• Magnificent Entertainer barges into the Pastoria Gym, intent on getting his fifth Badge. Watch here as he chases some Team Galactic dingbat and yells at the police again.

COMPLETE: Sweet Dreams [One-Shot] [TEEN]

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Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything here. Hope you're all having a happy winter break / holiday season. :D Anyways, I wanted to actually write something this break and get it critiqued so I don't get even more horribly rusty. This led me to three conclusions: I wanted it to be Pokémon based, I wanted to try something new, and I wanted it to be Christmas-themed. This led me to "Sweet Dreams," which, for those of you who know the song, became the title for reasons you might notice later on.

Anyways, I talk a lot when I'm tired. ^^;; This contains some semi-dark themes, so if you actually want to read a Merry Christmas story or a real one-shot about Sweet Dreams, you'll have to look elsewhere. Just thought you should be warned. With that out of the way, let's get on with the story, shall we?



Sweet Dreams

My Mommy always told me I was never good at running.

My pink boots splashed through what felt like millions of puddles as I raced down the alley as fast as I could, holding my dolly tightly in my right hand. My fuzzy white coat felt like it was holding me back, keeping me from taking in full breaths so I could keep going. My legs and chest and cheeks felt numb from the cold, but I kept running. Every time I stopped they were still there.

"Wait, little girl! We just want to talk!"

I choked, clutching my doll tightly. My blonde pigtails, damp and curly, chased behind me like ghosts that I could only see out of the corner of my eyes. The ghosts were starting to scare me, too.

"Leave me alone!"

Mommy and Daddy had told me that we were going to Celadon City to visit Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas, but I didn't like their house. It smelled like old people and bad candy, and we always spent Christmas at our house. What if Santa couldn't find me and give me the gift I really wanted? All I asked for was a pet. I didn't have any brothers or sisters, and there weren't any kids my age back in Mahogany town. I just needed something to keep myself occupied besides my dolly, because my parents were about as exciting as dirt and my dolly never told me anything. Was that so much to ask?

The rain drizzled down the sides of the buildings around me and made the alley look so much scarier in the dark. Some doors had lights above them, but the more I ran the less there were. I didn't like it when it was dark. When it was dark all I could hear were their footsteps and the way they called after me.

I didn't like it when they called after me.

Tears ran down my cheeks just like the rain did, making me feel even colder and more alone than I already was. I didn't know where I was gonna run to. I didn't know where Mommy and Daddy were. I was lost. Those men weren't gonna help me, either. This never would have happened if I had just gotten a pet like I wanted.

When I had seen that Mommy and Daddy didn't get me a pet, I couldn't stop crying. Mommy and Daddy said they felt bad, but that the landlord didn't like it when people had animals. I didn't know what that meant, so I said I was gonna go to bed. They tucked me in and said goodnight, but I didn't say goodnight back. I guess I was just mad 'cause it didn't make any sense - Mommy and Daddy always knew what to get me. I never had a bad Christmas. But maybe they were just playing a game with me. Maybe it's like Easter, and you have to go out and find your presents on your own. Mommy and Daddy just wanted to see if I was smart enough to figure that out.

The second they were gone I opened up the window and put on the white coat they had given me as a present. It had looked so pretty, but it was tight. I snuck out without them even knowing so that I could find my own Christmas present - one that would keep me company so I wouldn't feel so alone.

I had always liked Celadon City, so being alone at night didn't feel so bad. I was sorta scared, but there were so many lights that I felt like someone was always watching me. Christmas lights, traffic lights, car head lights... The best part was that it wasn't as cold as where I was from. Back at my house it was always snowing, but here there was only rain.

"We just want to talk! Stop, you little brat!"

Their footsteps were getting closer, but the alley split two different ways up ahead. I could lose them if they went the wrong way.

My dolly felt like it was running with me, the way it swung back and forth as I held it and ran. I knew that at least I wasn't alone.

"Remember, Edna here will always keep you safe," Momma told me when she gave it to me for my fifth birthday. "She's gonna be your guardian angel and your new best friend."

Momma's always right, but I think even guardian angels get scared sometimes. Right now I think Edna's just as scared as I am. That's why she's not doing anything. I don't really blame her - I'm scared, too.

