Posts by DUCKSTAR

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    To live is to die. He'd known that his whole life. He'd be lying if he said he was at peace with his passing, it was still as fresh in his mind as it was the very second he blinked his eyes open to this starry oasis. He longed to be able to say he didn't have any regrets, no unfinished business on the land of living...But he did. If he'd known then he would have stopped by the nursery, held his daughter. Said a simple but sweet farewell to his mate, let her know that he was there for her, he was just going out for a bit but would be back by sunfall. Maybe he would have paused at the camp's entrance, peer over his shoulder, and take one last heavy look at the camp. Being a watchful bystander at the comings and goings of the clan had become a favorite pastime of his, he always loved to see them thrive. Loved to see that even through the hardships they still fought tooth and nail to live. Some part of him wished he'd done the same. He had left so much behind.


    Yet this wasn't about him, wasn't it? There was something he didn't regret about that day and she was standing right here in StarClan's lands. Seeing Brightshine was like tasting soured honey. Sweet but painful. There was so much he wanted to say to her, tell her he was sorry once more to leave such a heavy burden on her shoulders but he knew she was strong, and the calico would become one of WindClan's finest leaders, a prospect he was actually excited about to see unfold from the heavens. Impatience flickered through his face as he waited for those before him to finish, his shifting form seated beside Honeyflower and Fluxgrin. When it finally came to his time though he seemed surprised that time had passed quicker than he had thought it was, and his ghostly eyes widened ever so slightly. "Brightshine." The new StarClanner greeted, using her soon to be past name for old time's sake, a loud and genuine purr erupting from him. "I don't think any introductions are needed between us. You were one of my closest friends, an excellent deputy, and now you're about to become a great leader. There's nobody else that I would have wanted by my side and nobody else that I believe in as much as I believe in you. And I know that WindClan believes in you just as much." Loved by all she certainly was, he'd been envious of her ability to weasel into the coldest of hearts. As he sighed his starry body deflated gently, wanting to say more than what passed through his lips. He wanted to sit for hours and relish in his friend's company, chat like they once had but time was a luxury they did not have right now.


    Rising from his seat the deceased leader padded up towards her, leaning forward to gently touch his nose to her forehead. Feelings were different here but he could have sworn that he felt a slight brush of warmth swim through him. "Your path ahead will be one filled with many joys and many trials. Although I know that you can handle the whole world onto your shoulders, there will come a time where things may feel like too much. With this life I give your perseverance. Use it to charge right into difficult times, tackle problems, and above all believe in yourself and the clan." For a moment his thoughts flashed back to when he was receiving his lives, how they felt coursing through his body. That familiar lightning bolt jerking through his limbs, some as agonizing as the fire he'd burned up in and others as tender as the soft moorland grass beneath his feet. He wondered, what this one might feel to her as he took a step back from his friend. "My father gave me the life of forgiveness. For so long I blamed myself for his death, it haunted me with every step I took for a long long time. Always remember to forgive yourself for things that are left out of your control Brightstar. You often can't decide the fate of others, not even your own."


    One last soft glance as cast her way before he turned back towards his original spot. Seating himself comfortably Duck would quietly meow one last thing before falling silent, "Please tell them I love them." His family, his friends. She would understand those who he'd left unsaid, after all there were times when she had understood him more than he'd understood himself and a tiny proud smile formed on his lips as he waited for the ceremony to continue.

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Smoke. It was such a nasty stench, one that was reminiscent of the strange monsters that rumbled along the twoleg path. It burned and fizzled uncomfortably in his lungs, making the warning bells in his brain ring with a striking clarity. At the beginning it was difficult to pinpoint where exactly the danger was coming from but within a matter of seconds, as he raced across his moorland home, his murky gold eyes caught sight of the impressive black shapeless blur splotching the darkening sky. It was rising and rising with each step he took, so much so that he briefly wondered if it was touching the clouds. His paws spread evenly over the dry grass as he reached the crest of a hill before his eyes flashed in the weak sunlight, finally taking in the sight of what was making such a mess. Orange and red illuminated his face along with an eerily comforting warmth. At this distance one could even say it was pretty. Dangerous but certainly a sight to behold and he watched carefully as the small flame started to grow and grow, licking the wooden sides of the barn eagerly as it leapt higher. Where are the twolegs? Duckstar wondered, his brown ears swiveling as he caught many sounds but none of them belonged to the strange blubbering creatures. Instead his heart lurched jaggedly as he heard the beginnings of horror; sheep crying, horses neighing, pigs squealing. He would have preferred silence and he cast a glance away, having half a mind to scrounge up what little moss was around, rush to the river, and try to quell the flames himself. But that would be in vain, he knew that. Even if he had the whole clan here to back him up, the fire would be a formidable foe. Still. He couldn't leave. If the humans did not come soon then the fire would only spread its lethal beauty further and further, destruction burning in its path and suddenly the camp felt like it was much closer than it actually was. Fire didn't need to stop and take a break after all.


