There is no good time for anything. No good time to say “I love you”. No good time to say “I don’t love you”. No good time to break up with someone, to ask someone out, to have a baby, to adopt, to marry someone, to have a wedding, to die, to tell someone you want to die, to leave a job or a home. There is no good time to move on with your life. Just as there is no good time to move on from this world.

Just recently I decided to travel back to a place that I hate. Winchester, Virginia. On a mission I have been curious about, but softly avoiding. Get medical testing done. My secondary mission was to visit my family and friends. I missed a few on the latter. The reason I hate going back to the place I was raised is because it’s full of ghosts. The type of entities whose hauntings would invoke insanity. I have many. One ghost in particular I had to visit. Wanted to, actually, because he was a dear friend of mine. I knew him when he was about 7? Maybe 8. Either way, I knew him and his family since the first day they moved up the street from me. My family and I helped his family move into their new house. We would play around the boxes of toys, kitchen supplies, bedroom sets; just forts of cardboard were our playground. I was about 12, I think. I hate the fact that so much of our time together are just ripped up pieces of paper floating through the fog. It’s like my memory doesn’t bother to remember the little joy I had as a child.

I do, however, remember the colorful shields and wooden swords we would fight with in the basement of his parents’ house. One shield was blue with a grey castle, another had a lion imprinted on a red background, and there was a green one. I saw them just last week and even now my memory is slipping. I had sat in the brown, suede, lounge chair of the Ballard’s home. My eyes focusing back and forth from the shields and swords resting atop the mantle of the fireplace to Mrs. Ballard’s eyes as she quickly voiced her concern of me finding a job at the school I dropped out of in order to go back. I visited the Ballards not only to catch up with them but also to check on them. It’s only been two years since the loss of their first and only son, John David. Whenever Mrs. Ballard came across a sentence when she had to mention her son or his passing there would be a pause. As if she was a video that had to buffer. That feeling I understod. I’m currently feeling it with every key stroke.

The Ballards were happy during my visit. Well, I guess I should say more at peace. I wasn’t there two years ago when they had John David’s wake and funeral. My mom told me it was lovely. Many of the town’s residents as well as the students were in attendance. Some people could see it as proof as how small Winchester was. I like to see it as how many lives were impacted by John David and his family. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard chatted with me for about an hour as they gave me an update on their children. Their oldest daughters were in college, but I did get to see and talk with their youngest, Kat. There was shock in my eyes when that five-foot-three, just-barely-went-through-puberty girl hugged me with so much warmth and positivity. Her brunette hair touching her shoulders just like her mother’s. Except, a little more straightened. Last, clear memory I had of Kat was when she was a toddler. It delighted me to hear about her life and how she was supporting her brother’s charity foundation. She was trying to get a support group going at Handley High for kids going through the same thing John David did. I knew right then that she had a bright future ahead of her.

In return I updated them on my current adventures. My writing projects, my search for a writing job, discontinuing college, they were the only loved ones I visited that I didn’t talk about my medical mishaps with. Which was nice. After Mr. and Mrs. Ballard walked me to the front door, I made a request. Mrs. Ballard hugged me after I asked to visit John David’s grave. I had expected to go to the cemetery the next day to pay my respects, but there was no need. I followed Cathy to the front room. I slowly approached the east corner where a tan, lightly warn desk had been. Actually, it might have been a covered piano. Apologies, my memory is actually remarkable. Just in other areas. Definitely not when it comes to visuals. Anyway, I approached a clear vase on top of some tan, lightly warn object. To the right of the vase was a family photo. To the left was a green bag with a furry texture. The yellow laces of the bag were loosened enough to reveal a white box. Mrs. Ballard told me it was biodegradable. She said cremating their son was better for the environment.

So many questions ran through my head before that moment, but after feeling John David’s presence first hand all I thought was, “I hope you’re at peace.” I thought to myself that I had no clue why he would do it. At least, not specifically. I can only understand what it’s like to be in that state. To feel alone amongst the smiles and laughter. To want to leave but always putting it off because deep down there is a whisper of hope. To not having anyone to talk to but the darkness. I know that feeling all too well.

I’ve heard people say that it’s cowardly to commit suicide. That those who did would end up in hell. That those who were brave continued living. Honestly…I’m not sure which is braver. Living in a world you aren’t happy in…or leaving for one you hope you will be. I think you must be pretty damn brave to commit to your ideals despite what others may think or say. What I am sure of is that John David is not in Hell. That kid is way too good to be in a place like that.

I, on the other hand, am destined to go to Hell. I’ve already tasted it with my own soul. I attempted suicide when I was ten years old. It was also my last attempt. I didn’t do it because I was brave, just like I didn’t choose to live because I had suddenly become more courageous. I stayed alive because I saw something, someone who convinced me to live amongst the cave of demonic voices giving convincing rebuttals in favor of the contrary. If you’re not one to believe in magic, you are welcome to believe that I had a hallucination – I was an insomniac – or that I made it up for some psychological reason. I don’t care. I know what I saw that night. I know the conversation I had in the kitchen of my parents’ home during the witching hour. I remember pointing a large knife with a black handle to my heart. The lack of tears running down my face, the voices in my head egging me on as I calculated the perfect angle for the knife to swing into me for a quick death. The cold, white tile floor holding my bare feet in place. The blank stare I held in my eyes during the entire affair. The blanket of despair and dread encompassing the entire house. That night is an image that remains ingrained in my memory. It has always been easier to recall the darkest moments of my life.

January 10th was my first, full day back to Winchester. One of my best friends since middle school, Jose, took me to brunch at a Chinese buffet called China Town. He knows Chinese is my favourite type of cuisine. The combination of simplicity and the delicate handling of ingredients and spices is fascinating as well as delicious. Fried rice might be my last meal, but I’m still deciding. At the restaurant, Jose and I did what friends always do. Talk about relationships, reminisce about the past together, talk about our near futures, express problems we have, joke about each other and our other friends, share tales of our time apart from one another. The usual. A popular topic when it comes to me, in particular, amongst many of my friends is how my love life is going. To many, I’m considered smooth and a bit of a womanizer. I always laugh at such remarks because they could not be more wrong. I’ll admit that at times I can be as silver-tongued as Justin Timberlake, but definitely not a womanizer. I’m more of a Peter Parker when it comes to women. I’m always surprised when a woman likes me. I’m always unsure that it’s true. I am always nervous. When I do hang out with a woman that is interested in me, I always fuck it up in the most idiotic way possible.

In fear of ruining something that makes me so happy, I take my time with relationships. So much, that my friends accuse me of taking too much time. This is the topic Jose and I had landed on. I admitted to him that I take my time, but for a very good reason. Jose continued to stare at me with a questioning glance as he hovered over me. I don’t remember why he was standing right next to me at that moment. I could see through his glasses that his eyes were ready to pounce with a retort against anything I was about to say. He was probably waiting to see if he needed to assist his retort with a slap upside my head. I said to him, “I take my time because I think the woman I date deserves to know about my past. I just think telling them everything at once would be too much and she would get scared of me and leave.” I paused for a moment. “That’s why I don’t tell anyone about my past. Not even friends.” I’m sure Jose saw the disappointment in my eyes so he didn’t hit me. Or the fact that he could’ve just didn’t cross his mind.

Instead, he said, “But you told us.” The “us” he was referring to were Sam, Andrew, and himself.

“Yeah, but that wasn’t until right before I left for college. I knew you guys for years and trusted that you wouldn’t leave me afterwards,” I said. I knew the guys for about 6 years before I told them about my past. they were the first to ever know about that. A couple days later I left for college. No, sorry, Sam knew before the other two.

I told Sam one night during the summer before college as we sat on the hill behind our high school. The moon was full, the grey clouds cascaded through the midnight sky. I told Sam my story in the form of a third person point of view narrative about a lost and depressed boy haunted and tortured by demons every night. Which was true. At the end of the story, the boy stopped his attempt at committing suicide because a mysterious, new voice in his head convinced him not to. But the boy did not live happily ever after. He had gotten rid of his soul and murdered all emotions. The girl he saw that night stayed with him until the boy made real friends and learned how to live life with the emotions he originally wanted nothing to do with.

As I hoped, those three guys continued to be my friends. However, I never did and still don’t expect that behaviour from anyone else. Especially, new friends. I have hope, yes. But I don’t expect anything from anyone. I understand if learning all of this ruins some of my friendships. I’m not doing this for that reason. I also don’t feel obligated to talk about this. I am writing this because I hope that my past, knowledge, experiences, mistakes, learned lessons might help someone else better improve their own life. Whether they be friends, family, or strangers, hopefully talking about my life will help them with their own.

The night I tried to take my own life, the spirit that I spoke to told me this: “I honestly don’t care if you live or die. It’s your choice. You can stab yourself in the heart and die alone now or you can keep living in the hopes that your life will eventually get better.”

I asked the girl, expressionless, monotone, “Is this supposed to be a pep talk?”

“Take it how you want it,” she said.

“What if my life doesn’t get better? What if I’m without friends? What if years from now I’m still not happy?”

“Why do you idolize the characters you watch in cartoons? Or the ones you read in those books? Why do you want to be the superheroes in your comics? Why do you spend all day daydreaming of being one of those characters? Of saving people? Of having a better life? Not giving up on themselves is something they all have in common.” I thought about her multitude of questions. I imagined all of my heroes and all of the characters I wanted to be and asked myself why I liked them so much. And she was right. Whenever I watched or read about them and their adventures, I would always get this feeling of resilience towards my own obstacles. My own villains.

“I…I don’t want to give up. But I’m tired. I hate feeling sad. Hate the voices inside my head. I don’t want them to torture me anymore. I don’t wanna lose control again and become them. I don’t have a reason to live.” Around this point in the conversation, my new silver haired, purple eyed friend sat in one of the black wooden chairs at the dining room table.

She sighed, “So don’t live for yourself.” I had no idea what she meant. “All of your heroes fight for other people. Do that.” I asked her who. “Who do you wanna live for?” She asked as if that was a simple question. I pondered it. Most importantly, I pondered who I was actually capable of helping. It’s not like I was strong, athletic, talented, intelligent. I just had my experience to go on.

“I wanna help the people like me,” I told her.

“Even if it means you’ll be sacrificing your own happiness?”

I nodded. “As long as I can help others be happy, I don’t need to be.” I didn’t feel confident in my answer, but I was committed.

“Okay then,” the girl said as she stood up and walked toward me. “I want you to make me a promise.” What sort of promise could I have possibly made to a girl from another world? Possibly even a hallucination? I just stared at her. She stood five feet in front of me. “Promise me that you’ll never commit suicide, not even attempt it.” I immediately wanted to say no. I wanted to tell her she can get out and never bother me again. Present me would have told her to suck it.

“Fine,” I told her. She leaned in closer to my face. A brilliant, golden aura started to glow around her.

“Promise me,” she said. My grip on the knife loosened and I let out a sigh.

“I promise that I will never attempt to commit suicide…” I paused for a moment. Once my thoughts had buffered, I told her, “…and that I will live my life in order to help others just like me.” The girl gave a smile. I found her odd and not funny in the slightest. But also magnificent. “Are you leaving now?”

“I think I’ll stick with you for a while. Help you out. Clearly you need it.” She wasn’t just referring to the voices still plaguing my mind, but my personality as well. I felt nothing. Wanted to feel nothing. It was easier that way.

Over a year ago I took a nonfiction workshop where I had to write a journal entry about why I wanted to be a writer. One of my first reasons was because I wanted to write stories that would help people learn how to improve their own lives. To inspire others to live out their dreams and to not give up on themselves. That’s true especially with this story. But I’m not being totally selfless here. I write stories and am choosing to be more open about my past because it helps me remember my roots and the lessons I have learned along the way. I keep telling my friends that looking back at your past and accepting it is how you can move toward the future, but I might as well just be talking to the wind. As Professor Josh Wilson told me, “show rather than tell.” So here I am.

I am definitely not the same kid I was back then, but that kid is still a part of me and I can’t ignore him or reject him any longer. He was a ghost nobody loved nor payed attention to. He was invisible to everyone unless needed. His imagination gave him insomnia, hallucinations, and tortured him almost every night. But no one could hear his hollow screams. Now, I am more or less in control of my imagination. I have people who care about me, I understand my emotions and how to deal with them, and I enjoy my life. I’m still kinda a ghost, I’ve made terrible choices in my life that will haunt me forever, but I am happy. I’m glad I didn’t kill myself twelve years ago because, let’s be honest, my sickle cell is gonna kill me by the time I’m 45 anyway. I feel like I have a soul again, however tainted it may be, but it’s mine. And I will live with it until the day I can finally rest in peace. Until then I have to keep my oath to death.

Thanks for reading chapter 1 of my new autobiographical series. I will post more in order to explain…myself, I guess. I’ll go into more detail about my past life, the lessons I’ve learned, the people who have impacted my life, my family, friends, relationships, and my misadventures. If you have any questions about me, my life, and anything in this post, just email me or something. ‘Till next time.

Another Pokemon Story

So I have another Pokemon story here. It’s part 3 of the story I had started long ago. I keep getting wrapped up in new projects and don’t continue the ones I created to be continued. Yeah, I have a real problem. Luckily, you can always go back to other pages of my blog and reread stories if need be. The beauty of a website. Anywho, Thanksgiving is coming up and I felt like this story would fit well with the time of being with family and having a good time. Why? Well, it’s because this part of my story features some special guests. My mom, Jackie; my dad, Kiel; some of my best friends; and a special portion of this story is focused on the villain also based off one of my best friends, Bre. And I am thankful this year for what I am thankful for every year, my friends and family. And delicious food.

Pokemon Neo: Episode 1 Part 3

Professor Elm groggily walked up the steps of the hill to his lab. The sky held dark pigments of orange and blue. The rising sun was visible in the horizon even with the abundance of Mareep fur for clouds.As the professor reached the lab he spotted Umbreon, Espeon, and myself slouched on the ground in front of his door. He pushed up his glasses. “Maze? Hey, Maze,get up.” My eyes revealed themselves as slowly as the sun.

            “Yeah, professor, what’s up?” Umbreon and Espeon joined us in consciousness.

            “I was gonna ask you that? What are you doing here at…” he checked his watch, “six in the morning?” Standing up, I answered his question.

            “Well, first of all, I’m here to pick my starter, so I can finally start my journey, second of all,” I pulled the black, rectangular box from my jacket pocket, “I had to return this sleek looking box to you, and third-” before I could finish, the doc took the box from my hand and rushed inside his lab.

            “I can’t believe it! You actually found it?! Thank you so much, if someone else got their hands on this treasure I don’t know what I would’ve done!” He immediately turned on a bunch of scanning equipment to observe the two stones that were inside the box. Umbreon, Espeon, and I just stood at the entrance, shifting our heads side to side as we watched Professor Elm run around. A minute later, the doc finally stopped in front of us. “Uh, Maze, who are your new friends?”

            “Finally he noticed us,” Espeon rolled her eyes. Umbreon did the same. Giving a soft chuckle, I replied to the doc’s question.

            “These are my new partners, Umbreon and Espeon. I met them while searching for your box last night. And they are the third reason why I came to see you so early in the morning.” Professor Elm stroked his chin and gave me a look of intrigue.

            “What’s so troubling about them that you need to see me?”

            “Well, you see, doc…that’s kinda a long story.” After telling the professor everything that happened to me yesterday, including the fights against Bre and the event of almost dying in the fire, the siblings were immediately examined on many of the lab’s machines. “I have no idea how Espeon could use icy wind, but she did. My parents couldn’t figure it out either, so I thought you could help, sense Pokémon abilities are what you specialize in.” The professor continued to observe the data he got from the siblings on his computer monitors. Snapcakes. I hate it when he does this, I thought. There’s no reason for me to say anything, it’s not like he’s listening. I sat at the table in the center of the lab, arms crossed. I decided to take in all of the sights of the lab since it would be my last day in it for a while.

At both sides of the front door were orange couches with mahogany coffee tables and several bookshelves accompanied the walls. The shelves lead to the center of the building which was a circular room that had a giant supercomputer on the left side with a Pokémon transfer system connected to it while the scanning machines were on the other wall. The back wall was a huge window that showed the flat, open grassy field behind the lab. At the very center, where I was sitting, was the large, blue and white examination table that the professor did most of his work on as well as inspect any Pokémon, artifact, or peculiar object brought to him. In the main part of the building there was a visible second level that had more books and desks topped with a huge mess of paperwork, chemistry lab tools, and colored substances. There’s also a kitchen up there.

            “I’m all done with these two.” Umbreon and Espeon jumped onto the table I was sitting at. Professor Elm laid charts in front of me showing Umbreon and Espeon’s body structure. “If you look at the cells in each of their bodies, they seem to be a tiny bit larger than normal.” He put two more charts on top of the others, this time showing DNA strands and two multicolored pictures of brains. “If you look here, there seems to be an anomaly in their DNA. Parts of their strains seem almost crystalized, but instead of damaging their bodies, the crystallization is enhancing their body structure. Kind of like a mutation. And their brain activity is highlighted more in the area where Pokémon retain information on moves and abilities that they have learned throughout the years. That means they are using a higher percentage of that part of their brain than any of their species.” I looked up at Professor Elm.

            “So, you’re saying that the energy from that stone heightened Umbreon and Espeon’s abilities and body, which caused them to learn moves that they normally couldn’t?” The doc nodded.

            “Precisely. There is more to this effect of course, but I will have to study this anomaly further to come to an accurate conclusion on the matter.”

            “Do you need them to do it or is it ok for them to travel with me?” The doc noticed the anxiety in my eyes.

            “Don’t worry, I have enough data to do research without these two here. They are free to go with you on your journey.” Professor Elm pressed a button on the table that made part of it slide open, allowing a metal platform to rise up. Three Pokéballs rested on it. “If you still want, the offer to befriend one of the starter Pokémon of the Johto region is still available. Even though you have Pokémon of your own now, I’ll let you take one of these little guys with you as a thank you for all of your help.” The doc smiled as he awaited my decision.

            “Of course, doc. I would never refuse the chance to make new friends.” I picked up the Pokéball with the flame symbol on it and threw it across the room. “I choose you!” A Cyndaquil jumped out of the ball and walked towards me. It nudged my leg and let out a cute little cry. I knelt down and petted its soft, blue head. “So, buddy, how would you like to join me and these two on a journey around the world?” It nodded happily. “Sounds groovy.” Cyndaquil then proceeded to nibble at my blue and yellow shirt. Umbreon wacked my supporting leg on its side so hard that I lost my balance and smacked the hard wood floor face first. I quickly got back up onto my knees and grabbed the little jerk by the ears. Umbreon cried out with defiance as I tugged. “Well, that’s what you get for being a little shit.” Espeon sighed.

            “Will you two be civil for a moment?” Umbreon and I paused and turned our attention to Espeon. “Though, my brother was harsh in saying so, he was trying to tell you that he disproves of letting Cyndaquil join our team.” I let my oppressor fall to the floor. He landed safely on his feet and proudly strutted away.

            “Why is that?” I asked.

            “This particular Cyndaquil is newly hatched. My brother doubts he’d be able to protect himself much less any of us while we’re traveling.” She said. I sat with my legs crossed. Cyndaquil huffed as he climbed over my knee and into my lap.

            “That’s when training comes in. He’ll grow as we grow and become stronger together. I have a feeling he’s got all out fire in that belly that’s yearning to fly. Even if Cyndaquil doesn’t realize it yet.” Cyndaquil couldn’t help but laugh while I tickled his belly. I noticed Umbreon turning his back to me as if he was dissatisfied with my answer. Distracted by what Umbreon might have been thinking, Cyndaquil took the opportunity to nibble on my hand. “Hey, I’d really like it if you didn’t do that, okay?”

            “It seems he needs some breakfast,” said the professor. At that moment, my stomach growled and I shrugged embarrassingly.

            “He’s not the only one,” I laughed.

            “Maze, we found you!” Sam cried out as he rounded the hilltop. Brett, Jose, and Andrew were close behind. I was chomping down on an apple as I watched Cyndaquil play with his new friends among the soft grass.

            “So, you chose Cyndaquil too. Just had to copy me, didn’t you?” Brett said.

            “I told you years ago I was gonna choose him, so don’t act so smug.” I said. They all sat around me in the grass.

            “Maze?” Andrew started. “What the heck happened to you last night? We’ve been calling, texting, I was even forced out of my comfy bed, playin’ my videogames just to go out with these idiots into the woods looking for ya.” He sounded like he went out on a pointless and annoying errand. “And I walk up all of these stairs…” Oh look, he’s not done ranting. My face resembled that of a teacher being humored with another stupid reason why a student didn’t do their homework. The others just talked among themselves and asked me questions while Andrew went on. “…just to find you laying around, doing absolutely nothin’, while these little fur balls play in the sun. By themselves no less! You don’t even have the decency to play with your own Pokémon!” He spotted the apple I was chomping on. “Not to mention the fact that you’re here eating breakfast while these poor, tiny creatures starve to death in the summer sun! What kind of trainer are you?!”

            “Well, I-” I tried to respond.

            “A terrible one, that’s what. I feel sorry for these little guys and all the other Pokémon you surprisingly catch in the future.” I knew he’d do that, he always does that. He makes it all melodramatic, too. As if he’s putting on a Shakespearian play.

            “Hey, Maze? Where did the Umbreon and Espeon come from?” Sam asked.

            “They finally noticed. Are all of your friends this oblivious?” Espeon said. Umbreon scoffed as he laid down in the grass.

            “Woah that Espeon just spoke!” Jose’s eyes grew to the size of watermelons. And he wasn’t alone.

            “Yea. She uses psychic to speak to me. She doesn’t usually speak to everyone.”

            “I thought it was important to express how strange they are.” She said.I burst out laughing.

            “That sounds like something Umbreon would say. Actually, he would’ve called them stupid.” Umbreon nodded softly. “It’s true my friends are strange but they are actually pretty cool sometimes.”

            “What do you mean ‘sometimes’!?” The guys said simultaneously.

            “Calm down, guys. Geez. You want to know what happened, right?” I asked. They nodded. “Then shut up and listen.” Once again I relived last night’s eventful stroll through Team Rocket’s base, but I told them the complete story. “…And then I told the doc, got Cyndaquil, ate, came out here to play, and then you guys showed up, and now we’re here.”

            “I don’t believe you,” said Brett.

            “Me neither.” Andrew agreed. My friends don’t believe me when I tell them a crazy story? What a shocker. He said with so much sarcasm, I thought. I sighed and took off my jacket, so that I could roll up my sleeves to show off the burn marks on my skin. “Holy crapsicle, Maze! How did you survive?!”

            “Well, if you listened to my story, you’d know.” I said.

            “You’re lucky you didn’t die,” Sam said concerned.

            “I had luck and this amazing duo with me.” I gestured to Umbreon and Espeon. Espeon smiled back.

            “Which is why you need to show us something, son.” A woman’s voice announced. We all turned to find my parents walking toward us.

            “Show you what, Mom?” I said even though I knew exactly what they were doing there.

            “Just like your sisters, you have to beat either your mother or I in a battle before we let you go on your adventure,” Dad chimed in. “You can’t leave until we see that you can take care of yourself out in the world. With more than luck.” He started tossing a Pokéball in the air. “You ready, son?” He had a mocking smile. I got on my feet as Umbreon and Espeon calmly joined me on either side. Cyndaquil, being just a baby, wasn’t sure what was happening and just copied Umbreon’s battle stance.

            “We’re ready,” I said confidently.

            We stepped onto the battlefield behind the lab. A large, white, rectangular arena was outlined in the grass. At each end were small rectangular spaces for the trainers and halfway across the field another line stretched into a Pokéball in the center. Umbreon, Espeon, and I stood in one end while my dad stood in the other. My parents had all their Pokémon enjoying the morning weather. Dad’s Donphan, Onix, and Larvitar as well as Mom and her Sceptile, Swellow, Gliscor, and Torkoal were watching on the side lines along with my friends. Needless to say I have a huge family. And they were all here watching the oncoming fight. “You know the rules. You can pick anyone of your mother’s or I’s Pokémon, excluding the ones we picked ahead of time.” Mom and Dad always chose Sceptile and Houndoom as their partners, respectively. Houndoom had been sitting obediently beside my father. Something was different about him, though. I could see a collar on him with a stone attached in the center. It looked just like the stone I delivered to Professor Elm.

            “Woah, is that a mega stone!? You can’t use that, that’s so unfair!” I shouted to dad. He stuck his tongue out at me.

            “I can do what I want, it’s fair if I say it is.” He said in a mocking tone. My eyes squinted as my expression turned from “stupefied” to “what the hell.” My mother held her face in one hand as she shook her head.

            “He’s such a child,” I heard her mumble. What a little shit, I thought. How am I gonna beat him if he can mega evolve? This is so lame. I stood there thinking of a plan. My cheeks puffed up as I thought. Umbreon nudged my leg. “Let’s kick his ass,” he seemed to say. Even though I could no longer hear his voice in my head, it was easy to tell what he was trying to tell me.

            “Alright then,” I nodded. “I’m not gonna battle with them today. I want to defeat you both with my own Pokémon.” Umbreon stepped into the arena. “Hey, Cyndaquil. Watch the battle closely, alright?” Cyndaquil gave a small cry.

            “Ok, son, but I’m not gonna take it easy on you!” Dad shouted. He showed off the rainbow colored key stone embedded in his watch. Can he still tell time with that thing?

            “Each trainer is allowed one Pokémon! The trainer whose partner faints first or goes out of bounds is the loser!” The professor said. Houndoom walked onto the field. My dad flipped his blue cap backwards. Umbreon crouched. I took a deep breath as the moment finally arrived. I’ve watched on the sidelines as my sisters battled our parents. Now it was my turn. At that moment, the world froze longer than the Ice Age and all of the color faded away. The air filled with complete silence as my ears absorbed my slow, deep breathes. Steadily, I started to boil inside, the world around me shrunk until only the battle field remained. I smirked. “Let the battle begin!” All at once, vigor awakened in full bloom.

            “Umbreon use iron tail!” I told him. He ran ahead and hopped into the air. His tail turned into metal.

            “Houndoom, catch him with fire fang,” Dad commanded. Right before Umbreon made contact, Houndoom bared his teeth, encompassed in flames. With his fangs, he grabbed Umbreon’s tail. Umbreon and I both had wide eyes. “Now throw him to the ground,” Dad said. His partner whipped his head, along with Umbreon, in the air. And then dropped, slamming my partner to the ground. Grass and a bit of dust flew above the earth. “Use flamethrower.” The attacks were relentless.

            “Get away now!” I said. Umbreon scurried away before a stream of fire left Houndoom’s mouth. The little guy ran away as the fire followed him around the field. I had to think of a way to dodge those attacks but didn’t know how. Then I remembered. The night before, Umbreon and Espeon told me the moves they knew. “Umbreon, go underground!” Luckily, he understood and dug a hole into the ground barely dodging a fire blast. For a moment, the field was silent. Dad and Houndoom had their guard up, scanning the area. I didn’t know how, but I could tell exactly where Umbreon was. The second I felt he was in place I told him, “attack!” He came up fast and hard. Umbreon popped up from underneath the huge, spikey dog, head-butting him right in the face. “Nice one! Hit ’em with iron tail!” With one swift swing, Umbreon knocked Houndoom to the side. “Yeah!” I cheered. Umbreon smiled back at me. We can win, I thought.

            “What are you cheering about!? You haven’t won!” Said Dad. “Go! Hit them with thunder fang!” Dad’s eyes were no longer open, bright, and cheery. They were narrowed, impenetrable, calculating.

            “Dodge it!” I said. Umbreon zig-zagged across the field, barely avoiding his pursuer’s electrified fangs. Is it just me or is Umbreon slower than usual? Umbreon’s speed was no match against his opponent. He’s gonna take a hit no matter what, better make it count. “Payback now!” He looked at me like I was crazy, but quickly understood. He stopped and let Houndoom bite down on his shoulder and throw him across the field. However, Umbreon did something I didn’t think of. He landed on his feet and used the momentum from the throw to build up speed as he charged his opponent engulfed in a black and purple aura. The attack knocked Houndoom a few feet away. Unfortunately, he didn’t sustain a lot of damage since he was a dark type like Umbreon. Umbreon tried to get some distance between him and Houndoom but tripped as he was starting to run. Holy Snapcakes! That’s when I realized. He was getting slower because he was badly injured. He had a bad burn on his hind leg, which must mean that he didn’t entirely dodge that first flamethrower. Damn. How could I have missed that? We need to change tactics. “Listen up, buddy!” The little rascal looked my way. His face winced at the pain. “We’re switching it up. We’re gonna need to attack from below and I mean relentlessly, got it?” He nodded. “Great then use dig.”Houndoom failed to stop Umbreon from burrowing into the field.

            “Watch your back, big guy! They’re tricky.” Dad and his partner surveyed the area again. I gave a minute for Umbreon to rest his injury and set up the attack. And once the time was right,

            “Let’s go!” I called. Umbreon came out from behind Houndoom, swiped at the beast with his paw, and retreated back underground. While the pooch was disoriented, Umbreon came up, attacked again, and when back under. He was determined to make this plan work even with his injury. And he was succeeding. The constant attacks were slowing Houndoom down, weakening him. That was until…

            “That’s enough of that. Houndoom use flamethrower.” Following dad’s orders, big, dark, and scary poked his head into one of the holes Umbreon made and blew fire into it.

