“Owww… What happened…” Holding the sides of her head with both hands,
Lisa sat upright, taking in her surroundings. In front of her were the
ocean and the pitch-black sky, the latter dotted with twinkling white
stars. Behind her was black – she couldn’t quite make out what it
actually was, though she thought she could make out the silhouette of
tree trunks and branches. She felt around on the ground beneath her and
grabbed a clump of finely granulated sand in her hands. Finally, the
girl glanced to her right and noticed a black form lying next to her.
Lisa immediately knew what it was, and her face began to show signs of
fear – her jaw dropped, her eyes grew wide, and she began shaking.
“Sadie! Sadie! Are you okay? Please, wake up and say something!”
The other girl, who was face down in the sand, began to stir. Lisa
heaved a sigh of relief as her companion slowly began to awaken.
Rubbing her eyes, the other girl suddenly let out a shriek.
“Ahh! I got something in my eyes! It burns! Ow!”
“Sadie, I think it’s sand. We must be on a beach or something.”
Squinting, Sadie replied, in a calmer voice, “A beach? How’d we end up on a beach?”
“We must’ve washed up here after those two goons threw us overboard.
Man, and I was so looking forward to another relaxing night aboard the
ship. Wonderful.” Lisa sulked and slammed her fist on the beach. “Man,
I hate it when people do this! I’m gonna call my parents and… Oh, man!
I must’ve left my phone in the room!”
“It’s better you did leave it behind,” replied Sadie. “I have mine, but
the water or something got in it and it’s not working anymore… and Mom
is NOT gonna be happy when she hears she’s gotta buy me a new phone!”
“And we don’t even have our Pokémon with us! Remember, we left them
with Lindsay so she could feed them… I hope both she and our Pokémon
are okay… I wish there was some way I could get in touch with her, just
to let her know we’re safe… I really hope those thugs who threw us in
the water don’t come after her.”
“I don’t think they would. Remember how the guy said something about
seeing us in the Contest? Somehow, I think that was the motive behind
“That Cristin probably got those two to attack us! Man, that girl just
gets me so steamed!” Lisa rose to her feet and let out a deafening,
almost haunting scream.
“Whoa, whoa! Please calm down, Lisa! Getting mad over this isn’t gonna
solve anything! I think we need to try and get some sleep and think
about what to do in the morning.”
Sitting back down, Lisa sighed and said, “I suppose you’re right. Sorry
if I scared you, but I really can’t stand people like her! I guess
we’ll try and get some rest, but I really hope nothing crawls on me in
the night! And this sand ain’t nearly as comfortable as a nice
“Good night, Lisa,” Sadie muttered as both girls laid down on the beach and began to drift asleep.
“This can’t be right… this can’t be where I’m gonna be spending the
next ten days!” screamed a ten-year old Lisa Northwood, looking around
at her assigned summer camp cabin. She spun around and noticed that her
parents had already disappeared into the crowd of campers and parents
still checking in. “Perfect. The ol’ ditch and run. Guess I have no
choice but to make the best of this,” she sighed as she dejectedly made
her way over to an empty space.
The place had an unfinished wood interior, with rows of beds set up
with only inches of spacing between them. Aside from a small nightstand
and the wood-framed beds with their thin vinyl mattresses, the room was
“What kind of place is this?! No cable TV, no coffee-maker, not even a
phone! And somehow I’m guessing that wireless internet is out of the
question, too! And look at these mattresses! How in the world am I
gonna get sleep on these things?!”
“Oh, stop your complaining,” scolded a girl who was unpacking her
belongings in the space next to Lisa. “This is summer camp. What were
“Certainly not a place that’s worse than the nastiest Motel 6,” Lisa
answered, noticing a cobweb, dead roach, and used gum inside of the
rickety nightstand’s drawer.
“It’s spoiled brats like you that ruin camp for the rest of us. So
kindly keep your mouth shut. I’m not gonna have this week ruined by
“You think I’m here by choice? This is something my parents made me
do!” Lisa shouted. “Believe me, if it was my choice, I’d be at the
Comfort Inn right now, spending the next week and a half there!”
A smile formed on the other girl’s face. “Oh, I am gonna have so much
fun watching camp chew you up and spit you out,” she chuckled as she
pulled the dividing curtain between her and Lisa closed.
