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.
There, just wanted to prove that I wasn’t dead, and that I still give a crap about this story, at least. If you want to know the truth, I had something of a fanfiction crisis of faith in recent months. Although I realize that there IS good fanfiction out there, as well as bad fanfiction (so, SO much bad fanfiction), I’ll admit that I have always been something of a writing snob at heart. It comes with being an English major, I guess. So it came as a serious shock to me, and probably only to me, when I realized that what I had been writing since last April (i.e. The Pocket Monster Diaries), while intended at first to be just kind of a jokey screenshot run with narration, would probably be perceived by most of the world at large as fanfiction, because even though it stars an original character, it takes place in the licensed world of Pokemon™, and so oh my God it IS fanfiction and OH JESUS I’M A FANFIC WRITER HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AUUUUGGGH WHAT HAVE I BECOME
Anyway, the important thing is that I grew some balls, drank a steaming mug of humility, and got over myself. Yes, I’ll probably want to write original fiction someday, but there’s no reason that playing around with and deconstructing a fictional universe can’t be both fun and a good writing exercise, which is all it takes to make something worthwhile in my book.
So now that I’ve overcome this obstacle that I made up and inflicted on myself, it’s time to start getting back on a semi-regular writing schedule, and if this hunk of text I produced this afternoon is any indication, I’m on my way to doing just that.
Fair warning: due to unforeseen circumstances, this chapter is probably going to be necessarily depressing, overwrought, and melodramatic, which are all qualities I’ve tried to leaven with humor in the past, but hoooooo boy do I have my work cut out for me this time. However, I’ve come way too far to falter now, so wish me luck folks. I’m diving back in after a long dry spell, and I’m not coming back up for air until I hit rock bottom.
– Toasty Out