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

13. The Funny Thing About Dresses

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 13 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 1741 words - Complete

My neighbors, sister, niece, and I all sit on the couch in the newly set living room. Most of our small items were still sitting in boxes, waiting to be unpacked by my husband and me, but the furniture had been carefully placed in the floor plan I had previously designed. The boxes sat against the walls and stacked only a few high to make finding things easier for us.

We have two couches, one on each side with a long, low sitting table in between. A rather large window faces the west side of the house, giving a perfect view of the backyard, with its currently dilapidated forest, so the curtains remain closed at the moment.

We chat idly, not moving forward in our conversation, though I find the company to be pleasant and calming after the craziness of the large crowd from earlier. Even so, I find myself hoping my kind guests will be leaving soon, as I have grown weary from the day's events that have left my still recovering body drained and exhausted.

Kabir walks in with Tinsel in the lead. Now that the home has been changed again, he will need to relearn the house's layout if he wishes to navigate without a guide, especially now that it has been filled with furniture. I cringe at the thought of the long process that will take him with such a large home.

I know he hates moving, as it forces him to relearn his surroundings, which often ends with a few too many bumps and bruises from tripping on furniture or level changes. Because of this, we've tried to stay stagnant as often as possible. This is one of the reasons my sister wanted to stay over for a bit. Being a doctor and living in Alola as well, she wanted to be near, in case one of his many bumps resulted in an injury, which has been a common occurrence in the past after a move.

I really hope we can stay here from now on. I don't want to put him through this again. I think silently.

The blind man walks slowly through the home, carefully placing his feet and moving a hand out to feel for any solid objects, his mind expertly counting steps as he walks. Tinsel was momentarily removed from her guide duties by him, but she stays nearby, her ribbons extended and ready to take the lead once more, should he ask. He says the best way for him to learn is to stub a toe, so he'll spend the next few weeks trying to navigate without a guide, counting his steps, and memorizing locations.

I look over to the hallway and feel my heart sink. We've never lived with stairs in our home before. However, this new house had a few levels, so having stairs was an inevitable consequence for its ample space. I'm very grateful to my sister and her firm stance that she stay here for the time being.

I notice the others watching and presume they are thinking about the same thing I am, as his careful movements slowly pull him closer. Our conversations have stopped, and we all watch him anxiously, ready to jump into action should he trip. Mere heartbeats pass, but he catches on quickly, noticing our sudden silence.

"Oh no," he says, widening his eyes and giving a horrible attempt at a look of fake fear, covering his mouth with both hands. "I've just walked into some awful bit of gossip about me, haven't I?" He says with theatric levels of drama in his voice.

We all give a small chuckle at his ease of the joke as he makes his way to the couch. Locating a seat with a searching hand, and after some scooting from Kukui, he leans forward, claps his hands into his lap, and says in a hush, "So, what juicy bit of gossip have you been talking about. Come on, tell me. I'm no snitch. Kabir will never know what was said here tonight."

He smiles easily at his joke, and we begin to laugh more comfortably at his mocking. He knows why we were quiet. He knows we were thinking about his difficulties. And he hates the sympathetic pauses, sighs, and comments he gets. So he dodges it if he can, usually by making jokes like this or simply avoiding the conversations altogether, when possible.

"Where's my niece?"' he asks Anya, a moment of surprise when he realizes he is unsure of where to face. I can see his discomfort at this, and it sends a stab of pain through me in spite of myself.

Anya speaks up without hesitation, though, knowing him nearly as well as me, "Right here, did you want to hold her?"

"When do I not?" He asks, trying hard to keep his voice light. He can tell his appearance has caused the awkward atmosphere, and he's eager to set everyone at ease. He reaches towards my sister's voice, and she places the toddler in his outstretched arms.

"My, you are getting big," He says with a grunt of effort as the three-year-old is handed over. Putting her on his knee, he bounces her up and down, a genuine smile lighting up his face when she starts laughing happily.

