A weaver ant slipped under the bank door just as the security guard locked it for the night. She oriented herself, remembering the blueprints for the building, and kept out of sight. She hated it when someone tried to squash her. Not that it worked, mind you. She scurried along the baseboards, waving an antenna at a inquisitive mouse. She stopped to recover a crumb under one of the teller workstations then continued on to the vault. The door had a tight seal so that wasn’t going to work. She nibbled on her crumb as she contemplated the problem.
The mouse was still watching her. He came a little closer and sniffed the air around her then ran off. He returned a few moments later with a note that read, ‘follow me’. After he was certain she had read it, he picked up the note and ran off.
Having no better plan, the ant followed. The mouse led her under a closet door. Once inside, the mouse transformed into a short man with gray hair. The ant turned into Rose.
“I’m Billy,” said the former mouse. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around.”
“Hello, Billy. I’m Rose. I’m a weaver. What are you?” Rose leaned against the closet door and smiled.
“I work here as a teller…and keep your voice down. They have sound sensitive alarms out there.” He nervously gnawed on the note. “A weaver? You’re one of… them. What are you doing here?”
“I need to get into one of the deposit boxes.”
“What for?” he stammered.
“Just need to look. I’ll only take it if it’s my property.”
He sighed. “Don’t tell me another mortal is trying to cheat you and your sisters.”
“Same old story, I’m afraid. Now, how do I get into the vault?”
He absently stroked his mustache. “Let me think. The vault has really thick walls. I’ve not bothered to connect it to my tunnel system. I don’t know if it’s even possible. No, wait. I have it. Come on.”
He transformed back into a mouse and darted through a crack in the wall. Rose turned into an ant and followed. He led her up studs, around junction boxes, down electrical wires, and stopped at a tiny hole in the ceiling that led to a light fixture. He didn’t follow her in as she climbed down the wires. She could smell him nervously twitching as he waited.
The ant walked across the ceiling to the nearest wall of deposit boxes. Orienting herself, she followed the numbers around to the one she wanted. She crawled in through the keyhole and examined the contents inside by touch and smell. Satisfied she knew what was there, she returned to the ceiling where the mouse waited.
He showed her the way outside and into the bushes in the field next door. Turning back into Billy, he asked, “What took you so long?”
Rose pushed a branch out of her face. “You try reading human sized numbers when you’re an ant. It took a bit to find the right box.”
“Well?” he asked excitedly.
“Well what?” Rose pushed her way through the undergrowth.
“Did you find it?”
“No, but I found a clue.” She stopped in front of a tree and knocked. “Thank you for your help, Billy.” She smiled charmingly at him.
He blushed. “No problem. Good luck with your hunt!”
A door appeared in the tree and Rose stepped into the subway.
Yarrow is quoting from The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Project Gutenberg Etext, Copyright 1990-1993, World Library, Inc.
Rose is quoting from The Seventh Octave : The Early Writings of Saul Williams, Moore Black Press, New York, New York, 1998′
Thorn quotes from Sappho : One Hundred Lyrics by Bliss Carman, Project Gutenberg EBook, May 2004
Copyright 2014, Kimberley Long-Ewing, all rights reserved