[enjoy a preview of Studio Catfish’s first writing adventure: Pokemon Coal Black!]
It was the long, mournful tolling of the bell tower that alerted Laen that is was finally morning. She’d been up since much earlier that morning, packing and repacking her back until she was satisfied. All across the cover of her bed lay neatly folded clothes and little bags containing all her carefully organized luggage. Beside it, near her pillow, lay a chunky blue and white bag waiting to be filled with things.
“Ah, it’s that time already?” she muttered to herself, peaking at the digital clock on the beside table. It read in large red numbers 6:01, though she knew it to be about a minute off. Try as she might, Laen could never seem to get her clock to be completely in-synch with the town’s landmark clock tower. But that wouldn’t matter after today; after today, she was going on an adventure to see the world.
Trotting across her small room to her washstand, she bent down to splash some water on her face. She’d been too excited to sleep the night before and had ended up not sleeping much at all. Carefully, she combed through her long locks of red hair, humming softly as she continued with her morning routine. In a few minutes time she had mange to quietly change from her pajamas into her carefully laid out travel attire. It was a simple outfit comprised of a beige vest and bold terracotta red pants that stopped just above her knees with a finally poof and two buttons. On the vest was a simple pin, made in the image of a timer ball—a present from her father to remind her to be patient.
It was as she was tieing her dark blue bandana onto her head that she heard a soft knock on her bedroom door. From the minor she stood in front of, adjusting the knot on the bandana till it faced mostly forward, she had a clear view of her older brother entering the room.
“Hey, you not done packing yet?” he asked softly with a chuckle as he entered the room, “Dad’s still asleep, so we gotta keep it down.”
Laen nodded in acknowledgment of her brother’s warning and returned to her bed where all her things were laid out. Though she knew pretty much what was going where in her bag, she’d spent most of her time carefully selecting which of her things to take. Would it be the black socks or the white socks she’d direly need down the road? Should she pack a heavy jacket, or just plan to buy one when it start getting cold? All of that deliberating had clearly wasted a good portion of her time, and she blushed bashfully at her brother’s chiding tone.
“Well, I had trouble figuring out what to bring,” she explained, carefully bunching together the pile of socks in front of her. Across the bed from her, her brother was busy stacking clothing into the bottom of the bag neatly and carefully. Unlike Laen, he’d had experience traveling and packing for trips so she merely stood by, observing while passing him things that were out of his reach.
“Well, you don’t need so many socks for one,” he commented, setting the pile she handed him next to the bag.
“But I haven’t even pack any pairs yet!” She exclaimed, reaching for the pile. In response, he chucked a couple pairs into the bag.
“You can buy socks at pretty much any Poke’center.”
“Well yeah, but I’d much rather not have to buy socks in every city.”
“Suit yourself,” he commented, and continued on packing her things. In the end all that was left out were the extra pairs of pajamas she’d wanted to pack and the excess necessities—things like shampoo and soap. She’d done a pretty good job keeping him from leaving half her clothes behind; her brother was a little too fond of the idea of buying your wardrobe as you went.
“If you bring too much shampoo, it stands a bigger chance of breaking and getting all over everything in your bag,” he explained, pulling the bag’s zipper closed, “But all in all you did a pretty good job packing yourself.”
Laen folded her arms, looking indigent, “I’m fifteen! Of course I can pack my own bag!”
“Whatever you say, Princess,” he laughed, slinging the bag over his shoulder, “Come on; mom’s got breakfast ready in the kitchen.”
Quickly, Laen trotted behind her brother. Just inside the door, she stooped down to pick up her boots. As she rose to her feet she took one last, long look at her room. It looked empty, and almost sad. The bed was never made so neat, and there was almost always some sort of laundry on top of her dresser. But today, all that was left out of place were her pajamas from that night, neatly folded on top of her dresser. The luggage her brother had reject was still on top of her bed, but she knew her mother would put those things away once she was gone. On the walls there were still posters of her childhood idols—movie stars and models—and on the bedside table farthest from the door was a small figurine of some television character she’d loved as a child. In this room lay her memories of her past fifteen years at home, leading up to today. Knowing her family’s situation, it was pretty likely they’d be renting the room out to traveler’s like herself. That was, after all, the tradition in small towns with no hotels. With a deep breath she stepped out of her room, pulling the door shut behind her. It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that this would be the last time she’d exit her room; after this point, it would just be a guest room she had dibs on.
“You coming Laen?” her brother called softly down the hall.
Startled, she pulled away from the door; turning, she called softly back, “Coming!”
-to be continued-