Tears of Liberty: Chapter 8: Commission

Just as Sarah had taken off her shirt, to change into her travelling clothes, her apartment’s smoke detector started to go off.  Quickly putting her original purple shirt back on, she ran out into her apartment’s living room.  Pudgy was sitting on her kitchen floor, with several of his quills on fire.  He was smoking and clutching onto an intensely white glowing stone.    “Pudgy!  Stay still!”  She shouted, as she quickly ran around him, and to her sink to fill a pot of water.   Turning with the water in hand, she knelt and started to cup her hands and fill them with water.  She began to wet him down, and while the water was spreading, she did not care.  She could mop up the water later but had to take care of the little hedgehog first. 

In a short period of time, she was able to put out the fire, as well as stop him from smoldering.  The hedgehog was transfixed onto the stone, and not moving.  Sarah wanted to pick him up, but his quills were extended, and he was very prickly to touch.  Standing back up, she put the pot back into the sink, and grabbed a dish towel.  Returning to the critter, she started to carefully dry him off.  Being very gentle with the towel, she spoke with a tone of concern.  “Pudgy, what happened?  Are you all right?”  The little hedgehog started to move around, with his quills beginning to relax.   At the same time, the sapphire returned to its normal blue color as the glow ceased. 

Pudgy looked up at her and looked at her with sad hedgehog eyes.  He nodded in acknowledgement that he was all right.  The events at the castle were still weighing on his mind.  He watched as the woman nodded and dried up the water from the floor around him.  She tossed the towel into the sink, and then reached underneath him, and scooped him gently up into her hands.  “I was coming to save you, and poof you are here.  Oh sure, cut out my rescue in the grand tale of Pudgy comes to Great Britain.”  Purple said, while laughing.  The hedgehog started to smile again and looked up at her.  As She moved through her apartment, she sat down onto the couch.  She did not set him down, instead gently rocked him in her hands.  Pudgy listened as she hummed something, and he continued to relax. 

After several quiet moments passed, Pudgy started to speak.  He began to tell his human friend everything that had happened at the castle.  He watched as her smile faded away, and a bit of anger formed in her expressions, before returning to a thoughtful express as he finished his tale.    Sarah sighed, “I’m glad you were able to stop him Pudgy.  That is the last thing this worlds needs.  Someone with the power to summon unstoppable armies of ghosts.  But wait, you have the stone now, doesn’t that mean you could command the same legions?  Do you realize the amount of power you have in your paws?”  Pudgy nodded, “that is why General Washington sent Pudgy to find the stones.  Pudgy thought could destroy the stones somehow, but….”  Sarah nodded, and listened, waiting for him to respond.  “Pudgy summoned Hecate’s Daughter, she said doors were opened.  She was frantic and made Pudgy send her back.  Whatever this stone is, Pudgy cannot get rid of it, not till we figure out what is going on.”

Sarah nodded, “I see, well that certainly makes sense.  But still, we should turn this over to the authorities.  The museum director will most likely know what we should do.”  Pudgy clutched the stone, and shook his head, “if we give it to him, we will never get it back if we need it!”  The woman shook her head, and gently rocked him again trying to reassure him. “Pudgy, three magical stones were dangerous enough, but now they are one concentrated source of danger.  I am concerned, and do not wish to see you hurt.  You showed up on fire here, that is not good by any definition. “The hedgehog looked up at her and watched as she started to move her fingers towards the stone.  He twitched his nose, and soon the stone started to glow again.  Sarah blinked and watched the glow, “Pudgy…wait….”  In a brilliant flash, he had disappeared.  Her hands dropped onto her lap and sniffed her nose.  “I was only concerned…”  The hedgehog must have thought she was going to take the stone away, when that was not the case at all.  Her apartment soon was incredibly quiet again, with the faint smell of smoke quickly dissipating. 

What Sarah did not realize was, that the gemstone was now attuned to the hedgehog.  If anyone tried to take it away from him, it would react.  Pudgy could see the world quickly passing by, and it felt almost as if her were flying.  There was no air movement, no gravity, just pictures of the land quickly passing underneath, and soon he was flying over the ocean.   The Atlantic Ocean was rough, with high waves crashing up and down below the flying hedgehog.  He could see the huge tankers sailing by, American Aircraft carriers, and other commercial ships sailing by.  Pudgy wondered if anyone could see him?  And watched as the scenes quickly passed below him. 

In what seemed like seconds to the hedgehog, soon he was flying past the outer banks of New York city.  The huge skyscrapers were all lit up.  The sun was set, and the twilight was fading.  Pudgy looked down at the stone, and it was starting to fade again.  “Pudgy understand now, stone only has so much power at time.  Can we go to Brenda’s house?”  The stone blinked twice, and the course was adjusted, and the scenes changed to the ocean once more, before quickly reaching the coastline of New Jersey. The heavily developed areas spread out as far as he could see, but soon a familiar house appeared.  He flew threw the front door, passing almost like a ghost, and soon landed on the coffee table.  Brenda was sitting on the couch, watching the news on television. 

Brenda had just settled down after dinner and turned the news on.  The president did something, and everyone was mad at him.  Then the sports guy did something good, and everyone was heaping praise upon him.  It was the typical bologna, and it was as she was about to change the channel, when a bright flash of light filled her room.  Rubbing her eyes, she saw Pudgy sitting on her coffee table.  He was clutching a blue sapphire, and his quills were smoking slightly as the tips burned with little flames.  “PUDGY!” She called out, grabbing a blanket and throwing it over him to put out the fire.   As she pulled off the blanket, she saw the hedgehog looking at her.  She scooped him up and pulled him in for a hug. “I was so worried, but you came back to me!”   

The hedgehog bounced slightly in her hands and looked up at the smiling woman.  “Tell me what happened, no wait one moment.”  The woman set Pudgy on her shoulder, and then reached to get her cell phone.  Pudgy watched as she started a video call, and soon Lori appeared.  “Hi Brenda, I can’t talk long.  The forex market is…. wait…is that Pudgy?”  Brenda nodded, “He just teleported here, and landed on my coffee table partially on fire.”  Lori blinked, “Pudgy, what happened?”  So with the hedgehog on video conference, he began to tell his tale.  Though this time, it was from the point where he had left Brenda and Lori at the museum.  The two women’s eyes were wide, at everything that had happened.  When he started talking about purple lady, Lori spoke. “Oh, I’ll let her know you got to Brenda’s house safe.”  Pudgy continued his tale, of the museum, the castle, the German ghost soldiers, the RAF veterans, and saving the day. 

Soon on the video call screen, Purple lady appeared.  She was upset, “Pudgy!  Why did you leave me like that?”  The hedgehog frowned, “Pudgy was scared, and the stone made us go away.  Pudgy not scared of you but scared what would happen to stone.  The stone is almost a part of Pudgy now.”  Brenda nodded, “this makes sense actually.  How many fantasy television shows and movies have been only the bearer of the widget can hold the object of mystery.  It must be an attunement.”  Lori laughed, “you watch too many fantasies shows Brenda.  But it makes sense, like the briefcase chained to the secret service officer.”  Purple was starting to grow less cross and nodded. “Even still, you didn’t even let me say goodbye.”  Pudgy frowned, “Pudgy sorry.  Wait, does this mean Pudgy can never come back?”  Lori laughed, “Yes Pudgy, you can never go back to Britain.  You have to come to New York city first, then I decide where you go.”  Brenda laughed, “he has to come to New Jersey first.”  Purple laughed, “Pudgy, you are always welcome here, yes you can come back.  Starry’s boys will be sad they can not see you again for a while.”

Lori was looking thoughtful, “Pudgy, did you mention that the Edgar said something about the Kaiser?”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy didn’t know what that was, was going to ask Cobalt about it.”  Lori nodded again on the call, “That is the name of the German King.  The last King was Wilhelm, who abdicated his throne.  It is also the reason for the eventual start of World War 2.”  Brenda nodded as she rubbed her chin, “Hmm, that is interesting.  I thought there were no more Kaisers after World War 1?”  Purple nodded, “yes, I believe Wilhelm died in the Netherlands eventually.  See Pudgy, you will need to come back, if it turns out this is the case.”  The trio of women laughed, and Pudgy waved and bounced happily.  Lori politely excused herself, as she had been working from home when Brenda called.  Soon it was bedtime, and Purple exited the call with a kiss. Brenda smiled, and gently scooped up Pudgy to put him in her lap.  The hedgehog yawned as he looked up at her.

