Total Word Count: 5,010
# of stories written:
- 1 x novella = abandoned (34k)
- 1 x short story = completed (10k)
- 1 x fanfic = begun but not completed (6k)
I really, really, really didn’t think I was going to make it this year. I gave up around the 23rd, thus forcing myself to indulge in a last minute spring of 4k+ or so a day. Funnily enough, before I began I made a list of all the stories I was going to attempt – and I attempted about half of it! So the rest can be kept in reserve for later.
My final 6k came from me picking up my Pokemon Fanfiction again. Entitled Kataryna’s Pokemon Jungle, I wrote them first as a fairly poorly edited serial some years ago and then gave up in 2004, ending on a real cliff hanger. My Poke-apocalypse begins some 13 years later when the character awakens (now aged approximately 30), emaciated and imprisoned, to find that the bad guy won, and along the way the apocalypse has, basically, happened. Not only that, but being unconscious (magically asleep) and in the clutches of her mortal enemy has lead to some other issues, specifically relating to the presence of a girl, approximately 11 years old… Needless to say, this is a fairly dark fanfiction, and probably should have trigger warnings for various reasons, not the least of which is PTSD in relation to earthquakes. Whether I will persist with it past the 6,000 words or so I’ve already written remains to be seen, but I will include an excerpt here. I would, at least, like to write at least as far as when she and Eva escape from the island, and become reunited with Kat’s boyfriend, Kameron (ps: I recycle names all the time) and experience the third – and probably most horrifying – revelation of them all:
That the apocalypse was partly their fault.
Shadeon, the Shadow Eevee (illustrated by Mistie?)
Here’s why Loki (not the Nordic god, but an ex Team Rocket member with megalomaniac tendencies) got up to when he’d finished draining the elemental power from the Seven Sisters (seven powerful Mew):
TRIGGER WARNING: Recounting of natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions etc, with multiple, incredible, casualties, including the destruction of named, real-world places. It might be Pokemon-themed, but this is pretty dark stuff!
Loki reached over for the remote and flicked a few buttons, then a few more. Ash and his friends and their colourful adventures disappeared, replaced with a grainy image that jerked and blurred every other second. “Would you wish for her to be exposed to this?”
It was difficult to focus, as buried amongst static as it was, but I could make out a city in ruin, smoke and fire billowing forth from the skeletal remains of the broken buildings, tumbled like a child’s playthings into a shimmering, rippling pool.
“That is Cerulean City,” he replied. “And that, I think you will realise, is what happens when a peaceful seaside city is struck by several earthquakes – magnitude 8.4 and 8.1 respectively – followed by a 12m tsunami wave.” He pointed. “Look.” Between the buildings, some distance from the ocean, lay the carcass of a wailord, its ribs exposed to the sky and being picked at by.. murkrow? Dark avian shapes that I could not quite discern as they blinked and blurred in and out of focus. “Seven kilometers inland,” Loki grinned, proud at his gruesome achievement. “Of the 240, 000 people that lived there, only 326 survived.”
I gaped at him. “You destroyed it?” He was lying. He had to be lying! I’d been to Cerulean City. It was beautiful, with its water parks and fountains. Now, almost everyone… dead. “Why?”
“Oh dear Kataryna,” Loki replied, running his fingers down my cheek, tracing trails of fiery heat. I slapped them away. “You’ve been away a long time. The world, well, it’s a wee bit different now, I think you’ll see.”
“But… why?” My shivering was now so bad that I had to struggle to get out the words. “Why destroy a city?”
“Why not?” Loki leaned back and crossed one foot across his thigh. This is not, I should point out, something that any respectful member of society should do whilst clad only in a towel. “Because I can? To make a point? All valid reasons, so take your pick.”
“None of those are valid.” I clenched my teeth to stop them chattering. Oh my god. Cerulean gone… Where else had Loki destroyed? Loki flicked the switch again. A mountain, or what had once been a mountain, now crumpled in on itself, slopes burning with bubbling magma.
“Alola,” he said. “A series of islands created by volcanoes, that brought land forth from the sea. And what the fire brings, the fire can take away. Population, prior, 1 million. Now, a mere 457. Ain’t population control grand?”
Another flick, and a new image appeared, this one mainly churning ocean studded with a few black rocks. “The Orange Islands. Gone!” He laughed. “I melted the ice caps, and threw in a tsunami for good measure. What fun. Now only the mountains remain above water.” He sighed. “Unfortunately, most of the islands were unoccupied.”
My heart, almost stilled from panic exhaustion, gave a frantic kick. There was one special island amongst the archipelago, an island of freed Pokemon, ex-captives unable to fully release their domesticity. They were watched over by one of the most legendary Pokemon of all, Mewtwo, and several of my friends – including the drained Mews – had been offered sanctuary there. What had become of them? The island had featured a tall mountain; I could only hope that they had sought sanctuary up its slopes.
Again and again the image flicked, and Loki repeated his tales of massive natural disasters, vast numbers of casualties. “Why?” I kept asking. “Why would you destroy everything?”
Finally, Loki ceased flicking and, with one hand, twisted my eyes to meet his. I fought to look away, but his grip was powerful, infused with the energy of almost all the Mews. “Because they wouldn’t take me seriously,” he said. “I offered them the choice: surrender to me, worship me, but they just laughed in my face.”
“Who did you offer?”
“All of them: presidents, prime ministers, even dictators. No-one would believe me. Not even when I sent earthquakes and tsunamis and blew up hurricanes to prove to them that I had the power! Oh, some of them fought back. Some president fired a nuke, but I brushed it away, and it destroyed most of Liechtenstein instead. Oops. That caused a bit of conflict, upped the political-ante, you might say. Then they were too busy bickering amongst themselves to pay attention to me.”
“If you’ve destroyed the world,” I said, my voice growing increasingly frantic, even as I sought for calm – I didn’t want to antagonise someone who could, literally, flatten cities. “Where the hell are we now?”
“Oh,” he said with a shrug, “Aotearoa.”
“Where?” I thought back to what felt like only a few weeks ago, when we’d been pouring through maps to try and track down the Mew sisters. “Isn’t that near Tasmania?”
“Correct,” he said, rather flippantly. “Tasmania’s gone. Ground zero, more-or-less. But Aotearoa, a forgotten, abandoned island in the South Pacific.”
“Isn’t it occupied? And two islands?”
“More than that actually,” Loki grinned, exposing his sharp canines. “Historically, in any case. Now? Not so much. Had a couple of advantages over the other islands – no wild Pokemon, for a start, just some ferals released by unscrupulous traders. And as for the occupied bit? Well, it is on the ring of fire.”
“Quite. Tore the southern island in half with an earthquake, erupted a couple of volcanoes in the north, and their government declared a national evacuation. Not sure what happened. Australia wouldn’t take them, they had enough problems of their own, what with all the fire storms and hurricanes. Probably still floating about in their cruise ships, but good luck to them with finding an inhabitable island in the South Pacific. Well, there’s always Antarctica. It’s warming up nicely now I’ve melted away the ice.” He stroked his chin. “Now where was I, before I digressed? Oh yes. Anyway, they abandoned their islands – or what was left of them – and I moved on in to raise my daughter in peace and relative harmony.”