Swimming Lessons

  • The river twinkled like sapphires in the golden sunlight. The trees swayed gently in time with the breeze. There was not a cloud in the perfect blue sky, but on that beautiful spring morning, there was nobeast having fun. The banks seemed bare without playful otter dibbuns, leverets or shrew babes. If one listened closely, one could only just make out a far off bird, calling it`s mate to go.
    Why the place was empty, nobeast really knew. It was just a feeling, that at that time of day, things were going to get cloudy. And when they did, there would be a lot of flooding. Nobeast knew this, it was just a feeling. But they were right…

    The storm fell at around midday. Every sensible beast was shut up tight in their homes. The moles filled in their tunnels, the squirrels slammed the doors of their dray, even the beasts of Redwall Abbey dared not go outside into the rain which pounded down on their rooves. The river Moss rose greatly, engulfing the banks on both sides. Trees collapsed, crops were destroyed, anything outside was wrecked, including the shelters of some unlucky beasts.

    One pitiful forlorn bundle swept through the river. Struggling to keep her head above the water, the half conscious vixen grabbed feebly at rocks and roots, hoping to get to the bank before she was washed away. Water filled her eyes and nose and bubbles escaped from her mouth. Up ahead, through the rain, she saw a broken branch, and swam desperately towards it. A sigh of relief escaped from her mouth as she clasped it.

    It was funny, only a few days ago she had been part of a large ship. She had loved the smell of the seawater, until it had mingled with blood. Dejectedly, she had been given permission to take a break from her job on board.
    When she had completely left the harbor, laden with supplies, she had followed the river Moss for two days, unwittingly banging into a den of robbers and murderers. They had attacked her and taken her supplies, leaving her for dead on the bank of the river. Painfully, and slowly, she had dragged herself to the water`s edge and drank the sweet water greedily, before she had passed out.
    She had woken at nearly midday the next day, full of aches and pains, to find a storm approached. With the water rising fast, and rain beating down on her like disappointment, she tried to drag herself away from the flooding river. But she had failed, and ended up becoming part of the flood, with murky water and broken branches.

    The vixen had not been paying enough attention to the flood, now that she felt safer with a branch. Half a tree trunk reared up behind her, and she turned, a look of horror on her battered features. She let go of her branch and thrust up all her paws as it came down upon her, yelling one final word, hoping to be heard, before she was sucked into the murky depths of the river and into oblivion.

  • Zemmerug watched the flood get bigger around his ship. This was good. Now the ship wouldn't scrape the bottom of the river. The deeper the water the better. Zemmerug stood at the helm of his ship, the Midnight Fury, and proudly watched as his crew bustled about on the deck of the boat. The Fury was traveling up the River Moss. The weasel captain watched as an oafish searat clambered up the stairs to Zemmerug. The rat tipped his hat to the captain, and then began talking.

    "Cappin no sign o' 'er. Dat idjit ferret yew employed t'git th'cleanin' goin' es asleep an' we is outta food n' drink, an' all da weppins are rusty an' yer lookout fell overboard."

    Said the rat. Zemmerug's face became increasingly angrier as the rat went on. How could all of these bad things be happening? First, the cleaning fox left his boat. Then the shipwright took ages repairing it. Then, just when they were ready to set sail, the idiot beasts who were supposed to be loading the provisions didn't add enough. Zemmerug was a very mad weasel. He paced around in a circle, cursing and muttering quietly to himself. He pointed a paw at the searat.

    "All dese problems er 'appenin' an yer jus' standin' der? Yew oaf! Git somebeast who kin see oop t'da crow's nest! Wake oop da new cleanin' ferret! Clean da weppins! Don' just stand der loik an idjit!"

    Yelled the weasel captain. Zemmerug stormed off to his cabin, but before entering he yelled at the rat again.

    "Yer lookin' fer some sort of port or town on dis river. Relay me orders t'da crew. We needs t'git some supplies an' some more crew beasts."

    He said. He kicked the doors to his cabin open. Then he heard a loud voice, screaming one word.


