All at once, as if at an invisible signal, the rats began a high-pitched,

almost musical squeal that I took as either a battle cry or a cry for mercy. All of them—the old, the adolescents, even some with young children, making this as-musical-as-it-may-have-been-to-them, earsplitting-to-me sound, as if to say: “What now? What are you accusing us of that you would yourselves not have done? Is it so very wrong that we find food for ourselves and for our families? Is it so wrong that we love and, as a consequence along with the Universal Law of Life, reproduce? Is it our collective fault that we scurry out of the way to seek shelter when attacked by a far-larger foe? Yes, we know our tails are hairless as opposed to those of squirrels, which for some reason you humans seem to find attractive, even going so far as to bring bags of nuts to them in parks and cemeteries while all we rats do is mostly give you the creeps, but have you ever once thought that this may only be because you yourselves are mostly hairless and don’t wish to be reminded of that fact? And surely,” the rats seemed to be keening from on high, “though at this moment you humans as a species find yourselves at what you, in your limited wisdom, believe is the top of the evolutionary ladder, really, how long can that last? Why not show a little mercy, you So-called Intelligent Ones, because you will not always be where you are now, on top of the food chain, and when that time comes, you’ll need a little mercy shown yourselves?”

I attempted to put my fingers in my ears, but to do that and keep hold of my bat was too difficult.

Erased by Jim Krusoe

1 comment:

  1. one of the best writers writing now. my personal fave by him is 'remorse' in the collection 'blood lake'.