Tribe of Storms
Leader: Sky (Silver she-cat w/ white paws)
Healer: Lichen (Cream colored w/ brown paws)
Wing (Silver she-cat)
Dust (Sandy tom)
Swift (Sandy she-cat)
Beak (Brown tabby tom)
Sea (Silver spotted she-cat)
Oak (Dark brown tom)
Snow (White she-cat)
Moor (Light brown tom)
Maple (Light brown she-cat)
Stone (Dark grey tom)
Fang (Ebony tom)
Tiger (Light brown tabby tom)
Owl (Spotted brown tom)
Viper (Black tom)
Rose (Dusty she-cat)
Wool (Brown tom)
Moss (Light brown tabby she-cat)
Ash (Grey she-cat)
Panther (Black tom)
Rat (Dark brown tom)
Juniper (Dark brown tom)
Leopard (Spotted light brown she-cat)
Dawn (Brown she-cat)
Dusk (Dusty tom)
Willow (Black she-cat w/ purple eyes)
Light (White she-cat)
Dark (Black tom)
Marigoldpaw (Golden she-cat)
Autumnpaw (Spotted ginger she-cat)
Fogpaw (Dark grey tom)
Ravenpaw (Black tom)
(A long time ago) (Like, before Stormclan became the Tribe of Storms)
Lightstar paced anxiously.
“What will they do now that I am gone?” He asked, directing his words to the ghostly cats around him. A dark tom stood up.
“There is a temporary fix…” the tom rumbled. A bright she-cat bounded over.
“You can’t! That will put the prophecy in motion!” She yowled. “One will die if that happens.” The dark tom shushed her.
“Leafstar, when you died you left Stormclan in the capable paws of Lightstar.” the tom glanced at Lightstar appreciatively. “But now that Brightstar is in charge, we must put forth desperate measures.” Leafstar frowned.
“This could doom the clan. Brightstar is power hungry. He will want to rule the clan, no doubt. And since Hopestream disappeared…” the she-cat trailed off. Lightstar’s eyes flashed.
“She wasn’t supposed to disappear! What about the prophecy? Flightstar, how could this happen?” the newly deceased leader yowled.
“I cannot control where a cat's loyalties lie.” The dark tom’s eyes glinted in the dim light. “Unfortunately, with her gone, we are doomed. We must rely on the apprentices of the future to put things right.”
“But Midnightwind saw the future! We were supposed to become the Tribe of Storms! Without Hopestream, Stormclan will die.”
“Then we must. You do understand what this means?” Flightstar narrowed his eyes. Lightstar nodded.
“I know. But my clan must survive, even if it becomes a tribe.”
I shielded my eyes from the sun reflecting off the sea below, and of course the Sea next to me.
“Do we have to?” I whined. I already knew the answer, but it didn’t hurt to ask, right? My mentor, Sea, nodded. She looked impatient. I huffed out a breath. She seemed to get more short tempered with every passing day.
“Yes, and you know that. It’s a crucial part of being a Tribe cat. Just follow me and you’ll be fine.” Sea responded. Her eyes seemed to reflect the ocean. I wondered if that’s why she was named Sea. Probably because she was moody and dangerous like the ocean, though. And she was the best swimmer now that Mist was gone. A sudden movement startled me. Sea took a running start and threw herself into the churning waves a few fox lengths below the ledge we were sitting on. I felt an irrational sort of panic. Breathing hard, I searched the waves for a silver head peeking out of the water. I counted to five, but none appeared. Letting out a guttural howl, I threw myself into the ocean.
The cold hit me like the pool in Lichen’s cave. And I would know, I’ve fallen into it several times. I tried to howl, but water flooded in my mouth. I can barely describe the panic that shot through me. I paddled my paws furiously to keep afloat. Coughing and retching, I took a deep breath and stuck my head under the water. I wrenched open my eyes, trying to ignore the sharp sting of the salt water. Searching the sea floor, I spotted a lump of something greyish. I dove towards it, lungs screaming for air. Then I died.
Not really. That wouldn’t be much of a story, would it? Though, to be fair, I did black out. When I blinked open my eyes, I was sprawled on the sand. I tried to get up, but immediately doubled over as seawater tried to claw its way up my throat. Blinking a few times, I glanced to the side, my gaze falling on a pair of silver paws. I looked up. Sea was sitting next to me, her eyes dancing with amusement as she groomed her sodden pelt.
“You…” I stuttered, before another fit of coughing hit me. Sea looked unimpressed.
“Yes, me. You fainted a few tail-lengths under the surface, which was a really bad time.” She rolled her eyes. My pelt felt hot with embarrassment.
“I was trying to save…” I mumbled, before my eyes shot upwards. “I was trying to save you.” My nose wrinkled in confusion.
“Me?” Sea blinked sarcastically. “Oh… you mean that lump of seaweed that I found near you?” I could literally feel the head radiating from my pelt now. I risked my life to save… seaweed? Sea’s gaze softened. “Hey,” she helped me up. “Everyone makes mistakes.”
