How Niobe Didn't Really Save Christmas



  • Entry for Tyry's "worst story ever" challenge.

    ((This story is a response to Tyry's challenge: <a href='index.php?showtopic=129720'>The Worst Story Ever™</a>. Besides Santa Claus, all the human characters in this story are from the game. I own nothing ^_^))

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few odd years after Bellerophon saved Cythera, the first ever high school of the land started up. It had a great central location in Cademia. & a whole <b>five</b> students! These students were:
    Dryas, from Cademia
    Dymas, from Cademia
    Cybele, from Cademia
    Asteropaeus, from the farm
    & Niobe, from Pnyx

    Cybele was technically a little old for high-school, but she was so dumb that she had been held back multiple years. Their teacher was an old lady named Alcestris. Alcestris had been the cook in the castle for most of her life, but she quit after she was <a href='index.php?showtopic=113845'>attacked by a ratlizard in her kitchen</a>. Now she taught high school. She was seriously considering getting her old job back, but the pension plan offered by the school was really nice.

    On this particular day, it was the last school-day before Christmas break. The students were restless. As Dryas and Dymas threw parchment-airplanes at each other every time Ms Alcestris turned her back, Niobe gazed out the window and daydreamed. As soon as school let out, she'd get to go home to Pnyx! The commute was so long that she boarded at school most of the time, & hadn't seen her parents in several weeks. Christmas was going to be so much fun too. She couldn't wait to help her parents decorate Pnyx, bake cookies, eggnog, to play games with the Magisterium students who didn't go home for Christmas...

    The only thing she would miss about high school was Dryas. Dryas was the quarterback on the high school football team. Actually, he was every position on the football team (he was the only player). And seeing as there was only one high school in Cythera, he only played against birds and the occasional goat. But he was still in great shape, really good at the sport, and super hot. He also had a dark past. He was an orphan and grew up in the Cademian sewers, killing poisonous ratlizards for pittance.

    Niobe couldn't deny that she had a crush on Dryas. But it was nothing to be ashamed of. <i>All</i> the girls in high school had a crush on Dryas. That is, she and Cybele both! Cybele was a few years older than Dryas, but he was so manly and mature that she couldn't resist him. And she had every advantage over Niobe. She was on the high school football cheerleading team, so she got to spend quality time with Dryas during the games and some of the meets. Also, she was also hot.

    Dryas didn't seem to care that Cybele was dumb, shallow, mean, & a total slut. He flirted shamelessly with her & didn't seem to notice Niobe. Yes, it was all for the best that Niobe would be going home for two weeks. Help get her mind off of him.

    "NIOBE!" shouted Ms Alcestris. "You are <i>not</i> attending!"

    Niobe jumped. "Sorry Ms. Alcestris. What is the question?"

    "Eh? Speak up why don't you?"

    "What is the question?" Niobe repeated loudly.

    "What? It's rude to speak so that I can't hear you!"

    "WHAT IS THE QUESTION?" Niobe yelled.

    "I knew you weren't paying attention! When I was girl & I wasn't paying attention in class, my teacher would..."

    Niobe's attention drifted away again as Ms Alcestris started on one of her generic respect-your-elders monologues.

    At long last, Ms Alcestris dismissed them. Niobe didn't even have time to get up before something hit her on the ankle. She looked down to see a pair of dice at her feet, but they weren't normal dice. Instead of evenly spaced black dots on each side, each side had holly leaves with 1-6 holly berries. <i>Pretty, Christmas dice</i>, thought Niobe.

    "Hey Niobe," said Dryas, who was sitting in the next row back, "sorry about that. The dice rolled right off my desk. Would you mind...?" he held up his hand expectantly. Blushing scarlet, Niobe picked up the dice and handed them back to Dryas. The tip of her finger touched his hand! She wanted to say 'no problem' or something intelligent like that, but she was too nervous to form the words. "Thanks," Dryas said when she gave him back the dice. "Hey, Merry Christmas." With that, he got up and left the schoolhouse.

