Spoiler:- Notes & Warnings:
"You're not scared, are you? Ha, I knew it, guys! She’s too scared to even think about it!" The rotund child before you laughed with his other cohorts at that. You didn’t seem to think that his joke was very funny.
"Hey! I'm not scared! But, you know, you've heard the rumors..." you told them in an attempt to defend what precious dignity you have left. Their biting laughter made you think that it didn't work.
The leader of the little group motioned for them to follow as he walked towards the woods. "Come on, guys. She's obviously too scared of silly stories to listen to us. We'll just go by ourselves 'cause we aren't afraid.” With some cheers, your enemies ventured into the darkness the trees provided.
Insulted and against your better judgment, you chased after them. You entered the very forest that your parents have told you all your short life to never enter. Your hometown had stories about these woods. They were the kind that said that you would be lost forever in here. Friends and relatives alike would walk in, but they'd never come back. Everyday, as you grew older, you looked out at this forest. You never entered them before because of how afraid you were of them thanks to these stories.
Reminded of those tales, you noticed that the gang of schoolyard bullies was nowhere to be seen or heard. This was strange because you knew you heard them only moments ago.
Regretting the idea almost immediately, you spun around to leave. Only you couldn't, as dark forest and light fog stretched on for as far as you could see. A sinking feeling went through you and that's when the true fear wells up. You had just stepped into the forest, yet the exit was not behind you. It was nonsensical, and that made it all the scarier. What was wrong with this forest?
Saving you from your thoughts, a terrible moaning sound flowed through your ears and echoed from seemingly everywhere. It was filled with sadness, pain, loss, and fear. The moan sounded human but so very not human at the same time. Your imagination ran wild and imagined all sorts of monsters and demons that could be responsible. Your pulse started to race, and tears formed in your eyes. The haunting wail intensified and grew louder and closer. Only when it sounded like it was right behind you did you turn around to face it.
The moan stopped immediately, but you could see nothing that would have been making it. There was a tree; however, unlike the other trees, there was a large black gash upon its bark. Hesitantly, you approached the twisted mark. You recoiled as the scent of death and decay assaulted your nostrils. You gagged and returned your gaze to the tree's wound, staring wide-eyed. You wondered what could have possibly made such a gash.
You firmly decided that you were done with this forest and whatever was going on in it. You break into a full sprint in the direction you knew you came from. Tears fell from your eyes, and you knew those kids were right. You were too scared.
But the forest never ended. The dark trees went on and on, only seeming to grow increasingly dark and twisted as you ran. The moaning returned, loud as ever. It followed you as you fruitlessly tried to escape. An overturned rock caught your foot, and you fell. You went flying over a small ledge, and you rolled into a clearing. In pain, clothing mangled, you struggled to stand and found success in doing so. You look at the sky. It was growing dark, and the sky was a wash with waves of reds and oranges. Your eyes watered again; you were terrified of the thought that you might never escape. You would never get to play tag again, cuddle with your doll, color with your friends, or... or listen to your mother's bedtimes stories as she delicately ran her fingers through your hair. Slowly, you walked to a tree and sat down at its base, holding your knees closely to your chest.
And you cried.
You never should have listened to those kids, those bullies who thrive on the fear of those younger than them. With their not-so-clever words, they tricked a young girl into getting lost in the woods like the many before her. And you know you deserved it.
That didn't make it any less scary. But at least the moaning stopped.
In the darkness of the undergrowth, you hear a rustling sound. With a gasp, you turned your attention to a nearby bush. The noise stopped. Just before you were able to put your head down again, a black blur jumped from the shrubbery and landed before you. It was a Pokemon. The childlike creature, who was about as tall as you, stared at you with a mixture of emotions going through its eyes. Of all those emotions, it settled on sympathy and approached your quivering form.
You never much liked Pokemon. Too many of your toys ended up broken around them, and you came to distrust them. Still, this black and purple Pokemon with white bows all over it seemed nice enough. At this point, you welcomed anything with a friendly face. It took a seat beside you and laid a comforting hand on your leg. It locked eyes with you, and you forced a tentative smile. Returning your gaze to the sky, you were suddenly overcome with exhaustion. It was late, and you'd been running for a while. After this realization, it became increasingly difficult to keep your eyes open. You slowly turned to look at your Gothorita friend, who gave you a reassuring smile. With that, you fell into a dreamless sleep.
When you slowly awoke, you noticed that you were lying flat on your front. Your body ached all over as you tried to sit up. You inspected yourself, finding numerous cuts and bruises that weren't there before. Your short dress was dirty and torn. Your mother would be furious. Looking around, you saw that you were in a different part of the forest then. The trees were of a different kind, and the canopy was much thicker. It would be very hard to see if not for a strange, ambient light that clung to the air like fog.
The Gothorita was nowhere to be found. You weren’t sure what happened to you while you were asleep, but deep inside, you knew that you were too far into this forest now. There would be no escaping. No more toys and no more stories. Your eyes were sore from all the crying, though the tears returned again. Then, you thought you heard something.
