The Origin of Dramy
Story by Dramy
Part 1: It All Start with Hoborg.
It was early one Neverhoodian morning. Fwasheep were baaing, klaybirds were grawking, and morning Hoodians were cheerfully annoying their sleepy friends. Through it all, the castle stood quietly. Hoborg was up, and well awake, but not making any noise. He was in a thoughtful mood. Hoborg sat on his throne. In his hand was a fresh new life seed. Holding it in the air, he regarded it with an almost questioning gaze. It had been quite a while since he had last created a being. What with his sons and grandsons creating beings of their own, the Neverhood had not required it of him anymore. But, as his nephew, and close friend Willie Trombone once said, Hoborg had to create... because he had to. Hoborg reached down to place the life seed on the floor.
"Hoborg! Hoborg!" came a cry. He stopped. A hysterical looking hoodian came running into the throne room and skidded to a stop.
"Yes, my son?" Hoborg inquired.
"Ho Ho Hoborg!" the agitated fellow wheezed, "There's big trouble... at the Lakewall..."
"What's the matter?"
"Someone's stuck on a ledge, high near the top of the Lakewall, and the car is wrecked at the bottom!"
"Oh no..." said Hoborg, concern in his voice.
"It's Kju too, and the poor guy's scared out of his mind! Kliff's off somewhere... and Bil... (Gasp,) hasn't recovered from that weasel kicking accident. Mannies is... trying to climb up to him, but... he's not doing very well. Uh... there's a bunch of us there... er... just in case..." the hoodian gasped, out of breath, and fortunately out of things to say. He hunched forward, bracing his hands against his knees for support.
"Oh dear, poor Kju," murmered Hoborg. He looked down at the life seed in his hand, "Hmm... right." He stood up, and spoke firmly, "Run back and tell everyone I'm on my way. And tell Klenn to get down before he hurts himself! I'll take care of it." With a wheeze, the messenger turned and stumbled back out through the doorway. "Hmmm..." Hoborg looked down at the life seed again. He didn't have time to bring it to life now, and he couldn't take it with him. Glancing around the throne room, Hoborg spied a shelf, and went to place the life seed on it, "Now, don't wake up until I come back and say so." He waved his finger authoritatively. The last time a life seed came to life on its own, things had worked out perfectly well, but still... Hoborg preferred to be around when his children came to life.
Hoborg rushed from the throne room, and bustled down the hallways. He returned laden with ropes, and hooks, and a backpack full of equipment. "Right then," he nodded, and jogged out toward the front door. As Hoborg's footsteps receded, the throne room fell silent... almost.
Late in the afternoon, Hoborg came clumping home. He had no capacity for facial expressions, but his shoulders drooped, and a frown was in his mind. This had been no ordinary prank... the Lakewall vehicle had been badly damaged, and Kjumen, placed in real danger... not to mention, scared nearly witless. What was more, Kju couldn't identify his assailant. Apparently someone had grabbed Kjumen while he was still asleep, blindfolded him and dragged him off to the Lakewall. All the little fellow could recall of his kidnapper was an evil cackle. As he opened the front door, Hoborg reflected that it would probably be weeks before Mannies could persuade Kjumen to use a wall car again. As he entered the throne room, Hoborg remembered the person he had started to create, early that morning. Oh well... as soon as he put his equipment away, he'd finish creating the fellow, and tomorrow he could try to figure out this whole prank thing. Hoborg unslung his backpack from his shoulder, and glanced over to the shelf... The backpack fell suddenly, landing on the ground with a crash. The lifeseed was gone! Hoborg slumped miserably in his throne, face in his hands.
Nearly a week had passed. Nothing more in the way of further serious pranks had occurred, but more importantly, no sign of the life seed was found. Hoborg had told his subjects to be on the lookout for a new hoodian wandering around, but did not believe a lifeseed would come to life on its own if he expressly forbid it. Hoborg feared that someone had stolen the seed for his own purposes, probably the same person who set up the whole Lakewall incident. Practically the entire Neverhood had been combed for this life seed or a new hoodian, but nothing had turned up. He was running out of ideas. What now? The lifeseed was stolen, or lost... or perhaps... Hoborg shook his head. If it was destroyed, there wasn't much he could do about it. He did not even know who it would have become.
