This is my disqualified entry for the HGSS One-Shot Contest.
“It may drop out of the sky suddenly. If attacked, it will violently shake its poisonous leaves.”
“It lives by drinking only droplets of blood from dying or decaying corpses. It is said that it eats nothing else.”
“It suddenly falls out of the sky in the morning. A year after a stormy summer, their population explodes.”
I didn’t know how it felt, to be the very first.
I knew I was the very first; I could feel it somehow. I woke up, among many others still fast asleep.
That day – that dawn, I had woken up to a world where I was alone. It was a world surrounded by a saltwater torture spiralling around me, engulfing me. Those forlorn minutes became days upon days of suffering and fear, before I noticed that everyone else was waking up, in much the same fashion around me. But this did little comfort; the suffering endured, and before long, we were thrust upon a prickling beach.
Yet, the saltwater did not give up, its arms relentlessly threatened to engulf us back into its clutches. Us lucky few who made it to the berm were spared further torment and that was when the window to the rest of the world finally opened.
I could’ve exchanged a lifetime’s worth of torture for this glorious moment, with my companions beside me, ready to conquer this yet untarnished world.
I still remember that first day – my moment of heaven within the centre of hell.
“Ash, wake up!”
“…eh…?...! Misty! Don’t lean over me!”
“Get up, you lazy Dunsparce!”
“It’s still dark…let me sleep…”
“I said wake up!” Grunt.
“Hey, hey- argh!”
“Get up!” Grunt.
“Why’d you wake me up so early?”
“You promised me that we’ll go watch the sunrise together while we’re here in Olivine!”
“There are still storm clouds from the storm yesterday. We won’t see anything…”
“No, you’re not going back to sleep, Ash!”
“You. Promised. Me.”
“Hurry up and get changed! I’ll meet you in the lobby.”
“Did you bring a raincoat? There’s still a bit of a drizzle.”
“I’ll be fine, Misty.”
“No you won’t!”
“Fine, I’ll go get one…”
“Can we go now?”
“Yeah, let’s go!”
“All I see are clouds.”
“I checked the weather yesterday; it said that sunrise was going to be at 5:56.”
“What’s the time now?”
“I dragged us out early so we can talk about us.”
“What about us?”
“You know what I’m talking about!”
“No. I don’t.”
“Yes you do! You do!”
Tears. Or rain?
“I…I really don’t. Was it before or after Sinnoh?”
“How could you have forgotten?” Slap.
“I’m sorry, Misty, but I…really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s been so long…what with Hoenn and Sinnoh…”
“No really, tell me.”
“…okay…but let me ask you something first.”
“What is it?”
“Do you have a thing for May?”
“May! You know…May!”
“Yes I know who May is…but…she…you…she’s just a friend.”
“Okay, what about Dawn?”
“She’s also a friend!”
“Yes! I’m not into younger girls…”
“No…it’s fine…I’m fine.”
“…don’t be so stupid next time. You know we’re…you know I like you.”
“Yeah, it’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Don’t leave me, Ash.”
What motivates men to fight amongst themselves? Why do they not come to a compromise and realise how lucky they are to have, not one, but many who share similar traits to one another? Why must humans be so divided by conflict? Indeed, why must all organisms be divided between each other? Some insects, however primitive their composition, have been gifted with a natural perception of being able to socialise with one another in order to survive. The Combee is a terrific example; companionship and interdependence is a predetermined trait between all individuals and the result is essentially utopian.
Conversely, while the Combee is blessed by being born with companions, the Doduo is born with a lifelong partner, whose mutual benefits depend on their absurdly variable mood. It is the rare, markedly inseparable individuals that are able to manage a balanced and satisfied lifestyle. It is even rarer for the individuals to be able to survive into adulthood as Dodrio, whose individual stone-set personalities are peculiarly much more simply conceived than its pre-evolution’s variable personalities. I don’t know how or why evolution has been able to cater for this usually self-cannibalising (super?)organism, but it is evident that it puts sheer power above all else in a battle for this unique species to survive. Is this how life is supposed to be lived by all organisms on this planet? Are we constantly monitored and governed by a subconscious paranoia that insists on giving us weapons so strong, it could destroy the very cradle that nurtures us?
