A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Fear & Anger Part 2 Of 2

Charmander stared at me quietly amongst the grass of the nighttime forest.

Mankey growled louder and more ferociously by the second.

I couldn’t hear Weedle eating its food and I didn’t dare turn to see what it was doing. My eyes were on Charmander. It wasn’t long before my eyebrows furrowed and my teeth began to tighten so hard my jaw hurt soon after. “YOU!” I bellowed in the dark forest. I almost didn’t care that I may awaken a swarm of Beedrill. My fists clenched tighter as Charmander took a step back.

It almost looked like it had fear in its eyes.

Mankey screeched loudly and jumped up and down. He then charged forward and took a swing at Charmander, who took the hit and fell back into the grass.

I wanted Mankey to kick that Charmander’s butt and leave it for dead like it did to us. I wanted to stomp its tail flame out myself and turn my back on it like it did to us. I was beyond furious. And so hurt. I took a step towards Charmander as Mankey ran forward. He grabbed Charmander and lifted it to its feet, then clawed at it with a Fury Swipes attack.

Charmander didn’t fight back. It hit the ground hard again, landing on its shoulder, and with a pained groan, it stood back up. Its head lowered and it uttered a feeble, “Charmander.”

Mankey growled again and kicked at Charmander’s feet.

Charmander was swept down, where it stayed still with its face in the dirt.

Mankey leapt high in the air and started to come down with his foot aimed at Charmander.

I moved fast to reach out and wrapped my arms around his body tightly. “Wait,” I growled, my eyes on the motionless lizard. “That’s enough. Just stop for a moment.”

Mankey looked at me in shock.

I stared back at him before setting him down in front of me, and I stepped over and knelt down to Charmander. My hands extended to roughly grip the Fire type by the shoulders to pick it up and set it firmly on its feet. I felt sick to my stomach looking, let alone touching, this terrible Pokemon.

This coward. This traitor.

My hands tightened around its shoulders harder until Charmander started to whine from the pain. I stopped squeezing and instead, shoved it right back down.

Charmander collapsed.

Standing up and resisting the urge to pull back my foot and deliver what it deserved, I angrily yelled at it, “Why are you back? You’re not my Pokemon anymore! Go away!”Mankey screeched and I could hear him jumping angrily behind me.

Charmander looked up, and to my surprise, its eyes were filled with tears. It couldn’t speak English of course, so I had no idea what it was saying, but as it repeated its name to me, I listened anyway.

Mankey also grew silent as Charmander spoke.

There was no noise in the forest. Only the name of Charmander being cried out. This went on for what seemed could have been twenty or so minutes, but I listened to it. I stood right there and heard it out. Finally, Charmander got quiet and didn’t say anything more. It just looked right into my eyes, then down to the ground, and back up to me. It sighed and shakily stood up, put a claw to its chest that fell right away, and said something once more. Charmander then turned around and walked off into the woods.

“Hey!” I ran forward and grabbed it by the skin of the back of its neck. “You’re not gonna just walk off after the crap you put us through! I don’t even know what you just said to us!” My hand was starting to tighten again in anger and Charmander cried as my fingers dug harder and tugged.

I ignored it and turned to Mankey. “You understood what it said, right?”

Mankey nodded, and he didn’t look happy. Mankey began saying his name repeatedly and rapidly, pointing at Charmander, jumping up and down angrily. Then it charged forward and hit Charmander from behind with a Karate Chop.

Charmander flew right out of my hold and tumbled into a tree. It stayed still.

It took me a moment to get over the satisfied feeling in my chest before I could even desire to slowly walk over to Charmander.

Charmander remained where it was knocked to.

“Come here, Mankey,” I ordered.

Mankey ran up to me.

I knelt down to my Pokemon with a firm stare. “Can you try and explain what Charmander said?” I asked. I wasn’t sure how Mankey was going to do it, but maybe somehow, I could get the gist of what was going on.

Mankey started grunting and hopping in place.

I squinted at him and tried to understand.

Mankey reached over and took his Poke Ball from my waist and pointed at it. Then he pointed at himself a couple times. Mankey then threw the Poke Ball on the ground angrily and started storming around in circles with an angry frown on his face. My Pokemon then laid down on the ground and closed his eyes. He immediately stood up and started angrily stomping on the ground where he had just laid.

“Um...” I thought for a moment. “The attack you suffered. It was because the Mankey were mad you were captured by me?”

