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  #76    
Old September 7th, 2017 (1:28 PM).
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Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
Idly Wasting Away...
     
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    Chapter 47: Spiritual Poison

    "Mmmmm~!" Kirlia enjoys the breeze as she sits atop Max's shoulders. "Today is nice!"

    "We don't get many summer days like this in Texas, so we gotta enjoy them to the last drop," Max walks on.

    As the two approach the agora of commerce towards the store of their choosing, a crowd of people has gathered around something of interest. Curious, Max and Kirlia both bat an eye towards the center, but ultimately decide it's of no concern to them. But before they pass the crowd, a voice catches their attention from the center.

    "Evil incarnate!" An old man wearing black clothes, complete with a fedora and a scarf that flows with the summer breeze. "These creatures you people know as 'Pokémon' are nothing but the devil's candy meant to entice the weak!"

    Kirlia begins to dismount Max's shoulders as they both come to a stop and continue listening to the man's speech.

    "They do not belong in our towns!" the man continues as he adjusts his small, round sunglasses. "They do nothing but cause destruction at the hands of their owners for sport! Beasts like these are meant to be put down before they become a threat to us humans like the garbage that they are!"

    Silently angry, Max gets down onto his knees to get to Kirlia's eye-level. "Sweetheart, listen closely," he begins.

    The man continues his speech as he speaks louder, with his arms spread out into the sky, as he holds a bible in one hand. "Call your politicians, write them letters, and spread these words!" he shouts. "Pokémon do not have a place in our societies!"

    "Is that so, eh?" Max makes his way through the crowd, with the people in his way seemingly being pushed aside, gently, by some unknown force. "Mind explaining the basis of what you're blathering on about?"

    Eyes of many rest upon the sight of some nobody who comes before the church-man who has gathered quite the attention. Some people ask and wonder about who Max is, while others swear they've seen him around on the streets, trying to point out what about him is seemingly missing. Others, however, wonder where his little companion has gone off to.

    The church-man acknowledges Max. "You necklace, young man," he loudly speaks to draw attention to the Poké Ball Max wears on his necklace. "You must have one of these creatures of sin, do you not?"

    Slowly, Max removes his necklace and holds his Poké Ball towards the church-man. With his thumb over the button, the church-man visibly hesitates a bit; however, when Max's Ball opens up, absolutely nothing happens.

    "It's just a ball," he calmly states.

    "It's an instrument of destruction!" the church-man shouts as he sporadically spins to face the many spectators. "A symbol of sin and collusion! Child, you bare an emblem that promotes evil and fighting of which only the likes of war have bore witness to! Nothing but shame is contained in that Ball!"

    "So," Max begins to scratch his head. "What you're saying is that Pokémon, these wonderful creatures who stay by our side like companions, who have been documented as saving the lives of wandering adventurers - with or without being contained in these capsules - for no benefit to themselves, and have helped boost both economic and medical breakthroughs in recent decades, are evil?"

    The crowd speak amongst themselves, seemingly agreeing with Max's point.

    Nervous, the church-man begins to shout. "That changes nothing of the fact that people pin these creatures against one another for their own entertainment! And because you partake in such a sin, child, you deserve nothing but the harshest punishment known to man: the penalty of death-!"

    "IF YOU'RE GONNA KILL ME, I SUGGEST YOU TRY!" Max's voice booms loudly as his body begins to levitate, his feet losing contact with the pavement below. Like an explosion, bright lights of vivid pink and purple surround his body, surging like an aura, fierce, and deadly.

    The people in the crowd are split on whether they should retreat, scream, or take out their phones. Startled off his feet, the church-man looks up at the boy who continues to glow, with the aura surging greater and brighter as he slowly approaches. Screaming, the church-man struggles to crawl away, eventually regaining enough footing to run, leaving his bible behind.

    As the church-man departs, a little fairy girl approaches. With her hands and eyes occupied, she slowly walks through the crowd without breaking her concentration. Max is slowly brought back down to earth, aura leaving him, as Kirlia ceases her job.

    She wipes a bead of sweat from her face. "That was kinda mean, Master," she mourns.

    "Nobody calls my darling 'garbage'," he declares as he pets her head.

    The crowd begins to dissolve, yet what they've witnessed has left differing stamps. While some giggle and adore the work of a little fairy, some wonder if all men of the cloth feel the same. However, a boy and his Pokémon think nothing more of what they've done, only caring of each other's well-beings, as well as the errands they've yet to tend to.

    Afterword:

    Arceus loves me, he loves me a bunch, cuz he always puts Skippy, in my lunch~.
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      #77    
    Old September 21st, 2017 (6:20 AM).
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    Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
    Idly Wasting Away...
       
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      Chapter 48: It's a Secret

      "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!"

      Zoey slumps over on her seat.

      "What?" Max enters the living room from her kitchen with a glass of Kool-Aid in hand. "What happened?"

      Without looking at him, Zoey lifts her hand and shows him the minuscule problem.

      "What's wrong?" Kirlia enters the room as she holds a Growlithe in her arms, flailing happily as if nothing else mattered.

      "Zoey's getting old," Max chuckles.

      "Shut up!" she whines. "I'm too young to get white hairs like these!" she thrashes her fists against the couch cushions and her socked-feet against the carpet like a child.

      "Wanna know how to keep from getting more?" Max sits next to her.

      "Tell me~," she whimpers as she leans up against him, with her full body weight nearly knocking him over. "How do you keep your hair so black?!"

      "Would you believe me if I told you I was an edgelord who dyes his hair?"

      "No edgelord goes out of his way to feed a tiny ballerina Pop-Tarts," Zoey responds, seemingly deadpan as her words are muffles in Max's shirt.

      "Look," Max shifts her upright, taking her off from himself as he holds her by the shoulders to keep her from leaning over again. "You've been pushing yourself lately. What with school and work, and school-work; you need to chill."

      Zoey stares at him blankly. "You mean Net-?"

      "No," Max responds, slightly annoyed. "I mean, just take it easy. When was the last time you took a day off from work?"

      She takes a moment to think. Receiving his answer, Max swipes her phone away from her while she remains distracted. Zoey doesn't realize what he's done until he's begun to speak.

      "Hi, yeah, this is Zoey's brother Andrew." As Zoey begins to reach for her phone, Max shoves her back with a hand to her face. "My kid sister's become incredibly stressed lately trying to juggle school with you guys, and I was wondering when she last asked for a day off from you-... Really?"

      "What are you doing?!" Zoey viciously whispers.

      "That long, huh? ...Yeah, she is. Actually, she's begun to grow 'canas' lately!"

      "Don't tell my boss about the white hair!" she growls at a low-yet-high-pitched volume.

      Max gently pinches Zoey's lips shut, earning him a look of extreme disapproval. "The summer semester's over after next week. ...I think each class is about two hours long, maybe three; I know that they hold it every day of the week. It's basically non-stop cramming in this heat. ...Thank you, I try to be funny," he chuckles.

      Zoey growls.

      "Yeah. ...Uh-huh. ...So, tomorrow? ...Well, she's sleeping right now, like a log. ...Sure thing, I'll let her know. Thanks, just looking out for my baby sis. ...Thanks, bye." Max hangs up.

      "...What'd they say?" Zoey asks, worried, with rosy cheeks.

      "'Don't come in tomorrow.' You have the rest of this week off with pay, and then the rest of next week off completely."

      Zoey keeps her eyes to the ground, trying not to let her smile show.

      "You're welcome," Max states. Zoey gently slaps him on the shoulder without looking up. "Now you can relax those white hairs away."

      "Shut up," she giggles. Slowly, she leans in for a hug. As she rests her chin on his shoulder, she notices Kirlia and Rocky playing together in the kitchen.

