View Full Version : Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red

10th July 2005, 3:39 AM

Well, don't hurt me, but here is yet another version of Learning to Heal the Hurt. Except it's better. Meh. That's what I always say, but this time I only rewrote a few chapters, and revised others. I think you'll like it better. I certainly do. I have around ten chapters fully written. There will be twelve total plus the Pro and Epilogue. And, since I won't be here in the next week, don't be expecting an update in the next few days. I'll get it up when I come back from my vacation in Ohio. The prologue is pitifully short, but I could find almost no way to make it longer. Meh.
Just read and review. That is all I ask. It's very helpful to me.


Learning to Heal the Hurt Trilogy
Book I: Fire Red


From two shining orbs comes an eternal glow,
Foraged ‘neath the earth below.
When two ancient Pokemon raged on the earth,
This is how the orbs were birthed.

When fire erupted from under the ground,
And the sea’s waves were all around,
The fire dragon came from the earth’s core,
And the water monster from the ocean floor.

The two clashed in an ancient battle,
Fire and water made the earth rattle.
The wind raged, surrounding the two
Making the nightmares of all come true.

The fire dragon glowed with embers,
It was so bright that you would remember.
The water monster blew off a coal;
It flew in the air and landed in the shoal.

The small raindrop from the water monster flew,
It shinned and simmered with a sapphire hue.
The fire dragon blew its hot breath
Which dried it out so it wasn’t wet.

The coal from the dragon and the drop from the monster,
Turned to two stones, that were even harder.
They laid to rest in the shoal and the shore,
Hoping, just hoping that there was more.

Finally, the two ancient Pokemon left.
They fell to their homes for an eternal rest.
And as for the orbs they still hope and pray
For the time when someone finds them, since that fateful day.

* * *
Its time was nearing. Its time was so close that the creature was acutely aware of it like a dagger lodged deep in its chest. Oh, how it had waited in timeless agony for this day, reaching out its searching tendrils, hoping for a repeatedly denied success. Years, centuries, and even millennia had passed with no hope in sight for its wavering senses. Yet it had refused to give up time and time again, for it held on desperately to the knowledge that a time would eventually come when it would be released from its dreadful prison.

It could feel that day drawing nearer and nearer with each agonizingly slow second that passed. It would rise again; it would be whole in mind and body as it had been before that terrible separation, it vowed to itself day after day. It would all begin when one unimportant, unknowing human laid its hands upon a stone. When one oblivious mortal found a stone the inevitable chain of events would be set into full swing. It knew, deep in its black heart, that the time when it would rise again was drawing swiftly nearer…

* * *
Who would have ever thought that my life could flip upside-down so quickly and unexpectedly? I mean, come on, I, Talia O’Connel, was thirteen and feeling like I was at the prime of my lifetime. I was an average kid living my average life in an almost -average home, and attending an average school. I had a mother but, unlike most kids, no father, and I was an only child. My father had died when I was a baby, leaving my mother a single parent to make her own way in life while raising and supporting me. I had to admit, she had done a pretty good job of it too.

I had friends, after school activities, and homework to take up most of my time. Like a normal kid I had the regular everyday troubles with grades and school, but nothing major ever came up; that is, except for the death of my only surviving relative, my Grandma. Even that wasn’t too tragic for me, as I hardly knew her anyway. She’d been suffering from the memory loss disease of Alzheimer’s for the last twenty years. You could say that I was an extremely sheltered kid who rarely ever encountered a harder task than choosing which outfit I was to wear each morning. Unknown to me, the years ahead would be the hardest, and most grueling I had ever known in my life. I didn’t know it then, but what was about to happen would change my easy life forever.

10th July 2005, 3:48 AM
Ah, I remember this fic. It's a shame, because I only read the first three chapters and missed the majority of it because I got caught up in a bunch of things and eventually forgot about it. It's great that you're reposting it.

That wasn't a Prologue as much as it was an introduction, but it's all the same. A little short, but it was basically just a bit of background information on Talia. Anyways, I'll be waiting for chapter one, and I'll make sure I stick with this one this time around.

10th July 2005, 4:31 AM
Ahh, I remember you, FloatingFlames, from when you reviewed my other posting of this fic. Believe me, the story gets a lot more interesting past chapter 3, so I'm glad you're deciding to stick with me this time. ~_^
I have a problem like that where I can't read a whole fic. I read the first chapter or so and then lose interest... V_V The only one I've actually managed to stick with is Raven: Emerald Fist, but I've been reading that since, well, I joined, and it's hard to stop now. Heh.

Yeah, I know what you mean by it being mostly background info. I like adding my 'prologueish thing' to the fic though because it kind of tells you a little info I'd like you to know. Its also a kind of teaser to make you want to read more. ~_^ Plus, I love the poem so, meh.


Ryano Ra
10th July 2005, 10:24 PM
I enjoyed the flashing background information of Talia, it brings a rather visual touch to it. I must say, Saya, I will definitely be a permanent reader of this story; I think you have great potential in your writing, and your improvement has shown perfectly. The poem was sweet, I wish I could write them myself. A nice Prologue overall; I plan to await for the first chapter, since I know it'll be quite good.

10th July 2005, 11:49 PM
I enjoyed the flashing background information of Talia, it brings a rather visual touch to it. I must say, Saya, I will definitely be a permanent reader of this story; I think you have great potential in your writing, and your improvement has shown perfectly. The poem was sweet, I wish I could write them myself. A nice Prologue overall; I plan to await for the first chapter, since I know it'll be quite good.
*nods* Thankyou. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I must say, I'm always glad to get another permanent fan, as I've never really had them. I actually wrote the poem before I started the fic, but then I wanted to encorperate it into the fic somehow so I rewrote LTHTH and added it. It does fit with the story perfectly though.

Twilight Absol
11th July 2005, 10:16 PM
Hmmm, Loved the prologue, always wanted to read your other one, but always felt that it was too long and couldn't get myself to read it. I like how you started, and you have a talent for grabbing readers' attention. I really look forward to the first chapter, can you pm me when it's up?

16th July 2005, 1:51 AM
Hmmm, Loved the prologue, always wanted to read your other one, but always felt that it was too long and couldn't get myself to read it. I like how you started, and you have a talent for grabbing readers' attention. I really look forward to the first chapter, can you pm me when it's up?
~_^ thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I know what you mean about long fics. I can never get myself reading anything. I'm going to have to work on that. And, yes, I'll be sure to PM you right now, as I'm putting up the next chapter.

Alright, I've finally returned from my camp (it was really awesome!) and as I promised I'll post my next chapter. This chapter is also totally rewritten from the old version, so I hope oyu'll like it better. I really like my writing better nowadays.
Well, as I always say, I won't blab on for anyl onger, and all I ask before you read this is that you review. Reviews always inspire me to write more, so no reviews, means no chapter. Usually. I'm mean that way. ~_^
Well, I hope you'll enjoy my very reworked chapter 1!


Learning to Heal the Hurt: Fire Red
Chapter 1: The Hurt

It was all my fault.

‘No it isn’t’, other people tried telling me, ‘It was just an unfortunate accident. You had nothing to do with it’. I couldn’t listen to them. I knew there had to have been something I could’ve done to prevent this tragedy! Yet, unknowingly, I had done nothing to help the matter. It was because of one of my actions that this had happened, and I knew it too. Because of it my mother was dead, and there was nothing I could do about that. The accident had happened a full seven days ago, but the horrible images still refused to be banished from my mind, no matter how hard I tried, torturing my dreams. No one had been able to console and comfort me in the last week. I did not want pity; I wanted revenge.

Saturday, June 5th had started out as a wonderfully warm day, the temperature resting in the low eighties, and the sun caressing the world below with its soft, golden fingers. I had been standing in the small plot of grass I called a yard at the front of my house, fully enjoying the first day of summer vacation. School had let out only the previous day, and I was marveling at my newfound freedom.

Deri Kemp, one of my best friends, had set out on a Pokemon journey the hour school let out, with another of my friends, Reenie Amier. He had been planning this journey and departure with his parents for weeks, and was barely able to sit still on the last day of the school year. I couldn’t blame him. Pokemon training had been Deri’s passion for years. When we were younger, Reenie, Deri and I had spent hours planning out all the exciting adventures we’d have together when Deri turned thirteen, the minimum age requirement for a Pokemon trainer. Deri’s parents were forever complaining about the minimum age for Pokemon trainers. According to them the youngest you were allowed to start a Pokemon journey had been fifteen when they were kids, and the age had been rapidly decreasing ever since. ‘Before you know it’, Deri’s dad always told us, ‘we’ll have ten year olds rushing around Hoenn proclaiming they’re Pokemon trainers!’ We’d always scoffed at this.

Reenie and I had never shared Deri’s passion for Pokemon training, but we both loved adventure. So, we agreed to accompany him when he was old enough to start. Though, when the time came for Deri to actually leave, I found that my summer jobs, and weekly earnings, were a much-needed addition to my mother’s monthly wages. Money had been an issue in my household all my life, but never as severely as this. So, unable to leave my mother alone to fend for herself, I’d forced myself not to go with them, or join into Reenie and Deri’s constant planning sessions. It almost made me sad to think of my two best friends away on some exciting journey with out me. I knew, though, that my mother came first, and nothing could change that.

I lived in a small neighborhood directly outside of the busy streets of Sandar City, Hoenn. Sandar wasn’t a ridiculously large city, as Rustboro, Mossdeep, and Slateport were, but to me it was the largest group of buildings I’d ever seen stacked together in one place. Each house in my neighborhood stood barely two feet from its neighbor, with only a tiny plot of grass in the front and back of the place. Reenie lived only a few blocks to the north of me, and her yard was about three times the size of mine. Naturally, I’d spent most of my childhood romping with Reenie and her four brothers around their yard. Deri lived a little farther away, but could always reach us within a fifteen-minute bike ride that became shorter as the years passed and we grew up.

On that terrible day of June 5th, unknown to me, I’d left the front door of my house slightly ajar in my haste to get outside. That was when everything began to go wrong. After taking a few deep breaths of the fresh summer air, I’d turned around and begun to head back inside, where the air was cooler. Stepping inside I’d been just in time to catch the first glimpse of my mother coming down the steps to the foyer from the second story of our house. She had two huge baskets balanced precariously on her hips, one of laundry, one of other various household items.

“Oh, Talia!” She’d said, smiling at me as she began to descend the steps, “I have something for…” Those were the last words she ever spoke to me. From there, it all happened so fast that even now I barely can recall what happened. All I remember is the sharp yap of a Pokemon, and a brown blur rushing up the steps toward my mother’s feet. Before I had time to call out a warning she’d blundered right into the creature.

The harsh, guttural cries of a Pokemon rang out across the room, almost drowning out the surprised shout from my mother, before she tripped over the small, brown striped figure at her feet, and plummeted downward. The full baskets of clothing and inanimate objects prohibited her from catching herself on the wall or the banister. If she hadn’t been carrying the baskets, her life might’ve been saved.

With one last terrified shout, my mother tumbled headfirst down the stairway, entangled in the small Pokemon that had tripped her. The sickening crack of a human skull against hard tile resonated throughout the room, leaving only a deafening silence, broken by the pitiful cries of “Zig! Zigzagoon!” from the terrified Pokemon, in its wake. I stood there, utterly immobile, my limbs frozen in shock and numb terror. Aliana O’Connel lay in a twisted position, a position I was sure was unnatural for any normal human being. She wasn’t moving at all, her chestnut hair masking her face, and I couldn’t even tell if she was breathing or not. Clothing, towels and bed sheets, pens, paper, toys and loose change lay scattered all over the floor and stairs, debris from the baskets she’d been carrying when she fell.

I couldn’t move, could barely even breathe, as those horrible images kept playing and replaying themselves in my mind. I didn’t even know what condition she was in; if she was alive, seriously injured or…dead. The Zigzagoon struggled shakily to its feet, gazing terrorized at the scene around it. Snapping back to my senses I turned, screaming kicking, waving my arms madly, and chased the Pokemon from my house. It had injured my mother. I could not have it running around my house unhurt while my mother was not! Utterly exhausted, bone-weary and terror stricken, unable to do anything, I sank down onto my knees, and stared dumbly at nothing.

The shouts of my mother and the cries of the Pokemon must’ve carried out to the neighbor’s house, because the next thing I knew Judy Sullivan, my high school aged neighbor, had poked her head through the front door. A sharp gasp escaped her lips, and the next thing I knew people were rushing about, ordering me left and right. Barely minutes later an ambulance came roaring up to our front door, and carted my mother away in a balloon of light and roaring sound. I could not think, couldn’t even comprehend what had happened.

When Mrs. Amier, who had taken the time to come and be with me, to comfort me, though I would not respond to anything she said, gently took me aside and told me the horrifying news I fell into a vortex of my own world. I couldn’t think, couldn’t make contact with anyone outside myself. My mother, my caring beautiful mother had died. The fall had killed her. She’d felt no pain.

The next week passed in a whirling blur of faces, each paying their respects over my mother’s death, each attempting to comfort me. Behind that mask of caring and sorrow I could sense a relief, a kind of pity, that the orphan girl standing before them was not their own child. I hated them for that. The only ones who might’ve been able to comfort me in the week immediately following my mother’s death would’ve been Reenie and Deri, my best friends. They, alas, were away on a journey at the time. I didn’t even know if they knew about her death.

I could barely keep myself on my feet after my mother’s death. I could barely comprehend what was going on, and it was only later that I realized what had been happening during that week. The funeral processions were carried out, none of which I saw with my unseeing eyes, locked in my own world, and Aliana O’Connel was placed beneath the surface as her final destination in this life. Mrs. Amier, Mrs. Kemp and Deri’s younger sisters, Ruth and Yaliana, had taken full control of my life, my house and my belongings, reading through my mother’s will, with the help of a lawyer, and organizing the distribution of our tiny ‘fortune’. In all that time I didn’t help them. In all that time not one single tear fell from my eyes. I was in a complete state of shock.

This morning I’d stepped out of the Kemps house, without telling anybody where I was heading, as I didn’t even know myself, and began to walk. It didn’t take me long before I finally found myself standing in the sidewalk by my house, the place I had lived peacefully only a week before with my mother. I just stood there, dumbly staring up at the small gray-sided structure, torturing memories releasing themselves on my unprotected mind. As I’d stared up at the house I had this strange urge, this sudden need, for revenge. Though I knew it had been my fault my mother had died, and my life had changed forever, I wanted revenge on something. I wanted something to blame, beside myself, for this catastrophe that had befallen my family. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do anything. Someone had to pay.

My thoughts immediately flashed back to the terrible day, and that tiny streak of brown catapulting towards my mother’s descending figure; the shocked expression registering in her pretty face as she fell; the ugly cries of the Pokemon afterward, calling out in its pain beside my mother’s still figure. It had been the cause of my pain, and it would pay dearly. Not just that tiny, insignificant Zigzagoon, but also the whole species of Pokemon.

Anger began to seethe up into my mind, blotting out all other thought. Pokemon would pay for what they had done to me, for what they had done to my mother. I would make sure of that. Blinded by rage, I stumbled around to the side of my house, struggling to keep myself under control. I would leave this place, this place of misery and death. I couldn’t stay here any longer. I had to leave.

Grabbing my bicycle I wheeled it out onto the driveway, and, without even bothering to strap on my helmet, I took off, peddling as fast as I could onto the street. People milled about the sidewalk on the first sunny day of the summer, enjoying the sunshine with their friends or families. At least, I thought bitterly, they actually had families to enjoy it with. Bitterness and anger swelled inside me, powered with the recent wound over my mother’s death. I rode through the crowded city streets, heedless of the passersby milling around me, shouting at me to watch out or slow down. I didn’t listen to them, as I was lost too deep into my own problems.

Why did this have to happen to me? What had I ever done to deserve this? I had led a completely innocent life as far as I was concerned. I hadn’t done anything terribly wrong, but now my mother was mercilessly ripped from me! I wasn’t ready to lose her yet! I still needed her, relied on her for most of my needs! I was angry at the world, angry with everyone and everything, but most of all, I was angry with Pokemon. They had to pay.

I rode for what seemed like hours, the wind whipping my dusty brown hair around my face. I flew through the city of Sandar, Hoenn, the place I had lived all my life. Many people knew me here, but not many would care about my recent loss. The world was a vast, uncaring place. I would learn that the hard way in the weeks to come.

Only once I had reached the outskirts of Sandar City did I begin to tire out, my leg muscles beginning to feel the strain of riding for hours. The sun was high overhead by this time, blazing down on my lone figure. Fatigue began to take my sweat-laden body, and I slowly began to lessen my speed.

Without warning, my bike wheel struck a hump in the otherwise smooth cement of the road, totally taking me by surprise. Before I could do anything to stop myself I was flying over the handlebars of my bike, and sprawling onto the road. Pain erupted in my head and leg through my sudden tears, and I quickly scrabbled to my feet, tears streaming down my face. Surveying the damage done from the fall I found that my arms, face and legs were covered in tiny scrapes and blood. My knee was bleeding heavily.

Crying, I stumbled off the road, leaving my damaged bike behind, and made a break for the forest. I had to get out of here, had to get out of this cursed place I had lived in for years. My mother was dead, there was nothing left in life for me anymore. I was only one small, unimportant girl, left to the horrible cruelty of the world.

Stumbling a few more feet into the forest I fell to the ground, my whole body aching, and entirely exhausted. My tears suddenly began to fall faster, and harder than before. They quickly elevated into sobs, wracking my whole body with grief, anger and pain. I shook, letting myself cry. I hadn’t cried in the week since my mother’s death, but I couldn’t stop myself now. I needed to cry. My mother was gone forever, but I was out to get revenge.

16th July 2005, 4:30 AM
Different than the first one. But definatley better.

another permanent fan, as I've never really had them

Ahem! *points to self* Am I not a pernament fan?

Well, how are you going to explain the change of Talia's plans later on regarding pokemon?

16th July 2005, 5:49 PM
Ahem! *points to self* Am I not a pernament fan?
Sorry, Riaf. I remember you, but just wasn't thinking when I wrote that. Thankyou for reviewing. I really appreciate it alot! You;ll have to wait and see how I change Talia's plans. ~_^ Glad you liked it!

Twilight Absol
19th July 2005, 10:31 AM
hmmm...Even moreso Interesting, I like this idea, how one could transformed into such a hateful person in such a quick amount of time, just by the loss of innocence. It is a great start from what I've seen, and the way you tell the story is different from most of the other authors on this board, and it's always to see some change once in awhile. Now that I have an idea where this fic leads to, I hope that you'll prove me wrong and surprise me. ;) As for the main character, I think that she's a very nice change, on that actually cares about her family other than those that just yell at their parents all day long complaining about the things that many would only posses in their dreams. Great job... and I dont think I've wrote something this long since school was out :P

19th July 2005, 5:31 PM
hmmm...Even moreso Interesting, I like this idea, how one could transformed into such a hateful person in such a quick amount of time, just by the loss of innocence. It is a great start from what I've seen, and the way you tell the story is different from most of the other authors on this board, and it's always to see some change once in awhile. Now that I have an idea where this fic leads to, I hope that you'll prove me wrong and surprise me. ;) As for the main character, I think that she's a very nice change, on that actually cares about her family other than those that just yell at their parents all day long complaining about the things that many would only posses in their dreams. Great job... and I dont think I've wrote something this long since school was out :P
lol Thankyou for commenting once again Twilight Absol, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I think you might be surprised about where I'm taking this fic (if I ever do get it finished which I'm very close to doing) as most people end up surprised with what I do with my characters. As for my style of writing, and the family values I'm glad you enjoyed the change. I love my parents, so I can relate (minorly) to some of Talia's feelings, though none of my parents have died, and I have oodles of relatives unlike poor Talia. ~_^
Well, thankyou for the encouragement, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy my fanfiction!


20th July 2005, 6:51 PM
Thank you once again to those of you who reviewed, and gave me encouragement on my writing. I decided to post chapter two now, as I have nothing else to do, so I hope you'll enjoy it. Many people say this is one of my best chapters, though I disagree, bit I hope you'll like it anyway. XD
Please review, as your comments are always welcomed and readily accepted. I always love hearing how I could improve my writing.


Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 2: Fire Red

It was well past the midnight hour when I stumbled blindly over a group of large, strong vines hanging tauntingly from a nearby maple. I cursed, balancing myself crazily on one foot as I clumsily attempted to free my other foot. As soon as my foot was free, I set it down and began moving into the dark trees again. Promptly, I tripped over a fallen log thrown stubbornly in my path. Letting forth a stream of violent curses (most of which my mother certainly would not approve of) I glared down at the mucky damp floor of the forest, which was now about two inches away from my face. The deep earthy smell of the rotting leaves and undergrowth filled my nose along with the clean smell of damp soil. I pulled myself to my aching feet, and proceeded to wipe the worst of the mud off my clothing and icy hands before plowing on again into the darkness of the night.

If you’ve ever been out alone in the middle of the night, even if it’s in your own backyard, it’s usually a little freaky. I’m not the kind of person who scares easily, but the darkness of the woods was beginning to get to my brain so much that I jumped at every little sound. I plowed on attempting to ignore the stories flashing through my head about people who were caught in the forest at the…

I jumped and froze, my heart pounding so loudly in my ears I could have sworn the people in Kanto, the farthest region from Hoenn, could hear it. I had heard a noise somewhere over in the trees off to my left. It was nothing, absolutely nothing; just my imagination running away with me, I tried soothing my terrorized mind over and over. I couldn’t believe myself. I just have to keep on moving, I told myself, it was nothing. I forced my stiff leg to take another step forward, planting my foot firmly in the soft earth beneath me before picking the other one up and moving it past the first. One leg, then the other, one leg, then the other, one leg, and then the other…

This went on for sometime, allowing my mind to stay firmly attentive only to what I was doing so that it didn’t stray to other things, other things that would leave me both immobilized and defenseless, or emotion stricken and irrational. Finally, I was able to calm my frazzled nerves and move easily without freezing up every time a twig snapped or a leaf fell.

I was stupid, I realized as I continued my never-ending trek through the forest, leaving home like that with nothing but the clothes on my back. I mean, I was out here in the wilderness all alone in the dead of night, totally defenseless with not even a measly knife to protect me, not that a knife would have done me much good anyway. I had no food or water to survive on, and I hadn’t eaten anything since early this morning. Worst of all I was tired and hungry, as my stomach now informed me, with the night’s chill just beginning to settle deep into my very bones.

I was out here for a reason, I reminded myself, and that reason was cold hard revenge. Revenge for the cruel, heartless deed of my mother’s death. I felt my eyes begin to darken with a red mist, and my body grow colder than any chilling wind could make it as the rational part of my mind began to slip. I pushed my rage down into a deep corner of my mind to let it simmer and grow for later. Right now if I let my emotions take hold of me I would surely get hurt. There were wild creatures out in the night, searching for easy defenseless prey, like myself, to wander straight in to their waiting hands.

What was that! This time it wasn’t a suspicious sound that stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought I had seen a bit of red flashing somewhere over in the corner of my eye. Staying deathly still, I waited for it to appear again so that I would know I hadn’t dreamed it up. There it was again! I whipped my head around, dark brown hair flying out behind me, blue eyes searching.

And again! This time the bright red glint flashed somewhere under the forest bracken over to my left. I slowly pivoted my body, and cautiously began to inch my way over towards the spot; you never knew if a wild creature was out there ready to jump you. I slowly reached the spot where I had seen the red flash, and quickly dropped to my hands and knees. The forest floor was muddy and wet, quickly soaking through my rugged and torn jeans to dampen my half frozen knees. I dug my hands deep into the cold, muddy mess of rotting leaves, soil and who knows what else (probably some creatures dung, with my luck), cursing and shivering in distaste as my fingers immediately went numb from the sudden shock of the cold surrounding them.

I began clearing the rotting muck away from the spot I had seen the flash of red, hoping to once again catch a glimpse of it. To my relief it appeared again only a little off to my left. I immediately was off after it, quickly clearing away what I could of the forest debris. I very soon encountered the object of my pains as my groping hand came into contact with something hard. Closing my hand slowly around it, I noted its round, smooth texture, and almost dropped it again as a strange, buzzing warmth filled me, beginning at the hand that held the small object, definitely a stone, and spreading onwards, through my body, sending feeling back into my fingers, arms and legs.

I yanked the stone up close to my face so I could examine it better in the darkness. It was a small, smooth stone that pulsed slightly with a strange rhythm as I held it, synchronizing with the beating of my heart. It was brilliant fire red in color, and had a glassily smooth texture as if it had been in water for a very long time. As I stared at the stone it filled me with a strange sense of power, like nothing I had ever felt before. I stared at it a second or two longer before slipping it into my left pocket for safekeeping. This was a special stone; that I knew. I was definitely keeping it.

Wearily, I trudged on through the forest for the next hour or so, never stopping to rest my forever aching bones or my eyes whose lids began to droop every couple of minutes, because I knew that if I did I would fall asleep and wouldn’t have the strength to go on. I tried to ignore the constant gnawing of hunger pains in the pit of my stomach; I just had to keep moving. I knew I couldn’t eat just any fruit that showed itself to me, it had a possibility of being poisonous, same with roots. I kept moving.

Some hours before dawn my exhausted body stumbled wearily into a small, overgrown clearing only a few yards across. There I collapsed into a heap on the ground, too exhausted to go on. I didn’t even notice a branch poking me uncomfortably in the side; I was too tired. My eyelids began to droop and finally to shut as I was thrown deep into the dark, soothing pit of sleep.

A noise startled me into wakefulness. I jerked roughly up into a sitting position, wincing as the branch that had been poking into my side the whole time I lay asleep, yanked free. I kicked the branch out of my way, and surveyed the area. It was still dark, perhaps only an hour or so had passed since I’d fallen asleep. The wind was rustling softly through the leaves of the trees surrounding the clearing, sending cold shivers through my weary body as I stared out into the pitch darkness. The night was a clear one, millions of stars softly dotting the dark sky, and the waxing sliver of a moon casting barely enough light for me to see my hand if I stuck it in front of my face. The wind wasn’t the sound I’d heard though. I glanced quickly around me, my blue eyes searching, attempting to penetrate the almost pitch-blackness, and failing miserably.

Wait, what was that? My eyes had detected a small movement that wasn’t just the natural swaying of trees in the wind, somewhere over to my right. I turned my head slowly in the direction I’d seen the movement coming from, and squinted, my eyes barely penetrating the darkness.

Then I saw it. I was a small Po… creature… very teddy bear like with a faintly glowing outline of a crescent moon on its forehead. It appeared to be eating something…happily. I felt the rage I had built up earlier in the night begin to surface, filling my once calm mind with murderous and irrational thoughts and suggestions about what I could do. I could not let this thing be happy and eat while I was wallowing in despair and staving!

I jumped to my feet, tottering momentarily as my over used leg muscles protested, but soon regained my balance. I glared daggers into the small thing’s back, thrusting my hand into my left pocket, feeling around for the stone I had picked up earlier in the night. I didn’t care if the stone was somehow ‘special’; all that mattered was hurting the creature just as badly as it had hurt me! I yelped in pain as my hand came into contact with the red stone, jarring my concentration on my rage momentarily. I yanked my hand from my pocket and quickly thrust my burned fingers into my mouth. The stone had been burning hot, just like my anger was. What had caused the stone to turn so warm? Surely not the heat from my body! I wasn’t that warm!

Attempting to curse around my hand, I stooped down and grabbed the first thing that met my groping fingers: a stone. The stone was lumpy, rough and disfigured, perfect for my aims. Using my right arm I launched the lump of rock at the creature, hoping desperately that it wouldn’t miss. Deri always said I had a killer arm, which probably came from pitching for my softball team six years in a row. My stone struck its mark, point blank, right on the thing’s chubby shoulder. The creature just sat there and blinked at me, looking thoroughly stunned, an apple halfway to its small pink mouth. Then it began to wail, shattering the peaceful night silence like a gunshot. “Tedi! Tediursa! Tedi!” It shrieked in a high squeaky voice, tears beginning to form in its small black orbs.

I smirked and sauntered slowly over to it, holding myself high, and neatly plucked the green apple from its tiny paw. I winced as I bit into the apple; the baby creature’s wails were growing to a deafening crescendo.

“Shut up,” I said off handedly to it as I began to walk away, quite happy with the damage I’d done.

“Tediursa! Ursa! Tediursa!”

“What a baby,” I smirked as I chewed my latest bite of apple, my mouth and stomach enthusiastically welcoming the crunchy deliciousness. “Can’t even take getting tapped with a stone with out crying.” I turned away from it; a goofy smirk glued to my face, and began to saunter in the direction of the forest, enjoying myself for the first time in what seemed like months.

I froze. Something was wrong. The Tediursa’s cries had suddenly ceased. Oh no, I told myself, don’t tell me... A terrible guttural growling could be heard not far behind my still form. Whatever it was it didn’t sound friendly. I jerked myself quickly around hoping to catch a glimpse of the creature making that unearthly sound.

My eyes popped wide open, and the half eaten apple dropped from my now badly trembling hand as my eyes came to rest on the creature standing behind me. Terror took complete hold of my body, all the saliva in my mouth drying in an instant, for behind me stood a large, hulking monster no less than eight feet in height. I, at 5’3, only reached the top of the yellow ring that tattooed its large hairy chest and belly. It was glaring and growling at me, barring its sharp white teeth in a way I did not interpret as friendly. Behind this large bear stood the small Tediursa I had struck with the stone, a large swelling protruding from its small skull, grinning at me in triumph. I glanced back up at the bear. This had to be the Tediursa’s parent, a fully-grown Ursaring, and from the way it was looking at me I knew it wasn’t here for a polite conversation.

Terror had totally overtaken my body. I was defenseless. My left hand strayed into my pocket to touch the Fire Red stone, as I had now dubbed it, as if a reflex. It was a biting cold, so freezing that it numbed my fingers instantly at the touch.

I starred up at the angry bear, my eyes filled with fear. I could feel myself trembling, shaking uncontrollably at what faced me. I tried to will my legs to move, but my body would not obey. My eyes locked with the Ursaring’s dark black ones, burning with an immense fire of rage. I searched my mind desperately for anything I knew about Ursaring and their habits. They were very protective of their young, and if I wasn’t confusing my Ursaring information with my Illumise information like I usually did (don’t ask) I was pretty sure that if anything hurt their young they would stop at nothing to get revenge. This was not good for me, not at all.

Then it hit me. An idea not the bear! The Ursaring, as much as I disliked it, was like me. I was out for revenge on Pokemon for the death of my mother; the bear wanted revenge on me for hurting its child. There was still no way I could console this angry parent from attacking.

I felt a flare of mind numbing pain jump from the pocket that held the Fire Red stone, freezing my thigh instantly. I stared down at my pocket to find it encrusted in small ruby red ice crystals. Still wandering at the strange red stone I reached out a trembling finger to brush the ice. I yelped. The ice was burning cold, so cold that it felt hot. It didn’t melt at my touch either, like normal ice would. That shock was enough to get me, and the bear, moving. I turned and fled, running blindly away from the clearing into the dark of night. I heard a loud, angry roar shatter the silence behind me, and the heavy pounding of large, padded paws on the soft earth. The bear was pursuing me. I was going to die.

I ran, sprinting past low hanging vines of all variations, thick, thin, green, brown; past fallen trees and branches bursting with fungus and small life. I ran past trees, large ancient oaks to young, healthy cedars. I ran past shrubs and bushes, large and small. I flung myself wildly into to the night, flying over ruts and dips in the land, over logs and bushes, anything that lay in my path. Still the bear pursued me, screaming its rage in long, low, terrifying growls and roars, a constant reminder of why I was running in the first place.

A few minutes passed in what seemed like hours to my terrorized mind. My breath began to come in short, ragged gasps, my head began to swim in dizziness with the lack of air. Still the bear was coming, roaring crazily in pursuit. The Fire Red stone in my pocket sent me constant flares of freezing cold pain, urging my already exhausted leg muscles into motion, forbidding them to stop. The only thing that gave me the strength to move at all was the pure cold terror that reigned in my mind. If the Ursaring caught up to me I would be…no! I didn’t want to think about it! I pushed on.

