It all Started with a Pie…... (Closed Temp, Rorgus)
Arlen strolled across the orchard swinging a bucket and whistling. He stopped under an apple tree and climbed up into it, then he started picking apples. Once he filled the bucket he climbed back down from the tree and started for the kitchens. He entered the kitchen and looked around. There were Freedom and Adara, he walked over to them with the bucket.
" Here are your apples Sister Freedom." He set them down and moved over to the table they were working on.
" What are you making?" He asked Adara.
" We are making pies Arlen. Apple pies. And no their not done yet."
" Ooh apple pie! My favorite, when are they going to be ready?"
" They'll be ready soon enough don't you worry." His paw slowly reached toward the candied chestnuts they were going to put on top as he talked.
" Now don't you touch those Arlen!" She said slapping his paw.
" Owch! Aww come on Adara just one?" Then he whispered something in her ear. She blushed and said
" Oh alright Arlen just one then you'd better scat!"
" Ok!" He then grabbed a chestnut and dashed out the door.
Freedom shook her head, trying to hide the grin that was threatening to creep onto her face. "If that little runt steals another candied chestnut I'm going to have to be forced to tell him these pies are for the Skipper and his crew."
Which wasn't a fib. They were for the hungry otters, but both she and Adara had been making extra for the rest of the Abbey, and one big pie for Arlen. Which he didn't know about, and wouldn't know about until later.
She tweaked Adara's ear fondly and gave her a "menacing" look. "Same goes for you miss, keep eating them and giving them away, and you won't get pie either." she winked at Adara, letting her know that the older Healer was only joking.
Adara blushed furiously at Freedom's last remark.
" Oh come on Sister you know I wouldn't do such a thing. It…er...um.. it was just something he said...it was only one. Then she caught her wink and blushed again.
" Do you think it'll be a surprise? We should tell him that they're for Skippers crew and then when they're done give him his!" She giggled then thinking about what he would look like when they told him they weren't for him.
Arlen after a while couldn't care it any longer. He went back to the kitchen to see how the pies were coming .
" Is there anything I can help with?" He asked hopefully.
Freedom shook her wooden spoon at him fiercely, batter dripping off of it onto the table. "Oh no you don't mister, I know what you're up to. Now scoot, out with you, or we're never going to get the Skipper's pies done."
Arlen's mouth dropped open as he heard that.
" There for who?!? Skipper aww come on Sister your not going o make any for anyone else? Aww shucks and I was just hoping too. He turned and left the kitchens looking very pitiable, he gave one last look at the pies that were almost ready to go into the oven.
Once he was gone Adara started giggling. She giggled so much she couldn't stop.
" Oh Sister Freedom that was perfect! Ohohahahehehe."Once she managed to get herself under control she started decorating the tops of the pies. On Arlen's extra big one she but lots of candied chestnuts
Freedom chuckled lightly as she placed the first four pies into the oven, two on the top and two on the bottom. "Just think how excited he will be when he finds out that the biggest one is for him."
"Now, when they're finished baking, what do you think about topping them off with some fresh meadow cream and a few shakes of ground cinnamon?" She asked as she wiped her hands on the front of her apron.
" Ooh yes that sounds like an excellent idea. He will be surprised!"
When the pies were cooked they took them out. They were beautifully browned on top and smelled heavenly! They set them on the window sill to cool. And just to be sure Adara check all around the out side of the window to see i Arlen was anywhere in sight. She didn't want any of their pies disappearing.
" Should we give his to him before Skipper takes his or after?" She asked Sister Freedom.
Freedom winked at her as she started to whip the cream. "Oh defeinitely after Skipper gets his. That way young Master Arlen will appreciate it more!"
Adara giggled. Then leaving the kitchen she went to find Skipper and his crew. She found him and they all went back to the kitchen. He was delighted with the pies.
" Is this one for me?" Starting to pick up the big pie.
" No it isn't!" Adara said slapping his paw " That one is for Arlen. But don't tell him about it. oh and if you see him could you tell I want him in here?"
Arlen arrived in the kitchen a few minutes later. He had seen Skipper and his crew carrying the pies away to be eaten.
" You can help now Arlen." She said sweetly. You can start washing the pots."
Arlen looked astonished. How could she be so mean? He dejectedly started washing the pots.
"And when you've finished with the dishes, we could use more firewood. All of those pies nearly cleaned the kitchen of it all." She winked at Adara behind Arlen's back and proceeded to put the remainder of the apples and other unused ingredients away.
