i became a shadow
of my past.
the dead bodies
of the Clan cats
be bloody shadows
for every next
a story by sea
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Shadow is a rogue. And a murderer. After seeing her brother getting beaten to death, she wants revenge - and every Clan must pay. Shadow is intent on destroying every trace of the four Clans, little by little so that their hope can be crushed. But soon, killing a cat a moon isn't enough - and Shadow must choose if she wants to change, or if she will still remain the bloody shadow of her past that she is.
I see a puddle of water a half-tail length away, and I run for it. The dimming twilight lights up everything in an eerie sort of way. Just the way I like it.
I look into the pool, finding it as clear as that lake those Clan cats live near by. Ruthless monsters.
My pitch black fur is like a void in space. Pure black. Just like my heart. All dark, and cold, wanting revenge.
My leaf-green eyes shoot a murderous look as I let out a low growl, baring my teeth in a snarl.
My name is Shadow. And I'm a murderer. A vicious one.
The Clans must pay. Every one of them.
Because if you've seen your brother getting beaten to death by these excuses for cats, then you should understand why I turned into this. I became a shadow of my past.
And may the dead bodies of the Clan cats be bloody shadows for every next kill.
I look up, and I see the moon coming in.
The feel of claws raking defenseless cats, the smell of death in the air, and the beautiful shade of crimson the blood on my paws makes ... I love it. Killing is the new life I've begun for myself, and I'm determined to finish my job. Which means killing every last bit of the Clans.
Finding a rock next to the pool, I rake my claws on it, seeing deep silver scratches etch itself into the once smooth surface.
As sharp as ever. And I'm going to need it for my chosen cat today.
A medicine cat apprentice.
You see, I want to slowly cut off their defenses, little by little. You don't kill the medicine cat, just the apprentice first.
It gives them hope. And I shatter it with the next cat I kill.
But for today, which Clan?
I stalk toward my den, and the scent of the forest almost fills my heart with warmth.
Today's ThunderClan's moon to lose a cat.
It's midnight when I come out of my den. After all the warmth inside my nest, the air outside feels chilly. Fluffing my black fur up against the cold, I start planning for my kill.
The first step to getting a successful murder is stealth. You have to be quick on your paws, and you can't afford to get beaten. Because if you do... yu're fired from the job. And that's the very last thing I want.
The second step is sneakiness. You have to go into the camp with no one noticing. You must have a careful and quiet tread, so no cat will be able to see of hear you. Like this.
I walk on the forest floor, making no sound with my paws, until I come across a big tree which I know is close to the ThunderClan camp.
Scaling up the tree until a pretty high branch, I can just make out a small gray shape walking around, looking out for the murderer. Well, whoever those ThunderClan cats think they are, they won't find me - until it's too late.
I jump from tree to tree, trying to get to the small oak inside the camp. I finally make it to the camp, but the slippery bark nearly makes me fall off. But, luckily for me, the sharp claws are able to hook itself into the branch, and I'm able to pull myself back into the tree.
I look back to see the guard coming back toward that thorn tunnel that became the camp's entrance. I shift so I'm in a comfortable poisition, and I start planning again.
The third step is careful thinking. I need to find something to disguise my scent. Looking around in the trees, I see so fox dung a little higher up. Disgusting, but it should work.
You also need to plan which moves to use. Today is a medicine cat apprentice... I think so basic moves should do it. because even though these cats train, I don't think that this apprentice learned her fighting moves yet.
Oh, so I'm a stalker... you only figured that out now?
The guard appears to be gone, so I slither down the shiny bark of the tree, and pad over to the middle of the clearing. Studying each den, I go into a little cave with tendrils of ivy hanging down from the ceiling. I quietly push myself inside, and I'm joyful when I realize that I'm correct.
The air lingering in the den smelled like fresh herbs, and I looked around until I found the medicine cat and his apprentice. They were curled up in their nests, and they looked so peaceful.
It reminded me of... no, I'm a murderer,no. I get flashbacks whenever I think of my deceased brother. I have no time for that tonight.
Picking up the smaller cat - a she-cat - in my jaws, her soft downy fur fills my heart with warmth as I remember my brother.
No. Oh no. The flashbacks, they're coming.
I race out of the den, thankful that the apprentice is such a deep sleeper. Coming to a stop at the thorn tunnel, I look around, my ears pricked for the guard who was supposed to be around the entrance. No sign of him, anywhere.
I run out the thorn tunnel, barely registering the scratches they leave on my pelt as I run through the cool night air.
