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Fad [One-Shot]

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork], Jan 31, 2011.

  1. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    For a long time, I've wanted to write a story that captures the happiness and sadness of nostalgia since I myself am a long time fan and the beginning of the series means more to me than where it is right now. But it's not easy to write something like that, which is why it took me years to get this finished. It's not perfect, I know, but I hope it can engage those of you who have been with Pokémon since the beginning and interest everyone else. :)


    The field was empty underneath the dreary, cloudy sky. He hadn’t remembered it being this empty the entire time he had lived in Pallet Town. Even on the coldest nights, aspiring trainers would tramp around the tall grass, making believe that their entire team of Pokémon had been whittled down by the worthy opponent and they were now down to their last resort, usually a Rattata captured with a lucky Poké Ball and labeled a “secret weapon.” Even the Pokémart representative, who had stood out in the beating sun for years, tirelessly peddling Potion after Potion, was gone. But to where? The old Viridian Pokémart had been closed down by a supermarket chain that had engulfed that section of the town at some point. Maybe the poor guy had moved. Maybe he had even died. It had been thirteen years, after all. All that endless sun couldn’t have been good for his skin. People just didn’t know any better back then.

    The trainer swallowed, taking one last look at the spacious land, and began walking. It was mostly unfamiliar to him now, but some things were still recognizable from the past. The white picket fences, blocking the massive plains to the east and west, clearly showed their age by sagging and revealing the slightly rotted wood beneath the paint, but they still stood. The natural ledges, dropping the ground lower and lower until reaching the town, had yet to soften under the weight of time. He now stood over one, looking down at the surprisingly large drop. When he was a kid, it was nothing to ride his bike off the edge and stick the landing without even slowing down. Now, however, he wasn’t even sure he could climb down without slipping and hurting himself. He sighed and walked around until he found a shorter hop that he could manage.

    As soon as his old tennis shoes hit the ground, a sharp rustling quivered in the thick grass to his right. His gloved hand instinctively fell to his waist, where he ran his fingers over the six dirty, dull Poké Balls clipped to his belt. He knew it wouldn’t be much of a challenge, but it was exciting to think that he was going to battle a Pokémon from the same cut as the ones he had chased with rocks and sticks many years ago. Seconds went by, and nothing happened. A full minute eventually passed and he grudgingly accepted that it had only been the wind.

    The rest of the walk was uneventful, a fact that displeased him greatly. Where was everyone? He had pulled over many passing trainers in his childhood. The thought of hearing actual stories from the road beat out any appeal of pretending to be cornered by a herd of Tauros with nothing but a Zapdos (in reality, a Pidgey) and battling wits to save oneself. That wasn’t the case now. Even the pretend games seemed to have lost their appeal around this place, if the silence was any indication. Truth be told, he was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to share his experiences. It certainly wasn’t what made him leave, but knowing that someday the weathered young man and innocent little boy roles would be reversed crossed his mind more than once when he was just starting out.

    He now stared at something he had seen hundreds, maybe thousands of times before.

    “Pallet Town! The shades of your journey await!”

    He knew that the sign had said that at one time, but it was difficult to read it now between the graffiti and the wear and tear of the elements. He touched it, dragging his hand over the coarse surface and scanning the left half. There it was. His name, written in messy handwriting with a permanent marker he had taken from his computer desk. He also spotted the names of a few of his buddies. In fact, he recognized almost all of the names. They were all kids around his age, some slightly older and maybe a few a couple years younger. But that was all, other than a few newer curse words. He looked at these with sadness. This was a trainer’s wall, not a place for obscenities to be scribbled down by children lacking dreams.

    He walked away, finally entering his hometown through the same familiar footpath that had led to many of his summer adventures. At least, he thought with a small amount of relief, the town hadn’t been paved over and modernized. It was still, for the most part, a small town sleeping in the countryside. However, it was much quieter than ever before. He didn’t know why he was still surprised to see no kids running around with tennis balls, throwing them at each other while yelling commands to their imaginary Pokémon, but he was. And it hurt.

    His first stop was his house. He hadn’t seen it since the one time he returned after conquering the Pokémon League. He was sure his mother would have left his room exactly the way it had been, including the dust. She was never one for cleaning.

    Caroline Barnes, your local real estate agent.
    “Let me help you start your own adventure… one with a fireplace!”​

    Painted directly to the left of her name, Ms. Barnes smiled from the plastic lawn sign as if nothing at all was wrong. As if the mere presence of her face wasn’t itself an atrocity. As if the centerpiece of his childhood wasn’t being handed off to some anonymous strangers. Not only that, the place was decaying. The grungy windows were cracked and one even had a hole in it, which gave a clear view into the dark, musky interior. The white paint, which he and his mother had put on together during one summer, was peeling at every edge and corner. It appeared that some citizens had taken it upon themselves to fill in the unpainted spots with graffiti, he thought bitterly. He couldn’t even read what was written. What he assumed were letters were just meaningless shapes through his eyes.

    He grabbed the cracked doorknob and found it to be locked. He wondered what to do next until he remembered the key he had hidden away. His mother never knew about it – she just thought she had lost a key and used one of her spares – so he was confident that she wouldn’t have taken it when she left.

    It was still there, lying inconspicuously on the top of the door’s outset wooden border. He pulled it down and quickly let himself in. Before he saw anything, he smelled a putrid odor. It was the scent of time, pressing down upon every surface within the house as it had been for many years. He suddenly realized just how long the house had been empty. His mother must have moved out shortly after he left and the place had been dying since then. The smell left him physically cringing but the sight of the single downstairs room left much more of an impact.

    It was the first time he had seen it this bare in his entire life. Admittedly, there had never been much, but the few pieces made a whole home, one which had evidently dissolved when he had his back turned. The large, condensation ring-stained table, at which he and his mother had talked every morning before he left to play or go to school and every night after he returned, dirty and tired, was gone. The sink and cabinet, where he had been forced to wash his hands and gloves every evening, was also gone, ripped from the wall and leaving an unpleasant looking blank space. One thing in the room remained. The old television set, rabbit ears and all, sat on the wooden floor. Its screen was cracked and the knobs had fallen off but it was the most stable remaining piece of his past remaining within the house. Of course, it didn’t work anymore. It had seen the last of its train tracks days.

    He left the building without going upstairs. He was desperately curious to see what his room was like now, but he thought it best that he only imagine the stark emptiness that would surely be its only remaining inhabitant. Besides, he wouldn’t be able to focus anyway. His vision was starting to blur.

    He saw the empty space next door and vaguely recalled a house standing there once. A house much nicer than his own, with nice-looking people and a mean little boy. Where was that boy? Last he heard, that boy was doing great things. He must have changed from the snobby child he had been. The trainer didn’t articulate all of this in his mind. He just knew he’d give anything to get that bratty kid back to the way he remembered him.

    He’d give anything.

    He had one last stop. A place he had to visit. He had only been there once, maybe twice in his entire lifetime and those times coincided with the day he left Pallet Town. It was a large building, not far from his house, filled with very important people doing very important things who, of course, never allowed him inside.

    So he walked, not seeing a soul, until he was standing at the door of the famous Oak Laboratory. He didn’t know how to react as he stared at the dirty, laminated piece of paper tacked onto the wood.

    “Daisy Oak Pokémon Research Center relocated to Celadon City.”

    It then gave an address.

    Daisy. She wasn’t the one who had called him over. She wasn’t the one who had stopped him in the grass before he got hurt. She had helped him on his journey, he vaguely remembered, but in a very small way. No, she was the granddaughter, not the researcher. But where had her grandfather gone? He could have retired. He could have moved away. Maybe he even died. It had been thirteen years, after all. But he couldn’t have died. People like that didn’t die.

