I'm rambling :P Anyways, I'm glad you liked the story and thank you for the comment! I'll add you to the list.
I'm rambling :P Anyways, I'm glad you liked the story and thank you for the comment! I'll add you to the list.
Alright, I've read the second chapter. It was good, and that's my main comment. It was cool how you have the boxes for each starter so big and contain a lot; shows how the time period is different, and how giving out so many starters at once could lead to having hardly any at the current time period ;P
I noticed Rowan went a little out of character when he helped up Emerson, purely because... well, he help him up, haha. He doesn't seem like the kind to help up an adult. I like how he snapped back into character when he just dropped Turtwig on the floor though. I love how much he could care less about Pokémon.
I only skimmed through other reviews, so sorry if this was mentioned - you're wrong with the Pokéballs you have in this story. In the fourth Pokémon movie (I think it was the fourth... whichever one revolved around Celebi and Suicune) Oak was shown when he was a kid, and he has a grayish Pokéball that you have to crack a small dial thing so the Pokémon can get out. I went and found a picture from Bulbapedia here.
Shiny Turtwig... muh. I always think shinies are dumb, so I'll avoid really commenting on that.
Thanks for pointing those things out! I appreciate your help.
Decided to post this one a day early, since it's one of the shorter ones as well. (You're probably tired of hearing that, so I'll explain: This is a turning point in the story. You'll see why as you read. The next chapter will be short too, and after that, they'll start lengthening.)
And without further ado, chapter three.
When Michael got home, the Stunky was squealing. Upon slamming the door to his room, making sure his old 'DO NOT DISTURB' sign was visible, he opened the closet and looked down. The Stunky was shivering, peering ahead with hungry eyes. When it saw him, it mewed again, this time louder. Michael let out a groan.
He quickly ran down to the kitchen and grabbed three strings of bacon off of a nearby plate. He brought them up his room and tossed them into the cage. The Stunky pounced upon the food immediately, its jaws working.
"At least that'll keep you quiet," Michael grumbled, then slid the doors closed.
He descended the stairs to the living room, where the only phone in the house was kept. Michael plopped down into the soft armchair, figuring he could use a friend's advice.
He dialed the number, and after three rings, Cory's voice answered. "Hello?"
"Hey," Michael said.
"Hey Mike. I heard about the suspension... Me and Brendan got them too. Till the end of the year, right?"
"I know! Man, imagine what we could do with an extra week of no school! It's like paradise!"
Michael twisted the cord around his index finger. "Yep."
There was a pause on the other end. "Uh, Mike? You sound upset. Are you mad about it or something?"
"No, no. I was actually really happy about it, but my mom just officially ruined summer for me."
"What'd she do?"
"She took me to Sandgem to get my starter... it was such a drag."
"From Professor Chrome Dome?"
"Whoa! How bad was it?"
"Like, I could use it as a mirror." Michael began to laugh. "And get this, he was totally hooked on smoking. He lit up right there in his office, after all the kids left. The pokéballs all got mixed up, so I had to pick a random one. It was a Turtwig, but it was all weird-looking. "
"The color. It was different. You know how Turtwigs are supposed to be this grassy green color? And their eyes are black? Well, mine's not. Mine's this light blue-green color. And its eyes are yellow."
"Wow... was it defective or something?"
It scared Michael how his friends could think on the same plane as he did. "Yeah," he answered. "And that's not even the point, I mean, that professor guy is a total dipstick. When me and my mom went to ask what was up with it, he kicked us out. He didn't even answer our question! So now I'm stuck with a crappy Turtwig and a mom who's gonna make me raise it for the rest of summer."
"Bummer," Cory said slowly. "No, seriously, I feel your pain. But it's not all bad right? I mean, when I got my starter, my mom said that she was gonna force me to raise it too, but she never did anything. I haven't opened that pokéball in three years and I don't think she cares. My grades are more important to her."
"Still, our moms are different. Mine usually keeps her promises." Michael sighed. "And I don't even want to raise a pokémon. It's stupid."
Cory was silent for a few moments. Michael could tell he was eating something, due to faint crunching noises on the other end. "Hey, do you still have that Stunky?" he asked suddenly.
"Yeah," Michael said.
"Do you think you can sneak out today and drop it off at my pad? Then we could all do experiments on it. I already know some. I found this special food recipe that can help pokémon grow super powerful. We should try it on the Stunky to see if it works. Think about it, we could have the most powerful pokémon on the block! We'll pay people to battle us, and we'll make a fortune!"
Michael laughed along with his friend, and instantly felt his energy return.
"So where is it right now?" Cory said.
"Cool. So can you come over in a minute? The old man's out with friends, and he never cares what I'm up to. We'll use the garage."
