Ghost in the Shadows 1: The Beggining(Ready for Grading)
Bote: Before reading, please note this is based partially off of the Pokemon Ghost Black hack and my own ideas. Also, the level of this story is Simple. Now, the plot:
People in Sinnoh are disappearing, and Kyurem is being framed. However, only one person knows the truth. He saw the true culprit kill his family. Now, he will journey the world in search of Pokemon to create the team he needs to take his foe down. This is the beginning of his quest. Armed with only his childhood pet, a Shinx, he will never give up.
I was ten years old when the tragedy happened. Me and my family were at the park, alone. I was training Shinx against my older sister's Vaporeon. I remember that battle so well, because it was the last time I would ever feel joy from a battle. ''Shinx, use Spark!'' I yelled. A bolt of electricity emitted from Shinx and missed Vaporeon by mere inches. ''Still working on his aim, I see,'' my father chuckled as Vaporeon retaliated. A gush of water shot from her mouth, knocking me and Shinx off our feet. I just sat there a second, then busted out laughing. ''Guess I win again,'' my sister grinned. ''Oh, c'mon, Layla! Just one more?'' I pleaded? She shook her head. ''Nah, that's enough for today.'' We didn't even notice the shadow of a nearby tree was morphing into something else. Suddenly, a cold wind blew through the clearing. ''That's odd,'' my mother frowned. ''It's the middle of summer.'' Then everything went black. I heard a scream of agony coming from Layla's direction. When light returned, she lay there, dead. Before we could say anything, her body vanished. Just like that. Vaporeon's look changed from one of horror to one of realization. Then she spoke, in human, one word. ''Ghost.'' Then she ran for it. We finally noticed the tree's shadow. It detached from the ground. Black smoke gathered around it. It formed a ball shape. Then, two claws appeared. A mouth opened, and two red eyes appeared. It hissed, then screamed a word in an ancient language. Black again. I knew what would happen next. I covered my ears, but still heard the screams. The light came back. I didn't need to see it to know who had died. I scooped up Shinx and dove into a bush. Throughout all this, the ghost had not noticed me, which I thanked Arceus many times for. It looked around to make sure it's job was done, then vanished. I waited for some time, then finally broke cover. I looked around. It had left illusions to make it look like Kyurem had done it. Bones, body parts, blood, even footprints and blown grass where he would have landed and taken off. Some of the grass had been frozen by that cold wind.
I just stood there, then fell to my knees and cried. However, when I finally went home, I had lost my sorrow and replaced it with a steely resolve to stop this threat. Of course, I didn't stand a chance with just Shinx. I needed help. More Pokemon, more experience, more everything. And so I set out on my quest.
7 years have passed since that horrible day. Since then, I have trained endlessly against foes of similar power(mainly Ghost types), and I have been trying to get to the Canalave library, hoping to find out where it came from. However, by the time I got to Canalave, Ghost had wiped it out. There were absolutely no survivors. Shinx looked up at me, a look of fear on its face. ''Don't worry, Shinx. It won't come back,'' I told him. I looked around, and eventually located the library. I walked up and opened the door. There was clear evidence of a struggle. Burn marks, frozen books, tables split in half. Ignoring all these, I walked to the stairs and went up to the 2nd floor, which was labeled Myths and Legends. I began searching the shelves, until I settled on one called Legends of Kanto. Best place to start, I figured, was the first region discovered. I began looking through the chapters until I found one simply labeled ''The Lavender Ghost.'' I sat down and began to read. Here is what it said.
''50 years ago, in the town of Lavender, there was a tower which was essentially a graveyard. It held two beings. One was a deceased trainer, come back to life. The other, his Pokemon, was a Ghost of unknown origin. Its only move, Curse, was fatal. One day, a trainer named Red went to the top and encountered them. Despite Ghost's power, Red soundly defeated his enemy, sending the trainer back to his grave and banishing Ghost forever from Lavender. A few years later, it was seen again, and Red went to investigate. However, using a Silph Scope, it was found to actually be a Marowak's ghost, and not the killer he had banished. It is said that Ghost still wanders the world, killing all that come across it. Its origin is speculated quite a bit. Some say it was part of an incomplete world, possibly a Legendary that was abandoned for unknown reasons. Others say it was a Ghost-type that saw the crack in a Shedinja's back. With no spirit to be stolen, it gained the power to take other souls. To this day, the only thing really known about it is that it cannot curse Ghost-types. However, noone has ever lived long enough to discover its weakness.''
