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Thread: Spiders

  1. #1

    Default Spiders

    Pokemon Writing For: Joltik
    Difficulty: Medium
    Suggested Length: 10-20k

    The room was pitch black when I awoke, leaving me in a state of confusion. I stumbled out of bed, hitting the lights with an outreached finger. The room was unfamiliar to me; plain white walls and a sterile-looking environment. I tried to sit up, but I was held back; there was a needle hooked up to an IV, and I suddenly realized where I was. This was a hospital!

    “What am I doing here…” I said, and then noticed that there was another person in this room. I reached over, gently nudging the sleeping mass next to me. It was a girl who looked to be about my age, maybe around twelve or fourteen. She woke slowly, not realizing what was going on. I poked her again, and she sprung to attention. The girl was fairly good looking, but her looks were diminished by the dark rings under her eyes and pale skin. Her light brown hair and deep black eyes would have been rather stunning if I had seen her anywhere else, but in the dank hospital lights she looked fallow and sad. She began to speak in a quiet tone, obviously surprised to have a roommate.

    “…who are you?” she inquired, not seeming to know me despite the fact that we were next to each other. I noticed her checking me out, feeling kind of surprised. I wasn’t the most attractive man on the planet, and I was sure that I couldn’t exactly be rocking the hospital gown look. I’m about 5’7, maybe 145 pounds. Sandy brown hair, faded green eyes and just the tiniest amount of freckles; she probably hadn’t known many people before she got here.

    “I’m Adam. Adam Maison.” I replied, not sure how I had remembered that. I felt like absolute crap; I was surprised I could even talk cohesively. The girl blushed before replying, her eyes looking droopy and tired.

    “I’m Celia Raney. What brings you in here? Same thing as me?” she inquired, sitting up. The lady seemed to be experienced in hospital living, as she could sit up and turn to me at the same time. She pushed the blanket off of her body, revealing two little popcorn-shaped bandages adorning her lower left calf. They were stained bloody red, with a strange odor coming off of it. I had never seen this before, and I hoped I would never again; that was just plain nasty.

    “What is that?” I asked, obviously grossed out. She sighed, seeming used to the reaction. Celia pulled her gown back down, getting up as she hobbled towards the foot of my bed. Picking up a clipboard stuck to the metal frame, she eyed it with interest then began to speak aloud.

    “Adam Maison. 13 years old, brown hair green eyes. 5’6 and a half, admitted here just last night…hm. Oh hey, what’s this…” she said, pointing to a sentence lower on the sheet. Her grin grew wide as she read the rest of the paper, leaving me quite confused. A hospital sheet couldn’t possibly have anything too funny on it, could it? This was getting really weird really fast…

    “There we are. Admitted for three Joltik bites.” she said, her grin growing wide. She walked back to her bed, obviously limping from her injury. Getting back in, she began to talk. Apparently this room was only for Joltik-poisoned patients, so that we would not spread our disease to others. These tiny little electric spiders were the plague of anyone out in the forest, mainly because when they attached to you their light weight stopped you from noticing. Joltiks could pump a lot of serious electric energy to you as well as poisons; they were arachnids, after all. These noxious toxins could take your life away if you waited for too long, and they slowed your clotting in blood. It would never go away, and a lot of blood would be lost pretty much all the time. I wondered how long Celia had been here, maybe her whole life. She searched the hospital record again, and then calmly and seriously told me to pull up my gown.

    “Are you serious?” I replied, but the look on her face told me that she was not kidding. I did it without shame, and she turned to the back of my legs. She was right; there was a bandage under my kneecap, stained red as well. I honestly didn’t remember how it had happened; I didn’t remember anything but my name. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t have feelings. She looked pretty sad at that moment; I guessed that she had never met anyone but the nurses here. I felt sorry for her, and she seriously looked like she needed a friend. I reached out and touched her hand, more in a friendly way. I just hoped she had taken it that way, and I knew that I needed to break this awkward tension.

    “How long have you been here?” I said quietly, kind of curious. She didn’t look like she had seen anything outside of these four walls, especially based on how she had looked at me when I woke her up. Celia stared at me in shock; she had obviously never been asked this.

    “I’ve been here…pretty much as long as I can remember. I’ve never been out of this hospital, but Blaze here keeps me company,” she said, getting up once more. She pulled a striped green backpack from under her bed. She looked through it, finally pulling out a red and white sphere. She pressed the button on the middle, releasing a little firey lizard. It was a Charmander, one of the rarest Pokemon in all of Kanto. The Charmander waddled over to me, cuddling the arm that was hanging over the bed.
    “Aww, how cute! Where’d you get it?” I said, scratching the fire-type. He closed his eyes, looking very comfortable. Although he was an adorable companion, a Pokemon was certainly not compatible to be the only friend a person could have. Celia was never going to get to see the outdoors, and I certainly didn’t think that was right.
    “He was a gift from one of those charities, just around Christmas last year. He’s really helped me get better,” she replied rather sheepishly. If this was better, I was sure that I wouldn’t be so comfortable when she was in a bad condition. Her life was truly terrible; I was going to have to be changing this.

    “We’re going. Let’s roll,” I said as I got out of bed, whipping out the IV despite what it was doing. I got her out of bed too, returning Blaze to his ball and grabbing her backpack. We dressed (on opposite sides of the room, with neither of looking at each other you strangers), then stepped out of the patient room. Our corridor was empty; it was early in the morning, and only a few people were in. They were mostly aids, who had never seen us before; they assumed we had just come in to visit someone and were leaving now.

    The receptionist waved us bye without even looking, not even noticing our hospital slippers. Neither of us had an extra pair of shoes, but I doubt that being barefoot in the most dangerously disease-laden place in all of the land would be a too great thing to be doing here. The door opened to a fresh new day, the sun just beginning to peak over the fresh foliage. We both turned to each other and grinned, looking at the parking lot. A few sedans and a huge truck were parked, with the truck right in front of us. I went up and looked inside, seeing a few boxes labeled “DANGEROUS”. Knowing that she had never lived a little, I grabbed the box and brought it back to her.
    “Dangerous, eh? Let’s see this.” I said, opening the box. There were three vials, each labeled with a huge skull on the front. We each took one, peering inside. Oh my god, they were Joltiks! There was a four-eyed yellow spider in each of the tubes, their four blue-tipped legs trying to grasp the glass. The dastardly electric pokemon hissed at the both of us, leaving us leering at it. I took another look at it, and it didn’t look like a too bad Pokemon. Hell, it was actually kind of cute! I turned back to Celia, who did not look comfortable at all with it.

    “Can I borrow Blaze? I kind of want to catch this. You know, to have a little friend.” I said, not sure if I seemed sincere. She looked at me with disgust, but grabbed her Pokeball anyways. Passing it to me, I opened it up. Blaze leaped out onto the pavement, wincing as a little as its smooth feet hit the ground. It seemed confused; why wasn’t it in the room? However, the Lizard Pokemon was not too depressed; it walked around freely, looking quite happy to be released. I grabbed the test tube again, opening the stopper.

    “Joltik! J-j-jolt!” the little spider cried, landing by Blaze. It blinked repeatedly, not sure where it was. I was right; it was pretty cute. This would be a cool Pokemon to have around, but I wasn’t sure how safe Celia would feel around it. I turned to her, and she looked rather squeamish; pushing her away, I grabbed Blaze and put him in front of him. Somehow, the battling came naturally to me; maybe I had been a good trainer before I had awoken here.

    “Okay Blaze, use Ember!” I exclaimed, not sure if the Kanto-born Pokemon would listen to me. Luckily he did, opening his mouth as a stream of fireballs fell towards the bug. It jumped, seeming jittery and worried. It leaped up, trying to reach one of the flowerbeds but being shot down by an ember. It fell to the ground, looking rather hurt as it turned back around towards Blaze. I decided at that moment that Joltik was a guy, just by the way he acted. He seemed more battle-oriented than protection, and his next attack really proved it.

    “Jo!” he cried, crossing his two front legs. A blue energy “x” quickly formed as the Spider Pokemon released its claws. Two points of neon blue energy formed around the tips of its legs, creating swords of light. I would later learn that it was a Fury Cutter attack, one that would damage my Blaze more each time it hit. Joltik rocketed towards the Lizard Pokemon, its blades of power coming closer and closer. The Attaching Pokemon slashed Blaze with its mighty attack, the blue claws growing larger each time. I knew that I needed to get my Pokemon out of this situation, and fast.

    “Okay Blaze, try a Scratch followed by a Dragon Rage!” I said, not sure how I really knew any of this. I was just guessing what it could do, but luckily so far it was working. The Charmander sprinted forwards towards Joltik, who wasn’t moving at all. Blaze got in close, but its diminutive frame allowed Joltik to dodge. Charmander’s claw hit a young tree, just planted the day before. He pulled it out, looking more angered than ever. Blaze obviously wasn’t going to let it go. He let loose a ball of red-and-blue fire, which was way too big to miss. It blew Joltik back, burying it in a sea of ground.
    The little spider dug itself out, looking rather murderous. Instead of coming towards Blaze, the Attaching Pokemon climbed up to the top of a sapling, swinging its electrical web back and forth. With a few more of these, Joltik had successfully created a web of powerful electricity; it was an Electroweb! The little opponent sat on the center of the web, taunting the poor little Charmander. He was so angered that he could not even wait for a move from me, going in for what looked like another Scratch. Joltik successfully dodged, forcing the Lizard Pokemon into the web. Blaze cried in pain as he was covered in electrical tendrils of silk, trying to shake them off. He knew that he could not battle for much longer, and I thought so too.

    “Blaze, try to wrap this up! Keep him on the net, and then hit him with a Fire Fang!” I cried, hoping this was going to work. I knew that Celia would be heartbroken if Blaze lost his first and most likely only battle, so I had to stay on my toes. He sat on the ground, finishing his removal of the Electroweb. Finally getting up, he opened his mouth. His two large incisors glowed red, flames literally flowing out of his jaw. Running straight towards Joltik, he grabbed the tiny bug and placed it in his mouth, crunching it with its powerful flames. The Attaching Pokemon hissed as it was spit out, ready to get rid of this thing. It was extremely tired, but so was Blaze. Joltik crawled on the ground at an unbelievable pace, headed straight for the Lizard Pokemon. Blaze yelped in surprise as Joltik pricked his skin, beginning to leech the blood out of him.

    “We’ve gotta stop it! Do something!” I said, knowing that if we left it for much longer, Blaze would end up like us. Celia frantically looked through her pack, finally pulling out a Pokeball. It was coated in gold leaf, and looked as if it was given to her by someone precious. She held it out to me with a quivering hand, but I knew that she would want the safety of Blaze more than anything else. I walked up to the scrapfight, pressing the ball gently to Joltik. He was sucked into the ball, shaking once; even twice…I couldn’t take the tension. Even if I caught it, I doubted that Celia would let me keep it. It was cute; even she couldn’t deny it. But it had too many bad memories…

    Thanks Pokemon Trainer Sarah!

  2. #2
    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Spiders

    I hate spiders! Let's grade it!
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
    I quickly slammed the palm of my hand onto a butt
    Ranger | Grader | Ref | Curator
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  3. #3
    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Spiders

    @White Knight

    Eeek! Now with NaNo done, I should have more time to grade and stuff. Did this while listening to the 10 hour Nyan Cat vid.

    Spiders Grade


    Intro: You open with the narrator waking up and being confused where he is. This is a pretty good way to start a fic, since it leaves the reader wondering how the character got into this state, where he actually is, and what's going to happen to him. You reveal that the place is a hospital, which just generates more questions, since the fic can go many different ways at this point. You then add onto this by giving him a roommate, and then the plot continues from there.

    Overall, I'm pleased with this beginning. It has just the slight bit of mystery to give interest to what's going on, and then you head into the whys of it. It makes for an easy read, and that's what you want as far as keeping people reading your fic verses hitting the back button on their web browser.

    For higher captures, if you use this same intro device again, the feeling of mystery can be magnified by dragging it out. Adam reaches out for the light right away without much effort. What does he hear? Can the drips from the IV be heard? Is there an air conditioning unit running? Are people walking in the halls? What does he feel? Does his leg ache where he got the bite? Can he feel he has the IV before he gets out of bed? Does the IV null any feeling like pain, etc?

    The slight amnesia thing worked for me, since that added to the overall affect, and it also helped you with some plot stuff later.

    Plot: For a Medium rank mon, you don't really need anything too complex, and your plot fits in that required range pretty nicely. Kid wakes up in the hospital because of a spider bite, meets girl, and then they decide to get out of dodge.

    The way you executed it was fine, since it kept the story moving. There weren't long spans of the characters doing nothing, which is good if you're not aiming for one of those fics that go deeper into a character's thought process. That being said, first person point of view is a great mode for that, and I guess if I had to ask for something more from the narration, I would want to see more of that.

    There are a couple more things that I'd like to see expand the world you set up too. I like this view on Joltik, where they're more of a nuisance than just a normal Pokemon. Usually mons aren't bad this way, so the slight realism tilt you gave them is pretty neat. Are other Pokemon in the world like this too? Or is this something specific?

    I felt that this fic could be a part of something bigger, whether a universe or maybe a chapter fic of some sorts. It gave me that feeling with some of the scenes you had, which is why I'm curious about them. Why were the Joltik being brought to the hospital? Are they making anti-venom for their patients or is something more sinister going on? (Like maybe feeding their patients the venom instead for some twisted scheme.) I realize the fic is only so big and that you're a little limited by your character. He maybe could've questioned finding the spiders in that truck though, even if he is only thirteen.

    Another angle to look at is the amnesia thing. While I like it, the main character doesn't really worry about it too much other than mentioning it a few times. I know if I had lost my memories, I would be thinking about it a little, especially if I woke up in some unknown place. I guess he was a little preoccupied by moving onward, but it was still a little odd to have it play no real part in what was happening, especially since he seemed to know how to battle just fine. Also, it wasn't really explained where it came from. Was it from the venom? The girl seemed to remember things since she got to the hospital, but not before that. Maybe the hospital was involved...?

    Just some things to think about for the next story you write. With a plot device like memory loss, you can go so many different ways. I liked the plot for this story, but like I said before, I think it could've been something a lot bigger than it was. Something to think about if you wanted to do another chapter :3

    Detail/Description: Overall this was very good. I liked the way you got the descriptions of the two main characters in there. Reading off a hospital chart is much more creative than looking in a mirror/other reflective surface. I also appreciated the describing of the Joltik. I agree that they're pretty cute, even though you put them in a more dangerous light, which was pretty neat too. The descriptions for the moves in the battle were also great, which is something a lot of people forget to do.

    Not really much to say here, since the detail supplied was in the range for Medium. Other places you could've maybe expanded a little more on were the Charmander and some of the hospital, particularly while they were leaving.

    You did say it was a fiery lizard, but other than that it was sort of glossed over. I'm not too fussy, but since you put in a little extra for the Joltik, I thought Blaze could use some love too. For the hospital, I guess I would've wanted to see more of what the hallway and such looked like as they were leaving, as well as the room they were in. When you say sterile-looking, what exactly do you mean by that? Was everything spotless? Did the room have that hospital smell?

    Remember that all five senses can be used to achieve the detail goal and that the more of the senses you use, the clearer the picture the reader can paint in their mind. I definitely liked the bit you put in about the wound on Celia's leg having an odor. That was a nice touch and really got the point across that it was gross.

    Grammar: This is the part that everyone looks forward to! (...kidding)

    There wasn't too much to gripe about here, and even the things I mention aren't really a big deal. They're more for refining the story, since you have a good base down pat. These are things that an extra combing or two could probably find, or something an extra set of eyes would be able to pick up.

    The most important thing I saw was the use of dialogue tags. About half of them weren't done correctly, and that could've been because they ended with a question mark or exclamation point. It's really easy to fix, so I'll give you an example:
    ...three Joltik bites.” she said
    I've bolded the part in question here. When doing a dialoge tag, if you're not ending the speaking with a '?' or '!' (or some other odd thing, like a hypen, etc), then there has to be a comma instead of a period. You are correct in not capitalizing the word after the tag, however, and that part was correct throughout the fic. It's just the commas that were missing. Just remember to replace those periods with commas next time and you'll be good to go.

