Happy Curse-Day, Ash Ketchum
Author’s Note: Enjoy the story and R&R.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to or of the Pokémon franchise.
Why is Ash Ketchum perpetually ten years old? The answer may shock you.
Cerise Laboratory. Ash Ketchum’s tenth birthday.
Chloe and Yamper dropped off his cake and she muttered congratulations. She could only tolerate the boys’ smelly dorm room for so long.
As he blew out the candles ringing the cake’s gooey pipetted lettering, Ash reflected. “I’m getting this strange sense of déjà vu.”
“Like you do every birthday? I get them too! Same cake, same song. It means you’re a year older, Ash!”
“No, that’s not it…”
“Ten is huge! When you hit double digits, you get to leave home, start your Pokémon journey, battle Gym –”
Ash, Goh, and even Pikachu felt a draft colder than an Ice Beam; Raboot, unmoved, coolly hot.
“See?” Ash jumped up. “This is the first I’m noticing it! I’ve celebrated my tenth birthday more than once! Now that I think about it, I haven’t stopped turning ten!”
Goh shivered with anxiety. “Perhaps you’re caught in some sort of time loop!”
“I might’ve been exposed when Dialga sent us into the past!”
The legendary Pokémon that rules time? What other big deals did Ash Ketchum casually omit from conversation? He couldn’t be Champion of the Alola region, could he?
Mimey turned and tiptoed without actually going anywhere.
“What is it, Mr. Mime? Do you know something?”
“M-Mime!” Mimey froze while frozen in place.
“You do know something! Does Mom also? Quick, Pikachu! We’d better call her!”
He rushed for the nearest video phone. Once he got Delia on the line, it didn’t take much of her son’s confused exposition for her to crack like an Exeggcute.
“Oh Ash, I’m so sorry. It was a difficult time. Your father had just left…There was this eccentric collector of Poképhernalia Professor Oak introduced me to. I wrote him off as one of those shifty salesman types who try to sell Magikarp on cruise ships! But then, he showed me a Mankey’s paw he claimed possessed hidden powers. He said it would change my life if I wished on it.”
“And you used it?”
“As a matter of politeness. I never took him seriously. So I wished you’d always be my little man. But nothing happened until you turned ten. After that, nobody – you or anyone else – got any older. And nobody except me thought anything of it unless they thought real hard.”
“Wow! A Mankey learning Curse? That’s unheard of!” Goh became invigorated at the scientific implications.
“Now’s not the time to be impressed, Goh!” Ash pushed him out of frame. “Mom, what do we do?”
“Do? Honey, we have this discussion every year.”
The Trainer’s heart stalled.
“Of course! Happy Birthday, sweetie!”