" Get Up!"
That same voice lashed out in front of the cowering and frightened creature has she looked up biting her bottom lip in fear. She stood up in haste, bowing her head in avoid eye contact. She was expecting a blow right on cue. Has it expected she was right, she went straight onto the ground spitting blood lowering her eyes allowing the tears of pain to flow.
Git was her name though she knew her real name, she kept her true name to herself. She forced herself not to speak. " Get up you worthless piece of carrion!" barked out the order from a fox. The fox was named Hem-bane. He kicked the mouse until she cried out in pain. He left her with an order of anger, " Get me a bottle of grog you stupid slave!"
" Yes master…" she groaned her reply watching him strode away has he entered the tent where his brother was. She rubbed her wounds wincing has her paw made contact to the raw and bleeding wound. She stood up, and went to his command.
She took the long way allowing herself to gather her strength has she dealt with the stoat that was always drunk. She cursed to fate, has she stood in front of him. She was finally noticed, and a growl of annoyance was thick with liquor. " Wot do you want you…." Was his growl. She flinched, " Master Hem-bane want's a bottle of grog sir." She said fighting the urge of not snatching what she needed, and run away.
" Tell him that the last grog was taken by another beast! Hurry on then you stupid piece of mother's whelp!" Those words stung, she knew she would be punished for it. She kept her mouth shut, and nodded. She almost bumped into her master's brother, Krishna. The fox looked at her with calm and warm eyes, before turning colder and harsher.
" What is that mate? Did you say that the last bottle of grog was gone? Ha my dear brother would love to hear that hmm…. What should I tell him when the last barrel of elderberry wine was gone thanks to your sluggish mouth idiot!" came the snappish voice that made Git wince, she kept her head down although she made sure she was within hearing distance.
The stoat gurgled with fear, " What was that sir…. I was only playing with the slave err…. Here it is the last and most precious bottle of grog! Warn ye it's a couple of seasons old…." He last words were in a whimper has the fox sent him off with a dangerous glare.
Git scampered right inside snatched the bottle, and ran towards the tent. She was in luck this time, she handed the bottle to him, and stood back looking at him. Hem-bane was about to send her flying with another blow when Krishna appeared. Git lowered her eyes, and took her cue to go. " Wait Git… before you go anywhere this is something you might want to hear."
That stunned her more than usual, first of all she had her wounds to attend to. Second she didn't want to be in a tent filled to the rim with foxes. And the last of all she dearly hated Hem-bane's mate. " Hello Kris… it's wonderful to see you again." Came a voice dripping with honey. Git almost made a face and looked down again at her paws.
Krishna nodded curtly at her, " Has to you Selena….. hmm… beautiful has usual…" The vixen smiled at him, that false smile always hiding something. She was indeed a beautiful creature, her fur was strange and amazing. She was of course an artic fox with her eyes dark has flint, though everything spelled danger in bold letters.
Even worse she was expecting a cub. Git grimaced at the thought of it, that brat would drive her into the pit of hell for she knows. Hem-bane looked at his brother with a weary glance, " What do you want Kris?" Kris glanced at him, and said with a calm voice. " It's about time you paid your debt to me brother."
" What Debt!" snarled his brother alarmed for an instant. " Git if you so kind…." Said Krishna, Git snapped her head up and forced herself not to smile, " The debt was for a certain amount you agree to pay for the exposure that you wouldn't dare have to deal since your rank above your brother.. has if mentioned your mate was also there to make sure nothing was going to avoided or blades drawn at the site of blood drawn oath."
Git winced has she felt the patting of Krishna's paw onto her head. Hem-bane snarled at him, and looked at Selena who darkly lashed her eyes at Git. " Of course that damned blood oath very well if you have to say so… I have to deal with you later Git…. Alright how much do I owe you again," he said looking at his brother.
Krishna laughed at his brother's weariness, " If you have to ask then, one slave and 30folds of gold." Git fought hard not to laugh out loud, she watched the anger explode from Hem-bane. The fox was soon snarling and cursing at the same time with his broad sword glistening into the opening.
