oneshot HYACINTH'S REQUIEM [backstory]


I want to preface this with a Trigger and Content Warning for those who are going to read this. These warnings will be updated with every story update.
This short novel will include mentions of cult lifestyle, suicide, sexist views, transphobia, homophobia, and intense mental thoughts that may make some readers uncomfortable.
Please read at your own risk.​



art by off-site artist sages


Part One

You could say some cats were born in a loving, supportive family. One where they didn't have to doubt their parents love, didn't have to lie awake wondering why they weren't around often anymore. She wished she could say that she had been raised in a normal family, at least. She wished she could confidently say that her family ate dinner at sundown every night together with smiles on their faces. She would be lying if she said she didn't wish for that, back then. Maybe she would have tried harder if her parents weren't so damn stuck in their ways.

Things were always like this. Repetitive days, routine nights. It was always the same.

There would be a gathering of cats who portioned out meals depending on who earned their keep for the day, and her mother would retrieve their measly meal with a smile that had been practiced for moons. She'd return to their nest at the base of a tree trunk, dropping the scrawny prey at her father's feet. His face was always the same, expressionless and cold.

Did I not work hard enough today?

It was the same question that left his lips every. single. time. Hyacinth was too young to remember then, but her father was exhausted. Bags under his eyes, his fur was ragged- he smelled of soot and dust and chickens. It was his own unique musk, something that never left Hyacinth's brain even as she got older. She was only a kit then, when her parents would share the skinny vole that was given to them that meal. When things were still somewhat normal, when her parents would take the time out of their day to stick around while her mother nursed her with milk that was beginning to dry up. Hyacinth never complained once as a kit, perhaps she knew deep down that there was nothing she could have done to help. She was a useless kit who depended on another to live.

And it would repeat. Day, after day, after day, after sleepless night.

Never ending, never waning.

Until it did.

She remembered the first time she had discovered what a crush was. Six moons old. A friend she had grown up with, Sunflower, her name was- would play with her when the sun went down and the fireflies came out to light up the grasses around them. Back then, it was just them. It was peaceful, calm when Sunflower was around. She could admire her in the darkness, forget about the rules they lived by- that a tom and molly belonged together. That their Deity would punish them for going against the laws of nature. She never took her feelings seriously, even when she was curled up next to Sunflower's much larger body. Even when she adored the way the fireflies lit up her pretty golden fur, igniting it to look like golden flames.

Hyacinth loved the smell of elderberries that wafted from Sunflower's pelt as they slept together in their shared nest. It was the only restful sleep had gotten in her short life.

And then one day, Sunflower had stopped meeting her at night. She'd remained by her parents side, blocked by her elder brother- and she would avoid eye contact. There were no more nights they spent together, no more cuddles under the firefly's flickering lights.

And just like that, Hyacinth was alone again.

The sad truth was that Hyacinth had gotten used to being alone after Sunflower had left.
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Part Two

When she had returned home that night, her mother had scolded her. "How could you do this? Don't you know this is wrong, Hyacinth?" She would crow at her daughter, and Hyacinth would numbly listen to the record play over and over again. She argued the first time, trying to tell her mother that she liked Sunflower, that they were good friends- but her pleas fell on unreasonable ears, and her mother had slapped her across the face with a paw for talking back. She was out of place, then.

"Children aren't supposed to argue with their parents. Are you ungrateful for what your father and I have given you, Hyacinth?" She'd repeat the same damaging question, and Hyacinth would flinch. No, she'd beg her mother- no, she wasn't ungrateful. She was a good girl, who would do as she was told. Because she was her parents' only child, and that meant she had to be obedient. She had to do whatever the Deity demanded of her, and repeat the process that many before her had done. Court a mate, raise a family, and hunt for the group. Rinse, repeat. Nothing would ever change.

There was peace in static stillness, and they believed that until their hearts bled.

They believed it so much, that Hyacinth had started to believe it, too.

She'd fallen into line, then. Fallen into the factory line, had become one of them. Her initiation was done without issue, she had been deemed a Follower, then. The Deity had blessed her with goodwill, and her family had been given more shares of food after that. They would eat in deafening silence, and when they were finished, her parents would dismiss her to bed. Rinse, repeat.

She'd never seen Sunflower or her family again after the day she had been blessed. She never questioned it anymore.

Her days merged into each other eventually. Before she knew it, a whole moon had passed and she was old enough to think for herself. She had plenty of suitors, ones her parents and the Deity had chosen for her- but she rejected all of them. She didn't understand why she didn't feel a connection to any of them, a pull that she could explain. It wasn't until her parents had enough of her pickiness, was she forced to stick with a suitor.

Mockingjay. A tom as dark as night, yet cold as ice. He was a frigid man who barely showed any emotion, but he didn't complain when they were stuck together- he had been blessed, as well. They were meant to be, her mother would cheer as she sent them off together. Hyacinth knew that it was useless to fight her fate, to fight her very destiny. She was to repeat the process her mother, her grand mother, and her great grand mother had gone through. Nothing would change, because nothing needed to change. She'd tell herself that for moons, until the day of the meeting happened.

Throughout those moons, she had become Mockingjay's mate- but no children were discussed. Neither of them would admit it, but children weren't on their agenda. They were keeping up appearances, after all. They would just grab some random kit that was abandoned at their borders and say that she had given birth to it on a trip. That was what they agreed upon. But, that day never came- and Hyacinth would ride the wave of freedom for just a bit longer. She would spend nights beside a sparkling pond, curled up in the base of a tree truck that was just small enough to hug her petite body but also hide her from wandering eyes.

Something felt wrong that day, but Hyacinth had always been an anxious person deep down. It was probably just something Mockingjay did, something that got him in trouble and the Deity was scolding him again.

But when she had returned at dawn, there was a crowd of cats that appeared to be sleeping in the gathering field- and their Deity was nowhere to be seen. Weird, she'd think to herself. But she continued on, until she spotted the familiar pelts of her mother and father in the distance. She quickly padded over, wondering if they were meditating in their sleep again.

Until she had gotten closer, and the sight of blood and foaming mouths caught her attention. She rushed over, panicked voice calling out for help. Yet nobody came. A croak of pain sounded behind her, and as Hyacinth turned, Mockingjay coughed up blood before her. Her eyes widened, and she rushed over to her mate.

"What happened? Why- What's going on?" She cried out to her mate, and the tom gurgled out a helpless response. It was obvious what had happened as a black berry rolled out of Mockingjay's mouth. Deathberries. Her heart dropped into her stomach, and she whirled around to rush back over to her parents. "Mom? Mom, please- Don't die. Please, what's going on? Why is everyone-" She gasped out, sick to her stomach.

Something in her had died that day, but her body remained.

Her parents, mate, and colony had died that morning. She was surrounded by dead cats at twelve months old, and there was nothing she could have done to save them. The feeling of uselessness remained for days as she laid amongst the corpses of her family, her colony. She didn't know why they had decided to eat deathberries. Not until their Deity had returned, at least. She laid, ragged and starved, on the ground next to the decaying corpses of her colony as They made their way over. They knew she wasn't dead, and it seemed to displease them. Disgust them.

"You should be dead just like the others, parasite." They would speak through rotten lips, and Hyacinth grimaced. She was too tired to move just yet, too hungry- her lips were parched, her tongue dry. She managed to croak out a response, and gave a whined question. "What happened? Why.. Why are they all.. Dead?" They responded with a glare, realization dawning on Them. "You weren't here for the Test of Loyalty, were you?" They asked with a soft chuckle. A dark chuckle. Hyacinth felt a shiver wrack down her spine as she listened to Them speak once again. "I made them eat those berries to test their loyalty to me. Isn't that stupid of them to go through with it, Hyacinth?" They choked back a dark laugh, but it fell from their lips anyways. It was disgusting, the guffaws of laughter that left them. Hyacinth choked out a sob of agony, tears flowing from lavender-tinted sapphire hues. It was an agonizing feeling, to have the one she worshipped laughing at the dead corpse of his colony, her family like it was some sick show he enjoyed.

"You're a monster." She sobbed out through heavy gasps, struggling to stand up straight. If she could have killed Them then, she would have. But she was too weak, and her consciousness faded just as he had walked away laughing- how pitiful she was, then. She didn't remember how long she had slept, not until the smell of rotting flesh had become too much for her. There were too many bodies to bury that night when she woke up, but there were vultures circling the sky above the clearing. She had to get out, she had to escape this reality. And so she struggled to her feet, stumbling into the shadows, where safety and rotten fresh-kill lied.

She'd never once eaten rotten prey before, but she had no choice that day. She was too weak to hunt, and this prey was only days old at this point. Through the fits of wanting to vomit, Hyacinth managed to choke down a few pieces of prey until she was full- yet sick. She rested for a day, watching as vultures ate her family's bodies.

She found no comfort in this moment. She never did. That sight haunted her even moons after.
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