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Thread: Left Alone

  1. #1
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    Hello dear reader! So I have a new one-shot inspired by a certain something that I thought about the other day. Red and Blue always tend to get the spotlight in fics, but what about one focused on Leaf? What I came up with was this. I don't really know how good or bad it is, so you can let me know in a review. Here we go!

    Left Alone

    The first day of our journeys.

    Those two and me.

    Each of us charged our way to the lab at full force, with me taking the lead while they kept insulting each other jokingly. The Pidgey's sweet songs accompanied us that day as our little trio burst into the workplace of Samuel Oak. I remember everything from then on, as though it all happened this morning.

    Red lifting up the sphere containing the Fire Type, Charmander, without making a single sound. Blue smirking and throwing up the Poke Ball of the Water Type, Squirtle, and jeering yet again to his childhood friend and rival as he caught it with a cocky flourish. Me gently releasing the Grass Type, Bulbasaur, out into the lab and allowing it to fall into my warm embrace.

    Me, leaving the building immediately to set off on my first adventure with my Premier Ball hat perched lightly on my head, while both of them stayed behind to settle scores with the first battle of their lives. Bulbasaur settling into my arms as we waited for them to conclude their fight. Blue poking fun at me like he always did, this time for holding too much sentimental value in all of us leaving together, as Red watched on silently.

    Meeting up with Red in Viridian City, only for him to inform me with barely any tone that he wanted to battle Blue upon Route 22, since Blue requested him do so after losing his first match against Red. Blue insisting that I watch despite me not having any interest in battling, in case he happened to be victor. Red emerging as the winner to the shock of Blue.

    Reaching Pewter City as a trio, only for Red and Blue to tell me that they wished to train for a while so they could take on the first Pokemon Gym. Me declining the offer of training with Bulbasaur and claiming that I only wished to see the world with a companion I'd never forget and my two oldest friends.

    Red, sighing and shaking his head. Blue, saying that the road the two of them would have to take was much more linear than mine, and that I'd never be able to see the whole of Kanto if I remained following the two of them. Red chiming in, letting me know that him and Blue were never even intending on travelling together, or with me for that matter.

    Me, the one girl in the group, Leaf, understanding what they were telling me, and nodding in agreement while a strange pit formed itself in the bottom of my stomach. Me, leaving Viridian City and the two of them behind, while Bulbasaur slept soundly within my grasp.

    The next month or so of me exploring the region I grew to adore. The people I met - Gym Leaders such as Misty and Surge, relations of important people like Janine, the son of Koga, and other kids just like me all along the way - being supporting, kind and happy to have a conversation. Me, replying with positive emotions and plenty of topics to keep the talks going, before I wished those people farewell with a positive grin and a wave and continued on my journey.

    One day, where I suddenly felt a wave of homesickness come crashing down upon me, only for me to realise that I'd lost the way home long ago. That day, where I wished that I could see Pallet Town again, that day, where I wished I could see the warm smile my mother always gave me, that day, where I wanted to see Red and Blue again.

    A few days later, when I came across Lavender Town in the middle of Winter, the snow falling around the grim town in layers of silky white. That moment where I felt a sense of obligation to pay respects to the Pokemon resting within the town's graveyard, as Bulbasaur clung onto my shoulder and nestled my cheek while we entered. The echoing staircases of the tower that sent almost unbearable shivers down my spine. The split second where I recognised Blue's voice shouting from the floor above, and feeling the lump in my throat from homesickness dissipate away as I almost tripped over my own feet clambering up the stairs to see him again.

    The fear that penetrated me when I became witness to why he was being so loud, who he was yelling at.

    The fury that was carved into Blue's face as his words tore through Red, while the latter did nothing but remain silent. The horror as the two boys, oblivious to me, showed how much they had changed from a single incident. Red, who had become nothing but a blank slate, and ashamed of the pain he had caused for his friend who was like a brother to him. Blue, overtaken by rage and sadness as he sliced through his old friend with insults, tears cascading down his face while he gave a sharp point to the grave located behind him.

    Me, being too terrified to take another step. Me, holding a fist to my heart as I realised how I didn't recognise the two boys in front of me anymore. Me, somehow gaining the courage to run away from the fight, too scared to even try and intervene with a matter I knew no more about than the next person. Me, collapsing into ball of sobs within the snow as I exited the building to let the adrenaline out. Me, slowly but surely being calmed down by hugging my one and only companion, Bulbasaur.

    Me, forcing myself to continue my journey and put that day behind me. The next half of the year, greeting yet more new people and enjoying myself like I never had before, all while a shadow settled in the back of my mind, a shadow that lay in wait until I was vulnerable before it would strike and remind me of the incident at Lavender Town. The shadow that never struck often, but the nights when it did being some of the worst.

    A day somewhere in Summer, when I had taken a stop on Cinnabar Island to take a look at its famous volcano and get to know the locals. The news that rippled through the island that the team of crime that had been seeping through the region, Team Rocket, had been defeated in Viridian City by an eleven-year old boy by the name of Red. The sudden urge that struck me like a bolt of lightning to go see my old friend, after such a long time of being separated, now that I knew where he was. Asking a local of the island who I'd been getting to know if they could sail me back to Pallet Town, and the local agreeing.

    The pang of nostalgia that seared through my mind as I set foot back in my hometown. The brief visit to my mother where we shared an embrace, before I left abruptly and began thundering down Route 1 to find Viridian City. Spotting the paparazzi by the Gym, and demanding that I saw the child who took down Team Rocket. The shrugs that were shared all around by the cameramen and interviewers, as they claimed that he'd simply disappeared after telling them his name, that he'd walked off in the direction of Route 22 without a second glance at the news teams.

    The sadness that overwhelmed me, as the phrase "ok then, thanks for letting me know" caught in my throat, before I ran from the prying eyes of the city and cried in a back alley, distraught that I had missed my chance to see at least one of my friends again. The tears that I wiped off my face, before I nodded to myself, nodded to Bulbasaur, and headed to the Pokemon league as fast as my worn out legs would carry me.

    I remember it. I remember waiting outside the badge gates, barely able to hold all my emotions in. I remember clutching Bulbasaur close to my chest. I remember I began feeling something that caused all my next moves to occur. I remember it was irrational, but that's what emotions are, after all.

    I remember the sudden anger that encased my entire body, how the shadow that had been lying in wait at the back of my head surrounded me and took control of my movements, and without even thinking I ran through the first badge badge gate. I remember how I read the sign saying that anyone who tried to pass through the gates would be assumed as a trespasser. I remember disregarding it in the heat of the moment.

    I remember the alarms sounding, but they became nothing but a whirr in my ear. I passed through the second gate, the third, then froze at the fourth. I remember it all so clearly. The shimmering water laid out as a task to the challengers of the Pokemon league, as a small lake that required a Pokemon that knew how to swim to cross. And all I had was my precious Bulbasaur. I remember being cornered that day, the feeling of pure terror slowly overcoming my burst of rage as the alarms suddenly seemed more real, more loud, and a more terrifying threat than I had even thought.

    I remember beginning to sob in front of the policemen that surrounded me, I remember telling them that all I wanted was to make sure that my friends were ok, that one of them had recovered from the shock of doing something terrible to the other, that the other had forgiven the former for what he had caused. I remember how my body felt heavy, how it hurt to even stand. I remember how the adrenaline faded, leaving me as a shaking mess in a situation I couldn't talk myself out of.

    That day, I was lucky I left the station without being arrested. The policemen offered up a fine as a punishment, to which I obliged, before I went out into the Kanto region once more.

    And the rest speaks for itself. Red became the champion of Kanto and Johto, while Blue became the eighth Gym Leader of Kanto to replace Giovanni, who I later discovered was the very man that Red had taken down to defeat Team Rocket as he was, in fact, the leader. However, shortly after they accepted their roles, both disappeared suddenly. Blue let the press know that he was taking a break from battling to think about everything he had done in the past, while Red just... left one day, with no warning to anyone.

    To this day I still wonder what the two of them are doing now, where they are, if they'll ever make up to each other concerning their argument back in Lavender Town. I still wish I could've seen them at least one more time, even if they hadn't forgiven each other, just to make sure that they're doing alright. I wish that the two had never fallen out like that, and I just wish... I just wish that we could've been friends like the old days.

    I still have Bulbasaur, and he's one of the reasons I still have happiness in my life. Whenever I feel down while remembering my two missing friends, he's always there to nuzzle me, check I'm feeling alright, and climb into my lap if I'm not. I don't know where I would be without the one friend who is still with me to this day.

    Everyone remembers the two kids who took on the Kanto Pokemon League and became the champion and eighth Gym Leader respectively, only to both disappear shortly after.

    I wonder - did they ever remember the girl who started the journey alongside them, only to lose both along the way?
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    Oh. My. Arceus. I have to say, I was not expecting this. There's an amazing sense of innocence in the first few paragraphs, and then it starts getting serious. I've noticed that you've used repetition of "Me" and "I remember" to start your paragraphs, which, even if not intention, creates an impact. It's great how you've used a very obscure character, and the spin you took - that she was following the boys all along their journey, had a remarkable believable-ness to it. I do think you did a really good job of making a name for Leaf. I noticed the title, "Left Alone", which has amazing links to the entire theme of the One-Shot. I feel that you could have done a little more development on what Leaf was seeing, though, but your work could be interpreted as a memory, which has become hazy over the years. I don't think there are any errors, but I look for detail as opposed to accuracy. Overall, a great One-Shot, which could have done with a bit of rounding off, but is still good nonetheless.
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    ... 0.0 Nerdy you absolute genius.

    THIS IS INCREDIBLE! I love the emotion you gave to Leaf, stepping into her shoes as if you were the character herself. I also like how you referenced back to Bulbasaur at the end with her unevolved starter and how it's the only thing giving her any hint of happiness. This was so dark, I loved it!

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    This is really, really well written! I love the emotion you gave her, and how you had her trespassing through the gates. That was smart! The lack of dialogue is an interesting choice, too, but it fits the style really well. Nice job!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicianAlex View Post
    This is really, really well written!
    Aww thank you :3

    I love the emotion you gave her,
    It was kinda the centre of the fic so I tried to focus on that. I'm glad it paid off!

    and how you had her trespassing through the gates. That was smart!
    That actually wasn't in my original plan for this - I decided I would write it in the moment I realised I hadn't given Leaf a surfing Pokemon. Turns out it was a good choice, I guess?

    The lack of dialogue is an interesting choice, too, but it fits the style really well. Nice job!!
    Having no dialogue can sometimes create more emotional impact, and so I tried that here. I'm glad it fits!

    By the way, welcome to the forum! I hope you enjoy your time here.
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    The question of what happened to Leaf is always a great one to explore in fanfiction--there are so many possible directions you can take it, and given the games' extremely loose characterization, loads you can do with Leaf herself. It's an unusual path you've had her go down here, simply exploring and enjoying her travel in Kanto, rather than being a trainer per se.

    To be honest, I'd love to have seen more of that journey! Most of the focus is on Leaf's interactions with Red and/or Blue; the mentions of her having fun, going her own way are extremely vague and brief. Like this paragraph, for example:

    The next month or so of me exploring the region I grew to adore. The people I met - Gym Leaders such as Misty and Surge, relations of important people like Janine, the son of Koga, and other kids just like me all along the way - being supporting, kind and happy to have a conversation. Me, replying with positive emotions and plenty of topics to keep the talks going, before I wished those people farewell with a positive grin and a wave and continued on my journey.
    It's quite nonspecific! It's nice that you mention some of the people in particular that Leaf enjoyed meeting, but other than that there's not much specific going on here. To really convey to readers what Leaf's experiencing, it's much more helpful to use concrete details than generalities. Just what were those topics Leaf was bringing up to keep conversations going? What positive emotions was she experiencing, specifically, and as a result of what? Brief anectodes can really help the experience a character's describing feel more real.

    I kind of would have liked to see more Leaf in this one-shot in general. Although it's her narrating the story, it's really more about Red and Blue and their relationship than it is about her own journey. And just what is it about her own journey that inspires her to keep going despite all her homesickness and disappointment over what happened to her friends? Again, this is where concrete details would help. Leaf goes off and "enjoy[ed] myself like I never had before," but what exactly does this entail? What does Leaf enjoy so much that it's worth what she's lost (or at least that's what she thinks at the time).

    I did like the power of the last scene, where Leaf charges through the Plateau gates, only to find herself unable to advance to the League. It really drives home the idea that she's been left behind, and that the distance between herself and her friends has become too great for her to bridge (both physically and mentally/emotionally).

    And the sketch we get of what happens between Blue and Red is good, too. The old "Blue's raticate died" thing is done in a fun way here; it's rare for people to portray it as Red having been the one who(se pokémon) killed it, although it certainly makes a potent catalyst for the deterioration of their relationship! A lot of interpretations of Red/Blue have them remaining close throughout their journey, or at least a one-sided worry about Red on Blue's part, so it was kind of a cool twist for this story to present their relationship as becoming openly hostile. It fits perfectly well, too; basically, they become enemies more than just rivals, and after the League go their separate ways, possibly hoping never to see each other again. That would be really hard to watch if you'd known them for ages and considered them both friends, and I thought you did a nice job of getting Leaf's confusion and despair over that state of affairs across quite nicely.

    So I thought this was a neat twist on the usual Red/Blue kind of story. I just would have liked to see you do a little more with Leaf's character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    The question of what happened to Leaf is always a great one to explore in fanfiction--there are so many possible directions you can take it, and given the games' extremely loose characterization, loads you can do with Leaf herself. It's an unusual path you've had her go down here, simply exploring and enjoying her travel in Kanto, rather than being a trainer per se.

    To be honest, I'd love to have seen more of that journey! Most of the focus is on Leaf's interactions with Red and/or Blue; the mentions of her having fun, going her own way are extremely vague and brief. Like this paragraph, for example:


    It's quite nonspecific! It's nice that you mention some of the people in particular that Leaf enjoyed meeting, but other than that there's not much specific going on here. To really convey to readers what Leaf's experiencing, it's much more helpful to use concrete details than generalities. Just what were those topics Leaf was bringing up to keep conversations going? What positive emotions was she experiencing, specifically, and as a result of what? Brief anectodes can really help the experience a character's describing feel more real.

    I kind of would have liked to see more Leaf in this one-shot in general. Although it's her narrating the story, it's really more about Red and Blue and their relationship than it is about her own journey. And just what is it about her own journey that inspires her to keep going despite all her homesickness and disappointment over what happened to her friends? Again, this is where concrete details would help. Leaf goes off and "enjoy[ed] myself like I never had before," but what exactly does this entail? What does Leaf enjoy so much that it's worth what she's lost (or at least that's what she thinks at the time).
    I can understand where you're coming from here. I tried to avoid a problem that appeared in my last one-shot of a similar genre, but ended up going just a tad too far down the opposite road. Thanks for letting me know!

    I did like the power of the last scene, where Leaf charges through the Plateau gates, only to find herself unable to advance to the League. It really drives home the idea that she's been left behind, and that the distance between herself and her friends has become too great for her to bridge (both physically and mentally/emotionally).
    Thanks! I did try to go for a sense of hopelessness and abandonment in that last scene, so I'm happy that it worked!

    And the sketch we get of what happens between Blue and Red is good, too. The old "Blue's raticate died" thing is done in a fun way here; it's rare for people to portray it as Red having been the one who(se pokémon) killed it, although it certainly makes a potent catalyst for the deterioration of their relationship! A lot of interpretations of Red/Blue have them remaining close throughout their journey, or at least a one-sided worry about Red on Blue's part, so it was kind of a cool twist for this story to present their relationship as becoming openly hostile. It fits perfectly well, too; basically, they become enemies more than just rivals, and after the League go their separate ways, possibly hoping never to see each other again.
    I've actually always personally never believed the theory of Blue's Raticate dying, but I thought it'd fit quite nicely into the idea I had for this one-shot, so I just went for it. And as I thought about hat more, I realised that if an eleven-year old kid got his pet rat killed by one of his closest friends, he would certainly not be able to forgive that friend for a long time, so I decided that it would work even more with that sense of abandonment I was going for. I'm glad you liked it!

    That would be really hard to watch if you'd known them for ages and considered them both friends, and I thought you did a nice job of getting Leaf's confusion and despair over that state of affairs across quite nicely.
    It always seems that I do the actual despair bit well in more tragic pieces, but not some other subtle parts like the odd bit of setup. Thanks for letting me know!

    So I thought this was a neat twist on the usual Red/Blue kind of story. I just would have liked to see you do a little more with Leaf's character.
    Thanks! I'll bear that in mind for both future pieces and if I ever decide to rewrite this.
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    I told myself I'd read this after I read "A Simple Kalosian's story", but I only found the time to do it now, so oops.

    I do think this was much stronger. Going in, I was already intrigued by the premise of narrating Leaf's story in relation to Red's and Blue's. How you pieced together the sentences in the first half of the story struck me as odd at first, but by the end I thought the language suited Leaf's personality very well. I thought it heightened that feeling of being "left alone" in a great way.

    I do agree with Negrek in that I thought you could've expanded Leaf's story much more, in that her journey (or whatever it was) could've been a parallel or contrast to Red's and Blue's. I went in with the question, "What about Leaf's journey?", but I thought you could've explored that question much more. Sure, it wouldn't have been through battles or confrontations like Red or Blue, but you do mention a lot about her meeting other people and bonding with them - something that's really interesting considering that a lot of her emotions are being driven by not being able to bond with Red and Blue like they used to.

    That said, the central conflict of how she's being affected by Red's and Blue's distancing away from her was handled rather well, and that penultimate scene in the League gates was pretty good. I thought your final paragraphs were really well-written, too, and it captures that atmosphere of "what if?" that pervades throughout the entire story.

    So yeah, I thought this was very well-written. While I thought you could've improved the middle a bit, this was a very enjoyable read. Great job!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dramatic Melody View Post
    I told myself I'd read this after I read "A Simple Kalosian's story", but I only found the time to do it now, so oops.
    Doesn't matter, any review is appreciated! And also makes me freak out because holy mother of Arceus people are actually reading my stuff

    I do think this was much stronger. Going in, I was already intrigued by the premise of narrating Leaf's story in relation to Red's and Blue's. How you pieced together the sentences in the first half of the story struck me as odd at first, but by the end I thought the language suited Leaf's personality very well. I thought it heightened that feeling of being "left alone" in a great way.
    The way I wrote it was kind of an on-the-of choice. I wanted to write something involving Leaf, and I had an idea in mind, but it was only when I began typing that I thought it'd be interesting to write it in that style, especially considering the idea of the fic.

    I do agree with Negrek in that I thought you could've expanded Leaf's story much more, in that her journey (or whatever it was) could've been a parallel or contrast to Red's and Blue's. I went in with the question, "What about Leaf's journey?", but I thought you could've explored that question much more. Sure, it wouldn't have been through battles or confrontations like Red or Blue, but you do mention a lot about her meeting other people and bonding with them - something that's really interesting considering that a lot of her emotions are being driven by not being able to bond with Red and Blue like they used to.
    Yep. I tried to not do what I did with A Simple Kalosian's story and sort of ended up going in the opposite direction a little too far. I might give this a little rewrite one day due to that.

    That said, the central conflict of how she's being affected by Red's and Blue's distancing away from her was handled rather well, and that penultimate scene in the League gates was pretty good. I thought your final paragraphs were really well-written, too, and it captures that atmosphere of "what if?" that pervades throughout the entire story.
    Thanks! I'm actually rather proud of the league gates scene. I'm also happy that I managed to create an atmosphere.

    So yeah, I thought this was very well-written. While I thought you could've improved the middle a bit, this was a very enjoyable read. Great job!
    Thanks! I'm happy you liked it.
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