litwick's gift

I grew up in a poor family. My mother worked several different jobs in order to support us, but even still we always struggled to just barely make ends meet. We weren't unhappy though, we had each other, and to some degree, that was enough. But being the naive child that I was, I had big dreams and would do anything to accomplish them. Though we had no TV or radio it was hard not to hear about stories of the champion, Lance the dragon master. I adored him as one might adore a God, and that was exactly what he was to me. I dreamed of being a dragon trainer, just like him, even though they were the rarest Pokemon in the world, and getting one would be near impossible, especially for an impoverished household such as ours. I was well aware of this, and that's why I was so surprised and delighted when my mother brought home a charmander for my eighth birthday. She had seen my enthusiasm for my dream, and decided that she'd be damned if she didn't support me as much as she could. So she saved up her pennies over the span of two years, withholding food from herself in order to have money to set aside, and finally got enough together to buy the runt of the litter of charmander from a charizard trainer in the next town over. He was a weak and timid creature, his eyes portrayed a fear of not only me, but of everything. His body was small and thin and his tail flame was the dimmest I'd ever seen, being only the size of an adult's thumb. Save for my mother, I had never loved anything more in my life. Over the next few years we grew closer than brothers and did everything together, he never wanted to go anywhere without me and I never went anywhere without him. But then, when I was 13, disaster struck. We had an especially harsh winter which devastated our small village's agricultural economy. Wild Pokemon all around the town were dropping dead left and right, unable to adapt to this sudden drop in temperature, most domestic Pokemon however were largely unaffected by it because they could stay in the electrically heated homes of their trainers. Emphasis on most. As we were the poorest people in town, we couldn't afford heating, and we couldn't stay anywhere else because, well, we didn't really know anyone. We were sort of outcasts from the rest of the town. We normally just huddled up in whatever blankets we had and hoped for the best. We were used to it, we were strong. But as I said before, charmander was not. He very soon grew ill, and unable to pay for treatment at a Pokemon center, we knew what would happen next. His flame finally went out and he passed away the next morning. I was inconsolable and refused to let go of my friend's body. It was more than that though, I refused to accept that he was gone and half convinced myself that he wasn't. My mother could only watch as I grew more or desperate, I wouldn't even let her near me. I hadn't eaten in three days. The corpse of charmander laid next to me, it's formerly orange skin was now a sickly grey color. My eyes were red from tears as I slowly stroked the part of its tail that should've been lit. I was completely and utterly lost. It was then that the room started to glow an eery purple color, I turned my head to see a litwick passing through the wall. They had been appearing all over town recently, probably attracted by the deaths of all the wild Pokemon, or perhaps litwick are the spirits of the deceased Pokemon? I don't know, but it doesn't matter either way. I looked glumly at the semi-translucent candle. Just another reminder of my loss. It was staring at the corpse next to me. It's purple flame glowing brightly, illuminating the area around it. I stared at the flame for a while, it looked like fire, yeah, but there was something off about it. It lacked the vibrancy and liveliness that was characteristic of fire. It was hollow, and lifeless, almost as if it weren't fire at all, but rather a manifestation of the ghost's soul. A thought then occurred to me, From it grew a sliver of hope, I didn't care if that hope became despair a second later, I had to try. I had to. This selfish act would soon cost me dearly. The litwick struggled and moaned slightly, startled by the human suddenly grabbing it, it enlarged it's flame in an attempt to burn my right hand. It succeeded, but it did not stop me. I kneeled down in front of my fallen friend and shakily brought the struggling litwick to its tail, it still searing the flesh between my thumb and index finger. My eyes were wild and filled with desperation as I picked up the tail and brought it over the ghostly purple flame. I of course had tried this many times with normal fire to avail, but surely... Surely a ghosts fire was different? The flame caught, and charmander's eyes opened. Only now, they were a dull yellow color, devoid of emotion or life. I scooted back and looked at my creation. There was something wrong. Something unsettling about the creature. It's grey-white skin coloration remained and it shambled around occasionally letting a soft, hollow cry slip from its lips. My charmander was no longer dead, but it wasn't quite alive either. This was the product of my selfishness. The result of me trying to play God. I had damned my beloved friend to a mere half life, trapped between the world of the living and the dead, and in a constant state of confusion and pain. A small Yelp escaped from my throat and I dropped to the floor, releasing my hold on the litwick which hurriedly disappeared through the same wall it entered through. The purple light remained, now coming from the ghostly flame on charmander's tail. I allowed tears to spill from my eyes and a anguished wail to echo around the room. The ghastly charmander took notice of me and began approaching. A confused, no a lost look on its otherworldly face. The door swung open and my poor mother was greeted by the sight of her son sobbing on the floor with his undead pet pawing at him with an empty gaze. She covered her mouth to stifle a scream. She just looked at me and said in a soft shaky voice, "what have you done?"

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