I don’t think I could live alone again

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

Day five of this week’s challenge! One more day to go. The tale begins here.
‘I don’t think I could live alone again.’

The owner of the high voice was unlike any creature Miriam had come across. A giant mouse with pink eyes and long, finger-like claws stood among bits of paper and coloured cardboard littering the shed floor. Garbage overflowed from a large green basket which she was sure once housed boxes of fertiliser and plant food. A mouse and bits of paper might not be so odd, except this mouse spoke, and was very nattily dressed. Miriam wasn’t sure which was weirder.

The mouse’s whiskers twitched. ‘Do close the door,’ it said. ‘Terrible draught.’

Miriam closed the door, and continued staring.

‘What are you?’ she asked. ‘Were you in the plastic bag I took from next door.’

‘Plastic bag?’ The mouse peered around and started back at the sight of the blue bag trailing over the edge of the green basket. ‘You’re not going to put me back in there, are you?’ it wailed. ‘No, please stay here with me. I don’t think I could live alone again. Terribly lonely.’

‘Stay here? In the garden shed?’

The mouse waved its claws. ‘Look how nice I’ve made it! Please stay!’

Miriam’s shock was wearing off, to be replaced with disbelief. ‘But what are you?’ she asked again. ‘And did you have anything to do with Dorothy’s murder, twenty years ago?’

The mouse’s eyes half closed and its whiskers twitched again. ‘Don’t know any Dorothy,’ it said.

But Miriam was certain it lied. She was certain this odd creature held the clue to Dorothy’s murder. If she could make it talk. If it led her to evidence she could use.

‘Yes, you do.’ She took a step closer, peered down at the creature. ‘And you’re going to tell me all you know.’

The mouse took a step sideways, closer to the plastic bag. ‘Maybe I would prefer to live alone after all.’

Miriam grabbed the bag and held it high. ‘Not yet, mouse, not yet.’

(The last part of the tale is here.)

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