A Type To Remember
“We’re not gonna get away!” June whined.
“We can’t stop now!” I yelled at her. “Move it!”
“I’m trying, Gary!” June yelled back.
We were both running as fast as we could, as far as our legs would take us, through an open plain. There were no bushes or trees or anywhere to hide. Just the open road and clear path surrounded us. June was a bit slower than me and even if I got away, she was going to get caught.
It was only a matter of time before those police sirens screaming behind us would be blocking our path.
And then what?
Would Officer Jenny force June to stay in Gringey City? Could they do that? Didn’t June have a right to leave? Was there something more that I didn’t know? Something June was hiding from me?
I recalled June crying just minutes ago, saying she was loved at Gringey City. That they cared so much for her that they didn’t want her to travel on her own, fearing she was too weak to be a Pokemon Trainer traveling alone.
“Juuuune!!!” I heard a voice scream over a megaphone. “This is Officer Jenny!! Where are you going?! Why are you running away?! Who is that person with you?!”
“Gary!” June cried.
“Don’t stop!” I urged.
I turned back and saw that she was several feet behind me and had stopped running. She was bent over, hands on her knees, gasping for air.
I stopped. “JUUUNE!!” I was gasping for air myself. “What are you doing??”
The cop cars and motorcycles were not far from us, sirens blaring, lights flashing.
I just stood there, unsure of what our next move would be.
“June!!” Officer Jenny yelled again, her car slowing down as she neared June. “Are you okay, dear? You, kid over there!! You are under a-!!”
“Pikachu, use Flash!” I heard June yell as she threw a Poke Ball.
Her Poke Ball opened and out popped a Pikachu! “Piiiika!!” it screamed, and a bright light emitted from its body.
I shielded my eyes against the intense white light and watched as all the cars disappeared behind the Flash.
“Let’s go!” I heard June.
My hand was grabbed and tugged. I gasped and blindly followed the pull, running. It was a couple of minutes of blinking before I could see that it was June pulling me.
Running in front of her was the Pikachu.
I looked behind me to see several Officer Jennys. Some were sitting on their still motorcycles, and others were standing outside their cars. Some of them were covering their eyes in their hands while others were blinking nonstop. They seemed to be having trouble seeing.
“Gary, don’t stop! Keep going!” June pulled me harder.
I turned forward and ran as hard as I could with her.
I’m not sure how long we ran. It was just a large cycle where we would be running, and several times, we stopped, exhausted and desperate for water. Then, we kept running again. We would once again stop. A desire to push forward drove us beyond our limit to charge on again.
There was no sign nor sound of the police behind us.
What felt like at least an hour later, our path was lined by trees.
I stumbled over to one and collapsed against the trunk and slid down it, hitting the ground. My eyes closed as I breathed hard. The desire to sleep was taking over my body with ease. Even getting a bite to eat didn’t sound like a bad idea. But, above all, I was truly desperate for some water! I could hear gasping for air at least several feet away. After a while of swallowing my own saliva and feeling like I had gained some sort of energy back, I looked to June.
She was on her knees, staring at the ground, looking as if she was considering whether to drop to the ground right there or not.
“Couldn’t we have just explained to them?” I said, panting and taking a swallow.
June looked back at me, but didn’t say anything.
“Did we have to run? Couldn’t we just-?” I started to continue.
“No…” she replied.
“But, why?” I demanded. “June, is there something you’re not telling me? Is there more to this?”
“Gary, please,” June started. “It’s nothing like that. It’s just…” She sighed. “I’ve never been good with goodbyes… When I accepted the Gym in Gringey City, I left Vermillion without a word to anyone. I didn’t even say goodbye to Lt. Surge. Ha, I didn’t even say anything to my… mommy and daddy.” Tears began to build up in her eyes and she looked down. Her voice was getting lower and weaker and cracked as she talked. “I left all my friends. I just grabbed my Pokemon, packed my bag, and ran. I can’t say goodbye... I’m not good with goodbyes… I… I…” She suddenly began to cry, covering her face quickly with her hands.
I didn’t understand why.
She cried even harder.
Even my own eyes started feeling like they could push out a few tears watching her cry so mournfully. I got to my feet and walked over to her, looking down uncertainly at her form for a moment before I got down to my own knees. “June. What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
This made her cry even harder. But, why?
