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Old May 23rd, 2017 (6:05 PM).
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Team Skull Grunt Team Skull Grunt is offline
     
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    Hey, guys. So while I've really appreciated the hits I've gotten on AO3, comments can be pretty sparse. My main goal is to improve my writing and be more like some authors I admire.

    Maybe I'm tooting my own horn too much, but I honestly think that I've got some decent ideas, but it's totally the execution I need to work on >< You guys can REALLY let me have it and tell what I should focus on. I know for sure one HUGE area is that I sure love repetitive words. Ugh.

    Doing a lengthy story with multiple chapters is unfortunately way too daunting of a task for me; I like little one-shots. I really love focusing on a post game slice of life type stuff where Guzma and Moon are really good friends and their developing relationship.

    However... I think I'll make it weird and start off with the only fic I've done where Guzma is still in Team Skull and has him need to make a run to the store for... Feminine hygiene products, of all things.

    Red Alert
    It happened without warning. All of a sudden one day the majority of the female Team Skull Grunts were stricken with their “time of the month”, decimating the supply of sanitary products they had on hand. It seemed like in the blink of an eye all they were down to was not even half of a bag of pads.

    This obviously wouldn’t do. Plumeria herself was hurting pretty bad from cramps, but someone had to go fetch some more, when she realized that Guzma was probably pretty close to the discount store right about now.

    Knowing the reaction she’d get, Plumeria hesitated a moment, but this was an emergency and Guzma would have to take one for the team. She took out her phone and called Guzma, hoping he’d pick up.


    “…Ya want me ta buy what?”

    Guzma had a special ring tone for when Plumeria called so he always knew to answer. However, her request this time caught him completely off guard, making him stand there completely dumbfounded as the two male Grunts who were accompanying him gave each other questioning looks before shrugging.

    “You heard me,” Plumeria replied. “We’re almost completely out and you’re the closest one; it’ll take anyone else way too long.”

    Guzma fidgeted uncomfortably. “I… I can’t do that!”

    “You have too!” Plumeria let out an exasperated sigh. “Look; just go to the store, buy as much as you three can carry, and call me back if you need to. It’s not that big of a deal. You’re the boss, so you need to step up and make sure the Grunts are taken care of!”

    Guzma realized he couldn’t argue with that, absolute defeat radiating throughout his voice as he finally agreed. He ended the call, staying silent until one of the Grunts asked him what was going on.

    “We’re… We’re gonna go buy…”


    The three boys stood together still as statues when the feminine hygiene isle was in site. Their goal was right in front of them and yet none of them could bring themselves to move another step closer.

    “…Here,” Guzma tried to hand off the shopping cart to the older Grunt on his right. “You go get ‘em. Ya got a sister, right?”

    The Grunt turned red, waving his hands frantically. “But that doesn’t mean I know anything about this! She just… Cried really easily sometimes and ate a lot of chocolate. That’s all I know!”

    “…Damn…”

    He really had no other choice. Guzma took a look at their surroundings, relieved that seeing him, the big bad boss of Team Skull, had frightened most of the other shoppers away. Finally they were starting to get the recognition he wanted, although he hoped no one would remember this particular moment. The three of them would just hurry down the isle, grab what they needed, and get the hell out of there.

    Guzma pushed the cart forward with on hand, grabbing one of the Grunts with the other when he noticed they were less than inclined to follow. The other trailed behind the two of them, knowing he’d get earful if he tried to run away from this.

    Having never even looked down this isle before, Guzma’s jaw dropped. He had no idea where to even begin. The two Grunts were beyond stupefied. It was rows upon rows with different packages, which he noticed had different descriptions, and…


    Plumeria picked up the phone before the first ring had even finished. “Did you get them?”

    “Plumes… There’s… So many…” Guzma was in completely over his head, the Grunts being of zero help and only looking to make sure no one else was coming near them. “Do ya need both…” He lowered his voice. “Pads and tampons?”

    “Yes.”

    “…Why?” Guzma dared to ask.

    Plumeria felt her face go hot; she was NOT explaining this to him. “Never you mind! Just get them!”

    “Alright! But… I mean… Do I get the ones with wings? There’s others that say they’re more absorbent… I-I…”

    Plumeria took a moment to take a deep breath in order to ease her frustration, reminding herself that Guzma was in an awkward position and really trying. “Guzma… Just grab a little of everything and it’ll be fine; the girls will use what they want.”

    “A’ight…” Guzma decided to quick eye what else they had in case he had anymore questions. “They also got some kinda pills here? Do ya want those? Says they’re supposed to help and ya have been kinda cranky so-”

    “JUST BUY WHAT YOU NEED TO AND GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE!” Plumeria’s patience was completely exhausted.

    Guzma winced, holding the phone away from his ear for a moment. He was amazed with how loud she yelled she hadn‘t damaged his eardrum “…I’m getting ya the pills.”


    Plumeria was starting to say something more, but Guzma quickly hung up and instructed the Grunts to load up the cart. It was a good thing that they’d made some serious cash recently off a rare Pokemon they’d swiped because these things weren’t cheap.

    Plumeria had obviously gotten annoyed with him, so on their way back to the front of the store Guzma grabbed a few bags of chocolate chip cookies for good measure as a peace offering. Besides, he wouldn’t mind having a few either.

    As they reached the checkout counter, it suddenly dawned on Guzma there was a new trial awaiting him. Did he go to a male or female cashier? Which would be less weird? While mulling it over, the choice was made for him when a young women called him over, having no else in her line.

    It was easy enough to put the cookies on the conveyor belt, she scanning them and putting them into bags. Then came pack after pack of the feminine products. She took a glance over at them, realizing she was right when she thought it had been a trio of three boys.

