Friday, February 26, 2021

Microstory 1570: Vatutotew

Some tiny little creature has been living in my utility room, and I know it’s not a mouse. I got a good look at it once, and I saw intelligence behind its eyes.

I think I’m scared to look at it again, because I don’t want to see just another grisly rat corpse on my kitchen floor. Or to know what it is that has been chewing up my animal crackers. The rats in the basement have been a constant thing. I’ve bought things that deter rodents, and I put small amounts of poison in the walls and floors. It’s always the same: for three weeks, they are gone. Three weeks. Then they come back. The wads of mouse poop in the utility room? I’ve never seen that before. I know I haven't been in the basement for a while. There are doors in the walls leading into the house, I think to keep me from getting killed. I think I should have all of my meals in the kitchen. Not so much for convenience’s sake, but because there are mice. I can’t find my glasses. I have one set, and one set that I am pretty sure they aren’t in. I’m pretty sure that they are in the damn utility room. And, you know what? I know my husband bought another pair of glasses, and I...

...have to wait until my birthday before he’ll give them to me. He probably hid them in the utility room too, which means, if I want to get a better look at the weird creature living in there, I’ll have to go in there first to retrieve the glasses. Even though I won’t be able to see very well, I can still protect myself, with a long-sleeve shirt, and elbow and knee pads. I look like an idiot, but I’m not taking any chances. If it turns out to be a mouse, then fine. If it’s a rat, then not as fine, but I’ll still probably survive. If it’s an evil alien bent on the destruction of the human race, then...then I don’t know, but I’m not going in there unprepared. I have a bat. I slowly crack the door, but then throw it open. It’s easier to see tiny animals when they move, so I would rather it scurry away fast than sneak behind me so I can’t even tell it’s there. Nothing. I see no movement. I lift the laundry basket, nothing moves. I open all of the cabinets, and shine a flashlight in them. Not there either. I open the dryer, but it’s insane to think something that small would exert enough force to get inside. I bend down to check the washer too, confident in the same assessment. It’s in there, staring at me, not like it’s scared, but confused as to why I’m in what it must think is its territory. It looks like a little furry human, gray, with a tail. It turns its head slightly, and looks at me more with one eye, which is something a person would do when sizing somebody up. It is as smart as I thought, or maybe even smarter. Finally, it extends an arm. “My name is Vatutotew,” it says politely. “Have I misidentified this room as abandoned?”

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