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Old October 31st, 2005 (8:52 PM). Edited October 31st, 2005 by Negrek.
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Negrek Negrek is offline
Am I more than you bargained for yet?
     
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    Significance


    Sarah almost didn’t hear the small voice over the blast of the television. Starting slightly, unsure that there had been anything after all, she froze with an unwrapped Squirtle Chew halfway to her mouth. Hastily muting the TV, she waited in silence, ears straining for the slightest noise from the outside. After a couple of seconds she began to relax, sure that she had just imagined it.

    But then it came again, a young, distant voice, slightly hoarse after the number of times that it had yelled the same phrase this night. “Trick or treat!”

    Sarah’s eyes flicked to the clock over the silently pulsing television as she hastily leapt up from the couch, guiltily checking the amount of candy in the bowl that she had been discreetly snacking out of for the last couple of hours. Almost nine! What kind of crazy kid would still be out and about at this hour?

    “Coming, coming, coming,” Sarah muttered under her breath as she dashed for the front door. She wasn’t sure why she was going to this much trouble just to humor some little kid out late on Halloween, but somehow she knew that she would feel terribly guilty if she left some hopeful child out on her doorstep in the late October cold, their wishes for candy left unfulfilled. The mantra of reassuring “coming”s was soon replaced by hissed curses as her furret inexplicably got tangled around her feet, and she staggered the last few feet to the door, ignoring Caele’s irritated yells about how it was impossible to get to the kitchen for a drink of water without getting stepped on.

    Consequently, she was a little breathless as she wrenched the front door open, automatically brushing a displaced lock of dark brown hair away from her eyes as she peered out onto the stoop. Her hand stopped mid-brush as she stared in disbelief at the sight that greeted her.

    A clefable stood on her doorstep, smiling up at her and clutching a makeshift pillowcase sack already bulging with candy. “Trick or treat,” the fairy pokémon said again, and now that she could hear it more clearly, Sarah was put off by its voice. It was not that it didn’t sound quite right; it held the exact tone of a human child, desperately excited by the prospect of candy and a night of fun, though at the same time shy and a bit intimidated by Sarah, a strange adult. No, sound was entirely the wrong word to describe it, Sarah thought vaguely.

    The girl’s costume was incredibly realistic, a far cry from the store-bought pokémon costumes that many trick-or-treaters wore. In fact, if it weren’t for the child’s bright blue eyes, large and vibrantly colored where a clefable’s were beady and black, Sarah would have been utterly convinced that the girl was actually a clefable trying to pass herself off as human. Those eyes certainly didn’t belong to a clefable—and at the same time, they didn’t seem very human, either. Sarah tried to shake the odd feeling off, realizing that the little girl was beginning to grow impatient with her slow-moving candy provider.

    Overcoming her shock, Sarah bent down a bit so that the bowl of candy was within the girl’s reach. She waddled forward eagerly and reached out with an incredibly realistic paw. “Take as many as you want. You’re my last customer,” Sarah said, smiling as the small girl unabashedly grabbed a handful and stuffed it into her pillowcase. If she didn’t unload the candy somehow, Sarah knew she’d just end up eating it all herself, and she shuddered to think what it would do to her weight. “Nice costume,” she said, not quite sure why she had said it, but feeling a little conversational. “Did your mom make it?”

    The clefable had already been half-turned away from Sarah, ready to bound down the steps and dash back to the sidewalk. Sarah’s house was the last on the block, so the clefable would either cross the road to start the other side or go left and down Sarah’s side of the street. The girl’s shocking blue eyes glittered as she looked up and gave Sarah an innocent smile. “I made it,” she said in a bright voice.

    “You made it?” Sarah said, completely taken aback. The clefable nodded proudly. It was then that something else occurred to Sarah. Peering out into the darkness at the end of the walk, unable to see much of anything, she asked, “Where is your mom, anyway?”

