Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola

3. The Unplanned Trip

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 3 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-27 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 2358 words - Complete

I awake to the sound of Hop scratching on the front door. My head pounds like a constantly beating drum. My mattress is rigid, and my arm is sore from being used as a prop for my head. I wonder what happened to my pillow, reaching a hand around and feeling for it, but quickly determine that it must have slipped off to the floor during the evening. Of course, that does little to explain why the bed has become so hard, but my back is aching and stiff, and I know I'll need to get up before it gets worse.

Carefully sitting up so as not to wake the sounds of my sleeping wife beside me, I realize my blankets are resisting the pull of gravity and have yet to fall off my now upright torso. I reach up and feel the soft, cool fabric of my sleeping bag.

Why am I using the sleeping bag? Did we just do laundry? I question myself. I'll have to check the backyard to bring the sheets in.

My head is still foggy, and I find it hard to pull myself out of the haze of sleep. I cannot catch my bearings as I sit for a moment, listening to the world around me, trying to clear my mind.

The house sounds different than what I'm used to. Hop's claws click on a hard floor, not the typical soft carpet. The muffled cries of the Pokèmon outside are distant and strange. I sniff the air and am met with a musty, dusty, and salty scent. I give my head a shake, trying to clear the cobwebs, but only manage to rattle my brain and make the pounding hurt worse for a moment.

Reaching up, I snag a finger on the zipper and quietly pull it down. Then, moving carefully to avoid rousing those sleeping nearby by shaking the bed, I swing my legs to the edge and find that they hit the floor far sooner than expected. So quickly that it finally jolts my mind awake.

I'm in Alola. My wife and I just arrived. We had a tiring couple of days of travel and then a long ride in a bumpy cab with a kind young man and his Tauros.

Berns, was it? I recall, thinking about the deep friendly voice.

I tuck my legs underneath me into an X and sit cross-legged on my bedraggled sleeping bag. I want to get up, but I haven't had a chance to properly explore my home or surroundings. Sashi and Tinsel are asleep, and Hop doesn't exactly have the attention span for guide work. Striking out on my own right now in an unknown place poses a high risk of my getting lost in this new home.

I think hard about the time we spent walking into our house and setting ourselves up to sleep. The walk from the front door was a short one, and I think I only took about 10 or 12 steps. I sit and listen to the sound of my wife and Pokémon. They are both breathing gently, still engulfed in an exhaustion-riddled sleep.

They are to the left of me right now, I think.

"Hop," I call in a barely audible whisper. She doesn't respond. "Hop." I venture a little more loudly. I hear her scratch gently against the door once more, letting out a soft mewl when she realizes I am awake, begging to be let outside to explore.

I now know where I sit, my wife and Sylveon lay, and the direction of the door. Do I dare to get up to let Hop outside by myself, or should I wake one of those sleeping nearby to guide me?

It's only a few steps away. I decide. I'm not that far from the door to the spot where I sit now, so it shouldn't be an issue to let her out.

I know Sashi put in a lot of work the weeks before the move, spending many late, or sleepless nights to prepare for the trip and as well as many more hours leading up to the moving date, so she has been completely exhausted. Her clumsiness and the sluggish way she spoke today were worrisome, but a good few days of rest should be just what she needs to return to her usually graceful and well-spoken self.

Now that we are in a solid location, I will be able to do more to help out as well.

Tinsel didn't get any sleep from what I can tell on the plane as I could feel her shifting restlessly underneath me for most of the flight. She's never been much a fan of air travel. I think she dislikes how confining aircraft are, being made to sit still on or under my lap. So I decide I don't want to wake either of them.

I slide my legs under me and push myself up to my feet. Standing still for a moment longer to regain my bearings, as my head spins from the sudden movement, I decide upon my direction of travel and slowly place one foot in front of the other, a hand outstretched. Not meeting any resistance, I move forward a second and then a third time.

It takes me eight carefully placed steps before I find the cold surface of a window with my fingertips. Then, listening closely, I locate the soft tapping feet of the Delcatty as she dances by the door, eager to be allowed outside to explore.

Slowly ambling towards the sound, I finally locate the handle, give it a turn, and push. No, that was wrong; it's a pull. I feel the movement of a soft body as Hop rushes past my legs and out the opening. I make my way around the door and close it quietly behind me.

Feeling a bit optimistic about my freedom, I think about Sashi's description of the front yard. I know this is the front because we came off the road, and the back door leads to a forest and lake.

Sashi had also mentioned a seating area with a table and some benches a bit to the north of the house, to the right of the front door, enclosed by an old fence.

Placing my hand on the wooden surface of my home, I shuffle along. The wood is cool to the touch, like it's been sitting in the shade for a moment. I know the front of the house faces the east, so that means the sun is on my home's west side. I can hear the soft rustling of daytime-dwelling Pokémon, like the Pikipek and Caterpie, so it must be mid-afternoon.

I'll know for sure when I reach the seats, I decide.

Eventually, my slow movements finally bring me to the edge of the house.

A few steps more, and I should find the benches, I think excitedly.

