A Tale of Loyalty Vol. I [PG-13]
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July 14th, 2013 (1:27 PM).
The moon lit up the mountain pass, shining like a beacon cutting through the black night sky. Night was a curious time in the Mountain Range; Pokemon that slept during the day, frolic and hunt beneath the starlight. While filled with new, exciting beauties, the range also hosts a new breed of dangers during the night. The temperature had dropped in the absence of the sun, and a harsh breeze blew a fine sleet across the mountain range.
Billy had faced enough danger during the day, and was thankful for the shelter the mountain had provided for him; a small cavern etched into the face of the mountain. That night, temperatures had dropped in the absence of the sun, and a harsh breeze gusted through the range, chilling those who were unprepared to the bone.
The cave was small and cramped; he barely had room to stretch his legs out. Staring at the back wall of their shelter lay Growlithe. With each laboured breath, his shadow danced across the wall in the light of the fire as the blood that seeped from the deep gash on Growlithe’s side glittered. Billy stared into the flames; he felt a boiling sensation of guilt deep within his stomach; which raged much hotter than their little camp-fire ever could.
“It was my fault”
Their journey had begun easily enough. The pair had departed in silence from Mahogany Town heading south towards the Mountain pass on Route 45. The walk had not been a particularly long one in terms of distance, but each step taken in silence, felt like ten to Billy. Any attempt he made to engage with his companion, simply caused the young pup to march further in front of him, fortifying the dislike he had of this “trainer”. Each step Billy took was another step further away from home. At least that’s what it felt like to him. Deep down he knew his home was forever destroyed… now he had to find his own way in life.
Eventually the travelers made it to the start of the dusty, winding path that twisted through the mountains towards New Bark Town. The mountains climbed endlessly up into the sky, punching through the clouds. Billy saw the daunting, colossal rock faces; the cracks in the mountains shaped the blank rocks into twisted faces which sneered and mocked Billy, terrifying him. He daren’t show any signs of fear to his companion, however, lest his childhood bully lose even more respect for him.
The duo managed to trek quite high into the mountain range before the dusk sun began to fill the sky with a golden, amber glow. The pass had been deserted, and their footholds had been far from insecure… nothing like the arduous trip promised to him by the Doctor or his Grandfather.
As they passed the halfway mark, the sun moved closer and closer to the horizon, and the two shared a look which could only mean one thing; rest. Luckily, standing graciously before them was a small alcove carved into one of the twisted, misshaped faced that scarred the sides of the titanic mountains. However, before Billy had a chance to unpack and begin making a shelter, Growlithe’s nose sharply rose to the air and sniffed wildly. He slunk low as his voice began to rumble more and more violently.
“Wha… What’s wrong?” Billy began to frantically look around before meeting the stern stare of warning from Growlithe.
Suddenly from the corner of Billy’s eye, a silver blur whooshed across the two at incredible speed. Growlithe howled in pain as the blur pounded him into the mountain face. Growlithe leapt up to his feet ready to defend himself.
That’s when the blur stopped dead, staring back at Growlithe, filled with aggression. The bird stood at the same height as Billy, as the setting sun bounced off the shiny metallic coat. The points on the edge of its wings glinted in the remaining sunlight, sharp as razor blades and strong enough to cleave through the mountain itself. Billy hadn’t seen this Pokemon before; in fact he wasn't even convinced it was one. It looked like an escaped robot, as its metal casing glinted in the amber sunlight.
It shrieked loudly and the high-pitched, resonating cry caused Billy to fall to his knees and desperately cover his ears. It scraped its foot into the ground as if to warn of an impending charge. Growlithe, however, remained sturdy and stared down his assailant. Billy began to panic… his childhood fear gushed through his veins like a torrential flood. How could he command Growlithe, when he hadn't a clue what to do?
It seemed Growlithe needed no commander, as he charged towards the metallic monster and snapped ferociously at its neck. The bird flitted effortlessly away at an impossible pace. Before Growlithe could turn back to protect himself, his combatant swooped low and fast, leaving a deep slash in the side of Growlithe. He cried out as the gash began to ooze a deep, dark red liquid. Injured, the Growlithe began to breathe heavily, wobbling as he tried to remain standing and defend himself from the enraged beast.
Billy could have sworn he saw the horrific machine give a cruel smile at what it had caused. Billy’s fear began to swell and mutate into a hot rage… but it wasn't enough for him to move a muscle, as he sat cowering away from the battle. The rage was soon overcome with the same fear that had engulfed all over emotions in Billy’s head.
Growlithe steadied himself and roared savagely, staggering his opponent, and scared Billy to his very bones. Now it was Growlithe’s turn to get the jump on his opponent as he hurled himself through the air, knocking the bird flying. The sound of metal clanking and bending echoed out across the mountain range. Billy was thankful that it covered his cries of fear and cowardice.
Before the bird could regroup, Growlithe inhaled what Billy felt must have been a hundred gallons of air, before firing a blazing inferno from his mouth. It cut through the air and smothered the brute, roasting it at an astronomical temperature. Billy shielded himself from the heat, as his chest began to tighten,each breath becoming harder and harder to take. His mind raced back to memories he would sooner forget...
The beast gave one last ear-drum shredding squawk and flew as fast as it could from the battle, leaving a trail of flames in its wake. Growlithe stood panting, confirming it was gone and the battle done, before hobbling into the shelter he had fought for. Billy uncurled himself from his “protective” ball and took deep, breaths. He let the air wash away his fear and his panic, before crawling after his guardian.
Billy stared into the fire and reflected on the battle; he should have helped Growlithe, but instead he had lay there like a coward, letting his fear consume him. Billy felt guilt not only for his companion… but for his parents. He had promised to overcome his fear and so far he was doing a terrible job.
He looked over to his injured defender, who lay flat at the back wall of the cave, quivering in pain and shivering from the cold, refusing to meet Billy’s gaze. Billy once more allowed his emotions to overcome him, as his eyes began to well with tears. He knew Growlithe wanted nothing more than to leave him, and if it weren’t for the pup’s determination to keep a promise, Billy reckoned he would have abandoned him long before they made it this far.
“No,” Billy whispered into the fire, wiping his apologetic tears from his eyes, “If he can do this for me… there must be something I can do for him… I owe it to him!”
He rose to his knees, the roof of their cramped, improvised shelter stopping him from rising any further, and crawled over to the injured puppy. He began to dig through his rucksack and found a small bottle of liquid. Billy still wasn’t entirely sure exactly what these “potions” did… but it was all he had. He opened it and spread it across the tender tear that was causing Growlithe so much agony.
At first Billy thought he had made it worse, as Growlithe writhed and fought in agony, as the chemical substance seeped into the open wound. But before long, Growlithe calmed and slowly became drowsy. He dropped his head and fell into a deep sleep.
There was still the issue of the cold, blustery draught which, despite the fire, Billy could feel right through to the back of the cave. He knew Growlithe would struggle to survive the night, laid this far from the fire. Billy needed to move him; a thought which filled him with dread and terror. The incident today had truly surfaced his fear…
After taking a moment to gather as much composure and strength as he could, Billy gingerly wrapped Growlithe in his raincoat, the only spare clothing he had, and after panicking at least ten times through fear of waking the injured pup, scooped him up and gently placed him by the fire, the pup in too deep a sleep to be awoken by Billy.
Billy curled up next to him in a sleeping bag, in an attempt to share each other’s body heat, so that they might make it through the night and reach Professor Elm and New Bark Town…
Pokémon: A Tale of Loyalty Vol. I
The Lightning American
Joined Jul 2013
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