WARNING, this fanfiction was made in the attempts to get an extreme rating. If you're not comfortable with gore or extreme violence, please don't read ahead. Thank you!
A cold Frost-time breeze ruffled Snowflake’s pristine coat, and she huddled under the hairless pelt she had draped over herself. The she-cat gazed up at her housefolk’s retreating form, before staring back out the window at the ground, now beginning to be dappled in light snow. She took a deep breath. If she wanted to escape, she would have to do it now, before the temperature outside dropped too low.
Her eyes wandered over to the cat-flap attached to the front door of the den. The housefolk had forgotten to screw it shut, and she knew she’d have to move now, before they noticed. Doing so, however, was harder than it seemed, as her denmate Rainy was now peering at her suspiciously.
The blue-grey she-cat surveyed Snowflake, weighing her with her eyes. “I know what you’re going to do.” She stated gruffly, in a matter-of-fact tone. “Good. I don't like keeping secrets.” Snowflake said simply, shrugging her slim, well-rounded shoulders. She faintly remembered a different life, one where she had a father, and slightly kinder housefolk.
“I never wanted you in this den anyway,” Rainy growled, her lip curling upwards. “And I was going to say, if you were going to leave, you’d better do it. Because if you don’t, I’ll chase you out myself.”
Snowflake sighed at the older she-cat. Rainy tried so hard to be intimidating, but Snowflake lived with her. She knew Rainy wouldn’t actually hurt her, although she would certainly try. “Fine.” She mewed quietly, trying to throw as much nonchalance into her voice as possible. Rainy’s jaw tightened, and Snowflake realized her quaint demeanor was infuriating the gray she-cat.
Snowflake eyed the housefolk, going about their day-to-day activities. Making sure that none of them had their attention on her, she turned around to the flap. “Goodbye, Rainy.” Rainy’s eyebrows shot upwards and she sighed, then turned her head to let Snowflake go. Snowflake’s eyes lingered on the gray she-cat for a moment, then she darted out from under the pelt and raced towards the cat-flap.
The cold air hit her like a physical force, a shuddering breath escaped from her as the freeze enveloped her body. She could feel on her ears and paw instantly, the small layer of snow becoming wet beneath her feet. She could feel Rainy’s gaze even outside, and her hackles rose, but she forced them down and began trudging through the rapidly amassing snow. She had to get out, before Rainy started wailing and her housefolk became aware. She knew it was likely of Rainy to do something like that.
The fence surrounding the den was almost right in front of her. She had to resist stopping to shake the melting snow off of her paws. She launched her body forward, her claws scraping the wood as she scrambled upwards. She winced as her claws slowly began to support all her weight, but she had to keep going… She dragged herself upwards, finally heaving herself over the fence and falling down the other side. She hit the cold ground with a thump.
The first thing she did was pull her body upwards, standing on her paws. She momentarily strained her ears for any sounds of her housefolk giving chase, before sighing in relief when she heard nothing, turning towards the somewhat distant forest. She knew that if she made it to the forest, there was a chance she’d survive. She knew how to hunt, and it certainly couldn’t be that hard to find a place to hide from the cold that now nipped at her. She flattened her ears and broke into a determined sprint, the snow now coming down freely and faster.
The forest was so close, she could almost feel the dead leaves crunching beneath the gathering snow already. There were likely many places that could shelter her from the cold. Her muscles were on fire, her underbelly burning from the race against time. She let out a weak cry of pain, stumbling into the shade of the dead trees. Her chest heaved and she sunk down to her side, eyes welling in pain, making her even colder. She hadn’t expected it to be as cold as it was, and she wasn’t sure she was prepared.
But it wasn’t like she could turn back now. She didn’t want to turn back now. She lifted her head to scan the area, before she focused on a small, burrow-like hole beneath a tree nearby to her. She struggled to her paws, already sore and aching. Slowly, she dragged herself to the hole, promising herself that inside the hole it would be warm and safe. She flopped down next to the hole, and shuffled in weakly, the cold embedding itself in her bones.
Snowflake watched her own breath as it billowed out from her gaping mouth. She would rest, and then she would figure out what to do when she awoke.
