Pokemon Capture: Purrloin
Needed Characters: 5k
Actual Characters: 5466
Run neon tiger there's a price on your head
They'll hunt you down and gut you, I'll never let them touch you
Away, away, oh, run
I'm begging you neon tiger run
-Neon Tiger by The Killers
The purple leopard Pokemon licked its paw lazily as it lay on the forest floor. Its beautiful coat shimmered in the dappled sunlight. The Liepard was resting as it waited for the sun to set and the jungle to cool down, so it could once again catch its prey from the human village. Meanwhile, the hunter crouched in the branches above its head. He moved as stealthily as the big cat, slithering through the trees like an Ekans. He belonged in the forest. He was part of it as all the living things here were. He wore no clothes other than a faded pair of shorts he had bought at a market long ago. His skin was darkly tanned, allowing him to blend in even further. The Liepard would never notice him coming.
For the past month, the Liepard would come into the village every night and take someone, usually a small child or an elder. It was common for Pokemon to take a villager once in a while, but this one had come too many times. The hunter had been sent out to kill it. He watched the Liepard from his perch in the tree, watched its flank rise and fall with breath, watch as a gentle breeze stirred its fur. He watched all the things that marked the Pokemon as alive. He narrowed his eyes and jumped down.
Instantly, the Liepard was on its feet. Its back was arched and all its fur was sticking out. Its claws were unsheathed and it growled menacingly. The hunter locked eyes with it. Deep brown eyes met almost glowing green ones. He saw a spark of intelligence and paused, like a deer in the headlights. The two opponents stared at each other from across the small clearing. They were evenly matched, one with claws and fangs, the other with a dagger hidden in his shorts.
For a moment, they were both completely still. Then the Liepard flipped around and ran off deeper into the forest. It disappeared almost instantly. The hunter grumbled in frustration. He shouldn’t have hesitated. He crouched low to the ground, and saw clear paw prints in the mud. Luckily, it had rained the night before. The hunter raced through the forest after his prey. Once in a while, he would catch a glimpse of it in front of him, a neon tiger dashing through the emerald forest, like something out of a dream.
Suddenly, the hunter stopped. He had lost the trail. He swore angrily under his breath. The sun was setting. Another villager would go missing tonight and there was nothing he could do about it. Furiously, he gathered together some branches and leaves and made a lean to. He crawled under it and forced himself to sleep.
In the night, he heard a sound like a woman screaming. He slithered out of his lean-to and waited for his eyes to adjust to the light of the moon. It was still almost pitch black under the forest canopy. He scrambled over fallen logs and branches to the source of the sound, scraping himself on foliage, and bleeding on the slick, muddy ground. The only thing he could hear were the screams and his own harsh breathing. The hunter stumbled into a clearing, expecting to see someone being attacked. Instead, he saw the Liepard fighting an Ursaring. Behind it, were two Purrloin. The hunter watched, entranced, as the mother defended her kittens.
The huge bear Pokemon took a swing at the Liepard, who dodged it and countered with a Night Slash. The Ursaring roared furiously as razor sharp claws cut open its muzzle. Before the Liepard could get away again, the Ursaring savagely tackled her, crushing her beneath it. The two Pokemon clawed wildly at each other, until they were fighting in a pool of their own blood. The Liepard’s beautiful fur was matted down with dirt and blood. It hissed defiantly as the Ursaring stood up on its hind legs before dropping down on it, breaking its back. The hunter winced as his prey went limp. The bear Pokemon growled and climbed off of its dead opponent. It walked over to the Purrloin kittens and picked up one in its mouth.
Anger and determination filled the hunter and he ran forward. “Lui lai!” he shouted. “Roi di, di khoi, di xa!” The Ursaring raised its head to look up at the approaching hunter. He pulled the dagger from his pocket and waved it at the Pokemon. “Cut di! Ra cho khac!” The Ursaring knew humans and it knew knives. An old scar on its back still reminded it of pain, white hot, anger, hurt, pain, blood, sickness, pain. With the Purrloin still in its mouth, it ran off into the forest. The hunter considered chasing, but he doubted the kitten would live long with razor sharp teeth meeting in its neck.
A pathetic mewling came from behind him and he turned his attention back to the other Purrloin. The purple and cream kitten meowed up at him, its green eyes filled with tears. The hunter did not know Pokemon could cry. He picked it up gently by the scruff of its neck and cradled it in his arm. The Purrloin buried its head in his chest, trying to avoid the sight of its dead mother. The hunter carried the little Pokemon through the forest and back to his village. Perhaps, the little Pokemon would grow strong one day. Maybe it would defend the village its mother had once attacked to bring it food. One day, the tiny Purrloin would be a friend to humans. As the hunter took the kitten back to his hut, it began to purr. He rubbed it between the ears and it fell asleep in the crook of his arm.