I love the story so far! You drew me in from the get go and I really liked when Leah was in the old mansion and the floors creaked, making her think there was someone there when it fact it was the floor ready to cave in, very good writing drawing the reader away from any other conclusion except Leah's.
Can't wait to read more
Thanks for reviewing, Sola! Heh, I liked that scene too; the only good part of that chapter in my opinion. And can’t wait to read more? Well, isn’t this your lucky day because it’s updating time!
Can't wait to read more
Leah could taste the salt in the air as the wind continuously slapped her skin. Her expression was frozen in a scowl as she looked across the deck of the ship, to where Ed was talking to some other kids his age. She could see him pointing at himself, puffing up his chest as he was telling them about his battle with Gym Leader Blaine. Since she couldn’t really hear what he was saying, she filled in her own lines with his actions.
“What’s Ed doing?” Ally asked, petting Amber who sat happily on her lap. The girl was sitting across from Leah on a plastic chair. The red and white umbrella, which was attached to their table, shielded them from the bright summer sun.
“Bragging,” Leah replied, her face unable to go back onto a scowl as she imagined what the brat was saying. “It’s pretty funny, actually.”
Ally was confused. “What is?
“Nothing,” Leah said quickly, not meaning to say the last part out loud. It would be a bit embarrassing to admit that she was bored enough to daydream about the brat of all people. If it was Jason Dare, on the other hand…
She changed the topic. “So, we’re going to Fuchsia next?”
“Um, yes,” Ally said as if she was distracted by something else. “Why do you ask?”
Leah shrugged and relaxed back into her chair. “I’m just curious on where we’re going.”
“But you’re never curious about out journey,” the girl pointed out.
“So? Can’t I start now?”
Since the change of topic hadn’t quite taken off, the two went silent, both lost in their own thoughts. Leah decided not to go back to scowling at Ed, but instead glanced around. The ferry they were on was a bit crowded, but thankfully not as much as Cinnabar Island was. Nearly all the tables were like theirs, and were peppered across the deck.
Every once and a while she could hear cawing from above and just managed not to look up considering the umbrella was in her way. And just over all the sounds, she could hear the ocean splashing against the boat as the ferry cut though the water.
It was around one in the afternoon and the trio had been on the ferry for about two hours already. It was a bit of a relief to get off Cinnabar Island, especially since the brats had managed to convince her to stay on the island for a few extra days. Those days had been very boring as the brats had mostly explored while Leah stayed in their room, doing absolutely nothing. It had been so dull that she and Sands had even ended up battling a few morons that wouldn’t leave her alone when she actually went outside.
Though, nothing had changed when they boarded the ferry. Leah had quickly gotten bored of the two brats, Ally having been too perky to tease properly and Ed excitedly chatting whenever he got air in his lungs. Even Sands had failed her, almost immediately curling up in the sun by their table, not acknowledging his trainer’s attempts to amuse herself. The Pokemon had actually done the opposite, making her annoyed when kids tried to pet the slumbering Pokemon. A glare thankfully got rid of them, but it left her in a bit of a fowl mood, and she was trying anything to get rid of it.
“Ugh,” Leah groaned quietly. She waved a hand when Ally looked at her and the girl went back to playing with her Vulpix.
Leah looked over at her Pokemon, his tiled gold skin looking positively yellow in the sunlight. “Saaaaands, I’m bored. Come here?”
Maybe she shouldn’t have worded that order into a question as Sands didn’t stir. She frowned and sighed to herself. If she didn’t get something to do she was probably going to do something extreme.
She looked around again and happened to notice Ally staring at her. The girl looked away when she was caught looking, but when Leah turned away, she could practically feel the eyes in the back of her head.
Leah looked over at Ally. “What?”
Ally blushed at getting caught again. “Can I ask you a question?”
The girl bit her lip, looking nervous and Leah had a feeling that the question was going to be annoyingly personal.
She was right.
“W- why did you become a trainer?”
Feeling the urge to snap at the girl, Leah held it back and examined her options. She could say ‘no’ and go back to being bored or she could answer ‘yes’ and give out information she wasn’t sure she wanted to part with. Hmm, boredom or giving-out-private-info? Boredom or giving-out-private-info? Hmm. The problem was that if she did start to give out such information, Leah was a bit afraid that the conversation would turn into a bonding session of potentially epic proportions.
… Aw, what the hell.
“What ten-year-old doesn’t want to be a trainer?” Leah decided to take the third option and give out either another question or small tidbits. It was best to play it safe.
“T- then…” Ally replied nervously. “Why did you quit being a trainer?”
Gah. An even more personal question!
“It’s… complicated,” Leah said, a bit coldly, and she was surprised at herself that she could describe that whole situation in just one word.
Ally looked curious and it overcame her hesitation. “I- I just don’t want to run into the same thing. I don’t want to quit.”
Against her mind screaming for her not to, Leah eased the girl’s worries. “You won’t run into the same thing; not out here, anyways. Besides, my situation was different.”
“What do you mean?”
Only bits of info, Leah reminded herself. “I was traveling alone.”
“Hey guys!” Ed greeted cheerfully as he took the empty chair beside Leah. He didn’t seem to notice that he interrupted a semi-bonding session in the works.
“Hi, Ed,” Ally said back, looking a tad disappointed that her curiosity wasn’t sated.
Leah said nothing, just glad that the relatively short conversation didn’t yield anything important. She supposed, if Ed had one good trait, it was good timing.
“When do you think we’ll get to Fuchsia City?” Ed asked, taking a water bottle from his backpack and chugging it down. Leah watched in fascination as the clear liquid in the plastic bottle started to sink. After one more gulp, Ed put the bottle down, and met Leah’s and Ally’s amused expressions. “What?”
Ally giggled. “Nothing.”
When neither of the girls present answered his question, Ed pouted. “I’ll go ask someone then.”
“What’s the rush,” Leah spoke up. “Probably won’t be for a few more hours.”
Ed shrugged, smiling in an odd way. “I just want to know when I get home.” He then extended a hand to Ally. “Want to come and help me look for someone?”
Blushing deeply, Ally took it and got up, placing Amber on the table. She gave a glance to her Pokemon and then to Leah.
“L- Leah,” Ally asked shyly. “Do you want to come with us?”
Leah hardly thought over it before deciding. “No,” she said casually. “Not interested.”
Ally looked disappointed and a bit embarrassed at such a quick answer. Ed didn’t seem to mind, however, as he gently pulled Ally across the deck.
Leah watched them go.
“Vul?” Amber asked, tilting his head. He pawed the table, his two tail wagging.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Leah warned the Pokemon. “Go bug Sands or something; I don’t want to pet you.”
Amber seemingly understood as he carefully jumped off the table and went to go do something uninteresting in the sunlight.
Once she was alone, Leah sighed to herself and leaned back in the chair, crossing her legs. She looked up at the umbrella, seeing the bright pink spot in the middle of the red stripe where sunlight tried to get through. Her eyes relaxed and she breathed in deeply.
Her mind went back to what Ed had said before he left. He had said that he wanted to know when he was getting home. That was good. If Ed was somehow homesick, then that meant he might actually quit going on his journey. If he did that then there was no way Ally would want to keep going. Or that was what Leah had previously thought. If Ally was asking why Leah herself stopped being a trainer so it wouldn’t happen to her, then maybe the girl was more determined than she thought.
Ugh, she should get back on topic. So, was Ed determined enough to keep going on his journey? Even when he could stay home after getting a taste of the hard and unfulfilling life a trainer had? Well, maybe he didn’t quite get the unfulfilling part. He did get the Volcano Badge from Blaine, even if he lost. Actually, he had quite an easy journey so far, the same went for Ally.
Their journey got off to a good start, totally unlike hers.
They started out on a sunny day, together with Leah following them unwillingly. They went to Cinnabar Island first and Ally was able to catch a Vulpix, a rare and a tad cliché Pokemon. They got the Volcano Badge and now they were off walking in the sun on a ferry, going for their second badge in Ed’s hometown.
Hers was entirely different.
Firstly, it started out cloudy and she was all alone. Well, except for Sands, but he was wild back then. She remembered that she was really excited to become a trainer and was already imagining her gym battle with the Viridian City gym leader. Her grandmother completely supported her goal of being a Pokemon League Champion. Being a Pokemon trainer herself, her grandmother taught her about Pokemon and how they should be trusted and looked after properly.
Of course, that hadn’t worked. She had trusted Sands, but he didn’t trust her.
Leah was aware back then that it wouldn’t take more than a week to get through Route One and arrive in Viridian City. She had promised herself that she would get through the leafy route in a single day. Because wasn’t that the way to show that you were determined to become a real Pokemon trainer? She went in that route cheerful and determined.
She had come out of that route fearful and crying.
It wasn’t a small fact that she was afraid of storms. She never had a good reason for it; it was just that the light and thunder frightened her. It was so powerful and it couldn’t be controlled like the clouds could. So, when a storm started up on the first day of her journey, she couldn’t help but to be afraid. She had no shelter out there and Sands refused to come out of its Pokeball, hating the water that came with the prospect of storms.
It had taken her three days to get out of that route. She had no clue how she had survived that incident, but she somehow did. She visibly remembered walking into the Viridian City Pokemon Center, soaking wet and feeling more miserable then she had ever felt in her life. Before she had even dried she had called her Grandmother to come pick her up and take her home. A journey was too hard for her; that’s what she thought that day and still even thought it now.
A Pokemon journey just wasn’t worth all the effort. What did Pokemon trainers get from all their hard work? Metal badges, cloth ribbons and shiny trophies? A bunch of ragtag creatures that the trainer sweated and bled for? What could that actually do in the real world? Sure, almost everyone was a Pokemon trainer years ago, but the idea of Pokemon training was drying up now.
It just wasn’t worth it anymore.
“… Oh god,” Leah muttered to herself. “I’m monologue-ing and ranting in my head. How pathetic is that?”
“Shrew?” Sands asked sleepily, his head rising from the pillow his arms created.
Leah rolled her eyes. “Oh, now you wake up. Where were you when I called you?”
Sands ignored her and stretched before getting up and lazily walking back into the shade that the umbrella provided.
“Too hot for you?” Leah asked as she reached down and felt Sands’s skin. It was almost uncomfortably warm and she wondered for a moment whether Sandshrew got sunburns.
Suddenly, her attention was caught by a crowd that had gathered on the other side of the deck. A few of the young people there were cheering and she strangely felt a bit curious on what was going on. And really; it wasn’t like she had anything better to do.
Leah picked up Sands, despite his protests, and walked through the sunlight towards the crowd. The people were in a large circle and she couldn’t help but groan when she saw why.
There were two kids in the circle, standing across from each other, each holding Pokeballs. One of the kids was blond with faded blue summer cloths while the other was orange-haired, had green clothing, was most definitely a moron and was also unmistakably Ed.
Ed grinned at the other kid. “You really think you can beat me? I went up against Blaine and won, by the way.”
“I know,” the other kid said. “But I also have a badge, from Koga of Fuchsia City! So don’t take me lightly.”
“My name’s Ed,” the brat introduced himself and held out his Pokeball. “And this is Paras. You still sure you can beat me?”
The other kid nodded, not at all put off. “My name’s Rodney and yeah, I can beat you. Me and Pikachu can.”
The battle banter was over as their Pokemon were released and the crowd started to cheer. Leah kept herself at the back and was almost positive that they shouldn’t be battling on a fragile little boat. Her eyes wandered through the crowd before she caught sight of Ally, standing near Ed, watching the event curiously.
“Ready, Paras?” Ed asked his Pokemon. Paras made some odd little sound, something that Ed took as a ‘yes’.
The Pikachu opposite of them let loose a few sparks from its red cheeks. It had a small mouse-like body with bright yellow fur and two pointed black-tipped ears. It had small legs and arms and its tail was shaped like a lightning bolt, which was also black-tipped.
“Pikachu!” Rodney exclaimed. “Thundershock!”
Pikachu obeyed, it cheeks sparking some more as it sent a small zap of yellow-white electricity across the wooden floor of the boat. Paras didn’t even try to dodge, letting the thin arching bolts slap its body.
“Paras is a grass type,” Ed told the other kid triumphantly as Paras shook off the sparks, not looking any worse for wear. “Electric attacks won’t work against it! Paras, Scratch!”
Paras seemed to slowly slide along the ground, its claws raised as its feet pushed it towards the electric type. Though, in a mocking gesture, the Pikachu easily jumped out of the way and kept doing so every time Paras got close enough to hit it. This continued as the Pikachu led Paras in circles, the bug type and its trainer obviously getting frustrated with the failed assaults.
Rodney smiled smugly. “Your Paras is too slow to catch my Pikachu. It can’t win.”
“We’ll see about that,” Ed promised. He thought for a moment, going over all the attacks his Paras knew and used the one most likely to slow the Pikachu down. “Okay, Paras, use Stun Spore-”
A very loud male voice cut into the battle.
Everyone froze as the Pokemon, their trainers, and the crowd all looked towards the new arrival. He was dark haired and was wearing clothes perfect for summer. Around his neck was a shiny whistle and a single Pokeball that was attached to a chain necklace. A few members of the crowd, seeing his angry face, quickly slunk away from the incoming explosion.
Leah was one of those as she immediately turned around and casually walked away, pretending to have no clue who either of those trainers were. She had no intentions of getting involved. Even if she would have loved to watch Ed get the verbal smack down, she didn’t want to be blamed for his irresponsibility just because she was supposed to be guiding him.
“Okay, Sands,” Leah announced to her Pokemon, putting him down on the table. “Lets pretend to be completely innocent in this, got it?” Technically, she was innocent, but people could assume the strangest things at times.
She watched from her chair as the crowd broke up and the two trainers returned their Pokemon, looking shamefaced. Vague yelling could be heard and she could see Ally smartly standing at the side, staying completely silent and not moving to defend Ed. When the man finally walked away, Ed and Ally came walking towards her, shoulders slumped and seemingly trying to disappear into thin air.
“Ouch,” Leah commented dryly.
“Maybe we shouldn’t have battled there,” Ed admitted, taking a seat as Ally did the same.
Leah snorted. “Obviously. You were about to use Stun Spore; that could’ve effected anyone.”
Ed sulked to himself while Ally took a quick look around.
“Where’s Amber,” she asked with a worrying look.
“Dunno,” Leah said, not caring. “Went off somewhere.”
“I- I better go find him.” Ally got up, chair scrapping back, as she started to slowly walk around the deck, calling out for her Pokemon. Ed looked at her, seemingly wondering whether he should try to help before he decided to just stay sitting.
As Ed started to brood, Leah once again leaned back into her chair, her hand almost automatically reaching up to pet Sands’s warm head.
She really should have brought a book.
“Just my luck,” Leah muttered to herself as she sat on one of the plush chairs in the interior sitting area. The room she was in was large and well lit. Lamps and chairs were set up to make the room look cozy. She kept her hands busy by playing with Sands’s Pokeball, rubbing her fingers over its smooth metal surface.
It was a couple of hours later and the once blue sky was now covered by clouds. She could see them clearly from the window beside her, the gray-colored masses hanging ominously in the sky, foretelling rain, thunder storms and her general misery. The clouds had popped up out of nowhere, like they normally did, taking everyone by surprise and forcing them to go indoors. It had been previously raining, but it had stopped almost ten minutes ago, though Leah was sure that it would start up again soon.
She hated storms and now she was starting to consider if they hated her too. Every time a storm popped up something bad happened to her. Whether it was ruining her journey, making her hide in her room until it went away, or forcing her to take shelter in a seemingly haunted mansion, something bad always happened.
This time, to stop anything like that from happening, she was going to just sit on the comfortable chair and read a magazine. That was it. She was not going to get up or do anything that could potentially cause her misfortunate. So, if she didn’t do anything, the only bad thing that could possibly happen to her was if the ship suddenly and mysteriously sank.
Since some people around her were giving the windows worried glances, the ship sinking wasn’t such a ridiculous concept. Or so they thought.
Even if it wasn’t technically a storm outside, the ocean sure thought different. It slammed and banged against the side of the ship, the tides angry and definitely not pleased at the weak little boat that had floated into its midst. Though Leah took comfort in the fact that the staff weren’t looking that worried, the wrathful waves seemingly not bothering them.
Suddenly, and with a crackle, the intercom on the ceiling of the room came to life, and people looked up at it.
“This is you captain speaking,” the intercom said. “We’ll be experiencing rough weather for a while, so please don’t be alarmed. The weather should tide over shortly.”
