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The Becoming: Chapter 5♣ Chapter 5 ♣
For the third time, I raise my fist and knock on the worn wooden door. I had tried twice already, but no one answered. But just as my paw makes contact with the door, it is thrown open.
“Who is it, eh? What do you want? Go away!” A Medicham stands in the door, a large wooden staff in his hand and a strange relic stone hanging around his neck. His eyes seem unfocused and cloudy, and I assume he is partially if not completely blind.
Before he can shut the door, I respond. “Nodi sent me. She wants me to train under your instruction.”
He pauses and then squints at me. “Nodi, eh? She’s a nice old creature. But I don’t train younglings anymore.”
“Please, sir,” I say. “This is important.”
“Well...what exactly do you want from me?”
“I want to get stronger in a week.”
“A week, eh? That
The Becoming: Chapter 4♣ Chapter 4 ♣
“Hey, Gallant, can you pass me those berries?” We are seated at Nodi’s table, eating breakfast before training.
Predictably, Gallant ignores me and turns her back. I glare at her, and then stretch across the table to grab the berries myself. I wince slightly--my left paw is bruised from a fight. In fact, my entire body is worn down from all the training. I am covered in bandages--they are always present now, covering me like a second layer of skin. I have the scars to prove how hard I've been working--and how dangerous our fights have become.
“Arceus, what’s her problem?” I mutter to Snark, just loud enough so that she can hear me. “First she takes every opportunity to lash out and now she won’t even look at me.”
Snark shrugs, and narrows his eyes. “Who knows why anyone does anything anymore.” He stands, and heads outside. I sigh
The Becoming: Chapter 3♣ Chapter 3 ♣
The following day, Nodi gathers us outside. The sun shines brightly off the ever-present snow; by now, my paws have grown used to the cold, and my eyes to the glare.
“Today we’re going to play a little game. Can you guess what the purpose of this exercise is?” Nodi says.
“To show that Reason can’t hope to ever win a battle?” Gallant guesses with a brief glance in my direction. I shoot her a glare and stick out my tongue at her.
Nodi shakes her head, ignoring the comment. “This game will serve to improve your speed as well as your quick thinking.”
“Who needs speed when you can just sneak up on the opponent?” Snark asks. I glance at the Sneasel. For some reason, he seems to disappear if you don't pay attention to him. It's a bit unnerving, and even more unnerving to see the slash-mark scar across one of his eyes.
“A Pokémon with well-rounded st
The Becoming: Chapter 2♣ Chapter 2 ♣
I stand proudly, facing the others on the snowy plain. Nodi the Nidoqueen and Gallant the Gabite stand across from me. Beside them are Snark the Sneasel and Prior the Prinplup. They all live here, under Nodi’s guidance and instruction, training to become stronger. Today, a week after I arrived here, I am going to join them.
“This is your initiation ceremony, Riolu,” Nodi says. “You will cast off your old name and your old identity, and receive a new identity to live for. Your old life is no more. Are you ready?”
I ball my fists with determination. “I’m ready.”
“Until your training is complete, you shall be known as Reason,” Nodi announces to the other three Pokémon trainees who stand near her. The Prinplup, named Prior, repeats the name as a chant in a friendly voice.
Reason... I turn the name over in my head. I am
The Becoming: Chapter 1♣ Chapter 1 ♣
When I open my eyes, I can make out only a few sparse details in the dim light. The ceiling above me is rough and cracked and made of stone--a cave, perhaps?
My thoughts turn to my own situation. Is this death? I look down at myself. I am lying on a straw mat, with warm blankets piled on top of me. A moment later the sensation of my aching body hits me. My bones feel heavy and my very skin burns even under the thick layer of bandages that cover me. I let out an involuntary groan. If this is the afterlife, it is not what I imagined.
Suddenly, a voice speaks from the darkness. “Finally! I thought you were going to sleep forever." The voice sounds harsh and feminine, and sounds nearby. The sudden exclamation startles me so that I twitch in surprise. I turn to see two glaring yellow eyes watching me in the darkness. A heartbeat later I make out the rest of the creature
The Becoming: Prologue♣ Prologue ♣
There are only two things I can be certain of right now. One: my name is Riolu. And two: I am lost.
I left my trainer two days ago. I wasn’t wanted, that much was clear. My trainer was kind enough to me, but it was my own hasty nature that is to blame for my current situation. I can’t help that I jump into battle so quickly. But my trainer, and her two other Pokémon...they were terrified of me, of the way I threw myself at other Pokémon to fight them on sight. And perhaps I am even terrified of myself.
When I woke up in the Pokémon Center from my most recent skirmish with a Monferno, I was covered in burns, bruises, and bandages. At that point, I decided it was time to leave. No more would I burden my trainer with worry. The best thing I could do for my team was to vanish and never return. I leapt out the nearest window, and escaped into the night.
And now, two d
Poetic PsychosisIn thirty seconds, the next shell would fall. Every night was the same, but every night Lorenzo experienced it as if it were the first time. His throat felt swollen; breathing was hard. He glanced around at the others; young men like him who had been shipped out in the name of honour and freedom. There was no honour in this, no freedom. Only death behind your eyelids, and a fear so gutting, that it carved out your innards and left you a hollow husk. Lorenzo tried to breathe, tried to assure himself that he was still whole, still made of flesh. They had lied when they told him he was ready.
Matteo ran towards him, arms out, rifle swinging uselessly at his side. He shouted for him to run, but Lorenzo remained motionless, unable to move as his friend’s warning was lost in the constant blare of gunfire. None of them were ready.
“The cycle is repeating. It is not safe.” The voice was soft and weak, yet it carried over the gunfire and battle cries without impediment.
longdead leafa longdead leaf
burnt brown in the depth of green
cups a handful of fresh water
a leaf left behind
holds something of worth
forgoing death with its dead body
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