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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 12th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 56 > New Series > Hard as Ice: Part One

Hard as Ice: Part One

by battlesunn

IT WAS COLD. It enveloped him, choked him, suffocated him. He was drowning in frost, and ice. He felt the impending sense of doom rapidly approaching, he tried to part the frost with his paws, but he couldn't. Some powerful force held them back. Searing pain ripped through him, and he fell to the ground....

     Marlfox awoke with a start. The young, male fire Wocky had been dreaming, dreaming a horrible dream. He was only too happy to escape it.

     He placed a paw to his chest, trying to slow his racing heart. Marlly, as he was called, had been experiencing night terrors like this for a long time, peppering his sleep. They had all started when he had begun to use the lab ray... He turned around and saw his brother, Skypaw, sleeping in the bed opposite to him. Skypaw had been adopted from the pound at an early age, the days of being in the there, with other supportive, locked up pets had made him very understanding and calm.

     The faerie Gelert was the perfect companion for the outspoken, feisty Wocky, also an adoptee.

     Marlly scampered up to the window, and threw open the blinds. He winced as his eyes met the blazing morning sun. The dew flecked hills shone in the sunlight, as though it was strewn with glittering jewels. Pale pink and gray bellied clouds drifted lazily across the powder blue sky. The tree tops glowed brightly as the sun rays slanted off, illuminating the dancing dust motes swirling in the pools of pale golden light. All this beauty was lost upon Marlly as he pondered the lab ray, anticipating what shape or form it would twist him into today. Marlly sighed, he may as well awaken sooner than later. Marlly pulled a blue short hair brush through his charcoal gray fur, wolfing down a cold breakfast of neocrunch cereal and leftover omelette. He wiped his mouth on a napkin, and set off for the ray. The lab ray was located deep in mystery isle, but Marlly had the map and soon found the way.

     "Ah… back again, Wocky?" asked the frizzled old doctor.

     "Yes, yes just get on with it, would ya?" Marlly retorted.

     The doctor, slightly ruffled, took his place at the ray. Glaring distastefully at Marlly, he muttered a few curses under his breath and practically slammed his fist down on the button. Zap! A large cloud of smoke curled around Marlly, covering his ripping changes. The smoke cleared, and Marlly coughed loudly, trying to dislodge the smoke from his throat. The smoke had made Marlly's eyes water, so he kept them shut. The doctor grinned.

     "Ahh... not half bad, I'd say!"

     Marlly shook his head as he stared down at his paws, only they weren't there. They had been replaced buy two, skinny wings, dark blue feathers covered his tall, gangly body. He was a blue Lenny.


"Aww... come on Marlly, it's not THAT bad..."

     Skypaw was trying to coax Marlly out of the house, after being turned into a Lenny by the lab ray, he had rushed home and barred himself in his room, refusing to come out.

     "Come on Marlly, you can't stay here, anyway. We have to visit cousin Snowbounce, remember?"

     Marlly didn't stir. "I'm not going! they'll laugh at me."

     Skypaw wasn't giving up yet. "Aww... geez Marlly, did anyone laugh at you yet?"

     Marlly growled, difficult to do if you're a Lenny. "Yes! You, Nighthowl, mom... Even old Dewbuck was cackling at me!"

     Skypaw smiled. "Well, you have to admit, it was a bit of a shock. Anyway, we've been looking forward to this trip for weeks! Just us, Snowbounce, his owner and the beauty of terror mountain! No Nighthowl or Ziggy or Dewbuck! Besides, you have to go. Now come ON!"

     Marlly finally allowed himself to be dragged out of his room, subdued only by promises of tigersquash and snowberries up north, they were his favourite food. The two pets were going to fly up there, their cousins lived high up on terror mountain and it was almost impossible to walk. If marlly were still a Wocky then he would've rode on Skypaw's back, but since he was a Lenny

     "You can fly for yourself. I don't want to have another heavy load on the way up, I'm already carrying our backpacks."

     Marlly stood rooted to the spot. "I can't fly! not with these pathetic wings! I can't even hover! In fact, I've changed my mind! I'm not going anyway."

     That was enough for Skypaw. "I don't know about YOU but I'VE been really looking forward to this trip! And no sore faced Lenny is going to ruin it for me! You're coming if I have to carry you the whole way!"

     Marlly glared at him. "No!"

     With that, Skypaw pumped his massive lavender wings, shot into the air, dove down and grabbed marlly by his royal blue neck feathers.

     "Put me down you stupid mutt!" Marlly screeched. "PUT... ME... DOWN!"

     Skypaw growled, "Okay, I'll put you down! You'll hit the ground and become a Lenny pancake!"

     Marlly gulped, swinging precariously from Skypaw's firm, but gentle jaws. "Fine, but at least let me ride on your back."

     Marlly swung one duck footed leg up around Skypaw's neck and settled himself comfortably between his head and wings. Skypaw grinned.

     "You're much lighter as a Lenny, giving you rides when you were a Wocky practically broke my back! I can hardly feel a thing!"

     Marlly had to admit, he did love riding on Skypaw's back. Everything looked so much fuller and magnificent from the back of a faerie Gelert Neopets and their owners stopped on the street and pointed up the pets as they flew past. Marlly chuckled.

     "Hey, Skypaw! We could open a business! You know, charge pets for a free ride..."

     Skypaw grunted in reply. "Come on, Marlly. We could get frozen for that."

     Marlly shuddered, remembering his dream. "Please don't say that, Skypaw."


After flying for about an hour, Skypaw finally reached the foot of the mountain. He sighed, this was where the real workout began. He took a casual glance back at Marlly, the Lenny had propped himself up, using Skypaw's ears as a backboard. He seemed to be dozing. Skypaw sighed.

     "Correction, this is where MY real workout begins."

     In a way, Skypaw was almost glad that Marlly had fallen asleep. It meant that he would have no distractions, as the flight had become more difficult than Skypaw had anticipated. He had begun to notice some warning signs. Snow on the ground, lower down on the mountain than usual. That meant that it was colder than it normally was. Also, the air had become heavy and thick, which meant a storm was coming. Lastly, the air was also getting much, much colder, and Skypaw's wings were beginning to tire. A soft rustling movement emanating from Skypaw's back signified that Marlly had awoken.

     "Hold on marlly," Skypaw murmured. "We're approaching some gales..."

     A large torrent of wind crashed into the Gelert He held his ground, and continued to plow onward, Marlly clinging doggedly to his neck fur.

     The two pets climbed higher and higher into the air, getting closer and closer to the mountain. A small red Pteri went whizzing by, headed in the opposite direction. She stopped, however, to deliver a hasty warning.

     "You should turn back! The winds up there are very, very dangerous! It's a full fledged storm!"

     Skypaw snorted. "No offence, little bird, but I think that a fully grown faerie Gelert would be stronger than a little feathered tennis ball. I think that I can handle this storm."

     The Pteri was highly offended, her beak chattered angrily, "Then you will meet your end!" With that, she zipped off.

     Skypaw should've heeded the Pteri's warning. The winds were strong. He had remembered, shortly after, that Pteri's were the flying champs of the world, and if they couldn't fight a storm then no one could. It had started to rain, and as they progressed, the rain turned to snow. Not your nice, softly falling kind of snow, it was stinging, icy hail that buffeted them left and right, and caused stinging welts wherever they struck.

     Skypaw barked happily. "Look! Look marlly! There's Snowbounce's cabin! I can see the weathervane!" Marlly looked up and saw the bronze Eyrie atop the four points swing madly in the storm.

     "There's a strong current, but I think that I can get over it. Hold on tight." Skypaw warned. Marlly nodded, not wanting to speak for fear that a piece of hail might go down his throat.

     "Almost... there..." Skypaw grunted.

     Marlly sighed happily, soon they would be inside the nice, warm cabin, roasting marshmallows and playing cheat! He would regale Snowbounce, and his owner, pyro with the tale of their battle against the winds.

     Then, disaster struck. It happened in a second, Skypaw didn't even notice it at first. One particularly large chunk of hail hit Marlly square in the face. Forgetting the powerful storm, he automatically put his wings up to his stinging eye, releasing the hold on Skypaw.

     One millisecond was enough. Marlly was driven right off Skypaw's back by the forceful gales. Skypaw turned in time to see a dark blue shape rocketing into the forest, battered by the frozen winds. "Skyyyyypaaaaaaaaw!!!!" Marlly's scream grew fainter and fainter as he tumbled deeper into the dark forest.

     "Marlly! Marlly! Marlfox!" Skypaw was searching helplessly among the trees, calling his brother's name. "Marlly, where ARE you?!!!" Skypaw sobbed, he had been looking for almost two hours and still had found no trace of the Lenny "It's all my fault! why didn't I listen to that Pteri! I'm such an idiot!" Skypaw spiraled down, down, down to the frozen, snow-covered ground. He lay there for a long time, lamenting and sobbing, his teardrops melting away the settling snow.

     "Why, WHY did I force him to come along? Why didn't I just let him stay home?" Skypaw sighed. He knew this was doing nor Marlly or himself any good. The wind howled around him, chilling him to the bone and filling his heart with the sad songs of the storm. He looked back at his wings. As strong as they were, they were still thin, more decorative then affective. The tips were beginning to glisten with frost. He would have to go back to the cabin or his wings would freeze and fall off. With a deep, heavy sigh he slowly made his way back up to the glow and warmth of his Snowbounce's home.


"Skypaw! you made it!"

     Snowbounce was a cheery, jolly white Blumaroo who loved the snow and the game cheat! His owner, pyro was a young boy of about thirteen, equally nice and cheerful.

     "Hey Skypaw! Great to see ya! Er... Where's Marlly?" pyro asked. Skypaw shook his head sadly.

     "Marlly's gone."

     Over the next hour, Skypaw told pyro and Snowbounce exactly what had happened. He spoke in a dull monotone, as if all his grief had been used up. He finished with the words,

     "And so, as you can see, I as good as destroyed my own brother."

     pyro sighed, and put a comforting hand around Skypaw's shoulders. "Hey, calm down. It's not your fault, and don't worry too much about Marlly, he's probably fine. I'm sure he can handle anything we got out in those woods, didn't you say that he was level 20, with most of his stats in caps? I'm sure that he can take care of himself."

     But Marlly was in far more trouble than pyro had casually assumed. The wind had blew him fast and hard into a tree, and he had immediately been knocked unconscious. Over the night the wind had constantly been blowing frost and snow at him, so in the morning he found his frail body pinned to the tree by a thick layer of ice. He was spread-eagled onto the tree, when he tried to move his whole body was set afire with pain. The dream... it was becoming a reality. But that wasn't all. Marlly had heard low howls in the distance, which could mean only one thing. Wild Lupes.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Hard as Ice: Part Two

Hard as Ice: Part Three

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