My Christmas FanFic Contest Entry. The Protagonists are two young cats, called Han and Geo. The theme was gingerbread house. It is based on the classic German fairy-tale of Hansel and Gretel, which was published in 1812. Hope you Enjoy! :D
Written by Eagleclaw
My FanFiction.net Account: https://www.fanfiction.net/~ukeagleclaw
Trust: Part I (1) - ConfrontationEdit
A great famine has settled over the forest, prey is scarce and increasingly difficult to come by. Every cat struggles to survive these harsh conditions. Cats will go to extreme lengths to ensure their own survival...
Geo lifted her head; a loud noise had awakened her from her sleep. She gazed upwards through the roof of the nest which was covered in snow. She realised it was very early in the morning. The sun was only just beginning to rise. Through the gaps in the den’s roof, she could see that the sky had started to turn blue, but white clouds and shadowy mist made it darker. She could feel her fur tingle uncomfortably as the cold leaf-bare air gripped her. She pushed the sleep out of her eyes, using one of her hind-legs to do so.
Her belly roared in hunger. Food was scarce. It was made even worse by the beginning of leaf-bare. The group of cats hadn’t eaten anything since two sunrises ago. Han, her littermate had managed to kill a scrawny mouse. However, the mouse had succeeded little in filling their bellies. Food was just as scarce for the prey.
She twisted her head towards Han. He was peacefully curled up in a tabby ball of fur. She’d always known him to be a heavy sleeper, unlike her, even the slightest noise would wake her up. Han was snoring, oblivious to the loud growling. Cautiously, Geo padded closer to the den entrance, taking extra care to ensure she didn’t make any noise. Pricking her ears, she could now hear the growling cats more clearly.
Geo looked outside at the snow covered clearing that lay beyond her and Han’s den. Their parents, Jack and Rain were in a heated conversation. Rain’s eyes were narrowed in anger. Her pale gray fur spiked up in fury. Oppositely, Jack looked calm. His face didn’t show any emotion. Unlike Rain, his red-brown fur laid flat. Geo knew she shouldn’t eavesdrop, but she was curious to see why her parents were arguing so loudly.
“Jack, we must leave our kits in the forest. If not we’ll starve,” growled Rain without flinching. Geo froze in shock. Her mother wanted to abandon them! She felt her vision swirl and the feeling of blood, violently rush through her.
“Surely there’s enough food in the forest for all of us?” Jack pleaded; hope glowed in his emerald, green eyes. Geo felt herself become calmer, her vision normalising. At least our father still believes in us. Maybe mother is just stressed out. Would she really abandon us?
“I’m sorry, Jack. But it’s the only way to survive this awful famine. I love my kits with all my heart, and I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But, Jack, you are my mate, my world. I’d rather have you than our kits. I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but I wouldn’t be able to live without you, my love.” Rain stared wide-eyed into Jack’s, brushing her tail through the fallen leaves as she did so. Geo felt like her heart would burst in her chest. She was amazed neither Jack nor Rain had spotted her. She felt like her heart was beating so loudly, even Han would be woken up.
Jack’s emerald, green eyes softened. “I love you Rain with all my heart. I’d do anything in the world for you, I would. However, these are my kits, my blood, my pride and joy. It would break my heart to choose between them and you. It’s just impossible for me to choose. The famine has lasted for moons, it has to improve soon. We will either survive together or die trying.” Relief washed through Geo’s fur. It would be fine. Father wants us to stay and Rain will listen to him.
Rain twinned her sleek, pale gray tail around Jack’s bushy, red-brown tail. “Of course, you’re right my love. How could I ever be so cruel? I’m sorry,” Rain whispered persuasively.
“Don’t worry, Rain. I forgive you.” Jack lovingly rubbed his muzzle against Rain’s. Geo purred in delight. Her parents had forgiven each other. She and Han would be safe. Her mother didn’t believe what she was saying. She loves us, just like father.
