Ghosts Of Kennesaw: Chapter 1: The Party

It was an oddly warm day in late February. As the trees swayed beneath gray cloudy skies, the forest was quiet. Pudgy was busy inside his new underground home that Cobalt had built for him. He was nearly done with the finish work and had been there full time for a couple of days.  The hedgehog while busy, was still recovering from his recent trip to and from the moon.  He was winded easily and would stop frequently to rest.  Each day Pudgy was getting stronger and could scamper more.  As he sat at his table, the light streamed in through round windows.

Looking at his check list written in. Blue crayon, he knew the only stuff to do was to finish the big room and hook up the water wheel for power.  Then he could invite Doomcock and his friends over for a big party.  Bouncing happily, the excited hedgehog smiled.  “Pudgy invite Cobalt, Lord Doomcock, Hecate, Mister Bear, Mister Dinosaur….” Pudgy spoke, while writing a new list labelled party invite.  Scampering away, he headed down the long room, and entered the big room. Pudgy’s house had a long section hedgehog height, which connected to a 6 x 6 x 5-foot room.  The big room was not done yet, with lumber studs exposed, and the metal roof.  There was a big round door closed now.  Bouncing, he couldn’t wait to invite everyone in.

As he looked around, Pudgy walked over to a small room besides, where the big battery was kept.  It was a RV deep cycle battery, which meant he could store lots of power.  The home Xanadoom crystal was also connected here, glowing a soft amber light.  Cobalt had taken measures to ensure that crystal could not be removed. Soon this room would be sealed. His human friend was having made steel doors to be able shut and lock the little room.  Having exposed electrical equipment and adventuring hedgehogs was a recipe for mischief.  Plus, Pudgy knew it was best, for basic security as the aliens / Harvey might come back one day.

As the day progressed quick, the little hedgehog would work on finishing his home, decorating, then making and eventually eating supper.  It was raining hard outside, but he was snug, warm and dry in his home.  Cobalt had rigged a series of catch basins, pipes, and drains to connect to water barrels that were submerged beneath the ground.  In the event the barrels were full, there was a diverter which would cause the overflow to route down a path towards the little creek where he would soon have his water wheel.  After watching a show, he got into his bed and fell asleep. It was a surprise when he woke up and looked out his windows to see snow.   

As Pudgy made breakfast, he was happy it would be the weekend soon.  He would see Cobalt and have fun.  Cobalt mentioned taking a vacation day tomorrow, to finish the house.  After putting the finishing touches on his living area of the underground hedgehog house, he started to scamper back and forth filling his cabinets with the various supplies he had gathered, and Cobalt had brought. Filling little glass jars full of various foods, he was happy. Spying a glass bottle, “oh boy, molasses!” Bouncing, that meant he could make ginger snap cookies. He set that bottle on the counter. He filled the floor jars carefully, but wondered where his sifter was? Lumpy cookies are not as good, well unless you’re making dumplings, then Lumps are good.  Pudgy was sure that nice chef person he spoke with occasionally online Chefzilla72 could offer suggestions for baking.  The hedgehog would ask later though, due to the task at hand.  Continuing to outfit his kitchen while fluffy snow sporadically fell outside his little windows.   The little hedgehog worked, and after many hours passed, the hedgehog was done.  Nodding his head with satisfaction, he investigated the bins where he kept his firewood.  They were starting to run low.  It was still daylight, so a firewood gathering was in order. 

Pudgy scampered to get his gloves and hat, then located a tiny hatchet that was lying beside the bin.  For ease of carrying, he had a rope tied to it, so he could sling it around his body.  After securing the stove, he exited his home through the hedgehog sized round door.  It was much colder than yesterday, so as Pudgy looked around, he found fallen tree.  Scampering over, he started to cut wood for his stove from the fallen tree.  Due to his size, he had to cut wood in lengths and weights that were easily carried.  Pudgy began to make many trips back and forth, stacking firewood in front of his new home.  Once the critter had cut enough, he opened his door and moved the cut logs inside.  With full hoppers of firewood, the hedgehog locked his door.  Climbing into bed, he promptly fell asleep.

