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Cactus Flowers

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by shinygiratinaz, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    This is supplementary to Cactuses: a Story that's Not About Cactuses.

    Rated E.

    Footsteps echoed off the expansive stone walls of the hall. A woman in black accompanied them, striving purposefully towards a back room.

    "Miss Blum?" The woman spoke out softly, her steps growing slower. "Miss Blum, I know you're here."

    The woman entered the room slowly. "Miss Blum?" She said, a small smile growing on her face. "I'm going to count to ten, and then I need you here, okay?"

    She looked around the room, but her expression fell into annoyance when she saw a back door open to the outside air. She sighed, walking through the door with quick strides.

    "Miss Blum, how many times have I told you not to go out-" she stopped, her hands raising slightly as if in defense.

    A young girl sat in the grass, her blonde hair blown wildly around her face by the winter breeze. She rocked back and forth, cradling a giant white and blue egg in her arms.

    "Miss Blum!" The woman exclaimed, walking forwards to grab the child by the hand. "You can't... W-Where did that come from?"

    The girl giggled. "I found it! It was just laying out here and it was super lonely so I picked it up!" She patted the egg with her free hand. "Her name is Eggsy!"

    The woman looked the egg over with lips pursed in distaste. "Ah, yes, well, please say goodbye to Eggsy now. We have to go to the west wing, there's a family here who wants a daughter about your age and I think we might get lucky with them."

    The girl frowned. "Eggsy comes with me." She said.

    The woman sighed, adjusting her suit. "No. I'm sorry, but you can't haul around some giant unknown egg. It could be dangerous! Whatever Pokémon laid it could come back at any second! It could-"

    She looked back to see the girl holding the egg tightly, her eyes watering. She sighed deeply, pinching the bridge of her nose.

    "Alright. Eggsy can come with us." She relented, her voice tired.

    "Yaay! Thank you Talia!" The girl cheered, running indoors.

    Talia smiled, the expression worn but sincere. "That's Mrs. Talia, you little troublemaker!" She called out teasingly, walking inside and closing the door.

    The girl had already run out into the long hallway, skipping awkwardly on the tile with the egg in her arms. Talia walked purposefully past her, signaling for the girl to hurry.

    "We've kept them waiting long enough, Miss Blum." Talia said seriously, stopping in front of a heavy oak door and straightening her suit. She turned to the girl, quickly fussing with her hair and straightening her shirt.

    "Now, Miss Blum." She began in a lecturing tone, fidgeting with the door handle. "Remember to speak respectfully at all times, keep your manners and wits about you, sit up straight, mind your "sir" and "madam"'s, and please please please don't talk about your little woodland adventures like you did with the inspector."

    The girl smiled. "I thought he liked the story about the pyroar that we tried to tame."

    Talia smiled, barely keeping it from twitching. "Just... Save those for a later day."

    "Okay!" The girl cheered, and Talia opened the door, striding in with a practiced smile.

    "Hello Mr and Mrs Alberts!" She nearly cooed. "Thank you for taking time out of your oh so busy schedules to come here today! I'd like you to meet a good friend of mine." Talia turned towards the door, her smile becoming almost pleading. "Miss Blum, would you come in?"

    The girl walked in shyly, nearly hiding behind the egg in her arms. She glanced at the middle aged couple sitting at a table before her and ducked down behind the egg.

    Talia chuckled nervously. "Yes, well, she gets a bit shy but she's really quite full of energy once she gets to know you!"

    Mrs Alberts chuckled warmly, smiling over at the hiding girl. "And what is her name?" She asked.

    Talia looked over at the girl, her fingers folded and an expectant, pleading look on her face.

    "C-Chrysanthemum." She stuttered awkwardly.

    Mr Alberts smiled. "What a lovely name." He said. "And I'm sure if I could see you, you would be quite a lovely girl too."

    Chrysanthemum blushed, but remained hiding. Talia waited in the silence for a few seconds, her thumbs dancing nervously around each other.

