A Red Letter Day
The sounds of the city - mixed voices, the cries of the wild - drifted in through the open window of the tower block. Inside, the room it led to was devoid of life, although the door was ajar, and a slither of light from the hallway beyond the door was surreptitiously invading the room. It matched the daylight outside, which was now rapidly fading as the sun began to set.
The door opened gently, and as the voices from the hall grew louder. She stopped halfway inside, listening to the voices as she held a steaming mug of cocoa in the one hand, her other hand resting upon the handle.
“And when did you last see him, ma’am?” a voice asked. The girl watched from around the door. Further down, she could just see the deep blue of the man’s uniform as he jotted notes down upon a small pad of paper.
“A-about a week ago.” a voice choked with great gulping sobs replied “He…he said he was going to Saffron with his friends.”
“Was this normal behaviour for him?”
“Uh, yes. He had travelled as far as Lavender Town several times before. I assumed he would be alright.”
The girl entered the room, having heard enough. Placing the cocoa on her desk, next to a laptop computer, she tied her hair back into a short ponytail. On the bed sat several things, including a bag, half filled with equipment that any self-aware trainer in the modern age would not be seen without - potions, poke balls and the like - and a belt, upon which six poke balls of varying type and style were attached. She pulled one off the belt, activating it. It burst open, the pokemon inside emerging. The Umbreon, it’s gold bands beginning to glow in the fading light, leapt up onto the bed, settling down as the girl took a seat before the computer. Opening it, it restarted, and what appeared to be a half-written essay was visible. She saved the work, before closing it
She tapped the keyboard for a few moments, almost distractedly. The voices in the hall grew louder as the officers passed by the door, and she overheard the lead officer turning at the door to say “Don’t worry, we’ll find him.”
‘Hm’ she thought, a frown crossing her face ‘And Pignite might fly.’
A slight growling from the bed derailed her train of thought. She glanced over at the Umbreon, who was now stood, glaring at the window. Following it’s gaze, she spotted a small pidgey pecking around near the open window. Standing up, she walked to the window. The pidgey eyed her with suspicion as she came closer. Eventually, it gave up, and fluttered off the sill. Sticking her head out of the window, she watched it glide down to another windowsill.
Closing the window, she sighed gently. It had been a long journey back from Violet City. The walk was shortened since she had cut through National Park, but it was still a fairly long trek and it had taken a good few hours. Coupled with a five-hour train journey from Goldenrod to Saffron, and the trek west back to Celadon, it had left her completely jetlagged, given that she’d set off with only an hour to process the news that had arrived.
Her mind returned to the computer as it bleeped. She sat down, sipping the cocoa carefully. A message box had appeared on the screen, titled ‘Mathew712’. In the box, it said;
Are you there?
She sat the cup down on the desk again, allowing her both hands to type a reply.
I’m here Matt.
She waited. A moment later, a reply appeared.
I heard about what happened.
Are you back in Celadon soon?
The sound of her fingers tapping the keys was all that could be heard as she typed a reply.
I’m already back.
I got the train from Goldenrod this morning.
Silence for a moment, then a bleep as another reply arrived.
Damn. I didn’t know.
There was a slight pause, and then another reply arrived
Are you busy?
The tapped up a reply
Meet you by the fountain?
The reply was returned quickly
Eveline folded the laptop closed, drinking the last of her cocoa before picking up her belt. She stroke the Umbreon’s head warmly, and he stirred at her touch, before bounding off the bed and onto the floor.
“Come on Dice.” she said to the Umbreon “Let’s take a walk.”
By the time they got down from their floor, the light had really begun to fade. Streetlights began to flicker on and a cold breeze was now no longer counteracted by the warm rays of the winter sunlight. Pulling her coat tightly around her, Eveline began walking down the main street, people passing by her as Dice dashed on just ahead of her. He bounded along, happily darting between the last people visiting Celadon department store as they passed by. Eveline smiled slightly. It had been a day of bad news, so Dice’s antics were a welcome break from the gloom of the day.
Rounding the corner, they entered Celadon square. Normally bustling with people, the dying daylight meant that the square was now virtually deserted, with only a few scant people still hanging around. She scanned the square, before spotting the familiar face she had been looking for. A boy, around her age, was sat against the fountain’s edge. He was stood next to a large blue pokemon, a Golduck, whose red jewelled forehead was providing a minor amount of light where he was standing. Hearing Dice’s happy cries as he bounded over to them, he turned to see Eveline approaching.
“Hey.” he said, as she sat down on the fountain next to her.
“Hey yourself.” Eveline replied, perhaps more sarcastically than she meant it.
“How’s things at home?” Matt asked
“Exactly what you might expect. Mom’s in tears but there’s still no sign of Dad.” Eveline complained, exasperatedly adding “Oh, and Celadon Police are going to ‘do all they can’.”
Matt chuckled slightly at her agitated rant.
“Seriously though.” he began “Do you think they’ll find him?”
“Edward? I don’t know.” Eveline sighed “I would imagine that when they’re not too busy making sure Team Rocket isn’t up to no good or dealing with Meowths’ stuck in trees, they might get around to it.”
Edward was Eveline’s brother. Seven years her younger, he was a strong willed and determined young trainer. Although he had made a special trip to Pallet Town to receive his first pokemon - a Bulbasaur - his interest had always lay in pokemon of the dark, ghost and psychic variety.
But he was also reckless. He was too interested in myths and too gullible not to know where what was real ended and hyperbole and exaggeration began. It may have paid off in Lavender Town, where he said he saw ghosts, but he had been itching to go further than that, and discover what he called ‘real legendary pokemon.’
She sighed. Much as she wished she could cry and be as sad about it as her mother, the fact that Edward had gone off on his own adventure reminded him of herself, some five years ago. Her own journey had taken her far, across to Johto and even a trip back to Hoenn.
“I don’t know Matt.” Eveline said abruptly, drawing him away from Dice and Golduck’s chattering. “He’s only twelve. Even we didn’t set out on adventures that young.”
Matt nodded gently. “I know. But he’s your brother. He’s an Armell, and if the rest of your family is anything to go by, he’ll be fine. Besides, he’s not alone out there.”
He beckoned to Golduck and stood up. He turned to face her.
“The police will do everything they can to find him.” He assured her. Seeing that she didn’t seem convinced, he added “And I suppose if they don’t, then-”
“No.” she interrupted “I’m not even considering going off on a wild goose chase. Not for the fact that he could be anywhere between here and Snowpoint, but…I don’t think mom would be able to cope with both of us gone.”
Matt nodded again.
“Ok. Listen, I’m going to go. You should get some rest too.”
“Hm. Thanks.” Eveline replied, smiling weakly. Matt, Golduck in tow, walked off down the street. Dice raced after them, keeping up for a moment before dashing back to Eveline at the fountain. She sat silently for a few moments, thinking about what he said as Dice played cheerfully with her shoelaces. He was probably right. But travelling was a tiresome occupation at the best of times. Not something she was in any mood to jump back into right now.
From across the street, a pair of eyes, unseen to her, eyed her and Dice. The figure watched as she stood, beckoning Dice to follow, and they too headed off down the street. She was nearing the Pokemon center when she first became aware of it. Dice was agitated by something, his gold bands glowing as he sniffed the air. Looking around, whatever had agitated Dice was gone.
“Must have been nothing.” she assured Dice “C’mon.”
They headed around the corner and into the tower block. Eveline glanced back once more, but the streets were now empty. Guessing she was just tired, she shrugged to herself, before closing the door and heading for the stairs.
And those eyes followed her all the way there.