Tortured Servant

Chapter 1

Gingerstar14: As you may have guessed, this is Bramblestripe's idea.

Bramblestripe: Yep. Gingerstar typed but I thought up a lot.

Gingerstar14: It's still my fic though.

The milky dawn light filtered down through the trees, warming my fur and calming me. It shone down over the forest, turning the world bright and sunny. The birds twittered in the trees, and I saw, as I looked up, a squirrel scamper off. Then, it was shattered.

Hot, firey claws raked down my back, and a husky voice hissed in my ear, "Get up, lazy Foxdung! You still need to hunt for us!" I opened my sea-green eyes and saw the huge brown tom with white patches on his face. His legs were grey and his tail was white.

I said nothing and began to stuggle to my paws, feeling the sticky blood flow from the wound I'd just received. I was a bit slow, since my pawpad was still cut open and my forelegs were sore from when I'd been late two nights ago. I wasn't fast enough, and the tom raked his claws over my back again, opening my old scars.

"Hurry, Foxdung," A black tom spat. His green eyes were narrowed. "Your too slow for my liking." His voice was so deep I sometimes wondered how he didn't cough.

"Yes Midnight." I mewed. Midnight bristled and stalked over to me, until his angry face was less than a mouselength away from mine.

"Don't talk back to me, Foxdung!" He spat. I winced and backed up. I was raised by them, and they named me Foxdung. I liked to think of myself as Honey for my bright ginger pelt, but heaven forbid I tell them that.

As I limped off hurriedly into the forest, I heard Midnight growl, "Knife, sometimes I wonder why we keep her."

The reply was, "As long as we keep moving, we won't have to fetch prey for oursleves."

I limped forward and tasted the air. I was a brilliant hunter, even injured. I had to be, or I wouldn't be able to eat some for myself. Soon I scented rabbit, and though sleepy, I easily tracked the scent until I saw the rabbit.

Then I stalked it best I could, ignoring the pain of my paw and leaped. Luckily for me, I cought it. Then I ran over details I'd need. Midnight was a big eater, he'd want at least two rabbits. Knife liked mice the best, so I'd catch two for him. Talon was never really hungry, so I'd give him whatever I could find. Sand didn't care what I got her, as long as it was tasty, and I knew she liked voles, that was what I'll bring her.

Then I gulped. Leopard was the hardest to please. He always wanted something else. So, I decided, I'd bring him whatever I could catch. I hunted all morning, and finally I brought in my prey. It was impressive, I'd say, but I knew that that was what I'd catch every day.

Knife, the leader, the tom who'd woken me, watched as I brought in my catch, taking two trips. I had three rabbits, two mice, a chaffinch and three voles. First I served Knife. He glared at me as I dropped the two mice in front of him. I closed my eyes as pain lanced through my skull, and I sat there, dazed. "You took a bit long, don't you think?"

I lowered my gaze and whimpered, "I'm sorry. I was a slow-"I looked up at Knife. "A slow stupid pile of foxdung." That seemed to please him, so he began eating and left me to serve the others. Next I gave Midnight his two rabbits.

"You aren't stupid for once," He spat. Then I gave a vole to Talon, the big brown tom. He didn't even acknolage me, but I was glad. Usually when he did, it was to slash at me with unseathed claws. Ginger colored Sand was easy. I gave her two voles, and she began eating right away. I hated her the least, she was always easy on me.

Finally, slowly I approached a giant, golden tom with black stripes. I meekly pushed the chaffinch in front of him. He looked up from the mossy nest he was laying in and sat up. Even sitting with me standing, he was bigger. His steely gaze said it all.

I lowered my head and prepared for the blow. Two massive paws pinned me down, shoving my muzzle into the ground. I choked on sand and couldn't breathe, but I knew better than to struggle. Without a word he let me up, but no without raking claws down my muzzle, adding fresh blood to the dried red around it.

Then as he half-heartedly began tearing into the bird, I backed away to the edge of the clearing as I watched them eat. I layed down and dozed until firey pain jerked me back into wakefulness. I looked up to see Knife staring at me. "Dinner is served, Foxdung." He slid some bones and feathers toward me.

I meekly began to dig around in the bones to see if I could find any meat. My stomach had been growling since I woke up, but I knew any food I did find wouldn't be much help. Finally I found some on two of the voles; Sand was being kind again. Thankfully I chewed it up, crunching on the bones.

"Now," Knife dug his claws into my paw. I forced myself not to yowl. "Be a good Foxdung and take this to the nearest stream. Bury it and come back for our dirt." I couldn't see why they didn't bury it themeselves. "Then, you may bring us water. You can drink as much as you want, but if I find out you've eaten anything..."

He stopped. Don't worry, I thought. I already learned that lesson. Aloud I mewed feebly. "Yes sir."

"Then get to it!" Knife snarled, pulling out his claws. I picked up the bones and limped off to find a stream. Luckily there was one very close by. I dug a hole and buried them, my claws muddy, broken and bleeding. Then I cleared away the dirt and fetched water. At least they let me drink, I thought as I gave each cat their water-soaked moss.

Through it all, I only got clawwed once from Midnight for serving him last. Then I limped painfully back over to my nest- a pile of stones Knife shoved together the last night. Knowing what to do next, I gathered the moss and dumped it into the stream.

"Let's get a good rest now, cats,' Knife called. "Tomorrow we'll keep moving. Foxdung, go hunting again." He commanded. So, wearily, I rose to my paws and began my hunting.