Widow Ratchet hummed to herself as she puttered around her home, idly kicking bits of half gnawed bones across the wooden floor.
“Soon Captain Whiskers! Soon you’ll be a father and we’ll welcome all your little younglings into the world!” Mea-ha-ha-har, she cackled. Captain Whiskers was such a strong rat, so fat and healthy. A good four feet long , not including his tail of course! So big and strong, just like her son Rupert, the woodsman. Rupert would be so excited to see how her pets had grown! She just knew it! She was sure he’d be by any day now to visit his old mother.
Captain Whiskers chittered as he snuffled around the edges of the room, searching for any bones that still might have a few strands of meat attached. He was so smart!
Widow Ratchet stepped on small piles of rat droppings and felt bones crunch under her feet as she shambled towards the back room to check on her other pets, Princess Flumpkin and Lady Starshine. Both should have their litters any day now, and Widow Ratchet wondered if she should make arrangements for a local midwife to help deliver them.
I’m sure Rupert would manage to just pay the midwife with a cord or so of wood. It would be no trouble at all for him, she mused to herself.
Both Flumpkin and Starshine had been tending to stay in the back room of late, sniffing and gnawing at the wood on the back side of her house. She thought maybe she should have a separate door put in for her ladyship, so she could regally come and go as she pleased- royalty got to do whatever they wanted of course!“Mea-ha-ha-ha-ha” she cackled again to herself.
Oh it was going to be a sight to see! When all the little ones were born, she’d help raise them up, and train them. Soon everyone in this dreary town would know of her brilliance! There would be little rat-drawn wagons to help the farmers in the fields. Little rats with saddles for the halflings to ride. We could teach them to help herd the sheep and goats. Really there is NOTHING her children wouldn’t be able to do! Why, we could even teach them to read and write, and cook and clean for all the townsfolk! It would be stupendous! She would become famous and then the Empress herself would come and bow before her.
There was a sudden knock at the door!
Startled, brave Captain Whiskers darted to the back room, to guard his brides of course.
“Ah hello Rupert! You’ve finally come to visit!” Widow Ratchet opened the door.
But it wasn’t her son Rupert, it was a huge brute of an ogre, making a weird face like he’d just gotten a whiff of some terrible smell. She had no idea what he smelled. Ogres must have very sensitive noses. Behind the ogre stood some elven noblewoman from the feywild come to pay respects to their rattish majesties.
“Excuse me ma’am,” grumbled Sir Knight in a deep baritone, “may we come in?” So polite!
“Of course my dears,” she replied, “I’ll just put on the kettle and make us some tea.”
It was NOT a noble ogre knight and his elven princess! No no no! Vile bad bad!
They came into her own home they did! No No No! Them and their friends what did it.
An evil man eating giant it was and its pet demon hell bitch with horns from hell that only hell spawned hell bitches can have! And a dirty filthy bastard goblin gnome with its slashing steel murder knives! Oh no no no! Even a dragon in the form of a man with its pointy stabby spear. Stabbing and stabbing…. oh no no no.
“Murderers!” She cried, “You murderers! You’ve killed all my children!” Widow Ratchet sobbed as she sat on the floor. They even dragged the children’s bodies away to put them in their plague fires. Or maybe to eat on their hell tables where they’d laugh at her.
“Murders,” she sobbed “I’ll make them pay!”