Derek had terrible luck with Pokemon games, and he didn't know why.

Perhaps he had been cursed by a Satanic Pikachu or something in his childhood, or maybe he had some sort of internal weirdness-magnet with a bizarre fixation on Pokemon. Maybe his house was built on an ancient Original Pokemon Red and Green burial ground, like that one culturally insensitive horror trope with Native American cemeteries. Maybe he had Lavender Town Syndrome - not that he knew what that was; he didn't care for creepypasta.

Whatever the reason was, it didn't matter (well, maybe it did a little. If he knew, maybe he could undo it.) Either way, 9 out of 10 Pokemon games he came into possession of ended up evil. It didn't matter if he got it from a shady yard sale, an online store, or even an otherwise reputable GameStop. He'd turn the game on, and a few hours later he'd find himself staring with disdain as his pixelated trainer lay mauled for whatever reason it was this time. The worst part was always when the game looked normal at first, and then wasted his time once again by not letting him finish it.

So, one would ask, why did he keep buying/taking/otherwise acquiring Pokemon games? Well, he was entirely desensitized to it by now, and he felt it was worth it to keep trying for those few times it worked out and he got a game that didn't start slaughtering his party for its sick kicks. Plus, he didn't like ROMs - though honestly, he'd probably somehow end up with an evil one of those too.

He was entirely unsurprised when on his way to the laundromat he worked at, there was a horrific car accident blocking his favorite road, conveniently with no known survivors at the scene and a single black GBA cartridge with "POKEMON" written on the front in white marker on the pavement. Most probably wouldn't have seen it, but Derek had developed an eye for this kind of thing.

A policeman told him to get out of here, that he was too close to the scene of the crime. Apparently some crazy guy was carelessly driving at rapid speed with no respect for the road and accidentally smashed through a mail truck full of cheap Pokemon figurines. Go figure. (Derek chuckled at his own joke. Nobody else found it funny.) Derek decided to ask if they knew about any Pokemon games at the crash and the policemen told him in no uncertain terms to screw off and stop making jokes like that, so he figured he wouldn't get in trouble for taking the cartridge home. So, with a game in hand and a comfortable excuse to not go to work, he went back to his apartment.

Ones like this were totally always going to be haunted. Come on, it even LOOKED haunted! But he had set a rule for himself that he would never skip a game in the off chance that it wasn't messes up in some way. Of course, that optimism was dashed as soon as he booted it up.

No intro. "Pokemon Torture Edition," it said in dripping red text over a black background, with a decaying grey Rayquaza behind it. Its markings bled like they were carved in, and the title theme was simply dead silence. Obviously, another damn hacked game.

He'd have shut it off right then, but he found that usually lead to more palpable hauntings, so he pressed on. And, to his exhaustion, it was as numbingly typical as he had expected. Some such nonsense about Lavender Town, and his starter being evil and obsessive, and copious amounts of blood. Couldn't it have at least tried to scare him?

So, he popped the cartridge out, tossed it in the haunted cartridge drawer he kept, and got to cleaning the gobs of blood off his DS. What a waste of time.

That night, he had nightmares where he got dismembered again by various Pokemon, his Marshtomp from Pokemon Torture added to the group. As expected. He woke up completely unrested, so he supposed he'd have to ask about sleeping medications. The dark circles under his eyes made him look almost dead, and they'd never get better if he kept having nightmares all night.

It was a weekend, so he took advantage of his day off to play one of the NON-cursed Pokemon games he had. It took occassional detours like that to remind him why he even still liked the series, after all. So, with the faintest suggestion of an idea of a smile, he grabbed his old Gameboy (it had been through a number of haunting incidents, and still had the damage to prove it, but what worked worked) and popped in his one good copy of Pokemon Blue. He didn't greet his team or anything, because he was a grown man and felt stupid talking to Pokemon, but he did admittedly feel happy to see them.