    "Well!" Talia burst out in forced energy. "Miss Blum, would you like to take a seat, please?"

    Talia looked over at Chrysanthemum to find her frozen in place, her lips quivering and her knees shaking. Talia froze, her smile awkward.

    "M-Miss Blum?"

    Chrysanthemum sniffled, before sprinting out of the room, the door slamming behind her. Talia ran to the door, before pausing and turning back around in an almost pained motion.

    "I... I promise she's not normally like this!"

    Mrs Alberts smiled softly. "It's quite alright. We understand this is stressful, especially at such a young age. Maybe... Maybe we should come back later?"

    Talia's fake smile froze into place. "No, no please, I can bring her back in here and calm her down and it'll all be fine and-"

    Mr Alberts placed a hand on her shoulder, smiling in a warm but firm manner. "We'll give you a call." He said, before heading out a separate door with his wife.

    Talia waited until the door had closed to let the smile slip off her face. She leaned against the wall heavily, sliding down it until she sat folded against the floor.

    She didn't even move when she heard the door close to her creak open.

    "Are you gonna yell at me?" Chrysanthemum asked quietly.

    Talia looked up, wiping a tear away quickly. "N-no. No, Miss Blum, I'm not going to yell at you."

    Chrysanthemum fussed with her hair, placing the egg at her feet. "I'm not getting adopted." She stated.

    Talia smiled emptily. "I can make more calls. We'll try again tomorrow! There are many other families that come here and many other kids that leave happily with them. We just... Need to find you the right match!"

    Chrysanthemum shifted her feet. "What if... What if we never find the right match?"

    Talia scooted over to the door, pulling Chrysanthemum into a hug.

    "Chrysanthemum Jane Blum." She said softly. "I won't rest until I've made you safe and happy. We will find the right match." She pulled away slightly, smiling genuinely. "Who knows? Life is a funny thing. The right match for you could come from anywhere at any time. Family isn't bound by our expectations, after all."

    Chrysanthemum giggled. "Like Eggsy!" She cheered.

    Talia laughed in return, ruffling Chrysanthemum's hair. "Yeah, like Eggsy."

    The two stayed silent for a few seconds, appreciating the moment.

    "So how do you take care of a Pokémon egg?" Chrysanthemum asked.

    Talia's expression grew weary again. "I have no idea."
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    BiohazardSr, guest and 8542Madness like this.
  2. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    "Mrs Taaaaalia!"

    Talia woke up with a start, the mountain of paper that had shifted over her sleeping body spilling all over the desk she had been laying over.

    "What?" She called out in sleepy panic. "What? Is something on fire again? Is anybody hurt?" Her face grew pale. "Is the inspector back?"

    Chrysanthemum giggled from the doorway. "No, silly! Eggsy is moving!"

    Talia ran a hand through her hair, taming the mess slightly. "Oh. Oh, that's wonderful!" She said, her words somewhat slurred as she struggled to fully wake up. "Eggsy is hatching..."

    She gasped, shooting to her feet and causing another paper avalanche. "Eggsy is hatching now?!" She exclaimed.

    Chrysanthemum nodded. "Yeah, come on!" She grabbed Talia's hand and pulled her out into the hallways and down to her room.

    "I-I don't know anything about Pokémon eggs or hatching or agh!" Talia fretted. "Oh, what if something goes wrong? What if I can't fix it?"

    Chrysanthemum laughed. "Go with the flow, Mrs Talia!"

    The two burst into Chrysanthemum's room, Talia looking around rapidly. Her eyes fell on the bed in the center of the room, on which a shaking and bouncing Eggsy was perched.

    The two crept up to the bed cautiously, watching the egg with curious and frightened expressions.

    "Do we just wait?" Chrysanthemum asked.

    Talia raised her hands helplessly. They both simply continued watching, Talia nervously tapping her fingers together.

    Both of them jumped when a piece of the egg flew off. Chrysanthemum jumped up and down in joy while Talia somehow paled even further as webs of cracks ran up and down the egg until it looked like millions of splinters just barely held together.

    With a heavy cracking sound, the egg split open. A small white creature tumbled out, landing upside-down with its four paws wiggling helplessly in the air. It's white fur matted and clumped against its little body and around its blue tail and horn, dangling in its face and nearly obscuring its tiny muzzle.

    "Oh." Talia breathed. "That's... That's an absol! Those can only be found high on the summit of Mount Coronet!" She gained a curious frown. "Now what's it doing here? And why?"

    "Eggsy hatched! Eggsy hatched!" Chrysanthemum cheered, dancing around the bed. "Now Eggsy looks all small and lumpy!"

    Talia looked down at the infant absol, noticing it rolling onto its side, clumsily getting its feet beneath its body. It wiggled around on the blankets for a moment, before tilting its head upwards. She leaned slightly forwards, flinching a bit when the absol's eyes popped open.

    It's tiny red irises glistened out at her with a curious expression. It opened its mouth widely, showing lots of little stubby canines and making a musical mewling sound.

    "Aww!" Chrysanthemum cooed. "She likes singing!" She walked around to stand in front of the absol, plopping to her knees to come nose to nose with it.

    "Well, I can't call you Eggsy anymore." She said. "Why don't I call you... Singer!"

    Talia hummed in distaste. "Uh, actually, I like the sound of..." She racked her brain for something, anything to do with music that was a better name than 'singer.' "Uhm. How about... Aria?"

    "Ohh, I like it!" Chrysanthemum cheered, masking a sigh of relief from Talia. "Welcome to my room, Ah-rye-ah!"

    Aria mewled again, nuzzling Chrysanthemum's arm. She smiled widely, before plucking Aria off the bed and into an awkward hug.

    "Ohh, I gotta show you to the other kids!" Chrysanthemum cried, whisking Aria away with a confused cry from the young absol.

    Talia gave an involuntary squeak of worry, reaching out after the girl. "Miss Blum maybe we should let your new friend relax for a while ohh, dear!" She sprinted out of the room after the departing child.
    8542Madness and BiohazardSr like this.
  3. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    Chrysanthemum sat with a focused frown, holding out a hand.

    "Sit!" She exclaimed.

    Aria stood in front of her, the young absol tilting its head in confusion.

    Chrysanthemum shook her head. "No, don't tilt. Sit!"

    Aria sniffed quietly, her eyes beginning to focus on drifting dust in the afternoon air.

    Chrysanthemum sighed, standing up and walking over to the absol. She gently pushed the absol into a sitting position.

    "Sit! That's sit!" She giggled. Aria mewled, standing up again.

    "No, Aria." Chrysanthemum sighed. "Sit!"

    She gasped when Aria immediately sat back down. Chrysanthemum cheered, clapping excitedly.

    "You can sit, you can sit!" She exclaimed, before settling down with a focused smile. "Can you roll over?"

    Aria blinked blankly.

    Chrysanthemum plopped down onto her back, rolling around in the grass. "Roll over, you see?"

    Aria mewled, before lying down and rolling over awkwardly, her legs flailing in the air. She returned upright with a clump of grass on her horn, and sneezed daintily.

    Chrysanthemum giggled. "You learn really fast."

    Aria smiled, mewling happily. She walked over and nuzzled Chrysanthemum, grass falling off of Aria's horn and onto Chrysanthemum's lap.

    "Miss Blum?"

    Chrysanthemum stood up quickly, knocking Aria off balance with a tiny, confused mew. She helped Aria upright just in time for the two to stand innocently side by side as Talia walked outside.

    Talia sighed deeply. "Miss Blum, what did I tell you about playing in the grass while you're wearing your dress?"

    Chrysanthemum looked down, kicking the grass. "Uh, to not?"

    Talia frowned. "That's right. Now get over here so we can get you cleaned... up?"

