A Deep and Final Dark [Crowblaze Death] Jul 5, 2018 16:04:55 GMT -5
Post by Fawntastic on Jul 5, 2018 16:04:55 GMT -5
The path along the river, leading away from RainClan's camp, was not well shaded. For Swanpaw, this meant the heat and humidity, even this early in the morning, was mercilessly bearing down on her long silver-tortoiseshell fur. The tall apprentice led the way along the water's edge, resisting the temptation to dive in and soak till sunhigh; two others followed in her wake. Fernpaw, Rushwhisker's apprentice, and Owlpaw, her littermate.
Under Swanfeather’s instruction, the trio were heading to the northernmost region of the river to collect enough dry moss to keep a steady supply of water for the elders and queens in case a heat wave struck. It was typical apprentice work, but also made for a break from the mundanity of routine. Swanpaw’s sharp nose detected a familiar, familial scent drifting in from the landscape ahead. Crowblaze, her uncle, must have been hunting nearby. Why he chose to hunt and not fish was a mystery to her.
Crowblaze hunted to keep his skills sharp. And, because try as he might to claim himself purely RainClan in every way, he had the build of a StoneClan warrior--and the past of a loner, used to doing whatever he must to survive. The massive dark tabby warrior hunted through sparse foliage, one ear swiveling to catch the light tread of three sets of paws between the steady, constant sigh of the river. It was Swanpaw, Owlpaw, and Fernpaw. Briefly letting thoughts of hunting slip to second place on his list of priorities, Crowblaze ventured closer, watching to keep an eye on his nieces to ensure all was well.
The procession of apprentices got along without interruption. Crowblaze’s posture relaxed, satisfied to have attested to their well being with his own two eyes; this sense of calm was shattered, quick as ice under a stone’s crushing weight, as he caught a sinister hint of ginger fur twisting around the base of a weeping willow.
Swanpaw froze, the others nearly colliding into her. Fox. Where? The scent was suddenly everywhere at once; claws unsheathed, the heavy drum of large paws on grass made her nearly jump out of her fur. “Look out!” She shrieked at Owlpaw, as a dark shape leaped over them all--and collided with the long, wiry body of an adolescent fox.
Crowblaze threw his weight into his foe, interrupting the fox’s trajectory just in time. Fury surged behind his eyes, rage lending him strength as he and the fox toppled over on the grassy embankment. A whirl of claws and tufts of fur marked an even battle, Kayo’s screams overlapping Crowblaze’s vicious snarling. He would not allow his brother's kits to come to any harm. He would not lose more family. Not again. Heronstrike’s recent death lent rawness to the warrior’s mind, pushing him to be savage, unconcerned with any wounds he received if it was in the defense of kin.
Kayo twisted out of the dark warrior’s grasp, but the embankment, slick was a recent rain, made her paws slip--not enough to lose her footing, but enough cost Kayo her escape route. Crowblaze lunged, knocking the fox into the river with a triumphant yowl. Kayo’s legs churned frantically, entangling him as she tumbled in.
Blood and water marred his vision, the rough entry knocking the breath from his body as he and the fox struggled to free themselves -- of the current and each other.
Kayo lashed out with savage precision, cutting his face with a right hind kick. Crowblaze’s vision blackened as his body hit river rocks, clustered together like rabbit teeth. He slipped under the water, snatching viciously at anything he could reach - the fox, freedom, a branch to pull himself up with - but his claws churned through empty, bloodied water as he slipped down under the roiling surface.
He thought he heard Owlpaw and Swanpaw calling his name, just before the river filled his ears, eyes, nose and mouth, pulling him into a deep and final dark.
671 Words, Taxx Hellion williams (Crowblaze is a very large cat, it's gonna take more than one apprentice to pull him out.)