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Week 442
You are on Week 443
Week 444

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 Four Hundred Forty Three Ends Friday, January 8th

"I know it's wrong," Tarra murmured to herself as she stared greedily at the Powdered Sugar Doughnut clutched between her mittened paws, "but it just tastes so good." The Kacheek screwed her eyes shut and took a huge bite of the doughnut, powdered sugar dropping all over her winter coat like freshly fallen snow.

Even as she chewed the sweet baked treat, she felt a bit guilty -- after all, not eating sweets from The Bakery was her New Year's resolution. But, Tarra thought as she swallowed and opened her mouth for another bite, what was done was done. Other Neopians probably failed at their New Year's resolutions all the time... well, other Neopians except her friend Sulli.

"Given up on the resolution already, eh, Tarra?"

Tarra's eyes flew open when she heard her friend Min's voice, and she foolishly tried to hide the doughnut behind her back, her cheeks burning.

"There's no use trying to hide it," the Gelert said, grinning, and wiped a paw on the front of Tarra's coat. "The evidence is all over you."

The Kacheek sighed and took a glum bite of her doughnut. "OK, I give in. I'm weak and I love doughnuts. Sue me." She glanced up, giving Min an appraising look. "And how are you doing, Mr. Iron Willpower? Any trips to Uni's Clothing lately?"

Min's ears drooped sheepishly and his eyes dropped to the extremely flashy boots he was wearing.

"Aha!" Tarra crowed. "What're you hiding behind your back? Could it be... Uni's Clothing bags?"

"OK, I broke my resolution too. I'll admit it! I spent 100,000 NP there an hour ago!"

"And that was my fourth doughnut so far today," Tarra admitted. "We're quite a pair, aren't we?" she said with a sigh. "You know who I bet hasn't broken their resolutions? Sulli. She didn't break a single one of them last year, and she had more than a dozen!"

"Yeah," Min said glumly. "I think she got her list of resolutions framed or something."

As if talking about Sulli had summoned her, a smiling Usul appeared, her arms full of junk. "Hi, you guys! I'm just off to the Money Tree. One of my resolutions is to donate at least 20,000 NP worth of items every day! See you!"

Tarra and Min forced smiles onto their faces and waved half-heartedly at the retreating Usul.

"You know what we have to do, don't you?" Tarra asked once Sulli was out of earshot. "We have to make her break her New Year's resolutions. All of them..."

Author: Warning: Schadenfreude is NOT a good resolution
Date: Jan 4th
Min, watching Sulli skip off into the distance, nodded. "Yeah. She thinks she's so great, keeping every last resolution she makes... and she's always so smug about it, too."

"Yeah! She's always rubbing it in our faces! We need to take her down a few pegs, don't you think? Now, what were her resolutions again?"

The Gelert tilted his head to one side, thinking. "Let's see... the first was to donate 20,000 NP worth of items a day to the Money Tree. The second... ah, I think it was to compliment at least three Neopets every day. The third was, hm, I think it had something to do with cookies. Augh, how are we supposed to keep track of any of this? The only one who could possibly handle juggling this many resolutions..."

"...is Sulli," Tarra finished irritably. "I'm sure she's gotten them written down, somewhere... or we could just ask her. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to tell us all of them." She sighed. "I guess we've really got no choice. Let's go see if we can catch Sulli by the Money Tree..."

***

Sulli always got a warm, fuzzy feeling in her chest when she did something nice for others.

As she made her way, Sulli peeked at the piles of items being donated by other Neopians, and felt a wave of satisfaction upon noting that her own was larger than almost everyone else's. She'd always been a bit of a packrat, and had been meaning to clean out her Safety Deposit Box for ages. This way, she could do that and help out the less fortunate all at the same time.

Carefully, she laid out all her items, then, with a smile, she whipped out her list of resolutions.

"That's one checked off for today," Sulli said brightly to herself. "Now for number two..."

She turned and spotted her two friends, Tarra and Min, running up to meet her.

She noted that Min was wearing some rather fancy boots --were they new? Sulli remembered that Min had resolved not to spend more than 10,000 NP a week at Uni's Clothing, and those boots looked expensive...

"What lovely boots you're wearing, Min," said Sulli. "They go so nicely with your shirt." The Gelert shifted a bit uneasily.

There. That's one compliment. Two more to go.

"We were wondering," said Tarra, "exactly what your resolutions were. You had so many, as I recall..."

Sulli puffed up a little. "Well, yes, I suppose I made more than most... here's the list I made, if you want to read it."

The Kacheek took the list, reading silently. "How interesting. Anyway, it was nice seeing you, but we've got to go now."

"Oh? Um, all right. It was nice seeing you, too." The Usul wondered if that might count as a second compliment, but decided that it didn't.

It wasn't until a few minutes later that Sulli realised that Tarra hadn't given the list back. Oh, well, it wasn't as though Sulli didn't have another copy at home.

***

"Sheesh. How are we going to make her break any of these, much less all of them?" Min asked. "It's not like we can keep her from saying nice things."

"Well..." Tarra considered this. "We don't have to do all of them at once. If she misses even one day of donating to the Money Tree, then she's broken that resolution. You see? We'll just take them one at a time... we'll think of something, I'm sure."

The Kacheek pulled out the list of Sulli's New Year's resolutions. "It's too late to stop her from donating, and she's probably already found two other Neopians to compliment by now..." Tarra scanned the list. "But I think we might be able to do something about this one..."

Author: cookybananas324
Date: Jan 4th
Cook dinner for the League of Neopian Goodwill Guild meeting.

Everyone has weaknesses and flaws, even those who think they're a cut above the rest, the cream of the crop. Nobody's perfect, after all. Some weaknesses can be debilitating, others just annoying, embarrassing, or both. Needless to say, Sulli was no exception, despite her reputation as Miss Prim, Proper, Perfect, and Promptly Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions.

"Is she serious?" Min asked. "Sulli can't cook! At least, not by herself!"

"But that makes it so much easier!" Tarra explained and couldn't help smirking. "And that meeting is today, remember? Sulli's been talking about it ever since last year! A few hours is enough for us to plan and get the stuff we need to make sure she doesn't keep this resolution!"

The Gelert had nothing more to say; Tarra did have a point, after all. More than one, actually. And he did also want to knock that perfectionist Usul off her pedestal, even a few notches.

"All right, so what's the plan?"

"Let's discuss it on the way to the Marketplace. I know a place that's always stocked with Gross Food..."

* * *

That night, the two friends stole into Sulli's back garden. They ducked behind a big -- and, they couldn't help noticing, impeccably trimmed -- hedge, clutching the items they would need and going over their plot one last time.

"You know what to do, right, Min?"

Min nodded. "I take this Clacker and this drum to the front and make some noise. And while I keep Sulli busy, you take care of everything else that'll make sure her guild dinner doesn't push through."

The Kacheek squinted through the kitchen window, and was rewarded by the sight of Sulli tying her apron strings and gazing fondly at the bags of ingredients perched close by. "Hmmm...I think you can move now." She nudged him, and Min did as he was told, keeping his head (and of course, the rest of him) down so as not to be seen through the windows.

Tended with much diligence and dedication, the shrubs surrounding Sulli's house burgeoned into great verdant hiding places that concealed Min perfectly as he dashed forward. He thought he bumped into something that didn't feel like a plant at all, but he was too engrossed in making Sulli finally eat her words (or, rather, her resolutions) to care, especially as he reached the front garden.

But before he could burst out of the bushes and do his part, he felt something grab his ankle, and bit back a yell just in time.

"You think you're the only one trying to ruin that prissy little Usul's New Year's resolutions, huh..."

Author: precious_katuch14
Date: Jan 5th
The whispered voice crackled and hung upon the frosty air, surrounding the frightened Gelert like a shroud. Min gulped as his vivid imagination conjured up all sorts of monsters or creatures that now held him in their icy grip as he slowly looked down. He was fully ready to faint if the situation demanded him to do so.

He was almost disappointed to see it was only a Hissi who had wrapped his right wing around Min's expensive new boots. Frowning slightly, Min pulled his foot away almost sullenly. "Who are you?" he asked in a hushed tone.

The Hissi's smile grew; his eyes sparkling like a child gazing upon holiday presents. "A friend," he quickly replied. "Another who is annoyed by Miss Sulli's supposed perfection."

"Really?" Min asked, leaning closer. "I don't think I've seen you before."

The Hissi chuckled. "Oh, I've been here, but I didn't choose to be seen until now."

