The Mouse Who Lost His Temper…Often!
Resplendent gold rays filtered down indolently, warming their way through the verdant leaves and enveloping the life below in its tender light. Plump rain droplets from the previous evening’s light showers clung tenaciously to the leaves , feebly striving to thwart the quivering branches that threatened to force them. A cool roving breeze that passed swiftly through the canopy and shook the sycamore’s strong, far-reaching branches.
The transient winds paid no heed to the vociferous protest from the tree’s tenants as it continued it’s voyage onward, sweeping freely through a bright and clear sky. The canopy rustled and moments later a small flock of birds took wing, possibly in pursuit the invisible villain who had been so inconsiderate as disrupt their slumber. The aggravated avian mob soared far and high, and once they had passed it was quiet once more.
The hour was early and the air still a bit nippy, only just beginning to warm as the sun sluggishly ascended. A whispered tranquility pervaded here. Few creatures had yet risen to their daily tasks and it was in the solitude and quiet of the dawn that the musician could work.
Seated with his back leaning against the lone sycamore there was an equally lonely young mouse whom stood on the threshold of adulthood (ooc- Not sure what age Redwallers or Woodlanders consider to be adult.) He was a tall and limber fellow with short ,gray brindle fur and long lanky limbs. The habit that he wore was a dark, forest green and it appeared to be a bit too small for a youth of his height, its frayed lower edges stopping shy mid-shin.
Cradled in his arms was an old, beaten up lute. The youth ran his dexterous claws lightly over the strings as he stared out across the abbey pond at those sandstone walls of the beloved abbey that he had come to be raised in.
Theodoric sighed, content to focus on the mellifluous bittersweet melody that he played. Though outwardly the young mouse may have appeared to look calm and at peace as were his environs, internally Theo’s emotions were tumultuous. Though there were few creatures within those glorious red walls that were ignorant of that fact.
Young Theo had quite the notorious little reputation for being a professional instigator. Not a single day had gone by that the aggressive young mouse wasn’t getting into fights with his peers. Lately, his aggression had become a bane to Redwall and the elders were all but too close to yanking out their fur.
And Theo was aware of this. His attitude had turned sour and remained that way just a season after the kind and gracious inhabitants of Redwall Abbey had welcomed he and his orphaned sister into their home. It had been the same season his little sister had been lost to a depression that had not lifted since it found her. She had gradually grown weaker and as she did, he grew angrier.
Thinking of his sister, Theo abruptly halted playing his music and scowled.
“Clara…” He spoke the younger mouse’s name so quietly that it could barely be heard above the breeze. “I should go see her.”
As he rose to his feet, his ears pricked up. He sensed some beast approaching…
Okay, this thread is open to anyone but be warned that I am not a speedy poster.
The beast approaching could be anyone. It does not have to be someone’s character.
Also, this was a painful post. @.@ I’m terrible with intros. :S head desk
A smaller mouse was approaching. Skylan was sickly, like his sister. Yet, at the same time, young Sky was very different. The mouse had been sick ever since he was a dibbun at the abbey. Some feared he would never get better. He too, was approaching adulthood as well, and the fact that he hadn't gone a whole season without getting severely ill or weak, was disheartening.
The young mouse had always dreamed of being Redwall's Champion one day, a dream that to everyone but himself, seemed foolish and unrealistic. After all, the young mouse was too weak to get out of bed on some days! Regardless of such a fact, he still remained strong and ready to pursue his dream mentally.
Being in the infirmary and condemned to the indoor life of the abbey so much, allowed the youngster to familiarize himself with all beasts who were "ill", and one of those beasts was Clara. Skylan truly felt bad for her, and even at times for her very angry and stubborn brother.
Coincidentally, Skylan had actually just came from the infirmary after taking his herbs. His cobalt blue habit hung loosely and his his sandals that were a size too big flopped in a silly manner. The hood of his habit was up, providing him some extra protection from the outside word, and in his paws was a simple yet nice wooden staff given to him by Freedom and the wolverine Osgod.
A small smile formed on Skylan as he approached Theo.
"Hey Theo, your sister was askin' for you," he put simply, his weakened eyes still expressing happiness. Curiously, he looked at the larger mouse. "What were you playin?"
Theo spun around sharply, his muscles were drawn tight and his stance spoke of a creature that was well prepared for conflict. His countenance was fully aggressive and perhaps doubly more intimidating than usual with his charcoal gray fur rising with his hot temper and the flash of menace in his dark eyes.
