WILD SIDE OF BRUNO
By Katelyn, aka Iveechan :)
The mighty iron-plated Steelix let out an earth shattering roar as it charged towards the nimble Hitmonchan. The boxer bounded to the serpent's side and quickly ran along the segmented snake's body. Steelix spun its segments quickly, throwing Hitmonchan off his back. Hitmonchan landed skillfully on his feet, then bounced towards Steelix, his red gloves aflame. Steelix held still, and at the last moment, opened his cavernous maw and breathed out turquoise smoke...Dragon Breath. Hitmonchan leapt up in surprise. Steelix then swung the top part of his long body back and thrust downwards, attempting a Slam. He succeded in slamming Hitmonchan, but the clever fighter used Counter just in the nick of time, sending his towering opponent plummeting into the hard, rocky ground. The force of the megaton weight took its toll on Hitmonchan's light frame, and he staggered a bit. Surprisingly, the great Steelix rose up again from the dust cloud his Slam caused. His crimson eyes glared at Hitmonchan with intensity.
"Ok, boys, that's enough training for now!" Bruno called out. His two Pokemon, seeming to be rivals, congratulated eachother, Hitmonchan playfully patting Steelix on his side, and Steelix returning the favor with a toothy grin. Bruno suddenly grabbed Hitmonchan around the waist and gave him a noogie behind his crest. Hitmonchan slithered out of his trainer's grasp and tackled Bruno to the ground. He didn't like to admit it, but Hitmonchan was his favorite. He was Bruno's first Pokemon, found nearly dead and lost in the woods as a Tyrogue, and fourteen year old Bruno nursed him back to health. It was caring for and training Hitmonchan that fueled Bruno's passion for Fighting Pokemon. Over the years, another Tyrogue and a Machop joined his team, now a Hitmonlee and a Machamp respectively. The massive Steelix, once an equally intimidating Onix, was rescued by Bruno with the help of talented young Ash Ketchum and his friends three years prior. The most recent addition to the team (besides Onix's evolved form) was a young Hitmontop, not even a year old. Bruno thought it would be good to train him next.
As Bruno reached for Hitmontop's Pokeball on his belt, he felt a cold, uneasy chill sting at his spine. Bruno quivered... was there someone nearby? Bruno spun around. He saw a flash of grey and black fur disappear behind a boulder. Bruno took a step forward then stopped.
'I've never seen a Pokemon with that pelt before,' he thought. 'The only Pokemon I've seen in this area are Sandslash, Geodude, and the occasional Diglett.' Bruno could hear quick claws scrape on the rocks as the animal ran away. He quickly hopped on Steelix's head and ordered him to lift his head up. Steelix obeyed and raised his head. Bruno squinted at the mass of boulders and rock mounds. He caught site of a dark shape bounding amongst the jagged rock before disappearing behind a bend.
'So the creature is shaggy and four-legged. Too bad it was too fast for me to make out the shape. Still, I can't think of any Pokemon that even looks remotely like that.' Bruno sighed.
"Ok, Steelix, lower me down. Steelix? Hello?" Bruno waved his hand in front of Steelix's left eye. The snake didn't even blink. His beady eyes were fixated on the spot that Pokemon ran away from. He was completely frozen, paralyzed with fear.
Bruno shrugged and slid down Steelix's bumpy body. He turned to Hitmonchan and was shocked... the boxer was still as a statue, his staring eyes dry from lack of blinking, his ribcage trembling with each breath he took in. Like Steelix, he too was gazing at the spot where the mysterious Pokemon was spotted. Bruno had never seen this kind of behavior in his Pokemon, and he'd known his Hitmonchan for over fifteen years. Something told Bruno that training time was over and that he should go home. The vision of that mysterious Pokemon gnawed at Bruno's mind the whole way back... what the heck was it?
Will was meditating in the training gym, a pair of Pokeballs flowing around his head. His Xatu and Jynx were seated on either side of him, their eyes also closed in meditation. Despite being a psychic, Will didn't notice a dark shape approach him from behind. Suddenly, a weight slammed down on his shoulders, and Will jumped up screaming, nearly scaring the shit out of his Pokemon. He spun around and bared his teeth.
