Stripe (draft)

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alright, let’s write!

…naturally i forgot the most important thing: the TV tray XD.

i don’t have a desk. i have a TV tray, a laundry basket, and a treasure chest pretending to be a desk. gimme a sec.

alright here we go for realsies.

i’m gonna work on a prompt for my friend and fellow writing streamer bigfootbjornsen.  Neon Lights.

if i make satisfying progress with that, I intend to work on one of my own ideas that involves self-harm, mental health and nightmares. i will let you know if and when i switch over. and i will perfectly understand if you’d like to duck out when i do.  keep yourselves safe.

but until then, let’s burn a witch with neon lights!

There were places that light went to.

Light didn’t so much as bounce off the gems as…

Unlike polished, refined jewels.

The uncut gems.

Light fell into the uncut gems like satellites falling into black holes.

Whereas with polished gems, light would bounce off them and strike the viewer with grandeur, light fell into these uncut gems like satellites falling into black holes.  Once inside, the strobes and glowsticks compressed into foggy debris.  To the college students on the dance floor, they held no meaning.  The majority of the clubbers didn’t even know they were there.

But those at the table…

Crisis was grinning.  She knew she’d brought in a good haul.  A red glow dug into her bubbly buzz cut, adding a volcanic quality to her hair.  It set her gold hoops on fire and raced down her leather jacket and short shorts.

Only Crisis had the audacity to put her foot on the table.

Crisis sat in her chair with the back facing the table.  She leaned forward, her head perched in her hand as she smirked directly at her client.

damn what do we name this dude? Cleaver??? sure!

Cleaver’s expression was, as always, one of unwavering unamusement.  His posture was as stony as his face.  He was a gargoyle of a man at 6’07” and packed with muscles beneath his tailored silver suit.  Blue light glinted off his diamond cufflinks like raindrops rolling down a windshield, moving as if even they were afraid to bother him.

Only Crisis had the audacity not to fear him.

Only Crisis was allowed to have that audacity and live.

“This is a good haul,” Cleaver said, giving her a smile, his final word washing away in the club music: “daughter.”

The only person who needed to hear it, heard it, however.

[magical bullshit that powers up Crisis.]

“Just wait ’til you see the next one,” Crisis smirked even wider.

think i left my other drink in the other room. gimme one second.

“I look forward to it,” he said.

A tight-vested, micro-skirted server brought them their drinks.  The clacks of faer heels drowned in the music, but each sultry step fae swaggered made light burst beneath faer from panels in the floor.

gonna help my parents real quick. have a pic of the art i did earlier today!

keep your cats inside, y’all!

my family: lost a cat cuz we let her out unsupervised.

also my family: let’s keep letting our cats outside!

Cleaver handed a blank check to the server, pointed to Crisis, and said, “Anything she wants is hers.”

The server’s only momentarily bugged out.  She pocketed the check and gave Cleaver and Crisis a smirk of her own. “With this kind of money, daddy, she can have the whole damn club if she wants.”

“I’ll take just you,” Crisis said. “For now.”

Cleaver snorted, finalizing the end of their business.  He sipped his cocktail first, content with his pleasure of drinks, as Crisis whisked the server off to her own.

i had no plot or characters or anything ahead of time. i just neon lights (the prompt), and an image of uncut gems that i looked up on stream.  if i recall correctly, i paired them together cuz i thought it’d be a good image.  you have neon lights, which is something man-made, and uncut gems: something naturally-occurring. plus if your prompt involves lights, it’s probably best to give that light plenty of surfaces to bounce off of.

if only i was this good at lighting in art. then i’d be in business XD.

not trying to put myself down. i really am proud of how my art has progressed this year. especially last month during art fight! it’s just that i didn’t do art at all for a long time, at least not digital art. i didn’t know there were art programs besides adobe and microsoft paint for a long time. paint’s not gonna help anybody with anything, and adobe ain’t free. like of course i couldn’t progress.

but we’re progressing now! and i couldn’t be happier ^-^.

i actually like my art now. instead of just thinking “this is the best i can do” or “okay i gotta work around my weaknesses”.

i still see other people’s art and think “that’d be so cool if i could do something like this”. but not in an unobtainable way. like. i feel like i could do something like that some day instead of “i’ll never be able to do this”.

i’m gonna take a look at stripes, see if that sparks anything. if not, i’ll go to something else.

