Eevee TF Series
"You've got to be kidding me." Victoria's eyes scanned the pamphlet in her small hands- a portrait of a scene littered with snow everywhere; white-spotted trees, rocks that made humps in the blank landscape, and a gentle frozen rain speckled the sky around it. She looked up out her cracked window and saw woodchips and dirt, as brown as the hair on her dad's arm. The sun shone brightly through the lightly-leaved trees, a sign of the dry and possibly cool air, but her eyes kept watch to no avail for so much as a speck of snow. Her own dissatisfied expression reflected in the old window pane, alert and perturbed.
Annoyed she tossed down her empty sketchpad and fell onto the couch with a grunt. The old slit seats sighed for her underneath her weight and she stared up through the window to the sky, made even bleaker by her mood. She cursed in her mind about the unfairness of everything and how she had been anticipating this day for her whole life.
The RV went over a bump and she sighed again, out of boredom and hopelessness. Reaching down she felt for her notepad and flipped through some older sketches. Each one was a replica of the world she had imagined up on the mountain. Though, she would admit that some were very far-fetched- for example, one in particular that depicted a young girl about her age and build, surrounded by the snowy splendor, and to her side stood a white fox sniffing her hair curiously. The picture made her smile a little, and even a bit of the enthusiasm she had while sketching it came back to her. Memories of what happened that day swelled in her mind. As she sat gazing at her old work, cool crisp air from outside blew in from one of the vents next to her and she let her subconscious wander. Her eyes closed and reopened to see the wet black nose hovering over her with a pair of beautiful blue eyes with a reflection of the moon in them staring into hers. The moonlit sky surrounded her and everything was how she had imagined it.
Another bump brought her back from her daydream and the faint smile stayed, accompanied by her optimistic mind.
Looking around her family's very old vehicle she half-expected to see the furry brown fox she had encountered last night. The entire previous night was so odd to her now- almost as if it were a dream. But it was such a lovely dream- full of mystery, new friends, not to mention the person she somehow managed to get a sort of crush on. The more she thought about it the more it actually began to feel like just a dream. Pokémon? Psychic powers? She shook her head slightly in confusion. It all felt so really real, she thought. Yet, something in her head tried to tell her it wasn't. Once again another shake of the head.
Curiously she tried to silently focus towards the front of the vehicle, on her parents' minds. No one was saying anything and the radio was off, so it would be easy to pick up any thoughts, she rationalized. Closing her eyes tightly and trying to ignore her ears that were popping from the high altitude she tried to do exactly as she had been shown the previous night- whether or not it was a simple dream. As hopeful as she was for just a word all she got was a silent surge like the static from a television. She quickly opened her eyes to make sure her parents weren't staring at her crazy spectacle, but they looked just as she had left them- passive and wordless- like zombies, she wanted to mutter. Must be brainless just like zombies too, she thought with a little smile that tried to break her dissatisfaction. Whatever had happened last night or in her dream, it felt so easy- just picking thoughts out of the air. It sounded crazy to her then- but things were supposed to sound crazy outside the dream, not inside.
Her fleeting mind jumped again to her sketchbook which she placed on her lap and opened to a blank sheet. Smiling thoughtfully she pulled out her pencil and began to make a faint sketch that she hoped she could form into Eevee, the cute hyper little thing she met. Every detail of him she kept in her head- his circular little head, the proportions of his head to the body, his fluffs, his tufts, his little squirmy legs. She giggled while drawing all of his adorable features, all the while believing that last night could not have been a dream. She remembered how the creature had snuggled into her arms and all of his cutesy antics.
When she got to drawing the eyes she paused. Her mind slowed down and she pictured exactly how Eevee's eyes looked: deep dark brown, but bright and vivid at the same time; like a carefully-crafted golden gem with thousands of faces. Every time she thought about them, though, she thought about Ron. He and Eevee went together all too well but she couldn't put her finger on why. She admired them both. Ron was, she could admit, a person she could see herself falling for. But she knew exactly what the problem was- he was just too old for her- her parents would have a fit. And besides, she reasoned, he's probably already with someone. Still, she thought simplemindedly, she could hope.
She began to feel like she was on a boat when she became aware of a periodic swing of the vehicle. Looking out her window she could verify- they were driving in a zigzagging path, and each pass had an incline, which she had never seen before in any road. Why not just make a straight road so she wouldn't get sick? Of course then she realized how irrational that would be, pushing straight up the mountain instead of taking it one step at a time.
Every other pass she looked out her window and saw the shrinking landscape, each view more impressive than the last. She could see for miles- even far-off cities could be seen as blackish shadows on the horizon. The area below was made very rugged by hills and small mountains, though the dry arid desert-void she despised made up most of her perspective. But none of that mattered because she had a sight of paradise right before her.
