Electric-type Revenge

Ash sat in his beat-up silver Honda, waiting. The prison parking lot was mostly empty at this time of day and he’d parked inconspicuously amongst some employee vehicles.

Twenty-five years they’d been locked in this dance, Ash and Team Rocket. Twenty-five years of lies, and kidnapping attempts. Sometimes it felt like they’d met on a weekly schedule. Ash was always told to laugh them off. That they were harmless. They were inept. Everyone brushed them off as bunglers, not even worth their time.

Ash had read an article online that they were getting out today. Bunglers! They’d put him in the most abject danger as a kid. The kind of stuff he couldn’t tell his mother about when he called home. She had worry lines around her eyes when they talked, her big boy running around the world without her. She didn’t need to know. He only ever got out of it because he had the best friend in the world.

The gates opened and Ash watched his rear-view mirror as Jessie and James stepped out into the free air, wearing their old familiar uniforms. Gray streaked their hair, now.

Ash put his hand on the empty seat beside him. “This one is for you, buddy.”

The air was crisp as he stepped out into the early morning. Team Rocket were headed for the bus stop at the edge of the parking lot when Ash stopped them.

“Remember me?” he asked, throwing one arm out in a dramatic pose.

“Ash, man. What are you doing here?” James asked.

“Prepare for trouble and make it double,” Ash said, striking a second pose.

James shook his hands out in front of him. “Sorry mate, we’re not in the business anymore.”

“We promised our parole board,” Jessie added, trying to brush past Ash. But he wouldn’t have it.

“To protect the world from devastation,” Ash said, laying on the ground with one hand propping up his head. He was getting older now and his knees hurt as he moved from pose to pose, but it was worth it.

Jessie grabbed her old partner and dragged him away. He stepped over Ash carefully. “I really am sorry, man,” James said.

“To unite all people within our nation,” Ash said, running to get in front of them as he spread his arms out wide.

Jessie put her hand on one hip and held out a hand to stop him. “We’re not Team Rocket anymore. They wouldn’t have us back even if we wanted to be, which we don’t. We’ve changed. Been rehabilitated.”

“We really are sorry. We liked that little Pikachu as much as you did,” James said.

“Don’t you speak his name,” Ash said, forgetting to take another pose.

“We had no way of knowing he couldn’t swim,” Jessie added.

A gull called overhead and Ash smelled the salt air and had a sudden flash of dragging his little yellow friend back to shore. Sparks arced from his cheeks as Ash tried to clear the water from his lungs, but it was too late. Nurse Joy said that the injuries from the fall from a helicopter would have done it if the water hadn’t. It wasn’t a consolation to Ash.

“I stopped collecting after that,” Ash said. “After Pikachu and Brock and Misty. And they gave you five measly years for manslaughter.”

He pulled a taser out of one pocket, Pikachu written across it in yellow letters.

“Ash, old buddy, let’s talk about this,” James said, backing away.

Jessie stepped behind James and the two tripped over each other, falling down in a tangle of legs.

“We never meant for it to happen,” she said.

He hit them both with the taser first, his old friend not here to do it for him. Once upon a time, that might have been enough. A well-placed lightening bolt, an off-the-cuff quip, and they’d all go on their way for a while. But it wasn’t enough today.

From the other pocket, he pulled a gun. He didn’t hesitate as he fired off four rounds, one for each of his friends lost that day and one for his own innocence, now irretrievable.

“Pika pika, bitches,” Ash said as he walked away.

Dianne Williams lives in Lawrence, Kansas. She grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and classic science fiction. She once dreamed of being an astronaut. Or maybe a lawyer. Or an artist. She settled for being as many of them as she could all at once through fiction writing.

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