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   Chapter 21 Rabbit A Talent Mark Novel

Rabbit: A Talent Mark Novel By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 15327

Updated: 2018-03-13 12:20

Chapter 21

Molly let them warm by the kitchen fire sipping mugs of tea. They had arrived long past dinner and Sanab took the small lunch basket from Mouse and handed slices of bread layered with butter and honey. Once they were warm Molly hustled them away from the central fireplace and into a small storeroom. There Rabbit could see a heavy wooden box containing potatoes had been moved away from the wall. Behind the box of potatoes was a small door that barely reached Rabbit's knees.

"In you go, " Molly said opening the door. "Once inside we'll move the potatoes back and no one will think to look for you. The back wall is part of the main fireplace so you should be warm enough. There is only one bed, but it should fit the three of you. The chamber pot is under the bed if you have need. Just remember, the walls here are a little thicker, but still fairly thin so you'll need to keep quiet, especially if you start to hear visitors." Rabbit nodded and ducked into the small opening. She stepped sideways as soon as she entered to allow space for the others as the bed took up most of the available space. Robin and Mouse ducked in behind her and Molly shut the small door. They heard a harsh scraping sound and a couple of thumps.

"The potatoes going back in place, " Rabbit thought, identifying the sound. The room was very dark and Rabbit heard a muffled sigh as one of her two companions sat down on the edge of the bed.

"Ouch, " Mouse said as she bumped into the edge of the bed.

"I have a candle stub in my pocket, " Rabbit said softly. "Hold on a moment." She reached into her pocket and pulled out the small stub. It was barely the length of her thumb. She rolled the wick between her fingers and spilled warmth into it until it ignited.

"It isn't much of a candle, " Rabbit said.

"Good thing it isn't much of a room, " Robin whispered back. Mouse stifled a giggle. In the dim light she could see that the bed post was in front of her and moved away before taking a seat beside Robin. Shadows danced around the edges of the small room. It looked as though it had once been a part of the original store room. There were long marks against the wall where shelves would have stood. The bed took up most of the available space with a narrow margin of open around three sides of it. The margin was wide enough for the little door to open and for each of them to stand beside the bed but little else. The bed backed up to a brick wall that was warm to the touch.

"Fireplace, " Rabbit thought.

"What now, " Mouse asked.

"We wait, " Robin said with a shrug. "Harmony will send someone back to look for us so I guess we wait for them to look and see we aren't here and then leave."

"How will we get home though?" Mouse asked. "We don't have money for…well anything. Everything we had is still in the travel cases."

"I have a few things, " Rabbit whispered back, she handed the candle to Robin and lifted the hem of her skirt to show the broaches fastened to the inside of her shift. Mouse and Robin both seemed to relax at the thought of not being completely destitute. Then as though something occurred to her, Robin frowned.

"Those are noticeable and will leave a bit of a trail, " Robin pointed out.

"I know, " Rabbit said, dropping the hem of her skirt back down and sitting down on the bed. "I was hoping to use that as a last resort." Mouse yawned, starting a chain reaction.

"Why don't we worry about it in the morning?" Robin suggested. "I think we could all use some sleep." As if on cue the candle started to gutter. Taking it for a sign, they blew out the candle and put it next to the bed. In the darkness they removed their shoes, placing them on the floor rather than allowing them to drop. The blankets of the bed were not very thick, so they lay on top of them with their cloaks spread out over them as they lay down. Rabbit thought she was too keyed up to fall asleep, but soon drifted off. Her dreams were murky and filled with thoughts of pursuit.

Sounds from the other side of the brick wall woke her and Rabbit opened her eyes in the darkness, unable to tell if it was truly morning yet or not as not even a sliver of light penetrated their room. From the even sounds of breathing coming from Robin and Mouse she assumed the other two were still asleep.

Rabbit lay in the darkness trying to figure out what the sounds she heard were and found that her eyes were more of a distraction than anything else. She caught herself peering into the darkness until spots danced before her eyes, so she c

rent directions. They tried to get comfortable, but found comfort was a loose concept.

Lying on her back Rabbit found she jostled against the others less, although her head banged against the base of the cart with the deeper bumps. She curled her arm under her head in an effort to arrive at their next destination without being bounced brainless before arrival.

"I never thought escape would be so boring, " Rabbit thought as she lay hidden in the hay wagon. Half remembered tales of daring escapes and rescues dance in the back of her head. As she didn't really know how to use a sword, she supposed it was for the best that they didn't need to fight their way out.

There was more light in the wagon than in the dark room, and she could sort of see Mouse beside her if she twisted her head. Robin was just a dim shape on the other side of Mouse. "Still, better to be bored by an escape than to be scared witless with fear the whole time." Time passed slowly and the light dimmed around them until it was pitch black beneath the hay. The sounds around them changed and Rabbit felt the wagon roll to a halt.

"Well now. You three can sit up if you like. We've reached as far as we can go tonight." Rabbit glanced at the others but couldn't see them. Cautiously, she pushed against the canvas and the hay. The others did the same and they found themselves sitting in the hay wagon that had been pulled into a barn for the night. The same work worn man smiled at them and helped them jump down.

"There's water over there for washing up, " he said indicating a pail full of well water. "And my wife sent down some food for you as well." He pointed towards a small basket. "You'll need to stay in the barn, as we aren't too sure anyone's been prying around in the woods, spying and the like, but you should be comfortable for the night. We'll be leaving at first light."

"Thank you, " Rabbit said. The other two echoed their thanks and the older man looked a bit chagrinned.

"Just what folks do is all, " he said. "I'll leave you to it then. Remember not to leave the barn." He nodded in their direction and walked around to unhitch his horses. He led them to their stalls while the three girls reveled in being able to stand and move freely for the first time in several days. After the horses were seen to, the man left them to wash up and eat.

"I can't believe I am so tired, " Mouse said yawning. "I feel like I've been sleeping for days.

"I know what you mean, " Robin said. Rabbit nodded in agreement.

"Although I don't think I can lie down again at the moment, " Rabbit added. "Especially not if we do this again tomorrow." There were nods of agreement and the three of them wandered around the barn swinging their arms freely and stretching their legs. The horses eyed them warily, but were more concerned with their evening oats than with visitors. Eventually, even Rabbit was ready to lie down and they climbed back into the hay wagon, for lack of any place better to sleep. She fell asleep almost immediately.

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