Unexpected Champion: The Story of Drayden Reaper [T]
Fiction: This is the story about Drayden Reaper, a young boy born in poverty. It is told in the form of a letter(s) to his son either after Drayden is very old or has already passed away. Within the letter are narrated flashbacks.
Author: I write in a minimalist style. If you like a straightforward story, then sit back and relax, because this is gonna be a long one. If you like detail, I'm afraid you won't find too much of that here.
1/05/12-Chapter 2 now complete. Working on 3 now.
Dear [the name is too faded to read],
With the birth of a human, a bird, a flower, a Pokemon, comes the birth of a journey. Every living thing on the face of the world...no...the universe...It has a story. The cycle of life...Ah, yes...the cycle of life. Birth is the most precious thing to witness, but in reality, it is also the darkest thing one could witness. A life form brought to life just to die; as soon as it enters into the world its life is slowly fading away. What to do when you're dying as long as you're alive? Make that life one hell of a story I'd say.
As you read this, I'll probably be long gone...But my story won't, I assure you that. You have probably already heard about me...My legacy. If not, I'll do what I never got the chance to do; that bedtime story I wish I could have told you so long ago. My son, I will tell you my story. Your old man's life. Oh, don't stop reading now. I promise you, this will be one story you would have killed to hear. A young boy from Pallet Town that grew up in poverty, raised by his single mother, grew to be a champion that will be the tales of many late night campfires to come. Ah, maybe I'm just glamourizing the whole thing. Anybody would think their own life was amazing. I'd like to take you on a journey into mine though and you can decide for yourself...But remember, I am your prequel. Use that...
Your father, Drayden Reaper
The Beginning – KANTO
I wish I really could have known my parents; the struggling couple that could never afford to raise Pokemon, let alone a human child. Pallet Town...Oh what a place; a peaceful place. It was easy to breathe in the calm air and relax. The lack of activity gave one time to think about their inner being and the outside world and that is what creates exceptional beings; those that understand themselves, able to focus on taking on what the world has to offer. Think about it; Ash Ketchum, Professor Oak, and even Gary Oak. Well, I wasn't exactly from Pallet Town because, well, my parents couldn't afford even the small taxes of such a small town. I grew up in the wild, good old Route 1, just outside of Pallet Town.
My parents and I lived in a small shack. All I remember from there is my mother bringing home fresh-picked berries everyday, and my father always coming back late at night. My mother said that my dad was a gambler, and he was the reason we never had any money. I could never relate to him, as I never knew him really. And one day, he was just gone from my life forever. Mother said he was involved with Team Rocket and well, they didn't like something...or...I don't know, that's a whole 'nother story though.
Anyways, Route 1 right outside of Pallet Town. Around the age of six or seven, I started venturing off. I always hung around Pallet Town and met a couple of kids my age, but I wanted to know what else was in the world. A couple of my buddies and myself headed to Viridian City, not too far up Route 1.
“Hey Sam, slow down some, will ya?!” The young boy chased after his group of friends who were all a bit older than him. “Hurry up Dray!” Called the one in the front. Drayden stopped to catch his breath, sweat dripping off his face forming dark spots on the brown dirt below. It was the middle of the summer and the sun was scorching; wild Pokemon rustled about in the nearby grass as the air stood as still as a Sudowoodo. “Oh, give him a break Ketchum!” Sam said, “It is hot out here. We could all use a break.” The boy in the front crossed his arms, “I said...Don't call me that!” He walked towards a pile of rocks and jumped up on the tallest boulder. “The ocean is that way..” He said, pointing west.
The five boys sprinted happily, weaving through the tall grass and going up and down the small rolls of hills across the plains right off Route 1. Wild Pokemon scattered in fear from the rushing adolescents. Dray, still lagging behind, stared at the running Rattata and Pidgey as he passed them. He never really understood Pokemon; where they come from; what gave them their power. All of his friends already had their first Pokemon, but Dray knew he would never get that chance as his mom couldn't afford to take care of one.