With that, the intercom went silent andLeah looked up to see Ed and Ally slowly walking towards her.
Seeing their down faces, she already knew the answer to her question, though she asked anyways. “Did you find him?”
“N- no,” Ally said sadly, looking like she was about to burst into tears. “W- we looked everywhere…”
Ed agreed. “Yeah, we looked for Amber all over the place and asked people but no one’s seen him.”
Leah didn’t know how to deal with the situation. Amber had disappeared hours ago and absolutely no one had spotted the missing Vulpix. If the brats had looked everywhere and couldn’t find him, what could she do?
“Oh!” Ed said suddenly. “We didn’t look outside!”
“Stop.” Leah held up a hand before giving a small glance to the dreary weather outside. “There’s no way a fire type will be out in this weather.”
Ally had apparently caught onto the idea as she also looked out the window. “W- what if he’s trapped outside and can’t get back in?”
Leah rolled her eyes and shot down the idea. “Oh, like anyone would leave a cute little Vulpix whining at the door.”
“But the ocean’s loud!” Ed argued. “And people can’t see through doors. They probably just can’t hear him.”
“Look,” Leah said, sighing and knowing that they weren’t going to listen to her. “It’s going to start raining any minute now and you can’t search the entire deck in that weather. It’s not like Vulpix is going to die if he gets wet. Wait until it clears up more before doing anything.”
Ally looked at Ed pleadingly before turning back to Leah. “B- but I can’t leave him. What if he falls into the water or- or-”
Ed came to a decision. “Don’t worry, Ally,” he said, expression determined. “I’ll come with you. We can search outside together.”
“Hey-” Leah started but cut herself off as the duo turned around and marched towards the entrance. She got out of her seat, set to following them, before she remembered that it was in her best interest to stay put. If she couldn’t stop the brats from searching outside, what was the point of going after them? They didn’t need her help and she didn’t want to help.
So, that begged the question: why was she walking away from her seat?
Leah mentally answered herself as she quickly strolled towards the entrance, hands in her pockets and shoulders slumped in defeat.
It was because- well-
Okay, she didn’t have an answer. She just felt like getting up out of her comfy chair and going outside to get drenched while looking for a Pokemon that was probably enjoying a steak dinner in the kitchen. Yes, note the sarcasm in the long-winded sentence.
“Amber,” Ally called out, looking around worryingly. “Where are you?”
Ed carefully tried to avoid stepping on the puddles of water as he walked around the deck. It was very slippery and he kept falling over whenever he forgot not to be careful.
“Hey! Wait up!”
Ed and Ally turned around, Ed having to steady his legs to keep from slipping.
“Wait up,” Leah grumbled to them again, not able to take that final step out of the doorway and into the outside world. She had seemingly decided to take a detour because in her arms were three orange puffy vests.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” Ed said, frowning at the vests in her hands. “Why do you have lifejackets with you?”
“I wasn’t,” she replied, answering the first question and finally letting the door close behind her. She looked at the rows of the bumpy clouds above her and grimaced. At least it wasn’t raining. “And are you stupid? Were in the middle of a storm; it would be just our luck to go overboard. At least with these we won’t drown.”
Leah shoved two of the vests towards the duo and gave them a look that plainly said that if they didn’t put them on, she’d manhandle them back inside. They reluctantly strapped them on and Leah did the same, putting it over her jacket.
“Okay, now let’s get this over with,” Leah said with a bored tone.
Ally accepted Leah without commenting, but instead pointed to the tables that the trio were occupying a few hours ago. “I think Amber’s hiding over there.”
“Why over there?” Leah asked, staying close to the duo as the cold wind whipped around their loose clothes and hair.
“We were there,” Ally said simply. “Amber might smell the place where we were sitting and wait there for us.”
Ed looked confused. “Doesn’t water wash away scent?”
The three walked around the tables, looking under them, but were sometimes forced to stop because of the powerful winds. The umbrellas on the tables were whipped around, the only reason they hadn’t been blown away was because of the metal poll holding them down. Waves rocked the ship and Leah kept thinking that she should have just stayed inside.
This so wasn’t worth it.
“Why is it so windy?” Ed yelled over a particularly strong gust that howled as it threw salty spray into their faces.
Leah was thinking the same thing and also wondered why it wasn’t raining before she mentally slapped herself. She really should stop jinxing herself.
