Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WPW: Scratching

See Ali's blog for the guidelines for Writing Prompt Wednesday.

The scratching started up again. Under the sink. Where the huge bag of dog kibble was stored. I told him to buy one of those big Rubbermaid tubs to put it in. But no.

I reached back and smoothed the hairs on the back of my neck, the ones that stood up whenever I was scared. I knew what made the noise. Recognized it from childhood. Mice. Back then it was field mice that came in the house to get warm. "They're more scared of you than you are of them," my mother said. Impossible. And now it was late October and the weather had turned cold.

We'd tried traps, all kinds. But the scratching continued. Always when he was at work. Night shift, of course. That's when bartenders get the good tips. He said he believed me. But there was that look.

So I bought a book. Then I collected the supplies: a small cauldron, charcoal, sage for cleansing, a tiger's eye to protect and draw down spiritual energy, black salt to keep away evil (and mice are evil), and a mixture of herbs for banishing.

Early evening on the 31st, I started by lighting the sage and smudging the whole house, all four rooms of it. Then I lit the charcoal and threw the herbs and salt on it. As the smoke rose toward the ceiling (making my eyes water so I opened the window a crack), I clutched the stone in my hand and pictured the mice rising up and away on the smoke. I threw a few more herbs on the fire for good measure.

I awoke to him standing over me. My teeth chattered in the coldness of the room. All the windows were wide open and the ceiling fan spun above me. "The neighbors thought the house was on fire."

The scratching didn't return.

Missed Hallowe’en, though. Rats.