbles, pressed into the dirt around the flower. Mack had to brush aside the tall grasses to read them, but they were there, forming a message:

Help me...

Author: chocolate_lover67
Date: May 24th
Mack stared at the pebbles, hoping desperately that a note marking them as a lie as well would emerge, but none did; his next order of business was to rub his eyes frantically in case his allergies were distorting his vision. The pebbles, however, stayed in their pattern.

"Okay," Mack said, sitting down heavily and putting his head in his hands. "This is just not possible, but okay, whoever you are, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?"

Mack bellowed this last question into the sky as loudly as he possibly could, but nothing happened. Frustrated, he swiped at the pebbles, scattering them in the dirt. Almost immediately, the pebbles skittered back, packing themselves into different words:

Mack, I am disappoint.

The Chia gasped. Did the mysterious Neopet who had moved him into the field know his name? Or was it the Neopet who wanted his help? Something much more serious than he had previously suspected was definitely afoot.

Mack stood up, brushing himself off, and succumbed to a series of explosive sneezes. Once this had ended, he scrutinised the note that looked so similar to Bekah's art. This time, he noticed that one of the little painted flower's petals was pointed like an arrow. He compared the drawing to the flower in the grass; it had a pointed petal as well.

"I guess this is my best bet," Mack muttered. He took one last look at his mattress -- he really had no use for it now, but it was the only familiar thing he had in this strange place -- and was just starting to walk the way the flower pointed when he stopped.

The flower is a lie.

Maybe the note meant that he should do the opposite of anything the flower wanted. It sounded crazy, but loath as he was to listen to anything that accused a plant of falsehood, Mack had to admit he didn't have much else to go on at this point, so he turned around and walked the opposite way from the direction the petal indicated.

Immediately, the wind picked up, blowing yet more pollen into Mack's face. His eyes were now so watery that he felt like a Gormball had exploded on his face, and he stumbled miserably through the seemingly endless field, tripping now and then over stones and twigs. Suddenly, the Chia saw a large brown shape looming in front of him and stopped, blearily rubbing his eyes. His vision clearing somewhat, he realised it was a tree; a forest had, apparently, appeared out of nowhere.

And then Mack noticed the words carved into the tree:

I can has help now?...

Author: trisshamster
Date: May 24th
"Help?" The Chia shut his eyes. "Yes, I'll help you, just tell me how!"

He opened his eyes again, and looked at the tree. To his dismay, the words on the tree hadn't changed. But, when he looked closer he noticed that there was no longer a question mark. Whoever was writing the message seemed to have heard his response.

But what was he supposed to do? He looked around, hoping to find something that would give him a clue, or better yet, give him a way back home. As he searched, the forest disappeared again. Or had it even been there? Now that Mack thought about it, his memory seemed quite vague.

There was something that existed, though. A large wooden barrel, tumbling along the ground, at high speed. The Chia paused to think about this for a second. How was the barrel rolling along a flat, windless field? Unless there was somebody pushing it...

Sure enough, when the barrel went past, Mack saw a grey Kyrii, pushing it along.

The Kyrii suddenly stopped, and watched the barrel slow to a halt. "Oh, no. Rick rolled a barrel. Rick rolled a barrel. She's up to something."

Mack was ecstatic. Finally, somebody he could talk to, other than himself. "Excuse me, were you the one asking for help?"

Rick spun around to face him. "Rick rolled a barrel. Whenever Rick does something and he doesn't know how he got there, it means she's found somebody else." He stared at Mack for a moment, and then his eyes sprang open. "Somebody asked you for help? You didn't agree, did you? As in, actually say the word Y followed by E followed by S?"

"Well... I might have done, yes."

The Kyrii blocked his ears with his hands and shut his eyes. "Argh! No, no, no! Never use that word here! It's a bad, bad word! If you say it, she can get you. Rick knows, see. She did it to Rick, too. She's cunning, devious. She tells you she's wants you to help her, and when you use the affirmative word, she ends up helping herself to..." The Kyrii trailed off, and then pointed at a rainbow on the horizon. "Look, she's coming. Ooh, why did you have to say it?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't know. I'm a bit... confused..." Mack shook his head, to try and clear his mind. "She helps herself... you mean she's going to steal something from me? Steal what? And who is she? And... just where exactly am I?"