“What do you…” He started to growl, but when he’d turned to face the approachee fully and took in the shorter, frailer creature adorned in a cobalt habit he relaxed his stance. Fortunately for Skylan, Theo’s bad temper was in check. For now. “…want?”
He blinked a couple times. He had not been expecting the creature that stood before him now.
"Hey Theo, your sister was askin' for you,"Sky said.
His eyes took in Theo and he was instantly reminded of Clara. But where young Sky could find the willpower to stand and even to smile, his sister could not. Thinking of this an ugly feeling started to boil in the pit of Theo’s stomach and he felt a bile creeping up his throat.
I’m not going to snap this time. I promised Morf I wouldn‘t cause trouble!
Brother Moran Frode was the kindly old mouse whom had volunteered to take he and his sister in. Old Frode was perhaps the kindest and most understanding soul in the abbey- at least by Theo’s perspective.
The elderly mouse often volunteered to care for orphans , wounded birds and even the occasional strange vermin. He was patient, disciplined and wise. He was an everlasting fountain of knowledge ,experience and hope. And while the peaceable Frode had never been any Martin the Warrior, he was every bit the shining example of what young Theo wished he could be.
Frode was very much like a father to him in place of the one he’d lost.
Theo’s tattered ears flattened against his head and he issued a soft warning growl. The type of sound that said, ‘Don’t mess with me or you’ll regret it!’. “What’s your problem? Anyone ever teach you it’s rude to sneak up on someone like that?”
At mention of Clara, Theo nearly dropped his lute. He stared at Skylan almost incredulously. “She spoke to you?!“ Theo bristled. His sister never talked anymore. Never smiled, never laughed despite how hard he’d tried to comfort her. To think that her words were wasted on this runt made all of the nasty feelings threaten to explode.
Must…not lose my temper.
He found himself disbelieving. The seasons had only left his sister worse off. She grew smaller and ever more frail and it was only a few months ago that he’d overheard the adults talking about it. Many of them didn’t think she’d live to see next winter.
Skylan had been fortunate enough thus far to have not become a regular target of Theo‘s wrath, but if the little runt was playing some kind of joke on him…oh Theo would break him like a twig!
I won’t get angry. Thought he and he gripped his lute, claws digging into the instrument. He didn’t realize it but his grip had become very tight and his limbs subtly trembled with along with the instability of these irrational emotions that he was fighting to repress.
“Yeah,” he told Sky at length, his reply came off sounding rather rigid, “I was about to go see her.”
He looked up at the sky, watching a bird pass overhead. On it went, carried swift and free on the breeze. It crossed over the high abbey walls and ventured beyond fearless and free. He found himself envying those wings, wishing that he’d been born with them. How much easier would it have been to search for his parents then?
"What were you playin?"
Now when young Skylan did inquire about his music, Theo’s head snapped back down to look at him. For the briefest and rarest of moments, Theo appeared to look genuinely sad. The music was a tune his mother had taught him. One of the first pieces he had learned to play. He’d never mastered it but he could still remember when he’d gotten through the entire thing stilting. His parents had been so proud, especially his mother.
That weak feeling didn’t last very long as it was snapped in twain and thrown adside to give way to his usual anger. “Why do you care?” He demanded, with a soft growl.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. I am in control, not the anger.
He did just that and then shook his head. “ What are you doing out here anyway?” He came out here every morning to play in solitude. This was the first time someone had managed to catch him doing it. His look was curious though not without suspicion.
OOC: ((very good post mate ^^ ))
The young mouse kicked a pebble while he waited for Theo's response. To be honest, Skylan was quite curious as to why Theo was the way he was. Granted, abbeydwellers asked the same thing about Skylan, but Theo was a much more different story. Sky was always wandering why exactly Theo had such a short fuse. Sure his sister was very very ill, but in Sky's mind of heroes being able to save anyone from anything, he thought Theo should try and help fix her rather than lash out at his fellow beasts.
First, Theo demonstrated his anger by asking what Sky's problem was. The mouse's ears flattened and he eyed his staff, unsure of what to say at first.
"Well, I dunno, I didn't think I was, I'm sorry," Sky murmured, swallowing hard. Then, Theo expressed his clear feelings about his sister having talked to him. To that, the smaller mouse merely shrugged.