[HFE, that’s an NPC with a name! shut up.]

[the first wingull i used was the third wingull i caught. i caught him for a friend. his name was wingull 3. and we used it for the battle frontier, so when he evolved, i changed his name to pelipper 3. so if you’re wondering if my naming game has at all leveled up since i was 8, the answer is no XD.]

[that’s basics of my “growth” as a writer. i know the rules, i just don’t care anymore.]

[HFE, why are all the other pokemon named and Wy-Lopmon isn’t? i don’t care, ze’s just an NPC.]

[petition to change the term “side character” to NPCs.]

[just replace all literary terminology with gaming terms.]

[no that’s not the main antagonist, that’s the final boss! obviously!!!]

[first novel in a series? bullshit! that’s disk one, baby!]

[what are some moves that wy-lopmon would know?]

[nah. whatever.]

Wy-Lopmon was up to zir neck in a Durant hill.  Muddy worked on Rock Smashing them from zir while J dug zir out.  Suzy kept the Durants away from them with Follow Me, then joined the rest of her team in blasting the Durants with Discharge.

“Suzy, it’s ready!” Pachi flung a glowing yellow gem at Suzy.

J was focused on digging out Wy-Lopmon, but she heard Muddy say, “Is that a Z-Crystal?!”

“Heck yeah, it is!” said Chi-Chi.

[fuck what are they called again? z-crystals???]

[HFE how do z-crystals exist in a world without humans. i don’t a give a fuck, i’m gonna have mega stones in this AU too. cry me a river, world prescriptivists!]

When J looked over, Suzy was grinning and whipping her arms out wide.  She became a white thundercloud, crackling and cackling with electricity.

And all of a sudden, she charged at the biggest group of Durants.

“Gigavolt Havoc!!!”

The Durants who were directly hit went flying!  The rest of them scrambled away.  J had never seen such a one-sided fight before.

When bad memories started popping up, J distracted herself by digging Wy-Lopmon out.  Muddy and Team EleSquirrel could help now as well, so ze was free in no time!

J heard Suzy asking her something, but her words burned to ashes in the flames of her trauma.

J heard Muddy though! “J? J?? Doin’ okay, lil buddy???”

“Oh! …Yeah! I’ll be fine!” she said.  J realized they all must’ve been waiting for her to use Team Fusion’s rescue badge.

“It’s your mission, after all,” Suzy said. “The honor is all yours!”

[guess who never picked a name for the hub world? this person!]

[i tentatively named it pokemon town but that’s too easy. plus i guarantee a game’s already used it. plus it’s not just a pokémon world. it’s got at least digimon and neopets too.  so it needs to be something with all three of them.]

[neomon town?]

[Neomon Town!]

J had never been gladder to be back in Neomon Town!  Once they verified the mission’s completion at the post office, Wy-Lopmon broke down and hugged as many of them as ze could.

“That was so scary!!!  Heatmore Hills never used to be like that!” Wy-Lopmon cried. “Sure, rural mons would fight back if you made them upset, any mon would, but they never attacked first!  I was just out there gathering apples!”

It wasn’t the first time Muddy and J had heard something along those lines, and J was afraid it wouldn’t be the last time.

[i gotta beat this wetu in order to unlock the place that i need to fight the monster i need for another quest.]

[i think i’ll take a stretch break. have an image!]

[that was a mistake.]

[welcome back, everyone.]

[i hate how hot it is in here.]

[i’m gonna complain just as much when it’s cold, but it’s not cold right now. fuck weather. even when it’s good, it’s bullshit.]

