📖 °Monthly Writing Prompts° 📖

Merushii

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February Prompts

📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon: The doorbell rings, and all that greets your character outside is a mysterious envelope on the doormat.

Pokémon: Today is your character's first day on the job as a gym leader. Write about their feelings and experiences.

Pokémon or Non-Pokémon: A group of friends stumble across a small shrine buried beneath the ground in the forest. After days of digging around it, they discover hidden scrolls of some sort inside...
 

Dragonite

have they found the One Piece yet
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Dragonite, usually
It's two in the morning so one of the characters is a dragon because why not

"Scrolls."

"Scrolls?" Ammy repeated, peering into the box. "Of all the things - why would anyone have -"

"Holy moly, these are old," Cassandra breathed, gingerly extracting the top one and unrolling it. "I don't know if I even want to breathe near these, they look like they'd crumble if you just look at them for too long."

"What's it say?" Ammy hissed, scurrying around behind Cassandra and craning her neck over her shoulder. "What - are those even words?"

"'The scrolls in this box contain every possible description of your death,'" she read aloud.

"What?"

"'They contain an exact description of your birth, every poem you have ever recited, every joke you have ever told, every lie you ever constructed, and everything that you have ever said or will ever say,'" she went on. "Gods above, this is hard to read."

"Does it really say that? That's ridiculous. The box is tiny."

"The letters are rather faded, but yes, that's what it says," Cassandra said, looking up at the dragon.

"Do you reckon that somebody built this shrine and buried these things just to get a laugh out of whoever found them?"

"This is all a million years old, who would have done that much work to make a fool out of someone who dug it up long after they died?"

"I don't know, maybe-"

"'These scrolls contain the answer to every question,'" Cassandra continued, looking back down. "'They contain the cure to the deadliest plague, the solution to the most vexing paradox, the precise events of the future, the weather of tomorrow, the nature of the Gods, and the answer to life itself.'"

"This has got to be a joke. There's only one other scroll in here, and it's not very big."

"That's all that was written on this one. Let's have a look." She carefully returned the first scroll to the box and picked up the second. "It looks like a list."

"This is a waste of time."

"Wait, let me read it."

"That's not what I would have called a prophecy of the future, Cass."

Cassandra ignored her. "'Each page in the Ethereal Library is stored in a shelf on a wall in a cell.'" She paused, trying to envision this. "'Each page is given a number. The contents of each page can be procured by' - oh, no, this looks dreadfully complicated."

"What even is that?" Ammy hissed, throwing her hands out and flapping her wings in frusturation. "Is that even words? Someone's trying to make a fool out of us."

"This goes on," Cassandra said, rolling out the scroll so she could read the rest of it. "It looks like a lot of math which does - I can't say I understand what it does."

"Just put it back. Let someone else deal with it. Let's go home."

"The last line says 'and with this final result, by converting each of the digits into characters according to the index below, you will be able to find everything that ever has, will or can be written or spoken,'" she said, not listening. "'With this knowledge, you will be able to find anything, as long as you know where to look.' And that's it. There's a list underneath, but it just looks like it's there to assign letters to numbers or something."

"This can't be real."

"I don't know."

"How can it be real?"

"Imagine describing a telescope to somebody who'd never seen one. If all you understood was fire and water, you'd never understand how a little tube with glass in one end could let you see the shapes and moons of far-off planets with your own eyes."

"What does that have to do with any of this?"

"I don't know," Cassandra sighed. "It's getting late. You're right, we should go home."

"What are you going to do with the scrolls?"

"I think I'll take it home, too," she thought, returning the contents to their box and closing it. "Dad doesn't get out much, I'll give them to him. Maybe he can figure out what to do with them." She took one last look at the shrine and started off through the trees.

"They're all really dry, they'd probably make a good fire starter," Ammy offered sarcastically, aiming a kick at a fallen branch as she scurried after Cassandra.

"To you, anything is a good fire starter."

"Yes, but these deserve it," the dragon argued. "That was a complete waste of time."

"I wouldn't go that far," Cassandra disagreed as the dragon caught up with her. "It raises some interesting questions."

"Now what are you talking about?"

"Even if you could find out the meaning of life and how you die, if there was some magical book or an equation that you could just use to look it up, would you want to?"

Shoutout to whoever knows what that's based on
 

Felly

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Not quite February anymore for me, but I figured I'd go ahead and throw this up since it's still February in at least one part of the US. xD CnC welcomed! Story is titled The Meaning of the Scrolls.

As children, they were told not to wander into the forest without Pokemon. They listened. No one knew what dangerous creatures lurked in the forest for no one truly dared to go inside. Even with Pokemon, the villagers feared going into the forest. Those that did go in rarely returned and didn’t speak of what they saw, just that it was important to not go in at all. If villagers needed to go to nearby towns, they would go along the path and not stray from it. The forest’s dwellers didn’t go on the path.

As teenagers, they were told not to wander into the forest. They had Pokemon now, but they were reminded that they may not return if they entered. This time, they did not listen.

Sarah and Savannah entered the forest one morning after their chores. They had the rest of the day to themselves, and they wanted to explore the forest. The world outside of their village was wide open to them, and they wanted to see it for themselves. They had Pokemon and they had each other. Surely, nothing would happen to them if they were together.

Within an hour, they were lost. An hour after that, hunger set in. They brought snacks, but by sunset, their snacks were gone and they were still hungry.

A few drops of rain hit their bodies, and they made a run for it.

“Whew,” Sarah said, pushing the brown locks of hair that stuck to her forehead away. “Good thing this shrine was here.”

“Yeah, definitely,” Savannah said. “I wonder what’s inside though.”

Sarah shrugged, then led the way inside. As they made their way through, torches along the walls lit up. At the end of a long hallway was a shrine with a chest on it. Savannah ran up to it and pushed it open.

“No key needed, nice,” she commented before peeking inside. There were several scrolls inside. “Just scrolls? That’s not exciting.”

“What do they say?” Sarah asked, joining her sister at the chest. She picked one up and unrolled it. “I can’t read it.”

Savannah peered over her sister’s shoulder and shrugged. “Neither can I. It’s in some funky moonspeak language.”

The writing on the scroll was in odd shapes with dots in the middle of the circles. Sarah dropped the scroll back into the chest.

“Wait!” Savannah said as her sister made her way back to the exit. “Let’s take these home with us! Maybe someone back home can figure it all out.”

Sarah sighed, but she came back to drop the scrolls in her bag. Together, they returned to the village. The next morning, they gave the scrolls to the village leadership.

“This is written in the language of the Unown,” the leader said, unrolling the first. “This one says, ‘The forest’s creatures can be tamed with a sweet scent through the air. They do not like others entering their territory. Those who trespass will be attacked on sight.’”

“Well, that explains a lot,” one of the other village leaders said.

“These scrolls can help us immensely when it comes to figuring out the forest’s secrets,” the leader said. He turned to Sarah and Savannah. “We will continue to study these. Thank you for bringing them to us.”

“Of course!” the girls said.

That night, they stood at the edge of the village, near the rope fence that blocked their path to the forest. They could hear the howls of the creatures that were inside, but they didn’t dare enter. They knew what could happen if they did.

Soon, those fears would be no more though.
 

Merushii

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March Prompts

📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon: You decide to brighten up your room with a cute plant! You set it up by a window and that evening, just as the sun goes down and all is quiet, the plant begins to speak to you.

