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Old April 26th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Post Office Buddy's Avatar
Post Office Buddy
Trapped inside this Octavarium
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan (The land of the ice and snow)
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet

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Prompt: Wander


Month: April


Rating: PG



Well, I haven't done an FFC since joining this forum, so I decided to write one. I tried to use some underlying themes here, which should be pretty obvious near the middle of the story, so be on the lookout for those. I made a revision on the 27th of April, placing the header information and this wonderful introduction here along with fixing some sections and adding some detail in some spots. I hope you like it, and please comment/review.



My Endless Loneliness



By Post Office Buddy


My eyes opened in response to a shrill cry nearby. I groaned as I rose to my feet, groggy from my interrupted sleep. I peered into the moonlit clearing surrounding me, attempting to ascertain the source of the noise, but was unable to determine its whereabouts. I turned my head left and right, my eyes attempting to penetrate the gloom, but my feeble efforts yielded no results.

I sighed in exasperation; it was the third time tonight that I had been awoken. Each time before had been the same as now: I would wake up, glance around to find the origin of the sound, and drift off to sleep once I gave up looking. This time, however, I decided I was going to search for the source.

With this decision came a problem: Where was I supposed to look? The noise had been barely audible, only being loud enough to rouse me from my slumber, so I didn't think I had an accurate perception of where it had come from.

I had been standing still for a long moment, trying to decide which way to go first, when the noise penetrated the darkness once again. This time I could determine where it had come from. I turned towards the source of the sound and ran towards it, bounding across the clearing in huge leaps. I put all of my energy into that run, determined to find the source of the noise as quickly as I could. I realized that I had to slow down to avoid injury as I neared the forest, so I did exactly that. In less than a minute, I had entered the forest.

This forest had been my home for several years, where I had been all but banished because of Human urban legends. They believed that I caused disasters, that if I were to appear near one of them then something horrible would happen to that person. It is true that my species has high acuity to natural events, but to link this sort of sixth sense to being the actual cause of disaster was only ignorance. Even other species of Pokemon avoided me, having been exposed to the same types of urban legends as the Humans.

In this way, I was utterly alone in the world. No one, Pokemon, Human, or otherwise, would associate with me. I had been left to wander aimlessly through these woods as punishment for an urban legend, for simply being born differently. Every species had fled my brethren, even the dreaded Houndoom.

I had learned how to travel quickly through the forest through experience, and I knew the location of almost every fallen tree, every little pond, or every large lake. I knew the terrain better than the Graveler who dotted the hillsides. I knew it even better than the bird Pokemon that flew overhead, using the landmarks as a natural compass to find their way home.

It was this experience that allowed me to reach the source quickly, faster than any other Pokemon could have done. Only I could have made it in time to prevent a disaster. Maybe it was for this reason Humans christened my species the Disaster Pokemon in their tiny, handheld devices.

I arrived in the clearing, prepared to face any adversity I may face. I glanced around, puzzled that I could see nothing. No Pokemon or Humans lay in wait for me here, but I could tell that I was in the right area since the strange shrilling sound emanated from somewhere nearby. I peered through the gloom and noticed a small cliff through a small patch of trees. I walked to it and glanced down. I froze when I peered down, unable to comprehend. I couldn't believe my eyes; however, what I saw down that chasm changed my life forever.

About three feet down, hanging onto a rock jutting out from the cliff-side, was a small Human girl, perhaps in her teenage years. She wore a scared expression on her face, obviously worried about the fate she faced if she fell. I looked down further and was surprised to find that I couldn't see the bottom. Worry gripped my heart mercilessly, disabling my ability to do anything to save this child. I fought it, however, and soon acted.

When the girl saw me, her jaw dropped open and her eyes grew wide in terror, apparently recognizing my form and knowing full well what it meant. She probably thought she was going to die, since Absol only appear when disaster strikes.

Her hands began to loosen and it appeared that she was going to fall down the chasm. I thought quickly, trying to decide on the appropriate way to save this Human. I grew anxious; there was little I could do to convince her that I was here to help. Either way, I was going to try.

I tried to reassure her with a kindhearted gaze, but my kindhearted gaze probably struck her as a menacing sneer. I grew agitated and stuck my left foreleg towards her, trying to get her to climb up. I braced myself with my three remaining legs so I wouldn't fall down the chasm and to my death. The girl eyed my foreleg before reluctantly grabbing hold. She held on for dear life, convinced that I was going to toss her down or something of the like. I both laughed and sighed inside my mind, amused but frustrated at this girl's misconceptions. She was obviously a victim of the lies her species spread about my race, choosing to believe rumors rather than experiencing things on her own.

