The Darkness
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By BreGee13   |   Watch
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Published: March 15, 2018
It's been almost a month since Hunter vanished from the Raposa Village. Cricket and the other villagers searched as hard they could, but Hunter was nowhere to be found. With the sudden spread of darkness, most of the village assumed that he was trapped within the shadow. His family tried to stay hopeful, but they just couldn't shake the idea that Hunter was gone forever. Everyone just felt awful.

Bob and Nixie were always searching for their son. Even after everyone else gave up. They were beginning to lose all hope in Hunter. Nixie always had her heart on her sleeve. It didn't take much for her to start bawling over her child. Bob however, wasn't as emotional. He did whatever he could to hide his feelings in front of other Raposa. The two began to grow a little distant because of it.

Polly was sitting at the kitchen table with Bongo on her lap. Her brother was gone, and she felt guilty for his disappearance. 'I should've stopped him! I should've ran after him and brought him back! But instead I call him a baki and tell him to leave!'
'Yeah, I'm okay. ...I guess.'
'...You're right. I'm not okay. ...I could've prevented this.'
'What do you mean I couldn't have done anything?!'
'I guess that's true... I still feel bad though. I could've been nicer to him...'
'I guess we were both being mean... I mean, he was kinda rude to you.'
'I don't know what you did to him either. ...I guess I'll never find out now.'
'...You really think I'll see him again?' Polly made Bongo nod. '....I dunno if you're right, but...' Polly squeezed Bongo in a tight hug. "Thank you. You've helped me so much... I'm glad you're my friend."

Suddenly, Polly heard arguing outside of the house. It was her parents.
"...Wha?! Nix, ya can't be serious!"
"Of course I am serious! This is easily the best thing we can do right now."
"But Nix! What about our home? And the house!? We worked so hard on that house!!"
"You must be joking! A house? You're upset... OVER SOME HOUSE?!"
"You know It's not just the house!!! I remember back when..."
"Oh I see how it is! You can't STAND the thought of loosing a house, but YOUR SON vanishes out of NOWHERE and you don't shed a single tear!! PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE!"
"I know Nix. But..."
"LISTEN TO ME BOBBY!!! STAYING IS NOT GOING TO BRING HIM BACK! HUNTER'S.....G-" She started to tear up. "Hunter...."
"I...I know Nix. He's.... He's gone."
"HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT!?!? HE COULD STILL BE AROUND!! HE'S FINE!!! I.... I...... I'M GOING TO CHECK WITH THE MAYOR AGAIN!!" She started to walk to the Village Hall when she noticed that Bob wasn't following her. "You're... not going with me?"
Bob shook his head. He didn't want to be told that Hunter was still missing. "....I'm just tired dats all. Go on without me."
"...Alright then." Nixie looked back at Bob and reluctantly left without him.
As soon as he knew Nixie wasn't looking anymore, Bob barged though the front door. His eyes were just  about ready to give in. Polly watched her father march into the house. "...Dad?" Bob didn't notice her and kept moving. He plopped down onto what used to be Hunter's bed and buried his face in his hands. Polly, concerned about her dad, walked up to him. Now that she was closer, she could hear the sound of him crying. "....Dad?"
Bob looked up from his hands in shock. His face was a nice shade of pink. "P-Polly!! I um... I wasn't....."
Polly gave him a concerned stare. "Dad..."
"I was just takin a short rest, dats all!" He forced a smile. "No need to worry!"
"Dad... Stop."
"Stop? Stop what?"
"You're lying to me."
"Wha? Why the rapo would I do dat to ya? You're my best daughter!"
Polly squeezed Bongo in her arms. "..."
"What? You don't think I got another daughter do ya?" He joked.
Polly half smiled. "I guess not... But Hunter was pretty close..."
Bob tried to let out a small laugh, but ended up pushing out even more tears. "...Aw, Hunter...." The tears poured onto his cheeks. " were the only son I've ever had....."
Bob looked at Polly, remembering that she was there. "N...not that you're not tremendous..."
"I know... It's okay...." She sat down next to her dad. "...Nice word by the way."
Bob smiled. "....Thanks. I...I try." He wiped his cheek with the back of his hand. "...What are ya doin here?.... I thought you were with one of your friends."
"...I am." She patted Bongo on the head. She mumbled to herself. '...A lot of my rapo friends moved away anyway...'
"...Oh. Sorry. Just... Thought you were somewhere else."
"....Hey Dad?"
"...I can leave if you want... I don't mind at all." 'It sounds like he wanted to be alone...'
"Polly... You're fine. Besides, you got nobody else to watch ya." 'Wouldn't wanna loose both my kids...'
"...Are you sure Dad?"
".....Yeah. I'm sure." 'It kinda felt nice... Being able to cry in front of someone for once... Kinda wish it wasn't in front of my kid though...'
"I... Never mind."
"...You alright there Polly?"
Polly squeezed Bongo for comfort. She did her best to fight back her tears. "...."
"....Ya can let it out if ya need to."
"...No. ...No I'm okay."
"...Ya sure?" 'She sure don't SOUND okay...'
Bob pulled in Polly for a hug. "It okay..."
"I know... I miss him too... It... It ain't gonna be the same without him......"  He started crying again. "I...I wanna say he's gonna be back, but..." Bob got caught up in a sob. He just couldn't finish that thought.
Polly heard her father cry right over her shoulder. His sobs were loud. He wasn't holding back at all anymore. The sound of her dad crying made Polly's eyes misty. 'Come on, Polly. Be the strong one here...' She blinked the tears away and sniffled. "....It's okay dad. It's okay."
"...I...I...I'm so sorry... I didn't want ya to see this..."
"...I know dad."
" shouldn't have to go through dis... Nobody should..."
"Dad... It's okay... Hunter would've cried just as much if he were in your shoes."
"Haha... course he would...." He sighed. "...B-but that don't make this okay... There's too much darkness 'round us... It... It making everything wrong.... Everyone's gone out their mind.... I... I didn't get it.... Not 'till now..... I... I... I... Don't want it to end dis way... Creator... I... I dunno if you're there... B...But don't take him! P... please...." He continued to cry with Polly in his arms.
Polly was getting really upset. 'I've... never seen dad act like this before... This is serious... Hunter's in real trouble... He might not even come back... What are we going to do if he doesn't come back?!' She thought to herself. '...But it's okay still! Hunter could still be out there somewhere! He has to be! There's no other way!' Polly smiled a little. She still had a little hope left. "...Dad! It's okay! Everything's okay!"
"He's okay!"
Bob was caught by surprise. "W...what?"
"Hunter's okay! I mean, yeah he's trapped, but... If we send someone in there, we can get him out!"
"Then we can..."
Bob let go of her. "Polly, I know ya mean well. But dat ain't happening."
"Why not!?"
"...Dat stuff... Is... Real bad."
"I know, but..."
"REALLY BAD. ...I am NOT letting anyone get hurt from dat... filth! You understand?!"
Polly frowned. She really wanted to go through with her plan. "Oh.... Okay." 'Now what? There's no way Hunter can rescue himself... And if dad won't let me, nobody will...' She sighed. 'It's all up to me now... I'm the only one who knows where he is, I'm the only one willing to try, and... It's my responsibility. After all, we are related. ...But how am I going to sneak out?' She glanced at the door. All she had to do is leave the house unnoticed. Then she looked at her dad. After Polly revealed her idea, Bob became anxious.
'...There's no way I'm gonna let her get away from me. I am NOT gonna lose her too.' He didn't look like he was going to lose sight of her anytime soon.
Polly looked at Bongo, who was sitting on her lap. 'I dunno what to do! Any ideas?'
'Of course! I need to distract him! ...But how?' She looked at her dad, thinking of how to distract him. She sighed. "...Sorry dad. I didn't really mean that. I just... miss him."
"...Its okay. I get it." Bob looked at the floor. "...Don't know why you wouldn't."
"...You okay Dad?"
"...You know, whenever I feel bad, I just talk to Bongo. And every time I do, I feel a lot better." She smiled. "He always knows what to say to me..."
Bob raised his head a little. "...Really?"
Polly nodded. "If you want, I can give you one of my animals to talk to."
Bob smiled. "Dats real sweet of ya to offer..." He patted Polly's head. "Sure."
Polly got off of the bed and looked for a toy she wouldn't mind loosing. She came across a tiny stuffed mouse. 'I don't even remember having this...' She walked back to her dad and handed him the mouse. "Here. This'll do."
Bob looked at the mouse in awe. "I thought dis thing was a goner..." He laughed. "Your mom and me got you this when you were a baby... Ya weren't interested in it very long though." He looked at Polly. "...Ya sure you want me to keep this?"
