• Another scrumptious episode of Bulbacast has been uploaded to YouTube. Watch it here. I hope you don't feel desserted after watching this one.
  • Hello all! The forum staff have introduced a new rule set. We've reduced the number of rules, made trick language easier to understand, and have hopefully simplified the rules to make understanding them easier. Please have a read over the new forum rules here.

MATURE: Miscellaneous TPP stories

just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
Hi y'all, it's Canis. In addition to my multiparters, I've written some TPP oneshots and some oneparters which are more connected but still don't really count as one story. Hence the "miscellanous". This thread is for short stories and between-longer-fics stories, basically. I plan to write more in the future as well.

TPP stands for Twitch Plays Pokémon, something you may have heard of a few years ago. Twitch Plays Pokémon is a community that plays Pokémon games on a stream through a "shared controller" - people input commands in chat, and these inputs control the game. Community members can then interpret events on-stream as part of a larger story, which they then may make writing or art for. TPP was really big for a while when it started in 2014, but nowadays is a lot smaller with only a few hundred viewers watching the stream and playing.

The stories in this thread are set in a universe born from my own ideas stemming from TPP. It gets pretty far from it at times, though - a lot of material is so detached from TPP stream events or "the canon" that a story on here can end up being TPP only on technicality.

Then for an important question: Do I need to know TPP lore to read these stories? And the answer is no - or at least I try my best to keep it that way. It'd be very dumb of me to limit these stories to an extremely small subset of the entire Pokémon fandom, especially when I love having my stuff read and getting feedback.

In summation: these are more like general Pokémon fics with some TPP concepts popping up every now and then. If you do end up being confused by something, I'll be glad to explain it, and will make a note to try and change it to be more outsider-friendly in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this clarification, and I hope you enjoy my stories!

Thread tag is mature as this first story here is just that, and some of the other ones are too. If the Teen rated ones end up outnumbering the Matures, I'll change that. Hopefully I'll have enough motivation to have enough stories up to have to consider that someday.

Alright, here's the first story. Rated mature for violence / (Pokémon) abuse. Thanks for reading.

---

Washed Up

Synopsis: Martyr, lost in a snowstorm, finds shelter in the house of an old "friend".

(Author's note: "Martyr" is the name given later on to the Flareon "False Prophet" from the original playthrough.)


---​

I must have traveled miles by now. But it doesn’t really matter how long I walk, does it, when every turn I take seems to be the wrong one.

In this maze, walls would be a blessing. Anything tangible would be luxurious. But no, I have nothing to tell me where I am. Aside from the small circular patch of black beneath me, everything is a flashing gray. I have to squint to prevent the snow from hitting my eyes, further obscuring my sight.

I do know I’m still walking, but it doesn’t feel like it. There’s no texture under my paws. No smooth, no rough, only sensations of pressure somewhere down there, amidst the pools of numbness.

I’d like to give my ears a break from this infernal cold for even a minute by folding them back, but my survival instinct says no. And she’s right. Even if all I can really hear is the howling of the wind, I have to stay alert. If I can still trust my tired eyes, the ground beneath me is asphalt. Which means that, if I’m not using my senses to their full extent, I could at any moment be ripped from this life by some truck’s bumper slamming onto my body. My skull, my ribcage, my hips, all cracked like a murkrow’s egg fallen from its nest in a streetside oran tree.

The wind picks up. I brace myself. I didn’t think blizzards could get this bad... in this part of Kanto, at least. Had I known, I would have stayed the night. I wouldn’t have ended up here - here, lashed by thousands of frigid whips. Icy maggots burrowing in between my hairs, frozen teeth biting into my skin. I wouldn’t be dying.

But of course I had to be cocky, put too much faith in my powers. It’s just a flurry! A little snow! That’s what I said. It’s not even that low a temperature out. Fire beats ice, no problem. Especially for me.

Oh, the fire, the flame, the lifegiver of all mon my type. I do still have a little flame in me, miraculously. I’d love to let it out, let it warm me, embrace me, but I’d be dead mere seconds afterwards. I just hope another miracle happens before I give up and set myself ablaze just to feel alive one last...



...What’s that?

A shadow. A silhouette of something, over there, just a few steps away.

Closer, I drag myself closer. There’s something in front of my legs. A step. Above it, another. Another. I ascend and find myself before a door. The wind dies down. Only a little, but in terms of visibility, it changes everything. I can see, finally.

But what I see, it’s… familiar.

I know where I am.

The Gods are cruel.

Well, then. Here I stand, between a rock and a graveler. A welcome mat underneath my tired feet. Ironic, as this house makes freezing to death sound alluring compared to entering.

Oh, I suppose I might as well try to get the key. If I’m unable, fate will have decided for me.

Bending my joints is like ripping apart welded steel by now, but regardless, I make my way to the wooden frame of the overlooming shelter and place my forepaws on it. I look up to better pin down the height the flower pot is hanging at, and extend claws on all my feet.

Hmh. This will take a lot of my strength. Part of me reconsiders the swanna song option, but I’d hate to die a quitter. The abuse, the fear I’ve had to overcome, it can’t let it have been for nothing.

I leap up the pillar and hook myself to the wood. With great strain, I drag myself upwards and climb until the flower pot is right behind me. Okay. Next is the hardest part. While my breathing is shaky and irregular, I do my best to inhale deeply. The cold air scratches my throat, but if I manage this, that won’t be bothering me for too much longer. Though not that it would even if I didn’t. My time is running out.

I detach my forepaws from the pillar, twist my body to face the pot and throw my arms forward. Amazingly enough, my digits really do touch the rim of the pot. I dig my claws into the frozen mulch and stabilize the pot’s swinging. Blindly, I scrape around the dirt until something metallic hits my claws. I try to pull it, but it’s stuck. Hm…

I tense my hind legs further and flip the pot upside down. Nothing happens at first, but after a few shakes and taps the frozen mass inside begins to slide out. One last smack, and the chunk of mold falls out and fractures upon impact with the ground. I can’t hold on any longer, either, and so drop down, landing on my feet, as we felines are so known to do. Hurts. My stiff muscles don’t take the shock of the collision without protest.

I locate the key and pick it up with my mouth - the cold metal isn’t pleasant against my lips, but it’s barely painful after everything else. I unlock the door, slip in and kick it shut.

I collapse on the floor. Slowly, very slowly, the cold begins to dissipate. Warm blood flows into my legs. It throbs and stings, but second by second, I feel more alive. Safe.

But I can't stay here in open view like this. He might see me.

I force my groggy body onto my legs again and look for a hiding spot. The living room has a couch and an armchair, but I’m not sure if I can fit beneath them.

I crawl to the couch and try to stuff myself under it, but the crevice is too narrow and the couch too heavy to lift. Trying the same with the armchair, however, I discover the chair is actually hollow and succeed. And there's a soft rug underneath me too…

Finally, I can rest. I don't need to die today. Whispering, I thank my past self for not giving up.

I allow the warmth of the house’s air to fully envelop me. My muscles relax as I soak up the surrounding heat. The borders between my body and the environment melt away, my fire is coming back to me, but now I need to sleep…

...

“...”

...Did… did somebody say something?

“Sam, are you listening to me?”

I open my eyes. Light is shining in through the crevices. Oh, no...

“You know...”

This light, that voice drenched in eerily calm hatred… I've been spotted. By him.

“...it’s very rude to ignore people when they’re speaking to you, Sam.”

Sam? Who’s Sam? Oh, right, Abe’s friend. A flareon too. He must be mistaking me for Sam.

Should I make a run for it? I’m still so weak… oh, Dome, please let him just go away… I’m in no shape for a confrontation.

Knock, knock, knock. “Wake up, Sam!”

He’s not leaving. I bet he’s gonna lift the chair soon. I’ll have to run then, run like hell.

I stretch my limbs as stealthily as possible and get up to a crouch. The fear flooding in has awoken me in record time.

“Sam, sweetheart,” he purrs, “you do remember what I’ve told you, right? That I’m not really a fan of your kind?”

Not yet, I can’t run just yet. I’ll have a better chance if he has his hands full with the chair.

“Abe may have told you I wouldn’t actually harm you in any way, but I’m not sure if I agree… I have some pretty bad history with you flareon. I may act without thinking and do something after all. So, for the good of both of us, why don’t you get out from under there...”

He grabs onto the chair. Okay, any moment now.

“...and skitter right back upstair-”

It’s lifted! I dash out --

No, I’m stopped by something! My tail is stuck in something!

“The hell’s up with you, Sa-”

I turn around. It's his foot. He's stepped on my tail hairs. They must have been peeking out. I look up and I see his face. He sees mine.

“...You,” he whispers, his face utterly blank.

But that doesn’t last. A ferocious gleam ignites in his eyes, and he plunges his hand towards me. I dodge his attempted grab with a jump to the right, but my tail hairs are still stuck. I charge up any heat I have and direct it to the tip of my tail. It flashes orange. He recoils with a hiss. Freed, I run for the door.

“No. You're not leaving,” he growls and follows.

The door lock was not meant for paws. I’m fumbling, losing precious time, oh Dome...

I’m covered by something. A blanket. I try to muster up some more fire to burn the fabric, and I feel heat exiting my body, but… it's not igniting… Dome, it’s a fire blanket, isn't it?

Something clasps around my neck - a human hand, by the shape and strength of it.
I wriggle, but to no avail. Even with the fabric to cushion it, his grip is strangling...

Another hand grabs me by the base of my tail and I’m lifted into the air, taken somewhere. Flailing only makes him tighten his hold.

“Oh, I’m so glad I finally get to do this…” he groans through his teeth.

Do what, my naive side wants to ask, but I’m afraid I know exactly what he means.

Okay. I stop squirming for now. I’ll have to prepared for anything. I can’t let him win. I begin gathering heat again. There’s barely any left anymore, but if I use what little I have at just the right time in the right place, I can --

A gushing noise. I’m pressed down onto something metallic. From the little I can see from underneath the blanket, it looks like a... sink.

He grabs my blanket-covered head and shoves me forward. Cold, heavy, wet surrounds me! I try to pull back, but he won’t allow it! It’s hard to breathe - I wheeze, water gets in my throat, I cough, repeat!

Heavy gone. He’s taken off the blanket and yanked me away by my ear. I’m soaking wet.

“Wish you were a vaporeon now, huh?”

Bastard. I try to singe him, but I can’t. The dampness of my fur suffocates any flame I try to kindle.

He snickers. The world shakes with me, but amongst that all, I catch a single glimpse of his face. His white teeth twisted into a sick grin. A second later he plunges me underneath the tap again. He shakes my head violently, further disorientating me, and then tugs me back.

“You have no idea… how much pleasure this gives me.”

Before I even get to finish a third cough, another dive. Holding my breath and releasing it is getting harder to time. Now I’m back in the dry again. My lungs can’t take much more.

I’d be desperate enough to call for help, but my ability for any kind of vocalization is gone, sans hacking as if I’d have a dozen furballs to get out.

“I’d love to keep doing this over and over,” he coos, “but I need to put an end to this. To you. It’s time for you to die for good, and this time no god will save you. Good. Bye.”

He grabs onto my muzzle and parts my lips with his fingers. He twists my head face up and pushes me under the stream one last time. Water fills my mouth and crashes against my nostrils. I didn’t have time to inhale before. All I can do now is hold my breath. Even with closed eyes, I can feel myself beginning to black out. Every second is more unbearable than the last...

This…

This is really it, huh.

Right here, in the sink. By his hand.

At least in the blizzard, maybe I could have…

...maybe I could have slept away…

...

“...!”

Through the water swirling around me, I hear something.

“... ... a… ou… ing?!”

Pressure gone. Swirling changes tone. Instinct forces me to gasp - air.

As for my assailant, he's loosened his grip, but hasn't yet fully let go.

“Abe,” he states.

“What… what are you doing?” Abe whispers.

“I…”

My vision is blurry, but I can make out a human being rushing towards me. Shaggy dark hair, brown skin, short… it really is Abe.

He grabs me from his brother’s hold, ignoring how wet I am. The front of his pyjamas is drenched in a second. He rushes to find the nearest towel and wraps me in it.

“Red, why… why would you do that?” He stares at his brother with a disturbed expression.

I can see the maniac’s hand curl up into a fist. I thank my luck I’m in Abe’s arms instead of his.

“She’s caused me a lot of pain,” he slowly says. “And she broke in. You’re overreacting.”

He’s overreacting?

I’m overreacting?” Abe says. “Why didn’t you just throw her out?”

The freak stays silent. Only glares.

Abe looks down at me. “Are you okay?”

I stare back, my vision has clearer. Abe doesn’t have his glasses. The noise must have woken him up.

I want to say yes, but I don’t know if I can speak. I nod instead.

“You’re gonna side with her?”

Abe glances back at his brother, but can’t hold a look.

“I’m taking her upstairs,” Abe says quietly.

“Well...” Without breaking eye contact, without even blinking, the freak grabs a towel of his own. “I guess I’ll just… clean up, then.”

Abe winces. So subtly that probably only I could notice.

