View Full Version : Learning to Heal the Hurt

03-25-2004, 06:36 PM
This is my second ever fanfic that I started about a month ago. The first few chapters arent my best work but it gets better as it goes on. I have written 9 chapters so far. I'll post them 2 days apart. oh and you can give me feed back here and on the fanfiction feed back section. ANyway, enjoy!
Learning to Heal the Hurt

The soft, gentle sound of a pidgey came to my ears. I was sitting under the large cherry tree in my front yard with my eyes closed, enjoying the warm summers day. I knew it wasn’t a real pidgey that was making those melodious sounds. It was Reenie Amier, master of pokemon sounds, on her reed flute.

I sighed. I wished that I could make the sounds that Reenie could make on her flute. All I could get out of mine was a few squeaky shrieks and groans that sounded very much like an old rusty door opening and closing.

Reenie said that it takes a lot of practice to learn to make perfect pokemon sounds. I am not very patient and I hate practicing anything from my multiplication tables to piano, which my mother forces me to play. I’d rather instantly know how to do something than have to practice it.

I opened my dark-brown eyes and looked up into the leafy branches of the cherry tree laden with delicious, bright red fruit.

“Reenie!” I called accusingly up towards the tree branches where I could see a slim, 8 year old girl, my age, sitting in the branches. “I told you not too sneak up on me like that!” I didn’t like it when people gradually told you of their presence. I’d rather have the person come and let me know that they’re there.

“Sorry, couldn’t help it” said Reenie starting to climb down. She jumped lightly down to the ground her curly brown hair springing on her shoulders, her hazel eyes sparkling with mischief.

“So where’s Deri?” I asked questioning about my other friend.

“Oh, he’s about,” said Reenie unconcerned.

Just then I saw Deri Kemp’s dad’s beat up red bicycle pull up our driveway. Tall, black haired Deri was sitting astride it.

“Hey, Talia, Reenie!” he called stumbling off his too big bike. “How’s life?”

“Pretty good!” I answered. Just then my mother called the three of us in for a snack.

My life was very good. For the next five years it was good. Then only a few weeks after my 13th birthday every thing changed.

How did ya like it?

03-26-2004, 01:25 PM
Heres the first chapter. Enjoy!
Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 1: The Hurt

“No!” I shrieked running down the 3 front steps of our run down front porch. Hot tears of rage and sorrow were running down my face, blurring my vision.

“No!” I shrieked again spotting, through my blurred vision, the large cherry tree in my front yard that was inhabited by a large flock of Taillow.

“Get out!!” I screamed stumbling in my anger towards the tree. “Get out Taillow! Get out!” I picked up a large, smooth stone and launched it into the branches, startling the Taillow out of the tree.

“I hate you!!” I cried breaking down into sobs. “I hate all you pokemon! You killed my mother!” I fell onto my knees and cried softly while I started punching the ground, not caring about the pain my knuckles were receiving. My tears were dripping into the dry brown dirt, wetting it.

I cried for some time lingering in my anger and sorrow, trying to forget the past, to have my mother alive again. But she was gone and the pokemon had done it! I couldn’t forget that.

“Talia.” I heard a voice behind me say. I knew that voice. It belonged to one of the people I least wanted to see right now.

“Talia.” Reenie said again. “What’s the matter?” She asked sounding concerned.

“Nothing.” I said shortly sniffing and trying to wipe away my tears. I was ashamed to be caught crying like a baby. I just wanted to be left alone. But I didn’t want to grieve. I wanted my mother to be alive, not a cold corpse that was rotting away to nothing but bones in a grave.

“Talia, really. What is the matter?” Reenie asked again, sounding like she didn’t believe me.

“I told you! Nothing!” I shouted sounding louder and meaner than I had planned to.

Reenie looked at me, hurt, and started to walk away. Half of me wanted to call to her to come back, I didn’t want to be alone in my time of grief. The other part of me was saying that I didn’t need her and could do just fine on my own. I fought back the urge to call out to her and just stood still.

Then it was that the tears came. More earnestly and faster than before. I just sat there under the cherry tree and cried. I cried for my mother, and father too, whom had died before I was born. I cried for all the pain and suffering I had ever gone through (which wasn’t much considering how well I had lived). But most of all I cried with rage against ALL pokemon. Every pokemon, even those whom hadn’t been involved with the death of the only parent I had ever known.

It was then that I vowed, vowed to myself, that I would get even with pokemon for killing my mother. Revenge. I jumped up wiping the tears from my eyes determined and ready to do any thing to get even for my mothers death.

I ran into my house but was all of a sudden overwhelmed with a sudden remembrance of how it had happened. How pokemon had managed to send my mother to her grave.
* * * *
I had walked into my mother’s brightly colored room where she was lying sick and ailing on her king sized bed, when she had told me the story of how she had gotten into the state she was in.

“I was on a tour in a cave, as you already know,” she said, her voice week and raspy. “I was looking at an interesting limestone formation that was all pretty colors of pink, blue, orange, red, green and many others. I had been so engrossed in it that I accidentally got left behind. I couldn’t see where the guide was so, without thinking, I started wandering through the cave. As I was wandering through I became hopelessly lost and panicked. I started to run in my panic. I ran through the caves as fast as I could when I accidentally stumbled upon a small cavern. I ran straight into it with out thinking. When I got in I was so startled to find a large Weezing inside the cavern. I think that it was as startled as I was because it let off it’s poison gas. I knew that if I breathed it in I would die. I held my breath and started to run out, but my breath soon ran out. I breathed in the chocking gas and started to choke. I ran on and out of the cavern where I fainted. The next thing I knew I was in a hospital bed. Then, as you know, I got better and came home. But the poison had taken its toll and I wasn’t fully healed. I fell victim to it again. My daughter, Talia, I know that I am passing and I want you to stand strong, and not give up on life when I’m gone.”

“No, mom, no, you can’t die!” I whimpered.

“I’m sorry Talia, I don’t have a choice.” Said my mother sadly. “Tal, you be okay.”

It was then that I started to cry. I held my mother and cried my heart out. When I had finished crying she was gone. Then I started screaming from the horror of it.
* * * *

I couldn’t stand that memory so I just ran out of the house, knowing that I had to get out of here. I had to get out of this city, and the memories of my mother.

I tore wildly down the street not caring if anyone saw me. I ran passed large business buildings, food stands, parked cars, and people wearing many different colors.

