hi hi hi! Sleepysky here! So, I was just here, vibing, and this idea popped into my mind; a book that every user can write. For example, you pick a few characters ((Please use your own! Not canon characters such as Squirrelflight or Mapleshade!)) And make a few chapters with them. You don't need to ask for permission to join, just go ahead and write!!
!! *This books is finished! Please, do not write anything in it unless you are fixing up one of your chapters! Please write in the next one:
- 1 Rules
- 2 Characters
- 3 Participants
- 4 Prologue - Eaglepaw
- 5 Chapter One - Smokybird
- 6 Chapter Two- Falcon
- 7 Chapter Three – Meadowkit
- 8 Chapter Four - Sparrowpaw
- 9 Chapter Five-Leafstar
- 10 Chapter Six - Eaglepaw
- 11 Chapter Seven - Duckcreek
- 12 Chapter Eight - Otterslash
- 13 Chapter Nine - Meadowkit
- 14 Chapter Ten - Rowanpaw/kit
- 15 Chapter Eleven - Purr
- 16 Chapter Twelve - Smokybird
- 17 Chapter Thirteen - Nightpaw
- 18 Chapter Fourteen - Nightpaw
- 19 Chapter Fifteen - Meadowkit
- 20 Chapter Sixteen - Olive
- 21 Chapter Seventeen - Birchfire
- 22 Chapter Eighteen - Nightpaw
- 23 Chapter Nineteen - Meadowkit
- 24 Chapter Twenty - Otterslash
- 25 Chapter Twenty-one - Smokybird
- 26 Chapter Twenty-two - Nightpaw
- 27 Chapter Twenty-three - Smokybird
- 28 Chapter Twenty-four - Nightpaw
- 29 Chapter 24.1 (Axol)
- 30 Chapter Twenty-five - Otterslash
- 31 Chapter Twenty-six - Eaglepaw *past*
- 32 Chapter Twenty-seven - Birchfire (just saving this spot. I will be open firday.
- 33 Chapter Twenty-eight - Flamefang
- 34 Chapter Twenty-nine - Robin
- 35 Chapter Thirty - Meadowkit
- 36 Chapter Thirty-one - Nightpaw
- 37 Chapter Thirty-two - Olive
- 38 Chapter Thirty-three - Robin
- 39 Chapter Thirty-four - Olive
- 40 Chapter Thrity-five - Beetletooth
- 41 Chapter Thirty-six - Robin
- 42 Chapter Thirty-seven - The Raven
- 43 Chapter Thirty-eight -Nightpaw-Robinwing1
- 44 Chapter Thirty-nine, Captured by Darkness
- 45 Chapter Forty - Smokybird's Spirit
- 46 Chapter Forty-one: Red Ice
- 47 Chapter Forty-two - Olive, Beetletooth, & Sunpetal
- 48 Chapter 43 - Purr
- 49 Chapter Forty-four - Nightpaw
- 50 Chapter Forty-five - Nightpaw
- 51 Chapter Forty-six - Meadowpaw
- 52 Chapter 47 - Robin
- 53 Chapter 48 - Olive
- 54 Chapter Forty-nine - Rowankit
- 55 Chapter Fifty - Nightpaw
- 56 Chapter Fifty-One - Birchfire (Yay, he's useful now)
- 57 Chapter Fifty-two - Nightpaw
- 58 Chapter fifty-three - Meadowpaw
- 59 Chapter Fifty-four - Nightpaw
- 60 Chapter Fifty-five - Olive
- 61 Chapter Fifty-six - Snowbeam
- 62 Chapter Fifty-seven - Meadowpaw
- 63 Chapter Fifty-eight - Nightpaw
- 64 Chapter Fifty-nine - Nightflash
- 65 Chapter 60 - Olive
- 66 Chapter 61 - Dusklight
- 67 Chapter 62 - Nightflash
- 68 Chapter Sixty-three - Meadowpaw
- 69 Chapter sixty-four - Nightflash
- 70 Chapter Sixty-five - Rowanpaw
- 71 Chapter Sixty-six - Nightpaw
- 72 Chapter Sixty-seven - Nightflash
- 73 Chapter 68- Silverclaw
- 74 Chapter 69 - Lionstrike
- 75 Chapter 70 - Nightpaw
- 76 Chapter 71 - Olive
- 77 Chapter 72 - Nightflash
- 78 Chapter 73 - Nightpaw
- 79 Chapter 74 - Meadowpaw
- 80 Epilogue
- 81 Fans
- No deleting other's chapters.
- No using canon characters, (Ex: Bluestar, Crowfeather, Mothwing)) although you can use OCs that are inspired by canon characters ((Ex: Blueclaw (Inspired by Bluestar), Crowface (Inspired by Crowfeather), Mothshine (Inspired by Mothwing)))
- If you want a cat that isn't yours to get killed by a cat that is yours, please ask the other cat's creator on their talk page.
- Be nice to each other, please! D:
- You are allowed to make funny, troll-like chapters, but some people might take it seriously, such as me.
Ok, so, I don't have time to go and add everyone's link by the characters, but if you see your character please add a biggie or something.
History Of the Clans
There used to be four clans: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. Eventually, a series of cruel leader and rogue influencers turned ShadowClan into FlightClan. FlightClan destroyed WindClan and RiverClan, but a group of former RiverClan warriors got together and reformed the Clan, renaming it StreamClan
Leader: Leafstar - black tom with striking blue eyes - Firewind
Deputy: Lionstrike - brown tom with warm amber eyes - Firewind
Medicine Cats: Grayleaf - gray she-cat with two white paws and green eyes, - Firewind
Apprentice, Yarrowspots - spotted yellow and brown tom with yellow eyes
Yellowcloud - Golden-brown tom with a stumpy tail, half of his face clawed to shreds, and a mangled left back leg
Redstorm - dark ginger tom Feathercloud
Willowstep - gray tabby she-cat Feathercloud
Frogfoot - brown tom Feathercloud
Nightear - black tom Feathercloud
Dusklight - dark ginger tortoiseshell she-cat Feathercloud
Tigersnap - dark brown tom
Bayspeck - fluffy dark gray-and-white she-cat with dark tabby patches and stripes
Gingerswirl - calico she-cat
Firefang - a fire-colored she-cat with amber eyes
Stoneash- brown gray speckled tom
Featherfall - white she-cat with gray tabby patches
Otterslash - coconut brown she-cat with copper eyes and a white muzzle and red paws
Featherclaw - a gray she-cat with white stripes and blue eyes
Violetpaw - splotchy black, gray and white she-cat with black paws and ears and dark amber eyes
Eaglepaw - light brown tom with a white flash on his chest and tail
Sparrowpaw - dark brown she-cat with a darker face, ear tip, tail-tip, and paws
Featherpaw - ginger tom with cornflower blue eyes and white spots
Smokybird - half blind smoky-gray she-cat with black front paws, tail, and ears (mother to Birchfire’s kit, Meadowkit) - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Pinebark - brown tabby she-cat (mother to Tigersnap’s kit, Rowankit)
Duckcreek - huge black, grey, and white she-cat with blue eyes (expecting Droopyowl’s kits)
Meadowkit - silver-gray she-kit with black stripes and blue eyes - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Rowankit - short-furred brown tabby tom-kit with amber eyes
Leader: Vulturestar - brown-grey tabby tomcat with black flecks and piercing yellow eyes
Deputy: Kinkfang - tall white tom with a crooked tooth and yellow eyes - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Medicine Cat: Beetlewing - brown tabby tom with golden eyes. Apprentice, Nightpaw
Lightwash- Muscular golden tom with blue eyes-
Jaywind- Skinny blue-grey tom with green eyes
Harefire - red-brown tom with orange eyes - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Beetletooth - large black tom with amber eyes Feathercloud
Nightpaw - black she-cat with sage-green eyes, medicine-cat apprentice
Sunpetal - yellow she-cat with slightly darker stripes (expecting Beetletooth’s kits) Feathercloud
Willowfang - light ginger she-cat with white-cream markings, green eyes. (mother to Harefire's kits; Honeykit and Flamekit) - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Honeykit - light ginger she-kit with greens eyes - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Flamekit - dark ginger tom-kit with orange eyes - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Leader: Falconstar - Dark brown she-cat with yellow eyes
Deputy: Stormleaf - Dark gray tabby tom with green eyes
Medicine Cat: Galewhisper - Gray tom
Mudtail - a brown tom with gray eyes
Hawksweep - brown tom with amber eyes
Splatterdust - speckled gray she-cat with blue eyes
Fishleap - brown-red tabby tom
Cloudroll - splotchy gray and white tom
Silverfin - silver she-cat with green eyes
Ripplewave - blue-gray tom
Wavecrash - speckled blue-gray she-cat with dark blue eyes.
Saltywind - white tom
Flowpaw - gray tom
Streampaw - silver she-cat
Creekpaw - dark gray tom
Troutpaw - brown tom with amber eyes
Grayspeck - speckled gray she-cat with yellow eyes
Waterkit - Blue-gray she-cat with blue eyes
Rainkit - misty-gray tom with green eyes
Echokit - splotchy gray-blue she-cat with dark eyes
Steamrise - pale-gray tom
Nightflash - small black she-cat with leaf-green eyes, formerly of WindClan. Tilan
Olive - splotchy black-and-white she-cat with mint green eyes Feathercloud
Robin - black she-cat with a white muzzle, belly, chest, paws, tail-tip Feathercloud
Scratch - Dark ginger tom with cornflower blue eyes, white spots, and a heavily scarred face
Falcon - Pure black tom with messy, spiky fur and big and bright yellow-orange eyes
Birchfire - white tom with black stripes, formerly of ThunderClan - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Kiara/Kiki - white she-cat with black stops, one of which is a heart - User:KittieWhiskerz12
Purr - ginger long haired loner with blue eyes, and a stubby tail
Ravenfur - dark grey tabby she-cat with blue eyes and a white chest
Silverwing - white she-cat with silver-gray tabby patches and cyan-colored eyes
Jeffrey - a cliff who loves cats to yeet themselves or others off of it Feathercloud
Cats who I have No Idea Where They Go (please, if one is yours, pls pls pls add them to an existing Clan)
Silverclaw - Very Gray She-cat And Has A Temper, And Hates Her Niece, Honeyheart. - Lotus
Honeyheart - Very Honey Colored Cat, And Is Very Sweet To Her Aunt Silverclaw And Her Nephew, Nighthawk.
Nightstream - deputy of WindClan - Short-haired Gray tabby she-cat with purple eyes - Sister of Mapleclaw - Mate of Stonetail - Mother of Sparrowpaw
Mapleclaw - WindClan Warrior - Short-haired Brown Tabby tom with Blue eyes - Brother of Nightstream
Stonetail - WindClan Warrior - Long-haired Gray tom with a large tail - Mate of Nightstream - Father of Sparrowpaw
Sparrowpaw - WindClan apprentice - Long-haired Red-brown Tabby tom with a dust brown underbelly
Berrywing - WindClan Medicine cat - long-haired Reddish-pink she-cat with white spots on her pelt
Blackpaw - WindClan Medicine cat Apprentice - Short-haired white tom with green eyes and black spots all over his fur
Mooncloud - A Black she-cat with gray eyes - Mate of Goldenstripe - Mother of Redkit and Icekit
Goldenstripe - A Golden taby-tom with green eyes - Mate of Mooncloud - Father of Redkit and Icekit
Redkit - A Red tom with yellow eyes
Icekit - A light blue she-cat with blind eyes
Splitheart/star- A non-binary cat who's fur is half black and half white. Their eye colors are ice blue (right) and marigold (left). They are the youngest sibling of Whiteshine and Icyheart, And kit to Cloudshine and Puddleheart. They are a warrior of HayClan. Fallenbird231
Icyheart- A black tom with icy blue eyes, and dark forest mentor and brother of Splitheart and Whiteshine. He has a wound on his throat, and was a former warrior of HayClan. Died due to herb overdose. Fallenbird231
Whiteshine- A snowy white she-cat with marigold eyes, and sister to Icyheart and Splitheart, Daughter to Puddleheart and Cloudshine, Mate to Swiftpad, and mother to Shadowpaw and Maplepaw. She has a wound on the left side of her chest, and was a former warrior of HayClan. Murdered by Icyheart. Fallenbird231
Puddleheart: A bi, Russian Blue tom with gold eyes. Father to Icyheart, Whiteshine and Splitheart, former mate to Cloudshine, and brother to Batwing. He is a HayClan elder. Fallenbird231
Featherstar- White she cat with blue eyes - Featherstar Warriorcat0
Cloudshine: A light gray she-cat with heterochromia (one blue eye, one yellow.). Mother to Icyheart, Whiteshine and Splitheart. Pushed off the gorge, and former warrior of HayClan. Fallenbird231
Batwing: A Bombay tom, with one yellow eye. Med-cat of HayClan, brother to Puddleheart, and Uncle to Icyheart, Whiteshine and Splitheart.Fallenbird231
Pearlstar: A gray-and-cream she-cat with lime eyes and a cream marking on her head. She is best friends with Splitheart and leader of HayClan. She is their crush, but has drowned, and is now a member of StarClan, with Splitstar as her successor. Fallenbird231
Sleepysky/Skyashiid KittieWhiskerz12 Evelyn0707 Firewind0111 Shininglight08 Thembunnylover Kitticupcake Otterfeather ToasterQwerty Onyxclaw00 Silvershade54 Feathercloud479 Cotton le Cat Robinwing1 Sakuranyature TilanissaWildhawk
Prologue - Eaglepaw
((Wolf's In A Sheep's Clothing - Slowed This song completely fits this theme right here if you wanna listen to it! There is swearing in it though... Sorry about that))
Warnings: Gore, that's it.
Sparrowpaw glanced over at me, her breathing sharp. She was being crushed by a cat, who I had convinced to end her life. I watched as she laid there, unable to break free from their clutch."E-Eaglepaw!" she called out, knowing I heard her. I felt that this was a little too far, but I didn't care. The cat was ending her! Ruining her confidence! "Eaglepaw! You fox-hearted- AGHH!" Sparrowpaw screeched out in pain, all of the cat's claws digging into her sides. She winced out in pain, tears escaping those grass green eyes. I smiled evilly, finally happy that she would be gone. She stretched her right paw out, begging for my help, but I just ignored it. I stood there, proud of what the unknown cat was accomplishing. Sparrowpaw started feeling a little bit dizzy, and sick. At this moment, I'm pretty sure she realized that I wasn't myself anymore. I used to be a mouse-brain who tried to do the right thing, but I have grown. I was more wise, and more convincing. Eventually, she had lost too much blood to stay conscious. The she-cat's head banged against the hard, rocky ground. "That's enough." I mutter, the cat getting off of her. We stood next to her bleeding body, admiring the pain she was going through. "You owe me for this one, Eaglepaw." They hissed, flicking their tail violently. I nodded, knowing that I would have to do something somewhat embarrassing.
We quickly got away from my sister's body, travelling our different paths after a few minutes of talking. I was heading to a river, to wash away her sticky red blood. Although, while padding through the woods, I heard something stomp against the grass. I knew it wasn't prey. It was a cat.
Chapter One - Smokybird
I gasped in pain. How do queens go through this?! I said in my head as a ripple of pain went through me. I was giving birth to my kits. Just when I thought of giving up, a wet slob plopped on the ground. My pain turned into joy as I looked at the tiny she-kit.
“Congrats!” Grayleaf meowed, “Now lick its fur the wrong way to get it breathing!” That’s just what I was about to do when another ripple of pain went through me. Yarrowspots took the she-kit away and started licking her themselves.
When one last tom kit was born, I felt sad more than happy. Then Grayleaf let out a gasp as they looked at the newborn kit. Something was wrong.
“What’s wrong! Is my son okay!” I felt panic swell in my chest as I waited for an answer.
“He’s… l can’t… I'm sorry… so sorry…” Grayleaf's choked answer came sadly.
“What’s wrong! Tell me, please!” I tried to turn around to look at him, and when I did, I let out an ear-splitting yowl. “StarClan, no! Don’t let it be true!”
“It is… he’s stillborn…” Grayleaf looked at me. A choking noise came from my throat as I looked at my dead son.
“No…” I swallowed my sadness the best I could. “I must name him. Every clan cat must have a name… dead or not.” I flicked my tail over the young kit. He was a very handsome black kit with a white heart on his chest. His paws where white and he had white-tipped ears.
“What are you going to name him, Smokybird?” Yarrowspots looked at the kit too, trying to think of something.
“Wishsoul. I like Wishsoul.” I nosed the little scrap and whispered, Have a good time in StarClan my dear son. We’ve never talked, but I know you would have been a great warrior. For that moment, everything was fine and loving, then a sharp claw poked my side. I looked up to see my daughter poking at me.
I looked around and saw that I had slept several hours next to Wishsoul’s small body and my unnamed daughter was trying to find somewhere to lay that was comfier. Grayleaf and Yarrowspots were gone and the only cats in the nursery were me, Wishsoul’s body, and the tiny she-kit. “Oh!” I meowed, “I forgot to name you.” My daughter was a smoky grey like me with black stripes all over.
I bent my head near the tiny kit. “Hi there. Your name is Meadowkit, my daughter.” I nosed Meadowkit and she squeaked. A thought then popped into my head. I must not tell her of Wishsoul. She must think she’s an only child… for her own safety.
Chapter Two- Falcon
Warning: this chapter contains mild gore, if you are not comfortable with this, please skip this chapter!
Falcon padded through the dark forest, the crunching noises of the leaves breaking the endless silence that coated the area.
It amused him, how the clans could live in a place like this, adapt to it, but still struggle in leaf-bare. Falcon froze suddenly, and crouched. Something or someone was coming. He tensed, ready to pounce and attack whatever he needed to, before he heard a voice. "Hey, Violetdawn, what's that?"
"I don't know.. Can you see instead" mewed a lower, she-cat-like voice, Falcon thought. Though he didn't actually know what a she-cat sounded like. His friend was one, but..
She never talked normally. Only in small, short phrases, and even then, it just.. It didn't sound natural, like she was hurt constantly.
The other voice, a tom, peered over the grass Falcon hid in, and stared at him.
"WHAT IS THAT?! IS THAT A CAT?!?" It mewed, and the cat named Violetdawn looked too, and backed up in horror. I think they're clan cats, Falcon thought as Violetdawn sped away, and he wondered if she was going to tell someone what she found. I mean, Sunstar was a Clan cat, I "was" a Clan cat for a while... Suddenly he heard a screech, and a tall, muscular yellow tom with deep, aqua eyes stood above him. Most cats would say Falcon had nowhere to run or hide, he was cornered.
Falcon sneered and unsheathed his claws. He was never cornered enough. Falcon leaped onto the closest cat, shredding it's face and ran away, leaving a bloody mess and three, staring figures in the distance.
He had been walking long enough that is was morning now, and there was no noise that they were following him, just the new and pleasing sound of birds singing and a small stream rushing.
Then he heard screaming again, and he winced. After a few minutes, Falcon heard pawsteps, and he ducked down, hidden amongst tall grass and the side of an overturned tree. No-one would find him here this time.
Chapter Three – Meadowkit
I treaded through deep snow. My eyes were tired of crying. I can’t find her! She’s gone! As I looked around I thought a saw a grey pelt walking away.
“Mother!” I called out, but the cat didn’t stop, “Mother… Smokybird! I’m here!” I tried my best to follow when a large shadow came toward me. I yowled and tried to run away, but then the shadow shrunk, and it turned into a tom kit. The kit was no older than me. He was a black cat with a white heart on his chest. In the snow, his black fur stood out easily and I wondered why I didn’t see him in the strange snowy meadow.
The strange cat’s eyes filled with love as he looked at me, “Hello, dear one.” He purred and rubbed against me. I was confused, I had never seen this cat in my life!
“Wh-who are you? Why am I here? Where’s Smokybird!” I tried to run past the weird cat where I saw Smokybird disappear, but the strange kit stood in the way.
“My name is Wishsoul. I’ve been watching you, Meadowkit. I’ve got a warning.” Wishsoul’s eyes filled with fear and worry, as if the warning were important. I shuffled my paws, ready to hear what he had to say. “Meadowkit,” Wishsoul began, “A Raven will break into the darkest part of the Smoke, and the Smoke will disappear.”
“What? What do you mean!” I meowed, but Wishsoul was fading. I felt heat behind me, so I turned around to see smoke and fire engulf the meadow. I was choking on ginger flames when I felt a paw on my side.
“Meadowkit! Are you okay? You were coughing like crazy.” Smokybird looked at me with worry in her eyes. I shook my head.
“No, mother. I’m okay,” I meowed. I got up and stretched, walking outside in the camp. I was aware of my mother’s stare burning my pelt as I walked into the morning sun. Behind me, Smokybird got up and walked into the medicine cat's den. I sighed. Smokybird is always too protective of me, as if she is scared to lose me. Before I was born, my father, Birchfire, died by a badger. A few moons later, I was born, an only child. But now I am 2 moons old, I can take care of myself. Then, Wishsoul’s words came into my head.
The Raven will break into the darkest part of the Smoke, and the Smoke will disappear.
I remembered my dream, when my mother, Smokybird, disappeared in the distance as Wishsoul prophesied to me. Smokybird… Smoke! A shudder went down me. Was my mother going to disappear?
“Meadowkit,” My thoughts were interrupted by Yarrowspots. “Smokybird told me you were coughing in your sleep. I’ve come to give you some catmint… just in case.” He dropped the catmint in front of me. Even though I knew I wasn’t sick, I started to eat it anyways.
Then, Yarrowspots started to sniff, “Do you smell… smoke?” I shuddered.
“No… maybe it’s just Twolegs in the distance?” I meowed, realizing I had a faint smell of smoke on my pelt. To my luck, the Med-cat didn’t ask anything more.
“Okay, and if you start coughing again, remember to tell me or Smokybird.” Yarrowspots started to walk away, and I sighed in relief. How many more secrets will have to be kept to not tell cats about this prophecy?
“The Raven will break into the darkest part of the Smoke… is it Smokybird?” I thought out loud, not realizing that someone was spying in the darkness.
Chapter Four - Sparrowpaw
Warnings: Minor language, little gore, that's it.
I awoke to the most horrible dream I ever had, or so I thought. I glanced over at my sides, noticing they were covered in cobwebs. "What?" I ask myself quietly, I was confused to say the least. I was also mad, considering whoever did this ruined my beautiful fur. Oh, and that Eaglepaw wouldn't help me, I suppose... But I was more angry about my fur being ruined! "Ugh... That fox-hearted tom! He didn't even help me, his sister! He's such-" That's when I heard the Clan leader call a meeting. Everyone dashed over, but something was wrong... I felt like something was watching us from afar. I brushed it off and shuffled over, my crimson blood leaking onto the ground. I glanced up at the majestic leader, them starting the meeting, "I have received word that one of our apprentices, Eaglepaw, attempted to kill one of our other apprentices, Sparrowpaw." They meowed, one cat yelling, "Dammit! This won't go unpunished!" The dark brown she-cat flattened her ears against her head. "You're right. This won't go unpunished." The leader calmly continued, "I shall exile Eaglepaw from this clan, and make sure that he never returns. If he does, he'll die at the claws of this clan." Every cat approving of their choice.
I couldn't help but lay helplessly in the medicine cat's den, crystal tears escaping my eyes. I knew what it felt like to be injured now, "It feels like I'm suffering in The Place Of No Stars!" I whined, the medicine cat taking notice. They had pity shining in their eyes as they kept silent. I couldn't bear to be in this pain any longer! It had to heal, or I had to die! I don't even care at this point! I glanced over at the cat in charge of medicine, mumbling, "I can't deal with this anymore. Kill me."
"WHAT? Sparrowpaw, you can't give up on yourself!" Grayleaf yowled in disbelief, dropping the herbs that she was carrying.
"I know, but do it. Do it with deathberries. Tell Leafstar that I want to be killed," I mumbled.
Yarrowspots ran to tell Leafstar, then came back and brought the news that Leafstar said if Sparrowpaw wishes, he's okay with that.
Grayleaf brought the bright red berries over to me.
"Here, eat these deathberries." she mewed regretfully.
"Okay, here goes nothing." I meowed, taking in a deep breath, ready to go to StarClan.
I put three deathberries into my jaws, chewed, and swallowed. A few heartbeats later, a big pain stabbed at my chest and everything went blurry and then black.
I woke up to a lush forest and a small stream gurgling nearby. I stood up straight and saw Clawkit, our dead littermate.
"Clawkit! It's so good to see you!" I purred.
Clawkit purred too, and mewed, "Sparrowpaw, welcome to StarClan."
(anyone can finish this chapter.- User: Firewind0111
Ok, cool. I finished it. -Shininglight08)
"All cats that are old enough to hunt for themselves, gather beneath the High Rock!" Leafstar yowled.
When all the cats where settled, Leafstar continued, "Sparrowpaw has joined the ranks of StarClan, on will. Sparrowpaw has said that she wanted to be killed by deathberries, so Grayleaf has given deathberries to Sparrowpaw."
Shocked murmurs rippled through the Clan camp.
“Why would she want to die?” some cat yelled.
The whole clan started to yowl.
“Calm down! Calm down!” Leafstar scratched scratched her claws on the rough stone, and every cat got quiet. “Seeing as she can not tell us, we shall have a vigil for her, and…” she trailed off as two cats appeared at the entrance to camp. One was a muscled golden Tom with blue eyes, and the other was a skinnier blue-grey tom with green eyes. Leafstar eyes them.
“Who are you?” She demanded. The golden cat met her gaze.
“I’m Lightwash. This is Jaywind. We’re from FlightClan. We’re here for Sparrowpaw.”
Leafstar blinked. “Sparrowpaw? She’s loyal to us!”
“Don’t ask questions.”
“I’ll ask as many as I want. FlightClan can NOT just come in and kidnap one of our apprentices!”
“Pretty sure we can.” Lightwash meowed. “Where is she?”
Leafstar snarled. “Why should I tell you?”
Jaywind stepped forward. “Maybe because FlightClan is much, much stronger than you.”
Leafstar hissed. “Bold words. I will not talk to messengers. If FlightClan wants to talk, Vulturestar can come.”
“You’ll regret this, Leafstar.” Lightwash whispered. “Just hand over Sparrowpaw.”
“Is it war that you want?”
“Then hand her over.” The whole of ThunderClan had circled around the two cats.
“Then prepare for war.” Lightwash turned around, and he and Jaywind started to walk out.
“Because she’s dead!” Leafstar yowled. It was her last card. “She killed herself!”
Lightwash turned around. “Why?” he demanded.
Grayleaf appeared. “She was in pain.”
Lightwash shook his head. “No. She knew her part. She just wanted out.”
“Out of what?” Leafstar asked.
“The prophecy. She was part of a prophecy.”
“I’m not telling.”
“ThunderClan! Attack!” Leafstar yowled. She knew that it was the wrong thing to do, but these FlightClan cats were getting on her nerves.
“FlightClan! Attack!” A new voice sounded, and cats leaped into the camp from all sides. A perfect trap.
Chapter Six - Eaglepaw
(Feel free to finish this - Sky)
(I'll finish it - thembunnylover)
Eaglepaw trots over to FlightClan's territory, since Leafstar had exiled him from ThunderClan.
The clan's scent whiffed by the tom,
Filling him with determination.
Chapter Seven - Duckcreek
DuckCreek sighed. The recent battle with ShadowClan had badly injured her. Not physically but mentally. Her mate, DroopyOwl had died in the battle. She was expecting his kits though. Her heart ached with sorrow. She headed to the medicine den, feeling a sudden strike of pain. "Hello, DuckCreek." GrayLeaf seemed like she had a good day. "I believe I'm having my kits..." she replied to the friendly hello. GrayLeaf's eyes widened and she rushed over. "Eat this." She handed DuckCreek borage. DuckCreek ate it and laid down. "I need you to bite on this when you begin to feel pain and push." GrayLeaf handed her a stick.
Chapter Eight - Otterslash
This song is a good theme for this chapter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZWqyFuwIMI, Could Never Be,(Leafpool and Mothwing song) by Blixemi
I was shouting at my apprentice Featherpaw, "Roll left, try and get under me for this exercise, if you can do it first try, I'll teach you how to hunt hawks." This was always going to be encouragement for Featherpaw, he loved hawk and it was hard to get a hold of, but normally he would fail and it would make him push himself, which was good, he was always the laziest cat. I looked wistfully at my secret son, his father Scratch was a loner and would have been chased of the moment he was caught on the territory, his father and I would sometimes meet at the barn/ horseplace while never getting caught by certain cats (idk which territory this at) and just talk for a while, I thought of Scratch's sweet scent, he told me to meet him every night other than the full moon, and I almost never failed to, and he knew that sometimes everyone in camp would be awake so I would be unable to meet him, and the last few times he talked about settling in Thunderclan, I encouraged this idea, after all he would be able to spend more time with me. Featherpaw shouted suddenly, "Otterslash, are you okay? You've been so distant since I became an apprentice." I looked down at my ginger paws, remembering Don't let the cat out of the beech leaves, don't tell him his parentage, he doesn't need to know. "Yes, I know, and I'm not very proud of that. I'm not being a very good mo- I MEAN MENTOR! I-I sometimes feel like a mother to you, in ways you wouldn't understand until you are older, I hope I get the chance to tell you, now come at me, if you do it you'll-" I was cut off abruptly, Featherpaw started running at me, I easily dodged and batted his belly while he blinked in suprise. "Featherpaw battle is all about quick thinking, what if a clan attacked right now and they went after you? You need to think fast, unlike me their claws are going to be unsheathed, I know you have always had trouble with battling, but you need to work harder, now let's go hunting." I sniffed the air, "I think I smell a mouse this way." I nodded in the direction of the Sky Oak/ Owl Tree, (again I still don't know where the territory is, can someone nudge me in the right direction) Soon, Featherpaw and I were there and, sure enough, a mouse was there. "Remember, stay downwind, don't let the mouse sense you." Featherpaw's tail twitched, stirring up three leaves, the mouse perked its head up, Featherpaw soon pounced and caught the mouse. "Okay, Featherpaw, lets go back to camp and drop this off. Training is over for today, you can go to the elders if you want to do more," I mewed, anxious to get back to my Scratch. That night when I got to Scratch, he said, "Okay ready to ask Leafstar? I know I am." I looked at him, he looked so pretty in the moonlight, "Yes, we must ask Leafstar, hopefully he says yes!" Scratch looked at me and I could see his hope in his eyes, hope to finally be together. We got to camp and Leafstar was talking to the other cats unintelligibly. "Leafstar!" I meowed, "Leafstar, this loner here wants to join our clan, and he said his name is Scratch." Leafstar looked at me, "Really? this loner wants to join? Okay, I'll announce to the clan that he is now on a trial to join the clan, you can do training exercises with him and Featherpaw. If he wants we can change his name, but we don't have to if Millie and Daisy in Firestar's legend taught us anything." Scratch mewed, "Actually I would like my new name to be Scratchstem, if you could be so kind to rename me," Leafstar looked at Scratch, thinking "Hmm, if you can prove to me that you will be a valuable asset to this clan, then I will change your name, now go train with Otterslash." Scratch and I looked at each other, we mewed almost simaltaniously, "So, lets go train." The springy undergrowth under-paw was enough for us to stalk silently through the forest to the training hollow where Featherpaw was practicing his battle moves, "Wow, this late Featherpaw?" I wasn't expecting this, "well I guess Scratch needs to introduce himself," I mewed. Featherpaw jumped up in suprise, "What are you talking about Otterslash? There's no there's cat but you here, and there was, I would have already seen them." The clouds opened up at that exact moment allowing the moonlight to shine on the dark furred cat. Scratch mewed, "Hello Featherpaw, my name is Scratch."
Chapter Nine - Meadowkit
Meadowkit was laying outside the nursery, rolling a Moss ball back and forth. The last five night have been weird. Her mother, Smokybird, had been leaving every night to go to the "dirtplace", but Meadowkit could tell that she was lieing. When she came back, the smell of forest would be fresh on her pelt. But, every night she would leave longer. Meadowkit was snapped out of her thoughts when she saw two strange cats walk into the camp.
"Give us Sparrowpaw, now!" one of them ordered.
"Never!" Replied Leafstar, Meadowkits leader. The other strange cat stepped forward.
"Then this means war! Flightclan, attack!" All of a sudden, the clearing was full of fighting cats. MEADOWKIT let out a squeek and ran into the nurrsery. She huddled in the corner, gasping as blood splayed the clearing.
A dark grey cat exploded from the camp entrance and ran to the nursery. She couldn't tell who it was, because her eyes were blinded in shock.
"Shhh, my beloved." The grey cat meowed, Meadowkit relaxing as she heard the voice of her mom. "I am here. Those scary cats will be gone soon."
A warm pelt rasped against hers, drowning out the screeches of battle. Meadowkit felt better at the sound of Smokybird's, her mother, breath against her flank. The peace made her feel so good, that she forgot about the battle, and fell asleep.
* * *
Meadowkit woke up in a snowy meadow, one she has seen in her dreams many times before. She let out a happy gasp and called out, "Wishsoul! Where are you?"
Pawsteps sounded behind her. "Right here, Meadowkit," Wishsoul purred. She turned around to see around handsome black tom with a white heart on his chest. Meadowkit ran to him.
"I'm so glad to see you. You haven't visited me for three days!" Meadowkit hopped up and down. She loved all the fun games he would play with her!
Wishsoul shook his head. "I know you want to play, but your clan is in trouble. You must wake up, there is a great emptiness in the nursery."
"The... nursery? Why is it empty?"
"I can't tell you."
Meadowkit growled. "You never tell me anything! If you don't want to play with me, just say it!"
"I -- " Wishsoul began.
"No, don't visit me at all! I'm done!" Meadowkit stormed off, rage bubbling in her. He's so stubborn! How was she supposed to know everything? She was just a kit! A yowl sounded from behind her, and with a jolt, she opened her eyes to the real world.
Duckcreek came into the nursery, shock on her face as she scanned it. "Smokybird's gone!"
Chapter Ten - Rowanpaw/kit
Rowankit lay quietly beside his mother, Pinebark, and watched Meadowkit fiddle with the mossball. He was becoming an apprentice soon. However, he enjoyed the presence of his mother, and wanted to spend every heartbeat beside her - he couldn't see her much when he became an apprentice. His father was a respected warrior, so he was called on patrols whenever he came back from hunting. Tigersnap spent every moment of spare time he could with Rowankit, but it just wasn't enough. "Rowankit!" Rowankit turned to see his father, carrying a plump hare in his jaws.
"Dad!" purred Rowankit.
Tigersnap nuzzled Pinebark and set the hare down in front of Rowankit. "I caught this big hare and I wanted you and your mom to have it," the tom meowed.
"What about you?" asked Pinebark.
"I have a mouse," Tigersnap murmured. "Enjoy the hare - Leafstar wants me on patrol again soon." The dark tom galloped away. The tantalizing smell of hare drew Rowankit to the fresh-kill and he and his mother devoured the meal. Rowankit still stared at Meadowkit alone, rolling the mossball.
Chapter Eleven - Purr
Purr was laying down wip
Chapter Twelve - Smokybird
Smokybird was stumbling through the forest, pain shooting through her front leg. The battle in camp had left everyone hurt, and it was still going. Smokybird had no choice but to battle along, even though her kit needed someone to watch over her. A few warriors had broken into the nursery, but she and the other queens had fought them off. Smokybird was left hurt and in pain as she had no choice but to look for help. Bloody fur caught on the undergrowth as she collapsed on the ground, lungs flaring. She closed her eyes, praying to StarClan to let her live. She heard pawsteps coming her way, fast and unfaltering.
Eaglepaw appeared from the bushes, nearly stumbling over her. He stared down at her when he realized she was there. "Well, isn't it the little queen who couldn't save her little son," Eaglepaw smirked. She knew he was talking about Wishsoul.
"You know my son was stillborn. I could do nothing to save him." She stood up, growling,"and you also know you have no right to be in ThunderClan territory." She stiffened when Eaglepaw let out a little mrrow of mock laughter.
"ThunderClan territory? You know you're in Flightclan territory, right? It is you who is trespassing!"
"What... how did I get out here?"
"Maybe StarClan lead you out here, or you were just trying to steal prey." Eaglepaw unsheathed his claws. His eyes glew with hate. He was different was the young tom she had seen being born. He has chosen the path of dakrness, much like she had at his age.
Smokybird gasped. "I'm a queen and I'm dying! Why would you think I would steal prey?"
"You could never trust a ThunderClan cat, this could be a trick." Eaglepaw leaned closer. "And I should know when I see a trick."
She put her head on the ground. "Would you really kill me? You know what will happen. Just... go."
Eaglepaw shrugged. "I heard there was a battle. You look beat up, and you wounds look infected."
Smokybird's ears went up, hope flaring. "You'll help me?" she meowed as her front paws collapsed.
"I never said that! I wouldn't help you anyways, because it's been so long since I've witnessed a cat dying before. Say hey to StarClan for me," Eaglepaw teased, though his words were serious.
Panic built up in Smokybird. Her eyes grew big. "Please! Help, I will do anything you want!"
She saw Eaglepaw's eyes glow, a menacing look on his face. "Give me Meadowkit, and I will help you."
Smokybird let out a gasp. "Anything but that! Please!" He can't take Meadowkit away from her, she's so young!
"Okay, then I guess you have to die." He turned to walk away, flicking his ear.
Her lungs were in pain, and her leg was pumping. She fell on her side, and gasped. Eaglepaw would never let her live. "You are low, even for a FlightClan cat. What would StarClan think of you?"
"Give me Meadowkit" he growled, "or your life with be worse than it will be without her!" His claws were unsheathed over her wounded body, a snarl on his face.
Smokybird, full of rage, yowled. She swept the paws out from under the brown tom, making him fall to the ground. With an angery snarl, Eaglepaw had her head locked in his jaws; not to tight to kill, but tight enough for a cat to struggle with breathing.
Eaglepaw murmured through his teeth around her neck, "Give me Meadowkit, or I will snap your neck. Ether way, there's nothing you can do to stop me." A growl rose from his throat.
Smokybird didn't respond. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest, and her fear-sent wrapped around the clearing. With a struggled gasp, she responded, "You will never get her, you fox-hearted piece of dung!" Smokybird growled, but knew she made the wrong choice.
She could feel Eaglepaw's thrill dance through the air as he snarled, "Wrong answer."
In fear, Smokybird flashed out her paws in every way she could. She could never beat him! He was too strong!
"Eaglepaw!" a voiced called, and a cat walked into the clearing, a blue-grey tom with green eyes, saying, "Eaglepaw, there you are! Stop pestering the suffering ThunderCLan cats. You know its better to let them die slowly. Snapping her neck would be a favor!"
Just like that, Eaglepaw left, but staying a little bit to give her an evil look. She was left alone in the clearing. That brown tom was for some reason going after her kit, and she knew there was no way of stopping him.
She lie their, getting ready to die, when the smell of herbs came into her nose. Herbs! She dragged herself to where they were. Horsetail was still next to an old log, which had old webs in it. Thank StarClan! They must have done this, because what is the chance of finding this stuff together?
She treated her wounds with the horsetail, then plastered it on with the cobwebs. Smokybird sighed. Her leg still stung, but not as much.
She looked in the sky. The sun was setting and the first StarClan warriors were coming out. I wonder if the battle is still going? She thought.
And Meadowkit by herself in the nursery watching helplessly...
Chapter Thirteen - Nightpaw
Nightpaw's heart hammered in her chest as she backed away from the sight in front of her. Terror shrilled through every hair on her pelt as she watched, unable to move, as her Clanmate confronted a smoky-gray she-cat with ThunderClan scent on her fur. Eaglepaw's lips were drawn back in a ferocious snarl, and malicious mockery danced in his eyes as he faced the enemy cat. Hardly daring to breathe, Nightpaw stumbled backward, falling into a hunter's crouch to avoid detection. The two cats hadn't noticed her yet, thank StarClan. And to be honest, it wasn't the ThunderClan cat Nightpaw was worried about... Eaglepaw was the real threat.
The light brown apprentice frightened her. Sometimes Nightpaw would hear his faint pawsteps sounding outside the medicine den as he returned to camp from what he claimed was a "nighttime hunt." But the excuse, paired with his sharply glittering eyes, didn't convince Nightpaw in the slightest. Something was off about that cat, and here it was.
"Well, isn't it the little queen who couldn't save her little son." Eaglepaw's voice echoed through the eerily silent forest. Nightpaw shivered at the cold humor in his tone, pressing her belly even closer to the leaf-mold with trembling paws.
"You know my son was stillborn. I could do nothing to save him," the ThunderClan she-cat retorted, swinging her head around to stare Eaglepaw in the face. Beneath the tang of blood seeping from her wounds, Nightpaw detected the faint scent of milk. She stifled a gasp; this cat was a nursing queen! Where were her kits?
Surely even Eaglepaw wouldn't be so cruel as to kill her, Nightpaw reasoned, although the words felt hollow. She knew, deep in her bones, that mercy was beyond Eaglepaw's comprehension. A tremor ran through her body. Does Vulturestar know about this? Does he support this? Would he encourage Eaglepaw to attack?
The sound of Eaglepaw's derisive laugh jolted Nightpaw out of her dark thoughts, back to the even darker scene before her. "ThunderClan territory? You know you're in FlightClan territory, right? It is you who is trespassing!"
Nightpaw took a halting step backward, the blood roaring in her ears. There was a crunching sound as a twig snapped beneath her hind paw, and she froze, inhaling sharply. Eaglepaw's head jerked up at the sound, his ears pricking. The ThunderClan queen did the same, her fearful, cloudy gaze sweeping the undergrowth for any sign of a friend or foe. Panic sparking beneath her pelt, Nightpaw withdrew into a clump of bracken, praying that the thin shadows would be enough to hide her black coat.
Crouching in tortured silence, Nightpaw cursed internally. She cursed Eaglepaw's corruption; how had his once young, immature mind been washed with blood so easily? And then came the question that bothered her the most: why doesn't any cat care?
FlightClan seemed to prize Eaglepaw's dark and underhanded ways. Vulturestar's intimidating presence seemed to fold and soften around the apprentice, as though the commanding leader saw him as a son. All Nightpaw saw was a young cat led astray, a cat whose maw was stained with the blood of the innocent. Where had his heart gone? Where was the sweet tom that Nightpaw had crushed on from afar? The ThunderClan tom she'd watched at Gatherings before his exile? It was as though this new Eaglepaw had killed him.
And what about Sparrowpaw? Eaglepaw's kindhearted sister had stayed loyal to ThunderClan. Although FlightClan was ThunderClan's enemy, Nightpaw couldn't help but feel admiration toward the she-cat. And Sparrowpaw remained in ThunderClan now, Nightpaw remembered with a flash of fear. How would she fare in the raid that FlightClan was executing? Would FlightClan take her prisoner or take her life?
There had been whispers surrounding Sparrowpaw and Eaglepaw, ominous mutters around the Clan. Nightpaw's mentor, Beetlewing, seemed to make an exception in his outspoken ways to murmur quietly with Vulturestar about StarClan knows what. All Nightpaw knew was that the subject was very important, and every cat seemed to know about it except for her.
But she had a hunch what the furtive whispers and shared glances were about. She'd guessed it from the moment Beetlewing clamped his jaws shut, because the brown tabby tom never ceased to make remarks. She'd suspected it since her mentor padded in to speak with Vulturestar, and Nightpaw had been shouldered aside by Jaywind and Lightwash.
And somehow, Sparrowpaw was involved.
Which meant that Eaglepaw was involved.
Which meant that more blood would be spilled.
Chapter Fourteen - Nightpaw
Nightpaw closed her eyes to the ThunderClan cat's plaintive, desperate wails, wishing she could curl up and disappear. Wishing she wasn't such a mouse-hearted coward. Wishing that for once, she could stand up to her own Clanmate and prevent Eaglepaw from doing the inevitable -- taking the life of this innocent ThunderClan cat.
The queen's next plea sent a chill through Nightpaw's bloodstream.
"Please, help! I will do anything you want!"
Nightpaw froze as icy dread trickled down her spine. She could practically feel Eaglepaw's self-satisfied sneer burning into her flesh as the tom stood, triumphant, over his weeping victim. Now that he had this cat at his mercy, he could ask for anything he wanted... anything at all... in exchange for her survival...
Please, don't do it, Nightpaw begged silently. You're making the biggest mistake of your life. Don't let him get into your head.
Believe me. I know what it's like.
"Give me Meadowkit, and I will help you," Eaglepaw replied in a silky voice, soft malice in every deliberate word.
Nightpaw stifled a gasp. A kit? Why does Eaglepaw want a kit?
What is he planning?
"Anything but that, please!" the ThunderClan queen pleaded.
Nightpaw felt a pang of pity for the defeated she-cat. Her cloudy eyes were wild with fear and desperation, but there was a shred of courage still remaining. She still dared to resist Eaglepaw for the safety of her kit. Respect welled up inside Nightpaw, and her paws tingled indecisively. I should go help her... but that would be treason. Eaglepaw could snap my neck in a heartbeat, I don't stand a chance. Ducking her head in shame, Nightpaw remained where she was, a bystander, a sole witness -- a cowardly one at that -- to Eaglepaw's interrogation.
"Then I guess you have to die," Eaglepaw meowed in a casual voice, like one might use when commenting on the weather.
Nightpaw had had enough. With a choking sob, she turned tail and fled, sprinting away through the forest, not knowing or caring where her paws were taking her. She crashed blindly through the undergrowth, thorns ripping at her fur. Noise was beginning to swell in her ears, a collective jumble of shrieks, snarls, and hisses indicating battling cats. Nightpaw skidded to a halt, gasping for breath. Wails and roars rang out through the otherwise silent forest, and the iron tang of blood stung her nose. The raid was successful, then. Nightpaw lowered her head, feeling ashamed of her Clan.
"Nightpaw!" a familiar voice shouted. "What in StarClan are you doing here?" It was Beetlewing. The brown tabby tom was sheltering under a holly bush, applying a marigold poultice to Jaywind's wounds.
Nightpaw winced, her mind racing as she frantically tried to come up with a response. "Uh... I..." She shrugged helplessly, preparing for a harsh scolding.
To her surprise, Beetlewing didn't lecture her. "Well, you're here, so you might as well make yourself useful. Chew another marigold poultice; I have a feeling we'll need it." Her mentor frowned and returned to his patient.
Nightpaw nodded obediently and ducked under the drooping holly leaves. The shallow scoop -- Beetlewing's temporary medicine den for the battle -- stank of foul wounds dressed with sharp-smelling herbs. Wrinkling her nose at the stench and flattening her ears against the screeches and snarls, Nightpaw picked up a bundle of marigold in her jaws and began to chew, grinding the leaves into a pulp. As she worked, Nightpaw peered through the spiky holly bush at the battlefield before her. ThunderClan's sunlit, fern-laden camp had become a wasteland; a sea of red-tipped grass and deep gouge marks. Nightpaw hunched her shoulders as she watched a FlightClan warrior streak after a yowling ThunderClan tom, their pounding paws shredding the remains of scattered nests as they ran.
In the cloud of dust they left in their wake, twin glints of light appeared. Nightpaw blinked, nearly choking on her poultice. A pair of eyes was gleaming at Nightpaw from a tangled knot of brambles; some sort of den. The eyes were wide and fearful, and they darted around like terrified mice scurrying away from a warrior's claws. Then, as Nightpaw kept watching, another pair of eyes appeared. These ones were huge and amber, full of confusion at the battle raging around them.
They're kits! Nightpaw realized with a stab of horror. She spat out her sloppily-chewed poultice onto a leaf, all hard work forgotten. Is one of them the kit that Eaglepaw wants? Meadowkit?
Should I try to grab her and run for it?
For a moment, the idea was tempting. In the chaos of the battle, it would be easy for Nightpaw to slink over, snatch the kit, and find a safe place for her to hide from Eaglepaw. But every other rational thought screamed in disapproval. First of all, that would be considered treason; second, Nightpaw could potentially be wounded in the fray; third, there were two kits and she might take the wrong one, she couldn't carry both; and lastly, the queen who'd promised Eaglepaw Meadowkit might be killed if the kit wasn't given as promised.
Nightpaw's heart ached with pity and shame. I'm such a coward. Sparrowpaw wouldn't hesitate to save that kit.
But I'm not like her.
Just as Nightpaw was turning away somberly, a dark shadow flitted at the corner of her vision. Startled, Nightpaw whipped back toward the nursery and saw a black silhouette dash over, slip through the brambles, then flee into the forest with a bundle bumping against its chest. A small, furry bundle with glimmering amber eyes.
Someone took the kit!
Chapter Fifteen - Meadowkit
Meadowkit laid on the leafy floor of a bush next to Rowankit, his brown fur soft against hers. Meadowkit was panicking, images in her head she would never want to happen. Her mother, Smokybird, had disappeared in the battle, leaving her in terror. What if she went into the forest and died? What will I do then? The thought couldn't go away, like a bee getting nectar from a flower. She was happy of Rowankit's presence, she couldn't bear to be alone.
"Rowankit, do you think my mother is okay? What if she was killed?"
"There's a chance. Anything can happen at a battle," he meowed, looking wistfully into the clearing.
Meadowkit looked out into the clearing. She jumped as she saw a light brown cat staring at her. He had a white chest with amber eyes. He narrowed his eyes, a snarl on his face, showing blood stained teeth. He Iifted his head as he was called by someone saying, "Eaglepaw! Come here!" Eaglepaw gave Meadowkit one last glance before walking over to the voice.Rowankit didn't notice Eaglepaw, saying, "What I would do for a fresh bird right now." He licked his lips and looked to the sky. Birds? That's the least of our worries!
For the first time since the battle, she looked around the clearing. Bloodstained grass and leaves were everywhere, and eyes of weak Thunderclan cats were in the shadows. There was a faint smell of FlightClan in the distance. What has become of my home? No, our home?' A shudder went down Meadowkit. The prophecy! For the first time in a moon, Meadowkit remembered the prophecy Wishsoul had told her. A bird will break into the heart of the smoke, and it will disappear.But what was the bird? MEADOWKIT KNEW THAT THE SMOKE was Smokybird, but she hadn't thought of what or who the bird was. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a brown figure in the foot of the makeshift den. She squeaked as Rowankit pushed her back into the den, and hissed, "Get down! Someone's coming."
Meadowkit buried her head into the leaves on the ground. Had a FlightClan warrior come to take them away? Tears came out of her eyes. Smokybird promised she would watch over her, always! BUT where was she now?She got up and went back to where she was before, but then she saw that Rowankit was gone. The strange cat took him! Who was the cat? Was he good or bad? Would he take her too? Meadowkit shrunk to the ground, fear in her eyes. What would she do without him? Smokybird would want me to be strong, Meadowkit thought. I'm sure Rowankit will be okay, right? He's almost an apprentice. But Meadowkit wasn't sure. If a FlightClan cat took him, would they use him as their own apprentice?
Meadowkit slowly, but surely, walked over to the edge. As she peered around the corner, she away a cat she cat with half chewed herbs in a leaf by her paws. Her eyes were full of sadness and uncertainty, as if she was going through something she couldn't forget. She looked up and met eyes with Meadowkit, but looked away again in a few heartbeats. Meadowkit turned her head, confused on what was happening, when a dark shadow filled the den. A cat, full of FlightClan sent, was growling at her, saying, "I thought we got rid of all the weak ones!"
Meadowkit squeaked in fear, as teeth met her scruff, and the strange cat started to shake her.
Chapter Sixteen - Olive
Olive ran through the forest as fast as she could, with the kit thumping against her chest and thrashing wildly. Olive tightened her grip on him, but made sure that she was holding him gently. Earlier before, she had overheard a gray queen talking to a brown tom. She only could catch bits of what they were saying, but what she had heard was that the gray cat, Stoke Bird (what a strange name, Olive had thought) was going to give over a kit, Dow Kin (another strange name) to the young brown tom in exchange for herbs. Knowing she had to do something, Olive snuck into the camp and had found two kits crouching together while the other cats nearby were all slouched over, bleeding and looking beaten. It must be a terrible place to live, which was why Olive had come to rescue Dow Kin from this nightmare and being handed over to Sneegle Plaw. So now the black-and-white she-cat was ducking into the tunnels, weaving through passageways until she finally got to a big cave, her home.
It was a decent place to live. Sunshine shone through tiny cracks in the roof, while a river flowed through the middle. Olive set Dow Kin down and scanned the cave for her sister, Robin. She must be hunting, the loner thought.
“Wh-where am I?” Dow Kin asked, trembling with fear and looking at Olive. “I want Pinebark!” he cried.
“Don’t worry, Dow Kin,” Olive meowed, bending down to wash the kit’s soft ears. “You’re safe from ThumperClan, and from Sneegle Paw.”
“Sneegle paw? ThumperClan? Dow Kin?” he asked.
“That’s the brown tom with a white flash, ThumperClan is where you live, and Dow Kin is your name," the loner replied.
“My-my name’s not Dow Kin!" the tabby squeaked. “It’s Rowankit. And my home is actually called ThunderClan. The brown and white tom must be Eaglepaw. But why”- the kit was cut out by approaching paw steps, and sleek black-and-white she-cat padded on with a mouse dangling from her jaws.
The she-cat stopped and stared with surprise at Rowankit, dropping her mouse. “OLIVE!!!” she screeched at her sister. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? FIRST YOU STEAL THEIR PREY AND HERBS, BUT NOW A KIT!!! HOW COULD YOU!!!"
“Please Robin, calm down!” Olive rushed forward, and as fast as she could, informed her sister of what she had overheard.
“Oh,” Robin said, giving her chest fur a few embarrassed licks. “I’m sorry, Olive. I just-“
“It's okay, Robin” Olive said, nuzzling her.
“But wait!” Rowankit said. “The kit you’re talking about isn’t me! It’s Meadowkit!” Both Olive and Robin stared in surprise at the tiny brown tabby. “We have to get her!” Rowankit lunged for the the nearest tunnel, but Robin leaped and grabbed him, pulling him back.
“We can’t, sweetie. It’s already sunhigh, Eaglepaw will have your friend in his grasp by now. We gotta play it safe and stay here.”
”I gotta alert Leafstar!" Rowankit tried to move again, but Robin had trapped his tail and he was stuck.
“Rowankit," the kit muttered under his breath.
“Sorry, Rowit,” Olive said. “BoltCan is too weak and disorganized to take back Menowkip, or even protect you. You can stay for a bit, because your home is too unprotected for a young kit like you." Olive knew it would be hard for Rowaslip, but for his own good he would have to stay. Both her and her littermate were able to take care of him, and staring down at the young tom’s hopeful eyes, Olive promised herself that no matter what, his new life would be safe, happy, and secure.
Chapter Seventeen - Birchfire
A white cat with black stripes ran through the forest. Last night, he had heard yowls of pain and war cries. He couldn't go to sleep, knowing that some cats might be dying at that moment. He just had to see what was happening, even though the cries were silent now. He just hoped that one cat, someone special to him, wasn't hurt. I could never forgive myself if she was hurt, or worse...
His name was Birchfire. He had run away from ThunderClan many moons ago, scared of the battle he knew was near. And it seems like he was right. He had run away at the time his mate, a lovely grey she cat, was having kits. At that time, he thought it would be the right thing, but it had turned out to be a bad idea, and he may never know his kits.
Birchfire came to a stop when he heard voices from somewhere in front of him. He lowered himself onto the grassy floor, trying to listen to what the voices where saying:
"There was this queen, named Stoke Bird, and a tom named Steagle Plaw. They were from BoltClan. The queen was dying, and the tom would only help her if she gave him HER KIT, Menowkin. I had to do something so the queen wouldnt make that mistake, so that's why he is here, Malowkip, or whatever."
Birchfire was confused. BoltClan? Stoke Bird? Malowkip? Those I strange names, especially if they where clan cats. Birchfire stranded to listen again, this time a new, squeakier voice was talking. "But wait! The kit you are talking about isn't me! It's Meadowkit! We have to get her!"
Birchfire gasped. Memorys fled into his head, some bad and sad. That's the name me and my mate were going to name our kit! Birchfire thought, long and hard. Stoke Bird... Smokybird! His eyes grew wide and his lungs started closing. If his mate, Smokybird, was hurt that badly to give up her kit, surely she could of not survived? Birchfire closed his eyes, pain shooting through his heart. She's gone, isn't she? This is all because I left ThunderClan! Life could of been perfect, but I soiled it all up!
He couldn't hear anymore, so he ran off, head beating.
My life is ruined...
I should just die.. StarClan, take me...
He tripped, wrenching his shoulder. He rested his head on the floor as pain took over his leg. He lay there, not moving, breathing barely.
Chapter Eighteen - Nightpaw
Nightpaw stood, frozen in shock. Her mind was numb with disbelief.
She'd just watched an unknown cat kidnap a kit from the ThunderClan nursery.
They know, she realized. They must have overheard Eaglepaw and that queen talking.
They did the brave thing and stole Meadowkit before the transaction could occur. And I didn't.
I'm such a mouse-heart.
The sounds of battle were slowly dying, the echoes of ThunderClan screeches receding as the brutally wounded warriors retreated to their nests. Nightpaw glanced around the clearing, feeling rather sick to her stomach. The tang of blood stung her nostrils, the herbs unable to mask it. Blinking back tears at all the destruction, Nightpaw turned to face her mentor. Beetlewing had finished treating Jaywind, and Eaglepaw now stood at his side. The light brown tom was unmoving, poised like a snake about to strike.
Nightpaw shivered at being so close to the pale brown tom. She remembered the starlit Gathering nights when she'd silently watch him from afar, admiring the strength in his movements and the wittiness of his remarks. But now...
He's a monster.
Eaglepaw's head swung around to stare Nightpaw full in the face. She gave a startled squeak and stumbled backward as a scowl formed on his face. "Nightpaw." His voice was sweet and smooth as honey, laced with dangerous venom. "You came to the battlefield after all."
"Um, y-yeah," Nightpaw stammered, unable to stop her paws from quivering. "I -- I -- "
Eaglepaw barked a laugh and nudged her shoulder, sending explosions of fire through her pelt. "Not as cowardly as I thought!"
Nightpaw gave a nervous chuckle and glanced down at her shoulder. The place his fur had brushed hers was glistening with blood. ThunderClan blood. Blood that Eaglepaw had drawn from enemy cats with his sharp claws and cruel fangs. The sight filled Nightpaw with guilt. Eaglepaw did this. Eaglepaw killed and backstabbed and blackmailed every cat in the forest. My Clan is responsible for this mess.
But nobody would listen to Nightpaw. Not opinionated Beetlewing, who always sided with Vulturestar, nor the leader himself, with his aggressive war tactics, and certainly not Eaglepaw, who...
She didn't even know what Eaglepaw was anymore.
"Say," Eaglepaw meowed slyly, glancing at Nightpaw with glittering eyes, "would you mind doing a quick favor for me?"
Terror burst through Nightpaw's entire body like splashes of ice water. What does he want from me?
Eaglepaw seemed to take her silence for agreement, and he continued to speak. "There's a ThunderClan kit that could -- no, will -- be essential to FlightClan's victory. Could you help search for her? You know, in case things with Smokybird get... ugly."
Nightpaw's mind started to race. Meadowkit. He'd talking about Meadowkit. Is Smokybird the gray queen he was threatening in the woods?
Did she give in and agree to hand over her own daughter?
"W-why is Meadowkit so important?" Nightpaw asked.
Eaglepaw's expression became as cold and unforgiving as a wall of stone. "Meadowkit," he repeated softly.
Nightpaw inhaled sharply, realizing her mistake at the same moment Eaglepaw did. He never mentioned her name. He never told me directly -- he'll know I was spying on him! Terror shrilled through every hair on her pelt as she waited helplessly for Eaglepaw's response.
"Yes," Eaglepaw resumed speaking in the soft, deadly voice. "I'd like you to find Meadowkit and bring her safely back to me. She should be unharmed."
Nightpaw exhaled shakily, relief coursing through her veins. He doesn't care.
But the light brown tom's directions struck Nightpaw as odd. She never thought she'd see the day when the ruthless apprentice ordered a victim to be unharmed. Yet here it was.
There must be something I'm missing here, Nightpaw thought, frantically piecing together the information. Eaglepaw really wants Meadowkit. But why, StarClan, why?
If Eaglepaw wants her... and if he gets her...
Nothing good can come from that.
This is my chance to do something brave for once. Something to defy Eaglepaw. I've been meek for long enough.
The very notion of disobeying a direct order frightened Nightpaw terribly, especially one from Eaglepaw. The tom wouldn't hesitate to kill her in the blink of an eye if she failed or resisted him. One strike, that was all it would take, and Nightpaw would bleed out beneath his blank, emotionless gaze. And the worst thing was, Nightpaw had nothing to leave behind. No great legacy, no story passed down from generation to generation except for a cautionary tale about obeying your leader. She was a cowardly medicine cat apprentice who died at the paws of a murderer.
But I have to save Meadowkit. It wasn't in Nightpaw's nature to support the demise of an innocent kit, even if said kit was from an enemy Clan. To be honest, FlightClan felt like the enemy right now.
"I'll go find Meadowkit," Nightpaw promised truthfully. But I won't be giving her to you, you fox-hearted excuse for a cat!
Eaglepaw's mouth curled into a sinister grin, showing all of his pointed teeth. "Good," he murmured.
Nightpaw swallowed hard and ducked her head to the apprentice as a sign of respect. The inclination of her head briefly made her neck vulnerable to a death blow, but it was a necessary action to her superiors. Eaglepaw seemed to relish the feeling of having power over other cats, watching them shrink as they bowed down to him.
Not anymore. I'm never bowing down to you again after this.
With one last deep breath, Nightpaw turned and padded out into the now-deserted clearing. Blood spattered the ground, and chunks of fur were draped over the thorn barriers surrounding the camp. Nightpaw deliberately glanced away from the few ThunderClan bodies resting silently on the ground, their flanks eerily still. She picked her way across the clearing, thoughts racing a mile a minute. If I find Meadowkit, how will I sneak her out without being obvious? I don't want to be hunted down and killed for nothing!
Nightpaw approached the nursery where she'd seen the kidnapping occur. There had been two kits before the mysterious cat had darted in, and one remained. What if the cat had already taken Meadowkit away? What would Eaglepaw do with her then?
"Hello?" she whispered as quietly as her voice would go. She softly padded into the den, pausing for a moment as her eyes adjusted to the dim light. Nests lined with silky feathers and thick swathes of moss squelched under her paws as Nightpaw circled the nursery. "Hello?" she called again, the word a mere breath.
There was a faint tremor running through a disheveled nest of moss. Heart in her throat, Nightpaw nosed aside the quivering sprigs and had to stifle a gasp.
A gray-and-black tabby she-kit lay trembling beneath the moss, scratches marking her soft pelt. Horror surged through Nightpaw as she pressed her ear to the kitten's little chest. It was rising and falling, but very, very shallowly. Nightpaw frantically tried to recall all of her medicine cat training, every herb and its use, how to help an injured cat in any way she could.
Nightpaw glanced around helplessly. Beetlewing wasn't there with a pile of herbs and a mountain of experience; she was completely and utterly alone.
So Nightpaw did the only thing that came to mind: lick.
Her tongue rasped over the tiny kitten's chest, ruffling the fur the wrong way to warm her up and ease her shock. The sharp taste of blood bathed Nightpaw's tongue and she managed to swallow the bile that rose in her throat. Only a horrible cat would do something like this to a kit. Nightpaw felt a surge of revulsion as she realized that any FlightClan cat would do this, no questions asked.
Except for Nightpaw.
I could never, never hurt a kit, she thought, pressing her ear to the kit's chest again. Her breathing was stronger now; the stimulation seemed to be working. A small spark of pride ignited in Nightpaw's chest despite the destruction surrounding her. I did something right! I actually cured a cat!
Suddenly, the kit's limbs jerked, and her tiny pink mouth opened in a feeble cough. Nightpaw pulled back to watch the little kitten struggle to her paws, blinking blearily.
"Smokybird?" the kit mewed, her eyes clouded with confusion. "Mama?"
Nightpaw felt a pang of pity for the little kit. "She's not here right now," Nightpaw murmured, struggling to keep her voice from cracking. "But I am. And I'm going to make sure you're safe."
"Where's Rowankit?" the she-kit demanded in a painfully loud wail.
Nightpaw cringed and drew her tail over the kit's gaping mouth. "Shhh!" she hissed. "My Clan will flay my skin in strips if I'm caught helping you, so please be quiet!"
"I want Rowankit! Someone took him away!" The kit gazed at her imploringly. "Give him back!"
"I didn't take him," Nightpaw mewed. "I saw some other cat snatch him." She paused, and it finally dawned on her. "Wait -- if he's Rowankit -- are you -- are you Meadowkit?"
Meadowkit hesitated. "Y-yes."
A chill of fear swept through Nightpaw's bones. It was dangerous to be in such close proximity to Eaglepaw's number one target. But Nightpaw had to help.
"Listen," Nightpaw growled, "Eaglepaw wants you. He's a bad cat, and he's coming after you. You have to hide."
Meadowkit shivered but didn't speak, waiting for Nightpaw to continue.
Nightpaw did, as quietly as she could. "I want to help you hide. I don't know why Eaglepaw wants you, but it can't be good. You have to run away." She paused. "We have to run away."
Chapter Nineteen - Meadowkit
“I’m not going,” Meadowkit said. “Not without Smokybird. She’s my mother, she’ll miss me.”
Nightpaw looked sadly at the young kit. “Smokybird will understand that you have to hide.”
”but she’ll need me!” Meadowkit protested. “And I need her.” “The silver-and-black tabby thought for a minute, then said “oh alright, as long as Smokybird knows where I am”
Nightpaw hestitated for a bit, then replied, “She knows,” before gently picking up Meadowkit by the scruff and carrying her outside. ThunderClan bodies were strewn over the camp floor, Meadowkit didn’t know if they were dead or alive. She desperately scanned them for Smokybird. Where was she? Sticking to the shadows, the FlightClan apprentice quietly slid out of camp and through the gorse bush. The she-cat check to see if Eaglepaw or any of ThunderClan’s warriors were there. Then the two quietly walked into the forest, ducking under bushes and leaping over logs. Nightpaw set Meadowkit down, and the two walked silently for awhile. All was quiet. There was no birdsong, or no rustling of prey. This was Meadowkit’s first experience out on the woods, but somehow she felt as if she’d been hear before. But that was impossible. She shook her head and continued walking.
All was well for awhile, but then a voice cut the silence. “Meadowkit!” Meadowkit turned around and saw a gray she-cat limping towards them. “Smokybird!” Meadowkit cried on delight. She started to run towards her mother, but before she got far Nightpaw grabbed her scruff “hey!” Meadowkit said, waving her tiny paws in the air. “Let me down!”
But she didn’t, and Nightpaw started running through the forest at top speed, ignoring branches that jabbed at their fur or roots that stuck up in their way. “What’s going on?” Meadowkit asked. “Why can’t I go to Smokybird?” The apprentice didn’t answer but took a sharp left and dove into a tunnel running hard. Suddenly Meadowkit heard a sound. She looked above at the rock wall, where cracks were quickly forming. “Nightpaw?” Meadowkit asked. “Nightpaw wh-“ Meadowkit’s question was cut off short as Nightpaw tumbled into a black she-cat with a white muzzles and paws. The three rolled in a ball of black, white, and silver fur. Then the roof caved in on them, and all went dark.
Chapter Twenty - Otterslash
Otterslash was visiting the nursery and was wondering where the heck Smokybird was. Otterslash hadn't seen Smokybird since the battle. She could barely smell anything over the stench of FlightClan, and she was hoping she could pick up a scent trail when she saw a light brown tom get into the camp. Otterslash's fur bristled in anger, she recognized this tom. Eaglepaw Otterslash growled at the former Thunderclan cat. Otterslash's pupils dialated. Eaglepaw looked at Otterslash and smirked, "Hello, former clanmate, I wish no harm to you, I only want Meadowkit," Otterslash looked at him. "I think you are mistaken the only kit inside is Rowankit, Meadowkit was taken by another cat already" Eaglepaw hissed in fury, "What!" His raged simmered down and he said one thing, "Well then, you are going to be harmed, if Meadowkit is no longer there." Otterslash looked at the nursery, she knew it wasn't Meadowkit that was taken, she just wanted to protect the little kit. With possibly her last hiss, Otterslash lunged at Eaglepaw and landed a scratch on his shoulder. Eaglepaw shrugged it off like it was nothing and used it as an oppurtunity to rake her belly. Otterslash felt faint and pretended to go limp. Eaglepaw laughed, "You can't defeat me, Smokybird couldn't either and now is on the brink of death." She then heard Eaglepaw stalk away and a new cat mew to Meadowkit, She's not here right now, but I am. And I'm going to make sure you're safe.""Where's Rowankit?" the she-kit demanded in a painfully loud wail. Otterslash stayed limp, she didn't know if this cat was a threat or not "Shhh!" the new she-cat hissed. "My Clan will flay my skin in strips if I'm caught helping you, so please be quiet!" Otterslash cried silently, Ok thank you strange cat, keep Meadowkit safe "I want Rowankit! Someone took him away! Give him back!" Meadowkit wailed.
"I didn't take him," The strange cat mewed. "I saw some other cat snatch him." She paused, and it finally dawned on her. "Wait -- if he's Rowankit -- are you -- are you Meadowkit?"Meadowkit hesitated. "Y-yes."Otterslash felt a tiny ray of hope, she could tell Eaglepaw didn't know the kits of Thunderclan"Listen," the strange cat growled, "Eaglepaw wants you. He's a bad cat, and he's coming after you. You have to hide. I want to help you hide. I don't know why Eaglepaw wants you, but it can't be good. You have to run away." She paused. "We have to run away." Meadowkit wailed more about not wanting to leave when the strange cat gently mewed, "Smokybird would want you to run away." I’m not going” Meadowkit said “not without Smokybird. She’s my mother, she’ll miss me,”The strange cat mewed “Smokybird will understand that you have to hide.” Otterslash thought sadly, I don't think she is around anymore, poor kit. ”but she’ll need me!” Meadowkit protested. “And I need her.”
After a long time Meadowkit finally agreed to leave, as she and the strange cat stepped over Otterslash she took it upon herself to follow them soon. She waited until the sun came down and stalked off, hoping that Scratchstem and Featherpaw got away. Otterslash followed the scent trail to where the strange cat and Meadowkit's scent mingled with the earth and a rogue. Otterslash's fur bristled only to lie flat when she realized there was a faint scent of Rowankit mingling with the rogue. No I should search for Scratchstem and Featherpaw. They might be in trouble. Otterslash was torn, she needed to save the kit, but her family is just as important.
Otterslash heard a faint sound in the air, it sounded like, a cat? As the sound got closer she saw two dark ginger shapes and recognized Scratchstem and Featherpaw. "Featherpaw, she went this way," yowled Scratchstem while running. Otterslash jumped in front of her son and mate and they both tumbled into her. They rolled into an earthy clearing where the scent of Meadowkit was very clear. The scents were so muddled with earth that it was hard to distinguish one specific scent but there was a trail of multiple paw-steps from the muddy earth. A large amount somewhat large paw-steps, about the size of a young warrior's, a similar amount of smaller half-sunken paw-steps, probably from the strange Flightclan cat, and occasional tiny paw-steps probably from Meadowkit. Otterslash explained the situation to Scratchstem and Featherpaw very quickly, "So, Flightclan attacked while you were on patrol, Rowankit was taken by a rouge, then Eaglepaw tried to kill me and I just played dead to go help Meadowkit and Rowankit, then a strange Flightclan cat took Meadowkit here, in the opposite direction of any camp, and I got up to look for you two, so we're going to find the kits and keep them hidden."
After a little while the trio finnaly got out of the first tunnel and found another one, this one smelled of the other cats, and a little earth, but Otterslash and friends didn't think of it as much. When they went in they realized the tunnel was partialy caved in. They whirled around to exit when the exit caved in. They were trapped and Featherpaw, who had managed to just barely make it through got his tail caught. Scratchstem dug out that area allowing Featherpaw to escape. Otterslash looked closely at the cave walls and realized there was an apprentice sized hole in the wall. "Featherpaw I need you to go through the hole over there and get some help." Featherpaw agreed and came back a few minutes later with a black and white she-cat. "Fur paw, what were you and your group thinking of, using that tunnel, that tunnel is unstable."
Featherpaw replied,"Olive, I'm sorry, my group and I have never been here before, we didn't know. Also, my name isn't Fur paw, it is Featherpaw." Olive replied while digging, "Well could you possibly know that first group that is here, Dow kin and Rowkit smell pretty similar to you." Otterslash felt happy, Meadowkit might be here! Featherpaw mewed, "Rowankit and Meadowkit." Olive then broke through the earth and Otterslash and Scratchstem crawled through. "This way," Olive mewed with a sudden uncheerful voice. Otterslash and Scratchstem followed and walked in on Meadowkit and Rowankit playing mossball. The mossball hit the FlightClan cat and he gently hit it toward Meadowkit, hitting Otterslash instead, Otterslash nudged the ball toward the kits.
Meadowkit mewed while batting the mossball at Rowankit, "Who are you? You smell like that one cat that was in front of the nursery." Otterslash mewed, "Hi Meadowkit, my name is Otterslash, I came here to make sure you were safe and maybe also hide from Flightclan with my ma-" Otterslash just realized the mistake she was about to make, but it was too late, "-te and son." Featherpaw mewed, "Otterslash, what are you talking about? I know you and Scratchstem were mates, but WHEN DID YOU HAVE A SON!" Otterslash looked at her child, Wow you have feathers in your brain.
Otterslash said sarcastically, "Who do you think? Who in this den could possibly be my son." Featherpaw thought until the moon was overhead, Otterslash guessed. Featherpaw mewed as though second guessing his answer, "Nightpaw?" Everyone looked at him with an expression of pure disbelief, Nightpaw mewed, "No, mouse-brain, I know who both my parents are, and the medicine cat even saw me get born." Featherpaw tried again, "Rowankit?" Rowankit mewed while still hitting the mossball with Meadowkit, "I'm 5 moons old, I was born a quarter-moon after you started your apprenticeship." Featherpaw said, "Okay, than there is only one cat that can possibally be your son, Scratchstem!" Otterslash screeched, "WHY WOULD I MATE WITH MY OWN SON!" Featherpaw was confused, "but it can't be m--, ohhhhhhhhh." Everything then resumed as normal and Olive said, "Notter lash, what was that about?" Otterslash said slowly, "It isn't Notter lash, it is Otter-slash, and
Chapter Twenty-one - Smokybird
Smokybird stood in one spot. She had just seen a strange FlightClan cat take her kit, Meadowkit, into the forest. A growl rose in her throat, one with revenge. She must be working for Eaglepaw! I have to save my kit, then we must run as far away together. Smokybird vowed, no cat messes with me and my daughtor.
Smokybirds blue grey tail flashed back and forth, stering the leafs on the floor of the forest. Right now, her main focus was on finding somewhere to rest. She limped back into the forest, looking around for someplace to lay down her hurt leg. She saw a bramble thicket with a nice gap in the middle, and moss inside of it, like a cat nested there many days ago. She shook her head, knowing that she needed somewhere soft, not prickly.
She kept limping into the quiet forest, until she came upon a hollow tree with moss growing inside of it. She slowly lowered herself down into the hollow tree, wincing as her wound on her leg hit a branch. This should be a good place to clean up my wounds, but i should see Grayleaf soon. Smokybird added, if he isn't dead.
Smokybird turned to look at her worst wound. She turned to her side, and gasped when she saw a deep wound with dried blood on the outside of it. She started to lick it, trying not to wince or yowl in pain. A shudder went down her back as a thought poped into her head. What would I do if a fox came and fancied a weak and easy meal? She couldn't push it down, and as the moon rose, she could think of nothing other.
Luckily, her dark grey pelt blinded in with the dark surroundings, allowing her to be harder to spot.
"What was that?" A strange voice whispered out by the front of the tree. Smokybird gasped, but then quickly shut her mouth. She scooted to the very back of the tree, when a dark shadow appeared at the foot of it. They narrowed their eyes and growled,
Chapter Twenty-two - Nightpaw
Earth. Earth was everywhere, weighing down on Nightpaw's fur, pressing into her mouth, trapping her as helplessly as a fly in a spider's web. Nightpaw flailed and struggled, feeling her lungs burn as clods of soil blocked her throat. Blindly, she felt around for Meadowkit; the little silver kitten was nowhere to be found! Almost overwhelmed with panic, Nightpaw tried to call out for help but could only gurgle feebly. She could feel her body starting to go limp, her muscles relaxing as she realized that there was no way out this time.
Suddenly, the earth above Nightpaw crumbled away. A black-and-white figure swam hazily in front of Nightpaw, reaching down to pull her from the earth's unrelenting grasp. Soil showered down around her as the unfamiliar cat grabbed her by the scruff and lifted her out of the collapsed tunnel, onto a cool, damp floor. Then, the cat began pummeling Nightpaw's chest. Startled, Nightpaw coughed and the earth blocking her throat was expelled from her mouth. Relief flooded Nightpaw as she gasped for breath; it was wonderful to breathe again, and even though the air was damp and cold, it was glorious.
Nightpaw struggled to her paws, legs shaking so hard she almost toppled over. Her vision was slowly starting to clear, and the black-and-white cat's features sharpened into focus. She had striking green eyes like mint leaves, and they were wide with surprise. Nightpaw opened her mouth, trying to find her voice again. When she finally managed to speak, her voice was raspy and hoarse.
"Where is Meadowkit?"
The black and white she-cat gasped. "You know Meadowkit?"
Nightpaw frowned, suddenly wary. This cat certainly wasn't a Clan cat, let alone FlightClan, but she could potentially be working for Eaglepaw, so Nightpaw had to be careful. "Yes," she answered slowly. "How do you know her?"
The loner hesitated, glancing over her shoulder down a tunnel. "Well, I... I heard some cats talking about her. She was going to be traded for herbs, I think? And I thought, what kind of weird cat does that, so I went and stole her before she was given away." Her brow furrowed. "Except... things didn't really go as planned."
No, they didn't, Nightpaw thought, because I ended up with Meadowkit.
Who does she have?
Suddenly, it dawned on Nightpaw who this cat was. "You're the cat I saw kidnap that kit!" she exclaimed, recalling the silhouette that slipped into the nursery and escape with a bundle in her mouth. "You got Rowankit, right?"
The she-cat nodded ruefully. "By accident." She blinked at Nightpaw. "And you got Meadowkit?"
"Yes," Nightpaw responded, a note of urgency entering her voice. "But where is she?"
"I've got her right here," a new voice echoed around the tunnels.
"Robin!" the loner called joyfully, scampering over to greet the newcomer. She was also a black and white she-cat like the first, and a small silver-and-black-striped bundle dangled from her jaws.
"Meadowkit!" Nightpaw cried, stumbling over. "Is she okay?"
Oh, StarClan, please don't let all of that have been for nothing...
"She's fine, just weakened and in shock," the cat, Robin, replied. "You two are lucky to have survived." Her eyes narrowed. "But what were you thinking, using the most unstable tunnel?"
Nightpaw winced. "I didn't know," she mumbled. "I'm sorry." She paused. "Thank you for saving my life."
"You're welcome!" the first she-cat replied. "And it's okay; what's important is, you're both alive, and now Dow Kin is safe from Sneegle Paw."
What in the name of StarClan...?
"Oh, you mean Meadowkit?" Nightpaw asked. "And Eaglepaw?"
The she-cat nodded impatiently. "Yes, them."
Nightpaw stifled a laugh. Eaglepaw wouldn't be too happy if she called him Sneegle Paw!
Meadowkit gave a sudden jerk in Robin's jaws; the black and white she-cat set her down gently as the little kit regained her strength. She gazed dazedly around, blinking at all the new cats. "Who are you?" she squeaked.
"I'm Robin," Robin answered, giving the kitten a swift lick on the top of the head.
"And I'm Olive," the first she-cat added. "Robin's sister." She glanced at Nightpaw. "Who are you?"
Nightpaw studied Olive for a long moment. She saw nothing but earnest, good intentions in the loner's wide green eyes, and decided to be honest. "I'm Nightpaw," she meowed quietly.
"Nightpaw," Olive repeated. "What a pretty name!" She glanced at Nightpaw with sparkling eyes. "Not like Sneegle Paw."
Nightpaw gave her chest fur a few embarrassed licks. "Er... thanks," she mumbled, heat rising to her cheeks. Compliments, given how rare they were in FlightClan, always overwhelmed her.
She said my name right. The thought crept into her head like a feather floating down from the sky. Huh.
"So, Bite Paw," Olive began, "would you like to come meet Rowkit? He's been missing little Dow Kin desperately."
So much for saying my name right, Nightpaw thought with amusement. But all she said was, "Sure."
Meadowkit gazed at Nightpaw with huge eyes full of hope. "Rowankit's here?"
Nightpaw purred, relieved to have some good news to give to the lost little kit. "Yes he is," Nightpaw told her. "Would you like to go see him?"
"Yes!" Meadowkit cheered.
"He's through this tunnel," Robin promised, leading the kit through the shadows. "He's going to be so excited!"
Meadowkit's enthusiastic chattering and Robin's amused voice slowly faded as they got farther and farther away, leaving Nightpaw standing awkwardly next to Olive. She glanced at the black and white she-cat nervously. Dirt. I have nothing to say!
"So... should we follow them?" Olive asked hesitantly.
Nightpaw gave her pelt a brisk shake, even though all of the earth clinging to her fur was gone now. "Uh, yes," she answered quickly. "Y-you can lead the way!"
Olive wrinkled her nose at Nightpaw, eyes dancing with unspoken amusement. But the loner didn't comment, just nodded and started padding after Robin and Meadowkit. Heaving a sigh of relief, Nightpaw scrambled after her.
As she padded swiftly through the dark tunnels, Nightpaw reflected on how far away she was from FlightClan now. It was a little embarrassing to admit, even to herself, but Nightpaw felt more comfortable with these loners she'd known for a couple of heartbeats than she'd ever felt with FlightClan. They didn't kill for no reason, they didn't betray and backstab their own kin, not like Eaglepaw.
I've found refuge.
Chapter Twenty-three - Smokybird
Smokybird lifted up her head when her name was called. A ginger cat named Purr walked in, a good-looking mouse in his mouth. Two days ago, when Smokybird was looking for shelter, he had walked into the hollow tree. At first, Smokybird had thought it was Eaglepaw, but soon found out it was her best friend Purr. The nights before the battle with FlightClan, she had snuck out at night to see him. Smokybird loved the ginger tom, and he loved her back.
"Thank you, Purr... for everything," Smokybird meowed as he dropped the prey in front of her. She could feel his pelt hot with embarrassment as he lay down with her.
"Yeah, sure. It's... it's no problem. I said I would nurse you back to health, didn't I?" Purr's feather-soft tail rubbed against her back. "Here, take the first bite."
Smokybird shook her head. "I'm not hunrgy, you can have it." She started to lick her half-healed infected wound, hoping Purr wouldn't protest.
"What's on your mind?"
Smokybird sighed. He wouldn't understand. "I.. I've done something horrible... and I need your help."
"Ok, what for? No job's too big ((no pups too small -kittie)) for me!"
"Meadowkit. She... well, was kidnapped. I need help getting her back." Smokybird could see the surprise on his face as she continued, "She was taken by what I think was the FlightClan medicine cat apprentice. I want to ambush that fox-hearted excuse of a cat and take my kit back."
She could see Purr was lost for words. In a gap of silence that seemed to last forever, he nodded. "Lead the way."
* * *
After a long walk, Smokybird and Purr found a cave that smelled like loner and FlightClan all over, and tufts of fur were stuck to what seemed like a bramble entrance. Cats live here. I just hope they are the ones who stole Meadowkit.
Behind Smokybird, she could tell Purr was nervous. "Hey, Purr. Are you scared?" She teased.
His tail flicked the leafy ground as he meowed quietly, "Me? never!" Even though he was shaking, his face was determined.
"Then, follow me! And remember to let me have the one who stole Meadowkit." If she was honest, Smokybird could feel the bile rising in her throat. What if they lost? What will happen to Meadowkit? As they plunged into the tunnel, voices began to get louder and louder;
"Hey! You aimed it at my face!"
"Sorry, oh great leader."
"Hey, Nightpaw. Those Clan kits like to play a lot."
"I know, Olive. Meadowkit and Rowankit are so cute."
Meadowkit! So this is the place they put the kits, and it sounded like the kit's where playing moss ball! Smokybird turned to Purr, who nodded, and she slowly crawled out of the tunnel. Her infected wound still hurted, so she lowered carefully as she got ready to pounce.
When she had the stealer of the kits, whos name was Nightpaw by what she heard, in sight, she gathered up her hunches to do a spring. All of a sodden, Meadowkit lifted up her muzle, her her small pink mouth wide open. Her eyes grew in joy as she squeeked, "it's Smo-!" She didn't get to finish her sentance, because Smokybird pounced into the tunnel. Tiny squeeks and surprised yowls turned the silence into chaos.
Smokybird landed, claws unsheathed, on the top of Nightpaw. She pinned her to the ground, rage boiling inside of her. Tonight I will be able to sleep knowing Meadowkit is safe from Eaglepaw! Smokybird leaned closer to Nightpaw's ear. "I know you are working for Eaglepaw." She growled, "give me back my kit and I will do not harm."
"Smokybird! To your left!" Purr yowled, and she turned her head to the left, whitch was where her blind side was, and saw a flash of black and white. The cat buped into Smokybird, causing her to fall off of Nightpaw. For a heartbeat, Nightpaw and the black and white she-cat locked gazes, unreadable gazes. Purr then grabbed the scruff of the new cat and they started to to the eachother.
Smokybird than felt claws in her shoulder. Nightpaw had pinned her, tail lashing. "Look, Smokybird. I don't work for Eaglepaw. I have no ide-!" Smokybird had flipped up while Nightpaw was in mid-sentence. A growl raised in her throat.
Smokybird pinned down Nightpaw now. "Why didn't you give me her, then? She's my kit!" Smokybird growled. She noticed a look of forgiveness on Nightpaw's face. She whispered something, but Smokybird didn't catch it. Pain hit her leg like a lightning bolt. She gasped as she fell to her side, her leg limp. Nightpaw had slammed her unsheathed claws as hard as she could on Smokybirds infected leg wound, reopening it. Smokybird saw just before she closed her eyes in a wince that Purr and the black and white cat had split part, both staring at Smokybird with large eyes.
"Smokybird, no!" Purr cried.
She looked up to see Nightpaw over her. Smokybirds gaze was too blinded by shock and pain to see her face.
She wouldn't kill to win battles, right?
Chapter Twenty-four - Nightpaw
Nightpaw padded into the main cave at the sound of playful yowls. Rowankit and Meadowkit were tumbling around together in a ball of brown and silver fur. After a few heartbeats of scuffling, Meadowkit broke away, triumphantly clutching a ball of moss. She scampered away, turned to face Rowankit, and shrieked, "Catch this!" With a grunt, she hurled the moss ball at Rowankit. The brown kitten's amber eyes rounded as the moss ball approached its target; he gave a startled yelp as it collided with his face.
"Hey! You aimed it at my face!" Rowankit meowed accusingly.
"Sorry, oh great leader," Meadowkit replied sweetly, not sounding sorry at all.
Nightpaw purred with amusement at their banter. She spotted Olive sitting at the edge of the cave, her black tail wrapped neatly around her paws. Nightpaw swallowed, forcing back an irrational surge of nerves, and padded across the cool earthen floor to the loner. Olive looked up at the sound of Nightpaw's quiet, thoughtful pawsteps, and her eyes lit up. "Hey, Nightpaw!" Olive greeted her.
Nightpaw struggled to keep a straight face; her mouth kept curling up into a smile against her will. It was such an odd sight to see somebody's eyes light up when they saw her. In FlightClan, every cat's expression stayed the same -- guarded and unfriendly -- or got worse, like Eaglepaw's and Vulturestar's. But here... Olive seemed happy to see her. And Nightpaw was happy to see Olive.
"Those Clan kits like to play a lot," Olive commented, flicking her tail at Meadowkit and Rowankit as they squeaked and flung the moss ball back and forth.
"I know; Meadowkit and Rowankit are so cute." Nightpaw glanced at the kits fondly. They're so small, so innocent. Thank StarClan we saved them from Eaglepaw.
Deep in her bones, Nightpaw knew that the danger of Eaglepaw and FlightClan hadn't yet passed. The brown tom was still lurking out there, watching, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. But it was a lovely lie that Nightpaw was surrounded by, in this safe little bubble of a cave. Couldn't she just live in the illusion for a little while longer?
There was a light touch on Nightpaw's foreleg; startled, she glanced down and saw that Olive's dappled white paw was resting on hers. "What's wrong?" the loner asked kindly. "You got all quiet and scared for a minute."
Nightpaw's cheeks blazed. "I'm fine. Just... thinking." Her paw twitched in a feeble effort to jerk it away.
Olive still looked concerned, but she didn't say anything, just removed her paw and continued to watch the Clan kits frolic. As she did so, Nightpaw frantically tried to get her heart rate under control. The fur on the back of her neck prickled, and she shook out her pelt in annoyance. The feeling was eerily familiar; memories of crystal-clear, moonlit Gatherings and a laughing ThunderClan apprentice flashed through Nightpaw's brain. Eaglepaw and his dancing eyes, his smiling muzzle, his twitching whiskers, before the tom had become corrupted by evil. Only now, a different silhouette stood in his place, relaxed and amiable, green eyes glinting with unfaltering good intentions...
A sudden, high-pitched squeak from Meadowkit shattered Nightpaw's breathless thoughts. "It's Smo -- " the little kit started to yowl happily, but the rest of her words were cut off as a heavy weight barreled into Nightpaw.
With a shocked wheeze, Nightpaw's legs crumpled beneath her as the air was squished from her lungs. She could feel unsheathed claws digging into her back, piercing the soft skin around her spine. Nightpaw cried out, jerking and struggling like a fish out of water, as the unknown cat pinned her to the ground. Warm breath bathed her face as the cat put her mouth close to Nightpaw's ear and hissed, "I know you're working for Eaglepaw. Give me my kit and I will do you no harm."
Nightpaw twisted around, flailing feebly in the bigger cat's unrelenting grasp. Shock and anger flared up inside her; it was a horrible feeling to be associated with Eaglepaw in any way, and it hurt to be misunderstood, to have some cat assume she was evil, because she was FlightClan.
I don't even like FlightClan! Nightpaw thought. When she tried to meow the words aloud, though, they came out as a pathetic splutter.
StarClan, help me!
A warning shout rushed past Nightpaw's ear. "Smokybird! To your left!"
Realization bit sharply through Nightpaw's surprise, but she didn't have time to comprehend the idea because a black-and-white blur cannoned into the attacking cat's side, granting Nightpaw a few precious heartbeats to scramble away. Nightpaw whirled around to face Olive, unable to discern exactly what she was feeling. But gratitude pulsed from her heart, and Olive gave a small nod in response. Then, the she-cat threw herself back into the fray, lunging at another cat, a ginger tom.
This left Nightpaw facing her attacker, a smoky-gray she-cat. Nightpaw's eyes widened in recognition. ThunderClan scent wreathed the angry queen's head, and one of her eyes was as cloudy as an overcast sky.
Not quite sure what she planned to do, Nightpaw sprang forward and pinned Smokybird to the ground. Her medicine cat training hadn't covered many fighting techniques, and Nightpaw's skills were far from perfect, but the enemy cat seemed weaker than usual. The rotten stench of infection assaulted Nightpaw's nose, and she felt a twinge of guilt as her eyes darted to a nasty-looking wound on Smokybird's leg.
If she wasn't trying to kill me, I'd heal that, Nightpaw thought sadly.
"Look, Smokybird, I don't work for Eaglepaw!" Nightpaw tried to explain. "I have no ide -- "
The words ended in a choking cry as Smokybird rose with the wrath of a thousand foxes, her cloudy eyes burning with rage. A growl rumbling in her throat, the gray ThunderClan queen lunged forward and brought Nightpaw, writhing, to the ground. "Why don't you give me Meadowkit, then?" Smokybird roared. "She's my kit!"
Nightpaw's mouth hung open as she stared at Smokybird in confusion. I thought she was giving Meadowkit to Eaglepaw? Nightpaw thought.
She changed her mind?
"I was just trying to save her..." Nightpaw whispered faintly.
Smokybird didn't seem to hear. The gray she-cat's claws didn't retract from Nightpaw's skin. She could feel warm blood trickling from her wounds.
I'm not going to win this fight.
Nightpaw wanted to release Smokybird, she really did. But the queen didn't seem open to listening to Nightpaw's side of the story. She was convinced that the medicine cat apprentice stole her kit on Eaglepaw's orders, and that belief wouldn't be changed.
It was kill or be killed, exactly how all of the FlightClan cats were trained to fight. With great disregard for the warrior code and for StarClan, most cats didn't seem to mind the blood on their paws.
Nightpaw didn't want to kill Smokybird, let alone hurt her. But maybe... if the wound was bad enough... Nightpaw could nurse her back to health while keeping her own life...
She knew what she had to do.
"I'm sorry," Nightpaw breathed, heart heavy with shame at what she was about to do. She saw Smokybird's eyes widen with shock and pain as Nightpaw brought her claws down on the queen's recently-closed wound, reopening it.
"Smokybird, no!" the cry came from the ginger tom. He broke away from Olive and sprinted to Smokybird's side, eyes wild with terror. The ThunderClan she-cat's cloudy eyes closed gently, her eyelids drooping with the exhaustion and blood loss of the battle. Guilt sank like a stone in Nightpaw's belly as she watched the tom press his nose into Smokybird's gray pelt, shuddering.
"Smokybird!" a high-pitched voice shrieked. Horror surged through Nightpaw's veins as she saw the little silver-and-black she-kit tottering toward Smokybird's slumped form. Meadowkit staggered to her mother's side, eyes huge and disbelieving. Then, slowly, the kit swiveled around to face Nightpaw. The shock in her eyes was overwhelming. "What -- " Meadowkit stammered. "What -- what did you do to her?"
"Meadowkit, I didn't -- "
Meadowkit's eyes were cold as ice, a frightening expression on such a young, formerly innocent face. "You killed her. You killed my mother. You said that you would help." Her small, fragile body was trembling like a leaf in the wind, the last leaf clinging to a tree as leaf-bare approached.
"I didn't kill her!" Nightpaw protested. "She was going to kill me; I had to wound her so she wouldn't -- it was all -- it was just a misunderstanding -- "
She hated the way that Olive was staring at her, mint-green eyes full of shock and horror, tainted with revulsion. As thought Nightpaw had just been a heartless, conniving FlightClan enemy all along, as though Olive was disgusted by her presence.
"I'm not like Eaglepaw! I'm not a monster!" Nightpaw yowled desperately. "Let me heal Smokybird! I can explain once she's awake!"
The ginger tom rose from Smokybird's side, blue eyes cold. "You're not going near my mate, you FlightClan fox-heart," he growled.
Nightpaw crouched helplessly at the tide of his anger. "I didn't kill her!" she cried. "I wounded her, she'll live! If you'd just let me treat her -- "
"You'll feed her deathberries!" the ginger tom snarled, unsheathing his claws. "You'll make it worse!"
"Nightpaw won't feed her deathberries." Olive spoke in a clear, quiet voice. Nightpaw glanced at the black and white she-cat in surprise, but her mint-green eyes were fixed firmly on her paws. "That much is true. Nightpaw would never kill a cat on purpose."
Nightpaw felt the ridiculous urge to purr, despite the torture and agony attacking her from all sides. Olive's faith in her meant a lot. It meant... everything.
The ginger tom gave a derisive snort. "You're just her rogue accomplice! Why would you be inclined to tell the truth?"
Olive's ears twitched. "Because that's what I do." She stared at the tom evenly. "Would you give Nightpaw a chance?"
He glowered at Nightpaw in hesitation for a few heartbeats. Then, as thought the words were being forcibly dragged from his throat, the ginger tom grumbled, "...Yes... You can help."
Nightpaw dipped her head gratefully to the tom. "I'm so sorry, for everything," she murmured. "It was all a misunderstanding." She turned to Olive, her fur prickling nervously. "D-do you have any herbs, or should I go looking?"
Olive held her gaze for a moment. "We have marigold."
Nightpaw offered Olive a tentative smile, even thought smiling was the last thing she felt like doing right now. "Thanks."
Then, Nightpaw looked at Meadowkit, crouched miserably beside Smokybird, and at the ginger tom, who was standing guard by his mate's limp body. Nightpaw had never felt so guilty in her life.
But maybe... maybe I can fix this.
Chapter 24.1 (Axol)
Rowankit curled his lip in a playful growl. "Take that!" he mewed, swatting the chunk of moss back at the silver kitten. The mossball swiftly shot into Meadowkit's face and bounced off, leaving green fuzz on the molly's muzzle.
She issued a high-pitched yelp and lurched backwards. Rowankit giggled. Eaglepaw had a baleful stare fixed on the two entertained cats, tail-tip bouncing angrily. Rowankit spotted the pale brown apprentice and lowered his gaze immediately; he didn't want the mean cat to catch him staring. He sighed. Was Pinebark still going to care for him? Was Bayspeck still going to train him once he became an apprentice? Was he becoming an apprentice? Rowankit missed the sweet presence of his mother.
"Watch your tail!" Meadowkit mewed indignantly, curling her striped tail. Rowankit turned to find that his tail had unconsciously reached towards the molly's tail.
"Sorry," muttered Rowankit. He padded towards the heap of assorted birds in the center of the cave, hoping to find a warm mouse or a large hare. He rummaged through the feathers, but with no luck, he settled on a plump thrush.
"Don't take the big bird, kit," growled a warrior, snatching the thrush from his jaws. "Eat this instead." A scrawny crow was pushed to his paws and before he could protest, the warrior was gone. Rowankit sighed, curling his tail around his crow. He sank his ravenous jaws into the bird. It was more feathers than meat, he realized, and the flesh was purely tough muscle. A curl of black fuzz squirmed in his throat gently, making him sneeze. Rowankit's heart sank. He wished he was in ThunderClan camp.
Chapter Twenty-five - Otterslash
Otterslash looked around the den after Smokybird burst in to get Meadowkit and Nightpaw knocked her out. Scratchstem and Featherpaw were in another section of the tunnel to prevent crowding, they had no idea of what happened. (WIP)
Chapter Twenty-six - Eaglepaw *past*
Eaglepaw padded forward carefully. He knew he was in StarClan, he just didn’t know why. Why had StarClan called him here in his dreams?
A thousand questions crowded his mind. He needed to find the answers.
“Eaglepaw.” Eaglepaw whipped around. Standing behind him was a cat he didn’t recognize. “You have come.”
“Not by choice.” Eaglepaw snarled. “Why have you called me here?”
“Come with me.” The cat turned, and vanished into the mist, and Eaglepaw had no choice but to follow. They stopped at the edge of a shimmering pool. “Look into it.”
Eaglepaw did. “That’s my camp! ThunderClan!” The vision zoomed in. “That’s my sister…Sparrowpaw.”
The StarClan cat nodded. “Yes.” The vision kept going. Eaglepaw saw Sparrowpaw talking with another cat.
“Hey! I’ve seen that cat before! That’s Vulturestar!” Sparrowpaw finished talking with the leader of FlightClan. Then a crazy thing happened. Sparrowpaw grew wings, and flew. At the same time, Vulturestar got struck by lightning. The vision ended. The StarClan cat looked at Eaglepaw.
“Do you understand?”
For some reason, he did. “She grew wings, symbolizing FlightClan. Vulturestar got hit by lighting, symbolizing ThunderClan. Is…is she supposed to unite us?”
He silently prayed that he was wrong. But the cat nodded.
“Then why are you showing it to me?”
The StarClan cat’s ey es studied him. “You are more closely tied to this than you think. For better or for worse, you will pay a part in this prophecy;
A bird’s paw will come.
A red berry eaten.
A brother exiled.
Two Clans will meet in blood or treaty.”
Eaglepaw blinked. “A bird’s paw… me or Sparrowpaw. We’re named after birds, and we’re apprentices. A red berry eaten… I don’t know what that is. A brother exiled… I guess someone’s gonna get exiled? And the last line… FlightClan and ThunderClan? They will either fight, or… make peace?”
The starry cat shrugged. “It’s your prophecy, not mine.”
And he woke up.
Chapter Twenty-seven - Birchfire (just saving this spot. I will be open firday.
Chapter Twenty-eight - Flamefang
Flamefang ran toward the sycamore tree. Mudtail would be meeting her any minute now. A firmiliar scent appeared. Mudtail! she thought.
"Flamefang." he whispered as they touched muzzles.
Flamefang purred. Oh, Mudtail, I love you so much! she thought.
The two of you climb the tree and settle in inside the hidden nest. You drift off in sleep.
"Flamefang, wake up. We need to get back to camp." she heard him say as she woke up.
She noded and touched noses with the brown warrior.
As she got back to camp, she saw Feathertail at the front of the camp.
"Where have you been, Flamefang? You got the whole clan worried sick..."
"Sorry, Featherclaw. I couldn't sleep so I decided to go for a walk."
Featherclaw just sighs.
"I know that's not the truth. You literally have RiverClan scent on you." she whispered.
Flamefang winced. Could Featherclaw know about her secret meetings with Mudtail?
"Dont worry... I don't know that much, but I won't tell anyone. I just know you're meeting with someone in RiverClan, Flamefang." she mewed. "Not that it's right or anything, though."
"And you're tired." Featherclaw finished.
Flamefang just sighed. Was it really too obvious that she was meeting with Mudtail?
"Well, if you tell anyone, I'll rip your nose off!" Flamefang hissed, trying to sound fierce.
"Yeah, right. As if I'd let you." Featherclaw said as she snorted and rolled her eyes.
Flamefang growled and stalked into the camp.
"Flamefang! Where. Have. You. Been???!!!" Hawkfur hissed. "You had the whole clan worried."
"Featherclaw told me I had." she snarled and rolled her eyes.
Hawkfur mews, "Well, Leafstar wants to punish you."
"For what? Being away from camp? I could've been hunting."
"Well you didn't, so he wants to punish you."
"How would he know?" she asked.
"Featherclaw told him. No more arguing, or you'll get double the punishment!"
"What right do you have to say that to me? You're acting like you're clan leader when you're not even clan deputy!" Flamefang snarled and hissed.
He rolled his eyes.
Chapter Twenty-nine - Robin
((warning: minor gore))
Robin couldn’t believe her eyes. Did... did Nightpaw just harm that gray queen? But Night’paw couldn’t even harm a flea. Now the black she-cat was trying to heal her victim, but still what she did remained in Robin’s thoughts, which were clouded by doubt and uncertainty.
A sudden movement caught Robin’s eyes. She turned around to see Meadowkit racing into a tunnel, one that led to FlightClan’s territory. “Meadowkit, wait!” She called, but the little she-kit wouldn’t listen. Robin broke into a run and followed her. The loner exited the tunnel and spotted Meadowkit up ahead, and gained speed, followed in pursuit. “Oomph!” Robin’s foot landed in a rabbit hole, tripping her so that she landed flat on her face. Luckily she was unharmed. But the trip caused her to loose site of Meadowkit, who could be anywhere. Robin’s heart raced with fear as she picked up Meadowkit’s scent and followed. The forest was a dangerous place for a young kit. There could be foxes, badgers, or worse, FlightClan warriors. I have to catch up to that kit, she thought. The scent trail was getting stronger. Suddenly Robin burst into a clearing and saw a light brown tom with a white flash on his chest towering over Meadowkit, who was shaking with fear.
“No!” Robin yelled. She lunged into the clearing and sped past the Tom, raking her claws against his flank. The Tom spun around and lunged for her, but Robin dodged to the side. “Meadowkit, run!” She called, and the tiny kit obeyed.
The brown-and-white cat jumped on Robin, pinning her to the ground. Robin struggled to get up, but he was just too heavy. “Think you can beat me, you piece of crow-food?” The Tom hisses into her ear. “Well, I’ll show you how wrong you are.” He bit down in her throat, cutting pff Robin’s air supply. Her thrashes became more desperate, but soon weakened as she slipped into a black nothingness. The Tom dragged her body into a clump of ferns, then left to find Meadowkit, who he would soon catch up with.
The dying cat’s life flashed through her eyes. Her early kit memories, with her mother Fern and Olive and her brother Beetle. Then the badger who tore through their home, which Fern’s kits had been able to escape, although thief mother did not. The memories of having to fend on their own, and almost dying untIl they were saved by a dark ginger she-cat called Russet, who took them in. The sad bits replayed next. Russet died soon after Beetle disappeared, making Olive and Robin find their path with only each other. They made there home down on the tunnels, where it was safe and secure, until the two sisters were caught in a tangle of a clash between Clans, putting innocent cats’ lives at risk.
Then the memories ended and everything went black.
Chapter Thirty - Meadowkit
Meadowkit ran as fast as she could, panic rising in her chest. She was more scared than she has ever been. More scared than the battle with FlightClan, more scared than when Rowankit disappeared, even more scared than when Nightpaw hurt Smokybrd. She knew what would happen if Eaglepaw caught her, and she remembered what Nightpaw told her.
But, can I trust her anymore? She thought to herself, stering up leafs as she ran through a pile of them.
She was pushed out of her thoughts by the patter of quick pawsteps behind her, and she felt her heart skip a beat. He's right behind me! She looked around desperately for a place to hide. As the forest came to an end, a vast moor seemed to spread out forever. At the edge was a rabbit hole - big enough for Medowkit to fit in, to small for Eaglepaw - that she wanted to hide in.
"Gatcha!" A mincing meowed came behind her. Pain flashed through her legs as they were swiped from under her. A shadow fell upon her, and she looked up to see a light brown tom.
Eaglepaw! No, he's goes to make me crow-food!
The brown-and-white tom gave a purr, a purr of triumph. "You don't know the half of what I did to find you." Eaglepaw picked her up by the scruff. Meadowkit felt small and helpless under the muscular tom.
As they walked, they pasted a hollow tree. The tree smelled like someone farmilar. There were old bedding and a half eaten mouse in it. Meadowkit looked closer to see tufts of grey and ginger on some low hanging branches.
