Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

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Thread: Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

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    Default Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

    BIG HUGE DISCLAIMER O' DEATH TYPE THINGY: First of all, be prepared for tons of violence, naughty language (Scourge-sama likes the word naughty, okay, geez), depictions of drunkenness and other things that small children shouldn't be exposed to. Not that the URPG is allowed to be within 100 yards of small children anyways, but that's beside the point... Um. Well. This colab fic started way back when as a colab between me, Scourge of Nemo, and Hide In Plain Sight, but then we kind of abandoned it because we're all unreliable and lazy (who would've guessed) and then HiPS left and yeah... But recently me and Scourge decided to do a colab and this happened. More chapters are coming. Eventually. Probably. HiPS gets some credit for plot ideas and character ideas, but he didn't actually write any of it, just thought I needed to give credit there... Well... I should end this note before it gets longer than the actual story. ENJOY.

    Scourge's Note: POWER ABUSE. AHAHAHAHA.

    Chapter 1


    Pokemon Captures: Natu (Mine) and Cubchoo (Scourge-sama's)
    Needed Characters: 20000
    Actual Characters: 23016


    Scary monsters, super creeps
    Keep me running, running scared
    -Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), by David Bowie


    My eyes slowly blinked open. I immediately closed them. The light was too bright. It seemed to burn through my closed eyelids into the back of my skull.

    “Shit. Turn that off,” I muttered.

    “What the hell are you talking about? It’s dark out,” a much too loud voice protested.

    I rolled out of bed and landed with a thunk on a hard, metal floor. Wait? Metal? I forced my eyes open and looked around. I groaned involuntarily and stood up. “Wha…?” I managed to get out. I stumbled and fell to my knees.

    “C’mon, kid, get up. I don’t want to have to fill out all the forms if you die in here.” Then he muttered something like, “Not that I would.”

    My head was still spinning, but I attempted to get up one last time and succeeded. Slowly but surely, everything was growing clearer. I remembered shooting pain in my head and a bright light. It felt like I had been struck by lightning. My tongue lay heavy and thick in my mouth, but I forced it to move. “Where am I?”

    “Relax, kid. You’re at the Outskirt Stand.”

    I felt that it might be easiest to just repeat whatever he said. “Outskirt Stand?”

    “Yeah. You came wandering out of the desert talking to yourself.”

    “Talking to myself?”

    “I think so. You’re not after anything… illegal, are you? We don’t do that anymore.”

    “God, no,” I slurred. Then, I heard a loud crashing sound coming from a different room.

    “Be right back,” said the man who had been in the room with me. For a split second, I had a perfect image of him. He was wearing a large apron, a sweaty white wifebeater and a pair of filthy khakis. I wish I hadn’t seen that, I thought to myself, right before the crashing sound came again.

    I suddenly felt an odd mixture of fear and anticipation. I limped out of the dark room. The sight that greeted me was not what I expected. It looked as though I had walked into a bar. A completely trashed bar. Broken glass and splinters of wood were scattered everywhere. Several people lay on the floor, unconscious. In fact, the only two people in the room still standing were a huge biker in a leather jacket and a smaller guy dressed like a pimp and looking like he’d just made the biggest drunken mistake of his life—and gotten away with it.

    A few feet away, a girl with dirt-encrusted blonde hair and a ragged brown cloak three times the size of her body claimed the title of only sitting person in the room. She did the only logical thing with it, which would be to drink a glass of milk and stay out of the mess. Both men breathed heavily and glaring at each other, while the girl looked on in quiet amusement.

    “Erm. Hello?” All three people turned to stare at me.

    The moment their attention centered on me, their emotions hit. From both men, rage and frustration engulfed me; from the girl rushed, a quiet, sullen anger that had nothing to do with the present situation. I stumbled. The large biker blinked at me stupidly. The smaller man next to him tried to take a drunken step forward, ended up falling back, and crashed into the girl. Her stool tipped. Her eyes widened. Her milk spilled.

    There was a moment of complete silence.

    Then the girl started screaming. Pure, black hatred emanated from her. She pushed the guy off of her and tackled the bulky one. My brain seemed to twitch with an image of a huge needle jamming into my arm, veins spidered and pale. My head fogged over. This wasn’t right; this wasn’t the right sort of hatred. Distracted from it, I felt fear, someone else’s blood thrumming through my body, suffocation. Then a mixture of hatred and anger and confusion from the rest of the room.

    Shaking it off, I jumped into the fight and began punching and kicking at everything I could. The crazy, out of place emotions kept sneaking into my mind, but I forced them off with each hit. I couldn’t see anything and all I could hear was shouting and cursing. Finally, I struggled free of the scuffle. I looked over and was surprised to see the biker passed out a few feet away. The only people still fighting were the girl and the other guy. The girl was winning….

    “I’ll teach you to mess with MY milk!” she yelled, and slapped him. He seemed slightly dazed and not at all aware of what was happening.

    “Miss?” I said quietly. She didn’t seem to hear me. “Miss?” I said a little louder. Still nothing. “MISS!?”

    She turned to look at me. For a split second, I could see the fury in her eyes. Then it disappeared and in its place, I saw the blank, calculating stare of a snake watching a mouse.

    “I think you won.”

    She smiled a cold, detached smile and looked around at the wreckage of the bar. “It would appear that I have.” She started to walk away, clanging as she went as various talismans and random scraps of metal hanging from her neck and belt banged against each other. I watched her walk out the door cautiously before approaching the guy she had been fighting. He was sitting up and leaning against the wall. His eyes were totally bloodshot and glazed over.

    “Dude,” I said, “are you okay?”

    As if in response, he slumped over and lay on the ground, staring at the ceiling. Not knowing what else to do, I ran out of the bar and tried to find the girl who had just left. As soon as I stepped outside, the hot desert air seemed to suck all the water out of my lungs. I stared in every direction, but I could see nothing in the dark. With no other option, I turned around to go back inside.