It sounded like talking, laughing, and taunting. It was the mean kid from before. You couldn't see him, but you knew. You hated him, especially for all that happened to you while in this haunting forest. But you still wanted to find him. He was someone you knew, and maybe he could help you out of here. You looked around, but you couldn't see him in this inky black. So you carefully followed the sound of his grating voice. The moaning from before returned, but it was quiet and distant. You found that even eerier.
Your heart soared when you saw light in the distance, a break in the trees. You ran to it and emerged in a field illuminated by moonlight. It was a field you knew well. You played tag with your friends in this very yard. The beaten path running through it led all the way back to Snowbelle Town. You were finally free.
Laughing cruelly in the middle of the dirt trail was that same kid who lured you into the forest in the first place. Your relief burned up and transformed into raw anger, and you ran for him. He noticed you, and his evil grin widened. You slowed down as you noticed something odd. It wasn't anything specific, but the entire scenario felt so... wrong. The air was charged with tension and dread, and every thought in your head was to run away. You stopped cold and slowly backtracked. Your rival noticed this. Upon your next blink, the twisted forest was back. You had never truly left.
Through the darkness, a glowing pair of eyes stared at you. Instead of a simple schoolyard bully, a large, monstrous fox made its way toward you. Saliva dripped from its maw, and its claws were stained with blood. Your mind was unable to produce anything coherent. All you could think about was the fear-induced ache in your chest and the overwhelming horror that gripped your body. Despite your wishes, you could not move an inch. The Zoroark roared so loudly that the cry seemed to reverberate throughout the whole forest. That provided you with the motivation you needed to turn tail and run away as fast as you could.
You knew the beast was faster, but why it was letting you get away? The moaning became louder as you ran. You didn't know what was making the awful noise, but you knew what the fox was capable of. You decided to take your chances with the moaning.
The noise intensified gradually until it was blasting in your ears, but you still did not stop. You tumbled into another grove, and the moaning vanished entirely. Ignoring the pain, you gathered yourself off of the ground and looked at this new clearing. The ground was littered with small tree stumps, as if someone had massacred a group of young trees in just this one area. The trees encompassing this grove, if you could still call them trees, were broken down, black, and rotted. They were all dead, afflicted with some deathly disease. The air was cold here, colder than it had been in the rest of the forest. You jumped when a Noctowl hooted from a tree branch behind you before flying away.
The moaning noise returned, but it was softer now. It sounded more like crying. You turn around to see a floating tree stump filled with wispy black fog. You froze and stared wide-eyed at the manifestation. It seemed to sense that you were watching it and looked up to meet your gaze. In its glowing red eyes, you could see that the poor soul was sad, lost, and lonely. Your demeanor softened, and you feel a little bit better knowing that you weren't the only one.
You tentatively stepped toward it, hoping to make a friend who wasn't going to turn on you. This, like many of the other times where your naivety had shown far too much, turned out to be a mistake. The creature hissed, eyes glowing malevolently. It spewed black gas in the air around you before fleeing the grove.
You cough as you inhale the smoke, stumbling backwards. Your entire body was instantly gripped with pain as your skin crawled. You cried out, sobbing from the intensity of the feeling. Your hands and arms started to go numb, and you held them out in front of you to see what was happening. The tips of your fingers and splotches on your arms were turning a sickly gray. You screamed, crying now in terror, as you lost control of your hands, as your fingers lay limp. You fell to the ground and saw the ashen gray sickness creeping up your legs.
You were stuck in a position in which you could do nothing but watch as your body turned from gray to black. You couldn't express the amount of sheer pain and terror that your mind was going through. You couldn't even scream anymore, having involuntarily relinquished control of that moments ago. Now numb to all the pain you had experienced, you calmed down. It was the serenity of approaching death that stopped your inward wailings as you watched your body dissolve into dust. As the wave of decomposition flowed up your form, your vision darkened. And then, without a word, there was nothing.
You woke up in total darkness. Slowly, your vision returned. You were still in that accursed forest. You looked down at yourself to inspect the damage. You weren't even surprised or frightened when you saw the puff of smoke that you had become. You were just sad. Still in the same grove in which you died, you saw your old clothes, lying uselessly on the ground. It reminded you of your family. It reminded you of a life you could never go back to. Melancholy gripped you, but you were more than just sad. You were ashamed. You were ashamed of how you ran, of how you listened to those children, of how you ignored all the stories, of how you were so trusting of a demented forest's inhabitants, and of how your family will unavoidably suffer because of your disappearance.
You looked down at a tree trunk below you. It was just like the rest of the small tree stumps in the grove, but you approached that one. You pushed an arm-like wisp into the trunk and found that it did not resist your ghostly form. You then descended into it, inhabiting it. From that position, you were able to pull it from the ground, cutting off the roots as it went. This new helmet would help you hide your shame and your sadness. You thought that now, hopefully, you could find a way out of this forest. But you knew it was pointless. Now that you were a part of it, you knew one thing about the Wandering Woods.
There was no way out.
Gothorita - According to many old tales, it creates friends for itself by controlling sleeping children on starry nights.
Zoroark - Each has the ability to fool a large group of people simultaneously. They protect their lair with illusory scenery.
Phantump - According to old tales, these Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest.
Spoiler:- Ending Note: