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Thread: Burn This Swamp Down

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    Default Burn This Swamp Down

    As I did my research for this story, upon deciding that I would write for a Mudbray, I made a shocking, salt inducing discovery. I asked myself and posted the same question in a Discord chat full of my friends, “is Mudbray a horse or a pony?” I asked myself this because there were ideas rolling through my mind about a story involving horses and a separate one involving ponies that I could work with and spit out approximately twenty thousand characters onto my Google Doc and have my chance at a Mudbray of my own. They needed to be put down on paper and fleshed out a little more than what they were in my head at the moment, but that was possible. I just needed to fact check myself (like the good journalist in me should be doing) before I started fleshing anything out on paper.

    “The Donkey Pokemon.”

    I’m sorry, what?

    “The Donkey Pokemon.”

    Mudbray is the fucking Donkey Pokemon? (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Game Freak sucks. All of my expectations have gone out the window. Gone. Poof.

    Good thing I didn’t start fleshing out that horse story or that pony story yet. I would’ve wrote it all out in a black ink pen, and I don’t have any white out. I would’ve wasted a whole page, and I’ve already wasted enough pages in the notebook I’m currently using for the fifty million story ideas I have, some of which have been started, some of which haven’t been started, and others that won’t even see the light of day anymore.

    So now we’re here, and we’re gonna burn this forest down and turn it into a swamp. Stories section in URPG? Gone in the flames. This show is a swamp now, boys and girls, and I’m in charge of it. Mudbray is gonna burn this place to the ground.

    Except Mudbray doesn’t get any Fire type moves, which is actually understandable because it’s a Ground type horse pony donkey, so we’re gonna change the plot up a little bit. Gotta be accommodating to the theme of the story, which is burning things down and letting all the salt out.

    ...Oh? That’s not the theme of the story? Well, that’s what we’re going with for the time being, so suck it up, buttercup. Buckle up, kiddies, you’re in for the ride of a lifetime and there’s no getting off of it now until we reach our destination.

    Anyways, so we’ll get on with our story now. The ride begins here, friends, so I hope you’re ready and buckled in. *insert sounds of a roller coaster starting up here*

    A horse-like Pokemon considered to be the “Donkey Pokemon” by powers far above me (that clearly don’t know what they’re doing if you ask me) made his way towards his home, a vast forested area home to many other types of Pokemon. He was the only Mudbray, but there were Butterfree, Beedrill, Spearow, Pidgey, and other varieties of birds and bugs that inhabited the forest that Donkey, as he preferred to be called by his dearest friends, called home.

    His dearest friends were an ogre who took on the appearance of a Garbodor and his dear girlfriend (or maybe wife, Donkey couldn’t remember now), also a Garbodor, a dragon that took on the appearance of a Dragonite (that Donkey low key had a crush on, but he was too much of a wimp to admit it), and a fierce but cute as hell orange tabby cat that took on the appearance of a Meowth. They’d been friends for as long as Donkey could remember, probably because they were the only ones of their kind in the forest.

    But when Donkey approached his home on this particular day as he came back from his morning walk, there was something different. He paused on what would’ve been the outskirts of the forest and shuffled a little bit in place. His head tilted a little bit to the left as he observed his surroundings.

    The trees were gone. There was an odd burning smell that was unfamiliar to Donkey. What was left of the area was nothing but water (which also had an odd smell) and burnt trees. There was just a very funky smell where Donkey’s home was, and it took him a minute to place his finger on what it meant.

    HIs home was… a swamp?

    “Hello?” Donkey called out into the vast swamp. It was about as big as his old home, if not bigger. Everyone was gone, the birds and the bugs, the Garbodors, his Dragonite crush, and the cute as hell Meowth that wore a pirate hat, boots, and carried around a little rapier that he swung around a little too often.

    No one responded.

    “Hello?” Donkey called out again.

    This time, a pack of orange foxes emerged from the smoke and fog that covered the newly formed swamp. Their fur was matted and covered in dirt and mud from walking the swamp, but none of that deterred them, especially not their leader, who led the pack.

