Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
If you have any questions about the competition then read our awesome FAQ!
||You are on Week 269
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 Two Hundred Sixty Nine Ends April 7
"OW!" Fortis cried as he accidentally fell and hit a boulder. The Kiko shook his head, mournfully rubbing the bruise that was beginning to form. "Stupid rock," he muttered. Suddenly, his eyes widened. The boulder, after being hit, had started to quiver. As Fortis stared in horror, it began to slide down the sloping sandy shores of Kiko Lake.
"No!" Fortis lunged at it with a cry, but he was too late. Gaining speed, the boulder rocketed into the lake, creating a giant splash of water.
Fortis winced, hardly daring to open his eyes. There was nothing but silence. Maybe no one had noticed?
Then -- "MY HOME!" a high-pitched voice screeched. "I just finished redecorating the front porch with brand-new coral, and the entire thing's been knocked in!" A frazzled red Kiko peered out of the lake and immediately saw Fortis. "YOU!"
Fortis waved his arms frantically, as if to ward off the angry matron. "It was an accident, ma'am! An accident! I swear! I'm so sorry!"
"What's going on here?" a voice asked.
Fortis looked up to see the venerable lake elder standing there.
"That wicked boy has crushed my house! Ruined everything, he has!" the angry Kiko screamed.
By now, other Kikos had heard the commotion and begun to crowd around. A disgruntled murmur rose within the group.
"Him again! Wrecking more lives, I see!" one voice shouted out.
"Like that time he dropped a knife and somehow cut loose all the boats, sending them crashing into each other? It took a pretty bag of Neopoints to pay for all the damage!" recalled another.
"That was an accident!" Fortis protested.
"Oh yeah? What about the time he frightened away all the tourists with that mutant Grarrl? Our businesses almost went bankrupt that week!"
"I can't help that he followed me home!" Fortis tried to say.
"Or that time we had the most terrible storm in centuries when he showed up at the lake?"
"I can't control nature!" Fortis cried, exasperated.
"That’s enough!" The lake elder raised his staff to quiet down the crowd. "Fortis, my son, I know you consciously mean no harm, but you are without a doubt the unluckiest Neopet in the world. You've brought nothing but misfortune to this lake. I'm sorry, but for the good of the community, we’ve got no choice but to banish you..."
Author: Four-Leaf Clover|
Date: Mar 31st
...Horror filled his heart. How could they do that? They didn't have good enough reason to banish him! He had a right to live here! He did! Didn't he?
"Y-you can't do that!" he exclaimed in protest.
The elder shook his head slowly. "Fortis, I am sorry. You have to leave, in order to keep our lake safe... We just don't want to take any more chances. Fyora knows how many second chances we gave you over the years!"
"B-but where will I go??"
"I don't know. I am sorry." He seemed to think for a moment. "But here..." Reaching into his cloak, the elder withdrew a golden medallion hanging from a silver chain. It seemed to shine with its own inner light even within the shadow cast by the older Kiko. "This will keep you safe, for a time being. It will keep you lucky at least for a little while. I couldn't use it to keep the whole village safe from the little accidents you caused since it only works for one person at a time, but at least it can keep you safe for a while. I am willing to lend it to you. That way, you can safely find a new home." He beckoned for young Fortis to step forward. "Here. Take it."
Fortis hesitated, still slightly angry that he was being forced to leave. "But, what if you need it? Don't you want to keep it just in case you ever need it again? Can't I just save you the trouble and stay here?"
Ha, I'd be giving them trouble if I stayed anyway, Fortis thought bitterly.
The elder gave him a soft smile. "Do not worry. People live in danger without magical medallions all the time. Besides, it will be returned to me when you no longer need it. Take it. I wish you good luck."
The young Kiko gazed at the elder, now confused that he would be kind after all the commotion he had caused, and when he was banishing him, too. But he shrugged and, gingerly taking the medallion, he gave the elder a nod of thanks and walked away from his home...
Date: Apr 3rd
...Fortis hung his head as he slowly trudged away from the lake, leaving behind his former friends, his home, his old life. As he thought about his departure from the life he had always known, he felt as though the weight of a thousand Elephantes had settled in his stomach.
