I haven't written for a little while, so I'm a bit rusty. It's not an excuse, just be prepared for some silly mistakes, as I'm sure I've probably made some.
Jazmine had never before owned a house of her own, and she hadn’t been entirely sure she wanted to own one. She was a drifter, floating from place to place. But, she supposed, she’d have had to stop drifting as she grew older in life.
When she had found out that her father (she reached up and touched the scar on the cheek at the thought of him) had died and the family home now belonged to his only child, Jazmine, she had been shocked. It had never occurred to her that her father may eventually have died.
She stared at the house and every childhood memory came flooding back in a hateful wave. Jazmine’s brow furrowed and she threw a stone at the brickwork. She couldn’t stay in the house, not for another second. She would sell it, she decided, sell it and buy herself a new house.
Her Electrike snapped around at her heels, chasing its own electric sparks. “Come in with me, Lenka,” Jazmine said. “I don’t think I’ll make it without you.” She picked up her bag and slowly, very slowly, walked through the door.
She was assaulted by a wave of memories, voices and hate ringing in her ears. She could feel slaps across her face and feel the pain of her scars. Jazmine dropped to her knees and finally it all washed over her, leaving her in a group of bunched whispers.
She stood up and opened her eyes. She could see dust floating around in the air, the empty house lit by sunlight. There were empty bottles of wine and whisky lying everywhere, and Jazmine had to watch her step lest she stand on one and break it.
She slowly dragged herself up the stairs and into her old room. She had sisters who were born of her mother and another man, but she could not bear to enter their rooms. Jazmine collected a few of her own belongings that she had left behind prior to running away from home. She had a very old game system coated in dust, a few old clothes, but nothing really of value apart from the beautiful gold necklace her mother had given her.
Jazmine had been collecting her belongings to run away, but she heard her parents rouse and had left as quickly as possible, forgetting to take the necklace. She picked it up and ran the chain through her fingers before putting it on – the necklace was a little short, but Jazmine could buy another chain somewhere later.
She exhaled deeply and sat down on her My Little Pony-themed bed, picking up her old favourite toy, Fat Cat. It was a very chubby and round ginger cat toy, and something about it had just connected with her. Jazmine sighed and placed the necklace’s cute little box in the front of her bag. That was all she needed.
If she was going to sell the house, it had to look pretty, she reckoned, so she dusted it off and made a very large stack of discarded whisky and wine bottles, disposing of them in a local recycling bin. Night was beginning to fall, the sky orange-pink mixed with thin grey clouds.
She looked around the small Pallet Town. Many years ago, it had been a small haven consisting of around four or five houses, but it had expanded a little and received plenty of tourists hearing that it had spawned the legendary trainer Red. Professor Oak had lived in Pallet Town, though he was constantly travelling and wasn’t in the town.
She wondered if Blue was still in town. She had entrusted him with her plan to run away, and Blue had caught Jazmine her trusty Electrike to defend her against the wild Pokémon. She walked over to his house and peered into the window. Blue’s mother and his sister were inside, eating dinner, but there was no sign of him.
Jazmine felt empty. The Pallet Town of her childhood was gone, and all that was left was a faint memory and the scar on Jazmine’s temple. She felt so hollow, and she hated the feel of the town. It wasn’t the Pallet Town that she knew, not the Pallet Town that had raised her.
“Jazmine, is that you?” she turned, the voice familiar. “It’s been such a long time, I wasn’t sure if it was you.” A tear burned in Jazmine’s eye. Blue was standing behind her, a smile decorating his features.
“Blue!” Her face lit up and she wrapped her arms around him, tightly, radiating pure happiness. “It’s so good to see you again!”
“I heard your father died,” he said lightly, “so I presumed you’d be here. I thought I’d see how you were doing.” Jazmine smiled.
“I’m fine, thank you,” she said, scooping up her Electrike, who looked ready to run off somewhere. She was a bit of a liability, the little Pokémon. “And Lenka has been with me all through. I’m very grateful that you gave her to me.”
