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TEEN: Knockout Gimmick: The Trials and Tribulations of... (Autumn 2023 One-Shot Contest Entry)

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hi everyone this is really bad but whatever i guess it is what it is... i present to you an absurdist semi-crackfic centered around the leader of the spookiest of all the teams...
CW: a hefty dose of swearing and some crude humor, with a touch of angst directed at guzma's subpar childhood


Ah, Pasio. The beautiful man-made island of gorgeous landscapes and harmony between people and Pokemon. Populated with all sorts of creatures and humans, the artificial region had quickly become a tourist hotspot famous for its beauty and battles alike.
Then of course, we have Guzma.
“You’re wearin’ my shirt, dammit!”
“That ain’t my shirt, it’s your shirt! No, wait, I mean, it ain’t your shirt, it’s MY shirt!”
“No, it’s mine! Give it back!”
“No way! If ya want it, you’re gonna hafta come and take it!”
“Wait, didn’t we have this conversation, like, a couple of weeks ago?”
The Team Skull leader huffed, arms crossed, as the muffled voices of the grunts next door penetrated his walls. True, his gang’s new living quarters were a huge step above the grodiness of the Shady House, but their shared apartment was as cheap as ever with paper-thin walls to match. Guzma groaned again, wiping sweat from his brow with his forearm. Yeah, and the ventilation blows too.
Heh heh... “ventilation.” I never use fancy-pants words like that.
Pasio was rubbing off on him, probably.
As the grunts next door continued their petty squabbling (“I don’t give a Raticate’s ass! It’s my shirt an’ you know it!” “Nuh-uh! I toldja, I wrote my name in it and everything!” “But we have the SAME NAME, numbSkull!”), the boss started unconsciously tapping his foot in his impatience.
Come on, Plums, where are ya? Really gonna stand me up on Halloween night?
Well, really, what could he do about it besides wait? So wait he did. Five minutes passed. Then ten. Guzma’s scowl deepened all the while while he tried to think about crushing Kukui under his heel or how much Buginium Z he could get his grunts to steal for him or women in swimsuits or what would happen if the idiot kids on the other side of his bedroom shut their mouths for five seconds as a distraction. Eventually, he simply got fed up, and checked his watch.
It read 5:05 P.M.
Guzma swore and slammed his fist on his lap. Was that watch friggin’ KIDDING him? It was pitch-black outside for Giratina’s sake, just look at the damned window! That was it. His watch musta just been busted, now wasn’t it? With that, he ripped it off in anger before remembering that it actually never worked properly in the first place as it was really just for show and gingerly put it back on.
Really though, the guy needed to take a look at the time. He pulled his stupid dinky-ass phone out of the front pocket of his sweats (honestly, why didn’t he start with that in the first place?) and turned it on. 8:30 P.M. on the dot. Much more realistic. Which made it all the more annoying that his second-in-command still hadn’t shown up.
And with that thought, his cell buzzed.
plumssszz: yo
plumssszz: sorry for the holdup
plumssszz: these annoying kids have been glued to me all night
plumssszz: wont stop asking for battles
DAAAAWG thats annoying asf just tell em to knock it off and leave you the hell alone, replied Guzma in all of his staple eloquence and dignity.
plumssszz: yea but theres like eight of them or smth
plumssszz: a latina chick that one ginger kid those two unovan girls the spazzy blond kid and normans weirdo son and his gf or whatever. and some weirdo in a mask who hasnt spoken once?
plums do not even say Gladion is there.
plumssszz: havent seen him at all
plumssszz: this is way worse though
plumssszz: im almost there, i think i lost them at least
Guzma twisted his lips in thought. It struck him as a little curious that Plums was the one kids were apparently flocking to for a battle - yeah, she was a pretty impressive battler, but when there were literal champions running about the area, he wasn’t sure why everyone was lining up for his best friend instead.
He would never say it to her face, but he did suspect at some point in time that maybe she just straight-up had magical properties or something. She could be rude, brash, callous (though no ruder or brasher or callouser than big bad Guzma himself, of course, which he took pride in), but she still had a certain way with young people. She was good at talking with them, relating to them, entertaining them, listening to them. And sometimes she pretended to be bothered by it, but for the most part? She wasn’t really. As rough-and-tumble as that lady was, she really cared a whole bunch about the people around her. A true “Big Sis.”
A very tiny part of Guzma kinda wished he had a big sis like Plums, too.
plumssszz: im outside
plumssszz: hurry up
He scoffed. Hypocritical much? Well, what the hell. Not really her fault. He got up from the edge of his bed (he needed a new damn mattress, this one creaked nonstop. So did the past three, for that matter. Yeesh did he have bad luck with beds), slung his bag (emblazened with the classy slogan “I Love Hot Moms”) over his shoulder, and made his way through the hallway and down the stairs to the entrance of the shoddy little condominiums (at least they were advertised as such, and that’s what the sign outside said. Guzma wasn’t really sure what made a building ‘condominiums,’ per se, but he was pretty sure this wasn’t it) he and his squad took residence in.
The girl in the anime lady outfit (he had no idea who the character was, but it looked cool) frowned the moment she saw him. “Dude.”
Guzma, oblivious as ever, grinned and spread out his arms villain-style. “Plums, finally you show up! I was waiting for hours!”
“No, you were waiting for forty-five minutes. And why aren’t you wearing a costume? That was part of the plan since the beginning.”
Oh. Yeah, he totally forgot. “I’m goin’ as myself!”
She grimaced and shook her head. “Dude, no. That’s just- Okay, you know what? Whatever. It’s fine. We’re late anyway, we gotta go.”
“Late ‘cuz of who again?”
“Knock it off, man. I told you, those kids wouldn’t leave me alone.”
“Well, who cares. We got work to do.”
The two met eyes and nodded in unison. Yes; it was time...
...For them to ruin Halloween.
Or some people’s version of it, anyway.