    One right after the other she scanned and bagged, Guzma and the Grunts trying hard not to make eye contact with her and hoping that no one would look over at them and see what their cart was full of. Guzma fought the impulse to bark at her to go faster, knowing that would only draw attention to them.

    “Hm?”

    Guzma took a glance back at the cashier when he saw her repeatedly scanning a package, which seemed to not want to register a price. After a few more tries, she flipped on the mic by her till and spoke into it, her voice coming over the loudspeaker.

    “Price check on isle 4 for-”

    Guzma gasped; was she really going to say it?!

    “-the twenty-eight pack maxi pads.”

    Guzma was certain he felt his soul leave his body as he turned ghostly white. This was it. He was going to die on the spot. He couldn’t bring himself to check if people were staring now, a manager taking their sweet time to come help and see why the price wouldn’t ring up. It felt like centuries before she resolved the issue and along went the process again until finally the cart was empty, the Grunts loading the bags up into it while Guzma paid.

    Guzma grabbed the cart and dashed out of the store with it as fast as he could, the Grunts barely able to keep up with him. When they were outside, Guzma looped most of the bags around his arms, the Grunts taking as much as they could carry. Thankfully everything was light, so they should have no issue carrying it all back to the boat and finally going home.

    Thank Arceus the worst was over. This had been one of the most embarrassing moments of Guzma life, but now he could try and put this all behind-

    Riiiiiip.

    This couldn’t be happening. One of the flimsy bags broke, its contents falling down onto the ground in front of a group of people who were heading towards the store, a few of them laughing.

    “Those all for you, pal?” a young man about Guzma’s age asked.

    That was it. He couldn’t take anymore. Someone had to pay for this.

    “Hold these for me.” Guzma thrust his bags into the Grunts arms. Not able to handle them all, they fell out of their grasp, but Guzma didn’t care.

    “BOSS! NO!”


    The sun was setting, it was a quiet, pleasant evening. For once those damn hooligans at Shady House weren’t blaring their music so Nanu decided to sit outside and enjoy one of the few times it wasn’t raining. The sky was colored with gorgeous hues of various reds and oranges.

    Nanu couldn’t help cracking a smile at the sight, stroking his Persian’s head as it laid across his lap, purring. Days like this made him hate his life a little less, he even enjoying Acerola’s visit today. It was a shame it couldn’t be like this more often where…

    …Of course it wouldn‘t last. Nanu’s prominent frown was back when he knew the tall figure approaching, accompanied by two smaller ones, would be no one other than Guzma. He was back later than usual, Nanu immediately speculating over what kind of mischief he’d been involved in this time.

    Completely done with this awful day, Guzma and the Grunts dragged their feet as they slowly made their way back home. Shoulders slumped, eyes drooped, each with various bruises, scrapes, tears and stains on their clothes from the scuffle. One of the Grunts had even managed to lose his bandana, his frown managing to rival Nanu’s

    Guzma had managed to beat down those involved in the scuffle mostly by himself, they emerging victorious, but it was a hollow victory, and in the end they were still curriers of products most men wouldn’t want to touch with a ten foot poll.

    Guzma was carrying a few in his arms from the bags that got wrecked, Nanu noticing what they were. He kept a straight face as the three past him, Guzma looking at him with murder in his eyes, challenging him to say even one word.

    Nanu held his tongue and his pet his cat, continuing to watch the boys until they were finally at the entrance to the large wall that protected their base. It was then that Nanu couldn’t hold it in anymore, laughing harder than he had in years until his eyes began to tear up.


    Plumeria had gotten word from the Grunts that Guzma was back, so she was waited in the entryway when he opened the door. Initially she meant to scold him for taking so long, assuming he’d wound up screwing around and wasting time, but could tell in an instant that wasn’t the case.

    Guzma dropped the bags on the floor, than digging a bag of cookies out of the supply they’d bought. “I’m takin’ these, but there’s plenty more. I ain’t NEVER doin’ this again and tomorrow I’ll hafta go get some more booze because I’m gonna drink everything I got tonight.”

    He and the two accompanying Grunts left the girls to take care of what they’d brought home, the thanks that they received feeling nowhere near enough considering what they’d gone through.
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    Old May 23rd, 2017 (6:51 PM).
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    Vragon Vragon is offline
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    Okay so few things here. I like the idea of the story. I literally could see the imagery and how Guzma must've looked. I smiled while reading this

    Of course, every orange has a bitter so.

    1) Some of your sentences have certain grammatical errors that make it weird to read along with some structured in weird ways.

    Quote:
    Plumeria herself was hurting pretty bad from cramps, but someone had to go fetch some more, when she realized that Guzma was probably pretty close to the discount store right about now.
    In this specific example, you could have split this into 2 sentences. Splitting long sentences into smaller ones help keep it simple and probably concise. You don't have to spread the info over three clauses. Keeping it short and simple helps the reader understand well and grasp the overall point of the sentence.

    2) The scene transitions you have are pretty abrupt. There also isn't much of a build up/indication to a scene transition, enough to the point of it being practically the same as new paragraph indentions for dialogue.

    Quote:
    Guzma winced, holding the phone away from his ear for a moment. He was amazed with how loud she yelled she hadn‘t damaged his eardrum “…I’m getting ya the pills.”


    Plumeria was starting to say something more, but Guzma quickly hung up and instructed the Grunts to load up the cart. It was a good thing that they’d made some serious cash recently off a rare Pokemon they’d swiped because these things weren’t cheap.

    Plumeria had obviously gotten annoyed with him, so on their way back to the front of the store Guzma grabbed a few bags of chocolate chip cookies for good measure as a peace offering. Besides, he wouldn’t mind having a few either.
    Pardon my bluntness but this section pretty sloppy. There isn't a need for all these sections to be separate paragraphs (the two latter specifically). Indention is an automatic pace breaker. So you want to use it when you move from one thing to another.This works for dialogue, describing -> action, etc.

    In this it goes like Guzma's Phone response -> Guzma hanging up and they getting the stuff -> chocolate getting scene.

    Basically, the first two are connected since they are part of the phone call. Then the getting of the stuff is alongside the chocolate. So this area can be split into two simple paragraphs.

    While I did find your story entertaining, I will say that this story has sentence structural/transition problems. But it was a good read and I could definitely get the whole thing. You do have a good sense of describing scenes with words, so once structure gets better your scenes should be much easier to put together.

    Also, The checkout scene................was genius.
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      #3    
    Old May 23rd, 2017 (8:12 PM).
    Team Skull Grunt's Avatar
    Team Skull Grunt Team Skull Grunt is offline
       
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      YES. THANK YOU. FINALLY.

      I've shown my stuff to my friends, but all I really got was "No, this is good! It was really funny!" and, like I said, nothing for how to improve on AO3.

      While of course I love hearing that people enjoyed the read, the mixture of what I need to fix is DIRELY needed. Thank you so much for setting me off on the right path to do so.
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        #4    
      Old May 25th, 2017 (5:05 PM).
      Bay Alexison's Avatar
      Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is online now
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      I do agree in part over some of the transition abruptness as Vragon mentioned and those can be easily fixed with changing the paragraph structure just a tad. Only other thing I want to add is perhaps at the very end when Guzma returned from shopping there should be more facial/body language reaction from Plumeria there. Otherwise, this concept is so silly but I love it. Poor Guzma and his boys dealing with the joys of feminine hygiene products lol. Nanu's reaction there was also great. Overall very fun read!
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      Old May 26th, 2017 (8:37 PM).
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      MUDKIP!!! MUDKIP!!! is offline
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        This is really good. It's prety funny, I almost laughed out loud but couldn't since it's like, 1 AM here lol... Anyways, ^Pretty much what they said. Just transitions and stuff like that. The ending was a bit confusing at first, but after rereading I understood it a little better. I think either it was a little too fast paced or I'm just tired and skipped over it somehow.

        Also, you might wanna fix this: "he even enjoying Acerola’s visit today. " I think you meant to say Enjoyed?
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          #6    
        Old May 27th, 2017 (5:51 AM).
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        Team Skull Grunt Team Skull Grunt is offline
           
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          Thanks, you guys!

          OK, so... Honestly those choppy cut-aways were intentional, but obviously didn't work well at all (at least they're pretty fixable). I... Kind of blame Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law for the abrupt changes and fast pace. I always liked its kind of humor but apparently I was poor at enacting it in text, or it just doesn't work for a medium like this. Good to know, at least!

          I'd really like to see if I have consistent problems. You guys have provided me with some excellent feedback, so would you mind a longer story with some Guzma and Moon fluff where they visit an amusement park?

          People seem to be OK with the personality I've given Moon, but I'd like to hear your thoughts too. A set up I have in another story is that they're constant partners at the Battle Tree; thought I'd say that to clear a few things up. They've become really good friends from that.


          Long before Moon had moved to Alola a small island had been purchased with the intent of developing it into a theme park. Finally after a some setbacks, conflicts, and a few interruptions from curious marine Pokemon, it was ready to open its doors.

          The moment Moon had heard about it she’d been following its progress, excitedly imagining herself on each attraction as it was announced. As beautiful as Alola was, it was pretty lacking in fun activities for the younger crowd. This park was going to be amazing; she knew already from all the times she’d snuck close to it on Sharpedo to spy on the construction before she was shooed away. If they were available she was going to buy a pass and go there at least once every week!

          It hardly seemed real when the grand opening date was announced. After squealing, hugging a less than enthused Meowth, and sharing her glee with her mother, Moon ran off to find one of her closest friends.

          “GUZMA!” Moon cheered his name when she saw him hopping over a fence rather than take the few strides to open the gate.

          “Oooph!” Guzma grunted when Moon slammed into him with a hard hug; he’d barely had time to even turn when he’d heard her. “Alright, let go.” He gently tugged at the back of her shirt after he’d endured her affection for a moment.

          Moon let him go and took a step back, smiling. “Guzma! Guzma! That theme park is finally opening! You’ll go with me, right?”

          “Hell yeah I will!” Guzma was equally excited, answering without hesitation, a huge smile on his face now as well. “Who’s all going with us?”

          “Just you and me!”

          “Not Hau?” Guzma crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow, surprised.

          “Guzma…” Moon’s tone suddenly became serious. “I am going to be at that park from the moment it opens until it closes. I’m going on each ride at least twice, eating junk food all day, and I won’t waste time stopping to rest. I need someone who’s going to be able to keep up with me. I think you’re the only person who can do that.”

          Guzma nodded. “I get ya!” Seems like they were just destined to keep being partners, no matter what the occasion was, and he was realizing more and more the two of them had a lot more in common than he thought.


          The two of them got up early when the day arrived, Moon and Guzma meeting on the way to the ferry that would carry them and other eager patrons across the water and to the theme park, which was already nearly visible in the distance. Moon got a bit too carried away as she leaned over the railing, Guzma grabbing her just in time before she fell into the water.

          Moon blushed and tugged at her hat sheepishly in embarrassment when he scolded her, glad when other people heard his loud voice and started staring at them that he cut off his rant early. He couldn’t stay mad at her for long anyway.

          They just couldn’t get there fast enough for Moon. She kept going on and on about the great rides she read about to Guzma, who smirked and listened to her with his hands in his pockets.

          “If either of us throw up the punishment is wearing Skitty ears the next time we go to the Battle Tree!” Moon announced.

          Guzma grinned. “Yer on!”

          Moon bounded out of the ferry when they docked, dashing up to the ticket window. Guzma briskly walked after her, feeling much too self conscious about being an adult to outwardly show he was actually just as excited as Moon at this point.

