This series was originally written over the course of hundreds of twitter messages. I have decided at this time to not rewrite the story. The only changes I have made are formatting to the chapter format, and correcting any spelling / punctuation errors.
Pudgy Saves Christmas
Pudgy woke up to the sound of heavy rain pounding on his cabinet’s roof. Staying under all the blankies. He hoped everyone would have a good day. But the rain noises continued, and soon he was awoken once more. He realized just exactly what that meant, and he bolted out of bed. Frantically the little hedgehog moved for about an hour. Rain had been pounding on the cabinet: a huge roof leak had opened above. The food in the cabinet were cans, so thankfully nothing was ruined. He had from last winter a tarp stowed away under his cabin in case of emergency. He worked quickly and covered his exposed roof. After stopping the rain from penetrating his home, he fired up the wood stove, to dry out his home.
Outside of the cabin, the water wheel was flying. The stream and trough were being very effective at channeling lots of water to drive the wheel. His electric generator panel read .5 k/w/h, and thankfully the electric system was sealed, so he didn’t have to worry about electric shocks. For the hedgehog’s purposes, that amount of power generation was enough. After time had passed, and as Pudgy made the necessary repairs, he removed the tarp. The little hedgehog inspected his work. Although he kept hearing a tapping noise. He scampered around, until he found his antique lamp from the Morse code games. The top of the lantern where the oil filler was located kept popping open and close. He recognized it. It was Morse code.
.-.. .- – .. – ..- -.. . —… —-. —–
—– —– .—-.
—– .-.-.- —– —– .-..-.
-. .-.. — -. –. .. – ..- -.. . —… —–
—– —– .—-.
—– .-.-.- —– —– .-..-.
… . -. -..
…. . .-.. .–.
Pudgy quickly got paper from inside of the cabin, as well as a pencil. He began to write down the code as quickly as he could. The message repeated several times, before mysteriously stopping. Pudgy went inside to translate from code. Doomcock could message via the crystal, who would send Morse code via lantern tapping? He set the code aside, as he continued to make repairs to his home. The code could wait. As the little hedgehog played in the autumn leaves and continued to fix his house for winter, he could not help but ponder what the strange code meant. After a couple of days, the hedgehog had managed to decipher it: “90 degrees north longitude, 0 degrees west latitude. Send help. ”
Later that day after a shopping trip to a big blue box with crazy people in it, Pudgy asked Cobalt about the coordinates. His human friend smiled and hugged him, as they sat on the couch at Cobalt’s house. The human got a strange look, ” Pudgy, this can’t be right. It is the north pole.” The little hedgehog nodded, ” but Cobalt, Pudgy did write it down correctly.” The man rubbed his chin, “has the message ever repeated? “As the hedgehog shook his head no, the two friends put their warm clothes on. Cobalt gently picked up Pudgy and sat him to ride his shoulder as they headed over to the cabin. With Cobalt’s long legs, they made it there in 15 minutes. Pudgy time is usually an hour, but usually longer because he visits the cave of mister dinosaur, and now Xylenia the dragon.
Cobalt inspected the roof repairs, “good job Pudgy fixing the roof. These gashes look like claw mark(s). Next time you see Mister Dino, ask him if he stopped by?” The human had brought his tools as he left his home and was assisting his friend make more roof repairs. The hedgehog inspected his lantern, and the oil filler cap was tight on. There was no way to get it off, so he picked up the lantern and carried it over to Cobalt. Looking up at him, ” can you get the oil cap off?” The man smiled, and picked up the small lamp’s oil fill cap, and twisted it off. It was on tight, so there was no way it could have been tapping on and off. He shook the lamp gently, and there was no lamp oil inside. It had all been burned off, and the water was starting to rust the metal. Off in the distance, Cobalt could see the sun trying to peek out from the clouds. The trees had lost their leaves, the skies were grey, and color was leaving the world.
It was a typical fall in Pennsylvania. As Pudgy looked expectantly at Cobalt, who handed back the lantern, the hedgehog scampered back behind the cabin to put the lantern back. Soon thereafter he started to hear a hissing noise. As Pudgy looked down, his Xanadoom crystal was starting to glow. Pudgy bounced when Doomcock’s voice called out. “Hail Pudgy, how is your day today?” The little hedgehog excitedly spoke, “hail Lord Doomcock. Pudgy good, Cobalt over helping fix the cabin roof.” Cobalt leaned over, “hail Lord Doomcock. Roof leak, but otherwise the cabin is safe.” Cobalt was using a caulking tool to seal air cracks and holes throughout the cabin’s walls and joints. The little cabin needed to be winterized, and this was a common maintenance he helped his friend with. The lord’s voice laughed heartily, however Pudgy made a face, “Lord Doomcock, did you send Pudgy a message via Morse code?” The ruler coughed, ” no I did not, I can message you via crystal now. If I may inquire, what was the message?”
Pudgy relayed the message, and Doomcock grew very quiet. At first Cobalt thought he had left, but the crystal hissed a moment before his voice called out once more. “Pudgy, there is nothing up at the northern pole of the earth. Only ice, and water. “As the hedgehog started to speak, the lantern started swinging, and lit up with a soft golden light. The lantern began to blink once more.
-.. — — — -.-. — -.-. -.-
.– .-. — -. –. –..–
Pudgy scampered quickly into and out of his cabin with paper and pencil. Writing down the code as Cobalt watched and narrated for Doomcock. ” There is no oil in that lamp, yet it is lit up and signaling.” The lord called out, “what is it saying Pudgy?” Pudgy started to decipher and read out loud.” Doomcock is wrong, SC.” Cobalt chuckled, “who is SC?” Doomcock grumbled, ” wrong?” Pudgy looked at the lamp again, “Cobalt, no flame. Pudgy feels no heat.” Cobalt inspected the lamp, “you’re right Pudgy. This is worrisome. It’s almost like magic.”
Doomcock was not pleased to be told he was wrong, so his response involved many words that required Cobalt to cover the hedgehog’s little ears. The lantern went dark, and the friends had to contemplate what this meant. The lord advised he had to go, and the crystal went silent. Pudgy looked up at Cobalt, “is it safe to listen now?” The man nodded and uncovered his ears. He inspected the lantern again; it was empty of fuel oil. Cobalt hung the lantern back on its support. “Pudgy, where did you get this lantern from?” The hedgehog rubbed his chin, “Pudgy got from a nice man in an old stuff store.” Cobalt nodded, “ahh the antique store. Pudgy antiques are wonderful, but many are haunted. That’s why I don’t buy those for the house. I need to do some research. I’ll come back tomorrow.” Pudgy bounced and hugged his friend and waved as he left. The skies darkened quickly, and the hedgehog went to bed thinking about what happened. Cobalt had bought Pudgy a smart phone and given the size of his house as well as Pudgy’s relative size; it was the equivalent of a 65-inch tv set. Pudgy paws were fuzzy, so he had to use a pencil eraser to type with. He listened to Doomcock yell about watchmen as he drifted off to sleep.
Time passed, and soon the next day arrived. Before it was time to go to work, Cobalt stopped by the antique shop. The owner remembered Pudgy, and the lamp. “Yes, I remember your furry friend, he is so nice to do business with. That lamp was sold to my shop by a pipeline worker from Alberta, Canada. He had been working locally on the shale gas well pads. If I may, why exactly are you asking this? Cobalt nodded, “Well, the lantern has been tapping messages via Morse code as well as glowing with no oil.” The shopkeeper laughed, “What a story, ok off with you. I have customers to attend to!” So, as Cobalt left the antique shop, he got into his car. It was time to head off to work, but as he sat in the car a text was sent to his hedgehog friend. Pudgy texted back to Cobalt, advising he understood. Then he turned his focus to the crystal he wore from Xanadoom. “Lord Doomcock, are you awake?” The crystal did not respond, so Pudgy assumed he was still sleeping.
The little hedgehog was doing chores around his cabin throughout the day. Though keeping an eye on the lantern outside as a priority for him. The lantern remained dark and silent since yesterday, it was then the hedgehog remembered the Morse code fun when Harvey first sent the equipment. Pudgy ran the wires from the Marconi device, to the lantern. To Pudgy’s relief, it did not start to tap. He scampered back and connected the power carefully. He sent a test message,
.- .-. .