"Yes me," Bruno chuckled as he ruffled the boy's hair. Will was only nineteen, the youngest Elite Four member. Bruno, being a veteran, frequently teased him. He even tricked Will into temporarily trading his Slowbro for Onix so the two could evolve into Slowking and Steelix... only Bruno's Onix evolved, for, unbeknowst to Will, it was Slowpoke that evolved into Slowking with a King's Rock, not Slowbro. Will was still angry about not having known better, but he blamed Bruno for his (Will's) own ignorance.
"Say, Will, have you seen a shaggy ash-colored Pokemon lately?"
"Oh, that's right, you never go outside. Heh. Anyway, I was wondering if you could use your psychic powers to read the minds of the wild Pokemon in this area, maybe we can find out what it is."
"I've never heard of a Pokemon like that. Wait...this is a trick, isn't it?"
Bruno sighed. "Never mind. I'm going to bed, see ya later, ok?"
"Oh, Will? You better watch where you step." Bruno laughed to himself as he exited the gym.
Will was confused for a second until he looked down and saw a big, moist glob of alabaster guano slumped dangerously close to his feet. Will shot a glance at his Xatu and saw the bird hiding his beak behind his wings in embarressment as Jynx pointed and laughed at him. Will scratched his head. 'I guess I did scare the shit out of my Pokemon.'
"Ah, sleep. My favorite time of day."
Bruno slumped into his cot, his thick chocolate hair still damp from his shower. The cold sheets felt refreshing against his skin, especially after a long day of training under the blazing sun. Bruno froze when his body rubbed against something soft and warm. There was something else in the bed with him. Bruno glanced at his pillow and smiled when he saw a mass of tangled silverish-lavender hair. He ran his fingers through the silky hair and its owner showed her face.
"Hey there, big boy," Karen greeted dreamily.
"Hello, Hoots." Hoots was Bruno's pet name for Karen because of her Hoothoot-like nocturnal nature. "I missed you today."
Karen rolled onto Bruno's chest, carressing his muscular pectorals. "That's why you should do your training at night like I do," she said.
"You're not staying all night?" Bruno questioned.
Karen shrugged. "No. But don't worry, I have time for a quick romp."
Suddenly, a long, eerie howl was heard from the outside. Karen gasped and shot up.
"Oh my god!" she shrieked. "Dark types!"
Karen shot towards the window and smashed her face into the glass, her nose becoming wide and flat like a Swinub's. Karen was a calm and collected person who always kept her cool, but when it came to Dark Pokemon, she transformed into a small child bouncing with excitement at the sight of a new toy. Bruno sighed as he joined his lover at the window. He put his arm around her waist and said, "Name 'em, hon."
"I can make out about five or six adult Houndoom, a dozen Houndour, and even a couple of puppies. They seemed to have made a large kill, and by the pitch of their yelps, I believe it is a Stantler or Rapidash. But...wait...huh?"
"There's something else. Shhh."
As if on cue, the cries of the Houndoom and Houndour ceased and one bellowing howl took over. It was much deeper, much more frightening than the wild hounds' calls. It was eerie enough to make Karen shudder. It made Bruno uneasy that even the mistress of the night was scared of this howl. She stepped away from the window.
"I guess I should begin my training now," she said.
"Hoots, what about our...wait, I know that look. You want to go out and try to catch that Pokemon!"
"No I don't!" Karen protested. But Bruno could tell by Karen's growing smile that she really wanted to go add that Pokemon to her team.
"It's dangerous, I know it is. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I'll be fine. My Pokemon will protect me, and Umbreon and Vileplume won't get injured because the moonlight heals their wounds. Don't worry, I'm a big girl!" And without a second thought, Karen dashed out of the room, unable to contain her excitement.
"Be careful," Bruno whispered. The howl sounded again. People said that a Houndoom's howl could scare anything, but this new one was downright terrifying. With his concern for Karen and fear of that Pokemon, Bruno never knew how he managed to get to sleep that night.