As their lips met, Herbie poked his head out from the pocket of X’s dress. The animals moving about them were no longer animals but glowing orbs, and behind what had been their animal faces, he saw them for who and what they really were. He didn’t have an answer—he was just a hamster after all—yet he understood the meaning of magic and that there was no greater magic than this. Sticking his nose into the air, he sniffed out the scent of love. He knew it was love because it was the only thing that was able to make her heart beat the way it was beating right now. It made him happy, so happy he twitched his whiskers the same way she twitched her nose. And to think that only yesterday he had lived his life in a cage, not knowing of the strange beauty that existed in the lives of others. Watching them as they kissed, he saw the wheel behind them resume its graceful spinning and the people who’d been frozen slowly coming back to the land of the living. Not that the two lovers noticed, for the longer they kissed, the less aware they became of the world around them as it sparkled like the fireworks exploding overhead. Dazzled by the thunderous explosions and flashes of colour that tore through the night sky, when Herbie lowered his eyes, he had trouble telling the two of them apart, for the more they embraced, the less he could tell where one ended, and where the other was to begin.
The complete story of X and I will be published in book form later this year.