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Old April 28th, 2006 (01:10 PM).
Saffire Persian's Avatar
Saffire Persian
Feline of Light and Shadow
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Utah
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Nature: Adamant
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Meangirl: Thanks, I'm glad you think it has a unique storyline. Hopefully it will keep on being so, as well as a fun read.

Muse: : Dunno if paranoid even cuts it. xDXD The poor thing. I do love the Caterpie's personality though. I'm also really glad to hear it wasn't hard to read. Thank you for your review!

Schizophrenic Charmander: Hopefully you don't mind me saying you have a very unique screen name. It's cool. And what was wrong with the faux pas? As the word is another language's word, I italicized it, so doesn't go into the category some of the kids' words would. So maybe I am wrong. I'm glad it flowed well! Thanks for your review!

Popular Andy: I will definitely read that book if I ever get my hands on it - and thanks for dropping a response by. I hope whenever you read it, you'll find it entertaining, or whatever.

...Anyway, here's the next chapter. (This was originally part of the first chapter) hence the boring title.

Changing Circumstances Pt. II



Sneaking the Caterpie inside your house set upon the outskirts of Viridian City is turning out to be harder than you previously thought. For starters, you and Stella picked a very bad time to come home. As you approached the house, you could see your mother through the window sitting at the dinner table just on the opposite side of your father, sipping her usual cup of herbal tea.

You could’ve always come back later – in fact, that’s what you would’ve done like every smart child trying to sneak something in one’s room.

The thing is, Stella waits for no one. A Charizard could have been breathing fire at the doorway and she still would have flown towards the door with as much enthusiasm as a Growlithe after a bone.

It was too late to call out to her and tell her to stop what she was doing. Though it wasn’t like she would have listened, anyway; but you did try, and that did as much good as not having spoken at all.

Was she deliberately trying to make your situation harder than it should be?

Now that you think about it, perhaps you should’ve made the rules of what she could and could not do before you made her pinky swear a bit more clearer; but there’s nothing you can do about it now – she’s already opened the door and gone inside, greeting your parents in her usual loud voice (You can hear it from where you’re standing), only to come to the door again, waving and calling your name.

There’s no possible way you can get out of going inside now. Great.

A scowl emerges (for the who-knows-what-number-of-times today), and you mutter something you heard Mom say under her breath at Dad once. You really don’t know what it means, but it makes you feel quite a bit better, anyway.

“Cat pri?”

You look at the perhaps doomed soul perched on your shoulder with pity; its look is nearly identical – a little more concerned though. You think it can probably tell that you’re angry, so you calm down just a little, not wanting to freak out the Caterpie more than it already is.

“Everything will be fine. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna let anything happen to you, ‘k…”

“Caterprri!”

You can hear your mother calling you now, and you know you’re already taking too long in going inside… Your mother will get suspicious if you stall much longer, and you don’t want that. You don’t want to leave the Caterpie, because it might wander off, and it doesn’t know where you room is.

Not to mention the Pidgeotto might’ve followed you home, even though you can’t see it.

You sigh. There’s only one thing you can do, there’s nothing for it. You’ll have to smuggle it in like a pirate. You tug at your shirt collar, suddenly glad you wore the baggy, overlarge shirt that you got from one of your cousins today. “Get in.”

The Caterpie’s eyes widen, looking confused beyond all belief. “Priii?”

“I mean, get inside my shirt. I’m have to hide you so my mom can’t see you, so stay still.”

++++

Your heart full of trepidation, you stiffly walk into the house, nervous beyond belief. You hope, looking at your crossed arms, that your mother won’t notice the small bulge in the middle of your shirt. You purposely avoid Stella’s eyes, not wanting to give her the slightest provocation. You say only a meager ‘hello’ in greeting to your mother and father before picking up the pace towards the stairs that lead to your room. Truthfully, you hardly trust yourself to say anything, worried that if you do, everything will be messed up, and you don’t want to take any chances.

Sighing with relief, your foot reaches the first set of stairs --

“Hey!” a familiar voice interrupts you, and you freeze, your foot resting on the first step as you turn to stare at Stella with a very apparent ‘what the heck do you think you’re doing?’ look. “Aren’t you going to eat lunch with me before you go upstairs? Your mom made sandwiches for us! Your favorite: peanut butter and jelly!”

“Maybe later,” you spit out gruffly.

Silence. The rustling sound of a newspaper page being turned. You inhale and try to dart up the stairs before anyone can stop you.

But at the very moment you take a step forward your mother finally notices your beat-up, rag-tag appearance.

“What happened? You’re completely filthy!” Your mother’s eyes constrict, you wince, Stella grins, and your father takes another sip of tea. “Where exactly have you been?”

“We were just playin’ in the field,” you say quickly, wanting to get this over with as fast as possible. Shooting a very word-filled glance at Stella, you add: “Right, Stella?”

It takes her a moment to respond. “Oh, yeah.” She nods. “We were playing hide-and-go-seek there. He was hiding, and he didn’t mean to, but he ran into a Pidgeotto –“

Panicking at the wide-eyed look your mother is getting, you say quickly: “It wasn’t anything, Mom –”

But Stella continues. “—and it attacked him –”

Yeah, it did. you think with an indignant grimace , Stupid thing. “Yea –” Wait. Wrong thing to say. NO IT DID NOT. NO IT DID NOT. NO IT DID NOT! “ — I mean, umm… it did not!”

But that was more than enough to illicit a response from your Mother who’s facial expression had turned from suspicious to horrified in thespace of five seconds -- and all because of the mere thought that a Pidgeotto attacked you, her only child.

There go the good old days of hide-and-go-seek, you think wistfully.

“He looks fine to me,” you father says, lowering his copy of the Pewter Times enough for his eyes to peek over the top of it.

“Turn around and let me look at you,” your mother says sternly, ignoring your father completely. Her tone of voice gives no room for argument. “I want to make sure you’re all right.”

But you argue anyway. What else can you do? “I’m okay, Mom! I promise.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” she says in return. “Now turn around.”

“Mom…”

“Turn around, please.”

Slowly, hesitantly, you turn around, trying your best to hide the lump in your t-shirt. But, just as you expected, she notices the bulge, and her eyes narrow dangerously. “What are you hiding underneath your shirt, dear?”

“It’s nothing.”

“I can see that. Take it out, whatever it is.”

“Moooom!”

“Don’t ‘mom’ me. Just show me.”

“I don’t think that’s a very good idea,” you say very, very slowly. You feel the Caterpie twitch inside your shirt.

“And why not?”

“Well, you’re not gonna to like it at all,” you say truthfully. “Nuh’uh, not one bit.”

This seems to arouse your father’s curiosity. As he turns a page of the newspaper, you see his eyebrows rise as he stares at you from behind his glasses. You smile at him guiltily. Somehow, you think he knows exactly what is hidden underneath your shirt.

“Maybe you should listen to him, dear,” your father says, clearing his throat rather loudly. “I don’t particularly want to be sleeping on the couch tonight just because you got upset…”

You mother looks rather irritated at your father’s statement, and you decide to take the opportunity to try and make it into your room while she’s focused on your father. Maybe you’ll be quick enough to fill up your shirt with rocks from your collection before you’re made to come down. And the Caterpie… you can hide it in your underwear drawer. Yes, that’s it! Mom would never look in there.

“Upset? Nonsense. Why would I be upset?”

“I was just saying, Claire--” Just a little bit further... and you’ll be free. Just keep going slowly so they don’t hear you… “—that I bear no responsibility whatsoever for what happens.”

“Oh for Mew’s sake….” You’re almost out of eyesight now. “And where do you think you’re going, young man.” Again, you find your flight to escape thwarted, and a few moments later you’re at the bottom of the stairs again; but this time you’re staring up at your mother, who, to your horror, has actually left the table to stand in front of you. Not good, definitely not good.

“I don’t want to tell you again…”

Your father puts the newspaper onto his lap, his chin resting on the palm of his hand while you back up a few feet for safety before relenting to your mother’s orders. You carefully nudge the Caterpie under your shirt. And slowly but surely, it peeks its head out of the mouth of your shirt. “Pi?”

Right on cue, your mother shrieks in surprise and it takes only seconds for the Caterpie’s eyes to widen and a half-second more for it to start to scream. This of course, startles your mother beyond belief, the blood draining out of her face.

Eventually, you have the sense to put your hand over the Caterpie’s small mouth, making its screams fade away into tiny, hiccupping squeaks, while your mother is doing something of the same, hand over mouth in horror.

Silence fills the now empty void, until Stella fills it once more by wriggling out of her chair and sliding underneath the oak table, overcome by a fit of mad giggles. Your mother by now has regained a little bit of her voice.

“Wha…wha…”

“I believe it’s a Caterpie, Claire.”

“I know that,” your mother hisses, finding her voice as she wrings her hands nervously. “But.. what is tha – that thing doing in my house?!”

“The Pidgeotto was gonna eat it! “ you try to explain, taking another few paces backward for good measure. “It’s not a monster or anything!”

“I’m not going to have one of those… filthy creatures in our home –“

“But, Mom! It’s only for a little while! A couple of days!”

‘We can’t let the stupid chicken eat it!” Stella pipes in, and for the first time today, you feel grateful towards her. “That’s bad!”

“I don’t care, you’re going to take it right back outside this instant!”

“A couple days isn’t really that long…” your father says carefully, bringing the newspaper back up in front of him, not noticing the glare of daggers he received in return for his comment. “…and it really is harmless.”

At your father’s words, you meet his eyes, the first tinge of hope sparkling in them. You smile just a bit. You know that if your mom and dad disagree on something, you can get away with a lot. So maybe…

“That thing can stay over at Stella’s –“ You clamp your hand over the Caterpie’s mouth just in time to muffle another shriek.

“It don’t li’ me,” Stella giggles brightly from under the table through a mouthful of peanut butter and jelly. “An’ it shoud stay w’ou, ‘cause it’s funny.”

“Funny... “ your mother repeats in a low tone, finally making it back over to her chair, while you stare at Stella, wide-eyed. You would have never gotten away with saying that in front of mom. You look at her nervously, just waiting for her to burst into flame.

Instead, she grimaces and takes a deep breath. “Stella, why don’t you go upstairs and eat with your cousin –” she turns to you. “—We’ll talk about this later.”

Without argument, you dash up the stairs, while Stella takes her time crawling out from underneath the table. You don’t wait for her.

+++++


Entering your room just off the side of the top of the stairway, you exhale deeply, flopping down on your bed near the window with a relieved sigh. You allow the Caterpie to wriggle out of your hold and onto the bed beside you.

Your eyes lazily follow it its progression as it crawls slowly around your blue bedcovers. It looks amazed, yet hesitant at the same time. It finally reaches the head of your bed and onto your pillow, screeching as the pillow sinks because of its weight. You giggle at the sight, wondering how anyone can be scared of a pillow. You continue to watch it as it rises from its frozen stupor, before it gives an experimental jump –

Stella then bursts through the open doorway, two sandwiches protectively clutched in her arms. She darts toward the bed without warning, making you cry out in surprise as you’re forced to scramble out of the way as Stella performs what could be compared to a belly flop, onto your bed.

Stella’s impact makes the Caterpie shriek with terror, before bolting straight into the only escape it can see: the window. The thing is, it isn’t open, and the Caterpie runs straight into it with a hard thud. To your horror, it falls straight over onto its side, and doesn’t move. This time, you are quite sure it’s not playing dead – it's fainted.

(According to your dad, Pokémon tend to do that quite a lot on the account of humans, but that does not stop you from bristling furiously at Stella, pointing at her accusingly with a finger.)

“YOU SCARED IT! You knocked it out!”

“I did not!” Her face wrinkling up in stubbornness, she throws one of the sandwiches (crumpled and rather smashed) at you. “The WINDOW did!”

“And –” you continue, intending not to leave one tiny detail out “—you broke your promise.”

Stella shakes her head. “You’re just bein’ silly! You never said I couldn’t talk about the Pidgeotto 'n stuff.”

“Girls…” you mutter under your breath, eying the sandwich with disdain. Growling at her, you throw it on the floor. “I don’t wan’ it. I’ll probably get girl disease from it!”

“There’s no such thing as girl disease!” Stella says matter-of-factly, looking rather hurt on account of the thrown sandwich. “You meanie! I brought that up for you!”

Scowling at the sad look your cousin is giving you – the kind that makes you feel bad and rotten inside -- you reach over your bed and pick up the sandwich, eying it hesitantly before stuffing a large chunk of it into your mouth. You can’t stand that doe-eyed look. Why do you always have to be the one apologizing? Why can't she for once? “Sorry.”

Her sad expression vanishes (and you wonder if her sad look was even real in the first place) and is replaced by her usual one, albeit a bit angry. “It’s fine, but you’re still a meanie.” She then crawls onto the floor, drawing meaningless circles into the carpet while finishing off her the remains of her sandwich.

Sighing, you move the still unconscious Caterpie back onto the pillow. “Mom’s not gonna lemme keep it now.”

“Uncle Will said it was okay,” Stella points out. “I heard him say so before I came upstairs…”

“But Mom says it’s not.”

Stella doesn’t answer, lying on her side, with her ear against the vent. Is she even listening?

“Stel –“

“Shhh!” Stella hisses. “I’m trying to listen.”

Your curiosity gets the best of you despite yourself. “Listen to what?”

Stella blinks, but doesn’t move from her spot. She waits a few seconds before answering. “Aunt Claire and Uncle Will. Who else? They’re arguing – well, Aunt Claire is…”

You blink, feeling a bit hesitant. You’re curious, of course – and who wouldn’t be? But doing something like that makes you feel rather…sneaky, like when you snuck downstairs last Christmas just because you wanted to see what the presents were.

“Um… maybe you shouldn’t listen…”

“What? Oh, it’s fine,” Stella says brightly with her usual lopsided grin. “I do it all the time. My dad even showed me how… he calls it… umm… constructive eavesdropping! Yeah, that’s it!”

You blink in bewilderment. What does constructive mean anyway? “Constructive?”

“Yeah!” Stella grins, nodding sagely. “Dad says it’s constructive because you learn something about the people you listen to that makes you smarter.” By now, she looks rather contemplative. “ I think that’s how he got my mom to marry him.”

You slide onto the floor on your hands and knees. Learning’s never been classified as bad, so if you learn something, you should be okay. You reach over and tap Stella on the shoulder. “Move over. I wanna listen.”

She grins a bit, and moves to the a few inches to the side so you can lie down and listen too. Voices filter up through the vent – your mother and father’s definitely. You scowl a bit as a blast of cool air blows Stella’s blonde locks into your face.

“Move your hair,” you say gruffly, blowing the blonde strands out of your face irritably as you try to listen and pick up your parents’ dialogue.

“Not my fault my hair is in the way.”

“Yeah it is.”

“Well, my hair was there first.” She sticks out her tongue. “So nyeah!”

“Ste –“

This time, she thwaps you on the forehead with her fist. “I said I wanna listen.”

Scowling (and pushing a few strands of hair out of your face in the process), you quiet, moving over just enough to escape most of her hair. Now that you’re trying to listen, you can easily hear your mother’s voice and your father’s deeper one from the vent.

“....why didn’t you back me up? You’re supposed to be my husband—”

“And I’m being one.” There’s a pause, and you think you hear your mother chopping something (or rather, pounding something into oblivion). You grimace and wonder if that means you’ll be having soup tonight. “However, in my own defense,” your father continues, while the chopping is more fervent, “—I did say that I bore no responsibility for whatever happened with our son just now.”

Another very vengeful chop, and a clatter of steel hitting the sink. “Ohhh… you haven’t changed a bit from when I met you, Will! You know that?”

“I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment.” A pause. “And Claire, are those supposed to be almonds for your salad?”

You can just see your mother glaring at your father – no, you think you can feel all the way up here. You wince involuntarily.

“You’re just like your brother – tricking people with your words! You say one thing, and then do another, twisting what you said before to your own ends! Will! Put that newspaper down when I’m trying to talk to you.”

Stella giggles, and you guess that your father probably did as he was told. His voice is a bit sterner now. “Don’t compare me to my brother. He learned his … talents … with words because he liked it. That’s why he’s a politician. I, however, learned it out of necessity.”

You have no clue what a politician is, but you shrug and continue listening anyway.

"If you dare bring journalism into this, I swear I'll --"

"You'll what?" your father says good-naturedly, with a laugh that probably is making your mother even more annoyed. "Stab me with that fork?"

“Well, have you also thought about what influence this might have on our child? With you twisting your words around? You are teaching him things, and he watches what you do. Just look at Stella...”

Beside you, Stella twitches, looking quite pleased with herself.

“Yes, quite the little fireball isn’t she?”

“She’s following right in her father’s footsteps –“

“I don’t think so,” your father says, and Stella begins to scowl. “But if that’s true, she’ll make a fine politician, I’m sure.”

“That is not what I was trying to say,” your mother hisses, sounded frustrated. “Stop trying to change the subject.”

A few moments pass in silence, until your mother groans.

“I’m not going to allow our child to think he can get away with everything just because you won’t back me up—”

“On the contrary, you have my full support. You are free to do with the Caterpie as you please… take it out, keep it… whatever you wish.” Your eyes widen. Isn’t Dad supposed to be on your side? “ But I said I would have no part in it. I’m not going to be the devil’s advocate. Whatever you want to do, you’ll have to enforce it yourself, because I don’t think our son is just going to take the Caterpie out himself just because you tell him to. He seems rather attached. You’ll have to do it for him and show him you mean business.”

“I – I can’t do that! I can’t possibly – there’s no way.”

“You can, just pick it up and...” You’re guessing your father left the sentence deliberately hanging for a reason.

“I can’t!”

Your mother sounds even more stressed now, and you can just imagine your father shrugging everything away. “Then just let him keep it for a few days. It really isn’t that long. And it’s not like the Caterpie is going to be chasing you around the house… I think you succeeded in scaring it half to death.”

“A few days…”

“Yes, only a few days. That is what they said, didn’t they?”

“Fine – a few days, but that’s it.”

You roll over onto your back, sighing heavily, while fighting the very urge to jump up and shout some sort of exclamation; however, Stella doesn’t bother, yelling “Ha! I told you so!” over and over again.

The Caterpie is still resting on your bed; it looks like he’s just sleeping now. A smile sneaks its way onto your face, and the atmosphere about room brightens up considerably. You don’t feel as angry at Stella as you did before, and you suppose you shouldn’t have got mad at her. But you’re not going to say that to Stella; as far as you are concerned, she still cheated again, and everything else.

“See – everything’s going to be fine! Where there’s a Will, there’s a way!”

Immediately, Stella begins to giggle at her choice of words, and your grin widely despite yourself. “Maybe.”

When Stella stops giggling, she rolls onto her back, arms behind her head, getting that thoughtful look that she only gets when she’s about to tell you to do something. “So now that Caterpie’s gonna stay at your house now, we have to think of a name!”

“Stella!”

She pauses for a second – and only one – before responding. “That’s a good name! But it’s mine... and it’s a girl’s name anyway, and Caterpie’s not a girl.”

Your eyes narrow. “How would you know that?” you ask. “You’re not a grown-up. You’re not old enough to tell yet!”

Her smug look makes your eyes narrow once more, and she says matter-of-factly: “I know so ‘cause only boys can scream like sissies."

And at her comment, you begin to wonder what exactly you have gotten yourself into.

****

Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown

****
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Battle ye not with a monster, lest ye become one.

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