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Wake [One-Shot]

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by [Imaginative]:[Clockwork], Dec 24, 2010.

  1. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Hey, everyone. :) This is a very simple, very short one-shot. I'm not sure how apparent it is that this is a Pokémon fic since there aren't any outright Pokémon references but I assure you it doesn't belong in the Non-Pokémon Fics forum. There's not much else I can say. Read on.


    He had left that morning. He his bag the previous evening and had driven away as soon as the sun became visible in the eastern sky. She had been there the entire time. She was in his room, watching blankly and hopelessly while clothes and food had been stuffed into the black hiking backpack. She had been standing in the driveway, waving stiffly and holding back tears while he and his mother had pulled away in their light blue SUV. And now she was sitting at the end of the old, rotting, wooden dock, her toes dipping into the ocean, clouds passing overhead, and waves crashing intermittently on the beach a few yards behind her.

    In her hands was the softball they had played with the last few months of school. She felt with her fingers every fault and dent put into it by many hours each day of batting, throwing, and catching. Remembering the day he had hit the ball into the woods, she even smiled. It had landed in a river and they had both dived in to retrieve it. That was the happiest she could remember being in a long time. From that day onward, the majority of his free time had been spent studying, mapping, and preparing. She had helped, of course, and she’d be lying if she tried to convince herself that they didn’t have a good time – they always had fun together – but the knowledge that he would be leaving soon weighed on her mind ceaselessly, invading her thoughts just as she was beginning to forget and enjoy herself. There had been several times when she had left his house early, mumbling some vague, made-up excuse as quietly as possible so he wouldn’t hear the tears in her voice.

    Acting on a quick impulse, she pulled back her arm and threw the ball into the sea. As soon as it left her hand she regretted it and even though the softball itself floated in the water, her heart sank. She wasn’t going to get it, though. She told herself – repeatedly – that holding on to every memory wouldn’t help her. Still, she felt physically ill having to watch the ball bob within the waves.

    Three months. That’s what he had told her every day leading up to his departure. He would only be gone three months and get back in time for them to start their final year of high school together. It was comforting to hear but she knew in the back of her mind that nobody who left ever came back, at least not as the same person they had been when they left. She had known people and seen things that made her wonder why anyone would leave. Was it worth losing one’s innocence just to see the world? She didn’t think so.

    However, she would give anything to go with him. They would change but they would be changing together. It made her mind run wild at the thought of traveling with him. She knew if they had gone together it would have been the best summer of her life. And they had been through many great summers.

    She thought back to the bike rides through the fields in the north and being taught how to spin the handlebars full circle as she rode. She remembered the piano lessons their parents had signed them up for together and how angry the teacher had gotten when they spent the entire time talking and making up dirty songs. She glanced around to make sure there was no one near enough to see the stupid grin on her red face. She then looked into the water and thought about the night they had snuck out to the beach and swam together, only getting out when she swore she felt something brush past her feet. She still remembered how the salt water tasted on his lips when he finally got the courage to make a move. To this day, she couldn’t go swimming without replaying every moment of that night in her head. It had all been so good and warm. She couldn’t believe that it was over. In fact, she wouldn’t believe that it was over. To her, there was no way that the memories they had made together could be forgotten and pushed away. There was too much happiness to dismiss, no matter what a summer on the road did to someone. With this momentary piece of comfort, she smiled slightly.

    Gently, something tapped her foot and she leaned over to look. It was the softball, pushing against her toes. She reached down and grabbed it, feeling the same contours and cracks she had felt before, dripping, but still exactly what she remembered. For the first time, her mind stopped looking back and began to peer forward, specifically to the final day of summer vacation, when she would be sitting on his porch. He would be back. They would be together again. She thought this, even said it aloud, and she let herself believe it.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  2. Breezy

    Breezy Well-Known Member

    My brain is having some issues with the age in relation to the narrative. I read this from a perspective of a preteen (10-15, though 15 might be pushing it), but you write that their one year away from being high school seniors. I know the age varies per country (I assume 16-18, though), which seems ... a little odd for such a naive/innocent narrative. Like, I can see a couple of twelve year olds running around, jumping into rivers, playing softball, getting lost in the wood, but I can't say the same for 16-17 year olds ... not unless booze was involved. *shot* Of course, I'm pretty jaded. Whoo hoo university.

    Besides that, I enjoyed it. It is, indeed, simple, but in a good way. I liked the innocent tone your narrative/character has. It kind of left me feeling off (again, in a good way, if that makes sense) when I got to the end with her hope that he would be "coming back," even though her sense told her that those who go off (on their pokemon journey, I assume) never come back ... at least not for awhile.

    (I'm not sure if I used enough parentheses.)

    I read this question/answer a few times. It gives me the same "off" feeling that I had at the end. This character may never really understand what it's like to go on "a journey" given her ... fear isn't the word. Dislike? I'm not sure. At the same time, I know she is happy with where she is, if not a bit sad for the friends leaving her, which makes me sad. I guess I am a little perturbed at how naive she seems to be and how she may never change because of this "fear."

    I digress. Overall, I like it. The story isn't "doing" much (girl musing as she sits on the docks) but it "says" a lot with the simple tone and phrasing. It helps emphasize the "innocence" this girl has and makes the read more impact. Awesome.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  3. Skydra

    Skydra Well-Known Member

    I think before but a comma should be placed. Its possible to argue otherwise, but it seems better if they would change is an introductory clause.

