Hi, this is @c-horse4! I've been working for a year on this story, so I'd greatly appreciate some comments. Please don't edit it! Here goes nothing!


WARRIORS                              

       Birchstar’s Story

By @c-horse4

Allegiances

 WindClan:

Leader: Brackenstar - brown and tan tom with a kinked tail

Deputy: Thistlepad - black tom with spiky fur

Medicine Cat: Runningmouse - light brown she-cat

                 

        Warriors:

Hillfeather - a tom with a tawny pelt

Dusklight - silver tom with yellow eyes

Sandskip - sand colored tom

             apprentice: Petalpaw  

Mintspot - large gray tom with one white spot on his back

Ashtail - gray she-cat with pine-green eyes

Blackfur - black tom with a white belly

Thornheart - yellow tom

Honeysong - black and yellow she-cat

Rainclaw - dappled ginger tom

   apprentice: Vixenpaw

Leafspeckle - dark brown she-cat with a speckled belly

Ravenshade - mottled brown she-cat

Tigerstorm - brown tabby tom

           

               

Apprentices:

Vixenpaw - ginger she-cat

Petalpaw - ginger and white she-cat

Queens:

Mistycloud - pale gray she-cat (expecting Sandskip’s kits)

Spottedwing -  spotted brown she-cat (mother of Dusklight’s kits: Birchkit (white tom) and Silverkit (silver tabby she-cat)

Applestreak - tortoiseshell and white she-cat (mother to Mintspot’s kit: Harekit- black tom)

Elders:

Lilybreeze - black she-cat

Marshwhisker - small ginger tom with white whiskers


ShadowClan:

Leader: Brookstar - brown tabby she-cat

       apprentice: Hollypaw (tortiseshell she-cat with white ears )

Deputy: Stonefeather -  dark gray tom

Medicine Cat: Sparrowfur - brown tom

          Warriors:

Cloudheart - gray and white she-cat with long hair

Oakpelt - dark brown tom

            apprentice: Mousepaw (brown tabby tom)

Aspenbreeze - black she-cat with yellow eyes

    apprentice: Marigoldpaw (brown and white tabby she-cat)

Toadclaw - brown tom with a torn ear

Silvernight - yellow tom

Yarrowfur - ginger tom with white spots

Stonestrike - dark gray, almost black, she-cat


ThunderClan:

Leader: Stormstar - dark gray tom

Deputy: Rosetail - tortoiseshell she-cat with long black legs

Medicine Cat: Larkflight - light orange tabby she-cat


RiverClan:

Leader: Reedstar - dark brown tabby she-cat with tufts on her ears

Deputy: Nightfoot - muscular black tom with large paws

Medicine Cat: Minnowleap - light gray tabby she-cat with a white chest


Prologue  


The tiny kit woke to feel his mother licking his fluffy white fur. He snuggled close to her and she wrapped her silky tail around him for a heartbeat. Then, she picked him up by the scruff and walked through the forest, until she found the place she was looking for. It was a gnarled tree just at the border of the mysterious place her beloved mate called WindClan. She curled up at the roots and her kit fell asleep soundly.

“Winter? Is that you?”

The she-cat looked up from her sleeping son and spotted the cat she loved, a long-legged tom with serious blue eyes.

“Yes, dear,” Winter purred. “Here is your new son, Birch!”

The tom flicked his kinked tail with annoyance. “Don’t call me ‘dear’, Winter! We agreed: I get your eldest kits, and since you only had one, he is mine! He will now be named Birchkit!”

“You can’t do that!” wailed Winter. “You told me you loved me! How dare you take my only son!”

She stepped forward, pelt bristling, blocking the other cat’s view of the sleeping kit.

“I did love you at first, Winter! Then I realized I had to stay loyal to WindClan just about when you announced you were expecting my kits! We made the deal because WindClan needs more fighters and hunters! Birchkit is your eldest, so give him to me!”

“Never!” spat Winter. “I would fight to the death for him!”

