Mallow’s Barfday Blast!

The Original Story Text

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?”

As the Dragonite opens his mouth to speak, the Garbodor’s horrific stench enters his nostrils and lungs, quickly overwhelming him. Choking and gagging, the Dragonite pinches his nose and runs a short distance while breathing in heavily, searching for less polluted air. Eventually, the Dragonite manages to get enough clean air in his lungs to speak. He quickly casts an incantation, giving him immunity to the toxic air, before returning to Mallow’s side.

“PHHHHEEEWWWWWWWW! Stinky as ever *cough* I see. I swear, Mallow, you reek worse every time I meet you!”
“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. Timing his moment carefully, Zain floats up to Mallow and speaks in a low voice.

“Mallow, I have an idea. As a special present just for you, why don’t the two of us work together on a little ‘Team Alchemy’ surprise on our Gengar buddy?”

Mallow’s tears instantly stop, and he turns to look at Zain. As he gazes in his eyes, a thought enters his head, as though the two of them were communicating telepathically. Instantly, his face changes to a smile, and he begins to chuckle naughtily.

Several days later, Jinji the Gengar is relaxing in his Ghostly mansion when a mysterious envelope suddenly lands at his doorstep. Jinji opens it and is immediately greeted with a picture of Mallow, his Garbodor friend, waving at him from the dump. Jinji smiles, knowing immediately what this means. He flips over the photo to find a message crudely written on the back between various sludgy stains…

“Jinji, I be hosting a birthday party back home at the North Unova dump, and I be very happy if you be able to come! Please turn up by 12pm September 9.”

Jinji chuckles to himself. “I can’t say no to one of my best friends! I better get a gas mask ready though, they don’t call Mallow ‘The Stinkiest Garbodor’ for nothing, especially if he’s sticking to his tradition! And I better ask Phantisserie to get started on a special cake for me to bring!”

The following morning is September 9. Jinji, wearing a specially-designed gas mask, floats through the skies towards the familiar toxic landfill his buddy calls home, cake in hand and ready for the party. As he arrives in the centre of the dump, he quickly spies a table set up with various paper plates and party decorations, and sets the cake down upon it. He then quickly surveys the scene.

“Heh, I must be early. Seems like none of the other guests have arrived yet. I wonder who else Mallow might have invited to join him today, and whether anyone else accepted. Hey, where is Mallow anyway?”

Jinji realizes his Garbodor friend is nowhere to be seen, and starts looking about. After a short while, his attention is drawn to a nearby rubbish heap, where something appears to be moving. “I guess Mallow is still digging through the dust piles”, he chuckles, as he floats up to investigate. Suddenly, the heap collapses on top of Jinji, slamming him to the ground with enough force to knock him out cold.

As Jinji lies unconscious, the Garbodor makes his appearance, picking up Jinji and bringing him to a far away corner of the dump, where his surprise lies in wait. Setting him down upon the ground, the Garbodor then presses a button and sneaks away as his surprise springs to life. Slowly, Jinji regains consciousness, only to find himself confronted with a frightening sight!

Situated some distance in front of Jinji, a humungous time bomb ticks away! Jinji finds himself face-to-face with a colossal machine several meters tall. The base of the machine consists of a number of large barrels, each filled with potent mixes of toxic gas, rotting junk, and Mallow’s sludge and gunk. Rusted and damaged pipes connect together the barrels, which then feed into various parts of the bomb, where they mix together into a foul concoction that becomes increasingly stinkier and more deadly by the second. Toxic sludge drips from cracks and weak points within the pipes; and both the tanks and the bomb itself are festooned with various markings depicting toxic or biohazard warnings, making the dangerous nature of the bomb very clear. Elsewhere, between pieces of salvaged and occasionally corroded metal, various electronic components control the bomb’s operations. Though some of these electronics appear to have seen better days, every part still appears perfectly capable of their nefarious purpose. An ancient computer terminal, itself covered in filth and only just in working order, acts as the bomb’s brain; and a rat’s nest of wires connect up the various electronics, winding around various pipes before disappearing into the bomb’s internals.

Recognizing immediately the dangerous nature of the object in front of him, Jinji’s focus quickly snaps in, and he sets upon examining the large explosive with a view to defusing it before it can cause harm. After identifying a few “key” wires, which he quickly cuts, Jinji focuses his attention on the bomb’s computer system. After a short while fiddling with the old, dirty keyboard and navigating through the ancient system, Jinji finds himself tasked with entering a 10-digit “disarm code”, which he recognizes as the key to defusing the bomb.

Jinji gulps. 10 digits means over 10 billion possible combinations. Even if he were able to enter a hundred different codes a second, it’d take him half an hour to get through even 1% of the potential codes. What’s more, the gunked-up keyboard and the slow, ancient processor of the bomb’s computer makes each attempt to enter a code painfully slow. With his first few attempts inevitably failing to yield any success, Jinji begins searching around the gigantic bomb for any labels or discarded material that might offer a clue to the code, the sheer scale of the malodorous munition diverting his eyes from the ever-decreasing timer…

Unbeknownst to Jinji, the large explosive contains a hidden trick, designed to catch him unawares. Though the timer appeared to start with a generous amount of time to give Jinji plenty of options to attempt defusal, in actuality the ancient computer has been lying. As the clock’s digits hit 569, Jinji’s attention is suddenly grabbed by a loud beeping sound; then, before he can react…

BOOOOOOM! The giant explosive detonates, blinding Jinji as a huge cloud of toxic gas engulfs him. His body is pummelled as, unbeknownst to him, thousands of pounds of toxic sludge, rotten junk and mulch coat every part of his Ghostly body; the bomb secretly having been magically enhanced to only unleash its rotten contents upon him and Mallow, who had secretly been watching proceedings from within a large rubbish heap within walking distance of where the large explosive previously laid. As the gas clears, Mallow emerges and laughs at his Ghostly friend.

“P.U! You need a bath, Jinji!”

Although Jinji finds himself confronted with the familiar stinky Garbodor he calls a friend, he quickly realizes the stench he smells is not coming directly from him. Removing his gas mask briefly, Jinji suddenly discovers he himself is not just coated in filth from the toxic blast, but is also emitting the most horrendously foul stench from every single millimetre of his body!

Jinji immediately realizes he’s been tricked, and his Garbodor friend must be to blame! Offended by his friend forcing him into one of his biggest dislikes – being made dirty with harmful substances – Jinji seethes with rage. Just as he is about to shout at and severely scold Mallow, however, a thought makes Jinji pause. “Mallow is far too simple-minded to have done this prank on his own; he struggles even with basic English sometimes, so how would he have come up with such a complex device?”

As Jinji is thinking about this, suddenly an object begins to fall from the sky. Jinji and Mallow both watch as the object begins to take the familiar form of a Dragonite, who then begins to fly towards the dump, eventually landing beside Mallow. Jinji and Mallow both recognize the friendly face before them, and Jinji’s expression changes to one of gleeful familiarity.

“Zain! My old buddy, were you invited to the party too?”
Zain laughs, then high-fives Mallow. “We did it, buddy!”
Jinji looks on in shock. “Wait, you were behind this too?”
“Haha, yup! Mallow gave me a special Birthday wish, and I thought, why don’t we reform Team Alchemy for one day, with the two of us playing a special trick on our third wheel? So, a few weeks ago, Mallow started filling some barrels with his toxic sludge and gas; while I researched some magic to make me immune to the putridity. Then the two of us raided the dump for pipework, scrap metal, electronics and other materials. Then using my wisdom and some Dragonite magic, we built this very special stinky explosive just for you!”

“Impressive work, I’m actually a little awestuck. But… why?”

Mallow steps forward, a tear in his eye. “Because Jinji, it’s all I ever asked for. Even though you may be Ghost-type, you also be a Poison-type like I be. Us Poison-types stick together, but also, most Poison-types take advantage of the toxic abilities inside. We do not mind getting dirty, or playing around with sludge, or crawling through sewers and other filthy places most people rather avoid – because that be what makes us Poison, and this be just harmless fun to be enjoyed. You understand, right? I mean, you play about with bombs all the time because you be Ghost and explosions do not hurt you. I just wished, one day, you may understand what being a Poison-type really means.”

The words of his Garbodor friend bring out an emotional response from Jinji, as he finds himself touched by Mallow’s passion for his kind. Jinji looks over his gas mask, which sustained damage from the bomb’s blast; and discovers that, although there are various tears and the filter is now compromised, it still provides enough protection that although Jinji will still smell the bulk of both his and Mallow’s now extremely toxic stenches, he can still breathe adequately.

Jinji thinks for a moment, then gives his friend a wry smile.

“Okay buddy, here’s what I’m gonna do. Just for you, I’m gonna spend the whole of this Birthday party – in fact, the entire remainder of today – being as stinky as you’ve made me now. I won’t do a single thing to clean myself, nor will I complain about your stench, or anything you do to make today’s party the grossest it’s ever been. Just for today, I will embrace the Poison-type and join you with anything you want.”

“Doro gaboro… you really mean it?!?,” Mallow responds with excitable joy.

“…On one condition, of course. Zain, as soon as the clock strikes midnight, I want you to fly me back home as quickly as you can. You must make sure we’re high enough in the air that I can’t be seen or smelt by anyone below; and I trust you to stay strong and not be overwhelmed for the entire journey.”

“Drahaha! It’s a deal!” The Dragonite laughs with glee. Since Jinji’s home is in a separate dimension, Zain knows that he only has to fly far enough to be out of sight of everyone so that Jinji can open a portal back home without anyone else seeing. Zain mutters his incantation again, secretly protecting his lungs and nostrils from both of his friends’ toxic stenches. All he has to do now is figure out the quickest route to a water source to clean his wings once Jinji has returned to his realm…

Back at the centre of the dump, a group of Poison Pokémon – all friends of Mallow from when he used to live in the dump 13 years ago – wait with anxious patience, wondering where their Garbodor buddy is. Suddenly, a foul stench starts wafting towards the group; and a shadow begins to appear on the horizon. The friends all start to gather to welcome their garbage-heap friend. As the figure gets closer, however, the Pokémon are surprised to see that, instead of the familiar recognizable shape of a Garbodor, it appears to be the spiky shadow of a Gengar coming towards them!

The Poison Pokémon exclaim with shock as, eventually, Jinji the Gengar emerges from the distance, covered in filth and smelling almost as bad as their buddy! Before they can comment, however, a second waft of stench hits the group, just as strong as the first. Following Jinji, just a short distance behind, Mallow the Garbodor emerges, with Zain the Dragonite closely following behind.

The double hit of horrendous stenches proves to be overwhelming for some of the younger Poison types; and soon enough, the entire group of Mallow’s friends is commenting on the combined stench of Jinji and Mallow. “P.U!”, a voice from the crowd shouts. “Is this a Birthday or a BARFday?”

Jinji chuckles at the comment, and suddenly gets a funny idea. He begins to divide up Phantisserie’s cake – a large, scale model of Mallow himself made out of chocolate cake, with wafer tube “pipes”, and fondant blobs and bag remnants – and shares out pieces to each of the guests, Zain and himself. As he does so, Jinji whispers quietly into each party goer’s ear. Finally, as he hands out the final and largest slice of cake to the Birthday boy himself, Jinji calls out to the crowd.

“Okay, everybody! 1… 2… 3!”

“HAPPY BARFDAY MALLOW!!!”, the crowd all shout in unison. Mallow lets out a bellowing, joyful laugh at hearing the crowd shout out what he considers to be a hilarious pun. As he giggles with excitement, Zain, Mallow and Jinji all agree that today is the grossest, stinkiest and best party any of them have ever had!

…or, select a Chapter:

Chapter 1 – A Plan is Afoot!Page 2
Chapter 2 – Jinji Prepares for the PartyPage 3
Chapter 3 – Ambush!Page 4
Chapter 4 – Mallow’s Malodorous MachinePage 5
Chapter 5 – A Revelation, An Apology, A Wish Granted?Page 6
Chapter 6 / Epilogue – The Party Awaits!Page 7
Original (Unillustrated) Story TextPage 8
Bonus Ending – The Day After The Party
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