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Pokemon Trainer Sarah
03-26-2008, 06:46 AM
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Misty walked in silence, her ocean-green eyes fixed to the winding gravel path before her. Her feet propelled her forward without thought, one after the other, scuffing in the gravel and leaving a trail of dust in her wake. Absentmindedly, she kicked a stone from her path, causing it to leave the ground and fly into the bushes to her left. She stopped for only a moment to watch where it fell, her eyes scanning the tall pine trees and thick undergrowth which lined the route that she was travelling.

The weather was warm for early spring, and it seemed that winter had ended prematurely as small green shoots had already pushed themselves above the icy ground, their bulbs drawing nutrients from the sun’s rays. Misty brushed a strand of orange hair from her eyes, wishing she had pulled it into a ponytail to avoid the annoyance of having it fall into her face. When she looked up again, she finally caught sight of her destination: the beautiful Cerulean Cape, which stretched out to the north of Cerulean City. Beneath it ran a fresh flowing river which eventually wound its way past Nugget Bride and toward Mt. Moon. From the east side of the cape, the ocean was visible and it was here that the young trainer sat, her navy pants and yellow singlet billowing in the salty sea breeze.

Automatically, her eyes found their way to the silver watch on her wrist, the hands seeming almost stagnant in the mounting darkness. It was just past six, and although the weather was reminiscent of a fresh summer night, the days were still short and the sun had already begun to descend toward the deep blue ocean, its rays tickling the clouds with pink and orange light as the orb fell, ready to greet the other side of the Earth.

She sat, her knees cuddled to her chest, her arms wrapped tightly around her shins. Her shoulder length hair clouded her eyesight, but she didn’t need to see anymore. She had reached her resting place, the northernmost tip of Kanto and the closest to the region of Sinnoh that she could possibly be without leaving her own region’s borders. Misty’s gaze was locked to the grass at her feet, each blade waving helplessly in the wind, but her emerald eyes were unfocused, her mind wandering, as she began to recall the last time that she had sat here.

It was almost a perfect day; the sun shone high overhead, and there was not a single cloud in sight. The cheery weather only made her feel more miserable though, as if she had no right to be upset when she had been offered a brilliant summer’s day. Ignoring the feeling in her stomach that made her want to throw up, she leant her newly restored red bicycle against the thick trunk of an old oak tree, leaving the dozing Togepi in the basket to rest. She walked to the point alone, her green eyes brimming with tears as she looked out across the town where she had grown up. When her gaze fell on the Cerulean Gym she quickly turned away, plonking herself down on the short grass and bowing her head, allowing the sea breeze to whip at her orange hair. A long time ago she had dreamt of leading her family’s Gym, but a lot had changed since then…

She knew her sisters would be waiting for her, but she wasn’t ready yet. This morning she had had no idea that she wouldn’t be waking up to see the smiling faces of her travelling companions tomorrow. Everything had happened so fast that she felt as if all choice had been taken from her. After the sun was gone, she began the walk home, wheeling her bike along the stream toward the Gym. As the night descended, so too did the silence and the young trainer realised just how long it had been since she had been alone. As she stepped through the giant Gym doors, she began to look forward to hearing another human voice. Instead she was greeted with a yellow sticky-note plastered to the fridge. Recognising the scrawled writing at once, she scanned the page.

Like, what took you so long? We had to go. Dinner’s in the fridge. See you in a few months!
Daisy xox

Misty felt anger well inside of her as she read over it, but instead of tearing the note to pieces like she wanted to, she turned and walked solemnly through the small kitchen and to the back of the gym where her old room was. Without turning on the light, she collapsed on her bed, her sobs muffled by her pillow. Finally, exhaustion got the better of her and she drifted off to sleep, away from her best friend for the first time in three years.

The first few months were a blur; all she could remember was cleaning, trying to get the gym back into the shape it had once been in. Misty found that the best way to forget about travelling was to work until she could no longer stand, so that when she finally got to bed, she had no energy to think and instead fell asleep before the darkness could remind her that she was alone. As the gym was put back in order, young trainers began to come through, hoping to add another badge to their collections. At first the battles were exciting, but there was no one to cheer her when she won, no one to tell her what a great move she had chosen, or how much her strategy had improved. Soon the battles became another chore on her list, just an opportunity for reminiscence about the time when she had battled Ash within these very walls, rather than the exciting and challenging matches expected from a Gym Leader…

Reaching into her pocket, the red-head retrieved a small blue ornament, shaped like the tears that were rolling down her cheeks. She peered at the cobalt-coloured badge for a few seconds before letting her right hand flop. The Cascade Badge rolled gently over her fingers before it fell, shining brightly in the dying light as it plummeted into the crystal sea.

