• It was a bright spring day at the manor of the Shadowhearts. The birds were singing, the grass was green and as inviting as a pillow to a wary man, and the house was quiet. Silence is golden, but gold can only take so much before it’s broken.

    “Mommy!” Screamed the young child, “I’m bored!”

    “Well, you should have thought of that before you didn’t eat your vegetables young man.” She scolded him. “Now Shade, will you eat them, or do I have to keep you there in time out until dinner?”

    The young child turned around, his hair uncombed and around his neck was an onyx fishhook shaped necklace and stuck his tongue out defiantly as he pouted, “You’ll never get me to eat them! Never!” and returned to pouting, sitting in the corner of his room.

    “Fine be that way young man!” And she left the room closing the door with a slam, obviously wondering what to do with so many vegetables that have been left uneaten. Of course she wasn’t going to eat them, that was disgusting.

    So there he sat pouting and talking to his imaginary friend, a small hamster wearing goggles and a scarf. “Mommy is so mean Commander Fuzzles! She keeps trying to make me eat those yucky green things!” He smiled imagining the hamster speak, “I can’t blow them up… I’m not allowed to play with matches anymore after what happened to the kitty.” He looked out at the partially defured cat staring at him from the window and smirked, “At least he doesn’t poop in my bed anymore.”

    Suddenly the child began to frantically search his room calling loudly for his small friend, “Fuzzles? Where did you go Fuzzles!?” Tossing pillows around from his large bed and questing through the piles of stuffed animals without imaginary hide or hair of the army rodent.

    Suddenly an explosion rocked the first floor of the gigantic home of the Shadowheart Clan as the table where Shade’s vegetables lay, exploded in a ball of firey doom followed by a small rodent like laugh and the sound of claws clicking softly against the cool marble floor that soon became the resting place of the charred, plopping remains of the fallen vegetables that had no chance.

    Shade shook from the great explosion and suddenly laughed as something tackled and nuzzled him, “Fuzzles! Where’d you go? Are you ok?” He lay on his bed and smiled and listened to his imaginary friend, “You didn’t do that! You’re a hamster silly!”

    Shade’s mother in a fury of anger and parental vengeance stormed up the stairs with the force of a thousand forest fires screaming at the top of her lungs, “Shade Nathanial Shadowheart! What have you done to our kitchen?”

    Quickly, he dashed into his corner and did the smartest thing he could think of… he hid under a pile of blankets and stuffed animals and screamed back, “I didn’t do it! Commander Fuzzles said he did!”

    The door swung against the wall almost exploding into splinters as she stomped in, “Don’t you lie to me!” She approached the boy slowly, enticing fear in her every step the toys she kicked out of the way practically exploding into flames from the rage “You are in for the spanking of your life young man!” Another step closer, another, and another as the small boy shivered in fear.

    Suddenly a smaller explosion knocked over the towering ogre-women, stopping her approach and leaving both humans dumbfounded. As the smoke cleared, a small hamster was clearly visible. He was wearing a pair of small green goggles for his head and a small, hamster-like scarf. His fur not even singed from the explosion, still glossy brown and white, his little paws on his hips, and laughing his little hamster laugh at his victory.

    “Hey lady!” he chirped in his hamstery voice, “Want some more? I have plenty more where that came from!”

    “Fuzzles?” Shade asked as the smoke cleared completely allowing him to see the tiny hero, “You’re… You’re real?”

    He turned around and scampered over to Shade’s cheek and nuzzled it, clearing the few tears caused by the ogre’s scary rant. “Of course! Who else would you have been talking to all those times?”

    After a few moments, the ogre rose again defiant and unwavering in her urge to punish. “You little rodent! Get away from my boy!”

    Fuzzles scampered onto Shade’s head and laughed challengingly, “Bring it hag! You’ll never defeat Commander Fuzzles!”

    She flew with the fury of a thousand explosions at the hamster as he pounced from his master’s head at the ogre, and crawled right into her shirt.

    “Shade, duck!” Fuzzles cried as he took to his target and latched onto the inside of her shirt. Outside, the ogre struggled to dislodge the furry creature from her clothing as Shade ducked behind his now dubbed Fortress of Fuzzle-tude and waited.

    The waiting wasn’t long as another, smaller explosion rocked his room sending the ogre crashing threw the open door, into her room, crashing into a pile of dirty, smelly laundry that was in dire need to be washed. Shade looked around worried for his friend.

    “Fuzzles where are you?” He cried as another tear began to form. In front of the boy the dust and smoke began to form into a rough outline, slowly it took shape and color of… “Fuzzles!” and he took the creature into his hands for a hug.

    “Commander Fuzzles, Shade. Commander Fuzzles!” He chirped as he scampered onto Shade’s head and stood triumphantly, “And from this day on, I declare you will never eat another vegetable and no door will ever be in your way as long as I’m around!”

    His mother stared in disbelief as the hamster made his speech, she was determined to make her son eat healthy at any cost. The war was on, and right now the commander was in the lead.