Michael looked over his shoulder. Somewhere in the kitchen, he heard the clang of pots and pans. If he got caught, there was no telling what Patricia would do to him.
"Yeah. I'll be there."
Michael kept a thick rope underneath his bed, unbeknownst to his mother. He had hidden it there when he was six, and from then on, used it whenever he needed to make a getaway.
When he got up to his room Michael found it waiting there, like an old friend. One end was tied to the leg of his bed, in an unbreakable knot that would fully support his weight.
With the rest of its length in hand, Michael pushed open his window and threw it out. The rope unraveled noisily, extending all the way to the ground. He then went over to his closet and took out the Sunky's cage. The pokémon began to squeak loudly as Michael sat onto the pane.
He opened the window wider and gazed down at the grass. He no longer had a fear of heights, thanks to his years of experience. Michael gripped the rope with both hands and threw himself over. After a second of exhilaration, he found himself dangling off the side of his house with the cage hanging on his arm. Score. Michael grunted, and slowly began to descend.
Throughout the whole thing, the Stunky was restless. It was squeaking and whining, with its tail lifted threateningly. Michael was able to suck up his annoyance until he was safely on the ground.
You're gonna get yours soon anyway... he thought with a smile.
Cory's house stood on the other side of the street, at the very end of the lane. His family was too poor and lazy to bother with appearance, so the lawn was overgrown and the paint was faded. The gate in front of the house was always unlocked, and Michael let himself in with ease. He went over to the garage door and knocked.
"Hey guys, I'm here."
"All right, hang on!" came a muffled voice. Seconds later, the door creaked open to reveal a messy garage. Cory and Brendan stood off to the side, around a wooden table. Both wore thick gloves.
"Bring it in, bring it in," Cory grinned. Michael set the cage directly underneath the light. The Stunky began to shake.
"Here, take a pair of these." Brendan threw him an extra pair of gloves. "Pokémon can get nasty." Michael pulled them on, and Cory clapped his hands.
"All right. Gentlemen, say hello to the food of the future!" He took down a small box from the shelf, and opened it to reveal a strange brown mixture.
"So that's supposed to make the Stunky super strong?" Michael said.
"Yup. I got the recipe from a garden catalogue. It's supposed to make plants grow faster, and since it works on plants then I guess it can work on pokémon, right?"
"Ha! Wouldn't it be the coolest thing if its tail grew to the size of a truck?" Brendan grinned. "We could spray the whole town!"
Michael snorted. "Well what are we standing around for? Let's do it!"
"Yeah!" Cory lifted the container and held it over the cage. "Begin the countdown! Ten!"
"Nine!" Michael shouted.
"Eight!" Brendan joined in.
"ONE!" Cory turned the box over and let the mixture spill out. Michael's nostrils burned from the smell of fertilizer. The Stunky rushed to get out of the way, but the cloud swallowed it whole. The cage shook with the force of its flails.
"Hold it, hold it!" Michael cried. "It's gonna fall off the table!"
Cory steadied the cage with his hands. His glasses were coated in brown film. "The transformation's happening! Get some water, quick!"
Brendan ran out of the garage and came back a few seconds later with a hose in his hands.
He pulled the handle, and a jet of water shot out. The force of it knocked the cage off the table. The remains of Cory's mixture trickled down to the driveway, revealing a shaking Stunky. Its fur was black and dripping, but other than that, there was no change. Michael's shoulders sagged.
"Well that was a waste of time."
"Yeah." Brendan dropped the hose, letting the last few drops pool at his feet.
Cory kneeled down beside the Stunky, wiping his lenses. "I don't get it. I got the recipe right..."
"Well apparently you didn't." Michael said. "What catalogue did you get it from anyway?"
Cory shrugged. "Don't know. Some magazine my mom had in her closet. It's from like five years ago."
"That explains it," Brendan said. "They've probably come up with a better one now. One that actually works."
The three boys stood in silence for a while.
"So what now?" Michael said, crossing his arms.
"Hey, I have an idea." Cory went back over to the shelves and took down a second box. This one was larger, and was filled with glinting metal equipment.
"What's that for?"
"I read in the paper that a hospital was offering this new type of surgery. Debridisomething. We could try it on the Stunky."
"Nice." Michael smiled.
"But we don't even know what Debridi is," Brendan said. "What if we don't do it right and it dies?"
"So?" Cory said.
"I don't know, it just seems like a waste. We did all that to catch it, and we didn't even have time to play around with it. We should do the surgery last."
Cory shrugged and placed the box back onto the shelf. "Whatever. Hey, let's go watch the Space Race now. We'll sneak some soda from the fridge."
