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Stories Write a story to catch Pokemon. A Grader will then decide if it catches or not.


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Old 07-07-2008, 04:31 PM
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Default Always Together [Summer Competition]

Note: The poor grammar/spelling in the dialogue is intentional. (ie--perticular in place of particular, yer in place of your, all of those ain'ts, etc.) Of course, if there are other mistakes, that's another story. Enjoy!



Always Together


“Come on,” said Jimmy, “you're a Ponyta. Can't you go any faster?”

I laughed. “Of course!” Lowering my head, I galloped harder and harder, listening to the rhythm of the my hooves against the earth, loud enough to bury Jimmy's triumphant shouts.

It was so bright in the field outside the Millers' farmhouse, I could barely open my eyes. I flew through unruly grass, beneath thick oak trees, and atop smooth hills that could have been waves, frozen in place, of a well-behaved sea. It was the perfect place for a Ponyta to run, and here, I felt my flaming mane and tail explode with heat.

The fire that dappled my clean white fur revealed my emotions—always huge and powerful when I felt joy, and withering and pathetic when I felt despair. Running through this field made it expand, billow, swell—so that when sprinting, I looked like a soaring meteor, shooting across the farm to escape empty space.

My flaming mane and tail never looked so grand, however, as when Jimmy and I went riding. I don't remember when I met him. I may have just hatched from a PokeEgg, or perhaps I met him later and thought him insignificant at the time. If, during my infancy, I had thought him unimportant, that had certainly changed. I loved him with the passion that only a fire Pokemon could. He was my human, and I was his Ponyta.

“Hey,” he said, patting my neck. “Let's stop under the willow tree.”

I slowed as I gazed upon our favorite resting spot, which was just ahead. The weeping willow was old—probably even older than Jimmy's Ma, and its trunk was thick, gnarled, and rough. Many of its branches drooped all the way to the ground and lazily sprawled upon the grass, the hanging leaves surrounding the massive tree like a thin veil. Jimmy and I always pretended they were walls of a fort, which, he often told me, human children did with bed sheets and blankets. Of course, our fort was much better. Here was a base that human children could climb, and then afterwards, have a great deal of privacy.

Poking my nose through the leaves and parting the branches, I crept inside. Right next to the tree trunk were two dirt-patches, the spots upon which Jimmy and I usually lay. He slid off my back and took the smaller space, while I yawned, folded my legs, and plopped onto the larger.

Leaning against my shoulder, Jimmy sighed and blew his yellow bangs away from his forehead.

I cocked my head. “What's the matter?”

“Ma seemed upset this morning,” he said with a shrug. He sat up, and with his index finger, traced lines in the dirt.

“She's always actin' that way, though!” I shook my head and snorted.

“But she ain't just actin', Nyta,” said Jimmy. “The crops ain't bringin' in any money. I know nothin' about money—I am only ten, after all—but I know she's bothered by it.”

“Yeah, always bothered,” I said, sending a wicked smile in Jimmy's direction.

He failed to return the sentiment. “I'm serious, Nyta. I'm worried about her. Real worried.”

“All right, all right,” said I. “Sorry. I'm just trying to cheer you up, ya know.” Resting my head on my forelegs, I asked, “has she tried sellin' the hogs? The horses?”

Jimmy shook his head. “Some of the hogs ain't full grown yet, and the horses ain't healthy enough for any breeders or racers to be interested in buyin' 'em. I'm worried about Ma, but I guess I'm also scared that...”

I raised my head and furrowed my brows. “Scared that what?”

“Well,” Jimmy said, his voice cracking, “Ma's always sayin' that the only thing we could sell is... you.”

I snorted again and stood, wondering if he could see the fear in my eyes. “Why me?”

“Nyta, you know Ponytas are rare in these parts. Heck! Pokemon in general are rare. We got Ma's Miltank, but still...” When he noticed my expression, he raised his eyebrows, and shook his hands in front of his chest. “I ain't gonna sell you! That ain't what I want! I was just sayin' what Ma told me.”

But I wouldn't hear it. I raised my chin, closed my eyes, and faced away from him.

In a heartbeat, Jimmy was at my side. He threw his arms around my neck. “Nyta, we'll always be together. Don't you know that?”

