UNSETTLING TRUTH ˚。 °. anxiety


see you soon . ↳7.7.2022
Jun 7, 2022
Tonight, we prepare for war.

War. It's such a gruesome word.

And compared to the approving yowls of the others, she feels like a stranger, dead silent. Her tail tucks itself close to her body. An ounce of comfort. The camp seems to bustle, more than it had been in a long, long while. All in the name of war. Her paws knead into the trodden ground, dull blue hues flicker around camp. Flicker towards the entrance, partially expecting one of rain's cats to burst forth. One, then two, a whole army of them eventually streaming past the walls, driving them back. Her fur refuses to lie flat.

"You're going to kill them?" she mumbles. It's aimed at no one in particular. A soft sound, something that could easily be drowned out by the talk around her. She checks the entrance again. Just how many kittypets were there? She hadn't a clue, she hadn't a clue. She didn't want to live amongst killers, but what if it was the only way? How many more kittypets are there? Will they come here, breach their camp instead, if Briar isn't successful? "I—"

She's staring at the ground, unable to meet the eyes of any who walk past. Unable to articulate her thoughts. It's all a blur. Her coherent mind is fogged by underlying stress. She flexes her paws, front to back. Left to right. War. It scares her.

Dewdrop draws a breath, steels herself. Her posture is a little straighter, her gaze, just a little bit clearer. But the tension in her body isn't difficult to see. She's stiff, form statuesque tucked in a corner of camp. She does her best to maintain a straight face, keep her expression set, even if the crease of her mouth and frantic eyes gave her away.

[ TL;DR anxious mama trying to tough it out :( ]

The announcement left a put in her stomach that she can't quite seem to fill. Ever since she has wandered about like a zombie, doing her part, not saying a word. She had not spoken at all, certainly not to lend her cries to the chorus of cheers. Her decision to stay had not changed how she felt about the whole affair.

Anything was preferable to this.

A quieter voice caught her ear, drawing her gaze to Drewdrop. Another like-minded soul, to her eye. Someone else who didn't take joy in this decision. Who saw the dreadful terror of it all. Without a thought, her paws brought her to the other mollies side. She just needed someone to talk to right now, and for once it couldn't be Flicker. That enthusiastic fire for the battle to come, she couldn't handle it right now. It'd burn her alive.

"Hello." Moth greeted softly, offering a nod. It was tough to keep her voice level. "How are you holding up?"

Leaf had been one of the many who had yowled his approval for the declaration of war, but his steely blue gaze hadn't missed some of the hesitant and almost disappointed looks of some of his group mates. He had sneered at them, because how could they not want to fight? Didn't they see that they were starving?

However, if he were being honest, his desire to dive into the war wasn't mainly out of wanting to protect his home. No. He was young and desperate to prove himself to his father. To prove that he wasn't a coward. That he was worthy of praise.

Leaf was heading towards the entrance, wanting to try hunting before the big battle he was sure would happen when his ear picked up the small voice of Dewdrop. His sharp gaze would settle on the queen as Moth walked up to her and he bite back a frustrated growl. Of course, she would be too scared to fight. His father had always looked down on the cats who hadn't been born within the group, despite how hypocritical that was. Leaf could now see why. Dewdrop hadn't grown up here, Didn't have personal ties to their group. So why should she have the fire to fight for their home?

His mother's voice suddenly chastised him in his mind. But he scowled to himself and tried to ignore it. Mother was always too soft, it's why Father said he had to be strong. Be ruthless.

His slender legs would carry his lanky frame over to the two mollies without him thinking, but when he reached the older she-cats', his expression was only irritated and bored as he meowed coldly,
"We will kill whoever tries to kill us. Simple as that. And that mouse-brained group is killing us every day by taking our prey." His tail would lash in irritation, "Or would you rather your precious kittens starve for the sake of being nice."


IC OPINIONS ONLY!! I'm so sorry Leaf is such a horrible man :(
( ) He'd watched from the nursery as war was declared on their neighbors. The kittypets, as he'd heard his colony call them.

Froggy tells himself that he shouldn't question Briar. She's the leader, one of the most respected cats in the marsh, and one of the cats he looked up to the most. But his mind refuses to believe that this is the right thing to do. Naively, he thinks to himself that they should try to resolve this with words. Why does it have to come down to war?

It seems to him that he is in the minority. The crowd gathered beneath Briar cheer their approval, all while a pit of dread opens in Froggy's stomach. What if his mom was forced to fight? What if tomorrow morning is the last time he would see her alive?

His eyes sting, so he tries to stop thinking about it. But ignoring something proves difficult when it's glaring in his face. Dewdrop asks if they're going to kill the kittypets. Froggy has heard a lot of bad things about the kittypets; they're thieves, they're ignorant, they're lazy. But do they deserve to die? He thinks not, but...

Leaf's sharp voice cuts through the air. Froggy's hackles rise, his eyes narrowing. "Don't talk to my mom like that," he hisses, scrambling over to Dewdrop's side. He leans against her, sparing her and Moth a supportive glance. "That's a stupid idea anyways. Why don't you just hunt somewhere else? There has to be more than the marsh and that dumb pine forest!"
Aloof and detached, Salamander watched the rowdy calls with a blank stare. A wave of anticipation caused some cats' whiskers to quiver: although whether out of fear or excitement was unknown to the watchful she-cat. She had intended to stay close to her family, to keep them under heavy surveillance, but a particular conversation temporarily grasped her attention.

How sad and embarrassing it was that Froggy, not even half a year old, had more common sense than the adults. "There are indeed other places to hunt, little one." she cooly answered the young tom. The rabbits and squirrels she'd been dragging to the fresh-kill pile certainly didn't come from the over-hunted swamp. "Unfortunately, it has become more complicated than that."

Killing in battle unless absolutely necessary was an act that the blue molly found to be despicable and dishonorable. However, Briar had implied that lives not be spared, mercy not offered, if the pine colony refused to "run home". Which was a silly way to phrase it. Like it or not, the pine forest had become a home for a lot of the cats. Some argued that they should have simply joined them, then. At least, those of loner heritage because they wouldn't want their blood to be diluted by that of kittypets. She struggled not to roll her eyes. It was no wonder that a lot of the cats preferred the company of the pines considering the hostility and prejudice the marsh cats had shown them.

Her teal eyes focused on Leaf. "Learn to respect your elders, boy." Bringing up Dewdrop's kits had been an unnecessary and utterly low blow. "Whether you agree with someone or not, you should respect their opinions. Dewdrop is a member of our colony and should be treated as such." Who had taught the boy such awful manners? She'd be happy to put him in his place if his narrow-minded mouth blurted any other foolish words. And the expression on her face didn't try to hide her contempt. ​
( ) The idea of war over land that could be shared never made sense to Dusk. Perhaps it was his own cynical views, but he thought the cats of the Marsh group weren't thinking of other choices; couldn't they just explore elsewhere? Isn't that what they've done anyways, taking over land that could have possibly belonged to others in the past? Always with a frown on his face, uninterested in a war like this one- they could deal with this on their own. Prideful, starving-

And then the voice of a mother, Dewdrop was her name, speaking up in worry. He couldn't blame her- his mother was practically useless in her own right, leaving him to protect his two siblings on his own, wherever she was- his father? Who knows. But he coped, they always did. Dewdrop would defend her kits to her last breath, and that was something that Dusk appreciated. It wasn't every day that mothers actually cared for their kits. His eyes shifted over the group gathering; Froggy, ever so protective of his mother. Cute. But dangerous, for one to care about another that much. He was small, weak compared to the other. However, picking on a kid didn't rub him right.

"You've got some dirt on your chin. You look like a muck, Leaf." A call to insecurity, paw pointing at the chap's chin. Despite his unimpressed look, he'd spare a moment to pick on the bully for once. It didn't feel nice, but who cared? The only cats he truly cared for weren't in their direct vicinity.


╰☆☆ Battle. It's the talk of the camp. Some of the cats are buzzing with excitement, practicing battle moves on one another and talking about tearing kittypets apart. Others are calmer, rational, but still there's an anticipatory gleam in the depths of their eyes.

War. The idea is frightening to Foxy. She'd seen Azalea rally herself to Briar's call, barely two moons ahead of Foxy herself. There's no love lost between them--not since Azalea had so rudely rebuked Foxy and sent her home when she'd only wanted to help her--but the calico's stricken with fear for her denmate regardless. She can't imagine herself in the silver tabby's pawprints, fighting to the death with other cats.

Frightened, she seeks the plush pale tortie fur of her mother. Foxy presses herself to Dewdrop's side, trying to calm the frantic beating of her heart. There are cats fighting even now, arguing over the ethics of the battle. Whether fighting is worth it. "You're not gonna go fight, are you?" She tilts her small face towards her mother, eyes shining with tears. "Don't go. Please. I don't want you to get hurt, too."

Foxy rests her head against the softness of Dewdrop's flank, round golden eyes flicking to and from the bickering felines around her. Fear flutters in her belly, and she does not know how to calm its stirring.
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i've been patient and steadfast and steady

The call for war was like the distant knock of a woodpecker to Rocky. A furious haze above his head, one he took great care to duck beneath. It didn't seem to benefit anyone, but those older than him liked to remind him of how much prey the pine group was stealing. He got fed enough, didn't he? Maybe he was still too small to understand grown-up hunger.

The caustic comments of Leaf cut through his self-imposed blinders, the unrest of his family setting his fur aloft. Marbled grey fur stood in rigid spines as he approached them, planting himself beside his brother. He lay his shaggy tail across Froggy's back until it brushed against his mother's side, wedging them into an impenetrable wall. Storms welled up in his graphite gaze, intent shown.

Only when Foxy pleaded with Dewdrop did his steely disposition falter. She had to stay. "Mama will be okay, don't worry." Tone steady, sure. However, the look of concern towards the molly in question betrayed his shared fears.

/sorry this is so weak, 0 muse hours
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Moth. She has no qualms with her. Her voice had been silent, face a hardened look of resignment during Briar's announcement. Like-minded, perhaps. She comes closer. Dewdrop tenses, but she does not move. Cautious, she meets her gaze, just barely. She returns the gesture with her own stiff nod. How was she holding up? Not well. She parts her jaws, a soft could be better, hanging at the tip of her tongue, before a cold voice breaks her train of thought.

Her softening features quickly sharpen once again, a weary gaze rakes over the form of Leaf. Eye for an eye, he seems to snarl, and the queen tenses, and then bristles at the accusation he tags on. Her voice catches in her throat, held back by combined anxiety and white-hot anger. She can't possibly formulate anything to say. Anything savory that is, at least.

And then there's a body against her. Another. Than three. She blinks at the realization that her kits are beside her. Startles at the tone Froggy uses. She stares, something warm like pride welling in her chest.

Harsh voices would raise over the squeaks of her kits— Salamander and Dusk. A part of her resents it. Was she seen as fragile? A weary queen who couldn't defend herself, needed the sharp bite of Salamander to save her from the slightest form of confrontation? She could fight, could stand up for herself—

But maybe, it was a bit overwhelming. Maybe she was thankful to have Leaf's snarls dampened so quickly.

Her eyes linger on the molly for a moment, before trailing back to her kits, softening with a fondness reserved only for them. She takes a deep breath, curls her tail around her two younger kits. "I'm not— I'm not going anywhere, I promise," she mews to Foxy. A frown tugs at her lips, deeping with the way Foxy's voice dips with sadness. "I'm okay, we're all going to be okay..."

Her gaze rakes across her kits. For a moment, flickering across the forms of Salamander and Dusk, lingers on the face of Moth. She smiles, tight and close-lipped, but her body still tremors beneath pale fur.
Sage had sat through the meeting with a quiet confusion, and as she watched the scene in front of her unfold, the kit felt even more lost. War this, and war that. She knew the marsh cats needed to be fed, but if the pine cats really wanted to be in the forest, couldn’t they come to some kind of agreement? Sage looked down at her feet, turning her question about in her mouth. The other cats would probably think it was dumb, especially since a lot of the older cats appeared to be all for an attack.

After a moment, the kitten spoke in a very small voice. “I don’t understand,” she squeaked. “If the house cats really want to stay, then couldn’t we all just work and share prey together? And then nobody has to get hurt?” She hadn’t been with the group long, but she didn’t want to see any of her new friends hurt.