"Hey Mikey-boy, how much longer is it gonna take you there? The water's frigid cold!" Syrup exclaimed to Mike who was outside the house, near the bathroom window.
A few hours had passed since Syrup angrily came home with Mike in her claws and the sun had long sank into the fiery red horizon, depriving the land of it's hot light and encouraging the cold nights the prairie was accustomed to.
"Just a second, mom, I'm about to light it up!" Mike was busily placing a few logs in a cache underneath a specific spot of the house that was lined with metal. "Ok! Here goes!" Mike breathed a scorching blaze at the logs he carefully placed so that each of them was burning brightly. "How's that?!" Mike yelled at the window above him.
"Mm... how about ya heat up the metal a bit? That should get it goin' a lil' quicker!" Syrup said after dipping a claw into the bathtub full of water.
"Alright..." Mike breathed his flames once more, but careful as to only heat up the metal lining and nothing else until it was red hot.
"Ah~! Yeah, that's perfect! The bathwater's nice 'n hot! Now git on up here and come take a bath with me!" Syrup slowly dipped her entire furred body into the bathtub to begin soaking herself in the heated water.
Mike had no problems bathing with his mother, as well as his sister too. Bathing together as a family was a routine custom as the dust would cover their fur and scales regularly. But for Mike, he had to bathe differently than the two of them as he was taught to never submerge his tail flame in water, even before he could grasp the concept of 'death.'
As Mike settled with his mother in the bathroom, he began to carefully scrub himself down with a soaked rag so as to not splash any water on himself or his vital flame.
"Hey Mikey-boy, come here and help me scrub my back, and I'll clean ya up. Here's the soap." Syrup moved herself to the edge of the bathtub and handed Mike the bar of soap to begin scrubbing her back. "Aah~ That feels good... hey, lissen', I'm sorry for hurtin' you earlier but I really wanted to drive it home that you gotta protect Maple as much as you can, right? Especially while she's a small runt, I don't wanna have her leapin' off to bite more than she could chew and then somethin' happens and she's gotta hope for a second chance... yannow?" Syrup turned around to look at Mike, face to face, as she finished talking.
"Huh? I don't know what you mean by that mom..." Mike felt bad as he was being stared down by his own mother.
Syrup turned her head back around and pointed at another spot in her back for Mike to continue scrubbing. "Well... imagine what happened to Chill's sister, then imagine that it happened to Maple instead. Get me?"
"I didn't really think about that possibly happening... I'm sorry..." Mike stopped scrubbing his mother's tough purple fur, pondering about the what-ifs.
Syrup raised an arm in surprise from under the Mike stopped. "Hey, I di'int say to stop! There's still a lot more to scrub!"
"O-oh! Sorry again..." Mike began scrubbing again.
"Yer always sorry! Well, it's okay... this time... But you know what I meant about Maple biting more than she can chew, right?" Syrup rested her arm back underwater to relax.
"...no?" Mike was a little confused, he had always assumed Maple to be as tough as he was.
"Well... Remember that I told you it was Mac who gifted us Maple? Well... before I had you an' all, I visited a doctor and I was told it was likely impossible that I could even bear a child... I di'int wanna believe in his words but it began to appear more an' more likely that he was right. That was until I found you, and then six er seven years later, we were blessed with Maple! ...even then, the doctor told me that while it was a miracle, Maple is prolly weaker than I was as a little runt. I thought he was a load of Bouffalant at first, but then I started to notice her cheeks aren't so pronounced as I had when I was a kid. So... that's what I'm talkin' about. Her heart's strong, but I'm afraid that when the need arises, her body might not follow her heart all th' way! That's why I want you or maybe someone strong to help her avoid that. And jus' maybe, she can pull through her second wind and become as tough as me when she evolves!"
"Huh... Okay! I'll look after Maple, but there's not much to worry, I mean Fresnel sure seems like a strong guy to protect her as well!" Mike felt like that was a half-lie since he really didn't know Fresnel for that long, but he seemed to protect her especially well during Sorbet's crazed attack.
"Yeah, atta boy! That's what I wanna hear. Aah~ You've got magic claws, Mikey-boy! Ya made me feel good this whole time!" Syrup untensed herself even further and relaxed at the tub. "Just keep on scrubbin' me down... maybe fit in a massage or two..."
And Mike did just as his mother lazily commanded, which resulted in a few minutes of silent thinking as he did the hygienic duty for her. Although, after thinking it over, he had to ask his mother. "Uh, sure... hey, mom, what was that picture out on the front room? Was that... you?"
