~ Reaper is watching you ~
I hate Absol. Hate them with a passion. Not because of what they are, but what they stand for. My whole life, I’ve been seeing them. It, rather. It’s actually just one. Every time I see it, someone I care about dies.
I saw the Absol for the first time when I was only six years old. My mother and I were taking a walk in the woods near our house. It was a large forest, and it had all sorts of small Pokemon in it. Seedot, Oddish, Zigzagoon, Taillow, a few Poochyena and even the occasional Marill. I loved walking in those woods with my mother and seeing all the little creatures run about.
My mother always brought her Linoone, Breeze, to walk alongside us in case we were ever attacked, but we never were.
Breeze was a quiet, gentle creature, and very kind to me and my brother and sister. She never got upset when we spilled juice on her, or bit us when we might have pulled her fur by accident, she was always calm and relaxed. That day, when we were walking through those woods, everything was still and quiet. We hadn’t seen any of the usual Pokemon.
All of a sudden Breeze curled up into a tiny ball, and started growling and whimpering, pure fear shining in her bright blue eyes.
“What’s wrong, Breeze?” my mother asked, trying to soothe the rattled Linoone.
I followed where Breeze’s eyes were pointing, and it was then I saw it. Perched on a log, directly in the center of a sun-dappled clearing was an Absol. I didn’t know what it was at the time. It looked lighter than air, like the slightest wind might blow it over. It was on its toes, ready to spring up and flee at any moment.
My mouth hung open in awe of the strange and beautiful creature. My mother didn’t see it, she was too occupied with trying to pacify Breeze. I suddenly snapped out of my stupor.
“Mama! MAMA! A Pokemon! A big white one! Mama!” I hollered.
My mother sat up.
I turned around again, pointing a pudgy finger at the clearing.
“Right over…. There… Where did it go?”
The creature had gone. Breeze stood up again, barking at the spot where I had been pointing, before tearing off into the woods.
“BREEZE! NO! WAIT!” my mother cried, before sighing. The Linoone was gone.
“What did the Pokemon look like, Mickey?”
“It was big and white and fluffy, and it had big black claws, and a black tail, and a black horn on its head to match!”
My mother’s hands flew to her mouth, and her eyes widened.
“Honey, that was an Absol. We have to get home and call your father.”
“No buts. Breeze is smart, she can find her own way home. We have to go. Now!”
Shocked at my mother’s abruptness, I meekly let her drag me home by my arm. I didn’t know what was going on, but if it had anything to do with father, it had to be important. My father traveled most of the time, and wasn’t home very often, but always brought us the nicest gifts when he found time to come home to his family.
Soon we were home. My mother raced to the phone, her fingers flying over the buttons as she dialed in the numbers. She was almost completely silent for several long minutes, her ear pressed to the phone with her only sounds being grunts and a few words here and there. Then suddenly she began to sob.
Young as I was, I knew something was wrong, even as she hung up the phone, trying to contain herself.
“Mama? What happened to Daddy?”
My mother looked up, her eyes red, before hugging me and beginning to sob again. It was then I knew that my father was never coming back.
My father had been in Lilycove city, staying at the hotel there. He had been there to visit Mt. Pyre, and catch some Pokemon indigenous to that area, as well as check out the Safari zone. However, one night he decided to go for a cruise. The captain of the boat was drunk, and ran the ship up on the rocks. There were no survivors.
All we had to remember my father by was his Mightyena, Grimm, who he had left in his hotel room, and a gift that he been going to bring back for me. He had caught me my very own Pokemon. A beautiful female Vulpix he had captured on Mt. Pyre. I named her Foxfire.
It was amazing to finally have my own Pokemon. My brother, Alex, who was three years older than me, had his Electrike, Jolt. My sister, Eva, who was two years younger than me, had her Skitty, Blush. And now I finally had my own Pokemon, and I felt that in her, in my precious Foxfire, a tiny piece of my father lived on.
The second time I saw the Absol was two years later, when I was eight.
I was playing in the backyard with my sister, and our Pokemon. Our brother was in the front yard with his Manectric. He’d been asked to keep to the other side of the house because he was training his Pokemon, and Jolt was a good bit stronger than either of our Pokemon.
I remember it quite clearly. We had all dressed up in eye patches, and bandanas, and fake peglegs, even our Pokemon, and we were all pretending to be pirates searching for buried treasure. We were making believe that the occasional bolts of lighting dancing away from the front lawn were an approaching storm. A typical child’s game.