Polly squeezed Bongo in her arms and nodded. "You deserve it. It means more to you than it did to me anyway."
"Thanks Polly. I'll take good care of him." He looked back at the doll in his hands. "...So, hey. Don't know if ya recognise me... I'm da rapo who brought ya here... Name's Bob. ...Bobbery for long. But Bob's better. Haha... Just realized... I dunno your name. I never thought to ask till now... Did... Anyone ever give ya one? ...Sorry bout dat. Not really the namin type. So don't ask me to give ya one..."
"...Guess ya want a name anyway. Okay... Uh... Matt. Matt da mouse. ...Sorry if ya don't like it."
"Thanks. Glad it suits ya. ...I think we're gonna get along fine! ...Whata you think Polly?" He looked at where Polly once stood. She was nowhere to be seen. "Polly!? POLLY!!!" He tossed the animal into the bed, and dashed to the door. "Where the rapo is she!? Uggghh... She tricked me!! Why'd I take my eye off her!?!" He frantically looked around for her, but their was no sign of Polly. "Rapo! Why'd I have to lose her!? She's the only kid I got left... If it weren't for her and Nix I'd be... NIX!!! I HAVE TO FIND NIX!" He ran as fast as he could to the Village Hall.

Nixie frowned at the mayor. "Nothing? ..Are you positive?"
The Mayor nodded. "I'm afraid so... There's not much we can do to find him... I don't have much choice but to call off the investigation."
"No! You can't! We cannot give up on him! Please! Let us continue just a little longer!!"
The Mayor frowned. "...I'm very sorry. But I cannot risk the village for a single child."
"Ughh! You don't know how it feels to have someone you love vanish before your eyes!!"
The mayor's eyes widened. He did know what it felt like to lose someone. 'My love... I haven't seen her face in a long time...' He sighed. "...I'm very sorry. I'd help you if I could. I really want to. But i can't. Please try to understand..."
Nixie turned away from him. "...I suppose I'll have to search for him on my own then!" 'No wonder everyone is leaving. He won't even listen to me!' "Good day!" She began to walk away when she saw Bob run up to her. "...Bobby?"
Bob put his hands on her shoulders and tried to catch his breath. "...P....Polly..... Polly's gone..."
Bob let go of her. "She.... She ain't home!! I looked all over!"
"Please be joking! I thought you were looking after her!"
"I... I was. I'm sorry! But that don't matter now! We gotta look for her!"
Nixie looked at the Mayor. "...Surely you'll allow us to search for our daughter?"
The Mayor was shocked. "Of... Of course! ...I never said you couldn't!"
"Of course you didn't..."
"I'll have a word with Cricket about Polly. You two can go home and see if she turns up." Nixie grimaced in disapproval. "Home? You're expecting us to just wait around in the comfort of our own home!? Mayor, I..."
Bob placed his hand on her shoulder and interrupted. "Thank ya Mayor. I know ya got a lot going on... Make sure she's found soon, alright?"
The Mayor nodded. "Of course. I'll speak with Cricket immediately."
"Thanks again. Take care Mayor."
Bob motioned Nixie to follow him back home. "Come on Nix. Let's go."
Nixie glared at the mayor before following her husband home. "Bobby, what are you doing?! We shouldn't go home now! We have to search!!"
"Nix... We've been workin too hard already. Besides, Cricket's got this. He'll find her."
"Do you mean the same way he found Hunter? I'm afraid to say it, but he hasn't."
He sighed. "...I know."
The two finally made it to the house. "Bobby, just let us take one look around!" Bob didn't respond, and opened the door. "...Fine then. Since you LOVE your house so much, I guess I'll have to look for OUR babies on my own!" Nixie was about to leave, when Bob grabbed her arm. "Bobby! Let go of me!"
Bob's eyes were watery. "No! I'm not losing you too!!" Tears ran down to his cheeks. He let go of her. "I... I can't... I'm sorry... I should've paid more attention to them... Maybe then it'd all be fine..."
Nixie was a little shocked. Bob barely showed any emotion in front of her after Hunter's disappearance. Seeing him this upset made her worry. "Bobby... It's okay."
She hugged him tightly. "...I'm still with you. ...We'll see them again, I know it."
"...Ya think so?"
She wasn't sure what she thought, but she nodded anyway. "I do." She let go of him. "Come on, let's head inside for now."

Polly ran as fast as she could. 'I gotta do this quick before I get caught!!' She stopped at the wall of darkness. It felt like Hunter disappeared just the day before. After he entered the Forest Gate, the darkness covered it and trapped him inside. "Hunter..." She looked at the gooey darness. It definitely wasn't something she wanted to touch. 'Maybe I can call out to him?' She took a deep breath before stepping forward. "Hunter? ...Hunter!? Hunter, can you hear me?! Where are you?!?!" There was no response from the darkness. Polly sighed. 'Either this darkness is soundproof, or he's too far away. ...I didn't want to have to do this, but... I have to.' Polly stepped even closer to the dark wall of clouds, preparing to enter it.  

Cricket rushed into his station, out of breath. 'I cant believe this... ANOTHER raposa has to go missing?!' A young rapo boy sat at the counter, eating from a box of donuts. "Lil Deputy!"
"Mmff!?" The boy jumped in his seat. He stuffed the donut in his mouth. "I waa..nt ehhn nothin!"
"This is serious, deputy! I have to go  investigate the whereabouts of a Polly Builde."
"N'other Builde?"
Cricket nodded. "You're in charge of the station while I'm out."
"Alright sir!" As soon as he saw Cricket walk out of the station, the Junior Deputy laid back in his chair and ate another donut. "Good... A day off..."
All of a sudden, Cricket marched back inside and walked up to the counter. He grabbed a donut out of the box. "...I'm going to need this." He took a bite out of the donut as he left the station.

Cricket finished the donut as he walked through the village. 'This is getting bad... If I can't catch a thief, there's no way I'm going to find this kid...' He looked at the darkness surrounding the village. '...I don't have a lot of time left... There's no possible way I can manage to protect anyone...' He looked up at where the forest gate used to be. His eyes widened. 'No way...'
Polly stood near the darkness, holding Bongo by one of his ears. 'Don't worry Hunter. I'm on my way.' Polly began to reach her arm forward the darkness. She was just about the touch it when she felt someone grab her other arm. "Aaah!" She dropped Bongo in shock. Polly turned her head to see Officer Cricket clutching her arm. "Ow!"
"Sorry kid. I have to take you home. It's too dangerous here." Cricket began to pull Polly's arm away from the wall, but Polly resisted.
"But! But Hunter!! I gotta help him!!"
"...Sorry kid. I cannot let that happen." Cricket continued to drag Polly away from the darkness.
Polly dragged her feet the entire time. "No! NO!! You can't do this to me!" Cricket sighed and continued to drag Polly away. The dark wall was getting more and more distant. Polly did everything she could to go back, but nothing seemed to work. Cricket was too strong. 'No... I failed..." She sighed to herself. '...At least I have you, Bongo. ...Bongo?' She looked down at her other hand and noticed it was empty. Polly began to panic. "Bongo. ...Where's Bongo?" She looked back at the wall once more. This time she noticed Bongo on the ground. The doll was extremely close to the ever expanding darkness. 'No!! He's the best friend I have! I can't lose him too!' "BONGO NO!!!" Polly began to fight back harder than she had before. Cricket's arm got pulled by Polly's attempt to break free.
'What the?! Where did all of this strength come from?!' He tried to pull her away, but ended up being catapulted to the ground.
As soon as Cricket's hand slipped from her arm, Polly ran as fast as her legs could take her. "BONGO! HANG ON!"
Cricket immediately got off the ground and ran after the little rapo. "Stop right there!!"
Something within Polly made her able to outrun the officer. As she got close, she saw the darkness creeping even closer to Bongo. "NO!!!" She threw herself onto the ground and quickly grabbed the doll. She was out of breath. "It's okay... It's okay Bongo..." She looked up at the darkness. It was getting dangerously close to her. Polly wanted to get up and flee, but her body shook in fear instead. 'This... This can't be the end... It can't be!'  She squeezed Bongo extremely hard and cried. Every bone in her body focused on comforting her friend.  Bongo was the one friend Polly knew she could count on. She just couldn't stand being without the doll by her side. The doll absorbed Polly's love and tears as the shadow grew near. Everything was ending before Polly's eyes. ...Or so she thought.
Cricket ran as fast as he could. 'I am NOT going to give up on this kid. Not now.' He stopped and began to pick up the crying rapogirl.
