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Viv and her Pokémon, Lilly the Lillipup, were walking down the forest path. Viv was just returning from her friend Max’s house. “Come on, Lilly, its getting dark. We need to hurry up.” It was getting dark. Viv had never been away from home this long. Her parents must be getting worried.

Viv had forgotten her PokeGear back at her house, so she couldn’t call her parents. Just then, Viv heard some rustling from behind a bush.

“Who’s there?”

From behind the bush popped out a Pokémon. It had white fur, with a black horn and feet. “I’ve never seen that Pokémon before.” Said Viv.

She grabbed her PokeDex, which informed her that it was an Absol. It also told her that it showed itself when there was trouble nearby. Of course she ignored it. All she could think of was that the Absol would make a great pet.

“Lilly, use Tackle!”

But Lilly didn’t tackle the Absol. It was shivering in fear. “Lilly, use tackle!” Viv said again, frustrated that Lilly wasn’t listening to her, and oblivious to the fact that Lilly was terrified for some reason.

The Absol fled. “Aw, come on Lilly, I wanted that Pokémon!” She turned to Lilly, only to find she had disappeared. “Lilly..?”

Lilly had vanished without a trace. “Lilly… Don’t scare me like this! Come back!”

But Lilly did not return.

Viv was all alone. In the dark, spooky forest.

She continued to walk home, hoping that Lilly had run home and she would see her there. While she was walking, she started to think.

She had started to notice that some kids in her school had gone missing in the past month. The bodies had not been found. They had just… Vanished. Just like Lilly.

She began to cry. A silent cry, more inside then out. But crying nonetheless. She had not notice another Pokémon approach her. It was a Phantump. It got her attention by nudging her head.

“What do you want?” Viv snapped. The Phantump was startled, and ran into the heart of the woods. For some reason, Viv followed it.

***

Back at Viv’s house, her parents were worried. Very worried. When Lilly had returned home, but not followed by Viv, they thought the worst. The father kept calm, and convinced the mother to wait a little longer before calling Officer Jenny.

***

Viv wanted to stop following the Phantump. But she didn’t. She did not know why, just knew she missed her parents, and couldn’t imagine how much they missed her.

The Phantump had disappeared, so she started to go home. But she realized she had no idea where home was. She was lost. In a forest. Alone.

All alone.

She started walking, not knowing where to go. She did not remember the forest ever being this big, ever being this far in.

All of a sudden, she heard a snap of a twig.

She stumbled backwards, tripped on a tree root, and fell, and her head hit a rock.

She did not pass out, but felt a great pain.

Viv then heard a loud but soft and commanding voice.

“You have trespassed on our part of the forest. For that you must pay…”

Pain seared throughout Viv. She could not move, couldn’t even see. The last thing she remembered was seeing a flaming thing, probably a Pokémon, but she couldn’t even tell. From what she saw, she didn’t think it was even a Pokémon. Then all went black.

***

She woke up. She did not feel any pain, nor remember much of last night. All she thought at the moment was that it was day.

“My parents will be worried! They will KILL me when I get home!”

Viv started walking. She somehow knew this direction would lead her to her home. After about 10 minutes of walking, but what felt like an hour, she saw her house.

“Mom, Dad, I’m home!”

No reply. “No worries,” Viv thought, “They probably are still sleeping.

Viv knocked at the door. “Hello? Anyone home?”

Finally, her little brother Nick answered the door.

“Hi Nick, I’m home!”

Instead of answering, Nick just stared at her. Then he said “Cool! Mom, Dad, a Pokémon is knocking at the door!”

“Nick, I’m not a Pokémon, I’m your sister! Now let me in!

It was at that moment when Viv realized that her speaking didn’t sound familiar. She knew what she was saying, but when she talked, all that came out was “Tump!”

She realized that she really WAS a Pokémon. But how was that possible? She ran away from home before her Mother and Father saw her like this.

She still had a PokeDex, so she turned it on, at least to see what Pokémon she had become.

Phantump, the Stump Pokémon. According to old tales, these Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest…

***

Back at home, Viv’s mother and father had called Officer Jenny. She never found Viv, and no body was found either. Lilly had also run away. No one ever fed Lilly except Viv. She was starved.

Viv’s parents put up signs to try and find Viv.

The signs said “Lost girl. Please call if you see her.”

No one ever saw her.

No one ever called.

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