castle on the hill | telling stories

It was rare to catch Flycatcher talking in such detail about his past. A few of his clanmates knew bits and pieces of course, but with the traumatic loss of his parents and elder sisters in the great battle, it was often too painful for him to talk too much about his past, especially recent events.

Today, however, he seemed in better spirits about the whole thing. A warrior had been telling a lengthy anecdote about a kestrel he saw one time, which reminded Flycatcher of an encounter his family had with a hawk one time. Flycatcher hadn't really been involved so much in this encounter and was quick to make note of it when he began his story. "I was too young at the time to be of any real help, so my mother, Shimmer, told me to hide in an abandoned burrow until it was safe. Unfortunately, I wasn't much of a listened at that age so kept trying to get out, much to her annoyance. In the end, she had to get my sister Bee to sit and watch me because she couldn't trust me enough to stay out of trouble," Flycatcher told the gathered cats. As he recounted this part of the story, he could almost envision Bee clearly in that moment, and the clipped tone she used with him when he had tried to get out again. "So whilst my sister and I stayed tucked away, my parents and my other sisters dealt with the hawk," Flycatcher pressed on. "My mother and sisters kept the hawk distracted from the ground whilst my father climbed up to a higher vantage point in the trees, awaiting the perfect opportunity to strike. When the timing was right, he pounced and forced it to the ground. My parents killed it in the end but it was a hard fight and not one I would encourage someone to try." He could remember the blood and feathers so clearly in his mind, and the deep gouges in his father's shoulder where the bird had fought back against him. It was a small miracle the bird hadn't killed him in that fight, and even more of a miracle that his father hadn't died from an infection afterwards with how bad some of the wounds had looked. But that was Cloudy through and through - unbelievably lucky until he wasn't. "For all the trouble it gave us, I will say this though, it made one tasty meal."

With his story complete for now, unless someone wished to press him for further details, Flycatcher would turn his attention to the others present. "Anyone else got any interesting stories they'd like to share?"
Howling Wind lounged nearby, snacking on a plump mouse as she listened to Flycatcher's story. She blinks in astonishment, clearly impressed by the feat he speaks up. Even if he was only a spectating kit, it sounds remarkable to hear about. Of course, it's never something she would ever want to attempt, nor would she want any ThunderClanner doing so. Going after a hawk could swiftly be a death sentence. "That's incredible," She remarks with a big smile, her tail-tip twitching idly at her side. "I certainly don't have any stories to top that! The most exciting thing I've done is evade a fox in the rocks of Highstones." Still a cool story, but nothing like taking down a hawk!

Flycatcher's story kept the apprentice quietly occupied the whole while, the chalk print of his cheek settled gently atop blackened forepaws. Retellings of past events from these cats were colourful and wild, a far cry from his early days prowling the sharp boxes of his twolegnest. The mention of hawks played especially into his interests, as Sootstar's mentions of hers still rang through his mind whenever he saw the moors. She had been lying- he knew- however, their shadows still flew at the edges of his vision. Knowing that careful planning could take them down eased his fear by the tiniest of amounts.

Predictably, his mentor Howling Wind soon piped up. Their pairing had forced them together for most of the day, a welded joint. In moments like these he didn't begrudge it so much. Her mention of an encounter with a fox elicited a flick of his ear, an apparently impressive feat. It didn't surprise him that she had managed to avoid it, as the deputy had a well-worn skillset.

The talk of hunting and evasions sparked a memory in his mind. Sleepy and slow, his story began to unravel. "Bit different from yours, but I've seen something I'll never forget. My old nest had a pair of twolegs in it. One of them was a solid guy, fed me and all that. The other- I learned to call monster-catcher." A subtle twist of a smile hit his mouth, sweet and bitter interwoven.

"They would shriek at each other at the flick of a tail. On one occasion though, the long pelted of the two followed the other out of the nest, shaking her claws more ferociously than usual. When the other mounted his monster, she kept going. Even as it rumbled in warning she flailed, knocking its flanks. I thought it'd gobble her up! Battered with wounds on it's side and snout the monster could only run..." Sloepaw shook his dazed head, ears still ringing with the screech of the monster's departure.

Catching himself, the tom gave his mentor a quick look. If he'd spoken out of turn, her face would surely show it. Subconsciousness crept up his neck, rattling a laugh. "Aha, always a confusing bunch the twolegs huh?" Occupied suddenly with the reorganising of his paws, Sloepaw set his amber gaze to the floor.

"Evading a fox is still pretty interesting!" Flycatcher laughs in response to Howling Wind's dismissal of her own tale. True, in comparison to his own tale it didn't sound as exciting from the brief way she described it, but it was certainly a tale he would have been interested in hearing from the deputy. Maybe one day he would have to ask her about it more.

Sloepaw is the next to speak, recounting a tale detailing his past experiences with twolegs. Flycatcher had had little interactions with twolegs mercifully. Back when he lived as a rogue with his family, his parents had been keen to stay away from the twolegs and the strange monsters that carried them around. Twolegs take cats in the dead of night and their monsters kill us without prejudice. That was the stark warning his parents had given him when he was younger, their advice to him to stay far away from them should he have ever seen them coming. Thankfully, all his experiences of them had been far away, and he was well out of sight to potentially have gotten grabbed. Sloepaw's tale paints them in an interesting light, and Flycatcher listens intently to his descriptions of the twolegs, intrigued by the interactions between them that the younger cat described.

When Sloepaw is finished, he makes a comment about how they're a confusing bunch, and Flycatcher nods his head in agreement. "Indeed they are," He mews, a wisp of a laugh following his words. "I've had little experiences with them myself, but what little I have seen and heard of them is always something odd."
Howling Wind, smile still present on her maw, turns her attention to her own apprentice who decided to tell a story of his own. Her ears twitch with interest, and she listens as he describes the odd mannerisms of his former twolegs. She knew twolegs had long since tamed monsters, but to hear of one wounding a monster and it doesn't even fight back? If only cats could harness such a power! "Be glad you don't have to spend anymore time with them and their odd ways," She comments, actually offering her apprentice a lighthearted smirk. In the back of her mind, however, she still thinks, Unless you decide to go running back to them.

Flame was returning to the camp to catch the middle of Flycatcher's story about taking down the hawk. The ginger she-cat padded over curiously, taking a quiet seat beside Howling Wind. She would glance at the brown molly, waiting to see if she minded that she sat beside her. After a few moments, she relaxed, her gaze following the next clanmate to start their story. Her eyes rounded as Sloepaw told his story. Twolegs were confusing creatures...she was thankful that she had never had to live with them.

Her paws shuffled nervously as it seemed she was the only cat that hadn't shared something yet. So far, no one here knew anything of her past. What story would she tell them? "My life hasn't been as eventful as you guys'..." she began, slowing finding her voice. "I was raised not too far from your territory. My mother was a loner, and I never met my father. My mother never spoke of him, and my siblings were taken by two legs when I was young. My mother and I escaped them, and we found shelter in a hollow tree. We stayed there for, well, as long as I can remember. She taught me how to hunt and fight, and I stayed with her so we wouldn't be alone." She shifted the weight on her forepaws as she decided wether to go on or not. The next part wasn't easy to talk about.

She parted her jaws to speak, then closed them. Her gaze clouded over, then she quickly got up. "I uh...I need some air. Sorry.." she licked her chest fur a few times embarrassedly, then hurried out of the camp.