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Sleepy Chateau

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bay, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Bay


    Sleepy Chateau [One Shot]

    Hey, so this is a co-writing project with Bardothren and Bay in which we write a story together for PokeCommunity Forum's Halloween Event. We decided on the prompt "Pumpkins aren't just for decoration" and just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!

    (Oh, rating T/PG 13 for some instances of violence).

    Sleepy Chateau

    Written by Bay Alexison and Bardothren​

    I used to think that pumpkins were just for decoration. Now I can’t look at a jack o lantern without thinking about the night I almost lost everything.

    I was roaming Eterna Forest, looking to evolve my Eevee with the mossy rock. The sun had just set an hour ago, and a full moon lit up the forest floor with a gorgeous speckling of silver light. Not a single pokemon broke the silence of rustling leaves and creaking branches as I trekked to the heart of the forest.

    I was almost at the mossy rock when a Pumpkaboo ran right into me. The poor ghost was so frightened that it buried itself in my arms and wrapped its vines around me. I could feel it shaking and crying into my shirt.

    “A Pumpkaboo?” I was taken aback when it jumped into my arms like that, and even more confused by its sobbing. The Pumpkaboo still shook as I patted it gently and let out hushed sounds. “There there, buddy. What got you spooked?”

    That was when the Trainer arrived. The forest lit up with blue light, drowning out all the gentle moonbeams and circling the forest with flickering, ominous shadows. Branches crunched and leaves crackled beneath the hooves of a massive, fiery Rapidash. Blue flames roared across its mane, and its deathly white skin gleamed in the light of its own fire. A man in a ragged, faded trainer’s uniform sat bareback on the Rapidash, his upper torso obscured by the shadows of the forest and a billowing black cape.

    The Trainer made for an unsettling sight. I swallowed hard, feeling cold sweat on the back of my neck. The Pumpkaboo started crying again and huddled closer against my chest, its vines a little tighter around me.

    “Um, hi there,” I said. My voice cracked as I looked into the Rapidash’s cold, clear eyes. “I take it this is your Pumpkaboo?”

    The Rapidash snorted, and a speck of blue flames came out from its nostrils. The Pumpkaboo took one glance at them before shrieking and burying itself in my arms.

    “Well, it seems Pumpkaboo here doesn’t want to be with you anymore, so it would be best if you leave it alone.”

    The Rapidash strode a few steps forward, and I could see the man’s upper torso more clearly as the shadows shifted. What I saw nearly made me drop the Pumpkaboo.

    There was no head attached to his body.

    I’ve heard tales of the Headless Trainer countless times before, a headless being that challenged anyone who crossed paths with him in the dead of night and stole all their pokemon. I thought it was just some ghost story kids tell to scare one another. I wish I had paid more attention to how it ended.

    As he moved closer, I stepped back while I held the Pumpkaboo with one arm. I thought about running, but my legs wouldn’t move. Instead my fingers slid onto my belt where I kept my pokeballs and I tossed one of them in the air. There was a flash of light and my Eevee was released, already in his battle stance.

    “Let’s go! Swift!”

    My Eevee spat out a flurry of stars, but the Headless Trainer kicked at his Rapidash’s ribs, and it spat a billowing ball of fire that torched the stars and knocked my Eevee back into a tree. Before my Eevee could get up, the Rapidash charged and stomped him into the dirt. He didn’t move as I called him back into his pokeball.

    I reached for my next pokemon, but my fingers were shaking too hard to close around my pokeballs. The Headless Trainer rode closer to me until he loomed over me, wreathed in blue fire, and I blacked out when his fist slammed the top of my head.

    When I came to, the Pumpkaboo was gone. The moon shone overhead, so high in the sky that it blinded me when I opened my eyes. I checked my waist, and all my pokeballs were gone. The only one I had left was my Eevee’s, clutched tightly in my fingers. I called it out. He was still out cold, his fur singed and blood welling up from a huge gash in his head. I took out a revive and a super potion, patching him up as best I could. A few minutes later, my Eevee opened his eyes.

    “So glad you’re alright,” I said, hugging him tight. Eevee snuggled against me and licked my cheek. When I remembered that the Pumpkaboo was gone and the Headless Trainer had all my other pokemon, my smile faded.

    Still holding my Eevee, I stood up and looked around the forest. Both the phantom and its mount had vanished. As I was looking for where they went, I noticed some hoof prints on the ground, surrounded by singed grass. The trail led eastward, deeper into the forest, into a labyrinth of dead trees and their eerie, creaking groans.

