Hiring the Hamstacorn

This is a sample of a story I’m working on involving a number of improbable fantasy creatures. It’s a lot of fun!

 

“You want me to what?” The hamstacorn sat back in his chair as if his strings had been cut. When the Swamp Council sent representatives to talk to him, he figured it was something to do with the coming battle. There were a lot of possible topics, depending on what they knew. He was expecting anything from accusations to demands for supplies, but he was so not expecting this.

“You must lead us.” Jonas’s whiskers were flattened back against his furry cheeks as he spat those words out. “Without good organization, we can’t defeat the zombiemunks. They all move as one, and fighting them on our own does nothing to slow them. None of us are used to organizing. Much as I hate it, Fuzzin, it has to be you.”

Fuzzin stared at him for a moment. Then he chuckled. “That really hurt, didn’t it?”

Jonas scowled and a growl far too low for his mousie form rumbled from him.

A loud clap echoed in the room, and Petunia folded her wings back into her shell as papers fluttered from Fuzzin’s desk. She stretched her neck up to peer between the two rodents. “Stop it, both of you,” the pegaturtle snapped. “There is no time for this. If we don’t work together the VooDoo Bunny’s forces will roll over all of us, and your petty bickering won’t matter.”

“I am well aware of the VooDoo Bunny. I doubt that she will kill everybody, though. Vvindstrun and his overgrown mosquitos would not be pleased.” Fuzzin sat forward, knowing the way the light slid along his sharp horn. “You want me to lead you. In battle. Because I know how to organize things. You think that makes me qualified as a General? Seriously?”

“No. We think that makes you better qualified than anybody else available. We’re aware that isn’t saying much. We aren’t very organized people.” Petunia dropped her sharp chin, expressing her doubt of him quite well. “But the VooDoo Bunny doesn’t have battle experience either. We don’t know why she suddenly decided to attack the swamp, or where she got the power she’s using, but she is new to this too. With organization, we at least have a chance.”

Fuzzin thought if they knew why Sophia was attacking, they would definitely be in his office for a different reason. There would likely be a mousetrap in his future. But since things seemed to be leaning in his favor, he decided to push for all he could get.

“If you critters want me to step up and lead this thing, I want something in return.” Fuzzin put his tiny paws together on his desk and leaned forward.

“I have a feeling we aren’t going to like this,” Jonas paced in front of the door, the were-mouse’s long tail lashing. “Leave it to a hamstacorn to charge for defending his own home.”

“Well, I wouldn’t call it charging, as such,” Fuzzin countered. “I’m not after your valuables. I just want what the savior of the realm is always supposed to get in all the old stories. I want the hand of the Princess.”

He smirked as the chorus of protests erupted around him. Yes, this solution suited him just fine. They’d come around. And it wasn’t like Marsha would protest too loudly. He hoped. The fairy frog did have a mind of her own. He couldn’t always tell which way those long legs would take her, despite being sure of her love for him. And there was her father to worry about, but it was now up to the swamp creatures to convince the King. It was a rather neat solution to all their problems, he thought.

He wondered uneasily if Marsha would agree. She certainly had her own ideas about things.

 

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