“Looks I already made an enemy in addition to getting myself in way
over my head… I wonder if I’ll even leave this place alive…” murmured
Lisa as she hung her head low.
“Cadet Northwood, you had better get yo’ rear outta bed!”
Lisa rubbed her eyes as she sat upright on her thin, vinyl-covered
cushion. The first thing she saw was a muscle bound man wearing a brown
“Camp Happy Meadow” T-shirt.
“It is oh-eight-hundred hours, so I suggest you get your lazy self
dressed and down to the mess hall for breakfast! MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE
“Who died and made you boss?” the preteen girl mumbled as she threw the
covers off her legs. This comment resulted in the man getting right in
“I am Camp Counselor Peter, that is who I am! And for the next week and
a half, I am the law around here! And my first law is, NOBODY talks
back to Counselor Peter! Now instead of breakfast, you’ve earned twenty
laps around the camp!”
“Whatever, Pete…” the girl scoffed, sneering at the drill-sergeant-like man.
“Until you learn to respect me, you do not have the right to call me by
name! You will call me ‘Sarge’ as long as you’re in my presence! Do you
“YOU WILL ANSWER ME WITH, ‘SIR, YES SIR!’ DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!”
Peter bellowed, the veins on his anger-filled face clearly visible.
“Sir, yes sir,” Lisa mumbled as she began slipping on a green dress.
The counselor roared, “A dress? A DRESS?! Sister, you won’t live five
minutes in the wilderness wearing a stupid little girly dress! I
suggest you wear clothes appropriate for camp! Shorts or jeans, along
with a T-shirt! Got that?”
“Well, all I brought were dresses. Why on earth would I wear anything else?”
“You are even more hopeless than I thought! Fine, I suppose we have
some outfits you can borrow during your week here. But now you will do
“What! Are you out of you steroid-addled mind?” shrieked Lisa, her eyes nearly popping out of their sockets.
“I said no talking back to your superior officer! Eighty laps!”
“Okay, guys and girls,” said a calmer Counselor Peter as he stuck
his head in the doorway of the cabin where Lisa was staying, “It’s free
time now, so I’ll either see you at the basketball court or the
“All right! Free time!” Lisa said to herself as she pulled out her
laptop. This action was immediately met by more of Peter’s bellowing.
“A computer? A COMPUTER?! This is camp, not some fancy university! And
did I say that playing on your computer was a choice? Did I?”
“I would hardly consider what I’m doing ‘playing,’ y’know?” Lisa snapped back.
“You have got a lot to learn, missy!” the massive man barked as he
snatched Lisa’s laptop and smashed the device over his head. Lisa
looked on, flabbergasted as the big lummox of a man destroyed her
precious computer in one fell swoop.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing! I’m gonna sue you for destroying my computer…”
“SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH!” Peter turned to the other campers in the cabin,
a wicked smirk emerging on his face. “Change of plans. Free time has
now become twenty on one dodgeball! And it’s gonna be this ungrateful
brat,” he explained, motioning to a scowling and fuming Lisa, “against
the rest of you! Enjoy!”
“You better get ready to get pummeled, punk,” one camper sneered at Lisa as he walked by her.
“Good thing my health insurance is up to date; I think I’m gonna need
it…” the girl sighed as Peter ushered her and the other campers out of
the building. She had a feeling things would only get worse before they
A female camp counselor walked into Lisa’s cabin and addressed the
group. “Okay, everybody! Guess what? Tonight we’re taking you out of
the comfort of these cabins and into to the woods for our wilderness
night! So grab your sleeping bags, we’re going to enjoy a night under
the stars, roasting marshmallows and sharing ghost stories…”
Lisa jumped out of her bed and began going off on a tirade. “NO! I have
had it up to here with this! It’s only been two nights and already I’ve
had roaches crawl on me, I’ve had dodgeballs nearly rip my limbs off,
I’ve had basketballs knock me upside the head, I’ve had a $2500 laptop
destroyed, and I’ve had everyone from camp counselors to immature
little brats insult me! I am NOT spending a night in the middle of
nowhere! How the health department lets this atrocious pit continue
operating is beyond my understanding!”
Letting out an ear-piercing scream, Lisa sat bolt upright, sweat
beginning to form on her face. The sudden shriek also woke Sadie from
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Oh, man, I just had the most traumatic memory rush back to me. Being
out here in the middle of nowhere reminded me of that horrible time I
had at summer camp!” Lisa began rubbing her forehead and flicking some
of the perspiration from it.
