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||You are on Week 739
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 Seven Hundred Thirty Nine Ends Friday, August 12
|Listen, Brynn, you've gotta believe me--none of this was my fault.
Okay, maybe some of it was. Maybe. But how was I to know that things would turn out like this? It all started so small--and then things just spiraled out of control.
You're getting that look on your face. I know that look. It's the "if-Hanso-can't-get-to-the-point-he's-going-to-find-his-sorry-tail-sleeping-in-a-cell-Faerie-Queen-appointed-artefact-hunter-or-not" look.
And now that's the "trying-not-to-smile-because-you're-still-royally-ticked" look. See how well I know you?
But really. Not my fault. Mostly. Though you have to admit the thing with Jhudora's Bluff was hilarious. It's a shame she has no sense of humor. It'll be even more of a shame if she ever finds out how...
Look, let me start at the beginning.
There I was, walking through Faerieland, minding my own business...
No, really, I was! There's absolutely no reason for you to look that skeptical.
Okay, so I was sort of, you know, watching people. Noticing what they had on them, what they had in their pockets, that sort of thing. It wasn't that I was going to actually [i]steal[/i] anything. You know I've turned over a new leaf. But old habits die hard.
I happened to notice this fellow, a Faerie Elephante, with a whole ring of keys shoved into his coat pocket. It was very obvious, you could see the key-ring shaped bulge.
At first I thought, hey, maybe this guy's like a maintenance worker or prison guard or something, or he does some other job that requires him to hold a bunch of keys.
Only he looked... well, his clothes were nice. Like, the sort of slightly-worn nice that you see on rich folks who don't care about showing off their money. Old money; not high nobility, but well-off enough that they don't have to worry about making a living--you know the type.
And he looked nervous. Sort of twitchy. He kept tapping at his pocket, as if to check if the keys were still there. Not something you do if you're used to carrying keys in your pocket.
So I was bored, what with our last artefact hunt all wrapped up and you off visiting some of your old guard buddies in Brightvale. I had some time to kill.
Since I had nothing better to do, I followed him. Not in a creepy way, of course! I just sort of took note of which way he was going, and I casually started heading in the same direction.
We'd started out in the marketplace, so that made it easy to blend into the crowd, but pretty soon he headed off down a little side-street.
That made it a little trickier. I had to give him a little more lead, so he wouldn't notice me.
By the way--tapping your paw on the ground like that? Very distracting. No need to look so impatient, I'm getting to the good part.
Or, well, the first of a number of good parts. This whole story is great, really; in a few years, I bet everyone will have a good laugh over the whole thing. I'd say I did everyone a favor, really--
Okay, fine, back to the story.
Anyhow, a few twists and turns later, I thought I'd lost him. I turned down an alleyway that I could have sworn he'd turned down a few moments before, and there was nothing. Just a blank wall, overgrown with a few tendrils of ivy.
I looked left, right--up, too; he did have wings, after all--but he was nowhere in sight.
I walked up to the wall at the end of the alleyway. It looked somehow off, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first.
Then I realized--it was a little too perfect. No cracks, no visible wear.
In other words, probably an illusion.
I ran my hands across the wall, and soon enough I found a little hole in the wall, just the right shape for a key.
I couldn't see the keyhole--but I didn't really need to, as long as I could feel where it was.
I pulled out my trusty set of lockpicks and set to work--
What do you mean, trespassing? No, no, you've got the wrong idea--see, nobody goes out of their way to hide something like that unless they've got something they really don't want found out by fine upstanding law enforcers like yourself.
I was just being a concerned citizen, doing a bit of investigation, saving you some work.
Yes, really. You want to argue about it, or can I go on with the story?
So, I put my ear to the wall and keep working at the lock until I heard a click.
And then the wall began to slide open...
Date: Aug 7th
What do you mean I should have gone and got the Gaurds?
Did you not hear me? The wall was sliding open! Imagine if I'd gone to get the guards and a sweet chocolate kacheek -- No, I promise the pun was intended, Brynn - - wandered in to a tunnel of darkness and despair?! I couldn't take the risk, so I had no choice but to go in and explore myself. I was just doing my duty.
Oh, don't look at me like that!
You know what, maybe I'll just go and find Kanrik, somebody who might be interested in the amazing things --
Oh now you want to stop arguing and listen. Typical!
