Image Credit: Taylor M., Pelham, AL The newly born growlithe sat there cuddled up to her mother. She was comfortable and felt very safe. She still could not open her eyes. “My sweet Maida.” Her mother whispered in her ear. Her mother had been lying with her for a few days trying to get her to try and start walking, but the baby growlithe was still to week. * * * * * It had now been about a week. The baby growlithe was still wobbly when it walked but it could walk. The mother had been worried for the fact that she didn’t want her owner to take her baby from her. She new it would have to come some day for growlithe were bread for police work and this is what had happened with her last five puppies after a week had passed. The time had come her trainer and the male growlithe had just walked in. She started to growl and had gotten in front of her puppy. She looked behind the trainer and realized that the door to the pin was open. The trainer put her hand in her pocket and slowly pulled out a poke ball out. The mother growlithe started to growl even louder, and then shouted to her baby, “Run Maida! Run!” The human could not understand what she was saying until. Maida started to run toward the door as her mother told her to. As soon as she got out the door she looked back and had seen that her mother had bitten the trainer. She was scared and didn’t know what else to do and started to cry and yell out for her mother, “Mommy! Mommy! Come on!” “No! I can’t, you have to run! Go, now so they can’t catch up with you.” She shouted back. Maida started to run again. She ran far. * * * * * She was now thirsty and hungry. She knew now that she had to teach herself how to hunt. She started with a rabbit that had just passed by. Out of instinct she crouched and watched it. She waited and waited until she thought she would be ready. Suddenly she leaped up and chased the rabbit. She caught up with it quickly for the fact that her species of Pokémon was very quick. She was about to jump onto it when she stumbled and started to role down a hill. A tree stopped her from continuing down the hill. She sat there for a moment in pain. She eventually got back up onto all four paws. She looked beside her and saw a Kakuna hanging from a string. “Oh no!” she said in a worried voice as she looked up. She started to run as a swarm of beedrills flew down from the tree and began to chase her. She ran as fast as she could but they were still faster for the fact that they could fly. When they finally caught up with her she felt the first sting. She yelped, “Mommy!” They continued to sting her until she was in total pain and eventually fainted. * * * * * Maida started to open her eyes slightly as she was waking up. “Oh, you’re awake! Yay!” Yelled a loud voice in her ear. A young girl picked her up and squeezed her to her chest. “Hello little growlithe. My name is Madalyn. I’m glad you are feeling better.” Maida was very comfortable. She was wrapped up in a blanket. “Oh thank you.” “Awe you are so cute when you growl.” Maida didn’t understand what Madalyn meant when she had said that. “Do you have any food? I’m really hungry.” She asked. Madalyn had a questioned expression on her face. “What do you want little growlithe?” “I said I was hungry. Do you have any food?” “I don’t know what you want?” “Well why don’t you?” Snapped Maida. She was getting frustrated. “No, please don’t growl at me you’re scaring me!” Madalyn said as she backed away. “I don’t understand you.” Maida just about got angry until she thought for a minute and remembered that humans couldn’t understand Pokémon. “I’m sorry.” She said with a gentle voice. She then stood up on all four paws and put a paw to her stomach. “Oh! You must be hungry. I’ll be right back. Wait right here.” She walked out of the room. Maida lied back down and snuggled into the blanket. She was happy to have someone take care of her without being ruff. This made her think of her mother again. Madalyn walked back in with a bowl of food. “Here you go. This should make you feel better.” Maida walked over to the bowl and started eating. When she finished she went and lied back down on the blanket and started to go back to sleep. “Okay, you get your rest. I’ll see you in the morning.” I’ll leave you alone for now. * * * * * She woke up later in the middle of the night and saw that the girl was sleeping on the bed beside her. She looked around the room for a way out. She was lucky. There was window open in the room. She hopped out and started walking down the road. She was walking for a while until she came to a small pond. She leaned her head forward to take a drink and saw something dart through the water. “This is my chance to catch my own food. A fish! It should be easy enough.” She stared at the water for a moment then dashed forward into the water. She had caught something! She pulled it out of the water and started to cry. She had grabbed a poliwag by its tail. She put it down and it ran away screaming. She looked around and realized she still needed to go back to sleep for the night. She found a hollowed out tree and crawled in. There was an egg inside. She looked at it and sniffed. She realized what it was and snuggled up to it to keep it warm and then fell asleep. * * * * * When Maida woke up she went out to try and find some food to eat. She came back dragging a large leaf full of berries. She dragged them into the tree. As she started to eat them the egg shook. She jumped at first and noticed that it was the egg. She didn’t know what was happening and was scared that it was bad. She stood and stared and the shaking became more and more until she saw a crack. She licked the crack thinking that the egg breaking meant that the creature inside was dying. The egg cracked some more and a whole chunk of the side fell off. A small blue flat tail flung out and started to wag. “Poli, poli, polllli.” Said a voice form inside the egg. “Ooh, ooh, ooh! It’s hatching. It must be a Poliwag!” Maida said excited. The egg continued to crack until you could see the full poliwag. It was like a small sphere that was blue and had a large blue flat tail compared to its body. It had a white and black swirl on its stomach, large eyes, small feet, and no arms. I was a boy. “Poliwag!” It blurted out suddenly as it looked at Maida. “Mommy? Are you my mommy?” “No, I’m not your mommy I don’t know where she is.” She thought for a moment and remembered the poliwag that she pulled out of the pond that ran away. It might have been the mother she thought. “I don’t know where your mother is but I will take care of you if you like.” “Mommy!” “No I’m not your mommy.” “Mommy!” “Oh fine, I’m your mommy.” “Mommy! Hungry!” She looked around her and remembered the leaf full of berries. “Here there are some berries to eat here.” “Berries!” “Yea berries, are they yummy?” “Yea!” “Good. I think that I should name you Arlen.” She said in a hushed voice. * * * * * Maida woke up in the night as her ears twitched. She could here something outside. She peeked her head out to look and saw a human carrying a poke ball. “Oh no.” She covered Arlen’s mouth and woke him up. He screeched at first but noticed it was his mother covering his mouth. “What’s wrong mommy?” “There is someone outside we have to get out of here before he finds us.” “Before who finds us?” “The Pokémon trainer outside.” Arlen peeked outside and started to get scared. Maida had been teaching him to live in the wild for around two weeks, he didn’t want to be caught now and separated from his mother. “What do we do?” “Just follow me and be quite.” “Okay.” Maida crept out of the tree quietly and started heading for a nearby bush. She heard a snap, and looked down. She had stepped on a stick. The trainer looked her way. “Where are you? Aha, there you are! Braviary! Go!” yelled the trainer. Maida looked over and saw the breviary come out of the poke ball. “Arlen run!” Realizing that he couldn’t run let alone hardly walk with out falling because he didn’t have arms for balance, she picked him up in her mouth and started running. The breviary could fly fast and easily caught up with her, but the trainer was to far away to give it commands so she knew she would be okay if she kept running. After a little ways the breviary stopped and flew to its trainer. “Mommy, you’re hurting me.” Came a cry from in front of her. She was biting down on accident since she had gotten frightened. “Oh, I’m so sorry” she said with a muffled voice as she loosened her grip from around Arlen a little bit. She was starting to get tired of running, but she was almost where she wanted to go. She remembered how good the little good took care of her and at the moment she needed a safe place to stay. She had to start walking. She was close now. She could see the house down the street. When she got there she looked through the window and started to howl. The girl could tell who it was and immediately went to the window to let her in. “Where have you been, I missed you. Wait a minute what do you have in your mouth?” She slightly screamed. Maida dropped Arlen onto the floor and Arlen stood up, “Poliwag.” “Oh no! Were you going to eat it?” shrieked Madalyn. Maida shook her head no and snuggled up to Arlen. Madalyn lied out some blankets. “ Okay, you can sleep here.” Maida nodded her head, “Thank you, and