So, at one random point today, I decided to revisit a one-shot I posted last year. I dug it up on my computor, and as I read over it, I thought to myself "Man, what's with all them akward sentances?" So I decided to do some revisions. It hasn't changed much, but I think it's an improvement over the original version.
Anyway, yeah, here is the reposted and revised version of Slipstream:
“So… where are you headed?”
Luke looked up from his book. By chance a newly licensed trainer (you can tell by the way they walk) had found himself at the same rest camp that Luke had come to. It was a fairly basic campsite: with a black ditch in the center where many fires had once burned, and a number of logs that had been rolled into semi-permanent benches by random parties of trainers. The thick grass was littered holes where tent pegs had been pitched and re-pitched. This campsite, like so many others, had fallen out of favor among trainers and travelers. The opening of a new freeway nearby had made the dirt path through the forest useless.
Luke’s eyes darted back to his book. “I’m heading home,” he murmured dully.
The new trainer’s blue eyes widened, and he shifted uneasily in his log bench. “Why would you be heading home? Don’t you like being a trainer?”
Luke sighed, and resisted the urge to give the trainer a nasty look. He thought for a moment. Just why was he heading back home? Had he not enjoyed is four and a half year journey across the country? Had he not learned to love his pokémon, who had been faithful to him for all those years? Had he not taken pride in his conquest of the many gyms, of his 27th place in the Grand Championship? Of all the trophies he won in contests?
Brushing a clump of light brown hair that had fallen below his brow (he made note to have a hair cut upon his arrival home), he finally responded, “I love being a trainer, of course, but I guess I’m just tired. Everyone needs a break.” He smiled weakly. That was it: he was tired.
Luke and the trainer fell silent for a moment, watching as the last rays of light finally faded. The stars slowly grew bright, and the moon took hold of the sky. It was just the first of many conquests to the young trainer, and just another to Luke. Seeing as it would be a good time to do so, Luke bent down and lit yet another fire at the pit, and prepared himself a simple meal from the last of the food he had with him. He offered some of it to the young trainer, but he refused, insisting on starting his own fire and preparing his own meal.
“So what’s your name?” the young trainer broke the silence, looking up from his burned piece of steak, all the while trying to get a barbeque sauce stain off his maroon T-shirt.
Luke looked up from his book, this time without a sigh of exasperation, as he had decided it had become too dark to read anyway. “Oh yeah… My name is Luke, and yours?”
“David,” The trainer said, finally giving up on rescuing his brand new shirt. He yawned, finding that the excitement that had driven him through the day had begun to wane. He was exhausted, his legs covered with small scratches and bug bites. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone, not even himself, but he was disappointed. Just the night before, he had dreamt of the adventures he’d have on what was supposed to be the greatest day of his life. But instead of adventure, all he found was burnt steak and the angry eyes of a pokémon that resented its captivity.
“I don’t mean to discourage you, David, but just so you know, the life of a trainer is hell. And don’t expect any rewards for it. If that’s all you anticipate, then you’ve missed the point. The only reward is the journey itself,” Luke said with a rather forced looking smile, “now, I’m heading to bed. I suggest you get some sleep too. The second day is harder than the first.”
David nodded and watched as Luke put out the fire, and as his silhouette crawled into a sleeping bag. He could not make sense of what Luke had said, and examined it as he eased into his own sleeping bag. Like the stain on his shirt, he gave up as he drifted to sleep, deciding it didn’t really matter.
The sun had already risen when David woke up, and as he bent up he saw that Luke had gone. Smiling, he gathered his things, and found himself energized by his ambition again. He let his charmander out of its Pokéball, who proceeded to snarl at him, claws bared. David returned its stare, and the orange lizard relented, and followed as David began to walk on.
“I know you don’t like me right now,” David began, as he put on his favorite green cap, “but I’m sure we can work it out if we try.”
The charmander nodded slowly, as if he understood.
David smiled, and they both continued along the path, the silhouette of the nearby city calling towards them. David’s thoughts drifted briefly to Luke and the words he had said the night before. I’ll understand it one day, he thought, when I decide to head home.