White Mice is a creepy little story about a young man and his wife. They bring home some new pets from a store, but get more than they bargained for.
Bonjour, my name is Sebastien and I come from France. I live in a suburb of Paris with my Wife, Sabine. We met in a nightclub, just a few months ago. When I saw her lithe figure on the dancefloor, she took my breath away. I never believed in love at first sight, but as I watched her slow, graceful movements as she danced, I knew that she would be my wife.
Sabine is a deeply passionate woman, highly sensual, sultry and seductive. However, she also had a dark side. Sometimes she was loving and caring and did everything in her power to please me. At other times she could be cold-blooded and cruel with a quick and poisonous tongue.
Sabine wore her emotions on her sleeve and could be quite a handful. When we began seeing each other, I had to learn to adjust to her moods. Within the space of a few minutes, she could go from quiet, pleasant and relaxed to loud, angry and vicious. I had to be careful because even the slightest thing could set her off.
We had only been dating for one month, when I asked her to marry me. My friends said I was rushing into things, but I was worried that some other guy would come along and sweep her off her feet. In the days and weeks after the wedding, we were inseparable. Often, we would spend the morning cuddling in bed. Sabine would coil herself around me and lay gentle kisses on my neck.
However, it wasn’t long before her attitude towards me began to change. She grew sullen and withdrawn and started pressuring me to have children. I told her it was too soon and said that we should wait until our financial situation was better, but Sabine was incorrigable. All she talked about was having babies. It was as if she was obsessed.
“What should we name our children?” she asked one day as I was trying to read the newspaper.
“I don’t know,” I replied, a little irritated. “I haven’t thought about it much.”
“Well, I have,” said Sabine. “If we have boys, I will call them Simon, Sylvester, Seymour, Stephen and Cedric. If they are girls, then Solange, Sylvia, Sandrine, Susanne, Selena and Cynthia.”
I didn’t reply and just returned to my paper.
One hot afternoon, in the middle of Summer, Sabine and I were lying on deckchairs, sunning ourselves on the terrace. I glanced over at my beautiful wife and noticed something odd about the skin on her legs. It was peeling off.
“Sabine!” I said. “You’re getting burned.”
I reached out and put my hand on her thigh. Her skin felt rough and scaly.
She groaned lazily. “Don’t worry, Darling, it’s nothing.”
“It’s not nothing, Sabine,” I said. “I want you to see the doctor about this skin condition of yours. I’m worried. It could be serious.”
The next morning, despite my wife’s protests, I accompanied her to the dermatologist. He examined her for a while, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. However, he assured us that it was not serious and would probably clear up on its own. He gave Sabine a balm to apply to her skin twice a day and advised her to stay out of the sun for the time being.
On the way home, we passed a pet store. Sabine stopped and stared through the shop window. Her face broke out into a smile.
“Oh, look Sebastien!” she exclaimed. “They’re so cute!”
I raised my eyebrows when I saw what she was pointing at. It was a cage full of white mice. They were crawling all over each other and the sight of their flesh-colored tails swinging back and forth sent a chill down my spine. I thought it was a completely hideous sight, but before I could object, my wife was already entering the store.
“But, Sabine, we can’t…”
“Oh, stop being such a killjoy!” she cried. “They’ll be so much fun for our children to play with!”
“But Sabine… We don’t have any kids…”
She burst into tears.
“Come on, Sabine, calm down,” I pleaded. “Everyone is watching us.”
I tried to hug her, but she wriggled out of my grasp and pushed me away.
“No, don’t touch me!” she cried. “I know you don’t love me! That’s why you refuse to have children with me!”
I tried to reassure her, telling her I loved her more than ever, but it was no use. She remained angry and brooded wordlessly until I finally relented and took out my wallet. The pet shop owner handed me a cage and a box with holes in the side. By the time we left, Sabine was smiling again, as if we had never argued.
An hour later, we arrived home with the white mice. I placed the cage on a dressing table in our bedroom and put the scurrying creatures inside. They ran to and fro, exploring their new home. I counted one, two, three… A total of 18 white mice. It was too much. I sighed and went to the bathroom. Relaxing in a cold bath, I tried to relieve my mind of the stresses of the day.
After about half an hour, I got out, dried myself and returned to the bedroom to dress. When I passed by the cage, I saw the mice still scurrying around and sniffing with their noses in the air. I counted them again. One, two, three… There were only 17 white mice. One must have escaped.
I searched the room, looking high and low, but I couldn’t find any sign of it.
“Sabine!” I called. “I think one of the mice got out of the cage!”
There was no reply. When I went looking for my wife, I found her lying on the terrace, basking in the sun.
“Sabine! What are you doing?” I cried. “The doctor told you not to go out in the sun. What about your skin?”
She lowered her sunglasses and stared up at me with a venomous look.
“Can’t you let me be?” she hissed. Then, she turned over, yawned and stretched out like a lizard on a rock.
I shrugged my shoulders. I was too tired to argue with her, so I lay down on a deckchair. Before long, I was dozing off.
When I awoke, the sun was setting and Sabine’s deckchair was empty. I was alone on the terrace. Rubbing my eyes, I got up and walked to the bedroom. Pausing at the door, I peeked inside and saw Sabine sitting cross-legged on our bed. The cage was at her feet and the top lay open. As I watched, she licked her lips and reached inside. Picking up one of the white mice, my wife held the tiny creature up above her, dangling it by the tail.
Then, to my horror, she threw back her head, opened her jaw wide and dropped the mouse into her mouth. Her lips closed around it, engulfing it and she began to chew. I could hear its tiny bones crunching between her teeth. Then, with one big gulp, she swallowed the mouse whole.
I held my hand to my mouth, stifling a scream and trying not to vomit. Despite my efforts, I let a little squeak slip out and she turned to look at me. Her eyes grew wide with surprise.
“SSSSSebastien!” she hissed. “SSSSSorry, SSSSSweetheart, you weren’t sssssupposssssed to sssssee that!”
Before I could say another word, she pounced on me like a coiled spring and wrapped her arms and legs around my body. She began squeezing me, crushing my torso between her supple limbs. I struggled desperately, unable to breathe. All of the air was being squeezed out of my lungs. I started to lose conciousness.
Before I blacked out, I managed to free one of my hands and reached out to grab the first thing I lay hands on. It was a lamp. I began beating Sabine over the head with it and then everything went black.
When I woke up, I found myself lying on the floor. Sabine’s dead body lay beside me, her head soaked in blood. I burst into tears and cradled her in my arms for a few minutes. Then, I composed myself and called the police.
When they arrived and took a look at the scene, they arrested me. Initially, they planned to charge me with murder, but when they did an autopsy, they discovered the contents of my wife’s stomach.
Five partially-digested white mice.
They realized I was telling the truth. In the end, the police believed that Sabine had gone insane and, thinking she was a snake, tried to crush me and eat me alive. They closed the case and released me without charge. I was allowed to go home.
When I reached the house, I felt sad, lonely and depressed. The place was so empty without Sabine. Despite what had happened, I still loved her and I blamed myself for her death. If only I had known she was losing her mind, perhaps I could have saved her.
Going upstairs to the bedroom, I took off my shirt and pants. I wanted to take a bath and just forget about everything. It was then that I noticed the cage. It was empty. All of the white mice were gone.
I looked around the room, but there was no trace of them. Just then, I noticed that the bedsheets were moving and undulating.
With shaking hands, I reached out and pulled back the bedspread. Underneath, there were several little babies, slithering back and forth over the sheets. They all turned their heads and looked up at me with blazing red eyes. Their mouths opened and their forked tongues poked out as they said, in unison, “SSSSSalut, Daddy!”