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Learning to Heal the Hurt - Book I: Fire Red


Member for 15 years

Well, don't hurt me, but here is yet another version of Learning to Heal the Hurt. Except it's better. Meh. That's what I always say, but this time I only rewrote a few chapters, and revised others. I think you'll like it better. I certainly do. I have around ten chapters fully written. There will be twelve total plus the Pro and Epilogue. And, since I won't be here in the next week, don't be expecting an update in the next few days. I'll get it up when I come back from my vacation in Ohio. The prologue is pitifully short, but I could find almost no way to make it longer. Meh.
Just read and review. That is all I ask. It's very helpful to me.


Learning to Heal the Hurt Trilogy
Book I: Fire Red


From two shining orbs comes an eternal glow,
Foraged ‘neath the earth below.
When two ancient Pokemon raged on the earth,
This is how the orbs were birthed.

When fire erupted from under the ground,
And the sea’s waves were all around,
The fire dragon came from the earth’s core,
And the water monster from the ocean floor.

The two clashed in an ancient battle,
Fire and water made the earth rattle.
The wind raged, surrounding the two
Making the nightmares of all come true.

The fire dragon glowed with embers,
It was so bright that you would remember.
The water monster blew off a coal;
It flew in the air and landed in the shoal.

The small raindrop from the water monster flew,
It shinned and simmered with a sapphire hue.
The fire dragon blew its hot breath
Which dried it out so it wasn’t wet.

The coal from the dragon and the drop from the monster,
Turned to two stones, that were even harder.
They laid to rest in the shoal and the shore,
Hoping, just hoping that there was more.

Finally, the two ancient Pokemon left.
They fell to their homes for an eternal rest.
And as for the orbs they still hope and pray
For the time when someone finds them, since that fateful day.
* * *​
Its time was nearing. Its time was so close that the creature was acutely aware of it like a dagger lodged deep in its chest. Oh, how it had waited in timeless agony for this day, reaching out its searching tendrils, hoping for a repeatedly denied success. Years, centuries, and even millennia had passed with no hope in sight for its wavering senses. Yet it had refused to give up time and time again, for it held on desperately to the knowledge that a time would eventually come when it would be released from its dreadful prison.

It could feel that day drawing nearer and nearer with each agonizingly slow second that passed. It would rise again; it would be whole in mind and body as it had been before that terrible separation, it vowed to itself day after day. It would all begin when one unimportant, unknowing human laid its hands upon a stone. When one oblivious mortal found a stone the inevitable chain of events would be set into full swing. It knew, deep in its black heart, that the time when it would rise again was drawing swiftly nearer…
* * *​
Who would have ever thought that my life could flip upside-down so quickly and unexpectedly? I mean, come on, I, Talia O’Connel, was thirteen and feeling like I was at the prime of my lifetime. I was an average kid living my average life in an almost -average home, and attending an average school. I had a mother but, unlike most kids, no father, and I was an only child. My father had died when I was a baby, leaving my mother a single parent to make her own way in life while raising and supporting me. I had to admit, she had done a pretty good job of it too.

I had friends, after school activities, and homework to take up most of my time. Like a normal kid I had the regular everyday troubles with grades and school, but nothing major ever came up; that is, except for the death of my only surviving relative, my Grandma. Even that wasn’t too tragic for me, as I hardly knew her anyway. She’d been suffering from the memory loss disease of Alzheimer’s for the last twenty years. You could say that I was an extremely sheltered kid who rarely ever encountered a harder task than choosing which outfit I was to wear each morning. Unknown to me, the years ahead would be the hardest, and most grueling I had ever known in my life. I didn’t know it then, but what was about to happen would change my easy life forever.


Lovable Narcissist
Ah, I remember this fic. It's a shame, because I only read the first three chapters and missed the majority of it because I got caught up in a bunch of things and eventually forgot about it. It's great that you're reposting it.

That wasn't a Prologue as much as it was an introduction, but it's all the same. A little short, but it was basically just a bit of background information on Talia. Anyways, I'll be waiting for chapter one, and I'll make sure I stick with this one this time around.


Member for 15 years
Ahh, I remember you, FloatingFlames, from when you reviewed my other posting of this fic. Believe me, the story gets a lot more interesting past chapter 3, so I'm glad you're deciding to stick with me this time. ~_^
I have a problem like that where I can't read a whole fic. I read the first chapter or so and then lose interest... V_V The only one I've actually managed to stick with is Raven: Emerald Fist, but I've been reading that since, well, I joined, and it's hard to stop now. Heh.

Yeah, I know what you mean by it being mostly background info. I like adding my 'prologueish thing' to the fic though because it kind of tells you a little info I'd like you to know. Its also a kind of teaser to make you want to read more. ~_^ Plus, I love the poem so, meh.


Ryano Ra

Verdant Vitality
I enjoyed the flashing background information of Talia, it brings a rather visual touch to it. I must say, Saya, I will definitely be a permanent reader of this story; I think you have great potential in your writing, and your improvement has shown perfectly. The poem was sweet, I wish I could write them myself. A nice Prologue overall; I plan to await for the first chapter, since I know it'll be quite good.


Member for 15 years
Ryano Ra said:
I enjoyed the flashing background information of Talia, it brings a rather visual touch to it. I must say, Saya, I will definitely be a permanent reader of this story; I think you have great potential in your writing, and your improvement has shown perfectly. The poem was sweet, I wish I could write them myself. A nice Prologue overall; I plan to await for the first chapter, since I know it'll be quite good.
*nods* Thankyou. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I must say, I'm always glad to get another permanent fan, as I've never really had them. I actually wrote the poem before I started the fic, but then I wanted to encorperate it into the fic somehow so I rewrote LTHTH and added it. It does fit with the story perfectly though.

Twilight Absol

Hmmm, Loved the prologue, always wanted to read your other one, but always felt that it was too long and couldn't get myself to read it. I like how you started, and you have a talent for grabbing readers' attention. I really look forward to the first chapter, can you pm me when it's up?


Member for 15 years
Twilight Absol said:
Hmmm, Loved the prologue, always wanted to read your other one, but always felt that it was too long and couldn't get myself to read it. I like how you started, and you have a talent for grabbing readers' attention. I really look forward to the first chapter, can you pm me when it's up?
~_^ thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I know what you mean about long fics. I can never get myself reading anything. I'm going to have to work on that. And, yes, I'll be sure to PM you right now, as I'm putting up the next chapter.

Alright, I've finally returned from my camp (it was really awesome!) and as I promised I'll post my next chapter. This chapter is also totally rewritten from the old version, so I hope oyu'll like it better. I really like my writing better nowadays.
Well, as I always say, I won't blab on for anyl onger, and all I ask before you read this is that you review. Reviews always inspire me to write more, so no reviews, means no chapter. Usually. I'm mean that way. ~_^
Well, I hope you'll enjoy my very reworked chapter 1!


Learning to Heal the Hurt: Fire Red
Chapter 1: The Hurt

It was all my fault.

‘No it isn’t’, other people tried telling me, ‘It was just an unfortunate accident. You had nothing to do with it’. I couldn’t listen to them. I knew there had to have been something I could’ve done to prevent this tragedy! Yet, unknowingly, I had done nothing to help the matter. It was because of one of my actions that this had happened, and I knew it too. Because of it my mother was dead, and there was nothing I could do about that. The accident had happened a full seven days ago, but the horrible images still refused to be banished from my mind, no matter how hard I tried, torturing my dreams. No one had been able to console and comfort me in the last week. I did not want pity; I wanted revenge.

