War Shadow: Chapter 7: Destroyer

The picnic table had been flung from underneath the covered porch, out into the grassy area beside the building.   It had landed on its side, with both Waffles pinned within the table.  Samantha and her daughter were dangling down and were trying to right themselves.  Pope mumbled, “is everyone all right?”  His wife groaned, and Lizzy was looking at him from above, nodding.  Samantha groaned, “ugh, what happened?”   Mrs. Waffles turned her head, and watched as a man was floating at an unnatural angle, with eyes starting to glow red.  They were locked onto Pudgy, who was standing there, holding a little glowing talisman. 

Pudgy puffed himself up as best he could and was standing in front of the figure.  He was putting on a brave face, though he was just as scares as the last time this had happened.  Just like at Warwick castle, the eyes had gone red of the man who had been attacking him.  There was a change this time, as the attacker was terrified and screeching at the top of his lungs. “Nein mein Kaiser, ich habe nicht!”  Pudgy did not understand what that language was.  The hedgehog watched in horror, as the formerly shadow covered man was snapped upright, and his head started to turn at an unnatural angle.  “Elias, erleide den Preis des Scheiterns und grüße deine Schwester für mich.” 

Lizzy looked up at the scene unfolding, “suffer the price of failure, say hello to sister?  What is that thing talking about?”  Samantha looked over, trying to get free of the table.  “where did you learn to speak German?”  Lizzy smirked, “Dad taught me.  Mom, maybe if all of us shift our weights, we can flip the table back up?”  Pope nodded, and started to push, with the two women above him moving back, causing the picnic table to flip back with a thud.  All four seated were whipped hard and landed hard on the table surface.  Mrs. Waffles groaned, “oww…”  Samantha nodded, “ow, is right.”  Pope looked up and watched the formerly shrouded man’s head snap left then right, and the body went limp.  Pudgy was still standing there, bravely facing the danger that was unfolding in front of him. 

The ominous voice cackled as the body went limp, and the eyes rolled up into the skull.  The black miasma started to form once again, and the eyes turned blood red.  “So, we meet once again…. Pudgy Hedgehog?”  Pudgy looked up and stared at the red orbs as they floated within the sockets where the eyes once lie.  “Who are you,” the hedgehog asked while twitching his nose.  The voice again started to laugh, deep guttural tones that echoed throughout the marina.  “You wish to know, my curious critter? I am the true ruler of this world and will take that which is rightfully mine.”  Pudgy twitched his nose, “Pudgy know someone else who says he is the ruler of the Earth.”  The dark voice growled, “He is a fool and a charlatan.  I am the darkness that is within the night. I am the terror that scares fear.  What he boasts of power, does not compare to the power of which I have at my command.  Now hedgehog, you will give me the gemstone, and the talisman … they belong to me.”

Pudgy shook his head, “No! Pudgy will not give them to you!”  He stomped his foot, and the voice started to growl loudly.  The miasma began to spread further, wrapping around the covered porch wooden beams, and the red orbs floated closer to the hedgehog. “Nooooo? You dare to say NO to ME?!?”  The critter could feel an unseen hand grasp around his body, and she started to float upwards towards the red orbs now crackling with flames.  “So, you dare to play the hero?  Are you committed to this course of action?”  Pudgy looked defiantly, “Pudgy will never give you these.  You are bad, and Pudgy must stop bad person.”    The miasma started to darken further, till it seemed like the light was being pulled within.  An unnatural roar that was not human bellowed out in all directions.  Pudgy felt himself moving quickly, and he was thrown hard against the concrete block wall that surrounded the ice cream window. 

He landed hard on the concrete patio and looked up at the shrouded figure. The figure turned, “I will remember this…. hedgehog.  But know this, I know of everywhere you have travelled.  Those you hold dear, will never know rest, I will see to it.”  Pudgy stood up weakly, “Pudgy will stop you, bad man.”  The shroud began to roar once more, “you will address me properly, as Kaiser!”  Pudgy watched as cracks started to form in the concrete, and the block walls behind him.  The patio was starting to buckle, and the covered porch began to separate, falling in pieces.  As the roof collapsed, it landed har onto Pudgy, and pinned him underneath.  Through a crack, he could see the red orb almost sneer at him and disappear in a violent flash of light.   

The humans at the picnic table were watching in horror at what was unfolding in front of them.   When the roof started to collapse, Samantha cried out, “No!  Pudgy!”  As the dark shrouded figure turned, its eyes locked onto Pope for what seemed like an eternity.  Then disappeared in a violent flash of light, with the sharp smell of ozone wafting in the air.   Lizzy was first to get out of the table constraints, and limp over to the collapsed roof. “Pudgy!  Are you all right?”  She was trying to move the wood remnants around, but soon was joined by Pope.  He was able to lift the heavier sections and clear a path to where Pudgy should have been standing.   Looking down, Lizzy saw the critter laying on the ground.  She reached, “He’s blocked under there. Can you lift the roof?”  Pope nodded, and strained, but the section was too heavy.  Finding a broken porch beam, he shoved it underneath, and used it as a wedge putting weight on the beam.  Lizzy saw the section lift, and quickly snatched the hedgehog. “Got him!”

The hedgehog was not moving, and as Lizzy stood up, she gently rubbed the critter. “Pudgy, please wake up.”   She carried him carefully over to the picnic table, where her mother was sitting, but with her legs stretched out away from the table.  Samantha looked sad and patted Pudgy gently with her hand. “I think I can feel him breathing.  Pudgy…wake up.”  Wearily the hedgehog’s little eyes opened, and he looked up at the two concerned women.  “Pudgy sore….” He stammered out, which drew a sigh of relief.  As Pope walked back, he looked down at the hedgehog. “Pudgy, what the hell was that?”  As Lizzy sat Pudgy down onto the table, all eyes turned to him.   Pudgy sat on the table, “that is the Kaiser, he is ruler of the shades.  He wanted Pudgy to give talisman and sapphire, Pudgy said no. Kaiser got angry…” 

The group was quiet, contemplating what just had happened?  Mrs. Waffles stood up from the table, and reached down, to gently scoop up the hedgehog. “Pope, we’re going home now.”  Her eyes were tired, but she had the look that her husband learned early on in their marriage, to not argue.  Her husband nodded, “Ok.”  His wife turned to Samantha and her daughter, “It was nice to mee you Samantha, and Lizzy.” Pudgy was still not fully recovered and waved weakly at Samantha.  Lizzy waved, “bye Pudgy! It was nice to meet you.”  Her mother nodded, “I think going home is an extremely good idea.  It was nice to meet you both of you and see Pudgy once again.  Pudgy, be good, and listen to Mrs. Waffles.”  Samantha had said this while looking at the departing Pope, and the woman standing across from her and her daughter. 

Pope looked around the collapsed porch, and found the scuba tanks, and gear.  He fished it out and turned to walk towards the truck.  His wife soon joined him, walking alongside while carrying Pudgy.  While the man started to toss the tank and gear into the truck’s bed, his wife opened the passenger side door, and climbed inside.  Sitting the hedgehog in her lap, she put on her seatbelt, and looked down at Pudgy.  He was not moving too much and was laying there in her lap. She kept the door open, to let the heat out of the cab.  She watched the driver’s side door open, and her husband slide into the driver’s seat.  Looking down at Pudgy, “how’s he doing?”  His wife frowned, “I think ok, but he had the wind knocked out of him when the roof fell.   Pope, no more submarines, or mysteries, or dark scary German demons, can we just go home”” Her husband nodded, and started the engine, and turned the air conditioning to max. 

The two doors were shut one by one, and Pope backed out the truck.  As the truck pulled out, the vehicle pulled away.   Lizzy was walking towards her mother’s car and looked at her mother.  “Wait till I tell Dad, I actually met Pudgy.  And we went on an adventure too!”   Samantha nodded, and opened her SUV’s driver side door.  While her daughter opened the passenger side door, the heat started to come out of their red vehicle.  The two women got into their vehicle and were awfully glad when the air conditioner started to blow out of the vents.  In all the chaos and insanity, their shorts had been lost, and only had their bathing suits on.  Luckily, Samantha had the foresight to keep her purse in the back seat, and not on the boat.  “Let’s head home now.” 

