The Mousetrap

Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 25

Challenge #11: Write a story set in a board game. Its word count must be a multiple of 13.

“Well well well…”

Inspector Whiskers’ big round ears caught the unmistakable sound of a revolver being cocked.

“Looks like I’ve got a tail.”

Whiskers turned. “You’ve been keeping up this game of cat-and-mouse for quite some time, Officer Nibbles.”

“Longer than you know.” The mouse stepped into the pool of light beneath the streetlamp, streams of rain leaving hard lines in the fur of his face. “Too long to have you rat me out to the big cheese.”

“Why’d you do it?” Whiskers didn’t really need to ask, but he did need to buy some time. “You only got a couple more years on the job. Why risk your retirement plan?”

“Retirement plan?” Nibbles gave a short, squeaking laugh. “The way things are going down at the Department, I’ll be poor as a church mouse—and so will you! No, Inspector. This…” he gestured about the docks with the barrel of his gun. “This is my retirement plan.”

“Yeah.” Whiskers nodded. “I’ll bet Don Provolone gives you plenty of cheddar for taking evidence out of the cage.”

“Looks like the cat’s out of the bag!”

“Maybe, but I don’t expect you’ll land on your feet.”

“Perhaps not, but it won’t be you who throws me in the hole!”

“It will be if you try to turn me into Swiss cheese.” Inspector Whiskers stepped forward.

Officer Nibbles said nothing.

“If I’m not very much mistaken, that’s the same gun you used to kill Frisby the Squealer. Shoot me with that and Ballistics will pin it on you in a second!”

“Ah,” said Officer Nibbles, straightening his whiskers with his free hand. “You’ve got me there. But you see, I don’t intend to shoot you at all.”

He stepped over to a large toothed wheel bolted to a warehouse, gun still loaded and level.

“As you say, Whiskers, I’ve been at this for some time. Naturally I’ve had long enough to prepare.”

He began to turn the wheel.

Inspector Whiskers watched in horror as this first wheel turned a second. The second wheel tripped a sprung lever, which struck a boot on a hinge. The hinged boot kicked over a bucket, releasing a billiard ball which bounced down a nearby flight of stairs and rolled along a gutter into a precariously balanced pole. The force of the billiard ball striking the bottom of the pole knocked a bowling ball placed at the top, which in turn dropped into a bathtub suspended high above the docks. The bowling ball landed on the raised end of a see-saw, catapulting a shop mannequin into a tub right beside Inspector Whiskers.

A tub that he now saw was directly connected to the lamppost he was standing beneath.

A lamppost with a cage hanging precariously from its highest point.

A cage that…

Well, the cage didn’t really do anything. It just sort of wobbled about a bit, looking vaguely menacing.

“Ah, bollocks,” said Officer Nibbles, and cheesed it down the street.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which is currently crowdfunding at Unbound. Most pledge levels include all the books shown above, and all will include your name in the back of Ten Little Astronauts itself as a patron of my work.

Support it here!

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