Chapter Description: Ryan is introduced to Hedwig and learns more about this strange new world he finds himself in, but has trouble coming to terms with his situation.
Kuma reached up with his sewn plush paw and grasped the door knocker on the green painted wooden door of Hedwig the wise old owl. To him it was a large door but to his friend Ryan it was about normal sized. It was one of the few regular sized house in the village, from Ryan's perspective anyway. He was about average height for a seventeen-year-old high school graduate. His red scarf billowed in the wind as he stood there, a stranger suddenly thrust in this world of living plushes, still unbelieving of it all.
The door opened and a tall white old owl plush dressed in green robes answered the door. “Hoo hello to you!” he greeted. He had on round glasses and appeared to be a bit ragged around the edges, as if played with many times by some giant child for many years.
“Hello Master Hedwig!” said Kuma, the teddy plush.
“I see you have brought me a guest.” said Hedwig, looking at Ryan. “My my, he doesn't look like anyone I've ever seen before.”
Ryan waved, still unsure of how to take all of this. “Um, hello.” he said. “My name is Ryan.”
“I was practicing some spells when a gate opened and he came tumbling out of it!” said Kuma. “I don't know if it was one of my spells or something else, but I know he's not from our world.”
“Indeed he isn't!” said Hedwig. “Better come in and explain things to me better.” He invited the two in and gestured for them to have a seat on a large comfy couch.
Ryan looked around as he came in and sat down. The home was very quaint and tidy. Most of the decor was wooden with some tan carpets and red drapes with little tassels on them. There were also many book shelves filled with books, and a cauldron in the fire place. The couch was comfy, but he wondered if the cushions were alive too in this world.
“Tea?” offered Hedwig. He had brewed a fresh pot and it was sitting on the small table in front of the couch.
“No thanks.” said Ryan.
“I'll have some.” said Kuma, accepting a cup. He happily drank some, always enjoying Hedwig's tea with some sugar.
“So, first tell me which spells you were practicing Kuma.” said Hedwig, sitting his his wooden rocking chair with a cup of hot tea.
“Just some fire, ice, wind, and earth magic.” said Kuma. “Just the elemental essentials really.”
“Hmm, it doesn't sound like you were practicing any spells that could have caused a rift in time and space.” said Hedwig. “I haven't even given you materials for any spells that would come close.”
“Then what could have caused it?” asked Ryan. “I'm still not sure all of this is real. It could all be some crazy dream.”
“Oh hoo! A dream eh?” said Hedwig. “Are you the dream or the dreamer? I can assure you that we are no dream. I have heard of the possibility of alternate realities existing where things are similar yet very different. Yet no magic I have heard of has been able to open a doorway to one of these realities. Until now it seems. Please, tell me of your land.”
Ryan told the wise old owl everything he had told Kuma, about how he came from a world of humans like himself, and how plushes were mere toys, and animals existed.
“I see.” said Hedwig. “So this world must be very strange to you. There is no magic? How dreadful.”
“Yeah, but we do okay.” said Ryan. “Now, how do I get back home?”
“I'm afraid I don't know.” said Hedwig. “At least not for certain. You would have to search out information on dimensional travel magic. The most I have is a teleportation spell, but it can only take you to a place you have already been.”
“Well, I've already been on my world, maybe it can take me there right away.” said Ryan.
“Oh hoo, I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.” explained Hedwig. “The castor has to be from where you want to go. If you want to use it, you would have to learn magic first.”
“I can learn magic?” asked Ryan. He was excited at the prospect.
“Well, I don't know for sure.” said Hedwig. “Since you are not like us and from a world without magic. But we can try! Though know that even if you do, that particular spell can take years to master.”
“Years?!” Ryan yelled. “I don't want to be stuck here for years! I have a home and family to get back to!”
“Ryan, please, calm yourself.” said Hedwig. “We will do our best, but it will take time.”
“No, I need to get out of here!” shouted Ryan. His head was spinning. Was this all real or some kind of elaborate dream? What if he could never wake from it? He jolted up from the couch and ran out of the front door.
“Ryan!” shouted Kuma. “Wait! You don't know the dangers!” The little bear got up and tried to follow him.
Ryan ran out of the village as everyone stared, and into the forest. There were signs reading “BEWARE” but he didn't care. Tears streamed down his face as he ran further and further until he was too tired to run anymore. Breathing heavily, he leaned up against a tree to rest. Then he felt something sticking to him, and the tree seemed to move. Hands of wood sprang from the tree and grabbed him, holding him tightly. Ryan screamed in shock and wiggled, trying to escape. He looked behind him in horror to see that the tree had an angry face and jagged teeth. What's more, it roared and bit him. Screaming out, Ryan flailed and broke free of the branches that entangled him, but the evil tree grabbed him again and scratched him up with its stiff branches. Ryan tried to fight back, but his fists only got scratched up on the tree. He yelled out as the tree bit him again, and felt very strange. Just then, a blast of fire shot out and hit the tree.
“Back!” said Kuma, wielding his little wooden wand. “Back you evil tree!” He cast another fire ball at it and the tree let go of Ryan and began to burn. With a few more blasts of fire, the tree screeched and burned to ash.
Ryan gasped, holding his shoulder, and laid on the ground exhausted.
“Ryan are you okay?” asked Kuma. “You look hurt. Here, let me heal you.” His wand glowed green and the aura surrounded Ryan.
Ryan started to feel a tingle run through his body. It felt good, and his aches and pains soon disappeared completely. He even felt refreshed and no longer tired. “Wh-what was that?” he said, adjusting his scarf.
“Those are called timber traps.” said Kuma, helping Ryan up. “They attack anyone who touches or comes near, and they look identical to regular trees, except for one difference. They always have three mossy stripes along their backs.” He pointed to one in the distance.
“This is insane!” said Ryan. “At least now I know this isn't a dream. That actually hurt.” He rubbed at his arm. His clothing was a bit torn.
“Do you feel okay?” asked Kuma. “All of your abilities still work?”
“Abilities?” asked Ryan. “What do you mean?”
“The monsters in our world absorb knowledge and experience.” Kuma explained. “That is why so many of us attend schools. An attack from an enemy could cause us to lose something we've learned, which means we have to learn it all over again.”
“That's...strange.” said Ryan. He looked himself over, and he did feel different, but couldn't quite put his finger on it. “I don't know. I guess I'm fine.” He then felt a sudden urge to pee. It came on quickly and strongly. “Oh man, I have to...um, pee.”
“Pee?” asked Kuma. “Oh um, yeah. We have some toilets in town.”
“But I don't think I can make it!” said Ryan, now holding his hand to his crotch and bouncing from one foot to the other.
“Oh well, I guess it's okay if you pee out here.” said Kuma. “I'll just...turn my back.” He turned around, giving Ryan some privacy.
Ryan looked around and figured it was okay to pee on the ashes of the burnt timber trap. He unbuttoned his pants and began letting out a long stream of urine onto the smoking ashes, causing them to stir and smoke a bit more. “Ahhhh, that's better.” said Ryan feeling relief. He wondered why it came on all of a sudden like that, but it felt good to let it all out. After he was done, he buttoned his pants back up. “Okay, I'm done.”
“Good!” said Kuma. “Then will you please accompany me back to the village? I promise we will help you.”
“Yeah, sure.” said Ryan. “It's better than getting attacked out here. I'm sorry for freaking out before. It's just that I'm in a strange new world and it's a lot to take in.”
“I understand.” said Kuma, giving Ryan a hug. “We'll get you home as fast as we can.”
“Okay, thanks Kuma.” said Ryan. He walked back to the village with the teddy bear and noticed the sign warning about the forest. It said something before, but now it looked like gibberish. What was going on? Hopefully he would find answers, as well as a way home, soon.
vended · Jun 30, 2021Look like a nice story so far. I'm really fond of the plot of a character finding himself in a fantasy land, so consider me hooked. The way the mental AR was included is quite interesting. Very original. So, he's lost some bits of potty training and reading skills already, hmm? I wonder how far it will go, and if there will be some physical AR as well. Keep the great work!