I had never imagined that I would end up in a lab murdering tiny mice, cute enough to cuddle. As a child blood made me nauseous and now I had it on my hands everyday. On my yellow surgical gloves to be precise.
The sheer selfishness and horror had by now become a routine. I had sacrificed hundred’s of experimental animals, as they say in lab parlance until one day I heard a tiny squeak.
“Hello! You should fulfill my last wish.”
I searched around to see where the voice was coming from. But there was nobody in the lab. The radio was off. The barely audible voice spoke again, “Hey! I am here! I am here!”
Was I dreaming? The voice seemed to be coming from the cage where I usually kept my mice before sacrificing them on the altar of scientific inquiry (read publication greed).
There was no mistaking it. The mouse spoke again, “Everybody gets a last wish. I should get mine.”
“Whaaaat!” was all I could say in reply. I opened the cage. The furry creature was actually speaking to me. As I lifted him out of the cage, the mouse perched on my arm and extended its..hand? er…leg..ok…foreleg in a handshake.
All this was too eerie, too bizarre but somehow I knew this was real beyond a doubt. I managed to stutter, “What’s your last wish?”
The mouse sighed. He spoke slowly, very slowly. “I want you to exchange places with me for a day. Only a day.”
“You mean that I…”
“Yes you go into that cage and I get to wear those two yellow gloves with blood on them,” he completed my sentence.
I blanked out.