Saturday, June 5th had started out as a wonderfully warm day, the temperature resting in the low eighties, and the sun caressing the world below with its soft, golden fingers. I had been standing in the small plot of grass I called a yard at the front of my house, fully enjoying the first day of summer vacation. School had let out only the previous day, and I was marveling at my newfound freedom.

Deri Kemp, one of my best friends, had set out on a Pokemon journey the hour school let out, with another of my friends, Reenie Amier. He had been planning this journey and departure with his parents for weeks, and was barely able to sit still on the last day of the school year. I couldn’t blame him. Pokemon training had been Deri’s passion for years. When we were younger, Reenie, Deri and I had spent hours planning out all the exciting adventures we’d have together when Deri turned thirteen, the minimum age requirement for a Pokemon trainer. Deri’s parents were forever complaining about the minimum age for Pokemon trainers. According to them the youngest you were allowed to start a Pokemon journey had been fifteen when they were kids, and the age had been rapidly decreasing ever since. ‘Before you know it’, Deri’s dad always told us, ‘we’ll have ten year olds rushing around Hoenn proclaiming they’re Pokemon trainers!’ We’d always scoffed at this.

Reenie and I had never shared Deri’s passion for Pokemon training, but we both loved adventure. So, we agreed to accompany him when he was old enough to start. Though, when the time came for Deri to actually leave, I found that my summer jobs, and weekly earnings, were a much-needed addition to my mother’s monthly wages. Money had been an issue in my household all my life, but never as severely as this. So, unable to leave my mother alone to fend for herself, I’d forced myself not to go with them, or join into Reenie and Deri’s constant planning sessions. It almost made me sad to think of my two best friends away on some exciting journey with out me. I knew, though, that my mother came first, and nothing could change that.

I lived in a small neighborhood directly outside of the busy streets of Sandar City, Hoenn. Sandar wasn’t a ridiculously large city, as Rustboro, Mossdeep, and Slateport were, but to me it was the largest group of buildings I’d ever seen stacked together in one place. Each house in my neighborhood stood barely two feet from its neighbor, with only a tiny plot of grass in the front and back of the place. Reenie lived only a few blocks to the north of me, and her yard was about three times the size of mine. Naturally, I’d spent most of my childhood romping with Reenie and her four brothers around their yard. Deri lived a little farther away, but could always reach us within a fifteen-minute bike ride that became shorter as the years passed and we grew up.

On that terrible day of June 5th, unknown to me, I’d left the front door of my house slightly ajar in my haste to get outside. That was when everything began to go wrong. After taking a few deep breaths of the fresh summer air, I’d turned around and begun to head back inside, where the air was cooler. Stepping inside I’d been just in time to catch the first glimpse of my mother coming down the steps to the foyer from the second story of our house. She had two huge baskets balanced precariously on her hips, one of laundry, one of other various household items.

“Oh, Talia!” She’d said, smiling at me as she began to descend the steps, “I have something for…” Those were the last words she ever spoke to me. From there, it all happened so fast that even now I barely can recall what happened. All I remember is the sharp yap of a Pokemon, and a brown blur rushing up the steps toward my mother’s feet. Before I had time to call out a warning she’d blundered right into the creature.

The harsh, guttural cries of a Pokemon rang out across the room, almost drowning out the surprised shout from my mother, before she tripped over the small, brown striped figure at her feet, and plummeted downward. The full baskets of clothing and inanimate objects prohibited her from catching herself on the wall or the banister. If she hadn’t been carrying the baskets, her life might’ve been saved.

With one last terrified shout, my mother tumbled headfirst down the stairway, entangled in the small Pokemon that had tripped her. The sickening crack of a human skull against hard tile resonated throughout the room, leaving only a deafening silence, broken by the pitiful cries of “Zig! Zigzagoon!” from the terrified Pokemon, in its wake. I stood there, utterly immobile, my limbs frozen in shock and numb terror. Aliana O’Connel lay in a twisted position, a position I was sure was unnatural for any normal human being. She wasn’t moving at all, her chestnut hair masking her face, and I couldn’t even tell if she was breathing or not. Clothing, towels and bed sheets, pens, paper, toys and loose change lay scattered all over the floor and stairs, debris from the baskets she’d been carrying when she fell.

I couldn’t move, could barely even breathe, as those horrible images kept playing and replaying themselves in my mind. I didn’t even know what condition she was in; if she was alive, seriously injured or…dead. The Zigzagoon struggled shakily to its feet, gazing terrorized at the scene around it. Snapping back to my senses I turned, screaming kicking, waving my arms madly, and chased the Pokemon from my house. It had injured my mother. I could not have it running around my house unhurt while my mother was not! Utterly exhausted, bone-weary and terror stricken, unable to do anything, I sank down onto my knees, and stared dumbly at nothing.

The shouts of my mother and the cries of the Pokemon must’ve carried out to the neighbor’s house, because the next thing I knew Judy Sullivan, my high school aged neighbor, had poked her head through the front door. A sharp gasp escaped her lips, and the next thing I knew people were rushing about, ordering me left and right. Barely minutes later an ambulance came roaring up to our front door, and carted my mother away in a balloon of light and roaring sound. I could not think, couldn’t even comprehend what had happened.

When Mrs. Amier, who had taken the time to come and be with me, to comfort me, though I would not respond to anything she said, gently took me aside and told me the horrifying news I fell into a vortex of my own world. I couldn’t think, couldn’t make contact with anyone outside myself. My mother, my caring beautiful mother had died. The fall had killed her. She’d felt no pain.

The next week passed in a whirling blur of faces, each paying their respects over my mother’s death, each attempting to comfort me. Behind that mask of caring and sorrow I could sense a relief, a kind of pity, that the orphan girl standing before them was not their own child. I hated them for that. The only ones who might’ve been able to comfort me in the week immediately following my mother’s death would’ve been Reenie and Deri, my best friends. They, alas, were away on a journey at the time. I didn’t even know if they knew about her death.

I could barely keep myself on my feet after my mother’s death. I could barely comprehend what was going on, and it was only later that I realized what had been happening during that week. The funeral processions were carried out, none of which I saw with my unseeing eyes, locked in my own world, and Aliana O’Connel was placed beneath the surface as her final destination in this life. Mrs. Amier, Mrs. Kemp and Deri’s younger sisters, Ruth and Yaliana, had taken full control of my life, my house and my belongings, reading through my mother’s will, with the help of a lawyer, and organizing the distribution of our tiny ‘fortune’. In all that time I didn’t help them. In all that time not one single tear fell from my eyes. I was in a complete state of shock.

This morning I’d stepped out of the Kemps house, without telling anybody where I was heading, as I didn’t even know myself, and began to walk. It didn’t take me long before I finally found myself standing in the sidewalk by my house, the place I had lived peacefully only a week before with my mother. I just stood there, dumbly staring up at the small gray-sided structure, torturing memories releasing themselves on my unprotected mind. As I’d stared up at the house I had this strange urge, this sudden need, for revenge. Though I knew it had been my fault my mother had died, and my life had changed forever, I wanted revenge on something. I wanted something to blame, beside myself, for this catastrophe that had befallen my family. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do anything. Someone had to pay.

My thoughts immediately flashed back to the terrible day, and that tiny streak of brown catapulting towards my mother’s descending figure; the shocked expression registering in her pretty face as she fell; the ugly cries of the Pokemon afterward, calling out in its pain beside my mother’s still figure. It had been the cause of my pain, and it would pay dearly. Not just that tiny, insignificant Zigzagoon, but also the whole species of Pokemon.

Anger began to seethe up into my mind, blotting out all other thought. Pokemon would pay for what they had done to me, for what they had done to my mother. I would make sure of that. Blinded by rage, I stumbled around to the side of my house, struggling to keep myself under control. I would leave this place, this place of misery and death. I couldn’t stay here any longer. I had to leave.

Grabbing my bicycle I wheeled it out onto the driveway, and, without even bothering to strap on my helmet, I took off, peddling as fast as I could onto the street. People milled about the sidewalk on the first sunny day of the summer, enjoying the sunshine with their friends or families. At least, I thought bitterly, they actually had families to enjoy it with. Bitterness and anger swelled inside me, powered with the recent wound over my mother’s death. I rode through the crowded city streets, heedless of the passersby milling around me, shouting at me to watch out or slow down. I didn’t listen to them, as I was lost too deep into my own problems.

Why did this have to happen to me? What had I ever done to deserve this? I had led a completely innocent life as far as I was concerned. I hadn’t done anything terribly wrong, but now my mother was mercilessly ripped from me! I wasn’t ready to lose her yet! I still needed her, relied on her for most of my needs! I was angry at the world, angry with everyone and everything, but most of all, I was angry with Pokemon. They had to pay.

I rode for what seemed like hours, the wind whipping my dusty brown hair around my face. I flew through the city of Sandar, Hoenn, the place I had lived all my life. Many people knew me here, but not many would care about my recent loss. The world was a vast, uncaring place. I would learn that the hard way in the weeks to come.

Only once I had reached the outskirts of Sandar City did I begin to tire out, my leg muscles beginning to feel the strain of riding for hours. The sun was high overhead by this time, blazing down on my lone figure. Fatigue began to take my sweat-laden body, and I slowly began to lessen my speed.

Without warning, my bike wheel struck a hump in the otherwise smooth cement of the road, totally taking me by surprise. Before I could do anything to stop myself I was flying over the handlebars of my bike, and sprawling onto the road. Pain erupted in my head and leg through my sudden tears, and I quickly scrabbled to my feet, tears streaming down my face. Surveying the damage done from the fall I found that my arms, face and legs were covered in tiny scrapes and blood. My knee was bleeding heavily.

Crying, I stumbled off the road, leaving my damaged bike behind, and made a break for the forest. I had to get out of here, had to get out of this cursed place I had lived in for years. My mother was dead, there was nothing left in life for me anymore. I was only one small, unimportant girl, left to the horrible cruelty of the world.

Stumbling a few more feet into the forest I fell to the ground, my whole body aching, and entirely exhausted. My tears suddenly began to fall faster, and harder than before. They quickly elevated into sobs, wracking my whole body with grief, anger and pain. I shook, letting myself cry. I hadn’t cried in the week since my mother’s death, but I couldn’t stop myself now. I needed to cry. My mother was gone forever, but I was out to get revenge.


Different than the first one. But definatley better.

another permanent fan, as I've never really had them

Ahem! *points to self* Am I not a pernament fan?

Well, how are you going to explain the change of Talia's plans later on regarding pokemon?


Member for 15 years
Ahem! *points to self* Am I not a pernament fan?
Sorry, Riaf. I remember you, but just wasn't thinking when I wrote that. Thankyou for reviewing. I really appreciate it alot! You;ll have to wait and see how I change Talia's plans. ~_^ Glad you liked it!

Twilight Absol

hmmm...Even moreso Interesting, I like this idea, how one could transformed into such a hateful person in such a quick amount of time, just by the loss of innocence. It is a great start from what I've seen, and the way you tell the story is different from most of the other authors on this board, and it's always to see some change once in awhile. Now that I have an idea where this fic leads to, I hope that you'll prove me wrong and surprise me. ;) As for the main character, I think that she's a very nice change, on that actually cares about her family other than those that just yell at their parents all day long complaining about the things that many would only posses in their dreams. Great job... and I dont think I've wrote something this long since school was out :p


Member for 15 years
Twilight Absol said:
hmmm...Even moreso Interesting, I like this idea, how one could transformed into such a hateful person in such a quick amount of time, just by the loss of innocence. It is a great start from what I've seen, and the way you tell the story is different from most of the other authors on this board, and it's always to see some change once in awhile. Now that I have an idea where this fic leads to, I hope that you'll prove me wrong and surprise me. ;) As for the main character, I think that she's a very nice change, on that actually cares about her family other than those that just yell at their parents all day long complaining about the things that many would only posses in their dreams. Great job... and I dont think I've wrote something this long since school was out :p
lol Thankyou for commenting once again Twilight Absol, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I think you might be surprised about where I'm taking this fic (if I ever do get it finished which I'm very close to doing) as most people end up surprised with what I do with my characters. As for my style of writing, and the family values I'm glad you enjoyed the change. I love my parents, so I can relate (minorly) to some of Talia's feelings, though none of my parents have died, and I have oodles of relatives unlike poor Talia. ~_^
Well, thankyou for the encouragement, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy my fanfiction!



Member for 15 years
Thank you once again to those of you who reviewed, and gave me encouragement on my writing. I decided to post chapter two now, as I have nothing else to do, so I hope you'll enjoy it. Many people say this is one of my best chapters, though I disagree, bit I hope you'll like it anyway. XD
Please review, as your comments are always welcomed and readily accepted. I always love hearing how I could improve my writing.


Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 2: Fire Red​

It was well past the midnight hour when I stumbled blindly over a group of large, strong vines hanging tauntingly from a nearby maple. I cursed, balancing myself crazily on one foot as I clumsily attempted to free my other foot. As soon as my foot was free, I set it down and began moving into the dark trees again. Promptly, I tripped over a fallen log thrown stubbornly in my path. Letting forth a stream of violent curses (most of which my mother certainly would not approve of) I glared down at the mucky damp floor of the forest, which was now about two inches away from my face. The deep earthy smell of the rotting leaves and undergrowth filled my nose along with the clean smell of damp soil. I pulled myself to my aching feet, and proceeded to wipe the worst of the mud off my clothing and icy hands before plowing on again into the darkness of the night.

If you’ve ever been out alone in the middle of the night, even if it’s in your own backyard, it’s usually a little freaky. I’m not the kind of person who scares easily, but the darkness of the woods was beginning to get to my brain so much that I jumped at every little sound. I plowed on attempting to ignore the stories flashing through my head about people who were caught in the forest at the…

I jumped and froze, my heart pounding so loudly in my ears I could have sworn the people in Kanto, the farthest region from Hoenn, could hear it. I had heard a noise somewhere over in the trees off to my left. It was nothing, absolutely nothing; just my imagination running away with me, I tried soothing my terrorized mind over and over. I couldn’t believe myself. I just have to keep on moving, I told myself, it was nothing. I forced my stiff leg to take another step forward, planting my foot firmly in the soft earth beneath me before picking the other one up and moving it past the first. One leg, then the other, one leg, then the other, one leg, and then the other…

This went on for sometime, allowing my mind to stay firmly attentive only to what I was doing so that it didn’t stray to other things, other things that would leave me both immobilized and defenseless, or emotion stricken and irrational. Finally, I was able to calm my frazzled nerves and move easily without freezing up every time a twig snapped or a leaf fell.

I was stupid, I realized as I continued my never-ending trek through the forest, leaving home like that with nothing but the clothes on my back. I mean, I was out here in the wilderness all alone in the dead of night, totally defenseless with not even a measly knife to protect me, not that a knife would have done me much good anyway. I had no food or water to survive on, and I hadn’t eaten anything since early this morning. Worst of all I was tired and hungry, as my stomach now informed me, with the night’s chill just beginning to settle deep into my very bones.

