1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

Berries [one-shot]

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by Dramatic Melody, May 8, 2013.

  1. Warning: This one-shot has implied abuse. I've already ran this through bobandbill and he says it's okay for posting, so yeah.

    I've had the idea for this one-shot in one of my notebooks for a long while now, and I figured that I might as well finish it since I have some free time right now. And I found it neat that I'm posting it five years after I started posting my other fic, Stars. So yeah, talk about a really cool coincidence. XD

    The form is loosely based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's "In A Grove", but the plot, as you have noticed / will notice, is based on what is IMO one of the creepiest plots in Pokemon: Lostelle and Hypno. I always thought that this was a very dark plot that was severely watered down because of rating issues, so I tried to rehash it into the kind of story that I think it should be.

    Comments and criticism are very much appreciated. Thank you for reading. :)


    A Nurse, Three Island Pokemon Center

    Good afternoon! Welcome to the Pokemon Center. What can I do for you?

    A researcher? Oh my! We rarely get visitors like you in this town, for Three Island is one of the more uninteresting places to visit in the archipelago. People like you usually visit the ruins on Six and Seven Island, or the volcano on One Island, or even the cave on Four Island. So what would a curious mind like you be doing here?

    Oh, you are interested in the myth? Well, I must apologize, ma’am, coz I don’t know much about it myself. I don’t go out to the forest because I’m almost always here in this center. Perhaps the trainers around the town might help? I bet that they have been to the forest far more than I have.

    You’re welcome, ma’am. We hope to see you again!


    A Picnicker, Three Island Pokemon Center

    Ack, why would you be interested in that fairy tale? I hate it! I hate it so much! Why? Because it puts Berry Forest in such a bad name, that’s why!

    It’s a very beautiful forest, in case you were wondering! It has the most exquisite trees of all shades of green and yellow. And the berries! My, they don’t call it Berry Forest for nothing! It has the most delicious berries in the entire archipelago. Heck, in the entire region! You can eat them raw, but the best way to enjoy them is to make fresh Berry Juice. Oh, all the flavors will leave you craving!

    And all the Pokemon are ever so nice. Not like what that, that ridiculous fairy tale says! Even the little creepy-crawlies who are supposed to look icky; why, they make the forest all the more beautiful than it already is! Why, without them, the ground wouldn’t be as fertile, and the trees wouldn’t be as bountiful, and there wouldn’t be any food for the Pokemon to eat! See, it’s a wonderful cycle of life. Did anyone mention that in your stupid story? I didn’t think so—

    Hey, where are you going! I haven’t even mentioned anything about the picnic spots! Come back here!


    A Clerk, Three Island PokeMart

    Welcome ma’am! How may I help you?

    I’m sorry ma’am, but I don’t know anything about that myth. But would you be interested instead in our Premier Ball promo? Ten Pokeballs get you one Premier Ball for free! Eleven balls for the price of ten! How great of a deal is that?

    Is there anything else I could help you with? How about a pack of Full Heals? For 600 a bottle, your Pokemon would appreciate the scent of this magnificent bottle and unlike any of those pesky berries you wouldn’t risk giving them food poisoning!

    Thank you, and please come again!


    A Hiker, Three Island PokeMart

    Ah, one of those curious minds, eh?

    Can’t blame you. In the three years I’ve been living in this here town, there’s been a lot o’ folks like you going here curious about the ol’ forest’s myth. No one really knows what goes on in that forest, and so many kinds of stories are told by the people here. But one thing we’re all sure off is that it has to do with Lostelle.

    Ah, heard of Lostelle, eh? Must’ve heard of her from one of the Champion’s interviews, I reckon. Well, the Champion’s right in that she saved that lil’ girl from the monster, but that’s not everythin’ there is to it. See, Lostelle might be the most famous, but she ain’t the first lil’ girl to be saved. Even before the Champion came here, there’s been a lot o’ reports of damsels in distresses who go missin’ one night only to be found the mornin’ after, most o’ ‘em bein’ lassies or picnickers or little ladies. And people say that they always look like they’ve seen somethin’ so terrifying. The Champion’s tale became famous because he’s the first one to save the damsel at night and actually see the monster, though Lostelle didn’t look any better from the others. And because of that, Berry Forest was sealed off from common folk for some time, only bein’ available to the strongest of trainers until people started complainin’.

