#Nanowrimo : The Rat Pt6

 Rautu groaned, but would not allow the cook’s presiding over his investigation disturb him.  He quickly examined every tripped trap, marked the manner in which they were laid and the path of cheese crumbs leading away from them. His eye followed their pattern around the ovens and corners of the room: they seemed to make a circular path, as though they had been tripped in quick succession, all excepting one that was turned in the direction of the scullery. Through all of the rat’s shrewdness and determination not to be caught, it must have injured itself on this last trap and had scurried into the darkest corner of the kitchen to assess its wounds. He crept toward the scullery, and after a few moments of listening intently through Martje’s powerful whisperings of “Is it in there?”, he heard the gentle sounds of tiny fingers being repeatedly rubbed over whiskers. He tapered his gaze, drew his sword, and placed his back to the wall. Peering into the darkened section of the kitchen, he discovered the faint glint of large eyes staring at him through the darkness. He kicked the empty dish rack beside him toward the rat, and with the dull crash the creature running out of its hiding place with great alacrity. A roar, a lunge, and the giant assailed his prey. He struck, but the rat had been too precipitant by a half a second, and though it escaped the chief of the blow, it left its long wriggling tail behind. It shrieked for an instant, and then continued to skitter towards the storeroom where it might find shelter from the giant, but where it had escaped one attacker, it was assaulted by another.
                Martje, with every bit of strength her plump form could assemble, made a warrior’s cry, leapt through the air, and flung her skillet down, cracking the rat on the head. It shivered with a momentary shock of being struck; it was dazed and began to shiver with the last breaths of life, but Martje would not allow it to die quietly: it had ruined her kitchen, her composure, and her sanity. She bellowed and smashed it on the head repeatedly until all her conjured strength had been depleted. She panted when she had done, staring down at her demolished enemy. She felt a something like momentary misery in observing the rat lying curled and open-mouthed at her feet, but once these feelings had done with her, she raised her weapon in triumph and shouted, “And let that be a lesson to you!” down at the brutalized creature.
                Now that she had seen the rat in full view, she reckoned it as one of the less prepossessing rats in her acquaintance: its teeth were large and sharp, its eyes red and wild, its fur patched. She felt almost right in removing its existence from the world, and it was under this charm of a resounding victory that she turned to the giant, nodded to him, and even smiled at him.
                Rautu stepped back from Martje with a wary countenance; her smiles, so rarely given, disturbed him excessively. Her eyes even sparkled with delight, her round cheeks tinged with the blush of exertion, and so affronted was he by the sweat on her brow and the mist dusting her upper lip that he flouted her for paying him such a halfhearted compliment. 

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