Antonio stared at the sky, trying to gain back his sight. His head strangely ached, probably from the beating that it received from the ground. The ones who put him in this position weren’t done yet.
Though so small, Antonio was the constantly the one to pick on. Strict laws limited the fun of catching pokémon. The children’s parents would complain about how Giovanni had done so much to ruin their own pokémon training, directly or indirectly, and the innocent kids would think that it was all Antonio’s fault.
Though he was constantly beat up at school, he wasn’t hit hard enough to fight back. He would always take the blows as best he can, no matter how hard. Once again, he sat on the ground. Two kids stood above him, stepping on him, too young to realize what they were doing; Antonio’s face gave barely any expression.
The boys looked up, and ran off. Within seconds, a loving sense fell over him. He looked up to see the blurred face of his mother. She reached down to him, rubbing his face.
"Wake up!" A familiar voice called out from the distance, yet close enough to shake her command alive. "C’Mon, you want to get out early, don’t you? It’s the best way to catch the pokémon!"
Antonio heard what he thought was his mother, till he realized the voice, realized the surroundings, realized who he was.
He rubbed his head, then blocked the heavy sunlight from his eyes. His new friend was already up and ready to go. Even in the morning through unready eyes, he could see her face so clear. She did remind him of his mother in ways; hair color, eye color. It was amazing how fate gave away it’s early signs.
The two walked along an unused trail, hoping that they could remember the way out. He walked attentively, ready to pounce at the first sign of life. She was easily distracted by the forest; the birds singing, the sun shining, the occasional pond inhabited by fish some people could barely see.
But, through their differences, if one stopped, the other stopped. They knew each other well enough to know that besides pokémon they weren’t much alike. Even when it was just a stop to look at the flowers, or to listen for an almost endless amount of time to nothing, they both agreed that it was a necessary stop, not once questioning the others decision.
On one occasional stop, Antonio’s instinct was right. He had thought he heard something, and he was right. In the nearby bushes, a growl could be heard over the semi-high pitched yelps of help from a rat. Immediately, Antonio ran into the bush, finding a small clearing. The rat was back against a thick tree, and rocks blocked him from getting around it. The predators horn aimed at its target as it readied itself into a charging position.
The two stood in the bushes, watching the small rodent about to be struck by the blow of a male Nidoran’s horn. The Nidoran got himself a grip into the ground as its horn started leaking a small drop of poison from the tip, a natural reaction when it senses fear from the enemy.
Antonio’s animal-minded friend couldn’t take it any longer. She couldn’t bare see the small Rattata hurt that badly. It didn’t have a trainer to take care of it, and it looked too weak in the first place. Knowing that Antonio liked poison and ground type, she handed him a pokéball.
"Here, you take it." She whispered. Immediately, he stood, and threw the empty pokéball towards the Nidoran. Letting go, they heard the unexpected call from a human voice.
"What are you doing?" It called out from a boy around the same size as Antonio. He quickly dashed from his hiding spot in the bushes near Antonio to knock the pokéball away. They both didn’t realize the Nidoran had a trainer.
"Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know he was yours." Antonio apologized. He was helped by a nod from his friend.
"Honest, we didn’t see you." She said. Of course, the boy was too angry to accept any apologies. He looked back at where the original battle began, and saw a confused Nidoran, who was trying to find where the Rattata scattered off to when he was distracted by the pokéball.
Antonio casually walked over to the pokéball and picked it up. Tossing it back towards the lender, and looked at the trainer. He was met by an angry gaze. "I could’ve had him, and you let him go. Let’s battle!"
Antonio was shocked. He only had his Sandshrew, who wasn’t in a great shape to fight, but Antonio was just a beginner. He completely forgot that his Sandshrew was weak. "Ok then."
Antonio stared at his opponent and his pokémon. He threw out his pokéball, which hit the ground, and in an instant revealed a Sandshrew. Though weak, it seemed to still look in good fighting shape. But, his looks couldn’t fool the one who would’ve originally caught it. She knew that it was too weak, and needed to tell Antonio.
"Antonio, he’s…" Antonio almost blocked her out. He wanted to win his first match.
"Sandshrew, scratch him." The Sandshrew ran from one side to the other. It’s fast speed and agility helped it get the slow moving Nidoran defenseless on the right side. Running by, it ran it’s claws down the Nidoran’s side.
"Nidoran, tackle it!" The trainer yelled out. The Nidoran tried hard to take the pain, as it turned and charged at the Sandshrew. Antonio watched as his Sandshrew tried slowing down from his previous attack, only to get in the way of his rival. The Nidoran rammed its head into the Sandshrew’s side. Though not a very strong attack, it still brought the Sandshrew to its knees.
"Sandshrew, go underground!" The Sandshrew, jumped up and drove a claw into the ground. Digging away, it slipped. The rain made the clearing’s dirt to mud, and the Sandshrew couldn’t get under.
Taking the advantage, the Nidoran didn’t bother to wait for a command. Instead, it aimed its horn for the Sandshrew’s leg. Watching on, Antonio couldn’t react. His Sandshrew could easily be poisoned, for its claw was stuck in the ground.
Antonio tried desperately. "Throw some mud at it." The Sandshrew scooped up mud with the other hand, and flung it at the charging Nidoran. It could do nothing but watch as the mud flew over the charging Nidoran, for in desperation the Sandshrew threw the mud to where the Nidoran was instead of where it would be.
The Sandshrew closed its eyes and awaited the blow. A small prick was felt on its side, and immediately was followed by a large pounding sensation on the same side. He cried out in pain, and soon stared up at the sky. Its eyes were so tight from the pain that staring at the sun didn’t bother it. Soon, he blacked out.
Antonio sat in the pokécenter, trying to keep his hands in his face so no one would recognize him. Soon, his friend came over with a newspaper, staring at the front page while walking towards him.
"Hey, Antonio, have you heard about this?" She asked. "Son of Giovanni ran from his house with one of his fathers pokéballs and seems to be starting out on a pokémon journey." She finished, flipping the newspaper over to read the rest of the article as she sat down.
Antonio was about to respond ‘Not just any of his pokéballs,’ but was too shocked at how his story made front pages. "Does it have a picture?" He asked her.
"Yes." Antonio’s hair stood up straight. Was it recent enough to have him be identified? He tore the paper from her hands and looked at the picture. It wasn’t him. It was worse. It was his mother being put into a police car with handcuffs restraining her in the back. He read the caption aloud.
"Sara Visally, widow of the infamous Giovanni Visally, was arrested on the charges of helping her son, Antonio, in starting his pokémon journey. Antonio was disallowed to use or collect pokémon, or be in contact with any pokémon trainers, so said in the pokémon HQ court decision."
"Sara, that’s my name." His friend started. "Only I’m Sara Fortune, and she’s Sara Visally. Hey, and you’re Antonio. Wow, talk about a Coincidence." Antonio would’ve actually thought about a coincidence if he wasn’t too busy in reading the article.
He read aloud the part of the article which intrigued him the most. "She burned all of the pictures of Antonio. Police now have no clue to his whereabouts or looks." Antonio smiled. "Mom, she always was a planner" Antonio thought.
After their pokémon were healed, Antonio walked quickly away, pretending that he didn’t know how fast he was going due to the newspaper he held in front of him. When they reached far into the forest, he granted Sara’s request to see the newspaper. She read more of the article aloud.
"Antonio doesn’t have a pokédex, and only one pokéball, which at the time of leaving was empty. If you know this person, please contact the police at once." She stopped reading. Glancing down, she realized Antonio’s pokéballs which she bought for him. Why would he want me to buy them, even if he did give me money? Soon, she started to really wonder.
"Antonio, can I see your pokédex." Antonio stopped in his tracks. He turned around, completely unaware what he would say if she ever asked. Within seconds, Sara’s eyes grew bigger. Antonio stared at the ground, and then stared back at Sara. "You can’t tell anyone." A mistake by Antonio. Quickly, she ran into the woods, trying to get away. Antonio had no choice but to try to catch up. He didn’t know what he would do if he got that far.