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The Trap – Piece 6

February 22, 2011

The rats made no noise. Neesum watched intently down to the kitchen. Humans from the hall started lining up and made a crowd. They talked quietly, some laughed, but over all this there was the sound of single loud words from the kitchen. No one noticed Neesum watching from the crack until five furry rats broke from the pipe, the big brown alpha in the lead. A chorus of screams broke from the crowd and a human tore around the kitchen entrance, brandishing a long object.

Neesum made to run inside the pipe, but as the big brown approached, Neesum smelt the fear on him, saw it on his long dirty face, and it gave Neesum strength. He turned back to the crack in the pipe and pressed his body upon it. The big brown hit the crack with fear and confusion and straight away started trying to squeeze through, but Neesum was choked up in it. The alpha squeaked and nipped in a frantic effort to get inside, but was further hindered by another four rats pushing at his own back. His effort lasted only a moment more. A shadow crossed the rats and they had no time to scatter. They were all swept from the entrance by the head of a broom. Neesum ran back down the tunnel and was followed only by the sound of loud human noises.

He felt numb, and it was not only from the stroke of the broom. Above his pounding heart and his terrified rat instincts there was something else and he could not tell what. He ran and ran and ran. Without intending to, he ended up back in the den. It was cold and quiet. He waited. His plan was not over, but he could not finish his plan yet. Not in daylight. So he waited.

Sometime past and then a black male returned. Scents of fear and confusion were all over him. Awhile after that the other two brown males came back followed quickly by one of the females. The big brown was never seen again. These survivors all smelled of turmoil. All except for Neesum, who, by then, smelled calm and cool. At that moment, he was the alpha, but it wouldn’t last long. Not for any of their choosing. With the rats now discovered, the humans would come and find them and destroy them.

His plan had worked better than it was meant to. Endorphins flowed into him, triggered by his success. Revenge was his. But when they all started to comfort each other Neesum still joined in. He couldn’t help it. He had destroyed them, but he was still one of their kind, and in their pack, and they needed him. He joined them in comforting and in sleep.

When his instincts told him it was night, he awoke and with no waiting, left his old pack to their eventual fate. His memories and his instincts led him as if they were programmed into his brain. They led him along a familiar route. Past the lamps of the path. Under the green tongued plants and downhill to the banks of the creek.

The lights still blazed like a waterfall of fire across the way, but there was a difference. A solid, blue plastic box sat on the grass and overlooked the creek. The memory of it flared like a revelation in his mind. He scampered to it. There was a small square entrance. Old smells of sawdust and the laboratory wafted out and warmed him against the cool night air. He walked inside. Beside the entrance he pushed his paw down on a large red button. A little steel door slid down and a chocolate coated pellet dropped from a thin clear chute above him. He picked up the pellet with his mouth and climbed the yellow plastic stairs to the second storey.

Thin slats ran around the box letting in the air and giving a view to the outside. He curled his tail around himself. Facing the lights of the dormitory he started to chew on his reward, knowing a good job had been done. Now all he had to do now was wait. Wait for the big human alpha to come and get him. Wait for the big reward to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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