's 2019 Horror Write-off:

Baby: A Pokémon Story

Submitted by Maggs “marineVerdancy” D

Baby was the first Pokémon I ever had.

I was never much of a trainer, but that didn’t stop that old woman in Lavaridge from handing me his egg, insisting I would be able to raise it with love. So, despite having no clue what it’d hatch into, I did my research, got myself an incubator and one of those babybjörn things, and did my damnedest to do just that.

It was after almost a week of carrying the egg everywhere that a sweet little Wynaut hatched… I still remember the adorable sounds it made, bewildered and curious about the new world it was in… Anyway, I looked up everything I possibly could on how to keep the little guy happy and healthy. What kind of food Wynauts eat, how to keep him healthy, the common slip-ups of new Wynaut owners, how they don’t like it when you mess with their tails…  More than just being responsible for my new Pokémon, I felt like I was basically his parent, and, y’know, bad parents can lead to trauma and trouble later in life. I had to do good.

“Baby” was initially just a placeholder until I came up with an actual name, but eventually that just sort of became his “official” name. To be honest, it was pretty fitting considering how much I coddled him; I’d hand-feed him, snuggle him as often as he wanted, let him watch TV beside me (he’d always clap when he saw something he liked), never ever messed with that tail he was always hiding. Basically did whatever I could to make him happy. 

It apparently worked well enough; after about a year, Baby evolved right in the middle of dinner. Ballooned up from a little sweetie into a BIG sweetie, and broke the highchair into smithereens in the process! I couldn’t even express how happy, how proud I was…

It was some weeks after that that got into battling. It was sort of by accident, really; a wild Poochyena flung itself at us while we were on a walk, and Baby took the hit and just… knocked it back, swinging his big rubbery body into it like one of those weeble toys and sending it flying. As startling as the experience was for me, Baby seemed happier than ever afterwards, and for days after he was restless. Staring out the window all dramatic-like, begging for more and more walks… it was sad to see, honestly. That was what made me realize that being so protective of Baby led to me depriving him of one of the most enriching experiences a Pokémon can get.

So— even though I hated the thought of my sweet little guy getting hurt— I decided to take him out on the road, onto the official Pokémon training scene. And as it turns out, we were good at it. Like, really good. Maybe it was my research into behaviors and stuff, maybe it was some sort of psychic-type power, but we had a knack for predicting what the opponent was gonna do and when. I’m not saying we didn’t have our losses, but they were massively outweighed by how much butt we successfully kicked. We even made it through a bunch of the Gyms, and although we never made it to the Ever Grande League, we did well enough to get invited to the Battle Frontier.

I guess we got too comfortable in our victories. That always ends up leading to carelessness, in the end. I can’t help but blame myself…

We were having a grand ol’ time at the Frontier— kicking butt and taking names— when it happened. We were faced against this hotshot from Kanto, and doing well. Got him down to his last Pokémon— a Scyther— when we messed up. Used Mirror Coat when we should’ve Countered. Baby took a huge gash right to the chest. It was bad. I started to panic at the sight, was just about to forfeit, when all the sudden there was this… he… I’ll never forget the sound, like a balloon deflating. Air started rushing out of that gash, instead of blood like I was expecting. And Baby’s body just… collapsed. No, deflated

Can you even imagine what it was like? You’re already in a state, and all the sudden the body of your best friend just crumples into a wrinkly pile in front of you. I screamed, the other Trainer screamed, even his goddamn Scyther screamed. I was blubbering, wailing, a mess of oh gods and I’m so sorrys and no no no this can’t be happenings. It was all my fault, I didn’t— I should’ve been more careful!

That’s… that’s when I saw it. The only thing left of Baby that was still intact. That funny little black tail that he was so fussy about. 

It stared at me with those goofy eye-spots— eyes. It blinked at me, all fast and startled-like. And then it bolted away, faster than I thought anything possibly could, dragging the crumpled remains of what I thought had been Baby behind it. And then it— he— was gone.

I was nothing but shocked and horrified at the time, but looking back on it now, I just wish I could’ve said I’m sorry, or at least goodbye. 

I never saw Baby proper again after that, no matter how much I looked and called for him. But I wouldn’t say he vanished, not completely. Sometimes when I turn around I could swear I catch a glimpse of those eyes, staring back at me from some dark corner, but there’s never anything there… 

Maybe I’ve just gone crazy hoping that my little Baby is still there, out of sight but still by my side. Maybe he really is there. Maybe… maybe he knows how sorry I am. How I wish I could’ve done good like he deserved.