Cordilion's Big Adventure: Part Three
Now mid-afternoon, the musicians began to arrive for their pre-concert practice. Drums, guitars, pianos, flutes and even a triangle were all on the stage. Niv was among them, playing every instrument with ease. Cordie was amazed by it all. He liked these Neopets he had met.
Soon, the audience began to arrive and the concert began. Cordie was not comfortable in the large crowd, having not been around much activity before. Thankfully, no one took any notice of him now. Their attention was riveted on the stage. Cordie took this opportunity to take a nap, tired out after his day.
The plushie Noil awoke as the audience was leaving at the end of the concert. He yawned and stretched as Abeje also left. The sun had set and stars were scattered across the sky. He followed the starry Zafara as she settled in an open area of grass. When he sat beside her, she began to point out constellations.
Cordie’s head spun with all the things he learned. He was relieved when Abeje finally stopped talking. He didn’t know how long they stayed there, faces raised as they gazed at the stars. It was different from anything he had ever done. It was nice.
“Come along. Niv will be wondering where I am,” Abeje said as she rose to her feet at last.
The starry Zafara got a Uni cab and Cordie looked out at the scenery. He had never moved so fast! He almost got dizzy from the ride but just as he was about to sit down, the cab came to a halt. They stepped out and walked past a pond and a hill before entering a Neohome.
“Make yourself at home,” Abeje said to Cordie as she walked down a hall.
Cordie padded after the starry Zafara but halted as she opened a door. It was a bedroom and a messy one at that. The messiest he had ever seen! The plushie Noil had been used to neat, almost sterile spaces in complete contrast to the room before him now. Yet, he wasn’t repulsed by what he saw.
This bedroom looked lived in. It must be comforting to live in such a place. Though, perhaps not to sleep in. The plushie Noil flicked the tip of his tail as he surveyed the room. He watched as Abeje dumped a pile of clothes on the floor and stretched out on her unmade bed.
“Come on over here and join me. There’s plenty of room, if it doesn’t look like it,” Abeje called, half-rising to beckon Cordie forward.
After a moment of hesitation, Cordie picked his way to the bed. He reached up with his paws, unable to jump that high up, especially with his hind leg with the long tear in it. That leg had been increasingly losing stuffing and Cordie had begun limping heavily on it. Understanding shone in Abeje’s dark blue eyes and she easily lifted Cordie up beside her. He walked to her pillow and circled a few times before laying down.
As Abeje settled herself, she looped her arm around Cordie’s curled up form. He began to purr as Abeje drifted off before following her lead. He had no dreams and did not awake until his nose twitched. He blinked open his eyes and took a moment to recall where he was. When he did, he realized what had woken him was the smell of food.
Abeje was still sleeping and Cordie found that she had him tucked close in her embrace. He found this very appealing but his stomach was now growling madly at him. The food was calling his name! He shifted, doing his best not to disturb Abeje. He was looking for Abhay, hoping to get some help from the starry Spyder, but there was no sign of the other Petpet.
Cordie let out a little huff. Abeje had been very nice to him. He had no reason to be afraid of her now. So, he gently reached forward and nudged her with his brown nose. No response from the starry Zafara.
Another nose nudge and this time Cordie placed one large paw on Abeje’s face. Still nothing! He had no idea that anyone could sleep so heavily. For his third attempt, the plushie Noil leaned slowly forward and licked her on the nose. Her nose twitched and, encouraged, Cordie continued his ministrations with his velvet soft tongue.
Abeje scrunched up her face and wriggled, holding on to sleep but failing under the attention she was receiving in the waking world. Finally, her eyes snapped open and Cordie paused, tongue sticking out, ready to continue if needed. The starry Zafara smiled down at the plushie Noil curled up in her arms and then she sniffed the air, eyes alight with interest. She laughed, gently putting Cordie down on the floor.
“I know why you were trying to wake me. I’m a heavy sleeper and I usually wake up late but that food sure smells good! Come on, let’s eat!” Abeje led the way to the kitchen and as she did, she continued talking to Cordie who followed eagerly at her heels. “Are you ready to get yourself fixed up? Today’s the big day! I don’t know how long you’ve been struggling out there on your own but I’m sure you’ll feel good as new when Dom’s seamstress gets done with you.”
Cordie wished he could respond but he was more focused on the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. They entered to see Niv already eating a plate of waffles and Dom at the counter.
“Good morning!” Abeje said with a radiant smile.
“Beautiful!” Dom said, looking just as happy.
“You do know how early it is, right? For you, I mean. 9:30, in the morning!” Niv said, sounding shocked as he looked at his sister.
“Yes, I know, Niv. Someone was just eager to eat this morning and get the day started,” Abeje said, casting a rueful glance Cordie’s way.
Abeje and Cordie ate breakfast and then it was time to go. Once more, Cordie found himself in a Uni cab. This time, he settled on the seat beside Abeje and waited for their ride to end. They stopped before a small storefront and Dom led the way inside. An elderlygirl Bruce came to greet them.
“Where is the plushie you would like me to work on?” the seamstress asked.
Cordie took a step forward and the elderly Bruce looked down at him. She clucked her tongue and gently lifted him into her arms.
“Leave him with me. I’ll look after him now,” the elderly Bruce said.
Abeje rubbed Cordie’s head in goodbye. The plushie Noil looked up at her and knew that he would miss her. She had treated him so kindly and he would never forget that. He leaned into her hand before watching her leave with Dom and Niv. Once they had gone, the seamstress got straight to work.
It took almost two hours for the seamstress to clean Cordie up. The plushie Noil made no fuss because he knew he was in capable hands. It was such a relief to be clean again! His thin mane had been restored to full fluff. His lost stuffing had been replaced and every tear in his plush pelt had been resewn.
Cordie felt like a new Noil!
The seamstress watched him with a gentle smile on her face. “Are you ready to go home, Cordilion? Jani has been searching for you desperately. My shop was one of the first places that she stopped when you went missing. So, when Dom told me that his friend had found a plushie Noil in need, I knew that it had to be you. I’ve already let her know and she should be here any moment.”
Cordie flicked his round ears, completely taken aback. Then a thrill ran through him. Home! The plushie Noil was more than ready. The seamstress understood as she rose to her feet.
Cordie sat on the counter, just in front of the door. Restless, he flexed his claws. When would Jani arrive? He was just about to start pacing when the door opened. He froze to the spot, suddenly senseless.
Then, Jani was racing towards him and Cordie leaped into his owner’s arms. It felt wonderful to be snuggled in this way by the one he loved most. He had never received attention quite like it, at least not from the plushie Gnorbu. He recalled for an instant the way Abeje had instinctively treated him this way. Until he had left home, he had never known what he had missed: love. He pushed his face into his owner’s thick mane, soaking the moment in.
The moment ended and it was another cab ride before Cordie was back home. Nothing had changed. As he walked the empty halls, his mind was no longer empty but full of his adventure. It had been both good and bad. The plushie Noil was not the same Noil that had left home only mere days ago.
Alone most of the time, Cordie had plenty of time to think.
Finally, Cordie came up with a plan. The next time Jani got ready to leave, he sat right in front of the door. His owner just laughed and gently moved him out of the way. Frustrated, the plushie Noil growled. Thankfully, a second plan was not long in coming.
Executing the plan was another thing altogether. It wasn’t easy to do and Cordie wasn’t sure how to do it either. Not to mention he was worried that this plan wouldn’t work. What would he do then? The plushie Noil saw an opportunity and he took it.
At least Jani seemed none the wiser to her plushie Noil’s scheme. Though, why would she? He was well hidden and now he just had to wait for the right moment to act…While he did, his curiosity was going full tilt. It had been fully awakened by his adventure.
Sensing his chance at last, Cordie went for it. To his horror, he felt Jani’s bag-where he had hitched a ride out of the mansion-fall and land with a rather loud clatter. He managed to wriggle free and found himself in a strange Neohome. A crowd of ‘pets entered the room, Jani at the front. She looked shocked to see her plushie Noil.
“Cordie, what are you doing here?” Jani only looked puzzled, as if she couldn’t fathom why her Petpet was acting so differently all of a sudden.
“Aw, he’s so cute! Jani, why didn’t you tell me you had a Petpet? Phubbie loves meeting new friends,” a disco Kacheek said, stepping forward.
Following the first’s example, the others gathered around Cordie. They began to pet him and he purred louder than he ever had before. He looked at Jani, who had only been staring at him, surrounded by her friends. Then, she kneeled too and joined the group on the floor. At once, Cordie headed for his owner’s lap.
They stayed for a few hours before leaving.
On the way home, Jani addressed Cordie. “I’m so sorry. It never occurred to me that you would be lonely, Cordie. I thought that our home was enough for you. I didn’t mean to keep you locked away. Well, not anymore! From now on, you’ll come with me when I go out. You’re already a big hit!”
Cordie’s plan had worked! Purring, he touched his nose to Jani’s face. On his adventure he had learned that Petpets with owners had many different roles but they were all involved in their owner’s lives. That’s what Cordie had decided he wanted, too. He was so glad that Jani finally understood.
It didn’t take long for Cordie to meet new friends. Now he traveled with Jani constantly. Everyone wanted to get to know the little plushie Noil. Cordie was thankful for everything he had learned on his adventure.
Life had never been so good!