And only then, when the thrill of battle had finally been taken from her, when being the youngest Water-master in the world was no longer enough, she realised that there was only one thing that could ever make her happy. Knowing what she had to do, she felt excitement rising in her. Filled with hope, she allowed the force to bring her to her feet. After taking a final look over the water that had long been her calming influence, she turned and began to run back toward the city, her feet barely touching the ground. As she rounded the corner near Nugget Bridge, something shot across her path and she stumbled, accidentally knocking the blue ball-like creature a few feet through the dust.

She managed to stop herself from falling and looked down at what she had hit. An indigo tadpole was hunched over on the ground, the swirl on its stomach slowly rotating, its eyes shut in panic. “Poliii,” it cried, the sound escaping its round pink mouth as it wobbled nervously from side to side.

“I’m sorry,” the Water Gym Leader apologised, bending down to get a closer look at the Poliwag. “Are you alright?”

The small Pokemon waved its thin, leaf-like tail warily as it slowly opened its eyes. When it caught sight of the human peering over it, the wild Pokemon jumped to its feet and sprung backwards in a single leap. Its small eyes narrowed and a stream of bubbles was released from its cherry lips. The Bubblebeam attack hit the ground before Misty, causing a small explosion that forced her backwards off her feet.

The annoyed Water-type watched her as she scrambled to get up, its small body crouched in what Misty took as a battle stance. Realising that she would have no choice but to battle, she reached into her pocket and retrieved the Pokeball that she had taken to carrying around with her at all times for protection.

"Staryu, I choose you," she called, releasing the red and white orb into the air. In a flash of crimson light a sandy-coloured, star-shape Pokemon materialised and took its position before Misty.

"Hiyah!" Its strange war cry served as a warning to the Poliwag that it was in trouble for messing with its trainer. The Staryu spun in the air, the gem in its middle glistening majestically in the setting sun.

"Alright Staryu, let's start with Rapid Spin!"

The star-shape Pokemon spun even faster until its five points could no longer be differentiated from each other. It flew at the Poliwag who was struck and knocked backwards through the dust. As Staryu slowed down, Poliwag jumped to its feet, shook off the attack and raced forward to slam into its opponent. The attack seemed to be very powerful for a Pokemon of Poliwag's size, and Staryu was sent spiralling backwards by the force of the Body Slam, while Poliwag landed on its feet, its mouth turned up in a scowl.

"Try a Swift!" Misty instructed.

Staryu spun 180 degrees in the air until it was headed for Poliwag once more. A stream of golden stars was emitted from the jewel in its centre. They shot through the air, locked to their target. The tadpole seemed to know that there was no use trying to dodge and instead it crouched down, ready to take the hit. The Swift sent the lightweight Pokemon head over heels on the ground and Staryu let out a victorious "Hiyah!".

"Great work," Misty smiled, surprised that she was enjoying the battle.

Before she could issue another command, the determined Poliwag was back on its feet. This time it opened its pink mouth wide and a small ball of glistening ice began to form there before a freezing Ice Beam attack was released.

"Light Screen!" Misty cried as the attack sped toward her Pokemon.

As she uttered the command, a glowing purple shield began to form around her Pokemon. The stream of ice smashed into the protective barrier causing a small explosion, which filled the makeshift arena with a black haze. When the smoke finally cleared, Poliwag was panting heavily on the ground while Staryu hung motionlessly in the air, its pointed limbs drooping.

"Poliiiii!" the tadpole cried, taking the opportunity to get another attack in. A familiar stream of bubbles erupted from the Pokemon's jaw.

"Give it a Hydro Pump," Misty instructed, hoping that she could overpower the Poliwag's attack.

Staryu climbed a little higher in the air and then aimed its top point at the approaching bubbles. A heavy stream of water gushed from its appendage, consuming the Bubblebeam and slamming into the puffed out Poliwag, sending it flying. When the attack was over, Staryu had floated to the ground to rest while the indigo tadpole was left lying in a puddle of water, its eyes half open as it struggled to regain its breath.

And Misty saw it then, in the weakened Pokemon’s eyes, the life she had left behind to come here. Through all the memories, one thing stood out; the image of Ash, stuck in the cabin, paralysis consuming his body as he waited for her return. Without thought, she reached into her pocket, grasped a red and white orb and then allowed the empty Pokeball to leave her hand. As the Poliwag disappeared in a flash of red, she knew at last that she had made the right decision.

For the first time in months, a small smile flitted onto her face as she looked north over the cape, toward the land of Sinnoh and her new destination.

I’m coming…

Going for: Poliwag
Characters Required: 5-10k
Total Characters: 11,008

Galleon
05-20-2008, 07:18 PM
Geez, I really don't think this story has waited long enough, but I GUESS I CAN GRADE IT. Ha ha... *sigh* You are one patient Lady. Lemme see if I can make this grade a smidgen less conventional for ya. :P

Straight to the Point: Poliwag captured! Of course this is a capture; it practically obliterates the requirements for a tadpole, so kudos to you miss. The rest of the grade is to be read at your own whims.

How far does it go?: Farther than necessary, yet far enough that it doesn't sell its self short. The real point of the story is comes to a head at the end of the battle, wrapping everything up in a manner that makes the overall length of the story seem only natural.

The Real Deal: I thought it was plenty realistic, and Misty's depression with her boring new life gave a sullenly realistic feel to the reasons for her actions, as well.

The Fisticuffs: Staryu in one corner, Poliwag in the other, I'd have to say that this provided plenty of action-y entertainment for the audience. Misty even gave commands like she does in the show, leading into the well-described attacks and fairly balanced fight. For a water versus water bout, I think you played things out keenly enough.

The Sparkly Things: Since the story's about memories, it makes sense for much of the description to be given through history or flashbacks. The only thing I'm gonna point out here isn't even necessary, in all honesty:
Beneath it ran a fresh flowing river which eventually wound its way past Nugget Bride and toward Mt. Moon.
This little piece from a paragraph that splendidly describes the Cerulean Cape with respect to its surroundings, as well as the path Misty takes to get there. It really is perfectly fine the way it is, but if you wanted, you could have described Nugget Bridge and Mt. Moon, rather than using their names. I bring this up 'cuz I've found from personal experience that backdrops are great places to provide a bit more detail, especially mountains. I mean, if you just imagine yourself gazing up at this huge mountain's snow-tipped peak as a few strands of white fluff drift on by... Okay, so I have an unhealthy obsession with mountains. >_>

*clears throat* Honestly, your description is top notch, more than enough for a quaint story like this, so don't you think for a second that I'm trying to say otherwise.

The Technical Mumbo-Jumbo: You have fabulous grammar skills, which is something notice a lot when authors are using British or Australian spellings. And that makes me think about all this world politics junk, so thank you for that. Just one thing I'm gonna point out:
This morning she had had no idea that she wouldn’t be waking up to see the smiling faces of her travelling companions tomorrow.
The 'had had' isn't needed. Just one 'had' will give you the same effect, and the double-word is often frowned upon by grammar obsessed people, who are then frowned upon by everyone else in the world.

One Story House with Large Basement: Derived directly from the anime. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of anime fics, but that's probably just 'cuz I'm not a fan of the anime itself. Speaking both technically and metaphorically, this story has plenty of depth in its own right, which is what matters most.

Exploring a character's emotional state is a great reason for writing a story, and the way you tie this into the anime's storyline is admirable as well. It's easy to see how things could begin to feel dry for Misty after giving up her more adventurous lifestyle, especially if she's all alone for such a long time. Even though I wouldn't say that the random encounter with Poliwag is particularly meaningful in itself, it does provide a means to an end, in which Misty really understands herself better.

But yeah, that's pretty much it. This story definitely doesn't need a big grade, as there really isn't anything particularly wrong with it. Congratulations and good luck with your future stories. :ogre:

Pokemon Trainer Sarah
05-21-2008, 01:15 PM
Thanks a lot Galleon ^^