I was never good at running, and Momma had always told me to just find an officer if I saw bad guys. The only problem was that I couldn't find any, and now I was stuck in this alley with Edna. Mommy and Daddy should have told me not to go behind the warehouses to look for presents instead. They should have told me that bad guys lived back there. They should have told me that I'd see them hurt people.

Most importantly, they should have told me those bad guys would see me once I saw them hurt those people.

I turned right as quickly as I could and hoped that the bad guys would go the other way, but I didn't see the rock on the ground. My feet hit it and I screamed, falling into a puddle as Edna flew out of my hands and into the darkness ahead of me. I coughed up muddy water and crawled forward, searching blindly for her but only finding trash cans and dirty garbage bags. I could tell this was a dead end, and the men were getting closer.

Momma had told me a long time ago that I should never trust strangers. Anyone could be a bad guy. I huddled up behind a garbage can, shivering in my wet clothes as tears ran down my cheeks. I remembered exactly what she told me about why I shouldn't trust strangers, and I was finally starting to get what Momma meant.

The men's footsteps stopped where the alley split, and I could hear them shuffle around inside their pockets looking for something. Suddenly a round light lit up the ground next to me and started to move up and down the alley, focusing in on trash bag after trash bag.

Everybody is looking for something.

The light stopped in front of a trash bag a few feet away from me where Edna, flat on her back, stared up with a smile. I wanted to cry. I couldn't leave her there alone, but I had to. One of the men walked over and picked her up, a mean look on his face as he laughed.

"Come on out, little girl. We have your precious little dolly."

Some of them want to use you.

I hoped the bad guys wouldn't hurt her. I didn't want a new doll, but Momma always told me that I couldn't ever talk to strangers. I wanted to see Momma again. She would know what to do. Another man walked up to the first one and chuckled, looking down at Edna.

Some of them want to get used by you.

"This thing's worn out. What is this girl, seven? Maybe we'd do her a favor if we snapped the thing in half right now."

I gave a little gasp. They can't hurt her! I held my knees and began to cry so strongly that I couldn't stop anymore. This night was too long, and I didn't even get the presents I wanted. I felt like I'd been running forever, I was cold, and I was about to lose my favorite dolly. I just wanted this day to end. The second man had a mean smile on his face as he whispered to the others and started walking over to the trash can I was hiding at. Their flashlight lit up my face and I began to scream and kick at them as one grabbed me by the arm.

"Don't worry, little girl. You and your dolly won't feel a thing."

Some of them want to abuse you.

I yelled and tried to get away, but their hands were holding onto me too tightly. Their grip hurt my arm. "Mommy!" I screamed, trying to pry their fingers off of me. "Mommy, help me!"

The men laughed and circled me, one carrying a big brown bag in his hand. "Daddy!" I cried out into the cold air. "Daddy, please!"

"Just shut up and be quiet," the man whispered sweetly into my ear as they held me down and started to put the bag over my head.

"Edna!" I sobbed, the rain slapping against my skin. "I'm sorry I dropped you! Please -" One of the men kicked me in the stomach, making me lose my breath temporarily.

"Help me...!"

The men laughed as I struggled, but a high-pitched giggle filled the air. As the bag slipped over my head, the man holding Edna gasped as her head turned to face me, her eyes bright red.

Everything went dark once the bag fell down around my neck, but all I could hear next were a million screams.

Some of them want to be abused.




When I took the bag off my head, all the men were sleeping in the alley but Edna was propped against a wall, smiling. I smiled back at her, wiping the tears away from my eyes. She whispered to me that no one ever needed to know about what happened tonight - that it was a secret between best friends.

I agreed.

I picked her up and gave her a hug, and for the first time she hugged me back. I kept her held against my chest and stepped over the man who had put the bag over my head, who was now sleeping like an angel with his eyes wide open.

Edna whispered to me how to get home and the way we were gonna give my parents a special surprise once they went to bed. I nodded my head, smiling. Her thoughts were becoming my own. Her red eyes seemed to light up the darkness before me, almost as if I were seeing through them myself. Even though I was alone in a dark alley on a rainy night, I had never felt safer. It was Christmas and I finally got the best present ever - my very own playmate. More importantly, however, I finally found my guardian angel...

...And now the fun will never end.


