Author's Note & Disclaimer: Welcome to 'Suffocating Sin'! Please be advised that this is not a story for the kids. This fiction is rated 'M for Mature' due to scare-factor and sexy-factor. This story will feature a classic-yet-not-so-classic love triangle between Ash Ketchum, Misty Waterflower and Gary Oak. If you don't like any of these matchups, or 'adult situations' / 'scary monsters' make you squirm, I advise skipping this story. ;) BUT, if you are open to a spooky-sexy-mystery then . . . LET'S GO! I am oh-so thrilled to have you onboard! This story is very much a 'work in progress'. I have spent several months drafting chapters, now it's time to 'put it out there' and see if anyone wants to join my imagination on a new Pokemon adventure! I am anticipating 15-18 chapters and hope you'll join me for the long-haul! xo Maia's Pen
Cover Art: By the incomparable Wooserr. Stay tuned for more art specific to this story as the tale unfolds. Check my website, link in bio.
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By Maia's Pen
When Gary Oak was five-years-old his gramps asked him to do a 'big boy' errand. The errand itself was straightforward: go into the cellar and fetch a jar of pickles. This would be Gary's first time going into the cellar alone, without gramps to hold his hand. But, Gary was a big boy. Heck, he was half way to ten years! Half way to getting his very own pokemon! And, maybe, retrieving the pickles from down there would prove to gramps that he was brave. And not only brave, but responsible too! Perhaps responsible enough to have a pokemon earlier than the other kids who lived in his neighborhood.
Little Gary didn't like the cellar. It was damp, dark, dingy and smelled like mold. Yucky mold that was so moldy it was growing its own mold. But he very much liked the idea of showboating his starter pokemon around the other kids, especially Ashy. By the time Ashy was old enough to have a pokemon, Gary could already be a top contender! Maybe he'd even be THE POKEMON MASTER! The youngest one ever!
Puffing his chest like he'd seen gramps' Machop do, Gary opened the cellar door and clicked the light-switch. The old electrical system whined to life. The twenty wooden steps seemed to flicker in and out of focus, as though Gary were waking up from a nap and his eyes were still fuzzy. Eventually the electricity stabilized and the stairs were spotlighted by a steady florescent glow.
It still seemed a bit dark at the bottom of the stairs, but big boys weren't afraid of the dark. Gary held his head high and began descending the steps. He tread as gently as he could. Of course there was nothing to be scared of —no evil demons lived in gramps' basement— and gramps had even told Gary that the cellar was clear of demons. Gramps said the only things that lived down there were his pickle jars.
But . . . there was nothing wrong with tip-toeing, just in case. After all, sometimes gramps couldn't find his reading glasses when they were on his face, so he may have accidentally overlooked a demon.
Going underground was creepy. By step number twelve Gary had decided that: dark, damp, dingy cellars that smelled like moldy mold were exactly the sort of awful places that demons liked to take naps. It was best to be on guard.
As Gary cleared the final step, he inwardly applauded himself. He'd made it all the way to the bottom as silently as a Haunter. The shelving unit ahead was his target. The unit boasted row after row (taller than gramps!) lined with pickle jars. If Gary pretended he was large like a Blastoise, and took a few giant steps, then he'd be at the pickles in no time. And so Gary flared his nostrils and snorted, imagining a powerful Water Gun attack was at the ready! Evil demons beware!
Gary took one long stride toward the pickles and . . .
The cellar lighting died.
Not even a flicker remained to cling to light.
Just instant, all-encompassing dark.
Gary stared ahead into nothing.
Was there a power-failure?
Was it his sister, May, playing a cruel joke?
Had gramps really, truly failed to notice a demon?
An evil demon?!
Gary spun in place. Every direction forced the same scene upon his eyes. It was blacker then when May would shove a pillowcase over his face and tickle him. He dared a step backward—arms outstretched—fingers searching—frantic—feeling for the stair railing!
But there was nothing there.
Had Gary turned the wrong direction? His eyes were open, right?! Gary touched his lashes with his fingertips. Yes! His eyes were both open. They were wide open. Why couldn't he see anything?
The opposite way then, he'd go there. Gary's fingers again sought the familiar stair railing. He found the cold cement wall. But which of the four walls was this? Was he even near the stairs? Had he somehow traveled across the room? Gary skimmed his fingers along the wall. If he just kept going forward he would eventually circle the entire room and find the stairs. This was a trick gramps had once taught Gary, and he was ever-so-thankful he'd paid attention!
Gary's small hand retracted as though he'd touched flame! He staggered backward, falling hard on his behind. He grit his teeth, refusing to cry out and scrambled to his feet. His heart hammered against his ribcage like an alarmed Marowak. Sweat-beads rolled down his cheeks — or were those tears?
No, big boys didn't cry. Pokemon Masters were not afraid of the dark or even evil demons! But he did need someone to turn on the lights; he needed to know what was down here with him! And so Gary opened his mouth to call for his gramps.
No words came out. Gary's mouth was dry like he'd just scarfed down an entire bag of salty popcorn. His jaw was clenched—his throat was tightening—why was he breathing like he'd just come up from the water? Was the evil demon lurking closer? Watching him—-stalking him—-waiting for the perfect moment to seize him and eat him raw?!
The lighting buzzed back on.
The entire cellar flooded with light like a Blastoise hosing a teacup.
Gary was only a few steps from the stairwell and he was alone in the cellar, pickle jars aside. The jars sat patiently upon their shelves, waiting to be be chosen like starter pokemon. Gary snatched the closest jar, imagined he were a prize-winning Rapidash, and bolted up the stairs.
The next time gramps wanted pickles, Little Gary bribed the Machop to get them.
Twenty years later and Professor Gary Oak continued to harbor a strong dislike for cellars in general. After the 'dark cellar incident', gramps had assured him that an electrical fluctuation was to blame. That sort of thing sometimes happened in older homes. Gramps also said that Gary had imagined the change in wall texture. Gary's logical adult mind recognized the situation for what it was. He accepted gramps' explanation. He was a scientist after all, and understood that his childhood self had experienced textbook disorientation and claustrophobia.
Despite rationalizing the experience, it remained like a dull itch inside of his skull. An itch that flared up whenever he attempted actives held underground. As a youthful pokemon trainer, sometimes Gary's journey would lead him to a mountain pass. He would always try to find an excuse to drive around the mountain verses venture through it — even if it added days to reaching his destination. Mountain passes, subways, basements—whatever. He didn't like them. The last time Gary went into any basement he was fourteen. A pretty girl had lured him down so they could hide from her father. She had promised to jar his pickle. It didn't work out. His pickle was too creeped out and failed him. Failed him for the one and only time in his life.
Henceforth Gary had avoided any visits to the underground. Eleven straight years on top of the soil!
And yet today, Gary found himself venturing into the mother-of-all-cellars. Literally. He was undergoing a deep cave expedition.
Mother Nature had gramps' basement beat.
Only now did Gary finally learn what darkness looked like.
What darkness felt like.
What darkness smelled like.
The suffocating-utter-nothingness made gramps' basement seem like an amusement park.
Many eager girls had called Gary a 'big boy' over the years, but he sure didn't feel like one now. Hell, if Machop was a paleontologist, then Gary would have bribed him to do this job too.
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Author's Note: Stage is set. Please review! Reviews feed my Muse and make me SMILE. ^_^ xo Maia's Pen