      Kirlia holds Rocky's two front paws as he stands on his hind legs. Hysterically, Kirlia struggles to dance with him, but Rocky keeps licking her face, causing him to fall on all fours. Desperate, she uses her psychic abilities to position him on his feet again.

      Zoey breaks the hug away. "So, relaxing will get rid of the white?"

      "Works for me," Max says as he jokingly flips his short hair.

      She giggles. "I wouldn't believe that I grew white hair before you, expecially considering how much older you are than me."

      "Just a few years," he adds, trying not to sound old.

      Zoey looks back at Kirlia and Rocky. "Hey, how old do you think Kirlia is."

      Max smiles a bit. "Couldn't say."

      "Well, have you asked her?" Max looks away with an awkward smile. "You haven't asked her?!"

      "You ask her!" Max replies with a slight giggle.

      "Fine, I will!"

      Max turns to Kirlia. "Hey Kirlia, mind coming over for a second?"

      "Okay!" she happily bounces on her toes as she makes her way over, with Rocky following behind her. "What do you need?"

      Max sits her down on his lap, facing Zoey. "Kirlia, Zoey has something she wants to ask."

      "Hmm?" Kirlia looks at Zoey.

      "Kirlia," Zoey leans in a bit. "How old are you-?"

      Loudly, Kirlia blows a raspberry in Zoey's face. With eyes shut tight, Zoey removes her glasses and begins to wipe them on her blouse.

      Max sits Kirlia back down on his lap, whose tongue still hangs out. He chuckles a bit. "Learned your lesson?" he laughs.

      Afterword:

      In spite of my own age, I've never gotten used to being called a "man", or a "sir". I still feel like a 12-year-old on the inside.
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        #78    
      Old September 26th, 2017 (9:33 AM).
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      Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
      Idly Wasting Away...
         
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        Chapter 49: Surfing on an Armchair

        Max sits in his armchair as his mind grows numb from watching the news.

        "Master," Kirlia calls from over her shoulder, "I'm gonna get a snack. Do you want something too?"

        Max snaps conscious. "Yeah, anything."

        Kirlia Teleports onto his lap, with two carrots in her hands, handing one to Max.

        "...This?" he asks, staring at the carrot.

        "If you're not gonna watch what you eat, then someone should," she states, pouting a bit.

        "Fine," he chuckles a bit as he takes a crunchy bite.

        Kirlia takes the remote. "What are we watching?"

        "Our president's being a dumbass for the sixth month straight."

        She giggles. "No more of da clown," she states as she changes the channel. "'Friends' is on?"

        Max chuckles a bit. "Yeah, otherwise known as 'Exclusive White People's Café '."

        "Nooooo~!" Kirlia squeaks. She takes a small pause. "Why is that so accurate?!"

        Max laughs as he takes a bite of carrot. "Anything else on?"

        Kirlia flips through channels as she nibbles on her carrot. "Is this 'House'?"

        Max looks closely for a second. "I don't think so. Reruns of 'House' are so rare, they're precious." A doctor appears on the screen, and Max takes a bite of his carrot. "Nyeh," he starts while munching, "what's up, doc?"

        Kirlia giggles. "Did you grow up in front of da tube?"

        "T'was my life before I met people," Max laughs as he pressed down on the remote. "I love 'Impractical Jokers' as much as the next fat ass," he begins, "but marathons of it can get exhausting."

        "Uh-huh," Kirlia agrees as she munches a bit. "Unless they play da newer episodes."

        "True," Max agrees.

        Kirlia flips through more channels. "Da cute kitty!" she exclaims. The cat on the screen scratches the bald man with the goatee. "Bad kitty!" she yells at the screen.

        "It's just a commercial," Max chuckles as he presses the button. "Hey, it's 'The Loud House'!"

        "I love this show," Kirlia begins, "but not when it's a Lola episode."

        "Hey, wait," Max takes notice. "The episode just began. Did the hour just turn? Go back a few channels," he begins to press down. "Ooh, '2 Broke Girls' is on!"

