I paced around my small circle as I watched my freedom being taken from me once again.
“Any last words?” I heard the Absol sneer, as thoughts of my childhood overtook my mind. I could feel a vision coming on, the vision that I had had nightmares about since that day.
“Kouri, get away from there.”
“It’s dangerous out there...”
“...because of Pokemon poachers,”I finished in a singsong voice “I’ve heard it all before, Mama.”
“Then you must listen. Please Kouri.” My mother said, eyeing me with uncertainty.
We lived near Fortree City; my mother, my brother and I.
I watched my mother walk away and then I turned and looked over the open plains. They called to me, inviting me to explore...
With a quick look over my shoulder I took a step into the open. So far, so good. What my mother didn’t know could not possibly hurt her. I began to walk toward a small intriguing stream. It looked so close, yet it felt like it took me forever to reach it, as I had to keep watch for any sign of my mother. I tiptoed softly ever closer to the inviting water.
Just as the cool water touched my tongue, a heard a rustling sound from behind me. Fearing the punishment of my mother, I froze.
Large, heavy boots came toward me, I could sense something approaching, but it was no Pokemon.
Startled, I began to run back toward the safety of the trees. The thumping sound behind me grew louder. My short legs were growing weary as I ran, terrified of the monster behind me and what I would face when I returned home.
My thoughts were cut short as a shiny metal object sliced my left paw. I tripped, falling flat on my face.
I shivered with fear as I lay face down on the cold ground, too scared to open my eyes.
Just as the monster approached me, I heard the patter of feet in the distance. I looked up to see a white blur leap over me, crouching between my attacker and I protectively.
“Run, Kouri!” My mother yelled as she stood guard against the human.
I looked up at her worriedly. Her great mane was puffed out, making her seem bigger than she was. Her eyes were clouded with disappointment, anger, fear and courage, all at the same time. Our eyes met for one second before a resounding bang echoed across the earth. In my fright, I had shut my eyes tightly, and now when I opened them I saw my mother lying on the ground before me, her emotionless eyes staring back at me and her beautiful coat soiled with blood.
I looked away as a lump formed in my throat. The hunter had raised his gun again, this time pointing it at me. I forced myself not to cry as I scampered away into the covering of the trees that were our home. I ran for what seemed like hours toward our den. My paw ached horribly, but the pain of losing my mother overtook everything else. I didn’t stop until I could see my home in the distance, and only then did I collapse on the ground, my injured paw refusing to go on any further.
My older brother ran to me, his eyes full of fear as he blurted out question after question. But I could not answer any of them. I had held off the tears for as long as possible and now the water works began. Salty streams ran down my cheeks and I spluttered my story to my brother. His face was first full of astonishment, then fear as I told him of the chase with the unknown hunter. Once I told him what had happened to our mother, his eyes were disbelieving. His face was twisted in the most horrible mixture of sadness, longing, despair and finally anger that I had to look away, my own tears still falling.
“You killed her.” He stammered, refusing to look me in the eye.
“YOU KILLED HER!” This time he screamed, his face contorted in rage as I looked into his hate filled eyes. He raised his paw, slicing my face with his claws.
I yelped, dodging back and away from my brother.
“I’m sorry. Please, I’m sorry.” I cried, not only to my brother but to my mother.
My brother opened his mouth, his great teeth bared in a twisted scowl.
“AROOOOOO!” He howled, making my hair stand on end. “AROOOOOOO!”
The Roar had me scampering off into the bushes, running as fast as my injured paw would allow. I had no idea where I was going but I knew I had to get away. The whole thing was like a terrible dream; I blinked back tears as I struggled to awaken from this nightmare.
Finally the events of that afternoon caught up with me. I could see my mother’s body lying in front of me, her dead eyes pleading with me to run. Blood spouted from her neck and down the front of her beautiful white coat. Behind me the poacher was grinning evilly, happy with his kill.
I broke down. My eyes had become so clouded with tears that I could no longer see. It seemed as if I had been running for days and days without stopping for neither food nor water.
“MAMA!” I cried as I ran, “Mama, I’m sorry!”
My head spun as I experienced the familiar feeling of coming back to reality. I shook myself, hoping to also shake the memories from my mind.
“I have moved on,”
I told myself. “I am free now.”
But I wasn’t free. I had never been truly free.
I faced the leader of the Absol without fear. My heart was pounding in my chest but I was not afraid, if anything I was expectant. For a long time I had been plagued with the guilt of my mother’s demise and the only release I could see was my own death.
“I know I must die, but I would like to die in dignity.” I said, looking the Absol in the eye.
“Of course.” He replied. Absol were a proud species, I knew he would be willing to give me my death wish.
“I will fight you, but at least give me a chance. One on one.” I said, challenging the Absol with my tone.
“Why should we bother with your request. We could kill you right here and now.” Another Absol spoke up, her teeth were bared as she looked at me greedily.
“Oh shut up, Tasha,” The first Absol growled. “You take him then, if you think you can.”
“Gladly.” Tasha hissed, stepping into the Absol-made ring.
The other Absol moved out, giving us a larger arena. We started by circling each other, copying each other’s moves.
“Come on, little kitty, this won’t hurt... much.” Tasha hissed my way.
I scowled. “Come and get it.”
She pounced, her claws outstretched, reaching for my face.
With difficulty, I dodged away, managing to keep clear of her claws. The snowy ground was quite soft, making it hard to move around. I whipped her with my razor-sharp tail as she flew through the air to my left.
She landed on the ground behind me, spitting with rage. Without waiting another second, I twisted my body and pounced myself, lowering my body as to use the scythe on the side of my head as a weapon.
She tackled me, our heads colliding, our scythes locked. She hissed angrily at me, her saliva stung my face.
“Aroooo!” I cried, forcing myself to push harder.
I moved forward, compelling her to take a step back. Her feet slid into the soft snowy ground, but she managed to get a foothold.
The other Absol jeered at her as they watched our battle.
I planted my back feet as firmly as I could before thrusting my head upwards, pushing her off me. My paw ached as I landed funnily on the side of it.
Taking a second to recover, and ignoring the pain in my left paw, I raced at her at full pelt. She dodged away, but not before my right paw could leave a nasty slash down her left side and across her shoulder. Bright red blood began to ooze down her white fur, dripping onto the snowy ground beneath her. She glowered at me, her eyes full of hate, but she knew she was beaten. Panting, she limped away.
I took a second to inspect any damage I had taken. My right paw was covered in blood, though Tasha’s or mine, I could not tell. My left paw was aching horribly, but by now I was used to the constant pain.
Before I knew what was happening, the other Absol began to move in toward me again, trapping me in the centre of their circle.
I turned to face the leader, my eyes questioning.
“You’ve had your battle,” He said, a smirk on his unforgiving face. “Now it’s time to die.”
“NO!” I yelled, angered at his betrayal. “You told me we would have a fair fight!”
“It is true that I agreed you could have a
one on one battle. I believe that we gave you your request.”
“That’s...that’s not what I meant!” I cried.
The Absol smiled at me, “No, my friend. But that is what you said.”
I stepped backwards, only to be headbutted forward again by an Absol behind me.
“My time has come.”
I told myself as tears began to prick my eyes. There was no escape from my fate.
I took one last look at the mountain peaks, towering into the sky above me. Snow glistened all around me, even the small red patch to my left seemed to sparkle. I looked up to the heavens one more time, asking for forgiveness for my mother’s death.
“Arooooo! Arrrrrooo!” I chanted, casting my Perish Song. If I were to go, they would come with me.
All at once, and before I was ready, they attacked. I felt claws digging into my skin, teeth ripping my flesh. The pain was unbearable, but I did not try to fight back. My body soon went numb, I seemed to be watching them tear me apart, rather than being torn apart myself. Time seemed to stop as my mind went blank. Another vision filled my thoughts.