I was soaring. I'd sprouted long, white, majestic wings and was flying about the sky. My wings caught the breeze as I brushed my arms through white, puffy clouds. They tickled me as I whirled into the sky. Darcy was below me, toting a little wagon with a blue egg in a blanket. "Go, Spades, go!" She cheered as I beat my propelling wings forward and back. Forward and back. Forward and back..
Suddenly, she burst into flames, and so did the surrounding clouds. The clear, blue sky filled with black smog that corked up my throat from air. Gasping, I fell from the sky. Helplessly falling back, trying to scream, no one there to hear me..Hey! Wake up! Wake up, you!
A giant, orange head appeared in the fog. It wore a brown hat with a white feather stuck into the side, and a green bandanna around its neck.Wake up!
I lay there in front of Mike and other fellow merchants. Everything that had just happened was a dream. I sprang upward, aching head to toe, bruised almost everywhere. But that didn't matter. "Where's Darcy?" I said.
"Dar-? Oh, your partner? Well, um.. I'm not very sure, nor of where we are, exactly. We seem to be in a jungle or whatever, but-"
" I yelled.
"No! Well, at least, I don't think so.. All I know is that we-"
"I don't care what else you know!"
"Ugh! Would you just listen to me for once!?" Mike had a look of annoyance on his face. With hesitance, I shut up.
you for so kindly shutting your trap. Anyway," he took a large breath inwards and continued.
"While you were out, we were planning how do get out of this dump. Tivoli's captured Sherri, and we need to get her and escape. Ti-"
"Who's this Tivoli guy?" I interrupted.
Mike glared at me intimidatingly, and his overlit tail added to the effect. "May I continue?
"Tivoli and his gang of beasties are too strong to fight, we'll have to sneak in. After that we need to find a way to ditch this place. Our best landmark will be Monochrome Tower, you can see that place from anywhere. Now,
" He said angrily, "Any questions?"
"Yes - I asked before," I coughed. I raised a brow at Mike and asked again, "Who's Tivoli?"
"Well, let's see!" snapped Mike, dangerously flailing his flaming tail around as he spoke. "Shall we just sum it up, in a nutshell? He's a dreadful, murderous Tyranitar that we really need to watch out for."
After an awkward silence, he concluded, "We're set, then? Good. Let's start planning."
Mike turned to the merchants behind him. "Can anyone here climb trees?" He asked them.
A sentret and a snivy raised their hands. "And what're your names?"
A closer look at the two gave me the impression they weren't very happy-go-lucky to be here either at all.
A quick and blunt "Senter" and "Nagant" seemed to satisfy Mike, so he said, "Climb the tallest tree you can find, you two, and look for suspicious hideouts.. or whatever." The two scurried off and eventually decided on this one large tree, wide and brim, that was higher than the others.
I watched them climb to the top in wonder. It seemed strange how I suddenly appeared in a jungle that, as far as I knew, was nowhere close to home. Frightening as well. But we were gonna get home.
"Mike! We found a way!"
The Senter and Nagant climbed down from the tree and Nagant motioned forward. The rest of the group followed and after a trek through a leafy area of the forest, we met a path.
"This way to Tivoli, Mike."
Mike looked puzzled. "This way? But this leads to the outskirts. See?" He went up a bit farther, moved a bush, and light shone through it. "Right," Nagant replied, "Which is why I thought that was a clever spot to put a hideout. Y'see, nobody would expect it to be on outskirts. And it's not even near where an obvious entrance to here is."
"Well, alright," Mike concluded. "Let's go then."
Sweet Arceus and who knows what above, my feet are tired. We've been walking for two hours and living on Sitrus berries. I long for a good old Oran smoothie from the cafe. But those days are over now.
While I was walking, I decided that I wasn't going to stay with the group, or at least for long.
I made a plan: Once we get Sherri, I'm going to ditch the jungle. I'm going to use the bush that Mike and Nagant showed us, go through it, and get to Tao. I'll pick up Darcy and the egg, if it hasn't hatched yet, and we're gonna move to Alomomola, since Tao's going to hate us enough after that.
But yeah, the trip was long. But then I was saved when a shiny Zangoose in our team yelled, "Hey, guys! Look!"
All heads turned to him, and then to the left, where he was pointing. There, instead of the path continuing, was a cave where many silhouettes of large Pokemon were shadowing. I heard fearsome cries and, if you listened closely, could hear the soft screeches of what sounded like Sherri.
Mike turned to us all, an uneasy expression on his face. He said in a dark tone, "Everyone, I want you all to listen to the plan. You!" He spun around towards a timid-looking shiny squirtle. "What's your name?" The squirtle seemed to shrink as he snapped. "M-my name is L-L-Luig-gi...!" He then retreated back into his shell.
