Once there was a piece of cheese, whose name was Brie-Ann. Her whole family was from France. At one point in time her family was a big deal at royal gatherings, when king and queens had fancy parties, but now her family lived on a farm.
Also on this farm lived other cheese families. Many of them were also French. Her very best friend, Mimi-Olette was very French and somewhat related to Brie-Ann. Often they would pretend they were sisters instead of distant cousins.
Life on the farm was good for Brie-Ann and Mimi-Olette. They would play, swim, hang out, and relax. As they got to do everything together, so did their parents. Every once in a while Cameron Bert or Cam for short, Brie-Ann’s older brother, would play along with them. Since he was older, he would usually stay with the girls’ parents. Sometimes the other families would talk about Cam and how he wasn’t actually Brie-Ann’s older brother, but the girls paid the rumors no mind.
After a very tiring day, Brie-Ann left Mimi-Olette’s to return to her own family’s lodgings. However, no one was there when she arrived. Brie-Ann looked everywhere – it was like her parents had been picked up by the sky and taken away.
Even her brother Cam was nowhere to be seen. Brie-Ann didn’t want to worry, but she was afraid. Something felt different.
Brie-Ann talked herself out of worrying, and made a plan to return to Mimi-Olette’s home. What she saw there made her wish she had never left her own abode. Sitting on a giant slate surface dropped in the middle of Mimi-Olette’s once living space, was her brother Cam. His body had been melted and a large silver object was jabbed into the parts of him still solidified. Mimi-Olette was in no better shape. Her body had been squashed, flattening it out to a mere disc. Her face had been destroyed by four long groves running down it, making her almost unidentifiable.
Brie-Ann screamed out in terror. As her voice broke a small, furry dart shot out a her. “Ow,” Brie-Ann yelped. “Something pinched me,” she looked around, “maybe it was the same monster that got Cam and Mimi!”
“No it wasn’t. This was me. That was them,” a small, pleasant voice said from the shadows. “Who are you,” cried Brie-Ann. “My name is Necola Galini,” the little girl said. “What are you, Necola? You’re not a cheese,” Brie-Ann said indignantly. “That is correct. I am a mouse,” Necola replied with more seediness in her voice than Brie-Ann had heard before when she spoke. “There are two types of my kind in this country – the Nectogalinis and the Soricines. My family are Nectogalinis,” Necola explained. “You pinched me,” Brie-Ann interrupted, “you pinched me and I’m bleeding. How do I know you didn’t kill my family and poor, dear Mimi?!”
“To start,” Necola began, “I did not pinch you. I bite you. Furthermore, I did not kill them. The others did.” “The others,” Brie-Ann asked. “Yes,” Necola answered, “the others. Sit. I will explain.”
So sitting next to a fire Necola built in a thimble, within a mouse’s grasp from her dead brother and cousin, Brie-Ann learned all about ‘the others.’ The ones Necola referred to as humans; the ones who made her and her species – cheese. The ones who set traps to capture and kill Necola and all the other mice like her.
“It’s not fair,” Brie-Ann exclaimed, “I will lead a revolt. Here, from this stand of slate covered in leftover scraps and the remains of my murdered family I will lead us – the Cheese – to victory over the humans.” In her mind, Brie-Ann stood tall, having nearby cheese families and even the cured meats respond in cheers to her plan. “NO,” Necola roared out, snapping Brie-Ann’s attention back to the present.
“No,” she said again once more, her voice soft and serious, “it is the cycle of life. You are made from the milk of cows, that they raise to turn into food. You are processed and then consumed. Your life belongs solely to them – it will never be your own,” Necola started to finish Brie-Ann’s edification. Brie-Ann’s face was slack, her eyes removed, while her body trembled.
Necola moved closer and embraced Brie-Ann. “You are also the favorite food of my kind. My family fights for the scraps left by the others to survive. Today, however, I will not have to – today I will have a whole delicious piece of cheese to myself.” Before Brie-Ann could begin to scream Necola’s arm shot up behind her head, pushing her face into the fire and holding it there. As her mouth melted Necola picked up a scrap of apple left from the others and pulled a long stretch of Brie-Ann’s face across the fruit twisting it around and around to separate it from Brie-Ann’s body.
“Délicieux fromage,” Necola said as she picked one last gooey bit from Brie-Ann’s remaining body. She had eaten most of Brie-Ann and decided to take a nap when she returned to her own home.
A quick snap in the distance brought Necola back to the present and out of her dozing off state. Necola strained to hear the noise again. Was it one of the hideous metal contraptions the others left for her and her brethren? Was is the snap of a twig?
She knew she must return home, or at the very least remove herself from this open space. But she was so full. Brie-Ann was so tasty, warmed and goopy draped over pieces of apples or mixed with cracker crumbs. Of course, it would not have been kind to leave Brie-Ann’s cousin and brother just laying there. What a shock it would have been for Brie-Ann to know that her dear Mimi was très magnifique. The other one too, the creamier one – *snap*
There it was again. That noise. Necola channelled her fear and determination to move, but only made it so far as to see the shadows of the others moving in over ahead. She was too full. She could not run, nor could she fight. This was the cycle of life.