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January 28th, 2010 (2:16 PM).
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
In the middle of nowhere.
Cassandra squinted up at the huge board across the top of the contestants’ waiting room that displayed the tourney tree, looking for her number and picture. The row across the bottom was rapidly filling up with pictures, but the rows above were empty; the first contest battle hadn’t taken place yet. She leaned sideways.
!” barked a disgruntled Belle near Cassandra’s stomach. She was trying to pin Cassandra’s number on her left hip. “If you keep moving, I’m gonna end up poking you.”
“But I haven’t found my picture yet.”
“I don’t give a damn. Find your picture when I’m done
“There I am!” Cassandra rushed off excitedly. Belle almost toppled over; she had been kneeling on a bench in front of her friend. Frustrated, she stood and dusted off the jade green skirt she had borrowed from Cassandra and walked after her. “Right there! Ooh, I’m close to the beginning!” She whirled happily, but her smile quickly faded as she saw the look on Belle’s face.
“That’s fantastic. Now can you
while I put this damn thing on you?”
Cassandra obliged and stood still, gazing up at the board as Belle knelt in front of her. Her picture was connected to a blank square by a little silvery line, and her eyes remained fixed on that blank square as Belle carefully pinned her number on her dress.
Finally, the blank square lit up and a picture of a girl with wildly pink hair appeared there. Cassandra quickly turned her head to look around for her.
“Done,” Belle said. She straightened and looked up at the board. “You’re up against some pink-headed girl.”
“I know. I’m looking for her to see which Pokémon she has.”
“Maybe she doesn’t have her Pokémon out. Like you. But I don’t see any sense in trying to make it a surprise which Pokémon you have when you’re
dressed like her
Cassandra smiled as she looked over the crowd, searching for pink. She wore a long blue dress with a fitted bodice and a slightly flared skirt. It fastened in a halter. She had borrowed
a pair of her mother’s elbow-length white evening gloves, and her honey-colored hair was pinned up in an elegant bun.
“I don’t see her,” Belle said. She sat down on the bench with a sigh. “You realize there’s only four rounds, right? So you only have to win three times before you’re in the final two.”
“I doubt I’ll do that in my first contest,” Cassandra said, still craning her neck and looking for any flash of pink she could find.
“You’re really good,” Belle said, just as an announcement came on over the PA.
“The first battle is about to begin. Pair one, you have ten minutes to get set up on stage. If you are not a contestant, please have a seat in the stadium. Thank you.”
“Well, I guess I have to go,” Belle said. She reached out and hugged Cassandra. “I’ll be rooting for you.”
“Thanks so much,” Cassandra replied, hugging her back. “I love you, Belle.”
“Love you too, Cassandra.” And she turned and hurried to the stadium, where Gerald and Joanna had saved her a seat.
Cassandra’s first battle was against a Wigglytuff. She won easily; while Wigglytuff was cute, it could only be graceful so much.
For her second battle, Swablu easily defeated a Chikorita, since she had a type advantage. The poor Chikorita didn’t even have time for its points to start building before Swablu hit it with a graceful Wing Attack and fainted it.
The third battle was against an Espeon. This was a bit tougher, but Cassandra and Swablu managed it.
When Cassandra wasn’t battling, Belle and Gerald left the stadium to join her in the waiting room. They found all the other battles unimportant.
“You’re in the finals!” Belle cried as she hugged her friend.
“I’m worried,” Cassandra choked out. “What will I do? The person I’m about to go up against defeated three other people to get here!”
“Hey, Sandy-bear,” Gerald said, patting her on the shoulder. “So did you.”
They soon had to make their way back to their seats with Joanna. Belle watched apprehensively as Cassandra and her opponent took their places. The girl on the other side of the stage had her orange hair fastened into two balls. She wore an elegant white kimono tied with a light orange obi.