I was deep in the middle of the city where I lived, Sandar City, when I turned a sharp corner and rammed into someone. I looked up into the face of Deri.

“Sorry!” I said hurriedly jumping back. Behind Deri was Reenie. When I saw her I immediately mumbled a quick apology for yelling at her.

“That’s okay,” said Reenie smiling.

“Where are you heading?” asked Deri.

“No where.” I mumbled quickly walking passed them. I was on a mission to find that weezing and get my revenge. No one was going to stop me. I ran on.
* * * *
“I think we’d better follow her, make sure she doesn’t hurt herself or anyone else.” Reenie said watching Talia disappear in the distance.

“Yah” said Deri looking into the horizon. “Let’s go.”

03-26-2004, 02:16 PM
This fic is developing into a great one! You are doing a great job on the plot and it makes me want to read more and more. Keep up the great work!

03-26-2004, 04:23 PM
Nice Fanfic!!

03-26-2004, 06:02 PM
New chapter! I know that I said that I'd post every two days but... since I already got replys Ill post the next chapter.
Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 2: Fire Red (part 1)

“Shoot! Stupid rotten plants!” I mumbled stumbling over some long brown grapevines suspended only inches from the ground; they looked like they wanted to trip people. After leaving Reenie and Deri I had run into the forest that was on the left side of Sandar City. The forest was dark, damp, and smelled like the compost pile I had in my back yard at home. It was also full of wild pokemon, which I absolutely hated.

Every pokemon I had come across I had yelled at or thrown a stick or rock at, every time scaring that pokemon off. I still hated pokemon. I was lucky that I hadn’t come across a houndoom or fearow, or any larger pokemon. I would have been attacked, hurt, or killed, especially if I threw a rock at them.

It was beginning to get dark and my stomach started to rumble, loudly. I was starting to hear the hooting sounds of hoot-hoot, and noctowl, and many other night pokemon.

I do have to say, I didn’t plan very well. I didn’t have any food, water, or any change of clothes. I was hungry and wanted, no, needed food soon, water too.

I looked around to see if there was anything to eat, berries or anything. I’d even eat roots if there was nothing else.

I groaned, there weren’t any berry plants as far as I could see. Anyway, even if I found some berries I wouldn’t know if they were poisonous or not, same with roots. So for the time being I’d have to comfort myself with nothing.

I stooped down, looking for a rock to suck on. I had heard that if you did that it would help keep you feeling hydrated.

I squatted on the muddy ground covered with rotting dead leaves. I pulled back some of the mucky leaves in order to find a small stone, when I spotted a small flash of brilliant red. I cleared more of the muddy leaves away and uncovered a small brilliant red stone. It was the color of red fire.

I picked it up, and when I did I was surprised to find that it felt like it was throbbing, like a heart beat. An unchangeable rhythm.

I wiped it off the best I could on my muddy shirt and put it in my mouth not really thinking or caring about that rhythm I had felt. As soon as I had put it in my mouth I cried out in pain. My mouth felt like it was on fire and my head whirled.

I immediately spit the stone out. It landed some distance away. The searing pain immediately stopped and I was fine again.

Now I was interested in that stone. It was weird, not like any stone I had ever seen. I scrambled down on my hands and knees, looking for the small red stone. I moved over to where I had thought it had fallen and started moving damp, wet, foul smelling leaves out of the way. I was getting very muddy and cold. Why was I even doing this? I didn’t care about some old rock! But it wasn’t just any rock, that I knew. Finally I thought I saw a faint glow of red coming from a few feet away. I pulled my wet, muddy body over there and started moving wet leaves away. Then I found it. It was glowing faintly through the leaves.

I slipped it into my pocket for safekeeping. This was a special stone. I moved on again, nursing my badly burned mouth. I didn’t look for another stone to suck on.

About a half an hour later I was still trudging through the dark, night forest, still hungry and thirsty, and a new addition, tired. Now if you’ve ever been tired, hungry, and thirsty you would know that it’s not the greatest thing to be, at least I wasn’t cold. I was miserable. My clothes were filthy after crawling around in the mud looking for the red rock. My dark brown hair was a wreck.

I walked a few more feet until I discovered that I was in a small clearing surrounded by fruit trees! There were lovely pear trees laden with the delicious golden fruit. Apple trees with shiny bright red apples. I looked over at the end of the grove and discovered that there was a cherry tree! It was just like the one at home! The bright red fruit looked so delicious, so inviting that I ran over to it.

I was running at top speed, but as I neared the tree I noticed something under it. It was too late to stop or change course. I plowed right into it, tripping over it and landing face first upon the muddy rotting leaves of the forest floor.

I spit the muddy leaves out of my mouth and got up, still spitting, trying to get the foul taste of mud and rotting leaves out of my mouth. I grunted and looked behind me to see what had tripped me.

There, sitting surprised under the tree, holding a berry was a small pokemon. I felt anger start to burn up inside me, I was mad at it for tripping me, for stuffing its face while I starved, and for just existing.

I reached into my pocket for the fire red stone, so I could throw it at the small teddy bear like pokemon. When it touched my hand I yelped in surprise. The red stone was burning hot, just like my anger was. I gritted my teeth and bent down to pick up another stone to use.

I picked out a large round pebble and launched it at the small pokemon. My stone hit its mark.

“Teddi! Teddiursa!” It cried in pain as tears started running down its teddy bear face.

“Hah!” I smirked, “Can’t even take a rock hitting it without crying. What a baby!”

After gathering some fruit from the trees I started to walk away from the crying Teddiursa. I reached my hand into my pocket and felt the fire red stone, as I now called it. It was cool enough to touch but still warm. What made it warm up? My body couldn’t have done it. I wasn’t that warm! I pulled the stone out of my pocket and had my first good look at it. It was still throbbing and it glowed faintly, illuminating my face in a soft red glow. It was a ruby red color, sometimes if I looked hard enough I thought that I saw what looked like a small fire burning inside it. It was small, round, and smooth, quite a pretty site, and a great find. I put it back in my pocket and started to move on once more.

“Grrrrour!” came a deep guttural sound from behind me.

I turned around to find myself standing in front of a large terrifying pokemon. It was about twice my size in height and weight. I was terrified.

Behind it I saw the small form of the teddiursa looking at me angrily with a large bump on its head. I didn’t like the look of that. I must have run into teddiursa’s parent, and it didn’t look like they were here to have a friendly conversation either.