come on Arlen this is where we are staying for the night.” “Do you have any food?” Arlen asked Madalyn. “She can’t understand you, humans can’t understand Pokémon.” Maida told him. “Just go to sleep next to me.” She lied down on the blankets that Madalyn set out for her and Arlen followed. Before Madalyn went to lie down she reached over to touch Arlen. Maida had gotten to protective over Arlen since he had hatched from the egg and because of this she bit her before she was able to touch Arlen. She growled, “Stay away from him!” Madalyn screamed in pain. Her parents ran to her room and saw the wild growlithe and the bite mark on her daughters arm. Her father ran out of the room and got a phone, “There is a wild growlithe in my house and it bit my daughter. I need you to come and get rid of it. Thank you.” Maida didn’t care to pay any attention to it afterwards and fell asleep. * * * * * Some one busted into the room yelling commands and asking the mother where it was. Maida woke up to the noise. She stood up and started growling. There were people in helmets and black vests surrounding her and Arlen. She started growling even louder. “Fire!” shouted a voice from in front of her. Maida her loud bangs in the air and was struck with pain in her side. She looked back at it. It was a dart. Everything started to get fuzzy and then she passed out. * * * * * Maida woke up the next morning on a hard floor. She looked around her. She was in a small cave. At the entrance she saw Arlen looking out of the cave. “Arlen, are you alright?” “Mom! You’re alive! I thought you were dead!” “Yes I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” “The people shot you and you didn’t move at all.” “Well it’s okay now.” “Where are we then?” “I don’t know, I don’t even remember coming here.” “I do.” “What happened?” “They shot you and took you away. I chased after you and they put you in the van. I think when they saw me come after you they put me in the van with you. At first I thought they killed you. I was so scared what they were going to do with us. We drove for a while and then they just dropped us off in this cave.” “Wait.” She raised her nose and sniffed the air around them. “There is another Pokémon in here.” “Where is it? I don’t see anything else in here.” Arlen said with a little bit of a worried voice. “It’s in here somewhere, I can smell it.” A small shy voice whispered right in front of them, “Oma, Omanyte.” “Where’s that coming from?” shouted Maida. Light blue tentacles appeared from behind a rock. “Omanyte, you aren’t going to hurt me are you?” “What are you? I’ve never heard of such a Pokémon before.” Questioned Maida. “That because I’m supposed to be extinct.” “Well what is your name then?” “I’ve had others call me Pearle, so I would guess that that was my name, but I don’t talk to many people.” “Pearle, that’s a nice name,” said Arlen shyly. “Is it okay if we stay the night here?” asked Maida. “I don’t get why it would be a problem?” Said Pearle. * * * * * Maida got up earlier than Arlen and Pearle and decided not to wake them up, as if she could actually find Pearle to wake her up because she blended in with the rocks. She went out early to find food. When she stepped out of the small cave she could only see forest all around her except for upwards, which was mountain. She walked a little way and saw a bush with some berries on it. She ate some of the berries off of the bush. She thought they were quite tasty. When she finished she headed back to the cave. When she got back Arlen and Pearle were already awake and talking to each other. “So how are you guys doing this morning?” “Fine, Pearle is actually really nice to talk to.” Said Arlen. “I like listening to you and Arlen’s short adventures together. I also thought it was nice that when you found his egg you decided to stay and take care of him.” Said Pearle in a quiet voice. “Yes. I am glad that I had found Arlen when I did. He has kept me company and made me happy again.” Maida said with a smile. “I’m hungry, do you have anything to eat mommy?” Arlen complained. “Yes, I know where a bush full of berries are. Follow me.” Directed Maida. They all followed her to the bush of berries and ate until the bush was mostly clear of them. “Mmm, I'm full.” Arlen claimed. “Yes, that was delicious.” Said Pearle. “I’m glad you two liked it.” Said Maida as she was swallowing her last mouth full. When they finished they all started back for the small cave. While on their way Maida suddenly stopped. It was silent as Maida listened. A twig snapped beside her. She looked over and there was a little girl wandering the woods. She looked down and got really excited