RMCA Fiction:
Squibble's Story: The Mouse Knight II

Cutter Hays


a mousey-looking girl...reading a book. (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

Inside it was dark, but not as dark as I wanted it. In the movies they'd cut the power an' all that, but I hadn't read all those technical manuals, see. I didn't know how to even find the power cables, much less cut them. I could, however, quickdraw a gun real good if I had one, yessir, that I could. Oh well.

I snuck up into the ceiling and ran along until I could see down through the cracks into the pharmacy itself. Drugs everywhere, but all on shelves. Really hard to climb shelves. Grrrrr. They couldn't make anything easy on mice. Somebody probably invented shelves so mice couldn't get anything good.

So I clambered down a corner on a pipe and got onto the counter. I searched for antibiotics. I knew what they smelled like. There were a few loose pills under things, but no antibiotics. They smelled kinda...sour. I found a package that said it had an alcohol pad in it. I needed that, so I khybed it (khybe is slang for steal...TV is good...TV is friend...). I scuttled down to the floor and found all kinds of drugs there! I filched some of them for later, stuffing them into my tunic. I had no idea what they were, but maybe they were cool. I took four pills, cause they were small.

But no antibiotics. I was going to have to get up onto those shelves.

There was one human working. She was a mousey-looking girl with big round glasses and she looked bored. She was reading a book and sitting in front of a computer. Hmmmm... A book. No, Squibble...Focus. Focus.

She was clearly obsessed, so I had time to work. I found some string in a drawer. I found a paperclip. You know what's comin'. I saw this on TV.

Except that I couldn't budge that paperclip to turn it into a grappling hook. It was too strong. Grrrr. I bit it and chewed on it to no effect. How frustrating. Now I had to come up with another ingenious plan. So I climbed back up the pipe, and about halfway I leapt helter-skelter toward the medicine shelves. Hey nobody said I was all wise, okay?

I fell about two feet and landed roughly (and very painfully) among some gauze pads. That was real lucky, because if I'd landed on the bottles it would have made a loud noise and the human certainly would have freaked out. As it was, it wasn't totally silent, and she looked. I remained totally still (like a mouse) and waited until she went back to her book. I wondered if it was written by King.

Then I lurked hard, inspecting every bottle and trying to decipher what was in it. I only knew the names of a few antibiotics, and the problem was that at the safe house I had been given oral syrup. How would I carry it? If I found capsules, how would I know how much to take? Hmmm. Well, first things first. Gotta find the stuff.

Nothing on that first shelf. I saw a medicine I recognized. Furosemide. It was for heart trouble. The kind human had some of that in his fridge. I wondered why.

There was no way to get to the lower shelf but to hang over the ledge and try to swing my way into the next level. If I missed, I'd fall seven feet to my death on the tile floor. I couldn't think of that, though, or I'd never have the courage to try. So I blanked my mind out and gave it my best shot. The ledge was very slippery and I almost fell while lowering myself over on my belly. I gnawed the edge of the shelf to give me pawholds and finally I was hanging by my little arms, many inches over potential doom. I swung...once...twice...thrice...almost slipped and fell the wrong way! I let go on the return swing and crashed into the bottles this time. And I was right. It made a loud noise.

The girl was up in a heartbeat and coming over! I limped, trying not to moan in pain, and hid behind the boxes in the farthest, darkest corner of the shelf, hopefully out of her reach. I was trembling.

She picked up the bottles, rearranged the shelf some, and peered into the dark corner I sat in. Obviously her eyesight was as bad as a mouse's, because I was in plain sight and she didn't appear to see me. She did look perturbed, though.

"Ummm... hello?" she said.

Hello, human. You'll forgive me if I don't come out and shake your hand.

"Listen...if it's spirits or something...just...don't get all nasty, okay?"

He he heee. Yeah. Spirits. Mouse spirits, lady. Beware.

She cautiously went back to her computer and began typing something. She might be sounding the alarm. I had to hurry. I looked at the rest of the bottles. No luck. Then I looked out across the rest of the pharmacy. It was ridiculous. There were at least ten racks, each with nine or ten shelves in each. Gahhh! How was I going to do all of them?

I repeated my flip trick, getting quite good at it - especially with chewing just the right pawholds in the wood first - and got in the habit of landing in or on quiet things. I tried for soft things too, 'cause each time I landed it felt like someone had hacked my leg off. Twice I made noises, and she looked - but I was already gone a-hiding. She was growing increasingly concerned though, I could tell. Secretly it delighted me to scare a human. They deserved it for all the frights they've given us. I kinda wished she was the big stupid fat lady, though. I liked this girl for some reason. I couldn't say why.

Finally, I worked my way to the bottom of the shelf. I often grabbed drugs that I knew the names of, or that looked or smelled familiar, and stuffed them into my tunic. When the tunic was full, I made a small side-pouch out of a tiny plastic baggie I found that was obviously supposed to hold small pills. I used my string to sling that around my back and I was ready to collect more drugs. Squibble the medicine collector. That's Doctor Squibble to you, sir, I thought happily.

I went up another rack and found that by climbing up the side, I could step off onto any shelf I wanted. I had been risking my life for nothing. Oh well. Going all the way up that shelf, on the sixth level I found that I could only step off the side onto the top of a bottle, so I did.

The bottle tilted into others, and they all fell, taking me with them all the way to the bottom of the floor. I fell on my back, and heard a sickening crack. I saw stars. I saw my river and my dock for a brief flash. Stunned, I couldn't move as the human got up and came over to the scene, almost stepping on me. She stopped just short of my end and stared down at me and the mess I created. To make matters worse, I saw the bottle I had fallen with - it said "Baytril" on the side! My antibiotic.

With all my strength I tried to reach the bottle. My leg was shooting horrible pain into my bruised head. My limbs were slow and sluggish. I had taken a bad fall, but I wasn't paralyzed. Almost certainly because I had padded my body with folded up papers. It still hurt like crazy, and I was in no shape to run. I pawed at the bottle, desperately trying to get at the insides and save my life.

I barely dodged as a glass cup went over me. It almost pinched my tail off and barely missed my head. The human had me. I felt great disappointment and depression set in. So this was my fate. It kinda sucked. I deserved better.

"Got you, little spirit!" she said.

Yeah. Got me. Whee ha.

I went limp and passed out from the pain, thinking that I had very little air in that glass, and might never wake up.

I was hanging by my little arms, many inches over potential doom. (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

The Lab