CLOUD COUNTRY \ abandoned collar

Jun 8, 2022

Solitary in his expedition, Haku could often be found picking his way across the outskirts of the forest, in view of the Twoleg nests. Not often did Haku speak of where he had come from or why he had left, but he did not hide it particularly well either. Cold eyes softened to warm ocean when they flickered those windows, or caught sight of housecats on their way home from an adventure in the forest. He was hardly old enough to feel such surging nostalgia, but it struck him across the stomach anyway, a pang in his chest for what he could still have.

He did not hate it among the pine-cats, far from it, but there was a part of him that still resided in the burnt-out remains of his housefolk's nest. When his heart had been shattered into so many pieces, it was difficult to pick them all back up again- impossible to avoid leaving some tiny fragments there.

It would always be this way. Haku had accepted that fact- and as he walked, an ashen paw struck something upon the ground. It made a fleeting jingling sound, silenced by the grass around it- a collar, sunshine-yellow, with a little bell attached. It was not severed in twain, nor did it look to be in disrepair. How had it ended up here?
( ) There's a guy here.

He gazes at something... a thingy. Valentine pads closer. Closer to the guy and closer to the thingy. And he whispers: "Can I have it?"

He taps his paws against the ground, excited, before he leans over to scoop the thingy right into his waiting maw. And oh. it ring ring rings ♪ The delightful noise shakes him to his very core, enlightening his ears with its discordant melody. Dreadful, horrid, not an ounce of musical theory embedded within it's tone; but it's wonderful, delightful, incredible. The simple jingle sets his ears aflame, so-so satisfying even if objectively foolish.

He shakes his head as a dog would shake its precious toy. Muffled giggles accompany the incessant ringing as he allows it to spread warmth throughout his senses. "It shines like ta sun! Clearly a gif, i'd say. A treasure to keep safe from ta wicked and to enlighten dose who deserf it; anf who but dis heavenly vessle shoulf be da one to see it trough?" Surely, surely he'd understand.

And he shakes it until he's dizzy, dizzy, and the stars and the sun and the moon are spinning around him. Everything is leaning, leaning so strangely and so wrong and so right. His tail lashes wildly, both out of delight and in an attempt to steady himself. "Lofely eye, blue cornflowerf, keenly divine. You shoult be my diciple, treasure findah!" Ooh the ringing ♪ it echoes within his skull.

finicky and unusual. loud and graceful. his paws lead him to the small pair, making it a crowd with just his presence. his fur brushes in front of his eyes, and he can still see the oddity of valentine's very being, and haku who he doesn't know either. he isn't going to forget their faces, he knows that. nor will he forget the words that have just stumbled out of valentine's mouth, but not because he doesn't want to forget. simply because he cannot forget. cursed with the elephant effect ( an amazing memory which could be considered a blessing to some, but certainly not to him ), he will not forget. his head tilts, with a small curious hum on his riddled tongue.

"it'ssss a nice little... thing, isssssn't it?"

he wasnt sure what to make of it, but valentine likes it, it seems. he does like things that are shiny. but noisy. noisy. the jester of a tom cat knows he's seen them before. he's warn them before. why? for reasons he'd wish he could forget, sending an involuntary shiver up his spine.

"you're going to keep thisss?"



He had not gone out on any patrols today. The tensions between his group and the cats of the marshes left many a thing on the silver toms mind. Many a thought to contemplate as he rolls around their words in his brain, all the actions that they have taken against them since they moved in here. Why couldn’t these cats just leave them in peace? It was enough to make him want to rip his fur out. To save his fur, which would most likely be a tattered mess if he didn’t do something he had left the camp, looking for a welcoming distraction.

He is on this stroll along the twoleg border, staring at the fences that separate his old life from his new, when he happens across a group of cats, most of them familiar, but one not. For a moment, he tenses, thinking that perhaps a marsh cat was here causing trouble. Upon further speculation, and vigorous sniffing that set his nose twitching like crazy, he was able to speculate that this was another kittypet, and that he was of no threat to himself or his cats. However, this realization led to a new confusion, what were they all gathered around?

”what’s got you all standing around here gossiping like a bunch of pregnant she cats?” he chides as he approaches, giving the stranger a curious look. He seemed to be of an odd sort, and Rain could not decipher his strange language. It made no sense to him, but he makes no comment on it, he doesn’t want to be rude after all. ”oh! It’s a collar” he says after closer inspection, though he figures that maybe that was obvious and feels a little sheepish. It had not been long ago that he had worn one, although his was blue. ”its lovely he agrees with Baguette, sending a nod in the toms direction ”you can have it if you’d like” he says, returning his stormy gaze to the brown and white cat from over the fences.
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Lost in contemplation, it was a shock to Haku's shut-down system when a voice broke that thought. Shattered it, more like. It was only a whisper, but it was a sudden one, and his eyes snapped up to meet the source- a chocolate tom who gazed covetously at the collar, eyes wide. At his question, Haku gave only a vague, astounded nod- and then it was off the ground, jingling in the jaws of this stranger. For a long stretch of seconds- it felt like that, at least- Haku stared unblinkingly at this peculiar tom, as he waltzed about and shook the thing, rattling himself into a dizzy stupor. Words spouted from his maw, muffled and riddle-like; "A gift...?" Clearly, he'd said, clearly a gift. Was it truly so clear?

"Nice- yeah... a treasure, in fact," he murmured in response to Baguette as he ambled over, and there was a lightness in his voice that had not been there before. A humour. Him, a treasure finder? Someone who had come across good fortune, for a change? The compliment of his eyes had gone right through him- ignored, for he had no idea how to respond to such a thing.

At Rain's approach, Haku found himself straightening up, neatening his posture. Why, he had no idea- this tom deserved that amount of respect. "Yeah," he agreed, a smile seldom-seen gracing his maw, though it was only the remnants of one. "You seem to be having fun with it. I think it was a gift meant for you."
( ) It doesn't take long for Honeybee to sniff out his groupmates; a pesky thing he is, sticking to the sides of anyone near like a burr would cling to one's pelt. A laugh punctuates Rain's curious chiding, pearly incisors glinting in the leaf-dappled sunlight as he materializes next to the old tom. "Maybe they are pregnant," comments Honeybee, his voice betraying no sarcasm and his expression deadpan in spite of the biological impossibility of his suggestion. However, there is a glimmer in his eyes that one might catch if they look close enough.

The incessant jingling of the collar reverberates in their ears. Honeybee huffs, staring at the maddening display; some guy who they're unfamiliar with shaking the bloody hell out of a kittypet accessory.

The cinnamon-furred tom wonders if one's brain could be knocked out of an ear by shaking one's head for an extended period. They would try it themselves if they weren't so attached to their brain.

They cock their head, drawing in a long, amused breath as the guy dizzies himself and fights for balance. He sways like a leaf in the wind, yet he keeps speaking in rhymes. He's funny, and Honeybee likes that. They like him, they decide in an entirely too short span of time.

They want to play along with the funny guy, too. To lose themselves in the folly.

"O, speaker of divine bells, what do the angels whisper to you amidst their celestial song?" Honeybee feigns a wide-eyed stare alongside his melodramatic words, leaning forwards to punctuate his pseudo-wonder. His gaze cuts to his groupmates, giving them an inconspicuous wink.
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( ) It's a small crowd now, a party. It brings him a twinge of joy. Jaws stretch wide in a smile around the vibrant thing. They're an intelligent bunch, all insisting the obvious. Or perhaps they'd be considered daft for the same reason?

The pale tom is met with a blank stare, a tilt of his head. This question is foolish, clear as day. The silver tabby is met with similar indignance. It's clear now, the way this was lain here for his jaws and his jaws only. How does this one speak as if he has an ounce of authority? He offers a worthless sigil of permission, empty words when uttered to someone such as him. It'd be in his grasp, with or without the tom's blessing. Though, there is a strange familiarity... Valentine blinks.

Haku's words are the closest to the truth, a fair gospel upon his ears compared to the daft mutterings of the others. A willing disciple, friend with wits abound. Valentine replies with a purr, bounces on his toes.

A voice stands out from the crowd suddenly, clear, succinct, sensical. The purr hitches in his throat. With a sudden jerk of his head, he locks eyes with the perpetrator. A tawny pelt ripples across short stature. Valentine's eyes go wide as moons. "Less-a-whispering, more a silent song, abstract feeling" the bell twinkles as he lilts his head upward. "Such a precious thing isn't to be handled by commoners, it shall be in safe keeping!" he announces, conclusive.