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Thread: A Ripple in the Pond [SWC]

  1. #1
    Resident Village Idiot Fenris's Avatar
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    Default A Ripple in the Pond [SWC]

    A Ripple in the Pond

    Warnings: Vague references of child abuse / neglect
    Target: Magikarp
    Rank: Easy (3k-5k)
    Character Count: 4,409

    Sometimes he remembered, when the nights were still and his mind wandered, that his mother had a pond.

    It was tiny little splash of water and plant-life, trapped in the otherwise empty expanse of the courtyard at the house's rear. Really, it wasn't much more than a hole with some water in it, but his mother had loved it all the same. She carefully picked a few Pokemon to keep in it ("Can't get anything too big or they'll outgrow it!", she'd complained.), and meticulously pruned the weeds around it, and even settled each stone lining the edge and placed it by hand. Every day she would go out and admire the few lily's growing on the surface. She'd tend to the flowers near it's edges, and skim away the leaves that fell in from the nearby oak tree that hung its heavy branches out over the water.

    But most importantly of all she took the greatest of care in caring for her fish. In the mornings and night she went out and fed them, watching their glistening scales as they breached the surface to eat. She sat by the water on warm afternoons and read to read, and let a lazy hand dip into the water so she could feel them swimming close to listen. in the winter she went out to break the ice, churning the frozen water and always avoiding hurting her prized pets with chunks of ice where she could.

    His mother had loved that pond, and the Pokemon she kept in it.

    And so to, had he.

    Some of Jiji's fondest early memories, before his brother had been born and he became his everything, were of times spent near the water watching the Magikarp swim. Of course, there were more than Magikarp in the pond; his mother had stocked it with whatever she could afford and could comfortably live in such a space. Goldeen and even an old Feebas also shared the waters with the karp. But the Magikarp had always been what he was most fond of - they were the most playful, and often leaped from the water in great shows of enthusiasm when his mother came out to feed them all. They'd quietly nibble his little hands and swim in dizzying circles as he watched. He'd loved them.

    But a lot of things he'd loved were gone. The Magikarp. The pond. His mother and her calm smiles. The pond had gone away when she had; his father had sold the fish and filled it in less than a week after they'd also filled in her grave. Too painful a reminder perhaps - just like he and his brother always seemed to be. The beautiful fish and their ruby scales were replaced by bleak gravel and cement. His mother's laugh with a silent house. His father's warm, if distant, presence with one of unforgiving scorn.

    Eventually it became too much, and despite how dearly he hated the thought of leaving his brother along with his father's disproving attitude, he had to go. It wasn't something he could live with any longer. Too young to take his brother with him, but old enough to travel, he left with only a hasty goodbye to his brother and an even hastier retreat from the curses his father flung at his back. A letter scrawled out in his little brother's blocky handwriting the only connection back to a place that had once been so peaceful.

    The updates weren't always wanted; it was always one small tidbit after another that revealed how far the ripples of his mother's passing stretched. The refrigerator being just a little too empty for the week. Furniture and rooms slowly being covered with only that little bit more dust than the day before. Fewer and fewer words from their remaining parent until his little brother confided, quite shyly, that he wasn't sure if the man even remembered how to speak at all. The changes worried him, but short of returning and making things worse in the argument that would inevitably break out when he did, Jiji could only read the letters and feel a little more hope go out of him with each one.

    On dark nights, sometimes he'd look at the night sky, and remember. And the stars wouldn't be stars anymore, but the glistening of a thousand ruby scales under the water of a memory long past. A remembrance of a time when the world was a little brighter, and happiness wasn't buried under worrying letters or a backyard filled with gravel and cement. When fish with golden tassels and glimmering jewel scales leaped from the water and nibbled at little hands dipped into pond water.

    Sometimes he'd remember that his mother used to have a pond.

    And his dreams would be filled with swirling koi and laughter.
    Last edited by Fenris; 07-17-18 at 03:47 AM.

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  3. #2
    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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