Now, if it did still exist, that was something, but what? He could try to take back his order not to come to life on its own, and hope it would. That could land the new guy in a sticky situation, but it may be worse to leave the seed wherever it was, or in the hands of whom or whatever might possess it now. Maybe it was worth a try... The ruler of the Neverhood stood up, and lifted his hands, "My son, you may come to life, with my blessings." he spoke, solemnly. He sat down again, slowly. Hopefully that would work. Perhaps the seed was merely misplaced, somehow.
Part 2: Lost in the Darkness.
When I woke up, I was face down in a pool of cold water. That was my first clue that something was wrong.
I sat up, slowly, and wiped my face with a damp hand, "Ewww..." I looked around and saw the jagged stone walls of a cavern. Jutting out of the wall in front of me was a metal pipe, slowly adding water to the puddle in which I was sitting, "Where am I?" I muttered, groggily, *Blink.* "Who am I?" I asked, rather disoriented. I reaching my hand up to scratch my head, (left handed I discovered.) I could not recall anything in the way of a name. In fact, I could not remember anything before waking up a few minutes ago. As I scratched I became aware of a strange thing. It felt like I had... leaves and a stem, growing from the top of my head. Was I a plant?
I looked down at myself, and in the darkness could only make out two legs, two arms, a torso... and what looked like a lump on my chest, a button of some sort. Was I a machine? Pushing it, cautiously, I thought, Gee, I hope I don't explode or turn off or something. When a compartment opened in my chest, I was quite surprised, "Woah... nifty." Rummaging around, I found something inside. It was a... something. It looked like a cute little musical instrument. (Later, I found out it was a kazoo.) I blew on it.
*Vwaak!!* I winced at the enormous noise the little device produced in the echoing caverns, and glanced around nervously. Tucking the object back into my chest, I pushed my button. The compartment snapped shut. I stood up and looked around again. There seemed to be some light coming from my left. I started off in that direction, and after a couple of moments, reached the cave's opening. I gasped. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Granted, I had not seen nearly anything else at that point in my life, but you get the point. A strange wonderful world stretched out before me. It was the Neverhood. I did not know that then, but I do now, and still can not completely describe it. It just seemed so eccentric and yet.... comforting, with beautiful colors and odd angles. Each building in the landscape was a being of oddity, no two stood in quite the same way. In fact, some buildings seemed to curve and twist more than they could be said to stand. There were plants too, trees and shrubs and unidentifiables. They had personalities as well; One could tell by the way it held itself, each plant's outlook on life. Having no memories, I had no way of knowing what to expect from a world, but this took my breath away.
Then, I looked down, and discovered that I was afraid of heights. I was a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way up.
"Eee hee!" I scrambled away from the edge, "Gonna have to find another way out." Slowly, I moved back into the darkness. Fortunately, instead of just ending abruptly, (which would have left me trapped,) the cave opened up into a series of underground tunnels. Luminous fungi grew on the walls, keeping it from getting too very dark. The light from the fungi (which was generally green, blue or red in hue,) was caught and reflected by an occasional crystal formation, playing across long twisted stalag thingys. "You know," I commented to myself, as I stopped for a momentary rest, "It's actually kind of pretty in here."
*Plock.* It was a small sound, like a pebble being kicked. I glanced around, but all I could see were fungi, crystals, and stalag thingys. Holding my breath, I crept away, stretching my legs to take looong quiet steps...
Quite some time later, I fell asleep. I am not sure why. I don't even remember being sleepy. I just stopped to rest again and get my bearings, thinking about how hungry I was, and fell asleep. And down there in the caves, I had an awful dream, a terrible, frightening dream...
It was all about this strange scary man, with fangs, and claws, and an evil cackle. He had his fingers locked around my throat, and shook me, violently, throttling my breath away.
