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527682ghost-boy

There is a strong belief that when someone passes they leave a part of their being, their soul, in the world of the living. More specifically, this occurs with objects that were near and dear to that person, acting as tethers or anchors to our world. I only know this because I have become a believer myself but only because it happened to me. 

It began a few years back, back when Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were still a big hit. Back then, I was a game addict, more so than I am now. I would spend hours of my time gaming and occasionally sleeping in class (you know, what all the normal kids would do). However, it was the Pokémon games that would forever leave their mark on my life.

It was one day when I was tired of looking for my old Pokémon Blue version, having lost it while moving into our new home in Miami with my mother and my little brother the month prior. Naturally, being jealous that my little brother still had his Pokémon Red I was compelled to do chores around the house until I had enough money to buy a few Game Boy games from the local GameStop. Taking a few weeks, I had finally saved up about sixty dollars or so to buy several games, and not just one. My mom, after much 'persuasion', agreed to take me during the weekend.

That Saturday at the GameStop, I took no time in grabbing several games for the N64, like Pokémon Stadium 2, some extra controllers with the back cartridge attachments, and some link cables, among other things. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten my main reason coming here, and was rather upset, noticing that I didn't have enough money to by a new Blue version out of the box, and if I wanted to play right then and there I would have to get a used cartridge. There is no way I would wait, I was way too impatient. Grabbing all my goodies, I headed home and procured my Game Boy Advance SP from its carrying case in my room. I then pulled my new Pokémon Blue version from the bag and just then took notice of how well-kept it was. For a game that was starting to age, the Blastoise picture was intact, and it didn't seem like the cartridge itself was scratched. Even happier that the game looked more new than used, I placed it into my SP and took no time to power it on. 

The familiar intro played, and upon reaching the start menu, to clear notice was the 'Continue' option. I wouldn't expect less of GameStop; they always only checked to see if the game powered on and worked and never really deleted any progress of the previous owner.

I selected the option and saw that the character's name was DIME in all capital letters, and he had all eight badges and about one hundred and four Pokémon. I was pretty impressed, considering most people just Gameshark themselves to fill their Pokédex. Curious, I started this save file just to look at his Pokémon line up. He was saved in Celadon City by the game corner, and his Pokémon team consisted of a Charizard, Kabutops, Dragonite, Snorlax, Pikachu, and a Porygon. All of the Pokémon were level one hundred, except the Porygon, who was level thirty-one. It looked as if the player had only just recently purchased the Porygon from the game corner prizes and only started to train it. I checked the items and was impressed to see no signs of Missingno. The player of this game was obviously just as addicted to gaming as I was to spend so much time on a game. I restarted my SP, having my fill and decided that I would start a new game, seeing as everything was probably already done, but before I had a chance, my mom stormed into my room, snatched the game from my hands, and began yelling at me. She had found out about my grades.

I was grounded for the rest of that weekend, but I knew that she would end up forgetting by next week as she usually did and would have to wait to play. However, that night I woke up with a very disorienting headache and a loud ringing at my ears. I went to the bathroom to wash my face before trying to go back to bed. It was way too early in the morning, about four AM, and I had no games in my possession. I was only in bed for about ten minutes when I heard an odd knocking sound. It was very subtle but clear enough to pinpoint its location. My window.

I was known for having nightmares, so I was really reluctant to even go close to the window and instead turned on the TV and lights of my room before I had enough courage to check. The window was fogged up, and it was rather hard to even see through the darkness at the street lights. The tapping had stopped and there wasn't really anything I could make out that could have been making the tapping. That was, until I saw something that still makes me shiver.

Upon a closer inspection, there were words spelled out on my window carved out from the moisture. They read, "Don't Ignore ME." It was obvious I was freaked out, but what made me shoot back into my bed and cover myself with my blanket was, through the letters that were carved out from the foggy moisture of my window, I saw a boy just standing there in the middle of the street, staring at the ground. He was like this for a few seconds before he suddenly looked up and directly at me, his eyes gone, hollow and dark. Hiding underneath my covers I could hear the knocking start again. I cried silently to myself until the morning came several hours later.

Immediately when my mother woke up I explained to her what happened. But of course, like all parents are, and due to my history of nightmares, she shrugged it off as just that. Then again, maybe it was a dream... I hoped it was, anyway. 

After a few days had passed with surprisingly no knocking, I was convinced that it was a dream and went into my mother's room and snuck out my Game Boy. She always hid the games in the same place and never remembered what she took. I turned the game on and finally began my new game. Nothing was out of the ordinary and I had a blast replaying my favorite generation of Pokémon. I had probably played about five or six hours before I finally decided to give it a rest and saved before turning off the game. I placed my SP to charge and went to bed, but this time, I left the television on, but with the volume down, the light being enough to keep me comfortable since I was still a bit scared. 

That night I woke up, no headache this time, but I instantly noticed that my room door was slightly open. I always close my door, but this didn't really bother me too much since it could well be my mom checking up on me to make sure I wasn't staying up at night playing video games again. I was further convinced when I heard noises coming from around the kitchen. I got up, and decided to tell her that she had woke me up but when I looked about the area, it was all dark. No one was in the kitchen, but the noise still continued.

It was a slight shuffling sound and a tapping, coming from the fireplace. I crept closer and my heart rate shot up as I held back a scream. There, crouched inside the fireplace was the boy looking directly at me. Thankfully there were small glass doors that closed off the fireplace from the inside of the house, but I watched him try to push them apart. I could see his pale hands light enough to see his veins press against the glass; he was trying to find a way inside. But why? Why was this thing even here? I was not going to spend any more time near this thing and ran over to my room and again hid under my covers. This time though I needed something to take my mind off this thing and grabbed my SP and powered it on. I would've told my mom but I dared not wake her up at three AM just to see that there was nothing there and end up being scolded.

