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I’m not a curse.

The night was warm, with a small breeze to keep the humidity down snugly. The moon was shining brightly above a sea of stars and consolations woven across the sky like a great tapestry. So beautiful that it hurts. It was a cozy summer evening. All of the trainers and Pokémon across the many towns would be asleep at this hour, except for one lone figure walking through the grass around at midnight. It was none other than Tyrin the Sylveon.

He was alone, in more ways in the word than one. He remembered how they ran into this place at the other’s direction and guidance. He never knew why it had to be here, or why the things that happened afterwards had followed. “One year,” the Sylveon mused as he looked around to the stones of the cemetery, "An entire year since the incident and nothing, nothing to help me find out what happened. Maybe I should just stop; nothing is going to bring him back.” The Pokémon started to trot to his destination, his ribbons dragging on the ground as he walked. He was told of how happy and cheerful Sylveons were supposed to be, but others never understood what he had gone through exactly one year ago. They would not be able to sleep at night if they knew what he went through. Of how his friend was taken away from him, tortured right before his eyes.

His footsteps slowed as he approached the smallest grave of Pallet Town before grinding to a halt altogether. With the original rose long dead and Arceus knows where, he pulls out a new one and simply drops it on the stone cover that contained his friend, or what remained of him. He couldn’t find the strength to look at the grave itself, the monument bearing all of his unanswered questions and his own depression. The tombstone was bearing the name of his best friend, an unusual yet fitting name, a rather crude irony under these circumstances. Loneliness.

The Sylveon began to tear up at that point, feeling that no matter how hard he tried to find even a single hint as to why they were split apart that he would never understand, none. He felt as if he had failed his friend.

"I-I'm sorry Lonely...I couldn't find anything..." he sighs with heaving melancholy in front of the stone, sobbing softly to himself.

In front of him was the stone lid that his friend was buried under, assuming that whatever lies inside of it is certainly dead and decaying, perhaps nothing but a mere pile of flesh and bone for all Tyrin knew. Whatever it looked like, it certainly had no more warmth to provide him with, the Eevee long since having left nothing of himself behind.

The Sylveon finally looks at the cover as he thought about it and froze when he saw the lid open itself up on its own. There was a pile of very small bones inside before it formed. Tyrin can remember it quite clearly. A hole, a rift of time. A voracious portal of sorts that lead into some distant void that had took his friend, his little prince away from him.

No no no no. Tyrin screamed commands in his head in hopes that his body would follow his thoughts, but could only manage to take a small step back before the rift sucks him inside its dark depths. On the tombstone, the name now reads Lonliness, the letter 'E' having been scratched out once more.

It took several minutes to adjust to the darkness of this world beyond, a valley of shadows. It was very quiet outside of faint traces of hushed whispering somewhere not too far away. Tyrin couldn’t make any words out, but swore he heard his own name being mentioned, maybe even Lonliness as well. Speaking of which, he wonders where his little friend was. Shouldn’t he be here? He then considers what he just thought.

"Where am I?"

He wasn’t sure whether this is Hell or some twisted Heaven. It honestly doesn’t look like either of those, too dark and nondescript to be any sort of Biblical location. Was he in limbo? Is this purgatory? He looks around, wondering who or what will be judged.

As if answering his question, his eyes adjust and make out something directly in front of him. It was a small shape, brown with a cream white neck-pelt. It was looking down, its head cast towards the ground. It looked pathetic, sobbing even.

Tyrin was in utter joy at the sight. “Lonliness!” he sang the name happily, but the Eevee didn’t seem to notice. He notices that his friend’s ears perk up but otherwise the Eevee lies still. Not a single word comes out of his mouth. Tyrin tries to walk towards him, but found that he couldn’t move beyond this spot.

"Ah, ah, ah...wouldn't want to interrupt his punishment now, would we?" the voice clicked its tongue.

Tyrin froze there as the blood-chilling voice comes from the apparent nowhere, fear taking a hold of him once more. He was able to squeak out a response, “W-who are you…?”

A different voice comes to answer his question, a female whisper. "We are the ones who warned you about the Eevee; we tried to keep you away from him. He is nothing but a curse brought to us all. We are the ones who suffer from his curse, his very existence...and now we receive the full end of it." The source of these words reveal themselves to the Sylveon on opposite sides of the Eevee. Tyrin recognizes these… whatever they were exactly, as the ghastly figures at the pond; pure white, spectral skin with glaring red eye and arms.

