Inspired by the 2019 Trumpian nightmare of not being able to unsee human cruelty.
The basement stairwell walls were half finished, meaning the bottom half was exposed studs while the top, was covered in Sheetrock. This was to accommodate all of the exposed electrical work . Eight black switches were ganged together on the left, and another four on the right. But the right side of the stair wall was host to much more exposed electrical work, boxes and conduit.
I knew these two poison bombs were overkill, but the party started to get pleasure out of the overall effort and festivities of filling Tupperware with rat poison, even though someone had only seen one small mouse emerge from under the door.
The poison itself looked at lot like cat food, so someone decided a lid with only a small hole would protect any other animals present.
I placed the boxes on the small ledge beside the stair treads, were I found two half eaten party cakes. Looking up out of the stairwell, into the living room, questioning the odd addition, One man, clearly a gluten himself, still eating an apple tart licking his fingers said he did it, but warned, while laughing that he sprinkled the rest with poison.
After turning the lights out and sealing the door we all waited in silence.
For what felt like less than ten minutes, one of us, not sure who, opened the door and flicked on a few random switches, proceeded to scream and slammed the door shut, lights on.
The light however was now accompanied by a dull sound of a remote fan, one that couldn't be seen, just heard. But after trying unsuccessfully to rectify the breach, switching all sorts of permutations on and off, one light and the fan noise remained on.
By accident, I looked down to see the carnage beside me.
One frosted Tupperware top was already missing. Then I saw the poison scattered across the ledge. But the scene itself was more gruesome, with the lights on I saw there was a new layer inside the small bucket. A living landscape of mice moving frantically over, around and through already dead mice, in order to continue to consume the poison below.
In my minds eye, the scene was instantly recorded. Unseeing it seemed impossible, but forgetting it was even more futile.
In disgust and frustration about not being able to return the carnage back to its previous darkened noiseless state, I shut the door, fan and light still on.
Tanya H. Van Cott is currently finishing up a novel trilogy that captures a snapshot of our current social, political, and personal challenges as a nation and especially as women and men, within the Global community.