Although I don't play the website anymore, I've grown rather attached to these characters I wrote so much about, and I really wanted to give their stories a good home where more folks could enjoy them. Free reading is always great, right? :)
So I'm going to put them on the blog in chronological order of when I wrote them--I feel that this makes the most sense from a creative perspective as one can see my concepts for the characters grow and evolve.
First up is "Draik Expectations", and honestly I don't find it my best work, but I do feel it's important because it was the first "serious" thing I wrote for the Neopian Times. Well, it tried to start out kooky and zany like my previous stuff, but then I realized I wanted to tell a less slapstick story about knowing who your true friends are, and about keeping the balance between knowledge and ethics. It was really my first step toward seeing my Neopets as beings with complex personalities who could go through character arcs and sophisticated adventures. It's also important because it's the story where I introduced Celice Anfel, an original character who would go on to become a major player in future stories, and I wouldn't want to include "Worth Searching For" and "The Spirit of Black Keep" without providing the background on how she and Pharazon got to be friends.
I'm also going to do something I've been wanting to try (and is just as fun as I thought it'd be): illustrations for each chapter! My main rationale behind this is that, while I've been trying to link to official Neopets illustrations throughout the text of my fanfic so non-Neopets players will know what I am talking about, I can't do that for characters I made up, like Celice, Suhel, and Zoltan. And rather than just plunk down some concept art of them, I thought it would be much more enjoyable to give the reader a firm idea of what I see in my mind's eye when I write these stories.
Also, please note that these stories will not look the same as they do in the Neopian Times--I have edited them considerably to bring them up to speed with my current writing skills and make them all-around better stories. I treat these revised versions as canon and I highly recommend them over what got published in the Times.
Anyway, without further ado, please enjoy the first chapter of "Draik Expectations"! I'll put more up when I can!
“Explain to me again why we’re always on the way somewhere,” Hyren the blue Grundo said as he tromped down a well-worn woodland path, glowering at the faerie Draik beside him.
“We’re not always on the way somewhere,” his brother Pharazon said. “We do get there eventually.” Somewhere up ahead he could hear the gleeful cries of a certain disco Zafara, but he paid them no heed. He was on a most important errand and could not be bothered with his childish older sister’s antics. “You could have stayed back in Meridell with Terra while she gets over her cold, Mister Grumpy Grundo. Why are you here?”
“Damage control,” Hyren said with a shrug. He glanced up at his taller younger brother. “What I don’t get is why you’re here.”
Pharazon stood up a little straighter and puffed out his chest. “Because,” he said, “today’s the day I’m going to become a Brightvale scholar.”