The Mouse in the Mirror

Chapter One


Somewhere in the big, old, empty house a door slammed or a large piece of wood fell, or something like that, because the small and very frightened mouse, who found himself all alone, jumped so high with fright, that anyone looking at him, might have mistaken him for a very tiny kangaroo.

The echoes of the noise rang throughout the empty halls of the old house for a few seconds before leaving the house utterly quiet. Quiet that is except for the scurrying and shuffling that continued non-stop behind the walls and in the ceiling.

The little mouse stood shivering. His tiny heart beating so loud that he thought it was almost as loud as the bang he’d just heard, the grumbling his poor, hungry stomach was making, seemed twice as noisy.

He just had to find food. But where?

He’d come in out of the rain into this large house, hoping to find food and shelter.

The rain was a distant almost inaudible tapping, and if it wasn’t for the lightning that occasionally lit up the interior of the old house, the little mouse could have been forgiven for thinking the storm was over.

At that moment, one of those very bolts of lightning lit up the room through the large, dusty windows that occupied one wall.

From the brief glimpse the little mouse caught of the room, he could tell that the only furniture this enormous room held, was a vague shape of a couch covered with a piece of white cloth, a three legged coffee table and an empty picture frame that hung lop-sided on the far wall.

“Dust Kingdom” would have been a fitting name for this house, as dust was its most common feature. “Rat’s Paradise” would have been another, as the little mouse was sure that the continuous scurrying and shuffling noises that sounded behind the skirting boards and in the ceiling rafters, were the doing of rats. And if he needed any more proof, as he started across the room, it was the soft squelching noise he heard as he stepped in something and the smell that went with it. Yep, the noise behind the walls was definitely the doing of rats, because he’d just stepped in rat’s doings. Yech!

Wiping his paw clean as best he could, he continued across the room towards the only doorway other than the front door. He glanced once over his shoulder at that front door which housed a small crack, the crack he’d used to enter into the house. He thought about turning back and exiting through that crack, but a flash of lightning and the crash of thunder that instantly followed quickly cancelled out that idea.

So without any other option available to him, the little mouse headed for the open doorway that lead to who-knew-where.

Munch, crunch, chew, bite, spit, dribble, munch, crunch.

Two beady, red eyes, full of hate and wickedness shone through the darkness.

In the distance thunder booms, and a crazy little laugh, half way between a cackle and a giggle, comes from the darkness where the two red eyes shine. There is madness in that laugh, an evil craziness that comes very close to insanity.

As the laugh continues, a dazzling display of lightning reveals a disgustingly, grotty, slimy, fat rat. Underneath those nightmare eyes is a broad, flat nose, but under that nose, an evil grin, full of sharp and dangerous-looking teeth, spreads across the snout of this most vile creature.

The lightning lasts for only a second, but returns two seconds later to reveal nothing - the rat has gone, but its mad giggle can be heard fading away into another part of the big, old, empty house.

Continue on to Chapter Two
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Copyright © 1994 by Steven Younis.