Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
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||You are on Week 623
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 Six Hundred Twenty Three Ends Friday, September 13
|Maevin staggered through the door laden with the weight of a dozen bags. Her chest heaved from carrying the packages up several flights of stairs. The Techo kicked the door shut with her hind leg and took a deep breath. She was happy to be home.
She set one of the bags on an end table. It was a deep gold paper with the letters NC emblazoned in a rich blue script slashed across each side. She took the rest of the bags into the kitchen and began putting the contents away. Maevin had spent the day shopping in Neopia Central, mostly buying household necessities. She quickly finished putting the last few contents in the pantry.
The Techo brushed her hands across the front of her skirt and hurried back into the living room. She then grabbed her prized bag. It was the only thing she'd splurged on while shopping. Maevin plopped into a cushy chair and folded her legs underneath her. She placed the bag on the floor in front of her and reached down for the single item inside.
She pulled out the Mystery Capsule with a flourish and inspected it. She'd chosen to buy the Discovery of Wobbleshire capsule. They'd all looked enticing, but something about the bright shapes floating around on the inside had really sparked the Techo's interest in this particular one. She was excited to see if she won a Limited Edition item.
Maevin anxiously turned the lid to open it. She twisted fiercely to the left but it wouldn't budge. The capsule seemed to be stuck. She took a deep breath and twisted it again, using her shirt sleeve. This time it gave with a loud pop.
She looked inside with anticipation and found... nothing. It's empty? she thought, confused. The Techo pulled the capsule closer to her face and squinted, peering down and seeing a tiny glint at the very bottom. She reached her paw down and felt around inside.
All of a sudden an invisible forced grabbed a hold of her paw. She tried to pull it out but couldn't. The hold was too strong. She felt herself being drawn in. The capsule was vacuuming her up. She disappeared inside, then felt herself land with a THUMP. She cautiously opened her eyes and found herself in...
Date: Sep 9th
...A house made entirely out of what appeared to be Pear Jelly.
Maevin blinked in confusion at the sight, turning around to see at all angles. She seemed to be the only Neopet inside of the house at the moment, but she knew that could change quickly.
The floor felt wobbly and unstable as she bounced her way to the door, her feet getting stuck to the jelly more than once. She struggled with the door for a moment as the doorknob stuck to her grip, keeping her from being able to turn it properly.
The door eventually swung open, and Maevin stepped out into the nearly-blinding sunlight. Her eyes finally adjusted as she realized that she was on top of a tall hill that overlooked a town made entirely from assorted flavors of jelly.
Her eyes went wide as she looked over at a Stone Jelly sign near the edge of the hill, which had been written on with what appeared to be Oil and Grease Jelly.
Maevin slowly walked over, hands shaking in surprise and fear, and reached out one hand. The Techo slowly ran it over the sign to make sure that what she was seeing was real.
Sure enough, the sign was actually (relatively) solid, so Maevin dropped her hand limply to her side and read what was written on it.
Welcome to Wobbleshire! Please don't eat the houses....
Date: Sep 9th
..."This can't be happening," Maevin proclaimed as she stumbled a few steps back. "I-I must be dreaming," she offered as an explanation. "I must've fallen asleep after running errands all day!"
"That's not very likely," a jolly voice bounced in from behind. Maevin spun around to see the cheery face of a translucent Poogle smiling back at her. "I mean, how often do you realize you're dreaming in a dream?" the Poogle continued.
"Ahhh!" Maevin screamed out in shock! "What the--"
"And if you're dreaming, then what does that make me?" the jelly Poogle rambled on. "Suppose you wake up right now... is that it for me?" he wondered with worry. "I always thought there was more to life."
"What... I mean... who are you?" Maevin rudely asked the Poogle.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the Poogle replied with a jiggle. "My name is Al. Welcome to Wobbleshire!"
Maevin's eyes widened as she realized the dream was very much a reality. "How is this possible?!?" the Techo shouted as she threw her arms in the air. "Everything is made of JELLY! This place defies the very laws of physics! How can a place like this possibly exist?!? I thought the whole "water tension" scandal was a stretch when water Neopets were discovered, but this... this is preposterous!" Maevin dropped her arms and stared at Al, expecting an explanation.
Al examined Maevin with curiosity, as many questions rose in his mind. "Are you a witch?" he asked.
"What?" Maevin scoffed. "No," she began as she crossed her arms, "I most certainly am not a witch."
"Well, you look like a witch," Al prodded, "and you talk like one, too."
Maevin gasped in disgust at the accusation. "Don't you know it's rude to go around accusing others of being a witch?"
"But you are a witch, aren't you?" Al insisted. "I saw you appear out of thin air in that house right there!"
"You saw that?" Maevin asked in surprise.
