Facebook Activity

Teen Ink on Twitter

Report abuse Submit my work Share/bookmark Email Print Home

Rat Key

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

And so the poison is released

“Let’s kill him!”
“We can’t kill him! Are you mad?”
“Then what do you propose we do?”
‘Such a heated argument,’ I thought, rubbing my temples, ‘And all over one man.’
I looked around the oval table I was sitting at. There was Hearth, standing out of her chair, with her hands placed firmly on the table. She had her auburn hair tied back in a ponytail today. I assumed she knew that there would be quite a bit of work to be done. Then to Hearth’s
Hope this chapter's not too boring
right, I saw Croc, calmly sitting in his chair with one foot on the table that was pushing him back so that the chair was resting on its hind legs. His light brown and very tattered cape covered the majority of the chair, but not his face. He very rarely put his hood up, hiding his short, dark brown hair and sunken in cheeks. Sitting next to Croc was Well. He sat on the edge of his chair, resting his elbows on the table with his fingers laced together, supporting his head. He was not planning on getting overly involved in this debate, but he was not planning on sitting out either, that I could tell. He scratched his head, ruffling his brown hair while he opened his mouth to say something that was never heard over the others. Spark was standing next to Well, waving his arms about, trying to get his point across I suppose. His face was slightly reddened from all the yelling he’d done. Directly across from me sat Memory, the incredibly creepy leader of the Ghost gang. He was sitting up straight in his chair with a large black cape covering almost all of his body and face. I could only tell that he was pale and was somehow enjoying this because he had a slight smile on his face. Spear sat to the right of him, acting as the voice of reason. I’d say he is the wisest of the leaders, possibly because he’s the oldest. Today his eyes were especially stern and seemingly very impatient. Then to the right of him was the glorious, or I suppose, grand, Grand. Do I even need to say anything about him? Gust sat next to Grand, swishing his light brown hair back every so often and offering snide and rude remarks all around. ‘He’s just trying to pick a fight’ I thought. Then sitting in between Hearth and Gust sat me. I felt quite unwanted even though I was requested to attend this meeting. While all the others bickered amongst themselves, I just sat there, feeling awkward. I just knew this meeting would be loads of fun.
“He’s going to ruin us!” Spark yelled out.
“Not if we kill him, he won’t,” Gust said.
“We’re not going to kill him, Gust!” Hearth shouted.
“Hearth is right. If we killed him, the people would rightfully assume it was us and attack,” Spear added.
“And?” Gust said, requiring more explanation.
“What do you mean?” somebody asked. I wasn’t able to catch who had said it.
“I mean, what’s the problem with that?”
“You’re sick!” Hearth declared.
“What, Hearth? It’s just a little war. Surely you of all people would love to see some fire,” Gust said.
“You!” Hearth began, leaning forward.
“Alright, alright, let’s be decent now,” Well said, trying to keep a fair amount of peace, “If we fail to reach a decision on this then the Tunnels are doomed.”
“Well is right,” Croc said, speaking for the first time at this meeting, “Let’s figure out what we can do and then we will weigh the consequences for each option.”
“I propose we wait it out and see if he is actually a threat and if so, fight him off by overwhelming him with our combined power,” Hearth said, pulling her chair closer to the table and sitting down in it. The others who were standing followed her actions as well.
“Alright, that’s one way,” Croc said.
“I propose we kill him,” Gust said.
“That’s another option,” he said, “Anybody else?”
“We could just leave him be and watch what happens,” Well said, “I’m not in favor of that, but it is an option.”
“What kind of option is that!?” Spark exclaimed.
“No, he’s right. That is an option. You may not like it, but others might,” Croc said.
“I don’t like it at all,” Spark said, almost pouting.
“Shocking,” Croc laughed.
“You’re funny, Croc,” Spark said rather venomously.
“In any case, we seem to have two realistic options. Wait it out and exterminate if needed, or kill him now,” Croc explained.
“If we wait it out, it’ll be too late and the Tunnels will fall,” Gust said, almost maturely.
“But if we kill him now, it will enrage the public and pit them against us,” Hearth said, resting her head on her fist, “We can’t fight the public.”
“And why not?” Grand asked.
“Because there’s children up there! Those people are innocent! We can’t kill them, it’s not right!” Hearth said, appalled that anybody would ask such a thing.
“They ain’t innocent if they’re fighting us,” Grand countered, “Besides, there’s kids down here too. We all know you take in any kid on the street.”
“That’s not true!” Hearth declared. ‘And it’s getting loud again’ “Right, Rat?”
“What?” I asked, snapping to attention.
“I don’t take in any kid off the street, right?” Hearth asked.
“Oh, let’s not drag me into this, please,” I said kind of quietly.
“Speak up, Rat,” Grand demanded.
“Um…I,” I began, trying to think of the right answer that would make everybody happy. “I don’t think you take in just any kid,” I said. Grand looked stunned and Hearth looked victorious. “But you do take in quite a few children.” Then they switched expressions, before fading into a mild one. ‘Phew, that was close.’
“Anyway, shall we put it to a vote?” Hearth suggested. Several of the leaders nodded yes or said something quietly to signal approval. “Alright, those in favor of waiting it out?” Hearth raised her hand along with Well, Spark, and Croc. Half. “Those in favor of killing him now?” Grand, Memory, Spear, and Gust raised their hands. Half. Before I even had time to think, all the heads that weren’t mine turned to look at me.
“Can I help you?” I asked with somewhat of an attitude.
“Ha, sure can. It’s a dead tie, Rat,” Croc said, laughing a little.
“And?” I replied. ‘Surely they don’t expect me to vote, too?’ I thought, ‘They can’t. I’m just a rat.’
“And you’re the only one who hasn’t voted,” Grand spat. ‘I thought wrong.’
“You can’t seriously expect me to vote,” I said, almost as a declaration.
“Listen, Rat. You’re the only one here who hasn’t voted, so we need your input as well. You have the exact same right to vote as we do,” Hearth said to me.
“Yeah… but.”
“No buts! Just do it,” she snapped. “Are you in favor of killing him or waiting it out?”
Suddenly I felt like I really was a rat and all the others were looming over me as if I’d just chewed my way through their wall. ‘This is not good,’ I thought, ‘If we kill him, the Tunnels will be safe for sure…but then again, how can I just let a man die? Even if he is our enemy, I can’t bring myself to kill him.’ I sighed deeply. ‘Here’s goes nothing.’ “I’m in favor of…waiting it out,” I said.
Grand immediately threw his hands upon the table, creating a huge thud. “This is ridiculous!” he boomed, “The Tunnels are doomed!”
“Even if they are doomed, this is the decision we reached,” Spear said with his arms folded across his chest and his eyes closed tightly as if he could block out Grand’s presence just by not looking at him.
“These Tunnels are going to fall,” he declared, “They will crumble into nothingness with all of you idiots in tow, whether it’s by the government’s hands or mine.” Then he stormed out of the room and started barking orders. ‘That went well,’ I thought.
Hearth sighed and leaned back in her chair. “Grand can be so difficult,” she said.
Croc laughed, saying, “Difficult is an understatement.”
Hearth adjourned the meeting and all of us went our separate ways with our minds clouded with worry and anger.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

