Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pokémon: The Golden Apocalypse, Chapter Twenty-Three, Part One

Red slowly turned his head upwards. He stared into the fog for a moment, attempting to assemble a picture of what was above. There was the cliff face, pockmarked with holes and ledges. There, farther on, was a larger form in the fog of a significant outcropping, perhaps as large as Red's pack. And there, around and beyond everything, was nothing but the nothingness the world had been enveloped with.
He sighed, and allowed his head to sink back down. His eyes closed, and he thought bemusedly that it made no difference in this spirit realm. He remained still for a while, first listening for the bird, then pondering its fate. How long it was he would never know, but it was long enough that his pupils protested when he looked again. He blinked away the spots from his vision and raised his head. His breath caught in his throat.
There was a bird in front of him. Standing on the cliff before him, it scratched absently at the ground. Finding nothing, it raised its head and looked directly at Red, cocking its head. The boy tensed, expecting attack. The bird was clearly a spearow, and a more ill-tempered pokémon one would be hard-pressed to find.
The bird turned its head the other way. Its golden eyes closed for a moment, and it hopped forward. Red flinched, and hit his head against the wall behind him. The bird hopped closer again.
Whether it was from the minor cranial trauma or the proximity of the pokémon, Red suddenly recognized the bird. It was the spearow that had helped them when the Shadowed Pokémon blotted the sun. He reached out a tentative hand. The bird looked at it quizzically. Taking a breath, the boy tried to pet the pokémon's head. The spearow promptly pecked him, and he withdrew his bleeding appendage.
Sucking on his wound, Red studied the bird before him. The pokémon stared back, seeming both contemptuous and bored. It scratched at the ground again, and looked at the boy. When no response was given, it scratched more insistently.
It dawned on Red that the bird was trying to tell him something. But what? He leaned slightly forward and, keeping one eye on the spearow, looked at the ground in front of him. It was nothing but smooth stone. The bird was watching him expectantly.
"Well, what do you want?" asked Red. "There isn't anything there."
The bird scratched again, and hopped forward. Red braced himself for another peck, but to his surprise, it kicked him. Could spearow do that? It wasn't like it hurt. Neither did the next kick. It wasn't until the third that Red realized what was happening. The bird wasn't attacking him; it was extending it's leg to him.
It was delivering a letter. Red moved his hand carefully forward, and untied the string that held the message.

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