"Sure," Michael said.
"Right behind ya."
The boys took off their gloves and put them back onto the table. Michael was the last to step through the door. He took one last look at the Stunky, then slammed it behind him.
Michael spent the next two hours seated on Cory's smelly couch with a can of soda in his hand. He was immersed in an anchorman's words. Apparently, one of Team Rocket's satellites had taken snapshots of the moon, and had sent them successfully back to Earth. They displayed a slideshow, and Michael leaned in to study them. The moon was nothing interesting, just a giant grey ball covered in craters. There was no evidence of life on its surface, neither people nor pokémon.
Michael and his friends devotedly tuned into the show every afternoon to receive the latest update from Sinnoh's team of scientists, Team Galactic. Like most of the Sinnoh population, he, Cory, and Brendan shared a desire to beat Hoenn. Michael kept a mental scoreboard, celebrating whenever their country was in the lead. Up until that moment, it had been a tie. (Team Galactic had sent the first man into space four months ago.) But of course, the Rockets always found a way to turn the tables.
After the program was over, Michael parted with his friends and set off towards home. He climbed back up to his room, though though the cage was constantly dripping and the Stunky frequently shook the water off of its hide. When he finally heaved himself over the ledge, he dropped the cage down onto the carpet, pulled the rope back up and closed the window.
Michael jumped. At first he thought he might have been hearing things, but when he turned around, he saw that Patricia was seated at his desk. Her arms were folded in her lap.
Patricia's expression was perfectly calm. Michael's heart sank.
"I come into my son's room to check up on him, and I see this." She gestured towards the rope. "And an open window. Two hours later, he comes back. With the Stunky." She rose to her feet. Behind her eyes, a storm was brewing. "Let me guess. You were at your friend's house, weren't you?"
"It's not what it looks like!" Michael said. "I was going to put it back! To release it back into the wild!"
"STOP TALKING!" Patricia roared, and Michael shrank against the wall. She rose from her chair and advanced towards him. Her fingers were curled into fists. "I know that you weren't just about to release it. The cage is soaking wet, and that Stunky looks like it's been through a hurricane! It was one thing to harass that poor creature in school, but to take it home too? What were you planning on doing with it, hmm?"
Michael cleared his throat. "Just... keep it as a pet."
"You know what? I don't believe you. I don't believe a single word that comes out of your mouth anymore! I really, truly thought that when I took you to get your Turtwig, everything would be all right. And now that I see this, I'm beginning to wonder whether I should go back to Sandgem myself and return it! Apparently you didn't hear what your teacher said. Your behavior got you suspended from school! Your entire future is at stake here! Oh, but why should you care? After all, school doesn't matter to big bad Michael. Even worse are those hooligans you hang out with..."
Michael clenched his fists. "Will you stop including my friends into every single complaint you have of me? You blame them for everything! In a few weeks you'll start blaming them for the fucking bad weather!"
Patricia's flush deepened. "Don't you dare talk like that to me! If I hadn't found this out today, the same thing would probably have happened to your Turtwig!"
"That's not true!" he said automatically.
Patricia shook her head. "I can't believe this... after all I've done for you, this is how you repay me? Have I been that bad of a mother to you?"
Michael contemplated answering, but held his tongue.
No. Not now.
"You treat pokémon as if they were your toys! Your toys, Michael! Do you understand how that makes me feel?"
Michael turned away and crossed his arms.
He remained silent.
"Michael, you can't spend the rest of your life like this! I know you care about your future as much as I do!"
Michael had been determined to remain silent for the rest of the conversation, at least until his mother had finished blowing off steam. But right at that moment, he felt something click. A series of events assembled in his mind. School. His brothers. His childhood. The montage nearly overrode the image of his mother, red and haughty and ticking like a clock.
Then, the words seemed to push themselves forward. "You don't care," Michael said. "You never did, and you never will."
There was a terribly long silence. Patricia drew back a little. The words seemed to strike a chord somewhere in her heart, and for a moment, she just stood there.
When she finally spoke, her voice wobbled. "Whatever you have going on in that head of yours, you better kick it out fast. For now, you're grounded. No phone. No television. No contact with those kids. You are not to set foot outside this house without my permission. That will give you some time to think about what you just said to me." Patricia left without another word.
The door slammed loudly, but after that, the house was dead quiet. Even the Stunky had stopped whimpering. It was peering through the bars now, looking at Michael curiously.
It's all that stupid Stunky's fault... he decided. But he was too weary to do anything about it.
The conversation between him and his mother had been short, but in that time, Michael had managed to sever their already fragile bond. And deep down, he knew it would never mend again.
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 24th August 2011 at 1:44 PM.
What a great story, nothing like I suspected. I thought Rowan was going to be some goody two-shoes kid who loved pokemon. Insted he could care less about them.
And the situation between him and his mom... very exciting. I wonder if he's going to run away? Maybe to his friend's house? I also wonder what happened in the past that caused their relationship to be hanging by a thread. What happened to his family? Where's his dad and brothers?
And the turtwig and stunky... I was half expecting the turtwig to have experiments tried on because of it's color. I feel bad for the poor stunky...
Very good! I can't wait for the next chapter.
^^This is about the time when you should be reading my post^^
Another great chapter, with more meaningless harm to that poor Stunky . Oh well, I'm sure Mr. Stunky'll be grand. More on the Space Race and some shmad tension between Micko and his mum. Looking forward for more, add me to the PM list if you can.
It appears I cannot think of a good signature.
Piekid 11: Thanks, and I appreciate your comment!
Horizon: Most of the answers will come in the next chapter. As for the family issues, that'll be more spaced out.
Paddypower: All right, PM list updated.
Thanks for the reviews everyone! See you next chapter.
I almost forgot, can you add me to the PM list?
^^This is about the time when you should be reading my post^^
Lol, I joined just so I could comment on this fic.
You've portrayed rowan in a very different manner. Yes, you have the troublesome kid, but he really seems more than that. Maybe stemming from those unknown family issues...? His treatment of Pokemon also struck me. Much like Horizon said, I assumed he'd be the nerdy kid who absolutely adored Pokemon and the like, but he really couldn't care less. Perhaps another family issue? Meh, prolly way off.
As far as grammar goes, I think I saw Stunky spelt "Sunky" somewhere, but I don't have the initative to go find it >.< Everything seemsneat and easy on the eyes, and the description okay.
Anyways, a great read, and I can't wait for more. If you be so kind as to place me on your Pm list, I would love it ^_^
Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.
Oh, and the typo was here:
Thanks for pointing it out! I've been trying to fix it, but it won't let me edit my post... oh well, I'll keep trying.With the rest of its length in hand, Michael pushed open his window and threw it out. The rope unraveled noisily, extending all the way to the ground. He then went over to his closet and took out the Sunky's...
I'm glad you liked my fic! PM List updated. (Oh, and Horizon, I placed you on the PM list as well. I just didn't have time to tell you so.)
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 26th July 2010 at 5:38 PM.
Sorry it's taken me so long to review Chapter Three, I've been really busy. >.<
Anyways, yet again, another wonderful chapter Mrs. Lovett. :P The only mistake I saw was that you accidentally called the Stunky Sunky once, but I see another reviewer already informed you of that.
It's so weird seeing Michael act so horribly towards Pokemon! I always feel so horrible every time I hear him doing stuff to that poor Stunky... xD I feel so bad for that poor little thing. I can't wait for the day he finally turns over a new leaf lol. For some reason, I just can't get enough of Patricia, too. That poor mom.... D: Blah. I'm rambling. Anyways! I couldn't spot any mistakes and it was a great read, so all in all, excellent job! Can't wait to read Chapter Four.
Original take on an established character--I love how nothing about this is what we expected to see. I like the way you're slowly hinting at why Rowan's so messed up, and I really like Emerson--or, the fact that not ALL professors are kindly and inhumanly cheery.
As for the shiny, yeah it's garystuish, a little, but I don't mind that. They way he reacts to it is just too funny.
Two new reviews!
Dawn Hero: Thanks! And yes, I've been trying to edit that wretched typo, but I keep getting a 500 Server Error. It's probably the thing with those 'error words', but I'll just have to keep trying.
And yes, it'll be quite fun to see Professor Tree turn over a new leaf. Haha. Get it? Get it?
Yeah, I'm rambling too. Thanks for the review!
Super Nerd: I'm glad you liked it, and I'm really glad you liked Emerson. His behavior is funny to read and even more funny to write.
Next chapter will give us more insight into Michael's behavior... but I'm gonna work through it to make sure it's at the right pace. It'll be posted on Friday, maybe Thursday evening if I have the time. See you all then!
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 27th July 2010 at 11:42 PM.
Oh gosh, is it Friday already? All right, here's four for you all! This one took me a while, mostly because I had to organize a ton of information and events. After this, the story starts getting interesting
The next few days dragged on in silence. Michael was confined to his room, only this time by choice. As the hours went by he lay spread-eagled on his bed, staring up at a dirty ceiling.
So this is my summer... Michael thought. It's one thing to be suspended... but stuck in my own house? I hate this... I hate my life.
His gaze frequently went over to the pokéball on his windowsill. He had moved it there so it wouldn't bother him, but now it seemed to glint mockingly in the sunlight.
Michael welled with loathing. That thing would be better off at the bottom of a lake.
There were no noises coming from any of the other rooms. Michael had tried to fill the hole by calling his friends, but he found out much too late that Patricia had disconnected the phone. She had done the same for the TV, so he couldn't watch the Space Race either.
His mother had stopped making dinner altogether so it seemed, as Michael saw from the empty take-out containers that littered the dining table. She did not leave anything for him, so he had to scavenge what he could from the refrigerator. In a way, it relieved him. With Patricia no longer breathing down his neck, he was free to eat all the sweets he wanted. Every night he snuck up to his room with handfuls of gummy worms, lollipops, and snack bars.
Other than the traces she left behind, Michael never saw his mother around the house. She never came up to his room to reprimand him again or ask him what he was doing. Heck, she didn't even ask him if he was hungry or maybe even bored of being shut up all day. Patricia had just... vanished.
Days passed. The sun came and went. His garbage can was on the brink of overflow, and his clothes were starting to smell.
Out of sheer boredom he began searching through his shelves, which to his surprise, were filled with things he didn't need. There were a lot. Michael found three empty packs of gum and a math workbook from the first grade that had been collecting dust all these years. He tossed them into the corner. Most of the shelf space was taken up by action figures, ones that he hadn't played with in years. He left those alone, since they could at least serve as decorations. His piggy bank, due to his frequent spending, contained only five dollars.
The next day, Michael moved on to his drawers. He had never bothered with organization, no matter how many times Patricia told him to. Instead, he rolled up his shirts and pants into balls and threw them in, sometimes leaving the edges sticking out.
He found some of Richard's old shirts buried in the depths, since this had once been his room. Michael folded them carefully, then placed them into the bottom drawer. The only things he did toss aside were an old jacket, a pair of pants that didn't fit him, and a single red sock.
By the end of the third day, Michael had managed to turn his room into a semi-orderly place, one that even his mother might have been proud of. On top of that, he had done it without being aware of it. He found this rather funny, since it would take a good few bucks from his father to bribe him into cleaning.
But there was still one more place to clean - the closet.
As he looked at it now, Michael felt a tinge of reluctance. He went over to it anyway and opened the doors, ignoring the Stunky's squeals of protest. His eyes ran over eleven years' worth of junk that was piled inside. Books, papers, bags, toys - all were piled up in an unrecognizable lump.
Slowly, Michael reached inside and pulled out a random object. It turned out to be an old notebook. He flipped through it, seeing large, pointless sentences that were written by a shaky kindergartener's hand. Stupid. He threw it aside.
The next object he pulled out was an empty tissue box. Why haven't I thrown this out yet? He tossed this as well.
Michael reached into the pile again, this time gripping something thick and heavy. It took a considerable amount of pulling to free, and Michael had to stand up to wriggle it out. It was an old family album.
When did I ever have this? Michael wondered, staring at the patterned cover. He looked at the inside cover. The blank line had been filled by the phrase 'RICHARD ROWAN'. This had been his brothers.
After a pause, Michael turned the page.
The first photograph was black-and-white, of a fat baby wrapped in blankets. He couldn't tell who it was, but by its worn edges, it was most likely Brian. He had been born first. There were a few lines of writing beneath it:
"September 26th, 1946. Our son, Brian Rowan, one year old!!!" It was Patricia's handwriting.
The second photograph was of his parents - Patricia and Andrew. Their faces were pressed together against a grassy background, and they wore toothy grins.
The caption read: "A day at the park!"
Michael chuckled, placing the album on his lap. He saw several more pictures of Brian on his later birthdays, then Richard's pictures, and finally his. Michael's eyes lingered on a particular one that was too long to be placed vertically.
It showed him at about eight years old, on a swing, his head ducked down and staring at the sand. Behind him was a beautiful sunset, and a few more trees. He could remember the day with sudden clarity - he had been mad for some reason, and someone had taken the picture anyway. There was no caption.
The next one was a full family shot - him, Richard, Brian, and his parents. Looking at their faces all bunched up together, it suddenly occurred to Michael how different they looked. He, Richard, and his father all had similar noses and cheekbones. Though the color was slightly faded, he could see that their hair held the same shade of black. Patricia and Brian, on the other hand, had caramel-colored hair and longer chins. They were different from the rest, and not just by their appearance.
For one thing, Brian had never shared any hobbies or interests with his brothers. When Michael went to play basketball outside with Richard, Brian never went along. There were only photos of Michael and Richard by the basketball pole, running in a meadow, or cheering at school events. These captions were always done by Richard's black pen.
Photos of Brian depicted him at honor roll assemblies, standing beside a science project or holding an award. Patricia was nearly always present, smiling next to her star student of a son. None of these photos ever contained Michael, Richard, or his father in the background.
The next series of photos, and Michael took a deep breath before proceeding, were of a period in his life where everything seemed to change. This was one of the few times in the album where the whole family was gathered in one spot. They stood against a sunny background, a white hospital room. His father's.
Michael could remember those long weeks perfectly. He and his brothers would take turns staying in the room, watching quietly as the nurses passed by. One particular photo stood out the most. It depicted Michael sitting in a chair on a night shift, his eyelids drooping and his lips chapped. It was the last hospital picture, because the next morning, the news would come. And there were no pictures for that day.
The next face of the page was instead filled with frantic handwriting. Richard had written a letter to their father.
"Way to go, dad. Ever since you left, I've been stuck with an idiotic older brother and a mom who couldn't care less... Dad, it hasn't been the same without you. I don't know about them, but Michael and I miss you more than you can imagine. Fuck it, you were the best guy in the world. If you're watching me right now dad, I'm sorry. But I can't take it anymore. My entire life has been hell, and it's all because of mom and Brian. I've been trying to stick around for Michael (he reminds me of you sometimes, you know.) but seriously, I just cant anymore. Mom's trying to make us both like Brian, with the grades and all. So I'm gonna leave. I don't know if its right or wrong in her eyes and honestly I don't care anymore. I just want things to be back to the way they were. Just you, me, and the little guy. I'll miss him too.
Hope to see you soon,
Michael felt his heart quicken. There was no date on the letter, but from the content, he approximated it to be sometime after the fight.
It had happened on an ordinary evening, during the turbulent months following his father's death. With him gone, Patricia was struggling with her work, and Brian was struggling with school. Nevertheless, they were moving forward. But while they did, he and Richard had been stuck in the past. While Andrew had been a father to Brian, he had been Richard's and Michael's best friend. And the loss of a best friend took its toll.
They had been seated at dinner that evening. Out of the blue, Patricia announced that Brian was accepted at Cobblers Academy, a boarding school in Canalave City. From the way she had said it, Michael knew it was something they should have been very proud of. But all he had done was nod, and Richard did nothing at all.
Patricia noticed, and questioned Richard.
"Shouldn't you be happy for your brother?" she had said.
Michael remembered what Richard replied with to this day. Placing his fork calmly down onto the tablecloth, he said "And when was the last time you were happy for either of us?" Then, he got up and left the table.
Michael went to bed, hoping that the tension would blow over quickly. But the next morning, Richard's room was empty. No angry note. No farewell. Nothing. Patricia acted like she didn't notice. Michael was allowed to move from his tiny bedroom downstairs into the loft, but under an unspoken condition. He was prohibited from mentioning his brother's name, or bringing up the subject of his 'disappearance'. From now on, he only had one brother. Brian.
But in the back of his mind, he did question it. He thought it over and over at night, sometimes to the point where he got a headache. Turns out, the answer had been in his closet the entire time. Richard was sick of his home life too. Only he had actually gotten the guts to do something about it.
Michael slammed the album shut and tossed it back into the closet.
You never appreciate what you have until it's gone... he repeated the phrase in his mind, staring at the closet for a few more moments.
His gaze trailed off towards the window again, for the hundredth time that day. It was much dimmer outside now, and the clouds were retreating. Michael's eyes ran over the same trees and the same houses that he had been looking at for his entire life. Soon, he found himself lost in thought.
He knew Patricia couldn't stay mad at him forever. But when she did forgive him, what would happen next? He'd probably be forced to raise the Turtwig, and most likely let the Stunky go. Patricia would detach him from his best friends, and would involuntarily sign him up for science club once summer was out. A Brian-in-the-making. She'd fill all his college applications before they would even get to him and he'd be shipped off to some school, majoring in something he didn't even care about.
And then what? Michael couldn't help but think. With her, my life is a void. She wants to control me like a fucking puppet. What if I don't want that? Just because Brian liked it doesn't mean I have to!
Michael's eyes shifted back towards his desk, then, involuntarily found his backpack. He sat up. It was partially open, with torn notebooks spilling out of the pocket. As he stared at it, Michael felt an idea dawning upon him. It did so in stages, like the gradual ticking of a clock.
I don't have to follow her orders. I can make my own future. Just like Richard. He felt himself smile.
Michael crawled over to the backpack and turned it over, emptying its contents onto the carpet. Then he stood and went through his room, refilling it bit by bit. He packed a change of clothes, along with an extra pair of socks in case he got cold. He broke open his piggy bank, emptying the last of his money into an inner pocket. After that, he gathered the last remains of candy from his desk and dropped them in as well. Lastly, he packed a notebook and pencil, figuring he might want to write to his friends.
With his backpack bulging, Michael rose to his feet and gave his room a final once-over. It was barely empty. The lump of junk still stood in the corner, practically on the verge of collapse. It surprised Michael how little he had packed. Not so very long ago, he would brag to his friends how much his posters meant to him, and how his records were of top-notch quality. And now, he never wanted to see any of it again. What was once his pride and joy was now merely a symbol of his pathetic state.
Just as he began to turn for the door, a faint squeal cut him off. The Stunky was whining again. Michael dropped the backpack and rushed to open the closet. The pokémon was there as expected, with its tail drooping and its eyes narrowed from the sudden light. Michael stood there for a few moments, just looking down at it.
"What do you want now, Skanky?" he said. "I'm leaving, you got what you wanted. No more nasty, good-for-nothing hooligan on your back."
He began to turn away, but the Stunky squealed again.
"What, what is it?"
The Stunky was eyeing him intently.
"You pokémon have given me nothing but trouble." Michael said. "All you do is freaking look at me. You bug me every day and... what? Stop staring at me!"
He got no response. Michael groaned.
"Do you want a playmate or something? Here!" He reached over to the windowsill and twisted open the pokéball. He unlatched the Stunky's cage and set the Turtwig beside it. "Your new friend. Happy together? Go play or something." Michael backed away.
He realized what he had done a second too late.
The Stunky let out a screech of freedom, and tore across the room towards the door.
"NO!" Michael exclaimed. "Get back!" He dove after it, but it slipped through his fingers. The puffy tail bounced as it raced down the stairs. Just as he was about to go after it, the Turtwig bounded out the doorway, nearly knocking him over.
"Get back you cretins!" The Turtwig ignored him. As he watched it hop down the stairs, Michael's hands flew to his head. "Argh! I'm such a fucking ditz!"
He grabbed the cage and the pokéball and stomped down the stairs, no longer caring if Patricia would hear or see him.
The Stunky had escaped to the living room. The Turtwig was snapping at its heels, barking madly. They ran all over the furniture, displacing pillows and shaking tables. Michael tried to run after them, but the weight of his backpack dragged him back. His eyes strained to follow the moving dots.
The Stunky was circling the room's perimeter, its claws already leaving their marks on the delicate upholstery. It ran into the corner, hiding behind a thin metal table.
On the table stood a vase.
Michael's heart fluttered. If that thing breaks... I'll kill both of them.
The Turtwig was slowly advancing on the Stunky, brandishing its leaf threateningly. Instead of going for the kill, however, it just stood there growling. When Michael came to its side, it looked up at him as if to say, "You're welcome."
It took Michael a few seconds to realize what he was seeing. The Turtwig had cornered the Stunky. It had helped him.
"Well... cool." Michael said. He unlatched the cage and kneeled down in front of the table. "Here, Stunky Stunky. Into the cage."
It did not move. Dammit, smart Stunky! Michael gritted his teeth.
"Come on! Get into the cage!" Michael scooted closer, into the gap between the armchair and the table. Beside him, he felt it give the slightest shudder.
No no... can't make a sound...
"Come on, you good-for-nothing buttface..." He placed the cage down and reached for the Stunky with one arm. His fingers inched closer and closer to its body. Just when he grazed its tail, it let out a snarl and shot out of his reach. It ran out of the corner and out of the living room.
"No, you skag! Argh!" Michael scrambled to his feet, the cage digging painfully into his leg. As he pulled himself up, he felt something give way beside him. He looked over.
The table had tipped off balance, the vase going along with it. Its fragments had scattered all across the floor, under the furniture and into the carpet. Turtwig began to bark. It turned and immediately ran after the Stunky.
Michael followed it into the kitchen, already forgetting the mess he had left behind. The Stunky was running in circles in the kitchen, scratching at the refrigerator and walls. The Turtwig ran after it, and in an impressive move, tackled it to the ground.
Michael acted immediately. He unlatched the cage and placed it over the Stunky before it had time to move. He locked it tightly and held it up to eye level.
"There. And you're never coming out again, you hear?" He shook the cage, and the Stunky squealed.
"Tur-tur!" He looked down. The Turtwig was looking up at the cage also, rather proudly. Michael rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, yeah, you helped, all right? But you're going in too." He lifted the pokéball to the Turtwig and called it back inside.
He was just about to put it back when he heard a clatter from another room.
"Michael?" said a voice. "Michael!"
Patricia had stirred. Her footsteps were slowly growing louder.
