Shadow Fall: Chapter 5: Desert

An hour or so passed since the hedgehog had entered the ley line node.  Pudgy remembered that it was a series of jumps, over multiple nodes to get back home.  As he saw the exit portal, the light shone in from the outside world, and then he was ejected out of the earth at a terrific rate of speed.  Shooting high into the sky, Pudgy wanted to cover his eyes, but he had to try and navigate as best as he could.  In many ways he was aerodynamic like a cannonball, but subtle paw movements could affect his trajectory a teeny bit.  So as his vest started to wiggle, when the teleportation stone sensed the next node, he wiggled his nose and readied himself for the fall.  The hedgehog arced, and then began to plummet towards the ground.  

A tremendous sound boomed all around him, with streaks of fire falling around the scared hedgehog.  He did not move his body, but looked left and right, to see pieces of fiery debris falling from the sky.  The node started to glow as he approached, but Pudgy felt his body get hit with something.  It was a chunk of burning metal, which whipped him hard  to the right of the node.  “Noo!  Not that way!” The critter cried out, and watched as he began to head towards a grove of oak trees.  Much to his surprise, his vest started to wiggle again, and the pine trees started to glow a deep burnt orange color.  Suddenly he was pulled into this new node, and was flung deep within the earth.  The temperature was burning hot, and the air smelled like sulfur.  This was not the way to go home, and the little critter hoped he would be able to emerge somewhere safe.  

The fiery debris raining from the sky filled his mind with intrigue.  As the critter pondered where it came from, and why it knocked him off course, the exit portal appeared.  Curling up into a ball, the hedgehog closed his eyes, and felt his body be ejected from the new ley line, and tossed into the air.  Falling quickly, Pudgy landed hard, and rolled several times.  He uncurled when he had stopped rolling, and held his head.  “Pudgy ….dizzy ….”  The sun was shining overhead, in a cloudless blue sky.  It was hot, and extremely dry, with no moisture at all in the air.  Once the world stopped spinning, the hedgehog rolled over and stood up.  Slowly turning around to look in all directions, he could see he was in a huge desert.  What few plants there were scattered about, were a pale brown.  The soil almost burned his paws, due to the intense heat.  Taking his backpack off, Pudgy started to see that his bag had caught fire at some point.  The outer fabric was blackened, and smelled like smoke.  However, thankfully due to several metal tools and his trusty mining helmet, he had survived the debris attack.  

The winter layers also provided shielding, though the flames had burned through his pack in spots.  The little hedgehog undid the straps, and started to check his provisions.  As he had suspected, the fire destroyed one of his winter layers.  The fabric scraps that remained could still be used for something, though.  His canteen was full of water, seeds from the owls were also fine.  He had enough supplies to make it a day or two.  His tools were also fine, though the shovel blade was bent now at a slight angle.  The critter took a moment to repack his backpack, and clip the tools to the outside of his pack.  He had put them inside, because it made it easier for the owls to latch on during the flights.  Pudgy did notice Alabaster had torn his bag in several spots, so this method of flight needed a rethink for his next adventure.  “If Cobalt was here, he could fly us home ….” Pudgy sighed.  

Once properly situated, the hedgehog looked around and could just barely see a ranch house in the distance.  While there would be no humans to help, it still would serve as a place to recover and plan his next movements.  Hopefully there was another ley line node nearby, which he could use to travel.  As the little critter began to scamper through the hot desert, he could see a lone cactus standing out in the distance.  Pudgy wondered if the crazy cacti from New Mexico were doring ok?  They were not bad plants, just very silly, and had all sorts of crazy ideas.  As the hours passed, the beige house drew closer, but also did the cactus.  Pudgy stopped and looked at the cactus, was it moving towards the house too?  

