Categories > Original > Sci-Fi > Hamsters in a Cage

Hamsters in a Cage

by Shmitz 9 reviews

A tale of hamsters. I wrote this for a scholarship app for Tulane. Got $20,000 for it, which would have covered all of one semester there.

Category: Sci-Fi - Rating: G - Genres: Sci-fi - Published: 2005-02-27 - Updated: 2005-02-28 - 1162 words - Complete

Shredder of Soft White Things was a scientist. She was a problem solver. She was many things that her sister and brother were not. Unfortunately, one of those things was her diminutive size. As people went, she was small. She also lacked some of the skills that the other two had. She could not scale the side of the world as quickly as they could. Her cheeks wouldn't hold anywhere near as much food as her brother. Also, she couldn't bite as hard as her sister; this she knew from experience. She could out-shred both of them, however, and she could definitely out-think them as well.
Presently she was staring at the Difference in the wall of the world. Climber of the Walls of the World, her brother, had told her stiffly that it was a waste of time to just sit and stare at anything, especially the wall. He believed firmly that if he kept running in the ladder that never ends, eventually he would reach the top and escape from the world. Biter of Anything that Invades, her sister, felt that the only way to escape was to go around biting and gnawing at everything until something gave way and they were free from the world.
Shredder knew this was nonsense. She could see plainly by standing and staring that the ladder that never ends only led back to the ground. So even if Climber ever did reach the top, he would only end up where he started. As for biting everything, she had tried chewing on the walls once, and the memory of the pain was enough to keep her from trying again. No, she was content to sit and stare and try to figure out why the Difference was different from the rest of the wall.
Soon, however, she was prevented from staring by the bulk of her sister, who was trying to gnaw at the Difference. "Will you stop that! I'm trying to stare here," she protested.
"That's fine. I won't stop you from staring. I just want to test this spot again in case it has gotten weaker since last time I was here."
"You were here just a little while ago! Besides, you are stopping me from staring. You're in-between me and what I'm staring at!"
"Oh. Well, move then. I'm gnawing."
"But I'm trying to sit and stare. If I move, I won't be sitting. If you move, I will still be sitting and I will also be staring. You don't see me getting in your way."
"That's because if you get in my way, I bite you."
Shredder started to protest some more, but it looked like Biter was done with the Difference, and indeed, Biter soon ambled off to another part of the world. She resumed her stare, thankful that she didn't also have to interrupt her sit.
As she peered closer, however, she noticed something unusual. There was now a piece of flaky-brown-thing stuck under the Difference. That was quite odd. The Difference had never moved before. Maybe Biter was right about gnawing. Shredder sauntered closer to the Difference, but when she touched the flaky-brown-thing it fell over and the Difference rattled down. Shredder jumped back. Curiouser and Curiouser. The Difference had moved again. It had moved twice. She wondered if it would move again. She moved closer again, but nothing happened. That puzzled her. Biter was gnawing it when it moved the first time. She closed her teeth down hard on the wall, but only pain answered her attempt. Maybe if she wanted the Difference to go up, she would have to pull up. She tried again, but nothing happened. Undeterred, she thought harder. Maybe if she tried gnawing another part of the Difference, it might work. She grabbed at a lower part of the Difference with her teeth and pulled up. She almost didn't notice the change in the Difference she pulled so hard. She dropped it when she finally realized what she had just done.
"Biter! Climber! Come over here! I think I've found a way out of the world!" she screamed. Biter and Climber slowly made their way over to the Difference, disbelief in their eyes.
"What? What do you mean, 'you've found a way out'?" Climber asked.
"Here! Here!" Shredder said and demonstrated.
Biter and Climber sat for a couple seconds, absorbing this, and then, with a singularity of mind, moved forward to help. Soon they had raised the Difference high enough for Shredder, with her smaller size, to stick her snout under. She gave it a hefty push upward and surged on through. Biter and Climber, after grappling for a moment with the suddenly elevated Difference, soon followed. Shredder breathed deeply.
"So this is outer space!" she exclaimed to her siblings, but Biter and Climber were already on their way up the outside of the world. Shredder scrambled up the wall in pursuit. She found them on top standing on a wide piece of something similar to, but stiffer than, the Soft White Things that supplied her name. Knowing that wherever they decided to nest they would need bedding, Shredder instinctively began gathering the material up in her mouth. She was approaching the edge of the surface underneath when the ground began to wobble. She shrieked for help. Biter and Climber came scurrying over, and the ground gave way underneath them. Shredder felt herself falling, herd a crash, and had the breath knocked out of her by a sudden impact with the ground. She stood still for several minutes, afraid of the dangers in outer space.
Suddenly a bright light filled her vision and she heard the booming rumble of the Inescapable Force. She ran straight for the nearest corner, but true to its name, the force was inescapable. She felt herself being caught up into a warm, powerful cup. Resigned as she was to her fate, she couldn't help but tremble a little. She knew, however, that it would probably be a simple thing to escape the world again. . .

Finder of Ways Out sat staring at the empty wall. She remembered her earlier escapades, but couldn't seem to fit them into this new world. There were walls, but she could find no Difference. This worried her. Biter and Climber had just gone back into their usual routine: one running in the ladder that never ends and the other biting the walls. They didn't seem in the least bit changed by their brief safari into outer space.
She wondered if she could ever escape from the world again. There was a funny looking Spot in the top of the world, however. She wondered if that indicated anything. She climbed up to a better vantage point and got comfortable. She hoped she could get in a nice long sit and stare before she had to sleep again.
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