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Death itself can love as well.”

A story by Almond c:

Foreword

I’m a murderer. I torture, I kill, and I ruin, mercilessly.

I’m supposed to kill without a second thought. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s why the clans are terrified of me. It’s the reason I’m so well-known as “Death”.

I’m not supposed to love.

But he was different.

Part One (Larkstream)

Oh hi! I’m Larksteam, as you probably may know. And I have one question:

Would you hate me if I told you I was a tom...and I liked toms?

Almost everyone in HorizonClan seems to hate me because of this, so....I was just wondering...

Anyways, I walk out of the warriors’ den—trying to ignore everyone’s glares—on a chilly morning. This is a very special morning, dear reader—not just that it’s been exactly 2 weeks since I told the clan about me liking toms, but today—today is Detective Day.

Detective Day is where our leader, Blazestar, receives a vision from StarClan on who the next detective is going to be.

The detective is much harder to explain.

The detective is the special cat who gets selected to hunt down Death. Death is...well, you can tell he’s a murderer. I’ve never seen him myself, but who ever crosses paths with him—dies. And sadly, it’s frequent.

That’s why he’s such a concern to the four clans. Most of all, our clan; we’re the ones that suffered the most.

So far, no detective has succeeded. Only two detectives have come back from their hunt alive. They both, though, died of their wounds.

It’s very omnious, and extremely scary. That’s why the cat has to be the right choice. I honestly don’t see that much of a point anymore in selecting a detective if they all die. But the two that “survived” have revealed clues about Death:

Death has blood red eyes, and he murders exactly at Dawn, Sun-high, and Moon-high.

I still can’t believe Death is able to kill of so much of the four clans.

“Watch it!!” Someone shouts, stomping on my tail. I shrink back in pain and quickly dash somewhere else. I see my mom, Moonspirit, with upset eyes as she watches the cats gathering.

My mom’s the deputy, and so far, my only friend in this clan. She’s really protective, but I can’t blame her. I’m so lucky to have her around, because she is one out of two cats that accept me. The other, Mosspaw, I’ll get into later.

I nod a hello to her, and her eyes light up in warmth.

“There you are,” Moonspirit mutters. She grooms me a tiny bit. “I hope the others haven’t hurt you that much.” Her eyes are full of concern.

“No, not really,” I answer cheerfully. Many glares and remarks that hurt my feelings, yes, but it wasn’t as bad as last week. I tried to be as cheerful and as positive as I could myself and to my mother. But even she knew I was mostly suffering. Why can’t they just accept for who I am? Like my mother does?

My mother let out a tiny sigh, but she smiled and licked my forehead. “I promise, if I become leader,” she whispers, “there won’t be anyone that will make fun.”

I purred. I really want that to happen. And something else—I want to find the love of my life. Someone like me!

Blazestar’s yowl interrupts me from my thoughts. “Everyone!! Gather round, gather round! I have the announcment of the new detective!!”

“Got to go,” Moonspirit says, glancing towards the high cliff. The medicine cat and her apprentice were already standing there. My mother jumps on the high cliff, standing beside Blazestar.

I didn’t want my mother to go up there, because as soon as she left, cats moved away from me and I could feel the hateful glares of cats around me.

“Cats of HorizonClan,” The leader announced, looking down at everyone, “I have found the new detective of HorizonClan!!”

The entire clan was silent, listening to Blazestar’s announcement. I wonder who the new detective is going to be. It could be Specklewish or Houndclaw, two very efficient warriors. Houndclaw may or may not have been my ex-best friend, my crush, and now...my enemy.

But what can I do? His beautiful blue eyes make me root for him.

You probably think I’m weird, not wanting revenge. Although I guess I’m already “weird”.

Blazestar’s next sentence stirred me out of my thoughts.

“Please believe what I will say, HorizonClan, for StarClan has made it clear. The new detective will be...Larkstream.”

Wait...what?

My mother is the only one gleaming with pride. She doesn’t care what the others are thinking. She flicks her tail for me to come up, smiling.

I stumble up the steps to the High Cliff. The medicine cat, Kestrelfoot, and her apprentice, Juniperpaw, stared at me in shock. I honestly felt the same.

Why....me?

Blazestar’s expression was unreadable, while Moonspirit, at I told you, shone with pride.

No one said anything. I was still extremely shocked. I haven’t processed what just happened.

