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

Cutter Hays


Wrongness and Rightness

Black Mouse (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

So I had this other dream. It was a scary dream, but really sharp and in color, like the first one. Nemo says they're looseed dreams, whatever that means, which I asked him, an' he said it means like, prophetic. Cosmic. All that. I was all, "cool," and went right off to take a nap. This was the dream I had then.

It was dark in a place with lots of mice. At first I thought it was a thrice cursed pet store (that's my new saying...thrice cursed! It comes from a medieval story. Cool, huh?) but it wasn't. It wasn't a pet store at all. It had a nasty smell to it, and a really bad feeling. Kinda like ...pain. Pain and fear. I don't know how I knew that, but I did, kay? I mean, it was a dream. So the place was bad. Really bad. All the mice knew it was bad but they couldn't get out. They were stuck in these tiny little cages - really small. Like, 8 inches long by 6 inches wide! With no toys, no nothin! Just water and chunks of green stuff for food. It was yucky. It was Stupid! And they hated it.

Then I realized that all the mice were sick. Alot of them were dying. It was horrible. Alot of them had things sticking out of their bodies. And they were all alone. No mouse had any other mouse friend in their cage, and no way to reach the others. It was very sad. They were all sad mice.

Then I saw in another room, a human in a white coat was doing something to a mouse. Somehow I knew this mouse had been a pet once. It was used to kind treatment, and kind care, and good treats. But the human was sticking a needle into its stomach and holding it down roughly. The mouse was frightened and in pain. The coat guy sucked out the mouse's stomach through the needle (or something like that) and the mouse squeaked in pain. Then the coat guy turned to put the needle down and knocked over a weird shaped glass of stuff onto the mouse, who was tied down and couldn't move. The stuff burned and smoked. The mouse shrieked in agony. The man swore out loud and ran for something on the wall, but he was too slow. The mouse lit on fire! It writhed and twisted and tried to escape desperately as it burned. Finally, the little straps holding it down burned and the mouse got loose. It hopped and spasmed around, trying to not be on fire, but it was. It was horrible. I wanted to wake up really bad. Finally the mouse fell over, and the man sprayed some weird foamy stuff all over the burned mouse. The fire went out.

The man talked with another man and suggested they kill the mouse, but the other man said the mouse was too important to the experiment. All it had to do was live one more day. So they put the charred mouse back into its cage with no painkiller at all. It didn't even look like that mouse anymore. Its face was burned off. Its ears were gone. It was bent and folded in half in a fetal position. I couldn't believe how cruel the human was. Anyone could see that the mouse was in terrible pain! But they just put it back and shut the cage door.

The mouse was in more than physical pain. It had trusted humans. Its owner had died - he was old - and the mouse had been given to a family member who didn't want it. They gave it to a friend who didn't want it either, and put an ad in the paper asking if anyone wanted a mouse. The people who came to get the mouse pretended they wanted a mouse, but they just collected animals for labs, and sealed the animal's fate when they put it in the research program. It was such a heartless thing to do, but the mouse had no protector anymore. No more kind human to guard it from such things. The mouse, who had never known anything but love and kindness had now been mutilated and fatally burned in a horrible way by a human, and I hear that burning is such a painful way to go. The poor mouse felt betrayed. And it missed its kind human. It wanted to die.

So it did not give the humans their experiment by living an extra day. It choked on cracked lungs and died convulsing on the cage floor in the dead of night.

Now that was bad enough. I'd seen enough horror, thanks. I thought I'd wake up then, but what happened next made that seem like a ride on a friendly rat.

I watched the dead mouse a long time. It was pretty dead. I mean, I've seen dead before. No moving, no breathing. All dead. Darkness, no noise. The entire place was quiet, like the mice all sensed what was coming. But of course I didn't. Nemo says I'm kinda Neyeve. It's spelled n-a-i-v-e I think.

The mouse twitched. I would have jumped three feet, but I wasn't there. Only my mind was really there. My heart jumped though. It scared me pretty bad. It was like this writer I like whose stuff can just make you not like the dark at all!