        Kirlia's toes begin to fidget rapidly. "I wanna be friends with Max!"

        "You're just sayin' that cuz you'd both keep a secret stash of Pop-Tarts somewhere," he teases.

        "And dun you think about taking any," Kirlia pouts.

        "I'd be the one to buy them in the first place," he chuckles.

        Kirlia takes a moment. "You can have some." Max laughs. "Hey Master, if you and Max got together, how would we tell you apart?"

        Max ponders on her odd question for a moment. "I get it," he laughs. "But Caroline needs love too." The character in question begins speaking about herself and her own interests in spite of the current situation. "I wanna break up with Caroline now."

        Kirlia giggles as she flips through more channels. "An ad for Samantha Bee's show on da news channel?"

        "Kind of ironic, huh?" Max notices. "I just wish she'd have a consistent schedule. Or a schedule at all."

        "No more politics," Kirlia states as she flips some more. "Politics are for da weeknights."

        "Just like Carpool Karaoke," Max adds, "but only if I care about the passenger."

        "Master, look! It's 'Catfish'!" Kirlia studies the investigation.

        "Lemme save you the trouble," Max begins as he crunches some carrot. "The guys get an email, their client was fooled by some hot person's photos, the editors try to prove their relevance to the youth by writing text-like graphics, the catfish is usually fat or troubled, or both, lots of unnecessary shakey-cam is everywhere, there's yelling, they stop talking, rinse, repeat. It's rare when the person in the photos is the actual person."

        "Series over, show cancelled," Kirlia nibbles as she flips through more channels. "How much longer before 'Dragon Ball Super' airs?"

        "Could be a while," Max finishes his carrot. He picks Kirlia up by the waist and sits her up on the arm of the armchair as he goes to throw away the stub. "You can check Cartoon Network and see what's on. 'Steven Universe' is overdue for reruns, right?"

        Kirlia turns to the channel, to find disappointment. "Not this show," she begins as she gets up on her toes. "Teen Titans GO AWAY!" she hits the button. "You spoiled me with da old version, Master."

        "The good version," he states as he searches the fridge. "Now it's just a SpongeBon-ified revival."

        "Then '2 Broke Girls' it is then," Kirlia flips through channels. "Until Super airs."

        "Hey, did we run out of frozen pizzas?" Max asks, closing the fridge door. "Maybe we forgot to get some. Mind going on a quick pizza run?"

        "Can it wait after this episode?" Kirlia asks.

        Max thinks for a moment. "Yeah, sure. Unless it's Sophie-heavy, then we leave."

        Afterword:

        I'll be taking another break before starting the next arc. With USUM coming up, I'll be looking for some ways to get that scratch. So, I'll be back some other time. Not that it matters, considering how much feedback I get, so we'll see if I come back at all. Later.
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          #79    
        Old October 17th, 2017 (4:29 PM).
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        Bay Bay is offline
        Darkinium Z
         
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        Ok, since I'm done with Get Together stuff, time to play catch up once more.

        45- I take it Kirlia's Hidden Power is Fire type? If so, haha can see why Kirlia is not keeping it.

        46- "Coca-Cola imported from Mexico", well I guess the drink won't be so bad... Hah, Zoey's prank seems to backfired (no pun intended) there.

        47- Do people still say Pokemon are the devil's work today? But anyways, that's a cute prank Max and Kirlia did in front of that man there heh.

        48- I think it's nice Max made sure Zoey isn't stressing herself out. Yeah, balancing school and work can do that to you (I was able to, but it's only because I didn't have that many hours compared to other people I know).

        49- Looks like one of those is there anything on tv days for Kirlia and Max. I don't think I've heard anyone described Friends like that, but I know other shows described in similar fashion.
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          #80    
        Old March 13th, 2018 (11:24 AM).
        Taro Tanaka's Avatar
        Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
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          Chapter 50: Tangent

          Waking up, he notices the brightness of the morning sun leaking into his bedroom. He stretches his limbs, careful to keep his age from catching up. Throwing on an old pair of black jeans and a brown coat, he grabs his cane and makes his way downstairs.

