nursery rhyme !! story time


scapegoat — 5 . 5 . 23
Jul 18, 2022
An odd gaze sweeps across the nursery, particular in counting all they could find. Dark pelts blend into the shadows they're named after, kits engaged in their own business... Ghost wanted to play with them, but he didn't know how. He doesn't know what games other kits like, or what will make them listen to him. Make friends, mama said, but it's so... hard.

"Um..." his voice is a low whisper. His weight shifts from paw to paw, wiggling on his homemade axis. He glances to his side, preparing to raise his voice. "I'm gonna tell a story, okay?" the words come out to no one in particular. Teeth scrape at his lip. He doesn't know if anyone is listening, but he refuses to look and see.

"One...time..." Oh, but he realizes he doesn't have a story. He'd have to play pretend. He needs to... get better at pretend, anyways. Ghost blinks, kneads his paws in the moss. "There was a... a... leaf," he says, blinking at the rain-ladden leaf he can see just outside the nursery's entrance. "The leaf is wet."

... Realizing that he should add more, probably, he continues. "It's wet because... the sky rained on it..."

He shifts on his paws. "And... a kit didn't see the leaf, and they slipped on it and got hurt. And their mama licked all their wounds, but they still hurt so much. And they went to see Bonejaw... and she didn't do anything 'cuz..." Ghost wrinkles his nose. "And it hurt and hurt and hurt and his nose got runny and his tummy got achey and his tail stopped working and he died..." Ghost blinks.
He has been tussling when he heads the other kit calling out about telling a story. He loves stories! They are like the best to listen too. Especially when the crinkly old elders tell theirs. He is always in awe that there group used to be bigger than this and that they had the whole forest till some mangy kittypets came in and ruined everything. Never trust a kittypet! Yet he has never seen one but he takes it to heart regardless and it makes him wonder. Still he has a heart of steel and he will chase those kittypets away. Disengaging from his siblings he bounces over and sits down to hear this story. It starts off with a leaf, that's cool! And it's wet cause it rained and... As the story progresses he finds his muzzle wrinkling too but perhaps for different reasons. He isn't sure he likes it anymore. He glances away for a moment before two toned colored orbs flick back to Ghost.

"I don't like your story. My aunt is the best and she wouldn't have done nothing!" Brutally honest about the story the young child attempts to pounce on Ghost, trying to grapple with him. He doesn't know that maybe Bone would have done nothing and another question pops up in his head. "How come it hurt so bad? It's just a leaf? Did they hit their noggin?" Plus they got a tummy ache too. Maybe the fall made them turn all upside down.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

"You call that a story?" The elders had far superior stories than this bug-eyed weirdo. If death was going to be involved in a story then it needed to be epic. Though not yet fluent on the topic of death, only knowing that her father watched above from the stars, she knew enough that death was never that boring (because, clearly, no one ever died from sickness or old age).

The little princess of ShadowClan flicked her tail, motioning for Ghostkit to move. "Once upon a time, before we were born, a brave warrior and hero fought for the marshes. The filthy, stinky kittypets," whatever those may actually be, "Knew they couldn't defeat him alone. So five - no, ten cowards ganged up on the hero. The warrior fought valiantly and took out half while keeping his special cat safe." Love was really cute, wasn't it? "Unfortunately, the warrior was gravely wounded. In one last heroic moment, he found all of his strength to pounce in front of a cat who had targeted his special one in the chaos."

Amber eyes sparkled as she told the story. It didn't take a rocket scientist (or whatever the cat equivalent may be) to realize she was talking about her father. Stars were practically dancing in her eyes as she thought about her heroic father that lived in the stars. ​

──⠀ ﹙†﹚⠀MORTIS ⠀: ⠀ the boy already considered himself a vehement story connoisseur. he pauses where he’d been tussling with slitherkit, pushing off of his brother with a curious tip of his head once he draws close, stubby white tail lifting high over his back. ghostkit was weeeeeird, but a story was a story, and so settle around with the other kits he did. the bicolored boy plops his little rump on the marshy ground aside his sister, sunburst luminaries fixating steady on the elder kitten. his pupils flex at the mention of rain, lip twitching. rain was great, even if mama didn’t let him out of the nursery when it was raining too hard . . that was the worst because since that’s was where the most fun was! after rain he had all the puddles he could splash in, and even though he wasn’t technically supposed to come back to the nursery all wet, it was his favorite thing to do. rain makes the leaf wet, and the kit in ghostkit’s story falls down, “ they fell ‘n got hurt? i fall lotsa times and i don’t get hurt! “ his chest puffs up, as if that were something to be proud about ; a signal of his strength, maybe. ghost continues and he seems to deflate a little, a small frown coming to paint over his maw.

what’s ‘ died ‘ ? “ the child asks, brow furrowed and tone incredulous — as if irritated to be left out of the loop the other kits seemed to be so in on already.

suddenly, slitherkit speaks up, his voice loud and accusatory ; aunt bone wouldn’t have done nothing! now that his brother had piped up, anger finds him . . “ oh . . hey! yeah! bone wouldnt’na done nothin’ ! ” doing nothing was bad in this case, he assumed. died seemed to be something bone should know a good bit about . . the three month old didn’t know what it was, but — “ ’sides, slippin’ on a leaf sounds dumb anyway! “ he sticks his little pink tongue out just as slither goes to wrestle with the slightly older kitten, his ears peeking as bramblekit pipes up, scathing. he wrinkled his nose and crouches, wide eyes narrowing curiously. now this sounded familiar! briarstar had told them of amber, watching lovingly from starclan above. he was watching them, how could he be watching them if he was gravely wounded? he knew what at least some of those words were, and it didn’t make sense, “ died is where dad is?

  • − marrowkit ; he / him. kit of shadowclan, son of briarstar and amber
    − longhaired spiky black tom w low white & sunburst orange eyes
    − three months old, penned by antlers

Story time. Boring. Granite normally would find something better to do -- anything, really -- but all of Briarstar's kits are listening, and Ghost is the one telling the story, so he has no other options.

With a huff, the little Flint look-a-like heaves himself to his white paws, a smirk on his face before he even reaches his destination.

"If he got hurt by a leaf, he deserved to have a tummy ache." The level of scorn in Granite's statement is palpable. He shoulders his way through the throng of kits, looking at Ghost with an unimpressed expression. "This ain't a story. This just happened to you the other day, probably." He laughs.

Ears flick at Marrow and Bramble's mention of their father. Dead. He looks at them with his chin jutting in the air. "So what! Who cares about dead people. They're boring!" His own father had died in this same battle, though Granite holds no sentimentality about it. He never knew Flint, so why should he care?

Ghost purses his lips at Slitherkit's words. He didn't think it was that bad and it was his first story ever, anyways. He didn't know what he had said would be.. con-tra-ver-cial. Before he can even say anything, he's bowled over. A barely-there squeak announces his surprise. Bleached paws reach out in a weak attempt to push the other kit away, but he's no good at... pushing. Ghost flops on the ground, defeated. He was gonna get killed cause his story was so bad.

Ghost stares at the roof of thorns, waiting for him to turn into a real ghost. Maybe he can explain before he dies. "Um, I heard... I was listening and I heard... Bonejaw can't... she needs more..." he says earnestly, trying to recall what he's listened to, what he heard. "Her magic's not good enough..." he says, the slightest of frows on an otherwise neutral face.

But maybe that's okay, cause apparently Marrowkit doesn't fall and get hurt. Ghost blinks at him in awe. He falls and get's hurt all the time. Ghost puffs out his cheeks, was his story not not reel-istic? "Well─ y... you're just super tough..." he mumbles, avoiding his gaze. He was so tough he didn't even know what dying is... "Died- um, dying is when you... you... you get beat really bad, and your body can't hold your ghost no more. So you go to sleep forever and ever and your mama gives you flowers and then your ghost turns into a star... I'm gonna die right now..." he admits, referring to the other kit towering overhead. He closes his eyes, accepting his eternal rest "Buh-bye..."

He blinks an eye open. ...Okay, he doesn't die right away. Slitherkit's nice enough to let him finish answering all the... questions.

Bramblekit tells her own story, and he doesn't understand. It's a silly story, on the same level as his at least, he thinks. "Why are the kittypets stinky? Who's special?" he asks, head tilted in thought. Who would the special one be? Briarstar? She's special, others said. Though Marrowkit mentions his dad, and he doesn't know why. They're having a serious talk right now... "Dads aren't real..."

Granitekit doesn't seem to care whether dads are real or not, cause he says all dead people are boring, and he's making fun of his story. He shakes his head, everyone's getting it all wrong. "The... the leaf didn't hurt him, he... he tripped and the floor did..." Granitekit is silly, he wouldn't like being called boring, would he? "You're gonna be a dead... and I wouldn't call you boring... not nice."
would you do anything for me?
Ravenkit's ear flicked. One of her denmates had announced it was time for a story, and she wasn't really in the mood. It was nap time for her, and that wasn't a good time to be talking. Still, she raised her head and paid attention, however disinterested her expression. The story sucked, plain and simple. It was boring and made no sense. Slither and Marrow were right in their assessments, and she was content to let them let their denmate know that. Quietly, she along with their words, a smug little smile on her face.

Bramble decided it was her turn to tell a story, and yellow eyes awaited what she would come up with. It would doubtless be better than the one that had just been told. Only to find, disappointingly, that it was a story she had already heard. It wasn't anything her sister came up with herself, she had just repeated what their mom had said.

It was Granite that got on her nerves most though.

Who cares about dead people?

Ravenkit's smile vanished instantly. Her dad was dead people. Like her siblings, she didn't understand much of it, but that she at least knew. He was insulting her dad, and by association, her. Without a word she got to her paws and padded over to the group. "You know Granitekit," she began slowly, as if she was really considering it. "I don't think anyone asked you." She told him, giving him a apologetic glance that she didn't mean.

As she stepped past the little annoyance, the first kit that had spoken up caught her attention. Lying on the floor and saying all kind of weird things. She ignored most of it. "You should leave the storytelling to someone else." She told him matter of factly. It was true, it would be better for him if he just listened to her advice.
"Died is where dad is?" A frown tugged on her lips but it was quickly replaced by a smooth facade. "Yes. He walks in the stars now. That's what died means."

At least, that's what their mother said. She said she saw him in her dreams when granted her nine lives. That he was as starry as the night sky. And that he was watching them.

Bramblekit wanted to be like her father but with paws planted firmly in the earth rather than the sky.

She listened to the odd tom kit's rambling about his interpretation of death. A complete weirdo yet somehow endearing.

The little, strange critter commented about dad's not being real. "Yeah, well, our dad is real." And he was watching them right now! Besides, rumor said Ghost once had a dad but he mysterious vanished. Something about him and his mom were super creepy. Not that anything like that would unnerve her!

Prickly fur bristled into a burr when Granitekit stuck his stinky nose into their conversation. "It's not our fault that your father lived a boring and dull life. He wasn't a hero like ours." Bramblekit shrugged, tongue dripping with venom. It must be unfortunate to have been born to such a boring legacy. "Jealousy looks terrible on you." her nose crinkled. ​
Granite watches incredulously as the red-eyed kit declares he's going to die right now. And, true to himself, the pale tom closes his eyes and says, Buh-bye...

Slitherkit must have almost killed him with her stupidity. Granite puts a paw over his muzzle, trying to hide his smirk. Dads aren't real. The sentence is just insane enough to cause the gray and white kit to pause. They are real, aren't they? Flint existed. He's just dead now.

Ghost says, "You're gonna be a dead... and I wouldn't call you boring... not nice." Granite snorts. "I'm not gonna die. I'm gonna be the strongest warrior ever. And I'm gonna get nine lives like Briarstar so no one can kill me." He puffs out his white-crested chest.

It deflates rapidly, however, as Ravenkit storms her way over. She's mean to Ghost, which Granite doesn't really care about, but then she turns her bad-tempered face onto him. "I don't have to be asked, Ravenkit," he says, anger sparking in his green eyes. "I can talk whenever I want and if you don't like it, too bad!"

Bramblekit decides to blather on about heroes and dead people. Granite turns his attention onto the other annoying sister, rolling his eyes dramatically for her benefit. "Mother says my dad was a hero, actually! A better one than yours!" He lashes his tail. His temper is rising. "Besides, you're the only one here who has to talk about your dead dad all the time. No one else cares."