“Momma!” screamed the little mouse. “She was in my window!” Her skittering hind paws slid across the floor as her little hands found purchase upon her mother’s skirt where she buried her face.

“There is no witch, dear.” Her mother asserted, bringing herself up to her full height. She smiled, trying to convince her guests that her daughter was playing a game. She uncoiled her paws and sent her back to the nursery with a pat. Sadly, she headed back.

“Children.” The guest took a sip of her tea, acknowledging the mother’s decision to downplay the interruption as bad manners. “Your eldest, she is doing well?”

“Oh yes! She is positively rosy with childbearing! The babe grows stronger in her every day!”

“Good.” The guest put down her tea and picked up her scarf. “The savior of the race must be protected.” She wrapped it dramatically and stared suddenly coldly into the eyes of the still-smiling mother. “No matter what the cost.”

As the door closed, a scream was heard from the nursery.

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