Polly opened her eyes at the feeling of someone picking her up. "...W-Wha?" The darkness quickly jumped toward Cricket and Polly. Polly screamed before fainting out of fear.
Cricket did everything he could to leave the area with Polly in his arms. As soon as he was a safe distance away, he looked down at the girl in his arms. She held the same rabbit doll she risked her life for. Cricket sighed. "...I saved someone." He rushed back to Polly's home.

Back at the house, Nixie was standing near the door, impatiently tapping her foot. "...Bobby. I think we have waited long enough. Let me search for her..."
Bob shook his head. "I know ya want her back soon... I do too... But Nix, It hasn't been dat long... Give Cricket a chance."
"How!? How am I supposed to do that when he is unable to find our little boy!?"
Bob hugged Nixie from behind. "...I know. Just... Wait a bit more. Do it for me okay?"
Nixie nodded. "...Okay. Just a few minutes. No longer than that."
Bob sighed. "...Nix."
"...Are you okay?"
"Bobby... I don't want to leave you alone. I really don't. But I can't just sit here forever."
"...I know. Sorry for being selfish."
"You are not selfish! I don't want to lose you either. I don't want to lose anyone..." She sighed. "Well, I suppose we have to stick together then."
Bob smiled. "Dats what I wanted to hear." He kissed her on the cheek. "I'll always stand with you."
Nixie hugged him in return. "I know. Thank you." After a few minutes of comforting each other, the two Raposa heard a knock at the door. They both jumped and walked up to the door. "Bobby... Do you think it's...?"
"I dunno..." They stared at each other before hearing another knock. Both of them were afraid of what could be awaiting for them. Bob opened the door to see an exhausted Cricket carrying an unconscious Polly.
Nixie covered her mouth. "Polly..."
Cricket stepped inside the house. "She's alright. She just passed out." Cricket's arms were getting weak from carrying her. "...Where should I put her?" Bob motioned Cricket toward Polly's bed. "Thanks Builde." He gently set the girl onto the bed and sighed. 'I really saved her... I didn't think I would, but I did.' "...Would you mind if I had a seat?"
Nixie shook her head. "Of course not. There are some chairs in the kitchen."
"Thank you." He sat down at the kitchen table. He seemed very relieved to take a break.
Bob walked up to him. "Where'd ya find her?"
Cricket shook his head. "You're not going to believe this... But I found her trying to enter the darkness."
Nixie gasped. "What!? Why on earth would she do that?"
Bob remembered what Polly said about saving Hunter. 'That's why she left, ain't it?' "I think I got an idea. ...Cricket. Did she say anythin bout Hunter?"
Cricket thought for a moment. "...Now that you mention it, I believe she did."
Nixie looked a little puzzled. "Hunter? What does he have to do with this?"
Bob shook his head. "Before she left... She told me dat somebody could go in there and get Hunter back..."
"What!? Bobby! Why didn't you tell me this sooner!?"
"I... I got distracted..."
"If you knew this, how could you let her out your sight like that?!"
"I... I dunno... I wasn't thinkin right... I'm sorry... This is all my fault..."
"Bobby... You can be so.. so... Ignorant!"
Cricket got up from his chair. "...I should be going back to my station. Really busy time, you know?" 'These two really don't need me here...' "It was a pleasure being able to help you two."
Bob was shocked by Cricket's sudden departure. "Oh! Uhhh... Yeah."
Cricket walked toward the door. "Let me know when the young lady wakes up." "Oh! Of course we will officer." Cricket was about to leave when Bob stopped him.
"Hey! Cricket? ....Thanks. Ya don't know how much dis means to us."
Cricket smiled. "No prob Bob." 'I never knew how much I wanted to say that until now...' "Good day you two." Cricket left the house and walked back to his station.
Bob sighed. "...I'm real sorry Nix. I didn't think she was gonna do dis..."
"I know. Its okay."
"No... It ain't okay. I'm nothin but a dumb... Ignore ant baki. ...I know dat much."
"Bobby... You know I didn't mean that..."
"I know... But..."
The two heard Polly rustling the sheets on her bed. She was starting to wake up. "Ughhh... W... Where am I?"
Bob and Nixie rushed over to Polly's bedside. "Polly!"
"...Mom? ...Dad?"
Nixie ran her hand through Polly's hair. "It's okay baby. You're okay. You're home now."
