Many the Miles
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January 11th, 2009 (1:43 PM). Edited January 11th, 2009 by Umbreon Ruler.
Hello, everyone. I'm new to this forum, but not to writing (well... I've only been writing for about a year, but that seems like a long time now that I look back). Hm... not much I can say here other than that I hope you enjoy this, a little fiction I'm writing. I believe that is all.
Many the Miles
A BOY AND HIS EGG
One wanted a parent; one wished for a partner; and the third hoped for a teacher. They knew each other only through casual meetings that usually lasted for a couple of minutes. They didn’t know the amount they had in common or the multitude of ways that they differed. They knew not why they each were in the same room, or contained in tiny, odd spaces that seemed to make just the right amount of space for their bodies. They hadn’t even the slightest clue that, within that very hour, they would be taken from the place they’d called home for a year, perhaps finding what they were searching for.
The first, located the farthest left in the row, had thoughts swirling throughout her brain. They weren’t words, as you might think, but rather feelings, spinning like a whirlpool, coming together to convey ideas. Protection. That was the central scheme of the bubbling emotions. She wanted someone to protect and take care of her. She needed it.
The second, directly to the right of the first, was very different. His mind was full of beauty and romanticism, lush and full like the rainforest. An equal is what he desired. Someone to share and connect with. If he could only have that, he would be completely satisfied. Nothing could be better, he knew.
The third, last in line, was like others of his kind. He hoped to improve and succeed, and to do that, he needed someone to show him the path to greatness. His yearning had far surpassed a simple wish. It now burned with a fiery passion in his body. His life would be worthless if he couldn’t reach his goals. He would not deserve to live.
“It’s almost time.”
They all heard it. They didn’t understand exactly, but they received the general meaning: something important – and possibly good- was about to happen.
They waited patiently.
A boy of about ten stood on a soft green lawn, leaning smugly on a wooden white fence. His bright red hair was gelled to perfection, shooting upward in thick spikes. Even the small patch that fell down in front of his eye had been doused in mousse to ensure the perfect angle. He wore a black outfit, including the cape, which was lined in a blood red color, a style borrowed from a certain celebrity. His icy blue eyes stared coolly toward a mansion-like building a few blocks away. It could just barely be seen around the several large houses in the area.
Without shifting his gaze, he pulled an expensive-looking cell phone out of his pocket, dialed a number that he had by now learned by heart, and raised the device to his ear. After a moment of waiting, he began speaking:
“Lance? It’s time to go… yeah, get Brianna… okay, I’ll meet you there… bye.” He snapped the phone shut and returned it to his pocket. Then, he walked slowly through a gate and down the sidewalk.
“Agh! Ooh! Ow!” A child, also ten years-old, was pedaling his rusty red bicycle over what could almost pass for a dirt road, considering all of the potholes, which he couldn’t evade, despite his most tactful efforts. Of course, it didn’t help that he wore thin shorts and sat upon a less-than-comfortable bicycle seat.
Gradually, after minutes of painful riding, the street adopted a smoother surface and the surroundings became cleaner and more eye-pleasing. This was a sign that he was nearing his destination. That was good, since his legs were searing with pain.
In this neighborhood, every home seemed to be painted a gleaming white, and every yard was perfect, right down to every individual blade of grass. There was one place, however, that outshined all of the others. It was a large building at the edge of town, connected to more than two-hundred acres of countryside. The residence was two stories high, with a porch bordering the entire bottom level, and a balcony on the top. It looked as if it had once been the house of a very wealthy family, converted into a workplace. It still retained its beauty, however.
It was less than a block away, but on the boy’s burning thighs, it was like a mile. Lucky for him, the rest of the way was downhill. He glided down, exhausted but determined, and eventually reached the garden at the front of the yard, throwing down his bike and stumbling as fast as he could toward the frosted glass door.
Trying to stand up straight and gain a little poise, he puffed out his chest and rang the doorbell, which echoed with an elegant trill. The boy’s breathing halted when he heard footsteps inside. Soon, a large figure cracked the door open. He was very dignified, with nearly faded gray hair and a clean, sleek white lab coat.
“Yes?” he asked.
“Professor Oak,” the boy said, “my name is Danny- uh, Daniel Carson, and I’m here to receive a starter Pokémon.”
