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Deli's Delivery Service

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by NebulaDreams, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. NebulaDreams

    NebulaDreams A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden

    Hello guys, here's a Christmas themed one shot that was inspired by the Yuletide event, but is in no way competing with any of the entries listed here. It's the first fic like this I've posted on the internet, so all criticism is welcome.

    Deli's Delivery Service

    The last thing on Deli the Delibird’s mind was to break out of the comfort of his trainer’s bedroom, especially when it was approaching Yuletide.

    It had everything he needed and more. A pellet dispenser to feed himself twice throughout the day, a water cooler he and his trainer shared, a bed of his own he was slightly too big for but could still sleep in, and the company of his trainer, Perry, at his side to play video games with, even if his lack of hands didn’t give him much control over the gamepad. Nevertheless, the two spent each day in that room, interrupted every so often by Perry’s mother who’d come in with his dinner. Deli wouldn’t have it any other way. Or so he thought.

    The day started like any other. Deli huddled up next to Perry as they shared the same blanket, watching him play on the handheld gaming device Deli could never remember the name of. Perry’s skin felt cold to the touch, but it didn’t seem to bother him as he was fixated on the screen, facing off against a player from another part of the region. He was down to his last Pokémon, outmatched by the other opponent who still had four to spare. Deli paid no attention to the strategy of the game, but focused on the two health bars instead. The enemy’s Pokémon attacked with a Hyper Beam. Perry’s life bar depleted in one fell swoop.

    Before Perry saw his last Pokémon faint, the screen turned to black. He closed his device and threw it against the bedspread.

    “What a noob! That win was just a fluke! He just spammed his most powerful moves!”

    Perry turned to Deli.

    “You saw that, didn’t you? He killed me with one hit!”

    Deli nodded.

    “Total amateur!” Perry flung the blanket out of Deli’s reach and jumped out of bed, wrapping it around him like a gown. He peeked through the curtain of his window, casting a bright light into the often dark room. He closed it, and the only source of light left in the room was artificial. He grumbled.

    “All this snow sucks,” he said, “Wish it would go away, not that it gives us an excuse to go out, does it?”

    Deli didn’t answer. He plonked out of bed and waddled to the other side of the room. He tried to reach up to the window with his flippers, but the sill was slightly out of his range.

    “You want to see?”

    Perry grabbed hold of Deli and slowly lifted him up, grunting. He let go and took a deep breath.

    “Oof. when was the last time we measured you?”

    Deli tugged at his side, kneading a paw-load of body fat. He couldn’t answer, but he remembered the last time he had to go for a check up at the Pokémon centre, which was a season ago.

    “Doesn’t matter. I’m no stud myself.”

    Perry opened the curtain, revealing the snow topped Lumiose City to Deli. Aside from the usual sight of the tower that stood defiantly from the rest of the buildings, the streets were packed with trainers and their Pokémon as they scrambled to get the last of their Yuletide presents. Some trainers exited shops overloaded with bags of various knick knacks while their Pokémon carried the rest. Other trainers stopped to put them inside their spacious bags, stuffing bikes, TVs and many other huge presents into what Deli could only conclude was a wormhole that led to a different dimension.

    The sky was just as populated. Various Postmon of different shapes and sizes carried backpacks with them and graciously glided in and out of the city to deliver parcels. Wingulls, Pellipers and even Dragonites soared through the air, plus many other flying Pokémon that flocked together in teams. After a while, Deli stared off into the distance, ignoring the presence of Perry who clicked away at his desktop.

    It had also been a season since he last delivered a parcel as part of the Postmon service. Although he was still technically part of the staff, he had no obligation to complete any task given to him unless his trainer was desperate for supplies in return, which never happened. The anklet beeped occasionally, but only with a non-urgent yellow flash, so for all he knew, it was gathering dust on the shelf in the kitchen where he last left it without consequence. He wasn’t sure if he missed being a part of the service, but he wasn’t keen to find out.

    “Hey,” Perry said, snapping Deli out of his daydream. “Some people are having trouble getting their stuff delivered on time.”

