ASHES FALL SLOWLY // deceased owl


A dark pelt lurks in the shadows of the night, the only thing revealing it being the pale moonlight and the glow from its eyes. Not much for good lurked in the swampland during the night, and Soot was not an outlier to that fact. While less intimidating than a hungry coyote or a hunting owl, the she-cat was a force to be reckoned with in other ways. She was equipped with thorn-sharp claws and teeth ready to tear at anything that dared to harm her, not only that but her tongue could be a weapon in itself to her fellow feline companions.

Especially as of late, the feline was more irritable than ever... The reason? It had grown clear to all of her clan-mates with how plump and swollen her belly had gotten. She was pregnant. For the most part, this factor seemed to hardly wear Soot down, she still hunt and she still fought when needed... With tensions growing with the pine-forest dwellers all cats needed to be on deck, and Soot doubts that her group-mates could afford to lose out on one of their best contributors. Neither did she want to be hunkered down in the walls of a nursery anyways, she had been born to work hard until the day she finally drops.

Her mission tonight was the same as most of her companions, to hunt. Prey was scarce as always... Soot wouldn't doubt if they'd have to dig through the carrionplace soon- if others had not already begun to do so. Being hungry and constantly on the search for food was simply a part of life here in the swampland though, Soot was used to this.

Speaking of the carrionplace, the scent of crowfood suddenly hits her nose. Odd... she was not near the vile place. Using the safety of the shadows she moves with caution to investigate. Her strong pink nose leads her swiftly to the source of the foul scent, before her paws is an owl. A dead one. Its body contained no wounds and aside from rot no foul scent immerged from it... while most would gag at this prey the blue molly instead licks her lips.

Without much thought, her fangs move to its neck- not to take a bite, no... but to merely leave an impression. Enough proof (hopefully) for her group-mates to pull off the story that she had killed it. As for the scent of crowfood...? It was so faint she doubts anyone will think twice about it, with how hungry everyone tended to be the minor scent of rot would go right over their heads. What did this serve Soot though? To lie to her clan-mates?

She didn't know. Selfish and vain she was though, she saw an opportunity to make her group mates believe she made an excellent kill and seized it. Hardly any thought had gone into what she had done, and what she was about to do.

Dragging the large bird by the wing through the muck, causing dirt and some plant life to cling to the owl's feathers, the small feline does her best to return the bird to camp. The thing was practically her size... if not even bigger, she couldn't save it from growing wet and gross even if she wanted to. It doesn't stop her from getting it timely back to camp.

The prey is dropped in the center of camp, she says nothing and waits for her group-mates to speak. Among their words she hopes to hear praise.

//if anyone is curious; the owl passed away due to ingesting a rat that had ate poison. Technically that means anyone who eats it will also likely grow sick so we can assume the cats who take a bite from it are NPCs. Unless you want your oc to get minor - majorly sick then you're welcome to have em take a bite! Hell maybe with what they are use to eating it'd hardly phase them anyways with stronger immune systems, so it's rlly up to yall hehe

cats are free to be sus about the owl and how it was killed to, but just remember in this universe Soot hasn't rly given a reason for anyone to distrust her and she is in fact a loyal clan-mate. Just with some... very selfish tendencies that she mostly hides in events like this. Still if your oc is very perceptive them raising a brow is fine ^^

Briar's good spirits dropped about finally getting her first meal of the day when she saw the find that Soot dragged back into the camp. She'd just finished snacking on a measly lizard and while it had satisfied the grumbling in her belly, it didn't beat the taste of a mouse or a bird. So when the other she-cat dragged that delicious-looking owl into camp, Briar quietly groaned at the timing of it all. Despite the soft whiff of crowfood she got from the bird (after all, it had probably taken Soot a long time to drag that back to camp), it would've tasted much better than the lizard. But she had eaten and those who had not deserved to have the chance to sink their teeth into the delicacy.

"Good catch, Soot," Briar praised as she dipped her head to the blue smoke from across the way. She sat up and began to clean herself form her recent meal, swiping her tongue along her teeth to clean out the scales from the lizard that had lingered.
In the night, he was a master of the hunt, a beast thriving among misty shadows and void-like darkness, but ever since that blasted Pine Group moved in, the marshes have seemed ominously quieter. At the very least, Toad's Prowl often managed to snag a frog or two, but tonight? Not a croak. Not a whisper of a lizard's claws upon damp tree bark. Only a whispering, humid wind, and the fog that shrouded a silvery moon. He returns to camp with an irritable glimmer within his hazel eyes, because he needed to rest before his next hunt, needed to stop and think for awhile. Perhaps he should try the stream? Or the Northern side of the marshes, where murky pools and thick mud often held serpents and salamanders, or even a crow. But as the brute lingers within the thorny camp walls, grooming his earthen hued fur, he spots another stray into the confines of his home, all feathers and blue-smoke fur. For a moment, he's quiet. He's shocked. An owl? Soot had snagged an owl, one big enough to prey upon her. He saw no other cats on her patrol, no. Just her. Just her and a raptor that could have killed her with it's glinting talons. Maybe he should keep a closer eye on this she-cat.

"Nicely done." Toad's Prowl offers rare praise, and tries to push down the judgmental suspicions that are so customary within his cold mind. The breeze carries with it the whiff of crowfood, but given their proximity to Carrionplace on the western side of their marsh, Toad's Prowl thinks nothing of it. Soot even earns the praise of their leader, the dark framed Briar. I might have to invite her out for a hunt, if she's catching owls, the tom thinks to himself. He'll let the rest of the group eat their fill before he touches the bird himself, though. He wasn't done hunting for the night, and a full belly would slow him down. "Maybe that owl is the reason I wasn't finding much prey out, earlier." The tom muses, more-so to himself than anyone else. But with the owl dead and gone, perhaps the prey will come out of their hiding places again.​

Sunlight drippled down from the pine tree canopy overhead, and casted a warm light onto the otherwise damp ground for a moment of dryness. Laying out in the light was a rather warm colored cat that had finished a patrol moments before, lapping at small paws softly with a hum. Things had grown tense as of late because of the new group formed within the pine forest. It has lead to a lot of prey disappearing, skirmishes between her home and them and of course other issues like territory claims. It all seemed so silly to her, why fight? They all had the same goal of survival yet they insisted on fighting most of the time. Sandra gave a small sigh to herself at the thought and paused mid-lick in her distaste for the idea of her group-mates loosing their lives over something so stupid.

Though, thankfully, thoughts where distracted from furthering into dark depths as a familiar grey pelt came forth from the camp entrance dragging behind her their large owl. Wow! What an impressive catch! Sootstride was indeed a fantastic hunter! Sandra had to admire her for that as she herself was so poor at hunting that she was lucky to catch a leaf let alone a full blown owl! Gathering herself up onto her paws, the cinnamon tabby moved to join the gathered group of cats of Briar and Toad Prowl with a bright purr, amber eyes shinning, "Wow! That is so amazing! Way to go Soot!" Voicing her own praise happily with a small nudge of her head to the she-cats shoulder.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]

Berry despised the food here- most of it, anyway. The cold meat of reptiles and the slimy flesh of amphibians had never been to his taste- on the rare occasion that he indulged in vole or mouse, he relished it, and craved it for the rest of the week. Birds, too- they were rare catches, and often ones that the tortoiseshell tom was inclined to claim first-dibs on.

The buzz of conversation nearby lifted Berry from his sleepy stupor, and wonky eyes found their settlement- a cat with a pointed gaze who sat expectantly before an owl. An owl, which he could only infer was a catch of hers. Though his expression barely faltered, within the depths of olivine eyes flickered surprise. Alone, an owl grasped and killed? Heaving himself to uneven paws, he would make a lethargic approach, gaze trailing between the grey molly and her prize.

Her name, her name- he wracked his mind but no answer was spat back out. From the way she looked pointedly toward her companions with those acid-green eyes, he dubbed her Needles. Quiet as ever, he took his place upon the fringe of the group, head lolling lazily to the left. No speech flittered through his shambolic teeth- only a quiet hum of contemplation as he tried to discern how she had managed to kill the owl. He was certainly staring at it.

╰☆☆ Flicker smells the owl while she is jabbering, mid-sentence, to another cat, and her head whips around. Her companion entirely forgotten, the salivating tortoiseshell pads eagerly towards Soot dragging her impressive catch into the camp. The thing is muddy, with debris clinging to it every which way, and the smell is odd... but beneath all of that, Flicker can almost taste the succulent meat, and she gives Soot a beseeching look.

"Pregnant and putting us all to shame," she remarks loudly to the other cats gathered. Sandra, Briar, and Toad's Prowl all sing her praises as well.

But none has taken a bite yet, and Flicker thinks she should be the first to do so. She gives Soot another look, but then decides the blue queen won't be too upset with her. If she is, well... Flicker's been cuffed by the older cats more than once. So be it. She lowers her head and takes a bite from the creature's midriff. Though the feathers taste strange and musty and stick to her tongue, the meat beneath is savory. "There's so much of it," she mumbles through a mouthful of owl. Anyone used to lizards and birds would have found it to be a rare treat.

// yes she's stupid


Praise is what she seeks, and praise is what she receives. When Soot wanted something she typically got it.
"Why thank you both. I was just lucky really." Faux modesty and the semi-hidden truth somehow spills out all at once. An ear flicks in acknowledgment at Toad Prowl's further comment, "Could be... it is quite plump. Hopefully, we'll be able to feast on extra rats and whatnot now that this predator is gone."

That molly's presence made her cringe. The bright furred molly Soot tried her best to avoid... Was it because of... remorse? No- surely not, right?
She had no reason to be sorry, it wasn't Soot's job to keep her tom in check. That's what she told herself, that is what made her feel better anyhow.
The blue she-cat hides her weariness quite well, "You're too kind, Sandra." She fakes a bashful dismissive wave of her paw.

Berry's presence never failed to make her wince either, not because of his inner-self or anything... but...
His outer appearance was not pretty. She's seen many sights in her days, but twisted jaws, burned faces, wildly scarred faces, oh... they made her shudder. Surely she was not the only one who felt this way though? Still... wasn't their fault, she pitied them more than anything. The way he was staring at the owl made her nervous though... "You want a bite Berry?" She attempts to interrupt connecting thoughts occurring in his head.

Good thing Flicker is use to swats, because that's exactly what Soot aims to give her. Without much thought she swiftly raises a paw, aiming to cuff both of Flicker's ears in one blow. "Do you have no manners?! Unless your name is Berry you've not been invited to eat." She growls, best Flicker remembers this... Next time Soot internally promises to give them more than just a swat!


This kind smile played across the mollys' face, then looked towards the direction of Berry as he joined the ground with a small hum. Wondering what the cat was thinking in the moment before Flicker shortly joined thereafter. Taking a bit of the owl, calling Soot pregnant and the like and rightfully getting a swat to the ear from Soot. What a rude thing to do! Though the cinnamon tabby looked in the direction of Soot, and wondered why she hadn't noticed before. The blue she-cat was definitely larger than normal; then again Sandra wasn't exactly the type of cat to be observant. She could get swatted in the face and never notice a different, but she had to wonder why Soot cringed at her presence. Did she do something wrong? Had she upset the other cat? Though she didn't get a chance to voice anything useful other than a small nod and an amused laugh at Flicker.
[ I Use To Hear A Simple Song ]