Mint is a mouse. He defines freedom much differently than humans.
|You may call me Mint. I hate this place. It stinks and the food is horrible. China listens patiently to my endless complaints. Charlie half-listens for he is young and knows it all. It was not always like this. We have shared this home with LeRoy, a skinny old man who rents his space from Myron, the white haired older man with the scar across his forehead, for a very long time. LeRoy is so sweet and gentle, it is safe to be around him. Myron, on the other hand, has a temper and often gets mad and yells at my benefactor for LeRoy is messy, and leaves crumbs all over.
The trauma started when my benefactor left a note for the landlord that the closet door would not open. I wanted it fixed too. The passage way under the floor had caved in and I had some things in that closet that I needed to get. I heard Myron say he would be in Canada for a week and would be back that day.
Upon his return, I saw Myron read the note and he had a fit, and I mean FIT. Myron was so mad, he started screaming about the house caving in on itself, and then started hauling my files and boxes out of the offices and stacking them in the carport. This was a debacle.
This landlord was pumped up on adrenalin, he was throwing all our things out all by himself. Then LeRoy joined in and started taking our things out, too. China and Charlie are chattering wildly, demanding that I do something when a loud ka-boom stopped the hysterics. That was thunder. The rain would soon be here. I nimbly climbed the cabinets in the enclosed porch and watch the disaster unfold. All I could do was look helplessly at my things just sitting out there and know that everything would be ruined when the rain came in. The monster lady is good for something at least for she suggested that LeRoy throw a tarp over my things.
Monster Lady is LeRoy's helper who sits at the front of the office with things in her ears and tapping on a board while watching pictures on a screen. Monster Lady is not her name, but it is all that she deserves. I do not like her. I remember long ago when LeRoy asked her if she had a solution to the filing problem and she said, 'Yes, but it involves a match!' She did. She said that. She calls her ideas brilliant, I call them scary.
By nightfall, the racket subsided and the lights went out. We emerged from under the stove to assess the damage. It was worse than it had sounded. All of our treasures were gone. All of the nests would have to be rebuilt, and all of the safekeeping caches were looted and destroyed.
Over the next four days we had a long and tortuous debate between the three of us about whether this was a safe place to stay, or whether it was just Myron on a tyrannical roll and he wanted to punish sweet, gentle LeRoy. Our favorite and most reliable hiding places were gone. The food was gone. That monster lady keeps washing my table with that stinky stuff.
All choices are taken away. Now I have to venture farther away from my new nest to find food. I am half way across the expanse of the hall when I hear this horrific screech. Monster Lady is staring at me, clutching her chest and breathing rapidly. I retreat to the safety of the space behind the desk before LeRoy bounded out of his office to ask what was the matter. I can hear her screeching, 'I saw a mouse.'
My benefactor walks right by me as if he did not see me. Sweet, gentle LeRoy tried to ease Monster Lady's tirade by taking a Mickey Mouse gumball machine to her and claim that he found the mouse. (I hate Mickey. He is a disgrace to mice everywhere.) I heard her say, 'That is NOT funny, you better find it because you will not like it if I have to.' And she meant it! She really said that!
That was four days ago. Oh, sweet heavenly days, it is Sunday, and the monster lady is NEVER here on Sundays. But I can smell her. She is here. On a Sunday. I made it to the copy room and almost made it to the top shelves where she cannot reach. But there she is. I stop moving. She will not see me if I stay perfectly still. What is taking her so long? And why is this pile of papers shifting? Oh, no!
She heard the crash and looked right at me. There she goes again. She screams, I run and LeRoy comes to rescue her. The big baby.
I can hear LeRoy asking her if there is anything he can do. I heard the monster say, 'Kill it, get a gun and shoot it!' Sweet, gentle LeRoy said he could not do that. I like LeRoy. He is very calm and pretended to look for me. I find China and Charlie and retell my escapade and my bravery with being able to scare the monster lady.
When night falls, and the house is once again dark all around, we are free to come out of our nest to look for food. We first saw 'it' after I made Monster Lady scream those two times. I tried to warn them that Monster Lady was not to be trusted, but Charlie was young and stupid, and the experimenter. He walked in the black thing and did not come out. China and I looked it over to see if there was any way to get Charlie out, but could not find any. I feel China touch my paw and look at the door with wide, fear-filled eyes. We move slowly this time to an out-of-sight spot under the stove to watch.
Charlie is gone now. We tried to figure out how to open the door, but LeRoy took the black thing away and then brought it back before we could complete the examination. I have no idea what LeRoy did, but I had to find out. Curiosity is uncontrollable. I must investigate.
I tried to discourage China, but she insisted on 'helping' me with the investigation. I knew she was prone to bad ideas, but when she went in the black thing to try to find Charlie, I knew she had exceeded her previous records. She listens almost as well as Charlie did. Tell them one thing and they do the opposite. Now China is in that thing.
But China is my friend. I have to at least try to get her out of there. I had the door almost open enough for China, but she is fat and messed the escape up quite aptly. I still do not know how she managed it, but we both ended up in this ugly black box.
I give two minutes of my attention to China to apologize profusely before I ignore her. I am not happy. I cannot think or get my bearings in this cramped, dark space.
I am awakened by the jostling of being transported. I am concerned when I hear the sound of an engine revving and feel the methodical sway of several turns at death defying speed. Now the vehicle is stopped and I can smell the freshness of outside. The door is opened and someone is shaking China and me out of the box. We tried to clutch at the smooth sides of the box to stay inside, but it did not work. We gain our freedom when we are unceremoniously dumped onto a dirt and pebble surface that hurt my tender paws.
Dang, now the car is leaving and we are not in it. We are stranded in this strange place, and my irritation with China quickly subsides. I may need her help to figure this out.
As we look around, China starts her friendly chatter to see if any other mice are in the area. Charlie emerges from under a piece of wood. Oh, no. Oh, hell no. No, no, no! You have got to be kidding me. That's our new home?!
Word count with title: 1394
Assignment: Go to YouTube and, in the search bar, type in the word funny and your favorite animal. Watch the first video that comes up, and write a story from the perspective of the animal.
Result: I think my idea of funny and Youtube's idea are quite different. My favorite animal is a hawk, but I did not think any of the hawk entries were funny. What's funny about spinning a camera on a tripod while a hawk squeaks. So not funny. So I put in funny mouse. Mouse is not my favorite animal, but it's not as cliche' as every other animal either, now is it? The first mouse video was the Nolan Cheese Commercial.
I put the assignment on the bottom to keep the story clean. What is your personal preference when writing from a prompt, on top or on bottom?