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They crowded around the bush.
"Have you heard the prophecy Whitestar gave him?" the blue-grey tabby meowed.
"'A Ghost's Whisper is as silent as the vicious Moon.'"
"Is he the one?" the dark grey one asked.
"Of course!" a ginger tabby retorted. "He will save StormClan."
Ghostwhisper opened his green eyes.
He lifted his head.
"What time is it?" he meowed sleepily.
A paw prodded him in the side.
"Shut up, I'm trying to sleep!"
"Great StarClan, Brownfeather, I was trying to be quiet!" Ghostwhisper hissed, getting to his feet and stalking out of the warriors' den.
Stretching his paws, Ghostwhisper padded to the fresh-kill pile and picked a mouse to share with his mate, Spidernose, who was already up.
"Hi, Ghostwhisper," Spidernose meowed pleasantly. "You're up early."
"Maybe it's because Brownfeather was being a mouse-brain," he mewed back, licking an uneven bit of fur on Spidernose's pelt.
"I'll be back," Spidernose mewed as she gulped down the last of her share of mouse. And with that, she padded off to Sagestar's den.
Ghostwhisper sighed. He turned his attention back to his piece of fresh-kill.
When he had finished eating the last bit, Spidernose had come out of the StormClan leader's den.
"Sagestar needs me to send out extra patrols today," she meowed. "We need to be careful. ViperClan's been acting weirdly lately."
Ghostwhisper nodded. ViperClan was one of the four Clans, CloudClan, VixenClan and his home Clan, StormClan.
As the mate of the Clan deputy, Ghostwhisper was shown respect.
"Who are you going to send out?" Ghostwhisper asked.
"Maybe Iceclaw and Brightfur on one," Spidernose murmured. "How about you take Brownfeather and Cinderstripe and Mousepaw on a hunting patrol?"
"Of course," Ghostwhisper grumbled jokingly, though he was not excited to be on the same patrol as his arch-enemy, Brownfeather.
Padding off into the warriors' den, Ghostwhisper nudged Brownfeather.
"Brownfeather!" he hissed. "Get up!"
The lean, brown and white tom opened an eye, then slowly the other.
"What is it?" he hissed, stretching his legs.
"We have to go on a hunting patrol," Ghostwhisper responded. "I still need to get Cinderstripe and Mousepaw."
"I'll get Mousepaw," Brownfeather offered, rushing off immediately.
Moving a couple of nests forward, Ghostwhisper nudged his sister.
"Cinderstripe, get up," he meowed quietly. "You're on my hunting patrol."
The dark grey she-cat opened her kind, green eyes.
"Alright," Cinderstripe got up and stretched herself before following Ghostwhisper out of the den.
"We ready?" Ghostwhisper asked his patrol.
"Yes!" everyone chorused.
"Good," Ghostwhisper meowed. "I'd like us to go to Cliffrocks today."
When the patrol reached the Cliffrocks in their territory, Ghostwhisper swept his tail as a signal to spread out.
Going north, Ghostwhisper smelt the faint scent of a thrush.
Crouching down quickly, he creeped forward.
Ghostwhisper saw the white tail of the thrush and poked his tongue out of his mouth, letting it go in a random direction. Unsheathing his sharp claws silently, Ghostwhisper pounced.
The bird let out a squawk of surprise before it found itself lying dead in Ghostwhisper's paws.
Licking his lips, Ghostwhisper caught his prey in his jaws, as he batted it up with his front paw.
"Hey! Nice thrush!"
Ghostwhisper turned around and greeted the purring Mousepaw with a nod.
"Look, Ghostwhisper!" the brown and white tom meowed excitedly. "Look at the size of the crow I caught!"
Ghostwhisper looked down at the apprentice. Beside Mousepaw, with a bite in its neck, was a dead crow half the size the apprentice who caught it was.
"Well done," Ghostwhisper purred. "Cinderstripe will be glad."
"And I am!" Cinderstripe meowed behind Mousepaw, dropping her mouse. "What a big crow!"
"It'll feed the elders and two warriors at least," the croaky voice of Brownfeather mewed. He was carrying a rabbit.
"When since you learnt to catch rabbits?" Ghostwhisper exclaimed.
"I guess I'm just fast," Brownfeather retorted.
The patrol made their way back to StormClan camp, carrying their prey carefully.
When they had made it, the four dropped their prey on the fresh-kill pile, which was well and fully stocked.
"You can pick your pick of the fresh-kill pile, Mousepaw," Cinderstripe meowed happily. "You've earnt it."
"Thanks, Cinderstripe!" a happy Mousepaw exclaimed, picking a small sparrow and rushing off into the apprentices' den.
"Well that was cool," Cinderstripe meowed, turning around and walking away. "Bye, Ghost-"
And that was when the claws entered her pelt.
"StormClan!" Sagestar screeched. "We're under attack!"
Warriors rushed to attack the invaders. Ghostwhisper stood where he was, frozen with shock.
"Cinderstripe!" he yowled, bowling over the cat who attacked his sister. Ghostwhisper recognised him as Vixenclaw, a ViperClan warrior.
Hissing viciously, Ghostwhisper bring his claws into Vixenclaw's face. Vixenclaw yowled in pain, thrashing around. Taking this chance, Ghostwhisper clawed Vixenclaw's soft belly, killing the warrior.
Vixenclaw's body thumped onto the grassy floor of the StormClan camp.
Turning to his sister, Ghostwhisper crouched down.
"Cinderstripe!" he wailed. "Are you okay?"
Cinderstripe had deep gashes in her side, and a trail of blood was running down her head. Her eyes were closed, and she was straining to breathe.
"Ghost - Ghostwhisper?" Cinderstripe coughed, her eyes opening.
"I'm here, Cinderstripe."
Oh, StarClan, save her!
"I-It's my time to l-leave, brother," Cinderstripe coughed. "Goodbye. I love you."
And with that, Cinderstripe closed her eyes. She stopped breathing.
"Nooooooooo!!!" Ghostwhisper wailed in grief. His grief turned to anger.
"I have already avenged you, sister," he hissed to the sky. "But I will kill every cat I see that is from ViperClan."
And with that, Ghostwhisper charged at the ViperClan cats, giving each one he ran into a taste of his claws.
"Retreat!" screeched Falconstar, bloodthirsty leader of ViperClan.
The ViperClan cats fled, dragging Vixenclaw's body with them.
"Are we all okay?" Sagestar meowed, limping from a wound in her leg.
"No one's died, and we only have minor injuries," reported Spidernose, a trickle of blood coming out of her mouth.
"Oh no-Cinderstripe!" Mousepaw bounded over to his dead mentor.
Ghostwhisper followed the young cat.
"Cin-Cinderstripe," Mousepaw meowed, his voice cracking. "We-We've won. Wake up."
"She's gone, Mousepaw. She's gone," Ghostwhisper meowed, barely louder than a whisper.
"Cinderstripe, no! Cinderstripe!" Mousepaw cried, burying his nose into his mentor's pelt. His sisters Whitepaw and Squirrelpaw came and sat with him.
Soon, the whole Clan was gathering around their lost Clanmate.
"Cinderstripe!" wailed the elder, Specklewing. "My daughter!"
Her denmate Joynose buried his nose into the side of Specklewing's pelt.
Raising her head, Sagestar started, "Cinderstripe was a brave cat. She died a brave death." Bowing her head, Sagestar continued, "Young Mousepaw was her apprentice. I will appoint his new mentor immediately.
"I say these words before the body of Cinderstripe, that her spirit may hear and approve my choice." Sagestar took a deep breath. "Ghostwhisper will be Mousepaw's mentor."
Ghostwhisper's eyes widened.
"Ghostwhisper! Ghostwhisper!" the Clan cheered with a hint of sadness in their voices.
"I appointed this cat because not only did he avenge Cinderstripe's death," Sagestar meowed. "He is also Cinderstripe's brother. Teach Mousepaw well, Ghostwhisper."
Bowing his head, Ghostwhisper meowed clearly, "I will pass on every skill I have to this cat."
Mousepaw rose from his spot and touched Ghostwhisper's nose. Ghostwhisper touched his nose back.
"I'll always remember Cinderstripe," Mousepaw whispered. "I'll remember her through you."
Ghostwhisper nodded. Then, a soft voice entered his ears.
I'll watch over you forever, brother, it whispered. Teach my young Mousepaw well.
"I promise," Ghostwhisper whispered.
"And Mousepaw, from this day onwards you shall be known as Mousestripe. StarClan honours your bravery and strength," Sagestar meowed formally, touching Mousestripe's nose.
"Mousestripe! Whitefeather! Squirrelfall!" StormClan cheered.
Ghostwhisper beamed. His apprentice had trained hard, receiving his warrior name at last.
"Ghostwhisper?" Ghostwhisper turned around. Behind him was Spidernose. "Can I talk to you?"
"Sure!" Ghostwhisper meowed.
Leading him into the dirtplace tunnel, Spidernose sat down, curling her tail over her belly.
"Ghostwhisper," she meowed. "I'm expecting your kits."
Ghostwhisper purred happily. "That's amazing!"
Twining his tail with his mate's, Spidernose continued, "Heatherfall said that there's at least two."
"Great!" Ghostwhisper purred, standing up and walking outside.
"I'll go tell Sagestar," Spidernose meowed.
Ghostwhisper went back to his nest in the warriors' den. Though he wasn't going to feel Spidernose's pelt next to his, there were good news!
It had been a full moon since Spidernose had told Ghostwhisper she was expecting kits.
Walking into the nursery to visit Spidernose, Ghostwhisper was stopped by Brownfeather.
"What do you think you're doing?" he hissed.
"Going to visit Spidernose, what does it look like?" Ghostwhisper retorted.
"Well you can't," Brownfeather spat.
"Why? She's my mate!" Ghostwhisper hissed.
"Because you can't!" Brownfeather yowled. "You took her away from me! I hate you!"
And with that, Brownfeather stalked off.
Ghostwhisper was taken aback by those words as he shuffled inside the nursery.
He can't be..
Fallownose was nursing her recently-born kits, Featherkit and Sagekit. Her mate, Birchleg, was with her. Windwater, on the other paw, was sleeping in a corner, snoring, as she was expecting her second litter of kits.
And at the very back of the nursery, Spidernose was lying down, paws tucked neatly under her chest.
"Ghostwhisper! Hi!" Spidernose greeted as Ghostwhisper approached her.
"Hi, Spidernose," Ghostwhisper meowed. "How are the kits?"
"They're going to arrive soon," Spidernose fretted. "Today, maybe."
"You'll be fine," Ghostwhisper meowed. "StarClan's watching your every move."
Suddenly, Spidernose tensed.
"They're coming!" she yowled in pain.
Heatherfall, the Clan medicine cat, was standing over Spidernose.
Ghostwhisper was not allowed in the nursery. He had tensed whenever he heard a terrible shriek.
At last, Heatherfall poked her head out of the nursery.
"You have four beautiful kits, Ghostwhisper," she meowed.
Walking in proudly, Ghostwhisper stared at the four kits that lay next to their mother's belly.
"They're- They're wonderful!" Ghostwhisper cried.
"What should we name them?" Spidernose meowed, certainly tired.
Ghostwhisper looked at the kits. One of them was a dark brown she-cat with dappled white.
"Let's name this one Oakkit," Ghostwhisper meowed, pointing at the dark brown kit with his tail.
"Okay," Spidernose meowed in agreement. "And this white and silver tom Thrushkit?"
"Sure!" Ghostwhisper meowed. "This grey one I would like to be Ashkit."
"The grey tabby?" Spidernose asked.
Ghostwhisper peered closely at it. The grey tabby she-cat was a perfect image of Cinderstripe.
"Cinderkit," he decided.
"Well then," Spidernose meowed. "Welcome to the world, Cinderkit, Thrushkit, Ashkit and Oakkit."
"And Cinderkit, from today you shall be known as Cinderpaw. Mousestripe will be your mentor."
Ghostwhisper sat up in pride. A long and tiring 6 moons, and these kits would now be on their journey to warriorship.
"Ashpaw! Thrushpaw! Oakpaw! Cinderpaw!"
"Let's go, Mousestripe!" Cinderpaw squealed to her mentor.
"Not so fast," Mousestripe mewed, snapping his tail in front of the excited apprentice.
"Awwww," she complained. "Are you gonna make me do the elders' bedding? Cause I don't wanna!"
Mousestripe purred in amusement. "Not yet."
"YASS- awweeee," Cinderpaw meowed. "Can we do bedding and ticks first? Cause then I won't needa do it again!"
Mousestripe was taken aback. "Okay, then."
Ghostwhisper purred. Suddenly, before he knew it, Spidernose was in his face.
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA," Ghostwhisper meowed. "What's the rush?"
"Get Heatherfall NOW," was her reply.
Dashing off to the medicine cat's den, Ghostwhisper called for Heatherfall.
"Why? What's wrong?" she asked.
"No idea!" he replied. "Spidernose went crazy for a second!"
Going back into the main camp, Ghostwhisper searched for his panicked mate.
"In here!" Spidernose poked her head out of Sagestar's den.
Rushing with Heatherfall following pursuit, Ghostwhisper barged into Sagestar's den.
Ghostwhisper gasped. In the floor of Sagestar's den lay Sagestar herself, coughing and spluttering blood, with blood running down her body, and standing on top of the weak StormClan leader was Brownfeather.
"Brownfeather! What in StarClan's name are you doing?" Ghostwhisper yowled.
"Killing Sagestar, what does it look like?" he replied with a snarl.
"You fox dung!" Heatherfall screeched. "You evil cat!"
Brownfeather cackled and launched at Heatherfall. The tabby medicine cat gasped as he gave her a wound in the leg.
"Heatherfall!" Ghostwhisper yowled.
"I'm fine," Heatherfall meowed, quickly feeding herself a pile of herbs she'd brought along, then wrapping her injured leg speedily with a leaf wrap.
Spidernose, in the meantime, was being overpowered by Brownfeather.
"Oh no, you don't!" Ghostwhisper yowled, pouncing on Brownfeather. Heatherfall rushed past the fighting cats and went to help Sagestar.
"It's no use, Heatherfall," the white leader coughed. "Brownfeather's already taken 3 of my lives. He'll take the last one, too."
"No!" Heatherfall cried. "No, don't do this, sister!"
"Sagestar!" Ghostwhisper yowled. "No!"
"Time to finish this!" Brownfeather yowled, bringing his claws down on Sagestar's chest.
Sagestar coughed, her body flowing with the blood she was spilling. And with a heave, she was dead.
"No! Sagestar!" Spidernose yowled in grief. Ghostwhisper's mate rushed to her mentor's side and sobbed.
"Sagestar, no, Sagestar.."
Brownfeather dragged his former leader's body out of her den.
"StormClan!" he yowled. "I have an announcement!"
Every cat came out of their dens, gasping as Sagestar's body was tossed to the floor like a piece of prey.
"Sagestar is dead!" he yowled. "I have killed her!"
Hissing came from the cats, as well as yowls of grief.
"How could you?" Whitefeather wailed. "Mother!"
"And now I will rule this Clan," Brownfeather announced. "All hail Brownstar!"
"No! You can't lead my Clan!" Spidernose knocked Brownfeather into the air. "Brownfeather!"
"No," Brownfeather snarled. " That's not my name. My name is Moonshadow."
"Moonshadow?" Ghostwhisper yowled. "But he was slaughtered by dogs!"
I was right!
"No," Moonshadow snarled. "I survived. From then, I became a rogue, and when I came back from my loneliness, I had a new identity.
"I will leave this Clan. I will will build up a Clan of vicious cats, then take over the Clans, one. By. One. Starting with you."
And with that, Moonshadow stalked out of camp.
"Spidernose," Whitefeather meowed. "You will need to go to the Moon Cliff."
"Yes," but let me choose myself a deputy first," Spidernose meowed. Bowing her head she meowed, "Sagestar was a brave leader. She died for us, the ones she loved the most. Now, I am succeeding her. I say this before the body of Sagestar, so her spirit may hear and approve my choice."
Taking a deep breath, Spidernose meowed: "Ghostwhisper will take my place as deputy."
Ghostwhisper took a deep breath. He looked around the Clan. StromClan was already clearing a path for him while chanting, "Ghostwhisper! Ghostwhisper!"
Walking through the path with the gravel digging into his pads, Ghostwhisper meowed aloud: "I will do my best to serve you, Spiderstar."
Spiderstar jumped off the Stormrock. "I will go immediately to get my nine lives from StarClan," she announced.
"Go peacefully!" "May StarClan light your path!"
Ghostwhisper's mind was whizzing.
My mate is the Clan leader now, he thought. And I'm her deputy!
Walking to the warriors' den, Ghostwhisper lay down in his nest.
My first day of being deputy is tomorrow. Wish me luck, Spiderstar.
"Greypetal, Iceclaw, Mousestripe, Cinderpaw, Whitefeather, you will go with Brightfur to the ViperClan border."
Ghostwhisper's first day of being deputy went perfectly. He had made it through 3 moons already. Better yet, there was no Brownfeather to annoy him.
When the border patrol had left, Ghostwhisper went into his mate's den. Spiderstar was making herself a new bed. Her old one had been damaged.
"Hi, Ghostwhisper," Spiderstar mewed. "What can I do for you?"
"Mousestripe told me before I sent him on patrol that Cinderpaw passed her warrior assessment," he reported. "I think Ashpaw, Oakpaw and Thrushpaw are ready to become warriors, too."
"Alright," Spiderstar mewed, pushing in an uneven piece of moss. "Tell me where they are."
"Cinderpaw's on patrol," Ghostwhisper mewed. "The others are resting."
"Good. I'll give them their names when the patrol comes back."
"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath the Stormrock!"
When the Clan had gathered, Spiderstar meowed aloud: "It is time for four apprentices to become warriors. Cinderpaw, Ashpaw, Oakpaw, Thrushpaw. Come forward."
Ghostwhisper's excited children bounced up and down as they were invited onto the Stormrock.
"Do you four wish to uphold the warrior code, and defend StormClan, even at the cost of your lives?"
"We do!" the apprentices yowled in unison.
"Then I give you your warrior names. Thrushpaw -" the white and silver tom sat up as his mother addressed him. "From this day onwards, you shall be known as Thrushnose. StarClan honours your wisdom and bravery." Turning to Oakpaw, Spiderstar meowed: "Oakpaw, from this day onwards you shall be known as Oakslash. StarClan honours your courage and outsmarting." Turning to Ashpaw, Spiderstar meowed: "Ashpaw, from this day onwards you shall be known as Ashcloud. StarClan honours your bravery and skill in battle." Then finally.. "Cinderpaw, from this day onwards you shall be known as Cinderflower. StarClan honours your strength and skill in hunting."
"Cinderflower! Ashcloud! Oakslash! Thrushnose!"
Ghostwhisper puffed out his chest proudly as he cheered his childrens' new names.
"You four will sit vigil until dawn," Spiderstar meowed. "Starting now."
The new warriors nodded.
Ghostwhisper padded over to where his children were sitting.
"I'm so proud of you," he meowed, licking each one of his kits on the shoulder. "May StarClan watch over you."
Ghostwhisper woke with a jolt. He heard cats in the background.
"Wake up!" Spiderstar screeched. "We're being invaded!"
It must be ViperClan again, Ghostwhisper thought.
And ViperClan it was.
"Give up CliffRocks!" Falconstar screeched, his eyes wild with bloodthirst.
"Never!" Spiderstar roared, pouncing onto Falconstar and screeching viciously.
Warriors spilled out of the den. Leappaw, Gorsepaw and Singepaw, the apprentices that were Ashcloud, Thrushnose, Oakslash and Cinderflower's former denmates, dashed out of the apprentices' den and pounced at ViperClan apprentices that were slightly bigger than they were.
Ghostwhisper ran and jumped on a grey tabby that was hissing and slashing at Brightfur's nose.
The grey tabby hissed and clawed Ghostwhisper's ear. Pain flared through the bloodied ear, but Ghostwhisper didn't bother. He slashed the tabby's muzzle. The tabby shook and stepped back.
"Coward!" Ghostwhisper screeched as Brightfur leapt onto the tabby.
The tabby yowled as Ghostwhisper slashed its cheek.
"Get out of our territory!" Brightfur hissed. "Or we'll make you!"
Ghostwhisper yowled as the tabby slashed his front paw. Shaking it, he jumped onto the tabby and bit into its scruff.
"ViperClan!" Falconstar screeched. "Kill them!"
"Killing us in our own territory?" Brightfur spat. "Nonsense!"
"Show no mercy!" Spiderstar screeched, leaping at a bony cream cat. "Kill if you have to!"
This was more like Ghostwhisper's fight. No mercy.
After several hours of fighting, ViperClan were finally overpowered.
"Retreat!" Falconstar screeched. "We'll avenge this defeat another time!"
"We won!" Ashcloud yowled, dashing to Heatherfall's den.
Ghostwhisper panted as he stood over the dead bodies of the cats he killed in the battle.
"Out of my way!" hissed a ginger tabby whose neck was bleeding. The tabby dragged the scruffs of the dead and hauled them away.
Ghostwhisper felt warm blood rolling down his cheek. Hissing in anger, he padded to Heatherfall's den, behind a line of cats who were waiting to be healed.
"That was an unexpected fight," Spiderstar purred as she padded up to her mate. "But you did well. Congratulations."
"Thanks," Ghostwhisper purred back. "Are you okay?" he added as he spied a bloody cut on Spiderstar's legs.
"Yeah," Spiderstar licked her wound. "It'll heal."
Ghostwhisper sighed and padded up to Heatherfall, who put some poultice on his bloody ear and neck.
"It's not a bad wound," the medicine cat told him, putting cobweb onto the bloody wound. "But go easy on it."
"Thanks, Heatherfall," Ghostwhisper mewed, padding into the warriors' den.
A/N: Since the next chapter was inspired by a song (info = the link) I have made this chapter into a songfic.
Here's the link!