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WereWolf

Guard Duty at the Convent

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Guard duty isn't the worst lot to pull around the Convent. Some of the ladies absolutely can't stand it. Say there's nothing to do, and it get's boring. They just don't know how much of a luxury doing nothing can be. Spoiled brats, complaining that there isn't anything to do. They don't know what it's like not to have that choice. They'd rather be washing dishes, sweeping the floors, “doing something to help the Convent thrive.†Me, I like guard duty. You stand outside, lean against whatever's handy, and look out as far as you can see. Which isn't very far at all. It's just you and your thoughts. Stand up straight and crush your smoke if someone comes to check up on you, but other than that it's easy going. See, that's the difference between me and most of the ladies around here. I know what's good in life, and it ain't working your ass off for no reason.

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Ahlai leaned against the wall and looked out past the parapet. She held her spear in her right hand, a cigarette in her left, and another in her right. The night was unusually cold and as dark as any other time. Smoking was one of the few comforts she had left in the world.

"When nothing else goes right," she thought, "you can go someplace lonesome and smoke."

Ahlai had woken up late and with a sore throat. Skipping breakfast hadn't helped things, and the priests noticed when she tried to slip quietly into morning prayers. She knocked a stack of books off a table in the library, and they ran out of tea at lunch. Luckily, the priests' supposed punishment for being late to prayers wasn't so bad. Ahlai liked guard duty, especially at night.

"If only it wasn't so damned cold." Muttering, she crushed the butt of her first cigarette before being wracked with coughs.

"It doesn't do anything for my damned throat." Ahlai stuck another cigarette in her mouth. The first match broke off at the head. The last was blown out by the wind.

"Aww, Hell..."

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Ahlai hated the rats. It wasn't that she was scared of them; they just brought filth wherever they went, along with ruining the stores in the basement. Add in the all-too-real possibility of a ratking and you've got too many horsemen rolled up into one pest. So, without being asked, Ahlai did her part.

 

The basement was a dark, seldom-visited part of the Convent. It was also where most of the food supplies were kept, and it was rat central. Ahlai crept down the steps late at night and spun her web. It was an insidious thing, sprawling along the floor and around crates, forming an almost impenetrable barrier to the rest of the world.

 

Of course, she didn't eat them. Merely came down in the morning and speared the rats that survived. Usually half the rats caught were dead, killed by other rats trapped close enough to bite and tear. It often lead her to contemplation, the simple and final act of ending the creatures' lives. It said something, the animals surviving a brutal night of cannibalistic warfare, only to be snuffed out instantly when the morning came by something they couldn't begin to comprehend.

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