A Dreary Day

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  1. #1
    Insignificant Dust's Avatar
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    Default A Dreary Day

    ((Don't mind this story's title, I just couldn't think of a decent one.))
    This is my first real attempt at writing fiction, so please don’t hesitate to tell me if I’m do something wrong.
    Pokemon wanted: Murkrow, Sableye (Please note that Sableye doesn’t actually appear in the story, but I’m still aiming for it as well)
    Difficulty: Medium + Medium
    Length: Around 30,000 Characters with spaces

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    It was early in the morning of a cloudy day as an old, beaten down truck drove along a winding rural route, behind it dragged a wooden flatbed trailer filled with large bales of hay and farm supplies. On one of the haystacks, Dust, a rather lazy teenage trainer with shaggy brown hair, a dark brown jacket, pants and a tan T-shirt, laid flat on his back next to his weasel-like, bipedal Pokémon, a Sneasel. The two of them stared endlessly into the cloudy sky as the truck pulled them along; its engine became increasingly quiet as time went on and they grew used to the noise.

    “What a great day to do nothing,” Dust eventually said to Sneasel without averting his upward gaze, breaking the peaceful silence.

    “Sneea…” Sneasel lazily replied and the silence quickly resumed.

    It had been some time since Dust had teamed up with Sneasel, and the two had had a decent time together, wandering endlessly from place to place, looking at the ever-changing sky, and accepting Pokémon battle challenges every now and then. Now, they were on their way to Sunset, a town that apparently had the best view of the descending sun in the entire region and was a popular place for trainers to gather a few years back, though its popularity had been declining as of late.

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    After a few hours on the road, the truck finally halted in front of the small town of Sunset at noon. Immediately, several men came out to help the driver unload the flatbed, eventually coming across Dust and Sneasel.

    “The rides over kid,” the driver said, irritated that they had not left when the truck had arrived, “best get on your way.”

    “Eh? … Oh, yeah,” Dust replied as if waking up from a deep sleep, “we’ll go…” He and Sneasel lazily stood up and walked off of the trailer. The trainer began to brush off the straw that had gotten into his hair and clothes, but gave up when removing every little piece became too difficult. The two then began to slowly make their way towards the town.

    “There’s a Pokémon Center in the middle of town,” one of the men called out to them from behind, “trainers can stay there free for the first three days.” Neither Dust nor Sneasel looked back to thank him, making the man wonder if they could hear him. “Oh and watch out for any Murkrow,” he continued, “their dangerous around here.”

    “Dangerous?” Dust asked Sneasel in a low, tired tone. “Wonder why that is?”

    Sneasel responded with a shrug.

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    “I guess this is it.” Dust said to Sneasel as they approached the Pokémon Center, a large, hotel-like building that was several stories higher than the rest of the town. Before the two could enter, however, the flapping of wings resounded from behind them, averting their attention towards the noise.

    Turning around, the two saw a black feathered crow Pokémon, a Murkrow, with a noticeable scar running down its right eye perch itself on top of the gutter of a nearby building. The Darkness Pokémon silently glanced around at everyone on the streets as more than a hundred more Murkrow swooped down on them from above, crowing and flapping their wings loudly.

    “What’s going on here?” Dust thought aloud, looking around as everyone else quickly rushed indoors.

    “Sneasel…” his Pokémon responded with another shrug. Soon enough, everyone else had fled, leaving the two alone on the streets with the large murder. Instead of following the crowd indoors, Dust and Sneasel stood in place and stared at the scarred Murkrow defiantly.

    Noticing the two lone oppressors, the Murkrow glared back at them with a fierce, intimidating look as if it were trying to scare them away. Despite its efforts, however, neither of them wavered whatsoever.

    “Murkrow,” the bird cawed upsettingly as it realized that its stare alone wasn’t enough to scare them away. Then it began to caw repeatedly as it flapped its wings, signaling its fellow Murkrow to do the same. The town was soon filled with the threatening noises of the murder, though Dust and Sneasel still weren’t intimidated.

    Finally, each Murkrow fell silent one by one until the entire town was engulfed in an unnatural silence. As the silence ensued, the townsfolk that had moved indoors opened them and began to place large sacks of food on their doorsteps; offerings to the murder. Many of the birds eyed the offerings greedily, though none went down to collect them just yet. The scarred Murkrow looked lost, as if trying to figure out how to deal with the trainer.

    “Is that all?” Dust asked the crow, yawning.

