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View Full Version : Ashes to ashes, Miracles and snow. [Winter Writing Competition!]


Splishee
12-28-2007, 08:29 AM
Pokemon attempting to catch: Swablu
[ Note: This is my first story here :happy: ]


It was a musty and foggy day, the sky covered with so much ash from a faraway volcano that the sun's rays could barely escape the thick layers. Breathing in a supposed breath of fresh air would leave you sourly disappointed, the ash particles around you travelling into your lungs like knives. Looking down from Fallarbor town, the used-by forest below usually appeared untouched and peaceful, a serene area where one could sit peacefully amongst the incredible amount of ash. The trees were filled with the horrible substance and the rustling of the small tree pokemon would create a hopeful illusion of falling snow.

Of course, snow wasn’t to be expected in this part of Hoenn. Everywhere else, perhaps, but near a volcano the snow seemed to have an inability to fall. The weather was dismal and cold (hardly a supposed 'winter wonderland') and it was the time of the year where time seemed to literally slow down. As the residents of the small town, faced with the combined forces of ash and cold, realised that it was again time to lock the doors and soak up the fireplace, they would notice a disturbance down by the forest. Looking closer, it was believed to be just a pokemon, but, comically, a figure arose from the ashes, stumbling, heaving and cursing. Ruining the complete serene scene the forest had set for itself, the smaller than average eleven year old girl brushed off every last bit of ash she came across, screaming with rage. It was certainly an entertaining site to see, with her long, curly hair flying around and, sadly, collecting more of the ash its owner seemed to loathe. Her small, skinny frame climbed further up, braving a hill that looked certainly too much for a seemingly tiny body like her's. She looked fervently at a lump of ash on her shoulder.

The lump of ash started to move, shifting it's position on the girl's shoulder. Double-taking, she brushed the coat of ash off the small Pichu. As the electric mouse rose from the ashes, the girl, expecting a thankyou, instead felt a sharp pain shoot through her shoulder.

"Excuse me!" said the girl with an angry glare at her Pichu. "Thanks for the thundershock! I was trying to let you breathe!”

"Pi, Pi, Pichu!" the squeaky voice piped up angrily. The Pichu then shivered and covered itself, implying that the ash had made him warm.

"Oh.." the girl stopped for a second, realising. She then giggled and skipped onwards towards Fallarbor town. "Boy, I sure do love winter, don't you?"

She looked down, grinning, at the small Pokemon. The look returned was full of so much incredulity that the smile was wiped off her face.

"Why is it that everyone hates winter? The coldness is always dampening, but wear a jumper! The snow that falls is just so unbelievably beautiful! And the sky is coloured in such a fascinating way, with lovely pale blues and salmon pinks at sunset, that it looks like it was painted just off a pallet! I don't know about you, but I, Kaitie the trainer, pokemon lover, oh WHATEVER.. I just love winter! Oh, can't you see how wonderful it is?!"

The Pichu sitting on her shoulder couldn't believe his ears, but staring up at the bright face of his trainer, filled with wonder and eyes glassed over, he couldn't bring herself to say otherwise. Instead, he put his head up and exclaimed happily, "Pichu! Pichu!"

"Hmm?" the girl, Kaitie, snapped her head away from her daydream, and saw what her Pokemon was pointing at. "Oh, it's Fallarbor Town!"

Like a light at the end of a tunnel, the ash was blown away carelessly to reveal a quaint town at the top of the hill. It was the climax, the epitome of all things to travel for; Kaitie and her Pokemon couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief and triumph to see that wonderful sight. They had been travelling through the horrible ash-filled forest for what felt like days, just to come to this town. They had heard about the unique winters here; heard from her Grandfather, who had travelled throughout all of Hoenn and Sinnoh when he was young. Thinking back on that meeting, Kaitie painfully realised that it would have been the last time he would see him, as he was surely going to pass away soon from his age. As tears welled up in her eyes she put her head down, ashamed of eyes around her which didn’t exist.