    “Who are you?” the leader fox asked once he was within reasonable distance of the Mudbray.

    “Who are you?” Donkey asked.

    “We asked first,” the Vulpix that led the pack replied.

    “No, I did!” Donkey replied, huffing and stamping one of his front hooves into the muddy swamp. There was a small splash, and Donkey had to wiggle his leg around to get his hoof out from the mud. “I asked first, so you answer first!”

    The Vulpix at the front of the pack rolled his beady black eyes and sighed, a little burst of flames coming out of his mouth that made Donkey jump. “We’re in control of this swamp now. We’ve burned this place down and turned it into a swamp. This is our home now, you should shoo. We don’t like your kind here.”

    “Well, that’s not nice,” Donkey replied, frowning a bit. He tried to put on a confident front, but he was truly shaking. If he wore boots like his Meowth friend, he’d be shaking in them. “Where are my friends? My Garbodor friends, my Dragonite friend, and my Meowth friend? Have you seen them?”

    “Those wimps?” the leader Vulpix said. “Hah, they tried to fight us off, but the flames were too much for them. They bailed. Dunno where they are. Might be dead or something, I dunno. You wanna join them in their fate?”

    The other Vulpix stepped forward to stand in a line alongside their leader. Donkey the Mudbray whimpered and let out a loud bray before running off in the direction they came. He could hear the laughter of the Vulpix that scared him off for a while, probably for the rest of the night until he collapsed from exhaustion somewhere along the path he’d taken to get back home.

    It was a few days before Donkey woke up and was ready to set out on his adventure again. He wasn’t sure why he slept for so long, but it probably had something to do with how he’s lazy as hell. It also probably doesn’t help that when you’re terrified by your own shadow, you jump at everything, and that makes you pretty exhausted, to be honest.

    But anyways, we’re not gonna waste our time continuing to talk about Donkey and his fifty million problems. We’d be here all day if we did that, and this story would be a lot longer than it would need to be. I’m not trying to sit here and do that; I’ve got better things to do.

    Donkey scrambled to his feet and looked around. He blinked his wide eyes to orient himself to his surroundings. There were trees on either side of him, and there was an odd sense of comfort and feeling like something was missing in his life. He shook his head. There was no time to think about those things right now. He had to find his friends, especially his Garbodor friends, for if he found them, he would find his Dragonite friend and his Meowth friend.

    He looked to the left, then to the right. Behind the scenes, the narrator (that’s me!) shakes a single die in her hand. There’s an odd sound unfamiliar to Donkey as the narrator gently tosses the die onto the table. A thirty-three is displayed at the top of the one hundred sided die. Left it is, and so Donkey walks towards the left, entering the forest with his hooves crunching the dried leaves and twigs beneath them as he walked.

    He walked and walked and walked until he collapsed again and could no longer walk. His eyes closed, and he fell asleep once more.

    This continued for days. Literal days. Donkey would wake up, scramble to his feet, look around, blink wide eyes to orient himself, and then stand there for a moment while the narrator rolled a one hundred sided die to determine the direction Donkey would go that day. First it was to the left again, then to the right, to the left on the third day, and to the right on the fourth and fifth days.

    On the fifth day, as the sun set beyond the horizon, Donkey arrived at a beach. He groaned. He was lost, to no one’s surprise but his own. This always happened. Always getting lost, always being confused about his surroundings, always terrified by his own shadow… Dear Arceus, there were so many problems with this Mudbray that it’s hard to make jokes out of it anymore, and that’s honestly half my goal with this story. Maybe I’ll just pick ten of his problems and turn it into a song. Someone recommended that to me, so I may as well make it a song. I’m no songwriter, but hey, I’m a writer and that’s half of being a songwriter, so we’ll see how it goes. It’ll add a spice of life to this crazy story anyways. I’ve already got three problems, so all I need is seven more.