    Before the crow could respond, however, a much larger crow Pokémon, a Honchkrow, soared down from the sky and landed right where the scarred bird stood, forcing it to jump to the side. Murkrow cawed angrily as it perched itself again nearby, but stopped immediately as it met the Honchkrow’s merciless glare.

    As the Murkrow backed away silently, the Big Boss Pokémon averted its gaze from it towards Dust and Sneasel. “Honch!” it cawed angrily at them.

    “Why should we?” Dust asked in reply with an uncaring tone, understanding that the Honchkrow was telling them to leave.

    “Sneasel…” his Pokémon said, apparently backing up its trainer.

    The crow looked at them from above in a superior pose before it lifted one of its talons and swiped it in their direction, unleashing a dazzling display of bright stars that flew through the air towards them.

    The moment that this occurred, Dust adopted a somewhat more serious voice tone and persona. “Block its Swift with Ice Shard,” he said to Sneasel without moving from his position.

    Sneasel immediately extended both of its clawed arms in the direction of the attack, and a large chunk of ice began to form between them. Then, the ice chunk shot forwards and collided with the enemy’s Swift, resulting in a series of small explosions as each star detonated upon impact with the ice.

    A moment after this had occurred, the dark figure of a bird with shining wings quickly burst through the flurry of bright flashes as Honchkrow rushed towards the two of them with Steel Wing.

    “Dodge it, Sneasel.” Dust said as he jumped out of the way.

    Sneasel complied, jumping in the opposite direction, but Honchkrow altered its course so as to hit the Sharp Claw Pokémon in midair. The bird’s attack struck Sneasel in the shoulder, making it cry in pain as it was thrown backwards. Upon hitting the ground, Sneasel continued to roll backwards until it slammed into the wall of the Pokémon Center.

    The Honchkrow landed on the ground and gave off a victorious look. It then raised its right wing upwards, signaling the many Murkrow that had been watching the battle in silence to swoop down at the offerings that had been placed outside a moment before. With several crows at each sack, they managed to lift the heavy offerings into the air and began to carry them away.

    The Honchkrow unleashed a loud, fearsome caw as if to remind everyone of its power even as it spread its wings and then flew away with the murder.

    Still on the gutter of a nearby building, the scarred Murkrow glanced hesitantly at Dust, who stood in place unfazed by the event, before taking off to follow the rest.

    “Are you alright?” a young woman worriedly asked him as she came out of the Pokémon Center now that the murder had left. “I’m sorry we couldn’t do anything to help. How’s your Pokémon?”

    “We’re good.” Dust replied. He had begun to stare at the dreary sky again and seemed to have forgotten about the previous ordeal entirely. “C’mon Sneasel, let’s go get something to eat,” he continued as he turned towards the Center.

    “Sneasel,” the Pokémon replied from the wall of the building that it had crashed into as it easily picked itself up and walked towards its trainer. It appeared to have forgotten about their encounter as well.

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    Within an hour, Dust and Sneasel had booked a room at the center and had made their way to its cafeteria for lunch. As they ate their food alone in a dim corner, the girl that they had met just before approached them once again. This time, she introduced herself as Lena, the daughter of the building’s owner and the person in charge of the guests’ well being. Recognizing that the two had just recently arrived in Sunset, she proceeded to explain just what was going on.

    “The Murkrow around here used to only fight amongst themselves,” she explained. “There were several different murders that always fought each other for power.”

    “Alright,” Dust replied just before he bit into an apple. He didn’t seem to really care about what she was saying, but Lena continued regardless.

    “That Murkrow with the scar was the leader of the one of the groups,” she said, “it would always make sure that their constant fighting didn’t get any outsiders, like the town, involved as long as no one messed with them. Because of that, everything was quite nice around here, until some time ago.”

    As she came to this point, Dust crunched loudly on his apple and Sneasel was preoccupied with rolling an orange around the table with one of its claws. Despite this, they were at least paying a little attention to her story.

    “See, a few months ago, a Murkrow from one of the murders suddenly evolved into Honchkrow. With its newfound power, it began to conquer the other groups one by one until it had gained complete control over every crow in the area. Then, they began to attack the town every day. The only way to keep them away is to bribe them with a lot of food whenever they come.”

    Lena stopped for a moment before continuing. “You shouldn’t worry yourselves about that, though. It’s not too bad,” she said, forcing a smile despite the fact that she was obviously sad. “So, what brings you here to Sunset anyways?”

    “No particular reason,” Dust replied, “we just go wherever we can hitch a ride to.”