Pokémon: Your character's little sister desperately wants to learn how to perform in a Pokémon Contest. It's time for a practice battle! [Bonus: First person, any of the characters. The seasoned trainer/Pokémon, or one of the new and nervous newbies!]

Pokémon or Non-Pokémon: You are lost on the way down a mountain path in a rain storm. You come across a mansion and beg entry at the gates. You are wordlessly allowed inside, where you encounter the owners...who are most certainly not human.
 

Cynical Toast

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This was originally supposed to be a silly comedy story but it sort of evolved into a creepypasta. Doesn't involve Pokemon, and I guess reader discretion is advised. First time writing one of these so feel free to critique

I don't know exactly what I expected to see in that fateful abandoned mansion, but whatever it was It was not what I found. I was just going on a casual hike on a cursed mountain; thing people do, you know? I was rudely interrupted, however, by the practically instantaneous instigation of an intense storm. I was in a panic, and I needed to find shelter fast, so I decided to run down into an abandoned mansion I caught on the trek up. Running down the slippery trail, escaping the chaotic storm, my mind inevitably raced to many different theories on what exactly I would encounter as I sought shelter. Maybe a ghost, a demon? The mansion supposedly was built on top of an ancient burial ground so I figured anything was possible. As I forcefully pushed open the doors and stepped inside, I saw something I couldn't have expected. I expected anything, but I still wasn't prepared for this.

11 upright Raccoons, all clad in black, human sized suits, surrounded the doorway as they all stared at me. They all held hands as they stared in the exact same spot, which happened to be where I stood. The blank, dead gaze of their tiny Raccoon eyes pierced right through me, which was enough of a cue for me to know it was time to leave. I immediately turned around, deciding to take my chances with the rain, but before I could leave the door instantly shut behind me. It took me a moment to register what had just transpired, as I still tried to walk out of the closed door. Soon enough, though, I realized my fate. Then I trembled. I shook intensely, my mind an absolute mess and unable to formulate a plan of action. I stood there for a good minute, until finally I slowly turned my body towards the Raccoons. They hadn't moved an inch, there faces still perfectly tuned a single spot. I don't know why exactly I did what I did next, but I decided the best course of action would be to start a dialogue with my cuddly captors.

"Hey there, you guys. I'm, uh, I'm Darrell. I run a... seafood shop down by the city. If you would be so kind as to let me out I'll give you free food! How about that?"

No response.

"You guys... ever get lonely in here? It's... like, really dark in here. You should..."

I didn't know what more to say. I just stood there, silent as a lamb, absorbing the tense atmosphere of the unlit foyer. The Raccoons didn't move an inch, even then, they just kept their eyes locked onto me. Eventually, I decided I had to do something, lest I stand there forever. So I tried to walk up to one of the Raccoons and shake their hand, which to my pleasant surprise, the Raccoon played along with. Finally, some progress I thought to myself. I figured I could eventually break them down and get them to let me go. I went to try and shake the hands of the rest of the Raccoons, aiming to finally break the ice. Only one problem, the first Raccoon wouldn't let go of my hand. I tried to pull away, but the Raccoon wouldn't budge, going back to its state of immobility. I only struggled for about half a minute, until my captors finally broke out of their seeming trance.

Without moving their legs, the 10 remaining Raccoons began to circle around me, practically sliding on the floor in perfect synchronization. Along the path they followed a green ring of light slowly began to form from the floor, growing increasingly intense as the movement continued. It appeared in the form of fire, but something felt off about it. It was ghastly, absolutely fantastical and out of this world. Demonic would probably have been an apt word to describe it, it gave off something of a malicious aura. The thing about that, though, is that this wasn't really that scary. The light was... so pretty, the ethereal shade of green defied any laws of color I thought existed in this world. It was so bright, too, that I felt my eyes start to water, yet I just continued to stare. The Raccoons had vanished, at this point, with the door to the outside reopening itself to the sight of a clear, storm-free nature. I didn't care, though, I just continued to be enchanted by the ghastly glow of the floorboards.

My body began to grew heavy, my retinas practically burning from the intensity of the circle. It was so pretty, so intense, yet it wasn't enough I wanted more I still wanted more! I couldn't just appreciate this light, I needed to embrace it, I needed to FEEL the light! I fell into utter despair, the idea of being separated from the light broke my spirit, I couldn't do that I couldn't leave it I Couldn't Leave it! My eyeballs, or the charred, dusty black patches of soot that remained of them, began to cry in a way I had never before. There were no tears, no noises, just the absolute madness of desire.

But then, when all hope had seemed lost, I found salvation. The light spoke to me, it heard my distress. It had finally recognized me and tried to embrace me. The light told me things: horrible, horrible things. I was horrified, yet at the same time I was in complete ecstasy. I was shown visions, no, memories of my fortunate kin. A young maiden, a feared general... a raccoon. 11, positively blessed souls, granted complete convergence with the brilliant light. The voice went quiet, but it was OK. It was all OK now, I could finally become whole. I positively giggled with joy, I was ready, I was ready I was ready! I dropped to my knees and broke into an unstoppable laughter. I was so happy, I was finally free, I could be one with the beauty. I cupped my hands around my face, and fully embraced the light. I was free.
 
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Godot

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"Where the hell have I ended up this time?" A figure looked down at his map. "Let's see here, I started closer to the peak..." He frowned, his ears pointed up slightly and his hair was an unusual shade of dark blue. "Do I still have the stone? Oh thank goodness, I don't know what I'd do without it. So home's up top and the humans set up their cities closer to the base... And that noise woke me up, the cannon fire primarily. If I had to guess those dumb primates are trying to kill each other... Again. I swear it's almost every century with these idiots." He looked towards the tree trying to determine from the moss which way lead down to the nearby human encampment. "This damn thing's doing me no good." The manakete dressed in a pinstripe suit threw his map to the ground. "What was I thinking, I'm no goddamn cartographer." He pulled a cigar out of his pocket and blew a small amount of fire onto it before sticking it in his mouth. He frowned smoking in the rain.

"Best get a move on, other wise I'll never get to give those humans a piece of my mind." He stated walking forward for quite a distance. He looked back up, he was nowhere nearer to the peak he'd called home and equally nowhere close to the mountain's base. What struck him as even more odd was that it seemed as if he hadn't changed position much at all. And suddenly there was a mansion that hadn't been there before. "That's odd..." He said aloud before attempting to open the gate. "For the love of Naga, let me in dammit. I'm drenched!" he called.

A strange being approached the gate from the opposite side. "Foul mouthed, aren't ya?" a feminine voice said in a tone that implied she'd been fed up with the cursing. "You don't want in. Not really. What you want is to express anger at those who woke you, Manakete." The being stated taking a more humanoid form "Consider this a warning. The gods don't like wrathful dragons. And for crying out loud stop smoking, it's bad for your health." The manakete stopped and stared for a moment confounded. "Gods are you?" He asked not really caring. "Which gods? Cause you certainly ain't Naga."

"Gods from another realm, Manakete." The woman said her eyes not expressing any emotion whatsoever while her tone seemed to betray boredom. "Call me Hela. Or Hel, either works really. I'm a goddess of death and considering this is a meeting house, you should be glad none of the Greeks, Celts, or Sumerians answered... Actually, you're lucky I haven't asked for some 'Hero' to remove you. I'm sure someone in here would like the thought of sending Siegfried or Beowulf after you." Hel's glare was icy cold as if she just didn't care. "Of course there are others far more warlike within my pantheon, namely that red haired honorary uncle of mine... Oh right, you wouldn't know Thor."