Anyway, as I was saying, the wall slid open and I crept inside. Creeping is an important part of the job. It was pretty dark, but I managed to feel my way through the tunnels. There were a lot of tunnels -- I was half expecting Hannah to pop out with an armful of treasure!
Anyway the tunnels ended suddenly - a right, a left, and then BAM I found the end of the path. -
- Yeah, okay, I may have walked into the wall - no that's not why my face is bruised - let me finish the story, Brynn! --
Another door. I listened for a minute, but there was no noise so I decided to go through. --Well I wasn't going to just turn around, was I?--
A couple of jiggles of the lock and I was in. Into the secret room at the end of the tunnel maze beneath Faerieland. And wow, I did not expect to see what I saw. I mean, it was mind blowing. Amazing, fantastic, sensational -
-- Oh, what's that? Now you want to know the story? Pfft. Maybe I won't tell you -- Okay, okay, come back I'll tell you!--
First off, treasure. Enough to keep every pirate in Krawk Island happy for a lifetime. There was gold to the ceiling, with gems and artefacts even the Faerie Queen herself would go Quiggle over.
But more importantly, standing in the middle of the room...
--Oh Brynn, you''re not going to believe who it was --
Date: Aug 8th
No Brynn, stop guessing. Let me just tell you.
It was none other than our old pal Klyde.
Can you believe it? Klyde! After all of these years, we thought he was a goner. But no, there he was, standing amongst all of that treasure.
--No, he did not see me, Brynn. Sheesh! I had ducked behind the large archway at the entrance to the room.
Okay, okay, back to Klyde. Yes, he still looks the same. Walks a little slower, maybe, and he has a chunk missing out of his left ear, but it was unmistakably him.
Anyways, there he was, ordering around a dozen or so Melvies. They each had a piece of treasure in their hand, and they were walking two-by-two towards the back of the room. Out yet another door.
--The impatience, Brynn! I’m getting to where the Melvies were going. But before I was able to find a way to follow them, I heard footsteps coming up behind me. I had to find somewhere to hide, quick!
Yeah, I probably should have high-tailed it out of there at that point. But I was too curious. You know me, Brynn. So I dove into a large clay pot that was nearby. Looked like an ancient item from the Lost Desert.
The footsteps drew nearer and then they stopped. I heard a voice speak out. “Is it ready yet?” The voice bellowed. Then I heard Klyde’s unmistakable raspy voice shout back…
Date: Aug 9th
Man, that guy could go for a lozenge, don't you agree? No? Come on, Brynn, you know Klyde! Even on the best of days, guy sounds like there’s a backscratcher lodged firmly in his throat.
But anyway, I might have been a teeny, tiny bit surprised to see dear ol’ Klyde caught in the midst of something decidedly illicit…
--Really, Brynn, what's that supposed to mean? "Once a thief, always a thief?” You wound me! I’m positively a hero now! They have statues of me up in the square! I’ve kept my nose clean, I’ve…
…Okay, point taken. But Klyde was always small-time! Certainly not the kind of grand villain you Guards are sent to hunt down for the betterment of all Neopian society. A proper Robin Hood, he was. Well, if Robin Hood mostly stole baked goods, and ate all of them himself.
But the story! You’re interested in the story, of course – which is why you have me blocked into this corner and are looming over me in a manner that might just be construed as a teensy-tiny bit threatening. Not that I’m complaining. I’m getting to it!
I was appalled to see our good ol’ friend involved in something that looked more than a little suspicious. But I was in the heart of enemy territory! The belly of the beast! And that meant it was time for some good, old reconnaissance. So I poked my little Ixi ears above the rim of that pot – very fine piece it was, too, I’ve always had an eye for Sakhmetian antiques – and gave it a go.
Couldn’t see very well – my field of vision was about seventy-five percent inscribed pottery – but I caught a glimpse of a lavender faerie wing, and I just knew that Faerie Elephante from before was involved.
--Lots of faerie Neopets have lavender wings? Well, I know that, Brynn, but speaking as the guy that’s telling you this most dramatic and engaging story, I get to tell you what actually happened. Because, you know, it kind of did. My hunches are always one-hundred-percent on the dot, I assure you.
So I see this wing, and I see dear Klyde’s Lupey face, and I’m listening in, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re in a dark, treasure-filled hideout listening to a skittish-looking faerie Elephante and a friend you thought dead discuss evil plans over an army of brainwashed Petpets.
“The suggestion ray isn’t ready yet?” That was the Elephante – Klyde, for all his verbal faults, never sounded like he was about to pass out from sheer terror. Except that one time, anyway. “But – the boss – you know she’s –“
“Of course I know!” Klyde snapped. “She doesn’t want treasure anymore, she wants obedience. She’ll let us keep it if we get this thing running by the end of the day, but if we don’t, we’re gonna be worse off than where we started.”
“Get those – get the Melvies! Out! The f-focus crystal! Find it! The H-H-Hidden Tow-“
And, um, well.
--I’m getting to it, Brynn! I just… might have made a teensy, tiny little error, and I was debating with myself how to break it to you that I’m not entirely perfect. Please don’t faint.
See, while I’ll have you know I have a fantastic eye for priceless antiques of superior craftsmanship – and don’t give me that look, I’m completely aboveboard! – I may have neglected to take into account this time that the antique was, in fact, antique. Old. Kind of fragile. Perhaps not fully up to the task of supporting a buff and handsome Ixi in his prime.
It might have, um, shattered? A bit. All over the place. Loudly.
So I’m crouching there, doing my best to show that I’m just minding my own business, and Klyde’s staring me straight in the face…
Date: Aug 9th
And he goes "I wasn't expecting them to send you!"
See, here I thought I was in huge trouble, what with everyone seeing me there, and it being incredibly suspicious that since I shouldn't be there and all. Though, in retrospect, I probably should have assumed that I was, since I didn't know who a 'they' or 'them' might have been in this situation.
But, you know me, I'm always able to talk my way out of problems. Yes, you know I can do that! It's one of the things you say is so charming about me, and then... okay, you're right about that one time, but in my defense, I did eventually pay for the ice cream!
Anyway, since I'm not only a master...err former master thief, I have a silver tongue as well, so the first thing I did was exclaim how it's always their style to send someone you didn't expect. That seemed to be enough for them, although the Elephante looked like he had seen the ghost of Nox when I waltzed in like I owned the place.
So, I needed to think of what someone who 'they' might have sent would say, so I said 'they're wondering if it's ready for the next phase yet.'
What? Don't look at me like that. It needed to be incredibly vague because at the time I still didn't know the full extent of their plan.
But luckily, that seemed to be something that wouldn't draw their attention. See, after that, Klyde was saying that the next phase would be ready as soon as they could get the tunnel completed under the Hidden Tower. Which meant that...
Oh come now Byrnn! How was I supposed to know that the base was still unstable after the crash? Listen, if you want me to skip ahead, fine. This is why the Hidden Tower fell over and crashed into main street of Faerie City. But I swear, it's not my fault! Besides, that's not even a third of what happened! That was just the start!
Oh wait, you didn't know about the rest? See, this is why I'm trying to tell you what happened. So... okay okay, I'll skip to that part. To make a long story short, they did eventually find the focus crystal and have the Melvies working on the tunnel, but you see, that's when I decided to make my daring move.
Yes, it was a daring move! If you had been there, you would have been all 'wow, what a daring move!'
As I was saying, I followed behind as they dug the tunnel under Faerie City. Then, once they were there, just before they got to their goal under the tower I...
Date: Aug 10th
...leap into the air -- yes of course Ixis can leap, we're known for our gracefulness and majesty after all -- no that's not sarcasm -- anyway I leap and snatch that aforementioned suggestion ray out of ol' Klydsies paws! Yes Brynn I know what aforementioned means, I do carry around and read that thesaurus you bought me for Day of Giving.
So yeah, the Lupe looks absolutely stunned, and all I do is wield the weapon like I'm the coolest Neopet in the room. Now between rasp-mouth and skittish-brains that's not hard, I know, but--
OK Brynn for you I'll continue.
And then Klyde is all, to his Elephante friend, "Marvin, did Jhudora tell you she taught Hanso how to use that thing?"
Now is a good time to mention the Elephante's name is Marvin. Or at least that's what I'm calling him, his real name was changed to protect the guilty -- fine yes his real name was Marvin -- don't look at me like that Brynn.
Marvin replies, "She did-idn't e-even t-t-tell me he wa-as go-going to be-be here." No Brynn I'm not hyping it up even a little I swear he really sounded that way.
And here I am, now, holding the raygun and pointed it at Klyde's head. I mean, he did borrow without returning my ultra limited edition The Three collector's plate but where the Gelert was printed as an Aisha by accident -- wait, he did and then you placed them in the top section of our kitchen cupboards? -- OK well at the time I thought he deserved it.
