Choose Your Own Pokemon Adventure
Chapter 3 – Run, Santalune, Run!
Hey, everyone. We last left Ashley at the entrance to Santalune Forest. At the suggestion of Markus Wells, the first one to use our comments section, she’ll be catching a ton of Pokémon and giving them unique nicknames. This week, we’ll also be introducing a creative element to the way the story is written, courtesy of @TayJoyKay.
— Taylor Kayfish (@tayjoykay) April 9, 2014
Ha! Well, let’s get this adventure going. Allons-y!
I tiptoe through the fallen leaves on the forest’s floor. The crackling fills me with childish glee. The sun is bright. Warm. Shauna scampers to my side. Mother would never approve but, then again, she never has to know.
“Where are you, Ashy?” My Shauna’s sultry voice dances into my welcoming ears. “Attendez-moi.”
I’ll wait for you forever.
Instead of saying what I feel, I skip ahead, a smile as big as the moon between my chin and my nose. “Catch me if you can!”
I run. She chases. I run. Round and round we go. There’s a giant Oran tree near the forest’s entrance that we playfully circle.
“Oh! Quest-ce que c’est?”
“Someone must have dropped this!”
I run over to a lost Pokéball resting among a gang of rocks clustered just off the path.
Quelle mystère! Who could have dropped something so important? I pick it up and press the button, releasing the locking mechanism. A cloud of vapor billows from my hand as the ball disappears, and I’m left holding a potion.
“Oh, Ashy! What did you find?”
I stand silent, confused about what happened.
“Those balls aren’t just for Pokémon, vous savez. Items can be shrunk and kept inside for safekeeping.”
That’s good to know.
I wander ahead into a patch of grass, eager to find more hidden treasures. As I’m searching, my hand brushes something warm.
“Regardez, Shauna. What a cute little worm!”
A tiny green worm peeks out. It has an innocence in its eyes that fondly reminds me of Shauna. I lose myself in her eyes for a moment.
Suddenly, a red flash swoops inches in front of my face. The Caterpie frantically crawls up my leg for safety. I look down and hold out an empty Pokéball. It looks at me knowingly, and I accept it as part of my team.
An angry squawking attracts my attention.
I stole your meal, huh? Well, c’est la vie!
It dives at me, kicking up a gust of sand.
“Bienvenue to the team, Worm. We’ll get to know each other soon, but there’s an aerial fight I don’t want to miss.”
My little birdie hasn’t seen a battle, and I’m dying to see what he can do. I send him out to meet his fiery foe. They take to the sky! Pecking and clawing at each other. Feathers fall to the ground. Neither is slowing.
They disappear for a moment through a tree, and I take the chance to check my Pokédex.
You have to know your enemy.
Fletchling and my Pidgey burst through a second tree and tumble out of the air. Whatever happened when they were out of sight clearly took its toll on both of them. It’s not enough to keep either down, however.
This bird has a strong will. I have to have him.
“Pidgey, that’s enough! I’ve got it from here.”
My new desire evades my first attempt, and pops out of the second ball I throw, only making me need him more. But the third time’s always the charm!
“I’m going to call him Firebird, and he will carry the weight of our adventure — and our love — on his little back.”
“That name is si belle,” Shauna coos. “So fitting.”
“Now you have a little friend, Pidgey. Go rest now. Dream sweet birdy dreams.”
I push forward, new chums at my side, a lovely young girl chomping at the bit to help me any way she can.
A glimmer catches my eye from behind a tree.
“Waaaa!” A petite jolie dashes out across my path, brandishing a bug catching net like some kind of divining rod. “You!” He shouts. “My stick led me to you! Fight me, so I can earn your heart.” One of his dirty eyelids shuts in an awkward wink. “And maybe more.”
I chuckle. This boy has no chance of winning either the battle or my heart. And definitely not more.
Steve (oh, Steve, my first real love) and I leap into action!
Thrust! Parry! Aha! Touché!
Steve’s graceful limbs strike like the finest epée, sending each bug back to its master as quickly as it challenges us.
The repartee is over quickly, like the boy’s sweet dreams of victory and love.
As the sunlight’s warm embrace passes far overhead, more and more Pokémon join my team: Harry Potter, the Scatterbug, caught after it crawled onto our picnic blanket; my Caterpie army, which I amassed when my bag spilled open and all of my Pokéballs rolled into their stupid little heads while they were feeding on a pile of fallen leaves (forcing me to return to town to restock); Ben Drowned, the goofy Pikachu.
Finalement I’m almost at the exit. The trees are starting to stand further away from one another and there are more travellers congesting the narrow path. Shauna stops to help a boy’s hurt Metapod, the dear.
I turn what I hope is the last corner and there he is. That cochon, Calem. Except…he seems different somehow. Where the gentle breeze tries to hold me back, seemingly existing only to hinder me, it flows through him, caressing his elegant contours, sweeping tufts of hair perfectly along his brow.
“You’re the first one through,” he says, taunting me from beneath a tussled mess as black as his heart.
Who knows how long he’s been there–waiting, condescending. Like we’re below him. Daring us to race for second place, to be the one right beneath him.
Who needs him?
Even as I think this, I know the answer — I do.
“Come, mes belles,” Calem calls over his shoulder. “There’s an inn in the next town. If you’re lucky there will only be one bed left.”
His laugh chills me to the core. I nervously grab Shauna’s hand and follow him out of the forest.
Alright, people. That’s it for this chapter. What did you think of the genre shift? Is it something you’d want to see done differently in future chapters? How about character relationship development, trainer choices, etc.?