NOTE: THE BASE IS BY THUNDERTALON
"What does it mean, the sun will rise and the moon will fall?" A dark gray she-cat paced a starry place. "If the moon isn't out, the stars aren't either," a dark brown tom conspired. "Does it mean.. The end of us?" There was a silence, and then the she-cat spoke up. "No, it doesn't. That prophecy has already come many, many, many moons ago!"
"Waterripple!" A snowy-white she-cat spoke, "I found out what it could mean!" The cats crowded around her. "So, Suntail could go up against Nightfall. They could clash, and Suntail would win." The cats shook their heads. "That would be to obvious," the brown tom pointed out. "Mudstrike, I have some more evidence. Look at the prophecy."
"It states the words 'Sun and Moon'."
"That's what makes it so obvious," Mudstrike replied. "Oh," the snowy she-cat spoke. "It's okay, Frostnose," Waterripple replied. "Everybody makes mistakes."
Chapter One: Dawning Dusk
"Dawnkit, stop scrambling! We have to look good for our apprentice ceremony!" Squeaked Duskkit. "Who cares about that dung?" Dawnkit mewled. "DO NOT USE THAT WORD!" Their mother hissed. "Sorry," Dawnkit muttered. "Beauty is always the answer," Duskkit was lecturing her. "I don't need to be lectured over beauty! That dirt!"
"Beauty is not dirt," her mother answered softly. "You will learn that when you get older." It was to late for licking when Sunstar called the ceremony. Dawnkit padded out, looking ruffled, scrappy, yet proud. Duskkit was sleek and perfect and proud. "Duskkit," Sunstar called. He mewed the ancient words. "Then you are now Duskpaw! Your mentor is me."
Only the most beautiful apprentices in the Clan were mentored by him. The worst-looking were neglected, and in nursery tales, killed by their mentors. "Ugh, Dawnkit..." He repeated the words in an unsure tone. "Your mentor will be Deadface." Deadface was one of the kindest cats in the Clan, yet the worst-looking. Deadface looked at the ruffled kit.
"It looks like another non-beautiful apprentice," she mewed, glee in her voice. She touched noses with Dawnpaw. "I don't like beauty either," Dawnpaw whispered. "Good. The curse hasn't gotten to you." Her comforting voice soothed Dawnpaw, despite having one of her eyes gone and just fur where one should be.
"Clan dismissed." They leaped off the rocks. "So, you got the ugly one, huh?" Duskpaw teased. "Beauty has gone to your head! All you talk about is beauty! I can be myself! So shut up!" Dawnpaw shrieked. "Don't be to harsh," Deadface soothed. "Why does this Clan only care about beauty?" I whispered. "Because it's a habit of MistClan."
"I know, but I hate it. It's not who I am," I whispered in reply. "It's not who I am, either," Deadface replied. The rest of the day, they explored, and that night, Dawnpaw slept well. "Hey! Dirtpaw!" Dawnpaw woke to a teasing voice. It was Cloudpaw, the cat most obsessed with beauty. "Oh, I'm Cloudpaw, all I care about is beauty," Dawnpaw mocked.
"Don't mock me," Cloudpaw growled. "Beauty is number one here." Dawnpaw growled, "Beauty is not a number in my world." Cloudpaw gasped. "Beauty always wins! You should know that!" Dawnpaw heard Deadface's paw steps. "Ignore Cloudpaw," she whispered. "Okay," Dawnpaw whispered. They padded into the training hollow.
By the time they finished, Dawnpaw's claws were dirty. Dust was clouding the clearing. She knew Sunstar would not be impressed. "Let's go back," Deadface murmurred, as if something terrible had happened. When they arrived, Sunstar was sitting on the rock. "Dawnpaw," he called, "Come here." Dawnpaw trotted up to him.
"What? Am I not graceful enough for this Clan?" She mocked. Sunstar growled. "You aren't at all beautiful, and you've got to learn that this Clan is beauty only." Dawnpaw snorted. "Funny, hearing that from a tom," she snarled. "You want to be a smartaleck?" He smiled, "Well, I have something in store for those who do." He lashed his tail. "Dawnpaw..."
"Your a she-cat. She-cats were born to be beautiful." These words offended Dawnpaw greatly. "NO! THEY ARE NOT! WE AREN'T TOYS FOR TOMS!" She shrieked in anger. Sunstar batted her aside with one paw. "Stop!" Shrieked her mentor. "Face it. She-cats are weak, they aren't useful for anything else," Sunstar snorted. "Would you like to lose two 'mates'?"
Chapter Two: The Law
Dawnpaw was disgusted. Beauty was not always the answer! Stupid Cloudpaw! Stupid Sunstar! When she had been done with Sunstar, he had kicked her out of the Clan along with Deadface, but they had kept their names. "My closest friend from another Clan was in LightningClan," Deadface whispered, "Maybe they'll take us." They padded closer to the scent line.