    Paws filled with lead, the tabby started to sink lower to the ground until the joyless medley of cries became buried underneath one in particular. Brightshine. He didn't stop to question it. "Bright?" Duckstar choked out, the name suddenly feeling very very heavy on his tongue. There was no possible way she could be inside. Not even if there were reports of plenty scurrying mice returning to the barn, no. He wouldn't allow it, wouldn't let it become true. Even through the overwhelming aroma of gritty smoke he caught just the slightest hint of her scent. He wondered if his mind was playing tricks on him, his irrational fear somehow exploding into the physicality like a sound or smell. Because there was no one in there but barn animals, not one of his clanmates. The deputy. A friend. It was hard to tell fact from fiction as he neared the barn's door, his senses now bombarded with the blaze. Parts of the upper floor had caved in, fallen into a large heap of debris that covered the entrance but nothing in the world could hold him back from getting inside. Heat, that was no longer comfortable, slammed into him like a freight train and the tomcat's teeth grit together sharply as he ignored the pulsating burn. Outstretched claws hooked onto the smoldering pile of wood and the leader squeezed his eyes shut before repeatedly ripping down the ember speckled pile. Yelps of pain played at his lips but he swallowed them down, his paw pads tingling with the sensation of being overheated yet his efforts were rewarded once he managed to claw his own way inside. Spluttering and hacking as he slithered inside, his flanks heaving with breaths that didn't feel like they were enough, he managed to peer around with wide watery eyes. "Bright?" He should have saved his strength. Nothing could have heard him over the roar of the heat. He barely heard himself over the screaming of his own pounding heart.


    But then a lifeline appeared, it was almost as if StarClan themselves played a hand in this as one of the charred holes in the ceiling poured with the beginnings of moonlight and its glow landed gracefully onto the form of his multicolored deputy on the other side of the barn. At first his legs jellied with relief and his tall form started to wobbly move towards her until the foggy view became more in focus. Why isn't she moving? That. That couldn't be happening and he somehow managed to move faster through the growing smoke, reaching her side in what felt like an eternity but in actuality was only three heartbeats. His eyes immediately scanned her and once more that loose feeling washed over him once he saw her flank rise and fall. It wasn't the steadiest, but smoke inhalation was likely the cause of the uneven thumps. It took him a quick survey around her to take notice of the chunk of wood that had splintered off from (yet again) the ceiling and the proximity of it to her body. Must've hit yah pretty hard. He mused to himself before leaning down to grip her scruff in his teeth, wincing as he started to drag her along the flammable hay-ridden floor. Time, time. There didn't seem to be enough of it and the way he'd come in seemed so far. Especially with flaming wood shakily cascading down ever so often, jolting him out of his smoky haze. One. Two. Three. Four. Counting his steps seemed to help him focus, his stinging eyes glued to the way he had carved in. It was fuzzy from over here. Or was it just his eyes. No matter how often he blinked they never cleared.


    Almost there. Was he saying that aloud or in his mind? He couldn't tell. Brightshine wouldn't be able to hear him anyways, it was more of a comfort to him. An unfamiliar screech erupted, much louder than the background ones that he'd managed to push away and before he knew it a large horse was trampling his way, having busted out of the strange pen it was held in. His feet buzzed underneath him, bouncing with the tiny stampede from the creature and he was barreled over before he even had a change. He caught a glimpse of the top of the barn, a glimpse of the night sky, the stars, encased with rings of fire that dotted the rooftop. And then his cheek was slamming hard on the ground and the inside of his shoulder burned just as much as his skin did. He'd lost his grip on Brightshine once the beast charged through them and he lifted his dizzy head to find that she thankfully wasn't too far from him. Behind him the horse constantly paced before it lumbered past him once more, going towards the only entrance that it had ever known. He watched with a pounding head as it reared back, unsure if it could make the leap over the debris. He wished that it wouldn't. That it would stay put, find another way because the way was his. It didn't. It scrabbled up the sides of the burning wood, destroying the small hole he'd made earlier in its process of getting out and his heart sank even further. Somehow.