“You don’t…” I muttered. It was true. Everyone thought she was so perfect. Sea nodded in agreement, which really bothered me for some reason.
“Yes. Everyone except me.” I slumped back into the sand as she spoke, face-planting into the ground.
“I… did make a mistake, actually. When I was your age, I thought a silverfish was an actual type of fish. It was so embarrassing.” Sea continued. I buried my face further into the sand. I knew she meant well, but that just embarrassed me even more. When she was my age, she confused fish with a bug that actually had 'fish' in the name, and I confused seaweed for cats? What kind of loser does that?
“How many points?” I asked wearily, lifting my head. I tried to ignore the trails of sand that snaked down my fur. Sea looked at me somewhat disapprovingly.
“Ten points for heroics, five for courage, and minus twenty for stupidity.” Sea rolled her eyes. “Congratulations, you’ll be the first apprentice to get negative points.” I turned away. Why was I so bad at everything? I stood up shakily.
“I… I’m sorry-,” I started.
“Hmph. Caused me a whole lot of embarrassment and trouble to rescue you,” Sea rolled her eyes. “Let’s just go back to the Cave.” I followed my mentor, feeling hot with embarrassment and humiliation.
“And then,” Sea continued, telling the story animatedly. “I heroically untangled her from the seaweed before she drowned!” Several cats purred. I plugged my ears with my tail and tried to tune them out. Sea had been telling everyone the story of my ‘heroic saving of the seaweed’, getting further and further from the truth each time. Sometimes I got tangled in the seaweed, sometimes I got knocked unconscious by a passing shark or something. Burying my face into my nest, I ignored the amused stares from the cats around me.
“Willow?” A soft voice called. I turned around. A fellow mentee, Dawn, strode towards me. Her cream pelt rippled like it was in an invisible wind. That also bothered me for some reason.
“What.” I snarled. “Come to humiliate me further?” Dawn’s eyes widened at my accusation.
“Of course not! Lichen wants to see you.” This time, it was my eyes that widened.
“Why?” I asked. “Am I in trouble?” Dawn purred at my words, though I didn’t find them funny in the slightest.
“I hope so…” she murmured once she thought I was out of hearing range. When I turned back to glare at her, Dawn had already gathered a group of mentees that were all whispering and staring at me. I rolled my eyes and turned away. I would honestly rather have to sit in a room full of whispering crystals than wait one more second with those gossiping fish brains.
Lichen was waiting for me when I padded in.
“Hello, Willow.” She started ominously, then purred. “Hey, that rhymes!” I sat across from her.
“You called?” I asked. I was not in the mood for pleasantries. Lichen sighed. She gestured to the crystals that lined the den.
“You can hear them, can’t you?” The old healer asked calmly. Panic flared through me. I had never told anyone about the voices. How did she know? As if sensing my hesitation, Lichen continued.
“It’s okay, Willow. All you have to do is listen, and they’ll go away.” The healer rested her tail on my back. I stiffened.
“Listen? But… but…” I could barely breathe. My entire life I thought the voices were hallucinations. Lichen just nodded. I sighed and stopped ignoring the calls for help and pleads of misery. The voices grew louder and louder, as the panic that ran through me threatened to make me pass out. Suddenly they stopped crying in pain and rang out in one unified voice.
“The sky must fall!” they yowled in harmony, voices of every gender and age. “It must for storm to survive!”
I sat next to my best friend, Dusk. Unlike his sister, Dawn, he was caring and kind.
“Don’t worry,” He whispered, letting me lean into his pelt. “The voices aren’t real. Sky isn't going to purposely hurt the Tribe of Storms.” We both knew that wasn’t true. The voices were real, and so was the threat. Sky had kicked out all our best guards. She might have not purposely hurt the Tribe, but the consequences were still there.
“The Tribe needs to change,” I insisted. Dusk looked troubled.
“Sky won’t like that. She also won’t like it when you tell her to go away,” he murmured into my ear, trying not to let anyone else hear. I nodded nervously.
“Yeah, but…” I trailed off. “Will you help me? If we get enough cats who don’t want Sky to be the leader any more…” Dusk nodded, standing up.
“See you,” he called over his shoulder as he jogged away. I sighed and stumbled to my paws.
“So,” Juniper sidled up to me. I very nearly rolled my eyes. “I heard you tried to rescue some seaweed.” The mentee waved her tail in my face. This time I did roll my eyes.
“I tried to rescue Sea.” I snarled back.
“Sea-weed.” Juniper purred. I slammed my face into the cave wall. Repeatedly. “You know, no one is going to take you seriously after that,” the mentee continued. My eyes widened and I slumped into a more comfortable position. If that was true, then it was completely up to Dusk to get the Tribe on my side. Luckily he was ‘popular’.