"What do you mean?" questioned Min.

"That isn't really important," came the quick reply. "But what is of utmost importance is to make sure the Usul fails for once. Do you not agree?"

"I guess so." Min's voice sounded far away in his own prominent ears. The Hissi's dark eyes seem to grow larger and larger with each passing second, like endless pools, and Min felt as if he was slowly falling into the inky water. Some vague part of his mind screamed that he was being hypnotised, but Gelert ignored it. For now, he could only hear the Hissi's ageless voice.

"It's all an act," the Hissi continued. "She's not really perfect, but she tries to make everyone think that she is. With every act she focuses all the attention on herself and her supposed accomplishments. Yet, why does she do this? Is she just trying to do actual good deeds and inadvertently makes others feel inferior? No. This is no accident. She just pretends to be good. Doing good deeds just to make yourself look good is rather hypocritical. Correct?"

Min nodded. All of this sounded so good, like some ancient forgotten melody twirling in his head. "What should we do?" he managed to ask.

The Hissi handed him a phial of dark tinted glass. "Put this in the food she is preparing," he instructed, "and her true self will be revealed. Return to the back of the house, and I will create the distraction for you." With those words, he left, and suddenly the spell was shattered like a fragile glass flower. For a brief moment, Min thought it may have only been a dream, but the phial he held was real. Quickly, he hurried back to where Tarra was hiding.

***

Inside the kitchen, a happy scene was being played out as Sulli put together a delicious-looking dish with the help of a cookbook. Tarra moaned inwardly as she continued to wait for Min's distraction. The Gelert had slipped around the corner of the Neohome some time ago, but Tarra hadn't heard him make a sound. To make matters worse, it looked like Sulli was finishing up in the kitchen. If she didn't act soon, her plan would be ruined.

Biting her lip, she tried to think of how she could sneak into the kitchen to add the special ingredient she had bought when suddenly Min appeared beside her.

She gasped in surprise, but anger quickly took its place.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed. "I thought you were going to create a distraction. Don't you remember the plan?"

Min almost looked hurt as he looked at the Kacheek. "I met someone who wanted to help and he gave me this." He held up the phial, which sparkled in the moonlight. "He's going to create the distraction for us."

"What?" Tarra asked. "Who gave that to you?"

"I don't know his name," Min admitted, looking more than a bit surprised as the admission tumbled out of him.

"What?" Tarra repeated.

Before anymore could be said, a horrible noise suddenly ripped through the night like a lightning bolt cutting through a clear blue sky. Sulli jumped and quickly ran from the kitchen -- no doubt to inspect what had caused such a terrible noise.

To Tarra's surprise, Min was already on the move. The Gelert stealthily slid open a window and crept into the now empty kitchen. Opening the phial, he tilted it over the kettle of food Sulli had been preparing, and two or three drops of a noxious black substance dripped out. A tiny puff of smoke rose and circled about the kettle briefly like a dark wreath, but it disappeared quickly. Hurriedly, Min left the kitchen the same way he had entered.

Sulli soon reappeared, shaking her head as if in confusion. However, she didn't seem to notice her pristine kitchen had been momentarily invaded, as she immediately made her way to the pot and stirred. The moment of truth had arrived as she took a small bite to see how it tasted.

Her smile seemed to indicate it tasted rather well.

Tarra shook her head as tears of frustration formed in her eyes. "Why didn't you let me add the Gross Food?" she asked, turning toward Min.

The Gelert was standing a few feet away from her, staring into a darkened part of the garden. He appeared frozen, as his eyes never wavered, but she couldn't see anything in the spot where he stared.

Suddenly, a strange noise from Sulli's kitchen captured her attention. She turned and saw...

Author: tj_wagner
Date: Jan 5th
...a pleased, perfect smile on Sulli's face. It seemed the noise from the kitchen had been a squeal of happiness. Just great, Tarra thought. Min's potion did nothing.

"Speaking of Min..." she murmured to herself. She turned to see the Gelert in the same state of shock, staring at the same dark spot.

Walking up to him, she whispered, "What were you thinking? That dumb potion isn't doing anything! We should have just gone--"

Her rant was cut short by Min's grabbing her arm and dragging her out of Sulli's property quickly.

"What are you doing?" she asked, the curves of her mouth turning downward into an annoyed frown. "We didn't even do anything to Sulli!"

