Night was fast approaching in the Johto region. The sky was a mixture of orange and purple, as the sun sank lower into the horizon and the stars and moon took over. Around the region, Hoothoots and Noctowls were taking flight, calling out into the sky, while numerous other Pokemon began to drift off, curling up in their warm tall grass, trees or caves, hoping no trainer would disturb them.
On the edge of Blackthorn City, a family of four were waiting by a wooden bridge, along with around a dozen other people. They were all waiting for a bus that would take them to a small ferry in New Bark Town, where they would then head back to Kanto.
Amongst the family, there was the father, Bruce, who was taller than anyone else around, and was wearing a faded brown jacket. He had a thick arm wrapped around his wife, Isabel, who only came up to his shoulder. She was shivering in the night breeze, and was regretting the skirt and short sleeved shirt she had chosen for the trip. Their eldest daughter, Beth, was happily flirting to a boy standing nearby, flicking back her long black hair she had inherited.
"We totally won this lottery and went on this trip, but we still have tons of cash left." She was saying, giggling stupidly after every few words. At the feet of the family sat the youngest child, ten year old Jericho. Unlike his family, who all had black hair and brown eyes, Jericho had blonde hair, the same as his grandma, which he had partially dyed orange, giving him the appearance his head was on fire. His eyes were also an electric blue, giving them a slightly magical quality. He was tall for his age, though his fourteen year old sister and mother were still taller than him. Sitting next to Jericho was a Flareon named Evelyn. Her coat was beautiful and well groomed, and she looked very smart. She had been given to Jericho when he was seven, as a birthday gift from his grandparents, and had been named after his grandmother. A year later at Christmas, he had been given the choice of a Fire, Water and Electric stone, and Jericho had decided upon a Fire Stone.
"When is the bus coming?" Jericho said.
"Soon son, just be patient." Bruce said.
"But this is boring!" Jericho huffed. He looked behind them towards Route 45. It was split in two and had a river running through it, reflecting the moon. "Can Evelyn and I go and play back there? Wouldn't that be fun?"
"Flare!" Evelyn said happily, and the two looked up at Bruce and Isabel.
"You'll miss the bus dear." Isabel said.
"No I won't!" Jericho fumed. "Evelyn and I haven't been able to play for ages, and-"
"Don't argue with your mother!" Bruce scolded. The other people were staring, and Beth was giving her brother the evils. Jericho stood up, but it didn't do much, as he came up to Bruce's ribs.
"Evelyn and I are going to play!" He said, and he quickly grabbed his crumpled blue backpack.
"Son, sit back down right now!" Bruce whispered, trying to not attract any more attention. Evelyn began moving backwards ever so slightly, but Jericho wasn't as discreet. He turned around and sprinted forwards, nearly running off the side of the bridge. Bruce went after him, but Evelyn turned around and faced him.
"Eon Flare!" She said, and released a tongue of fire. It turned into a spiral and wrapped around Bruce. He could no longer move without being burnt by the Fire Spin, and Jericho and Evelyn ran off into the distance.
The sky turned from orange and purple to a deep violet, finally turning into a dark blue. The moon was a crescent shape, and clouds were moving towards it, and Jericho's only light would be consumed. He and Evelyn were running forwards, not even watching where they were going. A hiker yelled out to them as they passed, but they soon disappeared into the long grass.
"Flare." Flareon said, and she ran in front to protect her trainer.
"Thank you Evelyn." Jericho said, and he stopped and gave his Pokemon a hug. Evelyn smiled and nuzzled him with her head. Jericho looked around, trying to see what they could do. They were surrounded by grass and several mountains. Two Gravellers were rolling along the ground, with some Geodudes following after. A Gliscor was flying overhead, two Gligars clinging to her. Jericho thought of his parents, and felt guilty about running away.
"I think we should go back." Jericho said. "I don't want to disturb the families." Evelyn smiled, and the two turned and jogged back towards Blackthorn. But as they climbed a small staircase, Jericho could see a white bus where he had been only five minutes ago.
"We're going to miss the bus!" He yelled, and he sprinted forwards, Evelyn racing alongside. But just as they reached the bridge, Jericho didn't notice that three Geodudes were walking towards a cave a few metres away. Matthew tripped over one, and he fell and landed on the gravel, and rolled forwards and down a small ledge. Evelyn jumped over the Geodudes and followed Jericho, who had grazed his face and elbow. There was a large rip in his plain red shirt, and mud and dirt streaked down his shorts.
"Owwww!" He groaned, and he began to cry. There was the sound of an engine above them, and Jericho watched as the bus went past, moving slowly across the bridges and through the grass.
"WAIT!" Jericho yelled, and he tried to run after the bus, but his leg gave way and he fell over. His tears streamed down his face now, and he didn't bother wiping them away, and instead let out a wail.
"Flareon Flare Flare Eon!" Evelyn said, and she bent down and put her head through his arm. Jericho understood and gave her a hug, burying his face into her mane.
"Phan Phan!" Jericho was so shocked than he temporarily stopped crying. He and Evelyn looked around and saw a Phanpy, walking slowly towards them.
"What do you want?" Jericho huffed. The Phanpy looked shocked about this, and turned to walk away. Evelyn scolded Jericho, who realised they had reached the long grass.
"Um… I'm sorry Phanpy. I didn't mean to snap." The boy said. The Phanpy let out another sob, and Jericho felt guiltier. "Would you like to battle?"
"Phanpy Phan!" The Phanpy said happily and turned to face them. Matthew grinned and stood up, wiping away tears and blood from his face.
"Would you like to battle Evelyn?" The Flareon nodded her head vigorously: she hadn't had a proper battle in nearly six months. She moved along so that she was facing Phanpy, who stood directly opposite. Jericho rummaged inside his bag, looking past his change of clothing, his games console and a paperback he was reading, and found one of the five PokeBalls his grandfather had given him before they went on holiday.
If you ever get the chance, use them. He said. I want you to become the best trainer ever! Jericho remembered this and smiled.
"Ok Evelyn, start off with Fire Spin!" He said. Evelyn opened her mouth and released another burst of fire, which coiled into a tower around Phanpy. This didn't bother the little elephant, who coiled up into a ball and used Rollout. She charged forwards, still trapped by Fire Spin, and hit Evelyn, causing her to fall over.
"Rollout is powerful against Fire." Jericho said, sounding worried. "You'd better use Sand Attack."
"Flare." Evelyn agreed, and she turned around and kicked sand over at Phanpy. The blue Pokemon coughed and went back into Rollout. But this time, she veered to the left too much and smashed into a mountainside.
"Great work! Ok, now try an Ember." Jericho said.
"Phan!" Phanpy said quickly, and a white light rose from the ground underneath, surrounding her. Evelyn sent out the ball of fire, and it went through the light and the fire, hitting Phanpy. She collapsed to the ground and the light disappeared, and looked like she was about to faint.
"That must have been Endure!" Jericho gasped. He looked at the PokeBall in his hand: if there was ever a chance to use it, this was the right moment. He threw the small red and white capsule, and it struck Phanpy on the head and opened. Phanpy turned into red energy and went inside the PokeBall. The fire disappeared and the ball landed on the ground. Jericho and Evelyn walked forwards, staring at it. The PokeBall shook once… twice… three times….