That was where it ended. Nothing else. However, I had discovered something valuable. Ghost cannot Curse other ghosts. And its origin was of some interest. Perhaps, if I could reawaken the zombie trainer(who I later found to call himself Buried Alive), he could possibly tell me how to stop Ghost. If I lived long enough, anyway.
1 month later, I stepped into Lavender Town. It was bustling with activity, with many Pokemon and humans out and about. However, it was temporary; Ghost would strike here eventually. I pushed these thoughts from my mind and walked into the tower. It had become a radio tower, but I had a sneaking suspicion some part of the original tower remained. I walked up to the receptionist. ''Excuse me, but I was wondering. Could I go to the top floor?'' I asked. ''I'm sorry, but that floor is off limits. Everyone who goes up there never returns,'' she frowned. I leaned closer. ''Listen. Whatever's up there is the key to stopping the thing terrorizing Sinnoh.'' ''You mean Kyurem?'' She muttered. I shook my head. ''No. I saw it. It's Ghost.'' She paled visibly. Apparently, she knew Lavender's history. ''W-Well, how is it the key?'' ''Simple. Its trainer. He MUST know its weakness,'' I told her. She slowly nodded, and hit a button. ''Excuse me, sir, but I have a young man here who has some valuable info about something. I'll send him up.'' She turned off the com and looked at me. ''You'll have to clear it with the manager,'' she said. I nodded. ''Thanks.'' I walked away, to the elevator. I stepped in and said,''Manager's office.'' It shot up rather quickly, stopping right before the last floor. The door opened and I stepped out.
''..and now I'm trying to find out what its weakness is,'' I finished. The manager looked at me right in the eye. Then, he sighed and turned his chair. ''Lemme tell you a story, young man. I didn't believe in ghosts for a long time. Sure, I knew about the type, but real ghosts? Just fantasy to me.'' He turned to me and continued. ''However, first night on the job, I heard odd noises from the floor above. I sent some people up to investigate. Never saw them again.'' He sighed. ''I then tried calling an excorcist. He vanished as well. That night, I couldn't sleep. All of the sudden...'' He shivered, then said, ''My door opened. In it was a man, but not a man. He was wearing rags, only skin and bone. He didn't see I was awake. He walked in, laid a box on my bedside table, then walked out, closing the door. I waited until he had gone upstairs to the last floor. Then I turned on my light and opened the box. Inside...'' He closed his eyes. ''...was a skull with blood on it. A note was attached. It read, 'If you keep trying to get rid of me, you will meet the fate of your friends. Yours truly, Buried Alive.''' He turned to me. ''And now you're trying to do the same.'' I shook my head. ''No. I don't give a Noctowl's hoot to him. I just want answers.'' ''Well....as long as you make it back alive, you can go,'' he said. He hit a button. ''Go, and by the way? Tell him to stop making such a racket with whatever he's doing.'' I thanked him, and got in the elevator.
When I stepped out, the room was slightly dark. I saw rows and rows of graves. I walked down them, my hand resting on Shinx's Pokeball. I walked up to one last grave, and called,'' Buried Alive!'' Ghost Pokemon began to appear. ''Your pet Ghost has been killing people across the world, and I want to ask you. As its former trainer, do you know its weakness?'' No response. ''Answer me!'' The ground shifted. Suddenly, a hand burst through the ground. I hurled a small rock, knocking it away from my leg. It pulled back, then burst out with another. A leg came out and pushed against the ground, pulling the body up. The figure got to his feet, stretched, then looked at me with black, empty eyes.
''I warned him did I not that if he sent someone else...'' He nodded at a grave. The Pokemon laughed. Hard. I glared at him, then said, ''You don't listen, do you? I'm not here to destroy you, I'm here for answers.'' ''About what? You have no authority here, and no Pokemon,'' he chuckled. I then realized he hadn't seen Shinx's ball. I used this to my advantage and lied,'' Yeah, so? I also have nothing to lose thanks to your previous Pokemon.'' ''Who do you speak of? I have many now.'' I reached into my pocket and pulled out the book from the library and opened it up to a page that had a picture of Red battling a dark mist, then showed it to him. ''This look familiar?'' I questioned. His eyes widened. ''Impossible... he was destroyed...'' ''Not destroyed. Banished,'' I corrected him. ''While Red is still alive, he cannot return here. So he went to Sinnoh. And now, he's a danger to everyone, killing everyone in sight, hoping to get lucky and find Red.'' Buried Alive nodded. ''It does make sense... but that CAN'T be the only reason you want him gone. You mentioned having 'nothing to lose,' right? Revenge is your motive, isn't it,'' he muttered. ''Certainly, revenge has a part in it, but I don't want more innocent people killed over one man's decision,'' I corrected. He smirked. ''I'd tell you, but you know, my friends are getting hungry...'' The ghosts laughed again, this time more softly. I realized that it was now or never. I punced him, pulled out the Pokeball, turned around, and threw it. It bounced on the floor, hit the floor again, and spun around several times before opening. Shinx jumped out. ''Shinx, use Shock Wave!'' I yelled. Shinx began to glow. A smell of ozone filled the air as electricity gathered around him. He tensed up, then threw his head up and screamed. A ring of electric energy blasted out, as hot as the hottest fire and also as deadly. As it hit each ghost, they were ripped apart by the burst, their form dispersing in all directions. The ring hit Buried Alive, knocking him back. I picked up a large bone, clocked him with it, then pressed it against his neck and shoved him at a wall. ''Now, then. You gonna give me answers, or do I have to choke them out of you?'' I snarled.