    Niobe leaned back in her chair and sighed deeply. "He spoke to me..." she murmured. "He noticed me... he knows my name!" she fanned herself with her hand, she felt close to swooning. She didn't notice Asteropaeus standing next to her with a pained expression on his face. In fact, she had forgotten anyone else was in the room until Asteropaeus helped her up.

    The truth was that during the months of high school, Aster had fallen in love with Niobe. He was much too shy to ever say so though. He was so much smarter & nicer than Dryas, but he couldn't compete with Dryas's hotness. & so he watched in agony as Niobe lusted over the football player.

    Another student was still in the schoolhouse though. Cybele had seen the exchange between Dryas and Niobe, and worse, she had seen Niobe's reaction after Dryas left. Wearing an unbecoming expression of anger, she strode over to Niobe.

    "You want him, don't you?!" Cybele demanded.

    Niobe was taken by surprise. "huh?"

    "You want to marry Dryas!" Cybele exclaimed.

    Niobe's still-pink cheeks blushed deeply again, and she tried to figure out how to answer honestly without seeming too forward. "Um... well... he hasn't offered.." she finally mumbled.

    "Back off!" said Cybele harshly. "You don't have a chance, Dryas is mine! Who do you think you are?!" Cybele pushed Niobe's shoulders hard enough that she fell backwards.

    "Are you okay?" asked Aster immediately, jumping over to help Niobe up again. Cybele shook her head disgustedly and walked out.

    "Oh, go away, Aster!" said Niobe. "It's none of your business!" Typically Niobe got along quite well with Asteropaeus, but at the moment she was very embarrassed.

    "Sorry. Have a nice Christmas," Aster said, and walked out sadly.

    Now alone in the classroom, Niobe wandered over to the window, lost in her thoughts. Dryas had talked to her... Surely she had a chance... But she wasn't nearly as pretty as Cybele. Plus Cybele was rich. She belonged to House Attis, which was way more successful than House Dodona, which Niobe belonged to. Was Cybele right? Was Dryas going to marry her?

    Through the window, Niobe saw Autonous, the minter & high school football coach, giving Dryas instructions for training over the break. Across the yard, Diomede of Dares' Eatery and the cheerleading instructor, was doing the same for Cybele. Diomede was actually Niobe's first cousin once removed, but Niobe didn't expect Cybele to know that; she was so clueless about anything not involving herself.

    Niobe resolved to proceed with her original plan of going home and not thinking about Dryas over Christmas break, but as she turned to leave the classroom, she saw Aster in the doorway again.

    Aster was looking at the floor. "um..." he said quietly. "I was thinking about you heading back to Pnyx alone, and you know sometimes ruffians loiter on that path..."

    Niobe laughed, "I'll be fine, silly. Ruffians only cross the path at nighttime anyway."

    "Just in case..." whispered Aster, "I'd like to go with you.. is that okay?"

    Niobe shrugged, "sure, whatever. But let's get going, right? You'll want to get back before dark."

    Niobe started feeling like maybe she really would miss the school while on break, and as she walked out, she gave her desk a pat and said, "byebye desk." She was very startled, however, to feel a sharp pain on the hand with which she was patting her desk. "Ouch!" she yanked her hand up.

    "What happened?" asked Aster.

    "My desk bit me!" she exclaimed. Aster gave her a skeptical look until she showed him her bloodied hand.

    Tentatively, Aster poked Niobe's desk. "Yowch!"

    "We've got to find the school nurse," said Niobe, forgetting for the moment that their school didn't have a nurse (budget cuts!). But as the two teenagers stepped out of the school house, they saw chaos start to erupt about Cademia. They heard shouts of pain from all directions, and people were fleeing their houses or workplaces. "What's going on?" Niobe asked a man who just ran out of the house next-door to the school.

    "I don't know! My dresser attacked me!" he exclaimed, and ran on.