Hours passed, and when Pudgy awoke he was on the couch in the Waffle’s home.   The home was dark, and he could hear muffled yelling.  It sounded like his new friends were having an argument.  Pudgy felt terrible, they were hurt because of him.  The hedgehog recognized that he had overstayed his welcome.  But he could not just leave without telling them, so the critter decided he would leave in the morning.  As Pudgy rubbed his sides, the soreness was going away.  But the memories of the Kaiser were fresh, and his burning red eyes seared into his memory.  The words he spoke, that he knew of all the places he had travelled, meant that all his friends were now in danger.    Pudgy had to figure out a way to safely use the sapphire, as well as the Talisman.  Perhaps the Goddess would know, but it was late, and he did not want to bother her. 

Drifting back off to sleep, a scene started to unfold in his mind.  The shadows were everywhere, and Loki’s house appeared.   There was a new pickup truck parked out in the driveway.  However, standing across from the house was a huge man, dressed in a suit, smoking a cigarette.  There was a shadowy cloud floating beside him, with red eyes, pointing at the house.  As Pudgy floated closer, the red eyes turned into fireballs, and started to rush towards him.  Struggling to get away, the flames engulfed him, and he could feel his quills being burned off.  The insidious laughter bellowing, with Pudgy flailing around screaming.  He could feel a hand grasping his body, and he wiggled around trying to break free of its grasp.

Mrs. Waffles had woken up and went into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.  It had been a rough night, and her worries flooded out into a tirade against her husband.  They had made up and had fallen asleep.  So when she started to hear noises from the couch, she remembered she had put Pudgy to sleep on the couch.  Walking over, the woman could see Pudgy was flailing around in his sleep.  He was having a terrifying nightmare and was making noises she had never heard before.  Gently she picked him up and started to try to soothe him. “Pudgy, please wake up.  It is just a nightmare. It’s not real, please wake up.”  Gently, she shook him to wake the hedgehog, whose eyes darted open.  His little heart was racing, and quills went up into defensive position.  While they did not hurt her hand, the woman looked at him with kind-tired eyes. 

“Pudgy have to get to Branson, Loki is in danger!”  The woman nodded, “what happened Pudgy?”  The hedgehog quickly stammered out what he had seen and was clearly agitated.  Pulling him closer, Mrs. Waffles gently hugged him.  As her husband walked out from their hall that led to the bedroom, he looked at her.  “Is everything all right, honey?”  She nodded, “nightmare.  He says he has to get to Branson?”  Pope chuckled, “that’s about 10 hours away, and I have to get to work today. It’s going to have to wait.”  Pudgy tugged at the woman’s pajama sleeve, “Pudgy can use stone to teleport, but not here.  Monsters know everywhere Pudgy used stone, don’t want you in danger.”  She looked down, her eyes starting to grow concerned.  “Pudgy, what was that?”

Standing up, she carried the hedgehog over to the table, and after getting a coffee as well, joined her husband at their kitchen table.  As the hedgehog explained what the Kaiser had told him the day before, the two humans started to realize that this adventure was not over.  Pope sipped his coffee, “so, as long as you do not teleport from here directly, our home should be safe?”  The hedgehog nodded and explained he had originally arrived a couple of houses down from their property.   The husband and wife nodded and started to frown when Pudgy spoke. “Thank you for helping Pudgy, but Pudgy have to go now.  Must save Loki, he in danger!”  The woman patted his head, “can we have breakfast first?” The hedgehog nodded and bounced a bit. 

Mrs. Waffles started to make breakfast and took her time.  While she was worried for her hedgehog friend, she also had grown very accustomed to having him here.  Yes, it had been a short time, but in a week or so, had been more exciting than any other time in their married life.   While her husband was getting dressed for work, she served the food.  He always dressed quick and was already at the table eating when she had returned to get her plate as well as Pudgy’s.  Soon all three were munching on scrambled eggs, with crumbled bacon, and buttered toast.   With small talk between the married couple ensuing, Pudgy ate his breakfast, but was thinking about what to do?  The talisman clearly could cause pain and send the shades away, but the human beneath would be an issue.   He cleaned his plate and rubbed his belly. “Oh boy, that was good.  Thank you, Mrs. Waffles!”

The woman smiled warmly, “well I am glad you enjoyed it.  I needed to make sure you left with a full belly.  But not yet, I must do dishes first.  You can say goodbye to Mr. Waffles, as he will be at work when you leave.”  The woman stood up and cleared the table of the dishes and carried them over to the kitchen sink.  Mr. Waffles patted Pudgy’s head, “Pudgy, I am extremely glad you came here.  I loved going on our adventure.  But the next adventure, can it be above the water’s surface?  Mrs. Waffles was not pleased at how dangerous it was.”  He chuckled and scooped up the hedgehog to gently hug him.  Pudgy hugged back, “Thank you for helping Mr. Waffles!  Pudgy hope to stop monster, and everything go back to normal.”  Pope chuckled, “Well if the monsters come back, I have a 12 gauge to make them think twice.”  Setting him back onto the table, the man stood up, and waved.  Then he walked over to kiss his wife on the cheek, “I need to get to work, be back later.”  She smiled and giggled when he grabbed her butt on the way out.  “Not in front of Pudgy,” she chided him while giggling. 

Pudgy scampered over to the edge of the table, and then started to slide down the table leg.  Upon reaching the floor he scurried across the floor, and back to the couch.  Climbing up the side of the couch, he returned to the spot where he had his little back and mining helmet.  After checking his gear, he put on the pack and helmet.  The gemstone was in his vest, as well as the talisman.  Nodding to himself, the hedgehog then bounced off the couch to the floor and started to head towards the door.  The waffles had a dog, as well as a cat, though since arriving within the home, he had not seen either for a while.  As Pudgy reached the doggy door, he started to push on the flapper.  Suddenly he felt hands grasping him, and he was thrust into the air.  “You were going to run away, and not say goodbye?”  Mrs. waffles said, giving him a look.  Pudgy shook his head, “No, Pudgy wanted to check if monsters outside.”

The woman giggled, “well, I guess that is ok.  I didn’t get to have my goodbye hug, so you can’t leave yet.”  She carried him through the house, and into her bedroom.  Sitting him on top of an extremely high dresser, the woman laughed. “I need to get dressed, so you cover your eyes mister.  I do not want to have to explain things, to hedgehogs.”  Pudgy nodded and covered his eyes with his paws.  The woman would have normally kept him outside, but he had already tried to leave once, and she did not want him to wander off.  Quickly she put on a pair of blue jean shorts, and a white T shirt, with an American flag on it.  After she was covered up, “Ok, Pudgy you can look.”   With a quick application of lip stick, she was ready, and was putting her sandals on when she looked up at the hedgehog.  He was still covering his eyes.  Giggling, “what’s wrong Pudgy?”

The hedgehog uncovered one of his eyes and bounced happily.  As the woman stood up, she walked over and grabbed her push, sling it over her shoulder, and then retrieved the hedgehog from the dresser.  “Ok Pudgy, lets go to that spot where you teleported to when you first came here.”  The woman carried him throughout her home, and in a matter of minutes had exited the home.  The door was locked when it swung shut behind her.     Walking through the now familiar yard, with its pool and trampoline, Mrs. Waffles walked along a walking trail, with the lake in the distance.   “I really am happy you came here Pudgy, and I could finally meet you.  Please, next adventure, can it be something less dangerous?  Maybe, we have to stop Dress Barn from closing?”  Pudgy laughed, “but they don’t have shoes that fit Pudgy?” 