Join the Discussion

This book has 90 comments. Post your own now!

dragonsandthree said...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm
This is a really good book. It's plot is fairly solid, and it has enough foreshadowing for you to get a fairly good guess of what's going to happen next, but it still has a strange way of making it seem like you could be wrong, that the story line will change at the drop of a pin. 
milforce replied...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm
Thanks, I appreciate it! That was the goal:)  Did you find anything wrong with it?
dragonsandthree replied...
Apr. 25, 2013 at 9:27 am
Umm.... The only problems that I really saw was the fact that the story changed from scene to scene almost instantly, and the scenes did not seem to last very long. The last problem is the fact that it's not finished.
milforce replied...
Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm
Alright, thanks!!
IrenieThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:49 am
Overall, this is a pretty good book. I like the idea of the plot. I do not like the dialogue, though. It is rather choppy and unrealistic in some places. However, you have a well developed world and characters. I like that you can immediately imagine what Rat is like. I do not think that the way you deliver his thoughts are very good. I don’t mean to be negative, but you said to rip it up, so I’m trying J Otherwise, this is a pretty good book. I hope you finish it!
milforce replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm
Thanks! I appreciate it
JettaWintry This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm
I didn't get a chance to finish reading the second chapter (I'm about halfway through) but I'll try to make time to read it later. (: I really, really enjoyed this! THe plot is really unique, and the characters are developed very well. I loved your word choice, too. The only thing I would say is that when he is thinking, make it clearer. I noticed that you use these ' ' for thought, but it was confusing when he thought after speaking because I wasn't sure if he was still ... (more »)
milforce replied...
Apr. 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Thanks for the critique! I'll get to your story as soon as possible:)
CurlyGirl17 said...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm
That was good and interesting! I like how a reader can definitely describe Rat's character- tough, sarcastic, but caring underneath. Lots of the time main characters tend to be wishy-washy with their traits. I really enjoyed this- I'd appreciate it if you checked out the first chapter of my story, Metalligirl- you seem to know what you're doing when it comes to writing and all of these positive comments proves it! :)
CurlyGirl17 replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Oh, and if you were to leave a comment on my work along with checking it out, that would be great- feedback's always good!
milforce replied...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm
Thank you very much! I'll try to get to your story sometime this week
IMSteel said...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm
I only read the first two chapters, I'll finish the rest later.  It is a great story, twisty. and interesting.  I love it.  Most of it just needs practice, and therefore cannot be criticised.  The only major thing that needs fixing is the tenses, past, and present.  Sometimes you us past-tense, example: I said, I looked.  And other times you use present, example: I say, I look.  Other than that, you only need more description, which has already been sai... (more »)
milforce replied...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Thank you!! I know the tenses are screwed up...I started it originally in past tense but then switched to present and I never got the present tense versions on here...
Aug. 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm
Well,what can I say that hasnt been said already? Great charachterizatiom, Suspense, Good dialouge,  good descriptions. Summarization: A compeling read that keeps it fun and upbeat all the way through :)!
milforce replied...
Aug. 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!
MoraleAsh said...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:57 am
This is really great! What a unique plot liine with such an interesting main character! Props to you. My only suggestion is to cut a lot of the dialogue and add in more detail! Great job overall!
milforce replied...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 11:30 am
Thank you so much. I appreciate it
SarasotaWonder said...
Jan. 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm
You did such a good job with this! The plot is unique, interesting, and fast-paced...AWESOME JOB WITH THAT! :) One thing I would watch out for is that fact that you have a lot of dialouge, whcih you really don't need all the time, and some more description will thicken your story up. Also, say what the characters say out loud, does it sound like something you would here in everyday converstation or is it just awkward? Overal, great work!
milforce replied...
Jan. 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm
Thanks so much! I'm working on being more descriptive and using less dialogue. I know that the balance is pretty out of wack
Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm
I'm totally digging the character names! You could definitely flesh out the story with more narrative to break up all of the dialogue, it will really add more meat to the story. When will you post more?

Launch Teen Ink Chat
Site Feedback