    I started down the trail, but then I asked myself how I expected to win. I glanced back down the path I was walking and saw my answer, sitting in a clearing in the forest, covered in moss and crowned in moonlight. I walked up to it and leaned up against a tree. The Mossy Rock’s slick, dew-coated surface glittered, giving it an earthy green glow, and the smell of fresh dirt wafted in the breeze. It also felt warm, even from a distance, as though hot coals sat beneath its surface.

    “What do you say Eevee, ready to evolve?”

    Without hesitation, he yelped in approval. I smiled in return and placed my hands upon the rock. I couldn’t tell if it was sweat or dew that made my hands feel clammy.

    “Alright then. Hop on and see what happens.”

    My Eevee didn’t move. He trembled all over, and his eyes widened as he stared up the rock. I felt my own heart race, thudding against the warm, moist moss through my hands.

    “Everything’s going to be all right,” I said. “We’ll get them all back once you’re stronger. Just - just don’t be scared, alright?”

    My Eevee looked up at me and nodded. He scrambled up the rock, slipping and sliding on the moss, until he reached the top. Eevee’s body glowed and grew bigger. Through the blinding light, I could make out the ears and tail turning into leaves, and its fur took on the color of pale fall leaves. Once it was done, he gave out a proud growl and leapt to my side.

    I went down on one knee to pet him. His fur still had the silkiness of an Eevee’s, but it also felt pricklier, like fresh pine needles. The fur smelled of pine, and when I rubbed my fingers together, I felt a faint coating of resin sticking to my skin. Then I ran my fingers over the sprout growing on his head. I thumbed the edge of the leaf and nearly cut myself. Once I was done, I returned to where my pokemon were stolen and followed the burnt trail.

    The tracks stopped in front of a row of trees. Their branches interlocked to form a thick, gnarled wall, and big gray leaves obscured everything beyond. With a swipe of his tail, Leafeon sliced the trees into pieces, revealing a decrepit mansion. The siding rotted away, shingles fell from the rooftop like tears, and yet, somehow, not a single window was broken. The two windows on the front leered at me each time they caught moonlight, and the surrounding trees cast shadows in the shape of a giant maw at its door.

    The fiery hoofprints went through the front door. I followed them inside, and the front door slammed shut behind me, a bolt slamming into place as I walked away. The tracks continued through the house - I followed the scorch marks out of a parlor, through a dining hall, and into a hallway, where the tracks ended at a blank wall.

    I knocked at the wall, but I felt nothing. I looked around the hallway, at the faded, scorched carpet, paintings of aged men that scowled at me from their frames, and mounted heads of Tauros, Bouffalant, Sawsbuck, and Unfezant forever transfixed in rigor mortis stared blankly at me.

    Cobwebs hung over everything. They danced from the chandeliers and made ghastly wedding veils for the painted ladies. However, one Tauros horn remained conspicuously clean, and the horn was worn away by countless hands. I pulled on it, and with the groaning of gears, the bare wall slid aside, revealing a stone cavern that descended into the house’s foundation.

    My Leafeon and I dived right inside, our cautious steps echoing through the walls. The torches that hung up on the walls immediately lit in blue flames. Sensing the Headless Trainer was very close, I clenched my fist. We marched forward a little while longer until we stopped at the bottom of the cavern.

    I flinched when I stepped on something that cracked. Gazing down, there were many bones and skulls scattered on the ground and I could make out more burnt hoofprints. I’m guessing that’s where all the other stories ended. Before I could follow the tracks, though, a bolt of lightning crackled towards me. It singed my right ear, then a blue blur rammed me into the ground.

    On top of me was my first Pokemon, Croconaw. My heart sank as I stared into his cold, loathsome, violet eyes. Frigid breath wafted from his mouth and formed ice around his teeth. I froze up as the Croconaw opened his jaws, but Leafeon flung him back with the swipe of his sprout. My Croconaw hissed as blood welled up from a long, shallow gash in his thigh.

    My gut sank when I saw more glowing purple eyes towards the end of the room. The eyes crept forward until they emerged from the shadows. Houndour, Toxicroak, Galvantula - they all had that same violet eyes and murderous intent on their faces. The Headless Trainer walked up behind them and pointed towards me. My Toxicroak coated her fingertips in poison while the Houndour gathered flames in his mouth. As my Leafeon hissed and braced itself, I gritted my teeth and yelled my first order to him.

    “Dig!” Leafeon burrowed into the rock, leaving a pile of grainy dust behind as it tunneled below my other pokemon. Moments later, it resurfaced, slamming my Houndour into the ceiling. The bony bump along the top of its skull cracked, and it slumped to the floor.

    My Toxicroak pulled back her arm, and I shouted “Aerial Ace!” Leafeon ducked under Toxicroak’s Poison Jab and swiped her legs with his front paws. As she fell, Leafeon tackled her face, knocking her into a wall and out of consciousness.

