Black Albino

Fourteen
Gone

It constantly moves its large ears in many directions in order to detect danger right away.
Pokémon Crystal Pokédex Entry

Kuu had been on the move all day. He’d seen a group of Rattata, who’d paid no attention to him as he hopped past. When his mother had told him about them, he’d imagined something different, but they matched her description exactly – purple fur, long tail with a curl at the end, big, round ears and long teeth – so they must have been Rattata.

Eventually, the hot beginning-of-summer sun beating down on his black fur became too much for him, and he collapsed thankfully under the shady canopy of a massive fig tree. The tree’s roots seemed to Kuu to be almost the size of the tree itself, and he decided that when he was well rested that he would definitely need to explore this place. But for now, he lay his head down on the dusty ground and rested up against one of its huge roots and thought of his family.

He would never see them again. Although his mother had told him otherwise, he still thought it was his fault he had lost his brother and sister to the Growlithe. Now he would never see Kukka or Aamu’s happy faces again. He tried to think of them as they used to be, not moments before they died, but it was hard. The agony printed on their faces would stay with him forever.

And then there was his mother; killed by the only other adult he had trusted. Now there was no one left to trust. And what was worst was the look on Taishou’s face as he did it. He was excited by what he was doing. Lumi had never done anything to him, and yet he took pleasure in taking her life away.

Sobs wracked Kuu’s small black body, and tears again ran freely down his short nose, making a small puddle in the dry dusty earth under the fig tree. He felt as though he couldn’t cry enough. He’d lost more than half his family, he’d lost his teacher and now that he’d run away, he’d lost Hamara and Jaa as well.

He wept for ages, but eventually quietened down and managed to doze off under the massive roots of the fig tree.

He awoke just before the sun touched the tops of the hills ahead of him. A flock of Pidgey and Pidgeotto led by a graceful Pidgeot flew towards the fig tree Kuu had been sleeping under. As they approached, Kuu could hear their flapping feathers rustling in the still and silent evening air, and their soft coos echoing through the roots of the fig.

Figuring that this tree was their home, Kuu stretched and continued his quest, towards the hills not too far away. He had no idea how long it would take him to find his father, or even if he ever would, but at least he was away from the warren. There, all they cared about was the colour of your fur. If you were too pale, there was a good chance a Nidoran could get killed, even by the mob’s own protector. Though Kuu was worshipped for his colour, he couldn’t bare to see those around him suffer or even die because of such a ridiculous superstition.

He continued through the night, following the silhouette of the hills ahead of him against the diamond-studded velvet sky. It was still considerably warm progress, but not so scorching hot as the day had been.

As he reached the foothills, Kuu began hearing strange noises. Rustlings in the long, dry grass from some creature. He stopped hopping and looked at where the sound was coming from, but could see nothing but grass. His ears stiffened and flapped around, picking the sound up again from behind, and he whisked around to see what it was. His broad ears heard more rustling to his left and whispers came from his right. Kuu whipped his head around, not knowing what was making the noise. Was it dangerous? Was it just playing a joke on him? Was he just imagining things?

Suddenly a pair of evil eyes and a mouth of sharp teeth jumped up in front of him. Kuu didn’t hang around for long enough to see any more of it, he was off through the silver-lit grass faster than a Rapidash in full flight. He could hear the rushing grass and pounding feet behind him that told him the creature was in hot pursuit, along with more of its kind.

They chattered evilly amongst themselves, working out a plan of attack. Scornful laughter broke out behind Kuu, making him run even faster.

He streaked through the hushing sliver grass, hoping that somewhere there would be something to save him. As he approached the hills, he could see a black void, a cave in the side of the mountain. He veered towards it, hoping that maybe he could find something in there to hide behind. He broke out of the darkness of the night and into the pitch-blackness of the cave, frantically searching for a rock to shelter around.

But behind him, he heard the now nervous chitters from his pursuers. He turned cautiously around and could see them more clearly. They walked on two legs and had long white claws that glinted in the moonlight. As they turned their heads worriedly at each other, yellow winks of light flashed from their foreheads, around where Kuu had his horn.

They started backing slowly away from the cave, then turned abruptly and shot off through the grass, away from the cave that obviously scared them out of their wits.

Not wanting to run into any more of the creatures he dubbed ‘Long Claws’, he decided that the cave was safe enough to stay the night in. He was used to sleeping underground anyway, the cave couldn’t be all that much different. He curled up between a large rock and the wall of the cave and waited for his heart to stop racing and his breath to return to normal before drifting off again.

Fifteen