EstherWednesday, June 8 – Aqua Resort, Sophian Island, Oblivia RegionIsland Life! All around the world that phrase stirred envy and wishful fantasies. A lounge by the beach accompanied by a fresh Piñap Colada: three ice cubes chilled it to perfection and a half-squeeze of citrus provided that zesty kick! Add a little umbrella for personality and viola~! The perfect drink to enjoy white-sand beaches and sun-kissed shores; each sip of delicious sour was enhanced by deep breaths of salted breezes and cool, brilliant blue skies. Heaven on earth~
Except it wasn’t! Piñap Colada? Have you ever tasted one? Yuck! The Pinap was delicious, no complaints there, but the coconut? Ew! It looked worse than it tasted, but it looked like a hairy nut sack, so that wasn’t saying much. And sun-kissed? More like sun-scorched! The tropical islands of Oblivia were hell on earth. The heights of summer had empowered the sun far beyond any mortal ken and painfully blue skies ensured there was nary a thing between the sun and scorching sand. Just traversing the beach resulted in a 30% chance of burn!
None felt the heat more clearly than Esther. The Oblivia teen lay dead-fished beneath the negligible shade of a tree; her lips opened and then closed, muttering what was surely her last will and dying testament—a Swannasong if you would.
“...I will surrender to Fahrenheit,
And I don’t wanna apologize,
It’s getting hot, hot, and I’m burning up...”
Admittedly, Esther’s pain was self-inflicted. In the name of Arceus and fashion, she wore a bikini top and skirt wrap. This would’ve been fine by itself, but Esther’s chosen color was a plain gothic black; only interrupted by the white stitch of a Cubone flipping you the bone—keep your eyes up here buddy. But cheeky fashion statements (in a more literal sense), though funny, did naught against the heat.
Esther’s face was scrunched into a mask of displeasure. The heat was only made worse by a raucous noise; the kind of chaotic din that only a clamor of children could make, and the splash of enviously cool waters. The latter was most excruciating; she could listen and watch, but not join.
These were all the junior members of the Aqua Dance Troupe and Esther was responsible for them,
a few of them were even in Esther’s class. Lessons had finished for the day, cut short by the unbearable heat; but the job wasn’t done until their parents came around to collect them. In the interim, they had gathered at the Silk Farm, a property owned by Esther’s parents. The farm had a tributary of the Sophian river cutting right through it, no more than waist-deep. Perfect for irrigating the farm, beating the summer heat, or entertaining a bunch of kids (meaning she didn't have to): truly, one of Sophia’s greatest treasures.
But Esther wouldn’t get to indulge herself just yet.
Her eyes flickered over the tempting waters, and she wistfully tore her gaze away. Esther remained rooted to her spot—a small hill that overlooked the farm. From there she could keep an eye on all the kids; but importantly, she could keep an eye on her laptop. It was a rickety, rackety, clickity, clackety, old thing, barely functional even without the heat cooking its circuitry; but, plastered across its screen was an inbox.
‘No new messages... ‘
What time was it...? The clock read half-past two. “Any minute now...”
With bated breath, she reloaded the page. It would take a moment... the screen faded white, save for the baby blue loading circle that spun endlessly; loading...loading...loading...
Esther leaned back and thumbed over a small collection of rocks at her side. The rocks, arranged into a tower, were rounded and smooth save for where shallow characters had been scratched into their surface. Turning to read them for the umpteenth time, it read ‘Cyrus & Shirin, loving parents and the best grandparents.’
It was all they’d been able to fit on the rock—her siblings and she—and it was the only remaining memorial of her grandfather after his grave had been vaporized along with Dolce Island several years ago and when her late grandmother had passed, the family had followed her wishes and scattered her ashes over the sea. Where she could be with her husband.
Esther sighed and pulled her gaze back to the kids. It was nice they could be so happy and carefree but, as her grandmother had frequently said in her later years, the folly of their people was being “Oblivious Oblivians…”
Seeking the meaning behind those words her older brother had left the region to become a Pokémon trainer. It wasn’t big in Oblivia—it was non-existent to be specific—but from her brother’s stories, it was huge in other regions across the world. While Oblivia was beautiful, her brother spoke of a whole new world and Esther desperately wanted to see it.
That’s why today was important! That’s why she grit her teeth and pushed through the sweltering heat. Today was the day she received her first Pokémon...well, she would receive a letter of approval that let her select her first Pokémon—semantics!
Esther re-focused on the laptop; sweat beading down her forehead. As the elementals on the page loaded-in in chunks, she saw...it. A single unread message. Its header read, ‘To: Trainer Esther’ and its source? ‘From: the Pokémon project’.
A Trainer! To be addressed as such, it sent thrilling chills down Esther's spine, in spite of the muggy heat. She was a trainer! In-name at first, but after today, she'd be one in every sense of the word.
A feral WHOOP split her lips and settled into a slightly-less-feral grin. Who had time for heat stroke; she was getting her first Pokémon!
Discussion Thread: https://pokecharms.com/threads/pokemon-discussion-thread.28773/