Starting Over

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Thread: Starting Over

  1. #1
    The Hyacinth Girl Alaskapigeon's Avatar
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    Default Starting Over

    A/N: Just like the other one, this is just something I came up with on the spot. I kind of liked the idea, so I wrote it down. Meh.

    Pokemon Capture: Sewaddle
    Needed Characters: 3k
    Actual Characters: 3565


    Sunlight shone through the dirty window next to John’s bed, creeping under his still closed eyelids and illuminating the empty right side of the bed. He grunted and turned over, trying to go back to sleep, but failed. His eyes flickered open, somewhat reluctantly. He slid out of bed and rubbed his eyes, still not used to waking up alone every morning. He walked into his bathroom where he threw on a pair of sweats, brushed his teeth, and grimaced at the mirror. He was in his late 50’s, had very sparse pepper-colored hair, and a surly look on his face. Stubble covered each cheek, but he didn’t bother to shave. He had retired a year ago, and now that his wife was gone…. With some effort, he pushed the thought of her out of his head and went to the kitchen to look for something to eat.

    Only one word is needed to describe that kitchen: filthy. Dirty dishes were piled up in the sink, mud was tracked across the tile floor, and crumbs littered the counters and kitchen table. John didn’t notice. He opened the fridge and pulled out a slice of cold pizza, which he began gnawing on ferociously. Life, he thought, perhaps correctly, is like a kitchen. If there’s no one around to take care of yours, then it’s going to get less than desirable very quickly. As he mused over his losses, a small Pokemon peeked around the corner and looked at him, its small, beady black eyes filled with fear. The silkworm Pokemon had been hiding ever since John’s wife left, and he wasn’t quite sure what had happened to it. He watched it from the corner of his eyes, afraid that any sudden movements might spook it. The poor thing was probably starving. Slowly but surely, the green and orange Pokemon inched closer to the sink, where a large head of rotten lettuce lay. Finally, it reached its snack and began to devour it as though it hadn’t eaten in months.

    John swallowed a bite of his pizza, then called gently, “Sugar.” The Sewaddle looked up at the mention of its name. “Sugar,” he called again. Sugar took one more bite of the lettuce before crawling over to John. It cocked its head and cast a suspicious look at him, before allowing him to pet its head. After a moment, the Sewaddle sighed with pleasure and curled into his lap, where it began to make a low noise that sounded almost like a purr. Almost absentmindedly, he began talking to it. “I’m glad you decided to come out from hiding. I know it’s been hard since she left, but you need to eat and be out in the sunlight. You’re a grass-type, you need to be out in the sun.”

    As though it could understand his words, Sugar jumped climbed up onto the table and began to bask in the sunlight coming through the open window. Its color brightened almost immediately and it almost seemed to glow as it absorbed the sun’s rays.

    “See?” John muttered, “You should go outside more.” He stood up from his spot at the table and threw the rest of his pizza out. He turned to the sink. “I should probably clean this up too.” He began to carefully wash the dishes that had seemed to multiply almost overnight, and as he worked, he began to whistle. Still on the table, Sugar began to hum along. Before John realized it, all of the dishes were either cleaned and put away or in the dishwasher. “Why don’t I take you outside to play while I wait for these to finish?” he asked as he picked Sugar up and took the small Pokemon into the backyard. As John cradled her safely in his arms, Sugar stretched out, feeling safe. “I guess we should think about starting over,” he said thoughtfully, mostly to himself. Sugar hummed louder.


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  2. #2
    He Sees You... Dog of Hellsing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Over

    Yay another Grade hurr. Hopefully this won’t take as long as the last one I did XD.

    Introduction:
    Hah, it’s such a short story that ALL of it could be considered the introduction. Lol I kid, please don’t hurt me o_o…

    ANYWAYS, I liked the way this started. It kept me reading mainly because of the whole “not used to waking up alone” thing you had going on there. The first thing that popped to mind was that John’s wife had died, and I was like, “OMG SHE DED” and wanted to know why and how this happened. Of course then we learn the truth, but hey, THAT’S NOT PART OF THE INTRODUCTION so there. I also liked the “dirty window” touch; it made it pretty clear, in the first several sentences, that John’s life has not been all puppies and sunshine. I approve!

    ===

    Plot:
    So, John’s wife left him and, for some reason, her Sewaddle. Granted I haven’t read any URPG stories for some time, but still, I haven’t seen something quite like this before. It doesn’t feel like the main purpose of this is to catch a Pokemon, but more to allow a brief glimpse into the broken lives of two living beings sharing the grief of losing something once important to them. Yeah, it was pretty nice. The touch of hope at the end was a good twist, too; nice to see the two of them trying to move on instead of, say, slitting their throats in the tub or something along those lines >>.

