At first all she could see were the mice.
The rolling seething mass of shadows stood out in the darkness, drawing the eye with a disturbing lack of color. She’d never figured out how they managed it. There wasn’t a logical way to be darker than shadows at midnight, but somehow they were.
As they approached, the shadows rolled back; swarming in the darkness beyond the flashlight’s dim beam. She’d never seen this many mice before and for a moment she thought about turning back. There was something here, something important. She wasn’t sure she was ready to make that kind of choice.
Then the lump moved, the mice streaming off of it in a rolling wave, a hand reaching out of the darkness towards her.
“Help me, please.”
And that wasn’t a choice, now was it? She was already kneeling, brushing off mice that still clung to him, ignoring their offended meeps. She didn’t notice when he returned the favor, brushing one off her knee where it had stopped to scold her.