I'm Estuary, and I've been reading Pokemon 'fics for nearly a decade now. I only read OT (Original Trainer) 'fics, and I've noticed that good ones seem in short supply. The genre is riddled with cliches.
This is an experiment.
I would love feedback. First part is smaller than the others, but sort of a prologue.
Song of the Small
Olivia winced as her grandmother tugged her hair into a mercilessly tight braid. The young girl- ten, at most- broke into a gentle smile, however, as she felt Minuet's tiny paw against her cheek. “Don't be nervous,” she whispered. “This is going to be our adventure. Our story.”
The minccino's eyes widened anxiously, but she took a gulp of air and nodded stoically, distractedly picking the lint off of Olivia's heavy purple coat with tiny nimble paws.
The sun had not yet begun to rise on the small cottage dotting the southern end of Route 217 near Snowpoint, and even if it had it would not make much difference. The snowy region was dimly lit even in the best of times. Olivia closed her eyes and breathed in. The familiar scent of the hearth and her grandmother's incense would be missed.
She opened her eyes and gazed around the cozy wooden room. Woolen purple curtains covered every window, trapping in the heat, and nearly every bare space was covered in thick, colorful crocheted fabric. Every inch was soft, gentle. Bookshelves lined every wall so that you could not fit a finger between them, and each one was stuffed to the brim with books and nicknacks- figurines carved from wood and bone, beautiful rare stones glistening in the firelight, and palm-sized paintings upon the faces of seashells. Prizes and trinkets from the old woman's own story. There was not, however, a single photograph to be seen.
Finishing the tightly woven braid, Olivia's grandmother finally spoke above the crackling of the hearth. “Don't forget, I'm merely lending them to you. Once you catch some decent pokemon of your own, you can send them right back. They're not meant to battle, these two,” she said in her stern, but beautiful, voice.
Sonata, normally a chocolate-brown buneary, still showed the vestiges of winter in her unusually pale coat. She had been content to watch the flickering flames of the hearth, but at the old woman's words she bounced to her feet with alarming speed, ears flailing every which way. (Ah! I'm gonna be an awesome fighter! You just wait and see, Matha.)
If she hadn't been listening for it, she might not have been able to hear Minuet's soft, timid voice. (Sonata, how can you be so confident? We've never been in a single battle. Not one.)
The buneary flicked one long lop-ear back over her tiny shoulder as she boasted, (I used to fight the other kits in my litter all the time. And believe me, I rocked it.) As if to prove her point, she performed a back-handspring.
The minccino had no response. The first sliver of dawn light fought its way through the curtains and the old woman Olivia called Nanny Matha took this as a sign to roll out a large piece of parchment that had enigmatically appeared on the kitchen table that morning.
“This is a map of the region. It served me well during my time as a trainer, so take care of it. I want you to study it on the way there.”
Olivia peered at the ancient map. The faded brown ink and dim light made it difficult to discern, but not nearly so bad as as the oodles of barely-legible notes jotted in nearly every free space. Most were notes on landmarks or drawings of pokemon, but others- written with a much heavier hand- were not suitable for polite company.
“I see you had a bit of trouble around Union Cave.”
Nanny's lined face hardened. “Never speak to me of that place again.”
The narrow beam of sunlight graced Matha's eyes, setting her already golden eyes alight. She pulled her extraordinarily long black-and-white hair away from her pale face and neck in one smooth movement and spoke. “I've taught you as much as I could in the time that I was given, Olivia. The rest is up to you. Don't forget to stay in the light, and be kind to all things.”
“Yes, Nanny,” she replied. As if on cue, Minuet and Sonata leapt into her arms. As an afterthought, she added, “I'll make you proud.”
Her grandmother nodded, her mouth set into a line. She looked no less regal, or intimidating, than she had been in her (prime?) youth. “Good. It's time, then.”
Obviously, Matha has quite a story of her own. I may write it, someday. Any kind of criticism is welcome, I do not consider myself a good writer and I'd like to change that.