Okay, it's about time I tried posting more on here. Most of my current writing is hosted on www.fanfiction.net, under the writername imloopy, and the bulk of my stories are based on the TV series Bones.
The end of the world
Sadly, Millie the hamster, my inspiration, is no longer with us. I'll post the full story later.
Meanwhile, this is another of my stories.
The end of the world
All things must come to an end, and I guess life on Earth is no exception. But there were two things I never realized – that the end of the world would come during my lifetime, and that when it did come it would leave me behind.
I suppose technically it is not the end of the world, but it seems to be the end of human beings. Everyone has gone except me.
What upsets me the most, looking back, is that I can’t even pinpoint when it happened. I lived on my own in a cottage well away from other people. I used to say that I didn’t need other people, and no-one else seemed to want me. When I had to go into the village I would sometimes hear voices behind me, whispering about the young man who lived in the woods, but I just ignored them and stayed away from the village until I could not avoid it.
And so I can only say for certain that it was between two days and a week ago that it happened.
The last time I had contact with anyone was exactly a week ago. I stocked up with provisions and headed back out to my cottage. My painting had been going very well, and I was anxious to get back to it.
I worked on my painting for the next four days, stopping only in the evenings when the light became too poor to work – and being mid-summer I was able to work for several hours each day.
I woke up the next morning, two days ago, and it was raining heavily. I was not too disappointed; I needed to go into the village again, and so was perversely glad that the light was too poor for me to work anyway.
I drove into the village and the first sign that anything was wrong was that the road was unusually quiet. I usually meet a few cars once I reach the main road, but on this day there were none.
Of course, I thought little of it at the time, but as I grew nearer to the village I began to think it rather strange. I told myself I had become confused as to the day; that it was a Sunday, or a bank holiday, but by the time I reached the village itself I could not shake a feeling of dread.
There were a few cars in the road in the centre of the village, but not many; and the few there were sat empty and silent. I parked in front of a row of shops and wandered along the street. The shops were all unlocked, but there was no sign of anyone behind the counters – or anywhere else for that matter. Across the road the local school stood silent, where its playground would normally be full of children at this time of day.
I entered a couple of the shops and called out, but there was no response. I stood in the centre of the street and yelled as loudly as I could. My voice was nearly a scream, but still there was no response other than a dog barking loudly in the distance.
I wandered around the village, but despite continually searching and calling out I found no one. I let myself into some of the houses, but apart from family pets – and they were very hungry – I found no sign of anyone.
I tried televisions and radios, but the power was dead. I managed to find a battery-powered radio, but could find no signal to tune to. The phone lines, too, were dead.
I started searching for more personal signs, but still found nothing to explain what had happened or where anyone had gone. I tried to think of an explanation, but found none.
I could not bear the thought of heading back to my cottage. I usually loved the solitude, could not wait to get away from the village, but now I could not bear the thought of it. In the end I wandered into the local bookstore. The owner had a flat at the back where she lived – although there was no sign of her now, of course – and it was here that I have been living for the past couple of days.
I spend my days reading. I never had the time or the inclination to read previously, but now I can’t get enough of it. I suppose it is the only way I can have contact with other people, through the words they have written. And there is so much power here. These words carry the whole of meaning with them. They are the key to understanding people, and they give a glimpse of such an elaborate way of life. And I spent all my life so far avoiding that way of life, hiding away from people through the fear that I could not understand them. Now, reading the words on these pages, I have come to love people, to yearn for their company.
But the only company I have is a dog that has attached himself to me. Maybe it is because I open a can of dog food for him when I go next door to the supermarket once a day to fetch food. The frozen food and fresh food have gone bad, of course, but there are still plenty of tins – although I suppose that one day soon that supply will run out and I will have to head elsewhere in search of a further supply.
Several days later
I’m sorry, I can’t say exactly how long it is since I wrote the previous account. Day follows day in an unchanging pattern. I wake, I eat, I read, I wander around the streets, then I return, read some more, eat some more and fall asleep again. I have still found no sign of any other living person, or any clue as to where they have gone. The dog is still with me; I have called him Dog. He walks close by me when I walk round the village, and he follows me eagerly to the shop when I go for food.
The shop’s supplies are nearly gone. I know that some day soon I will have to travel on and find somewhere else. This being a very small village, there is only one food shop, but the town is only a few miles along the road, and there I hope to find many more shops with food in them. I intend to leave this record behind me when I go. Should anyone else come here and find it, they may follow my trail, for I will leave an account of where I am heading, and will do the same in the next place I stop.
