This is a story for Nightshimmer's contest! I couldn't think of anything better to name it, so I named it after the main character. XD. Hope you enjoy! Cinderstar "Never be afraid of the future, for it brings wonderful things." -Brightsky 23:41, October 6, 2012 (UTC)
Graypaw: Gray tabby she-cat with blue eyes.
Duskpaw: Very dark gray tom with amber eyes.
Silvertail: Silvery gray tabby tom with green eyes.
Morninglight: Ginger she-cat with blue eyes.
Sagefall: Brown tabby tom with green eyes.
Echokit: Silver she-cat with soft blue eyes and white paws and chest.
Ravenstar: Black she-cat with warm amber eyes.
Barkpaw: Golden Brown tabby tom with amber eyes.
Poppypaw: Ginger she-cat with white paws and a white chest and green eyes.
Graybird: Gray tabby tom with green eyes.
Snowfeather: White she-cat with blue eyes.
Sunpaw: Golden tabby she-cat with white paws.
Minnowflash: Silver tabby she-cat with peircing blue eyes and a whte chest.
Breezepaw: Long-haired white she-cat with green eyes and a gray tailtip.
"I've got the tansy you asked for." Graypaw meowed, padding up to her mentor, Sagefall.
"Thanks Graypaw, you'll be a great medicine cat one you've finished your training." Sagefall meowed. Graypaw glowed with pride at his words.
"How's Duskpaw's training going?" Graypaw asked.
"Good, Why didn't you go see for yourself?" Sagefall asked,
Duskpaw was her brother. They'd never been really close, for some reason or another, and Graypaw, her paws being on the path of a medicine cat, rarely ever saw her brother anymore, and when she did, he was always hanging out with Barkpaw and Poppypaw.
Barkpaw and Poppypaw were a moon older than Duskpaw and Graypaw, and they had formed strong friendships with Duskpaw. Poppypaw was Graypaw's best friend in the clan, but there was something about Barkpaw she just didn't trust. Maybe it was because he had put a dead bee in her nest, which ended up stinging her, and because he was so secretive...
"Graypaw, are you listening?" Graypaw was jolted out of her thoughts by her mentor's voice. "I said we're going to the moonpool tonight."
"Sorry, I zoned out." Graypaw admitted, ducking her head with embaressment.
Sagefall let out a purr of amusement. "Well, we'll need to leave soon, so if you're ready to go, let's do it."
"Okay!" Graypaw meowed happily. Visiting the moonpool was her favourite part of training. As she padded out of the den, she saw her younger sister, Echokit, playing waith a ball of moss.
"Where are you going?" Echokit asked Graypaw.
"To the moonpool." Graypaw told her sister. "To speak with StarClan."
"Can I come?" Echokit's eyes widened with wonder.
"Sorry." Graypaw shook her head. "You have to be an apprentice to leave the camp."
"But that's-" Echokit paused, deep in thought. "Four whole moons away!"
"I know." Graypaw said sympatheticly. "But you know what? I'll play hunt the squirrel with you when I get back tomorrow, does that sound all right?"
"Okay!" Echokit mewed, her disapointment forgotten.
Graypaw let out a purr of amusement as she walked away, and her thoughts were filled with the young silver tabby she-cat. Echokit was born three moons after she and Duskpaw had become apprentices. Echokit had no littermates, but she was loved by the whole clan, and everyone was willing to play with her, especially Morninglight and Silvertail, their mother and father. Echokit was so cute, she could wrap anyone around her paw, except Duskpaw and Barkpaw, Graypaw observed.
Before long she was gazing down at the Moonpool. A sense of peae filled her, and there was a spring in her step as she padded down the sloop, her paws slipping in the dimples. She heard Sunpaw and Breezepaw folowing close behind her, they were RiverClan and WindClan's medicine cat apprentices. Toadpaw, the ShadowClan medicine cat apprentice, was walking with more dignaty, step in step beside his mentor, Stonestripe. The WindClan medicine cat, Snowfeather, and the RiverClan medicine cat, Minnowflash, were deep in conversation with Sagefall.
Soon they reached the pool. Graypaw almost forgot to breathe as she saw the half moon and the stars reflected in it. Her friends, Breezepaw and Sunpaw, were standing beside her. Sunpaw's paws were shifting with aniticipation and Breezepaw was staring intently at the pool, stars reflecting in her green eyes.
She saw Snowfeather flick her tail and bend down to drink the water. Graypaw slowly lowered her head and lapped up a few drops of the cold water. She soon fell into a deep sleep.
When Graypaw first, opened her eyes, she wasn't sure if she really had, because it was pitch black. Then a light appeared on the horizon; the sun was rising. It's morning. She thought to herself. there was just enough light to show Graypaw her surroundings. She was in the forests of ThunderClan, and there was no sign of any of her warrior ancestors.
"Poppyleaf? Honeystar?" She called the names of the cats who most often came to her dreams, but there was no reply.
Then a gray shadow of a bird appeared in the sky. It let out a call which echoed through the forest. Graypaw's eyes widened, wondering what was happening. Then the sun bean to set again, until it was dusk. Then dusk turned to darkness, and Graypaw flug her eyes open to see sun shining over the lip of the Moonpool hollow.
Sagefall was prodding her side. "Wake up, it's time to go home."
"Did you dream?" Sunpaw asked exitedly.
Graypaw nodded, but didn't go on to discuss it. She felt lost, was StarClan abandoning her? This was the first time they'd failed to appear in a dream...
"Are you okay?" Sunpaw asked, her eyes round and sympithetic.
"yeah, it's just that-" Graypaw began, but Sagefall cut her off.
"Come on Graypaw it's time to go." He meowed. "Otherwise the clan will be wondering where we have gone."
Graypaw nodded, slightly irritated that she hadn't had the chance to confide in her friend. She didn't want to rebuke her mentor, because that would mean awkward questions. She knew he hadn't heard her conversation, and she didn't know what he would think if StarClan hadn't appeared to her. Would she be forced to stop her training as a medicine cat? Was she worthy of being a medicine cat? Was that why StarClan hadn't come to her? All she saw was ThunderClan territory, it was just a normal dream...
"Come collect herbs by the WindClan border at sun-high." Sunpaw whispered, so Sagefall wouldn't hear.
"Good-bye Sunpaw, see you soon!" Graypaw meowed, giving her golden tabby friend a knowing smile.
"See ya!" Sunpaw meowed.
Then Graypaw turned to follow her mentor, and couldn't wait to confide in her friend about her confusing dream.
It was almost sun-high, and Graypaw was racing to the WindClan border. She had only just managed to slip away. Sagefall had sent her to tend to Ravenstar's wound she had recieved in the battle with WindClan a few days ago. Only after she was done was she allowed to go collect herbs. It wasn't as if she was doing anything wrong, but she was still reluctacnt to tell anyone except Sunpaw about StarClan's absense in her dream last night.
When she reached the border, Sunpaw was waiting for her.
"What it it?" Sunpaw asked. "What were you going to say to me this morning?"
"StarClan didn't appear in my dream." Graypaw admitted. "It was just a normal dream. It took place in ThunderClan territory." She told Sunpaw her dream.
Then Sunpaw's mouth gaped open. "I-I had the same dream." She meowed. "Except it took place in WindClan teritory. The bird didn't make any noise, but other than that, it was the same."
"It must have been from StarClan then." Graypaw breathed. "How else would we share the same dream. I just don't get why they didn' show themselves..."
Sunpaw's eyes widened, but not because of Graypaw's words. Yowls of pain echoed from farther along to border. Sunpaw and Graypaw raced to find the sorce of the sound.
Graypaw's mouth dropped open when she arrived. Duskpaw and Barkpaw were attacking a gray tabby tom with green eyes.
"Prey-stealer! This is the last time you set foot over our border!" Duskpaw yowled. "Have you forgotten how we beat you in the battle?"
"I didn't even cross the border!" The gray tabby hissed. "I was on my side!"
"But you were going to!" Duskpaw hissed.
"Duskpaw, let him go!" Graypaw meowed desprately.
"No, WindClan filth never seem to learn their lessons!" Duskpaw hissed. "No matter how badly they get beaten. I'm going to teach them a lesson they'll never forget!"
He lunged for the gray tabby tom's throat. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion.
Sunpaw was yowling "Graybird!" While Graypaw was staring into a horrified green gaze that mirrored her own. It almost felt like she was looking at her reflection, except that it had green eyes. Suddenly Morninglight raced into the scene, eyes wide with horror and pain, and letting out the most heartbreaking yowl Graypaw had ever heard.
And then it was over. Graybird lay dead on the ground, bleeding heavily from a gaping wound on his throat. Duskpaw's mouth was stained with blood, and he was standing triumphantly at the body beneath his paws.
Morninglight stared at the body, looking shattered, broken. "Duskpaw... How could you... Y-you killed your father."
Graypaw's mouth dropped open. "What do you mean? Silvertail's our father!" she stammered.