"Oh, we did something all right," the Gelert told her, the strange edge to his voice beginning to scare Tarra.

"But where are we going?" Tarra questioned.

"League of Neopian Goodwill Guild," he answered. "We need to crash that meeting."

***

Sulli smiled as she looked at the members of the League of Neopian Goodwill. They were all thoroughly enjoying the dinner before the meeting, and that made her extremely satisfied. She knew she wasn't much of a cook, but it seemed that she had pulled it off and pulled it off well.

All that was left was what she considered her best dish, a savoury soup. When she had tasted it in her kitchen, she had realised that it was better than she could have ever dreamed. It was everything she tasted in her favourite foods, all combined into one great dish. It was simply the perfect soup.

Passing out pre-poured bowls, Sulli grinned as the members began to eat it...

Author: newmoon653
Date: Jan 6th
Sulli watched as the guild members ate her soup, each of them dishing out compliments at how delicious it was. She took a minute before she settled back into her own seat, a bowl of soup sitting squarely before her. The Usul reached down to pick up her spoon, but as she did she was distracted by a loud knocking on the front door.

Sighing, the Usul cast her gaze over the table. Not a single seat was empty, meaning every guild member was already present. Sulli stood to answer the door, and none of the other guild members rose to stop her. It was almost as if they were too engrossed in their meals to even hear the knocking.

As Sulli approached the door the knocking grew louder and the Usul grew more irritated.

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Sulli yelled as she entered the next room and reached for the door knob.

Turning the key and removing the chain, Sulli opened the door a crack to see outside. She was thoroughly surprised to see Tarra and Min, two pets that she was well aware had never been interested in her guild's activities.

"What do you want?" Sulli said casually, her eyes set on the horrified look on Tarra's face. "And whatever is the matter? You look as if you've seen a ghost..."

"I haven't, but Min has," Tarra replied hurriedly, pushing her way past the Usul and into the building. "I'll explain later, just tell me you haven't already served your soup."

Crossing her arms in annoyance, Sulli rounded on Tarra and Min, who had now joined the Kacheek inside.

"You have, haven't you?" Min gasped, a paw fluttering to his mouth in horror at what he'd done.

"I have, and so what? Everyone's been saying it was the best soup they've ever had." Sulli spat, her anger growing at this unexpected visit. "You guys come here spouting nonsense about ghosts and my soup... let's just say you better have a good reason."

"Oh, we do, believe me," Tarra murmured, taking a step further into the room. "I'm sure you've heard of Voidberries, am I right?"

Sulli nodded, her face still in an angry scowl. "Of course I have, Voidberries are absolutely positively delicious."

"Yes, well, it's true that Voidberries are indeed one of the most delicious berries around but..." Min trailed off, trying to think of what to say next.

"...Voidberry Potion isn't quite as nice," Tarra finished for the Gelert, her eyes surveying the building.

"Well, duh. That potion couldn't possibly be delicious at all; it's a Battledome weapon on par with the famous Prickly Potion," Sulli retorted, pulling at the strings of her apron. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a dinner to return to."

Sulli turned her back on the two pets, her tail bobbing as she strode back to the dinner. Tarra glanced at Min and he nodded. The two followed, but before they could reach the next room a scream from Sulli told them that what they'd expected had already happened...

Author: sadinei
Date: Jan 6th
Min and Tarra raced into the dinner room. The sight they expected to see shocked them anyway. After all, it wasn't exactly every day you see 23 Neopets stumbling around a room, chanting under their breath in unison and looking ever so... void.

Sulli turned to face Min and Tarra, the scowl on her face a moment ago now replaced with terror. "What in Neopia have the two of you done?!"

Tarra and Min glanced at each other guiltily.

"You see-"

"We didn't mean for this to-"

"You always follow all your resolutions-"

"We didn't know it was Voidberry Potion, honest-"

"We just wanted to-"

"We're sorry..."

Tarra trailed off.

A moment of silence. "Wait a second... you guys fed Voidberry Potion to my guild members just so that I would break one of my New Year's resolutions?" Sulli caught on quickly in disbelief.

The Gelert and Kacheek hung their heads in shame, realising that the blunt way Sulli put it made what they'd done sound so reckless and foolish. And that was just an understatement.