    Well, you don’ really forget stories like this, ‘specially when you hear it all the time. Ask around town and you’re bound to find someone who knows way more than I do. You’ll have to be real lucky to find someone who knows one o’ those damsels, though.

    You’re very welcome, young lady. Have a nice day yourself.


    A Mother, Three Island Residences

    And what brings you here, miss?

    Why, of course, please have a seat. I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.


    I’m sorry, miss, but I would prefer not to talk about it.

    Yes, you did push a few buttons. Please see yourself out. Thank you and have a nice day.


    A Psychic, Three Island Residences

    I did not expect any unusual visitors today. Who might you be?

    Oh, a researcher, you say? You do not look like one, if I am being completely honest. I would have expected a lab coat or a pair of spectacles, or really anything that would make you look more professional.

    I am sorry, did that offend you? Yes, it did, I am terribly sorry. Let me make it up to you. You said you were researching something. Is your research perhaps about the tale of Berry Forest?

    I am a Psychic, you see. A practicing one, yes, but my mentor is Sabrina, and one cannot get a better mentor than she. The look in your eyes and your profession is enough to reveal your intentions. Come, sit, have some tea.

    A careful one, I see? You are a smart girl, then. If only I could say the same for the other girls in these towns, then the tale would not be as interesting. In fact, there would not be a tale at all if carefulness was upheld around here.

    Yes, yes of course. I am sure you have heard about the Champion’s interview regarding Lostelle? Well, the monster that is being referred to is rumored to be a Pokemon, and a malefic one at that. They say that it only comes out at night, using convincing disguises and illusions to trick victims into submission, and with its ghastly powers it corrupts them and leaves them in a state of trauma and fear that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. The many victims that attest to this have led to the Forest’s brief closure from outsiders, though the many people who depend on the Forest’s generous supply of berries have caused it to be reopened.

    No, there have been no reports recently, though I foresee that the last report of that cruel monster is far from being reached. One could not simply stop a Pokemon from getting what it wants, especially one as terrible as that monster.

    I must apologize, I did not mean to scare you. Please, would you like some more tea?

    All right then, I hope that was helpful. Good luck with your research.


    An Elderly Woman, Three Island Residences

    Are you the researcher, perhaps? Word goes around quickly in this town, and it isn’t hard to spot someone who isn’t a regular.

    Why, child, would you be interested in such a dark story? I myself use it to scare the children from wandering into the forest alone, and I haven’t seen it fail at all. If there’s any good in it, it gives the island a sense of security and alertness that could only be possible by such a threat.

    Oh, you do not actually believe the story, do you? Of course it’s only a story! Why, I would find it quite amusing if it turned out to be true.

    Lostelle? I am sure she was merely exaggerating. Berry Forest can get quite scary in the dark, but terrifying monsters and traumatized victims? Child, you mustn’t trouble yourself with such fantasies. The “victims” that people say are merely curious little girls who have eaten the wrong berries and got themselves sick. Eating some Pokemon berries can do quite a number of things to your mind. Why, Lostelle and the other girls must have just stuffed themselves with some unripe or infected berries, and it has turn into this whole drama about a monster in the forest.

    Child, of course it is impractical to let children wander in the forest alone. People merely latched into this story because it would be the perfect warning. For all we know, it could be a ploy by some environmentalists to preserve Berry Forest or a rumor started by a greedy farmer who wants all the berries to himself.

    All right, child. Good afternoon to you too.


    A Tuber, Bond Bridge

    Hi pretty lady! Do you want to battle?

    Oh, all right then. But what brings you out here to Bond Bridge?

    Ooh, you’re going to Berry Forest? I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to go there, but whenever I ask my mom if she could take me, she would tell me all these scary stories about the Berry Forest monster and she would just get lost in her rambling. I know it’s dangerous, and I know all about the stories, but hey, I have my Pokemon with me, and I know that they’ll protect me from any monster! With Staryu’s Bubblebeam and Krabby’s Vicegrip, nothing can stop us!

    Hey, hey, I just got a great idea! You’re going to Berry Forest, right? Well, why don’t I come along with you? It’ll be much safer if you have a companion with you, and I’ll finally get to see Berry Forest in all its glory! I could pick berries and catch Pokemon and take pictures and do so many things! What do you say? Pleeease?

    Hmph, okay then. But the next time we see each other, we’re gonna battle, whether you like it or not!


    An Aroma Lady, Bond Bridge

    Ma’am! Ma’am! MAAAA’AAAAM!

    Phew, I got your attention just in time. Are you planning to go into Berry Forest alone at this hour? That is a very, very bad idea, ma'am, and I urge you not to go in there at all.

    Ma’am, no matter who you are, it is very dangerous for anyone to go into that forest alone, moreso for a lady, and especially at this time of day. I’m sure a researcher like you would have heard all about the tales of Berry Forest, and, and… I couldn’t imagine anyone going into that forest after that, especially alone!

    Ma’am, please lend me your ears for just a minute. In the many days I’ve trained around here day in and day out, I have heard so many strange noises coming out of that forest very recently, and they aren’t really noises that would invite anyone to come in. Sometimes I hear footsteps stepping on branches even though I haven’t seen anyone enter the forest the entire day, and other times you could hear different kinds of crying. It’s all very mysterious and shady and unsafe, so I really don’t think you should go in there.

    I understand, but what you jeopardize your safety over that? Look at what happened to Lostelle – she made national news because of all the terrors she witnessed after being saved from this very forest. Do you want the same thing happening to you?

    All right then, but I tried to warn you in every way possible. Please take care, and always be cautious of whatever you find in there.


    A Man, Berry Forest

    Why, young lady, what are you doing here all by yourself?

    Ah, forgive me for startling you, madam, but one does not see young ladies like you alone in this forest very often. You know it’s dangerous here, yes? I’m sure you’ve heard of the stories about the monster in the forest. So what brings you here, lovely lady?

    Well, that’s a nice set of berries you’ve got there, that’s for sure. But why would you be out picking berries this late at night? I’m sure that you could’ve waited until tomorrow morning to do that. So what’s the real reason you’re here?

    Ah, a researcher! My, my, it is very rare that researchers visit this forest, much less a female one. Indeed, all I see around here are farmers and trainers, and that is if I actually get the chance to see someone else. Would you mind sharing to me what you're researching about?

    Oh, you don't have to be so doubtful. I'm just making conversation, that's all. Besides, your expression says it all; you're curious about whether or not the monster truly exists, am I correct?

    Oh, what's the rush? Surely the few minutes you have been here is very insufficient for a curious mind like you. Why, of course I would notice how long you have been here, for it isn't often I come across anyone here, much less someone who is easily approachable. The rest are always men who look like they would arrest anyone they see. Why, the last person who I've talked to here was Lostelle.

    Why of course I know that little girl! Well, perhaps she isn't so little anymore considering it's been years since I've last seen her. We used to see each other every day before the whole hullabaloo about the monster that attacked her. Next thing I know, her whole family's being interviewed on TV.

    Oh, the monster? Well I'm afraid I haven't seen it up close myself, but it is quite scary when I come here all alone. There's always the feeling that somebody's watching you, you know? That somebody's out there to get you. That's why I always keep myself on guard in my daily berry pickup. I always make sure I don't attract too much attention or else the monsters might just come get me.

