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Saffire Persian

Now you see me...
A/N: Any comments, critique, suggestions, etc., are welcome. Considering most of this chapter was written in 2006-2008, it probably could use it. Rated PG-13. Part 1 of 2.


By: Saffire Persian

Part 1: Creation

“O miserable man, what a deformed monster has sin made you!
God made you ‘little lower than the angels’;
sin has made you little better than the devils.”

- Joseph Alleine​

Anna was a happy girl, a joyful child with big hopes and even bigger dreams. She lived with her father in a small ivy-covered mansion on top of a lonely hill in Viridian, surrounded by a veritable forest of trees. Little Anna never knew her mother – her mother had left her and her father soon after she had been born, leaving the two of them with only a vacant, dust-filled house and each other. The fact that her mother left her never bothered Anna. To her, she had her daddy, and that’s all that mattered. He was her life, and she was his. She and he, father and daughter.

She had a father that loved her; a hardworking daddy who was smarter than anybody that was anybody in the entire world. Anna knew that her father was a good man, though she worried about him sometimes – worried about him in a way only a child could.

She worried about him because of the scary men. They’d barge into the house without bothering to ring the doorbell and be polite, dressed in black clothes like thieves. Daddy hated visitors. He didn’t like to see anybody but her, and Anna couldn’t recall the time she last had real company. He kept the doors locked and bolted and the blinds closed tight, so even the sun couldn’t get in. But the scary men would come in anyway. It didn’t matter how much they were unwanted. And they were unwanted. They were bad, like a disease that infected everything around it. She’d stare at them from the top of the mansion’s stairwell near the front entrance. They’d walk up the stairs and saunter past her as if she was nothing more than a ghost, with frightening, gaunt faces and cruel eyes that reminded her of the dark and shadows, and the monsters that sometimes hid in her closet. Then, they’d yell at him – yell at her daddy.

It was about work, she knew. He was working as hard as he could, Anna knew he was, but still they were meanies and got angry at him all the time, sometimes for hours an hours. Even she couldn’t be angry or furious or anything at anyone for that long. If Anna hadn’t been so scared of the bad men, she would’ve gone and told them off herself, to teach them a lesson that it’s not nice or polite to yell at people or be mean. That was being a bully.

But she couldn’t. They frightened her too much. Sometimes they even made her cry. So Anna contented herself with sticking out her tongue at them as they left—with their backs turned, of course. To her, that was vengeance at its finest.

Her daddy was always a mess for hours after they’d leave, pale-faced and sick looking, his brown hair resembled a tangled bird’s nest, while his blue eyes were like broken eggshells. The rest of his body was as thin and pale as a skeleton with bleached bones.

For her sake, he’d pretend that nothing was wrong, but Anna knew better. Still, Anna never wanted to make her father feel bad, so she always pretended with him, pretended that nothing was wrong, and everything was more than all right, and she liked to think that made him feel better.

(It made him smile, at least.)

And every night, when the darkness came and the stars came out, she’d wish devoutly upon the brightest star, that they’d leave her and her Daddy alone. Yes, that was her wish: that she and her Daddy could live in happiness, away from all the bad people for forever and ever and ever. He and her, she and he, father and daughter. Together.

Today was no different. The bad men had come and left like malevolent shadows, and her father was more deeply rattled than usual. She found him cowering over his desk, over his notes and complex scientific calculations. Anna was decades away from understanding.

“They’re mean men, aren’t they, Daddy?” Anna said to him, her voice low, but quickly gaining volume. “You should teach them a lesson next time!”

“Y-yeah… yeah, sure, Princess,” her father said, desperately trying to claw at composure’s cape, failing miserably. He did manage to smile though. Fake and tacky though it was, Anna loved it and was none the wiser. “Maybe next time.”

“What did they want, Daddy?”

“Daddy’s work. Like they always do. I’m not moving fast enough for them. But I can’t go any faster, Anna. I’m only one man…”

“Then I’ll help you, Daddy. Then when you’re done, they’ll go away and you can play with me. Dress up and play house… and Rockets –“ her father winced “-‘n cops!”

Her father didn’t say anything, his eyes fixated over his notes. He picked up his pen, scribbling some notes down in a dog-eared notebook.

But little Anna would not be deterred.

“Can I help, Daddy? Can I? Can I?” Her father didn’t answer her for a long time, his pen tap-tap-tapping on the desk in nervous rhythm. His eyes showed hesitance – he was afraid, but considering. Slowly, he answered, in a drawn out tone laced with careful, deliberate thought.

“Maybe you can, Anna. Maybe you can…”

But even as he spoke to her, he looked away, and this time he did not smile.

… Monster …

It all started like a dream, a happy one that made Anna giggle and wiggle her feet in unsuppressed glee every time she thought about it. It wasn’t so bad, helping her Daddy. No, not bad at all. The shots were uncomfortable, of course; the needles hurt when they burrowed under her skin, while the serum the shots injected into her veins burned like frozen fire. She’d cry sometimes, but that was okay. Shots were supposed to hurt a little, but they were good. They protected you from bad sicknesses and die-zease-es. Her daddy was protecting her, and she was helping him in his work.

That wasn’t what made Anna smile so big, though. That wasn’t what made Anna really happy.

No, what made her happy is what happened after, once he had wiped away her tears with the tip of his finger, and stuck a smiley-faced band-aid on the spot where the needle had pricked her skin. Right after all that, he would sweep her up in his arms, making her quiet sobs turn into shaky little laughs, and he would tell her what a courageous little girl she had been and how he had never seen someone so brave! “Tell me again!” she would say as he spun her around. “Tell me again!” And he would, and she would never grow tired of it.

After that, he would play with her and teach her school things, like he always had done before his job gobbled up his time like a greedy beast, because he didn’t allow her to go to school like other kids.

Sometimes, they’d go into the backyard, to the swing set her daddy had made for her out of old tires cut out and hollowed into seats, veritable rockets in their ingenuity, and special in way only Anna could treasure, because her papa had made them, just for the two of them. They creaked and the chains that held them to the tree would clatter, and he’d her until the both of them were winded and neither had the energy to make sky adventures anymore.

During other days, he would also read her stories, the really daring ones with angry dragons and fair princesses, ferocious demons and gentle angels. It was during those times that he began to teach her how to read, letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence until she could almost repeat the words in her favorite storybooks back to him.

Other times, they would chase one another around the mansion in a game of tag, rattling the long empty halls with their laughter. Her Daddy never won, not once—she was too quick and nimble for him. And as the days went by, she noticed she was slowly becoming faster.

… Monster…

Anna’s dreams faded with the trees. The hot breath of the summer months turned into the creeping chill of autumn, with the forest’s leaves changing from healthy, vibrant greens to dark reds and golds, holding on to the last tendrils of their rusting glory as they waited for winter’s icy chill to descend upon them and strip them of their royal magnificence. It all started with a fever, a mild one that nevertheless kept Anna in the confines of her bedroom with a damp cloth laid across her forehead. Mild as the fever was, it tired her out, leaving her drained and spent. Anna wished it would hurry up and go away so she could go out and play outside. During it all, her father rarely left her side, watching her continuously lethargic form with a strange, wary gleam in his eyes that Anna couldn’t quite place.

He promised her it would go away soon, the fever, and even though she was sick, he promised her she could still continue to help him with his work… The medicine in the shots were supposed to make people get better, after all, because that’s what’s shots were for: to heal. So maybe by taking them her fever would go away too, and prevent her from getting this kind of illness again.

Daddy said it would and Anna believed him. But the fever never did go away, even after two long weeks of lying under smoldering covers. Sometimes the water-soaked cloth over her head would sting and burn worse than the fever. But perhaps, Anna reasoned, she was just imagining things.

… Monster…

As the days dragged by, Anna’s fever continued to escalate until it plunged her into an insane delirium, sending her in and out of consciousness as her fever continued to skyrocket, until the very bones in her body seemed to ache as they melted, bent, and twisted to the harsh heat while her skin turned bloody shade of red. But she was just imagining things, Anna was sure of it. Sure of it. Sure of it. There was nothing wrong with her, Daddy told her so. She was just sick, that’s all. People got sick all the time.

Still, there were times when Anna couldn't help but wonder, as she would open her exhausted blue eyes, why everything else wasn’t burning.

