Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:28 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Pawford City, Ronac Region
Saturday, June 7, 2008-7:29 a.m.
“Humans are such fragile creatures. Wouldn’t you agree?” a woman whispered into my right ear, her voice a seductive soprano.
“Who…who are you?” I asked her, unsure of what was happening. I tried to open my eyes, but it felt as though they’d been glued shut.
For several moments, the lady hovered over my shoulders, exhaling down the back of my neck. Her breath seemed unusually cool. It sent terrible chills down my spine, the type of which I’d never felt before. What’s going on?
“Their spirits are so easily shattered, like so many panes of glass. Isn’t that right?”
“What the h*ll are you talking about?”
Carefully she pressed something against my throat, the flat edge of a knife judging by the feel of it. Then she slowly moved its tip so that it was next to my Adam’s apple. After a short pause, the woman jerked it across the rest of my neck jaggedly.
“You’re all just so pathetic,” she chuckled as I screamed.
“Are you insane?” I woofed, realizing she didn’t cut me.
She burst into a full-on laugh for several minutes before finally replying, “You remember, don’t you? The rush you always got with the crowd chanting your precious nickname. Feral… Feral. Feral!”
“Feral! Feral! Feral!” people started to shout behind me in unison.
“And the perspiration dripping down your forehead?” she said, moving over to my left ear, “Surely you remember that.” The area suddenly got hotter, and I began to sweat like crazy.
“What are you doing to me?”
“And the light… That blinding light! Wasn’t that why you closed your eyes to begin with?” Powerful sunrays shone directly in my eyes. I put my hand in front of my face to block them, but it didn’t do any good because of their intensity.
“Stop it, b*tch!”
“And Apollo… We can’t forget him. His cry was enough to startle even you, correct?”
“Ermean!” a Pokémon yelped shrilly. I finally forced my eyes open.
The building’s lights still overwhelmed me for a moment, making everything appear as a white blur. Afterwards, I could see that I stood inside a massive stadium surrounded by rising stands filled with thousands of roaring fans, some of who kept shouting my nickname at the top of their lungs. Before me, there laid a sprawling battlefield marked by a rectangular chalk-line border and with referees on the far right-and-left sides.
“Insin…” the creature continued, growling to himself.
I turned my gaze forward to the sight of a large weasel Pokémon floating above the floor just several feet in front of me. The eight-foot-tall mammal had a beautiful coat that slowly transitioned from magenta around his neck, to pink near his belly, and then white at his waist. Behind his face there was a wide frill of golden hair, which had grown out into triangular points to form a type of sun disk. A series of yellow-orange fire arcs raged down his neck in an upside-down V, with similar flares wavering back from each shoulder like streamers in the wind. From the opening between his neck’s fires, a huge streak of burnt fur extended all the way down his back to his buttocks, where it gave way to a blue and white inferno atop his fairly bulbous tail. Likewise, I noticed he had additional burn marks arcing across the top of each hind leg.
“Damn it, Jay, focus! What should I do now!” my Incinermyn screamed at me telepathically.
Cringing from the resulting headache, I yelled, “Pyro Salvo!” Then I gazed across the field at his opponent.
Staggering from a last attack, Apollo’s enemy was a behemoth to say the least. At nine-and-a-half feet tall, the dark green Pokémon had a body comparable to a stegosaurus with seven rows of massive spikes curling out of its back. While his head appeared rather small and rounded for his size, the monster had two massive demon-like horns and a pair of long pointed ears that easily offset the fact. Similarly several branches covered in barbs grew from his temples and worked their way around his body as if they were his veins, twisting around his short neck, spines, forelegs, and even his long spiked-tipped tail while making noticeable twitching movements all their own. As soon as I saw the devil porcupine bare his serrated fangs in anguish, I finally remembered the two beasts were in the middle of a virtual death match.
My Incinermyn shifted his body upright so his tail just touched the ground. Numerous fireballs then shot from the weasel’s forehead. They all hit their mark, exploding right in the Nettlepine’s face in rapid succession and making the monster cry out in terrible agony.
“Thorn Forest!” a teenage girl cried, her voice gentle yet a bit aggravated.
