Best not wake now; the pain of being slowly digested alive doesn’t sound appealing. The gloom won your body, that is certain, and it did you the favor of putting you to sleep first; let it finish you in peace. You let the sleep take over. As you fade, you can’t help but feel at peace with your fate.
The vulpix watches Lulu climb up the bluff; she has no idea about the gloom ahead. He heaves a heavy sigh; might as well save her. Maybe after he saves her, she’ll let him tag along. He follows behind about fifty feet, well enough out of sight. Up ahead he hears the gloom blow powder. He jogs up the hill just in time to see the gloom pick up a groggy Lulu. From deep within the gut of the fox a fire billows, ready to use Ember. The gloom lifts the pikachu high into the air and opens its mouth. He takes a step forward to interrupt the predator but he stops; ‘you know what?’ The fire grows cool and he sits down, tails wagging. Lulu is a bitch. The vulpix thought pikachu were different, but they are not. He’s going to enjoy watching Lulu meet her fate.
The gloom sets the pikachu in its maw tail first, clasping the lips around her midsection. It begins sucking, making a disgusting wet smacking noise. The gloom looks so happy with a mouth full of pika. Lulu is still out cold as the gloom slowly digests her. The gloom sucks on the little yellow rodent for a few minutes then turns around and disappears into the forest - where it will presumably finish turning Lulu into plant food.
The vulpix gets up and heads back to the south, towards his makeshift home. A smug smile is across the fox’s snout. He warned Lulu, even if it was by accident, and she still turned him down. Now, who’s the dork?
He hunts unsuccessfully for a few hours. It’s okay; he’s not that hungry anyway. The sun gets late in the sky and the vulpix turns in for the night inside a hollowed fallen log, the place he has been sleeping ever since he was kicked from the breeding grounds. He curls up into a cute ball, tails draped over his face, and falls asleep quickly.
The vulpix awakes to a strange noise outside his log. He looks out; it is pitch black outside and a dense fog has settled in the brush. He pokes his head out of the log. From the fog out walks Lulu.
“Lulu?!” She should be dead. Something is not right about her though. Her eyes are dark as a cave’s entrance, a dark shadow looms across her face, and her facial features are expressionless.
“Xander,” she says in a hollow, raspy voice. How does she know his name? “You didn’t save me; now both of us will die.”
“I-I don’t know what you mean, Lulu.” Xander begins shaking like a leaf.
“You will see soon enough...” a wicked toothy grin spreads across her face, cheek to cheek. Lulu then begins to grow in size, at first slowly, then exponentially. She keeps growing until she is over a hundred feet tall and fifty wide. Her head and upper body disappear into the fog. Nearby trees bend, crack, and snap as though they were twigs. Her back paws alone are now over twice the size of Xander.
So taken aback is Xander, he just gawks with wide eyes and jaw dropped. From the fog above drops through a giant yellow paw. The paw pinches the red tails of Xander. “No, Lulu, I'm sorry!” The paw picks him and hoists him high into the sky. Above the fog, illuminated by the faint moonlight, Xander can see the forest, a sea of white rolling fog, and islands of tall trees. And of course, the yellow mountain that is Lulu. Her paw extends Xander upward above Lulu’s head. He dangles from his tail as Lulu slowly opens her mouth. The large red void coated with saliva almost beckons Xander. She’s going to eat him! He always knew a maw would be his end but he didn’t expect it to be that of a giant pikachu. “Lulu, please don’t!” But she doesn’t listen. Lulu releases the vulpix. He is falling directly into the pika-maw.
Xander screams, “AHHHHHHHHHH...”
The hollow log echoes with the sound of the top of a skull meeting hard with a woody surface. Xander grits his teeth in pain. Through the teeth, the word, “fuck,” is breathed out. He limps out of the log and shakes of the pain. He lays down flat and rubs with his two paws the top of his throbbing head. The throbbing eases with each rub.
What could that dream have meant? Lady says dreams have meaning; it’s the gods’ way of talking to us, but he can’t see how that dream meant anything. Xander’s thoughts are disturbed by the sounds of a hungry stomach.