My hurt leg, which had been savagely cut from my fall off my bike, was throbbing painfully, begging me to stop putting it through this dreadful agony. I winced and placed the pain at the back of my mind. If I concentrated on anything other than escaping I would surely be caught and… I was not going to allow myself to think about that!

A rowan tree threw itself in front of my tearing path. I threw myself quickly to the side and dodged around it, almost tripping on the log sprawled right next to it. To trip would have been the end. I could hear the Ursaring behind me, charging steadily, its heavy clawed feet pounding loudly on the soft forest floor, crushing dead leaves and bark as it ran. I dared not look back. If I did I would probably trip and then it would be all over; Talia O’Connel would be no more. Who cared one tiny bit about Talia O’Connel anyway?

My heart was hammering madly in my chest, and my lungs gasped desperately for air. Lactic acid was building up in my legs and arms, turning every little movement into a complete agony. Even if I had been on the track team at school I had never been forced to run like this.

Swiftly, I ducked a low, thick branch that appeared right at eye level, and then agilely leaped down a short half foot drop, and continued on, mind racing horribly in fear. I heard a loud thwack! and then an angry growl from the bear followed by a sharp crack! of breaking wood. The Ursaring had run into the low branch I’d ducked, snapping it clean off. It would have struck me as funny had I been under normal circumstances, but now I just thanked my lucky stars that I’d been given a chance to live.

I risked a glance behind me. Just as I thought the bear had struck the branch. It now stood, only a mere five yards behind me, tearing the branch to pieces, allowing me to put a much needed distance between us. All of a sudden I felt my left foot catch in something, and then my both my feet were ripped out from under me. I felt myself fly forward, and then pain. It exploded in my head like a firecracker. My vision was blurred as yellow and white lights flashed before my unseeing eyes. My head had struck a tree opening a gash in my forehead. Then the headache hit. It came as a roaring, agonizing pain that flooded my mind, knocking out all sense of time and space, sending me reeling into almost total blackness. Even through the pain I remembered why I was running, and jerked my head around, wincing at the sudden movement, to stare in the direction the bear had been chasing me from.

Pure cold terror filled my mind, swamping even the pain of my run in with the tree trunk. The Ursaring was still coming, a new light of triumph sparking in the depths of its fiery rage filled eyes. It knew I was down and wasn’t getting up. Now it was only five yards from me, so close that I could smell its awful scent, so close that I could see its unbearably sharp white teeth glinting in the scant moonlight. When the bear got through with me I would be nothing more than a corpse, barely recognizable from my goring. Not a pretty picture.

I tried, in one last desperate attempt to stand up, but then realized that my foot was hopelessly caught in a tangle of roots at the base of the old oak I had smashed against. All hope was lost. I glanced up at the bear. It was only a mere six yards away and rapidly closing in.

Five yards...

Three yards...

Two yards…

One yard. I closed my eyes tightly, hoping that it would kill me quickly, and that it wouldn’t be too painful. All of a sudden I felt an intense heat begin to grow in my pocket, and flare into a burning inferno, a vast change from the freezing temperature it had held all through out the chase. I barely noticed it as I steeled myself for the pain that was going to come. I waited one second, then two. When nothing happened I peeked, confused, from one eye.

What I saw caused my eyes to fly open in amazement. A fiery red barrier of light surrounded me, warming my chilled bones. On the outside of the barrier stood the Ursaring, snarling in fury as it threw itself again and again at the red light, which appeared to be… solid?

I glanced down at my pocket to find that it was glowing bright red, so bright that it left spots before my eyes when I looked away. Somehow the Fire Red stone had made this protective barrier, shielding me from what was almost certain death.

The Ursaring threw itself at the barrier for another full minute before growling one last time in rage and defeat, and turning off to disappear into the forest. I just sat and stared, shaking violently from fear and exhaustion, watching the red light slowly fade away, soon exposing me to the outside world.

Finally the night began to catch up on me. I hadn’t slept in what seemed like days, and with all the running I’d done it was a wonder I had been able to stay awake this long. I tugged at my foot for a few minutes, attempting to get it unstuck and failing miserably. Too exhausted to go on I shifted my position a few times, trying to arrange myself comfortably. Finally, choosing a position I liked, my eyelids began to droop lower and lower, and finally closed all the way. I was immediately plunged into the comforting darkness of sleep.

* * *
It was burning hot. My skin felt like it was on fire. Steam was rising around me in wisps, like smoke, and I could see that I was on a small ledge sticking far out over a vast deep pit. Searing heat was radiating from it, and a bright red glow was cast from far, far below.

I started creeping carefully towards the pit, attempting to see what was making that horrible red glow. I reached the edge of the ledge, and peered cautiously over. Horrified, I stared incredulously at what I was seeing. The pit was full of red-hot lava. I backed quickly away from the edge until my back bumped against the steep rock cliff behind me. I looked up the large cliff; it was tall and sheer, no way that I could climb up it. I was trapped. I glanced frantically around me for a way out, but there was none that I could see.

All of a sudden the ground beneath my feet started shaking: an earthquake! The end of the ledge began dropping away making the small space I had even smaller. My mind was reeling with terror. It was then that I saw it.

It came out of the fire like an underwater mountain coming out of the sea. Hot lava was pouring off its back, and it towered ten times my height. It was red, the same color as the stone I now carried in my pocket, and it appeared to be like a mythical Pokemon that had jumped out of the pages of one of my old storybooks. A dangerous glint was in its golden eye.

I stared at the great creature hoping it wouldn’t see me. Somewhere I had seen this mythical beast before, somewhere that I couldn’t recall. It turned its dangerous eye towards me, and I knew with terrible clarity that I had been spotted. It started making a long slow move toward me, its large arms clawing. I squeaked and began backing up frantically toward the wall behind me, hoping to somehow avoid it’s clawing grasp. It hit my ledge, crumbling it into nothing.

I fell, fell towards the lava. I could feel its intense heat hitting my sweating body. My head was reeling: I was going to die! As I fell one last word flashed through my terrified mind: Groudon.

20th July 2005, 7:25 PM

Spelled it wrong.

Well, this was my favorite chapter. I loved the Ringuma chase with Talia and how she barely survived. Only I wish you went more in detail about Groudon. Describing the lines and spikes would have satisifed me.

20th July 2005, 11:09 PM
Thanks for pointing that out Riaf. I'll be sure to change it. I'm glad you enjoyed it (even though you've had to suffer through it three times...). About the Groudon scene, I kind of wanted ot keep it vague for now. Later I might go into more detail.

Thanks again!


Ryano Ra
20th July 2005, 11:33 PM
Both chapters were enlightening. I just love Talia, she's a person who is unique, and I love unique characters. I must say, this time around, you are improving in the quality and descriptions in your chapters. I am truly sorry for the short review, but as I said before, they were enlightening. Great job, and good luck with the next chapter.


21st July 2005, 12:07 AM
So is she connected to Groudon somehow? I thought a Shuppet would appear and protect her because a Shuppet would appear when someone felt extreme rage towards something or someone.

21st July 2005, 12:17 AM
Both chapters were enlightening. I just love Talia, she's a person who is unique, and I love unique characters. I must say, this time around, you are improving in the quality and descriptions in your chapters. I am truly sorry for the short review, but as I said before, they were enlightening. Great job, and good luck with the next chapter.

Thanks Syra, for reviewing again! I've always loved Talia too, as she was one of the only characters I've really ever made that I've grown attatched too. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and think my description is improving. I think so too, and hope it will continue to. I don't mind the short review as long as you say at least a little something. :P I like to know who's reading even if they aren't inclined to give me a review. Thanks again!

So is she connected to Groudon somehow? I thought a Shuppet would appear and protect her because a Shuppet would appear when someone felt extreme rage towards something or someone.
You'll just have to wait and see how Groudon ties into this. It becomes more apparent as the fic wares on, so you'll see it eventually. You know, I've never heard that about Shuppet. Maybe I don't research my Pokemon too well or something. Ah, well. It's a good piece of info to keep in mind. Thanks legendaryrider for the review!


21st July 2005, 2:26 AM
your welcome.i will give you the pokedex says sapphire's is "Shuppet grows by feeding on dark emotions such as vengefulness and envy in the heart of people. it roams through cities in search of grudes, that taint people. heres ruby's "Shuppet is attracted by feelings of jealousy and vindictiveness(SP). if someone develops strong feelings of vengeance, this pokemon will appear in a swarm and line up beneath the eaves of that person's home.

21st July 2005, 5:08 PM
your welcome.i will give you the pokedex says sapphire's is "Shuppet grows by feeding on dark emotions such as vengefulness and envy in the heart of people. it roams through cities in search of grudes, that taint people. heres ruby's "Shuppet is attracted by feelings of jealousy and vindictiveness(SP). if someone develops strong feelings of vengeance, this pokemon will appear in a swarm and line up beneath the eaves of that person's home.
Hmmm...this is a good bit of info. I'll keep that in mind and maybe incorperate it into my fic if I get so inclined to do so. Thanks!


26th July 2005, 3:06 AM
Well, thanks to all you people who gave me reviews and your input on my fic. If you didn't, but are still reading I encourage you to continue. As I promised, I have the next chapter here for you. It is definately one of my chapters with lesser action in it, but I enjoy it all the same. It seems I'm getting into a pattern of adding a new chapter every five days so I think that's what I'll stick with from now on. Well, I guess I'll stop blabbering my head off so you guys can actually read the chapter! :D
Please, if you are reading the only thing I ask of you is that you review. You only have to do it once if you wish, but I do like to know who's reading!


Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 3: Of Sticks, Stories and Healing

I jerked bolt upright, my clear blue eyes flying wide open. I was cold, my body and clothes soaked with sweat. The blankets that covered me were wet too. That dream! It was terrifying yet I had this feeling that it was somehow important. It was trying to tell me something, I was sure of it, but what? I had never had a dream, a nightmare really, that seemed so vivid; so real. All my dreams were a series of pointless events that shifted and merged into each other throughout the night. They never made sense like that, never. What did it all mean? And why the heck did I have blankets? The last thing I remembered was collapsing, with my foot caught in roots, into a deep sleep after escaping the angry parent Ursaring’s wrath. Unless I had missed something here I was pretty sure I hadn’t moved at all, but I had.

I glanced wearily around me, groaning as my sore muscles and bones protested. I was in the center a large clearing surrounded by the forest I had recently been traveling through. The clearing was filled with long wild grasses that swayed slowly in the soft, comfortable breeze, with artfully colored wild flowers dotting the landscape. Around these flowers many bug pokemon, such as Yanma, Beautifly, and Butterfry flitted joyously, showing off their beautiful colors, vainly, to the world. Rattata, Zigzagoon and Wurmple ran through the tall grasses, darting wildly to and fro. Various bird Pokemon such as Pidgey, Spearrow, Taillow and occasionally their evolved forms called loudly to each other across the great expanse of field. The sky was a shining sapphire blue, and it appeared to be early morning by the position of the sun shining brightly in the sky. It was all very beautiful; except for the Pokemon of course. I glanced down. I was rapped in twisted, sweat soaked sheets, lying on the ground under a tree that I was pretty sure I had never seen before.

“Hey! The One-Who-Sleeps-For-Two-Days-and-Nights had finally awoken!” A cheerful female voice greeted my ears. I knew that voice very well, and its presence surprised me.

“Reenie?” I asked in surprise as I jerked my head around to stare at my best friend. Reenie’s sparkling green eyes met mine as I looked at her, the glint of mischief that was always there as bright as ever. Her mouse brown hair was pulled back in a quick ponytail and fastened with a hair tie at the nape of her neck. Her dark green T-shirt and jean shorts rippled softly in the breeze.

“The one and only!” The 13-year old answered approaching me with a ready smile. Reenie always smiled.

“I’m here too!” Another voice piped up as the owner came to stand beside Reenie.

“Deri!” I exclaimed, even more surprised to see my shy, quiet other best friend than I was to see the out going Reenie. Deri smiled and shrugged. Deri was definitely the brains of our trio, always able to figure things out that Reenie and I, with our more limited knowledge, couldn’t.

“Why are you guys here?” I asked incredulously. “The last I heard you were traipsing around the country side, heading for Rustboro.”

“What happened to you?” Reenie returned, grinning.

I sighed. “It’s kinda a long story,” I said doubtfully, not exactly thrilled at the prospect of having to relate my whole tale to them, and relive the pain I had felt.

“S’all right,” Deri intervened. “We were just about to have breakfast anyway. You can tell us then.”

“Oh, and don’t go back to sleep,” Reenie warned.

“Why?” I asked, confused. Reenie was the kind of person who had the strangest ideas that just about nobody would think of.

“You’ve had too much of it.” She grinned, a mischievous glint flooding her eyes.

“Too much of it…?” I mumbled, my half asleep mind stumbling to think. “Wait! How long was I asleep anyway?”

Reenie’s grin spread. “You are Rip Van Winkle. You slept for twenty years.”

“Twenty ye… Reenie!” I cried, eyes blazing. “You’re teasing me!” I accused.

“Just ignore her,” Deri put in, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips, “You slept for two days but even that is a lot.”

“Two days!” I cried, my eyes flying wide open. “When did you guys find me anyway?” If my calculations were correct I might have slept for more than two days.

“Um, two days ago,” Deri answered as Reenie burst forth in a fit of crazy giggles.

I sighed, and shook my head. Of course they wouldn’t know what day I had left, or what day the Ursaring had chased me. So, maybe it was only three days since I’d left Sandar in a hurry. Two days. That was a long time to sleep. I hadn’t even known I could sleep for that long! “I’ll get up.” I said, directing my statement at Deri as Reenie was still giggling madly.

“I’ll get you some breakfast too and…um.” He shot a glance at the hysterical Reenie.

“Just try to get that giggling moron calmed down,” I said, a small smile escaping my lips.

Deri nodded, and quickly turned to grab Reenie on the arm. He hauled the giggling girl up, and began to retreat back to the campfire, lecturing my friend as he went.

I groaned and rubbed my aching head, wincing as my hand came into contact with an open gash on my forehead; dried blood flaked off at my touch. It was the out come of my run in with oak tree from…two, maybe three, days ago. My head hurt, and it felt like a thousand drums were pounding unyieldingly in my brain. I threw off the wet, freezing sheets and staggered to my feet, only to collapse again as my weight fell on my left leg. It buckled instantly, searing pain shooting through it, as I fell hard on my rump. I yelped and glared down at my leg. My left ankle had swollen to almost double its size, and my knee was caked in dry blood. I grimaced. Man was it ugly, and gosh it hurt like hell!

I glanced around me for a stick or something to lean on, in hopes that I wouldn’t have to crawl over to Reenie and Deri looking like a helpless, sick dog! Lucky for me there was a long, pole like stick off to my left. It looked to be about five feet in height, and strong enough to support my weight. I leaned forward, and reached out a hand to grab it, wincing yet again as some of my weight fell on my left leg. My fingers were just short of my prize.

All of a sudden I felt tingling warmth, beginning at my pocket, and spreading up to meet my hand. As soon as the warmth reached my fingers it began to glow in a bright fire red light. The branch that my outstretched hand was almost touching began to twitch and jerk. I stared in a shock and wonder as right before my eyes the branch flew up off the ground, and straight into my outstretched palm. As soon as my fingers closed around the branch securely the red light engulfed the stick totally, almost blinding me with pure red brilliance. I blinked and looked away; the light was too bright to look at. As soon as I felt the warmth begin to die in my hand I cracked open my eyes, and turned my face back to stare at the smooth wooden pole that I now held in my trembling hand.

The branch bore little to no resemblance to what it had once been. It was now a tall, smooth pole of white, bark-stripped wood; smooth, with no knot holes or cracks running along its surface. It was capped with a large piece of white wood, about as large around as my fist. I stared at it, trembling slightly. What was going on here? Things had just gotten weirder and weirder since I had found the Fire Red stone only a few days ago. I shook my head, wet my parched lips with my even dryer tongue and stood up, leaning most of my weight on the stick. Lucky for me it didn’t give way beneath my weight.

I nearly dropped it again in shock. Things were just too weird. The stick was humming with power; flashes of red lightning danced across its surface every couple of seconds. I just stared at it, wide eyed.

“You coming or not, Talia?” Reenie called from over at the campfire, jerking me out of my gaping stare.

“I’m coming.” I called back shakily, keeping a wary eye on the stick. I hobbled over to the fire, and sat myself down, wincing slightly as I did so, brooding over the strange sight I had just witnessed. Things were way, way too weird.

A sharp bark interrupted my reverie. I froze, and slowly raised my gaze from where I was staring at the ground. I could have sworn I had heard the bark of a Pokemon. My eyes did a quick sweep of the area, and, sure enough, my eyes came to rest on a small, gray dog-like creature. It stood about half a meter off the ground at the tips of its ears, and it sported sharp fangs in its small, pink mouth. Even with those killers, it was still a baby, and couldn’t hurt me. I felt the rage begin to boil up with inside me, as I glared at the tiny thing. It had been smiling at me before, but, seeing my gaze, it began to whimper and cower toward Deri. That’s when it hit me. Deri was a Pokemon trainer now. He trained those murderous creatures that killed my mother. This Pokemon was his.

A sudden flash of bright, white light snapped me out of my glare. The Poochyena was quickly engulfed in the flash, and disappeared in the next instant. I glanced up sharply at Deri. He was staring at me, a scared expression on his face. He was gripping the Pokeball close to his chest, protectively. Our eyes locked, and for a minute it was a battle of wills, me versus Deri. Finally, unable to stand it, I looked away, and fell silent once more.

“Nice stick.” Deri commented sometime later, apparently over his initial scare. He was stirring something, stew I think, that hung in a pot over the fire, with a plastic ladle. The aroma wafting from it was blessed. “Where’d you get it? It wasn’t with you when we brought you here. It looks hand crafted.”

I sighed and glared crossly at the staff as it rested lightly at my side. “I found it over by the tree I slept under.” I said truthfully. “I, uh…”

“Tal!” Deri cried, cutting me off in mid sentence. His worried gaze rested on my left leg. “You absolutely cannot be running around on that!” Just like Deri; always the doctor. I suppose it came from being a doctor’s son.

“Well it kinda hurts.” I admitted, rubbing my leg, and wincing as a sharp pain shot through it.

Deri sighed. “Reenie!”

“Yah?” The girl answered, her eyes still riveted on my hurt leg, wide with shock and pity.

“Get a bucket of water and boil it!” Deri ordered, reminding me of how thirsty I was which led me to thinking about how hungry I was, which led me to thinking about how tired I was: two days of sleep left me exhausted.

“While you’re at it, get me something to drink!” I called after Reenie. Just as I was about to order Deri to get me some food he cut me off.

“You. Stay put. No walking on that leg you understand?” His tone was menacing as he pointed at me. When Deri spoke like that there was no crossing him.

“But…” I complained, straightening abruptly.

“No buts. We are going to fix that leg whether you like it or not.” Deri had a look of determination on his face. When Deri was determined to do something, he did it. Nothing could stand in his path.

I had a vague memory of a cup of fresh water being lifted to me dry and parched lips, and a cool, refreshing liquid running down my throat some time later. But I, even having just awoken from a two day sleep was tired, so tired it surprised me. Only a few moments after the cup was taken from my lips I collapsed into a heap, asleep before my head hit the ground.

* * *
For the next three days our lives followed the same monotonous schedule, day in and day out. I would sometimes stay awake the whole day, staring off into space, thinking, always thinking, about how I had become stuck here in this place, my leg too battered for me to walk; all because of Pokemon and their stupid, idiotic ways. Sometimes I’d keep jumping in and out of sleep for a whole day and night. Sometimes Reenie, Deri and I would talk for hours upon hours upon various subjects; but then sometimes we would just sit in silence for hours too. Somehow I always managed to skirt around my friends’ questions about what had happened to me between the time they’d left me till now. I didn’t ask them how they came to be here either for I was sure that that would eventually lead them to asking about my story which I wasn’t quite ready to tell. Deri never let his Poochyena out in my sight again. I could tell I’d scared him the first day I’d woken up. I think they must have somehow gotten word from Mrs. Kemp, too, about my mother’s death. At least they had the decency to not ask about it. If they did I would definitely go off into another rage.

All the while my leg continued to heal under Deri’s attentive care. Deri said I’d always have a scar on my knee from where I’d struck the rock. My head wound was healing too, leaving tender, pink scar tissue where the once open wound had been. It had given me fierce headaches for the first day or so though.

For some strange reason the stick that had been created by something I totally didn’t understand, had been at my side day and night. I had become strangely attached to it, and the Fire Red stone, gripping it frequently to feel the soothing buzz of power fizz through my body. The Fire Red stone was useful to me too because whenever I was cold all I had to do was touch it, and it would instantly send comforting waves of warmth through my body. What could I say to that? I really liked it!

Sometimes Reenie and Deri would retreat across the camp and sit, talking animatedly in harsh whispers glancing over at me frequently. I think they thought I didn’t see them, but I did. Our lives went on like this for three days; eat, talk, sleep; eat, talk, sleep; eat, talk sleep… By the fourth day my leg was almost fully healed. I would be able to travel again, and continue my long journey for revenge.

* * *
I awoke, sometime early on the fourth day, to the soft pattering of a quiet rain splashing my face. The droplets of water rocketed down from the sky to strike my skin and break, trailing down my dirty flesh to leave wet trickles in their wake. I sat slowly up, shivering from the cold as a wave of freezing air washed over my very drenched self, and gazed sullenly around. It was still daytime, judging from the amount of light in the air, but a thick, gray layer of clouds covered the once clear blue sky. The field that had once been so full of life before was almost completely empty with only the wildflowers daring to show their faces and enthusiastically greet the rain.

Everything else was gone from the field, turned a dull gray with the absence of light. I was soaking wet, my dark hair turned almost black by the rain. My clothes were full and unbearably heavy with the wet liquid of which I almost never wanted to see again. It was the same liquid I had so desperately craved for only a few days previous.

The white bandage on my leg, Reenie and Deri had changed it daily to care for my knee and ankle, was full, turned a slight yellowish color from the water and dirt soaked into it. My leg did feel extremely improved from the last time I’d seen it though.

I was still seated by the campfire, or what had once been the campfire (the rain had totally doused it). My left hand automatically groped down to my side. I was rewarded when my hand struck wood and a faint thrum of power buzzed through my head. I had my stick. That was a good thing. I could also feel the familiar weight of the Fire Red stone resting securely in my pocket. I hadn’t taken it out since I’d found it, evading the questions my friends would ask of it. I had my stick and my stone but where were my friends?

I glanced quickly around. Reenie and Deri usually stayed near me, situating their living quarters around the campfire. I figured that since it was raining they had retreated to the safe, dry area beneath the large oak tree I had first woken under, inconsiderately leaving me out in the damp and cold. My hunch proved true as my searching eyes came to rest on the two figures huddled under the nearby tree.

I sighed, untangling my legs from the wet, heavy blankets I’d been wrapped in and stood up, reaching back down to pull my stick up after me. Expecting to feel the slick, wet surface of damp wood, I turned to stare sharply at the stick when I didn’t. The wood was dry, as dry as it always had been, the small droplets of water seeming to slide right off, as if it had a waxen surface, leaving no mark behind them. This stick never ceased to amaze me.

Leaning heavily on my sick I turned towards the dry area under the tree where my friends stood waiting. The dry earth seemed very inviting to my very much water logged self.

“Oh, hey Tal. You’re up.” Reenie commented as I dragged my very wet body over to and under the canopy of the large oak tree, sheltering me from the pouring rain steadily pattering down into the dry earth now turned into thick, dark mud.

“So considerate of you to leave me out in the rain.” I remarked sarcastically, sighing as I slid down so I was seated firmly next to Reenie at the base of the oak.

“Sorry,” Deri shrugged, “We couldn’t move you, and especially not with your leg in the condition it was.”

“Some friends you are.” I muttered darkly under my breath, glaring out into the rain. My hair hung heavily, framing my face and clinging to my damp skin. It was very
uncomfortable. The three of us sat in an almost comfortable silence.

“What happened that brought you all the way out here Tal?” Reenie’s soft question broke the silence that had been stretching on and on.

A little suspicious, I glanced sharply over at her. I was suspicious of my own friends. I just couldn’t trust anybody anymore. Reenie sat beside me; hands limp at her sides, green eyes intent on the wet world outside. She looked innocent enough.

I don’t know what came over me then but in one urgent moment I began to tell them everything, from my mothers death to now, as we were sitting under the canopy of the large oak tree. I told them of my rage towards Pokemon that had originated on the day exactly a week after my mother’s death, of the Ursaring escapade, everything, only omitting the part about the Fire Red stone and my staff. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I had this feeling that if anyone found out about these things I was doomed. It might have been the rain that made me talk, or the constant longing for sympathy that had been hidden deep inside me, only surfacing now, or maybe it was the anger and the hurt that had been bottled up inside me for days, I’ll never know. And, well, it kind of felt good to talk, letting all my feelings of anger, grief, hurt and fear flow out with every word I speak. My friends listened intently the whole time, never interrupting me to ask questions. They knew just as well as I did that if I was interrupted I wouldn’t have the courage to go on.

When my tale was done silence reigned over my friends. I stared numbly down as my hands, not daring to look up so see my friends’ reactions.

“I didn’t know…” Reenie’s soft voice broke the silence. “I’m sorry Talia. I should have been there for you.”

I glanced up at her words, my own blue eyes meeting her light green ones for an instant, so full of sadness at that moment, devoid of the usual spark of mischief that was usually there. She would have been there for me? If she had tried I would have pushed her away.

The silence stretched on for a long time. Every tiny sound made in the forest I became acutely aware of. The hundreds of bird Pokemon chirping, the wind rustling the trees, the rain pattering into the wet earth, my friend’s breathing, my heart beating! It was so hard to keep myself sitting there. I wanted to move; I wanted to get out of here! I didn’t think Reenie and Deri were ready to leave yet, but I certainly was! They wouldn’t let me do anything, my friends. They wouldn’t let me walk when I wanted to. I couldn’t eat when I wanted to because they had to ‘ration’ the food out. I wanted to go, and continue my journey, not sit and waste away here, barely ten miles from home!

“I can’t stay here anymore,” I said tensely, standing up quickly with the help of my stick.

“What?” Reenie started, and stared up at me in confusion.

“I meant exactly what I said,” I said, “I just can’t stay here anymore. I’m grateful to you guys for helping me and all, but I need to move on, and get my revenge.”

“But…Talia,” Reenie was stuttering.

“Talia, have you realized how stupid this quest of yours is?” Deri broke in, standing up to face me. I felt my anger beginning to flare. “Do you even know where you are going?”

I stared at him, feeling betrayed. I couldn’t believe this, my own friends didn’t believe in me. They didn’t believe in my quest. Of course they wouldn’t, I told myself bitterly, they sympathized with those murderous creatures more than they did with me.

“What does it matter to you?” I hissed back at him, “This isn’t your quest, it’s mine. You are only tagging along on this for who knows what reason!”

“Talia,” Deri’s anger was ignited. I think I had first stirred it up when I’d almost gone berserk on his Pokemon the other day, “You are the most self-centered person I know!”

I glared at him, “I don’t care if I’m selfish. You’re just a Pokemon Trainer wannabe! Do you really think that wimp of a Poochyena you own would really help you become a Pokemon master?”

Now I had really made him mad, “You may insult me as much as you like, Talia O’Connel!” He shouted. His face twisted in rage, “But never, ever, insult my Pokemon!”

“You know,” I spat into his face, “Just forget this. I’m leaving! What do I care about you guys anyway? All you’ll do is slow me down, and hinder me. I will not have it! Just keep you big mouths shut, because I’m leaving!” With that, I picked up my stick, turned, and fled into the forest. To hell with my friends! To hell with everything! To hell with Pokemon! I could get revenge by myself. I did not need them

26th July 2005, 6:07 AM
Y'anno, everytime I go to Pakistan, you rewrite the story. Weird.

Eh, Talia's a hoe, fighting Deri. It's not much different. Deri got a monster though. I wonder if Poochyena will fight Talia. It's flowing nicely.

26th July 2005, 11:12 PM
Y'anno, everytime I go to Pakistan, you rewrite the story. Weird.

Eh, Talia's a hoe, fighting Deri. It's not much different. Deri got a monster though. I wonder if Poochyena will fight Talia. It's flowing nicely.
*grins* lol Maybe you'll want to stop going to Pakistan. :P
Thankyou for the review anyway!


27th July 2005, 1:44 AM
so awsome she my kind of gal except for revenge by killing all the pokemon.

Ryano Ra
27th July 2005, 5:04 PM
Hmm...another refreshing chapter. More character is building up in Talia, and I'm really beginning to love her personality and overall characterized person. She's very unique in a way, but abnormally normal in another. o.o; I am very surprised that your description is vastly improving, I am really glad that it is. Overall, a wonderful chapter. I shall await for Chapter Four to come.

27th July 2005, 5:48 PM
so awsome she my kind of gal except for revenge by killing all the pokemon.
lol Glad you think so, and I hope you'll keep on reading!

Hmm...another refreshing chapter. More character is building up in Talia, and I'm really beginning to love her personality and overall characterized person. She's very unique in a way, but abnormally normal in another. o.o; I am very surprised that your description is vastly improving, I am really glad that it is. Overall, a wonderful chapter. I shall await for Chapter Four to come.
*nods* Thank you. I've worked long and hard on Talia's personality, so I hope you'll keep continuing to enjoy her and the rest of my fic!


Twilight Absol
27th July 2005, 11:23 PM
sorry, I'm late, this chapter has been action packed, and was full of suspense. Now you have drawn me deeper into the fic, I can't wait to see where you'll be taking this. However, I would like to point out that this chapter has more errors than usual...one such error is is this:

I was a small Po… creature… very teddy bear like with a faintly glowing outline of a crescent moon on its forehead.
don't you mean It was a small.....?

[EDIT] Ack, Another chapter! You are really fast, you know that? *goes to read*

28th July 2005, 2:49 AM
sorry, I'm late, this chapter has been action packed, and was full of suspense. Now you have drawn me deeper into the fic, I can't wait to see where you'll be taking this. However, I would like to point out that this chapter has more errors than usual...one such error is is this:

don't you mean It was a small.....?

[EDIT] Ack, Another chapter! You are really fast, you know that? *goes to read*
lol I only post every five days. Is that fast, considering I already have most of the chapters written?

I actually meant to do that because she began to call it a Pokemon in her mind, but, since she hates them, she stopped abruptly and changed it to creature. She refuses to call them by their proper name... I know it wasn't too obvious, so I might have to do something about it.
Thanks for reviewing!


Twilight Absol
28th July 2005, 11:01 PM
a few mistakes in chapter 3, but no matter...we canclearly see the flaw in the main character now, and it's becoming more and more intense....Keep it up!

29th July 2005, 2:26 AM
a few mistakes in chapter 3, but no matter...we canclearly see the flaw in the main character now, and it's becoming more and more intense....Keep it up!
Thanks. I usually have at least a few mistakes in there. Everyone does, so i usually don't worry to much if I don't catch them. If I do I correct them.
Thanks agian for reviewing and I hope you'll continue reading!


30th July 2005, 8:08 PM
Well, I have a longer chapter for you today. Eight and a half pages on WORD. The chapters will only continue to get longer too, so beprepared for, well, long chapters. I may post them in parts if they get extremely long. Just tell me if you would have liked to see this one posted in parts. I ask this becuase I, personally, hate reading really long chapters. Well, please keep up those lovely reviews! ~_^ I really appreciate it guys!


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 4: Caught!

I ran, fleeing through the forest as fast as my bound leg would permit, never once halting to check my direction. I didn’t care where I went, just as long as I got somewhere, away from here. I gripped my dry stick in my freezing hands and clutched it to my chest, hoping it would take the worst of the blows from the low hanging branches. The rain was coming down harder now, in sheets, transforming the once dry earth at my feet into slick oozing mud. I slipped and slid my way across the forest, legs scraping across brambles and razor sharp grasses, cutting my flesh in a dozen places.