I come to a stop at the lake. Taking deep breaths, I calm myself by watching the steady breathing of the cat in front of me. So peaceful...
I keep my claws poised at her neck as the flashbacks take over, and the living world turns black.
I find myself in front of my old den, the one I shared with my brother Gorse. I looked up to see it almost sunhigh. Time for hunting.
I face the den, taking everything in at once, as if I'll never get it back. Because I won't never. This is all just a dream...
No, a flashback. Start getting things right --
"Shadow?" Gorse's voice interupts my thoughts. Gorse!
He comes outside, and I can see he's been trying to groom himself. As always, he fails.
"Stupid mouse-brain." I whisper.
His fur is clumped in a million different directions, and he sees my expression as I eye his fur.
"Can you help me fix it?" He asks.
I purr "Of course, Gorse." I lick his fur carefully, in long, smoooth strokes. Soon, it looks nice and groomed.
"I don't know how I'd live without you, Shadow." he purrs, rubbing his cheek against mine.
Because it's true. I can't live without him. That's why I must.
I must kill the Clans. To avenge Gorse's death. It's the only way, right? Yes, it is.
"So what should we do, Shadow?" I look toward the woods, and they look beautiful in the greenleaf light. The shadows of the leaves dance and dapple the clearing where I used to live.
"Let's go hunting" I say, "We need to stock up for the next few days."
"You're right, Shadow. Like always." He purrs.
And we set off torward the woods, running at a good pace, side by side. Shadow and Gorse.
We come to around the middle of the woods. "Should we split up? We can catch more prey." I say.
"Okay, sure. Which side will you take?"
I look around, trying to be careful of my surroundings. "I'll take the shore. Is that okay?"
He nods. "See you later, Shadow." He stalks off to fill the pile inside our den.
I start running toward the shore, until I come to a place that looks... somewhat familiar....
The murder! The apprentice, she could've woken up by now! I sit down, and will myself to come back to the real world.
The feel of cold air on my fur tells me that my wish came true. I look down at the apprentice. She is starting to stir with the early dawn light.
"It's for Gorse. I have to avenge his death." I whisper, closing my eyes, imagining the flashback.
Then, I rake my claws across her pelt, and as soon as the blood flows out fast, I dip my paws in the red stuff, relishing the feel of the cold, slimy blood.
Afterward, I wash my paws and pelt in the lake, leaving the tiny apprentice on the shore to bleed to death.
I turn around and stalk away without looking back.
I reach the border at around mid-morning. I start running when the trees start thinning, and I don't stop until I see my den come in sight. I stop before it, panting. How could I have been so stupid? The last thing I needed was for the Clans to know I was the murderer. Because, I've been on pretty good terms with them - when I'm not being that vicious murderer I am.
If only Gorse hadn't died, and those Clan cats hadn't beaten him. If only he were here. Gorse could make anyone happy, and he was the light of my life, the only thing that had kept me sane all these years.
And when he died... the monster inside me flourished. And I became a murderer.
Realizing I'm still sitting outside my den, I walk inside, straight to my nest.
I need some good dreams, dreams of Gorse.
Not bloody dreams.
Not murder-like dreams.
Happy dreams, Shadow. Happy dreams.
Curling up in my nest, I fall asleep.
I'm back in the forest again, where my flashback ended. Knowing Gorse would be upset if I came home preyless, I quickly kill a couple of mice to please him.
I'm unburying my fresh-kill when I hear footsteps behind me.
"Shadow?" Gorse asks quietly.
I don't look at him "Yeah?"
I stiffen. "What do you mean?"
"Well, you seem... different in a way."
Anger is starting to boil upinside me,and I hold it in, knowing I can't make Gorse upset.
"You seem almost angry and upset. The Shadow I know isn't like that. She's warm, and loving, fun to be around, and --"
I turn around now, anger flashing in my eyes. Because I know this feeling.
Somehow, this is time for murder.
"What did you say?" I hiss.
Gorse looks sad now, and scared too.
"I-I just-t s-said you semmed-d different, S-Shadow..."
"I've changed. More than you can believe."
I don't know what came over me. I slash my claws over his eyes, and the pool of blood pouring makes me feel somewhat calm.
"Shadow, no! Don't do this! What would our mother say?" He whispers, his tail quivering.
"Our mother doesn't exist anymore. It's just me and you. Now, only me."
I slash my claws over and over again on his pelt, calmed by the steady flow of crimson liquid.
