Hey, guys! I ah... I hope this is alright for his first post.... Ah, I’ll definitely include more characters next time (sorry). I hope you enjoy it! <3
Featured: Ewan, Chandacy, and Tanner
Time: After Shupple and Krory’s fight, around noon.
Just as it was every eve, the night was merciless with its icy fingers as they wrapped around me, an attempt at a chilling, deathly embrace. Shivering, I buttoned my blazer with numb fingers, drawing my knees closer as I struggled to remain in the crevice between the branches of the aging yew tree.
Though a thick blanket of snow coated the ground, the sight beautiful and serene, many wild Pokemon disregarded the threat of hypothermia, frolicking through the crystals without so much as a single care in the world. How I envied their ability to play and laugh with their own kind.
Breath visible in the frigid air before me, I tried to warm my fingers, curling in on myself and exhaling on my hands. It did nothing, the air pressing against me much too cold for it to do any good. What I wouldn’t give for a fire right about now.
As if sensing my distress, a group consisting of a few Snovers and a Froslass dared to stare at me, darting off before I could utter a world. I didn’t know how useful that’d have been anyway, considering the fact that I was almost positive my tongue was frozen to the roof of my mouth, my lips slowly solidifying against each other.
If I’d have been able to formulate the words I’d wanted to, the Pokemon probably would have helped me as they always did; in exchange for protection from trainers and poachers, they would always provide me with the basic necessities I required to stay alive.
Now? I wasn’t so sure how much time I had left. Judging by the purplish tinge to my extremities, I would guess not much longer.
I sighed, my body wracked with the shivers that accompanied the heart of winter, as I began to accept my fate.
Out here, over two miles from the nearest town in the late December, I was alone, hopeless, and destined to perish. It had never been an intelligent plan, but it was the only one I had—the only one that seemed realistic.
After spending a few more hours in silence, my body growing accustomed to the chill and numbing my nerves, I found myself nodding off, eyelids heavy and crusted with ice and mind shutting down.
Is this it then? Am I finished for good? Father always said I was the weakest; I guess this only proves him right.
Scornful, I gritted my teeth, a dull ache making itself known in my heart. Despite his harsh treatment and deceit, he and my mother had been good people, as far as Gijinkas could be. I missed them both, and my siblings, more than they ever could know.
More than they ever would know. I’d never have the chance to tell them.
Just before I could close my eyes, a soft cry reached my ears, perking them up and making me alert. Forcing myself to move, I shifted enough so I could locate the source: a lone Snover with a handful of what appeared to be... fresh berries.
Stunned, I gestured limply to my chest, asking if I understood it correctly in a silent manner, and, with a short nod and another cry, it confirmed it. Maybe it isn’t the end after all.
Weak but filled with a wave of hope, I managed to descend from my perch, muscles whining with the lack of oxygen but somehow supporting my frame. If I’d weighed maybe ten pounds more, I’d have been lying face down in the snow. I’d never thought I’d be grateful for not having eaten in a few days.
Showing caution, I knelt in the snow, the frozen crystals biting into the bared flesh at my knees, as I reached a hand toward the creature, my tail flicking in the air. Appearing sheepish, the Snover hastily tossed the fruit in my direction, scampering off as soon as they left its hands. Stomach rumbling, I snatched the food from the snow and bit into one of the berries, sweet juices running in my mouth. Sitrus berries. It’s like it knew they’re my favorite!
“Thank you,” I murmured, wishing I’d have had the courage and strength to say those few words earlier.
I continued to fill my stomach with the delicious fruits, thanking Arceus for such a kind-hearted creature. I’ll protect you, my friend. Nothing will harm you, you sweetie. I paused. Maybe I should move away, though. This environment is... messing with my thoughts.
Stomach full and blood pumping, I pulled myself back up into my yew tree, nuzzling into the crook of the thick branches and burrowing my face into the folds of my silver scarf.
I won’t die tonight. I’ll live to see another day.
Content with my situation, my eyes fluttered shut, closing on the pristine snowy wonderland and escaping to the mystical realm of dreams, even if it was just for a short while.
~ Dream: Flashback to Six Years Ago ~
Trees rushed by, dead branches snapping as I shielded my face from their relentless attacks. The chase was endless, it seemed. Endless and hopeless.
After a few hours of running, my legs had grown numb, the muscles weak and desperate for oxygen. Just a bit further. You can make it. Keep pushing. Either you’re going to give up or they are. Don’t give up. You can’t give up.
Panting, I pressed onward, snaking my way through the dying forest and hoping to throw the pursuing group off of my trail. Still, they continued gaining, their footsteps thunderous on the decaying limbs strewn across the leaf-coated floor.
They’re so loud... No wonder there aren’t any Pokemon here.
I reached a break in the trees, a windblown meadow of tall grass stretched out before me. Without a second thought, I dove into the coverage, ducking in the midst of the vegetation and cowering among the blades.
