Gone, But Not Forgotten [Open] Sept 29, 2019 12:18:16 GMT -6
Post by Egotistic on Sept 29, 2019 12:18:16 GMT -6
The warm summer sun beat down uncomfortably, even upon the sheltered forest floor of ThistleClan territory. It was something Ratwhisker was becoming increasingly aware of, his pelt so thin the heat practically scorched the skin beneath, and as he sat there, ears set into a constant, agitated twitch due to the cloud of gnats that plagued him, he found he could do little more than shift his paws and bear it.
The sun had only just fully risen, bringing with it the usual throng of vexing insects. In his ears, they buzzed, a constant irritant, but one he found he could ignore for the time being. After all, it was not often he afforded himself time to idle as he did now, and mice would fly before he let a few bugs and a little heat send him packing for his den.
For today marked a special occasion. Today he had finally found the time and courage to visit Yarrowfrost’s resting place—the very burial ground he’d so stubbornly avoided since his own paws had helped shift the earth over her lifeless body.
And yet, there he was, his green eyes peering out at the still, artificial hump that rose from the earth. Already it had been overrun by greenery; it could easily be missed by the passing eye or mistaken for a natural bump in the terrain. But having helped in digging it himself, its protrusion was hard to mistake or miss. For underneath, beneath the packed earth, solidified by the rain and constant heat, a cat lay buried. Gone, but certainly not forgotten—especially not by him.
For there lied Yarrowfrost—ThistleClan’s former and much-beloved medicine cat.
He took in the rise of earth, curling his tail ever-tighter around his paws. A lump was forming in his throat; he was quick to swallow it down as he extended a paw to place it gently on the upheaval of soil. “Yarrowfrost… it’s me—I’ve come to visit. And look, I even brought you flowers—the kind you like.” He turned and sifted in the grass with his muzzle, coming up with a small bundle of white-petaled flowers. Small and dainty, though their appearance suggested fragility, they were hardy little things, and for that reason, his mentors favorite. But even they could not ignore the taxing Greenleaf heat, and their pale-petaled heads drooped in his jaws as he moved to place their limp little forms on the peak of Yarrowfrost’s burial ground. There he laid them to rest, a slight, melancholy smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “I know you’re probably scolding me right now for wasting my time here, but… to be honest with you, I thought maybe I could ask you for some advice.” A gust of wind blew over his ears, though it did nothing to cure the stuffiness. “It’s just that, well…” he mulled over the words. “Things are, um… they’re changing, Yarrowfrost. Not just the seasons, but… I have a feeling tensions are rising across the border. I fear fighting may just break out, and when it does, I’m not sure I’ll be ready. I—” he paused, the tip of his tail making minute twitches. “…I’m not sure what I should be doing. Every day I seem to be gathering herbs, but I still can’t place a name or use to some of them. If a war were to break out, I don’t think I could manage… I don’t think I’m ready. I need you, Yarrowfrost—more than you know.” His words ended on a strained note as he lowered himself onto his stomach, resting his chin between his paws. “And I know you’re probably scowling down at me right now,” he added, a soft laugh leaving him. “But I can’t help it. I need you… so, please… send me a sign—something—just to know you’re here. Please. Tell me what I should do like you used to.”
Shutting his eyes, he pushed the cool leather of his nose against the forest floor, hunching his shoulders beneath his pelt and sucking in a wavering breath. “Something… someone… anything. Just let me know you’re here…”
Silence swathed over him like a blanket, interrupted only by the buzz of the insects and the occasional snap and rustle of the forest around him. But still, there was nothing. No sign or scent of anything out of the ordinary—
His head shot up suddenly, turning to peer warily over his shoulder. That hadn’t been the ambiance; something—or rather, someone was moving close by… and none too quietly at that. He blinked, feeling the muscles in his shoulders stiffen, preparing for flight, only to relax ever-so-slightly as a feline shape parted the surrounding undergrowth.
As for who it was that approached him… that he did not know, though he strained to get a better look from where he lay.
WORDS | 806
TAG: [Open to one cat]
credit to nat of adoxography.