Ever since Starlingpaw had overheard those warriors talking about the shortage of prey, how hard leaf bare would be for the clan, she couldn’t stop worrying. Thoughts flash before her eyes of Sparkkit sick, dying. She thinks of the kits currently in the nursery, wasting away because they could not get enough to eat and it haunts her dreams at night. She needed to do something. She could not sit on her rear end all day with these thoughts racing through her mind. The clan needed to be strong for leaf bare. That’s what she kept telling herself as she walks next to Granitepaw through the dark pine forest.

She had told him her plan, her worries and he had agreed. The clan needed all the help they could get to have extra prey, especially with the new kits. She glances at him with pale green eyes and smiles lightly, a gesture that only pulls at one corner of her mouth, too nervous for the full thing. “Th-thank y-you for for come-coming wi-with me” she stammers out as they make their way to the carrion place.

When they arrive at the fence line she casts a look around. It smelled rank here, but she had heard that this was a good place to find rats. She had heard that in the past, when food was short, other cats had come here to improve their chances of making it through a harsh leaf-bare.

Nervously, the black and white she cat shuffled her feet. Surely nothing bad could happen to her right? Not while she had Granitepaw with her. They would catch a few pieces of prey and return to the clan as heroes!
╭── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅ ──╮

He knows what Pitchstar and Bonejaw think of him, how they're spreading lies to the other adults and telling them he's insolent and cruel. None of it is true, though he doesn't expect the tadpole-brains in ShadowClan to be able to perceive that he's always done what's right and just. Pitchstar does nothing but hide in his den, after all, acting much like his own mother had after Spark-kit's death. Bonejaw doesn't do anything useful. She shredded her herbs and turned Twilightfall away and she'd died.

When Starlingpaw comes to him with her idea, Granitepaw almost refuses. Not because of her -- he finds that the quiet black and white she-cat is one of the few in the Clan he can tolerate -- but because he doesn't care to feed ShadowClan. Why should he? What has ShadowClan done for him?

But he wants to be a great, respected warrior. Someone fierce, someone who all the Clans respect. And Starlingpaw has a point -- if they can bring back enough prey for the Clan, maybe they'll be heroes.

Granitepaw would like to be a hero for once.

The gray and white tom walks boldly to the fenceline, staring into the heaps of rubbish with a wrinkle of disgust contorting his lean face. "How can any cat stand to be here? Ugh. Let's get this over with." His voice takes an authoritative tone. He flicks his tail against Starlingpaw's chest before padding into the Carrionplace.

The scent is harsh on his glands, driving tiny pinprick tears into the corners of his dark green eyes. He grits his teeth. He's not a coward. A warrior can stand up to a few bad smells. A hero.

"I can't even scent any prey with all this Twoleg stuff," he comments to Starlingpaw. Pitchstar hasn't even really taught them to hunt yet. "Maybe we should try..."

Something rustles. He spins, gazing thoughtfully at the spot. "Go check it out," he orders. "That might be what we're looking for." After a few heartbeats, he offers some reassurance: "I'll be right here. I'll help you."

- ,,

The rustling not too far off frightens her. To be completely honest, she had not thought this idea completely and totally through. She was a weak fighter, although her hunting instincts were turning out to be pretty decent. Today though, she was feeling brave. She casts one worried glance at her gray furred companion before setting off to investigate the noise. Perhaps it was a rat and she would have an easy kill right off the bat.

She drops low to the ground, ears shoved all the way forward and paws moving lightly over the barren earth, eyes focused in on the spot where the movement had come from. She tries scenting the air like her brother had taught her but the smell of carrion is so overwhelming it blocks out everything else. Still, she prepares to pounce.

As she’s gathering her hindquarters behind her, about to leap, the creature reveals itself. It looks like a rat, only much taller and bigger with ugly dirty gray fur and a long snout. It pulls back its lips and spits at her, revealing ugly long yellow teeth. She lets out a terrified squeal and turns to run but the creature grabs her by the hind leg and drags her back, lifting a paw to pin her down so it can get a better grip before it delivers the killing blow.
  • Wow
Reactions: Marquette
╭── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅ ──╮

He hadn't expected Starlingpaw to do as he asked, and his smile is small and tight as she hesitantly moves towards the rustle amidst the Twoleg garbage. He likes that she listens to him. It makes him want to protect her, and so he squares his shoulders and sets his jaw. He will help her with whatever it is. He will make sure she makes it home safe.

She is bunching her muscles, her tail waving as she prepares to leap at whatever is making the noise. Granitepaw winces as the tension is broken and she squeaks in horror -- and as she turns toward him, he sees why. It's not a rat, but a terrible-looking rodent the size of a kit leaving the nursery. Its body is gray, but its face is as snowy as Granitepaw's chest.

The thing latches its disgusting fangs into her hindquarter and begins to pull her back, as though it intends to drag her beneath its lair of Twoleg trash. Granitepaw lets out a long, terrible hiss before he lunges at the ugly creature. His claws are unsheathed before he gets there, and he aims a heavy swipe across its face. Blood erupts immediately, and the creature is enraged.

"We gotta go," he gasps, realizing how ill-equipped they are to beat the monster. One fighting session with Pitchstar aside, the two are still kits, and when the attack barely fazes the creature, Granitepaw's own heart begins to pound furiously. "Go! Go now!" Fear shines wildly in his eyes.

- ,,

When the terrifying creature releases her hind leg there’s a terrible burning sensation. It hurts. Worse than that stupid thorn in her paw ever had. This is real pain, tried and true. Blood leaks freely from the teeth marks and she finds that she cannot put much pressure on her afflicted leg. She tries it and immediately regrets it. The creature lets out a hiss behind them, irritated at the bold attack from Granitepaw. It does little else but distract it for a moment, long enough for the black and white she cat to hurl herself out of the way of another attack, her leg screaming in protest.

She agrees with his sentiment, they needed to get out of there. The creature hisses behind them, though it doesn’t make another move to attack she knows it’s a matter of time. They needed to leave. As fast as she can she turns and runs, gait lopsided as she tries to put as little pressure on her injury as possible.