Maybe if I hide here...
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!” a gruff voice called, mocking me with a laugh. “You can’t hide forever!”
“Shut up!” a female hissed, the words followed by what sounded like a slap to the man’s head. “Do you want him to run?” The man grumbled something incomprehensible before responding.
“I don’t see why we’re chasing him,” he muttered, kicking at the grass near my feet. “He’s just another Pokemon. A weak little Eevee.”
“Don’t you get it?” the woman snarled. “Why do they always pair me with the idiots?” I, for one, am glad ‘they’ do. “Not only is he a gijinka, which is rare and valuable, but he’s a shiny. Does that mean anything to you?”
“I couldn’t even see him...” the man grunted, his footsteps growing quieter as he moved away. “Come on, Amethyst. He probably ran into the forest again. We’ve lost a lot of time.” She groaned.
“Whatever. I’m done with this wild goose chase. He’ll turn up eventually. I’m going back to HQ, and, if you’re coming, fine. If not, go right ahead and chase him to your heart’s content.”
“No! Wait! Don’t leave me! I don’t like being alone!” the man cried, racing after his partner as he stumbled through the woods. Wuss. I was alone for a year, and I’ll be alone for years to come.
I was only thirteen, sentenced to live a life of solitude in the wilderness like a wild Pokemon. And that’s just what I was, really. A stray, lost and alone. An orphan, if I was to be honest.
Convinced my adversaries had departed, I rose to my feet, cracking my neck and winding my scarf around my neck once more. Shouldering my quiver of handmade arrows, a wave of sorrow washing over me.
That poor old man... All he’d done for me was give me help, and, in return, I caused his death.
Shaking off my regret, I let out a sigh, trudging toward the refuge of the forest. With a watchful eye, I ducked under a few branches, no longer feeling the need to run straight through them only to inflict more scratches on my body.
As the vespertine sunlight poured in through the branches above, a yawn escaped my lips, the fierce chase having taken its toll on me. No matter how hard I looked, I knew I’d never find another kind-hearted soul like that dear old man.
Guess it’s back to sleeping in the woods again...
Sighing, I continued onward, scavenging for any place that seemed remotely comfortable. After at least half an hour of searching, I finally gave up, settling for the gnarled branches of a towering oak as my nighttime perch.
Once I hoisted myself up into the safety of the tree, I nuzzled into the bark. No, it wasn’t as pleasant as the old man’s home or... or mother’s arms, but, for the time being, it was all I had.
Go ahead, Ewan. Go to sleep. Forget about everything you’ve done and everything you’ve seen.
Fantastic. Mr. Conscience decided to make another appearance. How long had it been since he last spoke? A year? Two?
Just like you’ve always done, escape the world as you know it. Drift into your fantasy world where everything is okay, where you’re still mummy and daddy’s favorite little Eevee.
Can’t take the heat? Oh, that’s right. You’re just a big ol’ baby, a stray wittle Pokemon without a home or a family. How’s it feel to be all alone?
“You know damn well how it feels,” I muttered, catching myself as I spoke aloud. Watch it. You never know who could be around. For a few seconds, I stayed still, eying the forest surrounding me.
So cautious and careful. Aren’t you afraid your actions will be in vain?
Maybe. So what?
Watch your back, Ewan. No one’s around to protect you anymore. No one except for me.
You aren’t helping me.
But I am. You’ll realize that soon enough. I just hope by the time you do, you won’t have killed anyone else.
Swallowing, I struggled to tune the voice out, even if he was my only companion.
His words were true, of course. I hated to believe it, but I had no choice but to do so. I was alone. I’d killed someone for their kindness, indirectly, of course. Either way, I’d been his death.
Bowing my head, I shut my eyes as tightly as I could, steadying my breathing as a lone tear rolled down my cheek. It crossed over my mouth, the salty tang unusual. The last time I... cried... was when I fled from my home. Not much has changed since then, has it?
Once I wrapped my arms around myself, I allowed a single sob to escaped my lips, the movement it caused painful and unwelcome.
Regretful and exhausted, I relaxed as best I could in the temporary tree dwelling, silencing my mind and drifting into a restless sleep.
~ Present ~
A ray of sunlight crossed over my eyes, forcing me to blink multiple times in a row as they opened. With a silent yawn, I stretched, feeling no more refreshed than I had when I fell asleep.
While snow still littered the ground, the air was considerably warmer, no longer threatening to freeze me solid like an Ice Beam.
My ears perked up, body on high alert. What... what was that?
“Would you at least try to be quiet?” a soft, female voice hissed, the sound drawing closer by the second. “I swear, you’re like a Donphan walking through the woods.”
“It’s not my fault headquarters hasn’t sent me out on the field for three years!” a man grumbled, his footsteps loud and shambling. Is that... You’ve gotta be kidding me.