          The maid greets him: "Good morning, Mr. Max. Breakfast will begin shortly," she assures him as she mops the floor.

          "Please, take your time," his baritone voice calmly floats about. "Have you seen the lady?"

          "Yes, I took the liberty of sitting her outside near the fountain," the maid replies.

          "Thank you, madam. You can bring our breakfast out when it's ready," he orders. As she curtsies in affirmation, he makes his way out.

          The sweet scent of miracle berries grown in the sanctuary fills the air outside. A large water fountain, meant for both wild and domesticated Pokémon to drink from, sits in the center of a clearing surrounded by a few benches. On one bench to the left of the fountain sits the dainty one Max is looking for.

          He approaches the closed-eye girl and gently takes a hold of one of her hands with both of his, startling her a bit. "Hello, Kirlia," he begins, "It's still me. I love you, and I hope you still love me."

          Breaking a gentle smile, she places her free hand on top of his to show acceptance.

          He takes a seat next to her, and she presses up against him. "It's been quite a ride, hasn't it, my doll?" She gently nods yes. "I never expected to become wealthy from being one of the first Texan Gym Leaders when it happened. But I guess someone had to smack some sense into the children who wanted to get into the sport. Of course, finding the balance between the competitive edge and the love of Pokémon in general was quite difficult at times, but I always loved that you were there with me to keep me from going too far over the line." He wraps one arm around her.

          On a table close to the house's back entrance sits a couple of cups of tea provided by the maid. She pours lemon into one, careful to keep the other as ideally plain as possible. "The tea is ready," she softly speaks across the opening.

          "Come, darling, let's have some tea," Max stands to his feet as he gently takes hold of Kirlia's hand in assistance.

          * * *

          Max and the maid sit at the table as they look out into the clearing. Max, looking through his tablet to keep track of his investments, enjoys the breeze of his sanctuary as the maid looks on and ponders.

          "Sir, if I may ask, why do you think she does that?" she asks as she points towards the fountain.

          With one hand against the fountain's edge, Kirlia slowly walks around the fountain, in an endless circle it forms. She keeps her hand on the cold concrete of the fountain, unable to see what's in front of her, to keep a steady walk.

          "Nobody really knows," Max replies. "Some specialists say that it might have to do something with her horn, though."

          "Her horn, sir?"

          "Yes," he looks on at her. "If you look closely at her horn, you can see that it was once broken before. According to a woman named Juniper,Kirlia had been treated for whatever happened to her before we met. Her horn ended up growing back by the time I took her under my care, but I never really brought it up, because she had always been a bit self-conscious over it. So there might be an underlying cause for her conditions because of it. Of course, it might also just be a case of old age, but we won't know anything for sure until the scans come back."

          As the pair speak on, Kirlia's hand suddenly falls from the fountain's edge. As if petrified, she slowly regresses to her standard posture. A moment of silence passes, and then she opens her eyes. The clouded crimson perceives nothing of the world, and her delicate heart begins to shatter. Softly at first, her cries grow louder as tears begin to fall, unable to make any sense of where she is or what's going on.

          Without hesitation, Max leaves his cane behind and rushes towards his child. He drops to his knees and wraps his arms around her. His natural scent helps calm her cries.

          He softly speaks. "Hello, Kirlia. It's still me. I love you, and I hope you still love me."

          Still unable to fully stop crying, she submits to his affections and buries herself into his embrace.

          The maid looks on, feeling a nostalgic sorrow that she's certain she will not bare for much longer.

          * * *

          "I have not aged well," Max complains to himself as he picks fruit off the trees of his sanctuary. "You doin' okay, down there?" he shouts to his companion Delphox, who catches the falling fruit with his psychic abilities and places them into a basket. Delphox nods yes with a small bark of agreement.

