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Hunts Pheasants

i will lay the table but i will not sing
Jul 23, 2022

In the quiet dawn-light, Hunts Pheasants blinks sleep-heavy eyes.

Camp sits as all things are on the moorland, bared to the sky. Standing in it had felt like being tucked away from the rest of the world, as if the very edges were here in the sand-grit bustle. As if the world was something small, manageable. It hadn't occurred to Hunts Pheasants until she had seen the moon cresting the sky that the caveat of a camp sunk into the ground, invisible unless one knew where to look, was that it was near impossible to know if someone was approaching. In the near-night, Hunts Pheasants had slipped from the comfort of a feather woven nest, crept from the ill-defined borders of camp, and sat at attention

It is unknown to her if this is a regular duty or not; she spent the night largely undisturbed. No one had offered to relieve her and she hadn't sought anyone out to ask.

Now there is sound from behind, more than a cricket's whine or the occasional, distant yip of a little hurt wolf. Camp unfurls in time with the rising sun, and as the sky goes from a hazy white to a gentle sort of blue. Hunts Pheasants yawns for the umpteenth time and fights the weight of her eyelids. She has fulfilled her duty for the night, she decides. She has earned her rest.

Hunts Pheasants slips her way back into the makeshift camp, nearly trips over an early riser already on their way out, and stumbles graceless into the easy rise of WindClan. Around her, cats chat around yawns and chuckles color the air with a timid, vine-growth warmth. It occurs to her in the water-drip way thoughts occur to the tired that she has spent her night guarding a group of cats she doesn't know. It occurs to her further that perhaps it was more hesitance to sleep among strangers than an adherence to duty that drove her to stand as sentinel. It occurs to her, lastly, that this hesitance still rests in her chest.

"Everyone," Hunts Pheasants says, her voice rosethorn-rough, "I should know those I live among, and you should know me in turn. Gather around and tell me of yourself."

windclan warrior | brown tabby tortoiseshell with low white spotting | one blue eye & one white-eye | tags
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The world is so open here, and Pollen finds her gaze is skyward and out towards the horizon more than it is towards her new WindClan brethren. It isn't as though she hasn't traveled or seen other terrains but the burrow--but the act of sleeping beneath a blank open sky that first night struck an uncanny terror inside of her. Terror of what, she had thought at the time, seizing breath from a dream of unspoken horrors? Of a hawk, a dog, a badger? She cannot say.

Regardless, this new world has brought fears that would plague an anxious cat. Pollen only harbors them like small vertices in the storm of her mind, keeping up with the cycles as she sees fit.

Nothing is permanent, she reminds herself. Even this.

She rises from where she's kept herself through the night, flank snug against siblings and her sister's children, her tail pluming dark yet gold-flecked behind her. The flat line of the horizon blooms like a late flower, red in the center and spreading pink and lavender through the skies. She watches it, transfixed--is there something to the way the clouds streak here rather than puff?

She almost runs into another cat, though she's barely perturbed. She turns lazy amber eyes onto another, a mottled femme who states the WindClan cats should get to know one another. The idea causes her to smirk. "Why, I believe this is the first time we've met formally," she says, voice lilting. She comes to sit beside the other molly, square-shaped golden gaze narrowing before glazing over entirely. "What exactly are you looking for? What encompasses one's self?" She smirks sardonically and turns her head. "Where you come from? The cats who birthed you? The places you've traveled?"

Pollen swings her head back towards the tortoiseshell, her smile crooked but not cruel. Simply pondering. "What does it mean to you, then? Who are you? Who are any of you?" She's satisfied with the non-answer she's given, and she sits back and lifts her chin as though she's uttered a true response.


The clanmate that is the first to approach speaks so many words and yet none of it has any merit. Hunts Pheasants blinks slowly, better eye tipped her clanmate's way, convinced in some small part that it is her own addled mind preventing her from understanding what her clanmate is trying to say.

"Are you so dense as to not know what someone means when they say tell me of yourself?" Hunts Pheasants asks at last, when she has settled into the conclusion that it is not her own misunderstanding, her nose wrinkled with a sneer, "I don't need to know anything so personal, just whatever it is you choose to share. One typically starts with their name and carries on from--" A yawn splits her face, which she attempts to speak around, "--from there."

Where her clanmate deals in questions and hypotheticals, Hunts Pheasants seeks the comfort of a solid ground and immutable truth. Perhaps better rested, Hunts Pheasants would have mused on the differences between the two of them, or all of the things she has learned about her clanmate from her nonanswer. Now, sleepless, Hunts Pheasants rejects the differences outright as incorrect.

"You may know me as Hunts Pheasants." The trick now was knowing how to carry on from here, " I've always had a-- an affinity for hunting, but my name came before I could do much more than walk," This is said with a fond curl of her mouth, which sours as she continues, "But that was a long time ago now. I've seen all of the seasons five times over."

Impromptu demonstration done, Hunts Pheasants turns her attention elsewhere, ready for someone else to take over.

windclan warrior | brown tabby tortoiseshell with low white spotting | one blue eye & one white eye | tags
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This is silly.
Sootstar quite frankly does not care, she does not trust Hunts Pheasants and she does not trust Pollen. They both needed to work before being graced with her sitting down and having a proper conversation with them... yet her paws guide her over anyway. Maybe being friendly- well, attempting to be anyway, would do her some good.

"Interesting name." She meows, Sootstar has of course come across two-part names before... but she'd never heard one phrased the way Hunts Pheasants was. She had to confess, she liked it... something about the name announced strength.

"As for me I was born in the marshlands. Never really got to know my parents, mom died birthing me and dad? No one knows what the hell happened to him." She grumbles. If she felt sad about their presence lacking in her life she did not show it as she spoke about them. "Nothing about me past being leader of WindClan and being the mother to Shrikekit and Owlkit is worthy of noting." Aside from being secretive and closed off about her life with others, she genuinely meant it. Aside from a few good stories here and there Soot didn't have much about herself she found even remotely exciting to share.




Dusk can't say there isn't a small shred of admiration in him toward Hunts Phesants when he hears her call out to the clan. Often he wonders why he can't do the same, why such small, simple gestures seem so monumentus to him. In the time he'd been there he'd often found himself wanting to join in more, to be an actual part of the community he saw flourishing there, but something always kept him from initiating it.

Thankfully, the shecat seemed to have done the initiating for him this time.

Dusk had been among those to find Hunts Phesants the day they'd wandered into the moors to hunt and lounge within Windclans borders, but he hadn't actually spoken to her after that. Then again, Dusk didn't speak to anyone really, not unless they approached him first. It wasn't for lack of wanting, he was just... still getting the hang of it. And so he stood and made his way over to join Soot and Pollen, figuring this was as good a time as any to try and actually interact with the cats around him.

"Um, I'm Dusk." he offered as he took a seat among them, though he seemed to pause here for a moment as he considered what to actually say. "I'm pretty good at catching birds, and I'm originally from twoleg place. I grew up as one of their prisoners and I never really knew my parents, but I managed to escape and find my way to the moors."

It was the first time he'd ever really brought up his past with the other Windclanners, but Hunts Phesants was right: if they were going to be a unit, they should all know each other.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - bengal

It isn't the first time someone has called Hunts Pheasants' name interesting. Away from her home, it has always turned ears. Interesting: they say, and Hunts Pheasants hasn't a clue if it is meant to be a compliment, an insult, or an observation. Whatever it is Sootstar means by it, Hunts Pheasants doesn't return. Rather, she tips her chin up in quiet acknowledgement. Hunts Pheasants doesn't find Sootstar's name interesting. Just confusing, just meaningless. A metaphor or a symbol that Hunts Pheasants hasn't any way of understanding.

The details Sootstar gives are scant, but Hunts Pheasants wonders. Marshborn, and yet Sootstar is here, with empty skies and ground that is dry. Hunts Pheasants can imagine a Sootstar younger by seasons, caught in the dark embrace of the marshlands, parentless by circumstance, and perhaps lonely for it. She wonders if it is that someone placed an anger in Sootstar, or if someone failed to prune it as it had grown. She compares the image her tired mind had created to the cat that stands before her, speaking as if she has never wanted for her parents, and wonders once more if Hunts Pheasants has gotten something wrong.

"There are kits here?" Hunts Pheasants tries not to sound over eager, but her ears perk and, despite herself, she glances around as if one will appear at their mention. Shrikekit and Owlkit, strange names-- another tradition Hunts Pheasants doesn't know? She knows better than to ask to see them, even if some part of her will always want in a way that leaves her heart aching as if a part of it is empty.

Her attention is dawn away by Dusk's introduction.

"You look like you are from twolegplace," Hunts Pheasants says, and isn't certain what she means by it, if she means anything at all.

She has seen it before, however briefly, and had found the sounds and the smells too much for her. It was a place defined by being nondescript, everything sharp corners and short, manicured grasses so short they hadn't even touched Hunts Pheasants' belly. A twoleg had seen Hunts Pheasants, had touched its own face in a strange sort of sympathy, warped paw placed directly under what would have been Hunts Pheasants' bad eye in mirror.

"I don't know how you could find your way anywhere around that place, let alone find your way here," Hunts Pheasants adds, meaning it as a question but saying it as a statement.

windclan warrior | brown tabby tortoiseshell with low white spotting | one blue eye & one white-eye | tags