I was out here for a reason, I reminded myself, and that reason was cold hard revenge. Revenge for the cruel, heartless deed of my mother’s death. I felt my eyes begin to darken with a red mist, and my body grow colder than any chilling wind could make it as the rational part of my mind began to slip. I pushed my rage down into a deep corner of my mind to let it simmer and grow for later. Right now if I let my emotions take hold of me I would surely get hurt. There were wild creatures out in the night, searching for easy defenseless prey, like myself, to wander straight in to their waiting hands.

What was that! This time it wasn’t a suspicious sound that stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought I had seen a bit of red flashing somewhere over in the corner of my eye. Staying deathly still, I waited for it to appear again so that I would know I hadn’t dreamed it up. There it was again! I whipped my head around, dark brown hair flying out behind me, blue eyes searching.

And again! This time the bright red glint flashed somewhere under the forest bracken over to my left. I slowly pivoted my body, and cautiously began to inch my way over towards the spot; you never knew if a wild creature was out there ready to jump you. I slowly reached the spot where I had seen the red flash, and quickly dropped to my hands and knees. The forest floor was muddy and wet, quickly soaking through my rugged and torn jeans to dampen my half frozen knees. I dug my hands deep into the cold, muddy mess of rotting leaves, soil and who knows what else (probably some creatures dung, with my luck), cursing and shivering in distaste as my fingers immediately went numb from the sudden shock of the cold surrounding them.

I began clearing the rotting muck away from the spot I had seen the flash of red, hoping to once again catch a glimpse of it. To my relief it appeared again only a little off to my left. I immediately was off after it, quickly clearing away what I could of the forest debris. I very soon encountered the object of my pains as my groping hand came into contact with something hard. Closing my hand slowly around it, I noted its round, smooth texture, and almost dropped it again as a strange, buzzing warmth filled me, beginning at the hand that held the small object, definitely a stone, and spreading onwards, through my body, sending feeling back into my fingers, arms and legs.

I yanked the stone up close to my face so I could examine it better in the darkness. It was a small, smooth stone that pulsed slightly with a strange rhythm as I held it, synchronizing with the beating of my heart. It was brilliant fire red in color, and had a glassily smooth texture as if it had been in water for a very long time. As I stared at the stone it filled me with a strange sense of power, like nothing I had ever felt before. I stared at it a second or two longer before slipping it into my left pocket for safekeeping. This was a special stone; that I knew. I was definitely keeping it.

Wearily, I trudged on through the forest for the next hour or so, never stopping to rest my forever aching bones or my eyes whose lids began to droop every couple of minutes, because I knew that if I did I would fall asleep and wouldn’t have the strength to go on. I tried to ignore the constant gnawing of hunger pains in the pit of my stomach; I just had to keep moving. I knew I couldn’t eat just any fruit that showed itself to me, it had a possibility of being poisonous, same with roots. I kept moving.

Some hours before dawn my exhausted body stumbled wearily into a small, overgrown clearing only a few yards across. There I collapsed into a heap on the ground, too exhausted to go on. I didn’t even notice a branch poking me uncomfortably in the side; I was too tired. My eyelids began to droop and finally to shut as I was thrown deep into the dark, soothing pit of sleep.

A noise startled me into wakefulness. I jerked roughly up into a sitting position, wincing as the branch that had been poking into my side the whole time I lay asleep, yanked free. I kicked the branch out of my way, and surveyed the area. It was still dark, perhaps only an hour or so had passed since I’d fallen asleep. The wind was rustling softly through the leaves of the trees surrounding the clearing, sending cold shivers through my weary body as I stared out into the pitch darkness. The night was a clear one, millions of stars softly dotting the dark sky, and the waxing sliver of a moon casting barely enough light for me to see my hand if I stuck it in front of my face. The wind wasn’t the sound I’d heard though. I glanced quickly around me, my blue eyes searching, attempting to penetrate the almost pitch-blackness, and failing miserably.

Wait, what was that? My eyes had detected a small movement that wasn’t just the natural swaying of trees in the wind, somewhere over to my right. I turned my head slowly in the direction I’d seen the movement coming from, and squinted, my eyes barely penetrating the darkness.

Then I saw it. I was a small Po… creature… very teddy bear like with a faintly glowing outline of a crescent moon on its forehead. It appeared to be eating something…happily. I felt the rage I had built up earlier in the night begin to surface, filling my once calm mind with murderous and irrational thoughts and suggestions about what I could do. I could not let this thing be happy and eat while I was wallowing in despair and staving!

I jumped to my feet, tottering momentarily as my over used leg muscles protested, but soon regained my balance. I glared daggers into the small thing’s back, thrusting my hand into my left pocket, feeling around for the stone I had picked up earlier in the night. I didn’t care if the stone was somehow ‘special’; all that mattered was hurting the creature just as badly as it had hurt me! I yelped in pain as my hand came into contact with the red stone, jarring my concentration on my rage momentarily. I yanked my hand from my pocket and quickly thrust my burned fingers into my mouth. The stone had been burning hot, just like my anger was. What had caused the stone to turn so warm? Surely not the heat from my body! I wasn’t that warm!

Attempting to curse around my hand, I stooped down and grabbed the first thing that met my groping fingers: a stone. The stone was lumpy, rough and disfigured, perfect for my aims. Using my right arm I launched the lump of rock at the creature, hoping desperately that it wouldn’t miss. Deri always said I had a killer arm, which probably came from pitching for my softball team six years in a row. My stone struck its mark, point blank, right on the thing’s chubby shoulder. The creature just sat there and blinked at me, looking thoroughly stunned, an apple halfway to its small pink mouth. Then it began to wail, shattering the peaceful night silence like a gunshot. “Tedi! Tediursa! Tedi!” It shrieked in a high squeaky voice, tears beginning to form in its small black orbs.

I smirked and sauntered slowly over to it, holding myself high, and neatly plucked the green apple from its tiny paw. I winced as I bit into the apple; the baby creature’s wails were growing to a deafening crescendo.

“Shut up,” I said off handedly to it as I began to walk away, quite happy with the damage I’d done.

“Tediursa! Ursa! Tediursa!”

“What a baby,” I smirked as I chewed my latest bite of apple, my mouth and stomach enthusiastically welcoming the crunchy deliciousness. “Can’t even take getting tapped with a stone with out crying.” I turned away from it; a goofy smirk glued to my face, and began to saunter in the direction of the forest, enjoying myself for the first time in what seemed like months.

I froze. Something was wrong. The Tediursa’s cries had suddenly ceased. Oh no, I told myself, don’t tell me... A terrible guttural growling could be heard not far behind my still form. Whatever it was it didn’t sound friendly. I jerked myself quickly around hoping to catch a glimpse of the creature making that unearthly sound.

My eyes popped wide open, and the half eaten apple dropped from my now badly trembling hand as my eyes came to rest on the creature standing behind me. Terror took complete hold of my body, all the saliva in my mouth drying in an instant, for behind me stood a large, hulking monster no less than eight feet in height. I, at 5’3, only reached the top of the yellow ring that tattooed its large hairy chest and belly. It was glaring and growling at me, barring its sharp white teeth in a way I did not interpret as friendly. Behind this large bear stood the small Tediursa I had struck with the stone, a large swelling protruding from its small skull, grinning at me in triumph. I glanced back up at the bear. This had to be the Tediursa’s parent, a fully-grown Ursaring, and from the way it was looking at me I knew it wasn’t here for a polite conversation.

Terror had totally overtaken my body. I was defenseless. My left hand strayed into my pocket to touch the Fire Red stone, as I had now dubbed it, as if a reflex. It was a biting cold, so freezing that it numbed my fingers instantly at the touch.