I reached into my pocket and felt the fire red stone. It was bone cold, colder than any ice I had ever felt.

03-27-2004, 08:12 PM
It might take a while to get the next chapter up because I accidentally deleted my word file with it in it. Luckily I have it on other sites so I will be able toi get it back.

03-31-2004, 09:24 PM
I have gotten my chapters back! ANy way here is the next chapter.

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 2: Fire Red (Part 2)

I stared terrified at the large bear like creature in front of me. Its teeth were bared and its face was twisted with anger and rage. I had hurt its child, the teddiursa, and it wanted revenge.

Then it struck me. An idea, not the bear. This large bear, which was definitely and ursaring, was like me. I was out for revenge on pokemon for killing my mother, the ursaring wanted revenge on me for hurting its cub. I knew what it felt like. There was still no way I could console this angry parent from attacking.

I stood in front of it immobile with terror as it started to move towards me, ready to strike, claws extended. The hairs on the back of my neck were rising. I was getting goose bumps from my terror.

All of a sudden I felt the burning intensity of the Fire Red stone in my pocket. But wait, it wasn’t hot. The stone was freezing. It was so cold that it was going through my pocket and numbing my thigh.

I was jolted out of my immobile state from the intense cold of it. I started running. I ran as fast as I could, bolting passed large pine, maple, birch, and oak trees, and thick undergrowth. All this was a blur to my eyes as I was moving swiftly through the trees. I was dodging thick brown vines, and jumping over large tangles of roots.

I could hear the loud growls of the ursaring right behind me. I could hear the crash of its large clawed feet on the muddy forest floor. I could almost feel its hot breath on my neck. It was coming.

I was breaking out into a cold sweat, I was getting tired and my legs were beginning to feel like a wobbly tower of jello (like the ones my mom would make at home). I was wheezing, my breath had run out, it was coming in short labored gasps. But I had to keep moving or else I’d be… no, I didn’t want to think about it. I had to keep moving.

The ursaring was catching up to me, I just knew it! I could hear it coming closer and closer, closing in on me. The Fire Red stone was freezing, at a temperature somewhere between –50 degrees and –10 degrees Fahrenheit. It was getting heavier and heavier in my pocket, weighing me down.

Then I made the grave mistake of looking behind me at the ursaring. As I thought it was quite close behind me.

All of a sudden my feet flew from under me and I crashed head first into a rock hard tree trunk. My head exploded with a sudden pain and headache from crashing into the tree. I was literally seeing stars and my head was raging in a loud thumping sound. A large bump was rising on my sweaty forehead. I felt like I needed to throw up.

Then I looked up. The ursaring was quite near now. My mind was again filled instantly with terror. My head was filled with horrible visions of what it would do to me when it caught me. It would probably rip me up into shreds and then eat me. I just hoped it wouldn’t be too painful.

I stared at the oncoming ursaring with a terror so great that I couldn’t move. I opened my mouth to yell for help but nothing came out. My mouth was dry with terror, and I was breaking out into a sweat again. There had to be some way out. I couldn’t just die here!

I looked around frantically for a way out. I tried to stand up but my right foot was caught in a mess of thick vines and roots. I started tugging and pulling at my foot willing it too come out of the knot.

The ursaring was on top of me now and I cringed in terror expecting to feel sharp claws ripping and tearing at my flesh. Nothing happened.

The Fire Red stone was burning in my pocket, this time not with cold but with an intensely burning fire. I opened my terrified eyes to find myself surrounded in an orb of fire red light.

The light surrounded me at about a foot on each side. I felt quite warm, safe, and comfortable, aside from my trapped foot.

I stared around me amazed. The ursaring was standing outside of the ring of red light dumbfounded. It scratched its large shaggy head and stared at me inside the orb of light. Then it turned and started walking away into the tree-covered forest, its large padded brown paws tramping on the soft ground.

I breathed one long sigh of relief. I was glad that was over. I waited in that position until the red light had receded and the Fire Red stone had stopped burning in my pocket.

Then I realized how tired I was. After all that running, especially in the middle of the night, I was exhausted. After shifting my position a few times trying to make myself comfortable, my foot still trapped in the roots, I closed my heavy eyelids and immediately plunged into darkness.

* * * *
It was burning hot. My skin felt like it was on fire. Steam was rising around me in wisps, like smoke. I could see that I was on a small ledge sticking far out over a large deep pit. Searing heat was radiating from it, and a bright red glow was coming from it.

I started creeping carefully towards the pit trying to see what was making that red glow. I reached the edge of the ledge and peered cautiously over. I stared at it horrified at what I saw. The pit was full of red-hot lava. I backed quickly away from the edge until my back hit the steep rock cliff behind me. I looked up the large cliff. It was tall and sheer, no way that I could climb up it. I was trapped.

I looked frantically around me for a way out but there was none that I could see.

All of a sudden the ground beneath me started shaking, an earthquake. The end of the ledge started dropping away making the small space that I had even smaller. My mind was reeling with terror. Then I saw it.

It came out of the fire like an underwater mountain coming out of the sea. Hot lava was pouring off its back. It towered 10 times my height. It was red, the same color as the stone I now carried in my pocket. It looked like a mythical pokemon that had jumped out of the pages of one of my old storybooks. A dangerous glint was in its eye.

I stared at the great creature hoping it wouldn’t see me. Somewhere I had seen this mythical beast before, somewhere that I couldn’t recall.

Then it turned its dangerous eye towards me. I had been spotted. It started making a long slow move toward me. Its large arms clawing. It hit my ledge, crumbling it into nothing.

I fell, I fell towards the lava. I could feel its intense heat hitting my sweating body. My head was reeling. I was going to die! And as I fell one word flashed through my terrified mind. Groudon
* * *
How was that. PLease review!

03-31-2004, 11:03 PM
What word so i use to describe this chapter? Wow? No. Fantastic? No. Awesomely Brillant? No. Those words are to weak for this chapter.

You showed great description and really showed us a lot of the characters personality. Remember not to lose that spunk and desire Talia has about her dieing mother. Great job on the fic, I look for this one to be one of the all time greats!

04-03-2004, 10:22 PM
Wow. What can I say. Thanks KCash.
Anyway here is the next chapter. Hope ya like it.

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 3: Found and then Lost

My eyes snapped wide open. My body was shaking violently and my clothes and blanket were soaked with sweat.