    Chrysanthemum stopped at the sound of confusion in Talia's voice and looked at her. Talia was staring at Aria, her expression somewhat confused and somewhat shocked. Chrysanthemum turned to look at Aria.

    The absol was swinging her front paw, kicking at the grass in a steady pattern. Chrysanthemum looked down at her own foot to see that Aria was kicking the grass at the same pace that she was, and with the same leg.

    Talia cleared her throat. "Ah, well yes, we need to get you cleaned up." She finished, before her curiosity overtook her. "How are you getting her to copy you like that?"

    Chrysanthemum shrugged, Aria shrugging also after a moment. "I just was teaching her to sit and roll over by doing it myself." Chrysanthemum explained, before wincing. "Did I do something wrong?"

    "No no!" Talia quickly encouraged. "It's not wrong it's just... Well, I never knew Pokémon learned so fast."

    "Didn't you have a Pokémon, Mrs Talia?" Chrysanthemum asked.

    Talia smiled, but it was a bittersweet expression. "No, but my father did. He had a drifloon, and his name was Gale. But Gale... moved on... when my father did. I've never actually raised a Pokémon myself, or really been around them much."

    Chrysanthemum smiled, hugging Aria with one arm. "You can help me raise Aria though!" She said, not noticing the absol awkwardly attempting to hug her back with one leg.

    Talia smiled at the two. "Yes. Yes, I can." She walked over to them, her smile becoming teasing. "Right after I get both of you in the bath."

    "Aww!" Chrysanthemum pouted suddenly, Aria giving her a surprised and concerned look. "But we were having fun!"

    Talia ruffled Chrysanthemum's hair. "No buts, young lady. Bath, you, get!"

    "No fair." Chrysanthemum grumbled, walking towards the building with Aria close behind. Talia followed, watching Aria with a curious, yet steadily more enthusiastic smile.
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  4. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    Talia walked down the main hall, looking nervously at the slightly open door to the bedrooms.

    "Miss Blum?" She called out softly. "You're very quiet."

    She frowned, opening the door. "Are you alright?"

    Talia frowned further when she saw Chrysanthemum leaning over her bed, Aria sprawled across the sheets.

    Chrysanthemum looked up, tears in her eyes. "S-she won't wake up. And she's really warm..."

    Talia rushed over and put a hand on Aria's head, nearly covering it. She recoiled, her expression worried.

    "She's got a high fever." Talia said softly.

    Chrysanthemum frowned, her lip quivering. "Is she gonna be okay?"

    Talia gave her a reassuring smile. "I can go get some medicine."

    "But doesn't she need a doctor?" Chrysanthemum asked worriedly.

    Talia paused. "We... can't really take Aria to a doctor, Miss Blum."

    Chrysanthemum tilted her head in confusion. "Why not?"

    Talia stood awkwardly, her arms partly folded. "Well, uh, we just," she sighed, "absols don't exactly have a good reputation, Miss Blum."

    Upon receiving a blank look from Chrysanthemum, Talia continued.

    "Absol are known as the disaster Pokémon because they can foresee tragic events. They then appear where tragedy will strike, and try to warn people. But most people don't see it that way. They just see absols and destruction being related. So they see any absol as a sign of misfortune." Talia looked away. "If the town knew you had an absol... they'd take Aria away."

    Chrysanthemum looked at Talia in shock, before balling her hands into fists. "But that isn't fair! Aria didn't do anything! She needs help!"

    Talia sighed stiffly. "I know, I didn't say I agree or that it's right."

    "No, its not right!" Chrysanthemum cried, her eyes tearing up. "Aria's gotta be okay and we gotta find a doctor who isn't a meanie so she can get better!"

    Talia rubbed her temples. "Alright. I'll try." She said, casting a last worried look at Aria. "Stay here and make sure she doesn't get worse."

