Disclaimer: All characters belong to Eve Titus and the Walt Disney Corporation. The only thing I own was the idea for this story.
The rain came down harshly against the stone homes. Powerful winds from the storm rocked the palm trees as dead leaves fell, landing brutally on the ground. The beaches flooded tremendously while the dangers of the waves crashed against the rocks or onto shore, taking any debris that was in its path and dragging out into the open sea. Hurricane season had finally struck the northern shores of Puerto Rico. Already, many lives had been lost by the horrific storm as some homes were unstable enough to withstand the severe weather. This especially could be said for the mice that inhabited the homes from below the wooden floorboards. The beaches of Vega Alta, once covered with warm golden sand and water as clear as the the sky above was replaced with destruction. Though this was nothing new for them, it was still heartbreaking to see the cruelness of the storm rip apart everything they once held dear.
In a lone one story house only several hundred feet away from the breaking tides, the small family of four had the windows boarded up on all sides and the curtains drawn so the wind couldn’t break the shutters. Some water from the rain had managed to seep through the ceiling, creating small puddles on the floor. A small fire burned in the stone fireplace giving them some light as they conversed. Down below the floorboards was another story entirely. Beneath this wooden shack lived an equally simple family, though their living conditions were harsher.
Dusk was approaching and the winds began to pick up as sounds of dead branches and rocks slammed against the walls of the house, startling all who were inside. All, except for the small tan-furred mouse who sat by the window, wrapped in a small blanket. Peeking through the gap in the boards her father and two brothers had put up before the worst of the storm made itself known, she watched with such fascination as the large waves crashed against the shoreline. In fact, one may believe that she was hypnotized by the many movements the wind made as it blew through anything and everything. Such wonder and curiosity filled those chocolate brown eyes while she gripped her blanket tighter around her tiny body to keep herself warm. The child was so deep in her own world that was soon broke out of it when a large drop of water fell from the ceiling and landed on the floor by her, soaking her.
“Paula,” Gloria, her mother, called as she looked up from her sewing, “baby, get away from that window.”
A quick glance towards through the opening once more, Paula carefully slid off the chair before running to her mother. “Mami,” she questioned, “why do we get bad storms like this every year?”
Chuckling for her youngest daughter’s curiosity, she grabbed a towel and began to wipe away the water from the small mouse. “They are called hurricanes, sweetheart, and they comes this way from the harsh winds made in Africa.”
“Why can’t they stay in Africa?”
“I wish I knew,” she answered simply. “Come, let’s get you into some dry clothes before you become more sick.”
After changing into a plain white nightgown, Paula was about to rush back over to the window again before her mother grabbed, pulling her onto her lap. The elder mouse laughed as her daughter was determined to break free. But as another loud thump struck the window, she stopped and gripped onto her mother.
“Where’s Papi and Gabriel?” she asked, her tone of fear as the storm seemed to be getting worse. “They should have been back by now.”
“Do not worry, you know your father and brother. They will be home sooner than you think.”
“What if one of the rat gangs nearby caught them?” Yaris, the oldest daughter, asked as she too showed her fear.
“No! They can’t take them from us!” Paula cried out.
“Yaris, enough. You’re scaring your sister. They will be fine, they have traveled through these storms before and have returned safe and sound.”
“But they have never been gone for more than an hour,” Yaris pointed out. “It has been clearly longer than that.”
“Christopher and I can go look for them, Mami,” Luis, the middle son declared as both young mice made their way towards the door.
“You two will do no such thing!” Gloria exclaimed. “They will be fine. The storm is just worse than we originally assumed it would.” All stood still as their mother glanced as each and every one of her children. She knew they were scared and she couldn’t blame them for that, but while her husband and son were out, she had to remain strong for her other children.
“Now,” she continued, “it is late, so all of you to bed.”
“But I don’t want to go to bed,” Paula replied. “I wanted to wait for them to come home.”
“Paula, it’ll probably be late by the time Papi and Gabriel come home,” Yaris answered.
“You’re sister is right,” Gloria concurred. “And besides, you are in no good health to be waiting up for them to begin with. Now off to bed.”
“Yes, Mami,” said Paula in defeat as her sister came to carry her to their bedroom.
Bidding her children goodnight, Gloria waited until all were sound asleep before rising from her chair and towards the window her youngest was sitting at before. Looking out the hole, she watched in horror at the sight before her. She knew Yaris wasn’t wrong when she said that her husband and son have never been out as long as they were before. There were many dangers, many ruffians that wouldn’t dare hesitate to attack a couple defenseless mice that crossed their path such as rats or even snakes and tarantulas that seemed to make their territory around the thick forests of Vega Alta. Already, several families had perished as they were caught walking around at night and attacked by one of the rat gangs or even by the fierce tarantula that roamed the outskirts of the beaches.
Sighing deeply she wrapped her shawl around her tightly, “Please hurry back, my love,” Gloria pleaded softly. “I need you both safe and sound.” Not soon after, Gloria, back away from the window and off to bed herself.
A loud thump startled young Paula from her sleep as she sat up in her bed. Looking down at her sister who slept beside her, she waited for a few short moment before she carefully slide off the mattress and towards the door where she heard soft voices from out in the livingroom.
“Will we be able to gather enough?” she heard her mother question. “Surely there are enough to keep them at bay.”
“I am hoping so, Gloria,” Ramon, Paula’s father answered. “With so much damage the winds have made, we will be lucky if we are able to gather enough crops for the rats.”