    “Aren’t you a trainer?” a voice called out from the middle of the room. Dust turned to see the speaker, a well built young man with blond hair and a red sports jacket, walk towards them.

    “Yeah,” he replied simply, upset that he had to speak with yet another person, as he was the type that preferred to remain silent.

    “And all you do is move around randomly?” the young man said as he approached Dust’s table. “You don’t collect badges or train for tournaments?”

    “Chad!” Lena said, upset at his rudeness, but she did not interrupt him further. Dust assumed that Chad must be another trainer staying at the Center, though he really didn’t care enough to ask.

    “Why don’t you have a match with me?” Chad asked Dust, looking at him eye to eye. He then pulled a small, red pokéball out of his jacket and pushed down on the button in the center. Suddenly, the ball grew larger and opened, releasing a glowing red light that moved into the empty space next to him, summoning a large, obese, fighting Pokémon, a Hariyama. “Let’s go outside and battle right now.”

    Dust looked up at the trainer and his massive Pokémon. “… No thanks,” he replied as he stood up and began to walk back to his room. Sneasel then jumped off of its chair onto the ground and began to follow him.

    Chad glanced at him with an irritated look. “You’re going to turn down a match just like that?” he asked, though Dust didn’t reply. Hariyama grunted in disappointment.

    “You can’t make him fight you.” Lena said, finally beginning to eat her own lunch, which she hadn’t touched while telling her story.

    Chad sighed. “Wait,” he said, catching up to Dust. “Did you know that the Murkrow don’t live very far from the town?”

    Dust didn’t respond, but Chad continued anyways. “Several other trainers and I were going to go over there and catch that Honchkrow, you know, to help out the town. Why don’t you come and help us out? Unless you’re afraid, of course.”

    Dust looked at Chad as they exited the cafeteria with Hariyama trudging along behind, “I don’t feel like it,” he said before turning towards his room and walking away with Sneasel.

    Chad glared at Dust as he left. “Hey, Hariyama,” he said to his Pokémon after a moment. “Let’s go take care of those Murkrow right now.”

    “Hariyama,” the Pokémon replied eagerly. The two then turned and took off in the opposite direction, preparing themselves for the upcoming battle.

    Once Dust and Sneasel had arrived in their room, Dust simply laid on the top of his bed, staring emptily at the ceiling with his arms beneath his head like a pillow while Sneasel sat at the windowsill and gazed through it towards the dreary sky. Neither of them were at all concerned about the problems that this village faced. Lena had told them not to worry about it, after all.

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    Not long after, Sneasel, who still sat in place near the windowsill, noticed four bloody and beaten figures slowly drag themselves through the street and towards the Pokémon Center. Changing positions to get a better look, the Pokémon noticed that one of the figures was none other than Chad, the trainer they had met earlier. Eventually, several people came out of the center to help them make their way inside.

    “Sneasel…,” the Pokémon sighed before standing up and making its way to the bed where Dust had fallen asleep. It retracted its claws and placed its paw on his shoulder as it began to nudge him awake.

    “What’s wrong?” Dust asked, rubbing his eyes tiredly. Sneasel simply pointed one of its claws towards the door, as if telling him that there was something important going on. “Fine, I’ll go,” Dust replied as he stood up, straightened out his hair and clothes, and then walked out of the room with Sneasel behind him.

    As Dust and Sneasel moved through a hallway, they noticed a worried-looking man hurry past them. “Is something wrong?” Dust asked the man, thinking that his answer might be related to whatever reason Sneasel awoke him for.

    “A few trainers went to confront the murder,” the man replied, getting straight to the point, “and they were all badly injured. They’re being treated here right now.” Having said that, the man quickly turned away and continued down the hall.

    Dust turned to Sneasel. “I guess we’d better go check on them then,” he sighed.

    “Sneasel,” his Pokémon replied. The two then continued down the hall.

    Elsewhere in the building, Chad recuperated in an infirmary room. The murder had apparently dealt him many injuries, as he lay in bed covered in numerous bandages. Near his bed sat Hariyama, who had taken even more damage than its trainer and fallen unconscious.

    Suddenly, the sound of knocking erupted from the door just before opening and allowing Lena to peer into the room.

    “Lena…” Chad said, turning his head towards her, as the rest of his body was held firm by numerous blankets and sheets.

    “Why did you do this, Chad?” She asked sadly as she entered the room and walked towards him, forgetting to close the door behind her. “Why?”

    “I’m sorry,” he apologized, ignoring her question. “The murder was too big, we ended up running away.”