… Monster…

When Anna was awake and thoughtful enough to pick out her surroundings amongst the burning haze and fake phantoms of her mind, she often noticed her father there besides her bed, sitting in a wooden rocking chair, watching her with cool and distant eyes. The worry and concern for her was still there, but there was something in his eyes that bothered her; they were the same eyes he used when he was preoccupied with his work, calculated and deep. His expression would change once he noticed she was conscious, and he would turn into her Daddy again, but even so, she would never forget the way he stared like she was something other than his daughter.

… Monster …​

When he’d see that she was awake, her father would often read her a story to pass the time. It was always the same one, over and over again. It was a strange tale of might, myth, and magic. It was a tale of nine wizards of valor who ruled over the land, but the land was corrupt and evil, and had to be purged in order for there to be good in the world again. Not with water—as had happened long ago—but with fire. The wizards, virtuous men and women all, put together all their knowledge, and found a way to separate their spirits from their body. In so doing, the wizards were able to combine their souls and intertwine all the knowledge, strength, and virtue they all possessed used it to change into one great form: that of a nine-tailed fox. The fox was a being of more wisdom, power, and beauty than their original selves had ever possessed on their own, and with it came the power to curse the wicked and render judgment upon the land.
That was where her father would stop.

And each time, Anna would ask to no avail for him to tell her the ending of the story – what was their happily ever after? It never even once occurred to Anna that perhaps there wasn’t one.

… Monster…​


Anna awoke to a horrific red world full of flames. It was everywhere. It was eating the curtains, the floor, the walls -


It was already creeping steadily up the cherry wood bed-frames, cackling in a maddened craze as the wood fueled the blaze. Through the haze that clouded her mind, Anna knew she had to get out. Even so, it took a few moments for true panic to set in and adrenaline to surge through her lethargic veins.


It took a few more seconds for her quiet voice to take up the call her mind was currently crying.

"Fire! Fire! Fire!”

(There's fire!)

With great effort, she pushed the tangled covers free of her body, ripping long tears in the fabric with her nails as her desperation grew.

Everything was burning.

She made for the end of her bed, skewing her body about until her legs dangled at the edge of the of the mattress, and she pushed herself off.

Her legs connected with the carpet. Then, like the joints of a broken marionette, they buckled out from under her. She fell into the base of the nightstand, causing the lamp atop of it to teeter precariously back and forth before falling off the edge. The lamp exploded in a shower of sparks and glass as it collided with the floor. Anna cried out in pain as she tried to stand. Tears were forming at the corners of her eyes. It was all wrong. Her legs, they were bent and twisted. They wouldn’t let her stand up…

The door swung open, and to Anna's utmost relief, her father appeared, his tired, worn face a ghostly pale. His was wearing his lab coat… he must have been in the basement, working with his chemicals. He smelled of them.

"Anna...” His breathing was heavy. He must have run all the way to her room to save her.

“What’s—" "Daddy? Daddy!" she cried, eyes wide and unfocused, crawling her way towards him because her legs refused to work the way she wanted them to. "F-Fire, there's fire!”

Her father looked at her carefully, cautiously. He made no move to come to her. His voice was so quiet she almost couldn’t hear him. “There is no fire, Anna.”

She stopped. It was hard to think. What was he saying? No fire? But she could feel it. She could feel the he heat. The smoke searing her eyes and lungs. How else could her arms be so red? How else could her legs be melted until they couldn’t work? “No!” “No!” she shouted, shaking her head repeatedly. No. No, no, no, no, no. Couldn’t he see the fire? “There’s fire! Fire fire fire fire fire fire fi—”

His voice rose, sharper than any knife. He was shouting. “Anna!”


He was moving through the flames now. They parted for him, surrounding him like a phoenix-crown as they flared towards the ceiling. He reached for something on the top of her dresser, and in his haste, he knocked over the book that lay beside it. It fell on the floor and flipped open. Anna recognized the book immediately. It was the same book with the story her Daddy had read to her over and over again, but the pictures on this page were different. No longer did Anna see a beautiful vulpine creature, but a vengeful, bloodstained beast wreathed in flame.

Her eyes wandered over to the man before her, widening.

She understood now.

