[WaR] Good Shepherd
This is a Write-a-Roll entry! Prompt is: Adventure-Current Day-Hybrids
Target Pokemon: Lillipup
CC: 9,353
Grade: Concise
A/N: My original idea for this story was not completely executed, because I'm too busy due to finals, but I think what I have right now works for a Simple story, so I'm posting it now to qualify for WaR.

The fields of grass were newly blessed, and now ready for its first resident.

The elders believed that not only the land must be blessed, but a guardian must be given, in order to guide the incoming souls to the afterlife and to drive malicious spirits away. After all, this was a sanctuary, a resting place for everyone.

They said that the first to be buried in the sanctuary becomes the guardian. It was a noble task, surely a job that  could guarantee a place in heaven, or elysium, or a great fate after reincarnation.

But the guardian is tasked to stay. Forever. Until each soul has risen from their earthly bodies and has moved on into the afterlife. Only then the guardian is relieved of their task. Is it a curse?

The elders advised the caretakers of the sanctuary  to make its first burial the corpse of a dog. They are, after all, a best friend and most loyal and protective of them all.

But just beside the fences of the grasslands of the sanctuary, a little boy, barely five years old, and his dog, a cream-colored terrier, died of a wasting disease. They needed to be buried immediately, in order to stop the disease from infecting anyone else.

And the parents are tired and wanted to give their child his rest.

So the child and his dog were buried at the sanctuary. It was a quick procession, a quiet and bleak event. The parents got their wishes, the caretakers had their guardian.

Everyone thought the dog would get the role of the guardian, after all he was the first to be buried.

But then, the child and his dog were buried at the same time.

The little boy found himself in the middle of the grasslands.

He looked around and saw nothing but fields of green, aside from a few lone trees, evergreen and vibrant from the summer sun. He looked down and saw a slab of stone, with inscriptions he could not understand.

As he looked down, he saw something... different. He lifted and looked at his limbs, and he could see through them. The grass was barely visible through his own translucency.

He was a shade of brown, almost cream. He ran his fingers through his arms and he could feel himself. He touched fluff, almost like fur, but deeper he could feel skin. He then moved his hands to his face, also fluffy. His nose felt moist. His short hair was thick, and he could run his fingers through it.

His colors, his hair (or was it fur? he thought), and his nose reminded him of something. Looking through his memory felt like gazing beyond the fog.

His nose became alert, and the boy started to sniff into its direction, and he went, ran, to it. As he walked, he felt the urge to land into his hands and run with all four of his limbs, but he kept his pace and with his two feet.

The little boy soon reached a house, but between the two is a fence, painted white and lined with winged people and arrows pointing upwards. He tried to touch the fence, maybe to jump over it, but before he could reach its stone exterior, a barrier blocked his fingers. He pushed through, but he was not able to go past it. It was a calm, but stern force.

He was resigned to stop and stare at the house over the fence, as it seemed pulled him closer but never reaching out to him. But as soon as the little boy removed his hand from the barrier of the fence, a voice called out from behind him.

"You are not meant to go out the sanctuary."

The boy turned around and saw a hollow figure covered in dark cloth. Even if he was smaller and could peek below the hood of the cloth, he could see... nothing. A void. Yet, the voice was resonant and was from the figure in front of him.

"You are chosen by your people. A young one and his loyal companion. Two beings, one soul," the hollow figure said, stern and benevolent.

"Me?" the little boy asked, confusion in his voice, "Who am I? Where am I?"

He had more questions in his mind, about himself and the other people who had chose him for a reason, but the figure raised a bony finger, wispy and translucent, to where its lips should have been. "Guide all who arrive to this sanctuary to me, and I shall give them their rest.

"All in due time, you will know who you are. Search every corner of the sanctuary, and you will discover your identity. Start with the gravestone from where you came from. Maybe you will cross paths with an acquaintance, but only time will tell. It is not their time yet."

The hollow figure moved his hand towards the boy, and from it came a mystical white smoke, engulfing the little boy. He felt no pain, no harm, only the calming invitation of sleep.

The next time the little boy was awake, or conscious, he found himself back in the middle of the sanctuary. The slab of stone was still an enigma to his young and clueless mind. The last words of the hollow figure that talked to him was still fresh in his mind, but to him it felt like it happened ages ago. How long was he asleep, he thought.

Another figure crossed the corner of the boy's eye, and as he turned to look at it, he saw a cat, pink, with squinty eyes, and a puffy tail. But most importantly, the cat was translucent, just like him and the bony hands of the hollow figure. The boy and the cat looked at each other's eyes, and the feline turned to the opposite direction and ran.

The boy had an urge to run, to chase, the cat, and so he did. As he went along his urge, he found himself crouching to the ground, and he started to run in all fours. The fur in his limbs thickened, and his body shrunk down. But he kept running, until the cat stopped at a dead-end. It was another fence, just like the one he saw before.

The cat talked to him, but it did not open its mouth. Rather, the voice seemed to emanate from the boy's own mind. I thought you were human, but you're a dog now.

Only upon the cat's words did he notice that he felt different. The once short fence was now towering over him, and he could not see what's on the other side. The kitten was now at his eye-level. All of these, and yet it felt natural to him. Fear or surprise did not occur in his mind.

Why were you running? The boy, now a pup, asked the kitten.

I was with my friend, we were walking, and then I saw something huge and loud, after that I found myself here, it replied. Its eyes started to glisten. I wanna go back, where is she?

The boy did not know who it was talking about, but he wanted to help. He just did not know what to do.

"You have done well, guardian."

A familiar voice appeared, and to the boy's left, the hollow figure appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. "You found a lost soul. I shall bring it with me," he said, and he approached the kitten, now shivering with emotions. The boy watched as the hollow figure crouched to pick up the cat. With his bony hands, he petted the feline, and it fell to a slumber, a peace different from the tears it had just a while ago.

"Find the other souls. You are their shepherd, guide them to me and I shall lead them to their home," the hollow figure said, and he turned around and walked past the stone fence. The barrier before the fence shimmered faintly, as if responding to the exit of the hollow figure.

The little boy walked away, and in each step he pondered the words the hollow figure has said to him.

Days turned to weeks, months turned to seasons. The little boy kept on going around the sanctuary. Souls appeared infrequently, and each of those times he was gravitating towards them, as if the dog inside him wanted to run and leap to its target. The souls varied in reactions to their arrival in the sanctuary. Some recalled arriving here in a blink of an eye. Others remembered closing their eyes in a somber and peaceful sleep. Nevertheless, all of them met the hollow figure and went on to their ways in peace. No struggle, just departure.

The boy's mind was serene in each encounter, from small talk with the souls to comforting them by telling them stories about the sanctuary. They were strangers, but there was a connection between him and them, one that is immediately formed and yet quickly severed, though not one with pain, once they depart the sanctuary. There was an inner peace inside him. But there was still a nagging thought.

Who was he?

One day, a gravestone popped up beside his. It was similar in shape, along with its indecipherable symbols in it. The boy looked around him, searching for the soul that came with it when--

"Hey! I think I know you."

The boy turned around and saw who he was looking for: a young girl just a bit taller and older than him. And then a sudden tugging feeling rose up from his chest, something nostalgic and familiar to him. He should know who she was, he was sure of it, but his mind was drawing blanks.

"That's you, right?" she said with a tone of familiarity. "You don't look like a dog before, what happened?"

The boy was confused. Not one of the souls he met talked to him as if they were close, and yet here she was. Nothing but stuttering came out of his mouth.

"Oh no, you don't remember me at all? My name's Vivi!"

Vivi. Another tugging feeling, but nothing definite.

"Who are you? Why do you know me?" he asked, his words rushing out, wanting to know more about himself.

"Morton, has it been that long? We used to be friends! I cried when you and your puppy died, I even went to your--" her words continued on, but the boy's thoughts were fixated on one.

Morton? Morton.

It felt correct. It was a faint light at the end of a tunnel, but it is what he was looking for.
[Image: 20200111_152853.jpg]
Okay, FC is back from the crypt. I'm currently about to head to work but I will grade this tonight when I get off.

Consider this baby *claimed. ^_^


Okay. First off, I wanna say that I definitely enjoyed reading this story. I wanted more by the time I got to the end. Great stuff for sure.

Okay now for the meat and potatoes.

Character count is fine.

Description is marvelous. Didn't notice any misspelling. Though you did switch tenses a few times. Try to watch that in the future.

And the parents are tired and wanted to give their child his rest.

Eeehhhh it's not good practice to start sentences with "and" either, but you only did it that once so I'll let it slide. This is the first instance of you switching tenses though. Since most of your story is in past tense, it's safe to say that you should have put the parents were tired instead of are.

The little boy soon reached a house, but between the two is a fence, painted white and lined with winged people and arrows pointing upwards.

Here is another case where you went back to present tense. Between the two was a fence. And actually looking back on it now, you don't exactly explain what the "two" are. Is it two houses? And the fence is separating the two? Kinda needs more clarification there.

Another thing I noticed is that you used a whole bunch of commas but no semicolons lol. The difference between the two is that a semicolon is for a heavier pause, used to separate two complete and related thoughts, where the comma adds on an incomplete thought to an existing sentence.

Another figure crossed the corner of the boy's eye, and as he turned to look at it, he saw a cat, pink, with squinty eyes, and a puffy tail.

This is one instance in which you could have used a semicolon.

Another figure crossed the corner of the boy's eye; as he turned to look at it, he saw a cat, pink, with squinty eyes, and a puffy tail.

Remember when using a semicolon that you do not need the following conjunction, which is why I left "and" out. You could have also just thrown "pink" in front of "cat" to get rid of those other commas as well, but that aside, try using more semicolons to reduce the amount of comma vomit in your stories lol.

Other than those few things, this was an overall great read. My only other and minor complaints are that if I would not have known this was a Pokemon story already, there's nothing in the story that would have told me it had Pokemon in it. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but you still did a nice job of describing both lillipup and skitty. My last complaint, which is not counting against you, is that it wasn't long enough.

I mean like, it is, but I wanted more of it. I was so into it that when I was finished I was disappointed. What happens next? Does Morton realize that he's dead? Does he realize that he's like fused with his Pokemon? What about Vivi what was up with her? I was just so captivated by the story that I just wanted MORE.

Overall, this was a great read and I'm excited to find out if you're going to continue it. (please continue it lmao) With all of that said, I must declare that this Lillipup is



Oof look at me forgetting things. x_x; You definitely hit the mark for your rolls. Congratulations, you get a second Pokemon from the Simple rank. (: Great job!

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