“Really? I wouldn’t think summer camp would be that bad. Actually, I
really enjoyed it. Anyway, we can’t do anything in this darkness.”
“Yeah, you’re right. We should get some sleep and try to come up with a
plan in the morning. Sorry that I screamed and woke you up, Sadie.
Lisa looked over at the other girl, and saw that she was sound asleep
next to her. Letting out a sigh, Lisa laid back down on the sand and
closed her eyes. Not five minutes after she fell asleep, the huge form
of the SS Anne silently and slowly made its way past the girls’
Aboard the ship, Bernie was trying to console a sobbing Lindsay, who was clutching Persian’s Luxury Ball tightly.
“I wouldn’t worry too much. Lisa’s a trainer, right? Surely she must have some survival skills…”
“Bu that’s the thing! She doesn’t!” the young girl wailed. “She told me
that summer camp almost killed her, and here she is out in the ocean or
on some strange island! I’m… I’m really worried… Please, let Lisa be
The Gym Leader sighed. “Listen, we’re close to the next port town.
We’ll get off there and set up in the Pokémon Center. Hopefully we’ll
get more information. Who knows, Lisa might be there waiting for us.”
“Yeah, maybe…” Lindsay muttered before burying her face in her hands again.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Lisa’s father said as he scratched
his moustache. ‘I mean, you would think that stupid ship would have
security to prevent things like this from happening. And I don’t care
if Lisa won’t press charges – I WILL!”
“Douglas, you need to calm down,” replied his wife as the two of them
got settled in their airplane seats. “You always get agitated when
you’re stressed, and you start acting like you wouldn’t normally.
Please, there’s nothing else we can do until we land in Fourtix.”
The man heaved a sigh. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right, Brooke. We have
Sphinx City Search and Rescue on the case, and the police are also
involved. I hope they can find her with the picture we sent them,
“Why do you say that?” asked Brooke as the plane began to ascend.
“I gave them a picture of Lisa with twin ponytails from last Easter,
and I know she doesn’t wear her hair like that anymore. So I’m hoping
they can recognize her by her face.”
As the clouds blanked out the aerial view of the South Carolina Upstate
from the plane’s windows, Brooke just stared out. Not facing her
husband, she said, “I called the parents of the other girl and they
sounded very worried as well. Maybe not quite as worried because their
daughter is used to being outdoors, but still…”
“Are they making their way to Fourtix as well?” Douglas asked, a grim look on his face.
“I don’t know. They didn’t tell me. But that Gym Leader said that he’d
be waiting in Sphinx City with Lindsay, so when we land, we’ll need to
get a rental car and make our way to that island.”
“I’ve got that taken care of. I already called a rental car company at
the airport, and they’re going to have a Town Car waiting for us.”
Turning back toward the window, the woman whispered, “Don’t worry, Lisa… We’re coming…”
As dawn cracked over the white sandy beach, the emerging sun cast wide
shadows over the entire area. Light from above caused the sand to
glitter. A cool gentle breeze lightly shook up the trees at the edge
opposite the sea. The surf was not particularly rough; the tiny,
slow-moving waves would surely have upset a professional surfboarder.
The sounds of rustling leaves, gently crashing waves, and the
occasional Wingull cry broke up the tranquility. It was this peaceful
scene that Lisa woke up to. Shielding her eyes from the blinding sun,
she first noticed Sadie still sleeping silently next to her.
Next, she turned her sight to the rental Contest dress she was wearing.
The matching shoes were long gone, somewhere out at sea. The lower hem
of the dress was ripped and frayed, along with numerous rips and holes
on the skirt. The bow on the back had come off, leaving only a tattered
red ribbon loosely encircling the waist. The still-damp dress still
clung to her body tightly. Sitting up, Lisa slowly moved the hem of the
dress up to her knees. Sure enough, the pantyhose she had been wearing
underneath were completely ruined.
“Good thing this dress isn’t mine – if it was, I would have had a fit!
As Lisa stood up and tried to wring the water from her dress, Sadie
began yawning, stretching, and rubbing her eyes. “Whoa… is it morning?”
“Yep,” Lisa answered as she stared blankly out to sea, her arms hanging limply down at her sides.
“AHHHHH!” Sadie’s scream jolted Lisa from her trance-like state.
“My Contest dress! It’s ruined!” Sadie cried, looking over her outfit,
which was in no better shape than Lisa’s. “I’ve been wearing this same
dress since my first Contest! Not only that, but now I have to ask my
mom to buy another dress for me! Man!”
“Oh, no,” Lisa replied, putting her arm around her friend. “I know how hard it is to have your favorite outfit ruined.”
“No, really, I guess it’s not that big a deal… at least not until I have to tell Mom…”
“Your mom’s that strict, huh?” Lisa asked, stretching out.
“A bit,” she answered, looking up to the sky. “It’s more like she gets
all worried about me, then she ends up freaking out. And she isn’t
really keen on having to buy stuff for me if I lose or ruin it. She’ll
be all, ‘Sadie, that should have lasted you longer. You know that I
can’t keep buying new phones or outfits for you.’ Problem is, my best
friend always got me into trouble!”
“Wow, my parents are sorta the same way, too! Anyway, Sadie, tell me some things about yourself.”
“Well, I’ve always wanted to become a coordinator, just like my
grandmother. I remember her showing me all the awards she had won in
her lifetime. I think that’s what inspired me, all those shiny
trophies. I imagined how cool it would be to have my very own cabinet
filled with awards and medals. So, when I was five, I asked my grandma
to take me to Coordinating Summer Camp.”
“Uh, oh, I don’t like the sound of that…” Lisa’s eyes began to grow larger.
“Nah, it was nothing that bad. Coordinating Camp is basically a camp
for kids that teaches you the basics of coordinating. The part I liked
most was that you could bring your own Pokémon there! I remember how I
would always have trouble with the battling round! For some reason,
whatever I said to my Pokémon seemed to go through one ear and out the
other! That really frustrated me, and I often started crying! Ugh,
whenever I think about it, I get so embarrassed!”
“Oh, man! That must’ve been tough! I don’t think I would’ve continued
as a trainer if my Pokémon did that! I really wouldn’t have the
willpower to even try to keep going…”
“Yeah, I once thought about just giving up. But Rena, who was at my
coordinating camp at the time, offered to help me! Of course, I was
sick of being embarrassed, so I let her. At the time, I saw Rena as an
innocent little girl, who wouldn’t harm a flea! Now, of course, I know
better than to fall so easily into her ‘traps!’ I swear, that girl is
smarter than she looks! Anyways, she told me to get a Pokéball from the
counselors’ table, and switch that one with my Budew’s. I remember
asking her, ‘But wouldn’t that be stealing?’ and she said, ‘Not steal,
borrow!’” Sadie had an exasperated look on her face.
“Uh, oh, I think I know where this is headed…”
“Well, when I let out ‘my’ Pokémon for the competition, the counselors
recognized it as their own, and yanked the Pokéball out of my hands and
sent me to time-out. As I sat and cried into my hands, Rena acted as if
nothing has ever happened for the rest of the class. Then, right before
it was time for our parents to pick us up, Rena handed me a ‘borrowed’
doodle cake as an apology. She and I actually shared a good laugh and I
forgave her. We exchanged phone numbers, began coming over to each
other’s houses, and boom! We became friends just like that!”
“Wow, that’s interesting! I, for one, would’ve been so mad if someone
did that to me! I think it’s great how you two were able to make up so
quickly!” Lisa replied.
“After the camp was over, Rena started coaching me for real on how to
battle, using her own Pokémon of course. Gradually I learned under her,
well, teaching, and when I was thirteen, I won the Floaroma Cup! From
then on, I travelled around the region, competing in contests. Then I
wanted to travel to other regions, and that’s how I ended up on the
ship! Okay, I’ve told you about me. Now I want to know your life story!”
“Well, I’ll just skip to college because my four years in grade school
weren’t anything exciting. I suppose that not everyone has to run a
campaign for senior class president or prepare a valedictorian
graduation speech at age nine. Or celebrate their birthday by taking a
college entrance exam. Guess I’m weird like that!” Lisa laughed.
“It’s funny how you’re such a genius, yet you’re so modest about it.
But I really want to know about your adventures in college.”
“Sure thing, but let’s talk it over while we walk along the beach. We
might come across someone who can get us back to civilization. At the
very least, it’ll give us a chance to get up and do something.”