  “Pudgy, I have work tomorrow.  Can you stay the day, before heading back?”  The hedgehog nodded, and looked at the stone, “Mister Stone needs to rest too.”  Brenda noticed the stone had shrunk since the last time she had seen it.  It was hedgehog sized now and watched as Pudgy tucked it into a vest he was wearing.  He had a little silver chain wrapped around each of his paws, like bracelets.  She watched him curl up on her lap and fall asleep.  She was smiling ear to ear and whispered, “I’m so glad you came back.”    As she watched television, she would occasionally look down at the sleeping critter.  When it was her time to got o bed, she gently scooped him up and set him on the seat beside of her on the couch.  Staying as quiet as she could she turned the lights off and headed upstairs. 

When Pudgy awoke the next day, the house was quiet.  He found a note from Brenda beside him as well as a white ceramic plate full of chocolate chip cookies.   There was also a bowl of water, which he looked at while reading the note out loud. “Pudgy, please be good today.  I want to see you after work, so please do not leave yet.  The hedgehog nibbled on cookies, occasionally taking a sip of the water.  It was a good sleeping day, and her house was cool from the air conditioner running somewhere.  After the events of late, Pudgy needed a good day’s worth of rest.  So, after several naps, and cookie breaks, Brenda returned home from work in a couple of hours.  She was dressed in a nursing outfit and waved happily at Pudgy.  “I’m so glad you stayed!”  Pudgy pointed, “Pudgy didn’t know you were nurse.” Brenda laughed, “dental hygienist actually.  I need to get changed from work.”  She ran up the stairs, and Pudgy could hear the creaks of the floor from above him as she moved around her home.    Quickly the almost bouncing woman returned and sat down beside him on the couch.  “Pudgy, did you have a good day?”  The hedgehog nodded and listened as she spoke excitedly about a variety of topics.   The hedgehog was happy, and she was happy, so it made it a bit hard to leave her.   

Pudgy put a paw on her leg, “Pudgy need to….”  The woman nodded and placed a finger on his nose. “I know you need to go.  How long has it been since you seen Cobalt?  I am sure he is worried.  I will admit, I do not want you to go.  I could keep you here forever, but I know you need to return home.  Can I have a hug first?”  Pudgy nodded and hugged her leg.  The hedgehog could feel her hand behind him, and he looked up smiling at her.  As her hand moved back, Pudgy put his pack back on, and his little helmet.  He waved, “Goodbye for now, Pudgy sure will see Brenda again.”  She waved, and watched as a bright flash filled the area, and poof he was gone again.  Brenda was smiles when she came home, but it faded when the hedgehog had left.  She was sad he had left, and probably Purple lady felt the same way when Pudgy left her.  But like the hedgehog said, goodbye for now.  She suspected a hedgehog visit would occur again in the future. 

From an outward appearance, Pudgy was teleporting between locations.  Pudgy settled in for another long flight, this time he was heading for Valley Forge.  With each trip, he was starting to understand more.  The gemstone’s magic was almost rewiring his brain with each trip.  The hedgehog wondered if that was why Edgar was able to manipulate his stone so well?  The words from Sarah were bouncing around in his head, could he really summon a ghost army?  If he could why, would he need one?  The heavily populated cities and towns of New Jersey soon gave way for the densely packed city of Philadelphia.   The stone began to blink again, signaling it was running out of power. “Mister stone, can you get us to Valley Forge?  Pudgy need to report to General Washington.”  The stone blinked, and soon Philadelphia was gone, and the green open fields of Valley forge appeared.  He re-emerged into the open world, in the middle of a brown grass field.  The first thing the hedgehog noticed was the heat, it was close to a hundred degrees.  The sun beat down from above, and the formerly green fields of soft grass, had been changed to brown drought riddled pinchy grass.    

