Jou walked through the thick forest, pausing to enjoy the scenery several
times. Though the air was humid, he enjoyed the brisk walk very much, pausing
every so often to allow his partner Pokémon, a small Snorunt, time to catch up.
Though the humidity of the forest made Jou's face perspire a bit, the Snorunt was still shivering uncontrollably as it tried to keep up. Wiping the sweat from his brow, Jou continued walking a bit, though he was looking down to make sure he didn't get too far ahead of the much smaller and slower Snorunt. The pair continued their trek through the trees, with Jou stopping to examine the foliage above him frequently.
Sighing heavily to himself, the pair reached a small clearing in the woods and they both stopped to lay in the grass. Closing his eyes to rest, Jou enjoyed the relative silence of the forest, save for the small noises Snorunt made with its constant shivering.
The moment didn't last long however, as the sound of approaching footsteps brought Jou back to a sitting position. Looking around the clearing for a moment he realized he was still alone, and decided that whatever was responsible for the footsteps was probably still in the woods, and the thick trees made it seem closer than it actually was.
Satisfied with his conclusion, Jou lowered his head and was about to close his eyes once more when his eyes caught something in the branches of a tree in the nearby treeline. Unsure of what he was looking at, he stood and ran to the tree in question.
Looking up Jou could now clearly see that this tree had several berries growing among its branches. Though still relatively new to being a trainer, Jou at least knew that berries were generally a good thing. Turning to Snorunt, Jou gave a small nod before pointing to the tree.
Understanding the command, Snorunt backed up and rammed its head against the tree with all its might. The tree's thick trunk vibrated, and the leaves shook wildly from the force of the blow. Quickly regaining it's composure, Snorunt looked upwards expectantly with Jou.
The shaking of the leaves slowed until they stopped entirely. No berries fell from the tree despite all the effort put forth by the little Snorunt.
Dejected, Jou lowered his head and made his way back to his resting spot. Snorunt quickly followed suit behind him as Jou sighed heavily. Maybe they could try again after a break, the walk to the clearing probably tired them both out more than they had realized.
Nearing the warm grass brought a small smile to Jou's face taking away all his worries. Checking to make sure Snorunt was still close, he practically dove onto the ground.
"Aah!" A female voice called out, quickly followed by a thud on the ground.
Surprised to have heard anything, Jou looked around and realized that in his haste to relax, he had laid right in the path of another person, a young girl in red, who promptly fell over him.
Blushing brightly, he stood and offered the girl a hand to stand up. Her gloved hand met his and he helped her to her feet.
"I'm really sorry about that, I wasn't paying any attention and.." Jou started, before letting loose a string of apologies.
The girl smiled warmly at him and told him it was ok. She introduced herself as May, and said that she was a Pokémon coordinator on her way to Lilycove to compete in a super contest. She even pulled out a small plastic case filled with ribbons from all the contests she had competed and won in.
Needless to say, Jou was quite impressed, but hearing that her Pokémon were focused mainly on being effective in contests sparked his interest. Though he was still a bit of a rookie, he felt he could hold his own against this girl.
"So, May, since we're in this nice clearing and all, how would you feel about maybe having a Pokémon battle?" Jou offered, a little nervous of possible rejection.
May's warm smile became a sly grin almost instantly. Though Jou didn't know, she had a fierce competitive streak, and loved a challenge more than anything. She accepted his challenge and stepped to the other side of the clearing so they could begin.
They began by sizing each other up. Jou was beginning to feel a little intimidated by May after her excitement in accepting the challenge, though he tried to hide this. She was wearing a red bandanna and shirt with shorts that looked to almost be rubber. Her shoulder-length brown hair was well kept despite the forests humidity, but the thing that caught his attention most were the two Pokéballs she had strapped to her belt. Like him, she appeared to carry only two Pokémon with her at any time.
May examined the young boy that had challenged her to a battle and, though she wouldn't say it because she was polite, he didn't look like much. His short brown hair hung over his face in a way that almost made him look mousey. Though she figured he was probably about the same age he was, she noticed he was just a little shorter when he helped her up earlier. Normally she would exercise a bit of caution even then, but the boy looked a little nervous standing there, so she felt confident in her abilities.
Nodding at one another as a symbol of respect, May tossed both of her Pokéballs at him while Jou ordered his Snorunt forward, and threw the other ball on his belt to the field. A Kirlia emerged from Jou's other ball and Jou examined May's side of the field expectantly.
Any confidence Jou had evaporated into the summer sun as May's Pokémon came forward. An elegant Glaceon stood proudly in the clearing, its mere presence made his own Snorunt seemingly shiver more. May's other Pokémon didn't look any less dangerous, as a towering Blaziken emerged from the ball, leaving Jou quite nervous about any potential strategies he may have had before.
"Let's go!" May shouted, bringing Jou out of his shock. "Glaceon! Let's start this off with some Icy Wind!" She ordered as the Glaceon gracefully followed her orders.
An intensely cold rush of wind came from seemingly nowhere and Jou's Kirlia was brought to the ground from the attack. Jou briefly considered calling his Kirlia back, but seeing it stand on its own again put him at ease.
"Blaziken! Use a Jump Kick!" May ordered and the Pokémon got a running head start before leaping into the air and unleashing a fierce kick to the already injured Kirlia's torso, sending it flying to the treeline.
"Kirlia!" Joe cried in worry as the small Pokémon flew and hit a tree roughly. The trees leaves shook and several berries fell to the Earth from the impact and Jou raised his arms.
"Enough! I surrender, you win May!" Jou cried out, humiliated at how quickly he had lost to this girl.
May's jaw dropped at how quickly it was over. She was expecting more from the boy, or she was expecting at least another attack! But this boy was definitely new to training.
"Aw, that's all?" May asked taunting Jou. "I was expecting a bit of a challenge!" May smiled.
Jou's face reddened as he retrieved a super potion he had been carrying on him and sprayed it on Kirlia. He knew that it was an embarrassing loss but he had to tend to Kirlia before he could do anything else.
The super potion began working instantly and Kirlia stood on it's own again quickly, though it was still a little visibly damaged.
"Yes yes you won, congratulations May." Jou said as he stood, extending an arm to shake her hand as a sign of respect. May shook his hand and informed Jou that she should be going now.
Ordering her two Pokémon back, May started her way back into the forest, but stopped to make sure that Jou would be safe alone for a few moments. Seeing no immediate threat, she turned and began her long hike into the forest once more.
Jou sat on the grass with both of his Pokémon next to him. Laying down again he planned on resting a moment before continuing his own journey through the forest. Closing his eyes for a moment he contemplated what had just happened. He had lost, badly. But he knew that he couldn't let it get to him. If he wanted to do well he'd just have to train harder and some day maybe he'd have a rematch.
Smiling, Jou opened his eyes to see something looking down at him. Whatever it was he didn't recognize it, though it was likely some kind of Pokémon.
"Maybe it's a new species!" Jou thought excitedly as he reached for his Pokédex in his pocket. His sudden movement startled the Pokémon which responded by it opening its mouth and screeching loudly. Mercifully, Jou blacked out shortly after.
Jou woke up, his head throbbing with pain. Looking up he saw that the Pokémon he had been looking at just a moment ago was gone. Disappointed, He stood up and his heart froze.
Though it looked like he was in a forest, the fact that the trees around him were completely green and didn't look wooden was quite distressing. Standing to his feet revealed the reason behind everything to him.
"That Pokémon must have done something to me and now... I'm tiny!" Jou told himself nervously.
"Alright, just keep calm, keep calm. Maybe my Pokémon can help me!" Jou thought and looked over the high grass for his Snorunt and Kirlia while calling out for them. After nearly a minute of shouting Jou began to worry for their safety, until he saw the pair run to him through the huge stalks of grass. Disappointed and relieved all at once, Jou ran to both of them and rubbed them on the head to calm them down over the sudden change in scenery.
"Now now, don't worry, we're going to make it through this, okay! Jou said trying to sound cheerful though he was very tense with worry.
"We just need to find someone who can help us..." Jou told them as he looked skyward.
No sooner had he uttered the words that he felt a slight rumbling in the ground, and, only a moment later, a figure bigger than anything Jou had ever laid eyes on towered above him. Though he couldn't see the head of the figure, he could tell from the clothing that it was the person who had left only a few minutes ago, May.
