Land of Sorrow: Chapter 13: Atlantic

In the days that followed since Pudgy arrived at Sarah’s home, he was able to recover from his extensive injuries.  The RAF would call on Sarah’s house phone every day to check on the condition of the hedgehog.  The woman would provide a status update to the rather gruff sounding man with a scottish accent.  After the report was filed,  she would shake her head, and then go back to check on her guest.    While each day that passed resulted in an improvement, her little friend would only sleep for maybe 10 minutes at a time.  The hedgehog would then wake up screaming, which required the tired woman to hold him close until he calmed.  The first night was especially hard, but as the days passed, the critter was napping for longer stretches.  That allowed everyone to get some rest, including Eddie the dog.  The faithful dog did not leave Pudgy’s side and was keeping vigil.  

While the little hedgehog wanted biscuits all the time, Sarah being a good hostess made sure he ate other things.  One day was bubble and squeak, the next was bangers and mash, and other standard British cuisine as well.  They would watch the news on the living room’s big television set, while Sarah served the hedgehog and puppy dog their meals.  Sometimes, she would hand out snacks, and Pudgy was provided something new he had never tried before.  The hedgehog was nibbling on a piece of stilton cheese, something not normally found back home.  It tasted weird, but Sarah seemed to like it, so he did not make a comment.  The salty crackers helped get the taste out of it out of his mouth.  

The world had settled down once more, and the British stations were back to covering the latest royal gossip.  Pudgy was aware that soccer was called football, so he didn’t ask Sarah questions like the last time he visited.  Everyone on the programs were mad at this one guy in a gray tweed blazer.  The poor man made the cardinal mistake of eating a burger at a place run by a guy, instead of a lady who sold something else.  To be honest, Pudgy didn’t understand, because when British people were excited, it gets hard to understand sometimes.  Thankfully, his human friend did not speak that way, so he did not have to ask Sarah to repeat herself.  The woman saw his confused expression, and explained how the royal family was the source of much news coverage in their country.  Normal people learned to live with it, and would change the channel.  Pudgy nodded while speaking, “just like back home where they check the weather 4-6 times an hour.  Update: it still sunny.  Coming up at 4 … how much sunny will it be tomorrow.”  Sarah giggled when Pudgy did his best weatherman voice.

The woman’s phone started to vibrate, and as she looked down, she saw it was Cobalt calling.  Pressing answer, “Hello Cobalt, how are you?”  Reaching over, she gently scooped up Pudgy.  She hoisted him up to place her little hedgehog friend on her shoulder.  The man adjusted his glasses and waved, “Hi Sarah, hi Pudgy!”  The little hedgehog waved back, “Hi Cobalt!”  Cobalt laughed, “I see you are still wrapped up like a mummy.  Sarah, how is he doing?”  The woman giggled, “Pudgy is recovering nicely, and even slept most of the night before.  The nightmares seem to be subsiding slowly, just like Davenport said.”  The man nodded, “thank you for helping Pudgy recover, Sarah.  I do not know about you, but the news is having a field day with the result of Pudgy’s grand adventure.  I have been contacted by multiple branches of the military.  Somehow, even the EU managed to get my phone number.  I never thought that 2 years of French would ever be useful.”  The man started to laugh, while Pudgy wiggled on her shoulder.  

Cobalt and Sarah chatted for a while about other topics, with Pudgy eventually falling asleep.  Sarah giggled, “our conversation was so stimulating … he fell asleep.”  The man laughed, “I know it is late there, so I assume it is bedtime for you as well.”  Sarah nodded, with a small frown forming on her lips.  “When do you think Pudgy will head back?”  The woman nodded after she spoke, and sighed, “honestly, I wish he could stay here longer, but I know he needs to go back home.”  The man nodded, “What did the RAF say?”  As Sarah shifted position, and lowered Pudy onto her lap, “the RAF called today.  The rather miserable scottish man said Pudgy was all cleared to leave.  I need to get some fuel for the plane from the petrol station down the street from here.  It pains me, but I think tomorrow.”  She sighed again sadly, and Cobalt nodded.  “Again, thank you for helping us with this.  Maybe if you are ever out this direction, you can come to visit?  I have a guest room, and Pudgy’s home is about a 15-minute walk from my back door.”  The woman smiled warmly, “I would like that very much.  Good night Cobalt,” she said, as she ended the call.  

She checked messages on her phone afterwards and responded to a couple urgent ones.  With Eddie curled up on the couch opposite, she wrapped her dog in his favorite blanket.  The dog’s legs moved slightly,  until he settled down.  Dreams of chasing things most likely filled his mind, which drew a soft giggle out of her mouth.  Turning to Pudgy, she wrapped up the hedgehog into his fluffy white blanket.  After confirming that both animals were all right, she stood up and headed back to her bedroom.  Stopping at the doorway, she turned off the living room’s lights.  “Goodnight you two,” Sarah whispered before entering her bedroom and closing the door.  Thankfully, it was a quiet night, with everyone getting a good night’s rest.  

The tired woman started to stir in her bed, as she could hear a commotion outside of her home.  While she struggled to wake up, and loathing to get out of her nice toasty bed, she could see her phone blinking on the nightstand beside her bed.  Sneaking her arm out in such a way to not let the warmth escape from within her purple bedspread cocoon, she could see several voicemails had been received.  Pressing a series of buttons on the touch screen, her speakerphone rang out. “Hello Sarah, this is Davenport.  I stopped by our home this morning, but there was no answer at the door.  I have taken the liberty to inspect our hedgehog’s friend’s plane.  I see that it is out of fuel, so I will be rectifying that shortly.”  The message ended, and then the next message was a more cross sounding Davenport. “Miss Sarah, I rang your bell once more, and could hear a dog barking.  Perhaps you have slept in, I will wait.”  Rolling her eyes, she saw it was 6 am, the soldier must have driven over before the sun had even come out.   She pressed redial, and the phone was immediately answered.  

“Officer Davenport, I was asleep.” She started to say, before the man started to laugh on the other end of the call. “That is quite alright Sarah.  I am used to being up this early, and forget it is not that way in the private sector.  Please make yourself presentable, I will be in the driveway.”  She pulled back the covers, and swung her legs out of the bed while sitting up.  The woman quickly brushed her teeth, got dressed, and  headed to her bedroom door.  Upon opening it, she found both Eddie and Pudgy sitting there, looking expectantly up at her.  She giggled, “good morning Eddie and Pudgy.  I know, Davenport called, and he is outside now.  Pudgy, he is refueling your plane.”  The hedgehog bounced happily, and scampered beside her feet as she walked towards the front door.  Eddie rotted along on the opposite side of Sarah, and upon opening the front door, took off to his favorite spot outside.  

The woman smiled, as she reached down to gently scoop up Pudgy, so she could carry him down the stairs that ran along the outside of the building.  The hedgehog stayed very still, and watched as the driveway opened up in front of him.  His little plane was pulled out into the center, and two RAF soldiers were kneeling beside the plane.  Sarah smiled and called out, “hello officer Davenport.”  The older officer smiled, and stood up.  He turned to face the woman, “hello Sarah and Pudgy.  We see that your plane definitely saw some action.  The machine guns on each wing are empty, and scorched.  The gouges in the fuselage were easily repaired.”  Pudgy looked up to see Sarah smile, before he was gently placed onto the concrete.  The subordinate soldier looked up and smiled at Pudgy, “we were able to fix it with some caulk.  Always have a tube of the stuff to seal window glass,”  the young man said with a proud smile.  Pudgy scampered over to watch the soldier fuel the plane, who was using a tiny red funnel.

Davenport turned, and picked up a 5 litre yellow petrol can, and started to gingerly pour the fuel.  One by one the tanks were filled, and soon the can was placed onto the concrete carefully.  The two soldiers smiled when they saw Pudgy scampering about, checking his plane.  Sarah sighed softly, “you are leaving me again Pudgy.”  The little critter turned to face her, and then scampered over quickly.  He began to hug her ankle, “Pudgy love coming to visit Purple Lady. Purple is a good friend.  Thank you for helping Pudgy!”  The woman knelt carefully, and then picked up her hedgehog friend.  She hugged him for many minutes, gently rocking him in her arms.  “Eddie, Pudgy is leaving!”  She called out, as an excited gray pug ran over to her side.  After she placed the critter back down onto the concrete, Eddie barked excitedly and bounced with Pudgy.  Pudgy hugged the dog, and then hugged Sarah’s knee once more.  Then he scampered over to the soldiers, who also got hugs as well.  

