Saturday, July 29, 2017


Mouse 21

M21 jimmied the lock on his cage. Doc had stopped coming to the lab three days before, and the mouse was alone. His food tray was empty, and hunger is a powerful incentive for a small mammal with a high metabolic rate. M21 knew why Doc had not returned. The television had shown scenes of global madness, extreme violence, and rapid degeneration. Until it went silent of course.

Five days later, his water bottle was dry. He could reach the bag of pellets in the storage locker, but he could not turn on the faucet. It was time.

The Mousemobile sat on the table. M21 didn't need the Mousemobile. He could get out the window on paw. But it was so cool! Bright red fenders, four attitude jets, and a revolutionary new power source Doc had been testing. The back seat contained an empty container for water. Beside him lay a probe that would serve if he needed to fight. The Mousemobile rose smoothly into the air, turned towards the window, and sailed out into a warm autumn afternoon.

There were no bodies, only crumbling bones. The virus was thorough, and human-specific.

He got water from a birdbath. After an hour cruising around about 2 meters off the ground, M21 spotted a small brown mouse on a third-floor window sill. He glided to within three or 4 meters and then called out to her.

"Hey! What's your name?" The other mouse darted through a hole in the window and was gone. M21 kept trying. He found other mice, but none would (could?) speak to him. He hadn't even seen one since about sunset. It was time to pack it in.

He turned the wheel sharply, and as he did so, something large struck the side of the Mousemobile. He tumbled out of control, slamming into the ground. His arm was bruised, his head hurt, and he smelled blood. He unstrapped and staggered out, probe in hand. He looked up just as the owl made a second pass. He swung the probe and the owl impaled itself on the point. The bird jerked backwards and leaped heavily into the air, flapping away a few inches above the ground. M21 picked up the probe and jumped back into the aircar, flipping the power switch. Nothing. He tried a few more times, then dashed for the nearest building. Inside, he slumped against the wall, legs trembling, and dropped the probe beside him. He hoped there were no cats.

Publ. Daily Cabal 2012

No comments: