We Shall Not Sleep, Though Poppies Grow (joining)


A coward patting himself on the back
Jul 24, 2022

Amber ears perked up at news from the periphery. A battle of some kind - injuries on all sides. A schism caused by something unclear, and now all parties involved had gone their separate ways. Obviously, someone would have to educate these barbarians.

In his particular stretch of twolegplaces, Flanders was known as a moral prescriptivist (though others would use much more colorful language when giving a description). Although the amber tomcat was forbidden from going outside (and such a staunch follower of authority wouldn’t dare to break the rules!) it didn’t stop him from lecturing all who passed by. Playing near those rocks was dangerous! Don’t jump like that, your form is off! Those berries aren’t for eating!

However, by far the lanky tom’s most talked about topic was his abhorrence of violence. Any new kittypets were quickly warned not to even hunt butterflies near his house, lest the buzzkill go ballistic. So obviously when word filtered down from a game of feline telephone that there had been a major scuffle among the wild cats, Flanders decided it was his duty to set them straight.

Of course, setting foot outside the fence for the first time made the straight-laced cat more than a bit uneasy, but the boy deemed it necessary. After all, it was worth breaking one little rule if it meant stopping those savages from killing each other! The plan was simple: Flanders would find them, settle down for a few days, and teach them the ways of civilized life before heading home. It was a bit strange seeing his neighbors up close for the first time (and for some reason quite a few weren’t eager to talk to him) but soon enough the boy had directions.

It wasn’t a long trek to the plains, but the few hours gave the amber-hued cat time enough to rattle off a whole list of preprepared speeches in preparation. He had moons of experience telling off rowdy kittypets under his belt after all, how hard could this be?

After reaching the edge of what was apparently the savages’ stomping ground, Flanders sat pursued his favorite pastime: fussing over the details. The tomcat’s tongue must of run the length of his fur three times over trying to smooth it, and by the end he might as well have been reflective. Still, the serious cat refused to feel embarrassment. This was an important mission, after all! All he had to do now was wait. ​


"Your stench is an impurity on these hills..." Comes a low, yet still blatantly feminine voice from the tall blades of green nearby. With some rustling, the grass bends at the pressure of her paws, and her face peaks out of the shadows. With green eyes that matched her earthy surroundings perfectly, she stares at the feline before her.

A kittypet (or something akin to one). The scent had been enough for her to give a confident guess... but his collar and groomed to the brim fur? A dead give-away...

"You're in the presence of Soot, leader of WindClan, kittypet. Whatever you are seeking you're wasting your time sitting on my land. It's best you run back to where you came from, not long until it gets dark..." Oh, she loved attempting to intimidate and scare cats of this strangers origin.


Still blue eyes scanned the horizon, half-expecting a horde to come and sweep him away. Flanders would be lying if he said he wasn’t nervous, but the tomcat was firm in his convictions. It was his duty to help those around him, whether they wanted it or not. The kittypet’s moral compass was simple: he was right, and anyone who disagreed was pitiable and misguided.

As stubborn eyes sat staring in the distance, though, he didn’t notice the cat coming from much closer. At least until their voice shocked the spindly tom into leaping a fox-lengths into the air out of shock. Regaining his composure and dignity (what was left of it, at least), Flanders was immediately put on the back-foot from the feral cat’s hostility. After a quick, self-conscious sniff of his own pelt, the kittypet responded. “My stench is none of your concern. I’m sure you’ll get used to it in time.” Already insisting on being a now-constant presence on the plains wasn’t the best move, but the boy hadn’t much tact to spare.

Unflinching at her threat, flanders kept his cool (though underused muscles tensed in preparation to evade an attack, if need be). “I’m not going anywhere” he stated flatly, insistent as always. “I’m here to join. I’ve heard you lot need help, and it’s my responsibility to provide that.” Dipping his head, a small, self-righteous smile crossed his sunset-hued maw. “My name is Flanders.”

Damaskrose made sure to not stand in Soot's way as he followed them to approach this kittypet only to stand behind thier leader to let them handle this which was her right to do. It no longer come as an suprise to him when Soot greeted a cat this coldly, a kittypet none the less. Not even the marsh group had been special fond of them thanks to the conflict with the other group who let kittypets stay with them. Personally, he had no opinion on them. He didn't exactly understand what was so wrong of eating free food or living in a big massive stone den while being cared for by this monsterous looking twolegs. Sure, they terrified him and he would never dare get close to one but they couldn't be all that bad if this kittypets liked them so much...right?. Maybe he was too naive to get it. Overtime once older he would grow wiser and understand the issue between the wild cats and the kittypets. Up until then he would keep his mouth shut over his opinion that wasn't special popular in this clan.

The kittypet introduced themself as Flanders, and he wished to join them. That was enough for the young tom's eyes to grow wide for a second as he took in this with a bit of a suprise. He guess he could never get used to kittypets wishing to join them under this sort of hostile circumstances. If it had been him....he would have run away before Soot could caught up to him. What a brave cat to dare face Soot like this without even looking a little bit sacred. He wonderd where cats like this got thier confidence from. To face a whole group of cats like this so fearlessly. It brought a small harmless smile to his lips. For Flanders sake he hoped Soot would accept them, because he had right. They really could need more cats like him!. Damaskrose secretly cheered them on while nervousely sending a glance over at Soot, wondering what her respond would be.



