Old Mouse, Sing

Old Mouse stands atop a sand dune. The desert burns without flame. So dry, so so dry. Old Mouse tries to see far. Farther than the sand. 

There must be more than sand. There must be something. But, now…

When Old Mouse was Young Mouse, he wanted to sing. And he sang, then. Not much, and not often. Not enough. Young Mouse spent more time thinking of singing, pretending to sing, than actually singing. 

Now, at the peak of the dune, he squeaked a melody. Short and tired. 

Loo… Loo loo… Doo loo li dee dee doo…

Old Mouse stopped. The tune saddened him. He looked down the hill of sand. To the desert village below. The home he had never escaped.

Old Mouse remembered a vulture he’d met. When he had less aches in his joints. 

You’ve been across the sand, Miss. Is there anywhere for me?

The vulture tilted her head. She didn’t understand micespeak, Young Mouse guessed.

Perhaps, you’d care to hear a song, Miss?

She craned her neck farther. And Young Mouse weaved notes from his small frame. 

Li dee loo, li lee doo… Lo lee dee ni di dee doo…

The vulture listened, while on Young Mouse sang. High and decorated with squeaks.

At the top of the sand. The last dune he’d climb, Old Mouse clings to the songs. Their melodies, their promises. 

Old Mouse wishes he had never dreamed. Hates that he still dreams. Even now, at the end, the dying, dead end, Old Mouse still dreams.

He watches a snake glide over the sands afar. If it is coming for him, he shall let it devour him. And the songs within his exhausted mind. 

The sun is a blood orange. Draining into the wind-whipping horizon. 

The serpent spies closer prey. Old Mouse finds himself spared.

He daydreams, pretends to sing a tune. Then, sings it out loud, laying down to rest. 

Among the grains of sand and stardust, Old Mouse feels himself rocking in the arms of slumber. Under a setting sky, with white suns steady, burning silently in the west. The blood orange falls. Downward, onto worlds Old Mouse has never known and will never know. 

He know this. Every word of this. 

Old Mouse promises himself. If he wakes in the morning, if he is not escorted away from life, he will shuffle down the sand dune, and find his way back among the busy roads of the village. And, Old Mouse vows, he will never sing again. 

But

watching the white suns, eyelids heavy

I may pretend. 

No moon in the sky. Old Mouse prays the night consumes him. 

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