Mankey hopped up and down with more light, satisfied grunts.

I got it! I congratulated myself, keeping away a smile. “How come? Were you a good friend of theirs? Why attack you?”

Mankey frowned and pointed at the Poke Ball and shook his head repeatedly.

“Do they not like this kind of Poke Ball?” I picked up the Poke Ball and stared at it. I knew there were a great variety of different kinds of Poke Balls in the world. Was that attack all because they didn’t like the classic red and white kind?

Mankey continued grunting and saying his name and hopping up and down angrily.

I felt like we weren’t making much progress. I watched Mankey helplessly for a while, trying to figure out what I could do to better understand it. A way to better understand Pokemon… Suddenly, an idea hit me! My Pokedex!

Mankey. The Pig Monkey Pokemon. A Pokemon who is quick to anger and extremely hostile. They often attack in groups and when really enraged, may even attack each other.

“Hmm, I wasn’t looking for a Pokedex entry,” I mumbled to myself. “But they may attack each other when angry. Did that have something to do with it?”

My Pokedex went off again.

Wild Pokemon tend to be jealous of human trained Pokemon and may even attack them for little reason.

Ah... Now I understand, I nodded. Obviously. I knew that.

Mankey jumped up and down excitedly, pointing at my Pokedex, agreeing with what it said.

“So, why you and I were attacked is clear,” I muttered. “But…” I turned to Charmander.

It was still laying by the tree. It hadn’t moved. Its tail was still burning brightly, raised off the ground, away from the grass.

“…why is this thing back with us?” I pointed my Pokedex at Charmander. “Why is Charmander back here? Interpret what it says,” I commanded the device.

Charmander stirred and looked at me in confusion. “Char? Mander?”

I cannot interpret Pokemon language.

I sighed.

“Then we may never know what’s going on,” I said, slipping the Pokedex back into my jeans. “And who cares, anyway?” I stood up and took a stomp at Charmander, causing it to straighten up some. “You deserted us and left us for dead, so who cares why you’re here? You ought to ashamed of yourself! How dare you come back here! Get out of here you ungrateful coward!”

Charmander lowered its head and I saw tears fall from its eyes. It turned away and slowly trudged back into the woods.

Mankey slowly walked closer to me. He growled at Charmander, and then, he called out to it!

Charmander stopped walking. It turned to look back at Mankey.

Mankey looked to me. He started screeching and saying his name again. He pointed at Charmander, and then made an action as if he were looking for something. Mankey turned to me and pointed to himself. He pointed to Charmander again, looked around, and then pointed to himself. He kept on with this set of actions again. Again. Again. Again.

I watched this bizarre scene for a little while.

Charmander. Looking. Mankey.

Had Charmander been looking for Mankey? When? For what? This had something to do with what happened back at Route 1. I sat on the ground and watched Mankey some more. “Charmander was looking for you?” I finally asked Mankey.

Mankey shook his head and then continued looking around again. He pointed back to Charmander. Then again to himself. Charmander. Mankey. Looking.

“Wait! The Mankey!” I exclaimed. “The pack that attacked us! They were looking for you, Mankey!” Things were becoming a bit clearer. I remembered when the group of raging Mankey had surrounded me and Charmander. Charmander had a brief conversation with the Mankey, pointed to me, and then left.

“Charmander... pointed out where you were! He told the other Mankey where you were and then left!”

Mankey jumped happily. He then stopped and gave me a thumbs up sign before walking off into the woods and disappearing. He came back and did the same thing again. He gave me a thumbs and walked away.

I watched this curiously. Was this more of the story? This sure was difficult to figure out. The only one who walked out of the forest just fine was Charmander. “Charmander left us…” I said slowly. “To die…”

Mankey shook his head strongly. He gave me a really emphasized, strong thumbs up sign, saying his name sharply with it, and walked away again.

“No, he left to go get help?” I asked.

Mankey shook his head again and continued his thumbs up walk away motion.

“He… left us…” I started. “Left us… okay. Left us… thinking everything would be okay…?”

Mankey jumped for joy. Then stopped and frowned at Charmander, crossing his arms.

I turned to Charmander angrily, too. “So, you told the Mankey where their friend was, then ran off?” I accused.

Mankey growled angrily by my side.

Charmander tried backing up but was already leaning on a tree.

It cowered as I jumped to my feet, finally knowing what had happened to Mankey and I back on Route 1. “What was this? A big freaking joke to you? You just leave us and thought everything was gonna be okay? You didn’t even look back or anything?? We were nearly killed!!” It took all the strength in me to not kick this puny lizard right in the stomach. I nearly did it. My foot flinched a little, but I held back from doing it. I don’t know why though. This little slug deserved it! “And where did you go when I was carrying Mankey out of there toward Viridian City? Huh? We saw you right there when we left Route 1 and you walked away again! What was that for??”Charmander lowered its head even further, practically burying its head in the dirt.

“Were you too ashamed for your stupid prank??” I screamed. “Couldn’t show your cowardly, chicken face to me at that point? The joke wasn’t funny anymore, right? What? Did you watch us get pummeled into the dirt then realize you went too far?!”Charmander, now in tears, shook its head hard. It pointed to the sky and said its name a few times.

Mankey turned to me and pointed up. He wrapped his arms around his body as if it were cold and hid under a huge leaf near the tree Charmander was against, looking up at the sky.

Hmm, this one seemed a bit easier. “Rain?”

Mankey jumped happily again.

I leered at Charmander. “So you ran away because it was raining?”

Charmander nodded, not taking its eyes away from me.

“It wasn’t bad enough you left us to get killed, but you ran away from a little water?? You should be submerged for what you did!”Charmander stood up and held out its hands to me and shook its head.

It was pleading with me, but I didn’t understand what it was saying and I didn’t care. I was livid. “It didn’t rain until after the attack,” I remembered. “So you had a good while to watch before it started raining! Had a good laugh, huh?” I stepped towards Charmander, ready to wring the little thing’s neck.

Charmander had nowhere to back up and just pressed harder against the tree trunk. It shook its head again and kept on pleading. It closed its eyes and shook its head determinedly.

I really wanted to understand it. I really wanted to know that I was angry for the right reasons. “No?”

Charmander opened its eyes and looked up at me.

“You didn’t have a good laugh? You just ran? Like a coward?”

Charmander shook its head again.

“You ran… before the attack?”

Charmander nodded its head, hope showing in its widening eyes.

I turned to Mankey, who was watching me, and then looked back to Charmander. “The rain. Did you notice it before it became too heavy? Before the attack? And… you ran away for safety?” I asked Charmander, giving it a chance.

Charmander actually smiled at me. The first time I ever saw it do such a thing when it wasn’t beating up innocent, weaker Pokemon in the woods of Route 1.

“You saw us afterwards and couldn’t even show your face,” I told it. “You left when we saw you because you knew your joke had gone too far. You were ashamed and couldn’t bare to face us.”

Charmander lowered its head and nodded. “Char. Charmander.”

“YOU IDIOT!”

Charmander closed its eyes tight.

Now I knew what had happened. Now I knew my next actions would be justified. “How dare you!!” I couldn’t control myself. I grabbed it by the shoulders and lifted it up, shaking the little red lizard. “You nearly killed us both and your slimy hide would’ve been safe!!”

Charmander didn’t fight against me. Tears just rolled down its face, silently.

“I should take your stupid, selfish, fiery hide to a waterfall and drop you in it, you know that?!” I raged, still shaking it as it flapped in my hands like a ragdoll. “You deserve to be thrown in a pit full of rabid Growlithe! You ungrateful, pitiful excuse-!”

The next noise was instantly recognized.

A buzz.

I dropped Charmander with a gasp and turned.

It hit the ground and looked for the noise, still in tears and shaken up over the yelling and shaking.

Mankey was looking about with us.

“Guys,” I whispered. “We’re not alone.”

One, two, six Beedrill zipped through the treetops towards us!

“RUUUUUUUN!!!!” I started running, but stopped.

Charmander and Mankey ran right into me, knocking me over.

I got up and the Beedrill, now three times as many as before, charged at me from above.

Charmander leaped up and sent out an Ember attack, keeping some of the bees at bay.

But there were too many. Even more swarmed in.

Charmander kept the flames coming at them, though. An Ember attack here, and another one there.

“Charmander, be careful!” I warned. “Don’t burn the forest down!”

I really hated this forest. I wanted nothing more than to be out of it. I was, however, grateful that Charmander was with me this time. It suddenly hit me what had caused me to stop running in the first place. “Weedle!” I called.

“Weeeeedlllllle!” I heard just above my head. I looked up to see Weedle… falling out of the tree!

I ran forward and caught the bug and immediately dropped it to the ground, shivering from the grotesque feel of the Bug I just held. At least I broke its fall, I reasoned weakly to myself. “Sorry about that, man. You okay...?”

Weedle had a sad look on its face as it stared up at me, but it nodded its head.

“Hey,” I said to it, smiling.

It cocked its head.

“We’re in this together, okay? Give me some time. We can easily work this out. I want to, okay?”

Weedle still looked sad but put on a brave face and nodded.

I returned Weedle to its Poke ball just as I heard Charmander cry out.

The flaming Pokemon rolled to a stop near my sneakers, breathing heavily.

“Charmander!” I gasped.

Mankey was swinging away at the bees, but he wasn’t doing much to stop them. His Fighting type moves aren’t strong to Bug type Pokemon nor Poison type Pokemon. Beedrill are both Poison and Bug types, so it was twice as ineffective as it would’ve been if they were only one of the two types. Mankey kept the fight up nonetheless, but he already looked beaten.

But there were just too many Beedrill. They had us widely outnumbered and I had no other Pokemon to use that could help us out.

Mankey fought as hard as he could until he was exhausted and hit the ground, heaving.

“Mankey, Charmander, return!” I ordered. I tried to recall them both back to their Poke Balls where they would be safe. Even that pitiful Charmander. After all, it was trying to fight for us now. I was surprised I still had its Poke Ball with me.

Mankey went back in, too tired to resist.

Charmander on the other hand, refused to go back in. It jumped away from the red light and shook its head at me angrily.

“Charmander, get back here!” I tried to return it again, but it refused to be sent back.

“Charmander!” it cried out to me.

Suddenly, one of the Beedrill stuck out its end stinger and started jabbing it at Charmander. Charmander turned at the very last second, just in time to dodge Beedrill’s attack.

Beedrill continued to jab at Charmander.

Charmander kept trying to dodge and was doing good for a while. That was until it tripped over something on the ground.

Mankey’s food bowl.

Charmander hit the ground and Beedrill flew forward to get Charmander.

NOOOOOOOO!!!” I roared. I wouldn’t allow this. My scream grabbed the Beedrill’s attention as I charged at it. My foot was in front of me before I even considered using it to attack, and I knocked Charmander’s attacker away. I swung at another Beedrill with my fist. It dodged and came at my head with one of its forearm stingers. I swiftly ducked the attack and pushed the giant Bug back with my palms. It was disgusting to touch but I shook it off and swung at every Beedrill in my way.

Another Beedrill appeared right in front of my face and pulled back its arm to jab at my face.

I gritted my teeth and pulled my fist back to counter it, knowing there was no way I’d survive this. But I had to fight!

In an instant, Charmander leaped in front of me, between both of us. I froze and watched as Charmander took Beedrill’s stinger to the side of the face!

“CHARMANDER!!!” I screamed.

Charmander flew back into me, taking me down. It was gasping for air, its face bruised and flushed purple. It was Poisoned.

“Oh, no,” I whispered. “Charmander!”

“Char…” Charmander managed to say feebly.

The Beedrill continued to buzz around my head. The horrible, ugly noise. So sickening. So creepy. I hated it!!

YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!” I shrieked. There seemed to be nothing else I could do.

The Beedrill above all flew at us at once, prepared to finish us off.

“CHAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!” Charmander suddenly struggled out of my arms and the first thing I noticed was its tail. The flame was incredible! It was brighter now that it was Poisoned than I had ever seen it when it was healthy! Its entire body had a slight red glow to it, too. Charmander also looked furious. It jumped high and started sending out startlingly intense, red hot flames. The Beedrill all backed up at once, and some even fled the area!

“What is this…?” I wondered out loud, trembling.

Charmander’s Blaze Ability. When a Pokemon with Blaze ability is low in health, the power of its Fire moves increases greatly.

“No freaking way,” I said in awe.

A few brave Beedrill charged at Charmander from behind and attacked it with the Twineedle attack, jabbing at Charmander repeatedly with their forearm stingers.

After a few seconds, Charmander fell over in pain, then turned around ferociously, fire in its eyes, and let out a flame unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life.

I rolled out the way just in time but felt the intense heat above me.

The Beedrill were blackened and hit the ground. Charmander flew at the Beedrill and the Beedrill saw it coming. They got up and flew as far and fast as their wings would carry them, the remaining Beedrill leaving with them.

I stared at Charmander in shock.

Charmander had that proud look on its face again. Then, Charmander collapsed.

“Charmander!” I ran forward and picked up the beaten creature. “It’s okay, now. Thank you. Thank you so much.” I walked it over to my bag and laid it down very gently next to it.

The glow around Charmander’s body was gone, and the flame on its tail was nothing more impressive than a tiny, flickering candle. Charmander was in serious trouble.

In my bag was where I soon found the Antidote. Just the item to heal a Poisoning. With a couple sprays from the bottle, the purple flush in Charmander’s face went away instantly and Charmander looked better.

Its eyes opened and looked up at me, a weak smile held on its face momentarily.

“Rest, Charmander.”I reached in the bag again and pulled out a Potion. “This should help, too.” I sprayed the Potion on Charmander’s wounds.

Charmander winced a bit from the spray, but soon it sat back up, looking stronger and smiling. “Charmander!”

I smiled back. “Charmander.” I hugged it tightly, which surprised the Fire Pokemon.

“Char...” It hugged me back, causing me to hug it even tighter. “Thank you, Charmander. Thank you, Charmander.”

After a few minutes, Charmander pulled back and looked at me, tears in its eyes.

I wiped them from its face. I wasn’t aware I was crying a little until Charmander reached up and wiped the tears from my eyes, too. “Charmander,” I whispered. “Thank you. You… saved my life this time.”

This made Charmander cry even more. It grabbed at my shirt and shoved its face against it.

My hand rubbed its back as warm tears slid down my cheeks. “Huh?”

A Hoothoot interrupted the emotional moment by hopping into the clearing. “Hey, look, Charmander,” I whispered. “A Hoothoot.”

Charmander turned around, wiping its eyes.

I pulled out my Pokedex.

Hoothoot. The Owl Pokemon. It appears to only have one foot, however, it does have two. It stands on one and switches between them faster than the human eye can trace.

“Wow!”

Charmander leaped forward toward Hoothoot.

“Charmander, don’t!”

Charmander turned back to me with a smile.

I grinned back. I guessed it was going to listen to me now. “Charmander, Ember attack!” I tried.

Charmander let loose with some normal sized flames, no longer powered up by the rage of the last match.

Hoothoot dodged easily and charged at Charmander, knocking it over.

Charmander got up and Hoothoot tackled it over again. Charmander got up more angrily this time.

“Now get him with the Scratch attack!”

Charmander swung with its claws at Hoothoot, but the owl flew away. My Pokemon sent an Ember attack right behind the bird and caught it.

Hoothoot screamed out and came down from the air.

Charmander was waiting and swung at it hard with a Scratch attack.

Hoothoot flew right back up into the air, eyes closed in pain.

“Nice fight, Hoothoot, but you’re mine, now.” I pulled out a Poke Ball. “Go! Poke Ball!” I tossed it at Hoothoot, but Hoothoot came to and batted away the ball with a wing before dive bombing Charmander!

Charmander was hit before it knew it and flew back, rolling on the ground. My Charmander recovered quickly and got back up to charge at Hoothoot, but Hoothoot was ready.

It countered with a different move. Hoothoot’s eyes glowed red.

Hypnosis attack. This attack gives the user to ability to control the opponent, often used to put the foe to Sleep or cause hallucinations.

“Oh, no! Charmander, snap out of it! Use Ember!” I demanded.

Hoothoot gave a hoot and Charmander turned around and used Ember at me!

“AAAHH!!” I dodged the attack!

I no longer had control over my Charmander. Hoothoot had it under Hypnosis.

I’d never encountered this move before. I’d only ever seen it and read about it. This was amazing. “Return, Charmander!” As I returned my Charmander back to its Poke Ball, I wondered who else I could use.

There was no other choice. A Bug type like Weedle would easily be destroyed by a Flying type like Hoothoot. But, Flying types also have the advantage against Fighting types like Mankey.

I wouldn’t give up that easily.

“Mankey, go!” I tossed his Poke ball and out came my Mankey. “Use the Karate Chop, now!”Mankey still looked in rough shape from the fight against the Beedrill, but he flew forward like it was nothing for him and attacked with Karate Chop.

Hoothoot was tossed back from the blow.

“Leer! Now!”

As Hoothoot got up and tried to attack, Mankey was already ready and caught it in a Leer attack, causing Hoothoot to be stunned and in shock.

“Karate Chop, Mankey! Finish it!”

Mankey hit Hoothoot with another Karate Chop and Hoothoot lay on the ground, stunned.