    Deli cocked his head at Perry, who turned to read from the screen.

    “‘The Yuletide is almost at its end. As customers rush to buy their last minute gifts, there’s been an unexpected spike in orders recently, to the point that Postmon services around the region are understaffed. As a result, many have experienced delays of up to three days for deliveries, which means some might not get their presents delivered in time for the day.’”

    Perry shrugged.

    “Sucks to be them, I suppose.”

    Suddenly, footsteps tapped outside the room, accompanied by a faint beeping noise. The closer they got, the noise turned into an alarm that rang through the walls of Perry’s room. Then, the door swung open. Perry’s mother entered, out of breath and holding something in her hand. The two cupped their ears.

    “Mom,” Perry shouted, “Knock first, please!”

    “Shut your mouth, Perry!” She snapped. “Deli, this is for you!”

    Perry’s mother revealed the item she held which flashed red in her palm. It was Deli’s anklet. Without hesitation, she approached Deli and grabbed hold of his foot. She buckled it on and the beeping noise stopped. She smiled.

    “I guess this is your time to shine. Make sure you get back before it’s Yuletide, yes?”

    Deli slowly nodded, unsure of how to respond. Her cheery facade dropped, and she turned to slap Perry’s shoulder.

    “Get off that computer and help me downstairs, Perry!”

    “But Mom!”

    “Were you off to a gym battle or something?”

    “No, but...”

    “Then move it and get dressed!”

    “Alright, alright!”

    Perry shifted out of his seat and grabbed a handful of clothes, then left his room. His mother sighed as she went to stroke Deli’s beak.

    “Honestly,” she said, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him these past few months.” She stopped petting him and opened the window.

    “Come on, my hands are going to freeze.”

    Deli wasn’t sure what to make of the situation. He didn’t know if he could fly after such a long period of inactivity. The distance wasn’t the problem as he only needed to fly for ten minutes to the post office, but his weight concerned him. Nevertheless, Deli waddled to the edge of the window and expanded his wings. They felt heavy to him like they weren’t his own.

    “Good luck.”

    Deli leapt off, expecting the wind to carry him, but instead, he dropped in altitude and headed straight for the ground below. His weight no longer supported his ability to glide, and he plummeted mere inches away from becoming pavement pizza. With one desperate push, he flapped his wings and elevated himself slightly above the ground. He gave several more pushes and he was up in the air again. The more he pushed however, the harder it was to breathe so he kept at a low altitude slightly above the crowd of busy shoppers and headed for the edge of the city at the North Boulevard.

    When Deli arrived at the post office, he fell into a bed of snow. His lungs felt as if they would collapse in on themselves, or that his wings would snap off if he tried to move them again. He ignored the passers-by and waited until he caught his breath to enter the building.

    Deli weaved through the long line that snaked in from the cold outdoors into a very long hallway with only a few humans behind the counters. Everyone at the front of the line quarrelled with the staff about their missing package, sometimes threatening them with their Pokémon, and once they left in a huff, the cycle continued with the next person in line.

    If memory served Deli correctly, he would only need to enter the back room from the side of the queue and check in with the Chief Postmonster. He still didn’t have a clue about why he was sent there in the first place after so much inactivity. He took a deep breath and entered the office.

    The room, as he remembered it, was filled to the brim with packages in one end and many different Postmon taking them out and exiting out the other through a large opening for all of them to fit through that faced Route 14. In the middle of the chaos was the Chief Postmonster of Lumiose City, Donovan the Dodrio, each three heads barking orders in three distinctive voices at the same time.

    Deli’s heart pounded as he approached him. Would he even recognise him, and if so, how badly would he chew him out? Best case scenario: he wouldn’t remember and he would let him off the hook. But the anklet never forgot those who skipped on a red warning.

    Deli waited in line of the other Postmon, hoping he would encounter the side nicknamed Chill Don. After five minutes of waiting, he was second in line behind a Goodra that left a trail of slimy footprints.