"You're in a field, with Rick. She is herself. And she's going to steal..." Rick bit his lip, as if trying to decide whether to continue. "She's going to steal your imagination."

And then there was another voice, this time, female. "That's very naughty, Rick. I told you, that was supposed to be our little secret..."

Author: flying_tree
Date: May 25th
Rick turned quickly with all of the colour (or what little there was, since he was grey) sucked out of his face.

The voice's owner, whoever she was, well, she looked like a faerie, but what kind of faerie was she? Her hair was literally a rainbow, while her the dress she wore was also striped in rainbow colours.

Mack was about to speak. He was going to ask about the great confusion bouncing around his skull and giving him a headache and making him irritated at the same time, but Rick chimed in before he even came close to having a chance.

"IT'S THE DOUBLE RAINBOW! DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY!" he shouted before running off to Fyora-knew-where.

"W-what?" Mack thought aloud.

"It's over nine thousand," the Double Rainbow said.

Mack turned and stared at her again.

"Um? I don't understand. What do you -- ?"

"It's over nine thousand," she said again, this time holding out her hand.

Mack ignored this and furrowed his brow.

"Just tell me where I am. Please." He tried hard not to sound irritated.

"You have to pay me nine thousand as punishment."

"For what?"

She sighed and shook her head again.

"No good. " She sighed.

Meanwhile, Mack was getting sick of this craziness. Besides that, he was still tired and wanted to go back to bed, but he had to help this double rainbow faerie, whoever she was.

"If you can't tell me, then I'll just have to go."

But before he was able to do so, he was jerked back by some unknown force and was soon facing the faerie again.

"If you can't pay me, Imma firin' my laser," she said, this time in a dark voice, a third rainbow springing from her hand, twisting and turning to form, sure enough, a laser...

Author: arwenelfgirl13
Date: May 26th
Mack screamed and ducked, quaking beneath his hands as he heard the rainbow laser fire.

And jumped as something cracked across his face.

Blinking, he stared at the quivering Kyrii in front of him. Somehow, he was standing. And his face stung. With a start, he realised he'd been slapped. Rick... had... slapped him?

"Don't go away," he whispered tremulously, his voice hitching as he strained. "Don't let her do that. Rick talked about her, and the Chia imagined her, didn't he? Don't do it... don't let the imagination run wild... it's how she steals them..." Tears slipped down the Kyrii's cheeks as he pointed to Mack's... arm? Hand?

Mack gasped as he brought his hand up. His fur, normally a vivid purple hue, seemed... pale. As if the colour had begun to leach out of it, bled out by... something.

"What in Fyora's name...?" he trailed off, horrified and unsure.

"The Chia must be careful, Chia must save imagination for his self, or she will trick him, she will..." Rick gibbered, gesticulating wildly.

Mack latched onto the Kyrii's hand, clinging desperately. "Trick me how, Rick? How can she do it?"

"Chia must see what is real! Only what is real!" he screamed, yanking his hand out of Mack's.

"But... what's real? Does someone need help? Did she ask for help? Before you said saying yes meant something bad..." But Mack stopped speaking as Rick began to eye him strangely, eyes wide and confused.

"No," he whispered, "Rick only said she is up to something... Rick didn't say anything else."

Reeling as if he had been slapped again, there was little Mack could do but stare. None of that had been real?

"So, does someone need help?" His voice sounded thin and lost, even to his own ears.

"Everyone needs help. This is her world! But the Chia must help his self or he will need help, he will! She is bad, she is herself, and herself is bad!"

Mack was having trouble parsing his words as Rick grew more and more frantic, but before he could ask him to clarify, Rick ran off.

Staring at the spot where the grey Kyrii had stood a mere moment before, he suddenly realised his mouth had fallen open. Shutting it with a snap, he looked around and tried to decide what to do.

"What now?" he wondered aloud.

"That depends on you," a delicately feminine voice answered.

Mack jumped; he hadn't expected an answer. Turning, he stared at the strange creature before him. She was dark, dark as shadow, but the sun was bright in the strange meadow and there weren't any shadows, and her eyes were star-bright, with all the colours of a rainbow. Her form was blurry, nebulous, and seemed to waver and change the harder he stared. Sometimes she looked like an Aisha; sometimes an Acara, and others still, she looked like nothing he had ever seen. Sometimes he even imagined he saw Bekah in her wavering outline, but that was a strange thought even for a strange morning.