"Well, yeah," Al began, "nothing goes unseen in Wobbleshire. Everything is see-through. I wouldn't be surprised if someone else noticed you fall--"
"There are others?" Maevin interrupted. "Others, like me?"
As if in reply, shouts could be heard coming from the other side of the hill. "This way! I saw it sneaking around the Mayor's house!"...
Date: Sep 10th
...Al's expression darkened.
"Come on, we need to get you somewhere safe!" he said, grasping Maevin's arm lightly.
"Who are those folks, and why did they call me 'it'? I have a name!" she responded as Al picked up the pace he was walking at. Suddenly, a shout was heard.
"I think they went toward the Jelly Mountains!"
Maevin spun around just in time to see the last Neopet turn and follow the rest of the group, which was still shouting. Al and Maevin slowed to a stop.
"I think we lost them," Al said.
"Can you answer my question now?" Maevin said hurriedly.
"Yes, yes. Those Neopets that were just after us, they were Control Officers. They keep the peace here. A--"
"And why were they after us?" Maevin interrupted.
"I was getting to that. You see, they weren't after us, they were after you, and that's because you aren't like us. You aren't... you know, made of jelly."
Maevin took in this information.
"Why, exactly, is that so important?" she asked, becoming more curious.
"Because... if someone isn't jelly, then they have to be made jelly."
"So? To be honest, I sorta want a new colour! For free, too?!?"
"This isn't a joke. They don't make you jelly-coloured; you actually get turned into jelly. Forever. That's why you need to get out of here and, if you are a witch -- which I suspect you are -- the Mayor will definitely not be pleased."
"I'm not a--" Maevin's complaint was interrupted by...
Date: Sep 10th
...a large crack from behind them and the ground shifting suddenly underneath her feet.
“Get down,” Al shouted as he threw himself onto the squishy substance that this place called ground.
“What the –” Maevin started to question indignantly as another crack reverberated from behind them and the force beneath her feet was substantial enough to send her flying. “OUCH!”
“I did warn you,” Al muttered as she held on to the now moving jelly underneath her like her life depended on it. “Just be grateful the ground's soft.”
“What in all Neopia is going on!?” Maevin screeched indignantly.
“Jellyquake,” Al responded calmly, as if this kind of thing happened all the time.
“JELLYQUAKE!? How is that even possible!? Jelly doesn’t have enough substance to do this!” Everything Maevin knew about the natural order of things was being overturned and she wasn’t amazingly happy about it.
“Well, it’s happening, isn’t it?” Al pointed out reasonably. “Just stay low and you’ll be fine. It quiets down after a while.”
Maevin swallowed the sharp retort she’d been about to make. After all, Al was right. It was happening. It made no sense, but then again, none of this day so far made much sense. All she wanted was to curl up in her soft bed, wake up in the real world and know that none of this was real. But Al was determined he wasn’t a dream. And this... jellyquake didn’t feel all that dreamlike either.
But Al was correct; after several minutes of the jelly underneath her trying to buck her in all directions, the quake did indeed settle down and the violent shaking of the jelly settled down into what was more like a gentle tremble.
“You can get up now,” Al said as he got to his feet slowly.
Maevin wasn’t all that keen on moving anywhere on ground likely to explode around her at any moment, but couldn’t see many other options. Unless she wanted to be jellified. Which reminded her.
“What did you mean, I’d get turned into jelly? That’s physically impossible. You can’t turn flesh into jelly.”
Al just looked at her sadly and then raised his own arm into sight line.
“They can and they do. I was once like you,” he said wearily. “Well, I wasn’t a Techo, but I certainly wasn’t jelly. In fact I had one of the nicest paint jobs going. I was an MSP Poogle if you’ll believe. Highly sought after. But now...”
Maevin looked in horror at the jelly form in front of her.
“But that’s horrible!!” she exclaimed. “That goes against every law we have. They have no right to do that!”
Al smiled at her.
“That is the law here. If you aren’t jelly, then you don’t belong. It doesn’t matter what you want. That’s why you need to go back to where you came from. Before they find you.”
“But how do I get home?” Maevin asked helplessly.
“You’re a witch, aren’t you? Just use your powers.”
“For the last time! I AM NOT A WITCH! I don’t even know how I got here!” Maevin’s temper was becoming more and more frayed by the second.
“Ah. Well, that makes things more difficult.” Al stopped and looked up as if in sudden thought. “There’s only one person I can think of who might be able to help...”
Date: Sep 11th
..."Well, for Fyora's sake, tell me who it is!" Maevin shouted.
"Shhh," Al warned. "You don't want the control officers catching up to us." Maevin looked at Al apologetically, shaking her head no.
"The woman's name is Lanna Throth," Al explained. "She's been living in Wobbleshire longer than anybody, except she doesn't really live in the main part of town. She lives deep in Jelly Woods, so far in that you can't even see her house through the jelly trees."
