Rags' Story, Part VI: Fading Light
“The doctor said I could go outside, rags!” The boy leapt at the good news he got to tell the ragged Pokémon.
“Ralralru. Ru-ral.” That’s great news! And don’t call me a rags. The Ralts shared the boy’s enthusiasm. After god knows how long of being trapped inside his room, the kid had permission from the doctor to go outside and taste the fresh air. As long as he doesn’t go off to far said the doctor.
“We are going to have so much fun from now. We can go to the forest to find berries and then eat them ourselves. We can go to that big bell in the city that always rings every day.” The boy had planned many things for this special day. Needless to say, he had been looking forward to it for a very long time.
“Ral!” Yes said the little Pokémon. “Rurururural.” And don’t forget the local market every Thursday or the birds that fly to town this time of year.
“Uhuh, those are also fun things to do. And the big Christmas Tree that stands in the city centre when it’s Christmas. Oh! And the snow that happens on Christmas day!” The two continued their conversation like this about the various activities they were going to do. They had mentioned the river that was a walk away from the city and the sea it mouthed into. A sea they wanted to see with theri own eyes for once. It was one that looked just like the one in their picture book. Their ideas for adventure grew bigger and bigger, expanding to the point that they were discussing about visiting the cactus Pokémon in the deserts and seeing real lava in volcanoes.
Their time together must have paid off. The two were communicating in ways that were usually impossible between a Pokémon and human. Somehow they had surpassed the language barrier and merely saw each other as two people talking about adventure.
“Oh! And we can go to an amusement park as well.”
The doctor himself was slightly surprised by the sudden recovery of the boy. ”Something must have set off this sudden vitality. A spark of some sort.”
“Hey, rag-Pokémon? Remember you promise?” He was looking slightly hopeful at the little Pokémon but his voice didn’t let up, showing the same enthusiasm.
“Ru! Ral-ralrural-ru.” But of course! We’ll go first thing tomorrow. And don’t call me rag-Pokémon.
The boy almost leapt into the air. He was of course referring to the promise they had made earlier. Tomorrow was going to be a special day according to the Ralts. They were going to the tree and see the sunset from there, a view that according to the Pokémon couldn’t be captured by a mere picture book. It was their main thing to look forward to since his first conversation with the Ralts.
“Come on rags!” They boy was speeding off towards the top of the hill where the tree stood. He had been running all day long, too much for the little Pokémon to keep up to. It was as if the kid had stored all his energy by being cooped up in his room.
“Ru.” The Pokémon’s words came out with a pant. The little one was dragging his feet in the ground, a few feet behind the boy already. “Ralrural.” And don’t call me rags.
“Come on! We’re almost there. The boy’s energy got him to run ahead, run back to the Pokémon to encourage him and then run ahead again. His energy was too much to handle for anyone, let alone a Pokémon half his size and an eight of his weight.
Perhaps the illness was a lie because the parents just wanted him to stay quietly inside the house, the Ralts said tiredly to himself. He shook that weird thought off and gathered his remaining energy for a last sprint towards the tree, trying to outrun his human companion.
“Oh no! You can’t beat me!” The boy raced next to him, the walk had quickly turned into a race.
Panting, the two lay in the grass below the tree, catching their breath. The race had ended in a surprising draw. They looked up towards the tree. It’s branches didn’t look too strong, but the Ralts was sure it could support them. They had carried him often enough and gave him enough views of the sunset. The boy, however, still hesitated so the Pokémon decided to go first to prove the tree’s strength.
The first branch gave a small crunching sounds as he stepped on it, but only bent slightly. Just the usual noise that comes from any old dead tree. “Ral. Rururu.” See. There’s nothing to worry about. The Pokémon continued moving up, each branch and twig gave off the same cracking sound, some more than others but none of them seemed to really break underneath his feet. He stopped just below the highest branches looking down at the boy. “Ral!” You’re turn! he shouted from above.
Lucas grabbed the first branch and tried to pull his weight up. He was kneeling on the first set of branches but was clinging to the bark of the tree. The branch was giving off more sound under his weight and was slightly tethering.
“I don’t like this! I want to go back!” He was obviously scared off the creaking that the near-dead tree gave off. Unlike most boys his age hadn’t practiced the art of tree-climbing before, having spent an unfortunate amount of time in his room. The Ralts was still unsure what was exactly wrong with him or what caused him to need to stay inside, but he never asked. Lucas didn’t look like he wanted to talk about it.
“Ralruru. Rururalralru.”Come on! You’ve already made the first steps. Here, try and reach for my hand. The Pokémon was hanging down from the tree and reaching out. His short hand was still quite up high, but it was enough encouragement to make Lucas attempt his next step. He reached for the next higher branch and pulled himself up. This branch was, as expected, a bit smaller and gave the same noise and tethering as the previous branch. The boy once again clutched the tree out of fear and waited for it to stop moving on its own before advancing.
This went on for the next few minutes, the sun was already preparing itself to call it a night. They’d miss the first disappearing rays, but it would still be worth it to get to the top of the tree to see the view. The last few seconds was what it was about. When dusk abruptly turns into night.
Lucas stood just below the Ralts, his hand reaching for him. Trying to stand on the thin twig of a branch, he tried reaching for the hanging hand. The branch gave off the same familiar cracking.
He had to stand on his toes. Their fingers were touching but it wasn’t enough to pull him up.
Just a little bit more they both thought. The boy stood on the very tips of his toes to reach out. Just a little more..
Their fingers touched each other, just well enough to hold a grip but the moment was brief. Right after their hands touched they slid past each other. Lucas’ feet as well, slipped past the very branch he was standing on. Unable to regain his footing in time.
A small shot of adrenaline released itself in him, but all it did was made him panic more; instead of catching another branch the boy kept falling till he hit a lower branch. The very same thin branch that could barely hold his weight before and now snapped under the impact. The kid tumbled down even further, his limbs hitting close-by branches and his extremities being scraped by the protruding twigs carving cuts and bruises. The Ralts could do nothing as he stood motionless at the top, having to witness his beacon of light dwindle before turning dark.