"THIS IS FOR MY COLLECTOR'S PLATE! YOU SHOULD GIVE IT BACK!" I boom at Klyde -- hey come on Brynn it is called the suggestion ray after all -- and then shoot it at his shoulder.
Well clearly they constructed the thing wrong because it blows up and there's this huge crash and the tunnel becomes unstable and I know what you're thinking Brynn so I'll answer it now, I didn't die -- oh you weren't thinking that -- I'm not ridiculous! -- OK yeah you know this part, the Hidden Tower collapses--
What happened next? Well, here is where Jhudora comes in.
Of course, at the time, I didn't know what the mean sheen purple and green's plans were -- I'll tell you when I get to that part come on Brynn -- OK well I'll tell you a little piece now, she intended the gun to blow up and crash the tower.
However, obviously, me being there was a bit of a wrench in her plans, if only by virtue of dragging in Faerieland's most esteemed artifact hunter -- OK fine Brynn, co-most esteemed -- and former master thief and current master sleuth -- no Brynn, still not sarcasm.
Anyway, she's kind of upset. Or at least looks it.
Long story short, Klyde, Marvin, and I end up in one of her holding cells at Jhudora's Bluff...
Date: Aug 10th
"So. Klyde. Marvin," she said, in a very I'm-trying-very-hard-not-to-lose-my-cool-and-start-with-the-fireballs voice—I'm unfortunately rather familiar with that sort of voice, and not just from our old pal Xandra--did I ever tell you about the time the Thieves Guild sent me to rob a wizard just a couple months before I got kicked out? Remind me later; it's a good one—and she glared, first at Klyde, then at Marvin.
I carefully shuffled back a bit--a strategic retreat, though not nearly as much of one as I would have liked. She seemed to be occupied with her hapless minions for the moment, though I knew my time was coming.
She said nothing else. She simply looked at them.
The moments stretched out.
Marvin broke first, naturally.
"It wasn't m-m-my fault! I was just, just coming back to help finish the tunnel, and then that Ixi showed up, and Klyde acted like he knew him, so I figured that he had to be with us--Klyde's the one who--"
"Oh shut up, you snivelling flutter-winged coward," Klyde snarled. "Hanso was clearly only able to get in because he followed you—he came in right after you!"
And on and on they went, each trying to pin the blame on the other, and Jhudora let them babble for a while before snapping her fingers.
Two little puffs of green smoke appeared right around each of their throat-areas, and they fell silent.
What do you mean, that sounds like a handy spell?
Anyways, back on topic, under other circumstances I'd have been glad not to have to hear them babble on and on. But if Jhudora had decided she'd had enough of them, I had a hunch it was because she wanted me to start talking.
And as I said, my hunches are always right. "Care to tell me what you were doing barging into that storehouse?" she asked.
"Well," I said, thinking as quickly as ever, "There I was, walking through Faerieland, minding my own business... when I hear this whispering coming from an alley. Now, I recognized Klyde's voice—we're acquainted, though we've never been close friends—so I thought, maybe I'll get a little closer, maybe say hi, catch up a bit... but then I hear him say, 'So, it's settled. We're going to steal the suggestion ray, take the money, and make a fool of that ugly Jhudora and her tacky color scheme when we escape, never to be found again!'"
Then I had to leap out of the way as Klyde flung himself at me, snarling.
With a little wave of Jhudora's hand, coils of magic wound around Klyde's body and jerked him up into the air, where he wriggled a bit, then settled down and just glared at me.
"Do go on," said Jhudora.
So I spun her a tale of how Klyde and Marvin were both in cahoots, plotting against her, and how I had decided to follow them and steal the suggestion ray, to return it to the person who was clearly its rightful owner--her, of course--only to discover that the dastardly villains, Klyde and Marvin, had sabotaged the obedience ray to make it explode. I thought the whole thing was going great until she snapped her fingers again and hit me with the silencing spell.
"Do you think I'm stupid?" she asked.
I was almost tempted to nod yes, just to see the look on her face, but decided to take the path of self-preservation instead. I shook my head.
"First off," she continued, "I know full well that neither of these imbeciles has the intelligence, ambition, or skill to even hope to successfully double-cross me, and they both know it. I would hardly have made use of their services otherwise. And secondly..."
She smiled. It was not a pleasant smile, but then, I don't really think Jhudora does "pleasant."
"Secondly," she said, "that explosion went perfectly according to plan. So, thank you, thief, for your assistance. Now that the Hidden Tower is in ruins, Fyora is going to be most busy trying to figure out what happened, and in the meanwhile... well, I suppose I should probably find a way to dispose of the three of you before I set my real plan into action. Perhaps I'll plant you right near the ruins of the Hidden Tower, stunned unconscious by the backlash from your own weapon... and with a touch of amnesia, to boot."
Klyde had his teeth bared, and he was straining in his magical bonds again. Marvin was sitting on the floor, covering his face, crying. And I... well, let's just say I wasn't feeling my best.
Yes, I admit it--I'm not perfect. I was having a hard time figuring out how I was going to get my tail out of this one.
But thankfully, Jhudora wasn't perfect either. She'd forgotten something very, very important.
Something that helped lead to her downfall.
Something that nobody would have ever--
Oh, come on, Brynn! I'm just trying to raise the tension a bit, like a good storyteller!
Fine. The point.
But first, a bit of backstory--
No, really, it's important.
See, remember what I said about Marvin earlier? He looked like he was from money, pretty good money. So he didn't really need to get into this whole scheme for the Neopoints; that was Klyde's deal. It was something else that got Marvin involved in this plot.
Another thing about Marvin—he's what you might call a rich eccentric. He's got his little obsessions, and he inherited the funds to chase whatever struck his fancy.
So, what makes a guy like Marvin look useful to a dark faerie looking to tunnel under and topple the Hidden Tower?
I'll tell you—it was his Melvies.
To Jhudora, they were cheap labor that wouldn't talk.
But to Marvin, every last one of those Melvies who was helping to dig the tunnel was one of his beloved, pampered, very well-trained Petpets.
Now, I wasn't lying when I said the Melvies were brainwashed—they were. Marvin went along with it, because he figured it was best for them—not only did it keep them on task, Marvin was worried they might get scared down in the tunnel if they were left to their own devices; he figured that a little brainwashing for long enough to get them to dig the tunnel and transport the treasure wouldn't do them any lasting harm, and he'd just give them plenty of snuggles and Petpet treats afterwards to make up for it.
That's what he told me, after we all got rounded up by the Faerieland Guard—led by a certain, very dashing Kougra. Not a totally bad guy, if a bit of a wimp. You can't be too hard on a guy who loves his Petpets that much. And you can tell that they love him back.
Anyways—in all the kerfuffle—and that's an absolutely fantastic word, by the way, I have to use it more often—Jhudora had let the brainwashing spell slip.
In fact, I bet she'd forgotten all about those Melvies.
That little mistake was half of the reason her plan blew up in her face.
And what was the other half, you ask?
Why, it was...
How will this story end?
Date: Aug 12th
...well, maybe you know this part, I suppose. Oh, don't give me that look or else the whole story will be anticlimactic!
Anyway, these Melvies are curled up in balls, huddled like a flock of Pteris on a rainy day, when the tunnel collapses from within! Right as the guard, led by...well you know! has us in their grasp. Clearly, they were just as shocked as we were, even their leader.
Ouch, Bryyn! Just a joke...Anyway these Melvies -- well, I'll tell you they're tougher than they look, right? Because they all come rolling down the tunnel like an avalanche, none of us stood a chance!
Jhudora should've known better than to hire even those guys to dig a tunnel! You could've taken one look at Klyde and that poor Elephante and known, even if your intentions where to blow up a tunnel, somehow it would blow up in your face! I thought she was smarter than that.
But, she wasn't even smart enough to dodge a couple of scared Melvies.
So, there we are. All of us knocked clean on the ground, when the guard lost your -- I mean their -- grip on me, quick as a thief, I slipped away --
Oh, really? I AM a thief? Who saved the day, after all? Huh? C'mon Brynn, we're right at the end!
I slipped away and managed to stop Jhudora from escaping single-handedly.
Oh, fine! I did accidentally step on a Melvie who then grabbed Jhudora by the hair, effectively stunning her...but who stepped on that Melvie, Brynn? Hmm? Me! I'm the hero of this story!
Besides, I know you're just putting on this act and I can tell you're glad I'm OK, so how about a kiss on the cheek and a thank you?
Ouch, Brynn! Ah well...happy endings are overrated anyway.
Date: Aug 13th
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