I became distracted as rustling sounded and a pale figure emerged from the elongated grove, her slim body darting up to the fence beside me again. “I’m back!” Mynk announced, a half squashed fruit dropping from her mouth and into her upturned paw. She attempted to keep it balanced as she held it over the larvitar’s head. It fell unintentionally from the hopeless surface, and it splattered onto the ground in a heap. However, it wasn’t damaged more than it was in the first place, so the rock and ground type drew up the fruit and began nibbling on it.
“Welcome back,” I replied unenthusiastically and just a little too late. I cringed as I couldn’t help but focus back onto the fire type sitting so woefully on her own...
The linoone must have jumped on my train of thought as she followed where I directed my eyes. “...That’s Libbi.” I detected traces of sorrow and remorse flowing throughout Mynk’s words as she spoke, and I felt the exact same way. “She’s...a troubled pokémon. She, uh...doesn’t like to play with the other pokémon.”
“She doesn’t let herself get close to anyone...”
“What’s...” I had to search for the right words before coming up with what I could find. “What’s wrong with her?”
Mynk shifted uncomfortably, glazing her tongue over her bottom lip. “She...she suffered a...very serious trauma only a number of months ago. As a result...she’s withdrawn and depressed.”
“Wow... But she’s so...young
“Yes...” I watched as the pokémon’s head lifted. “She was brought here by her guardian, a squirtle. The squirtle – Palue – explained to us what had happened to her.” Her head tilted, and soon she was eying the ground. And when she said nothing more, I gave the situation a small push, hoping to hear more.
“Um...” began the normal type, meeting me again. “Her brother...drowned in a river right before her eyes.”
Suddenly a rush of needles tingled down my spine and through my legs, as if a gust of wind had just struck my insides. I swallowed my saliva. “W...what? He drowned?”
Mynk’s eyes squeezed tears, and they crept down her face as she tried to smile in the presence of her deemed child. “Yes.”
“Crap,” I breathed, my gaze fitting itself back to the space Libbi was huddled in. “The poor child.” My mind turned as I pictured several things: Luck and Roarake separately falling before they broke the ocean’s surface; my body in the clutches of a controlled armaldo, my lungs desperate for air; the leap of faith from the ship’s edge; coming close to tumbling off that cliff back at the bibarel colony... And finally, a helpless charmander child flailing wildly at the mercy of a ruthless river... I could only prey that he had become unconscious before he inhaled enough water to do the final deed...
“Mummy...you’re crying!” pointed out the larvitar, presenting a curious look as an outstretched paw fit between two beams and touched the linoone’s coat.
Mynk brought the back of a paw to her eyes and cleared them of the salty liquid. “It’s...it’s nothing, dear,” she lied, but I didn’t blame her. Had the small child understood what had been said, well...that would have been beyond awful.
I waited a moment before changing the subject, glancing at the larvitar still finishing off the berry. “So, uhh...” I shook my head, attempting to rid it of awful imagery and certain recent thoughts. “You and that larvitar...”
“Me!” cheered the adorable dual type with eyes full of glorious potential.
“Yes, you,” I giggled, turning back to Mynk. “Is she your...actual...?”
“Oh, n-no. Certainly not,” Mynk laughed, the sadness still raking her voice. She probably knew the larvitar wouldn’t have picked up on what I was getting at, so she seemed fine to talk about it in front of her. However, she rotated her body so she wasn’t talking in her child’s direction. “More than a year ago, a few Usster members were investigating a matter in the mountains,” she began, signalling to a snowy peak not far off. “In one of the more rocky areas...one of my friends found an egg leaning against a boulder. The group brought it back here, and I nursed it until it hatched...” She fit a paw through a gap in the railing, and then stroked the small pupitar pre-evolution’s head. A flicker of a soft smile flashed across the linoone’s face before disappearing. “I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” she reminisced, a sparkling light dancing between her marble-like eyes, “so I did the only thing I was thinking of at the time. I adopted her.”
“Oh,” I responded, thinking that made sense. “But...how could you be sure she didn’t have a mother?”
“Well...we can’t be sure,” the normal type answered. “...I always wondered why she was abandoned. And so recently, too.”
“Wait...what do you mean?”
“Miraculously...the egg was warm when they found her. But there was nobody around who could have owned her. They even waited some minutes to ensure they wouldn’t be unintentionally abducting her, but they knew they couldn’t wait too long at risk of letting the egg cool in the frigid climate.”
“Really?” I questioned, finding that convenient but...odd. “That is
“It was a major relief,” she corrected, her brow sinking to create a worried look. “If they had found her cold, then...well, th-then...”
“But it wasn’t,” I pressed, dipping my head to catch Mynk’s gaze.
We both said nothing as she gave a meek smile, nodding. “...It wasn’t.”
Mynk and I had left the kids with Wynore in charge after asking her to. She had accepted with haste, barely making eye contact and not bothering to share a proper conversation with me or my new linoone friend. After that, Mynk had led me around the other end of the long rows of trees, and we were in the midst of passing the fruit shack when she spoke up.
