The Manic Hamster Story

"I'm serious. Never, ever trust a hamster," I said to the little cream-colored gerbil sitting attentively on the other side of the glass. He blinked and I knew he was saying, "Yes, I agree. Those hamsters are bad news."

After talking to all the animals at Petco, I had most of them on my side against the hamsters. The gerbils are the last ones I had to talk to, mainly because I was scared of going so near the hamster cages. Animals are my only hope, as after I tried to convince the people here at Petco, I was almost thrown out of the store.

The fish had not proved to be the most captive audiences, but I think I got the point across. The birds were a hit though. They are totally with me, as are the dogs. The cats, on the other hand, almost totally ignored me; only one I named Blinky listened. He'll convince the rest. I had had a nice heart-to-heart talk with reptiles and frogs, though, as they just stared at me without moving the whole time.

Now, I only needed to convince these gerbils and things were going well, I thought. Only one gerbil looked skeptical. "So, Mr. Doubtful, I think I should tell you the whole story." I knew recounting my whole ordeal would make him understand the urgency of the threat of hamsters.

Right as I went to start, Petco's manager came up to me, apprehensively, to say the least. I was surprised, all the employees at Petco had been doing their very best to avoid me. Looking like he'd rather be facing an alligator than me, who he saw as crazy and unstable, he said, " Excuse me, sir, but these children, " indicating the kids behind him, " want to see the gerbils"

I know he meant for me to go elsewhere, but I just said, "I hope they find a nice friend," and resumed talking to the gerbils. "So anyways, I'll tell you what happened…"

One day I was walking along, minding my own business, when out of a bush jumped a hamster waving a giant green glow stick and yelling maniacally. He obviously needed to get something out of his system, so I just stood and waited for him to finish. I wasn't afraid. I am brave!

The little furry ball at my feet screamed on. At this point, I seriously began doubting his sanity. Is sanity an issue with hamsters? He seemed quite proud of his performance, but after a while, with absolutely no reaction from myself, he kind of lost confidence. I had a pretty good headache by now, so when I saw him take a breath to start up again, I kicked him back into his stupid little bush and attempted to continue on.

Glancing back, I saw him dragging his crumpled body out of the bush. He turned a pair of glazed eyes at me, a malicious grin spreading across his pointed face. With a cry, an army of lemurs leapt out at me from the surrounding bushes. His army, no doubt.

Oh, had I known! I would never have kicked that little rodent! The lemurs circled; their beady monkey eyes alight with malice, growing ever closer. I tried, and failed dismally, not to imagine my imminent death drawing nearer and nearer. I cursed fate, cursed monkeys, and cursed pet stores that sell hamsters! The hopelessness and injustice of it all overwhelmed me. When have I taunted you fate? Why must I die at the hands of thirty crazed lemurs at the command of a deranged hamster?

As my mortal terror subsided for the moment, I realized that the lemurs were nearly upon me. "Goodbye life, goodbye ones I have loved, goodbye… YOU STUPID LEMURS!" Whilst murmuring my farewells, my courage retook me and I made a last-ditch attempt to escape. I failed.

I had moved no more than three paces before the primates recovered themselves and tackled me. Thirty lemurs on you is not fun. I could scarcely breathe and got quite scratched up. The bloody hamster seemed to feel better, as he was doing a smug little dance, limping only a little, still waving his glow stick madly. Around the pile of bodies that myself being mauled by frenzied monkeys the little creature danced.

I fought and I fought, the sight of the pathetic little hamster enraged me so. How did I ever think they looked so cute and fuzzy through the cage glass at Petco? They are beasts, cunning, small, and adorable, but beasts nonetheless. My fight for freedom from the monkey stench was in vain though. As a scratch from a swinging paw blurred my vision, I barely saw littler paw holding a green glow stick come flying down until a second before it reached me. With a crashing blow to the temple, everything turned black and I remembered no more.

When I woke, I was in a dark, cavernous chamber. I looked around and realized I was lying at the feet of a huge stone hamster with a rather menacing look on his face. I was alone. I wasn't even bound; I guess whoever captured me figured there was no way for me to escape. They were right; I could see no way to get out of the cavern.

I tried to get to my feet to look around, but my head swam and my legs failed. "Why the bloody hamster drugged me!" I cried indignantly to no one.

Out of the silence a voice replied, "Aye, that he did. Colonel Pubb did not want you waking up halfway here, now did he?" I nearly jumped out of my skin and cast about frantically for the source of the voice.

