This is Part 2 of the Killing Time series. See Part 1 here.
Time: 7:55 AM
Location: West Philadelphia
I groggily stared at the ringing LG Shine and considered answering it, but I had specifically told my neighbor James not to call before 9:00 AM. It was kind of funny that he had the same name as the mouse though. I rejected the call and turned off my phone.
Time: 8:45 AM
Location: West Philadelphia
A strong pressure pushed on my lower abdomen. I had to urinate. Goddamned Mondays. I pulled my aching body out of bed and walked to the bathroom. Opening my bedroom door, a blast of hot air hit my face. Thank god for air conditioning. I took one glance back, and then forced my way through the smoldering hallway to the bathroom. A strange dark liquid had rolled its way under the bathroom door. Confused but still retardedly tired, I pushed open the door.
In the middle of the bathroom laid the mouse, surrounded and engulfed in a massive puddle of blood. I locked eyes with the mouse, who stared me down, his eyes wide with horror. Suddenly, the mouse screamed—
I jolted up in bed.
Bad dream, FML.
I got up and walked downstairs where Lisa and Susan were sitting watching television.
“Lisa, come here and help me make breakfast,” I ordered.
Not looking up, Lisa responded, “Oh, yeah sure. Sorry, I forgot your arms were broken.” She continued sitting.
I paused for a moment, crafting my response, “OK, don’t make me breakfast. But can you come here? I just had a dream I need to talk to you about.”
Slowly standing up without removing her eyes from the TV, she came over to me at the table.
“What’s up?” she said, eyes still on the TV.
I let out a deep sigh and stared down at the table before responding. “Born in blood…” I said under my breath. Lisa finally turned to look at me, a confused look in her eyes. A moment passed and I continued, “I just… I thought I could change what I am.”
Lisa stared at me for a moment she spoke. “What the piss are you talking about?”
Looking at her and then back down at the table, I shook my head despairingly.
“Oh god. I know what this is. We are never watching Dexter again. You do this with every goddamn show,” Lisa said.
“You don’t understand, I just—“
“You know he’s probably still up there, right? Jack, was it? We haven’t checked on him.”
My eyes lit up, and I pushed back from the table. “JAMES.” He was alive. Killing time.
I jogged around the kitchen arming myself with various tools, spices, and cleaning supplies.
“Whatever. Robbie, we really do need to get rid of this mouse. Let’s check your trap,” Lisa offered.
“Way ahead of you,” I exclaimed as I bounced up the steps.
I ran into the bathroom and glanced down in the trashcan I had set up the night before. Miraculously, the mouse was sitting quietly at the bottom of the can in a pile of its own feces, which look exactly like chocolate sprinkles. Amazed the trap had actually worked, I motioned to Lisa who had returned to the bedroom down the hall.
“What does that mean?” she said, imitating my come hither motion.
“It means come hither. Check it out though, I actually caught it.”
I picked up the trashcan to show her, when the cute little mouse jumped up and started frantically running around. Startled and scared it might touch me, I screamed and dropped the trashcan. The mouse sprinted out of its plastic prison and back into the bathroom.
“Damn it! Lisa, I let him out. Where’s my bleach?”
Lisa started screaming hysterically, so I ran back to my room, grabbed the bleach and some shoes, and charged back to the bathroom.
And so the Tide turns, James.
When I reached the door, I found James fearlessly standing in the middle of the bathroom. We faced off for a moment; me fingering the spray bottle trigger, the mouse firmly planted to the ground on all fours. Suddenly, he bolted straight at me. For my own protection, I jumped up onto the sink while the mouse took off down the hall, gunning directly for Lisa.
Lisa again screamed and dove into the closet, and the mouse ran into the bedroom.
In a rage, I sprinted into the room after him. I just caught sight of his tail slipping under the dresser. I sprayed a few shots of bleach under there before lifting the dresser up and smashing it back down to scare him out. He bolted out and sprinted towards the futon, but couldn’t find a place to hide. Or he might have been blinded by the bleach. Either way, as he ran back the other direction, I swung my foot and connected with him right on the ribs. James flew across the room before smashing into the window on the far side. Impressed by my kick, amused by the sight of the flying mouse, and concerned for my adversary’s life, I ran over to see if I had finished him.
But he was nowhere to be found.
We searched for hours for that mouse. Never could find him. Word on the street is that no one has ever seen James again. He lives only in legend now, a mouse that fought the good fight, fearing no one. His name will be passed on for years to come: by his children, his friends, and other people named James. Either that or he’s just some dumb blind mouse with three broken ribs clamoring around someone else’s house.
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
I pulled out my phone to check my messages when I remembered I had turned it off earlier that morning. I booted it up and waited for the messages to be delivered. My phone buzzed, and only one message came in. It was from James. I opened it up:
“Yo, just found a mouse in a puddle of blood in my bathroom. Lol”