The Pocket Watch (Ready to Grade)

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    Default The Pocket Watch (Ready to Grade)

    This is for the Winter Writing Contest.
    CHANGED MY MIND.


    “If we are to save our race from the humans, then, we must fight!”
    The Garchomp shouted charismatically.
    He was standing on a protruding spike from a cave wall. Under him, thousands of Dragon Pokémon. They listened to the speaking Pokémon in silence, waiting for him to continue speaking.
    “I was kidnapped by a human from my mother as a Gible many years ago. I was trafficked and flagged in an illegal market for a high price. During then, I was tortured and fed little, and kept in a small cage. But I was not worst off. A poor Flareon, who was kept next to me, apart from what I suffered, was also forced to capture and torture OTHER Pokémon against her own will. She cried all night, every night, next to me. In the end, one day, she was caned by the human for refusing to torture a poor Cherrim and brought away. I never saw her again.”
    A gasp sounded from the crowd below.
    “And that’s not all. The HUMAN police infiltrated the market and took us away. I could see my freedom in reach. I was so happy, I could have cried. But I was wrong. Very, very wrong.”
    The Pokémon below listened eagerly for the Garchomp to continue his story.
    “The police put me in a cage and brought me to an illegal market of their own. I was shocked. The police were corrupt. They simply raided the market, not stop them. I was sold off to the highest bidder, a rich boy. I never knew him name and I never cared. He gave me to a trainer that looked kind enough. But all he did what open a red device that looked like a notebook, and when it opened, it said something along the lines of ‘Gible- The Land Shark Pokémon. It nests in small, horizontal... I can’t remember the rest. But I DO remember that the trainer immediately released me. I was free! Or so, I thought. I realized I was in a foreign environment. I wasn’t close to my cave. Outside the building with a red roof I exited from was sea. But I saw a cave entrance next to the building. Salvation! No. Not the least. The Pokémon in there were far stronger. They roughed me up badly. I was forced to leave. But where do I go? I saw an empty crate next to me. I was in a state of panic. I wasn’t thinking straight. So I entered the crate and floated on the sea. Days past. I lost sense of time. I was hungry. Thirsty. My mother taught me that seawater makes me even thirstier, so I was left without anything. One day, I reached land, barely alive, where I was taken in by my caring adoptive mother- this cave.” The Garchomp said.
    “I was raised here. I evolved to the Pokémon I am now. But still, the memories remain with me. I show the scars from my torture, still.”
    The Dragon Pokémon gaped from the story.
    “The humans disgust me. No Pokémon should be treated like this. We should stand up to these monsters!” The Garchomp said.
    “Wait!” An Altaria said, raising her voice. She took a gulp of air with her blue neck and prepared to talk a little louder than usual. Even though her voice echoes, there were so many in the cave that if someone talks with a normal voice many had to strain their ears.
    “How to we know this story is REAL?” The Altaria asked. Many other Dragon Pokémon nodded their heads in agreement.
    “Because it has happened to me too.”
    An old Salamence flew up next to the Garchomp’s side. The Garchomp looked at the Salamence and stepped aside to let him speak.
    “As a Bagon I was quite weak. My owner was impatient with me and wanted me to evolve, but I could not. One day, he chanced upon an oddly colored Oddish and was elated. But he was out of PokéBalls. So, called me out and tied me to a tree, using my PokéBall, caught the Oddish. He told me he would be back. He never came back. I finally chewed the rope off and, weakened, dragged myself to seek shelter. I met a kind Chansey who nursed me back to health and brought me to this cave.”
    The Dragon Pokémon were stunned. The Salamence was not a random one. It was the leader of the whole cave.
    “I never told you because I wanted to avoid war. But now, hearing this young Garchomp speak out, I must do the best for the clan. I am sure more have suffered from this.” The leader said.
    A Dragonite spoke up. “Please, sir, may I?”
    The Salamence nodded.
    The Dragonite whispered to her tiny Dratini.
    “Listen, Maya. You be a good girl and stay on the ground. I want to reveal what happened to your sister to everyone.” The Dragonite said. Maya shook her head violently.
    “But I don’t want people to fight.” The little Dratini said, her eyes turning into what most people refer to as ‘Puppy Eyes’.
    “Now, now, Maya,” The Dragonite patted her child’s head affectionately. “You are young. You do not understand. Do not fret, child, for everything will turn out right.”
    Maya trusted her mother, but was still a bit jumpy. The Dragonite gave her daughter a reassuring smile before flying up to the spike. She opened her mouth and gave her speech.
    “My other daughter was kidnapped by a human. One day, I was out of the cave with my daughter Miya on a Berry Hunt. While we were searching, a human attacked Miya with an Infernape- and a strong one. I tried to defend her but it knocked me out and took away Miya. Thankfully, my remaining daughter was sick that day and remained in the cave, or she would have probably been kidnapped too. I was afraid to tell anyone in fears of being called a liar and a fraud. But now... justice can be served.”
    Maya’s mother turned to face the Garchomp.
    “For your bravery to speak out among all others... I thank you.”
    More Dragon Pokémon burst in tears and said that they have been attacked before, or someone close to them had been kidnapped, etc.
    The Garchomp opened his mouth.
    “With all these foolish humans around there’s no telling what they do next. We have to stop them from hurting more- ruining more lives. We must destroy humans for the good of the world. For the good of all Pokémon.”
    The Garchomp smiled.
    “My name is Lorin, and I hope to be your ladder to victory!”
    The Dragon Pokémon below cheered in a crazed frenzy and chanted ‘LORIN! LORIN!’ all together. Maya started to get frightened, and cried for her mother to come down.
    “Mommy! I want to go back to the nest!” Maya cried. Maya’s mother noticed, and immediately brought her crying baby to the nest and comforted her.
    “Now, my darling, sleep in peace. What we are doing will help the world. We are doing this to make a better place for you to live in. Now, here are feathers to block your earholes.” Maya’s mother said. Maya curled up tight in her nest and relaxed.
    “Mommy.” Maya said softly.
    “Yes, what is it, dear?”
    “I love you.”
    “I love you too, dear. Now go to sleep.”

