Something Completely Different

Mission Impossible

I catch my hip against a table corner and stifle a curse. Frozen, barely breathing I wait, then remember my earlier training.

‘Unnatural stillness and silence will draw attention. Make normal background noise and you might just go unnoticed.’

With faux casualness I slide some implements from the surface nearest me and stride to the sink, where I toss them casually into the water. Nearby sounds pause briefly, then resume, and I breathe again.

This is my window of opportunity. My chance.  I have practised and timed this.  I have failed again and again, but this time I am ready.  I have learnt from my mistakes…grown stronger, faster.  I can do this.  I need to do this.

I slip quickly to the doorway and check my situation again. They are occupied about their own business, oblivious to my presence.  Returning to my previous position I hesitate for a moment, contemplating the knife in front of me.  No, too risky.  I fell that way before…the noise, the smell…it was too much and they had descended on me instantly.

My decision made, I head for the cupboard to my right and easily find what I need. So far, so good.  With no hesitation now, confidence rising, I smoothly transfer my target from its container to a nearby bowl, the rustling masked by the hints of aggression now coming from the other room.

This is it. The critical moment.  Steady now.  I quickly check again, but I am safe.  They are fighting amongst themselves, which should keep them occupied for at least a couple more minutes.  I’m going to do it!  I perform a final scan for alarms or traps.  I have never located any, but I can assume some exist by my interception so many times in the past.  They always seem to know when I am making an attempt.  But I can’t stop.  I need this.

I pour again, past the point of no return now as my target immediately begins its swift process of deterioration, but I am ready, I am so ready for this, and I swiftly scoop and lift and…

‘MUMMY?! Is that cereal?  Can I have some?  Can I have toast and crumpets and cereal and some milk?’

‘Mama?! Doast!  Doast mama!  WAAAAAAAAAH!’

Dammit! With a sigh I turn and trudge back to the knife, and the toaster, as my Cheerios melt soggily behind me. My day will come.  I will eat.  Maybe tomorrow…

Mission Impossible is a short fiction (well, kind-of fiction anyway!) by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows.  Please do not reproduce without the author’s permission.

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