in pieces (tall pine)



I'm gonna lose it! I swear in the next life I better be tall after all this shit! Silk was... On the smaller side compared to others in the group. Valentine was living it up alright, with his stupid long legs. Just wait until I get to rip that smug grin off your face! All those moons of waiting for his growth spurt only to be given an astounding zero inches of height, but Valentine? We don't talk about him. Currently, he was climbing the Tall Pine. Although from a distance it looked like he was struggling immensely to climb the thing. To be fair, he was... A little, not that much actually. His struggle was not covering that much distance compared to the others, but it's not like he had long limbs like them. Even if he leaped to try and make up for his disadvantage, it did mean that he used more energy. Here he was at a decent height panting, cursing all the long-limbed cats in his frustration.

The real reason why he was doing this was to finally best that blasted Valentine. It was shameful to be losing to him. It would be less shameful to lose against Valentine if the other tom actually gave an effort to defeat him. However, Valentine defeated him each time he challenged the tom with ease. It was laughable really how weak he was. If he wanted to be worthy of his rank he needed to be able to defeat Valentine. Progress was forcing Valentine to break a sweat during their challenges, yet he wasn't at that point. He'd been trying for some time and he still wasn't anywhere close. He hoped climbing the Tall Pine would further his goal in some way, but right now all he wanted to do was screech and claw at the darn tree for being so big!
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╰☆☆ Though he likes to be among the branches, cool and shaded and able to see what goes on below him, Haze detests the act of climbing itself. It's an effort that strains both upper and lower body, puts a demand on his muscles that he'd rather just not feel. If Haze could teleport into the treetops, he would spend most of his life up there... but alas...

The silver and white tabby spots a little scrap of fur throwing itself at the tree, struggling to scrabble up its trunk. Haze's frazzled whiskers tremble with his amusement. The sun is hot on their fur, and he's sure the poor tom is going to overheat himself if he keeps all that effort up.

"Making progress?" Haze calls to Silk. He's impressed by the exertion, though just watching it makes him tired. "Why not wait 'til it's cooler?" He tilts his head.

It took squinting through the dappled oak leaves to catch a glimpse of Silk's valiant climb at this distance. The bright, lucid light of the sun called the colours of greenleaf to sing, with a deep emerald draping the backdrop for the soft whites, yellows and charming pinks of the forest's flowers. Daisy Flight sidled up to Haze's mink striped flank, mirthfully reflecting the tom's amusement with a trill of greeting and exasperation.

Lifting her snowy chin to address the climber, her comment dried on her tongue, the sheer force of frustrated determination the tom exerted stunning her for a moment. The size of Tall Pine, it's needle ticked branches dark against the clear sky, seemed a daunting task for any cat to take on. Nodding thoughtfully at Haze's commentary, the molly added "I do hope this is to prove a point to yourself, and not to anyone else. And that it's worth it!" The last part rang out in a good natured chuckle, though slightly clipped with worry. Daisy Flight hoped he wouldn't fall.
( ✧ ) He's found his entertainment for the day, no more than a scrap of fur, doing his very best to brute-force his way up a tall pine. A small audience has already gathered, warm tones laced with amusement shared between the pine cats. The sheer determination is admirable. The slant of his eyes and the wrinkle of a pink nose. Snow-white fur sticks out like no other against the dark wood of a tree.

His tail curls around him neatly, settling in to observe Silkworm for the spectacle he is. He's a comfortable distance from Haze and Daisy Flight. Fairly spaced, but intimate enough to reply to the latter. "Competition is a healthy motivator," he remarks, lazy smile plastered upon his maw.

Unlike the other cats, tree climbing wasn’t something that Cow could call exerting. It seemed if it involved sinews instead of synapses, the bovine boy had a knack for it. Tumbling and tripping his way through the forest (today the tomcat had decided to try moving on three legs as a challenge, and it wasn’t going well), he eventually stumbled to a halt around the gathered crowd.

Emerald eyes snapped upwards at Silk, letting out an imaginary whistle at the spunky cat’s progress. “Don’t fall and die!” the dunce called out, which…could be considered advice. Unfortunately, it was all Cow could offer in the way of tips and tricks. The athlete may have been talented, but that didn’t translate well into teaching.

As Daisy Flight voiced a much more useful opinion, attention turned towards the fairer sex as the flirtatious tom took her in. Of course, Cow was immediately tempted to hit on her, as he was with all women, but the bovine boy didn’t want to ruin Silk’s concentration with any inspired pick-up lines, so he would have to play it subtle. Of course, “subtle” wasn’t a word Cow knew the meaning of.

“Yea, what she said!” he shouted out, eager to agree. “Don’t worry about losing to anyone better than you, because you can always beat them later!” The bonehead hadn’t quite got the idea, but was enthusiastic nonetheless.​
Haze's voice is very much not welcome. He doesn't need to feel worse from his judgemental voice. Yes it was hot and he was already overworking himself that taking a break would be for the best, but he wasn't thinking logically. At Haze's advice to continue this endeavor when it was cooler he shook his head and continued scaling the tree with a grunt. That's the same as quitting! Waiting till it's cooler for it to be easy? That's me striking Valentine when he's sleeping. There's no glory in that! Another voice could be heard, which he quickly registered as Daisy Flight. Her words cut him deep. Not that she meant to, yet he couldn't help from feeling judged. Why do I need to prove something to myself?

For a moment he stopped and tilted his head to look at the group of cats that gathered. More specifically Blinding Star because he was the only one who seemed to be on his side. Not like the other tom knew exactly what this was about, but it was a needed encouragement. He didn't say anything, yet he offered Blinding Star a grin before he continued scaling the tree. Even though his arms were aching, he still had some spirit. That is... Until Cow arrived.

His face was practically red when Cow said he could always beat Valentine later. It's already been later! How many more laters is it gonna take for me to get one win! He's not even a warrior for crying out loud and I'm still losing to him! He didn't think anyone knew he snuck out to get pummeled by a random cat. Maybe they knew he went out often, not the fact that he challenged the same cat. Like, sought some poor cat out. It was actually funny to think about it, but it was also concerning. Concerning the fact that he was stubborn. Fuming he hissed at Cow in frustration, "I've lost more than all the toes I could count from my paws! Actually far past that many losses! It's been later! Where's the win Cow?"

Daisy Flight tipped her head in concession to Blinding Star's remark, mismatched eyelids squinting in the motion. It certainly could be, but she had seen it spiral into a twisted mess of ambition and bitterness in the past. Not many had come out unscathed. But these were different times, different paths. She would always be grateful the paths she walked were lined with trees and not twoleg nests nowadays.

At the curious approach of Cow's grey-doused form, a proverbial eyebrow quirked in interest. The tom's gaze hovered just a little too long for her liking, however, she quashed her assumptions. To make a judgement now would only be harmful. Squirrelling the observation away in the back of her mind, her gaze held an uncomprehending quality as he shouted out- encouragement?

Once again Silk's unwieldy countenance glared down at them, his stubborn calls sharp in the warm air. "Oh ravens, just be careful! There'll be no winning if you're flat on the ferns." Dasiy Flight hoped his mind was clearer than his tone, sheer force of will was a volatile motivator. "You've done well so far, if you stop running that mouth you might just make it." She hoped her input wasn't detrimental, her responses of encouragement tight with exasperation. Even if falling didn't physically injure the tom, the wound to his pride might just be worst.