Mike groaned. "Stop being such a wuss!" He banged the shell, and Luigi came reluctantly out. He then continued, "Luigi, I want you to go in there and spy on the dragon.. beasties.. whatevers, and in twenty minutes, tell us what they're doing with Sherri. If they spot you, maybe you can.. uh.. go into your shell. Or something." Luigi nodded with a very flustered look, and hobbled into the bush, towards their camp.
"Now," sighed Mike. "We need someone to be a distraction. Any volunteers?"
Everyone in our group took a step back, including me. He facepalmed, and with one tiny claw appeared to be doing and mumbling something like "Eenie-meenie-minie-mo." Eventually, his claw came to a stop on me.
"You there. You're gonna distract Tivoli, understand?"
I didn't understand, I stood completely still. All I said was a muttered, "B-b-but I-!"
"I never asked you, Chingling,
" said Mike through gritted teeth. "You're going to distract the band, and that's final. I hope your quick on your toes." I almost wanted to tell him I had a name, too. But then I nodded and muttered, "Fine.."
Everyone was planned out. Nagant and another, a Dewott named Amy, were going to get Sherri. Luigi was going to keep watch of me while I was 'distracting' Tivoli, but I had better plans. Luigi was going to be too timid to shout, "Come back, Spades!" in front of a pack of who-knows-what. I was going to hightail it.
Luigi came back and told us that Sherri was trapped in a cave, guarded by Aerodactyl. Amy said she knew what to do, and Nagant took her word for it. Luigi also said that Tivoli was in the middle of camp, feeding on what looked like Pokemon corpses. Many of the Pokemon on the team groaned in disgust, including me. But then we were ready to go.
Amy and Nagant set off. Senter was high in a tree, going to give us the signal - a Water Pulse on the ground for us to know when to go.
We waited, and then we finally heard Senter sending the splash below. I ran in, along the bushes, watching Amy and Nagant. It seemed that there were pink hearts around Amy, and the Aerodactyl who were guarding Sherri seemed to be swooning. But there was no time to watch now.I had to run. Home.
I scrambled onto a rock and tried to scramble up a tree. I could dance, but I couldn't climb a tree. I had to use my longer arms to pull myself upward. When I was halfway up the tree, I settled on a branch. Picking a Persim berry, I nibbled it, and thought how I was going to climb the rest of the way. Then it hit me. I looked to my left at a tall tree with many branches. It was ten feet away, if only i could jump..
Without thinking I lept, my littler arms and longer ones flailing. His longer arm caught hold of a branch, and he pulled himself up. There was a particularly large bruise on his forehead. He looked for the tower-BAM.
A large crash was heard throughout and echoed through the forest. "What are you doing!?
screamed a Pokemon from the group. He didn't bother to know who, he was too worried on the tree collapsing.
Blood rushed to my head; he was hanging upside down from a lopsided tree. Tivoli was there, pushing down trees yelling maliciously, "Who's there!? Anybody want to be my snack!?"
and the such. I wanted to cry for help, but it was exactly like my dream. Everything was going smoothly, then chaos wreaked.
I decided to get back on my job of distracting Tivoli. I gathered up the courage to yell at him and his henchmen, "Hey, scale-butts!"
Tivoli, a Salamence, and three Aerodactyl whipped around to me. I kept throwing insults. "Gonna get me, purple-faces?! What about you, chubbybud? And of course, the big boss, badbreath!
Well, if you're gonna catch me, catch me, suckers!"
And with that I sprang to my previous tree and flung myself down. I ran away from the group, hoping to drive them off.
As I ran, I hopped from space to space in a zigzag pattern to confuse them. But I really screwed up when I tried to run to the side while running forward. I left tassels hang over my back, and when I went to start galloping, one of my longer arms went under my foot.
I stumbled over it and started summersaulting. I tried to get up, but if I did I slowed down. But I will say that it improved my speed. Except I couldn't steer. I had no choice, so I kept rolling.
I was headed for a ditch. They were gaining on me, and the Aerodactyl were swooping down. The world seemed to go in slow motion as I fell. I launched myself trying to come up, but instead I stumbled. The pit was deep and right in front of me. But I somehow made it.
I got up in the nick of time and clung to the edge with both of my arms and tassels. The Salamence and Aerodactyl stumbled into the pit and lay there like one huge meatball. It was just me and Tivoli.