“Get away from him,” the Sylveon growls before the ghosts take note of his attention and reach out to grab him. As Tyrin struggled against their inhuman grip, the spirits cock their heads towards him with morbid interest.

"Such resolve... tell us, why do you see a blessing and not a curse?" the male voice asked rather casually with confused curiosity.

Fear and confusion were still present in his tone, but Tyrin managed to find the strength to reply to the question. "He was an innocent little child the day I found him, hating himself and wanting nothing more than to die a painful death. Once I showed him what he always needed, he began to see happiness for for first time in years; he is the most amazing Pokémon I have ever met.” He pauses before anger filled him, “And you made him hate life. You tell me, who is the real curse?"

Lonliness raises his head up to briefly face the Sylveon before looking away again. Not a word. The ghost, the female one to be exact, answered for him.

"He was left on his own to die for reasons beyond your comprehension. He caused the death of an equally innocent child himself, one of his own trainer's Pokémon, but he didn't stop there. No, not even after we told his owner to leave him. He went on and cursed the very soil he walks upon. He only creates ruin and leaves everybody he interacts with into nothing but tortured souls in an everlasting limbo." She pauses, "Why should he have special privilege, Tyrin, above all else?"

“You don't understand, he is a child! Nothing more than an innocent soul wishing for nothing more than to be loved. So an accident happened, how is that grounds to condemn a child to desecrate earth and destroy those who come close to him?”

"Don't you see what he's done? He almost took YOUR own life before we rid him of his pathetic existence, even if he didn't mean to. We tried to draw you away from him, but you only persisted in never wanting him to leave you for your own selfish reasons until we had to dispose of him ourselves. Why would you want him back exactly?" the ghost spoke onto him.

The Sylveon fell silent on that note. Everybody in the dark bowels of the grave thought that he had perhaps given in at this point. He closes his eyes in thought before opening them again and flashing a smile, sounding confident. "Because I love him, and I would be willing to give up anything to have him back, even if that means I must give up my own life for him. Everyone deserves love, no matter what they do and I plan to give him just that and no curse is going to stop me."

Lonliness finally looks back up to Tyrin again and lets out a small and hopeful smile, the ghosts rolling their eyes as they were less than impressed. The boy’s smile faded slowly to a frown again as they spoke up again. "We want to inherit your identity. We want you to acquire your morality as a trade in you having your fleshy pile of filth here back. Your soul will finally free our own, but you will have to sacrifice all of your joy and rationality if it means that this curse will forever be in your hands. If you can't see why he needs to stay dead, then you will experience it firsthand."

Tyrin’s smile slowly faded as he looked at the Eevee, now starting to consider his options rationally. "I-I won't be me anymore? What will happen?"

The ghost came closer to him, "You will become the curse; you will want nothing more than a shadow of what you once were and," pointing to Lonliness, "in return he is free."

Realizing that the boy’s life rests upon his hands, the blue orbs of the Sylveon’s eyes start to dart between the three figures of this void as doubt starts to grow inside of him. Lose who he was? Sacrifice all of his joy? Was it...worth it? The most logical answer was to leave the boy here for him to rot, alone. Any suspensions and doubt in his mind faded as he looks at the sad Eevee youth again, it was at that moment when Tyrin decided that he has lived a fine life up to this point, and if it meant that he would spend more time and save the boy’s life, it was well worth his own life for someone who needed it more. For him to start anew and push aside what he had done, whatever it were, whatever the curse was. With his eyes watering, the Sylveon finally answered.

“Deal.”

His choice was followed by an embrace soon after, the Eevee looking up at the Sylveon before both of their visions fade to the black confines of a lid that once contained the dead body of a poor, misunderstood child. The gravestone had vanished entirely, but the new rose remained there as a mark of its memory. Lonliness soon felt lighter, as if a heavy burden was finally lifting off of his shoulders. When he was able to move, he first made sure he was intact, blinking his right eye a few times and feeling around his throat with his small paws. He smiles, grateful to be alive. Maybe everything was going to be–

The Eevee’s thoughts ended there, interrupted by Tyrin’s bloodcurdling scream.


Chapter one of And Hell Will Follow Me

Next chapter: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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