“Okay,” Sadie replied as both girls got up to their feet.
“Well, I decided to attend school at a college just up the road from
our house. They’re big on football there, even though the best their
team could muster was a 9-4 record. And, before you ask, I didn’t go to
one game. I did, however, find myself getting involved in housing and
residence life on campus. I joined their RHA and…”
“Wait, RHA? What’s that?” Sadie asked, looking puzzled.
“Oh, sorry,” Lisa said, rubbing the back of her head. “It’s short for
‘Residence Hall Association’ which is a group of students that plans
events for the campus and voices housing concerns to the higher-ups. I
was also involved in Student Government there, and still somehow found
time to juggle twenty-one hours of classes. Multitasking for the win!”
Lisa laughed, and was soon joined by Sadie.
As the girls continued their leisurely walk on the beach, Lisa
continued the story. “Classes weren’t that tough, but several of the
math professors were very interesting. I really enjoyed the chance to
talk with them about their research. Okay, onto my second year of
college. Ready for this?” Lisa turned to look at Sadie.
The girl nodded. “Yeah, I just needed a minute to take all this stuff in. Please, go on.”
“Well, second year, I didn’t have to take as many hours, so I took up a
couple of leadership positions. I became a Resident Assistant for one
of the halls on campus… that was fun, despite the three AM fire alarms
and the freshmen stumbling around drunk and doing stuff I’d rather not
“Whoa, sounds like a tough job! I couldn’t handle that!”
“It wasn’t that bad; after all, I did make some good friends there.
It’s amazing how friends can be made just by talking to them at the
front desk or during building walk-throughs. And the RA activities… We
hosted everything from eighties-themed dances to alcohol awareness
programs for students. And those were always fun. Also that year, I
became a Coordinator.”
“Really? Or is this some sort of joke?” Sadie sulked and put her hands on her hips, staring at Lisa.
“Actually, a little of both.” Lisa blushed. “The position was called
the ‘National Communications Coordinator’ who contacts other college
residence life organizations and heads up residence life conferences.
Which, I may add, are a blast!”
“Really? Sounds like it would be all business.”
“Well, there are business meetings, but there’s also sessions about
improving residence life, not to mention all the friends from other
schools I’ve made at those conferences! Plus, there’s a fancy banquet,
a dance, and other fun activities. And did I mention that I got to stay
in a hotel?”
“Well, that seems like it could be fun. Okay, Lisa, what else?”
“Then I graduated, started up my tutoring company, and later began
training Pokémon. Oh, and along the way, I helped defuse a bomb, got
beaten by you in a Contest, and was thrown overboard a ship. Wow, my
feet are getting tired. Let’s sit down for a rest.”
Inside one of a Pokémon Center’s sparsely furnished rooms, Lindsay and
Bernie set several bags on the bed – some belonging to them, some
belonging to the missing girls.
“Okay, Lindsay, right now we can’t do anything until your parents get
here or we hear from Search and Rescue. Last time I called them, they
still hadn’t heard anything.”
“Oh, no… Lisa, where are you?” The little girl began to cry into the burly man’s shoulder.
Bernie heaved a sigh. “I wish I knew. I really wish I did. Maybe the news has an update.”
Flipping on the television, a familiar voice made itself loud and clear.
“Remember, when you fight against greedy insurance companies, it’s WAR!
But with ‘The Knockout’ in your corner, you’ve got the power to score a
decisive victory – in the form of maximum CASH! CASH! CASH! Call me
today! 1-888-KO-4-CASH! That’s 1-888-KO-4-CASH! Don’t forget!”
Larry Jones’ ad was replaced by a local news report. “At approximately
nine this morning, the notorious ‘Hoodie Bandit’ struck again, this
time at Fourtix First Federal on Mill Street. This time, the subject
wore a gray zip-up jacket and made off with approximately thirty
thousand in small-denomination bills. The escape vehicle, a stolen
Toyota Corolla, was found abandoned at a Citgo gas station about two
miles away from the bank. Despite bringing in tracking Pokémon to pick
up the scent of the suspect, they were unable to locate her.”
“What is with this girl and robbing banks?” Bernie muttered. He took a
quick glance over at Lindsay, who had cried herself to sleep.