Taking a path leading up one of the many mountains surrounding Kiko Lake, Fortis looked into the setting sun. It cast its soft light over the lake, playing on the water's surface, reflecting every colour imaginable. He thought back to all of the times he had sat on the shore and watched until darkness crept out of the shadows and surrounded him. Fortis felt his throat close up as he stifled a sob. The thought that he may never see something so beautiful ever again brought tears of sorrow to his large round eyes.
As the Kiko wiped the tears running down his face, his hand brushed against the medallion strung around his neck. Warmth shot through his fingers and warmed his whole body. Somewhere within himself Fortis felt an emotion rising up through the sadness that had threatened to engulf him not just a moment ago. He felt hope. Hope for a new home. Hope for new friends. Hope for a new life, away from Kiko Lake.
With new found determination Fortis took a step forward, toward the top of the mountain which seemed somehow less like the towering mass of earth which he had always thought it to be.
Walking up the steep slope was hard work and after a half hour of plodding along Fortis had worked up quite a sweat. The sun, which had shown Fortis such beauty, betrayed him as it slipped over the horizon. Darkness took light’s place and with it brought the creatures of the night. Fortis was suddenly surrounded by the sounds of the darkness, and it frightened him. Once again he felt for the medallion, as his fingers connected with the metal, he felt, for a second time the reassuring warmth tingle throughout his body.
Crunch. What was that? More sounds of footsteps reached the Kiko’s ears. The crunching was gradually growing louder. It’s probably just another Kiko. Even as Fortis tried to reassure himself, he knew in his heart that this was not another Kiko. No Kiko would stray far from the lake, especially at night. Just stay calm, it will be ok.
“Who’s there?” Fortis’ voice floated off into the trees.
No answer. Just silence. Oh no! now it knows I’m here. The footsteps had stopped and Fortis had a strange feeling that he was being watched.
After a few minutes of waiting, Fortis gathered up enough courage to explore. The Kiko took a few cautious steps toward where he had heard the lasts footsteps. As he approached a bush he thought he could hear the sounds of something breathing. In and out, in and out. The breaths were even and calm. It did not sound like the breathing of something that would be likely to attack him. Fortis reached toward the bush, as he pushing aside the leaves he saw three very large eyes looking up at him...
Date: Apr 4th
...He gasped in fright and staggered backwards. What could be hiding among the shadows inside the bushes, waiting to pounce on him?
What should I do? Fortis's mind was racing. Stay still? Run? Try to fight? He quickly decided that his best bet was to run, and fast, but his legs felt as if they were made completely of jelly. More than ever, he regretted having bumped into that old boulder and causing so much trouble.
His breath came faster now. The things in the bushes were moving, coming out, coming towards him! Fortis squeezed his eyes shut and prepared himself for the very end. But nothing happened.
Instead, Fortis felt a soft something rubbing up against his leg. Cautiously, he opened his eyes. A mutant Usul stood before him. Fortis sucked in his breath in another large gasp of fright. The Neopet that stood before him was terrifying, the most deformed looking creature he'd ever seen. But its fur was so soft, and its eyes held such a gentle expression in their depths.
"Um... hello?" Fortis said questioningly.
"Greetings, little Kiko," the Usul said, holding out a paw. Fortis took the paw and allowed the Usul to pull him up off the ground. "I have never seen a Kiko like you before...."
"What do you mean? I know Kikos aren't the most common pets outside of Kiko Lake, but they aren't the rarest pets either," Fortis said, gazing in wonder at his apparent new friend.
"Well, where I live, everyone is like me," the Usul explained.
"You mean you're all mutant?" Fortis asked, then quickly added, "No offense," just in case the term bothered the Usul.
"Yes, that's right," the Usul answered. "Except we don't think of ourselves as mutants. Just... different."
"Oh," Fortis said bleakly. It was all too much to take in at once. One minute he had been paralyzed with fear, the next minute, here he was with a mutant Usul who claimed to come from a place where only mutant Neopets lived.
