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||You are on Week 553
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 Five Hundred Fifty Two Ends Friday, April 27
|Trigg had always considered herself to have the perfect job. The hum of the printing presses, the smell of paper fresh from the recycling plant -- working at the office of The Neopian Times was a dream come true for a champion reader like herself. She even got the first copy, hot off the press each time a new issue came out!
Today, though, life was not quite so perfect.
"Spellcheck!" the white Gelert shouted as the Griefer scuttled along the top shelves, dancing around behind precariously balanced bottles of ink. "Get down from there."
Spellcheck gave a vicious, synthesized giggle and kicked an ink bottle out into space.
Trigg caught it, but someone hadn't screwed the lid on properly when they'd put it away. She yelped as the round flask tipped in her hands and splattered ink all over her face and chest.
She snarled, staggering backwards and accidentally dropping the bottle as she tried to find some cleaning wipes. Fumbling around, she heard more and more things fall to the floor as her boss' Petpet laughed.
"Spellcheck, when I get done with you--"
The Gelert found the box and nearly ripped off the lid before wiping her face off with a moist cloth. Wiping off her paws next revealed that the ink had already stained.
"I knew I shoulda listened when Mom told me to paint myself shadow," she groaned, and then went to work cleaning up the mess. Thankfully, nothing else major had spread, but...
There was a box of very old newspapers that had been knocked over by either her or Spellcheck. Trigg picked up the top copy, her eyes instantly drawn to the spotted Gelert on the cover.
"HEIRESS TO THADE FORTUNE MISSING!"
Facinated, she began to read...
Date: Apr 23rd
..."As reported yesterday," the article stated, "famed puzzle enthusiast Eliv Thade has finally passed on, after several years of suffering from madness. Thade's servants had all left his employ, and the Kacheek is only known to have one living relative, former beauty queen Arikara Sunsong."
Trigg gasped out loud. Arikara Sunsong was the name of her great-grandmother. She'd never gotten to meet her, but her mother often told stories of her incredible beauty and claimed that she'd won every single Beauty Contest that she had ever entered. She also said that artists from all over Neopia had come by just to paint her. She never knew that she was somehow involved with Eliv Thade!
Trigg continued reading. "Unfortunately, no one has been able to contact Miss Sunsong since the passing of Eliv Thade. As such, there is no one to inherit the famed puzzle master's grand fortune."
"That's right," Trigg thought. "Great-grandma suddenly vanished one day, and was never heard from again."
The article continued on, saying that the inheritance would remain open until claimed, and that if anyone had any information about the location of Arikara Sunsong that they should report to the proper legal authorities immediately at Wocky and Co. Law Offices. Trigg's eyes widened -- if this was true, then she would be next in line to inherit Thade's fortune.
What a story that would be for The Neopian Times! "Long-Lost Heiress To Thade Fortune Found Working At Neopian Times!" the headline would read, with her smiling as she claimed the Thade fortune below.
Her mind was set. She quickly scribbled a note to her boss saying that she had a hot scoop on a big story and would finish her assignments when she was back, and then headed out of The Neopian Times' office with the old paper folded under her arms.
Things seemed to be slow at the law offices of Wocky and Co. when she arrived there. There was a bored-looking Ruki at the front desk leafing through a magazine and chewing bubble gum.
"Excuse me," Trigg said. "I'm here to see whoever is in charge of the office?"
The Ruki rolled her eyes. "Mr. Greene's office is the 2nd door to the right," she said in a disinterested tone.
"Thanks..." Trigg said, making a mental note to leave the Ruki out of her story as she went down the hallway to the second door on the right.
The door was open, and inside a blue Wocky looked to be deep in thought and writing on a few papers.
"Mr. Greene?" Trigg asked.
"That's me," the Wocky said, looking up from his paperwork with a cheerful look on his face, "I know it doesn't fit, but Greene's my name. Please, have a seat... now, what can I do for you?"
Trigg smiled and sat down across the desk. She then showed Greene the old newspaper. "I found this just a bit ago. Arikara Sunsong is my great-grandmother, and it said to come here to claim the inheritance."
The cheerful look on the Wocky's face suddenly turned to horror. "Oh no..." he said softly. "This is bad... this is really bad..."
Date: Apr 23rd
..."Sorry," Trigg said with a frown, taken aback by the Wocky’s sudden change in demeanor, "but why exactly is that bad?"