[the problem with english is we don’t have any word that means wild with good connotations.]

[like yeah we have free, but that implies they were imprisoned at one point. or that the town mons are imprisoned.]

“You’ve all had a lot of close calls today,” Suzy said to her, Muddy, and Wy-Lopmon. “Make sure you get lots of rest when you get home.”

“And if you can’t sleep at home, come have a sleepover with us!” Pachi said. “Our treehouse is super cozy!”

“Our pride blanket just came in the other day,” said Chi-Chi. “It’s so warm and fuzzy~.”

“And huge!!!” Pachi said, arms out as wide as they could go. “It’s big enough for all of us!”

Once Wy-Lopmon started heading home, Muddy sprang over to Suzy.

“So you’re a girl with a long face stripe.”

J wanted to scream at Muddy so bad.  It was a Normal-Water type talking to an Electric type.  It could stand to learn some basic survival skills!

“I am,” Suzy said with total confidence.  Pachi and Chi-Chi seemed ready for another fight, though.  J didn’t blame them.

“One of our friends is a girl with a long face stripe, and her parents didn’t take it very well,” J explained before Muddy got them blasted with three Discharges all at once. “Would you be willing to talk to her?  We’re trying to, but her dad’s—.”

“Her not-dad,” Muddy was quick to say.

J continued, “Her dad’s a Pachirisu.  We’re not.”

Team EleSquirrel perked right up again.

“I would love to talk to her!” Suzy said.

“Thank you so much!” said J, hopeful an expert would be able to get through to Roquelle.  J didn’t know Roquelle super well, but J had never noticed her be ashamed of her face stripe before.  Maybe another Pachirisu could help her.

[sigh. i need to redo the entire conclusion. switching it over to Roquelle’s POV.]

[there’s a point where Roquelle is given some dye to hide her face stripe if she wants. she doesn’t, but with the POV being from another character, it comes across as rushed.]

[sighhhhhh. and i gotta clean all this up. so hachiko can look at it.]

[writing’s so much fucking work. it isn’t just putting sentences together.  kudos to anybody who can put a novel together. or fucking anything.  some days, i get wiped out just from putting interviews together.]

[i need a nap. a lot XD.]

[alright 780 words. let’s go!]

[and 800 more if i wanna fight that monkey. plus whatever total that hunt quest is.]

[if i complain about writing enough, i won’t have to write this story XD. perfect!]

[oh speaking of those interviews, here’s a chat command that give you a link to read them all.]

[i’m also raising money for a custom wordpress domain. to help increase site traffic and better serve the queer content creators i interview. we got the goal set up on ko-fi, where you can make the bar go nyoom!]

[if you’re still here, thank you! ❤ ]

[There was someone new in their house.  Roquelle pulled her rescue band as far down as she could.  She sniffled.  She liked how long it was!  It added so much color to her fur!  It went all the way between her eyes.  Even her dad’s stripe wasn’t that long.  Is that why he’d said…?  Was he jealous???]

There was someone new in Sophia’s house.  Roquelle tugged her rescue band as far down as she could.  But no matter what she did, she couldn’t couldn’t hide her face stripe completely.

And the worst part was, those new mons were Pachirisu!

Roquelle was ready to cry.

If she went outside, mons would see her.

If she stayed inside, mons would see her.

There was nothing she could do!

[i forget. what the fuck happened next?]

“Hello! I’m Suzy!” said one… with a long face stripe.

“Hiya!” said another.  He waved at her from the table.  …He had a short face stripe.

A shiny Pachirisu finished up sheir mouthful to say, “Hey there!”  Shey had a spiky face stripe.  Roquelle didn’t know Pachirisu could have spiky stripes.

“This is Team EleSquirrel!” J said.

“They saved our asses today,” Muddy said.

Sophia looked worried. “Are you two okay???”

“We’re fine now,” J said. “What about you?”

Roquelle knew nobody was asking about Sophia.