Time quickly passed, and it was a bit of a shock to Pudgy when he woke up with the sounds of hammering.  Rubbing the sleep from his eyes with his paw, he scampered through his home, and opened the interior round door, and saw a mud covered dark blue jean covered leg.  “Hi Cobalt!” The critter exclaimed, which drew a smiling look from his human friend.  “Hi Pudgy.  Sorry if I woke you.  I worked a half day today.  How are you?”  Pudgy bounced as he saw the interior wood walls finished.  Like his area, the boards were stacked and nailed to the studs over the insulation.  The room had a curved ceiling, which followed the curvature of the metal culvert pipe which served as the main roof and support structure to prevent a collapse. The back wall was finished too, save holes with wires sticking out. Pudgy bounced and pointed. As Cobalt narrated, the hedgehog squeezed through and got in front of Cobalt to see the framing start of a banquette style seating set up. Laughing, the man watched Pudgy scamper between his legs. 

Once it was safe, the man started to work again.  Pudgy found the metal doors installed to the power room. They were open, and in a French door style, swinging inward. There was a huge wire sticking through the wall, bracketed with clamps and gaskets through the metal pipe wall.  “Wow, you were busy!” Pudgy said, while trying to climb up to peek out of the big round door. Hoisting himself onto the door jam, he saw a long line of recently disturbed dirt, leading to the creek.  The water wheel was now installed, and in the lock position.  Pudgy could see the water building up behind it.  “Cobalt, the stream is backing up.” Cobalt turned, looking back. “Yes, I was hoping it would do that.  I need to check what happens with the wheel lock in place.”  Pudgy watched him turn and start working in the little power room.  Swinging his body up and over, he scampered down the path where his friend had

Trenched and buried the electrical cable.  In time weather and plants would disguise the path.  As Pudgy made it to the water wheel, he noticed it was a bit smaller.  There was a flume chute that diverted the stream water to the wheel.  The alternator was connected via a chain and sprocket.  There was a cover laying on the ground beside there. 

As the hedgehog inspected the setup, cobalt called out. “PUDGY, PULL THE LOCK PIN.”  Pudgy looked and saw a red pin labelled LOCK.  he pulled it out, and the wheel started to turn.  The pending water started to drain quickly, making the wheel move fast.  The excited hedgehog scampered back to his home’s big door.  Cobalt was now sitting on a bare wood banquette seating platform. Waving, “how’s the wheel?”  Pudgy waved back, “turning fast. The pond drained quick.” His human friend nodded, “Oh good, I’m glad.  The wheel is now generating 5 watts of power.” He rose from his seat, and quickly reached Pudgy.  Picking him up gently, he helped him inside.  The hedgehog scurried into the power room.  The wire was connected to a breaker, and a LED screen showed 5 watts. Cobalt slid back and sat back down.  Pudgy peeked out of the room and noticed Cobalt had changed the big round door to be a French door style. “Pudgy like better, now door take up less space.” His friend nodded and smiled as the hedgehog sat at his feet.