"Well, congratulations, because turning my whole guild into half zombies was definitely not on my New Year's resolution list," Sulli snapped.

"Trust me. It wasn't on ours either." Min glimpsed into the dining hall, which was now a mess, with chairs knocked over and the dinner Sulli had worked so hard on strewn all over the floor.

"So what are we going to do now?!" Sully shrilled.

"Hold on. I have an idea." Tarra dug through her Gross Food bag until she found what she was looking for.

"A Brain wrap? How's that going to help?"

All the Neopets who were under the trance now faced the yellow Kacheek and slowly made their way toward her and the Gross Food she had in her paws.

Tarra smiled. "And I know just where to take them..."

Author: lil_sugar_mint
Date: Jan 7th
"Where are you going to take my guild members?" Sulli asked in shock.

"You'll see. Follow me, guys!" Tarra called out to the half-zombies, even though she knew that they couldn't really understand her.

"Come on, come here!" Tarra said in a high-pitched voice, as if she were talking to a baby.

"They aren't babies, they're under a spell. You don't have to talk to them like that," Min said quietly, reading Sulli's mind.

Slowly but surely they made their way out the door and into Neopia, the sun setting on the horizon.

***

Eventually, after what seemed like a long period of time but what may have only been fifteen minutes, Tarra had led them all to the Haunted Woods. The sun was now long gone, Kreludor climbing slowly toward the topmost point in the sky.

"Where are we going?" Sulli asked impatiently. Her half-zombie guild members walked really slowly, or so it seemed, and she was getting fed up of having to walk at a Slorg's pace.

"We're going to Neovia," Min answered quietly, walking at a slower pace than he had been only moments ago.

"But, why Neovia?" Sulli asked, weaving around a tree that found its way into her path.

"You'll see," Tarra said for the second time today, holding the Brain Wrap out in front of her and keeping ahead of the guild members, looking backward from time to time so she knew where she was going.

Sulli reluctantly followed, crossing her arms and turning her already frowning lips into an even bigger frown.

***

"Just a little bit longer."

"Please, just stop for a second and tell me where we're going! Please!"

"You are so impatient. Just wait."

With that sentence, Sulli ran toward Tarra, which surprised the Kacheek enough that she froze in place. Sulli grabbed the Brain Wrap from Tarra's paws and ran in the opposite direction of where they were going.

"Where are we going? How is this going to help them?" Sulli had now stopped a bit away from the members, waiting till they had gotten closer to start backing up.

"Fine, we'll tell you. We're going to..."

Author: spirit_wolf589
Date: Jan 7th
"Eliv Thade's castle," Tarra said. "He's the master of all riddles. We thought that he would know the answer to this one."

"Eliv Thade is crazy!" Sulli yelled in desperation as the half-zombies advanced toward her. "He can't solve riddles anymore! He's out of his mind and you want to take these poor, defenceless half-zombies there?!"

One swiped at her Brain Wrap, and Sulli scrambled for a tree and they clawed at the trunk, trying to climb up.

"Oh, they're so 'defenceless'," Min said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

"Eliv Thade may be crazy," Tarra admitted, "but he's still a genius. We're going to Eliv Thade, and we're going to write down his algorithms and we will figure out how to uncurse these forsaken."

Sulli looked down at the half-zombies and back at Tarra and Min. "Fine," she said reluctantly, throwing the Brain Wrap back to Tarra. "Let's go."

***

Eliv Thade's castle loomed up, big and ominous. It was late, the sun had set and the stars were starting to wink down at them.

"Are you sure we couldn't have held off these half-zombies for another night?" Min asked, gulping, his voice coming out as a squeak.

"No. We have to go in now. This is our fault and we're going to fix this." Tarra's mind was set and Min could see there was no budging her.

"Excuse me, genius." They looked back at Sulli's petulant expression. "Eliv Thade's castle is a riddle in itself; how are we going to find him, exactly?"

"Well..." Tarra hadn't thought of that. "Gilly made it through, and she was alone. There are three of us -- actually, a whole lot more, but they're half-zombies -- and we're not dim-witted, so... I think we have a shot."

"'A shot'?" the Usul asked incredulously. "Fine. You lead the way."

The walls were lined with cobwebs and dust, blank squares where paintings that had hung for many years had been taken off. There were pictures of Eliv Thade when he was young and with some supposed family ("As if Eliv Thade ever had family," Tarra scoffed).