Soft footsteps resounded across the stone of the cave. I didn’t turn around until something nudged me in the shoulder. My jaws opened in a yawn as I sat up. It was Dusk.
“You’re in luck,” he purred. “Most of the clan does want change.” He hesitated for a second.
“What?” I asked, sure something was wrong.
“It’s nothing.” Dusk replied. “But… they won’t follow you. They said that…” I snarled at nothing particular, lashing my tail.
“Great Starclan.” I hissed. Dusk looked at me curiously.
“Starclan?” He asked. I cursed myself under my breath.
“Uh… sorry…” I trailed off. I had forgotten only Lichen had been around when the Tribe still believed in Starclan. And she had passed that knowledge to me. Dusk flicked his tail like he didn’t quite believe me, but he didn’t press it. “I’m really sorry…” Dusk murmured. I flicked his shoulder, purring.
“It’s nothing,” I told him. He looked relieved. “I’m sorry for making you do all the work,” I continued. “I… tried, but no one would listen to me.” This time it was Dusk who purred.
“No, it’s fine, really.” He told me. My pelt went hot, but I wasn’t sure why. I had never been embarrassed around Dusk, so why was I now?
“Uh, well, thanks for helping me,” I told him. Dusk gave me a strange look.
“You’re… welcome, I guess?” He meowed. “I should go. See you tomorrow, Willow.”
When Sky ordered me to her den the next morning, I didn’t know what to feel. Nervousness? Apprehension? Worry? I padded along the stone hallway, my paws hitting the ground with muffled thuds. The hallway opened into a small chamber with a tiny creek rippling through it. Sky was sitting on the stone floor, her tail flicking idly through the water as she glared at me.
“Uh… hi? I…” I trailed off, not sure where to start. My tail began flicking too, but not casually. More like a nervous tic.
“Sit down.” Sky told me. I complied immediately. Sky held her glare for a second before continuing. “I heard you spread some nasty rumors about me? Something… about me not being the rightful leader?” I flinched.
“Starclan told me-” I tried to explain, but Sky cut me off.
“No, no, no! Wrong answer! Starclan can do whatever they want and I couldn’t care less.” Sky loomed closer to me. I tried to scoot backwards a mouse length or so, but there was a wall behind me.
I- I didn't mean to hurt anycat." I murmured. Panic ran through me like the creek in Sky’s cave. Sky snarled at me.
"Question my leadership, huh?” She grabbed me by the scruff and dragged me down the stone hallway outside of her den. “Well… I’m fairly good at doling out punishments, don’t you think?” Sky dumped me onto the ground at the entrance to the hallway. I slumped on the floor. I wish I could say I rose gracefully, but it was more of a stumble-hop-bow. I looked up and felt what seemed like the entire Tribe’s stare pinned on me. I turned to Sky, who glared in response. I wish I could also say that I felt courageous and blurted out a witty comeback… but instead I wanted to grovel for mercy.
“Wh-what are…” I started, then stopped, embarrassed at my own stuttering. I tried again. “What are you going to do with me?” Sky flicked her tail and Sea came over, jaw set in a hard line.
“I am disappointed in you.” Sea glared. “But then again, I always am, aren’t I? It was thanks to your friend Dawn we found out your clever plan.” I searched the crowd until my eyes fell on Dawn. Her cream pelt stood on end as she fidgeted with it nervously. Good. She at least owed me some remorse. It wasn’t until I had blinked a few times that I saw Dust, his dusky pelt like a shadow behind his sister. He looked desperate and worried as his gaze caught mine. I held the stare, silently communicating all that I couldn’t say. I imagined the conversation went something like this:
Dusk: Are you alright? Did she hurt you?
Me: No, I’m fine. What about you?
Dusk: She didn’t even mention me. What do you think will happen?
Me: I… I think I’ll get kicked out.
Dusk: I won’t let that happen.
Me: Thanks, it means a lot to me that at least one cat in this tribe is on my side.
Then I saw something else, a glimpse of an emotion that I didn’t recognize. I stared a second longer, but it was gone.
“Sea, what do you think should be this… cat’s punishment?” Asked Sky turning to my mentor… or, now that I thought about it, my former mentor. Sea glared at me coldly.
“Kick her out. We don’t need disgraces like her contaminating this tribe.” I met her gaze as she said those words, but she looked away. A stream of rage sliced through me. Sea could at least meet my eyes one last time.
“Look at me while you say it.” Someone’s voice said. I balked when I realized it was mine. I wished I could take it back, but it was too late now. “Look at me!” I repeated. Two of the tribe-guards began to drag me away.
“Willow!” Dusk shrieked and tried to run to my aid, but his own father held him back.
“Look at me!” I screeched, my voice vaulting up a few notches. “Look at me as you give me my sentence!” Sea averted her eyes, staring at the ground instead. The guards roughly threw me out the cave entrance. My head banged against a rock in the sandy ground. The last thing I saw before everything went black was Dusk screaming my name.