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Well, there you have it. ^^;; Never did care much for mushy Christmas stories. I recently tried playing through Emerald and when I finally got my hands on a Banette, I was sort of surprised by the Pokédex entry. I went on Serebii, and I realized Banettes had a lot of potential to be sinister that I really haven't seen maximized on. This was just the first idea that came to my mind that I slapped together in a couple hours, but I think I might do another eventually. The thugs were, in fact, Team Rocket, just as a side note. xD I just didn't think a seven year old would recognize that and be able to comment on it.


Anyways, if you read all that, please post any thoughts / comments / critiques. I'd extremely appreciate hearing what any of you have to say. :3 With that out of the way, thanks for reading and have a great day!
 
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East Unova Resident
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You're right this sure was an offbeat one to read on Christmas morning, but heck, why not?

I just have a feeling this little girl is going to grow up like the little boy from the infamous episode of The Twilight Zone titled, It's a Good Life.

But of course that can be left up to the imagination. A fic need not be long at all to tell a good story and sometimes the best part of a story is what's NOT said.


Merry Creeps-mas!
 
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Hahah! Yeah, I have a feeling the girl will have quite the childhood now. I loved that episode of The Twilight Zone, so I can only hope. :p

Anyways, thank you for commenting, and a merry Creeps-mas to you, too!
 
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i was think the doll was like a bannet. real reeling, i didnt want to stop reading!
 
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Thanks. ^^ I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was hoping it might have that effect on people, but you can never be sure. Thanks for reading!
 
C'est ne pas un Cutlerine
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Just noticed that this existed, and since I liked your other story, I thought I'd have a look; I wasn't disappointed. Overall, this was pretty enjoyable, and a wonderfully dark Christmas story, which is always the best kind. Ghosts and Christmas go together like Marley and Scrooge.

I can't help but feel that the opening was kind of weak, though, and here's why:

My Mommy always told me I was never good at running.

My pink boots splashed through what felt like millions of puddles as I raced down the alley as fast as I could, holding my dolly tightly in my right hand. My fuzzy white coat felt like it was holding me back, keeping me from taking in full breaths so I could keep going. My legs and chest and cheeks felt numb from the cold, but I kept running. Every time I stopped they were still there.
Four sentences in a row begin with the word 'my' for a start, which kills the momentum this fast opening otherwise has. The proliferation of modifiers does the same: this isn't the time or place for description of what the narrator is wearing. For a start, this is first person and so I'd expect to be seeing what's important to the protagonist at the time - and I don't think that your clothes are what would concern you if you're running for your life. For another - and this is something that an alarmingly large number of people don't seem to realise - for the purposes of this story, the physical appearance of your protagonist is completely irrelevant. What you're doing is building a tiny scenario and a portrait of a child's mind; there's no need to tell us what her coat looked like.

Uh, I think I got a bit carried away there; that wasn't wholly directed at you. Just be aware that describing your narrator's clothes at that point is pointless, disrupts the energy of that fast opening and distracts the reader from the important bits.

One of the men kicked me in the stomach, making me lose my breath temporarily.
He kicked a small girl in the stomach? That's got to do more than make her temporarily lose her breath. That might rupture something, or if it hit a little higher, snap a rib. At the very least, she's going to be knocked over backwards. Small children aren't like adults: they're much more fragile.

I'm also not entirely certain what relation the story has to Sweet Dreams, other than the main action loosely paralleled some of the lines of the chorus. Was there some deeper significance that I missed, or was it merely a clever conceit? Unless I'm being dense and not seeing the real meaning, I think it might actually detract from the story rather than strengthen it, because it makes the reader waste time wondering what on earth is going on.

Lastly, I like your use of Banette; they're overlooked and underappreciated, and along with Shuppet they're one of my favourite Ghost-types (along with pretty much all the others). You're free, of course, to interpret the species in any way you like - but it does seem odd that this Banette chose to protect her. Every single Pokédex entry and other source states that Banette and Shuppet are abandoned toys that become Pokémon because of their resentment and hatred of the children who cast them aside. I would imagine that they're little more than angry thoughts and a vessel that carries them. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to make your Banette a revenge-obsessed human-hater, but it does make it come across a little oddly. It isn't really a problem, but it's something to consider, I suppose.

