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Old June 27th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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fissionessence
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Gender: Male
Okay, here's the shorter part two. Part three looks like it'll be much longer, so whenever I write it, I'll probably split it into two for the purposes of posting.

A Curio, a City: part 2

by fissionessence

The saloon doors swung shut as the red-haired boy cleared the doorway. Saloons always felt like a natural place for him, when he found himself in a town. It was a man’s place, and he fancied himself a man. He traveled alone; he took care of himself and his pokémon; he had a mission. He was a man.

But he knew others didn’t see him that way. They all saw a five-foot, thirteen-year-old boy who was dressed like a man. And he saw a bunch of old, dirty, hairy grumbling men with alcohol instead of dreams.

The music from the piano was louder here, as was the clamor of the drunken laughter and clattering of mugs. The boy made his way to the bar and climbed atop one of the stools. As he expected, people began to notice him, quiet down, laugh more, then continue their revelry, ignoring him.

“A little young, aren’t you?” the bartender asked. He was just as hairy as the other men in the bar, but older, grayer, less drunk, and not quite as dirty.

“Not too old for water, I hope,” the boy replied. He looked up from beneath the brim of his hat and stared levelly at the bartender.

The gray-haired man smiled for a moment. “Still have to charge for it, though. You got the coin?”

The boy pulled back one side of his coat to reach into a pouch on his belt loop. He grabbed a pair of copper coins from the pouch and pulled his coat back closed, but from the corner of his eye he could tell that the other object on his belt had been noticed. A younger, black-haired man in a fine suit pushed away from a nearby table and began walking toward the boy. He was a young man for sure, but the black stubble on his face marked him as old enough to visit the saloon without questioning glances and derisive laughter.

The bartender took the two copper coins. “You know, we got oran juice, too. Same price.”

The boy stared at the bartender, emotionless. The old man backed away slightly, then shrugged and reached for a pitcher of water.

“The juice sounds good,” the boy interrupted.

The bartender huffed and shifted toward the other end of the bar.

The boy swiftly turned his head to lock eyes with the finely dressed man, whose finger was poised just above the boy’s shoulder, ready to tap, but now frozen in place.

The man dropped his hand to his side and cleared his throat. “I’m Kiraf. New in town, but looking to set up shop. In the business of curious wares and other bits.” Kiraf held out his hand, offering to shake in greeting. The red-haired boy did not look down at it, nor lift his own hand.

Kiraf dropped his hand again and continued. “I couldn’t help but notice that pokéball on your waist. Don’ see many of those. Worth quite a bit, I’d say—an’ I’m willin’ to pay.” Kiraf raised an eyebrow, waiting for a response to his offer.

“Sorry,” the boy replied.

“You sure?” the businessman continued. He reached for the boy’s coat and opened it slightly to catch another glance at the enchanted apricorn. It was painted white and encrusted with several jewels across its surface, attached to the belt in a fine leather holster. “I sure could pay quite—“

The boy, in a quick motion, without taking his eyes off Kiraf’s, grabbed the young man’s wrist and pulled it away, letting his coat drape closed once more.

“It’s not for sale.”

Kiraf scowled and rubbed his wrist with his other hand; he turned back toward his table.

The red-haired boy could hear subdued whispers beneath the ongoing clamor of the saloon, but he paid them no mind. He sipped the oran juice he’d been served and grimaced slightly.

Sour.

He sipped again, a longer draught.

“Bartender,” he said.

The bartender glanced warily toward the boy, but reluctantly attended him. The boy hoisted the bandits’ black bag from his back and onto the bar top.

He pointed to the name sewn into the bag, and the bartender leaned in to read it.

“Tirella Dye’romen,” the boy said. “Where can I find her?”


Comments, critiques, etc. are welcome of course I'd especially like to know what people think of the setting, given that it's pretty different from normal Pokémon. What I've written so far doesn't really capture all of the world, though, so I guess there might not be much to say at this point other than, "It seems like Pokémon western style."

~ fissionessence