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IN WETTY'S WRITING CONTEST.


Essay
This page contains a fan fiction written by Maplefern.
This page contains the opinions of the original author(s), and is not patrolled for factual accuracy.
Remember that this story is non-canon. It may contain false characters, plots, or locations.
Responses, comments & other feedback should be made on the comments section below.

On side note, Swiftstep is NOT a Mary-Sue, as you'll find out. Also, this is about her life.

Prologue

A cat lay in the medicine den, moaning in pain.

"It'll be okay, Swiftstep," another cat murmered.

"No, it won't," Swiftstep said.

"Yes, it will. You were my mentor. One of the best medicine cats of all the clans," the ginger tom said.

"But look at what I caused Fernmist to do," The tabby she-cat spat. "I know I'm Swiftstep. But I also know that I am at fault of all the problems the clan has."

"But you have had such a successful time as medicine cat," he mumered. "Please, Swiftstep?"

"No, I haven't, and you know that, Firetalon."

Firetalon blushed.

Swiftstep looked at the bundle of herbs. "They'll think I haven't taught you well!" she mewed, before bursting into another fit of coughing.

Firetalon check the herbs. It was catmint. "What do you mean?" he asked cautiously.

"I'm developing Blackcough." Swiftstep's mew was quiet.

Firetalon looked ready to pass out. "Seriously?" He put his paw to her pelt; sure enough, it was warmer than usual.

"I'll make sure you are comfortable," he offered.

Swiftstep shook her head. "No," she mewed. "But before you pass me the deathberries that I am going to request, I have one thing to tell you.

"What is it?" Firetalon mewed.

"Fernmist is strong, but ambitious, and yet kind, too. But her brother is a different story."

"What's so special about Brackenpelt?"

"You will find out," she murmered, then muttered, "The next time somebody will die, be careful."

Firetalon flicked his ears nervously. What did this mean for the future of ThunderClan?

"Just be careful," Swiftstep mewed. "Now, pass me the deathberries."

"Why?" asked Firetalon.

"Just do it!" Swiftstep spat. "You never challenged me before, so why now?"

Firetalon flinched, and ran into the medicine den. Het came out with three small, red berries.

"Eat these," he mewed. "If you wish."

He turned away, not wanting to see his mentor die. "Firetalon," a voice said behind him.

He turned around and saw Fernmist. "What happened?" she asked.

Firetalon looked at Swiftstep's body on the floor. He looked back to the deputy. "I'll tell you if you will keep this a secret," he said.

The mottled grey she-cat nodded. "Go ahead."

"Swiftstep, well, she knew she was developing blackcough," he began.

Fernmist's eyes grew wide, in admiration for her former mentor.

"She insisted that I give her deathberries, and told me something about..." Firetalon almost said Brackenpelt. "...medicine."

"I see," murmered Fernmist, her eyes clouding with grieve.

Firetalon bowed his head. If he was to be the next medicine cat, why couldn't he be not as useless?

Chapter 1

"Swiftkit! Get in here now!"

Swiftkit huffed into the nursery. Why did Blossomsky have to be so grumpy?

Swiftkit stared at the moss beside her mother; it still contained the scent of Leafkit. Why couldn't she be here? Swiftkit asked herself.

Swiftkit turned around and ran out of the nursery. She heard a yowl, but she didn't stop until she reached the medicine cat's clearing.

There lay her sister, half-dead, wheezing and coughing, in desperate pain. Leafkit looked awful, so Swiftkit decided she would help.

Swiftkit looked around. There were some bright-red berries. Leaf-bare was harsh, so there were only one type of herb able to give a portion: the giant red berries. She spotted some other things in the medicine den. Small green leaves, flowers, leaves, more flowers, seeds....But none of them looked as tasty as the giant red berries. She spotted other berries, but they still didn't look as good. She took another look at the bright red berries.

"Maybe these'll help," Swiftkit said. She picked up a few. She ate one, and she gave her sister one.

Swiftkit began to feel dizzy, and her breathing got shallower. Her sister stopped altogether.

Swiftkit couldn't remember exactly what Smallbird said, but it suddenly struck her: "Do not eat these, because they are very poisonous.

Swiftkit fell over and blacked out, while she heard yowling in the background and the thudding of paws.

Chapter 2

Swiftkit blinked open her eyes. She recognized the medicine den.

She tried to move.

"Stay still!" a voice spat.

Swiftkit looked up and saw Smallbird.

"You naughty kit," Smallbird mewed, shaking her head. "What did I tell you?"

"Not to eat them," Swiftkit mewed. "I remembered that-"

"-After it was too late," finished Smallbird. She sighed. "Like everyone else. You remember until it was too late."

Swiftkit tilted her head at the she-cat. What did she mean by that?

Smallbird looked at her paws. "I admit, I wish Bluespots was still around."

Swiftkit faintly remembered the large blue-grey and white she-cat.

"She's dead?" Swiftkit asked.

Smallbird nodded, remaining silent.

Swiftkit looked around the den. She saw the empty nest. It smelled faintly of Leafkit.

"She's alive?!" Swiftkit asked, surprised.

"Who?" Smallbird was suddenly alert.

"Leafkit!" Swiftkit squeaked.