“Come on,” Leah hissed as she roughly grabbed Ally’s arm, and tried to do the same for Ed’s. “This is insane. We’re going back inside.”
Ally didn’t try to pull away from her and just stood for a moment before taking a step back into Leah. Ed, though, kept moving forward, ignoring Leah’s persistent calls for him. He got to their table, the one closest to the edge of the ship and knelt down. His head disappeared from their view, but came up again moments later.
“Found him!” Ed shouted.
Ally gently pulled away from Leah, who let her go without arguing. The girl went over to Ed and knelt down beside him. She peered under the table to see a damp ball of fuzz with two tails curled around its body staring at her with dark eyes.
“Oh!” Ally cried softly and called out to her Pokemon. “Amber, it’s okay. Come here, we’ll get you out of the water.”
Amber eyed her hand distrustfully, not very willing to abandon its safe-haven under the table. He backed up when Ally reached out for him. Ed even went to the other side of the table and maneuvered himself against the side of the boat so that he might scare Amber towards Ally.
“Just return him to his Pokeball,” Leah said, startling the two when she suddenly appeared behind them. “I don’t want to stay out here any longer.”
Biting her lip while deciding, Ally chose to get out Amber’s Pokeball which she always carried with her and pointed it at her Pokemon. Since Amber wasn’t having any second thoughts, the red beam of light from the Pokeball solved the problem rather easily.
“Poor Amber,” Ally said sadly as she attached her Pokeball to the Poke-Belt she bought on Cinnabar Island. She seemed depressed and Leah would have felt a bit of pity for her if she didn’t always go sad-like when anything bad happened to her beloved Amber. It was a bit weird to note that Ally had pretty much replaced her Voltorb with Amber and Leah wondered when the last time she saw that Voltorb was.
“Okay, let’s go,” Leah said, trying to nudge them back inside.
Though, her plan to go back inside and read a magazine was thrown off track quite a bit.
With a sudden lurch, Leah felt herself being violently pushed towards the edge of the ship as the tides attacked the boat with no mercy. Leah rammed into Ally, who was in front of her, and they both hit the side of the ferry. The edge keeping the two from falling off the boat only went up to Leah’s chest and for a moment, she felt like she was about to fall off.
Though the feeling past as Leah pushed herself away from the side, trying to keep her balance and the ship swayed back in forth. Hardly thinking, she helped Ally to her feet and both of them gripped the edge of their table.
“Close one,” Leah breathed and then took a look around. “Hey, where’s Ed?”
Those words hung in the air ominously as the seemingly remaining two really took in those words. There was no Ed at their side, or on the ground.
Ed was right near the edge…
Leah swore as she recklessly looked over the side, seeing only dark waves pulsing below. Spray blasted into her face, but she took no notice of it, her eyes searching for an inch of orange among the tides.
The ocean, at that moment, decided it was a good time to bash the ship again.
And it did.
One moment, Leah was looking over the side, and the next, she felt the smooth, top part of the ledge slide under her chest, past her stomach and then hitting her feet as it went by. Or as she went by, as she found out. There was a shriek from beside her, and Leah had a feeling that she wasn’t the only one suddenly tumbling downwards, feeling the wind through their hair.
Leah flapped her arms, as if trying to fly, but instead she jolted as she hit the water. It was unnaturally cold and when tried to take a breath, all she got was disgusting water. She kicked out her legs and her lifejacket came to the rescue, pulling her to the surface. Taking a deep breath of air, another wave instantly forced her back under as she was beat around by the tides.
If it wasn’t for the lifejacket, she was sure she would’ve died. Every time she was dragged under, she was almost immediately lifted back upwards. It wasn’t a pleasant cycle. Leah’s arms and legs were flailing, but she could feel herself getting tired and numbness was crawling up her limps.
It was almost a relief, really, when everything went dark.
A/N: Okay guys, who else besides me wants to point and laugh at the incredibly contrived ending and all those grammar mistakes that I probably missed? Though, as long as I ignore the ending, I actually rather like this chapter, though I sighed in exasperation when I saw that the word count was over 5000. Longest chapter yet. Anyways, next chapter is already finished and it will definitely be posted next Friday. No more skipping for me.