“Come on Dray, we're here!” Sam screamed as the 4 in the lead came up to the cliff hanging over the deep blue water. “We can get down over here.” Another boy in the group said, pointing towards a slope heading down the cliff into the water. “But how will we get back up?” Dray asked. Sam and the others looked at him. “That's apart of the adventure my boy!” Sam lit up as he ran towards the slope. “Hey Ketchum, wanna go first?” Sam said mockingly. “I said...don't-call-me-that!” The boy took off his blue jacket and turned his cap backwards, backing up to get a running start.
“Woah, what are you gonna do Richie?” Another boy said.
Richie ran at full speed towards the edge of the cliff and leaped off, tucking in his arms and legs to create a huge splash on the surface of the blue ocean. “Ha! Watch this!” Sam backed up, taking off his white-button up shirt, ready to leap off as well. He followed after Richie and did a front flip as he leaped off the cliff, diving in head first as he completed his turn. All the boys were hyped up, jumping in after Richie and Sam. Only Dray remained at the top of the cliff, too afraid to jump in. “Oh, come on Dray!” One boy said. “Yeah, Dray! Come on!” Richie yelled after. “It's really not that scary Dray!” Sam tried comforting the younger boy. “Just close your eyes and jump.”
Dray took a deep breath and walked just a few inches from the edge of the cliff. He closed his eyes and lifted one foot off the cliff but immediately backed up. “I can't you guys. I'll just wait for you up here okay?”
“Yeah, whatever, scaredy-Meowth!” Said one boy.
Dray turned away from his companions splashing in the cool, blue water. He found a nearby rock to sit on and watched the tall grass for movements of Pokemon. Deep down he wanted to see more, they always did fascinate him. The scorching heat on his back made it hard for him to think, and his friends were all yelling in joy as they played in the water. “Raaaticaaate!” A screech came from the tall grass and small Rattata came scurrying out. “Ah more, Pokemon!” Dray watched in excitement as he stood up, but behind the Rattata came a few large Pokemon he never seen before. “Raaati-Raaaticate!” The large brown rats glared with evil eyes at Dray, their large dirty teeth were pronounced with terror.
“Umm...guys?” Dray backed up towards the cliff as the Raticate came closer, their long tails whipping the air and teeth gnarling menacingly. They then charged at Dray and he turned and began to run along the cliff-side, still too afraid to jump into the water. “Hey what are you running for, Dray?” Sam called. “Holy crap! Raticate!” Richie yelled. The four boys began to swim as fast as they could, following the cliff-side to find a way up. Dray ran and screamed, the Raticate slowly getting closer. “You gotta jump Dray!” Sam yelled. “Yeah, come on Dray. Jump!” The other boys tried to encourage him. “Viridian City is just up ahead!” Dray yelled back. “You're not gonna make it though!” Sam said.
Dray's legs began to wear out and he shifted towards the edge of the cliff. One Raticate was snipping at his heels and reached in to bite his leg right as he jumped off the towards the water. It barely missed and the pursuing Raticate skidded to a stop. “Raaaticate!” The pack screeched. Dray grabbed onto a rock to hold himself up and catch his breath as his companions swam towards him. “You sure are lucky kid!” Richie said, “Those Raticate would have gnawed you to pieces!” “Oh shut up. As long as he's alright.” Sam said. “Come on, we'll be right at Viridian City if we swim to that shoreline over there.” They all swam slowly towards the small sandy beach that sloped up towards the plains right outside of Viridian City. The soaking wet boys created puddles of sandy mud as they trekked slowly up towards the city. “Boy, oh boy.” The boys looked in awe. “You've never been up here have you Dray?” Sam asked. Dray shook his head. It was bigger than he expected and he looked at the buildings in amazement. The large gym up the street fascinated him as they walked along the concrete pavement. His view of the world grew and he wanted to see more of it.
When I think about it now, Viridian City wasn't actually that big, but it was big to me. The largest building I had ever seen was Prof. Oak's lab in Pallet Town. Speaking of Prof. Oak, Sam and Richie were always the biggest of rivals, always trying to outdo the other. Richie and the other boys never really liked me as much as Sam did. He was always there to look out after me, and I became great friends with him and his father, who treated me like a second son. It was dark when we were on our way back to Pallet Town, but Sam's Charmander was able to light the path using the fire on its tail. That was a day I would never forget, and you could say it really inspired me to learn more about the Pokemon world. For the next four years, I traveled with Sam, and sometimes Richie and the others, getting into all sorts of trouble. It dawned on me; if you're not getting into trouble, then you're really not having fun.
Note: I read some other fan fics to see what I can improve on. I think the way I am writing it (format) makes it a bit hard to keep up with the dialogue. From now on, I think I will break off each piece of dialogue from the main text. I noticed it is a lot easier to read than a whole block paragraph with random dialogue here and there.
I believe that day in Viridian City was the most excitement I have ever had; the trouble we got into, boy I tell you...Sneaking into the gym, food fights in the Poke'Mart, and we even got to play with Nurse Joy's Chancey. It was night when we had gotten back, and my mother gave me one hell of a whoopin'. But it was all worth it. After that day I hadn't seen Sam or the others for a few months; Sam's dad, Prof. Oak took them all to Pewter City to a museum or something. I couldn't go since you had to be ten or older to enter the museum. The days I spent without them were the most boring; I can't really remember what happened on those days to tell you the truth.
But when Sam returned that August, boy oh boy, we had some fun.
"Dray!" Sam circled around the old wooden shack. "Hey Dray! Drayden?!" No signs of movement came from inside the small shelter. I wonder if Henry or John has seen him. They've been here the entire time...I don't know where this kid can be. He thought as he pulled out a red notepad and pencil and wrote a short note.
Hey Dray! Meet us about a mile eastbound tomorrow morning. Come early!
He ripped out the note and hid it inside the small bush in front of the shack so Dray's mom wouldn't find it. He then ran south down Route 1 going back to Pallet Town to Ritchie's house.
The sky was cloudy those months after summer and the night came sooner. Flocks of Pidgey and Spearow flew across the vast sky traveling North. Across the plains of Route 1, Rattata and Raticate were very busy, stocking up on food for the coming Winter before the berry plants would begin to wither. It never got real hot around Pallet Town up to Viridian City. It was so close to the ocean that a cool breeze remained constant across the grasslands. Sam's medium length brown hair flew around wildly as he ran back to Pallet Town. He was almost eleven and his wide eyes were always eager to seek adventure.
As he neared Ritchie's house, Sam began to stomp his feet to knock off any dirt and mud. Ritchie's mom was a very traditional woman; she always stayed at home and was constantly cleaning and tending to her son's needs. “Hey Sam, how are ya? Its been a while hasn't it?” Ritchie's mom was sitting on the sofa talking to Drayden's mom. “Hello Mrs. Ketchum, it sure has. Good evening Ms. Reaper!” Sam said as he walked in, a bit surprised. “Drayden and the others are upstairs.” Ms. Reaper said, pointing towards the stairs with a smile. “Ah, okay, I had just come from your house looking for him. Thanks.” He said as he ran up the stairs. “Walk, down't run!” Mrs. Ketchum yelled as the boy went stomping up the wooden steps. “Yes ma'am.” He called back down.
In Ritchie's room was the whole gang, playing with Ritchie's collection of Pokemon cards. “What's up Sam? Where ya' been?” Ritchie said. “Looking for you guys! My dad and I just came from Fuchsia Town.” Sam said. “Fuschia Town?!” Ritchie and Dray's eyes widened. “You actually got to go?” Ritchie asked. “Yup, and we are all going, first thing tomorrow morning!” Sam replied with excitement. “Umm, isn't that far?” Drayden asked. “Nope, my dad said he'll let me use his horse carriage to go.” He said with a smile and a thumbs up.