As if some sort of higher being was punishing him for daring to play a normal Pokemon game, a wild battle suddenly began unprompted. On the opposing side was his Marshtomp from Pokemon Torture, still looking like it came out of a Generation III game. Of course, it was bloody and evil looking. Of course.

The game wouldn't shut off when he tried to turn it off, so he figured the Marshtomp must have jammed it somehow. So, he just watched with miserable defeat as the damn Marshtomp proceeded to kill his entire team one by one. Each kill was accompanied with a brutal fully-colored full-motion cutscene. Derek felt blood splash across his face, being flung out of the screen by the vicious Marshtomp.

"YOU DID THIS," it snarled through textboxes. "YOU DIDN'T LOVE ME ENOUGH!"

God, could it be any less creative? Derek didn't care enough to watch anymore, especially miserable because now he'd have to start that Pokemon Blue cartridge over (of course, assuming it wasn't haunted now!) Tossing his Gameboy on the end table by his bed, he got up to go make breakfast.

"ARE YOU... IGNORING ME?!" The Marshtomp's textbox was left unread. "YOU WILL PAY FOR DISREGARDING ME, FORMER MASTER!"

Derek,quickly turned back to check his Gameboy upon hearing it emit a sharp hissing noise. And, as soon as he looked, the Gameboy exploded. Charred bits of plastic were strewn across the room, along with a grotesque amount of blood and pieces of unidentifiable flesh. The Pokemon Blue cart was presumably completely obliterated.

Derek's eye twitched. In the mirror behind him, a ghostly Sylveon from a couple games ago snickered at him mockingly, black slime dripping from its teeth. In the darkness beneath his bed, outright laughter of various voices echoed through his bedroom. Silently, he cleaned up the pieces of Gameboy and whatever else.

He was sick of this. He was so, so sick of this. He stomped into the kitchen, stepping over a neighbor's dead body. God, his new shoes were already bloody. At least he got red ones this time. He poured himself a bowl of cereal, and then opened the fridge to find that the milk had been replaced with an unknown thick purplish-gray substance. He ate his cereal dry.

Finally, he moved to leave his apartment and crash somewhere less miserable for the night because he just did not have the patience for this right now- and before he could even open the door he was stopped by a sickening crunch. Looking down, he found that he stepped on a dead, bloated rat, and its innards now painted his carpet.

Derek was done with this. He had enough. Stomping back to his room, he threw his haunted cartridge drawer open, then pulled it out of the dresser entirely and hefted it onto his table.

"What are you going to do? Throw us away?" an ethereal Jolteon hissed in his ear mockingly.

"wE wIlL cOmE bAcK aGaIn AnD aGaIn, FoReVeR!" a Lavender Town-style ghost cackled. "tHeRe Is No EsCaPe!"

Derek ignored them because quite frankly he did not care. He then proceeded to place all the cartridges onto the largest plate he had. Then, he stuck the whole thing in the microwave for as much time as it would allow.

"wHaT tHe HeLl ArE yOu DoInG-" was all the ghost managed to get out before it released a bloodcurdling scream and vanished. Derek sat by in a chair listening to all the apparitions wail in pain and terror. He guessed there were probably a few that didn't actually deserve that, but he didn't really care anyway.

The noise went completely silent a few minutes before the microwave went off, but he sat by for every last second. When it finally stopped, he pulled the blackened mass of melted plastic out and sat it on the table to cool. He wasn't sure what in the hell he was going to do with it, though.

Feeling deep catharsis, he went upstairs and laid down in bed, staring at the ceiling.

Then, beneath the bed, there was a deep rumbling. He leaned over to see a single Eevee paw reach out. Then everything else.

As the ever-shifting, ever-suffering conglomerate of spirits and Pokemon and ideas wailed in his face, the walls bled, the shadows wailed, and the dark hands of the crevices in the floor rose up to wrap around his ankles.

The last thing Derek thought was "Oh, right. They can't really die."