    No matter, he'd make a new entrance. Dragging himself weakly to his paws, ignoring the blurriness in his vision and in his mind, he once again scooped Brightshine's scruff up in his jaws. Now he became very apparent of the flames washing up just behind them, eating hungrily away at the hay that he'd noticed earlier. Time. There was no time to make an entrance, he'd realized that on step eight hundred, but didn't want to believe it. He had to now though, hissing as a spark landed on his hind-leg, sizzling underneath the fur to the flesh that lay beneath. He managed to shake this one off but he could never shake the actual flames that were approaching them. The heatwave became even more unbearable than it had been as he turned for just a moment to see the approaching flames. His grip on her scruff tightened as he started to haul them up the fallen pieces of the second floor, wincing and groaning as the embers pressed into the bottom of his feet. He got halfway up the pile when the flames below started to flicker dangerously close to his tail. To them. In his grip he felt her stir and saw the familiar light green eyes blink at him. "I'm sorry." How he even got a word out was beyond him, his voice came out withered and forced, not like his own. A voice belonging to someone that knew what they needed to do. With one last mighty heave of his weakening body he managed to sling her towards the front of him before using his paws to give her a push that took everything from him. She'd be over the pile. To the safer side of the outer world by now. There was no way for him to keep his balance, having put all his body weight into his front to give that push and for a moment he was suspended in the sideways slant of falling. He thought he might stay like that forever.


    Instead his body fell backwards, engulfed by the tiny inferno that had chased them and that was how things ended for him. Swallowed by fire. A fate that wasn't peaceful but not the one that had scared him the most. He was told that when you died you saw your whole life pass before your eyes and as his body started to become numb with initial searing pain from the flames that was what he liked to think he saw. Glimpses of him playing with his father as a kit. Glimpses of his own kits. A flicker of Eaglestar's eyes as he told him he could join. The smell of Sparrowflight, her warm young eyes blinking back at him as they chased rabbits. Laughter. Fluxgrin's mad giggles mixed with Rulindil's chuckle. Brightshine's comforting presence. Honeyflower's soothing words. Somehow his mother's voice. His eyes scanning the full gathering of cats underneath a full moon. His father's face littered with stars. So much more. His home. Home. Soft memories lulled him into the safety of darkness, a place away from his burning body that would be reduced to nothing but ash before the twolegs came to put out the fire. Home. His home.


    //wow what a wild ride it's been guys and i've enjoyed every second of it. as much as i wish i could stay, i just don't have enough muse/time to lead and it wouldn't be fair to you guys to keep slowly dragging out the inevitable. duck has been (probably always will be ) one of my favorite characters and i've been so happy to share his journey with such amazing people. writing this post was pretty tough for me, i would have loved to keep his ending open-ended but i've done that before with characters. i would have hated bringing him back time and time again only for him to slip back into the muselessness stage again. i hope to roleplay with many of you again and while my future character may not be a windclanner, windclan will always hold a special place in my heart <3


    also please wait until BRIGHTSTAR posts <3

    (also also, my post may be a bit confusing because i wildly typed this away so here's tld; the barn caught fire and part of the upper floor fell away to cover up the entrance. duck clawed a path way in to save brightshine but a loose horse destroyed it after it raced up the pile, covering the hole he made. the flames started to catch on the hay on the ground and duck had no choice but to start to climb the debris pile. running out of time he chose to toss brightshine over the top of the pile, losing his balance in the process, and falling into the flames that will spread to the pile as well.)

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Children. His had grown up too soon. Not even in the physical sense but in the sense that they were born and raised in a time thick with turmoil. His fleeting thoughts often conjured up his conversation with Shrikekit, the seriousness of her young tone. The lines that creased her forehead. Lines that shouldn't be there yet. WindClan's days were still uncertain but far less chaotic than they'd been in the past and so it warmed his heart whenever he got glimpses of kittens, well, being kittens. Their bodies no longer just skin and bone. But. At this time kits should be getting ready to sleep, no? Or at least that's what he thought so he couldn't suppress the small grin of surprise as he caught sight of a flash of fluffy fur clambering atop a rock. In her mind it probably seemed just as big as the Tallrock, or at least held the same symbolic feeling. His green gold eyes skittered across the camp, taking in the sights of the clanmates that were still awake softly chitter-chattering away. Lately he'd been taking his meals alone in the absence of Sparrowflight. Sparrowflight. Oof. The name threatened to bring an onslaught of unwanted feelings but he forced them down. He was starting to become an expert of doing that, with many many moons of practice under his fur.