    He sat on the ground and leaned against the door, placing his forehead on his knees. What had he been working for? Why had he traveled and made friends and trained fiercely to beat his enemies? What was the point of collecting those badges? Why had he helped every single person on the road who had needed his help? He had solved his own problems so why couldn’t they?

    He thought about the warden of the Safari Zone who had lost his golden teeth. Of course, who had to find them?

    The boy rolled his eyes and sniffed. Did he really touch those things? They were used dentures. He suddenly had the urge to wash his hands. He stood up, hitting the door with his fist, and strolled towards the ocean. He didn’t really plan on scrubbing the years-old germs off. He just wanted to see the water again.

    When he arrived at the shore, he squinted and peered into the distance. Were there any swimmers out there? None could be seen, which didn’t surprise him. All that water made his tongue itch, though.

    He then remembered the guard to Saffron City who refused him entry because he “sure was thirsty!”, like that affected his ability to do his job. Still, the boy had played along and bought the man a soda pop. It was the most expensive thing in the vending machine but he didn’t want to take a chance of that man refusing him entrance.

    He grinned and thought to himself that that guy probably would have died from thirst since he’d never be willing to get his own drink.

    The worst, though, was Bill. He was supposedly a genius but that didn’t stop him from switching bodies with a Pokémon. The guard’s death was questionable, but Bill would have undoubtedly died, or at least been captured by some overzealous kid showing off for his girlfriend, if someone hadn’t come along to help. When the trainer had walked through the door, he was still at a point in his career when he was surprised to be the only source of aid to some random individual. And, of course, a Clefairy suddenly talking to him in that nasally voice didn’t help to ease the shock.

    The trainer laughed. He wasn’t sure it had been him at first but who else would be laughing in this barren place?

    At least, he thought with a twinkle in his eye, Bill had been decent enough to reward him with a ticket to the S.S. Anne. That boat was probably his favorite memory from the journey. That was the first time he really saw just how big and diverse the world was. He was a little embarrassed as he remembered how rude he was, barging into literally every room without so much as a knock, but it was worth it. He had met a secret policeman, a bunch of rich families, and one really sick captain. The boy actually rubbed his back while the man leaned over the trash can, which by this point was filled to the brim. It made him sick to think about it.

    He had been seriously mad when the ship set sail the moment he stepped onto the dock, but looking back, he was alright with the way things had turned out. It hadn’t been a perfect journey, and looking around he guessed that it was basically over, but he concluded that it had been worth whatever hardships he had to face.

    He would never have believed it when he was battling that powerful creature within Cerulean Cave or tramping through the abandoned Power Plant because of his own curiosity, but, if Pallet Town could be used as a meter, Pokémon training had probably just been a fad. One hell of a fad, but a fad nonetheless. He knew that now. Fads die, and this was no exception. It could be back, though. Fads tend to circle. But for now, he was one of the last remaining trainers. But he had been there during the peak of the Pokémon era, battling alongside the greatest. And he supposed he could live with that.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  2. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    Oh wow... that hit home. It's not making me cry, but it's leaving some sort of empty feeling inside me. The dark reality of it all. I wasn't there the first day it came out, but being a 90s kid, I suppose this will still relate to me. And in a way, it sorta does. It's funny how when we were young, all we thought about was Pokémon, about what it would be like to be an actual Trainer to travel the world. But the older we get, the more logic sets in, and the more we realize it really would have never happened, if at all. I think that's what chased away fans, was that loss of innocence and imagination they had as kids.

    This one-shot reflects that. This is possibly the most honest, truthful, close-to-home story I have ever read. And I'm so glad you spent years on this, who knows if it would still have the same effect then as it does now.

    Bravo, man. This needs to be immortalized, to be passed on to other fans.
  3. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hey trainer

    Oh wow. This is.. That hurts. It's kind of sad, because that's true. I remember running through the playground during recess, me and my best friends playing Pokemon and yelling, sending out our starters to do the final battles. I remember EVERYONE had a Pokemon game, or wanted to watch you play your Pokemon games. And it was the biggest thing.