I was supervising as my loyal Foxfire “swabbed the deck” with her tail, when I chanced to look up. Straight ahead of me, not more than twenty feet away, was the Absol. It was the same one from all those years ago. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. My Vulpix, noticing that I had stopped giving orders, looked up to see what it was that I was staring at. She saw it too.
The beast gave a low, guttural growl of its own name, and suddenly we heard a bloodcurdling scream from the front yard, accompanied by a shock of lighting. The Absol fled into the woods. Without missing a beat, I turned to my sister.
“EVA! Quickly, go get Mama! I’ll check on Alex!”
She nodded dumbly, and ran inside the house. In seconds I was in the front yard, Foxfire at my side. The sight I was met with was a grim one. My brother was pinned under a fallen tree, screaming and trying to struggle away as Jolt vainly tried to lift the wooden colossus off of his broken body.
“Foxfire! Go help Jolt!” I cried.
She immediately obeyed, and I ran to my brother, to see if I could get him to calm down. As I was doing so, the efforts of my Vulpix and his Manectric were joined by the strength of Breeze and Grimm. (Yes, Breeze came home that night. She was injured and shaky, and almost fainted, but she was alive.)
My mother and sister quickly followed, joining us in the front yard. In minutes we had the tree off of him, mainly thanks to Grimm’s move, strength. The hospital was called, and Alex was taken away. It didn’t look good. Eight broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, his spine and neck were both badly cracked, and both of his legs and his hips were shattered.
Apparently, while my brother had been training, he had failed to notice a lightning rod imbedded in one of the trees. One of Jolt’s attacks had been pulled to it, and the old tree was too weak to remain standing, and fell on Alex.
The doctors couldn’t save him. One of his ribs had punctured his lung, and they couldn’t fix him in time to prevent him from drowning in his own blood. He died in the hospital that very night.
I had lost my father, and then just two years later my beloved older brother was taken from me. I was there when he died. I stayed at his bedside until the very end. I can remember his last words.
“You know, it’s sad, Mickey. I always thought I’d be a Gym Leader. “
For a long time, my mother, my sister, and my dear little Vulpix were my only comfort. I frequently cried myself to sleep holding Foxfire in my arms.
I decided to call that Absol Reaper. It seemed an appropriate name for a herald of death.
It was another year before Reaper brought his unwelcome presence back into my life. My sister had just left on the school bus. I wasn’t going to school that day, I wasn’t feeling well, but I can still remember the picture of her smiling and boarding that bus, her Skitty peeking out of her backpack.
I was watching the vehicle disappear down the road, waving all the way, and then suddenly Reaper was there. He sitting on a rock across the street, watching me. I blinked, my arm frozen in midair, and my blue-gray blanket still clutched tightly around my shoulders. Suddenly the ground was rocked by a huge explosion. I whipped my head around, staring at the bus.
The entire vehicle was in flames, a mushroom-cloud of smoke billowing up from it. I dropped my blanket, and began to run down the road, hoping to see if my sister or anyone else was okay, save them if I had to. I had a fire-type Pokemon, I was used to a burn or two.
I was still quite far away when there was a second explosion. This one knocked me off my feet. I fell to the ground crying, covered in dust and too shocked and upset to get up. Even though I was only nine, I knew that no one could have survived that explosion. I looked back towards the house, trying to see if my mother was coming, but the only thing my mind could register was that Reaper was gone again.
The fire department was called, and the street was filled with firemen for the next two hours. Everyone in the bus was killed, as I had thought.
Over the next week or two, we gathered bits and pieces of information, and it was almost a whole month before the town had figured out what had happened.
One of the high-school jocks, wanting to look cool, had brought a Voltorb on the bus. His sibling had seen him sneak it inside his backpack as he left the house, but for a long time was too scared to say anything.
After he had snuck the volatile Pokemon on the bus, he and his friends started taunting it, thinking it was funny. The creature became angry and used its signature move, selfdestruct. That was the first explosion. The second explosion was the flames reaching the gas tank.
My sister and many of my friends had been killed, and the event scarred the whole town. No one really talked about it, but there was a silent recognition that hung in the air for months, sharing the hurt of the fact that most of us had lost a friend or relative in that tragedy. I became a very solemn child, almost as sorrowful as my mother.
