Disclaimer: If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I don't own pokémon.

Rating: G, though there are some dark implications.

The Last Word

It was an odd feeling that came over him, one of grim foreboding. There was the distinct sensation that he was being watched, and if he had to describe it, perhaps he would say that it was as though a shadow had fallen across him, a chill creeping over his back. He turned around apprehensively, and his heart gave a painful, terrified lurch at what he saw.

Standing behind him was an absol, a fine, well-groomed specimen. It was utterly silent, and indeed it had made no noise as it entered the room. The pokémon seemed utterly alien, its thick white fur glimmering with a cold brilliance in contrast to the warm, cheerful glow cast by the table lamp in the corner. Its killing claws sank into the thick carpeting and its wiry frame was all hard lines against the rounded edges of the well-worn furniture that surrounded it. Seeing that it had gained his attention, it spoke, "You must come with me." A distant mutter of thunder, almost felt rather than heard, followed its command.

He turned back to his desk, breaking away from the creature's deadly, if impassive, stare. He was not surprised by the absol's sudden appearance in his room, not startled by its ability to speak to him in his own language. Hadn't he written about them often enough, the doom bringers, the heralds of disaster and despair? He knew why it had come, had known that it would find him one day.

"I'm not ready to leave," he said, though it was only a half-hearted protest. He uttered it more out of respect for tradition, out of recognition of the sheer hopelessness of his situation, than out of any real hope that the creature would pay it any mind. "I can't go with you yet." He did not turn back to face the beast.

"You must come now," came the hollow voice from behind him. "I am neither judge nor jury."

"But you are the guillotine," he responded darkly, half to himself. He slowly laid his pencil down on the desk, both playing for time and trying to suppress down his rising panic. His heart beat wildly, trying to claw itself from his doomed chest, and sweat coated his palms as his mind churned out wild, impossible plans of escape. How tightly he clung to life on the verge of death!"

Thunder rumbled again, much closer now. A chilling breeze swept through the room, twining around him covetously. He reluctantly turned around to face the absol once more. The creature stood silent, in the exact same stance as it had before. "You must come with me," it reiterated. There was no sense of urgency or insistence in its tone, only the same calm ultimatum.

The storm drew closer, thunder roaring and wind howling with fierce pleasure as it drew nearer its quarry. He realized that there was no time for pleading, no time for false hopes. "There is something that I must do first," he said to the absol. It gave no response, waiting patiently despite its knowledge of the wild tempest riding close on its heels. He turned around quickly, snatching the pencil up once more. As he leaned over the desk again, his eyes frantically scanned what he had written so far. It all seemed so inadequate now, and it was still far from finished.

That thought brought him up short, and he paused, contemplating, for a second deaf to the cacophonous noise building in the air around him. He smiled suddenly, then hurriedly scribbled a final word down.

The rain came hissing down just as he pushed back his chair and stood up, stinging his exposed skin with the deep cold of hellfire. A final look around his room was all that he was granted, a moment of reflection on all that he had done—and not done—before he was forced to join the absol, the burning rain now mixed with vicious hail.

He seemed to be having difficulty standing, though to his relief, the area around the absol seemed as yet untouched by the tempest's fury. He staggered unsteadily over to it, surprised at his own weakness, and put his hand on the creature's head, leaning on it for support. As soon as he shifted his weight, however, his hand began to slide off of the pokémon, his fingers finding no purchase in the silky strands of its fur. Instinctively, he grabbed for the only solid handhold available to him: the wicked sickle blade jutting from the side of the absol's head.

The creature did not seem to mind his odd choice of support, merely stepping forward, leading the man away from his comfortable, familiar life. Its gait was unhurried in defiance of the roaring storm behind, the horrid lightning that leapt from roiling clouds as the tempest gnashed its teeth, furious to see them leave. The man clung to the absol's scythe as though it was his only hope of redemption.

Heart attack, they said when they found him slumped over his writing desk. Poor chap. What a day to go!

And indeed, it was a warm, hopeful summer's day, the sky clear and untroubled. They read over what he had been writing and were surprised, for it was dark and foreboding, an examination of the tribulations of life. How anyone could write something so morbid with a teasing beam of sunlight shining directly onto his desk was beyond them, but he was a poet, and poets were notoriously odd birds.

The poem itself was, they thought, a very good one, a fitting end, perhaps, to a successful career. There was something odd about it, though. It broke off suddenly, the dark train of thought halting without apparent reason. And then there was but a single word, scrawled hurriedly with quick, excited strokes: