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

Cutter Hays

Surely I'm Forgetting Something...

At Nemo's cage (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

All I knew was that in the morning I was troubled. I wanted to go see Nemo, but that big dummy had insulted me. I went instead to my master. He was really busy bringing my momma food and drink.

"Hi, Squib! Help me carry this stuff..."

I did. We went into the nest. My mom was really tired and thin looking. Some other girl mice had come over and offered to help care for the babies. Lay across them, keep them warm, all that. I was shocked by how tired my momma looked. My master fed her and groomed her. She went to sleep under his tender care.

We snuck out into the main section of the cage, by the big blue wheel my master loved to run on. He looked at me as if he knew something was wrong.

"Yeah," I said. "I...I'm having really bad dreams."

"Why do you think?" he said. "Worried about the pilgrimage? You don't leave for another month, until spring gets warm enough."

"Nah, not that," I said quietly. "I'm confused, master. I don't feel like myself lately. I hate that little runt Scratchy, and I never hate anyone. I don't want to leave here, but I do want to be a great hero, like you, with all my heart."

He smiled that reassuring, confident smile that always made me feel better. "Maybe you're just nervous? Or is this serious?"

"Serious," I said without hesitation.

He nodded. "Okay. We have to take this to Nemo then."

I shook my head. "Nah."

He cocked his head and looked the "why?" look at me.

"Because he's stupid," I said.

Master laughed. He knew stupid was a catchall word for anything I didn't like. "Not getting along with the prophet?" he said. "I don't always, either."

"Really?" I asked. It was more understanding than I had dared hope for.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "Being a prophet is no fun. You always tell people what they don't want to hear. They don't listen, and then the future you saw comes true, despite your best efforts..."

"OWWW!" I chirped, and bent over.

"Squibble, what's wrong?" He held me up.

"My head hurts!" I said. "It was what you said! It made me scared!"

My master has only looked seriously worried a few times in his life, but that was one of them.

"Like him or not, we're going," he said.

"Yes, master," I whimpered. My head felt like someone had hit it with a baseball bat.

In moments we were at Nemo's cage.

"We'd like to see Nemo," my master said to Nemo's girlfriend.

She stood there in our way! "He's sleeping, mouse." Her tone was stuffy and disrespectful. If I hadn't felt so awful I'd have bit her rump. My master was patient and kind.

"It's very important. Please wake him? He'll want to see us."

She snaffed (blew air out her nose - it's a chinchilla insult) and went to get Nemo.

"You should have beat her up, master!" I said.

"Life isn't about who you can beat up, Squibble."

Nemo appeared at the cage door. His girlfriend looked chastised. "I'm sorry," he said. "Come in."

We explained everything to him. I told him I couldn't remember my dreams, but they were driving me crazy.

"You have them every night?" he said.

"Yeah. Some are worse than others," I said.

"Do you remember any of them?" he asked.

"No...Not since a few months ago. Pretty much when I got to this house, or a little bit after. I don't remember them anymore."

He and my master looked at each other, as if communicating on some level I couldn't hear or see.

"Squibble, do you know what hypnosis is?" Nemo asked.

I shook my furry head.

"It's kind of magic," my master said to me. "Nemo can put you in a trance and get you to remember your dreams, and you won't even remember being asleep unless you want to."

"Wow! Cool!" I said. "Can you teach me to do that?" I said.

"Maybe someday," Nemo smiled. "It has many other uses. It can be used to delve into the deep unconscious mind, where no one themselves go. One can convince someone they can lift huge masses of weight, or not feel cold in the snow. And believing it, they then obtain these new powers."

"I gotta have it," I said. "I'll be careful. Promise!"

Nemo went on smiling. "I'll consider it. Meanwhile, may I hypnotize you?"

"Sure," I said. Then I paused. "It won't hurt will it?"

"Not a bit."

"Okay. Can you make me not cold in the snow?"

"Of course," the prophet said. "Come over here and look into my eyes."

I did.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" I asked.

"We're done, Squibble." My master was sitting next to Nemo. He hadn't been there a moment before. They both wore expressions of serious worry. I suddenly felt weird.

"Way?" I said, amazed.

"Way," my master said, trying to smile.

"How long was I out for!" I giggled.

"Three hours," they said together.

I gasped. That was a long time! It was almost dawn. Soft orange light was filtering in through the windows. They were right.

"What did you find out!" I asked.

"You asked us not to tell you," my master said.

"What!" I exclaimed. "That's stupid! Tell me!"

Nemo shook his head. "Squibble, we heard some pretty intense things while you were under. We spoke to Bigfat, and you - but not you right now. You from the future."

"No wayyy!" I gaped.

"Yes," Nemo said. "And they told us some very disturbing things, and they would not reveal everything, which is even more disturbing."

"No way did you talk to a future me," I said. "That's from South Park. I'll behave, I promise. Now tell me what happened." I smiled.

They looked at me in silence.

They were serious! My mouth hung open. There was long silence.

"We cannot tell you yet what we heard," my master said. "Please trust us, Squibble. You told us it would change everything, and upset you deeply."

"I told you...? Oh, this is confusing! You guys are weirdoes."

Nemo nodded and looked at my master. They nodded looking at each other. We all laughed. "Yep," Nemo said. "That's for sure."

"Will I stop having these dreams?" I asked.

"No," Nemo said, "but I think I can teach you to control them. And maybe much more on top of that."

"Cool! Hey, what was my future self like?" I asked.

They stopped laughing. My Master looked at Nemo and Nemo didn't know what to say. My master looked at me and smiled carefully.

"He was a great hero," he said.

"Ohh, YAAAYYYY!" I shouted. "COOL!" I grinned, cocking my head. "Yeahhh...I know you guys are putting me on. The hypnosis didn't work. It's okay, you can admit it. Squibble isn't that lame. I catch on to some things."

My master came over and put his arm around me. "Yeah," he said. "That could be."

"He he he... I knew it," I said. "You guys are a riot." I went hopping off toward my cage. "But I'll still learn it, Nemo, 'cause it sounds way cool."

Nemo nodded.

I waved to them. They waved back.

Then they vanished from sight as I descended the ladder from the table.

Those guys. What jokers.

As I got to the play area it was empty. I went to the back yard and saw that the new class of fighters had just finished their practice. It was dawn. Everyone was going to sleep. Where had those three hours gone?

I sat in some snow... (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

Suspicious, I went over and sat in some snow.

I sat there for half an hour.

I felt warm and comfortable.

My heart gave an uncomfortable lurch in my chest. Stunned, I went back inside. Everything seemed somehow....not real. I knew this was how I felt when my powers happened. I looked around and saw many mice around my master's cage. They were all pearly and glowing. Bigfat was there, glowing also.

I nodded to Bigfat on my way into the cage. He nodded back and smiled at me. I kinda looked at him like he had three eyes. I didn't mean to, but I was wigged out. I looked up and saw Mike (the big angel Mike) standing over the cage. He smiled too.

I went inside and saw Nemo sitting there with my master and a few other mice. Mostly my master's family. BJ had just arrived.

"What's going on?" I said, breaking the silence.

"Oh, Squibble," master said. "We couldn't find you. We're naming the children. This is Leaf, and this is Branch," he pointed to a girl and a boy. I nodded. "This is Muadib," he pointed to another tan boy. I smiled. Good name. He pointed to another tan girl. "And this is Gaia." I stepped closer. The last child, the tiny white baby, was squirming in my mother's grasp. "We can't seem to figure out this one," he said, looking at me.

I stepped forward with all eyes on me. Feeling like I was watching myself in a movie, I knelt down and put my hand on the little albino's head.

"His name is Percival," I said. "Lord of the Mouse Knights."

'His name is Percival.' (Copyright 2005 Cutter Hays)

Preparing to Leave Paradise