sensitive topics IT CARRIES ON, IT NEVER STOPS - death

Jun 7, 2022

// TW: implied mention of death and mentions of grief-related depression

Ever since his dad, Marigold, and Jasmine had left them, ever since the Great Battle, Basil's mom had been distant. Physically, she was there but whenever the black and gray tom tried to speak to her it was like trying to have a conversation with a wall. He would tell her about his training, about his day, about anything at all and it was like she hadn't even heard him. 'that's nice dear' she would say quietly, even when he had told her he had almost gotten hit by a monster. But still, he did not give up on her. He brought her prey every single day, to the nursery where she had stayed even though all her kits had since outgrown it. Sometimes he could coax her to eat and sometimes she would even take a few bites before pushing the rest away, leaving it to him to finish the scraps.

Today something had changed though, today when he headed to the nursery to bring her her morning meal she was already outside, enjoying the early leaf-fall breeze that tugged at her fur, illuminated by the gentle morning sun. She looked alive for the first time in moons. She smiles at him and its contagious. He smiles back, happy that she is up, happy that she is going back to how she was finally, after so many moons of watching her stare blankly at the walls of the nursery with eyes glazed over. He had always done his best to keep her clean, to groom her fur for her, but he could not coax the life back into it no matter how clean it looked. Now though it had returned. "Basilpaw my love would you like to go hunting with me? We should have something fresh to eat today" she says, the most words she has spoken to him in a long time and he immediately perks up. "I would love to ma" he says and they turn and leave. Together.

It's a beautiful day out. Closer to the thunder clan border, the scent of pine mingles with the surprisingly pleasant smell of the decaying leaves that sometimes even find their way over to Sky Clan's side of the territory. He speaks to his mother, telling her stories of his adventures as an apprentice and she actually listens. She asks questions about the Thunder Clan deputy who saved him from the thunder path, about the patrol to two-leg place, and his journey there. She is engaging with him and actually taking an interest. It makes his heart soar, makes him feel light. She even tells him she's proud of him.

They finally stop talking long enough for Basilpaw to scent a mouse that he finds scuffling around in the underbrush, foraging for the seeds and trying to fatten itself up for the leaf-bare ahead of them. He drops into a hunter's crouch, just like Harpyfall had taught him. He is about to pounce, about to make the catch when he hears a scream from behind him.

His heart stops cold.

When he turns, green and brown eyes wide with alarm he sees an owl, its claws dug into his mother's back, her mouth open mid-call for help and for a second he freezes. Scared, uncertain of what to do. He had never seen a bird so big before. It all happens as if in slow motion. The creature is lifting off the ground and Basilpaw is leaping toward it but he is too slow. With a beat of its massive wings it takes off with Gardenia clutched in its talons. Basilpaw lets out a distressed cry and immediately chases after it when seeing that he would not be able to stop it from leaving with his mother in it's clutches.

He follows the sound of her distressed wails, stepping on sharp rocks, crashing through the undergrowth. He has torn his paw pads open and is covered in scratches but he does not give up. Not until the cries die out and the owl is out of view.

She's gone.

The marbled tom stares up at the sky, tears starting to form in his eyes. This can not be happening he thinks to himself. How could this be fair? Just this morning he had gotten her back only to lose her again in some sick twist of fate, leaving him an orphan. "No!" he screams, angrier than anything. "No no no no! Bring her back! You can't take her! You can't have her!" his words are useless though, no amount of pleading to the heavens would return what he had lost. She would not be coming back this time.

// permission given by Petra to play out Gardenia's death!
TLDR; Basilpaws mother is taken by an owl while they are out hunting.

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It’s a horrid sound it is, shrieks rising in the air riddled with terror and darkness. A blood freezing doom to the cries and pleas, the pain in such a caterwaul haunting the threshold of pines and oak. Thistleback was sifting through the dirt, hot on the trail of a mole when he heard it. Muddied muzzle pulled back and lifted to the air- frozen in place to hear it.

The urgency was undoubtable, and to that- the piebald hammers his paws on the ground, claws unsheathed to catch the grassy flatland as he sails to the north.

The scene of a boy crying- angry wails pointed at the sky. Thistleback’s snarl points up in turn but falls back to the child. It was too late, this kid already plagued with misery left to drown in mourning once again. It wasn’t fair but that’s something he’s always preached. Life was cruel, it pressed your nerve endings till it numbed you from the joy. Thistleback’s stare to the back of the boy’s head is wavering with sudden rage. ‘ the power to grant a cat nine lives but not enough to leave this child a mother? ‘

The young man’s paws bleed, there is cuts under his fur- he had chased the horrific scene for as long as he could. Perhaps longer than thought possible. This, was a good boy- a son worthy of the title. What words were there to offer this grief-stricken apprentice? Nothing, and Thistleback being the least capable of conveying sympathies. He merely stands near, eyes fixed on Basilpaw. Ready to stop the kid from doing anything stupid, to be whatever this kid needed. Wordlessly and rigid, he knew a patrol would come soon.

  • — Thistleback | thirty moons | cis-male
    — daylight warrior of Skyclan
    — bisexual | fallen for Deersong 9.29.22
    — very muscular piebald black and white tom with spiky fur and cold silver-grey eyes. Wears a purple collar with brass clasp.
  • bVBPWus.png

𝐵𝓊𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌, 𝐼 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝓌𝒶𝓃𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓈 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒

More thundering pawsteps would sound the arrival of Deersong and whatever patrol she had been on. The cream and mocha molly would slip into the space with an urgency of a raging river and her aqua gaze would flicker between Basilpaw and Thistleback. "Chompers? Basilpaw? What happened?"

Deersong would walk forward quickly towards the apprentice, taking notice of his cut-up paws and distressed expression. A frown would touch her maw as she vaguely remembered seeing Basilpaw leave camp with his mother, and yet she was nowhere to be seen, instead the tri-colored monotone tom was wailing angrily into the sky. It wasn't hard to put two and two together, especially when she looked at her beloved and noticed the melancholy expression on his maw. Her half-tail would move on instinct, making an attempt to curl gently around the youth as she meowed softly, "Basilpaw...I'm so sorry, youngblood..."

What more could she really say? She hadn't even seen which direction whatever had taken the toms' mother had gone in, so as much as she wanted to say they would find her, Deersong knew better than to make such a cruel promise to the already broken apprentice.

( ) it was nothing short of distressing when the quiet, ambient sounds of the forest are cut through by a caterwauling cry of terror which could turn anyone's blood into a sheet of ice. the patrol that had been out for the day quickly changed their plans, soon a symphony of paws traversed through the territory in a hurried manner to reach the area where the harrowing shrieks were heard from.

the large tom pushed through the area alongside another clanmate where they would be left with seeing basilpaw howling towards the sky in grief with deersong and thistleback at his side. an ebony nose would twitch at the scents to get a better understanding at what happened and took notice that the apprentice had been with someone but now they were nowhere to be found amongst the cluster of cats.

whatever happened here, it was already too late to do anything.

( i hear the wandering streams and the song of the birds )