The whole time, he was screaming out, "Not right! Not right!"
And for some reason, I kept replying with a strangled cry of, "I can't hear you!" That was when I woke up, all alone. I jumped to my feet, wide eyed and staring. When no crazed fiend jumped at me from the shadows I calmed down, a little. I stood like that for a while, though, just wringing my hands, and trying to think of what to do next. "Oh man..."
Eventually, I picked the obvious answer and started moving again. Slowly I trudged down a tunnel that veered to my left. "Oh man..."
After a half an hour or so of walking, I came to a four way intersection. I no longer worried about my dream. I was too busy agonizing about how completely lost I was, completely and utterly. Not only did I not know where I was, I had no idea who I was. I was not even sure what I was. All I knew was that I was stuck. Sitting down against a stalag thingy, and placing my face in my hands, I sighed miserably.
I jumped up and frantically threw my gaze around the chamber. Nothing was there. Not for the first time, I wondered what sort of creatures might live down here... in the dark. Something touched my right foot. "Gaaah!!" I jumped nearly twelve feet into the air and clung to the stalag whatever. The something squeaked and scurried off into the darkness. I caught a glimpse of the creature as it passed near a patch of glowing fungi. The animal was tiny and fuzzy, with a long bare tail. "Just a little fella," I sighed, sliding back to the floor, "Sorry, little fella!" I called after the creature, vaguely waving my hand.
"Aww, he doesn't care." called a voice out of nowhere...
*Toing!* I froze up, suddenly, standing stiff as a board. I think my teeth actually fused together.
Somehow I managed to wrench my jaws open, "Pardon?" I asked.
"You oughtta go left. And don't bother apologizing to dumb old rats. They don't care."
"Oh. Um. Thanks. Left, you say?"
I turned left. What else was I to do? As I walked, I pondered the voice. This was not the voice of the fiend from my dream. This voice sounded much smaller and higher, with a tendency to rasp slightly at the end of its syllables. I soon stepped into a new chamber. This place was smaller than the last, and had only two other tunnels leading away from it. One went straight ahead. The other led to the right.
"Go right." came the voice.
"Okay." This went on for quite some time, far too long to describe in its entirety. Eventually, I found myself squeezing through a crack in the stone wall. On the other side was daylight. Luckily, I was just thin enough to make it. "Whew," I gasped. "Thanks for saving me and all!" I called back into the tunnel. No reply came back. I shrugged, "Oh well, thanks!"
I can not be certain, but as I walked away, I think I may have heard someone say, "Aw... don't mention it."
Part 3: In the Light but Still in the Dark.
Striding out into the wide new... whatever, I took a deep breath. I felt cheerful. I felt relieved. I felt... hungry. Putting a hand to my aching stomach, I realized that I had not eaten since before I could remember. In fact, all things considered, I may never have eaten before at all! Looking about, I wondered what sort of thing passed for edible in this place. I saw many things that were wondrous and beautiful, but it took a while of wandering before I found anything tasty. It was a short tree, or a tall bush, and green fruit hung from it, full and juicy looking. I plucked one, and took a hesitant bite. Yum! I crammed the rest of it into my mouth and reached for another. After about four fruit, and some rather eye crossing burps, I started storing some in my chest compartment.
"Just in case... " I said to myself.
"Hey!" someone called, "Who are you, and what do you think you're doing?" I dropped a fruit, and it hit the ground with a shloomp! Looking up, startled, my eyes took in a strange fellow striding toward me. This being looked a little like me, but he was blue, with two stems growing from his head. He was a bit shorter than I, but sturdier looking. (Which is not saying much. I was soon to find that I am quite slim, compared with most people.) He frowned at me in a most disturbing manner. I got the feeling that here was a creature that had never, ever worn a cheerful expression.
"I I'm s sorry?" I stuttered.
"Who are you?" The person snapped.
"Speak up! Tell me!" he demanded.
"I, uh, don't know." My shoulders sagged, dejectedly. I was surely in trouble now. The being smiled. It was a scary, malicious, cruel smile, the sort that the Bad Man from my dream would have used. I began to shiver.
