The o' dirty dog
Jul 8, 2022
Charcoal pads patter the mud, footsteps calculated and carrying the weight of himself and a rather large chunk of wood near a thick stretch of murky bog water. The sounds of toads sing loudly here at night.

(epilogue- feel free to skip) He’d been with Shadowclan for several moons now, had come to them in their early stages with a near-fatal wound. He had been fifteen moons young- raised by rogues and torn apart by them all the same. He had come to Shadowclan as an apprentice, and had served all the same- earned a name in honor of his forest-cat mother Wasp.

His parents though violently different yet had raised quite the chivalrous young man. While his father Caledon was beyond the scope of reason and morality, a thuggish stray alley-cat with a reputation of thievery- his mother was a posh woman, stuck in her ways- would slap his paw for chewing loud, or having a hair out of line. Somehow, this made for a pleasant man- a simple man (end)

The chunk of bark, he wedges into the ground with a jolty dip of his head, the soft mushy mud grumbling lowly with his disturbance. It stuck from the ground bizarrely, but it would surely serve its purpose later in the night when the sun finally sinks- and it was so close to camp he would find no trouble making his way back.

He’d turn to see eyes watching and offer a kind smile, " power of strategy " he explains simply- his wintery white coat offering no favors in the way of hunting but- he had adapted accordingly. " where are my manners, afternoon- have a good day? " the battle withered man offers kindly.

These days she is less and less inclined to chat with others. Not after she failed to save Sparkkit and some dictate that she killed them. Even her own mind finds that as agreeable when she could not save a life when she is supposed to be their healer. A medicine cat. The title is something to scoff at when placed upon her. Her maw moves methodically as she chews her food in slow motions. Not really tasting but needing to eat all the same. Tilting her head a pale pelt catches her gaze and she looks over toward the tom with darkened paws. Something he is doing makes her watch him and he jams bark into the ground. It's not something she thinks about and so she doesn't understand till he turns to look at the other cats that are watching too.

Strategy he says. She's not sure she believes that but she doesn't outright say it. Instead she pushss the marsh hare away from her and decides to answer the question instead of asking her own. "More or less okay. I still have some tidying to do. What about your day and your um, bark?" She'll never how she is suffering to her clan. Can't afford to.

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Ah yes, she remembered this tom. He had come to her in the days of ShadowClan's beginning, after the fateful battle that had made them lose so many and the split into five groups. Admittedly, she hadn't been around enough to get to know the newcomers to her ranks. She had kits to raise and a mate to grieve, but she was trying to make an effort now. Briarstar materialized from the shadows after realizing she had been seen. Unlike her wintry warrior, Briarstar had the ability to blend in with ShadowClan's murky and dark surroundings.

"Day's been as fine as any I suppose. Any luck hunting?" Briarstar asked with a flick of her tail. The days slowly grew colder and she feared what leaf-fall would bring when it gave way to freezing temperatures and too much snow on the ground. She quickly pushed such clouding worries to the back of her mind and came to a stop next to her sister, who she'd been trailing behind that afternoon as a means to take a break from all seven of her children.
Flicker's orange eyes simmer with curiosity as she follows behind Briarstar and Bonejaw. Wasp is, plainly, bizarre, though she supposes he's nice enough. The stick stuck into the ground, though, leaves her tiny brain puzzled and buzzing with questions.

They come out rudely, as they so often do. The dark tortoiseshell dances close to Wasp on skipping paws. "What the hell is that for?" She tilts her head. "Hopin' it'll fall on top of a frog after it walks under it, or what?"


So I walk alone down the darkest roads

Canarykit had kept her distance from the other cats since her arrival into the camp that faithful day. Still having hopes that her mother would eventually return, and yet with every day the kit started to give up. Dark blue eyes lifting to see Bonejaw, Flicker, and Briarstar begin to surround the alabastor warrior and Canarykit could not help but make her way over, since there was not much other to do but play games with the other kits, which she had showed little to know interest in. "What do you plan on using it for besides...what uhm... what she said" Canarykit's voice was light, slightly quiet and almost inaudible, but they were words nonetheless.

Her icy blue gaze examined the bark, wondering what true use it had other than what Wasp claimed to be as "strategy" not only that, he had a funny way of speaking compared to that of Bonejaw and Briarstar, which she remembered how Bonejaw had reacted to the death of a kit, blaming herself for it and then Briarstar was stoic and a mystery to the kit despite them taking her in after she had shown up drench in the smell of fox. "Who are you?" the kit would also ask, as there were too mamy faces to remember and the only ones she did remember were those who had found her that day, beyond that Canarykit had kept to herself, blending in the shadows and refusing to play kit games with any others, so perhaps it would come to a surprise to many that she now showed her face.
The medicine cat, Hornetsting knew her as well as he did the roots of a tree. She always seemed as tense as she was intense. Rumors burned like a wildfire in the bog despite the still-waters. Hornetsting didn’t believe her accident to be failure. This was a cat- with the weight of the clan and the unknown on her back. " don’t work yourself to death madam " he offers softly, lantern-like eyes roaming the mudland momentarily.

Fine as any, the medicine cat’s sister emerges with simple greeting. " I promise all the cones are in the pine tree " he chuckles pointing a paw to his head, " I’m hoping to use it as cover but- who knows "

" luck, she comes when she wants- doesn’t she… " he muttered with a dry and short puff of laughter as he hooks a paw over the bark again to test its stability. Eyes venturing back to the leader with polite curiosity. " honored to finally speak with you two- at least on some level… despite the oddities you have to witness here " he comments toward the two thorny-furred sisters. Envious of their dark coats but not their busy schedules. Well- Hornetsting did envy duty and family, but things only come in time.

A younger molly comes next, ginger-flecked black and maw dripping with sarcasm. He chuckles with a rippled of his spine and vibration of whiskers, " anything is possible " he responds before turning to snatch another helping of driftwood and burrow it into the ground next to the other.

His demeanor would change entirely as a kit appears, beyond curious and absolutely worthy of the world of adoration. His aura of sophistication and pleasantries slips from his shoulders and he crouches a bit to match Canary’s height. " hello there little love- … I’m Hornetsting " his english accent perfumed with a widening smile. " I plan to use it to hide behind- so I can catch you some supper- my fur is too bright you see. The frogs can see me for miles " his tone is light and meant for the ears of a child. " what’s your name lass? " he asks.

This is the first time someone other than family or Firedawn have outwardly cared about her wellbeing. The taxing knowledge that the stars are watching them. That she is to be this clans link to them. That she is somehow almost otherworlfl in her new position. The idea that she needs to learn how to deal with that and help to heal the clan itself. It's a weight she has never felt before. A weight almost crushing and she stares at Hornet almost disbelieving. Yet after a moment she allows a small nod to move her skull. "Thank you for your words. I'll be sure to remember them. Although I tend to keep my paws busy regardless." There is a hint of amusement in her gaze then before she glances to her sister who also steps forth.

The idea thaf someone would be honored to be able to talk with them also takes her aback. The notion foreign and she shakes her head a little even as he goes on to talk to the others of the clan. Tobe changing when little Canarykit also shows up. Her gaze wanders away and her tail tip taps at the ground thoughtfully before she finally speaks up. "Perhaps we can hunt together. There is more to these marshes then just frogs."