PREVIEW: The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 14

Greetings gentle reader(s),

I know that this is kind of unorthodox, but I’ve been writing and deleting the same two sentences since early January, and I finally came up with something for my next Nuzlocke post. It feels like the dam has broken. I hope this doesn’t come off as too self-indulgent, but I’m really excited to be working again and I’d like to share it with you, if you don’t mind (I also put the boring personal reasons for the delay at the end of this post, so you can just read this preview and skip that hoo-hah if you wish).

Here’s what I’ve got so far:


Pallet Town is so small, so remote, and of so little consequence, that by all rights it should not exist. Like most children who grew up in such places, my swimming did not take place in a “pool”, but a “hole,” and as a reflective child who had very little else to do, I gave a great deal of thought to this distinction during my hours of Summer idleness. I decided that a “swimming pool” must be much cleaner, safer, and generally more civilized than a “swimming hole,” which sounded suspiciously like some sort of trap for reckless swimmers, and besides that, experience had taught me that holes are

1. Dangerous as a rule,

2. almost always dirty, and

3. sometimes have things living in them.

In retrospect, I was wrong on one point: our swimming hole was not a hole at all but in fact a shallow estuary that flowed into the sea along Route 21. I was not wrong, however, about the danger and the dirt and the things and so this was only a small consolation to me.

All the same, every morning in Summer I raced to the swimming hole with the others. It’s a very normal thing for children to run to a swimming hole in hot weather, but we ran with a special desperation, because everyone knew that every single second in the water was precious, and not to be wasted. It was only a matter of time until some poor idiot got himself stung by a Tentacool, curled up in shivering agony on the beach while someone made the barefoot run to get the antivenom from Oak’s lab. As painful as the sting was to its victim, it was never half as dangerous or fast-acting as the ensuing outbreak of mom-panic which would spell the end of our days at the swimming hole, at least until next year. So while the other children splashed and roughhoused with one another, eagerly gulping down mouthfuls of bacteria, I chose wisely to stay within the safety and comfort of the knee-deep shelf near the shore, and I was grateful for even that relief from the heat and the boredom. But I always nurtured a small hope that, one day, I would visit a proper swimming pool where I didn’t have to worry about waterborne microorganisms or being envenomed by the nematocysts of a Poison type lurking just beneath the surface.

That said, the moment I walked into the Cerulean Gym, I decided that I was willing to go home and take my chances with the Tentacool.

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Pathology Report for Subject #24601 Infected with Unidentified Class VI Memetic Virus (Codename BRN-E)

Suggested Musical Reading Accompaniment

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest: A Game for WEAK USA BABIES

One day, I’m going to find the Record Exchange employee who told me to buy Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the Super Nintendo, back when I was nine. He’d be in his early thirties, now. I will corner him in an abandoned alleyway.

“You said it would be ‘LIKE ZELDA!'”

I will shout as my fist connects with his mandible.

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The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 13

Dear PokeDiary,

I woke up on a couch.

I appeared to be in someone’s living room, by myself as far as I could tell. I tried to remember the events that led to me crashing on a sofa, but my recollection of last night was like a sloppy oil painting. Which was odd, because I’m not even close to the legal drinking age, but on the other hand, I did stay up way past my bedtime. There had been a big party, and a lot of food, for both me and my Pokemon, but after that…nothing. I sat up groggily, patting down my jeans and trainer’s jacket to make sure all of my belongings were still there. My Pokeballs were empty. A flash of panic: Could I have underestimated those idiots…?

Then I spotted Mr. Suds. He was curled up at the bottom of a large fish tank, bubbles rising lazily to the surface from the corner of his mouth. I shuffled across the carpet, still half asleep, and rapped on the glass.

“Hey! Rise and shine. We’ve got to get going.” He stretched and yawned, sending forth a cascade of bubbles, then stood up gingerly and poked his head out of the water. He regarded me with half-lidded eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s real comfortable in there, but unless you want to eat fish food for the rest of your life, we’re going to have to leave eventually. And take off those ridiculous-” Oh yeah! He had ears now. “Uh, never mind, actually. Let’s go find your teammates.”

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Side Project – Dark Souls: Prepare to Tweet

He has no idea.

I’m Still Here…Sort Of

To anyone out there who’s still reading this:

1. Whoops, has it been three weeks already since I updated? How the time flies. Yeah, this semester is a total bitch, because college, finishing two majors, first world problems, blah blah blah. The point is, I don’t have nearly as much time to work on this blog as I did previously.

2. That doesn’t mean I’m calling it quits, though. There is a Pocket Monster Diaries 13, and it is mostly done. In keeping with tradition, I’m probably going to post it next Saturday, though it may go up earlier if it’s finished before then.

3. I’m going to try moving to a biweekly schedule, with PMD updates every other Saturday. I really can’t predict how much time I’m going to have in a given week or when inspiration will strike, so between main updates there could possibly be shorter, bonus updates, which may or may not be related to Pockets or the Monsters contained therein.

4. Fortunately (maybe?), I scheduled all the hard classes for the Fall, so hopefully I’ll be a little more free starting around December or so. Weekly updates are still rather a task at the best of times, though, so I’ll probably keep the biweekly schedule at least a little ways into the Spring, just to see how things go. The most important thing is to keep writing regularly, like a well-oiled machine. Or at least like a haphazardly-oiled machine that still somehow manages to work 90% of the time.

Pokemon Spotlight: Crawdaunt

We all know that Crawdaunt is great. But exactly why it’s so great has remained an inscrutable mystery for years now.

Well, from this day forward you may consider the mystery fully scruted! By joining forces with a crack team of Pokemon researchers, we here at The Hoot Booth have discovered the secrets of Crawdaunt’s skull-exploding greatness. In the spirit of science, we now invite the Pokemon community to examine our findings below. We hope that you find them both entertaining and educational.

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The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 12

Dear PokeDiary,

Without any leads on where G’yorp disappeared to, I headed back to the Pokemon center. While I was waiting to get my Pokemon back, I overheard two guys, perhaps a little older than me, talking over coffee at one of the tables scattered around the waiting room.

“-there was this crashing noise loud enough to wake the dead, and all the time this hooting and shouting was going on. All of a sudden this kid bursts out of the door followed by a whole herd of Pokemon, with this huge plume of smoke billowing out behind him.”

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The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 11

Dear PokeDiary,

Ever since I emerged from the caves of Mt. Moon I was focused on getting to Cerulean City as fast as possible. As tired as I was after that subterranean ordeal, I refused to let my pace slacken. Fortunately, I didn’t run into any time-consuming battles along the way, and the city was a pretty straight shot from the cavern exit. But to be perfectly honest, now that I’m finally here…I kind of just want to take a nap somewhere.

Somewhere without Zubats.

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The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 10

Dear PokeDiary,

How long have I been wandering in these nightmarish caverns? It’s impossible to say. This place is built like a labyrinth, and its twisting passages seem to distort my perception of space and time. It feels like I’ve been walking for miles, but these tunnels look so similar to me that I could end up back where I started and I’d never be able to tell. Sometimes I feel like it would be pointless to go on.

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