I claim no ownership to the characters in this story.

Authorís Note" When watching Dead of Winter, this little brain child popped up when Father became very insistent that Vincent convince Mouse to leave Arthur behind. I had to find out exactly what had happed that would cause so much concern about Mouse and that little raccoon. I hope you enjoy my little Vignette.

The Winterfest Before

CL

William stood back and looked over the platters covered in food. He had really outdone himself this year. Winterfest was tonight and he had been slaving away for over a month to make things just right. The children and sentries had been dispatched to assist the helpers down to the Great Hall. Only a few of the more able bodied young men had been left with William to help carry the food in. Winterfest was important to the tunnel residents and helpers. It was Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled up into one loud joyful holiday. This is when William had his chance to shine.

Mouse followed the crowd down the stone steps to the Great Hall doors. Huddled over he kept his cloak tightly gathered to prevent it from being whipped around in the wild winds. He watched as Vincent lifted the bars and open the huge doors, Mouse tugged his cloak tighter and smiled. Father always said that Winterfest was a time for family and friends, and this time the whole community would participate, this year Winterfest would be as it should be and all his family would be there to celebrate.

The oohs and ahhs of the crowd made William puff up with pride. As his assistants paraded down the stairs carrying heavily laden platters, the huge grin on his face faded to shocked horror. A loud "ARTHUR NO!!!" echoed seconds before the resounding cries and crashes as the results of all his hard work flew through the air and crashed to the floor.

"MOUSE!!!!" Williamís bellow echoed through the great hall as both the raccoon and a little Mouse scurried out the great hall doors.