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March 17th, 2011 (7:49 AM).
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
In the middle of nowhere.
“Can we go into town today?” Karen asked as Cassandra came out of the bathroom, scaring her half to death. The younger girl had been asleep when she had gone in, and now she stood directly in front of the bathroom door.
“Because…I want to hang out and stuff. Plus, I need some more coloring books.”
“Well, I don’t know if there’s any place to get coloring books around Fallarbor Town,” Cassandra told Karen, pushing past her to get to the dresser. “We might have to take the cable car to Lavaridge for that.”
“I just want to get out of here. I’m bored. Aren’t you, Fluffy?” Since Karen and Cassandra’s chat about Poké Balls, Cassandra kept her Pokémon out unless it was absolutely necessary for them to be in their Balls—Ellia, though, had to be kept in for most situations, since she had a tendency to set things on fire.
Fluffy chose not to answer; he glanced over at Cassandra and stretched out across the floor, yawning.
“That’s fine. Get dressed and grab your umbrella. Swablu, Finny, do you want in or out?” Cassandra picked their Poké Balls up off the dresser.
Swablu chirped from her spot on Cassandra’s headboard at the same time Finny made a noise from her bed.
“They both say out,” Karen called from the bathroom.
“I don’t even need to ask you,” Cassandra said to Fluffy.
When they were both dressed, Cassandra, Karen, and all the Pokémon walked the short way to Fallarbor Town. Swablu perched on Cassandra’s head, and Fluffy and Finny walked on either side of her. Ellia trotted ahead, tossing her head as ashes fell on it, and Tuffly carried Karen’s umbrella.
As they neared the town, the ashes stopped falling, for which Cassandra was extremely grateful. Tuffly folded up the umbrella. “Do you want to grab some breakfast first?” Cassandra asked, gesturing towards a small restaurant.
“Sure.” Karen led the way.
The restaurant may have been small, but it was packed. Cassandra sighed as they stepped in. “It might be a long wait.”
“I’m willing to wait,” Karen remarked.
A few people were sitting on small wooden benches near the entrance, obviously waiting for a table. The hostess finished writing something in a large notebook as she glanced up. “Two? The wait will be about—hey!” Her eyes jumped from Cassandra’s face, to Karen’s, to Finny standing by Cassandra’s leg. “Aren’t you Cassandra Étoile?”
Everyone on the benches looked up. “It is!” one woman exclaimed. She stood from her seat by her husband, swiftly handing him the small child she had been holding in her lap. “Cassandra Étoile! Sarah Rhodes, I’m so excited to meet you.” She closed the distance between them and seized Cassandra’s hand, pumping it. “I think you deserved to win the Contest. You haven’t given up, have you?”
“No,” Cassandra replied with a smile. “I haven’t.”
“Fantastic! You perform beautifully, like a dream!”
“You certainly do,” cried another woman, appearing beside the first. “I’m with her, you should have won that Contest—”
“Oh, really, Sakura Konohana—” Cassandra began, but there was a shout of protest from the several people who had suddenly gathered around her.
“Something wasn’t right about that Konohana girl!” one man exclaimed. “I think she bribed a judge!”
“Yeah!” several people shouted.
“You shouldn’t slander her name like that,” Cassandra said with a smile, inwardly bursting with pride. “She may have won honestly and fairly—”
“I don’t think so,” Sarah Rhodes snapped. “She drew blood from this Marshtomp here, I saw it. Isn’t there a rule against that?”
There was a chorus of assent from the crowd, and Cassandra smiled at everyone. “Well, let’s not discuss it now. I’m flattered that you all seem to like me.”
“Honey, you’re one of the best Coordinators this town’s seen. And that hair? It’s amazing. What do you do to it?”
“Oh, well…just shampoo, conditioner, and a good brushing before I go to bed,” she replied nervously.
“It has to be a special kind of shampoo,” Sarah insisted, but she smiled slyly. “You don’t want to give away your secrets, I suppose. Don’t want everyone walking around with Cassandra hair.”
Cassandra was a bit baffled by this response—she really didn’t do anything special with her hair. But Karen smiled beside her, saying, “Coordinators are like magicians—they can’t reveal all their tricks. Now, budge up, please, give her some air.” It was strange to see someone so short wave away a crowd so large.
“We should eat somewhere else,” Cassandra told Karen in an undertone. The pink-haired girl looked up at her confusedly.
“Why? Everyone here seems to like you.”
Cassandra opened her mouth to speak, but the hostess announced that the next table was ready; the person insisted that Cassandra take it, saying they would wait a bit longer, and so Cassandra and Karen sat across from each other in a booth that Tuffly could actually fit in and ordered breakfast—chocolate-chip waffles for Karen, blueberry pancakes for Cassandra.
When their food came, Cassandra found it hard to watch Karen drown her waffles in chocolate syrup without feeling as though she would develop diabetes, so she turned her attention instead to her Pokémon, making sure they had Pokémon food to their liking. Their waitress kept bowing and smiling and thanking them, and before they left, she nervously asked Cassandra for an autograph.
Cassandra had never felt so important in her life.
“Don’t do it like that,” Karen snapped severely from under her pink umbrella. Cassandra blankly looked over at the girl. She was sitting astride Ellia, attempting to ride her for the first time. The Ponyta had been wary at first, but now she seemed just fine, standing stock-still under the falling ash.
“But this is how you’re supposed to do it, isn’t it?” Cassandra asked. “How else could you ride a Ponyta or Rapidash?”
“Sidesaddle, of course,” Karen said. She placed a hand on her hip. “It will look much more elegant, and that’s what you need to think about, since you’re a Coordinator. If you come riding into the hall sitting on a Rapidash like that, everyone’s going to think cowgirl. But if you ride in sidesaddle—that makes an impression.”
“But I don’t know how to ride sidesaddle.”
“Do you know how to ride that way?”
Cassandra slipped off Ellia’s back. “Good point,” she said, as Ellia bent her knees slightly and allowed Cassandra to scoot up with both legs hanging over one side. It was a little awkward, but she shifted a bit so that her butt fell into a groove in Ellia’s back, and her legs just folded gracefully against the Ponyta’s side.
“I’m thinking white,” Karen said. “White, gauzy…bare feet, hair down. If you play with the lighting, your hair could look like fire.”
“Should I get a saddle?”
“No! It’ll look better without one. Bareback you look…natural.”
It was so strange to hear these tips from cute little Karen. This girl knew things about image. “Natural?”
“Yes. All Coordinators have a certain image—Sakura had her traditional look, Violet Tanner had the whole flower-thing going for her, Danielle Breesin had this mermaid look…it comes standard with being a Coordinator. You have to have a look. And I think you could pull of the Mother Nature look.”
Cassandra raised her eyebrows, impressed by Karen’s knowledge of famous Coordinators. She shifted on Ellia’s back. “The Contest is really soon,” she said. “I think I’ll start training now, and we can get back to this later.”
“Okay, but remember—nature. I’ll go and pick out your next outfit.”
Cassandra shook her head slightly as she watched the pink-haired girl march back toward the inn.
I’m excited too!!
Having Belle back to normal is so great…I just feel awesome now!
So it turns out that Karen also knows a lot about Coordinators and Contests, and she’s decided to refine my image to make me “Mother Nature” or something like that. Anyway,
WE HAVE BELLE BACK!!!
I’m so excited!!
And congrats on your new mission! Why are you excited about having a mission with some woman who spells her name weird?
Love you bunches,
P.S. Only five more days until the contest!!!
Joined Aug 2009
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