Day flips to night, which in turn, flips to another day. The wind rushes through the city on an unusually cloudy day. Just two days ago the city was enjoying the sun and warm weather.
Safe inside the Police Station, April doesn’t have to worry about it. The door opens to the Pokemon Police Training room. It’s like being outside without any weather or heat from the sun. The ceiling and walls are decorated with light blue sky, soft, puffy white clouds, and shades of green and brown trees. Most of the floor is covered in thick grass, leaving a quarter of the room for a small pond and sandy dirt as part of a beach. Fans and special artificial lamps substitute the wind and sunlight. The room is large enough to fill almost the entirety of the second floor, which is about the size of a standard house. Next door is the battling room, but she has no reason to go in there.
Another Pokemon is taken off the list: Ralts. This leaves 15 Pokemon in her care for just more than two weeks left before the month is up. If enough are left, maybe she can ask for two Pokemon.
The red and white halved Pokeball sticks to her glove. She’s never held one before the other day, or even imagined ever throwing one out. Afraid to do so, she simply presses the buttons to open them up. After a quick introduction and letting them eat breakfast, the Pokemon scamper around the room, stretching their unused muscles.
After exploring the room, each Pokemon settles into their new surroundings. The stronger Pokemon, Lickilicky, Feraligatr, and Tangrowth each do some training and exercises with one another. Kricketune and Venomoth take a nap near one of the sun lights. Dunsparce finds the sand and digs itself a hole to hide in. Wartortle splashes in the pond, swimming and enjoying the water on its skin. Plusle, Croconaw, and Makuhita stick together in the middle of the room, as if they knew each other previously. Buneary, Spinda, Roselia, Oddish, and Linoone hang around the female human, wanting to play, be pet, or grab some much needed human companionship.
She picks up Oddish, smiling back and its blue face. “Aren’t you just the cutest thing ever!” It cheers back, happy to receive attention. “And you too, Roselia! So sweet!” The other Pokemon bark at her cheerfully. “Oh, all right. You’re all just so cute. Come here.”
“Spin... da spin.” The confused bear Pokemon points to her. Then it points to the Pokeballs on the cart next to the door.
“Huh? Oh. Do you mean your Trainer, right? We’re looking for them right now. Hopefully, we can find them for you. Won’t that be wonderful?” Her checks hurt from forcing such a fake smile. In truth, she doesn’t want them found. She hopes that she can keep them with her for as long as possible.
As days pass by, her experience with these Pokemon changes her attitude. She laughs more often and hasn’t felt such pleasure in so long. So much so that she hasn’t had any nightmares, nor has had to resort to perfume sprays throughout the day. All these Pokemon, not just the Oddish she so desires, are keeping her spirits up. Even through the sadness that a Pokemon eventually will be taken back, she remains hopeful for herself and keeps a positive attitude around them. And she hasn’t needed her glasses to hide her face as she usually did at the station, showing the world how pretty she really is.
She sits down and watches the room change before her eyes. At her side, Buneary twists its ears and fades away. Croconaw, Plusle and Makuhita, apparently all owned by the same Trainer, leave a vacant spot in the middle. A flying Venomoth disappears, as if disappearing into the fake clouds painted on the ceiling. Lickilicky throws a punch, which fades away as it hits into the other sparing Pokemon. But her eyes remain ever awake and filled with joy.
But, on this particular day, her heart takes a shot from behind, leaving her vulnerable and weak. When she checks the computer first thing in the morning, a sorrowful tear drops onto the keyboard. Quickly, she throws the chair back and rushes into the Pokemon Storage room, only to confirm with her eyes that it isn’t a lie. Roselia had been picked up last night. Her heart falls like a heavy weight, upset at the loss of the rose Pokemon. However, her mind convinces her heart to smile, and be pleased that she still has Oddish in her care.
Day by day, one by one, the room capacity increased as Pokemon are taken back. Tangrowth, Wartortle, then Feraligatr... gone.
As sad as it could have been, she tries her hardest to keep her happy spirit. With only a week to go, she still has 5 Pokemon in her care. Oddish. Oh how she loved that Pokemon. With these few remaining, she’s really become close with the Pokemon, except for Dunsparce, whom remained in the corner day in and day out, dug in its hole in the sand. With the loss of Roselia, she can focus her attention and care on Oddish the most.
