Deep in a cold, dark, empty apartment room, somewhere in the dilapidated prey slums just outside the city, the small squeaking figure of a mouse was huddled, just waking up from a restless sleep. His throat was raw and sore from a whole day of screaming at the world he so despised until he finally passed out into a pile of exhausted angry rodent, now rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he roused to face a new day of living in this waking nightmare. Out of habit he looked over his shoulder to check on his friend, forgetting he wouldn't be there just long enough for the panic to set in from imagining perhaps he'd been stolen away in the dark whilst he slept, before remembering the truth. It'd been about two weeks, and he still expected to find Isaac by his side.
Of course, he wasn't, and in all likelihood never would be again. The timid little squirrel had abandoned him, gone off to live with some pred, one some ridiculous delusional idea that the kitty bitch would protect him instead of just seeing him as food. Of course, it'd been a while since he last saw them, since Isaac chose to stay with her in some lofty high rise in the pred city, so either they really were living the dream, or they'd dropped all pretense and she ate him, which meant either way he would not be seeing his fellow rodent ever again. It was an undisputable fact he was still having trouble accepting, if only for his own sake.
For everything Andrew had said about protecting his friend, the truth was he needed Isaac just as much, for a different reason though. For all of his life he'd been alone, no family, no friends beyond maybe temporary acquaintances who followed the standard prey practice of putting themselves before any other and were happy to leave him behind if it meant he might distract a hunting pred long enough for them to escape, and it had left the mouse feeling bitter and empty. The void in his being that might normally have been filled with loved ones instead began to boil with unmitigated anger and unrestrained hatred; for the world, for his fellow self serving prey who didn't care about him as far as they could throw him, for the preds who made life this horrific and miserable by treating them all as disposable food, and at himself for being too weak and insignificant to change any of it, the constant realization of which only sent the cycle going anew until he was ready to explode in rage all over again. The only thing that managed to save him from wallowing in angst his entire life was a serendipitist meeting with a specific squirrel, someone who could finally give his life purpose by protecting and guiding him, giving to him in the form of a friend, something the world had constantly denied him in his years alone.
But now his only friend in the world was gone, and he was back to feeling hollow and angry again. His so called friends, who ended up abandoning him just like everyone else in his life, leaving him in favor of the very things that made their life what it was in the first place! It made him feel sick, as if there wasn't enough bile burning in his gut already, that he could be so easily tossed aside by people he thought considered him as important to them as they were to himself. He'd given so much of himself to Isaac, and even Robert, who was shunned by so many others for being such a sicko, and all Andrew had to show for it now was a cold, empty room to wallow in all alone.
Well, maybe not completely alone.
"Oh, look what I found!" a voice rang out from the doorway, sending the rodents heart into his throat as he snapped to look, and found what he hoped to avoid but couldn't ignore: a pred, staring at him as it slowly slinked into the room. He'd kick himself for forgetting to lock the door before he went to bed if the daunting horror of seeing two more preds follow their buddy into the flat didn't leave Andrew tense enough.
"Aww, he looks like he just woke up. I guess that means he wouldn't say no to breakfast with me?" one teased, eliciting snickers from his companions. The trade mark predatory teasing relight the fire in his belly, and the rodent rose to his feet, grateful if nothing else for at least having something to vent all his anger on.
"What the fuck do you assholes want?" he sneered, managing to fit more pure contempt into the rhetorical question then the preds must have been suspecting, judging from the way their eyes widened. Of course it quickly gave way to bemusement as they approached him with such cavalier ease; after all, there were three of them, and Andrew was but a mouse, a dark reality that made it a bit harder to hold onto his rage as a wave of sudden fear crashed against it.
"Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. But then, it doesn't look like you even have one, so I guess I can understand that. I'd be a bit cranky too."
"But you might want to apologize all the same. After all, this is going to end badly for you no matter what, but it could go a lot worse if we felt insulted by what you just said."
The sound of their words bouncing in his mind smothered the fear in his chest, that precious survival instinct that all prey had to help them last at least one more day, in favor of unbridled fury. These psychotic beasts already forced him and everyone like him to live like this, but they had the nerve to shove it in his face and expect manners? He didn't care if it was going to be the last thing he ever did, Andrew was going to explode on these mother fuckers. "Are you fucking kidding me!? Apologize to three cunts who just broke into my house, intending to eat me? FUCK YOU! I've had it with you stupid fuckers, thinking you can just walk all over me, just because I'm a different species that was arbitrarily decided to be lower on the food chain then you. Well I'm not going to put up with it ANYMORE!
