What do you do…

When you are forgotten?

I’m just another Pokémon freak. I’m 16 and can name every Pokémon up to the third generation. I used to play it almost daily until I was hit with depression. At this point my whole life was in chaos, my school grades were extremely low, I was struggling to get out of the house, even just to hang out with friends, and my job was at risk. I spent most of my time playing video games or just sitting, daydreaming. It was my method of escaping from reality. I rarely ever did homework, or studied for tests, and would rarely ever get good night’s sleep. I had nightmares, and lots of them. I would wake up several times throughout the night, sometimes crying. I would usually end up crying myself back to sleep. One night, after coming home from work, I found that I just couldn’t sleep. What I did not know was my depression would only get worse.

I remember that night. It wasn’t unusual, there weren’t any thunderstorms, there was no power outage, nothing. Just another dark, scary night. I hadn’t thought much of it, as a matter of fact I didn’t think of that night at all. That night in particular my internet was down. My dad had taken our modem in for repairs, since it hadn’t been working for a couple days. I was stripped off the computer, since there wasn’t much I could do without internet, and my iPod was charging. Bored out of my mind, and tired from watching TV all day, I decided to pick up my old DS. There wasn’t a game in it at the time, more than likely my brother had taken it out to play it for himself, so I’d have to find a game to play. I opened up my wardrobe and scrambled around through all the old junk inside of it. Finally reaching the back, I pulled out the small bag where I usually kept my games. I was looking forward to some good memories; it had been a year or so before I last played any of my DS games. Pulling out all the games, my eye was caught by my Pokémon game collection. Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Gold, Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Black, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Blue Rescue Team, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Darkness, all in the same condition they were left in. I was a little upset that I had lost my Pokémon ruby, Pokémon sapphire and Pokémon Pinball, I had lost them several years ago and I’ve wanted to play them ever since. Seeing as I still haven’t beaten Pokémon black, I decided to resume my journey. I popped the game into my DS, turned it on and selected Pokémon black from the main screen.

The game started up just as I remembered. The intro with N being crowned, all the random stuff about the adventure to come, you know the main screen intro. I saw my save file, just as I had left it, victory road on my way to the elite four. With my extremely over leveled Zoroark, I blew past all of the elite four. Having a level 80 with the rest (except my Serperior and Reshiram) being low 40s made things a little difficult at some points, however. When I finally reached the champions chamber, I awaited N’s challenge. But things got a little weird.

N: Your Pokémon…

They love you.

But they missed you.

What? They missed me? I didn’t think the game kept track of time spent NOT playing Pokémon! But I continued on anyways, and boy do I regret that. The battle began as usual, however N didn’t send out any Pokémon, and I didn’t get any options, like when the foe appears to say a line or two in a gym or against your rivals. There was a long pause, and no animations played. I thought the game froze for a second, but then N looked up.

N: They loved you. They cared about you. You cared about them. How could you betray them like this?

The game continued on, saying Blaze has defeated N (Blaze is my player’s name) and I got my winnings. But nothing happened after that, and instead Alder approached my character and began taking.

Alder: I… I thought you cared more. I thought you would be trustworthy, but you just… left them!

By this point I was a little freaked out, since I knew this was not part of the storyline. I knew it couldn’t have been a hacked game; I bought it myself, and still had the receipt! It was brand new; I bought it only a day or so after the release! But I continued playing; I wanted to know what they were talking about.

N: You left them, Blaze, alone. They sat without you, waiting for years for your return. But you did not. How would that make you feel?

The only one that cared for you, that grew up with you, would just… leave!

Alder: Why…

N: It seems they want to have a word with you… Personally…

The screen faded to black, and when the color returned everything was in black and white. I remembered where I was, Pinwheel Forest, however my vision was very limited. It seemed like I was surrounded with fog, and couldn’t move. I checked my Pokémon, and none of them were there. I checked my Pokédex, but it gave me the usual lecture from the professor saying I couldn’t use it. So I scrolled down to my trainer card. I had 0 badges, 0 Pokédex, 0 everything. Except play time. My play time was extremely high, over 17590 hours played! I was a little shocked, and closed the menu. Then some text came up.

…: Did you miss us?

Then I got the popup screen where you select a word from a list. I selected “Confused” since I had no idea what was going on. There was a long delay before anything happened, then earsplitting static came from the silent machine. I jumped a little, since I knew my volume was off. Then some more text appeared.

…: You really have forgotten us. We never forgot you.

A Yes/No box came up. At this point I was really confused, and wanted to stop playing, but a voice in my head told me to continue playing. I selected YES, and I honestly don’t know why.

…: …

I see.

We were your friends, Ethan.

I continued staring at my screen, shocked at what the game said. It couldn’t have known my name; I had never, in a single Pokémon game, ever typed in my full name. The closest thing I put in was “Eth”.

…: A little surprised, eh? Hehehe… Well, do we ever have a surprise for you…

The screen faded black again. This time the color was restored, and it looked like I was in Littleroot from sapphire. The colors were still black and white, and this time there was some red. But the red color was disturbing; it was a dark, scattered red. It seemed as if there were droplets of blood from where I stood to the starting house. I heard a low pitched static coming from my DS, and as I followed the path of red, the static grew louder. I stood outside the house for a minute, just listening to the static. I swear I heard a scream hidden in the static. As I entered the house, the flash of darkness during the loading of the room, a pair of glowing red eyes appeared in the center of the screen and disappeared almost instantly. The room scared me almost to death. It looked like there was a vicious battle in the room, blood spattered from corpses everywhere, furniture torn apart, bloody footprints going upstairs. The most disturbing thing about the room was the detail on the corpses, veins, bones, organs all visible from the destroyed limbs. The lack of sound was disturbing as well, since most of the time there was at least a faint static in the background. When I tried to examine any of the corpses, a message came up saying

How could I forget…

The eerie room was affecting my actual senses, I swear I could hear sounds coming from my house. But I knew it wasn’t anything, my family was home and I was more than likely them. I took a quick look at the clock to see what time it was, and it was past 11:30pm. That was when I realized that my family was asleep, and I was the only one awake. I just couldn’t put the game down, I already knew I would have nightmares. So I continued upstairs. There was literally a giant puddle of blood, standing in the middle of it a white Mudkip.

…: Come to me…

“Why?” I whispered to myself. I knew that this wasn’t going to end well. As I said this, the Mudkip turned from facing the player to facing the screen, as if he was looking at me. I took a single step, and something happened to the Mudkip. It looked like it had gotten thinner, but I shrugged it off and took another step. This time it got much thinner, and a green liquid began oozing from its eyes. Every step I took seemed to kill the Mudkip. “No… no… no…” I said to myself. I swiftly walked towards the Pokémon, and when I was finally beside it, it collapsed. It eyes were now missing, just black holes oozing a green liquid. There were large slashes across the body, bloody and exposing organs and blood. I didn’t know what to do. I sat there for about 5 minutes before finally pressing the A button.

It’s too late.

The screen flashed black for about half a second and I swear a skeletal face appeared. At this point, I had gotten up and made sure all the lights around me were turned on. This game… or event anyways, was scaring the crap out of me.

…: You aren’t safe. They will get you.

The screen flashed between multiple decomposing sprites beside my trainer’s sprite. A Kyogre, a Latias, a Swampert, a Camrupt, a Castform and a Regirock. Then it finally hit me. They had all been my Pokémon from sapphire, before I lost my game. I felt a tear trickle down my face, and the game taunted me more. The screen was black at this point, and only text appeared.

…: So you do remember…

So be it. Your punishment awaits.

The screen returned to my character, which was still in the same blood filled room, however he was lying on his side, blood dripping from his mouth. I couldn’t move or anything. I guessed this was how it was supposed to end, so I reached for the power button.

…: We will get you. We will see if you can be forgotten.

I finally flicked the power button. But after the screen turned black, a skeletal face charged towards me from the screen, and I shut the DS and threw it on the ground. I got up, drenched in my own sweat. I needed something to drink.

I went downstairs and into the kitchen, opening the fridge door. I grabbed a bottle of water and began chugging it down. After I finished, I left the bottle on the counter. I closed the door and felt like something was watching me. It felt like something was breathing down my neck. I didn’t want to turn around, I knew something was there. I took one step forward and I blacked out. I woke up the next day in the hospital; somebody or something had stabbed me in the back with a kitchen knife. I was told it was a break in, and that the thieves stole some of my family’s stuff, but I knew it was a lie. The door was untouched, no signs of breakage on the windows either. Nothing was missing, as I suspected, the stuff that was presumably missing was put away in the crawlspace not more than a week ago. Ever since I’ve struggled to walk, having a minor spinal injury. There are two things I’ve never done since, played a Pokémon game, or forgotten about my Pokémon.

If you haven’t played your Pokémon game in a while, I suggest you go play now. And apologize for everything you’ve done wrong, before it’s too late.

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