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Thread: Mama's Boy

  1. #1

    Default Mama's Boy

    Hello, everyone!

    This is my first time posting a fic on SPPf, but I have, once upon a time, been an active writer elsewhere. I am now attempting to reactivate myself and - gasp - actually participate in a writing community again, because I enjoy writing and talking to other writers immensely. This is a story I've worked on for quite a while now, and I'm now in the process of revising and partially rewriting it - mainly because I feel I owe the story and some of its past readers that, but partially also because I need to learn the noble skill of editing and revising. I'm trying to get about one or two chapters out a month, but we'll see how well I keep to my schedule, what with school and work and having a head that remembers things about as well as a fork holds water.

    But that's enough about that. I hope you enjoy the story!

    All reviews, comments, and opinions much encouraged and welcomed! Any feedback is valuable, and even if you don't feel like you have that much to point out or comment on, I'd love to know what's on your mind after reading.


    Genre(s): adventure, humor, conspiracy
    Rating: PG-13
    Warnings: very small amounts of violence and blood, some non-graphic deaths - overall very small amounts of objectionable content


    Mama's Boy



    Table of contents:
    (Chapters in italics not posted yet)

    Prologue: Not an Ordinary Start
    Chapter 1: A Shiny Sort of Surprise
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6
    Chapter 7
    Chapter 8
    Chapter 9
    Chapter 10
    Chapter 12




    Not an Ordinary Start

    I woke up to the sun shining brightly through my blinds. Excited, I immediately bounced up from my bed and drew the blinds to see outside. The weather was amazing. The sun was shining, but not too brightly, and bird pokémon were singing, but not too loudly. There were a couple of fluffy cumulus clouds floating on the bright blue sky to add their gentle shadows to the nearly perfect view. Even some of the plants were in bloom, completely ignoring the fact that it was already June and that they had already bloomed months ago this year. The weather told me that this would be the day. This would be my first day as a real pokémon trainer and the first day of my very own pokémon journey.

    My 10th birthday had been earlier this year, and the months leading up to this year's First Pokémon Giveaway had been complete torture. And then, when the date had finally arrived, it had been raining! Everybody knows you just can't start as a trainer if it isn't a beautiful day. This was the first clear day for a week after that day, so it was obvious that this would be the day I finally got my first pokémon in the Giveaway. Moreover, the scent of a delicious breakfast floated in the air. My mom was usually a late sleeper, but today she had gotten up early and made some... What could this be? Pancakes?

    I dressed up hastily and ran downstairs, scaling the staircase two steps at a time. Downstairs in the kitchen stood my mom, making pancakes for breakfast. And not only that, but she had also changed out of her pyjamas despite the ridiculously early hour. It was so unusual it should have alarmed me, but today I was so happy I didn't pay any attention to details like that. I stood at the kitchen door and silently watched her for a while. I felt a bit bad for having to leave her all by herself, but I thought she'd probably be alright. She knew how to take care of herself, and besides, she had known this day would come ever since I had decided I wanted to be a trainer years ago. At least now she could get some time for herself, and she only had to share the house with Blanca, an old ninetales. Blanca had been my father's Pokémon, but since his death, she hadn't had an official trainer. I never really understood why she stayed with us when she could have gone anywhere, but it was nice having her around. It made me feel safer to have a Pokémon in the house. My mom had never had any.

    Mother was still a fairly young woman. She had cheery dark blue eyes and very, very black hair, so I didn't really look like her at all, what with my brown eyes, dark reddish hair and tan skin. Everybody said I took after my father in all possible ways. I had been told I looked just like him when he had been my age, and that I resembled him very much personality-wise, too. He had been a pokémon researcher before he died, and a famous one at that, from what I've heard. I never knew him, because I was only two when he died, and my mom seemed reluctant to talk about him. So, I didn't know a whole lot about my father overall, besides the fact he was a scientist.

    "Oh, Jack, you're awake," Mom said when she turned around to drop two giant glops of jam on the two piles of pancakes. She had rolled her sleeves up, and her arms and face were mottled with bits of flour.

    "Of course I am!" I laughed and raced to the table to inspect the pancakes. The delicious smell made me hungry as an ursaring. "Don't you know what day it is?"

    "I sure do!" came the chipper reply. She smiled and pushed each plate full of pancakes to its proper position in front of a chair. "We're leaving to be pokémon trainers today! Now, eat up, Jack, or we'll be late!"

    "Thanks for the awesome breakfast, Mom!" I grinned and sat down to eat. Then, I realized what she had said just now. "Wait. 'We'?"

    "Me and you, honey," Mom said, smiling, and patted my curly hair gently before sitting down herself.

    "You? But..." I was utterly baffled. This was not how this conversation was supposed to go.

    "I never got to go out as a trainer, so I still haven't claimed my starter pokémon. I thought I could do that now and go together with you. You know, see the world a bit, and take care of you while you travel," she said nonchalantly and started to eat.

    My mouth was gaping. "A-are you serious?" I stuttered. I couldn't believe my ears anymore.

    "Why would I be joking?" she asked with a sincere face, glancing at me with an offended look. "I have every right to go. Besides, I'm worried about you! You'll starve to death without me. Don't worry, sweetheart, I won't get in the way."

    "But... But..." This was not how things were supposed to go! What she should have told me was that she loves me and that I should have a great journey and come back as the best trainer ever, or something along those lines. That's what all the other moms did - all the normal moms. But no, my mom had to ruin everything and tag along on my journey! 'You'll starve to death, I'll come with you.' I was getting desperately frustrated by the whole situation. From the bottom of my heart, I hoped she was joking. Minutes passed and all I did was stare at her, while all she did was focus on her breakfast.

    "Now, eat your breakfast, young man, or I'll go without you," she said, and having finished her pancakes in record time, got up and went upstairs. She must be joking, I thought and started to eat so I wouldn't be late.

    Minutes after, she came down in the most peculiar outfit. She was dressed up like one of the teenagers from TV, in a short skirt and a hoodie with a pokéball logo. I could have mistaken her for a 19-year-old, but that was not the point. With this ridiculous outfit, she made it clear that she was serious about coming with me. My mom was starting her journey as a trainer with me. I would finally start as a trainer, but there would be no joy in it, because my mom would be there.