She could feel that they were getting closer and closer to where they were camping. The moment she had been anticipating for most of her childhood was now, yet she did not feel the satisfaction she had hoped for. She couldn't feel the excitement she had felt when she learned that she would be going on this momentous trip. It all felt so mundane to her, yet she didn't necessarily want to just turn around and head back. A part of her still hoped for a snow-filled dream up on the summit.
As if reading her mind, her dad finally spoke up as he turned off the main road: "Well, here we are; this is the highest we're going."
Victoria sat up shocked and confused. "W-what?!" Looking out her window she saw the top of the mountain still higher- though not that much further of a drive. "But
we're so close to the top!"
"The reservations were made for this campsite right here, not up there, honey."
"Victoria," her dad gave her a short reproachful glance, careful not to take his eyes off the road for too long. "This is the highest we're gonna go. No buts." He parked the vehicle in a small vacant parking lot and stood up, turning around to face her. "Besides- the road we were just on does not go up to the top. You have to hike. We are staying here for four days- maybe, maybe if you behave we will take a hike, but not today."
There was a standoffish silence for a moment.
"Okay honey?" he asked, pushing forward a little.
She nodded, reluctantly, not looking up at him.
"Good. Now, I'm going to check in and we'll head off to our site. If you want to you can get out and stretch your legs a little. I'll be right back." With that his large figure stepped out of the vehicle. Her mother also got up and followed. For the first time in a while, it was completely silent. Only the sound of the wind was heard through the old windows, and though it was a light wind it sounded like it was howling. She could feel the cool air through the open door rush in and fill the room with its fresh mountain scent- a smell she had never smelled before, which yet felt so familiar to her.
Looking outside she saw the immense crowd of tightly-packed trees that surrounded her. It didn't even matter to her at the moment that there was no snow. It was still a beautiful sight that she would remember for a very long time. She quickly started trying to sketch it, though she couldn't help but add a few patches of white in the trees. She smiled at her light drawing. It wasn't very detailed but it satisfied her. At the bottom she made a little note: "A bit of wishful thinking."
Soon her parents had gotten back into the RV and started driving to their designated camp site "spot number 97," her dad murmured- a trip which involved going into the thick forestry along a heavily wooded road. As Victoria looked ahead she almost expected there to be a tree in the middle of the road at one point, but up ahead she saw the branch of campsite areas- like large tree-walled cubicles. They passed several vacant ones- in fact they were almost all vacant. "I guess not many people go up here in the summer," her dad commented nervously. One site they passed had a group that was packing up from their visit and appeared to be leaving. Her dad continued driving, glancing at every numbered site signpost, checking to make sure that their 97 didn't come up amidst the 50's.
Continuing on the sites all looked equally overgrown and run-down, almost as if abandoned, or perhaps simply unused. Ferns grew up on fences and signs, vines hung down from old trees, and moss covered mostly everything. Finally the 90's came up and her dad sighed in relief when he saw that, like most of the sites, there was no one around. Her dad was never really a sociable person, and she remembered how offended he looked and how nervous she was when they all met Ron and Don in the elevator. Her dad pulled slowly into the dirt-and-woodchip covered area and came to an impressive stop. Smiling he stood up and turned around to face his wife and daughter: "Well, we're here!" He pushed the unlock button and the single right-side passenger door made a clicking noise before he pushed it open to the surprisingly large campsite. Rather than just a rectangular stall cut into the forestry, it actually resembled a room in a house that extended off into the left a little- there was an entryway, and the forest past the entry made a sort of wall. One could likely fit several vehicles in such a space.
Victoria jumped out and sighed with pride and a spark of adventure in her eye. The forest air blew over her and she took it all in, looking up at the sun-speckled ceiling above. She ran over to a short tree and ran her fingers through its leaves. Having lived in a bleak flatland most of her life she didn't get to enjoy trees like this often. There was an abundance of bare trees in places, and the ground was covered over with dead leaves. Every step with her old shoes made a loud crunch that was almost annoying. Chuckling to herself, she remembered how she felt earlier and how she thought she would never have smiled so widely today.
Not wasting any time she ran back into the RV and collected her sketchpad and a few other objects. Sweeping them all up she flew to her father who was busy setting up some outdoor furniture around the fire ring, barely visible under the leaf coverage. Getting an optimistic grip on her book she approached her dad, making her presence known in the sea of leaves.
"Hey Daddy what do you think of my pictures?" she asked innocently as she held up the picture she drew of the area outside the reservation office. He put down his half-assembled beach chair and took a quick look over it.
"There's a bit of snow in there," he chided lightly with a smile.
She glanced at his mild rebuke and closed her book. "I was hoping I could take a little look around the area, please please?"
