• His breath came snapping back to him. The ceiling stretched above him – the wood fading into a void. There was no entrance – there was no exit, and this revelation brought forth a question:

    How did he get here?

    He reached for his PokéGear and flipped it open, thumbing over to the map, but instead of being greeted by the country of Johto or Kanto, even, there was nothing. Just a black screen that refused to identify his location.

    He pulled up his contacts, and what he found was an empty list. Mom wasn’t there. Nor Elm. Nor Oak. None of the countless trainers he had fought and prevailed over were present. Holding his breath, he checked the radio. There had to be one program that was still running. His fragile hope gave away. There was no signal either.

    With a resigned sigh, he tucked it back into his pocket and resorted to observing his surroundings and deduce for himself just where he was.

    The architecture, no doubt, reminded him of Bellsprout Tower – a scene in which one of his earlier adventures had occurred. Were there any trainers here? Or maybe a pokémon? He’d have to be ready to battle. Champions, by title and skill, were never left alone for long.

    He checked his pokémon – he had only one.

    A chilling curtain seemed to descend upon him. He had more. He was sure of it. Trembling hands hastily searched – but he had no one else but this lone ball. So which pokémon did he have? Typhlosion?

    He gave the ball a light toss.

    A cyndaquil emerged, its breath short and fur slick with blood. It turned its small head towards him, glancing up through heavy, lidded eyes.

    “Hurry,” it seemed to say.

    This wasn’t right – the only cyndaquil he had ever owned had long since evolved. Where was Typhlosion? He couldn’t remember, and this frightened him.

    He held out the ball, intending on returning the poor fire mouse, but something unexpected occur. The pokéball would not recall its tenant no matter how many times he fervently activated the seal. Who ever heard of a pokéball not returning a pokémon?

    Cyndaquil cried out.

    He flinched – he would have to carry it by hand, and he would have to be fast. In such a critical condition, it was liable to pass away at any moment, and even if it wasn’t his, he was not heartless.

    He gently scooped it up in his arms.

    A movement caught his eye, and he looked up again. Five unown danced in the air above him – descending until they were at last circling him. Their eyes seemed to be full of sick mirth, and the erratic pattern they took up made it all the harder to trace their path. He had not seen unown in such a long time, and it took him a moment to decipher their word…

    “LEAVE,” he read softly. A warning perhaps.

    He licked his dry lips. Easier said than done – there was no way out.

    As if sensing his uncertainty, the unown flew into the central pillar – disappearing into the wood. He stared at the spot of their entry for a few seconds before hesitantly walking into the seemingly solid pillar… and fell a short distance. Pure darkness consumed him.

    Fear clawed at his heart – Ampharos wasn’t with him. How could he see? What could he use? And then he remembered the weak pokémon in his arms.

    “Flash,” he ordered quietly, looking away.

    A brilliant shine flooded the room, and horror choked him into silence. The walls were painted a dark, bloody color and directly across from him stretched a hall that seemed to gaze into eternity.

    Goosebumps formed on his skin – he’d have to keep moving. He needed to hurry. With deliberate steps, he walked down the hall.

    The floor was stone; that was certain, but strangely enough, he could not hear his footsteps. He tried adding pressure, but that had no effect. The hall was mute – and then an odd, strangled melody began to play softly. He recognized it as a hidden radio signal he had once heard at the Ruins of Alph long ago and memories of dark, fearful nights filled him.

    As he pressed on, the light began fading. Every second continued the spiral into darkness once more, and by the time eternity had passed, he could barely make out the faint outline of his hand. It was then he had reached the end of the hall. A smaller room was connected to it, and at its center was a sign.

    ‘TURN BACK NOW,’ it read.

    He turned around – just to look down the hall he had come from. But there was nothing there, and again, he was enveloped in black. Music touched his ears again, barely audible. This song he recognized too – the Poké Flute. Was he dreaming then? Just some sort of sick nightmare?

    “Wake up,” he told himself

    He waited for moments in the deafening silence until he was no longer sure he even existed. Something shifted in his hands, and he suddenly remembered the cyndaquil. It was still too dark, and the only way to end the nightmare, was to bear it until it ended its course. He needed light.

    “Flash,” he told it again.

    A weak cry held in the air for a half a second, and as quick as he heard it, it vanished. The cyndaquil disappeared from his arms, and only the feeling of its warm, slick blood lingered. He was left dumbstruck.

    “Cyndaquil?” he began, his voice rising to a frantic shout. “Where’d you go?”

