Batting Mice Around: A Micro Story

We’d like to thank Madlynn Haber of the USA for her Flash Fiction Story ‘Battling Mice Around’. A fictional story based on true events, ‘Battling Mice Around’ is a humorous story about single mum life and the oddity of memory association.

Madlynn Haber is a mother, retired social worker and a writer living in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her work has been published in the anthology Letters to Fathers from Daughters, in Anchor Magazine, Exit 13 Magazine and on websites including: A Gathering of the Tribes, The Voices Project, The Jewish Writing Project, BoomSpeak, Quail Bell Magazine, Mused Literary Review, Hevria, Right Hand Pointing, and Mothers Always Write.

You can view her work at


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Mouse Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash, Broom Photo by HS Spender on Unsplash, Cot Photo by Monika Rams on Unsplash

Battling Mice Around

There was water rising in the basement. Cold, dark, murky, slimy, water. Being a woman alone, a single mother, without a man, she had no idea what to do about it. Calling the landlord hadn’t helped. She left message after message with no response.

Then there were the mice who must have been displaced by the rising water. She saw them running around the edges of the house late that night. She didn’t know what else to do but whack them with a broom. She didn’t want to hurt them or kill them she just wanted to make them go away. She stayed up all night, sitting by the baby’s crib holding on to that broom, smoking cigarettes and batting away mice. By morning there was a grey cloud of smoke hanging in the air and all signs of the mice were gone.

Eventually, the landlord called back. Someone came and pumped the water out of the basement and the mice went back to their hiding places. Years later she stopped smoking cigarettes.

The baby grew up and got a job working at a zoo. There, she had to kill mice and put them in an aviary for the birds of prey. Everyone wondered how someone, who loved animals as much as that young woman did, could so easily smash a mallet down on their little heads and turn them into bird food. For some reason it felt natural to her. One time she asked her mom about it. Her old mother just laughed and said “When I think of you batting those mice around, it makes me want to smoke a cigarette.”

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