Mouse Says: What Doesn’t Kill You . . .



Beginning of Mouse Tales Part II, New Horizons


Mouse Says:

What doesn’t kill you,

    can leave you pretty pissed off.


You can’t have a lukewarm reaction to betrayal. It’s not possible.

I spent three days in the infirmary, mending my body and spirit. For the first day I blubbered, alone, the sole guest at my very own pity party. The second day Tom came by. He at least looked apologetic and may have even intended to utter words to that effect if I hadn’t started throwing everything in reach at him. After he dodged the half-full water bottle, he left and Nurse Ellie came in, eyed me, and asked if I wanted something to relax me. I was beyond that. On the third day, Nick Ryder came by. He sat in the chair by my bed, stared at me a few disconcerting moments, and then shrugged.

“If you don’t want to stay with us, I totally understand. Tom’s lit into me about the plan being overkill, but I needed to know who Mark was working with on the outside and I felt justified in carrying out the mission as planned,” Nick said. “And now I also know who you are, Mary Elizabeth.”

I stared at him, poker-faced. If he thought he’d get a reaction from me, he was sadly mistaken.

He waited, still eyeing me.

I waited, chin jutting outwards.

He shook his head and smiled ruefully at me. “I’d like you to stay. If you give us a year, I’ll make sure your record is expunged and you receive a hefty increase in pay.”


“Why?” he echoed.

“Just get another computer geek. You don’t need me.”

He rubbed his fingers over his chin. “You impressed Tom. He wants you out in the field.”

I laughed in disbelief. “You’re joking.”

“His adamance surprised me. He says you know how to handle a weapon. You took hardship without grumble. He says you hacked into a motel computer in minutes. He was impressed,” Nick said. “Now if you agree, you’ve got to be trained. You might have skills but you’re going to have to get into top shape and get strong.”

“I haven’t said yes,” I reminded him.

“No, but I see something in your eyes that says you’re intrigued.”

“Maybe a little.” Maybe a lot, but I was not about to share.

He nodded. “Think about it and give me your answer.”

“You’ll get rid of my record? For real?” I asked.

He stood up. “Yes.”

He walked to the door and then turned. “One thing, Mouse. How in the hell did you acquire so much money?”

“Your research didn’t tell you?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“That’s a shame,” I said because I wasn’t about to tell. This mouse no longer shares tales.


end 2/12/2017

S. Darlington

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