"Come," said the Usul. "If I am right, you've fallen on hard times. It seems that only Neopets in need come wandering through here. By the way, my name is Sythia."
She took Fortis's fin and began to lead him through the bushes, into her world......
Date: Apr 4th
...Although Fortis was easily able to keep up with Sythia’s careful, unhurried pace, the rapidly increasing darkness began to get the better of him, and he found himself stumbling a bit over large rocks and tree roots. He had introduced himself some moments past while they were walking, while there was still some light to see by; as he glanced up to see whether he could still distinguish the earth from the sky, he found that the horizon was only barely visible through a dense grouping of tree trunks, and he soon lost sight of it altogether. It was obvious that he was being lead into a much more thickly wooded area than the copse of shrubs and thin trees he’d been standing in just a few minutes earlier.
“Where exactly are we going?” he wondered aloud, half to himself.
“To my home,” came the hoarse, calm answer from a few feet ahead, and he could see Sythia’s smiling three-eyed gaze glowing back at him through the dusky twilight that was quickly enveloping the both of them. “You can stay with my people if you like, for a while; you look very different from the way we do, of course, but I’m sure they’ll accept you. But if you have somewhere you need to be, you can simply rest for the night...”
Without thinking, Fortis came to a sudden halt, startling his Usul companion and even himself. But there was no way around it... he had to tell her, before he caused any harm to the community that dwelled within this forest. “Sythia, I... I really don’t know if that’s such a good idea...” He could see that she was puzzled, but he pressed onward. “You see, the reason I can’t go back to my home is because I’m... bad luck,” he murmured, his eyes cast to the ground in guilt and shame. “I don’t want to bring disaster to your village...”
A look of strange comprehension came over the Usul’s face, but strangely enough, she smiled. “Is that so? Well, maybe you are unlucky, Fortis the Kiko, and maybe you are not; we shall see. For now, please come along.”
Fortis was baffled by her inconclusive statement. How could she know whether or not he was an unlucky pet? But he had no time for questions; Sythia had begun moving again, and now he found it a bit more difficult to keep up. As they moved, he noticed that the path they followed was becoming slowly more distinct. Soon, he almost imagined that the branches overhead were taking on larger, bulkier shapes. Were they large nests? Treehouses? Homes?
His curiosity was satisfied when he caught up with the Usul and found himself in what was, quite obviously, the heart of a secluded village...
Date: Apr 5th
...Fortis stepped up to the clearing and into the light of a large bonfire in the centre of the village. There had been music and dancing but it had stopped as he had entered. He found that many curious trios of eyes were staring at him, and he felt himself blush. Sythia, who was next to him took a step forward.
“Everyone, this is Fortis” she shouted, “he is going to stay with us for a while.”
“Well then, my girl, don’t just stand there. It’s starting to get cold, bring your guest closer to the fire!” on of the elders said. Sythia led Fortis forward. Fortis keeping his eyes looking at every step he was taking. He walked slowly so as not to trip up. He was determined not to ruin this village too!
“See,” whispered Sythia, “I told you they were alright!”
Fortis just smiled at her, scared of losing his concentration. By the time they reached the bonfire, quite a crowd had gathered. Some of the younger pets were openly staring at the unusual stranger while others gave him quick glances before turning away, embarrassed if Fortis caught them. One guided Fortis to a seat and gently pushed him into it. Fortis held his breath, waiting to see if it broke, but the stool held... for now.
“Well Fortis, we were about to start the evening meal. Would you care to join us?”
Fortis nodded his head; he had had nothing to eat since breakfast and now he thought about it, he was starving! His unluckiness temporarily forgotten, the hungry little Kiko ate everything on his plate and even went back for seconds.
“My, you have an appetite!” mused Sythia as Fortis spooned down more food. “Careful you don’t choke!”