            “Umbreon, get out of there!” I yelled, but to no avail. Fire spewed out of every hole around the field and Umbreon flew out of the one closest to me. “Umbreon, no!” I cried. I didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t unconscious, meanwhile, he could barely stand on his feet and he had burn marks all over. I could feel Espeon’s soul tighten as if an Arbok had wrapped itself around her. Even so, she kept a sturdy composure. Probably for my sake. I knew Dad wasn’t gonna go easy, but this is insane, I thought. So, this is what a Pokémon battle is like against a powerful opponent. This is probably the equivalent of a gym battle. My parents never did anything without a reason. They always had a lesson to teach. I guess that’s what this battle was really for. Not to test, but to teach.

            “Finish this!” Dad roared. Houndoom stood on the other side of the battleground by my father. He took a moment to focus and then released a dark ray of rings toward Umbreon. Houndoom’s dark pulse. Even though it’s a dark type move, it would still do enough damage to Umbreon if it made contact.

            “Counterattack!” I yelled in the heat of the moment. Then Umbreon did something no one was expecting. The yellow rings on his body glowed and he fired a blast of electricity at Houndoom. The two moves collided at the center of the field. For a moment the attacks were even, but Umbreon lost power and the dark pulse hit the ground in front of him. He was sent flying in the air. Before he crash-landed I rushed over and dove to the ground, catching him in my arms. Umbreon’s eyes were shaky spirals.

            “Umbreon is unable to battle! The winner is Houndoom and Kiel!” The professor announced. Everyone clapped and cheered. Cyndaquil and Espeon waited anxiously beside me as we watched Umbreon open his eyes.

            “Thank goodness, you’re alright,” said Espeon. Umbreon snickered. “We almost had him,” he seemed to tell me.

            “Looks like he’s proud of your performance,” My mom said from behind me. “You had fun, didn’t you?” Umbreon nodded at her question. “That’s good. If you don’t have fun battling, then you shouldn’t battle. Simple as that.” Mom smiled and walked toward the opposite side of the field. As she passed Dad, they high fived like Dad was tagging her in. Dad and Houndoom stood before me while Umbreon got back to his feet.

            “Now you know what a real battle is like. Scary isn’t it?” Dad smiled.

            “That’s an understatement,” I responded softly.

            “You did a good job, son. Umbreon too. In order for you both to get stronger, you need to work as a team. You need to have a strong bond with your friends. Isn’t that right, pal?” Dad petted Houndoom who roared in return. “Now that you know what to expect, go give your mother a hard time.” He stood with the rest of his Pokémon on the sidelines. Before following his partner, the big dog smiled at Umbreon and me as a sign of his approval.

            “Maze,” Espeon called, “It’s our turn. And I’m ready to win.” I laughed.

            “Yeah, let’s give them a show.” I told her. Espeon stood in the field in front of me as Umbreon, Cyndaquil, and I stood back in the trainer spot.

            “You can do it, Maze!”

            “You better win, bro!”

            “If you lose again, I’m gonna laugh so hard!”

            “I believe in you two!” My friends’ somewhat reassuring cheers increased my confidence. I knew my mother was serious because she put on her leather, fingerless gloves while Sceptile got into position. I need to get in the zone this time, I thought. I threw my jacket to the grass behind me, rolled up my sleeves, and fixed the position of my beanie.

            “Let the match begin!” Professor Elm announced.

            “Alright, Espeon, hit ‘em with swift,” I said. It was better to attack from a distance and try to lead Sceptile to us with the chance of him falling into a hole. With one swish of Espeon’s split tail a slew of gold stars flew at Sceptile.

            “Leaf blade,” Mom said softly. The leaves on Sceptile’s arms combined and turned into single, razor sharp blades. He destroyed the stars with short and rapid swipes. I’ve seen Mom and Sceptile battle before and Mom barely ever raised her voice when giving a command. It’s like she says it just for herself, her Pokémon already knows what to do. “Get up close and use dragon claw.” In a split second, Sceptile disappeared from his initial position and reappeared in front of Espeon. His hands were engulfed in claws made from a green aura. Espeon dodged it before I could say anything. How she kept up with Sceptile’s speed, I had no idea, but I was glad she did. She was holding her own against the onslaught until she lost her footing on the edge of a hole. Mom let out a dubious smile. Sceptile went in for the attack.

            “I don’t think so,” I said, smiling back. “Block with iron tail and jump into the air!” Espeon followed my command flawlessly. She slammed her tail on one claw and used it as leverage to thrust herself into the sky, successfully dodging the second claw. “Let’s see them fight us in the air,” I mumbled. “Use swift again!” Espeon did so while Sceptile was blinded by the bright sun.

            “Leaf blade once again,” said Mom. Sceptile was ready to strike.

            “Not this time. Espeon, Psychic.” I didn’t have to tell her anything else, she knew what I was thinking. The overgrown gecko may have protected himself from a few of the stars, but Espeon used psychic on the rest, changing their trajectory in order to hit him from behind. Sceptile staggered about after the stars exploded, making an opening for us. “Iron tail, now!”

            “Dodge and use leaf storm,” Mom commanded. Sceptile flashed out of Espeon’s sight. He reappeared on her left. A spiral of leaves erupted from the gecko’s body and surrounded Espeon, thrusting her back into the air. Everyone watched as the green twister flew around the field, spinning over and over, for what felt like hours before finally crashing into the ground. Espeon stumbled on her way to her feet. She had cuts all over her body. Our opponents took advantage of the situation and gave her one jaw-dropping blow to the gut with their dragon claw. However, one wasn’t enough. They rained down a barrage of punches. Espeon blasted Sceptile’s mind with psychic, giving her time to gain some distance between them. “Don’t let them get away,” Mom ordered. Sceptile shook off the attack and rushed Espeon.

            “Dodge him!” I cried. Espeon dodged left and right from her pursuer’s jabs. At some points she used iron tail to deflect a dragon claw or leaf blade. I contemplated a better strategy while Mom and Sceptile were being held off.

            “We’ve got this,” Espeon told me. I saw her smiling on the field. It wasn’t just her. Mom and Sceptile were having also enjoying themselves. Even under so much pressure, I couldn’t help but love such a heart-punching challenge.

            “Bulldoze.” Mom’s new command electrified my mind. In my head, Espeon and I both shouted, “What!?” Without hesitation, Sceptile stomped on the ground, which caused not just the field, but a good amount of space around the battleground to rumble. The move made Espeon and me stumble to the grass. “Fun’s over you two! Finish it with leaf storm and then leaf blade,” said Mom. Fuck, I thought. Espeon became engulfed in another fury of leaves and headed straight for Sceptile. This is gonna be close.

            “Espeon! Ride the storm!” I shouted. As she tumbled in the frenzy, Espeon positioned herself so that she was facing Sceptile at the opening of the storm. Bearing the pain of the leaves cutting at her body. I rose to my feet. “Groovy! Use icy wind!”

            “What?!” My mother was baffled. In fact, everyone in the audience shared the same expression. They were whispering among themselves, trying to figure out what I meant. If I was using some kind of code to throw Mom off or if I was just that dumb. It was no trick, but it threw Sceptile off for a second before counterattacking with his leaf blade. And that second was all we needed. Espeon spewed cold air from her mouth causing the front end of the storm to turn to ice and decelerate, cushioning the blow from the leaf blade. Though injured, she still landed on her feet.

            “Use swift!” I ordered.

            “Jump in the air!” Mom shouted. As planned, Sceptile jumped up before Espeon made her move.

            “Go ahead and freeze the ground,” I told Espeon.

            “Here goes!” She yelled before covering the entire field in a sheet of ice.

            “Break it!” Mom yelled. As Sceptileapproached the ground he used dragon claw and broke part of the ice. However, heended up in one of the holes the ice was covering. Huh. I wasn’t expecting that, but whatever works. “Climb back up!”Mom was even more flustered.

            “Go for it, buddy,” I said. Just as Sceptile’s upper body rose above the hole, Espeon greeted him with an iron tail slam to the gut. Sceptile flew several feet out. He was struggling to rise again to continue the fight. Then the Professor called out.

            “The fight is over! Sceptile is unable to battle. The winners are Espeon and Maze!” Everyone’s faces were in awe.

            “Wait, why?” I asked. When they heard the question, everyone laughed. Even Sceptile.

            “Look closely, son,” Mom said, “my Pokémon’s out of bounds.” I looked where mother’s partner was and upon closer inspection I realized that Sceptile was standing in the grass while just a couple feet away from him was the frosted field line. My face put on a huge smile, which turned into a full-blown laugh. Exhausted, my legs turned to jelly, and I collapsed to my knees. Espeon jumped on me, knocking me on my ass. Umbreon and Cyndaquil joined in the pile. I just kept laughing. “You did a great job,” Mom told Sceptile as she petted him. Standing up, my friends surrounded me like my own personal cheer squad.

            “You did it, Maze!” Sam announced.

            “You took your sweet time,” Brett said.

            “Wow. Just wow. You got so freakin’ lucky,” said Andrew.

            “You’re a free man, now,” Jose proclaimed.

            “It was all thanks to Espeon, she did the hard work.” I said.

            “We worked as a team,” said Espeon. Umbreon and Cyndaquil cheered.

            “That you did. You two make quite a pair,” Mom told us. She and Dad approached us.

            “You know what she said?” I asked.

            “Yep. And I can tell you both have made quite the connection yourselves. You just need to obtain a strong connection like that with all of your other Pokémon from now on.” My mother’s ability to understand every Pokémon like she spoke their language always astounded me. She told me it was a family trait or something. Dad could only understand his own Pokémon and that took a while.

            “Congrats, son, you passed,” Dad said, extending his hand to me. I took it and returned to my feet. “So, where are you going from here?” That was a hard question. Many kids nowadays started their journeys in other regions instead of in the one they were from. They even waited to receive their starter until they reached their region of choice.

            “You’re coming to the Hoenn region with us, right?” Sam asked. Jose and Andrew were also awaiting my answer. I thought about this for a while, though it was never necessary. I made up my mind as soon as they asked me years before.

            “Nope. Sorry, fellas, but I feel like I should explore the Johto region first and go from there.” I answered.

            “Aww,” they said simultaneously. Their eyes slumped.

            “Don’t worry, man, I’ll keep you company,” Brett said with a smile. At least I had one friend traveling with me.

            “Groovy smoothies! This should be fun,” I said.

            After a few hours of rest, last minute packing, and visiting people to say goodbye to, my friends and I met back at the pier south of town.

            “Well, this is it,” I said. We stood on the platform in front of a huge cruise ship. We were all happy to finally start our adventures but saddened by the fact we were splitting up the gang. “Don’t worry, guys, we’ll see each other again at the Pokémon league.” I tried to reassure them.

            “We better, Maze.” Sam commanded. “Or we’re gonna come looking for you guys.”

            “Please don’t leave me with these idiots forever. I’m gonna die,” Andrew added.

            “Don’t have too much fun without us,” Jose chimed in.

            “You know we will,” Brett said. I just chuckled softly.

            “Wait! Don’t leave yet!” A voicecalled out from the main deck at our backs. We all watched patiently as theProfessor ran toward us. “I need to give you all these.” The doc handed each ofus our very own Pokédex. It was rectangular and red and could fit in my handwell enough that my fingers reached across the entire screen. On the sides ofit were yellow grip strips and a small black antenna poked out from the top inthe form of the top half of a trapezoid. Just beneath the center of the devicewas a black circle with a blue sphere in the middle. Just above it, a small,green, cylindrical glass had been embedded in the device. When I pressed theblue sphere, the device flipped open to reveal two screens. The top screenshowed Espeon, which I guess had been scanned already, and the bottom screenshowed her as well as Umbreon and a bunch of silhouettes in portraits. AboveUmbreon and Espeon’s pictures, in their little squares, were numbers next to aPokéball symbol.

            “These are awesome!” Brett exclaimed.

            “Yea, thanks so much professor,” Sam said.

            “You’re welcome, boys. Now your jobs are to find every Pokémon there is and scan their data into your Pokédex.” The doc instructed.

            “Of course, these things come with a catch,” I said. The others grunted. Even Sam, who was usually happy to receive homework.

            “Take good care of them, they’re brand new. And have fun on your travels, I wish you luck.” Said the professor. With that, the doc bid us farewell. After he left, the blow horn of the cruise ship blared across the port.

            “Group hug?” Sam asked.

            “Nah, I’m cool,” I said.

            “I’m good, too,” Brett agreed. Sam dropped his arms. And his head.

            “Fine, last one,” I sighed.

            “Yippee!” Sam shouted. He jumped with joy. That bum knew I’d give in to his puppy dog eyes. We hugged for the last time and the trio boarded the ship. Brett and I waved one last goodbye from atop the hill near the road out of town.

            “You two ready?” I looked at Umbreon and Espeon. They nodded happily.

            “We’re ready, too.” Brett said with his Cyndaquil resting comfortably on his shoulder.

            “Alright,then. Let’s get this show on the road.” I told them as I walked into the forest. On our way to Violet City.

Continue reading

Happy Halloween! A Haunting Romance

Happy Halloween, gang! I’m gonna keep this short and sweet, so come see if I have some tricks or treats. I have a screenplay here about finding romance at a Halloween party. If you don’t like reading screenplays then uh well, I’m not sure. Just read it carefully? Look up how? It’s pretty straightforward, though. Okay have fun!

Roses are Violet

Eliasaph Maze Anderson


TAI (25) walks through the Halloween decorated house, in search for MAX (25). As Tai traverses through a crowd of people dancing in front of the entrance, he bumps into a girl dressed in a Star Trek uniform. The STAR TREK WOMAN (24) stops dancing.


Oh, hey, my bad. I was dancing a little too hard.


No. It’s my fault. The only person capable of doing the Monster Mash too hard is Frankenstein’s monster.

Tai salutes the woman and starts to walk away.


Hold on. I… haven’t guessed your costume yet.

Tai looks himself up and down. Pair of jeans, Chucks, a plain blue t-shirt, and a hooded jacket. He looks at the woman with one eye brow raised.


Uh huh… welp, I’ll give you one guess, Scotty.

A guy dressed as a greaser bumps into Tai as he dances pass. Tai slowly steps out of the flow of disharmonious hip thrusters. the talkative girl followed suit.


You know your stuff, I’m impressed. However, I’m having a hard time placing that hat.

Tai’s eyes look up to the ceiling. He pats the top of his cap.


It’s from a guy who loves to eat. It’s stupid. You wouldn’t know it.

He shrugs. The woman nods slowly with one hand cupping her chin.


Try me. No one loves food as much as I do.


Jughead’s hat from Archie comics?


Ahh I see.




That’s unique.


I could say the same.

The woman fixes her long, brunette hair and smiles.


I’m Heather, by the way. Pleased to meet ya. Or you can call me Chief Engineer Heather.


Heather, beautiful name. I’m Tai.

Heather and Tai linger in silence for a moment.


And… I need to find my friends before they start leaving haunting messages on my phone. Maybe…I’ll see you later?


Oh. Yeah, sure. Maybe later.



Tai winks at Heather as he walks through a crowd of costumed party-ers.


Tai waltzes into the living room. His eyes scan for a ginger with a giant “R” on his sweater vest. Max waves his hand as if waving the golden ticket.


Over hear, man! What took you so long?!

Tai took the open seat on the couch next to a woman wearing a leather jacket.


I had to close the shop, you lazy ass. It would’ve been easier if you stayed and helped.

Max shrugged.


Sorry, bro. I had errands to run, I told you.


You came straight here, didn’t yo-


I was the fifth person through the door.

Tai furrows his brows and narrows his eyes.


Why is that?

Max holds up an orange gift bag. The kind you would see at a child’s birthday party.


Goody bags, man. Goody bags. There are nudes of the chick that’s hosting this party. Can you believe there’s a photo of twenty-two-year-old boobs?

Max nods his head in satisfaction. His eyes closed.

Tai slaps his palm to his forehead.

The LEATHER JACKET (25) woman between them shook her head from Max to Tai.


So you two are partners? Like partners partners or paaartners partners?

The woman mimes that she is sucking on a dick.


We run a cafe togeth–wait, I’m sorry, who are you?

Tai shakes his head in disbelief of the situation.


Oh. You two own Daydream Cafe. Cool. I can believe if Archie here was gay, but Jughead…nope. Don’t see it.

The woman proceeds to pull a cigarette out of a twelve pack with her mouth and lights it.


Did you not just hear that I have nudes in this bag?


I did hear that the girl’s boyfriend also made nudes of himself to put in those bags.


This chick’s smoking in the house and your biggest concern is that she thinks your gay? Also. Who are you?

The woman shifts her body towards Tai. She brushes her right leg against his left and lays her leg on the couch.

Max makes a face as if he just saw his parents having sex. He shuffles through the contents in the bag and color quickly drains from his face. Max slumps his head back and slivers a little ways down the couch.

The mystery woman wafts her chocolate curled hair away from her face.

Tai breaks his stare at the woman to witness Max’s soul rise out of his chest as if he was a Looney Tunes character. Tai reaches over and softly guides the spirit back into its body. Tai readjusts himself on the couch as Max slowly sits back up. The woman blows smoke into Tai’s face.

Tai coughs dryly and fans around his face.


Star Trek has come past here three times and never fails to linger on you.

The trio rotate their heads to the dance floor. Heather and another girl beside her quickly advert their eyes.


Her name’s Heather. Just met her.


You two gonna “look for ghosts” together like Fred and Daphne?


I was thinking of asking her out.

Leather Jacket chuckles and blows another puff of smoke into the air.


Good luck with that.

Tai and Max scoot closer to the woman. Both of their faces widen with intrigue. The woman crosses her legs.

She taps her cigarette on her knee and let the ash rain to the carpeted floor. Tai rolls his eyes.


You’d have an easier time dating me.


I don’t date smokers.


Clearly, you haven’t dated anyone interesting.


She can ride my star ship anytime.

Max nods his head toward Heather. The woman subtly shakes her head.


She’s the type of girl to dress up more than just on Halloween.

Tai pauses for a moment. reprocessing the woman’s words. Then he gets up and walks toward the dance floor. Max and the mystery woman look to each other. Then promptly follow suit.


Tai finds Heather at the counter, sifting through the drink selection. Heather pulls out a bottle of Jim Bean.


Go hard or go home type of woman, huh?

Heather turns to face Tai with a small jump.


Oh, hey. I was hoping to see you again.

Tai looks at her with a quizzical look. Heather laughs.


What’s with the face?


Oh uh nothing. Just um wondering if you’re gonna mix that with coke or something.

With notice of her shot glass, Heather laughs again and proceeds to down the whiskey.

She pours another glass and steps close enough to Tai that the magnetism between their hips heats up so much Tai pulls up the sleeves to his jacket.


Go hard or go home, right?

At the kitchen entrance, the mystery woman sighs fog. She shows her phone to Max and he holds in a gasp. After a breath, Max smiles, shakes his head, and points to Tai and Heather.

Tai gulps down the whiskey and kisses Heather.

Color drains from Max’s face and he mouths the word “fuck.”

Leather jacket moves her cigarette in front of max’s view. He takes a puff.



Wow. The fact that you can keep up with half of my TV references is pretty wicked.


I love film. I watch more TV shows, but I’ve seen plenty of movies.

The duo dance, bodies close, as they laugh about each other’s interests.

Heather kisses Tai and leads him to the front of the house and up a flight of stairs. INT. HOUSE – SECOND FLOOR

Tai and Heather mix tongues as they rub up against a wall. Tai stops to check one of the room doors. It opens to an empty bedroom. Tai holds the door open.


Ladies first.

Heather walks into the room and turns to Tai. She points her index finger at him and curls it back to her. Slowly repeats the motion. Tai steps forward when a jerk pulls him down the hall.

Max takes Tai’s arm around his and charges toward the stairs.


Max, you motherfuck-


Hi pretty lady, bye pretty lady, need to borrow him for a sec!

Max shouts as he diligently speed walks away.

Heather steps out the room and blankly stares as Tai descends the stairs.



Max swings Tai into the arm of the couch.

The mystery woman waves at him.

Tai sighs.


This is for your own good. She’s bad news.


She’s awesome, we have plenty in common, and I hate you.


Like Rogue-touching-you-without-her-gloves on bad.




She has a boyfriend, bro. Like- Max does a bodybuilder pose and puffs up his cheeks.


The only real Captain America tonight.


Had. She broke up with him a week ago.

Tai turns to his new mystery friend.


Are you even speaking English?

The woman lights another cigarette and motions for Tai to take it. Tai raises an eyebrow and cocks his head slightly to one side. The woman retreats her hand and takes a puff.


What happened to you?

Heather walks from the dancing crowd to Tai’s side.


Ask these two.

Tai waves his thumb from the woman to Max.


Heya. I’m Max. But you can just call me the best-looking guy here.

Max winks. The mystery woman blows smoke in Heather’s direction and waves.



Tai and Max slowly turn to Violet. Mouths agape.

A loud slam is heard from the front of the house. Emerging from the flames of dancers, a tall, muscular man (26) in a Captain America shirt steps into the living room.


ADRIAN? Why are you here?


To win you back, babe.

Tai glances from Max to Violet.


Captain America?

Violet shakes her pack of cigarettes to Tai. He puts one between his lips.

Violet takes out her lighter and holds it under the tip of the cig until Tai takes a puff.


Adrian, we’re done. Besides, I’m with Tai tonight.

Heather wraps her arms around Tai’s arm.


Did she say “tonight?” She just said “tonight.”

Max leans into Tai’s ear.


Dude, I don’t know if you caught that, but she just said “tonight.”

Tai sighs as smoke tackles the air.


This scrawny loser? He’s nobody!


Hey! He makes great coffee!


How…the hell…does that help the situation?!


You ever see his art?! He can make swans in a cappuccino! I bet you can’t even spell that! Don’t worry, bro, I’m helping.

Adrian tightens his fist and his face starts to glow red.


Max! Stop helping! Does this look like helping to you?!


…And he’s not as handsome as I am, but he does alright! Oh. Yeah, I’ll stop now.

Tai motions for Heather to move away.

Violet rests her lighter and a cigarette in the palm of Tai’s hand.


These will help.

Violet winks at Tai and walks off.

Tai studies the purple rose on the face of the lighter. His mouth slowly forms an O shape and his eye lids relax. Tai looks behind him only to find Mario characters, pro boxers, and a girl dressed as a sexualized Pikachu form a ring in order to watch the big fight unfolding before them.


I’ll cheer you on, bro!

Tai finds Max on the other side of the living room. Max pokes his head above the arm of a chair. Tai squints and shakes his head.


So you made out with my girl?

Adrian cracks his knuckles. Tai releases a puff toward Adrian.


How long do you kiss someone before you consider it making out?

Adrian lets out a yell and charges toward Tai.


God fucking damm-


Tai sits next to a woman (24) with chocolate curled hair as she cries into the palm of her hands. He extends a small cup of coffee in front of her face. A chocolate chip cookie rests on top of the lid.


It’s not ice cream, but it should relieve some pain.

The woman looks up at the cup and rubs her eyes. She wipes her hands on her cut-up, skinny jeans. Blotches of purple eye shadow are left behind.

The SAD WOMAN looks to Tai. He gives a pearly-white smile. The woman takes the cup, sips the coffee, and takes a bite out of the cookie.


How much do I owe you?

Tai looks behind him to a small building with a sign that reads “Daydream Cafe” on top.


Nothing. Just stop crying in front of my café.


I’m sorry.


Shit happens. We’ve all been there.


Really?! Has everyone broke up with a guy that they loved for three years even though he mostly abused them verbally?!


It may be explicit to women, but they aren’t the only ones with “daddy issues.”

The woman tried to speak, but all she could do was chuckle amidst her tears. After some time, she takes another sip of coffee.


Well, I do appreciate the pick-me-up, but I don’t think this will relieve my stress. Do you have anything stronger in there?

The two turn back to the café.

The woman watches as Tai’s eyes roll under his eyebrows.


I may have some spirits in there but getting drunk is usually a terrible way to get through… whatever this is.

He digs into his pockets and presents the woman with a lighter and half a pack of cigarettes. The woman gazes at the purple rose on the lighter.


Smoking isn’t much better than drinking, but it’s calming and doesn’t cause you to blackout if you have too many. Just try to not get addicted, alright?

The woman tries to light the cigarette between her lips, but only sparks fly.


Uhhhh why is this broken?

Tai laughs.


It’s not broken, you just need the magic touch.

Tai wraps his hand around hers and the lighter and flicks the flint wheel. The ignited flame causes the tip of the cigarette to wither and crumble.

The woman takes a deep breath, her eyes closed, she exhales  smog into the air. She turns to Tai.


Thank you for…

She rotates her head to the café to watch Tai become swallowed up by the door. The sign on the door read “Happy Halloween.”



Yo, Tai. You don’t need mouth to mouth do you? ‘Cause you’re shit outta luck, man.

Tai slowly opens his eyes. He winces as he does so and touches his right eye.


Fuck. That was a bad idea.

Max and the rest of the house are sideways. Tai’s hand scruffs the carpet.

He rolls over and picks himself up. With Max’s help, Tai plops onto the couch.


I won, right?

Max laughs.


Dude. He punched you over the couch and you rolled onto the floor, unconscious. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen!

Tai surveys the house. It’s quiet. Most of the party has gone on except for a few ghosts still getting drinks or making out on one of the chairs or on the staircase.


You’ve been out for five minutes.


Is Heather with Captain America?


No. She found a Tony Stark.


God dammit. I’m an idiot.


I tried to warn ya, man. Besides, I thought Violet was hotter anyway.

Max speaks mostly to himself now.


I wish she stuck around so I could get her number.


I remember her.


Yeah, she was with us most of the night, how could you forget? Did you get amnesia with that punch?


You know you’re an idiot, right? I met her last year but forgot.


How do you forget a hottie like that?! That’s fucked up, bro. You sure you’re not into guys? Just a little bit?


She looked different, okay? I didn’t recognize her. Plus, I didn’t think I’d ever see her again.

Tai shakes his head and checks the time on his phone.


Tai eased off the couch and stumbled out the front door.


Tai finds a bench outside and takes a seat. The street light behind him shines a spotlight.

Tai ruffles through his pockets and pulls out a silver lighter and a crumpled cigarette.

The lighter has a purple rose on it.

He sighs.

With the slightly straight cig in his mouth, he flicks the lighter. It doesn’t light.

After a minute, Tai tosses the lighter away. It makes a clunk sound with the pavement and then the soft ruffling of grass is heard. Tai slumps his head to his knees, his shoulders rest on his thighs.

A pair of black heels appear next to his chucks. A soft, warm hand picks up his and a cold metal object is placed in it. Tai looks up at his hand and discovers the lighter.

He follows the other hand to the mystery owner.

Violet and Tai lock eyes.

Violet shakes a new, open pack of cigarettes. Tai takes one and places it in his mouth. Violet, her hand wrapped around Tai’s, flicks the flint wheel and guides Tai’s hand under the cigarette.

Tai takes a deep breath in and blows smoke up to the full moon. Tai looks back at his hand, up at Violet, and smirks. Violet retreats her hand with color popping in her cheeks.


So. Still wanna have that date?

Violet smirks back.


I don’t date smokers.


Clearly, it’s time we both dated someone interesting.


Level Up! Complicated Lives: Revamped!

And so, I’m back from the grave. Many have asked, “When are you gonna write something new?” “What are you working on?” “You still doing your blog?” “Spider-Maze? What kinda name is that?” Well, it’s quite elementary my dear interrogators, the answer is simply “I have no fucking clue.” And I say that with a nervous laugh because that’s how honest I am. Except…for the Spider-Maze question. I started calling myself that because like Spider-Man I live a complicated life. Even a friend told me just last night that I’ve a shitty year. I wanted to argue with him, but he wasn’t all that wrong. Not saying the entire year has been shitty. There have been some good moments, some bad, some Pokémon, and some have been groovy as smoothies! It’s just that there has been a multitude of shitty moments. Events actually. Not fun. But the title of my autobiography is The Shitty Times, The Good Times, The Pokétimes, and the Groovy Smoothies for good reason. Anyway, back to the whole “Spider-Maze” thing. Not only has my life felt like that of Peter Parker’s, but I have been reading so many Spider-Man comics these past few months that one day I just introduced myself to someone as their friendly neighborhood Spider-Maze. My mind works in clever ways, I know. So I just decided to keep it. I introduced myself as The Doctor once and the girl I was talking to believed me for about 5 seconds. Needless to say, I feel that my new self-proclaimed title will catch on. And what I also hope will catch on is my writing focus. I wanna write so many things this summer and don’t have much time to accomplish that. I first wanna start out with a short story, I’ve been working on for a couple months now. A story I have written before, but have revamped with all of the writing skills and elements I have learned since the first time I wrote it. To put into geek terms, I have leveled up and want to test out my new writing skills with something familiar. Welp, that’s the end of my monologue and, as always, stay groovy as smoothies, friends.

P.S. I wanna give a shout out and thank you to Sam Sanchez for consulting on this story and validating the legality of certain criminal actions of the characters in this piece.