It’s early morning now. The watering hole will be his hunting ground today. It’s dangerous to hunt there as it is punishable by death if not by vulpix then by pikachu. A treaty was made many generations ago allowing the vulpix to share the watering hole so long as they agree not to hunt within the pikachu’s territory. It’s a fragile treaty as pichu have been disappearing from the watering hole for years now, and the pikachu blame the sneaky vulpix for snatching their young. But no hard evidence of that has ever been found. Maybe it is so, but Xander only hunts pidgey there. Pidgey know of the treaty and use it as a safe place to gather food. Still, hunting pidgey carries the same punishment as hunting pichu. But he hasn’t been caught, yet.
Xander gets up, his skull now only slightly sore. ‘What was that dream again?’ he thinks to himself. The memory of the dream fades the more he tries to recall it; eventually, he dispels the dream as just another strange one. He trots off north to the watering hole.
He arrives early and nestles into the brush by a big healthy tree. The slowpoke is still with its tail in the water, but otherwise, the area is empty. He hears a few pikachu come down the path. It’s a few young females about to partake in the morning ritual. Their gossiping comes into earshot.
“He courted me yesterday!” One pikachu chirps.
“Norb?!” The second one exclames.
“Yeah! I guess he wants to move on from Lulu.”
“So, did you let him touch your tail?”
“Uh… Duh! But I did make him work for it.” She says with a dignified look.
“I saw it happen,” the third chimes in, “you didn’t make him work THAT hard. You even kissed him on the first court.”
“Is that so.” The second chides.
The first has a flustered look on her face. “So what? Maybe I did. He leaned in for it and it just kinda happened... You two are just jealous it wasn’t you!”
The third one smiles. “Oh, well I heard from a little pidgey that he’s going to bring me a berry today.”
“You stay away from him!” The first one yells.
“Jealous are we? Will see what Norb’s type is. Maybe he’s into the bubbly, hussy kind. But I’m not going to be as easy as you. I at least have standards. Something tells me you’ll bend over for him on the second court.”
“RRRRRRR,” the first pikachu makes a move to pounce on the third but the second jumps in the way.
“Hey, guys. Calm down, let's just get ready for the pichu. Okay?”
“Fine,” the first one huffs. “But I won’t forget this.”
“Whatever,” dismisses the third pikachu.
Pikachu courting is so strange. For vulpix, it’s which reynard can blow the most smoke that gets their pick of mate. The female doesn’t have much say in the matter. Not that the vixens seem to mind. The first picked this year was bred in front of everyone, and she looked and sounded like she enjoyed it. Sex must feel amazing.
The three pikachu walk to the river’s edge. Two wade out up to their chest; the other goes over to the slowpoke’s tail.
“Come on, big guy,” she grunts as she lifts the large tail out of the water. She braces the tail over her head with her arms. “Hurry up, I don’t know how long I can hold this.” The slowpoke looks back at the pikachu with a big goofy smile.
The two other pikachu bring their cheeks to the water’s surface. In unison, “pika-CHUUUUUUU,” the water explodes with electricity as they Thundershock. They do this every morning to kill any fish Pokemon nearby. Most fish know not to swim here for that very reason. It allows the pichu to swim freely in the shallows without fear of being eaten by a goldeen. A tangential effect that allows vulpix kits to learn to swim in peace, a main reason for the treaty. Knowing how to swim is a skill that saved Xander a few times throughout his short life.
No dead fish surface today, and the pikachu exit the water. The next step: circle the clearing looking for predators. One pikachu passes just five feet from Xander but they aren’t looking that hard, and Xander is in good cover. If there is one thing Xander knows how to do, it’s hide. Even though Lulu found him yesterday. He sorta did that on purpose as a reason to let her approach him.
After scanning the area, the three pikachu run back down the trail, leaving the watering hole empty once more. In just a few minutes, rambunctious children’s talking can be heard coming down the path. Soon, about sixty pichu come into view and in tandem, about thirty female pikachu chaperons. Most of them are females who are young unmated does or older females too old to produce eggs anymore.
“ALRIGHT PUPS! QUIET DOWN!” An older female, who seems to be in charge, shouts over the pichu. The pichu do quiet down. “Roll call! Joey…”
“Here!” A pichu pipes up.
This goes on until every pichu has been called.
“Alrighty, that looks like everyone. Let’s go over the rules again. Say it with me…”
They all say in monotone unison, “No swimming out beyond where your paws can touch, no going near the brush, no sneaking off, no fighting, and always listen to your elders.”
“Good, now what do you say?”