I was staring up into the thick leafy branches of the oak tree I was under and into the cloudless blue sky.

The dream. I groaned and closed my tired eyes again. The dream. It was terrifying.

“Hey! The sleepers finally woken.” Came the unmistakable voice of Deri Kemp.

I sat up breathing heavily.

“Deri! Reenie!” I cried surprised at seeing my two friends here.

“Hey! Your awake!” called Reenie happily from the other side of the camp. “Looks like you were dreaming.”

“A nightmare,” I groaned warily, putting a hand to my pounding head. I had a bad headache and my head felt like 1,000 drums were pounding inside it.

“What happened…? In the dream I mean” asked Reenie curiously.

“I was…” It was slipping away like water slips through a sifter. I reached out a sweaty hand, like I was trying to grab it, that some how I wouldn’t loose it. But it was already gone and I couldn’t remember a thing in the dream.

“I… I forgot it.” I said sighing.

“Oh well” said Reenie, “Your all right now.”

“Any one want breakfast?” came Deri’s inquiring voice, “Sausage and Bacon.”

“Sausage and Bacon!” I cried my mouth starting to water, my empty stomach growling. The fragrant aroma was so tantalizing that it made me even hungrier than before. I was hungry. I hadn’t eaten since last night, and even then it was hardly anything.

I jumped up and noticed that my foot wasn’t caught in roots any more. I looked around me. I was standing under a large oak tree. The sturdy oak was standing alone in a vast field surrounded by the woods I had recently been traveling through. The field was filled with tall wild grass, and wild flowers in all colors of purple, red, blue, yellow, and pink, creating a sweet aroma. Just above the tall grass I spotted yanma, beautifly, and butterfry, flitting about. The faint breeze was rustling the grass, making a gentle swishing sound. The sky was a deep sapphire blue and cloudless. The sun was shining, casting its golden rays on the wings of yanma, beautifly, and butterfry. It was beautiful. Except for the pokemon of course.

“Come on Talia, quit staring. Have some breakfast,” said Reenie holding out a plate of warm crisp sausage and bacon.

“Thanks” I thanked her gratefully.

As I sat down to eat, my brain was whirling with questions to ask. Before I could so much as open my mouth Reenie and Deri started bombarding me with questions.

“Why did you leave Sandar?”

“What happened?”

“Why are you here?”

“What happened?”

“Why were you so scared?”

“What happened?”

“Why was you foot trapped?”

“What happened?!”

“Guys!” I cried, “I can’t answer all these questions at once!”

“Sorry.” Said Reenie meekly, “Why don’t you tell us what happened, why you left Sandar.

“Well,” I grumbled, “It’s a long story.”

“You don’t have to tell us if you don’t want to,” put in Deri quickly, glancing at Reenie.

“I’ll tell you,” I said as I sighed. I started telling them my story, right from when my mother had died. All the painful memories were coming back as I related each event. But through my pain it kind of felt good to get my burden off of my shoulders.

When I had finished Reenie was looking at me sympathetically, and Deri with awe. I looked away; I didn’t like the way they were looking at me. It made me uncomfortable. I hate being pitied.

I looked back at them my mouth ready to ask them some questions.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked curiously.

“We… uhhh… wanted to get…” started Reenie.

“Well the truth is that we wanted to come with you, well, see that you didn’t get hurt or…” Deri broke off when he saw the blazing fire in my eyes.

“I can take care of myself just fine!” I retorted. “I don’t need you two following me around like I was a young child needing its mother!”

“Talia! We only wanted to help!” came Reenie’s strong voice filled with concern.

“Well I don’t need help!” I almost shouted, “You can just leave me alone you know!”

“Fine! You can just… just go out and leave! I won’t care!” She cried her amber eyes flashing.

“Fine! Then I will!” I yelled, my head filled with anger. I turned and ran across the large field and into the woods. Burrs from the grasses were sticking to my pants legs, my hair and shirt. I ran passed the large oaks, pines, birches and elms of the forest. I didn’t care where I was going. I just had to get out of here, away from my friends and anything that was a horrible reminder of… my mother. Hot tears were spilling down my cheeks. I ran through the forest, going in deeper and deeper.

04-18-2004, 06:52 PM
Here's the next chapter.
Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 4: Caught!

I was a wreck. My hair, face, hands, clothes, and shoes were damp and caked with dry mud. My hair and clothes were filled with thousands of itching burrs and small twigs; they were a constant annoyance to my body, making me itch and scratch. I had dried sweat on my dirty face. My jeans were torn in about 10 different places. And most of all I was tired, hungry, cold, and thirsty. I needed a good long hot shower really badly.

It had been 4 days since I had left Reenie and Deri in a rage. I had run deep into the forest, loosing my sense of direction so that I became hopelessly lost. I had found a small stream running through the forest. It had looked clear enough but I couldn’t be sure.

Finally after suffering from a severe headache from dehydration, I decided that it was better to be sick than dead. I drank. It didn’t seem to have any negative affect on my body so I declared the water clean.

I also needed a source of food. So, I had searched up and down the stream until I had finally come across an apple tree filled with the shiny red fruit. I had lived off of these for the last 3 days, but now I was craving for some good hot roast chicken and ice cream….
I shook my head trying to stop thinking about all the good foods I had enjoyed before I had run away. I still didn’t regret leaving home though. My mind wandered back into thoughts of the past few days.

Finally on the 3rd day I had decided to travel up river to see if I could get out of this forest and to civilization. I had brought all the apples that I could carry for a food source and started heading up stream.

I sighed, closing my eyes, letting the cold breeze sweep over my face. I was exhausted after traveling all this time. I had stopped under a large elm tree besides the creek to rest.

Grey clouds hung low in the sky as promising signs of a heavy rainfall. They did nothing to help my lowered spirit. I pulled my aching body to my feet and started on my way down the winding, rushing stream.

I trudged on through the mud of the riverbank for another good half hour. I could hear pidgey, spearow, taillow and occasionally their evolved forms, calling up in the thick branches of the forest trees. Zigzagoon, and rattata were hiding in the tall grass on the sides of the stream. Stantler stood inert hidden by the trees as I came passed. My mind told me to ignore these murdering creatures but I couldn’t help but notice them.

Finally as I was about to quit for the day I hear a strange sound. As I listened longer I realized what I was hearing. It was a sound I hadn’t heard in days. It was the roaring sound of cars on a road. I was nearing civilization!