    The Headless Trainer pointed, and I saw the bristles on my Galvantula’s body prick up. I ordered my Leafeon to Dig as she unleashed a Discharge, shocking my Croconaw in the process. Diving underground spared my Leafeon of the electrical attack, but the Headless Trainer followed it up by having my Galvantula cover the floor in sticky, charged webs.

    “Don’t dig up!” I shouted into the hole. “There’s webs on the floor! Try a wall!”

    The Headless Trainer heard me and had my Galvantula cover the walls, but it was only half-finished when my Leafeon leapt from an unfinished section and landed on top of the spider.

    With a gesture from the Headless Trainer, my Galvantula started charging up, but I ordered my Leafeon to finish it off with Leaf Blade. With one swipe of his tail, my Galvantula fell limp, green ichor spurting from a gash above her eyes.

    My Croconaw picked itself off the floor and rubbed at its arms. Then he rushed towards Leafeon and sunk his teeth into Leafeon’s skin. Leafeon yelled in pain, and lashed at him with his tail. The edged tail left a long, jagged cut just below his eye and made the Croconaw jump back. He smeared blood across his jaw and clamped his teeth.

    The Headless Trainer snapped its fingers, and Croconaw opened his mouth, blowing a cloud of icy vapor at Leafeon. He leapt up, but it hit at Leafeon’s side and he landed on the ground with shaky legs.

    Croconaw jumped right at Leafeon, his mouth wide open for another Crunch. Leafeon sidestepped and used his tail to cut Croconaw’s belly. The hit connected hard enough to knock the wind out of my Croconaw, and it sank to the floor, gasping for air.

    A tired sigh escaped from me as I knelt on the floor. One by one, all my broken, enslaved pokemon were called back by the Headless Trainer. He snapped each ball back onto my belt with sharp, cold clicks. Then he snapped, and the room lit up. Blue fire raced across the webs, leaving a blinding afterimage burned onto my retinas.

    But at that moment, both my Leafeon and I stared at the pile of bones behind them. The Pumpkaboo wriggled and screamed within a cage of bones, hanging from the ceiling with a thin, burning vine.

    “What do you want?” I asked. “Why did you attack me?”

    The Headless Trainer slid my belt off of his waist and held it up. He held it towards me, and it dangled from his fingertips, as though it might fall at any moment.

    “You’re - you’re giving them to me? Why?”

    The Headless Trainer pointed towards the way out. The message was clear enough. I stepped forward, hand stretched out, but then I stopped.

    “What are you going to do to that Pumpkaboo?”

    His Rapidash blocked my view of the bony cage and snorted at me. The Headless Trainer let the belt slip a little farther in his fingers. I almost took his offer right there and then, but the Pumpkaboo gave me a frightened, wide-eyed plea for help I couldn’t ignore.

    “Leafeon, get ready. Aerial Ace!”

    My Leafeon leapt up, white streaks surrounding him, and he charged at the Rapidash head on. The Headless Trainer’s Pokemon let out a stunned scream and he reared up.

    The Rapidash let out a jet of flames at Leafeon. He burrowed underground just before the flames reached him.

    Leafeon popped out from the ground, but the Rapidash dodged and jabbed its horn into Leafeon. He dropped on the ground, and before Leafeon could get back up, the Rapidash shrouded itself in flames and tackled him. My Pokemon flew up in the air, then crashed down onto a pile of bones.

    “Leafeon!” I cried out in panic, making one step forward. Leafeon panted and heaved himself out of the pile. There were gashes on his skin, his legs wobbled, and scorch marks covered the right side of his body. I was about to call him back, but he limped in front of me and crouched, whipping his tail side to side, ready to pounce again. I swallowed and looked back towards the Rapidash, wondering how soon would I join the bones at my feet.

    That was when the chiming started. Like a grandfather clock the size of Big Ben, the whole house rang with an ethereal chorus of bells. The timbers above shrieked and shuddered, and nails rained from the floorboards. Cracks appeared, letting in thin beams of moonlight that sparkled in the dusty air.

    The Headless Trainer panicked and ran for the Pumpkaboo. It cowered in its cage and squealed in terror.

    “Stop him Leafeon! Leaf Blade!”

    As my Leafeon sprinted towards him, the Headless Trainer’s Rapidash stomped Leafeon’s tail. He screamed as his tail burned. Then the Headless Trainer threw my belt of pokeballs on the other side of the room. Floorboards shattered and covered the floor in splinters. I called my Leafeon back and glanced across the room. On my right, the Headless Trainer rushed towards the Pumpkaboo. On the left, my pokemon sat atop a pile of skulls, slowly disappearing beneath a snowfall of dust and splinters. Whole beams cracked and fell, sending shards of bone flying up like sparks. The very stone of the cave shook and cracked, and bones sunk into the empty black abyss below.

