Hey guys! I decided to start posting a short stories series about the Adventures of Ink. 😂I’ve had so much fun writing this and I hope you enjoy it as well.
Everything was perfect. My life was filled with excitement, an awesome running wheel and food. I had everything – and more – that a sugar glider could wish for. Then it all changed. My perfect life crumbled around me and I found myself lost in a strange new world.
Okay, so many it wasn’t all that dramatic. But at the time, it was all very unsettling. My name is Inquisitive, though everyone calls me Ink. This is the story of how I found the love of my life, met a human named Fingers and realized that home is where friends and family are.
The Day I Was Chosen
My day begins like any other. The blinding sun is safely hidden beneath thick darkness. Most of the lights have gone out and the stars twinkle in the sky like tiny bits of metal strewn across a black canvas.
I yawn and cautiously crawl from my warm sleeping hammock. The overpowering smell of mealworms floods my senses and clears my mind. I sniff eagerly and follow my nose to a little dish filled with the bugs.
My human was extra kind today! Look at all of those mealies!
I grab the squirming bug between my hands and bite off its head. The juices squirt into my mouth and I lean back against the bars of my home as the amazing flavor nearly knocks me off of my feet.
“This is the life.” I mutter to myself as I lift another mealworm to my mouth.
My cage mates, which I prefer to call roommates, will be waking soon and before I know it, all of the bugs will be gone. I’ve learned that if I get up a few minutes earlier, I can snag the best of the treats.
I finish off another mealie before climbing the bars of my cage in search of my breakfast. My human has placed a wonderful array of fruits, vegetables and some kind of meat into the communal plastic cup. I dig in and lick the sweet juices from my lips.
My three roommates, Clam, Parker and Star, are up and fighting over the treats like normal. I watch them from across the cage and can’t help the sigh that rises up inside of me. They’re all pals. They’ve been together for as long as they could remember. Me? Well, I was there, too. But somehow, I’ve never fit in with them. They’re all tough and strong. They’re not socially challenged like me. I’ve tried numerous times to find a way to get into their group. Believe me, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Once, I almost got stepped on. Another time, an abnormally large human child escaped from its owners and nearly squeezed me to death.
I grab a chunk of carrot and watch Clam and Star wrestle over their favorite fleece toy. I’ve realized that the best thing for me is to stop trying to impress them. The only time they notice me is when they want something – and that never turns out well for me.
I scamper up the side of the cage in search of treats. Sometimes my human will hide yogurt drops or pieces of papaya around my home while I’m sleeping. It’s so rewarding to sniff down one of those amazing little chunks of goodness.
I’ve nearly found one when loud footsteps echo down the hall. Clam, Parker, Star and I all race to the door of our cage. Our human is coming! In just a few moments the door will open and we’ll be free to play with her to our hearts content!
As a general rule, I try to avoid humans. Especially small ones with amazingly large fingers. But this very special human woman has stolen our hearts. We’ve been with her ever since we emerged from our mom’s pouches and saw the world for the first time. We’re used to her lovely smell and the amazing food she gives us. She’s a human who cares about us.
The door opens a crack. I claw at the bars in anticipation. She reaches in and gently picks me up. Clam is about to hurry out when BAM. The door slams shut with my three roommates on the inside.
I panic. Why am I being taken out alone? Am I sick? Will she take me to that scary man named Vet? What if’s swirl through my little mind faster and faster. I cling tightly to my human’s shoulder as she walks down a long hall and towards a room that I haven’t been yet.
“You’re going to meet a new friend.” My human gently strokes my head.
She coaxes me onto her hand and then places me into a new cage. I stand frozen for a moment. My human closes the door and stands a foot away. She’s watching us. My stomach churns and I get the feeling that something is happening. Bad or good, I can’t tell yet.
“What’s going on here?” I whimper to myself.
Then I sniff. Something smells different, strange. It’s not a bad smell. It’s actually kind of –
“Ah!” I scream as a dark shadow in the corner of the room moves. Instinct takes over and I climb as fast as I can to the very top of the cage. Once I have the advantage of height, I look down and my eyes widen. My jaw drops and I have to hang on tight to keep from falling to the bottom of the cage.