It was none of my business to pry into June’s business, but I really wanted to help her.
“Hey, there, now why the tears there lil’ lady?” a voice asked from nowhere.
I looked up to see a heavy set man staring down at us sadly.
June stopped crying and also stared up at the man. She wiped her face. “I’m okay,” she whispered and forced a smile. “Who are you?” She managed to her feet and extended a hand to the stranger.
I stared at June for a moment as I stood up, myself.
“My name is Sinclair.” He took special care to shake hands gently and politely with June before shaking mine strongly but friendly. “I was just finishin’ a bit a Pokemon trainin’ with my Golduck when on my way back home I hear this pretty missy over here cryin’ her lil’ heart out and I decided to go and see what’s causing such a fret.” His southern accent was spoken pretty fast.
“We were just catching our breath,” I explained. “And I was discussing something private with my friend be-”
“Did you say a Golduck?” June asked, shoving me over roughly with her elbow.
“Ow! Hey!” I said angrily.
“Why, yes I did lil’ missy,” Sinclair responded. “Come on out now, ya hear?” He tossed his Poke Ball and out came a cool new Pokemon.
Golduck. The Duck Pokemon and the evolved form of Psyduck. Golduck are amongst the fastest Pokemon when it comes to speed due to their webbed hands and feet. No longer suffering from suppressed psychic abilities as a Psyduck, when its forehead shines, the full extent of its power is unleashed.
“Wow, a Golduck!” I put away my Pokedex.
Golduck nodded at me with a cry.
Sinclair smiled proudly. “You two youngin’s never did tell me yer names,” Sinclair chuckled.
“Oh, gosh, where are my manners?” June gasped. “My name is June.” She bowed politely.
“I’m Gary,” I nodded.
“June and Gary. A pleasure to meet ya. And what brings you out into this part of the world?”“Well, I’m traveling the Kanto region to collect the eight Pokemon Badges I need to enter to Pokemon League and compete in the yearly competition,” I said with a bit more energy than I had moments ago.
“I’m… traveling to… better understand Pokemon and how to raise them to be the best they can be,” June spoke feebly, eyes on the ground. She looked like she might even cry again.
“Trav’lin’ to become a Pokemon Master and learnin’ how to better raise and connect wit’ Pokemon,” Sinclair summed it up. “Well, I don’t know about all those fancy Badges and whatnot but I bet you can learn a ton if you come back with me to mah little village where we hold our own yearly competition.” He winked.
“A competition?” I asked, interested.
“That’s right,” Sinclair boasted with pride. “It’s our yearly Type One competition.”
“Type... One?” I repeated.
“That’s what I said, youngin’,” Sinclair beamed at me. “We have a competition where everybody brings one Pokemon only. Our village is small and not everybody raises Pokemon there, but we have seventeen competitors every year, each with a different type of Pokemon. Ya got it?”
June and I nodded quietly, listening closely.
“The competition ends with the final two surviving Pokemon types battling and the winner is the Type One Champion!” Sinclair finished.
“Hey, that sounds pretty cool! I wanna get in on this!”
“Well, youngin’, the competition is usually for the members of the village… butcha seem to have the spunk and drive, and I like ya. So I’ll do my best to get ya in. Now, whenever more than one of the villagers attempts to bring in the same type of Pokemon, they battle it out, and the winner gets to compete in the actual competition.”
“Okay. So when does it start?”“In two days,” Sinclair declared.
“Two days?” I said with disappointment.
“Yes indeed, youngin’,” Sinclair said calmly.
“Aww! But I have to get to Celadon City to go for another Gym Badge! I can’t waste time with this.”Sinclair’s smile faded. “Now you listen here, youngin’, we may not be all fancy and sophisticated like you folk with your Gyms and your cities and your little Badges, but we darn sure well know how tah raise our Pokemon and we perform miracles in our little village with the way we battle. We may not be high brow like how you’re used to battlin’, but with that kind of attitude, why, you won’t make it through the first round with a Vileplume battlin’ a Goldeen!”
I swallowed nervously. “I’m sorry, sir. I meant no offense. I’ll gladly accept your kind offer and compete in this Type One competition if you’ll allow me, sir.”
Sinclair softened up swiftly, smiling again. “Quite alright, youngin’. I guess I sure do love where I’m from and what we stand for.” He looked up into the sky. There was nothing in the sky when I looked up, and Sinclair soon returned his gaze to me. He then turned to June. “So, you two looking to enter?”“Yeah!” I insisted.
“Umm…” June stammered. “I really think I’ll just watch.”“Huh?” I turned to her.
“Watch?” Sinclair asked.
“Yeah… I really think I would rather learn just a bit more before actually engaging in a battle like this,” June stated.
“But, Miss June,” Sinclair started. “Don’t you think it’d be best to learn through actual battlin’ experience? You say you want to get better acquainted with your Pokemon, right? How can yah do that if you’re not participatin’ in one of the greatest ways Pokemon and humans communicate with each other? Through battling experience!”
“Yeah, June. Come on! You wanna get better? Then you have to get in the game. You have to take on challengers. If you truly want to learn how to be a better raiser of Pokemon, then you have to make moves. Not sit back and watch.”“I appreciate your advice Sinclair and Gary, but I really am not ready.” June closed her eyes with discomfort. She had that sad look on her face again, so I didn’t press any further.
I turned to Sinclair. “Well, I want to compete in the Type One competition! Is there a prize?”Sinclair laughed, but I automatically felt bad hearing it. His laugh didn’t sound genuine. It seemed force. Like I had said something not to his liking but he was taking it in good spirits. “Of course not, youngin’.” His face went serious, confirming my fear that sped my heartbeat. “Now, I dunno about you fancy folk, but it isn’t always about some fancy prize over on this side a town. We battle for the sport an’ love an’ experience we gain from Pokemon battles. The connection we get with our Pokemon. That means a lot more, and is a far greater prize, than anything you can get from some fancy pants medal or some such thing. At least to us.”“I agree, sir!” I insisted eagerly, trying hard to reconcile any offense I had caused. “I’m ready to learn! I really want to be a part of this!”
Sinclair warmed up again. “Well then, youngin’, let’s get you registered. And Miss June, you are more than welcome to watch.”
June smiled appreciatively.
After Sinclair recalled his Golduck into its Poke Ball, we both followed Sinclair as he led the way through the trees that seemed to have no real path.
I was grateful as we got lost in the trees. I wasn’t fully convinced we had lost the police entirely. But a straightforward path revealed itself before long, which returned my concerns.
A long walk later, me about to cave in and pass out from the exhaustion of today and June looking as wiped out, Sinclair finally stopped.
At the sight of the village, I straightened up quickly. Wooden houses lined the outskirts of the village, which were surrounded by woods and the beautiful aura of a natural, peaceful, and serene feel. A few people were around waving and calling out to Sinclair, and even waving at me and June, and we all waved back. There were more built structures further into the village, out of sight. But the true eye catcher was the large waterfall! The magnificent sight was gigantic and visible even from afar. The setting sun’s light shining through was creating a marvelous rainbow.
June, also marveling at the waterfall, suddenly lightly bumped into me. Her arm stayed against mine.
I casually moved away from her a couple of feet.
She looked at me in surprise before smiling. “Sorry. An accident.”
I nodded without looking back. “I know. It’s fine.”“Sinclair, how’s the Golduck?” a voice asked.
I turned to see a skinny young man smiling at Sinclair, having the same accent that must be common in this village, approach us.
“Troy! How are ya?” Sinclair greeted him. “Golduck is just great! How is the Starmie?”“Quite well,” Troy said with obvious pride. He turned to me and June. “Who are the children?”
“This is Gary and June,” Sinclair introduced us.
“Hi!” me and June said in unison.
“Well, howdy!” Troy said happily, shaking our hands with earnest, shaking me with his left hand and June with his right.
“These two… Well… Gary… will be competing in the Type One competition,” Sinclair nodded.
Troy opened his eyes wide. “But, Sinclair…”“I know, I know. But I think it could help them on their journey if they competed and saw how things go down in such a difficult but seemingly simple arena as ours,” Sinclair explained. “Just this once. Let it slide. Can ya please?”Troy sighed. “Only cause it’s you, Sinclair,” Troy said with a sly grin. “You’re lucky I’m the one who runs this competition. Though I’m not so sure how the others will take it.”
“Ahh, they’ll get over it,” Sinclair waved nonchalantly.
“Well, the competition begins in just two days. Hows about we get this young man registered?”
As June and I were led through the village, everyone we met greeted us and shook all of our hands. It took longer than it should have to reach the small building we finally got to as we slowly made our way through.
Troy signed me up for the competition once we got inside, and after careful consideration, I decided my Pokemon would be Hoothoot. Since all the spots were taken already, I’d be challenging either the Trainer who was raising a Normal Type, or the Trainer who was using the Flying Type Pokemon, since Hoothoot was both types. I decided I’d take on the Flying Trainer. After that, the best news me and June had heard all day was spoken.
“Hows about a nice home cooked meal for you and your Pokemon?” Sinclair offered.
The answer was a loud and immediate “YES!” from us both.
We chowed down that afternoon on the most delicious cheeseburgers and potatoes I’d ever had. It almost didn’t taste like what it was supposed to! It was more like an entirely new, delectable set of food not entirely familiar to my taste buds. Sinclair was a wizard of a cook.
Me and June’s Pokemon ate together in a different room. I had taken a look inside before we had let our Pokemon out. The room was spacious and looked pretty fun. It had an area that resembled a playground with its handcrafted toys and swings and a slide, and a calmer section with several large pillows and low level beds of various sizes to go right to sleep on.
After I let my Pokemon out in that room, I ran straight back out to the food that was almost done being prepared, so I didn’t get to see June’s Pokemon.
There was a lot of commotion in the area where our Pokemon were at. It sounded like everyone was having fun in there. And it sounded full, like there were a lot of beings in there.
June must have a lot more Pokemon than I thought, I assumed.
That night, me and June slept on opposite ends of the guest room Sinclair had.
I was in bed, thinking about everything that had occurred on my journey so far. But something in particular was on my mind. “June?”
She turned in her bed to look at me, smiling. “Hey.”
There was silence for a minute before I took a deep breath. “I’m sorry.”
“For?” She looked blankly at me, her smile having faded.
I hesitated, holding my breath before I managed to speak again. “…Electrode.”
She continued to stare, not speaking.
“I didn’t intend on that happening. In all of the commotion that happened afterwards, I never got the chance to properly apologize. So, I’m taking the time now to say, I am truly sorry, June.”
June didn’t take her eyes off of me for a moment. She then turned her back to me. “That’s the risk of raising a Pokemon like that. Sometimes they just… pop. It’s not your fault...”
She didn’t say anything else after that.
And neither did I, turning to stare at the ceiling.
It wasn’t much longer before I heard a noise. A sniffing sound. Or perhaps… A sniffling sound. Coming from where June was laying.
Hoothoot flew back and forth in front of me. Faster. Faster. Getting better and looking stronger.
It was the afternoon and me and Hoothoot were doing some training for tomorrow’s competition.
I hadn’t seen June for long that morning. She decided to take a walk around the village.
I was happy she hadn’t decided to hang around with me or asked me to join her on her walk.
Hoothoot kept using Tackle through the air. It charged forward all of a sudden and with a great force of energy and speed, slammed into a nearby tree, rattling it slightly and causing a few fruits to drop out of it.
“Wow, what was that?” I wondered, raising my Pokedex.
Take Down. A far more powerful version of Tackle that results in the user sustaining recoil damage as well. Caution should be considered when using this move.
“Wow, Hoothoot! You learned Take Down!”
Hoothoot landed on the ground and hooted happily.
“Well, Hoothoot, tomorrow is the big day of the competition. You’ll be representing the Flying type Pokemon of the world!”
Hoothoot hooted again, flapping its wings and ascending into the air with delight before returning gently to the ground.
“We need to be in pristine shape. For now, let’s take a break and grab a little snack. But then, right back to work.” I smiled determinedly at Hoothoot.
Hoothoot nodded back eagerly.
“Ladies and gentleman! Welcome to Mellow Village’s own annual Type One Pokemon competition!”
The small crowd cheered excitedly.
It was the next day. The day! The competition was ready to start. It took place outdoors in a simple clearing. The small audience of perhaps thirty people sat in wooden chairs.
Troy, who was the announcer, sat behind a visibly handmade wooden desk with a microphone.
Next to him, to my surprise, was June, also with a microphone. She hadn’t told me she’d be sitting with the announcer of the competition.
She looked extremely nervous and happy at the same time.
I was standing with a crowd of other competitors. We didn’t even get chairs! I was kind of surprised they had any kind of competition like this at such a small location. They certainly were trying to make it something, but it just felt so… uncomfortable. Awkward. I guess I’m spoiled by my fancy buildings and electronics, I considered, taking a good look at everyone.
If this was the entire village here today, there couldn’t be much more than maybe sixty people! The crowd spectating were only slightly bigger than the competitors!
“This year will be a little different than the others,” Troy continued. “This year, we have allowed a newcomer to this competition. Please welcome, from Pallet Town, Gary!“
Everyone stood up and applauded, to my surprise. Including the competitors.
I waved slightly at everyone and nodded at those around me, giving a big smile as my back was patted hard and my hands were shook. Troy and Sinclair made it seem like this wouldn’t be a welcome change, I thought. But everyone seems quite accepting, to me.
“Also joining us is a good friend to Gary. As the first ever co-announcer of the Type One competition, please welcome, from Vermillion City, previous Gym Leader of Gringey City, the sweet, the kind, the exceptionally beautiful, June!”
The audience got even louder for her. I could’ve sworn I even heard a few whistles.
Her face was ridiculously red as she smiled and waved at everyone and then quickly looked down at the microphone before her.
Why is she co-announcer? I wondered. That was nice of them, but why didn’t she tell me?
I had hardly even seen June at all yesterday. She didn’t join us for dinner, which came off as rude in my eyes, and I was sure to Sinclair, too, and even when I went to bed, she never came home. When I woke up this morning, Sinclair said June had come home and eaten breakfast earlier and had left just moments ago. I started feeling like she was avoiding me. But, why would she do that?
“Now, in this year’s competition, we have a Type Two preliminary battle in the Flying type division! This will take place between Gary and Mellow Village’s own, Victor!”
I looked at the sixteen other competitors around me and spotted a muscular kid stepping forward.
His eyes met mine and he smirked, extending hand out to me. He couldn’t have been younger than seventeen!
I grabbed his hand and we gave each a strong handshake. Or maybe mine was nothing to him, but his sure was powerful. I tried my best to match it. As we took our places, I shook off the minor pain in my hand.
I caught June’s eye and waved at her.
She stared back at me for a minute before looking away.
“I choose Pidgeotto!” Victor shouted, sending out his Pokemon.
I turned back to the Trainer in front in me. “Ah… cool. A Pidgeotto…” I said, taking out my Pokedex.
Pidgeotto. The Bird Pokemon. The evolved form of Pidgey. This diligent hunter can spot prey from miles above in the air. It is very territorial and while fairly peaceful, can become a threat once disturbed or threatened.
“Hoothoot! Go!” I threw Hoothoot’s Poke Ball.
Hoothoot stared down Pidgeotto angrily as Pidgeotto stared back easily.
“So, June, any predictions about this match?” Troy asked. “Being as you’re such good friends with Gary, how do you think he’ll do here today?”
The crowd gave a little “ooooooh.”
I glared at the crowd.
June stared back at me for a moment, sternly. Almost like how she looked when we battled back when she was the Gym Leader in Gringey City. “Gary can’t win.”
“Huh?” I gasped.
The crowd laughed a bit at what she said.
“Oooooooo! That’s a mighty tough statement for you to make about your friend,” Troy responded with a chuckle.
June shook her head and stared at me, seemingly surprised. “Um… I only meant… he can’t win unless he truly brings out the best in his Pokemon…” June said in a low voice.
I squinted in confusion at June. She sure was acting weird.
“Ah, okay! I think I get it now,” Troy laughed. “Well, let the battle begin!”
“Quick Attack!” Victor ordered.
Pidgeotto flew at Hoothoot with remarkable speed and Hoothoot was hit.
It flapped its wings and cried out strongly, seeming to be just fine.
“Uproar, now!” I commanded and covered my ears, though it didn’t help.
Hoothoot opened its beak and started making a most horridly loud noise, blowing Pidgeotto over and knocking it to the ground. But it didn’t end there. The Uproar, which caused everyone to cover their ears, reached the microphones and became amplified! The sound was earsplitting and everyone’s screams, including my own, for Hoothoot to stop attacking, wasn’t making any of this any more bearable!
Uproar lasted for only a moment longer, but it was a moment too much for everyone.
Once it finally stopped, Pidgeotto was long defeated, knocked out on the ground.
There was silence for a while. Well, not really. My ears, and probably the ears of everyone else, were ringing.
“PIDGEOTTO IS UNABLE TO BATTLE! HOOTHOOT IS THE WINNER!” Troy screamed unnecessarily into his microphone since he was unable to hear well, unaware of how loud he actually was, causing everyone to press their hands to their ears again and cry out.
June just glared at me angrily, holding her ears.
“GARY WILL PROCEED TO THE OFFICIAL TYPE ONE BATTLE COMPETITION!” Troy continued. “THE OFFICIAL TYPE ONE BATTLE COMPETITION OFFICIALLY BEGINS NOW!”
The competition was as simple as the town it was held in and the people who lived in it. Some of the rounds were surprising, like when the Normal type Furret beat a Rock type, Nosepass, with only a couple of hits. Or an Electric Type Plusle taking out a Ground type Onix in a surprisingly close match, which June went crazy over and even ran up to the Plusle to hug and congratulate it. But other wins were obvious, like a Fire type Ponyta beating a Bug type Caterpie.
I began wondering how these Trainers who live in such a small village managed to find some of the Pokemon they owned.
My second round to participate in finally arrived, and it was a Fighting type Pokemon, so I had the advantage. In fact, the poor Mankey didn’t even get a chance to attack back. Hoothoot just pecked it while Mankey tried swatting my Pokemon way, and Mankey eventually collapsed. It was too easy.
Either way, win or lose, the people of this village were extremely happy and shook hands without the slightest look of dismay in their faces.
It was down to the final four competitors. A Budew managed to beat the Ponyta with the help of Stun Spore, soon after evolving into Roselia, and my win was against a Gloom who managed to handle several Peck attacks but finally fell to Hoothoot’s Take Down.
The final match had arrived. It was me and Hoothoot versus Michael and his Roselia.
One thing I had learned from watching all of these competitions was: Type didn’t matter. This was nothing new, but some of these wins were nothing short of incredible. Sinclair was right. The Trainers here were good. If you let your guard down and didn’t give it your all, you were surely in for a swift defeat. I could tell many of the Trainers here were confident because they had a type advantage. Those very Trainers were some of the quickest to get knocked out.
“We are now down to the final match!” Troy announced. As the competition had continued on since Hoothoot’s amplified Uproar, Troy’s voice began to slowly but surely simmer down to normal again. “Newcomer Gary from Pallet Town has truly earned his position this far into the competition! But so has Michael! Since type does NOT matter in this competition, this winner is truly anyone’s guess!”
“I agree,” June said. She had gotten a lot better at being a more proactive announcer as the competition proceeded and had tons to say and great commentary and even had some funny jokes on occasion. But she always seemed more quiet during my battles. Now, she was just staring at me sternly again, like she did at the beginning.
Troy seemed to be waiting for her to say something. When she didn’t, he said, “And now, may the final battle in the Type One competition battle begin!”
“Hypnosis!” I demanded.
Hoothoot shot out circular rays at Roselia, who just stood there calmly.
“Move!” Michael instructed.
Roselia jumped at the last second and was high above Hoothoot.
“Leech Seed!” Michael continued.
Roselia leaned its head towards Hoothoot and a seed shot out, landing on Hoothoot.
Before it could react, the seed split open and vines spread out, wrapping themselves around Hoothoot, draining the energy from it.
Hoothoot dropped to the ground, hooting loudly.
“Hoothoot, get up and fight!” I screamed.
Hoothoot stood up and tried Hypnosis again.
“What??” Michael uttered in surprised. “Dodge and use Grasswhistle!”
Roselia leaped out of the way of Hypnosis and used one of the petals from a beautiful rose on its hand to blow on. A light song began to flow out from the leaf.
“Hoothoot, you dodge too!” I was trying to keep even myself awake from the Grasswhistle attack that caused such a peaceful melody to my ears.
Hoothoot was immobilized by the Leech Seed, slowly draining out the rest of its health, and it fell asleep immediately.
“Toxic!” Michael added.
Roselia spun around in midair and a spray of dark purple liquid shot out and hit my sleeping Hoothoot.
Hoothoot immediately got a dark purple flush of color in its face and started squirming in pain, still sleeping. My Pokemon was badly Poisoned.
Roselia spun even faster and a flurry of leaves shot out and hit Hoothoot.
Hoothoot was knocked up through the air and the flurry of leaves continued, slamming into my Pokemon until it collapsed again. Its eyes opened on impact with the ground in shock and it let out a piercing yell. It wasn’t as bad as Uproar, but it was more than just a pained cry from taking an attack.
I could instantly tell that something was wrong.
“SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH HIM!” June stood up with the microphone in her hand.
I ran to my Hoothoot. “Hoothoot!” I picked him up.
Hoothoot screamed and squirmed in my arms, his eyes closed tight, his left wing flapping frantically.
I struggled not to drop him and keep him in my hold. That was when I noticed his right wing.
Something was wrong with it. It kept flinching and looked funny.
June ran right up to me. “Oh, no! It’s his wing! His wing is broken!” June cried.
“We need a Pokemon Center!” June shouted out desperately.
Hoothoot whimpered in my arms, his body breathing hard as he struggled not to move too much.
“Now, now there, lil’ missy. Don’t you fret,” a familiar voice said.
I turned to see Sinclair walking over from where the crowd was watching, everyone standing up.
“We don’t have any fancy Pokemon Centers in this village, but we do have someone who can very well take care of that and just about any Pokemon injury you can think of,” Sinclair assured June. He carefully took Hoothoot from me and cradled it, my Pokemon whining, his eyes still shut tightly. He began to walk through the village and June and I followed him.
Everyone was quiet, all eyes on the three of us as we made our way through the crowd and out of the clearing.
Sinclair led the way to a building that was very quaint and looked sort of familiar. He turned to me and smiled. “We don’t have any fancy Pokemon Centers in this village, but we do have someone who can very well take care of that and just about any Pokemon injury you can think of,” Sinclair repeated. He winked. “And that person is me. Now, you two take a rest and your Hoothoot will be just fine in a jiffy.” He took my Hoothoot through a back door and closed it.
Me and June stared at each other in silence.
“June…” I tried.
She walked away to one of the many chairs in the room and sat down in one closest to a window and stared out it, looking somber.
My eyes swept over the building, and it suddenly hit me what this building looked similar to, intentional, coincidental, or otherwise.
A Pokemon Center.
“I’d say another two weeks and your Hoothoot will be just fine,” Sinclair said to me.
Hoothoot looked up at me from the table Sinclair wheeled out, looking like a cheap mini stretcher. Hoothoot hooted at me happily, his right wing in a white cast.
Sinclair had taken about an hour working on Hoothoot, which I guess wasn’t too bad of time, but the wait was terrible.
I was just about ready to go back there and see what was going on.
Sinclair just so happened to open the door as I was standing there, contemplating whether or not to open them.
The hard hit knocked me onto my back. While my nose still hurt and felt a bit larger than usual, I was fine.
“Thank you, Sinclair.” Worry was on my face. Sinclair did a fine job, I guess, but I wanted my Hoothoot checked out again as soon as we reached a real Pokemon Center.
He had told us that Hoothoot’s wing wasn’t broken, but it was sprained, which, as bad as that was, it was better than it being broken. “No problem there, youngin’. You know, you really did well in that competition. It may sound a bit funny, but… I’m proud of you, boy.”
“Thank you, sir,” I replied. “Thank you very much. I appreciate that.”
“Your Hoothoot is a real fighter.” He pet Hoothoot’s head.
Hoothoot seemed to enjoy the petting, nuzzling his head against Sinclair’s hand.
“Hey, Sinclair! Why weren’t you in the competition?” I realized. “Weren’t you raising Golduck for this very thing?”
Sinclair laughed heartedly, startling me, Hoothoot, and June. “Oh, no. Not at all!’” Sinclair laughed even more. “I was jus’ raising mah Golduck. We competed back in the day when we were younger. But not nowadays. Not that we’re old or anything, but we do enjoy taking it easier these days. Getting closer connected. You know, ha ha.”
“Oh, I understand.”
