Tag Archives: mice

The Spot Writers – “Monster in the House” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. October’s prompt: “write a story inspired by what’s outside your window.”

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming early 2020. Watch for it!

***

“Monster in the House” by Cathy MacKenzie

I lay in bed, not daring to move. That noise. What is it? Someone’s broken into the house is my first thought, but I’d have heard the beeps of the alarm system—wouldn’t I?

They’re at the front door. Outside—no, definitely inside. But how? Was I that sound asleep I didn’t hear the alarm? Didn’t Hubby hear it?

Hubby is beside me. Fast asleep. I can’t see him in the dark. I’m too afraid to open my eyes, but I’m positive it’s dark.

Quiet now—no, there it is. Definitely at the front door.

My heart thumps against my chest. I clutch Hubby’s arm. “Wake up,” I whisper. My fingers press into his flesh. “Someone’s here.”

“Wha—what’s wrong?” His voice is thick with sleep.

“Shush. Someone’s at the front door.”

“What? Who?”

“Shush,” I say again. “Shush.”

Silence.

Nope. There it is again.

“At the front door. Someone’s here. They’ve broken in.”

“Someone’s in the house?”

“Yes!”

Maybe it’s not the front door. But it’s somewhere close by. There! Again.

My eyes are open now, but it’s as if I’m blind. I point in the darkness. “Down the hall.”

The noise is down the hall, by the bathroom. Mere feet away.

“It’s an animal.” A squirrel?

“Go back to sleep,” Hubby says. “There’s nothing here.”

Three days ago, we moved into our new-to-us house. I’m not attuned yet to these different night sounds. What creatures might lurk in the dark? Or in a nook or cranny we haven’t yet discovered. The house could be haunted for all I know.

The intruder—or intruders—isn’t mice. I’m familiar with the soundless pitter of those rodents. This commotion is far from soundless.

But in the house?

Hubby sits. “Your imagination again.”

Last night, I heard an unmistakeable noise and woke him up. It could have been mice then as it was a weird sound in the walls. Turned out to be the furnace. The previous owners forgot to turn off one of the in-floor heat zones, so the furnace turned on occasionally at night.

He plops back to the bed.

“There!” I poke him in the side and sit, clutching the linens to my heaving chest. “Definitely down the hall.” The sound reminds me of an elderly person on crutches, with his bad leg dragging on the floor.

If Hubby doesn’t hear it this time, he needs to return to the doctor to get his ears unplugged.

“I don’t hear anything.”

“Shush, you always talk so loud.”

Silence except for my thumping heart that’s about to blast from my chest.

“There! You must hear it now.” The shuffling is louder. Must be an animal in the house. Hubby has a habit of leaving the garage door wide open to the elements. Maybe it’s a raccoon. A family of raccoons made their home in our attic a few years ago. Could a raccoon have snuck in?

“Hmmm… There is something.” He gets out of bed and sneaks down the hall. Turns on the hall light.

Silence.

Where is he? Has the “monster” gotten him?

He’s been gone too long.

“Where are you?” My voice is too low for him to hear.

The light finally goes out.

“Nothing there,” he says, returning to bed.

I hear it again. The sounds are louder. Shuffling. Scratching. Hubby hears it, too; I can tell by the change in his breathing.

I shriek. “It’s outside. Behind my head.” Someone’s spying on us. That one-legged man?

Hubby peers out the window by our bed. “Probably a branch rubbing against the window.” He turns on the bedside light and looks out again.

The noise increases as if the creature—animal or human—is afraid of the light. Shuffling. Scratching. Screeching.

“Raccoon,” he says. “Raccoon in the compost bin.” He shuts off the light and comes back to bed.

“You can’t leave it,” I say.

“I’m not going out at three in the morning.”

The raccoon eventually calms down. Maybe it falls asleep. Maybe we do.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

+++

C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under books, free, Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “The Visitor” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: a cat stares at something behind its owner’s back. What does it see? (You can write the story from the cat’s perspective, if you wish!)

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s first novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon!

***

“The Visitor” by Cathy MacKenzie

We lock eyes. I know what’s behind her, but if I avert my eyes, she’ll realize something is wrong. She’ll freak.

Me? I’m in my glory, as they say. I want to pounce but can’t make a sudden movement or they’ll both freak.

One freakin’ female is enough.

She’s cute, though. Both of them.

I caught a look at the small one before human started staring at me. Maybe human knows. Maybe she’s forming a plan.

One of us needs to make a move.

Most likely, the human will move first. She’s the biggest. And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what’s behind her.

Why does she remain so still? Is she fixated by my smile? Does she suspect?

Or is she off in thought? She’s a writer, after all. She sits at her computer all day long, her fingers speeding across the keyboard as if there’s no tomorrow.

Or no today.

When she’s not there, I jump onto her desk and flake out on the keyboard.

I must look behind the human. She senses something. I sense she wants to turn around. I sense she’s scared.

mouse

Mice have sneaked into the house previously. I catch them and present them to her as if trophies. The same scenario will play out today.

I scamper across the floor, skidding on the smooth surface, and land where I want before the mouse has a chance to raise its dratted paw. I catch the silly thing, grip it with my teeth, and head to human. I drop it at her feet.

She screeches. She jumps up and down as if the floor’s on fire.

And screeches some more.

Then she’s quiet, rooted to the floor. Perhaps she’s afraid it’ll come back to life. It might. It’s only stunned. Not dead.

At that moment, Man Cave Dweller returns home.

She screeches at him. “Come here. Get rid of it. Catalina has brought in another.”

“Hush, woman. Hush.”

She screeches again and points to her feet. “It’s here, it’s here.”

He shakes his head, heads toward their bedroom, and returns. He’s changed into comfy clothes. He grabs food from the fridge.

“Can’t handle you, woman,” he mutters while descending the stairs to his cave.

She shrieks again. “You scumbag. Get back up here. Do your manly duty.”

I slither between her splayed feet and bound downstairs. Man Cave Dweller is unconcerned. He plays with the remote and minutes later, the big screen comes to life.

He soon snores.

I return upstairs. I slink from room to room, looking for the female human. Ah, there she is. Hard at work, as usual, on her computer. I bet she’s writing a horror story about mice that invade her home.

Oh my! What’s that by her feet? If I were a human, I would shriek.

Yep. I pounce.

Human shrieks.

I clutch mouse between my teeth.

Human woman and I lock eyes.

I dare you. Double dare, she seems to say.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under free, Uncategorized

Be Gone!

You drafted critters, I have you now. Not that I “want you.”

I want you gone!

And you will be. Very soon.

You’ve heard of Mice Busters? Yes, of course you have. Ghosts and otherworldly spirits must exist in the mice world as well as the human world.

Today, we retained the services of the Mice Busters. Mice Busters aren’t cheap. It’s fifty dollars a month to eradicate you critters and keep you at bay, but it’s, oh!, so worth it. I told hubby I’d give up eating out once a month to cover the expense. Worth it to me. Heck, I’ll even give up two restaurant meals a month to keep you under control.

So, you drafted f****** critters, take that!

An aside for you lovely, compassionate readers: This particular Mice Buster who attended  at our home today–the individual who will monitor our house for the life of our contract (well, unless he quits after tiring of critter bodies, traps, and bait)–advised us that he takes care of several other houses on our street, and even more on adjacent streets. I heaved several breaths of relief. We weren’t the only ones! Our house hadn’t been singled out by this slinky, sneaky species.

I’ll sleep soundly tonight.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s About Time!

People have been clamouring for more of my mice saga.

Really?

“Love those meeces to pieces” and “Wow” and “The story could be worse” and “You’ll pull through this” and “It’s not as bad as you think” and…

The comments, to me personally and not on here on my blog, are similar. One person even told me to check behind my fridge and under my stove. Thankfully, I have a wall oven and a gas stove top, so I’m fine with the stove, thank you very much. But the fridge? Yes, I’m sure I’ll find treasures there. The other day, Easter Sunday in fact, shortly before our thirteen guests arrived, I happened to find a pile of peanut shells under a throw pillow on the couch in the “little living room.” We mainly use the great room and Hubby’s man cave, but it was still disgusting. The previous day, I opened a drawer in my grandmother’s ornate desk to find several turds. How they managed that feat is beyond me because there is no access behind the drawers.