I pulled the girl up, depleting much of my strength in the process. She was heavier than I had first thought, and living in the forest had made me lazy, choosing to sleep instead of hunting or training. I collapsed to the ground after I was sure the girl was safe, exhaustion taking hold and driving me towards unconsciousness.

I awoke the next day in some brightly lit room with a Human face staring at me, concerned. I immediately tried to escape, but found myself bound by thick leather straps. The woman staring down at me revealed a look of pity as I did so, but made no move to release me.

“I'm sorry,” she said to me, despite the fact that most Humans didn't think that Pokemon could understand any English save for their attacks. She probably believed that she was talking mostly to herself. “I can't let you go,” she continued. “You are extremely exhausted, and if you try to leave now then you will only collapse again and die of exhaustion.”

I contemplated the woman's logic, and admitted to myself that the she was correct. I was too weak to fend for myself, and what with the superstitious nature of humans, if I tried to leave, they would take it as a sign of foreboding and would try to kill me, or worse, capture me.

The woman left the room briefly, but I didn't notice much more than that. I was instead thinking about how long I would have to stay here, gathering my strength until I was strong enough to survive in the forest again. The woman returned after a few short moments outside and approached me, a small smile on her face.

“The girl you saved would like to see you,” she said to me. She turned and walked to the door, opening it slowly for the girl to enter. She didn't seem to have suffered too much damage to her body, but small cuts seemed prevalent over her forearms. I decided that the cuts were to be expected since she had been hanging onto a cliff for quite a while. The rough manner with which I pulled her up probably rubbed her arms against the cliff wall, damaging them further.

I watched the girl approach me cautiously, some fear still evident in her sky-blue eyes. She drew nearer to me until we were almost touching. Then, she did something unexpected: she lowered her face to me and started crying. I was puzzled. I couldn't determine why she would cry about being saved. I thought perhaps more lied behind it.

“I would like to thank you for saving me,” she said, sobbing the whole while. “I was only a few minutes away from falling to my death before you showed up. When I saw you, I thought that my fate was sealed and I would fall and die. I now see that I was wrong.” She smiled at me, tears still streaming down her face.

“Are you sure you're okay?” the woman asked, concerned.

“Yes, this is something I must do, Nurse Joy,” she replied to the woman. She turned back to me. “I now see that us Humans have depicted you wrongly. If you were really to create disasters everywhere you went, then I would have died the minute you showed your face. I feel I must apologize for doubting you. It was wrong of me and doesn't help your species in any way.”

I nodded as best I could as my body was still trapped by the bindings. What else could I do but forgive her? She was a product of a corrupt society governed by fear and prejudice. She could not be wronged for what she initially thought of me, as other members of her species were more content with ending my life. We are all but slaves to society, bound by the norms of our respective cultures. It is too much to expect deviation from a cultural standard except through experience, and sadly, few Humans have experienced the true nature of my species.

It seemed that the girl had understood my simple gesture, and replied by nodding back, a smile creeping back to her face. She seemed exponentially relieved by my act of forgiveness. I felt more at ease, knowing that at least one Human had been liberated from the lies of society.

“I was actually wondering,” the girl began, a nervous look conquering her eyes. I had thought there would be something more. “I thought that you could use a trainer, and I have always wanted an Absol.” She looked serious, the weight of her words being conveyed to me through her honest gaze. I thought about her proposition, knowing full well that I would be giving up my freedom if I submitted. I was alone, though, and had desired companionship for some time. However, I didn't think I really wanted this kind of companionship. It would be comparable to capture and slavery, both of which I was opposed to, and I would not defile myself in that way.

I looked at her solemnly before revealing my decision. I shook my head slowly, a wave of sadness and relief passing over me at the same time as she dropped her gaze and turned around to leave the room. She walked towards the door in silence, saddened by my refusal to join her. At the door she turned around, looking at me with a look of pity once more.

“I guess you will just go live on your own again,” she said. The words penetrated me like a sharp sword, slicing my security in half with indifference. “Your only real option then is to wander through that forest,” she finished with a mute sob.

She had only stated a truth that I and every Absol knew. I knew that my existence was merely to wander. It was all I had ever done, all that I knew. I nodded in agreement with her as she turned away and closed the door, pushing me out of her life forever.

It took a few weeks to recuperate, but when I finally did, I returned to the forest I had called home for those many years. It seemed much less inviting than before, almost as if it wanted nothing to do with me either. I entered anyway, knowing that the return to my clearing would settle my unease and discard my pain.