Shit! She's coming! There was no time to put the pokéball away. Michael rushed to the front door, unlocked it, and kicked it open. From somewhere behind him, he heard a gasp. Patricia had probably seen the vase.
"Michael, where are you? What happened in here?"
Hope you like living alone! Michael smiled to himself. He closed the door quietly, then hobbled down the driveway as fast as his load would allow.
He slid into a patch of untamed land near their house, where he sat for a moment, breathing heavily. Through the leaves and branches, he could see the outline of his house. The door remained closed, which meant that Patricia had either not heard him, or didn't care. Either way, she definitely couldn't see him here.
He waited for a few more minutes, then removed a candy bar from his backpack to settle his growling stomach.
"Stu stu!" the Stunky squealed.
"Shut it!" Michael hissed through bites of warm chocolate. The Stunky let out a whine. "I didn't eat dinner. And no, you can't have any. This has to last me for the entire night, maybe even breakfast tomorrow."
The Stunky sniffed. Michael turned his head to face the street. It went down, down, down, all the way to the beginnings of the city. In that distant strip of land, Jubilife shone with nighttime activity.
Michael made his way down the street casually, eyeing the rows of houses and trees as he passed them. Most of the lights were on, though there were some that were completely dark. He knew the community's every curve and bump, after countless days running and playing in it. It was the place he loved, but it was also the place he had to get away from.
His footsteps echoed throughout the street, in tune with the beat of his heart.
The neighborhood wasn't gated, nor did it have an official name. Its exit was marked by a sign that read 'JUBILIFE CITY - 0.5 MILES'. When Michael reached it, he paused for a few moments. Up ahead, the road was long and winding.
Am I really doing this? Am I really about to run away? The absurdity of his actions unsettled him. After all, what chance did a thirteen year old stand against the world?
Michael looked back. Somewhere along the rows houses was his. Patricia had probably seen the unlocked door, and was having a hysterical fit. Or, she might have gone back to her room, too lazy to investigate.
Either way, he thought, I'm sick of that place. And whatever my future is, I want to build it myself.
Michael exhaled. His decision was made. He hoisted the backpack onto both shoulders, tightened his grip on the cage, and started forward.
Both of his brothers had left the house when they could, setting off on their own to start a new life. Now it was his turn.
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 18th February 2011 at 9:26 PM.
Awww, Michael ran away? D: Poor Patricia... Yet again, another wonderful chapter Mrs. Lovett. There were only two errors I saw when I read through.
Small, next to nothing mistake. You just forgot the 'he' before the 'where.'He slid into a patch of untamed land near their house, where sat for a moment, breathing heavily.
Well, I don't know if this is a mistake or not. It's phrased really awkwardly to me. "Somewhere among the row of houses was his" may be a better fix, but that's really all up to you if you want to swap it out or not.Somewhere among the rows houses was his.
Hmm. So Patricia like, totally stopped caring for him? D: That's so sad. She's gonna be so depressed when she sees Michael ran away too. The whole photo album with Richard was an excellent addition to the story. I dunno why, but Richard's letter gave me Deja vu for some reason. xD It'll be interesting to see what happens to Michael now that he's on his own with his Stunky and Turtwig.
Great chapter, Mrs. Lovett. Can't wait for the next one!
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 31st July 2010 at 1:16 AM.
Yay, new chapter ^_^
I was surprised at Micheal running away, but it gives the story some different plot branches to choose from, so I like it. The discoloured (I refuse to use the term "shiny") Turtwig helped Michael with the Stunky, so perhaps it will respect Michael. I can't see Michael caring thouggh, but I hope that soon he will open his heart. Turtwig was always my favourite starter from the 4th gen
Quick question: Why doesn't Michael just release the Stunky? It's been causing him no end of problems, but he hasn't yet even thought of getting it away from him. Will it maybe become a party member?
Anyways, great chapter, revealed some past information, and advanced the plot along very nicely. Can't wait for next week
Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.
As for the Stunky's future, I have something very good in store for it, but I won't reveal that yet.
Thanks for reviewing, and see you next chapter!
Its not to say that both of these chapters weren't good, they were. It's not that the plot wasn't good, as it was. I throughly enjoyed them both, but they were too short. Let's focus on chapter four.
You depicted the death of Michael's father and the ensuing emotional strife and turmoil it caused. I think you captured that emotion of that disaster perfectly, and for that you should be commended.
I also like the fact that Michael ran away and kept the Stunky. I just would have preferred that both chapters were longer, that way we would have had some better description of Sinnoh back in the day, and perhaps advance further in Rowan's journey.
Keep up the good work, but maybe tweak your length and description a bit. I want to see a little more of your Sinnoh.
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