"You preds have stolen everything from me, the family who left me to die, the friends who decided I wasn't enough for them, my whole god damn life that I could have spent... Doing something aside from living in this shit hole, hiding from people like you! People who think can get away with saying that I'm NOT a person, because I'm not a psychotic fuck with fangs and claws who gets off on torturing and devouring things that are smaller then me while hiding behind 'nature' as an excuse for being a monster! You want an apology? SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS! I'll help it stay in there by breaking my foot off in it!"
His insane rant, punctuated with spittle and bile, concluded with the rodent lunging towards the pred closest to him, intending to rip his god forsaken throat out. With barely any acknowledgment, the larger male put a swift stop to the angry pretensions of violence with a harsh decisive slap across the face, one that sent Andrew reeling as stars filled his vision until he crashed roughly into the floor. By the time he could see clearly he almost wished he couldn't, finding the faces of the three predators who'd been his audience looking down at him, preemptively halting his attempts to sit up by pinning his arms and legs down. When he noticed this he instantly started struggling against the grasps, flailing and kicking his body while howling in defiance, all to no avail, his naturally weak rodent body barely even registering in the face of the preds strength.
Eventually his body simply gave out, the adrenaline of his rage failing to convince his tired muscles to move, leaving him panting and trembling at the non-existent mercy of the creatures looming over him. "Well, I hope it felt good getting all that off your chest, little guy." One of them said once it became apparent he was all tuckered out. "I hope you don't take it personally if it didn't motivate us to reexamine our outlook on life. It's pretty hard to do that on an empty stomach after all." Andrew shot him a death glare that didn't really hold the full weight intended considering how helpless and exhausted he was.
"I hope you feel better now, though. I mean, all things considered." The one holding down his arms offered, genuine sincerity to his voice. "I didn't mean to hit you that hard, but with all the momentum you pretty much did most of the damage yourself."
"We already decided which one of us gets to eat you though, so if you're all done..." Obviously they didn't wait for a reply to the dangling statement, lifting Andrew into the air as they stood, holding his body taunt and bound by their naturally much stronger grip, the mouses eyes starting to widen in helpless realization as the third pred who wasn't contributing to his captivity licked his lips and kneeled slightly as his friends sauntered before him and manipulated the prey in their grasp to go down feet first.
Newfound struggle ensued as the eminent hungry doom quickly approaching stirred the rodent to activity again, twisting and flailing his body in attempt to break free to no avail, his limbs above and below still held tight without even the slightest recognition of his movements. Even his tail started wiping about in vain, any opportunity or availability to resist what was being forced on him in a blind attempt to fight back against nature that went ignored. He was momentarily ceased by the sight of his soon to be predator opening his mouth, letting his jaw slack open well wide enough to swallow his entire body with slow ease, the wet cavern alive with the organic dripping of saliva from the roof of his mouth and tips of his fangs to pool in his cheeks and under tongue, hot breath flowing out and making his skin crawl as his vision transfixed on the sight of that gaping entrance to his gullet undulating in the back and providing momentary glimpses at the pink abyss that lead to his gut, which let out a hungry growl in primal demand for food in the form of prey.
Andrew was freed from the slight trance when he felt his feet being slip past those lips, the preds holding him gently feeding him to their friend as he started to let out animalistic noises of pleasure at the flavor sliding over his tongue. He resumed his hopeless fight, even trying to swear in fury at the soulless bastards doing this to him, but his voice was strained and hoarse due to his sore throat being strained beyond function after such violent use, but even in the weak squeaks of his angry shouts barely blocking out the happy sounds of a predator snacking on his breakfast the mouse managed to lose himself in the ocean of pure angry storming in his heart. Visions of ultra violence and revenge against these three, of actually fighting them off and bashing in their skulls before tossing their lifeless bodies out the window as a testament to all other preds that they had no power over him and to all preys that they could throw off the invisible shackles as easily as he did, so they might all revolt and finally decide to claim equality or even superiority over the monsters who'd lorded over them for so long.
But even the sweetest of hate filled fantasy couldn't deny the sour reality swallowing over him by the time those hungry lips closed around his chest. His arms had been forced down to his sides to be swallowed along with his torso, and now the mouse was free to struggle and squirm, but all it managed to do was provide more bliss for the pred due to the feelings of the weak fuzzy treat wiggling against his tasting inner walls and mouth. His whole body felt hot, his legs having been swallowed down his gullet and were being squeezed over relentlessly in constant automatic swallows whilst everything from waist up to his chest was held in the hot air pocket of that maw, being lulled over and enjoyed for his flavor before another swallow pulled him in even deeper. In reality, Andrew had no power, and all his pretensions of being able to fight against the oppressive preds who might threaten him were just empty boasts and over confidence fueled by lonely respite.
