Unfortunately for Andrew, trading his beloved Vulpix would prove to be a grave mistake. The obedient fox had always proven to be a success in battle, but Andrew had his eye on bigger and better prizes and Vulpix failed to get him there. The tiny scarlet Pokemon blinked up at him with big bright blue eyes.
“Oh, come on now,” he pleaded, “She will take great care of you. I promise.”
The Vulpix simply tilted her head to the side in confusion. Andrew knelt down slowly to his departing friend. He was beginning to have second thoughts of handing her over. He stroked her smooth, velvety fur with sorrow.
“I’m kind of in hurry,” sighed the older woman standing in front of the flashing machine.
“Right,” he said. “Sorry. Okay Vulpix, return.” Holding out the candy cane colored orb, Andrew saw his beloved Pokemon disappear into her Poke Ball for the last time.
“She will be quite cared for, son. I can assure you.” The bony woman remarked quickly, apparently desiring to make the exchange as soon as possible. She smiled eerily, as if she didn’t know how or had rarely done so in the past. Her pale skin only accentuated her already thin frame. The bones that normally blended smoothly with a person’s face were bulging from hers, creating a shallow, skull-like effect.
Andrew stood back up and made his way over to the futuristic device. It wasn’t an obscenely large contraption, but it would be the first thing noticed in the dull lobby. The lights on the main screen blinked silently; dull enough to be easy on the eyes, but perhaps fast enough to cause a seizure. The metallic machine had a port on the left end of it and another on the right, where the snobby bone woman stood strumming her fingers against it.
“Well then, let’s do this.” Andrew walked over to the vacated link. He pushed his sweaty fingers through all of his shaggy black hair. It was obvious that the trade was disturbing him.
The Azalea Town Poke Center wasn’t the most extravagant places, but it fulfilled its purpose providing all the standard services. Its Nurse Joy was just as pleasant as all of the others’. And, excluding the fact that it was in the middle of nowhere, it was a rather pleasant place to reside; with its friendly people and decent weather .
The bone lady rifled through her large bag and carelessly snatched out her own sphere. She laid it lazily on the glowing port. Rolling her eyes, she pushed a clump of dull, frizzy blond hair from her face.
“Take care, Vulpix,” said Andrew sadly to the silent Poke Ball. He placed it softly on his glowing port, and with a flash of bright white light, the trade had begun.
The machine lit up excessively, with a stream of green and red arrows flowing in both directions. In a kaleidoscope effect, the appliance dulled and another light flashed above the port. A round sphere appeared where Vulpix’s had been seconds earlier. The device gave one more flash of color:
The woman opposite of him grabbed her new Pokemon and left swiftly; hopefully going to eat a sandwich.
Andrew looked a bit disappointed at this new orb, regretting the abandon of Vulpix. But, he still decided to be positive about the situation and called out his new friend.
“Let’s see you then,” he said as a red, thunderbolt-shaped light erupted from the ball.
Thankfully Andrew couldn’t see the future when he first set his eyes on the new Pokemon, or else he probably would have chased after the bone lady demanding a trade back. But what he did see was a fluffy, orange and black striped ball of fur. It wagged its tail eagerly looking up at its new master. The Growlithe drooled sloppily onto the floor.
“How pleasant,” moaned Andrew, sarcastically. This supposedly stronger creature seemed a bit laxative for it to have this so-called “greater strength”. The boy was beginning to regret believing the word of a complete stranger. He convinced himself that this new Pokemon deserved at least some sort of chance, so, briefly, he bent over to pat the creature’s head. At his touch, the dog leapt from his sitting position and placed his two front paws on the knees of his new trainer. This reaction was almost as if the Growlithe had rarely gotten any human contact before. And from the look of his Poke Ball, he hadn’t been out of it for quite a while.
The slobbering, mess of a Pokemon seemed incomparable to his prized fox, but he supposed that time may prove the dog to be a worthy trade after all. His presence in the Center seemed unnecessary now, and so he slowly left the lobby with Growlithe prancing behind.
“No!” Andrew yelled; frustrated for what must be the hundredth time as he looked down at the doggish tiger lying in the midst of balls of white pillow fluff.
“Roawl?” gurgled the culprit.
