''We were so foolish, thinking we were one and the same, and so foolish to think we were different.''

''We are neither.''

"We are simply fools."

by Deer and Dogwood

Chapter One ~ Dogwood

Lightning cracked overhead. The kits let out a loud wail. Rainclaw curled up tighter around them.

"Where's Mommy?" Fruitkit cried.

"Your mommy is coming back," Rainclaw whispered, trying to make her voice sound calm. But she was frightened herself. Redheart had been gone for day, and the storm showed no sign of letting up. In fact, every day it got worse and worse. The nursery was the driest place available. Toms were now sleeping in the nursery with their mates, using their terrified kits as an excuse to stay as dry as possible.

Blacktail returned to the nursery, carrying a soaked vole. "Thank you for watching the kits," he breathed. Rainclaw nodded. He turned to his three kits. "This was all I could find."

Whitekit began to cry. "You didn't find Mommy?"

"The vole's all wet," Reedkit complained.

"I know it is, but it's all we've got, so stop complaining," Blacktail snapped. "I worked hard for this!"

The kits cowered. Blacktail softened. "Look, I'm sorry. Daddy's stressed waiting for Mommy and trying to feed the Clan, so please be more understanding."

They nodded dutifully.

"Here, I'll go look for her now," Rainclaw said softly, trying not to let the kits hear.

"Thank you again, Rainclaw," Blacktail said. "You've been so helpful."

"I try my best."

Rainclaw slipped outside, the rain instantly drenching her pelt. Thunder rumbled. She staggered on, her body shocked by the sudden change in temperature. The wind pushed her around. It seemed like hours before she finally made it out of camp.

Somehow, in the tumult of the wind, rain, and lightning, Rainclaw found herself at the lake. Lightning flashed, and for a split second, she spotted a pale ginger body floating in the water. Redheart!

Rainclaw plunged into the churning water. It was much colder than she'd expected. She spluttered, choking on the water, as she tried to keep her head above the waves. But it was useless. The next instant they slammed against her, dragging her under.

The world was so dark. Lightning flashed again, and the last thing Rainclaw saw was Redheart's body sinking with her.

Chapter Two ~ Deer

Poppyheart stared up at the dark, raining night sky, hiding away the beautiful sight of silverpelt that the young warrior she-cat had always yearned to see every night. She turned back to the elder's den, feeling slight comfort in seeing the old queens and toms looking ever-so-greatful for staying with them as the camp was nearly abandoned, searching for a kit swept away by the storm. The elder's den was the only den that wasn't yet flooded, and even the nursery was surrounded by thick, muddy water.

"That's quite the storm..." Swiftraven, the eldest tom, crowed. "We might as well start learning how to swim now!"

Poppyheart stood near the ancient cat and licked inbetween his hard, mangled ears. "At least we're dry." The she-cat laughed, amused by his constant jokes even in the darkest of times. "Finchheart promised to return with prey for you guys, so don't worry."

The grey tabby she-cat stared outside of the den once again, with fat raindrops hitting at her small snout as she looked for a sign of the patrol that had recently left. However, no matter how much she had prayed, there was nothing.

"A she-cat that was appointed a warrior just two moons ago and you're already acting like a leader!" Roseleap, a cream-colored elder she-cat meowed. "Just like you're father, Rockpool. It's not long until he becomes deputy."

Poppyheart bowed her head at the wise elder's compliment, curious to know what would happen if her mom was in the clan. Was she a good warrior like me?

Finally, after what felt like moons, the entire patrol returned with a wet but squirming kit dangling in Rockpool's huge jaws. A she-cat warrior scurried in carrying three rabbits, and they all huddled into the elder's den; the only place that wasn't yet drowned by the rain. By the time that every single queen and warrior had fit there way inside, Poppyheart realized how small the tunnel really was. However, in a strange way, it felt cozy and warm. Cracks of thunder sent kits crying and squealing, and the sight amused Poppyheart as their gracious mothers comforted them in the midst of the storm. 

Despite the horrid conditions that the camp was in, every cat in WindClan refused to let down a smile. Everyone's belly was full, and as long as no one was drowning, Poppyheart knew that there was somethign to be thankful for in the storm. Poppyheart quickly fell asleep in a damp patch of moss, excited for her first gathering that was fast approaching.

Chapter 3 ~ Dogwood

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