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

9. Two Horses

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 9 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 3534 words - Complete

The kind neighbors had kept Kabir and me at their house for two days after my fever lifted, which had taken three days from our arrival before finally agreeing to let my husband and I return to our home. I have spent a few more recovering, even after that. We had now been in Alola for over a week.

The large empty house had felt busy, though, as the two Professors stopped by every morning and also evening after they'd finished their day's work. Doctor Ōpūnui popped in a few times a day, checking in on my progress. Officer Jenny came by the first couple of mornings after we returned but had taken to just calling to make sure nothing else happened. A man named Hala and his Hariyama came over to check on us when we first moved back. Even young Sam, the mail carrier, stayed every morning during their route for a bit longer than I think would be normal, chatting idly.

When I awoke on that first morning, I was unable to answer any of the questions that were asked. I didn't see what Pokemon made me sick. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary. When the police searched the house and surrounding areas, they found no clues as to what it could have been either.

Most worrisome, though, was there were no punctures or rashes on my skin for the poison to be injected, and nothing had been inhaled in my lungs. So I was poisoned, but no one could figure out how.

Now, I'm sitting at one of the tables outside our house, resting after a busy morning. I'm facing the west, towards the backyard where the forest of dead trees can be seen standing and lying in a tangled mess around the murky waters of our lake further in.

The trees outside our land, just on the other side of the fence even, we're healthy, strong, and housed many happy Pokemon. Our own forest looked like a graveyard when compared to the rest of the area

Of course, I was aware of the terrible shape of our backyard and knew it would take a bit of work to get the several acres of land set up in a livable way once more, but I was unprepared when I looked it over a couple of days ago, to see just how bad it truly was. The land stretched far out, passed where the eyes could detect, but I knew, even back that far, the forest must be struggling.

The movers were supposed to arrive in the late afternoon, instructed to wait until my husband and I returned, so Kabir and I had spent the better part of the day's earliest hours giving our new home a thorough cleaning.

We had told the mail carrier of our plans for the morning as we pleasantly chatted the day before, and Sam had kindly arrived in the early hours to assist us. We tried to turn them down, but the young person insisted on helping. So, with their added hands, we finished cleaning swiftly.

Most wonderfully, though, I was delighted to hear Sam join in on my singing as we worked, filling the open spaces with my high notes and their falsettos and middle range. Kabir didn't join in with us, though he has never been a fan of singing himself. The look of happiness on his face as he listened to us was more than enough encouragement to keep Sam and me going, though.

The floors were scrubbed, windows washed, and the attic and spare rooms emptied of spider webs and dust. We left all the windows and doors opened, allowing the fresh Alolan air to wash out the rest of the musty odors that lingered within our home.

When we were done, we offered to make breakfast for our kind mail carrier, but they said they had to get started on the route and left.

Now I rest and hum a few lines of a song Sam and I made up as I pull my fingers in front of my face, wiggling them, then giving my hand a few experimental squeezes. I'm still not back to feeling fully like myself again, but I don't handle sitting around and doing nothing very well. I tend to get twitchy and obnoxious.

I had wondered if our kind neighbors let us leave, not because of my improved health, but rather due to them becoming annoyed with me.

Of course, they were annoyed with you, the deep, hissing voice returns. You've annoyed nearly everyone you've ever met. Why do you think it's so hard for you to make friends? It questions in a cruel laugh.

At first, I had chalked up the mysterious, niggling entity as just a fever dream. Still, it had returned several times over now, pushing dark thoughts into my head and reminding me of sad, painful memories, twisting some of them into unrecognizable horrors, as if trying to force me to remember them in those terrible ways.

I've thought of discussing the mysterious voice with my husband or maybe even calling my sister about it, but telling someone about strange voices in your head isn't usually an easy conversation. Not to mention, my family might just consider that I've begun to lose my senses.

"You know," Kabir says, walking over to me with a tray of cold drinks. "We should make dinner for the movers after we've finished up."

"That's a good idea. They've had a rough time getting here, what, with that storm a few days ago, and it probably wasn't easy for them to have to wait for me to recover." I respond, pulling my mind out of the darker thoughts and pushing the hissing voice out of my head.