“Thank you officer Davenport, and Mister Soldier!”  The hedgehog said excitedly, while the two men smiled as they were hugged.  Pudgy climbed up into the plane’s cockpit, and started his preflight checklist.  The humans started to stand, and head away so the little plane would have enough room.  The young soldier really wanted to stay close and watch, but was pulled away by his superior officer.  With Eddie barking excitedly, the little engine fired up.  Pudgy turned and waved at everyone, before rolling the canopy closed.  The engine was at full power, and after he released the tail wheel lock, the little plane started to roll forward.  He pulled out into the street in front of Purple’s house, and went full throttle.  Quicker and quicker the plane rolled, until it started to ascend into the western skies.  Sarah and the soldiers waved, as Pudgy flew off.    “Would either of you like some tea,” the woman asked?

In the little plane, Pudgy had the throttle in full position.  The control stick was pulled back, and he was quickly gaining altitude.  The cold weather outfit was not able to be saved, so his friend disposed of it.  But, thankfully now that the soldiers had caulked the gouges, there was no more airflow inside of his plane.  The little heater was enough to warm the interior, and with Pudgy still bandaged up like a mummy, he was warm.  He still had his little vest on, which held the sapphire stone as well as the Hecate’s talisman within.  Touching his paw to the talisman, he spoke the incantation, to make the fuel last.  It began to glow weakly once more, which the hedgehog missed while guiding his plane higher.  The GPS and radio were functional, and were calling out his position as he proceeded to reach cruising altitude.   Kidderminster, Tenbury Wells, Leonmister, Bulith-Wells, and many other names appeared on his GPS map.  

The lands below the plane were a mixture of greens, yellows,. and browns; since it was still late winter.  In the distance, Pudgy could see the looming Atlantic ocean, so he settled into his seat.  When the plane’s altimeter read 5,000 feet, he leveled the plane off, and locked the throttle and control levers.  Looking down, he could see the talisman glowing softly.  “Oh no, what is wrong with talisman?”  The little critter stammered out, while worrying about what that meant.  A familiar female voice filled the cabin, “as with all things, the talisman is starting to fade.”  Pudgy recognized the voice of the goddess Hecates, and looked around.  She wasn’t visible, but he could feel her somewhere nearby.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, “will Pudgy be able to get back home?”  The goddess giggled, “I am not certain, but it will take you at least across the ocean once more.  The magic contained within was limited, as well as your life.  The talisman extracts a price to the bearer, as the power of the gods do upon mortals.”  Pudgy wiggled his nose, and rubbed his paws as they tingled.

“Is that why Pudgy feels so tired and paws hurt when using the talisman?”  The goddess sighed, “yes, that is the cause.  Your life may have been shortened a bit as well, but I am not certain.”  The hedgehog frowned, “Pudgy don’t want to die,” he said while starting to whimper.  He started to feel invisible fingers wrap around his body, and the female voice spoke once more. “Shh, do not fret little one.  You will live a long life, and have many more adventures.  Though the magic of the talisman will fade, until it ceases to be, you will live on.  Worry not Pudgy,” the voice said while Pudgy calmed down.  “Will Pudgy ever see you again?”  The fingers released their grasp, and the voice faded, “I am unsure, but worry not, for my daughter will be there to assist when needed.  Farewell, and thank you, Pudgy Hedgehog.”  

The cockpit grew very quiet, save for the rumble of the engine.  With the hedgehog lost in his thoughts, he didn’t pay attention to the GPS going dark.  The little plane crossed over the open ocean waters of the Atlantic, flying gently to the west.  In time he started to cross over the country of Ireland, with the GPS reading out all new places.  The little hedgehog pondered if there were nice people there, and other woodland critters having adventures?  In a matter of time, the plane crossed once more over the open oceanic waters of the Atlantic.  Huge cargo ships could be seen heading to and from the island, though at his current height, they looked much smaller from the plane.  Settling in once again, the little critter drifted off to sleep.  

Hours passed, and when he awoke, the plane was still flying.  He touched the talisman, and chanted the incantation once more.  Looking down, he saw the talisman shrinking a bit each time with a progressively weaker glow.  The goddess had decided that Pudgy’s life was more important, so she had changed the way the talisman operated.  There was much more draw on its power, rather than the hedgehog.  But this also meant that his range would be considerably shortened.  Pudgy recognized that he may have a problem, as the distance between London and New York was 3,500 miles.  If he could somehow make it to Maine, Cobalt could drive there to pick him up.  Or maybe Sandra could come get Pudgy?  The little critter started to make contingency plans, which kept him awake and worrying.  

There were thick storm clouds all around him, with cloud to cloud lightning clearly visible in the night skies. He unlocked the flight controls, and started to ascend once more.  With the altimeter increasing once more, the little plane was starting to hit the point where commercial traffic flew.  Deciding to fly just high enough to skirt the storm, he could see the skies clearly.  Stars too numerous to count were all around, with a large half moon seen above him.  It was nothing like Pudgy had ever seen, which filled him with a sense of indescribable joy.  Even though he had flown to the moon,  the stars seemed less bright than now.  Though the stars seemed to be coming closer to his plane somehow?  Pudgy wiggled his nose, realizing the stars were orbs of white light.  The little hedgehog waved at the orbs, slowly realizing what this meant.  When Pudgy ordered everyone to go home in Auschwitz, there were people trapped in Europe.  These were souls heading to find their loved ones, before crossing over to the other side.  

Hiss, crackle, pop; went the radio, as it started to auto tune to a frequency.  “Pudgy Hedgehog, are you there?”  Reaching up to the radio transmit button, “Pudgy here, over?”  It was a female voice, “this is Staff Sergeant Jessica Rodriguez with the United States Air Force.”  The hedgehog bounced in his seat, “Hello Staff Sergeant, how can Pudgy help you, over?”  The little critter said. The soldier was trying very hard to sound proper, but couldn’t help a giggle as the hedgehog was speaking to her. “I see you are heading on your return trip to the United States, our RAF counterparts informed us of your departure.  Why have you deviated to 5,200 feet?”  The hedgehog looked at his gauges, and noticed that he was at 5,195, but didn’t want to correct the officer.  “There was a bad storm, Pudgy needed to fly over.  Plus Pudgy found souls heading home, so I need to keep them safe.”  The officer coughed as she choked on a drink, “did you say souls?  How many?”  The critter started to count, “looks like twenty, oh wait…18…17….they are disappearing now?”

The radio grew quiet, until a new male voice spoke. “I am the chaplain, please turn up your radio.”   Pudgy did  as requested, and the chaplain began to read passages from the bible.  Both the Christian and Jewish parts were given equal time, and the hedgehog watched as the orbs started to disappear.  Once the prayers were done, Pudgy pushed transmit, “All the souls have disappeared.”  The GPS started to spin like crazy on the screen, until it resynchronized with St John’s in Newfoundland.  “Oh wow, Pudgy made it all the way to Canada!”  The hedgehog said excitedly, not realizing he was still transmitting.  After he released the radio button, the Staff Sergeant giggled, “well you were flying much higher and faster this time.  Which my superiors were wondering about?”  The radio started to hiss again, as he lost connection, and the GPS went dark.  He was again over the open ocean, but the higher altitude meant he continued his accelerated flight.

Prince Edward Island appeared on his map, as the plane flew over Nova Scotia.  The little hedgehog was starting to grow very tired again, but shook his head.  “Pudgy has to stay awake,” he said while checking the gauges.  External fuel tanks 1 and 2 were empty, and the lights were blinking.  External fuel tank #3 was almost empty, and was a solid red light.  Cobalt told Pudgy that when red blinking was completely empty, and solid red was a warning almost empty.  In a couple of minutes, that too went red blinking.  The plane shuttered and he heard a loud crack within the wings.  Wiggling his nose, Pudgy checked his gauges and worriedly looked around the plane.  “Oh no, what is that?”

What the little hedgehog did not realize was that following on a parallel course, was a predator drone being piloted by the USAF.  The Staff Sergeant was directing her subordinates to keep watch on the tiny plane.  The drone’s spy cameras were trained onto the warhawk.  It was when that crack was heard by Pudgy, that the drone caught what was happening.  The soldiers watched in horror, as the external tanks were falling off of the plane, with their hoses flapping in the wind.  But soon after the tanks fell off, they crumbled into a fine dust and spread on the wind.  The hoses disappeared as well, and soon the plane’s bottom was as if there had never been tanks connected.  Emergency calls were being made,  as well as hurried reports to a variety of  destinations.

In time both the plane and drone reached the territorial waters of the United States off the coast of Maine.  Communication was made with the plane once more, “Pudgy are you alright?” Staff Sergeant Jessica said with a concerned tone,  and smiled when the hedgehog’s soft voice called out.  “Pudgy ok, but something happened to the plane.  Pudgy hope can make it to New Jersey.”   The GPS had resynchronized once more, and the plane was skirting the coastline of Maine.  “What is in New Jersey,” the officer asked?  Pudgy wiggled in his seat, “Pudgy has a friend there, she can help Pudgy.”  The radio went silent once more.  With both drone and plane flying past New Hampshire.  As they crossed over the huge city of Boston, Pudgy started to see lots of airplanes all around in the sky. 

Realizing that this was a bad thing, Pudgy started to make the plane descend.  The GPS was warning of planes in the skies, and with the occasional direction by the Staff Sergeant, he was able to safely reach an altitude of 1,000 feet.  Familiar names of islands and cities appeared on his map, and as the hours passed, he continued to fly towards his friend Brenda’s home in New Jersey.  The sun was setting once more, and as the light of day faded, Pudgy could see the bright lights coming from the city of New York in the distance.  He was ordered to a lower altitude, and a slightly different course, due to the local air traffic conditions.  

Pudgy realized he was not travelling as fast now, since he was at a lower altitude.  Cobalt told Pudgy about how planes can fly across the ocean.  One part is the type of plane, with how much fuel it can carry.  The other part is the altitude, which takes advantage of the earth’s curvature.   A plane can fly a bit faster, with less fuel, at twenty thousand feet.  When the planes are much lower, they use more fuel as the conditions change.  Pudgy probably missed lots of details, but that is what he remembered.  The main fuel tank light was starting to blink red, which refocused the hedgehog on the task at hand.  The engine was starting to sputter, “oh no, please let Pudgy make it!”

The GPS positioned itself, and soon the plane had crossed over Woodbridge Township, New Jersey.  The propellor blade was starting to shake, and sickening cracking noises were echoing throughout the plane.  Pudgy pushed the transmit button, “Staff Sergeant, are you there?”  The familiar female voice called out, “Pudgy, what is going on?  Your plane is crumbling into dust!”  The hedgehog looked down, and the talisman fell apart in his paw.  The magic had finally been used up, which meant his plane was on its own.  But that was the least of his worries, since the magic of the talisman had seeped into all corners of the plane.  As the magic continued to fade, the plane was disintegrating.  The radio crumbled, and fell down like sand onto the floor of the plane.  Pudgy looked around frantically, trying to find  something to use as a parachute.  The GPS displayed Middlesex, before it too crumbled into dust.  The canopy cracked, and started to shatter.  

Pudgy stood up, and watched as his seat faded away.  The plane’s exterior was turning into sand, and spreading on the winter winds.  The hedgehog braced  himself in what he could hold onto, and watched as the engine crumbled as it ceased to exist.  It began to drop from the sky like a rock, and plummeted to the ground.  Pudgy was screaming, and trying to grab onto a piece of fabric that Cobalt used to wrap the fuselage’s interior with to insulate the plane.  In one last violent burst of magic, the remaining part of the plane exploded into a golden dust.  The hedgehog holding onto the fabric, had formed a makeshift parachute, and was falling much slower.   As the critter glided through the skies, he saw the drone veer off and head towards the south. 

The little hedgehog was in luck, that it was not a windy night.  He was gliding as best as he could towards the street where his friend Brenda lived. He recognized the area, and the street signs.  Adjusting the fabric, he tried to steer, but ultimately the fabric too started to disintegrate.  In time it disappeared, and then Pudgy dropped hard onto a partially snow covered lawn.  “Owwww….” The little critter mumbled, as he tried to recover.  It was as he weakly started to sit up, a very familiar meow was heard.  An excited white cat with colored splotches all over her ran up to the hedgehog.  “Hello Patches!” Pudgy exclaimed, while hugging his feline friend.  The cat kept meowing excitedly,  but soon saw that he was bandaged.  Patches let Pudgy climb up onto her back, and then started to head off towards Brenda’s house.  