Shaking his head, the hedgehog focused on the house and continued to scamper.  He really hoped that it would not be deteriorated like the others, and there was food inside.  Maybe even power, and air conditioning, wonderful …glorious …air conditioning.  Pudgy would set the thermostat to slushie, and never complain again.  He could feel the heat sapping his energy, and it felt like any moisture in his body was being sucked out of his body.  However, as he could see the chain link fence that lined the property, the large green cactus was standing there and wiggling its appendages.  “SO!  THE HEDGEHOG RETURNS!  After you destroyed Larry’s political career!” Pudgy stopped and looked up at the cactus, he recognized the voice.  “Hello Mr. Cactus,” the hedgehog said while waving.  The dark green cactus moved what looked like arms, and placed on its trunk, “don’t you hi Mr. Cactus me.  You know what you did, and I have to take you back to New Mexico!  It’s against the law to interfere with political campaigns!”

Pudgy sat down and looked up at the cactus with a confused look, “what did Pudgy do?”  The cactus started to bend over and almost seemed to look at the critter.  “YOU MADE LARRY LOSE THE CAMPAIGN!  Now those illegal bunnies are wrecking the economy! They just fly over our land, without paying the taxes.  Now we are going to have to borrow money to finance our operations.  And the tumbleweeds charge exorbitant rates!  65% interest, that is highway robbery!”  Pudgy wiggled his nose, “please Mr. Cactus calm down …. focus … tell Pudgy what happened?”  The cactus straightened out and sighed,  “well since you are under arrest, I have to explain the charges to the accused.  When we last found you trespassing in our territory, there was a huge political campaign going on.  Finally, after years of work, we got onto the ballot for county commissioner.  The human who ran unopposed thought we were a joke, and never suspected a thing.  Then he disappeared, along with the other humans.  Larry suddenly shot up in the polls, and he was supposed to win.”

The hedgehog nodded, “ok, Pudgy still does not understand what Pudgy did?”  The cactus shot back, “I’m getting to that part.  When you and the owl left, we chased after you to Arizona.  Upon our return, we found the desert was full of new animals, roaming around confused.    One of which was that former human commissioner, who returned as a desert hare, and he resumed his role as county commissioner.  He ended the campaign, so we complained, and initiated a recall election.  Our moment of power was nigh, and Larry was set to assume county control! But Larry still somehow lost, and my former compatriot won the election.”  Pudgy looked even more confused, “Pudgy still confused.  Did you vote in the election?”  The cactus bent down, “no.  My vote doesn’t count, I know that crafty hare rigged the election.  I demanded a recount, and Larry still lost.”  The hedgehog wiggled his nose, “what were the vote tallies?  Mr. Bunny , Larry, and Mr. Cactus #2?”  

The Cactus wiggled its appendages again, “one vote for the vile desert hare traitor … one vote for Larry, and 2 votes for my traitorous compatriot who was not even on the ballot.”  The hedgehog raised his paw, “Mr. Bunny voted for himself.  Larry voted for himself, and if you voted, then Larry would have had 2 votes.  In a tie situation, there would have been a second election.”  The cactus started to yell, “THAT IS NOT RIGHT!  THERE WERE CARROT FIBERS IN THE BALLOTS!  THE IDAHO TREES WERE IN ON IT!  THE ONLY WAY LARRY COULD LOSE WAS IF THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED!”  Pudgy walked over and patted the cactus between the needles, “there there ….Pudgy knows you feel bad.  Let it all out …”  The cactus started to wail, “we worked so hard … but Jack told me my vote wouldn’t count.  So I didn’t vote … if only I had voted … Larry would have won…” 

Pudgy was still a bit confused, but starting to understand what happened.  He was also thankful that the cactus was making shade for him to stand in.  As the plant wailed, and started to become unintelligible, the hedgehog looked at the house.  Much to his disappointment, the home had indeed collapsed.  He could see straight through the home, and much of the interior had already been gutted out by a fire.  Looking up at the cactus once more, “Mr. Cactus, where are we?”  The plant straightened up, and nodded almost, “well then … an officer of the court must act with proper composure.  We are located outside what was once called by the humans as Coalmont, in the territory known as Colorado.  You are a lucky hedgehog, we are close to federal court, located on the tall mountain.  I will take you there for your trial.”