    Almost completely error free.

    I always thought that Gym Leader's changed their names or something to coincide with their type, especially since Crasher Wake is his wrestling title. Assuming you're talking about the Gym Leader at all (which would make this non-Pokemon if you weren't).
  4. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    In my head, this was a 16-17 year old girl in a relationship with a boy that she had known since childhood who was leaving on a Pokémon journey. The swimming/bike riding/everything were memories of what they'd done together during their entire relationship (being both the friendly and romantic sides), so any age could be placed on those events. Although the swimming I intended to be more of a "romantic" getaway for the two as they got older, not just two kids hopping in the water together.

    Thank you. :) I tried to make the tone one of a girl who doesn't quite understand the world or anything outside of her town (Olivine, if you were curious) but still considers her high school romance one of the most important things that will happen to her.

    I'd describe it as just a naivety of the world around her and nervousness about how the "outside" will change the boy. She's perfectly happy with the way things are/were, but now she's afraid of being left behind (physically and mentally/emotionally) by the boy.

    Thank you so much for the review. It means a lot. :)

    I'll correct that. Those situations always trip me up.

    No, sorry, it's not about a gym leader. Like Breezy guessed, it's about a girl being left behind by a boy going on his Pokémon journey.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  5. Skydra

    Skydra Well-Known Member

    Sorry, the name being Wake and it being in the Pokemon Fics, as well as the "going on a Pokemon journey" as in "become a gym leader after journeying" made me assume it had something to do with Crasher Wake.
  6. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Well, my oceanic vocabulary is pretty incomplete but I named it wake because the girl was left in the wake of the boy leaving. *shrugs* Pretty lame. XD
  7. disclaimer065

    disclaimer065 Well-Known Member

    For being so short, it spoke so much.

    I really enjoyed it. Although the length suited it perfectly, I find myself wishing it had been longer, if only so I could experience it more.

    I've only seen one fic like this before, and only in the regard that, while taking place in the Pokemon world, it only referenced it slightly. That fic dealt more with the hardships faced by people, rather than relationships and how they affect people. At any rate, yours was superior.

    I wish I could offer anything more than these observations, but I didn't see any flaws. You did a wonderful job.
  8. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Oh, wow, thank you. :) I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I was afraid it would be too skimpy so it's nice to know the length was appropriate.

    Don't worry about it. Just reading and reviewing was more than enough. Once again, thank you.
  9. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    This was a very nice and interesting read. I like seeing the effects of kids leaving on journeys all alone being explored, and especially adding in how age and innocence affect and are affected made it an interesting read.

    As mentioned, not much happens - but that's okay. A young girl alone with her thoughts was still compelling, and the length worked with the subject matter. I like that she fears the journey, much as it is a shame for her, but it shows us one of the kids who doesn't leave, and instead watches as their friends leave, and especially in how they return changed. It's an interesting way to reflect on the journeys, and the kids she grew up with. Her thoughts also turn in a nice sort of arc, which is brought around especially nicely by the return of her ball. I did find the last lines a bit cheesy, especially since we're just told she starts looking forward, not directly shown it in any real way. Maybe even reflecting on how the ball being wet is just one more "dent" that can be overcome might have been an interesting thought.

    I didn't find any errors, though there a sort of something that caught me.
    The last three words here are nothing more than that - words. Clearly she has had a very close relationship with this boy, and that's something we'd really like to see being evoked in visceral ways. In the next paragraph you describe her as feeling "physically ill," which is exactly what I mean. If you can create strong imagery to convey how she feels, like something heavy weighing in her stomach or a deep frown starting to settle on her face, it can often have a greater affect than mere words. It's a real showing/telling sort of thing.

    Additionally, you say they were in a relationship, and that news was a little surprising to me. I didn't really get the vibes of a high-school romance within the story. You already do nicely in that when she recalls a story she brings up specific details that are really lovely (the dirty songs, the brush against her foot). You could have also used these moments to include details like holding hands or cuddling, and maybe even having her blush at the memory of these intimate memories.

    Still, this was definitely a nice reflection on relationships and change, and I really enjoyed getting to see it explored. Even the fact that it was a fan fic wasn't vital, because it's a nice look at the way the world changes people, yet it remained a nice, different angle to look at journeying. Nice job. :)

  10. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    I changed the last paragraph slightly, making it slightly less matter-of-fact that he would be back.

    I actually remembered being slightly put-off when writing that. :p It didn't feel right to me. I basically just overhauled the remainder of the paragraph, so hopefully it's a slight improvement. I don't think I captured exactly what you were saying but I added some details to make the situation feel more real and personal.

    Their relationship wasn't romantic from the beginning, so some of the memories are just as platonic as they seem. It's not vital to know this to understand the story, but I imagined them to be childhood friends, eventually getting close enough to become romantic. I did add a small detail (maybe a little too bluntly, I'm afraid) during the swimming memory to make it fairly clear that there was at least romance involved at some point.

    I'm afraid I'm still most comfortable writing within the fandom, even in a piece like this where I wouldn't really have to change a thing to make it Non-Pokémon. XP

    Thank you for the wonderful review. :)

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