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Author Topic: il u thanléao  (Read 259 times)

Offline florapaw

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il u thanléao
« on: September 11, 2017, 08:32:29 AM »
hi guys! flora here! as most of you probably dont know im a super trashy fanfiction writer and i have like ?? 4?? watership down fics floatin round on ff but my longest one (this one) has come to a halt? i really want to finish it but i feel like ive hit creativity bedrock and i originally wanted to finish this in one more proper chapter and then an epilogue but !! i !! cant !! while most of you probably dont care, if you feel like reading this id really appreciate to hear how you think this story is going on so far and what could happen (i have my notes on how i wanted to end it but i dont think its going to work out like that). help a girl out and lemme hear feedback - as critically as you can! {on top of creativity bedrock i also really want to pump out a few chapters of bus route 302 so :)}

xxx

The grass was still damp when Threar left his run to silflay. Rain clouds gathered in the sky above. The buck could hear the does anxiously warning their kittens to stay dry, and the indignant squeals of the kittens in their childish rebellion. Threar shook his silvery-grey ears and looked around for a quieter spot to silflay. He wasn’t the most well-liked rabbit in the warren (mainly due to the fact that his position as the next Chief Rabbit was certain and he had let it go to his head a bit) so he headed towards a sandy patch of grass underneath the rowan tree he was named for. His teeth tore at the grass and his glassy eyes stared blankly ahead at the mist the encased the surrounding field. From the corner of his eye, he spotted what seemed to be an argument. This was more interesting than looking at nothing, so he raised his head and focused on the quarrel.

Threar wasn’t too sure what was going on, but his blood ran cold when he noticed that Eanmayth was the only one giving the chastising. He was an old Owsla officer – cold and rather unattractive with tattered ears and a face full of scars. He was best known for his sharp tongue and hardhearted attitude. Threar knew he wasn’t as bad as the does told their kittens, but he did snap at Threar, so the buck knew what his potential was. Threar glanced over to whoever was his unlucky victim.

The doe, characterised by her rich, caramel coat that was flecked with little patches of a lighter colour, was Nildroo. This doe was certainly one of a kind and well-known throughout the whole warren despite most rabbits never having met her. She was witty and endearing, but could be extremely stubborn and arrogant. Suddenly, the reprimanding seemed justified. But Threar looked harder, and the look of Nildroo’s face was one that was completely out of character for her. Her ears were flat against her head and eyes darting nervously. Her nose twitched. Eanmayth snapped his teeth aggressively. Threar straightened up and watched, ready to defend the doe if necessary, but was surprised when the doe sat back up. He took a few small steps in their direction to hear the conversation.

“- And then you just barge in and tell me that I don’t have the right to silflay here. This Owsla isn’t fair! You all bend the rules to your liking!”

Threar frowned. Nildroo’s deep eyes glared defiantly at the buck in front of her. Eanmayth looked appalled by her words and stared at her in shock for a few moments, then composed himself again and his look of pure hatred returned. Threar winced. He knew that look. Eanmayth lifted a paw and cuffed her over the head. The doe was a lot smaller than either of them. Eanmayth towered above Nildroo, and she wouldn’t have the strength to defend herself if anything happened. The thought of such a fragile thing truly worried Threar.

After the blow was delivered, Nildroo gasped and shook her head a little. But she didn’t back down. Her spirit was admirable. She was at a height difference now, as Eanmayth was no longer slouching. They had brought together quite a crowd. Eanmayth seemed to enjoy the attention – no one had ever tried to put Nildroo in her place before – but Nildroo didn’t seem bothered at all. The buck leaned down towards her with a taunting expression. “What kind of doe doesn’t follow authority?” He whispered. Nildroo shivered, but she stood her ground. Eanmayth gave a snort of amusement. “Obviously a really stupid one.”

Nildroo lowered her head and glared at the ground. She didn’t speak, so many of the rabbits left. Eanmayth rolled his eyes and just before he left, his claws scratched at the ground and pulled up grass. His threat didn’t work. Nildroo closed her eyes and sat hunched over and made no attempt to move; not even when the light raindrops fell upon her back. Threar hopped over to her side and gave her a gentle nudge. She jumped, and the moment she made eye contact, she lifted her chin. “What do you want, Threar-rah,” Her voice was filled with contempt, which confused Threar. He hadn’t done anything to upset her, had he?

“Excuse me?” He asked. Nildroo rolled her eyes and hopped a few paces away and nibbled on the wet grass. “You’re all the same. You think you’re all so much better than us,” She glanced back to him, waiting for his reply.

Threar shook his damp fur. “I see you did something to irritate Eanmayth. Any idea what could’ve set that off?”

Nildroo seemed unbothered. She fussed over her ear for a few moments and spent a long while nipping at the tips of the blades of grass. Her eyes watched Threar closely, but she didn’t stop to answer. “I don’t know what I could have done, sir,” She finally answered. Her tone was light and sarcastic and her fur was almost bristling. She was daring him to reply. Threar waited a moment to keep his tone even and calm.

