Keep your eye out for more chapters as the year progresses! I hope you like it - Drew
The squeals ceased when the shredded mouse bodies hit the floor. A lightning strike from somewhere off in the countryside aluminate the room as it shone through a cracked window in the old dining room. It appeared there were eight soldiers altogether and their bodies now littered the floorboards directly under the dining room table where the mice had tried to escape their hunters.
A match erupted into flame as it scratched across the heel of a well-worn boot. As it touched the end of a previously lit cigar; it filled the section of the room with a warm and foreboding aroma.
“Heh, simply a scouting party… not much of a challenge, eh boys?” Patches puffed his cigar a couple times, took a long drag, cocked his head back and blew the smoke into the air above his and his companion’s heads. He lifted his paws up to his face and flexed his well-worn claws a few times. His fur was a very light yellow, almost white, and had grey patches poke-a-dotted throughout. He wore a tight leather jacket over a soiled white button up shirt. He wore beige colored slacks that were patched over the knees. His most valued possession, other than his switchblade, was his pair of biker boots that came up high, just under his knees and buckled across his ankles.
“How long have ye been nursing that cigar? Ain’t it time to give’r up?” Snowball was one obese cat; the biggest in their posse. Patches never paid him any mind; in fact he wished he wasn’t there at all. Fat Cat had been extra curious about him and Blondie after they started to disappear at night and his solution was to have Snowball follow them wherever they went.
Patches’ cat eyes focused through the dark on his best friend, Blondie, overlooking what was left of the mouse bodies; sifting through their remains and mumbling to himself.
“What you finding over there, mate?”
“These mice were wearing a different tunic than what they usually do… or perhaps there has been some sort of new division formed within their ranks… interesting…” Blondie held up a shredded tunic that indeed had a new crest painted on the front. The crest, or what was left of it, looked to have a bloody heart painted on it. Certainly all of the dead mice had this crest as well. Shaking his head, Blondie stood up and threw the mouse remains back on the floor. Blondie was a sight for sore eyes; tall, muscular and athletic. His fur was a beautiful yellow tinge, his hair flowed long and wavy. His steel blue eyes cut to the heart of lovers and enemies alike. He wore a leather jacket not unlike Patches’ and a stained white undershirt underneath. He wrote tight ripped blue jeans. A chained wallet was nestled into his back pocket, and old ratty sneakers decked his feet. Blondie was the only tabby in the entire posse who fought without a weapon; the only one to simple fight with his paws.
“What do you think, Snowball” Patches said in a mocking tone; turning back to Blondie and shaking his head. Snowball only grunted and hunched away from the other two. Snowball was at least two heads taller than even Blondie and almost an entire size wider. He simply wore jean coveralls and nothing else. He brandished a large baseball bat at any social gathering – mouse hunting included. Mouse guts still remained on his weapon as he rarely took an opportunity to clean it.
Blondie stepped up to Patches with a slight nod of his head and a glisten in his eye. Patches knew the time was right; Snowball had been following them around for far too long and it was time to get him out of their hair for good. Blondie’s fur started to rise on the back of his neck, and he slowly started to flex his claws open and close. A wily smile broke out across his face in anticipation of the forthcoming fight.
“Ey Snowball, you must be getting tired following us around all these nights eh? It’s not like we’re good friends with you’r anythin… I think it’s time we…”
Tick tick tick tick tick tick…
Patches’ head turned and he squatted down on his hind haunches instantly as he heard the sound. It was coming from across the dining room, close to the side hallway that leads upstairs. The room was perilously dark, but he could make out some movement. Lightning struck again outside and the light revealed another small pack of mice soldiers scurrying across the floor. Without a second to lose, Patches bound after them on all fours; full speed ahead. Blondie and then Snowball were close to follow him, hot on his tail, but they were no match for his speed. In only a few leaps he was well on his way to catching the mice and more than half way across the massive dining room.
“If this is the second scouting party, hufpptt, there could be more! Humpphh, Don’t be too hasty!” Blondie called out to his friend as he fell behind, trying to keep up.
Nevertheless, Patches pressed on even faster, gaining speed as he dashed across the room. He counted only six mice; as far as he was concerned, they were already dead mice walking.
The mice didn’t see or hear him coming. They simply fell to the weight of his blow. Patches jumped and arched high into the air and came crashing down, paws swinging, into the small gang of mice. His impact was softened by the bodies of three mice that were instantly crushed and shredded by his claws, their bodies gouged and their armor providing little protection. The remaining three mice squealed and two of them raised their weapons, the third started to scurry away down the hallway towards the stairwell, far off in the distance. Patches arched his right paw and lashed out at the two remaining mice, bypassing their weapons and cutting through their bodies. Their intestines exploded out of their armor shells at the weight of the impact, their remains splattered across the floor in every direction painting that section of the hallway red.
Patches turned towards the deep end of the hallway and began his pursuit. Blondie finally made his way out of the dining room, followed by Snowball, and stopped to witness his friend rush after his prey. Patches was filled with bloodlust as he closed in on the mouse, unable to witness the peril that lay ahead.
Blondie stopped by the remains of the five other mice and heard a faint cry at the end of the hallway – his cat ears twitching and focused on an unclear sound.
A wall of flame erupted on the stairwell, yards away, as hundreds of mice light their arrows dipped in oil.
Patches was upon his enemy, grasping the remains in his jaws and chomping the mouse to pieces. Despite his bloodlust, he noticed the wall of flame arch high into the sky and descend upon him. The fire arrows covered a vast area all around him providing no escape. His clothes and fur burst into flame and he began to writhe on the floor in pain, trying to somehow escape the fire.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” Cried Blondie as his best friend was engulfed in flames. He sprang forward but was suddenly restrained by Snowball, who held tight to his shoulder.
“No, you idiot…” Snowball grasped his shoulder and pointed towards the stairwell. “I know you don’t like me, and I sure as hell hate you, but there’s no point in loosing you both in this madness…”
Blondie watched as an army of mice sprang forward from the stairwell with their weapons brandished, dashing towards Patches.
Patches rolled this way and that, squelching most of the fire but he looked down at his body to realize most of his fur had burned off and massive open wounds now covered him. He gathered himself wincing in immense pain and looked up at the wave of mice rushing towards him. He looked over his shoulder; his gaze catching Blondie’s and tears started to well up in his eyes. With all of his strength, he pulled his switchblade from his right boot, grasped it in his paw and threw it towards Blondie.
Blondie lunged forward and caught Patches most valued possession and then watched his friend dive headlong into the mouse army. The first rank of mice was completely decimated by his attack, but there were multiple divisions pushing forward. Patches didn’t make a sound as the mice poured over him, cutting his body to ribbons with their swords and spears.
Blondie fought to break free from Snowball’s grip to somehow, someway help his life-long friend, but to no avail. Snowball, shaking his head and cringing at the sight, held tight to Blondie and slowly dragged him away. They disappeared into the darkness of the old mansion and the safety of the night.