Yep, here we go again. Submit your post by August 8th. These entries do not count towards a Post of the Month.

The theme is "You can run, but you can't hide".

Keep it under 500 words… This isn't meant to be a full story, although you can RP with it. (Review July's Writer Contest and Snagtooth's post) This is more like an intro and diving into character development. You have those 500 words to produce conflict, impedement, emotion, and a round character.

You do not have to show a possible resolution. Or an end.
And to make this interesting.
No beast may die in your post.
Good luck!

His footpaws pattered against the ball, side to side. Keep it nimble and quick, don't let them steal it. He dribbled it up the empty field, feinting left and right. Denzel shoots! The tired old ball rolled past the two bushes. He scores! The plucky lad from Noonvale gets the winning goal with only a few seconds to go!

The young squirrel shoved his paws in his pockets and slouched after the ball. It's wet, the grass springy and damp from last night's rain. The Abbey grounds were quiet, the Dibbuns were inside playing hide-and-seek, or Warriors. Hide-and-seek is for the little ones though, and Denzel's nearly thirteen. Warriors is boring, because he never gets to be the warrior.

The Dibbuns didn't like his ball game. It's dumb, they said. Who wants to run after an old ball for hours? Tag's a better game if you want to run. Even the grown-ups didn't understand it, and teaching mice in habits proper kicking techniques was a nightmare. Are you sure every beast plays this in Noonvale? They asked with an air of incredulity, as if his home village was another planet.

He dribbled the ball across the lawn towards the Great Hall's closed doors. Try and fit in, mother had said. Make lots of friends, and don't be unkind to any beast. His father had different advice. If some beast hits you, hit them back. Dad wanted to give his son the family sword, but he needed it himself. That's why Denzel had to go to Redwall. When Dad's war was over, Denzel could come back home.

He'd been away from Noonvale so long that he'd outgrown the clothes mother made. He clung to the colourful reminders of home, and hid them under his dormitory bed where Hilda wouldn't see. The badger would burn Denzel's old clothes if she found them, and make him new ones. Eventually, his secret was found out.

Denzel likes dirty rags! The Dibbuns had shrieked with laughter. He had run sobbing from Cavern Hole as a tiny, vicious mouse had held up his ragged old scarf like it was a captured battle flag. The squirrel had gathered up all the knitting his mother had ever made for him and thrown the bundle into the dormitory fireplace. The flames had flared up briefly as the bright colours were consumed before his teary eyes. Hilda got to make him new clothes after all.

The squirrel gave the ball one last drop-kick. Denzel shoots for Noonvale! Too late he spotted the doors opening. The ball sailed through the doors, past the surprised friar, and splashed down into the steaming pie sat on the dining table. Denzel gulped.

Hilda escorted the little squirrel up to the Abbot's office, his pie-splattered ball in his paws. He dared to look up at her, and saw her lips twitch as she tried not to laugh. "There's no hiding it, Denzel. You're a Noonvale lad, through and through."

The moon hung low in the sky, casting a gentle glow on the grounds of Redwall abbey. The dew on the grass, just beginning to form, sparkled lethargically, as if the deep, warm night was making even the light drowsy. Indeed, most beasts had succumbed to that drowsiness long before then, having gone to bed many hours ago. There were a few that were still awake though. One in particular standing at the shores of the large, placid pond.


Jen stared into the glassy waters, standing at the very edge of the pond, where the sand met the water. He was silent and still, and might well have been mistaken for a bush or a tree in the dim light, had anybeast been there to see him. In truth, even if there had been anybeast there, they would have been seeing something completely different from what Jen was seeing.

The moonlight reflected off the surface of the pond.
Fire. Fire raging as the island burned, mirrored in the choppy waters of the bay. The sounds of screaming and laughter rolled on the wind, accompanied by smoke and the smell of burning wood.
"Strange to see you here."

Jen glanced away from the water, looking at the empty air beside him.
The captain leaned his back against the mast, lighting a pipe as he watched the shore burn, "What kind of samurai runs away from a fight?"
What kind of samurai runs?

Jen watched the air, then looked back at the water. He once again looked like an inanimate object, standing watch by the shore. A breeze picked up and the raccoon shivered slightly. He pulled his cloak around him and turned around.

He started to walk toward the doors of the Great Hall.
Jen walked through the ruins of the mountain village. Once comforting homes had been reduced to nothing but charred beams and splintered wood. Bodies lay everywhere, dropped wherever the bandits had killed them. A thin layer of ash coated everything. A trail of ashen pawprints stretched behind him as he walked, eyes never able to escape the sight.

The dew felt cool on his footpaws as he crossed the grass. He placed a paw on the doors and pushed them open. They swung inward with an echoing boom as the line of slaves was led into the dark, putrid interior of the prison. A massive lizard, the size of a badger lord, cracked his whip and shouted, "This is your new home worms. This is what you get, because this is what you deserve!"

He wandered along the hallway, aimless, tired. Fires blazed in windows. Swords stuck through doors. Blood splattered the walls. Things he had done and things he had allowed happened again and again all around him.

"Can't sleep"

Jen looked up from the floor to see a mouse holding a candle and looking at him. Recognition lit up the brother's face, "I recognize you. You were working in the gardens all day yesterday. And still up at this hour? My my my. Don't you think you deserve some rest"

Jen stared at the mouse as a corsair's blade split his skull.

"No."


OOC: I hope this fits the "No beast may die" rule, and if it doesn't I liked writing this anyway. Wanted to get into some of Jen's psychology.

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