Disclaimer: I do not own pokemon, nor do I own the information from the site 'The Haunted Goldfield Hotel in Goldfield Nevada'.
1:2 – The Province of Darkness.
She was chained to a radiator and pregnant.
I was the local entertainment for the increasingly popular 'demon hunts'.
The problem was, she'd once been the entertainment too.
Her condition was proof enough of that, was it not? She'd been crying for mercy for hours since the customers had started coming past her room, but during the months since she'd been tied up there, no one had bothered to give it to her. After all, if the manager of the hotel was so set on keeping his whore there, then why should anyone else care? Besides, how could they possibly get her out without pokemon to sever the chains, without a team to fight against the organization that ran this town? Goldfield, Orre…indeed, I quite despised it, for more reasons then this evident cruelty.
The region was a desert wasteland, forged from several great natural disasters that had been so incredibly terrible that they had driven even the hardiest of pokemon away. There were no pocket monsters here to be captured in the wild…they had to be bought, stolen, or traded by human trainers. This thought, of course, leads back to my thoughts on the organization that runs this town. I understood it well enough. I had come from a similarly repulsive crime group after all…but these people were perverting the pokemon they came across, 'closing their hearts' as I'd heard it said. Certainly, there was something wrong with the beings' auras…they were dark and twisted, becoming the evil that only their trainers were supposed to be. It was a sadistic thing, turning the previously innocent creatures into utter devilish soldiers, who sought destruction with a wrath spawned by their trainer's lusts. Was it any wonder that there were those fighting them, trying to bring the shadow pokemon back into normalcy through kindness and fair treatment?
Compared to that atrocity, I should not have been at all shocked by what I saw, this young woman being treated as she was. Humans have always been cruel to their own kind, especially when it comes to business matters. And considering that this affair would be scandalous to the owner of the hotel, George Wingfield, who had a family of his own, it was no wonder he had tried to hide her away when she had been so foolish as to return here and tell him that the baby was his. Oh, for a time, he had paid her for her silence and to keep a fair distance away…but when she could no longer hide her condition, he had lured her back to the hotel with its gambling, its booze and drugs, and then into this tiny room, Room 109, and had proceeded to chain her to the radiator.
She had burns on some of her limbs, probably from when she slept and accidentally bumped into the scorching pipe. And while she was left with food and water, the room smelled strongly of human waste. Vomit, urine, fecal matter, and blood. This was truly her prison, and she had not bathed in a handful of months now. She was in a sorry state…her white shift grimy, her flowing hair a greasy, stringy mess. She had probably once been very beautiful. Considering her occupation, that would have certainly been a benefit. But what I sensed from her then in her weakness was despair, loneliness…and, at very rare times, a shard of joy at the feeling of her child stirring inside her. Yet that joy was swiftly replaced with sorrow as she reminded herself of the situation she was in.
She was close now to childbirth. If she survived it, she would be left nearly dead. She was in no condition to give birth to what was surely a sickly baby, and I had my suspicions of what would happen to her if she did live after the event. After all, the sadistic man, who was increasingly reminding me of Giovanni, had chained her here to suffer…what was murder then, for a man so cruel and cowardly? Already the entire town knew about the affair…he just refused to admit that he had a bastard child stirring in a prostitute's womb, and thought that by shackling her here he could hide his sin.
But not from me. After all, was I not the demon those damnable trainers were searching for, to capture and corrupt? It was rare that a wild pokemon dared to pass through this region…I admit, it had been a mistake on my part. I had not intended to stay here for more than a night in my wanderings. However, the woman's unceasing torture had made me reluctant to leave so soon….
Do not misunderstand my concern. She, this Elizabeth, is a human…a part of the race I hate and despise. Merely…it bothers me to see someone being forced to endure this treatment. It reminds me all too vividly of my time in the Viridian Team Rocket Base, where I had stayed for a year. I had been left drink and substance to satiate my needs…and yes, I had had a place to bathe and empty my bowels. But I too had been chained, in my own way. The armor, the wires…oh yes, seeing a creature forced to stay in such a repulsive place did not appeal to me in the least.
