I am sure you heard how much a Slowpoke's tail can cost. The most expensive thing, right? Well, you're dead wrong. The most expensive thing… is a tail of a Ninetales'.
Now why don't you settle into that chair, and listen to the tale of a fool who tried to get a tail from Ninetales…
The sun was shining, and all was well. Seemed like a nice day for an average person to go out for a walk, or train their Pokemon. But Shawn wasn't an average person. Shawn was one of the best item collector out there, who collected things for his clients. A Togepi's egg shell, a tuft of a Clefairy's fur, a jewel from a Sableye… You name it, he would get it.
However, this was the first time Shawn was requested to get the tail of a Ninetales. Shawn would just have to do what he did best- collecting it.
The man trudged onwards, pushing aside the grass that blocked his way. According to his client, Ninetales lived in grasslands, like this. Shawn pulled out a sharp knife, smirking as he looked for a flash of golden fur. He was probably the first to take a Ninetales' tail- and without using any Pokemon, too.
In the middle of a clearing, Shawn finally found what he was looking for. A Ninetales. The Ninetales had already heard him, and was gazing at him with disdainful eyes. Shawn edged nearer, grinning in a sadistic way. "You have so many tails. Surely you can spare me one," the man purred, gripping his knife tightly.
The Ninetales seemed to know what was going on, narrowing its red eyes in suspicion. Shawn took that moment to lunge, his hand reaching for a golden tail that was twitching. "Yes!" he roared in triumph, as he managed to grab the tail.
That was the worst-and last- mistake Shawn made in his life.
The Ninetales' eyes gleamed as Shawn's grip was wrenched away from the tail. The area around him turned pitch-black, leaving only him and the Pokemon. The Ninetales opened its mouth, and spoke in flawless English, "You touched one of my tails. You will repent." There was a pause as Shawn listened to the Pokemon's words. "I hit me head on the wall," Shawn chuckled to himself. "It's just some bloody illusion…"
The Ninetales smiled, its white teeth glinting. "A thousand years you will repent," she hissed, "And with the first hundred will be with heartbreak." Shawn blinked, as the Ninetales spoke. What was it with this illusion? He expected to wake up in the Pokemon center any moment now, not standing here listening to this stupid Pokemon's words!
But at that moment, Shawn felt an enormous pain, like somebody was stabbing him repeatedly. The pain wasn't physical either. The pain struck deep into his heart, making it feel empty and hollow. The Ninetales smirked as Shawn crumpled onto the ground. "Ninety-nine years, three hundred and sixty-four days, twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes and thirty seconds left," she said slowly, enjoying the look of pain on Shawn's face.
Shawn sat in this empty void, never knowing how much time had passed. The pain struck him again and he whimpered. How long left? Shawn asked himself every time a wave of pain struck him. There was a soft pad of pawsteps, as the Ninetales who cursed his life appeared again. "One tenth of the total has been repented," the Pokemon observed, "The next tenth will be with fear."
So, it was in this fashion, that Shawn "repented" for goodness knows what sin he had done. Shawn sat on the ground like a shivering wreck, waiting until the curse had passed.
Shawn was punished, until nine tenths of the curse had passed. That was when Ninetales appeared, looking especially pleased. "You are free to leave," the tailed Pokemon told him, "You have one hundred years left to live before I kill you in the worst possible way."
That last hundred years had been the worst of Shawn's life, living everyday with the dread that he would be killed soon. That he was just like a prisoner before execution…
The Ninetales appeared before him on his last day, its eyes staring into his. The red eyes mesmerized him, urging him to walk. Walk forward, just a little more… The eyes seemed to soothe Shawn's every worry, and he obeyed without question.
Until Shawn found out where he was going.
Shawn was in front of a hole in the ground. It was filled with many Ninetales and Vulpixes, all eyeing him with hunger in their eyes. Tip forward. The eyes urged him, and Shawn hesistated for a short moment. The man leaned forward, allowing gravity to drop him down into the hole. There was the pain of teeth sinking into Shawn's flesh, before Shawn's one thousand year curse ended.
Now, now… Do you want to collect a Ninetales' tail?