Book 1 : Sudden Deaths

Chapter 1

Redwall Abbey was quiet; very unusual for it to be mid-afternoon. The breeze was cool and swift, gently blowing the blades of grass and sending ripples through the pond. A gust came in a sudden; sending a snow white apron flying in the wind. The clothes looked like a cloud that came from the sky, it resting upon the ground. A golden brown mousemaid came and plucked it off the ground and started to retie it around her waist.

"You have to keep that apron with you Caria. You loose it, you won't get other from me again." a middle aged squirrel came to Caria, waving a ladle in her paw. "Now go and find Brother Porteur and serve him is tea. This will warm him up a bit, since he's caught a small autumn cold."

Caria took the tray of warm goods from the squirrel. "Yes Sister. I'll give the medicine Bartrid said for him to take as well."

"What medicine Caria?" Sister Raoyme asked carefully. The squirrelmaid was a gentle but serious beast of Redwall Abbey; she always making sure stuff stood in order. Call her a second Abbey leader.

The mousemaid turned back gracefully and held out a small jar of small plants. "These small beauties are some leaves Bartrid found in Mossflower yesterday; he said they have properties that came help our sick gatekeeper feel fresh like a blooming daisy. Do you know Porteur is now Raoyme? So I can find him quickly before the tea gets cold." Caria asked sweetly. Her young adult voice was sweet as nectar, but hidden in it was a smug of displeasure.

Raoyme straiten her posture and answered boldly. "He's inside that dusty gatehouse of his. I still wander why he was chosen as gatekeeper, never does he keep the place clean nor try to clean it!" trotting off, the Sister of Redwall went back inside, out of the chilly air. Caria turned her dark eyes to the gatehouse, and inside the small window, she saw Brother Porteur. She opened the cracked open door with her foot and slammed it shut; Portrur was startled, but saw t was the king mousemaid.

"Good day to you Caria. Oh, is that my tea? About time, I need a warm up." he said as he reached for the tray, but Caira set it down on the dusty desk behind her.

"Let put your medication in it now so you don't taste the disgusting stuff!" she chirped. Picking up the warm teacup and reaching for something inside her apron pocket, in her paws was a tiny square ring. With her finger, she popped open the cap that was on it. "Hurry up there Caria." she heard Porteur say, grumbling at either himself or her; he coughed loudly, almost sounded like he was choking. Inside the small compartment of the ring was a crystal-like white powder. Caria tipped her hand, and a bit of the powder floated into the cup.

"Here we are!" Caria said loudly, letting Porteur know she was done. He hurriedly grabbed the cup, gulping it down at once. "Hmph! Good; yes it was. Good day to you Caria." he was once again at his scrolls with a cough. But Caria didn't leave, only pace around the small room, gnawing at her bottom lip.

Porteur noticed this. "Why are you pacing about here Caria? I believe you should return to Cavern Hole. Abbess Ferna will need y-" the old one's glasses fell from his face with a clink! when he went still. Porteur fell from his chair and onto the stone floor. Dust rose and settle, reviling his still form. Caria smiled and kicked the limp form. Dead.

Caria went on her knees and rolled over the dead Brother. She raised his head, and underneath his neck was key; he wore the gatehouse key as a necklace so he won't loose it in this un-orderly place. Caria snatched the key and walked to the door. "Good day to you Brother...farewell!" the mousemaid slammed the door shut and locked it with it's very own key.

She looked back, "Tell your life story to whoever greets you at the Dark Forest." she said. Caria ran into Redwall Abbey's walls, no looking back at the deed she committed.

. . .

Caria tripped into Cavern Hole, falling to the floor with a smack! as her paws broke her fall. Everyone looked her way, their socializing silenced as she entered; the mousemaid smiled sheepishly and said, "Brother Porteur was glad to finally to get his tea!" that made everyone go back to their conversations.

A young mouse came and helped Caria off the floor. "You ran in here pretty quickly Caria. Got the shivers in cold?" he said, tinkling his nose at her.

"Well, all I had was this habit! I didn't want to become sick like Porteur, indeed I didn't. Have you seen Sister Sarisa anywhere, Noel? I need to ask her a favor." Noel straitened a whisker as he thought. "Hmm..the last time I saw Sarisa, she was running the dibbuns out of Friar Ballume's kitchen."

Caria was already running to the kitchen as she waved back. "Thank you Noel!" he just waved back absently, though she didn't see. The mousemaid ran through the halls, the patter of her paws announcing she was coming through non-stop.

She spotted Sarisa with a small otter, holding out her paw. "Where is it Daryn? Someone took Ballume's last sour plum and you were the last one out of the kitchen. C'mon, spit it out!" Daryn did what he was told; spitted out the sour plum right onto Sarisa's waiting paw. "Oh! Oh dear..t-thank you Daryn!" she said, putting the slimy plum into a pocket. Sarisa turned and saw Caria standing innocently in front of her.

"Good day Sister. Can I ask you a question?" Caria asked.

"Oh sure Caria; anything." the mouse leaned down and squeezed Caria's cheek. "What do you need sweetie?"

Caria rubbed her cheek with a paw as she spoke. "Well, when I was with Porteur, he was acting more strange than ever. He seemed even worst than before."

Sarisa placed a finger on her chin. "Hmm..whatever sickness he has, he's practically killing him." Caria sort of stiffened up, but the blabbing mouse never noticed. "I'll go check on him right away." and so she did. Caria bit her bottom lip again, and walked to her room.

As she entered her private dorm, she slammed and locked the door behind her. She scrambled to the window, where she saw Sarisa heading to the gatehouse. Her lip began to bleed when she saw the mouse try to open the door. So she looked through the dusty window; and scream : "Brother Porteur is dead! He's dead!"

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