An invisible brow raises when the kittypet talks back... she's caught entirely off-guard. "Oh?" She meows, a furious look sparking in her eye. She didn't like that... no... she didn't like his words or the implications they held one bit.

I'm not going anywhere.
I've heard you need a lot of help.
It's my responsibility to provide that.

The skin underneath her fur is burning.

My name is Flanders. Sootstar aims a paw and without thinking, she tries to rake her claws down his cheek. She's had enough, and anyone who laid witness to this scene was yet to see Soot this furious. She was pissed, steam could practically be seen pooling from her nostrils and ears... If you could see past her fur the woman's face would be beet red. No one disobeyed her like that, not to her face, not on her land, and NOT someone of kittypet blood.

"You better start showing some respect to me kittypet. I don't take kindly to cats telling me what to tolerate and who to welcome into my own clan. WindClan does not need your help, you are nothing but a puny, good-for-nothing twoleg toy." She hisses the insult and demand through bared teeth like an agitated snake. For a moment she turns her head to meet eye contact with Damaskrose, they're young... but not young to the point she felt guilty for spilling blood before their eyes. This was a good lesson for them, today they learned that WindClan did not tolerate this.

"Bow your head and submit to my authority before you utter another word- or begone."



Flanders was used to pushing buttons. Never intentionally, of course, but it seemed in his nature to annoy. He’d always been frustrated at the cats who would hurl insults whenever he mounted the rostrum to make yet another rambling speech, even more so at those who flat-out ignored him. Why couldn’t they get it through their heads that the boy knew best? If they would just listen to him, all their lives would improve. He was sure of it!

Flanders didn’t know why he expected this to play out any differently. As blue eyes studied the small changes in Soot’s face as the seconds passed, the kittypet began to prepare for the inevitable retort. Unfortunately for the pacifist, he expected it to come verbally, not physically. All the spindly tom saw was a blur of movement, and suddenly he was stumbling sideways. A forepaw dug into the earth to keep him from completely collapsing, and Soot would see a pair of sky-blue eyes peering at her with steeled resolve. “I’m not going to fight you, and I’m not going to run. Like I said-“ He began, swaying like a twig in the breeze before being cut off by the apoplectic she-cat.

Thankfully, her barrage of insults gave Flanders time to think. I can’t help anyone with her in the way. If submitting to this leader’s will is what it takes…” Briefly swallowing his pride and trying his best to let the stinging words wash off like water on rock, the pacifist would bow his head. “I apologize for not giving you your due respect. I just…I want to do what I can for Windclan and the cats who reside there. You say you do not need my help, but allow me to provide what little I can anyway…please.”

Despite the hypocritical, self-assured nature of Flanders’ views on life, his words came from the heart. The kittypet did genuinely want to help others, its just that his idea of help didn’t leave much room for compromise.


The blow allowed a wave of satisfaction to wash over her as she draws in a wavering breath to stabilize herself. An indescribable sensation of pressure in her head slowly began to release, but her annoyance with this tom does not completely subside.

He bows his head, and Sootstar smirks triumphantly. Somehow he still didn't quite get the memo... "We don't need your help fool. You have nothing you could possibly offer to my clan, you are a kittypet, you are soft and too weak for this life." She snorts with a lash of her tail. "But I like seeing hare-brains like you get proved wrong... so by all means... join WindClan! Try to learn our ways, I have no doubt you'll be gone within three sunrises."


Nothing could have prepared the young tom for what was about to happen. It had happend so fast too that Damaskrose not even had understodd at first what just had happend. It was not until the blood that run down from the strangers face that Rose's whole face turned pale with horror. He knew that Soot was intolerant to disrespect but never had he thought she would act out this violently just because of what this stranger had said!. It was a horrifying sight to see for a such young cat like him.

Damaskrose took some steps back, his ears falling back as he watched with wide-eyes. If he not had been scared of Soot before he for a certain was teirrified of her now. He didn't even know how to react beside wishing to turn around and run away from Soot as far he possibly could!. But no, he couldn't do that. If not Soot would get upset at him for leaving her behind like this for sure his parents would scold him later, even his siblings would have something to say about this.

He didn't even realise how his legs where shaking, trembling underneath him and this tears started to blurry his vision. But he hold them back with all the self control he had to not let them fall and look pathetic in front of his own leader. While holding his emotions back stared down at his own paws and more then ever before felt this longing to go back home to the swamp land....Briar would never have done something like this. He wished Leech was here right now...or Jaw....Anyone of them for comfort. He wished his family had stayed in the swamp land or....that he had followed with Jaw.

Damaskrose couldn't even listen on the conversation anymore or if the stranger would get accepted or not. He could do nothing but hope it all would be over soon so he could hurry back home and try to forget what he just had witnessed today. Or at least he could try too.