As they walked onwards to the top of the hill, their breathing became gradually easier and the excited Pokemon sent another shot of pain down Kaitie’s arm, as it’s stored electricity was accidentally released with excitement. Kaitie rotated her shoulder painfully and wished that her Pichu had slightly better control over it's powers. Kaitie happily stood up the top of the hill to view the whole of Fallarbor town. It was smaller than anticipated but nonetheless lovely and extravagant. Each house was coated in a bright crimson colour which surely would have gleamed and shined in the summertime. She walked slowly down the pathway etched into the ground made of concrete and stones that lead throughout all of town, breaking off to allow each house a piece of the path to call it's own. Looking around, she realised tht the entire town was flat, with the edges of it creeping down to reveal a very steep edge of the hill it was placed upon. There was, surprisingly to Kaitie, hardly any residents at all outside, and the ones that were appeared ready to shut themselves in their houses. To her surprise and discomfort, she saw the last of the residents staring at her and shaking their heads. She frowned slightly and Pichu leapt from her shoulder into her backpack nervously.

“Umm.. Hi!” she said with mock enthusiasm, a fake smile planted firmly on her face. "Is this Fallarbor Town?"

Several of the residents nodded, the others nervously hitching up their jumpers or wrapping their arms around themselves for warmth. Kaitie noticed this and sub-consciously played with her white, feathery sleeves. There was an awkward silence which followed, with several people nodding a goodbye to others and walking into their homes, where Kaitie could catch a glimpse of small children running eagerly or a cackling fire, surrounding the house with warmth. Kaitie walked forwards shyly and looked around. She wanted to explore the town and surrounding areas, not stand there around residents who watched her entire journey up the hill (although she didn’t know this), thinking she was incredibly strange.

As Kaitie was prepared to have a look around, a small boy with a rounded frame came walking towards her briskly. She watched him travel, occaisonally running a hand with long, slim fingers through his short, spiky silver hair. It matched the colour of the never-ending forest of ash she had just been in, Kaitie thought bitterly. Although, she couldn’t help but to crack a smile at his seriousness. When he finally reached her, he spoke with teeth chattering. It was then she realised he was so incredibly covered up; a thick woollen jumper was over the top of what seemed to be never-ending layers of clothing.

“Hello there,” he said, his raspy voice shaking slightly with dull, gray eyes looking up at her.

“Hi,” she replied, taking in his features. There was a short silence, which she broke. “Um, I’m Kaitie. What’s your name?”

“I’m Matt,“ the small boy, Matt, said with a laid-back accent. “Why did you travel through the ash forest in Winter?” he said sharply, giving the impression that this was what he had been meaning to ask.

Kaitie was slightly a taken back. “Well, I’m on a journey throughout all of Hoenn, and I’ve heard about the unique winters you’ve had, and I just love winters..” she began, her eyes sparkling with wonder as she talked about the topic.

The small boy interrupted her sharply, “You actually like winters? Wow, no wonder everyone here thought you were odd when you were walking happily…”

It was at this point that Kaitie’s bright mood was dampened as she realised that was the reason the residents had been so awkward and stared at her as though she was an outcast. Matt continued with a speech about various things about winter in which Kaitie cut him short.

“Hang on.. Did you just say that everyone here hates winter?”

Matt’s dull eyes widened until the entire iris was seen. There seemed to be more excitement in his expression, talking to Kaitie seemed to bring out an inner personality. “What’s really to like? It doesn’t snow here, probably the only place in Hoenn that doesn’t. And the pokemon all leave, so there really isn’t anything to do here,”

The harshness of his words cut Kaitie in more than she could say. It seemed that this year wouldn’t be the Winter she wanted; with the unique kind of winter her grandfather had promised she would meet. Of course, he hadn’t clarified the exact kind of uniqueness, but Kaitie had expected miraculous things; snow falling as far as the eye could see, the sky sunny and gay and the cold would wither away as the children ran around with excitement.

Kaitie shook her head and broke out of yet another fantasy. “Well, if winter is really no fun here, I guess there is no use for me to stay… Rustboro Town, I think, is just ahead?” She said, defeated and torn.

Matt looked slightly disappointed in what she said, probably trying to express how he felt about his town and showing her his knowledge, and not trying to drive her away. He nodded and pointed towards a lake just outside the hill which the town was on.

“Over there is the way, you should go through a cave which leads to a hill. Travel down them and you’ll be at Rustboro..” he said, his gray eyes losing the small excitement they had gained when talking.

Although sad to leave the town which she had heard so much about but had been disappointed by, Kaitie left with a wave to Matt. As Matt faded into the distance, she felt a tinge of regret but kept on walking. Rustboro would surely be a better place to stay for a few days of winter, and she had relatives which lived there, too! She walked with a little more spring in her step towards the lake.. Over the lake’s bridge..

“Ahh!” Kaitie felt a sharp pinch of cold on her arm. Pichu poked its head out of her bag and looked up, worried about his trainer. Kaitie looked down and saw the worry etched on his face. “Oh, no, Pichu. No need to worry, I just felt a little cold for a second there..” And then there it was again, right on the top of her nose.. a snowflake.

Gasping in the cold air, she couldn’t believe what was happening. In the town supposedly known to never snow, there was snow falling everywhere. The snowflakes surrounded her and the lightly brushed upon her skin, this time not leaving a searing pain but tickling her as she walked ahead.

As Pichu and Kaitie giggled as they walked, snow crowding around their feet, deeper and deeper than they would think possible. The sky was covered with ash, still, but instead of ash falling there was pure white snow. Kaitie leaped in the air with bottled up happiness, before landing in the snow. For a few moments she soaked in the absolute wonder and excitement she was feeling, with the winter wonderland surrounding her, before becoming extremely uncomfortable.. It seemed that there was something underneath her..

She squealed as the snow began to shift under her and give muffled cries. She leapt up hurriedly and her Pichu dropped onto the snow, its fur cackling with electricity at the unknown presence. The snow then rose upwards, slightly larder than Pichu and in a V-shape. The snow had been shaken off by now - but it seemed the creature was snow! Then Kaitie and Pichu looked closer and jumped back in almost complete synchronisation as, in the middle of the V, a blue head popped upwards. It was then, in complete realisation, that the snow was infact cottony wings; the creature was a Swablu, a small, beautiful bird pokemon! The feminine Swablu leapt up and glared at the Pichu, which immediately sent a thundershock at the bird. Kaitie was about to protest, before realising that the Pokemon would make a lovely addition to her Pokemon team. Timidly looking down at her Pokemon, she hesitantly ordered Pichu to do another thundershock.

It was too late; the frightened Swablu had leapt up and attacked the Pichu with her small, grey beak and Pichu was thrown aside. Taken aback, Pichu leapt up onto a nearby snow-covered rock and used a powerful thundershock on the bird. Kaitie flinched at the sudden outburst of light whilst Swablu hurriedly flew upwards and avoided the attack, before swooping down and spraying snow from a tree ahead onto the electric Pokemon. As the frustrated Pichu fell backwards yet again, the Swablu fluttered above with a new-found confidence. It had a smug smirk on it's face, as though taunting the small Pokemon for it's weakness, like a bully in a playground.

Kaitie, in panic, realised that the battle was not going well as the Swablu appeared to be of a higher level than her Pichu. The bird Pokemon had apparently realised this too, and was becoming more confident in her attacks. She stumbled an order to her Pichu to do a quick attack, as the Swablu was hovering up ahead, ready for her next attack.

Pichu, upon hearing the command, planned its route carefully and rushed, quick as lighting, at the bird hovering above. He hit her with wonderful accuracy and the Swablu fell into the snow below. She rose her head dizzily and attempted to brush the snow off her wings, no doubt preparing for a wing attack against the mouse. The two pokemon shared an angry glare at this point, which was broken by Kaitie repeating her order. Pichu, with concentration etched on his face, leapt forward with speed and hit the Swablu again. Pichu, amazed at his strength, triumphantly danced around, knowing that he had hit the Swablu superbly.

Kaitie giggled at her Pokemon’s silliness, and then saw the injured Swablu rearing up behind him. She seemed to be a sweet Pokemon, but obviously didn't give up hope and was very determined. The bird Pokemon flew forward and hit her Pichu with her wings with alarming accuracy as he was dancing. Pichu flew back and hit a rock behind him, and, in boiling anger at the sneaky attack, prepared another thundershock, looking up at Kaitie for permission.

Kaitie laughed at her Pokemon’s determination, seeing for the first time of her life that he was a born fighter. The whole battle seemed to pause at this point has Kaitie thought about her Pichu. This was so far his first battle and she couldn’t help but be proud of his progress. It seemed just yesterday that he was weakly attempting to shock her when sleeping when he was just a baby. Although Kaitie had tried to protect him from the harsh world of battling, she realised that Pichu was more determined and comfortable than Kaitie was. She stumbled on her words and timidly joined in on the battle, whilst Pichu was calm and collected, coolly controlling the battle and shifting accordingly with unforeseen twists and turns. As the battle came back to life and the reality of the situation was seperated from her fantasy thoughts, She nodded at him with defiance, knowing that the amount of determination and focus he was showing would ensure a critical hit and the battle to be won. Pichu then turned to the bird who was rearing up for an attack, and shot a powerful thundershock her way. The bird, her wings clipped by the electrical surge, was blown back, lying down in the snow.

As her injured body attempted weakly to get up, Kaitie fumbled one of the 5 poke balls that she kept in her belt. As she threw it with new-found certainty and purpose towards the pokemon, she took in a number of things around her. Her Pichu’s face, looking confused yet triumphant at the outburst of terrific power, the lightly falling snow around her, reminding her of miracles. As the Swablu was sucked into the poke ball by a beam of red light, she decided that, if she caught the pokemon, she would travel back to Fallarbor Town. She knew it would eventually be beautiful there, like Swablu’s cottony wings.

FireflyK
12-30-2007, 06:24 PM
Introduction: This was a very descriptive introduction. It really gave me a clear picture of the town, which is good, as I haven't played the game in a while. ^^: You also included information about your character, without giving the whole story away. Good work.

Plot: A winter-loving girl travels to a disappointing town, Fallabor, only to find ash, not snow. She chats with a boy, and finds a Pokemon.
Generally, this wouldn't be a very complex plot, especially for a Hard level Pokemon. However, your did have something else going for your story- the characters. While the plot wasn't too complicated, your characters were well developed. Personally, I find subtle plots like character development to be more interesting than long, drawn-out sequences with less unique characters, so I'd say your plot/theme was definitely good enough for a Swablu.

Length: Technically, Swablu should be 20K at the least. ^^; You had about 16K. However, considering that this is your first story (Or so I think? Correct me if I'm wrong) and very well written, I'm willing to let this slide. Try to write the minimum for whatever you write for next, however.

Grammar: I can't believe I'm getting to say this in a grade, but you had very few grammar errors, and those that you had were minor.

It was a musty and foggy day, the sky covered with so much ash from a faraway volcano that the sun's rays could barely escape the thick layers. Breathing in a supposed breath of fresh air would leave you sourly disappointed, the ash particles around you travelling into your lungs like knives. Looking down from Fallarbor town, the used-by forest below usually appeared untouched and peaceful, a serene area where one could sit peacefully amongst the incredible amount of ash. The trees were filled with the horrible substance and the rustling of the small tree pokemon would create a hopeful illusion of falling snow.
For the most part, these sentences are all grammatically correct. However, they're all complex sentences, and very long. Now, there's nothing wrong with that- you seem to be developing your own, unique style- but you might want to throw a few shorter sentences in, too. Varying your sentence structure and length can really help a story, and it makes it easier for the reader. ^^;
I'm not quite sure what you meant by 'used-by' forest, though.

As the residents of the small town, faced with the combined forces of ash and cold, realised that it was again time to lock the doors and soak up the fireplace, they would notice a disturbance down by the forest. Looking closer, it was believed to be just a pokemon, but, comically, a figure arose from the ashes, stumbling, heaving and cursing.
Here, you sort of used a future tense- they 'would' notice a disturbance. When the next sentence introduces your character, it reads a little awkwardly. Who was looking closer, and believing it to be a Pokemon?

Ruining the complete serene scene the forest had set for itself, the smaller than average eleven year old girl brushed off every last bit of ash she came across, screaming with rage.
Complete and serene, in a row, don't quite work... Perhaps 'completely serene scene?'

A taken back, Pichu leapt up onto a nearby snow-covered rock and used a powerful thundershock on the bird.
Again, some confusing work order. ^^: I think you meant 'Taken aback'.

As itís injured body attempted weakly to get up, Kaitie fumbled one of the 5 poke balls that she kept in her belt.
No apostrophe in it's, that would be 'it is', not the possesive. Also, does Swablu have a gender? You might want to use he/she instead of 'it', though that's not really a grammatical error.

Battle: Very good. You included many descriptions of the attacks, as well as some thoughtfulness on Kaitie's part as she and Pichu fought the Swablu. There's really nothing for me to suggest or correct here.

Result: Swablu captured! Congratulations. You were especially strong with your descriptions, and the battle. For next time, try to work a little bit on grammar, and on length.

Splishee
01-01-2008, 07:24 AM
:Ohh!
Thankyou! :biggrin:. I'm so excited. I'll take gooood care of my white and blue fluffy thing-o :oops:.