    You seemed to have a lot of semi-colons in your fic. Twenty one of them to be exact. That's not to say it's a bad thing, especially because you use them correctly for the most part, but when they occur, it's usually a bunch of them in the same paragraph. Reading so many of them interrupts the flow of some of the parts just a little, so be careful on those. Most of the time, the places you used a semi-colon could've been split with a period and read the same way with the same effect. Just something to keep in mind. I honestly didn't mind them, but other readers can get picky about that sort of thing.

    There were a couple unneeded commas, but that was nothing major. Just remember than when you connect two separate thoughts, if there aren't two subjects, you don't need to put a comma there, like here:
    She searched the hospital record again, and then calmly and seriously told me to pull up my gown.
    Since it's just describing Celia doing two things, you don't need the comma there at all.

    The only other bigger thing I want you to look out for is word choice, both grammatically and as far as your characters are concerned.

    The first thing is to make sure the words you use agree with each other. In this case, it's subject-verb agreement. Here-
    They were stained bloody red, with a strange odor coming off of it.
    -they is referring to the two bandages, but you switch it up and say it later, which would only mean one. This is super easy to miss, so just be careful and watchful.

    The same goes for when the character is doing or saying something. In this one-
    Where’d you get it?” I said,
    -said doesn't really fit, since he's asking a question and not saying something, indicated by the question mark. Little things like this are also easy to miss, so just make sure the words you use are matching what's happening.

    I also want to mention making sure the words you use are being used for the correct meaning. In the beginning, you put:
    hitting the lights with an outreached finger.
    but in the dank hospital lights she looked fallow and sad.
    Outreached is actually a verb, and while it means almost the same thing (to reach out), it describes doing something instead of describing something as an adjective. I think outstretched would've fit much better there.

    Fallow generally means inactive (or unseeded after plowed, if you want to go that way), and while that kind of makes sense, how does dark lights make her look that way? In my opinion, it's a bit iffy using that word here, since there are a few others that could make a little more sense, like weak/beaten/hollow. I think that was the direction you wanted to go with it, like she was sickly and sad looking.

    The last thing on that part is to remember who your narrator is. Adam is only thirteen, so would he really use words like fallow anyway? I mean he could be a pretty smart dude, since that's completely possible, but from the way he acts, like deciding to up and leave the hospital right away and saying things like “Let's roll” doesn't really mark him as a proper-ish character, who would be more likely to use words like that. Not a big deal at all, but that might help you in other stories as far as staying in character goes.

    Length: Joltik is a Medium ranked Pokemon, which has a range of 10-20k characters. I counted 12,664, which is just over your counted 12,623. Either way, you're good to go here.

    Reality/Miscellaneous: Not much to say here really. I said some parts in plot, like why Adam didn't question his lost memories or the spiders coming to the hospital or anything, but there's only a few other things that made me pause.

    The first one was that bit where they were changing, and you put a piece in parenthesis that broke the fourth wall a little bit. I don't really think that was necessary, since the fic isn't really meant to do that, and from the narration it doesn't seem likely that he's telling the story to someone else, as things are happening in real time.

    Another one is about leaving the hospital in general. Did the girl ever try to leave before? If not, why? If one is in the hospital for being sick, it's probably a good idea to stay there where you can get treatment, especially considering you said that Joltik venom stays with you and that you can possibly die from it. Seems a little dangerous to just up and leave when he can't remember what happened. What if it's really serious? This was one of the things that made me think this could be part of a bigger picture.

    The last thing I really want to mention is when they're actually leaving. You put that the aid at the desk just waved them by without really looking. While this does happen, they are two unsupervised kids wandering the halls in the early morning when there aren't likely to be many visitors. Wouldn't she find this a little odd? Especially since two kids probably shouldn't be out alone. I would at least be asking where their parents are.

    In the end, none of this really affected the outcome of the story, so no real worries here.

    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
    I quickly slammed the palm of my hand onto a butt
    Ranger | Grader | Ref | Curator
    AIM: WinterVines
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