    What's that, did I say monsters? Pardon me, mademoiselle, just a careless slip of the tongue. I meant monster, of course. Bless this forest if there were several monsters who haunt it every night! That would really be an unfortunate situation!

    What? I didn't hear anything. Perhaps my eerie stories have taken a toll on your imagination, young lady. Making you hear things you aren't supposed to hear. Sense things you aren't supposed to sense. Let's try to get that out of your head, eh? So what made you want to research about the Berry Forest monster?

    What's the hurry, dear girl? There's nothing to be afraid of. Look, I'll prove it to you. HELLO! IS ANYONE THERE?

    See? Nothing at all. If there was anything they would have come for us right away. But there's nothing in sight, so there's no need to worry about anything.

    Hmm? What do you see?

    Ah, but those are only Hypno, my darling. There isn't anything monstrous about them. Look at those friendly grins on their mouths. Why, those eyes say that all they want to do is be your friend. And wouldn’t you like that, dear? Wouldn’t you like that?

    Now now, there’s no need to get worked up. You just stay calm, and listen to me. Yes, stay calm. Breathe in and out. Now look at me straight in the eye. Well, there’s no need to look at me so tensely. Just relax and focus on what’s on my hand.



    Now, do as I say. Come closer, mademoiselle.

    Yes, my dear lost elle. Yes, come closer.

    Good girl.


    A Police Officer, Three Island Pokemon Center

    Madam, madam, are you all right?

    Madam, please, you have to focus. You have to consider yourself very lucky that this Aroma Lady called us just in time, so please, answer our questions. What is it exactly that you saw? How did your attacker look like?

    Madam, take a few deep breaths. Could someone get this lady a glass of water? Please, hurry up!

    Now, could you tell us exactly what you saw? Just start giving us details you remember and we'll do the rest. Yes, anything at all would be very helpful.

    All right, so he was very tall, correct? And he was wearing what color? Yellow, all right. What else did you see?

    I’m sorry, they? You mean you saw many creatures?

    Yes, yes madam, of course I believe you. But, please, you have to relax and focus. What else did you see?

    Several berries, uh-huh. Would you remember what kinds of berries they are?

    No, of course it’s okay. What else did you see?

    Shadows, of course. And you say they were very scary?

    Madam, of course I do not doubt anything that you say. These questions are for your own good. The police department needs all of the information it can get so we can pinpoint the problem. Now, please.



    Wait, madam, don’t go! You’re too exhausted! No, madam, please! Come back!
  2. Deadly.Braviary

    Deadly.Braviary Well-Known Member

    Hmm, that was an interesting read. The format of a one-sided conversation is quite interesting. It's like a sort of subverted Skype call; the person you're speaking to speaks, and you type instead. The character of the researcher, unfortunately, suffers a little for this; you don't learn much about her personality, about who she is. We'd care for her more if we knew more about her and why she was doing what she was doing. I do like the manner in which everyone speaks, though: it sounds quite like what you'd expect from people speaking in FR/LG. Quite a nice touch there; God is in the details, as they say. The dark themes were spectacularly well-done, subtle, yet overt to those who look for them - and they were so very vague. As mentioned at the beginning, I think they had something to do with abuse? But I personally interpreted it as some form of substance abuse. The title and the Hitman: Blood Money mission I'd been playing (involving a CIA agent sedated and hidden in a substance-abuse rehab clinic) probably had something to do with that. Psyches more twisted than mine will most likely read a darker story than I have ... Anyway, you've done a fantastic job showing the 'dark side' of the games, in my opinion.

    So, overall, that was ... well, I wouldn't call it fun, but it was entertaining, in a demented way. A little eerie towards the end - as close to G-rated psychological horror as you can get - but otherwise, if you were trying to make it scary, you mostly missed the mark. Also, your endinh confused me a little; I couldn't quite make out what on earth was happening with all that "Relax. Focus" stuff. Still, I liked it. Nice job!

