January 1st, 2011, 8:11 PM
Here is what I managed to muster for the story. It's unfinished, but I wanted to submit something before the deadline (if it hasn't passed!), as I worked on it for quite a few hours before todat... Unforeseen issues came up, so it's currently a bit incomplete. :cer_cry: I fully intend to finish it ASAP, though!
And I apologize for the formatting; the indentation got screwed up...ugh, it was much better in Word.. >_>
AN UNOVA CHRISTMAS CAROL
My story begins in the 20th century…
It was an era where only Apricorn Balls existed. The modern Poké Ball designs you and I know would not be developed for quite some time. Despite this, other aspects such as building construction and item proliferation had flourished.
A brisk chill permeated the air, with snow softly settling on the ground after having descended from the skies. Shoppers bustled throughout Hiun City, with a few Pokémon’s bags groaning and sagging under the weight of heavy items, as if they were about to tear and burst open in seconds. The sound of the register at checkout ringed throughout the stores; a testament to the increase of commercialism for this Christmas season. Outside the stores, other Pokémon partook in other holiday fare, such as making snow angels or improvised Pokémon battles with snowballs being the sole resource for ammunition. Yes, it seemed as if Christmas joy had blanketed Unova this year, with not a melancholic soul in sight. Or at least that’s how it would appear, except for one little reserved Grass Snake Pokémon tucked away in the recesses of Hiun: Ebenezette Scrooge.
Wild Snivy appeared!
Yes, regarding overall Christmas joy in Unova, it would seem preposterous to suggest that something existed otherwise. But the miser Ebenezette Scrooge, who infamously began to bear the moniker of Smugleaf due to her oft-revealed smug expression, was devoid of any Christmas cheer this year. In actuality, this year was part of a trend. In Christmas seasons past, passersby would note that Smugleaf’s establishments lacked any festive holiday décor, or even an iota of Christmas spirit, for nearly a decade – maybe even more. Rumors were spread that Smugleaf was a “no-good stingy ‘ol snake”; harboring all of her wealth and affluence, even when the less fortunate Pokémon begged at her doorstop.
This particular afternoon on Christmas Eve, however, Smugleaf was busy counting her stock of Amulet Coins, as her assistant Bob Pratchett (who hailed from the Blastoise species of Pokémon) was finishing up his task of tallying promissory notes from those who had borrowed from Smugleaf.
Wild Blastoise appeared!
Blastoise used Helping Hand!
As if to tie in with her seemingly stingy nature, Smugleaf ran a somewhat prominent bank in Hiun City, for those Pokémon who needed storage and did not wish to risk all their affluence while journeying on expeditions or engaging in rescue missions. Loans were also given out on occasion, but as Smugleaf was one to charge substantial interest rates, many Pokémon were loathe to utilizing the loan service unless absolutely necessary.
“150…151…152…153…” Smugleaf muttered quietly as Pratchett scribbled furiously. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Smugleaf shook her head and pounded the desk she was situated at, with Amulets being slightly thrown up in the air and scattered around.
“Ah, confound it! What kind of blasted infidel is tarrying at my door at this hour?!” Fuming that she had lost her count of Amulet Coins, she stomped over to the door, attempting to peer through a nearby window at first.
Snivy used Stomp!
Maybe they’re carolers! Pratchett wondered with interest, eagerly and inquisitively eyeing the door from his station.
“…We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year! Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin, good tidings for Christmas and a happy New Year! Now bring us some figgy pudding…” At the door was a quartet of what would appear to be Pokémon children. Cutely performing in perfect unison were a Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot.
Wild Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot appeared!
Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot used Sing Around!
As an accompaniment, the Kricketot and Chingling played a small violin and bell chimes, respectively, with Tepig and Whismur providing the vocals. They had been enthusiastically singing and making music until they stopped short, realizing what rotten luck they had and seeing whose bank they had been most unfortunate to visit. Frightened, Whismur covered its eyes with its floppy ears. Chingling and Kricketot became frightened as well, timidly looking at Smugleaf.
Not to be daunted by the miser, the Tepig bravely offered up a positive saying: “Um…uh…uh, Merry Christmas, sir! I mean ma’am!” Smugleaf simply stared at the four caroling Pokémon with contempt, snarling.
Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot were too nervous to make an appeal.
Snivy used Growl!
Snivy used Glare!
Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot became paralyzed!
They may be unable to move!
“Hmph. You spew ‘Merry Christmas’ at my door, trying to bring cheer like happy-go-lucky Hihidarumas?! HA! What’s merry about it? Carefree Pokémon lavishing their Coins on absurd trinkets, Cutting down trees with wild abandon, and frolicking in the snow like idiots who’ve never been of Snowpoint City in Sinnoh! And worst of all, Pokémon who roam around caroling the whole season long like tone-deaf Screeching Golbats! Away, all of you, or you’ll have worse matters to confront!” Smugleaf bellowed.
Snivy used Dragon Tail!
Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot fled!
Without hesitation, Smugleaf struck the Tepig who had happened to place himself in the forefront. The Tepig got knocked down some steps, recoiling on its side as it landed in the street. Whismur wailed as if it used the move Uproar, and the little Christmas quartet turned tail and ran as fast as their little feet could carry them down the street.
“Bah. HUMBUG BUZZ!” Smugleaf uttered, slamming the door shut. Not a moment sooner after Smugleaf reached her desk, the doorbell rang again. “Condemn it!” Smugleaf cried out. Grimacing once again, Smugleaf made her way to the door again and opened it.
“Would you be my Valentine?” a boy Jigglypuff asked, grinning, holding up what seemed to be a card.
“Wrong holiday, nitwit,” Smugleaf responded tersely, hoisting the Jigglypuff above her head and punting it toward the street, yelling “THIS. IS. UNOVA!”
Wild Jigglypuff appeared!
Snivy used Mega Kick!
It’s super effective!
She underestimated her strength though, and the Jigglypuff skyrocketed into the horizon. “JIGLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” it wailed as it sailed away, disappearing in a twinkle of light.
“Hmm…a Star KO…interesting. Even the Smash Brothers Jiggly puts up much more of a challenge. I’d wager that I knocked him into next year,” Smugleaf noted as she shut the door once again. She glanced at Pratchett, who timidly looked up so as not to question her actions and quickly faced his work again. Briskly walking, Smugleaf sat down and picked up an Amulet Coin.
“I swear, if that isn’t a customer, they will have heck to pay!” Smugleaf stated with frustration as she threw an Amulet Coin on the floor in frustration and marched over to the door.
“It’s-a-me, Maggyo!” a Maggyo exclaimed, flopping up and down. It seemed to be using a makeshift Red Scarf as a red hat.
Smugleaf eyed the fish as if she were to intone “Now, really?”
“Oh gosh, NO. Derpfish strikes again,” Smugleaf muttered. She stepped forward.
Wild Maggyo appeared!
Wild Maggyo used Splash!
Snivy used DoubleSlap!
It’s super effective!
Wild Maggyo used Fake Tears!
The Maggyo’s eyes started watering. “I…I…I…I’m not crying! I’m just…allergic to poopyheads!” it said in tears. “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” the Maggyo cried out, flopping its way down the snow-adorned street.