Picking him up, Cobalt set him on his lap, and hugged gently.  As they looked out into the forest, the snow started to fall. Pudgy shivered, “can we shut doors?”  As the hedgehog slid off his lap, Cobalt stood up and pushed the doors shut, latching them.  As the room darkened, his friend walked back and sat down.  “Pudgy, you will need to turn on the lights. I mounted the switches hedgehog height.” As Pudgy bounced down, he found a push button beside the interior door to his living area.  Pushing the button, little lights started to turn on in series. A soft light filled the room, and Pudgy bounced happily. “Pudgy love room. Can have guests over!”  Cobalt nodded, “yes.  Once it gets warmer out, we can paint and stain. But for now, Pudgy’s hobbit house is done.”  The hedgehog cheered, “YAY!” He wiggled, then scooted inside his area. Cobalt laughed as the “big” room was essentially the size of a small garden shed, but it was so well built, that now people could visit and maybe even sleep over. If this was a plan, he would need to add a supplemental heat source. But it was done, and ready to go for Pudgy’s purposes. Cobalt spent the evening with Pudgy.  He showed him how to latch the door shut, so he could lock it.  Everything was mounted hedgehog height.  After a final check of the electrical system, the power room doors were shut.  The man hugged his hedgehog friend and went home for the night. Pudgy locked the big door and turned off the lights.  He closed his interior door and scampered off to bed. 

The hedgehog slept soundly throughout the night, and late into the next day. Peeking out of his window, he saw Cobalt working on the water wheel.  He had his heavy Work coat and hat on.  Quickly exiting his home, the hedgehog scampered through the forest.  Patches of snow covered the leaf covered muddy ground. “Hi Cobalt!” His human friend turned and smiled. “Hello Pudgy.  Just finishing up some adjustments on the water wheel. How are you?” Pudgy peeked and saw the guards had been installed over the chain sprocket assembly, and a plastic cover over the sensitive parts.  He wheel was turning at a brisk pace. ” I stacked stones to build a small pool here, so the water will always be flowing.”  Cobalt narrated as Pudgy scampered around looking.  “In the spring, I will plant some things around this, so the wheel is less visible.”  Pudgy nodded, “pudgy love this, thank you Cobalt.  Can Pudgy ask help for something?” Cobalt nodded, “sure, what is it?”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy need to deliver invitations to Mister Bear and Mister Dinosaur for Pudgy house party.” Cobalt laughed, “sure thing.  Let’s go.”

Cobalt picked up Pudgy and walked quickly to his house.  Setting the hedgehog down, the critter scooted inside.  He re-emerged quickly, shutting his door. As the man picked him up, he stuffed Pudgy into his coat.  The critter peeked out of the coat’s neckline, “Ok, let’s go!”.  Walking through the forest, along the stream, the two friends first headed down the paths through the forest to Mister Bear’s cabin.  If Pudgy went by himself, it would take a couple of days at hedgehog speed to reach the cabin.  After an hour of walking through the quiet wintertime forest passed, Cobalt reached an incline.  As he ascended the hill. a large granite boulder blocked the path.  As the man maneuvered around it, he found the worn path towards a very nice cabin. The logs were dark brown, and hunter green shutters flanked the plate glass windows. Pudgy started to wiggle and fell through Cobalt’s coat.  He laughed and watched Pudgy crawl down his leg and scampered up to the green front door.  “Pudgy, I would have set you down.”

“Halloo…mister Bear?” Pudgy was tapping on the door, “hello Mister bear! Are you home?”  The door slowly opened, and the brown bear grinned, “hello Pudgy, Cobalt, what brings you to my home?”  Pudgy bounced happily and handed him a tiny handmade invitation. “Will Mister Bear come to Pudgy house party?”  Cobalt smiled and waved, “I helped Pudgy build a new permanent home, and it’s all done.”  The bear laughed and smiled, taking the invite between his claws. “Yes, most certainly I will come.  I would love to see your new home.” Pudgy bounced happily, hugged his leg, then scampered back to Cobalt. The bear watched as he quickly climbed Cobalt and peeked out from the coat’s neck line. The man laughed, and waved again turning, and headed down the path.  The bear watched his friends head off, and slowly shut the door looking at the tiny paper invite.

