Chapter 1 – A Plan is Afoot!
It’s a few days before September, and a Dragonite is flying around the very edges of the Unova region, enjoying the wind on his wings and the freedom of the bright, sunny skies.
As he begins to fly due north, he finds himself flying above a large rubbish dump, which he notices appears to be in the process of being decorated for a party. As he gazes upon it, the Dragonite spies an old friend walking about placing the decorations; and decides to swoop down and drop in.
Down below, a filthy Garbodor by the name of Mallow is digging through the various piles of waste, looking for attractive and not too shabby objects to decorate his humble home.
It’s clear he has been doing this for a good while now, as his body is thickly coated in disgusting sludge and dirt; and his stench – usually rather obnoxious at the best of times – has been heightened further by the mass of rubbish stuck to him. As the Dragonite appears beside him, he is initially caught by surprise; but quickly composes himself and laughs, recognizing him as an old friend.
“Zain! Good to see you, old friend! What brings you here?”
Before the Dragonite is able to reply, his nostrils begin to fill with Mallow’s disgusting stench. Having not prepared himself for Mallow’s increased dirtiness, the foul odour soon becomes overwhelming, and he begins to struggle to breathe!
Choking and gagging, the Dragonite pinches his nose and quickly flies away from the smelly Garbodor, desperate to find fresh air to clear his lungs.
Eventually, the Dragonite manages to get enough clean air in his lungs to breathe normally again. Before returning to Mallow’s side, the Dragonite whispers a strange incantation, protecting himself with a magical spell.
With Zain now magically immune to Mallow’s toxic stench, he quickly flies back to give his disgusting friend a proper greeting.
“PHHHHEEEWWWWWWWW! Stinky as ever *cough* I see. I swear, Mallow, you reek worse every time I meet you!”
To Mallow, Zain’s words are the ultimate compliment; and he poses pridefully and laughs as his friend chuckles with nervous embarassment.
“Gahaharb,” the Garbodor laughs in reply. “Just getting ready for the special day! You have not forget the little tradition I have, right?”
“Oh, of course not!”, the Dragonite responds. “Every September 9th, we celebrate the day of your first step out of the dump – the day you truly became known to the world. And as always, you mark the occasion by being the stinkiest you can be!”
“That’s right! After all, if anybody may have one day a year to be whatever he wants to be, surely a Birthday be that day?”, Mallow replies in his somewhat broken English. A joyful smile shines upon his face as he speaks, and he lets off a hearty laugh before continuing to speak.
“Besides, that’s part of the fun of being a Poison Pokémon! You have the freedom to be as stinky, dirty and gross as you want to be, and it just makes you even more powerful!”
“You said it!”, the Dragonite responds through gritted teeth. Although he is not particularly keen on Mallow being so filthy and smelly, Zain is a long-time friend of Mallow and understands how proud he is to be a Garbodor; and he admires his self-confidence. The idea that a Pokémon can be so shameless in being himself, in spite of the fact his species is one of the least liked in the Pokémon World, is an admirable trait; and Zain wouldn’t want to take that away from him, no matter how much discomfort it causes others.
“I just wish our pal Jinji would understand that some day…” Mallow sighs in a depressed tone. The sudden change in Mallow’s demeanour takes Zain by surprise. “What do you mean, Garb?”, he asks concernedly.
“Well, Jinji be a Poison Pokémon too, right? But I never once see him with garbage on his body, or getting hit with toxic sludge. The only dirt I ever see on his body be the slime he puts into his pranks and games. He never uses toxic gas or let himself get smelly, either. It’s almost like he be embarrassed to be a Poison-type…”
Zain tries to think of a good response, but nothing comes to mind.
“Sometimes, I wish that, just for one day, he may let go of that fear”, Mallow continues. “Spend a day or two being dirty, stinky and gross just like I. Maybe he may actually enjoy it! Does that be too much to ask?”
The words of his friend gives Zain pause for thought. Much as he dislikes the idea, he has to agree that Mallow kind of has a point. All of a sudden, a thought comes into his head.
“Mallow, I have an idea…”
As Zain whispers his plan into Mallow’s ear, Mallow immediately cheers up; and the two of them giggle naughtily to each other.
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