“So, where too next?”
The sun was rising between the double humped mountains, casting a pink and yellow light into the valley. The clouds in the sky were like cotton candy, and the river that flowed between the mountains bubbled and skipped like soda pop.
On a hill at the furthest end of the valley, I stood together with Muse and Mr. Dude, overlooking the land.
“Where too indeed,” I said. Then looked to my companions, sweeping my hand across the landscape before us, “this is the land of make-believe! Anything can happen! Any adventure can ensue! Where to next you say? Anywhere and everywhere!”
I laughed and with my arms flung wide spun in circles. Sparks spun around me, my feet where so light on the ground I felt like I was floating. The first rays of the morning sun touched on my smiling face as fireworks went off in my hair. And I laughed and I laughed and I laughed….
“Uh… is she okay?” Dude leaned down and whispered to Muse.
Muse flicked his tail, “Yeah, she does that. Just wait ’til it’s over. Oh and don’t get too close.”
“Oh, alrighty then,” Dude said, and wandered over to edge of the hill to get a better view.
“Phew! Okay, I’m done, so how about-”
I whipped around, “What? What’s wrong.”
Muse was hovering over the drop in the hill, and sighed, “Dude tripped and fell.”
“How did he trip??” I said as I can running over.
“A tragic case of an untied shoelace.”
Stopping at the end on the hill, I propped my hands on my hips and leaned over, “Really Dude! Really?”
Dude lay tangled in his own limbs at the bottom of the hill. “Yeah… sorry.” Slowly he picked himself up, brushed off. He looked around, and then down at the ground, “this sure is tall grass,” he said, poking at the waist high grass.
“Wait. Tall grass…” I muttered to myself.
“What was that?” Dude called up.
My eyes grew suddenly large, “Dude! don’t move!”
“Wha… what is it? Is there something in my hair?” Dude asked nervously, patting his black locks.
“No, It’s worse than that,” I scampered to a large rock, pulling out the rope hidden beneath as I said, “this is tall grass we’re talking about! Don’t you know what’s in the tall grass??”
“Uh…. no?” I heard him say as I tied the rope around a tree stump at the edge of the hill.
“You know,” Muse said, landing on my shoulder, “just because you’re in the story doesn’t mean you can conveniently have things you need without first establishing them in the scene.”
I paused and looked at the cat, “You’re only here to ruin all my fun, aren’t you?”
Muse shrugged, and stated grooming his paw.
“Fiiiiiiine,” I sighed, dropping the rope.
Muse jumped from the shoulder and sets his wings in flapping blur…..
Sun…. double humped mountains….. river… bubbled and skipped like soda pop….. I stood together with Muse and Mr. Dude…..”Where too indeed,”….. sweeping my hand across the landscape….I laughed….. ground felt like I was floating…. Dude leaned down and whispered to Muse…… Muse flicked his tail against the rock he was sitting on “Yeah”……. Dude wandered over to edge of the hill, and stood on top of a tree stump….. “AHHHH!!!!”…..I whipped around……Muse hovering…… “tripped and fell.”
“There, happy now,” I glared at Muse.
“A sloppy job, but it will do,” he said, settling back on my shoulder.
Ignoring the pain-in-the-neck cat, (literally, since he was entertaining himself by poking my neck) I grabbed the rope and started climbing down the little cliff.
“Never… huff…. Walk…… huff….. In the tall grass!!” I shouted down.
“Why?” asked Dude.
A sudden rustling made us all freeze. Each one of us stared at the spot, only a few feet away from Dude, where the grass was moving.
“No one, move,” I spoke through gritted teeth, though I needn’t have bother, the others where doing just fine turning into statures on their own.
Suddenly the thing sprung from the grass, flying through the air straight at Dude.
“MUSE! I CHOOSE YOU!!!” I shouted, grabbing the cat from my shoulder and launching him at the Rattata. Muse had just enough time while air born to glare back at me with a look that said, “Really Mistress? REALLY?”
I just grinned. Pay back was sweet.
The creatures met in mid-air. Muse opened right before impact, at the same time kicking out with his back paws. He caught the Rattata in the side and sent him to the ground. The Rattata stood and shook himself, but Muse was already there, ready to pounce.
With a squeak, the Rattata darted back into the grass. But Muse was right behind it, shouting as he sprinted, “Yeah you better run you little mouse!”
I dropped to ground, and ran over to Dude, meanwhile Muse chased the Rattata in a circle around us and folded my arms, “Dude! Don’t you know there’s Pokémon in the tall grass?”
“Uh… no.” Dude said sheepishly.
Suddenly the Rattata, squeaking with fear, straight at Mr. Dude, again. None of us had time to react, Muse was just lifting off the ground, I stared in shock, and Dude shut this eyes.
“I-i-i-is it g-g-gone?” Dude stammered, standing stiff and still as a board.
“Don’t panic, but it’s, uh… hiding in your hair,” I said, watching the little purple creature cower and nuzzle it’s face into Dude’s hair.
Muse said, with a rather satisfied grin, “I think it’s scared.”
“He’s kinda soft….” Dude reached a hand up to the rat in his hair. The Rattata sniffed the hand, then licked it.
Dude smiled, and gently lifted the little guy from his head and held it before him, “and cute!”
Muse scoffed, but I hushed him.
“I think he likes you,” I told Dude, peering closer.
Dude took the Rattata and held him up to eye level, and the little Pokémon rubbed it’s nose on his cheek.
“I… I think I’m in love….” Dude whispered.
I laughed, “C’mon love birds… or rats, lets find the path.”
We set off through the grass. We had no indication of where a path might be, so we just picked a direction and started walking.
Muse sat perched on my shoulder, while behind us Dude cradled and cooed to his little Rattata.
Muse moved his glare from them and to me, mumbling “You could have let me eat it.”
“But then that would make you happy, and I couldn’t possibly allow that.”
Our banter was interrupted by Dude, or more acutely, his Rattata.
“What’s the matter Raphael?” Dude asked, stopping dead in his tracks as his Rattata jumped up in his hands and bristled.
“You named it?” Muse asked, disgusted. I waved my hand and hushed him again.
Squinting my eyes, I shaded my face with one hand and looked out into the distance, “Is it just me, or is that grass doing something more than moving…”
“Yes, I do believe it is, quite a lot actually, I think it’s rippling,” Dude said.
Muse’s tail twitch, “Shall we run, Mistress?”
“Yes, I think we shall,” I nodded to Dude and turned the opposite direction.
We sprinted across the field. Muse was flying next to me, while Dude tried desperately to keep his Rattata closed in his arms. But the thing was squirming, squeaking, terrified, trying to escape.
The ground started to tremble. I nearly lost my balance and then caught myself in a few hasty steps. But Dude was not so fortunate. He fell face first, but managed to turn on the way down and land on his back, with the Rattata still held tightly to his chest.
I paused and looked back at him, and that was when we heard the colossal roaring coming from beneath the ground.
Muse wrapped himself around my neck, and for once he sounded scared, “We’re too late.”
To Be Continued…