Merlin was lying unconscious between the kneeling figures of Teagan, Alexandra, and Alex. Alexandra busied herself with crushing the herbs needed to disinfect the wound and numb the pain while Alex took hold of the claw fixed in Merlin’s flesh. Teagan searched her bag for any sort of medical supplies she had on hand and found to her luck some cloth to use as a bandage. “It’s ready.” Alexandra stated after having crushed the herbs to a fine powder. Alex gripped the claw tightly and nodded signaling she was ready. It only took a moment and Alex’s strength to pull the claw from Merlin’s thigh. A quick sharp pain surged through Merlin and he let out a scream alerting those in the camp of something gone amiss.
After Alexandra applied the medicinal herbs and Teagan wrapped the makeshift bandage around the wound the three girls lifted Merlin off the forest floor and in the direction of the camp; hoping that the light of the fire would ward off any more unwanted creatures. Arthur took concern in the fallen state of his manservant and friends as well did some of the knights and other travel companions. Arthur came to the side of his injured companion as the three girls laid him down near the fire. “What happened?” he asked looking Merlin’s bandaged leg. “We were attacked by these weird creatures. They looked like huge dogs with no fur and dark violet skin and giant and I mean giant claws. I don’t know what they were.” Teagan said describing what they had seen. Then the mysterious girl they had encountered on the forest road approached the group and threw her voice in. “Those were turins.” Madison spoke up. Arthur rolled his eyes and retorted, “Quit acting like you know everything.” “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot that you are the one who has lived in this forest for long enough to know what lives here.” Madison stated sarcastically.
Arthur wanted to make a rebuttal but he knew that Madison probably had the upper hand this time and backed away to make way for her. Arthur turned to the knights and instructed them all to take up a post around the perimeter of the camp. Madison kneeled down by Merlin and noticed the lack of a claw on his person. “Did you remove the claw?” Madison asked the girls. “Yes.” Alexandra answered. “Not good.” Madison said curtly. The girls looked alarmed at this as Madison started removing the bandage. “What do you mean ‘not good?!’” Alex said in frustration. “The turins claws are filled with poison but the poison doesn’t get released unless it’s removed from the flesh. Teagan get me a rag or cloth and soak it in hot water. Alexandra I’m going to need some disinfectant of some sort. Alex get me some proper bandages.”
The three girls nodded and took off to do their assigned duties, trusting Madison in her knowledge. Once they were all busied with their work Madison placed her hand over the wound and mumbled a spell under her breath causing her eyes to flash an iridescent blue. Merlin let out a relaxed sigh and the tension left his body. The turins were creatures of dark magic and their poison could only be cured by magic which Madison had just done to stun the effects of the poison, it would still kill him if she didn’t suck it out soon. As the others were coming back with what Madison had asked them for she began sucking the poison out of Merlin’s leg and spit it out onto the forest floor. Madison took the cloth with the hot water on it and began cleaning away the blood and then taking the disinfecting herbs and applying them to the wound. Madison tied the bandages and sighed at the completion of her work. “He should be perfectly fine when he wakes up but his leg will still hurt so he should take it easy until it heals.” Madison said with a relieved grin on her face as she looked down at Merlin’s sleeping face. The girls laid a blanket over him and placed a pillow under his head.
Merlin woke up the next morning with a groan and a tingling pain in his leg. He removed the blanket and looked down at his leg which needed to be re-bandaged. “Morning sleepy head.” came a laughing voice from behind him. It was Gwain who was standing over him with a grin before ruffling his hair. “You gave us all a scare last night, Merlin.” “What happened last night?” Merlin said making his best attempt to stand on his injured leg. “You can ask the girls about it. Come on we have to get a move on.” Gwain slapped him on the back and went to mount his horse. Merlin gathered his things and joined the girls by the horses.
“Mind explaining why my leg feels like someone stuck a nail in it?” Merlin said with a laugh. “It could have been worse. Be thankful you aren’t dead.” Alex stated with a chuckle. “What do you mean?” Merlin asked quizzically. “The claw that the creature stuck in your leg released a poison when I took it out. None of us knew about it and you would probably have been dead by dawn if Madison hadn’t known how to cure it.” Alex said nodding to Madison who was currently arguing with Arthur about which direction the Druid’s camp was in. The fight was settled when Mordred pointed out that he knew which direction they needed to go and when Madison had turned away from the young prince a smile spread across her face as though any arguemental victory that wasn’t Arthur’s was hers. She mounted the horse and the party started moving. With some assistance from Alex Merlin was able to mount his horse rather painlessly. He urged his horse into a trot and met the pace of Madison’s horse as he came up next to her.
“Thanks.” Merlin said quickly. Madison was surprised by his appearance by her side and brushed some of her auburn hair behind her ear. “For what?” Madison said in a humbly kind voice that no one had heard her speak in before. “For saving my life obviously.” He replied with a smile. Madison’s cheeks became a delicate shade of pink. “Well I couldn’t just stand by. You’re too important.” Madison, in saying something that was personally embarrassing for her to say to Merlin, saw this as her cue to urge the horse forward and escape any questions. Seeing that making the horse go faster would hurt Merlin’s leg a bit he decided he’d confront Madison later about how she cured him. Merlin new little about the turins but what he did know is that you need magic to stop the poison from spreading and killing its victim…
Continued in Chapter 12…