In silence, he turns around and heads for the stairs with shaky steps. Peeking over his shoulder, I can see his brother beginning to wipe the water off the counter. For a fleeting moment, his eye focuses on me.

The wild gleam is gone, but the hatred is alive and well.

---
 
Last edited:
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
prayer_illust_SMALLER.png

Whew. Now, this fic took a damn long time to revise, but I did it. Was proud of old version, now that looks like garbage. Now am proud of this version. Hope it isn't garbage.

This fic was the first time I wrote Red in first person, and yep, he's about as bad as you'd expect.

On that note, rated mature (I think) for torture, sadism, grisly gross things. Only the last one is actually happening real time, but the rest are still described.

NOTE (11 June 2018) : As this story takes place after Agápe, which is being completely rewritten under the name Seiren, it will be revised strongly after Seiren is done to incorporate the changes and therefore is not completely canon in its current state. I can't revise it yet, as Seiren isn't totally planned through as of now, so I'm just going to tell you that the squid stuff is going to change. The rest, along with the sequel oneshots Night One and Metanoia should still stay relatively the same, however.

---

Prayer

Synopsis: After the events of Agápe, Red decides to consult his god, HELIX.

---​

The wet snow splats onto the kitchen window. The sky is gray, the street a dirty brown. The neighboring houses are shrouded in a cold, translucent mist. Occasionally, a trainer walks by. Brightly colored raincoat on, a canine on leash, the mon no doubt emitting the lovely scent of wet dog.

Yes, it’s humid, and yes, it’s depressing, but the weather is the least of my worries. I have a far more distressing, pestering, constricting problem.

She won’t go away.

And I don’t understand. Why won’t she go away?

The others did. They left the moment I got rid of their remains. I forgot their faces. I forgot their home addresses. I never lost sleep over them afterwards.

But her, these thoughts of her… What they do is heinous.

They attack me when I least expect it. Before I can stop them, they flood my mind with images of her, memories of her sweet smell and the touch of her alluring skin. For a while, it doesn’t seem so bad. Remembering all the pleasure she brought me is entrancing. I let my guard down.

That's when the thoughts tap on my shoulder and begin whispering.

Remember how she outsmarted you?
Remember how she humiliated you?
Remember how she almost exposed you?


But I managed, didn’t I? She fooled herself in the end, didn’t she?

Remember how you did it all for nothing?
Remember what a fool you were?
Remember how she came back?
Remember how you almost lost control?


Almost.

But what if you had lost control? You were close.

But I didn’t.

You were close.

It’s impossible to argue with them. Yet I have to fight back, because if I let them get past that part…

She was great, wasn’t she?
You should go see her again.


I don’t know how or when they go away. I can only ever notice them arriving.

Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this... weak.

Weak. I use that word, but I don’t mean the opposite of strong.

Take a tauros. A tauros is powerful. The very symbol of strength and determination. The earth shakes beneath its hooves, its bulk and horns are feared by all. But even it can’t bring down a mountain. It’s not strong enough.

Weak is what I call myself when I get close to losing control. When I want to do things without caring for their consequences. But all the things I want to do are things that can and will ruin everything if I don’t go about them with great caution. So, I have to cope somehow.

The first thing I always do is think about Him. His eyes, His arms, His voice, His everything. But it’s not always enough. It should be and I’d like for it to be, but no - I’m imperfect.

Luckily, when His grace doesn’t bring me the relief I need, I have other things I can do.

I can go to my room, lie down on my bed and just… stare at the ceiling. I freeze time, I empty my mind. I feel paralyzed, but in a good way. Like a butterfree gestating inside its metapod body. The world could be collapsing around it, but it wouldn't know. Even if it did, it couldn't do anything.

I don't like that method. It feels irresponsible.

Other times, I work out a little extra. It’s not because of some “healthy body, healthy mind” garbage, I just want to strongly remind myself of what my mission really is and what’s actually important. In the end, my personal worries are irrelevant and I should stop thinking about them when there are so much greater matters at hand.

Then, sometimes, I go to the woods and visit a certain tree there. I’m not sure why I picked that tree in particular, it was just one among the others. But it’s worked well for me ever since the first time, even if it’s practically stripped of bark by now.

When I come face to face with that tree, I make sure no one’s around. Then I let go.

Logical thought is gone, and all that is left is fury. I want to see something suffer. I stab the tree. The blade is stuck to the wood. Strenuously, I pull it out. The humiliation fuels the wrath within me. I repeat, and I repeat. Soon I’ve worn myself out completely and find myself gasping for air upon the tree’s roots. Arms clasped around its coarse, gray surface, sweat circling my eye sockets, heart rate rapid.

I hate that tree. It can’t feel pain, no matter how much I stab it. It just stands there, not budging an inch, mocking me. The only thing I can give it respect for is that it won’t tell on me.

But this time. This time.

I’ve thought about Him. It didn't work. I’ve lain immobile. It didn't work. I’ve exercised. My entire body ached for the next three days, but it didn't work. I’ve stabbed the tree. The tree’s barely standing, but it didn't work.

It's a shame that she wasn't a sacrifice. Then my troubles could count as Helixian, and I’d have the right to harm this body. I’d carve another scar to my abdomen, nice and long and painful, but something tells me not even that would work.

There's only one way left to get rid of her, though it unnerves me...

I leave the dull view of the kitchen window behind and make my way downstairs. At the end of the hallway, the bookcase awaits. I fetch the key and shift the bookcase aside. The hidden door is revealed.

I keep fearing the bookcase isn’t enough, but oddly, it’s worked perfectly so far. Good thing it does, seeing as it’s really the best I can do. There is an incantation in the Helixian scriptures to make entrances disappear, but unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a way to make entrances reappear. I can’t describe how glad I am for not choosing this as the door to first test it on...

Hmh. I remember telling myself this room didn’t exist all those weeks ago. What a foolish thought. After all, this room holds my knives, the scriptures, HIM… And even if I could miraculously ignore my desires and never find myself hunting another case, I’d still need all those three to practice my religion. As relieving as washing my hands of this whole malamar mess would be, it’s not worth betraying my lord for. Nothing is.

Besides, it’s rather clear by now that it wouldn’t even work. Everything about her is burned onto my brain. There’s no escaping her. I can’t help thinking what it would be like to meet her again. Act like a friend to lure her to an isolated place. Watch her soon realize something’s off. See her turn to face me again. Smirk at her alarmed expression. Let her know everything again. Laugh at her panic, approach her. Insult her, terrify her. Listen to her pathetic pleas for mercy as she backs away, bumps into a corner. Whisper to her, tell her she’s going to die. Allow her one last screech, kill her. Cleave an incision onto her corpse. Reach deep within her, draw out her guts, bury my face in them, feel the fluids leak out onto my lips…

I’m awoken from my thoughts by sharp pain in my forehead. My fingernails have dug into the skin. I’ve lost my composure. Again. Damn it.

It’s no use. I really have to do this. I have to face HIM.

I unlock the door and push it slightly inward. The air pouring out smells anything but fresh… I should leave the door wide open to ventilate the place, at least for a while. I can do that, I don’t have to fear people returning, it’s only twelve o’clock or so.

Having entered the dark room, I pull out a matchbox and begin lighting the candles. Flame by flame, the blackness erodes. Everything receives a golden hue - the tiled floor, the many shelves against the walls, the altar, and most importantly…

No, I can’t look yet. I don’t want to start before everything is ready.

But I suppose the stone must be very dusty by now... I haven't tended to it in a while. Carefully, keeping my head down, I retrieve a cloth and gently stroke the smooth surface until I’m certain I’ve reached every spot. All the way at the door, I shake the cloth free of what it's gathered. A basement hallway may contain all the dust it can, a sacred space may not.

Now to prepare the offering.

The freezer is emitting its normal hum. No reason yet to believe it's malfunctioning. Angel and the other zapdos have been contributing plenty to alleviating the electricity bill - not that I’m the one paying for it anyway - and helping out during outages. The chances of any major thawing happening to the meat are slim. Only way to know for certain, however, is to check.

Raising the lid, I see that my assumptions were correct. All four limbs are coated in a bright, sparkling crust of ice. One arm is a bit shorter than the other, just as I remember leaving it.

I choose the longer arm on account of it having spent less time room temperature. I want to offer my best after having been gone for so long. I am beginning to feel kind of… guilty.

I grab onto the heavy, frozen mass, fingers flinching from the stinging chill. I heave the arm out and lower it onto the wooden table. The moment it’s securely down, I jerk away my hands and rub them against my jeans until they’re warm again. I nearly catch an accidental glimpse of the stone, but manage to avert my eyes. I need to be more careful.

I close the lid of the freezer and fully turn to the altar. The bowl is still resting on its bed of ashes, I see. I lift it off, pat it a couple of times to remove some of the powdery gray from the bottom and refill the tray with charcoal. The bag is still pretty full… Well, that’s good, it just means it’ll be longer until I run out.

With the bowl, I leave the room to briefly visit the shower. I fill the bowl about halfway with cold water - it’s purer - and return to the altar, where I put the bowl down next to the tray. I add some dry twigs to the hill of coal as tinder, and… Oh, where did I put them? They’re not in sight… I check the altarside cupboards - oh, there.

Rapidash hooves. When struck together, they produce sparks that can recreate the mon’s mystical fire. Its extreme heat, which allows food to be prepared much faster and more efficiently, had been harnessed by mankind for centuries… until rapidash hunting was outlawed. And nowadays even scavenging is forbidden, on grounds of it being “disrespectful”... What a joke.

Of course, rules are only a problem for those meek enough to follow them. Which is why I’ve got a pretty pair in my hands right now. But because rapidash fire burns so quickly, I won’t use them just yet… I merely like to have things close by when everything else is ready.

Eh… Eyeing the tray and bowl, it all seems so… modest. But I don’t really have anything else to add, do I… I shake my head and return to the arm.

The layer of frost on the limb seems thinner than before, but not by much. I pick up the saw from its spot on the wall and rest its blade onto the ice. I peek at the end of the arm and scratch off some frost. A smooth cross-section is revealed. Pectoralis major, deltoideus, biceps, coracobrachialis… It’s always fun to see the diagrams come to life. Normally only doctors get that privilege… Although I was once told I had the hands of a surgeon.

Now there’s a thought… Doctor Akai. Someone who'd cure people.

Maybe in a timeline where I never dropped out of school, where people didn’t enrage me as much, that would be a reality.

But here, I’ve already chosen this path. And it’s for the better. If I was a doctor, I wouldn’t have time to study the scriptures, and I couldn’t be the one to resurrect an ancient god to return this world to its rightful order. After all, prestige is worthless. Only godhood can bring true peace of mind.

...What was I doing again? Oh, yes, the arm.

I move the saw across the limb, teeth gently scraping against the frost, pondering how thick I want the block to be. I make my choice and finalize it with a small groove to mark the spot. I grab the saw more firmly and lower my left hand onto the arm. Still cold, but I have to press down even more to hold it in place.

My arms tense up as I begin sawing through the frozen flesh. It's arduous, but it's clear soon that my years of exercise haven't paid off with mere looks. With the last stroke, a short cylinder is finally separated. I pull away my left hand, the palm now numb - though I can still feel the chill very well in my metacarpals. After returning the remaining arm to the freezer, I shove my hands into my pockets, where they begin to drain the warmth from my thighs.

A sudden curiosity takes over me. I bend over to sniff the flesh. Only cold fills my nostrils, and I stand back up. Pity… Her scent was wonderful.

Her… I remember her better now. She was delicate… frail. Long bright hair… Before I cut it, anyway. She looked so heartbroken when I showed her the locks I’d slashed off. But she already had a hunch it was nothing compared to what would follow. And she was absolutely correct.

Her tongue was pretty. Small but pink and lively, which was funny considering how sparingly she used it. Most of her speech was made up of faint whines, like those of newborn growlithe. Even her screams were strangely quiet, as if she'd been in public, afraid of making a scene. I told her she was free to be louder, but I guess I can't blame her for not listening to the advice of someone who was clearly going to hurt her either way.

She was an excellent crier, though. Her eyes were almost as hot as her blood.

It was her fault, wasn't it? Her meekness and submissiveness made me expect the same from the inkay. She's the reason I underestimated that damn mon, allowing her to get the upper hand. But I suppose I should have known a dark type wouldn't be what it seemed.

Ugh, now I’m thinking about her again. I should get back to work.

I switch my tool from a saw to a knife. I turn the cylinder on its end, hold it still with my left hand - luckily this is the final step involving touching cold things - and begin hacking little chunks of reddish meat off the bone. When the off-white is exposed all around, I remove the skin from any chunks that contain it and move the bits of flesh to a white, porcelain bowl. The bone and skin I sweep into a garbage bag I will dispose of later. I clean my hands with some paper towels and disinfect them.

The air has probably freshened up enough by now. I drag the bookcase back and close the door. The moment the groove on its maroon surface aligns with the one in the frame and wall, the buzzing of the hallway’s lamps vanishes completely. The silencer circuit is working perfectly as always. I can’t hear anything but the freezer and the sounds of my own body. Breathing, blinking, beating heart… Its rhythm is oddly quick.