Several days later.
Again, I do not know how long has passed since my last record in here, although I feel it is around four days. The food supplies in the shop have run out, and for the last day’s meals I raided the cupboards of the houses nearby. I have been silly; I should have left here long before, and taken supplies with me. But the next town is only a couple of hours away, and there should be plenty of
Strange. I thought I heard something. Voices? No, it can’t be. I must go out and look.
Millie waited eagerly for her visitor. Every day, since the birth of her babies, Maisie Mouse had visited her and brought her some berries from the garden. In return, Millie would share some of her food. Millie loved to hear about the babies and how they were growing, and sometimes Maisie would bring one to visit.
The door creaked slightly, and Millie looked across in alarm as a pointed nose appeared. It was that darn cat! The one who was always watching her! She knew now that the cat was Siamese, and his name was Koko. She'd heard the name often enough, usually said in a low, warning tone from Mum.
Koko looked round the room, then headed straight for the cage. Millie sighed in exasperation. Why wouldn't he leave her alone!
Koko jumped neatly onto the arm of the sofa, and hunched his shoulders, staring into the cage. Millie retreated to the other side, prepared to wait it out until Koko got bored or Mum found him. Then to her horror she noticed Maisie heading across the floor. She held her breath, willing the mouse to notice the cat and run for safety, but to her horror Koko looked round and spotted Maisie first. As he sprang from the sofa down onto the floor Maisie crouched close to the floor, trying to hide. Koko landed with his front paws one each side of Maisie, and then his jaws closed on her!
Millie shut her eyes and looked away, not wanting to see what happened next, but then to her surprise heard the cat cry out in fear. She looked back, to see Maisie sitting unhurt in front of the cat, who was cowering in the corner.
"What do you think you're doing?" She cried angrily to the cat. "That's my friend, you can't eat her!"
Koko looked up at the hamster. "I didn't mean to!" he cried. "I didn't realise it was real! I thought it was my toy one! I've really missed my toy mouse, and I thought someone had found it for me. I don't like real mice! They're horrible creatures!"
Millie chuckled. "You mean you're a cat who's afraid of mice?" she laughed. "I've never heard of such a thing."
"You don't suppose we talk about it a lot, do you?" retorted Koko. "Please, tell this horrible thing to get away from me!"
Maisie pretended to lunge at the cat, who whimpered and pulled away. "What shall I do with him?" she asked Millie teasingly. "Should I eat him or let him go?"
Koko gave a little sob. "Please let me go," he pleaded. "I won't hurt you, I promise!"
"So why do you always bother me?" Millie demanded.
"I - I don't know," Koko answered. "I just like watching you. But I'd never hurt you, honest!"
Millie thought for a moment. "Do you promise?" she asked. "Because if you do, I might be able to help you with your lost mouse."
"Oh, yes, please," said Koko eagerly. "I promise not to hurt you. Not either of you." He looked pleadingly at Maisie, who backed away, smiling.
"Well, in that case you need to come and let me out," said Millie.
"No!" cried Maisie. "Do you really trust him?"
"Yes, I trust him," said Millie, giving Koko a long look. Koko jumped back onto the sofa, and onto the table that held Millie's cage. He held out a trembling paw and knocked part of Millie's cage. The tube connecting Millie's den to the rest of the cage came apart.
"Thank you," said Millie, climbing out of the cage and onto the table. Koko retreated as she approached, and then jumped to the top of the sofa to watch as Millie dropped to the floor and scurried over to a crack in the floorboards by the door. Millie lowered herself into the hole with Maisie's help, and grabbed the toy mouse that she had seen fall down there a week before.
Koko gave a delighted miaouw, and came running over, then hesitated just out of paw's range of Millie and Maisie. "May I have it?" he asked cautiously.
"On one condition," Millie answered sternly.
"What's that?" Koko had eyes only for his toy mouse.
"You can have your mouse, on condition that you agree to let me out of the cage whenever I want you to," Millie said.
"But I'll get into trouble!" Koko protested.
"Don't worry, I'll try my hardest to get back before anyone notices," Millie assured him. "But I'd really like to be able to visit Maisie and her family sometimes, or there might be a job I need to do."
"And you'll try not to get me into trouble?" Koko asked suspiciously.
"Promise." Millie extended a paw, and Koko reached out and gingerly shook it.
Just then they heard Mum coming down the hall. "I'll distract her," koko promised. "Thanks for the mouse!" He shot off into the hall, toy mouse dangling from his mouth, and the little animals saw Mum stick her head round the door and then retreat and pull it shut behind her.