Turning my stare slightly off to the right, I noticed that the behemoth’s owner was a young woman no older than seventeen. She looked slim and stood at a height of about five-foot-two. Her attire consisted of a tie-dye green shirt with the silk-screen picture of a Leafeon lying on a patch of grass, blue jeans, and sleek black boots; the Pokémon in the photo gazed straight at any onlookers inquisitively, while wearing an olive collar around her neck with a blue crystal dangling from it. The girl’s brunette locks were combed back tightly and two long braids hanging down the sides of her head until vanishing behind her shoulders. Lastly, I noted she wore gold bracelets on both wrists, each with three Poké Balls hanging from them as charms.
“Nettle!” her Pokémon roared as he reared his head and then slammed his forepaws into the ground. The impact made large craters before him, in which he further dug his overgrown claws. Right after that, the vines on his legs shot into the earth and stiffened.
“Don’t let him finish that attack!” I shouted.
Apollo aimed his head skyward, revealing his maw, his closed eyes, and the large ruby embedded in his brow. His shoulder and neck flames turned bluish-white, and then slowed to an almost-ethereal burn. Next his gem began to glisten, psychically causing all his burn marks to start ablaze. Suddenly the hellfire swirled around him like a funnel, congregating into a single massive orb over his head.
“Sol Wake!” Apollo then head-butted the sphere to the ceiling, where it brightened into a miniature version of the sun.
“Quick, Luke, use Endure instead!” the girl abruptly shouted.
“You cocky little…” I slurred, until bands of solar fire from Apollo’s attack swept the battlefield and momentarily blinded me.
Both Pokémon screamed in bloodcurdling agony as they were swathed in heat and plasma. I knew that even strong Fire Pokémon wouldn’t last in that inferno, especially in Apollo’s condition.
After the onslaught ended, I dropped to my knees in astonishment. Apollo was still floating while his rival lay on the ground panting heavily. Just as I was about to stand again, my Incinermyn slowly cocked his head backwards and spun around several times before falling hard onto his side.
“And Apollo goes down! Amazing, folks! In a match that will surely go down in legend for decades to come, Jay has just lost to his little sister. Congratulations to Ronac’s new League Champion, Megan Christie!” an announcer’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker.
“Apollo…I’m sorry…” I whimpered as I recalled him.
I turned my gaze downward for a moment. My chest was heavy, my palms were sticky, and tears dripped down my cheeks… It felt like I’d just had my soul sucked out of me… Right now, I just wanted to die!
Drying my eyes, I looked up again to see something a bit unexpected. Barely an inch from my nose, the disembodied head of a Pokémon stared me down with a disgusted look in its slanted auburn eyes. Its cranium looked generally cone-shaped, save only for the relatively flat surface that served as its face. The creature’s mug seemed almost featureless aside from its eyes, though; there was a slightly rounded nose with no apparent mouth or beak as well as a narrow red triangle outlining the perimeter of the being’s forehead, but otherwise all it had was silvery metallic skin.
“Yi quay-os sul…” it calmly whispered with a feminine-sounding voice.
“Yi quay-os sul.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand…”
Pressing her brow to mine, she finally shouted, “As always…BETRAYED!”
I awoke suddenly to a sudden jerk. For a long moment, I just lied in my bed dazed and confused. My heart raced wildly, and my bedding felt like it had been soaked in sweat. I panted heavily as I stared at the white ceiling overhead, trying to make sense of what just happened.
Only one thing came to mind. That nightmare again… The one I’d been having for the past several months about losing my title to my sister.
It happened six months ago, during the Ronac League’s annual championship. After she’d fought her way through all the other competitors and the Elite Four, we finally went at it in a six-on-six match, only for her to make me look like a fool in front of the millions watching the fight in the stadium and on television. And as if taking the title I held for only year weren’t enough, she also broke my record of being the youngest trainer to win the competition in our region’s history…just thinking about it made me sick!
But then, reliving the event didn’t bug me as much as the other stuff in the dream… What was with the woman coaxing that memory back to begin with, and then that creature yelling at me after it ended? Furthermore, how come the entity could speak in the dead language of Quofyi before shouting the phase ‘as always, betrayed?’ I knew dreams weren’t supposed to make sense, but this was just ridiculous.