"Are you the 'she' Rick told me about?" Mack breathed, his voice barely a whisper. He hadn't meant to ask; it had to be asked, but at the same time, he had trouble believing it might be so. Rick had described someone evil, hadn't he? No matter how he saw the creature in front of him, she was beautiful.

"And if I am?" she replied, bemused. Her voice was lilting and beautiful, like the tones of a perfectly played flute.

"He, um, had some not-so-nice things to say about you, if so..."

She shrugged, her blurry outline shifting. "Haters gonna hate, Mack. I'll deal with him later."

Perhaps it should have alarmed him that she knew his name, but it didn't. It didn't register at all. Instead, all he heard was a possible threat to the Kyrii who had done his best to try to convey... something. Mack wasn't sure what exactly, but he was pretty sure the Kyrii had tried help him. Mostly sure, anyway.

"Deal with him? You won't hurt him, will you?" He had to ask. He couldn't imagine the lovely creature before him hurting anyone, but he had to ask.

"Hurt whom?" she asked, a strange glint in her eye.

Mack blinked and looked around. He had been asking her about something, but he couldn't remember what.

"I'm sorry, what?" he asked, but to his surprise, he found himself speaking to... no one.

He shook his head; he seemed to be talking to himself. "Losing it, Mack," he muttered. "Well, now what?"

He laughed again; he'd half-expected an answer.

But instead of an answer, drifting gently on the breeze across the open field was another folded slip of paper. He knew the handwriting before he opened it; it was the same looping, messy scrawl that had been on the previous notes, done by the same hand that he imagined had done the carvings. The note read:

Rick rolled...

He frowned. The note tickled something deep in his brain…hadn't he met a Rick? A Korbat, maybe? No, a Kau? Kiko? He shook his head again; the memory was vague, if it was real, and refused to solidify.

Perhaps, he thought, he had merely imagined it. But thoughts of his imagination tickled something else within his brain, but it, too, evaporated like so much smoke on the wind.

Shrugging, he looked around.

"Well?" he said aloud, asking again. "Now what? What's next?"

No answer came floating on the wind, but Mack suddenly noticed a winding yellow path before him; the occasional brick on the path had a letter deeply embossed on it. He saw a C, an A, an N, an H, another A, a S, another H... Shrugging, he stepped onto the path and began to walk. Surely the path could not be any stranger than anything else he had experienced, though it led to Fyora-only-knew-where. Before long, he came across an E, an L, and a P, and then it seemed as if the letters repeated, but when Mack turned around to see the previous letters, he realised with a start there was no path behind him, despite the fact he had had his feet securely upon it. Instead, there was only an innocuous -- if uninviting -- looking field. Looking forward, the path stretched out as it had before and seemed solid beneath his fight, but a glance backward proved that it was no longer behind him.

"What is this, I don't even..." he trailed off, unsure of what he was trying to say or do.

After a few minutes of warring internally with himself on the physics of such a path, Mack finally shrugged. Apparently, he decided, the path was only one way. And so he strode forward, putting the impossibility of such a thing entirely behind him, so to speak.

Though he may have feared his walk along the path would be unnerving, it simply wasn't worth worrying about, as there didn't seem to be anything else along the path at all. Well, nothing except...

Author: agedbeauty
Date: May 26th
...a mattress.

With a particular faerie on it.

"This is not the place you're looking for," smirked the faerie in greeting, rolling over lazily on the plush bed. Her form briefly wavered, then came into focus, leaving the Chia's eyes feeling quite confused.

"Hey!" Mack, even in his sluggish state, felt compelled to reclaim ownership of a formerly possessed item. "That's my bed. Get off of it."

"All your base are belong to me," was the reply as the Rainbow Faerie rolled over once more. "So, no. Sorry. Besides, was this ever your mattress?"

"Huh?" The question was so random, it caught him off guard.

"I said, was this bed ever yours? Or are you just making that up?"

"I... what? Of course I did! I..." he trailed off.

Had he?

Memories of notes and climbing in Neohomes whirled through his mind, but they popped like bubbles as he tried to grasp them.

"I can't remember," he sighed finally. He probably hadn't. The faerie was so beautiful. She could own anything she wanted.