Then as I moved on I saw an ending in the sweep of brown trunks and green leaves. I started to run towards it, to where I knew that the sound of cars was coming from.

As I neared the edge of the forest I could see black pavement on the road, the bright yellow line in the middle, dividing the road into two sections. On either side of the pavement was a strip of gravel about a foot wide. Just outside of that was short grass that looked like it had just been recently done with a lawn mower. I stared out passed the pavement from my cover in the trees. There was a large expanse of field going on and on as far as I could see.

I jumped out of the woods, breaking my cover, out onto the grass on the side of the road. Then I saw a large blue V8 ford explorer coming in my direction down the road. Something then clicked in my brain and I immediately jumped into the forest again, landing in a large patch of thorns. I do have to admit that then I let off quite a long string of swear words, something I had never done in my life, some that I had even made up right on the spot. The thorns bit into my skin making me feel like a large pincushion. I jumped up quickly mumbling curses on the bush.

I had realized that seeing a young 13-year-old covered in mud, burrs, and just about everything else walking along the side of a country road wasn’t a usual site. If people saw me they would stop me and take me home. That was what I least wanted to do right now. I needed to be careful.

Once the car had passed my hiding place and was well out of site in the other direction I stepped back out onto the road and headed on.

After walking another 5 minutes I spotted another car coming down the road. This time I looked where I was going before I plunged into the woods, so as not to land on another patch of thorns. When it had gone I immerged from the forest and went on my way.

After going along in this fashion for another 40 minutes or so, I hopped into the forest and sat down under a large pine tree and rested. I wanted badly to find a town so I could eat, rest and take a badly needed shower.

I pulled myself to my aching feet and trudged back to the edge of the forest. I checked to make sure that the road was clear of cars before I stepped out onto the grass.

The rain clouds were looking more like rain that before. I started walking warily down the road, my feet dragging in the grass. My eyelids started drooping as I yawned, my mouth gaping open. I blinked forcing myself to keep my eyes open.

All of a sudden a silver car pulled up right next to me. I had been spotted! I must have been too tired to notice the roar of the engine as the car drove down the road. Or my yawn had blocked out the noise.

I started to panic and turned towards the woods only to be caught on the back of my muddy shirt by a strong, powerful hand.

I twisted my head around and glared into the face of a young man in his early 20’s. His eyes were a very light blue, making them stand out in his tanned face. His hair was a sandy brown.

I started struggling in his strong grip, trying to break free, but he had a strong grip on me now.

“Come on kid! Calm down!” He said struggling to hold on to me.

“Let go!” I shouted, twisting myself around.

“Look kid…” He started.

“Darren, leave the poor girl alone,” came a light musical voice that sounded like chimes blowing in the wind.

The man, Darren, relaxed his grip a little but it was still enough to hold me in place. I jerked my head around to see a young woman in her early 20’s coming around the side of the door. She was tall and had long black hair. Her eyes were a startling silver, they were sparkling brightly.

“Come on Darren, put the girl in the car. We’ll take her to Rustboro city and see from there.” She said smiling at me, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

That lady stunned me so much that I stared at her as Darren pulled me over to the car, opened the back door, and pushed me in. When I realized what he had done I started scowling.

PLease review!

04-19-2004, 12:23 AM
Nice, I liked that chapter. Your doing a great job on description and getting your character's thoughts in order for the position Talia is in right now. You had a couple of spelling errors like trying to type 'heard' and typing only 'hear' and a few other little errors like that but everyone makes those mistakes time from time. I honestly cant wait until the next devolping chapter!

04-20-2004, 09:17 PM
Glad you liked it. Heres the next chapter.

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 5: Someone I knew

I slumped down in the back seat of the car where I noticed another kid who looked to be about my age, he didn’t look very happy to be here. My mind was filled with whirling visions. My thoughts were jumbled. I was kidnapped! Was my first thought. I had to get out of here some how.

“So.” Said Darren hopping into the drivers seat, “Kid, what’s your name?”

“Talia O’Connel of Sandar City, Hoenn.” I mumbled, my voice barely audible.

“What? Speak louder.”

“Talia O’Connel” I said this time louder. I decided not to tell them where I was from, just incase they got any ideas to take me home.

“Well, Talia, nice to meet you.” Said Darren smiling at me, “I’m Darren Crawburn.”

Sure, that’s what everyone says. I didn’t reply.

The black haired lady turned around in her seat to face me. “Hi, I’m Julia Smith.”

I mumbled a short “hi” and slumped down in my seat even more. I had other things on my mind. I had to get out of here before they did something terrible to me!

“Were taking you to Rustboro” informed Julia “Any way, where are you from?”

Where was I from? My mind started racing. If I told them where I was from they would take me back again. I didn’t want that. No they wouldn’t. I was being kidnapped. Why would the capturer take their hostage home?

“Rustboro.” I lied hoping they wouldn’t ask any questions.

“Well, hey that’s a coincidence.” Smiled Darren, “That’s where were heading so we’ll just drop you off there.”

Right. I just nodded and turned my attention to the boy sitting next to me. He looked to be about 13 or 14, about my age. His black hair was spiked in the front and he had dark brown eyes that were so brown they were almost black. He was slouching down in his seat, like I was. When his black eyes saw me peering at him he turned away. I had seen those dark eyes somewhere before, somewhere that I couldn’t remember. Who was this kid?

Then the drowsiness of before came sweeping back. I had to stay awake! They would take me to their secret hideout if I didn’t stay alert! It was no use, I closed my drooping eyelids and fell asleep…

When I woke up I could hear voices talking around me. I kept my eyes closed so that they would continue without perceiving me, I hoped that they were talking about some secret information that they didn’t want me to hear.

“Why do we have to even have her here?” Came a voice right next to my ear. That must have been the kid next to me.

“Drake! We have to be kind. She needs…” Cried Julia.

“Well, look at her! She’s yucky and smelly and muddy too!” Drake broke off Julia.

“Drake Coller!” cried Julia, “You know…”

At that name I stopped listening. A memory flashed through my mind. I knew this boy.
* * *

“Talia” came a young voice, “Talia, I’m here.”

The 4-year-old me turned around to see a 4-year-old black haired boy approaching me.

“Hi!” I called back. I remembered that this boy, Drake, had just joined my pre-school and was coming over to play.