In the dim shadows of a corner, I spotted a hamster leaning casually against a stalagmite. "Where did you come from?" I demanded.

"Oh, I've been here waiting for you to come too. Now that you're awake, I shall summon Colonel Pubb." I was about to ask whom that was when my mind clicked into place and I realized that must have been the hamster in the park.

Wait, this guy's what, up to my ankles, why don't I just put him out of play and find a way out of this hole, I thought to myself. I pulled myself to my feet and took a step towards the little fur ball who was turned away from me doing something. Without turning, he said, "I'd not do that if I were you, sonny," with a vague wave in front of him. I peered deeper into the shadows and saw several lemurs lurking there, their eyes glittering.

Defeated, I stopped and sighed, my bruised limbs suddenly aching at the thought of another monkey pile. "What are you doing then, you stupid little thing?"

Now he turned to me, a tiny piece of paper in his hand. "I am writing a note," he said matter-of-factly, "and I shall report your impertinence to Colonel Pubb, y'know."

"Whoopee," I muttered, though my head still smarted from his glow stick. The mysterious little hamster motioned to one of the lemurs to take the note. I watched it go, to see the way out. But, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the hamster come rushing towards me. Instinctively, I looked at him and tensed, even though he was miniscule. He stopped and chuckled and too late I realized he was keeping me from seeing the way out. The monkey had already gone. He snickered again and settled himself at the foot of a stalagmite and regarded me unblinkingly, scornfully. Uncomfortable, I turned away and inspected the chamber, keeping well away from his and the lemurs' corner.

After a short, tense while, I heard a grating sound and turned quickly to see who I guessed was Colonel Pubb entering through a hidden door in the rock. I couldn't see how to open it. He strode to the center of the room and eyed me imperiously. He still carried his wretched glow stick.

I glared at him and made a rude hand gesture, which he ignored. Silently I chided myself for seeming so foolish. For almost a minute he regarded me, until I was about to flash the birdie again; this time just for laughs. Then he nodded to the first hamster that had been hovering about him and it backed away.

"So, human, do you know why you are here?" he asked in a low, sinister voice; the ultimate "bad guy" voice.

"No," I spat, "but you won't keep me here forever. So there!"

"Do not speak to me in such a way, human!" he said, drawing himself up to his full stature, which was actually rather short as you know, he's a hamster. He spoke again saying, "It is not for me to tell, human, of the reason for your capture. You are to be taken to the king."

"Oh joy," I muttered sullenly and, to my shame, half fearfully. I didn't know what was up with these hamsters, and until I did, I would just play along with their little whacked-out schemes.

Pubb motioned to the lemurs still in the background and they moved out to surround me. Without a word, he strode to where I now knew the hidden door was and knocked four times in a row. It slid open and he, with a glance behind him, stepped through, leaving the lemurs and I to follow. Now, you may think that because only hamsters and lemurs passed through, or so I assumed, it would be a tight squeeze, but it was a large enough door, I only needed to duck a little. Unfortunately, the rest of the corridor was that height also, so the little bit I had to stoop soon put an ache in my back.

We trooped in silence, our odd little parade. I lost track of time after a while. The watch I wore had stopped working soon after I had gotten it for my fourteenth birthday, two months ago. I am five feet and nine inches tall, and I estimated the corridor to be about five feet three inches, so, after a while, I definitely wanted to straighten up.

Eventually, with no end in sight, I could tell that the roof was flattening my bright green, pimped-out mohawk, which I must admit, I am rather proud of. So I tried leaning back, instead of bending forward, to keep my mohawk awesome and to relieve my back. Only I guess the monkeys didn't like that. The one behind me jabbed a thumb at my butt, as that's what's at his height. The one in front tripped me, sending me sprawling to the side, on top of the side monkey.

I think the lemurs had been bored, because they all decided to think I was attacking the one I fell on. They all dove on me, squishing the bottom one all the more. Pubb stopped and waited for us to disentangle ourselves. As the scuffle subsided, I noticed the side of the corridor was opened, like another hidden door.

The hamster at it must have thought Colonel Pubb wanted in, as we had stopped right in front of it. He realized we didn't and scrambled to shut it again. Suddenly, Pubb said, "Stop, Rufas! Human… look," and pointed into the chamber. Apprehensively, fearing some sort of trap, I got to my feet and peered within.

I saw an older, maybe forty-ish, man in ragged, hippie-type clothes lying on a pile of blankets. He was rocking back and forth in the fetal position. The odd thing was, though, that the man was cackling merrily and shouting, "Save them! Not that one, that one! The pumpkins! No, the pumpkins save them! Aack! Save it! Don't let go, DON'T LET GO!"

Alarmed, I stepped back and looked in confusion at Pubb, who was grinning, in a malicious sort of way, rather like when I had kicked him. But now, he did not look to be in pain, which I thought was quite unfortunate. I realized that this was a warning of what could happen to me if I didn't cooperate with whatever they wanted.

After a disdainful look at the man, Colonel Pubb ordered us to get moving again. As we got along a ways, I thankfully noticed that the ceiling was rising. Pubb sped up; eager to get wherever we were headed; yet still he hardly spoke.

Crude sculptures lined the hallway now. They were about as big as I was and, to me, completely unrecognizable. As we kept going, they seemed to become more detailed and more skillfully made. Soon I came to realize that they were sculptures of large hamsters. These later ones were very much like the one that was in my cell. All had a similar, rather evil, expression on their faces, and it became obvious that they were past kings of some sort.

As we passed more and more stone sculptures, each larger and more intricate than the last, cold fear washed down my back. These hamsters must have a powerful motive and scheme, to have been in business this long. To have had so many leaders told me that this had to be a pretty refined operation.

The corridor continued to get larger and Pubb pressed on. A bright light appeared at the end of it and, for a second, I wondered if I had died. Y'know, the whole "light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel" type thing. As we passed through the light, I was temporarily blinded and stopped to let my eyes grow accustomed to the light. Once again, though, the monkeys didn't like it and I was prodded sharply to keep moving.

Out of the dimness, shadowy figures came into my blurred sight. I could tell that there were lots of hamsters around me. The thought, I must say, did not comfort me. I suddenly thought of how ludicrous it was to be afraid of hamsters. I was still regaining sight when a voice boomed out through the babble of squeaky hamster voices.

"How you dare attack a one of my first Fugatorian hamsters, mahn?" it queried. Oddly, the voice had a Jamaican accent. I could see now and on a very high throne (at my eye level) sat an immensely fat hamster. I could tell he was the king, because, y'know, the throne was a big tip-off. What in heck does Fugatorian mean, I wondered?

The king broke into my thoughts, saying, "Now you shall pay for attempting to hinder our operation!"

"What operation?" I asked, completely clueless.

"Dis operation," he said, gesturing around him. "De operation of Fugatori. You attempt murder and so we detain you. What can you expect? You saw dat crazy human on your way here didn't you? You are in de same boat as him now."

"Yes, I did see him. Who was he, and who are you crazy hamsters? 'Fugatori' tells me nothing." I said.

"Dat mahn I will come to soon. We hamsters are a superior race, you know. We have always been de little cute pets, what all eight-year-old human children want for dere birthday, but no more! We have decided dat it is high time de hamsters took their rightful place as the rulers of this world. We are going to dominate de world. We shall get rid of all humans and cleanse de earth of its many impurities. I am de hamsters' king. I am King Louie, and under my command, we shall be victorious!"

"So, basically, you're just a little, harmless psycho-freak that wants to sleep on a king size Sealy instead of cedar chips." I retorted; sounding not as clever as it had been in my head.

With a scary little laugh, King Louie said, "Harmless? How do you call us harmless, boy? You are a human and much bigger den us, and yet Colonel Pubb brought you here by force. Even now, you cannot escape; it would cost you your life. Harmless, mahn? How can you think dat? How delusional are you?"

I stood in stunned silence, realizing what he said was true, no matter how strange it was that a pack of hamsters could take a human hostage. They had the lemurs for an army, and they are much stronger than you'd think, when they are in a group. Who knew if they had other minions lurking anywhere?

"Dat mahn Colonel Pubb show you, he is Harold. He also did what you did, and attacked my old general, who, may he rest in peace, died from it. We thought dat he suspected us, though it turns out dat he did not know a thing, and only was in a bad mood dat day. But now we cannot release him, he has seen too much. As have you, mahn. You shall be here as long as Harold has been, then longer; and the two of you shall die here in our stronghold eventually, so dat you can never reveal us."

I caught my breath in fear. Incredulous, I said, "You're mad, aren't you? You're absolutely insane; you know that? You can't keep me here forever! I won't tell any of this to anyone, I swear. Just let me go!"

"I think not, sir," King Louie stated.

"If I may interject, sire," a sinister voice said. I had forgotten that anyone else was here. But here was Colonel Pubb stepping forward from the group that had been my escort. The look on his face did nothing to help my fears. His eyes had now taken on a sadistic glint.

"Speak, colonel," Louie granted.

"This boy does not seem to know anything about our operation or anything that would be any help to us. Harold has become a problem, sire; it is difficult to contain him at times. His mind leaves him. This boy is also an unneeded burden. Why do we not just execute them both and move on in our plans?" he asked, with a slight glance down the corridor where, suddenly, merry cackles from Harold could be heard very faintly, as if on cue.

The king waved his hand in dismissal, "No colonel, you have pressed for dis in de past, but I hold firm to what I said before. Having captives could prove useful to any future hostages. It has been now. Dis boy will tell all he knows, if he knows anything, dat is, because we have obviously tortured Harold to de state he is in now." He directed his attention back to me. "What is your name, boy?" he asked, as the thought just came to him.

"Trent," I said, "and I don't know anything about you guys and I never heard anything about you before in my life."

"Oh, and why should we believe you, Trent? We have no proof dat you are being honest, do we" King Louie said, with a smile that told that he knew he had just asked an unanswerable question.

I was mad now; "I have no proof! But you might as well believe me because I am telling the truth," I said resolutely.

I was also scared of being tortured. I really didn't want to be made like that crazy guy by hamsters! I didn't know what to do to convince them. So I just hoped against hope that the little hamsters would believe me.

The king was winding down, I could tell. He called Colonel Pubb forward and said, "You may take him back to his cell; I have no need of him now." Colonel Pubb cracked his glowstick on my ankle, which hurt, and motioned for the lemurs to circle me again. As they began hustling me out of the vast chamber, through the throngs of hamsters that had been silent through all of this, King Louie laughed and said; "You really believed de torturing part, boy? Ha, we never did anything to Harold but interrogate him. It was de drugs he done that made him dat way; he was what humans call a 'hippie.' Good day, Mr. Trent, enjoy the accommodations."

Grinding my teeth furiously, I allowed the lemurs to easily usher me out of the room. As we traipsed back down the sculpture-lined hall, Pubb muttered, "I will see you killed, human! I will not suffer the indignity of being kicked by you without revenge."

O joy, I thought. The right-hand man of the king wants me dead. The fact that he's a hamster doesn't matter. I'm doomed.

The rest of the trip back was rather uneventful. Harold's door was shut, but I could hear demented laughter within. Later, as I sat in my cell on the pile of blankets someone had provided, I thought about what it would be like to live here the rest of my life, or at least until Pubb murdered me. The thought, either of them, was not appealing. I wished I could escape, but I still hadn't figured out how the door to my cell was opened. I tried to knock like Pubb had, but it didn't budge.

Time passed quietly, quickly, and uneventfully. I do not know if I was there for a day or a week. The only time I saw anyone was when food and water was given and when the…erm…chamber pot was taken out. I sat and played mind games with myself until I realized that I was talking to myself. That reminded me unpleasantly of Harold, so then I watched every movie that I had ever seen over and over again in my head.

At one point, I was lying on my back, staring at the hamster statue, pondering how I could vandalize it, when the door opened. I had already been attended to day, so I assumed that this was Colonel Pubb coming back at last. I looked over and was extremely surprised to see a penguin standing in the doorway watching me.

"O great," I said to him, "Penguins; what next?"

"Excuse me, dude, I am not with Fugatori! I am SuperHugh! I've come to rescue you!" he said grandly.

I suspected a trick and so I just looked at him in his bright red cape and blue undies and said, "Really? Where did you come from then?"

"I fight against the Fugatorian Project, buddy, (Insert me looking annoyed. I still hadn't figured out what the Fugatorian Project entailed.) and if you want to get out of here, then come on," he looked anxiously behind him and motioned for me to hurry. I decided to risk it, if they caught me, well, so what. It would be better to end it sooner than spend all my life in this hole.

"Alright then, I'm coming. But seriously, where did you come from and how did you know I was here?" I asked as I go to my feet, the last scenes of Finding Nemo running through my head.

"Spies." He explained shortly.

We crept out of my cell as quietly as we could. A knocked-out hamster lay by the door. I grinned and said, "Sweetness, that's the rude one who brought me my food and stuff."

"Yeah, he was a nasty bugger, but I got him soon enough." SuperHugh said casually, like one talking about the weather. "Follow me," he ordered.

We slipped down the corridor, towards the Harold's cell,and the king's room. At Harold's door, another hamster was on guard. SuperHugh slunk up behind him and smacked him smartly on the noggin. The guard dropped like a rock. Hugh went to continue, but I said, "What about the guy in here?"

"Crap, there's another one? Well this doesn't help things. Ok, hold on," Hugh sighed. He leaned down and pushed a hidden button near the bottom of the door. It swung open with an ungodly creak. Harold turned at the sound.

"Heh, heh, they'll never catch me, pumpkins!" he yelled. With one fast movement, he surged past us before we could react and lurched drunkenly up the corridor at an alarming pace.

"That blew our cover," I remarked sarcastically.

Exasperated, Hugh said, "Oh, just a little. Now we'll be lucky to escape with our heads." He raced along the corridor now, not worrying about stealth anymore. Well, I say "raced" but I suppose "waddled really fast" applies better. At one point, there were several stalactites broken on the floor, from the roof of the corridor. We each picked up one of these for a weapon.

We were nearly to King Louie's throne room when the first wave of hamsters arrived. We swung our clubs back and forth like scythes as we ran, sending hamsters sprawling to each side. We made it through, and we had hardly even slowed down.

I wondered where the lemurs were, but was extremely thankful for their absence. Colonel Pubb and another pack of hamsters next attempted to waylay us. Pubb still carried his absurd green glowstick. "Tyrant!" I roared, aiming a particularly vicious swing at him, which he sidestepped. We hacked our way through the mob steadily. Only Pubb escaped our onslaught. He turned and fled further down the corridor before SuperHugh and I.

"So how do we get out of here? How did you get in?" I asked SuperHugh quickly.

"It's up this way, just a bit further along," he muttered distractedly, looking about for more hamsters to fight off. Still there were no lemurs in sight. A sheer rock face blocked our way. It was a dead end, and I began to worry about where we'd go, especially as Colonel Pubb was closing in to cut us off with another band of hamsters. I was just glad that none of this operation had little evil gun things, which would really have been bad.

As we ran, SuperHugh instructed me on the last steps to escaping. "When we get up to that wall, you whip around and keep the hamsters off my back, while I get the hidden door open. As soon as it's open, dash out and I'll follow. I'll shut it immediately, obviously, and we'll take care of any hamsters that make it out."

I did as he said, and so when we got to the rock, I snatched his club also and used one in each hand to smash at the hamsters. I kept them back pretty well. They couldn't make it past my two-clubbed onslaught to stop SuperHugh from opening our way to escape. He yelled as it opened and I ran through backwards, still warding off hamster attacks.

None of the hamsters made it through as Hugh shut the door again when we were out. None, that is, except the dastardly Colonel Pubb, who was almost through when it shut. (Don't worry, no one dies in this ordeal, they just got really big booboos.) And I'm sure Pubb's butt hurt him for a while, because the last I saw of him was him straining to escape the grip of the rock that had closed on his tiny little stub of a tail, holding him back quite effectively.

I breathed in the beautiful smell of air of a normal world, untouched by manic hamsters, their lemur cronies and insane plots to take over the world. I still had no idea what that whole thing was about. I just knew something was definitely wrong with those hamsters' heads.

"…so, that, my friend, is why you must believe me that hamsters are really, really bad and stupid!" I finished lamely to the little gerbil in Petco, the last animal there that hadn't united with me against hamsters.

I looked into his beady little eyes and knew I had him. My job was done. I had begun my campaign against hamsters here at Petco, and it would get much bigger. As I strode from the store, much to the relief of all the people who worked there, I got up my courage and stopped squarely in front of the hamster cages. One of the hamsters, I noticed, had quite the bandage over his tail.

"Colonel Pubb," I murmured, delighted at his fate. "I see you've been resigned back to an eight-year-olds birthday gift yet again." O yes, life was going good for me; I was feeling fine as I left Petco. My campaign had begun and my archenemy was on sale for $8.99!

Note: I'm sorry if this may be a disappointment to readers, but I wrote this story with my friend for a short-story assignment in English class. Though it may be a bit misleading with the talk of the campaign having begun, I don't intend to write more about the fate of Trent, Colonel Pubb, SuperHugh, and the others. Sorry if this is of any inconvenience. Cheerio, penguinscribe