    “Looking for me?”

    Somehow, the girl had managed to get in-between me and the door. She leaned back against the frame and locked eyes with me. The effect was like being hypnotized. I felt myself slipping away into her deep, brown eyes…. I shook my and broke our eye contact. Her mouth turned slightly downward in a frown.

    “I was looking for you, actually,” I began, but she cut me off.

    “You want me to help you.”

    “Well… I was kind of hoping....”

    “What, precisely, do you need me for?”

    “Could you tell me where I am?”

    She paused and then cackled in delight. “You are in a lawless waste land, inhabited by the dregs of society: a bleak, endless desert, where our only exports are despair and stolen goods. That is, Orre.”

    “That was helpful.”

    Without another word, she turned and walked back into the bar. I had the distinct impression I should follow. Once inside, she walked over to the guy she had fought with earlier. She clicked her tongue impatiently and muttered something under her breath. As if by magic, he sat straight up.

    “Where am I?” he muttered.

    The girl giggled. “You are in a lawless waste land,” she began, but she noticed me staring at her with my mouth wide open. “You might want to close your mouth,” she told me. “Otherwise it’ll get all dried out.”

    “Did you just bring him back to life?”

    “He is, unfortunately, not near dead enough for that. Perhaps next time. No, I just removed the toxins from his bloodstream.” Lacking a stool, she sat down cross-legged on the floor.

    The guy jumped up and looked around wildly.

    “Why in the name of God am I wearing a jacket?” he said and threw off the black monstrosity he had been wearing.

    “You might want to keep that,” the girl told him. “It gets below freezing at night.”

    The man ignored her and began pacing back and forth. “Everything is so clear…” he mumbled.

    “Sobriety is a new experience to you, I see.” She turned her head to look at me. “And you. How are you doing?”

    “I’m okay,” I told her. “It feels like I got hit over the head, though.”

    “You probably did. I found you out in the desert.”

    “But I thought that’s what that other guy said….”

    “You mean the one I possessed?”

    I stared at her incredulously and her mouth twitched, as if she were trying very hard not to smile.

    “You… possessed him?”

    “Hmmm.” She seemed to think for a moment. “Yes.”

    How?”

    “I,” she said simply, “am a witch.”

    I shook my head. “I don’t think so.”

    She raised her eyebrows. “Why not?”

    “I think that I am on a very, very bad acid trip. That guy is my dealer,” I said, pointing at him as he watched us curiously, “and you are either a hallucination or a fellow druggie.”

    “How disappointing. You chose such a common explanation.”

    “Who the hell are you people?” the guy suddenly asked.

    We both turned to look at him.

    “I,” said the girl, bowing until her oversized sleeves reached the floor, “am Kora.”

    His gaze shifted to me.

    “Um, sup? I’m Silva.”

    “And you?” Kora asked him.

    “Oh. I’m Xavier.”

    “Fantastic,” she said, and snickered.

    “It’s too early for this,” he said and walked over to where he had thrown his jacket. He shivered and put it back on.

    “Actually,” Kora said, “it is around eight o’clock at night.”

    “Like I said: Too early for this. This isn’t an eight o’clock thing. It’s a three in the morning ‘don’t drive fast so we don’t get pulled over’ thing.”

    Kora rolled her eyes. “Well, my business here is done. Come, Silva.”

    Without thinking about it, I followed her outside. She started walking off into the desert. That’s when I stopped. “Wait. Why am I following you?”

    She turned back to me and smiled. “Where else are you going to go?”

    That seemed to make sense, and yet…. “What about that guy back there?”

    “What about him?”

    “Erm… Should we leave him here alone?”

    “What else would we do with him?”

    I rubbed my arm nervously. “We could… take him with us….”

    She laughed. “You want to take the drunk that SPILLED MY MILK along with us?”

    “He does have a car,” I said nervously.

    “Superfluous. He’s still useless.”

    “But he has a car.”

    “Then why don’t we just take his keys?”

    “…Fine.”

    We walked back into the bar again, this time to find Xavier looting the bodies and sticking anything he found in a large garbage bag.

    “Lovely,” Kora said.

    I walked over to the garbage bag and peered inside. “Oh look, a Pokéball!” I grabbed the red and white sphere out of the bag and scurried away.

    “Hey,” Xavier protested, “stop stealing the stuff I just stole.” However, he didn’t actually try to get the Pokéball back. I cautiously pressed the button in the center and dropped it in surprise as it grew larger. The Pokéball hit the ground and popped open.

    “Never used a Pokeball before?” Kora asked and looked over as she pulled a belt of Pokéballs off of a drunkard, probably curious to see what Pokemon came out. In front of me hopped a tiny, green chick-like Pokemon. I had never seen anything like it before.

    “It’s a Natu,” Kora told me. I gazed into the small bird’s eyes and immediately felt as though it were staring into my soul. I looked away quickly. Suddenly, one of the larger bikers began to stir.

    “Get his keys!” I shouted.

    “That’d be my cue to get out of here,” Xavier said, and ran for the door.

    “Smooth move, x-lax.” She ran after him.

    I scooped up the Natu in my hands and chased him and Kora out of the bar and towards his car.

    Xavier jammed the keys in the ignition and tried to start the car, but it only made a loud gasping noise. This gave Kora a chance to hop into the passenger’s seat.

    “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” he muttered.

    I opened one of the rear doors, jumped in, and slammed it shut before he could drive off without me. Next came the huge biker, who stopped appropriately in the doorway to look muscular. He glared at us and started walking towards the car.

    “FUCK.”

    Finally, the engine caught and the car started. He put the car in reverse and hit the gas. I sighed in relief. As soon as we were twenty feet down the road and had already crossed the median four times, Kora reached over and pulled up the emergency break.

    “Shit!” Xavier slammed on the breaks.

    Kora took the opportunity to shift the car into park and yank out the keys. “I’m driving. You’re incompetent.”