The room got really cold. The temperature dropped thirty degrees until the mice were all shivering. Most of them were trying to get out of their cages. They were freaking out.

Then a presence filled the place. Because of whatever weird power I had in this dream, I knew the feeling was the same as the bad man from my first dream... Lou.

Then something invaded the mouse. I heard it crawl down the mouse's charred windpipe and fill its dead lungs with something that was not air. Something that was not right. The mouse wheezed backward. The other mice screamed and beat their heads against the cage doors trying to get out.

Then the dead mouse turned black. Blacker than night. It was awful. Its ears came back, but they were like horns. Its face came back, but it was twisted and mean looking. Its eyes opened. They were made of fire. Bright fire.

An' that was about it for ol' Squibble, folks! I screamed and hollered and called on the Mousegod to take me right out of there and right now. Because it was looking right at me!

"AHHHHHHHHH!" I yelled. "Bigfat get me out! Get me outta here right now darn it I'm tellin you! Move your fat ass an' come yank me back now! It's gonna get me!"

The thing from Hell (I knew it was!) smiled with a row of teeth like a shark and said in a voice like gravel, "Yes, Squibble. I am coming to get you."

"No way!" I hollered as it got up. "NoWAYNOWAYNOWAYNOWAY!"

But then suddenly I was sitting in a field, at dawn. It was the field outside the house. I recognized it, but it was far from the house. Like miles far. Still, wayyy in the distance I could see the back of the house on a hill. I was scared. My heart was beating at 1500 beats a minute. Not joking. Mice normally got at least 700.

The air was cool and a soft breeze told me I was far from the bad place. Dawn felt normal. The house being close by made me feel safe, even if it would take me days and days to get back there. Maybe weeks.

Then I realized I was sitting by the edge of a lake. It would just be a large pond to a human, but I recognized this place too. It was the place where Michael Mousefriend had fallen with the hawk. He had fallen and saved us all, but had died in the process. Then he made himself come back from the grave because we needed him still. He organized all the mice of the field, the bees and ants, and removed every obstacle from our path. Without his help I would never have made it, my master on my aching back, the few last miles to the house of the Kind Human. Without him, our quest would have failed. But he did fall, and he did die. He just came back. Because he loved us.

"Oh, Mike," I said. "I miss you."

"I miss you too, little one."

I gasped and snapped my head up to stare at a giant man, illuminated (oOOooo big word huh?) in the golden light of a rising sun. He was huge, and robed in white. He had massive wings on his back and his head had a ring of fire around it. He had golden hair flowing down to his wide shoulders. He was wearing a belt, and on the belt was a beautiful, shiny sword. Even with the wings and different suit, I knew it was Magnificent Man from my first dream. But he looked like an angel.

"Archangel, actually," he said.

His voice. He was speaking rodent. It sounded like...like...

"Michael Mousefriend," I whispered in awe.

He nodded and smiled. His smile was so friendly and genuine. He was so cool.

I ran to him and hugged his big toe. "Mike! Mike!"

He reached down and scooped me up. He petted me and scratched gently behind my ears, grooming me. He rubbed my tummy (no mouse will let you do this, so don't try, humans) and we shared a moment of pure happiness. I knew it was Mike. He wasn't wearing a rat body, but I knew it was him. I loved him so.

Then I remembered my dream.

"What did it mean, Mike?" I asked him.

Mike's face got serious. He set me down by the water's edge.

"Squibble," he said as he looked skyward, "some things happen sometimes in other places that decide the fate of things here, on earth."

I nodded, understanding for some weird reason.

"And sometimes, in rare moments, things happen here that decide the fate of other places." He looked down to see if I was getting it. I was. "This is one of those rare times. What is about to happen must happen, dear friend. It may seem like God hates you, but he does not."

"Oh, Bigfat doesn't hate me," I chirped. "He can be a jerk sometimes, but that's just his ego. He's really a nice guy. He'd never do anything to hurt me."

Mike smiled again, almost laughing. Somehow I got the idea that was rare for him, even though as a rat he had laughed often.

"Yes, Squibble. God loves you." I nodded. That was right. Yep. "He loves you so much that he has chosen you for a very special task," he said. "A very difficult, special task. But you must accept it of your own free will."

I opened my mouth. A special task from the Mousegod! That was called a Crusade! A Holy Quest! I was gonna be like my master! YES! I knew it! I knew I'd be a great hero someday!

Michael held up his finger in warning. My mouth wouldn't utter the words I wanted to say! I wanted to agree right away - take the job like a stolen Cheerio and run away with it, but I couldn't speak. Frustrating!

"Squibble, this is not going to be easy. In fact, it is going to cost you alot. Maybe everything. You cannot know how hard this is going to be if you accept. It will make your trek across these fields of fate seem like nothing. I am warning you. If you accept, you can expect the very worst."

I stopped. "This has to do with that wrong mouse back in the dream, doesn't it?"

Mike nodded, his eyes very serious.

I thought for about half a second. Long for me. For some unexplainable reason I had a flash of something I never experience. Caution.

"What if I don't do this?"

"God will find someone else."

"But Bigfat chose me!" I squealed in protest.

Mike nodded again. "Yes. He did."

I looked around. The fields were empty. It was quiet. It was peaceful. I felt no pressure except my own.

"Do I get to be a great hero and save everyone?"

"You get to be a great hero, Squibble."


"You will change the fate of all rodentkind, and all humankind as well."

"So cool!"

"And you will suffer for it as well."


"The enemy is without mercy, Squibble. He will strike where it hurts the most."

"Do I get to win?"

Mike chuckled, unable to stop the laugh from escaping.

"That depends on you."

"On my great strength and my huge courage, huh!"

"Yes, and your power to persevere."

"I can be severe."

"Squibble, take this seriously!" he boomed.

"I do. I will. I accept!"

I caught Mike by surprise by saying that I think, because his eyes got wide. "Are you certain that you desire to carry this burden, tiny mouse?"

I felt afraid for just one second. I think he wanted me to, though I can't imagine why. I shook it off. I was going to be a great hero, like my beloved master!

I nodded aggressively. "Yep."

He looked a bit sad then. He lowered his head, as if he knew something I didn't...which of course he did...duh... He's an angel. Oh, Archangel. Sorry.

Then he drew his mighty sword. It blazed like the sun. I had to look away. He held up one hand with his index and middle finger pointing upward and he placed the very tip of the sword on my back. It didn't hurt at all.

"Then Squibble, you are named the Champion of Mice. Chosen by God. Protector of the species. Given the power to change the history of the world. Rise, Sir Squibble. You are the Prophet-Knight."

I looked up at him strangely. "Yeah. Of course I'm a knight. My master knighted me. You weren't there for that. You don't gotta do it again, Mike, but thanks for thinking of me."

Mike then drew back and cast his sword into the lake. It fell like a burning comet but when it hit the water, it only made a tiny splash. Not even the big spray a giant metal thing like that would have made. The splash was mouse sized. And when it cleared, for a moment I thought I saw a mouse paw sticking up out of the water, holding a mouse sized sword, but both vanished into the blue water immediately. The water fizzled a moment and was still. Tiny ripples reached out for shore in every direction. Mike turned to me.

"Tell your master that he may command me, one time in all of this. One time only, by this name of God, which is Adonai. So tell him to choose wisely. And also tell him that the lady will grant him his weapon when he is ready."

"Ummm...what lady, Mike?" I looked around for a woman, mouse or human.

Mike picked me up and petted me again. It felt so good.

"I love you, Squibble. Try to remember that in the coming days. I will not abandon you."

"Oh, that's right - heck no you won't!" I said. "You're coming back with me to the house! First off 'cause I ain't walkin there by myself - no way - and second, 'cause Master will want to see you again! He'll be so happy to see you, Mike! Even if you do look like a human."

"Remember the black mouse, Squibble. And the lake. Remember these things."

"Ohhh, I'd rather forget that one, if it's all the same, Mike. That was just a crazy dream."

Mike smiled again. "Squibble."

I perked. "Yeah."

"You're still dreaming."

I looked right into his eyes. "No way!" I said, amazed.

And I woke up.

I knew it was Mike. (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

The Golden Days