The Mice of South Lancaster Academy Chronicles
As a respectably-aged rodent of the rather cute variety, I’d like to think I have things figured out. I’ve managed to avoid all the poisons, traps, and any other mechanisms of this school that my dear parents (may their beloved whiskers rest in peace), and my unfortunately daft siblings (perhaps a little less peace for them), fell prey to. And above all- above all!– I never, ever, ever associate with the giants.
This is entirely sound logic in every way, for everymouse knows that giants are big and loud and entirely terrifying, though dear mother-mouse used to quell my daymares by promising me that they are more afraid of us than we are of them. Their defense mechanisms usually include climbing up on furniture to make themselves as large as possible, and screeching in high-pitched intervals. Their only weakness, I’m afraid, is that they are incredibly slow.
So by my fuzzy, pink tail, how on earth did I find myself in this mess?
“Nice snake, nice snake,” I squeak to myself as I back into the far corner of the terrarium. “By my whiskers, have you grown since I last saw you?”
“Quiet, prey,” my archenemy stretches herself out above me, her pink tongue flickering in my face. “It’sss hard to eat you when you’re ssssquirming.”
“I- I’m sorry,” I stammer. “It’s just your scales are so incredibly shiny. They must be new. Did you shed?”
Lully pulls back away from me, hissing to herself. “What? No, I don’t believe I have…”
She searches in her reptilian mind for the last time she has shed her skin.
I take her distractedness as an opportunity to run into the glass walls and scream. “Help! Heeeelllp! I’m stuck in a terrarium with a mouse-eating snake!”
I’m sorry for stating the obvious, but I am about to die, so if you don’t mind.
Lully notices and projects her neck in my direction. “Infidel,” she hisses. The thing about reptiles is that they like to make up for their lack of intellect with big words. “You think sssomeone is going to sssave you?”
“Someone?” a squeaky voice cries out suddenly from above. “Or somemouse!”
I look up at my rescuer and gasp. “Violet!”
“Thomas,” my little sister squeaks my name as she clings to the edge of the terrarium. “Grab my tail!”
I scamper around my arch-nemesis and up towards my rescuer. “I thought you were dead!” I cry. “Where have you been these past weeks?”
“Violet!” Lully scowls as much as a snake can scowl, I suppose. “I should have eaten you while I had the chanccee!”
“Not by your ugly, dull scales you won’t,” my little sister taunts and pulls me up to the edge beside her.
Enraged, Lully draws herself to strike, but Violet scampers away and shuts the lid soundly on the snake. “Run, Thomas,” she squeals, jumping down from the table. “Before the giants come!”
I follow after her, my tiny heart beating double time in my little mouse-chest. We run in between the desks and out of the lab.
“It’s not safe,” Violet whispers. “The school will soon be overrun by the giants.” She gestures her pink tail towards the clock on the wall. “It is near eight o’clock.”
“My dear sister,” I gasp. “Whenever did you learn how to read time?”
“Time is a simple calculation of numbers. I can teach you,” she sniffs. “Now come, we must get to safety.”
I latch onto her tail as we climb up the giants’ lockers and up to the hole, hidden right behind the loudly ticking clock.
Once we are safely hidden, I give her a big mouse-hug. “You cheese-head I thought you were dead!” I cry. “Where have you been?”
“I almost was dead,” she says. “Lully almost ate me, but I escaped and I’ve been hiding from the giants. Oh, Thomas, did you know they’re just as afraid of us as we are of them?”
“What? You are starting to sound like mother,” I scold. “Now it’s nearly daytime, to bed with you.”
“Yes, Thomas,” she sighs and scampers out of my sight. I straighten nmy whiskers and listen to the school fill with giants.
“Giants being afraid of mice!” I laugh to myself. “What tosh. Giants aren’t afraid of anything.”
And with that I turn and scurry in the direction of my long-lost sister.