The workers had sounded unconcerned and even a bit excited about having a few days off as they waited. They had promised to use that time to rest after the squall that nearly sank their ship. It was the second storm to hit Alola since our arrival. I still couldn't help but worry, though, knowing the movers must have other orders to work on.

My husband places a glass in front of me, one of Tinsel's ribbons guiding his hand, making the movement seem sighted and natural.

"Thank you. How's your head, Kabir?" I question.

"We'll need to run into town, though, or we won't have enough food. What time will they be getting here?" He asks, ignoring my last question. That response tells me it hurts more than normal today.

I pause for a moment, deciding if I should pursue it, but then choose not to. I check the clock on my phone. "They should be here in about four hours, so long as the unloading is smooth at the port."

"We should head out soon, then." He decides, rising to his feet once more and making to grab the glasses off the table to return them to the fridge.

When Kabir makes his mind up about something, he follows through with it swiftly, though not always well thought out at times. We are opposites, but therefore a good team in that aspect. While my spouse is good at ensuring things get done without hesitation, he does so without much preparation or forethought. Whereas I would rather spend far too long planning, and then things don't get done.

Most of the time, we achieve our set out goals in a carefully decided and well-timed manner when we work as a team, but there is, of course, the occasional dispute. Though, that is to be expected when you've known someone for literally your entire life, such as my husband and me.

"Problem though," I catch his hand as it slides towards my glass, playfully pulling it just out of reach, allowing only his fingertips to barely make contact with the dripping edges. "We don't have a way of transporting a large amount of food. We only have our light saddle packs and our bags."

"Hmm," He ponders, chuckling at my tease but not trying to snatch the glass away again.

"You've got a fair point there. Maybe we can pick some bigger packs up in town." He pauses once more. I tug on his hand, still held by my own, and pull him down next to me to sit and think.

"No," I say with certainty. "That would absolutely slow us down a fair amount, and the packs would really only be useful this one time since our own would be coming in with the movers tonight. So this doesn't make much sense, time-wise or monetarily."

I see Kabir's face drop slightly as he realizes his quick solution really wasn't a clever one. He opens his mouth, pulls in a deep breath, and lets it out through his nose, long and slow. He does this whenever he's starting to get frustrated or overwhelmed. He's wise that way, with his words and emotions, and I've always admired his careful control.

"We could call for a cab." He says hesitantly, though I know he isn't a fan of this idea. He would much rather ride his Pokémon, whose movements he's able to predict more easily than a cab controlled by a stranger.

"Did I hear you say you need some help?" Kukui's voice sounds behind us.

Kabir and I turn around to face him and his wife in surprise to see our two neighbors walking into our garden. They didn't have their child with them today.

"We didn't mean to eavesdrop, but we were already heading up here to check on Sashi, and, well, sounds carry pretty far on this hill," Kukui says, placing a hand behind his head.

"That's no trouble," Kabir responds kindly, standing politely at the sound of their arrival. "It is very thoughtful of you to come up here to check on us."

"You also mentioned the movers were coming today. Since we both have the day off, we wanted to help." Burnet puts in.

"My goodness, that's awfully kind of you!" Kabir says.

"We called a few friends to come over tonight as well," Kukui adds, giving the back of his head another scratch. "It'll be a true moving party."

"Oh, you really didn't have to do that!" I say, standing and bowing with my husband.

"Many hands make light work, as they say," Burnet chimes in laughing, waving off our polite gesture.

"We can come with you to town, and if we need more hands, I have two Incineroar that would love to help as well," Kukui remarks

"Two?" I say in confusion, recalling only seeing one during our stay.

"Yes, one is Kukui's, and the other, the one you remember, is from a young boy who used to live with us," Burnet answers, a happy twinkle of remembrance in her eyes.

"He stayed with us while he was doing the island challenge. He left around two years ago after being the first Trainer to beat the new League, and he left his Pokemon here so he could start anew for his next challenge." Kukui adds.

"Oh, I've heard of him, I think." I pause and try to recall old memories. "Ash, was it? He won with a stunning comeback with that very same Incineroar that you mentioned, didn't he?" I ask, remembering when I watched it on the television.

"Yes, he did," the male professor replies happily.

"You must really miss him," Kabir says with an understanding look, catching onto their sad voices faster than I do with the looks in their eyes.

"We do. He was like our own child." Burnet answers. A now heartbreaking look passes between the two of them.

Wanting to cheer them up, I change the subject back. "These are the two Pokémon we were going to use," I say. "Sugar, meet the neighbors,"

Sugar the Rapidash comes out of her ball and gives a friendly neigh, pleased to see the new faces of these two Professors.

Surprisingly, when the ball comes whizzing back to my side, I misjudge the distance and find myself missing the catch. Instead, it flies over my shoulder and lands in the grass with a small thump right behind me. Embarrassed, I glance quickly at my neighbors, but their attentions have already turned to the delightful horse Pokemon.

Kabir does notice, however, and I see his head turned slightly towards the direction the small device fell. He passes, just for a second, a quick look of concern, but then returns to his normal placid stance.

"Go ahead and give her a pat. She's rather friendly and keeps her fires cool, even for strangers." I say to the two professors as they stand around the happy horse, staring.

I reach down and grab the small ball back into my hand, but my return to a straight standing position causes me to become dizzy, and I move my foot out to catch myself. This time, Tinsel guides Kabir's hand out, and he snatches my arm, helping to steady me. Still, he says nothing, just holds my arm for a moment to be sure I don't fall.

He will say something at some point, though. I think with a sigh. When we aren't around others. He's like a Kangaskhan mother, always watchful and concerned.

Truthfully, I can understand why he's so worried. If I were in his shoes, I would be as well, but he tends to be somewhat overbearing sometimes.

"Oh, she's lovely, and her fire is so bright! What a healthy-looking Rapidash you have here." Burnet says, pulling my mind away from future encounters, not hesitating to pat her fur. Kukui echoes his wife's pleasure and praise, rubbing a hand along her horn as she bows her head to accept the kind words and pats.

"Thank you. We've been together since I restarted my journey as a Trainer," I respond, walking over and rubbing Sugar's long nose.

"We can't leave Rebel out!" Kabir says behind me, pulling out his own Pokèball. "Though he's not the friendly sort and tends to be rather prideful, so take a treat first and be careful not to insult him!"

He hands a few treats from his pocket to the neighbors and throws his Pokèball. Tinsel reaches a ribbon up, smoothly catches the returning ball, and then passes it back to my husband's hand. The Trainers at the PokèAssist facility taught her that little trick. It has been very beneficial for our travels.

Another Rapidash is released into the yard, but this one has a silvery-white body with fluffy, cyan and pink, cotton candy-like frocks, tail, and mane.

"Ahh! No way! Is that a Galarian Pokémon?" Kukui says in surprise and delight, nearly pouncing on the horse but, wisely, holding his ground.

"Yes, he is! He's a Galarian Rapidash! You must have done your research!" my husband responds with an impressed look.

Our neighbors both walk over to the new Pokemon and hold out their hands with the treats. Rebel whinnies angrily and scrapes his hoof on the ground in annoyance, making his desire for space very evident. Kukui and Burnet knowingly back up and give the irritated horse the space it requests. Noticing the frustration, Kabir carefully steps over to his Pokémon and gives its nose a pat.

"These people are our new neighbors," He says. "They are very nice, so I need you to treat them kindly."

Rebel gives his head a shake, pushing his Trainer's hand away in anger, then turns his back to the two Professors holding treats, whipping his long fluffy tail, and barely missing a smart snap on Kukui's bare chest.

"That's rude. I don't appreciate your attitude." My husband chides. He walks over to the front of his horse once more and faces him directly.

Rebel quivers his mane and throws his ears back, giving an angry snort of protest.

"That's not polite either." Kabir says flatly, "I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot of these two from now on, so it would be wise of you to make fast friends with them now."

Rebel rolls his eyes but lowers his head in submission to his Trainer.

