Runner-up, January 2014 Writing Contest
Most field mice live in fields. Not me. I live in a shopping mall. You’re probably like, what about all the free crumbs you get? But that's the only good part. First, everyone tries to step on you. Second, everyone seems to hate you. And third, the janitor. The poor guy has to clean the whole shopping mall every night. Well, actually just his sector, but that’s a lot of space! And he hates mice. So my family and I have to fight for our survival. My name is Scavenger. And this is our story. Our life. Our attempt, to survive.
“Scavenger!” My mother called. I quickly stood up from where I had been daydreaming and raced to the main area of our hole. Yep, we have a hole in the wall that we live in. It’s pretty spacious actually. My parents share a room. My brother and I share a room, and my sisters share a room. In the middle, there’s a large main room, where we eat and call meetings. I reached my mother and looked up at her.
“Yes Mother?” I asked.
“Scavenger, I need you to go get more food from the food stores in the mall,” she said. I gasped.
“But, but, it’s daytime! I’ll be stepped on for sure!”
“Please, we need food. Your siblings are too young, and your father and I have to take care of them,” she pleaded.
I nodded my little head. “I’ll do it! And by the way, it’s restaurants, not food stores!” My mother sighed and kissed the top of my head. I nodded to her and picked up a carrying bag for the food, actually, it was just a leather glasses case we tore up, then raced out the entrance of our mouse hole. I glanced around our area. A barbershop, Pizza Hut, Reebok’s, and GameStop. I scurried over to the pizza place and stood in the shadows of a plant.
After noon, the place cleared out. You’re probably wondering, how does a mouse know this much? You’re right. Most mice can’t read, but they don’t need to read. I on the other hand, I spend hours at nighttime when the place is deserted studying words. After the place was vacant except for employees, I scurried closer to the trashcan. When I reached it, I shrugged the bag off my shoulders and crawled in. I was in luck. A ruined pizza was in there! A whole ruined pizza. Sure, it’s ruined, but my family and I aren’t picky about what we eat. I then began gnawing at the pizza and soon broke off enough for a couple days. Well, enough to survive with for a couple days. I stuffed it in my bag and made a mental note to come back soon.
I turned around and began running away when someone screamed, “Mouse!” Everyone within earshot turned. A couple screamed when they saw me. Some ignored it. While others rushed at me and tried to kill me. I took off. I was almost home free when a foot slammed down in front of me. I looked up and saw my worst fear. The janitor. I know that doesn’t sound scary to you but, imagine you running away from an angry pack of man-eating giants. “Fun for everyone, right?” The janitor raised his broom and smacked down.
I dived to the side and shed my pack. It would only slow me down. I ran toward the main area of the shopping mall, hoping to lose the janitor in all the people. What I didn’t think of was the people might try to hurt me. As soon as one person saw me, everyone knew I was there. I barely made it away with my life. I rushed into an area that I had never seen before. As I rushed past shops, I could hear the janitor getting closer. I reached a crossway and looked franticly to find what path to take. But before I could find the right one I heard the janitor’s broom coming down. I raced right and continued on. But that was my mistake. My fatal mistake. It was a dead end. I turned around and closed my eyes. This was it. The end. It was my time. My time to go. The broom slammed down next to me and I dived right. I had made it. I could hear the janitor screaming curses in the background, as I ran through the people and to the area my home was in. I grabbed my food bag and raced into the hole. I had survived yet another day.