Written by: Skinny720

Every day, for as long as I can remember, a man named Alex has walked down my road. He always wore a light blue backpack, which always looked brand new despite the daily trek. He never told anyone what he holds inside, but everyone knew that he had Pokémon, on account of the five Poké Balls he always wore at his belt. Our road led all the way up to Mount Moon, where everyone assumed he went to train his said Pokémon. When dusk settled later in the day, he would come back down the mountain, and walk back down our road, where he came from.

Ever since Red triumphed over Team Rocket and the Elite 4 about three years ago, more children have been becoming competitive trainers. I was twelve at the time, and I had already had a Pokémon, a shiny Eevee, but had no interest in battling. I still don't, despite my Eevee having evolved into an Umbreon; I had no interest in having him battle, I just wanted to have him as a companion. My little brother, however, wanted to become a Champion, a Pokémon Master, just like Red. I admired his ambition, and encouraged him to follow his dream, but being too young, he had to wait.

One day, a year ago, a child went up to Mount Moon to train his newly caught Rattata, followed by a few other new trainers and Alex. At the end of the day, all but one of the trainers had come back down from the mountain- the boy with the Rattata. Officer Jenny organized a search party consisting of the adults, me and the other older boys in Cerulian City, because all the grown men were drafted for the war a few years ago. We searched around and inside the mountain’s caves to no avail. We finally gave up our search two days later. While we searched, Officer Jenny interviewed the kids and Alex, who claimed to see nothing out of the ordinary.

The boy's funeral was held the following Friday, where all of the townspeople attended. Many people spoke on the boy’s behalf, including Alex, who said: "I was there, on the mountain that day... I wish there was something... I could've done," closely followed by a fit of tears. I watched him being helped down from the podium, when I could have sworn a malicious grin flashed across his face for a second. No one else seemed to notice, so I figured I was imagining it, and I never told anyone about it.

My brother turned ten a week ago, and he received his first Pokémon: a Riolu, in a custom ball; blue and white, with black stripes running from the button over and under the rest of the ball, meeting at the button once again. He trained it, easily fainting the local children's Pokémon, and he gained confidence doing so. Within a couple of days, the other children became too easy for him. So, yesterday, he decided he would try out Mt. Moon.

After much pleading with my mother to let him go, and even enlisting my help, my brother got our mom to let him go up to the mountain alone. After he was geared up and ready, our mom kissed him on the forehead and set him off for the mountain with the other kids, and a little later, Backpacker Alex. I watched them all the way up to the mountain, and went back in the house. I watched the Pokémon Competition, which goes on all day, with my mom and Umbreon. An unusual practice for us, mostly because nothing else was on.

The competition ended, and about when my brother was due from the mountain, so we went outside to see everyone coming back down, except my brother and Backpacker Alex. My mother immediately called Officer Jenny, and told her that he hadn't returned, Jenny promptly came, recorded the information needed for a search: age, height, and what he was wearing, then told us to stay here and wait for news. She then formed a search party and started searching. My mother went to her room, staying calm 'till she got there, but sounds of crying soon echoed down the hall. I did the same, my Pokémon following me. At about ten, we still hadn't receive any news. Umbreon was sound asleep at the foot of my bed. However, I couldn't sleep, so I just sat gazing out of the window.

I was about to leave my window when I saw a figure, coming down the road. It gradually grew closer, until I could identify it as Backpacker Alex. But, the way he walked was rather odd, like he was sneaking. I squinted at the darkness, to see his pack seemed darker than before, and that he had a new Poké Ball. As he got closer, I ducked down a little, but I could still see. When he was right across the road, I could see him in detail. His backpack wasn't its usual shade of blue, rather, it was stained red at the bottom. I saw the new Poké Ball at his belt: blue and white, with black stripes.

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