"Theo, she just asked for you… really, I didn't necessarily talk to her," he replied his blue eyes shifting back and forth. The only other things that really got to young Skylan was the question about why he cared, and what he was doing out there.
Skylan gripped the staff tightly, trying to sound passive as he spoke.
"Look, Theo I dunno I was just wandering," he paused coughing into his sleeve of his habit, "and I dunno, I felt better today than I normally do so I figured I'd walk around a bit," Sky finished.
I don't understand why you're being so defensive Theo… I was just letting you know, Sky thought, waiting to hear the bigger mouse's next responses.
The backed off then. Perhaps he wasn’t in a mood for confrontation or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he spied a familiar duo headed his way. Theo was not the only bully in the abbey, “You should be careful where you step.” Theo growled softly at him and stepped in closer ,casting a shadow over Sky and looking every bit intimidating. Ironically, this time his intention was the opposite of what it seemed.
He’d wasted enough time on the runt and he’d prefer seeing his sister before getting into trouble. He gave Skylan a curt nod and he slung his lute over his narrow shoulder. He walked past Sky without another word or glance and made his way up the steps to the abbey.
ooc: Thanks. Yours is as well.
This post here was going to be longer but I decided to cut it some and save the other part for a bit later. xD
Skylan raised a brow curiously. Careful where he stepped? The mouse was simply relaying information to him! Sky's eyes showed determination in them as he followed Theo. He had to admit he was a little intimidated when Theo cast his shadow over him, but Sky knew if he wanted to be like Martin one day, he had to show no fear.
The mouse swallowed hard before speaking again to the large mouse. Sky's voice low and just loud enough for Theo to hear.
"Theo', what's bitin' your ear?" Sky asked intrigued by why Theo was so angry. Yeah, he knew Theo had a reputation for a short fuse, but maybe there were reasons behind it that he could try to help with! After all, Martin helped everyone he could.
Theo reached the top step when the other mouse’s question gave him small pause.
Skylan’s question wasn’t new to him. Many of the abbey’s elders had asked him the very same question, but Theo’s problem was something he hadn’t paused to consider in its entirety. It was not so complicated of a problem but it was decidedly a bit more intricate than most understood. For there was no single reason that Theo’s temperament was predisposed to lash out in the manner that it did.
None of his peers however, had cared to know. They simply assumed that Theo had been born with a chip on his shoulder. Some even claimed that he wasn’t really a mouse. A rat, some called him. Theo was nearly of abnormal height for his species and his temper was mean and nasty, like their vermin cousin.
Theo didn’t know how to answer the question. He’d tried to think about what it was that bothered him but there were so many things that had been on his mind, that had troubled him, he didn’t know where to begin or even why or when he’d started to think this way. And what did it matter? Talking about feelings or things that happened in the past was not going to cure his sister’s condition or bring his parents back.
“Nothing,” Theo responded to the question with a snarl, “there’s nothing wrong with me. I just don’t like being both-”
“Good morning, Theo,” The warm voice of Lucas, a young abbey defender hailed them, “ you’re awake awfully early.” Lucas was a mouse whom was a bit older than Theo. Not quite as tall, Lucas was built strong , particularly well-toned in his upper body thanks to a life of sword training. Lucas was a likable mouse. He was always laughing and smiling. He was a handsome fellow with chestnut fur and warm green eyes. He wore a soft beige tunic and navy breeches.
A tall, pot-bellied otter stood at the older mouse’s side, “Mornin’ .”
Theo glared at Lucas with an unspoken, seething hatred. He said nothing in reply, choosing instead to look away.
Lucas did not fail to notice the expression , but he only smiled in reply, “You’re off to see Clarabelle?”
“None of your bloody business!” Theo erupted with a snarl.
Lucas only laughed as if the younger mouse’s anger was some kind of joke to him, “Lighten up, Theo. I was only asking you a question.”
Lucas’s attitude only fueled his anger more. Theo spun around and pointed a long, dirty claw at Lucas, “Stay away from my sister, or I’ll make you eat dirt!”
Lucas and his otter friend exchanged glances.
“You know, Theo. It’s not very wise to speak words that you can‘t back up.” Lucas said casually.
Theo marched down the stairs and got in the other’s face. Lucas could kick his tail in a heartbeat but Theo didn’t care. He’d butt heads with anyone whether he would win or not. Theo was fearless and dangerously so. “You want to test me, Lucas?!”
