Night Spirits (probably PG)

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  1. #1
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Default Night Spirits (probably PG)

    Night Spirits--part of the Gym Leader Series (*note, as of this posting, I have this and Surge written for. If I ever do any more, I'll tell you. They're basically 'why they use the types they do'*)




    "I wonder how long it's been," Morty thought to himself. "Sure seems like forever...But the doctors say that I need to stay in bed..."
    He had been lying in bed for the past three days, with a fever of alarming intensity. On the rare occasions that he was awake, he was bored. His parents always hushed him back to sleep, so no use trying to talk with them. The only thing that kept him occupied those long days was listening to the sounds of the Pokémon outside. In a way, it helped Morty learn about people, too. There was a neighborhood lady who took her Mareep for a walk every afternoon, an old man who shooed Pidgey away with a hose, three children who talked about cute creatures like Jigglypuff and Hoppip...

    Morty would have given anything to be outside, running around like a normal six-year-old, delighting in the cool breezes, feeling the warm sun...but all that was impossible if he couldn't even stand up. The fever had ravaged his body, leaving him frail and weak. So he could only hear of the world's excitements from his tiny bed.

    The sun was setting when Morty's mother came in with a bowl of soup for him. She kissed his forehead and told him he'd been a good boy to stay in bed all day, and that he was bound to get better soon.

    "Mom, when can I go outside?" he asked.

    She fed him a spoonful before answering. "When you're better. Then we can all go on a picnic. Would you like that?"

    He nodded, but remembered something he had heard earlier in the day. "But...what if I don't get better?"

    She froze. "Morty...what...would give you that idea?"

    "I heard you and Dad talking to the doctor this morning...he said you may have to make arrangements in case I don't get better."

    Unable to say a word, she just held him tightly, stroking the back of his head. "Morty..." she finally whispered.

    A loud screeching from outside startled the two, and Morty cluched his mother's hand. "Mom...what's that?"

    She gently set him down and closed the window over his bed. "That was a Murkrow. They're horrible, vile things and I never want to see you near one." After taking a second to compose herself, she resumed feeding him.

    ***

    There were six blankets on Morty's bed, and he could feel each one of them weighting down on him. He was sweating, which he knew was good for the fever, but it was very uncomfortable. Bracing himself against the wall, he pushed himself up to a sitting position next to the window, and slowly opened it. The wonderful night air drifted over him, and he felt slightly refreshed.

    Laying down under the blankets again, he was almost asleep when a strange fluttering sound jolted his senses. He opened his eyes and looked around. "Mom? Dad?" he asked in a nearly inaudable voice.

    "Muuuuuur!"

    He gasped. There was a Murkrow on his bed, standing near his feet. His eyes wide, he watched it walk the length of his body until it stood next to his pillows.

    Morty shrank back. "Mom doesn't want me playing with you..."

    The Murkrow looked at him, cocking its head quizzically. "Krow!" it crowed, almost a chirping sound. It fluffed its feathers as if it had been deeply insulted.

    Morty smiled. "You...don't seem so bad...Are you here for me?"

    "Krow?"

    "People say that Murkrow appear in the middle of the night to take souls away. Am...am I gonna die?" The smile had turned to a nervous grimace, and the boy's eyes shone with tears. "Because I'm kinda scared..."

    The Murkrow nuzzled under his chin. Morty began to pet the bird's wings until it made a purring sound and rolled over onto its back, clutching at its beak with a claw.

    The tears ran down his face, but Morty managed another weak smile. "This is helping...thank you...but I still wish I could have said goodbye to my parents..."

    "Murrrrr?"

    "Because you're going to take me with you now, aren't you?"

    Rather than verbalize its reply, the bird let out a mournful sigh.

    "I thought as much...but thank you for being gentle...I'm very scared right now..."

    The Murkrow suddenly looked up nervously, then hopped toward the window.

    "Murkrow...where are you going?" The dark bird didn't seem to hear him, as it spread its wings and took off outside.

