December 16, 2019 at 3:47 am #4337RibiParticipant
p a i g n
LOST LONER OF KUGYAY
just outside of the bustling twoleg-place, a mysterious reserve of majestic old-growth forest remained, graciously spared somehow from development and conversion. cedars and hemlocks hundreds of years old trapped in mist and wet fog that moved in from the busy city, clutching it to their trunks and the hordes of blueberry, fern, and other small bushes that deer grazed amongst in dawn and dusk. a creek, normally fat with snowmelt in the warmer months but thin and nearly bare in the winter, glided from undiscoverable origins, through the reserve, and out into a slight mountainous area. it was over those hills that the clan cats claimed, at least that was what she had been told. paws stepping through cedar scales and over spruce needles that punctured painfully into her pawpads, the slight calico navigated the area along the freezing creekside for the numerous time that moon. always a cat of the water, she seldom strayed from its side it seemed: remaining cloaked in the shade of imposing, venerable trees, but always near to some sort of water. in the past, it was the giant lake and its many beaches where she rested amongst the rocky sand with reclusive army cats, with the clan cats within a day’s journey. but that was the past–one she’d tried to leave behind, and so when word reached her that the clan cats were traveling away to a new area, she followed behind. the city held as her home for some moons, but in her age she’d grown tired of it; her soul ached to be near the flow of water.
only now had her pelt prickled with anxiety. she’d always been a bit of a nervous wreck, slow to trust and almost never at ease–it was just her nature. but living nameless, in this new forest outside of the new city, that nature sat more internally than as a daily factor. that changed when she overheard rumors that unsavory characters from her battle-scarred past might be wandering through the city. whether or not they were still a threat to her rested on their current occupation. the calico fae who stepped across some current-smoothed stones to reach a different side of the creek did not have a name in this new place, or an occupation, or a past. other cats let her keep to herself, and she’d seldom made conversation–much less a friend. she reached a broad rock relieved from the shade and jumped on it, stretching out on it and into the sun, breathing a deep sigh as her coat glimmered. the loner wondered, did they speak her name in the rumors in the city? did they meow and gossip about where paign has gone, or where they might find her, or whatever has happened to her?December 22, 2019 at 3:17 pm #4379BreeParticipant
the Phantom of the Forest
That was her name. Phantom. She was the manifestation of another’s past. She was the apparition of pain, loss, and the memory of a mistake made. She was nothing and somehow everything. At least, that’s what she believed. She belonged to the earth and to no one; she was the embodiment of freedom. She answered to no one. She spoke to no one. That is why the Clan cats called her as she was: a Phantom, just like her mother named her. She barely remembered her mother, who left her life in the forest to pursue a career in the Clans. Phantom, for a time, lived with her as a kit, but she refused to stay in the clutches of duty. There came expectation with being part of a Clan, and she could not stand another needing her. She could not stand needing another in return.
She had left Kugyay to escape a webbed destiny. Now, everyone she knew was gone or dead. She met her father, but she did not love him as she thought she would. It was a mistake to go to the forest he inhabited. She wondered if it was a mistake to return to the place she tried to leave.
Phantom lived outside of Twolegplace in the forest. The kittypets were frightened of her. They believed her to be a ghost of a housecat whom died at the treacherous claws of wild cats. She did not mind. It kept the cowardly creatures away from her modest home, and she was not looking for friends. She was not even looking for purpose. She just passed the days and tried not to die. This day was not any different than the others. She left her den in the oak tree to wander her territory in search of prey. She used the term ‘hers’ loosely, but she came to think of the land as hers. She lived here. She hunted here. She did not defend it from others, but no one desired to claim it anyway. Until today.
She knew the land so well not even the rain-soaked leaves rustled as the silvered she-cat passed. Black tabby markings bled into shadow, leaving only her pale blue eyes to be seen. Today, she was not stalking a mouse, but a cat. A calico cat. A she-cat who she did not recognize as a resident of the Twolegplace nor the Clans. A thousand different outcomes ran through her mind, but she settled on one. With a single movement, she left her thicket and stood tall among the undergrowth.
With the navy-colored collar inherited from her father around her neck, it seemed as if she were the Phantom of the old tom herself. Yet her spirit was one of her mother, in all of the elegance and ferocity she carried. “You.” No longer was her voice of the kit she was, but the wisened she-cat she was now. She did not move a muscle, but her eyes bore into the frame of the other. For some reason, familiarity scratched in the back of her mind…Yet it couldn’t be.
“State your purpose. It is not every day one treks into the territory of The Phantom.”
“Destiny isn't a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that's where your true destiny lies.”
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