    “Are you even old enough to drive?”

    “No.”

    She dangled the keys out the window. Begrudgingly, he switched places. I half expected Kora to drive off without him, but the engine took four chugs to rev back up.

    “Scrap metal,” Kora muttered.

    We sat in silence for a moment and I was just about to ask if anyone had any ideas when I noticed something very odd. Xavier had just lit a cigarette without a match.

    “Xavier, what the hell was that?” I asked.

    Xavier shrugged and puffed on his cigarette. “Where are you taking my car?”

    “Good question,” Kora said. “I have no idea.”

    “Phenac City is nearby,” Xavier told us, “They probably have a motel or something.”

    “Hn.”

    I leaned my head against the window and fell asleep, the Natu still resting in my hands.



    This was an interesting situation. Months of wandering listlessly through sandstorms and bars, alone and (mostly) unnoticed… and now, with just the innocent motives of a confused girl barely younger then myself, I was stuck. With people. In a car that smelled like rotten milk and had probably been purchased off a pimp, judging from the furry seatcovers.

    And I had almost hit six boulders. Driving in the dark had never been my strong suit, and the desert roads were notoriously ill marked. Plus, one of Xavier’s headlights was out.

    Xavier… My companions were, at the very least, intriguing. The boy summoned fire from the air, not unlike the accidents I had when first coming into my own powers; the girl cringed with thoughts that she did not know she had, and that probably didn’t belong to her. I could see both of them, their energies, their composition—soul, geist, whatever—in the fuzziness around their faces, and there was nothing proper about either. Their elements were screwed around, active and uneven—and the witch had taught me that anyone with too much color in the blur was someone worth watching out for.

    Years of nothing, and then… Two, in one night. It could not be coincidence. The boy, I had thought the spirits had taken—too much booze and anyone’s face could look off—but now that I had seen the fire… Yes, I would have to watch the stars more closely, in the following nights.

    My ponderings took me over miles of terrain, skirting a few more boulders and a police barricade or two (not that those did any good, anymore—not with Team Snag’Em and the bandits). My companions slept through the night. Neither snored, but the man’s hands occasionally spat sparks, and the girl twitched, knocking her Natu on the floor a few times.

    The heap of junk must have had an augmented gas chamber, or something, to carry us from Outskirt Stand to Phenac in one piece without a refill—but thirteen hours of driving later, and we were there. (The gas gauge still said full. Go figure.)

    I kicked Xavier awake, but decided to let the girl catch her rest.

    “You,” I said, pointing viciously, “are going to go find us food. I have business. If I come back and there is no food, or you are gone, you will be plunging head-first over that waterfall.”

    Blunt enough to get the point across, exaggerated enough to make him think I was joking. Perfect. Hopefully, I’d get to teach him a bit of a lesson.

    The drunk blinked blearily, running a hand through his shaggy hair and pulling a pair of sunglasses from God knows where. “Right on it, lady,” he muttered, and stumbled off. I could assume it wouldn’t get done.

    Phenac was a particularly ostentatious city. All of the water-blessed portions of Orre were, really, but Phenac especially. “OH LOOK AT US,” screamed the city center, “WE HAVE WATER. IN FACT, WE HAVE SO MUCH WATER THAT WE CAN AFFORD TO LEAK IT ALL OUT INTO A MASSIVE WATERFALL. YAY US.” Pathetic. Overblown. But highly convenient for travelers sneaky enough to avoid getting caught by their police force, which had its own division just for water thieves.

    Yeah. Like I said.

    Point being, I had a belt full of stolen Pokéballs and six empty canteens inside my cloak. There was work to be done. So I moseyed on over to the nearest Poké Mart. The place was just as gaudy as the fountain—too much money in the cushions, not enough in the stock. Its people appeared equally substanceless (dull auras, vapid gazes, mouths that hung open, a willingness to spend double the market value on a Potion).

    I smiled.

    “Sir… Are these rocks custom made?”

    A man turned and gaped at me, forehead scrunching. I screamed.

    “Look! A strange creature of abnormal proportions!” Grabbing his shoulders, I whirled him around to face the opposite direction. “GET IT AWAY. IT’S GOING TO EAT ME.”

    As the entire store paused, staring in confusion, I scrabbled around under my cloak in search of a bag of Soft Sand. I pinched some between my fingers, then scattered it. My senses flowed through the grains, reaching for the land. For a moment, the desert seared within me—the heat of the rain-parched plains, the scavenging of the sickly-plump Mandibuzz, the dry wind and the unrelenting sun. Its essence spoke to me in whispers of a rounded, blunt language long forgotten; its people cried out as its oases dried and its creatures withered. The land ached. Help me, it pled.

    My mind turned away and fed from its essence, coaxing it forth with words in turn. I only need a little, I said; the land’s language slipped through my thoughts, filling them with faded memories of the ancient days. I can not help. But you will rest soon. Only grant me this boon.

    And before me a golem rose, the land’s gift.

    People shrieked. Children giggled. I fainted. (Or appeared to, rather.) The golem dripped mud as it raised its blunted limbs and roared. Toothless maw to the sky, it struck at the nearest bystander, bewildered. It had been summoned full of nutrients and water to return health to its mother. The land had given me its best. You really think it would have learned better than to heed a witch’s call.

    The sights and sounds of urban chaos shuddered around me. Shelves crashed to the ground; soda cans rolled; mud splattered across the far walls. Someone’s Torkoal lit a human on fire… and belched lazily. I shoved as many nearby items as I could grab into my bag, then strolled to the cash register. A few thwacks with a large rock dispatched it neatly. More shoving was followed by a casual sidle to the doorway. Sneaking a look over my shoulder, I saw the golem was doing its job—a store clerk dangled by his belt buckle, flailing.

    Smirk.

    The sun was too high in the sky for comfort, and the wind held too many whispers already. The upset the earth had spoken of had been building for too long. Now, it seemed, it was reaching a crescendo. Somewhere, the land was dying.