As soon as the words were out of her mouth Fortis felt a bit of food lodge in his throat. He reached out to hit his chest in the hope of knocking it out of place. However, as he moved, his fin knocked over a glass of water. He succeeded in displacing the lump and gasped in horror as water spilled everywhere. As he looked though, the water immediately stopped spreading, and eventually seeped into the table beneath, disappearing without a trace. Fortis stared in amazement and looked around to see if anyone else had witnessed it. Everyone else seemed to be involved with something else, and seemingly not one of them had noticed anything peculiar happen at all. It was then that Fortis noticed the sudden heat come from his chest, not from the piece of food which had been stuck there earlier but from the medallion the elder of Kiko Lake had given him. The warmth subsided and the little Kiko soon was enjoying his food again in front of the fire.
As it grew darker, Fortis noticed that the villagers were dispersing back to their homes. Depending on their species, their homes differed. Some like a Pteri and an Eyrie went to treehouses while others like a Cybunny and a Hissi went to underground borrows. It was then, as he stifled a yawn, that Fortis realised that he had nowhere to sleep. Sythia saw the Kiko looking around.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “you can stay with me tonight. I’ve got an extra room.” Fortis smiled gratefully and Sythia led him towards a hut near the centre on the village.
Suddenly there was a shout from the other side of the village, and a Fortis looked up to see a big puff of black smoke rising over the rooftops...
Date: Apr 5th
...Oh, I've really done it now, the horrified Kiko thought as a flicker of orange light flashed within the smoke. I've set the village on fire, and I don't even know how I did it!
"Come on!" Sythia cried, grabbing Foris by the fin and dragging him toward the blaze. "We have to help!"
"I'm afraid I'll only make it worse," Fortis lamented, but the Usul didn't seem to hear him.
The scene that greeted Fortis would stay with him forever. Mutant Neopets scurried in every direction, some fleeing the ravaging blaze while others rushed to combat the lifeless but devastating monster of light and heat that gnawed at a treehouse and threatened to spread to the other buildings. Terror shone in every eye, and all around Fortis voices rose in panic.
Suddenly every Neopet present covered its ears and screamed as a deafening CRACK! split the night, and Fortis blinked as a scattering of cold wetness sprinkled across his body. "It's raining," he muttered, rubbing a few drops from his head only to have them replaced by more.
Within seconds the light drizzle had grown to a deluge, dousing the camp with sheets of icy water. "Oh no," Fortis muttered as the voice of one of his neighbours echoed in his mind:
"...Or that time we had the most terrible storm in centuries when he showed up at the lake?..."
"Not again," he whispered, closing his eyes tightly and waiting for the entire village to be smashed to bits by a blinding cascade of lightning.
But the lightning never came. Suddenly the rain stopped, and all around Fortis a murmur of astonishment rose. Finally daring to open his eyes, Fortis saw that every eye in the village was darting between him and the smoking treehouse -- which, though blackened, seemed to have survived mostly intact. Sythia's eyes were especially wide, and suddenly Fortis realized that the medallion he wore was glowing furiously.
"It's HIM!" the Usul suddenly cried, causing Fortis to jump. Turning to the village elder, she added excitedly, "See, I told you! He fits the description exactly! HE's the one who is going to save us from..."
Date: Apr 6th
...destruction! He's the one who can keep the others from mindlessly hunting us! Remember, the prophecy said that one unlike us yet unlike the others would be our salvation, and we would identify that person from the glowing medallion hanging from their neck that stopped disaster!" shouted Sythia joyously.
The village elder walked closer to Fortis, slowly examining the Kiko with his large eyes. He turned his face downwards to look at the slightly faded glow of the medallion. "Hmm..." he said, stroking his long beard. "That's very interesting."
Fortis could feel the others crowding in upon him, trying to touch the medallion. He had never been the center of this much positive attention. He looked back down to the medallion, which hadn’t stopped glowing completely yet. He peered at it more closely and noticed something that hadn’t been quite as obvious before. “I had better look at this later with some better light,” he thought, not quite sure of what to be feeling.
“Do you know what this means?” a Hissi asked him excitedly.
“Er... no?” Fortis replied, quite unsure of himself.
The Hissi replied, “This means that we will no longer have to hide from the others--”
His explanation was cut off as the crowd began moving happily in a large celebration. Fortis could feel himself being tossed around through the crowd and could feel people occasionally reaching up to touch the large medallion. People were cheering happily all around him. He couldn’t see anything other than a large mass of bodies, and he most certainly couldn’t see Sythia.
The festivities continued on for a long while, far into the night.
Fortis didn’t know what was happening. He roamed through the village trying to figure out where Sythia’s house was. He didn’t want to be special and counted upon by the people of this village. He was afraid. He was afraid that he was going to disappoint them all, and the ‘others’, whoever they were, were going to destroy this quaint little place, all because of him. “Why did this have to happen to me?” he thought aloud.
In his mindless wandering, he had finally ended up right in front of Sythia’s house. “At least I have a bit of good luck,” he said to himself. He opened the door and went inside. He decided not to sleep quite yet, but to wait for Sythia.
She came in an hour later, large eyes glowing happily. “Where were you?” she asked him. “You missed the best part!”
“Er, Sythia?” he asked the Usul. “Who exactly are the others?”
She looked uncomfortable. “Well, the others...”
Date: Apr 6th
"...are Neopets that call us evil, want to exterminate us. They are more like you than like us. They are more brightly coloured than you though and their weapons and armour shine silver. They were the ones who drove us here, calling us the scum of Neopia. They have lost interest in hurting us for a while, since we fled here; but it won't last. They'll come for us. Come to destroy us. That's why you must help us," she finished, beathless with expectation and excitement.
"But," Fortis began, unsure of how to explain,"I don't understand how I'm supposed to help you. I don't even know how the medallion works. How am I supposed to save all of you from destruction?" he finished angrily.
"I don't know how, but you will, for the prophecy foretold it, and prophecies always come true," answered Sythia. "Besides, I can sense that, somehow, you're special, even without your medallion." She patted Fortis on the back. "Sleep on it. You'll feel better in the morning." With that she disappeared into a different room and left Fortis to think.
Her mention of the medallion, reminded him of what he had seen earlier. He held the medallion up to the candle to try and see the carvings on it better. Half of the seven pointed stars on it was darker than the rest. He could have sworn that only a little bit of it was darker before the fire.
Oh well, he thought, I'll figure it out in the morning. He leaned over to blow out the candle, but in doing so he knocked the table with his fin and the candle toppled over, splattering wax everywhere. Worried that he might start another fire, he jumped up to grab the candle. Before he could do anything though, the pools of wax across the floor disappeared and the candle reappeared in its holder.
He looked down at the medallion. It was glowing. Shrugging, he lay down to sleep. He didn't notice that a fraction of the star on the medallion became dark as the light faded.
He was woken by a hoarse shout from across the village. "They're coming!..."
Date: Apr 7th
...Fortis leapt from sleep in an instant, panic tearing through his veins. The others... they're here... and I have no idea what to do about them...
For a moment he sat petrified in his bed, blaring instincts to hide, flee or fight for his new friends clashing in his heart. For a moment he considered hiding under his bed until all this was over...
"Fortis! Fortis, help me!" Sythia's terrified scream clawed at his ears, and bounding through the door Fortis found the mutant Usul sprawled on the ground, clutching her side as a sneering red Gelert stood over her with a sword in his hand.
The Gelert's crimson pelt shone in the night as he drove a foot into Sythia's injured side, drawing a scream of pain. "Worthless slime," he muttered, "do you really think one of your disfigured friends can save you?"
He was answered by an ear-splitting crack as a branch broke off a tree, knocking the sword from his paw and pinning him to the ground. "Sythia!" Fortis cried, not noticing the star that dimmed on the medallion as he rushed to his friend's side, while the Gelert struggled vainly to free himself. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, I am," she panted as he helped her to her feet, "but our people are losing the fight!"
It was true -- all around them mutant pets struggled for their lives, those who fell being cursed at and abused before their enemies tried to finish them off. All thoughts of fleeing vanished from Fortis's mind, and snatching up the Gelert's sword he rushed to defend the village elder, who had been struck to the ground by a blow from a blue Skeith's staff.
The Skeith parried the unskilled Kiko's blow effortlessly, but the sword seemed to act on its own, coming back around to slice the staff from the warrior's hand. Fortis abandoned the sword, seizing the staff and clubbing the astonished Skeith to the ground. And as the stunned Neopet fell, another of the medallion's stars went dark.
Two glaring Wockies approached, and Fortis dealt with them in short order. But as he did, the light in the medallion faded and went out, and it hung cold and dead on its chain.
An Acara with a cudgel rushed at Fortis, and the Kiko prepared to defeat him as easily as he had defeated the others...
Only to be sent reeling by a blow from his enemy's staff. Fortis hit the ground hard, and as the fog and starbursts cleared from his eyes he realized for the first time what had happened. "The medallion," he murmured in horror. "It's stopped working!" Even as he said it, he felt the ground tremble beneath him, and Sythia screamed again as the Gelert squirmed out from under the tree and held its blade to her throat. The mountain quivered again, and suddenly Fortis realized what was happening, and what he had to do.
"Challenge!" he cried, his voice ringing high and clear above the cacaphony of the battle. "I challenge all who come against this village to a duel! Me against all of you! Accept my challenge or reveal yourselves as cowards!" With that he groped for the staff that had fallen out of his hands, and picking it up he struggled to banish all signs of fear from his face.
The Gelert laughed uproariously, his swordpoint leaving Sythia's throat to swing in the direction of the glaring Kiko. "You don't honestly think you can tackle all of us?!"
The shaking of the ground intensified, and Fortis narrowed his eyes. "I can and I will," he yelled brazenly, and Sythia shook her head, her yellow eyes wide. No, she mouthed, and Fortis's eyes answered for him: Yes.
The Gelert threw back his head and laughed again. "Come on, men -- let's show this idiot what he's messing with!" Shifting his eyes to address Fortis, he added, "If you want to get yourself killed over a bunch of hideous scum, then that's what you'll get!"
With that every one of the attacking Neopets rushed toward Fortis, a tide of silver flashes set amid all the colours of the rainbow. "Come and get me," Fortis snarled, inwardly muttering, Come on, come on, just one more shot of REALLY bad luck...
A few feet away from Fortis the nearest of his assailants stopped short, a look of horror spreading across his face. A grim smile of triumph pulled at Fortis's lips as the trembling of the ground beneath him grew to a shaking roar, and somewhere beyond the attacking horde the Kiko heard Sythia scream, "The mountain's caving in!"
It happened in an instant, the ground beneath Fortis crumbling and taking the Kiko and his enemies with it. For a few terrifying seconds Fortis's world was filled with roars and rumbles and a hundred voices all screaming in terror... then suddenly, there was silence.
Tears streamed down Sythia's cheeks as she rushed to the edge of the hole which had suddenly appeared in the side of the mountain. "Fortis!" she wailed. "FORTIIIIISSS!!!"
"Sythia?" a muffled voice called back; and suddenly a fin appeared over the edge of the pit.
"Fortis!" the stunned Usul cried, rushing to pull her friend to safety. "What happened? Are you all right?" The Kiko nodded, and Sythia's voice rose in elation. "Fortis, you DID IT! You saved us all!"
Fortis nodded again, a slow, dreamy smile crossing his face. "Yup. And I didn't even have to wreck one house to do it."
As the cheering mutants gathered around him, Fortis suddenly realized that the medallion was gone, even though he was certain that it hadn't fallen off. But then he remembered the lake elder's words: Besides, it will be returned to me when you no longer need it...
=For a moment Fortis felt a strange hollowness in his chest at the loss of the medallion, but it was quickly replaced by the warm glow of the knowledge that he was in a place where he would always be accepted and appreciated...
Even if he did manage to knock in a porch or two once in a while.
Date: Apr 7th
IMPORTANT - SUBMISSION POLICY! By
uploading or otherwise submitting any materials to Neopets, you (and your parents) are
automatically granting us permission to use those materials for free in any manner we can think
of forever throughout the universe. These materials must be created ONLY by the person
submitting them - you cannot submit someone else's work. Also, if you're under age 18, ALWAYS
check with your parents before you submit anything to us!