Cordilion's Big Adventure: Part Two
Cordie did not awake until small hands lifted him up and began to stroke him. The plushie Noil began to purr as the speckled Aisha read her book and allowed him to rest peacefully in her lap. So it went. Exhausted and starving, Cordie slept, waking only when a reader would scoop him up, settle him on their laps and pet him. The morning passed and Cordie sighed fitfully, dreaming of food.
Cordie was just about to take a bite out of the biggest hamburger he had ever seen when something hard nudged him in the side. He woke with a start and almost fell out of the chair when he saw a black skull staring back at him. It took him a moment to realize that it was a Desert Warf.
“Strays aren’t allowed in here. You haven’t caused any trouble so you can stay for the day only. Your growling belly is going to disturb the library guests. Come with me,” the Desert Warf said.
The Desert Warf hopped down off of the armrest and Cordie followed. The Desert Warf led the way up a flight of stairs, down a book lined aisle, into a reading nook and slid open a secret panel to reveal a food and water bowl.
“Stuff your face but don’t make a mess. I am not cleaning up after you. Don’t forget to close the panel when you’re finished,” the Desert Warf said as he turned to leave.
Cordie polished off the food and water, licking them clean. He had never felt so good! He did as the Desert Warf said, closing the panel before moving back into the aisle. He decided to explore and walked slowly down each aisle. He couldn’t read so the books on either side meant nothing to him.
As the plushie Noil moved through the library, he passed Neopets absorbed by the books they held. Cordie did not understand why this was. What could be so interesting about white pages with black lines on them? Now of the readers acknowledged Cordie until an excited squeal shattered the quiet of the library. A mutant Cybunny scooped him up and squeezed him tight so he could barely breathe.
“Oh, you’re so cute!” the mutant Cybunny girl cooed, carrying Cordie to a group of children sitting in a circle.
The plushie Noil was passed around the circle as they were read a story. Some of the children were better than others. Cordie couldn’t even struggle when his ears, mane or tail was pulled or his eyes poked or paws crushed. He finally stopped in the hold of a baby Chomby. To Cordie’s horror, the baby was the worst of all.
The baby Chomby had three teeth and Cordie could feel all three in his plush fur. Drool seeped into his fur and made him feel disgustingly sticky. She also had a death grip on him tail and kept tugging it, hard. He kept wondering when she would pull it clean off. Thankfully, the story ended and parents arrived to collect their children.
A Christmas Ixi came for the mutant Cybunny and baby Chomby. She took one look at Cordie and her green eyes filled with disgust. She pried the plushie Noil out of her daughter’s grasp. On the way out, she tossed Cordie into the dumpster in the alley next to the library. Just yesterday, this act would have utterly destroyed him.
Now, this had no effect. The plushie Noil floundered to his paws, stepping in unspeakable squishy things. He could feel something sticking to his flank but he ignored it. He tried jumping out but the lip of the dumpster was too far above his head. For the moment, he was stuck.
It did not smell nice in the dumpster. Cordie sat reluctantly with a huff, unable to get comfortable. It wasn’t too long before some garbage bags were tossed into the dumpster. It took some scrabbling but he did manage to get out of the dumpster. It was then that he made a decision.
Neopia Central was not a nice place. Even after that run-in with the Doglefox, Cordie was willing to take his chances in the wild. He reminded himself that it was the reason he had left home in the first place. He had wanted to learn how free Petpets lived. He definitely hadn’t done that!
The plushie Noil headed for the nearest trees and immediately felt the difference. It was quiet in the woods and darker with the sun beginning to set. Even after all of the sleeping he did in the library, his paws still dragged. He managed to find a mossy area near a tree and surrounded by thick bushes. He fell asleep there without a dream to disturb him.
Cordie awoke to find a ring of mushrooms grown in front of him. Faeries flitted about in the small space. Surprised, he watched them dance and sing in their faerie ring. They paid no heed to the plushie Noil and he was captivated. They began to leave as the moon set until only an earth faerie was left.
This faerie fluttered to land on Cordie’s nose. At once, the plushie Noil felt at peace. Everything he had experienced since he had left home faded. The earth faerie seemed almost like a promise. A promise that he would go home.
The faerie left and Cordie rose to his paws. The sun would be rising and he began to forage for food. Unfortunately, he was completely out of his element. He kept getting his mane snagged in brambles, tripping over roots and he couldn’t find any food. Much as he didn’t want to, he had found food in Neopia Central.
Cordie didn’t have a great sense of direction and he felt certain he was lost…until he found himself in a vast clearing and realized he was in a park. Now late morning, there was plenty of activity with Neopets and Petpets alike. The plushie Noil did his best to be stealthy. Amazingly, he made it almost out of the park when he walked smack dab in the middle of a Spyder web. Caught off guard, he tumbled into the open, letting out squeaks of alarm as he tried to rub the sticky strands off.
“Here, let me help you,” a voice said and before Cordie could react, two hands had scooped him up.
The plushie Noil was brushed off and he was turned to face a starry Zafara. Then, there was movement in the Zafara’s black and blue shoulder length hair that revealed a starry Spyder. Cordie struggled to get away.
“Calm down. Abhay is friendly. You certainly look like you could use some friends,” the starry Zafara said, her dark blue eyes studying Cordie.
Cordie, for the first time ever, saw from someone else’s point of view. At the moment, he was not a pretty picture. He was dirty, torn, missing several yarn strands and losing stuffing. He was covered in mud, saliva and who knew what else. Not to mention the smell!
The plushie Noil had never had a friend before. So, Cordie felt sure that the starry Zafara would throw him away. He was very surprised that she didn’t. Instead, she held him close, seeming unfazed by his current state. She introduced herself as Abeje and the yellow Pteri standing beside her as her brother, Niv.
It turned out that the two had put together a concert in the park for later that evening. They had come by to see things were going well. Now they had a free hour and a half. As they were discussing their plans, an Usukiboy Usul joined them. He smiled warmly at Abeje and shook hands with Niv in greeting.
Then, the newcomer saw Cordie, an unreadable expression in his ice blue eyes. “Who is this?”
“I don’t know his name. I just rescued him from a Spyder web and no, it did not belong to Abhay,” Abeje said.
“Didn’t think it did. I know Abhay is friendly. He doesn’t use his silk unless he absolutely has to. This little guy looks like he has been on his own for a while.”
“He definitely needs help,” Niv said.
“How are we going to do that? He’s a plushie Petpet and none of us can sew. The only one I know who fixes broken toys is Donny in Terror Mountain,” Abeje said.
“I am not taking him back with me when I go home to Tyrannia!”
“You don’t have to do that, Niv. I know a seamstress,” the Usuki Usul said.
“That’s great!” Abeje beamed at the Usuki Usul.
“I’ll inform her. I’m certain she can help our new little friend.”
“Tomorrow. Right now, we have a date.”
“A what?!” Niv interjected, hazel eyes piercing.
“An appointment, if you will. I thought your sister would enjoy learning how to make a galaxy in a jar.”
“A what?!” Abeje this time, sounding extremely excited by this new prospect.
“Here, I’ll show you.”
Abeje put Cordie down and Abhay stood beside him. “I love Abeje but I can’t stand messes. Not that I can avoid them today.”
“All I can think about is food,” Cordie admitted sheepishly, looking down at his paws: gray, tattered and worn.
“You’ll eat soon enough. Abeje tends to get carried away but I’ve always been there to reel her back.”
Cordie could see what the starry Spyder meant. Abeje, Niv and the Usuki Usul (who he learned was named Dominico) were now surrounded by a growing group of children. Glitter and paint were running rampant but so were smiles and laughter. A safe distance from the mayhem, Cordie told Abhay his story. When he finished, he felt the starry Spyder place a spindly leg on his mane (what was left of it, anyway). He managed a smile and felt a glimmer of warmth when Abhay smiled back.
“Abhay really can make friends with anyone,” Abeje said.
“He has that in common with his owner,” Dom said.
“We really do have a lot of differences. It’s just that our similarities matter more.”
Abeje was covered in glitter and paint. The children had dispersed and all of them mess was cleaned up.
“Who’s hungry?” Abeje asked, looking at the others.
Food at last! After a brief discussion, Pizzaroo was decided on. They ordered a Starberry Pizza. It was a first for Cordie but he had to say he liked it. Hungry as he was, he would have been happy with anything.
After lunch, it was back to the park. The concert was set to begin at six. Thankfully, everything was going according to plan. Cordie followed happily at Abeje’s heels as she spoke with other Neopets. The plushie Noil wasn’t really listening.
For the next couple of hours, Cordie stayed with Abeje. Almost everyone that saw him wanted to pick him up and cuddle him. He found that he liked this sort of attention. He had never received anything quite like it. For the first time ever, Cordie found that he was truly enjoying himself.
To be continued…