Posts by kestrelswoop

    for a fleeting moment, kestrelswoop had thought that this could work. they worked as a unit, batting and swatting away rats from them with relative ease. his head swung back and forth, taking as many of the rats into his limited field of vision, his left eye darting to one rat, then another. at this point, he'd lost count of how many he'd flung back into the sea of rodents. but, the rats just kept coming. it seemed as though there was no end to them. how long could they carry on like this? they'd all tire out eventually.

    behind us!

    his ears swiveled towards the sound of juniperstar's warning, whipping his head around on instinct to stare incredulously at the rats that had seemingly appeared out of thin air behind them, the momentum of this sudden movement causing him to drop back down onto all four paws before he tumbled over. the rats in front took advantage of this mistake, latching on to his ankles. searing pain shot up his legs, a hiss following shortly afterwards. he felt more bite onto his tail, thanking his genes for once that he had thick fur to guard his appendage from their teeth. claws swiped at the rodents in order to dislodge them, his tail lashing in an attempt to free it. he was barely even aware of mothshine's departure, nor of the few cats who chose to follow her, too focused on the vermin that surrounded him.

    two more of his clanmates arrive, summoned by the shrieking and yowling of battle. one of them was bisoncharge, who hurried over to the stranger. he didn't have to worry about her now; she was in good hands. the next one was silverthistle, who leapt onto the fox's back and dug her claws in deep. she sounded about as annoyed as he was about the stranger who still lay injured on skyclan territory. now that bisoncharge was here, and the she-cat was moving and responding, he felt the previous worries in his mind dissipate to leave behind only irritation.

    a snarl was torn from him as the fox kicked him away, the cinnamon mink rolling away in a flurry of long limbs and fluffy tail. he was quick to scramble back onto his paws, turning blistering golden eyes back onto the fox, who was now poorly outmatched. with silverthistle clinging to it's back, and the wounds inflicted by him and dustdevil still oozing blood, there was no way this vixen was going to win today. and she knew it. he watched the fox flail around in a desperate attempt to get the other two attackers off of her. this fox wouldn't be coming back to skyclan territory any time soon by the time they were done with her, that was for sure; provided that his clanmates showed mercy to her and let her escape into the woods. if so, he'd have to report this to juniperstar and mothshine, so that a patrol could be sent out to ensure that she had completely left skyclan territory.

    if the fox was successful in her retreat, he would hiss a warning to her, before he whipped his head around to glare at blueberry. if not, he would flash past her from behind, aiming to slice down her flank with one paw.

    kestrelswoop had stalked beside his clanmates, fluffy tail lashing, claws unsheathed. much like juniperstar, he'd remained silent the entire journey. the tension was almost palpable in the air around them as they marched forwards, towards a battle that some of them may never return from. that he may never return from. his mind flashed back to the bloodclan raid, moons ago, where he'd come close to death. he could still imagine those jaws, closing in on his neck, inches away from taking his life. he'd narrowly dodged the end back then. would he be so lucky this time around, with only one eye? it would be easier, if he was only facing one opponent. but rats would swarm you, bring you down not through strength, but through their sheer numbers. it was hard enough to keep track with them with two eyes. he wondered, with a bout of dread that he hated for it spoke of cowardice that lay deep within him, how hard it would be to keep track of them now.

    it was too late to turn back now. not that he would if he had the choice. his jaw tightened in determination, he moved forwards, matching juniperstar's pace. he would fight for his clanmates' safety, not for his own. he would not run. that, he had promised himself a long time ago.

    he knew there were going to be a lot of them, but he'd never expected there to be this many. he couldn't even see the forest floor beneath their mange-ridden pelts. beady eyes stared into his own molten orbs, blistering with hatred and flashing with fear. they had hurt his clanmates. they had almost killed cloudednight and arcticwind. those were the thoughts he needed to focus on right now, not the apprehension that had now settled within him. he preferred fury to fear.

