The Mouse in the Mirror

Chapter Three

With a sigh of satisfaction and a modest burp, the little mouse lay back against the wall of the box and rubbed his bloated stomach.

Between half closed eyelids he glances over at what’s left of the cube of cheese. He finds it hard to believe that there is only a quarter of the original block left. Did he really eat that much?!

Well it was good, and he was hungry, but all he wants to do now is have a nap. He snuggles into a ball in the corner of the box, but it’s not very comfortable, and there’s a smell that he hadn’t noticed before.

It’s such a horrible smell, he doesn’t know how he managed to miss smelling it before, but then he was obsessed with the overpowering smell of cheese. Now having had his fill of cheese, the horrible smell is all too present.

So with a sigh of effort, the little mouse wanders out of the box and looks around the room.

Nothing in this room appears to be of any use to a tired mouse. He peers over at the entrance he first came through and thinks about the objects that were in that room. The old couch would be comfortable, but he’d have to climb up the sheet covering it to get to the comfortable part, and he was just too tired and too full to even think about doing that.

Other than that doorway, there were two others that lead out of this room. Neither looked more promising than the other. Both showed darkness beyond, though the one to his right did get lit up from time to time by the ever-present lightning, which meant there must be windows in that room, where the other just stayed dark.

Though he is afraid of the lightning, he is more afraid of the dark, so he heads off in the direction of the doorway that leads into the room with windows.

Standing in the doorway, the little mouse scans the new room with his two little, brown eyes. Thanks to the lightning, he is shortly able to work out the layout of this room.

Plain, dusty and mostly empty, except for two interesting features. An unused fireplace and more importantly, an old feather pillow.

The pillow lay a few feet from the cold and empty fireplace, like it had been left there by someone who used to sit on the pillow in front of a blazing fire many, many years ago.

Although the thought of a warm, cosy fire seems inviting, the warn-out, little mouse is happy enough with the simple, old pillow. Reaching the pillow, it takes a little amount of effort for the mouse to climb into the centre of the pillow, where he snuggles down and within moments dozes off, dreaming of a warm and comforting fire.

Grumble, grumble, curse, grunt, grumble, curse, curse, aaarrghhh...

The Bad Rat stomps through the old house, angry with the other rats, angry with himself, angry at the world, but most of all angry at being angry.

Stomping back to the room he thinks of as “his”, he makes his way over to his cardboard box. The box quivers slightly as he throws himself inside and plops himself down on his stomach to brood.

“How dare they? The nerve of those rats to...” His thoughts break off there as he happens to glance behind him into the back corner of the box.

His cheese! Someone had eaten most of his cheese! Who? Why?

Was it one of the other rats trying to get back at him by eating his cheese?

He examined the small leftover block. Circled around it a couple of times, looked at it closely, took a sniff and recognised the signs well enough - a mouse had eaten most of his cheese. A wimpy, little, sissy of a stinkin’, rotten mouse!

At this the Bad Rat went into a frenzy, he hit the roof, went spastic, flipped his lid, blew his stack, lost his mind, went berserk, threw a fit, chucked a wobbly and any other term you can think of.

He tore the remaining piece of cheese to threads, jumped up and down on the spot, bit and clawed his way through the side of the box, ran over to the pile of rubbish, tossed the scraps of paper and candy wrappers every where around his head, pounded his head repeatedly against the side of the empty Coke can, producing a loud crackle and snap with every blow. And all the while he’d either grumble madly or giggle wildly, sometimes both together.

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