Tildes Writing Club №4

Oct 31st, 2021
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  1. Tildes Writing Club №4: Untitled (so far)
  3. And suddenly, there was thought. Ideas, they seemed to complicated for his mind, like they wanted to burst out. But his head
  4. contained them, did not let them escape, forced them back into his mind, augmented by\ldots Something inexplicable. The mind
  5. swelled. The thoughts grew in number and complexity. He blinked, realizing that he was crouched in a corner, trying to make
  6. himself as small as possible. His fur pressed against the iron bars of the cage. They felt cold and stern. He blinked, and looked
  7. around. The cage was small, and the other rats scurried around it, moving over and under each other, trying to find a way out. He
  8. could sense their panic. See it in their eyes. This morning they had just been a colony of rats, found in one of Ostia's countless
  9. alleys, delivered to the Athena university by one of Ostia's countless rat catchers, and the others still seemed the same. Another
  10. attempt to escape the tight metal mesh that made up the cage, as if the previous ones hadn't worked. As if doing the same thing
  11. would yield a new outcome.
  13. The little rat winded itself out of the sea of fur and squeaks, in an attempt to see what was behind the metal mesh of the cage.
  14. They had just been placed here, and two of the large ones were talking. The one who had caught them with someone else. They were
  15. the rats most dangerous enemy, even before cats. Humans. That was a new word. But then again, all words were new. He did not yet
  16. understand where they had come from. Even those weird sounds that they made started to make sense. They were not rat squeaks or
  17. the hiss of a cat, they were different, more variant. Repeated. Maybe that's how words sounded when they were outside the head?
  18. The rat turned his head to the two humans and it's ears perked up.
  20. "\ldots Will be two dublones professor." The rat catcher said.
  22. "Thank you, here. I don't think we will be needing any more for now. We've got plenty of rats for experiments now." The other man
  23. replied and handed the rat catcher something silver.
  25. The rat recognized them as the silver circles that the humans exchanged very often. But why? What good was silver? You can't
  26. eat it.
  28. "Alright, if you need more, you know where to find me." They exchanged goodbyes and he left.
  30. The remaining human turned towards the cage and looked down on the rats. They began hurrying around even more, but there was no
  31. escaping his eyes. Fear shot through the pack like a virus, jumping from rat to rat as the cage was lifted up by the human. The
  32. frantic activity got to the rat as other rats squeaked and climbed on top of each other. The world changed from cage to fur as the
  33. pile of rats compacted, everyone trying to squeeze out of view.
  35. "Leon!" The human called out.
  37. "Yes, professor?" A voice replied from somewhere.
  39. "I need some bits of cheese in the cages."
  41. "Certainly."
  43. The cage movement halted abruptly, and the pile of rats collapsed in even louder squeaking. The gate opened with a grinding noise,
  44. and the rat spotted another cage which was fixed to the wall. In the middle, a foreign hand dropped a few pieces of cheese.
  46. The attitude shifted completely. The panic dissipated like hot steam in cold air. Paws still stepped on his nose, fur brought the
  47. world out of focus, but this time it was to get to the cheese. The first rat made it in and immediately began eating all it could,
  48. followed by more. Then the cage closed again. The complaints rose even higher in volume, the rat could not hear anything else now.
  49. The cage moved again, sent the rats sliding across the floor, and another cage appeared. More cheese. More chaos.
  51. The process repeated until all the rats were put into separate cages. The rat found himself in the last one, unsure if it had been
  52. the right move. But then again, there was cheese in his stomach now, and on one side of the cage wall was a water bottle,
  53. inverted, drops of drinking water slowly dripping out into a something like a long tube lying sideways, the top half open.
  54. Strange, his brain didn't come up with the right word for that one. The others ignored him. Just rats going about their lives. But
  55. why \emph{just} rats? Wasn't \emph{he} just a rat too?
  57. There was also something else. Quickly adapting the foreign thoughts as his own, the rat looked around the cage, ears perked right
  58. up. But this something else wasn't his own. It was more like\dots Desires. But not his own. He understood his own well, they had
  59. been there before. The desire for food and water, the desire to mate. He had wanted the cheese earlier and now was satisfied, now
  60. that he had eaten it. But these desires were not his. Whiskers quivering, the rat walked around the cage. That something else
  61. changed. From behind him came fear. He turned around and saw a rat cowering in the corner. To his right, content, and he spotted a
  62. curled up rat sleeping there. To his left, disruption. He looked and spotted three rats loudly squeaking over the last cube of
  63. cheese. Arguing. Was it arguing if you didn't use words?
  65. The rat walked over to them. Their loud squeaking quieted down and their heads turned towards the newcomer. What did he want? He
  66. looked down at the cheese, back up at the rats, and picked it up slowly, as to not give the intent of taking it for himself. He
  67. could see the eldest one, missing one ear, white fur around his mouth, show his teeth and lean towards him. The rat blinked, could
  68. feel it's own ears flatten to his head. Trembling, it tore off a piece of the cube and offered it to the eldest rat. It stopped
  69. being aggressive and blinked in surprise. Taken aback, it slowly extended its paws and accepted the cheese. The disruption
  70. quieted, the confusion rose.He repeated it for the other two rats, and then back to the eldest rat, going in rounds until nothing
  71. was left. With every round, the aggression invading his head became weaker and weaker, until it was gone completely. Content, the
  72. rat turned to leave, but was stopped by one the eldest. Slowly, it looked down at the cheese bits in his hand, slowly, as if
  73. acting against millions of years of instinct, it grabbed one piece and handed it to the rat. Slowly, he extended his hand to
  74. accept, eyes wide open in surprise. The other two followed, and each handed him a piece until their shares were equal. He squeaked
  75. quietly. He felt like it was inadequate for gratitude. They felt like it was enough.
  77. He didn't want any more cheese, but he walked away from the group. Looking around the cage, there were a couple more rats, most
  78. eating or sleeping. The one rat trembling in the corner remained. He walked over and it trembled harder, pushing itself further
  79. into the corner, the cage pressing a square pattern into her fur. He offered her some cheese. It looked at him, and he could see
  80. the fear in its eyes. It looked back at the cheese. Instinct prevailed, and it quickly ate the piece in one bite. He layed the
  81. other pieces down in front of it and sat down himself. But there was no time of respite. A human approached, a different one this
  82. time. The rat noticed that the fur on its head was completely white. He hadn't seen that before.
  84. "Group four is next, professor?"
  86. "What? - Oh. Yes, yes." The other human replied.
  88. The human picked up the cage, and everyone in it either held on to the bars or began crouched down to the floor to avoid sliding
  89. around. Fear and anxiety exploded in his mind, invaded from the edges. They squeaked over each other. He couldn't escape the panic.
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