The first week after Growlithe’s trade was proving to be a nightmare. Being badge-free, Andrew couldn’t control this spunky creature. He’d return home to find his shoes chewed, magazines torn, claw marks in the walls, and any other nuisance able to come from the striped pest. The lucky destroyance of the day was the trashing of his mother’s quilted pillows. The delicate seams had been ripped to shreds and the cotton balls fluffing it lay scattered everywhere.
“Well, this is perfect, ain’t it?” Andrew pulled out his tiger’s Poke Ball, and angrily forced his return.
The simple furnishings of his home could easily be replaced, but the tolerance of it was lifting after the third and fourth mishap. For some reason, his Growlithe would never take him seriously. It would simply coo, gurgle, or shrug off Andrew’s stern corrections. It was decided that the dog was in need of some serious training if Andrew wanted any kind of respect. He swept the cotton mess into the dust bin, and shooed his mutt from the scene. After Growlithe tried to attack the broom, as if it was some kind of villainous intruder, the annoyed Andrew forced a return to his Poke Ball and trudged outside.
Early spring was the ideal season to be spending time outdoors. The wind gave an occasional crisp gust of air if the day was too hot, and the damp grass was exhilarating to roll in, even if you weren’t an animal. The fenced-in yard was just like any other, a few trees, a bench, and a tire swing.
“Okay, come back out, Growlithe,” chimed Andrew, and his “loyal” friend reappeared from the streaming jet of light. “Okay, you stay here.” Andrew walked to the other end of the yard as the puppy surprisingly obeyed. “Alright, Growlithe, use Take Down on me.”
“Lith! Lith!” he barked, but nothing more. The dog stared dumbly at Andrew, lolling his tongue from his mouth. Unfortunately, Growlithe hadn’t learned Take Down, or he just didn’t care. He briskly scratched behind his ear with his back paw.
Andrew smacked his forehead. “Well, if you use Take Down on me, I’ll give you one of my shoes then.”
Growlithe’s ears perked up immediately. He pounced into motion bouncing happily toward his trainer. Faster and faster came the puppy, and with a last leap, he tackled Andrew onto the grass.
“Growl, ith!” he barked happily.
“Well,” Andrew laughed, “I suppose that’s deserving of one.”
The thrilled dog took the opportunity to slather his owner with slobber. Andrew was writhing to free himself from his salivating friend, when his mother called from the back window.
“When you two are done making out, it’s time to come in for dinner!”
“Pass the gravy,” Andrew told no one in particular. He looked up at the silent dinner table to find his mother glaring at him through piercing grey eyes. “Please.”
She took the delicate bowl of china in front of her and handed it to the man next to her. In turn, he placed the bowl lightly in front of Andrew.
“I called the Poke Center today, Andrew,” came the deep voice of Andrew’s father.
“Rearee? Wauffo?” Mashed potato bits came spewing from the boy’s mouth.
“Andrew!” The look on his mother gave him could be compared to a disowning one.
He swallowed the load with a loud gulp, “Really? What for?”
“I ordered a prescription for that dog of yours,” his father said, crudely.
“What kind of prescription?”
“It’s sort of like a tranquilizer; it’ll stop him from being such a nuisance all the time.”
“I’m not putting him on some kind of…medication!” Andrew was appalled with the idea his parent came up with.
“You are, and you will. It was your idea to trade for him, and you’ve failed to control it. You will go tomorrow and pick up the treatment in the morning.”
Andrew had no chance to further the argument, for his father stood from the table and loudly pushed his chair in. He and his mother were left alone in the dining room. And, of course she would be the first to speak.
“So…how was your day?”
The following morning found the boy walking desolately down the vacated back-path to the Poke Center. It was only about a twenty minute walk, but the thick trees and gorgeous pond scene caused the trip to take at least another ten minutes longer. Growlithe padded stupidly beside him, pouncing on blowing grass blades or anything that made any sort of a sudden move.
They were about halfway there when a sudden crack of a branch sounded, and the dog went madly chasing after the cause of the noise.
“My god,” Andrew sighed, annoyed. “Come back here you worthless, son of a ….” His voice trailed off as he left the path, sprinting after his creature while waving his arms in the air like an old woman with a cane.
The chase only lasted a matter of minutes, though. Growlithe had pursued the intruder to the edge of a shallow, but efficient pond. By the time Andrew caught up with the pair, the foreign being had immersed itself in the water, and was out of sight.