"Good Mack," she purred. "Now come on. Come sit with me."

Torpidly, he complied, clambering up onto the plush mattress and slinging his legs over the side. His eyes drooped as she slid a comforting hand around him. He was confused. He just wanted to sleep.

"Pretty rainbow faerie," he murmured.

"I'm not a rainbow. I'm an imagination. A compilation of imaginations. The rainbow reflects everything I am and could be... but there's so much more. I could be a cloud... or a Cybunny... or a brain pie. Or a thought! A memory. Anything you can imagine. And anything Rick used to be able to. But Rick is a naughty boy."

"But... what does this mean?" Mack asked, very confused and tired. So tired. And that voice... it was pure music, ebbing and flowing like the lap of an ocean tide on a sunset beach.

"Don't you worry about it," she shushed him. "Don't worry about anything. There's nothing to it."

"Nothing to what?"

"To anything. Nothing to worry about. There's no serious business going on. Nothing at all. Just... go to sleep."

"But... Bekah." The word came uncertainly, lingering on Mack's tongue hesitantly before slipping out. Something seemed important about it. Why, he couldn't fathom. Nothing was important but the faerie.

"Who is Bekah?" the faerie answered, voice soft and lovely. "She never existed."

"I remember... I remember a... friend..."

"A friend? What is friendship? What is love?" Her voice had taken on a questioning tone.

"Don't hurt me," mumbled Mack discordantly, afraid he'd upset the beautiful faerie. "Don't hurt me!"

"No more," snapped the faerie, jolting the Chia from his stupor momentarily. He blinked, feeling briefly awake. "There is no such thing as friends. There was never anyone named Bekah. You're just dreaming."

"Just dreaming."

"That's right. But I can't dream. I stare at the night sky, and see nothing that you do. Would you give your dreams to me, Mack? Would you lend me them?"

He was more than willing; his eyes teared up at the thought of this beautiful faerie shivering and alone on a sleepless night. "Of course!" he half cried, half-mumbled. "Just tell me how."

"Will you give yourself to me? Will you join me, and trade your wakefulness for mine? Will you go to sleep for me, little Mack? Will you do that for me?"

Of course he would; why shouldn't he deny this gorgeous, wonderful creature everything he had? Why shouldn't he fall to his knees at her servitude? She was the only thing, the only splash of color and meaning and purpose in this dead world.

"Y-" he began.

And his traitorous lips failed him.

He tried to complete the word. He really did. The sound wouldn't come out.

Memories fluttered, faded like old parchment. A bad word.

No, it was beautiful.

She wants to steal...

But he wanted to give willingly.

The mattress she sat upon, striped and red... Mack felt as though he were waking up from a long night's sleep. And not a pleasant one. Like he had earlier... but had he existed earlier?


And the spell was broken, and everything rushed back to him.

Confusion, lasers, Rick's warnings to him as the Kyrii had tried to save another from falling into his fate.

And Mack saw. The faerie was everything and nothing; a wonder of color and vibrancy and beauty. But she did not create, only take. She could not represent imagination and all of the beauty that could spring forth from the mind when she herself was but a void, dead, unable to nurture any seeds of creativity herself. She was false beauty, dead vitality.

The faerie was a lie. Something that had no right to exist.

Slowly, the faintest hue of lavender began to trickle back into Mack's fur.

"No," he whispered instead.

"Excelle - what?" The faerie's voice went up an octave, her eyes bulging. The shattering of her mellifluous voice served to only loosen her hold on the Chia. "What do you mean, no?"

"I mean what I said. I may not have much of an imagination, but it's precious. It keeps me warm on lonely nights, helps me get to sleep. It lets me dream of a better future."

"There is no future."

"There is a future," Mack insisted.

"There is no future," repeated the faerie.

"You can't take me!" he shouted back, shaking a fist. As his emotions grew, the color seemed to be slowly draining back into him.

"I can has your dreams!" snapped the faerie, her form momentarily drifting into that of a very disgruntled cheeseburger.

"Meepits take you! I'm going home."

The faerie laughed coldly. "Well, since you know what I'm doing, you can't leave. Not like anyone leaves here, anyway."

"What's stopping me?" Mack challenged boldly.

"Several planes of reality, myself, your inhibitions, and of course, my bargaining chip," her voice listed off boredly.

"Bargaining chip?"

"Oh, Rick isn't the only one whose imagination I've assimilated. What, did you think you were special? I'm always watching. I'm in your world, stealing your life. And as many as I can reach out to."

Mack watched as the faerie shivered, image blurring once more, and a shape began to form next to her.

"Why don't you come forward, Bekah, dear?..."

Author: dianacat777
Date: May 26th
Mack gasped out loud as Bekah appeared by the faerie's side. His once beautiful island Usul friend was now a sad and dismal grey. Her sparkling blue eyes were now sullen and bereft of the fun that Mack always knew her to be.

"Bekah..." Mack whispered, holding his hand out toward her.

Bekah turned away from Mack, whispering over her shoulder. "It's a trap."

The faerie snickered softly, turning from her grey prisoner back to Mack. "See? Come join your friend here, little Chia. I have had all of her dreams, and many of them involved you. Now it's your turn. Give me what I need."

Mack snorted. "No. I don't care who you are, I don't care where I am, but you are not getting what you desire. If you want my imagination, you'll have to come and take it."

With that, the edges of the world around them started to dim and flicker. The bright colours of the grass, the shining golden sun, the gorgeous blue sky, all started to slowly dim. The faerie's eyes went wide.

"Don't you dare!" she yelled, lunging for Mack.

The Chia dodged to the side, letting the faerie sideswipe him. Mack leapt forward and grabbed Bekah's hand, which barely registered with the Usul. Holding her tight, Mack took off down the path at lightning speed, dragging Bekah along with the faerie close behind. He still didn't know where the pathway led, but he was sure it had to be better than this place.

The meadow began to warp and change around the pair. Mack could see odd shapes and images appear around him as they ran down the pathway. A Kougra playing the piano, a Niptor looking rather philosophical. Even a mind-boggling flash of a band of chocolate painted pets dancing around in the rain.

Mack took a quick peek over his shoulder toward the faerie. Behind him, she was the only colour left in the world. The faster Mack ran, the faster the world faded away. The Chia tightened his grip on Bekah's wrist and turned to look back ahead.

There was no more meadow in front of him. The yellow brick pathway beneath his feet lead on endlessly into a grey muddle of scenery.

"Give me back your imagination!" the faerie yelled, close on their heels.

The faerie took a leap toward Mack, but the Chia dodged again, causing the faerie to trip and fall.

"Epic fail!" Mack yelled back as he charged on.

"Mack," whispered Bekah.

Mack began to slow, turning toward his friend. Looking behind him, he noticed the faerie had disappeared, and the grey had paused its advance on the stone bricks at their feet.

"Mack, wake up," Bekah continued.

"I am awake, Bekah, look!" Mack pinched himself again to show her the truth. He winced as the pain coursed through his irritated arm. The show seemed to have no effect on Bekah, though.

"Wake up," the Usul muttered again. "It's Friday, Friday."

Mack shook his head. "I know it's Friday; we were supposed to have coffee together today."

Bekah slowly nodded, turning toward the pathway still stretched ahead. The Chia turned to follow her eyes and squinted softly. Something was in the distance, something buried in the grey. Mack led on, Bekah slowly wandering behind him. The image in front of him began so very tiny, but grew with every precious step the pair made toward it. Something very familiar was coming in to view. With the grey once again advancing from behind them, Mack picked up his pace and ran.

The Chia hoped the awe-inspiring image coming into view wasn't his imagination again. Mack let out a happy laugh as he turned to Bekah.

"Bekah, look! It's..."

Suddenly, the faerie's voice returned to his ears once more. Mack's skin began to crawl again as she spoke.

"Yo, Mack, I'm really happy for you, and I will let you finish, but..."

Author: filter
Date: May 27th
"But nothing!" Mack cut in, stopping the faerie in her tracks, "You just lost the game!"

The faerie laughed derisively, but he noted that her form was blurry, wavering again... only her eyes were rainbows. "I can't lose my own game, Mack," she said softly, disdainfully. But her fuzzy outline belied the confidence in her voice.

"Oh, but you have," he told her softly, confidence infusing his voice.

But just then, Bekah began to shout. "Snap out of it, Mack! Wake up!"

Turning, he stared at her in concern that quickly grew into joy. She was pale, but that lovely taupe was back in her fur, and her eyes had a hint of sparkle. "What do you mean, Bekah? I'm awake! I'm awake... I've kept pinching myself to make sure, but I'm awake," he told her ruefully, subconsciously rubbing the bruise that was growing on his arm. Of course, with him being purple, the bruise was hard to see.

"Wake up!" she giggled again and ran off along the path, dissolving into sparkles as he watched.

Behind him, the faerie screamed, a wordless verbalisation of fury.

He smiled as he turned back, eying her now totally formless shape. "I'm right, aren't I? I just have to walk into the Coffee Shop, and I win, don't I?" he asked softly, gesturing to the translucent yet vivid scene behind him -- the coffee shop where he had been supposed to meet Bekah.

Her eyes, the only thing recognisable within her amorphous body, were crystal rainbows shining with anger. "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Mack," she snarled. Lightning snapped around her indistinct edges as she began to advance.

"There's nothing you can do to stop me," he shot back, still confident, edging toward the coffee shop.

"I can do THIS!" she screamed, and there was a burst of light; for a moment, everything was confusion. Along the path was chaos; there were too many figures to make out, and Mack was almost instantly overwhelmed as it all threatened to draw him in. Among the figures he could identify individually was a very sad-looking Pandaphant, an abnormally long Kadoatie, and a very dramatic-looking Meepit. There were more, but there were so many of them Mack could barely differentiate one from another as they swarmed.

To the faerie's impotent fury, none of the masses she summoned seem to be able to make it onto the path. She yelled again, another wordless scream, and Mack only laughed. "Fail faerie is fail," he told her, and ran with all of the speed he could muster toward the coffee shop.

"DO NOT WANT!!" she screamed behind him -- and then abruptly faded out as the world dissolved into sparkles around him. Mack blinked and stared at Bekah's concerned face.

Mack blinked again as his body involuntarily shook. The vibration started in his shoulder and ran across his entire frame.

"MACK!" He heard Bekah yell. He could feel the warm coffee cup gripped in his hand, the din of the coffee shop around him finally reaching his ears. Bekah was retracting her hand from his shoulder, looking at him with surprise.

"You've been silently staring into your coffee cup for over five minutes now, doodling the entire time!" the Usul exclaimed, pointing to the dark, almost greyish liquid.

Mack shook his head lightly. "I guess I was... daydreaming. That was... very strange."

Bekah smirked. "Oh yeah? Was I in this daydream?"

The Chia nodded, still looking down at the swirling liquid in his cup.

The Usul continued, "What else was in this daydream of yours?"

Unexpectedly, the Shoyru running the counter held up a sign denoting that for the next hour, everyone was entitled to one free cup of coffee. A mob of Neopets meandering around the store rushed up to the counter, all shouting and waving their arms.

"Me! Me! Me Me!" the strange mob of Neopets yelled.

Bekah smiled brightly, as if her smile was created from the sun itself.

"Well, I have some errands to run, so I'm going to head off. Let's meet up again the same time next week!" she told him, then looked down and pointed to Mack's arm just as she started to walk away.

"You have some coffee on your arm!" she yelled over her shoulder as she disappeared through the shop's door.

Mack looked down at the splotch on his arm. He couldn't remember spilling coffee on himself, and oddly, it didn't feel wet or warm at all. The Chia rubbed his hand absently over the spot to wipe it off, but the murky grey colour didn't budge. It almost looked like it was growing... but Mack didn't notice. He was too busy staring at his "doodles" as Bekah had called them.

"Rick rolled? The flower is a lie?" he mumbled aloud. He recognised his handwriting, the looping scrawl both familiar and chilling for some reason. He felt sure he had seen these notes somewhere... which of course he had, he had written them, hadn't he? But he was almost sure he had seen them somewhere else...

But that was silly. It was just a daydream; he had imagined the whole thing, hadn't he?

Finally, he shrugged and headed home. He had a book to read.

The En- Yo Reader! I'm really happy you're enjoying the story, and I will let you finish, but Story 506 had one of the best endings of all time. One of the best endings of all time. -d

Editor's Note: Due to a holiday in the U.S., the next Storytelling beginning will be posted on Tuesday, May 31st. Thanks!

Author: agedbeauty & filter
Date: May 27th

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