LightningClan was the Clan that hated beauty, like Dawnpaw. "I'd like to move there," Dawnpaw mewed in interest. They had stopped just in time, because a patrol found them. "Leafheart!" Deadface exclaimed. "Featherpelt," Leafheart dipped her head. "She still calls me by my old name," whispered Deadface.
"We've come for a new home," Deadface called. "Who's this? Another MistClan 'beauty'?" Sneered Leafheart. "I hate beauty!" Dawnpaw was angry, but she liked Leafheart. She had finally found a match. "I always knew some cat would be like you in MistClan, Deadface," chuckled Leafheart. "She has spirit." Leafheart locked eyes with Dawnpaw.
The patrol was calling Leafheart back. "We have two new recruits!" Called Leafheart. The rest of the group padded up, their eyes gleaming. "Well, well, well, two little Misties," sneered one of them. "To bad their lives are so boring. The only existing thing is beauty!" They stood mocking them for a second, then asked, "Why would they come here?"
"They hate beauty," explained Leafheart. "Perfect," a gray she-cat hissed. "I guess they hated their Clan to much." Dawnpaw nodded. "I couldn't take Duskpaw! Beauty this, beauty that, beauty doesn't matter in a world of survival!" The LightningClan cats nodded in agreement. "Your a good rebel," purred one. They flicked their tails and they padded away.
Leafheart was talking to Deadface, now probably Featherpelt again, like before she had been damaged by a fox. The Clan had changed her name, and she had been lucky not to be kicked out in the nursery tales. "We're here," Deadface whispered. The camp was awesome. The dens were made of sticks, and not fancy yet prickly brambles.
"Beauty before living things," Sunstar had told her. That was untrue! Beauty is boring, who wants to spend hours licking their fur, when there's a world of adventures out there? "I love their camp," Dawnpaw mewed. Her thoughts had taken a heartbeat in real life. "This is Leafheart's sister, Silentbreeze," Deadface mewed. She was a white she-cat.
"Hello," Silentbreeze mewed shyly. "I'm Dawnpaw." Dawnpaw dipped her head. "Do you like beauty?" Asked Silentbreeze. "Of course not! I'm tired of cats saying that," Dawnpaw sighed. "Hey, you don't have to, and that's what matters." Dawnpaw purred, at least some other cat didn't like it. "Life is hard for beauty haters in MistClan."
"I guess it would be," Leafheart butted in. "Because that Clan is all about beauty." Dawnpaw didn't like all this talk about beauty. She wanted to talk about something else, because beauty was stupid, right? "How does your Clan work?" She asked. "Like any other," Leafheart mewed. "I thought it would be weird." Dawnpaw padded away.
She wanted to explore. She wouldn't be stuck in one place! She padded into the comfy-looking stick den, enjoying the warmth that blew on her fur when she entered. She saw a couple of fresh, extra nests that her mentor could curl up in. Dawnpaw would look at her den next, as she was more interested in this den. In her Clan, it was all about this den.
Chapter Three: Dusk's Relief
Duskpaw woke up to find that the nest beside hers, Dawnpaw's, was empty. She had to tell Cloudpaw! She prodded awake her denmate, who was still asleep. "Huh?" She mewed groggily, then she looked at Duskpaw. "Oh! What?" She yawned. "Dawnpaw is gone!" Duskpaw couldn't stop herself from raising her voice.
"That loser? Good," Cloudpaw purred. "She never understood that beauty rules." Duskpaw had to agree, even though it was her older sister. "Agreed," Duskpaw purred. One day, if Dawnpaw wasn't dead, Duskpaw would kill her. Duskpaw woke up every day, wondering what her warrior name would be. After that, she hoped it would be Duskfern.
She had known that Dawnpaw always wanted hers to be Dawnleaf, but that wasn't possible, it was a beautiful name for an ugly cat. She had said, "Beauty isn't always the answer, you old dummy." And Duskpaw had taken offense by this. Duskpaw had replied with, "Of course it is. You wouldn't be living right now without that scrap of beauty you have."
Dawnpaw had clearly taken offense by this, but probably because she had called her beautiful, or was she finally understanding beauty? She had stormed out of the den. Duskpaw padded off for training, when she heard a horrible shriek, "Deadface is gone!" Sunstar calmly padded out of his den. "I banned her and Dawnpaw," he purred.
"Oh, thank you!" Yowled Duskpaw. Duskpaw had never liked those two. "I'm pretty sure they went off to LightningClan." How could they? That was the worst Clan in the forest, not caring about beauty! "I thought Dawnpaw would like beauty," sniffed their mother, Nightsky. "And well, she hated it, and we all know who died for that."