Geo re-entered her and Han’s den, unsurprisingly, Han was still asleep without a worry in the world. She turned towards her moss nest, settling down to get some more sleep. Geo closed her eyes, positive that her parents had made up. Otherwise, she was convinced that apart from the famine, everything was good in her world. She curled up into a tight ball, and swiftly drifted back to sleep.
Trust: Part II (2) - Wishful ThinkingEdit
“Wake up, Han.” A pale gray she-cat stood above Han. His vision was blurred from sleep, he failed to recognise her.
“Han, it’s me, Rain.” Han’s mother casually lifted one of her front paws and rhythmically licked it. She showed no alarm, no impatience with Han.
Han blinked his eyes, sunshine had penetrated the den, lighting up every dark corner. It lit up the ice and frost on the den’s roof. He stumbled up to his feet, slowly taking in the familiar surroundings. Geo’s nest was empty, she must be outside.
“I think we should go hunting whilst the sun is still shining, and the snow has melted. Hunting should be easier with the new-found sunlight,” Rain purred, adding, “And, you should already be up by now anyway.”
“Okay, okay, I know.” Han arched his back flexing his muscles, and exited the den. Rain silently followed.
“You’ve finally stopped hibernating,” Geo joked. The sunshine had transformed her fur blue-gray fur into a brilliant, bright blue. In contrast to Han, she was fully awake. Geo had always been an energetic cat; she was never able to stay still. Han was a more patient cat, because of this he was a better hunter than Geo, who often pounced too early missing her prey. Unlike Geo, Han would wait until he was closer before pouncing, increasing his chances of successfully catching prey.
Han flicked his ear towards his sister. “Well, it’s not like there’s any prey to catch. It’s either dead or gone someplace else.” Han didn’t like being so negative, but the famine had lasted for so long and the prey had seemingly deserted the forest.
“Stop being so negative, Han. I’m sure we’ll catch something today,” purred Rain. Han was surprised by his mother’s new found attitude; normally she was very negative about finding any prey.
Glancing away from Rain for a heartbeat, Han realised that Geo was wandering around the small camp. It seemed like she was searching for something. What is it? Han wondered. She looked frustrated.
She bounded over to Han and Rain, her tail lashing in frustration. “Have you seen father anywhere? He’s not in camp.” Geo looked worried. Han was surprised by this, has something happened to father? Han himself felt worried now. Subconsciously, his tail lashed from side-to-side. Where was father? Was he okay? Had he abandoned them?
“Don’t worry my kits,” Rain answered. “He’s already gone hunting. We should too, before the clouds cover the sun.” Rain flicked her pale gray tail towards the forest. Han noticed that Geo immediately calmed down. Her pelt which had spiked up in worry, now settled back down. Han’s own tail now stopped lashing. Han hadn’t even noticed his tail was moving until, he heard it softly thump against the partly snow covered ground.
Rain headed out of the small camp, heading into the forest. Han soon followed, padding confidently into the trees. Geo sighed, but quickly followed, unwilling to be left behind.
Trust: Part III (3) - HuntingEdit
Geo attempted to place her paws as cautiously as possible. She had spotted a small shrew, and was now edging closer and closer towards it. Geo’s only focus was the shrew. Eyes narrowed in concentration, everything else was blocked out.
The group needed the fresh-kill so badly, Geo realised. The shrew would help fill their bellies. At this thought, Geo felt her belly rumble. She froze, had the shrew heard? She stared towards it. Luckily, it was still nibbling on a small insect.
She relaxed, loosening her muscles. She was so close now, only a couple more paw steps, and then she could pounce. Anticipation electrified her paws, Rain would be so proud of her. If she caught some prey, Rain definitely wouldn’t feel the need for her and Han to leave.
But her daydreaming cost her. In Geo’s state of relaxation, her tail had slumped against the forest floor, brushing against the small mounds of snow. The shrew had realised it was being hunted. Geo leapt, but it was too late. The shrew had darted away. Geo looked in vain at the thick undergrowth it had vanished into. She wouldn’t be able to find it in there.
Ungracefully, Geo landed. “Mouse-dung,” she spat.