I glanced at him from the corner of my eyes, but kept my chin raised. I had to keep the act going to make sure he was true to his word, of course. “Promise?” I asked.

“Yeah! Always together,” he said, stepping back and extending his arms as if trying to pull me into an embrace.

With a laugh, I turned to face my human, giddily stomping the ground with my hooves. “Always together!” I echoed. “Now tell me a story!”

Jimmy smiled too, and I could see the gap in his front teeth. The sunlight peeked between the branches and touched his cheeks, illuminating his dense freckles and golden eyebrows and sparkling against the sapphire of his eyes. He sat on the ground with me, ran his fingers through his honey-colored hair, and then relayed the adventures of Huck Finn—that is, until we were interrupted.

The sound of an engine roared from a spot near the farmhouse. Jimmy froze and widened his eyes, and we both listened to it growing louder and louder, approaching the house.

I didn't understand why Jimmy looked so alarmed. “Who could be visitin' your Ma, I wonder.”

But he didn't answer. He rose and said, “Quick! Help me climb the tree!”

I wanted to stop him, to ask him why he seemed so frightened, but the urgency in his voice forced me to obey, and to remain silent. I stood along with him and propped my body against the trunk of the tree. Effortlessly, Jimmy hopped onto my back, clutched the branches of the willow, and rose onto the strongest, thickest branch of our magnificent fort. I watched him as he slid forward and across the branch, balancing by clutching it between his knees, until he reached an opening in the cover of hanging leaves.

“What are you doing?” I hissed.

Jimmy shushed me and peered through the leaves, perhaps trying to identify the visitor. After a while, he said, “It's—It's—” But he couldn't finish. Hanging on to the branch with his hands, he swung his body over its side, and, steadying himself, dropped to the ground. Without an explanation, he ran towards the house.

“Jimmy!” I yelled, jumping away from the willow to watch him sprint towards the house.

It was a one story cottage, with wooden shutters, now uneven due to the push and pull of storms and discolored due to the light of the sun. Its roof, long and pointed, shaded its porch, upon which sat a rocking chair that creaked as it swayed. Thanks to the Millers' visitor, Jimmy's Ma had abandoned her knitting on the chair, her knitting needles rolling back and forth, stopping only when the half-knit sweater blocked them from falling off of the chair.

I sprinted after Jimmy as quickly as I could. Normally, of course, a Ponyta would outrun a human child with ease, but Jimmy already had a head start, and he reached the farmhouse before I could catch up. He yanked open the screen door, leaped inside, and then slammed the door behind him.

I would've run in after him, regardless of not being allowed in the house, but I froze when I saw the truck parked ten feet away. Worn and rust-colored, it was hooked to a large, white trailer behind it. The trailer had one window on its side, and an arch-shaped roof. Pictures had been painted on its outer walls. My eyes traced a picture of red curtains, a bright, round amusement park ride between the curtains, and fancy lettering, which I, of course, couldn't read.

“I'll ask Jimmy what it says later,” I said to myself. Then I turned my gaze from the trailer and focused on the house. Someone spoke inside, someone whose voice I failed to recognize. From his mouth spilled the occasional burst of anger, and then he would lower his voice and continue to speak in whispers.

I had to see this person. I had to watch as he spoke to Jimmy and his Ma, so I lowered my head and crept around the side of the house, until I ducked beneath a foggy window. Flattening my ears, I peaked just above the window sill to see Jimmy's Ma sitting at the kitchen table, her eyes bulging and her lip quivering in fear. With my eyes, I traced the outline of her crooked nose, broken years ago by the husband that left her, Jimmy's Pa. Beside her stood Jimmy, clinging to his mother's arm and resting his chin on his collarbone, so it looked as though he lacked a neck. Jimmy stared at the floor of the kitchen as the man—whoever he was—rambled on and on.

As usual, darkness beheld the kitchen. From what I could see, it looked as though everything, including the chair in which Jimmy's mother sat and the table upon which she rested her hand, would crumble or collapse at any moment. But perhaps that was just the way it appeared, because the Millers had had that furniture for as long as I could remember; it hadn't broken yet. Behind them hung spoons, knives, and spatulas, and just off to the side sat their old stove, which rarely cooperated, according to Jimmy.