“Well, it’s getting late, you two.” Sinclair glanced out the window at the evening sky. “How about we get you two to my house and I fix us up one last delicious dinner?”
There were no arguments there.
“June?” I asked that night, laying in my bed. I was really full from the baked chicken and home fries that Sinclair cooked for us. I was so full I barely even felt like talking. But I had to speak to her.
She didn’t say anything.
“Are you mad at me?” I asked anyway. “About Electrode? You’ve been treating me very differently. Looking at me oddly. I feel like… things are getting uncomfortable between us. Do you want to stop traveling together?”
Just as I was about to speak again, she finally said, “I accept your apology, Gary. Now let’s just forget about it and never bring it up again. Okay?”
“Okay,” I agreed hesitantly, dissatisfied with this solution but trying to accept that I wasn’t going to get any further. Not tonight, at least.
I had almost fallen asleep.
“I promised you I wouldn’t stay for long, right?” June spoke.
I stayed silent.
“If you want me to go, I will. I’ll leave right now, even.”
“No, June. It’s not that.”
“It took you a pretty long time to say that,” she said coldly, a hurt tone evident in her voice.
I was getting angry, now. I had answered right back. Trying to empathize, I took a deep breath. “June, if you want to stay with me on my journey, you’re welcome to,” I said calmly. “As of right now, I see no issue with it. So please, if it’s what you want, I encourage you to stay. If you want to go, that’s okay, too. You can do whatever you want.”
A long moment of silence arrived.
“Will you tell me if you have a problem with me?” June asked.
I paused. “Will you tell me if you have a problem with me?” I asked.
“Deal,” she finally said.
For some reason, I smiled to myself. I could’ve sworn I heard her giggle a little before I finally fell asleep.
“Well, thank you for spending a couple of days here in our humble little village.” Sinclair shook my hand, then June’s. “And make sure you check that Hoothoot out at a proper Pokemon Center, ya hear? I know our simple ways aren’ all that technical, so you go check it out in one of your fancy shmanshy little Pokemon buildin’s, alright, now?”
I laughed and waved away his comment as if I didn’t take it seriously and wasn’t even considering going to a real Pokemon Center to have my Hoothoot looked over.
It was the late morning and June and I were on our way out of Mellow Village, continuing our journey to Celadon City.
The entire village had come by to say goodbye to us. Troy even kissed June’s hand in his farewell and thanked her for being such a great co-announcer.
June blushed at the kiss.
Sinclair had walked us out of the woods and we were now on the main path where we had escaped from the police.
“Sinclair, thank you for everything,” I told him. “I gained a lot of experience from that competition and I truly understand a lot more about Pokemon than I did before I got here.”“I’m glad, Gary.” Sinclair showed his teeth with pride. “If everyone gains that kind of wisdom that you have gained from this competition, Gary, then there are no losers. Only winners.”
“And thank you, too, Sinclair,” June added. “I really was mesmerized by every battle I saw there. Incredible! I really appreciated the opportunity Troy gave me to be a co-announcer. I had fun! ”“Maybe next year, you both will come on down and you can join in, Miss June!” Sinclair offered.
June laughed. “I’ll keep you posted on that one.”
“Oh, Miss June, you better join in,” Sinclair insisted kindly.
June merely grinned back, glowing under the sun.
“Well, you two youngins’ keep each other safe an’ good luck on your journey!”
“Thanks! You take care, too, Sinclair!” I said.
“Bye, Sinclair!” June waved.
June and I left, enjoying the sunshine and making our way to our future destination.
“Were you mad when Troy kissed my hand?” June asked, smirking.
I stared at her for a mere second.
She was looking back at me, blushing.
I turned away immediately. “No!” I snapped. “What kind of stupid question is that?”“Are you sure? Because you seemed to be glaring for just a second when he did it and when I turned to look at you, you looked away.”“You’re out of your mind, June!” I growled. “Get over it. That didn’t happen.”“Don’t be mean, Gary,” June teased.
“June, stop it.”“Come on, Gary,” she said, giving me a light push.
“Come on, what?”
I scowled at her. “Remember that discussion we had last night about having problems with each other...?”
Me and June.
Officially traveling together.
On our way to Celadon City.
Afterwards, wherever else my next Badges lay.
Me and June.
Officially traveling together.
For as long as we could stand each other.