    Now it's not. Wow, this is a really good story. You did a good job with it. You hit the point that you wanted to make dead on. Thanks a lot for making me feel sad!

    Just kidding. But seriously, good good story.

    P.S. What Kutie Pie said is true. This needs to be passed on. Do you mind me putting this in my sig? I promise I'll credit you and everything, but people, especially people like us that grew up with this stuff; they need to read it.
  4. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    I wasn't there since day one either but I started with the anime's original airing (which I believe came before the games in the states... I think) and then got Blue. And it's true that it's just not the same once you get a grip on the fact that it just can't happen. You just can't enjoy the games in the same way.

    Thank you. :)

    Memories like that are probably the happiest time of my childhood. The games never got old because you were always learning more with your friends so you could play them for hours and still be entertained. I'm glad I managed to hit a nostalgic chord. It's hard to tell if you accomplished what you originally wanted after reading a story over several times. XD

    Wow. If you want then of course you can put it your sig. That would be awesome.

    Thank you both for reviewing! I'm glad you liked it.
  5. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    I absolutely adore your writing style. This entire piece was amazing. You managed to capture the barren, depressing feeling of the Pokemon World after being left to decay and let me tell you, it really does hit home. I used to love having all those people on the playground playing Pokemon and talking about it and such. :/ It's too bad, the types of things that become fads.

    But I'm getting off subject. Your writing style is great and I love your word choices. The paragraph that popped out most to me would have to be this:
    This paragraph right here is so full of childhood innocence in my mind, I absolutely love it. "People like that didn't die." It really does speak to the inner kid that absolutely loved these games, and to have that collide with the real world and what happened to the characters... Yikes.

    So, basically, yeah. I'm raving about your story and I'll shut up now. As for errors, I only found one obvious one:
    That should either be "but he thought it best to only imagine the stark emptiness" etc. etc. etc. or "but he thought it best that he only imagine the stark emptiness" blah blah blah.

    Either way, great story. Leaves you feeling sort of empty. :< I look forward to reading more of your work.
  6. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Thank you. :) And yes, I agree completely. I hope what I wrote in the fic is true and that the fad will circle back again and a whole new generation will experience Pokémon like our generation did.

    Sometimes it's easier to refuse to accept something, even when you know it must be true. Which, yeah, is like a child. But we can't blame him for that. I feel like this isn't a very good response, but I couldn't think of anything better to say. XD

    Haha, raving's fine. And thank you. I fixed that error.

    Thank you so much for reading. :)
  7. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    By a few weeks, surprisingly. So strange how Pokémon hit it off so quickly here and around the world for that matter.

    Those were the days. I wish I was a stupid eight-year-old again, everything was so frustrating but oh-so fun...
  8. Boxer

    Boxer New Member

    Nice read, I love the sense of melancholy. Good job.

    I think it's valuable to remain a child throughout your life; to never give up on dreaming and playing =)
  9. Breezy

    Breezy Well-Known Member

    Technically, the "not a place ..." isn't a complete sentence, and if I hadn't done the "incomplete sentence" thing myself to stress a point, I'd probably tell you to change it. =P That being said, you might want to consider changing the period to a comma and combining these two clauses for the sake of structure. I do love this line, though.

    The same applies here:

    It's a weird thing to stress, the dust. You usually want to limit the amount of times you use short, choppy, incomplete sentences to stress points and only use them when you want to, well, stress/enhance a point and make it more powerful. This is so sentences like this:

    Don't lose their power ("too much of a good thing").

    He can't talk to his mother at the table every morning AND leave to play or go to school at the same time. "Before" perhaps works better than "when."

    The "but" isn't necessary as you're not contrasting anything from before. "And" might be better, or you could get rid of the "but one" entirely. I think you could have merged the "and he wasn't allowed inside" part a bit better. It kind of sticks out since the clauses before that flowed together so well.