“She just looks so peaceful lying like that… I can’t imagine how hard
it must be for her to go through all this. I really hope Lisa turns up
soon – I hate to see this girl so sad and depressed. I mean, my dad was
kidnapped during the Contest conspiracy, but I’m sure a young kid’s
gonna take it harder than a hardened Gym Leader…”
A remote control went flying across the room, striking and shattering a
television screen. The loud noise caused two Pikachu to cower in fear
and jump off a large wooden desk. Sitting behind it, a man in a red
robe was fuming.
“Dammit! I told that SOB father of mine that I wanted the team to lay
low until we got our Shadow Pokémon perfected! So, what’s the idiot do?
He plants a damn bomb on a ship, and of course the media assumes it’s
our doing!” Bart Sy slammed his fist on the desk, splintering the
wooden surface. “And if that ‘Hoodie Bandit’ is who I think it is…
“Sir, it’s me, Lethco,” a voice came from behind the office’s door.
“Lethco? I thought I called for Dr. Tony!”
“Well… um… uh…”
“What?! Spit it out already!”
“Tony’s on his lunch break at TJ McTipsy’s, sir,” the intimidated man blurted out.
“Dammit… Whenever he goes there, he gets drunk out of his mind… Whatever, come in.”
The scientist, now sporting a shaved head, nervously made his way
inside the ornately decorated office. The scientist’s shoes clacked on
the marble-covered floor. Massive stone statues of Arcanine and Pikachu
flanked either side of Bart Sy’s desk at the back of the room. Thick
black curtains were pulled shut, blocking any light from coming in from
the wall-to-ceiling windows. In fact, the only source of illumination
in the room came from a series of crystal chandeliers and a pair of
spotlights aimed at the desk. Directly under a huge image of the
Brotherhood’s red and gold shield, the group’s leader sat, still
clenching his fists.
“Lethco, I want an update on our Shadow Pokémon. And I want good news
this time. Thanks to that nimrod of a father I have, time is running
“S… sir… Um… I regret to inform you that… the Pokémon still explode,
though we’ve got it to the point where the… the blast radius is no
larger than the size of our compound.” Lethco took a step backward from
his boss, shaking in fear.
But Bart Sy simply groaned in exasperation, clutching both sides of his
head. “I suppose this is what I get for having a drunk head up R&D.
With these delays, our original plan to get rid of Northwood won’t
work. Now I need to think of a way to use the delay in development to
my advantage. Lethco, you may leave now. However, I may be requiring
your assistance in the future.”
The hooded boss began petting both of his Pikachu on the head as Lethco left the office, closing the heavy door behind him.
“Well, he took that better than I thought… I guess I lucked out. But,
man, I’m just getting so tired of this!” Lethco let out a sigh as he
made his way through the compound’s maze of steel-lined hallways.
“Wow, what a lovely sunset!”
The sky, stretching as far as the eye could see, was certainly a sight
to behold this evening. Its dark purple color gradually shifted to
lighter colors, in hues of pink, red, and yellow, indicating that the
source of light, the sun, was slowly retreating below the horizon. The
multiple colors reflected into the water below, creating a perfect
scene for a photo – if either girl witnessing the sight had a camera.
The two girls had spent most of the day walking and conversing, as
there had not been much else to do. Although their stomachs’ growling
had worsened throughout the day, the prospect of eating raw fish
Pokémon wasn’t endearing to the pair either. Lisa had looked up on her
PDA and discovered that the resident Magikarp had very little meat on
them, so that shot down all chances of getting food.
For a couple hours in the afternoon, they had to take cover in the
forest in order to avoid a torrential storm that had suddenly descended
upon the beach. But the heavy rain and thick, black clouds had since
subsided, and peace and tranquility had been restored to the sandy
shore. Lisa had thought it was odd how the storm appeared out of
nowhere and had dissipated just as suddenly.
With their bare feet hurting and their ruined dresses soaked from the
recent downpour, Sadie and Lisa had decided to call it a night. They
were content to lie on their backs, looking up at the natural artwork
plastered across the vast sky.
“You know what, the sunset here really is lovely. See, Lisa, sometimes
you need to stop worrying so much about what you don’t have and sit
back and enjoy what you do have.”
“You’re right. Sorry if I’ve been freaking out this whole time.”
“Actually,” Sadie admitted, “you’re taking this better than I thought
you would have – especially after what your sister told me.”
“Wait, what did Lindsay tell you?” Lisa’s eyes grew wide.
“Relax, relax, nothing too bad. Just how you hate camping out and that you freak out over it.”
“Oh… yeah…” Lisa rubbed the back of her head. “But you know this
morning, when I had that nightmare memory of summer camp? That was the
“Hmm, how bad could summer camp be?” Sadie asked, looking a bit confused.
“The camp counselors – they were like drill sergeants, ordering us to
get up and run laps around the camp. One of them even destroyed my
laptop with his bare hands…” The girl was interrupted by her
“Sorry, but I just can’t picture someone bringing a laptop to summer camp. Please go on.”
“Anyway,” a scowling Lisa continued, a hint of annoyance in her voice,
“the other kids there were no better. I mean, they threw dodgeballs and
basketballs at me…” Once again, Sadie’s chuckling made Lisa stop her
“Man, I am so sorry for laughing again, but I think the point of
dodgeball is for the other kids to throw them at you and for you to try
to, you know, dodge them!”
“No, it’s okay. After all, that’s one thing I learned there - before
then, I always thought that dodgeball involved Dodge cars.”
“Ah, so that’s why you have those weird sayings during battle!”
“Well,” Lisa admitted, “I do that simply because saying the word “dodge” without the name of a Dodge car sounds odd to me.”
Sadie laughed. “You are a very unique person, Lisa! Any more about summer camp?”
“The kids there did more than physically abuse me. They verbally abused
me too, throwing insults at me and trying to scare me out of my wits.
And don’t even get me started on the accommodations – simply dreadful…”
“Yeah, I think you mentioned this before. That night they were gonna camp out, you snapped and got moved to some hotel, right?”
“Yep, the Quality Suites in North Charleston!” Lisa announced proudly.
‘I loved that room – two televisions, VCR, kitchenette, sofa – I wish I
was there right now…”
“Lisa! Look over there!” Sadie pointed toward the stand of trees behind
them. Above them, fireworks could be seen exploding, lighting the sky
with bursts of color that rained down like confetti.
The older girl perked up. “Fireworks! That must mean there’s people
beyond those trees! Let’s go! I might still have a chance to enjoy me a
nice pillowtop mattress tonight!”
“Whoa, whoa! Calm down there, Lisa!” Sadie held up her right hand and
stepped in her friend’s path. “It’s nearly dark, and even if there is
civilization beyond those trees, I don’t feel like hiking through a
dark, scary forest just to get there! Let’s spend one more night on the
beach, and then go looking for people tomorrow.”
“All right,” Lisa sighed as she sat down on the sand. “I suppose it is best if we wait till morning.”
“Right. Let’s just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet for one more night.”
As dawn cracked over the Fourtix region, the first flights for the day
had already arrived at the sprawling international airport in Northwood
City. Among the early passengers were the couple who owned the company
that was the city’s namesake.
“What do you mean, ‘We’re out of stock’? I called from
Greenville-Spartanburg specifically requesting that a Lincoln Town Car
be held for us when we got here, and your receptionist told us it would
be no problem! So, where’s our Town Car?” An angry Douglas Northwood
was peering over the desk at a car rental agency, screaming bloody
murder at the clerk.
“Sir, it must have been sort of misunderstanding. Besides, you look like a couple who’d look better in a Mustang anyway…”
“Look, I don’t have the time to haggle with you! Our daughter is lost
at sea and is probably in danger! So stop wasting our time!”
Getting defiant, the employee stood up and matched Douglas’ gaze.
“Well, sir, if your daughter is in danger, you wouldn’t be concerned
about what car you got! I’d think you’d be more worried about getting
to her and seeing if she’s safe!”
“Fine! Fork over the keys to the damn Mustang then!” Snatching the
keys, he stormed out of the office, only waiting to hear the clerk say,
“It’s the red coupe in Row C!”
Brooke Northwood told the man, “I apologize for my husband. When he
gets stressed out, he tends to fly off the handle. Please, forgive us.”
“Really, it isn’t a problem. Believe me, I’ve seen worse reactions.
Thank you for choosing to rent from us!” the clerk replied as the woman
raced out of the office to catch up with her husband.
Once settled inside the Mustang, Brooke turned toward her husband. With
an angry expression, she scolded him. “You know, that was totally
unacceptable behavior back there. Honestly, we should just have taken
whatever car they offered. I swear, you can be worse than a child
“Look, honey, I have a reputation as a businessman to maintain. And
part of that is being seen behind the wheel of a stately luxury car and
not a brash sports car!”
“But isn’t another part of that reputation being seen as a mature,
responsible man and not as an immature, complaining spoiled brat?”
Douglas grew silent and stone-faced. Knowing his wife had won the
argument, he simply nodded. Brooke smiled and leaned back in her seat,
hoping that this would be the last time she would have to reprimand him.
Later in the morning, two girls emerged from a thick stand of trees
that stood between the clearing and the shoreline. After making their
way through what had seemed like an endless trek through dense forests,
smelly swamps, and small rock formations, Lisa and Sadie had finally
clawed their way back to civilization. Soaking wet, barefoot, and with
their dresses completely ripped off below the knees, the girls were
presented with the familiar scenery of a city.
The city had a rugged yet historic appearance, with antebellum-style
white-washed houses covered with a layer of dirt and sand. Black
wrought-iron gates lined the front yards of many of the historic homes.
Narrow, cobblestone-covered streets seemed more suited for foot traffic
than cars. Aside from a clock tower and a church’s towering steeple,
very few buildings were more than three or four stories tall. One of
the more prominent buildings, with white columns out front, was
labeled, “Sphinx City Town Hall.”
“Wait… Don’t tell me we were in Sphinx City this whole time!” Lisa’s jaw dropped to the ground.
“Well, it would seem that way. Come on, let’s get cleaned up at the Pokémon Center.”
Upon seeing her sister and her friend enter through the doors of the
building, Lindsay’s heart began to race as she jumped up and down in
excitement. “Wait, is that Lisa? It is! It is! Lisa! Lisa!”
Throwing her arms around Lisa, Lindsay continued to gush. “It’s so good
to see you’re okay! Listen, Mom and Dad are on the way over here but
I’ll call to let them know you’re safe! Eew, you smell! Get yourself
cleaned up first! Your stuff’s in room four.”
“Okay, fine,” shrugged Lisa as she and Sadie headed to the showers
inside the building. As the girls were washing up, a fleet of Dodge
Charger and Chevy Camaro police cars silently began to surround the
Lisa soon emerged, wearing her classic blue dress, green blouse, and
white pantyhose. Turning to Bernie, she told him, “Thanks for taking
care of Lindsay for me. I think I’ll head out for a bit of a walk.” The
older sister told Lindsay, “I’m so happy to see you’re safe!”
“Me?! I’m glad to see that you’re safe! We were all worried sick about you!
“So, I guess Mom and Dad know?” Lisa asked.
“Yeah, I told them right after Bernie told me that you two had gone
into the water. Don’t worry, while you were changing, I told them that
you were safe.”
Lisa perked up. “Wait, are they over in this region now?”
“Yup, they’re on their way here. They said that even though you’re
safe, they shouldn’t waste a trip over here so they’re coming to see us
anyway! It’s still gonna take them another seven or eight hours to get
out here. Apparently they ran into trouble at the car rental place, but
they’re on the way now. Isn’t that great?”
Smiling, Lisa answered, “It sure is! I can’t wait to show them my Pokémon and all the things I’ve done here!”
Sadie came back to the front lobby, wearing a dark green T-shirt and
blue jeans. “Man, it felt so good to get a shower after all that. And
Mom wasn’t too mad about me ruining my cell phone and dress, though I’m
still gonna have to repay her…”
“Hey, it was partially my fault, so I’ll help out,” Lisa offered.
“Anyway, it’s great to hear that everything worked out and I’ll be
seeing Mom and Dad. Sadie, will you be able to stay long enough to meet
them? Lindsay said they’ll be here in a few hours.”
“Yeah, the ship doesn’t leave for Kanto for a few days yet. So I’ll be here!”
“That’s great! You’ll like my parents; they’re really cool. Well anyway, I think I’ll head out for a little while.”
“Hey, aren’t you gonna get your stuff?” Lindsay asked.
“I need to take a walk, so I’ll get it when I get back. I won’t be too long, I promise!”
Lisa had not taken three steps outside the Pokémon Center when police
officers descended on her. As two officers pushed her to the ground and
began to restrain her, the others had their guns trained on her.
“Lisa Northwood, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent…”Next Section ---->