Rumples_Skin_Skin, the speckled Aisha, woke up with a feeling of alarming
dread in his stomach. He rolled over in his sheets, which smelt of cardboard,
and said to Spitfire, his Airax, “I’m going to your homeland today.”
Spitfire, the only Petpet Rumples knew that could talk, opened one yellow
eye lazily and answered, “I’m green with envy.”
“A whole day of dusty soil, dinosaur bones, and hairy people going, 'Ooga
Booga.'” Rumples said as he pulled off his pajamas and put on a pair of jeans.
Spitfire swooped down from his perch that hung from the ceiling, and landed
on Rumples’ shoulder. The Aisha finished dressing and headed to the kitchen.
His older sisters, KiwiBonk and MinxJade, were already seated at the orange
and blue table, bickering over who could have the last of the "Aisha Crunch
Mix" for breakfast. As soon as she saw Rumples, MinxJade let go of the
box of cereal and grinned.
“You’re going to Tyrannia today, huh?” MinxJade said.
“Yeah, so?” said Rumples gruffly as he poured himself some orange juice.
“I remember that trip. I went too, in grade seven. Boring as... as... fishcakes
without ketchup.” KiwiBonk recalled. “A tour guide led us around to look at
rocks and really big brown boulders. Every once in awhile some weird bird or
something flew overhead and pooped on someone. There were hairy Myncis, like--”
“Grunting.” KiwiBonk interrupted. “Every five seconds a Kacheek, at least
I think it was a Kacheek, charged us. By the end of the day--”
“We were covered in dirt and slime.” MinxJade added. “So don’t wear good clothes.”
“One Lupe fell down a canyon, or something--”
“Another girl broke her leg.”
“And there was no hospital.”
“One really gross thing spit on me.”
“There were Airaxes, like Spitfire.”
“There was animal dung all over the place.”
Rumples grabbed his bookbag and a piece of toast, then ran to his bus stop.
Unfortunately, it was KiwiBonk and MinxJade’s bus stop as well. They continued
to tell him about the horrors of Tyrannia. It seemed to Rumples that the place
was a giant pile of manure, with hairy beasts ripping people’s legs off. “How
could this day get any worse?” Rumples though. Then he realized he had forgotten
* * *
As soon as he arrived at school, the grade sevens were herded onto a bus headed
for Tyrannia. Rumples grabbed a seat next to his friend, Stone Soldier, a green
Korbat. His other close friend, Gushaa, a green Kacheek, sat down next to Rumples.
“My brother told me all about Tyrannia.” said Gushaa. “He says there’s two
parts, a jungle, and a plateau.”
“We’re going to the plateau.” said Auristiclate, who was in the seat in front
“The jungle is off limits to everyone except the grade twelves.” said Stone.
“I heard there was dinosaurs and everything in it.”
“That’s not fair.” Rumples said. “The plateau is a giant rock.”
“Yeah, this trip is going to be soooo boring.” Gushaa groaned.
After an hour and a half of increasingly bumpy road, the bus at last turned
into a lot. The students stepped off the bus, stretching their legs and looking
all around. Their teachers, Ms. Hoopert, the strict yellow Kyrii, and Mr. Dull,
the sleepy Blumaroo, directed the students to a tiny shack to buy tickets to
Rumples looked all around. He could see the tops of trees far away, and in
the other direction, a chain of reddish mountains. The ground was dusty, and
a strange maroon color. There were no plants to be seen.
Gushaa snorted, then started to cough out the dust he had breathed. “I hab
horrible allergies. I neeb a dissue.”
A nearby Peophin started to complain that the dry air was drying out her skin.
The students were cranky, and all of them seemed to find something wrong with
“How come we couldn’t go to Faerieland?” Stone demanded. “Everyone’s been
here, and it’s ten times worse with your teachers.”
“At least we can see the Omelette.” Auris said. “Even though I hate eggs.”
Ms. Hooper and Mr. Dull separated the students into two groups. Rumples, Gushaa,
and Stone were in one, along with several of their classmates, including StarLight_Baby33,
a starry Uni, much to Rumples’ dismay. She was by far the preppiest person he
had ever met. Mr. Dull was in charge of their group.
“First of all, children, we will go to the Village to examine the artifacts
used in the Great Tyrannian war.” said Mr. Dull in the bored tone he used all
the time. “Please follow me. Single file, please. Stay together. Don’t touch
the villagers.” Ms. Hooper’s group walked away in the other direction, towards
a brick building.
