GLUE MAN — bigfoot stories

The tom has been talking for a while, enraptured with his own thoughts. He’s managed to gather a few cats to talk to—and somehow he’s turned it into him talking while they all listen. "Yeah, and there’s this big guy called Bigfoot! Because he leaves these-these massive pawprints behind in the mud. With huge claws, as long as your tail. And how nobody’s gotten evidence of him is anybody’s guess, but my personal theory is that it’s because… Bigfoot is very hungry, all the time. But, I! I, your very own Clayfur the Great, has had an encounter with him! And I’m still alive!" Hazel eyes are alight with glee, his enjoyment clear in his smiling expression. He’s having the time of his life, sharing his tales with others.

"So me and- and this old man, this old tomcat we used to live with in the barn," he begins, then paused. He’s chasing the threads of his own memory, trying to get the jumble of words and experiences in his brain to unravel in the right order so that it all makes sense. "We were out walking—it was after dark, and the moon wasn’t even bright. But we were out walking through the woods, talking real quiet about whatever. He had some cool stuff to talk about, always seemed to have a story. Anyway, we were going along and suddenly there was this big thump behind us. We didn’t think much of it, but, like, it kept going. It was footsteps. Big footsteps." In the moment, he’s wild-eyed, breath coming a little fast, a little frantic.

"So of course we started walking faster, because we didn’t know what it was. And it kept following us. And you know that feeling of being watched, where there’s this ice-cold dread that shoots through you and the hair on your back prickles up? Yeah, that’s what it felt like. Old man came in real close and told me to just keep walking," his own voice drops to a low hiss, an imitation of the elderly tom’s voice.

"When we were finally out of the woods—it felt like hours—the old man took off running, so I followed him as fast as I could. But I took a look back over my shoulder once we were clear, and. Even the darkness, I could see these massive red eyes. The old man and I went back the next morning, but we couldn’t find anything. Just a few pawprints in the mud." He says it like it’s not an objectively wild thing to claim, but he’s still got a broad grin on his face and he doesn’t think he’s messed up anything in his retelling yet. "Okay, so. Everybody still following? Any questions so far, anything I should clarify?" He looks across the few cats surrounding him, tail lashing quickly back and forth with his excitement.

Icesparkle had been intending to share tongues with some of her clanmates when she heard the wild voice of her brother, speaking in that tone of his when he was telling a story. His adventures differed from hers as they had not done everything together back at the barn, and this sounded like one of those outings. Curious, she veered away from the path she had intended, deciding instead that she wanted to hear what Clayfur had been up to one night.
And it was definitely interesting. Bigfoot? That could've been a warrior name! But the red eyes...? Icesparkle wondered how long ago this had been and if Clayfur was recalling everything correctly... She tilted her head to the side, smiling as she regarded her brother's excited expression.

// she's just casually listening in, feel free to snuggle up to her if there are any kits, she's feeling very motherly asdfasfsaf

Steepkit had been snagged into the story from its first word. Talk of claws as long as tails! Her eyes sparked with excitement. They trailed Clayfur's every gesture, domino tail aswirl in the dust behind her tattered back. Enthusiasm lifted her spirits so high she even mouthed along with 'Clayfur the Great', bookending the mock cheer with a snigger.

At the heights of the retelling, the kit's head wove this way and that, before eventually falling in amazement onto her Ma's patterned pelt. Every now and then Steepkit would glance up at Icesparkle, gauging the adult's reaction to the story. She hoped it was real! But she wasn't about to look stupid telling everyone else that.

As her uncle's frantic words came to a tantalising cliffhanger, the kit leapt onto his offer for clarification eagerly. "But HOW big? Do you mean, big as Da'?" The white-bellied molly was referring to her father, Mudpelt, the pinnacle of strength and stature in her eyes. "Or- or! Big as the trees across the river? I don't think I could catch it if it was as big as the trees..." The plot was already been written in her mind. When she grew up- got taller and stronger and cooler- she'd go on a hunt for this Bigfoot. If it was real of course. She still wasn't sure if she believed him...

Huddled close to her mother and younger sister, Lilybloom listened with rapt attention as her uncle recounted a story. Lilybloom had always loved listening to his stories when she was younger, fascinated by the tales and adventures he had had. Some of the stories she was sceptical of how true they were but that had never stopped her from listening.

When her uncle paused to see if everyone was still following, she decided to chime in with a question of her own. "Did you follow the footsteps afterwards?" She asked him.
Foxpaw doesn't know the Clanmates who tell are gathered around Clayfur, and she feels somewhat sad about that. Her time within RiverClan has led to nothing but further self-isolation, and after the Gathering, after seeing her siblings growing up without her in ShadowClan, she's feeling lonelier than she ever has in her life.

Clayfur's audience so far consists of his kin, she thinks, and settles at a safe distance so she can listen to his story. Icesparkle is his littermate, a queen with new kits as well as with one older Lilybloom. Foxpaw knows Lilybloom a little bit, but the warrior is pressed close to her mother and younger sister, so Foxpaw does not intrude.

She watches the way Icesparkle interacts with Steepkit, and she has to avert her gaze. She's reminded so much of Dewdrop that it almost hurts.

No, she isn't here for that. She wants to listen to the story. A story that ends up being somewhat terrifying. Massive red eyes, enormous paw prints left in mud. She's troubled, thinking of the thing that had killed her mother and left its monstrous stench at the scene.

"What... what did it smell like?" She holds her breath, waiting for a response. Could this be the thing that had--? Surely not... was Clayfur making things up?


Seeing his sister in the small group of cats frayed his nerves just the slightest bit—his stories are meant for kits to listen to, but what if Icesparkle doesn’t think they’re appropriate for her own kits to hear? He pushes that thought out of mind, spying Steepkit huddled up close to her mom. The pipsqueak even pipes up with a response, asking about the beast’s size. "It was definitely bigger than your dad," he concedes with a chuckle, "but it was smaller than the trees." And great, now he’s thinking about a gigantic bloodthirsty Mudpelt chasing after him at night.

Lilybloom offers a question of her own, and Clay nods forcefully but doesn’t respond to her. Not yet. Instead, he turns his attention to Foxpaw, who seems to have settled down a ways away from his family. He considers inviting her to sit closer to them—he hates to see the divide—but that would be pushy, he thinks. "It smelled… awful, really. Like it hadn’t cleaned itself, ever." Wrinkling his nose, the tom shakes his head as if to clear it.

He rolls his shoulders and settles into a more comfortable position, one hind leg outstretched. "We did follow the pawprints, though. We followed them for so long that it felt like nighttime came just as quick as it left." He won’t reveal, even under threat of death, just how much of his Bigfoot tale is true, but he recalls feeling that same unease that night when he went Bigfoot-searching with a few of his clanmates. He’d been terrified, shrieking at the snap of a twig, only to be embarrassed when it was just Willowroot wandering through the forest on their own.

"We thought we were getting close to wherever it had gone by the time the sun stopped going up and started coming back down, but we didn’t want to end up in the woods at night again. We decided we had to turn around, but after backtracking for a little while, following the pawprints back the way we came, we realized… they were taking us the wrong way." Pause to let that sink in… "We saw a boulder we definitely hadn’t passed before, and a gnarled old tree that I would have remembered seeing. We hightailed it outta there pretty quick, and the old man actually died before we got the chance to go into those woods again."
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Her brother needed not worry — they were no longer living in the old barn, and despite the occasional though of going back, if just to check how their mother was doing, Icesparkle felt no inclination to return to the place where Clayfur had (as he insisted) seen Bigfoot. She gave Lilybloom a gentle lick across the older girl's ears, while holding a chuckle back at Steepkit's excited questioning. As the brown tabby continued his tale, the molly gave a shudder and eyed her children – and Foxpaw who had joined the storytelling, although at a distance – "And this is why you should not search for Bigfoot alone — and Steepkit, you should not even think about leaving your nest at night!" Despite her sharp warning, the humour in her voice was evident; surely Clayfur's words were more than enough to discourage most kits from looking for large creatures in the night...