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||You are on Week 341
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 Three Hundred Forty One Ends October 19
"Mirai?" There was a knock, and then a concerned Zafara poked her head through the door. "Mirai, are you sure you don't want to go to the market with us? It might be nice for you to see the sights."
"No thanks, Mum," the Aisha replied as she shifted moodily in her bed. "I'll just read a book or something."
Her mother frowned. "I know that you didn't want to move away, Mirai, but it was necessary. I just want you to understand that."
Mirai sighed. "I know, Mum, I'm sorry. I'm not angry or anything, I just feel more comfortable staying in my room for now."
"All right, but think about it. If you change your mind, we can always go again tomorrow," the Zafara replied, gently closing the door.
The Aisha huffed as she turned around in her bed again. Mirai knew that she shouldn't be so difficult, but she just couldn't help it. Leaving her friends had not been easy. She stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, just listening to the unfamiliar sounds around her. The constant wind whistling through the trees, the banging of a loose shutter against the roof...
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"Mom?" Mirai called out tentatively. There was no answer. They must have left for the market already.
The Aisha tried to ignore it, but the knock came again. This time, it was louder and more persistent.
"Arrrgh," Mirai groaned as she rolled off her bed. She had no choice but to answer the door; after all, it might be something important, and her mother would be very displeased if she just ignored it out of rudeness.
The Aisha shuffled lazily across the hallway and opened the door...
Author: *knock knock*|
Date: Oct 15th
Mirai couldn't have been less prepared for what waited behind the door.
The hinges creaked slowly open, and the Aisha looked outside, but all was just like it had been the last time she had gazed across the land... except a lone figure dashing over the hill and out of sight.
Mirai turned to go back in, but a worn note nailed to the wood of the door stopped her.
She pulled the nail carefully out of the paper and lifted the document to the sun to see it better.
"'They come with the darkness... and flee with the dawn,'" she read aloud. "'Do not ask questions... the truth is unknown. Never trust them or any of the lies they brew. And most of all, never run from them. They'll find you.'" Mirai glanced quickly toward the sky. The sun was still up, but clouds had gathered and it looked as if it was about to rain.
She didn't become scared easily, but this worried her. What did it mean? Who had sent it? And who were "they" the letter had spoken of?
But she didn't get an answer... not yet. Instead, something cold and wet fell from the sky. The raindrop fell onto the note, and she looked down. To her surprise there was something else written on the bottom. She read it quietly, "'Say please...'"
Date: Oct 15th
"Say 'please'." That was it, nothing more. But what did it mean? She frowned and re-read the scrawled text, shaking her head slightly in confusion.
A sharp cold spiked through her shoulder again, and, looking at the now overcast sky, Mirai backed into the hallway and shut the door, still clutching at the note with a nervous hand.
It didn't help much that she was alone in the house, the only flower in the field, seemingly swaying precariously. As if something were to happen soon. The mysterious note was rough in her trembling hand, and Mirai worked her jaw open stiffly.
Nothing whatsoever happened... at least not right away. She didn't even know why she'd whispered in the first place. Silly. She laughed to herself, air catching and swirling in her throat, that sinking feeling that something was not right still settling at the back of her neck. She tossed the note aside and went back into her room, drawing the curtains fiercely against the haunting moorland and creeping forest.
The wind was banging against the window now, the sun blotted out by smears of dirty cloud. A hollow thunk sounded, loudly, almost ringing. Mirai jerked and stood, stock-still and listening intently.
Thunk. Mirai strode down the hallway again, eyebrows knotted together, ready to scream her wrath at the joker outside. She wrenched the door open: nothing. A thin shred of paper floated to the ground erratically, spasming in the wild wind. Tentatively, she picked it up.
It was the same handwriting, freshly-written ink blotching at the edges: "I thought you'd never ask."
Darkness consumed her...
Date: Oct 17th
Mirai struggled against the howling darkness for long minutes, her paws grasping at wisps of nothing that fled before her. The wind tugged at her ears and made her eyes water. She flailed, terrified, and then suddenly her paws scrabbled against a cold stone floor, which she clung to as if for dear life.
Slowly, the eerie darkness receded, replaced by a more mundane gloom that seemed to cling to her skin. She blinked and squinted until her eyes adjusted, quivering with fear. Where was she? What had taken her away from her home?