“But, you negotiated with them, right? They must understand that this storm was far worse than we thought-”
“Mami, we have tried, and they will not accept,” Gabriel answered. “We have tried to explain such a thing, but they do not care. They want their fair share by the end of this week or else they will create havoc on us all. We have been blessed that they gave us this much time with all the massive storms that have come our way. But sadly, their patience is running out. ”
The young mouse stood clear from the doorway so her parents and eldest brother could not see her as she continued to listen in on their conversation. What did the rats want with them, she wondered confusingly? For as long as she knew, she was supposed to stay away from the depths of the forests that surrounded the beaches for them, as well as the tarantula and roach gangs were more than capable of killing anyone that crossed their path. So as their conversation progressed, her thoughts regarding their involvement grew.
“Papi, Gabriel, what is going on?” Paula inquired as she slowly emerged from her bedroom.
“Paula,” Gloria began as she stood up from her seat, “what on earth are you doing out of bed?”
“Why are you talking to the rats?” the young mouse asked, ignoring her mother completely. “Do they want to hurt us?”
“Don’t even worry, sweetheart,” her father said as her mother lifted her into her arms. “They won’t hurt any of us. I promise.”
“But what if they do? I don’t want to lose you or Mami!”
After taking a seat once more, Paula leaned into her mother, holding her tightly. “I promise you, you will not lose us. Just calm down before you go into another coughing fit.” Rubbing her back gently, the small child began to relax as she let out a deep sigh. “Let’s get you back to bed. Things will look better in the morning.”
It was almost dawn when things took a turn for the worst. Faint cries were heard off into the distance as shots were fired, causing an eerie silence shortly afterwards. The small household were in a deep sleep as the front door was kicked open with a loud thud against the wall. A group of mice waltzed in, causing panic among the family as they were woken by the noise. Without much warning, the mice burst into the rooms, grabbing all from their beds and dragging them into the large open room. Paula screamed as she tried to break free from the grey furred mouse’s grip.
“Mami! Papi!” she called out, kicking and thrashing her arms as she tried to break free from her capture.
“Paula!” her father called out as he attempted to knock out one of the other two mice blocking him. Grabbing a chair, he tried to strike, but was stopped in his tracks when a loud bang echoed.
“No!” Gloria cried as her husband dropped to the ground with a hard thud. Slowly, blood began to seep out from the fatal wound on his back indicating his death was instantaneous.
“Papi!” Paula and her other siblings shouted almost simultaneously while they were being pulled away. Even after that, the young mouse watched as her mother fought to get to her children.
“Stop your struggling,” a white and tan mouse ordered, yanking the elder woman back. “Unless you want to end up like your precious husband, I’d stay still before I put a pretty bullet into your bloody skull.”
“I’d rather die before any harm came to my children, you greasy rodent!” exclaimed Gloria bravely.
“Is that so?” the same mouse questioned before pulling her towards him so her back was against his front. “If that’s what you want, then so shall it be.” Before Gloria had a change to protest, the mouse pulled a long ragged-blade knife from inside his coat and in one clean swipe, slit her throat wide open before she could scream.
Paula watched in horror as blood gushed out from the large wound before the mouse chuckled sinisterly, allowing her body to fall beside her husbands. The young child was unaware of anything else around her as her sight remained on them. As the mouse holding her in his custody headed out, there was nothing but complete silence to Paula until she heard another gunshot coming from inside the home. Ripped out from the depths of her mind, she turned towards the sound and started struggling once again. Her calls loud and desperate as she tried to fight to get to her deceased parents.
“Victor, keep the damn child still,” her mother’s killer ordered as he soon became annoyed.
“I’m trying,” Victor snapped back. “If you hadn’t made that last shot she wouldn’t have started up again.”
“Oh so it’s my fault? If you had just dragged her out like you were supposed to, the little brat would have already been on the ship by now!”
“Don’t pin this on me, you arrogant-”
“Victor, Damian, both of you shut your gobs and let’s go,” Alabaster, an albino mouse interrupted, his voice of sheer anger. “The sooner we get these kids on the ship, the sooner we can get back to London before this whole operation is noticed and it’ll be our heads.” As the two other mice made their way passed their leader, he quickly stopped Victor as he caught him by his sleeve.
“There is a reason why you were given that small bottle of chloroform, you two faced twit,” he whispered harshly to Victor. “It was to knock the child out and get her on board with ease. Now, dispose the others before I decide to leave you on this godforsaken shit hole of an island with the rest of these barbarians.”
“Yes, sir,” Victor answered before handing the child over to him. Just like before Paula began to struggle, but with great force was kept still as Alabaster poured some of the chloroform onto a rag, covering it over the child’s mouth and nose. In seconds, Paula was knocked out and carried onto the ship as four more shots were fired.
The life that Paula once knew was now forever gone. The familiarity of clear blue oceans; warm, golden sand, deep green palm trees and flamboyant trees were now to be of the past. She was now to be a slave in the unknown city of London, England. Puerto Rico would always remain deep in her heart and though it too had it’s own dangers, it was still the only home she had known for the seven years of her existence. Until her final day on earth, she would be under ownership of whoever bought her. She only hoped her time would come and soon so that she could once more be reunited with her family.
A/N: I've been going back and forth for a while now on whether or not to start posting the chapters to this. Since Shattered Glass in on hiatus and I've got the entire plot planned out for this one, I'll be able to work on this one with ease.
All OCs belong to me.