-.– — ..-
“Are you ok?” Pudgy waited to see if he received a response. When he did not immediately receive a response, he started to do chores again. After an hour passed, the Marconi started to tap a message. The hedgehog jumped to the table to decipher.
-.– . … –..–
..-. — .-.
-. — .– .-.-.-
… .- ..-. . .-.-.-
Pudgy read out loud as he wrote out the code cypher, “yes for now …. SC safe.” Pudgy rubbed chin and began transmitting again.
— . … … .- –. .
.-. . -.-. . .. …- . -.. –..–
.–. ..- -.. –. -.–
–. .-.. .- -.. –..–
.– …. —
“Message received, Pudgy glad, who SC?” The little hedgehog then began to wait again for a response. He texted Cobalt to let him know what was going on, but he was at work, so there was always a delay when he texted.
Meanwhile, in Xanadoom, Doomcock was grimacing beneath his mask. There was only one person he knew at 90 degrees north, 0 degrees west. He had received Pudgy’s message and was pondering how to respond. Thoughts strayed to the days of his youth, before seeing the latest Star Wars news, which snapped him back to reality. He started sending messages to his followers on twitter. He had videos to do, and the hedgehog could wait.
Time passed as it always did, and while Cobalt was at work the next day, Pudgy was playing in the autumn leaves with Xylenia the dragon. His dragon friend stopped by occasionally, now that she was settled in about 300 feet below, within the abandoned coal mine that runs under the forest. Pudgy’s foray Into mining during his last adventure resulted in new caves forming. The local utilities chalked it up to sinkholes forming. The frackers were drilling over the ridge for natural gas, so it was a good story that most accepted readily. Pudgy was telling his dragon friend all about the lantern, so she wanted to see it for herself. The two headed up to Pudgy’s cabin, and to their surprise, the lantern was lit up again. Pudgy scooted into the house and noticed the Marconi equipment was gone along with the wires. As the hedgehog searched his house, he noticed that his window had been pried open. Looking around outside, “Xylenia, someone in Pudgy’s house. Took Marconi.” The dragon looked concerned and scanned the area. “Pudgy, I do not see or smell anyone here.” Pudgy nodded and looked at the lantern, “mister lantern, did you take the Marconi?”
The dragon giggled and was about to correct Pudgy’s statement, when the lantern spoke in a metallic tone like the old automated phone messages. “Yes, lantern needed upgrade, Pudgy.” The hedgehog bounced, ” how you know Pudgy name?” Xylenia craned her neck a bit and sniffed the lantern. “Pudgy, I smell magic. I do not trust this voice. You never know who is on the other end.” Pudgy nodded, “who are you?” The lantern hissed, and the voice spoke again, with a better audio quality. ” I know you better than you think my hedgehog and dragon friends. My name is Klaus. I believe you know me by my more familiar name.” Pudgy started to vibrate, the excitement welling up, and the dragon started to look a bit worried as the hedgehog started bouncing up and down a foot off the ground. “SAAAANNNNTTTTAAAAA!”
Xylenia held onto Pudgy, as firmly as she could, but the unbridled joy and excitement was making him hard to handle. She spoke up grunting, ” umm, Santa, can you calm him down? I’m having trouble….” Pudgy bounced out of her claws, “SANTA, SANTA, SANTA, SANTA!!!!!” The lantern started to laugh, “yes, it’s Santa … Pudgy. Hello Xylenia, how is Xanadoom?” The dragon looked disgusted, “you know how Xanadoom is. Why would you ask me that?” She growled, which snapped Pudgy back to attention. The lantern sighed, ” I see, he sent you away?” Pudgy looked concerned, “Xylenia, ok?” The dragon started to whimper, ” Doomcock sent me away….” The hedgehog started hugging his dragon friend. The lantern, ” why would he do that?” Pudgy looked confused, “Santa, what happened?”
