The Thief and the Swordsfrog Chapter 10

By Silent Elegy

Rat lay staring at the ceiling of the darkened back room. She didn’t cry anymore, but she still mourned for Lenny. Gerald had already moved on, of course. To him, Lenny was nothing more than a pet. He was sad, but mostly for Rat. He didn’t understand that her boys were her family, her brothers. They understood her better than any human could.

Better than anyone, in fact. Correct?

Rat sat bolt upright, her daggers already in her hands. “Who said that?” she hissed.

I did. I’m a friend of a friend.

“What do ya want?” Rat whispered. She looked around apprehensively.

I want you to go somewhere with me.

“Where are ya? Who are ya?”

I am wherever I want to be; I am whoever I want to be. But that’s neither here nor there. What matters now, is that a certain green frog-faced knight is going to be executed for regicide in four hours.

“What?!” Rat exclaimed. She flinched as Gerald snored and rolled over.

Are you coming?

Five minutes later, Rat was running down the path to the castle, away from the drunken revelry that was the Broken Knife on a weekend. She looked around, wondering if she’d been imagining the voice, or if the speaker would show itself.

“I’m here,” said the voice. Rat whirled around to face the strangest creature she’d ever seen. It resembled a lizard with pointy ears and wore a long white robe.

“What on earth are you?” Rat asked slowly.

“A friend of a friend,” the creature said again. “My name is Doreen.” Doreen began leading the way down the road at a quick pace.

“What’s up with Frogger? What’s re…reg…?” Rat asked worriedly.

“Regicide. They say he killed the Queen. He’s to be executed at dawn.”

“Frog wouldn’t kill nobody what didn’t deserve it.”

“Oh, she did deserve it. She wasn’t the real Queen. But they don’t know that.”

“Why don’t ya tell them, then?”

“They didn’t believe Frog; why would they believe me?”

“Hey, wait a minute!” Rat exclaimed, stopping in her tracks. Doreen turned to look at her. “How do you know this stuff?”

“I was there,” Doreen answered.

“Then why didn’t they arrest you, too?”

Doreen smiled and disappeared. They couldn’t exactly see me, she replied.

Rat looked around. “A’right, point taken,” she said. She grew nervous when Doreen didn’t reappear. “You can come out now,” she called. She heard laughter behind her and whirled around, both daggers drawn.

“My, you’re a bit uptight, aren’t you?” Doreen remarked, walking past to lead the way again.

Rat swallowed a scathing remark and continued to follow Doreen.


I wonder how Frog’s doing said someone.

I’m sure he’s fine, Mune, said someone else. He’s gotten out of worse places.

True, but he had friends to help him then, Mune argued.

True. Masa sighed and cursed his inability to do anything. But the Masamune was sheathed, effectively trapping Masa and Mune inside it. I wish this loser would listen to us.

That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

What are you boys doing? A third voice entered the conversation.

Doreen? Mune asked incredulously.

I thought you were asleep! Masa exclaimed.

I’m awake now, boys, she assured them. Get ready. We’re going to spring Glenn.


Rat snuck up behind a guard and hit him on the head with the handle of her dagger. He slumped down to the ground, unconscious. Doreen had disappeared again as Rat entered the castle and was still nowhere to be found.

Rat peeked through a doorway and saw the knight captain staring out a window. He didn’t seem to be paying much attention to anything. Leaning against the wall next to him was Frog’s sword. Doreen had told Rat to find the Masamune, but she hadn’t said anything about it being guarded by the second greatest swordsman in the kingdom.

Rat tiptoed forward, hoping she might be able to knock him down and run. She didn’t really expect to be able to defeat him in a fair fight. She had reached a small desk and was thinking she might actually succeed when he spoke. “Take one more step, and you’ll be looking at your insides.” He turned around, pulling his sword from its sheath. His face registered a moment of surprise, then he smirked. “Why, hello there. Never thought I’d see you again.”

“You said later,” Rat told him with more bravado than she felt. “I’s just coming to collect.”

“Very well, then. Defend yourself.” He lunged forward, but Rat scrambled out of the way, succeeding in getting past him. She grabbed the Masamune and ran out the door, but she was slower because she could only run on three paws with the sword in one hand.

The knight captain grabbed her tail and dragged her back toward him. She twisted around and bit him on the hand. He yelled and let go, but Rat didn’t run very far before he stepped on her tail. She squealed as the bone crunched painfully, and her tail felt like it would pull out. Her daggers fell from her hands as she hit the floor, leaving her weaponless.

Draw the sword, Doreen said. Rat didn’t waste time thinking. As the knight captain raised his sword, she drew Masamune from its sheath.

Ready, Masa?

Always, Mune.

Rat didn’t have time to think about the two new voices. She felt something take over her body. Without commanding it to happen, she twisted around and swung the blade at the knight captain, causing him to jump back. She jumped to her feet and lunged forward, forcing him against the wall.

He brought his sword up and caught Masamune; the blades locked at the hilt. The knight grinned. He was stronger than Rat, even though Masa and Mune possessed her. With the blades locked, he could use his strength to defeat her. He forced her to the ground. Light glinted off one of her daggers. She could just see it in her peripheral vision.

Now, that’s an idea, said Masa. Controlled by Masa, Rat grabbed the dagger with her tail, ignoring the pain, and plunged it into the knight captain’s side. He yelled as it cut through his flesh and dropped his sword. Rat staggered from her sudden release from both the knight captain and Masa and Mune and scrambled out the door. She didn’t stop running until she tripped over her feet and fell sprawling. Fortunately, no one else was around.

She lay panting for a minute until Doreen’s voice intruded in her mind. You’ve got ten minutes to save him. Get going! Rat gasped and staggered to her feet. She could rest after she’d saved Frog.


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