"This is your new home now." Eaglepaw muttered through Meadowkit's scruff as they came to a bramble bush with bedding in it. "And you will like it!"
As Eaglepaw put her down she murmured, "Yes, mighty leader. Do you want me to love she-cats, too?"
"Exuse me? I'm the boss here, and you have to do what I say!"
"I will get all prickly in there!" Meadowkit whined
"Then, so be it!"
Meadowkit rolled her eyes, "I bet I could be a better leader than you."
Rage showed in Eaglepaw's eyes, and Meadowkit knew she said the wrong thing. She lowered her head and closed her ears on her head. Then she looked up to see that Eaglepaw had calmed down. "Then headgehogs will fly." He meowed simply. He picked her up by the scruff and started lowing her down into the brambles bush.
I'll be that headgehog pretty soon!
She tried her best to wriggle out of the way of the thorns, but they poked her skin, leaving tiny scratch marks. As Eaglepaw lowered her into the bedding, she felt a cold liquid roll down her neck. As she turned and licked it off, she realized that it was not water or sweat. She looked up and saw for the first time that Eaglepaw had blood running down his mussle. Cat blood.
He's killed a cat!
Chapter Thirty-one - Nightpaw
The sharp, familiar scent of herbs stung Nightpaw's nose as she dressed Smokybird's infected wound with a marigold poultice. The queen flinched as the liquid dribbled into the claw marks, but gradually relaxed as the pain began to lessen. Nightpaw winced sympathetically, feeling shame tug at her paws. She had done the damage, now she had to fix it. With a quiet sigh, Nightpaw reached over to select a swath of cobwebs. The white strands looked like cirrus clouds as they fluttered from her paws, and they covered Smokybird's wound like a fresh layer of snow on a field.
Nightpaw stepped back from the injured queen and regarded her, content with the treatment of her wounds so far. Then, almost automatically, Nightpaw glanced at Olive. She found that her head often snapped up at the sound of the loner's voice, and her ears pricked whenever she heard pawsteps echoing through the tunnels, hoping that it was Olive.
But the loner's face was dark now, and Nightpaw recoiled. Concern shadowed Olive's green eyes, and her brow was furrowed. Nightpaw wondered nervously if she'd done something wrong; was Olive still angry about her attack on Smokybird? Did she still resent Nightpaw for harming an injured queen?
But fortunately, the words that came out of Olive's mouth were different.
"I'm going to get some more herbs," the she-cat announced. "Meloafnip, do you want to come with me?" She turned around, her sweeping tail nearly knocking Nightpaw off her paws.
Nightpaw staggered as she regained her balance. Once she had, she glanced around for Meadowkit. Aside from herself, Smokybird, Olive, Purr, and Rowankit, the cave was empty. And quiet. Too quiet, much too quiet without the kits' bickering and laughing ringing through the tunnels. Nightpaw frowned. "Meadowkit?" she called warily. She couldn't have gone very far, right?
But what if she got away down an unstable tunnel? What if she's out in the forest right now? What if she's --
Nightpaw steeled herself, taking a deep breath. She's not dead, you flea-brain. And she won't be in danger if you find her and bring her back.
"I... I saw her run... into a tunnel..."
Nightpaw was jerked from her thoughts by a small, high mew. Rowankit's brown tabby pelt rustled as the kit shuffled his paws guiltily. Nightpaw narrowed her eyes at him and opened her mouth, about to ask what he knew, when Olive interrupted.
"What?" the loner exclaimed, staring in incredulity at Rowankit.
He lowered his head and nodded. "I saw Robin go after her, but they're both not back, so -- "
In a blur of black-and-white fur, Olive sprang to her paws and charged into one of the tunnels leading to the surface. Purr was a flash of bright ginger fur as he darted after her.
The two cats left behind a stunned group of cats: Nightpaw, heart and mind racing, Smokybird, mouth slightly open as she lay motionless on the ground, and Rowankit, whose eyes were bigger and rounder than the full moon. The silence around them felt oppressive, charged with emotions that remained either too difficult to understand to speak (in Rowankit's case), unable to be spoken (in Smokybird's case), or simply too private and too pathetic to share (that was Nightpaw's problem).
No matter how much Nightpaw knew she had to find Meadowkit and protect her from Eaglepaw, some cat had to remain behind. Smokybird hadn't uttered a single sentence since Nightpaw had reopened her wound during their fight, and the tense silence felt dangerous. Nightpaw couldn't just leave the injured queen alone with Rowankit.
But am I doing it for them? Nightpaw wondered skeptically, feeling doubt worm in her belly. Or am I doing it for me? The thought was almost too humiliating to consider. But there was an element of truth in it. Looking after Smokybird and Rowankit was a good excuse to stay back and keep out of the action, which was what Nightpaw wanted to do.
Whatever, she huffed silently. I'll stay behind like a good little medicine cat and make sure Rowankit and Smokybird don't die while everyone else is gone. Anxiety prickled at her coat as Nightpaw glanced around the tunnels, half-expecting Olive to come charging back in with Meadowkit in her jaws. But nothing came into the cave, save for twinkling dust motes caught in a faint sunbeam. Sighing, Nightpaw turned to Smokybird, determined to break the eerie stillness. "You have a lot of burrs in your fur," she meowed, noting the queen's tangled gray pelt. "Could I groom it?"
Smokybird's head lolled to the side and her cloudy eyes roamed the cave listlessly. Nightpaw shrugged and began to rasp her tongue over the ThunderClan cat's bony shoulder, untangling the hairs. Rowankit sat beside her, tail wrapped tightly around his paws as though his life depended on it. Nightpaw looked over at him, and he mumbled, "C-could I say something to her?"
Nightpaw glanced at Smokybird and nodded. I doubt she'll remember anyways.
Rowankit nodded nervously and sidled over to the limp gray queen. "Smokybird?" he squeaked. "I just wanted to say... We'll find Meadowkit. She'll be back. And we'll kick Eaglepaw's tail. A-and rub dirt in his face." The little tom glanced sheepishly at Nightpaw as he said this, and she narrowed her eyes at him but didn't comment. My mother would've ripped my tail off for saying such things at that young of an age.
Nightpaw's gaze returned to Smokybird, unsure if the gray she-cat was awake enough to respond. But her eyelids had drooped shut and it was clear that the queen had lapsed back into unconsciousness. Rowankit gave a tiny sigh and curled up next to Smokybird, amber eyes closing. Soon, Nightpaw was the only cat remaining awake, trying valiantly to maintain the silence for Smokybird's sake.
But there was a clattering sound behind Nightpaw, sending a spurt of shock down her spine. Fur spiking up, she turned slowly, mind filling with all sorts of horrible things. But the tunnel was deserted.
Unease prickled in Nightpaw's pads as the sound echoed again. Each time it happened, cold fear rained down in her belly. What is it? What's making that noise?
The answer rolled directly between her paws no less than a heartbeat later. A pebble skidded to a stop right under her muzzle, glimmering dully against the earthen tunnel floor.
It moved by itself.
Chapter Thirty-two - Olive
Olive watched as Nightpaw carefully applied a poultice of marigold and cobwebs to Pokey Herd’s wound. Hopefully Chokey Word will be ok, Olive thought. The wound looked bad enough before Nightpaw had made it worse,
“I’m going to get some more herbs” Olive announced “Meloafnip, do you want to come with me?” The loner turned around and saw that Dow Kin was no longer there. “Meadowkit?” Nightpaw called softly.
“I saw her run in a tunnel!” Rowokip said. “What?” Olive turned to face him. The kit shuffled his paws guiltily. “i saw Robin go after her, but they’re both not back, so”- Olive didn’t wait for him to finish, She plunged into a tunnel, Purr on her heels. As soon as they exited, Olive picked up the scents of both Dow Kin and Robin. “this way!” Purr called, and Olive followed the ginger tom through the forest. The two stopped at a clearing. The scent of blood was everywhere. Purr let out a gasp and Olive spun around and padded toward him. “Purr what-“ but she stopped mid sentence. For there, lying hidden under a gorse bush, was Robin’s body,
Purr dragged it out in the clearing and backed away, giving Olive some space. The black-and-white she-cat padded closer her sister, and let out a wail of grief, burying her face in the dead cat’s fur. “Robin! No!” Olive cried. “please don’t go” she wailed “I can’t loose you too!” Robin was everything Olive had. Without her, nothing in life had any meaning to Olive. To live without her sister, to the black-and-white she-cat, was worse then dying 1,000 times over.
”hey! you two!” Purr turned around and saw four FlightClan warriors stalking towards him and Olive. They were outnumbered.
Chapter Thirty-three - Robin
Robin stared sadly down, her spirit former watching as her sister grieved over her death. It was still hard to believe that she would never talk with her sister again, never hunt together or share tongues ever. The loss was still new.
A new voice spoke, “Hello?”
Robin looked and saw the faintly shimmer of a cat, another ghost. The cat was a pretty white she-cat with tabby gray patches. She looked at Robin with pretty cyan eyes. “H-Hi” Robin said. “I’m Robin.” “I’m Silverwing,” the she-cat said. “I was a warrior of WindClan. You know what that is, right?” Robin shook her head. “no worries, I’ll explain!” The she-cat said “There used to be four clans: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan.” Eventually, a series of cruel leader and rogue influencers turned ShadowClan into FlightClan. FlightClan destroyed WindClan and RiverClan, but a group of former RiverClan warriors got together and reformed the Clan. Now you know!” She said, cheerfully.
”so… when FlightClan destroyed WindClan that’s when you died?” Robin asked. Silverwing shook her head “I died long before Firestar came to forest, but stayed here to watch over my Clan. Now i wait for FlightClan’s destruction.” The she-cat’s cyan eyes flashed with fury and she unsheathed her claws. Robin was about to reply when movement caught her attention. Four FlightClan warrior padded into the clearing. With a yowl of fury Robin lunged at the nearest, a golden tom, but her claws passed though his skin without any effect. Robin’s heart lunged. The warrior fanned out in a circle around Purr and Olive. Robin screeched “No!” but she knew she could nothing to stop them.
Chapter Thirty-four - Olive
The FlightClan patrol stalked closer, circling around Olive and Purr. Olive could hear Purr trying to negotiate, but I just wouldn’t work. Finally the Tom in the lead, a tabby, snarled and lunges at Purr, who dodged. Another cat reached for him, and two more jumped on Olive.
Olive had had no fighting lessons in her life. Her foster mother Russet believed in piece. You see a fox or badger, slowly back away. And enemy cat? Negotiate. Purr wasn’t even fighting hard, but it took both Olive and Robin to hold him off, and they two had been that their last stamina. But looking at Robin’s lifeless body gave Olive anger and rage. She leaped at one of the toms who had pinned Purr, knocking him into a tree. Pushing away at the last moment, the loner turned back and claws another warrior on her side. All four forgot about Purr and converged on Olive. All the rage, all the fury and grief poured out in these fighting moves. Olive lunged for a yellow tabby’s neck when a black cat knocked her aside. Olive stared at the cat and gasped. It was Beetle.
Chapter Thrity-five - Beetletooth
Beetletooth saw the cat gasp. Why was she so surprised? Then, looking at her mint green eyes, the answer hit him like a falling branch. His little sister. His Olive.
Beetle was following a butterfly into the forest. His Foster mother Russet had told him to come back, but this butterfly was so big and so blue that he wanted to catch it. Maybe he could give it to Robin like a little surprise. His younger sister had injured her leg the day before, and was confined to her nest. And it was his job, as the oldest, to look after his littermates. Beetle followed the butterfly to a river. “Ah-ha! Gotchu!” He cried as he trapped it in his paws. But the kit slipped on a wet stone and landed the river with a shrill squeak to be carried away, to be found by FlightClan.
It’s her. He thought. I found her! Beetletooth nuzzled his sister, drinking in her sweet scent. “Beetle” Olive purred “I thought I would never find you!” The she-cat plunges her muzzle in his fur.
“It’s ok, it’s ok I’m here now” Beetletooth murmured to her. She was so upset. But why?
“Beetletooth what are you doing?” The black Tom faced his Clanmate Jaywind. “She’s the enemy” Jaywind hissed. “She’s my littermate” Beetletooth retorted. “She attacked us” Jaywind said. “Look at Sunpetal!” He flicked his tail to the yellow tabby she-cat, who was expecting Beetletooth’s kits. Sunpetal was alive, by barely. Long scratches covered her flank and deep scars criss-crossed her body. No, not Sunpetal. Beetletooth thought. He faced Olive. “You did this!” He screamed, and lunged, Claws outstretched, aiming for her throat.
Chapter Thirty-six - Robin
“No!” Robin crashed into Beetletooth, knocking him off balance and away from their littermate. Wait, did I just- Purr, Olive, and the FlightClan patrol stared. They couldn’t see her now, but they saw her ram into the black warrior. “Robin?” Olive said softly. Robin saw tears in her sister’s eyes. Stretching out her paw, the ghost tried to comfort the black-and-white she-cat. This is too sad, Robin thought, and ran away only to crash into Silverwing. “Silverwing!” Robin cried with delight.
“Did you hear that” some cat called, but Robin didn’t notice.
Silverwing did. She led Robin away and started muttering to herself. Robin asked what’s wrong, and Silverwing told her.
Spirit cats couldn’t communicate with the living, but sometimes in times of dire need they could to save others. But for only StarClan cats could do that. Somehow, Robin could too.
Silverwing led Robin to a bramble thicket not far away. Sitting besides it, Eaglepaw slowly washed his paws. Vulturestar had told him his warrior ceremony would happen tonight, and the apprentice was trying to look his best. Silverwing led Robin into the thicket, and there, sitting in a pile of bark and pine needles, was Meadowkit. Robin gasped at how unhappy she was. Small scratches covered her flank, and she was shifting uncomfortably in her nest.
Silverwing told Robin about Sparrowpaw’s part in the prophecy. To make peace, a cat with great power would have to come. That cat was Sparrowpaw. But with her death, the power shifted into Meadowkit’s paws. And that much power in FlightClan’s paws meant that the tide would shift, and the last cat fighting for peace would be exterminated.
Silverwing told Robin to get Nightpaw. Nightpaw was the only one who could help. Robin nodded and ran off.
Robin ran into the tunnels. Nightpaw was grooming Smokybird with long gentle strokes of her tongue. Luckily, the queen was asleep and ok.
“Nightpaw!” Robin called. “Nightpaw!” But the medicine cat apprentice didn’t hear her. Robin picked up a small stone and dropping it. Nightpaw turned around. Robin moved farther back and dropped it again. Her friend followed the sound. Robin lead her outaide and across the forest this way for half of the way to Meadowkit’s prison.
She bent to pick up the rock again, but she couldn’t touch it. She couldn’t touch anything. Confused, Nightpaw wandered away. However the black she-cat became lost and headed in the direction of Meadowkit’s prison. Good, Robin thought, and followed her
Chapter Thirty-seven - The Raven
(I'm going to be lazy today so i'm not going to rewrite this yettt)
Smokybird opened her eyes and looked around. SHe was in a weird cave with strange smells. Behind the smell of rouge was the smell of her daughter Meadowkit. SHe growled. She knew who did this. Nightpaw knocked her out and stole MEadowkit.
And she tried to convince me i could trust her! She's smarter than i thought. she growled to herself. Then the smell of herbs grew around her, and she looked at her wound. They where healing with cobwebs and herbs where sticking on it. Smokybird scoffed, First she hurts me then she tried to heal me? Make up your mind on what side you are on!
Then it hit her. What if she was good? What if it was all a misunderstanding? she shook herself, and sighed. everything's so confusing. Where did they go? Are they ok?
Then she shook her head and growled. What am i thinking? I don't need Meadowkit. Or Purr. Or even ThunderClan! My fate is much more better than theirs. As she tried to get up, her foreleg ached in pain. She scowled at herself for being so weak and easily beaten like she was during the battle with Nightpaw. As she tuned to the tunnel entrance, she felt a familiar presence. She turned to see a light grey spirit behind her, her eyes heavy and a snarl on her face.
I will be back, the voice of the spirt was snapping, and then we will se whos the strongest!
Smokybird smiled with triumph. You see, Smokybird wasn't herself... she was off... she would never in her life feel triumph from having a cat know she has done something terrible to them. But this was different. This cat she hated with a passion. And now it was her turn to ruin her life. She turned to the tunnel entrance, confident and willing for what she was about to do. She turned one last glance on the tunnel before being swollowed by the darkness to the rest of the cave. a smile showed on her face. She was free. Free to do what she wanted.
When she finally ran outside, she breathed in the fresh sent of forest. this beats being in that dark place for so long! She stoped for a moment to think of a plan. A plan to get back what was taken from her.
Then, the perfect idea came to her head.
She knew the little silver and black She-kit was with Nightpaw, most likely captured and imprisoned. She needed to get her back, and maybe teach Nightpaw a lesson about taking things that doesn’t belong to her.
But that was only the first stage of revenge. There was another ThunderClan cat that had died a long time ago. Many seasons ago when Smokybird was still an apprentice. That cat had ruined her life. Smokybird still blames that foolish she-cat for her scar and her blindness, the ones on the inside too.
This she-cat was her sister, Flarepaw. The ginger apprentice had been killed in a fire in the camp when they were apprentices. She had become trapped in one of the dens and was found dead soon after when the fire was gone. She had inhaled to much smoke. Smokybird never liked her anyways. A tragic death for a tragic cat.
That was not the only thing she had done. When they were just made apprentices, Flarepaw had caught whitecough, but denied it and spent time with their mother, Meadowbriar, despite the sickness. Meadowbriar soon caught it, and it soon became Greencough. Flarepaw was cured soon after, but their mother didn’t survive. She was too weak.
Smokybird growled. She must get revenge. Any love she once felt was gone and she was rock hard now.
She looked to the sky.
They don't stand a chance!
Chapter Thirty-eight -Nightpaw-Robinwing1
Nightpaw wandered to a camp of some sort. She saw Eaglepaw talking to Meadowkit. Eaglepaw's claws were unsheathed and Meadowkit looked terrified. Eaglepaw's paw swung out and opened another one of Meadowkit's scars. Also hitting her straight back into the prison hole. Then I saw another kit being brought in she had no scars yet and she was all blue. She was thrown into the same den as Meadowkit.
Meadowkit’s point of view
Suddenly she saw another kit flying towards her.”Sorry” the kit mewed. "It's ok" I mewed back. What's your name I asked the kit. Waterkit for my blue eyes and fur she told me. "Yours?" she asked. "Meadowkit." How did you get locked up in here she asked me. I sighed then started, a while ago Eaglepaw left thunderclan because he tried to kill Sparrowpaw his own sister. He wanted me for some reason, and so Nightpaw someone from Flightclan chose to help me not Eaglepaw he tried to evacuate me but someone got to it first and well he accidently got my friend Rowankit instead of me. Nightpaw got me once he found out. I lived for a time with rogues who had Rowankit and Nightpaw. But then my mother Smokybird came Nightpaw attacked her. I ran away and Eaglepaw found me and I got beat up and tossed in her. That's my story what's yours. Well I am from Streamclan from the remains of Riverclan I once wandered away from camp and the rogues took me. They said as soon as I was 8 moons old I would have to mate Eaglepaw. So that's why I was never scarred and I can help both of us escape.
Chapter Thirty-nine, Captured by Darkness
Berrywing woke up from her den, she started sorting herbs like she always does every time she wakes up every sunrise. "What a nice day to sort herb- huh? what's that sign? There's starry steps leading outside my den. Welp, StarClan is sending me a new prophecy... ...I think" Berrywing then went out of her den, followed the trail of starry steps, which lead her towards a bush, her apprentice, Blackpaw was awake, "Oh Berrywiiing!"' He called out for his mentor but no answer. He then also saw the starry steps. He followed them outside camp just like his mentor, Berrywing. But he stopped following them a few fox-lengths away from where the steps were coming from, he saw his mentor being abducted by a Dark Forest cat. "H-HELP!" Berrywing shouted. "DON'T RESCUE ME YOURSELF, LOOK FOR SOMEONE ELSE!" She replied while she was being dragged by three Dark Forest cats. Blackpaw went in horror and ran back to camp. "FAWNSTAR!! FAWNSTAR!! BERRYWINNG IS BEING ABDUCTED BY DARK FOREST CATS!!!" The young tom alerted their leader, "B-berrywing? BERRYWING?! What happened?!" He woke up and asked the young tom. "Berrywing got abducted by Dark Forest cats." meowed Blackpaw. "It started when I found starry steps leading to a bush." added Blackpaw. Blackpaw lead Fawnstar to the steps and went a few fox-lengths to the bush where Berrywing got abducted earlier. "I might have to call a meeting, to the Highrock!" Blackpaw and Fawnstar walked back to camp to call a meeting. "Today, our medicine cat, Berrywing got abducted by Dark Forest Cats. For now, we will make her apprentice, Blackpaw as our medicine cat until she goes back to our clan. We ask StarClan to guide a path for Berrywing back here, and we hope that she will return safely." Dusk came, "Hey Blackpaw, good luck."Sparrowpaw softly meowed into Blackpaw's ear. "Thanks..." Blackpaw replied. The two apprentices slept with the others. Meanwhile in Blackpaw's dream, StarClan was talking to him. "The Dark will kidnap cats, but two will restore all kidnapped cats." Blackpaw woke up at early dawn. He woke up Sparrowpaw "What do you want?" Sparrowpaw replied. "Let's go and find Berrywing." Blackpaw meowed excitedly. Blackpaw went to the Medicine Cat den and got some herbs, "Alright, we're set." Meowed Blackpaw. Blackpaw and Sparrowpaw ventured to find the starry trail and into the bush Blackpaw saw yesterday. Two dark forest cats came leaping from the bush and dragged them to The Dark Forest. "I'm scared..." Blackpaw meowed in fear. Meanwhile... Nightstream woke up and went to the Apprentice den to see her son is not there. "Great StarClan where can he be?!" She thouht in fear after seeing that Sparrowpaw is not in there since he always wakes up late. Nightstream runs to Stonetail, her mate "Stonetail! Our son's missing!" She yowled on to Stonetail's ears. "Stonetail?" he replied.
Chapter Forty - Smokybird's Spirit
Smokybird walked lightly on the forest floor, her paws glimmering as she stepped. Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of her kit being at the grasp of Eaglepaw's paws. She shook her head and narrowed her eyes. She would not be fooled. She will survive.
As long as there is hope... hope of the Raven Prophecy, the one thing that could save us. I could tell somecat about how the Raven has come, and they will be the hope... but who?
Smokybird sighed, for she didn't know who to tell. Leafstar? No, then the whole of Thunderclan would be involved. Purr? He... well.. he would freak out. Meadowkit? She's to young! But who would she tell?
Then, the idea came to her head; Nightpaw! She knew the young med cat would take matters into her own paws.
Thats it! I just have to find Nightpaw and tell her about the Raven!
The starry she-cat jump up and ran as fast as she could, passing trees and sent marks as she swiftly ran. Smokybird could tell that her legs felt young and strong, unlike how they did when she was hurt there. She also noticed how she could see out of her blind eye, like becoming a ghost made her stronger.
She ran and ran until she came to a dark furred she-cat sleeping on the ground. The she-cat looked like she was lost, as if she had gone on an outing and lost her way.
She knew that StarClan cats can enter dreams, so maybe she could too. She slowly lowered herself to Nightpaw's level and matched her breathing, until she found herself in a starry clearing in the forest. Confident, she pushed forward, walking until she found Nightpaw, who was lying in the sun, belly up.
Smokybird slowly walked forward, sighing as what she had to say. She couldn't bring it on strait forward, but she must tell her as much as the young apprentice can handle.
She lifted her head as Nightpaw slowly got up, her eyes big, but worried at the same time. THe young Medicine Cat turned her head and meowed, "S-Smokybird? Is that... how..."
"Nightpaw, i have great news to tell you." Smokybird gulp, hoping NIghtpaw would believe her. The last time they saw each other, Smokybird had attacked her! "The Rav-... what's with that look?" She cut off as she saw Nightpaw's face, scarred and guilty.
Nightpaw shook her head, eyes wider than ever, meowing in a cracked voice, "Your.. dead, aren't you? I did this... i killed you.."
Smokybird stood in shock, "No, Nighpa-"
"I have failed you. I was supposed to watch you, and make sure you were healing right... but i didn't... i followed that pebble. A-and while i was gone, you died... n-no" Smokybird had never seen a cat more miserable in her life. Smokybird opened her mouth to say something while she saw talking, but nothing came out. It was only until Nightpaw was done did she finally speek
"Yes... No! It wasn't your fault. It was the Raven. They have come, and they will take over all. I-i need your help." For once since all this has happened, Smokybird felt pure terror inside of her. She knew The Dark Forest was coming for her, and she will be sucked into darkness forever if no one defeats the shadows that is stealing souls. WHen she looked up, she saw that Nightpaw looked... confused. Maybe she wasn't putting it on her right? Maybe telling her was the wrong thing to do. She's only an apprentice! WOrse that, a Medicine Cat! How was she supposed to fight?
Then, Smokybird remembered the battle they had in the caves, and how strong she had been when it came to protecting her life. Maybe this will work?
While she was thinking, Nightpaw had walked up her. There was a tiny smile on her face, as if she was trying to be humorful in this dark times. "I didn't know Spirit cats worry so much!" NIghtpaw meowed, dipping her head, "But, if your in pain, well on the inside of course, i can help you. Whats wrong?"
Smokybird opened her mouth of protest but she closed it again. She slowly lowered herself down on the ground while Nightpaw rubbed her tail on her back.
Smokybird put her face on her paws, saying "I don't know if... if we will survive the darkness. This is stronger than Egalepaw... stronger than Vulturestar! Heck, stronger than all the Flightclan cat together! The clans will need to meet in peace... or be destroyed." Smokybird was shaking. They were getting closer and closer by the second. And They were the army of the Raven.
When Smokybird blinked, all she saw was darkness. Painfully lonely darkness coming to swallow her, but at the same time she felt peace. As if she was drowning underwater, the life slowly sucking out of her.
"I know how you feel. I use to be so scarred of Eaglepaw every time he would talk to be or walk into my den. But if you say this is stronger than all of Flightclan together, i believe in you. We just need to find a way to unite all the clans. StreamClan should be easy enough. ThunderClan or Flightclan? They are at war! How are we supposed to unite them."
Smokybird lifted her head, an idea popping in her head. Maybe she could tell her about the Prophecy? Smokybird looked at her and meowed:
"A bird’s paw will come.
A red berry eaten.
A brother exiled.
Two Clans will meet in blood or treaty.”
NIghtpaw looked at her weirdly, as if she didn't understand. She meowed, "WHat does that mean? 'A bird's paw will came'? 'A brother exiled'?"
Smokybird looked up, and closed her eyes. She didn't answer the question, she just simple murmured, "They're here.... NIghtpaw... run, they don't what you, just me."
Smokybird could smell the fear sent coming off of her, and a little from Nightpaw too. "Who is coming? What are you talking about?"
"The Dark Forest warriors. They have come to take me.... give me peace from this world." Smokybird opened her eyes and looked at Nightpaw, "But it is not your time. Run... wake up... leave me here so i can be at peace."
NIghtpaw looked surprised, saying "No! I won't leave you. YOu have a kit who needs you! What about your mate, Purr? How would he feel? Your coming with me!"
Smokybird flicked her tail, "Don't you understand? They can't take you! Your the only hope left! If your gone, the whole world you know and love with be gone!" Smokybird snapped. EVen though the last thing she wanted to do was fight, she needed to find a way for Nightpaw to wake up, so she could save the clans. Smokybird didn't care how she would do it, she just needed her clan to be safe, and all the cats she loved too.
Then it dawned on her. Is the Raven.... her fault? They would not be alive if it weren't for her.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw dark pelts rap around her hissing and mocking, scratching and biting her. Nightpaw was in the other side of the clearing, scarred. She was calling out to Smokybird, but she could not hear.
The last word Smokybird ever said were, "Wake up! Run! Watch over Meadowkit for me... please..."
Darkness, so strong, rapped around Smokybird, engulfing her, choking her. Pain burnt her sides, and she sighed. SHe let the darkness shallow her, never to be seen again.
(WOw, this turned for worse XD - Kittie )
Chapter Forty-one: Red Ice
"Here are your kits." The medicine cat meowed at Mooncloud. She was having her first litter. "I'll leave you alone for a bit, I'll get some herbs for your milk supply." the medicine cat padded out of the nursery leaving only Mooncloud and her three kits. Then, Mooncloud noticed that one of her kits was not breathing, "Oh no, can that be?" Mooncloud meowed in horror, one of her kits was stillborn. She griefed at the Yellow kit with gray eyes. The medicine cat padded back to the nursery with the herbs and noticed Mooncloud crying. "One of the kits is stillborn." Mooncloud yowled in sorrow. "Oh... I'm sorry, anyways, here's the herbs." The medicine cat replied. "So, what are you gonna name them?"The medicine cat asked. "I'm gonna name the red tom Redkit and the blind Ice-blue she-kit Icekit."Mooncloud meowed.
Chapter Forty-two - Olive, Beetletooth, & Sunpetal
Olive curled down in her mossy nest in the tunnel, closing her eyes and settling into her thoughts.
Robin was dead, Beetle had betrayed her, Skortdird had left, Down Kin was caputured, and Nit Pawnd wasn’t here.
There suddenly was no meaning in life anymore. No sister to hunt with, to share prey with, to be together. And all her other family- would never lay down in the cave with Olive. Not a single chance. Of course, Olive knew her Clan friends would fight with her to the end, but, face it, she told herself. Once Dow Kin was free, they would head back to their Clans… and she would be alone. Her greatest fear. Alone. Being alone was an experience many felt at one point in their lives, and it was one Olive never wanted to happen, Before this moment, she always had someone, but now…
Olive sighed and exited the tunnels. She brushed against the walls, feeling the stone cold surface that surrounded her and breathing in Robin’ sweet scent. Once outside, she swept her gaze over everything she had even known, trees, air, sky, cloud, ferns, moss, mouse, squirrels, more trees, leaves- and then broke into a run. Across the small dirt path, over the rotten log, to the left of the bramble bush, and on her way.
A gorge lay in her path. Olive knew that. Any cat who fell in it- would die.
She ran and ran until the cliffside was two mouse lengths in front of her, and flung herself over the edge.
Fern…..Russet……Robin…. I’m coming.
The the darkness overcame her as she hit rugged stone and slipped into blackness.
Robin’s spirit crouched by her sister. Olive wasn’t dead yet, but severely injured. What have you done sis? She thought
Beetletooth crouched in his den. The day’s events washed over him. He black hung his head in shame. Even though Olive had injured Sunpetal, she was his sister. And she could be lying dead at this moment, because of him. Because he couldn’t control himself.
I have to find her. Beetletooth headed for the camp exit when Thrushwing stopped him. “Vulturestar wants to see you” The dark brown warrior hissed, and Beetletooth headed for his den, ducking underneath the log where the leader slept. The moment he entered, Vulturestar pounced on him. The leader’s yellow eyes glinted with fury as he told Beetletooth that Jaywind had reported him not attacking Olive, and said he would be punished. He flicked his tail. Frostflower and Reedpelt brought up Sunpetal from the shadows. Her belly was swollen with unborn kits, much less than she had been this morning. “Kill her.” Vulturestar hissed. Beetletooth eyes glowed in shock. She was his mate! She was expecting his kits!
But….This is the cat I nearly killed my littermate for.
He turned around, facing her. He had lost control and attacked his littermate, all because of the yellow queen. ”I’m so sorry” He whispered to Sunpetal, and leaped on her, pinning her down clawing her throat. She tried to make on last word, but fell limp. Thats… not like Sunpetal. She would have struck back…
Beetletooth stared at the body in horror as what he did took control of hime. He sped out of the den and past his Clanmates. He ran. He just killed his mate. And she was expecting his kits! He didn’t know where he would run, but ran. Ran in shame. Why can’t I control myself?
Thorny branches scraped his pelt. He stumbled kver large roots and crashed through bushes, startling the birds perched on trees overhead.. A golden pelt stood in the way, her nose sniffing at a pink flower. The black warrior tried to stop, but crashed into her, tumbling her over. The cat was…. Sunpetal!
“Sunpetal?” He gasped. She got up, shaking the dirt out of her pelt, and backed away from him, hissing.
Apperently the cat he killed must have been Yellowsplash, her identical twin. That explained how close she was to kitting, and how easy it was to kill her.
Sunpetal swiped at his nose, and ran. “Leave me alone!” She cried. Beetletooth was about to go after her, but remembered he had just killed her sister. She needed time. Speaking of sisters….. Beetletooth continued his search for Olive, picking up her scent and tracking it through the forest.
Of course, he just happened to have a streak of bad luck, and fell off a cliff. Onto Olive’s unconscious body, crushing her and hiding her from the next ThunderClan patrol, who passed him by, leaving him their to die. He was alive, for now. As for Sunpetal….. She now lay in a clearing filled with flowers, suckling two new tiny kits.
Sunpetal dragged herself to the shelter of a bramble bush, her two newborn kits mewling and crying for milk. She tucked them into the curve of her belly, and thought of names.
The smaller yellow she-kit will be Daykit, She decided. And the black tom will be Spikekit…. after this special day and my son’s spiky fur.
Sunpetal waited until both kits were asleep in a bundle of soft fluffy fur, got up, careful not to wake them, and took a stroll around their territory. It was FlightClan’s land, which meant they couldn’t stay long, but maybe she could get help or something. Sunpetal crouched down, ducking behind a log, hearing a crunch on leaves. Peeking from the log she ducked under, Sunpetal saw a squirrel nibbling on an acorn
Daykit let out a soft cry from behind them. Sunpetal stiffened as the squirrel took off at a run, its furry tail swishing up leaves behind it. “Why did you wake up my sweetie?” Sunpetal whispered quietly
The queen took off at a run, desperately trying to catchh it, and quickly so she could get back to her crying kits. Sunpetal picked up the pace, hoping to catch up. The soft grassy ground gave way to a hard rock surface. The yellow queen skidded to a halt but it was too late. She tumbled off the side of the cliff, and fell, down onto the hard rocks, landing next to a black form and pushing it away to reveal a black-and-white tail sticking out. Memories swirled around Sunpetal. Daykit’s small cry echoed in her mind, and it was the last thing she heard.
Beetletooth saw the sides of the gorge spinning around him. Where am I? Oh right, the gorge. The black warrior got up and realized he was standing on Olive, who was breathing faintly. Beetletooth growled and kicked her away. I don’t care about you!
But he did care about Sunpetal. And Sunpetal was lying dead, besides him. Beetletooth sniffed her over and over. She’s really dead this time.He thought sadly. He hung his head in grief as he thought of her sweet green eyes, her soft yellow fur, and the kits they were going to have.
Beetletooth shook his head. What are you doing? You were supposed to kill her. Now go home, you got the job done.
He started heading for a path on the side of the cliff wall, and turned back one last time to see his littermate and and mate
Goodbye, sis. Goodbye, Sunpetal.
Beetletooth! Just get back to camp already!
Chapter 43 - Purr
A flash of grey fur ran in the forest a few trees in front of Purr. Purr, with a gasp, quickly ran after it, trying to catch up. He ran, his legs getting worn out by the time the grey cat stopped. He stood a tail lengths away from it, panting.
How could it run so fast?
The grey cat slowly turned around, a scarred look on her face. Then, Purr recognized the face. It was Smokybird! The grey queen braced herself as darkness swallowed her, a loud screech that was silenced quickly.
