Flash Fiction Challenge 1
The Question and the Answer
John: "Where are my keys?"
Will: The mice had to borrow the car for an evening of revelry.
The Story: DAMNED MICE
"Is John asleep?" Derringer asked, whispering. He keeps forgetting humans don't speak Mouse.
"Of course he is!" Lacey quipped back, already annoyed with Derringer's dim-witted questions even before the night began. "The computer's off, and it's nearly midnight."
"I don't think we should do this..." Oliver's trembling voice chimed in as he left the hiding space beneath John's house. "I mean, what if we get caught?"
"Oh, yeah, like he's going to report that to the police!" Manny spat. "Lacey, did you set up the controls like we talked about?"
"Sure. Steering controls are primed and ready. We can take off at any time."
"Look guys," Manny began, " our boy Oliver is about to get married. We need a night to celebrate, just one last hurrah before he gets hitched! So let's not spoil it with worries and guilt! Everything will be just fine, honestly. Are you with me?"
"Yes!" screeched Lacey. She has waited long enough to marry off her brother, and wanted to celebrate even more than he did.
"Yeah, sure." Derringer was still a bit daft, but he really liked partying.
"Well," Oliver added, "we've never been caught before... so, yes. I'm all for it!"
Within minutes, Lacey's mouse-sized remote control steering wheel was set up in the car. Derringer and Oliver managed to get the key in the ignition -- always a daunting task -- and Manny started the car.
"Oliver, did you lock up the house?"
"Sure, Manny. We can't have anything happening to John."
"Good. So, off we go!"
The bright lights of Manhattan glittered and blurred as they sped through the city. They had never gone so far, but there was a club in the subway on 42nd Street, a part of the closed area where no trains were ever allowed. They knew this place was the ultimate party scene, the Ibiza for mousedom. They were not disappointed. everything any mouse could ever want was there, as long as they didn't annoy the rats -- those monstrous Sumatrans! -- as they did so.
After three hours of pure hedonism, the quartet stumbled out onto the street and looked for the car. It was gone!
"Well," Oliver murmured in his drunken stupor, "that has never happened before..."
Manny was livid, Lacey was tossing her cookies into the gutter, and Derringer just stood dumbfounded. Oliver passed out. "What do we do now?" Manny screamed.
"What do you mean what do 'we' do now?" Derringer asked plainly. "I'm going back to the party."
"We've just lost John's car! We've got to get it back!"
"Okay. Where is it?"
"It's LOST, you idiot! we've got to find it!"
Derringer scratched his head. "Oh."
Just then, a tow truck began lifting a car into the air. Manny sensed that meant something, and urged his friends to hop onto the bumper and hide inside it. "I think this is what happened to John's car."
Now Derringer was throwing up, Lacey was having a panic attack, and Oliver was well awake. Manny silently swore, never again...
The tow truck stopped and Manny hopped out to take a look around. There, beside the main gate, was John's car. "I've found it!" he squealed, and the rest of the group joined him outside. There it was, their night's adventure and its Holy Grail...
"Get in the damned car, you wretches!" Manny screamed. "When the gate opens again, we drive out of here!"
"Do you think that will work?" Derringer murmured. Manny ignored him.
After an eternity of waiting, the tow truck returned with another car and the gate opened. Manny hit the gas and took off immediately. By the time they returned home, everyone was asleep and Manny was forced to drive the whole way himself.
Never again, he reminded himself. Never again...
John awoke with a start, for some strange reason. Usually by this time his dreams were so vivid he knew it was almost time to wake up anyway. The abrupt ending to his dream disturbed him, but he carried on as usual. As he prepared to go out to run some errands, he reached for his keys instinctively to discover they weren't there.
"Where's my keys?" he thought aloud, knowing he always placed them in the precise same place, all the time, without fail. "Did I leave them in my coat?" He checked his coat -- curiously, laid out on the floor by the front door -- and found his keys in the pocket.
"Damn mice," he spat. "I hope they didn't scratch the paint again this time..."