The bengal she-cat's stomach rippled in pain as she struggled on. The pain, it was not only from her kits, but her wounds as well. The kittypet struggled a bit further, climbing up hill, flattening her ears to block out the angry screeches of the tribe cats. They were still coming, still after her...With another ripple of pain, she fell to the ground, gritting her teeth in pain as she glanced back down the hill in panic. Thankfully, she had time, they were struggling. The tawny she-cat then gazed at her belly, her flanks rising and falling quickly. If she didn't kit soon, her kits would die with her...And they certainly weren't going to wait.
With a wail of pain, the first came, and once he arrived, she cleaned him off. Lanky and dappled like his father, resembling him well, but taking his mother's normal size. Then, a sudden cry of pain broke through the air. Gazing downhill frantically, she spotted a cat trying to struggle out of the bushes, and a familiar scent washed over her. Her mate, thank heavens he was here. At the sight of the bengal's mate, the tribe cats shrieked in fear. A monster, it was a monster! He stood at an unnatural height, is fur oddly short and thin, the color of a golden meadow, but dappled with small black spots. His ears, they resembled a bat's, rounded at the tips and large and size, but striped on their backs. But what was the strangest and scariest thing about him?
His body. He was made for running, with oddly long and thin legs. His lungs and body were large, but his head...Tiny, sitting awkwardly on a long neck. However, the bengal loved her mate the way he was, even if they were forced together to have their kits, which the twolegs would sell for lots...But they never would get to sell them, or even see them. No, they were all dead, dying moments after their death.
Before the bengal could let out a wail of grief, she cringed in pain. No, there was one more left, one fighter...And she was a beautiful little molly, well, in very few's eyes. She beared a striking resemblance of her father, but didn't look as...awkward, she was a bit more bodily-balanced like her mother, and like her brothers, took on the size of her mother. If only her mother could've seen her grow up into a strong she-cat, into an adult...
As she perished moments after her daughter's birth. Her daughter, the rare Savannah.
"...Ugh, move over, Eagle, you're in the way!"
"Stop pushing, Squirrel, I was in here first!"
"For the Tribe of Endless Hunting's sake, both of you, get back! You're crowding the poor thing and scaring her!"
"Sorry..." Mumbling these words, the handsome black-and-silver tomcat took a step back, a bland and annoyed look on his face. The Savannah blinked her eyes open for the very first time, gazing up at her "mother"...The only adult with mercy in the Tribe of Falling Stars, who found the poor molly crying and hungry. She took her in as her own, however, she already had two other, older kits: Mink and Coyote.
"Yo!" Eagle's greetings caught the Savannah's attention, her round, curious gaze settling on the black grizzled tabby. "I'm Eagle, who're you?"
"...Spots." After quietly responding, the nervous she-cat cowered away, pressing herself against her mother's fur, the molly purring in amusement.
"It's alright, dear, Eagle won't hurt you." Squirrel peered over Eagle's broad shoulders at Spots, her eyes bright with curiosity.
"What're you?!" With a roll of her eyes, Spots' mother wrapped her tail around her newest addition.
"And that, Spots, is Squirrel. You'll get used to her, sweetie." Spots gazed up at her mother, Dance of Fighting Deer, or simply "Deer" or "Dance". "Would you like to go outside, Spots? I can't let you explore yet, but a glimpse of our glorious camp can't hurt." Nodding vigorously, Spots tumbled out of her nest after Dance, waddling after the she-cat to peer out of the nursery.
"Wooow..." Her eyes round once more, the Savannah gazed around camp, amazed at its size. Beside her, Dance purred loudly.
"You'll be able to go out there with your brothers in a few days, I promise. But not yet."
"Where are Mink and Coyote?" A smirk grew on Dance's face, and she gently nosed her daughter back into the nest.
"Those two are causing chaos somewhere in camp, surely. It won't be long until someone shows up with their miserable hides." Twitching her whiskers in amusement, the torbie lay down beside her adopted kit, who was still yet to learn that she wasn't really Dance's daughter.
"Spots on Young Fawn, get out heeeereeee!" A heavy sigh came from Dance, and she smiled.
"Speaking of your brothers..." A pause. The torbie raised her muzzle, calling out to her sons: "Mink, Coyote, she's not ready to leave the nursery yet. Go back to playing, you two." Spots could here their disappointed sighs from outside, and she rested her head against her mother's flank.
One moon later...
"Pssst, Spots, this way!" Nodding slowly, Spots slinked after her brothers, her gaze resting on their pale tabby pelts as she stalked after them. Tonight, they'd sneak out of camp. However, Spots wasn't nearly as eager as her brothers, she was simply tagging along so they didn't call her a whimp. Regardless, she was scared, terrified, frightened to her core...The monster was out there. Oh yes, she'd heard plenty of stories about him, of a giant faster than lightning, who could leap out of nowhere and kill anyone.
"C'mon sis, hurry up!" Coyote's whine snapped Spots from her thoughts, and she quickened her pace, nearly running into his rump as he suddenly halted.
"Great, let's go!" Coyote took off, Mink running closely behind, with Spots bringing up the rear. As they exited camp, a cold gust of wind buffeted their fur, making the Savannah let out a quiet squeak. Their camp, it was up soooo high...It made her a bit dizzy, almost sick, but she took off after her brothers anyways.
"Let's go down to the base of the mountain!" Mink chirped happily, turning sharply and heading downhill. Spots, on the other hand, suddenly skitted to a halt, her fur bristling slightly.
"No way, you're insane! It'll take us moons to get back up!" A small frown appeared on Mink's face, and he opened his mouth to argue, but Coyote cut him off.
"Spots' is right, it'll take too long to return home, and we'll be in some big trouble. But we could always scale the mountain, and see if there's a shorter way up and down?" Spots quickly nodded her agreement.
"Good idea, let's head that way," pointing out the direction with her tail, her brothers nodded before heading in the direction, Spots taking up the rear once more. After scaling the mountain for a bit, they found a shorter slop that wasn't as steep.
"This side's better, let's goooo!" Before his siblings could respond, Mink took off downhill, picking up speed at a great rate, before his legs folded up underneath him, and he ended up rolling down the slope.
"M-Mink!" Spots took after her brother, half-laughing, with Coyote on her heels, but the two ended up tripping and rolling as well, eventually landing on their brother.
"HahaHA, alright, now, get off me, you lumps!" Groaned Mink, squirming from underneath his sister and brother. Spots grinned, poking her brother's nose with a paw.
"Ah ah, what's the magic word?"
"PLEASE." Mink grumbled, his siblings flopping onto the ground beside him. He took in a deep breath before letting out a dramatic sigh of relief, stretching out on the ground. "Thank you." Spots smirked at her brother, poking him in the nose with a paw.
"Are you calling me fat?" Mink grinned at his sister before snickering.
"I'll make you pay for that, I'll sit on you and kill you!" Spots growled playfully, leaping onto Mink once more. He let out a squeal of alarm, batting at his sister and later his brother as he joined in the game.
The kits started heading home at sunhigh, fearing that they'd get caught for being out of camp. However, on the way back to camp, Coyote suddenly froze, his eyes round with terror as he stood behind his siblings.
"Coyote, what're you doing? Come on, we'll be too late and we'll get caught!" Mink hissed at his brother from over his shoulder. The tomkit didn't respond, he remained frozen.
"For the Tribe of Endless Hunting's sake, what's wrong, Coyote?!" Spots grumbled quickly, her tail tip starting to twitch.
"A-Above you, o-on that ledge...It's...I-It's..." His siblings look up, their eyes growing round with fear.
"T-The monster, ruuuun!" Her brothers took off, but Spots fell before she could go anywhere, her eyes remaining locked on the massive cat, his pelt hidden by the shadows, but his gaze reflected the rising sun. He seemed a bit...amused, but at the same time, longing, longing for something, or someone. Spots was suddenly amazed by the monster, how he was built, so similar to her own build. Lanky, with thin, long legs and a smaller head, large, round ears...He began to move down from the ledge, but Spots fled after her brothers, fearing what he'd do to her. She was too young to die. Spots sped after her brothers, thankful for her long legs.
"S-Spots, are you ok?!" Coyote was still panting, but he managed to choke out these words. Mink simply starred at his sister, eyes round with amazement.
"You didn't run away with us, Spots...You're really brave! Did it hurt you? Did it want to kill you? Did it move? Huh?" Spots shook her head in response to Mink's multiple questions.
"No, but he was coming down to get me! I ran away as fast as I could."
"Good thing you're super fast, Spots, or you would've been his breakfast." Mink let out a sigh, his gaze resting on camp. "...But we better hurry back, before he finds us and eats us."
"Or mom figures out we left camp, and she eats us instead." Coyote added with a sarcastic grin, Spots rolling her eyes and already heading up-hill.
The kits didn't run into the monster again, however, their mother caught them. Dance was enraged, scolding her daughter and screaming at her sons for doing something so foolish.
"W-We're sorry mom, we really are, we just got curious..." Mink and Coyote whimpered, their heads hung as Spots sat in the nest, frowning.
"B-But mom...-" Spots began, Dance now glaring at her daughter. "...We stayed safe and came right back home, and we saw the monster, we were really brave-"
"I, uh...." Spots quickly decided that it hadn't been very smart of her to mention the monster, and didn't murmur another word, letting Dance return to scolding her sons.