The Rat At My Party

We crossed the avenue at dusk one early fall evening, bellies full from a hearty roast and buttered squash, drunk with a rich Burgundy wine. Primed we were for a long season of gourded pleasures, jeweled pomegranates and tree-crisp apples.

* * *

On the street corner hung a posse of rats dancing the two-step, owning the curb.

They've got their banjoes out tonight, one of us said and it was true.

D.J. Big Butt had the turntable spinning and another wore plaid pants.

They looked almost cute until one of them docey-doed right over Joss's foot.

Everyone screamed and scattered. But our group and the rats ran in the same direction. One of us had the sense to stop and assemble the wayward rest of us.

Suddenly we were sober.

He ran over my foot! Joss cried and pointed to the contaminated toe.

The "Contact Improv." rat scuttled down the street, kicking up his heels for posterity.

It's not even dark! I said, they're getting bold.

They still think it's summer, said India Dixon, queen of the overcrowded party, holding on to the memory of clear crunchy drinks with mint sprigs standing in them.

She recalled almost wistfully when one day a rat arrived at the mouth of her toilet bowl, at a most inopportune time when her guests were lined up to use the bathroom. He poked his spindly little head out of the toilet; holding onto the seat like he had just swam through hell and high water to reach this unholy redemption. The crowd drew a collected gasp and recoiled, letting him have the spotlight.

There he was, panting and breathing in tiny fits, demanding of swish of Gatorade to restore some lost electrolytes.

Rats, said Joss limping on the wrong foot, They really know how to ruin a good party.

About the author:

Millys Lee lives in New York and is at work on an illustrated novel.