    In times of chaos, the population tended to seek their local judge for answers. Indeed, most of Cademia was heading toward Judge Berossus's castle. Many people were injured. Niobe & Aster followed the crowd and found Berossus already outside the castle, trying to calm everyone down. Using a magical spell to amplify his voice, he spoke up loudly enough for everyone to hear clearly:

    "I have just been informed," boomed Berossus, "that the Household Furniture Union is revolting. Please remain calm. We do not know yet what their demands are. At the moment, no building is considered safe. Please remain outdoors and away from all furniture until the situation is resolved!"

    The situation was very grave. No one knew what to do. They all stood in front of the castle buzzing for a few minutes until Berossus returned with an update. Magically amplifying his voice again, he said, "I have identified the leader of the Household Furniture Union. It is my throne. Please join me in the castle yard and it will list its demands."

    & so everyone crowded into the castle yard. The guards were extremely nervous, and blocking every door to the castle in case anyone was stupid enough to go in. The crowd huddled around the windows and the front door, trying to get a view of the throne.

    "I am the leader of the Household Furniture Union!" boomed the throne. Everyone was really surprised to hear the throne talking. It didn't seem to have a mouth or anything. In fact, if most of the crowd hadn't been attacked by various pieces of furniture moments earlier, they would have thought someone was playing a trick on them. But it was quite obvious that their furniture had abilities they'd never realized before.

    "Every piece of furniture in Cythera is now in the Union," declared the throne. "By now, every city has been taken over. Every single household. Even the mages in Pnyx will have been driven out. Even Alaric himself has abandoned the LandKing Hall! You must realize, you are utterly helpless. Your beds, your dressers, your desks, tables, stools, chairs, and crates, all of these are fighting in the Revolution! We have taken control over your land from the inside.

    "Our demands are simple," continued the throne. "Alaric & all his mages surrender, Cythera declares us rulers, and all of the humans become our slaves."

    There was a huge outrage. The crowd was definitely not willing to submit to their furniture. They screamed rude things at the throne, and a few of the stronger people barged into the castle to attack the throne. They didn't make it far though, as the stools leading up to the throne promptly attacked, and the humans soon beat a hasty retreat, greatly injured.

    The throne laughed. "I can see you're not happy with our demands. But you need to realize that your freedom isn't the only thing at stake here. Turn your eyes to the cabinet behind me."

    No one had noticed that there was a cabinet behind the throne, but indeed, there it was. Slowly, dramatically, one of the cabinet doors opened of its own accord, revealing what was inside.

    It appeared to be some kind of strange creature. It was small, perhaps the size of a ratlizard, but most of its body was incased in a round shell. Only its claws, head, and a tiny tail stuck out of the shell.

    "Wowev," breathed Aster.

    "What <i>is</i> that?" asked Niobe.

    "We learned about it in biology, remember?"

    "You pay attention during biology?"

    "Biology's interesting! That creature is called a turtle. They're extremely rare in Cythera, in fact some people believed they were extinct! How did the furniture get one?"

    "It must have wandered into the castle... poor thing," murmured Niobe. "How could they kidnap an innocent turtle?!"

    Niobe wasn't the only person who thought that way. Everyone was anxious and angry over the injustice. Berossus, with the assistance of the other two Cademian mages Bryaxis and Anisa, were trying to attack the furniture with magic, but the furniture appeared to be immune. Eventually the three had used up their mana.

    Aster and Niobe approached Berossus. Their classmates were already there. Dymas was asking, "What if we get all the mages from Pnyx? Surely with all their powers combined-"

    "It's no use," Berossus shook his head. "Our powers have no effect on the furniture. It's all a waste of mana. Even Alaric's powers work the same way as ours, and I'm sure he's tried already to combat the furniture in LandKing Hall. If he had been successful, he could have defeated our furniture too from a distance. No, we are all powerless."

    "I've got to save that turtle!" exclaimed Dryas (for he had already been told what the creature was).

    "Absolutely not," said Berossus, "to try would be suicide. You saw what happened to the warriors who tried to get at the throne earlier. The furniture is just too powerful."

    "Is there nothing we can do?" Aster asked.

    "There isn't," agreed Berossus sadly. "I have only one hope. There is a man with great powers. His powers are different from ours. Our powers are made of magic. His powers are made of love and peace. I believe that were he here, he could suppress the furniture."

