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Pokémon [SWC] The Magician's Daughter

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Old September 30th, 2017 (11:34 PM). Edited September 30th, 2017 by Winter.
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A/N: So this is an edited version, after deliberating over the judges' feedback (some of them, at least, because the rest were wrong about certain bits, which I don't fault them because I understand that prose poetry is an anomaly in a contest full of well, prose. XD I must admit to be pretty flattered I came in fourth because I know everyone else was a competitor not to be underestimated.) which is not very different from the original. I'm primarily a poet, so I've only just returned back to dabbling in fanfiction - just to exercise that prose muscle a little bit. So yes, don't be surprised if what you read isn't what you think is a "normal fanfic". I prefer not to deal with the "normal" anyways.


The Magician's Daughter

For my friend, whose poem inspired this.

I was always the magician's daughter.

One swift pull and spoons fell out of his ears. The floor was always flooded with persian coins. The shuppets always turned into pastel-coloured sylveon-print baby socks. Someone sitting in the audience would always lose a key, no matter how tightly in their grip it was, found dangling in the embrace of the klefki.

One of my father's personal favourite tricks: a wrinkle of velvet cloth over fish bowl and it is gone, the remoraid jumping out of his mouth like his tongue was the waterfall, the red carpet unfurling, the footprints of every trickster predecessor scrubbed deep into the pink flesh, the revealing of palms inlaid with aces the spectators could never foretell.

At sixteen, the magic did not call to me. My father, disappointed at the prospect of having no protege, left to tour around the regions. As if he was running away from the realization that magic was dying out after all, and perhaps heartened somewhat that his daughter could work with science. That the money spent buying the series of encyclopedic books covering subjects from A to Z was a good investment. That the teacher's recommendation for her to sign up for the Junior Science Olympiad was a golden ticket for doors he could never have seen, doors that his magic could not unlock.

It was easier, safer, and made more money after all. Magic was always a curse and science always a blessing then. The starly could always be brought back from the dead, through smoke and mirrors, but science could prevent its death. I watched my father on the screen, realising slowly how his star-shine waned with every show, like how the confetti pops faded into mechanical applause, how the bronzors rusted like saucers soon forgetting the weight of cups and coffee. The morning news was beginning to fill up with headlines of fresh discoveries, such as improved regenerative rates of the Pokemon Center machines, or large abstract concepts and terminology like "DNA splicing" slowly being introduced to the average Joe. I'll always shut off the television, wondering what I was doing with my life, assuming I had one. I convinced myself, tried to, that I had a life. A life my mother and my father wanted me to have. I had a promising future, or so I've been told. It almost seemed like the universe was telling me "Honey, forget about magic, it's not the life you want."

I was seventeen when it happened.

I was at the park, when I coughed out a seed of fluff fair as the cloudless sky. That was the moment I heard it, though a year too late, the song that would haunt me in my dreams, and I suspected would still haunt me, way after I was gone. Dinnertime soon saw me drop a knife through my palms, plopping into the pumpkin soup. My mother had to mop up the puddle of orange beneath the table, that had appeared at the spot right beneath the soup bowl.

The third time after I made the chandeliers in the living room escape, my mother threw out all the candles, replaced them with incandescent bulbs, and said to me that magic had no place in this city. Illusions do not fill empty baskets with bread, only bunearies. The silk streamers from your nose are no insurance for when you can no longer breathe right. Poker cards cannot unlock you from the cage of time or debt. The starly chirps, back from the dead, but the magician can never come back alive.

"Why can't you just want to be a lawyer, or a doctor? Or even a poet?"

I tried to listen to her. Tried to listen to the teachers, the classmates, the lady at the bakery, the homeless man at the subway, the neighbourhood drunk.

"Girls shouldn't be dabbling in witchcraft."

I tried.

But the clocks always turn themselves backward an hour. But the spoon always twists into fusilli in my hands, and the fork and butter knife always waltz around the tray. But every time I blow my snot-filled nose, the crumpled ball of sticky tissue blooms into a flower fairy, drifting away with the breeze. But each classroom field trip, feels like entering a circus world. All my tongue tastes are cotton and feather, all my ears hear is the fluttering of wings that herald snow, sun and storm. My veins can't stop itching like a swarm of scuttling wimpods, and my skin feels like a house of cards, their corners ready to break free from this flesh and take off, origami mantykes gliding towards the sky. The walls hummed constantly, like coins clinking in a spoink bank.

When nobody was around, I would tug the cotton balls out from beneath my tongue and between gums, gently caress and cajole them into clouds, and watch them sail up to the sky, white nimbus flags waving. I knew they would wait for me.

When my father finally came back home, two over years on the road, I greeted him with a floor flooded with tiny golden suns, humming metallic and bright. But the best trick was always saved for last. And for all those months of watching video clips of him, then rehearsing this performance to a mechanical fault, I smiled at my frozen-tongued father whose eyes widened, as the words loosened themselves from my mouth, swimming about, schools of finneons and lumineons fluttering in the hallways. They bathed the entire house in pastel hues of purples and blues, hovering over every wall painting and every drawer, hovering over the balustrades and the ceiling beams, words writing themselves into air.

"Welcome home, Dad."
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  #2    
Old October 1st, 2017 (11:22 AM). Edited October 1st, 2017 by Venia Silente.
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Venia Silente Venia Silente is offline
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    I knew from reading the judges' impressions I would want to read this, and honestly, it doesn't disappoint. Magic is treated more openly as something that just happens and is a part of the world, and the death / birth contrast with science is also portrayed as a natural process without trying to be heavy-handed or righteous about its message.

    The story could have afforded to be longer, or at least to describe the evolution of magic in the Daughter as a more active process. As it stands right now the first half felt more like the snapshot of a story than like a story itself. That would be my only important criticism about it, I think.

    Quote:
    "Girls shouldn't be dabbling in witchcraft."
    I'll admit here I expected to see "girl should be DABBIN’ instead" as a potential continuation :p


    And hey the best part, of course, is the "Welcome home, Dad". Ain't that peace what all true warriors strive for. Well, he got it. He's back home to someone who understands. A kind of simple happy ending not much seen.

    A good job, I enjoyed the story. Would recommend!
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      #3    
    Old October 1st, 2017 (3:35 PM).
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    Winter Winter is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Venia Silente View Post
    I knew from reading the judges' impressions I would want to read this, and honestly, it doesn't disappoint. Magic is treated more openly as something that just happens and is a part of the world, and the death / birth contrast with science is also portrayed as a natural process without trying to be heavy-handed or righteous about its message.
    Omg you’re too kind.

    Fun fact: the Science vs Magic trope came about from being a career artist and always having this sort of Arts vs Science in my society - so magic was used as a sort of analogy for the arts here. Make of that what you will. ;)

    Quote:
    The story could have afforded to be longer, or at least to describe the evolution of magic in the Daughter as a more active process. As it stands right now the first half felt more like the snapshot of a story than like a story itself. That would be my only important criticism about it, I think.
    Point taken! I admit that I definitely overlooked that aspect of the daughter’s magical growth.

    Quote:
    I'll admit here I expected to see "girl should be DABBIN’ instead" as a potential continuation :p
    TIME FOR A SPIN OFF BWAHAHA

    Quote:
    A good job, I enjoyed the story. Would recommend!
    aaaaa thank you for your comments :’)
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