Chapter 1- Four Island
Slipping into his jeans and tying his belt, John looked up at the mirror perpendicular to him. He tried to shape his messy black hair, but after a few minutes, he gave up, opting to put on his fitted ‘Four Island Yankees’ hat instead. His brown eyes had deep bags under them, as he hadn’t slept much the previous night. Although he was tired, his mind was wandering.
Today was the day. He was to receive his pokemon egg in a few short hours.
He wondered what type of pokemon he would get, thinking of the types his friends had received. George, a red haired, blue-eyed equally lanky boy had received a Magby. Joey, a short, chubby, hard-headed boy had received a Rhyhorn. Mike, his cousin, had received a Bonsly. All of their pokemon had many traits that resembled their masters. Looking into the mirror again, he observed himself: tall, lanky, not exactly the definition of strong. What was his personality? Was there any pokemon that could really fit him?
He snapped out of the “trance” and motivated himself to leave the bathroom. He gathered his keys and cell phone, marching down the stairs and out of his house. Slamming the front door behind him, he never looked back. His parents, in the Sinnoh region, had already bid him farewell, and he had said his goodbyes to everyone on the island. His bag was packed, the house was immaculate, and everything was in order for his departure. He only planned on coming back to his house to spend the night before heading off on his adventure.
He took a step unto his crab grass ridden lawn, and walked past two ancient pine trees, kicking some pine needles as he walked. He took a deep breath, chills shooting up his spine, and stepped onto the road.
Finally, he was on his way to the breeding center. Each step took him closer to receiving that egg, and with each step the butterflies in his stomach intensified.
According to Four Island tradition, he was supposed to pick the egg that catches his eye, or bonds with him. It sounded silly, after all, how could you bond with an egg? John didn’t question this though, as it had been put into practice for the entire existence of Four Island, the breeding center being the only means to supply trainers with pokemon. After all, there was no pokemon lab.
He reasoned that if the tens of thousands of trainers obtaining their pokemon at the center had ‘bonded’ with their eggs, he would too, and thus he ceased worrying about it.
Looking around now, John noticed how inherently peaceful Four Island was at this time of morning. No one was out or awake, as it was about seven o’clock. Many pokemon were awake however, as John observed many small red caterpillars scurrying along the dew-laden lawns of the houses he walked by. He knew the pokemon to be Wurmple, small bug pokemon popular in the Hoeen and Sinnoh regions. Out of all possible pokemon he could obtain, he prayed it would not be a bug type.
Along with the Wurmple, small pudgy owls scurried in the trees above him. They cawed and hooted, observing the young teen. John knew the pokemon to be Hoothoots, a rather odd species. Small purple rats, or Rattatas, ran in and out of tall grass, poking their oversized and enormous teeth out to warn predators. As John walked by each house, a jet black dog with a ferocious personality, a Houndor, barked widely at him. Luckily, it was kept on a very strong leash.
Moving into the more run-down area of the island, he continued to walk past many older dilapidated houses. Most had a terribly overgrown, and broken, crumbled driveways made of old asphalt. Looking at the houses, he found himself scared. According to his knowledge of the island, he was merely a half-mile away from the center, so he quickened his step. His quickened step turned into a full out run however, as he wanted to get there as soon as possible, and avoid any encounters with ghost pokemon. John did not want anything to ruin this day.
Panting heavily, he arrived at the day care center, an older-style building, but clean and updated. The roof was composed of newer dark red shingles, blending in quite nicely with the cream colored walls of the building. The house itself was petite, but the elongated red fence that stemmed from the building expanded in back of it into the forest. In the back of the building, hidden from this view, as a greenhouse type of room, mad entirely of a clear, glass-like material. That’s where they kept the eggs.
A very elderly lady stood in the doorway. Her short, pudgy form just narrowly fit within the bounds of the ruby red frame, her short white hair and wrinkled face seemed out of place with the relatively updated house.
“Hello there honey, come on in, we have many things to show you before you get your pokemon” greeted the Day Care Lady.
John just nodded, a wide grin plastered onto his face. The butterflies in his stomach were ferocious now, and he could barely contain his excitement.
“I know you’re eager little one, don’t be shy, come on in!” She said, ecstatic. She seemed to feed on the excitement emanating from John.
She led him into an empty room in the back of the house, just in front of the room containing the eggs. The room was rather bland, a few abstract paintings hung on its peach colored walls, and a rather elegant mahogany table sitting in the middle of it.
On the table were two trainer bags, one dark blue rucksack with many compartments, made for a male, and a light pink bag, with an equal amount of compartments. He took a closer look at the blue bag, the one that was obviously for him On it were six small red and white balls, a small button separating the two colors. They were poke balls, tools for catching pokemon, to be used at his discretion. One he would need as soon as his egg hatched, of course. The bag itself was pretty standard, one huge middle pocket with a poke ball design on it, two smaller side pockets, and one small poke ball holder on the front.
“This is your bag dear, there are four pockets in it: one for Key items, one for regular items, one for poke balls, and one small pocket for berries on the side. We have provided you with a Fame Checker, a Teachy TV, an Itemfinder, and a TM case to help you start out. The Fame Checker is a neat little device that allows you to read up on stats of certain famous, and infamous people on these islands. The Teachy TV is a portable television that can help you learn strategies for catching pokemon, battling, you name it. And the TM case holds small disks that teach your pokemon moves.” She explained. John put the bad on, adjusting the straps to fit his shoulders, and patted the key items pocket. He felt three lumps, and reasoned that those were the items she was talking about.
“Thank you, these are great!” John exclaimed, really getting excited.
“We also have something very special for you dear, it is called a Poketech. It has over thirty applications that are explained in the Teachy TV, but the most important thing, is that it doubles as a cell phone. It really comes in handy.” the day care lady seemed to have excited herself with the Poketech. He straped the dark blue watch onto his wrist. It was sleek, and the screen, oblong and wide, did not seem out of place on his arm.
John pulled out his real cell phone and gave it to the day care lady. She placed it in a special bin marked: “Discontinue.”
Knowing what was coming next, the butterflies erupted in John’s stomach. He walked timidly towards the old women, chills ceasing his body.
“Come this way, honey lets us see the eggs!” The Day Care Lady seemed excited for him. John overcame his timid feelings, and patiently walked into the glass room.
He looked around the large, clear room. The outside of the Sevii Islands could be seen through the walls and ceiling, the sun beginning to peak over the forested area around them. It revealed a beautiful, clear blue sky. The day was going to be a hot one, according to the weather forecast he had watched last night.
Averting his gaze, he looked at the rows upon rows of pokemon eggs. How would he choose? How would he know? Walking down one row of eggs, something particularly caught his attention. Upon seeing a cream colored egg with three dark brown, the butterflies in his stomach calmed down. Something within him ignited, and he lost control for a moment
“There! that’s the one!” he yelled, pointing to the stripped egg!
“Ah youth, picking your egg for the first time. What did that feel like? How did you know?” The Day Care Lady asked rhetorically, and nostalgically, moving down the row slowly, picking up the egg.
“Take good care of it young one, and enjoy your journey.” She whispered, placing the egg in his open arms. He held tightly, petrified he would accidentally drop it.
“Thank you, for everything.” he said, shaking her elderly, feeble hand. He made his way out of the day care center, and back onto the road.
As he waved to the elderly women goodbye, he was thrown aback. Lindsey had accidentally run into him, almost making him loose his balance. That would have been catastrophic for him.
“Watch it!” He snapped, immediately wishing to recant his statement. She seemed un-phased though, and continued into the day care center, in order to receive her pokemon.
“Damn it!” He cursed allowed, infuriated that he lost his chance to properly say goodbye to her. Unfortunately, his ego prevented him from asking her to come with them, and as a result, their conflict would be left to simmer. In fact, there was a very good chance he would never see her again. John sulked at this prospect.
He continued to walk down the road, away from his house. He was going to make a pit stop at Shaymin Memorial Cemetery, where his grandfather was buried. He had to say goodbye to him before he left.
His thoughts drifted to the day before he died, when John had visited him in the hospital. He did not know it then, but his grandfather was laboring just to stay alive, in hopes that he would see his favorite grandson off on his journey. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
“But Grandpa,” he cried. “I don’t want to leave you, not like this!”
“Nonsense, nonsense,” the elderly man comforted. His balding head gleamed in the hospital light, his face showing a look of entertainment and comfort.
“You’re going to do great things my boy, great things. Eventually, you’re going to have to leave me and your family. It’s not really saying goodbye though pal. I’m always going to be with you, and I’m always proud of you.” The elderly man placed his hand, frail and punctured with an IV tube, onto John’s shoulder.
John placed his hand on top of it, knowing that it was the closet thing to a hug that he could get, for his Grandpa was unable to give him a real hug.
Tears began to well up in the elderly man’s face. “I hope I get to see the day when you change the world.” he whispered.
“I will make you proud Grandpa, I promise. I wont let you down.” the boy replied, tears welling up in his eyes as well.
“You always do pal, you always do.”
John got up, off the hospital bed, leaving the bland white room. He turned off the TV perched in the corner of the room like his grandpa request, and began to shut the door.
Before he did, he whispered one last: “I love you” to him, so that only he would hear, and not the doctors or other members of his family.
“I love you to pal. And remember, I will be with you. Always.”
John, tearing up with his thought, had reached the cemetery. Traveling along the small gravel path into the back of it, he found his grandfathers grave. The rectangular, shiny black gravestone was etched with the gold lettering:
Patrick F. Woodward
We miss you grandpa
Kissing the stone while still holding his egg, he started to talk. “Well grandpa, today is the day. I still don’t want to leave you, but I promised I’d make you proud.” He paused, choked up. “I promise you. I will not let you down, I’ll do something great.”
Chills began to run up and down his spine. He knew his grandfather was listening. He felt a hand on his shoulder, but when he turned to look, no one was there. Butterflies leapt into his stomach, and he resisted the urge to run in fright. Although scared, John knew that it was his grandfathers way of comforting him.
“Goodbye grandpa.” He said, kissing the gravestone again. He grasped his egg, feeling some slight movement. He pressed the egg to his ear, hearing a soft purring noise. It was close to hatching.
Motivated with this new excitement, John made his way out of the cemetery, and in the general direction of Icefall cave. It was a bit more of a walk, but he had a few hours to kill, and he did not want to go back home. The risk of running into Lindsey also coursed him to explore the cave.
To be continued…