I think she knew I was watching her. From time to time, she lifted her head, as though sensing that someone was there, near her. But I was cloaked and in the shadows of the room…if she saw anything, it was a mere slight movement, no more than an insect's fluttering.
Then, as I had anticipated in earlier hours, her final task began. Her entire body shuddered with the first contractions…she gave a small moan, a low shriek. It was the middle of the night, but even so, there was always a watcher near the room, ready to report to Wingfield of a change in her condition. I heard the man running off, searching for his pay for alerting his boss to the whore slipping into labor. I considered taking her then. It might be best, for who was to say if the man wouldn't bring a pistol and shoot her right after the child was born? But no…he'd had many opportunities to kill the woman before this point. Perhaps he truly was too much of a coward. He would handle blood money, but he wouldn't dirty his hands with such a gruesome act.
However, this was where things might change. At any rate, I waited there, invisible to other eyes, and watched all. The key to this ability is to silently push attention away from the area I stood within, while not directly thinking or saying not to look over to me…it was an easy enough task, considering the woman's current state. It would prove distraction enough for me.
Presently, the father arrived, along with him an old woman, presumably a servant. She would act as midwife to the poor female. Elizabeth followed her instructions, for in her pain her instinct fought with her logic, rendering her brain essentially useless. She was far too weak. Her body would not be able to survive whether she succeeded or not. I could sense that easily, yet still, I remained and observed. It took hours of sweat, tears, moans, and an accumulation of blood-soaked towels, but finally, under Wingfield's, the midwife's, and my watching eyes, the infant came into being. It wailed pitifully, small but alive. The father's jaw clenched.
So he was hoping for a stillborn child.
Yes, that made sense. He might even have been poisoning the woman to try to ensure it. After all, if that were the case, he might very well be able to release her, and deny the entire thing without a baby as thriving proof of his illicit desires. Elizabeth might talk, yes, but who would believe her? She was a prostitute, and her disappearance could be associated with many things other than the imprisonment.
She was exhausted by this point…drifting in and out of consciousness. But she had enough strength to reach out for her child. Her baby, who had been the only source of company and happiness for her in all these long months. I wondered, vaguely, when she had foolishly come to Wingfield, what she had been expecting. Had she merely come to tell him that she would be the mother to a child of his? She had, after all, been a frequent visitor to this hotel. It could have been anyone else's to his mind if he had found out from another resident of the town.
Had he then tried to convince her to stay with sweet words; or had it been her desire to blackmail him into accommodating her in her time of need, the scheme not worked until he wished it to? If it was the later, than it had certainly backfired…he had turned on her, as was the way of Man. Yet whatever the situation had been, she clearly resented herself for her decision to return here. If anything, she had not wanted this.
Presently, Wingfield would not give the woman her infant, no matter her quiet, desperate pleas. She was still chained, and had no strength to try to rise and grasp him, to try to retrieve her little one. All she could do was lay there and beg…he gave her a contemptuous look, and walked out of the room with the child. His aura indicated something horrific stirring in his mind…I caught a glimpse of his intentions:
An old mineshaft below the hotel, in the northern end of the basement….
God damn it all.
How convenient for him that this town is a mining community, the ore veins still running strong and thick! I glanced at the mother. She was being cleaned up by the old woman, who was whispering for her to rest. It likely mattered little by this point. We could both see that Elizabeth had been hemorrhaging throughout labor. It would take only a bit of shock and trauma to extinguish the life she possessed currently, the thread that held and tied her to life as thin as the blood she was still shedding. She had lost too much of the crimson fluid. The air was heavy with its odor, above the stench of the disgusting sewage that had been accumulating for months now. She was in bad shape, to say the very least. She might not even be alive when the father returned.
I could do nothing for her.
…But I could rescue the child.
You wonder why I do this, Mew? Why I should care if another human brat is killed? I understand your thoughts. I even agree that I normally would possess no concern for it. However, that girl had suffered enough. If she was to die, then perhaps I might ensure that the man who was her death would not have his way in the end. To save the infant would be a humiliation and offense he would never forget. Oh, he might wipe his shame away of the woman he'd tormented…but he would always know that he had a bastard running about, taunting him with its existence.
Yes…if I could make him suffer an ounce of what he had done to that woman, Elizabeth, I would be content.
