A Tale of Two Fuzzles
Snow crunched beneath the Lupe's feet as she walked around Happy Valley. The month of Celebrating always made Lolly miss her home in Terror Mountain, even more so with all the old acquaintances here. After her mother's fiasco with Jhudora, Fyora, and the National Neopian Bank, it hadn't seemed wise to stay in the Haunted Woods where Jhudora had had her moved. Of course, neither was Terror Mountain, where most of her pets had grown up.
It wasn't that Lolly didn't enjoy Darigan Citadel. She really did. But many old friends resided here in the mountain, and it was a pleasure to see them once again. She enjoyed the cold weather, with her old Christmas Coat and her fur still long from her previous Tyrannian paint job. Her wings fluttered gently in the chilly breeze, the one part of her body she left uncovered to be subject to the winter winds. Lolly painstakingly climbed through the last opening in the Ice Caves, only to be smacked with the fierce winds on top of the mountain.
The shops on top of the mountain were few and far between. Lolly could hardly make out the Shop of Mystery or the Igloo Garage, places she had once been a daily patron. However, today was a day for help from an old friend. She could go visit those shops in another moment. But it seemed fate would be forcing her hand today.
As Lolly plodded toward Taelia's, a gust swept across the mountain. Most other pets across the landscape hunkered down in the snow, waiting for it to pass. Lolly, being a long time resident, tried to flatten herself to the snow. She was, however, out of practice. Her wings didn't follow behind her fast enough, and she was dragged across the top of the mountain, into a strong wooden door. Shards flew out of the door, and one wedged in her wing.
She pulled the shard out of her wing, and the cut began to sting. Lolly licked the injury from the sharp wood, her tongue caressing her wing. The wound wasn't stinging by the time the door she was leaning against swung open.
"Well, who do we have here?" Lolly blinked the snow out of her eyes, attempting to see the figure above her. She had fallen into the wooden door, landing inside a small cabin. The elderly red Bori loomed over her as she attempted to stand. This couldn't possibly be him. There was no way she could be standing here, in his shop...
She had heard the rumors about him. They said he would steal your toys in the night to break them, or would sabotage Tarla's shop of mystery, replacing the most expensive items with broken junk, just to put more money in his pocket. It was said he was the reason there were rejected Faerie Queen Dolls.
The man of the myths stood towering over her. Lolly quivered in fear.
"Well?" Donny asked. "Whatcha doing here?" Donny stood back, allowing Lolly to roll to her feet. She could stand on her hind legs just as Donny could, but she preferred four feet. She could run faster that way, just as she was planning to do as soon as she could get out of his shop.
"I just came to see Taelia. I got caught by the snowstorm." Donny looked the lilac Lupe over once, twice, and a third time for good measure.
"You're not a local to these parts, are you?" Donny questioned. Lolly hesitated. She didn't feel like delving in to her past at the moment. Perhaps she would have Rhathra transcribe it some time, so she could just hand it to people to explain.
"I was; I grew up here, and lived here for most of the time with my owner. We got in a bit of... trouble, and we ended up moving to Darigan Citadel." Donny scoffed.
"Gah. Owners." Donny sneered at Lolly, turning away from her and to his work bench. "They ruin everything. Can't have been worse than mine. Who is she, the National Neopian Thief Faerie?" Lolly hesitated and averted her eyes. Donny turned to see her face. He smiled self-righteously, but said nothing else.
"What bring you here anyway? This time of year's not exactly ideal for nostalgia." Lolly was reluctant to share information with the Bori who was known as the mountain's most dangerous resident, but he seemed apt at extracting it from her. As Lolly instinctively reached to press the reason for her visit further in her pocket, Donny snatched it out of her coat.
"Now, what do we have here?" Donny spun the toy around in his hand. It was an old blue fuzzle, but it was well played with. An eye was missing, and most of the fur had been brushed the point of falling. Even the stuffing was leaking out through a foot. "Now, if you didn't need me to fix this, why'd you come here?"
"I was going to let Taelia fix it." Lolly had lost her meekness while talking to the Bori. She hardly had any left since her owner's crime, and she refused to let something happen to her Fuzzle. It was her first toy, and it was her last. She had grown up; Lolly wasn't a pup anymore. But this one toy mean almost as much as her family did to her, and she refused to let anyone hurt him.
Donny's shoulder slumped when he found out the broken toy hadn't been for him. He supposed it shouldn't have been unexpected. Rumors had been circulating about him for years. It just disheartened him when he couldn't even be trusted with his own job. Still, he tried to put on a strong front. Maybe he could win this Lupe's faith after all.
"Maybe I could fix it for you," his gruff voice said, the Lupe didn't seem to agree with the prospect. She snatched the fuzzle out of his reach as he went to get new hair for the toy.
"No one touches Snuggles," Lolly said, sounding like her baby sister. Donny just smiled, this time warmly at her. "I was a toddler, okay!" Lolly said defensively, mistaking his smile for a threat.
"Relax," Donny said. "I meant no harm. I swear, I'm not as bad the rumors say." Lolly turned her head to the side in a question. "What? You think I'm deaf to the mountain gossip?" The old Bori sat down on his work bench, reaching for a toy on his shelf. "I came up here to live, just like you did. Just cause I tough it out up on top of the mountain doesn't make me a monster. It just makes me determined."
His hands finally found their intent, pulling down his own childhood toy. He only let those he trusted see his beloved Lily, though perhaps that was the reason he was talking to the Lupe. However, his fuzzle was in much better care than Lolly's, seeing as it no longer underwent rough play to tear out its hair. Donny set his purple fuzzle down next to the Lupe's sad torn up one.
Lolly petted the soft toy's silky fur, quite similar to the soft hair her fuzzle had once had. Only nice people owned fuzzles... at least, only nice people owned normal fuzzles. Surely the gossip about the red Bori couldn't be entirely truthful if he owned such a toy?
"That was my childhood fuzzle, and I practiced repairing toys for the first time on her. Would you like me to fix your fuzzle?" Lolly nodded, carefully handing over her precious toy. Donny took the thread he had initially pulled out, and sewed the fuzzle's left eye back on.
"He can see again!" Lolly said, hugging the toy before Donny could begin to start on the hair. He chuckled, allowing the little girl in Lolly to relinquish the toy to let him finish fixing it. "I can see again too. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever truly seen you before." Both Donny and Lolly smiled.
The man of the myths had been replaced with the kind and gentle soul known as Donny the red Bori.