Feel Good Day
Story by Athena

"Happy Valentine's day, Klenn!" Doodles cheerfully smiled, shoving a pink Klaypaper into Mannies' hand.

"Huh?" Klenn asked, befuddled.

"Happy Valentine's day to you, Kjumen!" Doodles said, not noticing Klenn.

Kju awkwardly accepted the oddly-shaped paper. "Thankth, Doodleth....." Kjumen trailed off, looking down at the pink paper, looking more than slightly confused.

I walked up behind Kju and asked to look at his 'Valentine' gift. 'Jumen handed me it.

The note read:

"Playrooms are red

Lakewalls are blue

I'll always be

Friendly to you!!

- Doodles"

"Gee, that's nice!" I said, handing the card back to Kjumen. 'I wonder when I get one,' I thought to myself.

Soon, Doodles had given EVERYone in the Neverhood a Valentine gift, except for Willie Trombone, me, and Hoborg. I knew this because I had been following him around all day.

Doodles caught Willie just as he was getting out of the Lakewall Boatcar.

"Hiiiiii Doodles!" Willie greeted, smiling.

"Hi Willie!" Doodles smiled back. "Happy Valentine's Day!" he cheerily said, handing Willie a Klaycandy shaped in that funny way.

Willie looked at his present curiously. "Val-en-tines?" he murmured to himself. "Read it, Dood!" Wil told Doodles, shoving the klaycandy back at him.

"It says," Doodles began. " ' Happy Valentines Day, Willie! Love, Doodles! ' "

There was a pause.

"Awwww...." Willie began sweetly. "Willie love Doodles too," he added, hugging Doodles.

Doodles held the Klaycandy away so it wouldn't be smashed by Willie's sudden embrace.

"It's also a sugar cookie, too!" Doodles added, handing the cookie back.

"Shoo-ger cookie?" Willie echoed. He thought for a moment.

"Can Willie eat it?" he asked, cocking his hoop-head.

"Sure!" Doodles smiled.

Willie shrugged, then took a bite of the cookie. His round eyes LIT up.

"YUMMMEEEEEEEEEEY!" he exclaimed loudly, spraying bits of cookie on everyone near.

"Heehee. I'm glad you like it!" Doodles sheepishly replied, wiping bits of cookie off of him.

"Willie like Valentine cookies!" Willie told him. "You bring Willie more later, okay?"

Doodles nodded. "Sure!"

Then Dood ran off, smiling and waving behind him.

"Byyeeeeeeee Doodles!" Willie called after the other hoop-head. I raced up the stairs to catch up with the sprinting Doodles, before he set the steps to "bridge".

Doodles' next stop was Hoborg's Palace.

"Happy Valentine's day, Hoborg!" Doodles told the King, handing him his klaypaper present.

"Thank you, Doodles." Hoborg said dignifiedly as he graciously accepted the gift. Doodles was as happy as a hoop-head could be. He grinned the biggest grin ever.

"But what exactly *is* 'Valentine's Day' ? " Hoborg asked, looking up from his paper.

This didn't dampen Doodles' mood in the least. "It's a holiday back on my world where people exchange little notes to tell their friends that you care about them! The little presents that you give are called 'Valentines'."

Some of the other Hoodians who had been hanging out in the Throne Room had questions. "What is this....Shape that they come in?" someone I didn't know very well asked.

"It's a Valentine heart." Doodles told us.

"Why pink and red?" A guy by the name of Kleedo asked.

Doodles shrugged. "Idunno. They're just....Valentine colors, I guess."

"Any other questions for Doodles?" Hoborg asked the crowd.

The members of the crowd asked their questions. Then, when they were through, everyone left, except for me. I just sat off to the side and listened to Hoborg and Doodles talk.

"I've been thinkin', Doodles." Hoborg began, fingers by his chin.

"Yes, Hoborg?" Doodles urged.

"This 'Valentines' thing has made you and my other sons very happy. Someone even said that *Thull* cheered up a little after you gave him his presents." Doodles looked shocked. I'm sure I looked shocked too, but who knows?

"I think," the King began. "I think we should have our OWN happy holiday - a 'Neverhood Valentine's Day,' if you will. What do you think, Doodles?" Hoborg asked, turning to Doodles for his input.

"Sounds good to me!" Doodles shrugged.

"Great! I'll hold a meeting tomorrow to tell everyone. You'd better go rest up now."

Doodles left the throne room.

I was about to leave too to see if Doodles would finally deliver me MY Valentine, when Hoborg unknowingly turned to look at me. "Ah, Tramen! I didn't see you there. Come here, Son." Hoborg called, nodding me over.

I walked up to the King.

"How would you like to be my special messenger for tomorrow?" he asked, putting his arm around my shoulder. "To pass word around about the meeting."

I wasn't precisely *thrilled* about the job - I wanted to talk to Doodles before the meeting, you see. On the other hand, it wasn't going to be too bad or too hard....I *was* a fast runner, after all. And word got around fast in the Neverhood.

"Sure!" I shrugged.

"Geat. I'll seeya in the mornin', Tramen," he said. I could hear him smiling. I couldn't help but smile too - that was an odd thing about Hoborg. His voice was really nice. He always sounded pleasant, and it was kinda sad when he wasn't happy.....

It was late, so I went down to the Radio Shack to sleep for the night.

The next morning, I got up and headed for the Throne Room.

Hoborg and Doodles were waiting. Doodles grinned a bashful smile when I came in. I kinda smiled and waved - I was still kinda hurt that I hadn't recieved a Valentine yet, but I figured that if Hoborg was making a new Valentine holiday, I would prob'ly get a Valentine from Doodledoo pretty soon.

"Hey there, Tramen! You ready?" Hoborg asked in a jolly voice.

"Sure am, Hoborg!" I replied enthusiastically.

"Okay, here's the scoop: The meeting will be under the Big Tree (by the Nursery, you understand) after lunch. Pull Thull along if you have to. I think everyone should hear this." Hoborg instructed.

"Can you remember all that?" he inquired.

"Meeting after lunch by Big Tree outside Nursery. Harass Thull as much as necessary. Use Rem force if required."

Hoborg laughed at that last part. "You got it!" he exclaimed, seemingly grinning with his voice.

"Oooookay!" I grinned back. "Bye Toast," Doodle called after me, waving as I ran off.

"Bye Doo!" I called in reply over my shoulder as I jogged out.

After lunch, I went with all the others to the Big Tree. A crowd had gathered around, and Hoborg stood in front of the Tree. There was a wait for a few minutes.

"Hey everyone!" Hoborg greeted the masses, waving his hand.

"Hey, Hoborg!" His many sons greeted in reply.

"I see everybody's been feelin' *real* special ever since Doodles here gave out those Valentines yesterday.......An' he's been feelin' good too, givin' em out." Hoborg said, Doodles, who stood next to him, blushed.

"I think that everyone should feel as happy as Doodles ever-ay once-in-uh-while." The King announced.

"So I, Hoborg, Sixth Son of Quater, deem this day, 'Feel-Good Day'!" he boomingly proclaimed.

I, as well as the rest of the group, "Whoooed" and cheered enthusiastically.

"Today is a day when everyhoodian shall give a gift to another Hoodian and make 'em feel good. Now, your gift doesn't hafta be fancy or anything - just tell your brother thatcha love 'em. Even just writin' a note or sayin' so to their face will be good. Now, there *is* one rule for this day - you should *try* to give ALL your brothers a present or gift or compliment. And if you can't do it in one day - " Dad paused and shrugged his shoulders. "That's okay. Do your other bros the next day. But you MUST make an effort!" he ended. There was a pause as everyone waited to see what Hoborg would say. "Now you guys all go off an' make your presents. Come back here when you've thought of - or made - your gifts. I hope everyone can be back in say......Three or four hours." Hoborg's speech ended, and we Neverhoodians ran off to go do our gifting.