“Oh, Winter. You are a rogue, a cat with no training, threatening me, a strong brave warrior with battle training. Of course you’ll win!” he said sarcastically.

Winter hissed and leaped at the cat, but he slid under her and watched as she hit the the hard stone with a sickening thud. He bounded over to her, and prodded her with his paw. She was dead. He bent his head sorrowfully and touched her ear with his nose.

“I’m so sorry, Winter. I will give you a warrior name. StarClan, this young rogue used to have my heart. She deserves to have honor in her death. I present to you, Winterheart.”

He dipped his head to Winterheart once, then picked up his son by the scruff and headed home.







Chapter 1   


Birchkit stumbled out of the nursery and spotted his father, Dusklight, sharing tongues with another warrior by the fresh-kill pile. He angled his ears toward where his denmate Harekit and littermate Silverkit were play fighting. Birchkit kept his eyes on them and walked backwards. No way was he going to get in another argument with Harekit. That arrogant fur-ball!

“Watch it!”

Birchkit had by accident bumped into Hillfeather, a senior warrior.

“Sorry!” Birchkit mewed.

“‘Sorry’ doesn’t cut it, Birchkit. Next time watch where you're putting your paws!” the warrior snapped.

“Sorry anyways, Hillfeather!” squeaked Birchkit.

Hillfeather grunted and made his way to the fresh-kill pile. he picked up a small rabbit and carried it over to share with the deputy, Thistlepad.

Birchkit shrugged and chose a mouse for himself. He’d been eating prey for a moon, but he still missed his mother Spottedwing’s milk. Silverkit and Harekit bounded towards him.

“Hi, Birchkit! May I share?” asked Silverkit.

Birchkit nodded and the two of them began to eat.

“Silverkit, he’s just a bag of  fleas! Why eat with him?” grumbled Harekit.

“Go away, you arrogant ball of fur! He’s my brother!” Silverkit sounded annoyed, but not angry. Birchkit couldn’t help feel a little disappointed.

Harekit turned tail and fled to a clump of fern.

Silverkit flicked her tail. “Don’t listen to him, Birchkit! He’s just jealous because he’s an only kit. His mother barely notices him at all, and his father is just as bad. C’mon, this mouse won’t eat itself!”

Birchkit nibbled on the mouse’s ear unhappily.

“Silverkit, why do you treat me like a helpless kit? Spottedwing says you were born first, sure, but you act like I’m four moons younger than you!”

Silverkit began to groom herself. As she cleaned her muzzle, she finally broke the silence.

“I feel like I have to protect you. Harekit doesn’t have a right to be rude.”

Birchkit shook his head and padded over to a group of warriors, and the leader, Brackenstar. He had only talked to a few warriors, the elders, and the apprentices, and he wanted to introduce himself formally.

“H-Hello! I’m Birchkit!” Rabbit-brain! Is that how you speak to your leader?

The warriors purred and meowed their greetings. Brackenstar sat forward and his kinked tail flicked. Birchkit had heard nursery tales about how his leader had hurt his tail from a big stone that had fallen on it. Spottedwing hardly talked about Brackenstar, though.

“Nice to meet you. How old are you now?”

Birchkit puffed out his chest. “Almost three moons. I used to be way small, but now I’m almost bigger than Silverkit! And Harekit won’t admit it, but he’s all fur and no body, and I am so close to being taller than him! Spottedwing says I take on after Dusklight.”

Dusklight, who had been eating a shrew, nodded briefly and stood up, stretching. He dipped his head respectfully to Brackenstar and padded away.

Birchkit felt a pang. He wanted his father to notice him. A black tom waved his tail to Birchkit.

