The Beginning

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A lone figure quietly shuffled down the abandoned street. The pavements were littered with smoke wafting out of cracks. Old newspapers flew around idly, swirling within the dusty wind, plaintively sharing the same headline it had for many years. The figure raised his familiar glow of amber eyes, untidy black hair swaying beneath the old hat, yellowing with age. Ash Ketchum, now thirty six, surveyed his setting with contemplation. He felt he was walking towards the end of the world.

Nothing had prevented the change from coming. It had been inevitable from the beginning, but his youthful foundation of naiveté had always rebuked the coming fact. Perhaps it had been because of his age. The guileful, inherent sort of doubt had weaved in and out of his life, creating colors that eventually faded away into gray, then…nothing. How blissful his starting point was, compared to the present! Regrets were powerful, stalling until time had a limit to itself. Just that could destroy a single, fragile part of your emotions.

He had safely assumed it would all work out. Ash Ketchum almost laughed. That was it, wasn't it? He had always made assumptions, whether it was hasty or slow, oblivious to the premonitions that had been set aside. The truth had arrived sooner or later without needs of assumptions. It had been lingering in his past, this he knew, but he had never expected it to actually fulfill what his life feared. Marveling at his childlike simplicity did nothing, nor his adolescence. It was now that counted, and what he could have done.

Perhaps, he thought with the slightest bit of satisfaction, mankind could not have done anything. Perhaps they were meant to end like this, in perpetual solitude. Intelligence was a state of mind, as with reality. They continued to exist, but never having the exact significance he would have thought to have. Why mankind did not use them, why they had let greed take over? Why everything seemed to desolate at the end? Why questions were never answered until the end? Why contemplate things you already knew?

This, he had decided, was nothing in comparison to the guilt hidden deep underneath, waiting for the perfect moment to rise up again. That was imperfection, despite numerous theories serving as a distraction, and a clever one indeed. All of them had fallen for the invisible trap, visible only when they were struck with the dawn of realization. Unfortunately, no one attempted to change the course of life after that. They flowed passively, going wherever life took them, stopping whenever life wanted them to.

How long had it been? Ash Ketchum, he had been only ten, receiving what looked like his best friend. It had been nothing but a furry, yellow mouse, with unusual powers through electricity. Even now, his so called 'best friend' was a vanishing silhouette upon his memories, until it would disappear altogether. Not like he cared. He let out a chuckle that was barely audible to the ear. Yes, not like he cared. It wouldn't make a difference anymore, at least, not now. Friends were a thing of the past. This was the present.

Why did it even have to happen? Even he was skeptical about the answers arising. He had been a young, foolish person traveling with two vague friends. Their names were not familiar, and it was not as if he cared anymore, because he didn't. Ash Ketchum stuck adamantly and firmly with his decision. An orange haired teen would have laughed at him, teasing lightly, 'same old stubborn Ash…'

He shook his head, ridding himself of the thoughts pervading his mind. Friends, foes, those peculiar creatures inhabiting earth…they did not exist anymore.

The street he was walking on was bare. People rarely traveled through the abandoned road, unless you were a nomad. Foggy clouds of dust arose and settled down again, creating a thin sheet layering the sidewalk. You could not even see the concrete anymore. On the other side of the street, a small boy was standing in front of the worn down store, but still open. The display window showed few cheap items, ranging from broken toys to dying electronics. Only one item caught his eye.

It was still gleaming with the faintest shade of pastel blue, shape much similar to a crinkled rectangle. On the cover, the letters unmistakably read, 'Pokemon Blue,' now selling at P15. Ash Ketchum stopped walking, watching the little boy go into the store. Few seconds later, the blue box had been taken out from the display window, taken home happily by an eager youth. It was not the quantity he worried about, it was more of the quality. There had been a flicker of hope right there, when the boy had clutched the fading game, running to who knew where.

Perhaps there was hope.

Ash Ketchum couldn't say for certain. He was old with a persistent mind, convinced that life had eventually led them all here in this world.

He lowered his hat, closing his eyes in a contemplative look.

The meadow was green, lush grass swaying with the cool breeze. The sun was steadily coming up, casting golden rays across the azure sky. Ash Ketchum stood there, ten, with two friends close beside him. He smiled at the dawn of a new day. A loyal mouse perched upon his shoulder, smiling with its trainer, waiting for the first move they would take. Most importantly, what they would do together again.

And then, he saw it. It had been flapping continuously, crooning at the perfect weather. Ash scrunched up his face, trying to remember the name.

Pi…Pid…Pidgey?

Pidgey.

His fingers automatically went to his side, grasping the small sphere like object, running towards the bird.

The same orange haired girl tried to catch up to him, laughing along. Beneath the sunlight, she was radiant.

Ash Ketchum grasped the moment. He had missed catching a Pidgey at the start of his journey. Now was his chance.

This was only the beginning.