    A soft chant filled his ears, and he whipped around to face it. In the unending black, there floated six unown; glowing with a surreal crimson in place of the intended Flash.

    “HE DIED,” they read.

    Their eyes suddenly burst into light, blinding him for a moment. When he opened his eyes he found himself in a small room with transparent walls, and beyond them, he was overwhelmed by a multitude of graves. He’d never heard of a mass grave before – except for Lavender Tower, and that one had long been renovated into Kanto’s radio tower.

    He approached the clear barrier and reached a tentative hand out… only to discover he had none. The blood had washed them away, and it was at that moment, he remembered who the cyndaquil was. It was the offspring of his hard work – the torch that Typhlosion had carried and passed to its young. But cyndaquil was gone, and with it, all of his work… all of his success and failure taken with it. It was as if his arms had never existed to begin with.

    Regret reached up from the depths below – snatching him back into the void. Its claws seem to sink into his legs as it dragged him down.

    A scream threatened to spill from his throat, but it was suppressed once he saw he was back in the tower-lookalike. Instead of earthen brown wood, it was all red. Like that room. Like blood.

    And just as his arms had been washed away, the void had claimed his legs He was nothing more than a floating torso – the general idea of who he is, but lacking all the necessary details. And yet… this didn’t bother him as much as it did. The hopeful allure of a simple nightmare calmed his nerves.

    Something softly brushed by his head. He turned to see a celebi – and from his many adventures, he recognized that it was a rarity among the rare. What made it odder was that it was a ‘shiny’ celebi – one differently colored from the norm. To be sure, a ‘shiny’ pokémon, let alone a legendary, was the greatest of all trophies a trainer could possibly have.

    But this celebi… It was like him. Only half of it was there – for he saw stubs where its leg and arm should’ve been. Its agonized face missed an eye and antenna, as well.

    And he recognized, dimly, that this pokémon was his. He had not remembered it at first, but slowly, the faded memories returned. A fateful encounter in Ilex forest. When…?

    He heard a familiar noise, and he slowly turned around, anticipating the unown’s return. There were five this time, and they floated slowly by him, their letters made clear as they disappeared one by one.

    This time, they had spelled, “DYING.”

    Who was dying, he wondered. The celebi? Or him?

    The pokémon gave him a muted glance – a quiet urge to move forward. He had no choice but to comply – what else could he have done? Non-existent legs carried him forward. Faint suspicion warned him that a nightmare was too soft a title to label this experience as, but he tried vainly to brush it off. It could not be anything else than a nightmare – and he held desperately to the thought. But at length, he began walking past ghostly men and women. Their faces, he recognized, seemed familiar but he could not identify any of them.

    “Who are you?” he asked one.

    There was no answer but a tear of blood.

    And faintly, he could feel his own eyes shedding a similar drop. The celebi tugged at his head and pointed down at the very end. He strained his eyes to see – and he was finally able to identify the figure with some measure of surprise.

    “Red,” he breathed – the legend himself as white and pale as everyone else, and when he looked up – there were no eyes. Just nothing in the space they would normally occupy.

    As he approached, there was no exchange of words. Red had never said anything to him so long ago, and he would not say anything now. There was a shared look between the battlers; one emptiness to the next. He could feel the empathy, and suddenly saw the truth that those who would rise higher than the rest must eventually fall. That was Red’s fate, and it was to be his. Red sent out his only pokémon. The battle began.

    A pikachu appeared, its face wearing a forlorn and solemn expression. He could feel its reluctance to fight, and he saw the feeling was mutual with Red.

    He sent a tacit glance towards the celebi – it was his only pokémon after all. It went forth, unerring, but it took with it the reign of the battle. Left as a mere spectator, he could only watch.

    Pikachu began by using Curse – he hadn’t know it was able to learn that move – and Celebi with a deafening Perish Song. He knew it then that Celebi was fighting a lost battle – either Pikachu would knock out Celebi or they would both pass out from the three minute count.

    In retaliation, Pikachu began Flailing about – catching Celebi on the head who still remained singing. In its Frustration, Pikachu attacked again its tail clubbing the legendary into the ground.

    From its position, it attempted to stir with no avail. Weakly, an aura surrounded Celebi as it used Pain Split – sharing its agony with the enemy as it slowly picked itself up. Pikachu recoiled, shooting a glare – Mean Look.

    Three minutes gone. Time was up.

    Celebi ceased its movements – falling backwards with dull thud, and quietly passed away. And Pikachu… It used Destiny Bond.

