Written By Sparky
“Get your filthy paws off me you mongrel freak!”
Life had always treated Ulysses unfairly, not only had he been inflicted with a rather unfortunate parentage, everyone around him had constantly poked fun at him all his short life. See, there was something different about Ulysses. Something that he couldn’t hide no matter how much he wanted to.
Ulysses had wings. Yes that’s right, a hamster with wings. Impossible I hear you cry and well you may think so. However, the evidence is clearly there, either side of Ulysses’ small rodent body were two wings, covered in the same tan fur that kept him warm. This had been as big a setback as anyone could imagine, no-one would have anything to do with him. Even his own mother abandoned him soon after birth. He was a very lonely hamster to put it bluntly.
Every day, he looked to the skies and dreamed of flying away but he knew it could never happen. Although he had wings, his body was too heavy to fly. So how did this come about I hear you ask? Some sort of scientific accident perhaps? No, the truth is far more bizarre then anyone could envisage. Ulysses’ father was a bird. To be precise, a sparrow. To be even more precise, if such a thing is possible, a sparrow named Jack.
Ulysses had learned that Jack had been heavily drunk that night, and his mother was far from sober as well. No-one could quite get their minds around how it happened, the mechanics of such a thing carried the potential to drive people and animals mad. And it did. People say loneliness opens the door to madness, well in this case it proved true. The constant rejection Ulysses faced daily drove him to drink, and drink he did. As much as he could as often as he could. The voices he heard were never as loud when he drank. Ulysses no longer heard anyone calling him freak or the whispers behind his back saying he should crawl away and die.
One night, Ulysses had been drinking extremely heavily and he ventured outside his little home. He walked along the village roads, oblivious to everything going on around him. Ulysses even began to think he could fly, after all, there was no reason why he shouldn’t be able to, aside from the rather limiting factor of his weight. The alcohol in his system was doing what alcohol always did, it made anything seem possible and as he neared the bridge near his village, Ulysses had an idea. He would jump off it and fly away, far away to another place where no-one knew him, a place he could begin anew. As he climbed up the steep hill to the bridge, he began to see how his life would be when he found his new home. Ulysses reached the brow of the hill, climbed to the handrail by the bridge and looked over the edge. His drunken mind not registering the not inconsiderable distance between himself and the floor.
Ulysses took a couple steps back, and took a running jump off the handrail into the air. He urged his wings to flap with every fibre of his will. They moved, albeit gradually, not enough to give him flight sadly. He began to fall, becoming more scared with every passing moment. Ulysses somehow willing his wings to open wide and the updraft caught him. He glided to the ground, shaken but very much alive.
“I’m alive…,” Ulysses whispered, “I didn’t die…” He took a few shaky steps forward, oblivious to everything else around him and shouted for the world to hear, “I DIDN’T DIE!! I AM ALIVE!!!”
However, it was at that moment that Ulysses suddenly became quite quiet, all his limbs refused to move. For up in the sky, he saw the most impossible thing ever. Up in the sky, falling fast, was a rather large elephant. A pink elephant. He was transfixed, he could just not move. Something which proved rather unfortunate as he was directly under the elephant. The noise which followed was brief, but its effect was slightly longer lasting. The road was heavily damaged, cracks reaching in every direction. The elephant somehow managed to walk away, dazed and swaying from side to side. He wandered away and headed in a shaky straight line, not seeing the hill he was heading for. The elephant tripped on the crest of the hill and fell, rolling down the steep grass, crashing into trees and bushes until it finally came to a rest. Quite obviously dead since he couldn’t move and was bleeding rather profusely.
And what of Ulysses? Our lonely hamster no longer had to worry about what anyone thought of him or said about him anymore. He wouldn’t ever drink anymore or have fanciful dreams of flying. No, for his spirit had already taken wing, heading towards wherever spirits are bound to go when their body lies broken beneath them. Ulysses took one final look at the world beneath him and then turned toward the stars and faded away. The wind whistled through the trees as if to say two simple words:
[…] on his own projects, which vary from the profound to the absurd. Check out his short story “The Lonely Hamster” on Inkblots […]
[…] Sparky’s HHC from January was quite close to our heart as editors here, and admins on our forum, The Inkwell, that we couldn’t help but feature it in Inkblots this month. Even though the piece was written inside half an hour, it’s a piece that’s evolved throughout the years. We’ve gone from members on an Australian author’s site, to the best of friends, all within six or so years. It’s a nostalgic piece for us, but we hope you enjoy reading it all the same. If you liked Sparky’s writing, make sure you check out ‘I Wish’ and ‘The Lonely Hamster’. […]