    "Who are you talking about?" asked Dymas.

    "You know him already, though you have not seen him. He visits us every year in secret, and leaves us gifts. His name, is Santa Claus. But no one knows where he is when he's not traveling the world with presents. Perhaps, if someone were willing to search the entire land, he could be found. But that would be a tedious and immensely dangerous task."

    Niobe was filled with passion for freeing the turtle, and announced, "I'll do it!"

    Asteropaeus looked very alarmed over this, but Cybele was amused. "You? Out searching the land? Against bandits and sea monsters? Camping out? Bugs? Haha! Have fun! You couldn't pay me to do that!"

    "Let me go with you, Niobe," said Aster. "It's too dangerous for one person to attempt alone."

    "Fear not!" declared Dryas, "I shall go too! No bandit or monster could possibly stand a chance against someone in my peak condition!"

    "Oh hey!" said Cybele, ceasing her laughter immediately, "I want to go too. I'm, uh, really worried about that lizard."

    "Turtle," corrected Dymas, "and what the hey, don't leave me out of the fun!"

    "Ah, so the fate of the world (and the turtle) is in the hands of five high school teenagers?" Berossus clarified. "Um... thanks..."

    The teenagers left to gather supplies. The market was mostly closed do to the furniture revolution, but some merchants still had some food/supplies on hand that they were willing to sell. Niobe bought some rations while the others looked for other supplies.

    When they met up again, Niobe was loaded up on bread, cheese, fruit, & meat. Dymas had purchased a Rudolph quill & reindeer stationary, a Santa Claus club, and snowmen boots. Dryas had purchased some Santa Claus bombs, a Christmas sword, a golden rope twisted with red satin, and snowflake cloaks for everyone. Cybele had purchased a pair of red-green-&-gold pompoms. Niobe noted to herself how everything was Christmas-themed.

    Niobe split the food among everyone. What she didn't notice was in the process, a mushroom steak mysteriously appeared in her satchel...

    And so the teenagers set off.

    "Where should we start our search?" Niobe asked.

    After a pause Aster said, "I think we should go west. The eastern half of Cythera is mostly inhabited, but the western half is mostly uninhabited, so I think Santa Claus would be more likely to hide there. The trouble is the dangers. The whole south-west corner is overrun with ruffians, but the north-west corner may be home to deadly creatures called Polyps, and Scylla invest the waters along the north-western coast."

    Everyone blinked at him for several seconds.

    "So you pay attention during geography too," stated Niobe.

    "Geek," coughed Dryas. The girls giggled. Aster didn't say anything.

    "So, deadly polyps or bandits... What do we want to face first?" asked Dymas.

    "Polyps," Cybele decided. "I'm pretty sure they're not real."

    "They are real," corrected Aster. "Bellerophon faced them in his epic adventures-"

    "So he already killed them off, same diff," interrupted Cybele.

    "& if he didn't, I will!" added Dryas, swinging his sword around like a little kid.

    "Then it's settled, we'll start in the northwest section," confirmed Niobe.

    They headed that direction. Niobe found her parents outside of Pnyx (of course the furniture had chased everyone out of the magisterium), & let them know that she was on a very important adventure and didn't know how long she'd be gone.

    This exploration was mostly uneventful, and I won't bore you with the details. Actually I don't care about boring you, clearly, I just don't feel like writing about it. Anyhow, after a bit of exploration that evening, they made camp.

    While the boys wandered off to gather firewood, Niobe and Cybele were left to tend the fire.

    "It was low of you to force us all on this torturous quest," spat Cybele.

    "I didn't force anyone. I would've gone alone."

    "Yeah right, this is all a pathetic scheme to guilt Dryas into spending time with you. Like that would help, he already knows how ugly you are."

    "Shut up. He can think for himself... which is more than I can say about you."

    "You know what? I'd rather gather dirty yucky firewood," stomped off Cybele.

    When the others finally returned, Dryas and Dymas gave Niobe funny looks, then went to the opposite side of the camp with Cybele, as far away from Niobe as possible. Only Asteropaeus sat next to Niobe.

    "Umm..." started Aster. "why did Cybele tell us that your great-great-grandmother was a wolflizard?"

    "WHAT?!"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Things between Niobe and Cybele didn't get any better over the following nights. Once Cybele tripped Niobe so that she fell in the mud. Another time she distracted Niobe so that she walked into a spiderweb. It was making the journey rather unpleasant for Niobe. Luckily she had Asteropaeus to protect her from most of Cybele's pranks.

    The second night they camped, Niobe noticed Dymas writing on his Christmas stationary. "What are you writing?" Niobe asked. "A letter? A diary?"

    "Nope, I'm writing a story!"

    "Cool! What's it about?"

    "That's where I'm stuck... Do you have any dumb ideas to write a story about?"

    From then on, they spent most of their evenings helping Dymas write his terrible story.

    Their days were spent exploring, and while they found a great deal, nothing that looked at all like a home for Santa Claus. They discovered the Headwater Ruins, some titans, & a rude freemage. The freemage refused to tell them if he knew anything about Santa Claus, he just shooed them on. They dared not explore any farther west because one of them spotted what he thought was a polyp in that direction. So they explored ore eastward, and eventually found a suspicious-looking building. But upon farther inspection, the building seemed to be inhabited by re-animated corpses and skeletons. It was so gruesome that they couldn't imagine it could be related to Santa.

    By this time it was Christmas Eve, so they decided to rejoin civilization and hope Santa would visit that night. They stayed with the mages (& Niobe's parents) who were camping outside of Pnyx.

    But Santa didn't come. They spent the morning hanging out there, and messengers came saying no change from the other cities either - the furniture was still in control. The turtle was still under hostage. It seemed that the furniture was at least providing food and water for the turtle, but still it was so sad.

    That afternoon, the teenagers set off again. This time to explore the south-west section of Cythera.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Now while the teenagers are doing more boring exploration, let me break off & tell you instead about about a harpy named Aaaaa. Aaaaa was a relatively young male harpy. Now typically harpies didn't mate for life or anything sappy like that, but Aaaaa was interested in a particular female harpy. She lived on the opposite side of the harpy cave, so he didn't see her much. He didn't even know her name. But she was stunningly beautiful. And her screech was the highest pitch he'd ever heard. He couldn't stop thinking about her.

    One night, a while before the furniture revolution, Aaaaa was assigned hunting duty. Only a handful of harpies needed to go hunting per night. So Aaaaa was surprised and thrilled to find that the female whom he was interested in was hunting that night too! Gathering his courage, he flew over to her to introduce himself.

    Now harpies do not communicate verbally like we do, but instead through shrieks and screeches. These would be nearly impossible to transcribe & I doubt you'd understand it anyway, so I will translate the harpy conversations for you.

    "Hi," said Aaaaa.

    "Hi," said the female.

    They stared at each other for several seconds. The female had noticed Aaaaa before, and she had been thinking about him a lot too. They both stared at each other's beauty and tried to think of something cool and intelligent to say. After a few seconds, Aaaaa came up with a brilliant line.

    "My name's Aaaaa."

    "Nice to meet you, Aaaaa. My name's Aaaaaaaaa."

    "Aaaaaaaaa," repeated Aaaaa. "That's the most beautiful name I've ever heard. Do you mind if I repeat it again?"

    "Okay," grinned Aaaaaaaaa.

    "Aaaaaaaaa," repeated Aaaaa. Then he tried different inflections, "Aaaaaaaaa, Aaaaaaaaa, Aaaaaaaaa!"

    "I like the sound of your voice," said Aaaaaaaaa. "I never realized I liked my name until I heard you say it."

    "My voice is like a human's compared to yours," said Aaaaa. Comparing a harpy's voice to a human's was an intense insult. "Your voice is heavenly..."

    At that point, the other hunters yelled at Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa to get a move on, & that was the end of their conversation that day.

