The Desert Traveler
Through a small hole in the sandy, brown, battered, wooden wall I looked out into the unrelenting storm. It's been going on for maybe two or three hours and I needed to get to the next town soon to refill my supplies. I thought that snowstorms were bad, but only the high winds and large debris like sticks and ice hurt in snowstorms. Sandstorms on the other hand have high winds and, sadly, just about everything hurts when it hits you. From the tiniest grains of sand and dirt to the biggest tumbleweed out there. Even a cactus that was pulled from its roots could be found flying around in the winds. Just about anything that a sandstorm can carry hurts when it strikes you. Even worse is that they pop out at you, without warning and when you least expect it.
Even though I was locked in the small shack for a couple hours, I wasn't, at least, completely bored. I had a letter from my mother I got at the last town. It was such a small town that I was surprised they got mail. I don't even remember the name of it. I walked over to my black backpack and grabbed the letter out of the small front pocket. I found a seat on a small crate hidden under the table. I sat down and rubbed my temples. I started to thank Arceus I found this little shack before I started to open my letter. This little shack, no bigger than a small bedroom, was hidden behind a tall rocky pillar. It blended in so well that I almost didn't see it. Good thing I did, though. Otherwise I'd be hiding behind a rock as best as I could.
That's another thing I hate about the desert, besides the sandstorms. All of the rocks get very annoying. They are literally everywhere. To the left, to the right, towering over you, under your feet, blocking your path, behind other rocks, everywhere! The only good this they do is provide shelter from the sun and, more importantly, sandstorms.
Anyways, I brushed off my brown khaki shorts and my now dirty white t-shirt that still had sand on them and opened the white envelope. Since there were no windows and I wouldn't dare to open the door and let the storm in, so I used my headlamp. I tore apart the seal which was masterfully done by a stamp. The seal was red wax and the design was a Sceptile on the left, a Blaziken in the middle, and a Swampert on the right. The mark signifies that it's from my family.
When my great grandfather, who was part of a set of triplets, got his Pokémon, each of the triplets chose a different starter to see who would be champion first. Like when I got my starter, my great-grandfather had the same three choices to pick from. A Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip. My great-grandfather did not become champion first, his brother with the Mudkip did. Then the triplet with the Torchic beat his brother with the Mudkip and finally my great-grandfather with his Treecko beat his brother who had the Torchic. That's why I had chosen a Treecko as my starter.
I loved hearing those stories from my grandfather. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and get back to what I was doing. I shook some sand from my short, light brown hair and gazed at the letter with my bright blue eyes.
I read it over and decided to read it to my Pokémon. I stood up and grabbed my bag bringing it back to the crate I was sitting on. I sat down on it and pulled out two red and white balls, Pokéballs. They were at storage size so I clicked the white button on each so that they grew to twice the size they were at. Now my Pokémon were able to come out. I threw the two balls in the air and almost in unison, both balls opened revealing their contents.The first was light green gecko-like Pokémon with fat dark green tail, a red belly, and two large yellow eyes with black pupils. Treecko seemed to like the hot weather we were in and he started to climb onto the table to sit next to me. The second Pokémon that popped out was a candle Pokémon. It was mainly white with one yellow eye showing, but it also had a large purple-blue flame on top of it. Litwick decided to just hover next to me.
"Hey you two. I decided that you two might want to hear this letter that Mom sent us." I looked at them. "Do you want to?"
Litwick smiled and happily chimed, "Liit! Litwiick!"
"Good!" I told the little Candle Pokémon. I turned to the Wood Gecko. "What about you Treecko? Do you want to hear a letter from Mom?" He just got up and walked to the wall and started to scale it. Once he was on the ceiling he found a cabinet to hide in on one of the walls. He crawled over to it and opened the door. In one fluid movement he was inside the cabinet and resting while chewing on his twig.
"Ko. Tree, treecko." He looked at me one last time and closed his eyes to take a nap.
"Fine, be a grouch." I was used to this behavior now. For the past week I've only let him out when we were inside a building. He was annoyed that I was doing that, but it's just for his safety. I don't want him running off to try and find the warmest rock in the whole desert. He may never come back. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and looked back down at the letter. I opened it once more and started reading aloud to Litwick and hopefully Treecko was listening too.
Dear Jake and your Pokémon,
I am glad to know that you are safe, even if you are in the desert. Even though I know you are sixteen and are responsible, I'm guessing you are finding trouble in the heat, whether that trouble is from people or the heat itself. Things must be exciting out there, I can only imagine. There isn't really anything going on here. I have just been doing work and tending my garden. The berries are finally coming in! I know how much you love them. Everyone here is doing fine and I hope you get this letter as soon as possible. Sorry to make this letter short, but I need to get moving. We all love you and good luck on your journey!"
"Lit?" Litwick tilted his head as much as he could to read the note as best as he could. I don't know if Pokémon can read human languages, but if they can than I'm sure it would make Litwick happy to read.
I looked at the bottom of the letter to see signatures. "It's signed by my mom, my dad, and my siblings." I folded the letter neatly and put it back in the envelope and packed it away in my backpack. I didn't hear anything and I realized the storm must of died off and quit completely. I looked back up at Treecko and saw that he was still 'sleeping'. "Litwick, let's go outside. Then we can get going to the next town. You can stay out if you want."
"Tree?!" I looked at Treecko and he looked excited, but he also looked a bit mad. Probably because I never took him outside ever since we entered the desert.
I looked up at his resting place and he immediately went back to his resting position. "You can come to. You know, if you want. Otherwise I'm leaving you here and you can wait right there and maybe in a few weeks someone else will come by and let you out." That got him moving and he was out the door and clinging to a rock faster than you could say Zebstrika. I followed him out and Litwick followed me. I closed the door and walked out from behind the rock where the shack was hidden to let the light shine on me. I closed my eyes to block the sun form damaging my eyes, only something was very wrong. I felt no heat and someone or something was tugging on my shorts. I opened my eyes to see that there was a black sky before me with all of the stars glowing around a shining, silver moon. It was a beautiful sight, but it was cold. I looked at my shorts to see who or what was tugging them and found that it was a very cold and shivering Treecko. I immediately returned him to his ball, but left Litwick out since she was part fire-type and could handle the desert night's coldness. "Well, it's cooler at night so we'll travel now instead of in the heat. Okay, Litwick?"
"Litwick, lit, litwick." She wasn't really enthusiastic about the idea, but she sounded like she understood and was okay with it. We started back on the path to the next town. It's supposed to be at least three times as large as the last town, so I had high hopes of finding somewhere to stay and something to do when I got there.
It must have been three hours before we saw the first rays of sunshine and I figured out that we were in the shack for about six hours. The time we spent in there seemed much shorter than that. We really didn't encounter any obstacle on our way and the only life we saw out there was a couple Drilbur that quickly burrowed their way back into the ground once they saw me. I stopped to switch out some gear and sat my backpack down. I shut off my headlight and put in my bag and called for Treecko again. He came out, but this time he looked like he felt better. I slung my backpack back on and we continued on until we reached the town.
Saying that this town was twice the size as that little one was a gigantic understatement. This was a huge town and right away you could see it was a tourist town. Even though it might be a tourist town, the official population must be at least four times the size of the tiny town. I walked down the street and just in my one minute of being there, I counted at least five hotels and three saloon restaurants. All of them had either a brown, wooden theme or a modern, updated, state-of-the-art, marble floors look. I heard my stomach rumble and growl at me, reminding me that I needed supplies, but I needed to get some food in me before I went shopping.
After going up and down the streets, popping my head in and out of restaurants and diners, feeling the rush of frigid cold air becoming hot once again as I went back out, I finally found a nice little diner. It had the rustic, old days, cowboys and Indians look, but the modern style of well, modern day. It wasn't anything fancy at all, but it had a certain appeal to it. Maybe it was that it was smaller than most restaurants or maybe because it was in a quieter, less touristy part of town. I sat down at a booth by the window so I could see out there without having the heat all around me. The waitress, a blonde who had a white apron on over a pink outfit, came up to me and handed me a menu. "Here you go sir. Our special today is a homemade soup called Secret Chicken Soup."
