“Run. Run. Just keep running and don’t stop. If you stop, they will get you. Those nasty allies. Don’t let them get you. You mustn’t follow the clan’s rules. They are unfit now.”
That’s what the elders told her. The elder’s voice was in a strained whisper so the pure white Siamese kitten’s mother couldn’t hear from the other room while she and the Hunters were talking.
“But if I leave, my father will be furious with me. He will make the Hunters come to retrieve me.”
The elders nodded at the kitten’s plea and withdrew a map from a small hidden crack in the floorboards. One stood up as a Healer came into the room, dropping down to their knees and changed into a silver-blue like coat as they carried a bottle of oil in their mouth. The Healer looked at her and then the map, nodding to it and sat, her crooked tail curling around her paws.
“Go straight out of the gates in the courtyard to the garden. One of the Healers will be there acting as though they are gathering herbs for medicine and she will help you escape out the hidden gate there. Once you're out, don’t stop running. No matter what you do. Once you are to the meadows, wait. There is an outcast. One of our own and he will help you. But be tedious. Where you go is wolf territory. We don’t have an alliance with them like we do the foxes and bears, but as long as you respect as you pass by, you will be safe.”
The kitten looked at the map. The detailed lines of each territory burned into her eyes, into her brain. In all respect to her parents, she knew that the Elders were doing what was right for her and her safety. To marry into a new cat clan was beyond okay. Times were different and she wanted to explore outside her home. And the Elders were giving her just that but permanently.
The Healer watched as the Elders spoke to the Siamese kitten about her journey and newfound home. Something didn’t feel right and it needed to stop. That’s when booted feet came and turned into jumps and soft pats.
“Elders, they are coming. Time to stop for now”
Everyone scattered to put things away and the kitten hid behind one of the Elders cushions. Her mother came in and bowed, “Sorry to disturb you, but I wanted to state that the deputy and the Hunters will be leaving now for surveying and food gathering. I will be with my ladies. I leave my daughter in your hands until the return of us all.” And with that, she was gone.
“Come child. Let’s go. We don’t have much time. We will help you gather your things and go.” All of them stood up and wobbled out of the room to the hall and down to find her bedroom. Life here was interesting. And now soon, the kitten was leaving before the sun rose for a new day.
☽ ☆ ☾
The kitten’s father was the one that met her at the gate that night. Her father had been the one to come up with the plan to get her away surprisingly and with that she took it. She knew that it was her mother that would make the Hunters search for her soon as the sun rose.
“Be careful. Remember what the Elders said. And don’t stop until you get to your new home. Goodbye, my little Diamond Dust.” And soon she went.
By sunrise, Diamond’s legs were aching. She had switched from her human and cat from many times to keep going but soon rest was what she needed. She collapsed against the creekside letting the breeze flow small mists of water into her face.
“How much longer? Where even am I?”
“You’re at the border of one of the cat territories and fox territories,” a small voice popped up from behind Diamond. She snapped her head around in alert to see a girl on the other side of the creek brushing through her shiny short blue dyed hair. Another girl popped her head to the side from behind a tree and shook her short hair around.
“You are just at the beginning of the wolf territory too. Carnations Pack that is.”
“Carnations…?” That’s when her blood went cold and she shot up, her thigh-length silky black flipping messily. The girls blinked in confusion as they watched her. That’s when the smell surrounded the kitten.
“Wolves. I’m in wolf territory. I’m so sorry I didn’t realize. I’ll leave right away.”
Both girls blinked again and started to laugh at Diamond’s panicked state. The one from behind the tree came over, tying the straps on her shoulders tight,” Calm down. We aren’t gonna attack you or anything. Jesus, do we really have a bad rep with other clans?”
“Only because of the Leader’s stupid brothers. Thanks to Leader’s older brother in his clan, we all look like fools and badies.” Both sighed as Diamond stared at them puzzled.
“My name is Chloe. That here is Tien. We are Omegas of the Carnation Pack. Who are you? You don’t smell like us. We could tell from miles away you were coming this way.”
Diamond sat down on her side of the creek, placing her tanned hands into the freezing water and brushed her fingers through her hair, “Diamond. I’m from the StarDust clan. In the South part.”
“Whoa really!? That’s so cool! We’ve never met a cat from there before! Well, besides the Hunters when they come this way for food. Some assholes they are. But you are the daughter of the Queen right?”
Diamond nodded slowly as the girls awed in shock that she was before them. That’s when they popped the water bed and grabbed onto her,” Why are you out here then!? Aren’t your parents mad!?”
“M...My father helped me escape. He didn’t want me having to be confined to the clan rules of marriage like the elders so he helped me escape. But once my mother finds out, she is going to send the Hunters after me to bring me back. This is uh actually my first time outside of the gates of the clan.”
Tien and Chloe smiled and squeezed Diamond between them in excitement once,” So you are lost?”
Diamond stuttered over her yes and no and tried to explain the rest of what was supposed to happen to her. The girls nodded and looked at one another,” Do you think he’d kill us?”
“Probably send us to be with the Crones. But that isn’t so bad. Let’s go!”
“Go where!?” And with that, Tien, Chloe, and Diamond rushed off to the Carnation Pack. Running and dragging along the creekside into a new clearing and out into a large town that was still largely surrounded by trees. But yet, there was still so much room between them and the town.
“We will take you to Needfyer and Everdeer first. So they can watch over you while you rest and get you some food and water. Don’t worry, we will handle everything after we get you to them. The Leader is way nicer than you heard us say. Just watch out for his older brother as he is around. And his younger one.”
“Hey! Don’t badmouth my bestie! Yeah, he may be a few pups short in the head but at least he can be of something right!?”
Chloe made a fart noise in mock to Tien and she growls playfully annoyed. Diamond had no idea what was happening, but her nerves were soon getting to her.
“Where you go is wolf territory. We don’t have an alliance with them like we do the foxes and birds, but as long as you respect as you pass by, you will be safe.”
That’s right, Diamond thought to herself, breathing in and out slowly to calm herself, I’m just passing by and there is nothing else. I’m soon being welcomed by wolves who I have never met who are not showing a hostile nature. Just be nice and it will all brush over tomorrow and I’ll be gone.
☽ ☆ ☾
Two faces were at the foot of the bed Diamond was laying in. One with short slicked back raven coloured hair and gunmetal blue eyes with a gentle expression on his face the other, green and white dyed hair down to her waist that was decorated in small braids and flowers with a smile on hers.
“Um,” Diamond started out making them nod to her. She bit her tongue and started again, “Are you Needfyer and Everdeer?”
“Yes,” the woman strolled over, placing herself on the bed, “Why do you ask?”
“I just wanted to know. This is new to me. I’m going, to be honest, wolves scare me from what I’ve all heard. I heard they are dauntless, cruor, bellicostic like beasts. That’s what the Elders have told me in stories.
Needfyer snickered and nodded,” We can be. Nice vocabulary you have there. You sound almost like our Alpha in how he speaks.” Diamond blushed at the fact she used those words in front of them. So much for respecting right? But she didn’t see them get angry, just laugh.
“Sadly, you can blame old times for that.”
Music started outside and cheers. Needfyer and Everdeer looked out the window from the clinic and smiled,” Are you well enough now?” Diamond nodded and took Everdeer’s hands to stand. She showed her the window to view the outside gathering.
Music was getting louder and the rush of figures in different clothing from modern and what seemed like medieval clothing gathered around the large area that was in the centre of the town. Children were dancing around and yelling in delight from the adults and teens gathering around them and dancing, some forming circles and doing some sort of conjoined dance. All of them were allowed.
“Here today and she's gone tomorrow. And next, she's going to Galway. Jiggin' around and off to town. And won't be back until morning. Téir abhaile riú, téir abhaile riú. Téir abhaile riú Mhearai. Téir abhail gus fan sa bhaile. Mar tá do mhargadh déanta!”
“Teir Abhaile Riu. A song by Celtic Woman that we end up singing sometimes. We sing a lot of folk songs from them and other people. Even folk like styled songs so we can keep in touch with ourselves and the nature around us.”
Diamond looked at Everdeer and blinked,” You keep in tune with the nature around you? So you do things like this for the Moon Goddess?”
“The Moon Goddess is the one we look to and celebrate too. We all do. Not by force, of course, some of us aren’t part of our activities. But they are our family. We are all a family. But we also do these things for ourselves. To feel light and relaxed and not hang onto negative things if we can. Stress is gone before we sleep. No matter what it is causing us.” Needfyer was opening the door,” Why not come join. Help you relax better while you stay here and until you leave.”
Diamond followed out with Everdeer to the outside.
Chloe was on top of a wooden table outside of a tent with a young male with red hair that was tied up in braids dancing together and singing out along with everyone. Though the song was different now, it was still upbeat. Others were gathered in a circle and spinning around the young kids in the middle as they cheered and clapped to the teens and adults as they danced around them.
Diamond watched as a large group of people that were just a small part of the pack of wolves before her, danced the beat and voices. Tien grabbed Diamond from behind and pushed her into the crowd with a roaring high laugh and grabbed onto her hands singing and spinning to a new song now.
“Come, my love, our worlds may part The gods will guide us across the dark Come with me and be mine my love Stay and break my heart From the shores through the ancient mist You bear the mark of my elven kiss Clear the way, I will take you home To eternal bliss” The voice rang loud as Diamond laughed and spun around. Voices sang out a new language she’d never been around, phrases of, Sha ta co ti oh scum ne rivna Sha ta co ti oh nugga tir na nog and Nug a tir na nog Tir na nog, oh, and she couldn’t help but give into Tien’s dance more.
English and Gaelic, the language she never had been around, flipped in and out in the sung lyrics until a new voice popped up and took over, the echoing noise of boots and a wooden table caught her attention soon as the slightly deeper toned voice sang out.
“Time won't follow the path we came to. The world you left, it forgot your name Stay with me and be mine my love Spare my heart the pain!” A rush of dense mystery washed over Diamond and the crowd roared from the voice that sang the ending part louder than the rest of the song had been sung. Diamond fought her way through the crowd to see the figure that sang aloud dancing around in a circle on the table with Chloe instead of the redhead and Chloe spun jumping off making the figure do the same and land with different partners in the crowd. That left Diamond confused and seeking more who sang out now.
“Who was that?” She had to yell over the crowd as the song started again for encore and Tien laughed and grabbed Diamonds arms pulling out the crowd into the tent that some Elders sat in. Both panted.
“That, Diamond, is our pack leader. You’ll meet him soon. He loves to sing that part in that song. Tír Na Nóg by Celtic Woman.”