I swallow, but my throat feels dry and my tongue heavy. “Who – who are you?” I whisper at last.
The shadow moves a little more into the light and I can see all of her now. She’s a beautiful silvery grey with a white belly and a white face. Her bright eyes shine like marbles in the summer’s sun. Her long, white tail is raised high, moving back and forth. Other than that, she’s still. Frozen. She’s trembling slightly.
I let my heart rate return to normal before I join her at the bottom of the cage. She tenses and inches away from me. I smile and try not to act threatening.
“This is new for you, too, I guess.”
She lowers her head slightly, though those eyes are still fixed on me.
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Dreamer.” Her voice is nearly inaudible, but to me, it sounds like the sweetest of all music.
“I’m Inquisitive – but my friends call me Ink.” I nod. “Actually, my roommates call me Ink. I don’t really have any real friends. More like acquaintances. You know, my name is kind of ironic. I’m completely white, which is the opposite color of ink.”
“What do you want?” Her voice is still low, but threatening as well. I take a couple steps backwards.
“Nothing at all.” I could have said that I wanted a friend, that I wanted some more mealworms or that I wanted a new toy. Instead, I keep my mouth shut and sent another shy glance towards the angel in front of me.
I look back at my human who is still watching us. “Why do you think she put us in here?”
Dreamer shook her head slightly. “Someone wants us.”
My eyes widen. “What do you mean?”
“A human wants to buy us, silly. Our new owner wanted a pair of sugar gliders that could eventually breed.”
I choke. “What?”
“So we’ve been put together to get acquainted. We’ll be going to our new home tomorrow.”
I panic. Again. After two whole runs up and down the side of the cage, I’ve composed myself enough to speak again.
“What do you mean we’re going to a new owner?!” I shriek. “I don’t want to leave here! Our human is the best! I’ve heard horror stories about gliders who leave and come back in pieces! I don’t want to be food for some snake! Why would our human want to give us away?! Why!? Whhhhhhhy?!”
“Calm down, it’s not that bad.”
“It is! It is! We’re going to die! I’ve seen awful humans before – they’ll look at us with those massive eyes and reach in and squeeze us to death!”
Dreamer slaps me across the face. I recoil into the corner and glare across at her.
“Why’d you do that?”
“Get ahold of yourself, man. It won’t be that bad.”
I can hear the sugar glider death wail begin in the background. Before long, they’ll be carrying me out in a shoe box, ready to bury me beneath the cold earth. The idea of spending the next five years with Clam, Star and Parker suddenly seems like paradise.
Why’d I have to complain about it? Living in lonely misery is better than being dead!
I look across the cage at Dreamer. She’s stopped shaking, but is still on her guard. I realize that she’s got to be scared as well. Neither one of us knows what’s ahead.
But we’re here in it together.
I sigh. “If I have to die, I guess it won’t be so bad if you’re by my side.”
Dreamer gives me a disgusted glance. “Don’t get all mushy on me. I’m an independent glider. I’m not interested in marrying or being wooed by some overdramatic guy.”
I clear my throat and attempt to look cool and collected. “Of course.”
Thoughts of my destruction at the hands of a new owner floods my mind once more and I resist the urge to race up and down the sides of my cage. I have to get ahold of myself and show this lovely glider than I am calm, composed and ready for my new life…or death, as it may be.
After we both calm down, we scamper around the cage in search of treats. Dreamer has an excellent nose for finding bits of papaya and devoured them all before I could catch her. We jump around the cage together, playing, laughing and, I realize with a shock, becoming friends. I dare to believe that maybe I’ve found a true friend. She’s still standoff-ish and somewhat frightening, but I see a heart of gold inside of her.
When the sun comes up, I curl up in my new sleeping pouch and close my eyes. It has been the best night of my life. I smile as I drift to sleep. What a perfect way to spend the last few hours of my young life.
Lol, thanks for reading, friends! XD I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!