“Ugh…pitiful. Could you be anymore of a FAIL Pokémon?” Smugleaf said, shaking her head in disgust. Almost a moment later, she noticed a Slowpoke making his way to the door, dragging a brown shoulder bag on the snowy ground.
“Happy…Birth…day,” the Slowpoke said in monotone, holding out an envelope.
Snivy grabbed the document and ripped the envelope open in a fury. It said, “To: Ebenzette Scrooge. Happy Birthday! From: Your Brother Croconaw, Living the Life In Johto.”
The letter was dated approximately two years ago.
“INCOMPETENT FOOL!” Smugleaf yelled, enraged as she slammed the door shut and threw her mail in the trash bin nearby.
“BIDOOF! Bidoof, the lot of them!” Smugleaf scowled, finally managing to return to her desk. Pratchett stole a glance at her, bewildered by the recent events that had occurred at Smugleaf’s doorstep. Another two hours elapsed before Smugleaf managed to complete her task, uninterrupted, of accounting for all of her Amulet Coins in reserve.
After having tidying up his workplace and arranging all of the promissory notes and other papers of financial importance, Bob Pratchett stood up and slowly inched his way toward Smugleaf’s desk.
“Um…Lady Scrooge…if it would be at your behest…” Pratchett began to ask.
“Eh? What is it you need authorized? Speak clearly now, man,” Smugleaf said as she closed a drawer.
“Well…if it wouldn’t be too much trouble or a burden…would there happen to be any additional funds left for an augmented salary?” Pratchett asked.
“A raise you be wanting, Pratchett? Is that it? A winter bonus of sorts?” Smugleaf responded, trying to clarify.
“Er…yes, ma’am,” Pratchett said at last. “It’s Christmastime, so I was thinking…”
“Well, I reckon you may be thinking too much there, Pratchett,” Smugleaf replied. “Don’t have your head in the clouds; focus on your work at hand. Be fortunate to have a salary, nary a Pokémon even has the ability to receive such pay while working under me. If it’s money you seek, there are Nuggets spread far across Unova. Even those high-end Pokémon battles and missions yield a profit that’s well worth the risk. Why don’t you buy a Dowsing Machine with your salary and set out? Shouldn’t be too much trouble, I think. If we dole out Coins as bonuses like no tomorrow, what reputable business could we uphold?” Smugleaf lectured while filing the last of some papers.
“Although since you’ve worked hard this season, I shall grant you leave until New Year’s Day. Make sure you return ready to work at dawn, though. We will have many monetary matters that we must attend to. Understand?”
“Yes, milady,” Pratchett replied, making sure that he shielded his dismay, preventing it from influencing his tone of voice. Pratchett made his way to the door, grabbing his hat from a nearby rack. “Well, in any case, Merry Christmas, Lady Scrooge!” Pratchett said enthusiastically, tipping his hat to his boss.
“Hmph. Humbug Buzz,” was Smugleaf’s answer.
Feeling a bit saddened by Smugleaf’s apparent rejection of the Christmas spirit, Pratchett bowed his head and walked out, slowly shutting the door behind him as he donned his coat and began making his way for home.
Strange…we have enough funds to give out large bonuses without doing any harm to our stock… I know full well – I handle the calculations, anyway… Is Smugleaf worried about causing irreparable damage to the bank? I can’t make heads or tails of her decision…
Pratchett sighed. I know I should be grateful for my $700 daily salary, but we’re barely getting by as it is. Tiny Tidal’s ailment is taking a toll on the family’s income… After paying for food and bills, that’s what the main expense is… I was hoping to buy Christmas presents for everyone in the family this year. Especially Tiny Tidal; the Alakazam doctor at the Pokémon center told me and Sarah during our last visit that Tiny Tidal may only have weeks to live, or mere months if he’s lucky. Hmm…our predicament has incurred a great hardship… Well, if it’s only one present I can manage this year, I think we’d all agree Tiny Tidal is deserving of one. I’d partake in Pokémon battling, which yields immense profits, but I’m not as spry as I used to be back when I was a Squirtle… Pondering over his family’s financial difficulties, Bob Pratchett headed to the Department Store and bought a gift for his sick son. After exiting the store, Bob Pratchett withdrew into his shell, and jetted water with powerful force out of his shell’s orifices. Skidding across the snow-laden streets, Bob Pratchett headed for home, which would alleviate his pains from the exhausting day.
Blastoise used Withdraw!
Blastoise used Hydro Pump!
Securing the last of her documents, Amulet Coins, PokeDollars, and standard Coins, Smugleaf prepared to head for home as well. Making sure everything was in order on her desk, she proceeded to lock the bank safe and retrieve her belongings near the door. She yanked her Silk Scarf, top hat, garments, and cane and began to set out. Locking the front door of the bank, the reserved Grass Snake Pokémon started to traverse the distance to her residence. Smugleaf shuffled past the various buildings that were riddled with Christmas lights of various assortments, ridiculing their designs. She noted the tavern nearby, hesitated, and decided to rush in for a quick beverage.
“Well, well…if it isn’t ol’ Smugleaf. Haven’t seen you stopping by here in a while,” a Nidoking behind a counter remarked while wiping off a spill on a table. “The Silversun Pickups has missed your company for a while. What’ll it be, some Lemonade? Soda Pop? I even have some Berry Juice ready in time for Christmas.”
“Just Soda Pop, Neil. I have no time to be wasting on mere Berry Juice concoctions, especially for something as ridiculous as Christmas,” Smugleaf answered.
“Christmas? Ridiculous? Hey, hey, I think someone needs a little Christmas cheer here,” Nidoking suggested. “Why don’t you give the royal Wii set up in the back a whirl? It’s got some music and sports games ready to go. Had the skin custom-made, as well,” Neil the Nidoking said, gesturing to the rear of the Silversun Pickups tavern.
“Hmph. I won’t subscribe to such petty activities such as arcade games. Nonsense. My precious time could be better spent elsewhere. Trolling people on the Internet, perhaps,” Smugleaf stated.
While retrieving a can of Soda Pop, Neil eyed Smugleaf as if she were troubled. “Well, okay…” began Neil, “but I still maintain that a little Christmas cheer would do ya some good. Wouldn’t hurt, at the very least.”
“Humbug Buzz,” Smugleaf snorted, briefly tossing her Silk Scarf over her shoulder. “Christmas is a waste of time, in my opinion.” She slid some Coins towards Neil, picked up her purchased beverage, and left the area, continuing on her path towards home.
Smugleaf hurried along the road, squirming past hordes of Pokémon who were enjoying the wintry beauty outside. Just when she neared home, she heard something flopping behind her.
“So long, a-miser!” a Maggyo exclaimed. It was the same Maggyo that Smugleaf had driven away from the bank before.
“You again!” Smugleaf growled. “Don’t make me Dragon Tail you!”
“Hey, mister, you need to quit being a meanie! It’s Christmas Eve!” Maggyo squealed.
Snivy used Dragon Tail!
Smugleaf prompty disposed of the intruding fishlike Pokémon from her presence, proceeding on her way, slightly irked at being called “mister”. She dashed towards her doorstep, unexpectedly. Abruptly, she tripped over an unknown object, with her Soda Pop rolling towards the door. Her purse flew out of her hands.