Later, I joined the little assemblage milling around the Big Tree. I picked out a conversation from the endless murmur of the gathering.

"Do you think Hoborg will give us Valentine's gifts?"

"I bet that'd be the BEST present!"

"That idea of Doodles' was great! I *love* the present he gave me!"

This one voice made me feel kinda bad. Doodles *still* hadn't shown any sign of giving me a present. Even so, I had already made a present for him. It was a poem I had written. Not that I was the greatest poet there ever was - I'm better with my hands, really. I'm kind of the unofficial repairman for the Neverhood.

Doodles will probably get you a Valentine today, I reassured myself. After all, he's my friend, isn't he?

Soon ALL the Neverhoodians were gathered in front of the Nursery. Apparently everyone had thought of presents for everyone else.

The air was brimming wiith energy and excitement as everyone chattered on. Many Hoodians were asking if they could have their present now. However, no one told anyone else the gift they had chosen.

Suddenly, the crowd parted as Hoborg arrived. He walked through the middle of the crowd up to the Big Tree, and began another speech.

"Let everyone exchange gifts!" he proclaimed in a loud, booming voice.

Everyone, and I mean *EVERYONE* got gifts, including Big Robot Bil. As everyone exchanged gifts, Hoborg came through the crowd and gave each and every one of us compliments about our personality, or something we had done recently. That one brother of mine was right - it WAS the best present!

I also got other gifts from my brothers. I recieved Klaycandy, poems, stories, and even just 'thank yous' for earlier mechanic-jobs I had done.

But when it was all over, there was still no sign of Doodles.

I carried my candy and drawings back to the Radio Shack, where I planned to sort them, maybe eat some of them, and put them into my chest compartment.

When I got back, Doodles was waiting for me, with something held behind his back. I was *so* excited.

"Oh," I exclaimed casually as I stepped through the doorway. Hi, Doodles! I wasn't expecting you!" I grinned. I couldn't HELP but smile...... I was too excited. I wonder what he got me.... I thought to myself.

"Kaydiju, Tramen." Doodles greeted. "I'm sorry I didn't give you your Valentine sooner, but I didn't finish it in time to give it too you earlier. It took me longer than I thought it would." he told me.

"So nowwww...............Happy Valentine's day, Tra!" Doodles smiled, taking my present out from behind his back.

It was a little klay box made out of video-tablets. I opened up the lid and found a white piece of klaypaper. On that klaypaper was a whole.......... Collection of drawings of ME! SO many differeent poses, and SO many different expressions - I had NO idea how expressive I was! - everything looked *just* *right*! And Doodles had SIGNED the klaypaper! Doodles NEVER signs his name! He just gives you the pic and goes off to draw summore! Crazy little Hoophead!

My face must have given me away.

"Glad you like it, Toast." Doodles quietly said.

How could I *ever* have thought Doodles wouldn't give me a Valentine?! Stupid Dumb FwaCattle thinking of mine!! BAD!!

"And here's *your* Valentine, Doodledoo," I told him, reaching into my chest compartment. I brought out the poem. Doodles read it, hugged me, then said, "Aw, thanks, Tramen. You're my bestest friend too! And I'm sorry I didn't get your pictures to you sooner....I thought mebbe YOU'D start to think that I didn't get you a present....." he trailed off.

"Well," I halfway started. "I must admit, I *was* worried for a second there....."

But in the end, everything turned out a-okay!

Here's what Tra wrote for Doo! Whoo!

A Friendly Poem for Doodles

Friend Doodles, I think you're neat
Your drawings just can't be beat
You've always got something nice to say
Even if you've had a bad day.
You help scare away the bugs
And you give lotsa friendly hugs
Even though you're not very tall
You're still my bestest friend of all!


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