Only One Stands Alone [AshCloud Territory] Apr 9, 2021 0:11:58 GMT -5
Post by Abyss on Apr 9, 2021 0:11:58 GMT -5
Dark shadows loomed over the boulders and crevices that made up the territory of Stoneclan, the sun not yet breaching over the distant mountains. The sky was shifting from its typical deep, dark blue and black into a lighter blue-gray, with small traces of yellow and orange in the far distance. With dawn only just approaching, not too many cats were awake just yet, in some of the clans, at least. Yet there were still very small glimpses of movement across the many stone fields.
A dark figure meandered through the holes and gaps within the boulders that surrounded him, amber-orange eyes scanning the land ahead of him. His fluffy tail hovered behind him, just barely touching the ground, and his somewhat larger paws were quiet beneath him. Though his long pelt brushed across the stones around him, he didn’t truly feel it, for he was smaller than he appeared.
As he walked, half-stalked really, he was vaguely aware of a presence somewhere nearby, a presence that was not one he wished to push away. He and his mentor had agreed to explore closer to Starclan’s Claws rather early, getting a head start on hunting and border marking. Though it hadn’t been actually discussed, it had become a sort of “test” of stealth along the way, Ashpaw slinking into the shadows to see how well he could avoid detection. Or, rather, how good he was at blending in. He was sure that Cloudtail had eyes on him at all times, but it was easier to go along with the idea that he was hiding out of view.
Before long, their destination came into sight ahead: a gently sloping hill, void of too many rocks and stones, with one singular tree perched at the top. Reaching the base of this hill, the fluffy gray tom took a few steps forward, moving away from the stones he hid between and into the light. His gaze was lifted, peering at the tree with interest. He had been here a few times, but this tree never ceased to catch his eye. As far as he knew, there were no cats within any of the clans who truly knew what kind of tree this was or how old it was. He found it very intriguing.
As he took his first steps to ascend the hill, a slightly off-balanced dent caused his paw to tilt sideways. He did not twist his paws or fall or anything, but the movement sent a small jolt of pain up his leg. It stopped right at his shoulder, ending in a soreness that had been there for about a day now. He grimaced silently, his body still.
The previous night, he had been woken up by some of his denmates, telling him they had something to show him. Though it was late, he followed, just in case something happened or they got angry. Where they led him was not too far from camp, a little outcrop of stone. At the center was a baby bunny, one of its legs twisted in an odd position and its body lifeless. ‘Look at it! We scared it so bad that it jumped off a ledge!’ Irritation and anger flared in him at this, though this only showed through the expression on his face. What was wrong with them?! Did they think this was funny? Why had they even showed him in the first place? ‘We know how much you love babies…’ had been their answer. They were taunting him. Ashpaw was never one to grow angry, nor was he the sort to snap. But he had this time. This wasn’t the first time something like this had been done by this same group, and he was getting sick of it. ‘What in Starclan is wrong with you?! Do you get joy out of doing stuff like this?! You are all horrible excuses of Stoneclan cats!’ The moment he said the final line, he felt that small burst of bravery and anger fade away as even deeper anger filled the eyes of the others, one in particular. It had ended with him getting thrown, tossed against a boulder and spat at.
While it hadn’t done a lot, he still felt a decently sized bruise aching beneath his fur on that shoulder. He took a deep breath, releasing it slowly, before he kept walking. He felt the bruise ache with each step, but he pushed it aside, walking as normally as he possibly could. When he reached the top, his chin lifted to the sky, examining the tree.
He didn’t have to turn around to know that Cloudtail was right there with him. “Is there truly no one who knows anything about this tree? Its so...ancient.”
792 | Jos | Notes