The Mouse in the Mirror

Chapter Seven

Well that’s it, I give up!”

“No, no, I’m sure the exit is just around this old bathtub!” cried Norm.

“Face it mate, we’re lost. And I’m flat out buggered, I gotta rest me weary legs.” And so saying, Percy plonked himself down on his rear.

“Well gee Percy, I’ve just got to look around that old bathtub. I’ll be back in just a second.”

So off Norm went. Curiosity and stubborn hopefulness giving him courage to go ahead alone, even if it was only around the next corner. As he came around the rusty bathtub, he noticed a toaster blocking his view, so he stepped around the toaster hoping to see the doorway and stairs directly ahead.

A dead end.

Nothing but a brick wall, bare except for a rat-sized hole at its base and a small, dusty window way up near the rafters.

A flash of lightning lit up both the window and the hole, which meant that the hole was a possible way out. Even if it was out into the rain, at least it was out of this junk-ridden maze.

Taking a step towards the hole, Norm was stopped by the sound of Percy’s screams.

Dashing back around the toaster and bathtub, Norm was once again stopped in his tracks, this time by the scene in front of him.

Percy thrashing about, throwing himself against the stacks of junk around him, knocking over cans and bottles, screaming and yelling, glass smashing, tin cans clattering down onto the wooden floor and all the while a black clump of hair and teeth clung to the back of Percy’s neck, biting and clawing at the top of Percy’s head and face.

The mad, red eyes glanced up from their deadly work and caught sight of Norm at the end of the isle.

The claws stopped slashing, the teeth stopped biting. The Bad Rat leaped from Percy’s back and landed on the wooden floor boards in front of Percy.

Percy lay still, blood and open cuts visible to Norm’s astonished eyes. Percy needed help and Norm wanted to help him, but between the two of them stood the nightmare that had stalked them into this maze of junk.

Slunk low, the Bad Rat bared its teeth at Norm in what could have passed for a grin or a grimace.

Norm took a tentative step backwards, then another and still the Bad Rat did not move. Unsure of exactly where he was going, Norm chanced a look over his left shoulder.

A mistake.

The Bad Rat took advantage of Norm’s momentary distraction and leaped forward.

Fortunately for Norm, the Bad Rat could not help but let out a screech of attack as he lunged forward, alerting Norm to the sudden movement. So without seeing how close the Bad Rat was, Norm dashed around an old lounge and fled into the maze of junk.

Puffing and panting, Norm slipped himself inside a rubber boot and waited.

He’d been running to-and-fro for quite a while now, and was sure he’d lost the Bad Rat.

He was also pretty sure he’d lost himself, not to mention poor Percy.

There had to be some way to beat the Bad Rat, some trick or plan. But how? He was only a little mouse, a scared and frightened, tiny, little mouse. How was he supposed to beat a giant, angry, crazy rat?

Not by sitting around and sulking in this old rubber boot! said a voice in his mind. He didn’t much care for that voice, but he supposed it was right.

“I’ll get up in a minute.” he thought.

Now! cried the voice.

So he slowly made his way out of the boot, walked slowly around a metal bucket, screamed and nearly wet himself when he came face to face with his own reflection.

He sighed with relief and nearly laughed out loud, but thought better of it, and smiled to himself instead.

Studying himself for only a heart beat, he looked closer at the mirror itself.

A part of a mirror was what it actually was. A small piece not much bigger than himself.

A light bulb flared inside Norm’s brain, a plan began to form and looking at himself in the mirror, Norm smiled to himself again.

Continue on to Chapter Eight
Go back to Chapter Six
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Copyright © 1994 by Steven Younis.