“At least we’re not with Hooper.” Stone said. “Mr. Dull may be dull, but he
doesn’t freak out every five seconds.”
Rumples overheard StarLight telling Hannah97, a Cloud Aisha in their class,
how she was getting a manicure after school, and how the dry air was ruining
“I didn’t know Unis had cuticles.” Rumples murmured.
StarLight whirled around. “Like, shut up, you dork!” Then she continued her
conversation with Hannah.
A passing Tyrannian grunted at them, and the girls squealed. Stone rolled
his eyes, and Gushaa sneezed six times in a row. Now, they were at the village.
The huts were made of mud and hay, it seemed. Hairy pets with abnormally long
arms were wandering about, cooking and sewing with primordial tools. They didn’t
seem to notice the group of twenty grade sevens gawking at their strange ways.
Mr. Dull led them around the village, stopping occasionally to explain something
in his plain, toneless voice. A group of grey things with really big heads were
carrying some sort of carcass on their shoulders. They each held a spear topped
with a pointy rock. StarLight and her friends gave a little shriek when they
passed by, right in front of them. Several women, or hairy gross things with
dresses, were tanning animal skins, and a little baby with orange skin and thick
eyebrows was drawing on a rock with a burnt stick.
Mr. Dull stopped to give a speech about a group of Tyrannians playing with
a ball made of fur. StarLight and Hannah started giggling about something. Gushaa
gave a particularly loud sneeze, and Stone started to laugh. Mr. Dull stopped
his speech and said, “What’s so funny?” The Tyrannian kids behind him looked
confused. Soon, the whole class was laughing at Gushaa’s sneeze. Mr. Dull looked
flabbergasted. The Tyrannians stopped playing, and one picked up the ball, throwing
it right at Rumples. He didn’t have time to duck. Despite being covered in fur,
the ball proved not to be soft at all, and Rumples fell. That's when everything
* * *
“Ruuma. Ruuma. You wake up now.” said a husky voice in Rumples’ ear. Slowly
and painfully, he opened his eyes. A bunch of fuzzy faces were looking down
“Where am I?” Rumples said, struggling to sit up. But a firm hand pushed him
“No. Ruuma rest now. We bring you to elder. Elder good.” Rumples had the impression
of being raised, and then carried a short distance into darkness. He had to
bite his lip so he wouldn’t cry out. His head was throbbing. He was laid down,
and another fuzzy face peered down at him.
“Nothing. Go.” an extremely shaky voice commanded.
Rumples was carried outside again. Outside, that’s where he was. He could
see the sky, the clouds, and the sun, which was now low in the sky. Around him
were crouched dark shapes. As his vision cleared, he could see they were small
Tyrannian children, just like the ones that had played ball.
An orange-skinned one held a ball in his hands. “Ooma sorry.” he said apologetically.
“You good now. Elder say so.” the biggest child said.
“Yeah...” said Rumples, rubbing his head. Suddenly he understood. These were
the children that had hit him with the ball, and they were apologizing. “That’s
okay. I forgive you. But next time, watch where you throw that ball, buddy.”
Rumples said, starting to get up. The Tyrannians looked confused. “I know you
don’t understand me, but it’s okay.” Still no response. “I good now,” he shouted.
“Thank you. Goodbye.” He turned to go.
“Where Ruuma going?” said one of the children, a girl judging by her high
voice. She grabbed his arm. “We play now. Careful.”
They wanted him to play with them. “I have to get back with my class.” said
Rumples. Where were they, anyway? Rumples looked around. The same mud huts surrounded
him, the same villagers, the same cooking pots and fires. Or maybe they weren’t
the same. What time was it? Rumples glanced at his watch, but it wasn’t there.
All his clothes were gone. He was dressed in a rough, prickly shirt and some
kind of leather leggings.
“You guys took my clothes?” Rumples said.
After a moment of silence, the girl said again. “We play. Come.”
“Where?” he whispered. This was too weird. He had to get back to Mr. Dull
and the class. These, these savages had knocked him out, taken all his stuff,
and kidnapped him. Rumples frantically searched his pockets. He found a pointy
rock, a crude slingshot, and a handful of stones.
“Come to play,” said another child. “What wrong?” The children grunted amongst
themselves. Overhead, a strange bird flew, headed for tropical looking trees
about a mile away. Rumples turned and ran, following the bird. The children
hooted and hollered, but didn’t run after him. In a rush of panic, Rumples weaved
in and out of a group of rhinoceros-like creatures that were grazing on the
At the edge of the forest, he stopped. The bird was perched in a palm tree,
watching him with one yellow eye. Far away, he could see the village and the
grazing rhino things. The children were nowhere to be seen.
Rumples leaned against a tree to catch his breath. His class had left him,
it was many hours since he had last seen them, and the only soul to be seen
was the weird bird. What was it that Mr. Dull had said about the jungle? For
that is where Rumples thought himself to be. On the outskirts of the Tyrannian
“I could go back to the village,” Rumples said aloud, “but the people there
are nuts. They think I’m one of them. Did I go back in time?” He shook his head.
“That’s impossible. Get ahold of yourself, Rumples. Okay, these are my options.”
With the bird watching silently overhead, Rumples made a mental list of what
he could do.
“I could go back to the village and search for Mr. Dull and everyone there,
or I could go into the jungle, and possibly meet a dinosaur.” Rumples muttered.
“I think I’ll go back to the village.”
The rhino things had been grazing peacefully, but something seemed to arouse
them. They were slowly moving in Rumples’ direction. As they came closer, Rumples
realized that people were sitting on their backs. People wearing armor, and
holding long spears......
The bird in the tree squawked. Rumples started to shimmy up a tree desperately.
He didn’t know what was going on, but he sure didn’t want to be in the Tyrannians’
Rumples lay on a thick branch, hidden by leaves. He saw, below him, little
brown creatures that looked like raptors racing out of the forest towards the
rhinos and their riders. “This must be the Great Tyrannian War!” Rumples thought,
and clutched his branch harder. He must have gone back in time; the Great Tyrannian
War had happened hundreds of years ago...
“This must be one of those dramatizations of a war. I bet my class is watching
somewhere nearby. This is all acting.” he told himself. But the shouts and angry
war cries he heard seemed real, as was the blood that soaked into the already
The Tyrannians defeated the raptors with no problem, but that was just the
first wave. Larger, lizard-like dinosaurs came next, and fought with their claws
and teeth. Many Tyrannians were lost, until at last they were gone. This was
all happening about 300 feet from where Rumples was hidden.
Larger dinosaurs appeared beneath him, that looked like Skieths. Little Myncis
were on their backs, about twenty on each one, and they threw rocks at the rhino
riders. Some reinforcements came from the village, but these warriors had no
rhinos; they were easy to spot, thanks to the large clubs that they were weilding.
At last the dinosaurs were gone. The Tyrannians were winning.
There were a few moments of silence, and the villagers gave a loud cheer.
They had won. There were many wounded, and a few had even perished. The survivors
helped the hurt to their feet. They were almost at the village when Rumples
breathed a sigh of relief, glad it was all over. He was about to start down
the tree, when the ground started to shake. The Tyrannians turned back, confused
One red shape passed Rumples’ tree by only a few feet. He clutched the tree
trunk, frozen in fear. It was a huge red Grarrl, about twenty feet tall and
thirty feet from head to the tip of its tail. It reeked of rotting meat. The
Grarrl let out a terrifying, deafening roar, and charged. That was followed
by at least twenty more.
One of the dinosaurs hit Rumples’ tree with its shoulder, and he went flying.
For a moment Rumples’ couldn’t figure out where he was, but then he realized
he was on a Grarrl’s back! The dinosaur hadn’t even noticed. Rumples dug his
claws into the red scales, and hung on for dear life. He had involuntarily closed
his eyes, but he could hear the horrible roars from the Grarrls, the screams
of the Tyrannians, and the whack of the wooden clubs. It seemed the war would
go on forever. Somehow, the Grarrl that Rumples was clinging to remained untouched,
and unknowing that a tiny Aisha was hanging onto his back.
Suddenly, everything went quiet. At last it’s over, Rumples thought.
He opened his eyes. Not many Tyrannians were left standing. Not a single Grarrl
seemed to be mortally injured. Had the Tyrannians given up? Rumples tried to
remember the facts they had learned about the Great Tyrannian War before they
left for the field trip. He was sure the Tyrannians had won, but how could they?
None of the remaining warriors looked like they were capable of winning now.
And why had everything stopped?
One of the Grarrls moaned. Rumples saw a young girl walking among the dead
and wounded. “What is she doing here?” he asked himself. She had purple hair
and was dressed in green. She was very pretty, but her face seemed to... shift.
Like once she had large lips and a small nose, and the next second she had unusually
large eyes and no nose at all. The girl seemed to glow with an inner light,
and she glared at the Tyrannians and Grarrls.
“Not even my battles last this long,” she said, in a calm, but loud voice
that echoed over the bloody plains. A little purple Kougra appeared beside her,
then many more like it. The Kougras swarmed among the Grarrls’ clawed feet,
and pushed them back. The existing Tyrannians grouped together.
“Do any of you understand what a terrible thing war is?” the girl said. Rumples
slid off the unmoving Grarrls’ back and moved closer to the girl. “I fight evil
and darkness because I have to, and there is many a night when I wish it were
not so. I doubt if there is one among you who remembers what caused this Great
Rumples thought, “Aha! This IS the Great Tyrannian War.”
“This war between you, the Tyrannians of the Plateau and you, the Tyrannians
of the Jungle, started when a Tyrannian of the Jungle that called a Tyrannian
of the Plateau a rotten egg, and the different kin have been fighting for generations.
I think that is a very stupid reason.” The purple Kougras purred in agreement.
“I have seen people hurt for not sharing a gift, babies stolen because of a
broken promise, and law disputes over a puddle of water, but this kind of grudge
you hold for so many years just... sickens me.” The Grarrls lowered their head
in shame. The Tyrannians of the Plateau had faces of stone. “I can’t order you
to forgive each other, but I can order you never to fight again.” The girl cupped
her hands to her face and whispered something in a strange language. In a shimmer
of blue light, the Uber Water Faerie appeared.
“Sister, I need your help.” the girl said. Was she a Faerie, too?
“You can say that again.” the Water Faerie said, and cast a glowing spell
of healing over the dead and wounded, and over the untouched Grarrls. The limp
forms stirred, and the blood that had coated the dusty ground disappeared.
“Farewell, sister.” said the Water Faerie, and disappeared.
“Live in peace.” the young girl said, and disappeared. The little Kougras
vanished like tiny puffs of purple smoke.
Nobody moved for a few seconds. The mighty Grarrls surveyed the villagers
that they had held a rivalry against for so long. The newly restored Tyrannians
of the Plateau stood bravely, dwarves beside their giant enemies. Finally, one
of the Grarrls spoke. Or rather, grunted. Whatever it was he said, the other
Tyrannians seemed to understand. Several more Tyrannians from both sides conversed
briefly, then the first of each side that had spoken, the leaders, it seemed,
shook hands. The Grarrl said a long speech, in an apologetic tone of grunting,
and brought forth a giant egg. Then another. Then another. They brought the
eggs from inside their jungle. The eggs were so big, it took about ten Grarrls
to lift one. They brought the eggs in a solemn procession to a bare spot on
the plateau, as if they meant to give the eggs to the Tyrannians of the Plateau.
“Why on earth would they want baby Grarrls?” Rumples thought. But that’s not
what the Grarrls did. One by one, the massive eggs were cracked open, and the
liquid poured on the dust soil. The Grarrls bowed, and after a few grunts were
exchanged, left for their jungle home.
The villagers rushed over and marveled at the huge egg yoke spreading over
“Grarrls no bad.”
“No, must cook.” Sure enough, the egg was sizzling. It wasn’t even that warm
“Just like scrambled eggs,” Rumples though, “or an Omelette...”
“Ruuma! Ruuma!” the ball-playing kids cried. “Where Ruuma go?” one of them
“Ruuma miss great war. Big egg, Ruuma. We play now?”
“No, not now.” Rumples said. He had to find Mr. Dull and his class. Somehow,
he had to get back to the present. But the children looked so sad, Rumples gave
in. “Okay, but just one game.”
Rumples had no idea how to play, but it was very simple. The game, which the
children called Thorg, was a mix of football and soccer. The furry ball was
very heavy, and had to be rolled by some of the younger kids. A few villagers
had tore off some of the cooked egg, and were starting to eat it.
“Good!” Rumples overheard one of them say.
“We no hungry.” added another.
This day was really weird. Rumples thought. I’m probably dreaming
now, being knocked out by that ball. But at least I learned something. This
field trip wasn’t a complete waste. I wonder who that girl was. She was saying
stuff about battles, maybe she was the Battle Faerie. I wonder where Stone and
Gushaa are? Wait ‘til I tell them I was in the Tyrannian Jungle! But how will
I ever get back?
“Catch, Ruuma!” a child cried, and threw the ball at Rumples. He didn’t see
it coming though, and couldn’t catch it in time. The hard ball hit him squarely
in the head. A familiar throbbing returned. Rumples fell, and everything went
* * *
“Oog. Oog. You wake up now,” said a husky voice in Rumples’ ear. Slowly and
painfully, he opened his eyes. A bunch of fuzzy faces were looking down at him.
“What?” Rumples said, struggling to sit up, but a firm hand pushed him back
“No. Rest now. We bring you to elder. Elder good.”
“No, thank you, I have the situation under control,” a bored, toneless voice
“Rumples, can you hear me?” a high pitched voice said in his ear. Rumples
sat up, his head aching, and looked around. Stone was seated at his feet, looking
worried. Mr. Dull was bent over him, breathing in his face. Hannah was holding
his hand and looked close to tears. Several Tyrannian children stood around
him. One clutched a ball covered in fur.
“I-I...” Rumples said.
“Come on, let’s get you to the infirmary,” said Mr. Dull. Stone had to pry
Hannah’s fingers off Rumples. “I thought there wasn’t a hospital,” Rumples said
thickly. Mr. Dull led him to a brick building where he sat on a bench and a
nurse gave him an ice pack to hold on his head. The building seemed so clean,
after the gritty soil of the old Tyrannia.
“One of the native children hit you with a ball as they were playing. It was
an accident, of course.” Mr. Dull explained.
“How long was I... out?” Rumples said, trying to ignore the throbbing in his
“Only a matter of minutes.”
“I... it felt like much longer.”
Mr. Dull told Rumples to rest, and left to finish the field trip with the
students. Rumples passed the time by asking the nurse, a red Usul, questions
about Tyrannia. In the end, she gave him a pamphlet that explained that the
Omelette was created by a giant dragon that had flown one day, laid one gigantic
egg, and left.
“Rubbish.” Rumples mumbled.
“Did you say something, dear?” the Usul said.
Several hours later, Rumples rejoined the students as they got on the bus
to go home. Rumples had decided not to tell anyone about what he had been through,
because they would scoff, and besides, he wasn’t even sure if it had really
happened. Hannah acted rather strangely on the bus, and wouldn’t look at Rumples.
“You were lucky. You got to go to the infirmary while we went around, and
looked at rocks.” Auris said.
“All for a bump on the head.” said Stone. “If I knew I could have done that
to get away, I would have gladly taken a shovel and whacked myself over the
“The bones we loobed at were cool.” said Gushaa.
“Oh, shut up.” Stone snapped.
* * *
As soon as the bus pulled into the school, Rumples had to get on another bus
to go home. KiwiBonk turned to talk to him in her seat.
“How was your trip?” she asked. Rumples shrugged. “I heard you fainted.”
“I didn’t faint, I got knocked out by some kid.” Rumples snarled.
“Yeah, sure.” KiwiBonk snorted. “Learn anything?”
“Yeah, how it feels to have a twenty pound ball slammed against my head.”
* * *
Alison, Rumples’ owner, was horrified to learn that Rumples had been knocked
out, and made him lie down for the rest of the evening. It wasn’t until bedtime,
at 9:00, that he saw Spitfire. The Airax was perched on Rumples’ lamp. His eyes
glinted yellow and orange in the dim light.
Rumples flicked on the light. “Have fun today?” Spitfire said.
“I got knocked out by a Tyrannian kid, and then I had a really weird dream.”
Spitfire was the only one Rumples had admitted that to.
“It was really weird, it was all educational and stuff, about the Great Tyrannian
War and the Omelette.”
“I saw an Airax like you.”
“Yep. You know, my dream wasn’t the same as real life. I mean, in real life,
a dragon came and laid an egg, and that became the Omelette. But in my dream,
the Tyrannians of the Jungle gave a whole bunch of eggs to the Tyrannians of
“Which do you believe?”
“I don’t know. I’m tired.” Rumples said, and slid into bed.
“You didn’t brush your teeth.” Spitfire reminded him.
“I don’t care.” Rumples said. Spitfire ruffled his feathers, and turned off
the lamp with his beak. If anyone had looked into that room at that time, they
would have seen the still form of a sleeping Aisha, and two glowing yellow eyes
watching his owner just as carefully as he had watched the Great Tyrannian War
that had happened hundreds of years ago.
Author’s Note: The characters StarLight_Baby33 and Hannah98 are fictional.
I’m sorry if you or your pet’s name were used in this story; I didn’t try it.