“They almost never had new students. Everyone gasped, but Hammy gasped the loudest. He felt his heart rising with excitement. A new student? I wonder who it is!”
“Good Morning, Hammy! Just wake up, buddy!” Jay yelled.
The loud noise made him shiver in his cage. His cage smelled like rotten eggs, but the classroom smelled like spring flowers. He was the one who actually smelled, but he wasn’t exactly ashamed of it.
Jay always woke him up. It used to bother him, but he got used to it. Since Hammy was nocturnal, he was supposed to sleep till 9:45 a.m., when Ms. Brisbane handed out the tests. Besides, Jay was always first one in class.
Dinga-linga-ling! It was already class time!
“Aw man! Class already? ‘Cause of what damn reason?” Jay screamed.
The class rolled their eyes in unison. Jay was always disrespectful.
“Jayson Racques!” Ms. Brisbane yelled.“Have you forgotten your manners?”
Oh, who cares about manners these days, big woman? Who said yo big baby could call me by my full name? he thought.
“Alrighty. So the reason I want you to get ready for class now is because there’s someone I’d like you to meet. We have a new student!”
They almost never had new students. Everyone gasped, but Hammy gasped the loudest. He felt his heart rising with excitement. A new student? I wonder who it is! He looked to the door, and saw a new face looking in. The boy walked in nervously, his footsteps slow. His glasses on his eyes were crooked, and he was reading a big, thick book that Jay thought was a baby book.
“What a nerd, dweeb, and dork,” Jay snorted, smirking.
The class barely smiled. Hammy liked hanging out with Jay, but sometimes he was impolite and rude. He thought he was so important. They did hang out with each other the most, though.
“This is Bryan,” Mrs. Brisbane introduced. “Would you like to tell everybody about yourself?”
Bryan still stared down at his book. Ms. Brisbane cleared her throat.
“Ahem! Bryan?” Ms. Brisbane said again, louder.
Bryan finally looked up, his voice tiny. “H-h-huh? U-u-uh, yes.”
“U-u-uh, yes,” imitated Jay in a baby voice. “Still a boring dork!”
Ms. Brisbane gave Jay a daredevil look.
“Go on,” Ms. Brisbane told Bryan.
Bryan continued. “I-I-I came from Wy-Wyoming. I have an older sister. I a-a-a-also have six-hundred-and-ninety-two worms, thirteen f-f-f-fish, and forty-seven hermit cr-cr-crabs for pets, and –”
”Okay! That’ll be enough for now!” cried Ms. Brisbane.
Bryan had fiery cheeks and sweaty hands, humiliated.
“Wait!” Hammy said, but it was too late.
“You’ll be seated in row A, seat 4.”
Bryan hurried to his seat.
Hammy was worried about him. He secretly whispered to his neighbor, “Hey, do you ever think about the new folks?”
All his neighbor, Og, replied with was three bounces. Boing, boing, boing!
“Well, to think about it, I’m pretty sure you were a new somebody once!”
Og did a backflip. Because of Og, Hammy suddenly imagined how he would look like if he was a frog. He would still be able to talk with Og and understand him, but, no offense, he would look ugly!
“… and that’s how you do the test, everyone!” said Ms. Brisbane. “Oh, Bryan! Do you want help or support?”
Bryan hid his face. “No thanks, ma’am.”
Oh, no! Hammy had been imagining and thinking too much that he didn’t hear about the tests! The word “tests” reminded him of his — wait! Was it truly there? Well, there or not, he did go to look behind his mirror. Oh my gosh! Instead of his chest, he found a portal! It was as black as the darkest night in the galaxy!
You might ask: how would he know that?
Well, guess what? It doesn’t matter!
Suddenly, he heard a big, booming voice with a rough tone, just like Bryan’s, except evil and definitely the opposite of shy. Hammy shuddered with fear. Ms. Brisbane had said I was the bravest hamster, he thought. Then he wondered, am I still the bravest of all now? He hoped so! Especially when he really needed the courage…
He was thinking and wondering so much that he didn’t realize the portal was almost ending.
He landed hard on his tush, with his paws and claws in the air.
Then, the big, Bryan-like voice yelled, “You have arrived to the land of ice zombies!”