A light brown tabby tom padded over. “What’s wrong sis?” Han mewed. He had been only a few tree-lengths away, searching for his own prey among the roots of an old oak tree.
“The shrew I was hunting got away,” Geo sighed. “I should have caught it. I was so close!” she spat.
Han and Geo hadn’t noticed that their mother, Rain had emerged from nearby. “Don’t worry about it, we all make mistakes.” She licked Geo’s ear affectionately. Han looked shocked; normally their mother would be furious if they missed any prey. Geo didn’t know what to say. She’d expected a stinging retort from Rain, not an answer of affection. Their father was usually the one to offer comfort when they made mistakes. This was completely out of Rain’s personality.
Rain headed off, without looking back at her kits. “Come on. Let’s try the deeper part of the forest for prey.”
“But, we haven’t been in the part of the forest yet,” replied Geo. Han noticed that the worried look from earlier, had returned to her face.
However, Han was excited by the opportunity of discovering new territory and finding new prey. “Come on, Geo, don’t be so scared. This is our forest, there’s nothing to afraid of.”
“I’m not scared!” hissed Geo. She paused, calming herself, “But, I don’t know about this, shouldn’t we wait for father to come with us? After all, couldn’t it be dangerous?”
Rain walked back towards her daughter. “Of course, there isn’t any danger. I’ve been in the deeper parts of the forest plenty of times. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about whatsoever. There’s this one clearing where there’s always plenty of prey, but we better hurry. It’ll take some time to get there.”
This seemed to have reassured Geo. “Okay, I suppose.” She turned to Han. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Han and Geo quickly increased their pace, eager to catch-up to their mother. The three cats headed into the darkest depths of forest in search of fresh-kill...
Trust: Part IV (4) - GingerbreadEdit
“Are we there yet?” the littermates complained in unison.
The sun was at sunhigh. They had been travelling since early in the day and it had taken its toll on the young cats. It was even harder walking through the forest’s dense undergrowth. Geo’s pads felt tore, a thirst gripped her throat, and her belly rumbled. She felt like she could collapse any second. Han also looked dead on his paws; his usual upbeat personality had evaporated. His light brown tabby fur seemed to be duller than normal. His shoulders were drooped, and Geo herself knew how much energy it took to make any sort of movement.
“Don’t worry, kits, we’re very close now.” Rain kept on walking, she was tired too, but she was determined to reach the clearing. Her longer legs and larger frame, keeping her from suffering the same kind of fatigue her kits were doing through.
--- SCENEBREAK ---
They’d reached the clearing. Geo noticed something odd. There was some kind of twoleg house at the clearing’s far side. However, this one was different from any twoleg house, Geo had seen before. Some kind of snow was stuck to the house, and it was decorated with vibrant colours. The walls also seemed different, the texture softer than a normal twoleg house. What is this place?
“What’s that mother?” Han enquired. Obviously, wondering the same thing as Geo was thinking.
“It’s called a gingerbread house. There’s plenty to eat inside.” Rain was already striding straight towards the gingerbread house.
When Rain was a few tail-lengths ahead, Han turned his head towards Geo; an uncertain look glazed his green eyes. “I’m not sure about this. How can there be food inside that strange thing.”
Geo was worried too, but was determined not to let it show. “I’m sure, it’s nothing to worry about,” comforted Geo. She suddenly remembered Han’s earlier insult. “Whose scared now?” she joked.
Han still looked unsure. “I guess so...”
Before, Han could continue. Their mother looked back. “Aren’t you coming,” she casually questioned. Geo still wasn’t sure about this gingerbread house either, but she obediently followed as did Han.
Several tail-lengths later, they reached the gingerbread house. Han hooked a claw into the wall. It crumbled like sand, leaving a small indent in the wall. Geo had felt more scared the closer they were to the gingerbread house; it felt like something sinister was in the air.
Rain noticed Han. “Stop messing around,” she snapped. “Someone lives here.” Who would live in a place like this?
