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||You are on Week 753
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 Fifty Three Ends Friday, January 6
Those harsh words reverberated in Adee's mind as she trudged across the snow laden streets of Happy Valley. The entire town was bedecked with bright festive lights and colorful ornaments in preparation for the new year, yet the Chia's head hung dejectedly as her eyes rested on the melted snow.
The Chia recalled the Neopians' numerous complaints to her boss. Adee is annoying. Adee follows us wherever we go. Adee disturbs us with useless information. But that was her job: to inform Neopians of the many places and things that they might be unaware of so that they could utilize those amenities. With New Year's Day just around the corner, it seemed like the best time to promote the postcard service since many would want to send beautifully decorated cards to their loved ones.
But that wasn't the case. The Neopets that Adee approached had either known about it already or preferred not to hear any of it. The ones who did, however, did not appreciate the information.
She came when I was in the middle of a battle. Because of that, I lost the fight!
Do you know how frightening entering the Snowager's cave can be? But that Chia had the audacity to cause a ruckus while I was trying to retrieve a piece of the Snowager's treasure. I almost died, you know!
Keeps following me, that Chia does. It bothers me.
Adee could almost hear the shrill voice of her boss reading the comments out loudly in that dingy little office before she was fired. She never had any intention to pester or infuriate anyone. The job itself was pretty daunting and the Chia could not think of a better way to relay the details without 'disturbing' them.
That job was hers for seven years. It was her rice bowl, but all of that was dashed in a second with two words. She stopped in her tracks, crestfallen, and wondered about her future. Would anyone employ her? She wasn't particularly skilled at anything.
Crestfallen, Adee tilted her head to watch the snowflakes fall when she caught sight of a poster stuck to the window of a shop. On closer inspection, the Chia gasped in disbelief. A job vacancy - position of cashier. No experience or specific skills required.
Adee's stomach did a little happy dance. Maybe this job was suited for her. Without a second thought, she pushed open the wooden door, which creaked loudly, and stepped inside ...
Date: Jan 2nd
…Only to be met with the sight of a somewhat frenzied looking Bruce, teetering on a ladder far above the rickety shelves within the store. They were mostly empty, mind you. Here or there a cage rattled, or a strange sound bounced around the cavernous room. But mostly, the store seemed rather…
Silent. Hardly her style, was it? But perhaps that had been the problem. She winced, recalling her former boss and their hysterical reading of the complaints:
"Adee didn’t stop talking once when I ran into her in the Haunted Woods! It’s like she WANTED that Brain Tree to eat me!”
Perhaps a slower, quieter pace was needed, she thought.
These musings had distracted her somewhat from the balancing act the Bruce was currently engaged in. He was clearly trying to reach the top shelf, but flippers were hardly the most extensive tools with which to do so. He had a small cage balanced between them, and the ladder was rocking dangerously.
“Excuse me…” Adee spoke up nervously, but her words were greeted with a soft shriek from the Bruce.
“Just a second! Don’t want to lose concentration… Need this little guy up here…”
The teetering Bruce tottered slightly to the left for a second, and the Chia got a glimpse of a small Raindorff in the cage. She idly wondered why such a cute petpet wouldn’t be kept more at eyelevel. There was really only one other cage there currently, and she didn’t imagine a lack of space was the issue. Biting her lip, she waited patiently, idly trying to see what was in the eyelevel cage, however, the Bruce’s ladder blocked her vision.
Cage finally in place, the Bruce peered down at her.
“Can I help you? A nice petpet, perhaps? I’m getting a lovely batch of Polarchucks in this afternoon…”
Adee smiled bravely.
“Actually… I wanted to apply for the job.”
The Bruce’s eyes lit up, as if he had been waiting his entire life to hear those words. In seconds he was on the ground, grabbing his coat with one hand and shaking her hand with the other.
“Perfect, perfect. You’ve got it. Close up at seven, sign for all orders, don’t open that cage.”
He indicated the eyelevel cage, but even as Adee peered at it, she wasn’t able to see anything inside. The cage itself was frosted over, concealing the occupant.
“Wait.. I have the job?” She beamed, beyond excited, although confused that her new employer was already halfway out the door.
“Yes, yes! I’ll leave you here to get accustomed to it all. I’ll pop in tomorrow and check on you. Just… that cage. Don’t.” The Bruce paused, looking as if he might add something, then, throwing Adee the keys, he slammed the door and was gone, leaving her standing, dumbstruck, in the store.
