The first chapter is just for introducing the characters but it will pick up in about two chapters.
A dark blanket of darkness washed over her, threatening to suffocate the life out of her small body. With a gasp, it was on top of her. It was too heavy and too big to take it off, all she could was struggle against its weight. Just when she thought all hope was lost, the blanket was taken off in one swift motion, making her blink up at her savior.
“Alice, you drama queen.”
Alice the Pikachu rubbed her neck with a sheepish grin. Sen Takashi rolled her eyes and folded the long piece of cloth into a neat bundle. Sure it was bigger than her pokemon, but she doubted it could actually kill her. The nine year old girl was clad in a long sleeved navy shirt over a short sleeved white. Beginning at her waist and ending just right below her knees twirled an onyx skirt fringed with white patterns, the designs flowing freely like a painter’s brush. Black slip on tennis shoes finished her youthful look, all of this complimenting her mousey brown hair and eyes. The basket around her arm swished back and forth as she and Alice walked down the aisle of the small store. Usually, she detested doing shopping errands for mother. There were so many things she could do instead, much more “productive” things like watching battles taking place in arenas like the one in the Sinnoh League. However, today was a special occasion. Her mom had agreed that she could pick out the decorations and the icing for her birthday cake that she would make the next day.
It’s my birthday after all, I should get to choose what goes on my birthday cake.
The mere thought of her parents picking them out made her cringe. If her mother did it, it would be nothing but pink smothered in more pink. If her dad chose, he would pick the first thing that he spied on the shelve, color combinations be damned. Sen knew for a fact her Pikachu would do a better job than both her parents put together, one reason why she had tagged along. That, and Alice hated being cooped up in her small house.
Sen blinked herself out of her musings and turned to where Alice was pointing; the cake decorations. They were neatly assorted on their hooks, from pink princess figurines to soccer playing figures. Underneath that were a dozen of bottles containing candy sprinkles, some mulitcolored while others were single in hue.
“Now which ones should we get?” Sen asked aloud, putting a hand on her hip to ponder on her options.
Alice scurried up the girl’s shoulder for a better view. Pointing to a rainbow colored one, Sen shook her head.
“Too many colors make me nauseous.”
Alice pointed to a bottle containing only chocolate sprinkles.
“Nah, too bland.”
Finally, Alice pointed a paw to one containing ruby red sprinkles. This time, Sen broke into a grin.
“That’ll go perfect with the yellow icing!”
Picking the bottle, she put it in the basket and inspected the contents in it. There was a piece of cerulean blue cloth (the one that almost ended Alice’s life) that was to be made a banner, black streamers that would be hung on the walls, bright yellow icing that would go on the homemade cake, and the red sprinkles to finish it off. They were all set.
With Alice staying on her human perch, Sen wove her way through several customers until she got to the counter. Putting the basket on the counter, she looked up at the black haired man that was there. When he caught sight of her, a wide smile broke across his face.
“What do we have here, a birthday girl?”
Sen mentally cringed at the overly sweet dialogue. She expected it to go on.
“How many are you turning?” he asked with the same kind of voice.
Unfortunately, Sen expected right.
“Ten tomorrow,” was her short answer, putting on a fake smile.
Alice, sensing her owner’s discomfort, lowered her ears. Sen wasn’t exactly the best person to be around when she was irritable.
The clerk checked out the items in the basket, still keeping the conversation going, much to Sen’s dismay.
“Ten? Wow, children are growling fast today. Weeds you guys are.”
Sen began to take out the money her mother had given her earlier that day as the clerk finished off the last item.
“That’ll be twelve dollars and fifty-three cents. I can count the money for you if you want.”
Without saying a word, she gave him a $20 dollar bill. The clerk rounded up the change in the register and slowly counted out the money for her.
“...and fifty-three cents.”
She collected the money and put it back in her pocket then took the bag of party contents.
“Have a happy birthday!” he called out with a wave.
“Yeah,” she responded before exciting the store, hiding the face she made.