The two started to laugh heartily, and after an hour of walking, Pudgy pointed when they had arrived at the spot beside the lake where he first arrived.   Turning him around in her hands, the woman hugged the hedgehog warmly for a long time.  She kissed him on his head, and then sat him down onto the ground.   Pudgy waved at her when he was on the ground and started to scamper off.  “Goodbye Mrs. Waffles!”  Turning he waved at her, before disappearing in a quick burst of white light.  The woman who had put on a brave face for the trip, started to sniff her nose and hold back a tear. “Goodbye…. Pudgy.”  Turning, she walked back towards her house. 

With a sense of urgency, Pudgy had used the stone to teleport.  Something had changed, and maybe it had to do with the Talisman?  Pudgy thought about going to Branson and he started to teleport without asking the stone first.  The land sped quickly below him, cast in an amethyst colored hue.  However, the hedgehog was keenly aware of what the Kaiser had told him.  Looking around, he could not see any trace of shadow.  Settling in for the long trip, Pudgy knew he was going to surprise Loki when he arrived.  But would be able to get there first before the shades could find him?  The critter tried to wiggle forward, but the speed of travel was locked.  As the lands sped quickly below him, Pudgy could see Branson approaching.  However, he could also see a tinge of shadow on the horizon approaching from the west. 

Meanwhile, Loki had just returned from the car mechanic, with his hunter green truck.  Repairs had finally completed, and he had just pulled into his driveway.  As he turned off the engine, the man opened his door.   While swinging his leg out of the tuck, a man approached dressed in a suit.  He was a giant, close to seven feet tall, with a heavy muscular build.  “Guten Tahg, I am looking for a Stone Loki….”  The man spoke with a thick German accent and had piercing eyes that seemed to shimmer.  Loki looked up, “Um, well Yes I am Stone Loki?  Do you like the show from YouTube?”    The appearance of the man had put him on edge, and he started to reach underneath his driver’s seat.  He had a hunting knife below there, in case of emergency.    The towering German man smile, “ah, ist good Ja?  Where is the hedgehog?”

Loki blinked, “What?”  He was playing coy but surmised he had meant Pudgy.  Rushing forward the man charged into the truck door and pinned his leg in the jamb.  Loki belted out a string of expletives, as the paint shot through his leg.  “Do not play coy with me, we know you helped Pudgy.  Where is the hedgehog?”  The German man snarled, with a thick accent.   Loki blinked, and unsheathed the knife, and pulled it on the attacker.  Stabbing hard, he buried the bowie knife into the German man’s hand.    Roaring in paint, he stumbled back, starting to bleed profusely.   Loki opened the door once more, and got out of the truck, limping. “That is right you mother fudger, that’s what you get.  Now what do you want with my friend?”

The man’s eyes began to glow orange, and black shadowy miasma began to surround him.  It was like a shroud, or set of robes, and soon enveloped him.  If this had been a video game, it would have won awards for hos complicated the transformation as.  The shadows seemed to swirl around and within.  The light around seemed to almost be sucked within.  A clawed hand pointed at Loki, “Where is the hedgehog?”  As the man was about to tell the monster what he thought, he could see a flash of light appear from across the street. Turning his head, he saw Pudgy standing there.  As the shadowy mass turned as well, it pointed at the critter.  “You….” it growled in a menacing tone.   Loki shouted, “Pudgy get out of here!”

The hedgehog stood defiantly, and his quills were all sticking out.  He pointed at the shade, “monster, you go away and do not hurt Pudgy friend!”  The shadowy mass started to rush forward at the hedgehog.  The critter knew what to do, and took out the gold talisman, and looked through it.  New words started to appear, which Pudgy began to shout.  “ Anoíxte tin pýli pros ta vóreia!”  Pudgy was starting to understand what he was saying, it meant open gate to the north.  But what these gates were doing, Pudgy did not know.  Much to the amazement of Loki, Pudgy started to shoot out a beam of golden light from his paw.  The shadowy mass was engulfed in the beam and roared in pain.    This was buying him time, and limping he headed to his front door.  Upon reaching it, he turned, to see the light beam still holding the monster in check. 

Loki struggled up the stairs, dragging his left foot along behind him, and opened the front door.  Upon entering his home, the man headed slowly to his kitchen, and opened the cabinet above the refrigerator.  There was a black case, from his father inside.  Pulling it out, he set it down on the kitchen counter.  The words of his deceased father rang in his mind, only use it if you are in danger.  Rotating the combination lock to his mother’s birthday, the lock released, and Loki saw the pistol inside.  It was a silver Smith and Wesson, 50 caliber pistol.  It even had a scope on it, like that movie with John Candy.  Opening the cylinder, he started to load the bullets.  It had not been fired since his father passed, but it was clean and oiled.  Locking the cylinder shut, he spun it and started to limp back towards his front door. 

Pudgy was struggling to hold back the shroud.  Unlike before, when the beam hit the miasma, it did not dissipate.  This monster was much stronger and was resisting.  Roars of pain mixed with anger, and the birds were flying frantically away.   Loki’s elderly neighbor from next door had came out to check what was going on, but upon sight of the monster, had darted back inside.   Pudgy stammered, as the talisman was growing extremely hot in his paw, “go away monster!”  The shrouded man laughed evilly, “nein, Hedgehog.  I serve my master, and his wishes.”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy met the Kaiser twice.   Pudgy and friends just made the other shade go away!”  The orange orbs that had formed changed color, “Elias…. what did you do to him?  Wait, what is that?  In your paw, is the Talisman!”

Pudgy’s eyes burned bright, “Goddess Hecate tell Pudgy about Talisman, and what it does.  Pudgy use it to stop monsters, made shade go away.  But then the Kaiser took over, and made man go away.”  The miasma contorted, and the orange robs started to crackle with fire.  The shrouded figure began to flail and extended his claws menacingly.  “You will give that to me, Pudgy!”   As the monster began to speak, Pudgy could see Loki standing on his porch.  Pudgy could see the gun, and nodded, pushing forward as best his little legs could carry him.  The golden beam of light was enveloping the miasma, holding the monster in check.  The hedgehog could see just barely, his friend limping towards them. 

Loki was approaching from behind, “Hey, mother fudger.”  The shrouded man started to turn and whip his clawed hands towards the approaching man from behind.  Raising the pistol, he sighted through the scope, and pulled the trigger.  The explosion that came forth out of the barrel, sent a cloud of smoke everywhere.   The noise the gun made when shot was deafening and ripped a hole through the miasma.  Roaring in paint, the figure temporarily forgot about Pudgy, and turned towards Loki. “You just made a terrible mistake; I was going to let you live after this.”  With a grimace on his lips, Loki sighted the monster in the scope.  He pulled the trigger, and shot once more, this time ripping a hole through another section of the monster. 

Pudgy saw the bullets whip past him and strike the tree behind him.  Thankfully, Pudgy was exceptionally low, so he was not in too much danger, unless Loki shot lower.  Pudgy turned the talisman and noticed he could control the size of the golden beam.  But the heat generating was so hot, his fur was starting to burn.  His little paw was blistering again and was trying to figure out what to do?  The monster was not behaving the same was as before.  Another explosion, and Pudgy watched the shrouded miasma clad man fall to the ground.  Pudgy realized this was their chance, and started to scamper around the monster, and towards Loki.   As the hedgehog circled around, he could see that one of the orange orbs was missing and lay shattered on the driveway.  Loki smirking, “shot your fudging eye out, how about I take out the other one?”

The monster was howling in pain, with gaping holes ripped through its shroud.  Pudgy’s light beam was holding it in place, but not making it go away.  Standing defiantly, Loki aimed the pistol at the shade and fired once more.  He ripped another gaping hole through the miasma and revealed the daylight behind the monster.  Roaring in pain, Loki put on a brave face, but was starting to grow concerned.  This thing had taken 4 shots of the 50 caliber, and he only had 2 shots left.  Pudgy’s magical light was holding it in place, but able to help.  Perhaps if he could hit the other orange orb it would have an effect, and he started to sight it in the scope. 

An ominous voice started to echo from all angles, “Zerstörer, kehre zu mir zurück.”  Pudgy looked around, “Kaiser, Pudgy and Loki have beaten your monster!” The voice boomed from above, rumbling like thunder.  “Beaten, my monster?”  The voice started to laugh, causing the windows to rattle.  The shrouded black miasma man stood up, and its one remaining orange orb crackled with fire.  “Aber ich kann sie schlagen, Kaiser?”  Loki looked down at Pudgy, “I can just barely understand, but my German is really rusty.  This one is called Destroyer, I think?  The Kaiser wants him to return, and he is saying he can still beat us?”  The golden beam started to fade, and soon was broken with a swipe of a clawed hand.   The shroud started to fill in the holes, and soon flung the figure high into the air.  A skeletal horse started to form, and Loki watched as the figure mounted the horse.    The horse started to gallop away, towards the north.  When the figures had faded from view, Loki cursed out of relief. 

Pudgy scampered up to the bottom step, “Pudgy didn’t get here soon enough, Pudgy sorry!”  The man smiled, “Do not apologize Pudgy, you were a lot of help with that golden light beam.”  He looked down, and saw the little hedgehog’s paws were bleeding, and he had left little bloody paw prints on the concrete.  “You look like you’re hurt.  And so am I, so let us head inside.”  The man watched the hedgehog nod and start to climb the steps.  The critter scurried past his feet, and into the house.  After a quick once over, he pulled out his truck’s key fob, and locked the doors.  The horn beeped twice, and then the keys were slide back into his pocket.  He turned and started to limp inside.  As the tired man shut his front door behind him, he found Pudgy sitting in his hallway.    Motioning to follow, he limped to the kitchen table. 

After grabbing a bottle of beer from the fridge, he set the gun and the beer on the table.  Then got out a small can of soda and shut the door of the appliance.   As he opened the tab top, and poured the soda into a nearby saucer, the man smiled.  “Pudgy, I was hoping for you to come back, but did not expect so soon.  And now, we have monsters showing up?  Sounds like something happened in Texas.”  Pudgy sipped from the saucer, and the bubbles tickled his nose.  While Loki twisted the top and took a long draw from the bottle of beer, Pudgy burped.  After excusing himself, he started to tell his story.   The man listened, while sipping the beer.  He turned his leg in such a way to take pressure off his knee.  He did not have any broken bones, thank goodness.  But as the story continued, his mouth started to drop.

The story was incredible, with the waffles helping Pudgy finding the town under the lake.  The dive underneath the water to reach the naval base, with the submarine inside.  While he got another beer from the refrigerator and a first aid kit from the top cabinet, the hedgehog continued to tell his story.   The ghost crew, the battle with the shade both on the water as well as the marina on shore, and the trip to his house: Pudgy told an incredible tale.  If it was not for the scary German speaking man, who turned into the monster, he might not have believed it.  After a quiet series of moments passed, with the occasional belch from bubbly drinks, Pudgy looked up at Loki.  “Pudgy glad you could help again, but Pudgy know not over yet.”   The man nodded and rubbed his chin. “I agree Pudgy, but where to next?”

The hedgehog rubbed his chin with his paw. “Pudgy need to go home, and hug Cobalt.  Then figure out what next to do.  Maybe, if Pudgy can figure out what this Talisman can do, it will help?”  Loki nodded, “that makes sense.  What exactly is that gold thing?”  Pudgy held up the talisman, “It is a Talisman of the Goddess Hecate.  That is Hecate’s Daughter’s Mother.  So, if Pudgy can find her, maybe she can help too.”  Loki nodded, “that also makes a lot of sense, so I concur with your findings thus far Pudgy.  But for now, I think I need to help patch you up, and make supper.”  The man said while smiling and got out an alcohol pad.  Unwrapping it, he started to help Pudgy.  The hedgehog made funny noises, as the alcohol burned his paws. “ow…ow…ow…” Pudgy stammered, as the patient man helped him treat his wounds.  Pudgy thought to himself, he was extremely glad to meet Loki and the Waffles on this trip.  He just hoped he could keep them safe, till the Kaiser was dealt with. 

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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