April 21, 2011

Male Mouse

Tom knocked on the kitchen door, but received no response. The hedgehog knocked again, and this time the portal opened quickly and a paw grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pulled him inside. The door was then slammed behind him.

As Tom’s vision cleared he saw that his assailant was a small, plump mouse dressed in the usual green Redwaller’s habit and holding a rather large meat cleaver.

The hedgehog waved his paws in a conciliatory manner, “Andrew, it’s me. Your friend. I’m not going to attack you…”

“I know that. I’m not a bloody idiot, you know,” replied the mouse. His eyes darted back and forth and he took a tighter grip on the cleaver.

“The head cook sent me down to talk with you. He says that it’s time to end this, er, ‘silliness,’ as he put it.”

Andrew scurried over to the boarded-up window and looked outside. Apparently satisfied with the result, he moved to the other side of the room and pressed his ear against the wall, listening as he talked, “Silliness, eh? And I suppose he’ll think it’s ‘silly’ when we’re all murdered in our beds by the same things that killed all those beasts.”

Tom shook his head, “No-o-o, I think the silly part he was referring to was you locking yourself in this kitchen and refusing to come out.”

“Heh. Doesn’t he know that if I come out they could get me? It’s much safer in here,” the mouse removed his ear from the wall for a moment and tapped one of the stones with the handle of his cleaver. After this failed to produce a result, he relaxed for a moment. Tom took this opportunity to try to win one for reason.

“Listen, they’re talking about not letting me bring you food anymore. They figure that you’ll have to either give up or starve.”

“I’m a cook, and I’m locked in a kitchen. They’re going to have to be better than-” Andrew stopped and cocked his head toward the ceiling, and stifled a yawn before he continued in a much lower voice, “I can hear them, you know. At night. They come in through the windows and the attic. The lockdown won’t stop them.  You have to tell the elders that we’re all in terrible danger.”

The hedgehog tried to back as far away from the mouse as possible. “I don’t really think they’d believe me, given that nothing has actually happened yet. Maybe if you came up with some proof they’d be more inclined to listen.”

“Proof? What about those corpses that they gave back?”

“Yeah, the thing is, that doesn’t exactly mean that whatever killed them is in the Abbey right now. The bodies were just outside of the gate.”

“It was obviously some kind of warning, and the message was: ‘You’re next.’”

Tom shrugged, “Well, I obviously can’t convince you to come out, and I’ll tell them as much. But Andrew, you have to remember that you’re just unnecessarily scaring beasts with all these dramatics, and we have enough problems right now without adding pointless fear to the mix.”

The hedgehog showed himself out of the kitchen, and Andrew closed and locked the door behind him. The mouse’s mind was already mulling over the preceding conversation.

So they wouldn’t believe him? Well, he would get proof. Eventually the things would slip up, and he would be there to take advantage of it.

Who needed sleep, anyways? Not that he could sleep. The sounds of those things moving around kept him awake…

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