Another long hike was involved to get to Mister Dinosaur’s cave.  And as the Hedgehog snuggled against Cobalt, the man walked through the forest.  The trees stood silent, as a light cold breeze blew through the forest.  With the leaves gone, the branches did little to block the bright sun that travelled in a cloudless pale blue sky. Pudgy looked up at Cobalt, “thank you for helping Pudgy.”  His friend tapped his coat gently, “My pleasure, Pudgy.  I’m glad this adventure is close to home.  I was worried, I would never see you again.”  As the hills became steeper, the man slowed his pace. The ground was still slick from recently melted snows. As the path narrowed to a steep gorge, clear signs of dinosaur tracks could be seen.  The phone trees were tall, and old in this section of the forest.  As the path leveled, Pudgy peeked out from Cobalt’s coat. “Pudgy never can get up here, so far away.”  Cobalt nodded breathing hard, his breath fogging in the crisp air.  In the distance was a big set of wooden doors. “We’re here. Hello… Grumpy, are you home?” Cobalt called out loudly, as he fished the hedgehog out of his coat.  He set him on top of his head and walked closer.  The large door started to open, and the Tyrannosaurus grinned as he sniffed the air, “hello Cobalt, hello Pudgy!” Cobalt smiled, and Pudgy waved as he held onto Cobalt’s tassel cap.

As the two approached, the hedgehog held up a tiny paper invitation. “Cobalt help Pudgy finish new home.  Pudgy having party, would you come please?”  The dinosaur Roared happily.  “The Grumpasaurus would love to come to your party!” Cobalt smiled and looked through the doors. “Hey Grumpy, next on the plan is some updates to your cave.  So, start thinking what you want.”  The dinosaur smiled, “I couldn’t ask you to do that Cobalt.”  The man shook his head, “nonsense, you helped us during the Harvey situation, so it’s fine. Getting the car up here is going to be rough though.  Would you mind carrying materials?” The dinosaur laughed, watching Cobalt inspect the gravity fed heater that he had built. “How’s the heater?”  Grumpy looked, “fine, though I have trouble with the refilling.”  Cobalt nodded and sat Pudgy down on a nearby rock ledge. Checking the heater, he noticed a few things, and had some tools tucked in his coat pockets.  As Cobalt worked to repair the heater, Pudgy bounced happily.

After making some adjustments, and repairs, Cobalt hit the igniter and the furnace kicked on. The heat started to fill the cavern. “Please be careful when you turn this on.  I know it’s hard due to your claws. I need to figure out a better system that is tyrannosaur friendly.” Grumpy nodded, “thank you Cobalt.”  As the man picked Pudgy back up, he sat him on his head, and Pudgy wiggled. “See you at Party!” The two friends waved and headed out of the cavern.  As the dinosaur waved back, the big doors shut.  Pudgy climbed down and snuggled back into Cobalt’s coat.  The sun was starting to set, so Cobalt carefully picked up the pace.  Maneuvering down the steep path, he found the creek, and followed it back up towards Pudgy’s home. “I did not realize till we moved here, you would find such nice friends who lived nearby.”

As time passed, Cobalt made it back to Pudgy’s house.  Giving him a hug, he sat the hedgehog down in front of his round door. It was nearly dark, so Cobalt waved, and headed back to his home nearby.  The hedgehog stood there watching, until he passed out of view, then opening the door and entered his home.  Shutting the door, he bounced happily.  He scooted to the woodstove and noticed it had burned out.  As the hedgehog opened the fire box, and placed little logs inside, the Xanadoom crystal started to hiss. “Hail Pudgy, it is I Doomcock! I received your invitation. I will most certainly attend your party.” Pudgy smiled, “YAY! Cobalt finished home earlier today.  Big room is all done.”  The lord laughed heartily, “I am most intrigued as to your new home.  How are you feeling, my faithful Hedgehog?”  Pudgy continued to light his fire, “Pudgy feeling better, each day get stronger.  Pudgy take frequent breaks, and lots of sleep.”  The lord coughed softly, “well that is best, and to be expected.  Please rest, no adventures.” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy promise.” The crystal started to fade, “see you soon.” The hedgehog made a quick supper, and as he nibbled on a potato, he started to make his party plans.  He had a lot of baking to do.  Cobalt knew of a butcher shop, so Mister Dinosaur could have something for eat. He continued to plan, smiling to himself, in his wonderful home.  Once the plans were done, he cleaned up.  Afterwards he checked his doors, to confirm that they were all shut and locked. He added a log to the stove and secured it.  Then scampered to his bedroom and got under all of the blankies. Pudgy drifted off to sleep, happy and content.

