The Mouse Vignettes · Scene 5

Dance With Me

Arilin Thorferra

By this point, I’m national news, millions of people asking the same obvious questions. Who am I? What do I want? How do I keep casually breaking the square-cube law? And how does a ten-story high mouse woman keep appearing in seemingly random locations?

But come on. Obvious questions are boring questions. I’ll answer the last two for you, because they both have the same answer: surprisingly well, if I do say so myself. When I step into a cute little waterfront city park at sunset, full of people dancing to a DJ’s tunes, it’s as if no one saw me until I was just there. Everyone around my paws acts genuinely surprised. Most start screaming and running. Not effectively running, mind you. Crowds aren’t good at fleeing en masse, and they’ve fenced in the park to control—or with my appearance, fail to control—the entrances for the show.

I clap my hands. “Oh, don’t stop the music!” It’s not meant as a thunderously roared command, but it is what it is. The DJ, a delightfully androgynous-looking cacomistle, pauses in their flight from the sound booth, staring up at me wide-eyed. I put a hand on my hip, point with my other hand, motion back to the booth. They scurry back in, shaking like a leaf.

I dance.

I can’t move as fast as a little—I can only violate so much of physics at once—but I can move with every other beat. So I do. I move between the panicked groups, too, my paws thudding down in front of them or behind or in the middle. Ah, there we go. Now instead of trying to jam through the exits they’re running back and forth every which way, glorious brownian motion. “Dance with me!” Some do. Some are much better than others at not ending up under paw.

The helicopters show up faster than I’d expected, spotlights playing over my brown and tan fur. I like it, since the rest of the light show barely reaches my shins. Sirens blare and colored lights flash as emergency responders of all kinds join the fun. I hear them shouting through megaphones, but don’t pay much attention. Stop or we’ll shoot! Please. I’m big, not dumb. If I stop, they’ll still shoot. So I need another option.

I keep dancing. I lean over and blow the DJ a kiss. “Keep playing,” I tell him. He looks terrified, but he does.

This time they’re armed with more than pistols, though. Automatic rifles, a few light mortars. And I’m an awfully big target. I could confound them by becoming a much smaller one! They’d arrest me, take me in, try and figure out if they can put me in a jail I couldn’t literally break out of…

But it’d be so much more fun to become a bigger target, wouldn’t it?

I whirl around, my dance shifting to a more stomping style. The DJ holds onto his equipment desperately as remaining dancers-slash-panicked-crowdmembers tumble and fall. I slam down hard enough to make paw prints in the grass. (Giants won’t do that just by standing, or even walking, until they get really big. Do the math sometime; it’ll disappoint you.) Each print’s breadth is larger than the last, as I move from a ten-story mouse to an eleven-story one. I count in my head. Stomp. Twelve. Stomp. Thirteen. Stomp. Fourteen.

The growth feels good. Doing it so openly, brazenly, that feels good. It feels powerful. Electric. Hot. I sway more as I grow, thrusting my hips, letting out a moan. I want to grind.

They don’t open fire until my count hits twenty-one. I’m pretty sure my paws are just breaking forty feet across.

I spring up into the air. I’m almost envious of the view anyone on the ground must have of an impossible amount of mouse in temporary flight, but my jump isn’t just joyful, it’s tactical. I’m guessing they’re about to fire mortars—which they do—and this way, I might not be where they land.

As I land, I decide my view is still better. The force of a dozen or so mortar shells exploding is nothing on eight thousand tons of mouse dropping from nearly a hundred feet. I’ve aimed outside the park, landing in the midst of the officers and soldiers firing on me. The buildings across the street collapse.

The music has stopped. To my dismay, the mortars took out the sound booth.

For a moment, everything remains still, except for my heavy breathing. I’m very charged up, and now I’m very disappointed, too.

I take a deep breath and lean over the dazed crowd charged with stopping me. “I was dancing.” I sweep my paw through them, sending the whole mass of littles and vehicles tumbling down the street.

There’s a lot more panic now, but all the feelings from the growth are just getting stronger. I stalk across and over the street, paws pounding (twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five), and spy a city bus. I crouch, picking it up, judging its size, then drop onto my back across the gas stations and diners and offices, spreading my legs.

Yes. Oh, yes. It’s a good size. I close my eyes, breathing faster, and take it for a ride.