Millie looked at Maisie and the two animals burst into laughter. "Who'd have thought that the cat could be afraid of me?" Maisie said when she could stop laughing for long enough. "Now, do you reckon you've got enough time to come to my place?"
Millie nodded. "I reckon so," she answered. "I'd better not stay long, but if you show me where you live I can visit longer next time."
So Millie went with Maisie and saw her home and met all the little babies, who by now were running around and getting into all sorts of mischief.
A little while later, Millie was safely back in her cage. She heard the door open and heard Mum come across the room. Mum must have noticed the open tube to the cage, because Millie heard a mutter and felt the cage shift slightly. She stood and stretched, and heard Mum's voice. "Oh, good, she didn't get out this time."
"Little does she know!" Millie smiled to herself.
Millie and the Sock Monster
Millie was starting to get resigned to life in a cage. It wasn't so bad really. She had everything she needed in life - apart from excitement - and it was quite interesting watching the comings and goings of the humans. She'd got to know their names - the biggest human was called Dad, the slightly smaller one Mum, and there were the children as well. Dad took very little notice of her, but Mum would fill up her food bowl, and the children would come and talk to her, and maybe open the hatch and try to stroke her. Sometimes Millie would keep still and let them touch her, but more often she ran for the nearest tube and disappeared either upwards or downwards. That was the best bit of her cage - lots of tunnels and rooms.
Mum had seemed agitated recently. The youngest child, George, would take his socks and shoes off, and Mum could never find his socks. Millie heard her shouting at George sometimes. "I don't know what you do with your socks!" she would cry. "There must be a sock monster in the house."
A sock monster? Millie pricked up her ears whenever she heard that. She wondered what a sock monster looked like. She decided there couldn't really be a sock monster though. Maybe it was just because George would take one sock off at a time, and never put them together.
Then one day Millie was sitting in her cage watching out, and she saw George come in the room, switch the TV on, then sit down and kick off his shoes. He peeled one sock off, examined his toes, then wandered off again, leaving the sock sitting in a corner just by the chair. Millie smiled to herself, wondering where the other sock would be abandoned. Then she noticed a movement. The sock was starting to disappear under the armchair! She watched in shock as the sock disappeared bit by bit. When George wandered back in a few seconds later there was no sign of his sock. He stood on one leg, pulled his other sock off, dropped that one on the floor just a small distance from where the other one had been, and wandered out again.
Maybe there really was a sock monster! As Millie sat pondering this thought, she suddenly realised she had something else to worry about. The cat had come into the room. Millie knew there were two cats in the house, but one always ignored her, while the other one would do his best to catch her through the bars of the cage. Millie sighed and moved to the back of the cage. She had discovered that the best way to deal with the cat was to hide, and then he got bored and went away.
What was that? It felt like an earthquake! Then Millie realised that it was just the cat knocking the cage. Mum came in the room and took the cat away, shutting the door after her. It was only then that Millie noticed the cat had managed to break two of the tubes apart, leaving Millie an exit. Millie looked hard at the space under the armchair where the sock had disappeared. This was her chance to solve the mystery. But was she brave enough?
Millie trotted to her foodbowl and filled her pouches. Always best to take supplies! She crawled through the rooms and tubes until she got back to the open section. Carefully looking round her, she lowered herself to the surface of the table, then moved to the edge and dropped carefully to the ground. She moved carefully along behind the sofa, keeping her ears open and listening for any sound of the sock monster.
When she reached the armchair the second sock was still where it had lain, one corner slightly under the corner of the chair. Millie caught hold of it. At least she could save this sock from the sock monster! But as she pulled at the sock, she realised that someone had hold of the other end and was pulling back! Millie let go in shock, and the sock disappeared completely. Millie rushed after it, and managed to get hold of the end. She held on firmly. She felt scared, but also very cross. This was her family, and she had a responsibility to look after them. She couldn't let any old sock monster cause trouble!
Whoever - whatever - was holding the other end of the sock must have let go, because Millie fell backwards, still clutching at the material. Then she heard a strange sound, and her blood ran cold. This sock monster sounded really fierce! Millie looked back at her cage. Could she make it back there safely? Would she even be safe in there?
Then she realised that the sounds the sock monster were making sounded rather a lot like a small animal crying. Timidly she peered under the chair. There was a mouse! A rather fat little mouse! Could this be the fierce sock monster she had expected? "Who are you?" she asked cautiously.
The mouse looked at her, opened her mouth to reply, then squeaked again. Then she managed to get some words out. "I'm Maisie," she said shyly. "Are you the animal who lives in the cage in the corner?"