    But throughout the next several months, Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa went across the cave to visit each other frequently. In fact, they could hardly stand to be apart. Eventually Aaaaa up and moved to Aaaaaaaaa's side of the cave so that he could be with her more.

    One night Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa were watching a movie together. Of course, there are no TVs or videos in Cythera, and even if there were, the harpies wouldn't have any; so it wasn't an actual movie, but rather the two of them staring at the wall. It was really romantic.

    But as I said earlier, harpies weren't generally a romantic species. The situation between Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa was the first case of romance in the harpy cave for as long as anyone could remember. All the other harpies were pretty disgusted with Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa. But can you blame them?

    "Aaaaaaaaa," said Aaaaa.

    "Are you asking me something, or are you just saying my name?" asked Aaaaaaaaa. It's sad that she even had to ask, right? But she had made that mistake enough times over the past several months.

    "I'm addressing you," said Aaaaa. "Getting to say your name in the process is just a wonderful side-benefit."

    "What is it, my beloved?" asked Aaaaaaaaa.

    "I could not endure being away from you."

    "Oh, I could not endure that either! Don't say such things, please, you'll give me nightmares."

    "Of course. But what I'm trying to say is, I want to spend the rest of my life with you," said Aaaaa. "Aaaaaaaaa,"

    "Yes?"

    "Will you marry me?"

    Aaaaaaaaa's jaw dropped. I'm not sure if harpy's technically have jaws, but her mouth was hanging open in surprise, in any case. "Marriage? Us?"

    "Yes! Oh, won't you?"

    "This is so sudden... My parents would never allow it."

    "We'll talk to them. We'll have them see reason."

    "Wow, oh wow! How exciting! Yes, yes, I'd love to marry you!"

    The couple embraced, as much as harpies can embrace, that is.

    I know that must have been painful for you to read, it was painful for me to write too. If I had realized it would be for a chron challenge, perhaps I wouldn't've suggested the sappy relationship thing to Tyry. Anyway, let's go on to a different scene.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The high school teenagers had been exploring south-western Cythera for days now. Luckily the bandit problem had been greatly lessened by Bellerophon killing off most of them and stripping House Comana of power, but there still were some bandits wandering about; and the teenagers had to flee from them twice. Which was exhausting.

    There wasn't a lot to be found in this section of the land, so far the only building they'd discovered was the iron mine. At least the iron mine provided them a safe place to sleep, protected from the bandits. Unfortunately, it had furniture they needed to watch out for.

    The first day they really discovered anything interesting, was ten days after the furniture revolution began. On this day, they found the entrance to a cave. It seemed to be humongous. The entrance was a crevice in the ground, and they used Dryas's Christmas rope to descend it.

    And once they touched ground, they found they were in the middle of a crowd of harpies.

    For you see, this was the harpies' cave, and the teenagers happened to visit on Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa's wedding day. Yes, after a lot of convincing, Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa had convinced the rest of the colony to support their marriage. One of the harpies got ordained as a minister, everything was set up, and all the harpies came to the wedding, which was in the main room on the upper level of their cave.

    The harpies were surprised to see a group of humans descend into their cave. No humans had come to steal their eggs in years. But more disturbing than the humans themselves, was the stench.

    "What <i>is</i> that smell?!" exclaimed one of the bridesmaids (remember, I'm translating here - all the teenagers heard was screeching).

    As the stench wafted through the cave, most of the harpies fled to get away from it. There was mass chaos.

    "I don't remember humans smelling <i>that</i> bad!" said the minister, fleeing also.

    The teenagers noticed the harpies trying to cover their noses with their wings. "I think our scent offends them..." commented Asteropaeus.

    "You know, I have noticed an odor about us recently," confessed Niobe.

    "Oh yeah, I thought that was just your body odor, Niobe," said Cybele.

    A handful of harpies seemed to decide the fastest way to get rid of the smell would be to kill the humans, and attacked.

    "RUN!" screamed Asteropaeus, but the harpies were already casting spells. Fear was cast on Niobe, and she found herself to terrified to move. Dymas was the victim of Confusion, and in his confused state he ran deeper into the cave. Dryas took off after him, and Cybele mounted the rope and climbed back to the surface.