    Picture a lot of instrumentals in this, to be honest, even though there’s no one playing music. Maybe some Chingling shaking their bodies to make it sound like bells or something, I don’t know. Use your imagination. Also pretend Donkey is singing this song because honestly, that probably makes it a million times more hilarious. Bonus points if you manage to imagine his singing as not Arceus awful because honestly, it is.

    They say he’s always getting lost.
    He can’t tell his left from his right.
    He can’t read a compass, so he doesn’t know north, south, east, or west.
    Arceus forbid you ask him for directions because you won’t get to where you’re going.
    You’ll probably end up in the opposite direction of where you’re going, actually.
    That’s never any fun.
    It wastes your time, it wastes his time, and it wastes everyone else’s time.
    The moral of the story here is Donkey isn’t the right person to ask for directions when he can’t get from point A to point B on his own without a little help from his friends.

    They say he’s always confused about his surroundings.
    He wakes up in the morning and blinks those wide eyes.
    He looks around to see what he fell asleep at this time.
    It takes him a good minute or two before he realizes where he is.
    This is the spot where I fell asleep, he realizes.
    His adventure continues from here, in whatever direction Arceus decides to take him in that day.

    They say he’s always terrified by his own shadow.
    He looks down and sees his shadow and jumps.
    He sees a bug and he jumps.
    He sees a bird and he jumps.
    It’s a wonder how he managed to live in the forest with his friends with how terrified he is by everything.
    And now his home is a swamp, and we all know what happened with that.
    He encountered the rabid Vulpix that burned down his home when he came back from his morning walk.
    The leader of the Vulpix spit out some flames and it was all over for Donkey.
    He was shaking in the boots he wasn’t even wearing.
    And the moment they started to gang up on him?
    It was all over then.
    Donkey ran with his tail between his legs in the opposite direction like the coward they say he is.

    They say he always has smelly breath.
    Even his friends say it.
    He doesn’t smell his own breath in the morning, but others tell him what it smells like.
    They say it smells like fish and dirt and nasty water.
    I don’t quite know what that smells like, but it doesn’t sound like a pleasant smell.
    Fortunately, the smell of his breath isn’t terribly relevant to this story, and we can move onto the next stanza.

    They say he’s always oblivious to the feelings of other Pokemon around him.
    His friends could be happy, and he’ll be the downer.
    He could be down, and his friends could be happy.
    None of that would matter though because only Donkey’s mood matters.
    Only Donkey’s feelings matter.
    He’s trying to learn to feel otherwise, but this is one stubborn Mudbray.

    They say he’s always annoying.
    He’ll interrupt you in the middle of a conversation.
    He won’t leave you alone.
    Hell, even when he and his Garbodor friend first met, the Garbodor friend thought he was annoying.
    How they became friends is beyond me.
    I guess it doesn’t matter though.
    What does matter is that Donkey is truly an annoying Mudbray, and he won’t leave you alone.

    They say he’s always impatient.
    If you take too long to do something, he’ll get restless.
    How long is too long?
    Probably more than five seconds.
    It’s not a very long time, I know, but our friend, Donkey the Mudbray, has a very short attention span.
    FIve seconds and it’s gone.
    Take too long to do something, and he might be gone too, just like his attention span.

    They say he’s always dense.
    You remember earlier in the story when he encountered those rabid Vulpix?
    The ones that burned his forest home down and turned it into a murky swamp?
    You remember how he insisted they answer his question first because he said he asked first?
    Yeah, that’s how dense Donkey is.
    Those Vulpix did ask their question first, but Donkey didn’t care.
    He was too dense to realize it, and the Vulpix didn’t have the patience to deal with it.

    They say he’s always lacking confidence.
    No surprise here on this one.
    Look at him.
    He’s a coward.
    He runs from situations with his tail between his legs.
    He jumps at his own shadow.
    He has no confidence, no desire to stand up for himself.
    He’s just a cowardly Mudbray lacking the confidence to do anything.

    They say he’s always dimwitted.
    The final issue of our ten issues for this song.
    There’s a million more we could go through, but a limit of ten is all our narrator can handle.
    By now, you’ve probably got an idea of how Donkey is though.
    We’ll end this song here, so we can move on with our tale, hopefully not between our legs.

    Whew. That’s enough songwriting for a century now, I think. It’s difficult to write songs. Very, very difficult. Too much effort for me, and I’ve still got about another eight thousand characters to write for this crazy, messed up tale.

    Anyways, as Donkey walked through the forest, he ran into his Vulpix enemies again. Or maybe they’re his friends. Who knows? With Donkey, anyone can be his friend because he’s just that oblivious.

    “What are you doing here?” their leader asked. The other Vulpix stood alongside him. Perhaps they were trying to scare him off again. They got a good laugh out of it last time, surely they’d get another good laugh out of it this time.

    “Looking for my friends,” Donkey replied. He could feel his body starting to tremble, but he tried to stop it. It was still visible to the Vulpix though, and some of them crouched down as if they were about to pounce.

    “Your friends are gone though,” Vulpix replied. “We can help you find them though.”

    And the Vulpix that crouched jumped. Flames burst from their mouths and scorched Donkey’s body. They swiped their paws at him, and Donkey cowered and shuddered with each blow that his brown body took. His black mane, which was already matted and covered in dirt and leaves from the forest and his constant collapsing from exhaustion, was starting to go all over the place from the Vulpix’s attacks; it was singed in some spots from the flames they threw at him.

    There was a loud stomp, and then the tremors started. The Vulpix scattered and reunited with their leader and the rest of their pack. When the tremors stopped, the Vulpix looked visibly shaken. There was a loud crash in the distance as a tree fell and the smoke cloud rushed towards them.

    Through the smoke, Donkey shook his body and rushed forward. He felt his body collide with a Vulpix, and that Vulpix went flying. He slammed into more Vulpix and with each Vulpix he collided with, that fox went flying too.

    When the smoke cleared, there was only one Vulpix remaining: the leader. They faced off, staring each other down and walking in circles around each other. This logically should have been an easy fight for a Mudbray from the start. There was a vast size difference between a Mudbray and a Vulpix. A Mudbray was considered to be a Ground type, and a Vulpix was a Fire type; there was even a type advantage for a Mudbray.

    Logically, this was an easy fight for a typical Mudbray. Unfortunately, Donkey wasn’t your typical Mudbray.

    But now he found his confidence and his will to fight. Perhaps it had something to do with that Arceus awful song he sang on his adventure that led him to this point, but whatever it was, he was going to fight.

    Flames were thrown out, more earthquakes happened, and soon enough, the forest was on fire again and more trees were on the ground. Mudbray slammed his body into the Vulpix and sent him flying, and then he ran off, galloping through the burning forest and jumping over knocked down trees.

    He ran and ran and ran until his body collided with something else and he fell over. That something else had an awful, putrid smell. It was almost unbearable.

    Donkey scrambled to his feet and when he caught wind of his surroundings, his wide eyes widened more.

    “Shrek!” he shrieked, running forward and galloping around his friend. “I found you! I found you!”

    “Yes, yes, you found me, Donkey,” Shrek the Garbodor said, rolling his eyes. “Calm down, you’re gonna wake the whole forest.”

    “But but but…” Donkey started. Shrek held up a hand, but that didn’t stop Donkey from continuing. “Our home! It’s not a forest anymore! It’s a swamp! But but but! I scared those mean old Vulpix away and we can go home now! They won’t mess with us anymore!”

    Shrek’s expression turned from one of annoyance to one of excitement. “Donkey, that’s great! We can build a new home in the swamp! It’ll be perfect!”

    “Yeah!” Donkey replied. But his excitement went away just as quickly as it came as he realized that Shrek was the only one around. “Where’s Fiona though? And Dragon? And Puss-in-Boots?”

    “We’ve got a hut not too far from here,” Shrek replied. “Come on, we’ll go meet up with them.”

    And so they did. Donkey met up with Fiona the Garbodor, Dragon the Dragonite, and Puss-in-Boots the Meowth. All were excited to see each other, and now that they were reunited, they gathered their things (including the hut that Shrek and Puss-in-Boots built) and moved back to their new home, the swamp, which was a more fitting home for the Garbodor if you think about it because they smelled awful. One Garbodor had a pretty awful smell. Two Garbodor? The smell was even worse and honestly unbearable. Not even the other forest inhabitants liked them. A swamp would be one hundred percent better for them. The smell there was already putrid, so it was unlikely that two putrid smelling Garbodor could make it any worse.

    And that, my friends, is the end of our wild ride. Donkey finally found his confidence, and they were all reunited in the forest and made their new home in the swamp. All was well in their lives… for now, anyways. Let’s just hope I don’t have another salt induced fit over another one of Game Freak’s dumb things they’ve decided to do and decide to burn this swamp down.

    Oh, and if you’re wondering what the theme of the story is, it’s something along the lines of finding your courage and standing up to those who are mean to you. Not burning things down in salt induced fits over Game Freak’s dumb things they decide to do. If that was the theme, there would probably be a lot more burned down because let’s be real here, we could burn a lot down in a single story because Game Freak does a lot of dumb things. That’s a story for another time though. For now, let’s let Donkey the Mudbray have his moment with his friends Shrek and Fiona the Garbodor, Dragon the Dragonite, and Puss-in-Boots the Meowth. He deserves it. Kinda.

    Pokemon: Mudbray (Hard, 20k-30k MCR)
    Character Count: 19720
    Author’s Note: 100% rambling here, I have no idea what I’m doing. Have fun with this grade because I had fun writing it tbh. I’m a little under MCR here, but yolo.

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  3. #2
    URPG Staff evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    Posting this as a Concise grade. If you want any more feedback, clarification on points I’m referring to or making, or just want to talk about stories in general, please ping me!

    Looking Good:

    • Touching on your last point first – it’s very clear you enjoyed writing this, which is great to see. It’s important to have fun when you’re creating things!
    • My only experience with 4th-wall breaking in fiction is The Princess Bride, which was a delightful read. This definitely evoked that same charm, with the author not just telling a story, but telling us what they think of the story at the same time.
    • You absolutely nailed your tone, the voice came through clearly and it felt very close. The style was open and approachable, rather than trying to grab the reader, you tried to make it worth their time to see where this was going. Nicely done.

    Needs some work:

    • I feel the actual story took too long to get started. The framing device was fine, where you told us what you were going to write about, but it wasn’t clear right away that it was the beginning – almost felt like a ‘note to reader’ that just kept rolling. If you go for something like this again, I’d say keep it to no more than three paragraphs before ‘once upon a time’.
    • The fourth wall breaking and the author insertion was a little too heavy, too – giving us asides such as ‘that Donkey low key had a crush on, but he was too much of a wimp to admit it’ and ‘But anyways, we’re not gonna waste our time continuing to talk about Donkey and his fifty million problems.’ add extra flavor to the story and are fun, but adding “We’d be here all day if we did that, and this story would be a lot longer than it would need to be. I’m not trying to sit here and do that; I’ve got better things to do.” stretched it too long.
    • The Shrek references were a nice touch also, but the characters didn’t feel like their movie counterparts. If you’re deliberately trying to subvert a reference or trope, I’d make that more clear; otherwise, try picking their most noticeable qualities from the movie (Shrek’s grumpiness, Donkey’s constant upbeat attitude, Fiona’s gung-ho style) so that it’s more a treat for those familiar.
    • Description was a bit light; someone who knew what all the Pokemon were and who’d seen Shrek would have no problem visualizing, but someone missing one or both of those wouldn’t have much to go on – Vulpix are left at mud-stained orange foxes who breathe fire, and the swamp is left almost entirely to the reader’s imagination.

    Mudbray not captured. Hard rank is looking for relatively strong storyline, details, characters, and tone; if you work a bit more on fleshing out the setting and protagonist, why the reader should want him to succeed, and giving him a goal rather than wandering where your die points, you’ll bump it above that bar just fine.
    Resurrected stats (still under renovation!):

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