    “No one asked you to go after the murder in the first place,” Lena said as she stood near his bed. “You knew that you wouldn’t stand a chance. Why did you go?”

    “Because we couldn’t stand by and do nothing.” Chad replied, looking up at her. “We had to try.”

    “No you didn’t. The town is getting along just fine.” Lena responded as tears began to form in her eyes.

    “Quit lying to us,” Chad said boldly, “it’s obvious that the amount of food those Pokémon are demanding is way too much. You’ll all go broke if this continues any longer.”

    After crying for a minute, Lena collapsed to her knees and began to weep loudly. “Thank you,” she barely said as her tears muffled the words.

    “No,” Chad replied with incredible sorrow. “We couldn’t do anything, there’s just too many. I’m so sorry.”

    As Lena’s weeping resounded through the room and Chad tried to comfort her, neither realized that Dust and Sneasel stood outside the room, having listened to their conversation as they stood there with their backs facing the walls on either side of the open door.

    “Lena told us not to worry,” Dust said to Sneasel. “So, why do I feel so bad?”

    “Snea…” his Pokémon responded without looking up at him, as if it was also feeling guilty.

    “She said that it wasn’t too bad.”

    “Sneasel…”

    Dust glanced at Sneasel with an uncaring look, though it was clear that he felt worse about the matter than his face was letting on. “We wouldn’t stand a chance either, though…”

    “Sneasel,” the Pokémon replied, glaring back at him with the same look.

    “It’s not our problem…”

    “Snea…”

    “I hate being guilt tripped into doing stuff,” Dust sighed as turned to walk through the hall.

    “Sneasel…” his Pokémon agreed as it went to follow him. The two continued through the hall until they walked out of the Center and left the town at a slow pace. They had both determined that the only way to ease their minds about the matter was to do what Chad had done not long before; confront the murder in attempt to stop their reign over the town, despite the overwhelming odds stacked up against them.

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    Without hesitation, Dust and Sneasel made their way to the murder’s nesting grounds, a small forest that was barely a half-hour’s walk from the town. The beginning of their territory was marked by a massive tree that towered over the nearby farmland and the trees in the forest behind it. Perched on the tree’s uppermost branch was none other than the Honchkrow, which glared angrily at the two intruders that stood in front of the tree boldly. The scarred Murkrow had perched itself on the branch just beneath Honchkrow’s, glancing at Dust and Sneasel with a strangely impressed look. Beneath them, hundreds more Murkrow had gathered to inspect the intruders, and attack them when Honchkrow gave the order.

    “Honch!” the Honchkrow cawed loudly, signaling the murder to immediately rush at the two.

    Despite the sheer number of Murkrow that were coming towards him and his Pokémon, Dust did not falter. “Use Metal Claw, Sneasel,” he ordered.

    Immediately, Sneasel’s claws grew sharper and gained a metallic coloring. Just as the Murkrow came within striking range, Sneasel swung its right claw with full force, sending nearly a dozen of the crows flying backwards. Then, Sneasel began to attack every enemy that came at them in attempt to keep both itself and its trainer safe. Unfortunately, for every Murkrow that Sneasel brought down, three more took its place. Soon enough, it seemed as if nearly a thousand crow Pokémon had emerged from the forest and were flying around them in wide circles with several dozen breaking ranks to swoop down on them every few seconds.

    As Sneasel struggled to bring down all of the Murkrow that swooped at it, Dust punched and kicked those that attacked him, though he knew that he couldn’t possibly avoid every single blow. For every second that passed, Dust and Sneasel were each dealt numerous blows.

    “Sneasel, Icy Wind,” Dust commanded Sneasel, trying to speak over the oppressive cawing of the many crows.

    Immediately, Sneasel swept its claws outwards, unleashing a gust of cold air that sent a large number of approaching Murkrow flying backwards. However, as soon as this had happened, several more crows attacked it all at once from behind. Panting, Sneasel collapsed to the ground as it fainted from exhaustion.

    Dust fell quiet as he saw his partner fall. He looked up to see the many Murkrow flying around him in smaller and smaller circles, blocking out the sky with their black feathers as they came closer. Soon, Dust could see nothing but an unending darkness as they trapped him in this pitch-black realm. Part of him wanted to turn around and run as far as he could, but Dust stood firm knowing that his guilt would never leave him if he backed out now. Suddenly, a Murkrow hit him in the stomach with a well aimed Wing Attack, causing him to tumble backwards and lose consciousness.