"What is that?" I asked really confused that this quaint of a restaurant would have something that sounded so odd.
"Oh, it's almost the same thing as Chicken noodle, except we add a few special ingredients from our garden." Either she didn't know what else to say or she was waiting for my response.
"I'll just take the special with a glass of water please." I handed her the menu that I never opened and she walked back to the kitchen to give them my order. I looked back out the window while I waited for my food. Treecko was came up from under the table along with Litwick. I didn't even know they were hiding, I just thought they were off playing in the park. The waitress that took my order started cleaning a table next to me and I remembered something I should've earlier. "Ma'am, I forgot to ask if you serve Pokémon here."
She did a little jump like she was taken by surprise after someone scared her. "Oh, yes we do. If we didn't none of us would be here." She pointed at the chef and I saw why. Next to the chef stood a little red monkey with a flame for a tail. "Chuck and Chimchar are some of the best chefs in town." Then she pointed to another waitress at the counter watching a very colorful bird with a music note on his head at a families' table. "Helen and Chatot work together to run this restaurant. Chatot takes the orders since he can speak human languages and Helen can watch the register, take anther table's orders, or bring food to the people."
I never thought that Pokémon other than Growlithe would work. "What about you and your Pokémon. You must have something." I looked around for more Pokémon, but saw none.
"Uhh, just wait here. I'll be back in about a minute." She walked up to Helen and whispered something into her ear. Helen nodded to her and the waitress walked out what must be the back door. I waited a couple minutes and watched the door for her return. It was maybe a minute later when she returned, carrying something in her arms. All I could see was a towel and a bowl. When she reached me, she carefully set the towel on the table and began to slowly unfold it. she set the bowl, which was full of Pokémon food on the table and Treecko and Litwick started eating right away. I turned back to the waitress and egg. I saw something light red and cream so right away I was thinking a fire type. When she unfolded the towel completely though, I couldn't believe it.
"Is that an..." I was at loss for words.
"Yes, it is an egg. I found it here on this table. I figure a tourist or a kid found it and thought it was just a neat rock, then left it here by mistake. I've been holding it since. It's never left my sight or my-"
"CHIIIIC!" A small red chick with short, yellow wings and three yellow feathers on its head ran into the small diner frantically running around obviously looking for something. Then it saw us and the egg. It ran up to use, hopped up onto the bench, jumped onto the table, and rubbed the egg with its chin. "Torrr. Chiiccc." It sounded like it was purring a little.
"As I was saying, my Torchic and I watch the egg." Torchic looked her and glared. The waitress looked down with a small, apologetic smile and said, "I was going to bring it back to you. You know that I always do." Both of them looked away and Helen came up behind them.
"Torchic, let's get you and the egg back in the house." She then nudged the waitress. "Did you remember to introduce yourself this time?" The waitress's face went pale then started to flush red with embarrassment. "Do that while I take Torchic and the egg back to the house." Helen walked away leaving us two to talk.
"Might as well start. My name is Melody and I'll be your server today." She gave me a bow and then stood straight up while giving me a partial smile.
"Hello, Melody. It's nice to meet you. I am Jake and this is Treecko and Litwick." I gestured to each of my Pokémon respectively. They were too busy eating to care though. "You look a bit young to be working as a waitress. Shouldn't you be on your Pokémon journey like me?"
Melody sighed and sat down in the other booth across from me. "I was supposed to start my journey six years ago, but I never got going. I didn't have any money to buy even one Potion, so I got a job. Then my parents disowned me after finding out I had a Pokémon and I had to find my own place. I found an apartment that was just under my budget. I barely scrape by and save any money I can." She buried her head in her arms.
I took pity on her and slid a couple extra PokéDollars under arm. She took them and mouthed 'thanks'. My stomach rumbled again to bring my thoughts back to food. "Uhh, so not to be rude, but this is a restaurant and I came here to eat." She lifter her head and nodded slowly. Then she started to get a confused face. I just continued, "So, if you don't mind me asking, is my soup ready yet?"