The bright sun of Floroma Town greeted the pair, making them blink at the sudden brightness. A comfortable breeze ruffled Alice’s yellow fur and played with Sen’s ponytail, both enjoying the calm weather. The flowers in the flower bed that were planted beside the store also danced in the wind, their pink petals flashing in mesmerizing color.
“That was another reason why I hate going to the store.” Sen told Alice with a frown.
“Pikachu.” she said in a low tone.
When people didn’t know her, she would be fawned over like a small child. It wasn’t her fault she was slightly shorter than kids her own age, making her seem a year or two younger that what she really was. Her parents would just stand in the sidelines, gushing at how cute the mistake was.
They passed small houses and buildings, each lined with their group of flowers ranging from soft violet to violent blue. On the sides of the first roads sprouted lush green grass looking as fresh as newly grown fruit. The sight was especially beautiful when small droplets of dew still clung to the blades from a night’s shower. The air that hung on this small town was free of pollution, in part of shortage of cars and factories and in partly thanks to the Valley Windworks a day’s journey away where wind energy was the only energy used here. Despite this, Sen wanted out of this town.
“I can’t wait until we go on our own journey,” she told the mouse pokemon, petting her between her black-tipped ears.
“We’ll see the region, as trainer and pokemon. We’ll be the best we can be.”
Both of them were too lost in their daydream to fully notice their surroundings, Sen because she was lost in her dream of becoming a successful trainer and Alice in fantasizing how powerful she could become.
“We’ll battle other trainers and we’ll earn badges. After that, we can...”
Before either of them knew what had happened, they were sent to the ground, Alice toppling off Sen’s shoulder quite painfully. The grocery bag was also on the road with half of its contents spilling.
“You should watch where I’m going, you know.”
Looking up at the snide remark, Sen and Alice scowled at the two figures that stood over them.
With flaming red hair matched with a red/orange jeans and blouse combo, Scarlett Young stood proudly with her Growlithe, Coal, by her side. Emerald eyes looked down upon them with a taunting glint - Sen fully knowing that she was enjoying it.
Sen picked herself up, dusted herself off, and proceeded to pick up the fallen party decorations. Alice did the same, her thunderbolt shaped tail twitching in an angry manner when she looked at Coal. The puppy pokemon gave a smug look in response.
“What do you want, Scarlett?” Sen managed to say through gritted teeth, back turned to the girl.
Scarlett was the last person she ever wanted to talk to. She decided long ago that she was no friend of hers with that cocky attitude and insulting manner. Being friends with someone who belittled others for their own joy did not appeal to her.
“Well now that we met up, I wanted to tell you I accept.”
What, accept a personality make over?
she mentally quipped.
Aloud, she asked, “Accept what?”
“The party invitation your mom sent, of course.”
Sen dropped the bundle of streamers with wide chocolate eyes at the words that left the girl’s lips. Whirling around so fast she caused Alice to jump in surprise, she looked up.
“What did you say?”
Amused by Sens’ reaction, Scarlett flashed a vanilla envelope which was scrawled on with fancy cursive. With a sinking heart, Sen recognized the handwriting as her mother’s.
Mother, what did you do...?
“I don’t know if I’ll go,” she continued with an offhand motion with one hand and twirling a lock of her hair with the other.
“I mean, there’s a ton
of things I could do instead.”
Of course she’s going,
Sen thought with a roll of her eyes, standing up with all the items in the shopping bag.
She wouldn’t miss a chance at making fun of me at my own party.
Before Scarlett could add more, Sen turned to Alice, who was still glaring at the fire pokemon.
“Come, Alice, we still need to go to the Berry House.”
The Pikachu gave one last “Pika” before going to Sen’s side. They passed both red figures who had identical grins on their faces, confirming Sen’s suspicion about the next day.
“It doesn’t matter if they come tomorrow,” she told Alice, a small smile returning to her face. She was determined to not let her spirits be dampened by Scarlett. Tomorrow was going to be great for she knew that as a ten year old, she could finally become a trainer and as one, she could escape this place and see the world.
“Tomorrow’s going to be great, I just know it!”
With her eyes glinting for what was to come, Sen and Alice walked down Floroma with high spirits.