I hate to admit it, but the girl was right; all I have done since that day is wander. I never even returned to my home clearing, finding it much less inviting than before. I simply wandered from clearing to clearing, trying to find a suitable home, one where I could rest comfortably. Years went by and I had still not found a home. I was getting old, almost too old to continue my feeble wanderings. I finally settled on a clearing, more out of need than want. I settled down there and spent the rest of my days semi-happy.

The day came where I passed on. It was strange. It didn't feel quite as I had thought it would. Instead of floating off into a new void that I could call home, where I could settle down into, I felt that I was wandering yet again. It was through this that I realized that the true purpose of an Absol is to wander, in both life and death, no companions of any kind to associate with.
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I am returning once again (hopefully for good). I will be updating Affliction regularly and reviewing other people's fics every so often. If you would like to request a review, then please send me a PM.

My FFC entry for April 2008: My Endless Loneliness
My Discontinued, Chaptered FanFiction: The Fall of Light
My current chaptered FanFiction: Affliction
My Parody of Pure Awesomeness (requires some context to fully appreciate): Sir. Aaron - A Parody

Last edited by Post Office Buddy; November 30th, 2008 at 07:33 PM.
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  #2    
Old April 27th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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icomeanon6
It's "I Come Anon"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Wow.

That was simply breathtaking, I loved the commentary on how our actions in life reflect our experience in eternity. I noticed a few mistakes, but nothing that really gets in the way of the story. In the paragraph where Absol finds the girl hanging over the cliff, you referred to the girl in plural form several times. Aside from that, it read completely easily. Excellent job!
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My chapter fics:
Kanto: The Disputed Frontier - 14 chapters, indefinite hiatus. Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure - 8 chapters, completed. Digimon Campaign - 7 chapters, ongoing

One-shots:
There's Always Tomorrow (SWC 2009), A Matter of Stubbornness (SWC 2010), Left by the Roadside
(SWC 2011 1st place),
Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It (2012), By What Right? (SWC 2013 1st place), Back in the Day (SWC 2014 1st place) (New!)


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  #3    
Old April 28th, 2008, 03:52 AM
Acrutheo's Avatar
Acrutheo
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Incredible. I especially enjoyed the way you built up the Absol character, giving clues to which pokemon it is before revealing it bluntly, and also showing society's perception of it.

My pedantry has got the better of me, and I do have one suggestion. Near the beginning, you say "audible at best", to show quietness. This feels a bit weird, because usually with "[adjective] at best" statements, [adjective] is an undesirable state, while "audible" has neutral connotations. Possibly "barely audible" would be better?
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  #4    
Old April 28th, 2008, 05:01 PM
Post Office Buddy's Avatar
Post Office Buddy
Trapped inside this Octavarium
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan (The land of the ice and snow)
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Thank you for your suggestions and compliments. I am actually quite surprised that it has received such acclaim. I seriously wrote it in one hour, around midnight. I blame most of my errors on that fact alone, but I must admit that I purposely, and thoughtlessly, used "audible at best". I have revised this error, however, and I believe I have made that sentence much better.

Although I wrote this story just to do a fan fiction challenge, I also put some thought behind it. I wanted the reader to realize the parallel between Absol's life and the lives of many people in the real world who are persecuted just for being different.

Like Absol, some people are persecuted because they happened to be born of the wrong race, or in Absol's case, the wrong species. People like African Americans, Asians, the physically handicapped, and the mentally disabled have no choice over how they were born. It's not as if they have control over how their body is formed physically, or in some cases the mentally, but people insult and joke about them as if it were all their fault. The prevalence of this in today's society greatly angered me, and this fan fiction is my outcry to this monstrosity. I would prefer to live in a world of love, peace, and equality, not one of hate, disgust, and supremacy.

Doing this sort of thing isn't necessarily the offenders fault, either. Many are raised in homes that have upheld racial or physical supremacy for centuries. People growing up in these kinds of homes just have to learn to take a stand and defend people who are just a little "different." After all, aren't we all made up of the same basic building blocks, our bodies designed in a specific manner? Just think of that, and try to look past the differences and see the similarities.

So in case you were wondering what this short fiction was all about, this is it. I don't care if I lose readers because of my beliefs. Voicing my opinion is the most important thing to me. If people fail to enjoy my writing because of my opinions, then so be it.
__________________
I am returning once again (hopefully for good). I will be updating Affliction regularly and reviewing other people's fics every so often. If you would like to request a review, then please send me a PM.

My FFC entry for April 2008: My Endless Loneliness
My Discontinued, Chaptered FanFiction: The Fall of Light
My current chaptered FanFiction: Affliction
My Parody of Pure Awesomeness (requires some context to fully appreciate): Sir. Aaron - A Parody

Last edited by Post Office Buddy; April 28th, 2008 at 06:59 PM.
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