Chapter 5: No shit, Sherlock

Mum came into town to pick me up, with a spare change of clothes for both me and Frog. Since it was almost home time, Frog came home with us as well. The teachers didn't know he'd left with us, but Mum didn't mind. I think it was the fact that it was just a sports day that allowed Frog to come home with us. Tom, however, was made to go home on the bus alone.

"How did you get bitten?" Mum wanted to know on the way home.

"You wouldn't believe me," I said.

"Koosh, you can't not tell me," Mum insisted. Rolling my eyes, I sighed.

"A Pokemon bit me," I said.

"Koosh," Mum said, in that tone all mothers have.

"See, I told you that you wouldn't believe me," I said. "Frog, tell her what happened."

"We found a Pokemon in the lake, and Koosh got bitten as we tried to pull it out," Frog explained.

"A toy?" Mum asked.

"No," I said. "Weren't you listening? The Pokemon bit me!"

"Don't yell at me," Mum snapped. Mum and I argue a lot, but we are very close, so it doesn't seem to matter as much. Mum is a tall woman with blond-brown hair. She knows nearly everyone in town, and is good friends with most of them. She's always going to craft group or taking Tom to sports or in town for parent's club or school council. Since it's only a small town, she's got to know nearly everyone.

"It's true, though," I muttered after a moment's silence. "Frog's got it in a Pokeball."

"Why are you still going on about it?" Mum wanted to know. "Ok, so you don't want to tell me. Maybe it was a friend's dog that you want to protect. But surely you could have come up with a better story than a Pokemon bit you."

"Frog, pass us the Pokeball," I said, turning to Frog. He handed it over without argument, and I held the ball up with my good arm so Mum could see it in the mirror. "When we stop the car, we'll show you," I said. Mum just shook her head.

Mum stopped at Frog's place first. Mrs Walker came out to say thank you and invite Mum in for a drink as Frog and I readied ourselves to have a look at this Vaporeon.

"I don't know where it came from," I was saying. "Technically, it's impossible, but then again, there was that Pikachu we saw the other day."

"Come on," Mum said impatiently. "Show us this 'Pokemon'."

Frog pressed the button on the Pokeball, and it expanded, just like on the show. The Pokeballs, which we had studied from every angle, were exact replicas from the cartoon, yet Frog couldn't figure out how or why they worked. That scared me; if Frog couldn't figure out how they worked, where the hell had they come from? Another press of the button and red light evaporated from it, forming a shape on the ground in front of us.

The Vaporeon stood haughtily in front of us, glancing around. Mum and Mrs Walker took a deep breath inward each, staring at it.

"See," I told them. No-one moved for a few moments, until the Vaporeon sat down and started licking its paw like a cat.

"Strange looking thing, isn't it?" Frog said.

"What is it?" Mum asked.

"A Vaporeon," I said. "But it's not meant to be real." I didn't need to explain to Mum the concept of Pokemon, she was already sort of familiar because of me and Ekl.

The Vaporeon gave us all a look, then wandered over to Frog. It sat at his feet, looking up at him with its big, dark eyes. It made a funny noise, a bit like a doggy purr, and rubbed its head on Frog's hand.

"Wow," Frog said. He looked up at me. "You wouldn't believe this is the same thing from before."

"Maybe because we jumped it?" I suggested. "If you were swimming, and someone grabbed you unexpectedly, you'd fight back too." We all looked at the Vaporeon, it mewing (I suppose you could call the noises it was making as mewing) at Frog.

"Oh my god," Mum said. I think she was too stunned to say anything else. Mrs Walker hadn't said a thing yet.

"So, now what?" Frog asked, rubbing the Vaporeon behind the fins on its head. It purred loudly.

"Name it, I guess," I said with a shrug. "Is it male or female?" A quick, subtle look told us the Vaporeon was female.

"What do you call a Pokemon?" Frog asked, looking at me pleadingly. He was way in over his head with this sort of thing, I realised.

"Anything," I said. "Splash, Mermaid, Waterfall, Squirt, anything to do with water, I guess. Or just a normal name will do. Penny, Trish, Loretta."

"You name it," Frog said to me. "Since you won't take it."

"Marika," Mrs Walker said.

"What?" Frog and I asked in unison.

"Call it Marika," Mrs Walker said. "I had a doll called Marika when I was a little girl. My most favourite toy in the whole world, she was." Frog shrugged.

"Ok," he said. "Marika." Marika just purred. He looked up at me. "What was a Vaporeon doing in our lake?" he asked me. I shook my head. I had no idea.


Frog came back to our place to do some homework. We often helped each other out, or at any rate, talked about maybe putting it off until tomorrow. Our house is big, but with fewer rooms than the Walker's. The rooms are huge (you could get lost for three days in our lounge room before search and rescue would find you) and we had a lot of junk to fill these rooms with. Mum had her crafts and stuff in the sun room, and Tom and I had enough junk to sink a battleship. However, neither of us wanted to get rid of any of our things. The guest bedroom was possibly the room with the least stuff in it, but even it had a lot.

Frog and I were sitting outside when Tom finally got home from school. School finishes at three thirty, and we usually get home at quarter to five. Like I said, it's a long trip. Tom seemed very excited.

"Koosh!" he yelled, running up to us. "You won't believe it! On the radio, they said there were reports all over Australia about Pokemon attacks! That was a Pikachu we saw! Pokemon are real!"

"Not shit, Sherlock," Frog said, not unkindly.

"What happened to your arm?" Tom asked, noticing my arm was bandaged up. "And why weren't you home on the bus?"

"Mum came and got me and Frog," I explained. "And I got bitten by a Vaporeon."

"What?" Tom yelped.

"We found a Vaporeon in the lake, and we caught it," Frog said, taking the Pokeball out of his pocket. Tom's eyes went wide as Frog sent out Marika.

"Whoa," he said. Marika stared at Tom for a moment, then sent a small jet stream of water at his chest. Tom stepped back, trying to deflect the attack.

"Marika, cut it out," Frog said, putting a hand on the Vaporeon's neck after we'd finished laughing. Marika stopped spitting water.

"How'd it do that?" Tom wanted to know. Frog and I shrugged.

"Don't know," I said. "She soaked Dad when we came home, too." Tom laughed.

"I would have liked to see that," he said wistfully. Frog took his hand off the back of Marika's neck, and she started soaking Tom again. "Cut it out!" he spluttered. Frog and I were laughing so hard, it took a moment or two before Frog got Marika to stop.

"Sorry," Frog said to him. He was stroking Marika gently on the head, and she was making the purring noises again.

"Where did they come from?" Tom wanted to know. "They had to have come from somewhere. If you ask me, they're mutants."

"Damn mutants!" I yelled, making the other two jump. "You say one more word about bloody mutants, and you'll regret it!"

"Mutant," Tom said before running into the house. Frog sniggered, but I glared at the door as Tom locked it from the inside.

"Smartass," I muttered loudly before turning my attention back to the math sheet in front of me.