Exhasution had pulled Willowbreeze into a deep sleep in the hours after the birth of her two kits. No amount of rain or storm would wake her until someone pawed at her. Blinking blurry eyes at the cat who woke her, she barely caught what Silverstar had shouted. Pushing onto shaky legs, she managed to heed the instructions, float the nest.
Thankful that Echobreeze had been nearby, Willowbreeze got her newborns onto the safety of the nest. "I got them, go help the others," She insisted, grabbing the side of the nest with her jaw, maneuvering herself in an attempt to use the current to her advantage. It helped considering the situation, she lacked the strength to do anything more than direct the nest toward safety. She remained slow going but made decent progress until a rush of water caught her off guard. Yowling in surprise she had been swept to the side. The nest slipped from her jaw for the briefest of moments before she caught it again. Her paws kicking out to keep her head above the water. The nest rolling with the wave.
Nearby, swimming after her father, trying to catch up with him. Owlpaw caught the panicked yowl of her aunt. "The kits!" She shouted, diving in the direction of her aunt. Relying on her instincts, Owlpaw made it to her aunt with only a moment to spare, the second wave threatened to tip the nest. Owlpaw determined as ever, refused to allow another family member to be stolen by the river.
"Willowbreeze I'm here! I'll help you," She called over the noise, relief covered up Willowbreeze's anxiety. Taking the other side of the nest, Owlpaw tried to move across the current this time, harder work but the faster way to safety. She only hoped Willowbreeze could keep up.
Post by Ghost the Undead Goddess on Aug 17, 2019 3:05:10 GMT -5
The blue-gray tom was not prepared for flood of water that surged into the camp only moments after the warning. He had been trying to nap away the storm since it was practically impossible to train with such violent elements, and it took him a second to shake off the sleep. Whiskers bent in funny directions and small dilute hairs stuck out along his coat as he stumbled from the Apprentice's den, paws splashing in water that already coated the floor of Rainclan's camp.
Alarm washed through his just as quickly as it took for the pelting rain to soak his lanky form. He had heard stories of previous floods from both his parents, apparently it was something that happened nearly every year, whether from massive rainfall or the snow melting in the beginning of Newleaf. It took him a second to process everything that was happening, the young tom quickly turning his attention towards the yowl near the nursery. Green pools widened as he saw her struggling with her nest of newborn kits, Owlpaw quick to help her aunt as quickly as the frightened noise left the queen's maw.
Despite the older apprentice's strength, Wavepaw knew that helping Willowbreeze and the kits on her own would be a terribly difficult thing to do with all the water rushing into camp with dangerous speeds and depths. Wading through the water towards the two she-cats and kits, the blue-gray tom was thankful that he was an adaptable and able swimmer. Otherwise this situation would really suck.
Keeping his head above water, Wavepaw quickly made his way to the weakened queen's flank and pressing against her to give her some relief while Owlpaw aided with the floating nest. Two wriggling, wet bundles made noises from inside, one making the smallest of growls in her little voice despite her ears and eyes still being closed. Barely a day old and already showing spirit, if it wasn't for the dreadful situation, Wavepaw would have found the kit amusing.
"I'm here too!" The younger apprentice mewed as he announced his presence. Those green pools of his were full of determination, he would make sure both Willowbreeze, her kits and Owlpaw would make it out of this situation alive. Wavepaw didn't have the ability to save his mother when she fell ill, but this time would be different. He wasn't about to let any of them down, especially Owlpaw who he had grown to respect and care for. Though he still didn't understand the warmth she caused to bloom under his fur.
"Don't worry Willowbreeze, Owlpaw and I will make sure everything is okay!" The gentle hearted tomcat gave a soft smile in hopes of reassuring the frantic queen.
Soaked to the core, Owlpaw kept pushing forward. Jaw aching from holding onto the nest, determination furrowing her brow. They'd make it or safety of she'd die trying. Mewling from likely motion sickness, Owlpaw barely managed to pay attention to them. All her focus on reaching high ground. It didn't take long for her to lose steam, fighting against the current enough to drain even the most experience swimmer.
Exhaustion pulled at her limbs the closer she got to safety. A cruel twist of fate. "Is this how Crowblaze felt? Too tired to swim to the top" Dark thoughts ran wild in her brain, taking over her focus. It was the pitiful mews of her cousins that renewed her. Their names weren't yet chosen and her maw occupied with the nest made it difficult for her to sooth them.
Kicking harder, she drove herself over the last few tail-lengths, claws digging into the sodden higher ground. Panting she went to the ground, her entire body shaking from depletion.
Meanwhile, Willowbreeze kicked and clawed at the water. Fighting it against it and the stress of the entire situation. Grateful to Wavepaw, the new queen relied heavily on the young tom. "Thank you," She told him between moments of breath.
Her paws met the same spot that Owlpaw climbed out of, she barely managed to make it the nest before collapsing. "Thank you both," Her eyes were heavy, all she wanted to do was sleep but it would be impossible until they were truly safe. She laid beside the nest, a forepaw over the edge to touch her sleeping kits. Too tired to stand.
