Death and Life of Squeaky Pomme Fritte


Martin Wiegand

02, February 2012

The Death and Life of Squeaky Pomme Frites

                Finally everything stops, the pain, the heavy breathing, the desire to get out of the bucket and get away, I float motionless, peacefully suspended in a small container of water and staring up at my freshly returned tormentor, who stares back at me, and my connection to the world around me slips away.

I find my mind wandering back the crazy out of control events of this evening. His expression is a subtle, strange mixture of horror and sorrow as he stares down with an almost blank zombie like visage that in my final moments has me wondering which of us has really gotten the worse of this evening’s Carnaval de Carnage.

Sometimes, the best of intentions by the meekest of people can spiral into a moment that redefines animal cruelty.  What could drive this soft-spoken, nasally, and mouse like man drop all sense of his humanity and embark on a campaign of terror, torture, and inexplicable mayhem while placing the show in the public view sharing with any unfortunate who happens by.

The day started normally enough, I live at the Church and the morning masses are starting to get busy as holiday residents  have started returning to the village. So I decide to start the day out on the fly. I leave my nest dashing to the center isle of the tiny church. I bolt towards the open doors much the gasps, moans and horrified exclamations of the parishioners. I assail myself through the open doors and into the morning sun en route to the field of pointy, odd shaped stones where the giants bury their dead.

I’ve often wondered why the giants bury their dead, at first I thought that maybe they came back later and ate them, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, because I’ve never seen one do that. Then I thought, maybe they’re afraid that the dead will come back and come after them.  After all, they put the body in a locked box before they bury it deep in the ground.

The day frolicking around the field was wonderful, the weather was great, and I had many friends with me.  After a lazy, lengthy, late afternoon nap my friends and I decide to go down to the bistro about three giant nests down from the field we call it Le Grenier Restaurant, it’s located high up in a space above the main part of the nest. The two giants that live there maintain it as sort of an automat,   Grenier’s specialty being noix de Grenoble sur la demi-coquille or Walnuts on a half-shell, for those of you barbarian giants who have yet to learn French, is something not to be missed. They also offer hors d’oeuvres. Mice love hors d’oeuvres so much so that they often forget how dangerous and deadly hors d’oeuvres can be.

The two giants that live in the nest and run the restaurant seem generally pretty decent. One of them rides around controlling some large metal machines that mice have to watch for while crossing the roads. The other giant seems to just ride along. He is generally soft-spoken his voice somewhat nasally and his mannerisms are themselves somewhat mouse like.  I noticed as we entered the house he seemed to be there alone gutting some animal, he already had the skin off and you could see all of its internal organs. He was in the largest room of their nest, the one that allows fires to be built in it. The fireplace itself was big enough that one of them could crawl up or down inside of it but they would have to be careful not to get trapped in there. There was a story going around among my friends that one giant did just that, and he ended up dying inside it. It happened in the next town over. Just ask anyone, everyone has heard about it.  As we made our way into Le Grenier it was late in the evening, and a late supper with friends was just the way to end the day’s festivities.

Once we were upstairs everyone spread out. Unfortunately,   the hors d’oeuvres must have been set out too long as the Camembert cheese had dried to a plastic unappealing glob. The nut pate though still smelled wonderful, especially in the space filled with a layer of drying walnuts just waiting to be shucked and enjoyed. The famous French poet Jean de La Fontaine once said; A hungry stomach cannot hear, those words were playing around in my head while I began trying to decide if I wanted just the walnuts or the works. I toyed with the idea, hor d’oeuvre or main course for several intense, almost maniacal seconds before the decision became obvious.

I shook my head and said, Squeaky, what are you doing? Are you not a frenchmouse? Have both! So I climbed up on the serving tray and sniffed the food again, the smell of which was so wonderful, I leaned forward and took a taste. It was every bit as wonderful as it smelled and soon I was lost in the incredible sampling. Generally the serving trays at Le Genier only ply their deadly ways occasionally, so I felt it was a reasonable risk.  By the time the tray attacked I was caught completely off guard. I turned; I tried to run, too late. I was caught in the trap, I had also passed out for a brief period, but now I was awake and assessing my situation. My hind legs were where my hind legs should be, but I couldn’t feel them at all, but there was a sharp burning pain in the center of my back, it was so intense I almost forgot how it happened, every time I tried to move it was agony, I thought to myself; How could I get unstuck?

I began the agonizing effort of pulling myself around the room; the uneven floor made it a difficult and painful effort. I found myself moving slowly, noisily in circles unable to escape. Then I heard the sound of someone coming, someone big.  I was stuck and had only one chance to escape this painful and life threatening situation.  I tried to appeal to him.

My Friend! I yelled; it’s your good friend Squeaky, Squeaky Pomme Frites, I’m trapped on the hors d’oeurve tray! They were excellent as they always are, but now can you help your good friend Squeaky get free?

No response, but lights came on and footsteps on the stairs were getting closer.  It was then that it occurred to me that the giant and I have never really inter-acted in any way before. We always kept a respectful distance from each other.  Now, that was all about to change. I hoped he already had his dinner. 

At first he did not come, I thought he was coming; it sounded like he was coming; he just never appeared. Soon the sound stopped altogether. Where had he gone? Was he getting a weapon? Did he stop for some noix de Grenoble sur la demi-coquille?  Is it Squeaky’s fate to die a horrific and untimely death at the sinister hands of an hor d’oeurve tray?

Could I have been wrong?  Maybe this gentle giant isn’t so mild mannered and gentle, maybe he’s planning something even more evil and painful for poor little Pomme Frites.  No, no that couldn’t be it. He’s just too timid, he’s afraid he’ll find me horribly mangled, openly sobbing for someone to end my misery and too disfigured and disgusting to even look at. That must be it. I screw up my courage and begin dragging the hors d’oeurve tray around again.

He started making noise again. This time he actually came up and into Le Grenier, He looked down at me for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably more like a minute, There was a look of pitiful sadness in his face, there was also something else there, I wasn’t sure what, fear maybe? He grabbed a box and scooped me and the tray into it. Then carried me off to what I had hoped would become my return to freedom.

The trip ended outside. The glorious outdoors where I loved to play and spend the day! If I survive this I thought to myself, I’ll become a poet.  I could smell the sea in the cool evening breeze and thought to myself Yes! He is going to set me free! Oh Monsieur, Thank you! Thank you! Squeaky will never forget your kindness!  You are truly the gentleman I knew you were! He set the box down and disappeared for a few minutes, when he returned he had a couple of large strange looking sticks with him.  He used the stick with hundreds of little branches growing out it to steady the hors d’oeuvre tray and the second one with a flexible edge to pry up the bar of the tray to release me, or so I thought.

He lifted the bar just far enough that I could start to move out of the hors d’oeuvre tray, then suddenly he let go and the bar clamped back down on my back. Fortunately, the bar came down on my paralyzed side. It startled me and I let out a yell but the pain wasn’t all that bad. I looked back at him and saw him with a shocked look in eyes trying to re-position the flexible edge and was getting ready to try again.  This he held it open more and I was able to side my backside out but as I turned to leave, I placed my arm back on the hors d’oeurve tray to gain leverage, the bar snapped back down and caught my right arm. It landed with enough force that I knew it was broken. This is the point where I went into shock as I howled God! My Lord! Why have you let the devil release one of his foulest of demons upon me! Has poor little Pomme Frittes offended you so? Take me now if this is what you wish but let my suffering end! Think he let out a gasp too, only I’m not sure if it was one of shock or pleasure. His face was all twisted up with different emotions and I had no idea and little cared at this point what he was thinking.

I cried out again, I pleaded to God. I cried out, Lord why do you let your poor sweet innocent Pomme Frittes get caught in the hors d’oeurve tray? I’m just a poor little church mouse that never hurt anyone, I promise, stop this madness and I’ll never scare the old ladies at church ever again!

                I continued my pleas while the giant took a second to assess my situation. He had a sort of twisted sad look about him as looked at me.  I might have even thought he was sorry for the way things were turning out but he was the one who kept injuring poor Squeaky. Leaving me with my now throbbing broken right arm still caught in the trap, he disappeared back into his nest and a moment later re-appeared with two odd looking sticks in his hands that when he did something to them made light shoot from them as he moved them around pointing into the yard to make sure they were working.

I thought to myself, ah Squeaky; it is like that show you and the priest watched on his glowing picture box. This man isn’t gentle at all he’s a Sith Lord and now he probably going to chop you up because you can’t use the force or for that matter successfully extricate yourself from a simple hors d’oeurve tray. Nor can you run away because of your broken body, the body he broke! But he didn’t, he disappeared around towards the back of the nest returning with a bucket.  He had partially filled the bucket with water.

I found myself thinking OH NO! He hasn’t had his dinner. Then I thought, don’t be ridiculous your only one little Pomme Frittes that would never fill him up. Besides, I remember an article I shredded for bedding once that said, frittes are suppose to be bad for you, especially if you eat too many and he has nothing else here to eat.

                He carefully picked up the tray and released me into the water. At first the plunge into the cool water was both a surprise and bit of a shock. The cool weightlessness of it helped my injuries. They throbbed not so much.  I thought I would try pleading nicely to him again to keep this more positive set of events in motion.  Anything that stopped his attacks at this point had to be tried, if I was going to have any chance to survive his onslaught.

Thank you my friend! This feels very nice! It is nice that you’re trying to help your good friend Squeaky! Although, not to sound ungrateful you could have put a little less water in the bucket, I’m having a hard time staying on top with only the one working leg.

It seems to have no effect, I’m not even sure he can understand me, at this point I am in complete shock and terror,  as I observed him from the bucket looking around as if trying to decide what to do next. He reached over and grabbed the stick with all the branches growing out of one end of it and tried to fit it into the open end of the bucket. But it would not fit so with a determined look on his face, he turned it around and began to insert the end with no branches on it.  His expression changed, he face was blank, like he wasn’t thinking about or was overwhelmed by his actions,

A lump welled up in my throat as I saw the stick coming towards me the old saying Watch out for the quiet ones! Was making perfect sense, I could not decide if he was trying to be my savior or my killer, the look in his eyes was that he wasn’t sure either.

He pressed the stick against my back and with a shove I was under water. I held my breath trying desperately to swim to the surface using the one good arm, and even ignoring the pain in my broken one as I madly scrambled trying to get out of the sticks way, it was no use. Finally though, I did somehow manage to wiggle myself free and floated back to the surface gasping for another breath as I broke the surface.  He caught me again with the stick and pushed me back down, I managed yet again to wiggle free go to the surface.  By this point I was so focused on trying to save myself that my physical pain seemed not to matter as the terror that he was killing me took hold.

This time when I got to the surface something was different, there was a light shining on him and the shadows it cast across his face made him look more maniacal than ever.   I also heard one of those mechanical boxes his friend traveled in and thought Oh great, there isn’t enough of Pomme Fritte for one how is he going to expect to feed two.  He started talk to the other giant who moved where I could see him. It wasn’t his friend, it was and older one who looked somewhat familiar, where had I seen him before. Then it struck me. The priest where I lived had decorated his nest with all kinds of colored lights and hung  goodies and plants all about the church with a big group of them in the center they had brilliant red leaves, it was a shame they didn’t taste as good as they looked. The priest and I watched a show on his box that had an old giant like this one save a younger giant from falling off a bridge and drowning in the hamlet of Bedford Falls, Clarence was the old giants name and he was here now to save me! He exchanged a few words with my tormentor and manage to chase him back into his nest after he saw what was being done to me I called to him, Clarence the angel, my friend, you are to save pitiful Pomme Frittes! With my last good arm I will ring a bell for you every day and make sure angels keep getting their wings! I could hear shuffling around inside the nest and they were still talking to each other but I could not make out what was being said.

I was finally beginning to calm down myself and take stock in how bad I was, still couldn’t feel or use my back legs and my right arm was a total mess between the bar breaking it and using it to swim the pain coming from it was unreal, and probably would have been even worse but I was pretty sure at this point I was in shock. The two giants were still inside the nest, I hoped Clarence was giving him a thrashing similar to the one he gave me, though it did not sound like a fight anymore or maybe it never was.  I had been trying to scramble out of the bucket but with only one good arm I kept sliding back in. I kept saying to myself, Lord, why have you unleashed this madman upon me? Was something I said? I did? I am but a poor humble church mouse that never hurt a soul. I also noticed my pain had somewhat subsided, it was there, but not as intense anymore, I thought to myself So Squeaky, this might just be it, maybe in the grand scheme of life this was all that was in store for you.  It was then I felt the vibrations of footfalls, the timid giant and Clarence had returned they spoke for a few more seconds I noticed Clarence gave sad and pitiful glance down at me for a brief second, even he determined I was probably beyond saving.

Finally everything stops, the pain, the heavy breathing, the desire to get out of the bucket and get away, I float motionless, peacefully suspended in a small container of water and staring up at my freshly returned tormentor, who stares back at me, and my connection to the world around me slips away.

 

Fin

 

Works Cited

 

“It’s a Wonderful Life.” Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. 1946. RKO, 2001. DVD.

“Jean de La Fontaine.” BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2012. 23 February. 2012. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jean_de_la_fontaine.html

Sedaris, David “Nuit of the Living Dead” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2005. p.448-453. Print.

“Star Wars episode 1 The Phantom Menace.” Dir. george lucas. Perf. Liam Neeson, . Lucas Films, 2001. Film.

 

About MartyW47

Attending Triton College. Studying Emergency Services Management & Criminal Justice. Currently employed @ MPPD & Aflac. After 30 years out of school I'm back in College and having a Blast!
This entry was posted in General Thoughts, Life in all it's glorious facets and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Death and Life of Squeaky Pomme Fritte

  1. I wrote this as a retelling of the David Sedaris’ “Nuit of the Living Dead” from the perspective of the mouse in the original story. It was suppose to be an analysis of the piece but it took on a life of it’s own.

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