"Ohhh..." he spoke, slowly, "You're new, aren't you?"
"Um." I articulated, helpfully.
"Well, my scrawny friend, you shouldn't have oughtta done that!"
"Uh, b but I didn't know."
"Yeah, what a pity." He didn't sound very sympathetic to me. "You're in trouble now! Hoborg doesn't like it when people eat his mulberries."
"But, I didn't know!" I repeated.
"He won't care. He'll be too mad!" The blue creature's smile widened, suddenly. "He'll be especially angry when he finds out it was such a freak as you."
"Well, look at yourself!" The being sneered, disdainfully, "All green," he pointed at my legs, "and spindly, with those, those things, leaves growing out of your head! You're hideous! A hideous mutation!" He scowled into my face, pointing at my forehead, "What are those?"
"What?" I yelped. "Those things above your eyes! On your brow!"
"Eye... brows?" I guessed.
"Hmph." He grumbled, "I suppose nobody's completely imperfect." Then, slowly, he smiled again, "I wouldn't want to be you when Hoborg finds out!"
"Do you 'have' to tell him?" I half whispered, half whimpered.
"Oh, I don't 'have' to tell him anything. Hoborg'll find out..." he wiggled his fingers in the air, mystically, "...somehow. He always does." The blue person leaned toward my face, grinning, and I backed into the tree. "When Hoborg finds out you've been eating his mulberries, I bet he'll take a bite out of you, you planty freak!" I gulped. He reached up and pulled on one of my leaves.
"Yipe!" I yiped. The blue guy let go, turned, and strolled away.
"So long, Fruit Head!" he called over his shoulder. I shook in earnest now. What was I going to do? I tried to call after the blue fellow, but by the time I found my voice, he was long gone. "Oh blah!" I moaned, "Man, I don't even know who Hoborg is! I don't even know who I am!" My arms hanging limply at my side, I trudged away from the tree. What to do now? That was when I heard the voices. Someone was coming! I yelped, and broke into a run, definitely not prepared to deal with anyone else yet. Ducking behind a convenient wall, I paused to listen.
"Come on!" called the first one.
"Awww... do we really have to?" replied the second, "The party's not 'till late tonight! It's still so early in the morning!" the voice yawned.
"Dude, you can't fool me! If you're up, you're always wide awake, no matter what time of day it is!"
"Okay, you got me, but... it's you that I'm worried about! You aren't used to getting up so early in the morning! You're half asleep! Barely dragging along! Just look at yourself! Wouldn't you be taking better care of yourself if you were in a nice, warm, comfy bed right now?"
"Stop (yawn.) trying to cop out on the work, man! You aren't getting away with it!"
"Look man, do you want this party to rock?"
"Do you want it to rule?"
"Do you want this to be the most excellent, incredible... dare I say it...? The grooviest party this little 'Hood has ever known?!!"
"Yes!!!" the second voice cried out, exultantly!
"Then, let's get going with those mulberries!"
The second voice mumbled a bit, in reply, nothing comprehensible. I peered around the wall. Two people were busy, plucking mulberries from the tree, and dropping them in a large basket by the roots. Both of these people had multiple stems growing from their heads. The taller guy's stems were all yellow, and he wore a headband, apparently to keep them out of his face. The stems of the shorter fellow were mostly brown, except for one yellow one which drooped forward over his eyes. Instead of the shorts that the blond guy had on, this guy wore something in the way of a skirt.
"Hey Skeezie!" he cried, turning out to be voice two, "Look alive!" The blond fellow (voice one by process of elimination) glanced over, and took a fruit in the stomach. He fell down, sprawling, "Hey man, wake up willya!" cried voice two's owner.
"Devil strikes again!"
"Ha ha." said Skeezie in a wearily mirthless voice. He picked himself up, dropping the squishy mulberry, and leaning against the tree. Turning his eyes upward, he paused, as if noticing something for the first time, "Hm. Looks like someone else has already been here today, in a big way!!" He plucked at an empty branch. I winced and pulled back behind the wall.
"Couldn't have been Doo," Klaymour replied, "He's never, ever up this early! 'Sides, they're growing back already like always, so no prob, right?" Skeezie made no further comment. They continued gathering in silence. Soon they finished, and picked up to leave. As they trudged away, I heard 'Devil' call out cheerfully, "Man, you really are out of it in the mornings, aren't you?"
Skeezie's reply was too grumbled and far away for me to understand. Peering back around the wall, I wondered about what had happened. Those two beings just stole from Hoborg's tree, and somehow they did not seem concerned about his wrath. Maybe they were collecting under orders for a party in his honor. I shuffled away, thoroughly confused. Maybe it was only wrong for freaks to eat from Hoborg's tree.
Part 4: Found.
A little while later, found me sitting by the crack in the mountain from which I had emerged, early this morning, going from a dark and disorienting world into another that was light but no easier to understand. Face in my hands, I stared down at the crack, as if hoping a little voice would drift out and explain everything to me. Okay, I admit it, maybe that was exactly what I was hoping. That little voice had been so helpful earlier, but now it offered nothing. I did not know where I was. I did not know who I was. I was not even sure what I was! It looked vaguely like I was of the same type as the other people around here, but that blue guy called me a freak. It was the leaves, and the green, and the fact that I was probably a scrawny stick figure compared to everyone else here. Maybe I was a hideous mutation, just like he said. That was it. Ugly things like me probably were not allowed to eat Hoborg's fruit.
Nowadays, I know I had been jumping to conclusions at the time, but you have to remember where I was coming from. It was my first day alive and, I had already been through some rather rough experiences, alone and scared in a brand new world, lacking even an identity of my own with which to be familiar. So, maybe you can understand why, right then and there, I started to cry. I had sobbed for quite a while, when:
"Klaysweet for your thoughts." Startled, I looked up. Standing behind me was... an extremely cheerful fellow. Fists on his hips, he positively beamed at me. This person had three head stems, and a sort of brown and white checkered coloration. I tried to jump to my feet, but ended up fumbling and falling over backwards instead. The three stemmed guy must have noticed how frightened I was. He lifted both hands to a palms up position. "Woah... woah... easy, I didn't mean to scare you." I blinked, somewhat stunned, and a tear ran down my face, "What's your name?" the checkered guy asked, "I'm Rem!"
"Uh..." I stammered, nervously, "I... don't have a name."
"You don't?" replied Rem. His eyes narrowed, thoughtfully. I had the fleeting thought that compared to these people my eyes must look permanently goggled. Well, just add that to the list of my freakishness. "Wow... you're new aren't you?" he said, a smile returning to his face. I began crawling backward, still thinking of my mulberry theft. "Woah... easy," his palms went up again, and his smile changed to a look of concern, "wait, calm down... I'm here to help, honest."
I "Umm"ed again.
"Really," he said, and grinned again. I somehow got the feeling that this fellow smiled even more than the blue guy frowned. There was something cheerfully forthright and friendly about that face, and it began to relax my frightened nerves. I stopped backing away. We just sort of stared at each other for a while. Then, Rem's hands went to his hips, and he asked, curiously, "So, what do you think of the place?"
"What do you think of it all?" Rem looked around approvingly, "Pretty Kool, huh?"
"Um... yeah... it's rather nice, pretty place." I nodded.
"We got some weird wacky stuff here!" Rem winked at me, "So, how much of it have you seen?"
"Um..." I seemed to be saying that a lot lately.
"The Mush Room?"
"Whale's Mouth Plains?"
"I don't know."
"The Radio Room?"
"Eh... I'm not sure..."
"The Big Tree?"
"Big T tree?" I started shaking a little.
"Yeah, the Mulberry Tree! Best tasting stuff in the Neverhood!" closing his eyes, Rem patted his stomach, blissfully. "Well, except for my klaysw-"
"What?" I interjected, "mulberries... taste good?"