My attention snapped to the right, however, as the man who spoke stepped into view. His hands on his hips, his cowboy hat tipped low over his eyes, he glared at Jimmy and his mother. Although the window pane muffled the softer sounds, I could imagine him growling as he tapped his foot impatiently and sneered at the Millers.

“You're lying,” he said, jutting his head forward like a snapping Arbok.

Jimmy's Ma pulled him close when he jumped. “No!” She said, burying her son's head in her bosom. “Honest, Baurs, we ain't got nothin' to give you!”

After pulling a toothpick out of his mouth, dropping it, and stepping on it with the soul of his leather boot, he said, “I know you're lying! Word around the neighborhood is—you got stuff you can sell, but you're holdin' out.”

Jimmy threw his mother's arms away from him. “We ain't got nothin' for you!” he shouted.

The man called Baurs chuckled. “Actually, I hear you got somethin' of perticular use to me, and I'd like it now.” When the Millers were silent, Baurs shrugged and said, “if you give me what I want, I can take away all yer troubles, meanin' all yer bills. Don't you want that for yer Ma, son?”

Jimmy wiped tears from his eyes and nodded. “But I can't...”

“Yes, you can,” said Baurs. He dropped to his knees, so that he was eye-level with Jimmy. Then, from his pocket, he removed what looked like a marble bag made of black velvet and handed it to my human.

Jimmy looked inside and bit his lower lip. After tightening the string around the opening of the little bag, he shoved Baurs aside and sprinted towards the door. I heard the screen door slam, and I trotted towards the sound of Jimmy's quick footsteps as he fled from the terrible scene, and the terrible man alike.

“Jimmy!” I shouted, and ran after him. This time, I caught up to him in no time, and jumping in front of him, blocked him from running any farther. “Jimmy, what's wrong—?”

“Just take me far, far away from the house,” he said. “Now!”

Immediately, I crouched, allowing him to hoist himself onto my back, and galloped hard towards the edge of the field, past the willow tree and over the hills. I didn't stop until we reached the forest that bordered our farm. Only then did I hear someone starting the engine of the truck, but it sounded as if it was miles away.

“Okay,” said Jimmy. “Lemme off.”

I did, and watched him brush stray white fur from the front of his overalls. Then he dropped to the grass and stared up at the soft, white clouds above. I snorted, trying to get his attention, but his gaze stayed fixed on the bright sky.

“Hey!” I said. “Who was that?

“I just wanna forget him, Nyta,” said Jimmy. “I don't wanna talk—”

I stomped the ground with a front hoof, silencing him. “I don't care!” I hardly realized how loud I was being, until a flock of birds, frightened by my roars, fled from the nearby treetops. “Just tell me, Jimmy.”

He sighed. “Fine. That's Baurs.”

“Yes, I heard that,” said I.

“Well, he's the man who owns our property,” Jimmy answered. “In fact, he owns many of the businesses in town, including the water and heating companies. He's pretty rich, but he ain't got time for those that can't pay their bills.” He sat up, plucked some grass from the earth, and tossed it near my hooves. “And we can't pay our bills.”

I frowned. “What was he pullin' from his truck?”

“A trailer, I think,” said Jimmy. “Like I said, he owns lotsa businesses. One of them is a circus, so he pulls horse trailers. Keeps all kindsa animals in 'em, though.”

I couldn't help but laugh. “A man like him runnin' a circus?”

“Yeah,” Jimmy said, as though it should have been obvious. “His circus brings him the most money outta anything, really.”

“And what did he give you in there?” As soon as I asked, Jimmy stared at the ground. “You know,” I tried to clarify, “the thing in the black bag?”

“I knew what you meant,” Jimmy said, crossing his arms over his chest. “And I ain't tellin' you. Not now. I don't wanna talk about it no more.”

After that day, things only got harder for the Millers. It seemed as though Jimmy's Ma never stopped crying, never stopped moaning and whining to Jimmy about their financial troubles. She sold much of the furniture left in her home, and had Jimmy working extra to help her during harvest season, but still, she couldn't make ends meet. She remained disheartened and hopeless.