After a good sleep, the little hedgehog was in full blown party preparation mode.  Yummy smells if baked goodies were wafting throughout the forest.  While his oven was small, he was going to make up in volume.  Cobalt was going to stop at the state store on Monday, and the beer distributor.  While Pudgy did not drink alcohol, Cobalt did on occasion.  Lord Doomcock was well versed in the ways of spirits, so a bottle of good stuff was in order.  Pudgy bounced happily and scampered about.  The party was going to be fun, and he couldn’t wait. Pudgy had made a little bundle of cookies, wrapped in a red napkin, tied in a bow with twine.  A tag was tied on it labelled: For Lord Doomcock.  He tapped the crystal on the bundle, “to Xanadoom please.” Poof the bundle disappeared, and Pudgy put the crystal back into his vest.  The critter continued with his task, and before he realized it, 20 hours passed.  Pudgy’s house was full of baked goodies.  There was not an empty spot anywhere. Pudgy had baked 6 kinds of cookies, 40 dozen each. “Baking done!” He wiggled and fell onto a sitting cushion. The party was tomorrow, he was almost ready, but tiredness won out as he promptly fell asleep.

Pudgy woke up to sound of gentle tapping.  Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he slid out of bed, and saw Cobalt outside.  He scampered to the door and opened it. “Hi Cobalt!” His human friend smiled. “Hi Pudgy.  Can you open your house? I brought party supplies.”  The hedgehog saw the big cooler, with items tied to the cooler.  Pudgy scooted inside and ran to unlock the big doors to his gathering room.  As Cobalt opened the round split doors, he started to move supplies inside the big room in Pudgy’s home. “Pudgy baked all day and night, all ready.”  Cobalt smiled and arranged squishy seat cushions into the banquette seating. “Oh boy, that is good.  Tomorrow is party day. I took another half day from work.  I will stop at the butcher and get the last bit of supplies.”  The hedgehog bounced happily, and hugged cobalt’s leg. Cobalt knelt and picked up his friend hugging gently.  Pudgy was happy, and after a long hug, Cobalt set him back down.  With the big room full of things, he exited, and pulled the doors shut.  “Lock it up Pudgy.” He heard the locks click, and Pudgy peek out his little door. “I’ll be back tomorrow Pudgy.” Cobalt waved and headed back to his home.  The excited hedgehog watched him leave.  He scooted back inside his home.  The hedgehog locked his doors and climbed into bed.  Falling asleep quickly, he had a busy day.

Pudgy woke up the next day layer than he wanted to, so he hurried to get his home.  Later today was going to be his party.  As the hedgehog looked out his window, he saw it was raining. “No, stop rain!”   Shaking his head, he continued to work.  DING his phone received a text. The hedgehog read aloud, “hi Pudgy, I am bringing the pop-up tent, and some chairs.  We will set up outside your house, in the flat spot.”  Pudgy bounced, “yay, have rain plan now!”  He scampered and bounced happily.   Excited for his guests to arrive. Time passed and Cobalt showed up a little after 1 pm, with his wagon full of many things.  He set up a blue pop up tent, that he used for garage sales, and set out a couple folding chairs out.  He started a big fire, which smoked like crazy at first because the wood was wet.  Pudgy watched at a safe distance, approaching once the terrific heat was being cast in all directions. Setting up a metal rod on posts, he started a big batch of coffee, and the biggest ham Pudgy had ever seen. “Cobalt….what size is that?” The man laughed, “22 pounder.  It’s going to take a while.”  Soon yummy smells wafted through the forest, of cooking ham and other things.  Tables set at human height were set up, with drinks, and Pudgy’s cookies. 