I catapulted past a bush of low shrubbery, then over a rut in the muddy earth. My damp clothes clung uncomfortably to my even damper skin like Velcro. My soaking shoes made a horrible squish squelching sound every time I placed them on the slick wet earth. My dark hair, which had lost its single hair tie eons ago, had not been combed in days, causing it to stick out crazily in all directions.

I ran on, the only thing I could think about was how those filthy things could have killed my mother. The fight I’d just had with Deri had totally escaped my mind. That was how one-tracked my mind was at that point in time.

I ran and ran and ran and ran, until I could run no more. Then, with burning lungs pleading desperately for oxygen, a horribly aching leg, and no will to continue on, I collapsed onto the soft wet earth, barely able to lay my whirling head down before the darkness claimed me.

* * *
I was a wreck. A total and complete wreck. My dark hair was filled with dirt, burs and who knows what else! It stuck out in every direction too, giving me a savage appearance. My navy shirt and jeans were covered in a thick layer of slime and half frozen mud; a horrible reeking stink emanated from my dirt and blood encrusted body. Torn in several different places from where they had caught on stray twigs during my wild fleeing, my clothing probably looked only half as bad as I did. My exposed arms and legs ached terribly from the numerous cuts and scrapes also obtained during my enraged runs; many of them oozed blood onto my dirty flesh, staining it a dark, sickly red. Mud was encrusted over some of my cuts, adding more pain to my already aching skin.

It had only been a day since I had fled from Reenie and Deri and collapsed out in the woods; my rage had boiled down somewhat to the point that I could control it. I pushed the anger and pain away, deep inside me, to let it grow for when I really needed it. After I had come around I realized that I was cold, wet, hungry, tired, and, above all, thoroughly miserable. It had ceased raining some hours before, but even that wasn’t enough to lift my steadily dropping spirits. My stick, which had proved to be more of a hindrance than a help so far, was still as dry as it had ever been, always staying in my sight and my filthy, freezing hands. I, personally, envied it; it did not have feelings. It couldn’t feel rage, hurt, pain, sadness or any of those things that weighed down on me now. And it was always dry, warm, and comfortable. That was something I wanted. It was kinda stupid to envy a stick.

I still had the Fire Red stone too, I just never bothered to take it out of my pocket and examine it. I did now though, transferring the amazingly light object of my envy to my right hand, and plunging my left deep into my soaking wet pocket. When my hand met the cool stone I yelped. The buzz of power that had run through my whole body, pulsing from the stone, was much more intense than the power the stick emanated. I gained control of myself, and once more thrust my hand into the pocket. This time I was prepared (or as prepared as you can get from the shock of pure power coursing through your veins) for the wave of power when it came. I drew the stone out of my pocket, clenching my fingers firmly around the orb. Comforting waves of great warmth ran through my body as the thrum of the stone synchronized with the pulsing rhythm of my heart, sending feeling back into my numbed limbs and warming me up completely. It felt good to be warm again.

I opened my hand to reveal the stone, and positioned my head at a slight tilt to peer down at it. It was the same stunning fire red in color, still appearing to burn with an inner flame, one that never went out. It made my head spin to stare at it. I smiled and glanced away. It was the first time I had smiled in days, and it kind of felt weird on my face, using muscles that had lain still for quite a while.

Turning, I pocketed the stone, full of a new hope and ambition to continue on. Using my stick as a walking staff I began to trek on through the forest with no idea where I was going. All I knew was that I was traveling for revenge. I traveled for another two hours or so, ignoring the continual protests of my aching legs, my soiled clothing quickly drying in the rapidly heating day. The days had been unusually cool for early June but this day seemed to turn the tables. I estimated that it was about 85 degrees Fahrenheit out, quite a nice day. The sky was clear and blue, as it usually was during a Hoennian summer, and the sun shone brilliantly on everything from high overhead. The forest was full of bright blues, browns, greens, purples, yellows, oranges and just about every other color you could imagine. A slight cooling breeze was whispering softly through the trees, ruffling my disheveled hair and clothing.

In the instant that I stood, staring at all this beauty, I had the most peculiar yet surprisingly joyful feeling that I was the only person on earth, and all my troubles, pains, everything, were being whisked away by the passing breeze. Plus, I was happy, so happy that a joyful peal of laughter erupted from my long dormant lips.

A Pidgey chirped.

My tranquil moment was broken and I began to remember as I felt a spark of anger begin to ignite the flames that I had pushed so carefully away. I ignored the stirring anger within me and sighed regretfully. For one moment I had felt like I had only a few weeks before, so joyful and carefree. The mere reminder of those happy days that seemed so long ago, and almost lost to me forever, made me feel as if I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I sighed again, and shook my head. I continued glumly on.

The only thing that was actually marring the perfect beauty of the day was Pokemon. The bloody devils called out from the trees, the fields, the bushes, the forest floor, all around me, almost seeming to deafen my senses as I tuned my ears in to their horrid cries. They even dared go as far as to show their faces in my presence, but quickly hid them again as they found a large stone fly dangerously close by their heads. Various bird Pokemon screeched far above me from the cover of the trees. Other land Pokemon snarled and yowled from around and below me. It was all too much, just too much.

I dropped my stick abruptly, clapped my hands over my greatly abused ears, and screamed. I screamed long and loud, as loud as I could, my voice erupting into the racket created by the beasts. I screamed for what seemed like ages to my reeling mind. Closing my mouth, the harsh and sudden sound abruptly cut off. I slowly pried my hands from my ears, and was greeted by total and almost complete silence, save for the slight breeze that rustled the trees.

It was then that I heard it. A faint roaring sound, alien to my ears so used to the natural sounds of the wild. What was it?

Standing stock still, just listening, I heard very faintly through the silence the strange rushing roar, until it was once again drowned out by the ugly sounds of Pokemon, who had apparently gotten over their initial shock of my scream. Just as the sound faded away completely to my untrained ears, I realized what it was. It was a sound I hadn’t heard in days. It was the sound of cars, rushing along a paved road. A road meant cars, and cars meant people, and people meant cities, and cities meant civilization! It would be good to reach civilization, where I would be able to take a much-needed hot, soothing shower, and fill my stomach and mouth with all it could hold. Then I realized that I had no money, none at all, not even one lone quarter that usually lurked somewhere in the hidden depths of my pants pockets. I would have to find a job, earn some money so I could then buy the stuff I would need to live off of. I knew, deep in my mind, that this was a very stupid and unrealistic plan, especially since I held a close resemblance to the devil himself with my disheveled clothing and hair. I didn’t care though. All I wanted was food, water, and a good night sleep.

I couldn’t deny it any longer. I was starving, ready to eat anything, well, almost anything, that came my way. I was thirsty too, my mouth so dry I thought that if I tried to speak, nothing would come out. I quickly stooped down, grabbed my stick and began to hurry in the direction I had heard the sound of cars coming from, peering intently through the trees to see if I could spot any signs at all of an on coming road. I traveled silently for another couple of minutes, listening intently as the sound of the cars began to crescendo.

Finally, I reached the edge of the forest, the trees cutting off abruptly to become a straight line of recently mowed lawn. This eventually receded into a row of course, dry gravel, which lined both sides of the black pavement that served as a road. Hidden by the thick forest shrubbery I stared out over the painfully straight pavement, my clear blue eyes scanning the area thoroughly, taking in the hard cement with its vibrant yellow stripe running firmly down its middle. The road, probably some old rural country highway, stretched out as far as I could see to my right and left, following an amazingly straight and flat path with minute twists, turns, and hills. Out past this man-made specialty was a large expanse of field, stretching on and on for miles straight ahead of me, never seeming to end. Farmland.

Houses and small buildings dotted the rolling hills with long, dry wild grasses that swayed gently in the soft breeze, ironically reminding me of my 7th grade science teacher who automatically began swaying as he taught. My classmates and I had always found this amusing, dubbing him, The Quaking Aspen. But that was all gone from me now, back in happier days. I would probably not start 8th grade like I had been planning too at the end of the summer because of my quest.

I shook my head to clear my mind of unwanted thoughts, quickly burst forth from the cover of the forest and threw myself into a determined trot in the direction I hoped would lead me to civilization. With the luck I’d had lately this road was probably just an illusion and would lead me absolutely nowhere. I sighed. Staying out in the wild for days on end did strange things to you.

My head twitched. The harsh roar of a car engine could be heard, making its way steadily in my direction along the small highway. The sound started out as a quiet rush, it could almost be mistaken for a slight breeze, but soon crescendoed into a rushing roar as it neared me. I cast a quick glance over my shoulder. A tiny streak of blue could be distinguished from the vibrant blue of the sky, just topping the horizon. It was rapidly heading in my direction. I turned my head back to its original stance and continued walking, using my stick to guide my aching legs along the road.

As the car topped the rise of the land behind me I realized something. A scary thought. I quickly launched myself at the large trees of the forest, barreling straight into a thorny patch of brambles, landing with a painful thump on my stick. I cursed as the thorny points nicked my skin, sending forth bursts of pain down my arms and the other exposed parts of my flesh. The stick had probably left a large bruise where my leg had crashed into it too. I held still, though, mumbling something about stupid thorns that turned up where they weren’t supposed to be.

Peering cautiously out through the bracken, still mumbling indistinguishable threats, I watched as the car zoomed by, completely oblivious to my hidden self. As soon as it had safely passed I jumped up, muttering curses on the thorn bush, and walked back out into the exposed area of the road. Thorns stuck horridly to my body making me feel remarkably like a giant pincushion.

What I had realized was that if anyone just driving their normal way along the highway saw a disheveled 13-year-old girl randomly walking along a rural highway, they would get inquisitive, stop and take me home. That was not something I particularly wanted.

I began to walk again; traveling in (I hoped) the same direction I had been going before that car showed up. I winced and began to yank the sharp thorns out of my body. It was painful, but I was glad when they were all out. I continued walking along, every now and again glancing warily around me just incase any cars decided to show up. Sure enough, maybe five minutes after the first car had passed I heard the faint roar of a car engine in the distance, steadily getting louder, but this time in front of me.

This time I looked before I leaped into the safe cover of the forest so I was not going to land on anything pokey or pointy. I sat there grimly and watched as this time a silver mini-van passed my hiding spot and, like the other car, continued on. I sighed with relief and stood up, quickly scanning the road before I stepped back out onto the grass.

I continued on in this fashion, beginning to feel thoroughly exhausted after about forty minutes of traipsing in and out of the forest, dodging cars. I finally trudged into the cover of the woods, and lay myself down on the ground, the smell of fresh earth wafting up to my expectant nostrils. It was about mid-day at this point; the brilliant yellow sun was shining down to filter through the thick canopy of trees that formed a cooling shade over my head. Pokemon called in the forest around me, but I ignored them, focusing on the restful sounds of the wind whispering through the trees. The rustling leaves sounded like peals of rich laughter ringing through the air. The trees were laughing, probably at something the wind had whispered to them. I smiled at this thought, and stared up at the light green and brown colors dotting the forest canopy.

Who knows how long I sat there, enjoying the beautiful summer day, letting the breeze gently caress my face and hair. I finally pulled my self back up to my aching feet and trudged out of the forest, onto the road. I had to continue on or else I might just stay there all day and never move again. I trudged along the road, my senses dulled from the long rest period I had just taken. I was tired too. I stifled a large yawn that threatened to crack my head in two, with my hand, stopping shortly as I did so before continuing on again.

Then, I stopped dead in my tracks, a wave of fear washing over me. I clenched my hands tighter around my stick, my knuckles whitening as I did. I couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything; my muscles wouldn’t react to what my brain was plainly screaming at them. Move! Run for your life! Go! I couldn’t. My muscles were locked firmly in place. I wanted desperately to move, but I just couldn’t.

A silver car had come to a skidding halt right beside me. Somehow it had crept up on me as I walked. I hadn’t noticed its presence until it was a few feet from my face. I had either been too exhausted to hear it, or my huge yawn had blocked out the sound of its approaching roar. Either way I was doomed.

“Hey! Kid! Are you lost?” A loud voice inquired as my frozen brain vaguely registered a car door slamming shut. The call somehow melted the ice that held my limbs firmly locked in place. I bolted towards the forest, pulling my stick up away from the ground to prevent it from tripping me.

My numb mind barely perceived a shout of “stop!” as my legs carried me painstakingly slowly towards the forest. If I could just reach it I would be fine! If the forest covered me I could escape! I had to reach the trees!

A large hand clamped down on my right shoulder, stilling me instantly. Immediately, as if it were a reflex, I began to struggle, jerking my head around to glare savagely into my captor’s eyes. He was young man in his early 20’s with sandy brown curls and light blue eyes, around the same color as mine.

“Whoa, kid, calm down!” He cried, tightening his iron grip on my shoulder; his white skinned face, tanned by long hours in the sun, set in grim determination.

“No!” I screamed at him, dropping my stick from my left hand so I could bring it up to try and pry his fingers loose from my shoulder. “Go away and leave me alone!” His fingers stayed clamped around my shoulder, biting uncomfortably into my collarbone.

“I’m just trying to…” He began, but I cut him off.

“Let me go!” I shrieked frantically.

My shriek carried over the sound of the breeze, startling that Pokemon filth once more into silence. The man’s free hand came up to grip my flailing arm in his large callused one. I began to struggle harder, kicking him with my feet, trying desperately to make him let go. I had to make my escape and fast!

“All I want to know is what you’re doing out here alone! Sandar-Rustboro Highway is no place for a young girl to be wandering by herself.” The man said, shaking me slightly.

At least he’d been a bit of help. I now knew where I was, or, at least, had a vague idea. I just hoped I was heading in the direction of Rustboro and not Sandar. If I were, then I would just end up back where I started. It would have been a whole waste of time and energy.

“Darren!” I heard another voice call from the other side of the car followed closely by a car door slamming. Someone else was coming to help this man, Darren, kidnap me. Yes, that’s what this was: a plight to kidnap me.

Darren had finally gotten a secure hold on my arm, ceasing my desperate struggling. It was hopeless. I had lost. I stood there and glanced over at the other figure pacing towards us. She was a pretty, not quite beautiful, young women, probably around the age of my captor, Darren, her raven black curls fell neatly down her slender back, accenting her almost too slim figure and startling silver eyes. Silver eyes? I had never seen silver eyes in my life before. My eyes locked with the women’s captivating me and holding me in place. All my perceptions of reality were gone lost in her strange, yet completely calming gaze.

My captivated mind barely perceived Darren towing me slowly towards the car. I followed along as easily as if I were a child following its mother. The car door was opened and I was pushed in, not roughly. As soon as I was in, the door slammed and the women’s captivating gaze was broken. When I realized that I had somehow ended up in the car with the door closed I began to scowl.

The car was a small vehicle, furnished with tan leather seats, and not the soft material that had covered the interior of my mother’s beige mini-van; it was a sign that they had money. The windows were clear and spotless, as if someone had gone over them with soap and water millions of times. I imagined the windows glittering with light like they did on the commercials. The whole car seemed to be spotless, as if recently vacuumed out.

I glanced over to my right and noticed for the first time that the car held one more occupant. It was a boy who seemed to be about my age, maybe a little older. His hair was the same raven black as the silver-eyed women’s except it was straight and cropped short around his ears. His skin was a slightly darker color than mine, a great contrast to the silver-eyed lady’s milky white complexion. I had a sudden sense of déjà vu as I looked at this boy. Where had I seen him before? The car shifted slightly and two doors slammed, one after the other as Darren and the lady got in.

“So,” Darren said, inserting the key into the ignition slot and turning it. The car began to thrum and roar to life. “What’s your name?”

I figured he was speaking to me, but I didn’t want to answer. “Talia O’Connel of Sandar City, Hoenn.” I mumbled, my words barely audible.

“Pardon?” He asked, as the car pulled out onto the highway.

I stared down as my feet, which had suddenly become very interesting. “Talia O’Connel,” I repeated, this time more loudly and clearly. I had decided not to tell them where I was from unless they asked. They might want to take me home then. I needed all the manipulation over these people that I could get. Why was I just letting complete strangers take me away like this anyway? I should just open the door and begin screaming for help, which I knew I wouldn’t get.

“Nice to meet you Talia,” Darren answered. “I’m Darren Crawburn. Sorry for sneaking up on you like that, but you really shouldn’t be sneaking around the highway.

“We’re going to take you home,” The silver-eyed lady added, turning her pleasant face towards me, startling silver eyes intent on mine. “I’m Julia Smith by the way.”

I just nodded dumbly and glared at the floor.

“Hey, where do you live?” Darren asked, blue eyes intent on the road before him. “We were heading to Rustboro City, but we can make a detour and take you home, as long as it’ not too far out of our way.”

Rustboro City. So that’s where they were heading. A plan began forming in my mind. I couldn’t tell them where I lived because I did not want to go back there. But Rustboro City… He had said that they were heading for Rustboro. “I live in Rustboro,” I lied, crossing my fingers behind my back, hoping desperately that they would believe me.

“Hey! What a coincidence! Since we’re going there we’ll just drop you off!” Darren grinned, looking at me through the review mirror. Great.

“Oh, the boy behind you is Drake, my cousin,” Julia added with a quick glance at the scowling boy next to me.

I froze. Drake. No, it couldn’t be. Not Drake Coller. There was absolutely no way. I turned to study the boy. He had the same black hair, the same black eyes and the same tannish skin. There was no mistaking it. This was Drake Coller. I knew this boy.

* * *
I distinctly remember that it was a chilly October day, and I was ten years old. A harsh shrill wind whipped at my blue striped windbreaker, causing me to tuck the rippling piece of cloth more securely around my body. Dry autumn leaves blew about the streets, occasionally flowing into small circular movements, creating a tiny whirlwind of debris. The bare branched deciduous trees mingled with the evergreens and shriveled brown oaks that clung to their prune-like leaves long after the rest of the other color flaming trees had given them up to the impending threat of winter. I also remember that it was a Saturday, and I was happy to have my freedom from the prison of school for the whole weekend.

Deri, who had come down with the flu only last Thursday, was still busy recovering, and his mother denied the access of any outsiders to their home, and Reenie had some important swim meet to attend that day so I was left alone to amuse myself. It didn’t help that my mom was working, as she always did on Saturdays, to earn a little extra income, so I concluded that I was in for an utterly boring day alone. There was nothing to do inside, as the confining boundaries of the house annoyed me and no homework had been assigned that weekend, so there I was stuck outside, in the chilling wind, to wander the streets of my neighborhood alone.

Delany Park, named after some long dead founder of Sandar City, was only about four blocks away from my home, so, with nothing better to do, I set out, a ten year old girl, through the overcast day down toward the park. I loved that park. It had been my favorite play place for as long as I could remember. My mom loved it too, for the picturesque mix of fields, forests and lakes. I adored it for the amazing playground that not only offered fun equipment to the younger children, but to the older children as well. Delany Park was also full of winding trails through its vast premises on which I loved to wander about, exploring into all the little nooks and crannies of the park.

No one seemed to have the nerve to be out in the chilling wind that day, so I had a free run of the deserted streets all the way to the park. Even fewer Pokemon were about than humans, but there were never many Pokemon about anyway in my part of the city, unless they were pets. The park was deserted, except for a few park personnel hanging about, so no one bothered me as I began to trek toward the famous playground. As soon as I reached the structure I could see that the park was not as deserted as I had first thought.

A raven hared boy who appeared to be around my age was sitting atop the highest structure in the park, peering eagerly about the almost deserted area. I began to slow my strides slightly as I neared the structures and the boy. I wanted to be sure I did not know him so I didn’t have to run away to avoid the inevitable questions that were bound to come. He had raised himself slightly higher on the structure now, and was grinning at me as I approached. He waved. I had been spotted. The boy seemed a little over friendly to me. I didn’t know him. This didn’t bode well with me, so I whirled around and began taking quick steps away from the playground.

“Hey, you!” I heard the boy’s friendly voice behind me, “Why are you running away?”

* * *

Twilight Absol
2nd August 2005, 9:48 AM
hmm, a little history revealed, and I can tell youthat your imagery this time is great, especially loved the laughing leaves, it was the best diction used throughout the story IMO. Congrats on a great chapter, and cheers to the next one being even better.

2nd August 2005, 5:18 PM
hmm, a little history revealed, and I can tell youthat your imagery this time is great, especially loved the laughing leaves, it was the best diction used throughout the story IMO. Congrats on a great chapter, and cheers to the next one being even better.
*bows* Thank you. I rather liked the laughing leaves part myself too. I think it's actually the best bit of description I think I've ever written. Actually except for...oh never mind, I won't go there now. But, thanks for the encouragement! I really need it as I have almost no motivation for the next chapter...


3rd August 2005, 8:24 PM
lol Glad you think so, and I hope you'll keep on reading!

*nods* Thank you. I've worked long and hard on Talia's personality, so I hope you'll keep continuing to enjoy her and the rest of my fic!


Don't hurt your self i will.(sends vertual cookie)

3rd August 2005, 10:57 PM
lol Thanks. *Eats virtual cookie if that is even possible* XD

5th August 2005, 9:13 AM
Oh yes, I remember this. Drake is absolutely my favortie. Death Cookie! XD

When my hand met cool stone I yelped.

It shoud be "When my hand met THE cool stone, I yelped.

5th August 2005, 5:10 PM
lol Drake is pretty cool. Well, except for the fact that he has a grudge the size of a castle! You think he'd be able to let it go after all these years...

Thanks for pointing that out Riaf. I'll go fix it.

Also, I'm leaving for vacation for the next week. So don't expect any new chapters before the fourteenth of August. Even then I might not have it finished. I'll try hard to get it done while I'm on vacation though!


6th August 2005, 1:54 AM
awesome i really cried every time talia remember her anger!

6th August 2005, 5:10 AM
Just finished C2.

Then it hit me. An idea not the bear!

lol. Loved that line, I used that same thing in a story I wrote a few years back, only not with a bear.

10th August 2005, 10:54 PM
are you going to post soon?

14th August 2005, 8:10 PM
awesome i really cried every time talia remember her anger!
*grins* I love it when my writing can make my readers feel emotions like that. Thank you for that Togepicute, and I hope you'll keep reading!

are you going to post soon?
As soon as I finish the next chapter. I'm really sorry, but I didn't get much of a chance to work on the chapter on my vacation. I'll try really hard in the next few days to get it done! I did write a little bit while I was gone though!

Just finished C2.


Then it hit me. An idea not the bear!

lol. Loved that line, I used that same thing in a story I wrote a few years back, only not with a bear.
lol I loved that line too. I actually used it in the first version of this story and someone else loved it too, so I just had to keep it in there. ^^ Thanks for reviewing, and I hope you'll continue to read!


15th August 2005, 3:35 AM
I read C3 and C4 a while ago, but forgot to review, they were both great. Can;t wait for C5!

15th August 2005, 5:04 PM
Thanks! Don't worry. I'm getting closer and closer to finishing it every passing day.

15th August 2005, 5:16 PM
Yay! soon another chap will be post!!

18th August 2005, 10:49 PM
Hehehe! I finished chapter five earlier than I expected, so I'm in an extremely good mood right now! Plus, I'm going away again tomorrow and I won't be back until Wednesday, so I'm extremely happy that I got it done before I left! You should be happy too! Hehehe! Well, now I'm getting HYYYYYYPPPEERR!!!!!! So I better shutup before I make a fool of myself. Here's the next chapter and I hope you enjoy and review!
Oh, and thankyou to all of you who reviewed! Those reviews were really appreciated!


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 5: Memories

I stared out the window of the car, my eyes constantly moving as they took in the scenery that flew past. It had only been maybe ten minutes since I’d been picked up from the side of the road, but already I was restless and fidgety. I knew these people weren’t kidnapping me. They were just taking me “home”. I still think that just picking a random girl up off the highway is a little outgoing, but I wasn’t complaining anymore. It was actually pretty good. I was on my way to Rustboro, and much faster than my own two feet would’ve carried me, especially with my only partially healed leg aching away like there was no tomorrow.

I had barely been noticing the passing scenery, or what was going on with the other three occupants of the car, as I had been lost deep in my own memories. The car was whizzing down the highway, passing forest (on the left) and vast fields of wild grasses or a farmer’s summer crop (on the right). The sky was still a shining crystal blue, but menacing, dark clouds were beginning to appear on the far eastern horizon, a promising sign of rain. The clouds appeared black enough to be storm clouds so I hoped we’d reach Rustboro before the storm reached us.

In the driver and passenger seats Darren, who was driving, and Julia, who rode in the passenger seat, were talking animatedly about something. I didn’t pay much attention to it because they seemed to be having a conversation about car batteries, and that totally did not interest me. Drake… was just sitting, glaring at his feet, and keeping his eyes anywhere, but my side of the car. I knew why though. I thought he might not recognize me, but, as I now realized, he had heard my name so he knew who I was. He still seemed to be mad about… that.

I don’t know what came over me then, but I had this sudden urge to apologize to him. Even if it had been three years and all I probably still owed him at least an apology.

“Um… Drake?” I said timidly, my voice barely audible above Darren and Julia’s animated chatter. They were still talking about car batteries. I still don’t get how anyone could get so excited over car batteries. I hardly knew what a car battery was anyway!

Drake’s dark head jerked around to fix his black eyes on me. “Shut up,” He growled, menacingly, his dark eyes flashing murder and hate. Man, it took a lot of anger to hold a grudge for three years, especially because it had happened when we were only ten.

I sighed. His words were awakening that fierce anger that was hidden away deep inside me. I struggled to keep it at bay. This would absolutely not be a good time to get angry.

“Why?” I asked sharply, sitting up straighter and glaring into his face. I could unleash at least a tiny bit of my anger, couldn’t I?

“You know perfectly well why!” He snapped loudly, startling Darren and Julia into silence.

I turned away to glare out the window. If he was going to act like that then I would too. But I did know perfectly well what he was talking about.

* * *
Running away? I stopped and stared at the boy, hands stuffed securely in my windbreaker pockets. “I wasn’t running away!” I denied indignantly.

The boy shook his dark head, “Yes you were. You saw me and turned away.” He was peering at me intently, much too intently for my liking. I dropped my gaze to the ground.

“So,” I scuffed a blue and white sneaker in the dust.

The boy shrugged, “It doesn’t really matter much. What’s your name by the way?”

“Talia,” I answered reluctantly, “You?” The question was posed more out of protocol than curiosity.

“Glad to meet you Talia,” He grinned and stuck a long fingered hand out at me, “I’m Drake Coller. I just moved here last week.

I accepted his hand gingerly for only a moment, and dropped it, “Nice to meet you too,” I replied politely and continued on, “Why haven’t I seen you in school then if you live here?”

“My parents are still getting us all settled in,” Drake replied with a casual shrug, “I’m beginning 5th grade next week.

I stared at him, “I’m in 5th grade too!” I returned with a grin, driving my fingers deeper in to my pockets, “I wonder if you’ll be in my class?”

“That’d be cool,” Drake replied. The wind was beginning to pick up again, causing both of us to tuck our windbreakers closer in to our bodies.

“Hey,” Drake said suddenly, perking up slightly. He glanced around as if searching for something, “Do you know of any good climbing trees around here?”

“Are you kidding me!” I exclaimed with a grin, “I know every single climbing tree in this park!”

“Really?” Drake asked, his eyes widening in awe.

“Yeah,” I nodded, beginning to feel important, “I’ve come to this park since as long as I can remember.”

A grin spread across Drake’s angular features, “Then what are we waiting for!”

* * *
The sloshing sound of water in a bottle jolted me out of my memories. I turned my blue eyes up to glance around for the sound. Drake was still being his old, ornery self, just glaring pitifully at nothing. I turned away from him. He was acting like a jerk! It had been three years ago for goodness sake! We were still cruising our way along the highway, passing the same old scenery and occasionally a car or two. It wasn’t that interesting after you’d stared at it for a while.

Water. I had heard the angelic sound of water. All of a sudden I became much more conscious of my aching, dry throat. I turned to stare up at the front of the car. Sure enough, Julia had brought out a bottle of clear, beautiful water, and was swishing it around in a whirl pooling motion.

I licked my parched, cracked lips unconsciously and stared at the bottle, almost loosing myself in its whirling, tempting, delicious wetness… I was so thirsty! I needed water! Come to think of it, the last time I’d tasted the sweet, refreshing liquid was yesterday morning. If only I could just get that water I’d…

“I think someone’s thirsty,” Darren’s remark broke my concentrated train of thought. I turned my light blue eyes sharply towards the sandy haired young man at the wheel. His sea blue eyes were on my reflection in the rear view mirror. How did he know? He noticed too much.

Julia’s curly black head turned in my direction. She smiled at Darren. I felt her strange silver gaze come to rest on me as her mouth twitched up in a slight smile. “Why, I do believe so.” They both sounded as if they were addressing a young child. I hated that.

“You thirsty, Talia?” Darren asked, eyes still on my distorted reflection in the mirror.

“Yes!” I burst out, a little to quickly. Just give me water for goodness sake! Was all my liquid deprived mind could think.

“Here, you may have some if you wish,” Julia said, handing the full water battle back towards me. My grubby hand, which I was now very self-conscious of in this all too clean car, shot out immediately and snatched it out of Julia’s pale hand.

I barely remembered to mumble a short “Thanks” before the bottle was at my lips and the cool, sweet liquid was caressing down my dry, parched throat, quenching my great thirst. It was beautiful; the crystal clear life-giving water as it wet my lips and mouth, giving me a whole renewed strength. My only problem now was that I was hungry. I turned back to the window, gripping the precious water bottle protectively in my hands and stared out. The only thing I could do now was ignore my growing hunger as my thoughts drifted back to Drake.

* * *
The tree was massive. It has to be at least 150 years old with solid branches, thick enough to support ten full-grown men, which fanned out in every direction. When you climbed it, it was almost as if you were climbing a giant spiral staircase up into the very canopy of the forest. I had stumbled upon the tree by accident almost two years earlier when I had accidentally taken a wrong turn on one of the trails I usually followed, and it quickly led me to the tree. Scrambling up into its branches I had huddled against its trunk. Everything had been so beautiful up in the tree, high above everything I knew so well. Being that high up in the air had given me a new perspective of the world. All the everyday sites that I had seen for my entire life suddenly seemed new. Back then the mighty oak had put me in awe of it, and even now, nearly two years later, I was staring up at the beast as if it were the first time I’d ever beheld its majesty. Out of the corner of my eyes I could spy Drake’s face, no doubt the exact mirror image of my own, his jaw hanging slack and wide open.

“Here’s the tree,” I announced, tearing my gaze away from the giant oak, “It’s really fun to climb. You’ll like it.” I grimaced as soon as the words left my mouth. It sounded as if I were giving a prepared speech.

Drake nodded, a hint of a smile touching his lips, “Cool.”

I reached for the first branch with cold fingers, and set my foot in the first foothold below it, pulling myself agilely up. The tree was swaying slightly in the biting wind, causing me to tighten my grip on the not-so-solid-seeming-anymore branches. Pulling myself a few branches higher I swallowed and paused, glancing back down at Drake. He still stood in the same position I’d left him, gaping up at the tree.

“You coming or not?” I pressed quizzically.

The boy below me jumped slightly, as if startled, and shifted is dark gaze to my lone figure high above, “What? Oh, yeah,” He said and jumped forward to grab the first branch as I had.

It didn’t take me much longer to reach the top of the tree, or, as close as I could get myself to it without breaking a branch. The closer to the top I got the thinner the branches became until I was sure if I’d been a pound or two heavier I would had snapped the branch and fallen the long dizzying drop down to the forest floor below. I gulped, that was a long, long way down, much further than I’d at first thought. Even with the thick branches below to break my fall I could be seriously injured if I fell.

“Hey, Talia,” Drake voice came from right below my foot.

I glanced down at him. He looked strange from my position. All I could see of him was his upturned face, and his arms clinging to the branches, “What?”

“Are you going to climb higher or not? I want to keep going higher.”

I stared down at him, “Are you crazy! The branches are far too thin up here. They barely hold me; if you go any higher they’ll break on you!”

Drake shook his head and grinned, “Nope, not me. I have something called luck. The branches won’t break on me.”

I stared at him, “Luck won’t help if you do something stupid.”