Baurs still came by on occasion. During those days, Jimmy made me hide under our willow tree. I obeyed, of course, but I listened and watched between the hanging branches. About a year after I first saw Baurs there, he visited again, and though I couldn't hear the conversation from my hiding spot, I did hear plates shattering and other unidentifiable objects being thrown against the walls of the old farmhouse. These visits always concluded with Baurs storming out of the place, slamming the Millers' screen door, and speeding off in his truck, and with Jimmy's Ma howling with grief.

These were the worst times for both Jimmy and me, times when we desperately needed each other for comfort and support. Our relationship stayed the same, for the most part, but sometimes, he was so angry, so hurt by what Baurs was doing to his mother, that he couldn't bear to speak to anyone—even me. And whenever I tried to lighten the mood by joking about Baurs, Jimmy either changed the subject or gave me the cold shoulder for the remainder of the evening. He was always fine the following day, or he at least acted fine, but after a while, I learned never to bring up Baurs.

Still, even when we carried on with our lives as we always had, I noticed an increasing sadness in him that hadn't been there before. Or, perhaps it was an increasing seriousness, or sternness. It was hard to say. Regardless, I tried my hardest to support him, and to be his friend.

Not long after Jimmy had turned thirteen, we were sitting in the shade of the willow tree, and he was about to tell a story.

“Remember David Copperfield?” He asked me.

I thought about it for a moment. “Oh! You mean that long, long book your Ma was readin' to you? The one you didn't wanna tell me about 'cause it was a whole life story?”

He laughed quietly. “Yeah, Nyta. That one. Turns out it's better than I thought, though. You know, Davy goes from rags to riches.”

“Yeah, well,” I said, nuzzling him with my long snout. “You know that can happen to us too, right?” I would always say things like that, and I'd have to, seeing as Jimmy's favorite theme in any story was now the poor man becoming the rich man. He told dozens of stories in which unfortunate souls found happiness in some way, and usually, it was from some massive increase in the character's monetary earnings.

Humans, I'd think, rolling my eyes. Always too concerned with the material.

But it had gone much further than concern for Jimmy; now, it was obsession. I found that out the hard way.

One day, after Baurs had driven his noisy truck into the Millers' driveway, I jumped under the willow tree and waited for Jimmy. When Baurs had left in his typical way, I approached the house, trying to decide what I could offer Jimmy so that I could cheer him up, or at least prevent an emotional outburst.

More story time, I thought. No! A ride in the field. It's a sunny today, and he'd really enjoy—

The sight of Jimmy interrupted my flow of ideas, however. He shoved open the door, and marched rapidly towards me, huffing and snarling and furrowing his brows. In his hands he held the black marble bag, swinging hard along with his thin arms.

“Jimmy,” I said. “Is everything okay?”

But he didn't answer, and he didn't stop walking. His cheeks flushed crimson, and sweat dripped from his brow. Only when he stood about five feet away did he halt and wipe his forehead with his sleeve. Then he ripped the marble bag open and pulled out a small orb of red and white. It was an object I vaguely remembered seeing before, perhaps from looking at picture books with Jimmy during our childhood, but I couldn't identify what it was.

“What is—?” But in a flash, it came to me. “Jimmy,” I said, trembling. “A PokeBall? That's what Baurs gave you—a PokeBall?”

“Don't speak, Nyta!” said Jimmy, with so much fury and regret in his voice, that I barely recognized my best friend. Then, directing his voice behind his shoulder, he said, “Ma, let Miltank out.”
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Last edited by silverfrost; 07-09-2008 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Giving the writing a good polish.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2008, 04:37 PM
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Default Always Together contd.

Jimmy's timid mother opened the screen door, and out waddled her Miltank, as usual acting happy be alive. She stood at Jimmy's side with her hooves on her round hips and a smile stretching across her face.

Looking down at the cow Pokemon, Jimmy said, “Ma spoke to you, so you'll obey me for this, right?”

She nodded and straightened her posture.

Perplexed by Jimmy's question, I shook my head and scrunched my brows together. “Jimmy... obey you for what?”