Duskpaw snickered when she thought of the same thing happening to Dawnpaw. Ashtail was a cat who hated beauty, and he had died in the talons of a stray eagle. Duskpaw shivered, it was disgusting and brutal, but it meant suffering for Dawnpaw, witch she liked the idea of! "Maybe cats who hate beauty are cursed," Duskpaw called out.
"That could be true," Nightsky whispered. "But Deadface hasn't died yet!" The cats muttered agreement. "But she was savaged by a fox," pointed out Duskpaw. The cats gasped, realizing that was true. "If any cats hate beauty, they are to be kicked out of here," Sunstar announced. "We don't need any cursed cats on our paws." The cats nodded in agreement.
"LightningClan can curse as many cats as they want!"
"Stupid beauty haters!"
The cats started calling out things like these. "It's getting wild, honey, go inside," Nightsky ordered. Duskpaw ran inside the apprentices' den, knowing that some madness was happening out there. She could hear curses and other ugly words, until the commotion died down. She emerged, and she saw that everybody was over it, back to their duties.
"I will protect you from the cursed," Sunstar announced, beauty showing in his glorious pelt, and silk-in-the-morning voice. "Good luck on beauty, she-cats." He winked, his eyes beautiful, showing no hesitation to say that. Duskpaw hoped to one day be his mate. She dreamed of his kits, witch would be Glorykit and Morningkit. She loved those names.
Chapter Four: Dawn's Love
Dawnpaw was sleeping in the apprentices' den when she woke up. "Huh? Duskpaw?" Then she remembered where she was. "Oh," she muttered under her breath, embarrassed. Her new Clan teased her already, but she would get over it. "Hi!" Today, Deadface, now Featherpelt, sounded more cheerful. "What's up?" Asked Dawnpaw, stretching.
"Today, we're hunting," declared Featherpelt. She led Dawnpaw into the forest. "So, do you see that mouse?" Dawnpaw saw a gray pelt creeping through the bushes. It was small. "Yeah," whispered Dawnpaw. She crouched, but a twig snapped. But Dawnpaw knew what the mouse would do. So, kept silently stalking forward, but the mouse saw.
It raced for cover, and Dawnpaw couldn't get through the thick undergrowth in time. "You'll do better next time," Featherpelt promised. Soon enough, they had caught a bird, a squirrel, and a vole. "Great catches!" Featherpelt was purring at her apprentice, and Dawnpaw knew she would like her life in LightningClan. The thick forests were amazing.
When they got back, all was quiet except the occasional rustling in the bushes. Dawnpaw had gone to sleep, and Featherpelt had gone on patrol. Dawnpaw heard her mentor come back, and the patrol sounded worried. "Froststar! Froststar!" Dawnpaw came out to see what it was. She heard the words, "MistClan is attacking!" The leader came out.
"Everyone, MistClan is attacking," Froststar announced. Dawnpaw wanted to be picked for the battle patrol. "Featherpelt, Breezefeather, Icestorm, Dawnpaw, Hollytree, Bushfall, Clearpaw, Ivypaw, Songpool, and Cinderleaf will go." Dawnpaw was lucky to be picked, any apprentice was. The warriors and apprentices followed Froststar.
Dawnpaw smelled MistClan. Soon enough, she saw Sunstar. "So we meet again," snarled Froststar. "Oh don't worry, we can make you beautiful," purred Sunstar calmly. Sunstar was always like that. Dawnpaw hated him. "LightningClan, attack!" Sunstar called, "MistClan, attack." The cats leaped into the fight, and Dawnpaw found herself fighting Duskpaw.
"If it has to be this way," snarled Dawnpaw. She slashed a blow across her sister's nose, making her run. She found Featherpelt beside her, battling Shadefire. Featherpelt was being driven back, so Dawnpaw leaped on her former Clanmate from behind. "Deadface, Dawnpaw, the two dumbest ones." Dawnpaw growled and bit his ear.
Shadefire yowled in pain, but didn't give up. He cuffed Dawnpaw around the ear, and Featherpelt scratched his belly. It must have gone really deep, because blood was pooling the ground. "Ooh..." he groaned. "Who's dumb now?" Dawnpaw moved to a harder opponent. She saw Clearpaw fighting an apprentice from her Clan, but he was winning.
She saw Sunstar and Froststar, and decided to join that fight. She leaped on Sunstar's back, taking him by surprise. Froststar winked at her. She bit deep into his back, and Sunstar howled in pain. Sunstar flipped over, and mewed, "Why if it isn't the ugly apprentice." He pinned Dawnpaw down and sliced the top of her ear, making it fall off.
Froststar gasped in horror at her injury. Featherpelt roared in fury and sliced right on Sunstar's eye. He yowled in pain, and Dawnpaw realized he couldn't see anymore. She yowled in victory, even though her ear stung, and snarled at Sunstar, "Never mess with LightningClan." But he was wailing in pain. "I'm not beautiful anymore!" He cried.
Chapter Five: Regular
Dawnpaw watched Duskpaw run over to the wailing leader and try to comfort him. Dawnpaw knew she was mad, but that didn't matter right now. Had Sunstar given up? That was Dawnpaw's only question. Soon, Duskpaw came up to her. "You... you blinded Sunstar," she growled. "No! It was Featherpelt!" Dawnpaw cried.
"If you had stayed like any regular apprentice, this would not have happened," Duskpaw snarled. "It was Sunstar's choice for me to leave," Dawnpaw hissed. "And he payed." Duskpaw blinked, but was over it quickly. "This is clearly your fault," Duskpaw snarled, "Because you chose not to be beautiful." She whisked her tail and left.
Featherpelt came up to her. "I'm sorry, for what happened back there. I know I should have taken the credit," she meowed. "It's not your fault, my sister is just weird," Dawnpaw replied. "No, it was my fault" Featherpelt cried. But Sunstar had gotten back up, he mewed, "This fight will continue." The cats leaped back into battle.
Through the midst of cats, Dawnpaw could see Duskpaw beside Sunstar. "You can't fight in this condition," she was saying, "Let's get you to the medicine cat." Sunstar shook his head. "No. My Clan needs victory," he snarled. Duskpaw sighed, and leaped at Dawnpaw. Dawnpaw dodged her attack, and slashed her nose. Duskpaw screeched.
Dawnpaw leaped on her back, and bit down hard, but knew she shouldn't have done that. Her sister shrieked in pain and sunk to the ground. Dawnpaw looked for another cat, and saw Rocktail. He was a cat from her former Clan. She decided to sneak up on him, and crouched, low to the ground. When she was close enough, she pounced.
The warrior hissed in surprise and looked up on his back. Dawnpaw was striking fast and hard blows. Rocktail screeched in fury and rolled over, a classic MistClan move. Stupid! How could I be so stupid? Now I'm getting crushed! She tried to push him off with her strong hind legs, but it didn't work. But he wouldn't stay like this, right?
Suddenly, Rocktail got off her, and snarled, "I hope you learned your lesson." Dawnpaw saw Bushfall fighting Spottedcloud. She decided to join the fight, because Bushfall was losing. She leaped on Spottedcloud, and Bushfall winked at her. She bit deep into Spotted's back, but she realized that was a mistake, because she tried to roll over.
Before she could, Dawnpaw jumped off. Spottedcloud snarled in frustration. She turned on Dawnpaw, but Dawnpaw delivered a strong blow to her face. She yowled, and Dawnpaw yowled in triumph. Spottedcloud retreated. Bushfall had gone, so Dawnpaw decided to look and see how Duskpaw was doing. But she saw her mother, battered.
"So we meet again, mother," snarled Dawnpaw. But Nightsky was clearly to bruised to hear. Her paws were covered in blood, and that smelled like Froststar's blood. They must have been fighting, and as a leader, Froststar gave Nightsky a good beating. Suddenly Sunstar called, "They have to live as loners! We will attack again, but we must retreat!"
Dawnpaw was honestly glad. Nightsky woke up, and saw her. "Huh? Why aren't they fighting?" But Dawnpaw decided this was for a Clanmate to answer. She padded away, leaving Nightsky bruised, battered, and bloody.
Chapter Six: Warrior's Life
Dawnpaw had to keep up with all the patrols, and it was getting tiring, being on so many. She just wanted to collapse in her nest, and when she did, the deputy would call her on another patrol. Was he testing her loyalty? She was loyal - she promised! But no, Froststar can't believe her. Or was it just the lack of cats to do it? Things stopped the Clan a lot.
New kits were being born about every moon, mothers had to go to the nursery, and busy apprentices and warriors had to do all the work! It was so unfair! Well, that's the price of being a warrior apprentice. Patrols there, hunting here, and now, since it was dusk, she could just flop into her nest and get a good night's sleep. She sighed, relishing the warmth.
Then, Featherpelt entered the den. "Are you up to another patrol?" Dawnpaw looked up tiredly. "I can barely move a muscle! I'm so tired! Please, mentor, let me sleep," begged Dawnpaw. "Well, I guess you can pass now... Since it is dusk," Featherpelt sighed. She padded away, and Dawnpaw flopped down again. She soon fell into the grip of sleep.
She woke to a dream, finding herself running. "Regret, pain, sorrow," voices sighed around her. She looked behind herself, and darkness was swallowing everything up. The bloodied body of Nightsky flashed in her mind, and the dead body of... herself? It looked just like her, but Dawnpaw refused to believe it, and tried to identify another cat like this.
Her father? Could it be, Sunpelt? Dawnpaw pushed that away, and ran faster. The darkness was coming faster, eating everything in it's path like fire. "Help me!" Her wail was so loud, she was sure someone in the distance might hear. If there was anyone. Had the darkness killed everyone? Was she the only one left? She saw the dead body of mentor.
She wailed, but kept running, the darkness kept going faster. It was on her tail now. She shrieked when it reached her, first swallowing her tail, then her back paws, then her body, and finally, her head. Everything was black, and she felt like she was in the rapids. Her tail was flying in the air, and she saw her family go by her. Everyone she loved...
She woke up to water actually pooling around her paws, and everything was calm and quiet. "Weird," she muttered. Another apprentice was stirring next to her. "What's weird, mama?" Than she seemed to realize Dawnpaw had said that. "Hey! You woke me from a good dream!" She seemed as if she were crying. "Is something wrong?"
"I was having a dream about my parents. They were killed in a horrible battle," the apprentice muttered. "I'm sorry," Dawnpaw tried to comfort her, but she didn't know how. She just looked at her, sympathy glittering in her eyes. "It's okay, it wasn't your fault," the apprentice sighed. "I just wish they were still alive." Dawnpaw sighed, and said:
"My parents are gone to. Still alive, but I'm separated from them. I just wish they didn't care about beauty so much, and MistClan could be normal." She hoped that helped, but it seemed to make things worse, as the apprentice's eyes glistened like she was about to cry. "I'm Spottedpaw, by the way," she whispered. "I'm Dawnpaw, nice to meet you."
She tucked her head back in her paws, and fell asleep again.
Chapter Seven: Spottedpaw
When the night was finally over, Dawnpaw had hardly slept. The dream had kept waking her, and soon Spottedpaw, who fell back asleep again every time, lying in her nest next to Dawnpaw's. Spottedpaw's light snores were enough to annoy Dawnpaw. "Stop it, will you?" She accidentally had said that, and she clamped her jaws shut. "Huh?" Spotted.
"Sorry, I couldn't help myself," sighed Dawnpaw. "It's okay - I do that a lot," admitted Spottedpaw. Spottedpaw yawned, and looked at the dawn light. "I finally slept!" Dawnpaw felt sorry for herself, the night had seemed like a long, hard, battle. "I just want to sleep all day," Dawnpaw whined. She felt half-asleep, and was about to lay back down.
"Oh, come on, you know Froststar is going to put you on a patrol. You had them all day yesterday, and probably again today," Spottedpaw pointed out. Dawnpaw sighed. "Well, I'm gonna enjoy my time while I have it." She felt herself slowly slipping away, into the grip of sleep...
"Wake up, Dawnpaw!" Dawnpaw opened one eye, then the other. Spottedpaw was looming over her. "It's after sunhigh," she hissed. "Wait, what!?" Dawnpaw scrambled out to see the sun high in the sky, and the other cats were busily either eating or out on patrol. "Sorry," Dawnpaw muttered, running out. Her Clanmates looked at her.
"Dawnpaw, you were ordered on a patrol hours ago!" Featherpelt was running up to her. "I'm sorry I overslept, I just stayed up all night," Dawnpaw pleaded, "Please forgive me!" It looked like Featherpelt was about to laugh, but her mentor kept her muzzle shut. "It's okay," Featherpelt purred. "It was actually quite funny, seeing you asleep like a butt!"
Dawnpaw tilted her head to one side. "How was it funny?" Featherpelt flicked her tail, clearly holding in laughter. "You never sleep late, so, I just had to laugh!" Spottedpaw suddenly came up beside her. "She just had a dream that kept her awake," she reasoned. "She's sorry, but there's no need to bully her into shame!" Dawnpaw glanced at her friend.
"Their not bullying me," she whispered. "I thought it would bother you," replied Spottedpaw. "I can never take that stuff. I don't know how you can." Dawnpaw wanted to tell her she had problems, but she couldn't think of a way to do it in a way that wouldn't offend her. "Well, thanks, I guess," she mewed before padding away. Spottedpaw watched her.
Dawnpaw could hardly train she was so tired. Her muscles were aching, but she tried not to show it. Some time later, her mentor asked, "Are you okay?" Dawnpaw didn't know how to answer this. She wanted to say 'yes', but also desperately wanted her nest. Then she made her choice. "I'm just so tired," Dawnpaw complained. Featherpelt blink.
"You slept until sunhigh," she mewed. "But... I stayed awake all night," Dawnpaw reasoned. Featherpelt sighed. "I know you feel sluggish, but we have to get this move. Your having a session tomorrow, and this is one of the things you need to know to pass." Dawnpaw thought for a moment, and realized training would wake her. But it didn't.
It only made things worse. At the end of the day, Dawnpaw was out of breath. She collapsed in her nest again, and Spottedpaw came beside her and asked, "What's wrong?" Dawnpaw took a deep breath and mewed, "It's just... I'm so tired! Why couldn't I get some sleep before now?" She cried. "I know, but.. Just, goodnight, okay?"
Chapter Eight: Medicine Cat
Duskpaw stretched and yawned. Oh... Was her fur ruffled? She looked back and sighed in relief to see that it wasn't. Cloudpaw was sitting beside her, looking out at the camp. She noticed one of her paws was dark with fresh blood. "Hey, where'd you get that?" Cloudpaw looked startled, and then she replied, "Oh, I guess I cut my paw on a thorn."
"Come on, let's go to the medicine cat," Duskpaw murmured. Cloudpaw tried to stand up, but thudded down on the dusty floor. "My fur," she wailed, "My beautiful fur... Is ruined!" The other cats looked at her, and came up to her, grooming the dust out of her fur. Duskpaw waited, and waited. Finally! "Now," Cloudpaw hissed. She was clearly annoyed.
They padded over, this time without a problem, and Cloudpaw hobbled up to the medicine cat, Silkfur. "Silk?" The she-cat turned around. "Greetings," she purred. "Cloudpaw cut her paw on a thorn," Duskpaw explained. Silkfur gasped. "We need that gone right now, beautiful!" She put cobwebs on it, and it seemed to slow down. "Is it infected?"
"How can we tell?" Silkfur blinked, and then replied, "It'll smell weird if it is." Duskpaw bent down to sniff the wounded paw. "It smells kinda funny," she mewed. Silkfur took a sniff. "Some Marigold will fix that," she replied. She reached her paw into one of her stores, and pulled out a fresh-looking flower. She applied it to Cloudpaw's wound.
"Now, don't open that again," Silkfur called after them. "I won't," Cloudpaw promised. Cloudpaw limped off, but turned to ask, "Do I get a break from duties?" Silkfur shook her head. "It's only a scratch, it'll heal soon," she replied. Duskpaw wasn't sure it was a thorn, because how could a simple thorn do that much? She wanted to take a look.
She went back to Cloudpaw's nest, and smelled weird scents. They smelled old and stale, and yet so new and fresh. It was confusing. Oh well. She would just have to wait to find out. Just then, Sunstar padded by. "Exciting news," he called. "What?" Duskpaw stood up. "Since your so beautiful, your becoming a warrior early!" Glee ran through her.
She ran out, and beneath the Highrock. Sunstar called a meeting. Duskpaw took a seat in the middle, knowing the Clan would be all about her today. "Duskpaw, Cloudpaw, come forward," he called. The two elegant apprentices padded forward. Nightsky gasped in horror, and yowled, "This is against the code!" Duskpaw realized she was right.
"Who cares? Beauty always comes first," purred Sunstar. Nightsky twitched, but said nothing more. "Two apprentices are ready to become two elegant warriors," Sunstar called. "Duskpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect this Clan, even at the cost of your beauty?" Sunstar asked. "I do," Duskpaw replied.
"Then, from this moment on, you will be known as Duskleap!" He yowled. "What!? That's not an elegant and beautiful name!" Sunstar looked at her. "It means your leap is elegant and beautiful," he replied. "Cloudpaw, do you promise to..." Duskleap wasn't listening anymore, until she heard, "Then, from this moment on, you will be known as Cloudmorning!"
What!? That was a beautiful name! But to bad, Duskleap had to be stuck with this name, that was something Dawnpaw would want.
Chapter Nine: Dawn's Wish
Sunlight flitted into the den when Dawnpaw woke up. Her paws were aching, and it felt like she hadn't gotten any sleep, because she had the same dream, AGAIN. She yawned and stretched, her muscles aching when she stretched. "Oh StarClan, why," she muttered under her breath. She blinked, and was ready to go out.
"Dawnpaw! Your awake," Spottedpaw greeted her. "I keep having that dream," Dawnpaw replied. "And I wake up, still feeling tired." Spottedpaw looked sympathetic. "Come on, it's not your fault, so cheer up," she meowed. "I can't, I'm so tired, and that makes me grumpy," Dawnpaw sighed. "You can! You don't have depression, do you?"
Her gaze looked teasing for a moment, but then it turned serious. "I just wish the dream would go away," Dawnpaw hissed. "It's okay, it'll probably stop soon," Spottedpaw assured her. "I guess," Dawnpaw muttered before padding off to her mentor. Featherpelt greeted her cheerfully. "Hello! Ready for training?" Her gaze was full of energy.
