Original Idea by RedPandaPotter.
Note: Zaffie is currently writing for Echokit due to Maple's period of absence.
I wake up, opening my eyes for the first time and seeing nothing but a lot of black and white fur.
I realize that it is my mother, Cinderflower, her speckled flank rising and falling slowly as she breathed, in and out, up and down, the soft sighs of breath escaping her lips calming me. I glance around the den, empty save for my mother and me. There are no other queens or kits, though ShadowClan isn't scarce on warriors.
Even though I've only been in ShadowClan for two days, what I've heard the passing warriors say about us convinces me we are the best Clan. Our leader, Sagestar, is one of the fairest leaders of them all. We have the best territory as well, pine trees, a bit of the lake, bramble thickets, it's all great.
I jump when my mother calls my name, and turn. Cinderflower's big blue eyes are large and amused, her whiskers twitching.
"Do you want to see your father?"
I nod. "Ferretwillow!"
It takes a moment, but a cream and gray tom with dark blue eyes pads slowly into the den, looking around. "Cinderflower?"
"Meet your kit," Cinderflower mews, and I look at Ferretwillow with wide eyes.
"This is Sootkit?" Ferretwillow asks, not taking his eyes off of me. I can tell he's probing me, examining me, curious if I'll be an asset to ShadowClan or not. His eyes preform a quick flick to his mate, and then back to me, now skeptical. "What's on his ear?"
I raise my paw, which is a bright, clean white, and bat at my ear. Ferretwillow's tail flicks out from under him and brushes a piece of moss off of my left ear. I sit back down, somewhat embarrassed.
"He seems a bit scrawny," Ferretwillow observes, and I shrink back against Cinderflower.
"He's three days old," scolds Cinderflower, twitching her ears at her mate. "Be polite."
Ferretwillow snorts, whisks his tail around (catching me on the ear), and pads out of the nursery. Cinderflower draws me closer to her, wrapping her tail around me.
"Don't worry about him," Cinderflower says. "He's just..." But what Ferretclaw really is is interrupted by the entrance of another cat to the den, with a ShadowClan scent but he's a face I haven't seen before.
"Blizzardbelly!" Cinderflower says. The tom is pale gray, with a white chest and lower belly, which is probably how he got his name. "Sootkit, go outside for a moment while I talk to Blizzardbelly."
I nod obediently and nervously pad outside. The sky is a bright, clear blue with white clouds floating serenely across it.
A tortoiseshell she-cat with a white chest races into the middle of the camp, her voice joyful as she announces, "The river's frozen!"
Frozen? I look down at my fur, and notice for the first time that it's fluffed up against the frigid breeze whispering around the camp. I suppose I just hadn't noticed it when I was warm in the nursery.
The she-cat, Olivecloud, nods excitedly. "We could skate right over to RiverClan territory if we wanted."
"Yes, well, don't go walking on it just yet," mews a voice off to the side of me.
A pale gray, almost white, she-cat emerges from her den, and I recognize the cat as Sagestar.
"Don't," continues Sagestar. "Walk across it until a warrior has tested it first."
"But I did test it," Olivecloud insists. "So can we skate on it?"
Sagestar deliberates for a moment, before giving a reluctant nod.
"Mother! Mother!" I hurry back into the den. "Can I please go on the ice?"
"Ice?" Cinderflower asks, distracted.
"Yes, on the lake!"
Blizzardbelly smiles, turning to Cinderflower, who looks aghast all of a sudden.
"Of course not," Cinderflower mews. "You're not allowed out of camp!"
"But Cinderflower--" She cuts off my whine with an annoyed hiss.
"No! You heard me, Sootkit. Now take a nap or play outside. I need to talk with Blizzardbelly." The tom dips his head to me, apologizing. I pad outside, stomping angrily.
"What's wrong, Sootkit?"
"She won't let me go on the ice."
Sagestar laughs. "You'll be able to go on the ice in six moons."
"Thanks," I say slowly, as though I really appreciate her words.
"Mistfoot, have you been training again? I sent you out on a hunting patrol!"
I turn, heaving a sigh. Sagestar meets my gaze evenly and I meow, "We don't need fresh-kill as badly as we need good warriors with excellent battle skills! So I took Foxpad and Swiftheart to practice our skills!"
Sagestar heaves a sigh of her own. I can feel her frustration pulsing from her pelt and I barely contain a hiss. Listen to me! Just because I'm not Blizzardbelly doesn't mean all my ideas are awful! My claws pierce the soggy marsh ground of the camp and I look at Sagestar, waiting for her answer.
Her gaze softens, "I know you just want what's best for the Clan Mistfoot. You're a good and loyal warrior, but remember, we need prey if we're to make it through leaf-bare."
I raise my head in excitement, "That's what I've been saying though! We can invade ThunderClan. The mangy squirrel-brains won't even know what's hit them. And we-"
Sagestar squares her shoulder, "No," she meows, "Leaf-bare has been hard, but we will not invade ThunderClan. Now, have you seen Blizzardbelly?"
"I think he was in the nursery," I mutter. Sagestar nods, her eyes not on me.
"Probably visiting Cinderflower's new litter. That's good. As deputy he needs to get involved with the Clan." she pads off, muttering a little to herself. I flex my claws. I hate my brother with a fiery passion. Blizzardbelly is deputy, good with the kits, and everyone loves him. Mistfoot can't do a single thing right.
A deputy gets involved with the Clan...
"I should go to the nursery!" I gasp, "A good deputy would...it'll show Sagestar I could be a good deputy too!"
I pelt off to the nursery, pushing into the bramble thicket. A few brambles scrape at my pelt and I hiss. I scent the air and find Cinderflower in the back corner. A small tom-kit is by her side, sleeping serenely. Cinderflower speaks in hushed whispers with my brother. Blizzardbelly looks up to see me. He gives me a nod, "Mistfoot." I nod back and he turns to his friend, "Sorry Cinderflower, I should go."
He pelts out of the den as if organizing the next batch of hunting patrols will decide the entire fate of ShadowClan. I flick my tail in annoyance.
"Come to see little Sootkit?" Cinderflower asks, her eyes on her kit. I nod, remembering why I hate queens. Sure they're nice, if you're a kit, but trying to talk to them otherwise is like trying to pry brambles from your fur. Utterly impossible, especially when they're staring at scraps of fur like Sootkit.
"Blizzardbelly says he's going to make a great warrior," Cinderflower meows.
"Oh, well if Blizzardbelly says so...."
"I don't know why you two fight so much..." Cinderflower meows, her familiar blue eyes making my scuff my paws on the mossy floor of the den. "You know I hate it when my kits fight!"
"I'm not a kit anymore," I remind her.
"You'll always be my kit," she purrs. Her gaze drifts back to Sootkit, who clearly holds priority over me. "I'm just glad you came to see your little brother."
"Yeah," I meow in a dead tone, looking down at my tiny kin. "Isn't he fantastic."
I opened my eyes, the smell of heather, moor, and wind bombarded me, I thought the smell was nice.
"Oh look, she's awake!" a voice said with a purr, I looked to it's speaker, the she-cat was a light gray she-cat, with blue eyes, That must be my mother! I thought, even though I had forgotten her name, I think it was... Stormsky, or something like that, I was sure it had storm in it.
As I looked around the den, I was amazed on how.. Clean and protected it looked, At least I don't have to worry about getting attacked by scary Riverclan cats.
I mewed in what happened to be a squeaky voice "Where's daddy?" I looked up to face Stormsky, who had a friendly light in her eyes.
I like her already, I thought gleefully as she liked my head and mewed "You're father is here, he's coming to see you soon.
I was surprised at all the cats that came to see the new kitten, which was me, I thought Must be nice to be a warrior, can't wait until I'm one!
A burly white tom ame in, light green eyes filled with delight as he mewed, "This is her, Stormsky?" he asked in a friendly tone.
I like him too! I thought, surprised at all the friendliness there was in this clan.
"Yep, this is her, Hazelkit, this is you're father, Snowclaw." Stormsky mewed, her whiskers twitching as I looked up.
Snowclaw purred "Hello, little warrior!"
I only squeaked a "Hi," which everyone thought was amusing. Everyone's so nice in this clan! I thought, taking in the den more.
It's walls were shielded by brambles and stalks of heather, but was well protected from nature, like rain and snow. The floor was soft and bouncy, and there were a couple nests in the den, but not all nests were occupied.
I asked Stormsky "Where is everyone else?" I looked around again, I can't see any other kittens! Where are all of them? I thought.
Stormsky mewed "They're probably out playing, they are older then you, so they want to give you space." she fliked her tail, and I resisted the urge to chase it.
I finally stood up, wobbily walking to the entrance of the den, and peeked out into the big wide world. And I was quite surprised at what I saw.
The clan was shielded by heather and moor, the floor was pretty sandy, and most of the dens were covered by stocks of heather.
Some kits were playing in a corner by the warriors den, and they looked like they were planning trouble, which made me laugh inside, I'm probably going to do that one day, I'm going to cause all sorts of trouble! I thought with glee.
I looked, and saw a bigger cat, her stature was held with pride, and she had this.. demeanor about her, as she talked to the warrior.
Snowclaw mewed "That's our leader, Gorsestar, she's in charge of this whole clan."
I asked "The whole clan?" with shock.
"The whole clan, with the help of the deputy of course!" Snowclaw purred at my amazement.
"Who's the deputy?" I asked.
"That would be Fallowflight, she's probably setting up patrols right now." he mewed, flicking his tail, and he shrugged his shoulders.
"What about everyone else?" I asked, eyes widening.
"Well, there's Hawkfeather, he's the medicine cat," Snowclaw mewed, and twitched his whiskers, and mewed "Word of advice, don't eat anything you see in the medicine at den, some of that stuff will give you belly-aches for weeks."
"That's... Nice." I mewed, looking carefully at the medicine cat den, Gotta avoid there, for I don't want belly-aches! I thought with caution, not wanting to get sick because I was curious.
"Anyone else?" I asked, looking back at Snowclaw.
"I'm sure you'll meet everyone in time, there's quite a few warriors who'd love to meet you when you're all ready to explore outside the nursery," he laughed, them mewed "But, I'm sure you're hungry." he looked at her.
Now that he said it, I was feeling hungry, but what would I eat?
I nodded, looking back at him, after looking at the ground.
"Thought so, I'm sure Stormsky has food for you, and don't warrior, you'll know everyone in this lan by scent, and by name." he mewed, finally walking away from her.
Wow, everyone is so.. Nice and friendly, I can't wait to meet everyone, I'm sure others will visit me while I'm still in the nursery, to see a future warrior! I thought in determination, finally heading back inside to Stormsky.
"Were you introduced to some of our members?" Storm sky asked, and I nodded.
"Oh yeah, only the leader, the deputy, and the medicine cat though!" I squeaked, then mewed "I'm hungry actually."
"I was wondering if you were." she purred, and I purred also, glad to have such nice parents, and a friendly clan, to take care of me.
I like Windclan, this is my home for.. All my life. I thought, as I headed to Stormsky, more determined then ever to be the best warrior ever.
I'll always feel safe here, I guess, I thought before going to eat Nothing could ever hurt me here!
I bit into my rabbit, annoyed.
Fallowflight couldn't be bothered organizing the patrols because the was playing with kits. She was the aunt of the kit, but it's no excuse to be spending all day playing with the kits.
Actually, this kit has generated more attention then normal. Normally, I don't mind kits so long as they stick to their own nests. When they goes snuggling in mine, though, I get annoyed. Cats tell me that they're only kits once. But if I wasn't allowed to enjoy my kithood, then no one else should.
As soon as I finished my rabbit, I stood up and walked over to Fallowflight, the laziest deputy in the history of the clans. "Fallowflight, have you sent out a hunting patrol yet?"
She throws the moss ball one last time. "No, Beechfrost. Not yet."
"But it's nearly Sunhigh!"
Fallowflight snorted, and rolled her eyes. "I know. I can see."
I narrowed my eyes. The kit was looking up at me with big eyes.
"Can't I at least lead a border patrol?" Great StarClan, we're never going to get anything done. I thought, irritated more and more by the way the day was going.
"No, but you could play with her," Fallowflight said. She turn and trotted towards the fresh-kill pile.
I looked down at the scrap of fur.
"Foxdung," I muttered.
"Why did you say that?" she squeaked.
I couldn't do this. The nursery closed in around me. It was a bit tight for me, and small spaces make me feel uncomfortable.
An idea came to mind. "Have you seen the camp yet, little one?"
This was a brilliant idea. If she could just follow me, I could help her.
Or rather, help me and her at the same time...
"Why won't he open his eyes?"
The panicked meow comes from my mother, who I can scent, her warm milky smell enveloping me. I snuggle closer to her.
"Patience Swallowwing. First litters take their time."
Yes, I think, I will take my time.
Something tickles my nose. I slap my tail at it and whatever it is darts away, only to return a moment later. With a mewl of protest, I slap, this time with my paw, and hit myself on the nose. My eyes fly open in surprise and I see a pretty ginger tabby kit standing in front of me, her tail poking for my nose again.
"Hey!" I squeak.
"You're up!" her eyes light up, "Finally sleepy-bones! I've been waiting for days."
"W-Who are you?" I ask, confused.
"I'm Amberkit!" she chirps. She flicks her tail to two sleeping she-cats, one as whom I identify as my mother, by her scent. The other she-cat, a pale ginger tabby snores gently.
Amberkit follows my gaze, "That's my mom, Firepetal,"
"My mother's the calico," I tell her proudly, "Dapplesplash."
Amberkit giggles, "She looks nothing like you!"
My tail droops, "But..she's my mother!
"You get your looks from your father," a voice purrs from behind me, "My handsome kit."
I turn to see that my mother has risen. Her amber eyes are bright with pride as she looks at me. I realize this is the first time my mother is seeing me with my eyes open.
"And you've met Amberkit I see," a tired voice says. Firepetal stretches, yawning, "And I can see I won't be napping for a while."
Amberkit bounces, "Mom! Can I show Mosskit around camp? Please? The warriors' den? And the elders'? And the leaders'? And-"
"Calm down Amberkit!" Firepetal meows, her whiskers twitching in amusement.
"Please can I go Mom?" I beg, "Pleeaaaseee?
Firepetal and Dapplesplash share a knowing purr. Dapplesplash licks me on the head.
"You have so much to see of ThunderClan my kit," she purrs, "So much."
Well, I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep when that little kit finally decided to open his eyes, I never did get sleep from curious kittens anyways.
I won't be so friendly if they do wake me up though I thought with a hiss, I was never the kitten loving cat.
I was never able to have kits of my own anyways, and why would I want kits? They're annoying and.. Cocky, but they'll learn.
I flicked my tail, annoyed that this new kit. I forget his name, was getting lots more attention just because he was late opening his eyes or something.
But really, he's just a kit. And I was late opening my eyes too, I didn't get as much attention.
The kits get all the cooing, I find it unbearable that I can hear the mothers cooing. I never got that when I was a kit either.
I stood up, not wanting to be in the den if the kittens decide to poke their noses where it don't belong.
The camp was as busy as ever, especially around the nursery.
Ugh I thought.
It's always about kits, no matter what. Always about the little things that are too weak until they're apprentices and can actually learn to be useful, and not stay in the camp and getting in everybodys way.
Like kits usually do, they are lucky they don't get stepped on by warriors who are actually doing something productive.
Although, that thought is quite tempting, it'd teach them a little lesson about getting in a warriors way. I thought, but I knew I couldn't really step on a kit, or even gently push a kit.
I growled. I hated everything to do with kits, they're weak bones, they're inability to hunt. They're curiousity and getting in a warriors way, and sometimes lack of common sense.
I hate everything about kits.
I blinked open my eyes. "Okay! They're open!"
"Finally!" squeaked my sister, and leapt on me.
"Hey, I thought you said you wouldn't do that!" I complained.
My sister had been bugging me for days to open my eyes, but I refused.