He didn’t answer, only shrugged and began climbing up onto the branch my foot was resting on. A gust of wind shook the tree. I shuddered and hung on tighter. I was beginning to think that this tree climbing business wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Drake was level with me now, and still climbing. I could feel the branch we shared bending dangerously far. He could get us both seriously injured this way. “Drake!” I hissed to him, “Stop climbing and go back down! If you go any higher or stay on this branch you or both of us will get hurt! The branches just aren’t strong enough!”

Drake stared at me and shook his head stubbornly, “No, I won’t go back down. You go back down.”

I glared at him, “Well, I’m not retreating either!”

“Fine, then be that way.”

“Drake!” I hissed warningly.

He stared at me defiantly and reached for the next branch.

“Drake!” I don’t know what made me do it, but I shot my arm out to knock his away from the branch he was reaching for. At the exact same moment my hand came into contact with his arm, a giant gust of wind sprung up, slamming into the tree with an alarming force, and into Drake and me. Caught in his one moment of weakness, Drake lost his footing, and his other hand let go of the branch. Before I could do anything to stop him, Drake was plummeting down out of the tree, toward the solid earth below.

* * *
“Looks like we’ve reached the ocean!” Darren’s cry broke through my thoughts, startling me back to reality.

I refocused my eyes on the passing land rushing steadily by the car window as we plowed firmly on. The scenery had definitely changed since I’d last taken a good look at it. As Darren had said, there was the sea. The water extended for miles upon miles from the shore, dark blue-green water receding into the lighter blue of the cloudless sky. The perfect crystal waves crashed against the sandy shore, etching the ocean white sand with intricate patterns. The brilliant orange sun shone brightly down on the water, sunlight reflecting in beautiful colors off the surface.

“We’ll soon be in Rustboro,” Julia announced, eyes, like mine, on the ocean too.

I nodded. That was good. I would soon reach Rustboro and would figure out what I wanted to do. Then I realized I had absolutely no idea where I was going. No idea at all. I had just passed days in the wilderness with no apparent idea where I was going, with only the thought of sweet revenge to fill my mind and push me on.

And where should I go? I couldn’t just travel everywhere in Hoenn trying for my revenge. It wasn’t practical. I needed to find the most effective place to carry out my revenge. Once it was done I would be satisfied, maybe not with the idea of Pokemon still living, but I would be satisfied. I just couldn’t kill every single Pokemon there was. There were simply too many of them. But, then again, I had nowhere to go to direct my anger. What if I went to Rustboro, and got my revenge there. That was it. I would travel to Rustboro and get my revenge on the Pokemon there. That was my plan. It was perfect…

* * *
I wasn’t aware of my scream as I witnessed Drake’s body strike branch after branch as he fell. I was barely aware of his either. It wasn’t until a few seconds after Drake’s body hit the ground that I was able to think, let alone move.

“Drake!” I screamed above the gales of wind attempting to send me after the boy, and tear the tree from the earth, “Drake! Answer me!” He wasn’t responding at all. I had to get down and help him. Terror engulfed my body, but carefully I forced myself to climb down the tree to safety and to Drake’s aid. Stray twigs caught at my hair and clothing as I hastily descended, and by the time I had the good solid earth beneath my feet again I had obtained numerous scrapes and scratches all over my face and hands.

What had I done? I asked myself fearfully as I reached Drake’s side, Had I just killed someone? My hands were shaking uncontrollably as I stared at Drake’s immobile body, What had I done?

“Help!” I screamed as the first trace of tears began to slip down my face, “Help me!”

It took only a few minutes for the next person to arrive on the scene, an experienced park ranger, but when he did he quickly took charge of the hopeless situation, calling other park personnel, 911, and my mom and Drake’s parents onto the scene. Drake was found unconscious with what appeared to be a broken arm and a couple of fractured ribs, and was quickly rushed off to the hospital, leaving my badly shaken self to cry into my mother’s arms. Nothing seemed to comfort me right then, and my mind refused to dwell on anything else but that one question repeating itself over and over in my head: What had I done?

My question wasn’t answered until almost two weeks later, when Drake was finally released from the hospital. Drake had suffered many minor scrapes and cuts from his fall, three broken ribs, a broken arm and a concussion. Luckily for him he had not slipped into a coma from which he might’ve never awakened. I had been in to visit the boy I barely knew many times during the time he was unconscious in the hospital. He’d been out for three days, but luckily awoke soon after the accident. I never visited him while he was awake, for which I was very glad later on.

The days had only continued to get colder as the days passed since the accident. I was afraid to leave the house when I wasn’t at school, and mostly sat moping around inside all day when I did not have any schoolwork. Drake never did appear at school the next week like he said he would, but that didn’t surprise me much. What did surprise me however, was the first day Drake confronted me after the accident.

I had been out in the front yard, sitting under the large cherry tree with my eyes closed, enjoying the cold warmth of the day. I was tired, as I had been having many sleepless nights the past two weeks, and I was trying to catch a short nap before I had to go in and do my homework.

“Well, look who it is,” A cold voice spoke. I opened my eyes lazily and tilted my head in the direction the voice had emanated from.

“Drake!” I cried, jumping up a little too quickly. I placed a hand against the cherry tree to steady myself while I waited for the short spell of dizziness to pass. Drake stood just outside our yard, a heavy coat gracing his thin frame. His left arm was in a cast, and he had a few partially healed scratches on his cheeks. His eyes were icy glints of steel. I shivered; my happiness at seeing him well vanished.

“Yes,” He said quietly, in a way I did not interpret as friendly, “It is I, Drake, the boy you almost killed.” He sounded so formal, not at all like the boy I had known before the accident.

I stared at him, my unease quickly turning into confusion, “Kill you? I did not almost kill you!”

He glared at me, “Yes you did, girl! You cannot deny it or runaway from the truth! You almost killed me!”

“What? How did I almost kill you Drake?” I was glaring at him now, my anger growing, “I had nothing to do with that accident! It was your fault you let go!”

“I did not let go! You pushed me!”

“On my life I did not push you!” I cried defiantly, “The wind knocked you off!” I wished I could believe my own words.

“You pushed me and there is nothing more to it,” He snapped, “Anyway, I did not come here to argue with you about what you did or didn’t do. I came here to say that my family is moving.”

“M-moving?” I stuttered, disbelief crossing my face, “But why? You just got here!”

“I thought you had more brains than that Talia,” Drake’s voice was icy.

I glared at him, “I have more than you’ll ever have leastways!”

He ignored my insult, “We are moving to Pacifidlog in hopes that no one there will try to kill my parents only child!”

I stared at him, deep sadness piercing me to my very bones. Even his parents thought I was a criminal. I felt like crying right then and there, but I didn’t, couldn’t.

“Oh,” Was all I said.

“Goodbye,” Drake said shortly. With that, he whirled around, and began retreating back down the sidewalk the way he’d come.

That was the last time I ever saw Drake, or heard for him for that matter. But now, three years later, I met him by pure accident. It’s a small world is all I can say; a very small world.

19th August 2005, 2:14 AM
Very good chapter, Saya, now I shall return to wating for the next chapter. *climbs into hole he dug while waiting for C5*

Sorry, I don't always give the best of reviews, I didn't find any mistakes, but I didn't really look for any. BTW, since I have reviewed your fic, would you please consider reviewing mine? Sorry if I already asked you, I don't think I did though.

19th August 2005, 10:40 PM
great another chapter! can´t wait for the next one!!

21st August 2005, 4:26 AM
Damn, no evil cookie this time. Me likes Drake, since he's all grudgy.

22nd August 2005, 9:18 PM
Damn, no evil cookie this time. Me likes Drake, since he's all grudgy.
lol I changed it. I didn't like the cookie story I had before.

Very good chapter, Saya, now I shall return to wating for the next chapter. *climbs into hole he dug while waiting for C5*

Sorry, I don't always give the best of reviews, I didn't find any mistakes, but I didn't really look for any. BTW, since I have reviewed your fic, would you please consider reviewing mine? Sorry if I already asked you, I don't think I did though.
Thanks SF. I'll review your fic when I have a chance. I'm at my cousins house right now. I will though.

great another chapter! can´t wait for the next one!!
*grins* Thanks! Gladf you enjoyed it!


25th August 2005, 11:14 PM
*grins* This has got to be one of my most favorite chapters in the entire fic. It is also one of the most action filled next to chapters 11 and 12. Thanks again to those of you who reviewed, I really appreciate it. And Snoring Frog, I will try to read your fic sometime soon, I promise you that.
Well, I guess all I have to say is please review after you read, I always love to know what you guys think, even if you flame me, though please try to be nice about it. ^^;;


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 6: Battle to Power

We were still driving down the Sandar-Rustboro Highway towards Rustboro City, one of the three largest cities in all Hoenn. The two other large cities were Lilycove City (a costal city) and Slateport City (a large shipping port). I had never been out of Sandar in my entire life excepting last summer when Mom and I traveled to far away Pallet Town, Kanto for my grandmother’s funeral. Pallet town is quite a small town, far smaller than Sandar. I had never been to a larger city than Sandar either, so I was excited, as well as a little nervous, about being on my own in such a large city.

I would have to sleep out in the streets if I couldn’t find any place to stay. I had never done that before. The city streets, I had learned all my life, were dangerous, just like in Sandar, with thugs, thieves and gangs roaming at free will. If I became really desperate, the Pokemon Center offered free lodging for anyone who cared to stay (but that was only if I was really, really, really desperate).

“Talia?” Darren’s light voice broke through my thoughts. Damn him. I grunted. I did not want them asking questions. “May I ask you a question?” Damn, no. I shrugged, hiding my inside thoughts.

“Is that a yes or a no?” I grunted again. Let him figure it out for himself. “I’ll take that as a yes.” I shrugged again. “What were you doing on the side of the highway so far from Rustboro? Why would you leave you’re home? Rustboro’s a good city.”

“I was traveling,” I answered, eyes glued to the window. It wasn’t exactly a lie. More of a half-truth.

“Why?” Why? What did it matter?

“I felt like it,” Why couldn’t I think of good answers! My mouth kept saying the first thing that came to my mind no matter the consequences! Stupid mouth.

“Rustboro’s a good place,” Darren repeated. He was stuck on that.

“Uh…I was…” I began, only to be interrupted, surprisingly, by Drake’s cold voice.

“She doesn’t live in Rustboro.”

I whipped my head quickly around, forehead thumping painfully against the unbelievably hard glass of the car window as I did. I glared icily at Drake, who was sitting as calm as could be, staring neutrally out the window, only his blazing eyes betraying any kind of emotion at all.

“I do live in Rustboro!” I hissed fiercely to him as a silent stab of fear drifted into my heart. I had forgotten that Drake knew where I lived. I had to make something believable up fast.

“No,” He replied calmly, “You live in Sandar.”

“Not anymore!” I shot back, beginning to feel the hot rage bubbling up inside me.

“You know as well as I do that your mom hates to move. She told me once,” Drake wore a smug expression on his face now, sending darts of rage coursing through my body so I had to struggle very hard not to pop. I glared daggers at his dark form. He wasn’t even looking at me!

Darren and Julia exchanged worried glances. “You two know each other?” Julia asked uncertainly.

“Yes,” Drake and I answered in perfect unison, quickly turning to glare at each other as we did. Drake’s black, black eyes glared murder and hate, seeming to bore right into me.

“Drake? Why do you say Talia lives in Sandar?” Darren asked seriously.

I glanced out the window, dreading the answer Drake would give them. I needed a good explanation, fast. I glanced at the sky and grimaced. The purple-black cloud was flying closer and closer towards us with every passing second. Flashes of lightning bolts could be spotted, hurtling down from the heavens, striking and destroying anything in their deadly path. Amidst all this a steady, heavy rain was pouring itself out from the clouds. I shuddered. I hated thunderstorms. They were one of the very few things that terrified me.

“She just does,” Drake answered Darren’s question simply. Good, a non-convincing answer.

“Idiot,” I murmured under my breath. The louder, “I lived in Sandar until last year, dolt,” I was making this right up on the spot.

“You’re mom doesn’t like to move,” Drake pointed out coldly, his voice like ice as his eyes displayed a burning fire of anger. The most annoying thing was, he was correct.

“She died,” I said as calmly as I could, trying to keep from bursting out that Pokemon had done the deed and shut my mother’s life off forever.

“Oh, Talia! I’m so sorry…” Julia started, her face softening.

“Last year,” Okay, so maybe this was a slight bluff, but I needed it. “So I moved in with my Aunt who lives in Rustboro.” The story was good so far and they seemed to believe it.

At this news Drake fell silent. He seemed to believe my story too, and was completely caught off guard. Good, that would shut him up for the remainder (I hoped) of the trip. We sat in silence for another few minutes, Darren futilely trying to strike up a conversation a few times. The only one who ever answered him was Julia, but even then it was only half heartedly, and Darren never had any answer.

Almost out of nowhere, I had a sudden urge to apologize to Drake. Even if it wasn’t my fault exactly for almost killing him I still felt I owed him an apology for kind of, sort of pushing him off the branch, even when the wind had done most of the shoving.

“Drake… I…” I began timidly. Apologizing was not something I did often. I didn’t like it. For me it was a complete humiliation.

“Shut up!” He snapped gruffly, his black eyes glaring murderously in my direction.

“Why do you still hold that against me?” I cried, my curiosity overtaking my sensibility. He was acting like a complete jerk. Idiot as he was he still shouldn’t hold a grudge for three years! A month or two I could understand, but three years? Drake must have not found something else to place a grudge against in his wonderful, killer free Pacifidlog town. He was just plain stupid. Then again, was I being stupid for holding this grudge against Pokemon? No, of course not! My predicament was an entirely different matter, and had absolutely nothing to do with Drake!

“I…” He stammered uncertainly, black eyes flicking to the carpeted and inhumanly clean floor for the car. So. He had no real reason for hating me. Weak. All of a sudden he came back to his usual boldness, almost deafening me with his roar, “Because you almost killed me, dimwit!”

“Heck! I didn’t mean to!” I shot back, just as fiercely, “I was only ten!”

“Oh, and thirteen is eons older I suppose,” He sneered sarcastically, “That’s still no excuse!” The veins in his neck were standing out as he clenched his teeth angrily. He was mad.

“Whoa, guys, calm down!” Darren tried to sooth us. It was a futile attempt. Drake was too mad. I was on the very brink of my pit of rage, ready to dive in head first with one more nudge.

“That was a friggin’ three years ago!” I shouted at him. I was shaking with anger, ready to grind him to bloody pulp at any moment. The only thing that held me back was the very fine barrier of rationality that always seemed to be there, and the car seat belt.

“You still almost killed me!” He screamed, clenching his fists and straining against the seatbelt, which seemed to be holding him at bay, like me. His face was almost completely red, so red I thought he might pass out from lack of oxygen.

“You’re…you’re just acting like a little kid!” I shouted. He glared at me. I glared back. We were getting nowhere, fast.

“And you’re just saying that to make me mad!” Drake spat, his black eyes flashing furiously.

That was a remark that gave me the advantage. “Correct,” I smirked, grinning maliciously right into his ugly face. I folded my arms, taking on an air of superiority.

His eyes brightened in anger, and he gnashed his teeth at me like a wild animal. He had almost become one with the way he was acting. Drake’s face twisted into a terrible knot of rage, his knuckles whitening as he clenched them in a tight fist. He was definitely mad. So was I. I felt like I was being washed in a hot shower of my fearsome rage. My rage was against absolutely everything; Pokemon, though slightly dulled to my surprise, backed up by, well, everything, not just Drake. He just happened to be the unfortunate person I let it out on.

He got really quiet all of a sudden and glared at me, his black eyes boring hatred into mine. I glared back, giving him glare for glare, daring him to do something about our quarrel. Without warning, he lunged for me, his clawing arms extended. His eyes were filled with a mad rage; his mouth was parted in an ugly snarl. I stared dumbly at his clawing arms. Whatever I had expected, this was not it. I raised my arms for self-defense, almost a little too late. His swiftly moving limbs clashed with mine in a flurry of activity. I had never had to block a punch before, and I must tell you, it’s painful; my arms almost went numb from the fierce contact.

Drake grabbed hold of me and started twisting my arms around. A piercing wave of pain shot through my abused limbs, startling a sharp cry out of my lips. I twisted around, desperately trying to wriggle out of his murdering grip and make him let go without endangering my arms anymore.

“Drake!” Julia yelled, aghast, her face a picture of disbelief, “Drake! Talia! Stop this right now!” She shouted.

I hardly heard her as I twisted in Drake’s powerful grip. Fighting was hard, harder than I had first thought it would be. Especially because I was strapped down to the seat. I lunged about, dodging this blow and that, managing to throw a punch in from time to time. Drake’s attack was fast and fierce. His rage towards me and his greater strength began to give him the upper hand, and I began to be pushed down, more and more of his blows actually cracking against my unprotected flesh. I winced every time the pain erupted along my body as his blows landed faster and faster. I felt like one aching load of bruises.

Finally I shifted my knee, jamming it sharply up and hit him squarely in the stomach, forcing the breath out of his lungs. It came out with a whoosh, showering me directly in the face with his foul breath. He wasn’t the only one gagging for breath now. I recovered quickly, a stab of fear striking my heart. If Drake hadn’t been coughing and wheezing at the same time I was I would be dead, or at least very hurt. Drake went on gasping for breath and loosened his grip.

I took this moment of distraction to pull my arm free and grab him around the head, locking him in a tight headlock. I yanked his head down under my arm, and held it there. Drake started flailing wildly, swinging his arms this way and that. I held him firmly in my grasp. The muscles of my arms began to hurt; all that lactic acid building up inside them, as they stood tensed against Drake’s wild struggling.

All of a sudden Drake’s flailing arm caught me full in the face. My cheek burned, pain erupting along my jaw, startling a sharp cry from me. Slaps did hurt. A lot. I unthinkingly put a hand to my face, releasing Drake as I did so. Drake twisted skillfully away from me, and bunched his hand into a fist then let it fly. I didn’t see it coming so it hit me, straight in the face.

Pain exploded around my nose and mouth, strange sparks of color blossoming in front of my dazed eyes, blurring my vision. I began to panic. I was hurt, dazed, wounded, what ever you wanted to call it, and defenseless against Drake’s next attack. I had to gain control of myself or else I’d end up even more seriously wounded than I already was. Finally my vision cleared, only by the pure rage that was coursing through my veins. He had hurt me and he would pay.

It was then that I noticed the affect of that bruising punch. My nose was spilling a warm, stickly liquid out all over my face and onto Drake. My clothes were also getting blood on them. I pulled back and quickly wiped the excess blood from my face but it just kept flowing. A river of blood, I thought with disgust, that’s what my nose is becoming.

“Drake! Talia! I’m going to have to pull over to the side of the road if you don’t stop now!” Darren barked at us.

Neither of us listened. I couldn’t stop now, not without hurting Drake in return for what he had done to me! Drake pulled his fist back for another blow. This time I saw it coming and twisted out of the way. His fist scraped my back. I gritted my teeth and flung my body back towards the seat with all my strength, slamming Drake’s arm back into the semi-soft cushion. He hollered in pain and so did I. His arm was biting into my backbone, sending waves of aching pain through my back. I flung myself forwards again and twisted around fast, grabbing Drake’s arms and twisting them around each other. He was getting the same treatment he’d given me earlier.

He yelled at me, dark eyes blazing. My blue eyes glared back at him, filled with the same, anger, hate, and determination. His mouth was twisted in an angry scowl. Then he brought his mouth down on my arm, biting me hard. I cried out and twisted away from him, dropping his arms in a desperate attempt to ease the pain where his teeth had sunk into my flesh. Then, I had an idea, something that just hadn’t occurred to me before.

I reached my hand down, searching for the seatbelt buckle. My groping fingers made contact with the cold metal. Leaning forward I quickly pushed the buckle down, releasing the seat belt. At the same moment Drake shoved his knee up, smashing into my bloody face. I reeled back, my jaw exploding into pain. As I did so the seatbelt snapped up, whacking Drake full in the jaw with a gruesome crack.

I landed face down in the other seat, and before I had anytime to recover, Drake launched himself at me despite his pain and the rapidly growing lump on his chin. I saw him coming at me, his eyes filled with an uncontrollable rage. He had undone his seatbelt too. My brain froze. All of a sudden rage like a wild fire built up in me, a rage so strong that I had to let it out on someone. I flipped myself over quicker than I could have imagined was humanly possible, and raised my arms in the air. I locked my elbows, bracing myself for the great impact of his body weight when it came, crashing down on my limbs. I had to protect myself!

He came down, his ripping weight smashing into my upturned hands. I winced sharply at the pain that shot through them. I hadn’t expected that pain so I wasn’t ready for it at all. My arms felt as if they would loose hold of him any minute, collapsing and bringing Drake down on me any second. His weight was heavy but I couldn’t let him win.

Then I heard something crack. That crack was the last thing I wanted to hear in the world. That crack sent me into a world of agonized pain and pure terror. My right arm buckled, landing Drake on top of me with a loud thud! I screamed, one piercing scream. Then I became silent from the pure pain that coursed through my veins, threatening to send me into a rolling darkness. My brain was a jumble of thoughts as I lay there on the seat, nothing entering my whirling mind. My arm was in a position that was unnatural for any human arm. My head was whirling and Drake was on top of me, pinning me to the seat.

Then, suddenly, I felt better. I felt well enough to jump up and run around. My head cleared and I could see clearly. Some pure, soothing warmth that ran through my entire body chased all those small aches and pains away. The pain in my broken arm was chased from my thoughts, as it became a dull ache with the power that flowed through me.

Then came the joy. It was a pure, unexplainable joy that I was part of the greatest power in the universe. A steady rhythm was beating in my very soul, synchronizing with something I had once known in a far off time. But was it really that far off? Had I been here days? Months? Weeks? Years, even?

I felt elated, full of energy. My arm still seemed to be broken, but I was energized, full to bursting with a great power that wasn’t my own. I had the wonderful sensation that I was floating on air.

I inched my swollen eyes open a crack. So maybe my vision hadn’t cleared. All I could see before me was a great red mist, but the mist was soothing and comforting, and it was the same amazing red as the Fire Red stone. It was the source of my joy, of the power I felt.

I began trembling, some unknown emotion taking hold of my body. This power was so powerful and amazing! And it was mine. It was all mine. I realized in that one moment, that if I wanted to I had the power to destroy. Anything. Tears sprung to my eyes. The power that was commanding me was so great, so powerful, it was so hard to hold!

All of a sudden, I began to hear things through my joy and power filled state. Words. Voices. Voices speaking. The red mist began to clear and the power filled emotion began to slip away.


Then I was back in reality again. At least I thought I was. A blinding red light filled the car, blocking my vision totally with its brilliance. The pain I had felt before was still there, but duller now. I heard voices.

“Crap! Crap crap crap crap!” That was Darren. “Crap!” He screamed again. “I can’t see the road!”

“What is this? What’s this red light?” Julia was shrieking, adding to the rising din in the small car.

Drake was just screaming. Screaming uncomprehendingly. He sounded like he was in pain. I grinned. That was the red powers doing.

“What is this?” Julia shrieked again. I knew.

“Crap! Damn! Crap!” Darren again. “Brace yourselves guys! We’re going off the road!”

I lay still, breathing deeply and grinning. We were going off the road. Who cared? We were going to die. Who cared? My arm was broken. Who cared? Drake was screaming. Who cared?

My train of though went on and on like this. I didn’t care about anything. Nothing. Just the great presence I had felt flowing through my veins only a few minutes previous, the power that I knew came from the Fire Red stone. I was filled with it. It was in me to stay. I was its keeper until the day when the fire monster would come again and reclaim its power through me.

Wait! Where had that come from? I just seemed to know that without anyone telling me so. The thought itself was scary.

All of a sudden the car jerked, throwing me roughly into the middle seat, my broken arm jerking along with me. Pain erupted in my arm, but not the great pain it would have been had I been alone, without the power. Still it hurt and a sharp cry erupted from my lips.

The car jerked again and I could see. The red light cleared away, sending all the pain back into my body that had been dulled considerably to the point where I could bear it. Now it was back with twice the force. I began screaming. Searing pain shot down my right arm, all the scrapes and bruises I had obtained during the fight with Drake, which now seemed to have happened days ago, began to scream in pure agonizing pain. My whole body shrieked out in agony.

The car jerked a third time, but this time it didn’t right itself again. I briefly heard Darren shouting and Julia screaming, but Drake had gone completely silent. He had passed out from the pain. The front end of the car was positioned at a downward slant and I didn’t have a seat belt on.

Then my head was jerked savagely down as the small car hurtled off the road and into the ditch at the side of the highway. I didn’t have my seat belt on. All of a sudden I felt my body being hurled forward towards the dashboard. I was powerless to stop myself. Then everything seemed to turn into slow motion, as if I were somebody else, watching myself fly to my doom. I saw myself fly forward at a sickening pace. I saw the dashboard come closer and closer, the black knobs and buttons all blurring before my dazed eyes. Then, I heard more than felt my head cracking sickeningly against the dashboard. And pain. My mind whirled and buzzed; a roaring headache was threatening to split my head in two. My mind began to shutdown. I was hurled, headlong, into a deep pit of whirling darkness.

25th August 2005, 11:35 PM
Ooooh, Drake is "ReVenGE!!!!!you sux LOLZ!!".

I didn't catch any mistakes or anythin' this time. I was too gripped into the action. Talia used a freakin' belt on Drake! That's street fightin' man. Talia's still a bit weird to me.

26th August 2005, 3:29 PM
lol Drake needs to chill just a little. :P

*nods* Thanks. When I was revising it I could barely catch mistakes I was so gripped in the action of my writing too. 0_o I guess I just hadn't read it in a long time... Glad you like the belt idea. I've always been paranoid about unbluckling the seatbelt, and without warning it snaps up and hits me in the face. 0_o Talk about pain... I'm a strange kid. :P

Thanks once again!


26th August 2005, 10:51 PM
wonderful!!! you can get exactly what Talia is feeling all the pain all the anger...and i can tell that's a hard thing to do....so keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!

26th August 2005, 11:10 PM
wonderful!!! you can get exactly what Talia is feeling all the pain all the anger...and i can tell that's a hard thing to do....so keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!
Danke, once again Togepicute! (Danke = Thanks in German ^^) I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. I really enjoyed writing it. Thanks for the review, and I hope you'll continue to read!


26th August 2005, 11:45 PM
Great chapter Saya! Read it last night but didn't get to review.

27th August 2005, 2:36 AM
the stone made the red light.
Prediction: darin and juila(SP) are going to get killed and she's going to kill drake. ;384;

27th August 2005, 3:07 PM
Great chapter Saya! Read it last night but didn't get to review.
Thanks! I appreciate it that you're reading SF!

the stone made the red light.
Prediction: darin and juila(SP) are going to get killed and she's going to kill drake. ;384;
Spelling corrections: Darren, Julia
Anyway. Thanks for the review! And as for your predictions we're just going to have to wait and see aren't we... *evil face*


28th August 2005, 12:43 PM
Spelling corrections: Darren, Julia
Anyway. Thanks for the review! And as for your predictions we're just going to have to wait and see aren't we... *evil face*


fwee evil face. kay i'll wait. sorry about spelling school justr started.

28th August 2005, 8:54 PM
lol I know what you mean. Names are always hard. There's at least three different ways you could spell the same name usually...
My school starts on Tuesday.

29th August 2005, 7:03 PM
Here I am with a new chapter. I'm posting this one day earlier than I usually would, since my parents just invented this new rule for the beginning of school. I'm not allowed on the computer monday through thursday, unless it's for homework, or story writing. *sigh* I'm going to have only three days to post a chapter then. Well, I hope you'll enjoy this chapter. I like this one quite a bit, because it's so different form the others.
Well, I guess all I can say now is, please read and review!


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 7: A Strange Prophesy

Reenie stared dumbly after the rapidly retreating form of Talia as she crashed deep into the dark interior of the forest, away from their sunny little clearing. Well that was certainly unexpected. Then again, most of the things Talia had done lately were very irrational, and much unlike her. She had been touchy about everything, especially Pokemon. Reenie and Deri had gone to great measures to avoid the subject in the last three days they had been together. It had to be from the shock of loosing her mother that she acted this way. Reenie was not exactly sure she would have blown up like that if one of her parents had died, but then again, Mrs. O’Connel was the only one Talia had left in the world. Losing her was like the deathblow to her rationality.

She did have to admit though, Talia was kind of overreacting

Deri heaved a long, wavering sigh. “She’s mad at the world. Mad at herself for letting her mother die.”

She glanced quickly over at him. He sat, staring straight in front of him, back pressed against the sturdy tree, knees drawn up to his chest. His short black hair fluttered softly in the faint breeze, and he barely blinked at all.

“I never really thought of it that way,” She murmured softly.

Deri inclined his head slightly, “She has to find someone to take her grief-fueled anger out on. Pokemon just happened to be the unfortunates she chose.”

“Where do you think she’ll go?” She asked uncertainly.

Deri shook his head. “You can’t really say. In her state she could end up anywhere. I don’t believe she herself even has any idea where she’s going.”

“D’you think we did the right thing? Following her I mean?” Reenie was full to bursting with questions and doubts. Deri was always a good source for the hard to answer questions she always seemed to have. Plus, he was her friend and she trusted him to help and give her the correct answers to the best of his ability.

“Definitely,” Deri answered her question confidently; “She was in one heck of a mess when we found her, with her leg and all. And,” He gestured in the vague direction Talia had taken only a few minutes before, a slow grin spreading across his sharp features, “She leaves a pretty good trail.”

Reenie gave him a half-hearted grin in return and nodded, hope growing deep inside of her. “We should follow her y’know. She may need our help.”

“We’ll follow her soon enough. Just give her some time to cool off; maybe an hour or two. Like I said before, her trail is more than easy to follow. We’ll be able to find her in no time.”

“Whatever you say, Deri.”

* * *
It was around noon by the time they had packed up camp, shouldered their all too heavy packs and began the journey. Deri was the self-appointed leader since Reenie knew absolutely nothing about tracking. Deri had taken a tracking class the summer before at a summer camp, and knew enough to follow Talia’s plain trail. She had to admit, the times he had gone to camp she always thought they were useless, but now she was glad he had attended. Talia’s path of destruction was even plain enough for her to vaguely guess where she had gone.

They traveled on through the rough forest for the next couple of hours, only communicating when they absolutely had to; and even then it was only in short grunts and nods. The way seemed to be getting harder and harder as the pair traveled, her pack seeming to grow heavier and heavier as they went.

Sweat began to break out in tiny beads on her forehead, and she stumbled more than once over a log or root jutting out of the earth. She did have to admit, though, that the scenery was beautiful. The trees were flashes of brilliant color as they swayed gently in the soft breeze, reaching their giant limbs up towards the sapphire sky, as if in a race to see who could receive the most attention from the glowing orange sun. Pokemon called out from the trees, adding a chaotic yet harmonic atmosphere of the forest. She cracked a small smile which immediately turned into a grimace as her knee sharply scraped against a thorny vine hanging out across the path.

Directly in front of her, Deri was walking with a plodding gait, casting his dark brown eyes everywhere, studying a broken branch here, stooping to stare at a deep foot print in the soft mud there. Reenie welcomed these brief pauses whole-heartedly as she dropped her pack gratefully to the soft earth beneath her feet so that she could flex her painfully cramped shoulders for a slight couple of seconds before Deri would straighten up, nod to her to do the same and plod continually on, she with him.

Finding Talia quick and easy? Yah, right, Reenie thought to herself sarcastically. Other than these brief pauses that couldn’t really be called a rest, they didn’t stop at all. Apparently Deri was very insistent on finding Talia within the space of twenty-four hours. So they just walked and walked and walked and walked until she could’ve sworn her legs were just about to drop off her body if she moved one step further!

She didn’t complain. After all it was for Talia’s sake that she was putting herself through all this. She was her friend. They had known each other so long that Talia was like the sister she’d never had. Reenie had always been glad of Talia in the years past whenever she was desperately in need of female attention, or just wanted to get away from her brothers (she had four). She could always go to her friend if she was in need of anything. Mrs. O’Connel had been like a second mother to her as well. It pained her almost as much as Talia to see her die. It was just that she didn’t take it the same way Talia did.