I sprang upwards and launched my self toward the surface. I was right in front of Tivoli. I went to run, but one ginormous claw swooped down and grabbed me. His rumbling and licking of his lips could plunge anybody into fear. He brought me up to his face. I was sweating and my heart was hammering so hard it felt like it would burst from my chest in a bloody mess."So, did little tiny bossy-wossy feel brave? Did he want to mess with the likes of me?"
bellowed Tivoli into my face. His breath smelled like rotten Enigma berries on a platter with Skuntank corpses. I fell silent. Shivering in his grasp, his long, echoing strides carried me into the forest, back towards his camp. As we were walking, he had a fake conversation with me. Ahah, so how did you feel wandering into this jungle, hmm, little-bitty-bossy? Think he could ask me for a snack, hm? Didn't know that's what he'd soon be, hm?"
We got to the camp and he brought me back to his face again. He turned me toward the camp, and lifted me up as if he expected me to embrace the whole setting. So! Here's where your platter will be served, muahah! You can be served with the little lady- huh!?"
His eyes darted to where Sherri was tied up, in the cave. He went in, me still in his grasp, and looked around.
Then, his eyes started blazing red as fire. "WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE CHERRIM!?"
bellowed Tivoli into my face. His breath again coiled around me like a blanket.
But that was nothing. The piercing scream - or roar - that he let out into my face when he realized his leg was burning. He easily shook it off, being a rock type, but his armoured, ugly face looked down to an enraged Mike, flailing his tail at the beast.
"I don't know what you were thinking," yelled Mike up to me, "To just be caught, but no time! Get out! Get the others home!"
Tivoli dropped me and I slammed face-first into the ground. I didn't say anything, I went straight to the group, of which included Sherri. "Everyone!" I told them as I watched Mike battle Tivoli out of the corner of my eye, "We've gotta go! Senter - Nagant - climb that tree, will you? Find Monochrome Tower, hurry!" Senter went, but Nagant seemed reluctant. "You want us to take orders from y-?" I shot him a streak of eye lightning. "You wanna survive or not, leaf-boy?" He shot me a glare, but nodded, and joined Senter. "Over here! Senter yelled, pointing west.
They climbed down, and we head towards the setting sun, seeking home.
I hope we get there soon.
I crawled from my bed at the curious-looking sneasel. If I wasn't dumb, I would have said it was lost. "Hey, little guy.." I said softly. Its tiny head flung to look at me, and then it frantically pulled itself onto Spades's bed. It cornered into a wall.
I was there beside the bed. I pulled the cookie from the nightstand. "Here you go.. Yes, you." I nudged the cookie towards her with my paw. I gave it a hopeful look. It pulled the cookie toward itself curiously. It looked at me with wide eyes. Then, it broke off a half and stuffed it into its mouth. It neared toward me.
"Hi, I'm Darcy, your mama." I said it without thinking. Whoa, did I just call myself 'mama'? Well.. whatever..
The young pokemon opened and closed its mouth like it was talking, but no sound came out. Finally it said in a high-pitched growly tone, "Mamaya?"
I giggled a bit. "No, it's mama.
"Mamaya!" it shouted at me.
"Mama," I replied.
"Mama." I said again.
"Ma-ma-ya." It said firmly. It was sitting right next to me now. I saw that not only was it a baby but instead of a long, pink tail like most Sneasel, there was a tiny pink stub for a tail.
I rolled my eyes, humoring the little kid. "Oh, fine. Mamaya it is then." For once this week I felt happy. I picked her up, pleased to have her under my care now. I set her on the ground. She hobbled around.
"Hey, wanna come with me? I wanna show you around."
She seemed confused at my sentence, but eventually she agreed to tag along.
Oh, we were gonna have so much fun.
I showed her around town. I taught her that day about water, what a building was, and what bridges were. Around the halfway point of the day when I'd said plenty to her, she'd ask little questions pointing at different things piping, "What that, Mamaya?" or "What that do, Mamaya?"
But around when we strolled about around Happy Treasure time and Palette's Studio, the kid had to point at the Snowflake Memorial and ask, "What that, Mamaya?"
Suddenly I didn't feel so joyful anymore. I said nothing. Then, she asked again. "Mamaya! What that?"
I said nothing.
I took her by the hand.. or claw.. and walked with her inside. We were the only ones. The nevermeltice around us made the place as chilly as midwinter. She seemed intrigued by the big, bell, but then I pointed to the walls and whispered for her to focus on those.
So many names were imprinted. My eyes had tears as I read so many Pokemon. I then came to tell her the truth.
"Not too long ago, kid, there was a really nice dragon. His name was Sorbet. He loved the whole village and was.. mostly.. everyone's friend." I took a deep inhale, looked into the little girl's eyes, and looked back to the walls. I read them as I spoke.
