Life's Little Adaptations, Chapter 1
The path June had chosen was not an easy one; but then, she’d known that it wouldn’t be from the very start. Despite her discomfort, she pushed on. The luscious canopy of trees blotched out the sky and shielded her from the sun’s rays. With dark shadows cast upon her, she, step after step, made her way through the waist high grass. The process was excruciatingly slow, as if she were wadding through the deepest of waters and not mere vegetation.
Oreburgh was still a lengthy trek from where June now was. She hoped beyond all hope that, if she pushed herself, she could reach the town before nightfall, which she guessed to be only a few hours away. It was a possibility, but only if she made haste. On the bright side, if she’d taken the correct path, it would be days before she could even lay eyes upon the town of Oreburgh, though it would have been a lot safer. So, she’d taken the shorter route to her destination, albeit the more dangerous one.
On high alert for anything out of the ordinary, June stopped in her tracks at the sound of a pokémon’s warning ―a pidgey; she took an educated guess― call. Breathing deeply to calm her racing heart, she returned once more to stumbling through the unmanageably tall grass when she heard nothing more of the pokémon.
Wild, unruly pokémon lived amongst the dense underbrush in which June had so chosen to disturb in hopes of saving a few days travel.
The reason as to why she’d risked this unsafe route in favour of the well walked trail was that she wished to put the orphanage as far behind her as she could. She wanted to start her new life as a free person, as a trainer, as soon as possible.
But first, she had to get to Oreburgh; there she would be able to buy pokéballs till her heart was content. However, in the mean time, she had no means of capturing pokémon, nor ways of fending them off in the case of an attack as she had not one pokémon to her name.
Any other child would have been bestowed a pokémon at the time of their tenth birthday. Ten being the time in their life in which they would be old enough to receive their pokémon trainer’s licence with permission from their given guardian. June was sixteen, and she’d only just left the borders of her small town, Sunbrie, for the first time.
Sandy, the woman in charge of running the orphanage in which she had taken up residence in her entire life, had not, as her legal guardian, seen June fit to leave her care when she’d turned ten. So, June had been forcefully kept to the confines of the orphanage; sheltered, suffocated, bored.
Sandy had meant well, June knew this, and it pained her to leave the kind old woman with nothing but a note. However, as far as June could understand, running away had been the only way out of that meaningless life in the small town of Sunbrie.
June heard the cautioning call of the pidgey once more, but, this time, the sound was accompanied by the very pokémon itself. Swooping from the canopy of trees above, the pidgey dove so close to June’s head that a gust of wind blew her brown, shoulder length hair into her eyes.
Gasping, June completely stopped in her tracks. The pokémon ―once more― was nowhere to be seen, having retreated back into the safety of the canopy above. She looked above her, turning in place and searching desperately for any sign of movement.
Seconds ticked by, when, suddenly, the sound of beating wings alerted June to the swooping pidgey once more. However, the pokémon moved too quickly for her to pinpoint its exact location.
Panicking, June dove to her stomach, clenching her eyes shut tightly as the long grass cut at her arms and face. She admitted a low groan when she hit the hard ground with a heavy thud. The claws of the pidgey had grabbed at the back of her black tank top, tearing the material, but, thankfully, not actually injuring her.
Rolling onto her back and breathing in rigid gasps of air, June looked up. The pidgey was still nowhere to be seen.
Why was it attacking her? They were usually docile, somewhat friendly, pokémon.
Must protect them; my babies!
The voice of the attacking pidgey resounded within her head for a few moments, a desperate edge to the inhuman voice.
As always, when June paid head to what pokémon were saying, it felt as if there was a foreign intruder within her mind.
No matter how much June reached out to pokémon and communicated with them, it was always an uncomfortable experience. To the pokémon, she was an open book for them to read; they knew her innermost thoughts, her greatest fears, and her deepest passions.
To communicate for the barest of moments with a pokémon ―thought it was something that had come naturally to her for as long as she could remember― made her feel completely exposed; more so than if she were to strip and parade before an entire town.
Desperately June scrambled up from the tangled mass of grass and weeds, her eyes darting about frantically in search of the hostile pokémon.
“I mean you and yours no harm!”
A screech resounded from up above, followed by an intrusion of thoughts and emotions ― confusion at June’s deep understanding, fury, and, above all, fear for the safety of her young― that belonged to that of the pidgey.
My babies are in danger. Must protect my babies!
Her stomach now taking up residence in her throat, June knew that the pidgey would pay no heed to what she said. So, closing her eyes, she pushed out her thoughts to that of the pidgey.
I mean you and your babies no harm, she promised the pokémon earnestly.
The raw emotion and honesty behind June’s simple statement stopped the pidgey in its path. She caught sight of the fierce pokémon. Instead of swooping again, the pidgey had donned to stay airborne; flapping its wings with such a ferocity that leaves blew through the air about it.
The pokémon replied to the frightened and earnest girl with but one demand.
June withdrew from the mind of the pokémon, and scrambled ahead. She retreated gratefully from the clearing as fast as her legs ―and the grassy underbrush― would allow, unaware of the exact direction she was now racing in.
Minuted passed ―the exact number June knew not― and she finally came to a complete stop once more. Her legs burnt from overexertion and her lungs and muscles cried out for more air. Black spots danced before her vision and her stomach gurgled as it continued to summersault. Resting her hands on her knees, she waited for the sudden wave of nausea to pass.
Once June was sure she wasn’t about to see her breakfast again, she continued in a slow pace in the direction she hoped beyond all hopes that Oreburgh was in. The previous scare had shaken her to the extent that she wasn’t completely sure which way she was walking in anymore.
With the sun hanging low and June just about to give up hope of ever finding her way again, she stumbled uncoordinatedly out of a mass of bushes onto a well used dirt track.
Picking numerous twigs from her hair, she blinked her vivid blue eyes in shock. She stood motionless for a matter of seconds, deciding what to do now that she was actually on the outskirts of Oreburgh.
June turned left, whistling a merry tune as she ascended up the suddenly sloping track. However, moments later, the song she whistled was abruptly cut short when she reached the top of the slope, beholding in awe the sight of the busy hustle and bustle of Oreburgh as people went about their business. Though a somewhat minor city in comparison to the many others of the surrounding lands, it was incredibly impressive in comparison to her small hometown.
“Oreburgh,” she whispered.
Up until this point the very idea of leaving the orphanage for good had seemed like nothing more than a dream. Now though, everything was starting to truly dawn on her.
A bright smile broke out on her face, dimpling her tan cheeks.
She truly was free.
From her spot atop the hill she could see a real Pokémon Centre and Pokémon Mart; the first almost completely red, the later blue. Surrounding them were thirty-odd residential houses, some stores, and, amiss it all, almost impossible to miss in the splendour and enormity of the structure, was ―indubitably― the town’s pokémon gym. Inside the gym resided the rock pokémon trainer, Roark. He was the first one of the eight gym leaders.
With a sudden boost of energy June started energetically down the hill, kicking up a flurry of dust each time she lifted a boot. Once she’d reached the first of the houses, she took in the sights of all the different pokémon and their owners in great interest.
The emotions started to roll off the pokémon, becoming stronger as she continued further into the small city.
A definite downside to not being in a small town with barely any pokémon anymore, June thought bitterly at the intrusion of thoughts.
In her hometown, Sunbrie, there were only four pokémon that she’d seen regularly. One was a chikorita; Sandy’s small and docile grass pokémon. The others were two pidgeys that belonged to one of the town’s residence, and a ratata that visited June every night for leftovers.
Suddenly, breaking through the defenses of June’s mind, the thoughts and emotions of all the pokémon surrounding her assailed her at once. They hit her like a wave of cold water breaking free from a great dam, engulfing her senses and leaving her momentarily dazed.
Oh look; some food. This came from large monkeylike pokémon.
The said pokémon bent over, picking up a small berry between its thumb and forefinger, before placing it in its mouth and tasting the bitter sweetness of its rare find.
Come and get me! It was a pokémon that greatly resembled a yellow mouse that assaulted her mind with its unchecked thoughts this time.
It darted between buildings, happy beyond words as it ran from a giggling boy that appeared barely two years of age. Rolls of affection for the young child rolled off the pokémon in waves.
June closed her eyes and clamped her hands tightly over her ears. However, it did nothing to block out the intruder’s thoughts.
One after the other, pokémon after pokémon unwittingly merged their minds with her own, becoming one with June. It got to the point that she found it near impossible to distinguishing the thoughts and feelings of the pokémon from that of her own.
She ignored the questioning glances of the surrounding trainers and pokémon alike, falling heavily to her knees upon the dirt track that lead between the houses and buildings of the small city. Her vision blurred, black spots invading her vision as her head thudded in pain.
Make it stop; she begged. Please.
Licking her lips, she tasted something metallic, something warm. She rubbed the back of a hand across her nose, pulling it back to find there was bright red blood upon it.
With a groan, June gathered together whatever coherent thoughts she had left, pushing forcefully at the unfamiliar company that had inadvertently taken up residence within her mind.
One by one she severed the connection that she’d instinctively formed with each of the surrounding pokémon.
Piecemeal, their wants and needs quieted mercifully, no longer rivaling that of her familiar thoughts. They were still there, they were just quieter now.
Taking in a deep swallow of air, she realized she’d been holding her breath.
Separating herself from the pokémon was a grand victory. However, the feat did nothing to boost her hopes; quite the contrary.
She gave a bleak chuckle. No, she would never be free; it was stupid of her to have thought otherwise.
With a somewhat defeated sigh, a surge of drowsiness suddenly overcame June, replacing the previous pain. She paid no heed to the concerned whispers of pokémon and trainers alike as they gathered around her pail and swaying form.
“Miss, are you alright?” an old man asked her.
Still on her knees, the empty darkness finally took her, and, no longer fighting it, she took refuge in the blissful nothingness.
Last edited by aceupthesleeve; 10-04-2008 at 08:30 AM.