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04 July 2011 @ 09:41 pm
the wheel is spinning, but the hamster's dead  
TITLE/PROMPT: the wheel is spinning, but the hamster's dead | goodbye | table #3
AUTHOR: meroure
NOTES: Warning for pet death and the awful type of humor that only occurs when sleep deprived.
For the last time. No. You cannot perform an autopsy on Frodo.

the wheel is spinning, but the hamster's dead

“He’s not moving.” Jordan leaned over the plastic cage and poked at the furry little body huddled in the corner of the plastic cage with the eraser tip of his pencil.

“He’s probably just sleeping. Leave the little guy alone,” Byron said, but Adam noticed that he was hovering over the hamster cage just as much as the rest of them.

Poke. Poke. Poke.

“Seriously, I don’t think he is asleep. Unless someone slipped him one of mom’s sleeping pills.” Jordan flipped the pencil over and poked at Frodo with the pointy graphite tip.

“I wish someone would slip me one of mom’s sleeping pills,” Byron muttered. He stared longingly at the still hamster.

“Why bother? You can sleep through anything.” Adam said while reaching out and grabbing Jordan’s elbow. “Stop it.”

Byron rolled his eyes, as Jordan backed away from the cage. “That was one time.”

“One time you will never ever live down. We fell on top of you, man. We fell on top of you while screaming and punching each other and you didn’t wake up.” Jordan took to poking Byron with the pencil. “You didn’t even kick us in your sleep.”

Byron batted him away, “I was sleeping.

“Normal people would have woken up.” Jordan increased his attack. “Of course nobody ever accused you of being normal.”

Byron flicked the pencil out of Jordan’s hand and watched as it rolled underneath a desk. “I’m glad to provide such amusement.”

“Guys,” Adam’s tense voice broke the bickering. He turned towards them, Frodo’s tiny body held in the palm of his hand. His face was white. “Guys. He’s not breathing.”


“No. Absolutely not.” Mrs. Pike shook her head.

“But mom,” Adam wheedled, stuffing the last piece of baked potato in his mouth. “It would be in the name of science.”

Next to him Jordan snickered, and Nicky let out a distressed moan. Further down the table, Margo clenched her fork and looked a sickly shade of green.

Mrs. Pike leveled a stern glare at him. “For the last time. No. You cannot perform an autopsy on Frodo. Go upstairs and bring him down. We’ll bury him tonight in the backyard.”

Adam heaved a sighed and rose to his feet. One more try couldn’t hurt.

“Just a --.”


From the living room they could still hear Claire’s screeching cries, as Mr. Pike tried to calm her down. “He wants to cut up Frodo.

“I want to perform an autopsy. It’s different,” Adam shouted back.

“All of you upstairs.” Mrs. Pike directed, effectively ending dinner. She reached over and grabbed the butter knife sitting on Adam’s placemat.

Adam rolled his eyes, as he pushed his chair back. Really? “That wouldn’t even puncture his skin. That knife barely even cuts a slice of bread.”

Mrs. Pike sounded weary when she replied, “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Adam was half-way up the stairs when he heard her yell, “Jordan, get away from the knife drawer and out of my kitchen!”

He allowed himself to smirk.


“An autopsy would have been so much cooler than this,” Jordan whispered tugging at the hem of Adam’s sweatshirt. Vanessa quickly entered the fifteenth minute of her eulogy, weaving rhymes about Frodo’s Mojo.

“Be quiet,” Mallory hissed from behind them. “Byron is behaving. Why can’t you?”

Adam glanced over. Byron’s eyes were glazed, and his mouth was partially opened in boredom. It looked like he had stopped paying attention stanzas ago.

“Next time we should do a Viking funeral with a burning pyre and all,” Adam whispered around the lump in his throat, once Mallory was no longer paying attention to them. “We could build the boat and deck it out with all his favorite chew toys.”

“Pow is totally worthy of a Viking burial,” Jordan said, then winced when Mallory tapped him upside the head. “Well he is.”

“My brothers: the pyromanic and Freddy Krueger.” Adam heard her mutter, as Vanessa started a new stanza.

Adam swallowed a smile of pride. A popular culture reference. Maybe there was some hope for Mallory, yet.


The backyard was an eerie place at three o’clock in the morning. The Pike house was dark, with no lights on illuminating the backyard, and the entire street was silent. Adam stood in front of the tiny burial site. Nicky had stuck a plastic red lego in the ground as a grave marker.

Adam scuffed at the dirt, and shivered, clenching his hands into fists inside his sweatshirt.

“I guess this is it,” he mumbled, saying the words he couldn’t say earlier when all his siblings were around. “I’ll never forgot releasing you in Margo’s room and watching Mal chase after you with a shoebox. Or the way you used to sleep on my chest whenever I read comic books. I’ll even miss the way you used to keep me awake at night running on your stupid wheel.”

“I’ll miss you.” He rubbed at his eyes. “You were the best, and no other hamster will ever compare to you.”

The lights underneath the kitchen cabinets were on when Adam snuck back inside. Silhouetted against the muted glow, Vanessa sat on the counter eating a bowl of ice-cream. She held out a bowl, and Adam took it, jumping up next to her. Vanilla with chocolate chip cookie-dough chunks. His favorite. He kicked Vanessa’s ankle in thanks. Sometimes little sisters were okay.

The household was surprisingly silent, the only sound was the quiet hum of the refrigerator and the clinking of their spoons against the ceramic bowls.

“Did you say goodbye?” Vanessa asked, licking the last drop of melted ice-cream from her spoon.

Adam jumped down and started rinsing the dirty dishes and placing them in the dishwasher. Tomorrow he would ask his mom where she had hidden all the kitchen knives. “Yeah,” he said, “I did.”


Could that someone be Mack the Knife?: mallorymizzmarvel on July 5th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Aw, this was sweet.
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
O: Books: Amelieozqueen on July 5th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
Okay it's almost 3am so my judgement may be slightly impaired but I could not stop laughing at this. Wanting to perform an autopsy? LOL.
I loved the image of Mr. Pike calming down an hysterical Claire, and I loved the tender little moment at the end.
Hilarious and adorable! ♥
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Thank-you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
lucida: byron pikelucida on July 5th, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)
YAY, you posted. I can't think of enough words to express how much I love this. It is just amazing. Adam wanting to perform an autopsy? I've thought that was absolutely brilliant and so in-character ever since you first mentioned it. I also love the JAB-interaction in general, Adam's relationship with Vanessa, and that Vanessa wrote a eulogy. She would so do this. And this:
“Pow is totally worthy of a Viking burial,” Jordan said, then winced when Mallory tapped him upside the head. “Well he is.”

“My brothers: the pyromanic and Freddy Krueger.” Adam heard her mutter, as Vanessa started a new stanza.

... is also brilliant. ♥
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
The Pike house: a horror movie waiting to happen. lollll

I am glad you liked this, and I suppose I should thank you for daring me into writing it.
Nikkiimamaryanne on July 5th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
This was great! I laughed out loud at Frodo's mojo.
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thank-you! It's amazing how little rhymes with Fodo. lolll
-: Beverly Cleary - Beezus Quimbyisabelquinn on July 5th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
This was amazing. It's such a great combination of hilarious and touching, awesome work!
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
aw, thank-you!
bleep blap bloop: pic#108085103miss_slipslop on July 5th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
This is adorable! I love your characterization of all the Pike kids, and especially Byron's sarcasm. :P

The little moment between Vanessa and Adam is really sweet, and believable.

Great job!
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I always imagined Byron having very dry sense of humor. lolll
Jenjennigan on July 5th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
I love this! Both hilarious and tender. I love the end.
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank-you! I am so glad you enjoyed it.
Genihepburnforever on July 5th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
LOL. The Pike kids WOULD want to give their hamster an autopsy. Too much watching "Dr. G"? Those poor kids. That was really sweet. :)
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
eeek! The Pike kids watching Dr. G is like a nightmare waiting to happen.

Thanks for reading!
Mimi The Muse: WooHoomimithemuse on July 6th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Loved it! It had me laughing out loud at one point and then choked up at the next. Beautiful job! :D
merouremeroure on July 6th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
aw, thank-you for commenting. I'm glad you liked it!
gloriafan on July 31st, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Loved it. Humorous. And depressing.
merouremeroure on August 4th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Thank-you for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it!