"No! Smokybird! Where are you?" He yelped, but it only came out as a choke. The darkness was everywhere now, and on top of it was the sweet voice of Smokybird, saying,
Why did you leave me. Purr?
This would of not happened if
you stayed! Save me! The dark
is too strong! Help me! Purr run!
The Raven is here!
Purr, overwhelmed by the voices, ran. Ran as fast as he could in the darkness. I must find her! Slowly, he felt the life being sucked out of him, and he fell on the ground.
"No... no... Smokybird," he cried, only to be answered by whispers too soft to hear.
"Purr, wake up! You were talking in your sleep again." A paw poked on his side, and he opened his eyes. He sighed when he saw it was just the guard to the cave he was imprisoned in. He was a tall white tom with a crooked tooth, and yellow eyes. It was the FlightClan warrior, Kinkfang. He growled and said, "Good morning, leader, how was your beauty sleep?" The white tom nosed Purr up and snarled, a hint of joy in his eyes, "Do you know what today is? Vulturestar said he was going to drown you in the river today, or maybe drop you off a cliff. I would much rather, though, being throw into a fox den, its the most painful death. But I guess Vulturestar is being nice today."
As he said this, Purr freaked out. No one told me I was on death row! They only said i would be punished for attacking a patrol! Purr looked at the white cat, and dipped his head. He knew the best way out of this was to do what they say. He knew he did nothing wrong, so why are they going to kill him? Is this what FlightClan was like? How painful it must have been for Nightpaw to grow up here. For any cat to grow up here. And yet, the image of Smokybird fading into nothing was still in his head. He knew he would never see her again, in life or death. But, how did this happen? How did she die, then die again as a spirit?
Many moons ago, Smokybird had told him a prophecy. One about a Raven going through Smoke, and the Smoke will disappear. At that time he thought it was just a dream Smokybird has from her own mind, but now, he can see that it was sent by StarClan. Was the prophecy already fulfilled? Did Smokybird disappear, forever?
Purr, mind full of these things, put his head on his paws and started sobbing. So loudly, in fact, that Kinkfang walked in, claw unsheathed.
"Oh... Quiet, you big baby! Before I go to Vulturestar and have him... blind you or something!" Kinkfang leaned over Purr, and bit his ear. Purr felt pain go through his body as Kinkfang tore half his ear off, leaving Purr helpless on the ground. Blood blinded Purr, and he had no choice but to lie there, and say.
"It won't happen again, Kinkfang."
With a chuckle and a nod, the huge white tom walked out, blood dripping from his mussel. And to his horror, he wore it like a crown. Every cat that passed him nodded respectfully at him, even the kits came over, no older than 3 moons, and started admiring him.
"Whoa, Kinkfang! Did you kill a cat? Did they give up a fight?" one said, a small sandy ginger she-kit.
"I bet he killed a fox! I can do that when I'm a warrior!" The other one said, a red-orange tom.
"Can not!" The first kit jumped on the second one, rolling around.
Kinkfang just chuckled and said, "You'll never kill a cat that way, less kill a fox. Here," Purr watched in horror as he told the kits how to do death blows and to unsheathe their claws. The two kits watched with glowing eyes as Kinkfang pounced on a imaginary cat and pretended to bite his neck. Do these cats have any loyalty to the Warrior Code Smokybird would tell Purr about?
"Wow! I want you do be my mentor when i'm an apprentice!" The she-kit jumped up and down.
"Think again, Honeykit! Kinkfang has no time to train she-cats. Toms are the strongest!" The tom went in his best hunting crouch, growling as he slowly moved toward Honeykit.
Kinkfang picked him up by the scruff and place him down on a log. "Why don't you go play somewhere else, Flamekit? I'm trying to do a job here."
"Aww! Why can't we hel-" Flamekit's cute mew was silenced by a loud yowl. Purr got up and walked to the entrance of his cave. To his surprise, Kinkfang didn't care if Purr sat next to him, as if the white tom was scared of something much bigger than watching him. By this time, Purr had cleaned his ear, though it still stung. On the inside, though, the stinging of Smokybird's omen had been silence, and he felt nothing but pure anger.
But when he finally saw where the yowl came from, he stood in shock. There, in the entrance of the camp, stood a large brown and white cat. This cat look strong and fearsome, but it was not the cat Purr was shocked at, it was the little kit by his side.
It can't be.... Meadowkit?
Then it hit him. This was Eaglepaw! A growl rose in Purr's throat. Eaglepaw had gotten Meadowkit somehow, and now, in the middle of camp, there was no way he could save her. He hid his face as best as he could, trying to not let the small kit see him.
As Eaglepaw walked through camp, all the cats quivered or dipped their head at him. Even Kinkfang, the FlightClan deputy, seemed scarred of him. Was this young cat really the strongest in the clan?
Then, Vulturestar came out of his den, head high. In a deep, mighty voice he meowed, "Have you found a replacement?"
When Eaglepaw walked up to Vulturestar, he didn't even dip his head, just simply meowed, "Yes. This fine ThunderClan kit, Meadowkit. Before long, we can turn her into a fine FlightClan warrior." Little Meadowkit, so helpless and small, looked at Vulturestar with fear. Purr growled, only to be hissed at by Kinkfang. "Shut up, you!" he snapped.
Vulturestar continued, "I see, then we must start her training. And, if this kit is not as strong as you say, it will be your life!" Vulturestar turned and walked into the middle of the clearing and said, "All cats who know how to kill gather under the Blood Stained Trees."
As cats came out of the dens and into the clearing, Purr felt more and more tiny. There were so many cats here! By this time, Kinkfang had long forgotten about Purr, walking into the clearing.
As the sun set, Purr could see more and more why it was called the Blood Stained Trees. The light from the setting sun turned the leaves crimson red.
Vulturestar continued, "We have a new apprentice among us. A little kit named Meadowkit will become a lucky part of FlightClan."
Purr gasped in horror. Meadowkit? Part of this Clan? She would never survive! The cats in the clearing were protesting, saying,
"She's ThunderClan! I can smell it!"
"Yeah, she's only 4 moons too!"
"Vulturestar must have bees in his brain!"
The Clan leader raised his tail for silence, a deep growl in his throat, "I am doing this for the good of the Clan. ThunderClan wants to make peace! We must stop this by taking one of them as our own, to make them see they are at our mercy!"
"That's stupid!" one cat cried out. Purr cringed as Vulturestar yellow gaze rested on that cat.
Vulturestar growled and said, "Don't ever, ever, talk over me. Your lucky today, but next time you won't forget it."
The cat that cried out quivered in fear as all eyes turned on them. Meanwhile, Vulturestar continued, "Under the light of the FlightClan ancestors, i know give this cat her apprentice name. Meadowkit, from this day forward, until you get your warrior name, you will be called Meadowpaw. You mentor will be Jaywind." And just like that, the Clan was dismissed, leaving Purr shocked and helpless.
Chapter Forty-four - Nightpaw
Nightpaw jerked awake, the last echoes of Smokybird's voice ringing in her ears. Her heart was thundering louder than it ever had before, and her breathing came in ragged gasps. Shock and fear burst through every hair on her pelt as she staggered to her paws, shaking scraps of leaf-mold from her black fur. Nightpaw blinked and blinked again, trying vainly to banish the dark shadows that had danced before her eyes during her dream. The shadows that had taken Smokybird away.
I killed her. I condemned her to this fate.
If I just hadn't eavesdropped on them in the forest... if I had chosen to remain ignorant, to close my eyes to the teeth and claws and close my ears to the snarls...
Nightpaw bowed her head. Oh StarClan... what have I done...?
All she wanted was a second chance. To hit rewind. To undo all of the damage that she, Nightpaw, had done to this world.
And although she'd held it together for Smokybird -- well, Smokybird's spirit, she corrected herself with a surge of guilt -- it wasn't enough. Smokybird was taken, and Nightpaw's fragile shell of false confidence crumbled the second she woke up, leaving her as lost and alone as a newborn kit without a mother.
Smokybird's once-cloudy eyes had been bright with conviction when she'd told Nightpaw that she was the only cat who could help. The world would be gone if Nightpaw didn't do something about it, according to the dead queen. Smokybird had believed in her, entrusted her with a prophecy and knowledge of the Raven, whatever it was... It broke Nightpaw to know that there was no way she could possibly follow through with the plan. Smokybird is dead, Olive, Robin, Meadowkit and Purr are missing, and I left Rowankit in the cave!
Remorse and pain and fury churned in Nightpaw's belly, all condensing into one strong feeling of rage. It shoved its way past the lump in her throat and emerged in a bloodcurdling yowl for the first time in her life. "Come find me!" she shouted, her voice echoing through the trees. She didn't care that she was near FlightClan territory. Her boiling blood and hammering heart longed to fight her own Clan.
Come on Eaglepaw. Her vision was rimmed with red. Don't be a coward. Not like I've been.
Nightpaw's heart was filled with anguish and grief and guilt and pain, but she was numb now, numb to all of it. She began to pad forward, deeper into FlightClan territory, feeling just as villainous as Eaglepaw with her paws touching the same land his did. Images of wounded cats and bloodstained teeth bared in a grin flashed through her head as she passed the painfully familiar landmarks. There was nothing innocent about this place, not a single tree that remained untouched by memories of battles.
But her heart was cold, cold to all of it.
It's time to go home.
Chapter Forty-five - Nightpaw
Nightpaw stormed toward the entrance to the FlightClan camp, every hair on her pelt burning with anger. Her paws quaked slightly as a tendril of fear wormed its way into her heart, creating a chink in her armor of rage. But Nightpaw couldn't help it. Too many bad memories lingered here, too many to banish with a simple yowl.
I'm doing this for Smokybird. For Meadowkit. For Olive and Robin and Purr and every cat who has ever died at Eaglepaw's paws.
She took a deep breath, then pushed her way through the camp entrance.
Crimson light blazed against her pelt, illuminating the entire clearing. Nightpaw's heart dropped into her belly when she saw that every FlightClan cat was gathered below the Blood Stained Trees, all surrounding a small figure with vicious snarls on their faces. The scarlet glow of the dying sun glinted against every sharpened tooth and claw, and the familiar feeling of being unsafe and scared began to coil in Nightpaw's heart like a snake. Vulturestar loomed above the small cat in the clearing, eyes gleaming with malicious delight, while a brown-and-white pelt that Nightpaw knew like the back of her paw stood beside the little cat. Eaglepaw.
Then who's... Realization shot through Nightpaw as she caught a glimpse of black-and-silver tabby fur through the rays of red sunlight. Meadowkit! Nightpaw stifled a yowl of shock and ducked her head, casting her face in shadow so the kit wouldn't recognize her and give away Nightpaw's secret betrayal of FlightClan. But I have to announce myself or they'll flay my skin in strips! she thought with a shaky sigh. Well... now or never.
Nightpaw began to stride forward, putting one trembling paw in front of the other until her legs stopped shuddering completely. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Vulturestar's ears prick with interest and his head snap toward the sound of her pawsteps. But she kept her ears back and head low as she made her way across the clearing, the crimson light from the Blood Stained Trees dancing on her pelt. Every gaze burned into her back, hostility making her fur prickle like a storm was brewing. Still keeping low to the ground, Nightpaw slunk shamefully toward the crowd, intending to disappear into the throng beside her mentor, Beetlewing. But a commanding voice froze her in her tracks.
"Nightpaw," Vulturestar boomed.
Nightpaw squeezed her eyes shut briefly, feeling hot tears beginning to gather inside them. But she would not cry in front of Vulturestar. Brutally forcing back a strangled cry, Nightpaw straightened her posture and turned slowly to face FlightClan's leader. As she always did, she kept her gaze fixed firmly on the intimidating cat's paws, feeling sick as she took in the familiar sight of claws caked with blood. She'd forgotten how hard it was to function rationally under Vulturestar's blazing eyes.
"Yes, Vulturestar?" Nightpaw squeaked, trying to call back her rage as fuel. But it had fled her pattering heart, and all that was left was the sickeningly familiar feeling of fear that haunted every step she took, the fear that made her who she was: quivering, anxious, cowardly little Nightpaw.
"'Yes, Vulturestar?'" the leader mocked her in a singsong imitation of her voice. His claws dug deeper into the ground below him. "You've been gone for days. Care to explain yourself to the Clan?"
Nightpaw cringed, flattening her ears as threatening hisses sounded from her Clanmates. But she stood her ground, mind racing as she tried to come up with an excuse. "I... I..."
"You'd better answer in three seconds or Kinkfang will toss you into a fox den," Vulturestar growled, tail switching.
Nightpaw swallowed hard. "Well... I came to the battle with ThunderClan," she mewed in a small voice, not quite sure exactly where she was going with this. "Eaglepaw t-told me to go get a kit called Meadowkit... I searched the nursery but didn't f-find anyone, just bloodied moss. But I found a scent trail, so I f-f-followed it out of their c-camp and into the forest. But I was jumped by a rogue c-cat with black-and-white fur, and she had Meadowkit's scent on her. I was wounded and she chased me away, so it took me some time to heal. B-but I'm back." Nightpaw cowered before Vulturestar, trembling when she realized that she had just lied to the powerful leader. If he can prove me wrong... he'll tear my throat in two.
When Vulturestar didn't say anything, she glanced up nervously. The leader's amber eyes were darkened; he looked deep in thought, contemplating Nightpaw's alibi. Eventually, he nodded. "Makes sense," he mused, "that a medicine cat apprentice could easily be taken out by a rogue, even from a Clan as strong as FlightClan." He snorted, and so did Eaglepaw. The Clan broke into rough purrs of amusement as every cat pictured Nightpaw trying to fight. She lowered her head, feeling like the smallest slug in the forest.
"Lucky for you, Nightpaw," Vulturestar went on, "Eaglepaw found Meadowkit."
At Vulturestar's words, Eaglepaw prodded Meadowkit and she stumbled forward, eyes wide with terror. "I killed the rogue who hurt you, too," Eaglepaw meowed, turning his terrifying amber gaze on her. Nightpaw took a faltering step back from the apprentice as his eyes blazed into hers. "Useless lump of fur; didn't even put up a good fight." He gave a dismissive snort and Vulturestar chortled.
Nightpaw blinked, her mind still processing Eaglepaw's words. I killed the rogue who hurt you.
Olive? He killed Olive?
Nightpaw's head spun and her vision slid in and out of focus. She couldn't believe it. It felt like she'd only known the rogue for a few stolen heartbeats, but bloodshed won in the end. Just like it always did with FlightClan, with everything.
Nightpaw wanted to scream and sob until her eyes could shed no more tears. She wanted to lunge at Eaglepaw and slash his throat open, and dedicate the wound to Smokybird, to Meadowkit, to Olive and Robin and Purr and every cat who suffered because of this horrible tom. But she could do nothing, just stand with her jaw slack, staring numbly at Eaglepaw, wondering bitterly how she could ever have loved a monster like him.
"Welcome back to the Clan, Nightpaw," Vulturestar rumbled. No words had ever hurt more. "You can meet our new apprentice Meadowpaw tomorrow." Nightpaw stared at the small black-and-silver kit with round, glistening eyes. Meadowpaw stared back, the same confused and pained emotions whirling in her gaze.
"She's from ThunderClan. I'm sure you two will be very good friends. After all, cowards have to look out for each other, right?"
FlightClan laughed uproariously, especially Eaglepaw. Nightpaw couldn't bear to look at any of them, even Meadowpaw. She just lowered her head and padded slowly toward the medicine den, tail dragging in the dust of the crimson-lit clearing.
Chapter Forty-six - Meadowpaw
Meadowpaw was in the Apprentice den, crying. The first day of training had been the worst ever! They taught her death blows and they had to train with their claws unsheathed. It was nothing like ThunderClan. There, the cats in the clan will greet you with a smile, and never snap at you for no reason. But this place, this horrible place, all the cats ever did to you was growl and mock.
She was convinced that Jaywind was the worst mentor ever. And worse yet, she slept in the same den as Eaglepaw! He would, though, be having his Warrior Ceremony tomorrow, and Meadowpaw was glad. Eaglepaw acts like he's the leader and would boss her around.
But, there was another cat in the den. Vulturestar's son, Rootpaw. Meadowpaw, even he was the son of Vulturestar, had come to respect the firey tom. His yellow eyes and warming gaze reminded her much of her mother, Smokybird. In fact, Rootpaw was the only cat around here that ever liked her, that ever saw joy in her. He told Meadowpaw that Vulturestar was so disappointed that he was not as strong as him, that he threw his mother into the fox den. When Meadowpaw heard this, she couldn't believe her ears! What a tragic death, really. Meadowpaw also heard that they do this often, along with many other evil things.
But, that wasn't the only thing Meadowpaw was mad about. Nightpaw had come to the clan. She had hurt her mother! Was she evn alive anymore? Meadowpaw lowered her head and sighed. Everything was confusing.
Tears came from her eyes. Not for Smokybird, but for Rowankit. Was she ever going to see him again? Meadowpaw had a secret crush on him, and she felt like being with Rootpaw was betraying their love.
When sleep finally came, she woke up in a place she had not seen in a long time. A snowy meadow, one she had come to hate.
"Wishsoul, i told you to never talk to me again!" She yowled. A dark figure walked toward her. Wishsoul? she thought.
No... it's fur isn't as dark as his, but... it couldn't be... Smokybird?
Meadowpaw gasped as the grey figure stepped forward. It was Smokybird... but... not? Her eyes were all black, and blood was dripping from her claws and muzzle.
Meadowpaw lowered herself to the ground, her eyes terrified. Who was this cat? Surely it was not Smokybird? Meadowpaw never thought in her life her mother will kill somecat, but... since she attacked Nightpaw, Meadowpaw wasn't so sure anymore. Then she shook her head.
No, my mother will never kill for fun.
All of a sudden, Meadowpaw couldn't see anything. Everything was dark. Whispers crowed around her, to soft to hear. Meadowpaw, scarred out of her fur, rolled herself in a ball, her paws over her head. "Make it stop!" SHe yowled, "Wishsoul! Help!"
When the lights came back on, Smokybird was gone.
With a startled jump, out of the corner of her eyes she saw a black cat standing next to her. She turned to it, and with a huff, she meowed, "Fancy that. You show up finally. I was wondering if you were a doormouse!" But when she looked closer, Wishsoul's face was blank.
"She's dead." He murmured. With confusion, Meadowpaw answered.
"She is... Our mother."
Meadowpaw narrowed her eyes, "Our mother? Wishsoul, is their someother Meadowpaw you know? Because we are not related. Just, what are you talking about?"
Anger and rage lighted Wishsoul's eyes, turning them at her. His anger overwhelmed her. "Its your fault! You were chosen over me! Smokybird wanted to forget me, and she did! Because of you, our mother's dead. Because of you, ThunderClan threw me out like a mouse with maggets! I was cursed to watch you and guard you. To help you in times of trouble, but what good has that done? Your my sister! Meadowpaw, i HATE you!" And just like that, Wishsoul ran off crying.
In all this, Meadowpaw teared up. She realized for the first time how much Wishsoul meant to her, and here it is. They were littermates. And worse of all, their mother was dead. Meadowpaw fell of the ground. "It can't be true. Wishsoul is just angery. He is just over reacting. She's not dead... or...
Meadowpaw really thought about it. The only way Smokybird could be dead is... Nightpaw! Anger, much like Wishsoul's, bured inside of her. Nightpaw killed mother. I never thought she would turn out like a real FlightClan cat, but i guess i was wrong. All FlightClan cats are untrustable.
Everything is whole again. My life just has had meaning. I KNOW what i must do for revenge.
Chapter 47 - Robin
Robin paced angrily in the FlightClan camp. Where has it all gone wrong? She missed watching Meadowkit, now Meadowpaw, playing with Rowankit in the tunnels, with Nightpaw and Olive.
But now, it was all different. Olive was on the brink of camp, Meadowpaw and Purr were hostages, Nightpaw was acting like she was back home, Smokybird was dead, and Rowankit was left alone in the tunnels.
A white warrior pushed a familiar ginger cat out of the prisoners den, and across camp. Robin followed Kinkfang and Purr as they entered the warriors den. She was glad she could spy like this, unseen, unnoticed, unfelt. But at the same time, she could do nothing about it.
As she saw who was in the den, who had requested Purr to see him, who was sitting with his black tail curled around his paws like nothing happened, she unsheathed her claws and wished they were sinking into the cat’s fur, not air.
Because, the cat was Beetletooth.
Her so-called “brother”, who was the reason Russet was dead, left Olive there, and murdered an innocent queen. Robin wished he could at least go back for Olive, but he claimed to have amnesia. She could tell when he wasn’t lying, and he wasn’t. He didn’t know Olive and Sunpetal were at the bottom of that cliff.
The ghost pulled her mind away from her thoughts and pricked her ears to listen to Beetletooth and Purr.
“What do you want?” That was Purr. Robin could detect a hint of a snarl in his voice, and wished the ginger-furred loner would rip out Beetletooth’s throat, right here, right now.
“I-I wanted to ask if you knew how Olive was doing.”
“You ask me that after trying to kill her?”
“Just tell me!” Oh my, why did that dumb fox-hearted bee-brained bat-blind crow-food piece of dirt have to get amnesia, now of all times?
“I don’t know. But if you attacked her, why does this matter?”
“I’m her littermate!”
“So you say”
“Just tell me. I need to find her, and apologize”
“I told you. I don’t know”
“Do you at least know about Robin?”
This is it. Robin thought. You can deny it now. You don’t care you fox-heart. Not about my death, about Olive falling off a cliff, you just don’t care about me, or my sister.
“No” Beetletooth choked the words out, his yellow eyes on the verge of tears. “She-she can’t be” But I am. By your precious FlightClan. “If-I was there I could have saved her!”
Robin hissed. Beetletooth was acting like she was a helpless mouse! True, she had never had been taught how to fight, and he had, but it didn’t matter now. That was over. Robin left, refusing to see more of Beetletooth’s fake grief.
She ran away, not keeping track of where she was, not the trees she passed through and the ponds she glided over. Just away from her brother- no, not her brother. He wasn’t that anymore.
When she finally came to a stop, it was all quiet. Why? She asked herself. No birdsong, no wind, no rustle of the leaves, just an eerie silence.
Just a cat.
No, it wasn’t a cat. It resembled a raven…. but was no shape. It saw her and took off, dancing in the shadows.
Frozen with fear, Robin could only stand there and watch as her doom leaned closer, ready to take her spirit.
A silver-and-white cat got there first. “Run!” She said, before dissolving into the shadows. Silverwing!
Robin bit back tears, but took off a sprint, Silverwing’s sacrifice taking over her mind, and filling up her thoughts. It was all she saw as she ran.
Silverwing truly had been the best friend she ever had. Silverwing had helped her send a message to Nightpaw, guide her and show her everything about being a ghost, help her in this time of loneliness.
But now she was gone.
And Robin was truly alone.
Chapter 48 - Olive
Pain. The world was a flash of pain. On the inside, and on the outside too.
Olive got up, but fell back down with a yowl. My leg! It hurt so much, she could barely move, it must have been wrenched. Olive tried to get up, and half walked half crawled to a small alcove in the cliff, dragging her injured leg alone and biting back the urge to cry.
When she finally settled there, the loner closed her eyes and found herself wishing for Lite Paws to be there besides her, treating her injuries and whispering words of encouragement.
Where was Nign Pern? When Olive had gone back to the tunnels, the only cat there had been Rowalip, asleep in a dip in the stone floor. No sign of anyone else.
The black-and-white cat scanned her eyes around her surroundings, staring at the cliff wall. The smooth stone would be hard to scale, especially with her leg. Too much of a risk. The walls were high, Olive was sore, her leg was wrenched… too easy to fall
So, I’m stuck here.
The only being was a golden cat, no sign of movement from her. She must be dead. Olive shuddered and turned away. The faint scent of Beetle drifted around, and Olive was comforted by it for a split two seconds, but shook that feeling off.
He tried to kill you. His own littermate.
Her nose twitched as she caught the scent of… Squirrel! Olive crawled out of the alcove and followed the scent. A squirrel was laying, dead, probably from falling. Olive grabbed it in her jaws and turned back, her tail whisking over the dead body.
That could have been me.
I’m lucky to have survived.
The squirrel, luckily was not small or scrawny, but not big or fat either. However it was the best prey Olive had tasted.
Once it was devoured, Olive curled into a ball, her leg sticking out awkwardly. Even though the alcove sheltered her, the wind that blew past was cold and sharp, rustling her black-and-white fur. She wished Nigt Pern was here, to smell that sweet scent and see those sparkling green eyes. Or Robin, who had always slept besides her, but no, they weren’t here. No one was.
Olive dragged herself over to the cliffside, hoping to find a way to get up. But there were none, no path she could take that would not cause in her falling and dying. She was stuck, and even though there was a pool of water, there was no prey. Even if there was, Olive was in no state to catch it. She would probably die, unless someone found her first. She would even take FlightClan. She just wanted to see Nightpaw, to breath in her sweet scent.
Why did I throw myself off that cliff?
Olive went over to the pool, and with great joy saw that minnows were swimming around in the blue depths.
She tried to scoop one out, but slipped and tumbled face first into the pool. A jolt of pain shot through her leg, and she winced. But with great joy she realized she had crushed one of the fish. She could survive!
Olive pressed herself against the cliff wall, doing the best she could to curl her injured leg in, pressing against the rough cliff wall, condealicing herself in shadows. Ahead of her, she could still hear voices as they gradually faded, then grew louder. The wind blew to her the scent of FlightClan.
As soon as the scent recessed and voices reduced, Olive relaxed, slowly, and limping over to the pool. She settled down besides it and scanned the water for minnows.
I wonder what the others are doing.
She shivered as she remembered last night, when the wind carried to her the scent of FlightClan....and Meadowkit.
Surely she's ok? She has to be.
Olive lashed her paw out lightly, skimming the pool's surface as her claws dug into a minnow's skin. She pulled it back and swiftly killed it with a single bite. Then, she leaned over, staring at her black-and-white reflection. Again, she asked herself the question, where had it all gone wrong? In one day they scattered like this, and the next couple of days had passed by slower than ever, with nothing to do but fill her mind with her thoughts and worries of the other.
Olive sighed and bent her head down to lap up the water from the pool. Her claws gripped the minnow, and when she lifted her head up, she dug into it, her sharp teeth piercing the soft flesh.
The cliff needs a proper name. I have no idea why I'm thinking this, but I am
It'll be called Jeffrey
I wish Nightpaw were here.
Chapter Forty-nine - Rowankit
Three days, Rowankit thought, Its been THREE days!
Rowankit was sitting next to the waterfall in the caves, tail dropped nicely on his paws. Its been three days since anyone has come to the cave, and he was beginning to think they forgot about him. He was able to survive because before everyone left, they had set up a prey pile, but it was running low. Rowankit had no choice. He must find them.
Rowankit missed Meadowkit to a point that he couldn't resist going out to find her. The last he had heard of her, she had ran away with Robin chasing her close behind. Was she safe? Did that cat, Eaglesomething, catch her? Rowankit shuddered. No. He thought, She's ok. She must be.
Rowankit sighed again. He tucked his face under his paws. It was getting colder as Leaf-fall came. Rowankit missed the warm belly of his mother, the soft, warm moss of the nursery. Meadowkit's squeaking protest as her mother, Smokybird, licked her to sleep. He thought how much his mother missed him, how much they must be looking.
Do they think i'm dead? He thought, Do they think i died or was taken by FlightClan in the battle? He stood up and stared at the entrance. He must go and find them.
As he got up, he felt a cold chill. What if... their dead? Rowankit stood, wordless. After a long thought, he knew it was time to get out of this place.
Rowankit slowly walked out of the cave, closing his eyes to the bright sunlight. He breathed in the fresh sent of the forest air and sighed. The fresh air was nothing like it has been before.
As he walked, he heard noises- no, voices- ahead of him. A familiar one squeaked.
"Why do we have to do this?" It sighed.
"Every FlightClan cat proves themselves worthy somehow. Meadowpaw, you have a fine spirit. One that will make a mighty Warrior." A large tom said. The tom had yellow eyes and a grey-blown pelt. Little flakes of black splashed here and there.
Meadowpaw? Rowankit gasped. It is her! Meadowkit... is a FlightClan apprentice? Rowankit shook his head. Everything was confusing.
Rowankit slowly followed them in the shadows, thanking StarClan he was downwind. This brown-grey tom was walking in the forest with Meadowpaw, who was shaking but at the same time had her head up high. He let them go forward a little bit before following them.
"Rrroooww!" A painful yowl started, only to be cut short. Rowankit jump when he heard it, and quickly ran to catch up. What did they do? Oh StarClan, let Meadowpaw be ok!
When he saw them finally, a choking came from his throat. He couldn't say anything. Couldn't do nothing. All he could do was watch in horror.
No... Meadowpaw... don't... how... Oh StarClan! As Rowankit crouched, he felt a tear roll down his eye.
In front of him, Meadowpaw was standing over the body of his fath, Tigerswirl. Her maw was red, her claws crimson. The brown-grey tom looked at her with a smile and meowed, "You have proven yourself, Meadowpaw. You have the spirit of a FlightCla warrior."
No! She... she killed him! He was too weak from the battle last moon to defend himself! No... Meadowpaw is a monster, isn't see. I thought wrong about her. She was walking the same path as Eaglepaw all along, wasn't she? Rowankit, freaking out, fell to the ground. She didn't really care about him. She would kill his parents, his family, on command. Everything was broken. Everything was smashed.
He slowly followed them back to camp, and sighed. Everything is going to be different now.
But worse yet, when they walked into camp, everycat gathered around them, saying,
"See? I told you the ThunderClan cat had some Flightclan in her!"
"Did she kill a fox? A badger?"
"Woah! She must be so brave!"
"Unbelievable. A ThunderClan cat with a stone heart of a FlightClan warrior."
Meadowpaw was in the middle of the clearing, head high. She was exepting all the praises that comes with the blood on her jaw and claws.
Rowankit had to look away. It was too much. She was too much. But then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a dark pelt flash in the shadows.
Nightpaw. She was here too. But her face was horrified, as if she had just seen a badger swallow one of her clanmates. But a badger did. A badger, the grey-brown cat, has swallowed Meadowpaw. Meadowkit is gone, only the remains of hate and ruthlessness remains.
And she might not come back...
Chapter Fifty - Nightpaw
Nightpaw lay on her back, staring miserably up at the stone ceiling of the medicine den. Her eyes wandered to the tiny divot in the rock she'd always seen in her peripheral vision before falling asleep, and shivered. Having the stone walls closing in around her again, and the lingering scent of herbs and blood in her nostrils, all observed from this position in her burr-infested nest, was torture. The familiarity of this whole situation was torture. It was as though she'd never left. Never discovered Meadowkit and Smokybird, never disobeyed Eaglepaw, never met Robin or Olive...
Olive. It was difficult, in this dark and dreary den, to summon any emotion other than hopelessness or fear, but Nightpaw's heart managed a feeble flutter as the black-and-white loner's face filled her thoughts. Somehow, the she-cat was always able to make Nightpaw crack a smile, or laugh, or forget how to function like a normal cat.
Where are you, Olive?
Eaglepaw's face flashed in Nightpaw's thoughts, startling her. His menacing amber eyes glowed as his voice echoed around her head. I killed the rogue who hurt you.
Olive. It has to be Olive.
Horrible images flew through Nightpaw's head. Olive, bleeding. Olive, dead. Eaglepaw standing triumphantly over her body, his maw stained red as he licked the blood from his paws. Olive, her Olive, gone forever...
But as the thoughts whirled and rushed through Nightpaw's mind like river rapids, she took a deep breath, slowly inhaling the scent of blood and herbs and releasing it in a gusty sigh. Although the terrifying scenarios still muttered and stalked the perimeter of her mind, Nightpaw now appeared -- on the outside -- to be the serene, obedient medicine cat FlightClan had always wanted her to be. Just another mindless drone in Vulturestar's army. Just another plaything for Eaglepaw to torment. Just another servant to her Clan.
But the words that came from Nightpaw's mouth were anything but loyal.
"I'm going to kill him."
Her voice was soft, quiet enough not to wake Beetlewing or alert the guards on duty, but strong enough to convey the conviction that shivered through her every bone. "I'm going to kill Eaglepaw," she whispered, not quite sure who she was addressing. "I kill Eaglepaw, and it stops everything. The prophecy, the Raven, FlightClan; everything. I'm going to find you, Olive. I swear it by the graves of my mother and father, under the sacred light of StarClan... If I have to fight the Raven to find your spirit... I will."
Nightpaw knew this moment of bravery wouldn't be long-lasting. But she was too caught up in the whirl of energy to back down now. Slowly, Nightpaw rose from her nest in the medicine den and began to pad towards the apprentice's den, where Eaglepaw's brown-furred shape lay slumbering in the shadows.
Nightpaw gulped as she tiptoed closer, heart hammering in the tense silence. In the far corner of the den, a shaft of silver moonlight caught the edge of a black-and-silver pelt -- Meadowpaw -- sleeping fitfully next to Rootpaw, Vulturestar's son. Nightpaw felt a pang of pity for the little tabby she-cat; her brow was furrowed and her paws jerked as she slept, like she was fighting a thousand enemies at once in her dream. And she was losing.
Maybe I should just get her out of here, Nightpaw thought, hesitating for a heartbeat. But eventually, she decided against it. Too risky. Eaglepaw would hunt us down in two seconds flat. She took a deep breath, trying to inhale as quietly as possible. I have to kill him. It's the only way.
Nightpaw stared down at Eaglepaw, her breath softly ruffling the fur on his neck as she watched him breathe. The crease between his constantly glowering brows had smoothed with the blessing of sleep, and he almost looked innocent again, like the laughing ThunderClan apprentice who'd made Nightpaw's heart skip a beat all those Gatherings ago. But some things couldn't be erased. Nightpaw couldn't unsee the blood on his claws and teeth. She couldn't forget all the damage he'd done.
Nightpaw slowly and painstakingly raised her trembling foreleg high above the sleeping tom's head. Her claws slid quietly out of their sheaths, just like those of a proper assassin. Just bring it down, she told herself. Drop your foreleg, strike him directly in the main artery so he dies quickly. Kill him like Beetlewing trained you to.
Nightpaw's paw wavered in the air, dipping slightly toward Eaglepaw's face. His white muzzle twitched, and his ears gave a small, irritated flick, but the brown tom didn't wake.
Okay, I'll count down. Five... four... three... two... one...
She'd gotten to one, and her paw still hadn't moved.
Remember everything he did, Nightpaw urged herself. Remember Meadowkit. Smokybird. Olive. Remember the Raven. Remember what you're here for.
Nightpaw squeezed her eyes shut and slashed her foreleg downward. But some sort of invisible force stopped her in midair. Nightpaw opened her eyes to see her paw, claws extended, hovering a mere mouse-length above Eaglepaw's throat. Her foreleg was shaking badly as her morals went to war with her rationality.
I can't do it. I can't kill any cat. Not even Eaglepaw. Not in cold blood like this. Not while he's sleeping.
Nightpaw stifled a sigh and retracted her claws, then sat back on her haunches to stare miserably at Eaglepaw. How was she not able to strike him down? Her worst enemy? The cat who murdered Olive?
She was beginning to turn and pad back to the medicine den when a flash of amber caused her head to jerk back to Eaglepaw. The tom's eyes were open, blazing like fire.
And they were fixed on her.
Chapter Fifty-One - Birchfire (Yay, he's useful now)
Birchfire crouched. He was stalking a mouse. As he slowly, silently padded up, the mouse didn't seem to hear. This is going to be a clean catch. He thought. He got in pouncing position, holding his breath. This would be his first fat mouse in a long time.