I starred up at the angry bear, my eyes filled with fear. I could feel myself trembling, shaking uncontrollably at what faced me. I tried to will my legs to move, but my body would not obey. My eyes locked with the Ursaring’s dark black ones, burning with an immense fire of rage. I searched my mind desperately for anything I knew about Ursaring and their habits. They were very protective of their young, and if I wasn’t confusing my Ursaring information with my Illumise information like I usually did (don’t ask) I was pretty sure that if anything hurt their young they would stop at nothing to get revenge. This was not good for me, not at all.

Then it hit me. An idea not the bear! The Ursaring, as much as I disliked it, was like me. I was out for revenge on Pokemon for the death of my mother; the bear wanted revenge on me for hurting its child. There was still no way I could console this angry parent from attacking.

I felt a flare of mind numbing pain jump from the pocket that held the Fire Red stone, freezing my thigh instantly. I stared down at my pocket to find it encrusted in small ruby red ice crystals. Still wandering at the strange red stone I reached out a trembling finger to brush the ice. I yelped. The ice was burning cold, so cold that it felt hot. It didn’t melt at my touch either, like normal ice would. That shock was enough to get me, and the bear, moving. I turned and fled, running blindly away from the clearing into the dark of night. I heard a loud, angry roar shatter the silence behind me, and the heavy pounding of large, padded paws on the soft earth. The bear was pursuing me. I was going to die.

I ran, sprinting past low hanging vines of all variations, thick, thin, green, brown; past fallen trees and branches bursting with fungus and small life. I ran past trees, large ancient oaks to young, healthy cedars. I ran past shrubs and bushes, large and small. I flung myself wildly into to the night, flying over ruts and dips in the land, over logs and bushes, anything that lay in my path. Still the bear pursued me, screaming its rage in long, low, terrifying growls and roars, a constant reminder of why I was running in the first place.

A few minutes passed in what seemed like hours to my terrorized mind. My breath began to come in short, ragged gasps, my head began to swim in dizziness with the lack of air. Still the bear was coming, roaring crazily in pursuit. The Fire Red stone in my pocket sent me constant flares of freezing cold pain, urging my already exhausted leg muscles into motion, forbidding them to stop. The only thing that gave me the strength to move at all was the pure cold terror that reigned in my mind. If the Ursaring caught up to me I would be…no! I didn’t want to think about it! I pushed on.

My hurt leg, which had been savagely cut from my fall off my bike, was throbbing painfully, begging me to stop putting it through this dreadful agony. I winced and placed the pain at the back of my mind. If I concentrated on anything other than escaping I would surely be caught and… I was not going to allow myself to think about that!

A rowan tree threw itself in front of my tearing path. I threw myself quickly to the side and dodged around it, almost tripping on the log sprawled right next to it. To trip would have been the end. I could hear the Ursaring behind me, charging steadily, its heavy clawed feet pounding loudly on the soft forest floor, crushing dead leaves and bark as it ran. I dared not look back. If I did I would probably trip and then it would be all over; Talia O’Connel would be no more. Who cared one tiny bit about Talia O’Connel anyway?

My heart was hammering madly in my chest, and my lungs gasped desperately for air. Lactic acid was building up in my legs and arms, turning every little movement into a complete agony. Even if I had been on the track team at school I had never been forced to run like this.

Swiftly, I ducked a low, thick branch that appeared right at eye level, and then agilely leaped down a short half foot drop, and continued on, mind racing horribly in fear. I heard a loud thwack! and then an angry growl from the bear followed by a sharp crack! of breaking wood. The Ursaring had run into the low branch I’d ducked, snapping it clean off. It would have struck me as funny had I been under normal circumstances, but now I just thanked my lucky stars that I’d been given a chance to live.

I risked a glance behind me. Just as I thought the bear had struck the branch. It now stood, only a mere five yards behind me, tearing the branch to pieces, allowing me to put a much needed distance between us. All of a sudden I felt my left foot catch in something, and then my both my feet were ripped out from under me. I felt myself fly forward, and then pain. It exploded in my head like a firecracker. My vision was blurred as yellow and white lights flashed before my unseeing eyes. My head had struck a tree opening a gash in my forehead. Then the headache hit. It came as a roaring, agonizing pain that flooded my mind, knocking out all sense of time and space, sending me reeling into almost total blackness. Even through the pain I remembered why I was running, and jerked my head around, wincing at the sudden movement, to stare in the direction the bear had been chasing me from.

Pure cold terror filled my mind, swamping even the pain of my run in with the tree trunk. The Ursaring was still coming, a new light of triumph sparking in the depths of its fiery rage filled eyes. It knew I was down and wasn’t getting up. Now it was only five yards from me, so close that I could smell its awful scent, so close that I could see its unbearably sharp white teeth glinting in the scant moonlight. When the bear got through with me I would be nothing more than a corpse, barely recognizable from my goring. Not a pretty picture.

I tried, in one last desperate attempt to stand up, but then realized that my foot was hopelessly caught in a tangle of roots at the base of the old oak I had smashed against. All hope was lost. I glanced up at the bear. It was only a mere six yards away and rapidly closing in.

Five yards...

Three yards...

Two yards…

One yard. I closed my eyes tightly, hoping that it would kill me quickly, and that it wouldn’t be too painful. All of a sudden I felt an intense heat begin to grow in my pocket, and flare into a burning inferno, a vast change from the freezing temperature it had held all through out the chase. I barely noticed it as I steeled myself for the pain that was going to come. I waited one second, then two. When nothing happened I peeked, confused, from one eye.

What I saw caused my eyes to fly open in amazement. A fiery red barrier of light surrounded me, warming my chilled bones. On the outside of the barrier stood the Ursaring, snarling in fury as it threw itself again and again at the red light, which appeared to be… solid?

I glanced down at my pocket to find that it was glowing bright red, so bright that it left spots before my eyes when I looked away. Somehow the Fire Red stone had made this protective barrier, shielding me from what was almost certain death.

The Ursaring threw itself at the barrier for another full minute before growling one last time in rage and defeat, and turning off to disappear into the forest. I just sat and stared, shaking violently from fear and exhaustion, watching the red light slowly fade away, soon exposing me to the outside world.

Finally the night began to catch up on me. I hadn’t slept in what seemed like days, and with all the running I’d done it was a wonder I had been able to stay awake this long. I tugged at my foot for a few minutes, attempting to get it unstuck and failing miserably. Too exhausted to go on I shifted my position a few times, trying to arrange myself comfortably. Finally, choosing a position I liked, my eyelids began to droop lower and lower, and finally closed all the way. I was immediately plunged into the comforting darkness of sleep.
* * *​
It was burning hot. My skin felt like it was on fire. Steam was rising around me in wisps, like smoke, and I could see that I was on a small ledge sticking far out over a vast deep pit. Searing heat was radiating from it, and a bright red glow was cast from far, far below.

I started creeping carefully towards the pit, attempting to see what was making that horrible red glow. I reached the edge of the ledge, and peered cautiously over. Horrified, I stared incredulously at what I was seeing. The pit was full of red-hot lava. I backed quickly away from the edge until my back bumped against the steep rock cliff behind me. I looked up the large cliff; it was tall and sheer, no way that I could climb up it. I was trapped. I glanced frantically around me for a way out, but there was none that I could see.

All of a sudden the ground beneath my feet started shaking: an earthquake! The end of the ledge began dropping away making the small space I had even smaller. My mind was reeling with terror. It was then that I saw it.

It came out of the fire like an underwater mountain coming out of the sea. Hot lava was pouring off its back, and it towered ten times my height. It was red, the same color as the stone I now carried in my pocket, and it appeared to be like a mythical Pokemon that had jumped out of the pages of one of my old storybooks. A dangerous glint was in its golden eye.

