no angst let's go paint the town | attempted monster fish catch


AUG 2022 ➳ OCT 2023
Aug 10, 2022
Water rolled terracotta and teal beneath the sun, a rippling sheet that ran rapids across the illuminated rocks below. Steeppaw sat poised, anticipation a stilt behind her back. Eyes scanned every glance and gleam of the river, waiting for the show of scales. The apprentice was perched on the shore, a few short paces from the rest of the patrol. One of the figures in their ranks was Mudpelt. Oh how she wanted to show off to her dad. Catch a reeally big fish!

Narrow crescents wittled at the log beneath her, its water-soft surface tacked together by moss and algae. Fishing was fun, yes, but only when you were actually doing it. Steeppaw didn't count the waiting- it was just sitting after all. Sitting, waiting, sitting, waiting. There was so much of it! She preferred the hunt, plunging her paws into the river and wrestling with the slippery prey.

In the briefest of flares, a fin flipped an ember splash into the air. She sucked in a breath, throwing her snout out over the water- the shadow cast just shy of scaring off the fish. It was huge! A giant, speckled great wobbling shape below the surface. Perfect- "Perfect!" An uproarious shout cracked the anticipatory quiet. Steeppaw snapped her monochrome head to catch her father's eye, mischievous smirk twisting up her face. "Da'! Bet I can catch that fish before you"

She didn't wait for his response, not needing to. The molly knew he'd follow. Without pause the apprentice lunged for the fish, hitting the water a tail's length from the fish. The taste of the torrent, mineral fresh, smashed through her teeth, a breath-snatching chill. That fish was hers.

/racing for the fish with @MUDPELT but no need to wait !

He was not actively fishing, he had already done so that morning and while the day was good for it he had no inclination to fill the freshkill pile so terribly overflowing as to cause waste; there was plenty there and he expected there would be plenty that next morning as well. So Smokethroat indulged in his newest hobby, a sinful waste of time and something that still gnawed at him with the guilt of inactivity but he was starting to move pass that as time went on; sunbathing. Or rather just napping in the sun, it was just a natural thing for cats to do that he had never really allowed himself the pleasure of enjoying so every chance he got now he tended to wander to the warmest rock nearby to stretch.

The dark tom lifts his head from the fold of his paws at the exuberant cries, watching father and daughter racing along the cobbled shoreline after a monster of a fish with boisterous paws and heads high.
"Mudpelt, are you going to let her show you up like that?" He called, tone almost accusatory with an edge of humor, an attempt at a joke that he often grappled with because phrasing and how to control his voice infliction was still something he was working on. Hopefully it came across well enough.
Willowroot's bi-color apprentice was certainly excitable, he was starting to think it was this generation specifically that had such energy because he felt exhausted just watching them run amok. Maybe he was getting old.
"You're making us warriors look bad!"

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Darkpaw is not a competitive soul; unambitious aside from his aspiration to fulfill his star-sworn duty. So, when Steeppaw challenges their dad to a fish-catching competition, Darkpaw is perfectly content with cheering from the sidelines. With his pebble placed at his paws momentarily, Darkpaw whoops from the shore, "Yeah! Go Dad! Go Steeppaw!" The young boy doesn't seem to quite pick up on the fact that he's supposed to only root for one team in a competition. Both his dad and his sister are deserving of his support!

Smokethroat speaks up, and Darkpaw shifts his focus onto the lead warrior with rounded eyes. They're making the warriors look bad? The dark-furred apprentice offers him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, Smokethroat. Mom and Dad taught me that every cat in the clan cun-tree-butes-" the boy tries to pronounce the word he's heard adults say, but it ends up a little butchered. "-even the old cats like you." There is nothing in Darkpaw's expression or tone that hints at it being a joke; he is completely serious. Smokethroat is nowhere near senior warrior status, but to the four-moon-old Darkpaw, thirty-something moons is ancient!
The best part about his kits becoming apprentices was getting to share patrols and hunts with them, whenever he's lucky enough to be placed on patrols with their mentors (and getting to spend every patrol with Fernpaw!). It's a gift to be able to spend as many days as he can with them while they're so young! They're growing up quickly, learning every single day from their teachers, and he couldn't be prouder. However, this doesn't make him any less competitive. How will they learn to be great if he gives everything to them just like that? No, his eyes burn with the desire for victory when he swings his head around to see his daughter leaping into the water. A jolly laugh leaves him as she shifts direction swiftly, bolting after her with a shout, "You're too little to catch that monster, Steep-paw!" The biggest of her siblings, but still only a 4-moon-old. Smokethroat's teasing words draw another laugh from him just as he plunges into the cool water, right around the black and white apprentice.

He can not actually see the contest at this point, too much splashing about and they had gotten far enough away that only vague, colored shapes move beneath the surface of the river to indicate any kind of struggle occurring. Mudpelt was there so he felt no inclination to go check, surely he could manage things if needed and if not he was only a small distance away to assist. That fish would probably feed half the camp though, what a beast.
A shadow falls over where he is lounging and he glances up without lifting his head to see Darkpaw cheerfully calling out to his family only to look in his direction suddenly.
Even the old cats like you.
He was not that old, Cicadastar was older than him by several moons and didn't get this sort of treatement; though he wagered being a leader also helped that. Hard to sass off to the cat in charge of whether you get to be a warrior or not he guessed. Rising to stand the dark tom stretched and said nothing to the comment, making a big deal of working the kinks out of his shoulders with a lazy roll of them and arching his back to pop it; actual effort going into the process of appearing feeble and needing a moment to get going. Before he promptly turned and shoved the apprentice into the river with a solid push of one dark paw.
"Goodness...Darkpaw, I'm terribly sorry. My eyes aren't what they used to be, I thought you were a raccoon.."

The banter behind her bolstered her mood. Water masked their words but it made her buoyant nonetheless. Steeppaw's blackened chin bobbed unevenly along the surface, propped up by the furious flurry of limbs below her. "Nah I've got this!" The assertion to Mudpelt was burbled, automatic confidence spurring her advance. A wriggled propulsion pushed the molly just close enough to the fish and- oh she definitely had it!

A weighty thwack rocked her endeavour asplinter, the ribbed tail of the fish brutally backhanding her in its escape. Choked shock, and a little laughter, stuttered her swim. All but her beetle-button nose was drawn under for a few moments before the wailing instincts within her jump-started. Paddling back, fiercely enough to potentially bump into her dad, Steeppaw was still in a half-stun. Fish were heavy, sure. However, the apprentice had never faced that heft so significantly before. It was like she had been hit a warrior's blow.

"I- don't got it. Woah, that fish was strong" A breathless concession was coughed back to those on the riverbank. "Not ready, nope." The salt-and-pepper molly began her slow return to dry land, forehead stippled with a scruffy dampness. Her dignity held only until she met her brother's eye, at which point a drowned snicker and the downturn of a sheepish smile broke it. Slapped by a fish...

/sorry this is late and short! wanted to get in a reply though <3
Tanned paws kick powerfully, sending him forward after the she-cat with a jolly laugh. He holds his head as high up as he can above the waves to see - Steep-paw has definitely gotten to the fish before he has. He watches with wide, eager eyes as she goes for the monster, but before she can make any big moves a spiny tail surges from the depths and whacks her straight across the face. She's backpedaling, colliding with him and he splutters out a quick, "Are you okay?!" The look on his face is no longer amusement, but concern. Getting one's breath knocked out of them out in the water is dangerous, and he's not feeling very competitive anymore. "Back to shore, back to shore." He paddles back, remaining at her side until they reach the sandy bank. Panting, he looks his daughter over, sniffing at her face worriedly. "Did it get you good? Let's take a break now!" The suggestion is light-hearted, but the intention lies thick in his tone. No more dangerous stunts today!
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