She couldn't help but chuckle; who ever would have guessed that the little squirrelmaid was such a schemer?
Adara kept a stern face on though it was very hard. She caught Freedoms wink and winked back. They had the kitchen cleaned in a very short time. Arlen wasa very good worker and got his work done fast. Adara helped him bring in more wood and soon it was perfectly clean.
" Now" she said to him " come over here." She led him over to the window where one pie sat. The biggest apple pie, he looked hungrily.
She picked it up and turned to him smiling.
" Here is your pie Arlen. Thank you for your help." She said, she kissed him on the cheek and giggled. He just stood there astonished.
" But… but you....y you said they were for Skipper?"
" Well this one is for you! This is and extra big one. I even put extra chestnuts on top." A slow blush made its way across his face. He accepted the pie and grinned.
" Thank you Adara. And Sister Freedom."
Freedom laughed lightly and ruffled his ears fondly. "Oh don't thank me young'un. I'd never dream of making your favorite pie and NOT have one for you. Now run along you two, no sense being cooped up in this hot kitchen all day."
They went out to the orchard and sat with their backs to a tree. Arlen cut his pie and started eating it.
" Here would you like some?" He asked Adara.
" Oh thank you Arlen!" She took a piece and started eating it.
" Mmm this is good Adar! Thank you." He said to her biting into his piece.
" Your a good pie maker."
" Thank you," she said her cheeks turning rose colored.
" It wasn't only me that made them all. Freedom helped too."
Once he finished his pie they both went up to the wall top. Skipper looked up from his seat on the bank of the pond and saw Arlen and Adara walking paw in paw around the wall top talking. He chuckled heartily.
As the two were walking along the walltop, Freedom went back to her beloved Infirmary. She made beds, organized the linen closet, checked her supplies, and tended the few that were there. Out of all the Herbalists that had been at the Abbey, Freedom was the most skilled. At least, that's what everybeast told her.
The two young squirrels walked along the wall top. Talking and enjoying the beautiful day, they had walked all the way around the wall top and and were back over the gate facing the path. It was then while leaning on the battlements that Adara noticed an figure lying on the path. It looked like an otter. ,
" Look!" She gasped pointing toward the figure. "It looks like a wounded otter! I'll go down and help it, you run and get Sister Freedom!" And with that she vaulted over the battlements and jumped to the ground. Arlen likewise turned around and leaped to the ground on the other side and dashed towards the abbey.
He burst into the Infirmary gasping for breath.
" Sister Freedom! Come quick there's a wounded otter on the path outside the gate!"
Freedom dropped the blanket she was in the process of folding as Arlen bursted into the Infirmary, catching her totally off guard.
She grabbed a satchel that she kept a small amount of supplies in, in case the sitaution was very serious and had to be tended to right away. "All right, let's go." she said hurridly, ordering her assistant to run ahead and have the Gatekeeper open the gates for them.
Without even waiting for the gate to open Arlen ran up the steps next to the gate and vaulted over the wall. Landing lightly on the ground outside Redwall. He dashed up the path to where they had seen the otter. When he came in view of the otter. He saw the otter but there was no Adara. He ran to the otter who was rasping and bleeding all over.
" Where is Adara?!?" He asked urgently.
" They took cough they took her." He whispered
" it was an ambush," then the otter blacked out. Arlen looked up as Freedom cam running. up
" They took her," he said with a stony face.
" They took Adara, it was an ambush and she was taken by vermin."
Freedom's eyes blazed angrily and her teeth gound together audibly. "Help me get this otter to my Infirmary, then alert the Abbot. I know finding her is important, but right now tending to this poor otter is the top priority on our list."
Arlen helped Sister Freedom get the otter to Redwall and up into the infirmary. Then him Skipper Freedom and one of Arlen's friends set out to search for Adara. They left the Abbey at a swift walk and then when they came to the path where they had found the otter they turned and set off in the direction the otter had showed them. Arlen was up front tracking the vermin, it wasn't hard because they had slashed at the bushes and cut a path through the foliage.
They stopped several hours later and took a quick lunch. Then they set off again after the vermin. They had set off west to the coast and were by the looks of it in a hurry. they knew by now that somebeast would be tracking them.
Freedom pawed the hilt of the dagger strapped to her thigh angrily. "At this rate we will have to make camp soon. That can't possibly be too far ahead of us, can they? I mean, if they're heading for the coast it will take them at the minimum of two days to get there on foot." She growled and hefted the sword strapped to her back. "And Maker help them when I get my hands on them." she growled.