I had always heard about Fuschia Town and the famous Safari Zone. Sam's dad, a Pokemon researcher worked at the Pallet Town lab and would visit there often to study how the Pokemon compared to those in their natural habitat in the wild. His dad would take Sam on trips everywhere, and his stories caused us all, especially Ritchie to envy him a bit. Normally, he would be stuck at home with his mom, but he was always sneaking out and getting into trouble. His dad was always gone off on adventures of his own and his mother feared he would do the same. But that next day, we all would be getting into trouble.
“Psst, Dray! Hey Drayden!” It was a cold, early morning and a fierce wind knocked against the wooden shack. Dray was asleep on the couch in the small living room, right outside his mother's room, the only other room in the house. Sam and the others were outside of the front door, whispering through the small opening that wouldn't close all the way even with the latch hooked. “Dray, wake up loser!” Ritchie said loudly. “Shut up Ketchum, you'll wake up his mom!” Sam said, hitting Ritchie in his arm. “I'm up, I'm up!” Dray said, getting off the couch. He had already put on his clothes the night before. He tiptoed to the corner of the house, here, the wood-tile floor had been cracked and was a patch of soil, soft enough to dig through. Drayden dug a hole big enough for him to squeeze under the rotten wooden wall to the freedom of the outside world and covered it back up before he left.
The dark night was brightened by the faint blue glow of the manes of two Rapidash in front of a wooden carriage. “Well come on then! We haven't got all day. My mom would kill me if she finds out I'm gone.” Ritchie said impatiently, already climbing into the front of the carriage. “Lets go Dray.” Sam hopped up to the front too and Dray squeezed into the back with Sam's brothers. “Heeya!” Sam whipped the reins and the Rapidash were off onto a slow trot eastbound.
It seemed like hours had passed, and nobody in the back of the carriage said a word. Sam and Ritchie were having a colorful conversation about their future plans, arguing about who would be the best Pokemon trainer. “You know good well my Charmander would beat your Pikachu!” Sam argued. “Just think, that scorching Ember burning your little rat up!” He boasted. “Ha! Your little lizard couldn't stand Pikachu's high voltage Thundershocks!” They kept this up the entire trip.
“So you don't have any Pokemon?” Jack asked. “No, not yet. My mom can't afford to take care of any Pokemon.” Henry looked at the young boy; Drayden's dark shaggy hair fell in his face. Dark shadows formed under his eyes, right above his rounded cheeks. His small, petite nose implied innocence, and his ears sticking out between his hair made him look almost elf-like. “Why does my brother like to hang out with you?” Jack said abruptly. Him and Henry were much older than the other three. They both had brown hair and blue eyes just like Sam. Henry's hair fell far below his shoulders tied in a ponytail. He worked at the post office in Pallet Town and still had on his uniform; black slacks and light-blue button-up shirt. Over his shirt he wore a black zip-up hoodie. Jack's hair was clean-cut, and his pronounce jawline and keen features made him popular with the girls in Viridian City. He was very cocky, but his strong personality made him a good leader. Drayden was always intimidated by the older boys.
“I don't know...We are friends.” He said looking down, playing with his fingers. “Well, you're his friend, not ours, okay?” Henry said. He picked up his foot and rested it on the bench across the one he was sitting on. “Yeah, we don't need you messing up our rep kid.” Jack said. “Imagine what the girls in Viridian City thought when they seen us with him!” “Yeah, that was so embarrassing.” They said in agreement with each other.
“Man, can you two shut up back there?” Sam said, peaking through the small opening. “We're almost there.” They had made it to Route 17, which leads to Fucshia Town, a while ago and almost on the other side of the sturdy, wooden bridge crossing the ocean. Drayden peaked outside; the full moon shone through the thick layer of clouds, its blurry reflection bouncing off the dark ocean below. The tall buildings of Celadon, Viridian and Saffron City sat to the left, their presence signifying the boosting economy of Kanto at the time. “I wanna visit all of those places one day...” Drayden said. “Ha, if you could ever afford it.” Jack said rudely. “Hey now, you really need to shut up Jack!” Sam said angrily. “He's my friend.” He said. “Yeah, he's my friend too!” Ritchie put in. “You two can walk back home if you are gonna be so mean to him.” Sam said. Jack and Henry didn't say anything else until they made it to Fucshia Town.