As if summoned by Rain’s comments, a speckled gray tom with pale blue eyes stood at the house’s entrance hidden partly by shadows. “Hello, Rain. How are you?” “Despite the famine, I’m doing well,” Rain replied.
“Oh, are these you’re kits?” The gray tom looked down at Han and Geo. A great grin stretched across his muzzle. But, it soon dropped. “How skinny they look! You should have sent them to me sooner,” concern filled his mew.
Using her tail, Rain brushed the kits inside. “Don’t worry, Rain. I’ll take good care of them,” he mewed licking his lips. He followed the kits inside, whilst Rain headed out of the clearing.
Trust: Part V (5) - DemonsEdit
Han stared around the gingerbread house. The floor was covered in some kind of soft sponge. As he’d discovered earlier, the walls like sand. Weird shapes decorated the inside of the walls.
“Welcome, kits.” The gray tom followed them inside. Surprised by his voice, Han looked back towards the now closed entrance. He realised that the tom was older than he thought; gray scared his muzzle, and his fur seemed ruffled and uncared for. Other than this, he looked very plump, better fed than any cat Han had met recently.
Geo realised before Han did. “Where’s mother,” she cried. Han felt panic sweep over him. Where was mother? Where was Rain? Had she left them?
“No need to worry, kits. She’s just gone back to your camp for a few days. She’ll come back once you’ve both been fattened up. Come on, here’s your first meal.” The gray tom pushed two pieces of vibrant coloured prey towards them.
Han looked down at it; he hadn’t seen any prey like this before. “What is it?” Geo also looked unsure of the sudden rush of prey this tom had.
“It’s called candy. It’ll fill you up, nice and quickly.” He shrugged. “If you don’t want it, I’ll just eat it myself,” he casually finished.
Han felt his stomach rumble at the sight of food. “No, I’ll eat it,” he hissed, food making him desperate.
“Of course, fill your bellies,” the gray tom purred.
Han stretched forward, taking a mouthful of the candy in his mouth. He felt new energy rush through him. “It’s fantastic! Geo try some!” he purred.
Geo hadn’t eaten any of her candy yet, but after Han’s convincing tone, she tried some herself. “Yeah, it’s really good! Thanks... What’s your name?” she mewed between mouthfuls.
A cheerful grin, stretched across the speckled gray tom’s face, and his blue eyes gleamed in triumph. “My name is, Goosefeather. But, that’s not important.”
Trust: Part VI (6) - RevelationsEdit
A few sunrises had passed since Han and Geo had arrived at the gingerbread house. The mysterious gray tom, Goosefeather, had kept them well fed. Every day he fed them as much candy as they could eat, fattening them up. Occasionally he went out hunting, but as it was cold and snowy, he hadn’t wanted the kits to become ill by venturing outside with him. Han and Geo thought he was very kind, sharing his prey with them, and letting them stay in his nest. Han and Geo both missed their mother, Rain, but the constant supply of prey was filling their bellies and keeping them happy. They both were reassured by the thought of Rain returning in the near-future. Besides, so far Goosefeather had provided excellent company to both Han and Geo, often coming up with witty jokes.
No longer did Han feel his belly rumble for food, instead he was often too full. Goosefeather’s six meals a day had soon filled his belly and made him chubbier than he’d ever remembered. He looked towards Geo’s nest. She was in a similar fate, she was about double the size she had been a couple of sunrises before. Han was amazed by this magically candy and how quickly it filled them.
He lazily stretched. “Soon, I’ll be so fat, I’ll burst,” he joked, laughing to himself.
Suddenly cold air drifted into the den, it ruffled Han’s fur and transformed the warm air into cooler air. Goosefeather must have returned. Han slowly turned his head towards the entrance.
“Hello my pumpkins, I’ve got something rather special for you today,” purred Goosefeather. He had a couple of blood-red berries hanginf from his mouth. “I assure you, these berries are just as tasty as the candy I’ve been feeding you.”
