Snowdrift

Eighteen
What's it Like to be a Star?

The next morning we flew off to visit Glacier again at the Pokécentre. I couldn't wait to tell him.

"Guess what?" I cried as I entered his room. He was grinning broadly.

"I know," he said, "The nurses brought a TV in here for me to see you. Very impressive. Was that Moltres...?"

"Yeah, that was Inferno. And I beat her easier than last time too."

The rest of our conversation was much like any other, only the location of course was different. Finally the time came to leave. With the extra weight on my back, I took off and flapped home. I could see lots of people below me staring and pointing. Just to impress them, I shot out an ice beam. Everyone clapped for me.

When I was coming in to land out the back of Sapphire's house, we got quite a surprise. Scores of people were lining the fence of our training ground.

"They must have seen us on the news last night," said Sapphire, "They've come to see you train."

"Me?" I gasped, my feet smoothly hitting the soft grass. I would never get used to all this green, or all these people.

"Don't worry, we'll just train as normal." She clambered off my back and called the others from the pool.

"Who are all these people?" demanded Scarlet, staring at the crowd.

"Just come to see Snowfall, but that doesn't mean you can all slack off. Okay guys, rock blasting time. Shelly, ask Scarlet and Jewel how to do a good ice punch. I can't do one, so I wouldn't know."

The two Jynx waddled off to have instruction on ice punches. Everyone else went over to the boulders in the corner.

"Snowfall, try and, um, spread out your ice beam rather than having it in a concentrated beam, spray it out a little. That'll make the rock burst rather than just split in two. Blue, you can give a demo."

The great Lapras faced one of the rocks and opened her mouth. The same white ball formed in her mouth and produced an ice beam. Like Sapphire had said, the beam was much bigger. It wasn't as bright, but it splayed out and caught the whole rock, turning it to gravel. The crowd cheered and clapped. Blue bowed her head to them.

"You go, girl!" said Jewel, punching the air with his fist.

I walked over to another stone and opened my beak. I concentrated as hard as I could and formed the little white ball of glowing ice. White flashes were going off all around me, making me loose my concentration. I closed my beak and glared at the crowd. A few were holding little black boxes. They lowered them when they saw my glare. I turned back to the rock and concentrated. I shot an ice beam that splayed out much more than normal, but not as big as the rock. Nevertheless, the rock blew into shards, flying off in all directions except towards me.

The crowd gasped and stepped back, making a vague attempt to avoid the shards of rock which wouldn't have hit them anyway. Then they cheered me harder than Blue. I didn't think that was fair; Blue's ice beam was far better than mine. I guess that's the price for being famous.

"Well done Snowfall. How are you guys going with the ice punches?" she asked the Jynx and Sneasel.

Jewel strolled over. "I think she's getting the hang of it. She's not too bad, considering she had a pathetic trainer to begin with. Hey Shell! Come and test out the new punch!"

Shelly, ponytail swinging, waddled over with Scarlet following close behind. "What if the same thing happens as last time?"

"Just ignore all the people, Shell, you'll be fine," Scarlet reassured her.

"If you say so," said Shelly, still a little unsure of herself. She rubbed her fist and approached a smaller rock. Drawing it back, it started glowing and she threw it forward into the rock. The blow took the same effect on the rock as it had the previous day, but Shelly wasn't crying out in agony.

"Woohoo!" she yelled, this time bunching the air, "I did it! Oh, I'm good!" She did a cartwheel and a backflip, then shook her ponytail out of her eyes. "I'm gonna do that again!" she walked up to the rock and blasted more chips away from it.

The crowd was applauding her, but I could hear faint whispers considering why 'the Articuno' wasn't doing anything. I aimed another sprayed ice beam at another rock, blowing it to gravel. That ice beam, I noticed, was much less concentrated than my first. I tried another and it was even less concentrated.

"Onya Snowfall," smiled Shelly, hands on her hips.

The training session continued the same way, the crowd growing throughout the two hours. We finished once again with the dodging session, only this time the Rock and Dewdrop were in the middle. I was told I hit them three times, not bad considering they'd had practice with dodging.

When we finally made our way back to the house, the crowd cheered and applauded us for our effort and their entertainment.

"Excuse me, uh, would I be able to take a photo of your Articuno?" It was a man with a little black box.

"I guess so, but her name's Snowfall and she's not my Articuno, I just train her." She turned to me to explain, "Snowfall, this guy wants to use that little box called a camera to take a picture of you, just to keep as a souvenir. You don't mind, do you?"

"No, not at all. Nice that he asked, unlike everyone else. I s'pose anyone else with a 'camera' can too."

Sapphire announced that there would be photo opportunities for those with cameras and I strutted over to the man who had asked first. I spread my wings and shot a concentrated ice beam at the sky.

At once hundreds of bright white flashes, like those from a Pokéball opening, ignited all around me. I kept the ice beam going for as long as I could, a little shorter than my test yesterday because I was tired, and folded my wings. Next a hoard of thankyous erupted from the group. I bowed my head and cooed, showing my appreciation, and glided over to the others for lunch.

Nineteen