Light shines in through the windows. I open my eyes to the brightness of it. I’m so not ready to get up so I turn myself around and cover myself in my homemade sleeping bag. My name is Tomba and my brother who is sound asleep beside me is Patches. We live with our human who goes by Eric. He clearly isn’t out of his nest yet since we aren’t hearing anything but his snoring. That is until a loud frightening noise goes off and startles us all awake.
As we dash out of our sleeping bags, Eric comes into the room grumbling, holding onto his hand-sized light machine that he always has close to him. That is what is making this infernal racket. “Damn alarm! It always goes off so early.” He groggily walks up to our cage and opens the top of it.
“Hey!” He greets us kindly, “How are my boys today? Feeling up for some fresh goodies?”
We can’t help but jump every time he touches us. No matter how gentle he is, it’s the first touch that always tickles us. Patches runs opposite of me while I run towards the water bottle. Soon, we get use to his touch and enjoy it so much that we let out a series of content purrs to thank him. When he takes his hand out, we both walk towards the center of our cage again.
Suddenly, we hear the rustling of a plastic bag. That can only mean he’s bringing us food. More than eager, we run to the edge of the cage and prop our front paws on the highest edge we can reach.
“Food! Food! Food!” We chant out but for some reason, Eric thinks we are squeaking or screaming.
“Damn boys! So loud. I wish you got this excited over the Superbowl.” He says as he walks into the room with some romaine lettuce. He drops it into our cage and the two of us fight over it. Unlike our human who sleeps for hours we only need to sleep a couple of hours during the course of a day. I don’t know why humans don’t do the same but my main concern right now is food.
Patches, being the greedy asshat that he is keeps trying to hog all the lettuce but I’ll show him. With all my strength, I tug at the giant green leaf and run off with it. I guess that is why humans call us guinea pigs. We are always willing to fight for our food.
After our lettuce is all eaten up, Eric returns with a pitcher of water. He pours water into our water bottle and puts some more hay into our food dish. That usually means he has to leave for the day and we are left alone. Or so you would think.
“Hey Tomba.” Patches squeaks up. “Do you think the imps and fairies will come back today?”
“I hope not.” I reply to my brother. “It’s so exhausting the way they keep chasing us around.”
I make my way towards the hay and start nibbling. That’s when my brother speaks to me again. “I don’t know. Paloma, Kurek, and Evie are nice. I like it when they rub my back and scratch my ears.”
“Perhaps but I hate it when they want to sit on our backs and ride us.” I reply. “It would be good to have some peace and quiet for a change.”
“Those are the imps that do that and they always try to poke us with pins.” Patches corrects me. “Our fey friends tend to tell them to back off. Maybe we should listen to them and start fighting those pricks to get out of our cage.”
“Yeah, and maybe, we’ll grow wings and fly.” I sarcastically say to him.
“I wish you weren’t so negative.”
With that, Patches goes to get a drink of water. He’s right. My comments can sound negative but I am a realist. It seems to be the fate of all guinea pigs to be weary of our surroundings whether we have a human or not.
A few hours go by and things are quiet. Just as I am closing my eyes in my sleeping bag, I sense this little glowing light that passes in front of me. It is quick but I notice it enough to open my eyes. Looking around and sniffing up in the air, I sense nothing so I try to go back to my nap. It happens again almost immediately and Patches runs up to me.
“They’re here Tomba! They’re here!” He squawks.
Suddenly, the room above us is just filled with these little sprites flying above us in random directions. It’s too hard to follow them all with our eyes and noses but the smell of flowers instantly gives us that friendly vibe.
“Is that you fairies?” I chirp out at them.
Three little lights come down and stop in front of us. They are in the shape of two human females and one male but all figures have bright, colorful wings like butterflies. When their lights go down, we see that it is our favorite fairies via Paloma, Kurek, and Evie. Evie being the bubbliest of the trio runs straight to me and give me a pet on my head. Paloma is quieter and goes straight to Patches to give him a warm hug. Kurek on the other hand is the only boy and a hyperactive mischief-maker.
“Hold onto your carrots and hide your nuts because it’s time for a ride!” he yells out and runs straight to me.
With eyes wide, he tries to leap at me and I run the hell out of his way. When I turn around, I see him make a face plant into the corner of the cage. The two female fairies and Patches let out roaring laughs as Kurek struggles. I can’t help but laugh either as he slowly and dizzily stands up. We can almost see the cartoon stars circling around his head.
“You know. You guys are so clever. Why aren’t you dealing with those imps this way?” Evie pipes up.
“Those little bastards always surround us.” Patches replies. “They always chase my brother and I, put us in a corner, and try to stab us with their pins.”
“No! No more!” I yell out. “Evie’s right, we have to defend our home and get rid of these imps. Just think Patches. If they do this to us. Think of what they will do to our human, Eric.”
“The friendly giant who brings us our food, water, cuddles us, and gives us a clean cage.” Patches thinks out loud.
“And has us celebrate the Superbowl.” I speak. “Whatever that is but we get extra food. Let’s protect our home!”