The tiny patch of muddy earth they had found would only hold them for long. Even as Owlpaw tried to spot the others she felt the earth give way under her paws, muddy chunks of earth falling into the rushing water. "We can't stay here long, it's already shrinking," Owlpaw's voice barely hid the fear caught in her throat. Willowbreeze wasn't in any shape to swim again, a sheer miracle that the nest remained floatable. "Maybe if we swim off to find others to help. Two warriors to help Willowbreeze, we can carry the nest."
"We can't just leave her," Wavepaw answered, a swimming cat catching his attention. Wrenstrike! I can swim to him and you can stay," He told her, launching himself toward the older warrior. Another chunk of earth sinking into the river. Caught off by Wavepaw's sudden departure, Owlpaw went to her aunt's side to keep an eye on her. A startled yowl catching her attention. Wavepaw and Wrenstrike seemed to have collided and something was wrong. Unable to stand by and watch her friend and clanmate drown, Owlpaw followed in after the two. Another hefty bit of land falling into the flood as she sprang forth into the river.
Willowbreeze stirred out of her forced sleep to feel the patch of dirt give way even more. She yowled in horror as if in slow motion the ground under her kits gave way, sending the entire nest into the water. Crying out she struggled to her paws but slipped in the mud. Her legs refusing to work. HELP! She screeched over the rain and rushing of water. Eyes wide in fear, her heartbreaking as her sleeping, helpless kits floated away.
Owlpaw of RainClan
"Beauty may be dangerous but intelligence is lethal"
The water was still rising. The dens were underwater, and he could hear the commotion from the clan as they made their way to higher ground. Lilygleam would lead them on, he had to make sure everyone got out. So he swam up and down the length of the clan, nudging along apprentices and encouraging those that started to drift away, even pushing them on to safety as he could. His limbs started to feel heavy, but he was a strong swimmer and he could keep going a little while longer. He saw cats fall into the water, saw his clan come together to rescue them and keep going. RainClan was strong, they'd make it through this.
He saw Dewfrost, head held as high above the water as she could manage, paddling along with her escort. He imagined she was being irritable about now for having to abandon her herbs. But there had been no time to gather what could be saved. The water rose too swiftly and he couldn't lose their only medicine cat. This was a trial by water, the river passing its bounds and making it dangerous even for those cats of his clan who were strong swimmers and fisher-cats. Too much water, too high a chance to drown. Chaos.
Silverstar has to keep them safe, had to make sure everyone made it. They'd already lost too many cats. No one else. "StarClan protect them." He prayed as he once more pushed his body through the steadily rising waters. The current was getting stronger, and although he was a good swimmer he was still slender of build and getting tired. Just a little longer, he told himself, a little longer and he'd make for shore and rest a moment before going to rejoin the clan.
Everyone was out of the camp now, he was certain. All that was left was crossing himself and slowly following their trail, gathering up any that had become separated by the rushing waters and reuniting they and himself with the clan. All easy, all a plan. One pawstep at a time.
The silver tabby kept swimming, but he didn't notice the large branch that had been caught in the downpour until it was too late. Darkness, pain. He scrambled for the surface, but he was so tired, his body felt heavy. Rest, it told him. Must rest. He fought it, fought the heaviness and the throbbing pain in his back from the branch. Fought and fought and fought and then....fog. Foggy patches over hidden dens and trees blanketed in mist. He didn't hurt anymore, and his pelt was dry and pristine. What happened?
"Where am I?"
"Silverstar!" He flinched and turned in time to see Echoshade's father, Darkwater coming towards him at a dead run. StarClan. He must have...but how?
"No time for you to wonder, think on this later. You need to go back now! For the sake of those kits you hide from the clan, you have to go back!"
Kits, clan...he had to...
"Go now!" And just like that he awoke, finding himself at bottom of the river with his chest burning on fire. Drowned, he'd drowned, and in desperation and sheer terror he clawed his way to the surface, gasping and gagging on the water that had filled his lungs and killed him. He managed to pull himself onto the muddy embankment, the rain still pelting down on him as he coughed up water and tried to get his bearings.
"Mew! Mew! Mew!" He heard the terrified cries of kits, each one weaker than the last. StarClan preserve him. He pushed himself to his paws and saw, to his horror, the tiny bodies wiggling in the mud. Their nest had been destroyed and now their little bodies were struggling in the much. Something inside of him turned over as he rushed to them, picking them up one by one and moving over to where there was grass.
He wasn't sure where he was, but there were trees, and a hollow wide enough to nest in while he gathered himself and attended the shivering kits. So he moved them there one by one, knowing by scent that these were Willowbreeze's kits. They mewled and shivered and sniffled and he had no clue what to do. So once under shelter he cleaned them mercilessly, curling his own wet pelt around them to try to warm them up. Pressed against his belly, head over top of them as he groomed them and comforted himself. "Don't worry, I'll protect you." His voice was hoarse from coughing and he hurt all over. Was this what it felt like to die and come back? He shook in horror, then had to groom the kits again as they mewled in distress. "Shhh...shhh...its okay, its okay. I'm here, you're safe now." He cooed to them, eventually just curling up tightly around them and praying he regained enough strength soon to return to the clan. They were waiting on him, and he was sure his friend was grieving for her kits about now.
He had to get them back, he had to get himself back. But...just a moment, just a rest. He had to sleep, warm the kits, warm himself. Just rest.