He felt his legs leave the ground as he jumped through the bushes, landing right on the mouse. He swiftly killed it, thanking StarClan for this prey. As he slowly sat down to eat, he heard a high pitched yowl. It sounded like... a kit? He got up, burred his mouse, and walked on to see what it was.
When he got there, in a sunlit clearing, there were two young kits. So they were kits! he thought, I wonder where their mother is? These kits were much too young to be on there own. Heck, they looked like they were born a few days ago!
Birchfire, of course, slowly walked to them. Its in the Warrior Code to always help a kit in need. He told himself, Even from a different clan.
He shook his head. No. I'm no queen. Their mom is most likely just hunting. He then locked eyes with the young kits, whos eyes looked like they just opened. But then again, i should most likely watch then while their mother is out. You never know when a fox could come and fancy a little snack.
As he walked toward the two young kits. They started to squeak and squirm around. BIrchfire, knowing nothing about kits, rapped his tail around them and meowed softly, "Shhh, young ones. Your mother will be back soon, don't worry."
He waited and waited, but no one came. The two kits started crying out. Their tiny, sad cries broke Birchfire's heart. What if... their mom is dead? I shiver went down his body, In that case... He looked at the two kits. The sun was setting and no one had come.
Then, a thought came to Birchfire's mind. He felt a presence in the clearing. Its was whispering something... something important. Birchfire pricked his ears to listen better, barley making out the words.
"Take them, Birchfire." a sweet voice rang, "I am no longer here to care for them. Take them."
Birchfire looked at them. Was that.. their mum? He shook his head, It was just the wind. Stop thinking like a kit, BIrchfire. BUt the voice didn't die. No mater how hard he tried, the voice just wouldn't go away. Between the voice and the tiny cry of the kits, Birchfire stood up and snapped, "Ok! Fine! Its just... how do i feed... them? I'm a tom!" He pricked his ears again to listen, making out the soft words;
"Their is a she-cat on the edge of TunderClan territory. She has lost all her kits to Greencough. She will take care of them."
With a snort, BIrchfire retorted, "How will i know if she will take care of them? If her kits died of Greencough, wouldn't these too?" But a response never came. He looked at the two kits. They looked weak and feeble.
He'll do it. He has too, right? He can't bare the thought of a kit starving to death. He slowly and carfully picked both of them up by the scuff. He made his way to the edge of ThunderClan territory.
He walked for what seemed like a moon, when he heard paw steps coming his way. Out of the bushes came a white she-cat with black spots. One of which was shaped like a heart. He stared into the cat's green gaze and she nodded. Birchfire put down the kits, and started, "I'm Bir-"
"Birchfire, i know. A voice told me to meet you here, that you had something for me to take care of." She looked at the two kits, "And it looks like it was right." She slowly lowered herself to their level, licking their tiny head as if they were her kits.
Birchfire nodded, "Yes, I found them. I'm pretty sure the voice was their mother. I-i... i guess i will adopt them."
The black and white cat chuckled, "Cute, they are... but, where did they come from?" She looked at Birchfire, "And what really happend to their mother?"
Birchfire sighed, "I don't know... Hey, i don't think you told me your name?"
"Kiki." She replayed, "Its Kiki. Short for Kiara. Long for... Ki." She smiled, "I've never seen such fine kits, if i say so myself. I'll be happy to feed them my milk." She settled down by them, purring. They soon started suckling.
"You're a talker, i see." Birchfire chuckled. He has never seen such a cat like this; not letting the death of her kits bring her down.
"I get that much. So, what are their names?"
"Uhh..." He looked down at them. She she-kit reminded him of the sun and day-time, with her yellow fur and green eyes. The tom was all black with yellow eyes and looked like a bramble bush, his fur sticking up everywhere. He looked at Kiki and meowed, "The she-kit will be Day and the tom with be Nettle."
Kiki nodded, "I like those names."
Birchfire smiled. He would raise these kits as his own. Feel the real joy in a family. But, the dull ache in his heart would never be silenced. He missed Smokybird. He missed Meadowkit, most likely paw now. But, he couldn't go back. Not after what happened. He sighed.
Will i ever see you again, my love?
Chapter Fifty-two - Nightpaw
Nightpaw's jaw went slack, her brain fuzzed out and ceased to work, her limbs refused to move. All she could hear was her own blood roaring in her ears, and the same word echoing over and over inside her head: No. No. No.
Eaglepaw slowly and gracefully, like a snake, slithered back from Nightpaw and uncoiled, rising to his paws in total silence. His amber eyes burned into her sage-green ones as he meowed, very quietly, "Come."
Nightpaw stared at him with wide eyes, shocked. Come? That's all? If I follow... is he going to kill me? Will he take me into the forest, somewhere no cat can hear my screams? Somewhere they'll never find my body?
Eaglepaw blinked at her. His every movement make her muscles tense with fear, and that mere flicker of an eyelid sent a surge of terror through her veins. It could mean anything: death at the next heartbeat, a promise of revenge, a secret...
"Don't be afraid of me," he purred, leading Nightpaw to the edge of the camp. "I won't hurt you."
That's a bunch of dirt, she thought with clenched teeth and shivering legs. But she lifted her chin and replied, "I'm not scared of you, Eaglepaw."
Eaglepaw scoffed. "And hedgehogs fly."
Nightpaw stared down at her paws, ashamed at the way they quaked in fear. But she couldn't help it. She couldn't help the clouds of fear-scent that billowed up around her, nor the way her claws dug into the earth as though a gust of wind was tugging her away. Eaglepaw scared the living daylights out of her, and the only cat she'd admit that to was herself.
But she was so easy to read, why even try?
Eaglepaw stared at her for a moment, amber eyes unreadable as they swept over her trembling form. "What in the Dark Forest made you stand over me like that, you sniveling fool?" he asked, his voice cold and emotionless.
Nightpaw flinched at his words. "I..." She stopped, helpless. "I was just... just..."
"A bad assassin?" he supplied. Nightpaw stared at him in shock and horror, sure that her life would end at any second, but to her surprise, the brown tom let out a massive guffaw. "Ha! As if you'd have the guts to even try," he laughed, flicking his tail against her flank. Nightpaw winced; it stung. But the relief washing through her pelt melted the pain away. He doesn't know. He doesn't know.
Then a new realization crossed Nightpaw's mind. But then... what did he think I was doing?
She had no idea. But I'd better come up with something, and fast. Olive's kind, earnest face filled her thoughts, those green eyes sparkling with humor, the way she threw herself at a problem and solved it on the way...
Maybe I can be like that.
"Yeah, a bad assassin," Nightpaw blurted, instantly regretting saying anything. Eaglepaw glanced at her in surprise, his ears pricked with interest, but she barreled on. "Horrible assassin. Worst one in the Clans. That's it, you caught me."
Eaglepaw wrinkled his nose and snorted. "Came clean, that's a start." He narrowed his eyes at her. "Now, why were you really there?"
Nightpaw hesitated, not sure what to say. "Uh... you know," she meowed evasively. "Just... nightly checkups. It's a medicine cat thing." Feeling uncomfortable under Eaglepaw's burning stare, she backed up a few paces. His amber eyes never once left her face.
"That's one of the worst lies I've ever heard," the brown tom stated, white muzzle glinting in the moonlight as he stalked closer. "I think you were spying on me. Watching me like a creep while I was sleeping."
Nightpaw blinked, at a loss for words. Did his whiskers just twitch? Is he laughing at me?
Eaglepaw's mouth split into a grin, which looked like an ugly leer in the dappled shadows of the trees. "You're a medicine cat, Nightpaw. Get a grip."
Nightpaw raised her eyebrows, finally understanding what the tom was implying. Her ears burned and she shriveled under her pelt. "No," she spluttered. "That's not -- that's not what I was -- I don't -- "
Eaglepaw barked a laugh, startling a murder of crows from a nearby tree. "I always thought you were a coward! Why would you ever like someone like me?"
Nightpaw was horrified. "No, I don't -- I wasn't -- "
Eaglepaw gazed at her, fascination in his amber eyes. "Yes, you're pretty," he conceded. "But such a cowardly little weakling."
Nightpaw missed the second half of the sentence. Her mind was spinning.
Does Olive think I'm pretty?
"But maybe you'll change," Eaglepaw continued to speak, his eyes still fixed on hers. "Leader and medicine cat assassin, Eaglestar and Nightpaw. Doesn't that sound glorious? Can you imagine the power I -- we could wield?"
No no no no no. Nightpaw shrank away from Eaglepaw as a demonic light started glinting in his eyes. This is all going wrong. It was just one simple strike to the neck. HOW COULD I MESS THAT UP?!
"But Vulturestar has matched me with Waterkit," Eaglepaw sneered in disgust. "That little StreamClan kit. Only the Dark Forest knows why she was chosen. Embarrassing, really." He paused in his speech and took a step toward Nightpaw. "But that doesn't matter." His teeth gleamed in the moonlight as he spoke. "You and I can rule FlightClan."
"But I'm a medicine cat," Nightpaw protested.
Eaglepaw snorted. "That doesn't matter," he countered. "Do you think any cat in FlightClan gives a mousetail about the warrior code anymore?"
Nightpaw took a shaky step back, frantically scouring her mind for any excuse to get out of this. All the while, Eaglepaw stared at her, amber eyes like an inferno, devouring entire forests and swallowing the world.
Finally, she closed her eyes and mewed, "But I'm in love with someone else."
Eaglepaw looked at Nightpaw in disbelief. "Who?" he demanded, claws unsheathing. "What idiotic mouse-brain would catch your fancy?"
"Anyone but you," Nightpaw growled, opening her eyes again.
"I'll rip the flesh from his bones," Eaglepaw vowed, amber eyes stormy as he stalked up to her until they were nose-to-nose. "He will learn not to mess with my destiny."
Nightpaw tipped her head back to stare coolly into his amber eyes. For once, they didn't faze her. A black-and-white face, laughing, filled every thought in her head.
"She," Nightpaw corrected the furious tom. "And she will beat the dirt out of you once I find her again."
Bewilderment and rage twisted Eaglepaw's once-handsome features into a grotesque glare. "No cat will ever defeat me," he growled. "My future has been laid out in the stars, countless moons before your birth."
Nightpaw regarded him through slitted eyes, wanting to hurt him just as he'd hurt her. "I thought you didn't believe in StarClan?"
Eaglepaw's crazed glare sent an icy trickle of fear down Nightpaw's spine. "I don't," he hissed. "Not anymore. Tell them the news once you're there." With that, the brown tom slashed his paw downward in a violent arc, straight toward her throat.
But Nightpaw grabbed his foreleg midair, moons of pent-up fear and anger churning her belly and burning in her eyes. "I won't let you hurt anyone again," she snarled. "The Raven is coming, and you will be the first to greet it." Vision rimmed with red, Nightpaw twisted Eaglepaw's foreleg. A loud snap echoed around the camp, and the brown tom let out a scream of fury and pain as he slumped to the ground, paw broken. Nightpaw glared down at his shaking form, delighting savagely in the reversed roles. Now Eaglepaw was the one cowering, shocked and hurt. And Nightpaw was the one standing tall.
FlightClan, awoken by Eaglepaw's yowls of agony, rushed from their nests to find the source of the sound. Nightpaw's eyes swept over them. The rage burning in her belly urged her to fight every cat there, but a small voice in her heart said no. "I renounce FlightClan!" Nightpaw roared, causing several cats to flatten their ears and widen their eyes in shock. No FlightClan cat had ever heard Nightpaw raise her voice. "I am done with the bloodshed and pain here. And if I come across any of you in the forest" -- her eyes locked with Meadowpaw's, whose muzzle was speckled with blood; blood of the innocent, Nightpaw thought with a wince -- "I can and will kill you." Her voice wavered on the last few words as her adrenaline started to fade and her conscience kicked in, but she backed away before she could collapse completely. Then, Nightpaw turned and fled FlightClan's camp, running blindly through the forest.
Chapter fifty-three - Meadowpaw
"Rrrowww!" Meadowpaw yowled in pure rage. She landed on a small brown tom, no older than 9 moons. She looked into his yellow eyes, and she herself started to cry. He just told her something. Something that will change everything. They were going to be mates when they were old enough, by order of Vulturestar. The leader said it would be good if she mated him, because she can teach him ho to be strong and brave.
"Meadowpaw, its ok. Come on, you know i love you... don't you?" He tried to bribe her, but she stood still. SHe unsleathed her claw, piercing his brown fur. Blood flowed out of it, and the tom stared up at her, begging to be let go.
No. She thought, We can't be together. We're just friends... it's not like his warm yellow gaze calms me... soft fur helps me sleep at night. She shook her head. No! We can't do this...
The tom looked at her, pleading. She looked into his gaze and sighed. She can't do this. She wanted to mangle him, kill him maybe... but... something stopped her. Something telling her not to do it. That little voice, the last drop of ThunderClan sense, made her realize something. Killing is wrong... yet, it's good? FlightClan thought her in the few days of being an apprentice how to do really hard moves. Killing moves. Move that with one right strike, can knock your enemy cold. Meadowpaw had no choice. She must do what they say, for she was terrified of what they would do. She acted strong, acted heartless, but it hurt in the process.
She soon came to her senses and got off of the tom. Her mind spun, and she felt dizzy. She manged to choke out, "I'm sorry, Rootpaw. Everything is confusing. We are getting an arranged mateage." She shook her head, "This is all new to me. I... i don't know who i am. A killer. A protector." She sighed. Everyone saw her as one of them in FlightClan. She turned around, head bowed.
Rootpaw came next to her, meowing in her ear, "Meadowpaw, i always knew you were for me. Come, lets get back. We don't want to miss Purr's exicution." He licked her cheek, and Meadowpaw felt her ears grow warm with embarrassment.
"Meet you there, Rootpaw. I-i have to clear my head." She meowed, walking off without another word. She walked deep into the forest. She kept walking until she noticed where her paws where taking her. Dried blood crisped the ground, a body still laying there.
Tigersnap she told herself, Rowankit's father... i can't believe i killed him. She shook her head. Tears came out of her eyes. What was she going to do? She let her claws sink deep into the body of the ThunderClan tom, images showing in her mind.
Vulturestar bringing her in the territory. Tigersnap, an unlucky tom, wandering to close to the border. Vulturestar, dragging him depper into the territory. Then herself, biting down hard on his neck, cutting off an earsplitting yowl. Vulturestar's creepy, yet proud gaze. The taste of blood on her tongue.
But yet, a warm smell driffed off of the dead cats pelt... the smell of... life? Something was alive by his body, and she noticed for the first time a orange body sleeping next to it. Panic rose in her chest.
Rowankit! The tom soon picked his head up, locking a gaze with her. Meadowpaw's heart skipped a beat. Anger and rage showed in the tom's eyes, and he let out a earsplitting yowl.
With a "hhmmph!" Meadowpaw laid winded on her side. Before she knew what was happening, jaws locked on her neck, cutting off her air. What's happening!? StarCLan, help me! She fared her paws, but little by little her energy was drained. She couldn't do anything. Everything was a blur. Everything was going dark.
But, then, Rowankit released his jaws. He murmured something, and said, "i can't do it... i.. love you to much."
With a gasp, Meadowpaw could breathe again. Rowankit got off of her, rage was still showing in his eyes, but there was something else there, too.
"Why did you kill him..." He ordered.
"Rowankit, I-" She gasped.
"Tell me! Tell me why, you piece of fox-dung!"
"I don't know. Vulturestar told me to, so i did..."
Rowankit narrowed his eyes. "You're lucky i'm not a killer like you, or i would have flayed you. Get out of my life, Meadowkit- no paw. Get out of it. I hate you... i never want to see your stupid face again!" Rowankit started crying. She knew he didn't hate her that much. He still loved her, just was angry. Like Wishsoul.
Meadowpaw shook her head. "No... Wishsoul, then you. I can't lose anyone else. I-I'm confused. I beg Smokybird to visit me in dreams, but i haven't seen her. Wishsoul hasn't come back yet either." With a yowl, she broke into a run. She kept running. Nothing will be the same. Tears went down her eyes.
She didn't know where she was running, she just went were her paws took her. Blood from her neck wound brushed the leafs, leaving marks of crimson. A trail. A trail of depression and sadness which led to anger.
Before she knew what was happening, she ran into a bur of grey and black. She had run into a cat. With a yowl, they both were falling. Falling and could nothing about it.
When they hit the ground, everything went Meadowpaw slipped into unconsciousness.
Chapter Fifty-four - Nightpaw
Nightpaw's ears were ringing as she hurried through the forest, blundering through spiderwebs and tangling her fur on brambles. Her mind was locked in a cycle of disbelieving thoughts. She was shocked at what she'd done, utterly shocked. Did I really do that? Did I just break Eaglepaw's paw?
She was overcome with the ridiculous urge to laugh, but managed to stifle it. Only a small snort escaped. I just snapped it, just like that! She couldn't believe it. And what scared her the most was that... Nightpaw felt no guilt. She felt no remorse for injuring the evil tom, no remorse for breaking his paw. Medicine cats were meant to heal, not harm! But for once in her life, Nightpaw didn't doubt that she'd made the right decision. There was no second-guessing this choice. She'd wanted to strike back against Eaglepaw since the minute she'd heard him threaten Smokybird.
But now... Nightpaw had burned all of her bridges with FlightClan. There was no pretending to be loyal anymore. No blending in with the true Clan members. Now... Nightpaw had nowhere to go, and only one thing on her mind.
Olive. I must find Olive. If it's just her body -- Nightpaw brutally pushed down the rising lump in her throat -- or she's somehow alive... I'm going to find her.
Nightpaw glanced over her shoulder warily, sure that Vulturestar would soon send a patrol after her. She would be hunted down and killed without mercy for injuring Vulturestar's precious prodigy. Nightpaw sneered at the shrubs behind her, feeling an immense wave of disgust at the thought of the brown tom. I really beat the dirt out of him, as promised, she thought, allowing herself a small moment of victory. How do you like that, you piece of fox-dung? Huh? You flea-ridden mouse-brained bag of --
Suddenly, the ground below her paws vanished. Nightpaw's heart missed a beat as gravity took control of her body, sending her in a free-fall through open air. A startled, terrified yelp burst from her throat as she plummeted, flailing wildly with her paws, hoping to catch them on something and slow her fall. Wind rushed and whistled in her ears as Nightpaw thrashed in midair, flinging out her claws every which way. Suddenly, her forelegs slammed into something. The impact was jarring, but Nightpaw managed to dig her claws into the object. Blind and gasping, she hauled herself shakily up onto the surface. Rough wood scraped her belly, and Nightpaw finally summoned the courage to open her eyes; then nearly vomited.
The ground swam what seemed like thousands of fox-lengths below her; the trees looked like little clumps of fur. Nightpaw's legs were shaking so badly that she feared she'd let go and fall, down down down, into the void. She glanced at the surface below her paws, trying to control her dizziness and spiraling thoughts. She was gripping a narrow root with her forepaws, frayed claws sunk all the way into the wood. It dangled precariously out over the cliff, the only pawhold for many tail-lengths. That was what saved her.
Nightpaw pressed her eyes shut and scooted back against the cool cliff wall, breathing hard. Thank StarClan. Thank StarClan. Thank StarClan. If that root hadn't been here... She risked a glance down at the faraway ground again. I'd be crowfood right now.
Suddenly, Nightpaw caught a glimpse of black-and-white in her peripheral vision. Instinctively, her mind leaped to Olive and she inhaled sharply. Is that Olive down there? Is that even a cat? Am I just a lovesick, mouse-brained fool?
I have to at least try.
"Hey!" Nightpaw shouted, her voice ringing out around the stony cliff walls. "It's Nightpaw!"
Down in the ravine, the little black-and-white lump raised her head. Hope flared inside Nightpaw's chest as sparkling green eyes caught hers.
"Nightpaw?" a voice called back weakly. "It's me, Olive. I uh... I fell."
Nightpaw let out a half-laugh, half-sob of relief and began stumbling down the side of the cliff toward the loner. "Long time no see," she choked out.
Olive blinked. "Yeah... I've been kind of an idiot while you were gone."
Nightpaw wrinkled her nose. "Well, idiot or no, I missed you."
Although Nightpaw still had a lot of cliff to clamber down, Olive's purr carried up loud and clear through the rocky slopes. "I missed you too."
Chapter Fifty-five - Olive
I'm glad I fell off Jeffrey after all.
All that time, all that time of sitting here, catching minnows and wondering if Nightpaw was ok, wishing she was here, had paid off. She was here! Finally here! Olive tried to stop the purrs escaping her throat, but she couldn't. Instead, she focused on trying to find a way for Nightpaw to come down.
"Over here" She called, putting her front paws up and nodding to a small ledge, the one she hid under from patrols. Nightpaw spotted it and heading towards it, but hesitated. Olive’s body tensed and she wondered if it was too far, but Nightpaw leaped through the air, and gracefully landed there. Olive heart pounded with happiness; she was closer to being with here.
Nightpaw crouched down, ready to jump down to the next ledge. She jumped, but it was tok slow, and her paws just barely grabbed a spike from the ledge, while the rest of her body dangled there.
”Nightpaw!” Olive yowled. Her heart pounded with fear as the spike dislodged from the ledge and Nightpaw fell down, her black body twisting through the air as she plummeted downwards.
Olive ran, ignoring the searing pain in her leg, and dived, her body hitting the ground seconds before Nightpaw fell on her injured leg.
Olive yowled in pain as she landed, her leg on fire with the pain that shot through her leg.
”Are you ok?” Nightpaw asked her, scrambling up. “You-you saved me” Gratitude shown in her eyes, and Olive felt a rush of pride seep through her. She wasn’t dead! “Of course I did” Olive told her. “I’d do anything for you”
She forced herself to a sitting position as Nightpaw scrambled off her. As soon as she did, Olive lunged towards her and buried her muzzle in her shoulder, fighting tears. I will not cry.
But Nightpaw’s face broke into tears, Olive couldn’t hold her own back. Nightpaw was with her! Nightpaw!
“We- we need to find a way out of this cliff” Nightpaw said after awhile. She was right, Olive didn’t know how long the fish pool would hold up, especially with two cats instead of one. “I know how to catch food” Olive told her. “But it probably won’t hold up for long. You’re right”
But how? Getting down was easier than up, however, it was almost impossible to scale the cliff wall then up. But they had to do it- or die from starvation. Even though there was so much to catch up on, they had to. Still, it was hard to ignore the look on Nightpaw’s face that suggested she was hiding something from Olive.
“Where have you been?” Olive asked her. She was dying to know, where was she, how where the others, and if she was ok. And Nightpaw told her her story.
She told her about Smokybird dying, going back to FlightClan, Meadowkit becoming Meadowpaw, attempting to kill Eaglepaw, being caught in the act, breaking his paw, denouncing FlightClan, and falling off the cliff.
“But-but Eaglepaw told me, he told me that he killed you” She said.
Eaglepaw told me he killed you
“No” Olive said. “He-he killed Robin” She choked out. Nightpaw gasped, her green eyes full of grief and sympathy.
It was Eaglepaw who had done it. She knew it was some FlightClan cat, but, know she knew her. Eaglepaw, who had started it all. Eaglepaw.
”Oh, I’m- i’m-“ The black she-cat seemed to be at a loss of words. Olive hung her head down, wishing it was her instead of her sister. Why her? She silently yowled. Why?
The sun was falling when Olive led Nightpaw to the alcove, and the two curled around each other in a dip in the ground. Olive pulled her leg in with her, trying to hide it. She didn’t eanr to worry Nightpaw, who curled around her. Olive had someone to share her nest with, to cuddle with as the night got colder and colder. Feeling Nightpaw’s fur brush against her own, her chest rising and falling, Olive fell asleep.
Chapter Fifty-six - Snowbeam
Snowbeam leaned onto her mate, Hawktail, watching her newborn kits scramble at her feet, Creamkit, Seakit and Thistlekit. Snowbeam was so proud, so proud of her kits. They had came out so well, their pelts shining in the sunlight.
"They really make you proud," Hawktail whispered in her ear. "Those little ones. Do you think they'll make it through tonight? The clan is being given too many threats. The battle with FlightClan.... I just don't know how I feel about that." Snowbeam nodded, her eyes wavering towards the fourth kit, still unnamed.
There was just nothing to describe her beautiful, black and white spotted fur. "You're it!" Seakit was barking at the spotted kit, who narrowed her eyes. "I'm not playing," She meowed, curling her tail over her ears. Thistlekit let out a grumpy growl. "You're no fun," Thistlekit hissed, flicking his tail. "We won't play with you then."
Seakit nodded sharply, her tail lifted proudly. Creamkit giggled, "Then I'm in! Mouse-brain!" Creamkit brushed Thistlekit with her tail, but didn't escape fast enough. "Mouse-brain!" Thistlekit yowled, touching her foot.
Snowbeam's eyes were filled with pity for the small, delicate, black and white bundle. So shy, so fragile. Did she have to be so... different? Shykit... that was it. But.... Meadowkit? No, Meadowkit was to fierce, like Meadowpaw, Snowbeam was slightly afraid of her. That was okay, Snowbeam was always the soft and fragile one in her group. Just like her shy daughter.
She was different, and she still was. Her mourning was always strongest, she had cried when Smokybird left, mourning for a moon. But nobody had ever mourned as much as Meadowpaw. Poor Meadowpaw.
She was going to feel a little sorry for Purr too, she was glad she had kitted during his execution. It would have been too much for her to take.
AAAANNNNDD I'M GONNA COME BACK :)
Chapter Fifty-seven - Meadowpaw
With a jolt, Meadowpaw jerked awake. What had happend? She looked around and saw that she saw in a ditch, which rapped around into another area. She looked up.
Did i fall of that cliff? Good thing that side was smaller than the rest of the cliff! It was a while before she realized she was sitting on... a cat! Meadowpaw got up quickly. WHat had she done? Did she drag this cat down with her, most likely to their death? With a shudder, Meadowpaw tried to flick her tail.
"RRoww!" SHe yowled has fiery pain shot though it. "My tail!" Meadowpaw tried to look behind her, but she couldn't. Something was wrong! Every time she would move it, it felt like it was being bit by a fox. She shuddered, trying her best to keep her tail still.
She slowly walked up to the the cat and rolled her over. SHe didn't look that hurt, but there was something familiar. Something she should notice about this cat. She slowly started licking dust and dirt off of the cat. She wouldn't normally do this, but something was bribing her too.
As she licked, slow realization bursted through her body.
No, it can't be! How is she- is she-... Smokybird?
Meadowpaw could feel her heart stop, the pain in her tail fading into the background. No, She thought, She's dead. Its just my imagination. But she knew it wasn't. Everything looked the same. Smelled the same. But, Smokybird felt different. She didn't feel the joy around her she had once had when she saw her. Something told her to run, but her legs were glued to the spot.
Wishsoul was wrong, thank StarClan. She knew what she must do first. She had to make her mother a bed. Looking around, she saw that the only moss in the area was on an old log, most likely fell into the ditch. SHe quickly gathered it up, putting some on her chest which she held with her chin. Her mother also needed feathers, but when she looked around, there was not a piece of prey in sigh. She sighed, hoping one would show up soon or they will starve.
She made a moss nest, remembering all her training. She slowly and carefully dragged Smokybird onto it, pain shooting trough her tail. She tried her best to swallow it, but every time she ran it over a rock, it felt like she dipped it into a fire. She winced as she slowly put down Smokybird into her nest.
Good. She thought, Now she will be confey when she wakes.
The next thing MEadowpaw knew she had to do was find a way out. THey were on the smallest side of the clif, so that might be the easyest. But she wanted to know what rapped around the corner. Maybe there will be a way out there? Or, it could be higher. There might be food. With all these things in her mind, she was ready to take the chance. She shuddered at the thought of a badger or fox waiting there, ready to swallow her whole.
With a breath, she crept around the corner to see two nest.
Cats were here! Her eyes brightened. I must find them! Maybe they have a way out?
She looked to see that the nests had been empty for some time. Maybe they had gone before her? Maybe she missed them? She thoughts were intrupted by a yowl of pain. Her ears quickly went up at the sound and she turned around. There was a black cat trying to climb to the top of the cliff, and she was about half way there. But the yowl of pain came from a black and white cat, another she-cat, who's leg was twisted as she tried to climb.
I wonder if they fell of the cliff, too. Meadowpaw looked up at them. They were also familiar, just like Smokybird. She couldn't put her claw on it, but those two cats where familiar. SHe walked closer to them, her ears up to hear anything else they were saying.
"Hey! Down here!" Meadowpaw called. The cat that was half-way up the cliff turned to she who said that, make herself lose grip. SHe slid back down to the bottom on her belly, landing with an "oomph". SHe quickly got up and turned around, eye wide.
"M-meadowpaw! You fell down, too?" THe black she-cat walked closer, close enough for Meadowpaw to see her clearly.
With a stab, she knew it was Nightpaw. The other cat must be Olive, then. But, this is where Nightpaw went when she ran away from FlightClan? Anger rose in her chest. This cat took everything away from her. She hurt Meadowpaw's mother to where she almost died. She broke Eaglepaw's paw. She renounced FlightClan. But worst of all, she started all of this mess. She took Meadowpaw away from the ThunderClan nursery after the battle, causing Eaglepaw to look for them. Causing MEadowpaw to become a FlightClan cat. Causing her to murder Tigersnap.
With a growl and rush of emotions, she pounced on top of Nightpaw. Nightpaw's glowing face quickly turned into a terrified one. Meadowpaw landed squarely on her, pinning her to the ground.
I'm going to finish this once and for all!
Chapter Fifty-eight - Nightpaw
Sharp claws dug into Nightpaw's skin, pressing against her muscles. Blood welled up around the puncture wounds and Nightpaw yelped, agony striking her like a lightning bolt. The situation was familiar, very familiar, only instead of Smokybird attacking it was Meadowpaw. Now both mother and daughter's claws had been buried in Nightpaw's flesh, had drawn her blood. The lingering sting of Smokybird's attack had faded, and Nightpaw had forgotten how painful it was. A rush of pain, so burning and unbearable that it made her woozy.
An image flashed in Nightpaw's head. Slipping into the ThunderClan nursery with the stench of blood thick in the air. Pushing moss aside to uncover a tiny, shivering, silver-and-black body stained with scarlet. Carrying the kit in her mouth as she fled from FlightClan, heart beating wildly. Sure that she was making the right decision.
That memory was fractured now, webbed with hairline fissures and outlined in shadows. Maybe she hadn't made the right choice. Maybe it would have been better for Meadowpaw to be taken, taken before Nightpaw could even begin to care about her. Before anyone got hurt.
Because somehow, every cat that wormed its way into Nightpaw's heart seemed to shatter it. Without shedding a tear. Without remorse.
Meadowpaw's breath was hot on Nightpaw's face as she hissed, "You can't even begin to imagine the things you've done. Everything -- all of this -- it's your fault. And you're going to pay."
"No!" Olive yowled, lurching forward toward Meadowpaw. The black-and-white loner stumbled, her leg crumpling behind her. Nightpaw's heart squeezed painfully as she saw the scarlet blood against Olive's glossy fur. She hid it from me. She didn't want me to worry. What a stupid mouse-brain... Nightpaw choked on the words she was trying to say. She loved Olive right then, too much to lose her.
Meadowpaw rounded on Olive, her eyes glinting. "Try me, rogue," she spat. "Nightpaw's the one I want. She's the cause of all this."
"Yes, she is," a new voice purred, and Nightpaw's heart stopped.
No. No. No.
It can't be her. There's no way it's her.
Right before Nightpaw's disbelieving eyes, Smokybird stood with a hostile stance, claws unsheathed, eyes gleaming.
Olive gave a startled squeak behind Nightpaw. Smokybird's head whipped towards the loner, eyes glowing with an unsettling menace. The gray she-cat was poised like a snake about to strike, every muscle tense as she stood with an air of hungry anticipation.
I killed her. Her spirit spoke to me. Nightpaw stared at Smokybird, unable to speak. Her eyes were too bloodthirsty, her claws too sharp, her stance too aggressive. The air crackled and sparked with anger and something else, prickling strangely at Nightpaw's fur. This isn't Smokybird. This is an imposter.
It's the Raven.
"Look who I found," Meadowpaw boasted, digging her claws deeper into Nightpaw's skin. The black she-cat swallowed a scream as the false Smokybird stalked toward her.
"Nightpaw," the Raven spoke. And it was there, in Smokybird's body, corrupting her mind, speaking in her voice. Using the dead she-cat like a puppet.
"Don't you ever say my name again," Nightpaw growled, feeling flames of agony blaze up her back as Meadowpaw's claws drew blood from her shoulders.
The Raven tipped Smokybird's head to one side, as though considering Nightpaw. The gray she-cat's eyes were hollow and blank. "Finish her, daughter," the Raven commanded, an eerie smile stretching unnaturally across Smokybird's face. The leer was horrible coming from the she-cat Nightpaw once knew.
"Nightpaw, she doesn't know -- " Olive gasped, pulling herself to her paws and limping over. "She doesn't know that it's not S -- "
The Raven chose to lash Smokybird's tail in irritation. It chose everything, from twitching Smokybird's ears to using the she-cat as a weapon. Even the simplest whisker flick was engineered by the Raven. It manipulated everything, caused everything. And Meadowpaw didn't know.
"Meadowpaw," Nightpaw meowed, wheezing slightly as the tabby she-cat curled her claws in deeper. "Listen to me. Maybe I made some mistakes. Maybe I intervened when I shouldn't have. But you don't have the whole story."
"Don't listen to her silver-tongued lies!" the Raven ordered with Smokybird's voice. "She's trying to trick you into letting her go."
Meadowpaw's gaze, which had softened for a heartbeat, hardened again. "Don't try that, scum," she snarled.
Nightpaw stared pleadingly into Meadowpaw's eyes, which had turned cold and unfeeling. What has she become? "Please, Meadowpaw. Hear me out."
Meadowpaw hesitated, her eyes flickering as emotions started to break through. Eventually, the silver-and-black she-cat's curiosity won. "These will be your last words," she promised.
Nightpaw tried her best to ignore Olive's anguished gaze and focused on the words rushing from her mouth. "Meadowpaw... FlightClan has corrupted you. Just like it has everyone else. But... Eaglepaw's not the only cat pulling the strings." She glared at the Raven, feeling an immense raw pain at the way Smokybird was being used. "Your mother... I met her spirit in a dream. She died from the wound I gave her, that much is true. But however much that hurts... look at who's standing before you."
"That's Smokybird, if you can't tell," Meadowpaw growled. "She survived your fox-hearted attack."
Nightpaw shook her head. "Smokybird is dead. I saw her spirit myself. She told me things... horrible things... about a great evil. About a prophecy." She paused. "This is the Raven. It has always been in the shadows, plotting murder, manipulating everyone in every way. And this is her, in Smokybird's body."
Meadowpaw stared at Smokybird's reanimated corpse for a moment, her understanding clearly shaken. "I don't believe you." Her voice wobbled a little at the end.
"And you shouldn't!" the Raven cried. "She's gotten desperate now; she knows the end is coming. My lovely little dewdrop, give her what she deserves!"
Meadowpaw blinked, the beginnings of a frown creasing her young face. "You've never called me that before."
"See?" Nightpaw interrupted. "This isn't your mother. This is the Raven. Meadowpaw, you were meant for a prophecy. Eaglepaw wanted you because of that. We have to stop the Raven before it tears the Clans apart. Please, you have to believe me."