"I'm sorry it had to end this way."
And I really, really am.
I wake up suddenly, gasping. What just happened? I just... I just killed... No.
I scream in agony.
How could I have killed my very own brother.
"I'm sorry Gorse, I really am. My anger just took over me." Long held tears start flowing out of my eyes, making my muzzle twitch at the feel of salt water.
I run outside. It's twilight now, and I can see the faint outline of the stars.
"Gorse, can you ever forgive me?" I whisper, hoping that Gorse could hear me.
I walk inside as the moon starts coming out.
I still haven't forgiven myself. I don't think I ever can.
How could I kill Gorse of all cats?
Because I had let my anger get the best of me. I mustn't do that again.
But that doesn't mean I don't want my revenge.
Because the only way to avenge his death is to destroy them.
I get a special feeling in my stomach, one that only comes once a moon.
Time for some blood.
I needed to kill some more, I craved it.
I needed some blood to calm down.
Any Clan - because today was the gathering. I will kill the last cat who goes.
I'll make my kill worth it.
I could be sleeping right now. But instead I'm trying to hide in a bush near the fallen tree. The ThunderClan cats move, oblivious. Squirrelstar walks in front with Hollytuft and Alderfang. Their medicine cat, Sparkfire walked behind them, leading the elder, Jayfeather with her tail. How long did these cats take to walk? When they left, WindClan went.
I peer at the island, and see ShadowClan and RiverClan already mingling with the ThunderClan.
I swipe my lips over my jaws.
To go down.
I watch as the cats slowly walk across the branch for the island.
The leader goes first, and then some of the apprentices.
Ugh, how long do these cats take to get on the island? You just walk across a branch.
But I'm still stuck in the bush, and I can't move until there's only one cat left.
But soon, they're all gone. Well, except for the deputy.
All the other cats are gone, and he's the only one left.
I jump on top of him as he's about to start walking.
"Do you know who I am?"
I press my paw over his mouth to muffle his screams.
His amber eyes are wide with terror.
"You may think a she-cat can't do anything. You may think that the Clans have done nothing wrong."
I pause, slashng my claws over his eyes.
So even if he survives, he'll be blind.
"My name is Shadow, and you're going to pay. For the Clans' mistake. Say good-bye."
His words are muffled by my paw.
I finally take my paw off, and a scream pierces him as I sink my teeth into his neck.
Rubbing some fox dung over the scent of rogue, I run away, hearing the sounds of gasps, screams, and paws running across the broken tree.
"We're sorry for your loss, Harestar." said the ThunderClan leader.
I hear it all faintly as I come to my den.
It's all done.
I have helped avenge Gorse's death. Again.
I drop into my nest and fall asleep.
I'm the first to hear the noise.
When Crowstar was speaking about his Clan.
I jump out of the tree, and I hear Harestar coming with me.
Sprinting across the tree-bridge as fast as I can, I see a faint black blur.
Is that the murderer?
I stare at the spot where it was. All I see is a dead cat.
A dead deputy.
I bow my head.
"I'm sorry for your loss, Harestar." I say solemnly.
"May StarClan light his path." a voice came from the tree-bridge.
I look behind me to see Reedstar and Crowstar coming.
They both flick their tails and soon, ThunderClan and WindClan are the only Clans left.
I wave my tail too, leaving WindClan to mourn by itself.
After all, it as their deputy lost.
I start walking across the moor, and I'm seething inside.
Who is this killer?
Why are they taking our cats?
Why can't we firgure out their plan?
I don't realize that Sparkfire is next to me until she speaks.
"Yeah?" I ask.
I look at her, and I almost see Bramblestar again in her round amber eyes.
"What should we do?" she asks.
"I - I don't know."
"Should I ask StarClan?"
"I want answers too."
"Yes,I know, but --"
"Can I travel to the Moonpool?"
"If it is your wish, then very well."
I stop and turn around.
"Cats of ThunderClan!" My yowl rang out through the moor.
When every cat has their attention on me, I speak again.
"Sparkfire and I are going to the Moonpool to seek answers. Sorrelstripe is in charge."
I wait until Sorrelstripe comes tothe lead before I step away.
"Come on, Sparkfire, the Moonpool awaits."
The cats of ThunderClan might think I'm calm and collected, but I'm not.
Where am I? It looks happy, with dashes of blue here ad there, a bit of amber, green, pink, and red. It looks like a happy void... just the opposit of what I seem to be.
But it's all for Gorse. Everything is. For Gorse...
"But it's not." a voice whispers from behind me.
Whirling around, I see a gray tabby tom with stripes and clumps of fur sticking out in places.
"Yes it is." I say firmly, moving closer to him. "The Clans must pay. For what they did."
"No. They shouldn't. Not all of them."
"But what about your death? I can kill more cats in less moons! I can kill a RiverClan cat tomorrow, and two ShadowClan cats two days after!"
Gorse waves his tail.
"No, Shadow. What happened to the sister I once had? The one with the smile everyday, the one who helped me, to try to keep me alive, to comfort me after our mother's death?"
I close my eyes, tears filling my eyes.
Gorse leans in toward me, and brushes my shoulder with his tail.
"Learn to forgive and forget. That's the key." he whispered.
I stare at him, waiting for explanations.
But all he does is fade away.
Fade away... until someone took his place.
A white and cream she-cat with beautiful green eyes - just like mine - comes toward me.
"Shadow." she breathes, looking at me wih an expression I have not seen directed at me for a long time.
"Oh, Shadow. What have you done? You've become a bloody murderer, a cat who enjoys running in blood. Why?" she hisses the last word.
I look into her eyes, and I can actually see the depths of her anger and sadness. It's all red and dark blue, like the place I'm standing in. It looks like dark stars.
"Learn to love. Let forgiveness lead you life, your decisions. Become the cat you once were. You have to learn to survive, Shadow."
My tears start pouring down my face.
"Because life isn't fair."
I nod, and I wave my tail in good-bye.
As she fades away, I think about the messages.
A new determination fills me, not the kind that makes me want to murder.
It's the kind that makes me want to forgive and forget.
Just like Gorse said.
They sat in a circle, all the representitives. Most of them were the usual: Bluestar of ThunderClan, Yellwofang of ThunderClan, Russetfur of ShadowClan, Sagewhisker of ShadowClan, Ashfoot of WindClan, Tallstar of WindClan, Stonefur of RiverClan, and Rippletail of RiverClan.
Bluestar spoke up.
"What should we do? Squirrelstar wants answers, and we can't give them." she flicks her tail.
"Who says we can't? Then we can stop the terrorizing of the Clans once and for all." said Stonefur.
"Yeah, and what if she makes another Dark Forest Battle? Then where will we be?" Yellowfang snapped.
The others sat there quietly, staring at the three cats who had spoken.
"But Gorse and Berry must've done their job."
"But what if Shadow doesn't change?"
"What will happen to the Clans?"
"Will they be wiped out?"
"What will happen to us?"
"Will we fade away?"
"Silence!" Bluestar stands up and hisses angrily.
"We need to work this out. Rippletail, you start." she says, pointing at the gray tom.
"What do you think?"
"I uh, think we should wait and see what happens to Shadow. Because then we'll know if Gorse and Berry actually affected them. It could work." he stammered.
Bluestar thinks for a few heartbeats.
"And if Shadows doesn't change, then we'll have to find other means of stopping her."
A faint tinkling noise starts coming, from what seems like nowhere.
Yellowfang pricks her ears.
"Quick! Squirrelstar is here; I should go meet her with Bramblestar."
Yellowfang dips her head and runs off, the group sitting there in silence. It was like you could hear a mouse scuffling a fox-length away.
"So do we just wait and see?" Tallstar says, his neck fur starting to rise.
"The only thing we can do is wait and see."
Her words were again followed by silence.
Bluestar waved her tail.
"May StarClan light all of your paths, and hopefully, Gorse and Berry did a job well done."
Every cat went in different directions and soon, the place where the circle once was is quiet once again.
I walk through the forest, blending in with the shadows.
I need to get to the Gathering. It's my only hope of changing myself. At least, I think so.
I remember what happened a moon ago, when I had the dream. I've changed and help the Clans in any way I can without showing myself.
And the dark thoughts. They still come, those craving of the past. The cravings of blood, of murder, of revenge. I don't know what's in there now.
All I know is that the void inside me has shrunk a very large amount over the past moon.
Learn to forgive and forget.
Those words rule my life now, and I try to be as good as possible. But old habits don't die fast.
I run from tree to tree over ShadowClan territory.
They definitely won't appreciate trespassers.
The moonlight shines on the trees above me, making obscure shadows on the forest floor.
I find myself near the tree-bridge where that WindClan deputy died.
Because of me.
I don't realize I'm shaking until to see my tail twitching violently.
