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||You are on Week 767
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 Sixty Seven Ends Friday, April 14th
|Spring was in full swing in Meridell. The lush, green grass danced in waves as the wind swept over it; spotted with a multitude of colors from wild flowers. Zebies and whinnies playfully frolicked in the fields. The bleating of baby Babaas filled the air, mingled with the chirping of Wibreth chicks. This was Kelda's favorite time of the year, even if it was her busiest.
The tiny Usul was strong for her size; she had to be to keep up with her chores! Gathering eggs, cleaning stalls, filling water troughs, laying out feed ... and her work always had to be completed before she left for school in the morning.
Kelda went inside to grab some breakfast before she set out on her thirty minute trek to the school house. She ate as fast as she could, packed up her backpack and headed for the door.
"Now you wait just one minute, missy!" Kelda's mother called from the kitchen. "Where's Momma's hug?"
"Momma!" Kelda leaned in for a quick hug.
"You be a good girl, Kelda, and do what your teacher says," her mother instructed.
"Yes ma'am," Kelda replied as she raced out. She really was in a hurry. Kelda wanted to reach the school house before the other kids so she could reserve a prime seat in the back. If she showed up too late she would be stuck sitting in the front row again!
The walk to school was usually uneventful. Lined with trees on either side, the long dirt was pretty easy to follow and only had a few hills to climb. The Usul hummed to herself as she enjoyed her peaceful stroll.
Kelda startled when she heard a noise that she had never heard before ...
Date: Apr 10th
...but when she listened closer, she identified it as... something breaking?
Mystified, she took a slight detour to find the source of the noise, leading her deeper into the forest. Weaving through the thick undergrowth, Kelda stumbled out to witness--
"Are these the ruins of some ancient building?" she mused aloud.
The noise sounded again, and this time, the Usul managed to catch the sight of the source.
A Zafara, clad in green, was smashing random pots found around the ruins...
Date: Apr 10th
...the pieces of the clay pots flying in every direction. Shards covered the forest floor.
Kelda quickly held her paws over her mouth to keep from gasping. She hurriedly hid herself behind the large, copper trunk of a nearby tree and watched the Zafara in suspicion.
The Zafara wore a cloak, the hood covering his face and preventing her from being able to recognize them as any townsfolk.
"What are you up to?" she whispered to herself, her paws still over her mouth. The Zafara paused, his ears perking up. He turned his head in her direction.
For the first time, Kelda got a clear view of the Zafara's face. He definitely wasn't anyone from Meridell. His eyes glowed a sinister, dark shade of red.
Frightened, the Usul turned and began making her escape, only to immediately trip over the roots of the tree she was hiding behind...
Date: Apr 11th
...She whimpered and scurried to her feet, but it was too late -- he had a hand on her shoulder.
"Throw down your weapons," he said to her in a gravelly voice. The Zafara gave her a cold, unforgiving stare; his crimson eyes seemed to burn into her.
Kelda started to sob. "I don't have anything, mister, I'm just a kid!"
The Zafara's unrelenting eyes seemed to increase in fiery intensity... but then he threw her down. "So, you're not the one who I am expecting." At last, he looked away from her.
"Er... no," she squeaked. "It, i-it is not I." The Usul swallowed back the last of her tears.
"You see," he began as he turned again to face her, though his eyes no longer glowed, "I am waiting for someone. Waiting for someone who boasts of being stronger than I. There is to be a battle, here." The cloaked Neopet pointed to the ruins, before his hand became a fist. "And I intend to reclaim what is mine."
An odd silence fell over the glade.
"You should go," said the Zafara. "You should not be around when the time comes."
"Which way leads back to Meridell, sir?" Kelda asked. But then she noticed he was no longer looking at her, but off into the distance.
"You are too late," he said absently as she turned to look at what had transfixed his gaze...
Date: Apr 12th
Keldra saw nothing. It was the same woods as everywhere else around them, not even a Mootix stirring.
"Uhm, what do you mean Sir?"
"I can feel it in the air, the battle draws near and my challenger will be here any second. You will not possibly make it to safety in time."
Kelda decided this guy probably doesn't know the way anyway and decided to find her own way home.
"Good luck with that mister" She said and headed out into the woods.
After she had walked, climbed and crawled out of sight from the Zafara she ran into a tall elderly Lenny.
"Villain! Thief! Prepare to atone for your mischief!" the Lenny said pointing at Kelda
"I think you have the wrong person Sir, there is a cloaked Zafara and some potions further in if you continue that way" she said pointing behind her.
"You wouldn't happen to know which way is Meridell though?"
The Lenny did not respond, he squinted his eyes and walked up to the Usul..
Date: Apr 12th
..."You have seen this Zafara, yes?" the Lenny asked as he approached Kelda.
"I just saw him back in the ruins over there, I literally just told you," she answered, a touch of irritation in her voice.
"Is he armed? How strong is he?" the Lenny asked, kneeling down to her level.
Kelda shook her head. "I have no idea. I just need to get to school, can you please point me towards Meridell?"
The Lenny looked off in the direction of the Zafara, then back at the young Usul before him. "I have a better idea." He scooped up Kelda in his arms, much to her protests, and carried her with him in the direction of the ruins...
Date: Apr 13th
"Put me down," screamed Kelda.
"No, I need you to help me," hissed the Lenny as he continued walking in the direction of the ruins.
"I need to go to school," Kelda said. "I don't want to help you, I don't even know who you are."
The Lenny stopped walking and put Kelda down on the ground. He crouched down so he was eye-level with her and began to speak in a hushed voice. "Who I am is not important, what is important is not drawing any attention to me. The Zafara you saw is very evil and if I do not defeat him very bad things will happen to all of Meridell. You need to trust me okay, I have a plan."
"Okay," replied Kelda, unsure of what she had just agreed to.
"Good," said the Lenny standing and beginning to walk once again. "Now follow me."
"What is your name?" Asked Kelda.
"It is Jokku," the Lenny replied softly.
Kelda gasped. She had heard stories about Jokku and how he...
Date: Apr 14th
...had defeated some of the most troublesome foes to wander through Meridell, but Kelda had assumed he was a myth, a story parents told their kids to make them feel safer.
Jokku was the good guy; at least, he was in the stories her mother had told her, so her suspicion of him eased a little bit. Even if she did trust him, what could he possibly expect her to do to help him?
"What do you need me to do?" Kelda asked the Lenny. "I will try to help, but I'm just a kid, after all."
"I'll need you to distract him," the Lenny said simply.
Kelda gaped at Jokku. There was no way she was going back there to face that creepy Zafara again. No. Way.
The Lenny read the shock on Kelda's face , and a slight smile showed on his. "Don't worry, child; you won't have to confront him, and you'll be perfectly safe."
"Okay," Kelda agreed reluctantly. She was already late for school, so what did it matter if she stuck around a bit longer?
Jokku bent down so his beak was close to Kelda's ear. "Listen carefully. First I'll need you to...
Date: Apr 14th
..."drink this potion. You will temporarily become invisible, and with your invisibility you will be able to perform the next task."
"Which is?" Kelda asked when he paused.
Jokku pulled a ragged handkerchief from his pocket. The handkerchief was wrapped around something lumpy that the Lenny revealed to be a purple gemstone. "I will need you to slip this into the pocket of that accursed Zafara. Do not touch it with your bare hands, though. I fear what its properties would do to a child such as yourself."
Kelda glanced at the potion in her hands. Could she trust him? Well, if she could trust anyone, it would be Jokku. He wouldn't put her in danger.
The Usul swallowed the potion in one gulp and squeaked when she opened her eyes to see that she had become invisible instantly. "It'll wear off, right?" she asked.
"Yes, so you will need to leave the scene of the battle as soon as your task is done. Return here, and I shall escort you from the forest," Jokku replied. "Now, take the jewel and follow me. I shall engage the Zafara in conversation to give you the opening you need to slip the jewel into his pocket."
"I thought I was meant to be distracting him," Kelda murmured.
Jokku gave her a piercing stare; how he knew where her eyes were was beyond her. "You are in no danger. The stone will sap his strength and render him unable to use his foul powers to defeat me. Now come."
Kelda followed Jokku at a distance as he walked toward the ruins. She could hear that the Zafara had taken to destroying pots again. The last shattering sound echoed eerily as Jokku stepped into the clearing and silence fell.
"So you came, Jokku the hero," the Zafara spat, sneering as he said Jokku's name. "Here I thought you would be too cowardly. You have a bit of a history hiding behind other people's good deeds and spinning your own evil work as heroic tales."
"Stop with this nonsense, evildoer," Jokku said in a loud, booming tone. "I am here to challenge you, not to entertain your lies."
The Zafara laughed mirthlessly. "Lies? Drop the act, Valek. We don't have an audience, I saw to that. We're the only ones here and we both know that you put a curse on me and claimed my identity as your own. Fight me if you dare, but don't act like you're the real hero here."
So the Zafara was Jokku all along? And the Lenny was named Valek? Was this another trick? But the Zafara doesn't know I'm here... at least he shouldn't. The Lenny does know I'm here...
Kelda felt the jewel in her paw burning through the handkerchief. She knew the Lenny - whatever his name was - expected her to have put it in the Zafara's pocket during this conversation, but she wasn't entirely sure who to believe anymore. Their conversation was turning more argumentative which meant that Kelda didn't have much time left, so she pulled out the jewel and...
How will the story end?
Date: Apr 14th
...smashed it with a piece of the broken pottery shards she had picked up from the ground. The gemstone broke, a poisonous purple smoke escaping from the core of the gem.
Kelda held her breath, watching the purple smoke trailed upwards. Leaves withered and flowers died wherever the purple smoke had touched, and Kelda had to smother a gasp.
Did the Lenny... tried to...?
She did not dare to complete her thought. It was almost certain now, that the Lenny was definitely not the heroic Jokku she had heard and idolised from stories. The Lenny, Valek, was nothing but a fake.
Stealing a glance at the two, neither being aware of her as their attention was solely focus on each other, Kelda planned her next line of action.
However, time was not on her side. The Zafara lunged forth as Valek started chanting in ancient languages, the start of a complicated magic spell. There was absolutely no time to think, so Kelda did the first thing that came to her mind.
With all the force of a determined Usul, she threw the piece of pottery shard she had used at the Lenny.
It barely hits Valek, only nicking some of his feather, but that was enough of a distraction for the Lenny to disrupt his concentration on the spell. The Zafara's movements did not halt, and he immediately took advantage of the distraction.
With a single chop to the neck, Valek dropped like a puppet with its strings cut off.
"You can come out now."
Kelda flinched, not expecting the Zafara to sense her. She stuttered, her bravado fleeing, "I'm, uh, invisible because of a potion the Lenny gave me."
"It has already worn off," the Zafara said gruffly, picking up the fallen body of the Lenny. "And there is no way something that foul could escape my senses." He gestured to the gemstone and the dying plants.
"Valek gave it to you, I know," Jokku cut in, giving the Lenny one last look. "That same gemstone has held my curse for years, and the moment it has been broken, my strength has returned." He managed a small smile, and Kelda felt herself relaxed. "I must thank you, child."
Kelda flushed. "I must get going now... Do you know which way is to Meridell?"
The Zafara pointed to the direction of the sun.
With a hasty "thank you, Sir!" the Usul scurried along. Hey, maybe her teacher would pardon her tardiness this time for helping out the hero, Jokku?
Unfortunately, Kelda had nothing to prove her encounter except her own words, and what awaited her was nothing but a lengthy lecture.
Date: Apr 17th
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