    Zemmerug's ears perked up. Where had he heard that name before? It sounded familiar. Perhaps that was the name of a ship he'd plundered? No, th.
    "Das da cleanin' fox! Look fer da cleanin' fox! May'aps she 'as somethin' we kin use. Or infermation."

    Said the weasel, before finally entering his cabin

  • (OOC: You had better rescue me, no matter what this post says)
    Deekra had gone under. If she was awake, she might have seen the large vessel making it`s way towards her. If she was awake, she would have recognized Captain Zemmerug at the helm of his ship, and yelled for help. If she was awake, she could have made her way to the ship and been pulled aboard.

    But she in a different state of mind, slowly drowning and moving with the river, to be washed, most likely dead, to the sea. There was no hope for the body,so the mind moved into a calmer place, a fictional area of memories, where Deekra could maybe finish her life in peace.

    A beautiful orchard… Deekra lay under an apple tree, laughing as an apple bounced into her paw... A lovely flavor, perfect with bread and cheese... Rain... Here her mind twisted away from the memories and moved on… Learning to read… Deekra was a fast learner... Frustration at a hard word The mind twisted and turned, trying to find enough good memories for Deekra to finish on. It got harder and harder at every turn and things were starting to dim…

  • (Slight auto on Deekra. Let me know if you want it changed)

    Zemmerug and some of his crew where staring hard into the water where Deekra was. Zemmerug saw a faint shadow of Deekra under the water. He stared. He turned to his oafish rat assistant.

    "T'row ah line! Wit somethin' dat fox kin grab onta."

    Ordered the weasel. The searat saluted and went off to find something. After a few minutes of deciding what to throw, the searat grabbed one of Zemmerug's many empty grog bottles and threw it done to Deekra, attached to a rock. It was aimed right at Deekra.  It hit her straight on the head. The searat yelled down.

    "Grabbit! Grab onta da boddle!"

  • (OOC: As long as it saves Deekras life) IC: Deekra was beyond hearing or feeling. Her memories were darkening,and the gates of the Dark Forest were approaching. Suddenly a mouse in shining armor, wielding a beautiful sword appeared.He seemed so serene as he said.Take hold of my paw, Deekraand he held out a mailed paw. His eyes were so friendly and promising, that Deekra immediately stretched out and clasped it, unwittingly clasping the grog bottle that was actually floating in front of her, where the mouses paw was.

  • The rat looked at Zemmerug exasperatedly. This fox wasn't grabbing the bottle. Suddenly, the rat felt a tug on the rope. He tugged on it. Deekra was dragged up through the air and landed with a thud on the deck of the Midnight Fury. Zemmerug peered down from the aft at her. She was wet and muddy. The oafish searat banged his fist down on the mid-section of the fox, in an effort to make her spit up the water. Zemmerug rolled his eyes, and Whitepaw, the first mate intervened.

    "Giddoff 'er, yew idjit. Kin't yew see she needs t'be woked oop?"

    Said the first mate. The rat just blinked.

  • The mouse had disappeared now. So had the gates of the Dark Forest. So had the peaceful memories. Deekra felt lighter, happier after the mouse. She did not feel her body jolt as the rat whacked her midriff. She did not feel the spurt of water that gurgled out of her mouth and let her take a single faint breath that kept her alive a little longer. From a far distance she heard faint words.
    Yew…need...t...woke...oop`that were the only words she could just hear. The knowledge that she could hear and breath jerked her mind. If she could do those two simple things, she must still be alive. But before she could do anything, her mind shut down again and she was left drifting once more.

  • The searat sighed and now he began shaking Deekra roughly and shouting in her face.

    "Wake oop yew lout! Yer on dis ship now an' yew got work t'do!"

    Whitepaw kicked the rat.


  • Deekras mind registered the rat shaking her and instinctively her paw shot up and whacked the sea rat as he was kicked by Whitepaw. Deekra did not feel this, and remained drifting, but she was slowly being woken up each time something touched her. Her mind was slowly functioning, like a rusty cog turning on low power, and it wasnt long now…

  • The searat smiled. He sneered at Whitepaw.

    "She's awake. Don' kick meh, ah'm on'y doin' mah job."