Mr. Greene wrung his paws together. "Well, you see, I..." he stammered, nervously shuffling the papers on his desk. "No one was supposed to actually respond to the article," he muttered.
"Wait, the inheritance is mine, isn't it?" Trigg asked incredulously, visions of Faerie Paint Brushes slowly ebbing from her mind.
"What? Oh yes, yes, of course. I suppose that, as the only available heir to the lineage, you have every right to it."
Trigg beamed. "Fantastic, then." She suddenly saw herself printing out the latest edition of the Times with her beaming face plastered across the front page. She'd even give a shoutout to Mr. Greene. "So, when do I get it?" she asked, looking eagerly over his desk as if expecting to see a large bag of Neopoints hidden under the pile of papers.
"Well, see... that's where we run into a bit of a pickle," the Wocky said, grinning guiltily. "The article never actually stated that we had the inheritance. It simply said that it would remain open until someone claimed it."
"Okay," Trigg said, frowning once again. "Well, if you don't have it, then who does?"
"Why, it's still at the castle, my dear. As you might imagine, the authorities were a bit... hesitant to retrieve it."
"Oh," Trigg murmured. "Well, I'll just have to go and get it, then." She then stood up to leave.
"Wait!" the Wocky spluttered. "You can't just go traipsing up to Eliv Thade’s castle alone!"
"I'm not," Trigg countered, giving Mr. Greene a stern look. "You're coming with me..."
Date: Apr 24th
...They found themselves standing at the gates of the enormous castle. Trigg gazed up at the gloomy residence and shivered at the thought of going inside.
Beside her, Mr. Greene looked around nervously, as if expecting the ghost of Thade to appear at any moment. "H-here's the map we found on Eliv Thade," he said, handing her a scrawny map with a trembling paw.
"Thanks," Trigg replied, carefully unrolling it to discover all of the castle's rooms scribbled on it.
After carefully studying the map, the Gelert shoved it into her pocket and gingerly pushed open the gate. It swung open creakily, startling Mr. Greene and making him jump.
They then cautiously stepped over the cobbles and stopped at the massive oak front door.
"Do we need a key?" Trigg whispered, turning to face Mr. Greene.
"Er, yes," he spluttered, fumbling in his pockets and pulling out a small golden key. Placing it into the keyhole, he had to turn it several times before finally opening the door. It swung open eerily to reveal a cobweb-covered front hall.
"Ladies first," Greene whispered, staring at Trigg expectantly.
Now that Trigg was actually standing there, she started to have second thoughts. Her mind flashed back to several editions of the Times she'd worked on, their front pages depicting a smiling Neopet with a headline featuring some variation on the phrase "Thade Castle Disappearance."
There had been several cases in the past when someone had tried to traipse into the castle and take the priceless artifacts -- to no avail. What would she find inside, skeletons? What if the inheritence had already been taken and no one knew?
What if she fell victim to the same fate as those in the previous stories, and found herself appearing on the front cover of The Neopian Times?
All that being said, she knew it was worth a shot. If there was even a chance that she'd be able to escape that troublesome Spellcheck's antics and live a luxurious life, then she was determined to seize it.
Trigg slowly walked into the deserted house. Looking around, she noticed several doors surrounding the large staircase that she was standing in front of.
Taking out her map, the Gelert searched for some sort of "X," just like the ones found on treasure maps. She didn't see any, however.
Mr. Greene seemed to have read her mind. "Nobody knows where the inheritence is hidden," he said. "I guess you'll just have to search for it."
Trigg sighed. "Great!" she then murmured sarcastically, placing the map back into her pocket.
Without wanting to waste a second, she immediately strolled toward one of the wooden doors surrounding the stairs and tugged it open...
Date: Apr 24th
...Trigg then entered a huge library. As soon as she stepped in, various torches around the room suddenly lit themselves.
Mr. Greene started to tremble. "D-Don't you think that was sort of creepy?" he whispered.
Trigg tried to put on a brave face and shrug it off, but it was to no avail. She was clearly as scared as he was; ever since entering the castle she'd felt a bit jumpy.
Something in the corner of the room started to glow. The young Gerlert slowly crept over, in fear that something dangerous would occur.
After taking a good long look at the glowing diagram Trigg realized that it was a family tree, and at the very bottom -- glowing the brightest -- was her name.
"I-I guess this proves you actually are related," the Wocky said as he looked over her shoulders.
"Come on," Trigg sighed. "The books might have some clues."