The day was chilly, even for October and I was dressed in my bright pink jacket. Drake was wearing a black one, black seemed to be his color.

“So, watch’ya wanna do?” he asked smiling.

“Mom’s gonna take us to the playground!” I grinned back at him.

“Yah!” He cried, “The playground!”

We headed inside and were immediately greeted by the nice aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Drake took a large sniff, “Cookies!” he cried.

We quickly pulled off our shoes and jackets and then ran into the brightly lit kitchen. There sitting on the counter was a pan of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! Drake looked at them for a moment, frowned and then turned away.

“Come on Drake” I said plucking a warm cookie from the tray, “Have one.”

He stared at them for a moment, “Well, I don’t really…”

“Drake! Their good!” I said biting into my cookie, letting the sweet taste fill my mouth. “Here,” I held one out for him.

“I… well… I guess…I…uhhh,” he stammered.

“Their good,” I said temptingly.

“Well, okay,” He reluctantly took a cookie. He looked at it for a few seconds; acting like it would jump out and bite him at any minute. Finally he bit into it and his face showed and expression of joy. He loved it.

“It’s good!” he cried smiling at me.

“Yah” I answered.
* * *

“Hey! Talia? Talia?” came a voice jolting me out of my memories.

“Uhh, what?” I said looking up.

“Are you okay?” asked Julia. “You’ve been staring like that for a while.”

“Umm, Yah, I’m okay,” I said turning to look out the window. Now I was desperate! I needed to get out fast!

The scenery had changed. Instead of forest there was field on the right side of the car and on the left was the sea. The sun was shining, glinting off the rolling waves. We were nearing Rustboro.

04-28-2004, 10:06 PM
Please! Reply!

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 6: Memories

“Umm, Drake,” I said timidly turning to the black haired boy sitting next to me. “I haven’t seen you since pre-school.” I added quickly.

“Don’t talk to me,” He grunted turning to look out the window.

“Why?” I asked peering at him. I had a sinking feeling that I knew what it was.

“You almost killed me!” he shouted.

That. Still that. Why did he still hold that against me?
* * *
“Lets go on the swings now,” the 4-year-old me said to Drake Coller.

“Well I don’t feel very good, an’ my head hurts.” Drake whined following me over the crunching woodchips of the playground to the swings.

“Mom!” I called completely ignoring him, “Kin you push us on the swings?”

“Okay Talia, just a minute.” Came the voice of my mom from under the trees. My mom, a brown haired, blue-eyed lady, an older version of me, came over the wood chips and to the swings. I sat down on the black rubber strip and gripped the chains tightly.

“Push me!” I said again. Drake was leaning on his swing, looking sick and tired.

“Mrs. O’Connel,” He whined, “I feel bad an’ my head hurts.”

“Drake!” My mom cried taking one look at his red face. “You look terrible!”

“My stomach hurts” He whined.

“You need to get home right away!” Commanded my mom worriedly.

“Aww, mom!” I whined, “I wanna swing.”

“Talia, Drake is sick. He needs to get home.” She said taking Drake by the hand.

“My stomach…” Drake then leaned over and threw up, right on the wood chips.

“So much for the cookies,” I thought scowling as my mom, with Drake in tow, started heading for the car. I grudgingly followed.

“Mom, is Drake okay?” I asked when my mom came home from taking Drake home.

She sighed heavily. “Mrs. Coller says that the symptoms he’s showing are allergies. He is very allergic to chocolate.”

I stopped what I was doing. My heart skipped a beat. Chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies. It was my fault that he was sick. My fault.
* * *
“Umm, Julia?” I questioned the black haired lady in the front seat of the car. “Umm, are we almost to Rustboro?” came my timid question.

“Not quite,” She said turning to me, “We have another half hour still.”

“Yep, just a few more exits till ours.” Said Darren keeping his eyes on the road. I nodded. Good, we were almost there. Only a few minutes till I was on my own.
* * *
“Oh, no! That’s terrible!” cried my mom into the phone. “Yes, I’ll ask her. Uhuh, goodbye.”

I peeked around the doorway to the kitchen where my mom was on the phone. I generally didn’t listen or care what conversations my mom had on the phone but this one, I could tell, was from Mrs. Coller I needed to know how he was.

“Talia,” my mom said sternly putting down the phone with a click. When my mom used that tone I knew that she wasn’t joking around.

“Talia,” she said again as I moved from my post behind the door. “Do you know is Drake ate any chocolate when he was at our house?”

“No!” I answered quickly, “I d…don’t think so.” I was afraid that if she found out what I had done I would get in trouble. A spanking, the worst punishment for a 4-year-old.

“Talia, what chocolate did he have?”

“Chocolate chip cookies!” I cried my face looking very scared, “An’ I didn’t do it! Don’t give me a spanking!”

My mom just nodded and said, “He’s in the hospital.”
* * *
“Yeesh, were low on gas,” said Darren glancing at the gas meter, “Everyone look out for a gas station.”

I stared out the window searching for a sign that read “Gas Station.” There were many signs for McDonalds, Arbys and Bed and Breakfast.

“There’s one!” cried Julia.

“Which exit?” asked Darren.

“Exit 15C,” she replied. Darren pulled out the exit and started and started driving towards the gas station. My mind was starting to think again, pulling me back to my memories.
* * *
“Drake!” I cried running down the street, my light brown hair flying out behind me. “Your all right!” It had been two weeks since “the accident” and Drake had just gotten out of the hospital. Drake didn’t look at me as I approached.

“Hoe ya doing?” I asked peering at his lowered head.

“Good.” He said shortly, “Were moving.”

“Moving?” I asked confused.

“Yup, moving. To Pacifidlog Town.”

“Pacifidlog? Where’s that?”

“The other side of Hoenn.” He said still not looking me in the eye.


“Cause! There’s no chocolate there!” He shouted at me his black eyes on fire, “You almost killed me!”

I just stared at him, taken aback. Then he turned away from me and started running down the treeless street towards his house, not looking back. That was the last time I saw him for 9 years.
* * *

04-29-2004, 12:18 AM
Nice post Saya, I liked how you explained the whole thing behind Drake's madness towards Talia. Can't wait til the next installment!

04-29-2004, 04:08 PM
You have those chapters! Put up a new one! This fic is great!

05-01-2004, 03:48 PM
Sorry for the delay but I'm glad you like it. I also have this fic on Serebii.net.Anyway for the next chapter.

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 7: An Unstoppable Battle

“Drake,” I tried again, not looking at him directly. “I…”

“Shut up!” He said gruffly, breaking me off.

“Why do you still hold that against me?” I asked looking at him sadly. We both knew perfectly well what “that” was.

“I…” He stammered, his black eyes flicking to the carpeted floor of the car.” Because you almost killed me!” He came back with so much anger that it stung me.

“I didn’t!” I cried just as fiercely, “I was only 4!”

“That’s still no excuse!” He roared in his anger.

“Whoa, guys. Calm down.” Darren tried soothing us.

“That was 9 years ago!” I shouted completely ignoring Darren’s futile attempt to calm us.

“You still almost killed me!” he yelled clenching his fists.

“Your just… just…acting like a little kid!” I yelled angrily. I glared at him. He glared back, his eyes filled with malice and hatred.

“I am not!” He screamed, his black eyes flashing, “Your…your just saying that to make me mad!”

“Correct,” I smirked, folding my arms, a smug smile wiping across my face.

He glared at me and gnashed his teeth at me, like a mad animal.

“Why can’t you just let it go!” I cried all of a sudden feeling the anger welling up inside me. “Why?!” Then I felt an intense burning at my thigh, causing me to grit my teeth from the pain. With a jolt I remembered the Fire Red stone. I hadn’t even given one little thought about the small red stone in my pocket for a while.

“Because I can’t!” Drake screamed at me. Then, through his anger I could see a small feeling of longing. Longing to let his hurt go. His fierce pride was holding him back.

Tears were welling up in my eyes, “You have to!” I cried, “You can’t hold a grudge forever! Grudges only bring nothing but anger and hurt, especially to yourself!”

He got really quiet all of a sudden and just glared at me. His black eyes glaring hatred at mine. I glared back, defiantly staring into his eyes, daring him to do something about our quarrel. All of a sudden he lunged for me, his clawing arms extended. His eyes were filled with a mad rage. I raised my arms for self-defense. His swiftly moving arms clashed with mine. He grabbed hold of me and started twisting my arms around. I felt an intense burning pain in my seized arm. I cried out trying to get out of his murdering grip.

“Drake!” Julia yelled, aghast. Her pretty face was a picture of disbelief. “Drake! Talia! Stop this right now!” She yelled.

I hardly heard her as I twisted in Drakes powerful grip. Finally I shifted my knee and hit him sharply in the stomach, forcing the breath out of his lungs. He started gasping for breath as he loosened his grip. I took this moment of distraction to pull my arm free and grab him around the head, locking him in my firm grip. I pulled his head under my arm and held it there. Drake started flailing wildly, swinging his arms this way and that. I held him firm. All of a sudden his flailing arm caught me full in the face. My cheek burned and I unthinkingly put a hand to my face. Drake twisted away from me. Then he bunched his hand into a fist and let it fly. It hit me, straight in the face. My face was smarting and hurting really badly but I hardly felt it for an intense rage was building up inside me. My nose was spilling blood onto Drake and me. My clothes were also getting blood on them. The Fire Red stone was burning a hole in my pocket. My thigh was burning. I pulled back and quickly wiped the blood from my nose but it just kept coming.

“Drake! Talia! I’m going to have to pull over to the side of the road if you don’t stop now!” Darren barked at us.

Neither of us listened. Drake pulled his fist back for another blow. This time I saw it coming and twisted out of the way. His fist scraped my back. I flung my body back towards the seat with all my strength, slamming Drakes arm back into the seat. He hollered in pain and so did I. His arm was biting into my backbone. I flung myself forwards again and twisted around fast. I grabbed Drakes arms and started twisting them around. He yelled at me his dark eyes blazing. My blue eyes glared back at him, filled with the same, anger, hate, and determination. His mouth was twisted in an angry scowl. Then he brought his mouth down on my arm, biting me hard. I cried out and twisted away from him. I let his arms go. Then I reached my hand down, searching for the seatbelt buckle. My groping hand made contact with the cold metal. I leaned forward quickly pushing the buckle down, releasing the seat belt. At the same moment Drake shoved his knee up, smashing into my already bloody face. I reeled back, my jaw exploding into pain. As I did so the seatbelt snapped up, whacking Drake full in the jaw with a gruesome crack. I landed face down in the other seat and before I had anytime to recover, Drake launched himself at me despite his pain. I saw him coming at me, his eyes filled with an uncontrollable rage. He had undone his seatbelt too. My brain froze. All of a sudden rage like a wild fire built up in me, a rage so strong that I had to let it out on someone. I flipped myself over at lightning speed and raised my arms in the air. He came down. My arms felt as if they would loose hold of him any minute, collapsing and bringing Drake down on me any second. His weight was heavy but I couldn’t let him win. All of a sudden I heard something crack. My right arm buckled down under me, landing Drake on top of me. I screamed, one piercing scream. My arm was searing with a great pain. My brain was a jumble of thoughts. My arm was in a position that was unnatural for any human arm. My head was whirling and Drake was on top of me, pinning me to the seat. Then with a sudden burst of energy I brought both my knees up and heaved them into his stomach for the second time. His breath came out with a whoosh. He clutched his stomach, gasping for breath. I pushed him off of me and sat up.

“Talia! Drake!” Darren said in a commanding voice, “Stop!” He reached his hand back to grab us.

“Darren! The road!” Julia screeched, her white finger pointing at the road.

“What!” Darren cried, jerking back to the steering wheel. “Aw, shoot! The darn…!” He cried jerking the steering wheel sharply left. The small silver ford swerved sharply left.

I was flung to the middle seat, my broken arm jerking painfully with me. I looked up and out the windshield just in time to catch a glimpse of a small weed like pokemon standing terrified, just in front of our car. It was an oddish.

Then my head was jerked down as the small car hurtled off the road and into the ditch. I didn’t have my seat belt on. All of a sudden I felt my body being hurled forward towards the dashboard. I was powerless to stop myself. Then everything seemed to turn into slow motion. I saw myself fly forward at a sickening speed. I saw the dashboard come closer and closer. I heard more than felt my head cracking sickeningly against the dashboard. My mind whirled and buzzed; a roaring headache was threatening to split my head in two. Then my mind went into lock down mode. I was hurled into a deep pit of darkness.

05-01-2004, 05:23 PM
That was the best chapter yet! I was wondering when you were going to give us more of this great fic. The whole battling scene between Talia and Drake was awesome! You had such great detail and it didn't seemed rushed like a lot of people would of done during that kind of battling scene. Awesome job Saya! Can't wait for the next installment!

05-04-2004, 09:54 PM
Thanks for the review! Now for the next chapter.

Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 8: Rustboro City

Note: This is from Reenie’s perspective NOT Talia’s
~ Reenie ~
I stared up into the early morning sky, noticing how the gray clouds sailed and swirled over each other, creating intricate patterns in the sky. I closed my eyes, listening to the calming swishing of the tree branches around me, and the sounds of the pokemon of the forest. It had been four days since Talia had left us, us being Deri and I. After she had left and I had had some time to cool down I started to regret my rash actions. Talia wasn’t the most resourceful person I had ever met. You needed to be pretty resourceful being out on your own with no man-made stuff. I just hoped that she was all right out alone in the woods.

I gripped the old tree branch that I was sitting on, high up in the branches of a large oak tree, feeling the rough bark beneath my fingertips. Gripping the tree with one hand so as not to fall out I reached into my pocket and pulled out my care worn reed flute. I locked my legs around the tree branch so I wouldn’t fall out. Then I put the reed flute in between my lips, feeling its smooth woody texture, and blew one long, harmonious note. I then started to make the sound of a pidgey very softly on the flute. The quiet sound rang out into the plains. Finally I saw a small fluttering of wings as a small pidgey alighted on a branch not far from me.

“Pid. Pidgey?” it asked in its small light voice.

I answered back with my own series of calls. It answered me and hopped a few branches closer. I closed my eyes and once again and let the sounds flow from my flute, from deep inside me. This is what I loved doing. The pidgey hopped closer, calling back to me.

“Reenie!” A loud call shattered the silence. I sighed. “Reenie! Where are you?!”

In a swift fluttering of wings the pidgey was gone. I sighed again and looked down to the ground. The floor below me was a lot farther that I had first thought. There standing a few feet away was Deri.

“Deri!” I complained looking down to where he was standing. “I was doing my pokemon calls and you interrupted me!”

“Oh! There you are!” he said walking over to the tree hands in his pockets, “Sorry.”

“Humph!” I grumbled putting my flute carefully back into my pocket. I swung my legs over the side of the branch and hand under hand began climbing down the tree. When I reached the ground Deri and I headed down the path.
~ ~ ~
“How much longer?” I groaned to Deri sometime later.

“To where?” he asked. Boys can be so daft some times.

“To the closest town of course!” I answered.

“Uh, Rustboro is the nearest town. I have to check my pokenavi to see how much longer it is though.”

We headed on.
~ ~ ~
It was amazing. Rustboro was a huge city. There were large skyscrapers, 60 and 70 stories high. People were running around hurriedly, trying to catch a bus, boat, or train. Cars and taxis were honking their horns constantly to try and get the traffic moving. Traffic doesn’t move very fast in a large city like Rustboro. I just stood there and stared. This was definitely bigger than Sandar. I hadn’t been to any city bigger than my own considering that I had never even gone out of Sandar. This was the heart of Rustboro city.

“Reenie!” Deri called from up ahead, “Get moving! I see the pokemon center!”
~ ~ ~
The pokemon center was huge, just like everything else in Rustboro. I was sitting, no, more like sprawled, in the large waiting room of the red and white domed building waiting for… something… anything to happen. I had sprawled myself out on the soft flower patterned couch, taking up its whole length. I was entertaining myself with the fringe that was hanging off the couch, pulling each strand of thread from the next, and noticing how they were delicately woven together. The large cushions of the couch were soft and plump under my body. Deri was sitting on a matching red chair across from my couch. His brow was furrowed in thought.

He sighed and looked up, “We need to find Talia.”

I dropped the fringe. I hadn’t thought about Talia. She didn’t have any surviving tools the last time I had seen her. She wouldn’t have lasted long out on her own.

“Well,” I said slowly, “We could start by asking Nurse Joy if she’s seen her.”

“Reenie, Talia hates pokemon, remember? Why would she come to the pokemon center?” Deri asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Well,” I said confidently, “at least it’s a start.”

Deri nodded and stood up. “Come on,” he started moving towards the front desk.

I pulled myself grudgingly off of the couch, and had to remind myself that this was my friend I was looking for. With one last longing look back at the couch I ran to catch up with Deri.

As we neared the desk I noticed the large front doors burst open, slamming into the wall. I cringed, knowing that the doors would have made a large dent in the wall. A young boy ran in the doors and started moving rapidly to the front desk. He looked to be about 10 or 11, the typical pokemon trainer’s age.

“There was another car crash!” He panted, running up to Nurse Joy. “Yesterday!”

“Oh no! That’s the 3rd one this week!” Nurse Joy cried, “Who was in it?”

“Four people, two kids and two grown-ups. The girl was filthy! She was covered in mud and burrs! Looked like she’d been in the forest for a while.”

I glanced quickly at Deri.

“How are they?” Nurse Joy asked.

“The girl’s in the hospital and…” he continued on. I had stopped listening.

“I think we should take a trip to the hospital,” I said quietly to Deri.

He nodded.
~ ~ ~
My fingers were sweaty. I couldn’t help but notice that as a nurse at The Rustboro Hospital lead Deri and I through the many halls filled with bustling nurses and doctors. The halls looked very white and clean, like they were sterilized every day. They probably were considering that this was a hospital. There were many bright lights lining the ceiling and doors with black numbers on them, indicating what room it was.

The nurse walked down the hall a ways, her high-healed shoes clicking on the tiled floors. She stopped when she reached door number 253. I held my breath in anticipation. If the person in the room weren’t Talia our search would come to a dead end. The nurse opened the door; it swung into the room on noiseless hinges. I walked into the dark interior, Deri and the nurse followed.

“Be quiet, she’s sleeping and in pretty bad condition. She needs her rest,” The nurse informed me in a whisper.

I nodded, knowing that she couldn’t see me in this dark room. The room had a clean smell about it, like the smell of sheets just after they had come out of the dryer. I couldn’t see anything. I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dimness before I looked around the room. The drab gray blinds were pulled down over the one large square window on the right side of the room, blocking out the light. The four walls were a plain white, not very cheering, and there was another door on the far wall. Probably to the bathroom, I guessed. Then my searching eyes rested on the bed in the middle of the room. I breathed in sharply at what I saw.