Lucas turned his back on him, “ That isn’t hard to do when you throw a fit like a spoiled brat at the drop of a hat.”
Theo’s eyes were blazing. It was no secret that Lucas liked his sister and like Theo, he visited her as often as he could. Theo hated it. He stood there quaking with anger. He looked about ready to hit the other mouse.
“The elders made a wise decision last night, but it’s a decision long past overdue if you ask me.”
Theo snapped then. Bam! He struck Lucas hard with his fist, knocking him flat on his rump.
If the stronger, more experienced mouse had been on his guard, Theo wouldn’t have been so lucky, “ That’s it! Someone ought to put you in your place!” Lucas scrambled to get up but Theo threw himself bodily at the other, pinning him down fast in the grass.
“Oi! Knock it off, Theo! “ The pot-bellied otter, a newcomer to Redwall, moved in and reached down, trying to pull the two mice apart.
So much for Theo not getting into a fight before he visited his sister…
Sky's eyes were full of confusion as the events transpired. He looked to his stave in confusion about what to do. He knew he had to break up the fight. The only problem was how to break up the fight. This proved to be a big dilemma. Soon, the mouse found instinct take over as he thought about Martin the Warrior. Martin would have stepped right on in and caused peace between the feuding beasts. If Martin could do it, why couldn't he, right?
Swallowing hard, the mouse tossed his stave aside. Acting quickly, the mouse tried to bend over and help peel the two apart with the pot-bellied otter. However, Sky wasn't nearly as strong yet. If anything, the mouse was getting in the way of everyone's attempts to do whatever it was they were trying to do. Despite the lack of success his efforts brought, the small mouse was determined to help. Or, at least try to help.
Interfering paws went ignored. The feuding mice continued to roll over the wet grass, snarling, biting , kicking and scratching.
The otter gave up on the pair, tossing his paws up in the air with a sigh,” I’m goin’ to get some help,” he told Skylan before he turned and hurried up the abbey steps and disappeared indoors.
Now Lucas had managed to pin Theo down under him, “ Give up, Theo,” The older mouse panted.
Defiant to the last, Theo kicked out powerfully with both legs and sent Lucas tumbling away. The lanky mouse hopped up to his feet and wiped a paw over his bleeding nose before he moved after his target once more.
Then Skylan was in his way and Theo was rather annoyed, “ Outta my way, runt!” He growled dangerously.
This couldn't keep going! Skylan's eyes expressed determination. Eagerly, the weaker mouse stepped between the two, especially in front of Theo, with his paws outstretched on each side. His staff paw as at Lucas, and his other at Theo. Skylan shook his head.
"No!" The young mouse responded firmly. Skylan's eyes shifted back and forth between the feuding mice. "Redwall is a place of peace! You two should know better! Stop this nonsense now!" Skylan ordered. It was a shame he wasn't sickly, otherwise his powerful words might have been taken seriously. However, to a beast that knew his state, they knew he had no might to back up such words.
Brother Moran Frode sat in Great Hall peaceably enjoying a nice simple meal of herbal tea and honey glazed biscuits. The old mouse leaned over the dining table, diligently studying the text of a volume that he’d managed to convince the abbey’s librarian to let him borrow.
So engrossed with his reading was he, that he hardly noticed his old friend, the abbey’s badger mum approaching. He didn’t even lift his gaze as she sat down across the table from him, “ Good morning, Moran. “
Brother Frode looked up and greeted the badger with a smile and his usual joviality , “ Good morning .”
“You’re still reading that?”
“Well, I found it quite an interesting read-”
The pair was interrupted then as a young otter came running over to their table, “You ‘ave t’ ‘elp. Theo ‘n Lucas are fightin’.”
Without a word the badger and elder mouse rose from their table and hurried outdoors.
A sensible creature might have been placated by Skylan’s voice of reason. Lucas had backed off, but ,unfortunately, Theo’s anger had blinded him to reason.
“Mind your own business!” Theo snarled and, roughly, he shoved Skylan aside.
Lucas was ready for him. As Theo took a step towards him, his fist shot forward. He dealt Theo a solid blow betwixt the eyes . Theo went down instantly.
Help arrived seconds too late. The pot-bellied otter returned accompanied by Brother Frode and the badger mum. Though he knew that he need not ask, Frode inquired, “ What has happened here?”
ooc- Sorry for the wait.