A pack of wolves began howling on the nightstand to my right. Either which way, I couldn’t keep drawing on about it. Not today, at least…
“Loop?” a chipper voice yawned as a Pokémon stretched out its body across the end of my bed.
“Time to get up, Spunky.”
“Poodle!” the dog yipped as he flopped onto the floor. I giggled a little as I glanced off to my right.
The table next to me consisted simply of a rectangular oak board with rounded sides supported by four metal legs twisted to form spirals. Sitting on top of it, I saw a circular clock fixed inside a porcelain sculpture of four Mightyena sitting on rocky outcroppings with their heads to the sky. There was a silver plate with a pair of knobs and a switch affixed to it atop the decoration.
When the pack howled again, I flipped the switch away from me. The wolves yipped twice, signaling that the alarm shut off.
I grabbed my eyeglass case set in front of the clock, and pulled my arm back under my comforter. Then I threw off the blanket depicting a school of Lapras crossing the sea on a full moon’s night. A breeze of cool air blew onto my arms and legs, sending a mild chill through my body.
Spunky flipped on the light switch with his nose as I pivoted my legs to the left. Hunched over, I sat on the edge of my bed feeling under the case’s flap with my thumb, ripping open its Velcro, then taking out my glasses and putting them on.
Looking up, I saw a dresser-desk against my room’s south wall. The left side had three large drawers, while the right half had a smaller one. Being fairly old, though, the furnishing’s ebony finish looked pretty faded.
An LCD TV sat atop the dresser, and a Gateway laptop lay closed on the desk part. In the television’s blackened screen, there was the reflection of a six-and-a-half foot tall Caucasian man about nineteen-years-old who had a slight gut and flabby arms. His hazel eyes were pretty stern, but his brown hair hadn’t been cut in so long that it had gotten straggly along with his beard, moustache, and sideburns. God, I really let myself go…
Spunky barked at me and put one of his cocoa-brown paws on my right leg. I turned to him and looked straight into the deep black pits of his steely amber eyes.
Lupudle were strong-bodied wolves, with Spunky being no exception to that fact. At four-feet-tall, his body had well-toned muscles, most notably around his hindquarters and his long tail with a sharp bend about halfway down its length. The canine’s maw was relatively short compared to most dog Pokémon, though his fangs could easily bite through steel. Starting between his gently curved-back ears, the wolf’s thick dark-chocolate mane reached back almost to his shoulder area. And, like most of his kind, a pair of silver anklets wrapped around his forepaws to represent the subordinate status he would’ve had in a wild pack.
“What? You want out?” I asked him, petting his scruff. He took his paw off me and then spread his gray claws into the golden friezé carpet with a grin.
“Hey, Dad! Meg! Anyone here?” I shouted. With my mom Roselyn in Deltsed City all week for the region’s Pokémon Contest Grand Festival, I would only hope that someone else was home at this time, since my dad Stephen usually headed to work early and Meg just went out somewhere for the hell of it.
“Yeah! What the h*ll you want?” Meg’s voice called from upstairs.
“Let Spunky out!”
“Spunky! Here, boy!” she continued, followed by a whistle. Spunky turned his head to the open door a few feet away from my desk, and then dashed headlong out it.
Within seconds, I heard him howling outside and Apollo yelp at him angrily. As usual, that weasel of mine snuck out to meditate in the morning air. He enjoyed it, so far be it for me to keep my first ‘official’ Pokémon in a cramped Poké Ball. But then again, there were some creatures that should be left in their balls as much as possible.
I stood up and stretched my arms upward until I pressed my hands flat against the ceiling. After a moment, I dropped them to my sides and thought about the curious e-mail that I received the other day.
Dr. Felicia M. Barnes was the leading biologist at IIPS on Maritide Island and served, in part, as its dean of admissions. If not for the fact that my mother and her were old friends, I wouldn’t have even bothered applying to the school. When I first got the message, I thought it nothing more than a mere ‘congrats on being accepted.’ However, it turned out to be an invitation for a private orientation…or so she claimed. Knowing her, this could easily turn into something completely different.
Heading over to my door, I closed it firmly. Then I took a moment to look over my room.