Someone near and dear to me even had the audacity to email: “Hope you’re enjoying your new friends.”

YOU try to enjoy life with rodents and see how you fare. Literally, I’m constantly looking over my shoulders, watching where I step, examining my food…

NO, I’m NOT enjoying this period of my life. Sure, things could be waaaaaaay worse. But I don’t want “worse.” I want normal. The life I had before.

I can’t turn the clock back to “before.” Some things are impossible to rectify and revert, like the death of my son (I need to insert him into my every writing. Just because. I can’t help it).

But we—not me—”someone,” Hubby, exterminators should be able to put our house back in pre-mouse condition.

And today—SUCCESS!!!—Terminator coming on Thursday. I had to sic the fear of “something” into Hubby, and it worked! When I told him one exterminator company wanted upwards of $3,500 to assess and block any access holes, well–that spurred him into action. The company he uses at work charges $50 a month to take care of ANY critter/bug/insect/rodent/you-name-it, which makes me Happy Doobie!

It’s about time. Cause I’m at the point where it’s either this crit (me) or the “other” critters. One of us is about to leave this house. And I don’t think it’s the meeces….

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hasn’t Ended Yet!

So, today, we rise from bed. (No, it’s not Good Friday; it’s Saturday.)

Minutes later, Hubby says, “I think we have a problem.”

“What?” But did I need to ask?

Nope, I didn’t.

“There’s a missing trap.”

Hubby had three traps set in the kitchen–only at nights when I’m in bed ’cause I don’t like to see them. Apparently, he got up in the middle of the night.

“We did have three, right?” he asks.

I groan. “Yes, there were three.” I sigh. I want to go back to bed. This is totally ridiculous. And out of control.

Coincidentally, mice scurried through my head while sleeping. No, not a dream. Some sort of wafting thought that invaded my tranquility when it hit me that carrot pieces and nuts would surely be behind the refrigerator and under the dishwasher, and perhaps that’s where they were hiding.

So, after our showers, etc., Hubby finds the trusty broom handle and flashlight, lies on the kitchen floor, and tries to see/sweep out the trap (with or without the dead/alive mouse). He soon gives up on the broom and devices a coat hanger contraption. Low and behold: a live mouse on the stickie trap. OUT IT GOES, thanks to Hubby…BACK IN THE FIELD, SOMEWHERE. (I didn’t watch except to supervise.)

I’m thinking now the point of entry (a dreaded thought that went through my head during the night) is behind the dishwasher again. A couple of years ago, my sweet dearly departed ever-missed son Matt covered the surface behind the dishwasher with heavy plastic and duct tape (duct tape works wonders, does it not?). Problem solved, we all thought.

That problem may have been solved. The dratted critters could have discovered another entry point, but there is no way to know for certain until we pull out the dishwasher. At the time Matt “solved the problem,” we had just installed a granite countertop and had the devil of a time re-positioning the dishwasher. I dread moving it again. It’s not a job for Hubby and Wifey, for Wifey does not enjoy these types of events. So, I suggested that tomorrow, AFTER dinner (and numerous drinks) we utilize the two men guests who will have enjoyed a scrumptious dinner (thanks to Wifey). Surely three able-bodied men can pull out and push back a dishwasher!

Nope, Hubby says we can’t do that. Not on Easter Sunday. Not after we’ve invited them to dinner.

But they’re family! Family helps family, right? And if it doesn’t get done tomorrow, when will it get done? Never, that’s when!

So, I’m here, languishing with my vino. Wondering…pondering… Is there a safe haven anywhere in the world?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ANOTHER SEGMENT—OR TWO. Will it ever end?

Today is Good Friday, supposedly a day of relaxation and to remember “whatever.” For me, it’s remembering my mother who died on Good Friday in 2016. Of course, she didn’t die two years ago today since the date of Good Friday changes every year. I thank Facebook for reminding me of her death on March 24 cause I’m horrid with dates. I’ll never forget Mom died on Good Friday, but I won’t always remember the 24th.

We have family coming for dinner on Sunday. EEK! Thirteen people, now that I count; that’s unlucky and I don’t need more bad luck, so I’ll set a place setting for Matt and put his photograph on the chair. This will be our second Easter without him.

For the past few weeks, I’d been searching for my high stool that magically disappeared. The only place it could have been was in our large, walk-in linen closet that was stogged so full you couldn’t see the floor or the shelving. I asked Hubby to help me organize it. He’s always eager to throw stuff out, so perhaps he had the wrong impression re my request as he was most accommodating.  We got a few things moved out, and low and behold: my stool! Sadly, I’d accused Hubby of taking it and forgetting where he’d put it; I had even gone as far as saying “someone must have stolen it.” (Who, I didn’t know.)

And then I saw them: turds. Oh My Gosh–to put it mildly. In my linen closet?! Never, ever have they been in the closet. I needed to remove everything. Long story and job that was, so I won’t even start that tirade.

Needless to say, it was more than a morning’s work. And then I had to wash numerous precious items, most of them by hand. And NOT how I wanted to spend Good Friday–or any day, for that matter. I needed a drink (or two) badly, but 11 a.m. was a bit early, even for me.

So, now I have an extremely (for me) neat linen closet.

linen

Okay, so it doesn’t look THAT neat, not in the photo. And it’s way bigger than it looks, too. It’s very deep and long. Six (or more) people can easily fit in it, not that THAT matters!

But, GAH, mice in my linen closet? What the heck! And where are they coming from?

After that, we tackled the TV cabinet. [If you’ve read my earlier post(s), you’ll understand.] Hubby removed all the electronics. GAH: more peanut shells. He was great, though, he dusted like crazy. First time I’ve seen him dust–or clean!

PART TWO TO THE SAGA:

Once the linen closet and the TV cabinet were clean, I tackled the office (where I spend my days writing stories no one ever reads). It wasn’t in that bad a shape, but the surfaces needed organized and books replaced back on shelves. It’s also my library.

So, I opened the bottom drawer of Hubby’s desk to stog stuff into it.

Low and behold: peanut shells and turds.

Oh my! What has my life become?

I had kinda been joking in earlier posts when I said how I constantly look over my shoulders, but you know what? I need to. They’re everywhere. And who knows where!

It’s now 4:44 p.m. Time for a drink, right? (Maybe two…maybe three…)

And this is how my Good Friday went. I hope yours is/was better.

“Happy Easter,” says Oliver the Rabbit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Oh, My Gosh!

Earlier today I posted the blog piece I had written yesterday. Remember how I said we caught one of those dratted critters at least two weeks ago? Remember the “flakes” in my appliance cupboard?

Well, yikes!

I hate to say this, but my house is a mess. Truly, I haven’t cared about much since my son died last March in 2017 (sorry…I always find a way to add him into my stories). No excuse, I know (re the mess). Plus, we were in Mexico for two months this winter. Yes, another excuse.

So, Easter is this weekend and we have guests coming for dinner Sunday. (Okay, just family, but when I have “guests,” no matter who they are, I like to have a clean house.) So, I’ve been toiling the entire day, cleaning under the kitchen sink (no turds, thankfully!), as well as two of the bathrooms. I vacuumed, dusted, wiped baseboards. GAH! You name it.

Somewhere along the line, I tackled the kitchen, which is the cleanest room in my house cause I know about bugs and stuff, and how grease and grime and leftovers attract EVERYTHING under the sun. Nonchalantly, I swiped the cloth between the toaster oven and the unit that holds the wall oven and then decided to do a better job. So I moved out the toaster oven a tad.

And low and behold! Carrot ends. I was flabbergasted and sick to my stomach. Was there more? I hefted the oven off the counter. Sure enough. More carrot pieces.

Ever since returning from Mexico, Hubby has been “into” carrot juice. We bought a $200+ juicer and tons—and I mean tons—of veggies. Every Saturday, we replenish the supply. And every evening before bed, he washes his veggies and gets them ready for the next day. And the next morning he makes his juice. And every morning, I take apart the juicer, throw the pulp into the compost (I have tons already frozen for stews and sauces—more than we’ll ever use, thank you very much!), and wash the zillion plastic pieces. Quite frankly, I’m getting tired of that chore, but I do it every morning with love in my heart—without complaint.

And every night, I tell him: “Please take the veggie dregs to the compost bin before you come to bed.”