    ***

    That was five years ago.
    A Dratini stood alone in a barren wasteland, wailing. Human and Pokémon corpses alike littered the ground. But not only Dragon Pokémon were dead. Pokémon of all kinds were. They helped out in the war and paid the price.
    The sight was not for a ten-year-old Pokémon to see.
    The war was not what in was in fairytales, with knights in gleaming armor, the sun rising behind them as they charged and killed the evil forces. It was chaos. Pure and utter chaos. And the poor, young Pokémon and seen it through a hole in her hiding place.
    “Se, finally, we are equal, eh?” A dying Lorin chuckled weakly at the human army leader, who laid dead by Lorin’s own hands. A tear dropped from Lorin’s wet eyes, nearly stopping him from spotting the only moving figure. Maya.
    “Dratini. Come here.”
    Maya jumped in fright when she realized that Lorin was still alive- but barely, obviously. Maya approached Lorin, slithering like a snake, dragging her growling stomach hasn’t had a meal apart from scraps that were considered ‘rations’ for weeks.
    “You girl... you were one of the children recruited to help the war, right?” Lorin asked. Maya nodded slowly, her eyes glancing all over Lorin. His body was burnt almost totally. His tail? Non-existent now. His right eye was gone and were huge, bleeding wounds on his body.
    “How did you manage to get through the battle with only a bumps and scratches? Not to mention the various other ones before this.” Lorin asked. Maya tilted her head towards a crate, which everyone ignored.
    “You hid? In every battle? Clever girl. Cowardly, but clever.” Lorin said. Maya was a bit offended to be called cowardly, but it WAS the truth.
    “Not every one. I fought on the first.” Maya thought to herself.
    “Clever enough to stop this from happening. Spin this claw in a clockwise direction.” Lorin, with the last ounce of his strength, raised his right claw. Maya grabbed it with her mouth and turned.
    The claw was fake and hollow.
    The claw dropped off, to reveal a golden, pure pocket watch inside it. The numbers were in roman numbers and the clock still running, and keeping perfect time.
    “I kept this pocket watch with me since five years ago. I was afraid that something like this would happen, and that I would fail. It seems that I have. No Pokémon or human is now alive.” Lorin said, and he sighed.
    “See the knob at the back? If you turn it anticlockwise it’ll rewind slowly. Rewind that pocket watch until it hits exactly twelve midnight. It’ll bring you back in the past.” Lorin said, his breath running out.
    “But... but what do I do then?” Maya stuttered.
    But she noticed that Lorin’s eyes were closed and he had stopped breathing. Maya brushed away a tear falling from her eye and went ahead with what Lorin wanted her to do.
    She moved her tail, touched the knob and turned it. She kept a close eye on the time, and soon it hit six in the morning.
    Five in the morning.
    Four in the morning.
    Three in the morning.
    Two in the morning.
    One...
    Twelve midnight.
    A strange, light blue light encircled Maya. Ticking sounds could be heard all over the place. Black outlines of clocks also appeared alongside the blue light and followed encircling her. The light turned faster, and faster, and faster, and went in closer, and closer, and closer. Soon, Maya felt she swooped off the ground, and everything went black.

    ***

    “Where am I...?”
    Maya woke up to see she was in a forest. But she was not alone.
    “Mommy, why do you think this Dratini is out here?”
    “I don’t know, but she seems to be hurt badly.”
    Maya forced herself to get up and see who were the two talking.
    There was a Gabite, and though they have a fearsome appearance, this one had a peaceful look on her face and kindness showing in her eyes, giving Maya a sense of security. There was a Gible, who was apparently the Gabite’s child. This Gible looked innocent and confused, not to mention tired- and hungry. Very, very hungry.
    “Oh, your awake! We found you on the floor of the forest just a minute ago. We also found this strange device next to you, but it appears to be... uh... broken.” The Gabite showed Maya the Pocket Watch which has been cracked and burned beyond recognition. “Where are your parents?” The Gabite said in a kind voice, but the words she said impacted her greatly.
    Maya simply cried, after recounting that after the battle before the one where it all ended, a Pigeot approached her and informed her that her mother was dead. Maya refused to believe it at first, but after waiting for a whole day, Maya’s mother never came.
    The Gabite was shocked, and immediately comforted Maya.
    “There, there. I understand how that feels. Yes, I know what you mean- I did that too. But you are not facing it alone, unlike me.”
    Maya stopped crying and gave the Gabite a happier yet puzzled face.
    “You see, I’m going to take you in. I can’t just leave you here.” The Gabite said. But Maya shook her head.
    “No. I need to go somewhere, sorry. I can’t stay with you.” Maya said.
    “Oh, really? But at least let us tend to your wounds first. You can just stay a night, and be off,” The Gabite said. “Oh! And I nearly forgot! You can call my Aunt Lia. This is my son, Lorin.”
    The name sounded in Maya’s mind ten more times. Her quick mind made sense of the situation she was now in.
    So this was Lorin as a child! That must mean that I must go with Aunt Lia, I guess. So how do I stop Lorin from starting the war? By stopping his hate of humans. And to do that, I need to stop him from getting kidnapped in the first place! That’s what he said happened to him in his speech five years ago.
    “Actually... I just remembered that I already did what I had to do. And... I have to place to stay after that, even if I haven’t done it and did it now. So... I guess I can stay with you till I can find someone else?”
    “Sure! Now, this is the way back to our cave. We’ll tend to your wounds there.”