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    Upon regaining consciousness, Dust wasn’t sure how much time had passed since their defeat. He laid there on the ground with his eyes closed, wondering just what had happened to them since then. What happened to the murder? Where were they now? Were they even still alive? As he asked himself these questions, Dust heard the soothing sounds of a light breeze passing by. Slowly, he opened his eyes to investigate his surroundings.

    Dust was amazed by what he saw. He and Sneasel were lying on the ground alone in the middle of a grassy field beneath the descending sun. He had heard tales of beautiful sunset that could be seen here, but Dust never imagined that it would be quite like this. The sun’s crisp, orange glow shined brightly through the cloudy sky above, covering everything in the world beneath with a magnificent orange hue.

    “You see this, Sneasel?” Dust asked, not wanting his Pokémon to miss out on this event.

    “Sneasel…” it replied, having just awoken as well.

    Satisfied, Dust turned his head to the side and found that the town was just in sight- probably no more than a ten minute walk away. The murder must have carried them out of their territory and dropped them here while they were unconscious.

    Dust yawned tiredly as he looked up again. Neither he nor Sneasel felt guilty anymore. They had tried to defeat the murder and failed miserably, but the fact that they at least tried had cleared their minds about the matter. Now, they could lie down and watch the sky in peace.

    “Doesn’t get much better than this,” Dust said as he once again placed his arms behind his head, ignoring the painful bruises that the murder had given him not long before.

    “Snea…” Sneasel replied as it did the same thing as its trainer.

    Before the two could become totally immersed in viewing the sunset, however, a figure walked towards them, interrupting their calm and peaceful mood.

    “I heard that you went to face off with the murder too,” Lena’s voice called out to them in an upset tone.

    “Yeah,” Dust replied without looking back at her.

    “You just got yourselves hurt,” Lena continued, glaring at the numerous injuries that they had been dealt.

    Dust was quiet for a few moments before responding. “Sorry,” he said, still staring at the orange sky, “we couldn’t do much.”

    “Of course not,” she replied sadly, calming down, “it was stupid to think that you could…”

    “Maybe a really strong trainer will come and stop them someday…”

    “Maybe…” Lena responded as she sat down and began to stare at the sky herself.

    Suddenly, the flapping of wings broke the silence as the Murkrow with a scar across its eye flew from the sky and landed in front of Dust and Sneasel, glaring at them intently. Although they didn’t know it, Murkrow had been impressed when the two of them stood before Honchkrow without fear, something that it had only wished it could do before. Now, Murkrow had just one goal in mind, to compete with them in a fair fight and, hopefully, become stronger in the process.

    “I think it wants to battle you.” Lena said, studying the crow.

    “Murkrow!” the bird cawed in agreement.

    Dust and Sneasel glanced at each other for a second. Then, Dust slowly stood up and looked back at the Murkrow. “Eh, why not…” he shrugged.

    Lena was worried that Dust and Sneasel were too injured to be able to battle, but she decided not to voice her concern and stepped back several meters to watch the battle.

    Sneasel took its place in front of Dust, staring at Murkrow eye to eye as their battle was about to begin.

    “Use Fury Swipes,” Dust said, signaling Sneasel to rush forward at Murkrow with its claws flailing.

    Just as Sneasel came near it, however, Murkrow opened its wings to fly up a little, and then it closed its right talon into a fist to deliver a Sucker Punch to Sneasel’s face, making it tumble backwards. Once the attack had hit, Murkrow spread its wings and did a small back flip through the air to build up momentum before it rushed forward and struck Sneasel with a Wing Attack as it tried to get up.

    Murkrow perched itself on the ground a few meters away as it watched Sneasel trying to bring itself to its feet. “Murkrow,” it cawed, and then it spread its wings, causing a strange, purplish substance to leak from its body and form into a ball of dark energy directly in front of it. Once the ball had grown to the same size as its creator, Murkrow flapped its wings, sending it shooting through the air towards Sneasel, and then the crow flew up into the air to watch the attack from above.

    “Sneasel,” Dust said with a slightly urgent tone just before Murkrow’s attack was unleashed, “counter its Shadow Ball with Double Team.”

    “Sneasel!” the Sharp Claw Pokémon replied as it stood up and began to run towards the approaching Shadow Ball. Just moments before Sneasel was about to collide with Murkrow’s attack, however, its body suddenly split into four bodies. Two of the cloned Sneasels quickly kneeled down, picked up the other two, and hurled them above the approaching attack. Then, the third Sneasel grabbed the real one and hurled it even further away from the attack even as the Shadow Ball exploded an instant later, eliminating all three clones in a split second.

    Upon seeing Sneasel coming towards it from below, Murkrow flapped its wings powerfully, unleashing a Whirlwind that rushed forward to knock Sneasel backwards.

    “Use Icy Wind,” Dust ordered Sneasel from behind, “then get close to it with Agility.”

    Sneasel immediately swept its claws outwards as it ran, releasing a blast of cold air that collided with Murkrow’s Whirlwind, causing an explosion of air that was strong enough to blow the Crow Pokémon backwards several meters.

    Instead of being blown away, Sneasel seemed to disappear as it shot through the explosion with intense speed. Then, as it drew closer to Murkrow, which was struggling to regain balance, Sneasel leapt upwards at the crow, attempting to land an attack in midair.

    Seeing this, Murkrow quickly straightened itself out and once again closed its talon into a fist, preparing to counter with a Sucker Punch.

    “Sneasel,” Dust called out to Sneasel loudly in the middle of its leap, “use Screech.”

    Just as Murkrow was about to strike it with Sucker Punch, Sneasel opened its mouth and released a loud, irritating noise that made the bird cry out in pain and caused its attack to miss.

    As Sneasel fell to the ground, Murkrow landed several meters away and covered the sides of its heads with its wings, uselessly trying to shield itself from the painful noise that still rang through its ears.

    “Now, use Faint Attack,” Dust continued as Sneasel rushed forward to close the distance between them.

    Noticing Sneasel’s approach, the Murkrow tried to ignore the pain in its ears as it leapt to the side to avoid its opponent’s swipe. However, the Crow Pokémon did not notice Sneasel thrust its other claw at it as it dodged, and was struck in the side by a powerful punch.

    “Now, hit it with Fury Swipes,” Dust ordered Sneasel as Murkrow was thrown backwards by the force of the Sharp Claw Pokémon’s punch.

    Sneasel rushed forward to strike Murkrow in midair, but the bird saw the attack coming out of the corner of its eye. As it fell, the Murkrow swept its talon in Sneasel’s direction, unleashing a number of bright stars that struck Sneasel and exploded on impact.

    “Oh, no…” Lena said worriedly as the many small explosions from the crow’s Swift attack blocked Sneasel from view. She had been watching the battle in amazement, but now she was afraid for Sneasel’s well being.

    After hitting the ground, Murkrow managed to stand up and began to stare at the smoke that had been formed by the brief explosions, wondering if Sneasel had finally fallen.

    Dust chuckled and said just one thing. “Use Agility, then slash.”

    Suddenly, Murkrow noticed a blur rush out of the smoke cloud towards the crow faster than it could react. Then, in a moment, Sneasel stopped right in front of Murkrow and slashed its claw across the bird’s body.

    “Now, finish it with Faint Attack.” Dust ordered as this happened.

    Sneasel swiped its claw at Murkrow’s head, but stopped short as it maneuvered around the bird and slammed it with its forearm sending it tumbling in Dust’s direction.

    When the crow did not stand up, Sneasel, Dust, and Lena all walked forward to gather around it. As they stood near it, the bird opened its eyes and slowly tried to pick itself up.

    “Murkrow…” it cawed lightly as it tried to brush off the damage it had taken. Murkrow had wanted to fight these two so that it could get stronger in order to eventually face off against Honchkrow. It knew that its chances of becoming that strong were slim if it lost here.

    “It looks like it doesn’t want to lose…” Lena said, staring sorrowfully at the injured crow.

    Dust was silent for a moment as he watched the bird try to continue fighting. “Why don’t you join us?” he finally asked after a moment.

    “Mur?” the bird cawed, glaring at him in confusion.

    “Sneasel and I aren’t big on battling, but we do face off against strong trainers sometimes, and we get stronger with every fight,” he continued in a serious tone, correctly guessing the reason that Murkrow wanted to defeat them so badly. “If you come with us, then you might get strong enough to beat that Honchkrow.”

    Murkrow just looked at the trainer in awe for a moment before opening its wings and flying upwards into the orange sky. Instead of flying away, however, Murkrow flew in circles above its opponents as it began to form another Shadow Ball to launch at them.

    “It still intends to fight?” Lena asked as she backed away.

    Dust shook his head. “It knows it can’t win,” he sighed, returning to his normal, lazy persona. If he was correct, then Murkrow just didn’t want to be captured so easily. “Sneasel,” he continued, “use Ice Shard.”