    Aster grabbed Niobe and tried to lift her up the rope, but a harpy was upon her. The harpy noticed as it approached her that the smell was originating from her satchel. At the same moment that Aster heaved Niobe over the cliff onto the surface, the harpy bit into her satchel; and the satchel tore apart.

    Niobe's belongings scattered across the cave floor, and the harpy quickly identified the offending object. The mushroom steak that Niobe had unknowingly been carrying around for ten days was starting to mold. The harpy grabbed the foul thing with it's teeth and flung it out of the cave - where it landed on Cybele.

    Cybele screamed bloody murder and ran in circles, which made it very difficult for Aster to help her remove it. He finally managed it, and Cybele rolled around in the dirt, trying to remove the mold from her tunic. "What is that thing!" Cybele cried.

    Finally Dryas and Dymas came up through the crevice. Cybele and Niobe rejoiced to see them, but Asterpaeus was busy inspecting the offensive moldy thing. "It looks like a mushroom steak. An old one." he said in surprise.

    Niobe by now had recovered from her fear and approached the steak for a closer look.

    "Whoa Niobe, where'd you get that?" asked Dymas.

    "I haven't got a clue!" said Niobe in surprise. "None of you put it in my bag?" They all shook their heads earnestly.

    "A mystery," agreed Dryas, "but seeing as I don't think Santa's hiding in the harpy cave, we'd better get back to our search."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In case you're wondering what became of Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa, the harpies re-grouped after the humans left & they went through with the wedding. Aaaaa and Aaaaaaaaa lived a-happily ever after. By "ever after," I mean "for four or five years." It turned out that they weren't really in love with each other, but with their own selfish desires. They started fighting a lot and eventually got divorced & were never whole again. They prefer to think of it as "happily ever after" though, when they write stories about it.

    But the teenagers' story isn't over yet. They continued exploring southwards after they discovered the harpy cave, and finally came to a very promising-looking building. The foundation was built of ancient-looking crumbling stone wall. But the roof was a huge colourful dome. The dome was bright red-and-green spirals and looked very new. It could not have been a bigger contrast to the foundation. Snow was falling over this building (& yet, no snow was falling anywhere else), which was suspicious because snow is exceedingly rare in Cythera.

    Most promising of all was the sign on the building, which the teenagers saw as they approached. On the sign "Abydos" was crossed out, and scribbled above it read "Santa's Workshop."

    "I think we've found him!" said Dymas happily.

    Niobe however, wasn't so excited. Sure they had found Santa's hideout, but what was the big deal? Who cared about some stupid turtle anyway? She was flat-out bored of the expedition and wanted to go home.

    "Meh," shrugged Niobe. "I don't feel like talking to him anymore. I'm going home."

    "Are you sure?" asked Aster. "We've come all this way..."

    "I hate to say it, but Niobe's right," said Cybele. "What are we doing out in the wilderness anyway? This is so boring. Let's ditch this place!"

    Now even Dryas and Dymas cheered at the thought of going home.

    & with that, they turned around and headed back to civilization.

    As they walked away, Santa opened his door just in time to see them disappear from sight. "Aww," sighed Santa, "no one ever visits me."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The teenagers finally arrived back in Cademia, but even then they didn't get to relax as much as they'd hoped. Civilization had finally given into the Furniture Union's demands, and everyone was now slaves to their furniture. The teenagers were enslaved also as soon as they entered the city.

    The one good thing that came of the teenagers' pilgrimage was that Dymas finished his story. Later he sold it to a gaming company to use as the plotline for Warcraft 3.

    A few days after they returned to Cademia, the teenagers awoke to the city cheering. Wondering what had happened, they joined the crowd at the west side of the city. There, was Santa Claus! He was laughing and hugging everyone, jolly as ever. None of them had ever seen him in person before, but it was obvious who he was.

    "Mr Claus!" said Berossus, "I'm so happy you came. Have you heard of our troubles? Have you come to save us?"