Smallbird's gaze softned. "Oh Swiftkit, I'm sorry..."

Swiftkit cocked her head in confusion.

"What is it?" she asked. "Is she playing hide and seek without me?"

Smallbird shook her head. "S-"

"Is she sleeping?"

Smallbird shook her head again.

"Then what's wrong?" Swiftkit asked. "Wouldn't she be happy that I'm alive?"

Smallbird sighed. "She would be very happy that you were alive."

"Then why won't she see me?" Swiftkit pestered.

Smallbird drew in a deep breath.

"Because she is dead."

Chapter 3

Swiftkit gasped. "S-She can't be!"

Smallbird looked at her paws.

"Why couldn't you do anything?!" asked Swiftkit angrily.

Smallbird bristled. "You fed her deathberries!"

"And I didn't know!"

"Why couldn't you remember what I said when it's important?" Smallbird towered over the kit.

Swiftkit started backing away. "I-I...."

Smallbird turned and disappeared into the forest.

Swiftkit stood there in confusion, when her mother appeared behind her.

"Blossomsky!" She yelped, and bustled into the soft tabby and white fur of her mother.

"There you are!" she purred. She looked as though she would burst with joy.

"I am so happy I could you again!" Swiftkit purred.

"I am, too. I was worried you would come out....like your sister."

Swiftkit looked at her paws in shame.

"But you tried to help her, didn't you?" Berryfur inquired.

Swiftkit nodded.

"And you didn't know the herbs?"

Swiftkit shook her head.

"I'll have to have a word with the leader about that medicine cat of ours," she muttered, then padded off towards the leader's den.

Swiftkit sat up taller, and knew she would recover.

Before she slept that night, she made a vow: She would not look at that nest for at least a moon.

Chapter 4

Swiftpaw stared at the nest for the first time in moons.

Swiftpaw shook her head. I can't focus on vows, she thought. I'm the medicine cat apprentice now.

Smallbird looked down at her apprentice. Swiftpaw had become very different as she grew older.

Tonight they would go to the Moonpool for the second time, together.

Happily Swiftpaw rose and asked, "Can I get some herbs?"

Smallbird nodded. "Of course. We need poppy seeds."

Swiftpaw thought of all the injured cats after the battle with ShadowClan. She shuddered as she remembered all that blood spilled.

Swiftpaw was about to pad out, when she thought of something very important.

She thought of her mother.

At least she is safe in StarClan, thought Swiftpaw miserably, remembering what her mentor told her every day.

Smallbird gave her a look. "Remember what I told you," she warned.

Swiftpaw kicked some dirt up at her.

"Watch it!"

Swiftpaw kicked some more dirt up at her.

She found herself on the ground, Smallbird looking over her.

"Never do that again," she hissed.

Swiftpaw was agitated, but stopped. She would avenge her mother's death.

She would.

Chapter 5

"From now on, you'll be known as Swiftstep. StarClan honors your courage and compassion."

"Swiftstep! Swiftstep!"

Swiftstep beamed. She recieved her name, and now she would be known as Swiftstep.

And I'm still an apprentice until she's dead, she thought sarcastically.

Smallbird purred, and the other medicine cat agreed it was time for her to recieve her name.

"You are lucky," said a spotted apprentice named Splashpaw from RiverClan.

Swiftstep liked her new name, but was still envious of Blacksplash, the ShadowClan medicine cat. The white she-cat had one black splash across her back, and nothing else but soft white fur and big blue eyes.

She winked at Swiftstep.

Swiftstep found herself blushing.

"We shall begin the meeting," announced Blacksplash, then curled up and lapped from the pool.

Swiftstep bent down to do the same, and spotted Greenpaw winking at her from the corner of his eye.

No.

That was her first thought.

She couldn't love him.

Whatever he wanted, and whatever she wanted, it wouldn't work.

But at that moment, for the first time in her life, she expierenced a feeling she could barely remember.

Love.

Chapter 6

"Are you sure we are doing the right thing?"

Swiftstep looked at Greenpaw. His green eyes glowed.

"Well, are you sure you want to do this?" he asked.

"Yes, but-"

"You are doing the right thing if you think it is," he murmered.

She looked at him curiously. "Alright, then."

Greenpaw flicked his ears back for the sound of a patrol.

"I have an idea!" he whispered loudly.

"What?" Swiftstep asked.

"We should meet on the island, when it isn't a gathering!"

Interesting idea, Swiftstep thought.

"Tomorrow?" he asked.

Swiftstep nodded.

He licked her ear.

"I think we better go back," she mewed.

Greenpaw nodded.

"See you tomorrow," he mewed softly, then dashed off.

Swiftstep returned to cap, her paws as light as air.

Chapter 7

Swiftstep looked around the island. It looked cold and barren without all the cats in it.

She looked around for Greenpaw.

She stepped backward onto the log, and heard a splash.

"Fox dung!" a tom yowled.

Swiftstep purred. "Sorry, Greenpaw."

He got up and shook himself near Swiftstep. "Hey!" she squealed.

He disappeared and came back with a poppy seed.

"For all inadequate paitients," he purred.

He gave it to her, then ran.

The little monster! Swiftstep thought.

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