She walked over to the nearest book shelf and picked up an old faded book. The book had probably been rather beautiful in the past, but the years had clearly dulled the colors of its leather bindings.
Trigg flipped through a few pages and scanned the writing. The book appeared to be a journal of some sort, but its spidery handwriting wasn't of any language that the Gerlert knew.
As she turned to return the book, a cream-colored envelope slipped out. She paused and picked it up, flipping it over to the front.
"To my future heirs & heiresses..."
That must be me, I guess, Trigg thought as she started to open the envelope.
"Have you found anything yet?" the Wocky piped up from a few shelves ahead.
"N-Nothing yet," Trigg lied. "Come on, let's go look in the other rooms."
She quickly pocketed the envelope and walked back into the corridors...
Date: Apr 25th
..."Nothing yet, you say?" Mr. Greene asked, peering thoughtfully at the other doors. "Should we try another one?"
"Yeah, sure," Trigg said, wondering how she could get some time alone without having to ask for it. "How about we split up? That way, we can cover twice as much ground as we would if we walked together..."
"Isn't that dangerous, though?"
"I don't think Eliv Thade -- or his castle -- would hurt his last living descendant," she pointed out. "We'll be fine."
Looking a bit uncertain, Mr. Greene took the door on the left, while Trigg headed down the other one. The second she was inside, the Gelert slammed the door and whipped out the letter, tearing its flap open.
The lettering at the top was done in black ink, its words handwritten.
"The Last Will and Testament of Eliv Thade..."
She scanned the paper eagerly, searching for the clause that said where he had left his treasures. Too engrossed by the will, she hardly paid any attention to the room that she had just entered...
Date: Apr 25th
..."Ot ym ufeurt rihnterio," Trigg read aloud, merely furrowing her brow in confusion. "What?!? This makes no sense at all."
"To my future inheritor."
Trigg almost jumped out of her skin at the sound of the eerie voice that had just spoken. She looked up for once, surveying the room she had eagerly rushed into.
It was dim, just as the rest of the castle had been, with shelves of books lining every wall -- save for where the fireplace was, burning bright even now. A small chair lay before it, rocking, facing away from Trigg.
"Y-you can understand this?" Trigg spluttered. "Who are you?"
Trigg was sure she knew the answer, but the voice did not reply. Instead, the chair kept on rocking back and forth.
"Maybe you can help me?" Trigg pleaded. "This letter, the words are all scrambled and nonsensical, but it's important that I understand it!"
The room was quiet for a moment, the crackling of the fire enveloping the silence, until the voice erupted in a wicked cackle. Trigg couldn't help but flinch at the sound.
"To think that someone like you would be my sole heir!" the voice hissed. "Unable to solve such a simple, mindless puzzle. That letter was a test -- one you failed miserably. You're unfit to inherit the fortune."
"That's not fair, not at all!" Trigg declared, her voice trembling both out of anger and fear. "I've been making my way through this castle to try and find it; you can't just cast me off!"
The chair came to a halt. "Is that so?" the voice asked.
Trigg gulped. "Y-Yes. I can show you that I'm fit to be the heir, I know it."
"Very well, then. You may have my all of my fortune and more." The source of the voice rose from the chair, revealing its form to Trigg with a maniacal smile. "First, though, you must pass my final test. One suited only for a Thade..."
Date: Apr 26th
...Although Trigg had expected the voice to belong to Eliv Thade, her face still paled when she saw his hideous form. Shivering from sudden fright, she managed to blurt out, "Alright, w-what's the test?"
The Kacheek smiled, showing a row of yellowed, uneven teeth; his eyes seemed to glow as he hissed, "Well, well. I wonder if you really can pass this test of mine." Before going on, he let out a sudden cackle that made Trigg jump, which only caused him to continue laughing.
Finally settling down, Eliv Thade looked directly at Trigg and continued. "This... test of mine will commence now." With that, he snapped his fingers, and the sound echoed throughout the room.
Trigg yelped in surprise as she seemed to be sucked into a black hole that was only filled with the empty void of Eliv Thade's evil laughter. However, the chilling feeling of being transported soon passed, and Trigg cautiously opened one eye to see where she was.
She gaped at the sight of the large, tomb-like chamber she was in, but was quickly interrupted by another strident chortle.
"Do you like the crypt, my dear?"
This time, Eliv Thade was nowhere to be seen, but his voice resounded throughout the stone room. Suddenly, a dim light shone at the end of the room, and Trigg gasped as she saw Mr. Greene tied with ropes to a large rock.