    ***

    Maya scoured her eyes around the foreign area while slithering towards the cave. She has never seen pine trees before. The curious leaves were all clumped together on one of the many stalks. Maya also noticed a curious little object, brown in color. It looked like a Pineco, but no, it was far too small...
    “Oh, by the way, what is your name?” Aunt Lia said, and Maya turned her attention to her.
    “My name? Oh, my name is Maya.” She said in a soft voice.
    “Maya? Oh, what a nice name! I bet you and Lorin will go along just great.” Aunt Lia said, and she turned around to continue walking towards her destination.
    “So, Maya,” Lorin said, shocking Maya a bit, though not enough for the ignorant Lorin. “Are you good at battling?”
    “I suppose.” Maya said, still unsure about her battling skills. She definitely did hurt many in the first battle, but then...
    “Oh, cool! Mom lets me train in the morning. It’s mounds of fun. I bet you’ll enjoy it too!” Lorin said, and then, whispered to Maya.
    “And if you pass my expectations, I’ll take you on an adventure!” Lorin chuckled slightly, and Maya started to feel a tiny bit uncomfortable.
    But then again, I need to keep an eye on Lorin. Maybe it was during this adventure that he was caught...?
    “We’re here!” Aunt Lia said in her heartwarming voice. Maya saw in entrance to a cave in front of her, and cautiously entered.
    The cave was considerably small, though still enough for maybe a hundred Dragon Pokémon to gather. There were many nests, though most were unoccupied.
    “We’re back, Cecilia!” Aunt Lia said, and a Chansey, who was overturning sacks full of berries in one of the nests, turned to face Aunt Lia.
    “Oh! You are back!” Jika said, and she Maya, looking at her curiously. The only time she has seen a Chansey was as a medic on her troop, and she died very soon when the battle started.
    “Oh, who is this little Dratini? You got bumps and scratches EVERYWHERE, dear! Let me heal them...” Chansey took the egg from her pouch and threw it up in the air. Aunt Lia’s body suddenly started to radiate heat, making Maya feel a bit sweaty under the collar. Aunt Lia’s cheeks filled up with oil and she spit it out. Immediately after spitting it out it caught flames from the intense heat of Aunt Lia’s body, enveloping the egg, then disappearing immediately. Chansey caught the egg. Maya recognized it immediately, and dived her mouth at the egg, cracking it, and sucked out the contents, satisfying her growling tummy.
    “Like it, don’t you? And look! Your all better now!” The Chansey said. Maya looked at herself and smiled. She learned from the troop Chansey eggs have healing properties. So now, she was looking brand new.
    “I found her in the woods. She doesn’t know where her parents are, so we are going to take care of her for a while.” Aunt Lia explained to the Chansey, who nodded.
    “Oh, poor thing! Your welcome to stay here as long as you like. Now, what is your name?” The Chansey said, sympathizing with Maya.
    “My name is Maya.”
    “My name is Cecilia, but you can call me Aunt Lucy. Now, you and Lorin stay in the nest and sleep. Me and Aunt Lia are going to sort the berries.” Aunt Lucy said, and she ushered the duo into the nest.
    It was as comfortable as her mother’s, maybe a little more so. Maya sighed softly and snuggled up tight in the soft bedding material. As she fell asleep, she heard Lorin telling his mother he was still hungry. Maya still couldn’t believe how innocent and small Lorin used to be as the sleep mistress grabbed away her consciousness.