Oddish rubs its leaves in her face, tickling her nose. She laughs, throwing a quick sneeze, then laughs again. She picks up the grass Pokemon, clicks the day lights off and flips on the moon light. Glow in the dark spots of paint on the ceiling reflect fake star light around the dark room. Kricketune, familiar with the night atmosphere, begins to rub its legs together in violin fashion. April grabs the blue weed Pokemon like a person, twirling around the room in a midnight dance. Oddish shakes its feet, trying to dance in the air. It glows warmly, sending emanating waves around its partners’ body, signaling that it enjoyed her company and entertainment.
Spinda points to Kricketune, wanting to dance. But the bug shrugs its shoulders, denying, continuing to create leg rubbing noise. He’s disliked all the attention Oddish received the past couple weeks and can only wait until the day its name is called. Linoone cuts in the middle of the two Pokemon, accepting the gesture. The two encircle each other in a difficult dance between a Pokemon with two feet, and a Pokemon with two left feet. Not all effort is gone to waste, when April gives a hearty laugh at their expense.
The lights flip back on. An officer stands at the doorway, ready to take another Pokemon. He calls the name, with what seemed like special effects slow motion. Her heart drops, shattering upon impact on the bladed grass. Her arms, instinctively withdraw to her body, holding Oddish tightly.
“Oddish’s Trainer has been found. I- I have to take him.”
She wants to refuse. This can’t be happening. No. Oddish is her Pokemon. She hugs it tightly; dropping tears onto its green leaves.
“Sorry April, we have to do this. Don't make this harder on yourself.” He grabs the Pokeball at the door, holding it out. “Oddish, return.”
“No, wait...” But as she pleads, the weight in her arms vanishes away, like so many of the Pokemon before. Her knees drop to the floor, letting her loose arms dangle in defeat. She holds her head low, hiding her face with her sandy blonde hair.
The officer can only stare in remorse, knowing that he can’t do anything about what she’s going through. He looks away, stepping out.
April looks back up. The other three Pokemon stand around her, curious and worried, trying to comfort her. She wipes her face in a mixture of anger and sadness, quickly rushing to the door, only to collapse at the door frame. “Pleaseee!!!. Wahannn... Don’t take it away from me. Oddish is everything... nngggg... annnn...” Having suppressed her despair for such a duration, an emotional flashback triggers, that leaves her feeling alone...
The little girls’ hands are bandaged with pieces of clothing, to stop the bleeding and to make sure the message heals correctly. Through the torture, her screams reach the heavens, and yet, not even the angels can save her now. For the depths of hell have surely risen over her soul.
The burly man drops her across the room, next to the window. Her hands shake without feeling, numbly trying to move each finger to raise herself off the floor. But all her effort and strength is gone, without a light to brighten her up. She wants to sleep, to escape reality for the dream world; where gummy bears and lollipops live in harmony on Candy Street. But she can only stare at your disfigured hands and cry through the pain.
The mothers’ rope is cut loose from the bed, so that the two men can move her into perfect position. She struggles, trying to wave her tied hands at them, but the two men easily overpower her with brute strength. Her nose snorts, expelling built up oxygen she intended to use to escape.
A voice calls out, stressed in disarray, followed by a door closing. It’s faint, but close by. The little girls' heart picks up speed, pumping blood in a rush of adrenaline. Someone did come... someone did come to save her. Her hands continue to shake as blood passes through her entire body. That voice, it is very familiar. Another shout, this time louder. Her eyes blink rapidly, trying to regain focus. A name. The person called her name. Yes, it’s as clear as the sunlight.
The two men exchange arguments, preparing for the inevitable entry.
Light flickers under the closed door, trying to break in and light the room; to clear the shadows and give hope to a dismal situation. A panicked voice shouts again, calling two names. Closer. And closer. Until the door pops open. Light curls around the front of the room, signaling a safe haven within reach.
The man at the door shouts, “Karen!.....April!... Oh my god!...”
“DADDY!!!” The little girl shrieks in tearful reunion, using all her built up energy to run toward the light.
The slender guy strikes the father, locking the two into a body holding fight. He slams her dad into the door, twisting around and slamming him into another dresser with a mirror over the back. Her dad coughs, turning back with a right hook to his jaw. The slender man counters with his own hook, but her dad ducks, throwing the intruders momentum into the mirror. Glass shatters into his face, forcing the first deep voiced scream the house received tonight.
Her body steps out of the shadows, into the lit hallway. She turns to watch from the doorway.
But within those shadows, she sees those fierce eyes and smirky grin planning something devious. It isn't a knife this time, but a gun, gleaming with sin in the darkness. *BANG* For a moment, her body freezes in fear. Her protector, the one that would always be there for her in a moment of danger, collapses to the floor with one shot. Her mothers' scream shrieks loud enough to break the duct tape surrounding her mouth.
“AHHHWWW! JON!! April, run!” She claws her way across the bed, escaping the burly man’s grip, and jumping on the slender man’s back, pummeling his head. He faints backward, still blinded by the glass shards in his face. The mother collapses next to her husband, picking up his head and holding her hand.
“Go...” she says with regret, wishing that she could do more.
Reluctant at first, the little girl scampers down the steps, down the hall, turns the knob, and runs. *BANG*
She ran, as far as her little legs could take her. 10 years later, she’s still running.
The days move by slowly, without a purpose. She sits in the Pokemon Training room, devoid of all meaning. Life is being cruel to her and she hates it. No amount of perfume can escape this reality. What more is there to do in life if every thing is taken away from her? Kricketune jumps for joy when his name is called. Spinda, as well, is great to be back with its Trainer. Linoone, the last close Pokemon to her, vanishes from her sight. All that remains, is a lone, weak Dunsparce. On the last day, she sits near the sand pit, where the normal Pokemon always hid under the sand.
“I guess you and I are a lot a like. Loners, destined to be secluded from society. But I guess it’s our own fault that we hide from the world. They don’t understand us. They don’t care about us. I don’t know who your Trainer was, but maybe he doesn’t want you back. Nobody wants to be around me either.” She covers her head with her arms in a duck-and-cover position, feeling guilty about her behavior. "I’m sorry I never paid any attention to you. I guess sometimes I get so caught up in my own world that I forget other people have feelings too. That they have their own problems in life to deal with. Here you are, alone and afraid, waiting for your Trainer to find you. And what do I do to comfort that... leave you here. Alone... just like everyone does to me when I....” She stops herself from finishing the sentence to prevent another flashback.
Dunsparces' wings pop out of the ground, fluttering to lift its oval, tan body up. It snuggles next to her legs.
A sniffle crosses her nose. Not from a sad memory, but from the moment right now. “Thanks.”
It’s been a month since the Tan Gang incident occurred. 96 Pokemon have found their homes. Only 1 remains.
Today, April sits across the desk from Commander Nickels. Her duty as Pokemon Caretaker is over, and she never wants that position again. The pain of having to take care of Pokemon only to have them leave became too much for her. And she is due for a performance review. The first thing he mentions, is the job well done she did in taking care of the Pokemon, but she doesn't respond to it.
Nickels carefully looks over some other papers. “Hmmm. I was going through your investigational report about the assignment I gave you a few weeks ago, but you haven’t completed it. Did you ever find anything out about that Trainer, Junior Detective?”
She gasps, having completely forgotten that task she was given. Quickly, the knowledge flows back to her mind, remembering her interviews at the Pokemon Center and the Gym. “Oh, right. I’d like to deploy to Mahogany Town to investigate further.”
“Mahogany Town?” The commander nearly chokes. He wonders what kind of investigating she conducted that would lead to such a conclusion, when all other leads went to dead ends. “Are you sure about that?”
“Absolutely. When can I go?”
“Now, hold on a minute. We can’t simply send you on your own. I’ll issue an escort...”
“No.” She boldly states. “I have to do this on my own.”
He strokes his mustache, pondering her capabilities. “You’ll need someone to go with you. I can’t just send you alone as a Junior Detective at your age. I can lend you some Pokemon from our staff for your trip.”
“Sir, if it’s okay to speak frankly.” She receives the nod. “I need my own Pokemon for this journey. This is something we have to accomplish together.”
“Yes. I know what the procedures are for recovered Pokemon that remain more than a month here, but I don’t know anyone more deserving than myself. Please Commander Nickels, I need this.”
Original Post: July 2009 at PE2K vBulletin