I stared at the great creature hoping it wouldn’t see me. Somewhere I had seen this mythical beast before, somewhere that I couldn’t recall. It turned its dangerous eye towards me, and I knew with terrible clarity that I had been spotted. It started making a long slow move toward me, its large arms clawing. I squeaked and began backing up frantically toward the wall behind me, hoping to somehow avoid it’s clawing grasp. It hit my ledge, crumbling it into nothing.

I fell, fell towards the lava. I could feel its intense heat hitting my sweating body. My head was reeling: I was going to die! As I fell one last word flashed through my terrified mind: Groudon.



Spelled it wrong.

Well, this was my favorite chapter. I loved the Ringuma chase with Talia and how she barely survived. Only I wish you went more in detail about Groudon. Describing the lines and spikes would have satisifed me.


Member for 15 years
Thanks for pointing that out Riaf. I'll be sure to change it. I'm glad you enjoyed it (even though you've had to suffer through it three times...). About the Groudon scene, I kind of wanted ot keep it vague for now. Later I might go into more detail.

Thanks again!


Ryano Ra

Verdant Vitality
Both chapters were enlightening. I just love Talia, she's a person who is unique, and I love unique characters. I must say, this time around, you are improving in the quality and descriptions in your chapters. I am truly sorry for the short review, but as I said before, they were enlightening. Great job, and good luck with the next chapter.



Soul Trainer
So is she connected to Groudon somehow? I thought a Shuppet would appear and protect her because a Shuppet would appear when someone felt extreme rage towards something or someone.


Member for 15 years
Serpent Syra said:
Both chapters were enlightening. I just love Talia, she's a person who is unique, and I love unique characters. I must say, this time around, you are improving in the quality and descriptions in your chapters. I am truly sorry for the short review, but as I said before, they were enlightening. Great job, and good luck with the next chapter.

Thanks Syra, for reviewing again! I've always loved Talia too, as she was one of the only characters I've really ever made that I've grown attatched too. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and think my description is improving. I think so too, and hope it will continue to. I don't mind the short review as long as you say at least a little something. :p I like to know who's reading even if they aren't inclined to give me a review. Thanks again!

legendaryrider said:
So is she connected to Groudon somehow? I thought a Shuppet would appear and protect her because a Shuppet would appear when someone felt extreme rage towards something or someone.
You'll just have to wait and see how Groudon ties into this. It becomes more apparent as the fic wares on, so you'll see it eventually. You know, I've never heard that about Shuppet. Maybe I don't research my Pokemon too well or something. Ah, well. It's a good piece of info to keep in mind. Thanks legendaryrider for the review!



Soul Trainer
your welcome.i will give you the pokedex says sapphire's is "Shuppet grows by feeding on dark emotions such as vengefulness and envy in the heart of people. it roams through cities in search of grudes, that taint people. heres ruby's "Shuppet is attracted by feelings of jealousy and vindictiveness(SP). if someone develops strong feelings of vengeance, this pokemon will appear in a swarm and line up beneath the eaves of that person's home.


Member for 15 years
legendaryrider said:
your welcome.i will give you the pokedex says sapphire's is "Shuppet grows by feeding on dark emotions such as vengefulness and envy in the heart of people. it roams through cities in search of grudes, that taint people. heres ruby's "Shuppet is attracted by feelings of jealousy and vindictiveness(SP). if someone develops strong feelings of vengeance, this pokemon will appear in a swarm and line up beneath the eaves of that person's home.
Hmmm...this is a good bit of info. I'll keep that in mind and maybe incorperate it into my fic if I get so inclined to do so. Thanks!



Member for 15 years
Well, thanks to all you people who gave me reviews and your input on my fic. If you didn't, but are still reading I encourage you to continue. As I promised, I have the next chapter here for you. It is definately one of my chapters with lesser action in it, but I enjoy it all the same. It seems I'm getting into a pattern of adding a new chapter every five days so I think that's what I'll stick with from now on. Well, I guess I'll stop blabbering my head off so you guys can actually read the chapter! :D
Please, if you are reading the only thing I ask of you is that you review. You only have to do it once if you wish, but I do like to know who's reading!


Learning to Heal the Hurt
Chapter 3: Of Sticks, Stories and Healing​

I jerked bolt upright, my clear blue eyes flying wide open. I was cold, my body and clothes soaked with sweat. The blankets that covered me were wet too. That dream! It was terrifying yet I had this feeling that it was somehow important. It was trying to tell me something, I was sure of it, but what? I had never had a dream, a nightmare really, that seemed so vivid; so real. All my dreams were a series of pointless events that shifted and merged into each other throughout the night. They never made sense like that, never. What did it all mean? And why the heck did I have blankets? The last thing I remembered was collapsing, with my foot caught in roots, into a deep sleep after escaping the angry parent Ursaring’s wrath. Unless I had missed something here I was pretty sure I hadn’t moved at all, but I had.

I glanced wearily around me, groaning as my sore muscles and bones protested. I was in the center a large clearing surrounded by the forest I had recently been traveling through. The clearing was filled with long wild grasses that swayed slowly in the soft, comfortable breeze, with artfully colored wild flowers dotting the landscape. Around these flowers many bug pokemon, such as Yanma, Beautifly, and Butterfry flitted joyously, showing off their beautiful colors, vainly, to the world. Rattata, Zigzagoon and Wurmple ran through the tall grasses, darting wildly to and fro. Various bird Pokemon such as Pidgey, Spearrow, Taillow and occasionally their evolved forms called loudly to each other across the great expanse of field. The sky was a shining sapphire blue, and it appeared to be early morning by the position of the sun shining brightly in the sky. It was all very beautiful; except for the Pokemon of course. I glanced down. I was rapped in twisted, sweat soaked sheets, lying on the ground under a tree that I was pretty sure I had never seen before.

“Hey! The One-Who-Sleeps-For-Two-Days-and-Nights had finally awoken!” A cheerful female voice greeted my ears. I knew that voice very well, and its presence surprised me.

“Reenie?” I asked in surprise as I jerked my head around to stare at my best friend. Reenie’s sparkling green eyes met mine as I looked at her, the glint of mischief that was always there as bright as ever. Her mouse brown hair was pulled back in a quick ponytail and fastened with a hair tie at the nape of her neck. Her dark green T-shirt and jean shorts rippled softly in the breeze.

“The one and only!” The 13-year old answered approaching me with a ready smile. Reenie always smiled.

“I’m here too!” Another voice piped up as the owner came to stand beside Reenie.

“Deri!” I exclaimed, even more surprised to see my shy, quiet other best friend than I was to see the out going Reenie. Deri smiled and shrugged. Deri was definitely the brains of our trio, always able to figure things out that Reenie and I, with our more limited knowledge, couldn’t.

“Why are you guys here?” I asked incredulously. “The last I heard you were traipsing around the country side, heading for Rustboro.”

“What happened to you?” Reenie returned, grinning.

I sighed. “It’s kinda a long story,” I said doubtfully, not exactly thrilled at the prospect of having to relate my whole tale to them, and relive the pain I had felt.

“S’all right,” Deri intervened. “We were just about to have breakfast anyway. You can tell us then.”

“Oh, and don’t go back to sleep,” Reenie warned.

“Why?” I asked, confused. Reenie was the kind of person who had the strangest ideas that just about nobody would think of.

“You’ve had too much of it.” She grinned, a mischievous glint flooding her eyes.

“Too much of it…?” I mumbled, my half asleep mind stumbling to think. “Wait! How long was I asleep anyway?”

Reenie’s grin spread. “You are Rip Van Winkle. You slept for twenty years.”

“Twenty ye… Reenie!” I cried, eyes blazing. “You’re teasing me!” I accused.

“Just ignore her,” Deri put in, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips, “You slept for two days but even that is a lot.”

“Two days!” I cried, my eyes flying wide open. “When did you guys find me anyway?” If my calculations were correct I might have slept for more than two days.

“Um, two days ago,” Deri answered as Reenie burst forth in a fit of crazy giggles.

I sighed, and shook my head. Of course they wouldn’t know what day I had left, or what day the Ursaring had chased me. So, maybe it was only three days since I’d left Sandar in a hurry. Two days. That was a long time to sleep. I hadn’t even known I could sleep for that long! “I’ll get up.” I said, directing my statement at Deri as Reenie was still giggling madly.

“I’ll get you some breakfast too and…um.” He shot a glance at the hysterical Reenie.

“Just try to get that giggling moron calmed down,” I said, a small smile escaping my lips.

Deri nodded, and quickly turned to grab Reenie on the arm. He hauled the giggling girl up, and began to retreat back to the campfire, lecturing my friend as he went.

I groaned and rubbed my aching head, wincing as my hand came into contact with an open gash on my forehead; dried blood flaked off at my touch. It was the out come of my run in with oak tree from…two, maybe three, days ago. My head hurt, and it felt like a thousand drums were pounding unyieldingly in my brain. I threw off the wet, freezing sheets and staggered to my feet, only to collapse again as my weight fell on my left leg. It buckled instantly, searing pain shooting through it, as I fell hard on my rump. I yelped and glared down at my leg. My left ankle had swollen to almost double its size, and my knee was caked in dry blood. I grimaced. Man was it ugly, and gosh it hurt like hell!

I glanced around me for a stick or something to lean on, in hopes that I wouldn’t have to crawl over to Reenie and Deri looking like a helpless, sick dog! Lucky for me there was a long, pole like stick off to my left. It looked to be about five feet in height, and strong enough to support my weight. I leaned forward, and reached out a hand to grab it, wincing yet again as some of my weight fell on my left leg. My fingers were just short of my prize.

All of a sudden I felt tingling warmth, beginning at my pocket, and spreading up to meet my hand. As soon as the warmth reached my fingers it began to glow in a bright fire red light. The branch that my outstretched hand was almost touching began to twitch and jerk. I stared in a shock and wonder as right before my eyes the branch flew up off the ground, and straight into my outstretched palm. As soon as my fingers closed around the branch securely the red light engulfed the stick totally, almost blinding me with pure red brilliance. I blinked and looked away; the light was too bright to look at. As soon as I felt the warmth begin to die in my hand I cracked open my eyes, and turned my face back to stare at the smooth wooden pole that I now held in my trembling hand.

The branch bore little to no resemblance to what it had once been. It was now a tall, smooth pole of white, bark-stripped wood; smooth, with no knot holes or cracks running along its surface. It was capped with a large piece of white wood, about as large around as my fist. I stared at it, trembling slightly. What was going on here? Things had just gotten weirder and weirder since I had found the Fire Red stone only a few days ago. I shook my head, wet my parched lips with my even dryer tongue and stood up, leaning most of my weight on the stick. Lucky for me it didn’t give way beneath my weight.

I nearly dropped it again in shock. Things were just too weird. The stick was humming with power; flashes of red lightning danced across its surface every couple of seconds. I just stared at it, wide eyed.

“You coming or not, Talia?” Reenie called from over at the campfire, jerking me out of my gaping stare.

“I’m coming.” I called back shakily, keeping a wary eye on the stick. I hobbled over to the fire, and sat myself down, wincing slightly as I did so, brooding over the strange sight I had just witnessed. Things were way, way too weird.

A sharp bark interrupted my reverie. I froze, and slowly raised my gaze from where I was staring at the ground. I could have sworn I had heard the bark of a Pokemon. My eyes did a quick sweep of the area, and, sure enough, my eyes came to rest on a small, gray dog-like creature. It stood about half a meter off the ground at the tips of its ears, and it sported sharp fangs in its small, pink mouth. Even with those killers, it was still a baby, and couldn’t hurt me. I felt the rage begin to boil up with inside me, as I glared at the tiny thing. It had been smiling at me before, but, seeing my gaze, it began to whimper and cower toward Deri. That’s when it hit me. Deri was a Pokemon trainer now. He trained those murderous creatures that killed my mother. This Pokemon was his.

A sudden flash of bright, white light snapped me out of my glare. The Poochyena was quickly engulfed in the flash, and disappeared in the next instant. I glanced up sharply at Deri. He was staring at me, a scared expression on his face. He was gripping the Pokeball close to his chest, protectively. Our eyes locked, and for a minute it was a battle of wills, me versus Deri. Finally, unable to stand it, I looked away, and fell silent once more.

“Nice stick.” Deri commented sometime later, apparently over his initial scare. He was stirring something, stew I think, that hung in a pot over the fire, with a plastic ladle. The aroma wafting from it was blessed. “Where’d you get it? It wasn’t with you when we brought you here. It looks hand crafted.”

I sighed and glared crossly at the staff as it rested lightly at my side. “I found it over by the tree I slept under.” I said truthfully. “I, uh…”

“Tal!” Deri cried, cutting me off in mid sentence. His worried gaze rested on my left leg. “You absolutely cannot be running around on that!” Just like Deri; always the doctor. I suppose it came from being a doctor’s son.

“Well it kinda hurts.” I admitted, rubbing my leg, and wincing as a sharp pain shot through it.

Deri sighed. “Reenie!”

“Yah?” The girl answered, her eyes still riveted on my hurt leg, wide with shock and pity.

“Get a bucket of water and boil it!” Deri ordered, reminding me of how thirsty I was which led me to thinking about how hungry I was, which led me to thinking about how tired I was: two days of sleep left me exhausted.

“While you’re at it, get me something to drink!” I called after Reenie. Just as I was about to order Deri to get me some food he cut me off.

“You. Stay put. No walking on that leg you understand?” His tone was menacing as he pointed at me. When Deri spoke like that there was no crossing him.

“But…” I complained, straightening abruptly.

“No buts. We are going to fix that leg whether you like it or not.” Deri had a look of determination on his face. When Deri was determined to do something, he did it. Nothing could stand in his path.

I had a vague memory of a cup of fresh water being lifted to me dry and parched lips, and a cool, refreshing liquid running down my throat some time later. But I, even having just awoken from a two day sleep was tired, so tired it surprised me. Only a few moments after the cup was taken from my lips I collapsed into a heap, asleep before my head hit the ground.
* * *​
For the next three days our lives followed the same monotonous schedule, day in and day out. I would sometimes stay awake the whole day, staring off into space, thinking, always thinking, about how I had become stuck here in this place, my leg too battered for me to walk; all because of Pokemon and their stupid, idiotic ways. Sometimes I’d keep jumping in and out of sleep for a whole day and night. Sometimes Reenie, Deri and I would talk for hours upon hours upon various subjects; but then sometimes we would just sit in silence for hours too. Somehow I always managed to skirt around my friends’ questions about what had happened to me between the time they’d left me till now. I didn’t ask them how they came to be here either for I was sure that that would eventually lead them to asking about my story which I wasn’t quite ready to tell. Deri never let his Poochyena out in my sight again. I could tell I’d scared him the first day I’d woken up. I think they must have somehow gotten word from Mrs. Kemp, too, about my mother’s death. At least they had the decency to not ask about it. If they did I would definitely go off into another rage.

All the while my leg continued to heal under Deri’s attentive care. Deri said I’d always have a scar on my knee from where I’d struck the rock. My head wound was healing too, leaving tender, pink scar tissue where the once open wound had been. It had given me fierce headaches for the first day or so though.

