Sets of states of energy in competition for energy sources.
A rabid squirrel.
No longer interested in finding food.
Confused about predator and prey.
Trained to follow a long path of tunnels, wires, and doors to get to a stash of birdseed.
No longer able to retrace the path, bits and pieces of memory floating through its squirrel thoughts.
An open backdoor.
The smell of fresh water.
Hopping from a lower branch onto the back deck, through the backdoor and into unfamiliar territory.
New sights, new sounds, new smells, new sensations under the feet.
Hardwood, carpet, tile.
In a cup.
Held by hands resting on a chest rising and falling in slow rhythm.
The squirrel climbs the hard, cracked leather of a sofa and carefully makes its way across the soft, undulating human body to the water source.
The human doesn’t stir, its subconscious registering a house cat finding a place to sleep.
The squirrel sips the water until its head and tongue can’t reach the bottom of the cup.
Desperate, it pulls on the cup, scratching a human hand.
The hand jerks slightly, scaring the squirrel.
The squirrel bites the hand.
The human moves quickly.
The squirrel moves faster, darting out of the house.
The human looks for a cat and sees the open backdoor.
The human looks at the empty cup on the floor and places it on an end table, going back to a much-needed nap.
The human wakes up a day later, feverish, obsessed with door handles.
In delirium, the human invents a whole new way to get in and out of doorways without door handles.
The squirrel dies alone, its body emaciated, unaware of its influence on doors.