A/N: Some of you may have wondered why it took me so long to post the last chapter of The Light in the Darkness. Besides the college applications, homework, Eagle Scout project, and theatre excuses that I kept giving, there was one other. On BMGF, there was an Angst One-Shot contest. Instead of working on my main story, I put all my efforts into writing a One-Shot for the competition. Unfortunately, the contest fell through and all that work seemed to go for naught. Finally, I've decided to just go ahead and post on the One-Shot here.
I will admit right now that this is probably not my best work. As well, if you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the fic for you. But I figure that I might as well post it. All reviews are welcome.
So...yeah, here it is.
No Leaf Clover
It was already late by the time that I arrived at the precipice overlooking the village. The radiant sun had long ago set beyond the horizon and its pale counterpart risen in the sky. The nocturnal breeze whistled around me, lightly ruffling my snowy white fur.
Many would consider my presence near this human settlement an ominous warning. After all, my kind has often—and mistakenly—been considered the creature that brings disaster. Humans especially fear us, lashing out toward us should we approach their establishments. As such, we have been forced to move deeper into the mountains, farther from them.
However, this was a time that I desperately needed help from a human. Any human that I could find. Someone that could help my mate. If I couldn't…
It all started a little more than a week before. My mate, Senka, and I had gone out for a walk with our young daughter, Charna. It was the first time in nearly a week that we could really go out and enjoy the mountains, as it raining for a long time before. Charna ran out in front, exploring the terrain of the area, while Senka and I brought up the rear.
Charna seemed to have come upon something unusual. As it is with young Pokémon, she was quite curious about it. Senka must have recognized the dangerousness of whatever it was, as she immediately moved to keep our daughter away from it.
That's when it happened. Senka let out a cry of pain. I ran over to her side and was shocked by what I saw. A pair of jaws had clamped down upon her left rear leg. But these were different from the kinds of jaws I'd seen before. For one, they were not attached to any creature. Rather, they seemed to from the ground. Not only that, but they were made of not flesh and bone, but of steel.
It took most of my strength to open the jaws so that she could get her leg out, almost getting my face caught in the snare as it snapped back shut. I turned my attention to my mate. Her leg was badly damaged. The bone in her lower leg had snapped and was pressing against her skin, almost bursting through. The teeth of those jaws did break the skin, and crimson stained what was once all white.
I ended up carrying Senka back to our den. Fortunately, it wasn't too far away. I laid her on our bed, then tried my best to treat her injuries. However, this was beyond any injury I had dealt with before. I ended up trying to clean her wounds and cover them to prevent dirt and other granules from further making things uncomfortable.
I spent much of my time at the den, tending to her and help to care for Charna. Things appeared to be going well initially. Charna helped me out a lot, collecting some fruit that grew near the spring. And each day, Senka became more and more independent. I began to relax some. She appeared as if she was going to be okay.
However, that didn't last. I was woken up in the middle of the night by a cough. At first, I disregarded it, figuring that someone must have inhaled some dirt, a common occurrence when you sleep so close to the ground. But as the night wore on, the coughing got worse and worse. I rolled over and saw Senka wide-awake, hacking like there was no tomorrow. I went to her aid, trying all I could to make her comfortable and help her breath.
But things only got worse. She became sicker and sicker. Her temperature was incredibly high, challenging that of a Fire-type. Her coughing became more violent, and I swore that I saw her spitting up blood, though she frequently denied it. I was worried. I tried all the remedies that I could think of to treat her, but nothing helped. We were forced to just hope it would get better. And it didn't.
I had no idea why she was sick. The only thing that I could think of was that she had become susceptible after being injured and something had gotten into her system. And now, it was beginning to take its toll on her. She looked less and less vibrant. It was like I was watching her wear away in front of me.
It was after a few days of failed treatments that I approached Senka with an idea. I would search for a human to help us. It sounded like a suicidal mission. After all, I had heard many stories about the things that they would do to us if we were seen. Yet there were other tales, of how they possessed amazing healing powers. This seemed like the only option that could help her.
Senka, on the other hand, was not too keen on the idea.
"Don't do it, Ares," she said, struggling to hold back from coughing. But this failed, and she went into yet another fit.
I reached over and tried my best to support her. "You're not getting any better," I reasoned. "Besides, this could be an opportunity to salvage our kind's reputation in their minds."
Senka shook her head sadly. "No, I don't think anything could change their minds," she countered. "I want you to stay here…with me. With Charna."
"It's not that far to the village. I'm sure that I could get you help before nightfall." I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "I promise not to do anything stupid."
She considered it for a moment. "All right," she conceded, although I could tell she still had much doubt. "But please, be careful."
I helped make Senka comfortable in her bed before I set off for help. Before I left, I took one last look at my mate. She was sleeping, but it was far from a peaceful rest. Her breathing was labored and wheezy.
Before I left, I spotted something unusual sitting outside the den. In a small clover patch, there was a large four-leaf clover. I knew the symbolism behind it, but had never thought much of it before. However, given my luck the previous few days, I figured that we could use the extra luck.