I guess must be nervous… But there’s no need for me to be this nervous. I’ve talked to HIM multiple times before.

Come on, Red. Get a hold of yourself. A high priest can't get cold feet.

I turn around and attempt to relax myself by observing the room in its new, much more intimate hue. The pale lights of the hallway are gone, meaning the candles are now the only source of illumination. They paint their dim surroundings wavering orange and fill the air with their faint but pleasant aroma.

Yes, it's fine. Perfectly fine.

My steps back to the table still feel heavy, but it's fine.

I open a drawer and pick up the chalice inside. Golden shine, regal decorations. It's about the only part of my current equipment that actually seems worthy. I set it upright on the table and grab the knife. Carefully, I wipe the blade clean of anything that might have oozed on it during its previous use and disinfect it. Raising my left forearm above the chalice, I bring the knife to it with the right and slash. I force the startled limb to stay in its place and watch the carmine drip down.

Tap, tap, tap, tap, as the drops hit the metal. It’s pretty. It singes, but the sight of the warm, sticky fluid exiting my body calms my mind more than the pain alarms it.

Still, I should speed things up...

I squeeze the wound. Blood spurts out faster, and after a while the chalice is filled. I clean the wound, bandage it and bring the chalice, the bits of flesh and the knife to the altar. I scoop the bits into the water and use the rapidash hooves to kindle the twigs. As the fire spreads and the warm smell of burning wood begins to fill the air, I place the bowl of water and flesh on the glowing charcoal and turn away to breathe.

The air feels far thicker than it logically should be. My hand takes itself to my sternum and finds that the heart beneath is contracting at a wild pace. It feels as if a raticate was trying to burrow its way out of my thoracic cavity.

What is the matter with me? What’s the source of this cowardice? This isn’t that big of a deal. I’m only here to talk. It can’t be that bad. There’s no reason for me to fear. I need to get back to work.

I begin undressing. Every article of clothing I remove, I haphazardly throw out of my immediate vicinity. Soon I’m completely nude. I look down at my body. As perfect as a human can get. Well, except for the scars. But they only prove the strength of my faith.

My chest is still bumping front and back as if I was in line for the guillotine. Ridiculous. I’m just going to turn around and look. Get to it. Or I’d want to, but every time I try to move my leg, it’s like someone’s forcing it back right after.

Maybe if I close my eyes. I do so, and finally I can lift my feet again. I position myself to face the altar’s direction. Success, but it seems to have horrified my heart even further…

I straighten my stiff neck. This stress my body is causing itself is making me feel dizzy. I’m trembling.

All you have to do is look, Red. You know what to do after. You have prepared an offering. You’ve done everything right. Now you just have to stop being a coward. Or do you deny your god?

I open my eyes.

“I’m sorry!”

The words left my lungs as if I’d just been kicked in the ribs.

HE is blinding. HE is like the sun. The spiral is burning itself into my eyes, blazing with the rainbow’s colors. Blue, green, red, yellow, they’re drilling into the backs of my sockets.

Furious. HE is furious. HE knows of my sins. HE knows I’ve been selfish. Unfaithful. Why had I expected forgiveness? Why should a heretic like me be forgiven? Weak, foolish, proud…

Stop. Stop, please! I have to make this torture stop.

I bow my head and collapse onto my hands and knees. The prismatic fire still stings, but it’s much weaker and already fading away. But my pain isn’t over. HIS stare is pressing down onto my neck with the weight of a hundred golem.

“My lord, it is true! I have sinned!” I cry out. “I-I’ve been negligent! Th-the cases… I’ve been killing for my own profit and pleasure instead of sacrificing to YOU, b-but-”

No, Red, what are you saying? No excuses!

Aching for something to rest my eyes while attempting to gather my thoughts, I glance at the bowl. The water has begun to boil. The shreds of flesh have thawed out and regained their original tenderness.

The pressure of HIS stare overwhelms my arms and they fail beneath me. I fortunately still manage to shield my face before it hits the floor tiles.

“I know, I know, my lord!” I shout, buried in my forearms. “This is a pathetic excuse for an offering. I should bring YOU only the finest, not mere leftovers...”

What a fool I’ve been. I’ve placed my own interests before HIM. I’ve been satisfying myself, while I should have been serving HIM. Why have I ignored that? Have I forgotten how much I need HIM? How much being rejected by HIM terrifies me?

It can’t happen.

“I’ll bring YOU a new offering!”

The weight on my shoulders lessens slightly. Yes, HE is interested.

“And it’ll be worthy! I’ll… I’ll find a beautiful, healthy young woman and bring her to YOU.”

I feel lighter. I can support myself on my arms again. I must continue.

“I’ll make her suffer. Rip her apart. In YOUR name. And YOU will be the last thing she sees.”

I can stand up. But I don’t yet dare to look.

“I’ll make an offering from her flesh, her blood. It’ll be fresh, right out of the corpse.”

I remember the freezer.

“And, yes. I’ll get rid of those scraps. There’s no further use for them, after all. I’ll do it first thing tomorrow... No! I’ll do it today.”

My neck feels… normal. Has HE…

Yes. I have been forgiven.

“Thank you,” I whisper. “You will not regret this, my lord.”

I wipe the sweat out of my eyes and gather my confidence. I lay my gaze on the stone. I flinch prematurely, expecting pain, but none comes. Instead the spiral looks… welcoming. Staring at it, following its curves with my eyes, I begin to feel more at ease. I smile, even. This is it, this is how it should be. A man and his god.

HE seems curious about the bowl now, even if the flesh within is of poor quality.

“It's the same one as the last time, yes,” I admit. “Her shoulder, too, just like before.”

I’m not sure why HE has tolerated my subpar offerings for as long as HE has. Perhaps only now HE has gotten sick of it. And the fact that I don't speak with HIM as often as I should anymore. HE can rest assured I’ll correct that mistake.

HE wishes to see her again.

“Certainly, my lord. I’ll fetch her.”

I look away and stagger out of HIS sight, all the way to the other side of the room. Being without HIS face in my vision feels uncomfortable… As if I was holding my breath. I crouch and open the cupboard before me. The jars are revealed. In each one, a disembodied tongue of faded color is contained, submerged in a transparent liquid. I grab the one with the highest number on the label. Seven.

I shut the cupboard and hurry back to my lord. Finally stepping back into HIS view feels incredible… Like reaching sunlight after a long tread in the shade on a cool spring day.

I present the jar to HIM. The movement causes the lump of flesh inside to sway around lazily. I hope the sight of her through the glass is enough. I don’t want the stench of formalin to ruin this moment.

“Oh, she was feeble. YOU should have seen her… heard her. Her voice was so beautifully puny. I can only imagine how much more pitiful she would have looked before YOU…”

The thought of sacrificing someone like her to HIM… Enticing. I must make it a reality, soon.

A rich fragrance has begun to emanate from the water, complementing the fire’s smell. The flesh will be ready soon... I should get to why I’ve come to see HIM.

...Why have I come to see HIM?

Right. The mon. I haven't even thought about her in a while. Actually, my whole fixation with her just seems silly now. I have the pleasure of serving a mighty god, why would I concern myself with some non-human skank?

Why even bother bringing her up at all? I should use this time to discuss more relevant matters.

And what great timing, it seems now that HE has got a good look at the jar. I nod and return her to her place in the cupboard. Upon returning, I straighten my back and spread my arms. I tense my body to display my musculature better.

“During YOUR absence, I’ve continued to better and maintain my physique,” I explain. “I feel as if I’m close to perfection, if not there already.”

HE agrees. HE is pleased with my body. I am pleased that HE is pleased. I grin. I perhaps haven't been the best servant in the spiritual, but I’ve always performed my physical duties impeccably.

I lower my arms and bow.

“Someday, my lord, YOU will wear me,” I whisper. “YOU only have to say when YOU are ready and what I must do.”

HE…

HE does not think I am ready?

“My lord… What do YOU mean?”

HE does not think I’m…

Did I understand that right? I’m not cruel enough?

Oh, HE must just mean that I haven't killed enough. That makes sense.

“I will work on that,” I promise.

I stand up straight again. “But when the day comes, when YOU and I are ready...” I focus my eyes on the very center of the spiral. “I will become one with YOU, and YOU will take this world to be YOURS as it rightfully should be. The natural order will be restored - the weak will perish, the strong and ruthless survive. Rules, laws, society, all those will cease to be. In this perfect world, there will be only one ruler. The strongest being of all. YOU.”

And the best part is.

“YOU and I will kill like wild mon, with no fear of consequence.”

Oh, I’m already picturing it. HIM and I, in one body… What kind of body would it be? If an omanyte’s symbiont form molds its host’s body to better suit it, wouldn’t HE want to enhance HIS new body as well? I bet HE would want HIS body to strike fear into the hearts of any men or mon that had the misfortune of crossing paths with HIM. HE needs a body that is strong, but also agile - the body of the perfect hunter.

Not that HE would even need a body that made sense physically. HIS tremendous spiritual power would allow HIM to dominate the world with any kind of vessel. But I doubt it’s wrong for me to fantasize… It only shows how much I adore HIM.

...I’ve stood still for a while now. And while it’s divine to stare at HIS candle-lit face and feel HIM staring back while the smooth aroma of cooking flesh encircles us, I should get to performing the ritual. I don’t want to leave the meat in for too long. I’m no chef, but I know it’s probably a bad idea.

I check the bowl. Yes, it's ready. I look back at HIM and receive permission. I nod.

I pick up the bits of flesh with my knife and gather them back into the same white bowl I’d brought them to the altar with. The smell surges in intensity as the meat leaves the boiling water. The warmth of the steam embraces my face whenever I crouch above the fire. I breathe it in with great pleasure, letting it fill my airways.

Soon enough the very last shred is in the bowl. The ritual can now commence.

I raise the bowl up high and bow my head. I return the words of the ancient prayer to my mind. It has been a long while since I’ve last uttered them, but I’m fairly confident I still know every last syllable by heart.

I speak the words.

“I will have this flesh as you will one day have mine.”

Having only ever experienced the language written, I naturally have no idea whether my pronunciation is correct or not. But if it isn’t, it hasn’t seemed to bother HIM, so there’s no reason to let it bother me.

I lower the bowl and swap it for the chalice.

“I will have this blood as you will one day have mine.”

Of course that sentence would fit better had someone else’s blood been in question, but my own must do.

I place the chalice back on the floor and grab the knife and bowl. I stab one of the bits and raise it to my lips. It’s hot. Hot like it had only just left the body. The image is thrilling.

With great pleasure, as HE stares, I consume the piece of flesh. Its flavor by itself is nothing special, but HIS presence is the most delicious of seasonings.

I still wonder if HE can taste the flesh too… If that's the case, I would have added some salt. Mon meat may is very regulated these days, but from what I’ve had, I remember salt improving the flavor.

Those regulations will also be history when HE eventually descends and corrects this world. Hm… What would feraligatr taste like?

I take a sip of the blood. By now, it has cooled down to a lukewarm temperature, which is unfortunate… Perhaps I should try to distance myself from the habit of preparing everything in advance. Even if in this case it would have meant pausing everything just to cut myself…

Well, next time this won’t be a problem, anyway, as the body will stay warm until the beginning of the ritual. Its blood can conveniently be harvested then.

I continue feeding until both the chalice and bowl are empty. HE is now sated. I lick my lips clean of blood.

“I am glad you are content, even if this offering was substandard,” I speak. I get up and slowly bow.

It appears HE is leaving.

“Thank you, my lord, and farewell.”

I rise up to look back at HIS face and see nothing but stone. HE has gone.

The room feels so... quiet now. As quiet as it was before I contacted HIM. I knew to expect this, but in a curious way, I already long after HIM…

Only the freezer buzzes, and my heart beats slowly…

Slowly…

...It speeds up. Faster. Fast!

I feel as though I’d just awoken. What did I do? What did I say? I should remember.

No, I do remember… I promised another offering. I promised one, even though I should be laying low. The torment of that inkay is gone, but now I have to find and acquire a new target...

And I promised to get rid of the limbs, too. What time is it? I entered this room around noon, but I’ve lost track of time… Still, it can’t be any later than one, can it? I can still make it before anyone comes home. That’s a slight relief.

Well, I… I suppose just have to take care of it.

I did promise HIM, after all.

---
 
Last edited:
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
nightone_illust_SMALL.png

now with fancy header art! yay
though i may have to take it down for consistency's sake if i prove to be too lazy to make headers for other fics

anyway this fic's a sequel to prayer, i suggest you read that one first. not too hard to find, it's in the post right before this one

so, night one. rated mature i think for violence, but lemme know if it's more teen in your eyes i am very bad at this. enjoy

---

Night One

Synopsis: Red begins to follow up on his promise to HELIX.

(Author's note: Continues the story from "Prayer")

---​

“Hi, Red.”

So, Abe’s home. Hmh. Garbage day it is, then.

I open the door fully and drag the trash bag out of the stairway. The flexing muscles in my left forearm separate the edges of my wound, prompting a scowl and a discomforted sigh from me. I glance at the kitchen clock. 1 pm, as I had expected, more or less.

