Parker Dooley stared at the forest he entered not long ago. It was definitely the Hundred-Acre Wood. Only, he was alone. Where was everybody?
Parker was a dragonoid with a thin, muscular, humanoid, lizard-like body and a dragon-like head. His scales were smooth and light reddish color. He had a short snout with a tipped end pointed up towards the sky, yellow cat-like eyes, long, furry, red ears, and short, grey, curvy, and wavy horns. His black claws, resting on his fingers and his toes, were retracted since he wasn’t doing battle with anyone. His black spikes ran down his back to his medium-sized tail, which curled around his feet.
As Maranguan, Parker had bloodshot red eyes, pinkish hues in the whites of his eyes, and burns, bruises, and cuts all over his body, tail, and head. As he became good again, his eyes returned to their natural yellow color, but with one flaw: swirling red mist flowed in his yellow irises, making him between the light and the darkness or so it seemed. Eventually, his eyes returned fully to yellow, when he became whole and good again, but that wasn’t without help.
As a human-hobbit, the form he often turned into, Parker resembled Frodo Baggins, Parker’s brother-in-law Tobias, and his great-grandson Terrence Dooley. Parker, in this human-hobbit form, had bright blue eyes, pale skin, fair elvish features, short pointy ears, and soft, thick, curly brown hair resting on his head and the tops of his feet.
Parker had met Frodo once at the Chesapeake Manor, when Frodo told him he was his descendant before Parker used his powers on the lad to make him fall asleep. This made Frodo to forget what happened to him and who Parker was. It was just as well, but Parker wasn’t sure how long the spell would last; at least, until it wore off. Then, the light red dragonoid was in big trouble!
For now, that would do. Parker would allow it to pass for the time being.
One perk of having shapeshifter abilities was that Parker Dooley’s clothes changed with him. He wore a white shirt, brown breeches, tan suspenders, and a blue cloak. His white shirt had a hole ripped in it with a blood stain circling it from having a blaster bolt burn his left arm. The wound healed and closed completely, but the pain from the wound was leftover. Parker feared it was another wound, another pain, that he would have to live with for the rest of his life. Whether or not it made him wiser was for the Fates to decide.
For now, he was lucky that the blaster bolt burn was the only wound he received since leaving his best friend and apprentice, the human woman named Qua’ra, on the planet Zafna, after learning about the female snow leopard Melisandre’s actions there, dismantling the Shadow Empire, and soon transforming Zafna into the planet Teremode, which would become a barren, broken landscape that would eventually be restored in the Third Age.
It could not come any sooner.
Eliza Bowler-Dooley, Parker’s human wife, was dead because of Parker becoming whole again. After the Sith Emperor Vitiate betrayed Parker, while the light red dragonoid was Maranguan, Parker returned to Dromund Kaas to do battle against the Sith Emperor for a second time. Parker lost the fight and worse lost his wife and his sister-in-law to Vitiate’s Force Powers.
Parker had not been the same ever since, but now his heart couldn’t stop thinking about his wife and the will to see her again in the Portal Realm as soon as possible. If only time had been friendlier, then he wouldn’t have to worry about anything, including his wife who was now a spirit and his guide during his next missions and quests.
Parker hoped this trip to the Hundred-Acre Wood meant he could come back to his wife, as well as see how the Land of Talking Animals fared with their new High Queen Melisandre. Parker hoped nothing bad happened to that realm, or else it would be another mess Parker would have to clean up.
If only Alindor, the golden house cat, Druid, and Shapeshifter, could assist him. Then all would be well. But only time would tell how that would work out, given Alindor decided to stay in the Land of Talking Animals, instead of heading to the Shapeshifter’s Migration with all the other shapeshifters.
Parker wished him luck, hoping against hope that the golden house cat and his family would be safe and sound. He couldn’t say the same for Alindor’s mother, the cream-colored Oriental Cat named Jine, the one cat who scratched him and beat him up during his years before Parker became Maranguan. It was a price they were all willing to pay up in the end.
Parker huffed. There was nothing to do except to explore these woods and see where they led him. He trekked, searching for something or someone to guide him in the right direction.
He checked this way and that. Still nothing. Wait. What was that sound? Who was there?
“Hello?” Parker asked, hearing the giggles from a child. “Hello?”
“Hello,” a fluffy yellow bear, wearing a red short-sleeved shirt, shocked Parker. The light red dragonoid yelped, staring at the bear in fright. Would the bear attack him? Huh? This bear didn’t want to fight, but one never knew what would happen to him out in this forest. Now did it? The yellow bear giggled, liking the dragonoid. “My name is Pooh! Winnie the Pooh! Are you looking for someone?”
“Um…” Parker looked around, confused. “Not really.”
“Oh!” Pooh cried out in joy. “Then we’ll be friends!”
“Sounds good to me,” a grey donkey said, gloomily.
“Oh my!” Pooh said, noticing the grey donkey was there. “It’s only a dragonoid, Eeyore.”
“Sure looks like a heffalump,” Eeyore said, sadly.
“What’s a heffalump?” Parker asked, confused.
“Oh, you don’t know?” Pooh asked, curiously.
“No. Should I?” Parker asked, sternly.
“Heffalumps are big,” Eeyore said. “Ignorant and very scary. He looks like a heffalump to me.” He gazed up at Parker as he said those words.
“Whatever a heffalump is, I’m not one of them,” Parker said, confused.
“He even talks like a heffalump,” Eeyore said. “Why bother. He sure doesn’t imagine. He doesn’t play. Must be a heffalump.”
“For the last time, I’m not a heffalump!” Parker shouted, as an assortment of creatures hid. He grumbled, looking at Pooh and discovering he had walked away.
“You don’t believe,” Pooh said, sorrowful. “Why bother.”
“Pooh! Come on! I’m not a heffalump! Pooh!” Parker said, chasing after the bear, only to discover he was gone.
Parker looked around, searching for the animals that claimed he was a heffalump. It didn’t take much for the light red dragonoid to know what they were talking about. But why him? Something wasn’t right.
And the voices. The trunk-like sounds growing louder by the second. Parker felt his forehead, trying his best to keep focused. But he couldn’t keep focused. Maranguan wanted to come out to play.
What are you afraid of? Let me out, please? Just… let me out! Maranguan’s voice rang true in Parker’s mind.
“Get out of my head!” Parker whimpered, trying to relax. But he couldn’t relax! He wanted to fight his demons! Maranguan was a nuisance. And where were those heffalumps?
Nowhere. They were nowhere and he was out in a grassy green field, where the animals were hiding behind trees. Parker couldn’t take this. If those heffalumps wanted a fight, then they would get it!
First, he needed a weapon. Parker sighed, the voices calming down. He picked up his lightsaber hilt, turning it on to reveal the silver beamed blade. He knew what to do.
It was time to play.