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

17. The Pain in my Head

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 17 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 3207 words - Complete

When I was a child, I used to live with a constant, severe headache. Test after test and visits to doctors on all four corners of the planet never allowed my family and me an answer. After a few years of searching, my mother gave up and left the family when I was only three, never returning and taking my newborn sister with her. Doctors would give up too, saying it's just a pain I'd have to deal with, or sending me to another doctor, or even telling me it was simply because of my blindness

Things weren't much better for me when I started to attend school, where the kids would bully me. They would call me a liar and a freak. Even with my sightless eyes, I could "see". Not the same way as someone with vision, but in my own unique way, and the children quickly noticed this.

Sashi would describe things to me. Shapes, colors, sizes, and depths, everything had a visual description for her. To me, I could see, as Sashi started to describe it, orbs and clouds. Every living thing, plant, human, and Pokémon, all had its own orb-like mass. There's no better way to describe it. Non-living matter didn't, of course, so I was still effectively blind, just not in the natural sense that most would view the word.

I could look directly at people or locate the head of a Pokémon to give it a pet with solid accuracy, despite my "supposed" disability, and this made all the children nervous of me, so they teased me. Sashi would take me by my hand and pull me away from them whenever she was near.

She'd tell them off for being mean, and if they didn't back down, she'd start crying. That would quiet them. No one wanted to be the kid that made Sashi cry. Of course, these were never real tears, but the other kids never knew that. Still, she would only use this tactic as a last effort.

Sashi was always popular. Easy to get along with, kind, and adventurous. Many of the children looked up to her and wanted her to be on their team in gym. Or their partner for a group project.

She stood by my side, though. Even when the teachers wanted to put me in accommodations classes, she fought for me to stay in the class she was in instead. Finally, they agreed, so long as I didn't fall behind, and with her help, I never did.

Her twin, Anya, was a book Weedle. She always had a book or magazine in her hand and, after years of teasing, a bad attitude to push even the meanest bullies away. Of course, it helped that she could pull words from thin air that could confuse, scare, or encourage whomever she directed them at. She was also the most athletic in our classes, contended mainly by her twin, but still always winning, easily getting the best scores in gym. Even so, she was teased as well, just not as openly.

When we were nearing the end of our school years, the teachers brought in a group of Pokémon for us to interact with. All kinds of creatures; Butterfree, Rattata, Hopip, Skitty, and a Ralts. Sashi couldn't decide who she wanted to play with more, and with her popularity, she had the pick of the crop. She and the other children bounced about from one Pokemon to the next.

Anya sat in a corner and mumbled irritably whenever one would get too close, snapping at any teacher who tried to convince her to interact with them. She's always had a strong dislike for Pokémon.

I, on the other hand, wanted to play but found it hard to interact with any of the Pokémon. All the children swarmed the ones brought in, and with Sashi preoccupied, I found myself sitting in the corner with Anya. I "watched" the children playing games and brushing the fur of the creatures, even though I had my head down and face covered by my knees.

After some time, I felt a scared draw brush against my mind, then a cry from the Ralts in the group. Finally, having dealt with enough children, it drew away, then walked to the opposite corner of the room.

Poor Ralts, the thought came to me. I wouldn't want to be swarmed like that, either.

I felt something soft touch my head, or rather, my mind. That was nothing new. I always felt the odd brush, usually a stronger emotion like a rush of anger or sadness, that wasn't my own. I never talked about it to anyone but Sashi, though. I was afraid I would be sent back to a hospital. By then, I had seen more doctors than I would ever care to see again, and I had begun working very hard to convince my father not to make me go to anymore.

Still, the brush on my mind didn't leave. Instead, it stayed, pressed into my thoughts, pushing harder, growing stronger, and making my head pound all the more.

Can you hear me? The thought crossed my mind. It was the Ralts. I knew the shape of this Pokémon's orb after watching it play.

Can you hear me? It pushed again. I felt a sharp stab of pain in my head that sent tears through my eyes.

"Yes," I said out loud with a sniffle.

Are you scared? It questioned.

"No," I mumbled.

Are you sad? The push came again. This time I didn't answer. Why do you cry? It asked in concern.

The pounding in my head grew and grew, spinning and swirling. The thoughts were growing fuzzy, harder to hear, as if the harder they pushed, the further away they drew. My eyes were streaming by now from the pain, and I found it harder to focus on even forming a sentence out loud.

"It hurts," I moaned in agony.

"What hurts? Hey, Kabir, are you alright? Who are you talking to?" The voice of Anya sounded painfully loud, like standing by a train horn or a clap of thunder that rattled through your rib cage.

I put my hands over my ears, crying out in pain, trying to keep the noise out, but my head kept pounding, feeling like it would explode. The normal small orbs of the others that constantly swarmed around in my head grew larger and closer. People had noticed and started to approach me.

Don't be scared. The thought forced its way painfully into my head once more. It's ok. It tried to soothe.

The searing pain swelled to new heights, and I suddenly felt the world around me shift. I felt my hands slip from my ears and my body fall limply to the ground. The sounds around me and the pushing on my mind slowly faded away.

I woke up later in the hospital. My dad was snoring quietly in a chair near my bed, his head resting on my sheets. He never seemed to get enough sleep in those days, his constant worry for me, making even a quick rest, a difficulty for him.

I knew it was a hospital. It smelled like all the others, of antiseptics and strong cleaners. The nurses all said the same things outside my doors, and people talked in hushed whispers as they wandered through the halls. Beeping monitors and other noisy machines pounded away at my aching head.

When the doctors came in, they checked my vitals, informing me I had been asleep for several days. They tried to get me to explain precisely what happened, but I was still too scared to tell them the truth. I told them my head hurt, and that was it. They pushed more, trying to have me describe what it felt like or what events led up to my collapse, but I decided to say nothing after that, clamping my mouth shut and bringing my scratchy bed sheets close to my face.

That is until I felt a new brush on my mind, soft and warm. I recoiled in fear, thinking only of the pain that had come the last time I had felt this sensation. I sat with my head covered by my sheets now, my father working his hand underneath, trying to find mine. He spoke to me in the same gentle whisper he always used, afraid to cause me more pain.

"Kabir, it's ok. There's a nice doctor here with her Pokemon who's come to see you. The doctor wants to try something new, but it's a fun test instead of the ones with scary machines or needles. Would you like to meet this new Pokemon?" He asked softly.

I shook my head and tried to pull my hand from him, but he had found it and was holding on tight.

"Hey bud, it's ok. I'm here. I'm not going to leave. I'll stay with you the whole time." He whispered.

Grabbing my hand with his right and pulling me closer, he placed his left arm comfortingly over my shoulder, sitting with me on the bed. He stroked my hair softly and kept whispering his encouragements to me, warm spots of water falling onto my shoulder as tears slipped out of his eyes.

I knew there was no way for me to get out of the tests the doctors ran. I'd tried screaming, crying, running away, and hiding. They always found me and ran the tests anyway.

I pulled the covers off of my head dejectedly and held out an arm, ready for a needle to be stuck into my soft skin or a hand to pull me to my feet, not prepared to believe a test without those existed. Instead, I felt the soft brush on my mind once more.

Can you feel this? It pushed. I waited for the pain to come again, the swirl of the world to pull me back into the prolonged unconsciousness once more. It never came.

Do you hear me? The gentle push came again.

"Yes," I said, my voice still small and fearful.

I hear a gasp from my dad and pull my mind towards his presence, trying to find what surprised him.

Over here! The push felt eager now. Pay attention to me.

Hesitantly, I pull my mind towards the new presence, the one pushing against mine.

What's wrong? It asks softly.

"It hurts," I say.

What does?

"My head."


"All the time." I sniffle.

There's a pause, but I feel a second, weaker mind conversing with the stronger one, though I don't know what's being said. They stop, and the stronger of the two returns to me. I feel a push against my mind, the pain in my head increasing.

Does that hurt more? It queries.

"Yes." I manage, ducking my head into my knees and leaning in closer to my father. He holds my shoulder with one hand and gives me a reassuring squeeze. Once again whispering his gentle, encouraging words. Telling me over and over that it'll be ok.

I feel the pressure release.

Now? The question presents itself.

"It's just normal now."

There is another pause and conversation between the two silent ones.

How about now? I feel the constant pressure in my head, the one I had spent countless hours fighting and crying over, trip after trip to hospitals, test after test, ease, just slightly.

I nod my head, too shocked for words now. The pressure lifts more until there is nothing left. For the first time in my life, I am without pain. I feel a tear fall down my cheek, hot on my skin, but I'm not sad, nor is the tear caused by any pain.

"It's gone," I barely choke the words out in shock.

The room sits in silence for a moment.

"Who are you?" I question, curiosity finally winning over the fear.

"My name is Doctor Melanie Gomez, but you, brave boy, can call me Mel. And this is my partner Gallade."

"Gal," the voice that had been conversing with me finally says out loud.

"Your son has unique psychic capabilities, but it seems to be doing him more harm than good. It's not unheard of, but it's very rare. So rare that doctors never even think to check for it when cases like these are presented. The mind doesn't normally work against itself in such a manner." Mel says carefully, sounding apologetic.

"Can you do anything to help him?" My father asks, a tremble in his voice.