“She isn’t normally like that...” she explained, and I cocked my head, about to ask who. “Wynore...she’s not usually like that. At least, not when Lakane’s around.” At the mention of the ursaring, something pinched me and I flinched inwardly. “The poor thing... When he returns, she will be back to her normal self again, though,” she reasoned, and again came the source-less pain.
“Y-yeah...” I moaned quietly, feeling completely out of my comfort zone.
“Lakane is Wynore’s mate,” she continued, “but most of us call him Luck.”
“I-I know...” I felt my ears bend as we padded on. The secret was killing
me. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep it to myself. I didn’t want to keep it to myself, but more than that, I didn’t want to tell anyone else... Wynore would be this way forever, and their teddiursa would be permanently fatherless.
“Oh? You do?”
“Y-yes... I was on...I was with him when he...when he...” I held back my breathing, unable to complete my sentence.
“When he...disappeared?” asked the linoone.
“Really? I have never seen your face around these parts before,” she mused, looking as if she was searching her mind for memories or some clue as to how that made sense.
“We...knew each other...from places...” I stuttered, unsure of how to put it. She thought I meant when he vanished from the colony’s grounds, and I meant...when he disappeared into the waves and from the Earth’s face.
“Look, I’ll—I’ll fill you all in later,” I offered, turning away and looking up ahead at the nearing homes.
“Alright,” agreed Mynk, completely satisfied. She didn’t seem inclined in any way to probe me for answers, which suited me fine! “How long are you staying for?”
“Me? Oh... Well...I was offered a place here for as long as I like, I think...”
“Oh! So you aren’t a visitor?”
“N-no. At least, I don’t think so!” I chuckled, trying to remember exactly what Habib had told me.
“Splendid!” she exclaimed enthusiastically. “While you’re here, I can introduce you to the pokémon that live here.”
I nodded half-heartedly. “Sounds good.” And we said not another word to each other before we reached the first house on the right. I remembered who lived there: the raticate and his family.
“A family of raticate live here with their baby rattata,” mentioned Mynk, and I nodded. “Although, I imagine only Gigin is home right now. Taka was one of the rattata at the daycare, and Hyso is probably out hunting.”
I though with confusion. “But...aren’t raticate herbivores?”
Mynk shook her head decisively. “No, they are omnivores.”
“Oh...really? All my life I thought they only ate seeds and vegetables.” I shrugged, figuring it was insignificant anyway.
“Haha, no. They enjoy both, as I imagine you would.”
“Yes...” I shifted my eyes on purpose. “I’m a real veggie lover.”
I smiled as Mynk giggled at my humour, and we entered the home leisurely. As we appeared in a large room, I glanced about. It was unlike what I expected: a large batch of hay that needed replacing lay piled to create a bed in the far right corner, and surprisingly, a human soft-toy lay outstretched in the middle. At some point in the left wall was a square space that held thick rocks with several small, unscathed logs. A removable log could be seen above it, where the ceiling was in the compartment, and I guessed that that was a section where the smoke would be let out through.
There were a few other things that barely interested me, and I payed no attention to them as a bronze figure stepped out from behind a wooden table (which was basically a slab of wood with stumps at all corners). She displayed a toothy grin after a wary expression once she noticed Mynk. “Hello, old friend,” she greeted, scampering on all fours up to us. “And...who are you?” She returned to her hind legs, sitting upright.
“This is Dusty,” the linoone answered for me, and to that Gigin bobbed her head.
“Hi,” I said with deliberate politeness; I was about to take a seat but changed my mind.
She nodded in return, her long tail sitting flat on the minimally padded floor.
“Dusty will be staying with us for a while,” Mynk mentioned, “so I thought I’d show her about.” She appeared happy, and then added, “And you’re first.”
“Well,” Gigin chuckled, “good to have you.” Next she invited us to come in properly and take a seat, and I did so, habitually curling my tail around one side of me.
As the two normal types began chatting, I glanced around the room, focusing on random things. I fiddled with my toes and must have looked cross-eyed as I watched my tuft, folding my brow over my eyes with amusement.
I hardly heard footsteps before I turned around to spot a body in the doorway. Two appendages hung from its head, and its blue body...be-became...visible... “Gigin, I got that hay you—”
The pokémon froze in the instant she saw me, and our expressions were the same as we stared intently. The small hessian sack in her mouth dropped, and she didn’t even flinch as it dropped to the floor. All else was erased from my sight as I kept my eyes in place. I heard the chatter cease, and the only sound became silence. I dared to breathe.
Yep. xDD This was longer than I thought it would be. .0. And I know it was a boring chapter, but you got some insight into some characters. x) HOPEFULLY I CAN HAVE THE NEXT ONE UP SOONISH.
Go HERE for Libbi's story; go HERE for Mynk's story.
ALSO. I have a silly little parody of Through the Eyes of a Flareon, inspired by Scy's, which I'll post after this post. xDD