private AN OPEN MAW | cicada

Jul 8, 2022

to kill a leader is to send a message. buck believes herself to be a fair woman, a lady of a strict moral code. a molly who will not be conquered the way the forest was. easing into the shadows, watching as he settles himself into a heaven-blessed role, helping himself to a land that is not his. it sickens her. the weight in her stomach is unfamiliar as if the heavens above had fed her every pebble from the river. the feline in charge might expect to be able to cut open the soft belly of a fish, but he'll find poison in the flesh. she will not make it comfortable. she will not ease them into the life of the river. she hopes the land cats drown.

she hopes he is the first.

"cicada." she does her best to catch him in an area secluded, alone and unaware. her claws dig the ground, as they have done for every full-bodied moon. as they will continue to. "you have made a name for yourself. although, it's as disgusting as a spider's brood." her words, venomous and cruel and aiming for destruction. this is her home. her kin. she will protect what is her's. she hopes he will do the same. "you've made yourself comfortable in a stranger's home."

she stalks closer, gaze burning and filled with hellfire. there is no shortage of disgust and anger within her. her days of protecting the riverside, she had never seen such arrogance. she has fought cats of all sizes. allowed those who are river-blessed and turned away those lacking the qualities needed for survival. this was not an animal's morality at play. this was a takeover.

"you do not have our warm regards. you and your cats are not welcomed here. have you a smarter mind, i would suggest a different area. yet i fear you lack the sense of a shrew." this is his one and only warning. buck is fair, but she is not foolish. "words travel from the trees. i know all of what you've done. i will not let my cats be under the rule of such a fool."


− ♱ ABOUT : to the outside eye, his morals had begun to wane — to grey and die, shriveling beneath the cold weight of desperation. as did rain. as did ash, leaping toad, moth, and however many others that had fallen at the paw of a starving colony. the life that bone had taken in his name, the scarred grey tabby who's gaze had been wild and feral seconds before thick crimson splits the fur of his throat and he collapses in a tangle of bleeding, bruised limbs. memories keep him awake, now. sleepless nights were a staple, as calm as silence was along the river the light it cast seemed to grow eyes in the shadows. there is rot in him, he knows ; he's tending it like a garden, cultivating the silken rose of decay against thorn - scarred, mottled black pads. ghosts stud that barren landscape of new trauma frothing in his mind like a desperate, turning sea, angry ocean crashing wildly along some corroded shore. there was no time to grieve when cats seemed to come upon their borders in increasing numbers, den dotted with cotton - lined nests that seemed to multiply with each glance away. riverclan was growing rapidly, thriving on the water just as he had known they would.

perhaps too rapidly.

he doesn’t know when the first seeds of doubt began to plant in his head ; he'd offered an open invitation to those of the pine colony that favored the river and he did not regret his decision. riverclan was his haven, a place to build and discover alongside his clanmates. safe. secure. and yet, he remains upright more often than not ; pacing, pacing in the cold, unforgiving silence. visions dance behind his eyelids, rampant paranoia and plaguing nightmares each time he manages to lie down for more than a moment at a time.. so he doesn't. to keep himself awake is not too difficult a task, being more than used to sleepless nights and teaching his body how to keep going, stay awake, until he crashes beneath the branching willows. he sleeps wherever he falls and never for long, as one could assume by the darkness that had begun to ghost just under icecut luminaries. the tom preferred it that way. once he reaches the peak of exhaustion, his consciousness finds a way to block out the very hint of a nightmare ; it was an old method he'd used countless moons ago, beneath the rotting wood of his mother's colony. stay awake, cicada. watch.

the pins and needles that bite angrily at his paws begin to subside with each careful footfall, plume - like tail hovering neatly at the lift of his heels until the brush parts to reveal a small clearing, cut slightly by a small body of water. seculsion. he's working at a patch of moss that eats away at a looming beech when buck makes her arrival, white - tipped paws pulling the greenery from the bark with more force than necessary -- as if the secrets to his nightmares could be found beneath the chipping bark. her scent is the first to alert him, the woman's silent approach going unnoticed until she was too close to avoid. his ears swivel back just a tick, frozen gaze coming to lock on the felidae with little expression. the exhaustion that had found its way deep into his marrow was not only from the exertion of a growing colony, and while aches and pains scream to rest, the mottled tom only lowers his forepaws to the damp ground, flexing ivory toes against dew - slickened grass. cicada. her voice is ember and hickory smoke, burning with rage, you have made a name for yourself. although, it's as disgusting as a spider's brood.

his name. cicadas sing in the distance even now, their trilling scream nothing but a gentle staccato hum over the rippling, surrounding water, " i did what had to be done, " he would not be bullied. he would not be made to regret his decision to take action. lives were lost, but they would never know how many were saved, " you will not lecture me about a war you had no part in ; not while you all stayed fat on fish, watching us starve — should word fall so easily from the trees. " his tone begins to darken, all - too looming with orbital ears perked, the promise of violence nothing but a ghost on barbed tongue. he was tired, sore and stress draws now a crease between pinches brows, but he would withstand. he always did, " i made a name for myself in action, however disgusting you may find it. "

he would not show his underbelly.

" i do not need your welcome." its spoken low, accented vocals never lifting but threaded in frgid venom. his head lowers, cold fire blazing in his steely gaze, " i've made my place. stars as my guide, should you act against riverclan, you and your pond - crawlers will taste what it's like to be driven from your home too."

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.


his words are spoken by a foreign tongue, her stalking frame continues to close in. he is still, but alive and showing little to back down. that is fine, buck was not here for a fight. had she been, he didn't seem like he would last long against a woman scorned. his voice is deep and murky, had she been younger, less protective, she'd back down. its an intimidation tactic, but wasn't this whole meeting? two heavy claws that never strike, but remain alight in the shadows of the moon. to show power over the territory, with only one that is fit for survival in the area.

"it is not my job to save you or your cats. but if you are so righteous and holy, why are your cats still thin and hungry? why are they not fat on fish, as I apparently am?" the nerve of a tom to accuse her of selfishness to not fight in a battle that simply had nothing to do with her. "where were you when families fled from the pines? when tragedy strikes here, it was none of your concern." the ribs that jut out from a lack of resources, of ill-planning and stolen spaces. the kits that come sick from the trees do not always make it by the river. if he is good, so selfless, why had not come from the edging forests? to help the families and lost souls?

"you've condemned these cats. they have no skills of survival by the river. what will you do to keep dens warm and free of water? who will teach you to delicate weave? these cats can't keep their head above the water and there is not even a flood." they are running on borrowed time, and cicada can only turn to the river cats if he wishes his followers to see the next new leaf. she could be their savior, but why save cats who try to drive them from their homes? "when your kits become sick, you won't be so arrogant."

the reeds and brush flicker and loom, a heavy wind carrying the scent of the water-bound territory. his threat is not taken lightly, and his eyes upon her carry with it, a promise. her face is pulled taut, eyes heavy upon the tom who is not even aware of what he has truly gotten himself into. their camp carries little to stake any claim. their cats are struggling. they'll die by leaf bare, when all they must rely on is the river. "the rivers will run red, and it will pool at your paws, cicada. your claws are already stained, do you truly wish to add more hauntings to you?" she stills at last, heavy at her base. the air between them is heavy and cold, and she is close to being a murderer. not far off from the opposing tom.