    I begun to mentally dig a grave for my dreams as various horror images of other trainers and gym leaders laughing at me because of my mother popped up in my head. I would never be a real trainer like this, never! I could just as well have just taken up a job as a clerk in Pokémart or something, because I no longer had the future I had always planned.

    As it later turned out, I had never had that future. And, the way my journey turned out, if it hadn't been for my mom, I might not have had a future at all.
    Last edited by An-chan; 12th May 2012 at 12:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well, this sounds like a rather interesting story, nice easy read and I like the interesting twist with the mom tagging along too. It was well written with wide range of vocabulary and very few grammar mistakes, the descriptions were good, although I would have liked to see Jack's personality develop a little more, he does seem like a very mature ten year old. I only spotted these mistakes:

    The delicious smell made me hungry as an ursaring.
    'ursaring' Should have a capital letter seeing as it is a name.



    Mom said, smiling, and pat my curly hair gently before sitting down herself.
    You should have 'ing' on the end of 'pat'.


    Anyway, I really enjoyed the story, nice ending, so I think I might be reading the rest when it is posted.
    Smile~

  3. #3
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    Very good introduction to the story. A very original idea.

    But I think maybe a bit more information on Jack's background e.g. How old his mother actually is, how his father died (unless the character is traumatized by this or can't remember. I would fully understand.)

    You've got me interested. As I said, an interesting concept.

    What region is this in? Your own? Or one from the games? I didn't see it in the chapter.
    Charizard

    Enought Said

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    This is a really stupid complaint, and I generally think basic grammar/usage criticism is worthless unless a story is littered with problems, but this caught my eye:

    I dressed up hastily and ran downstairs, scaling the staircase two steps at a time.
    You can't "scale" downwards. Scaling a staircase specifically means you went up it. Like I said...minor, but it caught me. There were some other small incorrect usages, but I won't bother with them unless you want me/someone to.

    Aside from that, I dig this. Honestly, I was a bit bored by the beginning, but it really picked up when the mother made her announcement. I'm assuming the slow, mundane start was your intent to lull the reader in and really catch them off-guard by the upcoming premise. Good job.

    "But... But..." This was not how things were supposed to go! What she should have told me was that she loves me and that I should have a great journey and come back as the best trainer ever, or something along those lines.
    I really like this bit, and I don't know why. It reminds me of characters I have written in the past, perhaps. But it entertained me.

    I'll only offer a small piece of advice: tread carefully working with a ten-year old main character. I get that the narrator is Jack some time later, so you can get away with the narrative voice being more mature, but Jack in the story does still have to be ten. I'm not saying he's NOT here, but ten is really young and immature. It's incredibly hard to write a credible ten year old in an adventure story. But I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


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    looking good so far, i can't give any credible feed back as im not a writer in the least, but so far i really enjoy it, can't wait for more .

  6. #6

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    Wow, you guys are seriously quick! Thanks for the responses, I'll have to fix some of my mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurea View Post
    Well, this sounds like a rather interesting story, nice easy read and I like the interesting twist with the mom tagging along too. It was well written with wide range of vocabulary and very few grammar mistakes, the descriptions were good, although I would have liked to see Jack's personality develop a little more, he does seem like a very mature ten year old.
    Like Sid87 spotted, Jack isn't actually ten anymore at the time of narrating the story, so that's basically why he comes off as very mature. I'm trying to be careful with it, and you'll (hopefully) see more of his immaturity and such in the following installments of the story, but basically his extensive vocabulary and such are because he's much older when the story is narrated. Maybe I should make it clearer?

    Also, thank you for all your kind words!

    'ursaring' Should have a capital letter seeing as it is a name.
    Well, here I have to mention that I'm following a slightly different capitalization scheme than most people do. Basically, I only capitalize Pokémon names in the narration when it's actually the name of that specific Pokémon. In other words, there's a difference between "an ursaring" and "Ursaring, use [x] attack!". If that doesn't make any sense to you, I can of course change it, but it just makes more sense to me to use it like that in a story. I mean, obviously when talking about the games and such, it makes sense to capitalize the names of Pokémon, but to someone inside the actual world of Pokémon, they're basically just different species of animals. Kind of like how you don't capitalize Bear or Mouse unless it's a name.


    Quote Originally Posted by Charizardfan900 View Post
    Very good introduction to the story. A very original idea.

    But I think maybe a bit more information on Jack's background e.g. How old his mother actually is, how his father died (unless the character is traumatized by this or can't remember. I would fully understand.)

    You've got me interested. As I said, an interesting concept.

    What region is this in? Your own? Or one from the games? I didn't see it in the chapter.
    Jack's background is a plot point that will definitely come up a lot later. Especially his father is integral to the story Just be patient!

    The region is introduced in the first chapter (that I will probably post next week), and it is indeed a region of my own. It's called Voitto, and I can put up a map at some point if people are interested in seeing it, but it's actually not all that relevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    You can't "scale" downwards. Scaling a staircase specifically means you went up it. Like I said...minor, but it caught me. There were some other small incorrect usages, but I won't bother with them unless you want me/someone to.
    Hmm, I was not aware of that. I figured it was about the same as climbing, and you can climb both up and down, so I thought it would work the same way. I shall look into it and see what to replace it with. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Aside from that, I dig this. Honestly, I was a bit bored by the beginning, but it really picked up when the mother made her announcement. I'm assuming the slow, mundane start was your intent to lull the reader in and really catch them off-guard by the upcoming premise. Good job.

    I'll only offer a small piece of advice: tread carefully working with a ten-year old main character. I get that the narrator is Jack some time later, so you can get away with the narrative voice being more mature, but Jack in the story does still have to be ten. I'm not saying he's NOT here, but ten is really young and immature. It's incredibly hard to write a credible ten year old in an adventure story. But I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    *bows* Thank you very much! Writing him really is difficult at times, but I'm glad you picked up on the fact he's narrating the story later in life. I agree that it's difficult to write a ten-year-old character and I'm trying to be very careful with it. I guess you'll see how well I fare in later chapters! I try to use my younger brothers as models, but it's been a long time since they were ten by now.