The manakete sighed "Look, I don't give a **** what your name is. Just let me in and allow me to get out of the rain. And stop calling me Manakete. I have a name and it's Radu." As he spoke the mansion seemed to vanish. He was still on the mountain, but the mansion was gone. "That was ****ing weird." With that he used his dragon stone to transform and fly back up to his peak. "The humans will stop within the next decade or two, then I'll have eighty more years to sleep before the next war begins... I hope."
 

Felly

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Went for the contest based prompt for this one. And I even did first person!

Watching contests was always something that Stella and I did together. Ever since she was born and mom started leaving her with me, I would sit down on the couch with Stella and watch contests. It was a great way to introduce her to the Pokemon world.


“I want to learn how to be a coordinator!” Stella said one day as we were watching contests. I looked over at her.


“What?” I asked.


“I wanna be a coordinator!” Stella said. “Like the people on TV!”


I looked back at the TV and watched a coordinator release a Delcatty in a shower of sparkles and hearts. Stella’s eyes were glued to the TV again. The Delcatty was appealing with Charm in an attempt to woo the judges over to her side. Once their appeal was done, it cut to a commercial break.


“Hailey, come on! Teach me how to be a coordinator!” Stella said. “Watching contests is boring! I wanna actually do them!”


I shrugged and got up off the couch. “Okay. Gimme a minute to get a couple Pokemon then.”


I walked back into my room and looked at the six Poke Balls that sat on my desk. I wasn’t much of a coordinator, but I pretty much had the basics down from watching contests on TV over the years with Stella. I had six Pokemon, but it was just a collection of six I’d picked up over the years. Going on a Pokemon journey or being a coordinator didn’t really interest me. I wasn’t really sure what my place in the Pokemon world was, but right now, it was being a mentor to my little sister.


I returned to the living room with two Poke Balls as the contest we were watching was coming to an end. “Come on, Stella. Let’s go out back and do a practice round.”


“Wait! We need a judge!” Stella said. She jumped up from the couch and paused for a moment, looking around the room. “I know! I’ll get Mr. Fluffles to judge us.”


I shrugged and made my way to wait by the back door for Stella to get Mr. Fluffles. I wasn’t quite sure how a stuffed animal would judge a contest, but I wasn’t going to question it. Doing so would upset Stella, and that was the last thing I wanted to deal with right now.


She returned with the brown stuffed teddy bear, and when we went outside, she sat him on one of the lawn chairs we had on the porch. We stepped out into the yard.


“Okay, Stella, this is Torch. He specializes in Fire type moves, so get him to use the Fire type moves you know of when you make your appeal to Mr. Fluffles,” I said, handing her a Poke Ball.


“Got it!” Stella said. She tossed the ball into the air and out came a little Cyndaquil. The flames on his little back roared. “Oooh, a Cyndaquil!”


“Do you want to watch me appeal first, or do you want to make yours first?” I asked, holding the other Poke Ball in my hand.


“You go first! I wanna watch you do it first, Hailey!” Stella replied.


I shrugged. “Okay then,” I replied, tossing my ball into the air. “Come on out, Minnie!”


The Pokemon that emerged from my ball was a Medicham. She nodded to me as she emerged from her ball.


“Alright Minnie, today, we’re just practicing an appeal for a contest,” I told her. “So I want you to lead off with a Fire Punch, then follow it up with an Ice Punch.”


Minnie nodded as one of her fists became enveloped in flames. She swung it around for a moment, and then her whole body started to move, as if she were dancing. Suddenly, it was almost as if she was controlling the flames with her whole body and not just her fist. The other fist, the one that wasn’t enveloped in flames earlier, became covered in ice, and steam surrounded her as the fire and ice collided and clashed with each other.


When the steam cleared, Minnie bowed. I nodded to Stella.


“Your turn,” I told her.


“Oh,” she said. I hoped my appeal hadn’t curbed her initial enthusiasm for this. I guess I could’ve let her use Minnie, but I wasn’t sure if she was willing to listen to Stella. It took long enough for her to listen to me. “Okay! I got it! Torch, use Ember and follow it up with a Flame Wheel!”


Torch looked to me for a moment, as if he was seeking approval to listen to Stella. I nodded, and Torch blew out a short burst of flames before curling up into a ball and rolling forward. The flames that were on his back surrounded his whole body, and as he rolled forward and into the ball of flames he’d created just a moment ago, he burst through it and emerged covered in the flames. When he landed, they were all gone.


I heard clapping when Torch landed, and I jumped. I looked around for a moment until I realized it was just mom. I hadn’t even heard her come out onto the porch, but there she was.


“Mom!” Stella cried, running forward to hug her. “Did you see what Torch and I did? Did you, did you?”


“Yes, yes, I did,” she said, laughing. “You did a good job!”


“Really?” Stella asked, looking up at mom with shining eyes.


“Yes, really,” she replied. She looked at me too. “Both of you did. Now why don’t you and your Pokemon come inside and get ready for dinner.”


“Okay!” Stella said. “Come on, Torch! Let’s go!”


I nodded and led the way for Minnie and I to go inside. Perhaps one day, I would be sitting in the stadium, watching Stella perform in real contests, or I’d be like Mr. Fluffles, who I grabbed before I came inside, watching Stella practice her appeals while I judged them.
 

Merushii

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April - May Prompts

📖 ----- 📖

Hi guys! Due to my leave, I wasn't able to get these up for most of April. This time there will be more prompts and you will be able to write all the way through the end of May. Our prompts are mostly focused on you practicing description, bringing action or scenes to life. Feel free to practice them in different ways, and bounce ideas and constructive feedback off of one another!

The encouraged elements that some prompts have are only to get you working on different ways to write, but they are not required! You have the creative freedom to write and practice however you want. If you choose to take a look at them, you can incorporate one or all into your piece of writing. ♥ n.n


📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon
It's prom night and you're nervous! Go through the whole evening, telling the exciting story from picking up your date through the afterprom.

Encouraged elements
  • First person.
  • Describe seeing your date for the first time that evening. Describe their manner of dress, expression, and the exchange.
  • Describe the prom area. How is it decorated? Are there things hanging from the ceiling? Are the walls covered with decorations, or color? How's the lighting?
  • Describe the first dance! Detail your dance moves and thoughts.

📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon
The sky turns dark in a way you've never seen in this part of your world. The wind picks up and carries with it a strange scent, and the heavens begin to weep. Describe your character's first encounter with rain.

Encouraged elements
  • First person.
  • Describe the buildup of the rainstorm using all of your character's senses.
  • Describe the moment the rain begins to fall. Does it startle your character? What does it feel like?

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
While adventuring alone, you encounter a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon. Does it notice you, or do you admire it from afar?

Encouraged elements
  • Choose the time of day, and describe your surroundings leading up to the encounter accordingly. (example: if it's morning, are the Pokémon beginning to rouse from their nests? Is there dew collected on the grasses at your feet?)

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
Oh no, it looks like you're going to lose this battle! Tensions are high and you're becoming desperate and upset that your final Pokémon has nearly fallen. The Pokémon, not wanting to let you down, rises again and begins to evolve.

Encouraged elements
  • Pokémon are shrouded in a mysterious light when they evolve. Describe what goes on underneath while your Pokémon's body changes.

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
A kind human finds a wounded Flying-type in the forest, its wing too damaged to fly. They decide to care for it.

