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||You are on Week 677
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 Six Hundred Seventy Seven Ends Friday, October 24
|"This still feels so wrong."
Zaus shook his head as he looked back to his complaining companion. The Eyrie had a glare in his eye as he held onto his shovel.
"Will you relax, Luke?" Zaus said to the Bori. "I told you, this plan is foolproof!"
"Digging up graves in the Haunted Woods, though?" Luke said, putting his shovel down. "Something about that just..."
"Just what?" the Eyrie said. "You remember what happened with Gilly and Sophie and all that, right? They went and dug up all the graves years ago and found so much rare stuff entombed in there!"
"Yeah, but, as you just said, they dug up all the graves!" Luke replied.
"Yeah, back then." Zaus said. "Think of how many have shown up since then? All of them filled to the brim with rare items and riches!"
"I don't know... this just seems like a bad idea."
Still, even with his worries, Luke followed behind his friend, dragging his shovel lightly through the dirt of the Haunted Woods, heading for one of the many graveyards within. A heavy fog covered the path, and soon, the pair came to a large cast-iron gate, surrounding a seemingly endless field of undisturbed graves.
"Jackpot!" the Eyrie said excitedly.
Zaus ran up to the gate and struck the lock off with his shovel. A small spark shot out, but soon the lock was on the ground and the gate slowly creaked open. The Eyrie was in soon after, and Luke slowly and nervously followed behind.
"Let's just find something good and get out of here, okay?" the Bori said. "This place gives me the creeps."
"Well, first we need to pick a grave to start with," the Eyrie said, tapping on his shovel a few times.
Zaus looked through the fog of the graveyard, trying to find the perfect spot for them to start, when suddenly he saw it.
"There!" he said, pointing toward...
Date: Oct 20th
...a large, monumental tombstone, inscribed with the name "Alethia Scrimmows."
"Look at it!" the Eyrie cried, his bright yellow eyes gleaming in the moonlight. "It's massive, and grand, and... and bound to be filled with the treasures of some rich Neovian!"
"I... I don't know Zaus," Luke mumbled. "I've heard of Alethia Scrimmows. She was some Lady of such and such up in Meridell before she moved to Neovia, and she died barely nine months ago at the age of 26. The grave has barely settled! It's not right, Zaus. It's not right..."
"Not right?!? Ha! Luke, the girl's cold 'n' dead! What good will her riches do her when she's in the ground? Now, grab that shovel and come help me dig."
Luke slowly made his way over to the grave with Zaus and took a moment of silence when he reached it. "I'm sorry," he whispered, gazing apologetically upon the young Xweetok's face, which was engraved above the name. Then, with a deep breath, he thrust his shovel into the dark, damp earth.
"Don't bother. They've already stolen everything that was there," a cold voice suddenly said...
Date: Oct 20th
...Luke and Zaus dropped their shovels and spun around to see who spoke, and were suddenly face to face with--
"That's impossible," Luke gasped.
"I would have said the same thing," the owner of the voice said, "but then I died."
Luke and Zaus cowered in fear as the spectral figure of a young Xweetok advanced toward them, translucent blue, hovering a few inches above the ground. The outlines of her body seemed blurry and the moonbeams shone right through her, but even so, it was impossible to miss that her face was a perfect match for the one carved on the tombstone.
"Alethia Scrimmows?" Zaus said, trying not to let his voice tremble.
The ghost shrugged. "What's left of her."
"This isn't what it looks like," Luke said. He fell to his knees and clasped his paws together in supplication. "Please, have mercy on us!"
The Xweetok sighed. "It looks like you're trying to rob my grave. But if it's 'not what it looks like,' then why would you need to ask for my mercy?" She glanced at Zaus. "Your friend should really work on keeping his story straight. After all, it's a pretty important part of being a grave robber."
Zaus stood up straight, gathering some courage. He took a step toward Alethia's ghost. "Thanks for the tip," he said to her. "Now, if you could just tell us where we could find a grave that's still got treasure in it..."