Chapter 1 - The Squirrel
Snowflake’s eyes cracked open, and for a second she forgot the previous day’s trauma. At least, she assumed it had been the previous day. After a few moments, she rolled onto her paws, the small ache of what happened the day before wasn’t as bad as she worried it would be. As a kittypet, she didn’t exert herself as much as cats that didn’t have housefolk. She poked her head outside her makeshift-den, and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw that there was no snow falling.
She squirmed out, realizing how tight the hole truly was, something she had been too tired and drowsy to notice earlier, and gazed around the forest. She was on the outskirts, she could see the line of twoleg dens far off in the distance, and she was surprised at how far they were. She had been so determined to leave, she hadn’t realized how far she had run. No wonder she had almost passed out.
As the chill entered her lungs, she held her breath for a moment. The scenery was picture-perfect. She stretched her tired limbs, exhaling as she took a few steps forward. Feeling ravenously hungry, she inhaled the air once again in the attempts to find a scent. Instead of smelling prey, she felt the overwhelming need to sneeze.
She let out a small sneeze and instantly regretted it. The trees rustled, and four or five birds shot out from the tree she had been camping under. She cursed under her breath, scanning the other trees for any sign of prey, but found none. Dread weighed down in her belly as the unpleasant realization came to her: she’d have to go deeper into the forest.
Snowflake took one final glance at the twolegplace. It was probably going to be the final time that she could ever see it this close. Could her housefolk see her from so far away? Shaking off her thoughts, she flicked her tail and turned the opposite direction. Fueled with newfound determination, she strode forward and began the search for prey. She supposed the undergrowth would have been dense, had it been Sun-time, but it wasn’t. There were a few skeletons of withered ferns or snow-capped berry bushes, and she sighed when she saw they had no berries. She opened her jaw wide and sucked in a huge breath, immediately starting to cough. Once her hacking fit was over, she realized she’d scented prey.
What could it be? She became quieter than she ever thought she could go, and began to slowly move forward, step by step. It came into view almost immediately. A squirrel was sitting by the foot of a pine tree, curiously sniffing at a cone. The she-cat was somewhat far away from it, but the scent was blowing towards her. Unaware of the presence of the feline, the rodent continued to sniff.
It was unlikely that it was able to scurry up the tree. She used her almost-white fur to her advantage, and began to slowly creep up on her victim. Snowflake hunkered into a crouch a few body-lengths away from the squirrel, so close that she could make out its whiskers twitching, and it’s flanks moving rapidly as it took each breath.
Snowfall crept closer, tail barely skimming the snow-covered ground, and opened her jaws, teeth glinting in the clouded sunlight. She panted quietly, and the rodent jerked slightly, muscles twitching on its left flank. It stilled, and didn’t look at her. Snowfall narrowed her eyes cruelly, prepared to pounce.
She repeated steps in her head. Tail high, not too high. Look where you step, but keep your attention on your target. Her muscles contracted, and she launched herself into the air. “Kill it!” A voice in her head screeched, different from her normal conscience. She quivered with surprise, and landed a hair-length away from the plume-tailed creature. It let out an almost inaudible squeak, and Snowflake could’ve sworn she saw terror in it’s beady eyes.
I’m sorry. She thought to herself as she zeroed in on her prey, looming over as it tried to escape from her. Snowflake opened her jaws, and snapped them shut around the writhing body of the squirrel. She closed her ice-blue eyes, and heard the crunch of the bones breaking. The body slowly stopped moving. Upon opening her eyes, she saw a limp squirrel lying in front of her, one paw pressing down firmly on its spine. She shivered. Her first kill. “Yes.” The voice growled shrilly. “Kill.” She blanched and looked around, unnerved. Was there another cat in the area, able to read her mind?
But when she looked around her in the snow-white forest, she saw nobody. The world was completely silent. Completely hers. She glanced back at her blood-soaked claws and tried to wipe it off in the snow, but all that did was leave a faint crimson trail in the claw-marks. She sat down and took a tentative bite of the squirrel.
It tasted amazing, and after reveling in the flavor, she opened her eyes and gazed at the sky, faintly dappled with clouds. She couldn’t imagine eating the food that her housefolk would give her. Maybe the forest life wouldn’t be so bad, if she had something like this to look forward to every day.
Snowflake stood, strength coursing through her, blood roaring in her ears. The frosty air seemed inviting, and she broke into a grin. Perhaps she could find a group of cats, recruit them and form a pack. Or she could return to the housefolk’s land, learn to live in the dark alleys like the cats that sometimes wandered into her garden. She breathed a large sigh of pleasure, one thing was certain. She would never return to the docile life of a kittypet.