Encouraged elements
  • First person from either perspective.
  • Describe the extent of the damage to the Pokémon's wing. How did it happen?

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon or Non-Pokémon
Your character has always wanted to host a cooking show with their partner (human or Pokémon). Their dream has finally been realized, and this is their first time on the air. Something goes wrong unexpectedly...can they recover and save the dish? -gasp-

lol :hmmazurill:


📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon or Non-Pokémon
Whenever you have a rough or sad day, you return home to tell your pet (or Pokémon) about it. One day, they start talking back to you.

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon or Non-Pokémon
Write a piece or exchange where all dialogue is said in rhyme.

Encouraged elements
  • If you wish, give an explanation to the strange rhyming behavior. Is it a curse? A fad? A play? Who knows.
 

Godot

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He looked up with amazement. "What is that?" He asked himself gazing directly at the sun only to find it hurt. "Surface dwellers must be constantly in pain from that thing in the sky. Serves 'em right for casting us down into the depths of the earth." His grey skin started to sting as he developed a bad sunburn on his arm. "Curse you, ball of fire in the sky. May your days end shortly." The drow swore at the sun. Suddenly it ceased to be, the bright ball of flame was gone. "Ha, take that you wretched mass of flame! No one harms Zov the Wrathful and lives to tell of it! Actually now I'm curious why that thing didn't leave a corpse at least."

As the grey clouds that had overtaken the sun began to release their contents, Zov looked on bewildered and confused. "Water drains from the sky? Clearly the gods are weeping for their fallen comrade. Beware gods and beings of the surface for I have come for revenge." The rain was the least of his troubles within minutes the water had begun to freeze becoming hail. "Asmodeus's blood! The sky has sent mighty shards of ice, they aren't as defenseless as I thought" He made a mad dash to the nearest shelter. Which in this instance just happened to be a cabin occupied by elves. "You fools and your sky weapons! They aren't enough to kill a true Elf, Down with you pretenders so that you might feel the same shame as my people." He shouted to the elves in the cabin, who fortunately couldn't hear the death threats and obvious xenophobia. The next thing Zov felt was a blade planted firmly in his back. He watched as the hail fell around him, his vision blurring as he hit the icy ground. His vision finally faded away and the last sensation he felt was a great sword hacking at his neck. Within moments of that the paladin with blade of steel stood over the decapitated drow. Zov's head slowly rolled to rest by the paladin's foot. And instead of kicking it, like Zov or any other drow would have, she turned around and walked away.

"Your first day on the surface, foul creature. And you experienced beauty we take for granted before threatening a family. I wish there had been a chance for your redemption, but had you seen me approach you would have struck me first."
 

Felly

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EST/GMT-5
I was in a lil bit of a Harry Potter mood when I thought about what to write for this, so I decided to write something based around the Harry Potter fanfic I really want to write but never have enough time to actually write. C&C is fine!

I stood at the top of the Astronomy Tower, looking out at the grounds. This was always my favorite place to come to when I was a student at Hogwarts. Nothing changed over the years. Even over the past two years of being back at the school as a professor, this was still my favorite place to come. Nothing would change that year three.

Tonight, I came up to escape the troubles downstairs. Sirius Black got into the castle, and everyone was on high alert. Severus was being a pain, trying to blame it on Remus, and I just had to get away before I snapped at him.

The skies were dark tonight, darker than usual. It was odd, really. I’d seen rain at Hogwarts, I’d even played Quidditch in the rain. But something about this was different… it was odd.

The wind was so strong now that it blew strands of my hair out of the braid I’d put it in. I heard a rumble of thunder so loud it shook me. The skies got increasingly darker and the wind picked up even more. As it did, I couldn’t help but notice a strange scent that came with it. I’d been up in the Astronomy Tower many times, even during storms, and I’d never noticed this scent before.

I turned around to see if I could identify the scent, but I was the only one up here. There was nothing here that would’ve gave off this scent… this scent that seemed so familiar.

I turned back around to look out at the horizon as the heavy rains began to fall. I had to step back a bit from the railing for the wind was blowing the rain onto me and soaking my clothes and making it difficult for me to see through my glasses. I took a dry part of my robes and rubbed the water off of my glasses.

And then it hit me.

I put my glasses back on. I knew where this scent was from now, or at least what it reminded me of. It reminded me of the night James and Lily were murdered. I took my glasses back off and put them in a pocket inside of my robes before stepping back forward towards the railing and looking up.

They were crying. Was it happy tears of relief or angry tears of frustration though? I couldn’t tell. This storm had been brewed by them, and there was a strong sense in me to calm it.

I looked up to the sky. “Everything’s going to be fine,” I said softly. “Harry’s fine, his friends are fine, everyone is okay. Remus and I will find the rat that cost you your lives and make sure he pays. We’ll find Sirius and clear his name, and Harry will know his godfather. Everything will be okay.”

As I spoke, the scent started to fade away. The winds calmed. The rain slowed. It was as if my words reassured James and Lily and calmed their emotions. I was sure they were relieved Harry was okay and also fearful that something would happen to him or his friends.

But everything was going to be okay. Tomorrow was going to be a new day, and I knew that everything would be safe within the walls of Hogwarts, even with this small lapse in security.
 

Typhlosion

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Here at the last minute, as per my usual style. It feels good to be back working on a Monthly Writing Prompt again. Multiple, in fact...get ready for a prompt mashup! See if you can identify them all. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

A stiff wind blowing up from the sea ruffled the tops of the pines stretching southeast of Geosenge Town in the Kalos region. Beyond Route 10, the wind curled up to the peaks of the coastal Kalosian mountain range; the frequent rains in the area could be attributed to that formation, which often trapped the burgeoning clouds that then fed the mountain forests and streams below. The slopes across which I was now traveling, above the stone-lined thoroughfare below, were decidedly off the beaten path; but then again, so was the objective of my journey. After taking a ship all the way from Lilycove City in the Hoenn region, I disembarked in Ambrette Town and from there made my way steadily northward with my Pokémon partner. Together, we hoped to eventually reach Shalour City, and to study and learn at the Tower of Mastery.

I hopped over another of the many granite ledges rippling down from the peaks and wandered into a shadow darker and more ominous than those cast by the trees. A shiver ran through my body; I'd felt it before, and I knew what I would see when I looked up. Sunk deep into the ground, leaning at an alarming angle but with pine roots erupting from the ground to twist firmly around its base, a monolithic Pokémon statue loomed over me. 3,000 years of time had worn away at the features of the statue so that the exact species of Pokémon was impossible to identify, but I knew its origin well enough. People associate these relics of the Ancient War with the route where they are most visible, but Menhir Trail is hardly the only place where they can be found. People asked me why I didn't sail directly into Shalour. Aside from simply wanting to spend more time adventuring with my partner before undergoing our training, these stones were the reason: to investigate them, to see and touch them, and to feel the energy, millenia old, radiating from their once-living hearts. I had come for Mega Evolution, but we weren't ready. I needed them to show us the way to a Mega Stone.

"Altaria!" I shouted to the sky at the top of my lungs. These wild monoliths, far from the orderly ranks of Route 10, never failed to inspire quick flashes of dread. It was moments like these that I longed for the comfort of Altaria's presence and wished he could stick close by my side, but I knew that didn't work here. He couldn't fly through the narrow spaces between the trees without getting his wings snagged on the spiky branches, and he much preferred the windy openness high over the confines of the forest. I liked to think the situation gave us an opportunity to strengthen our bond: we trusted and tried to be attuned to one another even at a distance, and with practice Altaria could locate me again in a matter of seconds if the need arose.