“You must’ve said something, at least. He’s never angry at someone for no reason.”

Nildroo’s eyes sparkled. Her laughter was evident. “That grumpy old rabbit? Of course. He’s always got a reason to snap at someone.” For once, Threar found her mockery entertaining. Threar moved to her side, and Nildroo didn’t move, but also didn’t seem uncomfortable by his presence. They both looked around and noticed that the last of the rabbits who had been out of their burrows were now retreating back. The rain was still dribbling from the blue-grey clouds. Now that they were close, Threar noted her size. She was a lot tinier than he had first thought, with small paws and ears that almost seemed too big for her body. But she was warm, and he was melting her icy exterior.

“I’m-“

“- Nildroo.”

She looked up and tilted her head a little. A look of surprise crossed her face, but then she paused and nodded her head. “I guess you’ve heard of me. I’m not surprised.”
“The whole warren knows you,” Threar answered, his manner unusually warm. Nildroo’s face dropped, as did Threar’s. She knew she was known for all the wrong reasons. She mouthed the Owsla captains and had no off-switch when it came to honesty. Threar felt sorry for her. He really did.

He looked up towards the sky. The storm was going to break at any moment. “We should head inside.”

Nildroo gave a small hum of acknowledgement and then bounced forward, demeanour growing bright once more. It lifted Threar’s heart. “Come on and show me to my burrow, dearest captain of Owsla.”

There was a friend in her yet.

xxx

“So, you’re still hanging around Threar,” Nangeer-hain teased Nildroo gently. Her light brown eyes were sparkling with affection, showing that her words were not meant to be impolite. Nildroo rolled her eyes and nudged her friend’s rump, feigning anger. Threar sat a little ways way, bumping the strands of grass with his nose. He had discovered that, despite the rumours running along the burrow, Nildroo did indeed have friends. It was like a sigh of relief to know that she wasn’t going to be seen as his responsibility. Her friends were two pleasant young things. One was Nangeer-hain, a doe of a soft brown colour who liked to speak her mind but knew when to stop. The other was Pathun, a sweet grey-brown doe with almost blue eyes. She was quiet and clumsy, but her heart was the largest Threar had ever seen.

Nildroo looked over her shoulder to Threar, who responded by flicking his ears and hopping closer. He glanced over to the rest of the rabbits enjoying their morning silflay. A few does chewed with rapid, jagged movements, eyes following their kittens nervously. The outskirters were easy to point out. Their characteristically small, thin frames almost seemed to disappear into the earth below them. The majority of rabbits about were Owsla, joking around in large groups and mock fighting, sniffing at does. Threar could make out a few young bucks that were puffing their chests out in pride. They enjoyed the freedom they had.

Something bumped into Threar, and when he turned, he relaxed. It was only Pathun. She stuttered a string of apologies and then lowered her head to silflay. Quiet and clumsy indeed.

With the four of them finally together, a silence washed over them. A hushed conversation started between Pathun and Nildroo, but apart from that, it was still.

This was something Threar liked. It wasn’t often that he got to relax, not between Nildroo’s mouth that could spill words as fast as a butterfly flapped its wings and his duties as an Owsla captain. And talk of his ‘budding relationship’ with Nildroo was growing. Eanmayth was the most repelled by that rumour, and even now Threar hadn’t managed to convince him otherwise. He glanced over to Nildroo and allowed himself to focus on her. She was like an annoying younger sister and he really couldn’t imagine her in any other way. But she was aesthetically pleasing, even if her personality wasn’t desirable.

Nangeer-hain looked up and her gaze darted towards the run closest to them. Nildroo looked up as well and gave a soft hum of puzzlement. Nangeer-hain seemed to flinch as her attention was brought back to her friend. “Sorry, sorry. I’ve got to go talk to someone,” She said quickly, running off and into the burrow.

Nildroo seemed displeased by this, and glared after her friend and then went back to munching loudly. Pathun peered over the grass to Threar and, without looking away, spoke up in her tiny voice. “It’s about mating season, isn’t it?” Her tone was clipped and strained and suggested that Threar should go with her statement.

“Er, yes. I think Nangeer-hain has finally been swooned,” Was his uncertain reply. Pathun nodded her head in appreciation.

Nildroo ripped the grass loudly and her eyes blazed. Threar knew that look; her silent fuming wasn’t inconspicuous in the slightest. “And she’s with one of them?” She hissed through her gritted teeth. Pathun sighed softly. “Probably.”

Pathun scooted over to Threar’s side and lowered her voice. “Nangeer-hain got really close to a bunch of bucks who weren’t too nice to Nildroo,” She explained.

Nildroo’s angry melted into regret and she looked up to her friends. Her glassy eyes stared into Threar’s soul. “I’m sorry. I just- Nangeer-hain’s not in the wrong here.”