    The door to Morty's room opened and his parents came in. "Morty, how are you feeling?" his father asked.

    "Mom...Dad..." the boy whispered shakily. "Can...can you hold me? I'm scared..."

    ***

    Morty fell asleep in his mother's arms, and once again he was laid on the bed, the blankets over him. His father wiped the boy's forehead with a damp cloth. "My dear boy..."

    Somewhere in his unconcious mind, Morty could feel himself growing weaker. The stories were right; the Murkrow had taken his soul, and now he was going to die...

    ***

    Morty's entire body went limp, the last vestage of strength gone. His parents gasped. "...Morty?" his mother asked fearfully.

    ***

    It was cold. Shivering, Morty opened his eyes. There was a strange purple fog surrounding him in an otherwise featureless, empty place.

    Don't be afraid, a voice sounded. I'm not going to harm you.

    Morty whirled around, searching for the source of the voice, but saw only the purple fog. Where are you? he shouted, and halted in amazement when he realized that his reply, like the mysterious statement, had not been said aloud. It had been echoed in his mind, as was the slight chuckle the other voice gave.

    Same place you are, child. In a state between life and death.

    ***

    "There's no heartbeat...oh my god...I think we're losing him..."

    ***

    Am I dead?

    No, not yet. Consider yourself lucky, not everyone can have a second chance

    What do you mean?
    Morty was shaking, more from fear than the cold.

    Humans call me and those like me 'Gastly', which I suppose is as good a name as any. But I am a spirit, and this is the world in which I dwell.

    But it's so plain...

    Which is why we go to your world. Most times, we are content to keep to ourselves, but sometimes, we use our powers to save someone.


    ***

    "MORTY!!!" his mother shrieked. "Morty, come back to us!" She forced open his mouth and began to breathe air into his lungs.

    ***

    You see, we spirits are closely aquainted with other creatures of darkness...

    Like that Murkrow?

    Yes. But very few people will tolerate us. So whenever someone is kind to a Dark Pokémon, there's a chance they'll be rewarded by us.


    Morty thought about this for a moment. But...it was coming to take my soul...wasn't it?

    That is the perception of humans. You see, Murkrow can sense death, and they appear to dying humans. But it is not to take their souls, it is to offer them comfort, and ease their passing.

    So...I really was going to die, wasn't I, Gastly? And I still am...


    ***

    "Morty...Don't leave!" His father pounded against the frail chest, trying madly to start the boy's heart.

    ***

    Gastly chuckled again. Your body is still alive, but it is losing power fast. I am giving you this opportunity to return to your body for as long as it can last.

    Morty's eyes widened. How long is that?

    I can't predict the future...Could be an hour, could be a hundred years from now. But as long as your body can still hold you, you will live.


    The boy closed his eyes. Will I remember this?

    I do not know...Until we meet again, Morty. I wish you luck.


    He began to fade from the strange world. Thank you, Gastly...

    ***

    Morty's eyes shot open as he gasped for air. "Mom...Dad..."

    Almost immediately, his mother took him into her arms and held him tight. "Oh, my precious baby! I was so sure we'd lost you..."

    Morty smiled weakly. "But...you did...I was gone, but a Gastly helped me back...it was wonderful..."

    His father wiped tears away. "Morty...it's so good to have you back with us..."

    "Wait a minute...his fever's gone down! Oh, my sweet little baby!! You're going to be OK now!" his mother sobbed joyfully.

    Morty wasn't sure, but he thought, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flutter of black wings out the window.


    The End
    Last edited by Blackjack Gabbiani; 4th January 2003 at 04:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Like the Memory of a Kiss Kurai's Avatar
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    Gack! I can never tell whether this or Crowning Glory is my favourite of your works! They're both so awestriking!

    Also, one of my favourite Pokémon was used as a plot device: Murkrow. Murkrow are *so* misunderstood due to their nature. They flock to those who need comfort, not to inflict more pain!