    “Hello Treacle!” Chill Don said, “Sure is a busy day! Sorry you had to come out on such short notice!”

    “Naw, naw, not to worry!” Treacle said, “Ain’t much happening where I’m from anyway!”

    “Fair enough. Turn around, please.”

    Treacle turned, almost whipping Deli in the face with her tail, and Chill Don placed various packages into her customised backpack, then zipped it up with his beak.

    “Take this to that house at the top! Don’t get possessed on the way!”

    “I’ll try not ta!” Treacle tipped her blue cap to Donovan and swiftly turned to the exit, giving Deli a face full of spine. He fell on his back and desperately flailed on the floor, trying to get up but not knowing how, he looked rather pathetic.

    “Move it,” A Pigeot called.

    “I, I can’t!” Deli cried, “Help me!”

    A beak clamped down on Deli’s arm and tossed him into the air. Deli landed on his feet, not hurt in the slightest with the only injury being wounded pride. The culprit only left a path of goo in her wake.

    “Move. It.”

    The Pigeot prodded Deli’s back, pushing him forward into the front of the queue. He stepped into Treacle’s slime pile on the way and winced.

    “Why hello!” Chill Don said, “I don’t think I know your name!”

    Deli looked down at his feet, still covered with gunk.

    “A-actually, it’s...”

    “Oh!” Chill Don interrupted, “Donovan might know! Wait right there!”

    Chill Don turned to the two of his other heads, chatting back and forth so quickly that Deli couldn’t tell which head was talking. Then, all three heads faced him; not only Chill Don, but Dangerous Don and Ennui Don as well.

    “Oh, you’re Deli,” Ennui Don said. “You gained a lot of weight. Wonderful.”

    “Fatty, more like!” Dangerous Don said. “I thought you would’ve turned in your anklet by now! Not that you have any choice in the matter since you’re here!”

    “I, I,” Deli struggled to counter Dangerous Don, the side of Don he had trouble with the most.

    “Listen, Fatty! We need you to drop these packages in Santalune City to this door stop, chop chop!”

    All three beaks turned Deli around and placed various cube shaped objects into his tail. After they were done, the tail took up almost as much space as his body did.

    “Now move out, on the double!"

    “Wait!” Deli said. “I, I can’t fly all the way to Santalune City! I couldn’t fly to Bleu Plaza to here without running out of breath!”

    The three chuckled in three different tones, one jovial, one boisterous and one sarcastic sounding.

    “Oh, that’s no big deal!” Chill Don said. “You can take breaks if you want to on the way, you’ve got plenty of time!”

    “But if you don’t deliver these by closing time at six o’clock tonight, you’re in for a pecking!” Dangerous Don said.

    “Such a huge burden to take on,” Ennui Don said. “With all these other Postmon travelling half the region to get these presents in on time, your plight is the worst of all.”

    “But, why can’t someone like Pigeot at the back do it! Why me of all Pokémon?! I’d just be a burden.”

    “You talkin’ about me, fatso?” Pigeot said, beak upturned. “Everyone here plays their part tonight. You’re not special. I’ve got enough to deal with!”

    “Have a little more faith in yourself!” Chill Don said, “Besides, you could use a little workout!”

    “Yeah, yeah, hurry it up, will you?” Dangerous Don said, “We’ve got other Postmon here waiting on you!”

    “It would be terrible if you were to mess up,” Ennui Don said.

    “Best of luck!” All three crowed.

    Defeatedly, Deli flapped his wings and slowly took off. Most of the slime from his feet had dried off, but as he flew at a lower altitude than most other Postmon, he ended up kicking the faces of those a lot taller than him. They shouted as he left Lumiose City with a heavy heart and an even heavier load, into the bitter winter winds.

    Once he was out, Deli had to traverse the length of Lumiose again just to face Route 5. Before he left Lumiose for good, he perched on a rooftop by South Boulevard and unloaded the parcels from his tail before collapsing on the stony floor.

