Hello all. This is my debut piece on the Serebii forums. It started off as a fun little idea, then became a vast storyline, and I felt compelled to share it.
It's called "Meridian."
It is the story of the adventures of a group of non-canon characters living in a non-canon region of the Pokémon world.
Rated PG for mild violence.
He knew his pursuer wasn’t far behind him, out of view somewhere. Shawn couldn’t hear or see him, but he knew he was there.
The trees flew by him. He narrowly avoided hitting a couple of branches. He was breathing hard now, his legs started to hurt, but he couldn’t stop. Not yet.
Finally, he found a break in the trees, a small clearing. In front of him, the land sloped gradually downward. He could see for miles and miles. The forest extended down the gentle slope and into the distance, and beyond the forest was a great marshland, dark and mysterious. The light of the setting sun cast a deep red hue over the marsh, giving it an ominous, captivating glow.
He had paused a second too long. Something collided with his ribs and he fell to the ground. Rolling over he saw a flash of sharp white teeth and heard a low growl.
He grinned. “Okay Poochyena! You got me!”
The small gray dog barked happily and licked Shawn’s face. He laughed and pushed the Pokémon away. He stood up as Poochyena hopped around at his feet, and he looked out at the distant marshland again. He loved coming here at the end of the day. The view was magnificent: the green forest sweeping down the side of the ridge, sloping down away from him, with the glowing red marshland in the distance beyond. It was that glow, in fact, that gave the marshlands their name: the Blood Marsh. Past the Marsh lay the vast, sparkling blue ocean, stretching out and away to meet the sun at the horizon.
Shawn had never been to the Blood Marsh. He didn’t know anyone who had. That region was supposedly dangerous, full of wild Pokémon and harsh terrain. There were stories of people traveling into the Marsh and never coming back, though Shawn didn’t know how many of those were actually true. And of course, the ominous name of the marshlands did not help their reputation. But despite all of this, Shawn still loved to look at it. He found the dark mystery of the marshlands exciting and enchanting.
Poochyena seemed to think so, too. He stood next to Shawn, staring out at the grand view, seemingly lost in similar thoughts. Shawn could tell the small Pokémon would love to go exploring the wilderness before them. Something in the way the little dog stared, the way his eyes gleamed, the way his legs tensed up as though he were about to charge down the ridge, told Shawn that he dreamed of adventure.
But the setting sun, slowly disappearing over the ocean, taking the daylight with it, reminded them of the time. It was time to go back home. Shawn’s mother would be furious if he stayed out past dark.
“Come on, Pooch!” Shawn called. He turned and ran back through the trees again. Poochyena barked and chased after him, nipping playfully at his legs as they ran. By the time they reached the edge of the trees, they were both panting happily. They walked out of the trees and back into town.
Loland Town was fairly small. Mostly everyone in town knew each other. A few people waved courteously at Shawn as he walked by. He would give a small nod in return. Shawn was not very close to any of these people. He didn’t exactly dislike them, he just didn’t really get along with them very well.
When he entered his house, his mother’s voice came to him almost immediately: “You know I hate it when you stay out so late.”
“It’s not even dark out yet.”
“It will be dark very soon.”
“And I’m home now.”
His mother sighed and gave up. “Dinner’s on the table. Get washed up please.”
Shawn washed his hands and face, set out some food for Poochyena, then joined his mother at the table. He ate his food quickly while she told him about how the flowers in the garden were doing, and about the new potting techniques Mrs. Donner had told her about today.
“She said she read about it in that gardening magazine she gets. I don’t typically listen to magazine articles, as I find my own techniques work just fine for me, but I must admit, her azaleas have been looking particularly colorful – my goodness, do you even taste your food?”
Shawn was already standing up from the table with his empty plate. “I get hungry running around town all day,” he explained as he went into the kitchen to wash his plate. Poochyena was finished eating as well. Shawn and Poochyena had a playful tug-of-war with the food dish until Shawn finally won, cleaned the dish and put it away. When he came back into the dining room, his mother was on the phone.
“Are you sure you can’t come back just for a couple of days?” she was saying. He knew who she was talking to without asking. “Well, what are you going to do then? . . . Of course I can’t send him, he can’t go alone. . . . There isn’t anyone. Almost nobody makes that trip these days. . . . I’ll ask around, I suppose. . . . I’ll see what I can do. . . . Of course. And I’ll let you know. . .”
As she hung up, Shawn asked, “What’s he forgotten this time?”
His mother sighed as she collected her own plate, “There’s a file of some important documents that he left in his office here. I swear I don’t know how your father managed on his own before he met me.”
“I thought he was coming home tomorrow.”
“He meant to, but the workload has been immense this week. He says he won’t be able to get away. He’s sorry, but he thinks he should be able to break away and come home in a few weeks’ time.”
Shawn’s father worked for the trade and travel business in Blueport City. His job was apparently very important, as he organized a good deal of the products and people that came in and out of Meridian Island. Shawn wasn’t really surprised that his father wouldn’t be coming back tomorrow. His job kept him so busy that he only came home every few weeks at best, and usually only for a few days at a time.
“The trouble is,” his mother continued, “he needs those documents in order to process a set of major shipments next week and I don’t know of anyone who is heading up there who could give us a ride. Besides I can’t leave now, there’s work to be done here.”
“I’ll take them to him. I know the way.”
Shawn didn’t really know the way very well, but he knew he could figure it out. Really he was excited at the idea of getting out of Loland Town for a while.
“I’m sure you do,” his mother answered, “but I won’t let you make that trip alone, particularly not with the stories coming off the road these days. You’re far too young.”
“I’m not ten. I’m not a baby anymore.”
“Of course not, but being fourteen does not make you an adult.”
Shawn didn’t bother arguing any further. He knew his mother had made up her mind, and he wouldn’t be able to change it. “So what will we do?” he asked.
His mother looked up thoughtfully, “I’ll think about it. I’m sure I’ll come up with something.”
Shawn headed up to his room, wishing he could come up with an idea. The truth was, he knew it would be dangerous to make the trip alone. When he was younger, he and his mother used to travel north to Blueport City to visit his father rather often. Blueport was almost all the way on the other side of Meridian Island, but it used to be fairly easy to hitch a ride with someone heading up there. By car, it was only a day’s travel. His father forgot things almost every time he came home, and when Shawn had gotten a bit older, his mother would let him go off to visit his father while she stayed home, so long as he was riding up with people she knew.
But these days were different. Over the past couple of years, the roads had grown increasingly worse. Now and then, stories came to their small town of strange occurrences. Freak storms would cross the roads, making travel difficult, and some people even reported being attacked by violent wild Pokémon. Nobody was sure what was causing this strange behavior, although they storms and the attacks were probably related. And besides that, there were even rumors that small groups of bandits had been taking advantage of the recent chaos, and that some people were known to have been confronted and robbed while on the road.
Stories like this were still relatively rare, only happening from time to time – it wasn’t like the island was in chaos – but it was just enough to make people reluctant to travel. People rarely ventured outside of Loland Town these days, and those who did usually went only to Treline Town, not too far away. Product shipments from the bigger cities in the north came fairly infrequently and only delivered essentials. People in the small towns of Loland and Treline were very busy these days working to provide for their own towns and families, and had little time – or desire – to worry about travel.
Poochyena trotted into Shawn’s room and looked up expectantly at him. The small dog knew the boy was thinking about adventure, and was excited by the idea. Shawn smiled at the Pokémon, “Sorry boy, looks like we won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.” Poochyena whined in disappointment and nuzzled Shawn’s arm. Shawn petted him on the head.
Shawn hadn’t traveled outside of Loland Town in well over a year now, and it was starting to wear on him. He didn’t mind the people here, but it was a small town, and he got bored of the same old day-to-day process, and sometimes he just needed to get away. Staring at the Blood Marsh and daydreaming could only satisfy him for so long.
And he could tell Poochyena felt the same way. Back when they used to travel, they would have a great time watching the road go by as they drove, and running around the streets of Blueport City while Shawn’s dad yelled after them. He could tell that Poochyena was thinking about it, too, missing the relief of getting away for a while.
Poochyena was by far Shawn’s best friend; he shared a bond with the little dog that he had never felt with any other Pokémon or even human. He could tell what Poochyena was feeling, what he was thinking. They could communicate wordlessly, reading each other’s expressions and body language. Even when one of them felt like being off alone for a while, the other would understand, and so they would split apart until it was time to come back and spend time together again. No one understood Poochyena like Shawn did, and vice versa. They were an inseparable pair.
As the small Pokémon curled up next to Shawn, the young boy let himself get lost in daydreams about travelling together across the island. Someday soon, he thought, we’ll get back on the road, and out of this town. Someday soon.