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Hexes Over Exes

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    “This is just depressing,” said Candela as she glanced over at the moping blonde mess laying across the sofa. “Yeah,” agreed Blanche. “I’ve only seen him like this once. And that was many years ago. His mood lasted an entire month.” “Yikes,” sympathized Candela. “I really hope it doesn’t last as long this time. Poor thing. Some people are just so cruel. He didn’t deserve this.”

   The trio had arrived back at Candela’s flat in Saffron City two days ago from their day in Celadon City. Even though they had traveled there together, the three of them had very different plans. Candela had decided to check out the Celadon City Department Store. Much to the others dismay, she would not shut up about shopping for the latest and greatest pokemon goods. Blanche was set on testing their luck at Celadon’s Game Corner. They claimed they did enough calculations to know exactly how to “legally” win at the Card Flip game and win a dratini. Spark had been a little more secretive about his plans. That is, until the very last minute.   

   But the excitement of Celadon City had been long gone. Spark lay face down on the sofa. Yesterday he at least bothered to show some sort of emotion. He cried. Hard. He cried so much that neither Candela nor Blanche could pry him from his room. Not even the promise of burgers and fries could put a smile on his face. However, today was different. He lay there silent and sullen. Even the poking and prodding from his pokemon did nothing but cause him to toss and turn on the couch. Things were bad. Really bad.

  “What exactly happened anyway?” questioned Blanche. “I mean, I get the gist of what happened but he didn’t exactly say what went down. He’s not much of talker at the moment,” they commented. “ happened on Monday, when we were visiting Celadon City,” began Candela.

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   “Celadon City here we come!” exclaimed Candela. “You guys have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this! Being home in Saffron, checking out some old hang outs in Celadon. The weekend is gonna rock!” “I hope so,” smiled Blanche. “I’m feeling lucky,” they said as they fished the fake azumarill foot out of their pocket. Spark grinned as he gazed upon Celadon City’s skyline. “I can’t wait,” he said calmly with a dreamy look in his eyes. “Whoa, who is this?” questioned Blanche, giving Spark a questioning look. “Huh? What do you mean?” asked Spark, raising an eyebrow. “You’re acting different. You’re being weird.” added Candela. “What? No, I’m not!” Spark blurted out. “I’m just relaxed. I’m feeling good about today.” “Whatever dude,” Candela rolled her eyes. “We know you’re hiding something.” “You are making it pretty obvious,” Blanche agreed as they walked ahead to catch up with Candela who had already started towards the city. “I’m not though!” yelled Spark as he jogged to catch up to the two trainers.


    It was a muggy but busy day in Celadon City. There were buses full of trainers going to Game Corner. There were trainers on bikes and on foot carrying 5 or more bags from a sale at the Celadon Department Store. There were tons of koffings and muks roaming the city, but no one appeared to be alarmed nor bothered by them. The trio joined the crowd and wandered the city. “We could at least have brunch together before we part ways,” suggested Blanche. “Good idea. How about there?” Spark pointed to the bright pink shop sign that had a clefairy carrying a stack of pancakes. The sign flashed the words Bethany Beauts in yellow and pink lights. As they opened the door, the bell rang and they were greeted by the sweet smell of pecan pancakes and maple syrup.  


    Bethany, an older blonde trainer in a heavy amount of makeup, was a self proclaimed beauty trainer. The smile on her face was as bright as the hot pink lipstick on her lips. “Hi! Welcome to Bethany Beauts. I’m Bethany. Table for three?” “Sure,” said Blanche with a bewildered look on their face as they followed Bethany to their seats. However, they were not alone. Spark and Candela also seemed to be overwhelmed by the odd but busy diner. There were clefairies and clefables everywhere. Clefables happily flipping pancakes. Clefables delivering food to tables. Clefaries washing and sometimes clumsily dropping dishes. Clefairies cleaning countertops. On the far side of the diner, there was a large table of clefairies and clefables who appeared to be on break. The diner was bright yellow with small flower vases on each table. Pop music played on the speakers, but was drowned out by the sound of conversations and rattling dishes.


  The trio squeezed into their round booth and graciously accepted their menus.  “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Spark gazing on the busy pokemon. “Hi, welcome to Bethany’s, home of the world famous moo moo milk milkshake. Can take your order?” Asked the waitress. She didn’t look nearly as happy as the pokemon. They all agreed to try the oran berry pancakes with doduo omelettes. During the wait, Candela and Blanche teased Spark for being so secretive, calling him “Mr. Mysterious.” Ten mins later, a clefable wearing a kiss the cook apron delivered the food and shuffled back to the kitchen. “You know, we have all weekend to figure out what you’re hiding,” teased Candela. “Or we could put our plans aside to follow Spark all weekend long. Just to see what our little golden boy is up to,” threatened Blanche with a smirk.


  “Ok! Ok,” huffed Spark slamming down his silverware. “I have an announcement to make.” “We know. Quit stalling and spit it out,” Candela snapped, rolling her eyes. Spark cleared his throat and took a deep breath. “I have a girlfriend. And it’s Erika.” Candela coughed as she struggled not to choke on a fork full of omelette. Blanche, on the other hand was delighted. “Oh my Arceus! Our baby is growing up!” said Blanche, letting out an uncharacteristic squeal and they hugged Spark. “How cute! Your first real relationship.” “How in Arceus name did you manage to get girlfriend before me?!” Candela blurted out in shock. “I guess you could say I have a certain, spark,” Spark said as he winked. Candela was not amused. “Please tell me she didn’t fall for that cheesy line” she retorted. “Relax,”replied Spark leaning back in the booth. “I didn’t use any pickup lines. No tricks. None of that.” “Then how did you meet her?”Asked Blanche eagerly.   “We both happened to be visiting Professor Willow on the same day. She stopped by his lab to tell him how grass pokemon grow in a greenhouse setting compared to in the wild. We ended up talking and really hit it off. Before I knew it, I worked up the courage to ask her out on a picnic. And we’ve been going out ever since.” Spark paused to take a sip of his soda. “It’s almost been a year and-.”


   “Wait,” Blanche cut in with disbelief in their voice. “You mean to tell me you’ve been keeping this secret for almost a year?!” “......yes…..?” Replied Spark timidly. “Look, I just didn’t want to ruin things with her by moving too fast,” he continued. “I feel like this could be something serious and….” A blush crept up upon Spark’s face as he struggled to find the right words. “Awwwwww,” Candela said sympathetically. “That’s so sweet.”


   “This is kinda new territory for me,” admitted Spark. “So we agreed to keep things quiet for the time being.” “It’s alright. We understand,” Candela said patting him on the shoulder. Blanche nodded. “But you and her should hang out with Candela and I sometime. You don’t have to hide her away,” they joked. “Great! It’s a double date!” Spark laughed teasingly. “Hardy Har Har,” said Candela rolling her eyes. “You better hurry up lover-boy, or else you’ll be late for your date,” she smirked.  “You’re right” said Spark looking at his phone. “And since you owe me $20 for that bet you made with me, I’ll let you pay for my lunch.” “What bet?” Candela asked defensively. “Remember when you bet me $20 that you’d get a girlfriend before me?” Candela muttered something under her breath and scowled she took out her wallet. “Thought so,” smiled Spark.


   Spark quickly dug into his bag. “Since it’s close to being a year, I’m giving her this.” He presented to them a small velvety box. “Oh wow!” Exclaimed Blanche as they opened the box to see a bright orange necklace made of small stones. “Yeah…” said Spark running his hand through his hair. “I spent a pretty penny on that necklace. It’s made of sunstones. Supposedly, if you really wanted to, you could take the stones off the chain and it will still evolve a grass pokemon.” “That amazing!” said Candela as she touched the delicate necklace. I’m sure she’ll love it,” she assured him. “I hope so,” he replied as he put the necklace safely in his backpack. “Anyway, I’m off. Wish me luck.” “Good luck!” Said Candela and Blanche in unison as Spark went off to his date. “Do think she’ll like it?” Candela asked Blanche after Spark had left the diner. “It’s a little gaudy for my liking, but Erika seems a little weird so I think she’ll like it.” “I guess,” Candela shrugged as she finished off the remainder of her soda.

    “Anyway, I should go too. I have some games to win and a dratini to name,” said Blanche as they left their money on the table. “Well aren’t you cocky,” teased Candela. “Just don’t come crying to me if you come back broke,” she joked as she tossed her money next to Blanche’s and grabbed her bags. “Remember, we meet at the city gates at 8pm. The gates towards Saffron City.” “Got it,” replied Blanche. “Good luck fighting the shopping crowd. It sounds like hell to me, but I hope you find whatever you’re looking for.” “Thanks. And I’ll be sure to pick up some dive balls for you if I see some one sale,” said Candela as she ran out the diner towards the department store. Blanche couldn’t help but go back and leave a few berries along with their tip, as they pet a few clefairies before leaving.

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   Spark stopped in front of Celadon gym and took a deep breath. You can do this. You got this, he told himself. He dialed his holocaster to call Erika. “Hey babe,” said Spark trying to sound seductive. “I’m waiting outside.” “Hello Spark. Nice to see you again,” replied Erika. “Be there in a moment,” she said before hanging up. Spark checked his breath and played with his hair. He pulled a bouquet of sunflowers out of his backpack just as Erika arrived at the gym door. “Hey sweetie,” flirted Spark. “I saw these flowers and thought of you, since they’re as lovely as you are.” “Aww, they’re beautiful! You’re too kind!” replied Erika as she smelled the flowers. She gave a him a quick kiss on the lips and then beckoned him inside. Erika, was looking lovely as always. She wore a bright pink kimono with yellow flowers adorning the sleeves. Her neck-length hair was neatly straightened to perfection and decorated with a yellow headband with a bright pink flowers. She smelled faintly of gardenia and vanilla. Erika had even put on lipstick and blush.


     “So…..I heard that the gym leader of the gym doesn’t allow boys inside,” said Spark coyly to Erika. “It looks like you’re going to have to sneak me into your garden.” He winked at her before planting a kiss on her neck. “Oh Spark, you’re so silly,” she giggled as his kisses tickled her. “Come,” she said as she grabbed his hand, leading him to the garden area. “I’ve prepared some afternoon cookies and green tea for us by the magikarp pond. As they sat by the pond, they talked about what they did over the past few months. Spark talked about how he missed out on an electabuzz at the powerplant, and spent about a month in Fushia City training, observing, and catching pokemon at the Safari Zone. Erika talked about how her perfume business had been busier than usual and how her family was extremely traditional. Unfortunately, they had made her start taking traditional kimono dance lessons.  “I’m managing to keep up,” she assured Spark. “It’s just a hassle since I have to get in full on makeup and hair each and every time. Not to mention the elaborate robes and the…...and…...and….Zzzzzzz.”


      In the middle of her sentence Erika had fallen asleep for the fourth time today. A nearby ivysaur trotted over to try and help Spark wake her. “Hey? Honey?” Spark whispered as he tried to gently wake her by gently shaking her. “Erika,” he said a little louder. “Huh? What?” Muttered Erika rubbing her eyes and sat up again. “Oh. Sorry Spark,” she apologized. “I know it happens a lot.”  “It’s alright honey. I’m just really worried about you. You mean so much to me,” he said hugging her. “Speaking of which, I have a surprise for you. Close your eyes,” encouraged Spark as he rushed to his bag. “Just...please don’t fall asleep,” he quickly added. He grabbed the velvety jewelry box and put it in her hands. “Okay, now open them.” “Wow, I don’t know what to say,” said Erika overwhelmed. She opened the box to see the sunstone necklace gleaming under the gym’s lights. “It’s beautiful,” she gasped. “Just like you,” said Spark lovingly as he kissed her on the forehead. Erika couldn’t stop staring at the necklace. However, her eyes soon became wet with tears. “Wait, don’t cry,” panicked Spark. “You’re supposed to be happy. Things were supposed to be...happy.”


     “I’m sorry Spark. You’re are such a kind, amazing man. But I can’t do this to you. You don’t deserve this,” Erika cried. “Wait, baby what do you mean?” Asked Spark with desperation. “I’m sure this is all a misunderstanding. We can work this out,” he pleaded. “We can’t. It’s over!” Erika bawled even harder. “Erika. You’re not making any sense. Calm down. Speak to me,” begged Spark trying to pull her into a hug.


    “I cheated!” Erika blurted out, still weeping from feeling guilty. “You….you what?” asked Spark, his voice barely louder than a whisper. Tears began running down his face. He was still in utter shock from what he heard. “It’s true,” mumbled Erika. “I….I never meant to hurt you.” “Well...well you did,” stammered Spark as tears began to flow and his voice cracked. “I guess there was no point in this!” He shouted as he picked up the necklace and broke the chain, sending the little stones flying in every direction. He covered his face with his hands, trying to calm himself down. Erika timidly reached out to comfort Spark, but he quickly slapped her hand away.


     “Who was it?” Snapped Spark. “That really isn’t import-” Erika started but was quickly cut off. “Who was it?!” Yelled Spark cutting her off. “It was Whitney. From Goldenrod City….” Erika trailed off.  “Oh Arceus….this day just keeps getting better doesn’t it,” Spark laughed sarcastically. “So were you always a lesbian? Were you just using me to get free stuff?” “Well….”Erika hesitated. “ I wasn’t using you. I’m just figuring myself out.” “That’s the best news I’ve heard so far,” he retorted while glaring at her. “How many times?” he snarled. “Twice,” she weeped. “So Whitney’s a lesbian too?” He argued. “She bi! Does it matter?!” Erika snapped, tears stinging her eyes. “I’m sorry. I really never meant to hurt you. We can still be friends,” she offered. The words felt like knives stabbing into Spark’s heart. “I…..I can’t do this,” sputtered Spark as he grabbed his bags and rushed out of the gym.


     Spark, wiping his face with his sleeves, walked aimlessly around Celadon City. The sight of children playing games with their pokemon couldn’t put a smile on his face. The sight of the Mr. Mime circus that was in town couldn’t amaze him. Everything felt like doom and gloom. He thought about shopping to take his mind off things, but it didn’t feel like having breakdown in a room full of happy trainers. So he wondered onto the next best next thing. “Game Corner here I come,” said Spark to himself unenthusiastically. As he walked through the doors he noticed Blanche on the right side of the casino at a card table. Being in the worst mood possible, he decided to go left and power walk straight to the bar. “Rum and Coke,” said Spark as he slammed his cash down on the counter. “Just keep em’ coming,” he said as he sat on the barstool.  Spark grabbed the cold glass and guzzled it down. “Well I guess I don’t need this anymore,” Spark muttered to himself as he deleted Erika’s number from his holocaster.


     “Hey, I need like five more,” Spark called to the bartender who was flirting with green haired trainer. Spark sat there sulking, watching excited and desperate trainers alike gamble their money away. “Just give up!” He overheard a mountain man exclaim. “This is just too sad to watch,” “Yeah. You’ve already lost like 7 times in a row,” added a petite brunette trainer. “Quit while you’re ahead!” Spark turned to see what all the commotion about and saw a frustrated Blanche struggling to win at Card Flip. I guess I’m not the only one having a bad day, he thought. After a few more drinks, he sat there staring off into space. I can’t wait to leave this city, he thought. He glanced at his phone, checking the time. Just 45 minutes till and I can say goodbye to Celadon for the next 5 years. He saw a couple coins left on the counter by a pokemon trainer who given up gambling for the day.   Why not. It’s not like this day could get any worse, he thought as he pocketed the coins and went to the nearest slot machine. He put in the coins, pulled the lever, and waited for the results.


    “Oh my gosh! You won! You’re so lucky!” Congratulated the trainer sitting at the next slot machine. He looked up and saw the she was indeed correct. He landed 3 persians in a row and hit the jackpot. Feeling a little better, he gathered the coins and headed towards the prize hall. “Porygon,” said Spark to the clerk as he spilled is 10,000 coins on the counter. He quickly grabbed the pokeball and bolted towards the door.