“I’m sorry, they’re all gone.” He smiled with forced politeness and began to leave.
“Wait!” Danny put his hand on the glass and pushed his way inside. His mouth was wide with disbelief. “
“Three very nice children came by just a few minutes ago and got them.” He proceeded to gently edge Danny out the entrance but he wouldn’t be moved.
“Please, sir! I woke up two hours ago and I pedaled as fast as I could all the way here! There must be
you can do!”
He shook his head and, for the third time, tried to end the conversation. “I only give out three a year. Better luck next time.”
“But I’ve been waiting for this day for as long as I can remember!” he yelled worriedly, panic overtaking him.
“You, and every other kid in Kanto,” he said, almost rolling his eyes. It was apparent that he wasn’t having a good day. “Bye now.” Finally, he managed to get Danny out, and sighed with relief as he walked through the small blue waiting room and into his office.
As he began typing, his eyes drifted to a photograph on the wall, but he immediately looked away and muttered something under his breath. A few seconds later, he couldn’t help but look at it again. It showed a young boy who looked as if he was a miniature version of the professor. He was proudly holding up a backpack which had eight shiny pings stuck to it. Next to him was a dark red lizard. It had a bump in the back of its head and a bright orange flame burning at the tip of its long tail. They looked happy together.
“Very happy…” he mumbled, groaning. Rubbing the back of his neck, he stood up and jogged to the door, flinging it open and looking around in a half-frantic state. To his right, walking his bike up the hill, he saw Danny, head hung low and shoulders slumped.
“Young man!?” he called, cupping his hands around the corners of his mouth. “I think I might be able to find something for you!” He couldn’t help but grin slightly when the boy dropped his bike and sprinted to him. When he got there, his breathing was labored and his legs were wobbling, but his brown eyes were glowing with hope and excitement.
Oak smiled and nodded, taking him inside and giving him a seat. “Now just wait there a moment.” He left the room and entered a bright, warm space. It was full of cylindrical glass cases that were capped with gold-painted metal rims. Every last one was empty, it appeared. However, one, hidden on the bottom shelf in the corner, held a small, creamy white egg, that’s only blemish was a tiny black swirl located at the smallest point on the very top of its hard surface.
Lifting it to eye level, the man searched for a label, but found none. After a moment of consideration, he shrugged and took it into the living space, where Danny awaited.
“Here you go!” He handed it to him, staring at his face intently.
The boy took it into his smaller, smoother hand, and blinked at it, then at the professor. “An… an egg?” he asked skeptically. “You’re giving me an egg?”
“Mm-hm.” He nodded proudly. “What do you think?”
“Eh… it’s…” He paused. “Great…” An incredibly phony grin spread across his face. “Thaaanks…”
Seeing his displeasure, he decided to move on to the next formality of receiving a Pokémon. Excusing himself, he hurriedly sifted through several items in his desk drawer, until he found a bright red object. It was rectangular, with smooth edges, and three lights at the top. He opened the hinged plastic door on it, pressed a few buttons experimentally, and then took it to Danny, explaining that it was a Pokédex, a tool used for identifying Pokémon.
“The latest models have a solar panel for energy,” he continued, “but this is only a prototype, so it needs batteries to function. The ones in there now should be fresh enough for a couple of weeks, but I suggest you pack extras. Now, if we’re all set-”
“Wait,” he stood up and gestured to the egg. “When will this thing hatch?”
“Well, if you want the truth… I haven’t been keeping records on this particular egg, so… it could really be any time.”
“So…” he started. “It could be weeks?” The apologetic look on the older man’s face was answer enough. “Okay… I guess I’ll see ya later, then…” Feeling oddly shorthanded, he marched back to his bike and carefully took off, making sure to protect the egg.
Is that him?
’ a woman thought to herself, scraping a large helping of scrambled eggs onto a paper plate. She was in a small, desperately tidy kitchen with flower pattern wallpaper and a wooden floor. The lady was almost a human embodiment of the room: her appearance was strained but well-kempt, and a few food stains even speckled her floral dress. She was very petite and plain. The only difference was, while the flat ceiling was an eggshell color, her hair was a chocolaty brown, swirling and curling in many directions.