Santa explained, “when Doomcock was a little boy, he asked every year for a dragon. I for obvious reasons, never fulfilled the request, always a toy replacement was offered. It was when he was 12, on Christmas, I left in Xanadoom a dragon egg, with specific instructions. The young lord was to raise the egg, until it hatched. I have my magical ways and could check on the progress. However, one year I was not able to penetrate Xanadoom’s outer defenses.” Xylenia had calmed down and replied, “Doomcock’s father had decided a dragon was not safe and made him abandon me in a cave nearby.” Santa sighed as the dragon continued, “Doomcock would still visit me every day, then every other day, then occasionally, then not at all. Each time he was older and taller. He forgot about me.” Pudgy was wailing and kept hugging her. The dragon sighed and hugged back her little friend. Santa sighed as well, “therefore I never do this. Dragons are not pets, they are friends. Some are almost immortal. I’m sorry Diktor did that to you Xylenia.” The dragon was quiet, and the lantern started to fade. Pudgy spoke, “Santa, are you going?” The lantern blinked yes for now in code
Another day passed, and as Pudgy was busy baking, the little hedgehog wondered if Santa was ok. He would check on the lantern and say hello, but it remained silent. It was shortly after a yummy lunch of cornbread, that Pudgy saw the lantern begin to glow. He raced outside, “Hello Pudgy, are you ok?” Santa’s voice rang out, and Pudgy bounced happily. “Pudgy good Santa. You ok?” The Male voice laughed, “aye, I am. Busy as always at this time of year.” The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy understands. But Pudgy was confused, messages said to send help?” Santa’s voice sighed, “I have a slight issue that comes up every year. There are these reptilian creatures that come out of a cave. They always attack, and steal toys. I must make extra to account for the loss. Usually they run away, but this year is different.” Pudgy rubbed his chin, “How Santa?” The male voice spoke, causing the glow to flicker. “They are now burning and destroying. I am ok, and so are my elves, but the attacks are becoming more brazen each day.”
The hedgehog looked worried, “oh no, Pudgy can help. Pudgy seen Vril before.” Santa chuckled, “No, the best place for you is to be with Cobalt. I believe it is Thanksgiving tomorrow. He would be sad if you were gone. You can bring Xylenia too.” Pudgy frowned, “but she is so big now, no fit in house.” Santa laughed, “what young Diktor forgot, I will let you know. She can change size. All you need to do is tickle her and make her happy. Green dragons when sad start to inflate and can grow 10 times their normal size.” Pudgy pondered, down below, Xylenia was happy. It wasn’t the crystal teleport that resized her. It was only when he went back, she started to grow once more. “Pudgy can bring Xylenia to Cobalt for dinner, YAY! Santa wanna come too?” Santa laughed loudly, “thank you for the offer, Mrs. Klaus says I have to be on site, as it is ghoulash day. You take care my small friend.” Pudgy waved, “bye Santa!”
The lantern grew dark. Pudgy ran as fast as his little legs could carry him until he reached the dragon’s cave entrance. He called down for her. Soon thereafter a slightly larger dragon appeared, looking sad. “Pudgy not now, I don’t feel like playing.” But unbeknownst to the dragon, the hedgehog was ready to strike. She saw the mischievous look, as Pudgy sprang forth with the Dreaded Hedgehog Tickle Attack, or DHTA for short. The dragon started giggling uncontrollably, as quite adept he navigated her safe tickle points. She was a girl, so certain places were off limits. Xylenia started wildly laughing, and gas started to escape from her mouth. It smelled bad, like sulfur. Just as Santa said, she started to shrink. This went on for an hour or so, until Xylenia noticed the surroundings growing larger, and Pudgy bigger.
Pudgy rolled into the leaves, and she did too. “Pudgy, what did you do?” Pudgy explained what Santa told him, and she grinned. Cobalt always made extra food and would most certainly let her come over tomorrow. The much smaller dragon laughed, and said if it was ok, she would come. The two laughed and played in the leaves, as they headed back to the cabin. Pudgy made tea and offered yummy cornbread muffins to his dragon friend. She felt much better, though she had to remain vigilant, lest the hedgehog tickle her again. After a couple of hours had passed, Pudgy secured his cabin. It was very windy, so precautions had to be made. The dragon helped, and then the two headed over to Cobalt’s house. The man was just getting home from work. And was tackled by an excited hedgehog and much smaller dragon.
He hugged them both, and opened his door letting the two inside. It was just like Halloween, with excited friends, and lots of good food and fun. He wrapped up the two in warm blankets and turned the television on. The dragon was happy and was curled up on the couch. Pudgy told Cobalt all about the lantern, Santa, and Xylenia. He rubbed his chin and pondered what this would lead to? If the voice really was Santa, that almost guaranteed the hedgehog would want to visit him. What little kid would jump at a chance to visit the north pole. Which worried him, as if it was a surface route, Pudgy would have to travel through Canada, then over the open ocean. Polar voyages and explorations confirmed ice and water, and no north pole Santa’s workshop. Yet Santa is talking to him, so this must be magic, which he had no frame of reference for. Doomcock could be explained by science, geology, etc. While Cobalt mused, far below the future ruler of the earth made a video and worked on his Patreon activities. It was hard work trying to rule the world.
The next day was thanksgiving. Cobalt’s mother had come over. After a brief explanation of why there was a dragon visiting, she laughed and started cooking. Pudgy and Xylenia watched a parade on television, while cobalt helped to cook. The big meal was fun, and the dragon got to try many wonderful things. The orange triangle thing with white puffy stuff was wonderful. (Pumpkin pie) And after the meal, everyone wrapped up in blankets. They watched silly things, and laughed, before all 4 took a turkey nap. Eventually the decision was made to go to bed for real, and everyone was tucked in. The dragon was so happy. Pudgy explained after the humans went upstairs, that from October through the end of December, there were many holidays. Then in February, Cobalt observed Lent, which resulted in no goodies. The dragon could understand and giggled as the hedgehog curled up beside her.
The next day, Cobalt had to work, so he put mountain monsters on from the begging. Pudgy and Xylenia were transfixed, by the large bearded gentleman looking for spear finger. That would be 12 hours of shows, so Cobalt knew it would keep them busy. His mother left shortly afterwards, so the dragon and hedgehog were left alone in the house. A couple days passed again, and as Cobalt decorated for Christmas, Pudgy and Xylenia played / helped. The man had to explain to the dragon the religious and commercial parts of Christmas. The stories of Santa drew her attention the most though. While historians differ, most explanations of the legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. … Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread, and he became. He was known as the protector of children and sailors. The current version was traced to Coca Cola soda pop, which was a result of marketing.
Pudgy bounced, “get to the good part!” The frustrated hedgehog cried, which resulted in a big laugh. He explained, Santa lives in the north pole where he has a workshop, staffed with elves. The elves make toys, one more wonderful than the next. Santa then loads up the toys in a big sack and delivers them to all of the children worldwide. If they were good that is. This is where the stories start to stray again, as bad children get nothing, while some children get coal in their stockings. Xylenia listened in amazement and munched on pumpkin pie. Then she had a puzzled look form, ” am I a toy?” Cobalt walked over and hugged her, then playfully inspected her, ” no … toys need batteries. And I don’t see you have a battery door or wind up key. Plus, toys don’t eat pie.” She giggled and flapped her wings. Pudgy also scampered over, and Cobalt hugged him, before settling down with his two friends on the couch. He turned on UHF the movie with weird Al.
It was a cold, rainy day outside. The sort of day best for decorating, movies, and silliness. It was shortly after Weird Al made the twinkies weenie sandwich, Pudgy’s crystal started to glow. “Hail Pudgy, it is I lord Doomcock, the future ruler of the earth.” There was a squeak in the voice, and Pudgy laughed, “Hail Harvey Cthulu. How are you today?” The eldritch God laughed, “ok caught me. Pudgy, Diktor is feeling under the weather, so I am handling his calls. I’m good though.” Pudgy explained Xylenia and him were at Cobalt’s house. Fun, food, decorating, etc. Harvey grew serious for a moment, “Pudgy, what of the lantern?” Pudgy bounced, “it’s at Pudgy cabin. Under the covered area, big pine tree branches are all over. Why Harvey?” The eldritch god spoke again, “if that truly is Santa, Diktor and he do not get along. They have had issues before.”
The dragon frowned, “why would Diktor abandon me?” The eldritch God spoke, ” because he is a big jerk. But what would really irk him, is if you went to Santa.” Pudgy bounced, “do you know how to get to Santa, Harvey?” Harvey laughed heartily, ” that I do.” Harvey explained, “there is a stone structure that is located on Killiniq island. It is in a country called Canada. There is a transportation crystal that can be attuned to the north pole corridor.” Cobalt rubbed his chin, “so that is why no one can ever find the workshop? Is it out of phase with our plane?” The God laughed, “yes. Once you cross the gateway, you can make it to Santa’s fortress.” Pudgy looked confused, “you mean workshop?” Harvey cleared his throat, ” no, I mean fortress. Over time, things have crept in and out of his dimension. Including an Eldritch being…” Cobalt blinked, “wait, Harvey. You came from Santa’s dimension? I’m confused, did Doomcock ask for you too?” Harvey grumbled, ” HE CERTAINLY DID NOT, I AM NOT A TOY!” The man stammered, “H… Harvey, I’m sorry, I did not mean…” The crystal grew dark. Cobalt grumbled, ” oh crap. Well, that is more information for us Pudgy. I got out my map application. If I drive, it will take us 17 hours to get to Casse-Croute Louka. Then another 8 hours to get to the end of a road, much farther north. Then it’s another 800 miles to Killiniq island. Maybe there is a reason why it is so difficult to get there. Please don’t listen to Harvey.”
The dragon looked at the phone, and nodded, ” if I return to full size, I can fly Pudgy up there. But I agree with Cobalt. Pudgy, let’s stay here. It’s warm, and fun.” Pudgy looked then bounced, “but we can visit Santa!” Cobalt picked up his hedgehog friend gently, ” Pudgy…. no. I was scared the entire time you headed off to Doomcock. Canada is a dangerous place. Yes, the people are nice. But it is full of bears, moose, elk, wolves, and dangerous animals that would eat you without a second thought. Plus, you would need to travel by boat, into Inuit territory. Native Canadian people, who might try to hunt you. No, please promise me, no trip to the north pole.” The hedgehog tried looking away, but the man’s stern glare was hard to avoid and Pudgy defeatedly sighed. “Pudgy promises Cobalt no go north pole.” Cobalt nodded, hugged his hedgehog friend, then hugged Xylenia, and covered everyone up under a large thermal blanket. Conan the librarian was now on tv. The dragon noted this movie was dumb, but silly.
Time flies as it always does, and soon enough it was Monday again. Cobalt was back at work. Xylenia was playing with Pudgy around his cabin. It was another cold, dreary day. But the cabin was toasty, and the dragon could now actually fit inside with just her head. It was still a nifty day per Pudgy, and he had just finished a lunch of yummy cornbread and honey butter. As Pudgy washed the plates, he heard the lantern hissing again. The two excitedly exited the cabin and sat in front of the lantern. “Santa, are you ok?” They both said in unison. The lantern started to glow. Sounds of hammering could be heard and a female voice called out. “Pudgy … Xylenia. Are you …? reading….” the lantern hissed with a lot of distortion. “Santa …. DANGER …. help …. 90 degrees north 0 degrees west. Help. Oh no, they ……breach …. hisses…” Pudgy and Xylenia looked worried, ” Xylenia! We need to go save Santa!” The dragon nodded, “something is clearly wrong. We should wait for Cobalt; he will know what to do.”
The hedgehog started to vibrate, he knew he had to act, so he scampered into the cabin. The dragon watched him start packing supplies. He also started baking hard tack. ” Xylenia, can you fly us to Killiniq island? Cobalt said it is 1,600 miles.” The dragon nodded, ” yes, but I can’t fly us there in one shot, I’ll need to rest.” Pudgy ran up and hugged her. The dragon nodded and started to sigh. She had figured out how to control her size, so she started to slowly increase in size. Pudgy was trying to pack, but Vril destroyed his old pack, so he made saddle bags of sorts. Canada was cold, so he needed warm things, and fire stuff. Pudgy had texted Cobalt at work, who texted back in all caps: “DO NOT LEAVE TILL I GET HOME.” No smiley faces either. Pudgy continued to pack and peeked outside his window. The dragon had doubled in size, so could easily transport the hedgehog north. The dragon was excited too, this time she would get to go on a Pudgy adventure and get some questions answered.
Cobalt got home from work a couple hours later. He went straight to Pudgy’s cabin, finding a staging area of supplies stacked under a tarp. The dragon had tripled in size, so she was now the size of a car. The hedgehog came out, and excitedly started to explain everything that had happened. Pudgy was worried and stuttered at times. Cobalt picked him up and hugged his friend till he calmed down. Pudgy looked up, and Cobalt sighed. He had printed out maps and had outlined possible routes. The man was worried, given the nature of things now a days. The sight of a green dragon flying in the skies as above would cause much consternation and worry. So, the decision was made to travel at night. He helped Pudgy secure the supplies to Xylenia. The dragon giggled, as the straps tickled her. Cobalt hugged her and asked for the two of them to be safe. If things got out of hand, to come home as soon as they were able to. The dragon and hedgehog agreed. More hugs, then Pudgy climbed on top of Xylenia. She spread her wings and started to fly to the north over the trees. She circled as Cobalt waved, then resumed her northern flight. The hedgehog waved too, and then settled in.
Pudgy consulted the compass, which had a backlight for night travel, and the dragon continued to ascend. She was glad to get the air in her wings again. The skies were cloudy, and a fine cold rain happened occasionally. The little hedgehog secured straps around him and clipped into her harness, then settled in for a long flight. The plan was to make it to Erie, Pennsylvania tonight. They would cross the lake tomorrow night, and cross into Canada. It was about this time when far away in Xanadoom, that Harvey noticed the little green dot that represented Pudgy was moving quickly to the north. Harvey grinned as only he could. Lord Doomcock noticed his grin, then looked at the map as well. He started to speak, but then started to sneeze uncontrollably. His covert rendezvous with Jeremy for a surface video had ill effects, which required recovery. Doomcock couldn’t fully blame the surface dweller, as they had visited several places on the surface. But rest was helping, still, he was concerned as his new hedgehog legionnaire was on an unsanctioned mission. It was shortly afterwards; he received a direct message from Cobalt. “Hail Lord Doomcock. Pudgy received an emergency communication from Santa. Pudgy is riding Xylenia the dragon. Destination Killiniq Island, Canada.” Beneath the mask all color drained from his face, and he boomed, ” HARVEY!”
It had been 12 hours, and Xylenia had managed to make it past Erie, and crossed the lake. The two landed in a forest on a long peninsula across the lake. She had found a cave she could fit in, and then settled in. Her little hedgehog friend scurried to and fro gathering wood and made a fire. The dragon laid her head down and fell asleep immediately. Pudgy hugged her, and curled up beside her, before he too fell asleep. They had made it to Canada safe. The hedgehog would wake up every couple of hours, rebuild and keep the fire going, as well as check on his sleeping dragon friend. If everything was fine, he would curl up beside her and fall asleep again. As the sun arose, the daylight revealed a beautiful view of Lake Erie that stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions. Pudgy kept the fire going and had opened one of his packs. He nibbled on a piece of hard tack. The dragon stirred, and her tummy rumbled. Pudgy bounced over and handed her a corn meal brick. She gratefully took it and tossed it in her mouth.
Pudgy knew she couldn’t live on what he normally ate, so he had raised Cobalt’s fridge prior to departing. The brick consisted of cornmeal, molasses, and hot Italian sausage. Xylenia was quite impressed how good it tasted, and sighed happily, before falling asleep again. Pudgy bounced happily, but didn’t talk, as he knew she needed to rest. Pudgy examined his maps, and the next stop would be outside of Toronto. Cobalt had given him Canadian money, which was not a lot, but should be enough to buy more supplies. Pudgy wondered if dragons liked poutine? The hedgehog also wondered if would bump into Cybertronic Spree Villainest bands in Toronto? The hedgehog shook his head, as that was for later, as he fell asleep once more curled up beside his dragon friend. Pudgy woke up, with the fire out cold. His dragon friend was awake and was trying to root around in the pack. He laughed and got out another cornmeal brick. Xylenia grinned and munched happily as her hedgehog friend picked up and re-secured the supplies. Then began to strap the parcels back onto her. As the little hedgehog climbed back onto her. She started to flap her wings and took to the skies.