8 were made, conjured by magic, meant to be loved. But one was lost, sucked into a black hole, forgotten by time, space, and most of all, his creator. Alone for almost a year, this pup drifted the void, the longest occupant of deep space to be challenged only by one other. It’s only inevitable, even in the vastness of space that they meet.
Ludo: I spy with my little eye… something ummm… I don’t know, black.– Is it space?– YES! For the forty-thousandth time yes!– Well you don’t have to yell at me– Well maybe if you’d listen for once maybe I wouldn’t have to!– Gee, I wonder why nobody listens to you– Oh don’t you give me that sarcasm!… You know, I’m starting to think coming back here was a bad idea.– Sigh, you came back here to find yourself remember? Well yeah, but it’s not just that. I feel like I’m supposed to be here for a reason, like something more important is out here.– Hey wait, what time is it?– How the heck am I supposed to know?– Well, you’ve been going by that comet that circulates about every once a day.– It’s late.– HOW DARE IT BE LATE I RELY ON THAT! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KEEP UP WITH MY BUSY SCHEDULE WITHOUT A TRACK OF TIME?… Oh wait there it is… waitaminute, that’s no comet… that’s a MOON!
Ludo could feel the gravitational forces on his body. He was getting sucked towards a massive moon’s orbit. As he descended, he toppled over a hill, bumping his head, knees and ribs before landing on flat surface where he fell unconscious.
A few hours later, Ludo is pulled back towards consciousness by a few weird sensations, first, pitter patters of what sounded like tiny little feet softly tapping against the moon rock, followed by what sounded somewhat like quick sniffing, all around his body, working it’s way from Ludo’s toes all the way up to his beak, the small creature sniffing his breath, Ludo could smell the creatures’ breath as well, not particularly pleasant as it reeked of the digestion of things that we’re once alive that Ludo wasn’t particularly familiar with. The being climbs on him, tiny, but sharp paws digging into his rib cage as the creature licks to taste him.
Ludo jolts awake, started and startling the small creature, a ragged, skinny, angry puppy. The dog stood there, gritting small but ridiculously sharp teeth at Ludo and growling at him. There was no love in this creatures eyes, only primal instincts.
Ludo: Pff, oh really? What are you gonna do pipsqueak? Nibble at my ankles?
Ludo mocks the dog only to receive a laser beam to the chest. Ludo falls right on his back, stunned by the laser. The ground starts to shake around them and out of a small crater at Ludo’s head shoots a purple tentacle. It turns out, the moon was ALIVE, and it was angry for being disturbed once again. More tentacles emerged. Angered by the fact that Ludo had awakened the beast in the moon. The tentacle grabs Ludo and starts squeezing the life out of him. The puppy shoots the tentacle with the laser, loosening the grip on Ludo causing him to fall to the ground. The dog grabs his ankles with sharp teeth, rag-dolling the bird against sharp rocks as he dodged rocks and tentacles. Ludo had greatly underestimated his strength as the dog drug him nearly a mile into a cave where the moon ceased it’s attack.
Ludo: You… you saved me from that thing. Thank you.
The dog ignored as it angrily began to groom itself and mend to the scabs all over it’s body. Ludo reaches out to touch him but is met with retreat and a savage rearing of hungry yellowed teeth. This was when Ludo noticed just how tortured the poor dog was. His gut as drawn from the water left in oases that was meant for the moon itself and nutrition he received by eating the tentacles he had to fight to obtain, his eyes, where once bubbly and pure, now weary. What was once soft fur had become overgrown, shaggy and dirty. By all nature’s rights the dog should have died long ago, but whether it was by magic, or sheer will of determination to survive and see it’s masters, brother and sisters someday, the dog trooped on every day for over a year. The dog approaches, as if ready to pounce Ludo and devour him when he remembers.
Ludo: Oh yeah!
From inside his own back he pulls another similar back of potato chips, filled to the brim. This was the magic bag Star had given to Ludo to feed himself. It would regenerate chips so that Ludo would not go without food once again. He quickly opens the bag and pushes it towards the puppies’s face. The dog pulls back, but then sniffs the bag, realizing it’s food. He lunges into the bag and starts devouring chips, eating faster than the chips could come back.
Ludo: Hey remember to save me some of those.
Content, the dog walks away from the bag.
Ludo: I hope you enjoyed yourself.
The dog ignores him and goes to sleep in the corner taking short, quick breaths as it sleeps.
Ludo: You’re quite a soldier there little fella. I get that. I’m small, and honestly after all I’ve been through I have no right to be alive, but you. You’re a whole another level aren’t you? How long have you been here? How long has this nightmare been your life?
Ludo goes to sleep in the cave, awakened only a few hours later by faint whimpering. The dog looks at him.
Ludo is generally confused. The dog runs outside, prancing.
Ludo: Well if you need to go, just go. I don’t care where. Your house… er cave… your rules.
