Post by Egotistic on Sept 29, 2019 11:17:51 GMT -6
The herb stores were running low again, though it pained him to admit it. He'd noticed it, only vaguely, the first time he'd scoured the shelves, but upon the arrival of the morning, roused early from his den as he so often felt obligated to do as a warrior, he could no longer avoid the reality of the situation.
Burdock, chervil, and… coltsfoot, it looks like—or, at least, I think that's coltsfoot... juniper berries, too. His eyes flitted over the makeshift shelves, landing lastly on a pitiful cluster of what had at one point and time been plump juniper berries; now they had been reduced to shriveled black masses, and he didn't doubt their time to be discarded was fast approaching—an occasion he was loath to await the arrival of to take action. In his few moons of training, he'd learned such negligence could become costly. It was one of the many things Yarrowfrost had pounded into his veritably thick and troublesome skull, and a lesson he'd taken to heart. For to wait was foolish—it took no account of the probably's and maybe's that could potentially occur, and with the colder seasons fast approaching, it was not a gamble he cared to take.
Taking in the other shelves with a deft rake of his green eyes, Ratwhisker—content with his deduction—pushed himself to his paws and made to leave the overtly stuffy chamber, out into the heart of his den where the overwhelming fragrance of leaves could no longer assault his nostrils. It was there, amongst the hollow space, free for the time of sick patients, he allowed himself a moment's hesitation before, after a sharp intake of breath and steel over his sensitive nerves, he strode out into the clearing outside. There he was greeted by the faint light of the sun through the canopy and the subdued murmurings of his clanmates.
Early risers like himself, those who frequented the clearing waited idly for the first patrols. Some treated themselves to the night's leftovers while others sat, still as statues upon the clutter of moss-covered stones that littered the forest floor. To those whose gaze he attracted upon passing he offered the smallest of nods, and to those that regarded his passing with nothing but indifference, he provided only a fleeting glance before pressing on.
Pressing on, he let his eyes wander more indulgently over the gathering of faces, dancing from one to the other with withdrawn consideration. If he were to bring everything back in one trip, he'd need the help of another warrior, though who he wasn't sure. Eyes glowering in the haze of the morning's mist, none looked all to open to the suggestion of being his accomplice, and he'd all but given up on the idea and seceded to make a second trip when his paws caught on something warm and furry.
Then he was falling—and none too gracefully—his limbs twisting and tangling as the rest of him jerked suddenly over whatever poor soul he'd failed to take note of in his pacing to lay sprawling in the dirt.
Groaning, he lay there for a moment in miserable silence before arching his neck over his shoulders to see the victim of his preoccupied busy-bodying. Dimly he could make out the white-and-grey pelt of another cat, and when he at last staggered to his paws and lurched forward, a myriad of apologies overflowing from his lips, he at last recognized who it was he'd stumbled over. Relief washed over him at the realization.
"Oh, it's only you Lilypad," he started, his relief plain. "…not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean, not that—well…" he fumbled for the right words, his eyes shifting. "I guess what I meant to say is that I'm glad I tripped over you as opposed to someone else—not that I'm not sorry. I am sorry for tripping over you. I hadn't been paying attention…" he blinked, caught himself, and then said finally after a brief pause. "I am sorry about that. You're not hurt, are you? I hope I haven't hurt you…"
WORDS | 680
credit to nat of adoxography.