Of all that concern me, it is the humans that worry me most. Humans are the only organisms on this planet who do not possess a natural sense of self-control. Arrogant, lacking in respect and ignorant, humans have all the power evolution has gifted them, but this is, in turn, crudely imbalanced by a lack of self-responsibility and puts their own sentience above all else. This imbalance has brought upon a grand curse upon the world. They have become too complex in mind structure for their own good and thus, have begun to overly complicate the world around them. If the world was full of organisms implanted with submissive, unintelligent natures governed by sentient creatures such as us, then perhaps, things would be much more peaceable.
But I am naďve. Even as a remarkable individual, I am naďve and cursed with a flawed logic. Humans, and all organisms that dwell on this planet, live to fear and, in turn, to be feared. That is what motivates men to fight – and that is what makes the rest of us function.
I do not know whether the world will dissolve in a flurry of bombs or if some cosmic accident may decide our fate, but it seems clear that there will not be a moment of peaceful resolve before our inevitable demise.
I feel that I have the responsibility to act against the humans, but I fear for my own life – the time has passed when I can quell the humans with a mere summon of a storm. I miss those faraway days very much, but this is not the time to dwell on regrettable memories.
Here I am, forced to view this world slowly, beneath my stormy defences, questioning myself whether there is a greater sentient force than I that can, hopefully, bring this matter to a decision.
“You know, if it wasn’t for Nurse Joy, this wedding would’ve been really tacky.”
“Oh come on Brock, you know this Pokémon Centre means a lot to me.”
“Yeah, I know, Ash…but…did Misty agree to this?”
“Er…not really…she wanted to have the wedding in Sootopolis, but it wasn’t really within our budget.”
“Thanks, May. Uh…where’s Dawn?”
“Oh, she couldn’t come.”
“She said she’d give you a call later tonight.”
“Yeah, she’s in Lilycove right now preparing for the Grand Festival tomorrow.”
“Ash! There you are- oh hi, May! Glad you could make it!”
“Sorry I couldn’t come, Ash, but you know how important this year’s Hoenn Grand Festival is to me.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
“Come to think of it…you didn’t purposely schedule your wedding to coincide with the Grand Festival, did you?”
“N-no, of course not!”
“I’m just joking, Ash…”
100 bpm. Sheepish laugh.
“You look nice in a tux.”
“…thanks…how’s your Pokémon doing?”
“Oh they’re alright. Mamoswine and Pachirisu are getting some rest right now, but Piplup’s still awake.”
“Are you ready for tomorrow?”
“Yep! Be sure to watch me on the tellie!”
“Listen, I sent a wedding gift by mail over to you a few days ago…it should be arriving tonight.”
“Really? What is it?”
“Oh you’ll see.”
170 bpm. Sheepish laugh.
“Can I speak to May and Misty? I’ve got something to tell them.”
“Yeah, sure…let me go get them.”
It causes me great worry whenever the skies become a battleground. Battles leave scars on the land, and likewise, they leave scars on the sky. Those who wage battle in the sky (and thus, with the sky) do not know the magnitude of their violations. They are destroying what little purity lays in these intangible barrens and claiming too much as their own.
Humans, in their ceaseless expeditions to conquer every dimension in and beyond their reach, are biting more than they can chew. I don’t think they realise what damage they have already done to this fragile world, nor do I think they have any care for this world.
I fear that battle will leave nothing untouched, nothing untainted and nothing uncharred. In that event, I hope that divinity will have set much more in store for the future, so that the commoners will have something to rejoice about.
Until then, perhaps the time has come when I, a harbinger of rainbows, will never again appear in the skies.
Target found at coordinates 34°23′N 134°50′E.
Affirmative; off the coast of Olivine.
Give me the local weather conditions.
Air pressure; 970 hPa. Temperature; -56 degrees Centigrade. Wind speed; approximately 60 knots.
-56? Give me their altitude.
5600 m above sea level.
Launch the missiles.
