#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt3

Shayne, who had emerged from the armoury to assess the circumstance in the kitchen, stared fearfully at Sheamas, who had just entered from the door in the larder with a shipment of dried rations beneath his arm. After observing Martje’s declining state and blind fury, each made a significant nod of the head to the other, motioning toward the garrison where the rations might be kept for a few days in tolerable security. They met at the barracks entrance, and when Shayne conveyed the reports of a rat in the kitchen, Sheamas instantly replied, “Gods, Martje will tear the place apart lookin’ for it even if it’s not in the kitchen anymore.” A semblance of solemnity prevailed him. “Once, when Ma was just teachin’ her how to cook, she found a mouse in the pantry. It was a small one, but it scared her somethin’ terrible. Lochan had been keepin’ it has a pet for the winter and let it wander around the house. He kept it clean and it was harmless, but the moment Martje saw it, that was the end of the peace in the house. She hollered and chased it around until she flattened it with her pan.”
                Shayne grimaced.
                “Aye. She cleaned it up and buried it outside, but when Lochan heard about it, he cried for a near week.” Sheamas removed his tweed country cap and scratched his hair. “On the farms, we all got mice, but they mostly stay in the barn or keep to themselves. Nothin’ to be done for it in the country. Here in the city, mice in a home means somethin’ else. Poor you, Shayne, if you ever got mice in your cottage.”
                “If I do, I hope she never finds ‘em,” said Shayne with a dreadful countenance. “She near broke the furnace when it wasn’t heatin’ proper. I can’t think of what she’s gonna do to the range if she sees a mouse a-scurryin’ across it.” Shayne mused for a moment, taking his pipe from the front of his overalls and chewing on the end. “But she grew up on the farm,” he said, confused. “Mice are everywhere in the fields.”
                “Aye, that’s assumin’ she ever left the house,” Sheamas chuckled.
                Shayne made a grave hum and folded his arms, biting the end of his pipe.
                Sheamas placed the rations into a dry corner and secured the lid on the crate. Rats would go were food was to be found, and he hoped that since his wares could be deemed the only sanitary nourishment in the keep at present, they should be left untouched by any small and fidgeting hands of certain distinction. As he and Shayne had grown up in Frewyn’s countryside, they had little fear of one rat finding its way to their workplaces or homes, but a mind of activity and agitation like Martje’s regardless of where she had been reared could easily fathom that the rat must be everywhere waiting for the most favorable moment to strike.

Enjoy the story? Enjoy the first book in the series!


  1. Well that was a very calm assessment of what needed to be done. Cool heads are needed here, Martje.


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