"Can I trust you to be kind to my new friends?" He questions, putting his hand on the snout of his steed once more and rubbing it gently.

The Pokemon bobs his head and snorts, pawing the ground some more, but then he turns back around towards the watching couple. The two waiting professors closer to the beautiful creature, hands extended and pellets exposed. Rebel pads the ground a bit more. Kabir sighs quietly, arms folded and head shaking.

The Pokemon flicks its ears irritably towards the noise. Finally, he gives his mane a shake and saunters over to the newcomers, rubbing his lips against their hands and pulling the treats from their waiting palms a bit more forcefully than was necessary, but he stands still while the two doll out affection.

"What a soft mane and beautiful shiny fur," Burnet says in awe, rubbing her fingers through the flowing mane in front of her. "You are truly a very lovely Pokémon," She says, patting his neck. Rebel's ears flick forward with suppressed pleasure at the praise.

"You two seem to have quite an understanding of each other," Kukui says, impressed. "Kabir, are you psychic?"

"Yes, I am." My husband responds, awkwardly rubbing his arm while Kukui looks at Burnet with an eyebrow raised in curiosity.

"I had no idea." He says with a slight chuckle. "Have you two known each other long?"

"We have. Just like Sashi and Sugar, Rebel and I have been together since day one of my journeys' start. In fact, the two Pokémon were given to us by our parents when they were Ponytas as gifts." Kabir answers, "Our parents told us that they were to help us since the Pokemon could be ridden, but I knew my dad wanted me to have a Psychic Pokemon on my journey because of my blindness. He worried about me a lot."

"So this is a Psychic-Type Rapidash, then? That would certainly explain your strong connection." Kukui says with interest, eyeing the silvery creature once more.

"Psychic and Fairy."

"How fascinating. You're dad knew what he was doing when he picked this guy out. I can tell you two have a very close bond." He says in genuine surprise. "I bet your father is very proud of you." The young man finishes.

"Y-yes," Kabir stammers at the unexpected words.

"Anyways!" I jump in quickly, guessing that another change of subject was in order by the look on my husband's face. "If we want to get the shopping done before the movers arrive, we will need to leave soon. Let's get the packs loaded on the Pokémon."

"We'll head back home and grab our own packs as well," Burnet says.

"Sounds good. We'll come over when we are set up."

The two kind neighbors walk off. Kabir and I get to work setting the headstalls and reins on our horse Pokémon, then place the packs over their backs. As my husband runs inside, I take a few moments to write down two separate shopping lists for us, one for me and one for Kabir. After just a few minutes, we are ready to go.

"You know, Sashi, riding would be a lot quicker. Should we also bring out Thunder and Billy?"

"You're right. We spent too much time talking, and who knows how long it would take us to pick out the food. This will be our first trip into town. So we'll probably be pretty distracted." I laugh back. "Thunder, come on out," I say, releasing my Luxray. "Would you be alright if I rode you into town?" I ask.

The large cat Pokémon shoves his face against mine and purrs loudly.

"Of course you would. You're just so sweet!" I squeal at the affection, hugging him around the neck.

"Billy, join us," Kabir calls. He releases a Pokèball, and the goat Pokémon Gogoat appears before us. "You good to give a ride to a new friend?" He asks.

"Go!" The Pokémon answers without hesitation. We rein the new creatures swiftly.

"Well," Kabir remarks. "Let's not keep them waiting," Rebel lays down and allows his Trainer to easily climb onto his back. He returns Tinsel to her own purple Pokèball as the horse raises to its feet.

I mount my own horse with a smooth, practiced jump. Sugar evolved from a Ponyta to the much taller Rapidash she is now, just as I turned 14, so the motion has become second nature to me, having been one used for over fifteen years now. I call out to my Delcatty. "Hop, are you joining us?"

The purple cat has been lying on top of a bench for the entire conversation. She lets out a giant yawn, stretches, then lazily sprawls back onto the bench.

"Alright then, you stay here and hold down the fort," I reply with a laugh. Addressing Kabir, I say, "Let's go."
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