Sam and Ritchie unhooked the carriage from the Rapidash and tied them to a post. The five boys stood outside Fucshia. “My friends Koga and Kaiser should be here in a little bit. I met them when I visited here.” Sam said. In a few minutes, two figures met with the group. One with blue hair wore black, fitted sweatpants and a tight, black muscle shirt. His skinny arms were wrapped in purple cloth. The other was a brown-haired boy with khaki pants, a pale blue shirt and a brown vest. “Hey Sam.” The second one said. “Whats up guys. These are my two brothers, Henry and Jack, my friend Ritchie, and my other friend, Dray.” He said, pointing at each of the boys with him. “This is Koga.” He said, pointing to the blue haired one. “And Kaiser.” He said pointing to the other one. The group took a few seconds to shake hands and get acquainted.
The boys had walked through the black streets of Fuschia; dark, unlit buildings were scarce on either side of the dirt road. At the end of the road was a somewhat large building with a tall fence stretching from both sides. “We will go around the back.” Koga said as he sped up into a sprint. The other boys followed close behind. They crept along the wooden fence for several feet, until they reached a part where one of the boards was knocked through. “The owners rarely visit this place. Apparently they are some big timers from Saffron. Hardly anybody visits the Safari anyways.” Kaiser said as he followed behind Koga, squeezing through the opening. Inside the Safari Zone, thick forest awaited the group; the tall trees blocked their vision of anything beyond. “Just keep close to Koga and I. We know this place like the backs of our palms.”
“This sure is stupid.” Jack said. “Wild Pokemon could come from anywhere.” He complained. Kaiser and Koga glared back at him. “We have Pokemon.” Koga said. “Don't you?” Jack looked at the blue-haired boy and then at his brother Henry. “Whatever...I'm gonna wait by the carriage. Care to join me Henry?” Henry shook his head and followed his brother back. “Ugh, joy kills.” Sam said, eager for the present adventure. Drayden walked in the middle of the group; he trembled with fear, looking around and up in the trees. At the slightest noises he jumped, and the older boys all looked at him with pity.
After long minutes of walking through the forest, the group came upon a huge, circular lake. Its water glistened under the bright moonlight. Steep mountain cliffs followed the shoreline on the opposite side of the lake from where the group stood. Kaiser, Koga, and Sam all stood still at the very edge of the water, looking and waiting for something. “Well?” Ritchie said impatiently, crossing his arms. “What are we waiting for? What's so great about a lake?” Kaiser shushed him. “You'll see.”
Suddenly, a glint of blue shone from deep in the water and then disappeared. “Woah, what was that?!” Drayden said, getting closer to the water. It reappeared and vanished constantly, teasing the eager onlookers. “There it is!” Ritchie proclaimed, pointing to the far across the lake near the middle. It then vanished again, and not seconds later appeared right at Drayden's feet, deep below the surface. The shimmering blue light rose slowly, revealing a serpent-like head. Its feathers floated freely in the cold water. Its single horn a blur between its dark eyes. Drayden became mesmerized with the Pokemon, its beauty unlike anything he has ever seen, and in a flash, it vanished again. Everyone stood silent in amazement.
“What...What was that?” Drayden whispered. The aquatic Pokemon had left Drayden with something...something internally. That internal gift left by the mysterious Pokemon would grow to reveal itself as time goes on. Drayden and the others returned back to Pallet Town; the trip full of questions and theories and possibilities. Young Drayden was the only one that didn't say a word after that night...He was lost in the thoughts given to him by the serpentine figure.
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