The hedgehog wiggled his nose, “what law did Pudgy break?”  The cactus grew quiet, which gave him an opening.  “Pudgy did not break any law!  If there was a law, you as an officer would know it.  Now you’re trying to think about it, and lie to Pudgy some more.  You are not a nice cactus, you are a big meanie pants.  Pudgy doesn’t even know if you are a cactus, maybe you’re just a cucumber!”  The critter scampered as fast as his little legs could carry him, through the chain link fence, and across the sandy ground towards the house.  If he could get to concrete, then the cactus would not be able to follow him.  With his muscles burning, and giving it his all, Pudgy made it to the concrete slab floor of the ranch home, and scurried under a collapsed roof beam to head further inside.  Sliding to a stop on the smooth floor, the critter wheezed, as he tried to catch his breath.  Turning back to peek through a gap in the collapsed roof sections, he could see the cactus wilting.  

Suddenly a second cactus appeared a short distance away, “Kekti!  I finally found you, why did you head off all the way out here?”  The first cactus turned to the newcomer, “oh, leave me alone … CactiKakos.  You won, you stole Larry’s dreams, and I got called a cucumber by the hedgehog …”  Cactikakos moved forward, which was a unique process, since it left a trail of sandy dirt behind in a line.  Pudgy watched as the soil soon flattened out, as if there had been no movement.  He wiggled his nose, and listened intently, now learning the cacti had names.  Kekti started to straighten up, “why did you write in your name on the ballot?  You threw the vote tally off.”  Both cacti saw the hedgehog peeking from the house, “hello Pudgy.  I learned more jokes, so my stand up routine is better now.  Please come over, Kekti was just joking around.”  The newcomer cactus said while waving one of his appendages in a friendly manner.      

Pudgy shouted out, “no!  He said Pudgy broke the law, and was going to be taken to trial in federal court.  Mr Cucumber is a bad cactus, and a big meanie!”  Cactikakos turned to Kekti, “did you really tell him that?  There is no law on the books that our hedgehog friend here broke.  Now say you are sorry!”  Kekti turned and waved at Pudgy, “I’m sorry Pudgy.  You are not under arrest.  I am not a court officer.  You didn’t break any laws.”  The little hedgehog scampered out to the two cacti, and then gently hugged Kekti between his needles.  “Pudgy forgive you, Mr. Cactus.  You are not a cucumber.”  The formerly hostile cactus sighed, and started to straighten back up.  Both cacti were of the saguaro variety, which were tall, with one main stem that stood roughly six feet off the ground.  In addition to the main stem, they had two other stems that could move around like arms.  A pale green was their color, with fine white needles all over their exteriors.  After a couple of moments, Cactikakos soon found himself being carefully hugged as well.  

The group could hear a booming sound coming from above them.  As Pudgy looked up into the pale blue sky, he could see fireballs coming towards their direction.  “OH NO!  EVERYONE SCATTER!”  Before Pudgy could run away, he was suddenly scooped up by Kekti.  “Hold on Pudgy,” the cactus said loudly.  Cactikakos turned as well, and in a very sudden jerking motion, the two cacti were moving very fast through the desert soils.  The little critter held onto the needles of his now rescuer, and watched as the fireballs slammed into the house.  The remaining structure was obliterated, and then set on fire.  The little critter also watched the soil ripple just like a boat motor’s propellor blade in the water.  Turning forward, “Kekti, how can cactus move in the dirt like this?  Pudgy thought you could not move.”  The cactus nodded slightly, “normally we do not move.  But the ley lines give us the ability to move around, and our species has learned how to harness that magic for many purposes.”  

Cactikakos laughed, “our main problem is that we can not travel through rock.  It makes navigating our lands difficult at times.”  The two cacti spread apart, and watched as chunks of fiery debris continued to rain from the sky.  “Pudgy, what is all this stuff?”  Kekti asked, while dodging a tumble weed that had caught fire.  The little hedgehog held on tight, and shouted out. “The humans are all gone, because the owls activated the Gaia stones.  Now that there are no humans, that means no power, and all of the space stuff floating around the earth is falling down.”  Cactikakos nodded again, “that makes more sense than what Larry said.  He said the fireballs were the bunnies’ fault.  They caused global warming, by putting fluoride in the water.”  The little hedgehog was starting to wonder if these two cacti were generally ok, but Larry was the source of all the insanity.  “Can Pudgy meet Larry?”  Kekti nodded, “I like that idea.  Larry is smart, he can figure out what is going on?” 

The cacti raced through the desert soils, heading to the south by south east.  The trio watched with a mixture of awe and fear at the raining debris.  If Pudgy were to estimate, they were moving at about twenty miles an hour or so, based on how quickly the land was passing by.  However, both cacti were becoming tired, and were slowing down.  It took a tremendous effort to move around, and it was affecting their speed.  Kekti slowed to a halt, “I’m so tired … i …can’t … move.”  Cactikakos turned and pointed into the sky, “what is that?!?!?”  As Pudgy turned around, he could see a gigantic square blocking out the sky.  The ground shook violently, and the air was filled with a roaring sound.  The square was a deep black, but shimmered slightly, and almost seemed to reflect the ground as it passed overhead.  

Pudgy’s mouth dropped open, and pointed in dumbstruck awe.  The huge object was causing it to instantly become night, which meant for a time, none one could see until their visual capabilities adjusted to the night.  As the object passed overhead, Pudgy saw huge glowing crystals underneath.  They looked like the crystals he used once before, at the very start of his adventures, but these ones were massive in size.  The crystals glowed with an intense bright red light, and seemed to be emitting thrust.  The air became swelteringly hot, as the 16 glowing crystals slowly moved overhead.  The crystals were placed at equal distances from each other.  While Pudgy looked up, Kekti shouted, “ Pudgy what is it?”  The little hedgehog shook his head, but watched as a blinding white light was quickly approaching.  “EVERYONE COVER YOUR EYES!”  

The hedgehog covered his eyes and shut them tight.  The cacti could not shut, nor cover, their eyes as they could see in all directions.  When the object cleared the airspace overhead, the sunlight quickly rushed in to fill the darkness.  After a couple of minutes, Cactikakos spoke hesitantly.  “Kekti …. Pudgy ….look.”  The little critter looked through his paws, watching a gigantic pale white stone pyramid fly through the skies.  Rows of black hexagonal windows were all over the exterior, and reflected the sunlight, casting beams of light to dot the lands around the structure.  The hedgehog stammered out, “Pudgy ..don’t believe it!  It’s the moon dinosaurs!  They are returning to the earth!”

Kekti wiggled a bit, “moon dinosaurs?”  Pudgy began to tell his tale of going to the moon, but greatly sped up.  The cacti listened, and wiggled happily since it was not often they were told stories.  At the conclusion, Cactikakos nodded, “I would have accused you of fibbing had you told me that story yesterday.  But Pudgy, the proof is in the skies above … What does this mean?”  The critter nodded, “when Pudgy visited the dinosaurs, they told Pudgy that they had made a base on the moon and on Mars.  They sent the young, and eggs to the martian colony, since it was so far away from the earth.  The elderly stayed on the moon, but Pudgy did not see many old dinosaurs there … Something happened on the moon, to make them need to escape.  Mamma Bear told Pudgy, back when their kind lived on the earth, they did terrible things.  The great spirit made them go away, and they were never to return.”  

Cactikakos nodded, “well … they seem to have changed their mind.  They look like their are heading to what the humans once called Pike’s peak.  We can not travel there, it is all rock.”  The little hedgehog wiggled his nose, “can you take Pudgy to where there is a ley line node?”  Kekti wiggled, “yes we can.  It is very close to here, but it does not go very far, just to the foot of the mountain.  But why do you want to go there?”  The hedgehog wiggled his nose, “Pudgy need to know why they are returning?  And Pudgy wants to ask what happened to make them leave in the first place?”  The two cacti nodded, and began to move once more, causing the dirt to ripple behind them.  

The cacti moved as quickly as they could, until they reached a long stretch of rocky ground. Slowing down, they started to squish down towards the ground.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, and watched as suddenly they sank under the ground.  The dirt was getting in his eyes, so the hedgehog shut them, until he could feel the warm air blowing in his face.  When he opened them, the cacti were standing tall.  Kekti groaned, “never did that with a passenger before.  Pudgy, are you ok?”  The little critter shook the dirt off of him, and wiped his eyes with his paws. “Pudgy fine, got dirt in eyes.  That was really nifty, is that how you travel far distances?”  Cactikakos nodded, “yes Pudgy.  There are limits of course, how far, time of day, and how rested a cacti is.  We moved about half the distance to the mountain.

As Pudgy scanned the area, he noticed there was a large blue green lake a short distance away from them.  The lake was once called the Green Mountain Reservoir by humans. Wiggling his nose, “do you two mind if Pudgy goes to the lake to get some water?”  The cacti nodded, and very tiredly moved towards the shore of the lake.  Kekti groaned, “owwwwww…..i can’t do it anymore ….but I can feel the moisture in the ground.”  The little critter very carefully climbed down the trunk of the cactus to reach the ground.  There was a beach around the lake, of dusty sandy soil, that was a pale brown color.  Despite the abundance of water in the lake, the surrounding areas were primarily desert.  It was a sea of brown, light brown, and dark brown as far as Pudgy could see.  There was scant green, which confused the hedgehog.  

Upon reaching the water, the little critter tasted it, to check if it was safe to drink.  After determining it was indeed safe, Pudgy began drinking deeply.  He also took a moment to wash the dirt off of him, which felt very good as well.  The two cacti stood still, and were not talking, as it had taken every bit of strength they had to get this far.  What took them a month or so to travel before, they did in an hour.  Both were very much surprised they could do such a thing, which filled their minds with questions.  The hedgehog returned to sit between the cacti, and bounced happily.  While his new friends recovered, Pudgy began to tell the longer version of his trip to the moon and back.  Kekti asked many questions, while Cactikakos stayed quiet, since he wanted to ask the same things but was beaten to it.  After finishing his tale, the critter scampered back to the lake to drink again.  

Cactikakos looked at his fellow cactus, “Larry did not tell us anything like this?  We have been kept in the dark it would seem.”  Kekti nodded, “I hate to admit it, but I think you may be right.  What else has been going on in this world that we do not know about?  Let’s ask Pudgy, he seems to be aware of things.”  When the little critter returned, Cactikakos wiggled his left appendage.  “Pudgy, what is going on with the world?”  Pudgy sighed, “all of the humans are gone.  The owls, the birds, and many other animals for that matter … used the gaia stones to make the humans go away.  They all disappeared, and were put into a gray void.  The good humans are coming back as animals.  All the human made things are going away, and the world is going back to the way it was before they arrived.”

A small voice shot out behind them, “DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT PORCUPINE!”  Pudgy turned to see a cactus that was about the size of himself had appeared.  Its spherical green body with white needles was roughly 6 inches in diameter and tall.  On the top of it were large pink flowers, which seemed to wiggle angrily.  It was a Rebutia cactus, which was very popular with gardeners.  The little hedgehog waved, “Pudgy is a hedgehog, not a porcupine Mrs. Cactus.”  The small cactus shot back, “I am not a female.  Everyone assumes my gender, why can’t a man have pink flowers?”  Kekti laughed nervously, “Pudgy …. This is Larry.  Larry .. we were coming to see you, but were sidetracked.  A huge black thing flew over us, heading towards the tall mountain.”  

Pudgy wiggled his nose, “Pudgy sorry Larry.  Can you forgive Pudgy, Pudgy learning much about cacti today.”  The small cactus wiggled again, “NO I WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU! You cost me the race, I lost to that traitor standing over there!  He sided with the bunnies, who were working in conjunction with you, to defeat me.  I will make New Mexico great again!”  The hedgehog wiggled his nose, “you are in Colorado, not New Mexico.”  Larry wiggled again, hitting Pudgy across the face with feathery pink flowers.  “We do not recognize Colorado, this whole area is New Mexico.  The humans stole our land away from us.  Once I am in power, this whole region will become my dominion of New Mexico!  But first, we must deal with the traitor Cactikakos!”  

The silent cactus seemed to bristle, but did not say anything.  Pudgy wiggled his nose again,  while Kekti hesitantly spoke.  “Larry … all the humans are gone.  There are no more states, the land is returning to the way it was before them, from what Pudgy is telling us.  That big black thing that flew overhead, has something called dinosaurs on it.  They came from the moon …”  Larry seemed to vibrate even more angrilly, “I said do not listen to that hedgehog.  He is working with the deep state.  He’s part of the fake news media, run by the desert hares.”  The little hedgehog raised his paw, “Larry, you sound very much like this one television station that used to be on the air.”  The Rebutia bounced, “that is the only station on the television in the greenhouse.  I listened 24 hours a day, seven days a week, about the evil demohares.  Only the cactipublicans can save this country!  The demohares are funded by Bill Taco, to destroy our nation.”

Before Pudgy could say anything Cactikakos snapped at the small cactus, “LARRY SHUT UP ALREADY! Enough of this … all these conspiracy theories .. What good is it doing any of us?  We saw a gigantic object fly overhead, and underneath there were these red things that made the air feel like fire.  What happens if it moves over our home?  The other cacti will be in danger.  We have to help Pudgy get to the mountain.”  Kekti nodded, “you sound ridiculous Larry!  I’m tired of being angry all the time, looking for ninja hares behind every tumbleweed.  You know what?  I’m glad you lost!  There … I said it!”  The Rebutia cactus started to shout, “you stole it from me!  That commissioner position was mine, and mine alone. I demand a hand recount!  I demand we call the voters back, and we do open voice voting.”  

It was then when Pudgy started to scamper up Cactikakos’s trunk, and sit carefully between his main trunk and left appendage.  “Can we go now?  Larry is … a stinky head.”  The two saguaro cacti nodded, and started to shrink down to plunge into the ground once more.  Larry was left all alone shouting in the desert, “I WON THAT ELECTION! I WON! I WON! I WON! I CAN’T LOSE!”  The sounds of the raving lunatic cactus were soon muffled by the dirt.  Pudgy shut his eyes tightly, and held onto the needles carefully.  The movement of the soil did not hurt, it was as if he was trapped in a box of blankets.  Sometimes there would be a slight wince, as a rock would bump into him, but that was few and far between.  Eventually, the warm air wafted around the hedgehog once more.  Shaking the dirt off, Pudgy opened his eyes once more.  Cactikakos was halfway bent over, “I see … what you mean …Kekti.  It is …. harder to … move with a passenger!”  

Kekti wiggled and pointed with his left appendage, “look.”  As Cactikakos and Pudgy turned, they could see the huge mountain peak sticking almost straight up into the sky.  They had made it to the base of Pike’s peak, but it also represented the furthest that the cacti could move.  The sun was beginning to set in the southwestern horizon, resulting in strands of light shining through the mountains.  The temperature was beginning to drop, which made both the plants and hedgehog happy.  While the twilight of the fading evening sun formed, the mountain peak was illuminated by red lights.  The Dinosaur’s pyramid was hovering over the peak of the mountain.  The red pterocrystal engines were firing at full thrust, sending a torrent of flame down, which was scorching the mountain.  What little plant life there was on the mountain was being incinerated.  

Pudgy wiggled his nose, “the pyramid …is landing?”  Kekti nodded, “it would appear so Pudgy. But that object is too big, it would fall off the mountain if it were to land.”  The little critter nodded, “The dinosaurs had technology more advanced than the humans.  But in some ways, they were less advanced.  The humans had phones, with touch screens, that could do wonderful things for example.  They must have a way to land, and keep the pyramid from falling over.”  Cactikakos pointed, “look, the mountain …’s melting?”  The trio watched as the intense red glow from the sixteen equidistant pterocrystals had increased their output to maximum levels.  The mountain peak had started to turn into lava, and the rocks melted in a sea of orange and red.  Kekti shouted, “they’re melting the mountain!  What if they use this over where cacti are living?”

The cacti fears were warranted, such a craft would be very dangerous to plant and animal lives alike.  The peak was a barren landscape, so while the geological damage was immense, the loss of plant life was limited.  As the hours passed, the group watched with a mixture of horror and wonder.  Eventually a wide enough base was formed to serve as a proper foundation for the pyramid.  It began to land, which resulted in the crystals being pulled up inside of the structure.  A thunderous noise filled the air, as the ground shook violently.  The structure seemed to sink down in the still cooling lava, but eventually stopped once it was finally in place.  The pyramid began to light up, as tiny dots moved in the windows.  

Pudgy yawned, “Pudgy sleepy.  Can visit dinosaurs after …a … nap.”  The cacti nodded, and watched as the little critter climbed down Cactikakos’s trunk, and fell asleep at his base.  Kekti sighed happily, “I’ll take the first watch.  You get some rest Cactikakos …”  His companion cactus nodded, and grew rigid once more.  When the cactus were sleeping, they would become rigid and firm.  As his companions were sleeping, Kekti nodded and watched the pyramid.  “Never before have I seen such a thing …  I wonder what else lies beyond our deserts?”  The stars twinkled in the skies above.   There were no clouds, save for an errant wisp of smoke from the smoldering fires from the mountain.  The moon was bright, and was just barely a sliver of its usual glory as it approached its zenith of waning.      

After a few hours, and when Kekti couldn’t stay awake any longer, he grew rigid and fell asleep.  As the group slept, unbeknownst to them, they were being watched from afar.  In the stars above, there was a bear’s face forming, and watching over the area with a concerned look.  The pattern dissipated, before being replaced by a procession of bears made from stars.  Their numbers were far too numerous to count, and flowed in the skies like a river.  They were branching off, with some stars even descending from the skies to land in spots around the mountain, and the surrounding lands.  The bulk of the river continued to flow towards the eastern skies, and the rising of the sun on the horizon.

Cactkakos woke up as this was going on, and watched in amazement as the stars moved in the skies.  “My goodness …. What a sight.  Should I wake the others?”  The saguaro looked down at Pudgy, who was softly snoring.  Then he looked over at Kekti, who had made it as long as he could before succumbing to his fatigue.  “No, they can sleep.  I will tell them when they wake.”  The confused cactus pondered, why do the stars move like that?  He had so many questions.  Thoughts floated off to earlier in the day, with Larry’s rambles. The rebutia at first was a ton of fun, and was hands down the life of the party.  He was a smooth talker, and everyone agreed with him.  Then when the election became a possibility, he became obsessed.  He pushed many away in his desperate schemes to win.  Asides from Kekti and himself, few if any would talk to the insane cactus.  The cactus made a look of resolve as best he could muster, “it is time for our kind to grow beyond our limitations.  We must find out more about this world.  Otherwise we will all turn into blathering idiots like Larry….”

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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