Darkness of Flames Darkness of Flames
by Leto

"Charizard, go! Flamethrower attack!"

I'm itching to, I haven't had the chance to let loose and release some of my power for ages. But I can't listen to him, so I stay still and lie down instead. Feels good. In a Pokeball, horrible cramped things, all you can do is stay in one position.

Stupid kid should let me out my Pokeball more often.

But I guess it's pretty obvious why he doesn't.

See, I can't stand him. For as long as I can remember - which, admittedly, isn't very long - he's been treating me like a toy, ordering me around... I suppose that's how all Pokemon are treated, but he should have more respect for fire.

It's an overused, but true statement... if you play with fire, you'll get burned. Since I'm fire, he can't treat me like any other Pokemon. I am the first full fire Pokemon.

"C'mon, Charizard! You're making me look bad!"

I look up, idly, and see that we're in a ring. Seems to be a Pokemon battle. My opponent - huh, what a joke - is a Venusaur. There are a lot of people in the stands of this gym. Is it a gym? On the floor is a huge symbol that's the same as the one on that kid's cap.

I'm glad I'm making him look bad.

"You're making yourself look bad too!" he hissed at me.

I didn't care about that. Everyone knows the power of flames. I don't need to prove myself, except to that brat, and this isn't the way to do it.

I casually blow a stream of my fire into the air, and flip my tail in his face. He steps back, a flash of sparks barely mising him.

"Ohh, what's this!" I hear, vaguely, a voice coming from a nearby loudspeaker. "Someone hoping to become a Pokemon Master who can't even control his own Pokemon!"

Of course he can't control me. Nobody can control me.

Ash grits his teeth as the audience titters. I laugh, a Charizard laugh that sounds more like a roar. I like the sound of it. It's powerful. I laugh again.

"Do you forfeit?" asks his opponent, some stupid person with brown hair who I think I've seen before.

Ash shoots me a pleading look, but I look away, smirking. I know he has no other Pokemon, otherwise he wouldn't have let me out.

"Yes," he says, finally.

He sounds defeated. I find out why the next moment. From the loudspeakers comes that voice again.

"Ash Ketchum has forfeited the match! Gary Oak is the new Pokemon Master!"

The crowd rises to their feet, cheering, and the brown-haired kid, Gary, raises his fist triumphantly in the air.

Well, there's no need to be so smug about it. As if you beat me. Nobody could beat me. But, I don't care.

Pokemon Master... you know, I don't remember very much about before I became Charizard, but that word somehow seems very familiar.

"Charizard, return," says Ash, in a choking voice. He's trying not to cry. Serves him right for trying to control fire.

Now I'm back in my ball, blocked off from the outside. I can hear nothing and see nothing. Fire, trapped by a bad trainer's hand. I think that Ash will never let me outside again, because he can't trust me.

But Pokemon Master... that seems so familiar. That phrase, where have I heard it before?

***

Inside a Pokeball, unseen by any humans, fire itself burned, a dark, unnatural crimson... and crackling furiously, as if wanting to escape but not daring to try.

And then, memory came...

"Charmander, you'll help me, won't you? I can't wait to be a Pokemon Master!"

"Char?"

"Of course! Don't worry, I'll never treat you like Damien did. We're pals, right?"

"Char char!"

The dark fire in the Pokeball died down, and fizzled out until the tiniest golden spark glowed.

It grew, and became a pure orange flame.

It was too late. The flame was restored but would never be seen by anyone again.