Burning limbs managed to drag the cinnamon and snow apprentice from the fresh-kill pile to the apprentices den, recounting the amazing day she had just experienced.
Her visit with her mother, her training with Flycatcher, her own self-practice… the three things she had begun to take the most comfort in since her apprenticeship.
Yet, too quickly it seemed, the sun had begun to set, and her energy had been drained- and to the apprentice den she hesitantly went.
Soft whispers of some of the apprentices were the first thing to catch her attention- though she supposed she wasn’t the only one who enjoyed an early bedtime.
She had barely stuck her head in the den before she heard the familiar hushed jeers, the side eye from a few particular apprentices who did not seem to enjoy her company, but she simply couldn’t do it today.
Something spongy and familiar had been caught underfoot, and with only a glance did she realize it was her nest, dragged to the front of the den, right where the leaf-fall chill would be able to catch her in the night.
The rest of the apprentices hadn’t come filtering in yet, so Roepaw simply kicked the nest backwards, glaring daggers at the culprits. "Get a life!" She spat with a roll of her eyes, stomping back towards her nest and dragging it into its usual place, flattening her ears in a failed attempt to drown their responses out.
“Or what slug-breath? You’ll take it?” One of them sneered while another giggled.
“I get it! ‘Cause she can’t breath right either!” They snorted, but that comment didn’t get as much praise.
Luckily, however, another duo of apprentices entered, chatting quietly to themselves, but their presence was enough to shut the vultures up either way. "Sorry, what was that? Say it again, I couldn’t hear you" Roepaw bit back, her harsh tone earning a couple of surprised glances from the duo, but only an eye roll or two from her antagonizers.
That’s what I thought. Roepaw huffed internally, they were too fretful over a good reputation to be labeled for what they really were.
With a lash of her tail, the tiny apprentice stuffed a few fallen pieces of moss back into her nest, a sad sight, but one she could fix in the morning.
As she curled up however, her nightly mantra replayed in her mind for what seemed like the hundredth time.
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.