    Everything had happened so suddenly. The one minute, he was lazing in his room with Perry, the other minute, he was being shouted at by a boss he hadn’t seen in a season. The events of the past half hour played over and over again in his head while he regained his strength, and the longer he waited, the bigger the pit in his stomach became. He bashed his wings against the stone. If he stood up to Dangerous Don, he probably could’ve avoided this situation. But he was there, shivering on a roof, slightly hungry and set to complete a job he wasn’t supposed to be there for. And on top of it all, it was also on Yuletide Eve.

    Then, his thoughts drifted to tomorrow, his fourth Yuletide with Perry and his family. He remembered the dishes Perry and his mother cooked and could faintly taste the scent of each one of them. Roasted Miltank in gravy. Fried Torchic. Tepigs in blankets. He imagined himself sitting in a high chair by the dining table with the rest of Perry’s extended family, his cousins, his friends and their Pokémon, and how he would play-battle with them in the backyard afterwards.

    Deli cradled himself, ignoring the creeping feeling of the frost past his coat of feathers. The pit in his stomach grew and started to rumble. Then it struck him. If he didn’t fulfil his task, he would have to make up for lost time by filling in throughout the holiday. Although he never dropped out in the middle of his Postmon duties, he knew how strict the Postmonsters were in dealing out punishment. One Staraptor abandoned a package mid flight and had to undergo intensive training with the Deputy Postmonster for three days straight, only to be fired afterwards anyway. Not to mention what would happen to the family he was supposed to deliver the presents to if he fled back home.

    Deli preened the frost out of his feathers and stored each package in his tail. They were damp to the touch, but it would dry off in the warmth of his tail soon enough. He faced the snow topped forest surrounding Route 5 and flew off.

    The Route seemed to stretch endlessly. It took twenty minutes of flight before Deli had to catch his breath, and the cityscapes of Santalune were nowhere in sight. As he wasn’t able to fly high enough, the trees, however barren, blocked the horizon, giving him no way to mark his destination.

    He lifted off again. When he hit his next stop, Deli noticed he flew even longer than before. By how much exactly, he was unsure. Even though he still had to flap his wings to traverse the air instead of glide like any normal flying Pokémon would, he was conscious of how much he breathed in and out and started to count how long he inhaled and exhaled. He wasn’t desperate for breath like before.

    On his third flight, he found a groove in his wing beats and was a lot more stable in how he moved. Eventually, he could elevate himself high enough to actually see where he was headed. The whole of the city was in view, giving him a view he hadn’t considered before, but he still had some ground to cover before he arrived.

    In the middle of his flight, another set of wings beat behind him. Then, it caw-cawed loudly, loud enough to throw Deli off his balance, and he had to stop on a nearby treetop to see what it was.

    His visitor had black and ragged feathers and a gaze that stared through his very soul. It turned out to be a Murkrow, and it dived straight at him.

    Before Deli could react, the Murkrow clawed at his side, knocking him off of the branch and into the path of twisted oak below. He caught himself mid flight, however, and slowly landed on top of a lower branch. His heart pounded. He shifted behind the trunk and lay motionless, hoping it would hide him from the Murkrow. He heard another caw-caw and a choir of calls followed after it. Many sets of wings beat and swooped down. Deli closed his eyes, preparing for the worst. The cries continued in a conversation Deli couldn’t follow as many different voices called at once. Then they stopped talking, and the wings beat again, going further and further away until Deli could barely hear them.

    Deli gave a few more seconds until he was sure they were gone, and flew up high in the air again. The Murkrow had joined a flock that headed for the west, away from where Deli was headed. He exhaled. The attack only appeared to be a small bluff or a prank, although it seemed like an oddly specific prank to play on a Delibird. The longer he flew however, Deli noticed his tail felt considerably lighter than it did before the attack. His heart skipped a beat.

    Deli turned back and scanned the forest floor for anything that might have fallen from his tail. Nothing was there. He flew in circles, trying to make sense of the sudden disappearance of his packages. Then he recalled the Murkrow that attacked him and the flock that followed. He didn’t see it with his own eyes, but the only hunch he had to go on was that they deliberately attacked him to steal from him.