It wasn’t much different than any other guy my age probably had give-or-take. There were posters of girls in skimpy bikinis on the east wall over my bed, and a car calendar in the corner by my TV. Next to the first escape window in the north wall, I had a photo of my championship team from a year and a half ago, as well as a case for the badges I earned while taking on the Ronac Gym Circuit (the emblems consisting of a silo, a broadsword, a snowflake, a biohazard sign, a pair of dragon fangs, a mudflow, a triangle bisected by lines from each corner, and a tree set ablaze); in the picture were myself, Spunky, Apollo, Sheila my Lapras, Mitch my Luxray, Sophie my Altaria, and a tall black-furred humanoid with its head turned away. Under those there sat a small bookshelf filled mostly with DVDs, though amongst the few books on it were The Loch, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and a short series of non-fiction works titled “The Wolves of Ronac.”
Turning at last to my closet, I went over and opened its folding doors partway. Inside, I saw a rainbow assortment of shirts with wildlife prints. Searching through them quickly, I tried to find my favorite, an azure one with a picture of two Lapras swimming across a beautiful sunrise. Once I found it, I took it off the hanger and put it half-folded under my arm.
At my feet, there were several boxes and two piles of folded pants. Grabbing a pair, I closed the doors and went back to my dresser. I opened the bottom drawer, took out a pair of socks, closed it, and set my clothes on my bed. Then I quickly switched from my nightwear into the street clothes.
Sticking my hands in my pockets, I still felt a little naked. Pulling out the stood under my desk, I noticed on its seat laid a black RAZR cell phone, my dual-flap wallet, my Poké Ball holsters, and a leather belt. After putting the belt on, I slipped the cell phone in my left pocket, the wallet in my back right one, and then grabbed both of the black nylon cases that had two balls in them apiece. After I’d clipped one onto each side of my belt, I left my room and shut the door behind me.
Our home had two levels. The ground floor consisted of a large kitchen and dining room area, a living room, a short hall with a small office of its side, a master bedroom, and a master bath. Likewise, the basement was made up of a rec room, two bedrooms, a laundry room, a bathroom, a closet under the stairs, and a large storage area near the bottom of the steps. Meg’s room and mine were next to each other on my right, while the laundry room and the downstairs’ bathroom were on my left.
The rec room seemed a lot more like a miniature bar with the counter my dad had built near its northeast corner. Two neon signs hung on the adjoining walls behind it, one for Budweiser and the other for Miller Genuine Draft. We had also a pool table in the middle of the room and a small flatscreen TV mounted in the room’s northwest corner to accentuate the motif.
I headed up the stairs. A grayish Berber with a varying-hued, intersecting diamond pattern covered them, the same carpet that was in the living room and master bedroom. Hard to believe just a few summers ago my dad and I put the carpet in, but when he took over the flooring store downtown, Mom just had to have something newer than the old shag the house originally had.
Once I got upstairs, I stomped a little on the hardwood and stared for a long moment at the island-counter several feet out from our marble-topped cabinets. I saw an empty Glad container that had greasy streaks on its interior on top of it with a serving spoon off to its side.
“Yeah. Thanks for saving me some hot dish, Meg…”
“Wasn’t me! Apollo ate it!” she snickered. I pivoted towards living room, my gaze passing the dining room table, chandelier, and several paintings of plants on the far walls.
In the living room, we had a large Plasma TV set over a modest-sized fireplace. Near the middle of the room sat a stainless steel coffee table flanked by two black-leather recliners. A couple feet behind those, there was a large sofa that sat up to three people, though only Meg laid on it right now with her head on the armrest closet to me. She wore the same shirt she did the day of our battle, and green pajamas to go with it.
Lying upon her chest, I saw a familiar vulpine Pokémon with a mostly onion-green pelt. She slept peaceably for several more moments, not twitching a muscle or even the blades of grass growing out of her chest, neck, legs, and atop her brow. Finally, the critter yawned cutely as she stretched out her body across her owner’s belly.
“You sure it wasn’t Kelly?”
“Leaf?” Kelly replied, lifting her crumply tail and opening her russet-colored eyes.
Meg giggled, coursing her pet’s backside with her hand. The Leafeon pushed herself up with her delicate brown forepaws. Once she was standing, Kelly looked at me with her head tilted slightly to the left.
