Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
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||You are on Week 909
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 Nine Hundred Nine Ends Friday, March 4
|Looking at him, you might expect the large and muscular Tyrannian Kougra to be an avid Battledome fighter with a hunger for danger and a penchant for violence, but, in fact, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This Neopet, named Eric, is, as it so happens, actually a very shy and gentle soul trapped in a deceptively intimidating body. His immense strength is used not for powerful attacks, but for carrying his heavy bagpipes; his fanged mouth doesn’t close around the throats of unfortunate Neopets, but instead wraps around the instrument’s blowpipe. And rather than using his razor-sharp claws to rip apart opponents, he uses them to dig in the dirt in search of Petpetpets, which he loves to document and study.
In fact, it’s actually his love of Petpetpets that led him to learn the bagpipes in the first place. You see, his greatest desire and ultimate wish is to encounter that mythical breed of Petpetpet that was once abundant enough to infest the entirety of Roo Island, but now exists only in the single-digits across all of Neopia - the Unidentified Petpetpet. Not much is known about this species except for the fact that they are attracted to weird noises, so Eric naturally chose the bagpipes to use as his source of odd sounds while out foraging for Petpetpets.
It was during one such expedition that this gentle giant found himself lost in the Haunted Woods. Eric had been captivated by a Glyme with a rare mutation - the flower on its back was blue rather than pink - and followed it deep into the forest in the hopes of finding its nest. Unfortunately, the Glyme was snatched up by a Beekadoodle before it could complete its journey, leaving Eric disappointed and suddenly aware of his geographical predicament.
Despite not being a fighter, Eric was still brave, so rather than panicking, he carefully laid down his bagpipes on the sodden forest floor and deftly climbed a nearby tree to take stock of his surroundings. The Tyrannian Kougra looked over the treeline and almost lost his footing when he saw…
Date: Feb 22nd
...a giant Unidentified Petpetpet.
Surely it couldn't be anything else, Eric thought to himself. The antennae, the purple fur, the prominent chin, the six legs...he knew them all well from photographs and diagrams and books. He had studied the Unidentified Petpetpet so meticulously that he was certain he could quickly identify one at a glance.
The giant raised its head and sniffed the air as the Kougra watched in rapt fascination. He had hoped to encounter this creature one day, and here it was - several times bigger than he had expected.
Of course, now that he had seen it, he had to study it in greater detail - up close. And what better way to do so than to attract it to himself by playing a tune on his bagpipes?
Eric shimmied down the tree and once his feet found the wet ground again, he picked up his bagpipes, slung them over his shoulder, and took a deep breath before playing the loudest, most raucous, most erratic tune he could think of - "The Flight of the Springabee". The notes came to him easily in a frenzied staccato that bloomed into a complicated trill, and he couldn't help but tap his feet and do a little jig in place as he played.
But over "The Flight of the Springabee", Eric didn't hear the rustling of branches, or the booming footsteps of a giant petpetpet. He frowned before stopping in the middle of the refrain, setting his bagpipes aside, and climbing up the tree again to look in the direction where he had found the Unidentified Petpetpet.
The Tyrannian Kougra gasped at what he saw; the Unidentified Petpetpet, somehow, despite its bulk, was completely gone. He groaned; the bagpipes were supposed to attract it toward him, but why did it leave? Was "The Flight of the Springabee" not weird enough for it?
As Eric pondered these questions, he noticed that the Unidentified Petpetpet had been standing in a clearing devoid of trees. No trees meant he had a good view of the ground, and he saw large footprints leading toward...
Date: Feb 23rd
...A dark and dank trail, upon which Eric quickly endeavoured to embark.
It may have been dark, but Kougras can see well in the dark. It's something they are born with. It's in their eyes. And Eric was no exception.
Eric was the strong, silent type. Rather than open his mouth (and bare his menacing fangs, which he used only to chew his vegetarian meals), he tended to let his bagpipes do the talking. He figured that he would have little difficulty approaching the giant Petpetpet unseen.
He pulled out his instrument and started to play another tune, as "Flight of the Springabee" was apparently not to the Unidentified Petpetpet's liking. "The Beam of Kreludor, in B# Natural," by the Neopian-renowned Romantic-Modernist composer, Debuzzy. Nothing was weirder than modern music.
However, as he continued down the trail -- emphasizing the mordents and swelling the crescendos, as a musician of his calibre ought -- he realized something was wrong.
The grass was getting... longer?
The Petpetpet's footprints were getting... larger?
The end of the trail was getting... farther away?
Eric realized with a start that he had shrunk. By his best estimations, he was now the size of a Petpetpet.
But he was brave. Rather than be alarmed at this new predicament, he realized the potential opportunity to learn about Petpetpets in situ! He grinned and his eyes went wide.
And then he heard a rustle in the grass nearby...
Date: Feb 24th
...The green and yellow body. The four antenna. The four legs. It was none other than a Mootix, stomping his way. It seemed enamoured by the sound of his bagpipes, judging by the wide, frenzied look in its eyes. Although Eric was afraid that it would trample him, he kept playing. He was loyal to his art above almost all else, and if he had to go down, he would go down playing a beautiful song.
But the Mootix halted just inches in front of him, sitting back and looking down at him with an eager stare. It seemed to just be enjoying the music, judging by the way its antennas were swaying. Eric continued playing the piece until its completion, not taking his eyes off of the Mootix the whole time.
When he finished, the Mootix bobbed up and down excitedly, as if it were clapping. Eric gave a formal bow, then set the bagpipes down on the ground. "I take it you like the music?" He said, hoping that the Mootix understood.
Unfortunately for him, it didn't seem to, or at least it didn't respond in any way that would indicate that it understood. It stared at him blankly, as if waiting for something. Eric stared back, and for a moment he was puzzled. What was he supposed to do with a petpetpet that he couldn't communicate with? How would he be able to get out of this situation without getting squashed.
After a few moments of pondering, the Mootix one of its legs at the bagpipes, and Eric understood. It wanted an encore! As much as he couldn't deny anyone who wanted to hear him play more, he did need to keep chasing after the Unidentified Petpetpet.
Pulling his bagpipes up, Eric decided on another tune to play: Serenade No. 13 by Lupegang Amadeus Mozart. Facing the Mootix, he took slow steps backwards, luring it with him as he continued further down on the trail...
Date: Feb 28th
After his first song had finished, he tried out another. "Fur Eyries" by Lupewig van Beethoven. But this, curiously, not only made the Mootix stop, but also start moving backwards. It was with this discovery that he started experimenting, and noticed that with different songs, he could control the direction that the Mootix wanted to go. With the Mootix's apparent permission, he climbed up and on top of the relatively large petpetpet, and started directing him where to go. Riding a Mootix was, by all measures, a much better way of trying to travel through the dense grass of the woods.
It was just his luck, that he had heard that his old teacher would be in the same area doing research. They had been scheduled to meet up for a cup of Borovan later that day.
With his trusted Mootix steed, he set off to try and meet up with Professor Milton Clodbottle in time for his appointment! Surely Professor Clodbottle would know how to reverse this! Or, at least, provide him with spacious and well-kept living conditions. Clodbottle was, of course, the inventor of the state-of-the-art petpetpet observation container, the Habitarium.
He started piping out the notes to Vandagyrdi's "Four Seasons" to give his steed the proper direction...
Date: Mar 1st
Eric knew Professor Clodbottle's most recent specimen of interest was the Vernax. He was studying their web patterns and the pheromones they released that caused itchy feet in Neopets. With that in mind, his teacher would be far up a tree, nestled in the branches where Vernax loved to spin their webs.
Atop his Mootix, the Tyrannian Kougra began to play Samuel Barbat's, "Adagio for Sproings". As the opening line of the movement rose in pitch, the bagpipe serenade signalled the petpetpet to begin its ascent up the nearest tree.
They climbed slowly and increasingly dramatically, inching their way up the bark with the rise and fall of the minor cadential patterns of the song. Finding the professor seemed to be turning into a melancholic adventure.
As Eric was overcome with emotion by his own playing, he wiped a tear from his eye and finished the final phrase. He and his Mootix finally made their way up the trunk. To their left was a trail of webbing, cocooning the branches nearby.
"If Professor Clodbottle were here, I'd see him right away," Eric thought. "He would seem absolutely gargantuan to my petpetpet-sized eyes."
The Kougra was almost defeated but decided to scan his horizon anyways. At the elbow of a far-out branch was a barely noticeable Neopet, blending into its surroundings. However, this Neopet was the same size as Eric...