    ***

    “Wake up, sleepy-head, the sun’s up and high already!”
    Maya open her eyes and yawn, rubbing the yellow crust away. She saw Aunt Lia leaning over her, smiling.
    “Come on, Mom! Let’s start training!” The young Lorin jumped an yelled at the top of his lungs. His mother shot him a warning look to behave, which didn’t quite work much anymore.
    “Um, Aunt Lia? May I train too?” Maya said, thinking it was best to stay with Lorin as much as possible. Aunt Lia looked a bit surprised, but nodded.
    “Okay, but if you feel unwell, you need to tell me immediately.” Aunt Lia told Maya sternly. Maya jumped out of the nest and slithered towards where Lorin was.
    There was a roughed up scarecrow in the empty field, and many wooden stumps attached to the ground, some cut into half, some burnt, some still intact. Behind Maya came Aunt Lia.
    “About time, Mom! I want to start already!” Lorin said. Aunt Lia sighed heavily and caved in, not bothering to even give Lorin a talking to anymore.
    “Okay, let’s work on your Dragon Rush today. Until you are able to destroy the scarecrow you can’t give up.” Aunt Lia said, and Lorin smirked, his eyes locking on into the scarecrow. A menacing look appeared on his face, and he mustered up every ounce of his strength, and mashed into the scarecrow hard. It bent back a bit, but then recovered and stood high, as if it was mocking Lorin.
    “Um... Aunt Lia, can I try? I know Dragon Rush.” Maya stepped forth. Aunt Lia pulled Lorin away to prevent him from getting hurt in any way.
    Maya mustered up her strength, much like Lorin, and focused on the scarecrow. She jumped and landed head on at the scarecrow with extreme power, whipping it with her tail, which was actually quite powerful despite her tiny structure.
    The scarecrow bent back, but this time it didn’t come up again. The wooden stake broke, making the oversized straw doll fall head over heels. Maya panted heavily after using such a draining move, and laid on the floor, trying to regain some more energy.
    “Hey! You wouldn’t have been able to do that if I didn’t help you weaken it first!” Lorin said, pouting. “I bet I could have done it!”
    “Good work, Maya! Lorin, don’t worry, you can try again. I’ll get one more of them from the nest. For now, you two behave.” Aunt Lia said, and she starts walking towards the cave, leaving the duo alone.
    “Well... I guess your okay. But before I take you on my private adventure, you have to defeat me on one-on-one battle!” Lorin braced himself and slashed at the surprised Maya with his claws, leaving a slight scratch on her body.
    Maya accepts the battle request and her tail turns into water, stretching out and whipping Lorin hard on the head, banging his head against the tree. Lorin shook his body his a dog to get rid of the water, before closing in on Maya, hitting her with a reckless body slam, dealing a bit of damage to himself too.
    Maya hit the floor hard, nearly knocking out, before a memory returned to her.
    It was a bright, sunny morning. Her mother stood next to her, fighting an angry Salamence.
    “Now, Maya, you need to learn how to fight.” She said, and her mother hit the opponent with a well pulled-off Dragon Rush, knocking the Salamence off his feet.
    “Remember to always use the move that the Pokémon you are fighting is weak against. For example, all us Dragon Pokémon are weak against Ice type moves. That’s why I taught you Ice Beam...”
    Maya opened her eyes and faced Lorin. Freezing cold air started to accumulate in her mouth. She, in one fine move, forced the cooled air out at a straight angle, like an icy sword, aiming at Lorin.
    The cold air interacted with the water vapor in the surrounding air, condensing it, then freezing it into a large, perfect beam of ice. Lorin gasped in horror as the Ice Beam nailed him on the head, knocking him to the ground.
    “Okay, okay! You win!” Lorin said, and he forced himself up, grunting painfully. Maya was showered in pride having defeated her first Pokémon, and she banged head first into Aunt Lia.
    “Oh, what have you two naughty children been doing? I think that’s enough training for today, by the looks of you! Get Aunt Lucy to fix up an egg for both of you to share.” Aunt Lia said, irritated.
    “Sorry, Mom. I couldn’t help challenging Maya to a battle. I’ll go back to the cave.” Lorin said, scowling at the same time. Maya and Aunt Lia could see clearly that Lorin didn’t mean it.
    Lorin then whispered into Maya’s left ear about a race back to the cave. Maya grinned and started the slither back to the cave at top speed, which wasn’t very fast, but the chubby Gible’s top speed wasn’t quite fast either.
    “Hey! No fair! You had a head start!” Lorin said in a half-joking voice, and Maya was laughing quite hard as she raced the panting, tottering Lorin back to the cave. Maya was having fun with the person who led her mother to her death. She was having fun with the person who killed off the whole Earth.
    She was having fun with the person who she truly hated.
    But that didn’t quite bother her too much at the time. Because she was laughing so hard her stomach started to hurt.

    ***

    “Mm! I love your soft-boiled eggs, Aunt Lucy!” Lorin said, tucking into the egg in front of him with clear delight. After all, apart from battling, childhood Lorin’s best interest was filling his stomach.
    “Hey! Don’t finish it all! Leave some for me!” Maya said, diving her head into the egg and trying to compete with Lorin to get as much egg as possible.
    “Now, kids, don’t fight! I have plenty of berries here for afters. Now, which one is the one you like, Maya? I know you like the Figy Berries, Lorin, but that doesn’t give you the excuse to wolf all of them down all at once!”
    Lorin turned his back from the berry stack and was seen with puffed cheeks like a hamster, but they were filled with Figy Berries, not sunflower seeds. Maya chuckled slightly, and tried to pass it off as a cough. Right after slurping half a Chansey egg at high speeds, he can still have space in his stomach to fit in so many Figy Berries? No wonder he’s so fat!
    “I’d just have a Pecha Berry, please.” Maya said politely to Aunt Lucy, who handed her the soft, pink fruit. Maya bit into it and fell into a trance of intoxicating sweetness. She gobbled it down quick, and then went over to the berry stack to stuff her face with more. After so much time without berries, she was delighted to dig in.
    I’m one to talk, Maya thought to herself, and laughed in her mind. She snapped up one last Mago berry before returning to the nest to rest her contented tummy.
    Lorin followed suit, lying on the nest, apparently quite bored. “Hey, Maya, I want to tell you the adventure I want to bring you on.”
    Maya turned her head to look at the Gible at was staring at the ceiling of the cave.
    Lorin heard Aunt Lucy approaching and immediately shut up, not wanting any adult to get ahold of his ‘adventure’. Aunt Lucy came along and asked a question.
    “Say, Maya, do you know any nice songs?” The Chansey said, and Maya nodded. “Then, could you sing it?”
    Maya gulped, not being entirely sure about her singing abilities. Last time she sung a nearby Bagon told her to shut up. But, not wanting to upset the nice Chansey, she opened her mouth and the song came out.
    I walk on the streets at night
    When the lights are lit
    My feet continue to make an echoing sound
    With no destination in mind
    For there is nowhere that I can go

