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Warriors: Cats of the Sun

[FIN] Walking A Fine Line (Streamheart Hunting) [SOLO]

NatiStorm

Grizzled Veteran
D

Keep going. Think of the clan.

How long had it been since she had eaten? It hadn’t been that long, right? There was that one nibble… when was that? Yesterday? The day before? Streamheart honestly couldn’t remember when she had last consumed any fresh-kill. When asked, she usually lied and said she’d had something recently. Well, it wasn’t a complete lie, her definition of recently was just a lot further out than others. It was getting harder and harder to fool Tigersun when he called the clan together to eat but luckily he had other things to concern himself with so Streamheart managed to get away with not eating most nights. She could feel herself growing weaker by the day but still refused to eat.

Find the strength. Think of the clan.

What else could she do? Streamheart worried day and night about her clanmates and if she was going to loose another one. The gray stripped she-cat especially worried for the recent kits and the remaining elders, as well as her mother of course. She had stayed here to help the elders and she wasn’t helping anyone by eating all the food, so she ate as little as absolutely possible. Things would probably be different if she’d been contributing to the fresh-kill pile but it had been days since she’d caught anything. No matter where in the territory she searched, every nest, every burrow, it all seemed empty, dry, and dead. How much longer could they survive under such conditions? She needed to bring something, anything back this time, no matter how small.

Focus and find it. Think of the clan.

As she moved over the dusty terrain, the young she-cat tried to move quietly and stealthily but she found herself dragging her paws more often then not and stumbling every now and again. It was no surprise she couldn’t catch anything, she was kicking up more dust than the hot summer breeze. Streamheart sat down in a cloud of dust, lost in her thoughts. How were the other able to catch anything like this? Surely they were just as tired as she was and hunting in the same spots, so how did they still manage to bring things back? Maybe they were just better hunters, better warriors than she was. No, she couldn’t think like that, those negative thoughts wouldn’t do her or her clan any good.

Right, think of the clan.

Her clan needed her. The elders already put in their time, she and the other warriors should be providing for them. Same for the kits of Silverstreak and Rainbowfish, the warriors should be providing for them to grow up strong and healthy. But how could she provide when there was nothing left to catch? Did staying behind when the clan left really mean death for them all? No, Streamheart had to believe that they could survive. MountainClan would survive and thrive again one day. There was no way she could give up until she made that happen and saw her mother retire comfortably to the elders den.

I can’t give up, think of the clan.

I just don’t know what to do, Floodkit. I know it’s not just me, I know everyone here is having a hard time finding food, but I’m at a loss... I just don’t know what to do.” Streamheart sat and spoke the words softly, with her face turned up towards the bright midday sky. She often spoke to her brother, Floodkit, who she believed to be part of SunClan when she was alone, and these days, she hunted alone a lot. Of course, she didn’t know for sure, but she always had a feeling that he was watching over the family. Sometimes, like today, she asked him what to do. He never answered her, but she always felt better after her ‘talk’ for some reason. Today however, Streamheart felt just as hungry, tired, and hopeless as she did before turning her head to the sky.

You have to keep going, think of the clan.

As she sat, covered in dust, lost in her thoughts, something moved in the corner of her eye. In an instant, Streamheart was on her paws and moving. A lizard! She pounced, letting instinct take over. Sharp claws sank into her tiny prey and in an instant, it was over. Yes! Finally something she could take back to camp! Streamheart looked down at the little lizard she’d caught only to realize that she had already eaten most of it. Her heart dropped. The hunger had been to great, now she had nothing to show for her hunt. Again.

With a heavy heart, Streamheart finished what remained of the lizard. At least now it wouldn’t be a lie anymore when she said she ate recently. She let out a sad sigh and licked her whiskers clean. Who would go hungry in the clan tonight because of her mistake, her weak will? One of the elders? The guilt made her head spin to the point she felt dizzy. How was she going to face her clanmates like this?

They are still hungry, keep going.

Streamheart sat for awhile, letting her meal settle, conserving her energy, and setting her determination. Now that she was fed, there was no excuse. Of course she was still hungry and the one meal hadn’t made up for months of missed meals, but it was enough; It had to be. The clan needed her to bring back something to add to the fresh-kill pile and Streamheart was determined to do just that.

With the nagging hunger somewhat subdued, it was much easier for Streamheart to focus on her surroundings. It was more than a little concerning to her when she realized just how far along the boarder she had wandered and the fact that she didn’t really remember going that far. Deep down, she knew she was walking a dangerous line, but she couldn’t bare the thought of losing another member of her remaining clan. She would be fine, she always was.

After a moment of inner debate, Streamheart decided on what she believed was the best route to finish her hunt before nightfall and set her paws into motion. Though she still felt the tired ache in her muscles, she moved across the forest floor with a grace she had been lacking earlier. It was amazing what a little food and rest could do for the body.

The sun was starting to touch the horizon when Streamheart finally came across another bit of prey. As she stalked through the dry forest, something rustling in the leaves caught her attention. Without turning her head, her green eyes cut to the side and she saw it, a squirrel! Streamheart turned and stalked forward in a low crouch with all the stealth she could manage. Quietly and so painfully slow, she moved towards her prey. Closer, just a bit closer.

Just as she was about to pounce, it saw her and bolted. Already committed to motion, Streamheart launched herself at the squirrel and gave chase. She tore through the underbrush, cutting the squirrel off at every turn, relentless in her pursuit. Several times, she barely missed snagging the squirrel with her claws. As the squirrel dashed towards the base of a tree, Streamheart could see her last chance to catch it. If she missed, it would easily skitter out of her reach for good. There was no time to think, only time to react and when the moment came, Streamheart's reaction was spot on.

Whether it was luck, skill, or the will of SunClan, Streamheart didn’t care, all she cared about was that she had finally, finally caught something to add to the pile back at camp. As much as she hated to admit it, Streamheart was extremely grateful for her earlier meal as it saved her from accidentally taking a bit of her precious offering to her clan. Hopefully it would be enough to keep them alive a little longer.

Let it be enough, please let it be enough.
 
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