“You’re father is, um, busy. I’m Blackfur. I became a warrior a while ago but I’m always on patrols. I like to hunt at night, too, because the rabbits don’t expect night hunters! Stupid lumps of fur. I have a knack for squeezing down rabbit holes. ”

Birchkit purred and decided that Blackfur would be a nice mentor. The she-cat Honeysong would be a nice choice, too. She was resting, her head on Blackfur’s flank. Birchkit remembered Spottedwing and Applestreak gossiping about them, and guessed that they were mates. Birchkit turned his head to watch his father pad away. Dusklight never spoke to him. Birchkit realized that Dusklight hardly talked to Silverkit or his mother. Birchkit sighed. He couldn’t wait to become a warrior apprentice. Maybe, if he worked hard, Dusklight would love him. Birchkit yawned, turning his paws toward the nursery.

“Good-bye!” Blackfur called.

Thanks, but I would rather have my father say that!


Chapter 2  


Spottedwing briskly licked Birchkit. “I want you to look your best, my sweet kit. You too Silverkit!”

Birchkit’s mother stopped licking and bent down to sniff Silverkit’s pelt. She looked up and called across the nursery. “Applestreak! Can you wash Silverkit?”

Silverkit scowled. “Spottedwing! I can clean myself!”

Applestreak padded over to the squirming kit and lapped gently at Silverkit’s ears. “Spottedwing just wants you to look your best for your apprentice ceremony!”

Harekit grumbled and burrowed deeply into his nest. “Mother, my pelt is messy, too!”

Applestreak glanced back at her kit and shook her head. “Your pelt is fine, Harekit! Stop trying to be the center of attention! Don’t make me regret my choice in wanting to be a mother!”

Harekit flattened his ears and his eyes grew wide. Birchkit felt bad for him.

Spottedwing glanced up and stared at Applestreak. “How could you say that to him? He’s your son! How could you possibly regret having him?”

Applestreak glared at Spottedwing. “You’d regret him if you went through what I did! I loved Mintspot! He loved me, but he didn’t want to be a father. When I told him i was expecting, he freaked out and left me in the dust. I recall Dusklight sitting by you during your kitting, Spottedwing! When Mintspot found out I was kitting, he didn’t even check on me. He didn’t care that one kit was a stillborn! For StarClan’s sake, I named her Mintkit, after him! He never visits me and he never interacts with Harekit. I do regret being a mother, Spottedwing! If Harekit hadn’t been born, Mintspot would love me!”

Spottedwing bowed her head. “I understand, Applestreak. But that’s no reason to neglect your son!”

Harekit bounded out of the den, clearly too embarrassed to hear another queen defend him against his mother.

Silverkit pressed against Birchkit. “Let’s get out of here!” she mewed.

The siblings trotted out of their den and sat beside Harekit near the Tallrock. Brackenstar padded out from his den and sat on the boulder.

“Let all cats old enough to catch prey gather beneath the Tallrock. Today we have three new apprentices! Harekit, step forward. Harekit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Harepaw. Ravenshade, you are ready to take on an apprentice. You had received excellent training from Lilybreeze, and you have shown yourself to be quite skillful at hunting and brave during battles. You will be the mentor of Harepaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to your apprentice.”

Birchkit lifted his muzzle and chanted Harepaw’s new name, and the new apprentice bounded forward to touch noses with his proud new mentor.

Brackenstar nodded to Silverkit. “Step forward, Silverkit. You are ready to be an apprentice. You shall be known as Silverpaw. Dusklight spoke with me, and he wants you to have a special mentor. Ashtail, you will be her mentor. You trained me and the deputy before Thistlepad, Beestripe. Dusklight and I agreed that a powerful mentor like you, Ashtail, who trained important members of the Clan, should be mentor to Silverpaw. Train her well.”

Birchkit purred with delight and chanted Silverpaw’s name. Lucky! She was getting a mentor that trained deputies and leaders! But most of all, their father had wished it. Did Dusklight have a special mentor for him? He watched Silverpaw pad over to her new mentor proudly. Silverpaw’s eyes sparkled and she touched noses with Ashtail. Ashtail purred with delight and whispered into Silverpaw’s ear. Birchpaw strained to hear, and heard the last few words.

“With my training, hopefully you will become the next leader of WindClan!”

Jealousy and anxiety wormed inside Birchkit’s belly.

Brackenstar gazed down at Birchkit with warmth in his eyes. Birchkit glanced around the clearing and spotted his father staring intently at Brackenstar. I wonder who my father picked out for me?

“Birchkit, step forward please. From this day forward, until you become a warrior, you shall bear the name Birchpaw.”

Birchpaw sucked in his breath. My apprentice name!

“I have decided that your mentor will be Thornheart. He is patient and smart and will be a good mentor to you. Thornheart, this will be your first apprentice. Train Birchpaw well so he becomes a good warrior. Meeting dismissed.”

Birchpaw felt a pang. There was nothing important about Thornheart. Sure, he was nice, but he hadn’t trained a leader, or even a deputy. Birchpaw quickly dabbed Thornheart on the nose and decided that he was going to make sure that Thornheart trained a leader. And that leader was going to be Birchpaw. He turned to Thornheart.

“Are we going to patrol the borders?” he prompted.

“Yes, Birchpaw. We’ll go on a border patrol on the ShadowClan border with Silverpaw and Ashtail, to help you learn the territory.”

Silverpaw raced up to them, Ashtail trailing behind.

“Silverpaw! I know you are excited to patrol with Birchpaw, but you can’t patrol without me!” said Ashtail. Birchpaw could tell that the pretty gray she-cat was trying to be strict, but he heard a purr in her mew. The small patrol headed out of the camp and ran right into a hunting patrol. Sandskip led, with his mate Mistycloud and his apprentice Petalpaw. Honeysong brought up the rear.

Sandskip dropped his prey and sighed.

“I suppose we missed the ceremony. Congratulations.”

“Sorry, Sandskip. Prey running well?”

“Yes. Mistycloud caught a hare the size of a badger!” he nodded towards his mate, who was struggling to carry a massive hare.

Ashtail rushed over to help Mistycloud.

“Mistycloud! You’re expecting kits, for StarClan’s sake! Who let you join a patrol?”

“I did. Sorry, Ashtail. I know she’s your daughter, but she’s stubborn!” Sandskip apologized.

“Ashtail is a mother?” whispered Birchpaw.

“Yes. She’s the mother of Mistycloud and Timberheart, but Timberheart died before you were born.” explained Thornheart. Then he added, “Mistycloud is the only kin she has, and her almost-born kits too!”

Ashtail disappeared with the patrol into the camp, and then came back out and the patrol set off. As they reached the ShadowClan border, Birchpaw gagged at the stench.

“Ah, that’s ShadowClan scent, Birchpaw. No need to be rude, especially since there’s a patrol coming over here.”

Thornheart pointed his tail at a cluster of three cats. The leader of the patrol was a very dark brown tom. Behind him was a black she-cat, and trailing behind them were two smaller cats, both brown with white.

The dark brown tom reached out to smell the WindClan border and nodded. He gazed over the WindClan patrol and whispered something to the black she-cat.

“That apprentice is on our territory. Mousepaw, teach him a lesson.”

Mousepaw, the bigger apprentice, hissed at Birchpaw. Birchpaw looked at his paws and realized that they were not, in fact, on the side Thornheart said they lived. His pelt burned with embarrassment and he hopped back to his side. Thornheart, being a great cat, didn’t seem angry with him. He just walked forward and hissed at the rival patrol.

“Oakpelt, this is my apprentice’s first day out. You can’t expect Birchpaw to know every blade of grass on every Clan’s territory. Your Clan members were caught just the other day by RiverClan stealing fish. Who needs a lesson now, huh?”

Ashtail glared at the yellow tom and said calmly. “Oakpelt, please take your patrol away.”

The black she-cat hissed and her tail flicked with annoyance. “We came to patrol with our apprentices. We are staying right here and we will wait for you to leave!”

“Aspenbreeze, relax,” Oakpelt’s eyes glimmered. “Marigoldpaw, Mousepaw, we’ll leave these cats alone and go back to camp. Let’s go, Aspenbreeze. Forget them.”

The smaller apprentice growled but retreated into the pine forest. The others followed. As soon as they were out of earshot, Silverpaw shook her head in disgust.

“Ugh, if all ShadowClan cats are like that, I’m never going to this border again! But, the way Oakpelt ordered a retreat, that was weird, right? I heard from Dusklight that ShadowClan never backs down from any threat. We definitely were a border threat. It’s really all so weird.”

Ashtail nodded and thoughtfully glanced at the pines. “Maybe they’re planning something. ”

Birchpaw shuddered and said, “I hope not! Battles sound horrible! Thornheart, can we do battle training tomorrow? When they attack, I want to be ready!”






Chapter 3  


Birchpaw trotted across the snow towards the nursery. It was crowded, which meant more dirty bedding and more mouths to feed. It had been a few moons since the border incident, but the Clan was wary. The nursery had snow flecks all over the bush, and the wetness fell all over Birchpaw as he made his way inside. It was rare to have a full nursery in leaf-bare, and it wasn’t that good to have one. Mistycloud had delivered Poppykit, Sunkit, and Squirrelkit a half-moon ago. Honeysong had kitted Bluekit and Hazelkit a quarter-moon ago, and Leafspeckle had moved to the nursery expecting Rainclaw’s kits. He stepped into the nursery and looked at the kits as they chased each other inside, tossing pebbles everywhere.

“Oh, Squirrelkit! Don’t toss stones at each other! Sunkit, you too. Don’t look innocent, I see you doing it!” Mistycloud looked overwhelmed.

Honeysong was sharing fresh-kill with her mate, so Leafspeckle and Mistycloud had to take care of all five kittens. Bluekit and Hazelkit were younger than Mistycloud’s three, so they were watching.

Leafspeckle noticed Birchpaw and stood up.

“Squirrelkit, Sunkit and Poppykit! Listen! Why don’t we visit the elders and give your mother a rest? You too, Bluekit and Hazelkit.”

Mistycloud sighed with relief. Leafspeckle led all five kits out of the den, and Birchpaw got to work.

“I’m sorry, Birchpaw. They’re all a pawful. Only four more moons until they’re apprenticed! And, only a few more moons for you until you become a warrior.”

Birchpaw dipped his head politely, but he felt thrilled at the thought of being a warrior!

“Birchpaw?” Thornheart stuck his head into the den.

Birchpaw glanced over towards the entrance and cocked his head.

“A patrol just got back from the ShadowClan border. You should come outside.”

As Birchpaw stepped out of the den, He saw a mix of worried warriors surrounding Tigerstorm, Ravenshade and Harepaw. They were all bloody messes, with tufts of fur sticking out at some places and scratches down their sides. Harepaw looked terrified for once, and the rest of his patrol were looking grim. Silverpaw was covering Harepaw with licks, meowing to him about being safer on patrols. Birchpaw rolled his eyes. Could she be anymore obvious? He went over to sit by Vixenpaw. The ginger she-cat began to tell him about what had happened.

“They were patrolling the ShadowClan border! Some warriors burst out of some bushes and attacked them. For no reason! They weren’t even trespassing. The wounds aren’t too bad; ShadowClan just ruffled the patrol’s pelts. I wish I’d been there. I would have destroyed them!”

Birchpaw purred. Their pelts brushed. Birchpaw tensed, his pelt hot with embarrassment. Stop it, Birchpaw! You’re acting like Silverpaw acts towards Harepaw! You don’t even know Vixenpaw well!

This was true. Vixenpaw’s nest was by his, and they chatted, but they didn’t know each other well. He wanted to know her, though. She was sweet, and she always treated him like a sensible apprentice, even though he was only nine moons old and she was almost a warrior.

“My final assessment is coming up soon,” Vixenpaw said, breaking the silence.

