Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Droubble: Housemates


You stumble into the kitchen but what’s that noise, rhythmic and coarse? Moments of disorientation in the greyness of not-quite-dawn, then you see the mouse.

When you first heard them you hoped they were on the roof, but gnawed corners on the cereal boxes, scratch-marks on the butter later you recognized what needed to be done. You put down traps, baited them with peanut butter and waited, and after three nights your effort has borne fruit.

It’s still alive, though it still draws breath through its badly crushed windpipe. The bar came down across the base of the creature’s head from the side, crushing spine and skull. It’s amazing that a creature so destroyed, so irrevocably harmed, still clings so hard to life.

In the dull light of morning, you find in yourself a touch of fellow-feeling for this being, so much as you despised it as you disposed of ruined food, as you listened wide awake to its scrabbling in the weest hours. For all of that, this creature shared at your table, ate the same food as you.

You whisper farewell as you fill the sink, hold the creature under till its struggles cease.

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