That night, Grenshaw dreamed that he was in the Christmas day parade. As one of the most successful businessmen in the area, he could probably count on an invitation to the fast-approaching event; in that sense, his dream was realistic. However, he was riding an elephant, an unlikely scenario he recognized even in his dreaming: from his perch atop the elephant, he looked down, waving at the crowd and saying, “Well, this is hard to believe.”
The small people on the sidewalks below him looked horrified. “What did he say?” they asked each other. Grenshaw couldn’t make out what they were talking about, but he could hear their mutterings rise in volume and in irritation. Soon, one of them shouted, “Let’s do it!” And with that, the crowds stormed into the street, lifted up Grenshaw’s elephant, and carried the beast like ants carry away crumbs of food.
They carried Grenshaw and his elephants through the streets aimlessly, turning right then left, doubling back, crossing medians, venturing into dead end alleyways. Then they ventured to the water’s edge, and one of the little people shouted, “Let’s throw him in!” The crowd responded with a cheer.
Grenshaw woke up.
He sat up in bed and watched as mice scurried across the floor to hide in corners, under furniture, and God knows where else. There must have been fifteen of them. Most expensive condo in the downtown area and he had mice! How they could have gotten in or what they could be eating he had no idea. He did most of his eating at restaurants or at the office; he barely had a crumb in his kitchen.
With that thought in mind, Grenshaw decided to head out for breakfast. He left a note with the building manager, saying he expected the mouse problem to be solved by the evening, and he set out walking toward Nouveau Au Jous, the expensive restaurant where he had run out of juice the previous night.
On his way, he passed the alley where he had seen the glowing eyes. He glanced into it, wondering if he’d see the eyes again, but this time, all he saw were mice.
The smell of eggs and bacon coming from a breakfast diner down the street tore Grenshaw’s attention away from the alleyway. He followed his nose and grabbed a stool at the street bar. He ordered a sandwich and watched the bearded chef throw his food on the griddle. “You want something to drink?” the chef asked.
“Sure,” Grenshaw said. “What do you have?”
“We got fortified water, clean water, dirty water, coffee, and orange juice.”
Grenshaw “You’ve got orange juice?”
“We sure do, chief.”
“Who’s your supplier?” Grenshaw thought he had at least the city market.
“Who’s my what?”
“Nevermind. I’ll take a large juice to go.”
“Sure thing, chief. You got a mug?”
Grenshaw had left his mug with his bike. “Uh, no. I don’t. You got a ceramic one I can buy from you?”
The chef sized Grenshaw up. “Tell you what. You bring this one back to me tomorrow. How’s that sound, chief?”
to be continued . . .