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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: A Fat Mouse
By dub W


On the twenty sixth day a small slit in the door opened revealing a bit of light, surrounding a metal cup of water and a chunk of a bolillos, a hard roll. Samuel reached down and pulled the plate to himself, then pushed an empty plate back. For twenty six days, by his count, the routine had been the same. He marked the days by the feeding – one bread and water meal per day. He marked the weeks the same way. One day per week the plate contained boned salt fish, he wasn’t Catholic, but he decided to name fish day, as Friday.

They want to keep me alive, but just barely. When he first arrived he tried to speak to them through the slot, but there was never an reply.

His cell wasn’t tall, at least when the tried to stand he bumped his head, and could not fully stretch out. The first day in the cell he had measured the width and depth with his arms. There was only enough room for him to sleep in a fetal position.

He named feeding time as six in the evening, though he had no way of knowing. Sleep regulation was important, so he devised a method of dark time keeping. He knew that evening exercise and personal time had been exactly two hours - carefully managed by his drill instructors. He had always spent his personal time praying. Often it was the same prayer, built around the time schedule.

Samuel carefully tore the crust off of the bread, strained the water through the remaining part of the oaf. He drank from the plate and chewed on the crust. Then he stuffed the soggy bread into a mouse hole which he had found in the wall.

“Sir Mouse,” he whispered, “the bread I saved for you again, I trust the Lord knows the favor you do for me.”

He did a series of sit ups and leg crunches, then knelt on the floor and did a hundred short pushups. He stood and made himself diagonal in the cell and did a hundred more. His foot touched a square trap door. Samuel laughed, “yes, foot, our escape is there, but beyond the flap is only a bedpan and a block wall. He knew that the pan was periodically emptied because a board sealed off the flap, there was noise, and then an empty pan filled the space when the board was removed. He had numerous times explored the hole in the wall, and came to no conclusion.

He finished his regiment of exercise and food, and fell on his knees to pray. “Lord, I’m still here. I ask for nothing more that what you have provided. This I can do because I know you are there, and that alone is enough, because you told me you would be.” His prayer continued with a routine of carefully worded phases. He used a combination of words which he tried to remember from his days of training.

Then he sat with his back to the wall and recounted New Testament stories, attempting to put the verses in the right order. At approximately the same time during his routine he heard a stirring from the mouse hole. He would just smile and say, “Thank you Jesus.” He then worked on Old Testament stories, even though he kept asking God’s forgiveness because he had forgotten so much. Each period of work was measured mentally, such that he figured he worked four hours on each. The mouse was his clock.

Sleep was where his time was uncontrolled, but after each time he put his head down to sleep he woke and recreated his memorized Bible study from the period before sleep at least until his next issue of bread; thus he judged his sleep.

The twenty seventh day no fish came, no pan of bread, no cup of water. He sat staring at the doorway wondering if he had miscalculated. Finally, he heard the scratching in the mouse hole. He sensed that something entered the room with him, and then he saw the slot open and a fat mouse struggle to get through. He reached his fingers down and pushed the mouse from behind. When he did the entire door swung open.

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This article has been read 930 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 07/12/07
Even though I'm unclear on a few things in this story, I loved it, especially the image of poking the fat mouse in the behind. What excellent writing!
Ed VanDeMark07/12/07
I like Samuel's positive attitude and I infer it is this that tells the confident story. Though confined without and human contact he continues to trust God. The fat mouse is God's delivery system. One of the purpose of story is help people understand old concepts in a new way. Thanks for giving me this new approach to confidence, and the reminder that our God works in unseen and wonderous ways.
Joanne Sher 07/13/07
Great detail. You had me completely engaged.
Lynda Schultz 07/13/07
This was fascinating. I am reminded of the Israelites entering the Promised Land — once they got there, the manna stopped — there was no more need for it! With rescue close, Samuel didn't need the bread, water or the pan. Good job.
Julie Ruspoli07/13/07
The confidence in God your character showed was very comforting and such a blessing. Great work!
Mariane Holbrook 07/17/07
A great read! And some great insights! Kudos!
Terry R A Eissfeldt 07/17/07
I really enjoyed this and you made it easy to picture in my mind.
Loved the ending.
Joy Faire Stewart07/17/07
Very unique, I loved the minute details and was totally absorbed in Samuel's routine.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/17/07
I was fascinated by this unusual story that was was written unusually well. I like the way the details builg, one upon another.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/17/07
An expertly crafted tail, er...tale. I'm really amazed at your creativity. And you kept my full attention, beginning to end.
Dee Yoder 07/17/07
A master story teller. You drew me in and had me reading every line. A unique way to present the topic. I love the title, too.
Marilyn Schnepp 07/17/07
Very creative, unique and an "edge-of-the-seat" type story that kept the reader enraptured and intrigued with "What next?" Neat job from the Kind Master of the Puppy Pen... Kudos!
Marilyn Schnepp 07/17/07
Very creative, unique and an "edge-of-the-seat" type story that kept the reader enraptured and intrigued with "What next?" Neat job from the Kind Master of the Puppy Pen... Kudos!
Edy T Johnson 07/17/07
I was hoping you'd have a way out for your character before you finished the story, and you did not disappoint. What I thought was just some companionship, keeping the mouse fed, turned out to provide deliverance. Very clever and a total surprise!
Catrina Bradley 07/17/07
The writing and the story are very intriguing - I couldn't wait to see what came next. I need to meditate on the ending I guess, because I'm not sure of the meaning. (Note - twenty six and numbers like it should be hyphenated). Much talent in your pen!
Kristen Hester07/17/07
Oh, I really liked this. I didn't understand exactly how the mouse helped the man, but I knew he did and it had something to do with making him fat. Anyway, it was very well written.
Trevas Walker07/18/07
I really liked your story. It drew me in from the beginning. I enjoyed the twist as well. What a unique idea for the topic.
Benjamin Graber07/18/07
Very creative; I enjoyed this one...
Sara Harricharan 07/18/07
I had to read this twice to 'get it' and when I did it made me laugh. I did find a few of the 'missing commas' I think. But it was fun to read anyway. Good job.
Loren T. Lowery07/18/07
Without a doubt, to me, anyway, you have a creative mind full of double entendres, and it causes me, a reader, to put on my thinking cap and consider what is being said. And, I enjoy it - those writers that make me think. Thank-you for the message, missing punctuations and all!
Patty Wysong07/18/07
I was hooked. Starting like that was ingenious--I had to find out what happened to him! The visual of poking the fat mouse was great, and a relief. :D Loved it!
joe hodson07/19/07
Cool story! You painted a great picture here, and I loved the details you put into how Samuel kept track of time. One thing - take it or leave it - instead of "fat" mouse, it might be better to use something more endearing, like "well-fed" mouse, since the mouse was kind of Samuel's friend. Other than that, great job, great writing, great detail, and great voice!