Jonathan: Painting a picture with words.
The mousetrap was on the concrete floor, right at the back of the stack, deep down between the piles of feed bags. I’d baited (with a slice cut from a Snickers bar) and set it yesterday morning, after catching a fleeting glimpse of something small disappearing into the dark crevices and chasms between the bags.
Even with the long fluorescent tubes lit up, the light reached no further than two or three bags down, where a cornice of white plastic bag dazzled the eye, making it difficult to see beyond. But as I trained my mind to blank out shallow distractions and focus only into the gloomy depths, I could make out two corners of a rectangle of dark and … oh goodness me … where the other end of the trap would be, a sprawling dark mass and across it the metallic glint of the hard wire. Oh my, it’d be a big mouse!
Lowering the trap into position – without setting it off! – was fraught with tension … but uneventful. Recovering it would be safer … but unpleasant. A bit late, but perhaps I should have fitted a string to the trap … ?
To reach the trap now I’d have to lie out, across the top layer of bags, face down, feet cantilevered out over the edge of the sheep pencils, knees dug into the layers pellets, rib-cage re-moulding a bag of mixed grains, the side of my face distorted against an unforgiving pack of compressed horticultural compost. Stretching out one arm – stretching until the muscles in my shoulder start to scream, extending my fingers not just to touch but to grip … eyes wide and bulging into the darkness to guide the recovery operation.
Repeated re-iterations of position and posture, determination and dexterity, I made not just fleeting finger-tip contact, but got a grip.
Oh my … that’s … Ugh!
Instinct wanted to pull away, repulsed by a wet, slimy mess ; but Intellect held me down, focussed: You started this? You’ll finish it!
I got a grip, technique gaining ground over critique.
Both the hand and the held returned to the surface to averted eyes and repulsed senses. The trap and the ugly mess held in its own vice-like grip were flung to the floor. I pulled myself together, slipped over the edge of the stack and dropped to the floor. I found a rag to clear the mess from my hand, eyes still averted from the unspeakable .
Only when was I’d got my hands safely around a bar of soap, under running clean water, did I look.
And see. No red blood, no flesh or fur. Just green and yellow slime.
The trap? The trap? I turned it over with my foot, bent down and looked closely. Not too closely, it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t need daylight or glasses to see there was no mouse, whether big or small – no mouse at all. Nor rat. Or rodent. Or anything of fur flesh or blood. Or vertebrate.
Just a heaving mass of slippery, slimy, green, yellow, and brown, ridged or smooth, slugs.
Painting a picture with words, on Fotoless Friday.