The Yearbook Office
Writings on staying alive

To whoever has found this letter,

Please, I beg of you to help me. I am writing to you on the back of a label I peeled off a Super Potion I found lying on the ground. As I write this I am standing in a field along Route 4, it is raining and I have been standing here for 27 years, only moving to walk forward and challenge any Pokémon trainers who walk by. I no longer have any feeling in my legs.

Let me start at the beginning: One day I was running to the store to pick up some Lapras Milk for Mom when a strange man came up to me and handed me a red and white ball. He said I needed to take it and ran off before I even knew what happened.

When I returned home from the store, my mother saw the ball in my hand and her face lit up. She told me it was a Pokéball and that I was now on my journey to be a Pokémon Master. She told me that she had been waiting for this day for a long time and I was going to have the best time, before throwing me out of the house and locking the door behind me.

I may not have been mature for my age then, but even I knew that kicking your eight-year old daughter onto the streets while they go off in search of some made up prize is completely ridiculous.

I tried knocking on the doors of my friend's houses but their parents told them that they too had left home to start their journeys. Dejected, I left town only to be immediately attacked by a wild Pokémon as soon as I stepped into the grass. Not knowing what else to do, I threw my Pokéball to the ground and out popped a strange looking rabbit.

With big ears that are almost as tall as I am, my Bunnelby is not very strong but makes up for it with its awkward charm. After defeating that first wild Pokémon, we quickly started to bond and I began to think that maybe my Pokémon journey would not be all that bad.

Making good time, Bunnelby and I proceeded through the Santalune Forest into the city on the other side. Unable to find somewhere to stay for the night, I headed out on Route 4 hoping to make it to Luminose City before night fall.

On my way, I was approached by a boy about my age who walked right into my path before challenging me to a Pokémon battle. I knew I was in trouble as my opponent sent out a very strong Pikachu. I could see Bunnelby quivering as it tried to stand its ground but there was nothing we could do.

As soon as the battle was over my opponent jumped in the air and screamed "I'm finally free! For fuck's sake I am so happy I beat you!" I found it odd, this much profanity coming from an eight-year-old boy but I barely had a moment to process it before I felt a cold, foreign presence moving my body into the spot where he had been standing. I am still standing there now, twenty-seven years later.

Over time I realized that with every new encounter I only had time to say a single sentence before and after each fight to the passerby. I tried saying things like, "Please, call child protective services!" or "My mother's name is Paula, please tell her where I am!" but it seemed like my challengers never even paid attention to me, instead using me as a stepping stone.

The strangest part is how after every defeat I hand over $256 Pokémon Dollars which is more money than I had ever previously seen in my life. The cash just appears in my pocket right before I give it away, every single time.

Early on I tried looking at the other trainers forced to stand around waiting for someone to walk by, but the looks in their eyes always said "it's everyone for themselves, little girl".

By my last count, since being sent to this Poképurgatory I have been defeated over 22,000 times. Bunnelby barely has the will to live anymore. Whenever I think I have it bad, some jerk walks by triggering me to approach and challenge them, and I have to look at my poor little Bunnelby go through the motions while being beaten unconscious again and again.

Let me be clear: what is happening to me is not right. It is criminal and sick, and only you can help me.

Even in writing this, I realize there is not much you can do. Surely the government is complicit in this system of torture that has been unleashed upon me and the other trainers who wait on Route 4. Of course I would never wish this upon anyone else. My only hope is that if you are reading this, you too are on a journey and should you (or anyone) finally succeed in becoming a Pokémon Master you can set me and every other trainer free from our shackles.

So with that in mind, be sure to bring your strongest Pokémon when you cross Route 4, I can only provide about 800 experience points but I hope it is enough to help you help me. Please find me, I am waiting in the tall grass for you.