Friday, May 01, 2009

Wordzzle 61 - The mouse and the mongoose

This is my contribution to this week's Wordzzle. Wordzzle is a game in which each week word lists, used to create stories, are given on the blog Views from Raven's Nest. Participating users post their stories on their own blogs.

This is the fifth time I've played the game.

Ten Word Challenge:

cat’s paw,
I love raspberry tarts,
global warming,
star struck,
the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
Spring fever

"I love raspberry tarts," he said, biting into the crunchy crust.

"That's not a raspberry tart," she said. "That's overcooked pizza."

"Yes, I know. Just reminding you about dessert."

"If you want raspberry tarts, you'll have to go and get some. I'm not cooking anymore tonight, not after all that's happened."

He thought about the first pizza, so black it was too fragile to pick up. The second one looked good, until the cat jumped on it, skidded off it, and took half the topping to the floor. They'd had to catch the cat, then, which was a job in itself. It ran all over the house from them. They finally got it, though, inside the trunk, on top of some clothes that now might be permanently stained. They had managed to eventually get most of the pizza sauce and cheese cleaned off of the cat, though it had been a battle. They were still finding the cat’s paw prints on things everywhere, though, and he suspected they would for months. Maybe years.

"I hate to go out just for that," he said. "All that gas wasted. We have to think of global warming."

"If you like, I can give you a list. In fact, I think I will anyway."

"It's getting so late now. I feel like I'm going on the midnight ride of Paul Revere."

"It's not midnight yet, but it will be if you don't hurry." She handed him the list. "And don't complain. I've had to cook pizza three times tonight."

He looked at it and sighed. He didn't really feel like doing all this shopping right now. He supposed it might be Spring fever, but anyone would be tired after a day like today. He looked again at the list.

"You better get going," his wife said.

Translation, he thought. I'm not going to get out of it. He wearily started heading for the door. She had been a cheerleader, and he had been so star struck when he met her. He hoped tomorrow would be better.

"Get some more pizza, too," she called after him. "Even though I didn't put it on the list. And get ones with thick crusts this time. That last one was like eating crackers."

Mini Challenge:

pancakes and syrup,
flat tire,
this place looks like a bordello,
first dance

He stared at the plate of pancakes and syrup. One pancake looked like a flat tire, and one looked something like a mongoose.

His wife said, "Hurry up and eat. We've got to go to the store and get some paint. Everything's red in here. This place looks like a bordello!"

He sighed, and began to cut into the pancakes with his fork. When that proved too difficult, he reached for his knife instead. It was hard being married, he thought, but he had no regrets. Ever since that first dance, he'd known they were meant to be together.

Mega challenge:

cat’s paw,
I love raspberry tarts,
global warming,
star struck,
the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
Spring fever

pancakes and syrup,
flat tire,
this place looks like a bordello,
first dance

The mongoose stared at the paw prints. "I think this might be the perpetrator," it said.

"You think so?" said the mouse. "How can we be sure?"

"The creature that did this is the one that ate the raspberry tart. There seems to be little question of that. We just need to find which creature the tracks belong to."

"I love raspberry tarts," said the mouse. It stared at the prints. "These look like they were made by cat’s paws. I'd like to help with the search, but my little car's got a flat tire. Let's have pancakes and syrup instead."

"You're such a chicken," said the mongoose. "I'm not afraid of anything, not even snakes! Now come on, are you a man or a mouse? Squeak up!"

"I can't help but squeak, I am a mouse!" it said, somewhat fearful now of the mongoose.

"You can ride with me," said the mongoose. "We can carpool. Do our bit to help prevent global warming."

"We'll prevent global warming even more if we just stay here!" The mouse wondered if it was too late to just run. "I'm afraid I'll be just another crunchy treat for the cat!"

"Oh, just get in the car," said the mongoose. You can hide on the floor in back if you want."

The mouse was about ready to get in when it paused. "Why does it say Revere on the side?"

