The Mouse in the Mirror

Chapter Six

Mmmm.” groaned the black heap in the fireplace.

An ear twitched, the tail slithered, one eye opened, looked around and then the other joined it.

The look in those eyes was one of bewilderment and confusion. But as the surroundings became clear to the Bad Rat, the memory of how and why he was lying here, flooded back to him and his look changed to one of anger and rage.

The last thing he remembers was cornering the little cheese thief in this empty, dusty fireplace. The look of fear and hopelessness on that little, furry face was just delicious and just as he was ready to finish him off - wham!

Wham! what? What had happened?

Something had fallen on him, something big that was for sure because his body was aching all over.

Where had he gone wrong? He should have been munching on that little critter right now, having fun hearing its little shrieks of terror, feeling its tiny bones break under his jaws.

Anyway, where had that little, fuzz ball gone? He sure wasn’t here anymore, neither was the thing that had fallen on him. That meant that whatever it was that had knocked him out, could get up and walk away. Another animal? Yeah, it has to have been.

Well the little mouse and his friend would both cop it. Just wait and see. They couldn’t have gotten far, could they? I wonder how long I’ve been out for? Well no matter, I’ll find them and when I do they’ll be sorry they were ever born.

“How many (huff, puff) more to go? (puff)”

“C’mon mate, there’s only two more of these flamin’ steps to go. Almost there.”

Finally reaching the top of the flight of stairs they had come across soon after leaving the empty fireplace, Norm slumped to the floor, with his chin resting on the dusty floor boards.

“Wow! Check it out!” cried Percy, who’d gone on a bit further. “This must be the attic. Look at all this junk!”

Without lifting his head, Norm raised his eyes to see what Percy was making such a fuss about.

What an “attic” was Norm wasn’t quite sure, but the sight before him made a big impression on him.

As he slowly lifted himself off the floor, he followed Percy into the attic.

The room was enormous, but its exact size was hard to make out as it was stacked and packed and jammed with layers and piles and stacks of ... everything!

Wandering through one isle and then another, Norm couldn’t help but feel small and insignificant. He looked around in awe at the masses of brick-a-brack that had turned this attic into a maze.

Norm craned his neck and stared at the ceiling, which was made up of beams of wood criss-crossing in a regular pattern. From the steep angle of the ceiling and from the louder sound of rain outside, Norm figured that the ceiling above him was actually the inside of the roof.

Studying the rafters as he continued walking, he was still stunned at the enormity of this room when Bump! he fell back onto his bottom.

“Careful matey, better watch where yer goin’. Especially in here!”

Norm blushed and smiled bashfully up at Percy, embarrassed at having walked right into the back of him.

“Just look at this mess!” exclaimed Percy. “There’s everything here. Pipes, boxes, chairs, shelves, machines, mirrors, tools, cups and plates, paper, glass, books and paintings, everything, even the kitchen sink! A possum could get seriously lost in here. We better not wander too far from the doorway, let’s head back.”

“Ah, which way is that?” asked Norm.

“Over that way - isn’t it?”

And so they passed from isle to isle, sure that the door and the stairs were just around the next corner and then the next corner, or maybe the one over there, or the one we just passed. It wasn’t long before they both realised that they were completely and hopelessly lost.

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