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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 103 > New Series > Escape from Darigan Castle: Part One

Escape from Darigan Castle: Part One

by lyonstwinz

In the suburbs of Neopia in a small NeoHome, a young Kougra sat in her bed and glanced at the clock. It was three o'clock in the morning, and she hadn't slept at all. She watched as her curtains billowed in the warm summer breeze. The moon cast a silvery light on the bed in front of her, sparking a memory from six months ago. While she had been on a hike on Mystery Island, the moon had cast that glorious light at Moonlight Beach.

      She sighed and lay her head down on her pillow. She wished she was on another adventure right then.

* * *

As the young Kougra, named Fuzz, sat with a silvery light cast on her bed, so did a another young Kougra. But this young Kougra was in the far off land of Meridell, sobbing heavily, and watching crystal tears splatter on the stone floor that served as her bed. She gazed through her gated window at the moon and glittering stars.

      Sighing, she ran her paw over the bars on her window. They were cold and metallic to the touch. She wished someone would come save her, and then all would be well.

* * *

Three hours later, Fuzz found herself sitting in the back of Shoypen's powerboat, the White Wave. They were zipping across the finger of water separating Neopia Central from Meridell, leaving a white crested wake behind them.

      Fuzz loved the salty smell of the water, the cool misty wind that whipped through her orange fur. She looked at the clear blue sky above them that was smudged with fluffy white clouds.

      Shoypen's wings extended in the wind, as he breathed in the ocean air. Fuzz wondered why a Shoyru would love the water so much. Shoypen glanced back at Fuzz and said that they would reach Meridell shortly.

      Twenty minutes later they arrived on a sandy shore, about twenty yards away from a forest. Old and weathered trees reached out their twisted limbs. Green leaves fluttered lazily in the breeze. Fuzz waved good bye to her brother and began to walk merrily along. Dappled sunlight lay on the green grass below Fuzz's feet, and a refreshing breeze played among the leaves.

      As night slowly lowered its dark veil over the forest, the forest seemed forbidding, even scary. Fuzz found herself quickening her pace and frequently glancing over her shoulder. She heard a twig snap behind her. She began to run frantically trying to outrun her pursuer. But there was no pursuer, it was all her imagination. As she ran along roots and bushes seemed to reach up and try to pull her to the forest floor. Finally she slowed.

      Out of exhaustion, Fuzz had leaned herself against the rough trunk of a nearby tree. A scaly hand reached from the dark behind Fuzz, closing its grasp around her neck. She let out a strangled cry.

      The young Kougra struggled with all of her strength as four creatures emerged from the shadows, slowly advancing.

       Fuzz reached up at the claws grasped around her neck, frantically trying to wrench it away, so she could have a breath of air… so she could live.

      The same scaly fingers wrapped around her wrist, binding her hands together with a chain. The chain felt numbingly cold against her hot skin. Finally, the pressure on her neck released, letting her fall to the ground. She gasped for breath and rolled over.

      Four evil looking Draiks towered above her. Their scaly skin looked dry and dirty in the moonlight. Behind them black cloaks moved in the wind. One kicked Fuzz in the back.

      "Get up!" he shouted.

      Fuzz struggled to her feet and began shuffling along. Behind her, two Draiks prodded her along, holding the chains that bound her wrists tightly. In front of her, two more Draiks marched ahead, occasionally glancing back at their prisoner.

      A wide and turbulent river stood just before the end of the trees. White crests of foam splashed over jutting rocks. A small black boat sat on the bank tied to a rotting wooden post.

      "Get in," one of the guards ordered, pointing at the boat.

      Fuzz crawled into the cramped boat, allowing room for the four guards that were behind her. The guards paddled furiously to get across the river without moving too far downstream. They moved through the water in a crowded silence. When they reached the opposite bank, a guard hopped of and tied the boat to a rotting post. They all climbed out, eager to escape the crowded boat.

      As the walked along in silence, a dark castle loomed ahead of them, seemingly challenging them to advance any further. It looked like and uprooted plant with the roots still dangling in the air. The guards took hold of their prisoner's arms and began to fly towards the floating castle ahead of them. Fuzz was happy when her paws touched the cold and damp surface of the grass that surrounded the castle.

      They hurried along, finally reaching a creature that stood next to a metal gate. Black wings extended from its back as the shadowy creature strode ahead of them. As it stepped into the eerie moonlight, white fangs flashed. The Korbat, as it had turned out to be, wore a calm, sinister expression on its face. It wore the same black uniform that the Draiks were wearing.

      It pulled a silver key from its deep pocket. As they advanced the gate loomed ahead of them. The Korbat jammed the key in a large black lock and swung the gate open. Its eerie red eyes were locked on Fuzz.

      "Welcome," it hissed.

      Fuzz shuddered and kept walking. A wall, that surrounded the whole castle, stood 100 feet above them. The wall was black, and seemingly caked with months' worth of mud and dirt.

      The Draiks led them to a barred door and pulled out small bronze keys. As the door was flung open, a rat scurried past their feet. They passed numerous cells. Fuzz had to turn away as prisoners reached their slim fingers through the bars.

      "Welcome home," a Draik snickered as he pushed Fuzz into a cell. He unbound the chains and slammed the door. He hurried away, his cloak swished out of sight as Fuzz collapsed onto the cold stone floor.

      Suddenly, without warning, tears streamed down Fuzz's face. Sobs shook her body as she buried her face in her paws. She hadn't shown any emotion since the Draiks had taken them captive, and now she was letting it pour out.

      No one was around to comfort her, to talk to her, or even shoot a glance in her direction. She was alone. No one knew she was a prisoner, and no one would even guess she was in danger. Besides, she was on an expedition for an indefinite period of time.

      Fuzz looked out of the barred window. Black clouds blocked her view of the moon. She sat in the corner, wondering how long she was going to have to stay at this horrible place.

       Fuzz sat miserably in the corner of her cell. It was cold on that hopeless night. Fuzz gazed at the seemingly moonless sky and sighed, sinking heavily on to the stone. She felt the stone floor that was caked with dirt and grime beneath her weary body. It felt cold and unwelcoming, but she fell asleep with ease.

* * *

A white Kougra with violet eyes lay just as Fuzz lay, on the cold stone floor. She was alone and frightened, too. She sighed heavily and sat up, gazing at the clouded world through the bars of the window. Suddenly, a shadow Aisha approached her door, his cloak shifted against his legs.

      "You," he whispered. "The king has sent for you."

      "I refuse to come," she said, scooting herself up against the filthy wall.

      The guard gripped the bars in fury and nodded his head. He turned and left. The Aisha returned moments later with three guards at his side. They flung open the door and marched over to the corner where the Kougra was sitting. The guards grabbed her shoulders and pushed her onto her feet. She evaded the guards' reaching paws and made a bolt for the open door.

      The Aisha grabbed her shoulders and pushed her against the wall. As she struggled, the other guards attached chains to her wrists and ankles. The cold metal clamped tightly around her skin. Defeated, she slid onto the floor as the Aisha released her.

* * *

Fuzz awoke upon hearing footsteps and the rattling of chains in the hallway. She crept to the small barred door on the door and peeked through it. A white Kougra gritted her teeth and shot a glare at the guard behind her. Her eyes were filled with a dangerous fire.

      Fuzz returned to her spot on the cold stone floor. She listened for a while before resuming her troubled sleep.

* * *

The white Kougra struggled and kicked the whole way up to the tower that Darigan called home. The stair case seemed to go on forever. In front of them, a wooden door was set into the familiar black stones of the wall. As the door was opened by a depressed looking Korbat, the guards hurried the Kougra inside.

      "The white Kougra has arrived, your highness," the guards said, kneeling simultaneously.

      Darigan sat on a black throne, lined with silver. His red eyes stared at the Kougra. His grotesque face wore an expression of curiosity. He leaned forward, pulling his body from the shadows.

      "Where is it?" he said in that evil voice.

      "I don't know what you're talking about," the Kougra lied.

      "Yes you do," he said, "and you're going to tell me."

      "No, I won't," she said firmly.

      His face became red with anger as he spoke, "You will tell me."

      The Kougra shook her head defiantly, standing firmly before Darigan.

      He shook with anger; his red eyes squinted as he looked at the white Kougra with hatred. Most prisoners crumbled quickly under the weight of their fear, but she wasn't afraid, and she wasn't about to crumble. He pointed his finger at the Kougra. His arm trembled and his voice wavered.

      "YOU… WILL… TELL… ME!!!" he shouted furiously.

      The white Kougra gasped as a light erupted from the tip of his crooked finger. The enraged expression was still etched into his evil face.

To be continued…

Previous Episodes

Escape from Darigan Castle: Part Two

Escape from Darigan Castle: Part Three

Escape from Darigan Castle: Part Four


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