The dog walks off. Rolling his eyes in frustration, Ludo follows. They tread with caution, trying not to reawaken the moon. The dog does his business, burying it, Ludo realizing how disturbing it must be to be alive and having smaller creatures release their excrement all over you. The puppy barks at Ludo, signalling him to follow. The dog trails Ludo to a river. Ludo takes a canteen out of his bag, filling it with the water from the moon, taking a drink before doing a spit-take, the water had an unnatural taste to it, but of course, it was weird moon water. The dog had grown accustomed to it. Who knew what the water held, but for mysterious reasons, Ludo felt invigorated even though he had no actual sustenence. The experience was weird, but could perhaps explain why the dog had not dehydrated, for he rarely ever had to go there, which really, was the only bit of mercy the Pup took from his stay on the moon.
A lingering smell caught Ludo’s beak. He couldn’t put his finger on it but it was amazing. Enamored by the alure, Ludo walked towards the smell, practically entranced by it. The puppy follows him, curious. The strange smell was leading Ludo to a small crater in the moon, filled with red liquid, and bubbling the ooze tempted Ludo. The puppy panicked, dragging at Ludo’s bag and barking as Ludo kept moving. he swayed at the dog’s face, causing him to release a laser from his eye by mistake and hitting the crater, spilling the red liquid. The moon was angry as it’s bait for Ludo had been thwarted, the tentacles burst through the ground once again, Ludo running in fear while the puppy stays to fight it with lasers. As Ludo flees the tentacles he hears a sharp yelp, the puppy is getting strangled by the tentacle. Angered, Ludo rushes in. The tentacle slaps Ludo, causing him to land near an assortment of rocks. Ludo scrambles for the sharpest one, finding one as edged as he could get, and rushes towards the swaying beast, letting out a blood-curdling warcry as he lunges towards the tentacle, stabbing it as hard as he could, the tentacle writhes in agony as the pup falls. Ludo leaps in to catch the small pup and grabs him just before hitting the ground. He runs with the hurt dog as far as he could. The angry tentacle grabs both of them. Thinking it’s their doom, they look at each other, closing their eyes. But instead of killing the two, the moon decides to toss the two as far out of the planet’s orbit as possible. The puppy looks in a state of half-despair as the bitter place he knew as “home” faded into the distance.
Ludo: It’s okay puppy. A home’s not a home if you’re not welcome. I would know.
He reaches his hand out to pet the dog, and for the first time, it finally gives in and lets him.
As Ludo finds himself relieved to be away from the killer moon, the puppy continues to look distraught.
Ludo: You’re an amazing little puppy. Hey now, don’t be sad. We’ll find a place… together… you and me. We’re not that different. You had to learn everything on your own, so did I.
He looks at the puppy, smiling, but the dog returns nothing but a face of remorse.
Ludo: Why are you looking at me like that?
They make eye contact. Somehow Ludo feels like he can read the dog’s thoughts just from his expression. Ludo starts to sob, feeling somewhat rejected, but he draws back his feelings, taking one large breath.
Ludo: I get it. You miss your people. Who were they? I feel like I know you… but I don’t. It’s so faint… think, think… ow.
Ludo conks his noggin, before realizing.
Ludo: Waitaminute, normal puppies don’t have laser eyes. Puppies with laser eyes, cute and deadly. Deadly and cute… NO… it can’t be… are you… one of Princess Butterfly’s dogs? Well, only one way to find out.
Ludo lifts the dog, awkwardly looking outward, Ludo looks at the dog’s butt.
Ludo: Yup, a heart, I knew it. Of course… of all the goshblasted people why her! How could she?! How could that Princess be so careless as to leave a puppy alone in the void for all this time?… Ennhhh… I guess she misses you… If she even remembers you. I think she had like 7 or 8 of you at some point. So what do you say? Wanna go see your old master?
The dog lifts his head in curiosity.
Ludo: Now uhh… hmmm. How are we gonna get outta here?
Out in the distance, he sees a Star, golden bright, hurdling through the reaches of space.
Ludo: Wow what convenience. We’re gonna go see your master, puppy! I need you to do one thing. FIRE THAT LASER!
The dog smooshes his eyes together, preparing the most focused laser beam he could, it jettisons Ludo and puppy through space.
Ludo: Faster, puppy, or she’ll get away!
The puppy then fires a laser as hard as it can, cannon balling Ludo and the puppy through space towards Star, in her Butterfly form having one of her nightly travels through the void. She opens a portal.
Ludo: Hurry puppy! She’s getting away!
The dog can feel itself running out of energy, but then Ludo gets a plan, he plucks one of his feathers out his head and tickles the dog’s nose, causing it to sneeze, releasing one more burst of laser, and slamming Ludo and the puppy right into Star and she escapes through the portal, closing behind all three of them. Knocking Star, whose reverted back to regular form, face-first into the floor and waking Marco from his rather uncomfortable sleep on the chair.
Star: What the heck!
Marco: Who? What? No I wasn’t sleeping. Huh?
Star: Ludo? And uhhh… a scrappy looking puppy?
Ludo: I believe this is yours.
Star: Mine? But I have all ei-WAITAMINUTE! Lemme see that dog.