Ice zombies? The small, hopeless critter was in danger! He was supposed to be in a cage, in a windy classroom. He saw a big, beastly zombie that seemed to be made out of ice! Hammy felt the chill crawl up his spine. What in the world? He quickly dashed to a small can.
“Good move!” he told himself.
He didn’t know that the zombie heard him. Soon, did he know! From behind, Hammy heard a growl. His ears perked up. A yellow button appeared. Hammy pressed it frantically, hoping it would carry him to safety. Instead, it did the opposite, and it carried him to harm. It wrapped him in a sticky net with slight touches of purple and green gue! Bleugh!
Hammy scrambled along the net, his paws stuck in the rope, one after the other. He tried desperately, with force, to kick the net and rip it open, but failed to do so. His limb was stuck to the purple glue.
He shrieked in horror. His paw was turning into a blueberry pie! He attempted to bite the net, but his teeth rotted into eggplant! He came to the end of the portal.
Hammy blinked, and he was somewhere else that turned from navy blue to turquoise. The room was empty, aside from a single chair and a desk, with many mysterious papers. Some strange place it was!
“Welcome to my lair,” Hammy heard the Bryan-like voice say. The chair whirled around, and he had appeared in the chair with a smirk on his face, suspiciously.
“Hello, classroom pet,” Bryan’s posture was confident now, his back straight. His head rose up, and his voice was steady.
Hammy crossed his paws with an arched eyebrow. “Something smells real fishy,” he whispered slowly.
Bryan cackled wildly. “I was just pretending to be shy and dorky so that none of you would recognize me. I lied about the pets and the older sister, so you would think I was a regular young boy. I used to be one at age two. The big kids would spank me, lift me up, and throw me in the dump, head first, in a ball. I was so mad, I wanted to push back. So I did lots of studying, mixed potions together, and poured it all on myself. I began to shake, and that’s when I got the power to create a portal and a big voice, and make fake things.”
Hammy jumped back a step or two. His regular face turned yellow. He took a deep breath in and said, “Whoa.”
Bryan grinned. “Mwahahaha! I created this portal for isolation. All who dare to enter it, I will kill. That means you. Now, if you were smart and brave, you would be tackling me, and busting me out of this world. Isn’t that so?”
“Um, of course, villain,” Hammy said. He hoped his fear didn’t show in his voice. He tried to use good energy.
“Nice try, Hamster. But, I know you’re as scared as a tiny ant versus a gigantic eagle,” said Bryan.
“Dang,” whispered Hammy.
Nobody noticed, but Og had popped open his cage and came in from a small portal behind them. He’d come in the best time, though. Good enough to create a dis — wait! I shouldn’t tell you… only if you want me to.
Okay. Then, Og, in a camouflaged disguise, hopped across the room to Hammy and kicked him. Hammy turned around quickly and saw his friend, Og.
“Hey… Og!” he said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
Og answered with bulging eyes in the direction of Bryan.
“Oh, right,” whispered Hammy, “Og, you create a distraction. Please buddy.”
He hoped despairingly, and lifted Og’s leg. Og started bouncing up, and Bryan saw him because he had given his disguise to Hammy. Hammy crept to the closest tunnel that he had spotted, hoping to see a light of escape at the end. He went up the dirty, dark tunnel, seeing some different rodents. Dead. He was grossed out, since he is a rodent himself, you know.
He wondered, Am I gonna die if I go in it? He sure hoped not! He sighed. I may as well take a whack at it!
He carefully dug his claws, or paws, into the inside of the tunnel, and boosted his body up.
For some reason, a small, beeping sound began to sound.
Hammy thought, That must be a security camera. I bet it caught all the other poor rodents who tried to stop Lord Bryan. That’s why they’re all dead.
Meanwhile, Og was doing a very good job distracting Bryan. He was bouncing everywhere and making puddles of water. Bryan, groaning, had to keep on cleaning them. Hammy thought that Og was doing a bad job, but his assumption was not right. What can a hopeless frog do?
Quickly but carefully, Hammy tried to make to his way through the tunnel. When he got to the end, he saw a bunch of red and green wires going in many different directions. He couldn’t figure out which one to bite and follow.
Red wire? No. Red would mean fire or an explosion.
Green wire? That had to be good.
He headed along the green wire and, just as he exited the first tunnel, he bit the wire. There was good news, but there was bad news.