He wasn’t her beloved father. He was something else—a demon from the dark, just like the animal on the book page! Her father would have believed her. Her father had probably been trying to warn her about him when he read her that story over and over again. He was the one who brought the fire here! He was the one who made her sick. This… thing might look like her father, but he wasn’t on the inside. His insides were dark and rotten. Anna knew that now. His eyes weren’t kind like her daddy’s were, but angry and firm and made of stone. He smelled of things that stung her noise. It was wrong, all wrong. “Go away!” she wailed, feeling as though the very hairs on her body were standing on end. “Daddy?! Daddy!” Anna tried to pull herself back onto the bed, dragging her uncooperative legs with her as she fought wave upon wave of nauseating dizziness, calling for her father all the while. Her eyes were locked on the window, where dawn was breaking over the clouds. If she got out, there was nothing but freedom and blue sky. If she could just get out she could find help and save Daddy and—

Suddenly, a pair of cold hands pulled her roughly backwards. She screamed, making an impossible lunge for the window, but the strong fingers pulled her back, turning her around to face her father-but-not-father. He took her by the shoulders, shaking her. He was forcing her to meet his eyes. Hard eyes. Mean eyes. Angry eyes. Demon eyes.

“There is no fire, Anna! Stop!” She twisted and flailed, trying to tear herself away from him. Her room tumbled around her, until everything was a blur of color. “Calm down! Anna!”

Anna’s pupils dilated. Her mouth twisted into an intricate snarl.


“Stop it, Anna! Now!” She could hear his heart. Feel him breathe. Hear his rough voice rattle in his throat. “I’m not going to tell you again! Cal—”

Anna lunged, yowling a cry of feral rage, sinking her teeth deep into his arm. Her father-but-no screamed. She could almost taste the coppery tang of blood—

Something sharp plunged into her shoulder. A needle. She yelped.

Anna’s eyesight almost immediately deteriorated, dotted with deep dark voids that continued to multiply. Her jaws loosened their hold, going slack. An eerie sort of calm fell over her. It was like she was floating, sinking into some sort of void. A part of her welcomed that blackness like she would welcome a mother, and Anna ceased fighting to stay conscious.

… Monster…​

When Anna finally reopened her eyes, she knew she wasn’t in her bedroom anymore. She was somewhere else—someplace she didn’t know. There was a distinct chill emanating from the dark room, yet she felt little of its cold. She was on a bed. Anna rose, grimacing in pain as she shrugged off the white sheets covering her body, eyes widening. She looked about wildly as her vision adjusted to the lack of light, until the room seemed hardly dark at all. She could make out an old antique dresser at the far left corner of the room, a good dozen taped boxes scattered around with a single string dangling in the air, attached to a solitary light bulb screwed into the ceiling. There was also a door at the far right of the room, and, as Anna moved her head to the left, yet another door, its paint peeling, with a small hole no bigger than her fist taken out of its corner.

Anna didn’t know where she was, but there was a smell here that seemed reassuringly familiar.

“Daddy?” Her speech was slurred, her jaw stiff.

A brief flicker of memory. Fire? A demon?

She carefully slid off the bed, quelling the jittery staccato beat of her heart. Her toes brushed against cold cement. She attempted to stand, but her spine exploded with pain as she tried to straighten it. She found herself falling again. Her shoulder hit the ground first. Tears welled up at the corners of her eyes as she lay still like some sort of dying thing. Her legs were still twisted. Her hair fell around her face, and for the first time, she noticed her hair was curled. It was a deep red, not brown like her father’s at all. Or like hers. Like how it was supposed to be. There wasn’t an uncovered part of her body that wasn’t that.

That wasn’t what she looked like at all. And her body – it felt so strange and foreign and wrong, and it hurt.

She let out a strangled sob. What was wrong with her? Where was Daddy? What was this place?


Anna nearly jumped in response to the sudden, sharp noise.

“Tat tat tat.”

It was coming from outside.


Some animal was squeezing itself through the hole in the corner or the old door. Shining, beady red eyes gleamed in the dark like rubies while the creature’s violet fur blended in almost seamlessly with the dark.

Anna froze, barely daring to breathe.

A rattata.

It skittered across the cold floor, paws barely touching the cement as it ducked halfway under the old, antique dresser before stopping. Its curly tail quivered as it stood, almost frozen in place, making a strange chattering noise. After a half-minute of doing so, it pulled its head out and stood its two hind legs. Its cheeks were bulging.

