The Legend of Spooky Tail

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DragonLover43's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 05/15/2014

((Happy Halloween/Harvest Haunt!))

Harvest Haunt was a few days away and I still was struggling with my Deadly Nadder, Darrien, who refused to cooperate and put on his costume.

Mama, why do I have to put that on? he whined. He'd always called me "Mama" since we first saw each other in the Hatchery at the School.

Because, pequeno, you don't want Spooky Tail to take you away, do you? Harvest Haunt is soon and then he comes and takes away those who aren't in disguise, I said. I'd learned how to speak Dragonese from my lead Terrible Terror, Herby, who now showed up.

Who's Spooky Tail? Darrien asked, sitting down for a story. I paused for a moment, thinking. I knew there would be a few questions, so I gestured for him to follow. We flew into town and I asked my father, Stoick, to call a town meeting so I could tell everyone the story of Spooky Tail.

When everyone had settled, I sat down on an elevated chair and cleared my throat twice, very conscious of the hundreds of eyes on me.

"As many of you know, Harvest Haunt is only a few days away. My Nadder, Darrien, asked me about Spooky Tail, who he has never heard of. I figured not many people know of him, so I thought I'd tell you-" I started.

"Spooky Tail! Spooky Tail,

Don't you know?

He'll steal your head 

And bury your bones," Fishlegs suddenly interrupted. I was surprised. He'd never spoken out of turn before and it shocked me.

My father stopped Fishlegs' sporadic poetry with a stern look. "Go on, Nina," he said turning back to me. "Next person to interrupt her is out of the meeting!" He gestured to me and I leaned forward, the Terrors taking this as a cue to extinguish all but a few lights.

"Let me tell you the legend of Spooky Tail," I said, dropping my voice to a mysterious murmur. The Terrors and I had practiced this so often we could have done it in our sleep. They dragged something out from under the stage the chair was set upon and lit it on fire with a big puff. The audience, now enraptured by my performance, gasped and cried out, but didn't panic.

"Spooky Tail was once a normal Viking like us, but there was a difference. He had been born with a small tail and glowing eyes. He was shunned by all due to his oddities. Not even the Outcasts wanted him. He lived a miserable life and turned to violence out of desperation. The need for food drove him to kill a small Viking boy and eat him. When the villagers found out, they tracked him down and killed him, losing two-thirds of the warriors in the process. His spirit angered by their heartlessness toward him in his youth, has forced the gods to make it possible for him to rise once a year and it is said that every Harvest Haunt, he rises from his grave in the Boarbeard Mountains, and comes down to the village to steal away those who do not wear disguises. The victims will hear the howl of a mountain lion just before they are taken away. So if you don't want to be taken away and eaten, then you'd better have a costume ready for Harvest Haunt," I said.

I flicked a finger and the Terrors snuffed out all the fires. I heard several kids crying in fear and felt bad. Darrien's teeth were chattering. Hookfang lit himself on fire and I gave a hoot, like that of an owl, and the Terrors relit the torches and fires. Everyone laughed nervously before filtering out of the Great Hall, stopping dead at the doorway. I climbed up to look and froze, terror making my blood run cold, causing me to feel ill. A face was hovering not far from Berk. Then the clouds shifted and the moon, bright and pure, revealed itself. I sighed with relief. "It's just the moon." I took comfort in my father and brother's shapes as we walked back home.

((More coming soon!))


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(Gronckle edits by Skypeoplephoenix.)

Here's a little side project I was almost finished. I just need to get the racing banners I recently lost due to a glitch back so I can complete it.

I recently created a blog for Nina, so if you're interested, here's the link:

Here are my adopted dragons.

Noche, from Smidvarg's Night Terrors. Thanks snowflake!

DragonLover43's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 05/15/2014

As I put the finishing touches on Darrien's costume, I realized that a lot of people were still on edge from the Great Hall meeting a few days prior. Kids refused to go anywhere without someone with them, and many of the adults did the same, or if they needed to go out on their own, they carried a freshly honed axe and other weapons. I looked at Herby and got a devilish look on my face.

"What are you up to, Nina?" he asked suspiciously. His eyes narrowed, watching my every move.

"Wanna go pranking? Promise it won't be destructive, just scary," I said wickedly. His lips pulled back in an evil smile, matching mine. I shivered. "That's creepy."