I scan the rest of my view. No sight of my lord or Fonz, but I can spot Abe sitting over at the couch.

“You’re home early,” I remark.

“Final lesson got cancelled,” Abe answers and turns to face me. He notices the bag. “You’re taking out the trash?”

“Yup.” I grab the bag by its base, shudder from the cold seeping out from within and carry the heavyish mass over to the kitchen sink. I open the cupboard below, exposing my nostrils to the unpleasant odor one would expect from a container half full of old empty food packages and berry peelings.

From the corner of my eye, I can still see Abe looking at me. Why?

“...What happened to your arm?” he asks slowly.

Oh, right. He must have seen the bandage on my forearm.

“An accident,” I say, as I always do. Holding my breath, I tie up the bag in the kitchen container and lift it out. I’m about to shove it away, when Abe suddenly interrupts me.

“You know, you… seem to have a lot of accidents.”

Is he going to start this again? I have a job to do. I’ll just shut him up.

“I’ve been clumsy.”

He and I both know full well that I'm not the clumsy human in this household, but my weapon isn’t argumentation. Rather, I’ll initiate a tug of war of stubbornness, and I’ll win, as I always do.

“I don’t buy that.”

He’s yanking the rope. But he’ll fall in the mud soon enough.

“It’s true.”

He stays quiet. Odd. I didn’t expect a throwaway line like that to finish this.

Well, good! A nice turn of events, for once. I put the garbage bag away with confidence and line the container with a new one. As my foot pushes the cupboard door shut, a victorious thump rings out and I can swing around to breath in some non-noxious air.

I see Abe, who strangely is still staring at me over the couch’s back.

Oh, don't tell me he's --

“So you’ve only taken care of downstairs so far?”

Well, well. Looks like the mareep has decided to play tauros. Round two has begun.

“Yes.”

“That’s a lot of garbage from only downstairs.”

“I’m throwing out some of my old stuff, too.”

“Shouldn’t you recycle them?”

“They’re all broken.”

“Really?”

He's really putting up a fight this time... I’ll try out a different approach.

“Actually, Abe, I’m lying. It’s not garbage. It’s a chopped up human body and I’m dumping it.”

Well, not an entire body, but ‘two arms, two legs, shreds of skin and a piece of humerus, all still mostly frozen’ would be too specific.

“You don’t have to be rude. I’m just asking.”

“Well, can you stop? This garbage is starting to stink up the place. I’d rather get rid of it fast.”

“Fine.”

Splat. Face first into the mud. I’d smirk, but I don't want to push my luck. The rope has started to chafe my palms, and while I’d hold on to barbed wire to protect my secret, my hands are currently required elsewhere.

I gather the trash from all the other rooms on the floor. Abe doesn’t say a word. From the few glimpses I catch of him, he seems to be focusing on his homework for now.

I drag the bag to the base of the ascending staircase. Seems like everything is going well again.

“I thought you said you were going to get rid of it,” interjects Abe.

“Are you kidding me?” I snap, turning around. I see that he’s recoiled a bit. Damn it, was that too harsh?

No… No, it wasn’t. Normal people get mad too. But I should cushion that remark.

I’m going to get rid of it after I take care of the trash upstairs, Abe,” I explain, with a calmer though clearly irritated tone.

Did that do it? I hope that did it.

Abe cautiously recovers from his recoil.

“Well, if you didn’t want the house to stink, you would have taken care of upstairs first, as it has less smelly garbage...” he quietly utters.

I sigh heavily, loud enough for him to hear, and start climbing up the stairs.

-

Alright, finally. I’ve got the trash - the trash I wouldn’t have had to gather if Abe hadn’t been here - and I’m ready to leave. I just need to put on some clothes, as it’s still wet and freezing outside.

“Why are you getting dressed? The garbage can’s just a small walk away.”

For fuck’s sake. What is the matter with him today?

“I have other errands to run too,” I growl, zipping up my winter coat.

“Oh, okay.”

‘Oh, okay’? That’s what he responds with, after all of this? Jackass… If I were clenching my jaws any harder, my teeth would shatter.

I bet the waste I actually need to get rid of has melted significantly by now… Giving it its own bag was a smart precaution. I don’t have to worry about any leakage.

But now, Red, is the time to calm down. The riskiest part is over. The chances of bumping into anyone in the woods with weather like this are pleasantly slim. The fog outside will conveniently blur me, too.

-

I return to the front yard. There are no new tracks in the snow. They still haven’t come back...

But at least I’m done with my work now, and I get to go home, where I won’t be bombarded by snowflakes the size and frequency of zubat.

I enter the house, water dripping from my bangs.

“Hi,” greets Abe, still on the couch.

“M-hm.”

I undress and hang my coat. I wait three seconds perfectly still to see if Abe would start something. He does not.

Sighing, I ruffle my hair to fling off dozens of droplets. They hit the ceiling and the clothes in the closets, but who cares, they’ll evaporate.

I still feel drenched. I just want to clean myself.

“Oh, by the way...” begins Abe.

No. No no no no no.

“Fonz sent a text.”

Oh. Well. Continue.

“He says him and Helix are staying at a friend’s house tonight.”

“What?” I trudge to the couch. “Show me.”

Abe pulls out his phone, taps on it a couple of times and shows it to me. Indeed, there are messages from Fonz.

Can you tell Red we’ll be at Helix’s friend’s slumber party tonight?

And tell him not to worry, this friend is nice and I’ll be watching Helix the whole time.

“So... I guess that means you won’t see Him yet today,” says Abe, in a sympathetic tone. “But hey, this just means you get to have the night to yourself for a change.”

To myself? To the bastard whose mess I just had to clean up? To the fuckup who now can’t serve either form of his god correctly?

I know he doesn’t know. I know I specifically keep the real Red a tightly monitored secret. But two years later and he still doesn’t understand that I’m nothing without Him?

Oh, forget it. I don’t have the energy to be mad. I just want to get the hell away from everyone right now.

“I’m taking a shower,” I grumble and drag myself to the door to downstairs.

“Have fun.”

Go fuck yourself, Abe.

-

Nighttime.

The city’s lights, like jewels of many colors, seem to go on towards infinity. But it's an illusion - upon closer inspection, I can recognize the gleaming spots highest up as stars.

I place my hands on the brick wall before me. I begin to walk them along the rough surface, following each steady step with a new one, until the bricks run out and I find myself by the corner of the building. From there I can see to the sidewalk, and on the sidewalk, underneath the streetlight, someone is standing.

It's a woman. Her scant clothing exposes her elegant silhouette. Slim, healthy, beautiful.

I can see her clearly. No detail of her magnificent body escapes me. Her peaceful gray eyes, framed by her hair… Her hair, short and golden brown, curled inwards at the tips. I follow the strands to her neck… Her neck. So thin, so petite. How has she even survived until this moment with a neck that so begs to be strangled?

I slide down her neck onto her crop top, trek through the valley between her shoulder blades and arrive at the bottom of her ribcage. The groove of her lower back flows along her like a raging river that ultimately crashes onto the top of her white miniskirt. From there, the fabric guides me to her legs… Her long, graceful legs. They're like rapidash legs… Are there fiery hooves at the end of those legs, too?

She’s a flower, a thing of beauty. I’ll pluck her. Softly, I’ll rip off her petals, one by one. Dismantle her. Take apart the body that nature has perfected with years and years of trial and error. Enjoy her. While she can’t escape, but wants to. So fervently.

I begin slithering closer. She remains unaware of my presence. The darkness and the noises of the city obscure me.

She adjusts her hair. Her neck bends ever so slightly. I can practically feel the beat of her carotid on my fingertips. Rapidly accelerating from the impact and iron grip of something unknown.

I ready the spores. My own personal venom with which I’ll relax her wriggling body, silence her whines. And, like an arbok pulling its prey inside its maw, I’ll drag her back into the shadows, where she’ll never see the light of day again.

I’m right behind her now. I stand still for a moment, savoring the situation: I loom over her, yet she has no clue.

Then, I raise my hands. One bare, one holding the spore-soaked rag.

I strike.

She…

Doesn’t react.

She makes no sound, no movements. She’s limp. Like she was dead. I don't get it… Where is her terror, her panic?

I push the rag onto her face harder, desperate for at least some kind of response. The skin beneath gives way. Too much. It's not human. Her maxilla is soft and malleable like clay…

I draw away. I notice the rag hasn't come with me - instead, it's stuck to the woman’s face.

Her legs have begun to collapse. Her neck stretches and bends back, allowing me to see her upside-down face. Two black beady eyes stare back at me. A wide squiggly line of a mouth runs across her jaw. I’ve seen it before.

It’s a ditto.

“Red!”

The word slits my ear. I turn my head to see who threw it at me. I recognize him, and fear grasps my heart. It presses its fingers into the muscle, squeezes out the blood.

The cop. The mightyena cop, Mike, my buddy, “Mighty”. His red irides are staring right at me. They pin me down by my eyes, like tacks. I can’t look away, I can’t avoid them.

“Red, why?” he asks, sickened.

I understand now. This was a setup. They’d connected the disappearances, they’d found the pattern, and they wanted to bait the killer. And I fell for it - hook, line and sinker.

But Mike likes me. He thinks I’m a great guy. I’ll just lie. He’ll buy it, he’s a stupid mutt.

No, it wouldn’t work. He probably saw the whole thing. And I’m right next to the ditto.

“I didn’t think you’d do something like this, Red,” he says, outraged.

A response slips from me. “It wasn’t me!” My voice sounded so innocent, so distressed, but those words were so obviously untrue…

“I can see you, Red,” he snaps. “I’m not an idiot.”

Yes you are, Mike. But pointing that out won’t better my situation one bit, so I hold my tongue.

“You’re a killer, Red,” he growls and bares his teeth. He approaches me, snarling like a wild mon.

“Mighty, please,” I say, patiently raising my palms, trying to calm him down. “You know I’m not like that...”

“Don’t ‘Mighty’ me!” he barks. “It’s just 'officer' to you now. And you… You’re going away for a long time.”

My knees jitter as my body begs me to flee, escape. But I know that a man, even one as fit as me, could never outrun a mightyena.

But what options do I have? Stand still and politely let him cuff me? So that he can take me away, lock me up somewhere, leave me to rot? So that I’d never, ever see Him again?

Or…

I look around. No one’s here but Mike. He’s alone. Just one mon. A man might not be able to outrun a mightyena… but a man with a knife can kill a mightyena. And, yes… I can feel the weight of the hilt against me. What a relief this is… The mutt’s trachea is as good as pierced. As long as I strike faster than he can react.

I back up slightly, to lure him towards me, but I bump into something. What? There shouldn’t be anything there. I checked it just a minute ago. Whatever it was, it drew away upon impact, gasping.

“Red!” it shouts. I turn around. It’s Abe. And he’s holding my lord… Why? Why is he touching Him? Guarding Him with his arms? Keeping Him away from me? What gives him the right?

My lord stares at me with His big, lustrous eyes… He’s confused, afraid. I want to grab Him and say it’s okay. It’s all okay. But it isn’t. Too many witnesses. I’ll go away forever. Forever, forever without Him.

No. I won’t allow it. I’ll kill them first. I’ll kill everyone. And take Him.

Sure, He’ll be terrified. Disgusted, disturbed. But He’ll accept it. Eventually. He has to. He can’t leave me. I won’t let him.

I’ll do it. It’s been long overdue. I’ll kill Abe. He’s been nothing but an obstacle ever since I first met him.

I’ll stab him. Maybe in the gut, maybe in the side, maybe between the eyes. He’ll screech, let go of my lord, as he can’t withstand pain, he’s weak. The cop will be on me by then, maybe he’ll break my arm, but I’ve got another one. I’ll dig my nails in his eyes, pick up the knife while he’s recovering, stab him in the throat. Then I’ll finish off Abe, and then I’ll take Him. I won’t let go, no matter how He begs or flails or bites. I’ll run away, somewhere far, where we can be alone. And I’ll tell Him it’s okay. It’s all okay. It’ll all be okay, You’re with me now. We’ll never be apart again.

No. No! I’ve taken too long! The mutt is right behind me! I turn around, I lunge at him, I grab his head in my hands and I shove my thumbs black black black black black. Black. Blackness. Black. It’s hot and cold and black. I’m sweating. It’s soft. What’s soft? Bed. Blanket. I’m in my bed. I’m... in... my... bedroom.

It was a dream.

Or was it a dream?

No, it was a dream.

It was… impossible.

It’s winter outside. It was warm in the city. Room temperature. The woman was wearing so little. Had she been out in those clothes in reality, she’d be freezing.

And I wouldn’t attack a woman I’d just spotted. There’s things I’d need to do first. Find out if she had regular contacts, get a blood sample, run it, make sure she’s not diseased. Prepare an exit in my room. Prepare an entrance in the city to which I can drag her unconscious body to...

And those city lights… They weren’t realistic. They were surreal. Like from a painting rather than any existing place…

There are too many discontinuities. Where was my vial after Mike showed up? I didn’t have it anymore. Why did Mike come alone? He wouldn’t be able to cuff me with his paws. Did he even have cuffs with him? And why was Abe there? Where did he even come from? Why was my lord with him? Why would Abe --

Why am I even thinking about this? It was just a dream. It made no sense.