Meadowpaw turned away from Nightpaw to face the shell of her mother. "Prove to me that you're Smokybird," she challenged.
Nightpaw held her breath as the Raven hesitated, twitching Smokybird's tail back and forth in a fidgety way. "I am Smokybird, your mother, I promise you. But how shall I prove it to you?"
Meadowpaw stopped. She stared at her paws, gaze so confusing that it was unreadable. Then, at last, she looked up, tears pooling at the corners of her eyes. "What was my brother's name?"
Nightpaw's jaw dropped. Meadowpaw had a brother?
What happened to him?
Smokybird's mouth didn't move. The Raven seemed to be at a loss for words. Hope fluttered in Nightpaw's chest as the silence stretched on.
"Wishsoul," Meadowpaw pressed. "Do you remember him?"
The Raven sucked a shuddering breath in through Smokybird's lungs, making Nightpaw shiver. "Wishsoul? Who's Wishsoul?"
Chapter Fifty-nine - Nightflash
Nightflash hid in the shadows of a dead tree, grateful for a least some shade against the scorching sun. A pure black pelt is a nice thing to prowl around in, she mused, but it is very good at attracting heat. Especially in the middle of Greenleaf.
She sighed and turned her attention to a mouse nibbling at some sort of food or other. She wasn't really hungry, though, and she could always catch something else later.
Then she heard the voices coming from the Crack.
"Prove to me you're Smokybird. " A young cat called. Nightflash strained but could only catch a few fragments that don't make any sense. Also, a name. Something-shso-something. Oh well.
Nightflash growled to herself softly. No, she just couldn't contain it.
She was reluctant as she left the shade of the tree and walked to the edge, gripping the cliff tightly with her paws. Four cats. Wow
below. Four of them, one pinned under the other.
Nightflash leaned out to get a better look and realized with horror that her hind claws were losing their grip. Oh no…She flailed around, but there were no pawholds. Nothing to grab, nothing to claw, nothing to keep her from plunging in to her end.
She felt the air ripping past her, ruffling her pelt, everything dashing by in a blaze. Nightflash gazed at the gorge floor as it crashed towards her, and…is there a pool down there? She tried to steer using her tail but she was falling too fast, far, far too fast.
Chapter 60 - Olive
Olive’s mind spun. Meadowpaw had a brother. A brother. Where was he? Dead? Missing? And why had she kept it a secret?
Well, you’ve kept Beetletooth a secret. Nightpaw and Meadowpaw don’t know about him.
That was true. But Nightpaw had enough to worry about, and that was why Olive kept her hurt leg a secret. The same with Beetletooth. Nightpaw didn’t need another thing on her mind, now that the Raven was here.
What really is the Raven? All Olive knew was that it could control Smokybird, and that was about it. Why didn’t Nightpaw tell me?
”You’re-you’re not Smokybird” Meadowpaw saod, her voice cracking up. Terror shown in her eyes as she realized it wasn’t her mother, but a creature using Smokybird, manipulating the body like she was nothing. And manipulating Meadowpaw.
Smokybird-the Raven-hissed, arching Smokybird’s back and showing her sharp teeth. Olive was horrified to know, that just a few days ago, Smokybird was barging into Olive’s home, looking for Meadowpaw. But now, that was past, and she was facing Meadowpaw with unsheathed claws.
“I don’t need you,” the Raven hissed. “I don’t need any of you three. I have a whole army of spirits under my command. You all are expendable. Even Smokybird.”
”No!” Meadowpaw yowled, and lunged for the creature. Her claws pierces the gray fur, her strong body pushed her victim down, her silver-and-black tail lashing in fury.
“You will not harm my mother” She said.
And with that, the Raven’s army attacked.
Chapter 61 - Dusklight
”Come on, keep up!” Willowstep yowled from where she was at the front of the patrol.
Dusklight finished piling earth on top of the newly caught vole, nestled beneath a small sapling, and bounded ahead, pausing next to her brother Redstorm.
”We’re on a border patrol, not a hunting patrol” He reminded her.
“I know” She responded cheerfully. “But, and with so many cats in the medicine den still, ThunderClan needs all the prey it can get”
So many cats in the medicine den. Ever since FlightClan attacked, the damage they set still wasn’t erased. Dens had been repaired, bodies buried, but the deaths still hung over the camp. Dusklight was lucky that she survived, and even more lucky her brother did too.
Dusklight was jerked out of her thoughts, and realized that the rest of her patrol was still up ahead. She hurried to catch up.
“Be careful of the cliff” Willowstep reminded them. “We haven’t had a cat fall off in a long time, but we don’t want to test our luck.”
”Too bad it runs along FlightClan territory too, and not seperate us” Frogfoot grumbled.
”Hey, just be grateful no cat at all is down there.” Redstorm said. “ThunderClan, FlightClan, or rogue.”
A flash caught Dusklight’s eye. She walked over to the cliffside and peered down. And what she saw blew her mind.
A whole bunch of cats, way bigger than ThunderClan was even before the battle, all pressing in, to where in the middle of the chaos, three cats pressed against each other, striking blows against the others. But there was something about those cats, minus the three in the middle, or the ginger one laying far off, was that even thought Dusklight couldn’t see that far, their eyes seemed to be white. Pure white. Blank.
”Redstorm…..Willowstep…..Frogfoot……come see this” She said.
”What- oh my” Frogfoot said as he and the others approached.
”What are they doing down there?” Willowstep whispered.
”Do you see their eyes? Their…blank” Dusklight pressed, but no one acknowledged her. “Guys? Hey! Guys!”
Redstorm shook his head, as if he couldn’t believe it. “Dusklight, go tell Leafstar to bring a patrol” He said.
”But-“ She began.
”You’re the fastest” He said. “Hurry. I smell FlightClan down there”
FlightClan! if one if their cats was there, Dusklight would sink her claws in its flesh, anything to inflict the pain they inflicted on her clan. She bounded away.
Just save some FlightClan skin for me.
“Not far!” Dusklight said, turning back to look at her Clan leader. “Come on, its just ahead!” She said, and broke jnto a run, Leafstar and the rest of the patrol following.
“I truly hope there are FlightClan cats” Lionstrike grumbled.
”There are!” Dusklight responded. Lionstrike would not be disappointed, she was sure of that.
”Dusklight!” Dusklight turned around to look at the speaker, Nightear. “Come with me real quick” he growled.
Dusklight hastily stepped towards him, and the black tom bounded away, with Dusklight following. Nightear paused between two thick bramble bushes, waiting for her to catch up. The tortoiseshell passed him, out of sight from the patrol.
Something didn’t feel right. Why did Nightear call her away?
Dusklight felt the wind being knocked out of her as she crashes to the ground. Looking up, she could see Nightear standing over her, his claws curling into her pelt, his sharp teeth bared.
”What are you doing?” She asked him, squirming and trying to break free. Nightear put an unsheathed paw over her throat. “No Redstorm to save you now.” He hissed. “There will be one less filthy rogue now.”
One less rogue
”I was a kit!” She hollered. “I was a kit when you found me. Two moons old! Two moons of being a loner, 13 of being a ThunderClan cat! Why do you still judge me?”
But Dusklight knew the answer already, why Nightear cast her those side glances and side snarls.
“Its your mother, right?” She asked. Nightear’s eyes widened. “Darkblossom died when you were a kit. Your littermates, two. And there was no queen to foster you.”
Her attacker said nothing.
”I lost my mother two” She continued, her voice cracking up. “Me and Redstorm were separated from her in a snowstorm. Her name was Russet. She had soft, silky fur. Just like me.”
Still, the black tom didn’t move.
“You’re upset.” She whispered. “Your upset because Darkblossom, Crowkit and Shadekit were killed by rougues, and the only cats who understand your pain used to be loners.” Dusklight saw tears in Nightear’s eyes. He loosened his grip on her, and she padded past him, giving her silky tortoiseshell fur a few licks to hide the scratched the black tom gave her, and ran back to her patrol.
Chapter 62 - Nightflash
Nightflash landed on the ground rolling, curled up into a tight ball with her tail between her legs. The sand was rough, and almost burning under the fierce sun. Why am I always so hot!
With a splash, she tumbled into the pool, startling several small fish.
Thanks a lot.
After flailing around for a bit before discovering how shallow the pool is, Nightflash stood up, shook the water out of her pelt and padded over to the side of the pool. Still shaken, she collected herself and examined her surroundings.
The first thing that hit her was the noise. Cats screaching and shouting in fury - the sounds that she knew too well. The sounds of battle. A big one, too. She could already fell her muscles stretching and compressing, itching for the excitement, but she forced herself to calm down. Better figure out what's going on first, she told herself, remember what happened to you last time when you meddeled prematurely. She did remember. It did not end well.
Nightflash dropped into stealth mode, feeling the familiar movements come back to her. The placing of the paws, the stillness of the tail - each of these she had mastered when she was just one moon old. She navigated the air, casually making sure that each move created no zephyr. She didn't check the wind direction - She was always downwind, simply out of habit. Not that anyone would notice her in the heat of battle anyway, but she wanted to go around with her skills honed sharp. There is a subtle art to stealth.
A twittering noise came fromsomewhere to the right, and she absent-mindedly twisted over and snapped a mouse's neck in half with her paw. A brief, shrill squeak pierced the air, and then, silence again. Silence, apart from the howling of the cats, but she paid those no attention.
Nightflash passed from shadow to shadow, keeping to the cliff wall, easily unobserved. She slipped into a small crack - a tiny opening in the cliff just enough for her to fit in but was nicely sheltered - and watched the battle, nibbling softly at the mouse fur.
There was a lot of cats, too many for her to count, surrounding another three cats in the middle - three of the four cats Nightflash had seen earlier. Where did all these extras come from? They certainly were not there before she - her heart ached as she recollected the experience - lost her footing. She didn't know where all those cats came from, she didn't know why they were fighting, she didn't even know who they are, but one thing she was sure of is that this is definately NOT a Clan war.
And that means it was her business.
Down in the shadows, Nightflash grinned to herself, her teeth, still red with mouse blood, glinting ghost-white.
Chapter Sixty-three - Meadowpaw
Meadowpaw's heart pounded in her chest as the shadowy warriors moved closer and closer, causing her and Nightpaw and Olive to be grouped together in a tight circle. Is this the end? She thought, No, remember your training, Meadowpaw. Look around for something useful. Like a stick. Or one of the cat's week spots. BUt she couldn't find a stick. And the shadowy warriors looked flawless. Out from the middle walked a face she loathed from that point on. The Raven, still in the body of Smokybird.
TEars came from her eyes as she yowled to her, "Why did you do it? Why do you hate the clans so much?" But the Raven turned around quickly at the sound of another yowl. Behind them, a dark pelted she-cat had jumped on one of the dark warriors, growing into a tangle of yowls and growls.
Now's my chance! She thought with glee as she put herself into a pouncing stance. As she got ready to leap, a heavy body pinned her to the ground. As she tried to get up, the fell back down because the weight was too hard. She crumbled to the ground in defeat. After all, she was still only 5 moons!
Hot breath waved on her face as the attacker hissed to her, "Don't you dare try to escape, little kit! You know you can't beat me. You know there is no point in trying!"
MEadowpaw went limp, excepting that this is her final moments. SHe closed her eyes, getting ready for the pain.
None came. All she heard was the soft voice of the Raven, "It's a pity,really. You would have been grate for my army. You could have even been at my right hand. Oh well." She added with a mincing chuckle, "I guess not all dreams come true." She then nodded at the dark warrior that was pinning her, "MAke it slow. Slow and painful!" SHe growled.
With a faint "No!" From behind her where Nightpaw and Olive where being held back, She felt claws meet her belly, ripping soft flesh. Slowly.
Meadowpaw let out a yowl of pain and tried to twist away. But the attacker was to big. The whole army watched with interest as Meadowpaw suffered. From behind her was the soft weep of Nightpaw and the angery growls of Olive.
More warriors rushed into the hollow. Meadowpaw looked at the as the claws on her belly retracted, and were put on her neck. SHe winced at the thought of the pain she was going to feel. He belly felt like fire. More warriors were flying in. Everything was swirling.
Then something happened. The attacker was pinned off of her by the new warriors. SHe still layed there as the whole cliff turned into a battle of screeching cats. Unable to think strait, she fell limp as somecat picked up her scruff and dragged her into the shadows.
They settled down to where no one could see them, and the cat that took her scruff started to lick the blood off of Meadowpaw. The cat then said with a jolt of surprise, "M-meadowkit! Your alive? W-we all thought you died!" SHe started to lick more ferociously, "Where's your mother? Smokybird? Is she alright? SHe must be! How could you survive without her?"
Tears came out of the corners of her eyes as she shook her head, unable to say anything about Smokybird's death. THe cat then gasped and said, "Im sorry... I lost my mother, too. A long time ago. My name is Dusklight, remember me?"
Meadowpaw looked up at her, memories coming in. Not just Dusklight, but all of ThunderClan. "Y-yes... i do." SHe coughed.
All of a sudden, a cat smelling of FlightClan and another of rouge stumbled into the darkness with them. Dusklight then bounced up and pounced on the FlightClan cat, snarls comeing from her mouth. "Get away, you FlightCLan Fox-heart!" She yowled as she unsheathed her claws.
"W-wait!" Meadowpaw called with all her strength. Dusklight didn't seem to hear her, flying cursed at the FlightClan cat.
"Stop! I'm not FlightCLan! I renounced them!" The Flightclan cat called, but she didn't listen.
"Dusklight! Stop! Thats Nightpaw, she's good!" Meadowpaw called, stronger this time. She clawed DUsklight's tail, forcing her to turn around. "SHe's good! Please, stop. She has been taking care of me all this time." SHe looked into Nightpaws eyes, realization flooding into her, "Even when i might not see it, she was there for me. I-if she d-dies... i don't know what i will do." Nightpaw looked into her eyes, too, a smile on her face.
But that moment didn't last forever. Meadowpaw, week and unable to fight, was in a very vulnerable spot right now. In movements that seemed to last a heartbeat, THe Raven walked into the darkness, grabbed Meadowpaw's scruff, and ran. No one could do nothing. Meadowpaw was captured- again!
Behind her she could hear a yowl, saying "No! MEadowpaw!"
Then everything went dark.
Chapter sixty-four - Nightflash
Nightflash winced slightly as she landed, claws digging into one of those weird cats' pelts. She knew that there were many, but they looked smaller and fewer from on far. Now these cats are simply everywhere.
She jerked the cat onto…its? stomach, using her small body to dive between the legs and rip apart the soft flesh, feeling the blood soaking into her claws. Then, whirling around, she scratched another on its flank, not bearing to look at the first. The cat whirled around, saw het, and a huge, unnerving smile appeared on its face. Nightflash found herself staring into two round, vacant eyes, white as the moon - not the warm, caring moon that cats thrive under, but the premordial moon, traveled from the ages of grey shapes leaping in the dawn of time, deadly and swift and silent. The eyes were like endless voids, holes in the fabric of reality, sucking her in, hungering for blood…
Her pelt was dripping.
There was a huge gash in the middle of her pelt, and it burned like fire. The other cat was standing beside her, still grinning that ghostly smile. She turned and fled, dizzy, leaving a scarlet trail behind.
The cat hesitatated for a moment, and then, smile growing wider, ran after her.
Nightflash could hear the soft footsteps behind, and they were getting closer and closer with every second. In desperation, she dove in a cave at the base of the cliff, pushing her way to the end. The darkness was comforting, soft and welcoming. She willed herself to become one with the shadows again, merging into the darkness. It's what you named yourself for. Part of the night, and quick as a flash. She was finally in familiar territory, and, at last, her head cleared.
She knew what to do.
Her breathing was calm as she hid by the wall of the cave - not half as good as she usually is, but it will do for now - and listened for the ghost-eyed cat. It was near, its pelt making an eerie whistling sound as it walked.
"Come out, dear~," her enemy whispered in a sing-song voice that echoed among the cave, "come out♪~~."
"Come out, sweet one, you have nothing to fear♪, I won't hurt you~♪"
"♪Don't be afraid, little one, just come out…to me…♪"
Still, Nightflash waited in silence.
The thing lowered its voice into a reasonable plead. "This is becoming so tiresome. Now why don't you just come out and this will be over…"
She pounced, using the last of her strength to crush the monster below. She had her teeth at its throat, abd then…
She hesitated. Here this evil thing is, at her mercy, yet she still could not bring herself to bite down. The thing opened its eyes wide into a pathetic frown as if knowing what she thought.
Then she looked into those eyes again, those ghastly, moon-lit eyes. This is a matter of life and death. She clamped her teeth down, firm, and some black filthy liquid flowed onto the rocks.
With some difficulty, the thing opened its eyes again and rasped almost sweetly into her ear, "Dearie, I told you you would come out." And fell still.
Nightflash stumbled outward, not noticing that the battle had ceased. Her head swam, and she had lost all sense of direction, only heading towards the light out of some impulse.
And then her last energy reserves ran out, and she collapsed with a thud at the mouth of the cave, felling into a dreamless sleep.
Chapter Sixty-five - Rowanpaw
Rowanpaw walked back and forth, waiting for the time the patrol that was just sent out came back. The patrol was full of the clan's best warriors, because Dusklight had run in claiming that there was a battle going on out in the territory. Rowanpaw had to stay behind, because he had only started his training a few days before. He had come back to ThunderCLan, saying that he was taken by FlightClan and it took him awhile to come back.
He never said anything about Meadowpaw. Nothing about Tigersnap. Just that he wanted to be left alone for a bit. Grief still overwhelmed him, taking all feeling out of his body. All he could feel was hate toward Meadowpaw, but at the same time awe. He had never seen a cat her size that strong before. There was something off about her, thought, for she never seemed more strong or fierce.
As he waited for the patrol to return, a cat walked up to him. It was Pinebark. "So," She began, "Are you just going to walk back and forth or are you going to help?"
Rowanpaw didn't meet her gaze, "Help with what?" He asked.
"Help with bedding." She pushed, but when Rowanpaw didn't answer, she put her tail on his shoulder. "Rowanpaw. Are you ok?" HIs mother asked, "You've been acting weird ever since you got back."
He sighed, and looked up. "What if i told you something... well, unbelievable?" He asked, tail flicking from side to side. Was he about to do this? Tell his mother about Meadowpaw, and causing it to spread through ThunderClan like a case of greencough? I have to, He told himself, She brought this on herself, its not my fault.
His mother turned her head, saying, "WHat are you talking about?"
Rowanpaw gulped. If he said this, Meadowpaw might never to accepted into ThunderClan again, cause even more hate toward his clan. The clan needs to know... my mother needs to know. "Meadowpa-kit... she killed-"
Just when he was about to say it, he was interrupted by a yowl. Paws came closer, running and non-slowing. They burst through thorn barrier, and stopped in the clearing.
The patrol! Rowanpaw realized that he was holding his breath, for he thought it was enemies coming to take over ThunderClan.
"What was that about Meadowkit?" Pinebark was narrowing her eyes, "I thought she was dead."
"You thought i said Meadowkit? Boy, were you wrong... i said Heavenbit... erm, yeah. That's a FlightClan cats name..." Rowanpaw lowered his ears. Its not the right time. I will tell everyone soon.
To his surprise, Pinebark believed him. "Heavenbit? I didn't even know that could be a warrior name! Well, it is FlightClan."
Leafstar then yowled at the top of the Great Leadge, where he was sitting, tail flicking impatiently. Cats gathered around him. Rowanpaw winced at the sight of their wounds. There was one smell that rose about the others, though. The smell of death.
At this, Leafstar started talking, "Warriors of ThunderClan! We have gathered to honor the passing of a great warrior." He looked below him, where the body of Runningleap was being prepared. Rowanpaw's eyes opened even wider when he realized this. Runningleap is dead? No, i thought we were just going to look at the battle, not get into it! He looked up to see that Leafstar was hanging his head, "SHe was a great daughter and mother alike. And we send her to StarClan with our greatest wishes."
Angery yowls rang from the clearing, saying;
"Who did this?"
"Why did we attack?"
"They are going to kill all of us!"
"StarClan, help us!"
Leafstar raised his tail for silence. "I don't know who did this, who these new enemies are, but we will get threw them, I promise. And-"
"Are you making promises you can't keep?" Rang one voice above the others, "We are all tired and hungery, and now there is another death among us." It was the voice of Bayspeak, Rowanpaw's mentor. "HOw much longer are we going to hold through?"
Murmurs of agreement spread through the clan. Leafstar raised his tail for silence, "Bayspeak, lets not get to carried away. StarClan is watching over us."
Bayspeak stood up, "But how long will they last?" More murmurs spread through the crowd. Rowanpaw had had enough. He stood up, and yowled:
"I know who killed Tigersnap!"
With those words, the clearing went silent. He turned around to his mother, Pinebark, who was shaking her head, tears forming in her eyes.
But Leafstar seemed intrested. "Step forward, Rowanpaw." He bellowed, "Tell us, who killed your father?"
He stepped forward, gulping. He gasped as he realized for the first time that Nightpaw and Olive were in the crowd, being shouldered by two ThunderClan warriors. He looked into Nightpaw's eyes, who was shaking her head and mouthing "no" over and over. She knew what he was going to say.
"Does anycat remeber Meadowpa- er kit?" He gulped again as many cats lifted up their ears, "Well, she is different now. She has betrayed us. She is now a member of FlightClan. An apprentice, even." He looked around as murmuring of disbelief spread through the clan, and meowed again, "She has taken on the tyrant ways of killing and bloodshed... and" Go one, Rowanpaw, "SHe..." Rowanpaw! Stop studdering! "She killed Tigersnap."
Yowls of disbelief spread trough the clan, and some yowls of anger and grief. Leafstar jumped down from his leadge, saying "How could she be so foolish!" He was very angery that she had killed one of the best warriors.
"Wait!" One voice rose about the rest, Dusklight, "I saw her, you know. I-in the battle. She was fighting on our side, not the evil side." She pointed out, "Maybe she gave up her ways?"
But no one listened, Dusklight then ran in front to where Rowanpaw was, saying, "But we need to help her! She was taken, by a cat who... i think is called The Raven. She is still our Clanmate! Somecat, listen."
"I'm listening." One cat stepped forward, Nightpaw. Many gasps and hisses rose through the clan.
"FlightClan Scum!" One yowled.
"We should kill you were you are!" Another growled.
Leafstar raised his tail for silence yet again, saying, "Let her speak."
"Everyone, i have something very important to say. The Raven is-" She was intrupted by pawsteps and a mincing voice.
Chapter Sixty-six - Nightpaw
Nightpaw's blood ran cold as the Raven glided into the camp in a whirl of gray fur stained with red. The iron tang of blood swirled toward Nightpaw on the breeze, making her stomach churn. But the sight of the Raven in Smokybird's body was even more revolting. And the most unsettling part was...
The Raven came alone.
No guards. None of those blank-faced shadow cats. No army of invincible warriors.
Just the Raven, alone, contained in the fragile shell that was Smokybird's corpse. A thin layer of flesh and bone holding the vile spirit inside.
"Hello, ThunderClan," the Raven spoke through Smokybird's voice. "It's lovely to meet you in person after all these centuries."
Beside Nightpaw, Olive made a choking noise. Nightpaw's heart squeezed and she touched the black-and-white cat's paw with her own, still keeping her gaze firmly fixed on the Raven.
"You Clan cats," the Raven chuckled. "For all your proud talk, your noble rules... you flee at the first sign of danger. Especially you, dewdrop." Hollow, once-bright eyes slid in Meadowpaw's direction. The silver-and-black tabby she-cat's gaze was wide and filled with pure terror as the husk of her mother leered at her. "You run from everything, don't you? You ran from your family, you ran from your friends, you ran from your new Clanmates and you ran from your crimes..."
"No," Meadowpaw protested weakly, then doubled over as a fresh flow of blood gushed from her wound. Nightpaw's heart ached but fear froze her in her tracks. She didn't dare put a single paw forward with the Raven in such close proximity.
"You are a murderer, a traitor, a coward," the Raven listed coldly, a remorseless stare burning into Meadowpaw's. "And you are these things because you were their replacement."
"Whose replacement?" Leafstar demanded, clearly trying to hide the tremor of fear in his voice.
The Raven's eyes never left Meadowpaw's anguished, agonized face. "Sparrowpaw's."
Nightpaw's eyes widened as shock sparked under her pelt. What could Sparrowpaw possibly need to be replaced by? And why?
"Sparrowpaw?" Leafstar echoed, sounding bewildered. "Sparrowpaw's dead!"
"She ate deathberries," the Raven agreed. "What a coward. This world is made of cowards, isn't it? See, dewdrop, FlightClan thought you wouldn't be as cowardly as Eaglepaw's sister. Sparrowpaw knew what she had to do. She just took the easy way out."
"Of what?" Leafstar asked furiously. "Those FlightClan flea-brains told us this same nonsense!"
The Raven still kept Smokybird's eyes lingering on Meadowpaw's face. "Her path. The prophecy. That's why you are this way, my dear; a murderer, a coward. Who will never win."
Meadowpaw, who was stooped over, breathing heavily through clenched teeth, snapped her head up at the Raven's cold words. Her green eyes burned with rage and tears of pain brimmed inside them. Blood trickled down her forehead and all over her flank, but she managed to piece together a single sentence. "I... am not... a coward."
The Raven lifted Smokybird's eyebrows mockingly. "Oh? Then explain this!" With a harsh flick of Smokybird's tail, a translucent image was conjured up before them, floating and bobbing in sickening circles. Nightpaw grew more and more nauseous as the image came into focus; it was a dark brown tom, bloodied fur lining deep gashes on his throat. A ThunderClan tom. Dead.
A strangled cry came from the throat of Rowankit -- Rowankit! Nightpaw thought in surprise. He found his way back home?
Grief and agony and fury blazed in Rowankit's eyes, but his voice was even as he spoke, even if it did tremble a little. "S-see?" He seemed to be addressing his Clanmates. "She murdered my father. But... but FlightClan did this to her. They made her use her claws and teeth when she wouldn't have before... sh-she's a good cat."
Nightpaw stared at Rowankit, unable to believe the amount of strength the young tom had to defend Meadowpaw, the cat who killed his father in cold blood. Maybe their kithood bond runs deeper than I thought.
"It's true," Meadowpaw whispered, her head bowed in shame at the wild, furious glares and hisses her former Clanmates were giving her. "I... I don't know why I did that... I... I'm sorry... so sorry..."
Leafstar's eyes were cold as Meadowpaw looked up warily to meet them. "Do you think I'm just going to let a murderer stroll back into ThunderClan?" he demanded. "Do you think I'll go find Eaglepaw and let him join our ranks again? Do you think I'll let you leave the territory alive after what you've done?"
Smokybird's eyes glinted with pleasure, the Raven's carefully guarded emotions seeping through its mask. Smokybird's head bobbed ever so slightly, and her mouth, by the Raven's command, formed the word, Good.
A cold trickle of fear wormed into Nightpaw's heart. It wants us to fight, she realized. It wants to divide us... then it can pick us off easily, one by one...
"Stop!" Nightpaw yowled, stepping forward between Leafstar and Meadowpaw as the leader advanced on her, his lips peeled back in a snarl. She whirled to face the ThunderClan leader, who loomed over her with a ferocious glare on his face. "Leafstar, I know you're mad and I know you're upset and I know that you hate Meadowpaw for this. But she's young... too young." Nightpaw glanced at the silver-and-black she-cat with a pang of sadness. "She's made mistakes, yes. But she fought for your Clan in the battle, I watched. The Raven is our true enemy. We cannot stand divided against it. If we do that... we'll all die..."
Nightpaw looked over her shoulder, ready to address the Raven, but a pocket of empty air wavered innocently before her.
Nightpaw's blood ran cold and she spun around as a whistling sound cut through the air, like a paw plunging to strike an opponent, like a rock dropping from the sky, like a tree falling and crushing any cat in its path.
"No -- " the word was flung from her mouth as she lunged toward Leafstar, but she was too late.
The Raven rose up behind the ThunderClan leader in a boiling cloud of smoke, a maniacal grin stretched unnaturally across Smokybird's face. "Let this be your message: tomorrow at dawn you surrender. Unless you'd rather go down... in a blaze of glory." With a smirk, Smokybird's paw came down with practiced efficiency on Leafstar's neck. Nightpaw stared in utter disbelief as the ThunderClan leader blinked, swayed, opened his mouth to speak... and folded to the ground like a wilted piece of catmint.
Chapter Sixty-seven - Nightflash
The landscape was barren and without life, sharp rocks jutting everywhere. No moon hung in the sky, but she had never liked moons - especially aftter her most recent experience. There was little light, making every cliff loom like ghosts.
She ignored them pointedly.
Her fur was wet with a layer of dew and now a cold wind was blowing through them, making it near-freezing. She got up to shake them off but was at once greeted with a sharp pain in her flank, the cackling of a dying flame with sparks that flew. Good. It'll probably be alright with another quarter moon.
She tested it, flexing herself, rejoicing every time the pain seared and died on her side. She would not allow it to stay long, so why not get to know it better?
Heavily limping, she padded to the side of the cave and licked the dew off them. That feels much better.
Then, after resting a bit, Nightflash went into the back of the cave to check. Her eyes adjusted and soon she found herself peering into the dark. She had remembered the place perfectly, every rock and every crack, but the ground was bare and dry with no bones and no sand dyed black. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
Well, she was half-expecting it.
Outside the cave as well, nothing remained to prove that there had been a battle. Everything was normal - as normal as everything could be just after moonset, the most eerie time of the day.
Normal, except for a faint scent with an odd tang.
The tang of death.
She recognized it, a faint memory from a long time ago that refused to take shape. But she knew it alright, the scent that a cat carries for only a few heartbeats - the time that takes a cat to transform from a living, breathing creature to a piece of meat.
But it should not have appeared here.
The scent was full of it, nearly imperceptible, but still there, spanning the full length of the trail. A dying cat, but no cat could go that far. Perhaps… Her blood ran cold at the thought. A dead cat?
There was a kit's scent as well, just a bit younger than her. Kitnapped by the dead cat? But why?
Nightflash looked back. She could stay here and wait for her wound to heal, catching mice and fish to get stronger and then climb out of this gorge to live a peaceful life and perhaps meddle in other cats' business again after fully recovering, or…
She could follow this scent into unknown lands, facing a huge army of Things led by a dead cat with no help and a torn-up flank just to rescue a kit that she doesn't know and isn't even sure is alive, and in the process probably get herself captured or killed.
So, naturally, she turned and started to follow the trail.
Chapter 68- Silverclaw
"ALL CATS WHO CAN DRAW BLOOD COME TO THE BLOODROCK!" She Yowled, Looking Upon Her Rock, If She Was Back In That Horrible Clan...Moonclan, She Would Be The One Coming To The Rock And That MOONSTAR, Would Be Standing Upon The Highrock. But No, No More Think About Moonclan, This Was Bloodclan, Not Like The Original One, But A Reformed One, But Much More Evil. Everycat Gathered, She Spoke W.I.P
Chapter 69 - Lionstrike
Lionstrike sat in shock as The Raven killed Leafstar. Leafstar. They were friends since they were kits, when Leafstar was Leafblaze, and now Leafstar. Now he was gone. A fury boiled up inside him. The Raven had stolen his friend! Lionstrike let out a low snarl. "We must kill the Raven!" He yowled. Meows of agreement rouse up from the ThunderClan cats. "Oh really? You'll kill me? Well it won't be that-" The Raven's words were cut off by Lionstrike's ferocious screech. He leaped up to tackle The Raven in Smokybird's body. As he pinned The Raven down, the ThunderClan cats cheered on.
"Kill The Raven!"
"The fox-hearted cat needs to go!"
"Let's feed The Raven to the crows!"
Lionstrike lashed out with his hind legs, leaving long scratches on The Raven's exposed belly. The Raven growled, squirming and kicking at Lionstrike's belly. Lionstrike didn't budge; he was repeating the process of deepening the belly scratches. "Spirit cats! Come to me!" The Raven choked out. Everycat except Lionstrike lifted their heads to face the white-eyed, mindless spirit cats bursting into the ThunderClan camp. The dark spirit cats started attacking everycat, some of them dashing over to Lionstrike. They hauled Lionstrike off the The Raven, then racing off to battle.
Oh no, we're outnumbered! We need help! But StreamClan is too weak... FlightClan? Will they listen to me? Well I've got to try...
Lionstrike raced out of the camp, towards FlightClan's forest. As he reached the camp, he smelled the sharp tang of blood. Well that's typical, FlightClan always kills! He padded through the FlightClan camp entrance, tail held high. The FlightClan cats lifted their heads to snarl at Lionstrike, but a brown-grey tabby tom with black flecks and piercing yellow eyes silenced them with a violent lash of his tail. "What brings you here, ThunderClan kit?" Vulturestar mocked. "The Raven has attacked our camp! We need FlightClan's help." Lionstrike begged desperately. Vulturestar cocked his head. "The Raven? Sparrowpaw was supposed to unite us against The Raven, we would end up in blood or treaty. But she's dead." Murmurs arouse from the FlightClan cats. "Meadowpaw is her replacement." Lionblaze mewed. "You need to help us, or else The Raven will destroy you too. We must unite."
Vulturestar snarled, "Fine, but only cause I don't want FlightClan destroyed. FlightClan, follow me and this ThunderClan cat." then he padded up to Lionstrike. "Lead the way." Lionstrike nodded, and dashed to ThunderClan's camp, Vulturestar and FlightClan at his side. They burst through the ThunderClan camp, where the cats were still battling. "FlightClan, attack The Raven and it's forces! We must survive!" Vulturestar yowled, then he leaped into battle. The ThunderClan cats looked up in shock, but they just kept battling alongside FlightClan to defeat The Raven. Lionstrike saw Nightpaw being pinned by a dark spirit-cat. He let out a battlecry and lashed out at the spirit-cats leg, making it trip over. It fell unconscious by the impact of the fall. Nightpaw got up to face Lionstrike. "Thank you." she meowed. "You're welcome." Lionstrike nodded, then tackled another dark spirit-cat.
Chapter 70 - Nightpaw
Shadows. Everywhere. Twisting and writhing, humming with the dangerous energy of battle, every fiber electrified with passion, every bone tingling with adrenaline. Nightpaw was lost in the sea of their solid black pelts, sewn from the hairs of night's black coat, their sharp claws and glaring eyes unrelenting.
Nightpaw's mind filled with horrible things in every space between her heartbeats.
Leafstar, dead, neck snapping.
The Raven, unleashing its shadow warriors.
Meadowpaw, bleeding out right before her eyes.
Olive... Olive gone...
Where is she where is she where --?
Nightpaw couldn't hide from any of this. She had to see the dark pelts of the Shadows, she had to feel the blood slick on the ground below her paws, she had to hear the screeches of FlightClan and ThunderClan cats alike.
But she couldn't find Olive.
"Olive!" Nightpaw shrieked, narrowly dodging as a Shadow barreled past her. Somewhere off in the forest she could hear the Raven's hoarse, raspy laugh echoing from the depths of Smokybird's unmoving chest, where the queen's heart had ceased to beat so recently. Had it really only been a couple of days since Smokybird had pounced on Nightpaw in that tunnel?
Time was evil.
But Nightpaw was running out of it, and that spelled death.
"Olive!" Nightpaw yowled, gasping as a Shadow raked star-silver claws across her chest. Fiery agony curled up her throat in blazing flames but she ripped herself away and pivoted on the spot, scanning the battlefield wildly for a black-and-white pelt. "Olive!" The she-cat wouldn't last long in this fight, not with her cleverly hidden injured leg, not against this many supernatural cats of darkness.