Deri came to a complete stand still so suddenly that she almost barged straight into him. If she hadn’t looked up from her reverie in time she would have done so, and they both would probably have ended up sprawled on the ground.

“What?” Reenie asked Deri, quickly recovering herself from the near collision. “What are you stopping for?”

“Shhh. I hear something,” He answered, barely moving a muscle as he spoke softly.

She promptly shut her mouth, and tuned her ears in for…well, anything unusual that could have caused Deri to stop so suddenly. She heard Pokemon calling, wind swishing among the trees and grasses; she could hear her heart beating if she listened really hard, and cars rushing by on the highway; she heard water rushing down a small stream and she heard…

“Cars!” Deri exclaimed, his voice booming loudly in her ears.

Cars? What was unusual about cars? A highway, sure, people too; nothing out of the ordinary.

“What about them?” Reenie asked, thoroughly baffled.

“Oh, Reenie, cars!” He repeated.


“People are in cars so that means there is a road or highway up ahead! It means civilization!”

She blinked, the information taking a moment to register in her mind. If there was civilization Talia might be there!

“So, if we go to this road we can follow it, and get to civilization!” She grinned. A good hot meal and a nice long shower seemed like the greatest thing in the world right then…

“Not exactly,” Deri said, shattering her daydream about one big hamburger with cheese and ketchup dripping off the sides… She shook her head. Thinking like this was not good for her. It made her stomach grumble, and realize for the first time that she was starving!

“So, what was your point on the road?” She asked, quizzically.

“It can help us figure out where we are. Once I know the approximate location I can figure out which direction Talia’s headed, and which cities we’ll come upon.”

“You know the exact locations of Hoenn’s cities?” Reenie asked incredulously. She was not one for maps, but she could read them if she had to; she just didn’t like too.

“Yah, to a certain extent, but for now we just have to follow Talia’s trail,” Deri turned back around, and continued on.

“Oh,” Was the only thing she said. Her head was beginning to ache a little, and she hoped it would soon go away. A headache was the last thing she needed right now.

They plodded along at what seemed like an unbearably slow rate for the next few minutes, Reenie’s headache increasing rapidly every single second as every bone in her body began to ache with every single step she took. She kept moving, though, one painful step after another.

Only a few minute’s more (though it seemed like hours to her roaring brain), and they had reached the source of the noise they had been hearing. Deri had been right, she thought fleetingly. It was a road, a rural highway actually (Sandar-Rustboro Highway an informative road sign told them), with fields extending out as far as the eye could see on the opposite side of the road from them. A threatening black cloud was rolling up on them, full to bursting with water. It was a gigantic storm.

She didn’t notice any of this as the pain in her body was growing almost unbearable, and she began to get a sick feeling right at the very pit of her stomach, as if I was going to throw up. Every joint in my body ached, almost unbearably, making it exceedingly hard to keep on moving. The pain was the worst in her roaring head, as if something was trying to burst its way through into her brain.

Deri kept to the forest as they began to follow the road north, according to him. By now she could barely keep my eyes open, and her legs moving. Her fingers hurt, her arms hurt and legs, her head, her feet, her back, everything felt as if they were being torn up from the inside. She was woozy, and could barely stand straight, let alone think, and every tiny movement made her feel as if a thousand needles were darting into her flesh. She felt horrible.

Finally, after what seemed like a prolonged age, Deri stopped and glanced around, a confused look crossing his face. She stood, staring dumbly at nothing, her green eyes glazing over as random spots of color began to dance before them.

Suddenly a terrible apparition of a huge transparent monster appeared before her delirious, unseeing eyes and rushed straight toward her. She barely had time to become frightened let alone comprehend what she was seeing. Right before it collided with her defenseless form, crushing her with its immense weight, she let out one ear-splitting shriek… and was swallowed by a void of seething darkness.

* * *
A sharp scream tore through the air behind him, causing Deri to jump. He whacked his head painfully up into the leafy branches of the large sycamore tree above him. As soon as he’d regained his composure, getting his head untangled from the trees, he turned his eyes over to where the shout had come from…and almost fell over backwards.

Reenie lay crumpled out on the mucky black earth of the forest floor in what looked to be a very uncomfortable position. Her eyes were tightly shut, but he could see by the steady rise and fall of her chest that she was still breathing. Her chestnut brown hair fell lazily across her face, masking any expression she had held when she fell that could have betrayed any emotion she had felt while going unconscious. A stab of fear tore through his heart as he took in the horrible scene. His first reaction was panic.

What had caused Reenie to collapse like that? She looked to be unconscious, but was she hurt even worse than she appeared? Were there any broken bones? Should he move her?

Deri rushed quickly over to her side, dropping his heavy pack to the ground as he did. Was she okay? If she wasn’t…that was something he couldn’t bring himself to think about. She just had to be all right! She just had too!

He reached out a tentative finger, and touched her hand lightly. His head began to swim with fear and shock as his hand met her flesh. It was freezing cold; far too cold to be natural! He stared at his best friend’s pitiful form lying sprawled out on the ground, his hand barely resting on hers. She didn’t seem to be doing very well. Fear washed through him, settling at the very pit of his stomach, making him feel as if he needed to throw up. Reenie was hurt, and there was no way, nothing at all, to help her.

Suddenly her eyes snapped wide open. The movement was so fast and sudden that Deri almost missed it.


He felt relief spreading through him like wildfire, and he was quite sure it was showing on his sharp, strained features as well. He grinned. At least she wasn’t unconscious anymore.

Then, suddenly, Reenie sprang to her feet with unnatural agility, even for her, causing him to loose his balance. His flailing foot caught on a tangle of upraised roots, and he was down, his lower back landing on a pile of sharp rocks. He winced, stifling a sharp shout of pain that was threatening to force its way out of his mouth so that it only emitted as a pitifully strangled squeak. He pulled himself quickly to his feet, rubbing his lower back vigorously as a futile attempt to ease the pain, and the rapidly growing bruise that he was sure was spreading steadily up his back.

“Reenie!” Deri complained, turning his gaze back to where his friend stood, “What was that for? You could have…” He broke off as he noticed that something was utterly and completely wrong with Reenie. She stood rigidly, staring directly at him, but at the same time not at him, staring straight through him, as if he didn’t exist. The thing that threw him off the most was her eyes. Instead of their normal, soft hazel color, hers were a luminous icy blue. They seemed to cast off a pale, liquid blue glow. Her strange blue eyes were hard, devoid of all emotion, and he could tell immediately that this was not Reenie who stood before him now. It may have been her body, but it was not his best friend.

Then she spoke, and when she did her voice was her own, yet not her own. It had an icy metallic ring to it, and it caused small shivers to course down his spine. The words that she spoke were utterly horrible yet wonderful, but terrifying.

“The one you are searching for is heading for the great western city. But, heed my warning! For with her an ancient evil is rising, following in her path, and steadily growing in power.

“If it succeeds in it’s rising, the Fire Dragon shall come again, wakening from its long rest beneath the ocean, held at bay all this time, pouring out all its anger, hate, all its malice and cruelty onto the unprotected world beneath it. Nothing shall stand in its path. Nothing shall be able to stop it.

“The earth will be destroyed, all its people dead, and the good in the hearts of the Pokemon twisted into something of pure evil. Mutants, destroying everything in their foul paths, will rule the world. Explosions shall erupt everywhere on the planet, and all those left living shall suffer to the greatest of extremes.

“Ruling above them all shall be the Fire Dragon, reigning in all of its power and malice, destroying the world in the most painful way possible.

“But, if the Fire dragon does not succeed in it’s rising; if somehow its pawn is stopped from nearing the place where the Dragon sleeps, there will still be hope left. Hope that somehow the Fire Dragon can be sustained for another thousand years, nursing its wounds, before it shall try to rise again.

“But now it is rising, gaining its power until it is so powerful it knows that nothing can stand in its path.

“This warning I am giving to you, so heed my words and listen with all sincerity. Go after this girl who heads for the western city, stop her from doing any more evil than she has already done, unknowingly, in the name of the Fire Dragon. Take her back to where she came from, and get the red stone from her! Bring it to Mount Pyre, not one of you must bear it, for it is evil. Take it to the mount and set it in its rightful place beside the blue stone, the one that contains its wrath.

“But if these two are set together in any other place but Mount Pyre, they shall fuse, becoming one, and following shall be an even greater evil than the Fire Dragon alone could ever produce.

“Listen to me and heed my warning for this is my wish, the wish of the Water Monster, who sends you on this task. Go now and do what I ask, and the world shall rest in peace for another thousand years. This is my wish. The wish of the Water Monster: Kyogre…”

Suddenly, the luminescence left Reenie’s eyes, the familiar hazel returning into them. Her eyes rolled back, and she collapsed once more. Deri jumped forward and caught her in his arms, then gently lay her down on the forest floor, and waited.

30th August 2005, 4:01 AM
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really , really mean it ! UPDATE SOON!

30th August 2005, 6:12 AM
This was a short chapter, I remember. Though the new readers may not understand Deri and Reenie because they appeared more in the original. I remeber that I was crazy obsessed with those guys first time I read this.

30th August 2005, 11:34 PM
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really , really mean it ! UPDATE SOON!
*grins* Thanks. I'm glad you liked it, and I hope you'll continue reading! The next few chapters add a whole bunch of new and different twists.

This was a short chapter, I remember. Though the new readers may not understand Deri and Reenie because they appeared more in the original. I remeber that I was crazy obsessed with those guys first time I read this.
Yup, this chapter is a little shorter than my other one's. I guess I just didn't feel like the chapter would be right if I added anything.
lol I do remember you being obsessed with Reenie and Deri. You wanted more of them, and just about died when this chapter came out. :P
How do you mean the new readers wouldn't understand about Reenie and Deri? I've explained about them just about as much as I did in the first version. Just wondering. An author always likes to know how to make the fic better.


31st August 2005, 1:55 AM
I KNEW IT. if ;382; 's involved then ;383; is to. *does i knew it dace* that just makes me feel better. Reenie(SP) is;382;'s child and Talia is ;383;'s child.

31st August 2005, 6:33 AM
I mean that they were more invovled in the original then they were in this rewrite. As how they played roles in the first chapter when they were just mentioned in the rewirte. Not that I want you to do another rewrite!

31st August 2005, 10:53 PM
ofcourse i'll continue reading!! ^^;;; why would i stop reading it?

1st September 2005, 12:16 AM
I KNEW IT. if ;382; 's involved then ;383; is to. *does i knew it dace* that just makes me feel better. Reenie(SP) is;382;'s child and Talia is ;383;'s child.
lol Don't you like it when you guess things correctly? XD As for the Kyogre and Groudon's children idea of yours, we'll just have to wait and see if you're right, won't we... *grins evily* (you seem to get all the evil grins don't you LR* :P

I mean that they were more invovled in the original then they were in this rewrite. As how they played roles in the first chapter when they were just mentioned in the rewirte. Not that I want you to do another rewrite!
Oh, okay. I see what you mean. I thought it would make more sence the way I changed it. I think ch 1 is much better and a little more realistic now.
lol Don't worry, I don't think I'll try another rewrite for a long time. Just don't go to Pakistan. ~_^

ofcourse i'll continue reading!! ^^;;; why would i stop reading it?
*nods* Very happy to hear that. I'm extremely glad you like my fic and I hope you'll keep reading...wait, you just said you would keep reading...scrap that. :P


1st September 2005, 2:13 AM
lol Don't you like it when you guess things correctly? XD As for the Kyogre and Groudon's children idea of yours, we'll just have to wait and see if you're right, won't we... *grins evily* (you seem to get all the evil grins don't you LR* :P

Oh, okay. I see what you mean. I thought it would make more sence the way I changed it. I think ch 1 is much better and a little more realistic now.
lol Don't worry, I don't think I'll try another rewrite for a long time. Just don't go to Pakistan. ~_^

*nods* Very happy to hear that. I'm extremely glad you like my fic and I hope you'll keep reading...wait, you just said you would keep reading...scrap that. :P


i love the evil grins
and yes i do like gessing things right because i have a twisted mind so getting somethingh right is a lage acomplesment. Ireject your reality and substatut my own.

1st September 2005, 1:54 PM
Great chapter Saya!

1st September 2005, 11:30 PM
i love the evil grins
and yes i do like gessing things right because i have a twisted mind so getting somethingh right is a lage acomplesment. Ireject your reality and substatut my own.
lol Figures.

Great chapter Saya!
I'm glad you enjoyed it SF, but, just a little tip, that would be considered SPAM. You should probably write a little more than that. Tell why you liked the chapter, or give me tips on how I could make it better. It makes for a longer post, helps the author, and keeps you from spamming. ^_^


2nd September 2005, 12:03 AM
Oh, okay, sorry about that, and thanks for letting me know that that is considered spam.

2nd September 2005, 6:39 PM
Oh, okay, sorry about that, and thanks for letting me know that that is considered spam.
*nods* you're welcome. Thanks for at least posting a little somthign though. I appreciate it!

Well, for those of you who are anxious for the next update, I'm almost finished revising it and I hsould be posting it tomorrow, so you won't have to wait much longer!


3rd September 2005, 6:15 PM
Well, just like I promised, here is the next chapter, Chapter 8: Forced Summons. Some interesting things begin to take place in this chapter, and it will set you wondering just what exactly is going on? But, you'll just have to wait and see won't you? :D
I won't keep you anylonger with my needless babbling and let you get onto reading. I guess all I can say now is, please read and review, as reviews always inspire me to write. No reviews = No new chapter. So, Enjoy!


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 8: Forced Summons

My whole body was one giant ache. I felt as if someone had beaten me with a stick, which wasn’t far from accurate, and then thrown me against a wall numerous times. That’s how horrible I was feeling. Every single inch of my flesh felt as if it was burning or covered in a large bluish-black bruise. When I first came to, the only thing I was aware of at first was the incessant pounding of a thousand drums in my head. It was so bad that I almost slipped back into unconsciousness, and would have gladly welcomed it too if something hadn’t compelled me to keep myself awake.

Barely hanging onto my consciousness by a thread, I slowly opened my eyes. I was in a bed, was the first thing I noticed, buried up to my neck in starchy smelling sheets. The room was dim, allowing my pounding head some grace, but just enough light seeped through the drawn curtains over the large window at my left that I could manage to pick out shapes and figures in the semi-darkness. I allowed my eyes a quick sweep of my surroundings hoping to figure out my position, as I had absolutely no idea where I was stationed.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was in a hospital because the room was entirely white, almost completely bare of any decoration, and relatively small. I had no idea where in Hoenn I was, though things were beginning to seem slightly familiar. I just couldn’t place my finger on where I’d seen it before. Directly beside the small cot I lay in stood a table that supported a tiny lamp; if turned on, I guessed, it could probably illuminate the whole room quite decently.

My fight with Drake hadn’t left my body in such good shape though. As I had guessed, my whole body was shrouded in ugly, purple bruises that reminded me a lot of a giant plum. The worst wound I’d received, by far, was the blow to my right arm. It, I quickly noticed, was encased in a tomb of hard, white plaster. This was definitely a major setback to my travels.

Then I remembered something extremely important, and with a small cry of dismay I began to violently pound the mattress of my cot. How could I have been so stupid? Tiny jabs of pain jarred my good arm as I punched the lumpy mattress, glaring angrily up at the ceiling. Right now I hated myself. I just couldn’t believe it! I had lost my stick!

How could I have been so stupid? I demanded of myself repeatedly. How could I have even dreamed of letting it out of my sight even temporarily? My stick was lying back on the side of the Sandar-Rustboro Highway, just sitting mournfully in the dust! I moaned. How could I have been so stupid?

“Well,” I muttered in a futile attempt to console myself, “at least I still have my…” I stopped, mid-sentence, and felt my body go cold. No, no it couldn’t be. It couldn’t be true. Dread was crawling over my body, mingling with the cold that had already made itself at home in my limbs.

Terrorized at the result, I quickly shot my shaking hand down to my pocket, desperately hoping my speculations were not true…my groping fingers came into contact with the thin white material of the hospital gown hugging my body. I felt my blood turn to ice. No, this couldn’t have happened. I had lost the Fire Red stone!

I swallowed and fell slowly back into the hard cot, too shocked to speak. No, it just couldn’t be true. I couldn’t have lost both of my precious objects, not now, when I needed them most… Needed them most? For what? I didn’t even know what they were or how they were created (well, the stone at least, as I had witnessed the creation of my stick).

Sighing heavily I balled my fingers into tight fists and then released them. I stared dismally up at the plain plaster ceiling of the room I inhabited, inwardly turning over thoughts of what I might have done differently to actually keep my stick with me. Why was this stick so important to me anyway? I mused to myself. It just seemed to draw me to it, giving me a strange sense of attachment. I held the same bond with the Fire Red stone too, I realized.

Where was I anyway? I asked myself lazily as I shifted my weight slightly. The last thing I remembered was flying headlong into the dashboard of Darren and Julia’s small silver vehicle, and then nothing. What had happened while I was lying unconscious?

Letting my eyes do another quick sweep of the room, I desperately hoped for some great miracle, hoped that my stone or stick would just magically appear. I blinked and my eyes flew wide open in amazement and wonder. As if it had somehow sensed my inward wish, the Fire Red stone was lying peacefully on the little nightstand beside my cot, as safe as could be. I nearly chocked as my eyes came to rest on it I was so surprised. I could have sworn the stone had not been there mere seconds ago!

I wasn’t complaining though. Slowly, painfully, I extended my arm out toward the stone and took it into my left hand, the one not entombed in a hindering mass of hard plaster. I grinned as the familiar shock of power jolted through my body, sending tiny sensations, like wild fire, rushing through my veins. It was wonderful!

If only I had my stick now, everything, well almost, would be all right. Again, my stone seemed to hear my silent thoughts for it began to hum and vibrate, something I’d never encountered with it before. A harsh red light began to build up in the small object as it began to grow warmer and warmer in my palm. Suddenly, brilliant light began to spill forth from the hidden depths of the stone as my fingers began to burn with the intensity of the light and heat in the object. What the heck was it doing now?

A burning, yet delightfully soothing sensation raced down my arm and through my body, dulling the continual aching pain residing there, and flared into brightness again. Power was moving out from my hand to the corner of the room across from where I lay in tiny threads of brightness. If I had thought the light was bright before, the next flare was like the blazing inferno of the sun next to a burning ember from a dying fire. As this flare erupted into its full brilliance, I felt a throbbing pressure begin to build up in the room, becoming heavier and heavier by the second as the light got brighter and brighter, seeming to pound into my skull as if to crack my head open! I could barely keep myself from screaming! Then, just as suddenly as it had come, the red light dissipated, quickly, and it dimmed to a soft, almost soothing glow. The pressure in the room seemed to pop, and everything returned to normal.

Staring out over the room, I glanced about for the outcome of that strange encounter. I was beginning to understand enough now about my strange stone to know that when the Fire Red stone did something like that, well, something strange happened. My hunch proved true as my searching eyes came to rest upon my stick standing in the far corner of the room. I blinked, totally amazed by this new improvement. I knew for a fact that the stick hadn’t been there before. Somehow the Fire Red stone had summoned it.

I stretched out my hand toward the strange, smooth stick and wasn’t surprised at all when, even though I was still a couple feel away from it, a soft red glow shot out from my fingers, engulfed the stick and began to pull it toward me. I stared at it in unblinking awe as it slowly closed the gap between us, engulfed in a cushion of soft red light that flowed steadily from my outstretched fingers. Once the stick reached me I clasped it in my outstretched hands, lay it on my lap and began to study it.

The wood was still its same strange smoothness, feeling almost like wax beneath my searching fingertips. It seemed almost as if it hadn’t changed at all. Except for one small detail. At the very top of the staff, where it used to be capped with a bulging knob of white wood, now stood a deep red, perfectly symmetrical stone sphere. Its strikingly crimson surface glinted brightly in the early morning light peaking through a small gap in the curtains cloaking the window of my room. Now how did that happen? I reached out a tentative finger to stroke the round stone sphere and wasn’t at all surprised when a shock of red power zipped through my body.

I smiled, clenching my left hand firmly around the center of the staff, laid it securely in my lap and gripped the Fire Red stone in my right hand, or what protruded of it from my cast. I had my stick and my stone, what more did I need? Slowly I lay my head back down on the pillow and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

* * *
The next week passed by in a blur of whirling confusion, nothing ever really seeming to become a reality for me after the incident with the stick. My days were filled with people; people rushing here, people rushing there, people speaking incomprehensible words that just seemed to enter one of my bruised and battered ears and flow right out the other. I couldn’t focus on anything for very long, my mind wandering off into thoughts of other things, each in different directions. I was in my own dream world most of the time.

One of the very few events of that week that wasn’t full of rushing confusion was the day that Reenie and Deri materialized into my life again. They came with somber, worried expressions, but behind that I also sensed a strange, almost fearful curiosity. What about, I had no idea. I think they tried to tell me their story, but by then I was already sucked back down into my vortex of whirling confusion.

There was a second event that week that wasn’t foggy and blurred for me. That was the arrival of Darren and Julia around half way through the week (at least I think it was half way through the week…). They were packed full with worlds of apology and sympathy and empathy and all those other –athy’s that I didn’t know about, pouring them out into my poor overused brain as if their words would somehow reverse what had happened during my time with them. They told me they were terribly sorry about the car accident, and sorry about Drake’s bad behavior (though I believed he was the only one accountable for his actions), and sorry I got hurt, sorry I was in the hospital, etc., etc., etc. The one thing that was good about their visit was that they promised they would pay all my hospital bills, though, in truth, the prospect of money hadn’t even crossed my mind until then. Julia mentioned that she would even call my aunt for me too, which confused me for a minute because I didn’t even have any living aunts, until I remembered what I’d told them in the car, and flatly refused the offer. I said I’d do it myself in my own time. Eventually I was able to keep their greatly unwanted questions at bay and even managed to get them to leave me alone, which was just about all I wanted right then, before I was plunged back into that drowsy unawareness.

I never saw Drake again (which was probably a good thing as both of us might’ve gone berserk), but I did manage to gather from Darren and Julia’s short visit that he was over at their hotel room, sulking on his bed, with only minor scrapes and bruises, plus a very sore face from where the seatbelt buckle had made deadly contact with his jaw. Other than that he was completely fine, having woken up soon after the car crash without any memory of the pain the red power had inflicted on him, which was what had caused him to pass out in the first place. Damn it.

Hell to him. He just had to escape almost completely unharmed while I got thrown into a hospital with a broken arm and a concussion! Besides, our fight had been interrupted/postponed by the car accident and we hadn’t been able to fight to the end. Well, not death but you know what I mean…

The only really strange thing that happened that week, beside the stick incident, was that all my injuries seemed to heal unnaturally fast. One day they were there and the next they were not. Bam! Gone! Just like that!

Within two days all of my cuts, scrapes and bruises, ever single one of them, had healed completely, disappearing without even one tiny scar or dent in the skin. By the third day the bump on my skull had managed to flatten itself out and disappear, the constant throbbing in my head fleeing with it. The strangest thing of all though, the thing that baffled even the doctors, was that my broken arm healed completely within six days, or at least enough so I could shed that dratted cast! Even the rehab took only two days before my arm was completely returned to its full strength and health.

In truth I had absolutely no idea what had caused my injuries to heal so quickly, not that I was complaining or anything, but I later suspected that the Fire Red stone had something to do with it.

As for the Fire Red stone and my stick, they were by my side ever single minute of the day, never leaving my over attentive sight. To them I was like a mother, watching over her children, never letting them come to any harm. I think this greatly amused the hospital staff, as they never complained. Whenever I came past, toting my stick in my good hand they would smile with great amusement and make some remark on how much I cared for that stick. Of course, they wouldn’t understand how much it meant to me.

Barely a day after my rehab sessions ended the doctors declared me well enough to be released from the hospital. This served as a major problem for me. I didn’t have anywhere to go, and I wasn’t about to let this small piece of information reach anyone.

* * *
“Geeze, Talia, I still can’t believe your arm healed that fast! It’s just not logical!”

I shook my head toward Deri’s bewildered figure as he paced back and forth across the rugged carpet set in front of the couch I’d situated myself on and shrugged, “Well it did.”

“I’m a doctors son! I should know this! Maybe the break wasn’t as bad as the doctor’s thought or maybe…I don’t know! It’s just not logical!” Her threw his hands up in the air in a frustrated manner, glaring, extremely annoyed, down at the thin worn carpet of the lobby floor.

“Thanks for stating the obvious, Deri,” Reenie rolled her green eyes skyward, flopping down on the lumpy yellow couch beside me, and began playing with the fringe of the blanket thrown lazily over it, pulling one thin strand from the next. I noted her proceedings with amusement and decided to give it a try. I began pulling the twisted threads apart, yanking at the ones all tangled up in each other. It was quite amusing, especially since my week had been far from it. That’s how bored I was. Strings on a blanket amused me… “I think that just about everything these past few weeks has become illogical.”

I nodded enthusiastically. Things around here were definitely not logical anymore. Especially not after the finding of the Fire Red stone and the creation of my stick. The three of us were seated (or in Deri’s case, standing) out in the large, airy lobby of the hospital, just hanging out. I had gotten quite bored of staring at the monotonous, plain walls of my tiny hospital room (did you know that the far left wall of my room has exactly 76 cracks in the plaster?), so for lack of anything better to do, I had stationed myself out here in the lobby. Reenie and Deri had followed me.

Though, besides sitting here, I wanted desperately to discuss some sort of a plan about what to do next. I certainly did need one. If I was ever going to reach the bigger cities to unleash my wrath upon Pokemon I needed some way to get there. Or some plan at least. I would walk the whole way if I absolutely had to! That’s how determined I was. It was just about the only way I could think of for now. After all, I didn’t have any money to pay for a ride on a train or plane or boat or whatever would get me there fastest.

“Well, since you’ve been officially released from the hospital I’d say that we need to…” Reenie continued, raising her head to look at me.

“We need to make a plan. Exactly what I was thinking!” I interrupted her wholeheartedly. This was exactly the opportunity I’d been waiting for to bring forward the plan that had been formulating in my head for the past week. It still basically followed the same lines I had set for it in Darren’s car with, well, absolutely no changes at all. I had thought about it almost every single spare moment I could get, but it still hadn’t developed any since I’d first made it up. I wasn’t very good at that sort of thing.

Deri stopped pacing and plopped himself down with a loud whoosh! into the large cushioned chair directly opposite the lumpy couch in which Reenie and I had arranged ourselves. I glanced at him, eyebrows raised slightly at that whooshing sound that had erupted from him when he sat. He shrugged sheepishly and glanced to Reenie for support.

However, my best friend was preoccupied, staring straight out at nothing, obviously deep in thought. Deri glanced sharply over at her, a look of speculation and worry leaping into his brown gaze. He was looking at her as if he expected something.

“Uh…Reenie?” I asked, nudging my friend slightly after we had sat in silence for a few moments. “Are you okay?”

“What?” Reenie jumped, her mind sliding back into reality. “What? Oh, right. Yah, I’m okay.”

Deri shook his head, curiosity taking over his face. He still expected something I could tell, but what?

“Oh, good. Well, what I was thinking was that we could-” I began enthusiastically, deciding to ignore Reenie’s strange lapse from reality.

“Uh, Talia?” Reenie interrupted almost immediately, her eyebrows shooting up. Again I ignored her.

“We, or I if you prefer, can travel up to, say Slateport, and get my revenge on the Pokemon there!” I continued on, heedless of Reenie’s attempts to get my attention. Once I got going on something I wasn’t about to stop for just about anything. I was kind of selfish that way.

“Talia?” Reenie’s voice was louder this time and more demanding.

“Then I, or we, could head up to Lilycove where there’s bound to be even more Pokemon to…” I barely glanced up at Reenie or even acknowledged her voice. My mind was firmly rooted on my plan and telling them. All I wanted to do was get out of here! Focusing on my words I was surprised to find that my anger wasn’t flaring up; especially because I was speaking that hated, filthy word: Pokemon. Then I realized that my anger had dissipated, not enough to make that much of a difference, but it still had.

“Talia!” Deri’s half shout broke my concentration.

“What?” I snapped, glaring at him. I guess they really didn’t deserve that but I was slightly annoyed at my new discovery.

“For goodness sake, Talia, Reenie has been trying to get your attention for a while!” Deri snapped back, his white face flushed with frustration and annoyance. Geeze, it didn’t take much to get him angry.

“Yah, Talia, he’s right,” Reenie murmured, appearing slightly agitated herself.

“Well, what is it?” I sighed in an over exaggerated manner and flopped deeper into the lumpy, ugly yellow couch.

“Well, in truth I think we should just, well, you know, go back home…” Reenie’s voice trailed off as she cast her eyes back down at the snarled old fringe, as if it had suddenly become very interesting. I stared at her.

“Reenie has a point, Talia,” Deri continued with a glance at his friend. I turned to face him, “This little quest of yours isn’t exactly well planned or anything. You have no money, nowhere to go, and nothing to keep you safe if you’re attacked. The world is a dangerous place for a girl your age to be out there alone. I think it’s time we headed home, and you let this whole revenge business go. Your mother is dead Talia, face it.”

I stared at him, the full force of his statement washing over me for the first time. Go home. Let my mother’s death go. Face the facts. None of this had ever even crossed my mind. Go home to what, though, and how? The death of my grandmother from far away Pallet Town last year had been the death of the last close family member I had. I knew I had a few cousins three times removed or something like that out in Johto somewhere, but they weren’t close to me. I’d never even met them, only heard of them. Even if my grandmother were still living it wasn’t like I could’ve gone to live with her anyway. She had been residing in a nursing home for the past eight years. What if I did go back, I reasoned. Maybe I could just forget this whole thing, about hurting Pokemon and all. My past actions had been more than a little stupid. My mother was gone, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change that.

Maybe, just maybe, if I went back, Reenie’s family would take me in. No, I told myself dejectedly, the Amier’s already had five children, and their financial budget was strained as it was. I could not force it on them. Maybe someone else would take me in then, saving me from a horrible life in the foster care string… heck, I’d even go with the Kemp’s if there were no one else. Maybe I should go home. I would definitely be a lot better off. Maybe I should go home…

Suddenly, something changed. The change wasn’t within my whole being, later reflection revealed, but only in my conscious mind. That was enough. Right before my eyes I watched as a strange aura of flaming red light jumped into my vision, drilling into my mind. My eyes began to sting so much that they began to tear up. Then anger, pure, indescribable, fueled by something I didn’t understand, anger, began to rule my mind.

I hated everyone, Pokemon and humans alike, even Reenie and Deri! Somehow I just knew that all together they had conjured up this evil plot to kill my mother, and make my life miserable, especially Pokemon, always Pokemon. All I knew right then was that I had to get away from here. I had to hurt them. Oh, would they pay! All of them, and I didn’t know why.

Half blinded by that ruby aura, I turned and spat at Reenie, “I’ll never return to that murdering, filthy place I once called home, or to you either!” With that, I turned away from her red hued form, and fled out the door of the hospital, straight into the heart of Rustboro City. I didn’t look back.

That was only the first time I was forced to do anything against my will by the strange red spirit that had inhabited my mind for the last week. It hadn’t fully taken control of my spirit yet, so I could still thankfully control my own limbs and mind to a reasonable extent. For now at least. Only, I didn’t know it at the time.

3rd September 2005, 8:49 PM
Yeah, Talia's all mean. This is what I hate her for. She gets so darn emotional at these things. Oh, found a mistake.

I desperately hoped for some grea6t miracle

You know what you did here.

4th September 2005, 12:02 AM
Yeah, Talia's all mean. This is what I hate her for. She gets so darn emotional at these things. Oh, found a mistake.

You know what you did here.
Heh, I know what you mean. She's not my favorite character either, but I think she's cool solely because I made her up. XD
Thanks for pointing out that mistake. I'll go fix it.


4th September 2005, 5:33 AM
Riaf, you beat me to it. I had to get off the computer before I posted my review. Well, anyways great chapter Saya. Weird with the stick appearing and all.