"No, I keep having this dream, and I wake up feeling tired," Dawnpaw sighed. "Maybe training will warm you up," Featherpelt suggested. They padded out of the camp and into the training hollow. "So, today we're practicing..."
Dawnpaw was coming back at sunset, her leg muscles feeling dead. But energy coursed through her. She didn't know why - she had just gotten this feeling. That night, she slept amazingly. Had her wish come true? She woke up feeling energetic and ready. "Are you better?" Spottedpaw had approached her. "Am I? Amazingly," replied Dawnpaw.
"Great," Spottedpaw replied. "What about some double training?" Dawnpaw nodded and they padded to their mentors together. "We're training together today," Dawnpaw announced. "Good," Featherpelt mewed. They padded into the forest, and ran halfway, energy coursing Dawnpaw's veins. When they arrived, the group was panting.
"First, we're going to learn the Forepaw Strike," Featherpelt announced. She showed them the move, and they copied. "You've gotta go faster, Dawnpaw," Featherpelt meowed, "Like this." She repeated the move, and by the end of training, they were both doing perfectly. "You seem better, and more energetic," meowed Featherpelt.
"I didn't have the dream last night," Dawnpaw replied. "That's great!" Featherpelt turned to Spottedpaw, who was as energetic as her. "How about you?" Spottedpaw shook her head. "I dunno, maybe I'm just full of energy," she replied. Featherpelt laughed and again talked with Spottedpaw's mentor, Waspcloud. Waspcloud got her name for being fast.
Spottedpaw waved her tail at a mouse. "Hunting?" Without an answer, she crouched, stalked silently forward, than pounced. She landed squarely on the mouse and bit into it's neck. "Great catch," Waspcloud mewed. "Thanks," Spottedpaw replied. She carried it in her mouth the whole way home. When they got back, they had a meal.
"That was tasty," Dawnpaw remarked, swiping her tongue around her mouth. "Obviously," Spottedpaw replied. Dawnpaw purred. Her new friend was the best friend you could have. She padded to her nest. "Now, it's time for another undisturbed sleep," she muttered.
Chapter Ten: We Meet Again
"Dawnpaw, we're going on the sunhigh patrol!" A voice woke Dawnpaw, and she opened her eyes to see Featherpelt. "Oh, cool," she mewed. She was more excited for training. The two padded out together to discover it was sunhigh. "Perfect timing," meowed Featherpelt. "You guys, go with Cinderleaf and Hollytree." They padded off together.
"Beautiful day," commented Cinderleaf as they padded down the slope towards the MistClan border. What if Duskpaw was there? "Yeah," replied Dawnpaw. They saw tons of rabbit burrows and squirrel trees when they were making their way to the border. They finally reached it. "Hello, Dawnpaw," hissed a menacing voice. Dawnpaw saw her sister.
"Duskpaw," snarled Dawnpaw. "No, that's Duskleap to you," hissed Duskpaw. "Oh, is MistClan back to breaking the warrior code?" Dawnpaw turned to see who had stood up for her. It was Cinderleaf. "Your not even old enough to become a warrior, and your sister, Dawnpaw here, is moons older than you." Duskleap hissed but said nothing.
"And not to mention she's better than you," hissed Hollytree. "Wanna see?" Asked Duskleap. Her voice dropped to whisper in Dawnpaw's ear, "Meet me here tomorrow. We will fight, to see who is the best." Dawnpaw nodded, a smirk going onto her face. "Let's go back, before this becomes a skirmish," mewed a MistClan voice. "Okay."
"Oh! You don't want to ruin your beautiful pelts," mocked Dawnpaw. Duskleap hissed, whirled around, and stalked away. "Hey, your almost ready to be a warrior," mewed Featherpelt. "Really!?" Featherpelt nodded. They reached the camp, and just then, Froststar called a Clan meeting. The cats gathered below, muttering. "Today..." Froststar started.
"We have an apprentice, who has proved herself worthy of LightningClan many times over." She looked straight at Dawnpaw. "Dawnpaw," she called, "Do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect this Clan, even at the cost of your life?" Dawnpaw stood up and padded up the Highrock. "I do," she mewed proudly. "Then from this moment on..."
"You will be known as Dawnfire," she yowled. "Dawnfire! Dawnfire!" Dawnfire smiled proudly and leaped down the rock. "Wasn't that amazing?" Her mentor was beside her. "I guess," meowed Dawnfire. That was enough for Featherpelt, because she padded away. But Dawnfire's thoughts were full of Duskleap. We're equal now.
She looked around the camp to see what she could do, but pretty much everything was being done, so she decided to go sleep.
Dawnfire realized it was the next morning, silky light streaming through the den. "I've got to fight Duskleap," she muttered. She dragged her paws to the entrance, and then ran out of the camp. Wind tugged her fur as she ran, and she enjoyed it. She waited on the border, until Duskleap finally arrived. "Are you ready?" She pulled out her claws.
