Ratha's IslandRatha's Island, a Twitter novelette by Clare Bell, author of the Ratha or Named series.
Prepared for Twitter by Sheila Ruth and Clare Bell. Inspiration by Sheila Ruth. Copyright 2009
The Twitter search tag or hashtag for the story posts is #rathafic. This archive file will be updated regularly.
Ratha, female leader of the Named cat clan, paused on the meadow trail, one forefoot raised.
To one side, the small three-toed horses that the Named called dapplebacks, huddled nervously.
On the other, the three-horned deer stamped and shook their heads.
The deer stabbed up with their forked nose-horns, as if at an invisible enemy only they could see.
Even the sky, choked with low clouds, seemed a threat. Ratha lifted her head, narrowing her eyes.
Just below the clouds two shapes circled.
Yes, they were birds, probably eagles, but she had never seen eagles this large.
Ratha knew the hawks and eagles that often sailed over clan ground, but she hadn't seen these birds before.
They seemed to fly mu
Clan Ground - Chapter OneClan Ground
By Clare Bell
The gathering was to take place in the older part of the meadow, about the flat-topped stone the herders called the sunning rock. Thakur, the herding teacher for the clan, arrived first. With a glance over the meadow to see if anyone else was coming, he bunched his hindquarters and leaped up on the gray stone, then stretched out to catch the suns last warmth. Insects droned about his ears and a rock lizard hissed at him for taking the best spot. He flicked his tail at the lizard once, then ignored it.
Thakur shifted himself in the slight hollow worn by the many who had lain there before him and felt the sun-gathered heat of the stone though the fur of his belly. He folded his forepaws beneath him and let a soft purr flutter in his throat as the evening breeze ruffled the fur on his back. Then the breeze died away and only the twilight stillness and the sce