Jul 8, 2022
a blanket of twilight surrounds her, a desperate girl in the form of a scorned woman inching closer to where her family lay. the days of scouting to find the perfect viewpoint to watch caraway and raccoon skitter about a home that is not theirs. she refuses to entertain the iron fist that captured her kin's true names. those foolish names that take too much time in the mouth, too much time to chew and spit it out. a name should be swift and easy to call out. something strong and beautiful.

she leans closer, as if she could stomp out the reflection of the camp. make it disappear and turn the world back to what it should have been. the two cats living peacefully under her. she had taken them and made them perfect for the river. she had taken raccoon as if they were her own, cared and provided for them as a mother should. it was healing after the loss of her own, but now she swears the child haunts her. she sees the poor girl in boar, who gleefully trots about caraway. so bright and loving, and it is all a cruel reminder of her losses. buck was never a successor, her only true claim was driving her own family out. the lands are cursed with her blood, and she will continue to bear it.

her family was of meek women, and her brother was nothing short of rotten. but it was buck who had raised her claws to the moonlight and banished them, scarring her brother in the process. it must be some sort of heaven-sent cruelty, as she watches them down there. under the rule of some tom who knows nothing of the ever-moving river. the ebb and flow, the rising tides, the currents, they are nothing but words to him. it was her world.

her throat is tight and eyes burn, these feelings that used to be so rare are becoming less and less elusive. grief taking ahold of her, her only company in the current nights. she is sure to be discovered as she lingers, but the pain of tearing away from the dancing flames of her kin is too much to bear. they have begged and pleaded for her to join them, how they could talk sweetly and convince a hysteric fool of her innocence. buck had denied them each and every time. beesong who had offered, only to turn into some cat tasked with making sure those two fools were okay and cared for. she does not ask to be controlled, she does not ask for redemption in the peering eyes of the clan. she simply wants her family and home back. it is not an act of devils to mourn what she lost.

but to the new world, she is an adder with fangs dripping with heavy venom. not a woman who provided and cared for the cats of the river. not a woman who took in the young and taught them survival, because she could not take another drowning. she is now branded as something that can not stay in her own home.


− ♱ ABOUT : the river was far from unfamiliar to the tom. he was raised in rotting ruins smearing the edges of twolegplace with splintering planks, inching into foliage that seemed to eat desperately at the crumbling wood. metaphorical, he’d say ; his mother had been a cruel, harsh woman, though he’d not recognized it until far after hare whiskers had taken him in. the same ivy that had eaten away at the rot of that nest became familiar again, scaling trees that bore high into the open skyline. his colony had traversed these lands with ease ; roamed the moors, traversed the oak forest, swam the river. hound had taken him here as solace after the war, had taught him again to be self sufficient after their restriction to the marshlands. scales slipped easily over webbed paws, hooking time - sharpened claws through delicate white meat and the man knew deep within the crashing waves of his heart that he belonged here. the stars had led his paw here, had sent dreams — omens, here. there was no mistaking his call to the water, greedily lapping at snow - tipped paws upon his return from the marshlands. it was unfamiliar but not, home in the making. safety. comfort.

or, it should have been.

the group of loners had caused issues since his clan’s arrival, as if the five of them were the only to traverse the rivers — it was selfish, pitiful. he hated them only for their inaction, their ability to sit back and watch generations of cats starve in order to keep the waters to themselves. waters capable of feeding his numbers now, to make them sleek and healthy. he had as much interest in their interpersonal quarrels as he did the other clans — extending only to what they were doing still on the lands cut for him by the stars. raccoon had joined fairly quickly, and for that, the mottled tom was thankful. they were a bright feline, happy - go - lucky and while not close to cicada himself, he enjoyed seeing the masked felidae around camp, running about with frost and pumpkin. he worried not for his daughter around them, as closely as he watched them whenever they interacted. he worried about their . . whatever the molly was to them. his lip curls to show the tips of daggerlike teeth, agitated, the tip of his tail twitching wildly.

buck, she was called. the name had fallen from willowroot’s name in apology, as it should. the brown feline dared not show her face since her first attempt on him, aside from their quarrel at the border than informed him that yes — he was correct. the thoughts, the dreams that kept his eyes reshot and open, blindingly bloodshot . . he was right. there were cats on his land watching, skulking, haunting the too - tall reed despite his outstretched paws. if they would not do him the courtesy of showing their faces, they were clearly up to no good. food, safety, the community he’s built— refused on what basis other than an ulterior motive. she was against him, for moving his cats to the river. for feeding his family, his children, his elders. for giving them a life he had not once dreamed of as a kit, rotting away in a house old as time. cicadastar, river phantom — he belonged here, on the fine - pebbles shore, wind whipping the curls that fall heavy around his thin neck . . . and he could not imagine a selfishness in which he could restrict it only to himself.

the mottled tom finds her only when the itch to move gets too great — thoughts too loud to settle, thyme - heavy. he’s watching for a while ; the way she moves, twitching forward to watch through duckweed and elephants ear. narrow, frigid eyes peer from the shadows beneath a thicket of undergrowth, curls still dripping and smell from his dunk in the river. from upwind and shaded, he was a ghost — fitting, given his state, “ you’re lucky beesong seems to have taken pity on you. “ comes his accented vocals, “ but their words are not enough to spare you from the consequence of trespassing. explain yourself, buck, “ his tone is cold, but never snarky — only patronizing, his chin tipped high and slitted pupils locked from down the heavy slope of his nose. his maw rips back, revealing the tops of arched canines, “ explain to me why i should treat you differently than any other fleabitten loner that passes my shores. “ his, his, his ; riverclan leader he was.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.

he comes upon her as a hawk, silent and watchful of her plight. for once, she is not fretful of the world around her. who comes near her, who commands her fate. her eyes do not leave the prancing sights of her kin, only to wonder if they are able to see her. to see that even if they had left, she still offers her devotion to them. cicada's ghastly frame is ignored, and she tries to push the irony of the situation away from her. had they not just switched roles? so caught in his hysteria that he copies their first meeting. the only difference was buck had only warned him of the future. cicada wants her gone.

"you will have to kill me before i leave my home, and i'm not too keen on dying to the claws of a fool." her voice edges on a warble, threatening to break upon her. heavy with emotions, and she sinks further into the ground. as if she would be impossible to move. "you have kits. so do i. although they aren't blood. the difference is i wouldn't divide families from each other." raccoon is down there, she is sure that by now they are cracking jokes to caraway. she is sure that the smoke-pelted kin is trying to hide a smile, playing up whatever situation they are in. the days sheltered under the willow are over. she will no longer wake to raccoon in a restless slumber. to caraway peering back at her, as they wait for the rise of the sun in a comfortable silence.

the breaths the woman sucks down are shaky and unsteady. she does not know how to explain to him that she simply wants her family back. to not be divided because of his fears. to not be displaced in the lands tainted by her mother's blood, and her mother's blood. an endless cycle that buck had already contributed to. how does she tell a man she does not know that this land had claimed her daughter, that she has raised other's young in these waters? "have i shown an ounce of cruelty to your cats? i gave you the truth of their survival. the river does not forgive cicada." she could have left otter to the fate of the currents. how they would have pulled him under and filled his lungs with water. the rocks would mangle him. disgrace clay for his foolishness, not offer him safety within the water. she could have attacked lightning and that younger with him when they had threatened raccoon.

she had many an opportunity to show her anger with his cats. she let them go every time.