    I hopped across the holes Leafeon made and clambered over beams, snatching my pokemon from the pile seconds before a beam crashed upon them. I looked around for the Pumpkaboo, but whole sections of floor had already caved in. I started towards the exit, but I heard the Pumpkaboo shrieking over the din of falling timbers. I looked back, and saw the Headless Trainer holding the Pumpkaboo above itself. Fiery blue threads wriggled out of the Headless Trainer’s neck and reached for the Pumpkaboo. Though it squirmed and bit at the hands that held it, the Pumpkaboo couldn’t break free. As it closed its eyes, I rushed over and tackled the Headless Trainer. He staggered back and teetered over a hole. His Rapidash grabbed his collar before he fell in, and I ran off with the Pumpkaboo. The entire floor above had given away, and a giant staircase tumbled into the basement, cracking down the middle before falling through the fragile stone floor. I raced forward, struggling to keep my footing as the floor shifted beneath me. Then I fell, just short of the exit, and I slid towards the abyss.

    I clawed and clambered my way up, but the stone crumbled beneath my grasp. Just as I was about to fall, a vine wrapped around my wrist. I looked up and saw the Pumpkaboo dangling from the ceiling, holding onto a Sawsbuck horn with one vine. It hoisted me up to a door, and just as my feet hit solid floor, the mounted head broke from the wall, and the Pumpkaboo tumbled into the basement. I grabbed for its vine, but a burst of fire shot up from the basement, and my fingertips got burnt. I looked for the Pumpkaboo, but I couldn’t see anything beyond the thick, swirling cloud of dust in the basement.

    The entire house shuddered, and the roof caved inwards. Chandeliers hit the floor and shattered into millions of tiny, glittering shards, and candlesticks mounted into the wall burst into flames, igniting the wood around them. The whole house became ablaze with blue fire and crashed down towards me. I made it out the front door just before the house collapsed in on itself.

    The sun had just risen, casting a crimson glow over the treetops, and a Starly sounded a morning call muffled by rustling leaves. First, I checked my belt and ran my fingers over all five pokeballs. Then I looked back, but the mansion was gone. All that remained was a bare, stony patch of earth and a single vine at its center. I didn’t stay. I turned around and took my pokemon to a pokemon center, and I hadn’t been back in that forest since.

    Even now, when I fall asleep, I sometimes see fiery webs closing around me, strangling me, burning me, holding me back from reaching the Pumpkaboo, and I wake up with a start wondering where the burn marks went.
  2. Mrs. Lovett

    Mrs. Lovett Rolling writer

    The title was too cute not to click on. xP But I like what the story turned out to be - a semi-scary, recollected tail with plenty of mystic elements, yet not over-the-top with the horror. At first, I was a bit confused as to why a non-Sinnoh pokemon would appear in the Eterna Forest, and I originally thought that you two had just assumed that pokemon from other regions could appear in Sinnoh as well, since the trainer didn't seem particularly surprised to encounter a member of that species there. I had no problems with that, but I'm wondering if there's actualy another reason as to why the Pumpkaboo ran up to the trainer. Perhaps he in fact belongs to the Headless Trainer and was intended to be a lure tactic? If so, then that made a great answer to the prompt. Hehe.

    Speaking of the Headless Trainer, I also really enjoyed him and the legend of how he challenges nighttime wanderers. You mostly refer to him as a 'he', but I caught one place where he's called an 'it':

    I also wonder if the Old Chateau recovered from the incident and will appear completely normal when the next traveler comes by. In that case, it would be almost as if the magic from last time is slumbering and awaiting its next victim. :p

    All in all, a good read, and very Halloween-appropriate!
  3. Bay


    Concerning the Pumpkaboo in Sinnoh, I actually talked to my co writer over that. I thought of one way to point out how a Pumpkaboo is in Sinnoh, but he disagreed with it as he wanted it to be kept as a mystery. In the original draft I did have the protagonist be confused why he's in Sinnoh, but we took that line out. So I guess for now assume Pumpkaboo can run around in Sinnoh now lol. As the lure tactic, that wasn't our original plan sorry lol.

    Oh oops. Yeah so my co writer and I discussed the genders for the Pokemon while we kinda sometimes use "it" and "he" for the Headless Trainer. I think in the end we decided on "he" but we missed that.

    Haha we didn't think that far off, but hey if Pokemon Generations had anything to say about it, it might well be.

    Thanks for the review, and glad you enjoyed it!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016

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