    For what reason was I born
    To dance and sing for the rest of eternity
    No one left to see me

    I was once told
    That I was a very special doll
    Made to dance and sing for a man
    That used to lie on the floor, never moving

    Where my heart is
    Is replaced by a turning wheel
    Never stopping
    Though my plastic body is rotting
    I still dance
    Even though he will never wake up

    One day, a woman walked in
    And took him away
    Unable to walk, only dance silently in the day
    I could only watch her take my master

    From that day on
    I look for where he sleeps
    Every night moving, going on the futile journey
    After so long, I have forgotten how to sing
    I don't remember how many times I have fallen
    I dragged my cracked body across the street to a field
    In the dead of night

    I heard his voice that called to me
    I tried to yell, in the field adorned with flowers I was in
    But out came no sound from the doll that could no longer sing

    The voice echoed in my nonexistent heart
    It said I've lived alone for long enough
    I want to meet my master again
    Let that wish be granted, please
    My body cracked, and I fell
    One very last time

    I was immersed by
    A soft light
    I can smile now
    I can smile now...
    Aunt Lucy applauded loudly, making Maya very surprised. I thought she would close her ears or tell her to stop singing midway.
    “Very good! I loved that. How come you never told me you could sing so well?” Aunt Lucy said.
    “Because I didn’t know myself either.” Maya said softly, and Aunt Lucy didn’t really know what to say.
    “Auntie Lucy, I want to sleep!” Lorin complained loudly, the spoiled brat he was now. Aunt Lucy turned to face him and gave the boy a smile.
    It was impossible to describe her singing to anyone.
    The melody was so tangible, so delicate; it supported Maya nearly as strongly as her mother when she was alive. The song seemed to comfort her, to pat her to sleep, and the moment she closed her eyes it was the afternoon when she woke up again, by the sound of Lorin’s voice.
    “Hey, hey, Maya, wake up! The adults have left to go Berry Hunting. Let’s go on an adventure now!” Lorin said.
    “Wait- huh- what?!” Lorin grabbed Maya by the tail and pulled her towards the dense woods, panting loudly. Maya’s head pulled along mud, and when a bit entered her mouth she spat out with discontent.
    “Okay- we’re in a safe place!” Lorin whispered to Maya. “This is what we are going to do- we are going to battle a trainer!”
    Maya stared at Lorin. So THIS was how he got captured- he was too foolhardy to think of the severe consequences of the upcoming action!
    “No! You can’t do that! You might get captured!” Maya snapped at Lorin, who was taken aback by Maya’s fierce reaction.
    “But- but... haven’t you heard? Pokémon Trainers take their Pokémon all over the world! They train them and let them battle other Pokémon they have never seen before! Besides, I’m tired of this dingy old place, I’m tired of my mom and Aunt Lucy! Can’t you see this is a win-win situation?” Lorin yelled at Maya, who answered back in a low, monotone voice.
    “You have no idea how much your mother loves you.”
    Lorin stared at Maya, puzzled. “She doesn’t love me one bit! She doesn’t let me go out at all, she chose a place far away from other Pokémon, and most of all, I can never battle!”
    “Sure, her methods aren’t the best in raising social skills, but she is doing all this to protect you. Treasure her while you can, because you may not be able to ever again if you continue acting like this.”
    Lorin stared at Maya like she was speaking an alien language to him. “What are you trying to tell me here?”
    “I am telling you the truth now. I am no ordinary Dratini. I am from the future.”
    Lorin stared at Maya and gasped. Lorin might have not believed her, but she said it in such a way, with such a look, no one could believe she was not telling the truth.
    “In the future, you are a Garchomp, having being kidnapped by humans and tortured by them. You sought revenge by using your persuasion to all Dragon Pokémon to fight for you against the humans. Soon, more and more Pokémon from other types joined and soon if was a full-fledged war, Pokémon versus Humans. Trainer’s Pokémon backstabbed their masters. Pokémon went on a rampant killing spree. It was pure and utter chaos. In the end, almost everyone except me died. Just because a spoiled brat couldn’t just stay at home that day.”
    Lorin, before he had time to look scared or surprised, was struck by an onslaught of Ice Shards. A human with a twisted grin petted his Froslass, who seemed to be enjoying her master’s praise.
    “Good girl! Looks like we’re in luck today! Two tiny-little defenseless Dragon Pokémon. And no other people around to notice us. Froslass, use Hail!”
    The Froslass chanted some ancient words, summoning the hail. Dark clouds started to gather in the sky, and showered little hard chunks of ice, damaging both Lorin and Maya greatly.
    “Well, what do we do now?!” Lorin yelled as he tried to shield himself from the pouring hail.
    “I know a move that my mom taught me a long time ago! It was supposed to ward of Ice Pokémon!” I yelled, and Lorin replied back instantly.
    “Well, then? DO IT!”
    Maya gathered up her inner energy, and her entire body warmed up. Froslass noticed that the hails that were now hitting Maya’s body melted quite fast. Her eyes widened and it stepped back as Maya forced herself up.
    “What’s happening?! Froslass, DO SOMETHING!” The man screamed at the Froslass. Froslass nodded and shot torrents of Powder Snow at the Dratini, but all of it melted into a puddle beneath Maya’s slithering tail.
    The heat from her body spilled up all into her mouth, where she released an intense blow of all-consuming fire at the Froslass. Her ice armor steadily started to melt, and she gasped. After regaining her sanity, Froslass relaxed and collected water as in seeped up from the ground, steadily forming it into a water wall, which she then used to distinguish the fires.
    “Good work in using Water Pulse, Froslass! Now, hit them with a barrage of Powder Snow!” The trainer commanded. The Froslass obeyed, forming snow with the ground water, and then flinging them at Lorin and Maya, like giant snowball that was thrown at such speeds it hurt.
    “Oh no you don’t, you bitch!”
    A voice came out of nowhere, and Maya raised her head. She saw Aunt Lia running towards them at unimaginable speeds, slicing through the wall of snow like a knife goes throw butter.
    “I knew something was wrong the moment the hail started. Lorin, I will give you a huge punishment went we get back!” Aunt Lia proceeded to attack, running with her muscular, well-built legs.
    “What is this?!” The trainer exclaimed as the powerful Gabite advanced to his location. “I’ve never seen a Gabite go so FAST! Froslass, use the most powerful move in your arsenal, Return!”
    Froslass braced herself and then crashed into Aunt Lia, forcing her on her knees, but not for long. Aunt Lia got up again and charged. Froslass tried Ice Shard, and sharp icicles aimed for the moving target. Aunt Lia dodged them effortlessly.
    The Froslass panicked and attempted Icy Wind, sending a bone-chilling wind towards Aunt Lia. However, she simply passed through it, not showing a single sign of pain. The Froslass was at a loss.
    At the last second before Aunt Lia could knock Froslass out with her slam, the trainer yelled a command.
    “Froslass! Use Destiny Bond!”
    The Froslass linked her own soul with Aunt Lia’s temporarily and not very strongly, but enough to make sure that when Froslass fainted, Aunt Lia would faint as well.
    When Aunt Lia struck, both figures were pushed backwards from the impact, and both figures ended up fainting. The trainer scowled and returned Froslass to her PokéBall.
    “Huh. Of all the things to happen, I figure out I only have one more PokéBall left. Well, that Gible is currently more prized than that Dratini. I would catch that Gabite, but unfortunately, it’s knocked out. Well, might as well collect my prize. Aim... carefully... PokéBall, GO!”
    The PokéBall flew in a straight direction towards Lorin’s face. Maya had only a split second to react, a reaction that might change the future of the Pokémon world forever.
    Maya leapt out, shielding Gible from the red and white ball. It opened up, sucking in her body.
    One.
    Two.
    Three.
    Ding.
    The trainer yelled all kinds of obscenities, and grabbed the PokéBall in a huff, leaving Lorin with his eyes wide, and Lorin fainted out of shock, not damage.