What time is it? 3 am. I should get some sleep. It’s already scarce as is. I need to rest.

Everything is fine. It couldn’t happen in real life. It’s okay.

It’s all okay.

---
 
Last edited:
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
guess who was a genius and automated the removal of extra newlines added by the bulba text editor to copypasted gdoc text by coding some python (just 2 lines but dont ruin this for me pls) ? ye boi it me

anyway, as a change of pace, here's a oneshot about abe and alice and some cute puppers and it's rated teen for some ogling, mostly. no header for this one (yet?), sorry.

anyway, enjoy!

---

Puppy Eyes


Synopsis: Abe visits Alice. They look at puppies and discuss things.

(Author's note: Takes place after What the Cat Dragged In and before Prayer.)


---​

“Hi! Come on in,” Alice says, smiling. I grin back and nod. It's been a habit ever since the first one of my visits, when the door opened to reveal her wonderful, angelic face and I forgot how to make words happen with my mouth.

You’d think that at least one of the following times I would have greeted back - you know, like a normal human being - but no. The fact that she’s looking right at me with authentic delight on her face, that she likes me and actually wants to spend time with me… It blows my mind.

But that's not to say I haven't come a long way since then. I’m way more relaxed around her these days, I (mostly) know what to say. I’m able to make her laugh and I’m pretty sure it's not out of pity. My earlier timidity is really only apparent in these first few seconds of our hangouts.

In any case, I should continue. After all, she's not the only reason I’m here this time.

“So where are the little guys?” I ask, eager to see the tiny fluffballs.

“Right this way,” she says, gesturing me to follow. I remove my shoes and coat and creep further into the building. I’d call it a house if it wasn't clearly just a lounge of a research facility with some clashingly cozy decoration here and there. Despite that, though, it's still evident that Alice feels right at home here.

In the corner, there’s a new addition to the white room’s collection of colorful accents: a three-square-meter (approximately) area has been covered with newspapers and confined with plastic, olive green fence pieces fastened together by sloppily applied duct tape. Within the pen, there's a small red doghouse, bowls for food and water, several small multicolored toys scattered around and a soft beige dog bed.

I’m 100% sure that pen is not the work of Alice. Or 99%. Nothing is certain. Except for the fact that nothing is certain. Ah, crap. Not this again. I’m socializing right now. Metaphysics can wait.

“Here they are!” chirps Alice, resting her hands onto the fence, subtly flinching as the plastic complex wobbles slightly. She looks at me and smiles again. “Or would be, if they weren't in their den right now. Let me fix that.”

I sneak closer as she knocks on the plastic a few times. “Come on out, sweethearts!” she calls. “There's someone here to see you!”

Faint whines begin to emanate from deep within the doghouse, and soon rustling can be heard. Then, one by one, the gray fluffy poochyena pups come waddling out of the entrance, little tails wagging so rapidly that their little rears sway too, in the opposite directions. Nice torque and… ugh, Abe, you’re such a nerd.

As the puppies stumble their way closer to the fence, still groggy after being woken up so suddenly, Alice reaches her hand down and soon receives a handful of licks. She makes an expression best described as a mix of delight and slight discomfort. She then turns her face back to me.

“I have to give credit to Camila for building this playpen… It’s a lot more snug than anything I could have come up with. After all, poochy puppies probably wouldn’t be very comfortable in a containment room.”

I let out a hearty laugh. Wait, no, that wasn’t that funny. I begin to blush. She doesn’t seem to mind. She probably just didn’t notice.

I turn my attention back to the pups. Two of them stare back at me with their big black eyes. Aww… I can’t resist for a moment longer. I reach down over the fence with my hand, causing the two puppies to instantly crawl closer, nostrils quivering. The others start to notice me too, and soon the whole litter has gathered around my fingers to sniff all the strange scents I’ve picked up from my mon. Likely they’re most interested in the flareon one. When they’ve acquainted themselves with the mix of odors, they begin to wag their little tails and lick my hand with their tiny rough tongues.

“They’re so cute,” I squee. “How old are they?”

“Five weeks,” Alice answers. “It’s a shame they have to be away from their mother, but if pups are anything like human babies, I can understand her wanting a break.”

“Do you babysit for Camila often?” Oh, shoot, I could have said ‘puppysit’. Lost opportunity.

“Not really,” she responds, scratching one of the pups’ scruff. “Her pooches mean the world to her. It's only when she and the rest of her mon are busy at the station that she asks me to look after anything.”

“Oh, I see.”

We spend the next few minutes petting and playing with the puppies. Their gray fur is fluffy, but not as long as Sam’s. It’s cooler, too. Though the pups’ teeth sure are sharper.

Then we feed the puppies. Their food, brownish gruel, looks rather disgusting, but it doesn’t seem to bother the little mon. I have heard that canines’ sense of taste is inferior to that of humans’, but you’d think their superb sense of smell would even that out at least a little.

Then the puppies begin to get drowsy. One by one, they make themselves comfortable on their proportionally large bed and huddle close together, creating a hill of subtly rising and lowering fluff.

“Would you like some tea?” whispers Alice after the last pup has closed its eyes.

“That’d be lovely, sure,” I answer, and we move to the kitchen table. She continues on to the kitchen desk while I sit down. I watch her prepare the water, teabags, mugs… She moves with such confidence, even when doing something as casual as making tea. Her hips swing with every tiny step she takes… The hem of her magenta skirt follows with slight delay, stroking the smooth back of her thighs. Very nice, slim thighs.

O-oh crap, I’m staring. I swiftly throw my gaze elsewhere, blood rushing to my cheeks. I notice how everything’s silent except for a clock’s ticking. I should initiate conversation. But what would it be about?

After a minute of heavy thinking, I settle for the bottom of the barrel. Meaningless small talk.

“You know, it’s nice to get some tea once in a while,” I begin.

“You don’t drink tea elsewhere?” she asks, pouring boiling water into two mugs.

“Well… I used to drink it at home, but… Red didn’t seem to like it, so I stopped.”

She brings the mugs to the table. “You stopped drinking tea just because your brother didn’t approve?” She pushes the other mug closer to me. “Wait about 4 minutes for it to seep,” she quietly adds.

“It’s no big deal,” I rush to clarify. “I just didn’t want to bother him.”

“Oh...” She looks at her mug. I look at mine. Steaming hot. Color from the teabag is spreading to the water, dyeing it a caramel brown tone. The smell is strengthening. A sweet, pleasant smell.

I look back at Alice to see she’s still staring into her own mug. A lock of her hair suddenly drops in front of her face, leading to her quickly and haphazardly sweeping it back.

Her hair is so shiny and pretty... She takes weirdly good care of it for a smart girl. Not that being a smart girl would automatically mean you’re unattractive. Attractive people can have any kinds of personalities. One shouldn’t generalize.

She’s wearing a lavender top with lace rims. One of her bra straps is peeking out under it. Should I point it out? No, that’d be awkward… I ignore it for now and focus on the shirt. The neckline of it is rather deep. I can see a bit of cleavage through the lace...

“...Abe?” Alice suddenly begins, in a strange quiet tone.

“Y-Yeah?” Oh crap, how long has she been looking at me? Did she notice me… doing what I was just doing? My face heats up further. I grab the mug to stop my hands from shaking so much, but retract them as I realize how hot it is.

“Can I ask you something… personal?” she continues.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What does that mean? What am I supposed to say?

Okay, okay, okay, I shouldn't panic before I know what she actually wants to know. Just say yes and hear her out.

“S-sure.”

She leans in slightly. Likely just out of politeness, as there’s no one around but the puppies, and they're too young to understand or even remember. Okay, so what's she gonna say? Oh gosh. My heart's going crazy. Can she tell? I hope she can’t.

“Is your… brother okay?”

My brother?

“Oh… Red?” Whew… It’s not about me. Though my brother is about the last thing I expected her to ask about. “What do you mean?”

“Like, uhm… mentally.”

Mentally?

“Well, I mean…” I begin, mind roaming my memory to find material on him. “He's kind of a grump, and he's gotten in trouble a few times, but…”

In its searches, my mind stumbles upon the flareon incident.

But I don't want to think about that.

“...He’s fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“...Yeah. He just isn't very social, that's all.”

She draws back, glances away and scratches herself behind the ear.

“See… I don't… really agree.”

“Y-you don't?” This conversation doesn't seem like it's going to end anytime soon. Yeah, Alice isn't the type to just let things slide…

“These past few months, whenever I’ve seen him, I’ve been sort of… analyzing him.”

Analyzing?

“I know that’s kind of an odd thing to do, but… his behavior seems pretty odd, too. And I don’t mean within the normal range of odd.”

“...What are you suggesting?”

“I’m no psychologist - or, well, got straight A’s in psychology in school, but that hardly counts…” She clears her throat, apparently as a means of forcing herself back on track. “I mean, I’m not really anyone with the right to make verdicts such as these, but the way he’s easily aggravated, acts like others are beneath him, seems distant…”

“I-I don't think he’s actually like that… I think he just doesn't know how to behave. He’s a good person once you get to know him.”

“Do you really think so?”

He's my brother, Alice…

“When's the last time he did something nice for you?” she asks.

“He's not really a… do-nice-things-for-others kind of guy… But he takes good care of Helix. He really cares for him.”

Alice looks elsewhere again. She’s already made up her mind… Why is she even asking me?

“Where does he get his scars?”

“What, you think he cuts himself?”

“Who knows? Scars have to come from somewhere. Either they're from him or they're from other people, and neither is a good sign.”

“They're probably just accidents. You can't make claims like that.”

Oh, no. That was rude. I should --

No, I won't apologize. I have to stand up for my brother. I’m in the right here.

“That's true, Abe, I can't…” she says. “But if you're so sure, it wouldn't hurt to ask him, would it?”

Of course I’ve asked him, multiple times, but he never…

No, not this, not right now. I came here to have a good time. To spend some time with Alice. Did she ask me to come here just to talk about this? Were the puppies just bait? Has she been hanging out with me just to get closer to Red, to prove whatever theories she has?

I finally know what I should say.

“Can we stop talking about this?”

Alice backs away, surprised. Then, her expression becomes one of shame.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I shouldn't have been this intrusive.”

I want to tell her it's okay, but… I really don't think it is.

I check the clock and notice the tea’s brewed long enough. I take a sip of the warm brown liquid. Normally it tastes like heaven, but now it tastes like mere hot water with something in it, who cares what. It’s just a drink to finish, a chore to do.

“Let’s talk about something else. Like school,” she suggests. Her confidence is already back. I’d like to forget this conversation, too. “So, how are things going there?”

---
 
Last edited:
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,721
For the Review Game, What the Cat Dragged In. It ought to be said, I'm only passingly familiar with Twitch Plays Pokémon - and I'm getting a suspicion that I am missing something as a result. The piece is perhaps something of a non-sequitur - like a slice cut from a longer story, without much of an end and a rudimentary beginning. Your mileage may vary on how much of a problem that is. You could say that the story can be a story for its own sake and doesn't need a "point", so to speak. I suppose it's a bit like the written equivalent of a horror film, where there is no real point but to watch the torture.

I don't think you've really thought through the actions in the story, though. If a Flareon is small enough to fit under an armchair there's no way it's big enough to be able to reach a keyhole, for one thing. The other big one is, how does Red keep a firm grip on her (her?) and turn the tap on? You can do it with elbows, but well, I've forced an evil-tempered cat into a box before now - it took both hands, and you can bet she squirmed, bit, and tried to strip my skin off. It didn't do her any good but I still had long bloody marks down the back of my hands. Flareon's too meek here. She doesn't try to bite or scratch, she hardly struggles. She might still be chilly and tired, but if she thinks she's really in trouble wouldn't claws and teeth be out?

The prose tends to stay on the right side of drama, but the end is weirdly muted. The tone is almost that of a teenager shiftily explaining why there's a broken headlight on the car, rather than that of a kid caught in the act of gleefully torturing a pokémon
 
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
I can pretty concisely say that the "point" of What the Cat Dragged In was characterization and my interpretation of the flareon and Red's relationship, both of which are pretty popular in the TPP fandom. This fic was written before I started posting to Bulbagarden forums, so the reason it existed was still to be enjoyed by the TPP fans and for me to flesh out my version of it.

If a Flareon is small enough to fit under an armchair there's no way it's big enough to be able to reach a keyhole, for one thing.
My family used to own an armchair that was hollow from the bottom, capable of fitting even our rottweiler inside it. I was thinking of an armchair like that.

The other big one is, how does Red keep a firm grip on her (her?) and turn the tap on? You can do it with elbows, but well, I've forced an evil-tempered cat into a box before now [...]
That one I gotta own up to, honest mistake. I was thinking this through Martyr's POV and forgot that Red had finite hands. (Then again, one thing that isn't mentioned here but is part of my stories' canon: Red's a 18- or 19-year-old young man who regularly exercises to gain physical strength. He's not too weak.)