    Coldkit was a welcome distraction. A ray of sunshine in the darkening world and with a smile that he didn't bother to try and conceal he finished his late meal and got to his paws to pad over to her. Her snowy pelt was reminiscent of Fluxgrin but her eyes were not the same. Perhaps the resemblance to a fallen friend, and her playfulness, was what softened his heart even more. He'd felt so...Stern lately. Different. "Coldstar." Duckstar greeted before dipping his head low to the ground, so low that his nose was almost tickled by the grass that was sprouting beneath their feet. "How do you think we can improve our hunting?" He questioned before straightening himself out, only the slight flicker of his whiskers betraying his amusement now that he'd wiped the smile from his face.


    //she's so cute ahhhh!

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Patches, no slivers, of sunlight barely peaked through the grey clouds, splattering rather unceremoniously in front of his paws. Ah. Great. Another dreary day. But what was he thinking? Of course he wouldn't magically wake up and have problems be whisked away overnight, he'd have to be living in a complete dreamland for that to happen. Sourly he wrinkled his nose, knowing that his pessimistic thoughts were the byproduct of larger concerns and his restless sleep. It seemed as if his eyes had barely fluttered shut before they were snapped open from the sounds of the bustle and bustle of clan life. Burying himself in work seemed like a tantalizing option though and he was quick to dive right in. "I'll be handing out patrols today if any warriors and apprentices are interested." He meowed after seating himself primly near the center of the camp. It had been a little bit since they'd visited their bordering clans? Are allies. It was time to change that. "These patrols will also be carrying gifts with whatever we can spare. In times like these it's important to show kindness to our neighboring clans, as some of them have done the same to us. I will be leading a patrol to The Tribe if anyone would like to join me. However RiverClan, ThunderClan, and DarkClan will need patrol leaders and others to join them." Although a far trip, it was necessary. He hadn't forgotten Mink and Owl's gesture of support during WindClan's time of need during their starvation. And besides. Seeing a friendly face or two would be a welcome encounter.


    Patrols;

    -DarkClan; Duckstar, ___

    -RiverClan;

    -ThunderClan;

    -DarkClan;

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Things were constantly shifting from under his feet. It was almost as if his life, and the life of others, weighed heavily onto the ground and it was consistently moving from one random place to the next. So much uncertainty in the past few moons. He wished, not for the first time, that he knew how to quell it, how to squash it. But life needed to continue with whatever normalcy remained in these strange times and meetings were part of that. With the recent...Er. Chicken takeover he hoped that his clan was in better spirits than before at the strange hilarity of the situation. "WindClan please gather underneath the Tallrock for a meeting." Duckstar announced, his voice carrying with more confidence than he felt, some nerves of his suddenly cropping up out of nowhere. The butterflies in his stomach were reminiscent of his first ever meeting he held and although it would be hard to see his face from above the rock it flickered with confusion. He found himself blaming it on a multitude of things and managed to plaster on a pretty good darn half-smile that he was sure would pass with flying colors.

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Whoops. He hadn't meant to startle the smaller guy and although his eyes betrayed a hint of amusement there was a sympathetic smile spreading along his face. "Sounds good to me. Let's start heading to the ThunderClan border." He meowed, not being able to stomp down the flutter of excitement that was beating inside of his chest. He wasn't so sure why he was so thrilled but somehow having another apprentice was like having a breath of fresh air. Someone new that he could pass on all the knowledge he had. He'd gotten Velvetpelt as an apprentice when she'd been nearing her own warrior name and he'd just barely received his, so perhaps that was why he was so eager this time around. Having been around the block once...Actually knowing what he was doing. It was nice.


    He flicked his tail as he started to lead the way, keeping an eye (and nose) out for any sign of potential prey. For now the only scent the light breeze carried was that of their own and the ever present aroma of dried grass that crunched under his feet. Ever so often he'd cast a glimpse over at Wildpaw, his eyes skimming the apprentice's healing injuries before turning his attention back onto their path ahead. Eventually. The short silence was broken, "Have you been looking forward to training?" Duckstar questioned. "When I was an apprentice they had to drag my lazy butt out of the camp most days. I'm glad that I didn't have to do that with you." He added with a slow purr erupting from him.

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    He hated himself the instant he saw that smile be wiped off of her face. He felt like he was witnessing something that happened once in a blue moon. And that he'd carelessly crushed her optimism as easy as it was to crush a beetle underfoot. Whhhy. Her seriousness was like an imaginary gust of wind and he almost found himself leaning back as she leaned forward but he quickly righted himself. "They don't know I don't think...At least I haven't told them." Perhaps they had some incline from their connection to StarClan but they wouldn't be able to be sure unless it came from him. "And no. I don't think I should." Should he? "I-I mean should I?" He felt smaller than he'd been seconds ago and he visibly shrunk, bringing his striped tail to a tighter curl around his paws. "I don't know what the right thing is to do, I guess. If I tell them now then that will only add to everyone's worry? Right. But I guess the longer I wait to tell them then the more it'll look like I've been keeping secrets from everyone." Duckstar definitely did not want that. He wanted them to be able to place their trust into him. Didn't that mean they trusted him to do the right thing though? This conversation had him suddenly backsliding into a confused doubt, his forehead wrinkling with deep creases.