" Like to the gates of hell am I going to pay that amount! Get out of my tent before I flay you into pieces before this very slave!" he snarled with the very blade in front of him. Krishna shook his head, " What a shame mate… you would just flay your brother allowing his body to be feed to the carrion.. father wouldn't approve… very well…."
He turned around allowing his cloak to flow around him has he turned said to Git has he walked, " Follow me." Git gladly obeyed, she stood within walking distance behind her new master. When they were out of earshot and Git collapsed howling with laughter. She regained herself grinning from ear to ear, " Well done mate! You fooled them again making sure they knew their spot!"
Krishna smiled at his new slave, and nodded " Aye I would have been I good beast if I wasn't chosen by fate to become a vermin…. Anyway what are we going to do about you mate?" Git looked at him and shook her head, " I heard from a mouse long ago about an abbey grand ole place named Redwall?" she said looking at him.
" Aye by the gates of fate I heard about that place, my brother was always thinking of the slaves and fame he would gain just by holding siege to grand old place like that." Replied Krishna looking wonder. Git waved a paw into his face warning him, " Don't even think about it Kris I wouldn't dare think of you getting slain because of a slave escaping to the freedom…"
" You're one tough mousey… mark my words you're leaving tonight so get some sleep and run with all speed." Git nodded and returned to her cot where she curled up into a tight ball falling fast asleep.
Later that night she found her cage unlocked, she grinned when she placed on her new clothes. She took her satchel with her, taking a cautious step forward. She looked around, the coast was clear. She walked from the camp. The her heart pounded into fast pace of a drum. She was spotted, " Halt Slave escaping!" came the usual voice.
With speed of cheetah she was gone, there was only one thing that would stop her. She tore across the forest with vision of her dying day, and what she wouldn't dare expect. She could hear shouting and paws thundering after her. She was the prey and they were the hunters.
She kept on running until she was sure they were had given up. To her blessing they did turning back, she had hide under a log, and held her breath praying to fate. She stood up brushing off the forest loam off her clothes, and walked on limping for she twisted her paw when she had made a crash landing into the hole. Plus more wounds were added to her own wounds.
She licked her bleeding lip thinking of how Krishna was going had to deal with it, That sly devil would have to deal with a huge plot to cover up his story. She thought covering more land when she collapsed onto the ground from exhaustion. She was snoring loudly into the open.
She was shaken awake by some beast. She cried in horror, " Leave me alone don't you dare hurt me!" she screamed when she was muffled, with a huge paw. She started to cry, and her voice was into a muffled sob.
" Alright dry your eyes mate before you start screaming off your head off." Came a deep chuckle that belonged to a otter. Git looked up, and saw the warm smile. She passed out from the deep shock .
" pore beast… where did you think she came from?" said another otter looking at her, " I don't know Freedom… she might came from somewhere I think with slavery involved…." Said Skipper shaking his head. Git whimpered, and flinched at every sound that came from the forest, and the river Moss.
After some time she was awake and tried to sit up and laid back down groaning in pain. The wounds were on fire, and she whimpered throughout it all. She looked up at the smiling face of an otter, she almost jolted in fear. " What do you want!" she yelped wincing in pain, has she turned to look at him.
" That is my question took out of me own mouth, err let's I am Skipper. And you are?" he said looking at her. " Hm…. I can't remember…" she said ashamed and looked away. " Can't remember your own name! What on in the seasons have you begin named?" he asked looking at her.
Was the only thing she was going to murmur has she began cough. The otter was out in a heartbeat and returned with a steaming beaker of tea. " Get this into your mouth it will help trust me mate." Git looked up and took the beaker cradling the hot beaker around her paws. She took timid sips, and felt sleepy at the same time.
Skipper looked at her, " Hmmm… that is something special I never had seen before… a mouse-maid with a name that is really an insult…. So where are you heading?" asked Skipper. " Redwall abbey." Was her reply. She finished the beaker, and fell fast asleep.
Skipper took her into his strong arms, and walked off towards the direction of the abbey.
Krishna gathered his cloak around him has he watched the busy life of his daily life, for all he knew that Git was a long way distance from the horde. He kept a smile to himself although some beast would expect of why he was so cheery.