    The pronouns are confusing. I think "his" is in reference to Professor Oak ...? But it also sounds like "his" is in reference to the main character, who I'm pretty sure isn't Professor Oak.

    I do like how you reused the "it had been thirteen years, after all" line here to mimic/contrast how you used it with the pokemart man.

    I think it was a good choice to use the actual pokemon world, especially the iconic Pallet Town, as an analogy to the fad of pokemon in our world. It worked well in that sense. I like the disillusion of your character, his desire for better times, and his sadness over the decay of his childhood home, and, to an extent, his memories. You could really feel the guy wishing/wanting for his old times to come back but still looking back fondly at the adventures he did go through despite having to be gone from home for so long. I definitely think it was a well done analogy of how we, as players of the game, don't see pokemon in the same way we used to. But we still have good memories, and in a way, can still remember how it used to feel to be like that, which we, as your character said, "could live with that."

    Reading it literally (maybe it was a mistake to read the other reviews first. I thought this was a story you could read on two levels, metaphorically and literally, but everyone else seems to be reading it more metaphorically. Are you not supposed to read it literally ...?) is a bit off-putting. While towns do decay, homes get rundown, people move and change and aren't the same people we fondly remember, to call the pokemon world while in the pokemon world a "fad" is kind of ... odd. Like I said, it works well as a metaphor, the rundown town, but on a more literal reading, I think you could have tampered around to make it a little more subtle.

    The sudden onslaught of memories at the end is a bit overwhelming; sometimes it felt randomly placed. In some ways, it kind of felt like you were really, really pulling to connect the memories with the "fad" paragraph. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the memories; I just felt like they were unbalanced structurally.

    Overall, t'was a good read; you seem to have an act to phrasing your sentences/picking you words so they weave and flow well together. You could sense the character's distraught/emptiness over the destruction of his childhood home, but there's also some hope that perhaps there are still kids out that there that feel the same way he did, even if they're not in his hometown. I especially liked the last line; it pretty much summed up his feelings in one short line.
  10. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    I remember seeing kids on the bus (before I was old enough to drive) playing Sapphire or Ruby or something and they were talking about it really eagerly and (and I mean this in the nicest way possible) stupidly. They didn't know anything. It made me happy and sad at the same time. :)

    Oh, definitely. If you lose your imagination, you lose so much of the fun that life has to offer. Thanks for reading. :D

    All fixed. Gracias.

    I'm happy that you think this part worked well. I was afraid the ending would come off as a little too "suddenly everything's alright for no reason and we can smile" when I really just wanted to give the sense that yeah, it kinda sucks not living it any more, but it sucks less because we lived it up when we had the chance. XD

    Oh yeah, I definitely wanted it to be both a literal and metaphorical story (although the metaphor was meant to be the most prominent of the two). I wasn't actually trying to say that Pokémon themselves were the fad, but rather Pokémon training. On a much smaller scale, I would compare it to dog shows, if there was ever a point when that was the big thing and then they slowly faded away. Dogs are still there, people still play with them, and a few even enter dog shows still, but it's not as big as it once was (honestly, I have no knowledge of dog shows or their history, I just used that to make the point that Pokémon didn't just disappear. It's just that something that could be done with them, and once was, isn't done so often anymore). /nonsense

    I altered that segment a little bit, spacing it out just a tad and hopefully making it flow a little smoother. I think they come into his head a little more naturally than before, although they might still be a little clustered. :/

    I stressed a lot over that last line. I changed it a few times (even after it had been posted) so it's nice to know it worked out. Anyway, thank you so much for the great review. :]
  11. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Posting/reviewing so more people get the chance to read this. This was very, very powerful, in quite a few ways. While it was extremely depressing, it was somehow really touching at the same time. Even if it took you a while to write, I am really glad that you wrote it. I look forward to more of your work in the future.
  12. Laevateinn

    Laevateinn Ghost-Type Trainer

    This story pretty much put forward the idea of what exactly happened when the fad of pokemon finally died down amongst the public. I almost cried reading this and I'm glad to say that I still play the 1st Gen games (as well as the 2nd Gen). I was always mocked by other noobs in school for being a 'Pokemon Trainer' and I really felt the protagonist's pain at the thought of being alone in a world that was forgotten.