“Poke Ball, go!”

The Poke Ball hit Hoothoot and in seconds, it was inside.

Mankey’s legs wobbled weakly as we watched the Poke Ball shake repeatedly on the ground.

Shake. Shake. Shake.

Pop!

The Poke Ball opened and Hoothoot was out again!

“What??” I couldn’t believe it! I had weakened it, but it was still healthy enough to get away!

Hoothoot glared at Mankey and before either of us knew it, it was using Hypnosis again.

Mankey was in a trance for a while before finally hitting the ground and falling asleep.

Hoothoot then began furiously pecking at Mankey with its beak.

“Mankey, return!” I recalled back Mankey, but what did I have left? Charmander may not be focused enough to battle. And then there was Weedle… No way. “Charmander, one more time!”

Charmander came out and shook its head, looking fine. “Char!” it growled at Hoothoot.

“Focus and use Ember!”

Hoothoot made a move, but Charmander was faster. My Fire type seared the owl Pokemon immediately and Hoothoot crashed down.

“Now. Poke Ball, GO!” I tossed the Poke Ball really hard and watched Hoothoot go in.

The ball shook.

Shake. Shake.

Pop!

Hoothoot came out again!

“HEY! What’s going on here?!” Now I was MAD!

Hoothoot made an attempt to escape by flying into the air. It eyes closed and it let out a weak cry and began to drop. The bird’s eyes opened with a shake of its head and it tried again, starting to gain some height.

“Charmander, return! Mankey, climb that tree and stop Hoothoot!”

Mankey came flying out of his Poke Ball and… hit the ground, continuing to sleep!

I forgot it had been put to sleep… “Grrr! Mankey, return! Go ahead again, Charmander!”

As Charmander came out, Hoothoot was getting much higher in the air.

I couldn’t let it get away. I tossed my Poke Ball as high up as I could.

The Poke Ball just barely reached Hoothoot before gravity took its toll, and it started to come back down to me!

My heart was next to drop.

But, so did Hoothoot!

The Poke Ball was falling and Hoothoot was falling down, too! Hoothoot hit the Poke Ball and went inside!

I watched in shock as the ball, still falling, shook once.

Twice.

Three times.

It landed in my waiting hands as it made its ping! noise, and I knew I had captured Hoothoot!

“YES!! We did it!” I shouted in disbelief.

I dropped to my butt. I was officially exhausted.

I woke up without even know I had fallen asleep. Right in the dirt. No sleeping bag or anything. Gross.

Charmander was curled up right next to me, which made me smile.

The sun shone brightly through the trees.

I stared tiredly at my surroundings, taking in the silence and this new life of mine. And then I remembered where I was.

Viridian Forest.

I’d had enough and I wanted out. Grabbing the food and bowls and stuffing everything in my bag, Charmander woke up.

“Chaaaaar...?” Charmander yawned.

I hung my bag over my shoulder. “Morning, buddy.” It struck me how strange it was to be speaking pleasantly to Charmander. I was sure I’d get over it soon. “What do you say we get on out of here?”

Charmander stood up with a stretch and groan and then walked up to me brightly. “Charmander!”

“Oh, wait. You know, you should say hello to everybody, first! Come on out, Weedle! Mankey!”

Their Poke Balls were both thrown upward and they flew out.

“Oh, and of course, Hoothoot!”

Hoothoot was sent out last.

Everyone had a nice stretch before looking first at me, and then to everyone else.

“Weedle, Hoothoot, let me properly introduce you to my first ever Pokemon, Charmander! Charmander, Mankey, Weedle, meet the newest member of the team, Hoothoot! Hoothoot, meet the team!”

Everyone happily greeted one another.

“Everybody,” I said, kneeling down to them all. “I’m glad you all are a part of my team right now. This is my dream, to be a Pokemon Master. But I can only accomplish it with you all. If you’re all willing to share in this dream, we can...” I paused, thinking about my words. I actually wasn’t sure what else to say! It always looked so good on TV and in movies, but actually coming up with motivational things on the spot, especially for a kid, wasn’t as smooth and cool as I thought.

My Pokemon stared at me curiously, Mankey seeming confused.

I laughed a little and let out my breath. “Look, this is going to be the time of our lives. We’re going to go further in life than we’ve ever dreamed and see more things than we can even keep track of, ha! We’ll see the entire world and get to meet even more friends to travel with us as we battle and beat every Pokemon Trainer out there. And we’ll do it by getting stronger, everyday. I’m willing to train and raise you all along the way. I just ask that you bare with me as I learn what I need to be the best for you all. Does this sound okay?”

