Post by apart on Feb 2, 2016 19:09:28 GMT -6
These are the days that bind you together, forever,
And these little things define you forever, forever...
And these little things define you forever, forever...
Image courtesy of Serena@flickr.com under the Creative Commons License.
Lyrics from the song 'Bad Blood', by Bastille
All this bad blood here, won't you let it dry?
It's been cold for years, won't you let in light?
It's been cold for years, won't you let in light?
Name: Svjetlost (pronounced as svyet-lost)
Age: Two years old
Birth Season: Autumn
Genetics: EE o- BB Dd dmdm ii SS Ccs ww aa McMc LL mkmk ReRe RR sese whwh jbjb cucu fdfd pdpd vtvt
Breed: Crossbreed (25% Korat, 12.5% American Shorthair, 12.5% Balinese, 12.5% Bengal, 12.5% Japanese Bobtail, 12.5% Oriental Shorthair, 12.5% Siamese)
Size: Medium and Slender
Eye color: Green
Coat color: Black and White
Coat length: Short
Markings: White marking that cover about half of his body, mainly his legs and underside.
Personality: Svjetlost is a cat who, at heart, wishes to live in peace with his fellow felines, and for them to live in peace with one another. However, his life has been anything but a peaceful one. He is moderately good at fighting, but he currently refuses to hone such dire skills. Svjetlost is smart enough, but in many a situation his instincts get the best of him. He is somewhat cowardly and, in preserving the peace, is apt to overlook problems that only increase in bitterness while buried.
History: From day one, life was harsh towards Svjetlost and his siblings. They were the product of a short-lived affair between their mother, Ljiljan, and one of the many stray tomcats who prowled the city after dark. Ljiljan had been a stray for many seasons, but her knowledge of foreign names suggested that she had not been born into that way of life. She was a practical, if not a particularly affectionate, mother. She remained independent of the gangs of stray cats, and therefore spent most of her time scavenging food for herself and, later on, her kittens. Svjetlost, as the eldest of the three kittens, was given the duty of protecting his siblings as best he could. It was a task which he disliked at the time, as it virtually always involved breaking up a fight between his sister and his little brother, the youngest and weakest of the three kittens. His mother was hence shrouded in mystery, and occasionally bitterness. In adulthood, however, he saw that Ljiljan worked hard for the provision and the independence of her children, that they may survive without any debt to a manipulative gang. Svjetlost regrets that he wasn't able to know her better, for she was a far more profound figure in his life than his father. Yet what use could a kitten have been against those territorial gang cats?
Autumn had brought amble scraps, and endurable temperatures for the three kittens. However, Ljiljan struggled to provide for them as winter hit. Her youngest child, in particular, was suffering from exposure, and was almost constantly ill. Even her two hardier offspring began to feel the adverse effects of the cold, wet weather. Desperation for her children motivated Ljiljan into dangerous acts, and she sought a park to keep them drier and warmer one night. She made them shelter in a bush on the very outskirts, for the park was also the sleeping place of a prominent gang of felines. It was truly dangerous territory, but Ljiljan knew that to stay in their usual leaky haunts would be to doom at least one of her kittens to death. Svjetlost watched her leave, oblivious to the fact that he would never see her alive again.
A yowl pierced the night, a certain cry of pain. Svjetlost woke from his dozing with a start, and his siblings did the same. "It's m-" he began, but he couldn't finish the words. "The dirty, mangebringers!" Sjenka, his sister, hissed venomously. "We have to fight them.". "No!" Svjetlost yelped in panic. "Sjenka, that's suicide! And what about Siva? He's barely fit to walk, let alone fit full-grown alley cats!". Sjenka barely seemed to acknowledge his words. "Ever heard of survival of the fittest, brother?". It was a heedless, hotheaded remark, but it chilled Svjetlost to the bone. Without saying a word, he grasped the cuff of his brother's neck and stalked away, not looking to see whether his sister would follow. The kitten was frighteningly light. Svjetlost heard Sjenka murmur something behind him, and together the trio left the park.
The night was spent running as far away from the park as possible. Svjetlost and his siblings meandered through the lanes and alleyways which crisscrossed the city like capillaries. Never had Svjetlost been so conscious of life. The city was alive, in its way. The young tree which had not yet given up its hopes of flourishing in this acidic environment, it was alive. The pedestrians which hurried to and fro, the dogs which hurried after them, the racing bats which were half-blind by nature, half-blinded by the bright streetlights- they were all alive. And was his mother among the living? He hoped so, and he hoped that she would remain that way. But his latter hope, a hope known well to everyone who ever loved, was destined to go unfilled.
A weak, grey dawn broke through the city sky. The kittens took this as a sign to rest their bodies, if not their minds, after the long, terrifying night. Svjetlost searched for a little shelter, while Sjenka brought back the remains of a discarded hamburger. To her credit, she did insist on being the last of the siblings to eat. Eventually, the trio fell into uneasy dreams, where nightmares shook them with terror and told them that the worst had happened to their mother. They woke early, and made a hasty meal of a fast-food restaurant's scraps; never venturing near the main dustbins, which bore the recent stench of a stray dog. By the time that dusk had fallen, the kittens were on a new path to their old house of horrors.
Siva was the first to see her. He tried to scream, but fell into a fit of violent coughing. Sjenka pushed past him, Svjetlost not far behind- although he avoided his younger brother more gently. For a long moment, they were silent with horror and disbelief. Even the roar of the city traffic seemed to dim. Ljiljan's proud body now lay on the opposite side of the road, where a few scrawny crows had taken opportunity of the carrion. This was the final straw for Sjenka. Before her brother could give any warning, she had raced at the crows. Her teeth clashed murderously around nought but air, but the raucous croaking of the crows had attracted unwanted attention. A rustling in the bushes drew Sjenka's attention to a savage ginger tomcat, no doubt a member of the park's infamous gang. She turned and dashed across the road, narrowly missing being squashed under the wheels of a bus. Svjetlost grabbed Siva- the ill kitten couldn't be expected to run for any length of time -and ran with his sister. The tomcat yowled, too close for comfort, and a series of replies came from the park. The hunt was on.
Svjetlost and Sjenka ran heedlessly through alleys and gardens, across streets and sidewalks. All too soon, the cries of the gang were nearing them, and Svjetlost's adrenaline wasn't coursing through him as it had been. Little Siva seemed to be growing heavier, and the two brother were weary. Sjenka was tired too, but Svjetlost could see that she would run herself to death before she'd say as much. Suddenly, a brief window of opportunity seemed to flash by Svjetlost. He ducked underneath an ancient wooden shed, his sister close behind. It was a cramped place, but that served to their advance. Even the scrawniest of the gang couldn't get into the hole which the kittens had entered. A scrabbling sound struck new fear into the kittens; the adult cats were trying to dig their way in. Svjetlost huddled next to his siblings, preparing for his inevitable death...
Several hisses rang out, and the digging stopped for a few seconds. A snarling, spitting exchange between the gang and some other cats had begun. Svjetlost could only discern a few words- 'territory', 'warning' and 'fight'. Fortunately, no great conflict occurred, merely a final bout of hissing from the park's feline gang, and a distant drumming of feet as they stalked off. A cat came towards the small cranny under the shed. Being an adult, she couldn't get any closer than the entrance, so she sat outside and spoke. "Are you going to come out? It's our territory, you know." She paused for several seconds, allowing her question to hang in the air. After none of the kittens ventured to come out of the hole, the cat continued to talk. "I'm not stupid, you know. I can smell you all. Still, if you want to be left to the whim's of Kyre's gang, stay. I can't stop you.". It was Sjenka who crawled out of the burrow at this statement. Svjetlost looked at Siva, who gave a weak nod. Together the brothers came into the light.