The little doe’s sorrow was almost depressing to see. The buck watched her closely, head tipping to the left and ears flopping to the side. Nildroo quickly looked up and scowled. “Stop it,” She snapped defensively. And it was at that moment that it all clicked for Threar. Her anger masked the insecurity she carried around. He nudged Pathun gently. “Hey, could you give us a moment?”

Pathun blinked, but nodded. She looked between her two friends and watched Threar for a heartbeat with an uncertain expression before leaving.

Threar nudged the side of Nildroo’s head, his twitching whiskers tickling her ears. This coaxed the doe to bring her disheartened eyes to her friend. “What do you want?” She complained loudly.

Threar narrowed his eyes. “Listen, your mood has really become an issue and Frith knows how hard we’ve all tried to settle it and yet you still dump your temper on us. So, I suggest you take my advice to get over yourself or shut up and listen to us.”

Nildroo opened her mouth to speak – eyes wide and fearful – but was interrupted by Threar. “Why do you insist on ignoring our help? Why can’t you just try to get along?”
The doe’s eyes were growing misty when she finally cut him off. “I can’t,” She insisted urgently. “I can’t because no one wants to get along with me, and I don’t want to get along with them.”

Her breathing was shaking, and Threar faltered. He frowned and took a step back. “Why not?”

“Life isn’t as great as I thought.”

Nildroo wasn’t very old, just a few months out of her mother’s care. And for as long as she could remember the stories she had heard about what life in the warren was like had charmed the young doe. Her mother would speak in a bright but gentle whisper, eyes sparkling with delight. She spoke of the warm days where the crickets chirped their song of the summer.

“Do you want to know why the Owsla doesn’t like me?” Nildroo shot back. “It’s because I questioned them. I asked what made them think that they deserved the cowslips and clovers. I asked why they were allowed to tell us what to do. I was just so sick of them pushing us around!”

Threar was taken aback by her rant. It made him think and then suddenly he understood why she was so angry at the world. Nildroo blinked her tears away and her voice drifted to silence. Threar took this as his chance to speak up.

He chanced it and lowered his voice to a soothing pitch. “I know how you feel. They don’t like me either.”

“No, they don’t, but that’s the difference between me and you. You’re hated but respected. I’m neither.”

And with that simple sentence, Threar knew she was right. Nildroo didn’t look angry anymore. She looked fragile and saddened. Her soulful eyes locked with Threar’s and he knew her weakness. She was afraid of how he would react; she was internally pussyfooting with her emotions. She took another shaking breath. “I don’t care if my children grow up to be in the Owsla, but if they’re like me, I don’t want them to feel like they’re a lower class. Do you know what I mean?”

Threar closed his eyes and nodded his head once. “Yes. I do.”

xxx

Heavy panting and desperate gasps for breath lingered in the meadow where Threar and his patrol stood. The grey rabbit, although as breathless as the rest, held his head up high and set his poisonous glare at his comrades. Gnawed carrots and nibbled lettuce littered the damp grass. In their haste to get right out of the jaws of a homba they had dropped their flayrah and no one seemed to be in a hurry to pick it up.  Only a few of the weary rabbits were paying any attention to Threar, and the ones that were scowled. Threar thumped his feet against the ground in some attempt to get their attention, but it ultimately failed and he growled under his breath. Okay, he understood why they weren’t looking; half were all but tharn, but that was no excuse. “Will you sorry lumps of fur just listen to me for once?!”

They all lifted their heads at his loud, abrasive tone. Some, still scared and on-edge, crouched down, almost hiding in the grass. The youngest, Tardrayn, was softly murmuring something to himself. A buck went close and pressed against him to coax him out of his trance. Threar took a deep breath. “Alright, we made a mistake and took the wrong path home, but we’re fine now.”

“Speak for yourself,” Came a bitter reply. Threar flicked his ears in acknowledgement, but didn’t respond. “We need to pick up what’s left of the flayrah before it dies, otherwise the Chief Rabbit isn’t going to be happy.”

A round of exasperated groaning rippled through the band. “Why should we spend time gathering it up again? That homba could still be trailing us now.”

A choked wail arose from Tardrayn, and the buck that sat beside him quickly went back to work hushing and soothing him. The rabbits were quiet for a moment before picking the conversation back up. There was some dissatisfied grumbling, shrill complaining, and Threar was growing more and more irritated. Tardrayn’s companion sat up straight and tentatively began to speak. “I know I haven’t been part of you all for long, but may I suggest something?”

There was a stupefied pause before Threar mumbled his affirmation. The buck was called Marthlay, and he had thick fur which stuck out in every direction and made his face seem youthful – like a young kitten. Since he had received approval to speak, he no longer seemed cautious, and relaxed. “We don’t have the security to go back and pick up everything we’ve lost, but we certainly cannot go back empty-pawed,” He glanced down to his side to the cowering Tardrayn. “Some of us were injured in the panic, so anyone who isn’t hurt should try and bring something back.”