Encouraged by this progress, I allow my fingers to leave the comfort of the house siding. Then, reaching out with my hands and stepping carefully with my feet, I pull myself forward, feeling around for the objects I sought, but still finding only open-air.

The sun begins to warm the side of my face as I leave the protection of the awning that covers the north side of the house. At least now I can confirm that it is late afternoon. I feel a soft, fragrant wind blow through my hair.

Plants I've never smelled before tickle their new exciting scents through my nose. The salty scent of the sea wafts up from the direction I am heading.

So long as I stay near the house, I shouldn't run into any issues, I tell myself confidently.

The hard stone below my bare feet changes to soft and lush grass. I remember Sashi telling me that some of the benches stuck out a bit into a grassy spot. Unfortunately, she didn't explain much more about this area after that, just the old fence that we'd need to fix up later, but I know we have a fair amount of land, so I continue my search.

I know I must be growing near a bench. I feel a tingling in my hands and feet. That familiar sensation I get whenever I know I'm near an object.

I take a few steps and still find nothing. Turning around, I reach about and feel only the open air. Still, nothing makes contact with my hands. I turn around once more and take a few eager steps to the north.

I finally feel something this time, but instead of a hard object, it's the softness of open-air under my foot. I feel as if I'm moving in slow motion as I work my mind at convincing my foot to pull itself back to the safety of solid land. My foot, though, is too far gone to heed those warnings, and I feel my body lurch forward.

Reaching back I catch my right palm on a sharp piece of the fence, broken and splintered, gripping tightly onto the only solid object I can find. It bites painfully into my grasping hand but rips off, tearing at my soft palm and away from my hold as I begin to descend.

I can do nothing but allow my body to be pulled down by gravity. I tuck my knees and cover my neck and the back of my head with my arms and hands. I make a pretty poor ball, though, and I find myself tumbling clumsily down the grassy slope.

At first, I only feel the soft tickle of thick grass underneath my careening self. Still, pain quickly overtakes the gentle sensation when I feel myself smash into a surrounding rock, my knee throbbing at the pain, then a second that hits my shoulder, and then a third against my spine. I can feel welts forming already, my body still in motion as my spiral continues over the increasingly rocky path.

Suddenly, I feel nothing. The world has stopped throwing me, and I feel only open-air, above, around, and underneath me. I'm now in free fall. And I fall for what feels like an eternity. I don't know which way is up and which is down anymore. I don't even know how far I have fallen or how far I have yet still to go. My senses are skewed, and I only hear the rush of wind as it whizzes past my ears.

Then with a painful thump, I feel my knees and elbows hit a soft sandy ground. I stay curled in my protective little ball, worried that any movement from me would start the free fall again, but as time passes, I feel no sign of it. Slowly, I uncurl and work to regain my senses.

The sand around me is coarse but deep and created enough of a cushion to soften my blow. I focus on my skin and bones, slowly moving fingers and toes, my wrists and ankles, legs and arms, and finally feeling around my torso and head. I twist my back a few times and feel no severe pain.

It seems my trip caused me no significant harm, but definitely a few more serious cuts and bruises. Those I can deal with, though. I place a shaking hand onto my head to try to stop the dizzying spin; the pounding from my headache worsened by the recent events. I sit for a few moments until the spinning comes to a stop.

I listen to the sound of the world around me. I can hear the crash of waves to my left. There's a wind blowing off from the sea; it smells salty and clean. I spread my fingers out on my uninjured hand and reach in front of me to find nothing but sand. Pulling my hand out to the right, I feel a rough rocky wall. The ground underneath is covered in more sharp stones.

Lucky I didn't fall onto those rocks, I think in trepidation, realizing just how close I was to more severe injuries.

Twisting around, I feel only the beach again. I decided that I must have fallen from the right.

Knowing that the sea is north of my home, I can determine that my house must be directly to the south. I stand and reach my hand out opposite the sea, only to find that the wall I had fallen off was taller than me. I stretch up, standing on the tips of my toes, reaching my hand up as far as I can, but I cannot feel the top.

There's no way for me to tell how much farther up the wall goes, but I know trying to climb a wall without a guide will only result in my getting more injured.

I reach for my bag to grab one of my Pokèballs, only remembering that I left it at home. As well, my mobile wasn't in my pockets either.

Miltank droppings, I never should have left my house. I give my head an irritable shake but quickly decide that, at this moment, any action would be better than standing about and complaining on the circumstances.

I remember Sashi telling me that we have neighbors to the northeast of us. She commented that she could see their house close to the beach, even from our front yard. So if I travel to the east, straight down the sandy path before me, I should be able to reach their home and find help. At least now I have a direction to go.

"You seem to have put yourself up a creek without a paddle," I comment out loud to myself in frustration. The sound of the crashing waves drowns out my words, though.

Sighing, I reach my still dripping right hand out and locate the rocky wall with my fingertips, careful to keep the throbbing palm off the rough surface. Then, shuffling with my bare feet, I begin to slowly make my way towards what I can only hope is the correct direction.
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