"Huh?" Rem looked confused for a moment. "Of course they do!" he chuckled.
"You're..." I began, cautiously, "supposed to eat them?"
"Well, yeah! What else are you going to do with them? Build a house?"
"You're allowed to?" I lifted a finger, questioningly.
"Of course you are! That's what Hoborg put 'em there for!" Rem grinned in pure amusement.
Leaning to one side, Rem struck a pose of mock annoyance, "Say, you wouldn't mind standing up, would you? I feel kind of stupid looking down at you like this.
"Ooh, ahh, right!" I scrambled to my feet. Rem gave me a hand up.
"There ya go," he shook my hand firmly, "now we're on an even level, sort of," Rem tilted his head upward, "Kinda tall, aren'tcha?"
"I am? Never really had anyone to compare myself to."
"Well," Rem nodded, cheerily, "you are! Say," he asked at me, curiously, "what are those things growing out of the top of your head?"
"Emmm..." I shifted, uncomfortably.
"They look like leaves!"
"Yeah, I guess." I reached up to pat my head, self consciously.
"Wow, you're kind of a mutation, huh?"
"Kool!" Rem slapped me on the back and I stumbled forward in surprise, "Nothing wrong with that! Shake things up a bit!" Before I had fully regained my balance, he grabbed ahold of my arm and called out, "Come on! We gotta get you out and about, man!" Dazed and stunned, I allowed myself to be dragged along.
To be certain, for a while things were quite a blur for me. Rem took it upon himself to introduce me to everybody he could find. Too confused to object or even be frightened, I received more handshakes and heard too many names for me to ever remember. They remembered me, though. A new being in the Neverhood is big news, and news travels fast. Soon, Rem and I wandered into the vicinity of the Big Tree, to find ourselves surrounded by curious Hoodians. I started to grow nervous. Rem, of course, was unfazed.
"Hey everybody!" he called, "C'mere and meet the New Guy!" I was not really frightened of people anymore. Rem's whirlwind tour helped me get over that, but this was becoming overwhelming. I stammered and blinked, and probably would have passed out, were it not for what happened next.
"Greetings, Rem. And how are you today?" came a deep even voice.
"Hoborg! I'm Great!" Rem grinned, "Can't complain." At the sound of The Name, I snapped my head around, and stared in the direction Rem was talking. And there was the great and mysterious Hoborg. I clasped my hands together, in a nervous gesture. He was tall and regal, every inch the mighty ruler. A crown sat upon his head and his face... I was not certain I could call it a face. The only feature on the front of his cubic head was a small square opening at its base, probably a mouth. Yet, I could feel Hoborg looking at me, thoughtfully, even though he had no eyes with which to see. It scared me. I had a terrible urge to Be Somewhere Else, Right Now.
Then he spoke. "Hello, grandson. Good to meet you." My legs nearly gave out beneath me. My jittered mind tried to find something scary, something unpleasant about that voice, and failed. It was the most honestly good natured voice I had ever heard. My fear melted away, almost poutingly.
"G-good to meet you too." I replied.
"What is your name?"
"I I... don't have a name." I stammered, embarrassed to find myself standing before a king without knowing my own name.
"Hmm," an odd note crept into his voice, as if something halfway occurred to him.
"Who is your father?" he asked me. I blinked. That never occurred to me. I spent so much time wondering who, and what and where I was, I never bothered to ask myself where I had come from.
"I I don't know." I looked to Rem, helplessly.
"It's not me." Shrugged Rem, "I'm sure I would have remembered that!" He glanced around and called out, "How about it? Anybody here this guy's dad?"
A chorus of "No!" and "Not me!" shouts answered him. Rem turned back to me and shrugged, apologetically.
"Hmm... please, come forward." Hoborg addressed me. I stepped up to him, a bit awed. He regarded me in silence for a few moments, then extended his arm, palm face up, "Please, let me see your hand." I placed my hand in his, and he leaned forward, scrutinizing it. After almost a full minute, Hoborg looked up, and gazed intently into my face. I could feel my eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
Hoborg gave a start, which in turn made me jump. He whispered, "You are... my son."
Hoborg spoke again, louder this time, "You are my son. You..." his voice cracked, "are found."
The Hoodians around us responded with another chorus, this one of confusion, "What? Huh? What'd he say? ...How did that happen? Buh?!"
Hoborg raised his voice to address the whole crowd, "You all remember the lifeseed that went missing weeks ago, how we searched the entire Neverhood for it..." Our audience nodded collectively, realization slowly dawning. Turning me around to face the assembly, Hoborg declared, "This one is that seed." A hush fell over the area.
Rem, of course, had to be the first one to break it, "You mean," he asked, "I found the missing lifeseed?"
Hoborg's voice smiled, "Yes Rem, you did."
"Wow." my savior marveled, "That means... I'm a hero! Rem the Hero! Rem the Hero!"
"But, Hoborg," someone piped up, "How can you tell?"
"Because," replied the King of the Neverhood, "I just know about some things. Call it a gift from my Father, if you want." He put a hand on my shoulder. I jumped out of my stunned stupor, and looked back at Hoborg. Even if he had no face, I could have sworn he was beaming at me. Someone in the crowd cheered. More people joined in.
Soon, everyone was shouting, "Hip Hip Hoo! Hip Hip Hoo!"
When everyone settled down, well, almost everyone... Rem was still carrying on, I spoke. "You mean," I asked, "you are my father?"
"Yes," Hoborg stated, "and these all," he swept a hand to indicate the surrounding crowd, "are your brothers, and nephews, and grandnephews and... a few cousins."
"Really?" I choked, "My brothers?"
"And a few cousins?"
"Yeah..." agreed Hoborg, "I'd almost forgotten how many there are by now."
My eyebrows knotted, "I I'm not a freak then, am I?"
Hoborg was taken aback, "A freak? What made you say that?"
"Um... someone told me that I was... because, well... of my leaves, and such."
A voice groaned from my assembled relatives, "Was he blue, or was he purple?"
"Um... blue." I replied.
"Figures." the entire group joined in a collective moan.
My father sighed, "The first thing you need to know, is never to listen to a thing that troublemaker, Maloon says."
"Oh." I said.
"You do look a bit different from your brothers, but that's not a bad thing. It certainly wasn't what I expected, but I think you came out rather well."
"Oh," I glanced at the ground, "Hmm." It was a few more moments before I moved again. Looking back up again, I asked of my creator, "Can I call you Dad?" This time, I knew for sure he smiled back at me. I could not see any signs of it, but I still knew.
"Yes, my son."
"Daaaaaad!" I cried out, and gave him a big hug. Dad hugged me back, and I could feel tears running down my cheeks.
"Awwww..." sighed the chorus in the background. I stepped back, and looked at my father, smiling. That was actually the first time I noticed that I was actually taller than him. The crown must make him look taller. Good ol' Dad, I thought. Turning, I saw Rem, hands on his hips, grinning at me. "Rem," I said, "Brother!" I rushed forward and hugged him.
Patting me on the back, he said, "Oy, welcome to the Neverhood, Bro." When we separated, someone coughed. Two familiar faces, Skeezie and Klamour stepped forward. Skeezie looked much more chipper than he did this morning, and Klaymour was positively bouncing with excitement.
"Ahem," coughed Skeezie, "You guys all remember the party we were planning for tonight, right? Well, Devil and I were talking just now, and we decided to throw it in the new guys name!"
"Yaaaay!!!" cheered everyone.
"Aww... thanks." I said, bashfully, "but... I don't have a name yet."
"That's okay!" chimed in Klaymour, "When you do, we'll just throw... another ooone!!!" He waved his hands in the air, ecstatically. And the people rejoiced.
Part 5: Epilogue
And there you have it, a brand new and happy Neverhoodian. Only one thing was still missing, really. A few days later found me sitting under the Mullberry tree, holding a notepad, and a pencil. I munched on a mulberry, thoughtfully jotting down words in the pad. With each word, I would either either scratch a line through it, circle it, or draw a star around it. So far, many words were scratched through, a few were starred, but only one was circled and starred.
"Hmmm..." I murmured. Suddenly, I noticed I was not alone.
"Hello?" someone greeted, nearby. I looked up. It was a hoop head. A pretty rare thing in the Neverhood, as I understood it, for Hoop heads were sons of Ottoborg, and this was Hoborg's world. So far, the only hoop headed Neverhood resident I had met was Willie Trombone, who rapidly became one of my favorite relatives. This fellow looked a bit like Willie, but shorter, with orange clothing, and what looked like a chest button. Unlike Willie, he did not seem to have an overbite, and his eyes were a pleasant blue.
"Hello!" I greeted back at him He smiled. So did I.
"So," he began, "Don't think I ever met you before. Are you new? I'm Doodles. Nice to meetcha!"
I extended a hand for him to shake, "Nice to meet you too!" after a few moments, I noticed that he forgot to stop shaking my hand. That's okay, I thought, this is kinda fun, "Wait! You're Doodles?! The guy Willie keeps talking about? Doodledoo? The guy who draws all the pretty pictures and writes the neato stories?"
Doodles smiled, still shaking my hand, "That's me! Does Willie really talk about me all the time?"
"Yeah, he says he's soooo proud of his little brother!"
"Awww..." blushed Doodles.
"Kool." I put in, "You'll have to show me some of your pictureses sometime!"
"You bet!" said Doodles, "but first I eat!" he reached up for a mulberry with his free hand, still shaking with the other. "So," he said, munching around a mulberry, "Are you new... or did I just not meet you yet?"
"I'm new," I put forth, and proceeded to explain the events surrounding my dissapearance, creation, and all that stuff...
Doodles nodded, "Yeah, I think I heard about that. So you got found? Congratulations!" he shook my hand even more vigourously.
"Thanks!" I beamed, returning the shake.
"So..." he leaned over, looking at my notepad, "Whatcha got there?" he asked, curiously.
"Um..." I said, embarrassed, pressing the pad to my chest, "N nothing," I broke the handshake to try and press my chest button so I could tuck away my notepad, but fumbled, and the pad fell to the ground, open. Doodles leaned over and examined the page, noting all of the crossouts, circles and stars. Finally, his eyes lit upon the one word which had both a circle and a star.
"Dramy," he sounded out, slowly, "What's that?"
"Uh..." I started, hesitently, "it... might be... my name.
"Your name?" Doodles gave me a wide smile, "I like! I think it'd fit to ya." He continued to smile, and nodded, vigorously.
"Kool..." I said, relieved at my new name's reception, "thanks..."
"Hmmm..." Doodles looked thoughtful, "have you already met all the people around here? I'll lead you around! But after lunch!" he grinned, if possible, an even wider grin than before, and picked a mulberry.
I chuckled, picking up my notepad, and tucking it and the pencil away in my chest compartment, "Rem kinda did that the other day. What a day that was!"
"Oh," Doodles looked slightly dissapointed, then smiled again, "Well, Rem is the perfect guy for the job! I should know, he led me around too!" the hoop head crammed two fruit in his mouth at the same time.
I stood up and reached for a fruit of my own. And I thought I had an appetite, I reflected, watching Doodles eat. I was impressed.
As Doodles watched me stand up, he said, "Hey, you're almost as tall as Tramen!"
I laughed, "You know, I get that a lot! But I've never even met the guy!"
"Oh!" beamed Doodles, "Then I'll introduce you to him! After we eats, of course."
"Say," Doodles ventured, "maybe we can get Skeezie and Klaymour to throw you a party or something to celebrate you getting found! I bet they'd go for that!"
"Actually, they already did."
"Aww... I missed it?"
"Don't worry, Doodles, Klaymour said that when I got a name, they'd throw... another ooone!"
"Hip hip hoo, for Dramy!"
"Thank you for Doodleses!"
And that's how I got lost, got created, got found, got friends, and got a name. All in all, I'm happy!