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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 727
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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, May 6

The thing about living in Faerieland, thought Bea, was that everything was just so…
Perfect.
Perfect weather. (The sun always seemed to be shining. Even when it rained, they were merely sun showers.)
Perfect people. (Even the Dark Faeries were polite and sweet.)
Perfect aesthetic. (Fluffy white clouds, indigo and violet buildings towering above the emerald canopy.)

Everything was perfect. Perfectly boring.

Bea sighed. She knew it seemed ungrateful. Most Plushie Scorhio’s of her age would fly to Kreludor and back for the kind of life she enjoyed. Living in Neopia’s most perfect realm. She even had a prestigious job, collecting Neopoints from the eager, ever-perfect line of Neopets anxious to spin the Wheel of Excitement.

And yet… Bea felt there was nothing exciting about it all. She smiled wearily and greeted the next customer.

“Welcome to the Wheel of Excitement! If you want to progress and help the Light Faerie give the wheel a spin, that will be 500 Neopoints.”

One by one, the customers eagerly handed over the cash. Neopets of all species, all colours. Nobody wanted to miss out on a spin. The lovely Light Faerie who ran the attraction was perfect as well. Her smile never faltered, even when Poogles or Chia’s were too short to reach the wheel.

“Welcome to the Wheel of Excitement! If you want to progress and help the Light Faerie give the wheel a spin, that will be 500 Neopoints.”

Another 500 Neopoints. Then another customer. Another. This might as well have been the Wheel of Monotony.

How had it come to this? Bea pondered the question as she collected bags of 500 Neopoints. Never more, never less. She had dreamed of exciting adventures, of taking arms with the Sway, or exploring the mining company on Kreludor. Of solving the mysteries of Mystery Island, or risking the freezing peaks of Terror Mountain.

“Welcome to the Wheel…”

She paused, glancing down as the customer pressed the usual fee into her paw. No… Not the usual fee. This was heavier. Colder. Bea’s eyes widened slowly, glancing at the object that rested in her hand…

Author: sordid
Date: May 2nd
...It was an emerald crystal. Bea gasped.

"Ye look surprised," came the female voice. "But I always pay for me transactions in bullion or gems. Can't be using the central bank after all. "

The Scorchio looked up to see none other than Hannah the Usul adventurer. Bea blushed -- Hannah had always been something of an idol to Bea. Hannah was never bored. Hannah wasn't stuck taking Neopoints at a wheel that might as well be stuck with the "Monotonous" label as well. Hannah actually did exciting things and saw exciting things and was exciting and--

"Ye look a l'il wide-eyed there, friend," the Usul commented with a lopsided smile. "Never saw me in the flesh before?"

Oh Fyora she had called her "friend". "Er... no," Bea could only stutter. "Er... I do believe this is sufficient for you to spin the wheel. Go on ahead, Hannah."

Hannah took a good spin of the wheel and it landed on the Magical Item Space.

The Light Faerie appeared and gave the Usul a Green Uni Morphing Potion, before again disappearing in a puff of light.

The potion was immediately thrust into Bea's arms. "Here," the Usul commanded, "drink this."

Bea's eyes widened. "Er... sure..." Was this actually happening? What was happening? She uncorked the bottle and--

Hannah giggled. "Silly Scorchio, don't give up your plush color for something so basic as green." She rubbed her chin contemplatively. "But ye seem... yearning for adventure. And oddly subservient."

Bea smiled. "That's me in a nutshell."

"Look," the Usul started, "I'm in Faerieland for something of a... quest. Not for a faerie. For me... faction. I need a young helper though, and you seem perfect for the job..."

Author: rielcz
Date: May 3rd
Bea stared at Hannah, surprise written all over her features. "A quest?"

The Usul smiled. "Yes. Are you up for an adventure?"

The Scorchio nodded enthusiastically. How had Hannah, her idol, found her just when she was bored out of her mind? "What... what is your quest?"

Hannah smiled and walked a few paces away, beckoning the Scorchio closer. Bea looked back at the Wheel of Excitement. Someone else could take care of that, she decided, and went over to Hannah.

"Well, ye see, I'm trying to find someone. He's a sneaky fellow, and he knows who I am. No matter where I go, as soon as I find him, he disappears again." The Usul pointed to Bea. "That's where you'll come in. I need someone he doesn’t know and won’t recognize at first glance."

Bea could not help but think Hannah might be disappointed. "I'm not exactly the most sneaky... or quiet. I don't think I could... spy?" Was that what Hannah was asking her to do?

Hannah laughed. "That's quite all right. You won't actually be spying. It won't matter if he sees you, so long as he doesn't see me."

"Well, all right then," the Scorchio agreed with a nervous grin. She was going on an adventure! She clasped her hands together. "Who are we supposed to be finding?"

Hannah smirked at Bea's fidgeting. "Do ye know Hanso?" Bea's eyes widened. "He's taken something very important from me..."

Author: warriorsrock965
Date: May 3rd
Bea’s eyes widened, and Hannah released a hearty chuckle. It seemed the Usul was enjoying her shock. Perhaps she found it amusing.

“If ye be scared, I can always find someone else, y’know.”

Bea shook her head, firmly and quickly. How many hours had she stood at the wheel as it spun, longing for adventure she thought had long passed her by? Now the chance was standing in front of her, tossing its long hair and waiting impatiently.

“No! I mean… Yes. I know who Hanso is. Everyone does. I can sneak up on him. But…” She trailed off, unsure. Hannah looked a little irritated.

“But what?”

Bea inhaled slowly. She must be careful not to test the Usul’s patience.

“I just wondered what I do when I find him.”

Hannah laughed, throwing back her long, cascading hair and smirking.

“Be ye daft, Scorchio? Y’ know, you steal it right back from him!”

Bea smiled slowly. She had longed for adventure. Now she was being handed the chance to hunt down and steal from Neopia’s most infamous thief. No way was this chance passing her by. A grin lit up her plushie features and she almost shook with excitement.

“I’ll do it! I’m in!”

Hannah grinned, slapping her on the back with a hefty swing. The Usul apparently wasn’t as delicate as her dainty form suggested.

“There ya go! Last I heard, he’s hanging around the Healing Springs. Nursing his most recent wounds, would be me guess.”

Bea nodded, facing the Usul with a determined look. “I’m on it. What am I looking for?” She was imagining great treasure. Perhaps sapphires, plundered from a pirate ship, or gold snatched from the National Neopian in a daring daylight robbery. Hannah smirked, as if reading her mind.

“Harness in ye daydreams, kiddo. Not riches or treasure!”

Bea looked puzzled. What else was worth stealing? As she picked up her small backpack, she looked at Hannah expectantly.

The Usul paused, leaning in, the whisper that drifted from her lips low and secretive.

“The thing he’s stolen, child... It happens to be..."

Author: sordid
Date: May 4th
“...a box.”

Bea smiled eagerly. “Like a wooden chest? Old and weathered and protecting a vast amount of gold coins?” Bea liked the idea of treasure hunting. She wondered how she would look wearing a brown leather vest just like Hannah’s.

“Do ye have cotton in yer ears?” Hannah said, shaking her head. “I said this be no riches. The box is small and grey. ‘Bout the size of me palm.”

“How did Hanso take it from you?” Bea asked curiously, hoping to gain some inadvertent advice on the art of thievery.

Hannah shook her head. “He must have been followin’ me for some time. Nicked it right from me pocket!”

Well that was no use. Bea looked at her floppy padded fingers and knew there’d be no stealth to her hands.

“There it is,” Hannah whispered, shaking Bea from her thoughts. “The Healing Springs. Over yonder. I can’t go too close, or Hanso will see me and sail.”

“How do you know Hanso hasn’t just sold the box already?” Bea asked Hannah.

“He knows it's valuable to me, and he don’t know how to open it,” Hannah quietly murmured. “If you could just get it back... well, I reckon you might just be the slickest thief I know.”

Bea couldn’t help but stand a little straighter upon hearing this. “Do you have any advice?” she asked.

Hannah sneered. “Aye. Don’t get caught...”

Author: treeword
Date: May 4th
Hanso was holding the box. Just sitting in the spring, trying to open it.

Bea was shaken up as she walked over to him. Just enough time had passed for her to calm her nerves as she sat next to him in the Healing Springs.

"Nice day for a dip, huh?" Bea asked.

"Yeah no kidding." he said, obviously trying to end the conversation short.

But Bea wasn't discouraged.

"What an interesting box you have there; it's not like any I've see before." She commented.

He seemed startled that Bea noticed his box. How (i)couldn't(/i) she, though. It was in plain sight, not hiding it or anything... or so she thought.

"How can you see the box?" he asked, almost angrily.

"What? You're holding it in plain sight." Bea explained, panicked. Almost like she screwed up.

"If you must know, one of the magical artifacts I stole made it so only *I* can see the box. So let me ask you again: How can you see the box?"

And Bea thought back. "He was right, Hannah certainly didn't see the box, how did I do it?"

Author: pinkhead388
Date: May 5th
"Uhh...well you see Hanso," Bea stumbled. "I was actually sent on a mission to warn you."

"What?" Hanso looked surprised, and a little suspicious.

"That box you stole from Hannah was actually stolen from the Shadow Usul who stole it from Edna."

"Fine - but what does that have to do with me?" Hanso asked.

"--Because it's cursed. Edna put a spell of protection on it in case anyone tried to steal it. Of course - when the Shadow Usul stole it, the curse paralyzed him and Hannah was able to move in and steal it back for Edna. Of course, Hannah didn't anticipate YOU stealing it."

"How do I know you're telling the truth?" Hanso said.

"Because I'm the one who can SEE it, d'uh!" Bea said confidently.

"Interesting..." Hanso muttered to himself. "Well if this took out the Shadow Usul," Hanso tossed the box back to me, "then I want no part of it."

"Smart choice," I said, trying to look all sophisticated and suave.

Hanso regarded me with a farewell glance as I strode off happily with the box in hand. "Well that was easy..."

But my joy didn't last long, for no sooner had the box come into my possession than it started to shake violently and suddenly...

Author: redken9x9
Date: May 5th
... the box slipped from her hands. Bea made a wild grab for it, but only managed to accidentally push the box further out of reach. Bea winced as the box fell into the stream that was running parallel to the path. Great. Just great.

It was a small consolation that the stream wasn't flowing very fast, and Bea managed to fish it out without much difficulty. Bea tried her best to dry it off, but the damage was obvious. At least the box was motionless again.

Bea was close to tears. She had the box, but managed to mess up anyway. Could she give this box back to Hannah, damaged as it was? She considered her options. First, she could give the box back as it was to Hannah, and hope that whatever was inside the box was ok. Second, she could tell Hannah that she failed to get the box. But she didn't want to lie, and she didn't want to fail her hero. Or...

She could open the box to check whether the item inside was undamaged, and hope that Hannah wasn't too attached to the box itself. But what if there was something inside that was meant to be kept locked away?

Bea wrestled with this dilemma for a few minutes, before making her decision...

Author: fireflower201
Date: May 6th
Bea steeled her plushie nerves, and yanked the lid open.

A sharp pain danced across her claws and Bea nearly dropped the box again, but held fast.

Dripping in all of its healing springs residue glory lay a sheathed dagger, intricate patterns trailing along the hilt. An emerald was embedded in the pommel.

Waves of guilt crashed over Bea but at this point her curiosity was too great for her to resist. It carried her into unsheathing the dagger and tilting it in the new sunshower. The dagger shimmered like gold, still wet from its time in the healing springs.

Bea hastily wiped the dagger on herself--she was made of cloth, after all--and eased it carefully back into its scabbard, then sponged up what she could of the water in the box before sliding the lid back on.

It was time.

***

The line for the Wheel of Excitement was much longer than usual.

"Here be the Wheel of Excitement! Only 500 Neopoints a spin! If ye want an autograph, that'll be a mere 50,000 Neopoints." Hannah gave the crowd a charismatic smile, and more than half of them swooned in response.

Bea chuckled. Only Hannah could do something like this.

"Hannah?" she called out, stepping around the line and ignoring the crowd staring daggers at her back.

Hannah abruptly stopped her spiel. “Ah, lass, it’s you!”

She waved everyone away from the Wheel with a flick of her paw and almost as if by magic, the line dispersed into a bubbling sea of disappointed murmurs.

“I’ve got the box back for you!” She chirped, her voice squeaking with nerves. Bea knew that she wasn’t supposed to open the box; not even Hannah had told her what was inside.

Hannah eyed Bea’s hands and frowned. "Why is there stuffing coming out of ye?" Her frown deepened into furrows. "Bless me, lass, Hanso didn't hurt ye, did he?"

Bea could already see revenge in Hannah’s eyes.

“No, actually…uh…the box has really sharp edges!” Bea finished lamely, her heart pounding too hard to tell her what a stupid excuse that was.

“Lass.”

“Hanso gave me back the box and I tricked him into it but then the box just started shaking all on its own and then it just jumped into the Healing Springs and I got it back and opened it up and cleaned the dagger because well I’m made of fabric but the box is here I got it back for you!” The Scorchio trembled despite her best efforts to not let her panic show. “I…I got it back for you,” She whimpered.

“I don’t blame you if you won’t trust me ever again,” Bea continued, lifting her gaze to stare Hannah in the face, “But it’s been an honor to go on a quest for you.” This was more of the truth than Bea knew herself—in her heart, she knew that even if she worked at the Wheel of Excitement for a long time, the adventure would sustain her through it.

But Hannah didn’t even seem to be listening. She stared at Bea for a long time with an expression the Scorchio simply could not read.

“Bless me, lass,” she said at last. “You...got the box open?”

Bea’s eyes grew wide. “Um. Yes?”

"Yer a true thief, one with a heart of gold.” Hannah slung her arm around the Scorchio. “Grandpa told me that his box would open for no one but the pure. Sure, Grandpa intended it for me, but I’ve done some things I’m not proud of. The way I got it back from Captain Bloodhook, for example.”

Bea’s jaw hung wide open.

“Go ahead and open it.” Hannah gestured with her paw.

Bea lifted the lid of the box and handed Hannah the dagger. “It shook by itself and cut me,” she told the Usul.

Hannah ran a paw over Bea’s now mostly-stitched claws. “And I beg yer pardon fer it, too. Grandpa, rest him, was always a bit impulsive. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bit of him lives in that dagger still. He shook the box, begging ye to open it, and then attacking, ‘cos he realized it wasn’t me.”

Bea raised a brow. “Really?”

“Eh, it’s me best guess.” Hannah looked at the weapon that molded to her palm, a haze draping itself over her eyes. Strapping the dagger to her belt, she threw her arms around the Scorchio.

“Thank you.”

For the first time in a long time, there was rainfall in Faerieland.

The End.

Author: flufflepuff
Date: May 6th



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