    I turned my senses off with a twist of my mouth.

    The police hadn’t bothered to arrive yet (their salary was probably used to polish the town square’s tiling, or something). That left me time to examine the belt of Pokéballs I’d swiped in the bar fight earlier. I plopped down at the edge of a fountain that overlooked our car, wondering vaguely, as I removed my boots, why the hell I’d parked in the middle of town. Then I spent a few seconds staring at smears of unidentifiable brown goop on my hands and wondering why the hell I’d just touched my boots. Rifling through the folds of my cloak, I found the belt… and, lo and behold, discovered that the moron owner had bothered to put locking mechanisms on all but one of his precious Pokéballs.

    Tonight was really not my night. First I didn’t get milk, then some sideways compulsion of guilt forced me to take on traveling companions, then I had to drive… and now I couldn’t even steal Pokémon properly. Gah. You’re losing your touch, witch.

    …The golem was a nice touch, though.

    I gave a half-hearted poke at the unwarded Pokéball. It wobbled, glowed a little… and spat out a furry blue thing with a runny nose.

    “Oh, hell. Fuck Arceus and god damn my guardian Chansey.” A parent looked at me with wide eyes and ushered their child over to the other side of the pathway. “What the hell kind of payoff is this? You saddle me with a drunkard—who, by the way, do you see that down there? He just stole a hobo’s liquor bottle—where was I? A drunkard with pyro fingers and a child who obviously has some sort of PTSD, and when you should be apologizing me and begging me to do the right thing and maintain the balance of the earth, blah blah blah, you give me a freaking teddy bear that could maybe give me frost bite, at best. UNIVERSE, YOU HAVE A LOT OF MAKING UP TO DO. DON’T MAKE ME REJECT PANTHEISM. I WOULD MAKE A MISERABLE THEIST. YOU’D NEVER ESCAPE MY PRAYERS.” I pointed dramatically at a pile of dirt.

    The bear-thing blinked sadly at me, black eyes watering and widening to pitiful, weepy proportions. I whipped out my Pokédex and pointed at it.

    “Cubchoo—” I snapped it shut.

    “Gesundheit.” Giving a wary glare at my Pokédex, I reopened it slowly.

    “Cubchoo, the Chill Pokémon. Its nose is always running. It sniffs the snot back up because the mucus provides the raw material for its moves. Yes, that’s just as disgusting as it sounds, but no, my disgust of that thought does not even begin to rival my distaste for you.” Its ears flicked. My nose twitched. Yick.

    I’d picked the Dex up off a smart-ass trainer a few years back, unaware of the fact that he’d apparently imprinted his personality in it. He must’ve been one of those desperately lonely narcissistic types, or something, who needed a witty banter partner. An electronic witty banter partner. With a Kantonese accent. (He was clearly a weirdo. Dexter is in better hands, now.)

    The Cubchoo was just sitting there sniffling, not even remotely disturbed by the fact that I was not its master. Something that awfully trained—not worth owning, usually. But its eyes were just so large and glistening… Insert bad pun about Ice type melting my heart.

    Beaten, I placed my hand on its forehead. Its language was gruff, barking with the crack of glaciers in brisk air. Will you serve me? I asked it, reaching for its essence in the freezing of lakes and the frost on window pains.

    Yes, came the simple answer of a simple creature.

    I smiled softly and pulled away from the Cubchoo, shivering with the chill. Down below, Xavier had managed to fall headfirst into a fountain. Something in me pouted. I’d wanted to push him. Removing one of the locked Pokéballs, I slammed it against the stone walkway for good measure. Breaking the locks could be more trouble than it was worth. Metal had no life to it, and only the vaguest sense of essence—communicating even with Steel Pokémon on a visceral level was nearly impossible without a complex set of runes and incantations. So that meant no witchcraft; only tools. And Pokéballs were meant to withstand the sort of damage only a Pokémon could inflict: thousand degree temperatures, blizzards, bolts of lightning, earthquakes…

    I was not going to get in there without some technology savvy.

    Sigh.

    The police tromped in behind me and were starting to wear the golem down. Xavier looked like he was drowning.

    I retrieved my boots and headed down over the tiled archways and staircases to the car, smiling bemusedly. A police man stomped up, hands on his belt and chest puffed up. It looked like Silva and Xavier were in for some trouble. Of course.
    Last edited by Scourge of Nemo; 15th November 2011 at 12:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

    I WAS COERCED INTO THIS. I SWEAR.

    So. Uh. Claiming this upon request and because I was going to get around to it... eventually... you'll see this in a month or so. Perhaps more. D: AT LEAST I HAVE THE DECENCY TO WARN YOU?

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    Default Re: Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

    @Scourge of Nemo
    @Alaskapigeon

    Well, for starters. This is my first grade for Scourge, my second grade for Lasky, and my first collab. THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY GO WRONG NOW, CAN IT.

    So. For future reference, I’m going to lump both Scourge and Lasky into the wonderful entity “you”. Perhaps “you two” if I end up getting less lazy. Or something silly like potato hegemony… naaah… yeah, fail reference is fail. I’ll try to keep it all srz bznz and stuff in this grade to keep things pretty. And I’ll try not to die.

    Also, for the purpose of this grade, I’ll pretend that Lasky hasn’t already told me the major plot twist of the story involving a certain past with a certain backstory. I doubt it’s important, but it made me look at some instances of the story with a much more sorrowful note… ‘s kinda like the way you’d go back and watch [EH, REDACTED ‘CAUSE I FELT LIKE IT. THE POINT IS THAT I’M GOING TO PRETEND THAT I DIDN’T STALK YOUR WORKSPACE, EITHER. TV TROPES. HEH.]

