sensitive topics sound the bugle now || leaping toad's funeral & vigil

Weary paws and broken spirits shoveled through the mud and muck. The blue molly looked ready to pass out: tired, injured, shattered. But, still, she dug. She dug and drug until her claws felt like they would be ripped from the ends of her paws. Even then, she still dug until a suitable earthen coffin had been carved for the cold, lifeless body of her nephew.

Salamander's head hung low. This was all her fault. She hadn't protected Leaping Toad. She hadn't been strong enough to ensure his safety. Frog's Ribbit was without his beloved brother and her own brother was without his son. Instinctively, she sought to wrap her tail around Frog's Ribbit: to pull him close into a frigid embrace. She looked ready to collapse as she looked down at her remaining nephew.

"I'm sorry." her voice cracked beneath the pressure. She flinched at her own voice, at her own words. An apology meant nothing. Nothing would bring Leaping Toad back. Cats with stars in their pelts had walked around them and given a glance of hope. Leaping Toad had been there. But it wasn't the same and he couldn't stay.

@Frog's Croak @FROG'S RIBBIT. @GECKO @Toad's Prowl but anyone is welcome to join
ooc:// sorry it is so short! i wanted to get this up ;;​

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    ── He supposes this is going to be a common sight for the next...well. Roseal doesn't know how many they lost, nor does he know how many of them will receive recognition like this one.

    He's an intruder here and he knows it, but even so, he stands a respectful distance away from them, his shoulders straight and his gaze the clearest it has been since he first made way to the battleground. Part of Roseal wonders whether this would be enough to dissuade further aggression, but— no, it wouldn't be. Grief has never bitten deeply enough to collectively bleed the violence out of them. There is always someone who will watch tears and listen to wails and decide this price is one they were willing to pay.

    But even victory cannot comfort them. It isn't here. None of them have won; they have all lost instead, and in silence, Roseal bows his head.

  • n/a​
  • ──── surr'oseal'isme (roseal). he/him pronouns. roamer; goes where he pleases.
    ──── approximately thirty-eight months old; not entirely certain of his own age.
    ──── single & uninterested in any romantic attachments; possibly open for flings.
    ──── very tall, scarred albino with sharply-peaked ears and a bobbed, scruffy tail.​

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He shouldn't have to see this.

No one should have to see this. His brother... His brother shouldn't be getting buried, shouldn't be left in the ground. No, Leaping Toad should be standing next to him, anywhere other than here, anywhere else than in front of a carved out ditch in the ground. They should be running around camp, should be playing one of Toad's many games, should be causing trouble like usual.

But, instead —

Instead, Leaping Toad stood in front of him when danger was coming. If things had been different, would their roles had been switched? Would the fire-furred tom have gotten to Ribbit? Would Toad be looking down at Ribbit's own ditch?

He should've never gone to see if Cosmos was okay. Should've never befriended the kit in the first place. He and Leaping Toad, they would have been fine, if they never met him. If Ribbit didn't see him on the sidelines of the battle.

Ribbit knew this was all his fault - that if it weren't for him being so concerned for someone on the other side of the battle, his brother would be okay. That Salamander wouldn't be so upset, that she and Bone wouldn't have fought. This was all his fault.

He feels the blue smoke's tail pull him closer to her form, and he presses close to her. The brown tabby doesn't know how much time he's got left to spend with his aunt, but knows, deep down, that it's limited - that he will ultimately lose her too. Her and Bone's squabble had proven just as much. Knowing that, Salamander's apology feels like it holds more weight, that it isn't just about the loss of his brother.

"He's... He's in the stars now," Frog's Ribbit says slowly, quietly. He speaks as if he's reasoning with himself - as if he's unsure if the idea of Leaping Toad being among the stars in the sky, playing within glittering starlight, should be one of comfort. He isn't sure if it is - or if it ever will be - but he hopes that, when it's his time, he'll be able to join his brother in the night sky.
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