"Ah... yeah, that thing. Yup, that was me alright. Yah, I think that's enough scrubbing for now, Mikey-boy, anymore of that an' I woulda dozed off! Come pull up a stool here and I'll scrub ya down 'til yer scales shine!" Syrup grabbed a bucket full of the bathwater and doused her whole body to free her fur from the soapy remains while Mike pulled up a stool that would elevate him to a comfortable scrubbing height. "Ya know the drill, you do yer frontside while I do yer backside, alright?"
"Ok..." Mike began to clean the scales on his belly while his mother did his back with less vigor than what he gave. "So... uh, you were saying?"
"Oh! Nearly fergot to talk 'bout that! So get this, I was a lil' scamp back then, and that Ponyta I was ridin' on was a pal I had back then. We were insepírable, until one day we wanted to buck around in the sandy desert... Well, Cybil an' I--"
"Cybil??" Mike just had to interrupt his mother.
"Yeh! Cybil!! So what if I fergot to mention her name a lil' earlier than that, eh?!" Syrup began to rub Mike's bald head with an uncomfortable fervor as punishment. "Dun interrupt me again, 'specially when I was gettin' at a good part! Anyways... Like I was sayin', Cybil an' I were bucking around in the sand dunes of the desert, havin' a good time. Then I was an idiot an' dared her to jump from the top of a sand hill. We didn't look before we leapt an' the other side of the hill had a great deep sand pit... needless to say, we fell hard. I only got scrapes an' bruises while Cybil broke two of her legs. I tell ya, it was a terribly stupid thing we did there. I had ta carry her home with me. When our parents saw the mess, Cybil's Pa was outright furious because their legs can't really heal like we do." Syrup's claws stopped moving to scrape at Mike's scalp. "I ended up cripplin' her, and her parents never let me see Cybil. After about a week of not bein' allowed to see her, my ma an' pa came to my room only to tell me that they moved out. I was so heartbroken to know one of my best friends just ups and leaves after I left her crippled. Well... in an attempt to cheer me up, my folks said they were hopin' that when Cybil evolves, she'd get her legs fixed, y'know, using evolution an' such? Well, that inspired me to wanna evolve too... I wanted the power to get away from there an' find Cybil again... 'course, I did just that, and I never did find Cybil. That's life, yannow?" Syrup breathed a heavy sigh. "So... Mikey-boy, it all comes down to this, when are ya gonna evolve?"
Mike was dealt two heavy blows, both from his mother's story, and from his mother expecting more out of him. He really wished that he didn't have to hear the latter. "I... I dunno. I'm sorry, I know I'm old enough to become... whatever, but it just hasn't come yet. Sorry mom for being a let down as usual."
"Aw, consarn it! Ya know ya haven't really let me down! Yer still my son, an' that's all I want from ya! 'Course, I'd love to see you become a big an' handsome dragon... Hey, speakin' of dragons, whatever happened to Sir Bet dragon? Last you said before I got angry with ya was that he was freezin' up everything in Tao Village." Syrup was more than eager to hear news when it comes to dragons.
"Oh that... well, Sorbet really did a number on Tao Village since he was out of his mind and we had to stop him... Last I heard from Maple, he's gone now..." Mike sighed as recalled all the hardships from that night which seemed to last almost a forever.
"...Oh, well, here I was gettin' all hot an' bothered thinkin' about Sir Bet and now I'm just hear this? Eh... Well you get yerself all dried up an' ready fer bed. Momma here needs a bit of alone time for now..." Syrup sighed wistfully as she tapped Mike to go away and she sank herself into the bathtub to relax by herself. "Oh well, I didn't get to see much of Sir Bet, but maybe that Gunpauda fella oughta get me somewhere..."
Mike used to not understand what she meant by 'alone time', but lately he got to piece it together and decided to follow his mother's orders and hurried to dry himself up to leave the bathroom.
Mike quite didn't want to finish the night just yet, even after having a belly full of even more Tauros beef before bath time, he was still lacking something before he could go to bed. "I wonder... is there any milk in the icebox?" A good question indeed; milk was especially hard to get in such an arid climate where it would easily be perishable. He was told once that there used to be a cattle ranch where bovine Pokemon were treated in a different way, but the bovines themselves revolted against the owner and now roamed free across the plains. Even if they were hunted occasionally, they were still 'free' in their own way.