Anna watched with fading fear and rising fascination as it began to pull large chunks of food from its mouth with its paws—a few berries and small pieces of nut. With almost a tender, covetous display of care, it slid the foraged food underneath the dresser, into the corner nearest the undecorated cement wall. If Anna used her eyes hard enough, she could make out bits and pieces of material that formed a bushy nest.

“Rtat,” it muttered, licking its paw with a rough pink tongue, mouth curling upwards in a faint smile. It bore the fresh scent of outdoors – of cedar trees, grass, and pine…

What Anna wouldn’t give to be able to play outside…

Anna choked on another sob, bottling it down as quickly as she could. The rattata spun around, sinking onto all fours as its muscles tensed and prepared to dash. It spotted her. The rodent’s back arched, nose wrinkling as its muzzle twisted into something of a half-hissing snarl-growl.

“Rrrratttaaaaata,” it chattered in warning, watching her with keen, wary eyes, fully prepared to bolt when and if the need came. “Rrrrrattatta.”

Anna picked her head up – that action nearly sent the creature fleeing.

She didn’t move. She didn’t want to scare it away. She liked animals.

Anna tried to smile now. The pain was fading. She could be brave and smile. Maybe the rattata would be her friend. “Hi. I’m Anna. An-na.”

Its stance was different now, less tense and less prepared. It cocked its head as if it were genuinely confused. Instead of running away, it came closer, sniffing the air. “Rat? Ratttata, rat?”

Anna crept forward, stretching out a tentative hand. No sooner had her hand brushed the top of the rattata’s head then did it react. With a hissing screech, the rattata recoiled, sinking its sharp fangs deep into her palm. Anna cried out in pain, flailing her hand with its unnaturally curved fingers until the rat let go. The force of the swing sent the rat’s tiny body skidding across the cement floor. It quickly leapt back onto its feet, scurrying away through the hole to freedom.

Anna hardly noticed the throbbing pain, or the blood steadily welling up from the bite. Instead, she watched the hole that the rattata had fled out of, waiting for it to come back. She waited and waited and waited, but it never returned. The only companion she had was the cold, unfeeling silence.

Anna hadn’t meant to frighten it. Was she really that scary?

This time, Anna couldn’t stop herself from crying. She really wasn’t the brave girl Daddy said she was.


At first, Anna had thought that her father had abandoned her, let her be taken away by the demon and stuffed into this dusty space, but it was not long before Anna knew better. Her Daddy had not abandoned her. No, he had saved her, rescued her from his frightening doppelganger that had tried to kill her.

He had explained everything to her once he had felt it safe to come downstairs. She had immediately asked about the demon from her dreams, if he had saved her, if the demon was gone. Was it why she looked so different? Why her back could no longer straighten, now arced in a permanent curve, or why her legs could no longer support her body? Why her nails were so sharp, pointed, and long? Did its presence answer all of those? Was it the reason why he had brought her here?

“Yes…” he had told her, nodding to all her questions after a moment’s consideration. He had then looked around her new room with a reminiscent sort of smile. “Besides, fire can’t burn here.”

He also explained that he was the one who had decided to bring her into the mansion’s basement and not anywhere else. That puzzled her, as her father had always explicitly forbidden her to go downstairs and explore the rooms below. It was a bad place, not safe for children like her. But now, it was a haven. The basement, this room, he explained, was where he kept the things that were important to him.

That meant that Anna was still very important to her father, even if she looked a little strange now. But that didn’t matter. Looks weren’t important. It was what was inside that counted. Anna was still his little princess, and he would make her better again as long as she was a good, patient little girl.

… Monster …​

Just because the room was Anna’s haven now still didn’t mean it still wasn’t a terribly lonely place.

The rattata had come back, so she wasn’t really by herself all the time, but it refused to let her come near, or, in reverse, let itself stray near her. The rattata had made itself clear that it was only here for its food and the shelter the basement provided. Nothing more, nothing less.

Even so, the rattata’s constant presence was a great comfort to Anna. It made her feel like she wasn’t alone anymore. It cheered her to watch the rat scurry in and out of the basement and prepare for the fast approaching winter. The pokémon would flit in and out at various times during each day, sometimes so careful and so silent that Anna hardly noticed its departure, even with her keen hearing. It was because of its quiet way of going about things that Anna decided to call the rattata Shadow. And Shadow, Anna also decided with absolute conviction, was a boy, because Shadow was a boy’s name, and there was no other way around it.