As stealthily as I could, I descended from my perch once more, my muscles stiff but ready to go. After all these years, and they were sent back to find me? Guess that whole ‘giving up’ thing didn’t fly so well. Sucks for them.
Reaching up into the knothole, I grasped the strap of the quiver containing my bow and arrows, giving it a swift tug to pull it from its hiding spot.
It didn’t budge.
Using just my arms, I lifted myself high enough to peer into the cubby hole, narrowing my eyes as I realized what was wrong. Snagged on a stupid branch. Just my luck.
“Come on,” I grunted, pulling harder, growing anxious. “Why won’t you just wo—” The bag came free with a small tearing sound, but I couldn’t relish in my victory for long.
“Hey!” the woman’s abrasive voice shouted, forcing me to spin on my heels and meet the stare of none other than Amethyst. “Stop!” ... I’m not moving... Yet.
With a quick grin, I shot off, pulling my quiver over my shoulder and racing through the trees.
After a few years of living in this forest, I’d learned how to navigate it like the back of my hand. I highly doubted the two buffoons behind me did, as well.
“You’re not getting away again!” Amethyst, if I recalled correctly, claimed, her footsteps almost as thunderous as her partner’s. A bit out of shape, are we?
“We’ll see!” I answered, surprised at how raspy my voice was. How long has it been since I last spoke? Days? Weeks?... Ahh, I guess it’s not important right now. Shaking my head at my irrelevant thoughts, I scoffed, daring to shoot a single glance back at my pursuers.
They’re... gaining on me??? Cursing myself, I picked up the pace, weaving my way through the gnarled branches. Damn. Gotta focus. Get your head in the game. Your life is on the line, for Arceus’ sake!
Determined to escape once more, I pressed onward, ignoring the pain digging into my side as I stumbled over fallen limbs, panic beginning to set in.
Don’t be a wuss, now. Suffer through it. Better yet, just give up. At least then you’ll be given a quick death. Maybe. I gritted my teeth, now having another nuisance to deal with.
Oh great. you’re back. Thought I got rid of you last week. Perfect timing for him to show up when I needed to focus.
Nah, I’m always here for you, no matter how much you want me gone. After all, I am your only friend.
Exhaling in a hiss, I struggled to silence my thoughts. I didn’t need any distractions, not with—
Identical sharp pains in my calf, lower back, and shoulder sent me tumbling, tripping over the debris beneath my feet and collapsing into the mud-tainted snow. What the... My mind fuzzy, I managed to maneuver myself so I could peek at my leg. Blood? I hesitantly prodded the damp area on the leg of my jeans, painting my fingertips red as I pulled away. Those bastards shot me! Way to be original, Team Rocket.
Heart racing, I fought to rise, the movement far more agonizing than it should have been. Pull it together. You’ve still got another half mile until you reach the next town.
But I was wrong. How, I wasn’t certain. I guessed I’d become disoriented during the chase, so much so that I lost my way, and, after about twenty minutes of limping desperately in a direction I hoped was correct, I discovered something crucial.
I was hopelessly lost.
“F*ck,” I muttered, resting against the nearest tree to catch my breath. I can’t be this out of shape... Then again, that damn bullet hole might be impeding my escape.
“Over there!” Amethyst shouted, closer than ever. Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! Can’t a guy get a break?! “If we lose him again, I swear...” A half smile graced my lips, her annoyed words amusing me, but, no matter how close to fainting I was, what with the scarce amount of food I’d eaten and the wound that seemed to seep torment throughout my body with every step, I had to keep moving.
The longer I stayed still, the more likely I was to being captured. And I couldn’t get caught. I couldn’t.
Oh, yes. Wouldn’t want to reenact your parents’ demise, would you?
Arceus dammit. I don’t need your commentary on everything I do or think, you know.
Following my thought, all was blissfully silent, for once, both in the woods and in my head. It took me a moment to realize just how peculiar that was.
Preparing for the worst—which, with my luck, was likely to be the outcome—I leaned with my back against the sturdy trunk, bringing my trembling hands before my face. You can do this.
“Shadow ball,” I murmured, a wimpy ball of dark violet energy appearing in my palms. “Oh, come on; you can do better than that.” It grew about an inch in diameter. Shaking my head, I lifted my eyes, as ready as I could be to fight.
The gleaming barrel of a handgun met my stare.
“Guess you weren’t so lucky this time, huh kid?” Amethyst snarled, cocking the pistol and forcing me to drop my guard, the attack I’d gotten ready dissipating into the air around me. “You gave us quite a bit of a chase, you know.” With a disapproving stare, she bit her lip and sighed. “You’re a bit scrawny and mangy, but I suppose you’ll do.”
Behind her, the man wheezed, bent at the waist with his hands on his knees. The woman in front of me didn’t bother hiding her aggravation at the man, turning her face to the side to bark at him.
“Would you shut up, Citrine?” she snapped, immediately rewarded with a scowl. “You’re ruining the mood.” Straightening, he ran a hand through his hair, clearing his throat.
“Oh, sorry for screwing up your little moment of victory,” he replied snidely, narrowing his eyes.
“You’re forgiven.” Returning her stare to me, she pursed her lips, giving me the once over as I cowered into the tree. “Yeah, I guess you’ll suffice. The boss typically prefers nicer-looking pelts, but, since you’re such a rare find, it won’t really matter.” A pelt?? Nauseated, I felt my head go light, the potential reality of my fate sinking in and drilling through my control.
Potential reality? Who are you kidding? What chance do you honestly think you’ll have to survive?
Unfortunately... the voice was right. With the limited power I had at full health let alone while injured, I stood no chance up against two members of a notorious crime group, no matter how incapable they were.
Defeated, I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my blazer, staring straight past the gun and into Amethyst’s eyes.
“Do your worst then,” I instructed, swallowing hard around those words. Such a spineless creature. You deserve this death. Actually, you deserve much worse, but, you know, I guess you’re just luckier than you thought.
As I closed my eyes, I heard the click of her gun she readied herself to shoot me right between the eyes; a clean kill that wouldn’t tarnish my precious fur. Next thing you know, you’ll be lying on the floor of Team Rocket’s headquarters, stepped on every day. But how different is that from now?
However, even when I accepted my fate, there was something close, a soft cry in the near distance, that sent my mind elsewhere.
Puzzled, I opened my eyes for the briefest of seconds, wondering if I’d imagined it in a false sense of hope, but, to my relief, my imagination hadn’t been the cause of the whisper.
Not ten seconds later, a ring of fire erupted in front of me, surrounding the purple-haired woman in a churning vortex of golden flames, her shrieks panicked and desperate for the thirty seconds they lasted.
Then, there was an unnerving silence.
Both Citrine and myself could only stare in horror as she dropped, the flames dispersing and leaving behind a charred corpse.
From the shadows, a thin form materialized, her gloved hands curled into claws with her palms facing up before her, identical blue orbs of fire dancing in her grip.
... What? Who’s she?! What’s she doing?!
Her piercing yellow eyes met mine, an expression of both pity and remorse lingering in them for a mere second before she grinned.
“Run.” Though charming and melodic, her voice held a tone that clearly told me to do as she said or pay for the consequences. So, nodding as much as I could, I shambled away, making it a mere twenty feet before a blood-curdling scream reached my ears, making the hair on my arms rise. Too curious to deny my instincts, I turned around.
Eyes wide, I felt myself blanch, stumbling back a foot or two as I drank in the sight.
With her hand clamped around the man’s fleshy throat, both his body as well as the strange girl’s glowing in a brilliant white light. He struggled to breathe, her strength combated by her slender figure. When the light began to die down, she released her hold, his limp form collapsing to the ground.
As if she sensed my stare, the girl turned to face me, an expression of utter terror and humiliation residing in her eyes. Gasping, I tripped over the foliage beneath as I struggled to flee.
“Wait!” she cried, desperate to explain, but I refused to return.
She... she’s some kind of monster. She just... killed those people!
You realize they were going to kill you, right? Because it seems as though you’ve forgotten.
Well... yeah, but they didn’t... Internally, I sighed, moving onward. I guess she had a good reason for doing so. She did save my life.
Dizzy from my thoughts, the event I’d just witnessed, and two near-death experiences in one night, I had to force myself to continue moving, putting one foot in front of the other time and time again. I was shocked I made it as far as I did.
By the time I felt as though I was going to collapse, I’d reached the stairs of a luxurious mansion, its location unknown to me after all this time. Here, the weather was significantly nicer, closer to spring than the winter torture I’d endured recently. Did they... just build this or something?
Unable to answer, I urged myself to climb the steps, resorting to crawling up them when walking didn’t work out.
Vision blurred, I scratched at the grand door, too weak to muster the energy to knock.
Within a few seconds, a darker-skinned man with one black and one white eye opened the door, his expression set and focused. Just as he was about to step down on my hand, I managed to speak up, throat raw and dry yet still able to reach his ears.
“Please... h-help. Hunters and... crazy woman... fire...” I managed to spit out, hating how vulnerable I felt. At first, he seemed simply startled, not having noticed me before, but, judging by his furrowed brows, all I’d succeeded in doing was confusing him terribly. However, with my eyes rolling back into my head, I couldn’t gather the strength to clarify my words.
In a single instant, all went black, and, no matter how hard I fought, I found I couldn’t escape from the seemingly eternal darkness.
Ah... so, yeah. There’s his first post (wooo weird cliffhanger!). I hope that suffices, and I’ll try and write more soon. Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your feedback! <3