Forza was not like the other girls at her school. Her name meant “strength” in Italian although she didn’t have a single drop of Italian blood in her body. She was very tall and slim, but she lived up to her name.
She was in all the athletic teams at school and was at the top of her classes, despite not speaking. Everyone knew she wasn’t deaf, but she was oddly silent. Because of this, no one knew anything about her. Where she lived, who her parents were, or why she left the classroom every three hours were a mystery.
Because of her secrecy, there were plenty of humors. Most of them were either absurd or stupid. None of them were true, but one was really close. Forza heard it one day in the halls.
“Here comes Freaky Forza. Did you know she’s some kind of monster?” Whenever people approached her about these rumors, she wouldn’t respond other than walking away. She could speak perfectly well, she just chose not to. Her expression was always one of nothingness, anger, or annoyance. No one knew or understood her, so they were afraid of her, and that was how she liked it.
Once upon a time, she wasn’t like this. That was a year ago, at a different school, in a different place, with a different past. She used to be fun. She used to be busy on weekends studying or hanging out with her friends. Back then, she had a normal family.
Don’t let them see what you’ve become, she told herself every day. She had changed last year. So much had happened over that year. She hated to look back on it, but she couldn’t help it. Her whole world had changed. Every time she left the class at the three-hour mark she was reminded why she couldn’t be normal ever again. As her history teacher droned on she closed her eyes and let memories whisk her away.
Forza’s POV (Point Of View)
It had all started with a dream. A dream so vivid and real I was angry I had woken up. I was a Zoroark fighting a Lucario and winning. I was about to deliver my final Night Daze move when my alarm clock woke me up. This was one of the five similar dreams I had been having over the past few nights. I slammed my fist down on the snooze button. To my surprise, it shattered into pieces and crumbled to the floor.
“What the..?” I looked at my hand. It was undamaged.
“Forza! You’re gonna be late for school!” Mom called from downstairs.
“I’m coming Mom!” I pulled the covers off me and sprung to my feet. Today’s the day, I thought to myself, today’s the day I try out for the swim team. I got dressed and looked in the mirror to start brushing my hair.
“AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” I screamed and Mom ran up the stairs.
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Something happened to my hair!” I held it out for her to see. It was down a good foot past my ankles, way longer than my usual mid-back length. It was also pitch black with blue on the ends of the spikes when it should have been dirty-blonde. At my ankles was a giant yellow band holding some of the hair together. Mom only stared.
“What am I going to do? I have the swim team tryouts today!” I wailed. This was not part of the plan.
“You’re one of them.” Mom whispered. I turned to her. She was starting to back away.
“I’m one of what, mom?” I was scared. Mom ran out of the room and locked the door behind her. I pounded on the door.
“Mom! Mom, let me out! Tell me what’s wrong with me!” I heard Mom go to the basement and come back. Her footsteps sounded heavier, like she was carrying something big. The doorknob jiggled and I stepped back. Mom opened the door and stepped inside, wearing a huge backpack with a hose attached to it. It looked like one of those packs the Ghostbusters wore in the movie. I backed up more.
“Sorry, honey. But this is my job.” She pulled a lever on the hose and a purple gas poured out of it. I tried to hold my breath, but I inhaled some anyway and went spiraling into unconsciousness.
A particularly strong jolt woke me up. I opened my eyes and saw the interior of my dad’s moving truck for his company. I used to play in it when I was little. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t move my arms or legs. I looked down and saw strange, glowing purple chains covering me. A strange detail I noticed was that my new hair wasn’t in the bonds. I felt the truck turn and I went slamming into the wall.
“Ow!” I yelled as spots danced before my eyes. I hadn’t even had time to clear them when the truck turned again, more severely this time. I felt the two left tires lift off the road and slam back down, smashing me against the opposite wall. I felt my shoulder snap out of its socket and tears blurred my eyes.
“Stop driving so bad!” I wailed then scolded myself. What would Dad say about wailing? I’m stronger than this. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and did want my dad taught me to do; I steeled myself from the world. My pain, physical and emotional, washed away like the tide pulling away from the shore. I kept slamming into the walls, but I kept washing the pain away.
“I am as unfeeling as a mountain, swift as a river, and stronger than my foes. I will win this battle.” I chanted to myself. I opened my eyes when I heard something enormous slam onto the roof of the truck. A strange green blade sliced through it and ripped off a section, revealing my rescuer.
“What are you?” I asked. It looked like someone was wearing an elaborate Pokémon costume. What that Pokémon was, I had no clue.
“Can’t you tell? I’m a Gallade, and I’m here to rescue you. Whoa, interesting chains.” The truck swerved again, throwing him off balance and me into the wall.
“Ah! Get me out of here!” I screamed and he jumped into the truck.
“The name’s Buck in case you’re wonderin’. The Absol in the front is Mason. And by the looks of your hair, you must be a shiny Zoroark.” Buck tried to use his arm…blade…thing to cut the chains. Instead of breaking, however, they gave off a shock that electrocuted me. I screamed in pain before quickly washing it away.
“Sorry! I’m sorry. We need to see the headmaster for this.” Buck whistled and the truck pulled to a stop.
“Yo, Mason! We gotta get to base.” The truck jerked forward in response and swerved around. My dislocated shoulder hit the wall and I grimaced. Buck finally saw it and cringed.
“Ouch. Did she do that to you?” I turned away from him with tears in my eyes. It kinda hurt knowing my own mother turned on me when I needed her most.
“Just get me out of here.” I snarled. He took a step back as the truck slowed down.
“Sorry I asked. What’s your name young friend?” I opened my mouth to say we weren’t friends, but decided against it.
“I’m Forza and I’m 17 just to let you know.” And I’m not your friend, I wanted to add.
“Nice to meet you, Forza. Welcome to the world of Pokéumans.”
Chapter 2: Next