Come on, Shadow. Remeber what your mother said.
What Gorse said.
Come on, Shadow, you can change everything.
Breathing deeply, I wait until the Clans start coming in.
There's Squirrelstar of ThunderClan, Crowstar of ShadowClan.
That mangy crow-food eater is the one who killed Gorse.
I feel my fur bristling, and I force myself to calm down.
I stare at the cats, trying to keep my thoughts empty.
Harestar of WindClan, and finally, Reedstar of RiverClan.
As the last cat goes. it feels like I can see the old WindClan deputy.
His shadow dancing across the RiverClan cat, as if taunting me about how I had killed him, and how I'll never truly change.
But I don't even know.
I cross the tree-bridge when there's no cat in sight.
I almost fall off.
My fur is standing on end, and my claws are buried deep into the bark.
After what feels like moons, I manage to get a good grip on the trunk.
Gasping as I get to the island, I'm feeling really thankful that I managed to make it across.
I walk across the island, making no noise after moons and moons of practice.
Definitely the wrong kind.
I fidn the leaders sitting in a high tree, each one stepping forward to speak about their Clan. Going to the back of the tree, I start climbing up the trunk with ease.
"... and may StarClan light everyone's paths!"
Reedstar had ended the Gathering.
I make it onto the tallest branch.
"Wait!" I call, just as everycat is about to leave.
All eyes are on me. Blue, green, amber... I stare at everyone until I feel confident enough to speak.
"My name is Shadow. You might think that I'm just a regular rogue, one that lives nearby the Clans."
I pause and silence follows.
I start speaking again.
"But there is something you should know about me." every cat looks curious, and I see Squirrelstar stare at me with a look of understanding.
"I am the murderer."
That's when the shouts break out.
"You killed my sister!"
"My friend died grieving for his mother!"
"You killed our medicine cat apprentice."
It's all too much to bear. I can't take it.
I can't take it...
"Silence!" Squirrelstar stands up.
"Yes, I know this is a murderer we're listening to." she said, shooting Crowstar a look.
He gives her a somewhat-sheepish grin.
"Continue." she says, her green eyes piercing my own.
"But I realized my mistake. I let my anger rule over my good heart. Because one of you Clans tortured my brother. He was beaten to death."
I stare at everycat, and they all stare back.
"But I finally realized the importance of forgiveness. And I've come to apologize, and to forgive."
I turn to the Clan leaders.
"I'm sorry." I whisper, as if apologizing to myself.
"I'm sorry. For everything. For all the dead cats, for every drop of blood lost. I let my anger rule my mind, and I hope you can forgive me. For everything." I dip my head, and then stare at each of them in the eye.
"Very well." Harestar says, dipping his head.
The other leaders nod.
I slither down the trunk, coming to the ground.
I don't walk two steps until I feel it.
Sheer pain, ripping me in two.
I fall over, and I see a black and white tom stare at me with ice-blue eyes.
"This is what you get for killing my sister." he hisses.
He turns around to see every cat stare at him with wide eyes.
He looks up at Crowstar who gives him a faint nod of approval.
I guess that each leader didn't exactly forgive me, no matter what they said.
There's a pool of blood. It grows larger, becomes more darker.
I'm starting to feel numb.
The Clans haven't left yet.
All eyes are on me.
The medicine cats come with herbs in their jaws.
Sparkfire tries to slather cobwebs on the gash.
I shake my head.
"It's no use." I manage to get out.
I feel like I'm fading away. I close my eyes, and after a few heartbeats, I stare at the night sky.
I think I see a flash of gray here and there.
I think I see lots of cats.
They all have stars in their fur, just like Gorse and my mother did.
What was her name?
I see Gorse and Berry at the lead.
It takes all my last bits of energy to smile.
Tears fill my eyes.
As I start to lose myself, the tears pour.
I've done a job well done, and I've changed for the greater good.
There'll be no more bloody shadows ever again.
I close my eyes, and I fade away.
Thank you, all of you who read my story. It was a real joy to write, and I think I taught myself a few new lessons that Shadow has also learned today.
I'm probably not going to make a sequel, ebcause that's all there is to Shadow. Unless I somehow make Gorse pop up from the dead.
Which is probably never gonna happen :P Yeah well that sequel turned out pretty bad so I'm just leaving the story's end here :))
May StarClan light everyone's path.
Sign below if you're a fan! -- Sea
I'M HERE!!! ~xXPatchFeatherXx~ 21:38, September 28, 2015 (UTC)