His smile faltered when he spotted his hot-tempered brother appeared angry in his wake. " Hello brother..." he said calmly. " Spear me your damned greeting for someone else!" he spat hotly at his brother.
Krishna looked at him, and kept on talking has if he didn't hear the outburst. " I was thinking since your slave had disappeared a fortnight ago now you would have to explain that dearly to father… he would love to hear your complaints again…" his voice dropped into a snigger making his own step-brother shoot him a enraged glance.
" You released that slave, she was your account to attend to dear brother…. Has if you would dare explain that you were the one that released her that night!" snapped Hem-bane furiously. Krishna grinned, " You always meet that vixen that always had a dangerous temper…" he was speaking about Hem-bane's mother.
" You're a whelp of your own mother!" snarled the older fox dancing with fury. Krishna held his voice even though his eyes glittered with dangerous light enough to set anyone scared stiff. " You can insult my pride… my life.. but not my mother!" he grabbed his brother by his cloak and sent him flying towards heap of snow.
He was snarling with his blade drawn, and he leaped onto his brother. They both rolled kicking and punching furiously. Another fox barked out harshly, " What in the name of hell-gates! Is going here! Krishna get off of your brother, you whelp! Has for you Hem into my tent now!" he snarled has the older fox kicked snow muttering under his breath hotly.
Krishna growled, and shook his head. He stood up dusting off the snow that was now pink with blood. He was not must wounded has his brother was. That was when he decided to leave the camp for good, and head for Redwall.
He sighed, and gathered his cloak around him hiding the worst wounds. He appeared at the tent where only his first and last friend was looking up from a bundles of maps. " Wot happen mate?" she said looking up at the wounds for this first time has if she wasn't expecting it.
" Nothing a little fight among brothers." He chuckled wincing. " Hell's teeth about friendly fight you were at each other's necks." She said looking down again at her maps. " You're the best tracker there was… you didn't really go onto that patrol?" said Krishna worried. " Nay I led them into a merry chase through the brambles it was really fun."
She took out a bundle of herbs and set onto a poultice for his wounds. He cursed under his breath, " You're not thinking of leaving mate?" there was a nod in silence from the fox has he took a deep breath taking in the a moment of pain he could muster.
" I am leaving tonight… keep on lying if you have to saying that I went after Git…" he said nodding has he laid flat on his back falling asleep.
Has night has finally fell, Krishna was up and pacing awaiting for the all clear. He finally got it, he smiled has placed on his hood for extra inconspicuousness. He slipped into the forest moving calmly and kept his breath below his normal breathing rate.
His heart pounded with fierce speed. He kept walking although he ran quickly through the dark forest. Something told him to run for the wind, he slid under the ground panting has his heart hammered into his ears.
He kept walking until he found the abbey through the dusk, he pounded onto the door calling in exhaustion. " Open up please!" before passing out.
Skipper appeared at the gate looking at the pass out fox, and heaved him up onto his shoulder while he opened the gate with one thrust of his paws. He looked at a mouse who was yawning sleepily, " Morning skip what is that!" he said wide awake when he saw the almost frozen fox.
" Found him there hmm.. snoring soundly didn't hear his pleas.." grinned the otter, walking towards the abbey. The mouse followed him inside, and his rubbed his face with an warm towel. He rubbed behind his ears has he removed the last amount of melting snow from him.
Skipper nodded, he went towards the infirmary. That was where he bumped into sister Alison who folded her paws into her wide sleeves of her habit. She looked at Skipper who shook his head at the mouse with his eyes are worried more than fox.
" Who are they?" she asked looking concerned for the mouse and gave a fearful glance for the fox. " I don't know I know they both have one raging fever." Replied Skipper shaking his great head at Git. " Seasons forgive them both! Floyd get my herbs please and hurry they are both having a raging fever that would just refuse and give up a good fight."
The mouse jumped onto his feet, and ran towards the cabinet and snatched anything that could get into paw reach. He rushed back and placed down beside the pestle and mortar. He started crushing down the herbs into a power.