"Zaus!" Luke said in a sharp tone. "Show a little respect!"
The Xweetok stuck her tongue out at Luke. "This one's no fun at all," she said to his Eyrie companion.
"Tell me about it," Zaus replied with a chuckle. "For a ghost of royalty, you're a lot less snooty than I thought you'd be."
"Nobility, not royalty," the Xweetok said, "for whatever that's worth... which, now that I'm dead, is nothing." She waved a paw at Luke, who was still on his knees. "Come on, you can get up now. I'm not upset with you. As I've said several times, I'm dead. Why should I care what happens to my grave?"
Luke slowly got to his feet and brushed the dirt off his knees. "So, now that you're a ghost, there's just, like, nothing that bothers you anymore?
A grim expression crossed the Xweetok's ethereal face. "No. There is one thing that still bothers me quite a bit..."
Date: Oct 21st
..."What's that?" Zaus asked curiously.
"The zombies... they always mess up the graveyard and sometimes even crawl into the wrong graves! It's become so bothersome and they just do not care," Alethia replied.
"Z-zombies?" Luke asked with fright in his voice.
"How many zombies would you say are in this graveyard?" Zaus asked Alethia. He, too, was scared but tried not to show it.
"Oh, Fyora! At least a few dozen, according to my last count. You know how zombies are -- they like to work in packs. Say, if you were to help me get them out of here, then maybe I could help you out, too?" Alethia said with a raise of her eyebrow.
Luke was shaking his head "no" at Zaus, but Zaus ignored him (as was usually the case).
"You've got yourself a deal, m'lady."...
Date: Oct 21st
...Luke followed Zaus and Alethia with reluctant steps as they headed toward the centre of the graveyard.
"Are you familiar with the zombie-warding process?" Alethia was asking as Luke caught up.
"Um, not really..." Zaus said, scratching his head and looking back at Luke.
"I've read in books that they're attracted to brains," Luke said, shrugging. "That's all I know."
Alethia nodded. "That's true. It's the first thing they go for when... never mind the details. Yes, though... brains. What's also important is that they're not very bright, so we can easily fool them."
"Hmm," Zaus said while scratching his chin. "How do we trick them, then?"
"That's were you come in, being alive and all. You have to lure them into their own graves by placing a Spooky Food there that looks like a brain. You have quite some digging to do, so I suggest you start right away!"
"How do you know they'll not come back out later, though?" Luke asked, in spite of himself.
Alethia grinned spookily as she answered, "Well, you have to..."
Date: Oct 22nd
..."lure them out. Put the fake brains down to get them interested in coming, and then, when they realize it's fake and get angry, you just make like a Cybunny and hop to it!"
Luke blinked. "That sounds dangerous."
Alethia stuck a lip out. "You two try to steal jewels and dig up my grave, just like those bothersome zombies, and now you don't want to help? Are you backing out?"
"No, we'll help," Zaus said, eyeing Luke. "So, where do we find some of these fake brains?"
Alethia's eyes lit up a delightful glowing blue and then dimmed back to normal. "Oh, that's the easy part. Just go to the shopkeeper down the road and tell him..."
Date: Oct 22nd
..."that you're having a zombie-themed Halloween party. He doesn't usually sell the fake brains, but he knows how to make them and he's unreasonably in love with Halloween. If you say it's for Halloween, then he'll definitely help."
"That sounds easy enough," Zaus said.
"Great! I'll meet you here when you're done, then."
"When we're done?" Luke asked. "You're not coming with us?"
Alethia shook her head. "Most folks aren't ecstatic about seeing ghost Neopets. They think we're just as bad as the zombies, which is ridiculous. We're nothing like those inconsiderate... ugh!" The Xweetok noticed the absolutely frightened look on the Eyrie and Bori's faces and calmed herself down. "Anyway, I can't come or it won't work. Nobody'll help if I'm there, trust me."
"Okay," Zaus said. "What about putting the fake brains in the graves?"