So carefully, I picked the green and gave it to Charna. "Keep a hold of this for me," I told her. "It will hopefully bring us all luck." She seemed to understand, and promised to take care of it.
And thus, I found myself overlooking the village below. I hadn't anticipated on arriving this late in the day. However, I had gotten into a spot of trouble with a group of roguish Graveler, accidentally stepping into their territory. I was just able to escape without causing an all-out riot.
I can't stall any longer, I thought to myself. I have to do this. For Senka. So, I began to descend down to the village.
The slope I was climbing down was quite steep and covered in rocks. Each step I took sent small rocks tumbling down the hill. I reached the bottom quickly. I glanced back up, hoping that there was an easier way to get back than that. But for now, I had to find some help. I ran toward what appeared to be the main street of the town.
It didn't take long for me to realize that something wasn't right. The buildings were boarded up and falling apart. Windows that weren't boarded up were smashed; shards of glass still stuck within the frame. I could hear boards creaking as small rodents ran through the buildings. One large building in particular looked quite disheveled. A large shape hung above its entrance crookedly, making me believe that it wasn't supposed to be like that.
I don't know how long I went walking through the village. It appeared that it was abandoned long ago. This meant there was no help to be found here. Disappointedly, I started to walk back toward the cliff.
Then, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. A light. I turned toward it. There, pretty much as far from the cliff as possible, was a cabin. I watched as the shadow of a large figure walked past the window. I recognized the shape. It was a human. I ran toward the cabin, hoping that finally this nightmare might end.
I was no more than a few lengths from the cabin when the door flew wide open. The suddenness caused me to stop in my tracks. In the entranceway, a hunched over man stood there, looking out toward me. He had little hair on the top of his head, but he did have a large amount sprouting from his chin. It was almost as white as my own fur. He wore clothes, as humans call them. I can't name specific articles, but they covered most of his body. He held a long object in his hands. I couldn't tell what it was from where I stood. Cautiously, I moved forward. As I did, he began to raise the thing in his hands.
Suddenly, I heard a loud explosion and saw a pretty bright flash. Almost instantly, I hit the deck. Something hit the ground next to me, kicking up some dirt. I peered back up. Smoke was coming out of the end of his weapon, and I heard numerous clicking noise and the tingle of metal hitting the ground. That's when I realized what he was holding. It was something that I was told to absolutely avoid my parents, yet now I found myself staring down a man possessing one. A gun.
He began to walk out toward me. "Damn Absol," he muttered in angry voice. What I did to incite, I had no clue. But I knew one thing: he wasn't going to help me.
I don't think I have run faster in my life, trying to get out of there. Initially, I didn't think that he was following me. However, the next report of the gun and the sound of a bullet ricocheting off the ground confirmed I wasn't out of the woods yet. Quickly, I ducked into an abandoned building along the main road, hoping that I would lose him.
How long I sat in that shelter, I don't know. As I sat there, catching my breath, I could hear the man walking down the road, cursing under his breath. I would hear mention of "that damn Absol" and other curses directed toward myself. I kept wondering why he was after me. It didn't make much sense. But I knew that the reason didn't matter. What mattered was getting out of the village.
I peered out the door down the street. There were no signs of the man. This might be my chance, I thought to myself. Taking care to make absolutely no noise, I made my way down the thoroughfare. My senses were on highest alert. My eyes darted around for signs of the man or his deadly gun. I was listening for any footfalls that would alert me to his presence.
Suddenly, I heard a shot go off. I had no idea what direction it was coming from, so I ducked as best as I could. The projectile just avoided hitting me directly. However, it skimmed right over my right front leg, taking some of my fur and skin with it. It stung quite a bit. I did my best to ignore the pain and run toward where I came into the village. Unfortunately, throughout all the running and dodging, I had forgotten about the steep slope to get out. I only remembered when I found myself staring the incline down. I was trapped.
"So, you thought you could get away?"
I turned around. The man was approaching me, gun pointed directly at me. I didn't move, determined not to show any fear.
The man chuckled grimly. "So you think you can stand up to me?" he asked sarcastically. "I admire the courage. It's a shame that your kind brought about the end of this village." He lowered his gun for a moment, but still kept it up so I tried to run he could get a shot off. "Your kind would appear by our village and we always suffered. Rock slides, blizzards, flash floods. And it was all because of them."
If I could communicate with humans, I would have most certainly argued with him. But, that not being the case, I could only take the verbal lashing. He wanted me dead because he believed my kind was causing the disasters.
"Everyone else left this village because they were afraid of you," he continued. "But I stayed. And I'm determined to rid the earth of your kind."
He raised his gun up to position. This gave me a chance. Swiftly, I swung the sickle growth on my head around, sending a quick burst of air toward the man. Before he could react, his weapon was knocked from his hands, leaving him defenseless. I walked toward him, threatening to attack again.
The man scrambled back, trying to get to his weapon. I could've attacked him right then and there. However, I decided not to. I just wanted to escape from there without causing any more trouble. So I attempted to ascend the hill. It was not an easy task. The steep incline made the task difficult, especially with my injured leg. And that didn't factor the ground constantly giving way under me with each step. There were a few times I was almost sent tumbling back down. But I kept going.
Things didn't get easier as the man started shooting at me. I wondered how many more of those bullets he still possessed. It didn't matter though. I was right there at the top. All I had to do was go over the top and I was home free.
Suddenly, just as I was about to summit the hill, the ground disappeared from under me. It was only a matter of time, but I wished that it'd happened after I was over the hill. Desperately, I scrambled to get to a sturdy platform. At the last possible moment, my paws gripped a solid piece of land. Using all my strength, I pulled myself up and over the top of the hill.
I heard the man cry out below me. Perhaps he had been hit by a falling rock. I didn't bother to look, though. I needed to get out of there. I turned, looking for the path that I had taken on my way down. It wasn't hard to find. I left behind a few slashes in the bark of some of the native trees to differentiate it from any other path. After taking one last glance to make sure I was safe, I was off.
Even though it was dark, I could see pretty well. The moon was full, shining down so bright it was almost like daytime. I didn't bother to slow down to look around. I just continued to run.
But after a while, the adrenaline rush I had wore off. I began to fall off the pace some, and the wound on my leg began to really sting. I decided to take a little break at the spring.
The spring was a secluded place, far off any path that humans would follow. Only the local Pokemon really knew of its existence, so it wasn't strange to see some other mountainous creature come up and take a drink with you. When I arrived, there was no one else around. Not surprising, though, since it was the middle of the night.
I did my best to scoop water into my paws—not an easy task, mind you—and rinse off my injury. This was because I didn't dare to stick the injured limb into the water hole. After all, everyone used it for quenching their thirst. I wasn't going to contaminate it.
I winced a little. The pure, clear water of the spring stung upon contact with my wound. However, I figured that it would be better to clean it off now than continue to let dirt get into it.
My eyes looked up on the spring. It is one of those places that was best to be seen at night. The full moon shone down on the rippling waters of the spring, giving off an eerie glow. A few night flowers were in bloom, open wide to show off their beauty. The sound of the water bubbling up from some unknown source was a soothing background piece, helping to complete the scene.
I sighed, looking down at my reflection. Initially, it was just my reflection staring back up at me, a tired, weary face that seemed to have aged many a year in a period of days. But other things began to surround it. Images of the past.
This spring was a very special place for me. It wasn't just a place where I could find water, though it had served that purpose for a long time. It was also the place where I first met Senka, all those years ago. It was where we spent many an evening together. It was where I asked Senka to be my mate. It was…
I turned away. There was no use in reflecting on the past now. I had to get back to the den and back to my afflicted mate. Hopefully, I could resume a search for help the next day. So just as silently as I entered the clearing, I left.
As I approached the den, I began to feel a sense of dread. Charna was sitting out at the entrance of the cave. Obviously, she knew why I had gone out and awaited my return. She came running out to me as I approached.
"Daddy, you're back!" she cried excitedly. However, her demeanor changed instantly when she got a closer look at me. I hadn't bothered to clean up a lot, so I must have looked a bit ragged. She looked over me with great concern. "Daddy, are you okay?"
I nodded curtly, trying my best to reassure her. "How's mommy?" I asked, hoping for an update on her condition.
Charna said nothing. Her silence made me worry. I walked with her back into the den, afraid of what I might find.
As I entered, I noticed that the den was unusually silent. There was no heavy breathing, nor was there coughing. I turned my gaze to the bed. Senka was laying there, eyes closed. At first, I thought she was asleep. But as I walked closer, I realized that she wasn't.
Desperately, I felt her chest, hoping to feel it rise and fall. Nothing. I moved my paw over where her heart was, hoping for a beat of life. Nothing. I leaned over toward her mouth, listening for breathing. Nothing. I pulled up, the realization finally sinking in. Senka was gone.
Charna came up next to me. She appeared to want to ask me something, but the moment she saw my face, I believe her question was answered. Her eyes began to tear up. I embraced her as best as I could, trying to comfort her. She buried her head in my shoulder, crying. I could hear her muffled voice, begging that it not be true. But both of us knew it was.
As I sat there, comforting my daughter, a realization hit me. Senka hadn't wanted me to leave earlier. Did she already know that tonight was going to be her final night? Had she wanted to spend her last hours with me? Did she only give in to my request because she couldn't fight me?
I felt ashamed of myself. I hadn't paid attention to the signs and as a result, I left Senka in her greatest time of need. It was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. Much more than any physical entity could've inflicted.
I looked down beside Charna. Sitting beside her was what looked like a small stem. And surrounding it were four once green leafs withered and dead. It was the one thing that I'm sure no one has seen before, or seen again. A no leaf clover.
Finally, I couldn't take it any more. I rested my head into Charna's shoulder and joined in her crying. Everything had gone wrong. Instead of finding luck earlier today, I had only found a masquerade of it. I had found death. And it took the most important thing away from me.