Jul 21, 2022
A scrawny child hulks in a shaded corner of the camp, watery orange eyes focused on the earth. Ants scuttle over the dirt, around his paws, living their miserable little lives. Centipede watches them, an idle heaviness weighing on his lids. How insignificant the ants are — and Centipede finds happiness in knowing that he has more worth than they ever will.

A cough seizes him, his lungs rattling as he hacks and splutters. A foul reminder of his frail body. It subsides after a few heartbeats, as it always does. But the shame lingers, a constant thorn in his side. And his eyes narrow, then. No longer are the ants at his paws simple amusement. No, they've become an outlet for all of his frustration. He is weaker than most of his clanmates, but he is stronger than these stupid ants. He can control their fate, can kill all of them if he so pleases.

Pinprick claws unsheathe, a paw lifting to hover over the crawling little vermin. You're all useless. Oh, how refreshing it is to be the deliverer of those words rather than the receiver. Centipede's paw thumps against the ground, squishing a couple of unfortunate ants beneath him. More unfortunate than him.

He smiles.

Cow never had trouble making friends. Strong and outgoing, the tomcat’s kithood had been filled with silly competitions and even sillier crushes (of course, part of that was probably due to being too dumb to let anything get him down, but who was keeping score?). As such, the block-headed bovine couldn’t relate to Centipede on practically any level, but he approached the other all the same. After all, differences were what made talking to people fun! The boy’s milk-drenched maw temporarily soured into a frown as he imagined a Skyclan staffed entirely by an army of identical hims. How boring would that be?

Pushing away that thought (and all the chaos it would cause), Cow padded towards centipede with a goofy smile on his face. “Watcha doing?” he asked while emerald eyes peered down, and inky black paws were quickly covered by tiny creatures. Cow paid them no mind, though. Some of his clanmates were afraid of insects, but the boy never understood why. After all, what was the point of being scared of something so small?

As an empty head took in the view of Centipede squishing so many harmless things, the bi-chromatoc boy let a question fall from parted lips. “Why’re you killing them? Are you scared of ‘em or something?” It wasn’t meant as an insult, it was just how the idiot’s brain worked. While waiting for a response, an inky paw moved to block the path of the ants. Emerald eyes flicked between each tiny individual, watching the way they reacted. In the back of his mind, Cow wondered what he would do in their situation. ​


Her first few days in the nursery had been a flurry of preparation, she trotted to and fro carrying various materials to make up the most comfortable nest. Owl plumes and soft, spongy mosses were lined densely in a smudged palisade. After dropping off a wide, blunt branch to use as a piece of padding against the tight tangle of holly that made up the nursery walls, Daisy Flight rested outside the entrance.

The hunched form of a loam-furred kit snagged her attention with his bizarre determination to erradicate the armoured pests beneath him. Well, they were pests- perhaps he had the right idea. However, the eerie smirk on the child's face perturbed the queen. A child shouldn't draw so much enjoyment from such an activity, it was barbaric. At Cow's inquiries, she nodded along. They were good questions, important ones.

"And do you really want nasty bug remnants in between your paws? You'll have to clean it off eventually" Daisy Flight's voice was tight, but it still held the friendliness expected when talking to a cat of his age. Insects, creepy kits? Not her favourite things. Though, she supposed she might have to learn to accept both soon enough. And so she sweetened her expression, eyes creasing in an encouraging smile.
( ) Children, for the most part, were frustrating, Valentine could declare this as fact with his chin tilted and his tail risen to the sky. They were loud (either that or irritatingly quiet), and silly (either that or irritating know-it-alls), and they asked far too many questions. Knowledge is something gleaned, past down to those who are worthy, not something to be pried from an unwilling source. Depending on h ow obvious the question, you should consider the child a gonner, he thinks.

This is one of the rare successes, A child blessed with a natural intelligence others can only dream of possessing. They perform their star-bestowed duty, brow furrowed as they crush meaningless lives beneath their paws.

Cow, (he's come to discover that this group had been the one harboring him. Boo.) is clearly one such 'gonner', one need not fear something to end its life, silly. Valentine huffs from a distance away, but its loud and dramatic enough to reach the ears of many. "Because they're meant to be purged, clearly," he states, nodding approvingly at Centipede. He lifts his nose at Daisy Flight, a snow-furried paw flexing in the dirt as he does so. "It's merely the price one has to pay. Foul, but necessary."

Unfortunately for Valentine (or perhaps fortunately, its all how you see it) Churro had been following after him like a lost puppy and had stumbled upon the scene. There's a small child hunched over a place and all of the other adults were protesting what the kid was doing, so naturally Churro moves closer to see what was goin on. Ants! She realized before a grin fell over her face.

"Yeah! Get those things! Kill em'!" she trills excitedly before her head flicks to Daisy and Cow. "Don't be such a buzzkill! Let el bebé do what he wants, its not everyday you get to squish these things!" she thumps the ground with her paw as if to imitate the kid, but shes much too tired to actually join in on it. She resorts to sitting on the ground with a dopy little smile, watching the others.
Whatcha doin'?

Centipede's head snaps up, staring blankly at the tom who's stupidly smiling at him. He thinks it should be obvious what he's doing, but unfortunately, Cow was cursed with the same IQ as the ants beneath his paws. He sniffles, rubbing at the mucous gathering around his nostrils with one paw and irritating the raw skin there further. "Killing ants." Then, the question of why is proposed by the dumb guy. Centipede's eyes narrow indignantly when Cow inquires if it's because he's scared of them. "Of course not. I'm stronger than them, so why should I be scared?" His chin tilts in defiance, bloodshot eyes staring at Cow as if challenging him to test his thin patience further.

Daisy Flight is the next to approach with a stupid inquiry. Centipede snorts in a dismissive manner. "And? It's not that big of a deal." So worried about bug remnants... His patience is beginning to wane, and with a glance stolen towards the ants, he begins to will the survivors to bite the dumb cats in front of him. They do not listen, of course, seeing as they're mindless insects.

Another voice, this time in agreement with Centipede's cause. Finally, someone with common sense. Valentine gives an approving nod to Centipede, and while the young kit doesn't need anyone's approval, he's relieved to at least know that not everyone around him is entirely hopeless. Centipede gives Cow and Daisy Flight a cocky smile.

Churro attaches herself to Valentine's side, cheering for him and calling him el bebé. Centipede blinks at her. "What's that mean?" He's never heard those words before. While he doubts they'll be useful knowledge, he still wishes to store it away in his reservoir. Who knows, maybe he could brag to others about knowing what it means while they don't?

He's tired.

His nightmares are filled with scenes from the battle - of blood spilling, of his marsh friend dying at the claws of his brother. The anger in Finch's eyes. The sound of his friend's own brother's cries. It all haunted Cosmos to the point of sleepless nights.

He hangs by himself in the shade of the camp, a wave of exhaustion running through him as he watches everyone go about their day. Pretending, as if they hadn't been in battle. Pretending that everything's the same as it was before blood was spilled. How were they able to do that? Why couldn't Cosmos just do the same?

Movement in the corner of his eye causes the white tom to shift his gaze towards a sickly looking kit - one that Cosmos doesn't know the name of, because he's Cosmos, and of course he doesn't know, despite the fact that Cosmos isn't even sure he's ever been told the black smoke's name.

The kit's paws stomp at the ground, and it takes a moment for Cosmos to realize what's happening.

He's killing ants.

And others are cheering him on.

Such small creatures couldn't even defend themselves against the kit! They were dying for nothing!

"Don't do that!" Cosmos protests, sky eyes wide in horror, "They... They did nothing wrong!"
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Marquette