Time Ticks By
For Firey's contest.
- Italics = flashbacks.
- The flashbacks are in past tense.
- The non-flashback parts are in present tense.
I'm led into my prison cell by two large cats: a grey tom who I will nickname as 'Boulder', and a she-cat with no fur. They shove me in and I tumble to the back of the cave. The two of them seal the wall with a number of stackable rocks.
Wow. These rogues definitely know how to trap a cat.
I'm tired, wounded, and starving. How did I get myself into this mess?
A cat joined me as I padded away from Shade. "Are you okay?" he asked me.
I flattened my ears. "What do you think?" I turned sharply in an attempt to be alone, but the cat blocked me.
"Something is definitely wrong. Is it Shade?"
I stepped back, shocked. "How do you know her name?"
The cat dipped his head. "I am a traveller. I pick up news from all around here. My name's Owl. And your name is Storm."
I stayed where I was, although still in shock. "You smell like a rogue," I blurted out. I then noticed the scars criss-crossing his tawny pelt.
Owl looked offended, but only for a few seconds. "A rogue? I hate them! I had a fight with them earlier. About prey. And it was a really good squirrel..." he trailed off.
I peered at him curiously. "Where did you find it?"
He purred. "I can show you, Storm."
I halted. Could I trust this cat? I shake my head. If he says that he's against the rogues, then I guess I could trust him.
Halfway to moonhigh
It seems like seasons, but the cave door opens and a small gangly tom is silhouetted against the moonlight. He chucks a partly-eaten mouse and begins to shut the door.
"Are these leftovers?" I ask him.
He shrugs. "It could be crowfood, for all I care. I didn't eat it." He continues to replace the rocks. "And I'm not allowed to talk to you."
And once again, I am left in total darness.
I fumble for the mouse. I bite it, remembering what my mother Leaf once taught me: eating food slowly will keep your belly full for longer.
The mouse tastes okay. But it's not enough to fill my empty stomach.
"Can you scent anything?" asked Owl.
The scent of many animals flood into my mouth. "A lot of things." Owl purred at my reply.
He fixed his gaze on a squirrel. "Want to try that?" He looked at me, waiting for an answer. His eyes were dark brown, like mud.
"Sure." And I began to stalk the squirrel, paws lightly crunching against the thin layer of snow on the ground.
A twig snapped, and Owl jerked his head up. "What was that, Storm?"
"A twig." I muttered crossly, as I watched my squirrel escape up a tree.
"No," he said, but more seriously. "Something is there. I'm going to investigate it." Owl disappeared through the trees.
"Are you Storm?" a voice snaps. I open my eyes to see the entrance of the cell open again. A ginger she-cat this time.
I don't answer, because I don't have the strength. Instead I close my eyes.
I hear a pitter-patter of claws against the stone. Fur lightly brushes my head, and I hear the voice again, but harsher: "Are you Storm?"
"Yes," I croak weakly.
"You're the leader of that group who attacked us a while ago, right?"
I roll over, but it causes more pain than before. "I used to," I mutter grimly.
The cat lays her cold, sharp claws on me. "Now now, Storm," she says in a honey-coated voice. "Manners, remember? Or say goodbye to your tail here." She picks up my tail and lets it drop to the floor. "You wouldn't like that, would you?"
I grunt, and the she-cat retreats out of the cave. "Sweet dreams, Storm! I'll be back in a bit."
The wail rings in my ears. "Owl!" I call back. "Where are you?" Far away, I hear the slashing of claws.
"Storm! You have to help me!" he wails. But this time it's more desperate.
"Just tell me where you are!"
"I can't! They'll kill me!"
Think, Storm, think! "If you'v survived once, then you can survive again!" I cheered, hoping to enlighten the mood of the situation.
"Fine!" Owl yelled. "They're at--"
Then he screamed and the forest fell silent all around me.
Hours after moonhigh
"I'm sure about this, Wilbur. Don't try to change my mind! It's what we've been trying to do for months now!"
After finally managing to get some sleep, I am awoken again to the voice of the ginger she-cat. She strolls into the cave, followed by a pale-coloured cat who must be Wilbur.
"We've been thinking about this the past few hours," purrs the she-cat menacingly. She licks her paw casually. "It was a really easy descision to make, but we had to take time to plan it."
I growl weakly. "What is it?"
The she-cat hisses. "I ask the questions here, not you!"
"We're planning a special something that's going to happen in a few days," chirps Wilbur. He tries to look positive, but a glare from the ginger she-cat amkes him look defeated.
The she-cat turns to me. "I hope you're ready for what's to come," she meows firmly. "After that, you won't have to worry about anything any more." The two cats turn to exit my prison cell, and a question pops into my mind:
"What's your name?" I yell after them.
The ginger she-cat turns to me. "Sunny," she says quietly. "My name is Sunny."
Owl was dead. And it was all my fault.
Slowly as if stalking a piece of prey, cats slunk out from the shadows of the forest.
"You are Storm," stated a smoky-grey she-cat.
"I am," I said, trying not to be nervous.
Suddenly a voice rang out: "Get her!" It sounded strangely like Owl.
It couldn't be. Owl was dead.
The cats lunged at me, and I am pinned to the ground. A large grey tom and a hairless she-cat repeatedly struck blows at me.
Then I looked up to see Owl approaching me.
"Owl," I purred weakly. "You're not dead."
He gave a short, merciless laugh. "I never was. I faked the whole thing."
"Then who are these cats?" I trembled.
Owl lay down so he was level with me. "My rogues," he purred. "My mini army." He rose back up to his paws. "Take her back to the camp," he ordered. The two cats who wounded me shoved me in the direction of their camp, while others formed a tight circle around me so I couldn't escape.
Sunny's jaws snap a whiskerlength from my ear. She's teasing me, and I don't know why.
"I think I should just tell you," she giggles.
I peer at her curiously. "Tell me what?"
"That you're going to be executed. No big deal." Sunny shrugs her shoulders. "In a few days time, maybe."
I rise to my paws, energy surging through me. "But can't I say goodbye to my friends?"
Sunny laughs. "You should have said that to them long ago."
I spring at her, but she easily dogdes it.
The two cats who led me here appear again, and Sunny heads out of my cell. Boulder and the hairless cat seal up the doorway, and I crumple to the ground, sobbing.
Oh Shade, why won't you come for me?
A/N: This is a very long one-shot! I'm worried it might not even classify as one, but who knows? It might!