"Yes," Millie replied. "And this is my family. And that's not your sock. Why did you want it?"
Maisie smiled nervously. "I'm sorry," she said. "I got brought in here by one of the cats, and now I can't find my way out. And I'm about to have babies, and I wanted to make a nice comfortable ..." She broke off with another squeal, and placed her front paws on her stomach.
Millie suddenly understood. "It's okay," she said. "I'll help you. Where have you been living?"
Maisie indicated a small hole in the floor. "Down there."
Millie took charge. "We need to get you back there, then, before those babies come." She helped the little mouse back into the hole, and before long Maisie was a proud mother, nursing five little babies. Millie emptied her pouches, giving the food to Maisie, and explained to her how to get out of the house. Then she left Maisie feeding the babies while she started the long job of ferrying all the socks out of the hole.
Suddenly Millie heard the door opening. No time to get back to her cage! She scurried behind another chair, away from Maisie's hole. She heard Mum's exclamation as she noticed the cage, and then heard Mum moving around the room checking behind the furniture. Finally Millie's bolthole became a lot lighter as Mum moved the big cutting board behind her.
Millie steeled herself for the feel of fingers around her, and reminded herself sternly that she wasn't to bite. But it seemed Mum remembered the last time as well, and Millie saw the see-saw tube from her cage lowered towards her, with some bits of food in it. Gratefully she scrambled into the see-saw and felt herself lifted and carried across the room and returned gratefully to her cage.
As she rushed to her water bottle and took a long drink (all that sock-carrying was thirsty work, and she had no way of taking water with her on her travels) she smiled to herself as she heard Mum exclaim: "Where on earth have all these socks come from?"
The Great Escape
Millie the hamster looked around her cage with great satisfaction. Yes, she was set up comfortably here. So many rooms to explore, tunnels to crawl through, a wheel to run on - she heaved a sigh and stretched her legs. This was what you called a luxury home.
She peered beyond the cage at the world outside. All was as it should be. No sign of that darn cat, no sign of any humans either. She could hear the dog outside. The smaller humans had just left the house, all but the smallest.
Wait! What was that book on the chair? That was the book one of the younger humans needed for school. He hadn't taken it. What could she do?
Millie looked around desperately. She hadn't been in her new home very long, but already she had discovered that the human in charge of her didn't take any notice of books lying around. And she didn't come in the room much in the mornings, except maybe to say hello to Millie herself.
That was it! Somehow, Millie had to attract attention to the book! She grabbed the bars and pushed with her nose against the bung at the top of the cage. It wouldn't budge! No, wait! She felt it give slightly. She dropped to the floor of the cage, caught her breath, then climbed up again for one last effort. Finally the bung slipped out of place and to one side.
Millie stopped again for a rest. That was hard work! She looked around her. Food bowl. Supplies. She hurriedly filled her pouches with food, then climbed carefully out of the hole and down the side of the cage. It was a bit of a drop to the floor, but she managed it. Then she scurried along in the direction of the school book.
A few minutes later the human came into the room and looked round. Just as Millie had suspected, she took no notice of the smaller human's book, but walked over to the cage and peered in. "Morning, Millie," her voice boomed. Then Millie saw her hesitate, looking at the bung. She opened up the bedroom of the cage, and pulled up some of the bedding, peered inside the rest of the cage, then cursed quietly and started moving things about under the table.
Over here, Millie willed her, staring at the book on the chair. The human was still grovelling around on the floor, but eventually she widened her search and began moving the chairs. She pulled out the chair in front of Millie. "There you are!" Then a curse - she'd spotted the book!
Millie heard the human pick up the book, shut the door of the room, then slam the front door and run down the road. She relaxed with satisfaction. Her job was done. She looked over at her cage, the other side of the room. Could she make it back before the human returned?
But the human was soon back. This time she had brought the littlest human to help her. They pulled the furniture out and bent down to get closer to Millie. "Ouch!" Millie had instinctively sunk her teeth into the hand that had grabbed her. The hand opened and Millie fell to the floor. She fought off her instinct to run, and stood shaking, waiting for hand to return. This time the hand was more gentle, and Millie allowed herself to be taken back to the cage. Her job was done. For now.
a new blog!
I'm already a regular contributor on livejournal, but am feeling the need for somewhere to host my writing (if I ever do any!), so decided to take a look at blogger.
This will be a place for writing, fiction or non-fiction, but not for diary-type entries, which will continue to appear on livejournal - user name loopy1.