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Frozen Toes

by Mireia Prats about a year ago in humor

(The Beginning Of My Life Adventure in Edinburgh)

Frozen Toes

My feet had been numb for over an hour, but according to my flatmate, it was too early to turn the heating on. If anyone would like to write a dissertation on people’s responses to the cold, Edinburgh is the place to be. Frosty Saturday morning. You’re chilling on the bus listening to some tunes and boom! A woman walks in wearing flip flops and a skirt without tights. I wonder what kind of protein milkshakes she might be drinking. Party outfits are also intriguing, but let’s go back to the former-human-now-ice-cube version of myself.

I was typing on my laptop, trying to find an idea that would be good enough for an assignment due the next day. You know? Doing things last minute is so much fun! So, I was typing like a maniac, immersed in a hectic (but useless) brainstorming. Every 58 words or so, I would sip a bit of my ginger tea hoping to fool the cold a bit. I swear I was making a huge effort to squeeze every inch of my brain. But I just kept getting distracted and all my ideas were rubbish.

No matter how much I tried, the cold was still there, plus the lovely smell of my tea and a really weird noise in the background. Every once in a while, I would stop typing to try to spot where the noise was coming from. No luck. It was a light noise, quite subtle to be honest, but insisting.

All I wanted was to cancel that fricking noise that dared to take away the leftovers of my inspiration, but it was impossible. Writing while listening to music had always been a no no, so I didn’t even try. Instead, I tried to convince myself that maybe it was a normal noise after all. I had just moved into the flat, so probably I just needed some time to adjust to the natural noises. Sometimes one can hear noises in a house and life goes on, right?

But elves wouldn’t magically write my text. About to lose it, I opened the living room door, hoping to catch my flatmate mucking around. But there was no one there, except for the 25 year old woman feeling slightly nervous. Maybe I was going crazy and imagining sounds was the first symptom… There must be a blood test for that.

Suddenly, I heard a loud noise that was coming from the pantry. I carefully opened the door and realised that my packet of ginger biscuits had fallen from the shelf. It was a bit weird, but I didn’t overthink it. I put it back on the shelf and sat down again, determined to write something decent once and for all. Now nothing would get in the way. But I couldn’t even type a comma: my biscuits crashed into the floor once more. Right. That was it. I opened the pantry’s door again and as I was putting the biscuits back to the shelf I noticed that the packet had been bitten. But how? A horrifying thought struck me: could it have been a mouse?!

When my flatmate got up, I ran towards him and told him what had happened. He told me that he would go and check and oh my, you should have seen his face. I couldn't believe him at first: there's a rat. What do you mean? A rat or a mouse? A RAT (measuring with hands).

Apparently there was a massive hole behind the washing machine that, of course, I didn't know about. We started looking for solutions. We attempted to cover the hole but the rat was too stubborn and managed to get in anyway. We removed all the food from the shelves. The landlord was MIA and my flatmate wasted my organic peanut butter in his futile contraption to capture the intruder alive.

I didn't do laundry for weeks or dare to use the microwave. Both devices were unfortunately in the pantry, now enemy territory. But I still had the courage for precisely calculated raids to the fridge. I would take off my slippers, tip-toe to the door and listen for any suspicious activity. If the room was clear, I would open the fridge, snatch my target and slam the fridge door, getting goosebumps all over my body. What if the rat managed to escape and started to run around the flat? What if she decided to nest on top of my underwear? What if she wanted to swim in the bath? Regardless of my terrifying patrols to the fridge, I never spotted the enemy once.

After a few days, we realised that the rat had started to feel a bit lonely so she asked her pals to come over. I tested the waters: what about calling Pest control? What about poison? My flatmate wasn't convinced. So after some days or weeks (I don't even remember) I told him I would have to move out immediately. He understood. Several months later, I got in touch. How are you doing? Are the rats still there? They left when you did. Right, those bastards must have really liked me…

Mireia Prats
Mireia Prats
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Mireia Prats

I am a Catalan soul living in Edinburgh. Passionate about languages and music. I love swimming in the shower and singing in the street (rain is optional, but it helps!). I have a concerning obsession with Highland cows and ginger.

See all posts by Mireia Prats