    Thank you all for your feedback! I was really astonished to see so many people respond so fast. I'll keep what you said in mind when I work on the following chapters. First chapter should go up sometime around next week, and I hope you'll like it, as well!

  7. #7
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    Like Sid87 spotted, Jack isn't actually ten anymore at the time of narrating the story, so that's basically why he comes off as very mature. I'm trying to be careful with it, and you'll (hopefully) see more of his immaturity and such in the following installments of the story, but basically his extensive vocabulary and such are because he's much older when the story is narrated. Maybe I should make it clearer?

    Also, thank you for all your kind words!
    Yes, after reading Sid87's post I saw my error. I realized it was in the past tense, but I didn't know how old Jack is now, it could have been the next day or 20 years in the future. Maybe you could start of with:

    (Insert number of years) ago....

    That would signal to the reader that Jack is much older, so extensive use of vocabulary and mature narration would seem normal..... if that makes sense?

    And as for the Urasing comment, that's fine, your story after all. I promise I won't mention that again, I'm just a really picky person. *slaps self*
    Smile~

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    That's funny how everyone has their own preferences. Aurea commented on my story about capitalizing the names of pokemon moves, and I explained that that's not my bag, but I do prefer to capitalize the names of their species. So we have Aurea, who capitalizes everything, me who capitalizes willy-nilly, and An-Chan, who [seemingly] capitalizes only actual title names. It's interesting. I wonder what the generally accepted protocol for that is around here?


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    That's funny how everyone has their own preferences. Aurea commented on my story about capitalizing the names of pokemon moves, and I explained that that's not my bag, but I do prefer to capitalize the names of their species. So we have Aurea, who capitalizes everything, me who capitalizes willy-nilly, and An-Chan, who [seemingly] capitalizes only actual title names. It's interesting. I wonder what the generally accepted protocol for that is around here?
    What is generally accepted it pretty much up to the individual, but in general as long as you are consistent with how you do it, then you shouldn't run into any problems with it. As such, you often see a variation of what in Pokemon gets capitalised in stories from fic to fic, and I've seen valid arguments for each one as well.

    (Also having beta'd latter parts this ages back yay for you posting this here finally! \o/ Looking forward to more redone parts down the track, heh.)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    This is a really stupid complaint, and I generally think basic grammar/usage criticism is worthless unless a story is littered with problems, but this caught my eye:



    You can't "scale" downwards. Scaling a staircase specifically means you went up it. Like I said...minor, but it caught me. There were some other small incorrect usages, but I won't bother with them unless you want me/someone to.

    Aside from that, I dig this. Honestly, I was a bit bored by the beginning, but it really picked up when the mother made her announcement. I'm assuming the slow, mundane start was your intent to lull the reader in and really catch them off-guard by the upcoming premise. Good job.



    I really like this bit, and I don't know why. It reminds me of characters I have written in the past, perhaps. But it entertained me.

    I'll only offer a small piece of advice: tread carefully working with a ten-year old main character. I get that the narrator is Jack some time later, so you can get away with the narrative voice being more mature, but Jack in the story does still have to be ten. I'm not saying he's NOT here, but ten is really young and immature. It's incredibly hard to write a credible ten year old in an adventure story. But I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Scaling means jumping over. It can be used as an exadgerated leap up the stairs.
    I have:
    Platinum
    Heartgold
    White
    Black
    Rumble Blast
    White 2

    I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.

  11. #11

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    So, here's chapter one, finally. Sorry it took me so long to post it (it's been ready to go all this time, really), I was suddenly attacked by school and work and other manner of time-consuming things... But I'm back now. And hopefully able to keep to a schedule. We'll see. Anyway, chapter one, s'il vous plait!


    Chapter 1 - A Shiny Sort of Surprise


    There I was, minutes away from fulfilling my greatest dream.

    I stood in the line in front of Professor Bouleau's laboratory with about twelve other kids around my age, some a bit older, several of them my friends. Everyone was happily chattering away about their first and second choices for starter pokémon and planning their first catches and even gym battles. They had all spent the past months carefully studying guide books and catalogues to make the best choices, just like I had. All of them were smiling and excited. I stood at the end of the line, my mood exaggeratedly dark and sullen.

    My mom stood in the line, too. And, boy, did she stick out like a sore thumb from the crowd of children almost two feet shorter than her. She had reserved a spot at the beginning of the line for me, too, but I preferred standing further away, at the end of the line, to adequately express my disappointment and anger at her. I don't think she ever realized how much all this trainer stuff meant to me. How else could she have even considered wrecking everything like this? If she had known, she wouldn't have tried to butt in.

    This was my thing, not hers. And, right now, she was ruining it rather thoroughly.

    I was still silently fuming at the end of the line when Professor Bouleau popped his blond head out of the laboratory's door. He was a tall man with a remarkably pale skin and copious amounts of freckles on his face. The rumor was that he had come from some foreign country, and based on his strange accent, that may very well have been true. I really admired the Professor. He had been sort of an idol to me ever since I could remember, not in small part because I knew he had known my father and even worked with him.

    "All right, everyone," Professor Bouleau said with a smile and raised his hands. His mere presence was enough to silence the crowd of chattering children and their parents. He was well respected in Parsley Town, and, because he always had a helpful thing or two to say, also well liked. "Before I start giving out this year's starter Pokémon, I have an announcement to make. As you all, no doubt, know by now, this year we have received a true priviledge here in Parsley Town. Instead of the regular starters given out everywhere else in Voitto, we are instead giving out Sinnoh starters. Exchanges like these don't happen often, so everyone should feel lucky! You're about to get a pokémon companion that is very rare around these parts of the world."

    A storm of applauds followed his announcement. Of course we'd known about the exchange. It had been the only thing anyone talked about in school for months. Excitement stirred my stomach and an involuntary smile spread of my face. I was getting my first pokémon!