Alethia shook her head again. "Zombies can sense the presence of ghosts. If I'm there, they'll never go for it. Otherwise, trust me, I'd have done this myself months ago. You two are on your own from here. Just, you know, don't get your brains eaten or anything. I'd almost feel like it was my fault."
"Hello?" Luke and Zaus said as they entered the shop Alethia had told them about. They couldn't help but notice just how creepy it looked inside. It was dark, of course, a trait that was almost expected in the Haunted Woods, but that wasn't what creeped them out. No, it was the fact that they couldn't figure out what the shopkeeper sold here. It was also because it looked as if he'd never sold a thing, since every shelf was full of dust and spider webs. There were bottles with unidentifiable liquids inside, along with worn masks, ripped clothes, and shovels. The floors creaked and there was a horrible draft from the windows. Additionally, there was a shadow in every corner and, worst of all, they'd been in the shop for fifteen minutes and only the spiders had seemed to notice.
"Zaus, maybe we should just go," Luke whispered. "We don't need any 'treasures.'"
"Don't worry so much, Luke. We just weren't loud enough before. Hello? Anyone in here?!?"
"Zaus, seriously... this place creeps me out."
"I think that's the point," a raspy voice said...
Date: Oct 23rd
...An elderly, withered Hissi stepped into the dim light from the shadows. The floor panels squealed as he stealthily slid forward through the aisles of algae-filled jars.
"What exactly brings you to my s-s-store?" the Hissi asked, his tongue flicking out of his mouth and his fangs agape.
Even Zaus faltered at the hideous sight. "We're looking for some fake brains," he said, voice quivering.
"They're for our Halloween party," Luke said, gulping the dust-filled air.
The Hissi slithered toward the pair, his beady eyes glistening with excitement. Zaus and Luke held their breath, sharing a quick glance.
"Well, well, well. Why didn't you just s-s-say s-s-o?" the Hissi asked. "I can help you with that, so long as you do something for me..."
Date: Oct 23rd
...Zaus audibly gulped. "What do you want?"
"As you can s-s-see, I have a lot of... s-s-special items in my shop."
Luke peered at a jar filled with purple slime that seemed to be shifting slightly. A putrid stench emanated from it. Special, indeed.
"However, I have been looking for one ingredient for s-s-some time," the Hissi continued, his colourless eyes fixed on the 'pets in front of him. "I believe you can get it for me..."
"What ingredient is this, exactly?" Zaus asked.
The Hissi grinned, revealing his fangs. Luke tried not to flinch. "Leftovers from a Halloween party."
The two friends glanced at each other. This situation was getting stranger by the minute.
"Why do you need--" Zaus began.
"That is my business!" the Hissi snapped, his eyes suddenly flashing. Luke retreated a few steps, tripping over a loose floorboard.
The Hissi's twisted smile returned. "Careful, there. You don't want to hurt your-s-s-self. S-s-so, do we have a deal?"
Zaus looked contemplative; Luke looked ready to leave.
"We can't do what he says, Zaus," Luke muttered. How would they get leftovers from a party they weren't throwing?
"Sure we can," Zaus replied, flashing a smile at the Hissi. "It's a deal! Now, can we get our brains?"
"Certainly," the Hissi said, and slithered toward the back of the store.
As soon as he disappeared from earshot, Luke turned toward his friend.
"What are you doing?!?" he whispered. "We aren't throwing an actual--"
"We'll just give him some food," Zaus interjected breezily. "He won't know the difference."
Before Luke could reply, the Hissi reappeared holding a worn cardboard box.
"Here you go..." He glided up to Zaus and handed the box over. "Remember your end of the deal, or else..."
Date: Oct 24th
..."The zombies in the nearby grave will come after you, and believe me, I will make s-s-sure of it." The Hissi's eyes flashed as a slightly trembling Zaus clutched the box.
"Th-thank you!" Luke squeaked as the two scurried away to the graveyard.
