I awaken surrounded by darkness.
Mind you, this is nothing new. I believe that this is normal, although I can’t be sure. Although I get the feeling that some sound and some artificial light normally wake me up. Perhaps something is missing from the equation?
I sit a while, and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Slowly, the place where I find myself becomes visible. A large, square-shaped room. Am I in captivity?
No… There are exits- or entrances, I can’t tell. Four of them. Two on the East wall, one on the North, and another to the West. Wait- how can I tell the direction? I don’t know…
Beyond the sights, more things become apparent. The sounds of this place speak the loudest to me. I hear feral growls coming from the North, so I probably shouldn’t go that way. To the West, the passageway is pitch-black. To the East, the two passageways appear safest. I elect to take that route.
I stand, and note that this place is much bigger than I first surmised. I had estimated that the roof would be only just above my head, but it is actually much higher. I wonder why I had guessed such low numbers. Maybe something is wrong with my sight?
I take a few fumbling steps, noting how tough the simple task of walking is. Have my legs grown shorter? Am I just groggy? What’s going on?
I proceed down one of the hallways, groping for the walls, using them to guide me. I can hear water falling off in the distance. Perhaps I may find some answers as to where I am by following the sound.
I follow it for around two minutes, relying on nothing but the sound to guide me. Soon, I reach the source of the sound- a large waterfall. It does not fall into a small lake, or river as one might expect, but strikes the ground. Amazingly, it does not form a puddle or pond. Instead, it seeps into cracks in the ground. These cracks must be deeper than they appear. I keep that in mind, and tread carefully towards the waterfall.
I peer up to the top. Stars wink down at me. So, this explains where I am. Some sort of subterranean cave.
In addition, I know that I’m not very far from the surface. The waterfall may be large, but it is only twenty feet high or so. At least, given the strange proportions of this place, it appears to be twenty feet high.
I turn around, ready to backtrack, and look for the exit. But, to my surprise, the passageway that I entered from has vanished. In its place is a solid rock wall. I go and inspect the wall. It is indeed solid, and I can’t get through.
I peer around the room, but there are no other passages. I’m walled in.
I turn back to the waterfall, and take another look upwards. I consider trying to look behind the waterfall for a climbable wall, but I immediately decide against it. The wall is likely to be slick, and even if I reach the top, I will likely be pummeled by the source of the water, and end up plastered on the floor of the cave.
I turn back to the wall, and am shocked to see my passage. It definitely wasn’t there a moment before, and yet now, here it was! I decided not to question it, and proceed down the passge.
I find that something is wrong midway down the passageway. I had turned left in order to enter the waterfall room, and thus would have to turn right in order to backtrack. However, a left turn awaits me. I turn around, ready to check if I’d missed my turn, when I realize that I’ve been caught unawares again. The passageway behind me still exists, but the room it leads into is the one that I’d awoken in.
I proceed, and examine the room. There doesn’t appear to be any trick to this place- it just rearranges itself whenever no one is looking. That makes it all the more intimidating.
I step towards the center of the room, and am surprised as anything when I trip up a flight of stairs. I take a few seconds to realize this, before I push myself up, and, deciding that it couldn’t worsen my situation any more, I climb the stairs.
When I reach the top, I take a look around. I am rewarded when, to my right, I see the mouth of the cave. I close my eyes, and let out a sigh of relief. I open them again to see that the mouth of the cave had suddenly closed.
That’s it. This cave is screwing with me.
I close my eyes, and open them again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. On the third time, the mouth of the cave is visible again, and I take the opportunity.
I find myself in a small, forested area. A river flowing from a stream abruptly stops, and the water drops into a hole in the ground. I peer down the hole, and am not surprised to see the floor of the cave below.
To my surprise, I see a figure cross the floor below. It looks like some sort of lizard. Its tail is what sets it apart, however. On the end, a small flame lights the area around it.
Several seconds pass before something clicks in my head.
It’s called a Charmander.
The Charmander looks up towards the hole in the ceiling, and sees me. She calls up.
“Hey! You! Um, a little help, please?”
There is a silence of several seconds, before a panic button lights up in my head. I just head a Pokemon speak. That isn’t supposed to happen, is it?
I lean down, and answer weakly, “Wh-What kind of h-help do you n-need?
“Just a rope or something like that. If I know where I am, the trees around you should have some vines in them. If you can toss one down, I might be able to get out.”
I nod, still frightened. I move over to the trees, careful to move quietly, in case some more talking Pokemon decide to show up.
It’s then that I catch sight of the lake out of the corner of my eye. It takes a second for it to register. But there can be no mistaking it- my reflection is invisible, and there is a scared-looking Totodile following me. I turn around, with the intent of asking this Totodile if it needs help as well. But, there is no one there. I turn back to the water.
The Totodile has moved. He now looks concerned, and is in front of me. I look down, expecting him to be at my feet. He isn’t there, but a pair of sky-blue reptilian feet is.
I nearly faint.
“Hey, what’s taking so long up there?”
I turn, and answer back, praying that my voice doesn’t sound as scared as I feel. “Nothing. One second, please.”
I grab a vine from a nearby tree, and stand on the edge of the hole.
“Vine coming your way! Can you reach it?”
Several seconds pass before, “Yeah, got it!”
There is a sharp tug on the rope, and I begin to pull up. She is about my weight, but somehow, I don’t have much trouble hauling her up.
Before long, her head pokes out of the hole. She pulls herself out, and strides over to me.
“Hey, thanks! I’ve been wandering down there lost for hours! Lucky thing you came by, huh?”
If she says anything else, I don’t hear it. I’m already gone, running as fast as my stubby legs will carry me. I need some time alone to think about why this happened. And, perhaps more importantly, what to do now.