Alice struggled desperately to the surface and took a long, grateful gasp of air at least, half of one; it was rather rudely interrupted when another wave of salt water slapped into her face and filled her mouth. Spitting and coughing, she clawed at the waves, barely managing to keep her head above water for the next breath. She bobbed up and down on the chaotic swells and looked around.
There was a small, dark object floating a short distance away. Alice struck out towards it, hoping it would be a buoy, or some piece of flotsam she could cling to she wasn't much of a swimmer, and her arms were tiring fast. Reaching it, she was disappointed to see that it was nothing but a small, sorry bundle of wet fur. She thought at first that it was some kind of drowned animal, but then it lifted up its head and spat out seawater, drawing a choked breath. It was a mouse the size of a small child. Alice shuddered, and was about to swim away again when the creature turned and looked at