“Well, I hope you’re happy.” Andrew pointed at his mud covered shoe which had unluckily landed in the center of a puddle during the run. “Just come on, we’re almost there.”
Nurse Joy was as pleasant as always when Andrew approached the counter. She smiled broadly, almost fakely, as she said, “May I help you?” in her unusually high, almost annoying voice.
“Yes I’m here to pick up a prescription.” Growilthe jumped upwards, bouncing on his hind paws in hopes to see over the tall counter. He was apparently eager to begin a life of drug dependency.
“Ah, yes. One moment please.” Nurse Joy fled to the back room and returned seconds later. “You’re Andrew then?”
“Okay, I need you to sign here, and here.”
He took the glossy pen into his grimy hand and scribbled some form of his name onto the parchment. Snatching the bag of meds, rudely, from the countertop, Andrew turned on his heel and left the building.
Once outside, the boy turned away from the path, and headed back towards the infamous pond again. His dog, who would gullibly follow him anywhere, simply tilted its head to the side and trotted behind his heels.
“I don’t want to go home just yet,” he said, not expecting his Pokemon to understand a word of it.
The pond was just how he’d left it minutes earlier. It was a bit more swamp-like than pond-like, due to the muddy edges and large cattails sprouting from it, but still resembled a pond all the same. He spotted a large rock near the far edge of the water and decided to make a seat out of it.
“May cause drowsiness?” Andrew read the side affects of this new “medication”. “Nausea, diarrhea, congestion, weight gain/loss, heart failure, Pfft…” He tossed the bag behind him. “Like I’d actually give that to you.”
He stared blankly at the still water until the sound of the bag crinkling echoed behind him. “Growlithe, please don…” But when he turned, it wasn’t the dog who was messing with bag, but something else. The yellow, rubbery skin of this foreign Pokemon dripped with water as it must have just emerged from pond. The look on its face appeared as if it was lost or something, because its white eyes held a permanent shocked look as they were constantly wide open.
“Sy?” The nasally pitched sound came from the duck. Its two little webbed hands clutched firmly around the package of medication.
Andrew reached for the bag, trying to pull it away, but the Psyduck clutched to it like a toddler to his blankie. With a loud tear, the bag ripped in two, and all of the medicine showered into the air. “Oh, perfect. Nice job there,” said Andrew angrily as he was pelted with falling tablets.
“Sy!” The Psyduck screeched madly. It waddled around aimlessly before, in a brisk spin, it whipped Andrew’s thigh with its stubby tail.
“Ow!” He rubbed his welting skin fiercely. “Growlithe, stop slacking, get over here!” The puppy that had been happily pawing at his own reflection in the water actually came to his trainer without hesitation. “Use an attack on it. Hmm, try Bite”
The dog-tiger leapt on the spot, latching itself fiercely onto the unsuspecting Psyduck. His fangs ripped deeply through waxy skin as the duck screamed with pain. Shaking its head wildly, the Psyduck managed to throw off its foe and began wobbling around.
“Sy, sy, sy, sy, SYYY!” it bellowed. And in the last seconds of its shriek, an enormous geyser of swirling blue water erupted from its open beak. The mass of the Hydro Pump rammed the Growlithe head-on. Water churned outward as it contacted to dog, who flung backward into a large, soppy puddle.
“Growlithe, please, get up,” Andrew pleaded. The little tiger struggled on shaking legs and somehow managed to steady himself. His soggy striped fur dripped with water from the attack, so he shook himself off, and sent more water droplets flying.
This needs to end fast
, thought Andrew, eyeing his severely weakened Pokemon. Growlithe would be out cold if he had to bear another water attack. The Psyduck, though, didn’t even seem to realize that it was in a battle. It just toddled in circles, waving its arms…
“Growlithe, one more Bite, give it everything you’ve got!”
The aching pup bounded briskly towards its clueless opponent. In a final dive, it collided with the duck, and gripped its teeth dangerously into the bird. He shook his head in a murderous way as the yellow headache screeched loud enough to awaken the resting Pidgey in nearby branches.
Feeling a bit guilty, Andrew called his friend off the attack, and reached into his shorts’ pocket. Surprisingly enough, the boy always carried around a spare Poke Ball just in case. Of course, he threw the orb at the dimwit duck within seconds. If he’d caught it, this new addition to the team might be more of an annoyance than the first…
Ready For Grade :)