I found him standing in the depths of the hotel, above the mineshaft his brain had envisioned. Then, without a pause, he let the naked, bloody, wailing infant plummet down the dark tunnel, into the depths of hollowed stone and into hell. I caught it quickly with my powers as it fell out of sight…and I held it there, quieting it with a soundproof bubble of a shield that was blue where my predecessor's was always pink. The man turned…and found me standing behind him, a devil in a cloak. He started, staggering away from me. It pleased me deeply that I'd frightened him. He had every reason to be fearful of me.
Vaguely, I wondered what form of punishment I should give him, what thing I might do to make him suffer - I had all the opportunity in the world then, and all the time I could ever need. I could trap him in this place with ease, here in the unforgiving darkness…or I could kill him, and in some very painful manners. He cursed and shouted before I could formulate a suitable justice for his crimes, lumbering at me with a knife. Pathetic...! I tore it from his grip as a poltergeist might from a pestering priest, and then lifted and held him in the air, wondering how it would feel to crack his ribs one by one. It sounded rather amusing, but I refrained from doing so.
"What…what the hell are you?" He moaned, terror quaking his voice.
Oh, what to say to that? Even I did not know a certain answer to such an inquiry. Yet I would not tell him what I did know when concerning the matter. He had no right to such private information. Instead, I merely smirked, (Your people call me a demon, and hunt me like one. Perhaps I am that.)
His eyes widened, "What...do you want with me?"
Stupid, moronic man. I did not care the slightest for his miserable life. I was very tempted then to send him down the shaft he had tried to throw his baby into, but then he would almost certainly be caught on my shield. A shame, that fact. If anyone deserved that form of death, it would certainly be him. Yet I could only give him an innocent look…and of course, such a thing has never formed well on my face. To try likely contorts my expression into something more disturbing than if I were to glare to him. Hence, in the mood I was in, I did it with a certain amount of pleasure and malice.
He shuddered. I repressed my most malevolent of laughter, and told him quietly, (I will release you, human. I think I shall play with you some first, but then I will let you go.)
His body stiffened at one word, which he echoed shakily, "'Play'?"
Of course. Had he thought I would release him unscathed? Unfortunately for him, he was not going to like my form of "playing" one bit….
Suffice to say I rendered the man sterile, and gave him a rather embarrassing disorder that men twice his age usually develop and need pills for. It will be my own personal, private memory to savor how I did so. Then, I let the man run along, or rather, stagger…he had tried to scream, but that was something I had not allowed, so all he had been able to do was weep. Pitiful. It had been such child's play…and speaking of which….
I brought the infant out of the shadows to me. For a time, I stared at it, wondering what to do with it. It was no longer pouting, just staring at me with wide, dark eyes. Finally, after what seemed like ages, I decided to release it from the shield, tearing away some of my cloak to wrap around its…no, her little body. A female. A daughter. That figured all, did it not? In olden times, when a father was presented with a girl child, he would leave it in the wilderness to die, and rage that his wife had not given him a son. Disgusting, considering that it would be through the mature body of the abandoned girl that they would have been given a true, undeniable lineage. After all, wasn't this incident proof enough that bastards were quite easily sired by lusty men? Besides, it was their seed that determined the sex of the offspring, not a female's will.
Sighing in exasperation at the whole affair, I drew the girl to me, cradling her tiny body in the crook of my arm against my chest. The newborn did not care what I was, only that my fur was soft and warm and probably smelled pleasant compared to Room 109 and this dungeon. Even though my cloak was full of dust and musty…it had been through much abuse in my wanderings. But no matter. Now to return to her mother-.
The sound of a sickening crunch above us, of metal to bone, made my head snap up. Curse it all…of course that man would go to her! Even so I teleported to the room, despite knowing that I was too late. The damnable man had already fled along with the midwife, leaving an ice pick beside the poor girl. She was bleeding profusely from the head…her eyes glazing over. I stepped into view, my hood lowered and her infant in my arms. Extraordinarily, the prostitute smiled upon seeing us, with such a terrible sadness in her face that for quite some time would haunt me afterwards. Her eyes flickered as she gazed at her child…alive and stirring.
Or so I thought that was the conclusion in her mind.
