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Patiently Waiting in the Cupboard


The mouse sat with the candle light filling his eyes. The light flickered in syncopation opposite his heartbeat with a fast shadow or a flash of color. He drew closer to the sound of laughter. He could be patient. If he sat still enough, and long enough, their eating and laughter would end. Nothing would disrupt his patience. He had to believe it. His wait could last a while.

A wooden spoon, dipped in tomato gravy, danced before him. The blood-red sauce dripped down the handle. He flinched thinking fateful thoughts and brought his hands to his face. He dropped his head as a booming declaration bounced passed his ears emphasizing each period. The punctuation buzzed his brain, so he played with his mustache. He listened as the booming intonation echoed through the kitchen and rocked the spice rack with a deeper thrum.

A crumb of lint sat next to him. He brought it up and touched it to his lips. Only a small wad of hair; a discarded piece of an idea. He tossed it to the side and watched it roll away. The shadow jumped back and forth quickly through the mouse hole in a frenetic dance.

Then everything stopped. The animated sound quieted, and the booming became a snore. He heard a female’s unhappy sigh. The light went out.

He inched closer to the jagged hole and poked his nose out. A cool breeze met his mustache. He shuddered. A few more steps, and he clampered out of the cupboard.

He viewed the room. A table with a burned out candle sat in the middle where a large man slept in a seat. Crumbs littered the table next to a half-eaten plate of spaghetti with a large meatball sitting on a bed of red noodles.

He spun around headfirst, dropped to the floor, smoothed out his mustache, and made sure no one saw him. The coast clear, he ran to the nearest chair and scampered up the side.

The reddened edge of the spoon sat near the spaghetti. The sauce sitting in the dented ladle reminded him of his mother’s death. He twitched and made a wide arch around it and turned with relief once he safely escaped it.

On the table, he stacked a few crumbs and tossed some Parmesan behind the candle. He climbed the mountain of spaghetti and rolled the meatball to his feast. He pondered for a moment on the risks and the wait.

Then he ate.

© 2016 – 2018, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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