    Without delay, Deli flew in the direction of the flock who were much further away from him. Although he was able to go at his own pace, the Murkrow were a lot faster. Since he was a lot bigger, the wind pushed against him, making him fly at a much slower speed. Then, Deli considered the moves he used during his past battles. It had been a long time since he got the chance to use any of them and had never done it outside of his trainer’s command, but he looked for something that would allow him to catch up with the flock. He remembered Aerial Ace and how fast he would fly with that move, even if it didn’t seem any different from diving towards the opponent.

    So, with all his energy, Deli visualised how the move would play out; a bout of extreme speed, and forced his body to do the same. Nothing happened. He tried several times, but no matter how much willpower he put behind it, he couldn’t muster the ability to use it. Without Perry shouting it, the act didn’t have as much power to it. Unless…

    Deli shook his head at the thought of it. But, he sucked up all the air into his lungs, and shouted into the wind.

    “Deli, use Aerial Ace!”

    Whoosh. Deli traversed well over a hundred metres in the air in the span of a second and going and going, gaining momentum the longer he was under its effect, getting closer and closer to the flock of Murkrow until they appeared more than tiny specks and even closer than that when he was in their range, then stopped. He was still in the air, but was in their territory.

    The Murkrow were spread evenly, covering a wide area but in range of each other. The first at the back spun around and caught sight of Deli approaching them.

    “Mayday, mayday!” It cawed, “We have a bogey on our tails, over!”

    “Copy, bogey behind us, over!”

    “Roger, snuggle up and U-turn post haste, over!”

    The Murkrow banded closer together until they were lined up in a row, then turned their bodies around to face towards Deli. All six parcels were spaced out randomly throughout the flock.

    “Yuletide units, flee!” The Murkrow in the middle called. “All free units, attack!”

    The six Murkrow with the presents broke away from formation. The rest charged for Deli. They were almost face to face with him. He dropped his altitude; their claws lightly brushing past his head. Deli chased after the fleeing group, but felt the flapping wings behind him getting closer. Once again, he inhaled, and…

    “Aerial Ace!”

    He swooped through the air and headed toward the closest Murkrow. Bash. Deli knocked it off its course of flight. The first parcel drifted downwards. He dove straight for it and caught it with his tail. One down, five to go.

    “Aerial Ace!”

    Swoop. The second one went down, release and catch. Then the third and fourth. There were only two enemies left. If he kept this up, he would arrive at Santalune City in no time.

    “Aerial A-”

    Something tugged at his leg. Deli started to drag behind the two last Murkrow. He tried to shake it off, but the more he struggled, the tighter the grip clamped down on him, like a beak. Any more and it probably had the power to chomp off his foot. With the sets of approaching wings behind him, the other Murkrow had caught up to him. He had to think of something quickly or end up becoming bird food.

    “I stepped in a Goodra puddle, by the way!”

    The grip on his foot released. Even in that situation, he couldn’t help but laugh; it actually worked.

    “Aerial Ace!”

    Finally, he slammed into the last two Murkrow and retrieved the remaining parcels.

    “All units, retreat!”

    Deli turned to see the Murkrow fleeing towards the trees. He had managed to shake each of them off and get his presents back. All he needed to do was head south again to where Santalune City was. Before he could inhale and summon the energy to boost his speed, however, it happened. A dizzy spell washed over him, slowing his movements and blurring his vision. Not only that, an invisible weight tied itself around Deli’s body, pulling him closer down to the surface. The heavy usage of Aerial Ace caught up with him and Deli became short of breath. Like he had done last time, Deli sat on a nearby branch and rested for a moment.

    It was the farthest he had pushed his body for a while. The only times he had exerted a fraction of his strength since Perry’s self-hiatus from his trainer career*was when his Pokémon friends visited to play. Even so, that was usually within Lumiose City and not too far a distance from Perry’s house.

    Deli patted his side, which made an unsatisfying slap. Internally, he cursed himself for the way he turned out. Not just for his current situation, but for how he saw himself in the past. He realised he had grown complacent and forgot about life as a Delibird before his first trainer, then his trade over to Perry, and the four years he spent lazing about in his room. No matter how much he enjoyed his company, Deli knew something was wrong about how he and Perry enabled each other.

    He shook his head and tried to regain his breath. Santalune City appeared closer than it did before the chase, but the sky started to turn grey. The sooner he got there before dark, the better.

    Then, an ear-piercing cry screeched from the trees. It wasn’t shrill and raspy like those of the Murkrow, but loud and guttural, almost like an older Murkrow.

    Deli turned. A Honchkrow charged at him at a tremendous speed. The flock of Murkrow from before followed a distance behind him.

    “Aerial Ace!”

    Deli headed on a course for Santalune without waiting to regain his stamina. When he would tire out was uncertain. As he headed at an unknown speed, fleeing from something that could very well be faster than him, Deli hoped against hope that he would get to Santalune first without tiring out; after effects be damned.

    He was getting closer. Deli was running short of breath, but continued at his pace. Then he was getting very close to the outskirts. His lungs felt as if they would collapse. Closer again. He was outside the highway entrance above. He noticed his speed started to fail, but didn’t stop. Closer. Closer.

    Two sets of sharp objects slashed behind him. Streaks of hot red snaked from his back across his wings. Deli shrieked in pain. The world around him spun as he dropped in altitude. Without caring which direction he went, Deli continued his Aerial Ace. Even as it tore even bigger wounds into his back, his goal was to get sanctuary in the city. He wasn’t sure if the gang disappeared or were still chasing after him.

    Deli crashed into a stony object, head first. He let out a slight ‘oof’ as he fell onto the snow-topped pavement below. In his daze, he knew that one of two things would happen. Best case scenario, he would faint and the Murkrow stopped chasing him. Worst case scenario, he would die right there of his injuries. Still, even if it ended up being the latter, through snow, sleet or rain, he had a duty to complete his delivery.

    With all the remaining strength, he blindly reached for his tail and placed each parcel on the ground. Whoever found him would be able to find the address. As he held the last present, the world around him started to fade to black.

    “Please,” he said more to himself than humans that couldn’t understand him, “Somebody, sign, thi-”

    Before he could finish, he dropped whatever else was left from his paws and fainted.

    Deli was inside a Pokéball. It was an unusual sensation, a feeling he had unlearned during his time with Perry. Time didn’t exist. His thoughts were there. His body, however, wasn’t. Like they split apart somewhere. Or maybe they were one in the same, but different somehow. He couldn’t think of a reason why it felt like it did, it just was, but he knew it felt warm inside, like being in an egg again.

    It clicked from the outside. For a second, Deli’s entire body was transformed into a white streak of energy. Then, he stood on even ground again. He felt the polish of the floor underneath his paws. He caught a whiff of disinfectant in the air. More noticeably, he saw the familiar pink hairdo close to him, stuffed under a white cap.

    Deli was in a Pokémon Centre.

    Specifically, he was in the bay area where many Pokémon were left in their healing stations to recover inside their Pokéballs. Deli tilted his head to face the reassuring sight of what he thought was someone like Nurse Joy. Instead, he saw a masculine face with straight combed down hair that was only slightly dyed pink. The male nurse smiled.

    “Yeah, I know it looks stupid. All part and parcel of working in medical, I suppose.”

    Part and parcel. Parcel. Deli looked from left to right, trying to find a way out of the bay. He had to find out what happened to his parcels.

    “Don’t worry, as far as I know, your Postmon duties have been taken care of. Can you turn around and spread your wings out a sec?”

    Deli nodded and did so. It still ached a little, but it no longer burned like it did before.

    “Perfect. No lasting injuries, everything looks clean, I’d say that’s a full recovery. I would avoid any battles if you can or going too fast for a little bit, it took a whole two days to heal.”

    “Two days!” Deli cried, which came out to the nurse as a pained squawk. His legs suddenly felt weak and he slumped to the floor. He had been out cold for a whole two days. Deli had missed his first Yuletide. The nurse rushed to his side.

    “Are you alright?”

    Deli nodded. He knew the nurse wouldn’t understand, he was just being silly. Deli slowly rose to his feet and sniffled, wiping some dust from his eyes, except it wasn’t dust.

    “Your trainer’s waiting for you in the main hall that way,” the nurse said, pointing to the right side of the room where two doors were. “You can go now if there’s nothing else to treat.”

    Deli bowed to him and waddled past the exit. When the doors swung open, both Perry and his mother stood up. Before Deli knew it, Perry was on his knees, hugging Deli with the force of an Ursaring.

    “Jeez, Deli, you worried me sick! It didn’t feel the same without you!”

    Deli didn’t answer back, but he stayed where he was, letting Perry continue while he told him of who was there, what he missed and what food they cooked that day Deli didn’t get to eat. All told, it made his stomach start to growl.

    “Don’t be such a drama queen, Perry,” His mother said, “We’ve still got plenty of leftovers he can treat himself to, and Fabian’s Vulpix isn’t going anywhere yet, is she?”

    “That’s true,” Perry stood up but he didn’t let go, carrying Deli in his arms. “It still stinks that Deli wasn’t here with us.”

    “Well, we celebrated with him in spirit, and that’s what counts. Besides, who’s to say we can’t have another party the day after, hmm?”

    “Would you like that, Deli?”

    Deli let out a little coo as Perry stroked his beak.

    “Come on, let’s go.” Perry’s mother motioned to the two and headed for the main exit. Perry followed.

    “You know, you’re actually a little lighter than the last time I picked you up. I still can’t believe they forced you to take that job. When we get the chance, we’ll turn in that anklet for good and you won’t have to worry about it again.”

    Deli didn’t answer. Or rather he didn’t want to answer. In truth, Deli considered taking on more jobs as a Postmon when the seasonal rush ended. Meanwhile, he would spend more time outside the house and start flying more frequently. Perhaps he could convince Perry to sign him up for a few battles, somehow. For now, he would give himself time to recover and indulge in the rest of the Yuletide period.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  2. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Hi! I would say welcome, but you've already been around Discord for a while, so... welcome to posting fic? This is a cute little Christmas (err, Yuletide) one-shot. I'm going to take some sentence-level notes here and then address the story as a whole at the end.

    Heh. Jokes about how trainers carry all their stuff are classic.

    Maybe you meant gracefully?

    I smirked a little at this bit. Was it supposed to be Deli shrugging there, though? If not, I think this paragraphing is a bit weird. Why not put "Perry shrugged" on the same line as his dialogue?

    Covered their ears, probably. Cupping your ears is what you do if you want to hear something better.

    Deli's ability to gain altitude towards the beginning of the story feels pretty inconsistent. First he can't get high enough to avoid kicking pokémon in the face, which is funny, sure, and later he can't see over the trees, but in between he's somehow able to stop and rest on top of a building?

    Taste the scent?

    Best I can tell, Deli was only actually attacked by one murkrow... But that murkrow managed to carry off six packages?

    Weird typo there.

    I thought he was out delivering presents last season, if nothing else?

    one *and the same

    Anyway, for the story overall. Like I said, it's definitely cute. You have a good sense of humor, and there are a lot of great little moments throughout the story as a result. I particularly enjoyed the names for the Dodrio's different heads, and Deli's aerial ace struck me as especially cute--I visualized him soaring through the air with one fist out in front of him, superhero-style, heh.

    I like Deli, too, which is of course important, since he's who we're following throughout the story. He's generally just a likeable, relateable guy--a bit lazy, definitely not the best at what he does, but he tries hard anyway and does his best to get it together when he knows people are counting on him. And although there are plenty of jokes at his expense, I think you manage it without the tone coming across as mean-spirited, like Deli's just a butt monkey that the universe wants to make fun of. Given the lighthearted tone of the story overall and the heartwarming/holiday nature of it, I think that's important, and overall Deli works well as a protagonist here.

    One thing I wasn't as sold on was the ending. You do get that heartwarming "family reunion" thing going, and show how much Perry and his mother care about Deli (despite Perry, like Deli, being a bit of a loser). However, you want to combine it with Deli realizing he needs to get his life together, and I don't know that the two elements synergize really well. You kind of have this scene of Deli reuniting with his trainer, and then in the last paragraph you tack on, "Oh yeah, and he was going to start flying more often and trying to get battles going and stuff," and it comes off as a weird coda as much as anything to me. Deli realizing he'd been slacking and being dissatisfied with how he's deteriorated was one of the major themes in the story, so I think you might have done better to devote a bit more space to providing closure on that point, rather than tacking it on in a sentence or two at the very end.

    Again, nice little Yuletide 'fic here. I hope you had fun writing it; that's definitely the impression I get when reading it. Looking forward to more from you!
  3. NebulaDreams

    NebulaDreams A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden

    Thanks for the critique! I did have a lot of fun writing it and I’m very pleased to hear the protagonist was likeable enough to carry the whole story. As for the ending, I definitely see where you’re coming from. At the time, I thought the story was long enough as it is and felt that adding another scene would’ve dragged the ending on for too long, especially when the main external conflict with the Murkrow had been resolved. Then again, there could’ve been a way to compromise on this point if I added more introspection or an extended conversation at the end.

    As for the other point about Deli’s altitude, yikes. I’ll have to watch out for plot holes like that in the future.
  4. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    Aw, this is sweet. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, but it's really not; it's really sweet, in that Christmas story kind of way. I mean, you kind of know how it's going to end, and even how the middle's going to go, after the first few paragraphs – but you keep reading anyway, because it's that kind of story, that kind of lovely little thing where Christmas proves the occasion for someone to be shown what they already know deep down. More than that, it's an excellent specimen of the genre; there are a few little bits here and there that I could take issue with, but honestly I mostly just really liked it, so I didn't take many notes. It's definitely to the story's credit that it grabbed me that way.

    I think you mean gracefully rather than graciously there – graciously really refers to courtesy rather than physical grace.

    I'm not quite sure what that means. Not keen to find out whether or not he missed being part of the service doesn't quite make sense to me.

    It doesn't need to be capitalised here – even if a line of dialogue ends with an exclamation or question mark, the attribution stays uncapitalised. There are a couple of other times when you do this, too.

    There's an odd asterisk here that I think shouldn't be there.

    But yeah! Mostly, this is just a really sweet little one-shot about the spirit of Christmas and treating yourself well and all that stuff, with a healthy shot of interesting lore. I really like it; I'll be watching to see what you come up with next!
  5. The holidays might’ve ended a few weeks ago, but reading this sure brought back some of that holiday spirit for me!

    I think my favorite part about this was seeing the whole premise of Postmons (which is a 10/10 pun btw) unfold. There was a really unique appeal about seeing all these bird Pokemon organized in a way that necessitates an office, a manager, and a tracking device. It kinda reminded me of the Pelipper in the first Mystery Dungeon games but made way, way more interesting.

    And I thought a lot of what made this interesting was seeing it unfold through Deli’s perspective. I agree with Negrek that he’s very likable, and watching everything unfold from someone who’s detached himself from the process but forced back into it made for a both interesting and humorous way of introducing us to the premise. Good job there!

    One thing that read a bit odd to me though was how Perry’s mother interacted with Deli. How she acted rather indifferently to Deli’s whole predicament in the last scene felt weird to me, seeing as she was really eager to put him back to his job. I don’t know if I’m missing something, but wouldn’t she feel a bit more concerned about Deli’s well-being? At the end it seemed like she was just dragged by Perry into the Pokemon Center, even if at the start she was acting much nicer to Deli than she was to Perry.

    Other than that, it’s a really nice holiday one-shot, and like I said, seeing your Kalos unfold was real treat. Good job on this! :)

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