Thoughts Upon Passing
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December 6th, 2011, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Doctor Drakken's lair
The concept of Pokemon death is not one often explored in fanfiction, I find. Well, perhaps I lie - it happens often, but it's usually trivialised or overdone. This manages to find something of a balance between the two. It's a precarious balance, though. While the very fact that the entire subject matter is death prevents it from being trivialised, it does lean somewhat towards that side. While I enjoy your use of tone - you've made it feel quite sombre and serious, which I appreciate - I do feel as perhaps a little more could have been added while still retaining the concise feeling you have here.
For example, I feel that a specific shared memory from the Pokemon's past with their Trainer wouldn't have gone amiss. Something not too powerful would have evoked a little more sympathy - because that's what I feel is lacking a little. You do a splendid job of describing how the Pokemon feels
, for sure, but the emphasis on the past is fleeting at best, and feels as if it's a bit skipped over. While you do mention the shared past at a few points, it just seems like it could have been put across with a bit more force. If that even makes any sense.
In terms of good things I haven't touched on already, I really liked the imagery in this line:
The more I cling to those memories the more they crumble like fallen leaves.
It's simple - no unnecessary embellishment - but it's an effective image because it draws a subliminal parallel beyond what's explicitly stated. Not only do the memories
like fallen leaves, but they also lie dead on the ground. Where was that other bit I liked . . . ? Oh, yes. This:
I dearly wish I could tell you it wasn't your fault, tell you that you were brave and strong and did everything you could to bring us both home safely, tell you that I was glad to do what I did even though I was sore afraid. I wish I could lick your tears away.
But I can't now. I can't see or feel or hear anything now.
From a storytelling view, that was an impressive bit of misdirection, intentional or otherwise. It made me wonder for a moment whether this was going to turn nasty and have the Pokemon blaming their Trainer for their failure, which doesn't happen often. When it became clear in the next paragraph, though, it brought me back to ground quite effectively, which is what a technique like that should do.
On the whole, the piece was enjoyable. There was a good emphasis on the feelings of the Pokemon, but I think it did lose a bit of its emotional impact due to a confusion of the two main emotions: loss (or sadness) and hope (or happiness of a kind). While each of the two works, when you conflate them like this it made it a little difficult for me to connect to the piece on an emotional level simply because I wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to feel.
There wasn't any context in the story, but I don't feel it needed it. I normally wouldn't even comment on that, but I get the feeling that somebody will take issue with it.
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