She doesn't try to bite or scratch, she hardly struggles. She might still be chilly and tired, but if she thinks she's really in trouble wouldn't claws and teeth be out?
Fire blankets aren't really claw-penetrable. It's hard to concentrate when you've got cold water slapping you in the face. But I'm not a cat. I wouldn't know.

The prose tends to stay on the right side of drama, but the end is weirdly muted. The tone is almost that of a teenager shiftily explaining why there's a broken headlight on the car, rather than that of a kid caught in the act of gleefully torturing a pokémon
Hah, you'll have to excuse Red. He doesn't quite know how to human.

In other words, that was intentional on my part.
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,721
My family used to own an armchair that was hollow from the bottom, capable of fitting even our rottweiler inside it.
Ah, one of those chairs. Well, yes, that does change things.

In any case, restraining a scared anything isn't just a matter of how strong your grip is. It's also down to how you hold it, whether you actually have enough hands. It's difficult to wrap an animal in a blanket that doesn't want to be wrapped, especially if that animal thinks its going to be hurt. If it thinks it going to die then it'll fight as hard as it can, whether the effort is futile or not. The point is, Flareon doesn't do that. As soon as fire's no longer an option it gives up
 
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
@Beth Pavell Still gonna argue against you on the grounds of the flareon being freezing, confused and half dead, but I'm gonna get to a more important gripe now.

I feel like your review was pretty lacking. A good review would both point out details and evaluate the story as a whole. It would also mention both strengths and weaknesses. Your review had exactly one sentence that said anything positive ("The prose tends to stay on the right side of drama" - to which you gave no examples for grounds, something my lit teacher would give you a D for), contrasted by the majority of complaints about details. Details that could be fixed by only switching around a few words. Yet no word on the quality of writing, description, exposition, dialogue, or most importantly, whether or not you liked the story?

Now it is true that reviews are not required to be complete and of good quality, but for someone who proudly displays a banner that reads "the Queen of Reviews" (in Comic Sans, granted, but you don't seem like the ironic memeing type) in their signature, I expected better. It's called the Review Game. I requested a review. You gave me a few reality checks. Would you call that constructive?
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,721
The banner is a joke, hence deliberately grandiose and irredeemably ugly. Since it's for the Review Game, let me see if I can expand on a few points. There's nothing wrong with the technical accuracy, the prose is generally competent, managing to avoid the slips into melodrama that dark fics often do. The description is minimal, but given the story being told more detail would have got in the way. There's not really a lot more I can say about it - it's not bad and it didn't blow me away either.

I really don't know how constructive I can be about whether I liked it or not, but since you asked: no, not really. Now, it's a rule of mine that I don't normally read stories I doubt I'll like, in this case, because I'm not a fan of Twitch Plays Pokémon. The Review Game makes an exception to that, so it seems unfair and redundant for me to say I didn't like it because I don't like the source material. The most constructive I can be about it is to say that taken as a standalone story - without reference to the hypotext, to use the technical term - it's just 2,000 words about a Flareon being tortured. If you're writing solely for Twitch Plays Pokémon fans, that's not a problem, but if you intend to reach a wider audience that's the kind of thing you'd need to be aware of.
 
The acest of trainers
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
7,441
Reaction score
491
Hey guys; just a reminder that we want review interactions to be positive on both sides! canisaries, while we allow people to disagree with reviewers and ask for more details, we expect them to do it politely and calmly rather than attacking the reviewer. And Pav, it is best to be as constructive and helpful as possible in your review, even if you had issues with and did not like the story. If you are going to continue this discussion, I ask that both sides take a calmer and more constructive tone.
 
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
@Beth Pavell See, that's what I wanted. In just one paragraph, you managed to be more insightful than in the three before.

And you really shouldn't judge a fandom based on only what little you know of it. I really, really doubt you know much about the runs and lore that came after the first one, as a shocking majority don't, but I can say it branches out a lot.
 
Thesaurus rex
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
6,012
Reaction score
1,721
And you really shouldn't judge a fandom based on only what little you know of it
Well, yes, that's rather my point. That's why I pointed out that I'm not very familiar with it in the first place, and why I focused on logical problems with the story and not the fandom
 
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
a n y w a y
new story

i think this is rated mature, it being heavily dependent on the mature chapter in agápe, you know, the one with the sorta kinda sexual assult

theshadow_illust.png


---

The Shadow

Synopsis: Shirley Tanner, once known as ShirLee, seeks help.

(Author's note: Strongly recommended that you read "Agápe" first.)

---
“I’m sorry...”

It’s my voice, but I didn’t say that.

I gasp, realize I’m seeing, hearing, breathing. It’s dark, but I see lights, little lights encircling me. No ground beneath me. Only darkness and the lights. Spots of wavering gold. They’re fire. Little flames. Hovering in the black. Hovering, like me.

I feel weird. I take a closer look at the lights. The flames are upside down. I’m upside down.

Something moves in the dark. I can’t focus on it, I can’t pin it down. It’s as black as its surroundings, perhaps blacker.

Suddenly, it’s right in front of me. Clear as a polished mirror’s reflection. It’s still a shadow, but now its edges are sharp and form clear. It’s upside down, like the flames. Right side up.

It convulses. Its forelimbs, long and rigid, move away from and towards its body, in rhythm with its loud, heavy breathing.

But its most striking feature, the one I can't take my gaze away from, is its eyes. Narrow, humanoid eyes, where the whites make the black voids it has as irises appear even deeper and deader. Eyes behind which no soul could possibly lie.

I try to yell, but nothing can be heard. The shadow’s desolate eyes briefly spark with what I think might be curiosity. Immediately after, its bony digits are shoved into my face and my beak is forced open. I cover my throat with my radula, in instinctive fear of some kind of poison or parasite entering my body. The shadow takes its time examining the inside of my beak, even going as far as to shove its fingers right down my throat despite my efforts to protect it. It seems to want to touch everything, feel everything… I can feel it pouring in more and more by the second.

“...Beautiful,” it finally moans, in a deep, distorted voice, and draws away. My beak is clamped shut by seemingly nothing, and the shadow begins to glide around me.

Its lips twitch, flashing a set of white, strangely dull teeth. Its jaws never open, but it grumbles things, things that are in my language but I still don’t understand. Then it leaps right in front of me, rasping a word I actually manage to recognize.

“Whore.”

I swing at it, to shoo it away. My tentacle passes through its form, splitting and dispersing the dark smoke, only for it to materialize again further away.

I hear the shadow begin to laugh. Its laugh grows louder, more maniacal, as it approaches me again. Its quivering maw opens, showing its spit-covered teeth and gums. Its pulsating tongue lazily falls out, and it suddenly jumps behind me, freeing my vision from its hideous face. But what is it planning to do?

I feel its touch on my back, flinching. I try to tell it to stop, but again, nothing comes out. Its limbs burrow into my skin. Its few stray hairs scratch against me. Like tiny bugs crawling on the back of my mantle. Oh Arceus. I hate bugs…

The shadow draws in my scent with a deep inhale and breathes it out with a long, throaty moan. I can’t even move anymore - I’m petrified. All I can do is hope this bastard goes away. But it doesn’t. It presses its lips onto me. I can feel them stretching into an unnaturally wide smile. Then, without any warning, it splats its slimy tongue onto my back.

I flail. I try to scream, even if I already know it won’t work. The shadow doesn’t care. It only grabs me harder and continues coating my back and arms with its disgusting, sticky saliva. I’d do anything to be freed, to have the chance to wash myself. The feel of the spit is so horrendous, it might as well be acid. It is acid. My body is melting. My senses start to fade away. The lights are dimming. The last thing I can feel before I’m all gone is the shadow licking my liquefied flesh into its vile mouth.

---

“And that is when you wake up?”

“Yeah.”

The lucario scribbles something in her notebook, then looks back at me. My eyes avoid hers. It is a pretty stupid-sounding dream…

She stays quiet for a while. What’s she thinking? Does she think it’s stupid too?

“So what do you think?” I ask, anxious for an answer. I came here to get better, not to lie on my mantle and twiddle my tentacles. I feel like shit and I want it to stop.

“Have you had interactions with ghost types recently?” she finally says.

“Ghost…?”

I pause to think. I go over my former crew, my managers, the crowds…

“I… don’t think so,” I answer the psychiatrist. “Maybe I’ve had some fans, but none have stuck out… and can’t ghosts turn invisible, too?”

“They can,” the mon confirms.

“So… why do you ask?”

“This dream… Its imagery, the fact that it is recurring… It sounds like a result of a haunting.”

“Y-you mean this is all just a ghost’s doing?” I ask, relieved.

“Oh, not all of it. Just the dream.”

“...Oh.” I slump back onto my chair.

The lucario smiles reassuringly. “Miss Tanner, it is completely normal for newly evolved mon to feel strange after their change. Especially malamar. Your body needs time to readjust to all your organs being turned around. And given that your evolution was not by choice, and especially given that you’ve had to experience a drastic change in career as a result… You should definitely be seeing someone.”

I look away, downwards. My fat malamar mantle greets me again. I cover it with my tentacles and look at the ceiling instead.

“So what do you suggest?” I ask, tired.

“I am going to contact some therapists and see who is free to see you. As for the dream…”

She pauses to think. Ugh, is the dream really that important? It's just a nightmare… Something a kid would have.

“You should see a dream analyst - a munna or musharna,” she continues. “They will likely be able to say with more certainty if it is a haunting or something else. If it is the former, it will likely be easy to treat. Psychics have had thousands of years to come up with ways to defend themselves against their natural enemies.”

“Like dark types,” I mutter.

The mon realizes her mistake, and rushes to deliver the speech I’m rather familiar with by now.

“Miss Tanner, just because you are a dark type, it does not mean you are bad. There are plenty of dark type species that are only misunderstood and act with honor in the wild.”

“But malamar’s not one of those, is it?” I interject. Before the lucario can spew any more of her feel-good sermon, I continue. “Like, do you know what malamar do in the wild? They use their lights and mind control to bring smaller mon to them, and then they rip them apart with their beaks. Does that sound like honor?”

“The wild and civilization are two different things, Miss Tanner.”

“But… But…” My voice is breaking. I can't hold the tears back anymore. “Wh-what if I’m talking to some small water type, and suddenly my ‘natural instincts’ kick in…”

“The therapist will help you feel comfortable and in control in your new body. And do not worry. A large part of malamar in civilization go their entire lives without attacking anyone.”

I let out a whining sigh. If only I’d had that everstone surgery. I'd still be an inkay, I'd still have my career, people would still love me… And my voice would still be bright and beautiful.

But I guess it was only a matter of time… They say the urge to evolve becomes harder and harder to restrain as you age and develop. But, well, at least I don’t have to worry about it happening anymore... unless there’s an undiscovered, even uglier final stage in the inkay family.

“I believe our time is up,” says the psychiatrist suddenly. “That is, unless you have something else to say.”

“No, nah… I think it's all been covered,” I sniffle, voice wavering. I hate crying. I sound like a brat.

The lucario gets up. Her figure is so slim and pretty. Her stomach is flat and covered by soft golden fur. I levitate myself upright and fall onto the floor, struggling to balance myself on my huge tubby mantle.

“You’ll hear about the therapist and dream analyst soon,” she says, walking over to the door and opening it for me. “Keep your phone close by.”

“Thanks…” I lift myself off the ground again and float through to the hallway.

“Goodbye, Miss Tanner,” the lucario says.

“Goodbye…” I answer, turning to look at the canine one last time, eyes misty. She nods and closes the door.

---
 
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
alright, so this one i just wrote today without really any other reason than the want to bring an idea to life and to write something a bit looser for once. this is not part of the kind of ongoing story that prayer and night one are part of, the continuation to those is still being written.

that said, this thing's kinda hard to rate, but i'll rate it teen. aight good enjoy


---

The Girl on the Couch

Synopsis: At night, Red watches a sleeping Alice.

---​

So Abe really thought he could just bring someone over. Tell me to behave, act politely. Because we have a guest. A guest who would be staying the night. Abe had offered his own bed, but this guest didn’t want to be trouble. So now she’s sleeping on the couch. It’s 1 am and I’m watching her from my armchair.

Alice is a brunette. She wears glasses, prescription ones, because she isn’t a shallow bitch. Not that she isn’t a bitch. I’m sure most people would find her pleasant company, if a bit of a know-it-all, but most people want to just ignore other people’s faults to make them more bearable in their eyes.

I, however, am not one to turn a blind eye. I could name a few dozen things off the top of my head which by themselves would already justify an urge to kill the wench. She always corrects everyone’s mistakes in speech. She brags and tries to get away with it by making a self-aware comment right after. She speaks in an annoying tone. She wears ugly colors. The list goes on.

But the absolute worst part about her would have to be her “religion”.

Alice is technically Domist, but she definitely isn’t the religious type. She may agree with the ideology of order, but she’d be the last person to take part in worship voluntarily. No, instead her god is science. The study of the universe, the vast space, the tiny molecules. Nothing drives her more than the search for truth.

She’s fucking stupid.

Truth is meaningless. Truth is only a way for people to feel superior to those who know less or think differently from them.

