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Mouse House Illustration by Hannah Lock

Mouse House

“‘Priate-qui? Priate-qui?’ (pryatki, hide-and-seek), she uttered ... 

‘Sichasse pocajou caroche messt’ (seychas pokazhu koroshee mesto, 

right away I’ll show you a good place).” 

—“A Bad Day,” Vladimir Nabokov

Amba’s mother tried to send her to the party in an Uber, but when she started climbing into the front seat of the car, the driver shook his head. Maybe she was supposed to sit in the back? So she got out, shut the front door and opened the back door.

“Jesus, I can’t drive you without your parents,” he said. 

“Oh,” she said. The car smelled of artificial pine, and she held the door open longer than she should have.

“The air conditioner’s on,” he said. “Tell your parents to call a taxi.” The car had already started to move.

Her mother first chastised her for not forcing the driver to wait, then googled the price difference between ...

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