Well, well…I had never been called that before. Certainly, I had tried to destroy the world and all living creatures within it, save for a select few…but I was no Abaddon, nor the Serpent who had tempted Eve - and by extension humanity - into sin. It slightly amused me, that insult, and I shook my head once.
(I am not. Though your lover does know me to be a devil.)
Disgust crossed her face at that…not at my description, but at what I'd called the infant's father.
"I hope you hurt him…."
My eyes glimmered with what I was certain was some humor, (I did. It was quite a pleasure to.)
A pause from her, her mind contemplating even as her life trickled away, "So you and my child…you're alive?"
(Yes,) I said quietly, serious in tone. She understood….
The human seemed to sag, perhaps in relief, and her voice wavered slightly as she asked, "Could you…do something for me then?"
I thought on it…but she was fading too fast for true consideration on my part. I said I would, and listened to her final request.
Her eyes continued to grow evermore glassy…, "Take care of my baby…or if you plan to dump him…make sure he's with someone kind," she whispered.
The need to correct her was too strong for me to deny, (Your child is female, woman.)
Elizabeth smiled faintly up at us, "Oh…oh…."
…She died before anything could be done to help her. Even if I had taken her, teleported her to a hospital, she would have perished. The abuse she had been put through, combined with the blow to the head, was enough to make that certain. The damnable man had murdered her, and only I, out of all who had know she was here, had done anything to stop the cruelty from persisting. But even I had waited too long to aid her. Now she lay there, dead, her only legacy in rumors and in the baby I was still holding.
It sickened me.
I transported her corpse outside to the local graveyard…somehow, I doubted that Wingfield would ensure a proper burial. With my powers, I dug the grave, laid her in it, and buried the arid soil unto her, carving out a headstone from the nearest chunk of unmarred granite I could find. It bore her name, and what information I had gathered of her birth and death dates. Nothing more…but nothing less either. I placed it on top of her grave about where her head would rest, and then left with the child in my arms….
2:2 – The Province of Light.
Myth would have it that the mother's spirit stayed to haunt the hotel, and in the following years of Wingfield's life, his health would deteriorate because of her presence even beyond her death. Some would also say that the infant's crying could be heard from the depths of the basement, and that Elizabeth would answer with her own tears, calling out for the child she had never gotten to hold and sorely missed. If this story was true, I was certain was merely residual emotion taking on some tangible form. After all, the child had been saved. Still, all the same, those who hunted for such lost souls sometimes had to leave, reduced to tears at the overpowering wave of such intense sadness that washed over them when they were within Room 109, or at the expression upon the ghostly face of the woman, filled with grief and longing, searching for the baby she would never regain.
I would hear of all of these things in later years however. For now, the baby lay in my arms, sleeping. Standing upon one of the Sevii Islands, I wondered vaguely what I should do with her, a nameless tiny being who needed another to survive. I knew nothing about children, especially babies. Certainly, I had defended the offspring of my fellow clones, but I had not raised them. There was a vast difference between the two, and what knowledge of rearing I did know was minimal. But I knew she needed milk. All mammalian infants needed it…it was their first meal. So, I stole some of the powered form and a bottle, among one thing, from the nearest island with a grocery store. I heated some fresh water, mixing the pale powder in. When it was ready, I placed the concoction in the bottle, screwing on the top with the rubber nipple onto it. The little girl fussed at first, crying from hunger in loud, piercing cries that only did not drive me mad from the fact that it meant she had strong lungs.
It was the only thing that gave me any comfort through the nearly unbearable noise.
At first, the baby refused to take the plastic teat, as though knowing that it wasn't of her mother's breast at all. Still, after squeezing a drop of the nourishing liquid unto her lips, she wasn't able to resist the taste or smell…she latched on, beginning to nurse greedily. Good. She needed an appetite to support that tiny body of hers. After she had finished it, I burped her, as I vaguely knew I was supposed to…she spat up somewhat on my shoulder. Wonderful. For the love of the Legendaries, I was not a parental figure! I am still NOT father material!
I made a vow then to get rid of her as soon as possible.