"Unfortunately, no. I can only teach him how to shut the world out. With training, most persons with psychic abilities can learn to communicate through their mind with Pokemon and even people, if they are strong enough, but if they shut their mind off, they cut off that communication. As well, Kabir," She says, addressing me now, sitting on the other side of my bed, and placing a gentle hand on my shoulder, "I bet you can "see" things too, can't you."

"Yes," I say in a small voice, now fearful of my secrets getting me in trouble but unable to lie to the woman before me. "but Sashi says it's not the same way everyone else does."

I hear another gasp from my father, and shame pulses through me. I'd never told him about that, too worried that he would send me to more doctors. Sashi had been my only confidant in this matter. I knew I couldn't even trust Anya to not tell an adult. She would mean well, but I didn't want anyone else knowing, so I made my best friend promise not even to utter a word to her own twin.

"Well, your friend Sashi is correct. If you learn to shut off your mind, you will shut off this "sight" as well. As a result, you will be fully blind."

"Will my head still hurt?"

"I can't say. Everyone reacts differently, but I can promise you that the pain won't be as bad if even you have any at all." She says honestly.

"What about your Gallade? It's helping him right now. He's finally pain-free. Can't I find him a Psychic Pokemon and have it help?" my dad asks desperately.

"A Pokemon needs to be very powerful in order to hold this kind of thing back. Your son being as young as he is, the strain is lessened, but as he gets older, the strain will become more difficult. There is no Pokemon alive with the kind of strength it would take to remove the pain on a 24/7 basis. Even a whole team of them couldn't help," Mel adds at the intake of breath from my dad, guessing his next question, either psychically or by simply knowing from the look that must have been on his face. "Either way, it is not a permanent solution."

"It's ok. I can be blind," I say, ready for the pain to stop forever.

"Oh, Kabir," My dad chokes out behind me, "You're so brave," He pulls me in closer, and I feel his tears fall to my shoulder once more and soak into my hospital gown.

Since learning to control them, I've used my psychic abilities on and off now, usually to talk to Pokemon, but not very often, as it still causes me a fair amount of pain. Even so, I find myself to be more susceptible to headaches than the average person. Furthermore, it's been so long since I've used my special sight, without the help of Rebel, my Psychic Type Rapidash, that I'm not sure if I can even control it now.

The battle between Horse and Bull Pokemon rages before me, and I find myself, for the first time in a long time, pulling my mind together to see.

A stab of pain shoots through my head, and I catch myself on the fence behind me as the world begins to spin. I shake off the dizziness and ignore the pain, pulling up the orbs and clouds. The Pokemon before are a danger to my family and friends, and I can't just stand by and let someone get hurt. I find Sashi with my mind, then locate Anya, checking on a stunned Sam, still lying on the ground.

Kukui, Burnet, and Berns keep their distance, trying to judge a good time to jump in and pull the reins on the Pokémon, but are continuously thwarted by a powered attack, flailing hoof, or stabbing horn.

The Pokémon behind me call out to the two battling, trying to stop the fight as well, but unwilling to leave the two children, Lei and Himiko, without their protection. Even Hop has come forward, standing guard in front of the watching group, ready to attack should they draw near the young kids. I tell Tinsel to join the other Pokémon as well. She obeys with just the slightest hesitation.

I push against the feuding Pokémon's mind but am met with walls of anger, fury pushing through my own exposed thoughts. I pull back and gather my mind again. Pushing once more, I poke and prod the corners of their minds, trying to find any way in.

I notice Berns grabbing my arm with a sudden touch that pulls my mind out of the connection, yanking me away just as the back legs of the Tauros kick, missing me by inches. A grunt of pain sounds as Kukui is hit by the attack instead, trying to sneak behind to jump on top. The hand on my arm lifts as Berns rushes over to the stricken man to drag him over to Anya.

I hear shouts coming from the people around me as I move towards the dual once more, but I ignore them. I stand near the fight, my mind battered by the rushes of uncontrolled fury and rage.

If I can't stop them with precision, then I'll have to use brute force, I decide.

I pull my mind together once more, building the power inside of me, forcing it to swell. My head pounds with a pain sharper than I've ever felt. The world spins and begins to sway, but I push it all aside and focus only on the power.

A sudden, malicious touch on my mind nearly knocks me out of focus. I don't know this mind. I've never felt a push as strong as this one, not even from Mel, her Gallade, or any of her other psychic Pokèmon. The presence feels cold and angry. I feel it pushing against me with so much strength it almost feels like a physical wall before me. A long, serpentine-shaped mass wraps around my mind, trying to squeeze my strength out. It takes all of my will to hold it back as I redouble my efforts and focus on the task I have set.

I shove out my own force, indiscriminately pushing into all the orbs around me. I pull out all emotions; anger, fear, concern, all of it. Nothing remains, and then I push one word, one absolute command, into the minds around me.

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