They walked along a hall, Sulli trailing her left hand against the wall absently, as if she were in a maze, when abruptly the hallway came to an end, a door closed. Light shone out from under the crack. Then, very slowly, it started to creak open...

Author: buds_and_authors
Date: Jan 8th
"Waht do yuo wnat?" a voice hissed from behind the door.

The room was as dusty and full of cobwebs as the rest of the castle, but a single ancient desk sat in the centre of the room with a clean, black swivel chair out-of-place behind it. More ancient paintings lined the walls, this time portraits of Neopians long passed. The paintings' eyes seemed to follow the three friends as they entered, the zombie-like guild members close behind them.

Suddenly the swivel chair swung around, revealing a small Kacheek, fingers locked together in front of him. It was the infamous Eliv Thade.

"I cna't sya I hvae bnee epixtecng yuo," Eliv Thade said with an evil grin stretched across his face, the Brain Wrap in Tarra's paws catching his eye. "Btu I ese yuo hvae boruhgt deninr."

"See, he is crazy," Sulli whispered to Min. "Whatever is an 'epixtecng' or a 'deninr'?"

"Eliv Thade speaks in anagrams," Min replied in whisper, a pen and notepad deftly pulled from his pocket. "See, if we re-arrange the letters in 'deninr' we get 'dinner'."

"Oh great, Mr. Thade, we three are in need of your help," Tarra exclaimed, her paws together in a pleading gesture as she faced the famed villain. "These pets have accidentally been fed Voidberry Elixir, and we need your help to turn them back."

Eliv Thade cackled from his seat, a look of pleasure at the pets' predicament in his eyes.

"So yuo wnat ym hlep?" Eliv laughed, standing and approaching the smaller Kacheek. "Taht cemos ta a pcire."

"He says 'that comes at a price'," Min whispered to Tarra as he quickly deciphered Eliv's message on his notepad.

"Oh, a price?" Tarra said, waving the Brain Wrap as she racked her brain. She didn't have any Neopoints on her...

Watching Eliv Thade's eyes as she waggled the Brain Wrap, Tarra had an idea.

"Are you hungry?" she asked, holding out the Brain Wrap.

"Stranvig," Elix replied, snatching the wrap from Tarra.

Suddenly all the guild members' eyes snapped onto Eliv instead. They no longer moved, their eyes glazed over, drool falling from their mouths.

"I wlil tlel yuo hwo to creu tehm," Eliv announced as he licked the last of the wrap from his lips. "Fsirt yuo msut..."

Eliv was interrupted by the door to the room slamming open once more, another figure entering.

"Who's there?" asked Sulli, her voice shaky.

The figure did not answer, pausing for a moment in the shadows where none of the pets could recognise him.

Tarra took a step toward the figure and saw a flash of ghostly green in the shadows.

"It's you!" Min exclaimed from behind Tarra. "This is all your fault!"

The ghost Hissi stepped from the shadows, his evil laughter echoing around the room as Eliv Thade's had just minutes before.

"That's not entirely true," the Hissi said, holding a phial up in the air. "If you hadn't put this Voidberry Potion in the Usul's soup, then none of this would have happened."

Min's face flushed red. What the Hissi said was right.

"Waht's ginog no hree?" Eliv Thade exclaimed loudly, but no-one heard him.

The attention of the three pets was firmly on the Hissi, his whispery figure flashing from bright to dull in an eerie manner.

"Thank you for making this zombie army for me, Min," the Hissi said, reaching to pat the Gelert on the back. His wing passed straight through Min instead. "I couldn't have done this without you."

The Hissi turned to Eliv Thade, floating through Tarra to get to the other Kacheek.

"Now you, your time is over," the Hissi declared, stopping at the desk. "Neopia doesn't need any more failed villains like you, they need more like me."

The Hissi held the phial up again before clipping it to a chain around his neck. Suddenly all the guild members stopped their incessant moaning and drooling, their attention firmly on the ghost Hissi.

"Now, my lovelies, for my name is Liandon the master of the Voidberry zombies, attack!"

All the zombies lurched into motion, arms outstretched in traditional zombie-style as they began chasing Tarra, Sulli, Min, and Eliv around the room.

