This was not how it was supposed to happen. It should have been a quick, quiet, in and out job. Now here we were, hands in the air.
I looked at Mouse, she grinned at me.
One of the guards saw the grin. ‘What?’ He stepped forward and slapped Mouse around the face. The noise was like a crack of thunder, so was the look on Mouse’s face when her cheek turned bright red.
If I wasn’t too busy feeling sorry for us and our hopeless situation, then I’d be feeling sorry for that guard. No-one did something like that to Mouse and lived.
But there were four of them, all armed, with more on the way. They were all massive too, and probably not polite company either, not the way they were leering at Mouse.
‘Think we should… y’know?’ One of them said to the slapper, who was obviously their sergeant.
‘What?’ The slapper said. Obviously, he was not the sergeant due to his verbal dexterity or loquaciousness.
The other guard, still leering at Mouse, licked his lips. ‘Y’know, search them… just in case.’ He nodded towards Mouse.
‘Yeah… y’know… strip search them.’ He nodded towards Mouse again.
Mouse thrust out a hip towards them.
‘What… Oh, right. Yes.’ The leading guard turned to look at me, a smile spreading on his face. ‘Yeah, we could… as you say… search them.’ He looked me up and down.
I heard a snort of laughter from Mouse next to me. ‘Looks like you’ve pulled,’ she whispered.
‘Shut up!’ The sergeant whirled around, but Mouse stepped back, accidentally, into the leering guard behind her. He, of course, put his arms out to grab her.
Mouse twisted as she fell.
The leering guard’s eyes opened wide as he looked down to see his own knife sticking out of his stomach. He no longer leered as he looked at Mouse. ‘You’ve killed me,’ he said, falling to the floor.
By then the knife was out of his stomach and already in the air between Mouse and the third guard.
By the time the third guard realised what was going on, the knife was through his eye. He dropped without a word.
The fourth guard, standing by the door stepped forward, drawing his sword. Mouse was ready for him She’d already pulled the sword free from the scabbard on the body of the no-longer leering guard at her feet.
The leading guard stepped up behind Mouse, reaching for his sword. When his hand encountered nothing where his pommel ought to be, he turned.
‘Looking for this?’ I said.
Behind the sergeant, the fourth guard’s surprised-looking head bounced and rolled across the floor.
‘No, leave him to me,’ Mouse said, raising her blood-dripping sword. ‘He slapped me, remember?’
So I did. I left him to her.
I gulped, watching him as he screamed his final scream.
‘Come on, let’s go,’ Mouse said.
So we did.