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Frosty Festivities: The Colonists

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  Benedict lay in bed and stared at the ceiling, trying to formulate a way to evade the events of tomorrow.  At the insistence of Quincy's overbearing parents, the Buizel and his snooty partner were to attend a party of some sort.  He had not bothered to pay attention to any of the particulars; he knew only that it would be crowded, most likely boring, and that he'd rather get stuck in a Galvantula's nest than attend.  The only possible upside the Water-Type could come up with was that Quincy was also against going, but enjoying the Normal-Type's annoyance was hardly with putting up with the idiotic, overly social citizens of Andalusst.

  Plus, I bet he'll only complain about this parents, Benedict thought begrudgingly.  ' They make me do this, they make me do that', blah, blah, blah.  At least they seem t'care about him!  My parents never did that.  One left before I hatched, and the other clawed my eye out!  That stupid Furfrou's got no right to complain.

  Sighing in irritation and frustration, the Water-Type shifted onto his belly and stared out the window at the slowly rising moon.  Feeling bored, he followed its gradual ascent, until his eyelids grew heavy, and he lapsed into sleep.

     ~~~

  "I k-knew this w-was a dumb id-dea," Benedict griped to himself as he sat, shivering, at the bar of the inn.  All throughout the wide, frigid space, Pokémon participated in numerous activities the Buizel found ridiculous: a Meowth and her darker-than-normal Shinx partner were getting their faces painted, a Purrloin and scarved, gloved Seviper were making progress on their ice sculptures, and many, many of the attendees were partaking of the vast array of foods and beverages laid out for them.  Oddly enough, the majority of the crowd seemed absolutely fine despite the low temperatures; a few even appeared not to notice it at all.  One of those few Pokémon just so happened to be Quincy, who had taken interest in a group of researchers on the other side of the room, and was now idly chatting with them while they apparently performed tests on the ice.  This left Benedict alone, freezing, and without entertainment, all of which put a serious damper on his normally foul mood.

  "St-stupid scientists," the Water-Type muttered, tails swishing in a fruitless attempt to ward off the cold.  "Goin' and r-ruinin' the only g-good thing about th-this party.  N-now I'll hafta p-put up with that m-mutt's happiness for th-the rest of the d-day.  H-he shouldn't be the h-happy one.  I sh-should be the happy one!  He, on the other h-hand, should g-go t-"

  "Hi, Benedict!" A chipper voice sounded to the Buizel's left.  Turning, he was both shocked and delighted to see Mirage making her way towards him, a small yellow Pokémon at her heels.

  Grinning widely, Benedict got hurriedly to his feet, their numbness chased away by the warm, tingly feeling he was beginning to associate with her.  "Hey, Mirage!  What're you doin' here?"

  "Oh, you know, just enjoying the festivities!" the Zoroark replied with a shrug.  "No matter how cold they might be…"

  "Heheh, yeah, bit of a weird place for a party, ain't it?  With the whole 'gonna freeze your fur off' thing goin' on."

  "Well, if it's what the ambassador wants, it's what the ambassador gets, I guess."  Having not known what the party's occasion was, Benedict had no clue what this meant, but before he could question, the Dark-Type had already started talking again.  "Oh, right!  Benedict, this is T.J., a friend of mine.  A sort of… accident gave him amnesia, so he's staying with me until he gets his memory back."

  The Zoroark gestured to the younger Pokémon at her side, who wagged his red-tipped tail happily and held out a friendly paw.  "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir!"

  He sounds kinda like Quincy, Benedict thought, staring disapprovingly down at the Fighting-Type.  Why's he holdin' out his paw like that?

  The movement of his tail slowing, the Mienfoo blinked in confusion.  "Aren't we going to shake hands?"

  Oh.  That's why.  "Er, right." Tentatively, the Buizel grasped T.J.'s relatively tiny paw, completely engulfing it with his black-gloved hand.  The combination of Benedict's utter ignorance to social workings and the Mienfoo's barely constrained fear of this scarred Water-Type with claws on his gloves and a grip that cut off circulation made the exchange tedious, awkward, and altogether unpleasant.  When it was finally over, both individuals involved were tempted to breathe a sigh of relief, though only Benedict actually did so.

  "Uh, Mirage?" T.J. asked, obviously unsettled by the cantankerous 'greeting', if you could call it that.  "The Guild Leaders said something about bobbing for apples, right?  Do you think we can go check that out?"

  "Sure, T.J.," Mirage replied, then turned to Benedict.  "I should probably supervise him, so… it was nice seeing you!  Maybe we can meet up later on, okay?"

  "Okay!  See ya later!"  Waving at the duo as they walked away, the Buizel felt excitement bubble up in his chest.  She wants to hang out later!  This is awesome!  And… and don't these party things have romance-y dances and stuff?  Maybe I could ask her to dance!  …Not that I really know how to dance, but whatever.  I'll just make it up as I go along, no trouble!  This is gonna be great!

  With that gleeful thought stuck firmly in his mind, Benedict looked for ways to pass the time until the dancing began.  He picked at the food samples and found that most of them were surprisingly tasty, though one was so spicy it drove him to consume a half-finished ice sculpture, much to the annoyance of the one-armed Shiny Zangoose and the bladeless Seviper that had been shaping it.  He attempted to have his scars accentuated with body paint, but proved too fidgety (and, to his embarrassment, ticklish) for the activity.  He even tried to carve a small statue from one of the offered blocks of ice, though his lack of appreciation for such things didn't let him get very far.  In the end, the Water-Type simply sat by the bar, snacked on some honey coated pastry- his favorite dish by far- and watched the crowd for any possible tips he could use in his impeding advance on Mirage.  Disappointingly, he saw nothing of use, though some conversations were kind of interesting, and the numerous pranks of a mischievous, red-eyed Snivy were incredibly amusing.  Then, after a long while, which was, at the same time, all too short, the time had arrived.

  Tables and chairs were pushed to the edges of the wide space, revealing a vast floor of sparkling ice.  Those not interested in participating either moved to the sidelines or left the building.  From some unknown area, a cheery, peppy melody began to play, spurring the eager dancers into an animated jaunt about the room.  To his frustration and his worry, Benedict saw no sign of Mirage among them, nor in the crowd of bystanders.  His tails twitched, partly in time with the music, and partly from his rising unease.

  She… couldn't have left, could she? the Buizel mused fretfully.  I hope not… that kid she was with said somethin' about bobbin' for apples.  That means she's probably outside somewhere.

  Jumping to his feet, the Water-Type quickly made his way to the door and out into the street.  To his dismay, the exterior of the in was even more crowded than its interior.  Rather rudely shoving his way through the dense masses, Benedict desperately searched for a glimpse of Mirage's tri-colored shawl or the bright cherry red of her mane.  While he did at one point spy a Zoroark, it was not the one he was after.  Instead, it was a shorter, more timid looking member of the species, trailing on all fours behind, of all Pokémon, the ruby-eyed Snivy from earlier.  As his search lead again and again to fruitless results, the Buizel's aggravation continued to grow, until it finally peaked when he found the bobbing-for-apples area and was still not met with success.  Eventually, Benedict was forced to give up his endeavor, having looked everywhere he could find on the party grounds with no luck.  So, with a heavy heart, sagging shoulders, and dragging tails, he blearily trudged back to the inn.

  It was quite the exuberant surprise to him, then, to find that Mirage and her pint-sized companion had not left, but were in fact idly relaxing by the food samples, observing the dancers as they began waltzing to the slow, steady music that was just beginning to play.

  "Mirage!"  Ecstatic energy returned, Benedict bounded joyfully over to the Zoroark and Mienfoo, the former of which greeted him with a smile that he found absolutely dazzling.  (The latter gave him a rather confused look, but the Water-Type payed him no heed.)