"But then, he got really mad. Nobody knows why but.. But he tried to wreck the whole town. Everyone had to try and stop him. But so many homes were wrecked. A bunch. And a lot of Pokemon.. passed away. And a bunch got lost."
The little toddling Sneasel interrupted. "What pass-da-way mean?"
"It means you'll never see them again," I replied. I stared at the large bell.
"And this.. you ring it when you want to talk to someone who is gone," I said. "If Sorbet never existed..!" I wanted to begin ranting. But I didn't want to act violent in front of the girl. Then she said, "It okay, Mamaya."
She threw her arms around me. I cried, half in joy, half in sorrow.
I then got back up, looked to the bell, and thought. I never considered Spades dead, but it certainly seemed like it. And whether he was or not, he was still lost.
So I rang the bell and whispered with a choked-up throat, "Spades..". I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to kill all the tears. Then, with red eyes, I turned back to the kid.
"Hey, kid, I've got an idea. C'mon, we're gonna go somewhere fun."
"Yay! Fun!" cheered the sneasel happily. Then she skipped outside with me.
We arrived at Chrys's Tailoring. "Here we are. You can get some cool things here," I told her. We went inside. Chrys greeted us at the door, looking no happier than I just was at the memorial. "Hi," I said blankly to her with a fake smile. I almost wanted to send her a mental message saying, It was Sherri, wans't it? I'm so sorry..
. I daresay that I'd never do so aloud, so I lead the kid to a shelf of accessories.
She went to trying on one of the new Marvelous Hats. She giggled as she posed in the mirror with it on, and did the same with the Smooth Bombin and Toxic Visor. But when she tried on the Leppa Tie, she said, "Oooh!"
I walked up to her. "You like that one, kid?" She nodded. "This one is cool looking! And it feels very softy. Can I get?" I smiled. "You sure you want that one? You can't change!"
She put a claw to her chin and said, "Yep! I want this-a one!"
So we went up to Chrys. I handed her my accessory voucher and we head out, the girl strutting about with her new tie. Then she stopped. And then she said, "Mamaya! I call you Mamaya, so what I called?" That remark made me skid to a stop. We'd spent the whole day together and I still haven't given her a name.
We stood there for a couple minutes then I said, "I'll call you Arian."
Arian and I then set off for Spinda Cafe for dinner. "This is Spinda Cafe," I told her.
"What a cafe, Mamaya?"
"It's a place where you can eat," I replied.
"Oh, yay yay yay! I like eating!"
So we went inside. But instead of seating ourselves at a table, Hops, one of the employees came up to us. "Excuse me, ma'ams?"
We turned to the shiny shuckle. He looked exhausted, with bags under his eyes and his cap a bit folded. "Please..! I've been in charge of the cafe since Vertigo went missing, and I need help! Please, could you stay a shift or two?"
Well, the offer took me aback. Having Arian with me, we couldn't manage. Then I said, "Well.. Alright. But we need somewhere for Arian here, and-"
"Oh! This sweet lil' girl?" asked Hops, pointing towards Arian, who was smiling. "She can help! I'm sure you could do the bar, and she could serve tables and-"
"But sir, she just hatched-" I argued. "Nonsense!" said Hops. "Let her help." He came close to whisper and, with a wink, he said, "It'll make her feel a bit important, y'know?"
"Well.. Alright," I said.
So we went to the backroom. There were all sorts of things. We put on Employee caps and head out. But Arian ran back and fetched a pair of rollerskates.
"Where in this world did you get those from-?" I asked. But she said, "Fun!"
Then I tried to explain to her. "Kiddo, you're waiting tables. You have to give them what Hops tells you to," Then I pointed towards Hops.
"That's Hops?" asked Arian.
I sighed. "Yes, it is."
When Arian finally understood, she said, "Okie!" and slipped on the skates.
"But-!" I started, but she already zoomed to Hops. I watched her have a converstation with the very surprised Shuckle, and he went and got the orders. He pointed to some tables and I saw her give him a nod of understanding, and then she was off.
It was extraordinary. She hobbled when she walked, but definetly not when she was zooming about the cafe handing tables their food. I watched her, and I prepared orders for the bar Pokemon. I was in complete shock.
As I watched her zoom about, I saw tip after tip going into her claws. One customer, a shiny Ninetails, clapped when she was served by Arian. I saw a one shiny Mienfoo whisper to the Vulpix behind her, "Wow, what a wonderous little girl!" It seemed Arian was a hit.
A chikorita that I had just served an Oran berry smoothie to asked, "Hey, do you know the waitress? You keep staring at her - not to be rude or anything-"
"Oh, I know her," I replied. "That's my little girl right there."