    keeping juniperstar's instructions in mind, kestrelswoop reared up on his hind legs, swatting and clawing any rats that came near him or the clanmates beside him. push them back. push them back. push them back.

    satisfaction flooded over him, feeling his blows land on the vixen's shoulder. blood splattered the ground, staining his cinnamon-hued paws crimson. "i told you, back off," in the back of his mind, he knew the fox couldn't understand him. but, maybe, just maybe, his spitting and growling coupled with his attacks would make the fox back off, retreat with her pups, leave the proximity of skyclan's camp. probably not, though. that would be just his luck, being forced to fight this fox until death do one of them part. karma for running headfirst into this situation, perhaps. looking back on it now, he should've waited. his mentor's words, long buried in a corner of his conscious, echoed in his ears. it's better to fight as a group than it is to fight alone.

    he couldn't describe the emotions he felt, sighting dustdevil's unmistakable curly golden fur in the corner of his eye. gratitude, perhaps? normally, he would've snorted and rolled his eyes at dustdevil's odd choice of words that was aimed at the stranger laying limp on the forest floor. but in the heat of battle, he welcomed the other's presence with open arms. now, kestrelswoop had some backup. he leapt out of the way as the other warrior launched himself at the fox as well, dustdevil's claws digging into the fresh wounds on the fox's shoulder and his fangs sinking into the back of her neck. while the fox was occupied with trying to throw dustdevil off, kestrelswoop lunged forwards, aiming to clamp his own teeth around the fox's hind leg and bite down as hard as he could.

    his nose wrinkled at the putrid stench of fox. great. just what we need. he should've stopped and observed the threat first. he knew what foxes were capable of. but all rationality was thrown out of the window, his only thought being, protect the clan. he pelted off in the direction of the scent, a growl reverberating in his throat, claws unsheathing at the prospect of the fight he was so carelessly tossing himself into.

    a battle cry ripped through the atmosphere, the mink throwing himself at the fox. the familiar scent of milk was now noticeable in their short proximity of each other. oh, even better, this fox had cubs. that would only lend to her being more willing to fight than run. but it was too late to turn back now. claws aimed to slice at whatever they could tear into, his choppy movements reminiscent of his reckless fighting style. he'd always been better at hunting than fighting, after all. even if he was always there when a battle called for him; but he'd do anything for his clanmates. they were as close to a family that he'd ever get. he refused to lose them.

    "back off, mangepelt," he hisses through gritted teeth, fluffy tail lashing behind him. in the corner of his good eye, he catches a glimpse of blue-grey fur. confusion swamps him. that wasn't anyone from skyclan. an outsider.. on skyclan's territory. typical. though underneath the annoyance, was a hidden bout of concern. were they alright? they weren't moving, and he couldn't exactly check on them right now. he could only protect them from further injury from the current threat at hand, and hope that they were still breathing.

    "look at me, i'm so fat and lazy, i never have t' worry about anything other than when my next meal will be! starvation and hardship? what's that?" grumbles the senior warrior, flicking his fluffy tail tip, bitterness laced in his words. did he really have nothing better to do than humor this nutcase of a cat? he guessed so. it gave him an opportunity to vent, without being berated for being rude. hyenapit asked for an impression of a kittypet, and kestrelswoop had delivered. "and save the collar, crazy. the day you catch me wearin' a collar is the day that the world ends; i imagine it's the same for the rest of us." he already had a collar, the one that charcoalsmudge had gifted him all of those moons ago. it was hidden away in the forest, invisible to all eyes but his own. his keepsakes were never to be shared with others, they were for him to know about, and only him. to save him the embarrassment, he reckoned.