“Darn you, SAKURAAAIIII!!!!” Smugleaf screamed as she tried to recover from the fall. Argh…what in blue blazes?! Of all the…” Smugleaf started. Composing herself and brushing snow off her garments, she glanced back, but did not see any items or obstacles in her path from before. Trying to get a better view, Smugleaf adjusted her strung eyeglass. Upon closer detailed inspection, she saw slight shimmering of the air.
Frowning, Smugleaf walked over and kicked the approximate “area” where she had suffered a pratfall. Unexpectedly, the shimmering air became distorted, revealing a black-and-red furry mass.
“Condemn it! A Zoroark!” Smugleaf said, identifying the foul creature.
Wild Zoroark appeared!
“WAHAHAAHA!!!!” Zoroark cackled, pounding its fist on the ground in a fit of laughter. “I can’t believe you fell for my Illusion ability! Oh man, that was too funny!” it crooned, unable to contain its bursts of laughter. “You mad?”
“Hmph. A trampish fox trickster…stealing my catchphrase, no less,” Smugleaf said to herself, gathering her items from the ground. I don’t have time to expend on such a simpleton. Declining to retaliate for the prank, Smugleaf unlocked her front door, slamming the door suddenly to erase the Zoroark from her view. She set down her purse and opened her Soda Pop, drinking it in large gulps. After taking some Poffin from her refrigerator and kindling flames in the fireplace, Smugleaf settled down in a comfy chair. She adjusted her strung eyeglass and began reading a piece of literature she had retrieved from a nearby bookshelf. As the hours advanced gradually, sleep took its toll, with Smugleaf closing her eyes and drifting off into the realm of dreams.
Smugleaf’s attention shifted toward the intrusive sound. Thinking it was just in her mind, Smugleaf reclined in her chair again.
Perturbed, Smugleaf looked around but saw nothing.
Convinced that the sound was not just a mental blip or the wind’s doing, Smugleaf dropped her book on the floor and got up, balancing herself with her cane. She clutched the Everstone pendant hanging from her neck.
“For Pelipper’s sake, what is that awful sound?!” Smugleaf wondered.
The eerie sound intensified.
Using fire from the fireplace, Smugleaf created a makeshift candle and began roaming around her house, monitoring for any disturbances. She entered an almost-barren room that was littered with a few paintings near the side. A dark, damp atmosphere saturated the room, with silence seeming to encompass all of reality.
Smugleaf was sure she was adjacent to the source of the sound now.
With a chilling breeze, the door behind Smugleaf slammed shut.
Startled, Smugleaf turned to face the door, mystified by the event.
“Ugh, I hate that show,” Smugleaf muttered as she whirled around, encountering three strange Pokémon. Or so she thought. Smugleaf did not know exactly what or who the figures were. Each of them seemed to be goblin-like, hovering on clouds. Each had a different color palette and the same general design, save for a few minor differences. They were bound by a peculiar Red Chain, which ran straight through the wall that was opposite the door.
“Aaah! Begone, you horrid, horrid atrocities!”Smugleaf yelped.
“Eh, we seem to be getting that a lot lately,” Landlos said in a puzzled, disappointed manner, looking at his fellow companions of similar stature.
“Dear Scrooge…you don’t remember your own colleagues?”
“And you are…” Smugleaf began.
She peered at the odd creatures more closely. “Wait a minute…you’re…!”
Wild Tornelos appeared!
Wild Landlos appeared!
Wild Voltolos appeared!
“Marley!” the Tornelos exclaimed.
“Marley!” said the Landlos.
“And… Barney!” the Voltolos said.
“I…I recall working with you in years gone by, Marley and Marley…” Smugleaf stated, with a hint of uncertainty on her face.
“Indeed, Grass Snake,” the Tornelos said. “However, we have been bound by the Red Chain, tottering on the brink of the reverse world and this world. Despair and life, paralleling yet intertwined. Such is the state of things, and you would be wise not to succumb to the same fate, given your current affairs.”
“But who’s that guy?” Smugleaf asked.
“Eh, I’m just tagging along,” the Voltolos explained. “I kicked the can around the same time as these guys, and I found ‘em roaming in the Distortion World. I mean, I look as hideous as them, so I was like, ‘Hey! We’re perfect buddies for each other!’’
“Hey! Dear sir, we are not hideous, but rather beautifully challenged, if you will,” the Landlos interjected. “Please refrain from using such terms without care, Barney. Pokémon have feelings, too, you know.”
“So…are you men Ghost-types now?” Smugleaf inquired.
“Of course not! We’re still the same old lovable Flying, Ground/Flying, and Electric/Flying genies as we were when we were infused with life!” Tornelos said sharply.
“Uh, I thought we was raijin,” Voltolos commented.
“That’s absurd. We’re not all Electric-type you know. Obviously, we are kami,” Landlos responded.
Sheesh…these guys don’t even know what they’re supposed to be, Smugleaf thought, annoyed.
“Tonight, when the clock strokes, you will be visited by a trio of greater apparitions, the monochrome dragons of lore. Each one shall unveil itself at a different time. Maybe then you’ll learn a lesson before Christmas dawns upon us,” Tornelos stated.
“Ha! When Mamoswine fly! You honestly can’t expect me to believe such rubbish will occur! ” Smugleaf retorted. “Legendary ghost dragons on Christmas Eve? Nonsense. I’m going back.” Smugleaf started for the door.
“Remember, Scrooge! Beware…! We’re Marley and Marley…” the Landlos and Tornelos said simultaneously, groaning in a singsong voice.
“And Barney!” the Voltolos interjected happily.
“We’re Marley and Marley…Oooooooooooooh!” the Landlos and Tornelos sang in unison.
“And Barney!” the Voltolos interjected once again, with unparalleled enthusiasm.
Suddenly, the three kami-like Pokémon faded into the wall; their chains rattling all the while.
Tornelos, Landlos, and Voltolos used Sing Around!
Tornelos, Landlos, and Voltolos used Scary Face!
“Unbelievable. Ghost-type Pokémon are one thing; legendaries are another,” Smugleaf scoffed, returning to her chair. She changed into a nightgown, and returned to her chair near the fireplace. Smugleaf was pleased to find the fire still roaring in the fireplace. Comforted by the warmth of the flames, Smugleaf once again seemed to enter the abyss of slumber.
Smugleaf was aroused in the middle of the night, awoken by her clock’s grand sound. It rang a few more times, then surrendered to the quiet of the night. Smugleaf glanced around.
That…was a dream…wasn’t it? Smugleaf thought, unsure whether the kami Pokémon event had actually occurred in real life, or if it was just a very vivid dream.
Without warning, the fire became extinguished immediately by a strange chilling gust of wind.
Seconds later, the room burst with Will-‘o-the Wisps fluttering everywhere, as if the very air was alive.
Terrified, Smugleaf rushed out to a corridor, panting and gasping.
“White Embers! Could this be the work of-?”
Smugleaf’s sentence was cut short, as she stared at the very being she dreaded.
A ghost with yellow eyes faded into existence, staring at Smugleaf with frightening intensity, like it were instilling fear into her very core.
A literal Ghost appeared!
Stiffening, Smugleaf adjusted her strung eyeglass for a better view.
Astoundingly, the specter materialized with amazing clarity. A white draconic beast adorned with feathers stood in front of Smugleaf, with Will-‘o-the-Wisps swirling around it as well. A fiery vermillion flame emanated with blazing ferocity from the Pokémon’s grand tail.
The literal Ghost was identified by the strung eyeglass!
The literal Ghost turned into Reshiram!
“Behold…Grass Snake Pokémon. I am that which legend terms to be Reshiram. I fulfill the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past, Envoy of the Beginning, the Vast White Heralder of That Which Is Gone,” the creature bellowed in an authoritative tone.
A legendary Pokémon! Possibly worth millions, or even billions of PokéDollars! Smugleaf realized. “Kekeke…in that case, go, Fast Ball!”
Smugleaf withdrew a hidden Fast Ball from her sleeve, intending to catch the gleaming white Dragon-type Pokémon.
Reshiram’s eyes glowed an icy blue, glaring at Smugleaf with unspeakable anger.
Overtaken by greed, Smugleaf threw her Fast Ball towards the towering dragon.
The glow in Reshiram eyes intensified, as if to purge Smugleaf from all existence.
The Fast Ball stopped in its tracks, floating eerily in midair.
With unerring accuracy, Reshiram redirected the Fast Ball in the path it had just traversed. The Fast Ball struck Smugleaf in the face, with the impact resounding through the room with a SMACK!.
Snivy used Fast Ball!
Snivy, you can’t catch what isn’t there!
Snivy missed the Reshiram!
Reshiram used Psychic!
Reshiram used Fling!
It’s super effective!
Staggering from the unexpected impact, Smugleaf touched her blackened cheek and recoiled in fear. The Fast Ball rolled away.
“Fool. You dare to underestimate the raw power of a dragon Pokémon?” intoned the Reshiram. “You cannot capture what does not exist.”
Flaring up, Reshiram’s rear flame began to glow blue. Soon, Reshiram engulfed within searing azure flames. “NITRO CHARGE!” it announced.
Reshiram used Nitro Charge!
It’s super effective!
Snivy was burned!
The ghastly entity slammed into Smugleaf with fiery force, although the actual damage of the attack betrayed the sight of the event. Reshiram resumed its previous position. A Will-‘o-the-Wisp clung to Smugleaf.
“Hmph. Let that temper your greed for now. It will dissipate soon enough; do not be alarmed. You are fortunate that I exercised restraint of my incendiary abilities, despite your insolence. If I had backed the attack with additional force, you would surely not survive to see your precious bank again,” Reshiram warned. Smugleaf scowled. “Bah, humbug Buzz,” she muttered under a breath.
Reshiram continued. “Now…on to my actual business. I cannot linger here in this world long, and already I am expending borrowed time. My brethren and I have been bestowed with Dialga’s temporal talents for one night. Such powers have been granted in order to awaken what is locked within you, Grass Snake Pokémon. Let us journey to the past…”
Petrified, Smugleaf stood up, shaking off the pain she had just endured. She scoffed. “I am not journeying to the ‘past’ with a feathery dragon who has a ‘wing’ as big as you do!” Smugleaf stated sharply, with her hands on her hips.
Reshiram sighed. “Ugh…first of all, I am not perverted! I was…just drawn this way. It is not my fault! Second of all, please stop bringing attention to that…thing. I have already had enough of that drivel in the Macy’s 2010 Thanksgiving Day Parade discussion thread in the Black-and-White forum,” Reshiram explained, grimacing afterwards. The dragon shuddered at the memories of certain postings, which puzzled Smugleaf.
Composing itself, Reshiram’s tail began to flare again – this time, however, its flames shone a brilliant white, just like the Will-‘o-the-Wisps that had been floating around before. Reshiram and Smugleaf retained the positions they were standing it, but the rest of reality (the background, if you will) warped and shifted with swirling, mystical colors. Smugleaf was amazed by the intricacies of the warping, yet unsure of what fate awaited her. When the warping ceased, Reshiram and Smugleaf were outside in a wintry setting. Smugleaf noted wooden buildings nearby, not at all like the Hiun City of Unova she had grown accustomed to.
“This…looks…familiar,” Smugleaf said.
“Aye,” Reshiram murmured in response. “We have arrived in the past…”
“That’s…that’s me!” Smugleaf exclaimed in shock.
Reshiram nodded. “To your childhood you have returned, but only as a visitor; you cannot alter events or communicate with any persons here.”
“So…I heard you like Mudkip…correct?” Reshiram asked.
Smugleaf grimaced. “You could…say that, I guess,” she murmured.
“Was he to be your betrothed?” inquired Reshiram.
Smugleaf made no reply.
Smugleaf began tearing up, turning to face Reshiram. She pointed a stabbing accusatory finger at the white Pokémon. “You…you’re causing me to relive this…this pain!”
“The past is what it is; do not blame me,” was Reshiram’s curt response.
Reshiram ruffled its feathers; its tail commenced flaring, tinting the scenery with an illuminating blue.
“And now, my time is spent. I only hope my endeavor serves you in some way. We shall return to the present day, where one of my companions shall accompany you as you delve farther into your temporal excursion,” Reshiram said, with reality warping once again to the present.
Reshiram finally faded, dissolving into nonexistence.
The Reshiram flew away!
BONG! Another clock struck in the distance.
Smugleaf wandered around in the biting snow, bitter from the exposure to her past. She made her way to her home, opening and closing the door calmly. The sky darkened with a dark blue hue as Smugleaf entered her abode. Smugleaf quickly got to her couch, and slept.
Minutes passed before Smugleaf was roused by another noise.
“Hail, dear Grass Snake Pokémon,” a voice uttered.
Smugleaf woke up with a start, turning her head around. No other entity was to be seen.
“Come, fair Smugleaf. I await you outside,” the voice said invitingly.
Tightening her Silk Scarf and adjusting her nightgown, Smugleaf made her way outside.
Another literal ghost presented itself to her. Almost by instinct, Smugleaf fiddled with her strung eyeglass.
A literal Ghost appeared!
The literal Ghost was identified by the strung eyeglass!
The literal Ghost turned into Kyuremu!
Before Smugleaf was a gray creature adorned by icy structures. Its tattered wings wavered with the chilly breeze.
“First of all, let’s relieve you of that terrible white flame,” Kyuremu said.
Kyuremu used Ice Beam!
Snivy was healed of her Burn status!
Kyuremu blasted a small stream of ice at the fire afflicting Smugleaf, the ice melted into water instantly, thus extinguishing the fire. “Haha! Lore and legend label me as Kyuremu, at your service. I serve as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Envoy of the Now, the Huge Gray Messenger of That Which Is,” the grayscale creature said in a jovial manner, though still upholding an atmosphere of solemnity. “Now, let us be off! As my previous brethren stated, we are not permitted to delay in this world for a prolonged period. Kyuremu motioned for Smugleaf to follow him.
Smugleaf sighed but eventually followed the icy dragon. I still don’t know what the rest of this journey entails…must I change my outlook on reality, perceiving everything I confront under a different light? “Answer me this, Kyuremu,” Smugleaf began. “You dragons have some really quirky designs. What happened to the mainstream design that Pokémon like Crimgan, Charizard, and Dragonite have? Seriously…you look like an Ice-type chicken crossed with a jet plane!”