Slowly, she wandered to the frosted enclosure, squinting as she tried to catch a glimpse…
Date: Jan 3rd
..was that a snowbunny? They are soft and cuddly, a lovely petpet. So why was she not aloud to open the cage?
Before Adee could take off her jacket she heard the door open behind her.
"Hello!" Said Adee smiling at the little Uni that walked in.
"Hi," replied the uni with a half smile.
Adee, didn't know quite what her job entailed, so she repeated the Bruce's words to the young Uni. “Can I help you? A nice petpet, perhaps? I’m getting a lovely batch of Polarchucks in this afternoon…”
The Uni's face lit up. "I am looking for a snowbunny, if you have any."
Adee hesitated and started walking in the direction of the icy cage "We have a nice snowbunny right here!"
"Can I hold her?" Asked the uni with excitement.
The Bruce's words echoed in Adee's head, "don't open the cage".
Adee ignored the words in her head. "Of course you can!" she said.
Adee walked over to the cage and turned the latch...
Date: Jan 3rd
The Chia peered inside. The Snowbunny huddled in the back of the cage. It was one of the most beautiful petpets Adee had ever seen. Whiter than snow fur, diamond bright eyes, and the most darling pink nose that even a dark faerie would smile at, this Snowbunny had to be the most perfect of petpets.
Adee smiled at the quivering petpet. "C'mon out, little fella. There's no need to be afraid."
The Uni trotted up next to Adee. "Do you mind if I try? I've always had a way with petpets."
Adee's first instinct was to tell the Uni that it might be dangerous to reach into a scared petpet's cage but the voice of her previous boss filled her mind once again.
So keeping quiet, she stepped aside. With a smile, of course.
The Uni leaned forward into the cage.
"Come out, little baby!"
Adee suddenly noticed that frost was beginning to form over the top of the cage.
"You're just so precious!" The Uni stuck her face into the cage even further.
More frost began to encircle the cage. Adee wanted to say something, but she was afraid of repeating her past mistakes. She held her tongue as the frost moved over the cage faster and faster.
"Come out, come out, little Sno--"
Date: Jan 3rd
...And that was the last Adee heard of the Uni. When the Uni reached her hoof into the cage, it became engulfed in frost, which rapidly sped along the Uni's body. Adee leaped out of the way just in time see the Uni's sudden transformation into a frosty sculpture.
Why am I always so stupid? Why didn't I listen? the Chia thought sadly, but she didn't have time to mope. The Snowbunny shuffled forward in its icy cage and Adee noticed that tendrils of frost were spreading outward. They snaked along the walls and into the other cages. Adee winced as the other petpets in the shop began to shriek in fright as the frost spread to them and began to freeze them as well.
The Chia knew she needed help and there was only one Neopian on Terror Mountain she knew of that could help with strange wintry magic. But could she get there in time?
Adee's lungs burned as she finally saw Taelia's house in the distance. The cold was biting, but last she had seen, half the shop had been covered in ice and it was spreading fast. So she pushed her body forward, in spite of the discomfort. If she didn't reach the Snow Faerie in time, all of Happy Valley might succumb to the Snowbunny's strange power.
The Chia pounded on the door as she struggled to catch her breath. Adee's chest stung with each bitterly cold gulp of air she took; when the door swung open, the Chia stumbled into the warmth gratefully.
"Adee?" Taelia asked, taking but a moment before she recognized the Chia. "What seems to be the matter? I already know about the postcards if that's what -"
"No, no, not the postcards," Adee cried. "I got fired from that job. I work at the Wintry Petpets shop... well, not for long anymore I don't think. Something bad happened."
Taelia seemed to snap to attention when Adee mentioned the Petpet shop. "What was it?" she asked in a serious voice.
"Someone came in asking for a Snowbunny. I was told to not open its cage, but she wanted to hold it so... I didn't know, and now the ice is taking over."
Taelia sighed. "You should have listened, but... how could you have known? I expressly told the shopkeeper to keep the Snowbunny safe, but not to tell anyone about it after all."
"What do you mean? How do you know about the Snowbunny?" Adee asked.
"As you may have guessed, Adee, that's no ordinary Snowbunny," Taelia explained. "It's actually..."
Date: Jan 4th
"... been enchanted with a heavy protective charm by myself. The petpet's been guarding it inside the cage for a couple of years, so I reckon the poor little thing can't contain my magic any longer." Her face was visibly saddened.
"But what is the Snowbunny protecting?" Adee couldn't help but ask, curiosity bubbling within her.
"I'm afraid I cannot disclose that to you," the Faerie replied and walked out the door to the open air. "For now, we must hurry and undo the spell."
Adee could tell that she no longer wished to delve deeper into the subject, so she followed behind Taelia without another word.
"We're not going to hike all the way down, are we?" Adee asked, exasperated, once she realized that she had to take another long trip back to the shop.
"Don't worry, Adee," the Snow Faerie reassured her. Then, with a snap of her fingers, a racer of solid snow materialized right before the two of them.
The Chia clambered into the seat after Taelia. Fortunately, both of them were able to fit into a seat that was meant for one occupant.
Taelia led the vehicle down the steep sloping mountain. The journey was, and felt, much shorter and faster than Adee's tough climb. She was grateful that she could rest, even if for a little, but her mind was troubled.
When they reached the base of the mountain, things did not look good in the slightest. The frost had evidently spread across a considerable distance; the ice was slowly encroaching the snowy ground, much to many citizens' alarm. A few Neopians who had probably been unaware or were too slow in their reactions stood frozen like statues, a thin sheet of ice covering their entire bodies, along with the surrounding buildings and trees. Even the lights and ornaments were completely encased over, cold and stale.
Taelia wore a look of worry as the racer dashed towards the direction of the Petpet shop. Upon arrival at their destination, the Snow Faerie got out with graceful speed and rushed in without waiting for Adee.
The Chia stepped out clumsily in a hurry to accompany Taelia, but by the time she was just about to reach for the door, the Faerie had exited and was heading towards the direction of the shop's east.
"Adee," Taelia spoke loudly over her shoulder as she continued to travel further away, "please look after the Snowbunny. Don't let it escape. I'll be dealing with the ice that's covered other parts of Happy Valley."
That's about the best I can do anyway, thought the Chia, so she complied and headed towards the cage of the Snowbunny after entering the shop. To her surprise, the petpet was shivering, or was it trembling?, when she took a peek inside the cage. It seemed to be frightened, or perhaps cold? Adee really didn't know.
The Chia tilted her head to get a better look at the Snowbunny, but that was when she caught a hint of something placed under the petpet's belly ... The recent conversation with Taelia popped back in her mind. Could it possibly be the thing that the Snow Faerie had entrusted the petpet to protect? Adee was overwhelmed with interest, but a huge risk was involved if she wanted to find out what the item was ...
Date: Jan 4th
... She hesitated, and the Snowbunny retreated to the back of its cage. As it moved, Adee got a second glimpse of the item in its grasp. It was blue, and it glittered in the light. If she was correct, it appeared to be some kind of gem. A sapphire, perhaps, or a crystal?
Curiosity stabbed at Adee, as sharp as ever, and a dozen questions flashed through her mind. Her arms twitched, and she longed to give into the impulse of the moment and find answers.
A sound distracted her from her thoughts, and Adee jerked away from the Snowbunny. Cold air rushed into the shop, and with it came a cold recollection. Adee had been reckless earlier when she had ignored the shopowner’s instructions and opened the cage. As a result of that recklessness, another Neopet – the Uni – had been frozen solid. It wasn’t an outcome that she wanted for herself.
Turning, Adee saw the Bruce she had met earlier. His eyes were wide as he looked around the store, and his plump features were creased with worry. He made an indistinct noise.
Adee opened her mouth to explain, but he shook his head and loosed a sigh. “I know.”
“I was just a few shops away,” he explained in a heavy voice, “and everything iced over. Of course, I knew at once what had happened and I came straight here. I’d been dreading it for –“
He cut himself off abruptly, and he didn’t finish his sentence.
It was now his turn to explain. Adee’s adrenaline made her bold, and she asked the shopkeeper what the Petpet was protecting. She reasoned that he might be more forthcoming than Taelia.
Upon her asking, the Bruce was quiet for several heartbeats that seemed like an eternity. “I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I do know that it is a weapon of some sort.”
She’d guessed as much. “A weapon?” she pressed. “What is it for?”
Adee could tell from the slump of his shoulders that he was going to give her the information she wanted.
“Happy Valley wasn’t always as ‘happy’ as it is now. Long ago, there was a time when the valley was considered cursed. You must have heard the stories.”
“About the Snowbeast?” Adee was surprised but she nodded. Growing up, she had heard all about a creature that was said to live in the valley. She’d never seen evidence of it herself, though, and neither had anyone else she knew. Adee had always thought that it was fictional.
“Yes. It was believed that the only way to avoid the curse was to give it offerings. You see, the Snowbeast had a voracious appetite,” the Bruce told her. He paused, looking uncomfortable, and cast a glance around the shop. “Sadly, their solution was to leave Petpets in the vicinity of its lair. It was called the Snowbeast Sacrifice.”
“Or, as some described it,” Adee said quietly, “the Snowbeast Snackrifice.”
Adee’s mind fought to make sense of everything that she had been told. So, the Snowbunny was guarding a weapon that could be used against the Snowbeast should it come for the Petpets in the shop. It was keeping it safe for this purpose.
She frowned before asking, “But why does the weapon need to be protected? Who is it being protected from?”
An idea popped into her head. “Surely no one would try to steal the Petpets? For the Snowbeast Snackrifice?”
In response, the Bruce’s mouth tugged itself downwards…
Date: Jan 5th
"Oh there are plenty that would." He replied. "There are plenty of denizens of Happy Valley who would love to toss those poor petpets to the Snowbeast. This is part of where I come in."
The Bruce reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny, gold, PPL badge.
"One of my jobs was to make sure that the Petpets here weren't brought to harm by the poor misguided Neopians who still wished to partake in the Snacrifice. The Polarchuck order that was coming today was part of that."
"And you worked with the Snow Faerie to have that as protection from those that might come to harm the Petpets."
"Exactly." The Bruce said, "Worst case scenario, the Snowbeasts would get iced in their caves. Even if they are mean and nasty, they are Petpets too, and the PPL helps and protects all Petpets. This was the best we could figure out to be non-harmful to all involved."
"Well..." Adee said, "I suppose that makes sense. But that just leaves one question. How do we stop the ice already out? Taelia is already out there trying, but there's so much!"
"Well," The Bruce replied, "As long as the Snowbunny is still in his cage, everything will be okay. Even if he's unable to hold the magic back, once Taelia returns, she'll be able to fix the spell. We'll just have to wait for now."
The words of the Bruce reminded Adee of what Taelia said before she left. Make sure that the Snowbunny didn't get out of his cage. But, then she remembered something. She had been so worried about the ice and frost when she went to get Taelia that she had forgotten to close the cage back up.
Her heart sank as she looked towards the frozen cage, and saw that the Snowbunny was gone....
How will the story end...
Date: Jan 6th
Adee's heart sank, this wasn't good at all. " I have to go find Taelia." She said, "The snowbunny is gone from its cage and she will know what to do."
"This is very bad," replied the Bruce. "I will stay here and search for the snowbunny. If Taelia comes back I will tell her what happened. Good luck Adee."
Adee exited the shop. There was even more ice and frozen neopets then before. Shivering, Adee made her way through the cold streets of Happy Valley.
After a few minutes Adee heard a rustling up ahead. The snowbunny was sitting on a pile of frozen plants.
Before Adee could figure out a plan to grab the snowbunny she saw Taelia run over to the snowbunny. Taelia waved her arms and a cage appeared around the snowbunny.
Adee breathed a sigh of relief as she walked over to Taelia.
"Adee," said Taelia. "Take this caged snowbunny back to the petpet shop, do not talk to anyone on your way there.Give the snowbunny to the Bruce who runs the shop and he will deal with it, while I clean up this mess."
"Okay," replied Adee taking the cage from Taelia. The cage was ice cold to the touch but that was the least of Adee's worries. Adee created this mess and she was going to fix it even if she got frostbite in the process.
After what seemed like hours of walking Adee saw the familiar sign up ahead that said Wintery Petpets.
With a sigh of relief Adee walked into the shop and handed the cage over to the Bruce. "Taelia wants you to deal with this while she cleans up the rest of the mess."
The Bruce took the cage and put it way up onto the very top shelf with a sign that read 'Not for sale.'
"There," the Bruce said. "This should keep things normal around here for a few more years..."
Date: Jan 9th
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