I thought he heeded my words, but obviously not. Does he ever listen to me? Thus, the dratted mice have been climbing to the counter and transporting carrot tops and bottoms behind the toaster oven. And to think I’ve been cooking and lingering in the kitchen, not realizing they were there! Some carrot hunks were bright orange, so the detective in me knew the invasion had been recent. Some were withered and dried, which meant the onslaught had been ongoing. But for how long? Probably ever since we bought the juicer!

Wasn’t stealing our peanuts and M&Ms enough????

carrots

I emailed pics to Hubby. Of course, he called me within minutes. “What are those pictures?” I had to explain. Several times! He thought it was a pic of the floor!!! REALLY????

He doesn’t understand that four plus four equals current mice!

So, we are still infested. Big time.

Where in the heck are they hiding?

I’m checking over my shoulders more than ever. Not even sure I can eat in this house again despite the fact I have turnip boiling and chicken roasting for dinner tonight.

Thing is, Hubby puts more than carrots in his juice. He uses turnips, parsnips, cabbage, celery, apples, and pears. It appears out of all those veggies/fruits, mice like carrots the best. All of those dregs were in the little compost container on the counter, yet all I’ve found (thus far) is carrots.

Am I going to find more bits and pieces elsewhere?

I need a drink!

A big one! Bigger than this…

wine1

2 Comments

Filed under books, fun, Uncategorized

The Continuing Saga – One Last Segment (I hope!)

If my calculations are correct, it’s been a good two weeks since we’ve caught a mouse, but I’m aging and memories fade. Sometimes there’s too much wine, too, because I must have a way to get these critters off my mind. Every morning, I scan the bedroom before I get out of bed, and walking down the hall to the kitchen, I peek into each room. I avoid the TV area where hubby has placed the traps. I don’t need to see one squirming in the glue. I don’t need to remember how he took the broom and bopped them on the head before tossing them into the compost bin. However, he finally gave up on the broom and tossed them in the green bin alive—which is the gist of this story. (And YES! I know they shouldn’t be tossed into the green bin. He won’t be doing that again, either.)

Yesterday, I was out most of the day. When I got home, I left the car in the driveway instead of pulling into the garage and passed by the compost bin on the way into the house.

And stopped—a full stop.

What the heck was that on the pavement? I knew what it looked like, but it couldn’t be.

mouse trap

But it was.

I raced into the house, glad to be safe indoors. Or was I? I’ve been looking over my shoulders for weeks. Who knows where they lurk: behind a drape, behind a closed door, behind an open door? Under my desk, where I spend most of my day?

I went about the rest of my afternoon until Hubby returned home.

“Did you see that thing?”

“No, what thing?”

“The mouse trap.”

“What mouse trap?”

“You walked right by it. The plastic thingie.”

“No, I didn’t see it. And what plastic thing do you mean? One of the traps?”

“Not the heavy plastic trap, the stickie trap. The disposable ones. There’s one on the pavement. How could you miss it?”

“I didn’t see anything.”

Hubby never sees anything!

I run to the back door. “There.”

“What?”

I open the door and point again. It’s about four feet away. “Oh, maybe it’s upside down. Maybe the mouse is underneath it. But how did it get there? I thought you were throwing them in the bin?”

Hubby goes outside to check.

“Ew!” I close the door and go back to dinner prep.

He says nothing when he comes in, secretive as always.

“So, what?”

“What?”

“What was it?”

“Oh, the trap.”

“Yes, the trap.” I’m exasperated.

“I think something got into the compost bin and ate it. There was nothing left.”

“Gross,” I say. “So now we have critters in the compost bin.”

The thing is, the bin was intact. The lid was down, and the bin isn’t shoved against the house. We’ve had raccoons in the bin several times, but evidence always remained: lid up, a mess on the driveway, the bin on its side.

No, it was the mice: the intelligent, huge mice that fed on our nuts and chocolates for over three months. They’re smarter than the regular, average small mouse. Even stuck to glue, they’re strong and smart, able to vault to the underside of the lid, whack it open, and leap to the pavement. Yep, I’m sure of it.

***

I made stew a couple of days ago and left the crock pot on the counter instead of putting it back in the lower cupboard. Tonight, I open the cupboard to put it away.

What!!!! Little black specks! Mouse droppings? I have to know for sure, so I touch one. Hubby won’t be home for another hour.

(I accidently touched a mouse turd eons ago, when I was younger, when I lived in the country, so I knew what they looked and felt like.)

These are flakes. Don’t appear to be turds. Still, I’m not one hundred percent positive, so I leave the cupboard door open until Hubby arrives home.

“Doesn’t look like mice,” he says, when he gets home.

“Touch one and see.”

He touches one. “Nope, don’t think it’s from mice.”

“Then what is it? It wasn’t there two days ago.”

“You would know,” he says.

I think he’s being sarcastic, but it turns out he’s serious and he’s complimenting me (a bit). He knows I see everything.

I rip off a wad of paper towel, wet it, and scoop up the “turds.”

“There’s no way mice could get in that cupboard,” he says.

The coffee pot is in that cupboard. Had I left grinds in the pot? Not like me to do that. Plus, I’m positive the bits weren’t there earlier.

To recap: we’ve caught seven thus far. As I said, it’s been over two weeks, so I think that’s it.

That’s it—until the next time!

EEK!

 

2 Comments

Filed under freebies, fun, stories, Uncategorized

The Story – In a Nutshell

nuts2

After returning home from a two-month vacation, I noticed peanut shells on the floor by the television cabinet. On the opposite side of the living room, I found shells on the fireplace hearth.

“What’s all this?” I asked Hubby.

“Hmmm, that’s odd. Your grandkids?”

Yeah, sure, blame my grandkids. My daughter had been watering the plants and collecting the mail, but I was quite certain she wouldn’t let her kids run around our house, discarding peanut shells.

“No, it wasn’t them,” I replied.

“Well, ask her, you never know.”

Later that day, Hubby slipped into a pair of shoes he’d left in the kitchen and found a small, round chocolate in one of them. Yep, you guessed it: my grandkids again—according to him!

I suppose they could have dropped a chocolate, even on purpose, into his shoe. More probable a candy in a shoe versus peanut shells in the living room. But I doubted it.

That evening, Hubby opened the door of the cabinet to turn on the television. What! A pile of peanut shells on top of the receiver.

“Okay, THAT wasn’t my grandchildren,” I said. “They’d never open the door and throw shells in there.”

I asked my daughter if the kids had nuts while in the house. Nope. She was in and out as quickly as she could. “But thanks for blaming us,” she said.

Hubby and I discussed the situation that evening. We’d had mice in the past but hadn’t seen any for a couple of years, so I thought we were done with them. But do mice hoard nuts?

Squirrels? Had squirrels invaded our house? THAT was a horrid thought. Squirrels cause way more damage than mice. And how would we get rid of them?

The last time we had bought peanuts was in November or December, and we went away early in January. The peanuts were on the kitchen counter, in a basket, and they were all gone when we left. This meant that critters had scoffed the nuts while we were home! I remembered how Hubby had accused me of eating all his peanuts. I did have a few, yes, but not as many as he had accused me of—at least, I hadn’t thought so. I tried not to eat many as I was trying to lose weight, but when food is in plain sight, it’s hard to ignore. Hubby had taken a bowl every evening and disappeared to his man cave, but I remembered thinking at the time how they disappeared, and I did wonder if I had eaten more than I had thought. Gah, the guilt! But suddenly, everything made sense! It was mice! Or squirrels! It wasn’t me! How dare Hubby blame me.

After we ate dinner, Hubby set three traps: two by the television and one on the hearth. He sat in the living room, watching TV.

Low and behold, a few minutes later a mouse sauntered from behind the TV, heading straight for the peanut butter in the trap. Right by Hubby’s feet. With the TV full blast.

SMACK!

After we went to bed, a trap snapped. We discovered the next morning the dratted critter managed to evade it but had a good feed. I also made another discovery.

The chocolate in Hubby’s shoe? It was an M&M. I had given Hubby a bag of M&Ms for Christmas. When he showed me the chocolate in his shoe the previous day, immediately I thought of the M&Ms, but it was still on the kitchen desk.

But that morning, something made me pick up the bag of M&Ms. Yep: empty! They had shredded the end of the bag. All gone.