Nevertheless, since their mysteries would be so important to both of us, the stones were something we always examined together. Soon after my call I spotted a patch of bright white spiraling down towards me out of the ever-darkening sky, and I instantly felt better. Altaria alighted gracefully on top of the statue and pulled its beautiful wings tightly around it. "Here we are with another statue, my friend," I smiled, "and this one feels strong. Let's check it out." I pulled out my Key Stone from its pouch on the lanyard I kept around my neck. As always I noted the stone's surprising warmth and solidity, and the way its shimmering depths seemed to swirl and pulsate in my hand. I rolled it around on my palm and held the object out for Altaria. He hopped over to my outstretched hand and pecked curiously at the Key Stone, brooding over it as he liked to do, and then we both turned our attention to the relic of the sacrificed Pokémon.

Half an hour later our search remained fruitless. i had run my hands over what seemed like every inch of the statue I could reach, while Altaria hopped nimbly around the upper portion. Though the power of this stone, as with all the others, was palpable, neither my Key Stone nor the bond between me and my partner had yielded a reaction. I looked up at Altaria's beautiful wings, now streaked and ruffled by bits of dirt and forest debris, with a sad sigh. Then my attention was dragged beyond him, up to the clouds.

The sky beyond the shadowy forest was darker than I'd ever seen. It was known to be fierce in this part of the region, but to me it now appeared downright angry. The sun was invisible behind the masses of leaden gray. I knew this wasn't a regular storm. Unlike all the others pushed up from the sea, this one was spreading out towards us, over the mountains from the Kalosian interior. Both Altaria and I flinched as a massive fork of lightning blasted out from that direction. Even as its afterimages flashed in my eyes I almost couldn't believe them. The underbelly of the storm had been illuminated with a bright, lurid red--splashed there from the lightning, which, to my utter shock, had itself been red as blood. In an instant the rain swept down, drumming on the Pokémon monolith and setting up a jarring hiss from the countless needles of the pines.

Altaria was shuffling around and chirping nervously, becoming more waterlogged and miserable by the second. "Well, we can't have that, can we?" I murmured, and grabbed the magnificent dragon bird's Poké Ball. "I don't want you flying around up there in this, and I kind of doubt you want to either. Now, Altaria, return!" He disappeared in a flash, looking noticeably grateful, and I clipped the Ball to my belt. "Don't worry, I'll get you nice and cleaned up when this is all over." I couldn't help glancing upward another time, against the driving rain. Shaking my head in frustration, I turned and stomped off back under the slight cover of the trees.

I had barely gone four paces when something entirely unexpected brought me to a halt: it felt like a weak ray of sunshine was falling on my back. Whipping around, I saw that I hadn't been mistaken. The long, slanting rays seemed to be coming from far away, and as I stared into the golden light, a shape appeared within. The brief sunshine began to fade right before my eyes, but in its place, a Pokémon appeared and landed on the statue where Altaria had been sitting not two minutes before.

"Shaymin!" I whispered in amazement. I could tell by its wings and flying entrance that this must be its Sky Forme. I hunkered down beside a tree trunk, waiting to see what would happen. The Gratitude Pokémon hadn't spotted me, as far as I could tell. It stood with its eyes closed and its head high, seeming unbothered by the wind and rain in spite of their violence and perhaps even savoring them. As Shaymin held its confident pose, slender vines began curling their way up the rough stone. When they reached Shaymin's feet, their ends burst out into clusters of vibrant Gracidea flowers. They were absolutely gorgeous; I caught myself mumbling "Thank you" over and over again just for having been able to see them. Its work seemingly done, the Legendary Pokémon gave a satisfied nod and jumped strongly into the air, circling once before flying off over my head. Still filled with awe at my lucky encounter, I rushed to follow its path from the ground.

Shaymin's bright, healthy coloration made it easy to track, though I couldn't say that it had any specific destination in mind as it flew. The little Pokémon seemed to be roving back and forth low over the trees, while trying to stay abreast of the wind gusts that kept buffeting it. I lost track of time, but sooner or later I realized that Shaymin's path and mine had carried me within range of a deep-seated, familiar sensation. Another gravestone from the Ancient War was close by; at the same moment I noticed it, my unwitting guide shot off with a burst of new confidence. "Is Shaymin seeking out the statues as well?" I wondered aloud. Hurrying between the trees, straining for a glimpse of our mutual destination, without warning I tripped and fell flat on my face.

A small, jagged vein of raised crystals snaked across my path, standing a little higher than the usual pine roots. I had seen something similar, though on a larger scale, in a guidebook, and I figured we must have drawn close to Route 11. Clapping a hand instinctively to my belt first to make sure Altaria was okay, I then looked up to see the base of the statue about 20 yards away, in an open space at the crown of the small hill I had been climbing. Still lying on the ground, I was just in time to see Shaymin approach the Pokémon statue from above and land gently on its head like before.

At the exact moment Shaymin's feet touched down, there was a reaction from the storm. The last of the rain drifted down as a renewed torrent of wind ripped over the mountains like a shriek of rage. The imposing peaks and cliffs, which from Route 10 had felt distant, now towered directly over our heads. The blackest clouds I had seen yet poured over the high passes like a dark aura. The Legendary Pokémon in whom I had inadvertently taken such an interest was trembling, but held its ground defiantly. New growth was again pushing up around this second monolith. I wanted to cling to that sight, to the promise of the fresh, resilient life fighting that fought to keep going, but the sudden scent of death wouldn't let me. Just as steadily as the vines, the same bloody glare that had spilled from the lightning crept in a terrifying wash over the sky. Shaymin scowled down at its feet, panting in concentration. I began army crawling along the rough ground, dragging myself forward, hoping and praying that Shaymin would succeed and I would be able to catch another glimpse of the flowers of gratitude.

Finally the tendrils wound their way to the peak of the statue. My vision felt sharpened so that I could see everything. I watched a single bud take shape between Shaymin's front paws. I watched it thicken and swell. I watched the purplish-green sepals split and peel, allowing the dusty red petals contained within to spring out into the world. And I watched as a giant avian creature blasted over the mountains with a horrific scream. It barreled down toward us before coming to a halt overhead, flaring its unmistakable red-and-black-feathered wings. The awful light that hung over us poured straight from the heart of this thing's own body: the legendary Pokémon of death and destruction, Yveltal.

At the appearance of Yveltal Shaymin leapt into the air and fired off an Energy Ball. In the midst of my fear I still admired its guts. The Grass-type attack was right on target, but it never reached its mark. The patterns on its body flared to glowing life as Yveltal flapped its wings mightily and fired a crackling, knifelike beam of energy. I'd never seen an attack like it before. The move smashed through Shaymin's Energy Ball like it was nothing, and though it merely grazed the Pokémon itself, Shaymin was sent tumbling through the sky nonetheless. The beam from Yveltal scored a direct hit on the flower-crowned monolith; I was blinded for a moment by the intensity of the crimson flash it kicked out.

When I could see again the attack had ended, though Yveltal's massive wingbeats still thudded in my ears. To my astonishment the huge stone and its surroundings seemed totally undisturbed, except for one thing. Tears pricked in my eyes as I jumped to my feet and strained to see the Gracidea flower. For one heart-wrenching moment its form hung in front of me, deceptively still and solid. Then the blossom crumbled away into gray ash drained of color.

Oblivion Wing. That had to be the attack I had just witnessed. Shaymin, now borne by the currents far above both myself and Yveltal, seemed to falter on its wings, and let out an agonized wail as though it had taken the full force of the attack itself. Then it suddenly launched into a dive, rocketing towards Yveltal with Quick Attack. The Dark-type Legendary, huge by comparison, was slow to react, and Shaymin dealt it a hefty clip on one of its clawed wings. For a brief while the exchange was purely one-sided. Yveltal didn't seem able to keep up with the flurry of high-speed blows coming at it from all angles at the hands of Shaymin, who kept circling and darting in at every opportunity.

"What's Yveltal doing?" I wondered aloud. Surely it wasn't that overwhelmed by its tiny opponent. I ran into the open, trying to get a better view of the battle, and then I saw it. Yveltal's eyes were darting around furiously, not only tracking Shaymin's movements, but analyzing them. It was allowing this to happen. "Shaymin, watch out!" I yelled.

My warning was too late. The shift came in a split second. Shaymin passed in front of Yveltal, as it had done several times before, and Yveltal struck out with a lightning-fast Dark Pulse. It had waited for that moment, charging up power, and wasted no time when it arrived. With some distance finally between them Yveltal pressed its attack, swooping around in a great curve to gain momentum. A fearsome blue aura encased its whole body: Dragon Rush.

Not to be outdone, Shaymin set off an explosion of light that left verdant streaks of energy arcing toward its assailant. I hoped that what I assumed was Seed Flare, Shaymin's strongest attack, would be able to turn things around, but it wasn't so. Yveltal twisted to dodge the attack, and in one fluid motion continued into a spin. Its daunting wingspan left Shaymin with nowhere to run, so the plucky Pokémon did the only thing it could. Yveltal's Dragon Rush and Shaymin's Quick Attack met head on, blue against white. I thought for a second that they were evenly matched; a wisp of smoke drifted up from the fusion point of the two intense energies. Then I heard an audible crack. Yveltal powered through with a concussive bang that rocked me on my feet, and Shaymin plummeted.

I flung my Poké Ball. "Altaria, catch it!" My partner materialized in a flash, already racing to intercept the unconscious Mythical Pokémon. His timing was spot on; Shaymin fell with a gentle thump onto the cottony down spilling over Altaria's back. Altaria then pivoted quickly in the air and glided down to a landing beside me on the grassy hilltop. I could tell that one of the winglike growths on the Sky Forme's head was badly damaged from the clash with Yveltal; any bones in there were probably broken. As I gathered the injured Pokémon carefully into my arms, a piercing shriek from above caused me to flinch and almost drop it. Altaria's wings fluffed out in fear and he jumped onto my head with a hiss. Holding Shaymin close, I turned my gaze upward. Yveltal showed no signs of leaving.

"Altaria..." I began slowly. "I think we may be about to fight a Legendary Pokémon." My partner craned his neck to look me upside-down in the eye. "Are we ready for that?" Altaria was silent for just a second, then he nodded decisively. I grinned. That was good enough for me. "Alright," I ordered, "get ready." Altaria spread his wings and hunkered down. "While it's waiting, before it knows what we're going to do, we'll make the most of that opportunity," I whispered. "Prepare for Sky Attack!"

A powerful glow began to surround me. We had Yveltal's attention now for sure; its baleful blue eyes were locked onto our position, but still it seemed content to watch and wait. That had been Shaymin's downfall, but I was counting on Yveltal not knowing what to expect from us yet. When Altaria's glow became almost blinding, I knew we couldn't wait any longer. My voice was steady as I gave the command. "Now! Let him have it."

Heat washed back over me as Altaria rocketed forward. His Sky Attack scored a smashing hit, carrying Yveltal backwards for several seconds while the attack lasted. "Great shot!" I cheered. "Follow up with Dragon Pulse!" Altaria pulled back briefly and fired the bluish-purple shock wave at close range. Without warning an explosion erupted between the two Pokémon. Altaria was knocked back at the receiving end of another Dark Pulse, but he shook it off and faced the resulting cloud of smoke resolutely. As we watched a familiar brilliant blue light suffused the cloud. I knew what was coming. I called hurriedly up to Altaria, "Look out! Here comes its Dragon Rush! Use Dragon Dance as a way to dodge!"

Yveltal barreled into view at an incredible speed, but Altaria and I were one step ahead. Surrounded by his invigorating red and purple aura, Altaria zipped around effortlessly. We trained enough together that he didn't need any prompting from me to know how to made the most of the situation. Turning away from the aerial combat for just a moment, I nestled Shaymin deep into a clump of grass at the base of the statue. Then I tore off down the hill, resolved to do my best to follow the action from the ground.

Now cruising directly in front of Yveltal, Altaria lured the massive Pokémon inland. A sheer, towering arm of the mountains was right in front of them when my partner shot upward, hugging the cliff face. Unable to overcome its own momentum, Yveltal rammed full bore into the bone-crushing rock, smashing a huge crater into the vertical wall. A veil of dust and crumbling shards of the mountain descended around the thrashing, disoriented foe.

I burst out from the trees just in time to witness the spectacular move. I had made it all the way to Route 11, Miroir Way, after all. "That maneuver was genius," I muttered under my breath. "Extra Pokéblock for you later, my friend." Louder I continued, "Good one, but we're not through quite yet! Take Down!" Altaria folded back his wings, tucked in his head, and took on a white aura. I wasn't sure, but I hoped this would be enough to end the battle right then and there.

Out from the cliff came a huge Focus Blast. The infamously inaccurate attack nevertheless hit its mark, and Altaria was completely overpowered. "How?" I gaped. Being a Flying-type, my Pokémon was supposed to resist that move. "Perhaps using Take Down caused him to be less resistant. If a Normal-type attack were to make Altaria temporarily be influenced by Normal-type characteristics, then maybe Focus Blast was induced to deal more damage that way...Altaria, get out of there!" It seemed Yveltal had recovered to the point that it was able to push off from the mountain and give chase once more. My Pokémon, meanwhile, struggled to get the wind back under his wings after that painfully effective Focus Blast. "Hurry!" I yelled again. "Time for another Sky Attack!"

Yveltal, closing in fast, spat out a Dark Pulse. "Drop!" I commanded. Altaria understood; this was another handy aerial trick we had worked to perfect. He simply fell, taking advantage of his struggle to fly and letting gravity do the work. That gave him enough momentum to spread his wings and pull out of the dive with great speed. The harsh light began overtaking his body once again. Yveltal tracked downward trying to keep up, and the Dark Pulse intended for Altaria sliced across the ground at my feet and sent me held over heels in a storm of dirt clods and twigs. I landed hard on my back with grit in my eyes. The Key Stone pouch around my neck flew up and landed in my mouth, almost choking me. I spat it out into my hand and scrubbed my eyes open. Still not entirely sure what was transpiring above my head, I just prayed Altaria was ready. "Do it!"

A long, echoing cry sounded, and I smiled. That was it. Of course he could do it. Then I heard another sound, and I leaped up. It felt like a deep, sonic thrum, one that twisted through me touching off a buzz of fear. My smile crashed down and I blinked hard past my blurry vision.

Two bolts of light collided in front of me. One, the dazzling golden shine of Sky Attack. The other, the heartless crimson glare of Oblivion Wing whose devastating power we had already witnessed.