  "Hi again, Benedict!" the Dark-Type chirped.  "T.J. and I were taking a break for refreshments, and we decided to watch the dancers for a little while.  Some of them are really good, don't you think?"

  "Uh, yeah, I guess so."  Fighting an unexpected surge of nervousness, Benedict sidled closer to the Zoroark, accidentally pushing T.J. aside in the process.  "Maybe... maybe we can join 'em?"

  "Oh, me?"  Mirage seemed incredibly surprised, which Benedict suspected was a bad thing.  "It's… a nice offer, but I have no clue how to dance.  If I went out there, I'd just get laughed at.  You, too, probably."

  "Err- I don't mind!" Benedict replied somewhat shakily, doing his best to not appear crestfallen.  "I dunno how t' dance, either.  We can just, ah, make it up as we go, or look at what everyone else is doin'!  No problem with that, right?"

  "I'd rather not embarrass myself in front of practically all of the other Guild members, thanks," the Zoroark responded.  Her tone was apologetic, but Benedict was too disappointed to really notice or care.

 "Oh, r-right.  Uh, see ya," the Buizel muttered with a half-hearted wave.  Then, before Mirage could question him, he darted away into the crowd.  Glancing back, he thought he saw her share a confused glance with T.J., though he wasn't entirely sure.

  "Um…  Okay, so the dancin' didn't work," the Water-Type murmured to himself, the tip of his tail that had not been ripped off twitching with both thoughtfulness and frustration.  "That means I gotta try somethin' else.  I could, eh, give her flowers, maybe.  Girls like flowers, right?  Or should I-"

  "She'll never love you back, you know."

  Benedict swiveled sharply to see Quincy striding towards him, apparently done with whatever work he had been completing with the scientists.  There was a curiously smug expression on his face, the look of one who is planning something most devious.  Benedict, however, was nowhere near insightful enough to realize this.  Even if he was, the Furfrou's icy comment had thrown him far too off-guard.

  "Wh-what?!  What d'you think you're talkin' about?  What 'she'?  I don't know any 'she'!  You're just makin' up-"

  "Oh, please," the Normal-Type sneered with an almost practiced-looking eye roll.  "I may not be the most socially intellectual Pokémon there is, but I'm not blind.  You've been swooning over that girl ever since you first laid eyes on her.  Even if that was not the case, going up to someone and asking them to dance with you, during a waltz, no less, isn't exactly the subtlest hint that you have affections for them."

  Benedict's cheeks flushed a rosy pink.  He shuffled his feet, ashamed at being so easily found out.  "Er- so?  What's it got t'do with you?"


  "Oh, not much." Quincy's eyes glittered with anticipated satisfaction that the Buizel still failed to notice.  "I just find it odd that, as blatantly moronic as you are, could possibly believe that you have a chance at winning the feelings of one who has even the smallest standing in civilized society."

  "Wha…?" The Water-Type had no clue what his partner had just said, but he was fairly sure he didn't like it.  His hands balled into fists.  "Stop speakin' gibberish, dog!  You're not impressin' anyone with your nonsense!"

  "It seems I need to elaborate in a way that your pathetic mind can understand." Quincy sighed impatiently, though it sounded almost rehearsed.  "Fine, here it is: You are a monstrosity.  You attack and kill mindlessly, and enjoy doing it in the most torturous way possible.  Your body is riddled with scars, some of which are so bad that they practically cripple you, and yet your wear them like morbid trophies.  You have no temper. You put yourself on the highest pedestal imaginable, when in reality, you are so stupid that you can't even read.  You think that a long, drawn-out death is the best punishment, and that anyone who doesn't agree with you is deserving of one.  In short, you are a violent, mangled, irascible, narcissistic, foolish, psychotic disgrace to society, and you know what?  That Zoroark can probably dance just fine.  She just didn't want to be seen doing it anywhere near you.  Do you know why that is?  It's because no one- I repeat, no one- is insane or idiotic enough to care at all about you."