A few hours later, I was in a forest south of Lavender Town. After some more persuasion, I had gotten the answers I wanted. He had told me,''If you have a team of 3 that are effective against one, one that is effective against the 3, and two that are neither vulnerable nor effective against the 3 and one.'' I had deciphered the riddle to mean 3 electrics, 2 normals, and one water. I had learned of a colony of Pikachus outside of town. Little did I realize that my enemy would find me....
I walked for some time. Shinx had learned that, if he tried hard enough, he could copy a Luxray's ability to see through walls. Right now, we were heading for the Pikachus. Something about the forest brought up unpleasant memories, but I payed no attention. Eventually, we walked into a clearing. The Pikachus were there, all right, but they were huddled in a group, terrified of... My eyes widened and I spun around on my heels to face... ''Ghost,'' I snarled. ''I'm sorry, do I know you?'' he asked. I glared at him. ''Look, I knew you were looking for the Pikachus, so I followed you. I have no quarrel with you, but if you don't get out of my way that will change.'' For a moment, we stared at each other. Then comprehension finally dawned on him. ''Ah! You're that brat from seven years ago that got away! I was wondering where you went,'' he said. He grinned. ''Now I can stop looking at last! Prepare to die!'' He raised a claw. Black energy began to form around it. A stench filled the clearing; the smell of decaying flesh, blood, bones. Death. He grinned, pulled his claw back, and hurled the blast at me. Shinx intercepted it with a Thunder Shock. An explosion filled the clearing, knocking all 3 of us back. Ghost snarled. ''Impudent Shinx. I'll teach you to mess with the Grim Reaper!'' He began to charge up another Curse. I looked over to Shinx. I couldn't get to him. I was tangled up in some bushes, unable to move. However, something was odd about Shinx. A red outline had surrounded him. His eyes began to change color. I realized they were the same as Ghosts! Black energy crackled around Shinx's mouth. The stench filled the clearing, this time doubled. Ghost screamed the command word at the same time as Shinx. The blasts hit each other, and for a second, they pushed each other. Then Shinx's blast absorbed Ghost's and slammed my foe. ''Gyaaah!'' he screamed as he fell back. He glared at Shinx. ''Someday, Shinx... You'll learn to fear that move for completely different reasons.'' Cackling madly, he vanished. Me and Shinx looked at each other for a long moment. Then I grinned and said, ''You didn't tell me you could do that!'' He smiled at me. We turned back towards
the Pikachus. They had returned to the clearing.
I walked forward into the clearing. Most of them scattered, afraid of me after what Shinx had used. However, one in particular stayed behind. He looked at me, daring me to challenge him. Where had I seen that defiance before?... I shook it off and sent Shinx forward. ''Shinx, use Bite!'' Shinx's fangs glowed white, then he leaped forward and bit the Pikachu. Pikachu's response? His tail glowed and he smacked Shinx off. He hit the ground hard, but got back up. ''Shinx, use Scratch!'' Shinx jumped over Pikachu, rushed forward, and gave him a large scratch on the back. Pikachu yowled. ''Now Shock Wave!'' Ring of electricity, big damage, a... wait, an explosion?! Shinx was knocked back, but it had worked. I took out a PokeBall and threw it. Upon impact, Pikachu turned into red light and flew into the ball, which slammed shut. It fell down and began to wiggle. I crossed this fingers for it to work.
Ready for grading. Apparently, there are 14,317 characters. I didn't have any particular goal, but I'll just say it was 10,000.
Re: Ghost in the Shadows 1: The Beggining(Ready for Grading)
Yaaaaaaaaay. All done.
Introduction: Okay, so. You want your introduction to be something catchy and attention-drawing, so that you’ll get readers and the like. Your first sentence and the introduction that follows are both equally vital in drawing the readers in to the story, both to read and also to help them. So, this is your first sentence:
I was ten years old when the tragedy happened.
Well, yum. That’s probably going to entail some destruction, some angst, and in the least bit some sorrow, because that’s mostly what happens in tragedy: bad stuff. That’s mildly enticing, and then you detail out the carnage of what happens when a creepy Ghost walks into town and destroys stuff.
It’s enticing enough, I think. It sets the mood that this story is by no means going to be happy and non-creepy, especially since the main character only watches as his entire family is torn to shreds before his eyes. That’s catchy enough, I think, and you do a decent job of setting the tone and introducing your main, albeit unnamed, character. So, for a story of this difficulty, I’d say you’re in the clear here.
Plot: Mmmm… so in essence, one could explain your story as “trainer walks through the woods/haunted tower, encounters baddie, fights baddie, encounters Pokémon, fights Pokémon, captures Pokémon”. However, it’s not just that. You’ve got this pseudo-creepypasta thing going with Ghost, walking around and freaking everyone out, and you have a kinda different subplot that I haven’t seen before.
Mostly, your plot is pretty solid. It’s a bit disjointed in some places, though. It has the workings of a really good story, and I think that you’ll go far with this, if you feel like continuing. There were a few things, though, that I didn’t understand: beware of plot holes. XD
''If you have a team of 3 that are effective against one, one that is effective against the 3, and two that are neither vulnerable nor effective against the 3 and one.'' I had deciphered the riddle to mean 3 electrics, 2 normals, and one water.
Okay, so the phrasing of this was off, and it kinda confused me. So you have three that are “super effective” against one, one that is “super effective” against the original three, and two that are neutral. But electric-types are super effective on water-types, whereas water-types aren’t super-effective on electric… even if this were true, though, there’d be so many options. Like, you could have three fire-types, two ghost-types, and one ice-type, or a bunch of other combinations. So then how did this guy figure out that it was electric/normal/water?
Also, this guy has been training with his Shinx for seven years, apparently. Surely it would have evolved by then? XD
I’m also curious as to why people didn’t try to do the same thing that this person did… I mean, if it was obvious enough that Ghost originated from the haunted tower, it took them seven years for some teenager to go to the library and find out what exactly is wrong? Something feels wrong; if almost everyone is dead, you can tell us that, but you’ve got to tell us that. Make sense? XD
Besides from that, though, I think I like your plot. It’s chilling, and you’ve got a good start here. Nice work. ^.^
Dialogue: Quick note on speech tags, and then I think we can move away from this section for the time being.
… “You mean Kyurem?'' She muttered.
Okay, so basically, when you’ve got a piece of dialogue that ends in a question mark/exclamation point, you’ll change the first letter of the next word that follows to lowercase, unless it’s a proper noun or something. Just think of it as a continuation of the first sentence, so it looks something like this: … “You mean Kyurem?” she muttered.
Everyone who goes up there never returns,'' she frowned.
And this is a quick lecture on dialogue tags. Verbs like frowned/smiled and so forth are different from said/asked/told in respect to comma usage. Basically, if it’s not a speech tag (things like said/asked/etc), you don’t have that comma there; you’ll put a period and then a capital letter. So: Everyone who goes up there never returns.” She frowned.
You’re pretty much set on your dialogue, though. At this stage, I don’t have the heart to lambast you about how your dialogue should fit each character; both because this is one of your first stories and because you seem to be doing a pretty good job on your own. Good work. ^.^
Details: Details, details, details. Those are pretty important in a good story, too, because it helps the reader know what’s going on. No matter how awesome the concept is in your head, you’ve got to give us enough description so we can read it off of the paper and understand what’s going where.
You’ve got a good grasp of your description, honestly. You could start using some of it to your advantage, though, to set your tone: perhaps when Ghost comes, there’s a giant, ominous bolt of lighting that zigzags through the suddenly stormy sky. Or, like, how the herd/flock of Pikachu were quivering in fear, liquid brown eyes wide open as they took in every detail of the mysterious – OH GOD GHOST, or something like that.
One of the problems was your lack of description for the main character itself. I’m not sure if we got a gender, let alone a name, and I don’t really recall much of a description. It’s hard to do something like this in a first person narrative, because one often has to resort to “I LOOKED IN THE MIRROR AND SAW MY DARK BROWN HAIR AND FABUUUUULAS POLO SHIRT…” which is usually jarring… try doing more subtle things, but do be sure to give us some description. We need to know what your characters look like in order to relate with them. The same thing applies to Shinx, too, by the way. You can’t assume that we’ll automatically know what a Shinx is/looks like/does, just because we’re on a Pokémon forum… that sounds sarcastic, but it’s not. You gotta be careful with things like this, and it wouldn’t hurt to give a brief description for two of your biggest characters.