He laughed. "Alright, what's the plan?" he asked. I gathered the Terrors together.

"Okay, here's the plan," I said. "We need a haunted forest walk. Terrors, get everything creepy you can think of: whimsy fabric, torn sails, skeletons, the whole shebang. Darrien and I will go get permission from Dad, and round up as many wild dragons as possible. Meet back here at three, we'll begin working then."

They chirped excitedly. I had to give them credit: while most of the time they were well behaved, when they got in the pranking mood, they could be creative and were dedicated. I jumped on Darrien and we took off for town.

"Hey, Dad," I said when I saw him. I had taken Darrien's costume off. "Can I ask permission for something?"

"What is it?" he asked slowly, uneasy at my sudden request for permission. I usually did something then asked permission or forgiveness.

"I want to do a Haunted Forest walk tonight. Nothing dangerous will be going on, just want to get people in the mood for Harvest Haunt," I said. He fell silent.

"Are you sure you'll have enough time?" he asked. He held up a hand when I went to respond. "You've sent your Terrors to gather supplies, haven't you?" 

"Mmm," I looked away before muttering "Maybe" under my breath.

He sighed. "As long as no one gets hurt, you can do it. What time will it open?" he asked.

"Well," I looked up at the sun and measured how long before sundown. "About three hours after sunset. I'll have dim lanterns dotted along the path, adding creepiness to the trail. Or do you want me to have it earlier? I want to walk through it with the Terrors to make sure everything goes off without a hitch."

"No, that sounds good," he said. "I'll put up a notice. Where's it going to start?"

Hmm...I hadn't thought about that. "Um... Right at the edge of the forest. I'll gather my dragons and get a giant wall between where the trailhead will be so that no one can bug us as we work," I said. "I don't want the Twins wrecking this."

We both laughed at the memory of the previous Harvest Haunt when the Twins had cannonballed through town, spreading chaos instead of fear. They'd had to clean the mess for six weeks after Harvest Haunt. My father had spoken with their parents and put Barf and Belch in a cage, keeping them busy working.

"Would you like some help with the wall building?" he asked.

"N-" I stopped. He very rarely asked if I needed help, usually assumed, after the first few times I turned down assistance, that I didn't need it. I looked up at him. There was something in his eyes: hope, maybe mischievousness? "Sure."

He seemed a bit surprised. "Okay then. I'll finish up this work and be there shortly. What will I need to bring?" he asked.

"Well we'll need something that can be taken down easily. Maybe fabric? But that's kind of hard to come by sheets that big. Wood would be the best idea," I said, thinking quickly and on my feet. I paused, planning out the best course of action. "Bring wood, nails, and a hammer. The Terrors will help with the building so we can get to work sooner. I'll gather some supplies as well."

"Right," he said, a smile breaking his usual stony expression for about a second. It was then I realized that he wanted to feel like a tricky little kid again. Nothing like a good prank to bring out the kid in all of us.

I flew off on Darrien to our Rehabilitation Center and rounded up the flying dragons, including out resident Timberjack, Spruce. We left Berk to get a load of wood. Along the way, we found some bones. After Darrien said they were from a dragon, I gathered them, apologized to the dragons' spirits, and we were just about to take off when an earshattering roar split the air. I looked up and a Boneknapper landed, glaring at us menacingly.

Merciful Gertkura, help me now, I breathed in Dragonese. I gulped nervously. G-greetings, brethren of the skies. How fairs you? 

Who are you? he hissed. I felt a chill run up my spine.

I-I am Nina Haddock, of the Hooligan Tribe of, er, Wet Rock. We no longer see dragons as our enemy, instead as friends and allies, I replied. I had been told countless times that Wet Rock was what dragons called Berk. I felt my heart leap to my throat when the Boneknapper bent down and opened his mouth. dragons, correct? he said. Darrien shivered beneath me. I patted his side and dismounted.

Yes, how did you know? inquired I. 

I ran into a, heh, Lightning spitter who you aided. She informed me of you and I had been planning on heading to, Berk? Is that what you humans call Wet Rock? I blinked several times as he said that.

Yes, that's correct, I said. I don't have the necessary equipment here. If you come back to Wet Rock, I can help you at my Center. We are readying ourselves for the arrival of Spooky Tail, and we provide costumes and disguises for all.

Spooky Tail? I nodded. Fascinating. I didn't know humans knew of him. How did you learn of him?

I learned from a Terrible Terror. He raised me and his flock basically adopted me, taking me in when I was uh, 3, 652 moons old, I explained. Moons was the dragon's term for days. 3,652 moons was 10 years for us, including two leap year days. 

Incredible. I wish to return with you. Perhaps for longer than your...seasonal celebration, he said to me. His personality seemed dignified, but still young. He didn't have the dignity to not ask for help, and so had the wisdom to know. I nodded and Darrien beckoned for him to follow. I mounted my Nadder once again and we all flew off, gathering the supplies we had dropped in fear. Arriving back on Berk, my father's hammer fell from his hand in shock.

"Nina?" he asked.

"Yeah, Dad?" I replied.

"You...have a Boneknapper with you?" he said slowly. 

From across town, Gobber could be heard screaming, "I told you they were real!" I giggled.

"Yeah. He needs help. We'll be right back," I said. I convinced the dragons with us to stay put and drop their wood while the Boneknapper followed Darrien and I to the Center. To put it in scale, the Center was massive. It took up all of Berk, but 99% of it was underground. There were two places that were above ground: a meadow, where rehabilitated dragons could regain their strength, fully heal, and prepare for release into the wild. The other place was a plateau where the dragons that were deemed fit for release, were allowed to go to wherever they called home. Some of them chose to stay, so I had an impressive collection. 

When we landed, the Boneknapper shook himself, his bones rattling and sending an echo through the huge cavern. I motioned for both him and Darrien to stay put, then went into a small side tunnel to fetch some medical supplies. I grabbed infection fighting items, pain killers, and gauze to keep the bloodloss under control. I returned to the main Hub and got the newcomer to lay down. He did so, rolling his eyes a little. He opened his mouth and I looked in.

Where is the problem? I asked.

He moved his tongue and touched a tooth, closing his jaw slightly in obvious pain. The tooth was one of the front ones. I nodded. It must have been damaged by something. I examined it closer and saw a crack in the bone. I applied liberal amounts of pain killer and he sighed with relief, stinking his mouth up and making me cough. I tied a thin rope around the issue and whistled for a Speed Stinger I had rescued.

Zip. Take this rope and run the tooth it's attached to out of the Boneknapper's mouth. Got it? I said as fast as I could.

She nodded and let me tie the rope to a harness she always wore. I poked her in the side and she took off, pulling the infected, damaged tooth out in one quick yank. It hit the ground and broke apart fully. "Ohh," I breathed, wincing in sympathy. Does your mouth feel better?

Much, thank you, he slurred slightly. The pain killers often made the whole mouth go numb, so it wasn't surprising. I used the infection fighting medicine to keep it from getting infected. His stomach growled and Darrien got him a basket of fish from the storeroom. He ate the food gratefully.

I'll get a stable set up for you so you can recover there, I said. I turned slightly and put a hand to my mouth in a calling fashion. "Quill!" A Whispering Death with a severely damaged left wing slithered out of the tunnel to my map room. He had the traditional dark coloring of a Death, but with pale grey and green accent colors. I put an affectionate hand on his jaw. He closed his eyes, hissing in appreciation. "We have a new guest. Mind digging another stall in the Mystery section?" He bobbed his massive head and slithered off. Once he was settled, Darrien and I returned to Dad.

He was just getting ready to raise one of the walls with some help from Skullcrusher and the Terrors, when Darrien and I lowered a pair of ropes and the wild dragons we had recruited lifted the wooden structure clear off the ground. We made it vertical and dropped it into place, adding braces where necessary. The other wall went up quickly and my father nodded before heading back to his chiefing duties. Then the Terrors and I regrouped at my Treelab. It was ten minutes to three. I looked at the supplies we had.

"Okay, that's twenty buckets of paint-" I started, noting it.

"Made with glowing mushrooms!" piped up Juney, one of Herby's nieces.

I made note of that. "That's gonna be so cool!" I said enthusiastically. Then I returned to listing. "Fourteen yards of white fabric, six pumpkins, twelve scarecrow frames, three vials of...whatever that is, 100 feet of rope-make that two hundred feet, enough wood to make a good solid bridge, and enough lanterns. Okay, perfect. Let's get to work." We brought the items to the end of the trail and set things up for a corn boil.

I set the Terrors working on the scarecrows, and Darrien and I used a bit of the mystery substance to see what it did. We lit it on fire and nothing happened. We put it in the dark  and nothing happened. We sniffed it and shuddered. It smelled horrible, reeking of death. I gulped and so did he. Then we strung the rope along the trail and then we began setting out the dim lanterns. In a moment of pure wickedness, I cut eyes in wooden planks and hid torches in them, holes in the top so the fire could breathe.

A few hours later, we were done. The sun was beginning to set and I did a dry run. We reached a certain point where something seemed to be missing. Hmm... I thought. I snapped my fingers. "I've got it!" I pulled out survival items, set up a small fire, pitched a tent, and then took out a knife and went to town, shredding the fabric (it was old anyways). Darrien picked up on my idea and churned the dirt with his paws, creating deep gouges in the earth. I grabbed the glow-in-the-dark paint and painted eyes in varying shapes and sizes. I heard a couple Terrors squeal in fear. That's when I knew I had done an incredibly terrifying job. I grinned and stepped back. The fire was just beginning to turn to coals. I nodded then we all flew into town.

"Hey, Dad," I said. "Hey, Hiccup. How does a corn boil sound after a Harvest Haunt Forest Walk?"

Hiccup looked at me, confused beyond words. Dad put a hand to his chin, stroking it thoughtfully. "Good idea," he said. "It'll bring the village together. Is it almost ready?" I nodded. It was about two hours after sunset.

"I think it's ready now, actually," I said, then looked at the Terrors. Positions. Remember, animal noises: growl, snarl, howl, roar. They nodded and flew off.

Dad jerked his head sharply in acknowledgement. He cleared his throat and spread his arms dramatically.

"My daughter, Nina, has created an attraction for us all," he announced, drawing all attention to us. I felt a little bit nervous but shoved it back. "Nina." He gestured for me to step forward. I gulped.

"Uh," I said. All eyes were on me. "In the spirit of Harvest Haunt, I decided to create a, uh, Haunted Forest walk. At the end, there will be a corn boil, basically everyone will have corn to eat. Everyone who completes the course will get to eat as much corn as they can." I was struggling through my speech at the end because of my stage fright.

There were a few murmurs then everyone began moving toward the trail head. I ran ahead and the walls fell, revealing the eerie trail. "I have but one request: no matter what, do not leave the trail," I said loud enough to be heard.

DragonLover43's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 05/15/2014

I stepped into the forest, guiding people along. Several shrieks later, we came across the abandoned campsite. One of the Terrors howled like a mountain lion. There was near pandemonium as everyone scrambled to escape, fearing that Spooky Tail was coming. The wind shifted and puffed the fire up again, showing several pairs of eyes. I couldn't help it. I laughed. I looked around and almost wet myself when I saw Snotlout and several villagers climbing up trees in their panic.

Dad and Hiccup moved nearer to me, ready to protect me because my laughter incapacitated me. I was forced to hold my breath and gave a signal. The Terrors came out of hiding, laughing fit to kill. I beckoned and they climbed me as best they could, settling on top of my limbs and clinging tightly. 

"Woohoo-hoo," I hooted. I was calming down now. Dad and Hiccup were still on edge, laughing nervously. "C-c'mon everyone, let's keep going!" I snickered as they looked around, embarrassed, as they reached the ground again. They glared at me but still followed.

We finally came out of the trail through shredded strips of kind of slimy fabric, and a pleasant area greeted us. The corn boil area was a big success (sp?). Everyone relaxed and ate as much corn as they could, which basically cleared out my storehouse. After that, people were too tired to go home, so they crashed wherever they were, sitting on the benches, leaned against the trees, slumped over the tables. Some even fell asleep standing only to fall face-first to the ground. They shifted slightly and made it so they could breathe.

DragonLover43's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 05/15/2014
Wow. I remember writing this.

Wow. I remember writing this. Just in time for Harvest Haunt, let's get into the spooky mood. I know it's kinda cheating, bumping an old story instead of writing a new one, but I just can't think of anything spooky to write about, Feel free to drop feedback. Really, it helps.