    I was also around newbies which had been raised in the 3rd/4th Generations and it made me want to cry at the thought of them using Action Replays to get their goods instead of playing the game as it should be played.

    Thank you for writing a story that sums up how I think a lot of the older fans feel about Pokemon and how much it has suffered after the fad died down *Hands you a Good Story Cookie for a tear-jerking story*.
  13. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Thank you. Like I said, I wanted to capture the sadness and the joy of nostalgia so me and anyone who reads this one-shot might get a smile out of it in addition to some sadness. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    I play them too. :D Yes, it's unfortunate that you can't see Pokémon stuff everywhere you turn now, but if you could, our memories might not be so precious. And for the record, I absolutely hate it when people are made fun of for what they enjoy. It's just cowardly.

    My hope is that as long as the series continues, there will be kids playing it cleanly, just like the old days.

    *Eats cookie* I'm so happy you liked it.

    Thank you two for reading/reviewing! :)
  14. Armando Payne

    Armando Payne Well-Known Member

    This whole story suddenly made me extremely sad, because the barren wastelands which once were full of Pokemon fans, is now full of Call of Duty fans and GTA fans and whatnot? But, sadly, these utopia soon become wastelands, whilst another one takes it's place as a utopia, and that is, in itself the curse of The Fad. And this story hit it squarely in the head.
  15. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Maybe kids mowing down terrorists with their machine guns will have the same type of memories as we do when they get older. XD Like I mentioned in the story, though, fads tend to circle, so hopefully we'll someday see the when Pokémon becomes "in" again.

    Thanks for the review. :]
  16. Pika22

    Pika22 A Relic of The Past

    Wow........... That's sad. It doesn't mean as much to me as other people, being a Johto dweller, but I'm still suddenly sad about it. It might mean more to some people if it another one took place in Johto......

    It's true, that is the curse of the Fad,

    Again, true. I need to remember this.

    The Pokemon fandom never dies. This forum is proof.

    P.S. I hate war games. I am one of the endless fans.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  17. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Actually, if I'm being honest, GSC are probably more special to me than RBG but a story like this, I thought, should be set in Pallet Town. And unfortunately all of the specific memories are related to how the place has changed since RBG, so yeah, it might not hit some as hard as others, but I'm glad you could enjoy it.

    Haha, I don't hate 'em, but I'm just no good at them. XD
  18. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    Oh yeah, I have better memories of playing my Silver than playing Yellow, but by playing Silver, it made me just love Kanto even more, and it became more special. And it was a brilliant idea for them to keep Kanto in there, it just brought back good memories, and I bet I'm not the only one who mourned for the loss of the Viridian Forest.

    And even if this had taken place in Johto, it will always return to Pallet Town, or at least some form of it. All the starting towns are just like Pallet in a way, so no matter what game is being played, the beginning town will always, ALWAYS remind the player of Pallet Town. It's that unforgettable.
  19. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Silver was when me, my family, and my friends all embraced Pokémon, so naturally that's the best Pokémon-related time in my life. Yes, I loved the Kanto part too. :)

    Well that's true. I still wanted it to be in the Pallet Town, though. It may not necessarily be my favorite, but it's classic. I think it would've been strange for it to be anywhere else.
  20. Cloo

    Cloo New Member

    I clicked a link from someone's sig and ended up here (must have been NACHOE!'s). I'm 26 years old, played Pokemon Blue in early middle school with a group of friends - none of which play Pokemon anymore (and honestly I haven't talked to them since graduating High School in 2003).

    Thanks for the read. I'm going to go snuggle up with my DS now and finish playing Black's storyline, all while thinking fondly of the "good ol' days". <3

    EDIT: This is my first post on Serebii. I'm happy it was done on this thread.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011

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