>> Friday, August 28, 2009
Picture by finncat
The young Churchmouse looked the picture of innocence, though she felt far from it.
"But this is only a sword, Mattimeo. It does not make you a warrior merely because you carry it. Weapons may be carried by creatures who are evil, dishonest, violent or lazy. The true warrior is good, gentle and honest. His bravery comes from within himself; he learns to conquer his own fears and misdeeds."
"Like all traitors, they were discovered."
"Never say die, Cheek."
"You can't drink stone messages, but good October ale, that's a different matter."
"What are you staring at, mouse?"
"You should have killed me back at the canyon." Mattimeo's voice was flat and contemptuous. Slagar eyed the boy mouse and shook his head. "I've killed your father. his sword is buried with him. That's enough for one day's work. You, I will let live to suffer." Mattimeo stopped marching. His friends stopped also. The young mouse's eyes were hard with scorn. "Then you're not only a cowardly murdering scum, you're a fool. Because from now on I live with one purpose only: to kill you."
"It'll be a tricky task, but don't worry, I'll have supper ready for you when we haul you out of there. How many are you?"
"Six altogether, Logalog, a hedgehog, a badger, a young otter, Jess Squirrel and Basil Stag Hare."
"What? That old scoffin' windbag. I'm sorry I mentioned supper."
"Death will open up its grave/ Who goes there...? None but the brave."
"Let's see if you fight as bravely as you talk."
The peace of a warm summer night lay over Mossflower. It was a peace that would not last.
"Give me the right answers, turncoat, or you're dead."
Orlando heaved himself out of the water and stood dripping on the deck of the raft, waving his battleaxe. "Come on, rats, let's see what you've got inside your heads," he taunted.
"I'd hate to die this far from Redwall, Matthias."
Little Sister May came out from behind the raspberry canes, wagging a paw at the sleeping thieves. "It serves you right. I hope you wake with dreadful headaches!"
The badger threw her head back and called up to the roof, "Hey, you up there! Irontrousers, or whatever you call yourself. Get down here, I want a word with you."
The seer crow was outraged. "Mangiz does not forget an insult, hedgepig." Ambrose smiled cheekily. "Good, then here's a few more for you to remember, you pot-bellied, cross-eyed, feather-bottomed excuse for a duck."
"Good old Warbeak, eh? Totally mad, of course. She'd rather die than miss a good fight."
"I will not stand here to be insulted by you, hedgepig," Mangiz fumed.
"Then stand somewhere else and I'll insult you there, featherbag!"
Harry accepted it gravely, bowed politely, then devoured it in a most undignified manner.
Sir Harry did a hop and a skip. "I knew you'd see things my way./ It's settled then, it's done./ And if food goes missing I'll say,/ 'Blame me, sir, I'm the one."
"Don't worry, I will, old chap," Basil muttered under his breath.
"Tho' I'm the most poetic of birds,/ Right now I'm at a lost for words."
" 'T aint natural, bathin', otherwise we'd have all been born fishes," the hedgehog objected.
"I can face death after dinner any time; only thing bothers me is that I might miss tea and supper, wot?"
"I know you've done nothing wrong, in fact you've been very good lately."
"I have? Oh, I have."
"Brave words from the scum of the earth!"
"You've lived like cowards; try to die like heroes. Hmph! Fat chance of that, eh, laddie buck?"
"There's nothing affects a craven/ Like the thought of sudden death,/ The idea that he might not see the night/ Or draw another breath."
Cheek stood by the hare. "I'm with Basil. He's a grumpy ol' frump and I like him, so there!"
"They can chain me next to who they like, but I'm not building any filthy underground kingdom for a talking statue!"
"Yah, tatty ratty! Your silly old statue isn't worth a crushed acorn. It takes a horde of you to face real fighters, doesn't it!" he taunted them.
The abbot stroked Rollo's head. "And I'm left holding the baby, as usual!"
The ring of sword upon spears echoed around the ledge as the pair fought madly, backwards and forwards, hacking and slicing, parrying and striking in a hideous ritual of death.
"Sometimes it's best to expect the worst. That way you're never disappointed," Jube said philosophically.
"Thanks for cheering us all up, hedgehog," Tess scoffed.
Little Sister May looked a simple soul, but that was because deep down she was a very wise schemer.
Slagar stepped out from behind the mouse warrior. The Cruel One dealt Matthias a swinging blow with the metal weights of his three-thonged weapon, and the mouse warrior pitched forward, overwhelmed by the striking bolas. Grinning behind the silken mask, Slagar turned his victim over. "You did well, mouse. I am saved the trouble of slaying Malkariss. When the horde has overcome your woodlanders, I will rule here. But first I must fulfill my oath of vengeance." Grabbing Matthias by the throat, the fox reached for the great sword.
"A fox who fights and runs away,/Lives to fight another day."
"Wake up, my little earthcrawlers, this is the day I make you do the dance of death."
"Many were slain in the great battle, and you must never forget them, the good creatures who gave their lives to buy freedom for you."
"These contented old ones, peaceful, wise, and your young ones too, they look so happy and good. Even when I lived out on the western plains with my Auma, we never knew such wellbeing as this. Can you explain it to me?"
Matthias let his eyelids droop until they shut. "Orlando, my good friend, the explanation to it all is merely one simple word: Redwall."