Snowdrift

Twenty-five
Sapphire

We awoke just before midday the next morning, when we heard the door opening.

"We're booked out, guys," said Sapphire, "Let's bugger off now."

We definitely wouldn't be able to make it back to the mountains in one and a half days, it was even doubtful whether we'd make it back to Sunset Town in time for the ceremony, but we would do our best. With Sapphire on Glacier's back and Shelly and our egg on mine, we took off through the window and headed for home.

We soared over the skyscrapers, over the high-rises, over the houses, over the parklands and finally by sunset, we were over open forest, the awful city left far behind. We would probably be on the news again tonight, only for a different reason. I didn't care.

I let out a whoop of joy and did a quick barrel roll in the sky.

"Woah! Snowfall! Don't do that again! My heart skipped a beat and I almost dropped the egg!" protested Shelly.

"Sorry Shell, forgot you were there," I lied.

"Cool. Am I loosing weight?" asked Shelly. I laughed and did another barrel roll.

Next morning Glacier and I awoke before the other two and had a quick conference between ice beams. As I mentioned before, we had to maintain a cold temperature on it.

"Be good if we could spot a cave, or at least a pond or river," said Glacier.

"Mmm. Well, actually, we could do without the water, we've got Blue and Dewdrop," I added.

"Good point. But we definitely should try to find a cave, although I guess a slab of rock would work well" Glacier stressed.

"Okay," I agreed, "I don't think we'll have any hope of finding any mountains, but the basic idea is that we fly north and find a slab of rock. I can blast a hole in that easily enough."

Glacier nodded. We fell silent and resumed ice beaming.

When the two woke up, we took off again, this time I had Sapphire. We flew closer to the ground and more spread out than the previous day, so we could cover more ground.

Sapphire was puzzled. "Why are we flying this way? Home's that way. And why so far from Glacier? Did you have an argument?"

"Course not!" I laughed. "We're looking for either a cave or a slab of rock, but a cave's preferable, and flying north where it's colder. Need to find a good spot for our egg to hatch."

"You mean it's hatching today?" she gasped.

"Without doubt," I smiled, more to myself than to Sapphire.

We flew for hours before Glacier swerved over to me. But it appeared to be Shelly who had spotted the right spot.

"Snowfall!" she cried, "There's a slab of rock, pretty big one too, down by that huge tree down there. It's pretty well shaded, so it's kinda like a cave."

"We've been searching for hours," said Glacier, "It's probably the best we'll get." He did a u-ey and dropped down to the big tree, sticking well above the others, and disappeared into the greenery. I disappeared after him.

The ground here was not dirt, but solid rock. The sunlight shone through the trees, creating a lovely dappled pattern on the rock. A tiny clump of pink flowers grew in a crevice in the rock and each head winked at us in the breeze. If we couldn't have ice and snow, this was the next best thing.

"Well done Shell," I said, patting her on the back with a wing. Five white flashes behind me signified that the five other Pokémon had been released from their balls. I didn't know how they got used to it.

A thought flashed through my mind. These two Jynx were trained. What if..?

"Scarlet!" I called the Jynx over, "Do you guys know the dance?"

The pair looked at each other and laughed. "Course we do, Snowfall!" laughed Scarlet.

"Nothing to worry about!" Shelly assured me. "We're taught that as soon as we evolve. May be a little rusty though, we'll practice while you set up." So the two Jynx waddled off into the trees to begin practising the ritual.

I chose a spot a little way from the big tree and blew a splayed ice beam into the ground. Sure enough, the rock was blown to gravel. But when the dust cleared, I found that my hole was merely ten centimetres deep. I called the other guys over who knew how to do a splayed ice beam and told them what I wanted. Glacier, Dewdrop and Sapphire would scoop out the gravel and move it elsewhere.

We all worked together and finally created a donut three meters wide and half a meter deep. The island in the middle was just big enough for our egg. I picked it up the egg in my wings and placed it on the island of rock and stepped back as three water guns filled the mote to the brim. It was perfect.

I called the pair of Jynx from the trees and they waddled out, running as fast as their robes would let them, to our little assembly. We all took a spot around the egg and sat down. Glacier put a wing around me and I leant my tired head against his strong chest. The two Jynx took up their positions in the mote of water and began the dance.

As I had when my baby brother hatched, I became lost in their dance. Their arms flowed like ribbons of silk. The scarlet folds of their dresses rippled over their black skinned bodies and drifted in the water. The blond streamers of hair dancing with them, glowing golden in the late afternoon sun. They swayed their arms and bodies in perfect unison with the other, loosing themselves in the dance that would hatch my egg.

The Jynx clapped their hands over their head and faced open palms to the egg. Slowly raising them, the started chanting, "Jyyyyyyyyyyyyynx!" The egg wriggled and fell still. It wriggled again and bounced up into the air. Three meters from the ground, it exploded in a twinkle of snowflakes and shards of eggshell. The two Jynx, still lost in a trance, floated my baby to my open wings.

I grasped the chick and held it close to my chest. Glacier brought his wings around me and we cried tears of happiness. We had done it. We hatched a chick.

I opened my eyes and saw the seven anxious faces of my friends gazing at my closed wings. I opened them to reveal the cutest creature ever to grace the planet. His eyes were big and wide, huge saucers filled with wonder at what it was like outside the walls of his egg. His tiny purple beak opened wide in a yawn and he closed his big eyes and dozed off, his tiny wings draped over my own and cute little tail flopped over my legs. He nuzzled his face into my chest and cooed softly.

"He's beautiful," breathed Sapphire. "What are you going to call him?"

Glacier and I glanced happily at each other, then turned back. "Sapphire," we said in unison, and laughed. Sapphire the human smiled and fingered her sapphire stone.

twenty-six