    "Now, come on inside, but no pushing or skipping the line!" the Professor said sternly. He then turned towards my mother, expertly covering up his confusion, and politely asked: "Are you in the queue as well, Mrs. Killigan?"

    "Well, actually, yes. I am," answered Mom, and finally she was starting to look slightly embarrassed over her own ridiculous antics. "Also, I was just wondering... What might that announcement of yours mean, technically speaking?"

    "Ah, nothing very significant, Mrs. Killigan," Professor Bouleau laughed. "It just means that instead of the usual three Voitto starters, you now get to choose from the Sinnoh ones: turtwig, piplup and chimchar."

    "Oh my, what if I don't know any of those?" my mother asked innocently.

    At that point, I snapped. "Go home if you don't know anything!" I yelled at her from the end of the line.

    "I see Jack Killigan is here today as well," professor Bouleau said, trying to keep a straight face. He then cleared his throat and smiled at everyone. "So, has everyone made their choice of pokémon already?"

    His question was answered by a tremendous noise, one that can only be caused by a crowd of kids wanting their opinion heard by someone they respected. In addition to telling him what they did want, most of the kids also yelled about what they really, really didn't want and why. I was too angry to get very excited, so I just muttered "yes" and stared sullenly at the ground.

    "I'm not sure yet," said my mother. Of course. Leave it up to her to find a way to draw more attention to herself and her incredible ignorance. Her lack of any basic knowledge about pokémon made it hard to believe she had once been married to a real pokémon researcher, and I started doubting if I was related to her at all.

    "Piplup is a Water type, turtwig a Grass one, and chimcar is a Fire type," helped the kid next to her.

    "That's a hard choice to make," she said and sighed. Then, she made an elementary mistake. "Which one's the best?" she asked, turning to the Professor.

    For a few seconds an astonished silence floated in the air. Every single child in the queue and a couple of older and younger siblings from the audience stared at my mom, their mouths wide open from the surprise. Even my mom could sense something was out of normal, and her expression changed into a startled one. Meanwhile, I was absolutely, horrendously terrified. It wasn't a question one could ask, especially not in this company. She had just thrown gasoline to open flames. And, as I suspected, after the fleeting moment of absolute silence, all the kids started shouting at the exact same second.

    "Piplup is the best! He's a water type, so he totally rocks!"

    "Turtwig, you should take turtwig! Sure he's a bit slow, but the defense is awesome!"

    "Piplup has the best moves!"

    "Chimchar is the best there ever was! He has fighting moves, too!"

    "Oh yeah? Chimchar can't even learn Surf!"

    "He's the fastest!"

    "You're wrong! Don't you know anything about pokémon?"

    "If you're that stupid, you should just go home. No-one who has a brain would ever pick turtwig!"

    "A penguin? Seriously? What's your problem?"

    "I hate you so much! I have always hated you!"

    "Just how stupid can you be? Idiot!"

    "Calm down everyone!" Professor Bouleau bellowed over the noise. The children quieted down, aside from two boys from my class who were apparently about to engage in a fist-fight. The Professor walked to them in a brisk stride and stared them down. "Enough about this nonsense already! The next one to insult someone or pick a fight goes straight home and has to wait another year to get a pokémon. Am I making myself clear?"

    Nobody said a word, but the crowd of kids quickly formed a ruler-straight line and looked at the Professor in anticipation. Once he was sure that we had all calmed down, he lead us inside his lab and made us stand in an arch in the middle of the large room. That way we could all see the round table in the middle of the lab. It had three separated grooves, each with about eight pokéballs or so.

    "Mrs. Killigan should get to pick first as she seems to know nothing of these pokémon," Professor Bouleau said and beckoned at my mom with his hand. "Which type would you like, April Killigan?"

    "A Grass type for me, please," she said, her voice wavering with indecision. I was rather surprised that she actually had come to a decision at all. Normally, she wanted to consider all possibilities as much as possible to make an informed decision - it took her minutes to choose which butter to get at the grocery store. I supposed she had hastily based her choice on the on the colorful poster of the three pokémon, hanging on the laboratory's wall, because that was all she really had to go by. Professor Bouleau took a pokéball from the table and gave it to mom, instructing her to let the pokémon out so they could confirm their trainer-starter relationship. After a moment of useless fiddling with the spherical device - much to my further irritation - she managed to let the turtwig out from the pokéball. And, wouldn't you know! The most unexpected thing happened - again.

    Everyone stared in silence at her turtwig as he shook himself, sat on the floor, and cocked his head at his new trainer.

    Mom glanced at the poster again, and then at her new pokémon. "Umm, pardon me for asking silly questions, but shouldn't he be green?" she asked. With a concerned expression, she studied her light blue turtwig.

    "Mom, he's a shiny," I told her, trying to restrain my tears of frustration and hide my utter despair. Not only did she take my great moments away from me, she was also getting some of the most unlikely strokes of luck herself. It was so unfair I felt like crying.

    "He doesn't shine," my Mother protested, eyeing the small creature suspiciously.

    Professor Bouleau, surprised as he was, chimed in now that he had regained his ability to speak. "A 'shiny' doesn't mean a shining pokémon," he explained to her. "Shiny pokémon are found in every species, but they are very, very, very rare. I think the last shiny starter was seen fifty years ago, and that was far away in Johto. I don't think I've ever hear about an official shiny starter turtwig. You should concider yourself very lucky, April Killigan. This pokémon is very valuable."

    "Isn't that great, Jack?" She was obviously really excited, so I just chucked a smile at her instead of crying my eyes out. Frankly, crying was the thing I wanted to do most at that time. No, actually, I felt like throwing a complete tantrum, complete with screaming and kicking. All the other kids were still silent and green from envy, but what they felt couldn't be compared to how I was feeling. Children were supposed to surpass and overshadow their parents, not vice versa. Everything was going horribly wrong for me.

    "Would you like to nickname it, Mrs. Killigan..?" asked the Professor, still a bit shaken after having witnessed the highly unlikely occurrence of a shiny starter.

    "Yes, indeed I would," mom answered with a very important tone and patted her turtwig gently on the head. She looked at the pokémon, pondering for a good name. "I think Fluffy would do," she finally decided.