The universe could not give less of a fuck about whether you know or don’t know what’s in it and how it works. The universe will not reward anyone for exploring, the universe will not shame anyone for settling for less. The universe simply isn’t a conscious entity.

This world is ruled by gods. Gods whose will we must obey, or face the consequences. These gods decide what is right and what is wrong. What is true and what is false. If one spouted lies, what would happen if you called them out on it? They’d tell you to hold your tongue. What would happen if you provided evidence and deduction that proved you correct? They’d deny it, tell you to hold your tongue. And what if you didn’t hold your tongue? They’d kill you.

You may have been right. You may have had the truth on your side. But what happened? You died. You died, dissatisfied and unhappy. And now you’re gone. Forever. And the gods keep lying.

I get up from my armchair and sneak to her. She sleeps peacefully, like a newborn sandshrew. She breathes in and out like any animal would. Grows and shrinks. She does sleep with her mouth closed, I’ll give her that.

I walk over to the kitchen countertop. There, next to the wooden cutting board, lies a long knife with a serrated edge. It’s got some dried berry flesh stuck to it… Looks like Abe could use another reminder about cleaning tools after use.

But that knife wouldn’t do, anyway. It’s way too dull and unsanitary. I open the cutlery drawer for more options. Numerous blades, shining in the yellow light of the countertop lamp. Next to them are the forks, spoons and dinner knives. Forks, hm… I guess it’d be interesting to kill a person with only forks. Slow and painful, but then again, inefficient. Not my thing, at least right now.

Oh, why try to get eccentric? The conventional knives have always worked. Versatile and trustworthy. I’ll just take the chef’s knife. It’s too fancy to ever be used around here otherwise, anyway.

I draw the knife out, listening with joy as its blade makes that heavenly noise when it’s dragged along the other metal. I lift it closer to myself to see my blurry reflection on its surface. An image of a man who holds all the power right now. The man who has many times been the last thing another person saw. He smiles, remembering those good times.

Carefully, I close the drawer and bring myself back to Alice. She’s still in deep slumber. I kneel, position myself comfortably and quiet down my breathing to hear hers.

Her inhales and exhales as my background music, I move the knife to her exposed neck. I hover it just millimeters away from her skin. A smile creeps on my face as I approach the line between life and death.

I, of course, have no actual intention of harming the girl. I’m just amusing myself with the idea. Attacking her would be immensely foolish, even if it would be fun. Abe is here, her blood would be too hard to clean off the couch, yadda yadda yadda.

But if I did kill her, it wouldn’t be so wrong, would it? I’d just be saving her from the heartache of eventually realizing how pointless her little chase after truth is. Killing her would be an act of mercy.

Still, I have to let her live through this night. And every night after that. She simply has too many contacts, and those contacts have too much motivation and capability to find out the killer. It is a shame. I really hate her. I’d like to have her suffer.

Perhaps one of these days, I could call her from my burner phone. Late at night, when she’s alone. She’d pick up the phone, say her name for the unknown caller, ask for their business. I’d tell her what I wanted. Her taped down to a table by her limbs, a syringe and a jug of bleach. Or maybe I’d want a scalpel, maybe a hammer, maybe an axe, maybe a bunch of forks. Maybe I’d only need my teeth. She’d probably ask if it was a joke. I’d say the only one laughing would be me when her mutilated body is found.

But, no, I can’t do that. She’d probably have some technological way of tracking me down. Or she’d just put two and two together and accuse the weird brother of her friend, the brother who’s acted as coldly and indignantly towards her as common politeness would allow.

Whatever the case, she’s the type to not give up before she found a logical enough reason for what happened. Those types are poison to me.

I draw away the knife, satisfied for now by the imagery it brought to my mind. I tiptoe back to the kitchen and return the knife to its spot in the drawer. I see from the microwave’s clock that it’s a quarter past one. I should go to sleep.

Before I head upstairs, I come to the girl one last time. She’s still completely unaware of my presence. Her neck still shines through between her hair and her blanket. That neck might stay intact for a while yet, but rest assured, it won’t stay that way forever.

After AJ and my mother, Alice is the first one I’ll hunt down after I’ve ascended.

---
 
Last edited:
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, we did it reddit

i finally finished this and the story from prayer to night one can now continue to this. pretty glad with this one tbh

but enough yappin here's metanoia. it's rated mature for mostly the self harm. that's right now there's self harm i'm just the best

metanoia_illust.png

---

Metanoia


Synopsis: Red continues to plan his next sacrifice to HELIX, but has trouble concentrating.

---​

I slept in today. I never sleep in.

At seven o'clock, I was awoken by my alarm. I silenced it, but didn't get up. Didn't do my stretches, didn't take a deep breath, didn't leave my room to brush my teeth. Instead, I turned onto my other side and closed my eyes.

It's not the first time He's been away overnight, likely won't be the last, but even those times I’ve gotten up and prepared for the day like every other morning.

It’s not the first time I’ve had a nightmare eradicate multiple hours of my nightly sleep, either. I’ve been frightened awake before by dreams similar to this, but I’ve always found the strength to shrug them off and pretend like they never happened. Red Akai got up at 7 am those days.

Today he got up at 11 am.

Why so? Well, perhaps he thought that he felt a bit too tired that morning, and that the absence of both his lord and several hours of valuable sleep summed up to be enough reason to let himself take it easy just this once.

He was also barely conscious at the time, which was why only four hours later he remembered he had a quite important job to do.

And now here I am, furiously flipping through my brother's maps, trying to make up for lost time. Where the hell is Pewter in here?

Pewter. Pretty far away. Compared to my usual range, anyway. But after that trip to Celadon, I can't help but feel there's a bigger world out there I’m missing, full of beautiful, lonely women ready to be mutilated. And HE deserves only the most gorgeous.

Ah, there. Found it.

I take out all maps of Pewter from the binder, close it and slide it back into its spot in the chestnut brown bookcase. I write down the color and number of the binder: green, 9.

There’s four colors in total, and there’s at least a dozen binders for each one. Just what is Abe’s fixation with maps? Where did he even get all of these?

I grunt. I already know the answer.

I turn around to survey his room. Warm tones, welcoming browns, relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere. Lots of furniture. Desks filled with things that aren't in use - they’re only there to make the room more complete. Plushies, lamps, a radio. Even I know no one uses radios anymore.

I know it’s not Abe who picked these out, and I know a single parent with two kids, two jobs and a hotel room as a home wouldn't bother with, let alone afford this. But a happily married couple with only one child could.

Others would feel envy in a position like mine. Enraged that their own childhood had been erased while someone else's had stayed intact, overwritten theirs. Aggrieved that they now had to start over in a cold, empty spare room while some brat still slept soundly in a soft bed, free of worry.

But I have little to get upset over. I barely use my room. And when it comes to my childhood… Based on the few memories that survived the merge, it doesn't seem like something I'd cherish.

Whatever. The past is in the past. I need to focus on the future now. I shouldn't be daydreaming, especially during the valuable minutes Abe is absent.

I bring the maps to my own room. The room with barely anything more than an unmade bed, a black plastic nightstand and a rain-stained window to the leafless bushes, slushy snow and grayish yellow houses of Pallet Town. The view is the same from Abe's window, but somehow even the melancholic early March view of our neighborhood seems homey and charming when placed between the elegant vine-patterned curtains.

Red. You're getting distracted again.

I'm sorry. I’ll get back to work.

---

That's it, that's the last of the maps. I’ve traced them all. I've replicated all the streets and locations of importance: rental apartments, police stations, parks, woodland areas, so on. They're mine to scribble any notes into. Abe's maps will stay clean, and nothing will be suspicious. No tracks will be left. No leads. Abe won’t ask questions. Abe won’t connect any disappearances to me, he won’t squeal on me.

They'll never get to me. They’ll never find me out and they’ll never separate Him and me. I won’t be torn away, He won’t be left alone with no servant. He won’t get hurt when I’m gone, nothing will happen to Him. Things will be fine.

Clank, thump. The door! The front door. Someone’s arrived. It could be Him. I have to see if it’s Him. I have to see Him.

Rushing out the door, leaping down the stairs, heart pounding in my ears, I arrive. I see an olive-skinned, wavy-haired, scrawny little brunet stare back at me. No Fonz, no lord of mine. My disappointment shows as a scowl.

“Gee, and good day to you too,” mutters Abe as a response.

I give him an irritated snort. Back upstairs I go.

---

Squares, squares. Nothing but empty squares. Off-white innards bordered by thin gray. Are they really squares or just a blank page under a net?

This is stupid. I know how to write. I know how to write in such a manner that my notes could not be tied to the events to take place. I know perfectly well what I need to do. Yet I’m unable to produce a single letter.

I just don’t know what to start with. I don’t know what should come first, what after, what’s important, what can be left out. I can’t say what I might forget later and what I’ll end up remembering as clearly as my name. What is my name? Red Akai. See, I remember it.

What’s the time? My eyes vacate the notebook’s grid to check on the clock on the wall. Hm. Only noon. Twelve. The second hand inches its way over the black number and begins making its way down. It ticks. It just ticks. There are no other sounds in this empty room. Though I think I can hear traffic or wind from outside. Some pointless static, anyway.

Suddenly, a noise strikes through my heart and sticks to the air, slowly ringing away. The doorbell. Who? Them. It must be them this time.

I spring up, but I flinch. I look at the notebook and pencil in my hands, frozen. Oh, whatever. It’s not like I’m getting anything done here anyway. I melt myself free and throw them both on my bed. They bounce slightly. Then I dash out and down the stairs.

“Hi, Red,” says Fonz upon seeing me. There, in his hands. There He is. He raises his tentacle to wave to me. It feels like He’s grabbed my heart, firmly but gently, and He’s giving it a firm shake. Just like that, my shoulders relax and I can’t help but smile.

I approach Him calmly. After all, I have nothing to worry about anymore. I walk past the couch, and...

Red.

What?

Your job isn’t done.

I’ll finish it after this.

No, Red. Look at what you’re doing.

My steps slow down to a halt. My smile fades away. Fonz notices I’ve stopped and looks at me questioningly.

What do you mean? I’m just taking a break to see Him.

You think that’s a good enough excuse?

He has HIS spirit. It’s my sacred duty to tend to Him.

Where does it say so?

Common sense. He is HIS vessel.

Merely HIS spirit’s. HIS mind is not there.

It’s still honoring HIM.

Red. You’re worshipping a false god.

The phrase resonates in my mind, like a shout in an empty cavern. Every echo tightens the constricting feeling around my throat.

“Red, is something wrong?”

Fonz’s question momentarily snaps me out of my thoughts. True. I can’t have this argument here. I need to remove myself from the presence of others, lest I arouse too much suspicion.

“I’m fine. I just remembered I need to do something,” I respond and haul myself to the door of the basement.

The moment my feet touch the staircase and I close the door behind me, the storm continues.

You’re a heathen. A heretic. A weakling, seeking comfort in his lies.

I run down the stairs and to the end of the hallway. Fumblingly, I shift the bookcase, unlock the door and step inside. I hide the door again and lock it. It’s pitch black. I turn the lights on. It’s quiet as always. Though not in my mind.

Remember what HE told you, Red? You’re not cruel enough. It’s so obvious, you idiot, this is what HE meant.

It can’t have been. HE needs me to take care of Him, to ensure no one seeks to harm HIS spirit.

There’s protecting and then there’s what you do. You spoil Him. You’re drawn to Him constantly. Like a venomoth to a bonfire in the night. The sun is only hours away, but instead of waiting, you chase a cheap imitation. And in the end, it will burn you alive.

That’s just a metaphor. Pretty words, but they mean nothing. You have no real proof He’s a hindrance.

No proof? Just look - He’s the reason you’re not working right now.

I notice I’ve begun to tremble. I need something to calm me.

Incense would be lovely, but I don't think I’ve got any left. I likely don’t have the ingredients for making more right now either, not that it would be something one could just do on a whim. It takes time, something I came here to save. What other options do I have?

The white of a lone candle, upright on the desk, catches my eye. That might do. The sight and scent of a taper’s flame is always relaxing. I locate the matches, take one out of the box and scrape it along the side. With a sizzle, the tip lights, and I bring it to the candle. After the fire has spread to the wick, I put out the match by shaking it.

I lean onto the desk, watching the amber sway, and inhale the ashy fragrance swirling around me. I close my eyes and stare into the darkness.

But the storm is still there. Heathen, heretic, weakling. Sinner, wretch, traitor. The candle has brought me no peace.

Why did even I think that would work? It’s just a candle.

Stop avoiding the argument. Are you hiding because you know you have nothing to stand on?

Why do you have to do this? Everything was fine before. Nothing needs to change.

It wasn’t fine before. You’ve been betraying HIM all this time. HE thought you would have been smart enough to figure it out by yourself, but you weren’t. Then HE gave you a hint, and not even then did you understand. You’re a fool, Red. You should be eternally grateful that HE even allows you to serve HIM after all that you’ve done.

But HE needs me.

Are you trying to speak for your god? You’re revolting.

Whom else could HE use?

There are plenty of people out there who would be more suitable than you. You’re not the most ruthless, loyal, powerful, by far. HE would eventually find someone better. As I already said - it’s incredible HE hasn’t yet smitten you dead.

But… I just can’t let Him go.

Why not? You don’t care for anyone else. You’ve killed several people, tortured them, and it’s only brought you enjoyment. People of your kind don’t care. Shouldn’t care.

He’s not the same. Around Him, I feel… good.

And why do you feel good? Is it because, for half a month, a million voices in your head screamed that you should? Or is it because you just find His physical form pleasing?

Why does it matter why I feel good? It only matters that I do. And I can’t eliminate the only thing that makes me happy but isn’t against the law.

Happy? You idiot. You really think that you could have a future with Him? You’d just grow sick of Him eventually. Either that, or He’d find out what you’re really like. He’d be disgusted, just like the rest of them. Face it, Red. There is no happiness for you on that path. The only way you’ll ever be sated comes by absolute submission to HIM.

“You’re wrong!” I shout aloud, wishing the noise would validate my words, make them part of reality.

But, right after, a tidal wave of rage comes over my body. What pathetic words, what cowardice. It demands retaliation. I have to purify myself of this… weakness.

I force my hesitant hand to unsheathe the dagger on my waist. It must be done. For HIS sake, I will correct myself.

My left arm removes my shirt. Both take part in removing my jeans and underwear.

I kneel and stare down at my torso - the scars, the muscles. A log of all that I’ve conquered, all that I've achieved. Now it's time for a new entry.

My weak side is afraid. My strong side is excited, thrilled.

With another wave of fury crashing into me, I grab the dagger and bury the tip of its blade to my abdomen. It hurts. It hurts so much. But one can't expect the removal of a growth to be without displeasure, not a physical one nor a mental one.

It is with the searing agony that I become clean. The weakness cannot take this torture. It perishes, leaving only strength to reside in me. I move beyond humanity, becoming an otherworldly warrior, superior in power and faith.

I move the sharpness up, all the way to the lower rim of my right pectoral. It is there where I stop, as I don’t find it necessary to go on. I slowly pull the blade out of the skin and, with a shaking hand, take the dagger above the desk and drop it. The quiet tap it sounds releases me from the burden of restraint, and my hand falls down onto the hilt, limp.

My breath still quivers from the wound’s scorching sting, but I feel liberated. My left hand, clenched in a tight fist, opens up. It’s pulled towards the cut. Its fingertips touch it, but they’re jerked away by the hissing pain it arouses in my abdomen’s skin. Still, the charm of the vermillion blood is strong… I swipe across the trail from the drops escaping downwards, gathering that wonderful nectar. I bring the sparkling blood to my cracked mouth and shove it onto my tongue. Its flavor dissolves in my spit, spreading into the rest of my mouth. Metallic, salty… It's not the best taste in the world, but my instincts seem to be drawn to it.

It proves I’m different, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing. It means I belong in this religion of mine. Normal people are too weak. And in time, their reign shall fall.

I pull out my fingers and dry them onto my lips. I swallow the mixture of blood and saliva and focus on the present. My beating heart, my bleeding wound, the silence around me.

So, what is my plan now? What will I do next?

Well, let’s see. I’ll clean and bandage this cut. I’ll get dressed again. I’ll go upstairs. I’ll get my notebook. I’ll write my plans on it. If I can’t, I’ll just force myself to. I’ll scribble letters until they start making sense. I’ll finish the plan every time and start again until it’s perfect.

Yes. This is what I’ll do. And I will not complain. I won’t rest until I’m done.

My attention turns to the candle beside me. It’s irrelevant. I lick my fingers again and pinch the wick, putting out the flame with brief hiss. A thin veil of smoke begins to arise, reaching for the ceiling.

---

It’s a beautiful April day. The birches’ new leaves, still small and partly folded in their buds, shine vivid green in the sunlight. The sky is a peaceful azure with the occasional white splotch. The wind, cool but strong, herds the mareep above to the north, towards Viridian. It pleasantly counterbalances the heat of the sun.

Staring at the woman’s unconscious body in the middle of the circle, I feel utmost relief. My duty isn’t yet complete, but it’s smooth sailing from this point onwards. Nearly all of the work left consists of acts I very much enjoy. And no more sneaking around is required. I can leave my gloves and beanie at home.

I reach my foot to the edge of the circle, draw the activating line and step back. The circle and all it encases begin to glow and sparkle in shades of red. The color soon wholly takes over the loose objects on the ground - pebbles, gravel, the woman - and in just a flash, they’re gone.

I begin to erase the circle from the ground. My sneakers quickly get very dusty from all the sand-kicking. After finishing, I proceed to the asphalt road to knock at least a bit of the dirt off.

I’ve got the sacrifice. Now it’s time to leave the crime scene before someone spots me.

---
 
Last edited:
The Hidden Author
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
825
Reaction score
214
Alright, this is for 'Girl on the Couch', for the Review Game.

Setting:

Can’t say all that much about the setting, since there wasn’t much of one. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, due to the nature of the story. Not much detail really needs to be known about the environment, but it would’ve been nice to see some more I suppose…

Characters:

Red is a very clever, if despicable, character. He wants so badly to kill someone, yet knows if he did, he’d eventually suffer the consequences. Like the search for truth, those who try to call out a liar eventually are punished. I’d like to know more about him, but I can understand thanks to the story’s nature. He’s at conflict with himself about his desire to kill Alice, all so she won’t be in despair in the end, which would be a noble cause if it didn’t involve the death of another. You don’t happen to have these sort of tendencies, do you? :p

Tone:

A dark tone due to the intents of the character works well, and the focus on the knives and consequences make you really see how Red ticks. It’s intriguing to read because of that.

Style:

Your style works well for short stories such as this, since you get to the point without going into too much detail. You only have a limited amount of content before it starts to tread out of thast territory, and I’m glad to see you used it well.

Grammar:

No mistakes to note. Nothing else to be said.

Overall:

I like what you’ve done for this story, and will look forward to read more when I get the opportunity. Keep writing these stories!
 
Don't Look Away
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
69,135
Reaction score
290
It’s kind of late for me to comment on this one since it’s been a while but since it was nominated for the awards I figured I’d give it a read. I still haven’t read Hunter Haunted so this oneshot/special chapter type of thing kind of went over my head. Your description of the Poocheyena’s was great and it reminded me of how real dogs act in real life (since I had to raise my own puppy) and while Abe’s description of Alice could get surprisingly detail, the two had a pretty good rapport. Similarly your prose is well done with only one mistake that I noticed, aside from that you have a style that’s easy to get behind and easy to read when things don’t get too wordy.

You also do a good job of getting us into Abe’s role and feel sad when he realizes that his meeting with Alice isn’t what he had originally expected, as well as show us how loyal he is to his brother.

At the same time however, I think this oneshot relies heavily on what’s established in your stories and it’s hard to fully understand what’s happening if you’re someone who hasn’t read them. I can’t knock it too hard because of this but it’s something to take note of since there could be many that would just read this or any of the other oneshots out of order just because. At the same time though, it did pique my interest and made me want to read Hunter, Haunted even more.
 
Princess of Dorkness
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
2,760
Reaction score
1,294
Hi, I'm here from the awards. This is specifically looking at Puppy Eyes.

IT'S SO ADORABLE, YET SO AWKWARD. As a standalone thing, I didn't find it to be the strong story that it could have been. What's there is a cute and interesting little piece that, while not the strongest, can still stand on its own. When I step back and see that it's part of a loose collection of stories, it's much stronger due to its heavy referencing of other parts of the collection.

I didn't really get a good sense of the setting. This might be a case of needing to read the other works in the collection, but I'm not so sure. It's all contained to a small room that is cozily described, but I'm not sure where that room is, what it's attached to, if it's part of Alice's company, etc. Even details of what Alice's company actually is would be useful for painting a picture. However, everything that is there fits where it should; nothing is out of place or extraneous.

Onto characters... Abe I already knew from reading Dear Nemesis, and not much has changed if I remember him correctly. He's very shy and very protective of his "evil" brother, but he doesn't let that shyness get in the way of his life... too much, at least. It causes him to stumble, but at least he's putting himself out there in that mean ol' world.

Alice is a character I'm unfamiliar with, but she's already established elsewhere within your collection of shorts and one shots I believe. Regardless, she functions perfectly well and is understandable here in Puppy Eyes. She's intelligent, she's beautiful and she's wise. I can't quite tell if she has a crush on Abe's brother, but I'm getting that feeling. However, Abe is very obviously head over heels for her. There's room for drama in future appearances by these characters, and in fact we already got a taste of that.

Both of the characters stand on their own two legs without prior reading of the other stuff they appeared in. They're both interesting. Both memorable. Both enjoyable. I can't really find any flaws with them, from a writing standpoint.

Style... As I grow more and more comfortable with first person stories, I'm seeing what works and what doesn't. What's here works, and it works well. Abe's thoughts are spelled out in an easily readable manner. His reactions to Alice's body language and spoken language are human and relateable. Not once did I pause to try to understand something, and any pausing I did was to think, "Yeah, I might react the same way". It made me think, in a good way!

On the technical side, it's not perfect, but it's very good. The mistakes don't draw me out of the story, and they're relatively few. I did want to lay them out individually, but since I wrote this judging review over two months ago and failed to note them down originally, I'm afraid I can't.

Overall, it was a very good read! Cozy, cuddly and very fun! Would recommend. In fact, I already have recommended.

Edit: Ha I lied about not marking down the mistakes I found, I'm just blind and couldn't find them:

There might be more, these are just the ones I actively noticed while reading at a casual pace.
soon the whole litter has gathered around my fingers to sniff the all the strange scents I’ve picked up from my mon.
Highlighted the extra word.

I have heard that canines’ sense of taste is inferior to that of humans’,
Looks like a missing "is" here. Added in bold.

“Do you really think so?”

He's my brother, Alice…

“When's the last time he did something nice for you?” she asks.
In this case, I can't tell if the lack of quotation marks around the second line is intentional? I get the feeling that a lot of his thoughts are internalized because he's so nervous around Alice, but I feel like this is something Abe could comfortably, audibly say to her.
 
Last edited:
just a prankster, juvenile gangster
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1,421
Thanks for the review, @Misfit Angel ! Fixed the two errors, thanks for pointing those out. As for the third, it's intentional, to hint at that Abe might not totally disagree.
 
Princess of Dorkness
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
2,760
Reaction score
1,294
Hello! Here's your requested review league input. This one's focusing on Metanoia. diamondpearl876 has read the other two and is in the process of putting her thoughts together for them.

The first thing I noticed, I had trouble figuring out who the narrator was (which is probably a dead giveaway that I jumped into this one without going through the other two). My first instinct was to assume it's Red. Lines 4 through 7 seem to speak about the narrator in a third person perspective while the story is in first person perspective. I can't even say that I believe the narrator is the type to refer to himself in the third person, because he usually never does.

And then it hit me (well, diamondpearl876 hit me and explained it), Red is yelling at and criticizing himself. It made so much more sense when I figured that out, but before that I was just completely confused. I don't know how to make it any less confusing, so I can't offer any fair criticism here, but if you are looking to make some edits to this, this might be something to look at? Perhaps make the third person criticisms of himself a bit shorter? They may have overstayed their welcome.

More confusion followed in the third scene, after Fonz appeared. I know now that he's criticizing himself. I get that. But at the same time, him having a lengthy conversation with himself was a little strange to look at. My suggestion for these lengthy arguments with himself would be to italicize the criticisms, to help differentiate which side of his mind is speaking.

That said, I loved this scene. It showed just how fucking insane he is, perfectly. Yes, we know he's a serial killer who is preying on people for a false ideal (pls no kill for insulting your god, red), and that alone should tell the reader that he's insane. But this little part just completely sells it more than butchering a dozen innocents ever will. Well done!

I can't help but feel there's a bigger world out there I’m missing, full of beautiful, lonely women ready to be mutilated.
I admit, I was worried when I read this line. I hate reading things that say stuff like this. But then I realized, the same thing is happening in the backburner plot I'm writing for my own story, so... consider me intrigued. Maybe there's some inspiration in here for me, in terms of the mentality of the people who think this and god forbid, actually do it.

I force my hesitant hand to unsheath the dagger on my waist.
Wait, is this guy just walking around with a deadly weapon at his side, greeting guests who come to his house? Does nobody find this the least bit suspicious?

I respond and haul myself to the door to the basement.
This might just be personal preference (I don't know the strict rules of English despite it being my only language), but I feel like switching that highlighted "to" to "of" would make this sentence flow a bit nicer.

So, with all that said, I actually loved this piece. I usually can't stomach the deep end of your stuff since it's too weird and makes me squeamish to think about, but this was relatively tame and it really offered a believable view into the mind of a psychotic serial killer who just doesn't seem to know that what he's doing is wrong. This line especially shows it off:

Why does it matter why I feel good? It only matters that I do.
And the scene about him cutting himself up was very powerful. I actually looked down to make sure my own guts weren't hanging out and I started to feel dizzy when I saw that they weren't. You're a god damn wizard.
 
Top