“Gimme that, ya brat!” Mere minutes into the Skull leader’s candy burglarizing shenanigans was he already tussling with children over chocolates. Frankly, part of him truly expected he wouldn’t have any issue bullying the kids of Pasio into simply forking over their gains, but he should've figured there are always a couple that try to put up a fight. Such as the boy he decided to screw with now.
"You're not getting MY candy!" boasted the kid, puffing out his chest. "I earned it fair and square!" For doing what? Running around in a Crobatman costume?
"Nah you didn't." Guzma snatched the bucket away from the dumbass runt. Oh come on, what's with kids nowadays and their damn visor grips? "I took it from ya, so I earned it. And now I'm gonna eat it too."
Plumeria slugged his arm. "No you aren't, jackass, that's for our team. If you want candy, then buy it yourself."
Guzma scoffed. "Whaaatever." He dangled the full container in front of his latest victim. "It doesn't matter if I eat it or she eats it or the grunts eat it. I took that candy from ya and you gotta accept it. Whatcha gonna do about it, cry? Tell Mommy and Dad- OUCH!"
His admin had socked him in the cheek this time!
He rubbed the side of his face tenderly, glaring at his best friend. "Gee, what gives, Plums?"
She furrowed her brow. "Dude. That's the champion of a whole region right there."
The kid grinned and gave jazz hands. "Hi. My name's Brendan."
"What'd I tell you? Champion of Hoenn."
Guzma felt his face turn red. "Oh, hi. Here's your, uh. Your candy. You want it, yeah?"
Plumeria ripped the handle from his hands and gently passed it to the boy. "Sorry about that. My friend here can be a piece of work sometimes."
"But weren't you helping him?" asked Brandon, eyes wide with naive curiosity.
"Who even cares? Just take the candy and go. It's yours."
"RAAAAAAAAGH!" screamed a voice from nowhere. Guzma whipped his head around to try and find the source of the sound, but before he spotted the blur of hyperactive teenage girl whirring toward him, he found himself tackled, a small body pinned onto his.
"Stop it, you jerk! Don't terrorize my friend like that! I know what you're doing, you thief! Leave him alone!" she blurted out angrily. Brently stood in shock for a moment before peeling her off of the older man.
"Dude, what the f-"
The girl pointed at the Alolan ferociously. "You're a thiiiiiiief! And you tried to take his candy! Give it baaaack!"
Guzma raised his hands. "But I did give it back!"
"May, wait, hang on."
"Wait, what's wrong."
"The deadline." All four of them immediately realized what the random kid-turned-Champion was referring to, despite their different personalities and backgrounds. Time ultimatums were universal.
"Aww shit, already?" groaned Guzma. Plumeria nodded sympathetically.
"But the story obviously isn't finished yet!" protested May indignantly, hands on her hips. "And this was supposed to be done ages ago anyway!"
"Sorry, man. Sometimes that's the way it works when you live in a fanfiction."
 
