Unsurprisingly, the other two qualifiers for the semi-finals were the headmaster and professor Young. The noticeboard said that the semi-finals were taking place next Thursday which gave them a nice time to rest. “You know we’ve been given the week off to train for the tournament with no homework or classwork” said Will.
“Yeh, it’s great” said Rufus, “Do you want to do some training together?”
“I dunno if that’s a good idea, we’ll learn each other’s strategies.”
“Yeh that’s true… well I’ll see you on xbox tonight yeh?”
Will walked home so he had time to think. He couldn’t help remembering the words of the headmaster, “increasing numbers of disappearances…” he knew that he had heard about something like this before but he couldn’t remember what. When he arrived at home he went straight up to his room without saying a word to his family. He searched on his computer for records of child disappearances.
The next day he ran into school in search of Rufus. “Hey mate check this out” said Will panting.
“What?” Rufus replied.
“You remember what the headmaster said about disappearances.”
“Vaguely, to be honest I never really listen to what he’s saying”
“Yeh, well, I knew I’d heard something like this ages ago but I couldn’t remember when, so I looked it up and I found this.” Will handed Rufus a news article.
“Oh yeh… I remember this…”said Rufus pensively.
“You have no idea do you.”
“Not in the slightest”
“Well, 12 years ago, loads of teens suddenly disappeared, like 40 or 50 of them. Then they all reappeared just a suddenly with no memory of what happened, but none of them had any Pokémon on them. Then after a few weeks, their pokeballs just turned up.”
“Great… what’s that got to do with us?”
“Well, all these kids were tournament champions or top breeders.”
“Yeh so, what?”
“So, so are we.”
“Don’t be so paranoid, we’re not gonna get kidnapped, none of the kidnappings have been near here.”
“Well, do me a favour and just be on the lookout.”
“Yeh, yeh whatever; anyway how’s your training going?”
“Well, I didn’t really get any done yesterday.”
“On your head be it…”
“Don’t worry; I’ll be able to beat you with all my Pokémon blindfolded.”
“Come on then!”
The two boys each took out a pokeball and were about to throw them when... “What’s this, what do you think you are doing boys?!” A short squat “teacher” with a face like the back end of a muk glared at Rufus and Will with her sullen sunken eyes. It was Miss Crook a horrible disgrace to teachers everywhere who they both despised. “I thought you 2 boys were meant to be prefects! Well, aren’t you?”
“Yes Miss…” they muttered, both gritting their teeth.
“That’s what I thought! Now, you may be good trainers and are in the tournament semi-final but that does not excuse basic courtesy.”
“Now! Off with both of you!”
“Thank you Miss.”
The 2 boys scurried away looking furious. “Honestly, that bloody woman, I could… I could” Rufus pounded his fist into his other hand and ground them together.
“I know” Will nodded. He too hated the woman and knew exactly what Rufus was thinking as he had thought the same thing many, many times.
“Anyway Will, I was gonna tell you that I’ve got permission to go home early to train at home so I won’t see you later today ok?”
“You’re so lucky! I wish I could go home, there’s nowhere good to train around here.”
“Yeh I know right.”
“Well, see you anyway.”
Rufus made the long journey back home and entered his house. There was a note on the floor:
“I have gone to work at the day-care today and won’t be home to greet you. I’ve left some pizza on the kitchen counter which you can help yourself to. I should be back for dinner but if not there is some food in the cupboard and fridge, (I trust you know where they are).
Lots of Love,
Rufus went into the kitchen, helped himself to a large helping of pepperoni pizza and then wondered out to the paddocks behind his house. The wells ranch was well renowned for breeding some of the best pokestock around. The 3 main pokemon they bred were tauros, miltank and bufalant.
However, they bred many other types of pokemon including emboars, grumpigs and ampharoses. However, Rufus liked using the bufalant to train with because they were the strongest and fastest.
“Ok umbreon shadow claw!” Rufus shouted a couple of hours later. Umbreon lept into the air and slashed at bufalant and knocked it to the ground. “Great job umbreon, that’ll do for today.” Rufus recalled umbreon and walked up towards bufalant and gave it some medicine to help it recover, “there, you should be right as rain in a couple of hours, have a good rest.” The bufalant curled up, lay down and fell asleep almost instantly then Rufus returned to the farmhouse. He caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye, he turned around but there was nothing there.” Huh, must have been a knoctowl.” Rufus continued towards the house and then he doubled back suddenly he looked around madly; the bufalant he had been training with had disappeared. “What the hell?” he said to himself looking puzzled, “It was right there, I swear it was, oh god, mum’s gonna be pissed when she finds out.”He searched all over the grounds but he couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, looking depressed he trudged up to the farmhouse still mystified about what was going on. When his mother returned from the day-care centre he told her everything. As he had suspected, she went ballistic; there was a lot of “HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN!” and “WHAT IN HEAVEN’S NAME DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING.” Rufus nodded, his head hung occasionally muttering, “Yes mum or sorry mum.”
The next day, Rufus told Will everything that had happened the previous night. “Wow, that is quite a pickle you’ve gotten yourself into, isn’t it?” said Will, smirking.
“It wasn’t my fault ok! I swear it was there when I looked at and when I turned away it was gone. Hey, you don’t think this has got anything to do with those disappearances that are going on, do you?”
“Look who’s being paranoid now. I told you something weird was going on but you refused to listen.”
“Ok, ok admittedly I was a bit sceptical at first, however now I’m not so sure.”
“Well, you’ve gotta push that out of your mind because it’s the tournament tomorrow.”
“God, the tournament, I’d completely forgotten about that. I wonder who the 2 teachers will be using tomorrow.”
“I dunno. I heard somebody saying that the headmaster was going to use an articuno: bullshit in my opinion.”
“Yeh, well, anyway I’m gonna go but if I don’t see you later have fun training and I’ll see you at the tournament!”
“See you then!”