She hastily poured a glass of orange juice and set it next to the plate, just as she heard the front door open.
“Mom?” a voiced asked from the next room. Within seconds, the owner of the voice, Danny, entered, carrying the egg.
“Hi, honey!” she said hopefully. “How’d it go?”
“How does it look?” he asked with a hint of sarcasm. “There was no Pokémon left, which I’m sure was Dante’s fault, so he gave me this thing.”
“I don’t know why you don’t like that boy.” She handed him a fork and pulled his chair out. “He’s so polite. And you shouldn’t complain, either. That egg is almost better than a live Pokémon. When it hatches, it’ll be completely loyal for life.”
“How would you know?” he mumbled, shuffling his food around the plate.
“I think you’re forgetting that I was a trainer.” As if on cue, a small orange dog entered. Its chest, muzzle, and tail were manila-colored and fluffy, while oppositely-shaded stripes lined its back. “Max and I were quite a pair,” she said proudly, lifting the canine into her arms.
“Max didn’t come from an egg,” he said, just loud enough so she could hear him.
The conversation went on for about five minutes, up until the point when Danny finished his meal and went upstairs to double-check his packing. After adding batteries to assortment, he judged himself ready to go and left the house.
“Don’t forget to… win,” she said, sauntering up to the fence as her son was climbing onto his bike.
“I will,” he answered, trying to hide a smile. “B-”
“And,” she said quickly, losing her casual smile for a moment, “call me whenever you can. I-in case you need… y’know, tips,” she added, flipping back her hair nonchalantly.
“I will,” he repeated, beginning to pedal.
“And one more thing!” She was almost yelling now, even though he was just a couple feet away. “If you ever need help, there’s police in every town. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them anything.”
“I won’t.” He officially took off, trying to ignore the fact that his mother was jogging alongside him for as long as their yard would permit.
He looked back at her.
“I love you!”
He blushed and continued riding, but managed to croak out an “I love you too” and “goodbye” before he was out of earshot.
From that moment on, he thought, he was on his own. He had mixed feelings, but was sure that overall, it was for the best. Nobody told stories about people who sat at home all their lives, he decided.
The sun was setting. The day was over. Danny had moved several miles, but the egg had only shaken a few times. He was sure that it would never hatch.
“At least not in my lifetime,” he grumbled, leaning back against a large oak tree. He had settled in a foresty area to rest for the night. He had left home expecting adventure and danger; basically, the way journeys were portrayed on television. What he had found though, was that large-scale trips were little more than moving uninterruptedly forward. Even the most common Pokémon, such as Rattata and Pidgey, had avoided him, offering little to enjoy while he rode.
One eye cracked open, scanning the place curiously. That’s when he saw a large purple mouse peeking at him from a nearby bush. It observed him suspiciously.
Finally, a Pokémon!
’ He began to stand, hoping to amuse himself with a chase, but decided against it as he felt fatigue grip his muscles. Resignedly, he picked up a stone and chunked it at the creature, watching with a bittersweet feeling as it dashed away with a frightened squeak and hide amongst the foliage.
“Too bad,” he whispered, leaning back against the tree.
He was up in an instant, body aflame with exhaustion as he faced a new enemy: a fat, dirty-looking rat. It was much bigger than the previous Pokémon, but showed clear relations, such as its long white whiskers, large ears, and of course, it enormous, dangerous teeth.
“Rrrrrr…” it growled, crawling threateningly in Danny’s direction. Hundreds of fluttering possibilities swam through his mind, but the most reasonable was that this Raticate was the previously seen Rattata’s mother. He knew well enough from school that messing with a baby Pokémon was one of the most dangerous things a trainer could do.
Especially when I don’t even
a Pokémon of my own!
’ he thought fearfully, looking for a means of escape. Without giving it much thought, he sprinted to the right, not looking back, until he tripped over a gnarled root, landing flat on his face.
He whimpered as he assumed the fetal position, preparing for the worst. But the fatal bite never came. After a moment, he dared to look up.
He sucked back a gasp.
Standing over the bare egg was the Raticate, sniffing it hungrily. She nudged it inquisitively, testing its weight and size. Then, she opened her mouth very wide, revealing a whole row of deadly-looking fangs.