Oh dear. After looking back at all that, I've realised it must seem like I didn't like the story at all. That's not true, I hasten to reassure you - but it's much easier to criticise than compliment, and I think that telling you that you write very well (which is true) without pointing out any flaws wouldn't really be a review.

Anyway, I did like it. Excellent work.

F.A.B.
 
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Just noticed that this existed, and since I liked your other story, I thought I'd have a look; I wasn't disappointed. Overall, this was pretty enjoyable, and a wonderfully dark Christmas story, which is always the best kind. Ghosts and Christmas go together like Marley and Scrooge.
I always love making holidays all dark and depressing. :p it makes me giggle. Glad you came across it - as you pointed out, the short story obviously needed some help. xD

Four sentences in a row begin with the word 'my' for a start, which kills the momentum this fast opening otherwise has. The proliferation of modifiers does the same: this isn't the time or place for description of what the narrator is wearing. For a start, this is first person and so I'd expect to be seeing what's important to the protagonist at the time - and I don't think that your clothes are what would concern you if you're running for your life. For another - and this is something that an alarmingly large number of people don't seem to realise - for the purposes of this story, the physical appearance of your protagonist is completely irrelevant. What you're doing is building a tiny scenario and a portrait of a child's mind; there's no need to tell us what her coat looked like.
That's an interesting point. I'd never really realized her physical appearance was unnecessary, but you're right. My thought process for describing her clothes, though, was really my way of trying to focus on how she really did like some of her Christmas gifts (such as her coat) and how she was wary of the fact she was getting them wet/using them after just receiving them, but I guess I really didn't explain that part, I just sort of included it. That's my bad - and as you mentioned, still is irrelevant.

He kicked a small girl in the stomach? That's got to do more than make her temporarily lose her breath. That might rupture something, or if it hit a little higher, snap a rib. At the very least, she's going to be knocked over backwards. Small children aren't like adults: they're much more fragile.
Nah, it was just a little love-tap. In all reality, fair point. Touché.

I'm also not entirely certain what relation the story has to Sweet Dreams, other than the main action loosely paralleled some of the lines of the chorus. Was there some deeper significance that I missed, or was it merely a clever conceit? Unless I'm being dense and not seeing the real meaning, I think it might actually detract from the story rather than strengthen it, because it makes the reader waste time wondering what on earth is going on.
Honestly, this is a good question. ^^;; I'd been listening to the Emily Browning version of the song non-stop and I just thought it fit the story extremely well. If you're a little girl roaming a town, each line applies to you pretty well.

Lastly, I like your use of Banette; they're overlooked and underappreciated, and along with Shuppet they're one of my favourite Ghost-types (along with pretty much all the others). You're free, of course, to interpret the species in any way you like - but it does seem odd that this Banette chose to protect her. Every single Pokédex entry and other source states that Banette and Shuppet are abandoned toys that become Pokémon because of their resentment and hatred of the children who cast them aside. I would imagine that they're little more than angry thoughts and a vessel that carries them. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to make your Banette a revenge-obsessed human-hater, but it does make it come across a little oddly. It isn't really a problem, but it's something to consider, I suppose.
That was basically the entire reason I forced myself to write this. ^^ I love Banette, but no one seems to realize how creepy and sinister they are. It's fantastic. And I realize that Banette are revenge-obsessed Pokemon bent on finding the child that disowned them, but I also think that when they finally reach the child (especially if that child were, say, crying in a pile of garbage) a deeper side of them may not have the guts to actually cause harm. In regards to your question of really protecting her, though, it's... Not. I guess what I was going for and bear in mind, like I said, this was written at 3 am her feelings of resentment and hatred towards her parents first for not getting her the right gift and then these men sort of attracted the spirit of Banette to her like a magnet and that spirit was able to find her doll and take possession of it after she cast it aside when she fell and didn't go after it, thus "throwing it away" in a loose sense of the term. After that, I thought it would be fun to expand on what a Banette may do once it actually reaches its child. The 'dex entries never say, so I went with a "moving the spirit of vengeance from the doll to her ever-so-slowly" type thing. Now that the doll is with her, the spirit is slowly seeping from it into her until its out of the doll completely.

Oh dear. Sorry for the long reply. xD Anyways, I'm glad you found my work and that you were able to give me those pointers. I'm really happy that you liked it, but it did need some work. You're right. Thanks for all your critiques - yet again, you're the best! :D
 
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