I’m grateful for you, Don. I hope you know that. You made beautiful children with Juniper in there.
Calm down. Of course I’m in your head. And I’m in the air around your head, and in the corners of the room, and in the floor, and in the bricks, and in the fence that surrounds you. I’m everywhere, Don.
I’m the Creator, Don. Duh. Why else did you think that you’d been chosen?
Don’t take that tone with me, Don Lothario. Just because you’re chosen doesn’t mean I’m going to do you any special favors. You got yourself into this mess, didn’t you? By falling for Juniper’s trap? You should be able to get yourself out. And anyway, it was enough of a favor that I orchestrated your getting with Juniper; those beautiful girls are your favor.
Yeah, no. This is your duty, Don. This is what’s necessary. The balance of the world must be maintained. If we want to keep your lovely daughters happy and healthy, and we don’t want the world to fall into chaos, you must stay here.
Honestly? Because you were convenient. You like Juniper, we knew you would come running when she called. And a little bit because it’s quite poetic. You and Juniper have a child (or two, as was the case here). The world is out of balance—too much life, too much creation. So you give yours—a life for a life, father for child.
I’ll take that as a compliment, though I don’t think you much mean it that way. You are not a tragedy, Don. You are a triumph. Try to see it that way, as your limbs start to grow tired.
Your choice. But you’re not getting out of there.
It’s a funny thing about people. Except for a few special souls, right until the very end, you fight death tooth and nail. Even when there’s no way out. Even when it’s so much more difficult to keep on fighting. Even when you know (or should, by all accounts, know), you won’t give up.
A lot of people say it’s because you’re strong. Because people are resilient, because they are fierce, because they don’t stop fighting no matter what.
I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s because you’re afraid. The mouse will fight most fiercely, will struggle more than it ever has, the moment it is pinned beneath the cat’s paw. Not because it is strong and brave, but because it is scared out of its mind.
Are you scared out of your mind, Don?
Oh? Good. Like I said, this is your fated duty. Your purpose. Feel grateful that is has arrived. After this, there is only peace. You’ll like that, I think.
Struggle, little mouse. Let the adrenaline course through your veins, cloud your thoughts, artificially stiffen your spine. You can’t flee, little mouse.
Fight right to the end.
Your child cries for you. Her mother watches, empty.
Nothing left to say? Maybe you decided to stop fighting, after all. That’s the braver thing, I think. The more human, even. A mouse, pinned by a cat, cannot reason itself into quieting. Maybe if it did, the cat would lose interest, get bored, let it alone.
I am not a cat, Don. I do not get bored. But at least you proved yourself human. And brave.
Very brave indeed.