“Oh, don’t be like that,” Blue snorted. “I just caught her, honestly, it’s no big deal. Say, don’t you think you should catch a Pokémon of your own, Jazz? You don’t seem to have any others.”
“I’m not interested in being a trainer, I’m just a drifting girl,” Jazmine grinned, but Blue was serious and handed her a spare Poké Ball. “Oh, no, you don’t have to do this for me.”
“You should be a trainer. It might make drifting more fun,” he said. “Well, I best be off. I have places to be tomorrow. I’ll see you again some time, I suppose?”
“Sometime soon,” Jazmine confirmed, and blushed awkwardly as Blue kissed her on the cheek. “What was that for?!” Blue smirked and released his Pidgeot, and before he could answer, he disappeared in a flurry of feathers. Jazmine scowled and folded her arms. “Stupid Blue.” She would’ve just headed back home there and then, but she wanted to go and catch herself a Pokémon there and then.
She headed into the forest surrounding Pallet Town. Most trainers didn’t venture into the forest, as the trees were tightly packed together and it was difficult to get anywhere, but Jazmine pushed through untils he found a small clearing. She looked around – there had been plenty of Pokémon, but it was far too difficult to battle any in such an enclosed space.
She looked up into the blackening sky and watched a flock of Murkrow pass by, when suddenly she snapped to attention. “Electrike, use Thunder Wave on one of those Murkrow!”
Electrike lowered its head and released a wave of electricity that hit one of the Murkrow and paralysed it, and its wings could hardly move. The Murkrow fell and Jazmine dashed forwards, managing to catch it. She felt a twinge of guilt for clipping the Murkrow’s wings, so she decided to carry it back to her house.
Jazmine placed it on a small table. “Lenka, make sure Murkrow is okay while I see if I’ve got any Parlyz Heals or any Cheri Berries,” she ordered. Lenka barked her species name faithfully and leaped up onto the table. Jazmine quickly inspected the contents of her bag, searching for the items she needed. She had neither and bit a nail.
“Lenka, I’m going out to see if I can find anything!” she called. Jazmine left her house, into the cool night air. She had no idea where she was going to find a cure for paralysis, but she hoped she might find a Cheri Berry somewhere out on Route 1. It was dangerous going out there without any Pokémon, but she didn’t dare leave the Murkrow alone in case it tried anything.
After a while of searching and keeping away from any wild Pokémon, she returned uselessly. She wished Blue would come back and give her something to help, but he was busy. She checked all the houses nearby, but nobody really was a trainer.
She felt terrible for the Murkrow, but she had to return empty-handed. She looked down at the poor creature. “Do you want me to catch you?” she asked, gesturing to throwing the Poké Ball. The Murkrow shook its head as best it could, and Jazmine stroked its feathers. “I’m terribly sorry... I was going to catch you, but, I feel guilty. I’ll try and see if I can get anything sorted tomorrow...”
The Murkrow seemed to understand, and looked at Jazmine with sad eyes, giving her a terribly guilty feel. She hurried upstairs and dived into her bed, hugging Fat Cat to her chest. She closed her eyes, and slowly drifted into sleep.
“You stupid, useless girl!” Jazmine recoiled as her father slapped her, her eyes brimming with tears that couldn’t leak. “What’s the point of having you around!? You thick little-” He seemed ready to hit her again, but he stopped himself. “You’re grounded, stupid girl!” He grabbed a bottle of whisky, and smashed it against the side of Jazmine’s face, and the last thing she saw was a flash of red.
Her mother screamed as she saw the sight of her bleeding daughter. “You idiot!” she screamed. “You stupid idiot!” She scooped up her injured daughter. “We have to get her to a hospital, the hospital in Viridian City will do!”
“Take her yourself, I don’t care about her, she’s useless,” Jazmine’s father snapped. “I hate her and I hate you!” Jazmine’s mother scowled, but ran off, with Jazmine in her arms.
The hospital staff rushed Jazmine off, leaving her mother stranded and alone, terrified for her daughter’s welfare and cursing her stupid alcoholic husband.