The gang's leader, a grizzled tomcat by the name of Steel, said that three youngsters would be considered as members of the gang, until spring, at least. Some of Steel's best fighters had been taken to the pound that year, as well as countless cats of lower rank, and he was determined to keep the gang's reputation as one of the largest and fiercest gangs around. He said that this ferocious reputation was the cause for the retreat of Kyre's gang into their own haunts. Sjenka was delighted at being given such an honour, to train to be a strong and resourceful fighter, but Svjetlost was less joyful about his future role. Some of the gang's cats gossiped openly that Siva should not have been permitted in, being in the sickly state that he was, and that Steel was growing soft in his old age. Whenever Svjetlost heard these rumours, he would defend his brother. "Siva will grow better, you'll see!" The black-and-white kitten would howl. "It's only a cough! He'll be healthy when spring comes.". Yet, try as he might, Svjetlost couldn't convince anyone that Siva would survive, not even himself.
Svjetlost watched his brother's health worsening, and noticed life as if in a daze. He knew that his sister was slipping away from him, training hard to be a fighter, and that, from time to time, he joined her. Yet their relationship was never as it had been long ago, and he saw her as a cat who was growing increasingly secretive, no longer willing to display emotion. Long after the healer had despaired of Siva, his brother stayed by his side. Siva had always been smaller and lighter in colour than Svjetlost, but now he seemed more like a ghost than a living being. He seldom spoke, not even to groan in pain, and the only noise that he made was his harsh, trembling coughs that now forced blood from his mouth. One night, when Svjetlost was about to go and train for a little while, Siva called him back. The kitten spoke in a weak, creaky voice, which an unsuspecting stranger may well have mistaken for the miaow of an elderly cat. "Stay with me brother, for soon I shall go.". Disturbed by his brother's solemn words, Svjetlost ran to him. "You won't go. You can't. I'll... I'll stop it, I'll stop it!" Svjetlost cried plaintively. "Please... don't lie to me, brother." Siva croaked from where he lay, barely raising his head. "So many words to say... So little time... But what are words, but wasted breath?". Siva's sickly, pale eyes met the lively, green eyes of his brother. It was not a stare of aggression, but a stare of finality. "I will wait for you, as you have waited for me," Siva whispered, "And we will meet again.". With that, he gave a violent cough. Svjetlost ran to his brother, and the two lay side by side all night, in body, if not in spirit.
After Siva's death, Svjetlost trained to be a fighter. Sjenka encouraged him to have some interest in this training, and suggested that it might help him forget about Siva. At that comment, he let out a loud hiss, and Sjenka harried away. Nonetheless, he did participate in training. Every time another kitten slammed him to the ground, every time a blow bruised his face, he felt that it was what he deserved, that it was only a fraction of the pain which Siva had endured. Not that he submitted to being beaten. Try as he might, Svjetlost was a natural fighter, and he defended himself instinctively. For the same reason, he ate and drank as heartily as any other cat. Svjetlost considered his will to live a great weakness of his. As the seasons changed, he became the attacker in the battles waged by the would-be fighters. Yet no amount of violence could put his restless heart at ease.
Svjetlost turned one year old, and became an official fighter of the gang. However, other changes were afoot. Steel had been ousted from his position in a fight to the death with a young male know as Corvus. The new leader made Steel seem soft by comparison. Some cats quietly disapproved of Corvus' reign of terror, but all were afraid to speak out or run away- for Corvus had personally executed numerous anarchists and deserters, as he called them. And, as always, some cats benefitted and upheld the new regime. Sjenka was one of those cats. She had killed and tortured, rising to a prominent position among the fighters. Nonetheless, she thirsted for the highest role; that of General. Svjetlost could only shudder at the thought of his sister as the leader of the fighters- she had changed so much to him. He was appointed to a patrol group, but even they were ordered to use violence without call. Svjetlost disobeyed this order multiple times, but subtly so. He found a certain purpose in doing so, but it was always in need of stifling whenever others where present. Yet no deed done for another cat can ever be truly concealed, and Svjetlost began to plan an escape.
It was late spring that he finally initiated his plan. Svjetlost waited until the sun had risen before he left the box where he had been dozing restlessly. He slunk out of the territory unnoticed, or so he thought. Svjetlost travelled through crowds of humans and down streets both beautiful and crumbling. Yet it was only the sound of a misplaced footstep on an old crisp packet that told Svjetlost that he wasn't alone. He did the first thing that came to mind- he ran. The cat dashed through the rivers of people, hoping to lose his attacker. In terror, he raced down what seemed to be a dead end. Much to the relief of Svjetlost, an old flight of stairs, evidently not in use, leaned against one of the blocks of flats like a rusty skeleton. He didn't dwell on the dangers of the old structure; he tore up the steps and, when they ended with closed doors, he scrambled onto the flat roof of the building. It was as cracked and desolate of life as a desert, save for a few town pigeons which took off at the sight of Svjetlost. Most disappointingly of all, it was miles away from the other rooftops. The scrape of claws upon old cement sent him fleeing to the other side of the roof. His pursuer stood between him and the only safe way down. Svjetlost had no choice but to battle his sister.
Svjetlost grimaced, and tried to catch Sjenka by surprise by racing down the stairs, but she was ready, and barred his way with ease. "Aren't you... happy to see me, brother?" She taunted. Svjetlost didn't answer her, but attempted to move towards the stairs again. "No?" Sjenka asked rhetorically, feigning offence. She dropped the act, and snarled "I wouldn't have expected joy from the likes of you. You're only happy when you're with your own, snivelling kind.". Svjetlost barred his teeth at this. "I tried to defend you, but I shouldn't have bothered. You'll always be a coward, sobbing over your dear brother. Grow up, Svjetlost! He's dead, and he's been so for over a year.". "If your behaviour is what they call 'grown up' nowadays, I'm not buying into it. Better for all the world- especially your victims -that you had died, instead of Siva!". Sjenka growled, and slashed out with her claws, drawing a thin cut across Svjetlost's muzzle. Now they were really fighting. "I always"-"knew that"-"you loved him more than me!" Sjenka roared in between blows. "I never"-"picked favourites!" Svjetlost howled back. "Don't lie to me"-"Brother!" Sjenka yelled, not knowing that she was echoing some of Siva's last words. In shock, Svjetlost dropped his guard, thinking the words to be an underhanded blow. Being the superior fighter, Sjenka took advantage of this immediately, closing her jaws around her brother's throat to strangle him. However, she underestimated Svjetlost. He shook his head violently, four times, and on the fourth Sjenka flew into the air. Her body poised itself to launch another attack, but her flailing paws missed the ledge of the roof. It was hard to say which was the most shocked of the siblings. Then Sjenka thumped against the ground, and Svjetlost raced down the stairs. He was of half a mind to simply turn and run, but Sjenka was his sister, even if she was deplorable. Svjetlost hurried to the back street where her body lay sprawled, never to launch itself at an assailant again. She was dead, and Svjetlost was her killer.
With an aching neck and an aching heart, Svjetlost left the city. He cared not what lay beyond; his only desire was to escape its vicious cycles, which he now saw himself as caught up in from birth. He was the bereaver and the bereaved, the murderer and the peacemaker, the fighter and the coward. He was what the city had made him into, and he was gone from it.
Svjetlost travelled for many months, his hunting skills becoming honed to a sharp point. As winter set in, he resolved to find somewhere where he might live in peace, because, truth be told, he craved feline company. Svjetlost has now come to Foxwood, but will he find peace here? And, has he really outrun the spectres of his past?
Tag the Staff: Echo-Doodle , Tera , Alicefox