"Oh, your soup! Sorry, with all of this egg stuff and story telling going on I forgot. I'll get it right now." She quickly walked off and as fast as she left she was back with my soup. Special Chicken Soup," Melody gave a bow, "for one."
"Thank you. I haven't eaten all day and most of yesterday. All I had was an energy bar." Without another word I started eating. I found out that they add small parts of cucumber and peas to their soup. It tasted amazing and I finished the whole bowl. Then, without warning, Melody came up to me and pulled me up off the bench and towards the back of the restaurant towards the kitchen. Treecko and Litwick followed, as clueless as I was. "Melody, what are you doing? What's going on?" she just pointed out the window I was just sitting at. There were three people with some very scary looking Pokémon with them staring coldly at us through the window. Behind them were a couple more people and some motorcycles.
"Helen!" Melody yelled, "They're back!" She continued to back away from the window. Helen came out of the back of the kitchen and looked at the window.
"What? You have got to be kidding me!" The bikers, all in their black leather jackets and blue jeans walked past the window and entered through the front door. The first one through, I'm guessing, was the leader. He had a dark green Pokémon that looked it was wearing a hat and short spikes covered its whole body. I recognized it as a Cacturne, a Pokémon that resembles a cactus. The other goons followed through the door. One had a dark little dog called Poochyena, another had a black bird that also had a hat-like feature. That, I knew, was a Murkrow. The next two goons had a purple skunk, aptly named Stunky, and a small brown alligator with darker stripes named Sandile. I only knew all of these Pokémon since I've read an online Pokémon encyclopedia ever since I was little. The encyclopedia just listed their name, type, and had a couple pictures of the Pokémon. The apparent leader of the bikers went up to Melody, completely ignoring Helen and me.
"So, missy. Are you ready to take me on in your little," he paused to spit on the clean linoleum floor, "challenge."
Melody backed up against the wall. "Uhh, no. I'm too busy to."
The goon and his goons all laughed and chuckled. "I don't see you doing anything or tending to anyone." He raised his arms to gesture to the empty restaurant.
"Uhh-uhh," was all Melody could say.
"She's tending to me." I stood in front of Melody between her and the biker. I'm a horrible fist fighter, but I'd rather be hit than let Melody take it.
The leader chuckled again. "Who's this? A tourist is brave enough to stand up to me. Do you know who I am?"
I quickly went through my head to come up with a good comeback. "All I need to know, ugly, is that your stupid for accepting her challenge in the first place."
All of the goons 'oohed' at my remark like it was super harsh to their leader. The leader quickly snapped at them and told them to shut up. "Okay, kid. How about you battle me?"
I though about it for maybe a half second and decided. "All right, you're on. First though, I want you to promise that if I win you and our goons never come back here again."
"And if I win?" the leader spoke slowly and sounded like he was going to make a plan to cheat.
It thought about his question. "Then you can have an egg." I know Melody's going to hate me for offering her egg up, but this will motivate me a lot more than saying they can beat me or something.
"Jake! What are you doing?" I saw that reaction coming. "You can't do that."
"I'll explain later." I smiled to her to giver her comfort and hopefully she took it.
The goon leader thought and made weird moaning noises while thinking. I was completely caught off guard when he started talking. "Okay, you got yourself a deal. Since you got to choose the reward, I get to choose the rules."
"That sounds fair enough." I swear I heard him snort at the word 'fair'. I followed him outside where the streets were empty. "Rule One is that this will be a one-on-one match. Rule Number Two is that you can't use potions and stuff, only moves." The goon took a big pause.
"Is that it?" I really hope he doesn't make a lot of rules, but I don't think this biker has ever been in a match like this from the way he was sweating. I knew the sweat wasn't from the heat, so it must be from nervousness.
"Yea, that's it." He looked calm again, or at least as calm as you can be when you look like your ready to break somebody's face with your fist. He pointed his finger out towards me and yelled, "Go Cacturne!"
I knew he was going to use Cacturne. I stood up straight and put my hands in my pockets. "Litwick, I choose you!" My little Candle Pokémon cam floating off the roof where I could see Treecko basking in the sun and watching the action from a safe distance. I knew he would come down though if I needed him.
"Cacturne, use Growth!" Cacturne started to inhale tons of air and he practically inflated, swelling to and incredible size. When he got to a point where he looked like he could be popped with the flattest, most dull object, he released the air. "Ha, now his Special Attack has more powerful," the gang leader yelled to me and laughed. It sounded like he was trying hard to rub it in my face.
I rubbed my hand down my face. This guy sounded very cocky and like a little kid who is battling with those little cards parents get them until they get a real Pokémon. "Litwick, light things up with Will-O-Wisp!" Litwick's eyes glowed white and three balls of blue fire appeared out of nowhere. They started circling Litwick, getting faster and faster until they were launched towards the Cactus Pokémon. All three ball of fire hit Cacturne. Then the cactus started to turn red and started on fire for a second or two before going out again. "Now, Litwick! Follow it up with Hex!" Litwick's eyes started to glow white again and his body started to fade a bit.
"Oh, no you don't! Cacturne, it's Payback time!" Cacturne's spikes hand started to glow a dark purple and turned black with a purple glow. Cacturne rushed at Litwick and hit her right square in her little body. Litwick flew back, but then she stopped and Cacturne started convulsing. The thug's Pokémon was lifted and it started flailing its arms and legs, hitting burns with its own hands. Litwick's Hex was causing a lot of pain, especially with that burn. Suddenly Cacturne fell and Hex was over, but not the turn. The Cactus Pokémon started to catch fire again, and then it was out. Cacturne stood up, but was obviously just about to faint.
"Litwick, finish this up with Flame Burst!" The little Candle Pokémon started charging a ball of fire between its hands using the flame on its head as the source.
The thug started to panic. "Cacturne, use Ingrain!" Cacturne started to grow roots out of its feet, but it was too late. Litwick launched the fireball that immediately split into five fireballs with smaller ones everywhere else. Fire was everywhere, smashing into dirt, rocks, and more importantly, the Cacturne was hit head on and it fell backwards onto its back. It had fainted and I won. The diner staff clapped and cheered for my victory along with tourists that were watching. I didn't know we drew a crowd from this. Suddenly I heard the gang leader yell. "Nooo!" The thug leader called his Cacturne back into its ball while on his knees and started to hit the ground. I never thought I would see a thug like this pound the ground because they lost a match.
"Excuse me, but I believe we had a deal. I won so you can never come back here." I heard a growl coming from the goon leader on the ground that I just beat and he stood up.
"I will never leave! Never ever! NEVER!" Then he started advancing on me with clenched fists that made his knuckles white. "You'll pay for this battle." He continued advancing and picked up his pace, but then in a flash of green the thug leader was on the ground and unconscious. I looked next to him and saw that Treecko was standing next to him. I guessed that Treecko was defending me and was sick of the thug.
I looked at the goon leader's face and saw the imprint of Treecko's belly on his cheek. "Did you use Slam on him?" Treecko nodded, scratching the ground with his foot like a little kid trying to look innocent. "Good job. I think you've got that move down." He stood up straight with pride and looked at me with his large yellow eyes with joy at my congratulations to him perfecting a move, even if it was on a human. The thugs grabbed their leader, picked him up and put on his motorcycle. Hopefully he was awake enough to drive it. He was since he was able to start it and leave us, leaving a large trail of dust that his gang members followed. I looked down at Treecko and smiled since I got the better of the thugs.
Litwick and Treecko came over to my side and Treecko leaped up onto my left shoulder while Litwick floated next to my other shoulder. Melody ran up to me and shouted in my face, "Great job! Thanks for doing that. I would've never have beat him since I'm not able to train Torchic. It's so hard to when she's always with that egg day and night. It's cute, but it's really going to set me back on my dreams of being a trainer. It doesn't help that I barely get off work, either. I'm only working at the diner until I know I can make it out in the world with Torchic."