Her dad sighed and rolled his eyes. "You can't wait for us to set up first? We don't even have anywhere to sit yet-" his daughter's begging eyes stopped him for a moment. Normally he would ignore this but he noted that the whole trip was to be a sort of special thing for her. He remembered her excitement when she was told of it and decided, just this once, to let go of his sternness. "Oh alright honey," he smiled.
Victoria was actually surprised she had swayed him into being so liberal. She quickly threw a hug at him and began to run off when her dad caught her.
"Victoria!" She turned around. "Do you have your phone?"
She smiled and pulled her small old phone out of her faded jeans pocket. "Right here!" she called, and she turned to go.
"Don't wander too far now!"
She stopped and turned to smile, her distance from her father growing annoyingly slow. Turning to run,
"Be back by lunchtime okay? We might not be set up to make a meal so we might have to go get something in town."
She nodded in acknowledgment. She turned once again and expected him to call again.
"Be careful hon-"
"I know, dad," she called out with a fabricated chuckle. "I'll be fine." At that she risked no more delay and sped off down the road.
Blasts of wind met her as she ran and she let her hair blow freely in it. She flew over hills and ducked under tree branches, darting across the path to avoid piles of leaves. Never had she really felt so free. Only in her dreams could she be completely free, and this was the dream she had been waiting for. She stopped in a clearing in the road and soaked the scenery in. Her mind drifted freely until she heard a familiar sound- an old country song and a vibration in her pocket. She groaned and pulled her phone out opening it up. "Hello? Dad, I've only been gone like two minutes! You worry too much. Yes my phone is on, Dad. Uh-huh. Ok. Yes. I'll be back by 12:59. Haha, yes. Love you too." She rolled her eyes and put her phone back in her pocket and began to walk freely down the road.
Suddenly the jungle of trees disappeared and gave way to an open clearing and her eyes opened wide. There were small piles of white scattered around the area, most huddled around tree trunks. Not a huge overlay as she had hoped for, but snow nonetheless! She dashed over to the biggest pile she found and tapped the pile gently. It was hard- like a rock, to her surprise. Lifting an eyebrow she tried to pick up a handful but her numbing fingers couldn't dig into the frozen pile. "Aw man," she sighed, "just ice." She satisfied herself by knocking on the giant frozen rock and hearing a crisp sound come from it. Not all-too discouraged she got back up and looked around her at all the white patches.
Turning completely around she saw the road she had taken up here, and as she looked beyond it she saw a promising sight- an incline that led up to a peak; not too steep at all, she noted. She smiled with determination at the summit of the mountain and flew into the trees.
A hum. A rather soothing hum. At first he couldn't even tell it was there, until the ringing in his ears stopped and the words came rushing to him: "Ron!"
He fought to open his eyes and saw the cautious but calming eyes of the rusty fox gently looking over him. A tingle went through his body and he realized he was on his side on the floor of the hallway. Everything was as he remembered it- blurry and a little cool, and he felt like he had just woken up. He felt his leg seize up a little and felt a slight pain as he lifted his head sleepily to look up at the crusted face of Don, whose round head eclipsed the light bulb hovering over him. His silvery eyes, shadowed, looked down at him worriedly, but a glint of friendly impatience shone slightly around the sides.
He stretched an arm lazily. "D
"You done sleepin', kid?" He reached down and helped his companion up with a grunt.
Ron quivered slightly, confused. "What
just happened? I must have buzzed out or something
Don chuckled heartily and slapped him on the back. "'Buzzed out' is an understatement. You just stumbled forward and plunged down to the side there- like a toddler- you just plopped down right there!" He could hardly control his laughter as he spoke, and the corners of his mouth tightly pulled into his cheeks, showing his aging teeth. The wrinkles on his face seemed to disappear in his smile as he laughed and his eyes glowed dimly.
Ron only smiled dimly as he stared into Don's deep eyes in that instant. However that instant felt like forever as his mind got lost in them. In those eyes he felt calm and secure, as if in an embrace of sorts. He began to see things he had never seen before. In those eyes he saw a man he could call a best friend, a man whose trust could traverse continents, and whose honesty and kindness were limitless. He saw for really, the first time, not a man but literally a good spirit; one that would help him out if he ever needed it; one that would offer forgiveness for anything. A man made old by the world but whose God-given spirit was as youthful as the day it filled him with life. As Ron marveled at the revelation he felt a sensation relieve him in the form of a fast-paced electronic beat, followed instantly by a vibration in his pocket. A wave of hope came over him as he pulled out his phone and opened it without hesitation.
"Julia?! Julia are you ok? I was worried sick about you!"
There was a pause, and an unfamiliar voice came through the phone.
"R-Ron? Is this Ron?"
Ron flustered at the worried masculine voice and how he had mistaken it for that of his wife's. "Oh uh
sorry about that
yes this is he- who is cal-"
"This is Victoria's father," the man cut him off. "She's gone missing."