    The tired Pokémon nodded in compliance. Sneasel then extended its arms towards the crow above even as a shard of ice once again began to form between them. Then, the ice shard shot upwards through the orange sky towards Murkrow and collided with the bird, causing the incomplete Shadow Ball to detonate, catching the bird in the explosion.

    Dust, Sneasel, and Lena stared up at the dark explosion, which stood out in the orange sky above them, noticing Murkrow emerge from the bottom, hurling towards the ground unconscious.

    Immediately, Dust pulled a pokéball out of his pocket, clicked the button to make it grow bigger, and threw it to the ground where Murkrow was about to land. Suddenly, the pokéball opened, releasing a bright red light that covered the bird as it fell and then disappeared, Pokémon and all.

    After the pokéball had closed itself, the button in the center began to glow red as Murkrow was trapped inside. All three of them stared at the pokéball intently as it shook once, then again, and a third time…
    Last edited by Dust; 3rd May 2010 at 10:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Dreary Day

    Claimed for Grading. :)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Dreary Day

    Introduction:
    It was early in the morning of a cloudy day as an old, beaten down truck drove along a winding rural route, behind it dragged a wooden flatbed trailer filled with large bales of hay and farm supplies. On one of the haystacks, Dust, a rather lazy teenage trainer with shaggy brown hair, a dark brown jacket, pants and a tan T-shirt, laid flat on his back next to his weasel-like, bipedal Pokémon, a Sneasel. The two of them stared endlessly into the cloudy sky as the truck pulled them along; its engine became increasingly quiet as time went on and they grew used to the noise.

    “What a great day to do nothing,” Dust eventually said to Sneasel without averting his upward gaze, breaking the peaceful silence.
    I thought that your introduction was pretty good; it introduced the story to us with some nice details that allowed for visualization, and it introduced the main characters and their personalities quickly, but with enough detail that the readers wouldn't think that their actions later in the story were awkward or unlike them. What it was really missing was a strong hook that drew the reader in, and without it, the bold-faced text kind of wrote the story off as boring right off the bat.

    Since it's your first time, I'll explain hooks to you. Basically, a hook is an introduction that draws the reader into the story and keeps them interested immediately. Examples are situational depending on the story; however, it usually leaves the reader wondering why a certain event happened in the introduction. To find the answer, they continue to read the story. Furthermore, if the introduction piqued their interest, they won't mind having to read through to find answers because they know that the story can keep them interested from the beginning.

    You hinted at the scarred Murkrow not being able to stand up to the Honchkrow that took over the murder due to it not being strong enough. Their battle to determine dominance over the murder could have been introduced in the beginning of the story to add an action-packed scene to the introduction and to get the reader's attention immediately; you could have then cut over to Dust and Sneasel in the hay truck.

    In order to get good at the creation of strong hooks, you'll need to practice in the future. However, I encourage you to do so, because a strong hook at the beginning of the story is an important figure in the eventual Grade. Once you master the art, it will be of great help to you.

    Plot:
    Having hitched a ride to the town of Sunset, Dust and his Sneasel are surprised to find the town under siege by a rogue Honchkrow and its flock. The greedy Pokemon are taking a good portion of the townsfolk's food supply, to their chagrin; Dust doesn't seem fazed by it, however, which attracts one of the Murkrow's attention. Later, he is told by an attendant at the Pokemon Center that the problem isn't a big one, and he believes it, even though it is a huge problem; Lena, the attendant, simply doesn't want to look desperate about it. Chad, another trainer staying at the Center, then decides to lead a group into the forest to take on the Murkrow, which ends in him and his comrades being defeated and sent back to town. Dust then tries his hand at defeating the murder, and he fails; however, the same Murkrow from before is impressed by his lack of fear, and battles him in order to get stronger. Dust and Sneasel defeat it, and Dust eventually decides to capture it.

    This plot is exactly what I would expect in a Medium story: it still has some small elements of the molds that are used in simpler stories ("kid finds Pokemon, kid battles Pokemon, kid captures Pokemon"), but it is developed further and given a greater problem that needs to be solved during the story. I liked how you fleshed out each plot point you developed and used the general actions of the Murkrow and Honchkrow to your advantage when introducing the problem that had to be solved. And, while this may not be entirely original (many of the stories that attempt to capture Murkrow feature several hundred attacking the main character in my experience), it's complex and well-developed enough to make up for it.

    More difficult captures in the future will require a more complex plot with around the same level of development you gave this story's plot, but for your current targets, this is fine.

    Dialogue:
    I also liked the dialogue in this story. One of the main purposes of dialogue in a story is to show the reader the personalities and emotions of your characters; this is done well throughout the piece. Dust's lackadaisical attitude is easily noticed, Lena's lack of hope is evident in her subtle pleas for help amongst the lies about how everything is all right with the town, and Chad's headstrong personality ends in typical fashion: with him getting mauled at the hands of whatever he set his sights on.

    Good job with this section, as well.

    Grammar:
    I really didn't notice anything of note here, aside from a few minor spelling and grammatical errors that can be remedied with a little bit more proofreading. These small errors didn't affect the flow of the story, though, so it's not necessary.

    I did notice that you employed heavy use of ellipses ("...") in this story; while they are fine for the most part, I'd recommend not overusing them, since there are other punctuation marks out there that can accomplish a similar outcome as these. I bring this up because several sentences in the story that ended in an ellipsis didn't really need one in order to get the point of the sentence across, so you could have used something else. It's not too big of a deal, but keep an eye out for it in the future, and try to mix up your punctuation a little bit (while ensuring that you're using said punctuation correctly, of course).

    Detail and Description:
    I felt that this story was pretty well-written; for the most part, your descriptions and details on the various scenes and characters were adequate for me to be able to visualize the situation.

    There were a few points that I felt could have been described a little better, though. For one, you didn't really give any details on Lena's appearance, and there weren't too many for Chad either, which made it a bit difficult for me to visualize them in the situations they were in. For another, the only part of the town that you really described was the appearance of the Pokemon Center; I didn't really get much input as to what the rest of the buildings looked like. Both of these are worth working on in the future to allow for better visualization of the situations that you describe.

    Lastly, as you get up into the higher difficulties, it becomes more necessary to describe the Pokemon themselves as new ones unfamiliar to the main characters are introduced. You gave a few details on the Murkrow and Honchkrow, as well as Chad's Hariyama, so that's fine for this level. However, more difficult captures may require you to describe in more detail.

    Battle:
    The main battle (Murkrow vs. Sneasel) was nice and long, and it had lots of details in it. I actually felt it went on for a little too long, seeing as how Sneasel wasn't properly healed after being defeated by the Honchkrow's flock, so that kind of messed with my willing suspension of disbelief a little. Other than that, I thought that your battles were done well.

    I should note, however, that if you catch the Pokemon you're targeting, they do not know any TMs, BMs, or SMs; they only know what they learn naturally by level-up. So when you add Murkrow to your stats, you can't say that it knows Shadow Ball or Swift until you physically buy the TMs for it in the Pokemart thread.

    Length:
    Murkrow and Sableye are in the Medium category; the combined suggested length is 20,000 to 40,000 characters. Your story is 30,969 characters, so it makes the cut.

    Outcome:
    Drum roll, please...

    ...

    ...Click!

    Gotcha! Murkrow was caught!

    Unfortunately, this thread says the following:

    Your only real limitations with story ideas here in the URPG are (A) your story must somehow relate Pokemon, and (B) your story must feature the Pokemon you're trying to capture in some way.
    Because of that, I must say this in regards to your targeted Sableye...

    ...Ker-poof!

    Oh, no! The Pokemon broke free!

    Murkrow is yours, but Sableye is not. In order to get the Sableye, you can either try to edit it into this story somehow, or you can try writing a new story for one. I'd personally recommend the latter, because when you start getting into the higher difficulties, cameo appearances won't exactly help you to capture a Pokemon. Because of this, it's probably not a good idea to start that habit now.

    Either way, post your decision, and make the appropriate edits, if necessary.

    Enjoy your Murkrow!

  4. #4
    Insignificant Dust's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Dreary Day

    Thanks for your grade, I'll make sure to keep it all in mind when writing my future stories.

    I should note, however, that if you catch the Pokemon you're targeting, they do not know any TMs, BMs, or SMs; they only know what they learn naturally by level-up. So when you add Murkrow to your stats, you can't say that it knows Shadow Ball or Swift until you physically buy the TMs for it in the Pokemart thread.
    I understand, I only had Murkrow use such moves to make the battles more exciting by giving it a wider variety of attacks. I plan on doing this more in the future, so I hope that it isn't too big a problem.

    Your only real limitations with story ideas here in the URPG are (A) your story must somehow relate Pokemon, and (B) your story must feature the Pokemon you're trying to capture in some way.
    Oops, I completely forgot about that rule. In my original draft of this story, Sableye did appear but it attributed so little to the plot that I ended up removing it entirely. I'm already working on another story that I could easily write Sableye into, so I won't try to edit it in here.

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