"...I missed you guys."
"...We missed you too baby."
Bob looked at Polly in the eye. "Polly... Why'd you do dis to us? You could've... left us for good..."
Polly petted Bongo's ears. "I... I'm sorry."
"Polly. Ya tricked me! Ya make me look away for just a minute, then you're gone! I thought I'd never see ya again!!"
"Dad... I'm sorry..."
"Ya should be! Ya really made me upset, Polly."
"I... I'm really sorry."
"I know what you were doin. Somebody told me dat ya were tryin to enter da darkness. ...I told ya how bad dat stuff is! And ya go and try to mess with it!!"
Polly squeezed Bongo. "Dad! I'm... I'm sorry! I am!! I... I just thought... I thought I could help him..."
"...I know. But that don't make it okay. You understand?"
Polly nodded. Her eyes were watery. "I miss him so much..."
"I know, Polly. We all do..." He saw Polly tearing up. "...Ya can cry if ya want to. I won't judge." He smiled.
Polly shook her head. "C...cry? I... I don't wanna cry... I just want Hunter back!" She covered her entire body with a blanket, and held Bongo close to her chest.
Nixie tried to take the blanket off of her. "Polly... Please don't act like this..."
Polly pulled the blanket closer to her face. She was starting to cry, and she didn't want her parents to see. "...Go away! Leave me alone..." The two adults listened to her, and backed away. But not so far that they couldn't see Polly.
Bob sighed. "...I was too hard on her."
"No you weren't. She is just..." The word stuck in her throat. "...grieving."
"Nix... we can't live like this."
"...I know. We have to tell her..."
"Wha? Wait. Are ya sayin what I think you're sayin?"
She nodded. "We cannot avoid this topic any longer. We have to go through with this as soon as possible."
"I... I get it. But really? Now? Don't ya think we should wait a little bit? Don't wanna overload her..."
Nixie sighed. "I really don't want to, but..." She looked at Polly. "I don't know how much time we have left... And I know that she is going to try to resist it for as long as possible."
"...I just hope she don't take it too poorly."
"...Come on. Let's get this ordeal over with."
The two walked back over to Polly's bed. She was still under the covers. "..."
Nixie sat at the end of the bed. "Polly?"
"...What do you want?"
"...I just wanted to make sure you were okay..."
"I'm fine."
"Well, in that case, can you stop hiding from us?"
"...I'm not hiding. I just... want privacy... That's all."
Bob put his hand on Nixie's shoulder. "See? She don't wanna hear dis now..."
Polly heard what her father said, and lifted the blanket from her face. Her eyes were a little red. "I don't wanna hear what?"
Nixie paused for a moment. "...Polly, we have something difficult to say to you."
"...Have I... ever told you the story of how your father and I met?"
Polly and Hunter have been told this story plenty of times. But another time wouldn't hurt. "Yeah, but go on."
"...Well, I.... used to live in this gorgeous village called Watersong. Back then, it was the only place I have ever known. I didn't think I would ever leave. ...But one day, I met a traveler..."
"Wilfre! That bad man who made that gross shadow stuff!"
"...Yes. Him... But back then, I had no clue how terrible he was. ...I followed that man around the world. I'll be honest... I had a bit of a crush on that man."
"Ew. No. That's gross!"
Bob nodded and crossed his arms. "She's right Nix. Dat IS gross."
Nixie laughed. "Oh, stop it you! There's no need for such jealousy! Now where was I? ...This man, Wilfre, was and is a very bad person. He thought the only Raposa that was worth his time was himself."

"Yes. Throughout our travels, I quickly learned of this man's true nature. I wanted to return home, but he was my only method of travel..."
"You were stuck with him."
"Yes. One day, we ended up in a village I've only read in story books. The Raposa Village."
"That's where we live!"
"....Y...yes. ...There, I met some of the most friendly Raposa in the world." She looked at her husband. "One of them had brown fur, brown eyes, and the greatest smile. Even though he had never seen me before in his entire life, he treated me with so much kindness. He wasn't fancy, but that didn't stop him from being quite the gentleman. It was clear that he loved me..." She took a hold of Bob's hand. "...And I loved him. And today we love each other more than ever before." Bobbery blushed. He never heard this part of the story before. He didn't know what to say, so he kissed her instead. Nixie giggled as her cheeks turned pink. "Haha... Anyway, I never returned to Watersong. And that does make me sad sometimes. But even if I never get to go back, I'll always be happy. This is my home. Not because of where I am, but because of who I'm with." She kissed Bob on the cheek. "No matter where I am, as long as I'm with my family, I am home."
"That's sweet mom. But... Why are you telling me this?"
"....Polly, You know we'll always be here for you. Correct?"
"And no matter where we go, you will always be home. Correct?"
Polly began to worry where this conversation was going. "Uh... Yeah..."
"And if you leave this village and never return, you will still be at home. Is that correct?"
Polly squeezed Bongo tight. Her eyes were on the verge of tears. This was exactly what she was afraid of. ".....No."
"NO! No! No! No!!"
"It's okay Polly."
"I won't do it!!! I'll never leave! You can't make me!!"
"I'm sorry to say this, but we have to."
"W...what about Hunter!? We can't leave him!! He's still out there! Why would you abandon him!?! We gotta find him!!!"
Nixie didn't know how to respond. She wanted Hunter to be okay and she wanted him back, but she knew the odds of finding him were slim to none. She completely broke down and sobbed. Bob wrapped his arm around her. He desperately wanted to cry with her, but he held back. "Polly, your ma and I.... love Hunter a lot.... You n' him mean... SO much to us.... I dunno what I'd do without ya two. But...." He bit his lip. "We can't risk it... Hunter... I dunno what happened to him... But... We stay much longer... Then we'll all get hurt. ...You get hurt. ...Dis is so hard, I know. But... please. Make it easier for us..."
"Dad... I don't wanna leave..."
"I don't either. But... I don't think we're gonna find him."
"But Dad... He's still out there! We... We have to find him..."
"We got two options Polly. Stay and risk it all, or leave. ...I don't wanna risk losin ya."
"...It's that bad?"
Bob nodded. "We're not risking it. We gotta leave, Polly. Sooner the better."
"...But, where are we going?"
Bob looked at Nixie, who was still in tears, and back at Polly. "...We dunno."
"Y... You don't know!? You're making us leave home so we can go wander around homeless!? Is it even safe out there?!"
Bob sighed. 'Hey, movin wasn't MY idea...' "We dunno... But we might as well find out. Better than sitting here doing nothin."
"...When are we... leaving?"
"Dunno. Sometime soon."
"Soon? Like, tomorrow soon? Don't... Don't I have time to say goodbye?"
Bob looked back at Nixie, who was looking back at him with tears rolling down her cheeks. Nixie wiped her eyes as best as she could. "...Polly, you know we wouldn't do that to you. I... I think we all need a chance to say goodbye. ...After all, this might be the last time we'll see this place."
"W... Wait. We're never coming back?" Polly started to cry. "Not even after the darkness goes away?"
"Polly, I... I don't think that will ever go away."
Polly squeezed Bongo and whimpered. "I... I don't wanna go..."
Nixie's eyes watered at the sight of Polly in tears. She wrapped her arms around Polly in an effort to comfort her. "I'm here baby, I'm here. I don't want to leave either. Everything is going to be okay..."
Bob, not wanting to cry, looked away from the two and instead let his eyes wander around the house. But instead of distracting him, a wave of memories came flooding back to him. Hunter and Polly running around the house, Bob meeting Nixie on the roof, Nixie staying up all night to make sure baby Hunter was okay, Bob expanding and remodeling the house, making pillow forts, Hunter and Polly disappearing to who knows where, Food fights, and now it's all gone. Bob's eyes filled with tears. 'Rapo...' He looked back at Polly and Nixie. They were so busy crying with each other that they haven't noticed him. 'Ya know, I hate to admit it, but I could really use a good cry right about now.' He walked up to Nixie and Polly and sat next next to them. "..." He pulled both of them into a group hug and began to sob.
Polly buried her head in Bongo's ears. 'Is... Is this it? Hunter... I was wrong. I'll never see him or anyone here ever again...' The three continued to cry in each other's arms for several long minutes before moving on with their day.
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BakiDance's avatar
BakiDanceHobbyist Digital Artist
I really like this one! The characterization is nice, and it's interesting to see how every character reacts in their own way to conflict. Good work! :) 

Also Bobbery is a treasure.
BreGee13's avatar
Thank you so much! :D

Agreed. At one point I thought about giving up on the parents as characters. So happy I didn't.