I was in great pain, but I can’t even imagine what it was like for her, losing her husband and all but one of her children in a short three years. My darling Foxfire was my only joy left. She was so sweet, always trying her hardest to cheer me up and make me laugh. I never did laugh, I was hurting too badly for that, but I made sure that she knew I appreciated her trying.
For three years I was solemn. For three years Foxfire did her best to bring me joy. For three years I felt peace. A grim, ugly, empty kind of peace, a peace full of finality, the kind of feeling you get when you have just had a victory, but at a cost. But three years of peace nonetheless. For three years I thought the death was over. But for three years, I was dead wrong.
The day was overcast, and gloomy. It perfectly suited my mood. Earlier, I had found a box of some of my sibling’s things, and so my head was clouded with the sorrow of their deaths. I was walking through the backyard, hoping the fresh air would clear my head a little.
Foxfire was trying to cheer me up, as usual. She was doing something particularly funny, she had found an old hat and scarf of my mothers, and was strutting around wearing them like she was a super model. It was so cute, and she looked so funny, and she was just trying so hard for me that for the first time in years I almost felt happy.
As we walked by the well, she jumped up on its edge and began to saunter around on two legs, pretending it was a catwalk. She looked so comical doing that, that the edges of my face seemed to crack a little as I finally gave a pained smile. My eyes were watering with the borderline of what were almost tears, but I was ever-so-slightly smiling.
And then I saw him. Two burning red eyes peaking out of the trees surrounding the lawn. It was Reaper. Suddenly Foxfire began to stumble. She had slipped on a wet patch of moss on the well’s edge. I realized what was about to happen, and dove for her.
I was half a second too late, my fingers just bushing her tail as she disappeared down the well, hitting the water ten feet below with a splash. I reacted instantly, dropping the bucket down.
“Foxfire! Grab the bucket! Get in!”
I felt the end of the rope gain weight, and then it was gone for a split second, before returning. Then it was gone again. It was a full minute before there was a consistent weight present in the bucket below, but as soon as there was, the splashing was gone.
Panic took full control as I pulled the bucket back up as fast I could. In it lay my Vulpix, waterlogged and only barely breathing. She was a fire type. She couldn’t handle being in the water that long. That and the heavy liquid filling her lungs was quickly killing her. My Foxfire, my precious Pokemon was dying.
I hoisted her out of the bucket, sobbing, and held her tightly to my chest.
“Foxfire, please, no! Please don’t leave me! I need you! You’re all I’ve got left!” I begged.
Her eyes opened just slightly, looking at me.
“Please, Foxfire, you can’t die! As soon as I finished school, you and me, we were going to go everywhere together… Please… Don’t go… You can’t… I love you…”
I sobbed, holding her tighter, as if that would keep life in her body. She smiled at me, weakly, and her eyes slid shut again. Her small chest heaved one last time.
And she was gone.
And I broke down. Foxfire was all I had left, and now she was gone too. Through my pain and through the endless tears running down my cheeks, I noticed only one thing. The red eyes that had appeared between the trees had disappeared.
We buried her in the backyard. I saw to it that she got a good funeral, just as good as any person would have gotten. I brought her flowers, roses, to be exact. Lots of them. They were her favorite. My mother and I lit all sorts of candles, and we read from the bible as we lowered her into the hole Breeze had made with dig.
After that, I lost myself. I stole hundreds of packages of cigarettes, and I lost track of my days. My life dissolved into hours upon hours of chain-smoking cigarette after cigarette. I knew that weak lungs ran in my family, but I didn’t care that I was killing myself. I had nothing left to live for, it didn’t matter to me if I died of old age or died locked in a smoky, cigarette-bud covered bedroom.
Now I am thirteen. I am confined to bed with severe lung cancer. I knew this would happen, but I didn’t care. I still don’t. My mother doesn’t care either, she hasn’t been right in the head since my sister died. She probably won’t even notice I’m gone, and if she does, I can only hope she’ll respect my wish to die.
It hurts to think. It hurts to talk. It hurts to breathe. I’m almost too weak to type this, but I type it because I don’t think I’ll be here much longer, and I wanted someone to find this, just because I want someone out there to know.
I’ve been refusing the treatments, and the doctors aren’t sure how long I have left, but now I know I have very little time.
Reaper just appeared outside my window.
He's staring straight at me.