    Okay, last note of information in this all-too-rambly portion that’s not actually a grade at all. I wrote a lot of this after exams, when my brain was like mush, and then this time when my fingers were numb because the heater was broken, and then this other time when I got stuck in an elevator for a while and couldn’t think in coherent sentences for a bit, and then this other time when I lost my contact lenses and stuff… point being, if there’s anything at all in this grade that doesn’t make sense (and, knowing me, there’s gotta be something), talk to me about it, m’kay?


    Technical notes: good stalkers would know how I view chapter stories, and if you really want to get into specifics, you can just IM me about it. Point being, I don’t grade each chapter as an individual story, because people shouldn’t be able to take any chapter in a book as an individual story and understand what’s going on. Not even a group of chapters or something. Point being, I’ll be grading this like it’s a piece of a bigger picture, so you might get some slack in the ways of plot and explanations while I’ll expect more in your character building and whatnot. If you don’t like this, tell me to stop grading. Now. Because the rest of this grade will be done in that mindset, and you might not like what you see. XD

    Introduction: Character wakes up in a room and doesn’t know why he or she is there. That’s a pretty standard start, which doesn’t really gain or detract points for me, but you manage to play it out well. It’s better, in this case, that you’ve started out in a more quiet environment, because the conflicts you build are things that start subtle, in the home, and grow out bigger. Yes, I’m using unfair knowledge of what I assume are future events; for that, I shall apologize. I’ll try to refrain in the future.

    My eyes slowly blinked open. I immediately closed them.
    In some senses, though, your introduction starts as quiet. A little too quiet, in my opinion—there’s very little to draw the reader in save some mild intrigue, which is difficult to pull off in even the best of situations. Sure, you’re blinking. Sure, it’s slow, and then you close them. These first sentences are crucial, but it feels like you’re letting them go to waste a little in this case. You need to draw the reader in to the story, to make them want to find out what’s going on. You’ve got a good plot, and it’s an excellent story, but if people stop reading it, that won’t do you any good. I’m exaggerating a bit here, because this is one of the fewer areas on which you can improve, but you do need a good hook. You’ve got the other key aspects to an introduction down, solid –your characters are well introduced, your setting comes into play for a bit, and you do a good job of making things flow smoothly—so that’s not much of a problem. However, the hook ends up hurting you, if only just a tad. Make it a bit more exciting and whatnot, and you’re good to go.

    I only point this out here because I feel like there isn’t much else of a place to put it. The transition between Kora and Silva’s respective points of view seemed a bit too rushed, but it’s also done rather well— there’s very little you can do about it save the obnoxious tags like {Kora’s Point of View}, which I feel would come across as tacky in the format that you’ve got thus far. It did leave me a bit confused, though, mainly due to the different writing styles, but you’re saving grace there also happened to be the different writing styles. Silly, I know, but they helped differentiate between the points of view. As it is, I think, you pulled the switch off as well as you possibly could. Kudos.

    As it is, solid introduction, and solid segue into the next part of the story…

    Plot: Classy transition is classy.

    Anywho. Like I mentioned earlier, this section becomes a lot iffier to critique due to the chapter-nature of your arc. I don’t expect a fully fledged plot here, because you’re only writing pieces, but things become more difficult to work around. ‘s more of speculation than anything else, so forgive me if any of these things sound silly.

    Basically, instead of talking about your plot as a whole, I’ll have to talk about the base that you have. So far, it’s solid. Your characters are interacting in believable ways, your antagonists are beginning to rear their ugly heads, and we start to get the feeling that something is going to get wrecked. It’s not suspenseful to the max, yet, but it’s the first chapter. It doesn’t have to be. But as it is, your story flows smoothly from vague-ness to good plot build-up, something that I don’t see too often. ‘s a good thing, I promise. For a first segment of a story, you’ve got the right essentials in the plot department. In the case of prolonged stories, I find it best to look at the first chapter as if it’s the introduction of the overarching story—in most perceptions, it really is. So, with that in mind, do you have what we’re looking for? This chapter could serve as a hook, over all, even if I had qualms with the hook in the introduction of this first bit. But if you take this story as a mere piece in the overarching plot, this chapter serves as a wonderful hook. I want to know what happens next. There’s suspense, not enough to make it cliché but more than enough to make it interesting, and there’s already a conflict arising. You introduce your main characters, and with them, you introduce this sort of vague, not fully developed entity that serves as an enemy. We can’t exactly pinpoint what it is, yet, but you give it different faces. The men in the bar who don’t like Xavier. The ignorant and foolish citizens Phenac, who are too wrapped up in their own lives to care about the greater problems. With the introduction of the plight of the earth, though, personified with that bit with the golem, you seem to make your current antagonist of this story… man? I’m not sure, but you seem to know where you’re going, which seems safe enough. Am I making sense?

    You do have a few instances where your plot doesn’t make sense, but thankfully, those are lacking. They’re more of small things that I vaguely register and then file away, normally never to be thought about again, but I think we’ve reached the stage where I can bring them up. Random things, like why the man whom Kora possesses doesn’t seem to act like Kora, even though she’s controlling his actions. Or why Silva decides to jump into the fight for no reason other than she just feels angry from feeling their emotions for too long. And seriously. Why would you follow the crazy with the milk? The only explanations that you’ve offered is that it “makes sense” or something along those lines. These are fairly simple holes to patch, honestly, but you’ve got to add something in there to explain stuff. It doesn’t have to be a paragraph, really; just a sentence or two to explain motives—that, above all, seems to be the main problem you face in terms of plot. Otherwise, things seem to flow together for you very nicely. Your plot develops slowly enough for a story on it’s own (in other words, you’re not rushing this section to keep the entire story strong) but not at such a snail’s pace that it feels like nothing gets done. In this case, your things tend to work.