    When he finally reached exit gates towards Saffron City, he noticed Candela was already waiting there with her 6 full bags of pokemon goods. “Hey loverboy!” Greeted Candela excitedly. “I guess we’re stuck waiting for Blanche aren’t we. How was the date? Did Erika like the necklace?” She asked. And at the moment Spark realized, despite winning the porygon, despite having the most caring friends in the world, he felt like he had the worst day he’s had in years. The tears began fall again, despite him struggling not to break down. And he told Candela everything as he cried in her arms.

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The next morning Spark woke up feeling surprisingly normal. The doom and gloom appeared to be long gone. He looked down and noticed the porygon asleep on his stomach. Spark got up slowly not disturb the sleeping pokemon and placed it on the sofa. As he ate his breakfast in the kitchen, he noticed his holocaster on the counter with a text message. Sabrina? I haven’t heard from her in a while, he thought. When he opened the text message, it read:


Erika, the nature-loving princess, is no more

Feel free to sever her arms

Or burn the whore


   That’s a little ominous, thought Spark. She still has a weird way of showing she cares. After he showered and put on fresh clothing and noticed something odd on his bed. “Blanche! Candela!” Spark called to them. They walked out of their rooms to meet him in the living room. “You guys didn’t have to make me this,” he held up a palm sized Erika doll. “We didn’t. It must have been Sabrina,” replied Blanche. “It’s sweet of her, in a weird way. Who knew she was crafty,” added Candela. “Regardless, thank you guys for being there for me. It means a lot,” smiled Spark pulling them into a hug. “But I’m probably going to leave it in the living room. Having some makeshift voodoo doll is childish, even for me. I’m gonna go call my dad. I guess I should tell him the bad news,” he said walking to back to his room with his phone.


     After a sad lengthy conversation, he got up from his bed to figure out what to do for the day. Then he noticed the Erika doll sitting on his dresser. He grabbed it and stormed into the living room. “Look, I know you guys mean well, but it’s not funny,” he said showing the doll to Candela. “But we didn’t move the doll. You left it in the living room,” countered Candela. “Well I’m leaving it here,” he said leaving it on a shelf in the living room. “I feel a lot better than yesterday, but I’m still not ready to see her face everyday. Even if it is a doll version of her.” “It’s fine, we completely understand,” Candela assured him.

      Spark walked back to his room to report to Professor Willow about his journey. Afterall, he had neglected to contact him for a few days. As he was about to dial Willow’s number, he received a knock on his bedroom door. “Come in,” he called. Blanche walked in and held up the doll. “I know you’re not exactly wanting to be reminded of Erika at all, but why’d you put the doll in my room?” they asked. “I didn’t,” replied a creeped out Spark. “Meeting in the living room?” he asked. “Agreed,” said Blanched following him to the location.


    “ We got a problem,” announced Spark to Candela and Blanche as he tossed the doll on coffee table “What’s wrong? I thought you were gonna leave that thing on the bookshelf. Sabrina did put a lot of detail into thing though,” Candela commented. “I did. That’s the problem. That thing is creepy! I put it down in one place and it shows up somewhere else,” explained Spark. “I’m sure it’s all in your head,” said Candela. “It might just be porygon playing with it.” She bent down and held the doll up to porygon’s nose. It sniffed the doll twice, felt weirded out by it’s presence, and bolted towards Spark’s room. “See! I told you!” exclaimed Spark. “I’m going to have to go with Spark on this one,” agreed Blanche. “I found it sitting in my room. And no one has been in my room but me.”


  Suddenly, Blanche felt froze in horror as they finally pieced things together. They looked at the table and noticed that the doll was sitting comfortably next to Candela. “Candela,” they cowered as they pointed to the doll next to her. Candela felt chills down her spine as she felt a small cotton hand touch her thigh. The doll tilted its head as though trying to tell her something. The room burst into chaos as Candela screamed and threw the doll across the room. Spark and Blanche ran over to the opposite side of the room cowering in fear. “Now do you believe me!” shouted Spark. “I know what that thing is, Blanche said, trying to not to shout. “Who cares what it is! Help me shove it down the garbage disposal!” shouted Candela, trying to find something to pick the doll up with. “No! No no no.” panicked Blanche. “Just hear me out. Remember when Sabrina said she used to turn people into dolls.” Candela nodded. Spark was frozen in fear. “I think Sabrina turned Erika into a doll,” stammered Blanche.