When she could finally make out her surroundings, she noted that she was standing in the middle of a stone room. Passageways stretched out in all four directions, the doorways covered with menacing arches. Everything was stone, bleak grey stone, lit not by the cheerful warmth of sun or flame but by eerie green witchlight.
"Hello?" she called out. "Can anyone hear me? Hello?"
"Of course we can hear you, child," said a cool but dangerous female voice behind her. Mirai whipped around. "We brought you here, after all," the voice continued, and in one of the corridors a shape appeared -- or materialised. No, not one shape... three shapes, hooded and cowled: one slender, one muscular, one squat.
"What do you want with me?" Mirai asked, her voice shaking.
"That is an interesting question, isn't it?" another of the shapes asked. "What we want..."
Date: Oct 17th
Mirai frowned. Some nagging feeling was nudging the back of her mind. Be careful, it told her, they are not to be trusted. Three characters, shrouded in darkness... they reminded her of a nightmarish tale of revenge and betrayal, war and greed.
A shadowy grin crept onto the slender shape's features beneath her cloak. It wasn't a kind, helpful smile but a smile more fit for a cutthroat pirate. "I think you already know."
"I-I honestly have no clue," Mirai stammered. Corrupt rulers and relentless shadows. Suddenly, the cloaked figures took shape in her mind. A faerie, a Gelert, a Skeith. Could it be?
"Clever girl," the Gelert sneered. Mirai stared at him with a puzzled expression.
"Clever? I didn't say anything-"
"No, but you thought it," the Skeith interrupted. Images flashed through Mirai's mind. They flashed so quickly she didn't have time to make out any shapes, just a blur of colour. She blinked and they disappeared.
"The Three..." Mirai murmured.
Cruel laughter filled the dark, empty space around her.
"What do you want?" Mirai repeated numbly.
"What do we want? What do we want?" the Skeith jeered.
The Three continued in unison, their voices growing dark, "We want the same as always."
Mirai felt an ear-splitting cry emerge from her mouth, almost tearing out her vocal cords, but she didn't hear it. Her head was still ringing with the past events and images she had witnessed in the last minute...
Date: Oct 18th
"NO!" she screamed, though her fear had dulled the scream to more of a choked whisper. "No, you can't make me. I won't ever do anything for you, I won't hurt the rest of Neopia. Nothing you can say can make me."
The Three smiled, once again in that eerie unison of theirs. "Foolish girl," the faerie snickered. "You are weak, your will is almost non-existent. Your heart has a million maggot holes in it, ready to fall apart at the tiniest touch. You are already half-corrupted, so our job is easy."
"I'm not weak!" Mirai protested. Hot, angry tears prickled her eyes, because she knew the Three were right, and there was nothing she could do about it.
It was all her father's fault. If he hadn't had previous dealings with the Three, if he hadn't shamed their family and forced them to move, forced Mirai to leave her friends, none of this would have happened.
But that was the thing. If. Everything had already happened, and there was no use blaming anyone.
The Three watched with malice glinting brightly in their eyes as the Aisha's head drooped and her shoulders sagged. Another victory against a helpless victim. The taste was sweet.
"All right," Mirai sighed, her eyes curiously devoid of emotion, as if everything had been wiped blank. Her voice, too, was a flat monotone. "I'll help you... I'll help you gain power. As long as you promise not to hurt my mum or my friends." It was the least she could do.
"We can't promise that," the Three said...
Date: Oct 18th
Suddenly Mirai lifted her head, a single thought having floated into her mind. "But why do you even need me? What can I do for you?"
The faerie answered her. "Mortal time does not matter to us; we know what you are, what you were, and what you will be, and we know that you will grow to be powerful in the coming years."
"With our aid, that is..." the Skeith said, a malicious grin widening on his face.
And then something happened that wiped the grin clear off of his face: Mirai smiled.
"Yeah, you can do that... but you don't have any real power in my world," Mirai said, her eyes growing larger and brighter. The Three had all lost their calm composure and now scowled threateningly at her.
"You fool! We can destroy you and anyone else we choose to! Feel fortunate that we chose instead to use you!" the faerie growled. Mirai didn't seem to notice her anymore.