Han had loved eating the sweet tasting candy, but if Goosefeather was offering them this, then it must be even tastier than candy. Geo had gotten up from sleeping, and was also interested by these berries. Han bent his nose down towards the crimson berries. He breathed in. The scarlet berries smelled the complete opposite of the candy. Han smelled them again. There was something odd about these berries, a weird smell. Something he’d never smelled before. He wasn’t sure about the berries. But he’d grown to trust Goosefeather, and leaned forward to taste the weird smelling berries.
“Stop!” growled a familiar voice from the entrance of the gingerbread house. Smelling the berries, Han hadn’t noticed the cold air enter the den, but now he did. At first he didn’t recognise the voice, but then he realised, it was his father! How could he forget his own father’s voice? Han raised his head, seeing his father’s red-brown fur and his defiant green eyes. What was going on? If father’s here, where’s mother?
“What are you doing here?” questioned Goosefeather his expression unreadable.
Jack looked towards his kits. “My kits,” he paused, and then continued with a ferocious snarl that Han hadn’t seen before. His voice rose in anger, “I’m here to save my kits, you snake-heart!” Jack’s fur was fluffed up twice his size and his fangs were out, threateningly.
“Whatever do you mean, Jack? There’s no danger here, just tasty prey we all can enjoy. Come on, try some for yourself.” Goosefeather dismissed Jack’s accusation.
“You know what I mean! You’ve been fattening them up, and now you’re feeding them deathberries!” He glared at Goosefeather, unsheathing his claws. Then his eyes darted around the nest, looking for his kits. “Han, Geo come towards me. Now!” he ordered.
Han touched the deathberries with a paw. Could they really inflict death upon a cat? Why would Goosefeather feed us such a thing?
Goosefeather lifted his glare away from Jack, turning his peaceful looking blue eyes towards Han. He chuckled, “Why would I do such a thing? These are just some of the sweetest, tastiest berries, I’ve ever had. I’m just sweet, lovable Goosefeather. I could never do a thing like that. You do believe me, don’t you?” he blinked, lashing his tail playfully.
Han eyed the deathberries carefully. He wasn’t sure. He trusted his father. But he didn’t want to argue with Goosefeather, he didn’t want to imagine going hungry again. He looked towards Geo; he could tell she was unsure as well. She hadn’t yet eaten the berries.
“Goosefeather, I’m not sure about this,” Han mewed uncertainly.
“Do it,” quickly replied Goosefeather in a more sinister tone than before.
“Don’t believe him Han. I am you’re father, I wouldn’t lie to you,” Jack pleaded, the desperation clearly showing in his voice.
Suddenly Geo raised her voice, “What about mother? Why isn’t she with you?” Han hadn’t thought about his mother until now.
“Geo’s right,” he quietly mewed. Apart of him didn’t want to hear the truth, but he shakily continued, “Where’s mother?”
Jack looked at his paws, unsure whether or not to tell his kits. He lifted his head, looking into each of his kits eyes. “I’m so sorry to tell you this, but you have to believe me. She betrayed us,” he spat the last bit, rage clearly showing in his face. “She took you to this monster to be murdered... and eaten!”
Han felt sick. His head spun. Shock crunched through his pelt, making his fur stand on end. He felt pure horror. It all made sense, Goosefeather was feeding them to fatten them up. He couldn’t even think about the last bit. What was wrong with Goosefeather? How could Rain do this to them? Did she really hate them that much?
“Han, come on,” Jack’s warm mew ended his nightmarish thoughts. Geo was already standing beside Jack, anxious to escape this den of despair. His paws felt like stone, fear had gripped his heart. Slowly, he managed to scramble over to his father and sister. They embraced, Han let out a sigh of relief, and a purr escaped his throat. This nightmare is over.
Goosefeather had remained silent. Now his expression turned wicked and harsh as his prey comforted each other. His soft blue eyes turned to dark blue ice. Pure hatred and envy like a blizzard swirled in his eyes. “No, no, no! You three aren’t going anywhere! How dare you? Come into my nest and refuse the fresh-kill, I’ve gratefully offered you! I’ve never met such rude cats! You three need to respect your elders!” The mad cat unsheathed his claws. “Looks like I’m just going to have to catch you myself,” he laughed. In contrast to earlier, this wasn’t a sweet laugh like before, but an evil laugh.
