Ash and co.
"The Azure Pumpernickel"
A black haired boy races into the kitchen clutching a blue swirly spiral notebook. "I got it, I got it!"
"Got what?" The boy's mother is confused.
"You got an idea for the newspaper's young writing contest?" the boy's father asks as his son eagerly sits down before him at the table.
"Is that what Ash has been doing all morning?" the woman smiles. "I haven't heard a console running or a note from his instruments for several hours."
The man nods. "How could he not enter when 100,000 credits and your story or poem published in the newspaper are at stake?" He gestures to a headline in the style section of the newspaper, which reads "Are You Pallet Town's Best Young Writer?"
"I think I have a workable draft--want me to read what I have so far?" Ash offers as he invites a yellow mouse creature to sit on his shoulder.
"Sure!" the woman smiles.
"Delia and I would love to hear your masterpiece." the man agrees.
The boy clears his throat before reading the title of his opus. "'The Azure Pumpernickel, by Ashton Grant Ketchum."
"Dreaming big to use your full name, aren't we, pardner?" the man smiles.
"Interesting title..." Delia agrees.
Ash just continues to read. "Chapter 1...Once upon a time, in a far away land..."
"...there was a dashing young hero known only as the Azure Pumpernickel." Ash narrates as the scene swirls into a road somewhere in a fantastic land. where we see Ash, now clad in a royal blue tunic with a elegant hat to match, white leggings, brown boots, and a red cape, riding on a Ponyta to escape some figures in black. Pikachu, wearing a miniature version of Ash's hat, sits on his shoulder. "The evil Lord Miaran and his men could never catch this swift and handsome herald of justice." The Ash in the story flashes a smile as he guides his mount behind a tree as the black riders pass by him. "for he moved with the stealth of a ghost, and the cunning of a Ninetales." Sure enough, the black riders go falling off a cliff, allowing Ash to ride away safely into the moonlight.
The scene shifts to a castle the next morning, where we see James, in character as Lord Miaran, pacing the floor. "When Lord Miaran heard about what had happened the night before, he was simply furious!" Ash reads as a page delivers a scroll to James, who reads it with an angry look.
"I'm simply furious!" James roars as he throws the scroll to the floor.
"However, the princess Teresa, who Lord Miaran had captured in hopes of luring the Azure Pumpernickel, rejoiced at the news." Ash reads as the scene zooms over to a room in the castle, where Dawn, in the role of Princess Teresa, sighs happily. "Praise Arceus that my hero is safe."
At this, James storms in Dawn's room. "Why is it do you love that blue rider and not ME?" he thunders.
"For one thing, he is kind, and strong, and humble, and..." Dawn lists some of the Azure Pumpernickel's positive traits.
"Okay, okay, I get it!" James sighs over Dawn's rant. "I forbid you from seeing that rider! Keep away from him!" Dawn's eyes well up in tears as James exits, slamming the door behind him.
"One day, Lord Miaran got an idea..." Ash reads as a lightbulb appears over James' head. After turning it off, he snickers in thought as Ash narrates his thought process. "He would marry Princess Teresa off to Duke Salvadore, one of the most feared nobles in the land. That would surely bring the Azure Pumpernickel to town, and he could slay him then!"
James draws a finger across his neck for effect before whistling for a messenger. "Send word to Duke Salvadore about a little proposal..." he orders. The messenger writes enthusiastically as the scene fades out.
"And then?" Delia asks as the scene fades in on another palace, where Maxie, in character as Duke Salvadore, reads the letter from earlier and smiles. "A toast, men!" Some soldiers lift their goblets high. "To a long and happy life with the fair Princess Teresa!"
"To a long and happy life with Princess Teresa!" the soldiers chorus as glasses clink together.
"That, and the Azure Pumpernickel has bothered ME for too long as well..." Maxie mutters under his breath before sipping his drink.
"And so, Princess Teresa waited in the highest room of the tallest tower for her fate--yet she still held out hope that her hero would rescue her... Ash narrates as we zoom into the aformentioned tower, where Dawn is crying by her bed. "Oh, Azure, please hurry...I do not love Duke Salvadore any more than I do Lord Miaran--my love is only for you!" she sobs as she looks out into the night.
