Six Little Mice
rating: +192+x

Six little mice scampered 'cross the floor

"Eddy, are you seriously reading the news right now?"

I look up from my copy of TIME to glare at Justin. "Come on, man. This Hartle thing's cool, the scenery here hasn't changed for two hours, and we're still not anywhere near the screamer."

"The kid, you mean," Dean said.

"I mean the screamer. Could still be a decoy, you know." I turn the page. It's ridiculous, but I have to hold the magazine way too close to my face to make out the text, even with my headlamp on. Stupid Can and its stupid darkness and its stupid stairs! "I wish they'd let me bring my iPod."

"But we gotta keep our ears out!" Emmy pipes up. I don't even have to look up to know she's smiling like an idiot.

"For what?" I snap. I'm just getting to the good part of the article, too, but all this talking is ruining my focus. Stupid language centers. "The screamer's a broken record, the mask isn't known to make any sound, and the only other noises in this stupid place are us."

"… We're not noises, Eddy."

"It's an expression, Em."

"No it isn't."

"Oh my god, are you two seriously arguing about this?" Justin asked, taking a hand off his rifle to massage the bridge of his nose.

"No," I said.

"Yes," Emmy said at the same time.

"Stop it, all of you," Agent Johnson snapped.

"Yessir," we all said with varying levels of non-enthusiasm.

One got his little tail slammed in a door

We got to the next landing, but as I turned the corner, I felt a jerk as my safety line caught. "Dammit, line's stuck again. What's the point of these things?"

Emmy turned, mouth already open to start lecturing me, but then her eyes got real big and she started screaming. I jumped probably a foot in the air, and jerked my head to follow her gaze over my shoulder.

Cold terror froze me in place as I looked into the non-eyes of that damn mask. It wasn't even looking at me; it was looking at my copy of TIME.

There was no escape from the big bad cat

I finally managed to get my muscles moving, but it didn't matter. My line was caught, and it was too close.

The last thing I feel is searing heat cutting through cartilage and bone.

Five little mice left to make him fat

Five little mice scampered 'cross the deck

I pushed past Emily and opened fire on the mask. Every part of my mind was screaming (like Emily; Emily was screaming) that I should run, hide, huddle with my head between my knees because it was my last chance to kiss my ass goodbye. But I couldn't. I had a team to protect. How could I face Edward's wife (Justin's wife, Dean's wife, Sam's wife, Emily's wife…) if I just ran away from something like this and left them all to die (are brains supposed to steam like that?) without doing anything? "Cut your lines and keep going!"

One had his little head torn off his neck

I didn't hear the answer over the sound of my gun, and I don't even know if the mask is taking damage (it's covered in splashes of molten lead now; will that slow it down?), but I hold my ground as it charges forward.

There was no escape from the big bad cat

As my head rolls down the steps, I'm at least able to see that my team has gotten away (for now; maybe they'll make it, so I've got to have faith in them), so at least I can hold onto that hope until my consciousness fades.

Four little mice left to make him fat

Four little mice scampered 'cross the bowl

Dean had gotten Emmy's hand, so I just focused on running. We had to get away. Floor after floor after floor after floor after floor blurred by. I was at the front of the group, but I could hear their footsteps behind me. I didn't dare look back to check for the thing that had gotten Eddy, but I prayed that Agent Johnson got the thing and was going to be okay.

One ran ahead and he fell in a hole


My brain registered Justin shouting my name before I actually realised I was falling. I hadn't even seen the hole in the staircase. At first, I'd thought that I'd just hit the flight beneath us, because I tend to assume that Euclidean geometry works until proven otherwise.


There was no escape from the big bad cat

It was proven otherwise. The light at the top vanished a while ago. There's no way anyone's gonna be able to reach me before I bite it.

I wonder if I'll hit something or starve first? If Eddy were still alive, we could've bet on it… .

Three little mice left to make him fat

Three little mice scampered 'cross the shed

"SAMMY!" I lunged for the loose end of his line. I came up two inches too short. Woulda fallen in after him, if it weren't for Dean grabbing the back of my flak jacket. I waited for the thud. I waited to hear him shout something as he hit the flight below.

It never happened.

One couldn't take that his friend was so dead

I grabbed the railing and started around the edge of the hole — both the rail and the floor seemed to be holding up. "Come on! He can't seriously be dead. No way."

I shoulda known then that I was kidding myself. I wouldn'ta said that if I wasn't already thinking he was. It was painful slowing my pace to make sure there wasn't another hole ahead, but I got to the spot where he shoulda been.

"He's seriously not here!"

"Come on, we've got a mission to do," Dean said when he noticed I'd stopped moving. How could he even be serious? "We have to keep going."

"Fuck the mission! Sammy just — he's gonna show up here eventually, right? Maybe time's just wrong."

"That's unlikely…" Emmy said.

"We need to keep going," Dean growled.

"I'm staying here and waiting for Sammy, dammit! If you seriously think the mission is so much more important, then go ahead. We'll catch up."

"… Fine." Dean clapped me on the shoulder. "But if you see that mask, run, okay?"

"Yeah." I nodded.

Emmy kept glancing back at me until they were out of sight.

There was no escape from the big bad cat

I think they left about an hour ago. Sammy's still not here.

… Run if I see the mask, huh?

I would, but I seriously can't feel my legs anymore.

Two little mice left to make him fat

Two little mice scampered 'cross the desk

We've been going for hours. I think we're getting closer, though. There's a stitch in my side, though, and my feet are starting to ache even with my orthopedic insoles. "Hey, Dean, can we stop for a bit?"

He frowns. "We're almost there."

One was exhausted and she had to rest

"I know. I just need to rest."

He stops as he reaches the next landing. "Alright."

I sigh with relief and sit down on the steps. "Do you think we're going to get out of here alive?"

"We gotta try." He leaned back against the wall and kept his light focused on the flight of stairs behind me. "That's all we can do."

"Yeah… ."

Silence that even I could tell was awkward fell. I thought about A'isha. I'm sure she'll be able to support herself financially without me, but —

There was no escape from the big bad cat

The last thing I hear is Dean's startled swearing.

One little mouse left to make him fat

One little mouse scampered 'cross the map

A white blur shot out of the darkness.

"SHIT!" I had no idea it could move so fast! Something that was probably a piece of Emmy's skull landed on my vest, but I was barely paying attention to that. I'd already started running, and there was no way I was looking down or looking back.

I ran. I kept running. I could hear myself getting closer to the kid, and that was the only thing that was keeping me going. I had to reach her. Even if I die right afterward, I at least gotta tell her that she's not forgotten, and help's coming. They're gonna send in the big guns if none of us make it back on time.

He found the cheese and fell into the trap

My boots splashed in something as I finally reached the bottom. The whole floor was covered in some sort of liquid an inch deep. The darkness was a lot worse than on the stairs, so I could barely see a few feet in front of me.

"Help! Please!"

I ran towards the voice, and there she was: A little girl with short black hair and a white dress. I knew there had to be a kid down here. I fell to my knees in relief and hugged her. "It's okay. Help's coming. It's going to be okay."

"Thank you, Mister. I was so hungry… ."

There was no escape from the big bad cat

She suddenly tears a chunk out of my neck with teeth that are far too sharp to be human. I should have thought it was suspicious that she was standing and didn't seem injured.

"There will be plenty of time for regrets in my stomach," she whispers as my brain suffocates.

So here come more mice to make him fat

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