Short Story Exercise: Catch a Mouse

(using this book, set timer for ten minutes and wrote a short story relating to the phrase “catch a mouse,” lightly edited)

“I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” the store manager said.

“No, you don’t understand,” Susann pleaded. “It’s his birthday and I promised him a mouse!”

“Ma’am, that is inhumane and disgusting. I need you to leave these premises and not come back.”

Susann, realizing that the man would never see it her way, said, “Fine, ya old twat!” And with that, she turned and stomped out of the pet store.

She paced through the mall for nearly an hour trying to decide what to do. There was another pet store on the other side of town, but they didn’t carry mice. Susann never would have guessed that finding a mouse would be so difficult. Growing up on the farm, you couldn’t cross the kitchen floor without one dancing around your feet.

Accepting defeat, Susann headed to the grocery store with her shoulders slumped. She’d simply have to figure out something else, something other than a mouse.

But as she walked through the store, she was struck by another idea. Quickly she gathered some stinky cheese, a cardboard shipping box, and a hairnet.

After purchasing her items she walked around to the back of the store and started digging around the empty wooden pallets until she finally found what she was looking for in a corner near the loading dock. Mouse droppings!

Carefully Susann assembled the box leaving the top open, placed it on its side a few feet away from the poo, and then crumbled up in the cheese inside.  She glanced around and didn’t see anyone, so she moved a few feet away and crouched down, hairnet ready.  It wasn’t quite dark yet and these feral mice were sure to be wary of humans. Susann knew she needed to hold perfectly still.

Some time later, after the sun had set and the security lights blinked on, Susann heard a few squeaks. Then she heard movement, followed by more squeaking. She thought she saw a dark shape moving towards her and hoped against hope it was a mouse and not a rat.

When she finally heard the tell tale scraping sounds of claws against cardboard she leaped forward, tossed the hairnet inside, and closed up the box.

She’d caught something alright! It screamed and ran around in the box, clawing at the corners.

“Sorry darlin’,” Susann purred. “But my kitty Cullen is six years old today and I promised him a fresh mouse.”