"I'm sorry, It's true." Morninglight meowed, and she looked ashamed that she had spoken those words, like she hadn't mean't for them to know about her and Graybird.
"I'm nothing like those dirty rabbit munchers!" Duskpaw hissed. "How can I be half WindClan?!" He looked even more angry then Graypaw had ever seen him in her life.
"Duskpaw, Graypaw, come into the forest, I'll explain." Morninglight meowed. Graypaw guessed she didn't want Sunpaw and Barkpaw to hear what she had to say. She and Duskpaw followed their mother, although Duskpaw seemed reluctant.
Once they'd gotten out of earshot of the other cats, Morninglight stopped. "Sit down." She told her kits.
Graypaw sat down. Duskpaw looked like he was about to protest, but thought better of it.
"I know what I did was against the warrior code." Morninglight admitted. "But I loved, I still love, Graybird. I've never felt that way about any other cat. I know there's no way to justify my actions, but love can make you do crazy things sometimes. Silvertail has always been my best friend, and I think he loves me too. He knew I was meeting Graybird, and when I found out I was expecting kits, I was thrilled, but I didn't know how I could conceal it from the clan. Then Silvertail offered to be known as the father. He considered you his kits, even though you weren't. Even though you aren't his own, he loves you asi if you are."
"Who is Echokit's father?" Graypaw asked.
"Graybird." Morninglight admitted. "But please don't tell her. I don't want her to grow up feeling betrayed or as if she's a mistake, because she isn't."
"Why should we?" Duskpaw hissed. "We have to live with it! I can't believe you! I don't care if you're the one who gave birth to me, but you are no longer my mother! Silvertail is no longer my father! I'm an orphan now!"
"Please." Morninglight whispered. "Settle down, take time to think. This is a shock. You don't know what your doing!" She sounded even more shattered then when she saw her mate murdered before her very eyes.
"Never." Duskpaw's voice sounded dangerously soft. "I have half a mind to kill you now, but I won't. I'll let you suffer. I know the best way to break you."
"I'm already broken." Morninglight murmured so quietly only I could hear her.
"I'm going to go tell Barkpaw." Duskpaw hissed. Then he spun around and ran deeper in the forest.
Morninglight turned to me. "Will you disown me as well?" She murmured in an indifferent, shattered voice.
"No. I understand why you did it, although that's not the choice I'd have made." Graypaw meowed. "I'll remain loyal to you, no matter what. Duskpaw's up to no good, but remember, I still love you."
Graypaw could tell something was wrong the moment she entered the camp. Cats were staring and muttering at her and Morninglight. Duskpaw and Barkpaw grinned evilly at them from the corner of the camp.
Ravenstar padded up to them. Graypaw swallowed a lump in her throat as she waited for her leader to speak.
"Duskpaw told us you've been seeing a WindClan tom." Ravenstar meowed through narrowed eyes. "And that he's the father of he, Graypaw and Echokit. Is this true?"
Morninglight looked even more shattered, if that was possible. Her eyes hid nothing of her feelings of betrayal, shock and loss of words. They widened in fear and dismay. "Y-yes, it's true."
Graypaw felt a stab of sympathy for her mother. All the cats in the clan were looking at her with shock and anger. Barkpaw and Duskpaw looked triumphant, and Silvertail's gaze mirrored what Graypaw herself felt.
"She made a mistake." Graypaw meowed, feeling a sudden boost of confidence. She met the gaze of every cat as she adressed the clan. "She regrets making it, and is willing to prove her loyalty to the clan again. Take it from the apprentice of a medicine cat."
"Should she be a medicine cat if she's half clan?" Graypaw heard murmurs around the clan. "Can we really trust her loyalty?"
Graypaw did not lower her gaze.
"It's StarClan's choice who the next medicine cat shall be." Sagefall meowed, standing up for his apprentice. "And they'll let us know if she's not the right cat. However, I see no reason to stop her apprenticeship until StarClan indicates to."
Ravenstar dipped her head. "Very well. That solves Graypaw's fate, now onto Morninglight's."
"Exile her!" Barkpaw yowled. Many cats nodded as if the agreed with him.
"I'm truly sorry for what I've done." Morninglight meowed. "To prove my loyalty, I will choose Silvertail to be mate, If he'll allow it."
"I will be her mate." Silvertail seemed to be happy, as if getting what he'd always wanted.
"Wait, so we're not throwing her out?" Graypaw heard the call, but couldn't tell which cat had made it.
"She's had enough heatbreak to be a punishment." Ravenstar meowed. "Disowned by her son, Loosing her mate, Having to prove her loyalty all over again."
"We can't argue with that." Poppypaw whispered into Graypaw's ear. "You were very brave by the way."
"Thanks." Graypaw whispered back. She hadn't notice Poppypaw edge up to her.
As the clan went back to their duties and Poppypaw padded away, Morninglight padded over to her daughter. "Thanks so much." She meowed. "You may not have been telling the truth, bu you saved me from loosing all I had left."
"No problem." Graypaw meowed. "What are you going to do to prove you're mates with Silvertail?"
"When Echokit moves out of the nursery, I'll have to have kits again." Morningtlight sighed. "I was planning on her being my last kit, but the clan won't believe Silvertail and I are mates without kits."
Graypaw nodded. "Good luck Morninglight, I'll be praying to StarClan for you."
Moons past. The clan seemed to accept Morninglight again, and Duskpaw and Barkpaw seemed to be done with making their lives miserable. Echokit had become an apprentice, Echopaw. Grapaw had earned her full medicine cat name, Grayfrost, and Poppypaw, Duskpaw and Barkpaw had earned their warrior names, Duskstorm, Barkfang and Poppyfire.
Grayfrost had just returned collecting catmint for Sagefall. This wasn't because he had ordered her to, but because he was groing old and seemed to be coming down with whitecough or greencough. Morninglight was resting in a sunny spot in the camp, her belly was slightly swollen with Silvertail's kits. Silvertail was bent over her, purring into her ear.
Grayfrost smiled as she glanced around the camp. Everyone was happy, and it looked like peace would return to ThunderClan. She noticed that every cat was in the camp, every cat except Duskstorm and Barkfang.
Old suspicion that Grayfrost had thought had ceased to exist crept into her mind. Where they up to something?
"Grayfrost?" Echopaw's voice broke through her thoughts.
"Yes Echopaw?" Grayfrost asked. "Are you hurt or sick? Do you need herbs?"
"No, nothing of that sort." Echopaw purred with amusement. "You seemed troubled. Is something wrong?" The two cats had grown quite close since Morninglight's secret had ben revealed. Probably because Grayfrost had helped Echopaw feel welcome in the clan, and helped her realize she was not a mistake and could prove her loyalty to her clanmates,
"It's probably nothing..." Grayfrost insisted.
"Come on Grayfrost, you know that isn't true. You know you can tell me anything." Echopaw insisted. "You always told me to trust your instincts, now I'm telling you to trust yours."
"I think Barkfang and Duskstorm are up to something." Grayfrost admitted reluctantly. "They should be back from their patrol by now. It's probably old predjudice after what they did to Morninglight." Echopaw and Grayfrost had both disowned Duskstorm as their brother. They both felt it was cruel, but what they'd done to their mother was unforgivable in Echopaw and Grayfrost's eyes.
"Your a medicine cat. You have to trust your judgement, the whole clan rests on it." Echopaw meowed. "I personally think those two have been to quiet for too long."
Grayfrost opened her mouth to reply but then was inturupted by a snapping twig. She spun around to see Barkfong and Duskstorm at the entrance to the camp, and a huge group of rogues, enough to take on the whole clan, were behind them.
The whole clan stared at the cats in the entrance. Ravenstar stepped forwards.
"What is the meaning of this?" Ravenstar asked coldly. "Don't tell me these rogues want to join our clan, I won't believe you."
"They have come to punish ThunderClan!" Duskstorm announced. gasps echoed around the camp. Grayfrost felt horror spread through her entire body. Her suspicion was right.
"You showed nothing a true warrior would do when Marninglight broke the warrior code!" Duskstorm went on. "She should have been exiled, because she shattered what makes a clan a clan, and not a group of unorganized rogues! She's no better than a kittypet! She should be forced to live, friendless, and filled with grief, regret and loneliness for what she's done!"
Grayfrost couldn't resist glancing over at her mother. She was staring, horrerstruck at her son. Silvertail was glaring at him and flexing his claws.
"But what does ThunderClan have to do with this?" Ravenstar asked, her voice calm and cool.
"You defended her! You shunned me, an orphan! You showed me no pity, but only doubted my loyalty! I didn't ask to be half clan!" Duskstorm spat.
"Your only an orphan because you chose to be!' Silvertail hissed. "You disowned your whole family, though most of them are still alive!"
"ThunderClan deserves to be taught a lesson!" Duskstorm hissed. Then he signaled wither his tail and he, Barkfang and the rogues leaped into battle.