    "you shouldn't let them push you around like that, kid," kestrelswoop grunts from where he'd witnessed the theft, in a corner of the camp that helped block some of the bitter cold breeze that whistled through the forest. if that had been him, someone surely would've gotten their ears chewed off with his colorful language. especially if he'd still been that temperamental boy that he was as a child. not like much has changed, except he had a better grasp on his anger. not that he was calm and serene, but when you were at rock bottom, the only direction you could go was up.

    where there was a battle, there was kestrelswoop. he hadn't been there to protect his clanmates on the patrol that returned bloodied and wounded a few days ago. but this time, he would be. "i'm comin' too," he announces as he pushes his way forward. the decision was made hastily, as was most of his decisions. he wasn't sure how hard fighting was gping to be with only one eye now; skyclan hadn't faced many foes since the dogs, with the exception of the rogues who'd taken heronstar's life. he hadn't been able to attend that battle either. the time to make that up to his clan was overdue.

    "what is it now?" kestrelswoop grumbles, watching the bloodclanner aimlessly wander near the border as though he were lost. he didn't appear to be on a patrol, since he was just walking and not remarking. so, why was he here, if not on official business? just because? honestly, kestrelswoop was past the point of annoyance at bloodclan's random visits. at this point, he was just sick and tired of the city clan's presence. at least that big brute of a chatterbox is no longer the leader, or else we'd never get a break from them. (little did kestrelswoop know, the skyclan-obsessed bloodclanner was now in charge.)

    "jewelpelt?" the name was unfamiliar on his tongue, the senior warrior blinking in confusion at the stranger who waited upon skyclan's border for a cat who didn't even live within their camp walls. "that doesn't ring a bell. whoever jewelpelt is, she isn't here." little did he know, he was severely misinformed. not like that was his fault. mottlewish and him, they didn't know much about each other. he knew that mottlewish was foolish enough to bring back some funny smelling water and try to pass it off as safe to drink. luckily, no cases of poisoned cats came from that incident. but other than that, it was barely sufficient to call them acquaintances. of course he wouldn't know of mottlewish's complicated past, nor her many aliases.

    he didn't allow the stranger much time to process this information, which must surely be disappointing. quick to get straight to the point, that was kestrelswoop. "now, is there anything else you want? if not, you should take your leave."

    "that's not how hunting works," snorts the senior warrior as he slinks up to the pair. how unlucky it was for blossompaw that kestrelswoop of all cats heard her silly cover-up. pray to starclan and find all the prey in the world? haha, yeah right. it almost made him laugh. he had prayed to starclan multiple times. his clanmates had begged starclan thousands of times. and what had they received? nine times out of ten, nothing. praying to starclan certainly wasn't going to help the prey come out of hiding. "if it was, we'd never have t' worry about going hungry."

    the stench of dogs flooded his senses, the senior warrior curling his lip as he stalks warily up to the thunderclan border. his right eye scans his surroundings, his hackles rising steadily as the feeling of being watched by the beasts overwhelms him. he knows they aren't really there. dogs are far too clumsy and daft of creatures to hunt their prey stealthily. but they were responsible for taking away half of his vision and heronstar, those damned hounds. he supposed they'd also instilled a deep-rooted sense of fear into him.

    sedgeroot's voice manages to ground him back into reality, flicking his gaze over to the other warrior with a huff. "no, they failed t' mention that."

    kestrelswoop padded up at the call of juniperstar, shortly after tawnykit. he wondered if anything interesting would take place in this meeting, something other than the typical apprentice and warrior ceremonies. perhaps tawnykit would be relieved of his punishment?

    //quick track

    kestrelswoop's eyes were narrowed in suspicion from the moment tawnypaw walked into camp. he didn't think he'd ever seen such a starstruck expression on the grumpy healer's face; but he'd seen it on others, when they were talking to their crush, when they were watching their mate, when they were in love. normally, kestrelswoop wouldn't give a shit if someone else was in love. that was their business, they could love whoever they wanted. and honestly? he didn't see the point in not allowing medicine cats to take mates. it wouldn't distract them from their duties any more than it would a warrior, or the deputy and leader. but tawnykit had only just returned from walking birdbones home. he wasn't even trying to hide the blatantly obvious starry-eyed expression he wore; and cross-clan relationships was a touchy subject for the senior warrior. as the result of one, he knew firsthand about the difficulties a half-clanner could face. discrimination, bullying from their peers, insecurity born from the truth of their birth. those who willingly risked burdening children with these challenges were assholes, in his eyes. even if tawnykit had no children now, most cross-clan relationships ended with kits being born.

    it was all so obvious, and tawnykit was making no move to cover it up. (of course, all of this was only speculation, but it seemed so fitting that kestrelswoop mistook it as arguably true.) until sedgeroot called him out, albeit in a much more polite manner than kestrelswoop would have. his twitching tail tip quickened into a lashing motion, listening to tawnykit's explanation with a disbelieving scoff. "really?" he questions the medicine cat apprentice with a scornful eyebrow raised. "well, we'll just see about that, won't we?"

    the last thunderclan patrol he'd encountered, his temper had flown off the handle with a snarky blind apprentice. at least this time around, the calico pattern of thornpaw was nowhere to be seen, or else he would've never approached. giving a terse nod to the three, his ears swivelled towards them as he, too, began remarking the border, listening in silence as he awaited their response to sedgeroot. it was better that way, he had come to learn. his sharp tongue knew no civility, and it oft rubbed others' fur the wrong way. not that he particularly cared if others were so easily offended, but after tawnypaw's little stunt, skyclan and thunderclan were on thin ice. and after witnessing tawnypaw's humiliating demotion and apology to flamestar, he figured it was better to keep quiet than to piss juniperstar off. he didn't want to become kestrelkit, after all.

    kestrelswoop wasn't comfortable with self-revelation. the feeling of vulnerability that came with sharing his innermost thoughts was appalling. to expose all of his weaknesses, his insecurities, his fears... it was frightening, the idea of someone knowing what kept him up at night. usually he didn't mind meet and greets. they were simple; you introduced yourself, told everyone your name, and sometimes the things that you like to do. there was no room for weaknesses to leak out. sedgeroot's approach was different. he asked philosophical questions meant to probe your mind, which was carried on by those who chose to reveal themselves. except sparkkit. of course, the mind of a kit was still too underdeveloped to understand such complex questions. her question, as a result, was rather simple-minded, and one that he felt comfortable enough to answer, since no one else had. "i'm fine with what i am; a warrior," said the tom from where he sat underneath the clouded skies, before he returned to relishing the coolness of the breeze that rustled the trees before it inevitably warmed up again.

    a foreign milky scent pervades the air, drawing eyes toward the kittens and their father. of those eyes were kestrelswoop's, molten orbs shifting between stormstride and the four children lined up at his paws. he doesn't speak at first, as tawnypaw had already asked the questions running through his mind. but slatepaw's words make his head snap around. can we take in half-clanners? the question is judgmental- at least, that's how it comes across to him- and it sparks up something deep within kestrelswoop. "yes, we can," he hissed to slatepaw, tail lashing and hackles raised. the kits had no control over their birth. kestrelswoop knew this all too well, seeing as he was born in bloodclan as a result of a cross-clan affair. the cat they should be judging here was stormstride, who'd deliberately chosen to meet up with a windclanner. stormstride may say that he didn't know they existed until today, but those kits had to have been created by someone, and he'd already confessed to being their biological father. "the kits aren't t' blame for this. their father, however..." he turned his glare onto stormstride, narrowing his fiery eyes. the way that the blue tom spoke of these children, how he hinted at them being mistakes... it made his blood boil. he wanted to give the other warrior a good slap across the face with unsheathed claws for being so stupid as to engage in a cross-clan relationship, and then have the nerve to say that the children were the mistakes. "i severely doubt that juniperstar and mothshine would cast out four innocent kits, but you, you'd better be workin' on an apology, and make it a good one."

    it seemed all you had to do was say the word patrol and there he was, appearing from out of nowhere, staring at you as if you already had a spot saved for him on the patrol. work, work, work. that's all he ever really did nowadays. what could he say, other than it kept his mind off of things? he'd rather be supporting his clan through hard work than he would moping around over the heat wave or heronstar's death.

    "i'm goin' too, just tell me where."