“But how?” Patches appropriately asks.
Paloma walks up to us and whisks a scroll from mid-air “Like this.”
The five of us gather in a circle around this scroll. It has all these funny pictures and images on it that we don’t understand. They do look similar to the things that we would see on Eric’s TV. One such image looks like a box almost like a treasure chest that we see on commercials. We can tell that the picture of a spindly, pointy eared creature on its hind legs is an imp. Not knowing everything is on this scroll, Patches and I listen carefully. Evie lightly climbs on my back and listens as well. She sits on me as if I am her own personal pony. Still at least she’s calm.
“Here is the plan.” Paloma explains. “It is up to you two to lure these creatures into a false sense of security and I know you two can do that.” We all pause as Paloma looks at both Patches and I. “Get them to turn their backs on us and I promise you they will bother you no more.”
We like what we are hearing and the plan is simple enough. To let them chase us as if it is an ordinary day. We let them think they corner us and the fairies do the rest. So, what are we waiting for?
We are both curled up like little balls in our sleeping bags, fast asleep. It is some time in the late afternoon and our human will be home any minute. It doesn’t look like the imps are showing up. Patches then opens his eyes and looks to me.
“I don’t think they are coming Tomba.” He says plainly.
I open my eyes and look at him. “They will. Now come on Patches. They need to think we are sleeping.”
That’s when we hear in a near high pitched squeak of a voice. “Wakey wakey. Little babies. It’s time to go for a run.”
Patches starts shaking in fear but I, ever the calm one, shake my head signaling my brother to be silent. Luckily to these bullies, they think I am scared. I feel a sharp poke on my bottom. So, I jet out of my sleeping bag with my brother close behind me. We run to the opposite side of the cage and are face to face with at least four of these little fuckers. Seeing their long pointy fingers, hunched backs, and greyish green reptile-like skin makes me want to puke up my pellets.
They arrogantly chuckle at us as they close into our location. Luckily, we remember Paloma’s plan. We fluff up our fur and look bigger. By the look in their beady little eyes, they begin to get terrified but that quickly stops after a second. They laugh at us again and close in on us. This time they pull out the long pins that they carry around. But before they can even point them in our direction, we charge full throttle at them.
With the look of shock on their faces, we crash into the second and third imp in front of us while the two at the ends press up against the walls of our cage. The two we plow into go flying in the air and we make it to the edge of our cage, bracing for the fight. The two imps at the edge of the cage pick up their fallen comrades. When they get up on their feet, the imps are not laughing but they are pissed off. With all their rage filling up in their little bodies, they let out a shriek and charge towards us.
Quickly, our fairy friends appear behind the imps with that treasure box they showed us behind them. They spring into action by flying towards the imps, opening this treasure box, and hitting them from behind. Patches and I watch the horrible imps’ feet fly in the air before falling into the box. The fairies immediately close it and the imps have disappeared inside.
We run towards the fairies and they set the box down. My brother and I smile at them before we sniff at the box with the prisoners inside.
“Now what happens?” I ask.
“We will put them forth to our fairy queen and they will be brought justice.” Evie cheerfully declares.
“How can we ever thank you?” Patches pipes up.
“Just leave us one of your human’s little chocolate bars that he brings home.” Kurek says. “They are pretty tasty.”
“Where can we leave it for you?” I inquire.
“Anywhere he doesn’t look. We will find it.” Evie answers. “But in the meantime, we got to go.”
“You’re safe now. Celebrate that.” Paloma chimes in and they vanish into thin air as if they were never there in the first place.
Minutes later, we hear the front door open and know that our human has returned.
“Hello my buds!” Eric calls enthusiastically as he walks into the room. “Who’s ready to watch the SUPERBOWL!?”
Later that night, Patches and I are settled on our human’s lap. He’s cheering and yelling at the TV while we just comfortably settle in. Out of the corner my eye I see a little bit of my master’s chocolate. I know its there and I can smell it from miles away. When I notice that Eric isn’t looking at us which happens when he throws his paws up in the air at the TV, I make my move.
I jump off his lap and trot quietly to the other side of the loveseat. After finding the chocolate piece, I push it with my nose and it falls on the floor. A nudge from the sofa nearly makes me fall off too. That’s because Eric who’s throwing up his paws in these weird circles that only humans can do when they are really happy about something. Unknowingly, he brings the couch forward in his excitement. By the feeling of it, the sofa is now over the chocolate. A perfect place for our fairy friends to get their hands on their favorite treat. Before he notices, I stealthily sneak back onto his lap. He looks down at us and begins to pet us. We comfortably stretch out as he strokes us. I look to my brother with a huge smile on my face. We both send each other a mischievous look.
It looks like our last mission is over and our fairy friends will get our thanks after all as Eric will not look under his sofa for months. However, the best part is, the imps are gone. That doesn’t mean we will get less exercise with our fairy visitors but we will certainly have a safer future. Who knows? It might get interesting.
Charlotte and Scarlet: As Patches and Tomba