"Isaac." he squeaked out with a cracked voice as lips closed around his neck, hot tears coating his cheeks as he saw the face of his only friend in his minds eye in the moments left with the last of his body suspended in the outside world before it joined the rest of him trapped in the hot despair of being nothing but food. But even that wasn't nearly as soul crushing as the bitter realization that his squirrel buddy had made the right choice in abandoning him. Andrew had promised he could protect his friend, and here at the end of his world, he couldn't entertain the fantasy that that had ever been a true claim for even a second. If his fellow rodent had still been here with him they'd both be eaten now, with his struggles being just as useless and just as ignored. If that feline bitch he'd gone with really was as trustworthy as she claimed, she would be able to protect their mutual friend better then he ever could have even pretended to. And with that final thought, his head was pulled inside the pred with a simple flick of the tongue, and swallowed, sending his body spiraling down his gullet to be sent to the one place every prey knew they'd one day end up even after spending every day of their lives trying to avoid it.
The stomach was humid, moist, and oppressively dark; the kind of darkness his eyes wouldn't be able to adjust to no matter how long he spent in it. And it was cramped, not that he'd have expected much elbow room, but he still felt like he'd never be able to find a position where he'd feel something close to comfortable for any extended amount of time. What that diseased freak Rob could have ever found appealing about this situation with that foxy soul mate of his was beyond imagining, though the fact he could actually possess any kind of thought beyond the typical "oh fuck, of crap, oh no, oh please no, I'm in a belly, not this, anything but this, help, no, please, I don't want to be here, oh god" that normally went through prey's minds when they were finally tucked away into their final new home was something of a testament to Andrew's resolve. But then, panicked fear wasn't his default state, but after all the defiance he'd put up on his way down here amounted to exactly jack shit, royally pissed off wasn't something you could pin on him at this particular moment either.
Suddenly the tight confines of the belly pressed in on him even more so, the squishy walls rolling against and digging into his body in rhythmic fashion, and it didn't take long for him to come to the horrifying conclusion that the cause of it was the pred rubbing his belly in satisfaction of a good meal. Something about that, that feeling of the one who had devoured him now finding pure unbridled enjoyment in being full after having his very body to snack on, did more to destroy the poor former-rodent-now-belly-fodder's sense of resistance then any slap in the face ever could have. And despite being locked in an organic sauna, he felt like a bucket of ice cold water had been drenched over him with the heartbreaking though: this was it.
There was nothing left for him now. He'd been eaten. The pitiful story of his life came to a close in the way it did for all prey, in the pit of some no longer hungry preds gut. Any false hope Andrew might have ever held onto was gone, and the unarguable facts of nature put a rest to the eternal struggle to what had been his life. And there was nothing he could do about it either, once a prey was eaten that was it, they were eaten, and the tight walls of the belly around him would be all he'd ever know or experience for the rest of his existence, one that now classified him not even as pathetic prey, but simply food that had finally done its duty of filling a pred gut. That was the fate for the mouse named Andrew, the end, cut to credits.
The burning anger that had fueled the mouse for his entire life was finally extinguished and replaced with the freezing hopelessness of fear, horror at being locked in the one place every prey spent their entire life futilely trying to evade with no promise of ever escaping or being let out. Even if he could beg the pred to release him, and even if the pred ever would have considered the request for a single second, the simple fact was they couldn't! Food was meant to go in, not out, and so that was that. All of these simple facts flooded his mind all at once and left him a near catatonic wreck, sinking into a blank darkness as the sounds of the belly gurgling over him, a heartbeat gently drumming evenly in the distance, and the rhythmic breathing of the pred all around him acting as something of a lullaby to encourage the distraught coma.
Some activity going on in the outside world, muffled by the walls wrapped around him, roused the mouse momentarily. From the elevated heartbeat of the predator he was trapped inside and the tone of the voices he couldn't quite make out, he could assume the group had come across some new prey to tease and torment before feeding to one of the two remaining hungry members of the group, the mental scenario making Andrew grit his teeth in tight agitation. He was cut off from it, but the world still turned the same way it always had, and that was finally more then he could bare.
The mouses weak, tired body blew up in a final tantrum. He flailed and spasmed against the confining walls, nearly going blind in anger at the apathy of nature that reduced he and those like him to this final unescapable fate. If the pred even noticed the squirms of his meal beneath so many layers of fur and flesh, it went unremarked, a last petulant display from the mouse banging hopelessly against the walls of his cage as he'd done all his life. After an extended violent display that amounted to absolutely nothing, Andrew's body went limp and he blacked out from pure hysterics, putting an end to the frenzy and leaving him a twitching lump inside the pred, quiet and asleep for now. But every day from now on he would wake to the same thing, himself trapped uncomfortably inside a stomach, where he belonged.
But in his collapsed slumber, he dreamed of Isaac. And at least in sleeping memory of his friend, safe in the arms of a pred who was truly one in a million to keep him safe and protected, the mouse who had become just another statistic, could still smile.