"Well, you've heard of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. He also made pots. I had to fashion some repairs out of one of his pots. Parts for these little cars are hard to find, especially out here."

The mouse looked at the door again and then finally got in, somewhat doubtfully, wondering what other odd repairs might have been done to the car. "If I wasn't so star struck by you I'd have stayed behind," it said.

"Translation: You mean if you weren't so afraid of being struck by me."

"Yeah, that too," the mouse said, worriedly looking out the window from its position on the floor. Mice are fragile little things, it thought. Everybody wants to get us. "Are you sure I can't ride inside the trunk?" it said.

"Of course you can't ride inside the trunk! How would you look for the cat from in there? It's too stuffy in there, anyway."

The car suddenly jolted, one front corner dipping sharply, and spun in a half circle and stopped. They got out and went around to the front and stared. One of the front wheels was laying flat on the ground, and part of a lumpy-looking spring was sticking out of the wheel well.

"It looks like it has Spring fever," said the mouse.

The mongoose looked at the mess mournfully. "I thought making springs out of twisted tin cans would surely work," it said. "They were, after all, from Springfield."

"Looks like we'll have to walk now," said the mouse. "I better go back, though. It's too dangerous for me."

The mongoose grabbed him. "Oh no you don't! Every hero needs a sidekick, and you're mine!"

The mouse's eyes glazed over with terror. "Okay," it finally squeaked out. You take the lead, like heroes do. I'll follow along behind, watching your back." From way back, it thought.

They followed the trail for another ten minutes, until it ended under a bush. They carefully looked inside. Everything was red. Even red liquid dripped off the leaves.

"This place looks like a bordello of blood!" the mouse screeched, too scared for the moment to even run.

"That was a good movie," the mongoose said thoughtfully. Then, returning to the matter at hand, it said, "It's not blood, it's just raspberry filling. See all the empty tins and plastic containers?"

The mouse looked again, calming down slightly, and saw the place was littered with empty pie pans and other containers, some even of white cardboard.

"That cat sure had a sweet tooth," said the mongoose. "Especially for raspberry filling."

"Who's there?" came from somewhere under the bush, in a faint sickly moan. The mongoose and mouse looked at each other. "I can hear you out there," the cat said, a little louder and more forcefully. Finally, they heard some movement, and after a while a head poked out, the eyes somewhat unfocused. Then the rest of the cat emerged, somewhat slowly. It had a huge stomach. The mouse hid behind the mongoose. The cat, attracted by the movement, said, "Is that a mouse?" and looked like it was going to be sick.

"Don't worry!" said the mongoose. "I'll protect you! I've danced many a time with snakes, but this is my first dance with a cat!"

And it was suddenly dancing all around the cat, who was trying unsuccessfully to follow the movements and looking sicker and sicker. Finally it turned and ran back into the bushes, and they could hear the sounds of it hacking and coughing.

"And don't come back and raid our raspberry tarts!" yelled the mouse.

"No! Never!" they heard the cat say in a weak, shaking voice.

"We beat it!" cried the mouse, standing up straight and proud.

"Yes, I guess we did," said the mongoose thoughtfully, patting it on the shoulder. "Now come on. You can help me repair my car."

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Blogger Dianne said...

"squeak up" - that's going to make me laugh for a spell. I love little touches like that

I have the cat who taught curiosity at the university level so I really identified with the pizza paws!!

wonderful stories

so nice to meet you

10:30 PM, May 02, 2009  
Blogger Raven said...

These are all so wonderfully creative. I think the first was my favorite, though.

I agree with Dianne about "Squeak up." Well done!

10:40 PM, May 02, 2009  
Blogger DawnTreader said...

I enjoyed The mouse and the mongoose story. :) Reminds me a little bit of The Wind in the Willows...

5:29 AM, May 03, 2009  
Blogger CJ said...

Three great stories.

5:02 AM, May 04, 2009  

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