As silent lightning struck the southern islands yonder, the distant sun was struggling over the eastern mountains, its feeble light obliterating the beacon atop the Olivine lighthouse. A night of struggle had passed as fleets of sea vessels had sought to take refuge from the encroaching storm in the harbour, taking warning to the local weather bureau. The storm would arrive that afternoon and vessels were warned to keep away from the Whirl Islands until the storm had dissipated.
Perhaps because the bureau had too much common sense to believe that no aircraft would be stupid enough to fly through the sea route, a warning was never issued for pilots. Thus, Team Rocket saw it as very fitting to let their black-market operations continue under the veil of the storm. Their grand airship, The Silver Dragon, carrying the load of generations’ worth of black fortune, sailed through the storm at a boastful altitude, seemingly unaware of the sheer force of nature surrounding it.
But there was something within that load – something definitive of the very evil that surrounded it. Was it an accident on Team Rocket’s behalf, then, that The Silver Dragon was selected for missile target practice by the very organisation who had issued its launch? Was it an accident that the bane of the planet was released through this very act, that the fate of the Earth had been decided with such an obscured incident?
Meteors the entire night.
“Mummy, don’t you want to go to Mt. Mortar to watch the shooting stars???”
“No, Hazel, you can go watch them with Daddy; I’m too tired.”
“No, Hazel, I’m really tired. Go watch them with Daddy.”
“Are you two fighting again, Mummy?”
“No, of course not, Hazel, dear. Just go watch the shooting stars with Daddy and you can tell me tomorrow.”
“Be a good girl, now. Don’t get hurt down there. Mummy has to go to bed.”
“Good night, Mummy.”
“Good night, Hazel.”
Meteors the entire night.
It started off quite perfectly for a ten-year-old girl, especially one whose pastimes included little more than playing around with generally miscellaneous peers and siblings. It was no less than for little Hazel who was as far as it could go for innocent, little girls in the eyes of Banksia’s villagers and Pokémon alike. Villagers knew her as a sweetheart, the daughter of a couple who had settled in Banksia in the hopes of a tree-change. She was bright and inquisitive, villagers described, and very keen on helping those in need, whether they be human or Pokémon.
She woke up - like any other ordinary girl - with a call for breakfast. It was her mother, anticipating just another ordinary, serene day just doing her motherly household duties while Hazel goes out to play with her little friends. As much as she would’ve liked Hazel to stay and help her with the chores, she decided that it was somewhat cruel to imprison Hazel during the summer holidays, especially on a beautiful day such as this.
“Hazel! Your cereal is getting warm!”
And in this type of weather, it was hard for anything not to. Sunny it was, it had all but evaporated the winds and waters that had kept Banksia comfortably humid for the majority of the summer. Breakfast was held in the patio which formed the middle ground between the backyard and the house itself. Hazel’s father was out at work, so breakfast was only held between Hazel and her mother.
The call for breakfast was answered with an ecstatic - perhaps overly - reply. Piercing through the upstairs window of Hazel’s room out towards the backyard, Hazel’s voice echoed around the tree-surrounded garden, tempting a few bird Pokémon to grudgingly trace the screech back to its source from their arboreal outposts. It was quite the juicy yelp - so much that Hazel’s mother only assumed that it was a “Coming!” that would be quickly succeeded by a centipede-like scramble down the hollowed stairs.
But she didn’t even hear Hazel’s bedroom door open.
Hazel's mother called again, only to be met with another saccharine screech that was stirring even the most tolerant of Drill Peckers.
Leaving Hazel’s spoiling breakfast on its own to gamble life and death, Hazel’s mother exhumed herself back into the house to investigate the cause of Hazel’s euphoria. The living room, separated by an impenetrable glass sliding door from the rest of the world via the patio, was well lit by a healthy dose of sunshine. It was for this reason that curtains, for the majority of daytime, were seen repelling it from the cancer-prone mother. Opening the door welcomed enemy attack, but also the lovely songs of passing Fearow that was so needed to stimulate a grumpy, stagnant morning.
The living room was as separate from the rest of the world in mood and suggestion. All of the furniture and ornaments possessed some form of perfect angular symmetry that eerily reflected some form of inner city lifestyle.
The mother’s walk was brisk, as could’ve been told by the cold, hard stone tiles eroded by her shuffling. It was followed by the anguished creaking of floorboards, as she climbed the stairs, before reaching a simple carpeted corridor with a few open or ajar doors on either side of it. The door belonging to Hazel’s bedroom was closed however and the mother knew there was something out of the ordinary.
The mother knocked on the door of Hazel’s room, but was met with no reply - except for another shriek. Intuitively, she forced the door open, as if expecting to be met with resistance, into her daughter’s room. It was, as one would expect a ten-year-old girl’s room to be, very pink and decorated with various flowery Pokémon. A large window allowed the room access to the backyard view, but also to the hot, puffy summer air when it was slid open.
Almost camouflaged against the walls, the mother spotted her child beside the overflowing bed, arms outstretched in front like an Exeggutor who had suddenly sprouted arms and didn’t quite know what to do with them, except with a noticeable awkward footing. The mother, quickly grasping the presence of suspicious circumstances edged closer to her peculiar daughter.
The girl immediately stumbled, in a pirouette of brunette hair and Tentacool pyjamas, onto the floor, shrieking as she did. Hazel’s mother quickly rushed to her daughter’s aid, but she had already hit the floor, and was stumbling with her hands to get back up. She looked quite pathetic in her attempt to get back up, hands and feet slipping, but this was more disturbing to her mother than amusing. Reluctant to help her daughter, Hazel’s mother stared at the flailing insect, horror-struck and transfixed.
Distressed, she let out a beckoning shout, but she was answered with the same piercing shriek accompanied by harsh sobs and tantrum fits. Her eyes became blurred with tears of shock, so that the image of her daughter was all but a fuzz of muddy brown and pink. Attempting to clear herself from the state of confusion and disorder, she let out another shout.
“Mum...Mummy...I can’t...get up...I can’t...I can’t...see...I...can’t...Mummy...help me!” Hazel called, clearly distraught and mouthing tears.
Breaking her trance, Hazel’s mother quickly darted to her aid.
“Okay, sweetie, just relax,” she said shakily, while trying her best to remain relaxed as well. “It’s going to be fine.”
But it was clear that everything was far from fine. Finally subdued, Hazel’s mother slowly sat her up proper on the bed, where she got a good look of Hazel and her bedroom. To her horror, there were tiny blotches of blood everywhere around the room – especially at the spot of carpet where Hazel had been struggling. Realising that they were the size of teardrops, she immediately took hold of Hazel’s shoulders and examined every square inch of her body to discover where Hazel was bleeding.
Her pyjamas were covered with the same bloody polka-dot, but a brief and hectic examination of Hazel’s legs, arms and body resulted in no visible wounds. Crouching before Hazel, her mother was just beginning to dismiss the mysterious blood drops as not belonging to Hazel, until she threw back her daughter’s messy, veil-like brown hair.
She screamed, flew backwards, knocked her head on the windowsill and dissolved into a coma.
Hazel let out a soft sob, but she seemed stronger than her mother, in spite of herself being the victim. She got up, and fingered her way across her saturated bed. She reached the other side with little problem, feeling the edge and carefully getting off the bed. Hazel, deciding that it was foolish to grope her way on two legs, crawled towards the door, down the corridor, and eventually down the stairs.
She made it seemingly effortlessly towards the front door, but found it locked.
After a few long minutes of groping around the little urns and such that plagued the side-tables around the front door, she finally found the right set of keys and promptly tested each key awkwardly. Finally, she found the right key and twisted it eagerly.
For the first time for a few hours, she was filled with excitement – one that seemingly banished the dark paranoid thoughts that filled her mind. She let a little sigh of excited relief, and crawled out of the front door.
“It converts animal flesh into energy, despite being a plant. In the daytime, it closes its petals and becomes still.”
“In the night-time, it travels about in a sneaky manner, but it comes to a complete stop when the sun rises.”
“It gets energy from decomposing flesh and is known for its habit of hiding itself around the entrance of human settlements.”