All the Pokemon cheered support.

“Weedle,” I started.

“Wee.” Weedle seemed to know what I was going to say next. I could see it in its eyes. It knew this was about us.

“Please remember to try and tolerate me for the time being. Are you okay with that? Can you handle my phobia for now and give me time?”

Weedle stared at me for a moment, and then nodded happily.

I beamed gratefully. “Thank you, Weedle! I promise, I’ll make this up to you. One day.” I got up, visually taking in the little team I had. “Okay, troop! We’re on our way to Pewter City! Let’s go!”

I took a step forward and then stopped, causing the Pokemon behind me to walk into me, which made me stumble forward. “Sorry, guys… I forgot we were lost not long ago and we never did find the way out.” I sighed.

Hoothoot suddenly flew high into the skies. It looked down to me, hooting continuously.

“Do you know the way, Hoothoot?” I called up to it.

Hoothoot nodded and flew forward.

“Great! Come on, everyone!”

We all happily followed Hoothoot along the path.

It was such a nice, sunny day. Everything felt just right. It wasn’t too long before I saw the clearing!

“We’re here!” I said loudly and ran forward, the others following close behind me. “It’s Pewter Ci-!”

We were out of Viridian Forest. But it wasn’t Pewter City. Hoothoot took us straight back into Viridian City!

My palm hit strongly into my face and stayed there for a few seconds. I looked to Hoothoot and took a deep breath. “Um… my new friend, we need to get to the other exit if you don’t mind,” I stated calmly, though I was really agitated on the inside. I did NOT want to go BACK to Viridian Forest!

Hoothoot hooted happily and flew back in, and I hesitantly followed it, my Pokemon walking close by me. During our walk, we saw some Weedle and Kakuna, but thankfully not much else. I really just wanted out!

A Beedrill flew by at one point, but it wasn’t too interested in us and kept on.

A few Ledyba sat in the treetops, but as soon as I turned and they saw me, they flew in a group, high and away.

I considered sending Hoothoot after them, but it didn’t seem worth it. Not only do I hate Bugs, but I didn’t want to get off the path over some Ledyba who were getting further away by the second.

We took a break at some point to eat. I fed Charmander and Mankey the Pokemon food I had, let Hoothoot off to eat bugs from the area, and Weedle climbed up a tree and ate more leaves. Secretly, I was agitated that we had been traveling long enough to need to stop and eat. How much longer would we be in this damned place? When we all had finished our meal, I hurriedly packed the two bowls for my Pokemon, the bag of food, and insisted we keep going.

My Pokemon got going at my word, but they weren’t as eager to move as I was.

It wasn’t until the sun was getting low in the sky when I saw the clearing. “Hoothoot! Is this it?”

Hoothoot hooted at me in response.

I ran for the clearing desperately, dying to finally reach Pewter City. Just before reaching the exit to this dreaded forest, I saw three Metapod sitting by a tree trunk. Pulling out my Pokedex, I listened to it tell me about them.

Metapod. The Cocoon Pokemon. The evolved form of Caterpie. Caterpie has wrapped itself inside of a very thick and sturdy shell. Inside it is very fragile and soft and doesn’t move much as it prepares itself for its evolution.

I stared at it for a moment and so did my other Pokemon. With a shrug, I pulled out a Poke Ball and casually tossed it at one of the Metapod.

Shake. Shake. Shake.

Ping!

To my surprise, it worked! I had caught a Metapod! “Wow!” I laughed to myself. I walked over and picked up the Poke Ball. “Sorry about that,” I said to the other Metapod. “Your friend is in good hands with me, though. I promise.” I smiled and left the remaining Metapod, and soon after, I saw it.

Pewter City. We were finally here.

“We made it, everyone! Pewter City!”

Everyone was excited. We had made it.

Through everything.

Me. Charmander. Mankey. Weedle. Hoothoot. And, now, Metapod. Somehow, we had made it to Pewter City after all we had just gone through together.

Pewter City. The home of a Gym Leader. The place where I would get my first Badge.

I stared at my team of Pokemon, and then looked at the Poke Ball containing the newest member of the team.

Metapod.

Yeah. We were gonna get our first Badge here. No doubt about it.

I ran forward, my Pokemon following close behind me, smiles on everyone’s face.

For now.

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