The Gelert tried to rush over, but found that she could not move. "Y-You monster! Let Mr. Greene go! He hasn't done anything wrong!" she snarled.
Trigg only received an ominous chuckle in response, followed by, "Let the game begin..."
Date: Apr 26th
...With that, four large doorways opened around the chamber, each one with a glow at the other end. The doorway behind Trigg was glowing white; the one behind Mr. Greene was black, and the two on either side were shining in different shades of yellow.
"Your first test," Eliv Thade's voice boomed,"is to find the right direction to go." Trigg then heard another finger snap, followed by Mr. Greene suddenly disappearing through the floor. "Your Wocky friend will be on the other side," Thade declared, and then a harsh laughter filled the room.
"T-That's it?" Trigg stammered, now terrified. "I just pick one? But that's random! It's not fair!"
There was yet another ominous chuckle. "Foolish little Neopet," the ghost Kacheek whispered, the sound so close that it could have been in her ear. "How can you claim to be a Thade when you don't even consider the possibilities..." The voice trailed off, leaving the frightened Gelert to wonder what he'd meant.
Finally, shaking, Trigg started walking toward the black tunnel. After all, she thought nervously, this is an evil ghost's game.
A sudden noise stopped her in her tracks. "Trigg! Help me, Trigg! I'm down this tunnel!" It was Mr. Greene! The sound was coming from the darker of the two yellow doorways, to her right.
Trigg started toward that tunnel, but was halted once more as another voice amplified throughout the chamber from the white tunnel. "NOOO!!! Trigg, DON'T FALL FOR IT! I'm down THIS tunnel!!!"
"Wh-what?!? Where?" Trigg now realized that this was a trick. After all, Thade was famous for his riddles, so maybe this shouting game was some sort of riddle.
"O-Okay, I get it," she shouted back at the continuing cries for help. Before she could say more, however, the two other doorways erupted with screams that begged for her to come down their path.
"Oh..." Trigg turned on the spot, trying to find some difference in the doorways that she could use to find Mr. Greene. The screams were getting louder, though, blocking out everything. She could hardly think...
Date: Apr 27th
...Trigg's mind started to become a jumbled mess of screams and pleading as Mr. Green's voice seemed to beg from each dark pathway. Growing scared and impatient, she screamed out "Stop!" Her heart pounding, Trigg faced each doorway for a brief moment before closing her eyes and thinking.
"How can I know where the real Mr. Greene is?"
While the Gelert continued to puzzle over the solution, the shouts began coming in from the entrances once more. However, Trigg stomped her foot on the hard floor, and the echoes quieted the desperate voices once more.
With a confident smile on her face for the first time since entering this house, Trigg asked, "What type of Neopet is your secretary, Mr. Greene? I'll go down the path that says the correct name first."
Only a brief pause passed before the black doorway yelled out, "Well, of course she's a Shoyru! Don't you remember, Tri--?"
The first voice was cut off by one from the doorway with the glow of sunlight. "Don't be ridiculous. Of course she's a Hissi!"
The third voice finally came in with a, "She's a Chia, for Fyora's sake!"
Only the voice from the white doorway behind Trigg remained silent while the others argued. Then, in a small voice that Trigg could barely hear, he said, "She's a Ruki. Her name is Ms. Lively, and she likes to chew gum."
Her face breaking into a smile, Trigg ignored all of the other voices and raced toward the white doorway. She opened the door and rushed through.
The doorway led to outside, where Mr. Greene had already been untied and he stood while rubbing the painful rope marks. His face stretched out to a gigantic grin as he saw Trigg coming toward him.
The two stood together after they had been reunited and listened to Eliv Thade's voice floating out from an open window. "I let you go this time, since you were clever enough to figure out the puzzle. Don't think I will be so merciful if you decide to come back..." With that, the window suddenly snapped shut and the two Neopets were finally at peace.
Trigg turned toward Mr. Greene and said, "I'm sorry for bringing you, but it is a shame that I never received the inheritance." She said this with a bitter smile at the memory of having met Eliv Thade. She shivered as she continued, saying, "Well, I wouldn't want that maniac's treasure anyway..."
Mr. Greene said nothing, and Trigg could see that he had forgiven her already. The Gelert took his hand and exclaimed, "Let's go! I want to show you the place where I work! Who knows if you might need to know something about the place..." And so the two went, leaving the dilapidated castle behind them.
Date: Apr 27th
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