    Said the rat, smugly. Whitepaw rolled his eyes. The stoat looked to the sky for help. Why did the idiot searats aboard this vessel ever think? Nobeast would ever know. Whitepaw decided to take action without violence. He shoved the searat aside and went to find a barrel of water. He found one, and emptied some into a bucket. He then dumped this over Deekra's mostly motionless body. The searat looked confusedly at Whitepaw, then at Deekra.

    "But… yer drownin' 'er!"

    He exclaimed. Whitepaw kicked the rat.

    "D'yew e'er think? Yew idjit! Yew weren't doin' no good so ah took things inta me own 'ands."

    The stoat screamed in the rat's face.

  • Deekra sat up spluttering and blinking water from her eyes. Her first thought was So this is what the Dark Forest looks like. All blurry and bumpy.  But then, she got her vision back and she fell back, exhausted. She tried to say Whitepaw but she couldnt. Her mind was confused, and wondering why she wasnt dead and where she was.

  • When Whitepaw heard Deekra's sputtering he turned slowly to face Deekra. So, the fox was finally awake. The searat looked too. He was very happy to see Deekra awake.

    "See! Ah woke 'er oop!"

    He said. Whitepaw just shook his head. Whitepaw extended his paw for Deekra to grab.

    "Welcome aboard d'Midnight Fury."

    He said.

  • Deekra lifted a feeble hand up, but it fell short of Whitepaws. She tried once more, but it felt like her whole body was thrice its normal weight. She smiled apologetically at Whitepaw.
    Sorry… no... energy.... Hello.. White... paw she gasped. Each word was an effort and she tried one last time to catch Whitepaw`s paw.

  • Whitepaw sighed. What were they supposed to do? They couldn't drag her down the stairs into the infirmary, or the bunks, or the sick bay. They couldn't just leave her here. Whitepaw lowered his paw to make it easier for Deekra to grab.

  • Deekra was sorry she couldnt grab Whitepaws paw. Then she saw Whitepaw bend down to make it easier. This time Deekra paw made it, just. She focused on holding on to make it easier for Whitepaw.

  • Whitepaw lifted with all of his might. He grabbed Deekra's arm to make it easier to lift, and to make it easier for her not to let go. Finally he dragged Deekra to a standing position, but he knew she wouldn't last like this. She would probably collapse. He called his idiot searat assistant over, and they each put an arm around Deekra's neck and helped her along to the sick bay. Deekra was wet and she was getting Whitepaw's uniform wet. Whitepaw did not like having a wet uniform. Whitepaw, once he got to the nearest hammock, tried to get Deekra into it.

    "Kin yew geddin dat 'ammick?"

    He asked, apologetically. He could not lift Deekra. The searat could, but nobeast would trust that dunce with the task of carrying somebeast.

  • Deekra was glad when Whitepaw and the sea rat managed to get her upright and next to the hammock in the infirmary. When she was asked if she could get in, she nodded slightly.
    I… think... so she gasped as she sort of flopped onto it. After a little bit of struggle, she managed to get herself comfortable and she dozed off.

    (OOC: Shall we go on to the next day now, when I can actually walk unassisted?)

  • (OOC: Yes please.)

    Zemmerug woke up on his bed in the cabin. He yawned. He could not open his right eye. His breath was terrible. He staggered out of bed, mumbled mindless nonsense to himself as he got dressed. Once he finished, he left his quarters. He smiled, ran down the steps, and let out a shout. All of the crew members sat straight up. Zemmerug began laughing.

  • Deekra awoke in the morning with all aches banished. Immediately she reached for a cloth in her belt and realized that the first thing she should do was go and report to Captain Zemmerug.

    Deekra found Zemmerug on the deck, laughing his head off about some joke or another. Slowly she paced towards him, saluting smartly.
    Captain Zemmerug, I am present and ready for work she said.

  • Zemmerug turned to her. He nodded. He knew Deekra would've remembered the rules on this ship. He turned from Deekra and watched as the rest of the crew started coming out from below decks. Zemmerug nodded at them. He began shouting orders, so that everybeast could hear.

    "Full sail! Make haste down d'river!"

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