Other than that, I think you’re okay here, too.
Grammar: Luckily, you’ve got a pretty good concept of grammar, which is awesome. Having good grammar is pretty crucial in making a story that isn’t, like, appearing really illiterate, which is apt to dissuade your readers from going any further. You’re pretty good on your grammar, like I’ve mentioned. There are only a few things that I’d like to point out.
Firstly, your paragraphing is a bit awkward. You could easily have twice, or maybe three times, as many paragraphs as you do, but they’re kinda all awkwardly shoved into really large paragraphs. As a rule of thumb, you should start a new paragraph every time a new character speaks, acts, or thinks something. Remember to hit “enter” twice (you missed a few in the beginning) for that delivious double spacing that we come to know and love. Sometimes, you might find yourself doing paragraphs for dramatic effect as well, but that comes later. Just remember that for the time being, you shouldn’t have giant block ‘o texts, kinda like the ones you have—it hurts the eyes and makes it a little less attractive to readers.
Me and my family were at the park
Me and Shinx looked at each other…
Bahaha, pronoun case. I’m not going to get too complicated into nominative and objective case, so I’ll just keep it simple: often, you’ll find that in situations like these, you can simple remove the excess words from the sentence and read it again. So, the second sentence would become: Me looked…
Which we can quickly identify as wrong, and then we’d change it to: I looked…
So the entire sentence would become: Shinx and I looked at each other…
That tactic is gonna last you for a while, and it works in most situations (although it’ll get awkward during who/whom, we won’t worry about that for a while), and it’ll help you out with your case and stuff.
I remember that battle so well, because it was the last time I would ever feel joy from a battle.
Mmm, time for a quick crash course on clauses that will be a lot less extensive than need be. Basically, the first half of your sentence is an independent clause: “I remember that battle so well” can stand on it’s own. The second half of your sentence is “because it was the last time I would ever feel joy from a battle”, and that’s a dependent clause: it can’t stand on it’s own as a sentence. That’s okay, but when you join an independent and a dependent clause together, with the dependent clause at the end of the sentence, you can emit the comma between the two so it looks like: I remember that battle so well because it was…
Bare in mind, though, that if the dependent clause is at the beginning, you would have a comma between the two. AREN’T COMMAS AWESOME?
It looked around to make sure it's job was done,
Uh, quick note on
7 years have
As a note, whenever you have numbers that aren’t, like, abnormally massive (395046903840394832), you should write them out in letters. So 7 > “seven”, and so forth.
You do have a few typos, but they’re relatively sparse for a new story and you can easily fix those with spellcheck. Speaking of which, you should definitely use spellcheck. XD So you don’t get things like this:
I crossed this fingers for it to work.
I pointed out some of the more major things; so far, your grammar is pretty awesome. Good job. ^.^
Length: So you have yourself at 14,317, and I have you at 14,316. Closest I’ve gotten on a counter thing so far.
Uh, your comment that accompanied your length, though, got me worrying that perhaps you don’t understand the capture categories. You’ll find a list of them on the thread entitled All the Pokemon We Don't Hate, and it’ll list any Pokémon that you’d possibly want to capture, along with a suggested length. You’ll find that Pikachu is listed as a Medium Pokémon, so you’ll want to aim for something that’s around 10-20K characters in length. You’re at 14K, so that’s pretty good and in the middle. Your pacing was also pretty good; nothing felt too rushed, so I’d say you’re good in this section.
Personal Feelings/Outcome: Personally, I do think you could’ve played up on the overall creepiness factor a bid. That seems to be what you’re going for, in all honesty: this isn’t going to be a comedy, and it doesn’t seem like your average journey-fic. You’ve got this really good thing going with death and destruction and mayhem, and you can utilize it to its fullest with some good detail as your plot expands and becomes more awesome. Your description was probably the part of this story that was the most lacking, and that was still pretty good.
Er, outcome time:
I think you’ve definitely got the bases covered for a Medium rank Pokémon. Good plot, good concept, good characters, good length, pretty good description, the whole nine yards.
Therefore, I can gladly say:
For a first story, you’re off to a really good start. I do hope that you keep the stuff that I pointed out in mind if you plan on writing again, though—most of it is a “IN THE FUTURE, YOU SHOULD ____” sort of thing, and hopefully it can help you out a bit.
But, for real: you did a good job with this story. There’s a little room for improvement, as there is for us all, but you’ve got an awesome start. Good going. ^.^