#21 Mouse

| November 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mouse was certain that at some point in her life she must have had another name, but this was the one that Bear and the Old Lady gave her, so that was the one she figured she’d stick with.  The Old Lady liked to argue that it was the name she had given herself, as she had been found nibbling away at their larder for weeks before they finally took her in, daring those fuckwit parents of hers to go ahead and try taking her back.  They didn’t try, just as happy to keep collecting welfare on her and not even have to see her little face.

Mouse had been four at the time.  She didn’t remember much of that, but when she was old enough to ask questions answered, the Old Lady gave her the honest truth.  What mouse did remember of the time before was Cold and Hungry, so as far as she was concerned it had always been the Old Lady and Bear.  They kept her warm and never hungry.  They shoved so much love into to her that she had no choice but get to know it, and in time, get to loving back.

But that was before, and Mouse was a full-grown woman now, by anybody’s reckoning, although for the past year or so, Bear would probably argue that she wasn’t acting in any way like one.  But they weren’t here, were they?  And that was the problem.  They had sent her off on her own after a lead on some top-dollar truffles that had turned out to be a gold mine, worth the shitty weather that holed her up in a cave for a few days.  And by the time she got back home, they were gone.

Well, not completely gone, they’d left their bodies there for her to find.  But the parts that mattered they had taken away, both holding cups half-full of overkill whose bitterness she could smell from across the room, even over the odor of rot.  She left that minute, locking up the beautiful hand built home they called the shack tight enough to serve as their mausoleum.  Safe enough that no hungry critters could come in and tear them apart from each other’s arms, but easy access for all the bugs that would come in to send them back to mama earth, as they would have wanted, as was right and proper.

That they took their own lives didn’t burn- that was their right, she believed that as much as they both did.  That they didn’t let her know it was going down, well, that’s what had her grabbing the gallon of cheap whisky the Old Lady kept for making tinctures.  It was the only thing she took with her.  She was good and drunk by the time she hit the town road, and she stayed that way, not quite drunk enough to be mortally stupid, but drunk enough not to give a fuck about much of anything.

Bear would be frowning at her something fierce, she could almost see it out of the corner of her eye, telling her to get her head out of her ass.  But why, she figured?  Not like he was really there anyway.  Not like he was really there at all, she thought, drowning it out with another deep swig.  Burning out the tears before they had a chance to fall.

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Category: 2011, Drama, Fantasy

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