Kyuremu developed a stress/anger mark on his head, similar to the markings that Primeape bear when angered. Seconds passed, and Kyuremu chuckled, apparently no longer fazed by the offense. “Eh, I’ve been called worse. Chunky Chicken. Bibarel in Legendary Form. Dragon Disgrace. Heck, Reshy and Zekky even have some worse ones. Just wait…in a few years, I’ll get a new Forme! Then I’ll show them! MUAHAHAHAHA!” Kyuremu exclaimed maniacally.
“Uh…yeah…sure…” Smugleaf stated sarcastically. “Anyway, where are we heading?”
“Why are decorations absent on that house?” Smugleaf asked, pointing to a house strangely lacking lights. “It appears to be refusing to conform to the decor of this street,” Smugleaf remarked.
“Hah! You ask me? You’re the one mostly responsible for that!” Kyuremu said, puzzled.
“Huh? Whatever do you mean?” Smugleaf questioned.
“Don’t you know the residence of your own assistant?” Kyuremu inquired in response.
“Osha-wha….? That’s…Bob Pratchett’s house?!”
“Indeed, Grass Snake Pokémon. As it is, their income is being spread out, attempting to cover various issues. Primarily food and medicine, though.”
“Preposterous! Pratchett earns enough money from me as his salary! He should not be encountering difficulty of any sort,” said an aghast Smugleaf.
“Hmm…oh, really? So you say…why don’t you see for yourself?” Kyuremu suggested, gesturing toward the window of the Pratchetts’ house.
Filled with wonder, Smugleaf peered in the window inquisitively, listening in on the Pratchetts’ conversation.
“They won’t know you’re there,” Kyuremu reminded Smugleaf.
“So how went your day, Tiny Tidal?” Bob Pratchett the Blastoise asked his son.
“I fared well, Papa!” a Mijumaru exclaimed. He waddled over to the Blastoise, using a Farfetch’d Stick as a crutch of sorts. “I think I’m getting better!” Tiny Tidal added.
“And you, Bob, how was your day at work?” a Daikenki asked.
“It went alright, dear Sarah,” Bob Pratchett said. When Tiny Tidal wobbled out of earshot, Bob Pratchett said, “I tried asking for a modest raise from Lady Scrooge, but to no avail.” A disappointed facial expression formed on the Blastoise’s face.
“Grrr…that Smugleaf! Such a smug, stingy, sulfurous snake! I hope she rots in that bank of hers, with Fearow picking at her carrion and Giratina spiriting her to the Distortion World!” Sarah the Daikenki said, frustrated.
Smugleaf was taken aback, assuming a disappointed expression.
“No, don’t say that, Sarah. Lady Smugleaf is a decent damsel of authority. I think she just seems…harshly judged by the community, and it is not in our place to continue criticizing the poor woman. She must have a reason for protecting her monetary investments so fiercely,” Bob Pratchett said, attempting to defend his boss. The bold statement startled Smugleaf, who became grateful for Bob Pratchett’s words.
“Ha! Bah, humbug Buzz, is what I say to that! That lady is a no-good mongrel; a…a hag! She must hoard her wealth to fatten herself like an Enbuoh later on,” asserted Sarah. Bob Pratchett sighed, fearful of what would happen if his boss heard the words that Sarah was spewing with sheer hatred.
Flustered, Sarah regained her composure. “Well, let’s prepare dinner with the little food we have. I just hope that the doctor’s prognosis on Tiny Tidal’s condition isn’t true. We’re having trouble affording Potions as it is, and if he were to meet his end…I just…I simply can’t bear it, Bob!” Bob Pratchett went to console his wife, hugging her as she cried, fearing the possible fate of her little son.
Smugleaf glanced for a long time at Tiny Tidal, who struggled to get to the table with his Stick. Bob Pratchett helped Tiny Tidal with his chair as Tiny Tidal’s siblings rushed to enjoy the meal as well.
“Let us pray,” Bob Pratchett said. He prayed that God blessed everyone and the meal they were about to eat. Tiny Tidal inserted an addition, hoping for every Pokémon in the world to have a merry Christmas. Then he listed for his family members and siblings to be blessed as well. “And God bless Lady Scrooge,” he concluded.
“Amen,” the family uttered in unison, saying Grace afterwards.
“Let’s dig in!” Bob Pratchett exclaimed enthusiastically, reaching for a piece of bread to consume. Tiny Tidal nodded in agreement.
Smugleaf eyed the family as they began their meal. I…I must right this wrong I have caused, Smugleaf thought, now sorry that she had withheld a Christmas bonus from her faithful worker Bob Pratchett. After I escape from the specter’s influence, I will correct my deed. Smugleaf affirmed. She turned to Kyuremu. “Why must you torture me with such sadness? The water otter’s ailment pierces my aching heart… If only I had known about Tiny Tidal’s infirmity before…” Smugleaf clutched her Everstone pendant, crying.
Kyuremu eyed the cloudy sky. “It appears I must be off. The forces of the future seem to be tugging at my life-force; I appear to have extended my stay in this domain… Even my aura begins to diminish. Go on, in due time, the last of us Tao Titans shall beckon and call you forth...” Kyuremu instructed Smugleaf, dissolving into icy particles. “Farewell, fair Grass Snake Pokémon…”
Kyuremu used Cold Flare!
The Kyuremu flew away!
Soon, Kyuremu was no more. Smugleaf fell to her knees, brooding the events of the night. In moments, frigid air of sheer coldness swirled around Smugleaf, virtually blinding her from seeing her surroundings. Unconsciousness tugged at her until she fell prey to its dangerous grasp…
Snivy blacked out!
When Smugleaf came to, she found herself whisked off to a different area. A tower loomed over her in the distance. Unsure of what to do, she held on tightly to her Everstone pendant, proceeding to the tower with caution.
The sound of a drill pierced the air. Terrified, Smugleaf looked around, darting glances everywhere she could. In an instant, a large shadowy figure materialized at the entrance of the tower. A black dragon Pokémon stood before her, staring almost lifelessly with deadly red-and-yellow eyes. A drill constituted the creature’s tail, whirring with such force as if it were to pierce the heavens at any moment.
Smugleaf regarded the magnificent dragon as a threat and as an ally simultaneously. She began to speak. “Are you…are you the final apparition I will confront on this journey? I’ve advanced so far…I feel as though there is something more to come…I feel like something’s buried deep inside me, yearning to get out. But it seems only the future can decide whether that which is buried deep inside can be released…” The black monstrosity made no response, assuming a blank stare at Smugleaf. The creature’s massive drill continue to whir with what sounded like soft purring, as if the sound were keeping a deafening, all-consuming silence at bay, preventing such quiet from overtaking either of the Pokémon.
Smugleaf attempted to touch the black creature, but her hand passed right through the beast. The Pokémon seemed to be shrouded in enigmas, not moving nor saying a word.
An idea came to Smugleaf. She adjusted her strung eyeglass. A vivid reddish-bluish rift came into view behind the beast. Strange, black symbols flew out of the space fissure.