Goosefeather advanced towards the three cats. Instinctively, Jack stepped in front of his kits, protecting them from the crazed tom. Han shivered in fright. Goosefeather had so quickly morphed into some kind of insane monster. Han saw that Geo was also trembling, on unsteady paws he leaned against her. The littermates sharing a heartbeat’s comfort as their fur touched. It reminded Han of when they were just born and they would sleep side-by-side in Rain’s nest. Back then food hadn’t been a problem. How could things have changed so quickly in a few seasons?
A grizzly snarl interrupted his memory. Goosefeather had lashed out a disfigured claw at Jack. Goosefeather was old and the speed of his strike reflected this, Jack easily dodged and using two paws grabbed Goosefeather’s belly and speared him against the back wall of the gingerbread house.
Geo trembled beside Han. Fragments of gingerbread were on her whiskers. “What’s that?”
Horror suffocated Han’s heart. “The roof’s collapsing!” He paused, should he help Jack or should he escape whilst he had the chance?
Geo had already moved towards Jack, helping their father to his paws. Goosefeather was laid against the decomposing wall. His head was resting forwards weirdly. Was he still alive? A sprinkling of gingerbread fell onto Han’s head. They were running out of time!
Han hurried towards Geo and Jack. They got Jack to his feet but straightaway he collapsed into a heap.
“I can’t go on,” he huffed. “Save yourselves, leave me!”
Han looked at Geo, new found courage flashed in her blue eyes. “No, father!” she cried. “We’re not leaving you!”
The littermates managed to get their father to his feet. Gingerbread like rain landed on Han’s head. Slowly, but surely they managed to direct Jack towards the entrance. Heartbeats lasted for eternity as faster and faster gingerbread dropped from the roof. Snow which had rested on the roof soon joined it in dropping down. The nest’s spongy floor was soon covered in gingerbread and snow. Leaf-bare sunlight had begun to penetrate the den through the breaches in the roof. They were nearly there; Han could see the snow covered clearing through the nest’s entrance. More and more of the roof fell down on top of them, covering their fur in gingerbread and snow. A deafening sound erupted; Han could feel every foundation of the nest began to crumble. The ground seemingly shook as Han and Geo pushed Jack through the entrance, quickly following behind him. Han could hear a suffocating cry as the den collapsed behind him.
He lay in the snow, breathing heavily. Air quickly relieved him. Looking around, he saw Geo lying beside him in a similar state. Likewise, Jack was spread out, recovering from their near-death experience. He purred. We’re all safe. Gradually, the three cats got to their feet.
“I’m glad you’re all okay,” wheezed Jack.
“What about mother,” shakily mewed Geo.
“I left her,” Jack explained. “I loved her, but she shouldn’t have asked me to choose between my mate and my kits.”
Relief blossomed inside Han. “Thank you, father,” he purred gratefully.
Jack looked towards the fallen den one last time. “Come on, kits. Let’s leave this forest.”
The three cats turned, bunched together as they left the clearing. They avoided looking at the den where Goosefeather now lay dead. Instead, they headed through the forest. Eventually there was no forest left. All that lay was an endless moor covered in snow. A light breeze mellowed across it shaking up leaves. It comforted Han to know that they had exited the darkness of the forest. As he gazed across this new land, he thought to himself, this is our new home.
Thanks for reading. :D
Thanks for reading my Christmas FF one-shot. I hope you enjoyed it and my inclusion of a crazed Goosefeather. Overall, I really enjoyed writing this; it was nice to include Goosefeather and to use him as the antagonist/villain. The other cats are also based on Warriors characters through their descriptions. Can anyone guess who? I hope you enjoyed following these characters. Mega thanks for reading. Please tell me what you think & so forth. Peace out, peeps. :D
B.T.W. I’ve not read Goosefeather’s Omen so, basically this is what I think of Goosefeather. He’s probably one of my most hated characters. Therefore please no spoilers on it. Thanks.