Disclaimer: Eh…you know…Redwall and its charies don't belong to me…blah, blah… Oh thanks, to all the people who reviewed! I really appreciate all the support!

Shadows- By Silver-Fox-Kitsune

Chapter One

It was pouring sheets of rain in Mossflower Woods. Large droplets fell from the sky and dripped from the leaves onto the ground, creating large muddy pools of water. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled as the storm raged viciously on.

Blood was mixed with mud as a cloaked figure made its way down the path. The figure trudged through the mud, stumbling sometimes, holding a paw to the wound in its side. The lightning illuminated the figure's face as it staggered along.

It was a young vixen with silver fur and beautiful gold tinted eyes. Her violet dress and white blouse were drenched with rain even though the large, dark green cloak she wore shielded her from most of the pelting rain. As her trail was lit momentarily by the flashes of lightning, the silver fox stumbled towards the large shape looming darkly above the trees.

The twin brother mice, Matt and Vane, had guard duty on the wall top of Redwall Abbey. The two novice healer mice were sent out to defend the wall top alone in the rain as punishment. Before the evening meal, they had stolen into the dining hall and placed some of Sister May's special herbal healing syrup into all the cubs and beakers set on the tables. The Abbot had sternly sent them out into the storm while the rest of the Redwallers went to bed.

Now the two mice walked together, huddling under their cloaks for protection against the rain. The duo was still quite merry about their recent prank.

"Horrible weather, eh?" asked Matt, shouldering his cloak.

"Oh, yes, but not as bad as the meals should taste for a couple of days," replied Vane, winking at Matt. The pair laughed, looking down at the path as they walked the top of the wall to keep warm.

"They should keep sputtering until late summer!" chuckled Matt.

Suddenly Vane held out a paw, halting his brother and pointing down to the road below. A figure was stumbling along the path towards the Abbey. It seemed to have a limp.

But what kind of creature would be traveling during a horrible storm like this?

The twin mice exchanged glances, and then looked back at the figure. As it neared the Abbey they could finally discern what it was. It was a young silver fox, with black colored paws and gold earrings. The fox did not seem to know what way she was going and was nearly falling right over as she rambled on. But, just as the vixen was about to reach the gates, she collapsed into a damp pile of fur.

Vane and Matt looked closer at the heap of wet fur and went aghast with horror as they realized the fox's side was bathed in crimson blood, smeared and flecked against her clothing. The two healer mice immediately took action.

"Go alert the others! I'll unlock the gates," cried Matt as Vane nodded and ran from the wall top. Shielding himself from the rain Matt hurried down after him, grabbing a lantern and starting to unbolt the numerous locks and bolts on the Abbey gates.

Opening the doors ajar, he peered out, looking around. It was clear. He opened the gates wider, letting the lantern light spill out onto the road in front of him. Placing the lantern down beside the fox, he kneeled beside her, inspecting the wound. She had a large puncture on her right side, and it was hard to tell what had caused it. As he reached over to brush some of the fox's cloak aside for better view, the vixen suddenly grabbed his paw, her eyes opening as she stared at the young mouse. Her lips trembled as she whispered.


Matt smiled at the agitated fox and spoke in a soft, reassuring voice. "It'll be alright, Miss. You're in no danger…we're here to help…" he stroked the vixen's paw softly.

The fox's gripe slowly gave way and fell limply to the muddy ground as the vixen lost all consciousness. Vane looked at the fox sympathetically. "Poor creature…"

Suddenly a paw gripped his shoulder from behind. "Brother Matt, what seems to be the problem?"

Matt stood up, spinning around to face Abbot Mordalfus, who was wearing a concerned expression on his stern face. Behind him stood Vane and half a dozen other Redwallers.

"Abbot! It's this fox…she is hurt really bad…" said Matt holding up his lantern and pointing to the blood that covered the vixen.

"Well, what are we all standing around for! We must get her into the Abbey immediately!" cried the Abbot and several Redwallers sprang forward to help carry the silver fox inside. "Hurry, everyone, get inside! Quickly!" He plucked at his sleeves in distress, ushering the helpers inside as Vane shut the gates behind them. They rushed across the Abbey grounds, banging open the front doors and heading through Great Hall towards the infirmary.

"Fetch Sister May!" cried the Abbot to one of the Redwallers escorting them as they raced up the stairs. Bursting through the infirmary door, the Redwallers carefully laid the injured fox down on one of the beds. Soon the Sister appeared in the doorway, bustling into the room and over to the wounded vixen.

"Alright, everyone please go back to bed and leave the Sister to her work. Oh, you Matt and Vane, stay here and help the Sister would you?" the Abbot asked, shooing the others out of the room.

The twin brother nodded in unison. "Yes Abbot!"

"All right, good, good…" the Abbot smiled as he exited the room.

Sister May was inspecting the silver fox. The vixen's side was oozing blood and she had lost a great deal of blood. The Sister took action immediately.

"Vane, go get a wet cloth and start cleaning that wound. Matt help me administer the potion once I'm done making it," she walked over to a cupboard and started mixing herbs and liquids into a cup. Giving the honey colored liquid to Matt, the mouse gently opened the fox's mouth and slowly poured the entire potion down the vixen's throat. Vane brushed the vixen's cloak and clothing aside to clean the horrible wound. Sister May watched both of the brothers' progress.

"Slowly Matt! Don't give it to her too quickly; she could choke! The potion should help deaden the pain…that's right Vane! Don't scrub the wound…"

"This wound is very deep…hey…wait a tick! There's something stuck in her side! I'll try to get it out!" Vane picked up some tweezers and dug at the object until he had successfully pulled it out. As he gazed at the item, he nearly dropped it in shock.

"A snake fang!" cried Sister May, her and Matt expressing mirror faces of shock.

"What went on here?" Matt wondered out loud, looking over at the unconscious fox.

Vane looked hard at the vixen and suddenly a flash of light caught his eyes. Brushing more of the fox's cloak aside, he gasped as a lager, beautiful sword was exposed. The blade was covered in blood. "I think she…fought a poisonous snake…" said Vane shakily as he removed the sword from the vixen's belt. "And…won."

"Apparently…" said Vane in bewilderment, watching as his brother cleaned the sword and carefully placed in its sheath on a nearby table.

"Well, if that is a snake fang you pulled out of her Vane, we must act fast to save her! If we wait any longer the poison could cripple her or worse…she could die!" Sister May cried, diving into action. "Matt! Help me with the antidote! Vane! Finish cleaning that wound and please bandage it!" The healers bustled around, as Matt helped Sister May to crush herbs up into another cup. Vane applied a poultice to the wound then bound the vixen's side with bandages. Sister May administered the potion to the fox, and then gave the empty cup to Matt as they all stood back.

"Well…that's all we can do for her right now…the potion should get rid of the poison internally and poultice should prevent any mutation of the wound. She should wake by tomorrow…" she paused, a grim expression set on her face. "If all goes well…" She slowly looked up at the two young mice and smiled. "You two look exhausted…you may retire to your dormitory. You did a splendid job."

"Thank you Sister," the Brothers said in unison, nodding at Sister May as they gratefully and tiredly walked from the room. Sister May hurried about the room, cleaning up the utensils and herbs they had used for their patient. Finished, the Sister went over to the fox, feeling her forehead. It no longer burned with an abnormal fever. Sister May sighed, removing her paw from the silver vixen's brow and going over to sit in a chair by a window. The night was battered by the rain, and soon Sister May was dozing off in the chair, the rain making a rhythmic pattering on the windowpane.

The darkness descended and the shadows settled down after the chaos of the evening's events. The shadows watched everything: The Redwallers asleep in their rooms, the remaining defenders on the wall tops, Sister May in her chair, and the silver vixen, who wore a strained expression as she breathed softly in her sleep.

End of Chapter One...meh...fixed a little details...but review please!