    "Fluffy?!" It was meant as an indignant yelp, but it came out more as a high-pitched, pathetic whine. I was so angry, jealous, disapointed and depressed that I didn't even know should I cry or laugh anymore. "You can't name a turwig 'Fluffy'! That's insane, mom! You should treat him with at least some respect! Besides, he's quite possibly the most un-fluffy thing in the whole world - just look at him, all hard shell and tough skin!"

    "Respect? I'm not the one calling him 'the most un-fluffy thing on earth'," mom replied and looked indignant. "If I say he's Fluffy, then Fluffy he is."

    I kept my eyes closed and hoped that I would wake up. That was all I could think of when I was waiting for my turn to come. I didn't mind seeing my Mom often, even if it was on my journey as a trainer. Before this, I had never had any issues with her at all. She was usually really in tune with me, we hardly ever fought, and she treated me fairly. I had always thought I'd invite her to see me and my new friends and make long phone calls to tell her about my new pokémon and my adventures. I had dreamed about inviting her to see my gym battles and Pokémon League battles. Still, I couldn't accept the idea of her being there every single day with her stupid shiny started turtwig she had now named Fluffy... Of all the names in this world, she had to choose 'Fluffy'! It was a bad enough name for a skitty, but, for crying out loud, Fluffy the Turtwig? It was too stupid to be true, and yet true it was.

    Then, like a beam of light into darkness, the Professor's voice intruded into my thoughts. "Jack Killigan, I believe you're the last one left," he said, smiling, and caused me to open my eyes. "What would be your choice..?"

    My face bent itself into an involuntary grin. In the weeks leading up to this day, I had been going back and forth between piplup and chimchar, unable to decide which one I wanted the most. However, now that my mom had a grass type, I absolutely had to have a chimchar to maintain some kind of grasp of the situation. For the purpose of getting my first choice, I had come up with this awesome strategy about a week ago. You know, when you're the last one to choose your starter, you never get the one you request first - it was almost like an unwritten rule of starting trainers. So, my plan was to ask for a piplup first, and, when told there weren't any, I'd 'settle' with my secret first choice, chimchar. The first thing I'd do with my chimchar, who I'd name either Marianne or Raymond after my father - these I had decided years ago - would be beating up my mother in a fair, by-the-rulebook battle. Maybe that'd make me feel better, too. The grin on my face widened by a degree or two.

    "I want a piplup," I said firmly, my heart beating rapidly in my chest and my blood rushing in my ears. I think I was blushing out of sheer enthusiasm and excitement. My dream was finally coming true. At this moment, it didn't matter if Mom was with me or not, because I was going to be a real pokémon trainer with real pokémon. That in itself was enough to make me the happies little boy alive. The rest of the world had disappeared, and it was just me, Professor Bouleau, and my yet-to-be-revealed chimchar. Nobody could stop me from being happy now!

    "Here you go!" Professor Bouleau said cheerily and dropped a poké ball with a small teardrop mark on it into my outstretched hands.

    I sighed contently. "Ahhh, too bad! Then, I guess I'll have to take chim... Wait, what?" I was dumbstruck. My jaw dropped and my gaze turned from the poké ball to the Professor.

    "Here's your piplup! He's the last one of his kind, too, so you were lucky, young mister," Bouleau smiled with his whole face, beaming of happiness for my heavenly luck's sake. He ruffled my hair good-heartedly. I was beginning to think grown-ups weren't quite as smart as I had always thought they were.

    "But, ah, I didn't, actually... I want a chimchar, really..." I mumbled half in panic, holding the poké ball that contained the last piplup like it was a bomb.

    "Go on, let the poor thing out," Prof. Bouleau encouraged me and pointed at the button on the poké ball. I was finally about to object, but a swift look at the round table silenced me. The section for the poké balls with the fire symbol on them was empty. I had not fooled the law of the last chooser after all. I had only fooled myself. Well, a piplup wasn't so bad, was it? I let the Water pokémon out of its ball.

    He materialized in a flash of bright light, and, as expected, he wasn't a shiny one. The only thing special about him was a tiny dark stripe on his peck. He seemed like a nice fellow, looking at me curiously with his big round eyes. I kneeled down to be closer to him, and reached out my hand. This was my own pokémon. My first very own trainable pokémon. I was now officially and undeniably a pokémon trainer. A feeling of pride and excitement swelled within me, and I could tell the piplup was just as excited. I knew I'd get along with him. We'd be the best of friends before long. I wasn't disappointed over my choice at all anymore.

    "Would you want your name to be Piyon?" I asked him on an impulse. He looked at me, cocking his head thinking about it for a while. He had such dark and deep eyes, and yet he managed to look so small and stupid. I don't want to beat around the bush and be dishonest for the sake of pride; he really didn't look like he was the brightest bulb in the bunch. But what he may have lacked in intelligence, he certainly seemed to make up for in how seriously he took things - it seemed our adventure was as important to him as it was for me. After thinking for a while, he nodded.

    "Piyon it is," I said and shook hands or paws or fins or whatever I should call them with him. Piyon, my own piplup. So much for the name Raymond, then.

    "Well, I must say you've surprised me, Jack," Professor Bouleau told me in a low voice as he gave me my blue pokedex and five pokéballs. "I really thought you'd go straight for the fire type to have advantage over your mother, but look at that! You chose a water type after all."

    My pride was dented seriously by the Professor's words. I could win against Mom's turtwig-whom-I-will-never-call-Fluffy if I really put a lot of effort into it... But considering my luck so far, I was certain I would never beat her, not with the type advantage she had over me. I didn't think I could win against her even if Piyon turned out to be the most awesome piplup on the face of this earth, which I seriously doubted.

    When I got out of the lab, my mother stood there with a beaming smile on her face and her turtwig somehow balancing on her shoulder. "I think your little pokémon and my Fluffy here are going to be friends, aren't they, Jack sweetie?" she asked me happily.

    I covered my face with my hands. I felt like crying, so I refused to reveal my face.

    "Charlie!" yelled a girl's voice from behind me.