Threar paused and thought. Marthlay put some good ideas forward. As long as they returned with something, they couldn’t get into trouble. Threar gave a single nod. “Lead the way,” He said, but was pleasantly surprised when Marthlay nudged Tardrayn to his feet and then hopped back to help gather some flayrah. He took a carrot in his mouth and then returned to walk beside Tardrayn. Threar had thought he would try and head back to the warren as quick as he could. At least he knew his responsibilities, which is more than what some of the older rabbits knew. Threar picked up some lettuce and began dragging it all the way home.

...

“So you’re telling me that this new rabbit is the most competent rabbit you’ve ever met,” Nildroo’s voice indicated her boredom, and she was idly nipping at some grass. The story, obviously, wasn’t of much interest to her, but she was polite enough to listen. Threar nodded at her comment and swallowed his mouthful of grass. “It’s strange. Most of the older rabbits got out of the area as soon I gave the order, but he stayed and helped gather some flayrah and then went back to help his friend.”

Nildroo made a soft humming sound and bounced her head from side to side. “I guess that is pretty admirable. Is he good with combat?”

Threar paused and thought. “He wasn’t too much help when some of us tried to keep the homba away, but he’s very intelligent. It’s as if he’s always just thinking; there’s this thoughtful look about him, you know what I mean?” Nildroo nodded once in response. “Yeah. I’ve spoken to him once or twice. I can’t really say I understand him a great deal, but he’s polite and compassionate. It’s no wonder he makes such a good addition to your patrol.”

The buck groaned and shifted his weight from side to side. Nildroo raised her head and tipped it to the right quizzically. Threar picked up on this movement, and was quick to explain. “After the whole homba incident, we only managed to bring two carrots and one-and-a-half leaves of lettuce because most of my patrol couldn’t help us. The Chief Rabbit was very upset with this and now he expects me to go and collect some more.”

“Why is that such a big deal? Isn’t that what you thought would happen?” Nildroo snuffled around on the grass, squeaking in delight at a small cowslip patch close by. The two of them moved towards it and began to nibble on the edge of the leaves. Threar scraped at the earth with his claws. “Perhaps. But it was entirely blamed on me, which is both a logical move and a stupid one. On one paw, I am the one who calls the shots and nothing was stopping me from becoming more forceful with them. But on the other paw, I was one of the few who actually returned with something. I don’t blame the rabbits like Tardrayn or Ethetheleer who couldn’t because of their wounds, but there were a lot disappeared with the rest without a good cause.”

The doe, only half listening and trying to stuff as much cowslip in her mouth as she could before an Owsla captain shooed her away, mumbled a reply with not too much interest. “So you’re supposed to go find more, huh?”

Threar sighed, took a small mouthful of cowslip, and flicked his ears. “Yes. But the problem is that I don’t want to ask any of the Owsla. They’d find some way to make it difficult.”

Nildroo stepped away and fussed at her ear with her paws. “I could come. I’d be no trouble.” Threar responded by rolling his eyes. “A doe? They’d think I’m crazy.”
His answer was a venomous glare from the doe.

“Fine. I will admit that you’d be my first choice to work with,” Threar brightened at Nildroo’s beaming expression. “But I want Marthlay to come. He’d be good in a pinch, especially since you’ve had no experience. So meet me at the edge of the brambles first thing in the morning.”

...

The air was still foggy and wet when the three rabbits headed towards the farm close by. Threar took the front, followed by Nildroo and then finally Marthlay, who took up the rear. The band of rabbits were silent, save for the occasional chatter mainly consisting of “are we there yet?” and “how much longer are we going to walk, Threar. My feet hurt.”
By dawn, they had arrived at the farm. It had large hills surrounding the small house in the centre, filled with horses and cattle. The yard that circled the yard was rather large and spacious, but no one had ever tried to take from the house. There were dense bushes that lined the fences and it was hard to see through. But it was the closest farm they could raid, and most houses had gardens filled with vegetables, anyway.

Threar crept through the bushes, ducking and weaving around the branches. He could feel Nildroo close, and her nose was twitching rapidly as the only sign of her fear. Only Marthlay was still. He was calm almost to the point of detached. When Nildroo stumbled as it grew darker, stepping back directly into Marthlay and whimpering in fear, the buck piped up cheerfully with “It’s getting dark in here, isn’t it?” and somehow set Nildroo’s uncertainties aside. Threar was glad he invited him along.

When they finally began to see the sun again, Threar poked his head out of the bushes and looked around. The house blocked most of his view of the back garden, but he saw some plants peeking from behind the house. He turned back to his companions. “There’s something there. We’re at the wrong end though. We’ll have to follow these bushes around.”