The hedgehog bounced happily, waving as he spotted Mister Bear and Dinosaur approaching.  They both waved as they spotted the festivities.  As the two approached, Cobalt waved, as he added more things to the large fire to cook.  Pudgy waved again, “hello Mister Bear, Mister Dino!  Thank you for come to Pudgy Party.”  The brown bear laughed, “wouldn’t miss a Pudgy Party!”  The dinosaur wiggled his tail, “Me too, I was so happy to be invited.  We can smell the ham all the way here.”   Pudgy nodded and started showing off his new home that Cobalt had helped him to build.  While it was easier for Mister Bear, both got good looks, and were amazed at their hedgehog friend’s home.  Pudgy wondered when Hecates and Lord Doomcock would arrive? But scampered and played with his friends. Mister Dino was looking at the large ham started to drip as fat rendered. Thank goodness Cobalt had cooked hot dogs, as they had come hungry. Mister bear was munching happily as the party progressed, the sun started to peek through the clouds. 

A shimmering light appeared where Pudgy’s cabin once stood, and Hecate appeared.  She waved and walked up to the gathering. “Greetings everyone.” The woman Said warmly, as Pudgy scampered over and hugged her ankle.  He tugged at her long white dress and gave her the grand tour.  As she saw what the two had been up to, she smiled, and patted Pudgy gently on his head. “Thou hast a proper home now. My word, this is a deceptively big room.” She said while inspecting the gathering room. She leaned her staff against the doorway and lifted her leg to step in and down into the room.  The room could hold a couple people, or two comfortably. The hedgehog pointed, “it even has lights. Cobalt is working on a big heater for the room.”  The man laughed, “next winter, I hope.  I’m a bit strapped on funds now. Too many hedgehog adventures, too soon.”  He laughed, as Hecate sat down into the cushy banquette seats. “OH … this is comfy…” she sighed and smiled.  It was as she looked around; she saw the small recessed lighting.  It was a low ceiling, so she could not stand up fully.  The woman giggled as she exited, “I can now say I have visited a hedgehog house.” Taking her staff, she walked over to a large stone lined fire.  Cobalt smiled and handed her a hot dog on a stick. 

Hecates laughed, as she watched a brown bear and dinosaur munching on a variety of fire roasted meats.  Pudgy bounced to and fro, checking on his friends.  Watching in the distance.  As the party progressed, Mister Bear was talking about a variety of topics.  The dinosaur nodded but kept a hungry eye on the large ham still cooking over the fire. Cobalt laughed, and took out a cooking knife, to cut a piece off the ham.  He also handed a chunk to Pudgy who nibbled. “Mm, ham ready!” The hedgehog said.  Mister dinosaur wiggled, “YAY!”  Cobalt watched as a light flash appeared Lord Doomcock appeared where Pudgy’s cabin used to appear.  He looked around, and saw the gathering, and tail end of a large tyrannosaur looking at a fire.  He was wearing his heavy regalia, as it was colder on the surface. Diktor strode up to the gathering, “greetings my friends!”  Everyone turned to face Lord Doomcock. “Hail Lord Doomcock!”  Hecates waved, as she had just taken a bite and her mouth was full. Cobalt shook the Lord’s hand, “hungry?” Diktor nodded and pointed. “That is a very large ham. Is it ready?” The dinosaur roared happily, “HAM!”  Cobalt laughed, and getting out his butcher knives, start to carve the ham over the fire.  He placed it on a paper plate, and served Diktor, Hecate, Pudgy, and Mister bear.  Unhooking the ham from the rod, he tossed it up towards a set of hungry dinosaur jaws. Mister dinosaur snatched it and started munching happily.  While he preferred his meat raw, the juicy smoked ham was SOOO good.