"Go, Altaria, go! You can do it! The sky is yours!" I cheered. Inside I was so scared about the effects of Oblivion Wing, that my friend would be drained of life just like the flower, but so far nothing seemed to be happening. "Keep it up, Altaria, keep it up!" I thought it could be the power of Altaria's own Sky Attack that was shielding it from harm; so far he hadn't been hit directly by the beam. So far neither Pokémon had yielded a bit; their attacks were going strong. A renewed gust of wind cascaded down from the mountains; it tugged at my hair and clothes. I didn't think much of it, but all of a sudden I saw Altaria waver. "No," I cursed. I figured this unnatural storm was somehow Yveltal's doing. The wind blew from behind it, giving it more force and bearing down on my Pokémon. "Hang on!"

I felt so helpless. That little breath of air had tipped the scales; Altaria fought on, but slid back inch by inch. My heart was hammering. So was Altaria's, I thought. "Two hearts as one!" I cried. It might have been my imagination, but I felt a tiny pulse of warmth from my Key Stone. "I'm right here with you, Altaria! Don't give up!"

I really meant those words, for all the good they did. Altaria kept up the struggle for just a second, and then his face went blank. He accelerated backwards, streaking gold like a meteor, as Oblivion Wing took over, but he never hit the ground. Yveltal's attack pinned Altaria against the largest crystal spike on the route. I gasped a breath of relief when its attack ceased just as the last shreds of Sky Attack faded away. Then I gasped again in pain. Another Focus Blast came whizzing by from my right. It smashed into my partner, my greatest friend, and even shattered the crystal behind him. An overwhelming sound like the toll of a huge, high bell lanced through my head and I collapsed dizzily to my knees. Altaria slumped what must have been 20 feet to the ground while wicked splinters of pale pink crystal rained around him.

A fold of the terrain blocked my view of Altaria. I couldn't see him. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't know if he was okay. My voice broke with a sob. "Altaria...please..." A quick pulse of light stabbed my eyes. I glanced down. It was coming from between the clenched fingers of the fist that held my Key Stone. I ripped open the small leather pouch and dumped its lone occupant into my palm. The little rainbow gem was shining like I'd never seen before. I stared at it in a daze. "What does this mean?"

An explosive, joyful trill rang out from over the rise. I'd have known that sound anywhere. "Altaria!" I cried. "Please be all right!" My partner, his whole body beaten and ruffled, flapped laboriously into view. In one of his feet he clutched a large, irregular chunk of crystal that seemed to be illuminated from within. He looked over at me with a chirp, then turned once more to face Yveltal.

I rose smoothly to my feet. A tingling rushed through my whole body. "Two hearts! As one!" Altaria perked up. The same words as before, but this time I continued.

"From the land! From the sky! From the Stones! Living bond! Living power! Power to...Mega...EVOLVE!"
 

Typhlosion

Flaming Torch
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Rainbow Rocket Executive
Cult Classic
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IGN
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Rockets of energy arced out from the Key Stone I was holding and from Altaria's crystal. They met in the middle, creating a glowing field of power linking our hearts. Rainbow light like my Key Stone surrounded Altaria. A small part of me never thought I'd see the day when my partner would evolve again. The tassel feathers on his tail lengthened and broadened. His talons as well became longer, and sharper. The two streamer feathers on Altaria's head grew and split, bursting out into many more plumes of cotton. When the awe-inspiring rainbow sigil burst out from him, Altaria's whole body seemed larger than life, abounding with so much energy that his frame could hardly contain it.

There was no time to celebrate this incredible thing we'd just achieved together. I grinned a fiendish grin. "Mega Altaria. Here we go, one more time!" Altaria nodded. He knew we had a job to do and he knew we could do it. "Dragon Dance!"

Altaria flapped in place, building up energy. Yveltal launched a third Focus Blast, and I had to laugh out loud. The attack practically bounced off my Pokémon. "Get behind it and try Dragon Pulse!" was my next command. With Altaria's newly boosted speed, Yveltal couldn't hope to keep it in sight, and Dragon Pulse scorched it from behind. Against all odds, Yveltal was looking distinctly battered.

"At last," I muttered to myself. "See if you can shut this one down." I'd done my research. "Altaria, Take Down! Time to send it on home."

Altaria nodded. I realized there was barely even a need for me to speak. In those moments we knew each other, more so than ever before. Altaria swooped around in a wide circle, exactly as I had envisioned, and bulled Yveltal back toward the high mountain pass. The feeble Dark Pulses mounted as a counterattack by the great Legendary broke in waves around the fairy aura radiated by Mega Altaria. With a great clap of its wings, Yveltal broke away from the onslaught. Altaria halted, as I too thought was best. We waited to see what would happen.

For over a full minute Yveltal and Mega Altaria flapped in place, gazing at one another without a sound. Then Yveltal let out a weak call and soared away over our heads, off in the direction of the wide ocean.

I probably would have stood there staring after it for ever, but Altaria spiraled down to break my trance with a peck on the head and a babble of chirping. "You're right!" I snapped my fingers. "Take me back to Shaymin!" Despite their fluffy appearance, Altaria's wings were fully capable of bearing my weight. He hooked his clawed feet under my shoulders and we were off.

Only seconds later we landed back on the grassy hilltop. In a rush of sparkles Mega Altaria returned to his base form, and the crystal chunk reformed along with him. Shaymin was exactly where I had left it, still fast asleep. Its fur was suddenly awash in sunlight, and I looked up to see a fleeting ray of sun poking down past the rapidly retreating reddish clouds. As quickly as it had come it was gone, cut off by new thunderheads, but I didn't mind that. This storm billowed up from the sea, with a tang of salt on the cold fresh breeze. I shivered pleasantly, and Altaria nestled up beside me. This was how things ought to be. I could see a sheet of rain being driven on the front of the storm. When it passed over us I heard a small squeaking and rustling from the grass nest. Shaymin was awake! I cupped my hands to catch some of the rainwater and offered a drink to my injured charge. Its little tongue tickled like crazy but I managed to hold myself still until it had lapped up every drop. Shaymin wriggled happily, but the movement ended with a wince and pain in its eyes. "Aww, Shaymin," I sighed. "Maybe I've got something in my bag that can help you, let's see."

That idea was quickly put to rest when Shaymin clambered into my lap; I didn't want to risk getting up and disturbing it. Altaria leaned over for a nuzzle. Then, before our eyes, Shaymin transformed. Its body shape changed as Sky Forme became Land Forme. With that, Shaymin's wings were gone, and it showed no more signs of being in any pain. "I guess that's that, eh?" I chuckled. "Anything else we can do for you?"

Shaymin looked up at me intently. Then it screwed up its eyes in concentration, and after a few moments, a gorgeous Gracidea flower popped open on its back. The tiny Pokémon turned to me again, this time with a little hop. "Is that...for us?" I breathed. Shaymin nodded with a smile. "It's beautiful." The blossom and its stem lifted away easily in my hand. I reached over and stuck it into one of Altaria's wings, right by his shoulder. He shot me a quizzical glance. "Looks great," I promised, trying not to burst out laughing. "Really brings out the blue of your feathers. A badge of honor." Altaria gave himself a haughty shake while Shaymin giggled. In a more serious tone I said, "Thank you, Shaymin. I mean it. Without you we might never have found this...Mega Stone." Shaymin pressed a delicate paw to my hand in acknowledgement and farewell. It hopped over my legs into the rain-laden grass, moseyed its way down the hill, and was gone.

I flicked away a stray tear. "Well, my friend," I began as I leaned against Altaria, "where to next?" He flung his head back dramatically, eyes closed and beak hanging open. I rolled my eyes. "Ah, yes, some rest. Your first Mega Evolution probably took a toll on you, didn't it, not to mention that battle!" For the first time I became aware of how heavy my own limbs felt. "And maybe I could use a bit of that myself. The nearest Pokémon Center is, of course, in Geosenge Town. We can stop there before heading through Reflection Cave, and after that, the Tower of Mastery!" I pushed myself to my feet with the help of the statue. "I've enjoyed tracking you down, but this part of our quest is complete now," I murmured. "Thank you all as well."

With his consent I returned Altaria to his Poké Ball for the next leg of our journey. I squared my shoulders, turned into the wind, and began following the silvery rivulets of rainwater down the hill.

- - - - - -

I felt on the verge of crying from frustration. "Master Gurkinn, sir, please. It's not enough. We've been here for weeks and we still have not managed to re-achieve Mega Evolution even a single time! We need more help! Is there nothing you can do for us?"

The guru turned his famously sharp gaze on me. "Young man. I've heard your story before, of how you obtained your raw Mega Stone and Mega Evolved your Altaria spontaneously. Quite an impressive tale. Have you ever stopped to consider why Yveltal behaved as it did? Unusual for such a great Pokémon as that to reveal itself and attack seemingly without cause."

The question blindsided me. "Actually, I...no. No, sir."

Gurkinn's lips twitched, a thin smile. "I thought not. But I, on the other hand, have a theory. Would you like to hear it?"

I nodded frantically. What else was I supposed to do? Grumpy though he might have been Gurkinn was undeniably wise, and I had come there to learn from him.

"Shaymin is known as the Gratitude Pokémon, is it not? From what I've heard, when you encountered it, it seemed to be planting Gracidea flowers on various gravestones from the Ancient War. In other words, spreading gratitude. I believe this may have enraged Yveltal, the Destruction Pokémon. It was there, you know, three thousand years ago. Theirs were ugly, pointless deaths. Shaymin seeks to be grateful for all things, and certainly we can take a lesson from its example, but my thought is that Yveltal would not welcome gratitude for deaths such as those."

"But you!" Gurkinn continued sharply, pointing a rigid finger my way. "On that day you took the side of Shaymin. You understood gratitude like never before, and along with that, compassion. These are part of Mega Evolution as well! You must be grateful for its power, and you must recognize how it ought, and ought not, to be applied. Focus on these, and that power will be within your grasp once again."

That night I sat with Altaria on top of the tower, as we often did. I looked over to the Gracidea lodged in his cottony wing. The flower given to us by Shaymin had lost none of its color, none of its vibrancy, none of its memories. I locked eyes with Altaria, who returned my stare questioningly, and pulled him in close for a huge hug, one he returned enthusiastically. "Tomorrow," I told him softly. "Tomorrow is the day."
While I was fleshing out the ideas for this story in my head, I came up with two major ways it could go. Obviously I settled on the Altaria route, but I feel like it'd be a shame not to sketch out the other idea as well. Most of the story would have stayed the same, as far as Shaymin's role and the battle with Yveltal are concerned. However, in the alternate version of the story Mega Evolution would not be featured as a plot point at all. Instead the protagonist's partner would be a Pichu. In the same manner as the full story it would evolve into Pikachu at a climactic moment, and immediately learn Volt Tackle. Being Pikachu's strongest attack, the protagonist would order Volt Tackle multiple times, with the recoil damage beginning to stack up significantly. Yveltal, being the Destruction Pokémon and all, would take a kind of perverse satisfaction in watching Pikachu bascially destroy himself trying to defeat it. That sort of sadistic vibe would be enough for Yveltal to balance out whatever gratitude Shaymin had inspired, and it would eventually leave of its own volition. So yeah, definitely a bit darker overall than the Altaria version of the story. I think the Pikachu version would've been a great story too, though, and it was really hard for me to decide between them. In the end it came down to the plot point of me thinking it would be much easier to explain someone traveling through Kalos with an Altaria than with a Pichu, due to the motivator of Mega Evolution.

No, that part is not meant to have anything to do with Endgame. It's just how I imagined that would happen.
 

Merushii

Wings of Starlight
Administrator
Rainbow Rocket Executive
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
Posts
712
AKA
Rin
Gender
Female
📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon
As you walk to your destination, you notice the temperature is drastically different in this area today. By chance, you come across the source: a baby dragon that is still unable to properly control its power.

📖 ----- 📖

Non-Pokémon
Your character is new in this area. After settling in, they decide it's best to introduce themselves to their neighbors. They soon discover that the neighbors are not human...

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
Your town is well-known for its herbal medicine. One day, your family accidentally takes more than they paid for, so you offer to drop the appropriate portion off after dark. Perhaps unfortunately for you, you discover the herbalist's dark secret.

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
Your Pokémon has always been gifted and has been able to speak in human tongue since it was young. This is a secret you have kept closely guarded, until someone overhears you today. Is the secret out, or can you play it off?

📖 ----- 📖

Pokémon
A single Hydreigon made its nest near the outskirts of your city a couple of years ago. Recently, things and Pokémon have begun to disappear from people's houses — and they have begun to suspect the lone Dragon-type for its appearance and species tendencies alone. You are determined to prove them wrong.
 

Godot

Coffee Drinkin' College Student
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Nov 15, 2018
Posts
3,344
Location
Texas
AKA
Connor
Gender
Male
Time Zone
Central Time
"Honestly, it will be fine. I mean what are the odds someone aside from you will find out that I can speak?" Those were the last words I uttered before being irrevocably proven wrong. Probably should have spoken to my trainer in a more private setting, perhaps a booth in the local diner was a bad choice in retrospect. How could I have known that there was a police officer in the next booth over or that she'd assume we were members of Team Rocket?

Regardless of my reasoning, or lack thereof, my trainer ended up in a cell and I ended up in a cage. Kinda hard to keep something like this hidden after a cop has heard you speak... I mean now that there is a police report about a talkin' Lilipup out there, there will inevitably be news stories about me. I learned the human tongue, or at least the Unovan dialect, pretty early on. Self taught of course, insofar that watching movies with my trainer counts as being self taught. Of course I still can't shake the accent I picked up from those movies and unfortunately the phrase "sleepin' with the magikarp" has found its way into my vocabulary.

Man it was a mistake to tell the first officer to interrogate me that I could "make an offer you can't refuse"... I was just trying to explain I found something useful in my cell and thought they should have it. I swear! Course all that wound me up in the pound. All my life I wanted to be a good boy and do all the usual things. Like chasin' purrloin up a tree or barkin' at the mailman, or chasin' cars. I don't know what I'd do if I caught a car, probably get it acquainted with some cement wheels... And there's the movies' influence again. I think the worst part of my studying was the fact that greetings always were followed by loud noises, which I would later learn was called "gunshots". At first I was startled just when my trainer stated he'd returned home... The amount of times I tried to find the nearest hiding place while walking on the street with my trainer is enough that I'm embarrassed about it but not enough to say instinct might kick in again.

On that note, I'm sorry about your shoes... They looked like prey, I can't help it. I see a shoe just lying there and I must chew, it's just simple habit. Uh, please strike that from the record. Anyway, the only reason I'm doing this right now is because I figure you cops need an informant. Someone to sit, stay, and watch the crimes that take place and then report them.
 
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