They drone, “thank you, Miss Kat.”
“Okay then,” she steps aside, and the pichu holler for joy and stampede into the clearing. They immediately break off into groups. Some play tag, others swim, while others gossip and look like they’re up to no good.
It must be great to be a pichu. Xander was kicked from his parents’ den when he was just six months and was thrown into the wild. The first week alone was so terrifying. It never really stopped being terrifying, he has just grown accustomed to it.
Xander’s right ear rotates. That’s it! The unmistakable fluttering of pidgey wings. Xander gets up and expertly weaves his way through the brush without making a sound. In just a few feet, the pidgey comes into view. Xander’s next meal is pecking at some acorns and seeds on the ground, back turned to the hungry fox. Everything comes into hyper-focus as it always does in the hunt. Every sound, smell, and color becomes crisp and sharp, and time slows to a near halt. He crouches low and wiggles his back paws.
In one swift motion, Xander jumps, arching high in the air, and comes crashing down on top of the pidgey. The surprised pidgey squawks, spreads its wings, and tries to flutter away, but it is much too late. Xander lunges his open maw towards the back of the pidgey’s neck. *CRUNCH* The jaws clamp down making a sickening noise. The taste of warm blood washes over his tongue. The pidgey’s frantic squawking is replaced by raspy breathing. Xander and his prey wrestle in a flurry of feathers and fur for over a minute until finally, the pidgey collapses. Xander keeps his bite down, waiting for his prey to die - all the while his tails wag, he shakes all over, and he whines in anticipation. The thrill of the kill makes Xander’s heart flutter. He doesn’t feel so powerless when he is on top of a dying pidgey. The pidgey’s head is forced into the dirt. Its beak is wide open, its tongue is laid out limp on the ground, blood dribbles out, and weak raspy breathing ekes out. The look in its eyes is that of pure terror.
It was a risky kill, being so close to the pichu, but they are loud when they play and probably covered up the fight. A deep flame builds within his chest, and Xander sends a flame up his gullet. He begins to cook his meal. The pidgey breathing becomes frantic; it is still alive, but Xander does not care for its suffering. The air fills with the smell of burning feathers and cooking meat. Xander rips a chunk out of the back neck and crunches bones and smacks his jowls as he eats his meat. He gulps down the cooked poultry. The warm meat slides down the gullet smoothly and fills his stomach. The small bite alone almost fills him; he hasn't had a strong appetite since he failed in the rut.
Xander looks down on the pidgey; it's dead now. Its eyes are dim and have a peaceful look to them. Xander has always wondered what it would be like to die at the mercy of an unforgiving maw. Prey are so panicked at first but then seem to accept death at the very end. He assumes he'll learn soon enough; it's just a matter of time before a pidgeotto or ekans catches up to him.
Xander picks up his meal and drags it back into the brush where he was initially hiding. He should probably leave right now, but he has become more brazen recently. He will eat a few bites then sneak back to his log before the pikachu find him. He sets the pidgey down and digs into the belly. Pidgey guts are so delicious.
Just before his second bite, Xander hears soft crying. He looks over to see a young, scrawny male pichu with his paws over his eyes sobbing quietly. The pichu has managed to slip by the pikachu chaperons without them noticing and is sitting behind the base of a big healthy tree no more than ten feet away. Xander licks his chops. Pichu have always looked so yummy. He heard pikachu are fatty, tender, and have a natural acid flavor from their electricity. Pichu must taste even better. He could easily kill this pichu just like he did this pidgey. It's tempting, but if killing a pidgey would end in his death, he can only imagine what torment the pikachu would inflict on him if they caught him munching on one of their young. Plus, it would most likely start a war between the vulpix and pikachu; not that he really cares for his kind, but he can't shake the feeling of belonging to them.
Xander dispels the thought; he's not that hungry anyway. He bends his snout back into the gaping gut wound this time going for the gizzard. He fries the gizzard and gulps it down. Xander looks back to the pichu; he's gone. Must have left to join the others. Xander thinks no more of it and promptly goes in for one last bite, then he'll leave.
Out of nowhere, a disembodied scream of a pichu echoes nearby, "HELP! MISS KAT! IT'S EATING ME! PLE-" The screaming stops suddenly. Xander looks at the crowd of pichu and pikachu. All the yellow bodies are stationary for a moment save for twitching ears. All at once, the chaperons go into a frenzy and start zooming around and corralling all the pichu into a tight circle. They yell at the top of their lungs for all pichu to join the circle in the middle of the clearing. Pichu scream in fear and rush to join the group. The excited large group crackles with electricity and pikachu stand around in battle stances. Their eyes scan the sky and the forest. Other pikachu run over to the brush near where the screaming came from - where Xander is! Uh-oh, he needs to leave, now. Xander looks down on the pidgey to pick it up and run, but it's gone! What?! It was just here! Stunned, Xander freezes for a moment. He snaps too. He just needs to get out of here quickly.
Xander stands up to leave, but as he raises his head, his eyes make contact with a bewildered pikachu face just inches away. This is not a good look; his mouth and jaw are covered in fresh blood, and his teeth have bits of cooked meat in them.
"Uhhh…" Xander says.
The bewildered pikachu face shifts to a look of pure rage. "Pika-CHUUUUUUU!"
"YELP!" Electricity courses through Xander seizing his muscles. He plops onto the ground with his legs jutting out.
The charge fades, but before he can recover, the pikachu shouts, "OVER HERE!" Five more pikachu rush over and circle Xander. He tries to get up.
"Pika-CHUUUUU!" Another unleashes their store of electricity on Xander. His whole body clenches then collapses back to the ground. Somehow, the second one hurt twice as bad.
“Pika-CHUUUUU!” Yet another pikachu sends out their Thundershock. This time, Xander thinks he is going to die. His heart clenches and begins to sputter, but the charge fades before it stops his heart. Xander gasps for air. All his muscles are paralyzed making him unable to move but an inch. Xander looks up at the pikachu. He is surrounded by enraged yellow faces glaring down with righteous indignation and sparking with electricity. This is it, the end; just one more strong shock will kill him.
“STOP!” It’s the one the pichu called Miss Kat. Kat shoulders into the looming circle. “We can’t kill him yet. We still need answers. Where is the pichu?” she shouts.
“I-I...” Xander says meekly in a high-pitched voice.
“Did you pass the pichu off to your mate?” she growls.
“W-what? N-no, I don’t have one of those…”
“Then your friends?”
“N-no, I don’t have those either…”
“Don’t lie to me! You didn’t eat the pichu that quickly by yourself.”
"But I didn't eat a pichu."
"Then what's the blood on your face?"
"I-it's pidgey blood, I swear."
"Then where the fuck is the pidgey?"
That's a good question that Xander doesn't have an answer to, but before Xander can respond, another pikachu from outside the circle cuts in, “Kat, we did a roll call. All are accounted for except Jet.”
“By Raikou, don't tell me it's their family. They have been through so much these past couple of days and now this.” Kat sighs and continues, “Very well then, you run ahead and tell the tribe, but first, have the others take the pichu back in ready formation; there may be other vulpix out in the brush. And get the bucks to come to the watering hole, ASAP. I’m sure they would like to have some personal time with our fox friend here. Maybe they can get some information out of this worthless mutt.” Xander gulps.
The other pikachu runs off in a flash. Kat turns back and gets right up in Xander’s face. “Look here, vulpix, it’s my job to protect the pichu, and I take losing one very, very personally - like if I had lost my own. So you’re going to tell me everything: how it happened, why did you do it, who helped you, where did you take Jet’s body, how long this has been going on, every single fucking detail. And if you don’t tell me, the bucks will shock it out of you. I’ll let you in on a secret; the bucks know how to shock just enough to hurt like a bitch but not kill. They can drag this out for hours, so do yourself a favor and just tell me before they get here; they won't be as nice as me.”
“P-please, I didn’t kill him, honest.”
Kat grabs the tufts of fur atop Xander’s head and pulls his head up to make eye contact. “Don’t fucking lie to me, vulpix. I know your kind are sneaks, scoundrels, and tricksters. But for once, tell me the truth. You’re dead anyway, so drop the act. Tell me what happened from the start.”
Xander knows that there’s no way they are going to believe his story.
Thus, ending your story. You were lured in by gloom bait and promptly turned into goop. The gloom then used some of you as fertilizer to help grow its new oddish hatchlings. You are forgotten by the tribe as just another member lost to the foreboding wilderness. And the gloom forgot you as just another easy meal. You leave no legacy. But hey, at least you made good fertilizer!