[actually no i don’t want the thunder squirrels here already. they’re dropping off the silver powder. and then they arrive. there is too much shit going on at once.]

Roquelle was happy to take her rescue band off.  It was hot wearing it like that, to cover as much of her face stripe as possible.  And it still didn’t cover all of it.  It went all the way between her eyes!

[god this is gonna be so obnoxious to get into a stream doc later.]

[300 more words i got this. just keep writing.]

There were a lot of apples on the table.  A whole pile!  Way more than what everyone usually ate.

“We got company coming over,” Muddy said. “They’re just dropping off some silver powder.”

Roquelle didn’t care how hot it was or how sweaty her rescue band was anymore.  She put it back on.

“And why didn’t you talk about this with us first?” Sophia ground out, growling around her apple.

[Roquelle had huge Go Away Energy!  They always said nobody messed with a Xweetok and got away with it.]

[J: They helped us out in Heatmor Hills.]

“They saved our asses in Heatmor Hills,” Muddy said. “The least we could do is give them dinner.”

Roquelle sunk in her seat.

Sophia said, “Did it have to be today?”

“Today’s the perfect day, trust me!” said Muddy.

Sophia was unamused. “Muddy, what have you ever done to be trustworthy?”

Normally, that kind of thing would be a joke, even if Roquelle didn’t really get that kind of humor.  But Sophia and Muddy were very different than Sophia and Roquelle.

Without missing a beat, Muddy said, “Today’s the perfect day, trust J!”

J looked conflicted.  She looked like she wanted to say “don’t drag me into this” but also “oh wait, this was my idea”.

As if this whole evening couldn’t get any worse, their guests were Pachirisu!  Roquelle couldn’t stop thinking about the part of her stripe she couldn’t hide.

“Hello! I’m Suzy!” said one.[.. a girl. with a long face stripe like her.] “I’m the leader of Team EleSquirrel.  These are my teammates Pachi and Chi-Chi.”

“Hiya! [I’m Pachi!]” said another. [a boy with a short face stripe.]  He was happily flapping his paws.

“Hey there[; name’s Chi-Chi],” said a shiny one.  [Shey had a long, spiky face stripe.  Roquelle had never seen a Pachirisu with a spiky face stripe before.]  Shey headed right over to the food and took a huge bite.  Sophia, Muddy, and J were surprised it fit in sheir mouth; but Roquelle and the other Pachirisu knew better.

[sorry y’all, i should’ve done that earlier.]

[me: talks about a super heavy content note-laden idea at the top of the stream.]

[also me: forgets the one content note. i need here.]

[well technically that’s not the only content note for this story, but the other ones shouldn’t really apply in the section we’re working on.]

[well just in case.]

[did i have another one?]

[these are the ones that are definitely going to apply. the story will stay pretty light-hearted. but this is a WIP, so keep yourselves safe. if you need to duck out, i understand. the only thing keeping me here is dogs, quests and spite.]

[also it’s been over 4 hours. take care of yourselves everybody <3. don’t be like me!]

“Thank you for having us over!” Suzy said.

“Thank you for rescuing Muddy and J,” Sophia said while glaring at them over Suzy’s shoulder.

[taking a quick bio break brb.]

[alright back to spite.]

Of all mons that could’ve rescued them, it had to be a bunch of Pachirisu!

Roquelle finally noticed something as she was tugging her rescue band down again.

“You’re a girl Pachirisu. With a long face stripe. Like me…”

“That’s right!” Suzy said with a smile.

“And I’m a boy Pachirisu with a short stripe!” said Pachi, voice bouncing all the way over from the table.

“And I’m Chi-Chi, my stripe’s extra handsome, like me!” Chi-Chi grinned around their latest bite of apple.

“Are…?” Roquelle started to ask. She had to work herself up to speaking to strangers. “Are you trans too?”

“Nope!” Suzy shook her head. “We’re all intersex.”

“Basic biology is just that: basic!” said Chi-Chi.

“We’re advanced biology!” Pachi.