Nildroo flattened herself to the ground and seemed to want to argue, but didn’t. Marthlay, like he had with Tardrayn, stepped to comfort her, but quickly thought against it and looked away. He narrowed his eyes at the ground in front of him in deep thought. No one spoke for a long time. “Well… how dangerous would it be for us to dash out and move under the cover of the house? From what I can see, there’s nothing stopping us from getting under there.”

Nildroo seemed to be reassured by Marthlay’s suggestion, but Threar frowned. “That’s a good idea and all, but what if a man comes out?”

Marthlay glanced out towards the house and looked back. “I doubt it’ll be much of a worry.”
“Oh, don’t worry. The Man is very very kind,” A bright voice answered. Nildroo ws the only one who didn’t jump at the sudden voice, but instead she angled her ears towards the voice and hopped a few paces in it’s direction. She peered through a hole in the hedge. “It’s fine, just a hutch rabbit.”

The bucks followed Nildroo, and were greeted with a fleecy brown doe’s excitement watching them through the mesh of the hutch. Her fur was so long, her trembling extended itself and made the tips of her fur bounce. She pushed herself against the cage. “He’s very kind,” She repeated. “He brings me food and water and strokes me. He’s very kind.”

Nildroo tilted her head and sniffed the wire caging and then pulled back, scrunching her nose. “How do you live in that?”

“It’s easy. There’s a little room at the back for me to sleep in, and there’s enough room for me to stretch my legs. I do a lot of napping in the sun.”

Marthlay sniffed the doe. “You smell strange.”

The doe toyed with her long, bobbing ears. “Isn’t it a beautiful scent? The Man bathes me in this warm water and then blows me dry with the Silver Thing. It feels wonderful!”

Threar sat back, uncertain of the doe. She seemed ditzy enough, but if she was really as pampered as she said she was, that meant the man would be close by. “What’s your name?” The doe straightened herself. “Carrot.”

Nildroo, Marthlay and Threar all looked at each other, thoroughly confused. What kind of a name was Flayrah? They looked back to the doe. “That’s a strange name.”

Carrot flicked her head and hummed. “The Child named me. Are you wild rabbits? There were wild rabbits here once before and they teased me. I don’t understand what’s so amusing.”

“Of course she wouldn’t,” Nildroo muttered. Marthlay stepped closer to Carrot. Carrot blinked and stepped back, not sure whether or not to trust him. “Carrot, does the man have a garden?”

Carrot thought for a moment. Her ears flopped as she turned to look back at her ceramic bowl that was perched on a small wooden tile. A half-chewed cucumber was barely visible above the bowl’s rim. Once she saw the vegetable, it all clicked and the doe nodded her head. “Yes, he does. The Man always brings me nice vegetables. Why, do you want one? If you do you should wait. The Man always brings me nice vegetables with my breakfast.”
Marthlay sniffed at the base of the cage and pawed some dirt out of the way experimentally. “Can you get out of here?” Carrot shook her head and pressed a forepaw against the mesh and quickly lifted it up again. The metal made a soft twang. “No. The Man doesn’t let me out or I might get hurt.”

“Is the garden out the back?” Threar gently nudged Marthlay out of the way so that he could talk to Carrot. The doe shied away. There was something calming about Marthlay that she very much enjoyed, and although Nildroo wasn’t too kind, Carrot could tell she was harmless. But Threar… there was an urgency about him. One that wasn’t pleasant. His authority was almost threatening. “Yes. The garden is round the back,” Carrot flattened her ears. “But you must be careful. The Man’s dog is out there.”

Nildroo winced. The thought of trying to fend off a dog paled the poor doe. Now she knew why Threar hadn’t wanted to bring her. “There’s a dog?” She asked weakly. Carrot, oblivious to the dangers of a dog to an unprotected rabbit, nodded chipperly. “Yep! It’s huge and it follows The Man around and chases me around and around my cage. It’s not very friendly.”

Marthlay and Threar looked to each other. Neither wanted to admit that they should turn around, three rabbits against one dog wasn’t a good set of odds, but they had come so far. They should at least try. Threar turned to Carrot and dipped his head to her. “Thank you for your help Carrot.”

Carrot beamed. “It was my pleasure!”

The three rabbits, keeping in mind the mentioned dog, continued through the front garden and inched under the house. They took a moment to catch their breath and calm their nerves. Nildroo looked around the shadowy area and explored a little. She suddenly stopped and looked up. From above her she could hear the clicking of a dog’s paws, and she jumped with the dog let out a little yip. She turned to Threar and Marthlay. Threar sighed. “We best keep going. Look, I can see the garden from here.”

Sure enough, the garden was clear to the rabbits (if they ducked their heads a little) and with an excited squeal, Nildroo began loping towards the other side. Even Marthlay, with a uplifted mood, hurried towards it. Threar trailed behind, gait even and undisturbed. Nildroo stuck her head out from under the house and looked around. “I think it’s clear. Should we have a plan?”

Marthlay nodded, also looking out to check it was clear. “Threar, you head for the carrots with Nildroo. I’ll bring some lettuce. Take what you can and get out.”

Threar noted, with amusement, Nildroo watching Marthlay with wide eyes, hanging off his every word. Marthlay noticed too, and shyly looked away when he made eye contact with the doe. Threar came closer. “Alright, on the count of three. One, two,”

“Three!” Nildroo butted in, and all three rabbits hurried out and set to work digging up carrots and nipping off the lettuce. Marthlay had no trouble doing it; he had raided before. But Nildroo had no experience, so Threar stopped his own work and helped her. The little doe turned her nose up at the help, believing herself to be competent enough, but timidly thanked him once he was done. No one was interrupted. That is, until the barking came.
Threar was the first one to react. He raised his head and looked towards the house. For a brief moment, he relaxed. The dog wasn’t as large as he had imagined. The dog was a thin little terrier with a clanging collar around its neck. He had seen much larger dogs. But his relief didn’t last for very long. He quickly realised that it was a lot quicker than some of the larger, slower dogs. Marthlay and Nildroo quickly looked up in horror. The dog was barking madly. Its whole body was quivering in anticipation. Nildroo looked to Threar, and the buck nodded his head towards the bushes around them. They nodded and began to sprint towards the hedge. The dog instantly darted after them, tongue flopping from his mouth.
Nildroo was the first to make it safely into the hedges, quickly followed by Marthlay. Threar’s feet tripped over the carrot he was dragging, and he rolled onto the ground. He winced in pain and tried to stand again, but found his paw bruised and sore. Nildroo was watching in shock as the dog bounded closer and closer and Threar looked back to his imminent fate. From behind him, he heard some scuffling and then Nildroo jumped back out of the hedge. The dog snarled and growled at Threar, ready to snap at him, but Nildroo rammed herself into the dog.

She wasn’t too heavy and didn’t do much more than cause the dog to stumble to the side a little, but the dog stared in disbelief and went crawling back to its master, whining and snivelling. Marthlay left the comfort of the bush and nosed Threar up, allowing him to lean on him as they returned to the hedge. Nildroo stayed behind and carried his carrot. Once they were safe, Threar turned to the doe.

“That was, by far, the stupidest thing I have seen anybody do. You could’ve been killed!” Threar shouted. Nildroo firstly crouched down and took it, but then sat up and opened her mouth to argue. She didn’t get a chance to speak, however. Threar gaze became warm and shimmered with pride. “But I knew there was a reason I asked you to come along.”
Nildroo’s eyes shone at the praise. She hadn’t ever been spoken of so fondly before. Marthlay stood and licked his paws to give them their moment, but once he was done he shook his fuzzy fur. “We should get going before it gets too late.”

Threar nudged Nildroo forward. “Go on, you lead. You’ve earned it.”

xxx

Threar could tell, even in the dark silence, that Nildroo was nervous. He was on her right, and Marthlay stood on her left with the same detached look as always, a vast difference from Nildroo. The doe was shaking. A doe wasn’t supposed to do a buck’s work. Would she be punished?

The Chief Rabbit sat in silence, kind eyes watching the three young rabbits before him. He didn’t make a move to speak, only sat and chewed his food evenly. His eyes flicked from one rabbit to the other. Threar began to fidget. The suspense was uncomfortable, even to him. The Chief Rabbit shifted his weight, paused, and then began to speak.

“You three were the ones who brought me my flayrah yesterday, correct?” He started. His voice was smooth and he spoke slowly. The sweetness relaxed Nildroo – Threar could feel it.

“Yes sir, we were,” Marthlay answered after a long silence in which Nildroo had been too frightened to talk. Threar could understand her fear. It was always overwhelming to visit the Chief Rabbit for the first time.

The Chief Rabbit gave a long sigh and gave his attention to Nildroo. “And you. I heard you played hero and saved Threar here from a dog.”

The doe lifted her head the tiniest bit and allowed her wide, glittering eyes to stare up at the chief. “Yes sir. I did.” Her nostrils flared, uncertain.

Again, a long, heavy pause hung over their heads. Nildroo started to shake again, backing up from the suffocating atmosphere. Marthlay brushed against her and, although she flinched, she relaxed once more. The Chief Rabbit took a moment and chewed his food again. When he finally swallowed he gave a warm look to Nildroo.

“I’m very happy with your bravery, little doe. It’s not every day we get a rabbit as bold as you.”

Nildroo perked up. Threar’s heart picked up, pride growing in his chest. He looked over to Marthlay, and judging by his expression, he was proud too.

“But,” The Chief Rabbit added. “I can’t allow you, a doe, to take control of Owsla tasks.”
Nildroo went to speak but was interrupted by The Chief Rabbit. “I’m not saying that what you did was wrong. We could use more valiant rabbits like you, but unfortunately does have no place in the Owsla. It’s just how it is.”

Nildroo bristled and both bucks were willing her to keep her mouth shut.

“I’m very sorry,” The Chief Rabbit said, voice soft and Threar just knew he truly was sorry.
The doe stood straight, all fear gone and replaced by anger. “I’m sorry too,” She spoke coldly and darted up the run to the surface. Threar winced. You weren’t supposed to leave until you were excused. It was practically an unspoken rule. He turned to the chief. “I’m sorry about her,” He apologised. She’s just upset; I swear she’s a good doe, was his unspoken comment. The Chief Rabbit nodded.

“It’s alright; you both can go.”

Marthlay was the first one to hurry up the run, closely followed by Threar. No words were spoken, but Threar knew Marthlay had the same idea as him: find Nildroo. If someone had told him that, one day, he would be chasing after the cocky, loud-mouthed doe after she left the chief’s burrow in a huff because her heroic actions were not valid in the hierarchy of the warren, he wouldn’t have believed them.  

“She has a right to be upset,” Marthlay mumbled so quietly that Threar wasn’t sure if he was supposed to hear it or not. Threar frowned and decided to answer anyway. “What else did she expect to happen? She’s not in the Owsla.”

Marthlay let his pace slow to a gentle lope. “She did a buck’s job better than they did, but she’s getting chided because she isn’t one of them. It’s not fair.”

Threar didn’t answer but continued heading towards the field where Nildroo was bound to be. Marthlay didn’t push any conversation.

The doe they had been looking for was sitting where they had guessed, sitting close to Pathun. However, quite a few others – does Threar had no knowledge of and does Marthlay had only met once or twice in the cold days where rabbits sat underground in uneasy silence – surrounded her. They were of varying sizes, some older and presumably wiser and some young and as air-headed as they come. Nildroo was speaking, and both bucks could guess what she was speaking about.

“I saved Threar and I was still swept aside as if I were nothing,” Her voice was strained with contempt, angered and venomous. It could be comical if Threar wasn’t aware of how dangerous her moods could be to the rabbits around her. A few does nodded, approving her words, holding onto her petty hatred like it was a lifeline. “Those bucks don’t know what it’s like to be a doe here,” One of the older ones spoke up from the group, louder than the rest with their quiet hush. “I’m tired of them all. They’re all so cocky. They think they know everything.”

Threar entered the group and they quickly dispersed without a word. Only Nildroo and Pathun stayed. The smaller doe greeted both Threar and Marthlay in that sweet, chipper way she usually did. Nildroo glared at Threar and waited for him to speak first. He rolled his eyes.

“Nildroo, you can’t just walk out when a conversation doesn’t go your way,” He chided. Nildroo then spoke up.

“You don’t get it. I’m not mad at The Chief Rabbit, no matter what anyone thinks. I’m mad at the whole warren. They’re the ones who think I’m exaggerating what I did back on that stupid farm. It doesn’t matter what I do; I’m always going to be a joke. I’m so sick of getting treated like a possession to be mated with, something fragile and useless,” She exploded, eyes blazing. There was no answer and she sighed. “I don’t expect you to understand,” She added, voice soft and barely audible.
 
Marthlay lifted his head and tilted it to the side the tiniest bit. “I think I understand,” He answered, uncertain of her reaction. The doe simply stared.

“I don’t,” Threar interjected. “The Chief Rabbit was just telling the truth. It’s best for the whole warren.”

Pathun looked down. “I wish it wasn’t the only outcome for us,” She breathed, not quite intending her voice to be heard, but to them, it was as if she had yelled.
No one spoke for a long time. Threar found himself focusing on the grass waving in the breeze, bending and bouncing. His fur ruffled in the wind.

“You better not end up like that when you become chief,” Nildroo settled her accusing glare on Threar. He knew she wasn’t just talking about allowing does to go on patrol if they were up to the task, or making sure they got the right thanks for whatever job they performed. It was part of it, but he knew she was talking about all the injustices. For the does feeling threatened by the bigger bucks who had the right to pick whichever one they wanted. For the outskirters who were pushed around and bullied just because the Owsla were a little tougher than they were. For any rabbit seen lower and with less of a chance.

“I promise.”



“So you all know of the Nildroo incident, correct?” Threar’s voice was loud and commanding – the only way he knew to get the Owsla’s attention. A few bucks idly mumbled some comment on their opinion which he respectfully chose to ignore. “And you all know I expect you to be as brave as she was, correct?” He was rather proud of himself by his comment. Playing on their masculinity was a good call. They all groaned some reply.
 
Tardrayn was sitting close to the front of the group, and Threar noted the pained expression the young rabbit held. His wounds had healed, but even Threar knew that no rabbit should be forced into a run-in with elil so close to the beginning of their Owsla service. He felt sorry for the poor buck. He was even getting shown up by a doe.

“So I need some of my heroic Owsla to give suggestions for the next raid. How far should we go?”

“There’s a little house down the road with a lot of flayrah. Not too many hrududu’s bother running across there,” One rabbit suggested, to which Threar simply stared at him. “I need better ideas,” He snapped. He was determined to let the traitors know he wasn’t going to take help from them.

“What about the lake? The flayrah is scarce, but it should be enough and there’s hardly danger.”

“No.”

He wished Nildroo could come. After she had saved him from the dog, the three had joked that Nildroo could join the Owsla and they’d show her the best flayrah spots. Of course, they all knew that it was a joke, but Threar still wanted the doe to be by his side. He was so used to her it was almost comforting.

Marthlay waited until the exasperated sighing died down before helping the group out. “I quite like cutting through the forest to the big garden facing the trees,” He suggested. Threar nodded. “Good. We shall discuss that course later.”

The other rabbits left in a huff, but Threar, Marthlay and Tardrayn stayed behind to silflay. Nildroo came up too – she must’ve been lurking and waiting for them to be gone – and said a quiet hello to each rabbit. Marthlay looked pleased by her greeting, and nibbled the grass beside her at ease. She had spent the whole day surrounded by rabbits, outskirter and doe alike, and Threar noted that even in the short timeframe, she had become softer. Not much, but a little.

A rabbit came close by. He was a guard for the Chief Rabbit and all four rabbits were startled by his appearance, especially by the fact that he approached the group in such a rush. He stopped, nose twitching, and settled his hardened look on Threar.

“The Chief Rabbit is dead.”

xxx

hi and congrats for making it this far :P its not my best work, i know. extra question: honest opinions on my characters and my characterisation of threar? i tried to make nildroo unlikable but idk if i hit that good spot where shes not likable but also not annoying :/ thanks for doing me this favour! xx flora

Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 03:04:31 PM »
Posted in favorites list. When I can, read it.   :blackberry3
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Everything is fine =) (?)

Offline Chipster-roo

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 07:38:11 PM »
I already reviewed this one on fanfiction.net, and I really like it :)

One thing I like is how it focuses on a character nobody ever talks about: the Threarah.  Since he dies very early on in the book/film and doesn't appear in the series, he doesn't really get many opportunities to appear in fanfics.

As for how you portray him, I like it.  It's an interesting portrayal of him in his youth.

Nildroo...I said at one point that she vaguely reminded me of Nelthilta.  I don't really entirely agree with this anymore.  They have similarities, but Nelthilta falls more on the "annoying" side.  Nildroo doesn't annoy me, but if I'm to be honest I don't find her unlikable either.  I kinda like her, even if she sometimes acts somewhat like a jerk.

Pathun is another interesting character, who will hopefully be seen more often later.  Nangeer-hain appeared a few times early on, then she sorta vanished?  Marthlay seems like a decent owsla officer.  Also I like how you gave most OCs interesting Lapiné names instead of going the more simple way with plants and such.

Possible ideas for what happens next...

Threar will soon become Threarah, since the old Chief is dead.  How will this impact Nildroo and the others?

One thing I had kinda forgotten was that Nildroo is the mother of Hazel and Fiver (I don't think we know yet who the father will be?) It would be interesting if the two brothers could make a brief appearance as kittens, and maybe a few other canon characters?

Also an interesting scene would be another take on what inspired it all, when Hazel and Fiver go see the Threarah about Fiver's vision of the field covered with blood, "I knew your mother well".  Threarah reflects on these events that happened long ago...


I hope this helps :) Let me know if you have any questions or anything.  I will be looking forward to the ending to this fic, and updates to Bus Route 302 :D
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 08:16:09 PM »
aaa!!! thank you chip!! its great to hear some feedback, especially on my characters themselves. i was really worried about nildroo as ive said before because in the chapter ive been writing im finding myself not liking her very much, and while i didnt aim for her to be loveable i was concerned that i had made her too annoying. i aimed to bring back nangeer-hain around the epilogue, but i feel like she should bring her back sooner. pathun is a character who was going to show up a lot more but i just forgot about her :P

im very glad that you like im portraying threar nicely :) theres not a lot we know about him, but i didnt want to disrespect his original character because he still seemed like a reasonable rabbit when we read about him.

as for your suggestions, since the chief has just passed in chapter 4, chapter 5 was going to centre around the feelings of nildroo and threar - ill definitely make sure everything links up nicely. the epilogue was actually going to be an expansion on both the ending to the story (hazel and fivers birth, perhaps some deaths?) and also link into the quote it was based off.

im very happy to know there are people who care about reading this, and thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions :)

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 09:49:18 PM »
The plans you have for chapter 5 and the epilogue are really interesting.  I will be looking forward to reading more :D

Would it be all right if this story was shared on the forum's Twitter account?
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 09:51:44 PM »
sure! i dont mind :)