Alison nodded in agreement although she hadn't tell him to do so. She watched Floyd dancing around the place in fury getting the tonic correct. Git groaned and Krishna woke up for a moment before almost passing out once more.
Git was almost moaned " Water…" before she allowed the bright eyes to force herself to flinch. She winced, she was on a soft bed. She must be really dead… with a fleeing whimper of panic, she gave a quiver of shock.
Thank the seasons that he added amount of thyme for the shock. He poured the hot water that he placed into beakers. Placing the bitter tonic among the two beakers evenly. Skipper held Git up slightly worry alight in his eyes has he watched her fade in and out from each struggled breath. " Come mate open your gob you have to drink this mate…" he murmured feeling slightly ashamed has he was acting like a nurse.
Floyd looked at Sister Alison, " Will err.. she alright.." he murmured speaking of the mouse-maid that was still struggling and coughed harshly has she forced the horrible elixir down her throat. She fell asleep finally for the first time in a long time for a about some time since the last time she had fell asleep which was peaceful.
About a day had passed when Git finally woke up to stare at the face of a relived Floyd. The mouse leaped onto his paws, and made a bee line to the door, " The mouse-maid is alive and awake!" he yelled allowing two paws steps thundering into the room. " Is it true she's alive?" said Skipper smiling.
" Hello skipper…" she croaked rubbing her throat with her paw. Her voice was hoarse and sounded like sandpaper. The otter grinned at his friend, " Bless the seasons you are alright, I had a bit of a problem of dealing with yonder fox over there." He pointed a claw towards Krishna.
Git stared in alarm, " Krishna!" she squeaked in panic, then murmured " Determined fox… he wouldn't allow any beast touch him until I touch him." " We tried to get him to drink the tea but he would move and around whining out your name." said Floyd shaking his head.
Git noticed her ankle was bandaged, she hobbled over towards the fox's bed. " Krishna I know you can hear me you stubborn ole fox! This is your….friend speaking mate if you have the sense don't you dare enter that dark forest without me! Take this life saving but bitter has poison down your gizzard!"
She held onto the fox's paw, the fox almost responded with a death like grip. Git grimaced, and held her face straight, " That's right you ole whelp of your pore mother! Come back to the living so I can show you the proper meaning of real good time!" she smiled, Krishna growled, " Don't insult my mother…. Elaina…" the fierce light had returned.
Skipper and the other stood speechless, had the mouse-maid coax a beast of not falling into a enteral peace and happiness. Git stood back and smiled, " Aye that's right mate, come on Krishna of the darken night! Awake and show this new day what's it made of !" the fox grinned at his eager friend, and fell into a peaceful after battling death with his own paws.
Git sat back, and sighed. Floyd help her back to her bed, has she sat back down with a groan. " Wow… that was err.. amazing I knew you could coax a beast out of the last stage of life into living…" he said looking at Git.
Skipper found his voice after he stared at the slumbering fox, " Err.. That was strange… care to explain what you both want doing here at Redwall abbey by any chance?" Git pointed to herself, and said has clearly has she could, " It's a long very long story….err.. it would take some time to explain for you all."
" For starts I have forgotten my real name for some time, it was hem-bane who gave the me the name Git and it stuck… Krishna had promised to remember my name for me when I had forgotten . He was the one who had gave me the freedom to leave my slavery for seasons." Said Elaina once known has Git.
Her stomach gurgled reminding her of the days she had not eaten. She looked self-conscious for moment when Floyd broke into a huge grin, from ear to ear. " That is usually a good sign you are starving and need some decent feeding thankfully the cook didn't see you yet seasons.. .she would have to stuffed you to death!"
Skipper nodded, " Me dear ole sister would have killed you on the spot if she seen how weak and fragile she was oh mercy one us all with a fierce hug." Elaina laughed to herself though she was eager to get something to eat.
"Alright then I have your faith into getting me and my messmate something to eat." She grinned laying on her back allowing some sleep to bestow onto her. Floyd nodded, he was gone for a moment. Krishna woke up and murmured, " Where am I?"
" Redwall abbey." Came the reply from reply from Skipper staring at growling from Krishna who looked a bit ashamed who was his stomach. He blushed, and looked the ceiling. Floyd returned with two trays, he watched the mouth's water onto both of Krishna and Elaina apiece. He kept the trays away from paw reach and walking distance.
Elaina looked at the tray hungered, " Please for the sake of my rumbling stomach let me have a tidbit of any of it!" Floyd kept on grinning, Skipper had to force himself of not shaking with laughter. " On one condition you must swear that your yonder fox has to keep under his best behavior." He warned.
Krishna looked at the mouse keeping a straight face has he mumbled, " I solemnly swear has my honor of a fox that I wouldn't dare harm a hair or even look a beast the wrong way without a good reason. Now please allow us starving creatures to feast!"
Floyd grinned, " Very well it seems you're a beast that can keep his oath." He allowed them both to pounce onto their trays. Elaina tossed aside the napkin, and began stuffing her face with the warm bowl of oatmeal deeply sweeten with honey, and sugared fruits.
Skipper looked at her, " Seasons! For a mouse you can sure scoff a hefty amount of food without a second warning." He said smiling. Elaina looked up at him " Can't talk now must eat…" she said burying her face into a beaker of elderflower cordial.
Floyd sniffed, " Aye that happens when your manners are scare and you would stuff your face with any amount of food that yore paws can get on… since she was barely fed enough to work under harsh conditions…adding torture and beating every moment of the day from her cruel master. Hmmm… I wonder how exactly is this 'hem-bane' coping with your disappearance Kris?" the fox looked up at him, and gave a smile that any fox would have become skilled at.
" That blot for a brother, is the worst and most dangerous creature I have glance at without dancing out of his sword range. I have seen him… slay vermin and woodland creatures alike… not a pretty sight. I know his ways of keeping his captives screaming for answers for hours before he shuts them up. A moron, he has his father's anger and dangerous way of attempting to keep even with a beast… I have my mother's wits which had kept me alive for some time. Now that his mate Selena is now in cub, I have a feeling that both of them will be female… like that vixen. Sly and crafty." Replied the fox looking down at his paws.
" What happened to your mother err.. Kris forgive my question." Murmured Floyd looking horrified and amazed at the same time. " Morning-gale was slain by his father Bane. He was expecting her to be a traitor but he was surely wrong, she ever was. But could blame her, she was also a sweet fox never seem to know the meaning of bloodshed, strange enough her nursemaid was a hare. But wouldn't care about him. He boasted that she was to soft lying in front of his own son that she died at birth. I knew the truth so I told when I was giving him to look after. Hem-bane on the other paw was giving to a stoat. I was glad because I would have slain that brat with my bare paws! But touching a pure breed of a noble family of foxes from what I hear Bane boast again and 'gin for seasons was truly annoying." Said Elaina looking at Floyd. There was not one tear in her eyes thought it was bright with resentment, and vengeance.
Skipper sat down into a stair downloading all the information he had received, he looked amazed and more so in rage. Sister Alison had actually spent some time writing what she had heard, she blinked back some of the tears that she was feeling like she was sure going to spill. " Seasons bless Morning-gale… I hope she is welcomed into the forest of peace." She said softly with her voice trembling slightly.
Krishna shook his head, " I hope so…" he said resuming his eating. Elaina sat back and allowed herself to almost curl up into a ball about to resume into a huge amount of snoring. Sister Alison shooed Skipper and Floyd out of the room. " These here two beasts need their rest allow them to slumber please!" she said closing the door behind them both, has she closed the door allowing herself outside.
After spending a four days to allow their wounds to heal completely. Krishna roamed around the Cavern hall looking at the tapestry of Martin the warrior. He winced when he saw the fierce look on the mouse has he shook his head, " I mean no harm to your abbey Martin.. I am here to protect it making sure Bane of the North winds doesn't destroy something precious."
Elaina looked around the place, she was amazed. Although she had a slight limp after she had a huge shouting match with sister Alison. She was following Floyd around the place, the mouse had taken a huge liking into the curious mouse-maid. " When is lunch I am hungry!" she asked looking at him.
" Eh hungry already famine face? Come on an early lunch wouldn't hurt I think I been plundering on some recipe that wanted to make if you are willing to help?" he said grinning mischief alight in his eyes. " Famine face huh? Well hedgehog you sure can snore… for a mouse and I thought you were a mouse!" she grinned at him.
They both went off chortling and laughing loudly. Krishna found himself into the kitchen, he ducked a bowl that went soaring towards his direction. He found himself into a fight, that he found himself grinning. There was two babe hedgehogs hurling the foulest language despite the baby language.
Krishna grinned at his approaching comrades. Elaina covered her ears grinning, " Seasons! Just listen to them would make a crop fail! So what is the situation cap'n?" Floyd chuckled under his breath fighting a straight face. " Err.. he… I mean so what are we going to do with this here sailors hmm cap'n?" he looked Krishna.
The fox adapted the position faster than they both expected. He stood up glancing at the sink full of dirty pots. " Some beast has to clean those pots… and seasons all of this mess in this wonderful kitchen I think I found our new recruits. Alright you horrible rouges let's see those paws of yore, on the double!" he barked into a captain elegance.
The hog –babes froze looking in horror in the fox, Elaina grinned, " Spare them cap'n you are a horrid sight anyway so please spare them… you wouldn't dare swear like sailors right?" she said looking at the heads bobbing on the spur of the moment.
Floyd forced a stern face, " Well then hop to it! You both need a bath-" there was a squeak of horror from the both of them. " A bath or do you want have to clean those pots with your spikes? Do I make myself clear!" he said with his eyes glowing with calm fierceness that sparkled with laughter. The babes hurried off, muttering and shooting glances at Floyd.
Elaina took rages, and a bar of rose and lavender soap. "Come on we have to clean this mess, don't give that look Krishna you were there to when they were swearing like sailors." She said calmly shooting a rueful glance at the fox who shrugged.
After a hour or so they were both rubbing their sore muscles, and it was already lunch time by the time the plump cook waddled in humming her song to herself. " Ahoy there Floyd and you to Elaina, I don't believe we haven't met? And you are?" she greeted and looked at Krishna.
" She shouldn't have done that.." muttered Elaina shaking her head to hide her sudden grin. Floyd gave her a bewildered look, and soon was chuckling. " I am oh wondrous cook at the craft of making the most delicious meals for any beast to dream about for seasons! Krishna the outcast." The fox was of course a sweet-talk for nothing.
The cook blushed, and looked at the crepes looking things that was baking into oven. " Pray tell what are those?" she asked looking at it. " Those are crêpes tasty little things that Elaina had perfected neatly making them both sweet and savory at the same time." Grinned Floyd taking a leaf out of Krishna book.
The mouse-maid beamed, and looked around. " Can someone pass me that bag of flour and that basket full of mushrooms even that basket of turnips. Oh anything that you might want me to place into this huge pastry." Floyd was at her heart at ease, he was into a blur. " Seasons what did your friend do to him?" chuckled the cook when she looked at Krishna. " Tis love mate… love…"
A group of mice was at her command has well, she pointed towards two mice, " You two start chopping and you start making the gravy!" She waved a spoon into the air, Floyd saluted " What shall I do cap'n?" he said grinning. Elaina grinned at him. " Make sure those crêpes are done." He nodded quickly.
Krishna looked at the hustle and bustle of the mice and woodland creature has Elaina was barking out orders has she moved well limping with each step. The move she moved the more she winced in pain. " I think she should sit down and rest that paw of hers. It's throbbing from where i can see." said Floyd joining them in bewilderment. Elania chuckled at them, " What i supposed that someone had to charm this mice into my bidding! Not my fault! dont give me that look Krishna!"
Floyd chuckled at him, and sat down on a flour sack sighing. " All this work is making me exhausted. From all i know that Skipper would have some report to say for what no one would guess could be knocking on our doors." Krishna looked at the mouse, the happiness had died in him when he nodded grimily. " Bane would soon find out that i am missing when he does... seasons would have to save me."
Elania shook her head, " And i would have been in the dark forest when Hem-bane finds out that i'm long gone or hopefully his little vixen has did me a favor and died from labor!" she growled darkly.