Startling me, a voice yowled from below. “Blazestar, there must be a mistake!! Why would that bat-blind exuse for a cat be elected as detective?”

I almost answered back, but Moonspirit cut me off. “Silence!!! What Blazestar announces is what he announces!! What did Larkstream ever do to you?!”

Yowls and protests roared from down below. I couldn’t take it. I needed some air. So, I dashed quickly down the High Cliff and ran outside the camp through an opening beside the rocky cliff.

That’s when I first met him.

Part Two (Axel)

No, my real name isn’t Death. The four clans gave me that nickname.

My real name is Axel. But since I don’t know anyone that well, and all my enemies call me Death, it’s sometimes hard to remember my original title.

You probably are wondering why I kill so many cats. Revenge? Forced to? Hurt from the past? Am I in debt?

Incorrect. I do it as a normal task.

For example it’s like how you—{{{1}}}—eat, sleep, or make dirt. I kill.

It’s just on my schedule, I guess. I’ve been killing since...since I can remember.

Into reality. I had just murdered a white-and-black she-cat. I rolled over her lifeless body, propping her against a tree.

You know, I’ve never really had a thing for she-cats. I mean, I don’t hate them but—I’ve never really...been into them, you know what I mean? Wait. Who am I kidding? You don’t want to know about a murderer’s love life. You just want me to be brought to justice and move on.

You don’t care about me.

It was about noon. I was close to heading out of the forest, when I heard a rustling in the bushes.

Someone was there.

I unsheathed my claws, ready to kill easily. I sort of chuckled at the thought that someone was coming near me instead of me coming towards them. How foolish of whoever that is.

Just wondering, this is the time of year when the clans pick the detective cat, right? Huh. They are certainly stupid. So far, for the 8 seasons I’ve been here, they’ve been out of luck.

The rustling in the bushes got louder, and I braced for attack. I smiled—they certainly are stupid. I decided to just charge at them through the bushes. It’s not like they are going to get away, anyway.

I laugh aloud for a few seconds, then burst through the bushes.

Oh, how I was not ready for what I would see on the other side.

I easily jumped on the cat, who let out a yelp. To make sure my location wasn’t revealed (since I was close to one of the clan’s territory) I decided I’d end the cat fast. He was a tom, I could tell.

I reached down to sink my teeth into the screaming tom’s neck, that’s when I locked eyes with him.

It felt like the whole world went into a standstill.

His eyes were the most gorgeous blue-green I had ever seen—it looked like I was gazing into the sea. The tom’s eyes twinkled with fear, but still, those eyes were so, so beautiful.

That’s when I realized. Oh no...

My heart was beating extremely fast.

Whoever this cat was, from whichever clan or even outside the territory, I couldn’t kill him.

Look at that, {{{1}}}, I fell in love with a tom I don’t even know. But this is a secret between you and me.

I can’t admit it.

I honestly didn’t know what to do, so I let go of the trembling tom.

“Go,” I whisper hoarsely at the tom, “before I change my mind.”

The tom nodded his (very beautiful) head and made a beeline to probably where his camp is.

When he left, I sighed. I honestly didn’t know how I felt. Mostly realization that I’ve done something I’ve never done before—let go of someone when I should kill them.

But hey, I’ve never fallen in love before, have I?

You can’t blame me, {{{1}}}.

Part Three (Larkstream)

I ran back to camp faster than I thought I could. When I burst through the bushes, everyone was waiting for me. Hateful glares were cast at me. I lowered my head and tried to calmly walk towards the warrior’s den.

My heart was pounding extremely fast because of that encounter with the strange cat. It took almost all of my energy not to freak out.

I see Blazestar pad over to me out of the corner of my eye.

“Larkstream,” He muttures, “a word.” He flicks his tail over to the leader’s den under the high cliff. I follow him silently.

Under the high cliff lies a cave. In this cave is Blazestar’s den. I’ve only been in it twice: when I was an apprentice, and when Blazestar addressed me about...liking toms.

We walk inside.

Barely any light came through the small hole at the top of the cave. Despite that, Blazestar’s amber eyes shone in the eerie darkness.

“Sit,” He directed, pointing his tail to a nest of moss. I did what I was told. I silently thanked StarClan that it was dark, so Blazestar couldn’t see me trembling. I hated this eerie tension.

“Larkstream!!” A voice cut the silence. Moonspirit rushed up to me, her eyes glinting with worry. “Where have you been? I’ve was so worried!!”

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