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||You are on Week 708
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 Seven Hundred Eight Ends Friday, November 6
|"Catch this thief, they said. It'll be easy, they said."
Echo muttered into the darkness as he walked the empty streets of Shenkuu. He swore he saw the thief run the streets. There was no way he could have disappeared. Echo knew he was faster than him. If he could easily run faster than the thief, then how did he lose him?
The spotted Kougra should have never taken this job. The Defenders of Neopia said it would be an easy job. This was far from easy. Echo had some choice words for them when he finally caught the thief he was after. Next time the Defenders said that a job would be easy, Echo wouldn't believe them.
Now where could that thief be? Echo thought to himself. I know I saw him turn here...
He looked around the dark streets of Shenkuu one more time before he decided to call it quits for the night. Not even the street lights were on. Echo could see in the pure darkness pretty well, but he still couldn't find a sign of the thief. He knew that thief got away from him and there was no way to follow him now.
Echo thought all about how he let the thief get away while he walked back to the cave he was staying in. The cave wasn't very big, but it was big enough to accommodate a Neopet. There was a pile of leaves to sleep on. That was enough for Echo.
The Kougra let out a sigh and sat on the pile of leaves he had been sleeping on for the last three days. Something crunched under his weight. It wasn't the leaves. Echo stood back up to see a now crumpled piece of paper on the leaves. He picked it up and read the paper. It read...
Date: Nov 2nd
"I know you are trying to find me these past few days. But everything is not how it might seem to be..." Echo's eyes widened as he took in the the first few words, which were carelessly scribbled on the piece of paper.
"Don't tell me this is from the thief?" Echo thought out loud.
Frowning, he tilted the piece of paper to catch the low light cast by the moon hanging above, and continued to read on.
"I am actually not the thief you are looking for. Someone is trying to pin the blame on me. Come to the Shenkuu Lunar Temple the moment the sun rises, and we will discuss more. For our safety, please do not tell anyone about this."
Echo gasped. Was that why the Defenders of Neopia thought it would be easy finding the thief - because they actually had their eyes on the wrong person?
He slowly sat back down. What should he do now? Echo's futile efforts to find the thief over the past three days had rendered him almost helpless in his mission. After pondering over his available options, Echo finally made the decision to follow up on this mysterious lead and see where it will take him...
Date: Nov 3rd
Echo's decision to take the writing at face value wavered a bit the next morning, as he woke an hour before sunrise. After all - the Defenders rarely made mistakes when it came to identifying a criminal. Still, it wouldn't hurt to check out the lead - just in case - and as long as some precautions were made to keep him from walking into a trap.
Gathering several handfuls of the dried leaves he had used as his bedding the night before, Echo stuffed them into his knapsack and headed for the Temple, slipping silently from the cave.
Echo arrived at the Lunar temple just as the first thin line of light crossed the horizon. As he suspected, the Temple was empty, since the moon had long since set, and really, what use was a Lunar Temple in the daylight?
Keeping to the shadows as much as possible, Echo spread the leaves around the Temple floor, silently apologizing to whichever poor priest would have to clean up the mess once it was discovered. Once the task was complete, he slipped back out as stealthily as he arrived, before backtracking a bit so it would look like he was arriving to the Temple at first light.
As the first rays of sunlight hit the peak of the Lunar Temple, Echo walked up the path to meet the author of the note, listening closely for the rustle and crunch of leaves that would indicate where the unknown writer was coming from.
Echo reached the bottom step of the Temple just as the expected sound reached his ears... but wait - It was coming from two opposite directions...
Date: Nov 4th
..."Is he the Neopet we're looking for?"
Two female voices surrounded him. Echo didn't let his guard down, even though he knew the thief was male. He looked on the opposite sides to see who was talking.
On Echo's left he saw a shadow Kacheek. By the way she was walking, he knew she had an attitude. On his right was a shadow Korbat - Echo could only infer that she was a friend of the Kacheek's. While the Korbat didn't show an attitude like the Kacheek, a serious feeling was coming from her.
"Excuse me, but could you tell me what you're doing here?" the Korbat kindly asked.
Echo hesitated a response. He couldn't tell them the whole reason why he was here, so the Kougra said, "I'm just waiting for someone."
"Who?" the Kacheek quickly asked as soon as he finished. It was as if she knew why he was here.
"Janet, calm down," the Korbat said.
"Jane, you know there's more to the story." The Kacheek - Janet, the Korbat happened to say - seemed to be a little rude, even to what seems to be a friend.
"I just got a note saying to be here," Echo said as he took out the sheet of paper. He was determined to say nothing more.
The Korbat known as Jane took the paper out of his hand and examined it to a similar sheet. Echo turned to the Kacheek as she did this.
"Janet, right?" Echo asked. "What did you mean by, 'Is he the Neopet we're after?' Are you looking for someone?"
She looked over at Jane, who looked up and gave her a brief nod. "The name's Janet, correct," she began. "Jane and I are detectives, looking for a thief here. We were sent a note to meet here." Janet crossed her arms. "How about you?"
"Echo." The spotted Kougra glanced at Jane. "Defender, looking for a thief."
Jane looked up from the papers and said, "These were sent by the same Neopet. The handwriting is the same." She handed Echo back the paper. "I assume you didn't send it, then who did?"
As soon as the Korbat finished her question, another set of rustling of leaves was heard...
Date: Nov 5th
But no one could be seen.
The three of them looked to each other and then to where the sound was coming from, but they couldn't make out anyone who could have been moving about.
"Well, nice to see everyone has made it."
Now that was surprising. There was a new voice now, but no one was speaking. Janet and Jane looked towards each other, before the Kacheek spoke up.
"Who and where are you?"
"You can call me Darius, though that's not my real name." The voice said, "And I'm right in front of you. I'm just painted invisible, that's all."
Echo raised an eyebrow. An invisible pet? That seemed a bit suspicious.
"So are you the one that brought us here?" Echo said.
"That I am." Darius replied, "And since all of you got my notes, I can begin. For starters, I'll get this out of the way. I am a thief by trade, but I'm also not the one that you're looking for. Someone new has come to Shenkuu and has tried to take my identity. So, I've decided to make myself invisible and help you all catch him...."
Date: Nov 5th
Echo barked a laugh before he could stop himself. He couldn't help it; the thief's reasoning sounded so ridiculous to him.
Janet shot a look at the Kougra who quickly stifled his laughter. "Okay," Janet said once Echo was quiet, "how can we know whether you're telling us the truth?"
"What reason would I have to lie?" asked the disembodied voice.
"Hmmm, I don't know," Janet said sarcastically. "Maybe you're trying to throw us off the trail and you really ARE the thief?"
"Don't be silly, Janet," Jane said soothingly to her friend. "If he really was the thief, it would be foolish of him to reveal that information. I mean, he's invisible, right? He could have just remained hidden, but instead he came to us. I think he's telling the truth."
Janet rolled her eyes at her gullible friend. Jane could be too trusting for her own good sometimes, Janet knew, but she had to admit that Jane's reasoning was solid.
Echo had been silently observing the pair's exchange, and he took Janet's lack of response as acquiescence. He decided to take charge.
"For the sake of argument, Darius, let's say we trust you," Echo said. "I assume since you gathered us all here that you have some sort of plan?"
"Of course," Darius said smoothly. "A thief always has a plan. And a backup plan, and a backup for the backup..."
"Yeah, alright, we get it," Janet snapped. "You make plans. So let's hear this particular amazing plan."
"First of all," Darius said, "we're going to need...
Date: Nov 6th
Echo, ever the skeptic, glanced from the piece of paper in his hand and back up to the NeoHome that stood in front of him. It was tattered, the paint peeling off the walls, glass smashed out of the windows, and the door hung ajar. It was impossible to believe that anybody could be inhabiting this place, but Darius had given him the address and told him to go speak to the Lupe who resided there. Meanwhile, the invisible Neopet had sent the girls to locate a few necessities to "catch their prey" as he so morbidly put it. What was it again they were after? Echo wondered. Right. Ingredients for some sort of potion they were going to have to make. What did that have to do with ANYTHING? The Kougra shook his head, frustrated with himself for ever believing Darius.
So, here goes nothing, Echo thought, shaking his head as he climbed the creaky, rotted wood stairs to the door. "Hello?" His voice cracked as he spoke, fear beginning to get the best of him. What if this was all a plot to capture him? Darius could easily be the thief that the Defenders had sent him to retrieve, and whomever lived in this rundown Shenkuu home could be waiting in the shadows to pounce and finish him off.
A cold breeze blew past Echo, causing him to shiver, and then to jump. The strong gust of wind had blown the door open further, and now Echo could see past the shadows and into the house. What little furniture there was had been ripped to shreds by someone - or something - big, and angry.
"I knew it, I knew this was a trick." Echo whispered to himself, turning to leave the house. It was a distraction set by Darius, and now the invisible Neopet was probably halfway across Neopia! "Darn!" Echo exclaimed, kicking the rotted door behind him.
Suddenly, a noise could be heard from within the house. Echo froze, mid-step, and turned his head slowly as a low growl emanated from within the home...
Date: Nov 9th
Echo turned with a gulp. Behind him stood a large mutant Lupe who did not look please to see Echo inside his dwelling.
“Darius!” the hulking beast snarled at Echo. Echo was taken aback, why would he think he was Darius?
“I’m not Darius,” the Kougra said as he turned around slowly to face the Lupe.
“Don’t lie to me. A Kougra doesn’t change his stripes,” the Lupe stalked over to him, giving Echo the once over, “Or in your case spots!”
The Lupe reached for Echo but the Kougra dove out of the way. Moving behind a turned over table, the pair was on edge; the Lupe ready to leap and the Kougra to dodge.
“Stop,” Echo said pulling out his Defender’s badge, “I am Echo of the Defenders of Neopia. Darius said that the local thief terrorizing Shenkuu was located in this dwelling. I came here to investigate.”
The Lupe paused, and then scoffed. “Figures!” Turning away from Echo, he said to himself, “That little fiend! Framing me up like this!”
Echo became curious, and asked the Lupe, “Why don’t you tell me what happened?”
“Darius and I were a thieving duo. He is a Kougra of a different color as we liked to joke. He will take on whatever color necessary to complete a job. We found out the Defenders were on our tails a few weeks ago, that’s when he did this,” The Lupe gestured to his mutated body, “He figured the transmogrification would drive me mad… and he was nearly right. Now he’s setting me up to take the fall for both of us!”
The pieces started to fall into place for Echo. That was why he had such a hard time chasing the thief around Shenkuu, there had been two of them! He narrowed his eyes at the Lupe.
“I’m afraid, I’ll have to bring you in,” he said pocketing his badge, “but maybe you could help me catch Darius. Do you know where his hideout is?”
With a smirk, the Lupe said, “Oh I know where he is. He’s…”
Date: Nov 9th
"Hiding inside a cave. It's located at Tyrannian Plateau." The Lupe continued still smirking. "I can lead you there."
Echo frowned a little. He was unsure whether to trust this Lupe. He had been part of a thieving duo with someone he'd been chasing for weeks!
"I can go alone." Echo reassured him. "I think I know what you're talking about."
The Lupe muttered something that Echo didn't catch. Then spoke louder.
"Now, now. Don't be like that. You need to bring me in anyway."
Echo saw him nodding to the badge.
"I'll come willingly if you let me come. But if you don't..."
The Lupe bared white teeth.
"I'll put up a strong fight."
Echo considered for a second. He didn't want to fight the Lupe. But taking him would also leave the chance of an ambush. He sighed and bowed his head.
"Fine, show me the way."
The Lupe grinned widely. "I knew you'd make the right choice. By the way, my name is Fang."
Fang led Echo out of the old Neohome and towards the land of Tyrannian. Echo kept a close eye on him and growled at any sudden movement. They were at the busy jungle of Tyrannia when Fang stopped and looked down.
"Stop being paranoid, I won't hurt you." Fang laughed a little. He stopped as a small bush rustled and a fire Wocky leaped out, growling heavily.
"Who are you?! And what are you doing here?!" ...
Date: Nov 10th
...Echo jumped at the sudden appearance of the fire Wocky. He hid behind Fang in fear. Fang, however, was much more calm. He didn't flinch at him jumping at them. In fact, he smiled a little.
"All we are doing is taking a walk through the jungle," Fang said in a placid tone. The Lupe took a step to the Wocky, who took another step to them. "Is that a problem?"
"Yes, a big problem. Outsiders aren't allowed here," the Wocky informed in a serious though less angry tone. "You're not the first ones to even trespass today. A Kacheek and Korbat were seen here earlier today."
A Kacheek and Korbat? Echo thought to himself. Janet and Jane!
"We didn't mean to cause any trouble," Echo said, trying not to sound scared.
The Wocky crossed his arms. "The main issue is that there's a thief going around and I got stuck with finding him."
It was then that Echo got an idea. "Maybe we could work out a deal." The spotted Kougra walked out from behind Fang. "There's a chance that this thief is the same thief we're after. Maybe if we could work together, we could catch him." He extended a paw, implying that he wanted a handshake. "How about it?"
The Wocky looked at his paw, then suddenly shook it. His grip was firm, almost to the point in hurting Echo. "You two can help me, but there's one thing you need to know first..."
Date: Nov 11th
“That dude was last seen with the thief."
Echo's expression remained perfectly calm. "I know. He's helping me. Do you have a problem with that?" He folded his arms in a confident manner.
"Uh... I guess not. You can pass now, if you want." The Wocky seemed stunned and how the news didn't surprise Echo.The mutant Lupe and spotted Kougra, who seemed an odd pair to any passers-by, continued walking as if nothing had happened. Echo tried to shrug off his former fear. Fang's face was impossible to read.
They both kept trekking through the jungle, the only sound coming from them being the occasional snap of a twig.
Soon enough, Echo started panting heavily.
"Sorry... I'm not used to long walks."
Fang seemed to think nothing of the comment; he simply sat against a tree trunk and motioned for his partner to follow.
Once the pair had rested, they continued their walk.
Echo now felt comfortable to talk to Fang, chatting away, trying to find out more about Darius. Fang's answers were as short and brief as possible. He didn't seem to like talking about his past life. He was 'turning over a new leaf,' as he's described it.
