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feeling


sequel to flawed // a one-shot by brams
for stork's pride month challenge

feeling

A gentle breeze is blowing over the moor. The air is warm with the scents of newleaf, brushing over my fur as I taste the air. I need to find prey to feed my Clan - as a warrior, it is my duty.

The scent of rabbit washes over me, and I swivel my head in the direction of the scent. It's a tree-length or two away, I decide, as I catch sight of it: a small brown blur near a gorse bush, minding its own business. Delicately, I move my paws as to not let the rabbit hear me. It's a big one. I must make my Clan proud. Determination floods through me - it's only been two moons since I became a warrior, and this is an opportunity to show my worth to my Clan.

I drop into a crouch, tasting the air again. The rabbit is downwind from me, meaning that I can scent it, but it can't scent me. That's good. Setting my paws down lightly, I swiftly creep forward, letting myself get closer to the rabbit before I make my move. I pray to StarClan, hoping that the rabbit doesn't decide to run off.

Fortunately, it doesn't. As I get close enough to run towards it, to make my final move, I halt. I taste the air one last time, making sure no other cat is coming after my prey - and then, I take off.

The rabbit sees me, but my then it's too late. Before it can gain too much speed, I leap on top of it, having already gained enough velocity myself. My claws, now unsheathed, sink into the rabbit's throat. I feel it tense, try to kick me away, but before it can I swiftly give it a killing bite at the neck.

Immediately, the rabbit falls limp within my paws. I screech to a halt, panting. Satisfaction wells up inside of me. The Clan will eat well tonight.

"Swiftwhisker!"

A voice calls over a nearby rise. My ears prick as I see a ginger shape, flanked by two others, crest it, bounding down to join me. The rest of the hunting patrol. Redheart is in the lead, his eyes keenly intent on my rabbit. "Good catch, Swiftwhisker!" I can hear a good-natured tone in his voice despite him mumbling around the rabbit he is holding.

"Thanks." I dip my head in embarrassment. "It was nothing, really. Just a chance find, that's all."

"It will feed the Clan well nonetheless." Harechase, the leader of the patrol, mews, dipping his brown tabby head. A rabbit lies at his paws, assumedly caught earlier. Harechase's new apprentice, Lilypaw, skips around our paws in awe.

"You're all so skilled!" Lilypaw squeaks, her tortoiseshell pelt fluffing out excitedly. I'm reminded of the fact that she and her littermates were apprenticed only a quarter-moon ago, and that this is the first time she's been on a hunting patrol. "Will I be that skilled one day?"

"You will one day," Harechase mews, flicking his tail over her left ear. "Next time I'll try setting you off on real prey, eh? Now, let's get this prey back to camp, shall we? And Lilypaw, stay by us, you hear?"

I pick up the rabbit in my jaws, barely hearing Lilypaw's affirmation to Harechase about her going to be the most well-behaved apprentice that all of GorseClan would ever see. With a flick of Harechase's tail, we set off back to camp, paws setting in rhythm.

Pride and content spreads through me. Being a warrior is good. Life is good. It feels like nothing can spoil the peace.

How good.

~ ~


tbc

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