    “Look! A strange creature of abnormal proportions!” Grabbing his shoulders, I whirled him around to face the opposite direction. “GET IT AWAY. IT’S GOING TO EAT ME.”
    I would just like to say: I’ve read and reread this, and I’m still not quite sure what’s going on here. =x

    STILL. GOOD PLOT, KIDS. I look forward to watching it develop in the future, I think. ^.^

    Characters: I’ve spent a long time waiting for a story where I could write a comprehensive analysis of someone’s characters and not feel guilty about just blargh’ing over a story. As Kora puts it…
    Years of nothing, and then… Two, in one night.
    …I couldn’t resist. On with the show, shall we?

    Silva: I’ll start here, since she came first in the narrative and I don’t feel like there’s much in picking a different order. I asked you (Lasky) about a lot of your motivation behind her, so there’s not much here to think about, but I do have some musings that I didn’t completely reveal over AIM. I think I’ll put them here.

    We start with her name, because that’s the thing about people that I tend to notice first. Silva means wild, apparently, like the forests, and is a reflection of Silva’s untamed nature and her nonchalance towards sedentary society as a whole, as well as her own nature. It also sounds like silver, like the precious metal. Malleable. Easily tarnished. Replaced with gold in almost every civilization ever to walk on the planet. It’s an interesting paradox that you form, with the rarity from magical powers and then the sense that she’s second best because of her name. Perhaps. However, as you portray it (and fitting to her name), Silva is the lesser of the two (when comparing Kora and Silva, at least), mostly due to Kora’s stronger presence and power rather than any true shortcoming on Silva’s part, really.

    In a sense, Silva is a reflection of her author. I’m not sure how deeply you’ll want me going into this, but she seems to be your rendition of yourself, in a flawed but perfected way. It’s like the way you imagine yourself. With superpowers. And of all of the abilities you could have chosen, you ended up with the ability to somewhat read the emotions of people. Interesting, to say the least… The first person narrative only adds to this, and I’m not sure what you intend to get across here. I mean, I do in a sense, but you’ll have to be careful about how much of yourself you put into Silva. The most apparent problem, I suppose, would be the risk of creating a Mary-Sue, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, knowing you. It might be a bit too much, but you’ll want to look out for how much of yourself you put into Silva, how much you end up revealing… I’mma stop now. I think you know this already. On with the show.

    Kora: At first glance, she’s a more complex figure than Silva, but Silva has a bunch of strange things about her… eh. Kora serves as a more perplexing person to decipher, as I think she should be. Irony is a wonderful thing. As it is, Kora serves as a sort of aloof, distant person, who is able to manipulate and control while still maintaining the appearance of being aloof. That mouse and cat line helped out especially. It’s just this sort of creepy, subtle thing that you’ve written, moments where we suddenly become aware that there’s more to Kora than her milk and whatnot. I’m interested to see how she works out.

    The obligatory spiel about names, because they make the person. I think Kora is Japanese for heart, but I’m assuming that your main attraction to the name (if any; you guys should prolly inform me when I’m just drawing bull connections before I go too far) would be the goddess Persephone, kidnapped queen of the underworld. I think. Roman and/or Greek mythology (depending on your interpretation), really, really isn’t my strong suit, so I’ll just quit while I’m ahead and say that so far, I enjoy the concept you’re building behind Kora. Perhaps she’s unwitting in her role, or perhaps she’s decided to be somewhat of a dark hero; for now, I’m not sure where you’re going, but I don’t think it matters. You have the roots for a strong character here, and I’m curious, if not eager, to see where she’ll end up.

    Xavier: Xavier gets less, I’d assume, because his writer isn’t actually writing. As such, we don’t get to see in his head, a transition that I find slightly odd, I suppose. It might be planned for what you’re intending to do with him and his past, but it still seems strange that we get to hear from the two main characters and the third one gets the shaft. Even if he is drunk and spends most of this portion stoned. I suppose that your motivation behind not writing in Xavier as a first person thing is mostly attributed to the lack of HiPS’s writing in it, and you guys wouldn’t want to write his character in a way that wasn’t him. I understand that much. However, it looks like this would be a problem in future scenes, especially when a first perspective bit from HiPS/Xavier would be vital to the emotional integrity of the storyline… unless you’re planning to go for the symbolic exclusion of his voice, to represent how he doesn’t say everything he should?

    Ugh. This is all speculation now. The characters that you have written (we only get to see three… or two and a half, technically) are good so far and have the potential to be much better. I’m excited. ^.^

    Details: Again, the irritating problem in which I have to grade for writers who know their stock. As a whole, you’ve got the detail-y-sort-of-bits down, and exceptionally well.

    There were some instances where I wish that your description had been a bit less “IN YOUR FACE THE GIRL HAS BLONDE HAIR AND A CLOAK” sort of thing, but even that was pulled off very nicely. I’m fairly certain that it was intentional, from both parties, but the things that I wanted to see were described well, and the things that I didn’t want to see… well, they weren’t described. It was wonderful, and arguable full of some wonderful prose, based on what I’ve seen thus far in fanfiction. I don’t get out much, I know, but still… ugh. Must. Not. Fangirl.

    However, since it’s me, I can still try to find a couple of things on which I can offer some advice.

    Most simply, we start with the use of fancy adverbs and vocabulary. Most of it works out in your instances, because of the natures of your narrators, but sometimes it looks a bit silly. Or at least, to me.
    I retrieved my boots and headed down over the tiled archways and staircases to the car, smiling bemusedly.
    “Bemused”, in the most basic sense of the word, seems more like baffled, ‘r perplexed, ‘r confused. There’s a sort of condescending tone alongside it, as if the person who is bemused sort of knows something or has some other knowledge that doesn’t make them utterly clueless, but beyond that, there’s little here that I would find fitting to Kora’s narration. Perhaps she’s acting bemused for the cops and the crowd, or she’s trying to reassure Silva and Xavier that she’s not secretly a genius, but that’s one of those things better off explained than left to the mind, right?

    window pains
    *giggles*
    That was rather punny. I, for one, am amused, although I’m also not quite sure if you had intended to make that a joke or if it was a typo. I’ll assume it was the latter, in which case I have very little else to say here, but still… it’s funny. Because this story is dark. And painful. Yeah. XD