"This is terrible!" moaned Sulli, her paws sore as the pounded on the cobbled floor, running from her guild members.

"I agree. I'm sorry, Sulli!"

Tarra shot a quick glance behind her. Eliv was not far behind, trailing after him an Eyrie and Skeith with huge snapping jaws.

"I'll sitll tlel yuo hwo ot sotp tehm," he puffed as he came level with Tarra. "Ot trun tehm bcak ot nroaml yuo nede ot dsetroy teh suocre fo tehir zoimbefcitatoin."

"I have no idea what you just said!" Tarra moaned in exasperation, the Eyrie and Skeith quickly gaining on the two Kacheeks.

"Luckily for you, I heard every word and I have the gist of what he said," huffed Min as he joined them from the opposite direction, a rabid Kyrii zombie hot on his tail. "We need to destroy the Voidberry Potion to reverse its effects."

"But Liandon has the potion around his neck! How are we supposed to get it?"

From the corner of her eye, Sulli caught a glance of the ghost Hissi, but not before an idea struck her.

"Liandon is a ghost, but the potion is a solid!" the Usul exclaimed. "We can pass through him to get it!"

"Seh's rghit," Eliv said, his voice faint from all the running.

"We're almost out of the castle," Tarra said. "Once we get outside, it should be easier to get at Liandon. Here's my plan..."

As the four pets reached the giant front doors, Min turned around, as per Tarra's plan.

"Are you sure this will work?" he gasped as the horde of guild members gained on him.

The Gelert dodged them to the left, rounding the zombies from the side as they continued to follow the other three. He could now see Liandon, the ghost Hissi floating behind the last of the zombies.

"There, there, my pretties, there's much more food out here anyway."

Much to Min's luck, Liandon hadn't even noticed the Gelert's approach. With a quick leap over a Grarrl, Min found himself face to face with the Hissi.

"It's time to end this!" Min shouted.

It was difficult to see in the darkness, but the ghost Hissi stood out easily with his eerie green glow. Liandon laughed.

"How do you think you're going to stop me?" he asked, floating down to eye level with the Gelert. "You fell quite easily for my plan before."

"Yeah, but it seems you're a lot sillier now," Min whispered, the Voidberry Potion well within his grasp.

Min took a quick step foward, and before Liandon could even tell what was happening the Gelert had run straight through him, snatching the potion as he went through.

"No!" Liandon screeched as the zombies all came to a halt and turned.

"Oh yes," replied Min as he threw the potion to the ground.

***

"I'm so glad that's over," sighed Sulli, her face solemn as she looked at her two friends. "But I still can't believe you two did that just to get at me!"

"We'll admit we did something wrong," murmured Tarra, her face mirroring Sulli's. "But... so did you, in a way."

The three pets were back at Sulli's house, all three troubled by the day's events.

"What did I do?" Sulli said loudly, a flash of anger on her face. "You two just wanted to ruin my resolutions! You guys never keep them, I always do -- I'm perfect in that way..."

"Sulli, stop!" Min exclaimed, taking the Usul's paws in his own. "It's just that that you did wrong; you always do the things on your resolution list for the wrong reasons."

"What do you mean?" Sulli asked, tears pricking the corners of her eyes.

"We mean that... even though some of your resolutions are aimed at helping others, you don't do it to help them. You only do it to make yourself look good," Tarra whispered.

"I... well... I guess you could be right," Sulli sighed, wiping her eyes with her sleeves as she looked at the framed lists around her lounge room. "These are all worthless now; they used to mean so much."

Sulli stood, reached up to the lists, and pulled each one down as Tarra and Min watched. Once she had all of them down, she proceeded into the kitchen, where she placed them all in the bin. Brushing her paws together she returned to the lounge.

"I'm sorry, guys. If I hadn't have been acting so perfect, you wouldn't have tried to sabotage my dinner."

"It's all right; we were still wrong to do so," said Min. "At least it's all over now."

Sulli nodded, pulling something from behind her back.

"I... before all this happened, I got you guys something."

Sulli revealed a brown paper bag from behind her back, and from it she pulled out a sugar-coated doughnut and a black leather jacket.

"Happy Year 12, guys," Sulli said, and the three embraced.

This was going to be the best year ever, even if it hadn't started out so well.

The End

Author: sadinei
Date: Jan 8th



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