    Chrysanthemum nodded wildly, watching Talia leave with tears in her eyes.
  5. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    Talia opened the door to the hall slowly, closing it as quietly as she could. She hung in the entryway, leaning her head against the doorframe. Her sigh echoed down the empty hall, the twilight outside spilling through the few windows and casting long shadows.

    Talia simply threw her coat over the coat rack, fumbling with her scarf. She looked over the doors of the hall blankly, before her gaze rested on Chrysanthemum's room.

    She walked forwards, hugging herself awkwardly and eyeing the room with an expression of dread. She pushed the door open slowly, looking around it with cautious movements.

    Chrysanthemum lay sleeping on the bed, Aria curled up at her stomach. Talia watched them for a moment, a small smile touching her lips despite her somber demeanor.

    She walked up to Chrysanthemum, lightly shaking her shoulder.

    "Miss Blum?" Talia whispered. "Miss Blum we... we need to talk."

    Chrysanthemum waved a hand at Talia, squinting as she blearily woke up.

    "Mmhuh?" Chrysanthemum mumbled, rubbing her eyes. "Mrs Talia? Did you get feel better stuff?"

    Talia hesitated.

    "I'm... I'm sorry Miss Blum. There is no medicine."

    Chrysanthemum shot upright, her eyes wide.

    "What?! But there has to be! How else can Aria feel better?" She exclaimed.

    Talia shook her head. "I talked with the town breeder." She said softly. "I didn't say what Pokémon I had, but the second I described the symptoms he knew what it was."

    Chrysanthemum sniffled, her eyes full of worry.

    "W-what is it? She asked.

    "Absols don't grow up in costal areas." Talia explained slowly. "They grow up in high altitudes and cold weather, like on Mount Coronet. Aria's sick because she's not in the right environment for a young absol."

    Talia sighed. "And... well, she's not going to get better unless she gets to an environment that's at high altitude and cold." She crossed her arms, looking away from Chrysanthemum's eyes. "So. I talked with a friend who knows the mountain. We're going to take Aria there tomorrow, and we're going to find her a nice place to live."

    Chrysanthemum grabbed Aria, pulling the young absol close.

    "No!" She cried. "If Aria lives on the mountain then she's gonna be lonely!" She crossed her arms. "I'm going too!"

    "No, Miss Blum." Talia said firmly. "Mount Coronet is no place for a young girl. I'm sorry, and I know this is hard-"

    "Aria's family!" Chrysanthemum yelled. Talia blinked, leaning back slightly at the ferocity in Chrysanthemum's voice. Chrysanthemum sniffled, stroking Aria's back.

    "Aria's family." She repeated quietly. "I can't just let her go somewhere all alone and scared."

    Talia kneeled down, scooping Chrysanthemum into a hug.

    "She won't be alone." Talia reassured. "We'll find a family of absol who will take just as good care of Aria as you do. And we'll find you a family with a Pokémon who can be happy where you are."

    Chrysanthemum leaned into the hug, sniffling as she continued to softly stroke Aria's fur. After a moment, Talia leaned back, wiping Chrysanthemum's cheeks.

    "Hey, it'll be alright." Talia said quietly. "I promise."

    Chrysanthemum nodded, looking away. Talia stood up, walking to the door and pausing there.

    "I'll wake you up in the morning when we leave." Talia promised, before closing the door behind her.

    Chrysanthemum watched the door for a moment, before her gaze fell to the fitfully sleeping young absol in her lap. Her frown grew determined, and she grabbed her blanket.
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  6. shinygiratinaz

    shinygiratinaz Boats Against the Current

    Dec 18, 2013
    Talia knocked on Chrysanthemum's door.

    "Miss Blum?" She called. "It's time to go."

    There was silence for a few moments. Talia sighed, shaking her head.

    "I'm coming in!" Talia said, opening the door.

    She was met with an empty, sheetless bed and an open glass door.

    Talia's eyes widened sharply.

    "Miss Blum." She gasped, running out the glass door. She looked around wildly, but she was met with a quiet forest and an empty field.

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