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    He laughed. By StarClan he couldn't help it spill out from him, bubbling over like the river did after heavy rainfall. Although his chuckles didn't last for too long they somehow prodded at his sides, poking him in the strangeness of it all. It was then that he realized he hadn't laughed like this in so long, the sensation almost felt foreign to him. "I'm sorry..." He stuttered out in between chuffs, his nose picking up the comforting aroma of wheat just now sprouting from the warmer weather, the smell of home. "I'm not mocking you." He lamented quickly, quieting down until he was in a much more calm and collected state. The last thing he needed was for her to think of him as an arse or worse, crazy. He could see words spreading like wildfire around camp; 'yeah I talked to Duckstar earlier today and boy was he losing it.' But somehow he felt that words like those would never be spilled from her mouth. "It's just that you're right. You're completely right...You, Brightshine, Shrikekit, Lavenderspine...All of you seem so wise. And all of you seem to know exactly what to say." And he never felt like he did. Never had he possessed the eloquence that Honeyflower spoke from, the way she weaved her words effortlessly, flawlessly. He'd caught himself being so enraptured by her words that he lost sight of their surroundings, instead seeing the metaphor that she built right in front of him. Why me? He questioned silently, not daring to utter those words aloud. What had Mistralhowl seen in him those moons ago? Especially when there were so many more capable faces in the sea that made up WindClan. Had he simply been a last resort. One more skipping stone of leaders that would eventually lead to a greater one. His eyes betrayed his concerns as he stared straight ahead, lost in the pondering wonderment of it all.


    It was one of his greatest fears that he didn't know how to face. What if Mistralhowl had truly made a mistake. "I came to WindClan when I was seven moons. It's been my home for so long, I am who I am because of it." Where would he be if Eaglespirit had looked down at his rude self and turned him away? Dead, maybe. Or wandering the lands as a recluse, having learned nothing. "I have this overwhelming feeling that I owe it to Windclan to repay it somehow." And he was failing, right? Ever since he'd become leader it seemed that there was disaster after disaster. He paused midthought, realizing that he was being selfish. Falling back on what Honeyflower had just discussed so passionately. It wasn't doing him any good worrying about things that were beyond his control, out of reach from his leadership. "It is good to talk about things." Duckstar mused, a twinkle of humor returning to his eyes, "But you already knew that." He was still surprised by the ease he slipped into, sliding into deep conversation at a swift pace. Like talking like this with what was almost a strange was normal. Not that he wanted to question it. He preferred this whole bursting past the awkwardness of small talk and straight into what really mattered.


    "WindClan will survive, that much I'm sure of. What you said about the clan being, er, a being really knocked some sense into me." They needed him as much as he needed them. Relied on him as much as he relied on them. And the whole burrs thing? That was true too. There were so many things swirling around in his mind, worries and concerns. The drought, Sparrowflight's distance, Birdbones' evasiveness, Thornstep's disappearance, Wilson (existing). Even distant thoughts that lingered in his mind like how Mink was doing in the tribe or even where Rulindil was nowadays. Koipaw and Fluxgrin's deaths. One burr at a time though and he peaked at the amber-eyed feline with a smile. "I feel like I've had enough about talking about myself though. So it's your turn to share." The dark brown tabby huffed, "How are you holding up during all of this?"

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME

    ALL THESE YEARS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING OF WHO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

    Familiar scents grew fresher but one in particular rose out of unfamiliarity. Intrigued he rose to his paws just in time to see the small patrol part their ways through the camp entrance and inside the gorse walls. As per usual his first instinct was to be on edge, especially during these trying times, but Brightshine's relaxed stance and Whitelightning's...Well. Sort of content face made the fur on his back go from prickled to flat. "Hello there." The leader greeted after he'd walked up to the trio, green gold eyes flickering with a restless energy. "My name is Duckstar, leader of WindClan. What brings you to our camp?" He questioned the stranger politely.


    //i'm gonna assume they made it to camp by this point! <3

    also lame post oof

    ALL THAT TIME I’VE BEEN WASTING, IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME