Eddie fervently sniffs the ground beneath him with his quivering little nose as he scampers across the damp forest floor pursuing a particular smell. He cannot quite place its significance, but its allure is irresistible. It is almost laced with the nostalgia of freshly-fried beetles, just like his mother used to make.
The rain is coming down unforgivably now. Eddie pauses every so often to shake his mega spikes free of it all in a whirlwind of water and carries determinedly onward.
A flash! A bang!
Lightning reveals dark shapes seemingly surveying him with the thunder giving them menacing growls. Undeterred, yet frightened, Eddie makes his way deeper into the woods.
Eddie the hedgehog finds himself in this type of predicament due to an ego even bigger than himself and an unfortunate gambling mishap. He bet the neighborhood squirrel that he could set ablaze their local campfire, which had been doused moments prior in rainwater and died out before the marshmallows could even finish toasting, quickly and accurately with his own fire-breathing abilities.
Needless to say, he miscalculated… And the porcupine resident adjacent to this whole ordeal was not happy with the resulting situation.
His punishment, subsequently, is to procure a rather rare ointment to treat the minor burns of Patrick the Porcupine that can only be found in the depths of the dark forest. It is so convoluted, alive and ever-changing, that it may as well be a maze to navigate in, never guaranteeing any form of safe return home.
Grumbling along with his soaked spikes, Eddie finds himself lost in thought. How could he have been so careless? What if Patrick had met a more fatal fate? Was his fire-breathing growing out of control? What-
Bonk. Eddie comes to a halt and rubs his nose, scowling at the old bottle that suddenly appears before him. The surface has long lost its sheen and is half-covered in overgrown moss and crunchy leaves. The letters “Mr.” and “E” can be faintly made out haphazardly etched into the light pink glass. He can dimly see within a flickering light calling out to him, like a lighthouse beacon sending its signals out to the lost souls at seas. It is a comforting home-like presence. Curiously, he gives it a good sniff. He reels back.
That’s where the smell is coming from! Excitedly, Eddie paws at the cap, fumbling with a fiery determination to wring it off and lick out whatever tasty delicacy had to reside within.
The moment he manages to turn the stopper, a howling wind picks up around him. Foliage swirls every which way and sweeps Eddie off his feet. A mini tornado develops and Eddie feels himself pulled forcefully into it. The air grows cold and the whooshing is so thunderous Eddie’s eardrums pop painfully.
The flickering light grows brighter and greener. For a flash of a moment, Eddie sees an oasis-like paradise. The vision envelops him completely. Without a trace, both Eddie and the bottle disappear from the forest.
See Eddie’s artistic debut, created by digital artist Dexel, by clicking here.