“The moment you’ve all been waiting for!” the MC shouted into his mike. “The final battle of the day! This battle will determine the winner of the contest! Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Cassandra Étoile, from right here in Verdanturf Town!”
Gerald and Belle cheered loudly along with the crowd; Cassandra’s classic grace had won her many fans already. Cassandra turned and curtsied grandly.
“And also, introducing Sakura Konohana, from Lilycove City!”
The redheaded girl, apparently Sakura, lifted one hand and waved gracefully.
“Ready the stage!”
Belle frowned as the stage seemed to split down the middle; the two halves moved away from each other, revealing a small pool underneath. “What
“If you had stayed here and watched the other battles, you would have already known about that,” Joanna sniffed. “That Sakura girl has a Goldeen, so they need to accommodate her.”
“Isn’t that a bit unfair?” Belle asked.
“Well, a Goldeen really couldn’t do much on land,” Gerald reasoned. “I guess they have to take that into account.”
Belle looked worriedly down at Cassandra, who didn’t appear to be freaking out at all.
But she was.
Cassandra was trying very hard not to move her facial muscles one bit as she stared down at the shifting water of the pool. What was this? What was going on? She raised her eyes to look at Sakura Konohana, who stood tall and erect in her kimono.
“Begin!” the MC said.
Sakura pulled a Poké Ball out of her sleeve and tossed it out towards the water. “Go, my Deena!”
A Goldeen burst from the Poké Ball and dived splendidly into the water, shaking out its tail.
“A magnificent entrance!” the MC announced. “The judges seem to have given Deena a respectable amount of points for it!”
Then we have to do better than that,
Cassandra thought. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, searching her memory for one of the more beautiful Poké Ball throws she had come up with.
Belle leaned forward in her seat. Cassandra raised her Poké Ball into the air above her head before bringing her arm across her chest and spinning around in a complete three-sixty. As she did so, she released the Poké Ball straight up into the air. “Fly, Swablu!”
Swablu rocketed out of the Poké Ball, wings tucked in and spinning as it whirled up, up, up, before fanning out its wings abruptly and hovering over the stage. The crowd burst into applause and the little yellow bar beneath Cassandra’s picture on the scoreboard shot forward.
“And Swablu makes an
entrance, putting its score ahead of Deena’s already!” The MC’s voice shrilled a bit in his excitement.
“Deena, use Horn Attack!”
Deena leapt out of the water.
“Underneath!” Cassandra called. Swablu understood. She waited until Deena was almost upon her; then she dipped underneath the Goldeen and flew past. “Now use Wing Attack!”
Swablu wheeled and brought its wing down on Deena, who fell back into the water with a flop.
“Ooh, that’s going to take away a considerable amount of points from Deena,” the MC said. The yellow bar under Sakura’s picture retracted.
“Doing great, Swablu!”
“Hide,” Sakura said, so soft that Cassandra could barely hear her. Deena dived down under the water and disappeared. Swablu hovered uncertainly. Cassandra squinted into the water, unsure of what to command. “Now!” Sakura yelled suddenly.
The Goldeen burst from the water and buried its horn into Swablu’s stomach. Swablu cried out and did an awkward sort of barrel roll, leaving Deena to dive gracefully back into the water. Of course, points were taken away.
Belle winced as she watched Cassandra’s yellow bar contract. Gerald looked troubled as well; he had his elbows placed on his knees and was frowning as he watched his daughter’s battle. Joanna, however, wore a half-smile as she brought her drink to her lips.
“Nancy talks about that Konohana girl,” she said, noticing that Belle was watching her.
“She says that she’s a Lilycove favorite. I see why now.”
“You do realize that you’re supposed to root for your
, right?” Belle asked her.
“I root for the winner.” Joanna took a sip of her water. Belle had the urge to reach over and smack it into her face.
The battle was an intense one; points were given and taken away on both sides. It was the longest battle yet. After a while, it didn’t look so good for Swablu; she seemed tired, and her points were pretty low. Cassandra looked calm, but she was panicking as she surveyed the battle.
