A Tiger And A Mouse
January 17, 2013
— flash fiction, funny mouse story, golf fiction, rory mcilroy, short story, sport betting, Sport Story, tiger woods, tiger woods fiction
By Stephen Cooper
Today there is a match play classic and one of the major banks is sponsoring it with a ‘winner takes all’ purse of a cool one million dollars. Rory McIlroy is up against Tiger Woods, and the place will be packed. Rory is huge favourite to scoop the prize as Tiger has been out of sorts lately, to put it politely.
It’s only just after ten a.m. and we’re already half full, with the media in doing interviews and sneaking the odd hot toddy on the sly with a wink to me. I know how to be discreet. Just as well; there’s a mouse who keeps poking his head out of a little hole under the sink and every time I go to catch him he disappears fast as lightning.
The players are warming up on the driving range and most of the spectators and TV crews clear off out to watch them and fawn over their swings and sensationalise the upcoming match. I am washing glasses when I hear something.
I look around and there he is, the wee mouse looking up at me. I take a step towards him and as I raise my foot he cowers in fear.
“No, wait, wait! I’ll make it worth your while.”
I stop mid-stamp and consider.
“What do you mean?”
Mr Mouse leans against the pipe, all cocky now.
“I can guarantee Tiger will beat Rory today. One hundred percent.”
I laugh out loud.
“No chance, he’s playing worse than me!”
Mr Mouse straightens up.
“Tell you what, we’ll each put an equal amount in, and if we lose I’ll give you your stake back.”
I consider for a moment, and to even my own surprise, I stupidly believe him. Something about the little fellow just looks so confident now.
“OK then, I’m in.”
“Righto,” he says.
Mr Mouse scurries into his hole and emerges pulling a large wad of cash, then climbs and sits atop it, smiling up at me.
“Holy shit! How much is that?” I ask.
“Five grand,” he says proudly.
Five grand! Where am I going to get five grand?
“Stay here and keep an eye on the place, but don’t let anyone see you or health and safety will be down here all over us.”
Mr Mouse pouts in response.
“Alright,” he says, looking offended, “keep your hair on.”
I lift the keys and head into the back room, where the manager’s office is. If this goes wrong I am never working in a golf club again. I crouch down to the safe and, after a series of twists and turns, I open it and reach in to the neatly stacked wads of notes.
Just to be sure, I count out the five thousand on the bar.
“OK, stick it all on Tiger, you’ll get three to one,” says Mr Mouse, hopping off his money mountain.
I am watching the match on TV with my heart pumping in my ears. The bet is on. I have had two large whiskies to steady my nerves already. The bookmaker’s clerk even tried to talk me out of the bet earlier and ended up shaking his head at me, and out of sympathy gave me four to one.
The match ebbs and flows a bit like a boxing match; each player winning and losing erratically. Its all square coming up the eighteenth fairway and Rory hits a peach of a shot about two feet from the hole.
My heart sinks.
Tiger pitches onto the dance floor, but around twelve feet away. He steps up and he’d better hole the putt, otherwise Rory will tap in and lift the prize money and, unless Mr Mouse sticks to his word, I’ll have to explain why we’re five thousand down.
Tiger stands over the ball, focused, in the ‘zone’ he swings his putter. The small white ball rolls just as planned, and I let out a shriek as it drops into the hole, which thankfully is not heard because the crowd are roaring their approval, transfixed by the proceedings.
The noise dies down and you can hear a pin drop. Rory strides over confidently and addresses his ball. It’s a simple putt, he just needs to knock it in and then a play-off will ensue. At least I still have a chance.
If I see that mouse though, I’ll squash the little squirt. I glance down at his hole and there’s not a trace.
Rory’s up. He gently eases his club against the ball and it trickles dead centre to the hole, then as it is about to drop, it stops in its tracks. I do a double take as the crowd gasp.
Tiger takes off his cap and walks over to offer his commiserations to Rory, who is still staring at the hole in disbelief. Mr Mouse makes good his escape out of the hole and across the green unnoticed, as the Americans go crazy, whoopin’ and a cheerin’ and waving their flags. He arrives out of breath, bent over double.
“See,” he pants, “told you. I’ll be having a large Bourbon then, please.”
I am shocked.
I never knew mice drank Bourbon.
You can find plenty more of Stephen’s work here at strange bOUnce, but if that’s not enough for you pop over to his own site, Reflective darkness, according to Stephen Cooper.