          Carefully climbing down the ladder, Max and Delphox make their way deeper into the sanctuary. Delphox carries the overflowing basket of fruit as Max carries a sack of cooked meats over his shoulder.

          "You know, you've been working pretty hard to feed everyone with me, buddy," Max speaks. "Maybe you should take a break from food duty sometime; maybe let someone else take over for a while." Max's phone begins to ring, coaxing the pair to stop in their tracks as he answers it. "Yeah?"

          "Sir, please, come quickly!" the maid desperately speaks into her phone. "It's incredibly bad this time!"

          "Take care of things for me," Max orders Delphox as he runs off towards his home. As he approaches the back door, the sounds of breaking dishes and tossing furniture grow louder. He enters the dining room and finds a chaotic scene of innocent madness.

          "She's doing this!" the maid leans up against the threshold. "I can't get close enough to calm her down!"

          Without hesitation, Max rushes into the hurricane of broken glass and fractured sets. Enduring hits and cuts on his body, Max spots his child in the center of it all, screaming, afraid, holding her shaking head as tears roll down her cheeks. Dodging lethal debris, he lunges forward and manages to take hold of one of her arms. The hurricane suddenly dies, and everything comes crashing down. With falling debris striking Max's body, he struggles to speak.

          "Hello... Kirlia..." She faces the direction of the familiar voice. "It's still... me. I love you... and..."

          * * *

          "...I hope you still love... me."

          Darkness illuminated by moonlight hits Max's eyes. He lunges upright, enduring a bit of back pain in the process. He quickly feels himself with his hands.

          "No cuts," he thinks to himself as his hands shift from his hands to his face. "Not wrinkles." His hands reach his chest. "No sagging man-tits!" In his elation, he looks for his little one and finds her sleeping next to him, in a serene state of bliss, as if to never wake up.

          Max's first instinct is to wrap his arms around her; not for her benefit, but for his own. The image of he little fairy screaming and frantically holding her shaking head briefly pops into his mind, and he hesitates. Instead, he decides to softly scratch the top of her head, and a small smile breaks on her face.

          With a bottle of soda in one hand, Max sits outside on a rocking chair and watches the light of the full moon illuminate the neighborhood around him. Having drank most of his beverage, he's awakened enough to deeply think about his dream. He ponders a lot about having a career in the sport of Pokémon battling, about giving his own Pokémon a habitat outside the PC, and about Kirlia's well-being in years to come.

          From the thin air next to him, Kirlia Teleports out and levitates in the air, groggy with limbs dangling like a marionette. "You okay, Master?" she softly speaks.

          He brings her onto his lap and allows her to lean up against him. "I'm fine, little one. Just a bad dream, is all."

          He gently scratches the top of her head as she takes a few sips from his soda.

          Afterword:

          The recent controversy got me thinking about where this chapter came from. This whole thing actually started as a one-shot on a site long-gone years ago, and I revived it on a whim after gaining some story-writing experience. This chapter is a revamped version of the one-shot; and good for it too, since the one-shot was poorly structured and hard to take seriously because of how bare-bones it was compared to this.

          Anyway, I've actually snowballed into severe depression since I began this thing. While it has hardly gotten any better, I do try my best to keep it hidden. But the lack of feedback here hasn't exactly helped, and I doubt it would motivate me to continue on a timely basis like before. Of course a few users here have given feedback before, but it feels more like it's done out of obligation,rather than actual interest. I guess what I'm saying is: if this isn't the early finale of my planned length, then you can look forward to Chapter 51 in late 2019.
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            #81    
          Old March 13th, 2018 (2:54 PM).
          Ice Ice is offline
           
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          So, general advice to start a chapter, restate names and reground your perspective. That way we're not confused as to whose eyes we're looking through. If you wanna keep the identity of a character vague, there are a lot of nouns that can be used to obfuscate that. The man works a lot better than a he. Pronounces reference back, but each chapter forsakes grammatical history, making it so you can't refer back to concepts from previous paragraphs or chapters using pronouns.

