There's a Mouse In My Room
by Tyler Plofker, 3.49am, May 10th 2022

There’s a mouse in my room. It's been here for quite a while. At first I wanted to kill it. I thought of getting a little kitten to end this mouse's life. To rip it to shreds. But a kitten would have made too much noise or scratched the furniture or smelled up the room, so the mouse was spared. Then I thought a snake may do the job. But I didn’t want a fucking snake slithering around my floor. So I decided to handle the extermination myself.

I laid out a couple Cocoa Pebbles, three or four, because who does not like Cocoa Pebbles, on a plastic binder and waited, sitting silently beside it with a small kitchen knife in hand. Days passed and I did not see the mouse. I figured he had left. But the moment I put the binder away, he scurried across the room and back into some hidden, impenetrable crevice. Laughing at me no doubt.

The next step was poison. I did my research. There are a few different types of mouse poison: calcium releasers, anticoagulants, and then some more acute toxins, like bromethalin. Calcium releasers release calcium, causing the mouse to die from too much calcium. This could take up to three days. Anticoagulants force the non-coagulation of blood, causing the mouse to die from lack of coagulation. This could take up to a week. Bromethalin fucks with the mouse at the cellular level. Essentially the cells get screwed up and so the mouse’s central nervous system gets screwed up and so they die. This only takes twenty-four hours. And so I went with the bromethalin, dumped a bucket full of pellets on my floor and carried on with my business. A week later the pellets were gone and the mouse remained. My guess is it pushed them outside, feeding them to other mice it had vendettas against. But I’m still not entirely sure.

Then I named the thing "Dirt-ball" to demousanize it. I stood in my room for hours at a time taunting him. "DIRT-BALL! DIRT-BALL! DIRT-BALL!" The thought being his spirits would be brought so low, due to fear of the political consequences, he may lose the will to live. He did not. So I purchased a gun. After spending a couple weeks loitering around dark alleys, I finally found a character unsavory enough to sell me one. His name was John. He smelled like broken dreams. When I got home, Dirt-ball was sitting in the middle of my floor. He did not even bother to scurry when I entered. Lifting the revolver, I aimed and shot three bullets rapid-fire at the thing. He did not move. He was not hit. He crawled nonchalantly into a crevice. I now had three bullet holes in my floor.

Searching the streets, I kept my eyes peeled for a beautiful woman mouse. Even men have been known to die of a broken heart. At the far corner of my block, I saw her, Esperanza, though at the time she was just known as “mouse”. She had beautiful hazel fur, glowing black eyes, and soft, spotless paws. But Esperanza was no vapid beauty—it was her personality that put her over the top. She was absolutely hysterical and exceedingly kind. On meeting her at the corner, she patted down my shoes, squeaking with each pat, impersonating a window cleaner. We both held our bellies and laughed and laughed. With tears in my eyes, I didn’t even notice she left when she came back with a bright yellow dandelion just for me.

Back at my apartment I made her a little bed of cardboard and cotton balls and set her down. I tapped lightly at her mouth with a red, generic, pharmacy lipstick until her lips popped a crimson rose. The trap was set. Dirt-ball inched out from under my bed and up to Esperanza. She laid on her side, squeaking lightly. He stepped onto the cotton oasis. They made love.

From that moment on, they were inseparable. Their days were spent cheerfully chasing each other around the room, grooming one another hair by hair, sharing succulent crumbs in the sunlight. Their nights spent having unbridled, passionate sex.

Esperanza was way out of Dirt-ball’s league (Dirt-ball being a dirty, gray asshole), so this was really a dream for him. Children were expected within days.

Then, at the peak of their happiness, after both were sound asleep, I carefully removed Esperanza from bed, placed her in a handheld Covid mask hammock, and backed out of my room and apartment one inch at a time. Outside, I dumped Esperanza into a plastic mouse carrying case. She woke up immediately, looking scared and sad, and scratched at the cage. I did feel for Esperanza, especially because she would now have to raise her children on her own, but it had to be done. I took the E across the river to Brooklyn, laid her down in a nice garden, and left.

Back at my apartment, Dirt-ball was still sleeping. I started on the letter. Draft upon draft hit the waste bucket until, close to dawn, I settled on the following:

 

Dear Dirt-ball,

 

I have left you.

 

I never loved you. The reason for my stay was for the crumbs and the crumbs only. To be frank, I find you odious.

 

I need you to know there is not even another mouse. Yes, you are worse than *nothing*.

 

You also have a tiny mouse penis and I will be telling all my friends about it.

 

Farewell,

Esperanza

 

I tucked the letter underneath Dirt-ball’s bed and flicked on the lights. He awoke, spun around, and erupted in a fervor, scurrying around my room, scratching at the walls. I was delighted. Made myself some popcorn. Eventually tiring out, Dirt-ball dragged himself back toward his bed and noticed the letter stuffed underneath. He pulled it out and read and little mouse tears fell from his eyes. He let out a squeal of pained torment—like something one would expect to hear in the pits of the underworld. It was like this, “sqooooaaaaaaakkakaka.”

He did not eat or drink or so much as move a limb for days, just laid there face down on his bed. It was working—the piece of shit did not have much longer. Before leaving for work on Friday, I told him, “I’d be pretty broken up too, Esperanza was really something… sucks that you fucked it up so bad.” He moaned.

Returning that night, I was expecting to see one dead mouse. Instead, I found Dirt-ball rolling around in a mound of white sugar as four female mice took turns licking him from head to toe.

I was at the end of my wits when my friend suggested a glue trap. I’d already written off all traps, Dirt-ball being too shrewd to envision them possibly working, but the friend was adamant and I had no other ideas. He gave me one of his leftovers.

The trap was basically a piece of plastic with glue on top. You can pick one up at any home and garden store. Up against the far wall of my room I set it down, and dropped a dollop of peanut butter in the middle.

Dirt-ball was stuck within minutes.

Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. I knelt down and screamed in his face, “HA!... HA!... HA!”

He was writhing, and squealing faster than he ever had. “HA!... HA!” He shrieked in sustained, high-pitched terror. “HA!” He began to gnaw at his leg. “Ha—...hey, hey?” The gnawing quickened and blood began to pour down his paw. Fuck. “Stop that!... there’s no reason…” He spit up blood, whimpered, and again began to tear through his leg. Fuck! What the hell am I doing?

“Hold on!” I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of vegetable oil, poured it near his tail and paws, rubbed it around with a Q-tip. “Come on there!” His feet began to loosen. Both front legs were pulled out and onto the floor. I poured more near his ass. He shook his back feet free, ran away from the trap, and began to shiver in the corner. I threw the trap in the trash.

While attempting to apologize, Dirt-ball turned his back on me. He was quivering. I grabbed my full box of Cocoa Pebbles and dumped it on the floor in front of him. I told him I was impossibly sorry and it would never happen again and if I had known I wouldn’t have done it and if he could find it in his heart to forgive me I would be forever grateful. He turned back around and nibbled at the Cocoa Pebbles.

Now Dirt-ball sleeps on my pillow, right beside me. Tomorrow we go to find Esperanza.