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||You are on Week 742
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 Forty Two Ends Friday, September 2
Eleven were regular- no, anything but regular party-goers.
The other one is me.
My name is Allison, and this is my story.
It all started as you'd imagine how any classic mystery stories start - at a party. Like the rest of the guests, I was invited. I admit, going to the party when I didn't know who was the host was not the wisest choice. Still, my detective side made me check it out, out of curiosity. I've been working hard, I deserved a break. A party would be fun.
Little did I know what I would be getting myself into.
This place was pretty impressive. It was a nice mansion outside of Neovia. Despite the dreary outside, with the thick fog and dark night adding to its eerie look, the interior was very ornate, very cheery. It was something about the gold walls and the ornate tapestries that reminded me of homes I've seen in Altador. It felt very refreshing from my usual surroundings in this town.
After looking through some of the building, I joined the rest of the Neopets in the gallery. I took count of the Neopets and I realized I didn't know any of them. I recognized a few well-known Neopians that lived here in Neovia, but I decided against starting a conversation with any of them. Instead, I looked at some of the paintings. These paintings were really nice. I liked the detail of them.
Looking at paintings quickly lost its luster. I decided to explore again. I was more interested in the architecture of this mansion. As silently as I came in, I left. How I decided where to go was something I didn't know.
Somehow, I made it up to the observatory. It was exceptionally dark. Despite the fact that fog encircled the ground, the sky was clear. As well as star-freckled sky, the full moon was glowing a dark red. I knew there was a lunar eclipse tonight and I wanted to see it. It looked nice.
Suddenly, I was snapped from my lull of the sky. I heard something from downstairs - something I heard too often in my job as a detective and it never meant anything good...
Date: Aug 29th
At the sound of the scream, I abandoned the solar eclipse and went racing back down the stairs to the source of the disturbance.
Nine of the guests were circle around what looked like a statue, whilst a Xweetok - I guessed she was the screamer - was sobbing hysterically into a handkerchief being comforted by an anxious looking Lutari. I remembered the Lutari from earlier, he'd been entertaining everybody with a tale of his homeland and the festivals they held on the Island. He looked like he'd much rather be there than in this dark, fear filled room.
I turned my attention to the rest of the guests, stepping closer to the statue to see what in the name of Sloth had given them all such a fright. They were paler than ghosts.
At first, it didn't click. I was staring at the statue, and nothing was making sense. It was an exceptional piece of work, with exquisite detailing. There was something hauntingly familiar about the statue, like I'd seen it before. Impossible though, because I'd never been to the house before. He looked just like Mr. Gloomstone from Upper Neoivia...That was when I realised - it was Mr Gloomstone!
Somebody had turned him into stone.
I demanded, whirling back to face the other guests who all stepped back away from me.
"It all happened so fast-"
"I don't know-"
"He was fine-"
"Then he was stone!"
I held up my hands to silence the rush of words, none of them were making any sense and by the sounds of their gibberish - none of them knew what had happened. Somebody had to know though, Chia's didn't just get turned into stone without whim or reason. Somebody was behind this heinous crime, and they were at this very party.
"Okay, everybody calm down. I'm a detective and I'm going to get to the bottom of this!" I announced.
"For your own safety, I'm going to ask you to stay exactly where you are, don't move! ...Also, avoid the food and the drink - you don't know what it might turn you into."
A pompous looking Lenny gulped and dropped the teacake he'd been about to devour and everybody put aside their glasses. Not worth the risk.
I waited till everybody had sat down, muttering to themselves before I started to look around the room, trying to figure out my next move. I needed a hint or a clue...
There was a flash of pink in the corner of my eye and I spun around to see an Acara peering around the doorway. The moment she saw me looking, she vanished down the hallway and I knew I had no choice but to go after her....
Date: Aug 30th
...I fled down the chandelier-lit corridor faster than a Poogle racing across a Moltaran Lake... on a Friday.
"Who are you?" I called out to her -- rather, the flash of pink diving this way that across the mansion.
At last we neared a dead end, an end deader than this case would be if that Acara had gotten away. Luckily I had cornered her. "The name's Allison Gently, best normal and/or paranormal detective this side of the hemisphere. Who are you and what do you know about the stonification of Mr. Gloomstone?" I say to her before brushing off my film noir fedora.
She was a pink Acara all right, a pink Acara in a pinker dress. "I'm-I'm... Miss Atha-thabasca Waters-son," the suspect stuttered, more shaky than a strawberry jelly caught in an earthquake. "I'm-I'm the host's m-maid," she finished.
I eye her up and down, left and right, diagonally one way and the other. "And who is the host of this sorry soiree?"
"Gregory All-Allan," she replies.
Gregory Allan, cartographer and architect. Famous both for designing the Stone Dome and for producing one of the best maps of Eliv Thade's castles ever... produced.
"And where is Mr. Allan?" I ask her, arms folded more tightly than a fluffy white towel at Mystery Island's prime cabana resort... during the month of Hiding.
"W-well... this is wh-where the stone-stonification of Gloo-Gloomstone comes in..." She held up a piece of bent parchment. "Gregory disappeared two-two weeks ago, but not before he gave-ave me special instructions to..."
Date: Aug 31st
"The st-...the stonification of...Br-Brutus Daggery." she stammered.
Brutus Daggery was Neopia's best architects. Even a better one than Gregory Allan. He designed the layouts of Lord Darigan's castles, which were the most planned out places with hundreds of dungeons and trap doors. It was even more complicated than the maps of Eliv Thade's castles.
"The question is, why did Gregory wanted Brutus to be stonified?" I asked.
She hesitated, but she opened her mouth to speak.
"Gregory and Brutus used to be g-good friends. Gloom-st-stone was a businessman. He owned twelve mansions; three in Altador, two in Faerieland, six in brightvale and one in Neovia. Gloomstone offered one of them to Brutus, since he was becoming old and had no offspring of his own to write over the property to. He gave the rest to eleven other Neopians."
So that was it. I remembered Mr. Gloomstone offering me one of his Altador mansions.
Twelve people invited to a party. Eleven more could have become victims of stonification, including me. Gregory invited us to his party to solidify us into rocky statues, so that he could get those twelve mansions.
Miss Athabasca avoided my eye-contact, looking at the floor.
"S-sso Gregory gave me an order to steal the keys to the mansion from Brutus and st-sstonify the twelve Neopians with the help of a spell he taught me." she continued, hastily shoving the parchment into the pocket of her dress.
She drew out the shrivelled paper from her pocket and held it in front of me, still looking away.
I took it from her and held it up to the light so that I could read it. There was an accurately drawn sketch of the layout of the house. There were twelve dots labelled with names. The dot with Gloomstone's name was circled with red ink.
"Do you know where Gregory is?" I asked.
She seemed a little comfortable and her shaking reduced to a large extent.
"Gregory never told me where he was going, really. He never informed me." she said. "But I received a letter from him last week. He said that he would be returning in a week or so."
"Okay, one last question I need to ask you. Do you know Brutus Daggery and how he looks like?" I asked.
"Yes. He's a sheet White Lenny wearing a fancy suit."
Oh! It was all coming to me now. The Lenny I had seen earlier with the teacake.
"Thanks for your time." I said, rushing off to the party place. The Lenny was still standing there. I approached him.
"Excuse me, are you Brutus Daggery?" I asked him.
"Do you know Gregory Allan?"
"Ah, an old friend of mine. One day he was quite angry and started quarreling with me. Something about a mansion Gloomstone was going to present me. How do you know him, though?"
"That's not important now, Mr. Daggery. I hope you know Gregory was the host of this party-"
The Lenny looked startled, so I hesitated for a while.
"And told his maid to stonify the eleven of us, just like she stonified Mr. Gloomstone?" I said, panting.
Everyone looked panic stricken.
"I advise everyone to report safely to their Neohomes. Except for Mr. Daggery, I need you for a moment...."
Date: Aug 31st
... and at that moment, another scream rang out.
The other guests looked on in shock at the hallway, and I realized that was the scream of Athabasca Waterson! I had to ignore Mr. Daggery for a few moments, as I returned to where I had left her.
Too late. She was a stone statue as well.
Crestfallen, I returned to the room and informed all the guests of what had happened.
"That was the maid, Miss Waterson, turned to stone." I said, but keeping my eye on Mr. Daggery, "Tell me Mr. Daggery, what are you doing?"
"Me?" He said, flabbergasted, "I had nothing to do with that!"
"Come now, she told me herself that was what you told her to do!" I insisted, "You needed Gregory out of the way to claim all the mansions!"
"Sir, I do not like what you are insulating!" He said, "I certainly had nothing of that sort in mind!"
"Then why did you get so startled and nervous when I mentioned that he was the host?" I shot back.
"Because that was supposed to be private and secret, a surprise, if you will." Brutus said, "While we had our differences, I certainly wouldn't do something like...this!"
"Well," I said, "As of now, it's just your word against the maid's, and since she's stone right now, I'm more likely to believe her, and that you turned her to stone to keep her quiet..."
"Sir!" He huffed, "I am insulted at your accusation!"
"And I'm insulted that you think you can insult my intelligence with this defense." I shot back, "As of right now, you're the prime suspect of this crime and I..."
At that moment, the lights of the manner started to blink and flash, before they went out. More screams and sounds of panic came from the guests before the lights returned.
Once I could see again, the first thing I saw was Brutus Daggery.
Turned to stone...
Date: Sep 1st
I shouted, and the rest of the guests froze half way to the exit, wide eyed and very afraid. Or at least, I thought they'd frozen in awe of my command but as I looked closer it became clear they'd been turned to stone too.
It was starting to look like the Hall of Heroes with all the stone figures.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Maybe this was one crime, too big for me to solve. Maybe I should cut my losses, get out of this crazy town and call the Defenders of Neopia... Except, I was never one to quit. Crime or a bowl of candy, I always got to the bottom of it.
All I needed to do was think.
I stood in the middle of the room, wracking my brains for everything I knew about Allan and his work. It took a while, but then the neopenny dropped. Allan designed hideouts, and I was willing to bet my best trenchcoat, that there was a secret room nearby. Somewhere the mastermind of this crime would be able to observe the ongoings and target the victims.
I looked cautiously around the room, looking for anything out of place. Aside from the guests belongings and abandoned teacakes, the place was spotless. I decided to start at the beginning and walked over to where Mr Gloomstone stood.
As I arrived at his side, there was an ominous creak of a floorboard and a rustle of fabric. The noise came from behind the book case Mr Gloomstone had been examining and I smirked. The time for hiding was over, whoever was hiding in the room behind the bookcase was responsible for all of this, and I was about to expose them.
I started pulling out the books until viola, there was the groaning of gears as the wall slowly slid sideways to reveal a shadowy figure stood in a dimly lit room.
I squinted into the darkness and could hardly believe what I saw...
Date: Sep 1st
I gasped, my heart stopped beating for awhile. I drew my velvet handkerchief from the pocket of my coat and wiped the sweat that accumulated my face.
It was Gregory Allan all along!
He was pulling some levers and handles and pushing buttons.
But I did not take any hasty steps, for even I could be turned into a stony statue of a Wocky blacker than I already was. Before he could turn me into stone, I grabbed the pitcher of fruit punch and a slice of teacake and threw it right at the machine, where the gears were.
The cake got stuck and the juice filled the vacuum tubes. The machine started choking. I had hit the jackpot. The machine stopped working and a light flashed throughout the house. The stone statues of the eleven Neopets broke into bits of gravel. In their places were the original Neopets, not stone statues.
I heaved a huge sigh of relief, turning over to the crestfallen Skeith. His muscular body did not frighten me.
"Mr. Allan, your transgressions have greatly displeased the crowd of us twelve Neopians!" I said very firmly but at a high sound volume.
"Well....uh...please don't jail me! I can explain! I'll give you what I want, even the profit I got from selling my maps to Eliv Thade...well, maybe." he stammered.
"Nice try, Gregory." scowled the Xweetok. She wasn't as frightened as she was earlier when she saw Mr. Gloomstone's statue.
"Athabasca! Where are you? Defend me!" said Gregory, looking for the Pink Acara.
"I can't believe you lied to me. You told me you were going to Mystery Island and book a hotel with an air-conditioned cabana and ultraviolet sauna whatsoever!" she huffed.
Athabasca was no longer shaky, but as strong as a codestone. Whatever she said was hilarious, but not strong enough to wipe the frowns off our faces.
I quickly grabbed a pair of cuffs from my pocket and tightened them on Gregory's wrists, dialling up the hotline 404. He was going to jail.
"Hello, 404, Neopian Criminal Agency, I've got a criminal here in House 252, Ghost Street in suburban Neovia. He needs to be put in a harsh jail, preferably the Faerieland one. I wouldn't say Eliv Thade's jail, cause it's his favorite-Gregory Allan!"
My eyes were dimmed a little from the light formed by the destruction of Gregory's machine. The only thing I was seeing now was a Darigan Skeith being dragged away by a police Chia.
Minutes later, I was surrounded by a crowd of eleven Neopets praising me.
"I can't believe it!"
"You've arrested the culprit!"
"Good job, Miss Gently!"
"I'm happy that you've got Gregory arrested. At first, I thought...maybe you were just another insecure Neopian trying to undermine me..." said Brutus, looking a bit ashamed.
"But I learnt you're a wonderful person today!" he finished.
"Well, well, Miss Gently. I had thought that I was being unfair by not presenting one of my mansions to Mr. Allan and saved two in Mystery Island for him. But I regret thinking so...and now that he's in jail, I would like to present them to you. Furnished ones, but feel free to change the decor." said Mr. Gloomstone, handing over two rings of freshly polished keys to me.
"Miss Gently, I would be honored to be your maid." said Miss Athabasca.
I was sitting in an air-conditioned cabana in Mystery Island. I wasn't solving any cases now....for some time. I sipped the last drop of my Funnydew flavored iced tea and dozed off.
Date: Sep 2nd
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