    Scary monsters, super creeps
    Keep me running, running scared
    -Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), by David Bowie
    Perhaps it’s just me, or perhaps it’s because this story is just one in a series many in your overarching plot, but I’m having issues seeing the relevance of this quote to the story and themes you’ve presented thus far. You haven’t really presented the concept of monsters to such an extent that one would make a sort of songfic/sort of intro-y lyric. It’s ominous, yes, and it’s fear-inducing, but there’s very little other relevance that your lyrics present. Perhaps the monsters David Bowie (never, ever again shall you hear me reference David Bowie as a source. I think) speaks of are the ones inside rather than outside, or maybe you’re talking about Pokémon… point being, whatever sort of theme you’re trying to run with here (knowing you, Lasky, ‘s gonna be the whole monster-inside-of-me sort of thing, but then again, I can never be sure what’s going on with you two), you’ve got to make sure that you emphasize it and you emphasize it well. You don’t want to spit it in our faces, obviously, and be like “THERE’S A MONSTER INSIDE OF ME KEEPING ME RUNNING SCARED, SCARY MONSTERS SUPER CREEPS” or something like that—frankly, I think that would be worse than not mentioning it at all—but you’ll want to make things a little more obvious than how you have them now, I think. Just a thought?

    Grammar/Dialogue: As a whole, pretty good. Just a few things I’d like to point out, and some amusing typos, and whatnot. Yeah.

    The smaller man next to him tried to take a drunken step forward, ended up falling back, and crashed into the girl
    LLLLLLLLAAAAASKY… I shall continue to flag and point out tidbits in parallelism in each grade I do for you until it’s gone… please make it gone…?

    Both men breathed heavily and glaring at each other, while the girl looked on in quiet amusement.
    felt as though it were staring into my soul
    Quoted this because I want to feel the pleasure of actually lecturing you on grammar. Teehee… >.< ‘Glaring’ is wrong, but I’m going to assume that both of you know that already. Eep.

    Okay, last one. ONLY BECAUSE I’M ASIAN AND I CAN.
    Kantonese
    Cantonese, a derived dialect of mainland (Mandarin) Chinese spoken predominantly in areas such as Hong Kong, is prolly a language that you might program a Pokédex in. ‘course, I’m a bit confused as to why a Japanese creation would have a Cantonese accent, but hell, I guess that doesn’t matter. THERE’S A HONG KONG IN ORRE. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. Also, you’d need a ‘c’ in Cantonese.
    …*realizes something*
    Unless, of course, you’re referring to someone from Kanto. In which case, what you’ve just done is pure and utter Fridge Brilliance that went over my head for a few sentences. Absolute. Brilliance.

    Normally, I squeak by in grades by going all Nazi on the syntax itself, but there comes a point where I can’t do that any more. You’ve kind of passed this point by now, in case I haven’t made that clear, so a lot of this has lapsed into an interesting but rather odd collection of things I deemed to point out. Point being, some of these things are my personal opinion about your respective writing styles, not necessarily what is actually the super-prosey way to do things.

    In the first half, there tends to be a lot of repetition, something that became painfully obvious as the story progressed. I don’t mean repetition in the sense that you’d reiterate ideas and whatnot, but there would be entire paragraphs where each sentence started with the same letter and just seems so awkward… A lot of your examples tend to be with short sentences, so it became horribly obvious.
    I suddenly felt an odd mixture of fear and anticipation. I limped out of the dark room
    Most of the paragraph there starts with “I” (in addition to what I cited; the whole thing felt redundant), as does much of your narrative. It’s not necessary bad, per say, but you’re already above the basic syntax and I’m into this sort of ramble-y stage.
    Her stool tipped. Her eyes widened. Her milk spilled.
    However, I don’t want to condemn using this first-word-sentence repetition deal, because it comes across quite well here for dramatic effect. In this case, every action is an independent sort of thing, leading to the sort of choppy sentence structure (which sounds bad, but in this case, it ends up working nicely) that shows how things work, starting with the smaller action of the stool’s tipping, then moving to her reaction, and then that slow motion moment where the milk splashes across the floor and breaks it up right before Kora goes ballistic on everyone. So yes, in this isolated case, I would advocate the sentence structure you’ve got. However, in general, it gets a bit redundant with all of the “IIIIIIIII” stuff going on, so you’ll want to look out for that, m’kay?

    I’m not going to quote in this instance, because it would take up an annoying large amount of space in this already rambling grade, but in some instances (Silva’s narration in particular), some of your exchanges digress to “dialogue”-“dialogue”-“dialogue”, and whatnot. Granted, your dialogue should speak for itself and make clear by whom and how things are said, and you should under no circumstances pull a Stephanie Meyer and just be all “saidsaidadverbsaidadverbsaid”, but you’ll want to make things more detailed. Perhaps Silva is a bit more confused when she wakes up in a metal hut, or perhaps Kora and Silva’s conversation has something more going on than you’re letting on. That might be on purpose, for all that I know, but you’ve done it often enough that I felt like it was worth my time to point it out.

    One of the odd quirks I noticed about Kora’s narration, though, was her lack of contractions in the beginning, which slowly changed into a more colloquial way of writing in which she threw a bunch of contractions. Her formal way of speaking (at least, in regards to the lack of contractions), coupled with her rather choppy and general informal way of narrating makes for an interesting but effective perspective, although the two don’t seem to mesh together in the most elegant way. It’s odd to see someone drop the f-bomb when they won’t even say ‘can’t’ for the first twelve paragraphs or so. XD

    Speaking of f-bombs, classy disclaimer is classy. So very classy, in fact, that I didn’t notice it at first and was all “LOLWUT” when Kora suddenly started cursing like a sailor. You might want to make that its individual paragraph or something… in retrospect, though, ‘s entirely my fault that I didn’t see it, and I wasn’t really miffed about it anyways… I’m digressing.

