This fanfic is discontinued until January. Sorry, but I don’t have enough time to work on it right now, since I am preparing for exams.
This story is a work-in-progress, and it is not very good so far, but I hope to continue it and make it better!
A chilly wind rattled the bare trees, and an eerie call echoed through the night. Dusky padded nervously through the small forest of bare trees. Leaves crunched under Dusky’s paws as he slunk along the forest floor.
Where are they? He wondered, glancing into the shadows. The moon was full and bright, yet its light didn’t stop the shadows from enveloping the trees and undergrowth, until Dusky stumbled on a hidden root. With a curse, he shook out his fur and continued forward, even though his mind screamed in protest. His leg movements were jerky and slow, and his tail waved wildly, stirring the leaves.
You’ll never be a wild cat! You’re too clumsy and soft! Tabby’s jeering words echoed in Dusky’s head, and he tried to shove them away, but his heart sank. Was this really worth it? Warily he glanced back towards the lights of the Twolegplace. That had been his home, the place he had known all his life. And now he was leaving it. For what? To see if some legend was true?
Dusky finally drowned out Tabby’s taunts and picked up his paws, trotting across the carpet of leaves on the forest floor. He glanced up once more at the full moon, which was floating in the large, black sky.
They should be here somewhere. Dusky sighed, curling his tail close to his body.
Suddenly, he heard a sharp snap, and he whirled around with a hiss. Gleaming yellow eyes shone from the shadows, and Dusky heard the cat’s raspy breath. He began to slink away, but quick as lightning, the cat sprang at him, it’s claws already at his throat. Dusky yowled in fear and crashed to the ground, writhing and flailing.
The cat’s strong paws held Dusky to the ground, and as Dusky thrashed around, he could see the glossy sheen of the cat’s pelt. Large muscles rippled underneath.
This is a wild cat, Dusky realized, slowing his struggles. The cat’s hot breath was billowing in his face.
And he’s about to kill me……
“Stop!” A voice screeched from nearby. The wild cat rolled off of Dusky with a hiss. Dusky struggled to raise his head, but he saw the forms of two other cats nearby.
“What in the name of StarClan are you doing?” hissed one of the cats, a large white tom who had brown-tipped ears and a brown, bushy tail.
“Rowanheart said to attack any intruders,” Dusky’s attacker replied sharply. Though he was muscular, his frame was slim and his legs were long and skinny.
“Have you seen him before?” the second cat meowed, a dark grey tabby she-cat with crystal blue eyes. Her whiskers twitched in amusement as Dusky shook out his fur.
“Yes, I believe I have,” the white tom growled. “What’s your name?”
“Dusky,” Dusky replied quietly.
“You’re Fern’s son, aren’t you?” the tom purred.
Dusky nodded warily.
“Well, I’m Fern’s brother, Alder,” the tom replied, tipping his head to the side and flicking his tail across Dusky’s chest.
Dusky gasped. “I didn’t know Fern had a wild brother,” he admitted, gaping at Alder.
“It’s a long story of how I joined the wild cats.” Alder’s ears twitched, and skepticism flashed through his dark amber eyes.
“Were you like me?” Dusky pressed. “A loner, or whatever you call them?”
“A loner or a rogue,” Alder murmured. “Practically interchangeable.”
“No!” The she-cat cut in, lashing her tail. “Loners and rogues are very different.” Her eyes narrowed at Alder and she turned towards Dusky with a warm smile.
“Don’t mind my father,” she told him, flicking Alder’s muzzle with her tail.
“He believes in peace for every cat,” Dusky’s attacker snarled.
“And don’t mind Nettlespring, either,” the she-cat added briskly. “I’m Moonflame, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you,” Dusky meowed in reply.
“We should be getting back to camp,” Alder announced, padding through the dark, moonlight forest.
Dusky’s shoulders slumped as he followed the cats through the eerie forest, the wind ruffling his dusky brownish-grey fur.
Moonflame hung behind, padding slightly ahead of him. Dusky felt a warm feeling in his chest every time she glanced back at him.
“Keep up!” Alder called from somewhere up ahead. The two cats in the back picked up their pace, running side by side with the night wind blowing through their pelts.
Moonflame’s eyes sparkled with amusement, and Dusky found himself staring into them affectionately. Then she turned away and angled her ears to the entrance of a large hollow. Dusky gasped at the sight as Moonflame slipped into the clearing.
“This is ThunderClan’s camp,” Moonflame told him. “Welcome to your new home, Dusky.”
Dusky’s eyes widened as he took in the sight of the hollow.
Home. This is my home now.
“The last thing we need is a kittypet in the forest.”
Dusky awoke to a sneering voice and poked his head outside the den where he was staying. Springstar, the leader of ThunderClan, was talking to a small, dark grey she-cat with a white tail and white paws.
“We need warriors, Cloudpaw,” Springstar murmured. “And I think he’ll be a good addition to our Clan.”
“He almost got killed by Netttlespring!” Cloudpaw hissed. “He doesn’t have what it takes.”
“With training, time, and patience, he will.”
Dusky pressed himself against the ground, ears lowered. Cloudpaw had a good point. But Springstar did too. He sighed, then froze as the cat’s heads snapped towards his hiding place.
“Dusky?” Springstar growled. “Is that you?”
Trembling with fear, Dusky slunk forward, his head and tail drooping in shame.
“I’m sorry for eavesdropping,” he mewed. “I understand if most cats don’t want me in this Clan.” His tail whisked nervously, and his ears flicked towards Springstar.
“Feel free to stay,” Springstar promised. “Over time, the cats will be nice to you.” He looked at Cloudpaw with wide eyes, and the she-cat grunted in agreement.
“Thank you,” Dusky murmured. “I’ll leave now.”
“No,” Springstar growled, surprising Dusky. “Stay. I need to talk to you.” He looked at Cloudpaw again, and the apprentice growled and padded away.
“What do you want to talk to me about?” Dusky asked nervously.
“Your apprenticeship,” Springstar replied. “You look about ten moons old. A little old for apprentice training, but we all start from somewhere. Tomorrow, I would like you to come with me, and you’ll demonstrate your hunting abilities. After that, we’ll start your battle training. After your apprentice ceremony, your name will be Duskypaw.”
“Thank you,” Dusky meowed cheerfully. He was excited to start his training and prove himself to the Clan leader. He felt a wave of even more happiness as Springstar spoke again.
“Alder will be your mentor.”
“Really? Thank you, Springstar!”
“No problem. At sunhigh we’ll announce your new name. Now get a good sleep, because you have a big day tomorrow.”
Dusky smiled and padded back into his den, curling up and closing his eyes. Before he knew it, it was sunrise, and he was up and ready to train. He saw Springstar and Alder waiting by the camp’s entrance and exit, which was a gap between two bramble thickets.
“What do you smell?” Springstar prompted once they were farther into the forest.
“Um, forest-y smells,” Dusky replied. “And something that smells like. . . mouse!”
“Good!” Springstar praised. “Now let’s see your hunting crouch.”
Dusky crouched, remembering to keep his tail low. It flicked in excitement, and he saw Alder’s whiskers twitching in amusement.
“Keep your tail still and your haunches a bit lower,” Springstar critiqued. “Now slink forward as quietly as possible.”
Dusky obeyed, slinking forward against the forest floor. The mouse froze, and Dusky pounced, slamming a paw down on the mouse’s tail and delivering a killing bite to its neck.
“Excellent!” Alder’s eyes sparkled with pride.
“Now bury it,” Springstar instructed. “We’ll come back later to fetch it and take it back to camp.”
“Okay.” Dusky angled his ears around the forest, trying to pick up the sounds and scents of more prey. It was so fun to be hunting in this forest, and before he knew it, sunhigh was approaching. In addition to his mouse, Dusky had caught a squirrel and a scrawny blue jay. Alder had praised him and boasted about him, and Springstar looked very pleased with Dusky’s results.
“You’ll be a wonderful hunter,” Alder purred as they headed back to the ThunderClan camp. Dusky nodded, his mouth full with the blue jay and mouse. Springstar was carrying the squirrel, but dropped it as they passed the prey pile. Dusky did the same, but once every Clan member had received their prey, he took his mouse from the pile and wolfed it down quickly. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Springstar leap onto the tall rock in the middle of the clearing.
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here by Highrock!” he yowled, summoning the Clan. Dusky’s heart jumped as Moonflame padded up to him.
“Alder told me you’re getting your apprentice name and mentor today,” she purred. “Good job!”
“Thanks,” Dusky replied. “I’m so excited! Hopefully I’ll be a warrior soon!”
“You’ll do great,” she told him, licking his ear affectionately.
“Dusky, please come forward!” Springstar called. Dusky obeyed, excitement rushing through him.
“From this day until his warrior ceremony, this cat will be known as Duskypaw, and his mentor will be Alder. Alder, let StarClan guide your paws as you train Duskypaw to become the best warrior he can be.”
“Duskypaw! Duskypaw!” Most of the Clan was chanting his name, but Duskypaw realized that some cats, like Cloudpaw, stayed silent.
Duskypaw. That’s my new name now.
He couldn’t wait for his training. He would try to best the best apprentice and warrior he could be.
ThunderClan’s enemies better watch out, he thought proudly. Duskypaw is coming for you!
~~MORE COMING SOON~~