Brenda let Patches outside every other night to explore the backyard, but the crafty cat had found a spot in the fenceline where she could sneak past.  She would explore the neighborhood, and was thankful that she was out and about tonight.  She was so worried when she saw the plane falling apart in the skies above, and then when Pudgy was falling.  At cat speed, they were able to traverse the distance from where Pudgy fell to Brenda’s home quickly.  Pudgy slid off of his friend’s back, and then followed her inside through the hole underneath the wooden fence.  The back porch light was on, as Brenda was sitting on a white porch chair.  She was sipping a cup of coffee, and watching the sun start to rise over the horizon.  

She squinted her eyes, and saw Patches scampering up to her quickly.  “Hello there, I see you had an outing past the fence line again.  I need to fix that some day, to keep Patches … inside .. the ..” the woman said while starting to trail off.  She saw a little white ball of bandages scurrying behind Patches towards her.   When  it got closer, she recognized Pudgy, and realized he was bandaged heavily from head to toe.  “Pudgy?  Pudgy, what happened?  You are hurt!”  The woman stammered out, and watched as Patches and Pudgy climbed the couple brick steps to the porch.  Pudgy sat and waved at Brenda, “Hello Brenda!  Pudgy back!  Pudgy stop Kaiser, everyone safe now!”  The critter said excitedly, but soon found himself scooped up and being hugged tightly by the woman.  She was starting to sniffle, “Pudgy, I was so worried!”

Brenda stood up and  immediately headed to her back door, and opened it.  While Patches scooted inside around her, the woman entered her kitchen.  She set the hedgehog down on the counter, and then shut the door. Turning all the lights on in the kitchen, she returned to Pudgy, and started to inspect his bandages.  There were spots where he had begun to bleed again, which was being caught by the bandages.  “Oh no, you tore open a wound somewhere.  Stay here Pudgy,” Brenda said while she ran off to her hallway closet.  Hurriedly she threw the door open, and grabbed the first aid kit.  After nearly stepping on Patches, she ran back to the kitchen.  She set the kit down on the counter, and then opened the lid.  Using a pair of medical scissors, she started to cut off the bandages.  

As she began to reveal the hedgehog, her heart sank when she saw his condition.  Quills were ripped out of his back, and he had several wounds all over his body.  They were healing, but his movements were causing stress on his body, causing them to pull open.  Most of his fur was missing, apparently burned off, which made her even more concerned.  When Patches climbed up onto the counter to help, she wouldn’t stop meowing at Brenda.  The cat was worried too, as when the hedgehog had left, he was not in this condition.  Unlike Sarah, Brenda had basic medical training, so she was better equipped to help Pudgy.  The hedgehog explained that Purple lady had bandaged him when he got back from Auschwitz.  When he said that word, the woman’s mouth dropped, but didn’t say anything.  

After cleaning his wounds with q-tips soaked in peroxide, she began to bandage the hedgehog once more.  Being more strategic, she wrapped him as tight as he could handle with fresh bandages.  He looked less like a mummy, and more like a bandaged soldier. After putting things back into the first aid kit, and closing the lid, Brenda spoke. “Pudgy, what on earth happened to you when you left?  I want the full story.  But I need to call someone first.”  The woman smiled, and gently scooped up the hedgehog into her hands.  She walked slowly through the kitchen, and headed into the living room.  She sat down, with Pudgy in her lap.  The little critter wiggled his nose, and looked up at her expectantly.  He watched her take out her cell phone, and start dialing.  

A familiar male voice answered, “Hello my child Brenda, how are you?”  Brenda smiled, and put the call oh speakerphone, and set the phone next to Pudgy.  “Rabbi Elazar, I am well, thank you.  You will never guess who came scampering up to my back door?”  The Rabbi laughed, “I haven’t a clue?”  Pudgy smiled, “Hello Rabbi Elazar, it’s Pudgy!”  The man started coughing hard, “Pudgy?  You are back?  Rabbi Aharon called me yesterday, and explained everything that happened in Mechelin.”  Pudgy bounced and looked up at Brenda, “Pudgy had to go to Auschwitz, but Pudgy stopped the Kaiser and the Mazzikim.  The other Rabbis helped Pudgy!”  The man coughed again, “one moment, I want to add someone to this call.”  The call went silent for a moment, and soon another male voice answered. “This is Rabbi Aharon, hello Pudgy!”  Rabbi Elazar laughed, “Sorry to call you without warning  Aharon, but Pudgy just got back to Brenda’s house in New Jersey.”  Brenda nodded to Pudgy, so the little critter began to tell his grand story.  

It took awhile, as not only did Brenda have questions, but also the two Rabbis as well.  When Pudgy explained about the battle over Obersalzberg, there were gasps from the conference call.  Brenda frowned when the hedgehog explained how the talisman ripped quills out of his back so he could fire the machine guns.  The trip to Auschwitz was what drew the most questions, and Pudgy’s activities there.  As the hedgehog explained about the gas chambers, and the summoning of the ghost Rabbis, the call grew deathly silent.  The revelation that the Kaiser was a Rabbi who had lost his way, drew audible gasps.  The release of the spirits, and the departure of all Rabbis save for Rudolf, resulted in soft clapping  from Brenda.  Pudgy then described the gates of heaven, and the angels, as well as the souls ascending.  His tale finished with his trip to Purple’s house, the recovery there,a dn then his trip to New Jersey.  

The call was silent as the humans processed the information provided by the hedgehog.  It was Rabbi  Aharon who spoke first, “my word, the power of that coin?  I kept it in my pocket all those years.”  Rabbi Elazar coughed again, “agreed, I did as well.  Pudgy, what happened to the coins?”  The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy sorry, they took coins back to Eloah.  Rabbi Rudolf was told to go to Jerusalem, he had to get the Bareshit coin.  The other ghosts were concerned that the coin may fall into the wrong hands.”  Brenda nodded, “I would tend to agree with the ghosts.  Look what happened?”  Rabbi Elazar laughed, “when the Bareshit ghost finds out what happened, he is going to be quite perturbed.”  Rabbi Aharon laughed, “isn’t that the truth?  Pudgy, you said your plane exploded, what caused that?”  

The hedgehog looked a bit sad, “the talisman Pudgy had, was from the goddess Hecates.  She told Pudgy that it was tapping Pudgy life to make power.  Pudgy always felt tired, and fur burned off when used, so she adjusted the talisman.  But when she did, it caused magic to be used more quickly.  Anything Pudgy used talisman with, was destroyed.  the woman shot him a look of terror mixed with anger, “you were doing what?!?!?!  Did Cobalt know this?”  The hedgehog shook his head, “Pudgy don’t think so.  Talisman is all gone now, as well as the warhawk plane.  But Pudgy has a backup plan, now that Kaiser is gone.”  The little hedgehog reached into his vest, and showed Brenda the tiny sapphire.  “This is a tear, and will let Pudgy teleport.  Pudgy could not use stone, because of Kaiser, he would see where Pudgy was heading.  But Pudgy tired, can Pudgy stay here to sleep?”

The woman nodded, while Rabbi Aharon spoke. “Pudgy, thank you for telling us your story, and for helping the prisoners of that camp.  I need to go, I have a lecture soon.”  The call dropped, and soon Rabbi Elazar spoke. “I concur with my counterpart Pudgy, thank you.  I too must depart, I have a service to conduct.  If you decide to convert, give me a call, I am sure Brenda will sponsor you.”  The second Rabbi ended the call, and the phone went silent.  Brenda giggled, “we can talk about that another day.”  The little hedgehog raised his paw, “does Santa come to visit you at Christmas?”  Brenda shook her head, “um, no Pudgy, he does not.”  The little critter shook his head, “sorry, Pudgy can’t convert then. Plus would have to ask Cobalt first,” he said while nodding and yawning.  

Brenda smiled, and watched the hedgehog curl up in her lap into a ball, and then promptly fell asleep.  Patches curled up beside her right hip, and looked up meowing at her.  Brenda petted the cat softly, “Patches, we need to make sure he doesn’t go off on another adventure again.  We are lucky he came back this time …” she trailed off, as the cat rested her head on Brenda’s leg.  Both watched the critter sleep, and soon found their eyes growing heavy as well.  Despite it being mid morning, Brenda and Patches fell asleep on the couch.  Everyone was safe, in the nice warm house, and sleeping silently

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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