Shortly after leaving Jou, May had, on a whim decided to pull out her item finder to see if there was anything valuable in the woods. May smiled widely as the device beeped, though faintly. Turning the item finder in the direction it pointed, she started to jog until she found herself back at the clearing where she had beaten Jou. He looked to be gone now, so he obviously missed whatever was here too.
Consulting the item finder again, May could see that the item was very nearby given the series of beeps and how close together they were. Shielding the sun from her eyes she looked around the clearing for anything of value.
May was now more intimidating than before given Jou's new stature, and he knew he had to find a way to get ahold of her.
Swallowing hard he tried to think of a plan to get himself out of the situation he was in. The only part of May he had access to was ironically the part he didn't really catch notice of when they first met. Even the sole of her red and yellow rubber shoes towered above him. The soles of the shoe were worn down and full of scratches, so she was clearly on her feet a lot.
"A lot more than me at least..." Jou thought to himself as he simply stared at the shoe in awe.
While Jou wanted to come up with a fullproof plan of getting May's attention, things weren't going in his favor after May made a sudden movement.
Not seeing anything notable on the ground annoyed May. She had been following the itemfinder for nearly ten minutes now, and she didn't want to leave empty handed.
Wiping the sweat from her brow she figured that maybe ignoring it was for the best. Sighing heavily she looked back at the path she had taken to get here when her mind clicked with an idea.
"Berries!" She said aloud and dropped to her knees and searching the grass thick grass. "Most berries are small and I probably wouldn't notice it unless I actively searched the grass! I hope it's something rare!" She told herself excited over possibly having something extremely valuable on her hands.
After parting the grass for several seconds May found the item that her itemfinder was detecting.
A long Cheri Berry. May made no effort to hide the anger in her face over the item she had spent so much time looking for being an absolutely worthless Cheri Berry. Standing to her feet again she wiped the grass from her knees, noting that she probably crushed another Cheri Berry when she dropped to her knees, given the small moist spot on her right knee.
On her feet again, she angrily stomped the berry into juice beneath her shoe, when a little bit of movement at her feet caught her eye. An exceedingly small insect was scurrying away from her feet.
May looked over the clearing again, and seeing she was still alone, figured she could spend take out her frustrations on the insect.
May shouted something far above Jou, but the distance and volume of her voice made figuring out what she said an impossibility. He didn't need to know what she said however, when she made a sudden movement.
"Snorunt! Kirlia! Follow me!" Jou shouted, and ran with all his strength away from the rapidly descending knee. The three ran as fast as they could to keep up with Jou, but the effort proved to be too much for one of them.
Snorunt, the Pokémon that Jou loved as much as if they were related by blood, simply wasn't running fast enough. It's short stubby legs made even it's fastest running lag considerably behind Jou and his Kirlia.
The knee didn't seem to care however and fell towards Snorunt, liquefying it instantly beneath it's incredible weight. May's knee kept going down even after making contact with the ground until it settled comfortably into a crater in the dirt.
Shocked over what had just happened, Jou stopped and almost ran back to the knee in distress, but his survival instinct overrode those feelings and he ran to where May was examining the grass, there at least he'd have a chance of being seen.
Tears ran down Jou's cheeks and his legs and arms burned with the immense strain he put into his dash. Kirlia kept a good distance nearby Jou, and the two kept running until they encountered a new problem.
An enormous berry stood directly before the two. Craning his neck upwards, Jou could see May's face looming over him like the moon. Unfortunately, he could also see her expression, and a giant angry moon looking him right in the eye is the last thing he would've liked to see right now.
Accurate to Jou's predictions, May stood up again. Fearing the worst, he ran to May's shoes, figuring they were the only things that could save him now.
It took a second for Kirlia to start running after Jou as May stood to her full terrifying height again, which proved to be quite the dangerous turn of events for the pair.
May's enormous shoe slid through the grass, giving the berry a slight kick forward and, causing it to roll over Kirlia, disorienting, but not crushing it because of the berries comparably light weight.
