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The sun was going down behind the hills, faster with every passing second, and my pokemon and I were heading out soon. We were going to Trainer Hill, a place in Hoenn where I could test me and my pokemon’s wits. My family thought I was crazy for going into the desert; many reports were on the Buzznav lately talking about a huge storm that would hit and continue through the morning. I refused to quit, knowing that my pokemon and I wouldn’t get there until a couple days later if we did.                                           

    I packed what little I had in Mauville and headed out of the area. Kip, my Mudkip, was bouncing behind me. As we entered route 111, we had just enough light to at least go halfway. I was upset at the fact that we would have to stop for the night but I wanted to get there sooner than later. We pressed on through the irritable sand.  Soon enough, the sky ran dark and the wind gradually picked up pace, carrying loose pebbles with it. I was shielding my eyes, trying to pick up Kip. I tucked her under my vest. Only the whooshing sound of wind rattled in my ears, yet I kept trudging through the harsh conditions. Shadows loomed on the ground and rocks, the sandy haze tricking my brain as if something was there.

   Something was there. I was growing more tired with every footstep, and my legs felt as if on fire. I kept hearing the howling wind and finally another noise I could not identify. It sounded like scratching, shifting through the sand in slow dragging movements.  Whatever it was, it was alive. My eyes were wild with fear as I hastily looked around me. Any one of the shadows I saw terrified me, when the first one disappeared. I turned around and saw nothing but the blinding veil of sand surrounding the desert. My heart lurched as I thought I saw the slightest of movements from any shadow. I sprinted, not caring that the sand and other debris were batting at my sore cheeks. I could barely make out an outline of a rock structure and I started running to it. I stopped at the rock and turned around. It was there…

     Kip jumped down from my vest and started to say her name in a low voice. More of them…  I was so tired, and I felt as though I could not move. I backed against the rock and my legs gave way. Quickly taking out my pokedex, I scanned one of their faces.

“Cacturne, the scarecrow pokemon. If a traveler is going through a desert in the thick of night, Cacturne will follow in a ragtag group. The Pokémon are biding their time, waiting for the traveler to tire and become incapable of moving.”

  I froze in place for a few moments. Fear gripped my soul and I started to shiver. I glanced at Kip and she was shaking too. She still was growling, but backing up as the Cacturne advanced. I took out my other pokeball and called out Alpha my Poochyena. I looked up to see the strange pokemon’s faces, and noticed there horrid grin that signified that something tonight was going to die. From what I could see, there were about eight of them. Of course I knew, my pokemon wouldn’t stand a chance.

“Alpha, use Fire Fang! Kip, use Whirlpool!”

They did as they were told…but that damaged them severely and something told me they knew that. My Poochyena used Fire Fang on the nearest Cacturne. The green monster winced in pain and then glared hungrily at Alpha. Kip used whirlpool and some of the Cacturne shot back a few feet away. My pokemon were hitting them with every move they could, but it wasn’t enough.

     Thorns were hurled everywhere as most of them used Spikes and Needle Arm. They dug into my teams flesh, and mine as well. The sandstorm got worse. My team was visibly in pain, and Alpha fell to the ground being battered by the sand. One of the Cacturne whacked his arm on my Poochyena, and Alpha stuck to him. The yelp Alpha made out was agonizing and slow. With all the strength I could muster, I got up and struggled to run after him. I screamed at the monsters, tears pouring down my face.  As Kip was holding to her own, I saw the Cacturne slowly shift away with Alpha dead on one of its arms. Another Cacturne stepped in front of me and I backed up immediately. Kip was next…  Over and over the Cacturne used Absorb and Leech Seed. Kip was right by my side now, struggling to stay standing. She used one last whirlpool before crashing into the dust. I hugged Kip tightly. I would never let her die. The Cacturne circled around me. I couldn’t feel my legs, arms, or my thoughts.  They used poison sting relentlessly. I could feel myself growing numb and sick to my stomach. The poison was coursing through my body. I couldn’t fight it anymore. I had to let go. So I did.

     I woke up in the Pokemon Center in the next couple of days. Nurse Joy was standing next to me, taking my temperature. When she saw me open my eyes, she smiled sullenly.

“Hello Addison,” She had said, “Do you remember what happened?”

“Yes,” I replied,” I remember going through the desert with Alpha and Kip….and then suddenly a group of Cacturne started to attack us.”

I winced in pain. I remembered the poison.

“We did find you with your Mudkip, but no sign of another pokemon.” Joy said apologetically.

     Nurse Joy explained how I was found near a nest of some sort, with big flesh wounds. Kip happened to find her pokeball in my bag and after eating some oran berries in the small carry-on, she put herself in the sanctuary of her pokeball. Kip was alive, but severely scarred and disabled. Joy put her in my arms and left the room. Kip snuggled up against me. Slowly my vision grew hazy and I rolled over on the hospital bed, clinging to Kip. I closed my eyes and waited for sleep to arrive.

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