A Mouse In A House - A Flash For The Freestyle Writing Challenge

Posted on July 12, 2015
I love flash fiction. So, naturally, I giggled with glee when Sara C. Snider nominated me for the Freestyle Writing Challenge. 

Sara's prompt : On top of a lonely hill is a lonely house. What's happening there?

My story is below.

~ * ~ 

Herman McFidigan never liked being outside. He was, after all, a small field mouse - the natural prey of any creature with wings or claws or speed or the ability to pounce at will. He was timid, suffered from a mild case of schizophrenia, and was utterly alone.

Except for the voices in his head. They kept him plenty company.

As he was preparing his meal of wheat grass and nuts, he heard a knocking at the door of the old house he was inhabiting. No one answered, naturally, since there was no one living there. The knock grew louder and Herman found himself trembling under his matchbox bed. He blew out the tiny candle on his thumbnail nightstand and covered his ears. 

"They're coming to get you, Herman." The female voice in his head said.

The pounding stopped and the door creaked open. A light scent of chemicals traveled across the room with the breeze. Slow footsteps drowned out the rain slamming against the windows. He could still hear the thunder.

"You've got to get out of here, Herman!" The female voice said. "You have to get out of this house!"

"B-b-b-but, the outside world is dangerous. I will die." Herman shivered as he covered his head with his blue night shirt. 

"You will die here tonight too, if you don't run," she said. "Run, Herman. Get out of here. Get out of here now! Run Herman! Run!"

As she repeated those words,  Herman scrambled to his feet and dashed out the burrowed corridor that lead to the backyard. He's never gone out of the house before, but he trusted his voices. They told him things, truths, and kept him safe all these years. He believed his voices knew more than he did, and so he listened to their advice. 

He ran through the tunnel for what seemed like hours, and soon he was outside standing on a grassy field under the brilliant morning sun. 

"There," said the female voice as Herman wiped dirt and grease from his blue night shirt. "Now, you will live."

~ * ~

That's 346 words in 15 minutes. I wish I had time to give the schitzo voice more character, and decide whether the act of liberation was bravery or suicide. But alas... the rules. 

Speaking of the rules, they are as follows:
  1. Open a new document.
  1. Set a stopwatch or your mobile phone timer to 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat.
  1. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
  1. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.
  1. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it’s only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules).
  1. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.
  1. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  1. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).

I'll admit that I looked at Sara's prompt when she nominated me, so I had some time to think about what I would write. But, when I hit the timer, I drew a blank. My story didn't work. I wasted the first 2 minutes staring at a blank doc. So, I started with a name and it just went from there. 

Sometimes, these things just work out in the weirdest of ways. :-1

So now, for the nominees...

My prompt is : Your pet of many years suddenly speaks human. What does it say?

Happy writing!!!


  1. What a cute and also creepy story. I like how the voices in his head tell him truths. Well, maybe truths... It's fun just starting with a name or whatever and just start writing from that. You never know where the story will go! :D

    And the prompt you give is excellent. I often say how I wish my cats had thought-bubbles over their heads so I'd know what they're thinking. ;)

    1. I wonder, would they have accents? If I had cats, I imagine they'd have British accents. And would their humor be dry? Hmm. I don't know why I picture cats as having British accents, I just do. :-)

  2. Thanks for thinking of me!

    I'll put a reminder on so I get to this in the near future, hopefully. (A bit difficult to sit down and write when I have a ton of networking stuff to sort out. But I want to write again before the end of the month, so, hopefully I can. ;-))

    1. Misha, you can spin this into a speculative fiction masterpiece whenever you're ready!