    I looked up, but I didn't have to turn around know who she was, as there was only one person in this world who ever called me Charlie. I had tried to make her stop doing it, but really that only encouraged her, so I had given up years ago. She thought that 'Jack' was too short of a name, and, thus, I had become Charlie. Like she was the one to talk, anyway: her name was Mari, which, as anyone with the ability to count to four could tell, was exactly as long as my name.

    Her presence picked up my spirits considerably, but also made me pre-emptively annoyed. Mari was, for all intents and purposes, like a sister to me. She had lost her mother years ago in the same accident that took my father, and since her father had to travel a lot because of work, she had virtually lived with me and my mom for as long as I could remember. Having grown up together, we had our own specific games and secrets that no-one else knew anything about. She was my best friend and I was hers, but we also had the impeccable ability to drive each other up the wall. I guess it was something like what people with siblings always complain about - you know someone too well not to annoy them. No-one was quite as irritating as Mari was, but no-one also understood me as well. I was sure she'd agree with me that what my mother was doing was absurd, and maybe the two of us could convince her to stay home.

    "Hi, Mari!" I turned to greet her, and a faint smile returned to my face.

    She put her hands on her hips in an oddly annoying way. "So, you chose a piplup, huh?" she asked me and looked at Piyon, who was curiously looking about by my leg. I had yet to call him back to his ball since I thought he might want to see our home town before leaving it behind. Besides, the thought of keeping him in a cramped little ball for hours on end somehow creeped me out. It didn't feel fair, especially now that I was a trainer and could go anywhere I wanted myself - in theory, anyway.

    "Of course I chose a piplup," I said arrogantly, starting to feel my disappointment dissolve. Piyon was my piplup, my first real Pokémon, and I would not have him insulted or belittled. He nodded enthusiastiacly at my words.

    She ignored me completely. "Too bad," she said with a disappointed look on her face as she looked down at the single poké ball attached to her belt. "I kind of hoped I would have the elemental advantage over you. I guess I'll have to settle with battling Aunt April, then." She shrugged with an exaggerated expression of disappointment on her face.

    "Y-you got a chimchar?" I stuttered. I couldn't believe my ears. It was getting more and more apparent that the universe really hated me.

    Mari threw me one of the most arrogant smirks I'd ever seen. It was a pity; she could have looked almost intelligent if her face hadn't been contorted in some silly expression or other all the time. For someone from the region of Voitto, she looked at bit unusual, but that was because both of her parents came from a faraway place. Her eyes were sort of slanted and of a peculiar gray color, so she looked really scary when she glared at someone. Her unusually straight hair was black with an undertone of very, very dark red.

    Unusual as though she may have looked, I still thought the most unusual part about her was her personality. She somehow had a habit of making a huge show out of everything. Right now, she was somehow managing to take almost a minute to throw a single poké ball. She took the ball off her belt with overly dramatical gestures, not forgetting to take a 'cool' pose before throwing it. "A-ha!" she shouted victoriously when her very ordinary-looking, regular-sized chimchar appeared in front of me. "Meet my chimchar, Charlie! Her name iiiiiis... Flashfire Fist!"

    I couldn't help myself. I burst out laughing. "Are you serious?" I snorted. Piyon seemed to find it hilarious as well, and he cackled amusingly to accompany me.

    "Of course I am serious," she told me, looking completely... well, serious, and slightly offended. She crossed her arms across her chest and tapped at the ground with her foot. "You don't just joke about things like these. I thought about naming her 'The Duchess Flashfire Fist the First', but Lillian told me it was too long. Maybe it would have been too long, yeah, but maybe I happen to like long names."

    "I think Flashfire Fist is also a bit too long for a name," Lillian said with a faint voice, appearing behind her.

    Lillian! Now, there was a sensible person. Lillian was like an angel: she was kind, quiet and thoughtful. Maybe she was a bit shy, but in a town full of noisy lunatics, it made her only seem more thoughtful. She was very serious and sincere, not at all like me and Mari. Moreover, the pokémon following her was no ordinary starter, but an absol. The sight of the elegant creature made me gasp. I had never seen a real absol before, just pictures and videos of them. I had heard they were pretty rare and I had always admired their cool looks, what with the horn and the red eyes and all. They were made even more amazing by their bravery and how they fought natural disasters even in the wild. Absol were definitely interesting creatures, and I was very excited to see one with my own eyes.

    "Lillian, how come you have an absol?" I asked excitedly, unable to take my eyes off the majestic creature. It was quite something compared to my silly-looking little pokémon.

    "Oh," she said casually and turned to look at the absol. "This is Emma. I've had her since I was really small, so I had her registered as my starter pokémon."

    "Isn't that a bit unfair?" I mumbled to myself and looked at Emma in great admiration. She looked back at me with her deep, ruby-coloured eyes. They were full of wisdom and concerns I probably couldn't have grasped even if she explained them to me, but also... I could have sworn it looked like she was amused by something.

    I got the urge to change the subject, so I turned back to Mari. "You should call your chimchar Fanny," I told her, trying to sound like I took the name 'Flashfire Fist' seriously - partially because I didn't want Lillian to think I was immature, and partially because I didn't want Mari getting angry at me. Mari could be a real pain when she got angry. But, then again, I suppose so could I.

    Mari looked dismayed. "That sounds so lame, but I guess I'll have to," she sighed and shrugged, looking forlornly at the chimchar. The pokémon itself looked notably relieved. "After all, I can't really call her 'Flashfire Fist' in a battle, now, can I? It'd take me forever to finish my command! The battle would be long finished before I had time to get in any real action. You all just remember it still is her real name, okay?" She glared at me first and then turned to look at Piyon with a condemning look on her face. "Well then, what lame name did you give this poor fellow? John, maybe?" She chuckled at her own joke.

    "His name is Piyon, thank you very much," I said defiantly, suddenly quite glad I had forsaken the name 'Raymond'. Piyon nodded angrily. He seemed a bit ticked off at Mari. Apparently, he was quite hotheaded. I instantly found myself much more attached to the little creature.