The girl lifted her Pokémon off of her torso and sat up. After petting her a few more times, Meg set Kelly on the floor. The fox then slowly made her way over to me. She sat at my feet and looked up at me adoringly.
Glaring back, I focused on the crystal attached to her collar. Grandma Darlene gave the heirloom to Meg on her eleventh birthday, the same day she got Kelly, and the creature’s been wearing it ever since.
“Well?” Meg said.
I grabbed Kelly with both hands and lifted her up to eye level. For a long moment, I stared loathingly at the fox. Her jewel shimmered a bit with an odd light.
“Leaf?” Kelly asked and then blinked twice. I inhaled and then set her back down gently.
“Good girl,” I said, rubbing my nose against hers.
“So, what do you think Felicia wants?” Meg asked as she stood up and stretched.
She shrugged as I went over to the sliding door on the other side of the couch. Through the glass, I saw Apollo several feet away hovering just above the patio. His tail flame was down to a slow kindle burn of yellowish-red, and the streaming flares on his shoulders wavered backwards slowly while the ones down his neck were momentarily extinguished.
Cracking the door open, I slipped out and went over by him. When I stopped, the ermine turned to me with his jewel glittering in the minute sunlight filtering through the treeline. Glancing at him, he quickly looked forward again.
After a few seconds, I started, “So…” He suddenly cringed.
He whimpered a bit and then telepathically replied, “No… Not really.” I knew he was terrified of Dr. Barnes, and to an extent I couldn’t blame him. Even so, it wasn’t like he had talk to her.
I removed his Poké Ball from the second niche of my right holster, and then I recalled the Incinermyn. Afterwards, I scanned the area for Spunky.
Our backyard basically consisted of a wide area over two acres in size surrounded a wire-mesh fence, which separated it from the wooded area on the property. With only a few oak trees and bushes, it served as an ideal place for practice battles as a kid. But now it hardly compensated for the space I needed to train my Pokémon.
“Spunky! Hurry up!” The wolf grumbled incoherently behind a shrub near the northeast corner of the yard. He then gave out a terrifying cry that sounded like he was in excruciating pain.
After a moment or so, Spunky jumped out from his bush and ran towards me with an awkward gait. His dash straightened out quickly and then turned into a headlong charge; it didn’t even look like he would be able to stop. I drew his Poké Ball out of the first spot of my left holster and held it at the ready position, just in case. Seeing the device, he immediately pressed all of his paws into the dirt to come to a full stop right at my feet.
“Lupudle…” he whined, trembling at the sight of the orb.
“Fine! Let’s go then!” Spunky gave a happy barked as I put the ball away and we went inside.
Meg met me at the door and immediately asked, “So, what’re you gonna do for breakfast?”
“Same as I do any other day.”
“Don’t go and p*ss off Daphne again.”
I rolled my eyes. Lord forbid I upset the chief doctor of the Pawford Pokémon Center. Meg just put her arms on her hips and shook her head.
“Leafeon?” Kelly asked. I looked down at her, again with her head tilted inquisitively.
“Poodle!” Spunky barked at her, and then Kelly went back over to the couch.
“Well, I guess,” I muttered looking back up at Meg. She sighed.
Boldly I walked past her and headed to the door. I stopped when I reached the entry. The front door was a distinguished emerald color with a semicircular window in its upper third before me. Its glass was separated into four sections and stained a translucent teal and, on the door’s right, we had another decorative pane of glass etched with the picture of a wild rose.
Turning to the adjacent closet, I opened it to see several jackets hanging up and a couple pairs of shoes and boots set on the floor inside. One particular pair stood out, two jet-black shoes with Velcro straps.
“Yeah… This morning I didn’t have to trip over your ‘boats’,” Meg commented as I crouched over to take them out of the closet.
I sneered at the thought of her comment as I closed the door again. She always found some way to tease me about the oversized shoes I wore, but I really didn’t want to start in on her this morning. So, I just slipped them on and strapped them up without a word.
“See ya, Jay,” Meg uttered as I headed out.
“Later!” I replied, shutting the door once Spunky was outside with me.
_________________Fake Walls NY