Complicated Lives: Revamped


Eliasaph Maze Anderson


This is a story of a dumbass. His name is Ezra Best. He lives in a nice two-bedroom apartment in Seattle, Washington. It has the usual apartment furnishings of the 21st century. An island style, granite kitchen connected to a living room furnished with a black microfiber sofa, a dinner table for four, and a TV. All the walls are painted with this kind of tinted sky blue instead of the generic white. This complex is a bit on the fancy side. It’s pricey that’s for sure. “What veggies do you want for dinner, Sammy?” Ezra asked as he lowered the temperature of the rice on the stove. “We have broccoli, cream corn, zucchini, and…” he trailed off because when he turned around from the fridge he found Sam holding his cat right in front of his face.

“Pet Captain Meow Meow,” Sam said with a huge smile on his face. For the record, her name was not Captain Meow Meow. Sam was one of Ezra’s best friends and had been his roommate for almost a year now. He’s a 23-year-old, blonde dork. And…a dumbass. He looked like an intelligent guy, which he was, but he also looked like one of those guys that you can tell was fully capable of leading a four-hour conversation with you about Pokémon before needing a drink of water. Ezra stared at Sam and his cat with narrow eyes. He turned Sam around and inched him out of the kitchen. “But kitty,” said Sam in a disappointed tone.

“I’m cooking dinner, Sammy, I’m not petting your cat.” Ezra started the cream corn. As they waited for dinner, Sam refilled his cat’s food bowl and Ezra took a seat at the dinner table. “Have you seen Kumo? I haven’t seen him since I’ve been home.”

“Oh, I got someone to walk him because he seemed sad being inside the house while we were at work,” he said as he took a seat at the table. Sam had an uneasy smile. Like he did something he shouldn’t have.

“Who did you get to walk Kumo?”

“Just one of the neighbors,” Sam chuckled and backed up into his chair. Ever since Sam and Ezra were kids, Sam couldn’t keep up a lie or a secret for too long. Backing away with a chuckle was how people could tell if he did something stupid.

Ezra leaned towards him. “Sam. Which neighbor?” There was only one neighbor they had that Ezra had a problem with and for good reason. Sam turned his head to the side, but constantly looked back towards Ezra. “You didn’t.” Sam shrugged his shoulders. “You can’t be serious. You actually let her walk-”

“Hey guys,” pronounced a woman at the front door. She had glimmering black hair that went to her shoulders and flowed as smoothly as a river. She wore a red tank top featuring Snoopy and Woodstock, black skinny jeans with small tears, and a pair of red Toms. Her tattoos were intricate. One of a majestic bird could be seen on her right arm while a dream catcher rested on the underside of her left arm. She walked through the door with a Husky the size of a couch cushion; which was trying to shake off its leash. “Okay, Kumo, I’ll take it off just give me a minute.” As soon as she did, Kumo ran over to Ezra and leaped up to kiss his face. Francine moved into the two-bedroom apartment right across from the guys two months ago. She was still looking for a roommate but did pretty well on her own. Mostly because she always came over to the guys’ place and ate all of their food.

“Hey, Francine.” Sam and Ezra greeted simultaneously. Ezra’s grudged welcome balanced out Sam’s elated one.

“What did you do to my dog?” Ezra said.

“Why do you think I did something? Look. Kumo is perfectly fine and loved going on a walk with me. Isn’t that right, buddy?” She stroked the Husky’s back as she sat at the table.

“Because you have a habit of doing idiotic stuff and I’m making sure you didn’t make my dog an unwilling accomplice to one of your schemes.” Ezra’s voice rose.

“Are you still mad about last week?! I said I was sorry like twenty times!” Fran said.

“You think that makes up for it?! We’re just lucky Nick pulled us over instead of some other officer!” Ezra exclaimed.

“Exactly! It’s not like it was put on record!” She retorted in a louder voice.

“We still spent the night in jail!” He retaliated. Ezra usually kept a level head and remained calm, however, Francine was one of those few people who made him loose his cool.

“Okay guys. I think we should just calm down. It’s time to eat dinner anyway,” Sam pronounced from the kitchen. During the argument, he had backed away into the kitchen to check on the food. Francine and Ezra got up and helped Sam set the table. As they started eating, Sam asked, “How was your day, Ez?” He was trying to get rid of the residual tension in the room as if Francine and Ezra were partners bickering at a counseling session.

Ezra tried to focus on Sam and push his problem with Francine to the back of his mind. “It was pretty good. I repaired a few cars that didn’t have any major damages, so they were fairly easy to fix. It was just some engine problems or a leaking gas pipe. There was one car that had a busted heater hose, so that took longer took fix, but I had help. And there was this ninja motorcycle that had crappy suspensions, so that took a few hours to fix, but yea, my day went pretty well.” He proceeded to scarf down more food.

“What was wrong with the suspension?” Sam asked. He was very curious in Ezra’s work because he received his degree in computer science and didn’t know much about the mechanics of vehicles. He also enjoyed any distraction he could get from his own work. It took a second for Ez to finish swallowing his food, so he could give a reply.

“It was very loose and squeaked every time the weight on it shifted. Clearly the owner was dumb enough to buy it in such a dangerous state or the bike was wrecked by someone. I was never told how it happened, but I really didn’t care as long as I got it fixed.” Francine abruptly spoke out as Sam was about to say something,

“You have a motorcycle, don’t you?!” She seemed really excited even though she’s known about Ezra’s motorcycle for weeks.

“Yep. Ez got it from his girlfriend,” Sam explained. As soon as he said that, Ezra gave him a stern look.

“I thought you said you didn’t have a girlfriend?” Francine was very intrigued now. She, as well as Sam, loved meddling in Ezra’s love life, however, he always shrugged them off whenever they wanted to talk about it. He sat back in his seat and sighed.

“You know I don’t have a girlfriend. I got that bike from my ex as a birthday present last year.” He was annoyed now, but there was nothing much he could do about it. They were curious about his life. Especially Sam. To him, meddling with Ezra’s love life was not enough. However, Ezra was not very forthcoming about his past. He hated talking about it. There were many depressing memories that he would rather not even think about.

“Wow. You two must have ended it on a good note, huh? I wish one of my ex’s continued to send me gifts after we broke up. Why’d she break up with you anyway?” Ezra gave her a look that he gave many of his friends at one point in time. The “You’re an idiot look”. His eyes narrowed into a glare and he tilted his head slightly. Sam started to laugh when he saw Ezra give Francine that look.

“Why do you automatically assume she broke up with me? You know what? Don’t answer that. She just gave me the bike as a farewell present or something.” Francine was about to say something else, but Ezra spaced out and was engulfed by a particular memory.

The memory was a bit of a blur. Like a TV channel that fizzes out while you’re watching a show. Ezra was walking out of a house, colored with numerous shades of brown, to the adjacent garage. The sun was shining brilliantly as it scorched the dry air. He slowly walked past the gravel yard into the garage to find a black Dyna Glide with a golden tribal print. On the headlight was an envelope with Ezra’s name on it. The handwriting was so beautiful that it was clearly from a woman. He opened the envelope to find a letter. Ezra’s eyes scanned over the parchment, “I want you to have her as a good luck charm. I love this bike and I know it would be better if you kept her. I love you with all my heart, happy birthday.” At the bottom of the letter was written: Love you, Natalie Moon. Ezra stared at the bike for a few seconds and then suddenly turned around. At that moment, he could hear Francine’s voice.

“Ez. Yo, Ezra, are you still with us? Did you listen to a word I just said?” Francine kept calling him as he slowly came back to reality. Sam started to shake his arm.

“Yea I’m fine,” he said as he removed Sam’s arm. “I just spaced out for a moment.” He turned to Francine. “And no, I didn’t hear anything you just said.” He went back to eating his meal.

“I said that you shouldn’t worry about her. If she wasn’t into you that much, then she’s not worth your time. People come and go, it happens. You should go try looking for another girl. Who knows, you might find ‘the one’.” Francine’s voice lowered in decibels as she spoke. She knew firsthand what it was like having people you trust walk out on you. She realized how sad Ezra was over this and wanted to help him move on, but she knew he wasn’t close to ready to do that. Ezra remained silent.

Sam pitched in, “that’s a great idea. Ez you should go meet some girls, maybe get a few numbers.” Sam nudged his friend. Ezra laid back in his seat, looked at Sam, and reverted his eyes to Francine.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ll have any luck finding ‘the one’ anytime in the near future.” Ezra said. Sam, excitedly, jumped into Ezra’s eyesight.

“Not if you have me as a wingman. I’ll help you find the right one.” Sam smiled in a way that seemed almost devious.

“Coming from the guy who spent last Saturday night cuddling his cat while watching ‘Frozen’. Again.” Ezra smirked.

“Umm, excuse me, but Butterscotch loves it when I hug her,” Sam said as he picked his cat off the floor, “and I recall you watching the movie, too.” Sam stroked Butterscotch’s fur with his cheek.

“I only watched it with you because it was the only way to get you to watch ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. I wouldn’t willingly watch ‘Frozen’, ever, let alone the sing-a-long version. Listening to you try and harmonize with Idina Menzel is like hearing Kanye West speak. What comes out of your mouth is so sad, that I can’t help but laugh.” Francine was trying not to laugh herself.

“Ez, you’re just jealous that I’m a better singer than you. And your stupid ninja turtle movie wasn’t even that great,” Sam retaliated. Ezra became wide eyed and placed his hand on his chest like he was having a heart attack.

“First of all, the hell you are. And second, don’t dis one of my favorite 90’s movies, ya jerk.”

“Okay, Ez, I’ll let you indulge yourself in your delusions for now, but you’ll have to accept the truth someday.” Sam laughed as Ezra glared at him.

“Alright, guys, we’ve gotten too far off topic. Let’s go to a bar and pick up some girls. It will be fun.” Francine stood as if she was a superhero bettering the lives of two single men. She was so excited by her own idea.

“You say that like that’s an easy thing to do. Do you know us? That argument alone should tell you how easy it is for us to get a girl’s number.” Ezra found the idea of him and Sam getting lucky that night absurd.

“It’s okay, Ez, she’s new.” Sam assured him. Ezra nodded in agreement.

“C’mon. With me as your wingman, you’ll both be scoring. Just imagine all the women we can get if we work together.” Francine tilted her head and gazed at the ceiling.

“What the hell is she doing?” Ezra whispered to Sam. They both searched the ceiling. Francine slowly recomposed herself.

“Hello?” Francine shook her head slightly. “Haven’t you guys heard of having a daydream moment?” Fran crossed her arms. “I thought guys as weird as you two would do something wacky like that.”

The boys nodded their heads in understanding of their friend’s weird gesture. “We used to. When Arthur was still a relevant show on PBS.” Said Ezra.

“Fran, I’ve got a question. Didn’t you mean to say wing-woman instead of wingman?” Sam asked.

“Oh, good question, I was wondering that myself. Most women nowadays prefer being called wing-lady or something odd like that. I’m all for feminism, but don’t care for unnecessary political correctness.” Said Ezra. Francine sat back down at the table.

“The term is completely unnecessary. Women pretend to helpful when they really just wanna have fun sabotaging guys while getting their drinks get paid for.” The boys laughed ecstatically.

“Wow,” said Ezra. Their laughter lasted for a few moments until Sam had come to a realization.

“Fran, why do you want us to help you get girls, anyway?” Sam asked. “You do so well by yourself.”

“Yea, we see a new girl do the walk of shame out of your apartment every morning.” Ezra chimed in. “Sam and I even started rating which walkout was the best. Most of the women come out strutting down the hall like models on a runway or like they just finished a business deal.”

“Some of them even dressed the part,” Sam added. “However, some walk out all hung over and trip down the hall, it’s pretty funny.”

“Oh yea, remember the one from last Thursday?” Ezra chuckled.

“With the one high heel and the bride of Frankenstein afro?” Said Sam.

“Yep.” They were both trying to hold it in, but neither of them could contain their cries of amusement. “That’s the one!” Ezra had his arms stretched out and mimicked the walk of Frankenstein’s monster.

“I don’t see what’s so funny. The last woman I saw walk out of your place was, Butterscotch. And she walked right into my apartment.” Fran said over the boys’ laughter. She didn’t know why she was being so defensive. She couldn’t care less about those women, but she realized how much she needed them. Not them exactly, but what they provided.

“No need to get hostile, Fran, we’re just joking,” Ezra said.

“Yea, sorry, but it was just too funny.” Sam said as he chuckled.

“I know, I didn’t mean to act like a bitch,” said Francine.

“It’s ok, we’re used to it,” said Ezra. Sam didn’t want to but laughed at the remark.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Said Fran. She stared Ezra down.

“I’m pretty sure you know what it means.” Ezra said as he matched Francine’s stare.

“Alright, settle down,” Sam said as he rose from his seat. “Ezra was just joking. Right?”

“Uh huh.” Ezra replied without diverting his eyes from Francine’s glare.

“See? Let’s leave it at that,” Said Sam. He picked up the plates from the table and walked off into the kitchen. “I don’t know what’s been going on with you two lately, if you just haven’t been eating breakfast or something, but you should work it out.” Francine and Ezra lowered their eyes. The tension within them dissipated and they sat back down in their chairs. The only sounds left in the room were the running water in the kitchen, the clanging of dishes, and Kumo’s paws shuffling as he readjusted his napping position beside Ezra.

“How about a movie?” Sam suggested after a brief moment of silence.

“Sure. Let’s watch Star Wars,” Fran announced.

“Ok. What else should we watch?” said Sam.

“Its nine o’clock and you want to watch two movies? Don’t you have work in the morning?” Ezra said. He was glad Sam wanted to have a movie night. Sam’s always so committed to his work that he never has time for anything else. However, tonight, Sam was trying to do anything to avoid his work. Even though he loved his job the amount of assignments he had to complete stressed him out.

“I do, but I got a lot done today, so I can relax a bit.” Sam reassured his friend.

“Alright, if you guys want, we’ll watch episodes seven and eight.” Ezra knew if his friend was over worked, he wasn’t going to stop the guy from relaxing a little. Sam and Francine agreed. As Ezra looked for the movies, the other two took comfort on the couch.

“So, what did happen to you both last week that you have to do community service tomorrow?” Sam said. Francine and Ezra looked at each other and back to Sam.

“Nothing for you to worry about, it was dumb,” Francine said.

“Yeah, nothing too crazy,” added Ezra. Sam nodded slowly.

“Uh huh. And what happened has nothing to do with you two fighting all the time?” Sam said. Francine stroked Kumo’s fur while Ezra took the first movie out of its case. “As I recall, you two were arrested for running a red light?”

“Yep. I told you that when I walked through the door.” Ezra spoke with an exasperated tone, “While you called every place I hang out at, asking where I was…”

“…I was concerned…” Sam said as he broke eye contact. And then reconnecting eyes, he asked, “How’d you not see that the light was red? You’re a careful driver.”

Ezra inserted the movie into the playstation and stood up. “I was distracted.” He glanced at Francine. She glanced at Ezra and bit the corner of her lip as she returned her attention to Kumo licking her hand.”

