Outlaws

Outlaws

Little whiskers poked out of a hole in the wall. The pink nose attached twitched for a moment. Then a fat, brown body scurried out into the storage closet. Squik sat up on her haunches and motioned toward the hole. “C’mon, Whiskers.” She stuck her nose back into the hole and was pushed out by a black nose.

Whiskers grunted and wobbled ungracefully into the room. He plopped onto the floor as soon as he was entirely out.

“Right,” Squik said. She got back down on all fours and looked over the room. “The dog is gone for now.” Whisker stayed a lump on the floor while Squik explored. She always was the brains of the operation; it was her job to case the joint before either of them could make a move.

She moved in and out of boxes, climbed the counters, and sniffed through every open container should could find. An open, blue bag caught her attention. She bumped it with her nose—it felt like paper, but it was colored? Nibbling a hole in the bag, she got a taste of what was inside. Her mouth dried up as the white powder poured out.

Ugh, flour.

Squik looked over the counter to Whiskers, who’d fallen asleep. His snores and sleepy snorts were loud enough to concern her. “Hey!” she hissed as quietly as she could. “Wake up, ya lump!”

To Squik’s horror, the door to the closet swung open and in sauntered Feoa—the resident Pomeranian. Squik hopped down off the counter and grabbed Whiskers by the front paws. She pulled as hard as she could to get him away from the dog. Feoa had started to sniff around, stopping to bark. Squik managed to get Whiskers under the counter just as the dog’s found them.

“I see you, little rats!” she barked. “Come out here!”

“Why?! So you can bite us?” Squik said. She patted Whiskers on the face—gently at first, and then harder when he didn’t respond. He yawned and opened his eyes.

“S’matter?” Whiskers asked.

Squik nodded towards Feoa. “Dog came,” she said. “We’re hiding.”

Feoa sneezed. “Not much of a hiding spot. I know where you are!” She shoved her nose under the counter and snapped. Squik pushed Whiskers back and wiggled as far against the wall as she could get.

What do we do? She was afraid, her eyes wide.

“I’m gonna—” Whiskers moved back towards the other end of the counter. Squik couldn’t see around the wall. “I’ll be back.”

“Whiskers, no!” But he was gone before Squik could stop him. Dammit. She gave Feoa one last look before she hurried after him.

A loud SNAP! stopped her in her tracks. She knew that sound, but Whiskers would have been more careful, wouldn’t he? He knew better.

She rounded the corner and nausea overcame her at the sight. Whiskers hadn’t been careful, and in his flight had gotten himself snapped up in a mousetrap. Squik slumped beside his lifeless body. “Whiskers—”

Cold washed over her. She wasn’t sure if the room had gotten colder, or if it was just her sorrow, but it didn’t matter. She got up on her feet and charged back the way she’d come, back to Feoa. With a ferocious snarl, she bite the dog right on her nose. Feoa yipped and reared back in pain.

“Gross, little—!” She barked in her fury. “You’re dead!”

Squik ran out and jumped to bite Feoa again, it didn’t matter where. Feoa scooped Squik up in one swipe of her maw. She bit down hard. Squik’s last thoughts were of her reunion with Whiskers in the afterlife.