But searching for a suitable island, trying to find a place that might have a neighborhood that would cradle a newborn suitably, was not an easy task. On these islands, crime nests were inevitable…and I could not turn the child over to another corrupt organization when she'd just escaped one, now could I? Damning my luck, I continued to island hop, letting the feel of the place direct my thoughts. That island was too small. Another had too much wilderness for her to be lost in. Over there were persistent gangs-wars. It took weeks to find a hospitable place, and in those weeks, though I told myself I loathed caring for the child, that I detested her wailing, I found myself reluctantly growing fond of the small creature I carried in my arms, the soft, helpless infant who depended on my for her continued life. I did not fool myself with the thought that she liked me at all. She would have been content with any who cared for her, and now that she knew my scent, she did not feel any threat from me. I was familiar.
Still…hesitantly, a reluctance to let her go formed.
But I could not keep her. I was not a human as she was, and she needed other humans to raise her. If I were to deny her that, I would alienate her to own her race early on in her life. She would not be able to recover from it. Besides, I could not carry a baby around with me in my wanderings! I did not always dwell in safe places, and the constant need to move was one that was scarcely a fitting environment to raise a child. It would scar her…and I doubted that was what her mother would have liked. The daughter had suffered enough already…there was no need to further that pain.
So, once I had found a suitable island, I left her on a bench in the city park…I stayed nearby in a tree, watching all who approached her. If she were ever in any danger, or if what I deemed to be a careless person picked her up, I would teleport her back to me. I would choose who cared for her, for she had been entrusted to me…they would not choose her.
A group of teenage boys came…they stared at her, looking around for her parents…one even had the nerve to try to prod her with a stick to make her start crying when she was dozing rather peacefully. I drove them away with my powers…pestering brats! You do not wake a baby when its sleeping…it would take HOURS to shut it up! I knew that well enough…I had been foolish enough to do so once.
Others came and went, some not even glancing at the baby who had lifted her arms towards the treetops to where a group of Butterfree who fluttered above her. I began to grow agitated. I would not dump her into an orphanage or a foster home. Damn it all, would no one-?
A woman, around the same age as Elizabeth had been, came down the path…she was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, with shortly cropped hair and eyes of the opposite color of the girl's mother. Yet she had the same feel to her…the same caring, yet sad aura. She jerked to a halt when she saw the little girl, then knelt at the bench, peering at the baby. She looked around, calling out for the person who might have left the infant there. But no one would come...I was not going to reveal my form to yet another human. Eventually, she took the child, torn between wariness and hope. She would have to report the abandonment to the authorities...but if no one claimed her, then maybe….
(Will you care for her?) I asked from the shadows among the trees.
She jerked, and instinctively clutched the baby closer…I was pleased, despite my tone. Shivering, a bit fearful, perhaps thinking herself insane, she asked, "Who…who's there?"
I shifted with a bit of annoyance…I did not want to have a conversation, I merely wished to ensure the child's safety with her. (It does not matter. Answer my question: will you care for this child?)
She seemed torn between confusion and potential anger, "Is…is she yours?"
Was she mine…? (I suppose that is a matter of perspective. I have been caring for her this past month…however, I could not have sired a human child with ease, so no, she is not mine.)
The woman did not relax, "'Human'? Well what are you then? Her guardian angel?" She was only half kidding. Wonderful – she was one of those new age types! That made this by far easier!
Still, I had to smile wryly at what she'd inferred I might be, ('Angel'? I think not. Nor can I be called a pokemon for numerous reasons. But those who sought to throw this child away like trash knew me as a devil. Perhaps that is what I am.)
She glared towards where she thought I was hiding…she was surprisingly accurate, "So you won't answer my question?"
(You have yet to answer mine,) I pointed out.
She blinked, and then looked down at the little girl, her gaze softening, "Well…I'd like to, but I don't know if I'd be allowed to. I mean, since I can't have children, I've filed for adoption, but…."
Humans worry by far too much. They make half their problems by fussing about simple matters that do not need their concern. I crossed my arms, slightly exasperated, (Legally, they cannot stop you. Do not worry.)
She relaxed, "That's great," and then she lifted her face, gazing about, "If you're not going to tell me who you are, would you at least tell me who she is? She has a name, doesn't she?"
This made me think somewhat. I admit - the inquiry startled me, for it was the only one which I had not prepared for. I…had not given the child a name. I had gone this long without calling her anything…my mistake, I suppose. All sentient creatures needed a name. And now that this human was asking for it…well, I knew the name of the baby's mother, and the father's surname. Yet I had never thought it wise to Christian someone directly after a dead person, for that seemed to be inviting the child to perish like his or her namesake…but then what…?
(…Amber Elizabeth Wingfield. I suppose you may change the surname if you must.)
It came out of the depths of my mind, yet…it was fitting, in its own way, even though I realized with some irony that I had named her after two dead females, not one. Ah well….
The woman smiled, "It's pretty…."
(And your name?) I asked.
She glanced up, "Chloe. Chloe Anne Riverson."
Very well. She would be easy enough to track, even with such a generic name. Hacking into her personal files would be easy enough to accomplish. (Know this then Chloe…I will be checking up on you two. And if I detect any hint of abuse, I will take Amber from you and place her into a home in a region very, very far from here. And if there are any other problems, you need not worry. I will…take care of them, I promise you that.)
Somehow, how I said it made Chloe wary…but she repressed the concern, and nodded, "That's fine. You've taken care of her this long…I suppose continuing to guard her is the least I can expect of you, whoever you are."
(Correct. Now, I must be going. I have lingered here long enough-.)
She suddenly looked flustered, her cheeks staining a faint pink, "Wait! What am I supposed to tell her once she gets older? That some mysterious stranger dropped her into my care, and didn't even leave his name?"
I chuckled as I turned away, (Of course not. Just say she had a guardian demon looking after her…that, for now, will suffice.)
And then I flew away…my task was complete.
In later years, I kept my promises to them. This Amber remained safe and secure with her adopted mother, and even glimpsed me from time to time. But she never feared me. She learned my name, and kept my secrets, all the while growing admirably. So I continued to watch from a distance, keeping my word to her…she would not turn into her mother, not into the desperate creature that had needed to sell her body and soul to live. I would not allow it, and neither would Chloe. And if everything else about me was forgotten, people would do well to remember that. This Amber would live.
And that was enough for my shadowed heart.
Author's Note: I wrote this fic after watching the Sci-Fi Special "Ghost Adventures". It was inspired by the true and horrible story of the real Elizabeth and George Wingfield of the Goldfield Hotel in Nevada, USA. Yes, they were real people.
Much of what I wrote was accurate to the actual story, though there were a few obvious differences. For one, in real life the baby did die. Here's some of the information from the site I mentioned in the disclaimer:
'As to the ghosts of the old hotel, reportedly there are several, the most famous of which is a woman named Elizabeth. According to the legend, Elizabeth was a prostitute that George Wingfield visited frequently in the 1930's. When she turned up pregnant, she claimed the child was Wingfield's, who for a while paid her to stay away, fearful of how the scandal might affect his business affairs. However, when she could no longer hide the pregnancy, Wingfield was said to have lured her into Room 109 of the hotel, where he chained her to a radiator. Supplied with food and water, she was left there until her child could be born. Reportedly, she cried out over and over for mercy, only to be met with silence. Some say that Elizabeth died in childbirth, but others contend that Wingfield murdered her after the child was born. Her baby was then thrown into the old mine shaft at the northern end of the basement over which the hotel was built. Afterwards, rumors abounded that Elizabeth continued to visit Wingfield and the sound of a crying child could sometimes be heard coming from the depths of the hotel. When Elizabeth has been sighted, she has been described as having long flowing hair, wearing a white gown, and looking terribly sad as she paces the hallways, calling out to her child. Others have reported her being sighted in Room 109, which is often described as being intensely cold, and on one occasion a ghostly figure appeared in a photograph of the room. However, most people report that while their cameras function normally everywhere else in the hotel, they refuse to work in Room 109.' - Kathy Weiser / Legends of America.
This fic is what came out of hearing this story. It horrified me frankly, as I have a very soft spot for children…especially babies. The thought of them being thrown away like trash sickens me, even though it happens all the time. I wrote this to recognize that fact and to acknowledge what was done to Elizabeth and her child…and so, I hope this offends no one that I have.
I also apologize if Mewtwo seems somewhat OOC.