  Yowling wordlessly, Benedict charged at the Normal-Type, pinning him to the icy floor and nearly colliding with a Kirlia and Slakoth that had been dancing together in the process.  Snarling, he clawed savagely at his partner's long neck, but the Furfrou managed to jerk aside, and the Buizel merely shredded the collar of his vest and surrounding fur.  Before the Water-Type could strike again, Quincy scratched his claws against the ice and flung the residue into Benedict's face, causing him to splutter and pause to rub at his eyes.  Using the moment of distraction, the Normal-Type roughly pushed off his attacker and scrambled to his paws as the Buizel did the same.

  "You're only proving my point, you imbecile!" Quincy snarled, tensing in preparation for another assault.

  Benedict leaped again, but out of nowhere, a hand firmly grasped the back of the air sac on his neck, halting him mid-spring.  The Water-Type was hoisted unceremoniously upwards, until he was staring furiously into the face of none other than Cassidy, who looked rather enraged himself.  The Buizel nearly gave him a harsh blow to the head, but somehow managed to come to his senses and restrain the murderous impulse before it could be carried out.

  "I thought I said there wasn't gonna be any fightin' 'round here!" the First Mate growled, blissfully unaware of how close he had come to getting his face ripped off.  "I'm gettin' real fed up with th' two 'a you arguin' all th' time.  Maybe kickin' you outa here will teach ya a lesson."

  "The mutt started it!" Benedict protested, ignorant to the Floatzel's 'don't-talk-back-or-you're-dead' tone of voice as he struggled to break free.

  "I don't care who started it!  I'm endin' it! Both of you are comin' back t' the Guild with me!   Now!"  With that, Cassidy dropped the younger Water-Type and roughly shoved the two members of the exploration team towards the door.

  As they walked, Benedict realized that it was absolutely silent; there was no talking no banter, not even any music.  Instead, the other Pokemon, dancers and observers alike, had stopped whatever they had been doing to stare at the event in shock and even horror.  The Buizel thought he saw Mirage very clearly among them, looking just as terrified as the rest, perhaps even more so.  He almost looked back to disprove that notion, but something stopped him.  It was the unexpected, fearful, almost painful thought that he was not mistaken, that he had, in fact, scared his crush straight out of her mind- and that his snobby, stuck-up, asocial partner was actually right.

                 ~~~

  What is wrong with me? Quincy wondered, standing stock-still in the middle of a side street, completely aghast with himself.

  The Furfrou had been on his way to his parents' house to report Benedict's attack so that he would finally be released from his position as team leader of the Colonists- as was his plan- when the question had refused to be ignored any longer and forced its way into his conscious mind, so strong that it stayed his paws.  He tried to feel surprised by it, tried to tell himself that such a thought was completely out of the blue.  Yet he knew that was wrong, that the semi-rhetorical inquiry had been lingering in the back of his mind for quite a while now, ever since he had noticed how oddly quiet his partner had been on their way back to the Guild.  The Buizel, with his disposition, should have been trying with all his might to get Cassidy to remove the blame from him.  When that failed, he should have fired a long list of insults at Quincy, trying desperately to put into his words the pain he could've so easily delivered with blows, had he been allowed to do so.  Lastly, he should have resigned to muttering crossly to himself, blatantly ignoring everything and everyone else around him.  It was what always happened when the Guild Leaders caught them arguing (which was more frequent then he'd like to admit), and it was what he had expected this time, but it was not so.  Instead, Benedict had remained absolutely silent, not uttering a single word to himself or others, seeming for all the world to be… subdued, beaten, even.  And no matter how hard Quincy tried to convince himself otherwise, he knew with unsettling certainty that he was the cause of it.

It… it was part of the plan, the Normal-Type argued shakily to himself, slowly starting to walk again.  I had to provoke him; there was no other alternative that would lead to something my parents would take seriously.  Had I not taken matters into my own paws, I would've had to deal with that idiot for who knows how long.  I saw an opportunity to do that, and I took it, fair and square.

  "Yes, you took it; you took it and ran all the way to Iapon with it, you reckless moron," the Furfrou muttered.  In truth, he had only intended to mock his partner for his failed attempt at getting a date, since the Buizel seemed particularly touchy on that subject (Benedict tied to rip Quincy's tail off just for ruining his fabrication of snagging carts from suspicious individuals he was using to impress his Zoroark crush; 'touchy' is an understatement).  All of the other things he'd said, while believed them to be somewhat true, were spur-of-the-moment, exaggerated, and unnecessary.  It occurred to him, then, just how low he had gone, not just to come up with all of those insults, but to formulate such a plan that could use them.  What at first had seemed like such a brilliant idea now looked like something bordering madness, and the fact that he had not just come up with it, but had enjoyed executing it made him no better than the very Pokémon he had victimized.  Maybe even worse.

  Quincy had arrived at his parents' house.  Lantern light filtered through the windows, and voiced could be heard chattering idly inside.  He was mere feet away from the solution to what he had thought was the biggest problem he had.  All he needed to do was knock on the door…

  …But that was something he no longer had the willpower to do.

  "'Victory won through villainy earns no reward,'" the Normal-Type murmured, quoting one of his grandfather's old adages.  This would most certainly count as a 'victory won through villainy', and even if there was a reward, Quincy was no longer so sure that he wanted it.

  My parents would probably just throw me straight back into Guild work, perhaps with another 'mon I despise.  Benedict… well, who knows.  Either way, life probably wouldn't be that much better than before.  And if it would, well… Well, then I'd prefer to feel as if I deserved it.

  The Furfrou sighed, then slowly turned away from the house and trotted into the night.
SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYESIT'SFINALLYDONEHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
.... And it took way longer than it should have, but I DON'T CARE BECAUSE ERMAHGERD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT YAYZ
Seriously, though, I really wanted to do this.  I almost did this during Errand ten, buuuuuuut that failed.  This works out better anyway.  It took up 14 pages (well, 13.5) in my notebook, so, I'm pretty proud of myself, since most entries only take up five or six.  I bet you were crying.  From laughing!  At how tragic it was.Mabel pines 
Unfortunately, my taking all this time to finish this means I can't collaborate with anyone to find Ronnie friends... I'm still going to do something though.  It will be funny.  And there will still be cameos, most likely.  Just not talking ones.  Speaking of which!
Cameos:
:icona-cat-art: Team Thunderstorm: a-cat-art.deviantart.com/art/P…
:iconskyleaf2000: Team Celestral: skyleaf2000.deviantart.com/art…
:icondracyor: Researchers of the Day:  fav.me/d7wtz8f
:iconpfaccioxx: Team Dark Blood:  fav.me/d7ktiqm
:iconsilverdoe93: Team Stardust: Team Stardust
Thanks for letting me cameo all of you!
Pokémon belongs to Nintendo
:iconpmdunity:
transformers-fan123.icon Furfrou Icon Zoroark la plz No Mienfoo... Benedict, Quincy, Mirage, and T.J. belong to me.
Floatzel La Cassidy belongs to :iconchillysundance:
Colonists: 
fav.me/d7h07lx
Fading Echoes: fav.me/d7f6xi1
© 2014 - 2022 WizardandGalaxy
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InlineMantine's avatar
I'm going to comment on something six months old and you can't stop me!

I like how we can easily follow Benedict's feelings and motivations as the story goes on. I could feel how much his behavior changed when he was trying to get with Mirage and how mad he got when he was at Quincy's throat.

I also like you describe the passage of time when Benedict was waiting for the dance. You don't resort to time skips, but you describe things thoroughly enough that it feels like time has indeed passed. You touch upon a variety of events and that allows you to simulate what it's like just to sit there, waiting.

I also like how Quincy had second thoughts when it came time to tell Benedict on his parents. It could have been easy to just let him be a villain through and through, but you dailed him back and made him a deeper character, which I appreciate.

Keep on writing!