"Ready as ever."
Chapter Eleven: So It Begins
Dawnfire leaped on Duskleap, so quickly Duskleap couldn't even get out a word. She bit into her back, and jumped off before she could roll over. So she rolled, but had her belly exposed. "Uh-oh," she heard Duskleap whisper. She put a paw on her neck, ready to unsheathe her claws. "Ready to give up yet?" Duskleap shook her head.
Before Dawnfire could sink her ready claws in, Duskleap lunged forward and nipped a whisker-length from Dawnfire's neck. "Oh, so close," Dawnfire teased. Duskleap lunged again, but Dawnfire slid aside. "You mouse-brain, now your cornered," Duskleap hissed. Dawnfire looked behind her, and she had backed right into a tree. But she had a plan.
"Not exactly," she mewed, darting to the side. "Dangit," Duskleap yowled. Dawnfire rammed Duskleap's head into a nearby bramble. When she looked back, her face was covered in spiky thorns. But she poked her head right into Dawnfire's eye. Her eye stung, and a rolling mist clouded over it. "You... YOU BLINDED ME!"
"That was revenge, for blinding Sunstar," Duskleap snarled. "That was Featherpelt, and just let it go, that was MOONS ago," Dawnfire snarled. "It needs to be avenged," Duskleap hissed with satisfaction. The battle started again, and Dawnfire slashed Duskleap's nose. Blood ran out of it, and Duskleap looked like she were about to wail.
"Oh, snap," Dawnfire mewed teasingly. "You want death? WELL I'LL GIVE YOU SOME," roared Duskleap. Rapidly, she raced up to Dawnfire. Before Dawnfire could slide, Duskleap hurtled into her and slashed Dawnfire's foreleg. She started to biting deep into it, but Dawnfire leaned over and bit into HER foreleg! Duskleap wriggled, losing her balance.
Her head crashed into the dust, and Dawnfire shoved her down there, so she would suffocate. But Duskleap pushed herself up, and she spat out the dust. "My face is ruined," she cried. "Stop worrying about your face and worry about yourself! I always told MistClan to grow up, to bad they didn't," Dawnpaw sneered, putting a claw on Dusk's neck.
"No! Don't kill me! I'll do anything," Duskleap pleaded. "Even style you up." Dawnfire looked into her eyes, her harsh glare meeting her pleading stare. "You really think that would please me? There's no mercy in this game," she added. "Only MistClan BEAUTIES have mercy." Dawnfire sneered the word mercy like a snake was on her tongue.
"I'm sorry for everything," Duskleap cried, "Remember our kithood?" Dawnfire remembered playing together, but then, they drifted apart. "Those days are over," she snarled. "They don't have to be." Duskleap's eyes glistened, tears gathering there. "When we would adventure together? But then, we hated each other, for what reason?"
"We're different, you are obsessed with beauty, I just hate it," Dawnfire hissed. "Only one of us has a place in this world." Duskleap herself had said to meet here. And why is she begging for mercy now? But Dawnfire couldn't stand being apart. "I'm sorry, sister," she apologized, "We will live in peace. But you have lost the battle."
"It doesn't matter anymore," Duskleap replied. "We will live in peace now."
Chapter Twelve: Epilogue
Dawnfire's ancient, starry form leaped across mountains, a starry dark-gray she-cat following. "Bet you can't catch me," Dawnfire taunted playfully. The other cat had a playful smirk lighting her face. Gracefully, she shot across the sky and landed right in front of Dawnfire. She lashed her tail. "Ready to change your mind now?"
She touched Dawnfire with a paw. "Oh, darn," Dawnfire mewed. Soon, she saw a starry cat on a rock. "You know what this means, Duskleap," meowed Dawnfire. "Meeting." They raced across a moor, faster than lightning, and sat under a rock. Other cats were gathering, taking seats that had the best view for them. "As you all know..." the cat started.
"The Clans have had recent... Trouble," the she-cat mewed. "Yes!" Agreements rose from the clearing, but were silenced quickly. "But I have one prophecy, that will be sent from one of the cats that really knows how this life is." She glanced straight at Dawnfire, and Dawnfire's eyes narrowed. "Is history repeating itself? The sun will rise..."
They knew the rest. "These are two different sisters, and besides, it has been many centuries," replied the she-cat. "Okay, Froststar," Dawnfire agreed. "This prophecy is: The white will rise and the dark will fall." Dawnfire leaped out of her seat. "But what does it mean?" Froststar rolled her eyes. "We never know," she replied.
Dawnfire padded through StarClan's starry grounds, and finally found a pool. She jumped into it, and repeated the word, "Leafmist." For that was LightningClan's medicine cat.