@beryllium
Is this really a story that you wrote, or is this something that happened while your account was hacked?
Either way, it's interesting, though I don't see how it fits into the rules of the Halloween Writing Contest.
 
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i wrote it myself, yes
teeeechnically it does, but the fact that it never actually goes anywhere with the plot and generally serves no purpose despite its original intentions is exactly the point i had in mind when writing it.
i simply found it a bit fitting, considering recent in-site events.
 
Heyo! Here to review all the one shot entries.

I will say that I really like the premise of Guzma creating chaos for trick or treaters is both in character and very fitting of the theme! Not your conventional trick, ha. Your characterization is a lot of fun!

There were points where I got confused or where text felt like it muddied a bit. Part of that is the formatting—usually on sites like the forums, it's easier to read the text if there's a space in between paragraphs. On Google Docs, you can automatically add spacing through Format>Line & paragraph spacing>Add space after paragraph (it copies over to Bulbagarden, from a lil test I did).

I also think the transition from the texting to the "okay we're doing our plan" was a tad confusing? Like, the plan sort of comes out of nowhere imo.

For some other points of confusion:

plumssszz: yo
plumssszz: sorry for the holdup
plumssszz: these annoying kids have been glued to me all night
plumssszz: wont stop asking for battles
DAAAAWG thats annoying asf just tell em to knock it off and leave you the hell alone, replied Guzma in all of his staple eloquence and dignity.
plumssszz: yea but theres like eight of them or smth
plumssszz: a latina chick that one ginger kid those two unovan girls the spazzy blond kid and normans weirdo son and his gf or whatever. and some weirdo in a mask who hasnt spoken once?
I think it would be a good idea to distinguish the text message-prose from the rest of the prose. There's a few ways of doing it (and it varies from platform to platform), so you can go with whatever works for you.

Also this is a minor thing but who is the latina chick? My guess is that the ginger kid is Flannery, the Unovan girls are Elesa and Skyla (though it could also be Hila and Rosa?), the blond kid is Barry, the weirdo son is Brendan, and his gf is one of the Hoenn girls (May, Lisia, etc.) In the grand scheme of things this doesn't really matter, though, so take this or leave it as you wish.
 
A strange Halloween can mean a 30 year old gangster stealing others' candy, can't it?

Hiya there! Finally making good on my saying I'd review all the one-shot fics, apologies for the lateness of this!

To start off with, I thought this was a very spirited entry, which made it stand out a bit I think! The premise itself is very silly, but in all honesty, Guzma would do that kind of thing LOL... childish as it may be hehe. The narration had both tinges of Guzma's own thought and a bit of snarkiness directed at Guzma himself, which added to the silly atmosphere, although I would say that it may serve you a bit better to stick to one or the other in the future? (Specifically with the things you didn't italicize, like dumbass runt or dinky-ass phone.)

I think Pasio was probably the perfect place for you to set this in! The multiverse-y setting really lends itself well to wacky character interactions, and you used that to your advantage here! Guzma was written pretty accurately at least to my eyes, and his little monologues were quite entertaining! I wanted to see May beat up Guzma longer!! LMAO

As for anything I would have liked to see expanded upon... I think this may have benefited from just a bit more, you know? Maybe the time limit made it so that couldn't have happened, but I think it would have been nice to see Guzma terrorize have a run-in with another group of characters, too! The ending took me by surprise LOL, and I assumed that it was a bit of meta-commentary about running out of time in terms of the contest, so I do get that choice? I think it would have been interesting if you had gone about it from the angle of the PMEX app itself being deleted, too, but that's just me.

Overall? This was a goofy little one-shot and I enjoyed it quite a bit! Guzma is a fun personality to read about, and your characterization was quite lively! Feel free to post some more of your works in future contests / anytime you'd like in the Workshop, and thank you for submitting this!!

As a sidenote, like Torchic mentioned, the formatting made it a bit hard for me to parse what was happening at times, but it's a bit difficult to make sure things copy-and-paste properly I've found... but his Google Docs trick should work? Whenever I write text messages in my fics, I tend to seperate them with > to make it feel more distinct? I must have picked that up somewhere ahaha.
 
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