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  1. #1
    Because I like Tophats Tophat Dragoneye's Avatar
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    Default [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    First one-shot I've ever made. Not nearly as long as my other fic's chapters, but I'm pretty satisfied with the result. Hope you'll enjoy reading this.

    ***

    Many thoughts raced through his mind as he was walking in the Celadon City Park while smoking a cigarette; it had become a habit of his whenever something was bothering him. He began smoking around two years ago, in order to prove the other teenagers that he was a tough guy. A stupid thing he did, he later realized, but what is done is done, he thought.

    He had decided to walk for a while in the park in order to get away from the attention, and when he thought no one was looking, he had taken out a Pokéball from his pocket and released a Charizard from it. It was Don, his longtime friend since he was only ten years old.

    The moment the Charizard were released from his Pokéball, he almost immediately began giving his trainer a worried look, though he shrugged it off, as he was getting used to it by now.

    “Do you mind walking with me for a while, Don? Nothing else, really”, he had asked his old friend, who had responded with a low rumble through his throat. It was Don’s own unique way of answering to his trainer ever since he was a tiny Charmander and over the years, his trainer had learned that a low rumble meant yes.

    By now, he had lost track of time while walking in the park with Don next to him. He didn’t pay any attention to his surroundings as he walked, or to people who walked past him, despite some of them giving him a curious look. But it wasn’t because Don was walking next to him that was given these looks, he knew that. Only when he stepped on something that unmistakably sounded like paper, did he look down and saw a newspaper lying on the ground. He saw the date, which showed that it was released yesterday, before he picked it up. He usually never read newspaper, but the head article on the front page caught his attention.

    REIGNING REGIONAL CHAMION RETIRES JUST WEEKS AFTER FOURTH ANNIVERSAY


    Four years, already, he thought. He had completely forgotten how long ago he had beaten the previous champion and claimed the title for himself. He thought that the last few weeks must’ve taken his told on in order for him to forget such an unforgettable day. But who could blame him? To him, he had entered hell, been kicked out before entering it once again.

    ***

    It all began two weeks ago, after he had just finished a meeting with the Regional League Committee. He was heading towards the Pokémon Center to pick up his Pokémon and was thinking about how cute the nurse looked like. He had known her for around a year and she was around the same age as him. Back then, she was still in training as a nurse, but she had been a great help to him when Don got injured from a nasty crash. Don would’ve most likely not have survived if she wasn’t in the area and given the Flame Pokémon first aid. For that, he was eternally grateful to her. Since then, they had talked a lot with each other and as he was walking through the hallway, he was considering asking her out for a date.

    Then it happened. An immense pain in the chest area appeared, causing him to stagger to the nearest wall and clutching his hand to where his heart was. The pain was so intense that he forgot to breathe for a moment. He was sweating a lot, as if he was in a sauna, and his vision became blurry before he lost consciousness.

    The next he knew was that he had an oxygen mask on his face, and that he was lying inside a medical helicopter on his way to the hospital in Celadon City. Two medics were constantly keeping an eye on him in case something happened. They eventually arrived at the hospital but from then on and a week afterwards, he didn’t remember much of what had happened. He was told, though, that the doctors had performed several tests with him and had taken several blood samples as well.

    He knew from the looks from the nurses and doctors that something was definitely wrong with him. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have constantly monitored him day and night. Then, in the middle of the second week in the hospital, he was called in by a doctor and they had found out what was wrong with him. He was suffering from a heart disease and he would be given an operation the next week. At first, he had shrugged it off because he thought he could return to his everyday life as a champion after the operation. But the doctor wasn’t finished explaining.

    “If you continue as a Pokémon Trainer, champion or not, you might as well order a coffin in your size, because you won’t live to see the next year then. The stress will simply kill you in the end.”

    It came as a shock to him, as he wasn’t prepared to hear such a harsh truth. He was forced into retirement as a trainer and as a champion, his passion would be taken away from him for good, and there was nothing he could do about it. He left the doctor’s office in a bitter mood, his mind still refusing to accept the truth.

    On his way to his room, however, he saw a family leaving another patients room, all of them crying a seemly never ending stream of tears. He quickly realized that whoever was inside the room was a recently passed away relative. It then struck him that by the end of the year, assuming he would live that long, it could very well be his family leaving one of these hospital rooms, crying over his dead body. His parents, who were proud of him becoming the champion, and his little brother and sister, who were always admiring him, they would never see him again. At that moment, he made his decision. While it may be painful to him retiring as a Pokémon Trainer, it would be even more painful leaving his family behind over some stupid decision.