As Mike went down to the cool cellar where the icebox resided, he rummaged "Beef, more beef, even more beef... Oh... good! There's a bottle here and it's fresh, perfect! I haven't had some in forever..." Mike grabbed the bottle of milk to bring upstairs in order to prepare it, in which preparation was simply to pour the contents into a metal pan and place it over his tail fire for a while in the dead of night.
"Khaw! Yer a lil' sneak aren't ya?" Syrup's cough of a laugh startled Mike enough to cause his tail flame to explode for a brief second. "Khaw haw haw~! You still startle easy, don'tcha? Well here, yer not cookin' that milk right, gimme that pan, I at least know how to do right." Even after a cleansing bath, Syrup's particular aroma never dissipated, it was always a part of her.
Mike had to hand the pan over to his partially wet mother and watched as she used a wooden spoon to stir the milk. "Ya see, if ya don't stir it while heatin' it up, it's gonna burn at the bottom. But heck, I want some warm milk too." Syrup grabbed the half-empty bottle of milk and added the rest of its contents into the pan. "If yer gonna have something, ya always enough to share wif yer lady, I thought I taught you this!"
"Huh, I thought you only bought milk for me when I was envious of Maple..." Mike definitely wanted to hear her explanation for this, his whole day was full of explanations.
"Well 'course I did! I di'int want you to feel left out while I was raisin' Maple, so I went out and bought some milk to give ya. But... truth is, I raised on milk too as a runt. When I told ya I had a ma an' pa, I was only givin' ya the partial story. The truth is, before I hatched outta my own egg, my real momma hit the road and left me with my pa' an' his Miltank servant, and coincidentally she had a calf of her own but was too weak after hatchin' an' died... so she ended up becomin' my surrogative momma. An' don't get me wrong, it was the sweet life bein' coddled like that. Lotsa warm milk to drink from every night while she tucked me in? It was the best, pretty much." Syrup was so engrossed in her childhood that she slowed down in spooning the pan full of milk.
"Um, isn't that weird though? Being raised by a miltank? Didn't your dad find this strange as well?" Mike had to actually put effort in keeping his tail flame underneath the pan while she slowed down.
"Eh? 'Course, and it ain't no weirder than me raisin' you! But... naw, pa di'int even mind that I was bein' raised by a cow. Come ta think of it, he really never did much of anythin' with me 'cept drink a lot." Syrup pulled the pan away from Mike's tail fire as she rose from her chair to grab two mugs from a cupboard. "Alright, this milk's all done, so let's drink up."
As Syrup poured the piping hot milk into the twin mugs, Mike had felt like asking one important question. "Hey... so if you liked your mom a lot, then why'd you leave her?"
"Huh, well... when Cybil left, I was countin' on my ma to cheer me up and such, and she jus' flat out punished me. I could never count on my drunken pa' to do anythin', an' now my ma as well? That was what broke the Numel's back. I felt like I had ta' take matters into my own claws, through... strength. So that's what I did, I matured into a powerful Skuntank and left on my own. Anyways, I think that's enough delvin' for tonight. Let's drink this before it cools down, bottoms up!" Syrup lifted the mug into her maw and began gulping down the creamy beverage.
Mike saw to it to join his mother and drank all the milk in his own mug without a second's delay.
"Ah~! I'll never tire of a nice cuppa milk! Alright, thanks for lettin' me dry my fur on yer fire! I'm goin' to bed, night Mikey-boy!" Syrup lightly tossed the mug into the sink and left for her own bed.
Mike had to stand on his own chair to reach the sink to drop his own mug along with his mother's. He'd have washed it now, but he was absolutely exhausted and the warm milk in his stomach was soothing him to drop asleep right there, so he would do so in the morning.
As Mike was about to doze off into slumber in his stony bed, he couldn't help but recall all the tales his mother told him today.
"Strength, huh? ...maybe that's what it is I'm missing. Maybe I should really look into growing up for real. I gotta protect Maple... no, not just her. I wanna protect everybody, and help Maple grow up to be strong with me... Maybe then people will respect me, heh... maybe even she would notice me more. Eh. I wonder if I'll grow up to be taller than Shroomsworth..."
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
FIRSTLY: thank you
so much for all your
kind birthday wishes
and little gifts!
:hug: you made me
:heart:I hope this
small feature can
bring a smile to
your faces, too
:)enjoy and make
sure to fave some of
this great pieces!
;)and now we move on
to the first part of
would like to
address something I
have been seeing as
of late here and on
other sites. Artists
who are asking if
commission them if
they were to offer
commissions and if
so, how much should
they charge or how
much are they
willing to pay?
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More