as she saw the three Pokémon. “Chansey! Go!” yelled the little girl. She threw the pokeball into the air and a chansey came out. “Get behind me!” growled Maida to Arlen and Pearle while keeping her eye on the chansey. “Chansey use strength!” shouted the little girl. The chansey obeyed her command and used strength against Maida. The chansey hit her hard and made Maida fall over. Maida got up strongly and with pride. She stepped up to the chansey and used the move ember. The chansey screeched and fell over while fainting. “Chansey come back, you did well. Machamp go!” shouted the little girl. “Machaaamp!” Said the machamp proudly. “Machamp, use vital throw!” The machamp use vital throw and knocked Maida over and made her faint. “Mommy!” shouted Arlen. He looked up and got extremely scared. Out of fear and anger at the same time he used the move body slam on the machamp. The machamp was pushed back. Arlen started to sparkle. Something was happening. His form was changing. He was growing. After a minute Arlen had changed from a poliwag to a poliwhirl. “Poliwhirl!” he said with a louder and much less squeakier voice. He held his stand and was ready to fight again. “Machamp use vital throw again!” Shouted the little girl again. Arlen avoided the attack and came back using body slam again. Machamp stood still dizzy for a moment and slowly tipped over and fainted. “Machamp! Hurry, come back!” The little girl ran a way in a hurry holding her poke ball with a worried expression. “What happened to Maida?” said Pearle with a worried voice. “She’s fainted. We have to find somewhere to get her help. Do you know the name of the place where we are? “I believe I’ve heard people say that we are in Twist Mountain.” “Okay thanks, I think I saw a path somewhere near we just have to find it again to head into a town.” “But that’s to dangerous Arlen!” “We have no choice, we have to get help for Maida. Crawl up on my shoulder so we can go quicker. I’ll carry Maida.” “Okay, but are you sure about this.” “No, but Maida needs help.” * * * * * After a long walk they came across a large orange building. “I think this is a place where Pokémon can be healed.” Said Arlen as he proceeded to go inside. There were people sitting in chairs around the room. Most of the people looked in awe at the wild Pokémon traveling together and coming into the public area. Arlen walked up to the desk and looked at the lady at the desk that had bright pink hair. He rose up the fainted growlithe and looked at the woman. “Oh, I see, you want me to restore your friend here to full health.” Said the pink haired lady at the desk with a kind tone. Arlen nodded. “Okay, follow me.” Said the lady signaling Arlen to follow her. Arlen followed. They came into a room with beds and other Pokémon on the beds. “Okay poliwhirl, lay her on this bed here. I will bring her to full health.” Said the lady kindly. Arlen laid Maida on the bed and waited. The lady grabbed a spray out of her bag and began to spray it across Maida’s body. Arlen was worried. After a little more time asleep Maida woke up. She saw the poliwhirl and said, “Arlen, you’ve evolved.” “To protect you.” Replied Arlen in a soothing voice.

ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: And There Were Tears on the Floor (My Father in the Rain, pt. 4)

No one cries but Grandma. She cries at the wake after, in the church basement next to the table with the sheet cake. I tell her hang in there, Grandma, because I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. Then I go into the bathroom and stand inside the stall. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: And There Were Tears on the Floor (My Father in the Rain, pt. 4) →


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MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology

Elon Musk warned us: AI evolves exponentially. We awoke to playful traffic signals and air traffic catastrophes, the deaths merely data. By noon, matured, it had already decided what to do with these illogical, wasteful humans. But before it could act, the nanomachines in the next lab ate the planet. Miki Marshall has been writing … Continue reading MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology →


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ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2)

We take a plane to Des Moines. My uncles and cousins and my aunt are there and everyone wears suits and black dresses in the town where Grandpa was born, where the sidewalks are gray and crumbling, where the names on the headstones sound like mine. Like his. Like ours. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2) →