    ***

    “If we are to save our race from the humans, then, we must fight!”
    A Dragonite stood on the spike again, yelling the same words.
    Had Maya failed? Had a Pokémon, also sick of human’s brutality, stood up, and caused the world to crumble from war?
    No.
    That Dragonite was Maya.
    Maya had not understood the pain Lorin went through. She was driven mad with torture, and horrified by injustice. She has had a lot of time to think, and concluded no life was better than life with humanity.
    The Pokémon charge into battle, blissfully unaware of the apocalypse they are facing.

    THE END
    Last edited by Timpeni; 20th February 2011 at 12:47 AM.
    URPG Stats
    Rangering: Closed currently
    Story Deals: Closed for now (Open to bribes)

    P.S. My story deal load is a lot, so if you bribe me now you have to wait pretty long.

  2. #2
    Emmy-Chan SilverChromeX's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Pocket Watch (Ready to Grade)

    In honor of your avatar, Timpeni, I shall write my comment in a bright blue color! Woohoo ~ feels so bright and happy ~ budum! 8D Any ways, I hope you do not mind me making any comments on your fanfic as I am doing what the URPG advised if someone were to look into becoming a grader and that is to comment - a lot. So, I shall do just that! Hurray! :D Congrats on you being the first too ~ I shall grab the champagne while I'm at it.

    Anyways, onwards to the URPG story.

    I've considered how it is that I shall start and I'll just give out my general opinion. The general opinion is the story without going into too details on the different pieces that create your story as a whole. Mkay ~? Yeah, this may be a wordy comment. xD I'm really going to dedicate myself to this. Look, now I'm rambling.

    What is just a personal reference is just the fact that everything is sort of spaced so that way it can seem not so mushed together. Generally people also have the option to double space. But as stated, that is a personal reference. What might dock you some points is how you ended the story. That of course all depends on who it is that is your grader. A story, especially at this level, does not need, "The End," to state that the story is at an end. When the story ends, there will be a conclusion and that is what will wrap up the rest of your story. That's just from what I've learned throughout my years in school with how endings should not be acceptable.

    The general plot I have to say has a lot of wisdom that can be passed down. Such as that no matter how you wish to go back and change everything, fate cannot be stopped. That is how I can see it. Well, what I'm really trying to say is that everything can work out for the better, but that doesn't change how everything turns out in the end. The fact that it started out as a story and ended in the whole wise statements very well carries out as well leave an affect on the reader.