The guests were all happy, and Pudgy bounced as he nibbled. Diktor walked back, eating and observing the home Cobalt helped Pudgy build. “My word…” he remarked while Pudgy scampered up to give the tour. Diktor laughed, ate, and asked questions. The hedgehog excitedly showed him everything. The party was in full swing, now that all guests were here. Cobalt was laughing, telling silly stories while he cooked.  There was lots of food, which was being eaten quickly. As Doomcock looked inside the big room, “Pudgy, you made a room to have guests?” The hedgehog bounced, “yes, now Doomcock can come over for tea!” Spying the big blue cooler full of ice and Yuengling beer, the lord laughed, “or something stronger.”  The sun travelled in the sky over the party.  As the light started to fade, the various roasted meats were eaten, and the chairs arranged around the fire.  Cobalt sat with Hecates and Doomcock, sipping a bottle of beer. The lord was relaxing, happy and content.  Pudgy scampered bringing little bundles of cookies out.  They were 2 inches in diameter, which was about the max his little stove could handle. Hecates laughed, noticing no matter how much she ate, the plate never grew empty.  It wasn’t magic, just a happy hedgehog in party mode. 

Diktor sipped from his bottle, “I never heard of Yuengling.” Cobalt nodded, “it’s from northern Pennsylvania.” Hecates giggled, “Pudgy and you, have thrown a marvelous party.”  The lord tipped his bottle up, “hear, hear, excellent party Pudgy, and Cobalt.”  The hedgehog bounced on a stone nearby as Pudgy nibbled on a cookie, he smiled. Watching Mister Dinosaur investigate the forest. “Pudgy, what is that line running along the ground towards the creek?” Pudgy bounced, “oh, that is power line to water wheel generator.”  Diktor looked up, “wait, you have a generator?”  Cobalt pointed, “yeah, I have an alternator hooked up to a water wheel along the creek.  It makes about 5 to 15 watts, depending on water flow.” Diktor stood up, “Pudgy, would you show me the wheel?”  The hedgehog waved and scampered towards the creek beside the Lord.  Quickly Doomcock saw the wheel, turning at a brisk speed, with the soft wine of the alternator.  As the lord bent over to inspect the power plant, he placed a gloved hand on his knee.  “Pudgy, this is quite ingenious.  It would not support my needs … so you have a battery to store the Electricity?”  Pudgy tugged at his pant leg and motioned to follow.  As the lord laughed while he followed, the hedgehog scampered up to the big round opening in his home’s meeting room.  Diktor reached home, and swung his leg over the round threshold, to enter the room.  Pudgy was inside, and pushed the light switch, and lights started to turn on.  The lord marveled at the woodwork, and lights. Pudgy tugged his pant leg again, which drew his gaze down. 

The hedgehog opened a little set of metal doors. Kneeling, Doomcock peeked into a small metal room.  “My word ….” Pudgy showed the breakers, the big battery, and the Xanadoom home crystal which was installed behind a cage.  As Doomcock turned, he saw the interior door on the opposite side of the room.  He saw into Pudgy’s home and smiled. As the hedgehog shut the metal doors, he bounced. Mister bear looked into the meeting room, “Pudgy, I am going to head home.  Thank you very much for inviting me to your party.  I must have you and Cobalt over to my house soon.  Pudgy waved, “you welcome, thank you for coming!”  The bear had a full tummy, and while smiling started to head off into the forest.  Pudgy climbed up to the door jamb waving.  Soon Mister Dino strode over, “Pudgy, I am going to head home as well. Thank you for inviting me, I had so much fun!” Pudgy bounced and waved, “thank you for coming, Pudgy very glad you could come to party!”  The dinosaur wiggled his tail, and backed up slowly, before turning and heading into the forest.  Soon the loud crunching of dinosaur feet tapered off, and the forest was quiet.     As Pudgy looked around, he saw Hecate sitting next to the fire. Cobalt was getting a cup of coffee from the bubbling pot on the fire grate.

