Chapter 4: Elaine

On a somewhat grassy knoll above Little Port Coo, two mildly ominous figures watched the three groups scurry around below. Neither one spoke, though they would in turn move only their eyes to look at the other one. When their eyes met, they quickly shifted back to looking down.

Finally Edward spoke. “Uh, hey, Elaine, what are we doing here again?”

“This is where they told us to go,” Elaine replied. Still neither one looked at the other.

“Let me see that paper again,” Edward asked, now looking up at the sky but with his hand stretched out.

Edward and Elaine had met years ago, when they were in training to become Pokémon masters. Since then they had run into each other several times, both as rivals and as partners. And besides, both of their names started with E. That had to count for something, right?

Elaine pulled a crumpled flyer on neon orange paper from her pocket and handed it to Edward. Her glasses fell off. “Oh, lay judges!” she swore.

Edward grinned at last and sat down on the grass…then leapt up. It was wet.

“Didn’t you see the sign?” said Elaine as she grabbed her glasses.

Rather than dignify it with a response, Edward smoothed out the paper as best he could and read aloud. “‘Are you one of those who is bored with canned debates? Someone who’d rather write their case on the spot? Someone who, perhaps, has done Impromptu speech…?’ Then there’s a statue of someone, then ‘Come to Little Port Coo to find others like you.’ And then the link to Mapquest for directions.”

“Hold on,” said Elaine urgently, perhaps more so than necessary. Her hand flung out and hit Edward in the nose. “Here come three of them.” With an animé blur she disappeared behind a convenient tree. Edward rubbed his nose and meandered after her.

Gordon crested the hill, an overlarge walking stick in hand. Kushal came afterwards, wiping sweat off his brow and pushing his hat up. He immediately pushed it back down as the setting sun shot straight into his eyes. Last came Richard, lagging behind but still the best dressed. His hair was slicked back.

“So, guys, do you really think there’s a God?” asked Gordon by way of conversation.

“Well, it is a fantasy world, but I think here basically the Avatars are gods,” replied Richard.

“But they’re mortals,” Gordon protested upbeatly.

“Not anymore,” Richard said with the somewhat patient-but-petulant tone of explaining something to a small child like Gordon, “Once they become Avatars they receive powers we can only dream of. And they rarely intermingle with us normal speechers anymore.”

“It’s not quite the same thing, though…” Gordon said stubbornly, like a butterfly who knew that he had already lost the argument but still wanted to put something in.

“Frank Sinatra is God,” said Kushal with finality. Actually given the heat it was more like quarterfinality.

Edward and Elaine cautiously stepped out as the three of them moved off. “It doesn’t sound like any news of this reached Little Port Coo,” Elaine said, gesturing with the flyer.

“How ‘i’ ‘a’ ge’ ‘ack i’ ‘our ‘an’?”


“How did that get back in your hand?” Edward repeated.

“What are you eating?”

“Frankly, a banana.”

There was a long pause, in which the sun reached that point where it drops below the horizon and everything gets darker. Finally Elaine sighed and started walking.

“Hey, where are you going?” called Edward.

“To find out where this came from!” Elaine yelled back, brandishing the paper. Edward hesitated, then muttered something unintelligible and/or unprintable.

“What was that?” Elaine called back.