“And so are you!” Suzy said. She handed Roquelle a vial. “This is some dye if you’d like to cover it, but you’re a girl no matter how long your stripe is. My bio family forced me to dye mine for years, but my real family loves me just how I want to be.  And your real family will, too.”

Roquelle looked at the vial when Team EleSquirrel left.  She thought about how they stayed home to take care of her even though she really wanted to get gold rank.  How they’d been the one to teach her that gender was allowed to change, and that Roquelle was allowed to change hers.  How they checked out books written by mons all over the gender spectrum.  None of them had been Pachirisus.  The library didn’t have any books by cisn’t Pachirisus.

But there was one book by Lord Luke: a trans butch Luxray who loved his long mane, masculine name, and he/him pronouns.  None of these things made him a man.

[oh god shinx’s go sprite looks cursed! and not in a fun way like muddy. muddy has to actively do something to kill you. that sprite will kill you by just looking at you.]

“I’m in charge of my genders,” he’d written, “and there’s nothing transphobes, including sad little binary gays, can do about it!”

[i always forget what any of the words for n-bphobia are. none of them are indicative words.]

[lord luke is kinggender.]

[lord luke is our trans butch kinggender!]

[i don’t make the rules except that i do!!! fuck the binary!]

[okay 40 more words of this dog, then 450 for the next one. we’re gonna do this! let’s go!]

[seriously tho, binary gays, learn. how to be better allies to us.]

[some people come out as a gay and use that as an excuse to never learn about any marginalization that isn’t theirs. don’t be that person. that’s the easy road. nobody changes the world for the better taking the easy way out.  change is hard.  learning is hard.  but we have to do it.  what sort of world do you want to leave behind?  and who do you want living in that world? who do you want thriving in that world?  cuz if you’re only looking out for you and yours, that’s selfish.  and that is not a revolution i want televised.]

When Roquelle decided she wanted to read all of Lord Luke’s books after that, Sophia ordered them on inter… intra.. whatever one it was! on a library loan!

When Roquelle wasn’t getting out of bed, Sophia made sure she ate.  Sophia read the one book they had by Lord Luke over and over again.

Sophia wasn’t always able to stay, but they always came back to her.

And Sophia had never called Roquelle a boy for having a long face stripe.  Muddy and J hadn’t either.

Roquelle liked her long face stripe.  It added lots of color to her face.  It pointed right at her cute little nose.  It didn’t make her a boy.

Roquelle was a girl.  And there was nothing her parents could do about it.

Roquelle took off her rescue band.  She padded over to J.

“Can you draw a heart inside my stripe?” she asked. “I love it a lot.  I want it to know that.”

Roquelle knew stripes couldn’t know whether they were loved or not, but Roquelle would know.  And other mons would know.

And maybe, if she ever met Lord Luke, he’d know too.

“Sure!  I can do a heart!” J said. “Why don’t we do it tomorrow so you don’t have to wait for the dye to dry?” She glanced out the window.  It’d be dark soon. “And I can see better.”

“Oh, yes! Of course!  You’re right,” said Roquelle. “Thank you.”

“No problem!” J smiled.

The heart J drew looked great!  Roquelle loved it on her stripe.

When they saw Team EleSquirrel in the market that morning, they all loved it too!

They started sporting stars on their stripes.

Then other Pachrisu started sporting shapes and designs on theirs.

Roquelle started a trend!

And Roquelle was wearing her rescue band like a bow tie again.

Roquelle was happy again and skipping again.

And Roquelle was a girl with a long face stripe.  There was nothing her parents could do about.

[aaaaaaaaaaand that’s a wrap, folks.]

[trying to finish the story: tired as hell. upon finishing the story: let’s keep going!!!]

[no let’s not. we’ve been streaming for almost six hours, and i’d like to stream “tomorrow”. good night everybody ❤ thank you for coming! i will get the stream doc and vod up eventually. let’s go raid fellow writing streamer: coffeequills~!]


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