After a few moments to get his bearings, Pudgy realized he could see the Potts house just in the distance.  The gray brick stone with white mortar glistened in the distance.  So, the hedgehog began to walk through the grass.  This was one of those times he really wished they made shoes for critters, as the grass was sharp in some places.  So, the scampering was proceeding at a slower pace, and in an hour of arduous travel across the grass, the hedgehog reached the former location of General Washington’s command building.  As Pudgy baked under the intense sun, he looked around for a place of shade.  There was a tree nearby, with two humans sitting.  There was a man and a woman, who were clearly overheated.  The woman was red and fanning herself with a paper booklet.  The man was sweating profusely and sipped from a bottle of water.  “Oh sure Sandra, let’s go to Valley Forge.  It will be fun.  It’s 100 fricking degrees!”  The woman snapped at him, “Shut up Raymond.”  She looked out into the grass, when she saw a hedgehog with a backpack and mining helmet walking through the grass.  Pointing, “Raymond look, it’s Pudgy!”

The man looked up and watched as the hedgehog scampered through the brown grass.  The critter was looking around for something, and then went around the side of the building, into a lower entrance.  “What could he be up to?”  Sandra was curious, and extremely happy, she could see the furry critter again.   Standing up, she held out her hand to help up the man. “Ok husband, enough resting, we have a Pudgy adventure to go on!”  Raymond laughed, and stood up, holding her hand. “I hope the Pudgy adventure includes a pool.”    As the husband and wife started to walk through the grass, they saw the sun start to go down.  Looking at his watch, “it is too early for sunset?”   Reaching the side door, a continental army solder walked out, looking like he had been given orders.  The ghost partially passed through Sandra.  Raymond stepped in front of his wife and started to walk slowly up the hallway.  Injured men were on each side of the hallway, and inside rooms.  His wife was behind him, pushing him forward gently with her hand.   Raymond nodded, and thought thankfully the house was much cooler than outside. 

As they headed up a series of stairs, they reached what would be considered the main room.   As Sandra stepped beside Raymond, they saw Pudgy was sitting on a wooden table.  Several maps had been spread out, as well as several continental army soldiers milling about the room.   A man wearing a blue uniform, with a black officer’s hat was standing there.  He had a clear, booming voice. “Pudgy, I see you have returned.  What is your report?”  Pudgy saluted, “General Washington, Pudgy located the stones.”  The general nodded, and looked up at Raymond and Sandra, making note of their presence, then returned his steeled gaze at the hedgehog.   Pudgy began to tell the General everything that had happened since he had left Valley forge.  Notes were taken by subordinate officers nearby, written in fine calligraphy.  Pudgy had been to New Jersey, chased by British soldiers, then took a train to New York city.  The problem was, this was modern time, so he had to stop frequently to explain things.  The officers were confused but wrote anyway. 

The teleportation drew the most questions, especially as Pudgy had returned to England.  As the hedgehog explained what England looked like, and the new name of Great Britain, the General’s eyes softened.  He was English, by birth, but the revolution made him a traitor to his homeland.   His eyes trailed off, as he thought about a past memory before he was snapped back to attention by the museum part of the story.  The stones reacted to one another, and Pudgy was teleported once more to Warwick castle. “Stop one moment, Pudgy.”  General Washington said, while checking the scribes had caught up.  He motioned with a white gloved hand, “continue.”  The hedgehog nodded and continued his tale.  The events of the castle, and subsequent return trip was told.  Soon the room was deathly quiet, and the air had stopped moving.   For Pudgy it was fine, but Raymond felt like he was going to pass out.  Sandra watched as her husband dropped onto the floor, “Raymond!”  The ghosts looked over and watched as Pudgy turned around.  “Sandra, is that you?”  The woman nodded and knelt beside her husband.  Touching his forehead, his skin was dangerously hot.  

“Pudgy, I will talk alter to you, I need to get him outside.”  General Washington looked at them, “Pudgy, are these friends of yours?”  The hedgehog nodded, “yes, Sandra helped Pudgy before.”  Making a motion with his hand, soon two ghost soldiers came over, and helped pick up Raymond.  “Take that man outside and sit him in the snow.  That should clear his head.”  Sandra blinked, “it’s a hundred degrees outside, there is no snow.”  The general looked out of his window, at the falling snow. “I think take her as well, “making another motion.  As a solider stepped beside her, she was escorted outside as well.   Pudgy turned back to the General.  “Pudgy has all three stones, which merged into this stone.”  He pulled out the stone to show the man.  Smiling, “You may place the stone back into your garment.”  Pudgy did as ordered and watched as the tired looking man watched the snow fall outside of the window. 

“If we had had these stones during Philadelphia, we would not have lost the city.  I am aware of the time difference; you are from the future.  I can think of no better place for the stone to be, than with you.  You are a patriot, and I can trust you.  You have surrounded yourself with good people, who will help you.  I fear for the safety of our fledgling nation, and we need patriots willing to make sacrifices to defend it.  Do you agree?”  The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy love this country.  Pudgy would give life gladly to save everyone.”  General Washington stood at attention, “ATTENTION!”  The hedgehog stood at attention as best as he could and watched as the man spoke clearly. “You are hereby conscripted officially into the continental army.  Pudgy Hedgehog, you will be given the rank of Corporal. “Pudgy saluted the General, and he smiled as he returned the salute.  “I will need you again in the future, so be ready for service.  Your orders are to return home, to guard the frontier of Pennsylvania.  I will send Amias to your home when the time comes.  Dismissed!” 

Pudgy saluted once again and watched as the ghosts all started to disappear.  The room grew very warm once again, and the light returned to that of later afternoon.  He bounced off the table and landed with a small thud on the wood floor, and then quickly scampered outside to find Sandra fanning Raymond hard with a booklet.  The man had woken back up and looked as Pudgy was sitting on the ground beside his foot.  “Can we go now?”  The man said, looking up at Sandra.  She nodded, “but Pudgy is coming with us!”  Raymond laughed, and reached down to gently pick up the hedgehog. Pudgy watched as he stood up, and Sandra held onto his arm, helping him walk.   Pudgy filled in the two what had happened when they left, and the two astonished humans nodded.   Sandra motioned with her free hand, “There’s the car.”  A nondescript gray car was parked in a nearby parking spot.  As she unlocked the doors with the key fob, she let go of her husband, and then quickly opened the door to let the heat out. 

Starting the car, she turned the air conditioning to maximum, and soon hot air was blowing around inside of the car.  In time though, it began to cool, as her husband opened the door and sat inside. Each human occupant shut their respective doors, Pudgy was placed on the center console.  He too was glad the cool air was swirling around.  He watched as the two humans coloring changed from beet red, to normal.  They both were sipping water from bottles and listened to Pudgy fill in some gaps in his story.  After several minutes passed, Sandra spoke with a smile.  “Raymond accompanied me on another delivery flight.  We took a day trip to Valley Forge since I love the revolutionary war.  I never expected to bump into Pudgy hedgehog and go on an adventure!”  Pudgy wiggled and bounced happily, “Pudgy glad to see you too, and meet your husband.  Pudgy would hug, but you are hot enough.”  The man laughed and looked at the clock on the car’s console. “We have to get back to the airport in an hour or so, Pudgy, would you mind staying with us for a while?”   

The hedgehog nodded, and watched as Sandra put the car into reverse, and backed out of the parking spot.  Sandra was driving, and while Pudgy could not see where they were going, was telling stories, and laughing at bad jokes Raymond was telling.  In truth, the hedgehog knew the stone was not charged up enough to support another trip.  It was as they reached the airport, Sandra looked down at Pudgy.  “Pudgy, you are a far way from home.  Do you need me to take you back?”  Pudgy looked up, “Pudgy stone needs time to recharge.  Pudgy couldn’t ask you to do that.”  Raymond laughed, “why not? It would be 4 hours to Pittsburgh?”  Pudgy looked up at Sandra, “if it is ok?”  The woman got a big smile on her face “yes it certainly all right.  I am unsure if we can go all the way to Pittsburgh though.”  Pudgy bounced happily, “you can go to Latrobe! There is a nice airport there, and they have an Italian restaurant inside.  They have meatballs the size of Pudgy there!”