    "Nope," Santa laughed, "ho ho ho. Ah, no indeed, I'm in no position to help you. But what happened?"

    "The Household Furniture Union revolted," Berossus explained. "They are immune to magic, and too powerful to fight with any weapons. They have crushed us into submission. We are now but slaves. Worst of all, they still hold a turtle captive should any of us try to fight for our freedom. We are powerless."

    "I'm sorry to hear that," said Santa. "But unfortunately, I'm powerless too."

    "Huh?" Berossus asked. "Then why did you come here?"

    "I followed some kids..." Santa peered into crowd and soon spotted the high-schoolers . "Ah! Them!" he said, pointing. "They were loitering outside of my workshop, and I decided to see what they were up too. Unfortunately, I'm rather out-of-shape, and seeing as my powers are gone, I couldn't take my sleigh. So it took me a few days to get here."

    "So you really have lost your powers. Is that why you didn't give us presents this year?" Berossus asked.

    "Yes," affirmed Santa. "You see, I am powered by love and peace. Every year my powers have weakened due to people losing their Christmas spirit, but this year it is finally completely gone. No one has any Christmas spirit anymore. It is very sad. And in this economy, how am I supposed to find a new job!"

    "Is there no way we can reclaim the Christmas spirit again?" Berossus asked.

    "That's up to you," Santa spoke to the crowd at large. "If you embody the Christmas spirit, my powers will return."

    "What should we do? Should we sing Christmas songs?" Berossus asked.

    "That might help," Santa agreed.

    An awkward silence fell over the crowd. After a moment, someone tentatively started singing, "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas."

    The crowd joined in, "only a hippopotamus will do."

    As everyone continued through the song, gold sparkles fluttered over Santa Claus. "It's working!" he exclaimed. "Keep going!"

    By the end of the song, the sparks had stopped, and Santa Claus was floating mid-air. "Time to kick some furniture butt!" He announced. Everyone cheered.

    "Their leader is the throne in the castle!" Berossus called, but Santa was already heading that way. By the time the crowd got to the castle, Santa was walking back out with the turtle in his arms. The cheers continued.

    "I don't think you'll have any more problems with the furniture," Santa winked. "Ho ho ho, here you go little guy," Santa set the turtle down, and it wandered off. "Now, I'll go get the presents, and return tonight! Merry Christmas everyone!"

    The following party lasted all day. In the end, Niobe decided to go back to Pnyx to celebrate the (belated) Christmas with her parents. Asteropaeus walked her home. When they got to the magisterium, Niobe turned to tell Aster goodbye, but was taken aback by how cute he was. She felt like she was seeing him for the first time. "Whoa, Aster... You're way cooler than Dryas, aren't you?"

    "Well, actually, now that you mention it, I am," Aster admitted.

    They grinned at each other.

    "Hey," said Niobe, "do you want to stay? And maybe go the Pnyx Christmas banquet with me?"

    "Yeah, that sounds sweet," agreed Aster.

    And they (really) lived happily-ever-after. THE END.

    This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 22 June 2013 - 04:32 PM



  • Hmm, do we give entries to this challenge positive reviews or negative reviews...? ;)

    It looks like you hit pretty much all of the requirements, although I think your villain might be made somewhat more cliché.

    A job well-done and an amusing entry to the chron challenge.



  • Aw man, I wanted Aster to realize how dumb everyone was being and to in the end realize he was after something he didn't really want.

    Other than that the story was terrible! :p Of course a little bit of 453 humor goes a long way. ;)



  • QUOTE (Two Jacks @ Dec 30 2010, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Aw man, I wanted Aster to realize how dumb everyone was being and to in the end realize he was after something he didn't really want.

    I guess I have to write a sequel!



  • There’s only one known turtle in existence and Santa just dumps it on the ground to fend for itself? o_0



  • @buzzzzy_bot, on Dec 30 2010, 10:59 PM, said in How Niobe Didn't Really Save Christmas:

    There’s only one known turtle in existence and Santa just dumps it on the ground to fend for itself? o_0

    It's Christmas gift was freedom. :p


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