Bonfire Spooky Stories
“I don’t know, Dantares...” said a Rainbow Lenny who was walking behind a Camouflage-colored Lupe as they trekked across one of the off-beat paths deep inside the Haunted Woods. “Coming to this place during the night, especially THIS night, is a bit unnerving.”
“Come on, Herard!” the Lupe reassured him. “Where’s your sense of adventure? If we want to be future globetrotters, we must have courage! What better way than spending Halloween Night in the Haunted Woods?”
“Ok, whatever you say, but I still think this is a really bad idea!” Herard said as he kept a tight grip on his backpack.
As they walked, the unnatural noises and the wind whistling against the dead trees made the atmosphere more eerie. Herard moved his head everywhere hoping nothing popped up and scared him. Dantares simply shook his head as they pushed on.
They then saw a faint orange glow in the distance. The Lenny immediately gripped his friend’s backpack causing him to stop as well.
“We should really get out of here, Dantares! We could prove our courage another way! Like running through Drackonack territory with cheese tied to our backs!” Herard pleaded.
Dantares scoffed, “Will you quit it? That’s just a bonfire. Someone must be up ahead. Let’s go pay him or her a visit...”
As the Lupe walked on, Herard gulped and muttered under his breath, “Someone, he says... rather, SOMETHING...”
Finally, both of them reached the source of the glow as a bonfire just like Dantares suspected. Sitting at one side of the blaze was a yellow Usul dressed in a simple old-fashioned gown and had her blond hair cut in a regal coif. She simply stared at the blaze in front of her and didn’t even notice Dantares and Herard approach until they spoke.
“Good evening, ma’am. We didn’t mean to intrude on your privacy...” Dantares greeted.
The Usul looked up and smiled. “Visitors. How pleasant. Please, do join me. It’s quite lonely out here tonight.”
Both the Lupe and the Lenny sat at the opposite end of the fire, placing their backpacks down and simply observed the flames alongside the mysterious stranger. Finally Herard spoke, “So... what are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere on such a spooky night?”
“I live in Neovia. Call it strange but I enjoy coming out here and enjoy the beauty of these Woods...” she replied.
Herard then whispered to Dantares, “She’s not quite all there, wouldn’t you say?” The Lupe countered by shushing him.
“I’m Dantares and this ‘genius’ is Herard. We’re wannabe adventurers!” the Lupe said.
The Usul nodded her head once. “My name is Talaisha. Pleased to meet you both.”
The silence continued for nearly 5 minutes with nobody making a sound. Finally Dantares said, “This special evening, in front of such a spooky bonfire, it’s only right to tell ghost stories.”
Talaisha smiled at him. “A noble idea indeed. How about you gentlemen tell such spooky tales first?”
Dantares grinned. “Spooky stuff is my specialty! Gather around everyone and prepare for a fur-raising tale!”
He then began.
All the little Neopets were waiting in the classroom for the teacher to show up. They all loved the kind Aisha as she made learning fun for them and enjoyed every second of her time alongside the eager minds ready to absorb knowledge.
Imagine their surprise however when in came a rather scary sight. A Mutant Jetsam dressing in an old-fashioned dress like those worn by humorless schoolteachers and holding a crooked baton in her fin came in and she had a fierce look in her eye. All the students were silent as she came in, too scared to even talk and see what she had to say.
This Jetsam walked to the middle of the room next to the teacher’s desk and announced, “You were all expecting kindly Miss Misha, weren’t you. Well, I’m sorry to say to you all that she... is unable to teach anymore and that I have been named your new teacher for the rest of your stay in this grade... if you make it this far...”
She then quietly cackled, causing the Neopets to grip the sides of their desks as all their knuckles turned white.
“Oh, why should I bother? Let me tell you what I have in store. I am in fact a very evil witch. This current form is due to a problem with one of my potions until I gather the ingredients necessary to regain my old form...”
The witch cackled loudly as all the students stared at each other even more in fright.
“You see, I came here posing as a teacher as I need young fresh Neopets. Yes, very young... and very fresh... You like my little baton? It is actually my magic wand which I cast my spells. I thought my magic skills would be hindered in this new form of mine, but I tell you I’m still quite powerful. After all, I had to find a way to make your teacher... incapable of teaching. Yes, I believe she is currently being bought in that Petpet shop in the Market by now. I mean, when she is a Warf, who would suspect she was once an Aisha?”
The students gasped as they realized what happened. But sheer terror kept them from doing anything.
“And now, I need fresh subjects that I can turn into... suitable forms to make my ingredients and regain my beauty! Let’s see now...”
She tapped the desk of a young blue Kougra. “I’ll turn you into a Slorg... I need the slime...” the Jetsam witch mused, which made the Kougra sweat heavily.
She then moved towards a Disco Bruce. “You’ll make a fine Sludgy... the muck from you would be most beneficial!” she said aloud.
She kept moving around the classroom picking six more students at random and announcing what forms she’d turn them into and what parts of them she would need. They all started to shake in fear until she moved up to the front of the room again.
“As for the rest of you, since I need no witnesses, I will simply make you vanish from this world. Dreadfully sorry. Now, to say the magic words...”
With that, everyone started to cry in fear as the witch waved her baton.
“The magic words are...” the Mutant Jetsam said as a glint of a smirk appeared at the side of her face.
Talaisha laughed under her breath as Herard felt chills down his spine.
“Most amusing story indeed, Master Dantares!” the Neovian Usul said as she turned her gaze to Herard. “Now you, Master Herard. Please relate a story for us.”
Dantares sniggered. “This guy couldn’t scare a Babaa...”
Herard frowned but quickly began his story.
Gregori loved to eat. He never shied away from any food he came across. It if smelled tasty, he ate it. Of course, being a Grarrl helped more since they have really insatiable appetites for everything and anything.
One day, as he headed was leaving the Food Shop, he accidentally knocked an old Ogrin gypsy from the Camp over with his tail and she fell into a mudpit formed after one lengthy rainstorm that hit the day before.
Gregori was too preoccupied with the food he was going to eat to even notice the Ogrin gypsy, or at least apologize to her. He did no such thing and that was mighty impolite. Well, that old Neopet was quite mad as she invoked a curse on Gregori. A curse that was to take place that very evening.
At his house, the green Grarrl was setting down for his enormous banquet. Delicious burgers, a bowl of Spaghetti, slices of all kinds of cakes, boiled neggs, whole juppies, and mounds of potatoes. Yes, a meal fit for a king.
Suddenly, Gregori noticed his food start to stir, then suddenly everything came to life! And that wasn’t all! Each and every food started to gain vestiges of eyes, followed by mouths and then very very sharp teeth! They all started to shout, “Yummy Grarrl! Tasty Grarrl! Grarrl for breakfast, lunch and dinner!”
That’s when he realized he was going to be staying for dinner... AS the dinner!
At that, Gregori got up and tried to retreat only for the spaghetti to unravel its noodles and shot them straight at him. With the speed of a Cobrall, the noodles wrapped themselves on his four limbs and tail, making him fall to the ground and keeping him immobile.
The food crept closer to him, still chanting their wishes to make him the next Spooky Food addition. One particular Negg, by now looking like a Ferocious one with its huge eyes and sharp fangs in its mouth, jumped atop his belly ready to take the first nip at him. Gregori opened his mouth to let out a scream as the Negg lunged straight at his head!
Then something happened! Just before the Ferocious-like Negg could bite him, Gregori instinctively chomped down on the Negg and swallowed it in one gulp! That’s when his eyes suddenly lit up. That Negg was... delicious! Even though they turned into monsters and were trying to eat him, the Grarrl realized they were still food and he could still eat them!
With a sly sneer he then chomped on the spaghetti noodles holding him down and soon he was free. The burgers, neggs, juppies, potatoes, cakes and spaghetti noodles finally realized their prey suddenly became the predator and now it was their turn to run away! With a loud roar, Gregori charged at his meal.
Minutes later, it was all over as the Grarrl lay on the floor, belly bloated and moaning in pain. All on his mind at that moment was where he could get some Flat-u-less at that time of the night...
“Snoresville...” Dantares said with a loud yawn.
Herard looked crossed. “Well, it’s better than your stupid substitute teacher one!”
Both then eyed each other with scowls until Talaisha said, “Please, young Masters! Stop!” With that, the two of them crossed their arms and faced the opposite direction to one another.
“Both were delightfully scary tales, but now it is my turn to relate unto you mine,” the Usul said as she moved closer to the fire and began.
“I dare you! I double dare you!” said a brash looking skunk Gelert dressed in a dirty shirt, trousers and cap of Neovian youths to a young checkered Acara wearing a simple grayish brown dress slowly walking up to the decrepit entrance.
“Please, Kaplen... Isn’t there another ‘dare’ you can do for me? This place is scary...” she answered back as she turned to face both the Gelert and his purple Tonu companion, also in Neovian garb.
Kaplen sniggered. “Heh heh. You hear that, Fynn? Seems little Miss Marki is afraid of an old mansion!”
