~ The Darkness Within ~
Black Swanna Edit
You came here to visit your family... your mother and father, buried in this tower. Haha, you're wondering now to whom this voice you hear belongs. Very well, I will show myself. ... There, see? I'm not that exciting. I much prefer how I used to look. Oh, darling child, there is no need to run. I am but a friendly creature with no place in this world - or any other - to go. My heart will never truly leave, no matter what my body may do... You look hopeful now. Let me dash that hope; I am the only resident in this tower. I am afraid your parents do not belong to this world anymore. I hoped to find my child here also... but he is gone too. Where? Why, to the same place your parents went. No, there is no need to feel sorry; this happened a long time ago, and my tears have all but dried up over the ages. It is a curious tale, actually... Want to hear? It would be a good way to occupy my time... and I could use the company...
It started when I evolved from Ducklett to Swanna. I was a most beautiful Swanna, and all the other members of my flock praised me constantly. My long feathers were pure white and fluffy, my wings curved and dainty, and there was no other more graceful in flight nor on land. It was inevitable that the flock leader would ask for my hand. However, despite my beauty, or perhaps because of it, I was far too shy and fragile to do much more than giggle nervously, and tell him how foolish it was that he should choose me. Reluctantly, he chose the Swanna who had the most beautiful voice; I was relieved, I suppose, but also sad. I had few friends, though many Swanna spoke to me purely so they could say that they had. I was lonely, and my moves were weak, yet my flock was still my family. My heart. So I suffered in solitude in silence, growing steadily more lonesome and anti-social as days passed.
I wish I had known then what I do now. But I was blind to what was truly happening... Soon after my evolution, I was awoken from my slumber deep in the night by a loud squawking and terrified honking. I shivered in fear, snuggling deeper into the nest I slept in alone. I told you before; I was a shy and weak Swanna. No... I was a coward. After several painful and horrifying minutes, the last shriek was halted mid-flow. I held still a few minutes more, dreading what I feared and knew had happened. With fearful steps, I left the safety of my nest... and ventured upon a massacre.
All around me lay the tattered corpses of my once beloved family. Feathers dyed a deep red still fluttered, as if restless, and the entire area was coated in a thick layer of crimson blood. Organs were scattered around, completely separate from the barely recognisable bodies of their owners. I felt sick to my stomach, holding back the tears. I may not have been close to my flock, but I was still attached to them, if only by blood. The same blood that now covered everything in my vision.
Over my sobbing, I heard a cruel cackling. Raising my head fearfully, I saw a shadow moving in the centre of the carnage, head thrown back and long beak wide open as it laughed insanely. I felt my blood run cold, unconsciously moving backwards and stumbling over... I don't want to know what. I felt something sticky and wet splash upon my feathers, and fought not to retch, instead focusing my attention on the dark shape in front of me. A Swanna... it was a black Swanna. Her eyes shone a deep red in the darkness as she turned to look at me, the blue feathers upon her chest a much duller and dark colour akin to storm clouds. She raised her dripping red wings, wings as graceful and elegant as mine, and laughed. I could only stare, terrified and dumbfounded, at the Black Swanna and her crazy humour. It felt like hours passed, but could not have been more than seconds before the Black Swanna lowered her head, catching me with her intense ruby stare. Her every action, every breath spoke of sensuality and reckless abandon; this Swanna looked like she would take on Arceus Himself if it took her fancy. And she would probably win.
And as soon as she had appeared, she was gone. I was left alone in the field of blood. I looked upon my feathers, retching when I realised that I was coated in the metallic-smelling life-blood of my brethren. I had to get it off. I leapt toward the lake, fluttering my sodden feathers in an attempt to gain speed. I dove into the water and began desperately scrubbing my feathers. Even once the red stain was gone and the water around me was a cloudy ruby colour, I still continued to scrub and wash at my feathers. I could still feel that hot sticky liquid clinging to my skin... It made me want to vomit. I only ceased my cleaning once the sun had cleared the horizon and my skin was rubbed raw and sore. I collapsed into the cool, soothing water, trying to drown out the event of last night, and failing. I could still taste the metallic scent of blood, and I knew I had to leave this place. What if the Black Swanna returned? What if she considered her job unfinished, and came back to completely wipe out the flock? I couldn't risk it. As I said, I'm a coward; at the slightest mention of danger, I run.
So forsaking my home and the bloody remains of my brethren, I set off into the woods. Sometimes I flew, but mostly I walked. I was never one to enjoy flying, and much preferred my feet over my wings. I travelled for days, barely resting, living in terror that the Black Swanna would hunt me down. But... I never saw her. Half of me was ecstatic at this, yet the other half was curious; what had happened to the strange Swanna with such a murderous intent?
I've said many times now that I was not a strong Swanna. The day soon came when I collapsed, ill and far too tired to continue. I would have perished there, if not for the kindness of a passing trainer. He restored me to full health, and during my recovery we grew very close. When I was fit and healthy once again, I could not bring myself to leave his side. And so, the human became my trainer and master. He taught me how to battle, how to use my agility instead of strength to beat my opponents. He even gave me my very own name; Odette. The name seemed to be meant for me, and I filled with joy every time it was called.
My trainer owned many other Pokemon besides me, though there was one I got on with particularly well. His name was Siegfried, and he was an Unfezant. Siegfried and I soon became close friends, and after a few months of charming smiles (from him) and awkward flirting (from me) we became mates. I truly loved Siegfried, and I knew he felt the same about me. It was as if I had finally found a place I could truly call home, with friends and my very own family, and I was happy. I was sincerely happy. Until that night when I found Siegfried talking... no, I won't even try to disguise it. He was flirting. Flirting with a purple Swanna.