Chapter 2 - Whiskerfoot
Snowflake gazed about her. During the night, it had once again begun to snow lightly, but she didn’t stop her trek. She wanted to be as far from her old life as she logically could. Not to mention, it was much easier to find places to hunt if she were to look for them first.
As she walked, she kicked up a small cloud of snowflakes which floated around her. She took in the scenery; the shiny frost on the trees, the snow-capped bushes and shrubs. She let out a large sigh, pleased to be in the wilderness. Her thoughts strayed to Rainy and the housefolk, and she wondered how they were doing. As if one cue, a twoleg call pierced the air. Snowfall froze. Would they really come after her?
Feeling curious yet cautious, she gazed around her to scope out a vantage point. Snowflake found an old birch, and crouched down after she padded up to it. Calculating the jump, she sprung onto the wood and clawed her way up to the first branch. She just barely saw the extravagant and colorful thick pelts that the twolegs used outside during the snowy seasons. Squinting, she made out two shapes moving around each other. Hopping onto a larger branch above, she saw two twoleg kits playing together in the forest, while a larger individual kept a watchful eye on them.
One of the kits, wearing a startlingly blue pelt, tossed a small ball of snow at their playmate, who let out a squeal, nose turning red almost immediately. Snowflake narrowed her eyes, what was the point of throwing snow at each other? The one who squealed quivered in their green pelt, then ran to the large twoleg, who had been staring at the sky, apparently zoning out. Blue-pelt glanced around, eyes narrowing as they landed on Snowflake. She bristled as the twoleg clumsily plodded through the thick snow, a straight beeline towards the white she-cat.
She had had a grand total of one experience with a twoleg so small, and it hadn’t gone in her favor. It was at a prime age to hit and pull things, particularly her tail. She knew that if she tried to stay in the tree, it would throw the balls of snow at her, but if she climbed higher, she could fall. She wasn’t the best climber.
Snowflake stared at the kit, slowly unsheathing her claws. It didn’t seem to get the hint, or was she imagining the slight falter in the kit’s step? She hissed at it and it froze long enough for her to leap off the tree, darting towards a circle of shrubs that could potentially free her from the kit’s sweaty paws and abnormally tight grip. The leaves of the shrubs rustled as she dove under them, narrowing her eyes for any sign of the twoleg. The ground started rumbling, and she saw the older, larger twoleg walk towards the kit.
They had a small exchange, leading to the elder twoleg attempting to usher it away. It was persistent, however. After a few angry vocalizations, the slightly smaller one in the green pelt came over. Blue-pelt pointed at the shrub, causing the green pelt to lurch forward in a seemingly excited frenzy. Startling immediately, Snowflake darted out of the bush, catapulting her body as far as she could. She could hear the little twolegs howling in her wake.
She sprinted across the snow, leaving a large trail behind her, the snow flurrying around her paws and causing her to stumble. Whatever the twolegs wanted with her, they wouldn’t get it, as she was already at least fifty fox-tails away from them. The old twoleg was chasing after her, she could feel the ground quaking under her paws, but he seemed to have a limp, or perhaps he had given up. She allowed herself to slow down, and finally looked backwards. The twoleg was a few feet away, panting. She slowed to a brisk trot, and disappeared into the frosty woods.
She continued her brisk pace, and realized that she was quite far from where the twolegs were playing, and even farther from where she was the day before. The older twoleg probably didn’t want to leave the two younger ones by themselves. Where am I? She wondered, gazing around at the forest. It looked exactly like every other part of the forest, but there was no distant bustle or twolegs to be heard. She took in a deep breath, but didn’t hold it in for long, lest she wanted to sneeze again.
The breeze was blowing towards her, and she had unintelligently exerted herself; she doubted she would catch any prey at all today. As she opened her mouth to scent, she caught a whiff of something: cat markings. She was one someone’s territory, and they would most likely chase her out. Her stomach growled, and she sighed. Maybe they have food. She began to traipse through the snow, following the scent of cat. Could they help me?
She began to pad forward, unaware that there wasn’t only one cat that she was following, but at least three. Snowflake knew she was getting closer once she was able to distinguish the footprints. She began to put her paws in the prints to get through the snow easier. She heard a muted conversation through the snow-covered bushes in front of her, and her steps faltered. More? Two maybe? Where had the other cat come from, and would they attack her?
She slowly made her way through the bushes, brushing past their itchy leaves. In front of her, four cats were chattering. One looked older than the rest, flecks of gray dotting his muzzle. There were two young-looking cats, and one tom that looked in his prime. She cocked her head. How had she only seen one set of footprints? When she looked closer, she saw they were standing in the footprints another cat had made, she assumed it had been the older cat. She cleared her throat. “Ah, hello…” She muttered, shrinking away as they fixed her with a hostile glare.
Instead of returning the greeting, the older cat’s head shot towards the cat that looked to be the strongest. “Whiskerfoot! You were in the rear, how could you not hear her sneaking up on us?!” He lifted his lip, causing the warrior to shrink back. “Uhm, it’s easy to be quiet in the snow?” One of the other cats on the patrol seemed to back him up, saying “we were having a conversation, after all.”
The older cat snarled something under his breath, then fixed his hateful gaze on Snowflake. “Go on, shoo.” He growled. She didn’t move. “Can’t you take a hint? Scram!” He bellowed. Snowflake hesitated. “Wait!” He glared at her. “What?” “D-Do you have food?” She stammered. He sneered, obviously about to make a snooty remark, when the tom -Whiskerfoot- cut in. “Yes.” He interjected. “Come with us.” Snowflake blinked gratefully at him, glad he had stood up for her. “Thank you.”
The elder cat growled. “We don’t need another mouth to feed in leaf-bare!” The warriors looked at each other. “Well, she probably has survived long enough to come here and find us.” Said the same young warrior who backed up Whiskerfoot. “She reeks of twolegs!” They glanced amongst each other once again, at a loss for what to say. “I promise I can be useful to you!” She blurted out, resisting the urge to cower when the attention was fixated on her again.
The elder curled his lip upwards again, eyes glinting coldly. “You’re a kittypet.” He scowled. Snowflake shook her head. “I used to be a kittypet. That soft life wasn’t for me,” She added darkly. The elder’s eyes widened and he looked less hostile, although still reluctant. He glanced at his fellow cats, but they had sided with the so-called Whiskerfoot. He sighed. “Fine, we’ll take her to Polarstar.”
Polarstar. Star. Star, star star. Where have I heard that? Snowflake silently mused, her eyes turning to the sky. “Oh!” She looked at the patrol. “You’re a clan?” The cats were silent for a moment, before one warrior, the one who hadn’t yet spoken let out a chuckle. “You haven’t noticed?” It wasn’t said maliciously, although it still made her pelt prickle with embarrassment.
“I thought you were a rogue group,” She admitted. Apparently this was an insult, as all four warriors recoiled. The elder cat let out a grunt that sounded like, told ya so. “No, we aren’t.” Whiskerfoot mewed. “Although there are quite a few of those with the twolegs.” The elder warrior let out a snarky-sounding guffaw, and Whiskerfoot gestured for Snowflake to come over to her with a slight jerk of his head.
Shyly, she padded forward, hoping that he would be kind enough to put her behind him, so she wouldn’t have to talk to any of them. No such luck, however, as he placed her in front of the youngest-looking cat, directly behind the elder. “Anywho,” He mewed cheerily, “I’m Whiskerfoot. That grumpy old cat over there is Deerspot. This is my apprentice, Pearpaw, and that quiet apprentice is Deerspot’s. Her name is Primrosepaw.”
Snowflake allowed the information to bounce around her head, repeating it over and over so she didn’t humiliate herself by calling anyone the wrong thing. “Okay then, uhm.” She glanced at Whiskerfoot before looking in front of her, more to the rest of the patrol. “I’m Snowflake.” One of the felines nodded with a hum. “Sounds kind of like a warrior name, huh?” Pearpaw asked.