    The girl was growing bored with the conversation, clearly chafing at the bit to be on her way and collect more candy. “She’s waiting for me across the street,” the clefable-girl said cheerfully. “Thanks for the candy,” she added somewhat belatedly as she turned to go, hopping down the front steps one by one and trotting down the walk as quickly as her short-legged costume would allow.

    Sarah remained standing in the doorway for a moment, watching the girl trundle away without really seeing her, trying to put her finger on just what it was about the kid that she found so jarring. Then, with a mental shrug and a resigned sigh, she turned away, shoving the door shut and flicking off the porch light. She reassessed the amount of candy left in her bowl, deciding that she would press as much candy as she could onto Caele so that she wouldn’t be tempted to eat it all herself. The furret would be expecting some sort of apology for the way she had stumbled over him earlier, anyway.

    Had Sarah cared to think about it for a moment as she went about her business, she would have realized that when the girl left her house she went neither left nor straight and across the street, instead trundling off to the right in the direction of the forest on the edge of town.

    -------

    The clefable-child trundled through the quiet trees, apparently quite at home in the moonlight-bathed forest. Her sack of candy, nearly as tall as she was, dragged along behind her on the ground, setting up a constant hissing as it tugged new-fallen leaves across the earth with it. The clefable’s eyes roamed the trees, but she seemed unafraid of the darkness and the unknown, somehow strangely assured that nothing would hurt her.

    She passed through intermittent patches of light and shadow, the eerie moonlight revealing her briefly before she was plunged into darkness again. And with each new patch of light, the clefable-girl appeared changed—her form twisting and flowing into that of some entirely different creature. The continual rustling that had followed her suddenly ceased, and though the she continued her journey through the woods, not a single footfall betrayed her presence as she neared her destination.

    She soon reached a small clearing in the midst of the forest, home only to one large, lonely boulder long ago cast off by some passing glacier and left to stand here, alone. The creature floated quietly towards it, the bulging bag of candy held limply above the ground with one slack paw as though it weighed nothing at all. The former clefable set it down on the flat top of the boulder and then settled herself next to it, curling her tail around herself as she leaned over to inspect her candy haul.

    Upending the bag, she watched with an excited gleam in her eyes as hundreds of tiny pieces of candy cascaded from it, bouncing out onto the rock in a rustle of wrappers. Giving the pillowcase one last shake, she folded it neatly and without looking, her attention apparently completely upon the treats that she had earned from a night of trick-or-treating. The familiar wrappers seemed strangely alien in the moonlight, their bright, vibrant colors washed out and strangely grayish beneath its influence.

    The creature put the pillowcase aside before leaning over and pawing industriously through her sizeable candy collection, apparently seeking out something in particular. At last she found it and, with a delighted grin, plucked it from the pile It was a small bag of candy corns, and the creature began industriously trying to tear the plastic packet open.

    Aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating?

    The creature didn’t stop in her attempts at opening the bag at the sound of the voice, appearing completely unsurprised. She had noticed the speaker several minutes earlier, and did not need to turn her head in order to see him where he lurked silently, standing at the very edge of the glade. He appeared half-in, half-out of the moonlight, the nearly-bare branches hanging over him sending a web of shadowy cracks radiating across his illuminated form.

    Maybe so, Mewtwo, maybe so, the former clefairy replied, unable to prevent a slight smile from creeping across her face and into her response. She gave a small giggle of delight as the plastic at last came apart between her small paws; it would have been cheating to use her psychic powers to open the package. Plucking one of the candy corns out, she popped it into her mouth and leaned back on the boulder contentedly, looking up at the clear night sky.

    The mental silence in the clearing lingered for several seconds more, before Mewtwo spoke again, exasperation and frustration tingeing his telepathic message. So the great Mew herself has nothing better to do tonight, then? No trying to keep good and evil in balance? You’d prefer to transform into some other pokémon and go cavorting around a human settlement in search of refined sugar?