          Not just relying on the pronoun also helps to vary up the sentences. Otherwise the reader bounces on 'he' and 'his' a bunch, which creates a droning rhythm.

          I'm noticing a lot of telling rather than showing. And sometimes it's a super effective tool, but it does create a lot of distance. I'm not feeling like I'm observing or living the experiences of the characters, rather I'm observing a narrator describing in a matter of factly way, albeit tinted with some nice poeticism. The distance is most palpable in the second part, where every emotion is laid out. This makes actions happen quickly, and takes away the urgency. "His natural scent helps calm her cries," is a good example of this. The scent falls flat, because without description, it's a sense we do not have in text. The calming is also just there, we're not experiencing it, nor observing it as readers, but have it told to us.

          There are certain key words that you shouldn't use, if you want to create immediacy. It might feel a big conflicting to not use them, but they do put more distance between reader and story. Words and phrases like 'suddenly, immediately, without hesitation,' they all create a pause. Something is a lot more sudden if we as the reader aren't prepped by the word suddenly. Same for the other words.


          I can't say the story works great as a stand-alone, but I think the reason for that is the last part. Without it, it works well as a tragic tale of a man (in love with his Kirlia?) seeing his pokémon fall apart. It'd do well with some expanding, but I think it has a good core nonetheless.

          I think the humorous tone chapter 1 sets, and the last part of chapter 50, class immensly with the dream. The dream has this distant feel, this poeticness to it, and the use of man-tits in the second part conveys a whole 'nother tone. It can be cool to employ it like that, but as I said, as a stand-alone, it's lacking slightly. I think my personal preference would be to have a more general tone. The poetic macabreness, where the world is seen through glass, or this comedic piece where someone can exclaim in victory that they do not have saggy man-tits yet.

          A couple of technical comments, completely unstructured because I'm just disregarding coherency in-between paragraphs:
          - Not every line needs a tag. You do use them tagless, but it seems most of them do get them, sometimes slowing it down a bit. Some even have two dialogue tags, which is very unconventional. The balance is hard to get right though. God knows I still struggle like hell with it.

          - sometimes there are more words describing something than is needed. A piece of writing advice often given is that adverbs are bad, and in most cases, yeah, they are. But not every use is superfluous, definitely not in this story. But sometimes words just clash and describe something already implies, or don't add much.

          The story itself did not grab me so much, because it kinda floats without context until the end. The things described aren't explored in the story, although they do create interesting moments. I think it'd be super cool to read if you'd have read all of it. All in all, it's a combination of some really pretty lines with some floaty scenery (I think the dreamy vibe is well-attained because of that.) with a lack of depth. Show me the thoughts, the action. There is this rad action sequence of this building exploding in psychic havoc, in it's a paragraph. Expand that muk! That's cool! Same for his ponderings in the last part. Don't tell me he's pondering, make him ponder. I want to be there with him, pondering as well. Get me inside Max's head, and let use ponder together!

          Having read it does leave me with a couple of questions concerning the entirety of the story, although my general disinterest in pokémon fics sadly doesn't give me the inclination to go back and read it whole. Is Max actually in love with Kirlia, or is that the Freud in me piecing together some unconnected parts?
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          Old March 16th, 2018 (4:19 PM).
          Bay's Avatar
          Bay Bay is offline
          Darkinium Z
           
          Join Date: May 2006
          Location: Dani California
          Gender: Female
          Nature: Sassy
          Posts: 5,296
          Hey, so before begin, I want to say that whenever I comment on your or anyone else's story, it's out of great interest and not obligation. I'll be honest that your afterword did upset me a bit because it made me wonder if there's anything in my comments that didn't reflect that. But yeah, just want you to know that I've always enjoyed this story and why I still stuck with it all this time.

          With that out of the way, onto the chapter. So the dream at first seem sweet enough with Max being affectionate to Kirlia, and then oh dear over her two breakdowns there. Guess it's a sight effect from him being a Gym Leader. I think this is your strongest chapter description wise.
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