I couldn't hold back my sorrow as I saw the sensual and seducing moves of the Swanna. Siegfried laughed, and responded to her every sway. I felt the tears dripping from my eyes as I left the scene, flying back to where my trainer slept with the rest of his Pokemon. I lay down and cried, cried for my betrayed love, cried for the loss of the one Pokemon I had ever truly connected to. I cried and cried until no more tears would come, and then I slept, a fitful sleep full of broken promises and shattered hearts.
I was awoken by a blood-curdling scream. Shivers traced down my spine, my neck rising up over the edge of the nest carefully. No... Not again... My trainer was nothing but a pile of blood and bones. All his other Pokemon had been torn to shreds, their internal organs scattered around like discarded litter. I sank back down into my next. My breathing was heavy, but above it I heard choking gasps... like one who could not breathe. I peeked over the edge of the nest again... and saw the Black Swanna. Under one webbed foot she crushed the throat of Siegfried, his eyes popping and lungs pleading for air. I could do nothing but watch as his struggles slowly stilled and he lay quiet. Satisfied with her work, the Black Swanna raised her crimson eyes to stare directly at me.
"Odette~" she sang, her voice perfect in every way. "Oh, Odette, have you not learnt? Everything you love..." A slash with her wings, and Siegfried's head was severed. "Is mine to destroy." The Black Swanna spread her wings, dark feathers shimmering in the light of the moon. "Remember me, Odette~" she whispered, her eyes focused intensely upon mine. I felt myself slowly crumbling beneath the powerful gaze, and I knew against her I was no more powerful than a newborn Ducklett. "Remember me, for I am Odile, and I am both your deepest dreams and desires... and your worst nightmare." The Black Swanna flew up and disappeared into the darkness, and I dropped to the ground, my emotions overflowing. My feathers were coated once again with blood, and I felt my stomach curling. Odile... What did she want with me? Why was she destroying everything I held dear? I could never know.
I left the following morning. After I found a lake and spent most of the day washing my feathers, I began to journey again. I was afraid to get too close to anyone, fearful of what Odile might do. For all I knew, she could have been following my every move, waiting for me to find more people I cared about, just to tear them away in the most brutal fashion possible. But after only a few days, I began to feel very strange. My stomach was growing larger, and I was getting out of breath much quicker than before. I also gorged myself on food, purely out of instinct. And within a week, I had laid a clutch of three eggs. Siegfried's offspring. I never felt such love and care for something before - all I wished to do was protect these eggs, and bring the young into the world. But I knew that I could not stay; if I did, no doubt Odile would come and rip my young away from me. So, with a heavy heart, I took one of my eggs and left the other two outside a Day-care Centre. I consoled myself, saying that they would be fine, the Day-care would rear them... I had to focus on my only remaining egg.
For six weeks I carefully transported my nest from place to place, incubating and fussing over my egg whilst also keeping an eye out for Odile. Then I finally gained my reward. My egg hatched, a healthy Ducklett greeting me one morning with a tired and hungry chirp. I named him Siegfried, after his father, and he was the brightest light that ever lit my life. I nurtured him, comforting and feeding and hugging close of a night, teaching him the ways of a wild Pokemon. He had my grace, but his father's strength, and I knew he would grow to be a great Pokemon. I loved him like I'd never loved anyone else. But always, always there was that persistent nag at the back of my brain... Odile. What would she do if she found my little Siegfried?
As Siegfried grew, so did his attitude. He had certainly inherited his father's wit, and constantly used it to backchat me. It wasn't long before we both said some rather unpleasant things, and Siegfried stormed off. I immediately regretted my words, but decided it would be best for us both to cool down before saying anything more. My eyes closed, and I slipped into sleep.
I was woken by a terrified scream. I recognised the voice straight away: Siegfried! He was in trouble! I leapt and flew towards his screaming, and once I arrived was met with the site that no mother ever wishes to see. Siegfried's body was broken and twisted, discarded like an old sock at the feet of the one creature I wished to never see again... Odile. She laughed with glee, ruby eyes shining and the blood upon her beak shimmering in the moonlight.
"I warned you~" she sang. "Didn't I, Odette? Everything you love is mine to DESTROY." She grinned madly at her words, waving her wings almost like a dance. "Your precious Siegfried is mine now. What will you do, Odette? What will you do~?"
Anger, red-hot and boiling rage, flowed through my veins. Damn weakness. Damn fear. Odile was going to die, and she was going to die NOW.
I leapt at Odile with a squawk of hate, and she gasped audibly as my beak slammed into her. I didn't bother with moves; I just tore at her flesh with my bill, beating at her body with my wings. She didn't fight back, yet I felt the blows as if they were upon my own body. As I ripped open her stomach, I felt a white-hot flash of pain across my own. Odile sniggered, her sing-song voice playing in my mind.
"Do you want to accept the truth~? Do you want to accept the truth~?"
"YES!" I screamed. And just like that, the illusion was gone. It was my body torn by peck marks, my stomach pumping hot red blood down across my feathers. I was Odette, the White Swanna. I was Odile, the Black Swanna. Everything... everything wasme.
And as my eyes slipped shut and I fell into the darkness, I had only one thought; I didn't regret a single damn thing.