Recently I got Pokémon X for the Nintendo 3DS. It had been a long time since I had played any Pokémon games, I had the originals on my Gameboy Color, but that was around the time the show first came out. I’m 25 and a little out grown for the game, I mean I don’t even know any Pokémon past the original 150. Still I gave in and purchased the game. This wasn’t a used game in an unmarked cartridge; I got it brand new still in the plastic wrap. I know these stories always start with a nostalgia trip, and I hate to be cliché but that’s the only way to explain it. My inner child won out and within minutes of starting my game I was immediately taken back to the fifth grade.
Everything started out normal. After selecting a character I named him Jafe, a mash-up of my first and last name, and was transported to Vaniville. The opening scene played out with a Fletchling flying through this marvelous new world and into the room of my character. Greeted by my mother I was told to change and meet my neighbors. The two female NPCs told me to follow them to the adjacent town to meet with two more NPCs and receive my first starter Pokemon of the new generation. I had the choice between Chespin, Fennekin, or Froakie. I chose the little amphibious creature and was eager to get my adventure underway.
I blew through the first few towns fairly fast, first getting my Bug Badge from Viola in Santalune City. Then making my way towards Cyllage City for the cliff badge. After waking up the Snorlax on Route 7, I progressed past the Day Care, and made a brief pit stop in the Battle Chateau where I was dubbed the title of Baron. By this time my Froakie was a healthy level 15 after making my battle debut in the Chateau the Pokemon aptly named Ribbit evolved into a Frogadier. I was more than satisfied with my progress thus far and thought before I stray much further I would save and come back later in the evening.
Upon my return I left the Chateau and noticed the NPC that was painting on the easel was no longer present, and instead was replaced by the Fairy Tale Girl. Her sprite looked normal enough and I walked over to her to initiate a battle. However she didn’t spot me like opposing trainers usually do. I walked in and out of view four or five times before deciding to go up and talk to her. When I did she simple said “Hmm…” Unsure what to make of it I pressed on nearing the stairs where the cut scene between me and my fellow trainers would normally trigger. Yet nothing happened. I’ve seen different lets plays and they always manage to show at this point, instead I was left to my own devices.
Brushing it off as either a glitch or something I missed I continued up the stairs and again came to another Fairy Tale Girl Trainer. Still no battle ensued. Once again a dialogue box appeared with “Hmm…” I continued towards the caves to get to Ambrette Town where you would usually stumble upon a scientist who will heal your Pokémon, and again was replaced with a Fairy Tale Girl who, like clock work said “Hmm…” This was beginning to be strange. I went through the cave to Ambrette Town and it was seemingly vacant. In videos I had seen there is usually a Punk character walking back and forth by the PokéCenter when first entering the city. I went into some of the buildings and again there was nobody. Even in the PokéCenter I found no sign of Nurse Joy, or the sprite that would normally be at the Poke’ Mart.
When I exited, to my surprise, there was a Fairy Tale Girl standing outside of the center facing the wall. Approaching her and toggling the A button a box came up and said, “What’s the point?”
She didn’t turn around, she just looked towards the wall. As I went towards the Aquarium a text appeared on the screen that said “Jafe!” Though it wasn’t a colored box I was expecting it to be one of my travel companions. Instead the Fairy Tale Girl came into screen.
“Why do you continue?” the message read, “They’re all gone! They’ve abandoned us! We’re alone, you’re alone.” This disturbed me, I felt like she was talking to me. Not my character but to my physical being. My wife was out of town staying with her parents and I was in the house all by myself. The little girl stood silent and I tried to talk to her again and all she said was “Hmm…” A deep feeling of sadness washed over me. I truly did feel alone, and it was strange. I normally reveled in the freedom of personal space. The text never left the screen; I hit any and every button and nothing. Jafe was frozen in conversation with this girl. I had no idea what to make of it and the feeling of emptiness wouldn’t leave me. I shut the game off, and thought after a relaxing shower I would try again. Drying myself off and entering my bedroom for a change of clothes I noticed the blue light of my DS. I picked it up to look at the screen and Jafe was back in Ambrette Town with the girl and a message that said, “I won’t let you abandon me too.” This freaked me out, my pulse was racing, and I could literally see it beating from under the skin of my wrist.
Digging my phone out as fast as I could I sent a text to my wife, “Can I call you?” A moment later my phone read message failed. I clicked try again and immediately received the same error message. My cell had full bars and I was stumped as to why it wasn’t going through, so I clicked try again and thankfully it went through. My notification went off, and I jumped for my phone to view the reply. It was an unknown number with the message, “She isn’t there, nobodies there. We’re all alone!” What did they mean we? “Who is this?” I replied and a response answered, “Hmm…” I dialed my wife’s number and her normal call back tune started with “Please enjoy this call back tune while your party is reached.” But rather than her usual music I was greeted with the sound of static. After a good thirty seconds it cut out to a dial tone. Over which I could hear a tiny whisper. “She can’t help you. No one can!”
Legitimately terrified, I ran out of the front door and got in my car. Key inserted in the ignition I cranked it and the engine turned over and over but never fired. The more I tried the weaker the car sounded. We we’re fairly new to the area and I had no friends I could call and stay with. I thought maybe a neighbor would let me use their phone to reach my wife. Knocking on door after door I received no answer. Vehicles that usually lined my streets were now missing. Running up and down the road every third house was the same. I don’t mean in a cookie cutter fashion, I mean they were the same houses almost as if I was on a never ending loop. Reaching back to my front yard, I noticed what looked like the figure of a small girl cast on the curtain of the window that over looked the porch. I was drawn to it. I braced my entrance back into the house, holding my hand on the knob for what to me seemed like hours. When I opened the door everything went blank.
Vaulting to a sitting position on my bed, I gazed around the room confused. It was a nightmare. Relief was an understatement for what I felt. I sat on the bed for a good 5 minutes before deciding to call my wife. I picked up my phone and saw there were 15 text messages all from my wife’s number. They all read the same thing. “She can’t help you, she left you. You’re alone, we’re alone.” I began to hear what sounded like sobbing coming from the kitchen. I slowly walked through the living room and to the entrance of the kitchen. Curled up in the corner was a small girl, blonde with a pink and white dress “Wh-who are you, a-and what do you want?” She rose to her feet and faced me. Her face more pale than any I’d ever seen. Blood dripping from her eyes and staining her pasty cheeks with a dark red.
“I’m the embodiment of everything you once loved, everything you once held dear, only to turn your back on.” Her voice coming out in three tones at one time, with the slightest echo trailing behind each word spoken. “You abandoned her, you abandoned me, and now you will learn what it feels like to be truly alone.” Memories began to flash in my head, with me playing video games, my wife’s voice in the background “Did you hear me?” I remembered her asking, my reply a simple “Hmm…” to engrossed in my games to listen fully to what she had said. The little girl came to me and grabbed my arm her cold touch sending pins and needles through my body. A touch like none I’d ever felt yet somehow familiar.
My vision darkened and faded to that from the driver’s seat of a car. My wife’s car. Driving the lonely stretch of highway between Burns and Bend. When it suddenly hit a patch of black ice and began to swerve violently from lane to lane. The car plowed head on into an oncoming truck and everything faded back into my own perspective. The little girl dropped my arm and said, “Now you will never leave me again. Now neither of us shall ever be alone.”
Written by Laughing Jake