    Then again, I've seen both faces of the coin used when mentioning the creature in fics. Heck, in my short story, "Müto," the Murkrow symbolise the onset of death. They're completely detached to the terrible task at hand.

    I like the "light" version of Murkrow. It makes 'em all cute and cuddly!! ^-^;

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    When the Murkrow's being cute to make Morty smile, it's based on what my parrot does when she's being cute...

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    Manga Sam Fangirl Revolutionary Girl's Avatar
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    Now you know what? That was nice.

    You just told me that this was based more off game-continuity raher than show continuity. The beauty of it is, it could work either way--and would actually make a nice episode. The wide-eyed innocence of young Morty, and his willingness to listen to the Murkrow (despite what he "knows about it" and the disapproval of his parents)... the Gastly's stepping outside just the "I'm a big scary ghost" cliche to actually help out the kiddo... all this is show-like stuff.

    This makes no sense, and i know it, because it's 3:32 am and i've not slept yet. But I like it. :) Wish the writers would come through and put all these great stories everyone's posting on screen!

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Ironically, the Murkrow episode is on right now. They're not demons, but they are little dirty thieves...*g*

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    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    I really liked this :). The notion of writing fics explaining each GL's connection to its element is one I've always liked, and certainly this is an original - and great- explanation for Morty.

    And as for making the "evil" pokemon in misunderstood ones, it's something I've always liked - just as I've always utterly hated how dark types (and ghosts for that matter) are constantly described as "evil pokemon" by cliché writers. (Yes, I know Aku is evil, but from what I heard it's not so much "evil" (like Mr. Burns) as it is mischievious-evil, devilish (ie, Bart Simpson)).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
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    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I see someone here watches "The Simpsons" even more than I do!

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    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    Hmm, not what I myself would have done, but it was pretty good! I usually try to get as far away from the Pokemon mythologies established as I can and try to build new ones. I hate it when Dark Pokemon are made evil, because not all of them are.

    You managed to balance that out well, BJG. Great work!
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Mmm? How would you have done it? Just...out of curiosity...

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    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blackjack Gabbiani
    Mmm? How would you have done it? Just...out of curiosity...
    Typically, I probably would have had a light Pokemon appear at death. A Celebi, perhaps. However, that would have probably been with one of my characters.

    What you did fit Morty perfectly! I think he was a bit storyless and lacking personality on the show. Your work gave him feeling, and explained why he trains the kind of Pokemon he does. In that sense, my style would have fit in rather poorly. :)

    On second thought, your style is much better! I can do good guys very well, but I'm a little lacking on shades of grey and darker characters. I'm glad I'm reading your fics, because I enjoy seeing how the darker element can be done better! Once again, keep up the good work! :)
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    *g* sweet. Well, the Neo 3 Murkrow card says this:

    feared and loathed by many, it is believed to bring misfortune to all those who see it at night.


    not to mention, in the VS cards, Morty has a Murkrow himself...
    Last edited by Blackjack Gabbiani; 8th January 2003 at 01:25 PM.

  12. #12
    Jellybaby for your brain! Mew2Too's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blackjack Gabbiani
    *g* sweet. Well, the Neo 3 Murkrow card says this:

    feared and loathed by many, it is believed to bring misfortune to all those who see it at night.
    Heh heh! One of my favorite cards! :)

    Actually, to tell the truth, I think the only time I was going to have a Murkrow in one of my stories was when there was supposed to be a flock of Murkrow getting into people's garbage. :p Ah, c'mon, who hasn't had a crow scatter old plastic cups and old personal hygiene containers all over the lawn.
    What kind of Pokemon am I?


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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Well me, but that's because there was a fantastically large dog to do it for them

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    Treasure Hunter Lara Croft's Avatar
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    Wow. I *really* liked this! I think it's extremely creative to explore why the Gym Leaders chose the type they did. Not to mention the plot layout was great, too. Not too fast, not too slow...just very, VERY good.

    And I actually can't find any criticisms right now. Get back to me later, though. ^_~
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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Whee! Thank you! I...have to write more of these, though...

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