    The only thing I want to complain about is the fact that we really don’t have ANY idea why John’s wife left, or why she abandoned her Sewaddle (which she must have had a strong bond with for it to react so poorly to her leaving it). Granted, trying to explain it in conventional ways would have taken from the story, but you could have maybe added things in to hint at why she left; perhaps accusations of cheating, drawn-out arguments that ended in physical fights, that sort of thing. Just fleeting mentions of things that drove her to up and leave.

    Other than that gripe, I really like what you did with this. It appeals to the side of me that enjoys depressing, angsty things.

    ===

    Grammar/Spelling:
    Y’know why I love shorter stories? Less of it to read for EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TYPO SO I CAN THROW IT BACK AT YOU AND- *Shot.* X__x…

    Stubble covered each cheek, but he didn’t bother to shave. He had retired a year ago, and now that his wife was gone…. With some effort, he pushed the thought of her out of his head and went to the kitchen to look for something to eat.
    *Whoo, ellipsis! I think this may be one of those instances of personal preferences, but generally, you only add a fourth period to an ellipsis when there are no other sentences following it, and then you’re “supposed” to put a space on each side of the ellipsis. Again, I think this can be argued to be a personal choice rather than something set in stone. Personally I think an ellipsis looks better with the three periods and no spaces, but meh, who cares about that? Do them however you do them, but like all grammar choices that are neither right nor wrong, just stick with the method you use and don’t change it up just to mess with people. *Stares.* Cuz I’ll be watching and if you do, I’ll have to come eat your head or something like that.


    …before allowing him to pet its head. After a moment, the Sewaddle sighed with pleasure and curled into his lap…
    *There was never any mention of John sitting down, so unless Sewaddle has majickal powerz that let it defy gravity, you may wanna edit in there somewhere when John went to the table to sit down.

    “You’re a grass-type, you need to be out in the sun.”
    *”Grass” should probably be capitalized, as it’s used in this situation as a noun (Pokemon terms such as names, attacks, and types should all generally be capitalized). I say probably because again, this is most likely going to be one of those “I do it my way you do it yours” type things.

    “See?” John muttered, “You should go outside more.”
    *If “See?” was a separate comment from the rest of the dialogue here, then the comma after “muttered” should be a period to indicate the end of the sentence. If “You should go outside more” was actually a continuation from “See?”, then “You” should be lower-case to show it’s continuing from that first piece of dialogue here.

    I think this is pretty much all I spotted, so yay! *Throws a herring at you.*

    ===

    Description:
    It’s a story for a Sewaddle, so if there were tons of painstaking details here, I would have laughed at you for being a silly overachiever. BUT! There should always be at least basic description for everything, which you managed to do for visual details. You left out other sensory details, though; how did that cold pizza taste? Did that rotten lettuce smell nasty as heck or just a little unpleasant? Was Sugar’s body soft and warm or squishy and cold? Remember, these details help flesh out the scene and make it easier for us to visualize completely what’s going on; we get to feel what the characters feel, smell what they smell, and so on.

    I did like your metaphor for life being like a kitchen though, that was kinda epic. The way the story transitions from being bleak and depressing to hopeful was good, too. Good job thar Lazky.

    ===

    Length:
    OFMG YOU’RE SO FAR BELOW THE LIMIT PHAAAIIIILLLLL.

    Okay no I lied you’re totally within the range. *Throws a golden (ninja) star at you.*

    ===

    Battle:
    So like there was this Sewaddle that was really depressed and so was this old dude it lived with so Sewaddle used String Shot on Depression and it was super-effective an Depression went and jumped off a cliff and fainted!

    Wait what?

    Normally I would say that a story for an Easiest Mon should have SOME kind of random thing tossed in, because hey, it’s for an Easiest Mon and a battle only needs to be like, one paragraph long, and in most cases that’s pretty easy to work in. But since battles aren’t mandatory I can’t really say that unless I want Scourge to come and bash my head in with a horrifically overgrown Magikarp or something.

    Anyways, with a story like this, a battle would have just been out of place and would have taken away from the whole thing. Anyways, with the plot feeling unique as it does to me, I would say it’s enough to make up for lack of a battle. SO THERE OR WHATEVER IDK.

    ===

    Outcome:
    Here’s the part where I sadly tell you that, despite your best efforts and all the time you spent agonizing over EVERY LITTLE DETAIL for this story, I can’t allow you to have the Pokemon that you’ve desperately wanted for the past five minutes.



    And this is the part where I say I changed my mind and start screaming “SEWADDLE CAPTURED!!!1!11elevenblue” because I don’t want you sending your killer Pidove army after me while I sleep o_o’.

    Congrats and enjoy your little worm. Oh wow that sound wrong ><…

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