      “What!” shrieked Spark running over to the doll. “I never asked for this! What the hell!”  He gently picked up the doll and held it awkwardly in his hands. “I know I was angry at her. I still am. But that didn’t mean I wanted her dead!” “We never asked for this!” exclaimed Candela. “We just asked her to help us cheer you up! The potion we gave you-” she blurted out. Before she had realized it, she revealed their secret. Blanche crossed their arms uncomfortably while Spark lost his mind. “You what?!” he shouted. “I’m lucky I’m back to normal because Sabrina can take things to the extreme. Who knows what you guys gave me!” “If it makes you feel any better, she told us the ingredients. You’ll be probably be grossed out by them though,” offered Blanche. Spark ignored them.


     “We’re fixing this. Right now,” Spark demanded stuffing his phone, pokeballs and the doll into his backpack. “And if we can’t, we’re stuck babysitting a creepy doll for the rest of our lives.” All three of them shivered at the thought of having to take turns going on their pokemon journey with Erika’s doll. Blanche and Candela, having no other ideas began packing their bags to join Spark on his trip to Sabrina’s gym.  


   As they finally approached the gym, the doors automatically opened and the trio power walked to where Sabrina was sitting with her espeon. Spark was the first to approach her. “I’ve been expecting you,” said Sabrina. “Do you not like your gift?” Spark tried to remain calm. Despite being Sabrina’s friend, he knew she had a bad temper. He chose his words carefully. “I appreciate you being concerned about me,” he said. “But I never asked for this. Yeah, what she did was cruel. But I’m not. I just wanted space from her. I wanted time to grieve.” He slowly walked over to Sabrina and put a hand on her shoulder. “It was really kind of you to want to cheer me up. But that didn’t mean I wanted to harm her,” he added. Sabrina gave a small smile and Spark went in for a hug. “I’m just glad to see you looking better than before,” she said. “Last night you looked as lifeless as a ghastly.” “You know what would cheer me up even more? If you could somehow turn Erika back into a human being. Please tell me you can do that,” Spark begged.


   “Ugh, fine,” Sabrina in an annoyed tone. She used her telekinesis to fish the doll out of his bag. “I still think you’re making a big mistake,” she finished. And before their eyes, Erika turned back into a human being. Thank Arceus we don’t have to deal with that creepy doll anymore, thought Candela. “You weren’t supposed to “deal” with the doll. You were supposed to burn it,” Sabrina told Candela. Candela frowned. Please stay out of my head. It’s weird and it’s rude, she thought, knowing that Sabrina could hear her. “Sorry. Old habits die hard,” apologized Sabrina. Erika, having been drained from being a doll for so long, was still delirious. She sat on the floor, dozing off from her lack of energy. Sabrina gazed upon Erika with scorn. “I’ll be sure to teleport this back to its gym,” she referred to Erika with disdain. “Thank you,” said Candela and Blanche with relief. They did not want to risk Spark having another breakdown from being near Erika.  


        As Blanche, Candela, and Spark left the gym, they wandered around Saffron city. “What should we do now?” Candela asked the other two trainers. “I have a brand new lapras from Silph Co. that I’ve been dying to try out,” said Blanche. “And I have a porygon I should probably train,” added Spark. “We could check out that dojo or just battle amongst ourselves.” “I’m fine with either or,” said Candela.” “After a weekend like this, pokemon training sounds relaxing.” “You know, one day I think the three of us should visit the Orange Islands,” suggested Spark. “It would be nice to get away from it all. And I’m definitely not ready for johto yet.” “Sounds like a plan,” said Candela excitedly. Little did they know, that this nightmare of a week had brought them closer than ever before.