    Before Mari could react, she was interrupted by my mother, likely trying to ward off any bickering. "Mari and Lillian, are you traveling together? Which way are you heading from here?" For a moment, I had completely forgotten that she was still there with her silly turtwig. For a moment, I had actually felt like a normal beginning trainer. I had already got my hopes up about travelling together with Mari and Lillian, but of course, if my mom was with me, they wouldn't want to come. Who in their right mind would?

    "Aunt April," Mari shouted excitedly, turning to Mom. "How cool that got a shiny starter pokémon! All the kids are already talking about it. They say it only happens once every fifty years! I bet everyone in this town is jealous for you - aren't we, Charlie?" She punched me playfully in the arm, and while I normally would have punched her back in the same manner, I was now too busy brooding to really notice she'd even done it.

    "It's a lousy turtwig anyway, so I don't really care," I muttered under my breath, but nobody really listened to me - nobody besides Piyon, who looked straight at me and nodded with a proud look on his overly cute little face. Maybe he really had been the best choice out there.

    "We haven't thought about a direction yet," Mari told mom and seemed a bit embarrassed about it. "They recommend every starting trainer from Parsley Town to have their first gym battle in New Viridian City, so I guess we should be heading there..." Her chimchar was picking at the ground a little way away.

    "I reckon we have to go there, too, then. So, would you girls like to travel with me and Jack?" mom asked the two girls cheerily. I swear that for a few seconds my heart actually stopped. It had long since become apparent that I wouldn't be able to shake her on this journey, but it was incredible that she thought other children would like to join in, as well. However, just the thought of them coming with us calmed me down. Mari was sometimes very annoying to be with, but she was still my best friend. And Lillian... If I travelled together with Lillian, I could learn things from her, and maybe we could become very good friends. The thought made me feel invigorated. I could travel with an absol!

    There was a contemplative silence, during which Mari looked at me pensively. Then, she turned to her. "Of course I'm coming with you, Aunt April" she answered and gave mom her most charming smile. On Mari's annoying face, though, no smile was all that charming.

    "I have no problem with that," said Lillian, fiddling with a strand of her curly, light brown hair.

    Mom clapped her hands together. "Excellent! Now, I have to go get Blanca and some cooking supplies before we can really set off," she said and smiled at the girls and me. ”Shouldn't take too long, so you just wait here for me if you have everything!” She then turned away and started walking towards our house with Fluffy still balancing on her shoulder. How the turtwig managed to stay up there while she was walking was a great mystery to me, but then again, not a lot of the events today had made sense.

    "Oh dear, I forgot about Blanca," I heard Mari sigh to herself. She was not in very good terms with Blanca. Blanca was very old, even for a ninetales, and therefore she loathed all sorts of annoying noises. Mari, of course, was normally the source of an astonishing variety of annoying noises. They were a very bad combination. Blanca would sometimes burn Mari's short hair to get the girl to shut up. Luckily for the rest of us, though, Blanca usually busied herself outdoors so that Mari could make all the noise she wanted in the house without conflict.

    Remembering about all times Mari's bangs had been fried off improved my spirits. I smirked at her. "Don't worry about it, Mari," I told her and shoved her gently with my elbow, "We're real trainers now, going on a real journey with real pokémon!" I tried to sound encouraging for my own sake, as well, since I wasn't feeling very high.

    "Yeah, you're right," she said and put on a devilish grin. "But what was that bit about real trainers? I haven't heard about any real trainer who would travel with their mom! I might be a real trainer, and Lillian is, too, but you're just a mama's boy!"

    Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to go home.

    **

    "I know he hates this," April Killigan told the old ninetales while patting her head, sounding quite desperate. She was sitting in her familiar kitchen, slumped in a desolate heap and getting ready to leave her home behind. "I know I shouldn't go with him, but I can't let him leave alone. I just can't!" She sighed.

    "Lucky that you managed to get that brat with you," grunted Blanca the ninetales through the telepathic communicator on her collar, obviously referring to Mari. "It might make things easier for him, and it definitely makes it safer for her. You never know what ends up being necessary."

    "I know," April breathed and leaned her head onto the table. "I would have felt responsible for her, anyway. I think I can be a little more at ease now. Especially if you come with us, Blanca, old friend." Her fingers scratched at the base of the ninetales's ear absent-mindedly.

    "I'll come," Blanca groaned and stood up, all nine tails swaying as she moved. "Although it's troublesome and uncomfortable and probably all kinds of unpleasant, I'll come. Jack is Raymond's son, after all, and I've grown fond of that little boy. I'd rather stick by him than rot alone in this house." She stretched nonchalantly and glanced at the woman leaning on the table.

    "I wonder if they'll raid the house again," April muttered. "In case they missed something last time."

    Blanca didn't respond, and April didn't say anything for a while. Then, sighing again, she slowly pushed herself up from the table and went to rummage through the kitchen's cupboards to pack up the kettles, pans and knives she thought she might need. Blanca watched the concerned mother work, shaking her head at the amount of cooking utensils the woman was taking out.

    The ninetales drifted back in time with her memories, back to the days when Raymond had still been alive. She really missed Raymond, even after all those years, and she really didn't want another reason to feel sadness and regret. She wasn't the kind of pokémon who liked having those emotions. So, she would simply have to make sure nothing bad would happen to Jack - or that brat Mari, though she would never admit to being fond of the girl.

    Blanca watched April's back as the lonely mother stuffed dry goods into her backpack. If the ninetales felt the remorse and sadness so strongly... How must April have been feeling?


    --End of chapter 1--

  12. #12
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    Hey! I almost forgot about this. Glad to see it is back. That's a lot of chapter there, so I won't be able to respectably get into it right now, but I will absolutely do so later tonight/this weekend (I have a LOT to read here these days, on top of working on my story)!


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    "All right, everyone," Professor Bouleau said with a smile and raised his hands. His mere presence was enough to silence the crowd of chattering children and their parents. He was well respected in Parsley Town, and, because he always had a helpful thing or two to say, also well liked. "Before I start giving out this year's starter Pokémon, I have an announcement to make. As you all, no doubt, know by now, this year we have received a true priviledge here in Parsley Town. Instead of the regular starters given out everywhere else in Voitto, we are instead giving out Sinnoh starters. Exchanges like these don't happen often, so everyone should feel lucky! You're about to get a pokémon companion that is very rare around these parts of the world."
    Whew. I'm not a big fan of writer-created pokemon, so I'm happy we have basic ones here. And Sinnoh, too, which I think is not only underrated but also the best trio of starters. You've won me over yet again.

    For a few seconds an astonished silence floated in the air. Every single child in the queue and a couple of older and younger siblings from the audience stared at my mom, their mouths wide open from the surprise. Even my mom could sense something was out of normal, and her expression changed into a startled one. Meanwhile, I was absolutely, horrendously terrified. It wasn't a question one could ask, especially not in this company. She had just thrown gasoline to open flames. And, as I suspected, after the fleeting moment of absolute silence, all the kids started shouting at the exact same second.

    "Piplup is the best! He's a water type, so he totally rocks!"

    "Turtwig, you should take turtwig! Sure he's a bit slow, but the defense is awesome!"

    "Piplup has the best moves!"

    "Chimchar is the best there ever was! He has fighting moves, too!"

    "Oh yeah? Chimchar can't even learn Surf!"

    "He's the fastest!"

    "You're wrong! Don't you know anything about pokémon?"

    "If you're that stupid, you should just go home. No-one who has a brain would ever pick turtwig!"

    "A penguin? Seriously? What's your problem?"

    "I hate you so much! I have always hated you!"

    "Just how stupid can you be? Idiot!"

    "Calm down everyone!" Professor Bouleau bellowed over the noise. The children quieted down, aside from two boys from my class who were apparently about to engage in a fist-fight. The Professor walked to them in a brisk stride and stared them down. "Enough about this nonsense already! The next one to insult someone or pick a fight goes straight home and has to wait another year to get a pokémon. Am I making myself clear?"
    I had previously mentioned the difficulty of writing a credible 10-year old, but you did so right there. I can totally see a bunch of young kids get into a public squabble like that. Especially on a day where they are already anxious and excited; this is very well-handled right there.

    Mom glanced at the poster again, and then at her new pokémon. "Umm, pardon me for asking silly questions, but shouldn't he be green?" she asked. With a concerned expression, she studied her light blue turtwig.
    I love that line, and--though I haven't watched the cartoon in about a decade--I totally read it in Ash Ketchum's mom's voice. Just sweet and oblivious and charming.

    All the other kids were still silent and green from envy, but what they felt couldn't be compared to how I was feeling. Children were supposed to surpass and overshadow their parents, not vice versa.
    Even by just this point, there've been a great number of impressive lines detailing, well, just how much of a jerk Jack is. He's an entirely credible, self-centered ten year old who is too young to be mature enough to handle his feelings but too old to be innocent and happy with new things.

    "Here's your piplup! He's the last one of his kind, too, so you were lucky, young mister," Bouleau smiled with his whole face, beaming of happiness for my heavenly luck's sake. He ruffled my hair good-heartedly. I was beginning to think grown-ups weren't quite as smart as I had always thought they were.
    The whole section with Jack's supergenius plan to end up with a Chimchar was great, and it culminated with this really fun line. I laughed. My only minor complaint about this? Jack's narration seems to be fading a bit in-and-out of adulthood and his ten-year old self. Not a lot, but maybe just a bit. But it was still worth it for this line here.

    He materialized in a flash of bright light, and, as expected, he wasn't a shiny one. The only thing special about him was a tiny dark stripe on his peck. He seemed like a nice fellow, looking at me curiously with his big round eyes. I kneeled down to be closer to him, and reached out my hand. This was my own pokémon. My first very own trainable pokémon. I was now officially and undeniably a pokémon trainer. A feeling of pride and excitement swelled within me, and I could tell the piplup was just as excited. I knew I'd get along with him. We'd be the best of friends before long. I wasn't disappointed over my choice at all anymore.

    "Would you want your name to be Piyon?" I asked him on an impulse. He looked at me, cocking his head thinking about it for a while. He had such dark and deep eyes, and yet he managed to look so small and stupid. I don't want to beat around the bush and be dishonest for the sake of pride; he really didn't look like he was the brightest bulb in the bunch. But what he may have lacked in intelligence, he certainly seemed to make up for in how seriously he took things - it seemed our adventure was as important to him as it was for me. After thinking for a while, he nodded.

    "Piyon it is," I said and shook hands or paws or fins or whatever I should call them with him. Piyon, my own piplup. So much for the name Raymond, then.
    Excellent description of the Piplup, and even better narration from Jack with his mix of sudden respect for his Piplup, but also immature judging of its intelligence (leave it to a child to so easily find the faults of others while ignoring all of his own).

    "It's a lousy turtwig anyway, so I don't really care," I muttered under my breath, but nobody really listened to me - nobody besides Piyon, who looked straight at me and nodded with a proud look on his overly cute little face. Maybe he really had been the best choice out there.
    Piyon is the best character in this whole story so far. He's adorable.

    There was a contemplative silence, during which Mari looked at me pensively. Then, she turned to her. "Of course I'm coming with you, Aunt April" she answered and gave mom her most charming smile. On Mari's annoying face, though, no smile was all that charming.

    "I have no problem with that," said Lillian, fiddling with a strand of her curly, light brown hair.
    Wow, they've formed a gang. I actually like this, too, because in the actual pokemon game, I always wondered why it didn't seem like more people did this. There's only about a hundred benefits to being in a larger group, and I'm happy to see someone acknowledge that.


    -Hm, as for the ending...it's never been my flavor to enjoy cognitive pokemon, so that was my least favorite part of it. And the telepathic collar thing...that's a bit weird. They're not all going to be getting that, are they? Not that I'd hate it; the rest of the chapter was so fantastic, I'm sure you'd make it work. I just prefer they didn't. That said, it was nice to show desperation and self-awareness from mom rather than the silly, harmless character she had been so far. I certainly appreciated that. And hey...both of our stories feature a Ninetales! Twinsies.


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