4th September 2005, 7:28 PM
lol Don't you hate it when you're cut short of giving a review? Happens to me a lot...
Well, thanks for the review SF. Yup, I told you strange things were going to begin to happen. Now all you have to do is wait for the next chapter. Chapter nine adds an interesting twist that's hard to guess from where Talia is at now...

HELP! I drew a really interesting picture today, and it's just screaming "Talia!" at me so I decided to post it. But, when I tried to upload it on Imageshack, it didn't work because the file is too big. Can someone help me with this by uploading it for me somewhere else, or giving me a tip on where to upload it? The picture's a little foreshadowing of what's to come a long way in the future...
It oy ucould that would be extremely helpful.


4th September 2005, 7:44 PM
i can't help you with image but i like taila she's got a short fuses like me but she has revenge on her mind she's out to destroy all pokemon that's what confuses me groudon is intrusting her with som of his powers this could get interesting.

Ryano Ra
4th September 2005, 9:44 PM
The last chapters were amazing, Saya. I am very sorry for not reviewing lately, I've been an extreme work with writing a future Pokemon story. The Groudon encounter was quite intriguing, and I find that something dangerous is bond to happen in the last four chapters of this first book, Fire Red. The latest chapter seemed to spark your natural talents, and I must congratulate you on a very exciting story. Fabulous job, and keep up the splendid work.

As for the help issue, using Photobucket is quite good, for I host all of my Fanfictions Banner there, and nothing really happens there. They are free, so give that a try.

4th September 2005, 10:57 PM
i can't help you with image but i like taila she's got a short fuses like me but she has revenge on her mind she's out to destroy all pokemon that's what confuses me groudon is intrusting her with som of his powers this could get interesting.
lol Told ya. *evil grin* There's your evil grin for the chapter LR. :p Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

The last chapters were amazing, Saya. I am very sorry for not reviewing lately, I've been an extreme work with writing a future Pokemon story. The Groudon encounter was quite intriguing, and I find that something dangerous is bond to happen in the last four chapters of this first book, Fire Red. The latest chapter seemed to spark your natural talents, and I must congratulate you on a very exciting story. Fabulous job, and keep up the splendid work.

As for the help issue, using Photobucket is quite good, for I host all of my Fanfictions Banner there, and nothing really happens there. They are free, so give that a try.
*nods* Thanks. That's alright. I know what you mean by not being able to review. I have problems with that all the time. Either I'm too busy or just don't feel like reading. I just can't force myself to read anything right now. *sigh* I'll have to work on that.
You'll just have to wait and see what I do with the last four chapters. The next chapter adds an extreme twist and spices up the plot a whole lot. I like it.
Thanks for the help too. I registered at Photobucket, and I got the picture downloaded with no trouble.

Here is the picture I was haing trouble downloading earlier. As I said before, I drew it today. I told myself it looked like Talia, so I tweaked it a bit and ended up with this. It's quite a foreshadowing of what's to come a long way in the future. Around the third book I believe. I'm quite proud of it. XD
Well, what do you think?


Ryano Ra
4th September 2005, 11:01 PM
Now that is something to contemplate about, seeing as you said this happens in a future book installment. I tend to adore blood-bleached swords like that, and Talia looks very dangerous. A very interesting picture that just keeps me wondering what is going to happen next. Great job, I really liked that picture.

4th September 2005, 11:05 PM
Now that is something to contemplate about, seeing as you said this happens in a future book installment. I tend to adore blood-bleached swords like that, and Talia looks very dangerous. A very interesting picture that just keeps me wondering what is going to happen next. Great job, I really liked that picture.
*grins* Thanks. I enjoyed drawing it, and I like the feel of...I dunno, despair it brings, but thats not exactly what I mean either. And questions. What happens to Talia that she has a blood soaked sword? Why does she have a sword? How did she get there? Etc.

4th September 2005, 11:14 PM
Nice pic. Isn't the "sword" Talia's stick? That's what it looked like to me. Looks like she went on a Pokemon killing spree.

4th September 2005, 11:17 PM
It's looks really different than what I imagine of Talia. O.O She looks so serene...

4th September 2005, 11:23 PM
Nice pic. Isn't the "sword" Talia's stick? That's what it looked like to me. Looks like she went on a Pokemon killing spree.
Thanks. You just might be on to something about her sword SF.

It's looks really different than what I imagine of Talia. O.O She looks so serene...
Yup. It might be a while, but you'll eventually see why she looks how I made her look.


4th September 2005, 11:27 PM
Thanks. You just might be on to something about her sword SF.

At first I thought it was just a sword, until I took a closer look, that's when I noticed the somewhat different design than any swords I've seen. The stone in the handle was what confirmed it. Since the addition of the red stone to her stick in the last chap.

4th September 2005, 11:31 PM
At first I thought it was just a sword, until I took a closer look, that's when I noticed the somewhat different design than any swords I've seen. The stone in the handle was what confirmed it. Since the addition of the red stone to her stick in the last chap.
*nods* I won't say yes, and I won't say no (it's obvious though, isn't it?)...but I like your thinking.

6th September 2005, 1:42 AM
please update soon!!! AWESOME!!

Ryano Ra
6th September 2005, 1:45 AM
I have a question; will you be giving out any information about the second book, such as its name, how many chapters, ect? I've been actually biting myself trying to figure out what adventures lie in the second book, seeing as you are over half-way finished with Fire Red.

7th September 2005, 12:11 AM
I have a question; will you be giving out any information about the second book, such as its name, how many chapters, ect? I've been actually biting myself trying to figure out what adventures lie in the second book, seeing as you are over half-way finished with Fire Red.
Actually, in the Author's Profile section I've got a summary of the second book, and the names of both the second and third books. I think I posted my profile on the fourth or fifth page of that thread so you could go check that. It tells you a little info about the trilogy and the one I'm writing now, etc. Thanks for reading!

please update soon!!! AWESOME!!
Thanks! Did you see the picture? What do you think of it? Thanks for reading!


Oh, yeah. My new one-shot fanfiction, Flash!, was just put up today for anyone who wants to read it. It has major tie-in's to the LTHTH Trilogy, especially Talia's life, so I really encourage you to read it.
Here's the link: Flash! (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=85095)

9th September 2005, 10:36 PM
lol Told ya. *evil grin* There's your evil grin for the chapter LR. :p Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

*nods* Thanks. That's alright. I know what you mean by not being able to review. I have problems with that all the time. Either I'm too busy or just don't feel like reading. I just can't force myself to read anything right now. *sigh* I'll have to work on that.
You'll just have to wait and see what I do with the last four chapters. The next chapter adds an extreme twist and spices up the plot a whole lot. I like it.
Thanks for the help too. I registered at Photobucket, and I got the picture downloaded with no trouble.

Here is the picture I was haing trouble downloading earlier. As I said before, I drew it today. I told myself it looked like Talia, so I tweaked it a bit and ended up with this. It's quite a foreshadowing of what's to come a long way in the future. Around the third book I believe. I'm quite proud of it. XD
Well, what do you think?


FWEEEEEEEEEEE! the evil grin. keep going.

10th September 2005, 12:36 AM
FWEEEEEEEEEEE! the evil grin. keep going.
lol Thank! And here's the next chapter you've been waiting for!

So, no one reviewed Flash, my one-shot, but thats all right. I can live with it. I'm finally able to come on the computer again after the new instalation of a rule from my parents. I can't go on on school days. *sigh* I'll live with it. Anyway, enough talk. Here I present you with Chapter 9: Stowaway. Oh, a new major character gets introduced in this chapter. I hope you'll like it, and don't forget to review!


Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 9: Stowaway

You know, when I mentioned that I’d never been to a larger city than Sandar before, I lied. It was a completely unintentional lie though. I’d been to Rustboro a few times in my pathetically sheltered life when my mother had needed a good vacation. In fact I’d once stayed at the very hospital I’d just spent about the most boring week of my life in when I’d almost severed my finger with a kitchen knife. Even if I had been to this city before I was still utterly and completely lost.

I, as my mother always put it, was directionally challenged and proud of it. I could never make heads or tails of a map or tell north from south. I swear, even if you gave me a compass, a map and a GPS I would still manage to get myself lost. I was a very sorry case.

This time, though, it wasn’t exactly my fault. Everything looked alike in this frickin’ city! Building after building rose up from the pavement of the city base, stretching themselves up toward the sky as if in a race to obtain the most sunlight. All were created with the same dull gray, brown and occasionally white cement or stone. Dozens of windows etched into the buildings peered down toward the rugged streets, almost creating the illusion of a many-eyed monster. Open, summer stands stood at every corner, vendors tempting gawking tourists with their colorful display of goods. Vehicles roared down the streets, heedless of the numerous passersby filling the sidewalks.

People of all colors, shapes and sizes milled about, some bustling past with a set destination in mind, glaring at every obstruction, living or not, in their determined paths. Others, mostly tourists in their casual, summery garb, bumbled aimlessly around, gawking openly at everything in sight. There was also the slew of Pokemon trainers, strutting confidently down the pavement, a Pokemon, and sometimes two, riding proudly on their shoulders. Children darted mischievously in and out of the vast crowds stirring up trouble at every corner. Wild Pokemon crept discretely along the edges of the streets, keeping close to the dark premises of an alleyway, snatching up refuse scraps discarded on the filthy ground by careless humans.

Rustboro was just a big, noisy, stinking city, I concluded, and as I walked this just became more and more apparent. I was lost, somewhere in the center of this hulking mass of manmade machinery, and I was far too prideful to ask for directions. To where? I pondered. How was I even going to ask for directions if I had no idea how I was to reach my destination?

Up ahead the sky began to clear of those endless buildings jutting up into the air, showing, for once, its true colors. Amongst the subtle grays and whites of the dense cloud cover I could detect the tiny silhouettes of a flock of bird Pokemon, Wingull and Pelipper I believe, soaring high above the earth on the breath of strong winds I could not detect from down below. A light breeze came whipping in my direction, bringing with it the unmistakable taste of salt. For the first time I realized I was nearing the ocean and the pride of all Rustboro, its infamous harbor.

Topping the rise of the last hill obstructing my view of what I was sure to be the harbor I stopped and stared, halted in dumb awe. Though the rest of Rustboro had been exceptionally dull, Rustboro Harbor was nothing at all like the rest of the city. Ocean liners, fishing boats, pleasure rides; jet skies, sailboats, barges, research vessels, rowboats, canoes and just about every other ship imaginable lined the innumerable piers. Masts from every kind of ship cluttered the air space directly above the harbor, and ready boats wove in and out of the other docked vessels.

People swarmed the docks, almost more people than I had seen in all of Rustboro City; hardened sailors hard at work preparing their ships to sail, captains barking orders at their busy crew, fisherman checking and rechecking their poles, tourists gawking and lining up for tickets to a boat tour of the harbor, everyone was there. Children laughed and shouted, jumping about as they stared at the ships, while their parents tried in vain to keep them in order. Unkempt, underfed harbor Pokemon darted and weaved around people’s feet, and as usual, there was no recline in the number of young, overconfident trainers rushing enthusiastically through the area. Shops, food stands, and streets performers filled the largest pier, an obvious tourist trap, and tantalizing aromas drifted from the open doors of the restaurants, overwhelming the stale fish and salt smell of the rest of the harbor, and making my stomach growl. I was suddenly reminded of how hungry I was

Then I saw her. She was the largest, grandest thing I had ever laid eyes on, and her beauty seemed to draw me to her. Every line, every color on her was perfect from the grayish black underbelly, to the three tall smokestacks reaching high into the air. My feet brought me directly down to her pier, and I didn’t even have time to wonder what drew me to her, since I’d never had much infatuation with ships. Everything around me had suddenly disappeared, leaving only her and me. There was almost no doubt in my awed mind of who she was. One quick glance at her hull confirmed my suspicions. She was the great S. S. Cactus, just as I had been suspecting since the moment I’d set my eyes on her. She had been advertised for months. Every flier I’d read claimed she was the grandest, most fancy beauty ever made by human hands. I knew right then that I just had to be on her when she set sail the next morning.

How on earth was I ever going to hook myself up with $1200 by noon? Every flier had proclaimed that a ticket to the beauty cost that enormous amount. There was just no way I was going to pull it off. I had to be on that ship though! I would do almost anything to get on her. There just seemed to be no way it was possible at the moment. A tiny grin snuck across my face, unless…

“She’s beautiful isn’t she?” A soft voice asked in my ear. I jumped and span quickly around to find myself staring up into strangest, mischievous gray eyes I had ever seen. I stepped back uncertainly and let my eyes do a quick, but thorough, sweep of the man who stood so casually beside me.

He appeared to be about nineteen, possibly twenty, with a snub nose and a mop of unruly brown curls atop his head. He was leaning easily against the dark railing of the dock, staring casually up at the massive form of the S. S. Cactus as if it were the most natural thing in the world to be talking to a completely strange girl in the middle of Rustboro City. I can tell you that I wasn’t exactly feeling comfortable with the situation right then.

“Um…” I murmured uncomfortably, casting my eyes down toward his feet. He wore heavy leather boots that looked as if they’d recently enjoyed an extra long mud bath.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” The man, boy really judging by that impish smile glued to his boyish features, said apologetically, “I didn’t introduce myself properly.” His voice held a silky, mellow tone, somehow reminding me of thick, dark honey. This immediately triggered alarm bells in my head, but my stupid mind chose to ignore them. Then again, maybe it wasn’t exactly my mind’s fault. My mind had been felling mighty sluggish for the past two minutes, all my senses dulled and my reaction timing slowed. Perhaps from the sheer grandness of the ship before me. He stuck a weather beaten brown hand in my direction. “I’m Periwinkle. You are?”

I blinked and gingerly took the offered hand in my own. His fingers were rough and calloused beneath my touch, the hands of a workingman. Just the same, I was not used to strangers being so forthright with me. “Periwinkle? Isn’t that some sort of blue color?” I asked stupidly. My mind really did not comprehend things correctly.

“Yes it is, but only in the form you’re using it. My name is two words, not one. Perry. Winkle. See?” He replied smoothly, a slight hint of laughter entering his mellow tone.

“Um…it’s a little weird, but okay,” I shrugged.

“You never mentioned your name though,” Perry Winkle spoke up promptly, as soon as a lull in the conversation appeared.

I glanced up at him, and for a second I thought something in his eyes had changed. It was like, well, I don’t know, a blazing fire of…what? Anger? Regret? I didn’t know. That familiar mischievous gray gaze quickly replaced the glint though, before I had any time to think on it further. My breath caught shakily in my throat and I quickly glanced away.

“Uh…Talia…” I replied, reluctant to give this complete stranger my last name. But you told your last name to Darren and Julia, didn’t you! A tiny voice in my head demanded. So why don’t you give your last name to this man too?

This is different! I argued back fiercely. He’s different from them!

Yes, but different in what way? And how different?

I ignored it, ignored those insistent alarm bells clanging away in my brain. I should have listened to them. It was very stupid to be arguing with yourself anyway, even if no one could hear you.

“…O’Hara,” I ended with a lie, hoping that he hadn’t noticed my brief pause. If he had noticed anything, Perry Winkle said nothing. I had a sinking suspicion though, that Perry Winkle wasn’t the name of the young man standing opposite me either. Even with that suspicion my brain would not listen to what pure common sense was telling me: to stay away from this man!

“Hmm… Talia O’Hara? Interesting,” He got this far off look in his eyes, but quickly snapped back to reality. “Isn’t she a beauty?” He meant the ship. This guy skipped around on subjects like a half crazed Linoone with its tail on fire.

I slowly returned my gaze to the gigantic ship resting in the harbor before me. I had to agree; I thought the S. S. Cactus was the handsomest ship I’d ever set eyes on. I nodded, slightly dazed with wonder.

“So? Are you going to be on her when she sets sail this afternoon?” Perry’s voice sounded a little too innocent for the occasion. Just the same my eyes never left the S. S. Cactus as I answered him.

“Unfortunately, no,” I replied regretfully. I really did want to be on that ship when it left the harbor! “Are you?”

“Maybe,” He replied slowly, stroking his chin as if deep in thought.

“Maybe meaning…?” I asked curiously, tilting my head slightly to peer up at his face. His gray eyes were filled with some complex emotion I couldn’t decipher, his sly face with its snub nose creased in deep concentration. If I didn’t mistrust him so much I would have called him handsome.

He turned to face me, a strange, mischievous glint flooding his eyes. I didn’t like that look. He grinned. That grin didn’t register in my mind as a very friendly grin, but a forced one. “Do you want to be on that ship tomorrow? When it leaves I mean?”

I took a slight, uncertain step back and cast my eyes quickly to the cement dock beneath my feet. “Well, sure, I guess. Don’t you?”

He took a step towards me, his face taking on a determined glow. “Yes, but do you really, really want to get on that ship?”

I did, or I had before, but…doubt was quickly flooding my mind. The alarm bells that had been ringing madly all throughout our little conversation were finally taking root in my skull. What right did this young man have to be asking all these questions? Why was he taking all this interest in me of all people? Then again, I had been staring at that ship like a worshipful, misplaced Psyduck when he’d come upon me. I did want to get on that ship though… I began twisting my stick around between my fingers, watching the golden sunlight play off the ruby jewel atop the branch in different, may colored spectrums. It was very pretty, and somehow, almost captivating.

Suddenly I nodded, my mind made up. Tearing my eyes away from my stick I stared determinedly up into Perry’s expectant face, and realized that he knew exactly what I was going to say all along, “Yes, I do.”

He grinned again (in relief?), and nodded slightly, “Well, Talia O’Hara, you may be in luck. I just might have a way to get you, and I, aboard that ship,” He spoke slowly, almost eagerly; casting his eyes up at the gray, cloud smothered sky, as if deep in thought.

“How?” I asked, curiosity flooding every bit of common sense I had left.

“You’ll have to help me though,” His eyes fell directly on mine, full of expectation. Again, I realized, he seemed to have already guessed what I was going to say.

“That just depends on what you’re planning to do,” I answered cautiously. I was not about to waltz right into a tangled mess like I’d seemed to be doing in the last two weeks since my journey began. I did not need another problem right now. I already had too many of those.

“Oh, it’s just a little scheme I like to call…” He paused, mid-sentence, and lowered his voice slightly; then he grinned innocently, “…helping a friend in need.”

I blinked, and stared at him blankly. Perry sighed and rolled his gray eyes heavenward. “You know, we’ll be nice, decent human beings and just help a little old lady get her bags onto the ship,” He was being evasive. “It is allowed you know.”

“You mean we’re going to sneak on and stowaway?” I asked slowly. I had figured on that much, but it had never really occurred to me how I was actually to get on the ship. His plan was actually pretty brilliant, plain but brilliant. Exactly what I needed.

“Shh!” Perry hissed, stooping down so his face was right beside my ear. He glanced around cautiously, “Keep it down. Don’t be giving notions to anybody of what we are about! Yes, to your question anyway. That is what we are doing. For this being the greatest ocean liner of all time and all, it really does have pitifully poor security.”

I nodded quickly, and whispered (we were both whispering now), “But isn’t that illegal?”

Perry’s eyebrows shot up as if to say, ‘Well, what did you expect?’. “If you’re worried about getting caught then don’t. I know exactly what I’m doing, trust me.”

“Well,” I sighed wearily, gripping the stick tightly between my suddenly icy fingers, “it can’t be any worse than any of the things I’ve done lately.”

“Then you’ll do it?” Perry asked hopefully, his face brightening.

I sighed again and nodded slowly, “Yah, I’ll help you. After all, what do I have to loose?”

Perry beamed, “Exactly.”

* * *
“So why exactly did you need my help to get onto the S. S. Cactus again?” I asked.

It was late in the morning, and Perry and I were hurrying quickly through the crowded docks towards the steadily expanding mass of people gathering around the S. S. Cactus. We had speedily decided soon after our meeting that it would look kind of suspicious if we hung around the S. S. Cactus until boarding time, so we had moved off to mingle with the vast crowd among the docks, while Perry briefed me on the specifics of our plan. Perry himself wasn’t a bad guy, though I never let him out of my sight for one second, as I still didn’t exactly trust him.

I learned during our talks that Perry was nineteen. He originated from a tiny town that barely had its own place on the map in southern Johto named Satral. His parents owned a small Miltank farm where Perry, his two brothers and his twin sister had grown up. Having never liked Miltank much or the tiny proximity of opportunities Satral offered, Perry had kind of skipped town once completing high school with the idea set in his mind to see more of the world. When I’d asked him how he’d stooped so low as to be participating in what was called criminal activities (just as I wondered how I’d ever stooped that low), such as stowing away, he’d just sort of shrugged and changed the subject. I’d decided not to pursue that topic any further.

Brief seconds after Perry finished his life story, I spotted Reenie and Deri out of the corner of my eye. They still appeared to be searching for me, but it was obvious they hadn’t spotted me yet. I wanted to keep it that way too. Hastily, I grabbed Perry’s shirtsleeve and began pulling him back the way we’d come, away from my friends, hoping to blend in with the rest of the people. “Uh, I think we should head down this street for now,” I murmured quickly at Perry’s confused protests. He didn’t ask any more questions though, of which I was grateful. He had his secrets, and I had mine. Let my friends keep searching for me as long as they could; it wasn’t like I would care.

Since Perry had been so open with me about his life I soon found myself pouring out my story from start to finish, only omitting certain parts I felt I could trust absolutely no one with. The same parts, and more, that I felt I couldn’t trust Reenie and Deri with either, like the origin of the stick I kept clenched firmly in my hands every single hour of the day. When he’d asked about it I’d just shrugged, and changed the subject. Perry had quickly decided not to pursue the topic any further.

Strangely enough, I didn’t feel any more than a slight stirring of anger, and a wave of nauseating grief at the memory of all that had happened to me. My boiling vat of anger was slowly evaporating as time began to heal the hurt. I was in no way going to abandon the quest I’d sacrificed so much for though. Not even because it was the stupidest thing I’d ever done in my young life.

Perry really was a good listener as well, offering sympathy when necessary and occasionally whistling in awe at something I’d done. He really wasn’t a bad guy at all, though I still felt I couldn’t trust him completely. Somehow, I just knew there was something he was concealing from me, something important.

“Oh, it doesn’t really matter Talia,” Perry brushed off my initial question, “Just focus on how you are actually going to be able to get on that ship.”

“Perry,” I skidded to halt and planted my feet stubbornly on the warm cement beneath my sneakers.

“What?” He asked innocently, stopping, and turning to face my stubborn form. “You know, if we don’t hurry we might not find…”

“I know,” I cut in firmly, “But I’m not moving one step farther unless you tell me why you needed my help when your plan would have worked perfectly, if not better, if you’d done it by yourself.” I crossed my arms defiantly, still carefully clutching my stick protectively in my hands.

Perry sighed and rolled his eyes, “Heaven help me!” He whispered in exaggerated annoyance. Then sarcastically, “It makes the scheme more believable to have a women along. There. You happy now?”

My eyebrows shot up in disbelief, “No, and you know I don’t believe you.”

“I know,” His answer was light and joking.

“And the only reason I’m coming with you in the first place is because I want to get on that ship.”

He nodded and grinned, “Of course. You’re going to have to start moving if you actually ever want to get on that beloved ship of yours.” He winked, “Let’s get a move on shall we, Miss Talia.”

I grinned, and get a move on we did. The thicker the crowds became the trickier it was for Perry and I to weave and maneuver our way through. By the time we’d reached the boarding area it was late morning, and by the time we’d actually selected a fitting candidate for our operation it was even later.

“See that lady over there?” Perry asked, surreptitiously gesturing in the direction of our chosen subject, “She’s the one we’ll use.”

His pointing finger led my searching eyes directly to an extremely posh looking, slightly over-weight, middle-aged women. She was adorned in an overly fancy, elegant white blouse and tan skirt, and wore her slightly graying, auburn hair in a complex bun, the type I had never been able to achieve in my horrifying attempts at fixing other people’s hair. She appeared to be quite flustered over the four, large, equally fanciful traveling bags she was attempting, and utterly failing, to keep under control. She was perfect for our needs.

“Now remember what I told you, Talia,” Perry hissed to me as we made our way steadily in the direction of the woman, “Do not talk, at all, unless you are asked a direct question. Let me handle the rest.”

I nodded quickly in agreement. “I wouldn’t trust myself with speaking anyway,” I murmured back.

Perry began to make his way in the woman’s direction. I followed closely at his heals, clutching my stick in sweating, icy cold fingers, to my chest. My heart was beginning to flutter inside my chest like a caged Butterfree, desperately searching for escape. The blood began to pound in my ears as the doubts began to pop up into my brain. What if our plan failed? What if the lady didn’t need our help? What if we couldn’t find someone else? Worst of all though was, what if we were caught? That was the worst thing weighting down on my mind: the dreadful humiliation of being found out and prosecuted.

“Excuse me, ma’am?” Perry inquired, his tone extremely polite and innocent, as he reached the struggling women’s side. “But my sister and I just couldn’t help but notice that you seem a little overwhelmed with your travel bags.”

The women sighed and promptly dropped her four, elegant bags to the cement deck of the dock. “Well, you seem to have noticed correctly.”

Perry gave a slight inclination of his head. “My name’s Jack and this is my sister Anna.” I almost burst out laughing, my nervousness almost forgotten, when I heard that! Perry named Jack? Me named Anna? It was so…strange! The way Perry was going around, acting so polite and all…it just wasn’t like him! My giggles abruptly subsided as Perry gave me a severe, sideways glance.

“Glad to meet you ma’am,” I murmured softly and timidly, eyes cast shyly down at the ground, just as I thought Anna, the sister of Jack, should.

“Yes, very pleased to meet you Mrs.…?” Perry added, his eyebrows rose in polite question.

“Kastrel,” The lady finished for him.

“Mrs. Kastrel,” Perry agreed, “We were wondering if we could be of any service and help you bring your bags onto the ship?” Perry (or Jack…) asked politely, looking the flustered Mrs. Kastrel directly in the heavily make-upped eye. That was another thing I’d noticed about this over pampered, rich women: she smelled so strongly of perfume I felt quite nauseated.

“Oh yes! Thank you so much for offering!” Mrs. Kastrel exclaimed, letting an extremely relieved look crawl across her slightly pudgy features.

Before he had time to react Mrs. Kastrel had stooped her large frame down and grabbed two of her bags, shoving them into a bewildered Perry’s face in the same movement. For a woman of her age and size, I had to admit, she was extremely swift. Perry blinked, momentarily stunned, before quickly recovering and shifting the two bags around in his arms until he was comfortable.

Mrs. Kastrel quickly turned on me almost immediately after she’d parted with the bags she’d given to Perry. She stooped down and soon I, like Perry, found myself getting a mouthful of traveling bag, until I could arrange the two heavy items comfortable in my arms. That, I tell you, was not an easy job. In fact, it was almost impossible, as I also had my stick to deal with. I was probably ending up even more flustered than Mrs. Kastrel had seemed in the beginning. What did she keep in these, a bowling ball, ten-pins, cement and extra bricks?

Mrs. Kastrel was also the jumpiest, most talkative person I’d ever met too, as I soon found out. As Mrs. Kastrel, Perry and I began weaving the short distance between where we had been previously standing and the boarding ramp, Mrs. Kastrel continued to chatter on and on, announcing her thanks and deep gratitude toward the two of us, meanwhile telling us of her children, her husband, her dog, her neighbor, her cousin, her aunt, grandma, and best friend, what she’d eaten for breakfast three days ago and the strange dream she’d had last night. By the end of that short, maybe thirty-second walk, I knew just about everything I’d ever wanted to know about the Mrs. Angela Kastrel. This definitely did not improve my opinion of the rich woman at all.

Even her endless chatter couldn’t keep out the lingering doubts that screamed at me to run, drop those bags and go in the opposite direction! I could feel the palms of my hands beginning to sweat against the smooth, leather handles of the suitcases I was barely managing to drag along. My heart was pounding in my ears, almost deafening me. I tried to keep my eyes glued to Perry’s ever moving boots in front of me, so as to the fight the nausea threatening to overwhelm my senses. What if we were caught? What if our plan didn’t work? What if we were found out and punished? The doubts and questions raged through my mind. The only thing that was actually keeping me there was my faith in Perry (I didn’t even know I trusted him until that moment) and…something else I just couldn’t explain.

Somehow we made it past the ticket taker. I’m not even sure how as I was kind of tied up with handling the two bags, my stick and the nervous wreck of my brain, but it must have been some witty remark on Perry’s part or maybe even something the oblivious Mrs. Kastrel had said. As for me, I was in no state of mind to help anyone right then. My mind was almost completely frozen with fear and worry that our quest would fail, and both Perry and I would be caught.

Even as I followed robotically along on the heals of Perry and the pea-brained, I’m sorry to say, Mrs. Kastrel, my brain continued along unable to comprehend the events that were taking place right before my eyes. It was only as we passed across the threshold of the large vessel did the events of the last few minutes fully sink in. I was actually on the S.S. Cactus! We were safely going to make it! My spirits began to soar even higher as I gazed in subdued wonder at the rich finery we passed on our way to Mrs. Kastrel’s living cabin.

Confusing labyrinths of hallways wound throughout the entire ship, carpeted with a soft, crimson rug, as if it were the rug thrown down before the feet of royalty. Attendants dressed in blue finery were everywhere, each walking as if he or she had a destination to reach. There were also many other over-dressed people, but not many children I noticed, ambling slowly through the halls. Also, a few over-pampered Pokemon wandered the halls at the feet of their human trainers or owners.

The walls were papered with extravagant patterns and subtle, comfortable colors that immediately made me feel at home. Elegant crystal chandeliers glinted prettily overhead, casting somewhat eerie shadows into the walls and corners. The doors of the cabins were richly carved with intricate designs; so perfect and astounding I found it hard to believe that human hands had actually carved these patterns!

I shivered with delight as Mrs. Kastrel suddenly stopped in front of one of these doors, glanced down at the paper with the directions to her room written on it, and broke into a dimpled grin.

“This is my room!” She announced enthusiastically, “You can just leave the bags right here and I’ll be able to manage them.”

Perry nodded, “Glad you could be of service to you ma’am,” He answered politely, dropping the bags gently to the floor. I gladly followed suit, maybe not so gently, and began massaging my soar arms, stick still firmly clasped in my fingers. I was not about to let that go.

“Thank you children so much for helping me!” Mrs. Kastel began murmuring over and over as we began to turn away.

“You’re very welcome, ma’am,” Perry concluded the conversation with a quick nod of his head and began trotting off down the hall at a fairly quick pace. I, still massaging my sore arms, hurried after him.

“Where are we going?” I hissed as I reached Perry’s side.

“Somewhere safe,” He answered quickly, keeping his voice uncommonly low and slightly harsh, “Just follow my lead. I have this all under control.”

I nodded, “Good because I’m going to actually trust you on this.” As those words left my mouth I saw conflicting emotions enter Perry’s usually mischievous gray eyes, and his jaw visibly tightened. His eyes were displaying something of confusion and…sadness? I tore my eyes quickly away from his face, scared at what I’d viewed in it. What had I just seen? I shrugged it off, thoroughly confused, and followed Perry’s rapidly quickening pace down the fancy hallways of the S. S. Cactus.

It got almost monotonous after a time, the same patterns and carvings repeating themselves over and over and over. We did hurry down an occasional staircase though, breaking the monotony, but not by much. Some were so narrow only one person at a time could pass through them, and others were so wide and grand I could’ve sworn a hundred men abreast could walk down it. Sometimes there was a new room too; a dinning hall filled with hundreds of fancily decorated tables and chairs, a game room, a gym, a pool and so much more!

Finally, just as I’d been feeling as if my legs were about to drop off, Perry stopped and announced, “This is it.”

I glanced quickly around, fully expecting to see another doorway like the ones we’d been passing just about every step we’d taken, but there were none. Beside the obvious lack of doors, everything appeared the same. It was all the same hallways going on for miles and miles! “This is what?” I asked.

“This is where we go down,” Perry pointed a strong finger down at the floor beneath him. I noticed for the first time a hairline of a crack appeared in the crimson exactness of the carpet. It must be a trap door.

“But haven’t we been going down the whole time we were coming here?”

“Yes, but this time we are leaving the living quarters of the passengers. We’re really going down.”

“Below the ship, you mean?” I questioned, slightly baffled at the prospect of actually going down there. Of course, we did have to hide.

“Yes. With the cargo,” Perry answered, half joking, as he stooped down and began pulling on a metal handle protruding from the edge of the square cut out of the carpet, close to the wall, that I hadn’t noticed before.

“That’s reassuring,” I replied sarcastically, staring as Perry struggled with the heavy door.

“Alert me if someone’s coming.”

“Okay,” I glanced both ways down the hall. Not a soul in sight. Good. “It’s all clear.”

Perry quickly pulled up the heavy wooden trap door with a loud screeching sound, revealing a tiny flight of iron steps leading down into a void of pitch blackness.

“You got a light?” I asked. I was not about to go down there if we did not have a light. I just would not do it!

“Yes,” Perry replied shortly, “Just hurry down there. I’ll follow right behind you.” His voice sounded tight and slightly annoyed. I had no idea why. I didn’t think I’d done anything to annoy him.

I nodded slowly to Perry’s request, and cautiously began making my slow decent down into the ominous depths of the under deck of the S. S. Cactus.

10th September 2005, 5:03 AM
So this is where we left off. If I recall my suspicions, Perry's a bad guy. BTW, how are you actually going to get different novels for this tale?

10th September 2005, 8:34 PM
So this is where we left off. If I recall my suspicions, Perry's a bad guy. BTW, how are you actually going to get different novels for this tale?
Yup. you only have to wait till next friday for the chapter you haven't seen before. Sorry about rewriting it on you so many times. You'll see what happens with Perry soon enough. *grins evily* You'll see how I get different novels. Each novel is kind of a continuation of the first bit of the story. I split LTHTH up into three different parts ,sp I could actually feel as if I were accomplishing osmething. :P But, yeah, I like trilogy's better than just one book for the whole story. The third book though, has a whole new main character...

14th September 2005, 12:38 AM
Interesting, I, like Riaf, think Perry's a bad guy. Yay! only 3 more days!

14th September 2005, 9:36 PM
Interesting, I, like Riaf, think Perry's a bad guy. Yay! only 3 more days!
Well, you'll just have to wait and see, won't you? Friday is the update, so it's only two more days now! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


16th September 2005, 11:16 PM
Only two reviews this time, (it seems I've lost some readers! *is shocked*) but any reviews are welcomed by me! Personally, Chapter 10 is one of my favorite chapters (and I don't think it's ever been released on this site either), as it is a major twist in the plot in my thinking. It like it because it begins to set the stage more for the rest of the story. And, Riaf, you will find out about Perry in this chapter, and just to tell you, he's my favorite character right now. XD

I only get a chance to update every Friday now, because of the ew rule my parents implemented, and since I don't quite have Chapter 11 finished it'll give me more time to work on it, and the following chapters.

Please, please, please peoples, REVIEW! Even if you didn't catch any mistakes you can still tell me you are/are still reading. If you do have something point out, please do so, but try to keep it positive. I'm an optimistic person, and, well, people who flame get me depressed. ^^; If I'm depressed there is no new chapter... >_<

Any way, without further ado, I present you with Chapter 10: Twice Betrayal.

Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 10: Twice Betrayal

It was dark, really dark. By dark I don’t mean the friendly, hazy kind you get in your bedroom at night, I mean the kind of ominous blackness that seems to bore straight into your soul, draining every last inch of light out. I mean the kind where you can’t see your hand if you put it in front of your face, and your eyes never adjust. You are virtually blind. Of course, Perry had thought ahead though, revealing a tiny, hand flashlight as he emerged into the dark passage way. Though the light cast eerie shadows upon the cold, steel walls of the ship, it was still one small comfort in the creepiness of the passageway.

We’d been traveling in silence most of the time we’d been moving. I was concentrating on the pitching hallways beneath my feet, and keeping my footing. Ships were tricky to maneuver about in, especially if they’d just set sail as the S.S Cactus had done only a few minutes previous. Perry seemed used to this kind of thing, though his brow was rapidly creasing in concern as we moved. He wouldn’t look at me, and he didn’t seem to want to talk either, but at least it appeared as if he knew where he was heading.

I, on the other hand, did not, and didn’t exactly welcome the fact that I was blindly following a young man of whom I knew almost nothing about. He could be kidnapping me as far as I was concerned! But, I told myself, he seemed like a nice guy, from what I’d seen of him, and though I hated to admit it I kind of trusted him in a strange sort of way. He’d done nothing to hurt me after all, and he’d even been nice enough to offer me a free, though somewhat illegal, passage on the S.S. Cactus. I just had no idea why he’d chosen me of all people. If he’d wanted company he could’ve found someone his own age to befriend; I was six years younger than him after all! I must admit, I did feel kind of flattered at his interest in me.

Perry stopped. I stopped too, snapping out of my reverie. “Um…Talia,” He said dubiously, eyes riveted toward the ground.

“What?” I asked, attempting to catch his eyes. He would be so much easier to read if there was more light!

“There’s…there’s something I’ve got to tell you,” He was fingering the edge of the flashlight nervously, appearing suspiciously sheepish.

Confused, my curiosity roused, I asked, “What?”

“I…I asked you to…I don’t know how to say this, but…” He was stammering, a scared, doubtful look written all over his face.

“Come on, Perry! Just spit it out!” I sighed, exasperated at his stalling.

“All right,” He sighed, and glanced in the other direction. Suddenly, he turned to face me, desperation entering his gray eyes, “Talia, look, it’s not like I wanted to do this, but I had to! You must understand!”

“What? Perry, what are you talking about?” My suspicion had quickly turned to alarm. Something about Perry’s voice made me shudder. Something definitely was wrong here.

“I…” He continued, “I only asked you to…”

A darkly clad and hooded figure stepped out of the darkness behind him, “Well, done Perry my boy. You have done well.” The voice was slightly familiar, but sharp with a tone of danger ringing in every word. I could’ve sworn I’d heard it before, though under slightly different circumstances, but where?

Perry’s face twisted in pain, then hardened, and he turned away to face the darkness. Four more dark figures materialized out of the gloom, each dressed in full gray clothing. Three of them were unmistakably large men, accustomed to fighting. The two other figures were smaller, one definitely only a hooded child of perhaps my age. The other, the figure who had spoken, appeared to be a young woman by both her figure and the way she held herself. What was happening? The woman was smiling, and even though only the lower half of her face was showing beneath her dark hood I had this strange feeling I’d seen her before.

“Ivan, Marc, grab her,” It wasn’t until these orders were issued that my brain even began to comprehend my situation. I swore violently. I had been betrayed. There was no question about that. My mind whirled sickeningly as I tried to fight off the nausea threatening to overwhelm my senses. Perry had led me into a trap. I had trusted him and he had betrayed me. Shuddering, I felt sick, I attempted to push back the anger and hurt creeping over my body.

The only question was why had Perry led me into this trap? Why did these people want me? I had nothing of value that I knew of unless… a new thought dawned on me with a jolt. The Fire Red stone! Its strange behavior was definitely nothing normal for a stone, even a strangely colored one. I’d just grown used to its strange outbursts over the many weeks it had been in my possession. How had these ominous figures found out about it though? I’d kept the secret of its existence to myself.

I shifted my feet slightly, and attempted to bring my stick up for defense. It was all in vain though, as one of the large men wrenched it from my fingers. It fell to the ground with a clatter. The next thing I knew, rough hands were grabbing my arms, and I was savagely yanked off my feet. Shouting, I attempted to free myself, but it didn’t make any difference. They were simply too strong. One of my captors brought a heavily booted foot down on the back of my skull. My head erupted in pain, and with one last desperate cry of despair my eyes met Perry’s stony ones…and I knew no more.

* * *
I was gagged. That was the first thing my pitifully aching brain could comprehend when I came to. The foul piece of cloth wadded securely in my mouth wasn’t exactly hard to miss. It forced me to breath through my nose.

I was gagged and tied up, I soon realized. Coarse rope chaffed my wrists and ankles with painful clarity. I attempted to wiggle my fingers, but found I couldn’t feel them at all. Neither could I feel my feet. I seemed to be propped up against a wall, my bound arms crushed and numb beneath my body. A smothering piece of cloth, much like the one shoved so unceremoniously into my mouth, covered my vision. Whoever had tied me up really had done a good job of it. I had no idea where I was too, or, for that matter, where Perry and the dark figures had disappeared. My ears weren’t detecting anything, and my roaring head wasn’t doing anything to help the matter.

It wasn’t until some minutes later that the hollow sound of heavy boots echoed down the hallway followed by the muttered grumbling and cursing of two men. I had given up any feeble attempts of escape long ago, as all it did was tire me out.

“I don’t think she’s awake Marc,” One of the men remarked as the heavy footsteps approached.

“I don’t care,” The other man, Marc, growled, “You heard what she said. She wanted us to bring the girl to her, now.”

“Yeah, I heard her, but what if she’s still unconscious? She won’t be able to converse with her then.”

“Think really hard about that one Ivan,” Marc’s reply was sarcastic.

“Umm…” Ivan faltered, clearly stumped. “I don’t know. We wait until she wakes up I guess, but that might take more hours than we…”

“We wake her up ourselves you idiot!” Marc bellowed, exasperation edging his voice.

“Oh. Right.”

A rough hand gripped my arm and shook it harshly. I held my body limp, hoping they would leave me alone. My whole body ached and I did not feel like moving right now. Without warning one of the men slapped me straight across the face, “Wake up girl!” I jerked and groaned, a stinging pain flooding my cheek.

“So, it looks like she is awake after all,” Ivan remarked nastily.

“Well ain’t that nice,” Marc’s reply was sarcastic. Clumsy fingers were untying the ropes around my ankles, and I was roughly hauled to my numb feet. I immediately collapsed, falling helplessly against one of my unlucky captors. My traitorous feet wouldn’t hold my weight. He swore violently.

“Git up!” Marc bellowed, yanking me harshly to my aching feet. “You will cooperate without a complaint! Y’hear me?” I nodded dumbly. His screaming was worsening my headache, bringing back the terrible nausea of before. “Good, ‘cause if you didn’t I’d…I’d do somethin’ you wouldn’t like much!” What a great threat.

He jerked me, and I began to stumble painfully down the hall, Marc’s iron grip biting into my arm. It wasn’t long before I sensed the other man, Ivan, join us on my opposite side. It was extremely difficult, stumbling along on feet I couldn’t feel, blind, with my arms tied securely behind my back. Every time I stumbled or just wasn’t moving fast enough one of my captors would give me a sharp cuff on the head. We hadn’t been traveling long before I heard other voices, quickly hushed as the three of us came into view, and I felt myself shoved roughly into a hard, sharp-edged chair.

“Un-gag her, but leave that blindfold on. I want to keep her guessing,” The woman, who appeared to be the leader, had spoken. Her tone was nasty and sharp, but her voice was so familiar, I just couldn’t put my finger on where I’d heard it before! The gag was unceremoniously ripped from my mouth, and I choked, beginning to cough, spitting the foul taste from my tongue. It felt good to be able to breath through my mouth again.

“So, Talia O’Connel,” I froze. How did the strange woman know my true last name? I’d told Perry a lie. He’d heard I was an O’Hara, not an O’Connel. Then how did she know my name? “Ahh, It seems you’re wondering how I know your real last name when you told that mindless idiot of mine that your last name was O’Hara.”

“How…” I rasped. My voice was weak from so many hours of no use, “Who are you? And what do you want with me?”

“Wait, wait, wait, we do not want to rush things now do we?” Her voice was silky and sweet like honey, and she was creeping me out. “I know who you are, but do you know who I am?”

It was there! Right in the back of my brain, but I just couldn’t get at it! Who was she? “I…” I stammered, unsure.

“Oh, come on Talia O’Connel, you’re smarter than that. I seem to remember a certain girl, rugged, her clothing muddied and torn, by the side of the Sandar-Rustboro Highway, don’t you?”

My breath caught in my throat as the familiarity of her voice suddenly dawned on me, “Julia?” I whispered, aghast, “Julia Smith?”

“Not quite, my dear girl, but that is who you knew me for then wasn’t it?”

“What do you want with me! Take this damn blindfold off!” I meant to shout the words, but they only came out sounding like a pitiful squeak.

“As you wish,” Someone ripped the blindfold from my eyes at Julia’s silent command. I blinked repeatedly as light flooded in. Two chairs faced each other; I was seated in one and Julia the other. Between us, on the floor, stood an upturned flashlight that cast the only light in the dim space. One of the men, Marc I think, stood beside me as an obvious guard, his hard face devoid of any emotion. The rest of Julia’s rag tag group stood around her chair, each of their faces hidden in the depths of their dark hoods. I tensed. Perry stood silently beside Julia, his eyes lowered, face impassive. He wouldn’t look at me. Anger swelled in my chest. He would pay dearly for his filthy betrayal, if not now then later.

One of the figures, the smallest one, shifted and took a quick step in my direction, where I sat helpless in the chair. The third man (not Marc or Ivan) grabbed the boy by the arm, as if restraining him.

“Don’t you dare make a move,” The man hissed. The other figure growled, but stayed put. Confusion reigned in my mind. What did these people want with me? Why would they kidnap me and bring me on this ship just to talk? Did they want me for some certain purpose? I had no idea, and the only way to find out was to listen.

“So, Talia O’Connel, I suppose you’re wondering why we brought you here in a such an…unnerving manner,” Julia spoke, her strange silver eyes resting on mine. She looked just like she had when I’d seen her last, begging for my forgiveness, along with Darren, in the hospital in Rustboro. Her hair was the same raven black as it had been, though the way she walked and talked held a certain tone of nastiness and superiority about her.

“Yes,” I growled, “I would like to know.”

“Hmm, it is kind of a long story, but I do believe we have the time…wouldn’t you agree my dear?” Julia’s tone was sweetly innocent. It brought bile to my mouth just thinking of it.

“Just tell me!” I hissed, my impatience growing. Not that I could do anything about it…

“As you wish,” Julia began, settling back into her chair. “You see, my friends and I are all part of one group, a group that is striving to achieve the same goals. I am the co-leader and co-owner of this group, and, you will be delighted to hear, we have around a hundred members all across Hoenn. The current leader’s brother founded Team Flare, the current Team Steel, just about six years ago. We began as a petty gang of thieves in Mauville City, living off what we could manage to scrape up from our work.”

“You’re thieves!” I yelped, interrupting the co-leader of Team Steel.

“Oh, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it that way,” Julia shook her head, “I’d say we are more of…borrowers without asking, but, of course, we do never bring the stuff back.”

“I won’t work for thieves!” I protested indignantly.

Julia smiled knowingly, “We shall see about that. In the mean time please quit interrupting me or you’ll never hear your part of the story.”

I glared at her. Julia’s face was smug as she continued. “As a few years passed we finally managed to see our goal in clear view. As soon as that happened members flocked to us by the dozens, practically begging to sign up. As our organization grew, so did our operations. We began to take on larger and larger quests, and we began to become too sure of ourselves. Three years ago, Marshall Kasari, the leader and founder of Team Flare, was captured along with four of our men, by the Hoenn Police force. They were charged with theft and murder. Though the charges may have been accurate we felt the punishments were unjust. Our five men were to be executed, but we did not know where. We could not save them. They were killed, all of them, and Marshall was never heard from again. His rule was left to the current co-leader at that time, his younger brother, Simon Kasari.”

“I don’t care a lick about your stupid group, or what kind of twisted person would begin it!” I hissed through clenched teeth. Already, the fact that Julia and her band were thieves was irking me. I did not like where this little conversation was going.

Marc gave me a sharp cuff on the head, “It ain’t stupid!” He growled. I groaned and shut my mouth as my eyes snapped shut. My head was ringing loudly in my ears.

“Marc,” Julia warned sharply, her sweet voice suddenly morphing into ugliness, “Do not touch her or hurt her again. She’s valuable…unless you want to take her place of course.”

Marc paled visibly, “N-no, that’s alright.” He gulped, clearly frightened, “I’ll not do it again.”

“Good,” Julia’s tone was low and dangerous. Marc gulped again, and I could feel his muscles tense beside me.

Fear tugged at my heart at Marc’s response. What kind of roll could I be given that was so horrible this full grown man feared to take it on? I shrugged it off, riveting my eyes back to Julia’s slightly unnerving ones, hoping for her to continue. Once I’d heard my purpose I’d figure out something to do about it.

“As I was saying,” Julia continued, glaring at the visibly shamed Marc, “Simon Kasari became the new leader of our corporation. I, who had already risen to quite a high position at that time, was made co-leader, Simon’s right hand man, or woman if you will. I, being a master of the steel type Pokemon, as was Simon, proposed we change our name to Team Steel, to make ourselves invisible to the Hoenn Police. Unlike Marshall, Simon began to immediately bring up plans on how to accomplish our goal. His first idea was that we lay low for a year or two, to act as if we’d disbanded until the time was right and the people weren’t so wary of us. For a year and a half we lay low, laying out plans for our operation. Finally, Simon brought us all back together, with many new recruits we’d each individually managed to pick up in our time away. The time was right, and our domination plans began to commence. Our plans, our purpose, was to overthrow the government, and unite all three regions under one banner to serve us, Team Steel, no longer a petty gang of thieves.”

I had a tough time keeping my mouth shut at this. I couldn’t believe it. This goal of theirs was so stupid, so idiotic, so…unoriginal. I couldn’t believe they were even attempting this! What would they gain from overthrowing the government, besides the obvious servitude of the people, anyway, this Team Steel?

“Unlike so many fools who had attempted to grab the world in the past, we actually had a brilliant plan of action. It would take a few months at least to complete, but when it was finished we would have total power. Our plan was to steal the two stones, the red Orb and the Blue Orb, which rested atop the sacred Mount Pyre. One family had lived on this mountain for generations, protecting these powerful stones from people like us who would wish to steal them for their own purposes.

“The Red orb, a stone of immense power, a stone the color of fire and blood, held the will and power of the ancient dragon, Groudon. If brought to the right place, this stone could bring forth the ancient terror that would then unleash its horrible wrath on the world, destroying everything in its path. If a human controlled the stone though, that one person could control the dragon, and use its great power to his own will. The Blue Orb controlled a slightly lesser power, but a terrible power all the same: the power of the ancient water monster, Kyogre. If used in the same way, the stone can draw out this monster and reek havoc on the whole earth. When used together, the stones could draw forth both monsters, giving our corporation total power.

“We sent two of our sneakiest, most trusted men to the mountain to take the stones from right under the noses of its guardians. Right before they nabbed the stones, our men learned that only one of the two still rested atop the mountain: the Blue Orb. Hundreds of years ago, according to the guardians, the Red orb was stolen and lost. No one had seen or heard of it since.”

I felt as if someone had knocked me in the head with a baseball bat, that was how hard the realization hit me. The stones, the two stones Julia was talking about, the Red and Blue Orbs, the Red Orb’s mysterious disappearance from human life years ago, my stone… it all made sense now.

“This, my dear, is where your part comes in. After a few months of extensive searching, the Blue Orb had been in the hands of one of our men for a long while. It wasn’t very long before we began to notice changes in him. He would begin to scream randomly, throwing himself this way and that, babbling about power, injustice and all manner of things we did not understand. He began to hurt himself and others; he didn’t recognize any of us. His eyes were steadily turning a bright sapphire blue, the color of the stone he bore. He wouldn’t let us touch him or his precious stone. One day, after another such outbreak, we heard him muttering, screaming, cursing, scratching and clawing at everything within reach. Finally, he screeched, pale hands to his head, ran outside and plunged himself into the nearest body of water. Our man drowned, but we did manage to recover his body, and with it, the blue stone.”

I stared at Julia’s neutral face, horrified. That was terrible, utterly horrible! That man had gone crazy under the intense power of the Blue Orb, and it had gotten so bad he had taken his own life.

“And this is where you come in, Talia O’Connel,” Julia’s voice was nastily icy, making a cold shiver run up my spine. I had this dreadful, creeping feeling I knew exactly what my purpose was. I need only to wait for Julia to confirm it.

“None of our men would dare to take up the stone after that. We all knew how Roger had gone mad, mad enough to kill himself. We all knew that the Blue Orb was the cause of this, as Roger had been a completely sane man before. None of us were willing to risk our sanity like that for the cause though. When no man stepped forward to claim the stone Simon made a wise decision. We’d have to pull in one of the unwilling public to our quest, and make him bare the stone until the time was right, when Simon would take it up himself to control the creature. You, Talia O’Connel, shall bare this stone, willing or not, until you go mad, or die.”

I stared at her, my whole body trembling uncontrollably. Julia had just confirmed my worst suspicions. I was to bear the Blue Orb…and go mad, or die. They were not about to force it on me without a fight, though. “I,” I spat venomously at Julia, “will never bare that stone for you! I will not risk my own life for your cause! And I will never work for thieves!”

A slow, annoying smile spread across Julia’s face, “Oh, will you now?”

“I will not work for you!” Her unfaltering smile was scaring me. She seemed to be ready for my opposition.

“We’ll see about that. Right now, it seems as if you don’t have the right to refuse me,” Her voice was smooth and melodious, as if she were trying to sooth a rebellious child.

I glared at her, my eyes full of hate.

“Ivan, Marc! Tie her up again. Very tightly,” Julia’s voice turned sharp as she addressed her men.

“I will not work for you!” I screamed at her as Marc’s rough hands gripped me, forcing me down. “I will not!”

I couldn’t see Julia now, as the men had managed to wrap the blindfold around my eyes. “I’ll ask you that again later. We just have to break you.” The gag was back in my mouth again, and I could make no reply, but I did not like the sound of her words.

* * *
I was tied up…again. The men had made short work of it too, leaving me to the support of my aching legs, my hands strapped to a pole. It was a very uncomfortable position. About fifteen or twenty minutes had passed, by my estimate, since Julia and her ‘Team Steel’ had given me that little walkthrough of their work. They had soon disappeared, leaving me behind chained in total silence. I did believe, though, that they had left someone to guard me, but I hadn’t heard a sound since the clomping boots of the three large men had receded into the blackness of the S.S. Cactus. My mind still hadn’t calmed down enough to let me think my situation through.

I was scared of what they would do to me that was for sure. I had never been afraid of another human being like this in my life. They could easily force me into anything by the way I was held captive and tied up. I was still refusing the idea in my mind that I would work for these creeps. They’d have to force me into submission if I were to do anything they wished! Team Steel was just a petty gang of thieves after all, with the most unoriginal goal I had ever heard of! It would never work.

Stories of Kyogre and Groudon I had heard all throughout my childhood were whirling around in my head, and I could not banish them no matter how hard I tried. They were the kind of story every child in Hoenn was told at bedtime, and the same story used to scare naughty children into submission. Kyogre and Groudon, two mythological creatures of the opposite elements, had been enemies, sworn to fight each other for eternity. Hundreds, possibly even thousands, of years ago these two Pokemon rose up against each other in an epic battle that almost destroyed the world. Something though, no one knows what, was stronger than both of them, and this mysterious creature subdued them, laying them down for an eternal rest, their powers locked away in two orbs of incredible power. The monsters could not be wakened unless their stones were taken to the right place, so their bodies could rise again. These two monsters were so powerful, the stories always proclaimed, so I doubted any human being could ever control them.

The Fire Red stone lay heavier in my pocket as my thoughts dwelled on this subject. I knew what my stone was now…and it knew too. I felt the extra heat of another body in front of mine. Freezing, I snapped out of my reverie. Who was there, one of Julia’s idiotic followers? He spoke, and I immediately recognized his voice, “Talia? You okay?”

I grunted, which was all I could manage with that horrible gag, anger swelling in my chest, “Look,” The voice continued, “I’m sorry for what I did to you. I really didn’t want to do it.” That was not believable. “They would’ve killed me if I hadn’t, you must understand!”

I grunted again, attempting to put all the hate I could into that one sound. Perry had betrayed me when I’d trusted him, and I could not forgive him for that. He deserved to rot in hell. I also could not believe he would betray Team Steel, especially when they were so much more powerful then either he or I was.

“Look,” He went on quickly, his light tenor voice low, “I’m trying to help you here, get you out of this, alright, but you have to cooperate with me, and not yell when I take your gag off.” I couldn’t believe it; Perry was trying to rescue me, even after he’d betrayed me, even with the penalty of death. It just wasn’t logical; no one would dare risk their life for a girl they barely knew, would they?

“So, will you let me help you?” I really didn’t know, but it wouldn’t hurt to nod my head, and see what he did. I nodded.

The blindfold was ripped from my face for the second time that day, and I realized for the first time how hungry, tired and thirsty I was. I hadn’t had any kind of liquid or food since early that morning. Who knew how long I’d been unconscious for? Perry’s gray eyes peered into mine. He seemed genuinely worried, though I found that hard to believe. Perry was a trickster, and could mask his own feelings extremely well. Next, the gag was pulled from my mouth. It was barely a matter of minute’s before Perry had my arms and legs completely untied. I dropped to the ground and began to cough.

Once the spasms had passed Perry said dryly, “Feeling better Miss O’Connel?”

I glared at him, “Thank you for rescuing me, if that is what you are doing, Mr. Winkle, if that is your name.”

To my surprise, Perry reddened, “Sorry ‘bout that,” he apologized sheepishly, “I needed cover. My name is Perry McWitz. Winkle just sounded funny so I used it.”

“Perry Winkle makes you sound like a blue color, not to mention sounding stupid,” I stated matter-of-factly, brushing myself off, “And do you have any idea where we’ll be going to hide from Julia and the creep gang? We are on a ship after all. Where can we go?”

“Don’t worry,” Perry cracked a tiny grin, a small reminder of the man I had known before his betrayal, “I know a place we can hide.”

“Good, ‘cause I don’t,” I flashed a tiny, reluctant grin back.

“Oh, yah,” Perry said, suddenly turning and reaching into a dark corner, “I have something of yours.” He turned back to me to reveal my stick, still in one piece.

I stared at it, and him, in astonishment, before quickly reaching out my hand to snatch up my precious item. The wood was still its same, familiar smoothness. I fingered the stick lovingly. “Why’d you keep it?”

Perry shrugged, “It looked important to you, so I thought I’d keep it for when I rescued you. We’d better hurry up or…”

A sharp click behind him cut Perry off. He whirled around and froze, his gray eyes taking in what I’d already seen. Julia and Team Steel were back, each ominous figures of impending doom in the darkness. Julia stood at the head of the four others, a triumphant yet nasty smile on her face. In her hand she held a gun, cocked and ready to fire. It was pointed directly at Perry.

“Don’t either of you move,” Julia hissed nastily, “Or I’ll pull this trigger.”

17th September 2005, 12:36 AM
she's got a gun. how exciting. I new it she is. groudon chose her because he was smart and he knew she would not go crazy unlike that stuipd(my opinion)
water wail did'nt know her person would go crazy.

17th September 2005, 1:37 AM
she's got a gun. how exciting. I new it she is. groudon chose her because he was smart and he knew she would not go crazy unlike that stuipd(my opinion)
water wail did'nt know her person would go crazy.
lol Some good speculations there LR. Keep it up, and thank you for reading,and reviewing! ^_^


17th September 2005, 7:53 PM
, the red Orb and the Blue Orb, which rested atop the sacred Mount Pyre. One family had lived

Red shold be capatilized. Also, didn't Talia leave her stick at the Highway?

Wow. Just wow. So that's how it is. Darren and Drake must be in those cloaks too, huh? Didn't you make a description if the battle before?

18th September 2005, 10:54 PM
Red shold be capatilized. Also, didn't Talia leave her stick at the Highway?

Wow. Just wow. So that's how it is. Darren and Drake must be in those cloaks too, huh? Didn't you make a description if the battle before?
Thanks for pointing that out Riaf. I'll go fix it. And yes, Talia did leave her stick on the Highway. You might want to ge reread the beginning of Chapter 8, because it was explained there.

Mehbeh. Drake and Darren might be under those hoods, and they might not be. You'll just have to wait and see. XD I'm not sure if I did a description of the battle or not. If you could find it for me, and point it out I'd figure out what to do about it. Thanks for reviewing!


19th September 2005, 5:47 AM
I'm sorry I didn't review...my internet wrecked

But this two chaps are Awesome! Andthe pic is cool too!

All i have left to say is Keep it up Saya!

19th September 2005, 9:33 PM
I'm sorry I didn't review...my internet wrecked

But this two chaps are Awesome! Andthe pic is cool too!

All i have left to say is Keep it up Saya!
*Grins* Thanks once again for reviewing Togepi! I know what you mean. My internet is ornery sometimes, and goes down for no reason. Well, at least it's back up! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapters and the pic too!


24th September 2005, 12:33 AM

24th September 2005, 2:12 AM
I'm terrible sorry TQ, but this update is going to be a day or two late. I'll hopefully try to have it finished by tomorrow, but I just had no time this week to type. I promise I'll have it up, by monday, but even that I might not be able to do as I have a basketball tournament this weekend. Our first game was tonight. I will try my hardest though to have it up by monday.

24th September 2005, 4:04 AM
It's ok! I now school can ruin our plans and maybe some other thingies...I guess.
And I didn't mean to push you I just want to read another chappy^^;

24th September 2005, 6:48 PM
lol I know what you mean. I always want the authors to update the fics i read. One author hasn't updated a fic i'm reading for months now! I'm glad that oyu are waiting for it though!


24th September 2005, 10:31 PM
Hey Saya! Gimme a PM when you update so I can review would ya?

25th September 2005, 10:23 PM
Hey Saya! Gimme a PM when you update so I can review would ya?
Sure Togepi. I'll PM you when I put the next chapter up, which would be now. lol

Sorry about the delay guys, but I was busy all last week and barely had anytime to type. I also don't really like how I wrote this chapter. I like the plot and all but I think this has got to be one of the worst chapters writing wise. It's supposed to be one of the best plot wise... *sigh* Well, I won't delay you any longer.
Don't forget to review, and enjoy!

Oh, and don't forget to vote for me in The Summer Fanfiction Awards (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?p=2115163#post2115163) this autumn. The voting ends November 12th, so go vote for me, or anyone you wish.


Learning to Heal the Hurt – Book I: Fire Red
Chapter 11: Unleashed

Neither of us moved. We didn’t dare, lest Julia pull that trigger, possibly ending either one of our lives. I knew it was Perry’s life at stake, and my freedom, as Julia needed me for her ‘important’ plan. I barely even dared to breath as a triumphant, mocking smile marred Julia’s pretty features. She knew she had won this battle. I knew I had lost it, and so did Perry, by the defeated look on his face.

“Well,” Julia stated nastily, relaxing her stance slightly, but keeping the gun poised in our direction point blank “It seems Rand was right about you boy.” Perry visibly tensed at her words, his gray eyes glaring daggers at the third man of Julia’s rag tag group. “It is very helpful that Rand knows you inside and out Perry McWitz, especially because he is your brother.” I barely managed to stifle a gasp. One of these hulking bullies was Perry’s brother? I gaped. There was no way Rand and Perry could be brothers. Rand was a giant compared to his younger brother.

Perry was growing angry, and Julia knew it. Her smile became more amused at Perry’s obvious dislike of her statement. “It’s too bad you wouldn’t join us willingly, boy, like your brother here. If I’m right he was the one who sold you into this little operation of ours.”

“Shut up!” Perry hissed through clenched teeth, his face a mask of outrage, “Rand tricked me, and I was stupid enough to fall for it!”

Julia smirked openly, “Ahh, so you admit it boy. You are useless, and stupid too.”

Perry looked as if he were about to explode. I could tell he was about to lose control, “I am not useless! Why would you want Rand to trick me into joining your little group if I was useless?”

“You somehow acquired a bit of information we did not want you to give away. The only way out for you was to either join us, or die. Rand didn’t want you to die, as all good brothers should wish of their younger siblings, so he betrayed you into our little group. Now it looks like you have decided to betray us, which leaves us no choice, but to kill you, despite Rand’s earlier wishes.”

I stared at the Julia’s cocked gun in horror, knowing that it was almost inevitable now for her to kill Perry. I shot a quick glance in my rescuer’s direction. Perry’s face was a mask of terror and anger; his face was visibly perspiring. I sighed. There was only one way out of this for Perry, and I was the only one who could save him.

“Well, Talia,” I murmured to myself, gathering my courage, “it’s now or never if you’re going to save him. He rescued you so now it is your turn to rescue him.” With a blood-curding shout I jumped at Julia, my body plummeting into her shocked figure. The gun flew from her fingers, and fell to the floor with a clatter, some distance away. It discharged with a deafening roar. Julia swore.

In the next second, before Julia or any of her gang had time to react, I was flying off into the darkness of the ship, shouting, “Run, Perry, run!” I didn’t look back to see if he had heard me, I just ran. My life depended on my speed and maneuverability now.

The darkness of the ship engulfed me in a bubble of nothingness as I ran. I couldn’t see anything, and I knew it was not safe to be running at this speed in the darkness. I could easily run into some unseen obstruction, trip over it, and severely hurt myself, especially if I landed on my stick. Then, the murderous Team Steel would inevitably capture me. I slowed my pace slightly, waving my stick back and forth in front of me like a blind man. I could hear the cursing and shouting of my pursuers as they ran after my fleeing form, stumbling over things in their way. I was positive they had some kind of light to see by, which gave them the definite advantage over me. How I wished I had some light!

As if in answer to my plea, a sudden red glow began to illuminate the passage, sending its crimson fingers of light searching into the darkness. I glanced sharply at my stick. The crimson orb secured atop the stick was shinning in a bright blood-red color, illuminating the hallway so I could see a good three feet on either side of me. I didn’t think any more about the oddity of the stick, I just moved on. Everything depended on my escaping now.

A dark figure materialized out of the gloom ahead, its gray cloak almost appearing maroon in the dim reddish glow cast from my stick. I stiffened as the figure moved toward me. It was the hooded child from before, the one who hadn’t spoken, the one I hadn’t been able to identify yet. Without saying a word, the crimson tinted figure shed its dark cloak, and launched itself at my frozen form with a horrible shout. I barely had time to feel fear, let alone recognize the fourth member of Julia’s sample of her precious Team Steel, before he knocked me to the ground, my stick falling from my hand to land a few feet away from our struggling bodies. I swore. It was Drake Coller, the boy I hoped I’d never seen again. He was a member of Team Steel.

“You!” He spat into my face, his sharp features twisted by rage. “We didn’t have time to finish our little quarrel before, Talia, but I aim to make you pay now!”

I hissed at him, glaring daggers into his eyes, and dug my overly long fingernails into the exposed flesh of his arms. He grimaced in pain, and slightly relaxed his grip on my arms for a second. That was all the time I needed. I yanked my arms from his hold, and shoved him off, jumping to my feet in the same second. In the next instant Drake was also on his feet, ready to meet my next move.

Snarling like a wild animal he launched himself at me again. I drew back, managing to latch onto one of his flailing arms. The other caught me full in the face, sending me stumbling back against the wall of the S. S. Cactus. My face stung horribly, increasing the ear splitting headache from before. Tears flooded my eyes at the immense pain, and I had to blink repeatedly to clear them. Drake was coming at me again, his fists raised, and ready to punch me soundly in the nose. I ducked, grimacing smugly at the yelp of pain Drake gave as his knuckles made sharp contact with the hard metal wall, where my head had been only seconds before.

Without waiting for Drake’s cry of pain to die, I flung myself at his legs, knocking him to the floor. I was on him in a second, pounding his face, head, and chest into the floor. Blood poured from his nose, and his face was torn and bloody. One of his eyes had turned purple, and was beginning to swell up as well. For a second I thought he was going to begin crying for mercy, but he didn’t, surprising me once again. Instead, he continued to struggle against my iron grip, and harsh beating. Suddenly, Drake flung his head forward, and, before I had any time to react, it smashed into mine, luckily missing my nose. I whimpered, and reeled back, the tears once again returning to my eyes as the headache grew to an unbearable level.

Drake had me trapped against the wall again, but this time I barely had any room to maneuver at all. His fist came at my right shoulder, striking flesh with a painful thump! I cried out as his other hand raked across my face, drawing blood from the gashes left by his fingernails. A roaring sound filled my head, and my vision began to flicker as Drake struck me across the face again. I knew that if I was hit in the head one more time I would lose consciousness. That would be the end for me. I would never be able to escape Team Steel a second time. I’d already escaped them once; they would never let me escape again. I could not let that happen.

Drake raised his fist, ready to deal the winning blow. I struggled, attempting to free my trapped limbs, and escape his clawing fingers, but it was no use. As Drake stuck me across the face the roaring inside my head grew to a deafening crescendo, and my vision began to cloud. Right before I collapsed, I saw a dark form yank Drake away from me, and throw him down. I blinked, struggling to keep myself conscious, but it was no use. My vision went black, and I was unconscious before my body hit the floor.

* * *
My head hut, and my nose hurt. My body felt like it was one big bruise. I could acutely feel the dry blood plastered to my face, neck, and hands like foul gloves. I could taste the saltiness around my lips; it smelled nasty too. I cracked my eyes open, and groaned. As soon as I did I felt a strange sense of dé ja vu flood over me. A little more than a week ago I’d awakened in the Rustboro Hospital after my first fight with Drake, and that was exactly how I felt. Except, I wasn’t lying in a comfortable bed in a completely sterile and safe environment. Instead, I was sprawled out on the cold metal floor of the S. S. Cactus without even a thin, ragged blanket to cover my body. It was a strange feeling.

“Talia?” I heard a soft voice murmur from within the darkness, “Are you awake?”

“Yes,” I grunted, and attempted to sit up. The incessant pounding in my head only worsened when I did that, so I was forced to lower myself back down to the floor.

“What happened?” I mumbled groggily, casting my eyes quickly about the place. It was pitch dark, so dark I couldn’t see anything.

“Drake knocked you out. I threw him off you, and knocked him out. Then I carried you here, and escaped Julia and the rest of her minions,” Came Perry’s flat reply.

“Oh,” I said simply. Then I had a sudden thought, “Perry?”


“Where are we?”

I could almost hear him grin, “It’s that secret spot I told you we’d hide in when we escaped. I stumbled upon it by accident the last time Julia snuck us on this ship. I just decided not to let Julia know about it. You never know when a sanctuary like this could come in handy. Are you thirsty?”

The sudden change in subject startled me for a second, but I quickly regained my composure, and nodded as vigorously as my headache would allow. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since this morning…or yesterday morning, or however much time had past since we’d boarded the ship. It didn’t take me long to realize Perry couldn’t see my nodding in the darkness. “Yes, very! I haven’t had anything to eat or drink for ages.” Maybe that was another reason my headache was so bad; I had a severe case of water deprivation, or, in other words, dehydration.

“Good, ‘cause I just happen to have some here,” Perry’s voice trailed off as his tiny flashlight was switched on, almost blinding me. Three seconds later a small metal cup was thrust into my fingers, and the cool, refreshing liquid was running down my parched throat, filling my mouth with a delicious wetness.

I savored the water, but there wasn’t enough in the cup. Groaning, I set the cup down on the floor and closed my eyes. I was hurting. I did not want to be awake right now. Even thinking hurt. Perry was silent, and so was I as I lay there, resting. I reached out a cold hand to grab my stick…and froze in horror.

“No,” I groaned in agony, “No, it can’t be.”

“What? Talia what?” Perry was by my side immediately; I could hear his movements as he slipped toward me. He was worried.

“No,” I whimpered desperately. I couldn’t believe it. This just couldn’t be happening. I had lost my stick…again.

“What? Talia what is the matter?” Perry sounded scared.

“My stick. My stick, oh please tell me you have my stick!” I cried, reaching out blindly to clutch his arm.

His fingers tightened around mine, which I’d only just realized he was holding, and I felt him tense, “Talia, I’m sorry, I totally forgot about your stick. It…I…you were hurt and…”

I pried my hand from his ever-tightening grip, and sat up slowly, fighting the acute nausea. I had to get up and find my stick! “Where is it? I need to find it now!” I told him, fear and desperation entering my voice. I needed that stick! It was the only thing I knew, nothing else mattered but the stick.

“Wait, Talia, no you cannot get up yet. You got a pretty good pounding by Drake back there, and you…” Perry tried to push me back down, but I resisted his efforts, and staggered shakily to my wobbling legs.

“Take me to my stick,” I ordered in a rasping voice. I didn’t care about my blood covered face, or my ripping headache. Only the stick mattered, nothing else, nothing else at all.

Perry hesitated for a second, apparently trying to decide if he should let me go or not.


He gave in.

* * *
The hallways were as dark as they had been before, and my gut was twisted into a thick not of fear. If Julia and her minions caught us now, we would both be killed for sure, no matter how important I was to the cause. The only thing keeping my limbs moving on down those dark halls now was the knowledge that my stick was out there somewhere, and I needed to retrieve it.

Perry knew the exact spot where he’d found me and pounded Drake, or so he said, so I was following his lead, hoping he knew what he was talking about. If not, we’d be in big trouble. Even within the semi-silence of the ship my head was pounding away like there was no tomorrow. The pain of every movement was nauseating, so much that I had to fight against passing out with every step I took.

“Up this hallway,” Perry whispered to me as he cautiously peered around the corner, shinning the tiny beacon of light into the darkness.

“How you can find your way around in this darkness is beyond me,” I muttered under my breath.

Perry acted as if he hadn’t heard me and began to slowly make his way down the corridor. I followed him solemnly, scanning every inch of the pathway for that familiar glint of red attached at the end of an oblong piece of wood. We reached the end of the hallway soon enough, where the corridor veered sharply off to the left and to the right. Sure enough, just as we’d expected, there lay my sick, safe as could be, and lodged into a niche between the floor and the wall. I grinned and quickly scurried over to it. Before my hand could even touch the wood an unnatural squeak from Perry caused me to freeze. A flashlight beam fell onto my hunched figure, shining directly into my eyes. My heart began hammering madly inside my chest, and I could feel the beads of sweat beginning to form on my hands.

“Well, it looks like our fish took the bait. I don’t know why that stupid stick is so important to you Talia, but it sure served as a good lure,” Julia said, her voice nasty and dangerously quiet. I gulped, and didn’t say anything, but my teeth were bared before I realized it. Even with my fingers inches from my stick, I could uncannily sense every presence at my back. Perry was frozen, though he was tensed as if ready to spring at any moment, only a few feet from my hunched figure, and Julia was the one with the gun directed toward the man. Rand was the equally tense figure at her right, and Marc and Ivan stood at her left, thick arms crossed; Drake was standing with a confident smirk slightly behind the others.

“Seem’s like our two courageous escapee’s have not managed to remain hidden for as long as they would’ve liked,” Julia continued, her sneer completely audible in her voice. Neither of us moved, though at that moment I wished more than anything that I could strangle the woman with my bare hands! She had the gun pointed at Perry though, and I could not risk his life in a foolish maneuver that might get both of us killed.

“As it turns out, you were right Drake,” she continued in that annoyingly sweet tone. How I wished I could give her a good sock, right in that arrogant little nose, and Drake too! I could feel the anger swelling in my chest at the mention of my enemy’s name, but I kept myself in check and did not turn around. One false move now would endanger our lives.

“Julia!” Rand’s voice was harsh and impatient, “do not waste any more valuable time on foolish talk. You remember…what happened…the last…time…you…” Julia’s eyes narrowed, and Rand trailed off as if realizing too late what he’d just said. I could feel his face pale as Julia turned her pretty head, her silver eyes narrowed. She said nothing though. Rand was stiff and emotionless, but his wide, terror filled eyes completely gave him away. It appeared he had realized his mistake too late. The dangerous silence stretched on, tension mounting in ever one of the gray clad figures, but still nobody moved.

Finally, Julia sucked in a sharp breath, and let it out slowly, “I can kill you for that you know, Rand. Never point out faults in one of your betters,” she said, her voice dangerously quiet, “but I will not kill you, simply because you are far too valuable to the cause to lose.” Rand still hadn’t moved, “But never, ever correct me.”

Julia pulled the trigger.

I moved now, faster than I had ever moved before, and almost without thinking. My stick was in my hands, and suddenly I’d swung around, thrusting the crimson end of my stick into the fiery path of the bullet. To my eyes, it was inching along through the air, and I immediately knew something unnatural had just occurred, or was about to. Perry’s mouth was wide open in a soundless shout of pure terror, and Julia’s lithe body was frozen in time, the gun still poised as if she’d just shot it. Bluish-black smoke hung, suspended in the air above the fired gun, and the rest of Julia’s team stood frozen, Rand’s face still not fully recovered from her earlier remark.

Unmoving, I stood there, one arm supporting my stick in the path of the bullet, the only figure not suspended in time, and in the next instant the bullet had struck the crimson bulb of my stick, the immense force of the impact throwing me back against the wall, near where Perry was cringing. The bullet ricocheted off my stick, and then Marc was clutching his chest as the ringing echo of the shot rang throughout the ship. His liquid brown eyes were open wide in pain and shock, and his mouth was working wordlessly as if he were trying to speak, to comprehend what was happening to him. Marc slipped down to his knees, and as he did crimson red liquid began to bubble up from between his fingers. Right before he crashed to the floor, he looked up at me, his eyes wide with pain and disbelief; it was as if he were asking me why I had done this to him. I stared back, my brain unable to comprehend what I’d just done. He was on the floor now, and his eyes were already glazing over in death.

I stared at the large man lying in a pool of blood on the floor, wanting only to run, wishing I could get that image out of my head of how this man had looked at me. He had been alive and breathing only seconds before, even if he had been chasing me. I had killed a man. It finally sunk in, but his look, his eyes, as he stared at me in those final moments before death just refused to leave my mind. I’d killed a man. I was shocked, full of horror at what I’d done. I’d killed a man, a living breathing man.

A cry of outrage erupted into the utter silence, breaking each of us out of our shocked gawking. I jumped as I turned to witness a large body hurling itself at me. Rolling away from Ivan’s ruthless charge, I turned just in time to watch as he hurled himself at me again. My stick was up, jammed into his ribs, and then cracking across his head as he doubled over gasping for breath. He was knocked to the floor, and I had just enough time to dart away from him, right into Perry. Quickly recovering from our collision, he grabbed me by the arm, and began towing me away from the others. Even that harsh pounding hadn’t been enough to keep the large man down for long. He jumped shakily to his feet, his rough face twisted by rage and hurt, and looked about ready to throw himself at me again, but a sharp command from Julia halted him in his tracks.

“Stop you wool-headed rash fool!” Julia snapped sharply. Ivan paused, brown eyes, the mirror image of Marc’s, shifting uncertainly between Julia and me, “She will pay for the death of your brother soon. Just stay back and let me handle this!”

Perry and I were not waiting around any longer to see what would become of Ivan (a relative of the man I’d killed!), and we both broke into a run, Perry half dragging me along the corridor. We hadn’t gone far, however when something made me pull up to a direct halt, something I can’t even explain to this day. Perry almost tripped in front of me, running a few steps father until he realized I wasn’t behind him. I whirled around, fear outlined in every move I made, to witness Julia reaching calmly for her belt, or something attached to it, a tiny knowing smile on her lips. She was too calm for what was happening, and that knowing smile on her face was doing nothing to slow my wildly thundering heart. I did not like that smile at all.

In the next instant Julia had unhooked something from her belt and was whipping it through the air with an incomprehensible shout. It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing: a small red and white sphere flying through the air toward me; a pokeball, but by then if was far too late to stop Julia from releasing the terror inside the ball. The sphere bounced across the floor of the ship with the metallic ring of plastic on metal, before coming to rest at my feet. I skittered back a few paces when the ball split in half, a cloud of blinding light erupting from its hidden depths. The cloud expanded, expanded into a huge, hulking form far larger than either Perry or I, and materialized into something far more fearsome than its size. I was trembling, all the saliva in my mouth drying up in an instant. This beast could not be real; it just had to be a nightmare!

Iron plating coated every part of its huge body, right from the razor like horns on the top of its head, to the thick, spiked tail that appeared as if it could knock me out with one well-aimed strike. Standing on its hind legs as it was, the beast had to be almost twice my height, and. with heavy, clawed forepaws, and teeth of steel, it had to be at least four times as deadly. I shuddered when my eyes slid up to meet its own, startlingly blue when I’d expected red, but full of a terrible thirst for utter annihilation. I found myself shaking in pure terror as I stared up at this beast, and even the feeling of my stick in my hands and the Fire Red stone in my pocket wasn’t enough to calm me. By the deadly twist of Julia’s lips I knew all too well that I was about to die. I was at the complete mercy of Julia and her reckless beast. There was nothing either Perry or I could do to save our lives.

“Get them,” Julia’s words were spoken with a deadly quiet calm, but to me, they were as terrible as an executioners signal to the criminal for his hanging to begin.

Julia’s beast, an Aggron I concluded, let out a metallic ear-shattering roar that bounced endlessly off the cool walls of the ship. The closed corridor magnified the sound a hundred times to what it would have been had we been out in the open. I stumbled back a few paces, but when I stopped if was suddenly as if my ratty old tennis shoes were cemented to the floor. Perry was at my side in an instant, shouting something I could not understand in a hoarse voice while tugging at my arm. I would not budge. I wanted to run, but I just couldn’t, and I did not know why.

I was staring at the Aggron, my eyes wide open in terror. Its mouth was open now, revealing row upon row of sharp, steel teeth meant for ripping and tearing at flesh. I almost passed out from the terrible smell emanating from its teeth, but I fought back, and did not give in to the welcoming darkness. Some dark, unknown substance was encrusted to its teeth. I shuddered; there was no doubt about what it was: dried blood. I fought the mind filling terror that was threatening to take complete hold of my mind. I pushed in away to the back of my mind, but it resisted. Then it was gone, and I felt nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I was absolutely calm, ready to deal with whatever came my way, but I still could not move. Even Perry’s frantic tugging at my arm was not going to faze me one bit. I was calm, senseless, just a void of complete nothingness trying to protect myself.

A brilliant glow was beginning to form in the beast’s foul mouth now, the beginnings of a hyper beam I was sure. I banished everything else from thought; Julia and her shouting minions were nothing, Perry and his yelling and tugging, the tossing and rolling of the ship, my headache, everything, so the only beings in the world were me, the Aggron, and my stick and stone. The Fire Red stone, I thought ecstatically, no, I quickly corrected myself, the Red Orb. No matter what my strange stone was, it would always be the Fire Red stone to me, and that’s what it would stay.

A glow began to fill me at the thought of my strange stone, and an elating, filling power was pouring through my veins to the very marrow of my bones. It washed away all the aches and pains of my prior encounters, completing my sense of entire serenity. I was nothing. I was the power. I was filled with it, overwhelmed with the feeling that I could do anything in the world. I had the power to destroy, to annihilate anything I wished. Everyone was at my complete mercy; everyone would bow down to me, and obey my every command, for I had the power. I could do anything. I was nothing.

I drank up the power, sucking it in, letting it fill me so that I felt that if I took on anymore I would burst. Suddenly I knew that if I let this keep filling me anymore it would kill me, overwhelm me by the total awesomeness of pure power. It would burn me up. I could not stop drinking it in though. I was drinking as if my life depended on it, and I knew with painful clarity that I had to get rid of the power somehow. I had to stop the Aggron from blowing both Perry and I to bits.

Raising my stick, I shoved all that excess power into it. The stick ate it up; it ate it up and began to glow, began to hum with power under my fingertips. I let it go. A brilliant, blood red beam of pure power erupted out from the red jewel atop my stick, meeting the Aggron’s powerful hyper beam halfway. The two beams met in a terrible explosion of energy that ricocheted back at us with a deadly bang. I shouted and was flung back by the pure force of the explosion, bowling Perry to the ground. He was shouting too, and so were Julia and her minions. The heat came now, sweltering, blistering bubbles of heat that rolled unendingly over Perry and I. It was so unbearable I wanted to scream, but I still had the power, and I used the last of it to push the heat away, to keep it form burning us all to death. With the last of the power gone though, I was in pain, terrible pain.

Perry grunted from underneath me, and I blinked, quickly rolling off him. There was no sign of Julia’s Aggron. I stood up, but froze as my gaze landed on the left wall of the corridor. A tiny, finger sized hole was blown in the side of the ship, and water was slowly pouring into the hallway through it. It was clearly apparent that the terrible explosion of power had greatly weakened the wall. It was certain to come down any minute now, taking me, and everyone else in the hallway with it.

25th September 2005, 10:49 PM
My head hut
I think you wanted to say hurt ;)

Wooow, that was an awesome chap, so the fire red stone was the red orb?

26th September 2005, 12:02 AM
I think you wanted to say hurt ;)

Wooow, that was an awesome chap, so the fire red stone was the red orb?
*grins* Thanks. And yes, the Fire Red stone was the Red Orb. Just wait until you see what it does to...oh never mind. That would be giving too much away. XD

Thanks for reviewing!


26th September 2005, 3:01 AM
No, Drake lost. ;_; Oh well, you win some, you lose some. A pokemon battle. Yay.

I wonder where Deri is right now.

27th September 2005, 12:26 AM
No, Drake lost. ;_; Oh well, you win some, you lose some. A pokemon battle. Yay.

I wonder where Deri is right now.
lol A Drake fan eh? Yep, I finally encorperated a littlem ore Pokemon into it than I have been in the past few chapters. V_V Good for me I say. :P

Sorry Riaf, but you won't be seeing Deri until the next book. Don't worry though, the next chapter is the last chapter in the book, and then there's the epilogue. Then the prologue of the second book, and then the first chapter begins right off with Reenie and Deri. At least, that's what I'm planning right now.

Any more reviews?


27th September 2005, 2:51 AM
The last chappy? *snif* Noooo! Luckily they'll be a second book!

27th September 2005, 3:02 AM
OMG. That short of a book? Whoa, I though it'd be seven more chapters of wait.

28th September 2005, 12:26 AM
Yeah. I know it's kind of short. But I like how I've put the trilogy together. The books kind of flow together. The second book really isn't a book you can read without reading the first one. I mean, you could if you wanted to, but it would be really hard.

Ryano Ra
28th September 2005, 2:18 AM
Ah, the ending of Book I: Fire Red. Let me just say that this was an excellent stop in my opinion, because it just keeps you wondering what is it stored in the next book. Sometimes, taking a risk and stopping something so shortly adds to the tension and action in the next, which means I can't wait to start reading the second story. Overall, Talia had been such a rampaging, excellent character that I can sometimes relate to in several, different manners. The battles were done with perfection, and your description has blossomed as each chapter passed by. Might I say that I'll expect a wonderful second book. I've enjoyed it, and spectacular job. You deserve winning an award for this, because I feel you have truly become a talented author.

Fantastic job, and keep up the great work.

28th September 2005, 10:17 PM
Ah, the ending of Book I: Fire Red. Let me just say that this was an excellent stop in my opinion, because it just keeps you wondering what is it stored in the next book. Sometimes, taking a risk and stopping something so shortly adds to the tension and action in the next, which means I can't wait to start reading the second story. Overall, Talia had been such a rampaging, excellent character that I can sometimes relate to in several, different manners. The battles were done with perfection, and your description has blossomed as each chapter passed by. Might I say that I'll expect a wonderful second book. I've enjoyed it, and spectacular job. You deserve winning an award for this, because I feel you have truly become a talented author.

Fantastic job, and keep up the great work.
*grins* Thanks! I was planning on doing a chapter 12, but right now I do not have any kind of inspiration what so ever to write it so this may be the last chapter. It actually could end here as good as if I added what I was planning for the last chapter. I'll just add the prologue and then hurry on to Book II!
Thank you for the comments as well Syra. I'm extremely glad you enjoyed the book. This friday I'll post the epilogue and then on to Book II!


Ryano Ra
2nd October 2005, 9:41 PM
That's great to hear. I will definitely be looking forward to the Epilogue, for I plan to read the second book, and any installment that shall follow this beautiful Fanfiction. After you post the Epilogue, are you going to respond to reviews, and place this in the Completed Fics Section?

2nd October 2005, 11:14 PM
That's great to hear. I will definitely be looking forward to the Epilogue, for I plan to read the second book, and any installment that shall follow this beautiful Fanfiction. After you post the Epilogue, are you going to respond to reviews, and place this in the Completed Fics Section?
Thanks. And yes, that is probably what I'm going to do. I thought only mods could move stuff though? I'm probably just missing something...

11th October 2005, 11:50 PM
Finally, I have completed my long, worked-hard-for fanfiction, Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red. This fanfiction has taken me a little over the course of one and a half years to write with all those rewrites I've been doing, but now I am thoroughly satisfied with the end product. I've had many troubled times with LTHTH over the last year and a half, where sometimes I even went as far as abandoning the fic, but that never lasted for long, as I soon returned to my only fanfiction whose plot was actually good, and very developed. I am extremely proud of my self for acomplishing this major feat, as I've never completed a chaptered fanfiction before, so while I sit here an pat myself on the back you can go ahead and read the long awaited Epilogue!

Thank you once again to all my devoted readers: togepicute, Serpant Syra, legendaryrider, Snorning Frog, Burnt Flower and many others. Especially Riaf, who stayed wiht me through two rewrites and never failed to review. I thank you for that. Also I thank Obsidian Blade for giving me a couple of very inspirational reviews when I needed tham most. I hope all of you will continue to read in the future installments!

Oh, and do not forget to vote for me in the The Summer Fanfiction Awards! (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=74567&page=1&pp=20) I always love it when fans show their support.

Thanks and enjoy!


Learning to Heal the Hurt – Book I: Fire Red

Massive red-orange flames engulfed the burning ship below, clawing high up into the rose-tinged dawn. Already, a few rogue fingers of sunlight were just peeking up over the endless horizon to illuminate the flat crystalline waters of the vast ocean below. A slight southern breeze carried the sulphurous smells of burning wood for miles, and the ash and smoke belched up from the doomed ship clogged the cloud-smothered sky, darkening it to a sickly black. The night had been unusually cold, so the new days warmth was an enthusiastically welcomed change.

Screams tore through the perfect morning, destroying the incredible sense of peace the ocean usually held. The injured, terrified, and dying seemed almost countless as they bobbed helplessly in the cold salty water, or stood adrift in whatever little clothing they’d managed to salvage from the disaster, in the lifeboats, shouting, screaming, and crying for their loved ones.

Unbeknownst to the terrified, helpless passengers below, a gleaming pair of eyes like indigo star fire watched the terrible disaster as it unfolded. It flicked its sapphire mermaids tail slightly, the early rays of sunlight playing off its fish like scales, but still it watched the ship and victims and the ocean with a saddened calm. Knowing that it could do absolutely nothing to aid the people below, to pull them from the wreckage, as it would have done before, was almost too much for it to bear.

Even just swimming, diving into the cool, refreshing ocean, feeling the water rushing by its sleek amphibious body as its powerful limbs propelled it forward at a heart-stopping speed, was so painful now. The aches and pains in its side were absolutely horrible, bothering it at every moment of the day, keeping it from doing the things it had done so easily and taken for granted before; sometimes the spasms of pain were so sudden and so intense it found itself unable to do anything but lay helpless on the ground, shuddering and gasping, praying that the pain would just go away. It would dissipate after a time too, only to strike again the next day or even a few short hours later. It was an outcast now, and where once happy and carefree thoughts had resided were now only feelings of deep bitterness and anger. It could do nothing now though, and the pain and scars and mental trauma were still there. There was nothing it could do, and helpless humans were injured and dying out there. It could not help, and that was what pained it the most.

A rapidly advancing figure moving through the water caught its forever-haunted eyes. Someone was swimming, desperately, as if its life depended on it, striking out for the shore of the tiny island directly below where it sat, viewing the terrible disaster from afar. Peering closer at the human it recognized the distinct features of a young human girl, perhaps in her early teens, with chestnut brown hair, just about the only distinguishable feature of her from this distance, darkened to a heavy black by the seawater soaked into the grimy strands. She was one of those desperate survivors, it realized, but she fought death, fought it so hard to stay alive, and reach dry land. As it stared at the girl, it realized that there was something not exactly normal about her. There seemed to be almost a presence with in her body, something that was not human, and certainly not normal. The presence seemed so strong, so powerful, and it was thoroughly convinced, the longer it stared at the girl, that this presence could heal its terrible wounds where others had failed. It wanted to go to her; it wanted to go to that presence, and be healed. It wanted to be whole once more.

The girl had reached the beach below it by now, and as it watched her scramble on all fours up the white sand of the beach, her feat bare, torn clothing barely hiding her nakedness, the presence suddenly left her. The strange presence was in the water, it realized, laying right there on the sand. It caught a glimpse of a fiery red sheen of color before the waves crashed over it, sweeping it out into the ocean. It knew that if it did not go to that presence now, and retrieve it from the watery depths, it would never emerge again. It had to retrieve it, no matter the agony of swimming, no matter the pain the ocean inflicted.

Grunting as it raised itself to all fours, it fought against the stiffness threatening to overcome its entire left side. It flicked its tail and shook itself before loping down towards the shore. The presence was always there, pulling at it, as it was swept farther and farther out to sea. This power would heal it; it would not give up in its search.

Pain engulfed it for the second time that day as the cold salty water closed over its head. It pushed the hurt to the back of its mind and focused on the presence. It was calling to it; it could feel it close by, but moving father and farther away. Pushing its webbed paws before it, it swam as hard as it could without the intense pain totally overwhelming its lithe body. It felt faint as the water chilled around it. The currents tugged at its fins, flippers and tail, but it pushed against them, straining to reach the presence. It did not worry about drowning while searching, as it could hold its breath for at least twenty-five minutes at a time; all it worried about was the pain, and the need for the presence.

The powerful glint of red suddenly appeared dead ahead in its line of vision. It pushed itself harder; shuddering as the pain wracked its body, but the presence was stronger, so strong it wanted to cry out from its awesomeness. As it approached the presence it realized the presence embodied a stone; a small fire-red stone that seemed to draw it in, to pull at it so that it wanted to fall into its fiery depths.

Its head darted out, and sharp, gleaming teeth closed around the stone; the presence filled it. It shuddered and spasmed as its vision became a whirlwind of fire, but strangely there was no pain. A commanding voice spoke in its head, a voice so horrible, but startlingly soothing at the same time.

Obey me! It growled, as the small sea creature writhed on the ocean floor, obey me and I will take your pain away! You must serve me faithfully, and you will never feel your pain again!

It shuddered and quaked, terrorized to the very depths of its soul, but denial never even crossed its fear-blanketed mind. To have no pain was what it lived for, what it wanted more than anything in life. The fear was there, and the command insistent, yet still it managed to whimper the four life-changing words, I will obey you.

It’s eyes were not the color of indigo star fire anymore, but an intense Fire Red.

Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red is now complete. I would appreciate it greatly if a mod moved this to the completed fics section once my readers have had a chance to review.


12th October 2005, 2:31 AM
Er...that was confusing. Was that creature Groudon?

12th October 2005, 4:58 AM
Saya I'm like this : 0.0; It was just awesome! By the way, you forgot to PM me, but it's ok... I'm one of your closet readers now ^^; I hope....

12th October 2005, 10:13 PM
Er...that was confusing. Was that creature Groudon?
Which creature? The one experiencing all the pain will appear in the second book so I pupousfully did not want it to be too obvious what it was, but I thought I added enough detail of its appearance to at least give you a guess. The presence it felt was, well, the Fire Red stone, and that voice in its head was Groudon. That help any?

Glad you're reading!

Saya I'm like this : 0.0; It was just awesome! By the way, you forgot to PM me, but it's ok... I'm one of your closet readers now ^^; I hope....
*grins* Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Sorry I forgot to PM you, I told myself I was going to, but then I forgot... sorry. ^^;;


10th November 2005, 12:10 AM
Please don't stop it's too good!;315; ;249-d; ;354; ;280; ;351;

Volt Tackle
10th November 2005, 3:00 AM
LOL! Chapter 3 was funny. I liked it alot.

10th November 2005, 11:19 PM
Ack! I can't believe I forgot to review this! I read the rest of it awhie back but didn't get a chance to type up my review. It was good, I'm really looking forward to the next book. Sorry I can't give a better review, I've been reading to many fics and I don't remember exactly what all happened.