Jou ran as quickly as he could, and his heart froze when he first realized that an enormous berry was rolling towards him, and secondly when he saw that Kirlia was nowhere in sight. Fearing the worst, but too horrified to do anything, Jou kept running to May's other shoe. The huge shoe returned high above him, and this time came to the earth with crushing finality. Though Jou hadn't seen it, he knew that his Kirlia had passed on as well.
Falling to his knees he looked up and screamed at May for all that had just happened. He was almost suffering a nervous breakdown over the recent events, and May couldn't have known anything about his pain.
Suddenly, as if she had heard his shouts, May's attention focused directly on Jou.
A chill ran down Jou's spine and his blood turned to ice as he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach over the sly smile that crossed her face.
"I know you had nothing to do with it buggie, and I'm sorry, but I'm kind of mad right now." May said warmly, though her smile was anything but.
"So, I'll make it nice and easy for you, I'll flatten you instantly beneath the toe of my shoe, is that ok with you?" May asked. "Yes, it's ok!" She responded to her own question in a higher pitched voice.
Raising her foot to knee level, she focused her eye on the bug and noticed it began to move. Tracking it's slight movements brought a smile to her face until she stomped downward with all the force she could muster.
Satisfied the bug was dead, she leaned forward to take a step away when she caught the slightest bit of movement in the grass. Looking more closely, she realized that the bug was somehow still alive even though she was sure she hit it.
Frowning down at the bug surviving, May simply lowered her shoe over the bug once more, making sure it was beneath the worn sole of her shoe before she stepped so lightly that she was almost standing still.
A few minutes later, she decided to finish the deed by wiggling her toes within her shoe. The extra pressure downward was more than enough o dispose of the bug she figured, and she stretched upwards.
"I should get going to Lilycove now...", May told herself and decided to make her way back into the forest. She had spent far too much time here, and didn't want to be late for the Super Contest after all.
Leaving the small clearing behind, May broke out into an all out run in the forest, feeling extremely energetic, though she wasn't sure why.
May's voice boomed above Jou, though he couldn't make out a single word. One thing he did figure out however, was that he was in immediate danger when May's foot was once again suspended high above him. The sky grew dark as the shadow of May's shoe flew above.
Adrenaline coursed through Jou's veins as he knew this would be it if he wasn't able to escape the shadow. Looking past him however, he noticed that the shadow ended just past him, meaning she probably intended to get him with the toe of her shoe, and not just stomp him out of existence.
Taking this as a good sign, Jou ran forward with an extra burst of speed he didn't know he had in him. Luck was on his side as it turned out to be just enough to clear the edge of the shoe, and the ground erupted behind him with the intensity of May's stomp.
Hardly able to believe he was alive, Jou stood and started walking away from the shoe, hoping his fatigue having finally caught up with him. Breathing heavily, he looked up at May's face again, hoping she was leaving.
Again her big haunting eyes were looking right at him, as if staring into his very soul. Giving up, Jou just sat down, figuring he'd spend his last moments resting, as it would be easier on him that way.
The air around him turned to shadow once more and Jou's heart skipped a beat, though he kept his brave demeanor up. The light grew more and more dim and May's worn, gray, rubber sole bore down on him slowly.
A little too slowly, he realized with a start. She was going to crush him slowly now, so he wouldn't even have the courtesy of a quick death!
Before he could make any further escape attempts, the sole pressed down on his head, forcing him to lie prone on the ground. The dirt was extraordinarily soft and was pushed aside as he was pressed down for a moment, but even that gave and he was quickly caught between the hard sole and the compacted earth.
The insane pressure only continued to mount and Jou felt his body buckle briefly beneath the shoe. A moment later he heard most of his skeleton crack at once and he attempted to scream in pain, only to find his mouth filled with the dirt on the sole. His ribs splintered and he thought they had to be poking out of his body by now, but for some reason his body refused to allow him to pass out.
The pressure stopped briefly and Jou lay prone, crying out in pain as best he could manage before the part of the shoe directly above his head increased in pressure and his head and upper torso exploded in a fountain that mixed with the dirt and grass, instantly muting it.
May's shoe gave a slight twist and Jou's body ceased to exist.
Several hours later, May left the Super Contest building in Lilycove with another ribbon, and she continued on her path to become the greatest Pokémon coordinator she could be, never knowing she had quite literally snuffed out another one's chances of ever doing anything of note.