“She’ll be alright,” the nurse assured her hours later, “she’s a bit concussed from taking a blow to the head, but we managed to remove the glass shards and those wounds should heal up. However, she’ll be left with permanent scarring to the left side of her face.”
Jazmine’s mother nodded. Scarring didn’t matter – what did matter was that her daughter was alive and healthy.
Jazmine woke with a start, her fingers running along the ugly scars left at the side of her face. She hated the scars and hated what ugly memories they spawned, but she was so glad her father was dead and gone. He was a repulsive man, absolutely repulsive. A drunkard and a murderer. He had taken the life of one of Jazmine’s half-sisters, and her mother, and there had never been enough evidence to put him behind bars.
She wiped a few tears from her eyes. She had never been allowed to cry by her father, so once she had left home she had become tearful a lot, finally allowed to cry. She headed downstairs, but it was early in the morning and both Pokémon were still asleep together. She left, wondering if she might be able to find something now that it was daytime.
As she was about to leave for Route 1, a soft voice called from behind. “You need one of these, right?” She spun around. Blue’s sister, who Jazmine could never remember the name of, was standing there, holding a Cheri Berry. “I woke up pretty early today, so I thought I’d go on a walk and I found this Berry. You’d been asking, so...”
“Thank you so much!” Jazmine exclaimed, giving Blue’s sister a tight hug. “This is exactly what I need, thank you!” Blue’s sister smiled sweetly.
“I’m glad I could help,” she said. Her voice was so quiet she could barely hear a thing. “So, why do you need a Cheri Berry? Is your Electrike paralysed?”
“Well, your brother gave me a Poké Ball and told me to catch something, but I felt guilty after paralysing a Murkrow, so I took it back home and decided to patch it up,” Jazmine shrugged. “See, this is why I’m not cut out to be a trainer. My father used to beat me and my sisters and he gave me my scar, so I don’t like inflicting pain or injury to others.” Blue’s sister had already known of Jazmine’s father’s terrible abuse, and had visited Jazmine at the hospital, but she had no idea that it had been hindering Jazmine in later life.
“That’s terrible,” Blue’s sister said, placing a hand on Jazmine’s arm. “Maybe you should see a therapist...”
“God, no!” Jazmine said sharply. “I can handle this on my own.” Blue’s sister seemed a bit taken aback by Jazmine’s sudden outburst, but she nodded. It was Jazmine’s choice, how she wanted to rule her life. They parted ways awkwardly, and Jazmine returned to her house. The Murkrow was just waking up a little, and Jazmine fed it the Cheri Berry. The Murkrow began to find itself able to move, and flap its wings, and soar around in a little circle.
It looked up at Jazmine with grateful eyes and flew over to her, tapping her pocket with its foot. She pulled out the Poké Ball. “Do you want to be with me?” she asked, performing the little throwing gesture. The Murkrow looked pleased. “Aww, thank you, Murkrow! It’s nice to have a new member of our team.”
She gently tapped the Murkrow with the Poké Ball, and the little bird made no resistance. Once the catch was certain, the Poké Ball displayed the Murkrow’s data. It was male, and quite young. She called out the Murkrow. “So, Mr Murkrow,” Jazmine said, leaning on the table. “Shall we train you? Oh, but first we have to name you, don’t we!”
The Murkrow nodded and flapped around. “Okay then,” Jazmine said, entering a happy little zone. “How about Summanus, the Roman god of nocturnal thunder?” The Murkrow didn’t seem to like the idea much. “Erebus, the Greek god of darkness?” The Murkrow didn’t like that, either. “Okay, maybe we’ll stop with the darkness thing. How does Gothic sound to you?” The Murkrow fluttered, looking happy. “That’s good. Okay, Lenka, I guess it’s time to leave this ghost town.”
She recalled Gothic and Lenka, and placed their Poké Balls in her pocket. Jazmine took a deep breath and left the house, leaving the memories of her childhood behind. She walked to the exit of Pallet Town, and took a deep breath.
Jazmine began to run.