“The battle,” said Jimmy, still staring at Miltank. “Baurs said you would be easier to handle—less wild—if you was captured.”

I regret to say, that even in this moment, when Jimmy's betrayal was plainest, I failed to believe it. Instead, I laughed and said, “come on, you're joking!”

But Jimmy didn't laugh. “He's givin' me a job at the circus, a payin' job, but he wants you too, and Ma and I think it's best to sell you.”

“Jimmy...”

“No, Nyta,” he said. Then, grimacing, he threw the PokeBall at me.

I saw it coming, of course, but I was too dazed to duck out of the way. In fact, I was so sure that when the PokeBall hit me, it would wake me from a horrible dream, that I welcomed the hard plastic that crashed into my forehead.

The reality hit me, however, when the PokeBall cracked in half, hovered in the air, and covered me with a bright, red light. Then the PokeBall sucked me inside, and with a loud click, a shadow fell all around me. Aside from my rambling thoughts and heavy breathing, it was silent.

I have to get out of here. I have to get out of here! I thought. Without thinking, I jerked my entire body in strange ways, whinnying and kicking my hind legs until they met something solid behind me. I thrashed, kicking over and over until I felt it give. Shaking my mane, I tried to regain my footing and my mind as the daylight returned. The ball floated backwards until it landed in Jimmy's open palm, and I stood trembling, utterly bewildered and terrified.

“I have to weaken her,” said Jimmy.

Given her cue, Miltank stepped forward, her hooves still resting on her hips.

“No,” I said. “No!”

I turned and ran, my eyes fixed on the willow tree. This isn't happening! I thought. It couldn't possibly be!

Behind me, Jimmy said, “Miltank, use Rollout to catch up to her!”

Glancing over my shoulder, I saw Miltank scrunch into a ball and speed after me. She's much faster than any cow I've ever seen, I thought. Then again, I'd never seen her or any Pokemon battle.

Somehow, she caught up. I tried to jump as she rolled under me, but she connected with one of my hind legs, and losing my balance, I fell hard. I tried to stop tumbling, to regain some kind of control, but I smacked my head into the base of the willow tree. Our willow tree.

Rage and shame filled me, because I had been too foolish to see that my and Jimmy's relationship would come to this. I had been too trusting to think that Jimmy and I would always be best friends. How stupid I was!

My head stung and throbbed as I let my eyes adjust to the light. For a few moments, the world spun and whirled and waved, and then it settled. The wound on my forehead felt hot, and the bruise on my leg ached. It was the pain in my heart that overwhelmed that of my physical ailments, however, and I broke away from the willow tree and searched for Miltank and Jimmy.

Spotting the cow Pokemon first, I snorted and scraped the ground with my forehoof. I hardly had any knowledge of Pokemon moves, but my instincts told me to retaliate with a move similar to the one Miltank used, so I leaped forward, aiming for the cow Pokemon, and sped straight at her. I tackled her in a flash and continued past her so she couldn't use any close-range attacks, and then pivoted to face my opponent.

“Don't underestimate her!” said Jimmy from the side. “She ain't stupid, and just 'cause she ain't got experience, doesn't mean she won't be fierce.”

I glared at him. How could he? How could he turn against me, his best friend, and use what he knows about my mind to hurt me?

I hadn't the time to ponder Jimmy's betrayal, though. Miltank came straight at me with the next part of her Rollout move. Unlike her first attack, I watched this one, trying to predict the course of her movement as she ripped through soil and grass and sent those pieces of earth flying. I dodged her spinning body by leaping over her. Then I turned around and thrust my chest towards her, but she managed to roll to the side, moving clear of my second attack.

“Jimmy!” I yelled. “Make her stop!”

Eyes on the ground, he shook his head. “She ain't stoppin'. Keep going, Miltank.”

“What?” I said. “You can't even look at me?”

The rolling Miltank stole my attention. She wheeled at me again, this time harder and faster, like a violent, raging tumbleweed. She was before me in a heartbeat; I had to react fast. I reared back on my hind legs and whinnied loudly. As she flew beneath my body, I threw all of my weight forward and stomped. Miltank yelped as my hooves struck her, and I whinnied as her body knocked me to the ground again.