    It took with it Red’s face – his fame, intellect, and achievements… but neglected to bring his body.

    Horror washed over him as the other trainer’s decapitated body crumpled to the floor. His surrounding warped; he shut his eyes tight with his heart and breath loud in his ears.

    And when he dared to open them, he was home. His room had been taken care of. The clean linen sheets were perfectly made upon his soft bed, and his computer look well dusted despite his prolonged absence. It was as if he had never left or what it would have looked like if he had never journeyed.

    Awestruck and overwhelmed, he fell to his knees – or what would’ve been his knees. A head was all that was left. The unown returned.

    “NO MORE.”

    He stared hopelessly at them, the red tears dripping out of his eyes. With a defeated sob, he stood up once more and glanced at the door. The doorknob was cold in his hands as he held it. The door creaked open to reveal the stairs that descended into darkness. Slowly – carefully, he made his way down, a loop of thoughts clouding his mind.

    He had accepted that this wasn’t a nightmare. There would be no sweet reality he could wake up to because this was his reality. A metaphor to his life – a mirror reflecting what was. He began piecing it together: his legacy, his achievements, his journeys. All of them were lost.

    The ground floor was what he had expected: dimly lit, and heavily dusted with grime and cobwebs – a stark contrast to the room above. He walked past the table but then stopped mid-step to examine it. There were four chairs neatly aligned around the table, but only two were ever used. He noted with a melancholic expression that one was askew. It was where Mom used to sit and greet him every time he came home with warm meals and an even warmer hug. Where was she now?

    Her absence had a haunting effect on him – and loneliness was swift to follow. He was desperate to fill the gap.

    “Welcome back,” he quietly greeted for her.

    He answered to himself, “I missed you, Mom.”

    Then he could muster up no more familiar words. That was all he could recall.

    He turned his heavy head to the open door. As expected, there was only oblivion beyond the doorway, and as he stepped into the black shadows, he took one last look at the room. He wondered if it was still there in New Bark Town. He couldn’t remember. Then he continued out, his slow pace stretching into hours.

    The void offered no respite to the weary pilgrim on his final journey, but that was fine. Others have gone through this before – and he found as he continued on, he felt weaker and weaker, like he was old and worn. He felt like crumbling into dust at any second. Every step seemed to drain him of his youth – and he was suddenly the oldest boy in the world…

    The unown messages were made clear to him. He died. Both he and the cyndaquil. Dying. The celebi and the memories of him. No more. What was originally his own sentiment became what he was. It all came so clear that he just wanted to give in and lie down – let all the blood drip from his eyes until he was drowning in it.

    But then he was there. A boy stood in front of him, gold eyes staring back. His hands were thrust into his the pocket of his hoodie, and arrogance seemed to sneak onto his face despite the solemn expression he wore so carefully. He wore his hat backward, as if to differentiate himself from everyone else who would wear the cap normally. He studied this boy – committed every detail to mind. This was him, after all, and this would be the last time anyone would ever see him. The two stood there for what seemed like centuries, until at last he spoke.


    The boy nodded. “Goodbye forever…”

    The rest of him bleached out until there was no more.

    ~ * ~

    ‘R. I. P. …’ read the inscription.

    There was no glorifying epitaph following it, just a mandatory engraving of words repeated for faceless men and women across the ages. But on this particular night, hushed singing could be heard. Six unown danced around the tomb, their letters:

    “I’M DEAD.”

    Who was ‘I’?

    For all the thousands of steps he took on his journey through all the regions; for all the battles and challenges he conquered; for all of his achievements from becoming the champion to the capture of the shiny celebi… for all this, his name was nonetheless lost.

    ~ * ~

    [A/N]: I know I'm seventeen days late... but I hope this has left an impression on you. As for the details, Lost Silver is actually a creepypasta (you can google or youtube it if you'd like) written and remade into a legit game. I tried to follow the story as close as possible, but there are times I deviate or omit details such as the forty badges. I couldn't think of a way to include them realistically. This is also my interpretation to the story - if you think a certain object had a different meaning or symbolism behind it, I'm glad you thought of it - but that's not how I saw it.
    For a while, I was debating on adding the 'Hidden' part of the story to the fic, but the unown messages are different, and I couldn't quite interpret the meaning of 'XXXX' if there is one at all. In a way, I didn't include it because it didn't strike me as 'canon.'
    Anyway, a note of thanks to all the people who read the story before it went up and expressed their thoughts. They include GTB Phoenix, Alpha142, sevenluck, Nalfein, and a handful of friends who shall not be named without their consent.