“You get arrested for running a red light?” Sam continued, “A ticket sure, but arrested?”

“Racism?” Ezra shrugged.

“You said Nick pulled you over.”

“Yes. And Nick still has a job to do.” Ezra contemplated for a second before continuing, “It’s not like if one of our friends worked at Gamestop they would just gave me free games. Nick can’t just not give me ticket or arrest me if I break the law.”

Sam mulled over Ezra’s analogy. “Why didn’t you just tell him it was your birthday?” He smiled.

“How?” Ezra’s voice rose. He paused and let out a sigh. “How does that possibly change anything? ‘Oh, hey Nick. Today’s my birthday, so could you just, you know, not arrest me for being a criminal tonight? Thanks, man, I greatly appreciate it.’ You can’t just do that a drive off willy nilly.”

“Willy nilly?” Francine asked, reverting her attention back to the conversation.

Ezra pointed towards her, “don’t you even start.” Butterscotch purred at Ezra from beside his foot. Only adding to the boiling pot. Ezra quickly shifted his head to the floor, “Don’t you start either!”

“You gotta start thinking about these things, Ez, if you wanna stay out of jail. Play the system a little bit.” Sam said. He clicked a button the TV remote.

Ezra’s hands transitioned from holding his shaking head to opening up their palms to the ceiling. Like watching a flaming flower bloom. “What are you talking abou-” Ezra started to ask, but Sam shushed him.

“The movie’s starting.” Sam had lost interest in his conversation with Ezra. Ezra gave a soft rawr behind pursed lips. An imitation of a cat holding in a purr. Remember when I said only a few people made Ezra lose his temper?


            Five minutes into Episode Eight of Star Wars, Sam fell asleep on Ezra’s shoulder. Kumo’s breathing could be heard as he slept on the floor in front of the couch. Francine reached over Sam to poke the top of Ezra’s head. He turned towards her and whispered, “What’s up?”

“Why don’t you want to tell Sam what happened?” Fran said. Ezra sighed.

“Sam loves his friendships more than anything else in the world. As you can tell, he’s a bit clingy.”

“You two do seem like a married couple,” Fran said.

“He has a big heart. A golden one. Anyway, I may not be fond of you, but he certainly is. If he found out about what happened, he’d be devastated. Probably wouldn’t want to be friends with you anymore.”

“I understand. Let’s not ruin what we’ve got goin’ here,” said Fran.

We don’t have anything,” Ezra replied.

“You’ll warm up to me,” Francine smiled. Ezra rolled his eyes.

“Once you start paying for groceries, sure. Or eat at your own place,” said Ezra. “Just don’t do anything to get us into more trouble, alright? Sam and I have been through too much already.”

“You’re not the only ones,” Francine mumbled. Her smile faded a bit.


So, here’s what happened between Ezra and Francine. Ezra agreed to drive Francine to a friend’s house, so she could drop off a suitcase full of clothes. However, the night was not as simple as either of them had intended it to be.


            “The light’s green,” Francine said. Ezra pressed on the gas. “Did you hear me?”

“Sorry, what did you say?” Ez took a quick glance towards the passenger seat.

“The light. Is green.” Ezra rolled his eyes at Francine’s comment.

“Very funny. I meant the other thing,” said Ezra.

“I said it’s okay to still be heartbroken after a year. You loved her, I get it. It takes time to acknowledge and accept that you won’t be getting back together. For some it’s a year, for others…maybe about a month.” Francine bit a corner of her lip. Her phone vibrated in the cupholder. She reached for it, reading the message.

“I never said I was heartbroken, I just – I don’t feel like dating right now,” Ezra replied. He took a right onto Queen Anne Avenue. “Do you mind skipping this song? I’m not really feelin’ “Hooked on a Feeling.” Fran continued staring at her cell.

“Feeling’s are your problem. You mull over them too much. Learn to enjoy life at face value.” Francine continued to text as she spoke. The car slowed to a stop at an intersection.

“Fran, could you skip- you’re not even paying attention.” Ezra narrowed his eyes at Francine. “And you wonder why I only talk to Sam about those feelings I apparently mull over too much.”

“You know, that special someone is out there for you, don’t stop searching.” Fran put her phone back into the cupholder and returned her focus to the streets of Seattle. With the all so rare Starbucks on her right and the Mezcaleria Oaxaca fading past Ezra’s window.

“Sure, if you believe in that sorta thing,” said Ezra. “Do I Wanna Know” by Arctic Monkeys began to play. Fran looked to Ezra with glossy eyes, but his focus was on the road.

“I do. And I bet you do too,” Fran said softly. Almost to herself.

The speakers sing, “If this feeling flows both ways?”

“Once upon a time, maybe,” Ezra shrugged.

“Baby we both know,” trails off in the background.

Francine slowly leaned over the console. “That the nights were mainly made…” She cupped his head in her hands. Their faces inched closer to one another. Eyes locked. They could feel each other’s lips separated by what seemed like a canyon when it was just by a hair. “Been wondering if your heart’s still open…” Francine glanced out the windshield. “The light’s red!” Ezra pulled away from Francine, eyes as wild as a child afraid of heights on a rollercoaster he swerved around a car crossing his lane. No other vehicles dared to step into Ezra’s path. He sped through the light. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” is sung through the silence. The song continues, “…I’m constantly on the cusp-”

“Holy shit! Why the fuck did you do that?! Are you trying to get us killed?!” Ezra combed his hands through his curly hair. “You know we could’ve died, right?!” Ezra turned to Francine for an answer.

“Fuck. I wasn’t expecting that.” Francine stared out onto the road for a moment before facing Ezra. “Well, it could’ve been worse.” She gave a weak smile. Suddenly, flashing red and blue lights appeared behind them. Ezra smacked his head against the top of the steering wheel.

“God dammit. I just can’t catch a break,” Ezra mumbled. He pulled over in front of The Thai Kitchen restaurant. Nick appeared at his window. Ezra rolled the window down.

“Hey, Nick. Sorry about the red light. I was distracted.” Ezra said.

“Hey, Ez.” Nick greeted. “Everyone alright?”

“Yeah,” Ezra started to speak, but Francine abruptly spoke out.

“More than fine, officer. We’re just enjoying our cruise.” Francine spoke quickly. Both guys looked at Francine bewildered.

“Anyway,” Ezra continued, “We’re ok, just rattled. I should’ve been paying attention. How much is the ticket going to cost me?”

“I’ll let it slide this time but be more careful, said Nick. “In a city like Seattle, many accidents end up with someone in a body bag.” Nick looked around the car. He saw the suit case in the back seat partly unzipped. “No Sam?” He asked as he squinted his eyes to the back of the car. Francine blinked from Nick to the back seat.

“Nah, he’s busy working,” Ezra replied. Nick noticed a suspicious plastic bag with a white substance peeking from the suitcase.

“Hey. I’m gonna need you both to step out of the car,” Nick said. He moved back from the door. Complying, Ezra and Francine stepped out into the breezy night air. “Could you take the suitcase out for me?”

“Yeah…sure.” Ezra said. He had no idea why Nick wanted to see the suitcase. Nick witnessed Francine’s worried face. Ezra grabbed the suitcase and noticed the same thing Nick had. He opened it up. His eyes slowly grew in circumference. He rose from the seat, glaring straight towards Francine. “What did you do?” Francine was about to speak but dropped her head instead. You could see her bite the corner of her lip before her hair veiled her face. The car cuts the silence wants again as it sings, “Do I wanna know?”


            Ezra and Francine continued to watch Star Wars with the thought that that night would be the most of their worries. Unfortunately, that night would be the start of their complicated lives.






Stay Tuned

So I know I haven’t written anything in a while and that is for good reason. Many good reasons actually. Within the past few months I’ve had to deal with seizures, surgery, adjusting to a new job, minor crises, and slap a slab of spoiled, stress inducing probably not kosher meat called school with it all and one would say that these past few months have been more chaotic than normal for me. For the record, that is precisely what I am saying. So, I’ve been MIA from more than just my blog. And unfortunately, I will be for a tad bit longer while I sort some things out and decide on which story I’d like to publish next. In the meantime, I have one very special birthday poem for my readers. Stay groovy, gang.

When You Wanna Write
Eliasaph Maze Anderson

When you wanna write, but you got nowhere to go
Nothing is fueling your flow
Got no motivation
What an abomination
You’re letting down your entire nation

Wait, that’s me
When you can’t write, you can’t see
And when I’m down I get myself high
My spirit rides the wind like a kaleidoscope kite
But I don’t need to smoke.

There are better ways to walk amongst the clouds without the dope
So, don’t assume I’m just another writer with a wonderland inside my mind
Because I am
But having an addiction to cope with the system isn’t necessary
I broke the system and had it cope around my true self, not the canary
Found the mute button on that chatty raven pulling my strings
In this realm I’m no prince, I’m king

That revolution was not televised
My demon’s still around so I don’t let people gaze into my eyes

My shadow’s as curious as I am
In the worst way
He opens the doors you keep chained up
Doors that open just a crack and send tremors through your pores

We’re on certain terms though
He will aid in my flow
As long as my dreams are a free zone
So sometimes I don’t sleep.
And I wanna write, but the stress of college and my reaper blood keeps eroding me
Trying to consume my existence like Venom and Carnage
I know I’m close to a level up, but I wanna eject this cartridge

It’s just so much

And I wanna write.
And soon I will.
I need more time to calm my soul from a lightning storm back to a static feel





The Amazing Spider-Maze Will Return


Ladies and Gentlemen,
I implore you
To explore the inner workings of my head
For this is what you’ve been waiting for
For me to wake from my bed
–  Eliasaph Maze Anderson

I am fully aware that I have been slacking on updating my blog and I deeply apologize, however, as a future professional writer I have become much more serious on how I want my writing to sound and look and to be read. Therefore, I take more time to write stories I would usually write in a day for the shits and giggles. So stay tuned for those wonderful treats because I am finishing up last edits on many projects as well as starting many more. However, today is all about poetry. Most of these poems I wrote at the beginning of this year while the last two I wrote in the past week. I wrote these in many different styles, moods, and degrees of “abstractness.” Also they vary in how well they’re written. The first was written to be terrible, so have fun with that. And my poem “Fools” can be read with the title as part of the poem or without, which is why I didn’t put the title in bold. Alrighty, no more disclaimers, have fun reading, friends. Be back soon.


Deliciously Bad Poem: Sanctuary

Coffee & coffee how I love thee
Books & even more books, so many to read
Movies all day satisfy me
And chili cheese dogs are thy feeds.
Groovy smoothies and rad tunes can be had in the kitchen
Gaze at the stars through the spectacular, amazing skylight
Which has been dubbed bitchin’.
I can do whatever my heart desires
I can forget all of my worldly troubles
For I am the key to my own wicked inner sanctum
My Sanctuary



Belonging wraps her arms around them


Sparks twitter around the clouds

Lightning yearning to dance


Broken fragments of red glass occupy sacred ground

Cuts are inflicted, but no scars show


Rogues howl to their goddess for providence

Only to have a shadow’s breath whisper by


Men scurry through the wilderness into the clearing

Wolves waiting


Happy Days

The wheels turn on the rainbow road

My soles keep pushing clockwise

My will refuses to slow down and take a breath.

Cars zip through the Sahara as I follow

With my body seventy percent evaporated.

At long last, a decline appears and my body freezes in the plastic negative

My brain’s natural helmet rests on the bars of the metal ram

The tumbling rumble of the rumbling tum would not cease like

A lie being swished around a building of spies

You have reached your destination, my internal gps

One small step for man, though man has had one too many drinks of low spirits, man leans over towards the grass.

Red waterfall spews from my mouth with white chunks of mystery meat.

Vile as it may be, it smiles as it droops toward the sidewalk. I smile back, sincerely. The first one in months.

Up, once again I vomit

Joyful cries of children

Visions from childhood days of pancakes made by mom and naps in grassy fields

To feel bliss like that again makes this a successful day


To Feel

After months of submitting to the monochrome motions of the escalator of life, I have been able to run up and down the stairs. Laughter that lasts longer than NCIS, a zip tie wraps around the already swirling whirlpool in my stomach, slowly closing the knot upon itself, I might just die, as long as I continue to feel. Darkness begins to consume the periscopes attached to my face, but the care-free bliss that toasts my heart and sets my mind at serenity lets my soul fly alongside the musical notes of high-larity.

A mystical jewel rolls down my face as I remember that the funniest joke in existence…

Is me


Tiny Encyclopedia

I see you wave at me from afar and Technicolor embers burst out of my eyes

That dopey U appears.

As I sit at the table with a sixteen ounce cup of dark brown bean water, working on my new story, I find it trying to not gaze at those brilliant rays of light emphasizing your finely sculpted features. Two spoonfuls of sugar. A smidge of cream.

Burnt cocoa locks cascading down your white mocha shoulders

Rose gloss enticing your victims to lean in for their last meal

Even those bronze plates you use to glare at me when I make a jester’s joke shifts to gold in the right light

You don’t find me funny          but my foolishness amuses you

Talking to you is like speaking to the Mexican Sandy Olsson with more Sriracha

You catch me mesmerized by this elegant painting and tell me

You’re flattered but not interested in an unusually familiar deep tone

Blink and blink but Eugene’s clone is still in view        Pupils roll toward the sky

The mirage is gone

I glance at the tiny fluorescent screen and see you’re still waving



How are we different

You and I?

I call and you come running, you call and I’m already there.

We both walk side by side without a chain to keep us from going too far, no matter what fabric it’s made out of

You could take a trip to Siberia and back if you desired and I wouldn’t mind

As long as you returned to me, I wouldn’t even need a souvenir, I just want you

Near, beside me, on the couch watching TV

I trust you and hope you trust me. I suppose you do because your grey and black fur is the infinite evidence that proves you lie with me at night

To protect me

From pain.

I may have bought you but you are not my slave or pet, you are my friend

In the truest sense of the word

You’re my

Wingman, but you’re getting all the numbers

You rigged the game, you mixed-eyed bandit

Change it back, so I can bask in fame.

Though I paid for you and you’re free to leave

Do you stay out of respect or obligation? Fondness or pity?

Am I your master or are you mine? Is anyone in control?

You bark for me to muzzle it as you stare at the vast and endless array of clouds

You’re fascinated by Mother Nature’s coloring of the floating cotton balls you love to eat so much. The navy blue splashed on top of the orange shmears accompanied by the pink accents.

Even you can’t look away from the visually delicious buffet of the world.

You’re right, there is no difference.