Sakura smirked. As far as she was concerned, she had this battle in the bag. “Hide,” she said softly.
Big mistake. Cassandra was a swift learner. In her mind’s eye, she saw Swablu hovering uncertainly over the stage and falling victim to Deena’s Horn Attack from below. She knew how to avoid it this time.
“Swablu, circle the stage from above!”
the Pokémon cried in reply, beginning its circling. Sakura frowned. If Swablu didn’t stay in one place, Deena wouldn’t know when to attack; the Goldeen was probably swimming in circles to match Swablu’s right now, uncertain.
“Now!” Sakura cried, hoping for the best. Deena burst out of the water.
“Do a barrel roll!” Cassandra yelled. She could see a question in Swablu’s eyes:
, but she did one anyway. Deena sailed up and over her, splashing as she landed back in the water.
“That was a beautiful dodge, but was it enough to give her more points?” the MC said into his mike. Cassandra’s yellow bar pushed forward a bit, but not enough to put her past Sakura. She gritted her teeth.
“Hide!” Sakura said desperately, eyeing her own yellow bar as the judges took away points for Deena’s graceless landing. She was now only ahead of Cassandra by a very small margin; she needed to get more points. The clock was going to run out soon; it hadn’t for any of the other battles, which had all resulted in a definite win by a Pokémon fainting.
Cassandra was beginning to see that Sakura was a bit of a one-trick pony. “Get her!” she yelled to Swablu. “Go fishing!”
Swablu did one quick tight circle over the center of the pool before diving into it. The crowd gasped.
Swablu didn’t come up.
For several agonizing seconds, neither Pokémon was visible. Cassandra watched the water, every muscle of her body on high alert. She saw a slight shadow and moved her hand; the shadow turned in the direction she indicated. She reached one hand back toward her hair, and then several things happened at once.
Cassandra’s hair fell from its bun and fanned out, catching the light as it tumbled down around her shoulders; she flung her arm out at the same moment, and Swablu burst from the surface of the water, synchronized perfectly with Cassandra’s movements. Deena flopped helplessly in her beak. Water droplets shimmered as they fell from her body, making her seem to glow as she ascended to the ceiling.
“A beautiful coordination between Trainer and Pokémon!” the MC shouted excitedly.
“And what fishing skill!”
“Drop!” Cassandra called. Swablu opened her beak; Deena fell, tumbling over herself. “Hit!”
Swablu chased Deena down and buffeted her with a wing; she zoomed to the other end of the stadium, wheeled expertly, and then came back to hit Deena again. She kept this up until Deena landed in the water with a flop, belly-up.
She had fainted.
And Sakura’s points were now down to zero. Swablu’s, however, were practically bursting from the bar; the MC was yelling excitedly. “What a victory! Our own local, long-haired Cassandra Étoile has
Swablu shook itself dry before coming down to land in Cassandra’s arms; Cassandra squeezed it. The crowd was on its feet, including Belle and Gerald. Joanna set down her water and stood, clapping with a surprised expression on her face.
I WON MY FIRST CONTEST!! I’m so happy! Mom even took me and Belle to Lilycove Department Store so I could pick out a ribbon case. She BOUGHT it for me. Isn’t that freakin’ AMAZING?? My mother did something nice for me!!
I don’t think I did all that well, but I won!! YAY!!
Well, tonight is Belle’s last night here (T_T), so I better get back to her. Oh, she wants to type something.
Hey, don’t let our modest Cassandra fool you. She did AWESOME!! You should have seen it! Actually, Papa G bought a DVD of the battle from the Contest Hall. We’re gonna put it on PokéTube!!! XD
Hey, Cassandra again. And NO SHE’S NOT.
Love your winning friend,
P.S. That email…we love you too, Alyssa. It really made us cry.
Joined Aug 2009
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