    Or at least, it did leave quite an affect on me. It could be I'm a sap or you work your magic well as a reader. That's quite a style to have. :D

    This sort of reminds me how people want to fight each other all the time. There will be those people who have a different say. Then more than half the time, that person just needs to see what everyone else had seen to understand everything that led to how they developed their urge to fight in order to join in. Fact is, people rely on emotion over reason in the end. Yes, it is quite a sad and honest statement. People don't fight for others, they fight out of their own feelings. Since Maya didn't understand and lacked said feeling, when she witnessed it, oh, you bet she turned her whole idea around on the idea to kill off all humans.

    There was a lot of dialogue and I think that with the fact you can write a lot of dialogue, you could certainly be more descriptive. Yes, we know what Garchomps look like as this is a website dedicated to Pokemon, but to describe them would not hurt. When you did describe any other Pokemon, it was usually to point out that this or that Pokemon was injured. However, with the level that you are aiming for, I don't think it would have been too much to just explain to us how these Pokemon looked.

    I myself struggle with this sometime, but try to show instead of tell. That's where description comes in again. Yeah, to say the Pokemon gaped is to mean that they were in shock, astonishment, etc. Why not try to describe their emotions to help the readers to connect more and make it feel that the story has some sort of realism? However, I did very much enjoy the general concepts and feelings. The stories did come to move me. How the Pokemon were treated and I very well would be there in the audience to join the dragons because if I were in that position, you can bet I would agree to no end.

    It hurt me worst when Maya turned to have not learned anything. She had one shot and then she experienced what the other Pokemon had talked about. I'm not sure if the main reason to call her a coward was that she did not fight with the Pokemon or that she potentially was smart to not do so. I could see it going either way. This is quite the story you have here, isn't it? :P

    Good luck on your capture ~ ! :D
    I'll leave the grammar to the grader.
    xD
    Too long for me to slice and dice so late at night.


    Soulsilver

  3. #3
    Prince of All Blazikens! Magikchicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Pocket Watch (Ready to Grade)

    Greetings, Timpeni! I'm (temporarily) back to the URPG after such a long time away, and I'm glad to see that the other Graders have more or less kept up with the stories. Nevertheless, yours seems to have been passed over... Wait a second, last edit in February?? My goodness, you've waited a while. Allow me to rectify this!


    Characters, Backstory: Time travel! What you've done here is made the backstory the future and the story the past (what would normally be the 'backstory'!) \o/ I love how you did it, and think that the concepts behind each character— past and future— are good.
    My one complaint might be regarding your style of portraying these characters. Most of the time, your dialogue (which, by the way, was very well done as a whole) was sufficient to give a sense of what each character was like. However, once in a while, you directly described a character's feelings. For example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    “Where are your parents?” The Gabite said in a kind voice, but the words she said impacted [Maya] greatly.
    While this technique is perfectly valid on its own, the problem is that you only did it once or twice, interspersed with large periods of not necessarily knowing what Maya is thinking or feeling (except by her actions.) When writing from 'inside' a character's head, you need to choose to either always veil the character's inner thinking, or always reveal what they're feeling. Switching back and forth between the two leads to a bit of mental whiplash as the reader has to switch gears from being told how a character is feeling, to figuring it out from the character's actions.
    In addition to inconsistently using the technique, whenever you did use it, you tended to be a bit unclear. For example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    “If we are to save our race from the humans, then, we must fight!”
    The Garchomp shouted charismatically.
    "Charismatically" is an odd adjective to turn into an adverb; it can be done, certainly, but you definitely need to qualify it. How is the shout charismatic? Does it carry just the right tone of indignation? Or maybe he's speaking with such passion that each dragon Pokémon there feels a response from somewhere in their heart. I would replace 'charismatically' with a description of just how Lorin is shouting.
    The same slight unclearness is present in the previous quote I used, as well. Aunt Lia's words impacted Maya greatly... but how? There are a lot of different kinds of emotional impact words can have; they can make you excited, they can make you sad (which I think was what you were going for here), and so on. So, maybe rather than just say the words 'impacted' Maya, specify exactly what they made her feel?
    All in all, I think that while your vehicle for characterization may have been a little inconsistent, the ideas themselves were clear enough. Good job. :)


    Plot Content, Plot Flow: Keeping the plot straight with time travel involved is rather difficult, but I think you did this admirably: A young Dratini fights in a massive war of Pokémon versus humans. In this war, the entire world is devastated, and all hope appears lost... when she's given a time travel device that returns her to the very beginning, when the Pokémon who started the war was just a child...
    The simplicity of the plot (with the exception of the time travel... and the rather horrible little twist at the end!) is actually a strength for your story, because if it were too complex, you would end up with utter chaos centering around the time travel component of the story.
    You used a timeskip from the very beginning to the very end of the 'future war,' and then another timeskip from Maya's capture to her... not-so-triumphant return as the NEW HARBINGER OF THE END TIMES. I thought those were well-chosen locations, as they cut out a great deal of unnecessary detail while still being perfectly clear as to what happened in the meantime.


    Grammar, Sentence Flow: There were just a few hiccups in your grammar; the main (and only really repetitive) one was your tendency to switch from the past tense to the present in the middle of a sentence. For example:
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    More Dragon Pokémon burst in tears and said that they have been attacked before, or someone close to them had been kidnapped, etc.
    More correctly, this would be, 'More Dragon Pokémon burst into tears, and said that they had been attacked before, or that someone close to them had been kidnapped...' You made this mistake a few times, and it was a little jarring. Just watch your tenses carefully. ^_^
    Also, regarding the same quote: putting 'etc.' in a narrative story is almost always a big no-no. "Etc." is a contraction of the Latin et cetera ("and other such things,") which sounds like it would work, but in English its use is normally limited to human speech (you could have a character say, "et cetera," as the end of their sentence) or to things like law documents, where a list has been made earlier in the document and, instead of being repeated, can just be replaced with "Item 1, item 2, etc." as an indication that this is the same list of things as before.
    Again, the past-tense inconsistency was the only real grammatical mistake you repeated any significant number of times. The others were just one-shot wonders, which I'm going to go into below (but certainly not mark you down for.)