For some strange reason the stick that had been created by something I totally didn’t understand, had been at my side day and night. I had become strangely attached to it, and the Fire Red stone, gripping it frequently to feel the soothing buzz of power fizz through my body. The Fire Red stone was useful to me too because whenever I was cold all I had to do was touch it, and it would instantly send comforting waves of warmth through my body. What could I say to that? I really liked it!

Sometimes Reenie and Deri would retreat across the camp and sit, talking animatedly in harsh whispers glancing over at me frequently. I think they thought I didn’t see them, but I did. Our lives went on like this for three days; eat, talk, sleep; eat, talk, sleep; eat, talk sleep… By the fourth day my leg was almost fully healed. I would be able to travel again, and continue my long journey for revenge.
* * *​
I awoke, sometime early on the fourth day, to the soft pattering of a quiet rain splashing my face. The droplets of water rocketed down from the sky to strike my skin and break, trailing down my dirty flesh to leave wet trickles in their wake. I sat slowly up, shivering from the cold as a wave of freezing air washed over my very drenched self, and gazed sullenly around. It was still daytime, judging from the amount of light in the air, but a thick, gray layer of clouds covered the once clear blue sky. The field that had once been so full of life before was almost completely empty with only the wildflowers daring to show their faces and enthusiastically greet the rain.

Everything else was gone from the field, turned a dull gray with the absence of light. I was soaking wet, my dark hair turned almost black by the rain. My clothes were full and unbearably heavy with the wet liquid of which I almost never wanted to see again. It was the same liquid I had so desperately craved for only a few days previous.

The white bandage on my leg, Reenie and Deri had changed it daily to care for my knee and ankle, was full, turned a slight yellowish color from the water and dirt soaked into it. My leg did feel extremely improved from the last time I’d seen it though.

I was still seated by the campfire, or what had once been the campfire (the rain had totally doused it). My left hand automatically groped down to my side. I was rewarded when my hand struck wood and a faint thrum of power buzzed through my head. I had my stick. That was a good thing. I could also feel the familiar weight of the Fire Red stone resting securely in my pocket. I hadn’t taken it out since I’d found it, evading the questions my friends would ask of it. I had my stick and my stone but where were my friends?

I glanced quickly around. Reenie and Deri usually stayed near me, situating their living quarters around the campfire. I figured that since it was raining they had retreated to the safe, dry area beneath the large oak tree I had first woken under, inconsiderately leaving me out in the damp and cold. My hunch proved true as my searching eyes came to rest on the two figures huddled under the nearby tree.

I sighed, untangling my legs from the wet, heavy blankets I’d been wrapped in and stood up, reaching back down to pull my stick up after me. Expecting to feel the slick, wet surface of damp wood, I turned to stare sharply at the stick when I didn’t. The wood was dry, as dry as it always had been, the small droplets of water seeming to slide right off, as if it had a waxen surface, leaving no mark behind them. This stick never ceased to amaze me.

Leaning heavily on my sick I turned towards the dry area under the tree where my friends stood waiting. The dry earth seemed very inviting to my very much water logged self.

“Oh, hey Tal. You’re up.” Reenie commented as I dragged my very wet body over to and under the canopy of the large oak tree, sheltering me from the pouring rain steadily pattering down into the dry earth now turned into thick, dark mud.

“So considerate of you to leave me out in the rain.” I remarked sarcastically, sighing as I slid down so I was seated firmly next to Reenie at the base of the oak.

“Sorry,” Deri shrugged, “We couldn’t move you, and especially not with your leg in the condition it was.”

“Some friends you are.” I muttered darkly under my breath, glaring out into the rain. My hair hung heavily, framing my face and clinging to my damp skin. It was very
uncomfortable. The three of us sat in an almost comfortable silence.

“What happened that brought you all the way out here Tal?” Reenie’s soft question broke the silence that had been stretching on and on.

A little suspicious, I glanced sharply over at her. I was suspicious of my own friends. I just couldn’t trust anybody anymore. Reenie sat beside me; hands limp at her sides, green eyes intent on the wet world outside. She looked innocent enough.

I don’t know what came over me then but in one urgent moment I began to tell them everything, from my mothers death to now, as we were sitting under the canopy of the large oak tree. I told them of my rage towards Pokemon that had originated on the day exactly a week after my mother’s death, of the Ursaring escapade, everything, only omitting the part about the Fire Red stone and my staff. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I had this feeling that if anyone found out about these things I was doomed. It might have been the rain that made me talk, or the constant longing for sympathy that had been hidden deep inside me, only surfacing now, or maybe it was the anger and the hurt that had been bottled up inside me for days, I’ll never know. And, well, it kind of felt good to talk, letting all my feelings of anger, grief, hurt and fear flow out with every word I speak. My friends listened intently the whole time, never interrupting me to ask questions. They knew just as well as I did that if I was interrupted I wouldn’t have the courage to go on.

When my tale was done silence reigned over my friends. I stared numbly down as my hands, not daring to look up so see my friends’ reactions.

“I didn’t know…” Reenie’s soft voice broke the silence. “I’m sorry Talia. I should have been there for you.”

I glanced up at her words, my own blue eyes meeting her light green ones for an instant, so full of sadness at that moment, devoid of the usual spark of mischief that was usually there. She would have been there for me? If she had tried I would have pushed her away.

The silence stretched on for a long time. Every tiny sound made in the forest I became acutely aware of. The hundreds of bird Pokemon chirping, the wind rustling the trees, the rain pattering into the wet earth, my friend’s breathing, my heart beating! It was so hard to keep myself sitting there. I wanted to move; I wanted to get out of here! I didn’t think Reenie and Deri were ready to leave yet, but I certainly was! They wouldn’t let me do anything, my friends. They wouldn’t let me walk when I wanted to. I couldn’t eat when I wanted to because they had to ‘ration’ the food out. I wanted to go, and continue my journey, not sit and waste away here, barely ten miles from home!

“I can’t stay here anymore,” I said tensely, standing up quickly with the help of my stick.

“What?” Reenie started, and stared up at me in confusion.

“I meant exactly what I said,” I said, “I just can’t stay here anymore. I’m grateful to you guys for helping me and all, but I need to move on, and get my revenge.”

“But…Talia,” Reenie was stuttering.

“Talia, have you realized how stupid this quest of yours is?” Deri broke in, standing up to face me. I felt my anger beginning to flare. “Do you even know where you are going?”

I stared at him, feeling betrayed. I couldn’t believe this, my own friends didn’t believe in me. They didn’t believe in my quest. Of course they wouldn’t, I told myself bitterly, they sympathized with those murderous creatures more than they did with me.

“What does it matter to you?” I hissed back at him, “This isn’t your quest, it’s mine. You are only tagging along on this for who knows what reason!”

“Talia,” Deri’s anger was ignited. I think I had first stirred it up when I’d almost gone berserk on his Pokemon the other day, “You are the most self-centered person I know!”

I glared at him, “I don’t care if I’m selfish. You’re just a Pokemon Trainer wannabe! Do you really think that wimp of a Poochyena you own would really help you become a Pokemon master?”

Now I had really made him mad, “You may insult me as much as you like, Talia O’Connel!” He shouted. His face twisted in rage, “But never, ever, insult my Pokemon!”

“You know,” I spat into his face, “Just forget this. I’m leaving! What do I care about you guys anyway? All you’ll do is slow me down, and hinder me. I will not have it! Just keep you big mouths shut, because I’m leaving!” With that, I picked up my stick, turned, and fled into the forest. To hell with my friends! To hell with everything! To hell with Pokemon! I could get revenge by myself. I did not need them