Those are…Unown! Smugleaf realized. As Smugleaf had heard in stories before, the Unown only appeared when legendaries appeared or events of great magnitude were expected to occur. The Unown quickly arranged themselves in a pattern, which Smugleaf managed to decipher. Three words flashed.
I AM CALLED ZEKROM.
Wild Zekrom and Unown appeared!
With astounding speed, the Unown continued to rearrange themselves. Smugleaf noticed that they were rendered invisible, without the aid of the strung eyeglass she possessed. The words were as follows:
I ACT AS THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE.
The Unown shuffled again.
OTHERS KNOW ME AS THE ENVOY OF THE END.
The Unown shifted positions yet again.
STILL, OTHERS MAY ADDRESS ME AS THE DEEP BLACK HARBINGER OF THAT WHICH IS YET TO COME.
The Unown began scrambling to form a spherical shape, and then reformed to spiral around Zekrom’s tail. Eight Unown emerged from the spiral with another message.
Zekrom entered the tower, ushering Smugleaf in as well. The red-blue rift of the Unown closed, sealing the Pokémon world from whatever realm it acted as a portal to. Before entering, Smugleaf brushed off some snow on a signboard nearby.
It read: Pokémon Tower – Becalm the Spirits of Pokémon.
Pokemon Tower?! But that’s all the way in Lavender Town, which is located in the Kanto region! Smugleaf realized, horrified. Have I really been whisked away great distances from the Unova region?!
Smugleaf stepped forward to enter the Pokémon Tower. Before she entered, she thought she faintly heard creepy music in the distance. But no one was around playing any instruments.
As Smugleaf and Zekrom ascended the floors of Pokémon Tower, Smugleaf saw things that she never would have believed otherwise. A Mamoswine apparition floated with wild abandon from the ground floor and phased through a ceiling. Later on, she saw a Raticate specter lying on top of a casket, clawing at the air. “You can’t…ignore…my…girth,” the Raticate muttered in its “sleep”.
Wild Mamoswine and Raticate appeared!
Near the stairs, a lone Hypno descended, wildly swinging its pendulum about in one hand while using the other hand to play an eerie tune on the PokéFlute. A Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot mindlessly followed the Hypno, joyfully singing murmured utterances in step with the tune.
Wild Hypno, Tepig, Chingling, Whismur, and Kricketot appeared!
They look like the choir I repelled earlier, Smugleaf thought with dismay. It’s like a foreboding message…due to my inability to enjoy Christmas carols, they resorted to another measure and sought out a Pokémon who would - the entrancing Pied Piper of the Pokémon world, it seems. I couldn’t bear it if this were to be real…that they resorted to following such madness. Smugleaf shook her head, continuing along the grim pathway as Zekrom led the way.
Passing another stairwell, Smugleaf thought she saw a Marowak apparition pacing the floor, looking as if it were mourning like a mother would for a lost child. Smugleaf turned away, unable to bear the sight.
As Zekrom, the Unown, and Smugleaf emerged in the last floor, Smugleaf was stricken with terror as her shadow detached itself from her feet. A dark purple entity rose up, cackling. It held its hands to its stomach and threw its head back, laughing hysterically.
A Gengar! Smugleaf thought, identifying the nefarious Pokémon. Smugleaf’s real shadow materialized seconds later.
Not too far away, a reptilian purple Pokémon began scraping one of its forelegs across the ground. Poised, it charged furiously at the Gengar. And a Nidorino, Smugleaf deduced. Must be Neil’s kin, I suppose.
The Gengar blew a raspberry at the charging Pokémon, which passed straight through the Gengar, frustrated.
Wild Gengar appeared!
Wild Nidorino appeared!
Nidorino used Tackle!
It doesn’t affect Gengar…
The two foes, Gengar and Nidorino, squared off once more. They seemed like they were embittered rivals, ravaged by a fierce battle that had raged on for centuries, if not millennia, or even since the dawn of the Pokémon world itself.
Locked in combat, the Gengar and Nidorino tussled with each other, phasing through the floor and averting a flight of stairs.
Smugleaf’s attention was diverted to Zekrom, who was motioning with its arm toward a grave that was set in the center of the final floor of Pokémon Tower. Wary, Smugleaf approached the grave with caution, aware that almost anything could happen next. The grave was riddled with soot and dust. Smugleaf slowly wiped away the dust so she could read the ominous inscription:
HERE LIES THE EBENZETTE “SMUGLEAF” SCROOGE: HOARDED MUCH, BUT LEFT WITH NOTHING.
A torrent of sadness filled Smugleaf, seeming as if it could devour her at any second.
Was I…was I so hated..so despised in Unova…that I was carted all the way to the Kanto region…left to rot and die a death?
“Take me away from here, apparition. I have seen enough this night,” Smugleaf stated, fighting to hold back a flood of tears. A single Amulet Coin fell out of her nightgown.
Smugleaf’s eyes lit up. “Zekrom, please tell me! Will the child, Tiny Tidal the Oshawott, be alright? Please, it is imperative that you impart your knowledge to me! Is there hope for the little child?!” Smugleaf began pleading frantically. Zekrom made no response, except that of staring at Smugleaf with his mysterious eyes, which now glowed bright red. The turbine tail of Zekrom gradually began the shift from a yellow to a blue glow. The air seemed ripe with electrical current. The Unown became motionless, staying still in midair, as if the life had been vacuumed from them.
“Zekrom, please! I understand what the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future have awakened in me! I promise to celebrate Christmas every season! No longer will I be a stingy snake Pokémon! I pledge to spread Christmas cheer and joy throughout the land, not just in Unova, but in regions far and near! Please, specter! Spare the dear child! I beg of you!” Tears streamed down Smugleaf’s face, amassing on her Everstone pendant when they left her face. Smugleaf knelt, slamming a fist on the ground.
Without notice, the Unown resumed their heated activity, arranging themselves faster than ever before.
Smugleaf opened her eyes, noticing a lone grave beyond hers. As she rushed up to it, the Unown formed the message:
DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THE DEARLY DEPARTED.
Smugleaf wiped off as much dust off the second grave as she could, but no inscription was to be found. The Unown slowed their movements, and began to form another message one by one.
“No…specter, no!” Smugleaf wailed.
Zekrom’s drill spiraled with startling intensity, with the electricity glowing a dangerous white hue. The tail’s glow was equally rivaled by the electric dragon Pokémon’s eyes, which took on a red tint. Brilliant white electricity wormed its way throughout the air, manifesting a surge of unfathomable energy.
The Unown began to compose the last word of their message.
“Zekrom, no! Please, I beseech you!” Smugleaf pleaded, trying again to apparently dissuade Zekrom from making the dismal future a reality.
“As…as long as Pokémon exist, Christmas shall live on through our hearts! Mine included!” Smugleaf yelled with determination.
Zekrom used Lightning Strike!
The ceiling of Pokémon Tower parted, giving way to the sky. A thunderous white-hot bolt streaked down from the sky, striking Smugleaf and shattering her treasured Everstone.
The world gave way to pure whiteness, and then all was no more…
Snivy whited out!
Sunlight found its away through the window.
The Green Snake Pokémon arose from her chair, slowly rousing. Suddenly, her eyes flew open and she rushed to the window.
“I’m…I’m alive! And it’s Christmas!!” Smugleaf exclaimed giddily, making sure her body was intact. She felt refreshed, as if a great energy had cleansed her of impurities.
Overtaken by happiness, Smugleaf did a little jig. She proceeded to get dressed, humming happily all the while.
Grabbing everything she could from her hidden stash of Coins, Smugleaf bolted out the front door, knowing that she had much to do.
No more than a few steps from Smugleaf’s house did she notice a humongous insectlike, frightening Pokémon adorned with red, yellow, gray, and black accents.
“BOO!” the strange Pokémon said.
With unwavering courage and resolve, Smugleaf dashed at the Pokémon…
…and ran straight through it.
Wild Giratina appeared!
Smugleaf used Tackle!
The Giratina Illusion broke!
The Pokémon turned into Zoroark!
A groan filled the air. The Pokémon shimmered and unveiled the Zoroark from the day before.
“Aww…you saw through it! Darn!” the Zoroark moaned.
Smugleaf laughed, taking on her classic smug expression. I’ll take his prank in stride, Smugleaf thought. “The unearthly shimmering kinda gives it away,” Smugleaf explained to a disappointed Zoroark. “Listen…I know you’ve been roaming around like a vagabond for a while, so why don’t you take residence in this rather than wasting time playing practical jokes?” Smugleaf held up a high-grade Moon Ball.
Zoroark’s jaw dropped. “Really?! Th-th-thank you! My old shack kinda burned down while I was practicing Flamethrower, and I haven’t had an opportunity to buy any Apricorn Balls..” Zoroark took the Moon Ball happily. “I won’t forget this! And I’ll lay off the pranks, too…. Um…thanks,” the Zoroark said, fumbling with his words.
“Don’t mention it,” Smugleaf quickly replied. “Well, I must be off. Merry Christmas, though!” she yelled, running off into the distance.
“Likewise, my friend!” the Zoroark yelled back, waving.
Smugleaf rushed to a nearby Poké Mart which specialized in Christmas trees.
“And what can I do for you?” asked the purple Kecleon that was manning the shop.
“Do you have any trees left?” Smugleaf asked quickly.
“Nope, sorry. Sold our last one yesterday,” the purple Kecleon explained.
“Please? I’ll even take an artificial one!” Smugleaf inquired again.
“Well…” The purple Kecleon pulled out a Heavy Ball from the drawer.
A burst of light flashed, revealing a tree Pokémon.
Tree-like, at least.
Wild Sudowoodo appeared!
Smugleaf stared at the purple Kecleon like he was crazy. “That’s a Sudowoodo. It’s a rock,” Smugleaf attempted to explain.
“Sudowoodo!” the tree-rock Pokémon cheerily pipped.
“So?” the purple Kecleon asked.
“But…its leaves aren’t even leaves!” Smugleaf protested.
“SO?” the purple Kecleon asked again.
“But it’s a…I mean….ugh, fine! Never mind! I’ll take it!” Smugleaf conceded at last, sliding over the necessary PokéDollars.
“Thankee much,” the purple Kecleon responded.
Smugleaf nodded, returning the Sudowoodo to its Poké Ball.
Undeterred, Smugleaf ran as fast as she could to another Poké Mart, which specialized in exotic foods.
“Hello!” Smugleaf greeted the clerk, who was a Ononokusu. “I’ll take your best cooked Blaziken and Tauros, and any Sharpedo Fin Soup, if you have any.”
“Well, I can get the stuff ready for you, but it’ll take 30-45 minutes,” warned the Ononokusu, wiping his hands on his apron.
“No problem; I’ll come by for it later,” Smugleaf said.
“Will do,” replied the Ononokusu as Smugleaf handed over the required PokéDollars for the transaction. Snapping its fearsome axe tusks together, the Ononokusu went to work on the order.
“Merry Christmas, by the way!” Smugleaf said as she ran off.
“Merry Christmas to you, too,” the Ononokusu tersely replied. “Ugh…if I hadn’t lost that Pokémon battle bet with Scizor, I wouldn’t have to work his shift today!” muttered the Ononokusu under his breath.
Smugleaf departed and bought a few items from the Hiun City Department Store. Remembering the path from her experience the previous night – dream or not; Smugleaf still couldn’t tell for sure – Smugleaf then headed for Bob Pratchett’s house but noticed the Slowpoke mail carrier from the previous day. She quickly dug into her purse.
“Here!” yelled Smugleaf, waving a Quick Claw pendant in her hand. “This is so you can be a bit speedy in your work,” Smugleaf explained as she placed the pendant on the Slowpoke. “Merry Christmas!” Smugleaf exclaimed, running off. Later on, an onlooker would infer that the Slowpoke was actually frightened at first, but would later appreciated the gift. As of now, Slowpoke had a blank stare on its face…its neurons weren’t exactly working quickly at the moment Smugleaf met it…
Smugleaf hurried along the path, and unexpectedly bumped into the choir from the day before. Smugleaf was relieved to see that they were in fine condition. The young Pokémon were about to flee, but Smugleaf cried out: “Wait! I mean no harm!”
Tepig bounded up to Smugleaf, eyeing her suspiciously. “What do you want, mean old lady?” the Tepig asked.
Undisturbed by the remark, Smugleaf said, “I apologize for yesterday…that’s a side of me you’ll never have to see again. I wanted to not only wish you all a Merry Christmas, but ask a favor of you.”
“What kinda favor?” the Tepig asked, still wary of Smugleaf.
“There’s a Poké Mart where I have food orders placed. I need you to cart them to a certain house. I’ll pay you all $300 PokéDollars in advance,” Smugleaf explained, placing $300 in front of each member of the choir quartet.
Tepig’s eyes lit up as Smugleaf explained the directions to the store and the house she had in mind. “You can count on us! Let’s go, team!” the Tepig exclaimed. The other three Pokémon of Tepig’s group got equally excited and bounded after Tepig after collecting the payment Smugleaf had just set on the floor.
Pleased, Smugleaf scurried off to the Pratchetts’ residence.
She rapped at the door, hoping for a response.
Sarah the Daikenki opened the door. “Merry Christmas. You are…?”
“Scrooge, at your service. Merry Christmas as well. I must speak to Bob immediately,” Smugleaf explained.
Sarah the Daikenki eyed Smugleaf, but soon went back inside the house to fetch Bob. Bob Pratchett the Blastoise approached the door.
“Oh…uh…hello, Lady Scrooge,” Bob Pratchett said, greeting his boss.
Smugleaf had assumed a serious expression. “PRATCHETT! I told you to take leave until New Year’s, isn’t that right?”
“Well..y-yes, Lady Scrooge,” Bob Pratchett stuttered, afraid of what was happening.
“Well, here I find you having a house bare with external decorations! On Christmas! You haven’t taken any time to mount any celebrative fixtures! And now I hear you lavish your salary on mere Potions?! This will not do, no no! You have work to do! Which is why I’m deciding…”
Bob Pratchett winced, bracing for termination from his employment.
“…to give you a tenfold raise!”
Bob Pratchett recoiled, with his eyes flying open seconds later. “You…you really mean it, milady?!” he inquired.