"Kabir," Burnet says, watching, "You're really good with children."

"Thank you," he responds, still focused on his niece. "When they're this cute, it's hard not to love them!" He grabs Himiko gently on the nose and gives it a wiggle, pulling out another loud bout of laughter from the tyke.

I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of happy conversation and laughter. I'm clearly still recovering from my recent bout of sickness. My limbs are still heavy and reluctant to move at times. And I'm drained from the day's events.

I feel my head begin to spin, dizzying my sitting form, a buzzing fills my ears, and the world starts to tilt. I yank my eyes open with a jerk.

What was that? I look around carefully to see if anyone else experienced it or noticed, but only Anya gives me a questioning glance, her watchful eyes squinting curiously.

I shake my head at her and look back over to the rest of the crew.

"Hey Burnet," Kabir says with a mischievous grin, "I heard you and Sashi went clothes shopping today. How did that go?"

"It went so well!" She says, catching onto the joke. "She picked out some super cute dresses that she thought you would like." Struggling to keep a straight face.

"Wait," Kukui tries to stop the conversation. "You mentioned you don't wear dresses when we were in the city this morning. Did you two actually end up finding an outfit?"

"Oh yeah!" I say with exaggeration and a quick wink at Burnet. "I picked out loads of cute outfits. But, Kabir, wait until you see this lovely evening gown! It'll be perfect for all the balls we attend! Oh, it looks so cute!" I give Anya a poke with my elbow. She just rolls her eyes, but there's a slight grin on her face as she watches the goofy antics of us.

"Oh! Yes! Sashi, tell us about..." Burnet begins, but her voice fades quickly.

I only meant to blink, but my eyes stay closed like they've been glued shut. I feel the room begin to spin once more. My ears are filled with the sound of crashing waves; my vision is gone, and I'm now as blind as Kabir as saltwater rushes into my eyes with a sudden intense sting. I don't know where I am, but I feel like I'm floating on water.

A voice cries out, desperate and scared. I don't know who it is, but when I open my mouth to respond to them, seawater rushes in and drowns out my words. I splutter and choke on the salty taste, spitting to get the vile stuff out of my mouth.

Something twists painfully against my shoulders and starts pulling my head underwater before I can get a look at it, gripping fiercely to my limbs. A voice calls again, but it's not the same as the one before. This one hisses with a deep, almost rhythmic beat of incomprehensible words. It sounds both frightening and enticing with a slow, nearly hypnotizing cadence.

My lungs burn as I try to hold the breath I couldn't take before my head went under; they scream for air. I feel my head start to swim, lack of oxygen, dizzying my thoughts, and spinning the world around me. I thrash about, using my finger to scratch at the thing pulling me in, trying to bite down on the scaly flesh.

A few of my kicks meet something soft and squishy, and I bring my foot, slowed significantly by the water, back at it, feeling the grasp loosen each time I make contact. Finally, just as my body feels like it's at its end, the hold on my shoulder slips away, and I feel myself rising to the surface once more.

Blowing bubbles to be sure the direction I'm moving is correct, I swim upward, pushing down with my arms and kicking my legs vigorously against the water. With every last ounce of effort I can muster, I push forward and finally feel my head break the surface and take a long, gasping breath.

I suck in lung fulls of air and wipe the water streaming from my eyes, stinging the fragile insides with its high salt content. My eyes still burn mercilessly from the water as I'm tossed about on the storming sea, and my limbs feel as if they are about to quit. I can feel the burning in my lungs grow stronger still as I continue to try regaining my breath while also working hard to keep myself above the crashing waves.

I feel the world rock underneath me and prepare my overworked limbs to take on a wave, but instead of continuing to suck me to one side, the world switches. I tumble back and forth gently. The hard surface underneath me, holding firm as I rock.

Opening my eyes, I realize that I am not drowning in the open sea, but rather lying on the floor, my sister Anya gently shaking my shoulders, calling my name steadily to get me to come to.
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