    A few days later, he had announced his retirement as the regional champion, which came as a big shock to everyone. Reporters and journalists all attempted to have an interview with him, but he had turned them all down. He needed peace from all the turmoil and some time to think.

    ***

    As his thoughts eventually returned to the present, he realized that he had forgotten to keep smoking his cigarette, allowing it to die out. He reached for his pocket and took out a zippo lighter, which he had won as a bet back when he proved he was a tough guy by smoking. He tried igniting it, but it didn’t work. He tried once again, but to no avail. By now, he could easily have asked Don to help igniting his cigarette, but pride held him back. He tried a third time, but once again it refused to light itself. He had not much luck with the fourth time either. Starting to get annoyed by this nonsense, he decided to try one last time. Otherwise, he would place the zippo lighter back into his pocket and his cigarette back into its packet.

    For the fifth and final time, he turned the thumbwheel once more and a rather small flame appeared as a result. He found it both curious and intriguing that the flame was smaller than it would normally be, yet he couldn’t figure out why. But before he could think of a reason, Don interrupted him and pointed at the cigarette still in his trainer’s mouth. He had completely forgotten about it once again, but this time, he decided not to light it again. Instead, he closed the zippo lighter and put it back into his pocket, before taking the cigarette out of his mouth and placed it inside the cigarette packet.

    “Can you do me a favor, Don? Burn this cigarette packet until only ashes remains”, he wryly asked his old friend. He then threw the packet into the air, quickly followed by a stream of fire coming from Don’s mouth, which managed to burn it to ashes before it even fell back down.

    It felt good to him seeing the cigarettes being burned and was satisfied with the outcome. He was already in a better mood now as he and Don began walking back to the hospital. While walking, he began to think about what he should do with his life in the future until an idea strokes his mind.

    “Say, do you think teaching about Pokémon would suit me, Don?”
    Revolutionaryverse


    Many thanks to Blue Dragon for the signature

    ONE-shot: Forced into Retirement

  2. #2
    ポケモン Tsutarja's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    I find it interesting how he tried igniting the lighter four times (coinciding with his four years of being a Champion), albeit unsuccessfully (his days of a Champion are over for good) and then - a much smaller flame emerged at his fifth time (hey, I can still be a teacher - which is obviously a less grander job than being a Champion, hence the smaller flame). I'm probably just looking too much into this, but if this really was your intention, then it served as some nice symbolism.

    This is a well-written one-shot, there's really nothing much I can say about it.

    Good job!


  3. #3
    Because I like Tophats Tophat Dragoneye's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    I'm happy to hear you liked it, Tsutarja.

    The lighter refusing to light itself four times, his four years as a champion coming to an end, the small flame appearing the fifth time and his thoughts of becoming a teacher was indeed intended as a symbolism.
    Revolutionaryverse


    Many thanks to Blue Dragon for the signature

    ONE-shot: Forced into Retirement

  4. #4
    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    Interesting one-shot for sure Tophat Dragoneye. The lighter motif was very "sentimental" so to speak, I noticed that when I was reading it. I liked the part with Don burning the cigarettes to ashes, it was a happy ending with him, I'm guessing, deciding to stop smoking and quitting for the sake of his family was very selfless.

    Also I noticed you nicknamed the Charizard "Don" is that a reference to Charizard's Japanese name, "Lizardon"?

  5. #5

    Default Re: [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    I liked it.
    Criticism - there are a few grammar errors. For example, "Don would’ve most likely not have survived" (one of those "haves" is redundant)

  6. #6
    Because I like Tophats Tophat Dragoneye's Avatar
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    Default Re: [ONE-Shot] Forced into Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika View Post
    Interesting one-shot for sure Tophat Dragoneye. The lighter motif was very "sentimental" so to speak, I noticed that when I was reading it. I liked the part with Don burning the cigarettes to ashes, it was a happy ending with him, I'm guessing, deciding to stop smoking and quitting for the sake of his family was very selfless.

    Also I noticed you nicknamed the Charizard "Don" is that a reference to Charizard's Japanese name, "Lizardon"?
    I'm happy you liked it and yes, the name "Don" is a reference to Charizard's Japanese name.

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyjenn View Post
    I liked it.
    Criticism - there are a few grammar errors. For example, "Don would’ve most likely not have survived" (one of those "haves" is redundant)
    Ah, that one. I admit I was a bit confused what was correct so thanks for correcting me.

    I might as well tell you all, this one-shot is partially based on what my older brother experienced with his heart disease, including the part where the main character sees the devastated family, who just lost a relative, and the way the doctor explained that he might as well order a coffin.
    Revolutionaryverse


    Many thanks to Blue Dragon for the signature

    ONE-shot: Forced into Retirement

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