Title: Three Live Mice
Length: 6015 words
Summary: Abe gets a shock when his new boyfriend Steve asks him to pick up some mice from the local feed store.
Setting: Stands alone; happens before the ‘For Your Own Safety’ stories.
Note: I used to work at a pet store (before the advent of frozen mice) and the vast majority of our mouse sales were not as pets. (A surprising number of fish weren’t sold as pets, either.) In Australia, chucking cane toads (an introduced pest species taking over the country) in the freezer is far more humane than the other popular methods of killing them (cane toad cricket, cane toad road kill or cane toad splat). No, we can’t not kill the cane toads. Also, like Steve I am not tall or big – yes, there is a reason I write awesome short protagonists – and I have shimmied through a caravan window. I got paid $2 NZ to do it, too. Hindsight says I was drastically underpaid given the cost of a locksmith, even at the time.
Content warnings: Steve is a too-practical, desensitised, Australian country boy (well, raised as one) indifferent to the cruelty he wrecks on innocent mice, cane toads or other similar living creatures. This is the person who torched a zombie kangaroo on the main drag. Also, Abe is a bit of a douche. This will be important later.