“Of course! Heck, we have enough funds to even hire more assistants! I’m reworking the whole bank. No more hefty interest on loans, no more hoarding! Instead, we shall start giving! And fairly!”
Bob Pratchett was so overjoyed, he did the Chansey Dance with wild abandon, and soon proceeded to rush to tell his family the good news.
“Come in, come in, Lady Scrooge!” Bob Pratchett motioned.
“Please…call me Smugleaf,” Smugleaf said, smiling. “Now where is Tiny Tidal?”
“Hello, Ms. Scrooge! Merry Christmas!” Tiny Tidal shouted, bounded down the stairs carefully, advancing with his Farfetch’d Stick for support.
Smugleaf hugged the little Mijumaru. “And a Merry Christmas to you, too!” She presented a boxed gift. “And this is for you!”
“Wow!” Tiny Tidal exclaimed, setting aside the Kyogre PokéDoll his father had bought for him. Tiny Tidal opened the present from Smugleaf, which revealed a set of sapphire-hued goggles.
“My word!” exclaimed Bob Pratchett. “These are Swimming Goggles! I’ve heard they greatly enhance the abilities of water Pokémon! I’ve heard of it in lore, but I never knew they were real!”
“Even better,” continued Smugleaf, “I am inviting your whole family to the Department Store for a shopping spree! After withdrawing funds from my bank for the trip, I will donate a great deal to the less fortunate!” declared Smugleaf. “But first, dinner!”
Coincidentally, the Tepig and his choir arrived right on time, hauling trays of food. After setting the food up, Smugleaf and Bob Pratchett invited the choir to stay, and stay they did.
“Whoa! That’s the biggest Blaziken I’ve ever seen!” a sibling exclaimed.
“Er…yeah…the butcher said that that particular Blaziken was kind of portly, more on the Hariyama side of things. He accidentally burnt himself while attempting Overheat with Blaze in effect and…well there ya go,” Tepig said sadly.
“Yeegh. This is awkward,” Smugleaf said. “Well…I hope we get nourished, and may his spirit find peace…”
Suddenly, there was a thud on the roof.
“What could that be?” the Whismur asked, worried.
Wild Delibird appeared!
“SANTA!!” a sibling exclaimed. Moments later, a red-and-white bird emerged from the fireplace, hauling a huge sack over its shoulder. “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas! This is kinda embarrassing…we’ve been delivering presents all night, but there wasn’t a single Lava Cookie or MooMoo Milk jar to be found,” Santa Delibird explained, disappointed. My Stantler and Shikijika have been hungry all night. Rudoloph the Red-Hot Rapidash was especially unruly…”
Suddenly, Santa Delibird’s sack wiggled.
“Um…Santa…your sack is shaking…” Bob Pratchett remarked.
Santa Delibird stared at his sack, where something white protruded from the opening. He yanked it out, revealing a smiling Emonga, whose mouth was riddled with cookie crumbs and a milk mustache.
“Uh-oh,” the Emonga yelped.
Wild Emonga appeared!
Wild Emonga used Smoke Ball!
Wild Emonga fled!
Smoke saturated the room, leaving everyone coughing. Suddenly, Bob Pratchett the Blastoise noticed something wriggling in one of his water spout cannons. Pulling it out, the Emonga was revealed yet again.
“Darn it! Fiddles,” the Emonga said, dismayed.
“Uh…what were you doing in there?” Bob Pratchett asked, clearly not amused.
“Well, you know how in movies when trapped, ninja use Smoke Balls and use a clever escape route. That’s what I was trying to get at. I thought those were escape chutes,” the Emonga explained.
“Ugh. These are water spout cannons. Uh…what level are you?” Bob Pratchett asked.
“Level 5, and proud of it,” said the Emonga, beaming and brimming with pride.
“Ugh. A n00b,” Santa Delibird commented, annoyed. “Exactly how did you find your way in my sack?
“Well, I made my way to the North Pole and stashed myself in your sleigh. When the sack was brought, I just hopped in there unnoticed! I’ve been munching on Lava Cookies and MooMoo Milk all night!” the Emonga said, burping.
“Grrr…no wonder I couldn’t find any! But how did you outspeed me? I have the most beneficial Jolly nature out of all Pokémon!” Santa Delibird inquired.
“Dude! GameSharpedo ‘Max Stats’ code and a Quick Claw for added measure! Duh!” the Emonga answered. “GameSharpedo – Play With The Big Fish Now!” the Emonga recited, saying the GameSharpedo tagline with joy.
Santa Delibird was fuming inside. “You…have much yet to learn child. Now be on your way with a Present.” Santa Delibird gave the Emonga a glowing orb.
Delibird used Present!
“Cool! Thanks! Be seeing you, dingbats!” shouted the Emonga, rushing out the front door.
“WHAT THE EFF?!” the Emonga squealed with alarm.
Seconds later, an Explosion was heard as Emonga skyrocketed upward, trailing with smoke, and landed on the ground with a thud.
The Present exploded!
Santa Delibird rumbled with laughter. “Woo-hoo! Man, I love doing that to naughty nubs. Always puts a smile on my face. It’s even better than handing out Charcoal for those naughty Pokémon!”
“Well, don’t harm the poor child,” Sarah protested.
“Don’t worry, Sarah. My Presents only harm the naughty as much as they can tolerate without strenuous damage being incurred. Still, it is quite a sight to see, heh-heh,” Santa Delibird explained.
“Well…I’m not going to be the first one to refuse a little Pokémon on Christmas Day,” Bob Pratchett said, and invited the Emonga back inside under certain conditions.
Everyone within the Pratchett household settled down for a grand dinner. Everyone prayed in turn, and Tiny Tidal exclaimed, “And God bless us, every one!” After exchanging pleasantries, everyone had had their fill of Christmas dinner (or ‘breakfast/lunch’, if you will; it was only approaching noon when the food was consumed in its entirety).
“Well, I must be off,” Santa Delibird said, turning to leave. “We’ll stop at a restaurant or something, and be off later. Merry Christmas!” he bellowed, ascending up the Pratchetts’ chimney.
“Presents!” a sibling squealed.
In all the excitement, Smugleaf, the Pratchett family, and Tepig’s choir noted that Presents for all had been left around the tree. Tiny Tidal was ecstatic to get a Restorative Present that Santa Delibird ensured would heal his debilitating condition. A note was left for Smugleaf that she would find additional Presents at her residence, and that Santa Delibird was proud of her undertaking of a grand Christmas journey the previous night.
Afterwards, everyone headed to the Department Store, with Smugleaf buying Presents for Pratchett’s entire family, Tepig’s quartet, and less fortunate Pokémon. After exchanging goodbyes and the day nearly spent, Smugleaf began to hurry home.
“Ah…time for a song!” Smugleaf exclaimed.
(Sung to tune of original English anime Pokémon Theme)
I want to give the very best
Like no one ever has
To match them with my Spheal Crest
And winter parties with real pizzazz
I’ll unravel gifts so grand,
Spreading cheer far and wide.
Each Pokémon should understand
That Christmas joy resides inside
(Gotta reach the mall!) It’s un-i-ty
The 25th is our destiny!
Oh, you’re my best friend
Against shoppers who we must fend