"There," Luke said, wiping his brow. "That should be the last of it." The Bori gently nursed his blistered paws. "Say, when did Alethia say that they would come out?"
Zaus opened his beak to reply, but a low moan echoed across the graveyard, sending ice from the tip of his spine to the tip of his tail. "I think that's our cue to leave!" He grimaced, standing on top of the Bori to hoist himself out of the deep grave. Zaus, in turn, leaned forward to pull his friend up.
"Thanks," Luke breathed, tossing the fake brains into the open grave.
"We should go," Zaus squawked as he saw a pale green limb stick out from the nearby forest.
The two ran, their breaths appearing in rapid puffs, not caring how far they had to run, not caring about anything except putting as much distance between themselves and the zombies behind them.
"BRAAAAINS!" rang a cry in front of them.
Zaus and Luke exchanged glances for a split second before realizing they were running straight into another horde of zombies!
"New brains!" a zombie Nimmo crowed before seizing Luke in his hands, stroking his fur.
"No! Let me go! Stop that! Zaus, help!" Luke cried, struggling to loosen himself from the Nimmo's ninja grip.
Zaus paled as he wrestled with the Nimmo's hand, grunting as thoughts whirled through his mind. Alethia could forget about their getting rid of the zombies, they could forget all about disrespecting graves and finding treasure -- right now, all that mattered were their lives!
Zaus's entrails turned to snow as the zombie Nimmo was joined by a multitude of zombie Neopets and Symols. "What have we here?" the Nimmo said, stroking Luke's trembling hide.
"So tender, so alive..." the Nimmo mused thoughtfully, continuing to pet him.
"You leave my friend alone!" Zaus screamed just as he was put into a headlock by a zombie Kau.
"Your brains are fresh and alive -- but you've already given us a gift, haven't you?" she mooed.
"Huh?" Luke bleated.
The zombies laughed -- a twisted, vibrating laugh -- and pointed to the empty grave.
"You've saved us all the trouble of making a nice, deep party spot for ourselves, so we had to use the graves already here and their decorations, but of course that upset the ghosts. There's no reasoning with them, honestly." The Kau's rotting ears drooped. "You saved us so much trouble and now you want to leave the party?" The Kau laughed again. "The living are such party poopers, wouldn't you agree?"
A roar erupted from the now-whole multitude of zombies, stretching almost as far as Luke and Zaus could see.
"NOW, THEN..." the Nimmo bellowed, pulling out an ancient violin from seemingly out of nowhere. "Who's ready for a party?!?"
The cheer from the zombies was deafening -- much more than loud enough for Zaus and Luke to protest. They could do nothing as they were lifted by the zombies' cold, moist paws, hooves, and hands to the empty graves, where the long, stringy fake brains were placed.
"These are brilliant decorations, but you've brought no food," the Nimmo said and tilted his head.
"No matter. We have..." He paused for dramatic effect.
A Zombie Symol burrowed into the grave with a large cake in tow and, slicing two pieces with a claw, handed them both to Zaus and Luke.
"For you!" A zombie Aisha wheezed, slapping a very terrified Zaus on the back. "THE GUESTS OF HONOR!"
The eerie violin music and the zombies' dancing -- slowly, of course, so as not to burst their seams of rotting flesh -- was starting to get to the two, but the cake, resembling brains, was just too much.
"Do you think we could take this with us?" Luke asked in a trembling voice as he remembered the deal with the Hissi.
"OF COURSE!" the Aisha hacked. "We'll be in the exact same spot next time, so don't hesitate to come visit!"
"Take care!" The Nimmo and Kau waved at Zaus and Luke, who were rapidly climbing up one of the graves.
Neither of them spoke until the graveyard, the very satisfied Hissi, and the Haunted Woods were all out of sight.
"So," Luke panted at last, "do you still want to look for treasure and get help from Alethia?"
Zaus looked at Luke as though he had just dove headfirst into the Magma Pool while the guard was awake.
"Not on your life."
Date: Oct 24th
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