She picks up the puppy. Looking at him. She then turns it over.
Star: Awww It has a cute little heart on it’s booty Marco! It is mine!
Marco: Wait… we have all our dogs.
Star: OMG! Marco, you rememeber when we first met, and that one time I made a black hole in your room and it sucked one of the laser puppies in?
Marco: Oh yeah! I uhh… I forgot about that one. And then we just made another 8th… oh.
Marco looks at the puppy, feeling ultra guilty.
Marco: Ohh jeez we left a little pup out in the middle of who knows where and never went looking for him.
Star: Yeah… I guess he just fell off our radar, being as how busy we were with… you know… being teens.
Ludo: How could you two be so reckless?! Allowing things to get thrown into the darkness of space? Something so small, and helpless… and… scared.
Star: Are you ok?
Ludo: I’ll be fine. I’m always fine. I might as well just get going. I know I’m not exactly welcome here.
Star: You obviously care alot about this little guy. I think it’d only be fair if you get to say your goodbyes.
The dog runs to Ludo, standing on his hind legs pressing his paws into Ludo looking at him, begging him not to leave.
Ludo: Please don’t make this harder than it has to be.
The dog proceeds and he just can’t handle himself. He wraps his arms all the way around the laser puppy, weeping profusely. After nearly a minute in silence he puts the dog down and walks out the bedroom door.
Star: Ludo… thank you for bringing him back. If you’d like. I could give you another toss into the_
Ludo: No, I think I’ll make due here. It’s about time I stopped neglecting things too.
Star: Good luck.
Marco: Major props tonight Ludo.
He leaves by the main stairway, being sure not to be seen by the guards. The puppy approaches it’s brothers and sisters, all playfully bouncing small lasers aimlessly. At first he’s excited, but then it fades. He is worried. What if his sisters don’t like him, or they forgot about him too. He approaches, and the other puppies retreat, afraid of the more gruesome and worn puppy. The puppy looks as his brothers and sisters play. Tries to get in the action and play too, to be a pup, but he doesn’t feel it. After what seems like an hour with his brothers and sisters he just gives up. He’s just not the same dog as the others. His world isn’t the same as theirs. He’s become too much like Ludo, young at heart but far too old for his own good, an outcast, a freak.
Star looks at the puppy, watching him sit in the corner by himself, looking miserable, hoping all he needs is more time. But she too is in denial. Marco walks up to the dog in an attempt to play with him. The dog won’t even engage in so much as pounce at a toy. Marco holds the puppy close. It gives him a small lick on the nose.
Marco: You and I both know what you really want, don’t we.
He stares at Marco. Marco takes off the dog’s collar and leash and Star looks at him like he’s gone mad.
Star: Marco? What are you doing?
Marco: The right thing. Go on. You know where you want to go little fella. The dog looks up at Marco and smiles before jolting at top speed, sprinting down the castle steps, skipping entire stairs on the way down. He never seen a dog run so fast.
Star: Puppy come back! I love you… you just came back…
Marco puts his hand on her shoulders
Marco: Star, let him go. This is what he wants.
Star: He’s just a puppy, Marco!
Marco: Never stopped him before.
Star wraps her arms around Marco, Star looking somewhat worried while Marco gives a proud smile.
The dog searches for Ludo, sniffing his scent for miles, the scent of Gold N’ Crisp potato chips fresh in the dog’s memory. Through forests he trekked, through insurmountable danger he did not fear he tracked Ludo until he could see a small golden glint in the corner of his eye. The moon reflecting off of Ludo’s laminated plastic bag was indistinguishable from any shrubbery that could be produced. Ludo continued to walk, aimlessly, thoroughly defeated and uncaring as to what happened to him next. In the distance he thought he heard barking, simply brushing it off as his imagination, or tiredness. But the sound grew louder. Believing he was going mad, he looked all over. He squinted, widening his eyes when much to his surprise the puppy came like a boulder towards him faster than those scrawny legs made possible. Ludo swelled with joy as the puppy drew closer. The dog leaps into the air as he gets near Ludo as he outstretches his arms. The dog totally pulverizes Ludo, knocking him to the ground and showering Ludo with more love than he ever received in his entire life, and returned to the pup in equal amounts. It was destiny. Two broken souls, fitting together to make something whole. Ludo wondered why the puppy didn’t stay with Star and Marco, but it didn’t last too long cause it was the happiest he’d ever been in his entire life.
Ludo decides he wants to try to build a house out in the woods, deciding in an almost gutsy way to build it within a reasonable distance from his awful family, Thinking of Dennis. However. He wanted to try his hand at some of the newfound hope he’d received with his new best friend. The house he erected with the help of the puppy wasn’t a particularly perfect house. In fact it was rather flawed, but after three or four tries, he managed to make some chairs without them breaking under his rump, and even learned to eventually make a house that didn’t straight up fall apart just from opening the door. Ludo knew he wasn’t the best at particularly anything, but he didn’t care, and kept trying and trying to be the best he could be at being him every day from then on out.