    Mew did not turn her gaze from the starscape overhead. Perhaps, Mewtwo, I am too old for trick-or-treating, she replied, apparently ignoring his later questions. If that is the case, then perhaps I am finally old enough to realize that there are few more enjoyable things to do than to eat candy corns by moonlight on some cold October night. Though Mew's clone remained there for a while longer, as though expecting some further explanation, he eventually departed, off to pursue activities of his own, no doubt far more productive than just eating candy in the glow of reflected sunlight.

    Mew remained there long after he had left in irritation, staring up at the sky peacefully. The moon seemed trapped in her eyes, its glowing reflection surrounded on all sides by her blue irises as she watched it quietly, eating one candy corn at a time until they were all gone. And as the last treat disappeared, so, too, did she, fading into the still night air as though she had never truly been there in the first place.
    __________________

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

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      #2    
    Old October 31st, 2005 (9:28 PM). Edited October 31st, 2005 by Casual Billy.
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    Casual Billy Casual Billy is offline
    Wargreymon: Miracle Mega
       
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      Cool fic. You didn't go for the traditional scare-your-pants-off approach to halloween fic writing, and that made this a unique read. I like how in the beginning you had Sarah (whom I was sure was going to be the victim of some heinous crime or deed) hearing faint voices, which turned out to be kinda innocent.

      Then you switched to Mew's perspective. Great job with describing the "clefable-girl" and all of the scenery throughout the fic. I got some creepy images in my head of a humanoid clefable with bright blue eyes standing in the dark on my porch. I could tell that it was mew as soon as you said that it was floating forward, so you've handled masterfully the description.

      Um, interesting question you've got in there, too. Mew is ancient, but i guess that doesn't mean she can't enjoy the significance of the simple things. *hopes that's what you were kinda getting at* Question: Did you go trick-or-treating?

      EDIT: I almost forgot

      Quote:
      Starting slightly, unsure that that there had been anything after all,
      There’s an extra “that” and “after all” doesn’t seem the appropriate phrase. “At all” seems like it’d work better because “after all” makes it sound too much like the issue’s already resolved, kinda. Maybe?

      Quote:
      But then it came again, a young, distant voice,
      Okay, you know how much I suck at commas and stuff, but shouldn’t there be a semi-colon after “again”?

      You said “going to this much trouble”. Isn’t it “going through this much trouble”?
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      billy5772: not worth responding to
      anonymous: You responded though.
      anonymous: Thumbs up for flawless logic.
      billy5772: so. i can do things not worth doing, can't I?
      billy5772: case in point: i talk to you all the time
      (billy5772 is an alternate screen name of mine)

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        #3    
      Old November 2nd, 2005 (5:25 PM).
      Negrek's Avatar
      Negrek Negrek is offline
      Am I more than you bargained for yet?
         
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        Glad you liked it, Billy. I got this idea back in August when I wasn't very much in a scare-your-pants off mood, which probably is why the piece turned out the way that it did.

        As for the meaning of the title, you got that pretty well. It's a little more involved, but that's a pretty good summarization.

        Quote:
        Starting slightly, unsure that that there had been anything after all,
        X.x yes, that sentence was a last-minute change made in the posting window, so I guess I didn't check well enough for continuity after redoing it. The extra that is gone now.

        As for changing after all to at all, though, doesn't sound right to me... people around here say it "after all", though, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Umm, I call a dialect save? *shot*

        [QUOTE] But then it came again, a young, distant voice,[/QUOTE
        Semicolons can only join two independent clauses or work in some very complicated lists. Because "A young, distant voice..." can't be a sentence on its own, a semicolon cannot go there. Points for looking at it and thinking about it, though.

        As for going "to all this trouble", I've heard it said "to" or "through". I chose to because it seemed to me more appropriate for the context. I think I'm going to let that one stand, sorry.

        Again, thanks for reading. Also, I am working on your beta for chapter six. I'll have that and responses to your questions on plot changes back to you on Saturday or Friday.



        No, I didn't go trick-or-treating--too old.
        __________________

        In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

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