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My Child

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The doll was left alone in the attic when its child moved away.

The child cried and cried and cried when she found out her favorite toy had been misplaced and left behind, but the doll didn’t know. The doll didn’t know that a child so young didn’t have the authority to demand that the whole family turn around and come back.

All it knew was that it was once loved and treasured and now sat here alone, idly chewed upon by stray Rattata.

It always tried to raise its arm and shoo the intruders off. One day, it worked.

The doll could move about the house freely now. There were different people there. An elderly couple. The doll took no interest in them. It would know the one who had abandoned it when it saw them.

It stuck around for a while, hoping these people might be relatives of that child. Maybe they’d come by for a visit, and be reunited at last.

The couple’s family did visit, and the doll was dismayed to see children, five children, none of them the one they were looking for.

Seeing no point in staying, the doll left the house for good.

 The first person it encountered outside was a young girl, about high school age. She had the same curly black hair as the child it once loved so fondly. How much time had passed in that attic? It could very well be that very child.

The girl turned around. The doll floated in front of her, scrutinizing her every facial feature. No, this was not its child after all.

“Eeeek, a Banette!” the girl shrieked, running around the corner and into a nearby Pokemon Center.

The doll was still without its child, but at least now it had a name.

This was not its child, either. Banette looked over the young boy with curiosity. He had been out walking with his family through the woods and, seeing a wild Pokemon, had run over to say hello. His arms were outstretched, as if he wanted to play.

It was so familiar, so close to what Banette had lost, had missed, that it almost reached back. It wanted to play, too. But the boy’s mother grabbed him by the hand and dragged him back to the path, despite his protests.

“Don’t run off on your own, the wild Pokemon might be dangerous!”

How many years had it been now? Banette had managed to avoid capture, searching every house, every room for its child. Child after child after child, and none of them were who it was looking for.

Once it came across a garbage can with a tiny plush arm sticking out. Moving the lid aside, it found another doll, dirty and torn, soaked with rain water.

Banette invited the doll to join it in its search. But the doll did not respond.

Banette took the doll from the trash and placed it on a table next to a nearby open window.

This was its child. She was no longer a child, but Banette could tell. Could still remember her laugh, her voice, and the way she used to carry it around the house loosely like she now carried her purse.

This was its child and they were reunited at last. But it did not trust the child, not anymore. It hovered in front of her, and she almost screamed, but then looked curiously at it:

“Is that…?”

Banette opened its mouth and darkness filled the room.

This time it would not be left behind.

This time they would be together forever.