"Because if you did, you wouldn't need me; you wouldn't need anyone to gain power!" Mirai cried, the realisation spilling over her like a fresh rain shower.
"We brought you here, foolish child, and you say we have no power over you? You shall rot here until eternity itself ends for your insolence!" the Gelert cried.
Mirai now stared straight at them, a defiant fire burning in her eyes. "If... if that's the price I have to pay, fine! Torture me, destroy me, but I won't serve you! You need me; it's not the other way around!"
A painful shrieking sound was now roaring throughout the chambers as though the walls themselves were screaming, but the Three were simply standing there, sneering horribly at Mirai. She braced herself for what they would do with her now...
Date: Oct 19th
"Don't worry, little Aisha," the Three sneered. "We're not going to do anything to you. Here you'll wither away, but know this: it is your fault. You made a choice. You made the wrong choice."
The painful shrieking was growing louder, making her ears hurt. The walls were moving, coming closer to her. Heavy metal doors slammed over any pathways out, leaving her in a narrow, claustrophobic area. The Three stood patiently, unfazed, glaring angrily at her with hooded eyes.
"You think you're so powerful," Mirai said calmly. "You think it is so easy to mould minds to your will. Perhaps you have been able to in the past, but you are weak. You have always failed to reach your silly goals. You think you can turn Neopets against themselves; you think greed and ambition and revenge can overpower everything. But they can't."
The faerie laughed. "Ignorant girl. As if you could resist those urges. Everybody wants things and when you really See, as we can truly See, you will find that wanting consumes everyone in the end."
"That's not true!" Mirai said, laughing despite the closing walls, despite her situation, despite it all. "There is so much more to the world than what you believe in. There are so many more powerful things."
"Like what?" the Skeith spat.
"Like love," Mirai said simply. She shook her head. "Sure, we all take it for granted. But it matters. I won't be the pawn in your plans. True, I considered falling weakly to your will, but that quickly changed. I will never endanger my mum or my friends."
"How about your father? Do you not want revenge from him?" the Skeith cried, eyes bright with fury. Never before had someone been able to defy them so. Usually their victims were so easily malleable. How could the mortal stand while the walls were so close to crushing her? "Has your father not ripped you from your friends, from the life you knew, has he not planted shame at your feet and left you tangled in his weeds?"
"I was disappointed and angry with him, yes. But I love my father and I forgive him. You'll never understand that."
The Three faced her stonily, eerily silent for a moment, before the Gelert inclined his head slightly. "It does not matter. You will perish soon."
Mirai stood sturdily. She was truly unafraid. She knew the Three could not hurt her. They only knew how to play with selfish emotions, and she was not willing to be part of their game.
But the walls were coming closer. The Three had swept away, leaving her alone with their laughter and whispers lingering in her ears. For a moment, fear shot through her torso, cold and fiery at the same time. The walls screamed again, before touching her, squeezing her body.
Then, Mirai fell through.
She was back in her room. For a moment, she thought it had all been a dream, but that thought quickly vanished. No, it was real. She had met the Three, but their only weapon against her was illusions and twisted words. She had been stronger than that.
The note had said: "Never trust them or any of the lies they brew. And most of all, never run from them. They'll find you."
Mirai smiled. She hadn't run.
She looked at her bedroom door. She had resented moving and had stubbornly refused to leave the sanctuary of her room. Now she was ready to leave these four walls, meet new Neopians, enjoy the sights. Leaving her friends had been difficult, but there was still Neomail and visits during the holidays.
The Three had said she would be powerful... with their help. They were wrong about needing their guidance, but they were right about the first part. Mirai was going to make a difference in the world.
The front door opened and Mirai left her room to see her mother coming back from the market.
"Hi Mirai! How was your time alone?"
"It was certainly interesting," the Aisha replied, before wrapping her mother in a huge hug.
Her mother glanced back at her, surprised, but smiled.
"And I changed my mind. I think I'd like to see the sights."
"Okay, we'll go tomorrow."
"Actually, could we go today? I don't want to wait. I've done enough waiting and being selfish," Mirai said earnestly.
"Well, I just got back from the market, but all right, we can go. If you say 'please'."
Mirai chuckled. This time, she knew why she was saying please. This time, she was in control.
Date: Oct 19th
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