There, a flash of white, black splashes burned into it vividly! Nightpaw's breath caught in her throat as she stumbled through the throngs of tussling cats, ducking around a powerful golden tom to see the whip of a tail disappearing into the trees. Fear prickled in her fur as she saw two silhouettes, wreathed in shadows, stalk after Olive, slipping into the foliage without stirring a leaf.
Without even stopping to think, Nightpaw ran after them.
She shoved through the forest without mercy, feeling nothing but urgency as thorns tore at her pelt and stabbed her pads. Nothing mattered but Olive, they could sort everything out later, they could fix it together, Meadowpaw would live and the Raven would die and Smokybird would be avenged --
That was how the story would end, so perfectly --
Nightpaw burst into a clearing, her view of Olive obscured by hulking shadow-cats. One Shadow's tongue, thin and forked like a snake's, slipped from its mouth and swiped around its hungry jaws. Fear exploded in Nightpaw's belly; she couldn't fight them! A medicine cat and an injured loner against two invincible shadow warriors commanded by the Raven? She might as well hang her corpse from a tree!
But Olive's glinting eyes snagged onto Nightpaw's between the periodic lashes of the Shadows' tails. Green eyes and green eyes, two hearts beating frantically, two lives at stake.
"I'm not going to let you die," Olive growled, staggering to her paws. Nightpaw opened her mouth to protest, but Olive continued to speak. "You saved me... now I can save you."
"Oh, come on," Nightpaw meowed, her voice taking on an exasperated quality to cover up the anxiety shrilling beneath her pelt. "I didn't save you. You gave me so much... nobody ever cared about me or wanted me or anything and I just wish that for once you wouldn't have to be a hero so I could take the death blow for you and I would do it every StarClan-cursed time, every time, Olive, I'd bleed out right here if it meant -- " Nightpaw had lost control of her words, they were spilling from her mouth like a flood, and she couldn't direct the flow of the water or do anything to suppress it.
I'm so stupid... what is my problem with rants during life-and-death situations...
But this was more than a rant. These were the bottled-up emotions stuck in Nightpaw's throat whenever she kept her mouth shut, the words that begged to be set free... The words she'd never, ever allow herself to say, especially in front of Olive...
"I know it sounds really stupid," Nightpaw mewed, still not sure where she was going with this, and still acutely aware of the Shadows approaching them, "but I would die for you." She cringed at how sickening, how cliche of a sentence that was, but with death approaching she could say the stupidest things and be memorialized for her efforts. "And... I didn't want... I don't want to die before I tell you that you actually mean more to me than anyone I've ever met... I don't know what I'm saying, help -- "
Olive just stared at Nightpaw, eyes wide.
" -- and I really like you a lot -- no, that's wrong still -- " Nightpaw's voice was shaking just as bad as the ground, which was rumbling with the thunder of bodies against the earth in the ThunderClan camp as the battle raged.
"I think... I love you..."
Olive's eyes were as wide as the moon as the words shivered in the air, delicate and vulnerable in the chaos of battle. She opened her mouth to speak...
And then the Shadows pounced on them.
Chapter 71 - Olive
“I think… I love you…”
I think I love you
Olive stared at the black she-cat, who was staring back at her. Nightpat. Nightpaw who loved Olive.
Olive opened her mouth to speak, but before she could form any words, she was crushed by an immense weight.
“Oli-” She heard Nightpaw screech, but it was cut off. Olive’s heart raced with fear. Nightpaw was a medicine cat, and the chance of her surviving was low. Just like Olive with her injured leg.
I have to get to her.
Olive brought her good leg under the body that cut her off, and pushed with three paws, trying to dislodge the spirit-cat. But it was huge, and only moved a little bit. The loner growled in frustration and her opponent pushed down, cutting off her air supply.
Olive drew a paw out from under the cat, remembering a trick a friend of hers had shown her, and swiped with claws unsheathed, not knowing where it would hit. She felt it snag and then rip, and the spirit cat loosened a little bit, and that was enough for Olive to push away until she was free.
Olive gasped, taking in several breaths of sweet air. She scrambled away and hurriedly half-walked, half-dragged, herself away. She didn’t want to fight, she just wanted to find Nightpaw.
Black pelts swarmed the ThunderClan camp, claws slashing and teeth baring, but none of them were the medicine-cat apprentice. Heat racing with fear, she scanned the crowd over and over, but found nothing but a storm of teeth and claws.
A blank eye caught hers, and before she knew it, one of the shadow cats had turned away from the rest covering on a ThunderClan cat and started stalking towards her. Olive’s eyes widened in fear, she knew she couldn’t fight this cat off. And the Raven’s cat probably knew that too.
Olive backed up, her injured leg sending bolts of pain as she scrambled along the rocky ground. She had to ignore it though. She couldn’t reveal her weakness.
Another of the cats broke away from fighting and followed the first, their bodis coming closer and closer, their steps in unity, their blank eyes focused on her.
The black-and-white she-cat took another step back, and her brindled fur rustled against a rocky wall. Taking a quick glance back, she knew it, she was cornered.
Wow, Russet. Look at how much your peace lessons are coming in handy. Now I’m cornered, and I might die, all thanks to you deciding not to teach us any fighting skills whatsoever.
Don’t die, don’t die, find Nightpaw first.
Find her and tell her how you feel.
The shadow cats opened their mouths, revealing rows and rows of sharp, white teeth. Light glinted off their silver claws. Olive flattened her ears and hissed, arching her back.
Before she or the Raven’s cats could lift a claw, a large black shape cannonballed into the two things, knocking them aside and slashing at them furiously. Olive’s nose caught a familiar scent from the cat but she couldn’t place it no matter how hard she tried.
The loner shook her head. She could deal with that later. She had to find Nightpaw now. Flattening her ears, she hurried along the camp.
“Nightpaw!” She yowled. “Nightpaw!” Blood flew through her wounds and stained her pelt scarlett red, her injured leg far worse than it was before.
“Olive!” She heard Nightpaw shriek back.
Olive pricked her ears and yowled Nightpaw’s name back. And there was no answer. Her heart raced with fear and she tried to quicken the pace.
Finally, she saw her. Nightpaw was battling a Shadow cat, batting at it with unsheathed claws. Olive crouched down in a stalking position and creeped up behind the cat, shielding herself from view with this cat.
With a yowl Olive swiped at the cat, slashing its flank with two claws. The cat’s head whipped around, and the moment was enough time for Nightpaw to knock it backwards, sending it scrambling away.
“Nightpaw,” Olive began. Nightpaw listened, her gaze and attention never wavering, her kind sage green eyes shining.
“I love you too."
Chapter 72 - Nightflash
All around her, cats were screaming and thrashing, twisting and dogding, manipulating their limbs in the most miraculous way. A cat, preparing to leap on another, was suddenly pounced upon themselves. Blood splattered on the bushes, and that dark filthy liquid flowed like hungry slugs. No one was taking any notice of her.
She yawned. Not that she wanted to be noticed, anyway.
A ThunderClan cat, being attacked on both sides, was joined by a FlightClan one. Together, they scored hits left and right, diving and scratching in harmony. As if they were born in the same litter. She watched as a Thing had its neck broken, and another got a slice in the stomach.
It is amazing how odd Clan cats are.
The bush she was using provided little protection, and now her fur was matted and her pelt stank. Her flank still hurt, burning faintly.
She watched as a cat surprised a Thing, tearing it apart easily. The leaves on the bush were now scarlet.
But it shouldn't have been so easy.
She remembered when she fought them. Those Things were huge, much larger than any cat and with about twice the strength as well. And, using this logic, their leaader will not be a weakling. At least, not as weak as to let a Clan tom almost kill her. Not as weak as to not dodge when the golden tom leaped at her. And perhaps…not as weak to let a potential danger hide in the bushes, unnoticed.
She glanced around. Am I the only cat who has realised what is actually going on?
Obviously, yes. Clan cats are stupid, after all, which was part of the reason why she left…
She was in the back of the nursery, watching the other kits playing their silly games and squeaking and yelling in excitement at nothing. Occasionally one of yhem would get scraped by a piece of grass and then ran, whimpering, over to their mom. She never joined their games and, after a while, they stopped asking her. She was always the odd one, the one who liked to sneak about, the one who spent all her time sulking alone. The one who didn't have any family.
She had been told that her parents died in a battle and that her siblings had all died of greencough, and she had nodded. Almost as if she believed them. What did parents do anyway? Nothing. She never needed parents. Three-month old kits are old enough to take care of themselves. After all, had she not seemed born with the ability to go around unnoticed? Of course, kits aren't born with anything, so naturally one can deduce that she figured it out by herself. She hd been hoping for her apprentice ceremony. Perhaps then things won't so dull…
Nightflash shook herself. That life was over. And she's got better things to do than dwell in her memories.
So…if the raven is not the sort of cat who lets herself to become defeated, then the one who was currently not getting the upper hand will not be the raven's army. And it follows that the thing are not the Things, and she's got a pretty good idea about who they actually are. So that just leaves one last part of the puzzle…
She had an inkling in her mind. Her unconcious was desperartely trying to tell her something, but that something was written in code and without a key. But she knew tht something was terribly wrong.
"Very wrong indeed," a cackling voice came from behind.
She whirled around to face the raven, who had her claws on the kit - Meadowpaw if she remembered correctly - 's neck. Flanked with about a dozen Things, the raven grinned.
"I don't need to tell you what would happen if you are even planning on resistance, I think." The raven said, turning her head in a wide circle and stopping it for a half-heartbeat at Nightflash's bush.
The clearing went deathly quiet, execpt for Nightflash, who groaned.
Chapter 73 - Nightpaw
Words. She had none. She had forgotten how to string letters together in ways that made sense. She couldn't form sentences, much less recite passionate paragraphs and express her feelings in a long, heartfelt monologue.
Olive loved her.
Nightpaw... a medicine cat apprentice...
But ever since Nightpaw had stumbled into the tangled web of the Raven's manipulation... normal Clan roles didn't seem to matter anymore. It didn't matter that Olive was a rogue, that Nightpaw was a medicine cat from FlightClan, that the Raven had begun a massacre.
Nightpaw's paws were sticky with blood as she hurried over to Olive to close the gap between them. In the back of her mind, worries were pinging all over the place, shifting from Meadowpaw to the Raven to FlightClan and years forward in the future, which was quite silly because their future was in no way solidified. They could very well die in the next few heartbeats.
So I'll die next to you. She didn't say the words aloud, but thousands upon thousands of sentences were explained in the single simple movement of Nightpaw brushing her muzzle against Olive's. Fire roared through Nightpaw's head as she buried her head in Olive's shoulder, ignoring the drying blood crusted on the loner's fur. She could feel the rapid pattering of Olive's heart beneath her slightly trembling pelt.
Olive's voice hummed in Nightpaw's ears. "We have to go back."
Nightpaw reluctantly pulled back to stare evenly into Olive's wide, earnest green eyes. "We do." Disappointment gnawed at her belly.
Olive paused, her eyes not drifting from Nightpaw's face. "The screaming stopped," the loner noted thoughtfully.
Nightpaw frowned, ears pricking. "You're right... is the battle over?" Fear shrilled up her spine. How was it over so quickly? That couldn't mean anything good.
Olive shrugged, worry etched into her crinkled brow. "I don't know..." Her voice faded into a barely audible whisper, but she cleared her throat. "We should go back."
Nightpaw pressed closer to Olive's side, heart thundering as anxiety started pulsing through her veins. She caught a faint whiff of Olive's fear-scent on the breeze, and gave the loner a gentle nudge. Olive glanced down at her, a small, grateful half-smile twitching on her muzzle. Nightpaw returned it, although with the terror bursting in her belly, she was afraid that it looked more like a grimace.
They stalked through the trees side-by-side, the thinning trunks allowing them a clearer view of ThunderClan's home. Nightpaw's breath caught in her throat as they approached. The camp had been ravaged, chunks of fur hanging from branches, blood dappling the ground in lakes, rivers, and raindrops. A limp black body lay silently in the center of the clearing, blue eyes now sightless and empty with the dull glaze of death. Leafstar, neck snapped by the Raven, using Smokybird's paws.
Nightpaw shuddered and tried to avert her gaze. But bodies seemed to be everywhere, FlightClan warriors fallen next to ThunderClan, pelts and blood mingling as they died fighting for the same cause: to defeat the Raven.
Where was the Raven?
Olive's hiss jerked Nightpaw from her uneasy thoughts. "Nightpaw, there; through those ferns."
Nightpaw followed Olive's slitted green gaze toward the ferns in question; between their gently waving fronds, she saw a smoky gray figure pinning down a silver tabby whose black stripes snagged Nightpaw's eyes like claws.
The young she-cat was being held against the ground, struggling against the wickedly sharp claws that were once her mother's. With a horrified glance at Olive, Nightpaw hurried toward the clearing. ThunderClan and FlightClan, every warrior looking battered and defeated with blood dripping from their wounds, surrounded the Raven and Meadowpaw in a ring. Their eyes were sunken and fearful, their muscles limp with exhaustion, their fur torn by the Shadows' claws.
Nightpaw weaseled her way beside a golden warrior and huddled against Olive's flank, feeling bewildered and terrified. Then the Raven's voice cut sharply through the silent, blood-scented air.
"Mortals, bow down and surrender to me and my army," the Raven snarled, "or she dies."
Chapter 74 - Meadowpaw
Help... Someone! Meadowpaw wanted to scream out, but she knew if she did the Raven would kill her. Blood pool below her and she started to feel woozy, her mind swirling. The Raven, who was grabbing her neck, ordered:
"Mortals, bow down and surrender to me and my army, or she dies!" The Raven flicked Smokybird's tail in a way that made Meadowpaw sick. She closed her eyes, trying to remember all the times with Smokybird, the real one. But when she did, shadows filled her mind and she could only think of the Raven. In the place of Smokybird. As if her mother never lived. Erased from the mind of her daughter.
Everything went so slow. As if the world stopped spinning and the wind stopped moving. Rage bubbled inside of Meadowpaw as she opened her mouth in a yowl. Nothing came out but a pitiful squeak.
She then flared her paws, her eyes growing big as she realized the Raven was slowly grasping tighter on her neck.
Then it stopped. Everything... stopped. She could breath! SHe could move! SHe let out heavy gasps of breath and closed her eyes. Was she dead? Did the Raven kill her, right there in front of everything left that she loved? Where did this all begin?
Memorys flooded in as she thought of it.
Its all Eaglepaw's fault! FlightClan! ... Nightpaw! She was the reason Smokybird was killed! Even though she had forgiven Nightpaw, past hate flooded into her. Wishsoul, lieing to me. Rootpaw, thinking that i loved him more than a friend. Rowanpaw... But when she got to Rowanpaw... it was nothing. Only the sweat sent and soothing voice. She calmed down. Everything will be ok, won't it?
It took her a while to realize she was being licked and helped up. She looked side to side to see Nightpaw and Olive quickly licking blood of of her pelt. She looked around some more to see the Raven's head up as many cats bowed to her, surrendering to the dark she-cat.
"Meadowpaw, stay awake! We will help you, don't worry!" Nightpaw whispered into her ear.
Meadowpaw looked around, noticing all the dead bodies in the clearing. Blades of grass where died crimson with the spill of innocent blood. As she looked at the bodies, she tried to name them one by one. Leafstar. Lilacfire. Tigerpaw. Sweetpaw. Kinkfang. Tinykit... Honeykit from FlightCan. Runningfoot. She looked around and noticed that there was too many to name. Half of ThunderClan, maybe more, destroyed. Including elders, kits and even the leader. SHe gulped as she looked at the surviving cats, nameing them one by one. Nightpaw. Olive. Eaglepaw. Roawanpaw. Rootpaw. Vulturestar. Dusklight... THere was a few more, but she couldn't name them. But one alive cat she could. One that she wanted to be dead. The Raven!
"Oh, great Raven!" One cat called, knocking her out of her thoughts, "Remember me? Eaglepaw."
The Raven's eyes washed the clearing, looking for the voice. She then laid her eyes on Eaglepaw, the tom limping but trying not to show it. Meadowpaw winced as she saw that he had fought with a broken paw. Then the Raven let out a evil laugh, "Kit! Why do you come to me, seeking mercy and praise knowing that i will give you none?" Her eyes got more angery as she looked down, "You... you owe me. You've owed me a long time."
"Yes, Raven." Eaglepaw lifted his head, "And I am glad of it. You hepled me killed my sister, Sparrowpaw, and now will do whatever you say."
Gasps rippled through the clan as they murmured and hissed. She Raven raised her tail with a snarl for silence. "Oh, really? You really want to join my side, eh? Well, then, i might as well say 'yes', for i see great use in you." She jumped off of the rock she was standing on, walking around Eaglepaw, who's head was high as he sat with his tail over his paws.
The Raven then made eye contact with Meadowpaw, a snarl on her face. "Kill..." The Raven started, Meadowpaw's eyes growing wide as Olive next to her put her paw in front of Meadowpaw, growling.
The Raven then turned to Vulturestar, who was being pinned down by three dark warriors. Vulturestar looked as if he had given up, something Meadowpaw would have never thought he would do. "Him." The Raven finished, pointing with to tail over to Vulturestar, "Of course, i could do it myself but it would be more fun to see you do it, Eaglepaw, my handsome... er... yeah." The Raven flicked his nose with her tail stalking back onto her rock.
Meadowpaw froze. Vulturestar was the last thing in her way to ruling FlightCLan. Once he is dead, the will take it over. Meadowpaw gasped again when she thought deeper, And she had already kill Leafstar, the last thing in her way of taking over ThunderCLan.
Eaglepaw glanced at him, his eyes bouncing. Eaglepaw woun't really kill his mentor, would he? More, his father figure.
But, of course, she was wrong. Eaglepaw walked up to Vulturestar, his claws slowly sliding out onto the blood stained dirt. Vulturestar looked up at him, on his back in front of Eaglepaw. Being pinned down by three strong warriors.
"I'm sorry, b-but i have to do this. The Raven is my new leader," He then growled at this, "and you are the enemy!"
Eaglepaw walked closer to him, a growl on his face. "Eaglepaw," Vulturestar began, his eyes proud, "you have become the warrior i always dream you would have. Kill me, and at least i will know i have made someone to walk in my tracks and to carry FlightClan's ways with him."
Meadowpaw shuffled her paws, watching as Eaglepaw's ears snapped to his head as Vulturestar said that. He opened his mouth but closed it and bowed his head. Meadowpaw watch as Eaglepaw solemnly brought his paw over Vulturestar's placing it on his neck. It wasn't mentor and apprentice now, it was mentor at the mercy of the apprentice. Or more, the apprentice has become the warrior... the mentor. The murderer.
Silence shattered the forest as a yowl was shut off by a crack! Neck snapped, just like that. Vulturestar; dead. One more body to add to the mound of fallen warriors.
Then the silence was broken by a yowl of greif. One loud enough to even wake the sleeping warriors of StarClan. Meadowpaw braced herself as a brown tabby dash and ran strain into Eaglepaw, knocking him over. Crimson-stained leaves flew in the air, and the brown tom was thrown off.
Rootpaw! Meadowpaw dashed forward to the young tom, even though Nightpaw tried to stop her. "Rootpaw! Are you hurt?" Meadowpaw licked his fur backward, cleaning off blood-crisped fur. Rootpaw looked up, and growled,
"Get off of me! You're not my mother! You n-never will be!" Rootpaw lashed at Meadowpaw's face, throwing her backward. She landed on her side, winded and shocked at what Rootpaw just did. Rowanpaw, Nightpaw, and Olive all gathered around her. Rowanpaw then broke off and snapped at his, saying,
"Y-you... monster! How could you hurt her? She was trying to help you, for StarClan's sake!" Rowanpaw quickly turned around and helped Meadowpaw up, his eyes still glued to Rootpaw.
Meadowpaw gasped for breath, gathering the wind that was taken out of her. She looked up, but then realized that her eye was foggy and bloody, hard to see out of. She gasped in pain and fell over again. Wounds from before reopened by dirt and grass.
Rootpaw looked at her, his eyes wide in shock. Tears shone from the corners of his eyes, and he murmured, "A m-monster... thats what i am. Not better then my father, Vulturestar... i should have known!"
Everything happened so fast. Vulturestar, dead. The Raven, flicking her tail in interest. Rootpaw... Rootpaw was the worse. He broke down on the ground and started to cry. When Meadowpaw finally broke away from where Rowanpaw was gaurding her from him, Rootpaw only looked into her eyes... or, eye. He said, "And if i am like my father, i should be dead, too!" Rootpaw sprang up, and ran. He ran strait into the woods, away from everyone.
But, all the Raven did was flick her ear and say, "One less cat to get rid of." The Raven then jumped down from the rock and looked around. She sat by the body of Vulturestar was smiled; a smile that Meadowpaw hated to look at.
But, then, the clearing exploded in another battle. FlightClan cats flung at the Raven, full of hate for how she killed the leader. Meadowpaw, still blinded by blood, bounced up and looked around. She unsheathed her claw and turned to Rowanpaw. "Follow me! I've had more training than you. I... I'm going to the Raven. I think i can defeat her."
"Strong words, little kit!" A shadow warrior pounced on Meadowpaw, knocking her down. Oh, how much i would give to not be knocked down for ten minutes! She got back up and fought, Rowanpaw by her side. They fought claw to claw, like warriors who had trianed together for a long time. Soon, the warrior backed off, turned tail and ran.
That wasn't so hard! Meadowpaw thought.
But, then there was a yowl. The reason the dark warrior ran away. Eaglepaw had managed to reach the Raven, pretending all along that he was on her side. Once he did, the Raven fell off the rock backwards and winded herself. Eaglepaw took the chanceand wounded her really bad. Dark red blood flowed as Rowanpaw and Meadowpaw finally reached the Raven, too. All the warriors had backed off, knowing that this would be the final battle. The battle that showed who should be the rulers of the Clans.
She turned to Rowanpaw and said, "I-Im sorry, but i have to go up there... to defeat the Raven."
To her surprise, Rowanpaw just nodded and lowered his head, "I understand. Just," he lick in between Meadowpaw's ears, "Don't die, ok? A-and, if you do... goodbye..."
Meadowpwa opened her mouth, but then closed it. She turned and murmured finally, "It's not good bye, it's just 'see you later'... a-after i defeat the Raven.
"O-ok... See you later, then?"
"See you later, Rowanpaw." With a final lick inbetween Meadowpaw's ears, she dashed off and stood beside Eaglepaw.
A perfect trap. The Raven was cornered with no where to go. The Raven being wounded and hurt, growled, "So, my time might be over, but i will come back!"
"No, Raven." Meadowpaw hissed, "Its not just over, it's ended. Forever." Just like that, Meadowpaw and Eaglepaw fought the same way Rowanpaw did with her on the shadowy warrior. Side by side. Stride by stride.
Claws flew both ways. But the clans were winning! The Raven was getting weaker and weaker. They had corner her, now. She was trapped, no where to go. Yes! We can finally end this, once and for al-!'
Meadowpaw was cut short when pain struck her belly. The Raven had pushed Meadowpaw and Eaglepaw back, her eyes glowing. "Did you really think it would be that easy?" SHe walked up to Meadowpaw, who had stumbled up. Her legs were tiered and she felt like fire. So much so, that she was shaking, not just with fear, but with pain. She looked up as the Raven unsheathed her claws, ready to attack. "I should have killed you long ago, dewdrop. But you always managed to escape. Not this time!" The Raven lashed out, her claws aiming toward Meadowpaw's neck. If she took a strong hit like that, there was no way she would survive.
"No!" A orange blob dived in the way of the Raven, taking the hit for her. It crashed into the ground hard and painfully.
Everything, for the third time that day, froze. The Raven's eyes grew big as blood flowed from her mouth. She fell to the ground, blood pooling all around her. Meadowpaw stepped back, still shocked on what just happened. Who was that cat? How did this happen to the Raven.
When Meadowpaw looked closer, she could see. A stick! It's lodged into her neck! Yowls, both of victory and grief, made the silent clearing a mess. Meadowpaw looked to her side to where the orange blob had fallen.
No... Meadowpaw ran up to it, going as fast as she could. Everything ran fast now, much like before. Everything also cleared in Meadowpaw's head, her mind only on one think now that the Raven was dead; the orange blob. When she got there... her jaws opened to the sky in a yowl to pain and grief.
"No! STartClan, Why?" Meadowpaw looked down again, her eyes glued to the body in front of it. It was Rowanpaw. Rowanpaw, the cat she loved so.
Behind her, Nightpaw and Olive came to her, their faces shocked, mouths open. Meadowpaw lashed her tail while she buried her muzzle into his fur, crying.
"M-meadowpaw... I guess t-this is g-goodbye, t-then?" Rowanpaw cough, mustering as much strength as he could. Meadowpaw stroked his back, face tear-stained.
"No, R-Rowanpaw... its like I said... not 'goodbye', just 'see you later'." Meadowpaw rapped herself around him. She then whispered in his ear, "So see you later, then?" Rowanpaw didn't answer, just grunted and stood still.
His pelt was getting cold.
Meadowpaw whispered into his ear again, her voice more raspy now, "R-rowanpaw, don't l-leave me! Y-you promised when we were kits we will becoem mates, a-and have kits! You said we will get to watch our kits grow old, and their kits grow old! P-please... Stay alive..." Meadowpaw felt a cold, strange liquid pool beneath her. Rowanpaw's blood. Through blind by tears, and still blinded in one eye by blood, she brought herself to look at the wound. It ran down his body, from his neck to his tail. She looked at Nightpaw, who hung her head next to Olive, who was leaning on her. Their tail were rapped. Meadowpaw unsheathed her claws, "It's not fair! You two love each other, then why does everything i love die? I will never have a mate!" Meadowpaw crumbled to the ground, "Never..."
Nightpaw look up and sighed, "Meadowpaw. You're just blinded by grief. You're only 7 moons, so of course you will find a mate!" Nightpaw walked forward and started to lick blood off of Rowanpaw, who now was still, too still for Meadowpaw to take. "It seemed like only yesterday you two were kits, playing in the cave while me and Olive watched you. T-that wound... it would take StarClan to heal it... I-I'm sorry, b-but i can't do anything."
"Then you're a bad med-cat." Meadowpaw growled not looking up, eyes glued to Rowanpaw, "You're the worse one ever, and i hate you!" Meadowpaw broke down and started to cry. Everything will not be the same. I-i don't even want to be a warrior if not with him! Meadowpaw again rapped around Rowanpaw.
"Meadowpaw, you know you don't mean that. W-we... will deal with this later. We have to... you know, tell every o-one about the Raven."
"They already know."
"I know they know, we j-just..."
"I know you're just trying to distract me, please do." Meadowpaw flicked her tail and stood up. She turned away from Rowanpaw, "I don't think i could take much more of it, of this stupid world."
Eaglepaw had just watched the whole thing, and growled when Meadowpaw was up, "Ready, oh princess? Just because you were in te prophecy too doesn't mean we are friends."
"I'm well aware of that," Meadowpaw added in a murmur, "jerk-face."
Meadowpaw and Eaglepaw stood togeather, side by side on the rock the Raven had sat on. Not one must know how Rowanpaw really died. She told herself.
"The Raven is dead! We are free!" Meadowpaw and Eaglepaw yowled at the same time.
The clans yowled togeather, as if the same clan who had trained together for a long time.
But in all the celabrating, one thing was on Meadowpaw's mind.
I WILL bring Rowanpaw back... whatever it takes.
So many dead.
So many dead.
Olive scanned her eyes around the clearing, where the countless bodies of cats were strewn across the floor. Yowls of cheer erupted behind her. She whipped her head around. It was the Clan cats. Meadowpaw and Eaglepaw were standing on a rock; triumph in Eaglepaw’s face, grief in Meadowpaw’s.
Olive gritted her teeth. How can they celebrate? So many are dead.
She turned away from the commotion. True, they had won, but can’t these cats at least take some time to honor the fallen first? There wasn’t some mythic almighty after-death place to go to. They would never see these cats again.
I have no idea if I will ever understand Clan cats. Besides a few.
A flash of dark fur caught her eye. It was a large black tom, the fur so stainted with blood he looked red.Olive recognized it as the cat who had knocked away the shadow cats.
Olive hobbled towards’ the body, and as she headed nearer to it, faint rasping and slow movements so the cat’s chest told her they were alive. Barely.
She was about to call someone over, when she caught a glimpse of the cat’s face.
She knew who it was.
It was her brother.
“Beetletooth!” She gasped, and crouched down beside him. “Beetletooth!”
Beetletooth opens his amber eyes, glancing into hers. A smile crept over his face.
“You’re alive,” He whispered. “I didn’t die for nothing,” He rasped.
“No,” Olive said. “You’re not dying,”
“I am,” He said. You know it too.
She did. It was not possible he would survive this.
“But you can’t! She wailed. “Don’t leave me! Please!”
“I wish I could stay,”
Olive pressed a paw against his neck, trying to stop the flow of blood, and watching as it stained her fur scarlet.
“I won’t let you go,” The loner whispered, tears streaming down her cheeks. She glances at his other wounds, which covered his black body. She pressed her other paw on the worst one, and swept her tail along his back, pressing his body to try and stop it.
“Stop,” Beetletooth told her. “Stop it, sis. It’s too late,”
“No,” She whispered. “I can’t lose you. Not after everyone else,”
“You haven’t.” He whispered. “I saw you and Nightpaw during the battle. She makes you happy. You told her you loved her. She- she will make you happier than a brother could. Especially after what I’ve done.” He took a shuddering breath, and Olive stroked his cheek with a bloodstained paw.
“Beetletooth-” Olive began, but her brother cut her off.
“Don’t call me that. FlightClan’s over for me. It should have been, since that day I saw you, since the day I found them.”
“Beetle-” Olive tried to continue.
“I’m leaving, okay? This is it. Just-please forgive me.” Beetle drew in a breath, then fell still. His twitching tail stopped, lying motionless against the stone-cold ground. Olive pressed her ear against his chest, but felt no heartbeat.
“Beetle?” She whispered. “Beetle? Beetle!”
Olive buried her muzzle in her brother’s soft fur, sobbing. He was gone. Gone. The brother she loved, cherished, and lost too soon. And now she lost him again.
“I forgive you,” She whispered, muffled by his black fur. “I forgive you,”
He would never hear her response.
Olive pulled back from the body, watching, waiting, perhaps to see if it would move, and Beetle would tell her he was alive and drag her closer and they-
But no. He was gone, his yellow eyes staring into nothing. Olive’s paws twitched, she knew she should bury him next, but she had only known him for three and a half moons in total. She would let someone who knew him better do it, maybe a mate, if he had one. Kits, if he had those too.
She walked away from him, drying the tears with her paws.
I’ll miss you.
Olive glanced upwards, and saw Nightpaw who bounded over to her.
I saw you and Nightpaw during the battle. She makes you happy. You told her you loved her. She- she will make you happier than a brother could.
He was right. She made her happy. Olive hobbled over to Nightpaw, and Nightpaw buried her muzzle into Olive's brindled black-and-white fur.
“You survived,” Nightpaw said, looking up, happiness in her green eyes.
“You did too,” Olive said.
“Rowanpaw didn’t” Nightpaw said.
Olive held her head down. Rowanpaw. Why Rowanpaw? She remembered how she had accidentally taken the young tom from the nursery, and brought him to her home, took him in, and then-and then now he was gone. He graduated from a new name but would never live past that. New, fresh tears streamed down her cheeks. Another cat, gone forever.
“Where do we go now?” Nightpaw asked, breaking Olive’s thoughts. “I doubt FlightClan or ThunderClan would take us in? Maybe-maybe StreamClan?”
Us. Us together.
“I’m not sure I could adjust to Clan life.” Olive said.
“We could live in the tunnels?” Nightpaw suggested.
“Let’s do that,” Olive said. It would never be the same, that place, without Robin, or even Meadowpaw and Rowanpaw. But she and Nightpaw could make a home there, together.
“We should stay for a bit,” Olive said. “To stay for burial. It’s the last time we’ll ever see Rowanpaw and everyone else.”
Nightpaw glanced at her, a confused glance on her face. “You don’t know about StarClan?”
“StarClan?” Olive asked, just as confused as the medicine cat apprentice.
Don’t tell me there's ANOTHER Clan. Two is too many, for me. Way to many
“I’ll explain later,” Nightpaw said.
Olive nodded and the two walked towards where Meadowpaw was standing by Rowanpaw and Smokybird’s bodies.
“So many dead,” The silver-and-black she-kit whispered.
Olive nodded. “There isn’t anyone here who didn’t lose someone,”
“Except her,” Meadowpaw growled, and flicked her tail to where a black she-cat was standing. Olive looked at the she-cat, who looked about 6 moons, and realized that while she had some wounds, they weren’t fresh enough to be from this battle. The cat wasn’t standing by a body, mourning someone, which probably meant Meadowpaw was correct.
“I’m going to talk to her,” Meadowpaw said, and hurried over to the she-cat.
“How come you’re not hurt!” She yowled, catching some other cats’ attention. Nightpaw followed the kit, and Olive padded after Nightpaw.
“Because” The cat snapped. “I’m smart enough to stay out of the battle,”
“Smart enough? Smart enough?” Meadowpaw hissed.
Olive could get why Meadowpaw was angry. This cat was unhurt and unaffected by the battle and deaths. She felt like she should be too, but decided not to continue this argument.
“Meadowpaw stop it,” Nightpaw said, “She’s not involved in this, it not her problem,”
“Yeah,” The cat said. “I’m Nightflash, by the way. You?”
“Meadowpaw,” Meadowpaw growled.
“Nightpaw,” Nightpaw chirped.
“Olive,” Olive added.
“I remember seeing you in the cliff, during the first battle between the Things and everyone else,” Nightflash added.
“Just leave, this isn’t your matter,” Meadowpaw growled.
“No” Nightflash snapped, and stalked away, sulking. Meadowpaw growled, obviously annoyed by the loner. Olive kinda liked Nightflash, and made a mental note that if she ever saw the young she-cat she wouldn’t talk to her the way Meadowpaw did. But, seeing the grief in the silver-and-black tabby she-cat’s eyes, and the red wounds on her pelt, Olive understood. Maybe Meadowpaw would calm down later.
“That cat had a Clan name,” Nightpaw said. “She’s obviously not from FlightClan or ThunderClan. Maybe StreamClan?”
“StreamClan?” Olive asked.
“Another Clan,” Meadowpaw told her, tail lashing from the encounter with the young loner.
“Another?” She asked. “How many do you need? Five?”
Nightpaw purred happily and Meadowpaw stifled a laughter.
“What's so funny?” Olive asked.
“There used to be five,” Meadowpaw said.
“Five?!” Olive asked. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Nightpaw said.
There was still work to be. The bodies of Smokybird, Rowanpaw, Beetle, and many more would have to be buried, maybe in one large grave, so that they all could honor this battle with a memorial. And the Clan’s new leaders would have to-become leaders somehow. But all in good time.
For now, I’m going to enjoy this peace with my friends while it lasts.
No, I am not signing here because I helped write this. I'm doing it because THIS STORY IS OVERLY AWESOME!!!!~I have a test today so its my funeral
Best page? Two words. Book that every user can write. Oh, and ^^. Yup. That’s quite a bit more than two words.—One can kills a toucan.So don’t pollute!
Wow. We came so far from just a little prologue, brought this story back from the brink of death, and revived it to the point where it finished in a blaze of glory... Ah, I've used up all my dramatic flair for the day. But this book is AMAZING!! I hope we've made you proud, Skyashiid, you started this! ^^