  3. AcidArmor

    AcidArmor Active Member

    This brought back all sorts of nostalgia from playing my FR version all those years back rescuing that little girl from that wild Hypno. I enjoyed the grim atmosphere you portrayed in some of the main character's "conversations" with the islanders regarding Lostelle. I got a bit carried away and dove right into the story without reading the disclaimer and noticed that you were sparkling the story with hints of quite a dark theme but it's written in such a way that it doesn't cross that line. Kind of like a fairy tale (well actually those were outright violent at times, but it has the same feel). That's a definite plus. Naturally, something was bound to happen to the MC then you went ahead and introduced the man in the Berry Forest and well, his dialogue/monologue was beyond creepy especially towards the end of his segment (then I scrolled up and saw implied abuse and let out a great big "ohhhh" heh).

    I have a terrible sense of humor and will laugh at anything so naturally, when the man commented on the main character's nice set of berries, I was laughing for quite a bit so kudos for that xD

    Well, this was a nice short read. I'll take a look at some of your other works some time.
  4. aswertyuiol

    aswertyuiol Cold turkey.

    Such as AcidArmor, this story reminds me of Mystery Dungeon when you have to save Azurill from Drowzee. It's very well-written, and her 'nice berries'? Is he talking about her cherries? ;)
  5. Very interesting point, and one I will take note of. I should have used some of the dialogues to flesh out her personality more, which I feel I can infuse in their reactions seeing as I somewhat try to achieve this in the Tuber Girl [though, as you point out, this is far less than enough]. As for knowing why she was doing what she was doing... I dunno if it's just me, but I feel like this is something she won't reveal to people. Maybe I can put it in the Hypno's dialogue though seeing as he's a psychic and all.

    Thank you! Probably one of the hardest things I had to do with this one-shot was to make the abuse as subtle as possible, but without crossing the line of being too unsaid that it becomes ridiculous. I was close to not putting up that kind of warning in the first part [in that I'd just say it's a disturbing fic and that people should take caution], but rules are rules so XD The fact that you got a different reading isn't a problem at all; in fact, I'm actually happy about it, since that means the one-shot could be read in more than one way.

    I don't think I wanted it to be scary - "G-rated psychological horror" isn't how I'd put it, but that's much closer to what I was trying to do. While I do want to elicit some sort of fear, I'm gunning more towards making the reader slowly realize how dark this whole ordeal is and then putting them into a state of dread with that second-to-the-last part. I think "thriller" would be a better term, but I'm not all too familiar with either genre, so I'd rather call it a one-shot about abuse. XD As for the "Relax. Focus." stuff, it was an attempt to capitalize on trauma, adding to the dread that I hope the reader would already be feeling by the time they get to that part. I'll take note on how that can be further improved, though.

    Thank you! I'm glad that you said that it works kind of like a fairy tale, because one of the working titles for this one-shot was "A Tale", and it was gonna take a more fairy-tale route than this in that the part with the Hypno will actually be more graphic [I ended up going with this because I really wanted to use this form, which meant I couldn't be as graphic as I wanted to be, so yeah]. I'm also happy that you felt the creepiness, but that last part of your comment - does that mean that you didn't sense that it was abuse before you read the warning?

    XD I'm glad you caught that. Yes, it was intended, though I knew it might sound a bit too ridiculous seeing as I felt like I was pushing the "Berries" image too far. Glad you liked it, though. And aswertyuiol, that's actually another good plot [then again the MD games have the best plots so yeah], but that felt more like a kidnapping rather than implied abuse. Or maybe it was just how we don't really get a sense of what happens because the heroes save the day before Drowzee gets a chance to do anything [whereas in the Lostelle story, the dialogue in the games sounds like it's been going on for quite a while before the hero comes in]. But, hey, we can totally read that as something far more sinister, so yeah, thanks for the idea! XD

    D: Thank you! I'm a bit nervous seeing as they're all really bad [not that this isn't. This could use a lot more improvement, as you can see above], but I do hope you try to enjoy yourself. XD

    Thank you very much for the comments Deadly.Braviary, AcidArmor, and aswertyuiol! I really appreciate it. :)
  6. aswertyuiol

    aswertyuiol Cold turkey.

    No problem, Dramatic Melody! Yeah, I thought the Drowzee kidnapping Azurill was purposely made with slightly adult intentions, because Azurill looks very innocent and Drowzee is one of the scariest Pokemon in Gen 1 with a lot of Creepypasta surrounding it and Hypno! I'm happy you like my idea :)
  7. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me Staff Member Moderator

    Hmm. This has a unique and interesting format and you do it pretty well, with the different voices of the characters the researcher talks to and making the sinister implications clear without quite stating anything explicitly.

    However, I can't help but think it's not quite the right format for this particular story (or, alternatively, not quite the right story for the format). If the researcher's experience really didn't matter and the entirety of the story were simply testimonies that the reader has to piece together to find out what is going on (as is the case with In a Grove), the format would shine - we'd essentially take on the role of the researcher, gathering information from different people and then working out from that what really happened. But this format can't highlight the experience of the researcher at all if you do need to, and that means that when you make her experience relevant by having her meet the 'monster' first-hand, the format can't properly communicate any of that.

    What's left unsaid can of course often be more powerful than what is stated explicitly, which is why I completely agree with the decision to have the "A Man" scene 'fade to black' rather than showing what they actually did to her, and why I believe the format would work well if the researcher were only a passive collector of information and instead of the last two scenes we had more testimonies that only implied what went on on the forest. But when the researcher is personally involved, it's just weird to have the narration forcibly distance itself from her so completely - it detaches the reader from what should be a hair-raisingly horrifying scene and lessens its impact. We don't have any means of empathizing with her terror when we know her so indirectly, and ultimately, while the scene is creepy, there is little or no visceral horror in it.

    But otherwise this isn't bad, like I said, and I could be entirely wrong. I just feel like it has a bit of lost potential.
    Last edited: May 10, 2013

  8. This is a very valid point actually, and one I can say is my fault because I'm not all too familiar with horror as a genre myself, which is why the content succumbed because I was more eager to try out the form. I get your point that the distance created by the form doesn't go well with the supposed effect of the story - the distancing becomes a hindrance as to how the story could be read, seeing as the overall effect of the piece is to achieve a sense of fear.

    That being said, I'm still half-in-half about your suggestion on what kind of story it is most effective in, in that what you suggest plays too similar to In A Grove and IMO I don't just wanna rip off from such a great story, which is partly why I wanted to make the researcher more involved in the plot than in the Akutagawa piece. Granted, this one-shot doesn't maximize the form given the kind of content it deals with, but I would rather not simply transpose what In A Grove was doing to the Lostelle-Hypno plot. Making the researcher more involved actually came off to me as something that could have highlighted that Hypno scene more when I was working on the story, since I assumed that creating psychological fear needs a deeper connection between the reader and the protagonist. But I obviously need to do a lot of research on how to inject horror in prose; at least now I know to be much more careful with the form I'm using.

    Thank you very much for the helpful review, Dragonfree! I really appreciate it. :)
  9. Shymain

    Shymain Shaymin Lover

    This is an amazing story. I love the unique style, how everything seems normal- but not quite... One disturbance... then the next... and the next... Until suddenly, you're trapped, surrounded by shadows. Wow.

    In a sense, it's almost as if the man in the woods was a part of her- refused to stop looking for the rumors, edging into the shadows, wanting just to peek... Then submerged in trouble.

    The only downside is that the character development sort of suffers from this.

    Keep writing!


  10. Thank you for the review, Shymain! Your reading's actually a really interesting one, and it could add to how I was gunning for the story to be a psychological experience. As for character development, I've been thinking of ways for the protagonist to be shown more without actually being, uhh, shown. XD The story right now only uses implied conversations, but I'm looking at employing more in them like in the reactions of the different people or in how they address her.

Share This Page