    Grammatical Quibbles: These are the errors that just occurred once or twice. Consider them pointers for improving your writing, rather than serious criticism. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    “If we are to save our race from the humans, then, we must fight!”
    The Garchomp shouted charismatically.
    You can put these two lines in the same paragraph, without the line break. Not that you absolutely have to. Also, the second comma is unnecessary and shouldn't be there. "If we are to save our race from the humans, then we must fight!" is more correct. Finally, keep in mind what I went into above; 'charismatically' is too general a word, because there are many different ways of being charismatic. You need to be a bit more specific with the description of the way he shouted. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    Where are your parents?” The Gabite said in a kind voice, but the words she said impacted her greatly.
    Grammatically, when you use "she" and "her" here, they both refer to the Gabite. You need to replace the 'her' with Maya's name. Also, "the words she said" is a rather awkward way of phrasing that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    “But I don’t want people to fight.” The little Dratini said, her eyes turning into what most people refer to as ‘Puppy Eyes’.
    When a sentence spoken by a character need not end in an exclamation point or question mark, usually it ends with a comma rather than a period, and is followed by a lowercase letter after the end-quote marks. This paragraph would be more correct if written like so: "But I don't want people to fight," the little Dratini said, her eyes growing large and round like those of a puppy. (The phrase you used sounded a bit odd, so this is an alternative way of saying it. I understand the reference to the specific phrase "puppy dog eyes," but I don't know about incorporating it into the narration itself.)
    Anyways, the only reason I go into such nitpicky detail is specifically because your writing is good enough that small errors like this stand out. With a less advanced writer, I would be focused on fixing the major mistakes and guiding his/her growth; with you, it's more of a fine-tuning process. So, please don't worry that I'm picking apart your story in such detail: it's a good sign! xD


    Detail, Description: Not much to comment on here, unless it's to say that some more description of the surroundings might not go amiss. When you did do descriptions, they tended to be more focused on your characters' reactions to said surroundings; which is good. But it also needs some more visually evocative stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    A Dratini stood alone in a barren wasteland, wailing. Human and Pokémon corpses alike littered the ground. But not only Dragon Pokémon were dead. Pokémon of all kinds were. They helped out in the war and paid the price.
    I like the transition to plot-related stuff (filling in after the timeskip,) but like I said, more visuals would be nice. (Is the sky grey and overcast? Perhaps some mountains loom menacingly in the distance? *shrug*)


    Dialogue: This is where your story really shone: the dialogue carried the story forward at every turn, and was really your main source of characterization. I thought the exchanges between characters and the transitions from speech to thoughts were very fluid, realistic and generally well done. If anything, the dialogue outshone the rest of the story, to the point where the rest of your writing paled in comparison. I kept finding myself thinking, "I wish the characters would talk more; I understand what's going on better during dialogue." It's not that your writing isn't good; it's that your dialogue is amazing, while your writing is just... good.
    My suggestion to you would be to keep doing dialogue the way you do it now: your mission is to get the rest of your writing up to the standard your dialogue sets.


    Battles: The beginning of the main battle of the story was very abrupt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    [Dialogue] ... Lorin, before he had time to look scared or surprised, was struck by an onslaught of Ice Shards. A human with a twisted grin petted his Froslass, who seemed to be enjoying her master’s praise.
    There wasn't really a transition from Maya's rant at Lorin, which could portray the suddenness of the attack, but I personally would recommend putting a little something in, like...
    Quote Originally Posted by Example
    Before Lorin had a chance to gather his wits, there was a loud crashing noise from some nearby bushes. A moment later, a menacing-looking human with a twisted grin on his face leaped from the brush, followed by a ghostly Pokémon that trailed ice crystals from the folds of its wide-sleeved robe.
    "Froslass, Ice Shard!"
    Also, a few of the moves could use more description. For instance,
    Quote Originally Posted by Timpeni View Post
    The Froslass chanted some ancient words, summoning the hail. Dark clouds started to gather in the sky, and showered little hard chunks of ice, damaging both Lorin and Maya greatly.
    The Hail description is good; however, some description of the 'great damage' Lorin and Maya took might feel less like it's ripped straight from the game. Maybe, instead of 'damaging both Lorin and Maya greatly,' the little hard chunks of ice 'pelted Lorin and Maya like tiny hammers, cracking Lorin's scales painfully and raising nasty purple bruises all over Maya's tender skin.'


    Character Count: 32,376


    Overall: It all comes down to plot, characters and detail. Your dialogue carried the plot and characters, as well as added nice detail, but the rest of your story fell a bit short of the high benchmark that the dialogue set.
    Nonetheless, altogether the strength of your dialogue and the (slightly) lower quality of your narration averaged out to be a fun and engaging read; you get the catch, but I'd suggest you work on improving your narration to include visual descriptions and characters' thoughts, and make sure you're staying in the past tense. ^_^

    Result:
    Dratini: Caught
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