Herman the Hamster
Herman the Hamster lives in Billy's room which is checkered in transforming robot wallpaper. He is a good rodent. He sees everything as being of much larger size than him. His whiskers twitch as Billy enters the room. It's that time of day when the light is slanted to such an extent that it enters the one window in the room casting shadows along Billy's belongings in strange patterns. Billy doesn't recognize the patterns because he is angry.
Billy stares in fury at nothing as he thought of how his brand new fishing pole that he had gotten from his granddaddy two weeks ago had been broken by the school bully. Billy lives in the country you see and earlier in the day he had been fishing in the sunlight of the afternoon time. He was having a lively time while at the fishin' hole. He sat on the two big tree trunks crossing his ankles and dreaming the day away.
Then Big Stan appeared.
What ensued was not pretty. Big Stan having seen Billy alone fishing merrily, called out to him that he was a woman's private area. To Billy it looked as though Big Stan stomped over the tree trunks like he didn't care that he had about a foot and a half width to stomp upon. Billy flew up and tried to say something like, "You better stay away from me Stan." Big Stan retorted, "Or what?" Then Big Stan called Billy another unsavory name and lunged for the pole that was in his hand. Billy had nearly fallen off the trunks into the hole, but managed to get away. He tried to grab the pole away; however, Billy was not fast enough as Big Stan held his fishing rod fast. Billy staggered back and fell onto the ground below the trunks. His teeth chipped together painfully as he hit the grass. Big Stan then wound up his line which still had a worm on it. Billy watched with horror as Stan brought the pole between his two huge hands and then broke it over his knee.
It was impossible.
Billy cried out as tears began to fall down his eight and a half year old face. Billy knew Big Stan had gone crazy as he looked into those hateful eyes. This was the most Billy had been hurt in his entire life. But what Billy didn't know (and it would have given him very little comfort) was that this would be the last time the school bully would wrong him for Big Stan would die when his parent's trailer, due to an over loaded outlet, catches fire and burns to the ground next weekend.
Big Stan looked at the smashed pole and back to Billy with obvious glee. He then chucked it into the drink below him. Billy's little tackle box went with it.
Big Stan then began to advance upon Billy. Thinking quickly, Billy got up on his feet, and taking a last fearful look at Stan, he ran away. Stan called after him in a voice that sounded like glass being pulverized in a blender. "Get back here you little fucker!"
And he ran away.
Billy ran back to his house as fast as he could, through the thicket of trees and over a hill green with grass. Billy ran though old man Cory's alfalfa patch and jumped over the fence that separated the land from his father's in one single bounding leap.
Billy slowed a pace when he saw his house and realized what had happened.
He roared and raged, cried and wailed as he walked home.
Herman the Hamster didn't understand why Billy would be in such a tirade as he was now is his room. Herman was glad to see Billy and was shocked out of his senses as Billy came over to his cage and kicked it off the shelf in one swift motion.
"God dammit," Billy spat; he was absolutely furious.
Herman flew against the side of his cage and let out a squeal of pain and horror. As this was happening Billy kicked and threw other things that equally made load sounds to Herman's tiny rodent ears. There was no one home except Billy and Herman so no one heard what was happening.
Billy felt anger, fear, and humiliation at his circumstances.
Herman felt pain, fear, and anger in his turn as well. Why would Billy do this to him? What had he done wrong? Of course, Herman didn't know about the fishing pole and even if he had, he was a hamster and couldn't do much about it anyway.
As Herman laid there in his cage which was resting on its side, food pellets everywhere, his little round boulders of shit everywhere, (thankfully the water was intact for it hung on the side of the cage in one of those special dispensers) he decided that if he lived he would get his revenge.
Soon Billy calmed down and realizing what he had done began to return his things to their proper places. The toys which weren't broken were put in the toy box. The books put back on the bookshelf. Billy carefully righted Herman's cage and set it back on the top of the shelf. Herman tried to move about, but found it difficult. He let out his breath with tight anxiety.
"Are you okay, Herman?" Billy said the concern in his voice was evident. "I'm sorry; I didn't know what I was doing." Billy began to spill fresh tears as Herman finally got to his destination: the water on the side of his home. He drank gratefully always keeping his eyes on Billy.
Then the top of his home was opened and Billy's hand entered in to scoop Herman up like he had countless times before. Herman didn't fight Billy.
As he was brought out of the cage to be examined by Billy he stayed still. Billy began to croon again over what he had done to Herman and brought him up to his face as he had done many times to cuddle the animal.
Herman bit Billy's cheek so hard that the scar would be with Billy till the day he died.