Chapter Fourteen - Darkness and Blood

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I laid down with Frostfur with a starling in between us. Frostfur's eyes were wide and staring at my scabbed, bloody face. "So... I see you had quite the... experience, huh?" She stammered, eye-balling my face. I swallowed and raised my chin.

My stomach growled and I instantly began to tear at the starling. Through chews, I muttered, "I learned a lot today and I'm proud to have battle scars!"

Frostfur nodded slowly and waited for me to be finished my share to dig in. She chewed slowly in thought. "I assume you had to be taught a lesson to have to be beaten up that badly?" She meowed.

I narrowed my eyes and nodded. "Only because I didn't move quick enough. Now I know if I don't, this will happen again,"

Frostfur shook her head softly and kept silent. "Icepaw! You should go see the medicine cats about your injuries. Wounds or not, you're battle training tomorrow!" Berryfur advised. I stood up immediately and padded over to the medicine den.

"Greetings, Icepaw!" Cinderpelt gasped, turning from her herb piles. These poor cats do everything to save our Clan and they are forced to stay cooped up in here... I should ask if they want to go out to look for herbs?

"Hello," I dipped my head to the four cats. They were all elderly and for some reason, happy. "You four need to get an apprentice because you guys are older than ever!" I purred and they all nodded, their whiskers twitching in amusement.

Barkface pushed past Cinderpelt. "No one wants to be us. We're stuck in here with nothing to do... Why would any cat want to be like us?" I shrugged, replying solemly, "You guys don't have to stay here. There's more to the territory then just the campground," They exchanged glances.

"Let's just clean your wounds. You'll have to go to the lake to clean it off, first." Cinderpelt sighed. Her eye sockets were hollow and her fur was unbelievably clean, as if she spent every heartbeat cleaning it.

"How about you guys come with me to the lake? You guys need to stretch your legs and we could search for some herbs while we're at it!" I suggested. Littlecloud and Mudfur shoved the other medicine cats out of the way to see me, all of them looking frail. Their eyes brightened up and they nodded viciously.

"I'll go tell Scourge you're running low on herbs and we'll be out!" I chirped, "Follow me."

I ducked out into the clearing and searched for Scourge. The four medicine cats followed close behind me. I wondered what they looked like in the daylight.

I rushed up to Berryfur since I couldn't find Scourge and told him where we were going. He didn't look impressed but he let us go. Sending Blackfoot and Brambleclaw along with the five of us, we set out.

The two guards were on either side of the patrol, their bodies bulky and pelts thick and well-groomed. Brambleclaw's eyes gleamed in the darkness while Blackfoot's pelt did the gleaming. I led the patrol, feeling older and more mature, I felt like this had been the best day ever.

"I've been having these crazy dreams of darkness and blood, and then I wake up freezing cold. I'm surprised I haven't woken up with ice on my whiskers yet!" Cinderpelt purred. I noticed Brambleclaw and Blackfoot exchanged curious glances, but they didn't say anything. The other medicine cats nodded as if they were having the same dreams.

What does that mean? What a crazy dream. I wondered, narrowing my eyes in thought.


The guards were silently watching me as I washed my blood-soaked face at the lake. It stung as if I were being stung by millions of bees, but I eventually got the blood off.

"Now that we can see your wounds, we'll clean them up. I know where to find marigold and comfrey to help heal it and keep out infection." Barkface informed me without making eye contact.

"No need for cobwebs, the bleeding has stopped on its own." Cinderpelt muttered as she examined my face.

Turning to Brambleclaw and Blackfoot, Cinderpelt asked, "All of our herbs are shriveled up now, could we go out to search for some?" The guards exchanged glances and nodded.

Littlecloud padded over to them with Mudfur on his heels, "We need new bedding as well. We'll go get some." Mudfur meowed.

"Who gave you the right to just walk off? Did we say you could go off without one of us?" Brambleclaw snarled, blocking their paths. "Blackfoot, go with them."

"Give a bit more respect to your medicine cats! We do everything we can to help you and this is the respect we get?" Littlecloud rasped, his ears flat to his skull.

"We don't need you lousy medicine cats. Keep your mouth shut before I brake your jaw off!" Blackfoot hissed, shoving them forward.

I'd hate to be a medicine cat. One day, they'll be sorry they let them die.

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