Without thinking, the young trainer had retrieved a nearby stick and hurled it full strength at his enemy, knocking her forcefully on the side, which sent her tumbling back a few feet. That was all he needed to get the unborn Pokémon into his arms once again.
He turned on his heel and took off again. He ran for nearly a minute, taking every turn he found in an attempt to lose the fast-approaching Pokémon. If the situation had been so frantic, he would’ve sworn that he felt the little item shake violently as his heart rate increased.
Finally, he reached the base of a small cliff, just tall enough to stop him in his tracks. Turning out blank solutions, he turned around to face his fate. Shockingly, for the first time, he noticed how dark it was. The bushes were nothing more than huddled black masses against the dark gray grass. He couldn’t even tell where his hunter was hidden anymore.
“Somebody…” He fell on his butt and leaned against the rock wall. “… please help.” It was nothing more than a wheeze. His head dropped as he rested. He could just make out the white egg. It was blurry, both from the dark and the fact that it was vibrating. His mouth fell agape, but quickly snapped shut as he heard heavy breathing just feet in front of him.
He looked up and squinted, trying to tell if what he saw was the Raticate or an illusion. When it squealed at him, he knew the awful truth.
This was it, he knew. His entire career as a trainer was about to be over, before it ever really had the chance to begin. His mother might never know what happened to him, until one day when they found his skeleton, picked clean by the wildlife. She would cry for a while, and eventually forget about him. Maybe she would have a new son; one that didn’t die on Route 1. All of this darted across his mind as he awaited imminent doom.
“Ratta… ratta… cate!” The amorphous blob leapt into the air. The boy felt a small explosion against his chest, which he first thought was the Pokémon landing on him, but knew that to be false when a heavy ball of thin hair and sharp claws landed on him.
“Agh! Help me! Somebody! Pl-” He paused. Nothing was happening. No pain, no shrieking from the attacking animal. It felt as if it was just lying on him. In fact, he could’ve sworn it was sleeping. Its stomach was moving up and down slowly and rhythmically and its breathing was gentle and controlled.
It IS sleeping!
’ Carefully, he lifted her, using every muscle he had left, and set her upon the grass. With a long sigh, he fell down, savoring the feeling of the soft grass.
If he could’ve, he would have sprang up, and searched for the source of the noise. However, at the moment, he found sleep to be more important than his safety.
This time, it came from right in front of his face; mere inches away. Soon, he felt tiny, quick breaths on his nose. That was just enough to get him up once again. Fear had taken a backseat to curiosity as he blindly searched the ground with his hands, finding a slick, round creature only slightly larger than his fist. He took it one hand and, using the other, struggled to lift himself off the ground. In a drunken stagger, he got out of the cliff’s shadow and into the moonlight, where he could get a better look at the baby in his hand.
“Poli?” It was a cute, dark blue tadpole, standing on two toeless feet. On its white stomach was a black swirl pattern, and a pair of pink lips rested under its beady black eyes. A white tail, presumably for swimming, stuck out of its lower back.
“You…” he mumbled. “You’re the egg?” It stared at him blankly. “And you… did you save me?”
“Poliwag!” The aquatic animal brightened instantly, hopping once. It was almost as if it could understand him.
Danny smiled weakly, stroking his new Pokémon. “I guess… I have to name you… Wally…? Allen…? James…?” It showed displeasure at each one. He tried several more, but none of them sat well with the water-type. “Well,” he grumbled, closing his eyes, “what do y- wait… are you a girl?”
A look of silent confirmation appeared on her face.
“Then… Chloe?” She smiled and cried out satisfactorily. Then, very slowly, the spiral on her stomach began spinning as Danny watched. It was very inviting, he thought, sitting down. It calmed him. Without much resistance, he settled in the grass and yawned. Within seconds, he was asleep…
That morning, in Professor Oak’s laboratory, one Pokémon had wanted a parent, another had wanted a partner, and a third had wanted a teacher. Unknown to anyone, a fourth, hidden away, had a different wish. Before she had even tasted the joy of life, she knew exactly what she wanted: a friend. By the end of the day, while she settled in for her own rest, she could take comfort in the fact that she had found one.
Joined Nov 2007
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