I was sick to my stomach. Critters on the counter. Critters on the desk. Critters in the TV cabinet. Critters on our fireplace. And those were places where we found evidence. Where else had they been roaming? Where were they hiding? And still hiding!

These dratted rodents had a field day for the two months we were gone. While the cats are away, the mice will play.

nuts1

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Spot Writers – “The Mouse War,” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers, bringing you your weekly dose of flash fiction. This week’s post comes to you from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers kidlit mystery series. You can learn more at www.CorgiCapers.com. The prompt was to write about autumn.

 

The Mouse War

By Val Muller

The chill in the air was bitter. Though the dogs seemed to love it, Allie hated to stay outside with them. The stink bugs, somehow, managed to survive—finding comfort in the warm crevices of the laundry room and the utility room near the furnace. Probably in the attic as well.

She wondered what else was up there.

Coming in from the cold, she turned on the kettle for some hot tea. Then she reached for her travel mug. If she had to drive to work in such weather, at least she’d be warm when she got there. But upon opening the drawer of lids, she shuddered and turned off the stovetop. There it was, staring at her, mocking her, making her skin crawl.

A mouse turd.

Oblong and brown and intrusive.

Sitting on the lid of her favorite travel mug.

She slammed the drawer shut, imagining all the tiny particles that had escaped into the otherwise clean kitchen. Then she reached for her phone.

“Greg,” she said as soon as he picked up. “There’s a mouse in the kitchen. We’re not eating anything cooked from home until it’s taken care of. Got it?” Her voice trembled and her heart pounded. She struggled to form every word. She could just picture the mouse urinating and defecating on all the food they had eaten in the past few days. How long had it been there, anyway? When was the last time she’d opened the lid drawer? It hadn’t been this cold since—since—March?

And now it was almost winter again. Who knows how long the mouse had been desecrating her kitchen?

She shuddered and checked the clock. She had just enough time to make it to McDonalds for a cup of tea—how ridiculous was that? She eyed her two dogs with a frown.

“Aren’t you guys supposed to catch mice and things?”

They lowered to the ground, heads pathetically on their paws.

She bit her lip and threw them a treat. “Alright, I’ll forgive you this time. But you’d better catch that thing. And soon.”

#

She lingered coming home. Made an extra-long grocery stop. Went to the post office for stamps she didn’t need. Anything to give Greg a chance to buy and set some traps. By the time she got home, the sink was filled with sudsy water—hopefully all the lids were becoming clean—and the drawer was cleaned out save for one cylindrical mouse trap.

The kitchen smelled of cleaning solution.

“Thanks, Greg,” she said, smiling. “I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the store.”

Greg laughed. “Because you won’t cook in here again until the mouse is gone.”

She nodded as she put a box of cereal in the refrigerator. “Just in case,” she said, eyeing the open box on the counter suspiciously.

Greg shook his head. “Now this trap is supposed to be humane. Kills right away. Makes a loud click¸ though. But that way, you won’t have to see—”

Allie held up her hand. “I don’t need to hear anymore. We’ll just hope he’s caught.”

“Okay, but you know there might be more than one.”

Allie shook her head. It wasn’t even a possibility. One mouse was bad enough. But a family–a colony? No way.

They ate with the television on so that Allie didn’t have to hear the click. Before going to bed, she peeked in the drawer. The cylindrical trap still registered “empty,” and there was a new mouse turd in the drawer.

“Stupid mouse,” she muttered.

Her sleep was filled with nightmares of amorphous things crawling over her body, leaving little trails of dust and dirt and turdsy bits. She awoke to a loud snap and checked the clock. 2:19. Could it be the mouse? Could they be so lucky to catch it so quickly?

The next morning, she peeked into the drawer. The trap indicator was set to “caught.”

“Got him!” she called up to Greg. Then she took the dogs for a nice long walk while Greg disposed of the trap and cleaned out the drawer once again.

#

The next morning, there was a chill in the air. Allie came in from letting the dogs out and once again turned on the kettle. Then she reached into the newly-cleaned drawer for a newly-cleaned lid.

And there it was, once again, searing through her blood and her mind.

A mouse turd.

She looked menacingly at her dogs as she reached for the phone.

It was going to be a long winter.

#

 

The Spot Writers–our members:

RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: Blog pending

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized