Thursday, March 13, 2014

Per Your Suggestion: "Rainbow Hamsters vs. Monster Cookies"

This "crazy title" was submitted by Taylor Evans. When I first read her suggestion, I thought, "Oh, boy, what in the world am I going to do with this?" But then I got an idea. And this was it. Hope you like it, Taylor. (Hope everyone else does, too.)  ~  JH


The three brightly colored rodents crouched impatiently at the starting line. To their right, the three gargantuan sugary snacks glared menacingly at the track ahead. This was going to be an epic race.

The Rainbow Hamsters – a genetic curiosity, resulting from ordinary house pets being crossbred with crayons – were clearly the underdogs, despite their swift-moving feet. True, they were seriously overmatched in the size department. But size was not everything, they understood.

The Monster Cookies – pathetic mutants themselves, with their dripping fangs, razor-sharp claws, and piercing quills – were poised to win for the fourth year in a row. Their advantage was in the rules of the game – or, to be more precise, its lack of rules.

The starting gun was fired, and the racers were off. Lukas, the youngest of the Rainbow Hamsters, quickly took the lead. But as he rounded the first bend, Glorg – the undisputed leader of the Monster Cookies – took Lukas down with a quill to the hip. Lukas hit the track hard and helplessly rolled off onto the grass, panting and squeaking.

Hundy, a tough but runty Rainbow Hamster, saw Lukas go down but refused to let it stop her. She pressed forward with all her might, determined to win the race. She never saw Pok coming until it was too late. The hideous fanged Monster Cookie sunk his teeth into her neck, and she squealed out in pain. She padded a few steps farther, but no longer had the strength to go on. She slunk off to the grass to lick her wounds.

Glorg and Pok head-butted each other, the Monster Cookie way of congratulating a friend. Cookie crumbles rained down around them, but they didn't seem to notice. Their work here was done. All that remained was to finish the race. Rilpas would make sure that that wouldn't be a problem.

Tila – the oldest Rainbow Hamster, but by no means a pushover – glanced back briefly and sighed as she saw one, then two of her fellow Hamsters defeated by the devilish Monster Cookies. She tried not to let the tears cloud her vision, but couldn't stop them from coming nonetheless. She ran as fast as she could – hardly as speedy as the others, but still – until the finish line was in her sights.

Rilpas, the ugliest and most evil of all the Monster Cookies, let the pitiful little rodent in front of him think that she had a chance. He'd given Tila a head start from the get-go, and allowed the gap to open further once his associates had taken down Lukas and Hundy. Maybe he'd even let her approach the finish line, only to take her out just before she crossed the ribbon. Either way, there was no chance of her winning.

Rilpas glanced back at Glorg and Pok, who were jogging slowly – not caring if they won, as long as the Monster Cookies didn't lose – and gave them a devious smile. Back in front of him, Tila was 20 yards away from the finish line. Time to make his move.

Tila heard the clomp-clomp-clomp of the Monster Cookie's feet advancing toward her at a frightening rate of speed. Just ahead was the finish line. It was not so far. She could make it, couldn't she? Then an idea came to her.

Rilpas was astonished to see the small Rainbow Hamster stop in her tracks. This was going to be easier than he thought. He sneered sadistically as Tila turned to face him. She was smiling. What was this?

Tila tried to hide the shaking that she felt, deep within her. The plastered-on grin must have been convincing, for Rilpas' sneer turned to a look of utter confusion.

A moment before, she'd remembered something about Monster Cookies. Something that neither Lukas nor Hundy would have known. An ancient knowledge, known only by Tila because she was ancient – in Hamster years, at least.

Tila had remembered that – despite their inherent cruelty and outright evil behavior – the Monster Cookies were compulsively polite. Indeed, it was so deeply ingrained in them that they could scarcely control their impulses. And she would use this to her advantage with Rilpas.

She smiled a little harder, confounding Rilpas further, then spoke softly, "After you, Rilpas."

Without even thinking, the Monster Cookie extended a hand toward the finish line, and growled, "No, no. After you. I insist."

"Alright," grinned Tila. And she crossed the finish line.

Rilpas' jaw dropped hard and fast. Glorg and Pok reached him at that moment and stared at him in wonder.

"What was that?" shouted Glorg.

"Yeah," added Pok. "Why'd you let her win?"

"She wanted me to go first. But I insisted that…"

 All three Monster Cookies slapped at their own foreheads furiously, cursing their race for its confounded courtesy, while knowing that there was absolutely nothing they could do about it anyway.

Tila beamed happily as the medal was placed around her neck. Lukas and Hundy flanked her – she mostly supporting them – in victory. This time, the good guys had won.

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