          “Here you go, Guzma!” Moon happily held out a wristband for him.

          “Huh?” Guzma was surprised when she laid it down in his palm, then fastening her own on. “How much do I owe ya?”

          “Nothing! I defended my title against Faba earlier this month and he insisted that I deserved a lot of prize money as a reward. It’s weird how now…” Moon paused for a moment, looking up at Guzma, realizing that their own relationship together had changed much more drastically. That all seemed so long ago… “Anyway, LET’S GO!” She hugged Guzma’s arm to her chest and pulled him along with her.

          It was a truly fabulous park, Moon’s jaw dropping as she looked around. Every single ride and establishment inside was themed on some sort of Pokemon, a person in a Furret suit walking around to greet the guests as they all walked in.

          “Where do ya wanna start?” Guzma asked Moon.

          “I… I…” Everything looked so fun! She wanted to ride on everything all once! She looked to the right when she heard a WOOOOSH. “THAT THING!”

          Moon pointed at a long ride which took on the shape and appearance of a Seviper. The riders were strapped into chairs that were suspended above the ground and were rocketed from one side of the snake to the other both backwards and forwards. One end was kinked in a spiral, while the other was a straight shot up and down.

          Guzma approved. “Startin’ off strong!”

          “Just one moment.” An employee stopped Guzma and Moon as they were going through the entrance. “She looks a bit too short. Can you stand in front of this height chart for me?”

          Moon did as she was asked, standing in front of a plastic standee where a Mr. Mime held up his hand to the required height. Moon looked up seeing she wound up being about an inch below the line. “I’m close enough!”

          He shook his head. “I’m sorry, I can’t-”

          No way was their day going to start off in disappointment. Guzma grabbed Moon under her arms and raised her up so she more than cleared the requirement.

          “There, now she’s tall enough,” Guzma said, still holding onto her while she seemed a bit surprised.

          “Sir,” the employee replied sternly. “There’s plenty of other rides she can go on that…” He paused, leaning back as Guzma leaned forward into his face, Moon staying perfectly still as she was dangling like a kitten in his grasp.

          “If my pal wants to go on this ride, then she’s gettin’ on it,” Guzma threatened. “Understand?”

          The employee nodded. “G-go right ahead…”

          Guzma finally released Moon and they found a place in line.

          “What?” Guzma asked when he noticed her looking up at him and smirking.

          “You’ve never called me your friend in public before,” she pointed out, Guzma instantly blushing a little.

          “Just… Just make sure ya hold on tight, OK? Don’t want ya actually gettin’ hurt ‘cause I got ya in here…”

          Moon would be fine. All she needed was Guzma to help her up into one of the chairs, the safety buckles fitting her nice and snuggly. Seems they were being overly cautious with the height requirement just to be safe.

          The ride was quite a thrill from the start with its motor loudly going even as it sat stationary, the ride conductor calling “Three… Two… One… LAUNCH!” before it sprung into life, taking the ride goers by surprised by going backwards at first.

          Moon and Guzma‘s one complaint was that it hadn‘t been longer, only needing to look at each other and nod before going on it again, the employee refusing to even make eye contact with them as they passed him a second time. In fact, they’d stressed him out so much that he asked someone else to supervise the line in this ride, making Guzma and Moon decide to stop pushing their luck.

          “Oh! Bumper cars!” Moon quickly spotted their next destination.

          “Ya wanna ride with me or separate?” Guzma noticed there should be enough room for two with how small Moon was.

          “Together!”

          They noticed a few familiar faces while getting into cars, but were surprised to hear Ilima call out a friendly greeting to them as they sat down in one of the cars that resembled a Charjabug. Guzma especially thought a guy like that looked like too much of a wimp to be caught dead at a place like this. They both waved back, waiting for power to be sent to their car to they could star. Guzma was at the wheel, Moon having just enough space to squeeze in at his side.

          Guzma was slamming his foot onto the gas the moment he could, the car shooting forward and slamming into the girl’s in front of him. Moon played navigator, looking around for the best targets where they could build up speed to really give the other driver a hard jolt. It was exhilarating to be able to, and even encouraged, smash things with zero consequences and no real harm being done.

          Neither Moon or Guzma could figure out what on earth Ilima had expected when he got on, but he made rather loud cries when someone got a good strike in, he driving away rather than using the car for its intended purposes.

          Ilima got himself into a corner, thinking he was safe, but then he locked eyes with Guzma and Moon who were directly across. They couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying over the sounds of the other cars, but could make out the words “no” and “please”.

          “What do ya think?” Guzma asked Moon.

          “No mercy,” Moon answered coldly. “RAM HIM!”

          “Nooooo!” Ilima’s voice was shrill as he saw Guzma zooming towards him, covering his face and bracing for an impact.

          It was an impact that never came. Ilima peeked between his fingers to see Guzma looking confused and repeatedly stepping on the gas.

          “This thing broken?” Guzma asked irritably.

          “The ride’s over,” Moon pointed out, Guzma looking around to see that most of the cars were already vacant.

          “Damn!” Guzma pounded his fist into the steering wheel. That would have been the best collision by far.

          “Oh… Oh thank goodness…” Ilima shakily got out of his bumper car and nearly fell down as he made his way towards the exit.

          The two friends were last to leave the ride. The colossal roller coaster that looped around the entire park with Dragon types as its theme was obviously the main draw, so Guzma and Moon decided it was best to get a spot in line since they were close to it.

          The long wait was aggravating for both of them, Moon unable to see how close they were whenever the line moved, needing to ask Guzma. The problem was that she was asking every few steps, so he got tired of it and held her piggyback so she could peer over his shoulder and see. It was so much easier to wait when you could see more than just other peoples’ backs.

          Their wait paid off, the two of them ecstatic to be able to sit in the front car. The view that laid ahead of them was a of the first very long drop, Guzma agreeing to raise his arms up along with Moon when they went down it. The ride was quite fast, the two of them barely able to appreciate each Dragon they went by. During the last decent, Guzma noticed flashing going off, realizing their pictures had been taken.

          The roller coaster had been completely full, Moon suddenly finding herself lost in a sea of people after she and Guzma had exited. A tall guy like Guzma should have been easy to find, but it was like he’d just up and vanished.

          She called his name repeatedly to no avail. Wasn’t he looking for her too? That man’s voice could be heard even over the loudest of construction equipment, so why wasn’t he shouting for her?

          A few more minutes of desperate searching passed before she found him at a little station at the exit. Pictures of the ride were up on the screen and Guzma seemed to be purchasing something.

          “There you are!” Moon huffed, crossing her arms after storming up to him. “Why did you leave me…” She paused when she saw the vendor place a picture of her and Guzma inside of a bag.

          “You said you wanted a keychain and smaller photo for your wallet as well?” she asked.

          Guzma sighed. He’d almost purchased this without getting caught. His plan was to hide it inside of his jacket the rest of the day and move around more carefully. “Yeah…”

          Moon saw a monitor had up a picture of her and Guzma so he could see what he was buying. It was right when the flashes when off of the two of them with great big smiles on their faces, Guzma looking almost comical with his mop of messy hair blown back.

          “I want to buy that picture too!” Moon had no idea why Guzma seemed so embarrassed. It was a really great photo. “You look so cute, Guzma!”

          Funny, he’d been thinking the same thing about her, but it still felt awkward to hear any sort of compliment. The two of them paid, Guzma having no problem holding onto their stuff.

          Before they could even think about what would be next, a familiar voice called out to them.

          Alola!” Mina greeted as Guzma and Moon walked over to where she’d been asked to set up a face painting stand, pictures of some options she had available hanging up, but she was game to do any request. “Business is slow. If you’ll let me paint whatever I want on you I’ll do it for free.”

          She didn’t need to need to offer it twice. Moon sat down right away and Mina got to work, Guzma watching and refusing to spoil it no matter how many times Moon asked what Mina was doing. Moon got so antsy near the end she could hardly wait for Mina to grab the mirror.

          “I’m a Togedemaru!” Moon realized at once. “Look, Guzma! It’s so good!”

          Guzma smiled and nodded.

          Mina looked over at Guzma. “Alright, you’re next.”

          “…Huh?” Guzma was caught by surprised. “No, not me.”

          “It’s fun!” Moon encouraged.

          “I know you’re not afraid of a little paint,” Mina added. “Have a seat.”

          Guzma still hesitated.

          “I’ll do something that suits you,” Mina assured.

          Guzma gave in, looking nervous as he watched what colors she was picking and trying to figure out what she was doing to him with every stroke. He supposed he could find a bathroom and wash it off if he didn’t like it, but he still looked into the mirror with apprehension when she was done.

          Mina had worked with the purple eye shadow Guzma was wearing to paint a Wimpod on his face, making him stare at his reflection for much longer than he needed to.

          “Like it?” Mina asked, her voice confident despite her usual droopy eyed, lackadaisical expression.

          “It’s fine,” Guzma answered as he got up. He’d absolutely walk around with this on all day and take a selfie with Golisopod when he got home before washing it off.

          “Thank you so much, Mina,” Moon knew Guzma was pleased too, but he was already walking away.

          Mina waved at them, pleased that even the former “Big Bad Boss” of Team Skull had enjoyed her work, even if she only got those two words out of him. It was probably good she held back the urge to paint something pink on him.

          Should we try the spook house?” Moon asked. “It’s probably not scary, but it might still be fun!”

          “I don’t mind.”

          Moon and Guzma were directed into one of the purple cars, all of them painted the same way with Ghastly, Haunter, and Gengar in the artwork. The cars moved fairly slowly into a dark tunnel designed as a huge creature’s open mouth.

          Guzma sat back, expecting a pretty dull ride. Even if he was bored, as long as Moon was enjoying herself, it was all fine with him. This didn’t seem any different from the poorly put together haunted houses he’d been through as a kid. Relying on dimly lit rooms to disorient the visitors and decorated with creepy props like tombstones and hanging nooses and a soundtrack of eerie sounds playing.

          This caused Guzma to be caught even more off guard when a real Haunter popped up right beside him, hands stretching out its mouth and tongue sticking out. Just as he gave a startled shout the ghost Pokemon vanished, making Moon jump.

          “What happened?!” Moon asked as she looked around.

          Guzma laughed. “They got me! There’s real Pokemon in here!”

          “COOL! I wanna see one!” Moon looked around excitedly.

          A variety of others did their best to catch the riders unawares, some choosing instead to levitate objects and send them flying right in front peoples’ noses. These Pokemon seemed to be well trained in their techniques and picking on those who scared the easiest.

          All of a sudden the car came to an abrupt halt. After some time passed, Guzma and Moon gave each other confused looks, hearing other people ahead of them wondering what had happened as well.

          A voice could then be heard overhead.

          “We’re sorry to report that the ride seems to be experiencing technical difficulties. We ask that you please leave the carts and continue to the exit, which you will reach shortly.”

          Moon groaned in disappointment. “It was just getting fun…” she mumbled as she got out along with Guzma.

          “Pretty bad fer this to happen the first day,” Guzma added.

          The two of them followed the tracks, then being ushered by an employee dressed like a ghoul through a side room, the door slamming shut behind them. It was immediately obvious the ride wasn’t broken at, but rather a gimmick, when they found themselves in a hall of mirrors.

          “Woah…” Moon eyes were huge as she looked around the room, which seemed to have hundreds of full body mirrors, some of which were styled to distort the appearance of the person standing in front of it. “Guzma, look at this!” she ran in front of one, which greatly stretched her height and made her look even skinnier. “I’m taller than you!”