    As a final note: collab vs colab. One is “collab”, as in “collaborative”, but I’m not sure what the other one is. XD

    This was much less painful than I had feared it would be, though. Like I think I said earlier, the prose is perfectly fine. No worries here, methinks. Yarr.

    Reality: I mean, face it. Occasionally, I find the Reality section of my grades mind-numbingly redundant. I can’t be all “ZOMG MAGICKZ R NOT KOOL!11!”, because both of you did a pretty decent job of explaining what the individual powers were and how they worked (although, I’m not so clear on Xavier: he only blows stuff up when he’s sober, which is never, right?), so I’ll give you leeway there. So instead, these are the things that my OCD-ADD self decided to pick up all on its lonesome.

    I rolled out of bed and landed with a thunk on a hard, metal floor. Wait? Metal?
    Well, I almost agreed with Silva out of pure cynicism for this one. Let’s do some logic, and then I’ll just digress. Or I could just digress now. Point being, you’re in a desert. It’s hot. There’s sand and crap everywhere, but in a desert (barring the literal interpretation of the biome, because you mention the weather), it’s hot. Houses and buildings in the desert don’t have metal as the primary material, both because getting said construction is harder in deserts (I think… ‘s got something to do with the ores (ORRE. GEDDIT? ORRE. OH, GOD, I’M TIRED…) and trade routes, (but shiz if I know…) and because it’s freaking hot in a desert, in case I haven’t said so already. I’m so full of useful knowledge. Point being, it’s improbable for the metal room, even if it’s cheaper or whatever, to be plausible in the desert, because then you’re essentially sitting in an oven. Even more so if the floor is made of metal, like Silva kindly pointed out for us. Yeah. Clay and stone is usually the material of choice, and I’m rambling like there’s no tomorrow here. I just looked up and saw how long this thing was… tl;effingdr: the metal building pisses me off. XD

    a ragged brown cloak three times the size of her body
    Mmm. My little antennae pricked up at this one. I’ve written an absolute crapton so far, though; I figured that now would be time for a change of pace. So instead, I’ve decided to draw some pictures, for effing shiggles.

    So here is my beautiful rendition of Kora on MS Paint. Absolute beauty. I’m very proud. So, yes. This is the lighter portion of my grade, because the rest of it has been mind-numbingly squick for me, and I’d like to hope it was at least halfway comprehensive for everyone else… eh.

    And here is my absolute masterpiece. It’s also what Kora would look like wearing a cloak about three times the size of her body. And it is EFFING GORGEOUS. Anyways, you can kind of tell how impractical this becomes. There’s no way that she’s going to be running around, summoning golems and doesn’t’ing afraid of anything (and drinking milk), in an outfit that makes a bridal train look short.
    Just my two cents. XD

    And then some of the things are random. Why are there witches in the Pokémon world, as epicly written as they are? Why can Silva see people’s emotions in giant fluffy clouds of hatred? Why does Xavier make things light on fire? Normally, these are things that I’d bring up a lot more prominently in a one-shot, but this isn’t a one-shot. It doesn’t mean you get more leeway, per say, but it does give you a bit more breathing room with some time to explain it. However, especially in the way of Silva and Xavier’s abilities (Kora, incidentally, was explained to a point that I would buy how her things worked, if not why, although Xavier and Silva seem more borderline in this case), you’ll want to offer some explanation for them in the future.

    As it is, believable. As if it would be anything else in a world of Pokémon.

    Length: I have a bit less when I don’t count the song lyrics, but you’re still hovering at around 22-23k. Double Medium requires 20k; you’re fine. End of story. Seriously. Why does this section exist?

    Personal Feelings/Outcome: I’d like to point out, aside from all of the pseudo-fangirling that I’ve been pulling all over both of your writing, that the ending was wonderfully well done, even for just a mini-chapter sort of thing. It really helped lay down a lot of foreshadowing for the next installments, while kind of going back to the beginning at the same time. Things seemed to have been going well for a bit, and something super-mystical is going on, and then things start falling apart (Achebe. Lol). Xavier is ‘drowning’ in a fountain, albeit not literally. The golem, somewhat of a symbol of the diminishing landscape around everyone, is falling apart. And, to top it all off, the police, who seem to serve as the only somewhat antagonist thus far, are coming closer. Things have started looking up, but at the same time, we can see that we’re teetering on the edge of what looks to be a fast and hard ride downhill. And, frankly, I’m rather excited to see how that will turn out. Yum.

    In case you can’t tell, incidentally, by the absurdly large amount of squee’ing I’ve done thus far, I really did enjoy this story. I’m not sure if my grade truly did it justice, but eh; this isn’t the time. Repeating myself, apparently, won’t help much, either. XD There was very little to point out, though; honestly, the high quality of your story made this grading really painful. In a good way. Stop being so skilled.

    I don’t think there’s even a point to putting the outcome in spoilers like I normally do. Oh well.
    Last edited by Lurking; 11th December 2011 at 12:17 AM.

  4. #4
    bad wolf Scourge of Nemo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

    Thank you for the grade. :D I'mma go back and clarify some of it/make Lasky clean up her first section prose/patch plot hole stuff. Random note on the cloak: we meant outwards, like, it's a cloak for a morbidly obese person, not length-wise, for the three times too large. Bahaha. WE SHOULD DEFINITELY CLARIFY THAT.

    Last edited by Scourge of Nemo; 11th December 2011 at 12:10 PM.
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  5. #5
    The Hyacinth Girl Alaskapigeon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sometimes I Wish We Were Butterflies (Rated Mature)

    *dragged into the grader dungeon*

    NOOOOOOO, TWAS BUT A MISTAKE!
    I speak four languages, help me practice please
    Hablas conmigo en español, por favor
    Vous parlez avec moi en français, s'il vous plaît
    我正在学中文

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