Chapter 1 – The Snake
The raven perched on the wind vane of Owl Tower. A mouse hopped off of the slick feathered beast. The mouse was gray with a white streak on his muzzle. His name was Chester, he was a Class 1 messenger. His route was simple, Graywood to Blackthorn, and back again.
As Chester climbed down the roof, the raven gave a loud Caw! “Hush up, you mangy beast!”, Chester thought, “you’ll lead a whole pack of foxes straight for us!”
Xan (Zan), the raven, had been Chester’s steed for two years, three months, four weeks, and one day. When Chester gave the letter to the King of Blackthorn the whole kingdom was shocked by the news:
Dear King Spinam,
The rats are moving in from the west. And a hand full of those blood thirsty vermin have gotten in. May you send your best warrior along with four other warriors. But beware I have heard that Char, the snake, is on the path that your mice will take.
Queen Violet of Graywood
“Feryn!” the king called.
“Y-yes, your highness?” Feryn the page sputtered.
“Take a note, and have Chester deliver it to Graywood,” the king commanded.
“Yes your highness!” Feryn replied.
As Chester flew over the woods, Xan started to tire. “Fine we’ll take a rest,” Chester thought, “just let me find a place to land.” As Chester and Xan swooped toward the ground Chester lost the note from King Spinam. It was nightfall and Chester was tired, he would look for it tomorrow morning.
Lord Tsar (Zar) fumed, “These rats are vexing me, how long can it take to dig a hole?!?”
“L-lord Tsar … we are almost done with that hole you asked us to dig,” Captain Scrail squeaked. Scrail was a gray ferret with the bravery of a snail and he would stutter when he spoke.
“Good,” Tsar muttered “the mice scum will be gone for good!”
Chester made a simple hut out of twigs and leaves. He was exhausted from his journey and longed for a peaceful slumber. As he fluffed his bedding, Xan preened her feathers as she settled in for the night. The two companions welcomed sleep as the stars twinkled in the night sky.
A rustle in the bushes woke Xan up with a loud, “CAW! CAW!”
“Bird brain, some of us are trying to sleep here,” Chester thought. He threw a hunk of cheese to Xan, and she wolfed it down hungrily.
Chester thought to himself, “Well, since I’m up I may as well look for the note.” He started to search, he looked under leaves and twigs. After an hour he found it and headed back for Xan. But his way was blocked by a huge snake, then came darkness, pain, fangs, and death.
Xan, Chester’s loyal companion, would have to finish the mission … alone.