The married couple laughed, as Sandra parked the car.  Raymond opened his car door, as the wall of hot air hit him once more.  “I thought it got hot in Virginia.” He picked up Pudgy and got out of the car.  Sandra was busy checking the interior for any of their belongings, and then shut her door nodding at her husband.  Raymond shut his door and headed with Pudgy towards the gate that led to the tarmac.  He was quickly joined by his wife and reached a security guard shack.  There was an extremely overheated looking officer in a black police uniform.  After Sandra showed her credentials, as well as Raymond, they were let inside.  The guard was too hot to care about the hedgehog.  Luckily for them, the passenger planes were nearby, and Sandra’s white plane was sitting out beside the one large airplane hangar.   Sandra got out in front of her husband and then started to unlock the door of the plane, as well as pull out the wood blocks that were in front of the wheels. 

Raymond nodded, “usually I do that, but after I fainted.” Sandra looked up, “you just stand there with Pudgy.”  Pudgy looked up at him, and the back at Sandra as she walked around the plane looking at things.   She then opened the door, and slide across the seat to get to the pilot seat.  Raymond then hoisted himself inside and set Pudgy down onto the space between the seats.  The man shut the door, and watched as his wife put on her headset, and started to fire up the engine.  “Tower, this is A24-R, I want to file a flight plan.”  The air traffic controller started to speak to her.  Raymond got out his phone, “Here it is, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.  It’s in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.”  Sandra looked over at her husband’s phone and entered the coordinates into her plane’s console.  While not an integral part of the plane, Sandra had what resembled an iPad connected to the dashboard.   

Pudgy watched as a flight plan started to appear, and general weather conditions.  The hedgehog pointed, “is that new?”  Sandra nodded, and kept talking to the tower.  The noise of the engine filled the cabin, and he could feel the plane moving forward.   Suddenly he was scooped up by Raymond, who was holding onto him once more.  “Here we go!”  Raymond called out, as Sandra made the plan take off.  As the airplane took off, it began to climb and circle the airport, to head west.  There was no sue talking, as Pudgy could not yell over the engine sounds.    He did notice the airplane cool down considerably, as they gained altitude.  The rushing air also made a difference, as it passed around the plane.  As he settled in for a long flight, he noticed Raymond had his phone out again, and was busying texting someone. 

Pudgy curled up on the man’s lap and rifted in and out of sleep.  The engine noise was loud, but you would get used to it.  The occasional napping made the trip pass by quick for the hedgehog, though it was a four-hour flight for the humans.  They were wearing headphones, with microphones, so could talk to one another.  As the plan began to descend, the man lifted Pudgy up, so he could see the brown grass fields surrounding the airport.  Pudgy recognized the familiar green metal roofs for the terminal building.  Sandra guided the plane, and in a short period of time, the plane had landed and was taxing to where the small aircraft would go for fueling.  As the plane slowed, she turned the engine off, and the propeller blade started to slow and then halt.    An older gentleman came out from the maintenance hangar and waved.  His blue coveralls were stained with oil and had the airport logo on the pockets.    It was finally quiet once again, and Pudgy looked up at the two humans.

“I texted Cobalt Pudgy, he said he would meet us here. Now, where is that Italian restaurant, I’m hungry.”  Sandra laughed, and as the two of them got out of the plane, she waved at the maintenance man. “Please fuel up the plane, I will be back after I take my Husband and Hedgehog to dinner.”  The older man laughed and waved at Raymond, “which one is the husband?”  Raymond, “Hmmm….”  Sandra nudged him, “come husband!”  Pudgy laughed, as they walked off from the maintenance hangar.  The hedgehog had never seen this part of the airport, and there was a couple of security doors that said to terminal.    They walked through a series of well-lit hallways, to reach the baggage claim area, with the big silver belts.  Walking up a long set to stairs, the married couple reached the security gates, and then exited to the main terminal. 

A man in his forties was sitting on a nearby bench, cleaning his silver rimmed glasses with a blue bandana style handkerchief.  The man looked up as he put his glasses back on and saw Pudgy.  Waving as he stood up, “Pudgy!  I see this must be Sandra.”  The woman smiled and watched as Pudgy bounced out of Raymond’s hand and into Cobalt’s.  “Cobalt!” Pudgy shouted, as he started to hug his friend excitedly.  Extending his hand, he shook Sandra’s hand and Raymond’s hands. “Thank you for flying Pudgy out here.  Hey, would you like to go to dinner?  I’m paying.”  The married couple after shaking hands with Cobalt nodded while Raymond spoke. “Yes, I am hungry for hedgehog sized meatballs.”  Sandra laughed, and followed as they went up yet another flight of stairs.  Sandra groaned, “this airport has so many stairs.”  As the assembled group reached the landing, Raymond pointed, “Oh look an elevator.”  Sure, enough a brown elevator was there, and it went all the way to the baggage claim.  Sandra looked at Pudgy and laughed. 

They were seated quickly, and it was a wonderful restaurant.  White linen tablecloths, and huge picture windows that overlooked the airport.  While Sinatra played in the background, huge plates of Italian food arrived.  Cobalt made a small plate for Pudgy, was busy munching.  Raymond did get the hedgehog sized meatball Pudgy had spoken of, and it was surrounded by a pile of fettucine noodles covered with a orange colored cavatelli sauce.   Pudgy in between eating, was telling everyone about his travels.  The waitresses also lingered to listen in astonishment at how well traveled the hedgehog was.  They knew of Pudgy because Cobalt would come occasionally for the big holiday buffets.  So as the meal began to wind down, and everyone was happy and full, Cobalt was busy paying for the meal.   Pudgy looked up, “can we stay and wave bye when Sandra and Raymond go home?”  The man smiled and nodded, which drew laughs and smiles from the married couple. 

Cobalt stood up, and shakes Raymond then Sandra’s hands, “Thank you again, for bringing Pudgy back to me.  Hey, do you need money for fuel?”  Sandra looked at him, “No, dinner is enough.  Besides, Raymond and I wanted to go on another Pudgy adventure. And now we did.”  Pudgy bounced over and hugged Sandra’s leg as she stood beside the table.  The woman gently scooped up Pudgy and hugged him properly which made the hedgehog get all bashful.  As she sat him back down on the table, Raymond patted his head.  “I am glad to have finally met you Pudgy, I was off on a business trip when you stopped by before.”  Sandra nodded, “Goodbye for now Pudgy.”  Raymond nodded, “goodbye for now, I suspect we will see you again.”  Cobalt smiled and watched as the two walked off through the restaurant and took the elevator.   As the waitress filled Cobalt’s glass with iced tea, Pudgy bounced happily. He started telling Cobalt everything that has happened since Valley forge, and his friend listened.  Soon though, a little white plane was taxing out to the tarmac. 

As Cobalt picked up his friend, they headed through the restaurant, to a set of glass doors that led out to a wide concrete patio.  It ran the length of the restaurant.  Down a short flight of stairs, Cobalt reached the wall that enclosed the patio.  Sitting Pudgy down on the wall, both began to wave at the plane.  The man was unsure if they saw him and Pudgy waving, but it was still fun to wave.    When the man received the text from Sandra’s husband, he was happy to hear that his hedgehog friend was all right, and en-route to Latrobe.  It took took over an hour to drive there, but that beat 6 hours to get to Valley Forge.  The plane started to take off, and soon was in the air, though the wings were wiggled up and down. “They saw us Cobalt,” Pudgy shouted excitedly.  The man laughed, “yes they did Pudgy.  Sandra and her husband were nice.  I am glad I could meet them.  Ok Pudgy, it’s time to go home.”  The hedgehog bounced off the railing and into Cobalt’s hands.  He carried his friend back up the stairs, and through the restaurant. 

Taking the stairs back to the main entrance, the two friends exited the airport, and headed for Cobalt’s big red vehicle.  The familiar clunking sound as the doors opened, Cobalt got into his vehicle and sat Pudgy down on the passenger seat.  Like Valley Forge, it was extremely hot, and the air conditioner was on full.  Soon it was cool enough, and the man backed the vehicle out of his parking spot and started to drive home.  He looked down at the passenger seat, and Pudgy was fast asleep.  “Welcome back, Pudgy.”  The man said, while patting his friend gently.  It was good to have his hedgehog friend home.  The drive home was uneventful, and in about an hour, pulled his vehicle into its normal reserved parking spot in front of his home. It was already night, so he would keep his friend here for at least tonight.  As he locked the car, and entered his home, Cobalt shut the door. It was good to have Pudgy home, once again safe and sound.   

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s