Pudgy and Doomcock exited the room and returned to the campfire.  The skies cleared, and soon the stars could be seen. As Hecate spoke with Lord Doomcock, Cobalt picked up Pudgy and placed him in his lap. Cobalt smiled, “I’m glad we could all get together.  It has been so crazy, that a party is a welcome change if pace.” Hecate nodded, sipping a cup of coffee, “I agree.”  Diktor nodded, munching on a plate of Pudgy cookies. The group sat quietly, enjoying each other’s company in the quiet forest.  As the fire began to die down, Cobalt nodded, “Perhaps we should adjourn to the meeting room?” The others nodded, and stood up from their chairs, following Cobalt back to Pudgy’s home. As the trio of humans entered, the hedgehog started to bring in things from outside.  Hecates giggled as she sat down and squished into the seat.  As Doomcock entered and sat down, noticing the lights cast their soft glow within the room.  Diktor laughed. “If you had said to me 8 months ago, I Diktor Von Doomcock the future ruler of the earth, would be attending a party with a hedgehog, dinosaur, bear, goddess’s daughter ….” Pudgy peeked out of his interior doorway, “oh good, you are inside! It looks really cloudy outside.”  As Diktor started to talk, a huge crash of thunder and flash of lightning hit. The skies opened, and the rain started to pour from above.

Cobalt quickly ducked inside the room; his coat soaked from the deluge outside. The man laughed, and took off his coat, setting it on the floor while sitting down beside Hecates.  Pudgy arrived with a tray of cookies.  Cobalt picked him up, sat him on the banquette seating beside Diktor.  As Pudgy settled into the squishy seat, the group watched the storm outside.  The two friends described to their guests how the home was built.  Doomcock nodded. “A good strong home, which reminds me …I have a present for you Pudgy.”  He lord reached into his pocket and pulled out a silver metal pocket watch.  “This has been in my family for many years.  I want you to have it.  You have done exceptional work for the betterment of Xanadoom. This is but a small token of my esteem, my dear Hedgehog friend.”  Pudgy bounced happily and looked at the watch as Diktor handed it to him. “Thank you Lord Doomcock.  Pudgy will hang it in home on wall.”  Hecates smiled and yawned slightly. “It is growing late my friends; I need to get going as well. Thank you for inviting me to your party, Pudgy.”  The woman said, while waving at the assembled group. She started to shimmer and disappear.  Pudgy bounced and looked back at the watch.  Diktor nodded, “I must change the coordinates to show the location of your new wonderful home Pudgy. Cobalt, you have done excellent work here, and with the rocket.” The man smiled, “thank you Lord Doomcock.  I am looking forward to a nice rest now.  Xanadoom and the earth is safe.  Pudgy is home safe, and now has a permanent place to call home.  Friends nearby, and everyone can just rest now.”

Pudgy was not bouncing anymore, starting to curl up around the watch. The two men realized what that meant and stood up as much as they could in the low room. They shook hands, and Diktor patted Pudgy on the head. “I must be off now my friends. Thank you for inviting me to your party.” Pudgy waved, and hugged Diktor’s hand, while yawning. “Thank you coming Lord Doomcock!” Pudgy exclaimed sleepily. As the hedgehog let go, Diktor teleported back to Xanadoom in a flash of light.   Cobalt put his coat back on and ducked out into the pouring rain to quickly tear down things and packing up.  “Pudgy, I too am going home.  I will be back tomorrow.”  The hedgehog waved, as Cobalt pulled the round bifold doors shut to the meeting room. Pudgy locked the doors and carried the watch into his living area.  Hanging it on his wall, Pudgy turned the lights off in the big room, and shut the interior door. The tired hedgehog added some wood to the stove, shut his windows and door, locked, and went to bed.

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

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