"As the day of the proposed wedding neared, the soldiers eagerly awaited when the Azure Pumpernickel would appear." A bewildering array of soldiers and traps appear around and in the city at this. "But the Azure Pumpernickel was one step ahead--he disguised himself as a minstrel, and traveled from inn to inn hoping to rescue Teresa and slip past the many guards and traps on the way..."
We see Ash in an elaborate red, blue, and yellow minstrel's costume, singing as he plays a harp. ...'See here this gem', the Buneary said, 'tis proof that your prince loves you' 'But what of the dagger?' the princess said, 'That tried to slay both him and me?' 'No more does it lay in someone's hand--your kingdom now is free!' Applause goes up as the Ash in the story takes a bow.
Not bad for a made up song... Ash's father comments as the Ash in the story scoops up coins.
Then what happened? Delia asks.
"Word of the golden voiced minstrel spread to even Lord Miaran, and he invited him to the castle that night, not knowing he was really the Azure Pumpernickel in disguise." Ash narrates as Minstrel Ash plays a sweeping flourish as James looks on. "Might the lady Teresa be interested in a song or a tale this evening, milord?" he asks as Pikachu runs a paw over the harp strings.
"Not until the wedding night, Sir Minstrel." James replies. "In lieu of a song for her, I would like to hear--"
"The wedding must take place tomorrow, milord!" Maxie gasps as he dashes into the room. "I've been hearing rumors the Azure Pumpernickel is about!"
"Calm yourself, Salvadore--we will hold the wedding at the agreed date, and no later." James assures Maxie. "Besides, a minstrel has arrived to perform for us both this evening--nothing more."
Maxie is not convinced. "Sing me a song, talespinner." he growls at Ash.
"A-any requests?" Ash swallows hard as he tries to keep up his disguise.
"Sing..." Maxie thinks for a moment, trying to think of the most outlandish song possible to expose the minstrel for who he really is. "I wish to hear 'The Sword of the Forest', please..."
"Okay!" With that, Ash begins a festive melody. Once terror in the forest reigned, and many creatures died. The survivors wept all through the night, to the Voice of the Forest they cried...
With Ash occupied singing the song, Pikachu tiptoes away as Ash narrates."His master distracting the two lords, the Azure Pumpernickel's Pikachu hurried off and up to the tower, where Teresa awaited her hero."
"Oh! Your master has come to save me?" Dawn asks Pikachu. Pikachu nods and motions for Dawn to follow him out into the night, after stopping to make sure that Ash is still busy with the song.
"Satisfied with the minstrel's skill in song, Duke Salvadore tried another way to expose the minstrel for who he really was." Ash narrates as Maxie draws his sword, surprising Minstrel Ash. "So you're skilled in song, then? Let's see how skilled you are with the sword!"
"I am indeed skilled with the sword, and I accept your challenge!" the Ash in the story retorts as he throws off the minstrel costume, making James gasp in surprise as he draws his own sword. "En garde!"
The Zelda theme plays in the background as Ash and Maxie duel. "An epic battle broke out in the throne room, but not even Duke Salvadore could outwit the Azure Pumpernickel!"
And then what happened? Delia asks as Ash and Maxie keep fighting until they reach a white background.
That's all I have so far... Ash confesses, making the Ash in the story and Maxie sweatdrop.
"Then can you at least allow me to reunite with Princess Teresa?" the Ash in the story asks.
A pencil draws in more of the throne room, allowing the duel to continue. "Finally, the Azure Pumpernickel threw a few Nanab Berries on the carpet, buying him time to escape and reunite with Princess Teresa." The Ash in the story swipes at a few Nanab Berries, making them fall to the floor and land in Maxies and James' faces. With his pursuers gone, he races back to the inn, where Dawn and Pikachu are waiting.
"You saved me, Azure! How can I ever repay you?" Dawn smiles as she hugs Ash.
"No need for thanks, Your Highness." the Ash in the story smiles as the scene swirls back to the present, where Ash is writing the last few words of a sentence.
"But what did Lord Miaran and Duke Salvadore do when they found out they'd been had?" Ash's father asks.
"I'm still writing it, so I'll think of another adventure for the Azure Pumpernickel to get into." Ash assures his parents as he resumes writing.
A picture of Misty storms into some blank space on the page Ash is writing on. "Don't I get a part?" she demands.
"And me?" a picture of Brock demands.
"And me?" One by one, many of Ash's other friends appear on the page, all demanding a role in his tale.
"Calm down, everyone!" Ash assures the drawings. "The best part is yet to come!"