However, something was odd. When I started the game and checked my party, I had a Pokémon that I didn't own before. Porygon level thirty-one. There was no way I could have one, because I never played the game corner in any Pokémon game; I always found it to be a waste of time. I checked the Porygon, and its trainer ID was DIME. I exhaled a cold breath, knowing full well that I had just deleted the game that morning and I couldn't have this Pokémon. All my other Pokémon were fine, but why did I have this one? 

It was then that I heard a familiar shuffling, but it was closer. I really didn't want to look, but I also didn't want to be attacked my something I couldn't see. I peeked up just a crack through the blanket and sunk into my bed, muffling my screams with my hands. Above me, in the air vents... I saw him. His disgusting face pressed up against the grate, watching me with those hollow eyes and mouth stretched three times wider than a normal human being, revealing nothing but a dark abyss. In my state of terror, I accidentally rubbed against my SP, pushing up the volume key causing the Vermilion city music to start up at full volume. It frightened me further and I fumbled to turn it off, but noticed how at that very instant, his fingers shot through the grate, trying to grasp at me and push his way in. It was the game that was driving him. Without a second thought, I turned off the game and shoved my SP across the room. I watched his fingers sink back into the air vent. 

I don't remember sleeping that night, but I do remember eyeing my SP from across the room, trying to piece together the puzzle. DIME must be the ghost that has been haunting me every time I played the game, but why would he try to attack me? Maybe he just wanted his game back? Maybe he was just some evil demon that haunts whoever owns this specific game cartridge. But if he was a demon or some evil spirit, then he wouldn't have stopped scaring me when I stopped playing the game. The whole process was frustrating and it didn't help that I was lacking more sleep than I was when staying up at night playing video games. So instead I decided to make sure that my hypothesis was right and that night I turned on my Game Boy to find that my file had been overwritten completely with the save file DIME, all eight badges, one hundred and four Pokémon acquired. This was all the proof I needed, even though it wasn't the real reason I turned it on. I played for a while, just walking back and forth in Celadon city, waiting to see if anything would happen, but there was no noise, nothing. I was beginning to doubt myself until it struck three AM, otherwise known as Dead Hour. Almost immediately my breath froze, and I knew he was near, but where? Not outside, not in the air ducts, not in my closet. Where was he hiding?

I was just checking underneath my bed when my door cracked open. I froze, knowing that it was either him or my mom and I very slowly tilted my head to see nothing but darkness. It was only a few seconds later that i saw the side of his face creep out slowly from the corner, one half of his face covered by the door, the other in view. I immediately pressed my back against the other corner of the room, clutching my blanket in one hand the SP in the other. He stared at me for what it felt to me like an eternity before a sudden, wide, cryptic, sadistic smile was at his face. It wasn't a gradual smile, no; it was in a split second; I blinked, and his face went from serious to a wide smile, ear-to-ear. I jumped before I threw the blanket in his direction, hoping in some way it would give me a chance to escape to run to my mom, but he simply wasn't there anymore. Instead, it forced the door closed, and with him out of sight, I locked the door. It was quiet for a moment, and all seemed fine until my closet shot open, him standing there with that same freakish grin. I was frantic. I tried to formulate some sort of plan as he grew closer, tears streaming down my face before I just gripped my SP and threw it at him, of course it phasing straight through him. 

I braced myself for what I could only imagine to be death, but it never came. Instead he turned around and followed the SP that landed in my closet before vanishing. I didn't want to go anywhere near that closet for as long as I lived. And with that, he never bothered me again; I wasn't visited by that creature ever again, and the months had passed just fine. It was when I got home one day that I saw my little brother playing his Pokémon Red version, and I sat down to watch him go about training his Eevee when he looked up at me with a wide smile.

"Oh, hey Ricky, I found your game that you said you lost; now we can battle and stuff. It was in your closet the whole time like Mom told you, stupid," he almost yelled out, laughing before he handed me my SP with that cursed damn Blue version again. I started to hyperventilate, not wanting ANYTHING to do with this damn game and took it from my brother before making an excuse that my friends wanted to see me outside. Upon leaving my house, I ran with everything I had to the nearby lake that the community center had in our neighborhood and pulled the game out of my SP, hurling it with all my might and watched it splash into the murky dark green waters. I didn't have to deal with it anymore.

That night, me and my brother stayed up, while I helped him out capturing a Dratini from the Safari Zone; apparently he just couldn't catch one. We had lost track of the time, and before we knew it, three AM had rolled by. Curious I was since my brother had been playing all day, I wanted to see what his team was like, and after finally catching a Dratini 45 minutes into the game, it was a perfect opportunity to check out my rival for future reference. Everything seemed normal; he had his Jolteon at level 72, Golem level 70, Vileplume level 71, Pidgeot level 75, Charizard level 100 and the newly caught Dratini at level 15.

Wait... What? A Charizard? since when did he have a Charizard? I know for a fact when I had fought him before that he had a Blastoise. I checked the Charizard and my heart sunk. My breath grew shallow and cold as I read who Charizard belonged to.

"DIME."

My mind raced, wondering how my little brother could've come across DIME's Charizard and it quickly hit me. The day that he claimed to have found the game in my closet, he must have snuck a trade while I was at school. Coming to this realization, there was something that snapped me back to attention. The aura of it all, like small lightning strikes at my spine, still haunts me to this day...

I could hear the subtle knocking on my brothers window.

He came back for his dear Pokémon...

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