The lens of his glasses caught the sun with a minute movement of the head. The Neopet was a Camouflage Ogrin, just like Professor Milton Clodbottle!
"Professor? Is that you?!" Eric whisper-shouted across the tree canopy. The Ogrin's eyes darted towards Eric as he raised a hand as if to silence his student. The professor pointed to the web, bringing Eric's attention to something caught in its labyrinth...
Date: Mar 2nd
Eric looked over to the webbing, and saw not a petpetpet caught in it, but a strange artifact that pulsed the neon green of a Glowing Paint Brush. This unfazed the Vernax who was busy wrapping it up in webbing, however. Could this what have caused the Professor and himself to become so small?
Silently, as to not draw the attention of the Vernax, Eric pointed at the artifact and tilted his head. Clodbottle took his two front paws and narrowed the gap between them in a shrinking motion. It would seem that indeed, the glowing green artifact was to blame. But how would they get it, and unshrink themselves?
Eric raised an index finger with an idea. Clodbottle nodded encouragingly. Eric carefully got off the Mootix he was riding, settling himself on the branch. He was ready to enact his plan.
Eric blew into his bagpipes, creating a loud “BLART!” sound. Clodbottle put the palm of his paw to his face, in a motion expressing his frustration and embarrassment. The Vernax looked up from its spinning, and started making its way towards Eric and the Mootix. It looked hungry.
Eric grinned and continued playing. The disconcerting sound soon turned into a melody, “Entrance of the Altadorians” by Julius Flotsam. This rousing battle march stirred the Mootix to action, causing it to charge ahead, meeting the Vernax head on.
Grappling with each other, the two petpetpets battled as Eric played on. Stealing a quick glance away from the fight, he saw Clodbottle carefully making his way to the artifact. Another quick glance had him at the web. A third; he was almost touching it.
That third glance was a glance too many, though, as suddenly the Mootix was pushed back, knocking the distracted Eric off the branch!
Eric was falling. But as he did so, he noticed something strange.
The grass was getting... shorter?
The Petpetpet's footprints were getting... smaller?
The ground was getting... closer?
Well, the last was to be expected, as he was falling from a tree. But by the time he hit the ground, it wasn’t much of a fall after all. He was back to his normal size, and there was Clodbottle climbing down the tree, glowing artifact in hand.
Even though the danger from the Vernax was gone, Eric tilted his head silently, questioning the Professor. Clodbottle nodded, lifting up the artifact. “You see…”
Date: Mar 3rd
"...the Unidentified Petpetpet doesn't actually seem to be endangered at all. It has simply evolved to be more elusive than ever."
Eric grinned. It was just like his old professor to launch into an immediate discussion of esoteric facts, almost regardless of the situation. "How so?" he asked.
Professor Clodbottle took out a handkerchief from his pocket and began busily polishing the artefact. Without needing to be asked, Eric naturally handed over a jar that he normally carried around for specimen-collecting. As they worked, Clodbottle explained, "From my attempts at trailing the Petpetpet over these past few months, I've noticed that every time I managed to get close, it would shake me off. Sometimes my vision would alter and I would become geographically lost. In this last attempt, I was rendered small, as you saw."
"How does it perform such magic?" Eric found himself speaking in whispered tones, in reverence of the small Petpetpet's power. "And how are you sure that it is still numerous?"
"The data I've collected is not yet complete," Clodbottle answered. "But what I have collected so far indicates that the Unidentified Petpetpet is allied with magical forces who, as you know, are either visually or audibly unique. And their territory is massive, far larger than current studies have given them credit for. I've noticed the elusive behaviour across many Neopian lands. This artefact" -- he squinted at the gleaming green thing in the jar -- "will require further study in my lab."
The Tyrannian Kougra listened intently, with his large, gentle paws folded over his bagpipes. He had always enjoyed Professor Clodbottle's classes.
"You know, Eric," the older Neopet suddenly said, "I had been meaning to ask you. Did you ever give any thought to graduate school? To pursue further studies in entomology?"
"Yes, I know, your overall grades have not been good. But we look at more than grades when we consider applications, you know. And, in my view at least, you possess the qualities most befitting of an entomologist."
"What would those be?"
"Well, patience, for a start. Courage. And," -- the professor smiled -- "creativity in challenging situations. So, what do you say? Will you apply to graduate school to work with me?"
Eric beamed. There was nothing he would like better.
Date: Mar 4th
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