There’s a Difference


Eliasaph Maze Anderson

I want you
Not need you
That’s the difference

If I needed you, I wouldn’t care for you
Carry you
That’s the difference

I wouldn’t feel for you
Feel with you
I’d be bare with you
High with you, not driving by for you
Not being there when you want me to
That’s the difference

If I didn’t want you, my dreams wouldn’t involve you
Our bond wouldn’t be anywhere close to true

That’s the difference


Pay No Mind


Eliasaph Maze Anderson

How can I advert my eyes when you look at me like I am the only one at the bar?
A spotlight emphasizes my importance to you as if you are the only one to take the time to relight my spot on the chandelier.
I sit and stay and stare at the door after you leave me to myself,
Though my tail only flutters for the one I adore.
Clocks will tick, phones won’t ring,
Imagining angels appear in the audience as you sing.
My head drops down to the floor the same way a student sits their head upon their desk

My mind delves into what it deems best.

You pay me no mind like a free month subscription to Spotify premium
Chilling with friends and they ask you, what do you see in him?
You tell them, you don’t know
If you knew then you would care enough not to disrupt the flow
The flow of electricity you and I get to see and lose ourselves to while our souls travel across dimensions to a sanctuary
No one knows
Where I can be alone, but not with you
You may like the view, but nothing else
And it may not be what you’re thinking, but you’re also not speaking
‘Cause you pay me no mind
And it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, yet you’re unable to tell me real quick that you’re feeling broken,
So go away
Or that you’ve been spending time with friends drinkin’
Can’t talk today

I want you to be blunt
Let me know it’s gonna be a few months
So I should sit back and keep smoking my blunts
Have my friends sit me in a corner and place on my head a hat that reads dunce
More than once
Spend the time thinking of how hard I fell for your magic like a romantic for Shakespeare’s tragics
I was warned not to let the idea of you into my bed, is what they said
And if I looked around and listened
I could hear other sweet sounds that make my eyes glisten
And like a clown, I smile
Send you a text and star gaze at the Nile
Check my phone and find my message idle

I could be in a tomb, solving a mystery with Scooby-Doo, unlike the rest of the gang, I’d continue to think, where are you?

Because I refuse to see the clue
Right in front me
I’m unable to set my mind right
But I have to see
‘Cause in hindsight
The thought of you makes my heart bite
Yearning to be held tight
And I get other calls
But I wait for yours
Because I’m patient
And hesitant to close doors
Especially, one so fantastic
It’s authentic, not plastic, I know for sure

Though your impending goodbye scares me
My world is not asunder
Like an Egyptian cat, I’ll shake it off and continue to be legendary
But you pay me no mind and that drifts me to wonder



Where Were We?

Groovy smoothies, gang. It’s finally time for me to get back into the swing of things. I know I haven’t posted much lately, but for good reason. I couldn’t. For the past few months, I couldn’t feel to post anything, if that makes sense. I did write, but all the stuff I wrote, I didn’t like and therefore, had no place out into the world. However, my trip back East taught me plenty of things and being back home added on to that epilogue-teaching-chapter of my life. Now with the start of a new chapter of my life, I have realized that I have a ton of work to do and need to get serious about my life and my life’s work. Well, just a scoch. I’m not a particularly serious person. So, on the road to success, I’ve got plenty of projects that need my attention and many stories to share on this blog. Thank you all who are still reading and giving my writing a chance. Have fun reading part 2 of my Pokemon adventure.

 Pokemon Generation Neo

Episode 1 part 2:

The Escape

Watching from the sidelines as Umbreon and Espeon were about to be tortured made me sick to my stomach. I was powerless. If only I had a Pokémon partner of my own to help them. “Start the procedure, Doctor Sargon!” A man from the balcony above called out. He wore a white suit with a black dress shirt and belt. His hair was spiky and blue and he had the most malevolent grin I have ever seen. Beside him was the girl I saw earlier. The one with the long, black hair. She stood out from everyone else because she was the only one wearing street clothes instead of a uniform. A woman wearing skinny jeans, sandals, and a red and white striped tank top didn’t scream out “Team Rocket” to me. Well, maybe the tank top did, now that I think about it.

The doctor seemed all too happy to turn on the machine. The platform grew yellow and electricity flew from the surface. I’m not an engineer, but I’m pretty sure a machine that spewed electricity wasn’t safe for anyone. The goon carrying my new friends threw them onto the frightening platform one after the other. At first, they tried to run off the stage, but the electric field around them kept them from moving, forcing them to fall to the floor. My heart started to race and my mind flooded with thoughts. I didn’t know what to do. How to save them. My head fell in defeat. “Human. Please…help us,” uttered Espeon. She was still fighting. Struggling to stand up. I felt her determination and my mind flashbacked to the moment I saw her eyes for the first time. Those white pupils and deep purple eyes showed her will. Her strong will to be free. Closing my eyes, I cleared my head of everything except for one thought. Saving Pokémon.

Surveying the room, I came up with a few strategies. My first plan was to get to the controls and shutdown the machine. There were less people on that side of the room, so there wouldn’t be much interference. Before I put my plans into motion, I took pictures of the moment with my Pokégear. “Hey! What are you doing over there?!” I looked back at one of the security guards talking into his earpiece. Probably alerting his pals.

“Snapcakes,” I sighed. Nothing was going my way. I had to act before it was too late. The guard was headed towards me, yelling out “intruder.” Will he shut up? He’s blowing my cover, I thought. I saw as many of the people in the experiment room were looking my way, some started running towards me as well. “Well, screw it. Here I go,” I said as I dashed into the room. Headed straight for the control panel.

“Capture that intruder!” screamed the doctor at the controls. The mad scientist’s glasses shook as he moved and his long, brown hair, which was tied up, whipped around the air. He knew exactly what I was trying to do. He stared me right in the eyes as his face darkened, glasses glared and his smirk turned into a sinister smile. That pissed me off so much I wanted to punch that guy right in his stupid face. Unfortunately, I had to take a raincheck on that because the doc and the control panel were guarded by over a dozen Team Rocket stooges. And I was more than halfway there. I had to switch to plan B. I pivoted to the left side of the room, going after the crystal on the front of the huge platform. Which also wasn’t possible because there were numerous Rattata, Arbok, and Zubat blocking my path along the platform to the other side of the room.

“Fine, then. Plan C it is,” I muttered to myself. As I slowed down, it felt like the entire world slowed down even more. Like I entered a plane of existence where everything was in slow motion. My adrenaline kept pumping and I could hear my heart beating through invisible headphones. Left, right, all paths were taken up except for one. I tripped as I veered left toward the stage. I knew what was coming. The field of electrical sparks bouncing across the stage. Too late to turn back.

It only took one foot after leaping onto the stage to make me strongly regret my decision. Before my foot even connected to the physical surface of the platform, a few million volts of electricity ran up my leg and spread throughout my body. The shock paralyzed me for a second and I slowly began to fall backwards until I realized that the pain I was feeling was miniscule compared to the pain Umbreon and Espeon was feeling at the center. Compared to what their entire family had to endure for who knew how long.

Forcing my body to move forward, I could feel the jolts burn my skin. The rhythm of my heart picked up tempo and I continued to run across the platform. I wanted to scream in agony, but kept my mouth sealed. If I screamed, I would have been giving in to the pain and showed Espeon that I was too weak to keep my promise to her. However, I couldn’t keep running. I was starting to collapse. I looked at my friends and saw Umbreon glare at me. I couldn’t talk to him like I could with Espeon, but when our eyes locked, I felt like there were no need for words. Everything that needed to be said was obvious. Umbreon looked up at the ceiling and back towards me. I knew I didn’t have enough energy to escape, so I gave my body one more push towards the black fox.

While Umbreon struggled to pick himself up, I scooped him into my right arm and quickly twirled to my left and thrust him into the air. My body collapsed onto the stage, letting the electricity eat away at me. Exhausted, the tempo of my heart slowed and my eyesight blurred. The last thing image I witnessed was Umbreon pounding the stage with a glowing tail and broken bits of the platform flying into the air.

When I opened my eyes a moment later, everyone was in a panic. The platform I was on was shattered and on fire. The personnel were putting out the fire on the control panel while others were clearing out the rubble from the damaged wall next to the stage. They tried to salvage what was left of the damaged computers and other machinery. I stood up, Espeon beside me. “You alright?” She nodded. Suddenly, Umbreon came out of the smoke cloud in front of us with the crystal from the pedestal peeping from his mouth. However, it was different. The crystal glowed from red and purple to black and yellow. He placed the crystal in my hand. It felt…warm and pleasant. I could tell that it had a ton of power inside of it. As I stared at it, my mind went blank and all I wanted to do was look at the shifting colors.

“Snap out of it, human.” Espeon nudged my leg, breaking my concentration. “We need to leave right now.” I noticed her eyes weren’t blue as she spoke.

“Pull yourself together, idiot, before we get caught again.” That was a new voice. A male voice. Umbreon’s voice. Why was I able to hear him? His eyes didn’t change color either. I nodded to them. As we reached the entrance to the hallway, the woman with the black hair walked into our path. A Buneary creeped from behind her leg. Now that we were on the same ground, I realized how short she was. Her height almost made her serious look laughable. Almost.

“That crystal belongs to Team Rocket,” said the woman. I looked at the jewel in my hand and back at her.

“Yea, I don’t think so. Finders keepers and all that.” I was not letting them have that crystal no matter what.

“Foolish boy. So be it.” She spoke with such nonchalance.


“Buneary, use high jump kick,” the girl said, barely audible. The little brown bunny vanished from the area. Espeon and I looked around and couldn’t find it.

“From above!” Umbreon warned us. From wherever he was hiding. We looked up and caught the tiny hairball falling toward us with one leg extended. I had my hands on my knees to keep me standing and my eyes swirled. I knew I had to move, but my body wouldn’t act. Buneary’s attack would have landed on my face if Espeon hadn’t leaped in front of me to counter the move with her iron tail.

Unfortunately, she was also too weak to give it her all and the force of the kick was too much for her to handle. She was knocked back and flew towards me. I caught her in my arms and we both flew to the ground. Espeon was unconscious. Her eyes looked like poorly drawn spirals. My eyes felt as heavy as bricks. I failed. My body was battered and bruised and my head felt like it was being pounded by a Donphan.

The girl walked so close to my face that all I could make out were her legs. She knelt down and shook her head. “That was the most pathetic battle I have ever seen,” she complained, “not even worth being called a battle.” She plucked the stone from my hand and stood back up. “Take these losers to the cells,” she ordered a few grunts as she walked away. I wanted to reach out to stop her from leaving or call out to her, but my body wouldn’t let me. The exhaustion washed over me and I drifted into darkness.

“Maze…Maze, wake up. Maze!”

            “Espeon?” I said as my eyes slowly opened to a space surrounded by metal bars. I felt the cold and rough surface of a wall on my back. My body still ached like I spent a few hours lifting and then had the dumbest idea to go on a hike. My clothes were torn and singed. Espeon laid beside me with concern on her face. Her fur was sullied with grime and burn marks. She turned her head to a figure standing on the other side of the bars.

“The idiot’s finally awake,” said the short woman with a serious attitude problem. Really, what was her deal?

“I wouldn’t say ‘idiot,’ more like ‘concerned citizen’,” I replied.

“You’re a complete dumbass. Thinking that you can just walk in here and stop a Team Rocket operation by yourself? You don’t even have any Pokémon. You’re not even a trainer. You’re more than just a dumbass. You’re pathetic and weak, too.” The woman scoffed at me like I was a waste of her time. My head fell down in shame. Ouch. That was harsh, but she wasn’t wrong. I was a dumbass. Always have been, my friends can verify that. As for being pathetic and weak. Couldn’t deny it. I’m not particularly good at anything and not as smart as most of my friends, but I am capable, so I’m not all that pathetic.

“Wow, you profiled me pretty well,” I laughed. Staring her right in the eyes I told her, “Sure, I may be weak and pathetic…and an idiot and I won’t officially be a trainer until tomorrow, however, I make up for those things by learning, obtaining new skills, and making friends I can rely on wherever I go. Isn’t that right, Espeon?” I winked at my battered friend. I knew Umbreon was around here somewhere just waiting for his moment to free us. Actually, I didn’t. I had no idea where that asshat went, but I knew he’d have to come back for us at some point.

“Pokémon as friends?” She gave a soft chuckle. “Don’t make me laugh.” I think I just did, I thought. “Pokémon are nothing but tools. A means to an end to resolve human conflict. They’re nothing but slaves to humankind and just like how humans don’t give a damn about Pokémon, they don’t give a damn about us.” She folded her arms and gave an unyielding stare just waiting for me to challenge her beliefs.

“How could you say that? Aren’t you a trainer? Do you not care about your own Pokémon? It’s because of them that this world is a more peaceful place and that more people are free of pain and suffering.” I was distraught. I couldn’t wrap my head around how she could say such things. Her Buneary peeked from behind her leg. Its face full of disappointment. The little furball confirmed its trainer’s feelings on Pokémon relations. And by the way that lady had talked to and treated her Pokémon, their relationship was purely master and subordinate, nothing more.

“What do you know of pain?” Her eyebrows furrowed, her mouth clenched, and her fiery eyes stared me down. “You don’t even know what real life is like! How cruel and heartless it can be! You’ve been protected in this quiet and cushy town all your life and never had to face the terrors outside your little bubble. I know pain. I’ve lived with it my whole life! Pain and suffering is all there is in this world and it will continue to prosper whether Pokémon exist or not!” And with that said, she walked away.

“Wait.” I said softly with a bit of anger in my voice. “Who are you?”

She stopped and said, “like that’s any of your business,” and walked out the room. Buneary remained in front of the cage, staring at me. I smiled at it so it wouldn’t worry. “Buneary, let’s go!” The trainer shouted from the hallway. The scruffy rabbit jumped up out of sight. It dropped a card on the floor in front of the cell as it ran off. I had the look of someone who heard a joke they didn’t understand. Espeon had the same look. We couldn’t explain why, but our captor just gave us the I.D. card we needed to escape. Surprisingly, the card had the angry trainer’s photo on it. Apparently, her name was Breanna Gushiken and was twenty-two years old. We shrugged it off. Espeon used Psychic to surround the card in a blue energy and lift it off the ground. It floated to the card slot on the cage door and inserted itself, unlocking the door. Using the card, I unlocked all the other cells, freeing the entire Eevee family. They all kept their distance from me, except for Espeon. She tried to reassure them that I could be trusted, but she only calmed them down slightly. They weren’t as tense around me, but they still watched me with fear as they followed me through the facility. We snuck through each corridor to try and reach the upper floor. Suddenly, I felt a presence coming from around the corner.

“Do you feel that, Maze?” It was like Espeon and I were on the same wavelength.

“Yea, I do.” I stopped for a moment. “Wait. How do you know my name? I never told you what it was.” She just smiled at me. Her eyes turned blue.

“I do not know, however, it is nice to refer to you as something other than, ‘human’.”

“This day keeps getting weirder and weirder. Even for me.” The figure that made my vibes act up got closer. I felt like my lungs were building up pressure. As Umbreon approached us, I let out a huge sigh. “Finally. Where have you been?” He completely dismissed me and spoke to Espeon instead. “You irk me,” I told him. He looked up at me and nodded his head down the hall he just came through. He led all of us to a bright, white room full of crystals on their respective pedestals. They all had the same oval shape, but each one held a different color. Some, were fiery red, others were leaf green, or ice blue. Some were just broken into pieces with no life in them at all. These had to be the results of the experiments, but what they were for, I had no idea.

“Maze, look!” called Espeon. She had found the purple and black crystal from earlier inside a glass case. Even through the glass I could feel a connection to it. Unlike the other crystals, that one glowed more prominently and it drew me towards it. Umbreon and Espeon also felt the call as we stared into the glass.

“Hey! You shouldn’t be in here!” One of the flunkies found us. He spooked the Pokémon so much that Leafeon grew sharp leaves from its body and flung them in a barrage at the guard, sending him flying out of the room. Another flunky peeked into the room.

“Code red! The prisoner and the test subjects have escaped. I repeat, the- Aaaghhh!” His message was interrupted as Glaceon hurled chunks of ice at him. Both of the terrorists were knocked unconscious in the hall.

“We gotta go now!” I shouted. Red lights flashed everywhere and a loud alarm siren came on. If we didn’t leave right then we were goners. Crack! I turned to find that Umbreon had broken open the case the glowing crystal was in. “Seriously!?” He shrugged at me is if to say, “What? I wanted it.” I just shook my head. “Whatever, let’s just go.” It took longer than expected to get to the ground floor because of all the Team Rocket goons that tried to get in our way. They didn’t consider the fact that Espeon’s siblings would attack them without hesitation. Shadow balls, pink gusts of wind, streams of fire and water, and many more attacks made the narrow hallways into dangerous battlegrounds. On the upper floor, many of the scientists were already evacuating with as much paper work, computer hard drives, and lab experiment tools that they could carry. A row of guards with their Zubats and Rattata were waiting in the huge lobby. The room was still full of rubble and had a huge hole in the wall. We turned to face the front entrance, but more men and women and their Pokémon ran up to block our escape. Umbreon handed me the crystal, knowing we’d have to fight our way out. He crouched lower to the ground, ready to pounce. As soon as I touched the jewel, I felt my whole body vibrate. It was like I drank five energy drinks. My body was rejuvenated and on high alert. Umbreon, Espeon and I faced the opponents in the lobby while their siblings prepared to take on the blockade behind us.

“I’m ready when you are, Maze,” Espeon said.

“I will fight with you,” Umbreon growled. As I repositioned my beanie and rolled up my jacket sleeves, I announced calmly and with confidence,

“Alright, gang. Let’s give them hell.”

“Espeon dodge and use psychic! Umbreon stand your ground, then use payback!” Espeon sidestepped from a barrage of yellow orbs and hit Zubat with a mental blast, dropping it to the ground. confuse ray? Seriously? I hate that move. Not far away, Umbreon took the brunt of a Rattata’s tackle. As he stood their absorbing the hit, a purple aura surrounded his body. He dashed straight for the Rattata and hit it right on its side. The purple rat laid unconscious a few feet from where it was hit.

“Return!” The goons said simultaneously. The Pokémon were absorbed by red beams and went back into their Pokéballs.

“You’ll pay for this, punk!” Proclaimed one of the terrorists.

“You’re going down next time!” Chimed in one of the others as they all ran away. Finally, the path to both exits were clear. We caused such a mess that the entire facility was falling down around us. Flames were engulfing everything from the ground to the crumbling ceiling and explosions were consistent. It looked too dangerous to escape through the lobby with even more risk to get caught in the blaze and stopped by even more people, so we ran towards the entrance.

“Use shadow ball!” I heard a woman’s voice shout from behind. The already fragile ceiling crumbled down in front of the doors to the outside. Umbreon, Espeon, and I stopped before the debris crushed us while the other Pokémon were lucky enough to get out just in time. I turned toward our pursuer. She was a bit shaken up. Clothes were a little singed and had a few cuts on her arms and legs, but she was well enough to want to fight some more.

“This woman sure is persistent,” Umbreon said.

            “I like her admiration, but she is really starting to annoy me,” Espeon said with a sigh. Their voices were in my head, but neither of them were using the move, psychic. I looked at the crystal in my jacket pocket. It was glowing brighter than before. As if I turned it “on” somehow.

I think she just really hates me, I thought. That time the two could hear me.

“I doubt that’s the only reason,” Espeon reassured.

“I believe it.” Said Umbreon.

“I hate you so much, kid.” Bre heaved as she stopped at the end of the hall.

            What I say?

“You have got to be kidding me.” Espeon looked at me.

“You have thwarted Team Rocket’s plans plenty for one lifetime! Because of you, our research is set back by months! Now, I’ll be taking back that stone and neither you nor your little friends will leave this place alive!” That chick was angry for sure, but she still showed little expression in her face. As if it was normal for her.

“Let’s take her out,” Umbreon said.

“Nope. Espeon and I got this. Isn’t that right?” I looked down at her with a smile on my face. She smiled back.

“This time, we’re gonna win.” Umbreon saw the fire in our eyes and sat patiently beside me.

“You actually think you two can beat me? You’re both so weak. You had no chance against me before, do you actually think you’ll defeat me now? You’re not even a trainer.” Bre spoke with confidence. She overestimated me and Espeon and that’s what we were gonna exploit in order to win. I knew Espeon knew exactly what I was thinking and was on board with my plan. “Fine then. Buneary, destroy them. Use high jump kick.” Buneary was a blur the next instant. I laughed.

“You think we’d be defeated so easily by the same trick as before?! Give us some credit! Espeon, iron tail!” Espeon nodded and jumped into the air. Her tail turned from purple fur to a shiny metallic skin. She swung her tail and made contact with the sole of Buneary’s foot. The impact caused the air around them to waver, causing the flames to flutter. For a second, it looked like Espeon was being pushed back by Buneary, but she put more force into her tail and pushed her opponent back to the other side of the hallway. Bre furrowed her brow, displeased.

“Go! Use quick attack!” she ordered. Her partner moved so fast that it was hard to keep track as it bounced side to side, moving closer.

“Let’s move, Espeon.” She immediately sprang toward the yellow and brown ball of fluff. She was even faster than I imagined. She moved so fast, she left split second after images behind. Buneary stopped in fear when Espeon appeared right in front of it. The bunny was head-butted right in the gut and was sent flying towards her baffled master.

“Get up, you weakling! Get up and fight, right now!” Her injured and tired Buneary struggled to its feet. “How is this possible? A novice like you?”

“Who told you I was a novice? I know I didn’t,” I laughed. “My parents have been teaching me how to battle since I was a kid. I train with their Pokémon all the time. That and the fact that Espeon is just a kick ass partner.” Espeon glanced back at me with a smile. Bre’s face did not look as cheerful. Her eyes burst into flames themselves. “You may have beaten us last time, but we’re fighting at full strength this time around. And you underestimating us doesn’t help you either.” I protected the back of my head as an explosion went off right behind me. I didn’t realize it until then, but the pathway behind Bre was almost completely engulfed in flames and blocked by debris. “Look! We don’t have any more time to waste! All of us are going to die here!” The girl lowered her head.

“It doesn’t matter, Team Rocket will never be defeated. My life is of no consequence. At least I’ll be free of the pain once and for all.” I couldn’t believe what she was blabbing on about. As if she’s been waiting to die all this time. Well, I wasn’t ready to die and I wasn’t going to let her die either.

“Screw you!” She looked up at me. “You’re not dying here and neither are the rest of us! Not before I live out my dreams, dammit!” I was motivated. Nothing was going to stand in my way now. “And what about this!?” I asked as I held up the stone. You’re just gonna give up on it?! Just like that?!” Another explosion went off right behind Bre.

“Of course not. The organization will take that from your corpse later.” Snapcakes, that’s just messed up, I thought.

“Really now? Well, they can’t do that if there is no stone to get, can they?” I dropped the stone on the ground and smashed it with my foot. That dumbfounded look on the woman’s face gave me pleasure, however, it didn’t last long for I became dumbfounded myself. The power within the stone burst out and spread through the air like an aurora borealis that shifted in colors matching Umbreon and Espeon. We stood in awe. After a moment, the enigmatic energy found new homes by forcing itself inside of Umbreon, Espeon, and myself. The force of the event made us kneel on the ground. I was groggy for a moment, but started to regain my awareness. I couldn’t feel Umbreon or Espeon’s presence in my head anymore, nor could I hear their voices. My body felt heavier and sorer than a moment ago.

“You idiot! Without the power from the stone you’ll never win! And now the organization has nothing to further its research!” Glasses regained her vivacity. “I’m fed up with your stupidity. I’ll end you here and now! Buneary, finish this with shadow ball!” Buneary was hesitant. It looked deeply upset. “Now!” Buneary focused and made a sphere of black energy. It let the ball fly once it locked on to me. Not two seconds later an explosion erupted right beside the pair and was about to swallow them both. Espeon jumped into the path of the black orb. I didn’t want her to get hurt anymore, I couldn’t let her. I also had to save Bre and her Buneary. The rage of everyone dying at that moment and failing to keep my promise to save Umbreon and Espeon built up inside of me. I was not going to fail!

“Espeon! Use icy wind!” Without hesitation, she spewed a gust of chilled air from her mouth. It was so powerful that the move knocked the shadow ball backwards and exploded in front of the already oncoming explosion. The shadow ball combined with the might of the chilly wind contained the blast in a smaller radius. The duo got knocked unconscious by the aftershock. Unfortunately, the cold air didn’t reach past the hallway. The flames were too close for comfort and gave off a boiling heat that made my body start to melt and caused my blurry vision to increase as I walked towards the hole in the wall. Espeon did her best to move any troublesome rubble in our path, so that I wouldn’t trip and drop Bre. She was asleep in my arms with my jacket covering her to keep her from being burnt or suffocate from the smoke. Umbreon trudged behind me with Buneary lying on his back. Each step was harder to make as my energy dropped. When we get out of here, I am gonna drink so much water. And eat. I am starving. Bre shifted in my arms, removing my jacket from her face. As her eyes slowly opened, she asked me,


“You’re gonna have to be specific,” I told her. I knew exactly what she meant. She struggled to speak due to her exhaustion.

“Why…are you saving…me? You have…no reason to.”

“I have no reason to let you die either.” I looked at her and gave the best smile I could. “And you were in my way when I tried to get out, so it was easier to just bring you along.”

“I…hate you.” She said weakly. Oh, so that she can say, but not a simple “thank you” or something?

            As we finally stepped through the hole to the outside world I told her, “You know, you don’t have to die to get rid of the pain. You should live and figure out how to eradicate the suffering in your life. Buneary has been trying to help you for a while. How about letting her?” When I looked down, Bre’s eyes were closed. After setting the pair in the grass far from the destroyed facility, Umbreon, Espeon and I headed towards New Bark Town guided by the light of the beautiful full moon. I’m not sure, if Bre heard me or not, though, it didn’t matter. I knew she’d figure it out sooner or later. At least, that’s what I hoped. What made her so heartless and reserved in the first place? Who knew?

“What was that all about?” Espeon asked. She wore a face of concern.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “Just some crap I learned years ago.” We sat on a hill closer to town with a view of the burning Team Rocket hideout. The police had shown up with a bunch of firefighters and emergency medical personnel. As the firefighters and their water Pokémon tried to tame the fire, some policemen shuffled cuffed Team Rocket members into armed trucks. I heard shuffling grass from behind me. I watched as brown, pointy ears popped up from the grass. Eevee and its siblings had found us at last. Umbreon and Espeon basked in joy with their family. They jumped up and down, ran around, and petted each other’s faces. I smiled as I sat a few feet away. While they were having fun, I decided to slip away into the night. I walked all the way down the hill and was on my way to town when Espeon roared from behind me. Albeit, a weak roar, but a roar nonetheless. She ran up to me with everyone else close behind.

“Why are you leaving? I still haven’t thanked you for all that you have done for us.” Her glowing, blue eyes almost hid a looming tear. I knelt down.

“There’s no need to say anything. I was just passing through, that’s all. And you and your family are free now. You can head back home, you don’t need me anymore.” I wiped the tear from her scruffy, smoke covered face. She nestled her face against my palm.

“I don’t want to leave. Not yet. You’re the first human in so long that I have learned to trust and respect and I want to stay with you for a while.” My eyes widened. Umbreon sat beside his sister and nodded towards me as if to say, “me too.”

“You both want to travel with me?” They nodded. “But why?”

Because you said you wanted to live out your dreams, correct? Well, you helped us live out ours, so we’ll help you with yours.” Espeon smirked. With a huge smile, I hugged them both.

“I’d like nothing more than two have you around.” I looked at Umbreon and scoffed. “He can come too, I guess.” He just scoffed back. “What about all of you?” I asked the Eevee clan.

“They’re going back home, but they wanted to give you a gift to say thanks, first.” Espeon said. Eevee held a rectangular box in its mouth. I accepted it and opened the mystery box. I laughed when I saw the two colorful stones inside with a note that said, “To Professor Elm.” All of this for this stupid box. I will never do another favor for the doc, ever again.

The three of us said our goodbyes and trekked home as soon as Umbreon and Espeon’s family ran off into the woods. Returning to the place they call home.

Explaining what happened to my parents was difficult and not fun in the slightest. I kept out some things like the encounters with Bre and the fact that I almost died that night. Needless to say they were furious and worried and all those annoying parental feelings that kids just never want to deal with. They did take a liking to my new partners, which was great. They also gifted me with a new Pokégear to replace the one I lost in the fire. By two in the morning, the events of the last several hours had dissipated and life was back to normal. Umbreon, Espeon, and I were all cleaned up, fed, and were enjoying the peaceful sounds of the night out on the lawn. “Well, you two, it’s time we officially became partners,” I told them while holding two red and white Pokéballs in my hands. Looks of approval filled their grinning faces. They nudged the balls with their heads, letting themselves be absorbed inside them. I waited patiently as the balls shook in my hands. Shake one. The red light of the button turned on. Shake two. I was even closer to catching not one, but two Pokémon. Time seemed to slow down tremendously. Those few seconds seemed to have lasted a lifetime. Shake three. The red light turned off, the ball made a clicking sound, and it remained still. Uhh, did it work? I think it worked. Kinda anti-climactic, though. I was expecting tiny fireworks to pop out or some tiny virtual stars would come out. “I choose you,” I said and Umbreon and Espeon landed safely onto the ground in front of me.

“From this point on, we will protect each other, and always be with one another no matter what. Agreed?” Espeon vowed.

“You betcha,” I replied. Umbreon shrugged. As we gazed up at the moon, my face unconsciously smirked as I thought of all the amazing adventures we’d have in the near future.