As the sketch suggested, the previous strip left at a cliff-hanger and we are back in Cindy’s room to see what is going on with she and Velvy. The next strip or two will focus on what the other characters are doing at HQ but that’s so I can attend a funeral and try and plot how to draw the next part of the action sequence.

It’s been a little while since last I included narrative so here we go!

With a pair of tongs, Cinderella placed the Velveteen Rabbit on a clear desktop in her room.

“That was the tenth washing!” Frustrated, a fluting sigh flit past her lips. She eyed Velvy warily. “Now you… you just sit. Don’t move.” Cindy’s voice held a note of warning for the animate stuffed animal. Not waiting for a reply, she backed up two steps. “I’ll be right back.”

Velvy watched the princessed pauper dash about her room in search of something but his sight inevitably drew again to the tiny bubbles of disease forming once more on his extremities.

Still damp from his recent ringing through Cindy’s laundering contraption, he hugged himself. He wasn’t cold, didn’t feel violated in the least, nor did being moist dampen his spirits. The wetness weighed him down physically, made it difficult to move, and that reminded him just enough of the fate he’d missed in his original story to set his mind wandering.

…Was it better to be a live rabbit? He doubted he could handle being one of Mother Goose’s champions if that were so. The fresh stitches Cindy put in to patch him up from his encounter with the Red Lady stood as clear proof of that. But, if he were alive, perhaps the disease would leave him and he could touch and be held by anyone at all without hurting them. Maybe then… Maybe then Cindy wouldn’t look at him like–

Her giant eye startled him momentarily until he realized he was seeing it close up through the magnifying glass she’d fetched to inspect his necrotic aura better.

“Hm,” she said as she peered extensively at his left arm, currently being hugged by the one she’d reattached. “The disease particles persist. They appear to generate from your fur as fast as you are washed. This will be a challenge.”

If Velvy had eyelids, he’d have blinked at Cindy in surprise. She hadn’t sounded upset or disgusted or hateful or afraid! In fact… “You sound like Dr. Muffet.”

“Hush. Being analytical.”

And obviously too much involved to use full sentences, or to understand that the Velveteen Rabbit wasn’t being critical. He was actually excited! If the challenge of getting rid of his disease aura helped Cindy get close to him, to see beyond her loathing of its effects, then he didn’t mind being as he was. Not at all!