Birchpaw purred with delight. “You’ll be an excellent warrior. Is Petalpaw excited?”

Vixenpaw growled under her breath at the mention of her sister. “Petalpaw would much rather be a warrior so that she becomes the center of attention. She’s the perfect one in the litter. I’m the she-cat who has trouble with the easiest battle moves and can only catch a single measly shrew on hunting patrols. She is an expert on battle moves, she catches the biggest rabbits, and, worst of all, she’s horrible to me!”

Birchpaw nudged his denmate’s shoulder comfortingly. “Petalpaw has bees in her brain if she thinks she’s better than you, Vixenpaw.”

Vixenpaw purred and rasped her tongue over the younger apprentice’s ear. “Thanks, Birchpaw. You’re a good friend.”

Thornheart had been talking with the medicine cat, Runningmouse, but now he was padding back to Birchpaw. Birchpaw padded up to meet his mentor, and he respectfully dipped his head to the older cat. Thornheart looked dismayed.

“Runningmouse is working on their wounds. Thistlepad is leading a patrol to check the ShadowClan border, and he wants me to go, along with Ashtail, Tigerstorm and Blackfur.”

Birchpaw lifted his tail excitedly. “Am I going? I have battle practice!”

Thornheart shook his head. “No. You are going to stay here. I’ve talked with Ashtail and Ravenshade. They want you, Silverpaw, and Harepaw to have an assessment. Hunting. Please catch a rabbit and two shrews.”

Birchpaw shrugged, disappointment surging over him like a wave.

As Thornheart padded away, Harepaw and Silverpaw trotted over to him.

“So, what are you waiting for?” Silverpaw bounced with excitement.

Birchpaw looked at her, gasping with mock surprise. “Hunting? When have you been excited for hunting?”

Silverpaw purred and Harepaw rolled his eyes. Silverpaw drew the two cats closer to her with her tail.

“Let’s spy on the patrolling warriors! If they battle, we can pick up tips! Ashtail says I could do with some training, so if I watch real warriors fight, I can get better! Same with you guys!”

Birchpaw squirmed. “What if the warriors catch us?”

Harepaw nodded, for once agreeing with the fluffy apprentice. “Yeah. I don’t want to have to spend the day picking ticks off Marshwhisker’s pelt. He’s the grumpiest elder, and that’s saying a lot! Lilybreeze isn’t very charming, either.”

Silverpaw sighed like she was a senior warrior talking to a dumb kit. “We say that we were team hunting! Every WindClan cat does it, and we can just say that the prey was so plentiful that we followed all the animals, and ended up at the border!”

Harepaw and Birchpaw shared a troubled glance.

Harepaw shrugged. “I’m in. I want to watch the battle!”

Silverpaw rolled her eyes. “Harepaw, there might not be a battle!”

Harepaw nuzzled her cheek and their tails curled together. Birchpaw swallowed back his nausea.

“Let’s go, lovebirds.” He padded off.

When they reached the moor, the scent of rabbits filled Birchpaw’s nose. His mouth watered.

“Let’s hunt, so we have an excuse,” mewed Silverpaw, as if she was reading his thoughts.

Harepaw dropped into the hunter’s crouch, sniffing the air for prey-scent. He began to creep silently forward, still sniffing. Finally, Harepaw jumped up and darted, quick as a striking snake, across the moor. Birchpaw heard a shriek cut off shortly, and a moment later, Harepaw’s head popped out of a rabbit burrow, a plump gray and white rabbit in his jaws. Birchpaw nodded to his denmate, and then he spotted a vole eating a seed by a clump of heather. Silverpaw had spotted it too, and she flicked her ears at him to get in position. He slowly creeped around the heather, not disturbing the vole. He crept through the purple plants, and then jumped out at the vole. The vole squeaked in alarm, the seed in it’s tiny paws fell to the ground. The creature fled into the paws of Silverpaw, and she bent down and bit it’s neck. The vole crumpled to the ground.

Birchpaw raised his head up to Silverpelt. “StarClan, thank you for blessing us with this catch.”

Harepaw dropped his rabbit next to the vole and began to dig a prey-hole. Silverpaw dropped the catches in, and then closed it up. The three apprentices began to pad off. As they reached the border, Birchpaw heard movement. He signaled for his companions to crouch. As they did, the patrol of warriors from WindClan padded by. Thistlepad stopped and sniffed the air. Birchpaw cursed under his breath. Of course these trained warriors would smell them! But, Thistlepad shook his head and padded onward. Behind him, Ashtail and Tigerstorm trotted next to each other, muttering about ShadowClan stench. Blackfur followed, and Thornheart was in the back. Birchpaw watched his mentor stride with his head high, and Birchpaw vowed to be more like him.

Birchpaw was jolted from his thoughts as Harepaw prodded him in the side.

“Move it, lazybones! The patrol is heading away!”

Silverpaw flicked her ears and began to silently creep towards the patrol. Harepaw shot Birchpaw a glare, and Birchpaw dropped into a crouch, meeting Harepaw’s gaze steadily. Harepaw snorted in disgust and pushed past Silverpaw, bounding across the moorland. Birchpaw rolled his eyes at Silverpaw.

“Stupid furball! He’s going to be seen!”

Silverpaw nudged her brother. “I know you don’t like him, but he’s really sweet. At least put in an effort to be polite. Just because you two aren’t friends doesn’t mean that he isn’t mine.”

The silver she-cat bounded after Harepaw. Birchpaw sighed. I wish I could like him, but he’s so arrogant! Prancing around the moor like he owns it. He’s going to get us all in trouble! And worst of all, he’s got my sister hopelessly in love with him. What does she see in him?

He trotted after his sister. Once Silverpaw and Birchpaw caught up with Harepaw, they saw that the black apprentice was crouching low. Silverpaw copied him, and Birchpaw pressed his fluffy white belly to the ground. The soft grass tickled his belly fur. He stifled a yawn. Where was the patrol? All of a sudden, Thistlepad pushed through the undergrowth, heading for the border. His patrol followed. The deputy’s broad shoulders and long claws were intimidating. As the WindClan warriors spread out by the border, five cats stinking of nettles and marsh stepped out, sneering. Harepaw, who had gone to a Gathering recently, muttered the names to Silverpaw and Birchpaw. “Toadclaw is the one with torn ears, Silvernight is the silver she-cat, Yarrowfur’s the yellow one, Stonestrike is the dark gray she-cat, and Cloudheart’s the white one.”

Birchpaw watched as the two rival patrols glared at each other. Finally, Toadclaw stepped forward, gazing at the WindClan cats.

“Why are you here, Thistlepad? You’re certainly not just patrolling your border. The hostile looks on your faces gives it all away.”

Thistlepad looked back on his patrol.

“Why did you attack our patrol? Ravenshade was just taking her apprentice hunting, and her brother was accompanying them! They were completely innocent!”

Toadclaw muttered something to Cloudheart and she whispered to her companions. Yarrowfur answered her quietly, while Stonestrike just glared at the WindClan cats.

“We attacked them because they were on this patch of land,” Stonestrike spat.

Birchpaw looked and saw a stretch of mossy land on the moor, right by the pine forest. Thornheart hissed.

“That land is ours!” the golden tom yowled angrily.

Cloudheart’s pelt bristled. “We claimed it seasons ago, but did that stop your stupid warriors from patrolling on it? No! It’s rightfully ours.”

Tigerstorm snarled. “Snake-heart!”

Cloudheart yowled and threw herself at him. Thistlepad attacked Toadclaw, while Blackfur and Thornheart battled side by side at Silvernight, while Ashtail lunged at Yarrowfur.

Birchpaw’s mind whirled.

Thank you for reading this so far! I am still working on it. Comment on the story if you liked it!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.