December 9, 2014

The traps were set. In fact, the traps were set all over the apartment, everywhere he could think to put one. There were so many traps that he had to stare at the floor whenever he walked. He’d tripped over three of them on his way to the bathroom the other night and he did not want to repeat the experience.

But, he thought, he wouldn’t need them after tonight.

All the rest of them had fallen. Day after day, he’d found small, furry bodies in his traps and, day by day, the squeaking behind the walls abated, until there was almost none.

Almost.

There was one left. Just one. He was certain of it. And once that one furry little pest was gone, his home would be his again. Night after night, he’d set out the traps. And night after night, he heard the squeaking – just one lone squeaky voice in the darkness.

But not anymore. Tonight would be the night.

After tonight, he would sleep in peace and silence.

Carefully, he stepped around the traps and sat down on the lone bare spot on the kitchen floor. He was certain the thing lived in the walls of the kitchen, although he was not quite sure where… The kitchen wall bordered his bedroom wall, from where, he assumed, the squeaks emanated.

Tonight, he had decided, he would not sleep until the thing had come out of its hidey-hole. He would not rest until the mouse was dead. He would do the deed himself if he must. He sat, kneeling on the kitchen floor, armed with rubber gloves and a hammer. He would wait.

In all fairness, he did not have to wait very long. A stillness settled over the kitchen, a silence so complete that he didn’t want to twitch a muscle, lest he break it. He even tried to mute his breathing, not wanting to ruin something so complete.

But it was broken.

After half an hour or so of waiting, the silence was broken by a teeny-tiny tap, which was followed by another tap, which was followed by a squeak. And so it continued. Tap, tap, squeak. Tap, squeak. Squeak, squeak.

He waited, listening, until finally a tiny whiskered nose peeped out of a small hole beneath one of the cupboards.

He watched as the small whiskered nose was followed by a small gray body, covered in sleek, silvery fur. He could not explain why, exactly, but he felt like the mouse was looking directly at him and he watched, more than a little surprised, as the mouse wound its’ way carefully between and around all of the traps, scurrying in a most meticulous manner.

Previously, he had been expecting to simply pounce on the creature as soon as it emerged, but this…. This was fascinating.

He watched as the furry little thing scurried between the traps, finally coming to a stop just in front of him, looking up at him expectantly with shiny black eyes.

Almost as if in a trance, he lowered his hand, placing it palm-up on the floor. With delicate little steps, the mouse climbed on and sat still in the center of his palm while he raised his hand to eye level.

And the words that came out were the only ones that he could think to say.

“You’re so…. Cute.”

And he was. The mouse. He thought it was a he, in any case. Sleek, silvery gray fur and cute little button-black eyes. A tiny pink nose and long, elegantly curved white whiskers.

He’d been so intent on killing the thing, but now faced with it…. He couldn’t bring himself to do it.

It was just. So. Cute.

“Hello, little guy,” he said, stroking a finger down the smooth fur of its’ back.

Surely, leaving one little mouse was ok. Surely, it couldn’t hurt anything? One, cute little mouse… he could live with.

He let out the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. It was decided. This little guy would live.

Gently, he lay his palm back down on the floor and watched as the little mouse scurried off of his palm and carefully wove a path between the traps and back into his hole. He could hear it squeaking contentedly in his little home and with a satisfied smile on his face, he began clearing up all the traps.

The mouse, dear reader, was indeed, squeaking in his little corner, but it was not in contentment. The man, for all his dealings with mice, was no more proficient in understanding them than you or I. And what the mouse said, dear reader, was this:

“I have looked into the face of mine enemy,” he squeaked. “Now I know the face of evil, the destroyer of my kin. I swear my brethren will be avenged.”

“You will feel the pain you have wrought unto others,” the mouse swore, beady black eyes on the human as he shuffled around the kitchen. “Human, your end is nigh.”

“I will have my revenge.”

Writing Prompt: Defeat, man, mouse

Courtesy of: http://writingexercises.co.uk/take-three-nouns.php

Image courtesy of: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

(and Jack Sparrow)

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