Fang stooped short. Echo wasn't prepared for that and accidentally bumped into him.
"Sorry." He called out.
"Shhhh!" Hissed Fang. "We're here..."
Date: Nov 12th
The Lupe shot Echo a surprised look. Darius, it seemed, was not working alone.
From within the cave Echo could clearly make out Janet, who held a transmogrification potion up to her face, examining it with a smirk.
"That nosey Kougra won't know what hit him! If he makes it past that beastly Lupe -- he'll be joining the mutant club!" she exclaimed.
Hidden within the shadows, Jane let out a sigh.
"I have a bad feeling about dragging the Defender into this," the Korbat whispered...
Date: Nov 13th
Echo turned to Fang with his mouth agape. Why must I keep making this rookie mistakes- thought Echo. He began to back away from Fang when a twig snapped beneath his feet. The sound reverberated in the cave’s entrance. Holding his breath he looked up to see all eyes on him.
“Darius!” hissed Janet, as her and Jane skulked toward Echo and Fang. Echo’s panic ceased for a moment. Had they called him Darius, what was with everyone confusing the two of them?
Jane outpaced her friend, and shrieked at Echo, “We will get you for sending us into that swamp mess! I had to pull Janet out of quicksand because of you! We were almost both sucked in!”
“Girls,” Echo gulped, “I’m not Darius!”
Janet paused as she uncorked the transmogrification potion. “You lie! We saw this mutant Lupe and you scheming together weeks ago when we first caught your trail!” She motioned to the Lupe, “We started on you after you and the Lupe stole all our journals and log books you nosey thief! There was private information in there!”
“YOU READ MY DIARY!” shrieked Jane. Echo turned to see the beastly Lupe look… sheepish? Was he blushing.
Echo thought back, these crimes seemed odd, especially mixed with the items the thieves had stolen: flower bouquets, gourmet foods, baskets, blankets, candles… why had the duo stolen the girl’s diaries?
He heard someone approaching from behind whistling a happy tune. Turning around Echo spotted a shadow Kougra carrying a picnic basket and some flower bouquets. This disarray of characters was becoming weirder by the second until he heard the three others yell in unison.
The shadow Kougra stopped in his tracks. His fur flattened and his eyes went wide. His gaze darted between Jane, Janet, Fang and Echo. Echo could feel the trio next to him start for the Kougra so he jumped in front of Darius and looked pointedly at Fang.
“Tell me what is going on here!” The spotted Kougra was exasperated.
Fang snarled then sighed, “Fine, let’s get this out in the open. Darius and I saw Jane and Janet a few weeks ago. We decided we wanted to take the girls out, somewhere special, you know? But we didn’t know where… we’ve been a thieving duo for a long time and it was his hair-brained idea to steal their diaries to figure out what they’d like to do.” The Lupe pointed towards Darius, then ran his paw over his jaw, “We found out they always wanted to go to Tyrannia and have a picnic… so we thought we would get all the supplies and ask them.”
Darius butted in, “Until this guy pulled a rookie mistake and left his mask at their house when we took the diaries. Jane and Janet have been hot on our tail ever since, how were we suppose to ask them on the picnic when they’re so mad! But I was determined to hang out with these lovely ladies.” He cast a wink in Jane’s direction. Echo just gaped some more.
“We wanted revenge, not a picnic!” Janet’s fists curled at her side. The tension was palpable in her body. “Then you showed up,” she said turning toward Echo, “How were we going to get that when you were already on their case? We had already left the transmogrification potion for Fang; we just needed to get one to Darius!”
Jane muttered under her breath in a huff, “Nosey Kougra…”
Fang did a double take, and asked Darius, “You didn’t give me the potion?”
Darius shook his head, “Why would I do that? We were still on Plan B, remember? Getting them here through the notes!”
Fang’s anger seemed to disappear and he went to hug his partner.
Echo pulled his original note out of his pocket. Examining the notebook paper, he saw in the upper left corner an indent which looked to read ‘Dear Diary’, was this all real?
“Okay, so the girls are responsible for the transmogrification,” Jane and Janet nodded at Echo, “The crime spree was all to set up a picnic?” Echo arched his brow at Fang and Darius. Fang and Darius both looked away sheepishly, Fang gnawing on his lower lip. The things he encountered on this job, Echo shook his head at the absurdity and pulled out his cuffs.
“I’m sorry boys, but it’s time to answer for your crimes. You’re going to Defender’s Headquarters with me,” Echo stated in his authoritative tone. He grabbed Darius and Fang by the arms and turned them away from the cave.
“Wait!” Janet entreated, “Could we maybe keep the picnic basket?”
Echo reached inside, pulling out a Chokato Apple. “Sorry girls,” he said, “its evidence.”
Date: Nov 16th
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