Fynn nodded and replied, “I wouldn’t blame her for being such a scaredy Kadoatie. After all, the legends about that poor Usul who haunts this manor with her ghostly music playing have been told to Neovians for generations. Even after the curse was lifted, the feelings of despair and gloom felt by that poor lass lingers on.”
“And that’s precisely why our dare is for you to knock on the door three times in a row, Marki!” Kaplen concluded. “If you win, I’ll give you a week’s worth of scones at my expense! But if you lose, you’ll have to get me that fetching new jacket Mr. Prigpants and Mr. Swolthy are selling right now!
Marki looked straight at the entrance. The door, once beautifully varnished and polished, was now chipped and Vernax-ridden with a rusted old brass knocker in front. The young Acara lifted her shaky paw to the knocker and held it for just a few seconds before she gave it a loud knock against the door before scampering away to a safe distance near the small stairs.
“That’s one! Just two more!” the Gelert called out.
Marki nodded silently as she walked back up the stairs to the entrance. She stared right into the door and again picked up the knocker. She hesitated for a split second until she gave another loud reverberating knock before ducking back to the bottom of the steps.
“Good going! One more time!” Kaplen said only to whisper to Fynn seconds later, “She won’t do it. That jacket’s as good as mine!”
Marki approached the door one last time and was just about ready to lift the knocker when the door opened itself so fast she didn’t have time to react. Suddenly she was forced inside by some mysterious entity and the door slammed shut. Kaplen and Fynn could simply stare blankly at the scene they witnessed. Suddenly, they heard the young Acara’s screams causing a chill to run down their spines.
“I think we should get out of here!” Kaplen said as he turned around to retreat.
The Tonu however grabbed him by the back of the shirt. “We can’t! What do you think the townspeople will say if we return without her? And what about Marki’s parents? We will be a world of trouble! We’re going in after her, ghost or no ghost!”
Dragging the protesting Gelert behind him, Fynn went up to the entrance and found it unlocked. He opened the door and they both stumbled into the darkness. Both of them immediately started to choke on the permeating clouds of dust within the abandoned domicile as cobwebs covered everything in sight. In front of them was the main staircase leading up to the second floor and beyond. Two small hallways to the side led to other areas of the first floor.
They both finally took steps inside and suddenly the door slammed shut behind them, causing Kaplen to jump on Fynn’s arms in fright. The Tonu grumbled as he dropped him to the floor. “That was just a gust of wind! Now come on! We must find her!” They then ventured further in through one of the hallways of the first floor.
As they made their way through the darkness, illuminated only by the soft light of Kreludor outside seeping through the dust-encrusted windows, they suddenly stopped as they heard a far-off sound coming from the second floor. It was music. Piano music, to be precise.
Kaplen began to shake like mad while Fynn started to show signs of fear himself. Finally they reached what was once the foyer. What caused them to be more scared was the fact that placed on the fireplace were two candlesticks at opposite ends both lit up! Both candles seemed to draw attention to a painting placed above them.
Upon inspection, they saw the image of a young Usul maiden sitting at a piano in the background. Her face was turned to whoever the painter was as she smiled sweetly. Near the chair was a small Puppyblew with its tongue hanging out as if it was captured in mid-pant. It was quite a cheery image indeed and the Usul was quite beautiful. The piano music in the distance, while by itself being spooky, being accompanied by the visage of the painting it was quite serene.
“Zounds. You have to admit, that Usul must have been attractive back then,” Kaplen commented as his fear subsided a tad.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew into the room and the candles went out!
“Hey, Fynn! You got a match or something? It’s too dark to see anything in this place!” the Gelert called out.
“Ouch! Wait! One moment... one moment... There!” the Tonu finally said as a small spark began to appear and soon a match was lit. Fynn used its small flame to quickly relight the candles. Only to then drop the now unlit match to the floor.
The music reached a crescendo as they saw the painting again only for it to show a far more sinister depiction! This time, the Usul was now a spooky Ghost version of herself. Her comforting smile gave way to a sinister smirk with her red eyes frowning at the painter. The piano became dusty and with some of its keys broken and missing. The Puppyblew was now a fearsome Mutant as its fangs showed while its tongue hung out. Both Fynn and Kaplen then yelled out in fear. The house was truly haunted!
Suddenly they began to hear ghostly wails and they both knew it was time to get out! They preferred taking their chances getting punished by the townspeople than being trapped by a ghost! As they ran to the main area of the house, the wails became louder as they then saw a figure loom above their head. It was the ghostly Usul! She was dressed in a ragged white cloak and her face was contorted in a spooky stare.
“Trespassers!” she shrieked with an echo, “Feel my wrath! Join my minions and stay here for all eternity!”
She wailed once more as she floated up and out of sight. Just then, both Kaplen and Fynn then saw figures approach them from both hallway and even coming down the stairs. They appeared to be monsters wearing long purplish black robes which covered their entire bodies and wearing what appears to be pumpkins with ghastly faces carved on. All these monsters wailed as they approached the two, who by now were extremely pale and were so scared they couldn’t run.
Suddenly, the pumpkin-headed monsters stopped as they moved aside to let someone pass. To their fright, Kaplen and Fynn saw Marki approach them. However, where her head once stood, there was another grisly-faced pumpkin! Her beautiful dress was now shredded and tattered in several areas as she walked with a slow shambling step.
The monster that was once Marki began to moan as she dragged herself towards her former friends. “You...” she said in a raspy tone, “You will join us... You’ll become one of us...”
At that, all the pumpkin-headed monsters approached them as they all chanted, “One of us... One of us... One of us... One of us...”
That was all the two could take.
“MOMMA! HELP ME!!!” Kaplen yelled out as he grabbed the doorknob and flung the door open as both he and Fynn ran off, screaming in the distance.
As Kaplen and Fynn ran off, the pumpkin-headed Marki finally let out a good laugh as she removed the pumpkin revealing her normal head beneath it. The ‘monsters’ all removed their pumpkins to reveal other various normal-looking Neopets underneath.
“They are truly cowards! I can’t believe they could fall for such simple parlor tricks!” Marki giggled impishly.
“I agree. That painting with the pictures on both sides accessible by flipping it over was so hard to do. Good thing Mr. Cribblepot the artist didn’t ask for what kind of joke this trick painting was for or else he’d tell all our parents!” a blue Nimmo said as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow as he held a large pair of bellows which must have caused the gust of wind to blow the candles out.
“And setting up that mannequin with the likeness of the Ghost Usul was quite hard, we had to make sure they never saw the ropes hidden in the ceiling that held it up...” added a cloud Moehog sitting alongside a female brown Wocky who held a crudely crafted megaphone which was used for the ghostly wails.
Suddenly, they all heard the piano music again. Marki grinned. “I’m really glad Felicity actually agreed to lend us her music skills to play those ghostly tunes. They really set the ambience!”
“Um... Marki... I’m right here...” said a meek little striped Shoyru who just removed her pumpkin head.
All the friends suddenly went quiet. “But if Felicity is here... then who is playing that?!” a spotted Kau asked.
The group ran up the basement steps and up to the second floor of the manor to where the music came from. Upon opening the door to the parlor, they all stared slack-jawed at the visage before them. Right there playing at the dusty old piano was the ghost Usul, glowing a pale blue as her transparent body played the keys like a virtuoso.
She finally stopped as she saw the group of Neovian Neopets. “Oh! An audience! I’m so very happy! Would you like to stay and listen to my music?” the Usul said in an echoing, ghostly voice.
The friends didn’t even reply as they all zoomed down the stairs and out the door just as fast as Kaplen and Fynn did earlier. The Usul sighed sadly as the door of the mansion slammed shut on accord.
Dantares and Herard could just stare slack-jawed for a good while until they finally clapped their hands in approval.
“Amazing! I’ve heard my share of scary stories in the past, but that one was simply the best! You are a truly storyteller, Miss Talaisha!” the Lupe commented. The yellow Usul blushed at his remarks.
Herard nodded. “Please tell us. Where did you learn such a heart-pounding piece of fiction?”
Talaisha blinked and cocked her head sideways. “‘Fiction’? Oh no, it really happened. Every last detail.”
Dantares arched his brow. “So how did you know all this? Was this ‘Marki’ a friend of yours?”
The little Usul shook her head. “Oh, I did meet her and all her friends. But sadly, they didn’t stay...”
The duo of wannabe adventurers froze in their tracks.
“Stay to listen to my beautiful music...”
With that, Talaisha began to give off an ephemeral glow as she began to change. Her fur and mane became more bluish, her tail became gray, her blonde locks became frizzled and pulsating as they turned white as snow, her twin tufts of hair started to wrinkle and pulsate like her formerly fair locks adorning her head, and her beautiful blue eyes changed to a ghostly red hue as her entire body became transparent with her once beautiful gown becoming tattered and ragged in various places.
“Would you like to come to my mansion and listen to my concerto instead?” she said in an otherworldly, echoing tone.
At that, Dantares and Herard beat a hasty retreat, leaving their backpacks behind.
Talaisha shook her head sadly and sighed. “Why can’t I ever find a decent audience in this day and age?” With those words, she floated up in the air and flew off into the night sky as the bonfire suddenly went out.