"So, how does she help us with this?" Maevin asked, nervously glancing back at where the officers had just been.
"She possessed strong enough magic to turn Neopets into actual jelly. She taught the first members of the Control Officers, but I heard they weren't always called that. But when they became so corrupted that everyone who entered was deemed a witch and turned to jelly, Lanna despised what the Neopets did with her teachings, so she left the town. Rumor has it that she helps those who become lost in Wobbleshire, who are still hiding from the officers."
"That sure is a lovely story, but what happens if it isn't true?" Maevin asked, her voice heavy with doubt.
"Well, it's worth a try, isn't it?" Al said. He looked into the forest, his mind obviously distant. "Anything's better than being turned into jelly..."
Date: Sep 11th
..."We don't have much of a choice, do we?" Maevin inquired, secretly hoping that Al would tell her otherwise.
"No," Al said, grabbing Maevin's arm and charging straight into the dark, wobbly forest.
Jelly trees with jelly leaves and twigs were everywhere; it was almost impossible to even discern if they were heading straight or not. Maevin suspected that even Al himself had no idea where they were heading.
After what felt like hours of running to Maevin, she swiped Al's hand away. "Enough, Al! I've had enough of all this! Where are we going, Al? Do you even have any idea of how to that old hag's house?!?" Maevin shouted with her enlarged Techo eyes, which was usually enough to make any sane Neopet not mess with her.
Al looked surprised by Maevin's sudden outburst. "I was... just trying to help," he said, suddenly realising that he really did have no idea where Lanna Throth's house was.
"Sweet Fyora, I knew it! I knew it! You're just making matters worse! Living longer than anyone in this weird town?!? That old hag probably died long ago!" Maevin was just simply throwing her tantrums around; she was already tired from all of the shopping, and now found herself in a mess that she had no idea about.
While she was moping and kicking the jelly soil around in distress, she did not notice that a huge shadow was approaching her from behind.
"Erm, Maevin... I think we should..." Al stared at the figure as it was approaching; his legs were wobbling harder than they'd ever had since he turned jelly.
"Should what?" Maevin asked. The Techo looked up, saw Al's petrified face, and then slowly turned to face what Al was looking at...
Date: Sep 12th
...What Maevin saw was a mutated, Uni-like... thing. Her mouth formed an o as she stared at the creature in horrified awe. It didn't seem to be hostile, but Maevin took a few steps backwards just to be safe.
"Umm... are you going to hurt us?" she asked, preparing to run for her life. Al looked like he was, too. The creature looked up, and words seemed to descend from the sky, as if by magic.
"You are the first mortals in many, many years that have not turned foot and fled at the sight of me. Therefore, I shall reveal my true form to you both."
With those words, a light enveloped the form. Maevin blinked a few times and, when she opened her eyes, standing in front of her was a beautiful faerie Uni.
"I... I... who are you?" she said, stumbling over her words.
"I am Lanna, magician of Wobblyshire," she said with a curt bow.
"I know who you are, Maevin and Al." Maevin pouted for a moment, upset with Lanna for interrupting her, but then she remembered that she was there to help.
"Umm... Lanna? Do you know what to do, you know, to get me back home?" Lanna chuckled.
"Ahh... getting to the point, are we? Well then, let me tell you. Be warned, for the two tasks you must complete are very challenging. You must be completely sure that you want to do this."
"I've never been so sure of anything in my whole life," Maevin said. She was a bit worried, though. What if she couldn't complete the challenges? The Techo glanced over at Al. She had to do it, for him. Lanna stepped forward.
"Well, then. First, you must..."
Date: Sep 12th
"Are you sure this will work?" Maevin asked, her cheeks turning a shade of pink beneath a mask of jelly.
"Sure it will," Al responded with a hint of uncertainty in his voice, "but let's go over the walk one more time, okay?"
Maevin, covered from head to toe in jelly leaves plucked from the forest trees, began to walk back and forth in the wobbliest fashion she could. Al had suggested she put on a disguise, since they would need to go into town to complete the quest. She wouldn't pass inspection, but at a glance she'd fit right in.
The ground then suddenly began to shake violently. "What is that?" Maevin shrieked. "Another jellyquake?"
Al and Maevin held tightly to a nearby tree until the jelly tremors beneath them settled down. "That one felt far off," Al said, exhaling.
"How often do those happen, exactly?" Maevin asked, interrogating Al as if it were his fault.
"They didn't use to happen so much," Al began, "but lately they've been coming closer and closer together. Never have I witnessed two in just one day! Something isn't right."
"I told you," Maevin bragged, "you can't ignore the rules of physics. A place like this can't exist in stable conditions."
Al shook his head, then said, "I think there is more to it than what you say, but there isn't time to talk about that. Let's go over the instructions that Lana gave us."
"Right," Maevin agreed as she took out the shopping list she had used earlier that day and then again to write down the quest instructions. "It says here that we first need to sneak into the Mayor's house to steal the magic jelly that gives the control officers their power to turn things into jelly." She paused. "How do you suppose we'll do that? The Mayor's house was crawling with control officers when we left!"
"I can lead them away by causing some sort of distraction," Al offered, "and that should give you some time to sneak in and grab the magic jelly. You have to be quick, though!"
Maevin smirked, list held tightly in hand, and mentally prepared herself for the steal of her life. "Let's go shopping..."
Date: Sep 13th
...So far, the plan was working. Al wandered toward the control officers under the guise that he had discovered the solids' hiding place. All but one, presently guarding the Mayor's house, followed him.
Maevin, adopting an authoritative air, walked by the guard casually with no questions asked. Hurriedly, she searched around the premises and located a jelly labeled "Lanna's Spelly," which was under a translucent casing in the main hallway. She gently lifted the squishy box surrounding the even squishier pink jelly and snuck it under her pink camouflage. It blended in perfectly.
At a regular pace, she exited.
"You weren't in there for very long," the guard said to her on her way out.
"Er..." the Techo began as she spun around to face the Korbat. "I'm new here, and..."
"New?" the guard asked with a raised eyebrow. "No one is new around here."
"I meant... to the big city," the Techo continued hastily. "I come from the country."
The Korbat chuckled. "Ah... well, we jellies rule a quarter of this planet, so I suppose there's a good chance you might not have traversed here yet."
"Yeah." Hurriedly, Maevin walked away. A quarter of the planet? she thought. Something seemed peculiar.
Al had arranged for the two to meet at the Seismic Analysis wing of the Wobbleshire Knowledge Center -- it was here that the second object Lanna wanted could be found.
By the time Maevin arrived, Al was standing outside the grand facility, with the part in his hand.
"We'd better get out of here quick," he suggested anxiously. "This part was not easy to obtain." He lifted the jelly lever toward her head. "It came directly from the jellyquake observation machine, and... I think there are control officers coming."
Maevin turned around. Indeed, they were approaching. "We know you have the lever and the spelly," one of them shouted.
"Run," the Poogle said curtly.
Run they did.
The pair soon found Lanna's quaint country home in sight. However, the control officers were hot on their trail.
The Uni saw them approach, and quickly opened the door to let them in before sealing it with magic.
The control officers pounded on her door. "Lanna, you're the only non-Jelly we allow on our land, and only because you really helped us out in the war of Y2 after our official discovery."
"That was only in an attempt to facilitate peace between you and those who tried to eat you -- I didn't intend for you to expand your republic and turn a fourth of the planet into jelly!" she shouted back.
Maevin just stared at her.
Lanna turned toward the two and retrieved the items. "In my hands I possess the spelly and the lever controlling the jellyquake observation machine -- the only instrument between this nation's jiggly-life or splitting end. I have the power to generate a jellyquake so massive that the entire Republic of Wobbleshire will crumble... and you have no means with which to stop me. Without the spelly, you are powerless. So, I suggest you listen to my demands."
The Uni turned and winked at the Techo.
The leader of the control officers sighed audibly. "Fine, Lanna, you win. What do you want?"
In the end, safe passage was guaranteed for Maevin and the now MSP Poogle -- with the spelly, Lanna was able to return Al to his original state. Lanna saw the two off, and followed them to the border.
"This is it," the faerie Uni announced as the three -- followed by a small crowd of control officers -- approached the sign with a jelly skull and crossbones reading, "Any solid who crosses this land will be jellified on-site forever."
"You did well," the Uni continued. "But, I just helped in the end. The rest was totally you two."
Maevin went up and hugged the spell-caster, and finally Al.
"I don't care if you're a witch," the Poogle started, "I like you regardless." He grinned at her.
She smiled back.
The two crossed the line, shouting goodbyes to their Uni saviour.
The pair then made the long traverse toward Neopia Central.
Along the way, Maevin explained the whole capsule mix-up and how she actually got to Wobbleshire. Al gave her the address to his Neohome and told her to come and visit him in her universe, provided that he existed.
Passing the Techo's building, she waved bye to her new friend. Entering the door, she ran up several flights of stairs and entered her room.
There she was. "Maevin!" she shouted to her counterpart.
"What?!?" the Techo inquired, totally baffled as she held the opened "Non-Discovery of Wobbleshire" mystery capsule in her arms.
"I can't let you do that, Maevin."
"Okay." Parallel Maevin handed it over.
Maevin reached her hand inside and found nothing. All of a sudden an invisible force grabbed hold of her and vacuumed her up. She disappeared inside, ready and waiting to return home....
Date: Sep 13th
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