          Guzma gave it a try, choosing a mirror that drastically changed how he looked as well, shortening and making him look considerably wider. He was having fun with it too when Moon suddenly shrieked and nearly fell over.

          “They got me too!” Moon stomped her foot, but then laughed as Guzma approached. “A ghost popped up in this mirror all of a sudden,” she explained as she pointed at it. “I guess they’re not done!”

          “Ya wanna get out here?” Guzma asked, getting an eerie feeling. “I saw other people go in, and we heard ‘em, so don’t you think it’s weird we ain’t bumped into anybody?”

          “Are the ghosts doing that too?” Moon wondered just how capable of trickery ghost Pokemon were.

          Regardless, both decided to start making their way through what was becoming a maze of mirrors with no end in sight. The building hadn’t looked all the big from the outside… Surely it wouldn’t be long until they were out?

          They heard an awful, ear piercing screech that quickened their paces. This absolutely wasn’t fun anymore. Not at all. Neither of them had ever heard a sound like that before. Was it human, Pokemon, or… Something else?

          “Another door!” Moon pointed out.

          Relieved, the two ran for it, feeling completely dejected when they entered a room that was completely dark except for beady red lights that looked like eyes all around them. Even if they wanted to turn back and hope there was an alternate route, there was only a solid wall where they’d entered now.

          “Guzma… I don’t like this at all…” Moon sounded near tears as the two of them made their way forward.

          “I’ll get us out,” Guzma soothed. “Here, hold on to me so we don’t get separated.”

          Guzma reached back and closed his hand around a thin wrist as he continued on, feeling along the wall with his free palm. Soon he reached a dead end, locating a doorknob just as the panic was beginning to set it.

          “We made it!” Guzma exclaimed when he opened a door to daylight, never so grateful to be outside in his life. That was the one attraction he was NEVER experiencing ever again. “Moon, are…” He trailed off when he turned to see not Moon, but Molayne, who he never realized had such a femininely thin wrist before.

          “H-Hello there…” Visibly shaken and white as a sheet, Molayne struggled to speak. “I-I’m sorry I d-didn’t say anything, but I was s-so scared at the time… Y-you see, there was something t-terrible in the hall of mirrors… I-it wasn’t a Pokemon, b-but…”

          Guzma let go of Molayne at once, not caring. “Where’s Moon?!”

          “O-oh, she’s…”

          “I’m right here, Guzma!” Not far behind at all not just Moon, but three other individuals, joined her as well.

          Both she and Acerola were holding one of Sophocles’ hands, the poor boy so scared he was trembling. Behind the trio was Nanu, just as stone faced as ever.

          “Oh!” Calming down now that he was in the daylight, Molayne looked surprised. “I knew Guzma and Moon were there, but I didn’t see you two!”

          “You don’t remember screaming in my face before you went running?” Nanu asked dully, Molayne gasping in shock as he placed a hand over his mouth.

          Guzma burst out laughing. “So that ‘somethin’ terrible’ was- OW!” He was silenced by a boney elbow to his side.

          “That was better than I expected!” Acerola commented as she looked back. “I was looking for some fresh ideas for my trial!” She looked up at Nanu. “See! I told you this wouldn’t be a waste of time!”

          “Hmph.” Nanu wasn’t impressed at all. If only Acerola were just a year older she’d be permitted to go through the park by herself and not need to be accompanied by an adult. He had been ready to leave the moment he stepped in the park.

          “Th-that was too scary!” Neither Sophocles or Molayne were known for their bravery, so they both had agreed what they expected to be only a somewhat scary foray would help with improving their courage somewhat. Neither expected to wind up in a situation that would surely give them nightmares the rest of the week.

          “But you did a good job and got through it!” Acerola gave him a comforting pat on the back.

          “Y-yeah…” Sophocles didn’t sound convinced, looking down at the ground. “Big Mo, I think I want to go home.”

          His cousin nodded. “Yes, I agree… That took a lot out of me…”

          “Can we go too?” Nanu asked Acerola.

          “But we just got here!” Acerola replied. “I came for the spook house, but I want to go on some other rides!”

          “…How nice…” Nanu begrudgingly followed behind the young girl.

          “I keep appreciating your company more and more,” Moon remarked to Guzma when it was finally just the two of them again.

          “Same here,” Guzma agreed. “You hungry?”

          Pizza was their choice of food. Still hungry afterwards, Guzma got himself a pretzel as well, giving Moon a small bit of it since she wasn’t able to eat a whole one. With that out of the way they could continue with their fun.

          It seemed like this park’s opening was an even bigger deal than either Guzma or Moon had thought; they recognized so many familiar faces and yet it was still a shock to see even Aether employees walking around, Wicke with a hand on Faba’s arm to make sure he couldn’t sneak away.

          Wicke had good intentions thinking everyone could use a nice day of fun to unwind, doing her best to suppress her irritation over Faba whining, complaining, and not even making an attempt to enjoy himself the moment she’d suggested it.

          “These sorts of rides really aren’t for me!” Faba protested.

          “Oh, you haven’t even tried!” Wicke brushed him off, not even looking at him.

          “No, I…” Faba paused when he spotted Moon, surprising Wicke when he suddenly pulled out of her grip. “You! How about an arcade game? I wouldn’t mind that! I recall you enjoy those sorts of things, correct?” Faba gently grabbed Moon’s shoulders, desperation in his eyes.

          Before Moon could answer, Faba couldn’t help noticing Guzma glaring daggers at him. He hadn’t even noticed he was there at first, feeling a bit startled, until he finally recognized who the man behind the face paint was.

          “Oh, you’re the one Lus-”

          “I’m gonna give ya five seconds to stop touching her,” Guzma warned.

          “My apologizes!” Faba took a step back. “You two are together…?”

          “That’s right, so-”

          “A quick game wouldn’t hurt!” Moon interrupted. It was Faba’s money that had gotten her and Guzma into this place, so this would be a great way of repaying him.

          “Good, good!” Faba turned to Wicke and his fellow employees. “You all go ahead and I’ll catch up.”

          “Hmm…” Wicke eyed him suspiciously, Faba hoping she wouldn‘t notice he was beginning to sweat. “We’ll be at the rides near the Ferris wheel.”

          Faba watched them, then turning to Moon. “Thank you; I’ll be going now. If you see her again just say I gave you the slip.” He started walking away, stopping when Moon grabbed his coat. “Yes?”

          “But I really wanted to play a game with you, Faba.”

          “Well…” As much as children annoyed him, Moon’s Baby-Doll Eyes were much too powerful. “I suppose I could spare a few moments…”

          Faba felt completely out of his element stepping into the theme park’s arcade with its neon lighting and contraptions like he’d never seen before. When asked what he’d like to play, he had no idea how to answer, except the dancing game was completely out of the question.

          They settled on a shooting game, the controls being more than simple enough for Faba, he having great faith in his hand and eye coordination skills. The gun would fire Pokeballs at the screen. The goal was to catch as many Pokemon as possible while avoiding missing them or striking other targets that would either decrease the score or make them unable to shoot for a few seconds as a penalty.

          Moon’s recently victory was still fresh in his mind. Try as he might, Faba still failed to take Moon’s title no matter how hard he trained or re-worked his strategy. The young girl was simply a prodigy who couldn’t be matched.

          This is why he cheered in delight when he discovered he completely wiped the floor with Moon at the arcade game, more than doubling her score. He smugly placed the gun back into the holster with a grin on his face while Moon pouted.

          “That’s… That’s embarrassing…” Guzma had to admit, even he able to feel it. “Are ya good at any video games?”

          “Shut up!” Moon sulked.

          Faba chuckled, stroking his goatee. “This was indeed the one highlight of coming here. I’ll hope for the same results next month!”

          Moon immaturely stuck her tongue out at Faba from behind his back. She didn’t even want to bother looking around the rest of the arcade, taking Guzma back outside to attractions she could just experience and enjoy rather than taste bitter defeat.

          Ride after ride past, the two of them not even the slightest bit tired.

          “Guzma, how about that one?” Moon tugged at his sleeve and pointed at a ride that featured Togepi as its theme with the backside hollowed out for groups of people to sit down. In the center was a wheel to spin as it went around a track.

          “Sure.”

          The two got in line and picked a Togepi to sit in once their turn arrived, Moon leaning forward to grab on to part of the wheel.

          “You just sit back.” Guzma cracked his knuckles before placing his hands on the outside of the wheel. “I got this one!”

          The poor girl had no idea what she was in for.

          The ride seemed pretty benign when they were watching it. However, this was simply because not a single passenger was like Guzma. The giant of a man was able to turn the wheel with ease, spinning it as rapidly as he could, getting what seemed to be five spins before the other riders could get in one.

          Moon’s tiny body was quickly pinned back against her seat from the speed, the entire world a blur. The force made it feel like her face was going to be ripped off as she felt her skin tighten, eliminating even the smallest chance she had to try and shout for Guzma to slow down.

          Did she lose consciousness for a moment? Moon wasn’t certain. Out of all the rides they’d experienced Guzma had managed to make this one the most intense, Moon sitting completely motionless when at last the ride came to a stop.

          Guzma was laughing, pleased with himself at how fun he’d made such a simple ride, until he saw Moon completely dazed and sitting limp in her seat. “M-Moon…?”

          “Huh…?” There was a sound like Velcro when Moon managed to at last move, peeling herself off from being stuck to the seat. “Hurp…” She stifled a burp. “U-uh-oh…” Her face looked green as she cupped her hand over her mouth.

          “Oh sh…!”

          Guzma grabbed Moon and dashed to the nearest restroom with her, Moon running inside before she managed to humiliate herself in front of anyone. It had been a joke at the beginning, neither of them expecting it to happen, but now Guzma felt terrible for making her sick and Moon feeling the same since she’d talked so big only to wind up not being able to stand how fast Guzma was able to spin that ride.

          She was probably going to be in there for awhile… Guzma sighed, sitting down on a nearby bench. He kicked at a rock in front of him, wanting to do so much more to relieve the disappointment he felt in himself. This was all his fault for screwing up their day; they’d been having so much fun.

          “Hm…?” They hadn’t been around this part of the park yet. Guzma couldn’t help but get distracted by the new sounds and motions around him, looking around and taking it all in. They really did manage to cram a lot of different things in here.

          One thing in particular caught his eye and got him to his feet in an instant. Moon would be coming out sooner or later and he wanted to be back here when she did.


          The unwise combinations what she’d been eating throughout the day came back to haunt Moon with a vengeance. It took a fair amount of time for her stomach to settle, even still small pangs of nausea threatening her. One sad thing was certain: Their day had to be cut short. After that Moon needed to go home and sleep.

          Her energy level a complete contrast to what it was when they’d arrived, Moon shuffled out of the bathroom at last. “Huh?” She wondered if now she was seeing things when she spotted Guzma on the bench with something colossal next to him.

          “How ya feelin’?” Guzma asked when Moon approached, although maybe the answer wasn’t necessary from how white her face was. “Ya look terrible.”

          “Y-yeah…” Moon sighed. “I’m sorry, Guzma. If you want to stay, go ahead, but I have to go home…”

          “Figured. It’s only open for three more hours, and ain’t no fun without you.” He wasn’t upset at all, plus Moon did pay his way. He only hoped she thought she got her money’s worth.

          “I’m so sorry…”

          “Don’t be! We got other days!”

          “OK…” Moon couldn’t stay down when Guzma was being so nice. “Guzma… What is that?” She finally had to ask about the pink mass he was holding.

          “It’s fer you.” Guzma held it in front to show off the grand prize of the strongman game: A huge stuffed Bewear. He’d been the first person to win it so far, most people exerting all of their strength just to lift the heavy hammer and coming nowhere near close to the gong.

          At the moment, the man in charge of the game was still stunned and regretting his warning to Guzma that it truly would take someone with more power than the average person to win. Not realizing Guzma more than fit that criteria he watched the former Team Skull boss thrust the hammer down on the target with all his might, the weight shooting up and knocking the bell clean off. He’d more than earned this prize as well as putting him out of business for the day.

          “Oh wow!” Perking up a bit, Moon accepted the Bewear, barely able to look around its bulk. “This is awesome! Thank you, Guzma!”

          “No prob.” Guzma always leapt at any opportunity to do something for Moon, even if he tried to act like it was no big deal. “Ya need me to carry it?” He asked as they made their way of park together.

          “I’ve got it!” Moon insisted, managing the best she could. “Guzma, really. You are just the nicest, sweetest, kindest, best, most generous-”

          “Yer still wearin’ the Skitty ears,” Guzma interrupted. He wouldn’t let Moon sweet talk him into forgetting.

          “Nooooooo…” Moon whined, her plan foiled. “I’m going to look so dumb!”

          “How do ya think ya look now?”

          “Mean!” Moon gave him a gentle shove with her shoulder he barely felt.

          It was yet another fond memory Guzma made with his friend, the picture he’d bought being something he kept and looked at fondly on his nightstand every morning when he got up and every night before sleeping.
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            #7    
          Old May 27th, 2017 (2:37 PM).
          Vragon's Avatar
          Vragon Vragon is offline
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          Wow, such a long read yet so great.

          I have to be honest, this was very impressive. I didn't really see much wrong with the story and it was very engaging. I will say there might have been too many "Doing stuff for other person cause I care about said person" moments, but that's probably just me. I liked the cameos you did and how the settings of said cameos were done fittingly.

          However in critiquing spectrum, I will say that while you sentences are much better compared to the last one, there are some issues still.
          1) Several sentences can be put together in the same paragraph without having separate paragraphs. I assume you do this for reading purposes but it helps much more to save it for indention of dialogue or scene transitions. Unless the font is pretty small, I don't see why sentences that are part of the same thing be separate.

          2) Grammatically the most prevalent issue in your story to me is your usage of commas. While you use them well, there are a lot that are misplaced or not in areas they need to be. I understand proof reading for commas is hard, which is why it might be good to type it out while you look. Since you can't catch punctuation as well a misspelling it might be helpful to copy it (like to this site thread posting instead of simple copy/paste) and as you do it look for areas to place punctuation.

          3) This section:
          Quote:
          Long before Moon had moved to Alola a small island had been purchased with the intent of developing it into a theme park. Finally after a some setbacks, conflicts, and a few interruptions from curious marine Pokemon, it was ready to open its doors.

          The moment Moon had heard about it she’d been following its progress, excitedly imagining herself on each attraction as it was announced. As beautiful as Alola was, it was pretty lacking in fun activities for the younger crowd. This park was going to be amazing; she knew already from all the times she’d snuck close to it on Sharpedo to spy on the construction before she was shooed away. If they were available she was going to buy a pass and go there at least once every week!

          It hardly seemed real when the grand opening date was announced. After squealing, hugging a less than enthused Meowth, and sharing her glee with her mother, Moon ran off to find one of her closest friends.
          It in my opinion was written a bit weirdly. By that I'm referring to the first paragraph and it's follower. The first tells of the leading up to it's opening and when it opens, then moves to moon and her excitement as it leads up to it. Frankly, the issue is the opening section being done twice from two perspectives. I would recommend cutting the last part of the first out with it's opening day coming, since Moon is the main character and her interest leading up to it would give a more solid impact on opening day than just saying it happened. You follow me?

          Again, this was a very good story and I like this idea a lot. You kept Moon's and Guzma's character well consistent through this along with a entertaining story lasting all day. You do good story telling and describing. I did see more body/facial language from you, though I think Bay would know if it's enough. But yeah, good job and good one shot on this fic.
          PS: Are you a Moon x Guzma? (No judging from me, cause the way you wrote it actually makes good sense and is somewhat of a desirable outcome.)
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            #8    
          Old May 27th, 2017 (3:58 PM).
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          Team Skull Grunt Team Skull Grunt is offline
             
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            ^ This is more of how I usually write, so this REALLY gives me an idea of a lot of things I need to fix for what I've already typed up and how I write in the future. Ugh, old habits are going to be hard to break, though. LOL.

            If Moon is aged up, I personally have zero issue with GuzMoon, but it's not my thing. I prefer seeing him with Plumeria, a Grunt, or someone's OC since he's so darn popular.

            I really love the thought of Guzma and Moon pretty much becoming like brother and sister because I'm a sap. With how he is post game, I see him as needing a helping hand to start improving his life and Moon taking an active role in that.

            However, now that you got romantic vibes from that, do I need to tone it down now? Are they too friendly? Is it creepy?
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              #9    
            Old May 27th, 2017 (4:15 PM).
            Bay Alexison's Avatar
            Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is online now
            O, Dance of Devotion!
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            This is a very sweet piece there! I too thought you did Moon's personality there fine as she acts how I expect an eleven year old should (love her "show no mercy" line during the bumping cars scene lol). Guzma's softer side I think is nice, like the parts with him buying the photo ride and later the stuffed Bewear. Their interactions together and with the other characters are fun too (Guzma's face in Wimpod paint awesome). I too like them being in a brother and sister relationship, and I don't see much creepiness here.

            The both of them Battle Tree partners sounds fun, would like to see those posted here!
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