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Mapleheart was settled, her eyes dull with exhaustion of the day, she had shown her brand new apprentice Bramblepaw the territory, taught him the qualities of silently stalking up on prey, and how to leap with accuracy. She fixed her eyes on the entrance of the warriors den.
She was near the entrance only because she loved it there, the moonlight she gathered from the sky , that poured into the den through the entrance...
She blinked her eyes in surprise as what looked like a warrior padded through the entrance, the only thing that she could tell apart from normal warriors to this warrior, was the fact stars covered the warriors pelt. I sat up and cautiously stammered, "W-who are you..?"
"Do not fret, I'm a starclan warrior named Silverstorm. I come to give you news." I retorted nicely, "What news?"
"The news you and your mate has always wished for. The news of the arrival of two kits."
I leaped to my paws and bounced around in a small circle, careful not to wake anyone, "oh my starclan! That's brilliant!"
Silverstorm rolled her eyes and meowed, "Come with me, let's walk." I followed the Starclan warrior out of the warriors den and out of camp, into the forest.
She begun, "Do not get too excited, the arrival of the two kits is extraordinary. One will be welcomed gratefully by Starclan, and will seek and receive all the knowledge of Starclan..."
Mapleheart cut Silverstorm off politely, "And the other?"
Silverstorm sighed, "The other will be welcomed gratefully and be placed in the ranks of Dark Forest. But do not think we will abandon that kit! We will still welcome the kit if they change their destiny."
Mapleheart halted and pleaded, "Please change it! Please make them both accepted only by Starclan!"
"This is a prophecy! Only they can change their destiny but the prophecy will remain! To change this destiny it will take an incredible amount of power to break away! Now LISTEN. They will be complete opposites, the Starclan one will be a wise and generous she-cat. The dark forest, a mysterious and worthy tom. Inside their hearts they'll be fighting a war, but inside their heads they'll be the best of friends as well as littermates. It is of most importance that they do not fight majorly. Small, little, worthless fights are ok, but if they turn into big problems, the war inside their hearts will come out and tear your clan, Ashclan apart. They will kill many cats just to kill each other."
Mapleheart wailed, "How do i prevent this?"
"Keep an eye on them. Do not favourite any of them... Make sure nothing small happens. I know this is a lot of respnsibility resting squarly on your shoulders. But you must..."
The starclan warriors faded murmuring, "More information will be sent when the time is right..."
Mapleheart wailed to the night sky, "It's unfair! What have i done to deserve this? My kits cannot pay if i have done something to upset you!!"
She crept back into camp at sun-high the next day and her mate Cloudwhisker purred loudly, "You never told me you were expecting!"
Cats crowded Mapleheart meowing "Wow, congratulations!"
"We know how much you wanted kits!!"
"We thought it would never happen, this is great!"
She thought in her head with a sigh, The prophecy has begun.
I loomed over Skykit with a gentle smile as she blinked her pretty sky-blue eyes open for the first time, i turned and nodded to our mother, Mapleheart. "Her eyes are open!"
Cloudwhisker bounced around the nursery excitedly, "Yes! Now you both have your eyes open!!" Mapleheart calmed him, "Don't be so energetic, Cloudwhisker."
A gentle, soft, kind meow came from the entrance, "Now don't they look just beautiful with their eyes open. They look like very kind kits." Skykit and I dipped our heads and Mapleheart spoke swiftly with her chin high, "Thank you Bluetail but No, actually i think they'll be trouble-makers from the looks of it, I have to keep my eyes on them at all times."
Bluetail looked stunned, "How can you say such a thing? They look like the most politeful kits that i've ever seen!"
I giggled, "Thank you, Bluetail." Mapleheart turned and stared at me worriedy, I looked at her in despair, "Mama... Why are you looking at me like that? Do i look funny? or... Don't you love me anymore?"
Mapleheart turned away from the sight of me and my ears pulled back. "Mama, what is it?" She didn't asnwer, so i wailed, "MAMA?!"
Bluetail hissed at Mapleheart, "Sister, you know that is cruel." Bluetail sprinted, snatched me up by my scruff and dashed out of the nursery swiftly. She placed me down in the clearing as i wailed, "I don't think mama loves me no more."
She cuffed my ears, "Of course she does, you had a bug on you... That's all." She smiled, but i could tell she wasn't telling me something, her ear twitched and her tail tip flicked in annoyance, she wanted to tell me something, but she wasn't.
I argued, "What's so terrible no one can tell me?" Bluetail disagreed, "It's not that we can't tell you, we were surprised that's all..."
"About what?" I looked at her hopeful she would say something, she laughed, "Well, we thought only Elders get ticks."
I looked away, "I know your lying, i know there's something you're not telling me, I KNOW. Mother never loved me, never loved the eldest. She always fussed about Skykit. Today it was ruined because I was there. If no one wants to tell me FINE. But it's not nice to do so." I padded away, head held high to make it look like i was strong and didn't care. But in fact, inside, i was dying, a tortured death.
"Talonkit?" Skykit's sweet voice came from the bush in the clearing. Because we were responsible kits, we got to come outside early. I answered with a murmur, "Yea?"
Skykit leaped out and landed on top of me pinning, she licked my ear then got off of me embarressdly, "Sorry, i was hiding in there because... Because Tigerberry found me and he was trying to kill me!" She winked and i understood immediately they were playing a game.
I crouched down, "let's kill HIM first." My eyes must've gleamed evilly or something because Skykit stepped away from me for the first time. I looked at her, "Not you too! Ma' doesn't love me, so please not you too."
Skykit argued, "of course mum loves you! So just suck it up and believe it." I padded off, "I don't really want to play anymore.."
I sat down near the entrance of camp, curling my tail over my paws. Skykit bounded over to me and hissed, "For the eldest in the litter you are such a baby! Of course mum loves us both!! So just suck it up."
"Leave me alone..." i managed to whisper to her but she carried on anyway, "'Leave me Alone...' He says, it's all about you, isn't it? Have you ever cared to think of the fact she always looks at you?! She NEVER looks at me, only you."
I murmured, "please, stop..." Skykit growled, "NO. BECAUSE YOU JUST LOVE TO BE THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION. YOU STOLE MOTHER AWAY FROM ME!"
I whipped around, Skykit fell backwards in shock as i snapped, "Sure she may LOOK at me, but have you seen the disappointment in her face as she looks at me? She frowns, it's never a welcoming gaze. Skykit, you are the favourite and it doesn't matter to me. So LEAVE IT AT THAT OK?"
I felt claws rake my side gently, but it still hurt. I mewled for Mapleheart and flailed under the attacker's paws. I looked up to see Mapleheart growling at me. My own MOTHER had scratched me! Mapleheart hissed, "I WAS RIGHT ABOUT YOU! I come over to see Skykit on the ground crying while you're yelling at her with your claws unsheathed! STOP THIS RIGHT NOW." I looked down at my paws, my claws were out, how did i not notice that?
She continued, "Skykit, go play with Cloudwhisker, I'll be with you soon to join in the fun. As for you mister." she turned to me, "YOU are getting punished." I lowered my head, ears flattening, "Ok..."
Mapleheart lead me to the edge of camp and nudged me into a thick patch of brambles. They snagged my fur and dug into my skin and i yelped, "Ma' this hurts!"
She snarled, "You'll get used to it, i expect you to sleep here in solitude and in silence. No moving from this patch of brambles, none whatsoever."
I lay down, i could feel the thorns slowly wedging into my pads, fur, and flanks. I bit my tongue in attempt not to make any noise such as mewling, yowling, yelping like mother wanted me to.
I struggled around and thought, Maybe if i rolled in this patch of thorns there'll be no thorns to lie down on? I tried it rolling arround whilst gritting my teeth to hold in the pain, I had to be strong. I lay down when i thought no thorns were left and let out a yelp when i felt a thorn peirce into my side deeply.
I heard a yowl as Mapleheart leaped out of the nursery and bounded over, "That doesn't sound like silence." A distraught meow came from Bluetail, "Oh my, Talonkit! Talonkit are you alright? I heard you yowl. And i--."
Mapleheart cut her off, "I heard that too, i had no idea where he was and i have it sorted, i was just about to help him out..." Bluetail nodded, "Ok, i'll leave..." she walked off her tail drooping. Mapleheart had started to help me up when Bluetail turned back to us. Mother's eyes gleamed as she threw me back into the brambles hard and walked off, but before disappearing into the nursery once more, she gave me a despairing look.
I writhed in pain, how many brambles are there? I must have them all in me by now.. I heard a scream and saw a blurry brown figure rush towards me, it was Bramblepaw, mother's apprentice before she had kits, he was almost ready to become a warrior. Cloudwhisker, our father was training him for the meanwhile.
Bramblepaw soothed, "There, there Talonkit... i'm going to get you out..." I shook my head and murmured, "I'm in punishment, i can't speak and i have to be alone..." Bramblepaw looked stunned, "No one punished you Talonkit, you're too good a kit to get punished for ANYTHING. All of Ashclan knows you would never do anything to be punished so horridly, and Mapleheart would never- I hate to think that she'd do such a thing!!"
I rapidly shook my head, "Ok i was faking it, i want to be here!" Bramblepaw looked at me worriedly, "Fine... If you want to, sure..." He stalked off miserable that he couldn't help his mentors kit.
- * *
Mapleheart bounded over to collect me, "Silent and alone?" I nodded sadly, "Yes mama..."
She replied, holding her chin high, "Good obedient little scrap. Now climb out of there." I looked at the large walls too big for me to climb, thorns covering them. I sighed and did what mother said, she didn't want me to jump so i would have to climb. I winced as i struggled to climb up the walls, and slid down them after.
I smiled up to her and she smiled back, "See? I'm a fair mother, other mother's would've banished you. I tell you to sleep in brambles. Honestly i consider that a reasonable and kind deal." I nodded rapidly, "Yes it was mama." Stop lying, It wasn't kind, not a bit, I'm going to be scarred.
She smiled, "Now. Don't expect me to get those thorns out, you are NOT to go anywhere in the medicine cat den. I want you to learn your lesson the hard way. You must keep them in for another day until you can pick them out."
I gasped then nodded, i couldn't bring myself to argue, not after the tortureful, sleepless night i had, "Yes mama..."