This is madness! I thought as I stood and untangled myself from Miltank's limbs. How should I know my own powers as a Pokemon if I've never had a chance to use them? Still, there seemed to be something inside of me telling me what to do, as a first-time mother would know how to nurse her newborn children.

“Miltank,” said Jimmy, “mirror Ponyta's attack. Use Stomp!”

Stomp. I recorded the title of the move I'd just used in my mind for later. Now, I had to dodge Miltank's attack.

She stood to reveal her utters, jumped at me, and flung her hooves forward. I pulled my forelegs back, so that she barely missed hitting them. Then, I charged at her with an attack similar to the tackle-type move I'd used before, but this one surpassed the others in power; I felt the magic brimming in my heart, a mixture of hot and cold, wild like lightning, yet tranquil like the cumulus clouds that floated over the farm. I knew it was a fierce attack even before it connected, before I pummeled Miltank and knocked her against the ground, utters-up. Unfortunately, the power of that attack came with a drawback: I felt strength drain from my body, strength I could have used to defend myself later in this battle.

“Usin' Take Down ain't stupid, just risky,” said Jimmy, his cheeks flushed. “Miltank, use Defense Curl to ward off those physical attacks!”

Miltank grabbed her hind legs with her forehooves so that her body was compact, her entire being glowing white as she built up her defense.

Even now, at this point, after all the harm Jimmy had done me, I wanted to run to his side and take his tears away. I wanted to pull him onto my back and ride away with him, into the night, where he and I could sit in the woods, against the base of a new tree, and start over. We could bring Jimmy's Ma and take care of her while we roam the earth as nomads, renegades, vagabonds. We could forget this madness ever happened.

Maybe, I thought, just maybe, I can convince him to stop.

Our eyes connected, and I stared at him with such intensity—such ferocity—that I was sure he could read my intentions in my gaze. I imagined that the perfect words, which would persuade him to end this battle, were written in my deep, black eyes, and he would read them like he read his favorite books, and forget all about the stories in which characters went from rags to riches and concentrate on his love of the characters, his love of me.

But he looked away. If, during my life, another person's behavior truly caused my heart to shatter, it was Jimmy's breaking eye contact with me. With that gesture, he cut the bond of the past years away, acting as if we'd never been close, and he stomped on our friendship and mocked my trust.

“Miltank, use Zen Headbutt,” said Jimmy suddenly.

The fur on Miltank's head, surrounding her horns, glowed the color of pink. When I looked hard enough, I thought I could see waves of white shimmering there too, like the way the waves of the sea glitter as they catch the sunlight. But the image left me in a flash. Using her little legs, Miltank sprinted towards me. Again, she moved much more quickly than I would have expected.

In an attempt to get out of the way, I jumped to the side, but it didn't fool her. I had to do something besides dodge. Taking a deep breath, I felt a scorching heat build inside of me. Without warning, fire tunneled from my jaws. It inflated and billowed, shooting up and down, left and right, as if it was out of my control. Miltank tried to flee, but the side of the fire tunnel nicked her, and she squealed in pain.

I tried my hardest to stop it—truly, I did, but it was a vicious beast with its own mind, its own reservations. As I spun to stop myself from scorching Miltank, I heard another scream, a sound like nothing I'd ever heard before. And then, I extinguished the flames, swallowing them in hopes that they'd stay trapped forever in my gullet.

The screaming continued, and when I looked up, I saw that Jimmy had fallen to the ground. He clutched his right arm and breathed rapidly. His eyes bulged from his head as he stared at the wound, as if he couldn't believe what he saw.

Shaking, I said, “Jimmy, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to—”

“Miltank,” he said, his voice more like a growl, “use Body Slam!”

The cow Pokemon leaped at me, her limbs outstretched like the five points of a star. I was too shocked to move, too scared to do anything but stand still and blink at my attacker. Miltank slammed into my chest and punched my forehead with one of her hard hooves.

Again, the world started to spin. My legs caved beneath me, and I hit the ground. I didn't want to close my eyes and sleep, but my wounds were urging me to do so, making my eyelids heavy and my limbs weak. Aside from that, the fire of my mane and tail was dying...

I forced my eyes open and looked at Jimmy. Still, he held his burned arm, covering the blackened skin with his hand. He took the PokeBall that I'd rejected and tossed it at me. Again the plastic hit me, the orb opened, and the red light flowed over my body.

As the ball clicked and enclosed me in suffocating darkness, I struggled to stay conscious. In my mind I kicked, but in reality, my legs groped to hold on to something. In my head I whinnied wildly, but in reality, I squeaked like a Rattata.

I felt dizzy as the PokeBall shook once...

With the last of my strength, I said, “Jimmy! What happened to what we promised under our willow tree? What happened to us—always together?”

A wave of dizziness and nausea struck me as the PokeBall shook again...

Yes, I thought, closing my eyes, picturing myself jumping through hoops in Jimmy's circus. Always together.



- - - - - - -
Wanted Pokemon: Ponyta
Category: Hard (between 20k and 30k desired)
Characters: 27,700
Status: Ready for grading
- - - - - - -
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Last edited by silverfrost; 07-09-2008 at 10:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2008, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Always Together [Summer Competition]

Wow. This was scary. Just as I started to read this story, that song “Best of Friends” from that Disney movie, Fox and the Hound, came on randomly on my iPod. It was so fitting. Lol. ^____^

Story / Plot: Nyta and Jimmy have been best friends for as long as she can remember. He is her human, and she is his Ponyta, and they couldn’t have been happier, frolicking in the fields with one another and sharing a rare emotional bond. That is, until Jimmy’s mother begins to have financial issues, and the landlord, Baurs, comes to hassle them on a regular basis. Each time he appears, Jimmy’s mood worsens increasingly, and within two years time, a visit comes that absolutely devastates the household. Jimmy reveals that the mysterious black bag that Baurs had given him harbors a Pokeball, and that he must capture Nyta and give her to Baurs in order to help his Ma keep the property. The Ponyta, in disbelief, must force herself to battle her best friend, her every attack bringing unbearable regret with it.

I have to say… This is one of the best, if not the best URPG story I have read since I became a grader. The way you write is… so easy to fall into, and I am in love with the way you purveyed this tale. I often find myself bored with a story that I am grading about halfway through, but boredom wasn’t even a factor here, let me tell you, because I was fully engaged with this story since the first paragraph.

The plot was far from being one of the most exciting, but the way you made up for that with the emotional descriptions made you a winner with this. It was definitely a heart-wrenching concept, and I could totally feel all of the emotions that the characters felt for each other. Their friendship throughout it all actually glowed through your words, and the terrible betrayal at the end actually pulsed into my heart. You did an utterly fantastic job with this.

Introduction: You do a fine job of introducing the characters and situation that they are in, and you did this all without inducing the feeling that you are throwing all of this in my face at once. I have seen that this can be difficult for other writers to do, especially in shorter stories such as this, but you pulled it off nicely. From the first few paragraphs, I immediately got a feeling for each character, which only paved the way for me to get to know them even better in the rest of the story.

Spelling / Grammar: I had to nit-pick to pull out the few errors that you had. Most were just insignificant and perhaps careless mistakes, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

Quote:
The fire that dappled my clean, white fur revealed my emotions
The comma there is unneeded. When you are using a color in sequence with another adjective, it isn’t required.

Quote:
The sunlight peaked between the branches and touched his cheeks, illuminating his dense freckles and golden eyebrows, and sparkling against the sapphire of his eyes.
Wrong use of “peeked”. Also, the comma after eyebrows isn’t needed, since the sunlight is performing only two actions, and thus should only require an “and”.

Quote:
“Who could be visitin' your Ma, I wonder?”
I don’t believe that is should end in a question mark. I could be wrong in this instance, but since Nyta is saying that she is wondering, should it be a period?

Quote:
He rose and said, “quick! Help me climb the tree!”
“Quick” should be capitalized. :D

Length: Awesome.

Detail / Description: Okay, well you didn’t have the best descriptions here, in terms of the scenery and characters and such, but you made up for it all with the details toward the emotions of your characters. I could tell that you went light on telling how things looked, and packed heavy on their introspective selves, which I admire.

You could do with describing Jimmy and perhaps the house and Pokemon a bit more thoroughly, because besides knowing that he had blonde hair and wore overalls, I really had to furnish the rest of the portrayal myself. Same goes for Pokemon and the environment. We know what a Ponyta looks like, but hey, it wouldn’t hurt to give us a bit of a reminder. ;]

That’s really my only complaint. Gah. I don’t know what it was about this story, but the light tone, combined with the superb representation of empathy really, really made me admire you so much more as a writer.

Battle: I’ll put this short and simple: Great.

It was amazing to see that Nyta thought it all to be a joke at first and wouldn’t fight. The passion for her human really shone through here, and the bond breaking between them really had an impact on me.

Each attack was nicely described, and I completely loved how she was a novice to battling, since she had never had the need to fight before, and all of her thoughts and such towards the attacks she was performing were very entertaining to see. Quite a new concept too.

It was of perfect length, and two-sided to boot. I couldn’t really ask for anything more out of this battle. It just portrayed all of the culminating feelings and such. Excellent job.

Outcome: It is with my whole heart that I say that I fell in love with this story. You truly outdid yourself with this one, and I can’t say that I have seen anything quite like it on this forum before. After reading this, I know that the competition is going to be a hell of a lot harder than I had perceived, and so far you are the biggest threat. I have my doubts that another story can top this one, but we’ll see. Mine, perhaps? Lol. ^___^ Ponyta Captured. Fantastic, fantastic job. You should be proud of yourself.
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Last edited by Bryce; 07-09-2008 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Always Together [Summer Competition]

Hey, Bryce. Thanks so much for your thoughtful review. I'm really glad you enjoyed the story too. =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryceBoy10 View Post
Spelling / Grammar: I had to nit-pick to pull out the few errors that you had. Most were just insignificant and perhaps careless mistakes, so I wouldn’t be too worried.
By all means, nit-pick away. I spell things incorrectly all the time and make silly mistakes. Then later, even after I revise, I'm so close to my own stories, that I don't spot their mistakes.


Quote:
I don’t believe that is should end in a question mark. I could be wrong in this instance, but since Nyta is saying that she is wondering, should it be a period?
You're right. I think I was imagining the rising inflection in Ponyta's voice when I wrote this part of the dialogue, so I mistakenly assumed a question mark was appropriate there. Yikes.


Quote:
Detail / Description: Okay, well you didn’t have the best descriptions here, in terms of the scenery and characters and such, but you made up for it all with the details toward the emotions of your characters. I could tell that you went light on telling how things looked, and packed heavy on their introspective selves, which I admire.

You could do with describing Jimmy and perhaps the house and Pokemon a bit more thoroughly, because besides knowing that he had blonde hair and wore overalls, I really had to furnish the rest of the portrayal myself. Same goes for Pokemon and the environment. We know what a Ponyta looks like, but hey, it wouldn’t hurt to give us a bit of a reminder. ;]

That’s really my only complaint. Gah. I don’t know what it was about this story, but the light tone, combined with the superb representation of empathy really, really made me admire you so much more as a writer.
The level and depth of description is often the part with which I have the most trouble. Sometimes, I hold back due to the possibility of burying the action with description and then ending up with hardly a story! I suppose that's why I held back here.

Also, whenever I read a work of fiction, I like to kind of fill in the gaps myself a little--how people look, how the setting appears, etc. Of course, this is only to a certain degree, because there should always be some help from the writer.

I totally agree with you, however--especially about the farm and the house and things. With Jimmy and Nyta, I just vaguely described them. I'll have to go in and work on that.


Quote:
Outcome: It is with my whole heart that I say that I fell in love with this story. You truly outdid yourself with this one, and I can’t say that I have seen anything quite like it on this forum before. After reading this, I know that the competition is going to be a hell of a lot harder than I had perceived, and so far you are the biggest threat. I have my doubts that another story can top this one, but we’ll see. Mine, perhaps? Lol. ^___^ Ponyta Captured. Fantastic, fantastic job. You should be proud of yourself.[/font]
Thanks a lot for the great advice! It will certainly help when I revise this, and I look forward to reading your story in the competition too. Good luck! =)
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