Anna didn’t know quite what Shadow would think over his new name, but Anna liked to imagine that he would like it a lot. It was a good name, and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. (It wasn’t like she had called him “cheese” or “cookie” or something. That would be stupid.) Tomorrow, she thought, she would tell him what his name was, but for now, Anna didn’t want to do anything that would chase away her only source of regular companionship. Her father didn’t come downstairs often anymore.

Growing up, Anna had never had any friends. Her house wasn’t by anyone else’s, solitary and surrounded by trees, so ancient it was probably older than Anna and her father put together. Maybe Anna would have made some good friends at school, but her father had never allowed her to go to school either. He said that was too dangerous.

But just because she never went to school or ever had any real friends to call her own didn’t mean Anna didn’t know what friends were. She had seen plenty of them on TV, and there were even more of them in her treasured storybooks. She always focused on how happy they were and often thought about how pleasant it would be to have a friend once she grew old enough for her dad to let her have one. She knew his feelings about strangers, but, Anna was sure, he could make an exception. Even if only once.

Just once.

Secretly, when neither her father nor Shadow were around, Anna would often play Make-Believe. She Make-Believed that Shadow was her friend and that he cared about her like a best friend would. He would laugh, play, and cry with her. He would pretend the room was a castle with her. They would eat lunch together, and he would have bad manners and stuff his cheeks full of peanut butter and berries. Anna loved dreaming up the adventures they would have when they really were friends. Her ideas were as limitless as the horizon and Anna’s imagination was quick to supply them. However, no amount of pretending could ever make any of these things true, and truth, Anna soon discovered, was a very hard and cruel thing.
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Well-Known Member
Oh my. I am horribly depressed reading this because of what happened to poor Anna but I simply adore the childish tone/mood (whatever) that you write this piece in. It captures Anna's innocence and naivety well.

(It wasn’t like she had called him “cheese” or “cookie” or something. That would be stupid.)
I love this line. I know out of the entire piece this is the oddest line to quote, but I really love it. I really like how you focus more attention (well, Anna's attention) on certain events, like her naming the rattata Shadow because those sorts of things are more important to a little girl than wondering what exactly those shots are for. I do like the reasoning behind her accepting the shots (helping her daddy and that shots make a person healthy). I think that's what made me so depressed, especially when we got to the fever segment because she's so innocent about it. Of course Anna would accept her daddy's word because well, he's her daddy, but she continues to worsen. =( I do like her loyalty because it's rings so true for what a little girl would do and how she creates reasons/excuses for the awful things her father does to her. The basement part really hit me. Her father's "important things" are held down there, but she still realizes that she's all alone.

Sigh. =( Lol.

I can't help but think of Molly from the pokemon movie featuring Entei. I mean the little girl/daddy dynamic isn't something out of left field, but the creativity segments, such as the father-but-not-father being a demon during the fire scene, really reminded me of the movie. Especially since her basis for her dad being a demon came from a book, which kind of happens in the movie (her dad was the Entei or something, I think). That and both character don't have a mother, which created a stronger bond with their father. Not that that's a bad thing (and, again, this sort of plot point isn't something unusual). I really love the daughter/dad dynamic you have here. It made me all the more madder with the father and sympathetic/depressed for Anna as the story progressed.

I was a little confused with the dialogue around the fire scene.

“No!” “No!” she shouted, shaking her head repeatedly.
You repeat "no" twice here, but I wasn't sure if this was a typo or some sort of plot point (the idea of a second voice/being ran through my head). I'm going to say it's some sort of plot point because you do it again here (kind of):

“What’s—" "Daddy? Daddy!" she cried, eyes wide and unfocused, crawling her way towards him because her legs refused to work the way she wanted them to.
(Are both quotes referring to Anna)?

Anyway, some typos:

... and he’d her until the both of them were winded and neither had the energy to make sky adventures anymore.
There's a word missing between "he'd" and "her." Swing, probably.

Her father-but-no screamed.
I think this should be "father-but-not-father."

I really love this. My emotions haven't felt so mixed after reading a fanfic, so kudos. =P I wonder what's going to happen to poor Anna ...

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
I think I've mentioned this somewhere before, but you really do seem to have a knack for writing authentically kidlike kids. Anna's reasoning does seem believable for someone as young as she seems to be.

On a related note, I like the way that her perception sort of colors the narration in places (such as when her father's described as "smarter than anybody that was anybody in the entire world"). Seems to be helping me understand the character and what these experiences are like for her nicely. X3

I certainly have my suspicions about what's being done to Anna (and pretty darned strong suspicions at that), but Lord knows I've been wrong before. X3; I will say two things about it, though: One, I like how clues as to what's happening are being released a bit more on the gradual side; it gives it this neat sort of a "picture coming into sharper and sharper focus" effect. Two, how eager and proud Anna was with regards to her participation in her father's work in the beginning and how she's never quite seemed to stop believing in him altogether and loving him throughout the process has had the effect of making her suffering in the name of her father's work seem all the sadder. :(

Oh, and Shadow is freaking adorable. Somehow I get this sense that I probably shouldn't get too attached to him (or, quite possibly, to her), but watch me get that way anyhow. X3;

Stuff that I wanted to highlight:

So Anna contented herself with sticking out her tongue at them as they left—with their backs turned, of course. To her, that was vengeance at its finest.

XD D'aww.

“Rtat,” it muttered, licking its paw with a rough pink tongue, mouth curling upwards in a faint smile.

Again, Shadow is freaking adorable. ^^

I will be back for more. :3


The world's a stage
This piece is so completely moving. The way you portray Anna and her innocent view of the world in and of itself is adorable, but when you put that up against these tragic circumstances, you end up with something simply beautiful.

I like the foreshadowing with the “… Monster …” lines that you drop every now and then, and the placement of the first one gave me chills with the mere sinister nature of its occurrence. I wasn’t quite sure what to feel about the father, you had me so shell-shocked. At first, I was just surprised he would do such a thing. What I might have felt in pity (he was, after all, driven to such extremes by the cruelty of Rocket) turned to a seething detestation as you showed poor Anna descend into hell.

You honestly had me getting sick to my stomach when you got to the parts where she started feeling true pain at what was happening to her, and the whole time she remained oblivious to her father’s complicity in what was happening. Granted, he probably only chose to use her as a last resort, I’m assuming, and it was probably her innocent plea to help him that finally convinced him to even try experimenting on her, but still, it feels like such a betrayal!

Everything you showed about Anna just kept making her more and more real, like her relationship to the rattata. You just went to the basic need for friends that a little girl would feel, and it just kept getting more depressing – but the good kind of depressing that a reader wants to be feeling.

I really like how its still ambiguous exactly what Anna is turning into, even though there are hints here and there.

I only saw a couple of errors/potential errors:

He was working as hard as he could, Anna knew he was, but still they were meanies and got angry at him all the time, sometimes for hours an hours.
This should probably be "and." However, it could be you were going for little-girl-speak here, but I doubt that since I didn't see this being used elsewhere in the chapter.

And every night, when the darkness came and the stars came out, she’d wish devoutly upon the brightest star, that they’d leave her and her Daddy alone.
The comma between "star" and "that" doesn't need to be there. I can see where you might have implemented it for the sake of forcing a slight pause, but I think it more just causes the sentence to be too choppy.

Anyway, a very fine piece of work. I absolutely loved it, and I can't wait for the second part!

Good Fortune! ;206;


The King of Kirby
Hey Saff, good to see you back again. ^^; That or I just miss your stuff.
Anyway, I really like this. I love how Anna's personality is and how you pull off the childish narration very well. I'm still trying to figure out what she's becoming though... or is, or whatever. Lol.
Man, I don't really have much else to say. I personally don't see anything that would need to be improved besides already mentioned typos. Which are that bad anyway.
So I can't wait for part two.
jirachiman out ;385;


Well-Known Member
Now I remember why I love your writing so much. Dark, yet beautiful. This reminds me of the chimera segment of Fullmetal Alchemist, where the man turns his entire family into chimeras for the sake of his work.

she was slowly becoming faster.
This sounds funny, "slowly becoming faster". Not really worthy of being changed, but I thought it was an interesting choice of words.

Thankfully Sike mentioned this piece to me, or I might have missed it (just got back to SPPF last night after months, probably years, of absence). Very interested to see part 2.
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