She shuffled her paws. “Yeah, I guess. Apparently it’s a common kittypet name, I’ve met three Snowflake’s in my life.” Pearpaw twitched an ear. “Were there more cats in the twoleg den you stayed in?” Snowflake nodded with a sigh. “Yeah. There was one, her name was Rainy. She was super irritable.” With a giggle, she added, “Kinda like Deerspot over there.” Pearpaw snorted. “Nice one. I hope Polarstar lets you stay,” She added. Snowflake smiled. “Thanks. Me too.” The cats continued to walk in a somewhat comfortable silence, the only sounds coming from the patrol leader’s paws crunching the new snow. Snowflake’s pads were numb from the cold, yet another thing she would have to get used to. After all, the clans wouldn’t tolerate a weakling in their midst. “We’re almost there!” Pearpaw chirped, skipping forward giddily, completely ignoring the dirty look that Deerspot gave her. Primrosepaw nodded, following Pearpaw, bounding into the camp entrance. It was breathtaking, with icicles dangling over the entrance, and looking inside, Snowflake could see how comfortable and warm the cats in camp seemed to be. She let a smile quirk the corners of her mouth/lips (do cats have lips?) at the warm general mood in the camp. She let out a tiny sigh, breath crystalizing in front of her very eyes. The camp was somehow devoid of snow, although an icy frost covered the ground and dens. “That’s Polarstar,” Pearpaw breathed, and Snowflake’s good mood evaporated, instantly replaced with an irking fear in the pit of her belly.
Polarstar was a gigantic tomcat, standing at least a head over the height of the largest cat Snowflake had ever seen. His pelt was so white it nearly glowed, and his eyes were the iciest blue. Their appearances colorwise didn’t seem so different in retrospect, but with his stern expression and dominant posture, he seemed to be the strongest cat in the clan.
Snowflake stumbled forward, trembling. “H-Hello,” She stammered shyly. Deerspot stepped forward as well, and explained what Snowflake was doing in the camp. Polarstar surveyed her for a moment, blue eyes narrowed. His muscles were tense, and Snowflake wondered whether he would chase her out of the camp. Polarstar relaxed, and Snowflake slowly did as well. “She can hunt and fight?” He asked Deerspot. Snowflake nodded. “Yes, I can.” “We might have a use for you,” Polarstar mused. “Very well. Welcome to FlurryClan.”
Snowflake attempted to repress her smile, trying to remain professional. “Thank you, Polarstar.” Thoughts raced through her head. Why did I say that? Can I actually fight? I did well enough with that squirrel, but that could’ve been dumb luck. And that thing that happened as I pounced… She shivered, and forced herself to think of something else. Looking around, she seemed visibly confused about the camp. Seeing her expression, Whiskerfoot padded over. “Would you like me to give you a tour?”
She nodded at the tom, wondering why he was being so kind to her. “Yes, I would like that.” Whiskerfoot nodded. “Very well. This is the nursery, where expecting or nursing queens stay until their kits are old enough to become apprentices.” Snowflake nodded. “Okay.” “Now, this is the warriors den, where warriors stay. That’s the elders’ den, where the elders or warriors who can no longer serve their clan stay, and this is the medicine den. That’s where our medicine cats stay. Medicine cats are our healers.”
Snowflake nodded to herself, taking mental notes of the rankings and dens. “There’s also a warrior who is chosen as a second in command to the leader, called a deputy. They set up patrols and have more authority, but they sleep in the warriors den along with the rest of the warriors.”
Snowflake nodded. “Who is the deputy of FlurryClan? And how many clans are there? Is there just one leader for every clan, or does Polarstar rule over them all?” She asked, bombarding the friendly tom with queries. He chuckled. “The deputy is Deerspot, although he doesn’t usually go on patrol. He just went because prey is running short, as it’s leaf-bare. There are four clans in total, FrostClan, IceClan, ArcticClan, and FlurryClan. There’s one leader per clan, and they all have the same authority. Every full moon, we meet together for a Gathering to exchange pleasantries and potentially learn things threatening the other clans, although that doesn’t happen usually,” Whiskerfoot reassured her. “The last issue was over a lifetime ago.” Snowflake sighed in relief. She wasn’t guaranteed food or warmth, but at least she had hope of safety. “Would you like to go on a tour of the territories?”
She hummed, thinking about it. “Sure, I wouldn’t mind.” Her whiskers twitched in a feline smile. “Alright then!” The tom flicked his tail. “I am the best guide!” He purred good-naturedly, spinning around to face the camp entrance. Whiskerfoot began to pad away, and Snowflake hurried to catch up.
As they walked, for some reason, she felt as if she was being slowly encased in a blanket of dread. She shivered, and sped forward, so she was almost brushing pelts with Whiskerfoot. Her blue eyes were wide, and she hoped she wasn’t giving off too strong a fear scent. Whiskerfoot gazed at her curiously, and she suddenly felt a bit self-consious. She smiled apologetically, and stepped away from him with a quick utter of “Sorry!”
They continued to walk. Snowflake barely listened when Whiskerfoot told her that they were on the east side of the border, where ArcticClan neighbored them. She still didn’t listen when they moved more north, and the tom showed her the northeast border, where FlurryClan and FrostClan barely touched. She took her eyes off the ground, and looked at Whiskerfoot, barely noticing that she was slowly but surely falling behind. Her eyes were on his throat, and she casually wondered how it would taste.
She froze, eyes widening in shock. The taste of another cat’s blood? What was wrong with her? She let out a small gasp, mind reeling. “Is something wrong, Snowflake?” Whiskerfoot asked, turning back to face her. Snowflake’s mind was racing. She almost barked out a ‘yes! Everything is fine!’ but resisted. She hesitated, then ultimately nodded without saying a word. Kill him. A cold snarl rippled through her brain. She froze. What?
Whiskerfoot let out a small ‘hmm’ sound, not seeming entirely convinced. Slowly, Snowflake’s body no longer responded to her. She was shivering with exertion, trying to move and get on with the tour, but instead, her claws slowly unsheathed. Whiskerfoot was about to turn back around, but paused. He was looking at her, his brows furrowed. Snowflake took a step forward, getting into a crouching position, her lips rising to reveal teeth sharper than she remembered them to be. A look of realization took over the tom’s features.
“W-What are you doing?” He asked warily, fur bristling. Snowflake let out a snarl, lip curling. Her ears pressed down against her head, and her eyes narrowed cruelly. Inwardly, she was screaming at herself, begging whatever was happening to her to stop, to stop, to stop… But it didn’t stop. With another snarl, she leapt at the white tom.
His mouth gaped in a yowl, but before he could let any noise out, she crashed into him, her jaws snapping and tearing into any of the flesh she could find. He screeched, trying to claw at her, but his attempts were fruitless. Crazed, her small, slitted pupils zeroed in on the prize, his neck, throat moving ever so slightly with each ragged breath. KILL HIM. KILL HIM. The voice screamed inside her head, overriding the pleas she gave herself to stop. Her bloodied jaws opened once again, tongue lolling out of her mouth in anticipation. Whiskerfoot’s eyes were wide open with terror, wildly darting around.
With a snarl of anticipation, she bit into his throat. Crimson liquid swirled around them, staining the snow, Whiskerfoot’s medium gray fur, and Snowflake’s pristine white coat. The warm taste astounded her. It was delicious and thick, creamy and sweet. She began to drink it, lapping at it viciously, trying to drink it all up, not wanting to waste any. What am I doing? She asked inwardly, horrified with herself. But she couldn’t stop, it was too good. After all the bloodied snow had been consumed, she gazed down at the mound. Whiskerfoot’s once happy, bounding form had been reduced to a dead body, his wide eyes lifeless and dull. She had to do something with it, it would be too suspicious for her to ‘casually stumble across Whiskerfoot’s body’. Afraid, she rapidly gazed around, finally being able to control her own movement. She began to pace, making track around the corpse. Maybe she could put it in IceClan territory… Or was it FrostClan that was closer? Maybe if she put their scent on his body, they’d think the attack was a calculated ambush?
She let out a whimper, wishing she had paid attention to Whiskerfoot. ArcticClan, the voice in her head said. She shivered. The voice was dangerous, but was the best bet she had. She clamped her jaws around the body’s scruff, and began to drag it through the snow, struggling from the weight and density of the snow. With a growl, she dropped it, and glared at it in frustration, bristling. Would a patrol happen across them? She imagined her maw was stained with Whiskerfoot’s blood. It would be extremely suspicious, and they would most likely turn her in.
She sniffed the air, and trotted back to where the body was originally. She was about to pass it for the river that she smelled, but looked back at the obvious tracks that she and the body had made in the snow. She reached up and shook a branch, causing a mountain of snow to crash onto the ground. “I’m sorry, Whiskerfoot.” She murmured, before she quietly resumed her walk and made her way to the river, horrible thoughts plaguing her mind.