Mon aimed for: Scraggy
Required characters: 10k
Actual character count: ~14238
Comment: This story is inspired by the song "I Hate Everything" by George Strait.
This story is rated PG for use of alcohol.
I just can't stand that damn Pokemon! What did I ever do to it?!
It was a quiet night in Saffron City. The citizens basked in a deep slumber to prepare for the workday that followed them. The streets were empty; the usual partygoers were absent waiting for the weekend to come.
A bar rested in the middle of Silph Street, about a 5 minute walk from Silph Co. Whether it was a drink after a long days work or a weekend celebration, that bar boasted an excellent location. There wasn't much going on there that night; its patrons were all asleep. The place was decorated with all kinds of sports-related material; penants, fan signs, and memorabilia lined the wall as far as the eye could see. Pool tables sat on the floor so groups could sit back and play games. Of course, it isn't truly a bar without a TV hanging over the counter, in which the sports fans would crowd around and shout at it based on what happened in the game.
A young man with an extremely frustrated look on his face burst through the front doors of nearly vacant bar, his gray T-shirt soaked with sweat. The slight bang of the door and the trainer's brisk walking drew the attention of the bartender and some others there. The newcomer quickly plopped down on a barstool and buried his face in his hands. The others around resumed their drinking and conversations as the bartender made his way to the angered man.
"Can I get you any--?"
"No! Just gimme a damn second!" The man interrupted with a stern voice.
The barkeep simply backed away with a semi-freaked out look on his face and resumed cleaning mugs. After a few seconds of heavy sighing, the disturbed man finally tilted his head up and looked around the bar. He turned to his right to spot a man downing a shot rather quickly. The glass went from full to empty as the man abruptly placed it on the counter to join a second empty shot glass. He breathed heavily as the burn in his throat from the shot still lingered; sweat ran down his face onto his button-down shirt. When it cleared, he flagged the bartender and said, "Hit me with another one." He pulled another shot glass out from the inside of the counter and poured another shot of whiskey from the nearby bottle. The newcomer simply stared at him as the previous frustration cooled a little. He locked eyes with the stranger as the latter grasped his new shot. Before the bartender walked away, he tapped him and said, "I think I'll have one more, actually."
The young man kept staring as the bartender filled another glass. Why was this stranger drinking so heavily? Before the young man could rationalize this, the stranger pulled out his wallet and quickly whipped out 2000 Pokedollars for the drinks. The quick motion of the bills caused something else to fall out of his wallet; it looked like a little piece of paper. The drinking stranger didn't notice as his attention returned to his booze. Trying to be polite, the young man stood up and walked over the strangers barstool. Picking up the paper-like object, he lifted it to his gaze, and what he saw seemed to mystify him. It was a photograph of a trainer standing next to a Scyther. The image was faded, but it was no mystery that the two were friends from the look on each of their faces.
"Did you drop this?" the young man asked as he extended the picture toward the mysterious man.
Putting his shot glass down, he caught sight of the photo in the young man's hand. He reached out slowly and took it towards him as he said, "Thank you, bud. Can I get you anything? Wait a sec, how old are you?" he said chuckling a little.
"I'm 19, but I don't drink. Thanks for offering," he replied trying to synchronize with the stranger's laugh.
The stranger, holding the picture under the light from the lamp above him, just glanced at it for few seconds before he sighed. "I think I'll just throw this one away," he said.
The young man was slightly saddened at the thought of this. "Why would you do that?" he asked.
He responded, "Cause he's the reason I feel this way." His next sentence sent a chill down the young man's spine as the cold words dripped from his mouth. "I hate everything."
The young man just stood there frozen, not knowing what to say. The stranger simply returned to his shot glass as he downed his third. Finally collecting his boggled thoughts the younger man finally said, "You hate everything?"
"Yep, I hate everything," he said as he grunted from the burn of the shot. "I hate my job, my life, everything."
"That's sort of cold, don't you think?" then young man responded.
"Not in the least," the man said as he picked up his fourth shot glass and brought it to his lips.
"What could have made you feel this way?" the distraught and curious man asked.
The stranger grunted once more as he placed his empty shot glass down to join the other three. "Man, let me tell you a story, but let me get your name first."
"Oh sorry. I'm Harry," the young man revealed.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Greg," the former stranger responded as they both shook hands. "Remember that Scyther you saw in the picture?"
"Yeah. Were you two friends?"
"Oh we were more than that. We had been buddies our whole lives. All those years in school were spent together. There would never be a moment we spent alone; I basically never kept him in his Pokeball."
"Wow, it sounds like you two were close," Harry said as he glanced at the photograph on the counter once more.
"We were," Greg continued. "When I finally graduated out of school, I did some long thinking of how I could go out into the world and make a name for myself. I looked at what most other people did and how they started journeys with their Pokemon. After long hours of consideration, I ended up doing the same thing."
"Wow, you decided to go out on a whim, I see," Harry responded.
"Yep. We finally left our precious hometown of Saffron and trekked out into the wilderness. We tried to train hard and win battles…until that one day."
"That one day?" Harry asked. "What happened?"
Greg sighed as he began to say, "We were on Route 9 when a man asked us to battle. I, never wanting to back down from a challenge, accepted the stranger's challenge. I used Scyther; he used Charizard. Scyther managed to hold his own but Charizard eventually caught up with Scyther's evasiveness and managed to roast him with Flamethrower."
"So you're upset over a loss?" Harry assumed.
"No," Greg interrupted, "Scyther was just laying there on the ground as I kept shouting at him to get up. Scyther tried to bring himself to his feet, but he kept falling every time. His pain was too great to stand back up. My shouts eventually turned into cries of rage as I grew more relentless. Finally, he turned his head and looked at me with an angered look on his face. He dashed at me and gave me a huge slash; I still bear the mark today," he said as he pulled the collar of his shirt to reveal a scab of a healing wound.
"So, he attacked you?" Harry inquired.
"Yeah. After he did that, I was infuriated beyond words. He just stood there almost with a frightened look on his face. I didn't know what to say; I just turned around and dashed off as fast as I could without even looking back. To this day, I still have not seen him."
"Have you tried moving on at all?" Harry asked curiously.
"I know I should move on, and try to start again. I've thought about going out and trying to catch another Pokemon or two, but…Scyther was my life. That Pokemon shared such a special friendship with me; he became a part of my life that I could never replace. I just didn't have the emotional strength to train Pokemon again. I ended up working at Silph Company working accounts receivable so I could at least have afford an apartment. I hate my job; I hate my life; I hate everything."
Hearing those painful words again sent a shiver down Harry's spine. For a second, he turned away from Greg and slowly pulled up the left sleeve of his shirt. A large gash covered his whole bicep; a dark purple bruise stood on his arm. The injury brings pain to his life, but the greater pain came from what caused it…
"Scraggy come on! Use Crunch!"
The sun was riding high over an open field on Route 6. Pidgey circled the atmosphere, and field Pokemon like Rattata were commonly seen every few seconds. Two trainers stood off the path, their eyes locked on each others to predict each other's strategy. Between the two was a Crobat flying around at an incredibly fast speed and a tiny Scraggy panting for breath; he could no longer even hold his pants-like skin up.
"Scraggy! Use Crunch now!," Harry shouted even louder. Scraggy tried to get his composure together, but it was no use. His exhaustion was too high to even stand up straight.
"Crobat, use Acrobatics," the opponent said seeing that this was the perfect opportunity to strike.
The wings of Crobat flapped harder and faster like a motor as he began zipping around faster than the eye could keep up with. Without even a warning, his body slammed into the poor unsuspecting Scraggy. The poor target was now without any energy; he was lying there almost unconscious. The opposing trainer simply returned Crobat to his Pokeball and began walking away without even a "good game." Harry's face turned red as his heart began racing faster and his blood began boiling with rage.
"Get up! Get up right now!" Harry screamed at Scraggy with an infuriated tone.
Scraggy put one hand flat on the ground as he tried to push himself up off the ground. The effort wasn't enough; the battle used too much energy.
"Scraggy! Stand on your damn feet right now!" Harry cursed. Scraggy fell back to the ground as the strength in his hand left him.
"Scraggy! I will not tell you again! Get your ass up right now!" Scraggy, breathing heavily, suddenly turned his head toward Harry with an evil frown on his face. Suddenly, he stood to his feet and dashed toward his lifelong friend. Midway in the run, he smashed his fist against his open hand as the distance kept closing. Harry could see Scraggy dashing at him and quickly put his left arm over his face to shield himself. Scraggy jumped up and socked the protecting arm with a blow that almost broker Harry's shoulder. Harry was knocked backwards onto the ground; a circular gash from the damaged blood vessels beneath the skin appeared.
Harry stood up with his eyes locked at his Pokemon partner. After two seconds of panting and gasping, Scraggy's angered look immediately faded and was replaced by a horrified one. Harry took a step backwards, his shocked look still lingered on his face. Pulling the Pokeball of his belt, he took it and gently tossed it on the ground near Scraggy. Without a word, he turned around and began running off at full speed toward Saffron, a tear streaming down his face. He didn't look back; everything was left unsaid.
The stroll down memory lane faded from his mind as he returned the shirt sleeve over the mark and buried his face in his hands, trying to hold back the tears. For about a minute, he sat there sulking in the memories of his former friend. He began thinking of Greg and how his life was turned upside-down because he had no compassion for his Pokemon. Scraggy and he had been friends their entire lives, but the journey the two were on made it seem more like Scraggy was a fighting machine.
"Will I end up like Greg?" he thought to himself as his face still rested in his hands.
He quickly slapped his open hands down to unseat himself and dashed for the doorway. Abruptly snapping back in his sprint, he pulled out his wallet and threw 2000 pokedollars down onto the counter.
"Thanks for everything," Harry said as he extended his hand. Greg, surprised at the generous action, returned the handshake and did not know what to say or what he was even talking about. In the blink of an eye, Harry had already swung the door wide open and exited. Harry turned his head left and right as he stepped out onto the dark Saffron streets. With only one clue of where to go, he dashed down each empty road, making his way toward the open field of Route 6. The lush grass glowed under the moonlight and the path was lit up by several lamps on the ground. Bill went to the exact spot where he once stood in his previous battle; the footprints were still imprinted in the ground slightly.
"Scraggy?" he called out. Nothing responded.
"Scraggy?!?" he shouted louder. A few sleeping field Pokemon ran away but nothing came to him. After glancing around the field for a few seconds, he fell to his knees and began to weep bitterly. Tears flowed down his red face, filled with grief.
"What have I done?" he said whimpering to himself. On his knees, he stared at the ground as his life with Scraggy flashed before his eyes. Images of the precious time they spent together scarred his mind. The fateful gift for his 13th birthday, the time studying in school together, their decision to leave home, their first victory--all were thrown away with this dear loss; in the end, he was too late. Suddenly, something warm placed itself on his back. With a slight impulse, Harry snapped his head around and what he saw he could not believe. The round face featuring wide eyes on the far sides, the drooping orange layer of molted skin, the red scale cresting its head--it couldn't be.
"Sc-Scraggy?" Harry stuttered. Scraggy stood there with a frown on his face to match Harry's. He did not like to see his trainer upset. It wasn't even a split second before Harry reached his arms around him and gave a hug with all his might. Both cried together in each other's arms; neither could live without the other. After a heart-warming minute of crying together, the two released each other still with tears streaming down their face. Scraggy reached into the pile of skin dragging behind him before extending his hand containing something. Harry placed his hand under Scraggy's as he released the contents. The ping-pong ball-like Pokeball fell into his hand; Scraggy had kept it the whole time.
"So, you still want to go on?" Harry said after clipping it onto his belt. He was trying to get his composure back together.
Scraggy replied with a simple head nod, tears still running down his face. Harry extended his hand as Scraggy reached up and took it, and the two walked off into the night.