This is the first fanfic in Four Seasons
Currently under a rework by Owl
Greenleaf, a time of plentiful prey and sunshine, is the season when cats expect the least to go wrong. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for ThunderClan. Their leader, killed by a fox on the edge of ThunderClan territory. The deputy and medicine cat, found murdered and ripped to pieces by the claws of an unknown cat. With all the senior authorities gone, ThunderClan is left to be guided by an inexperienced, 7 moon old medicine cat apprentice, on the verge of war with ShadowClan and a leadership battle. Yet something is amiss - is everything really what it seems?
Brindlestar padded softly through ThunderClan territory, heading toward the forest border. It wasn’t often that a leader could get quality time to themselves. Suddenly, a twig snapped from behind her. Brindlestar froze. Was she being followed? Perhaps it was just a piece of prey. Shrugging off her concerns, the brindled grey tabby continued her walk through the forest.
Was it just her imagination, or could she hear the muffled sound of squelching paws moving through the undergrowth? Calm down, Brindlestar. There’s no one following you. It must be your old age, and you’re just getting paranoid. Brindlestar forced herself to believe her conscience. She must be losing her touch, now that she was probably now one of the oldest cats in the forest.
With a soft sigh, Brindlestar sank down before the beautiful sight of four elegant trees stretching toward the sky, surrounding a large lump of rock at the centre of the hollow. Fourtrees was a wondrous sight, even during daylight. Then, a foul, sharp scent drifted across Brindlestar’s senses. Fox! It was large, and an incredibly bright shade of ginger. So much for a relaxing walk through the forest.
Brindlestar leapt at the fox, claws outstretched and teeth bared. “Get out of our territory, mange-pelt!” Though it most likely didn’t understand what the ThunderClan leader was yowling, the fox seemed to get the message. However, rather than turning tail and running, it snarled back and leapt at Brindlestar. A momentary wave of panic washed over the grey tabby. She had no clanmates close by, nor was she in her prime years.
For a few moments, the two creatures fought, however Brindlestar was quickly overpowered and pinned to the earth, the fox’s teeth about to sink into her neck. No! This is my last life! That was when she noticed it - her amber eyes flitting over her beloved territory for the last time - a cat. Dark, stony amber eyes glaring through the lush forest undergrowth. Brindlestar recognised it. No! He couldn’t have been standing there the whole time, ready to see me get ripped apart! Any cat but-
The kind, trusting, brindled ThunderClan leader sank to the floor, life flowing out of her as the fox’s teeth met her throat.
The limp, lifeless body of the once-proud and mighty ThunderClan leader lay in the centre of the clearing. A circle of cats surrounded Brindlestar's corpse, paying their respects and sending their best wishes for the deceased leader. The grief was obvious - the atmosphere was tense with it, no spark of joy lighting anything up in the gloomy camp.
"May StarClan light your path, old friend." Stormheart pressed his nose into the cold gray pelt. Murmurs of agreement rose from the other elders.
"May you find good hunting and a sheltered place to sleep." Larksplash added, green eyes closing as she mourned the death of her leader.
Robinflight closed her eyes, sinking into a puddle of sadness. Brindlestar had been her mentor, back when she was still Brindleheart. "It's always sad to see a clanmate leave our ranks," she murmured to her brother, Brackenwhisper. He nodded back.
"But it's a part of clan life. Death strengthens us. It shows us that there's always something ahead in our journey, and that not even enternal sleep will stop us from continuing on our path. For Brindlestar, her next stop is StarClan. She'll be reunited with past clanmates once again. Change is hard, Robinflight. But we shouldn't be afraid of it. Instead, we must embrace it, let it take us where it wants, and build upwards from there."
Despite the dull atmosphere, Robinflight was tempted to smile. Brackenwhisper was always there, ready with wise words to comfort his clanmates. His apprentice, Reedpaw, padded toward them nervously. "I-is she gone... forever?" Reedpaw was always a nervous little cat.
"Of course we will. Everyone will experience death someday. It's the way of life," Robinflight soothed the apprentice, "One day, all of us will be clanmates with Brindlestar once more. In StarClan."
Brackenwhisper shot her an amused glance. "And there you were, teasing me about always preaching younger cats." Robinflight rolled her eyes. No wonder why he was the deputy - well, leader now.
I just hope everything will be alright from here. There's no telling what ShadowClan might have in mind. Who knows what they might do, now that Brindlestar's dead.
Robinflight's apprentice, Leafpaw came bounding forward, her dusky brown stripes gleaming on her pale golden pelt. "Everything will be fine, right? I mean, every clan leader has to die sometime."
Brackenwhisper gave Leafpaw an offended look. "You know, I'm going to be that next ThunderClan leader that dies next, you know?" he gently teased. Leafpaw was suddenly scuffling the floor in an embarassed way.
"It's all right, Leafpaw. Brackenwhisper's just teasing you." Robinflight chuckled.
"Keep it down, will you? It's a clan leader, we're grieving, not a pet rat." Hawkeyes snapped in annoyance. Was it just Robinflight's imagination, or did he sound smug about something?
Brackenwhisper gave his sister a reassuring lick. "I should be preparing to leave for the Moonstone soon. Willowflight will be annoyed if I don't head over soon." The pale gray medicine cat was standing by Highrock, her plumed tail lashing impatiently. Robinflight dipped her head.
"Good luck, brother. May StarClan always, light your path." Brackenwhisper dipped his head in response. Robinflight watched quietly as medicine cat and deputy padded toward the gorse tunnel, which was embraced with shadows. Turning her head toward Silverpelt, she thought to herself.
I hope you're still watching over us, Brindlestar. Something doesn't feel right... and it doesn't help that you're gone. You were a wonderful mentor to me, even after I recieved my warrior name.
I'm no medicine cat, but something dark seems to be looming over our clan.
Willowflight watched the two siblings exchanging a few last words before Brackenwhisper finally padded over. "We should hurry. The moon will set soon, and if it does, we'll have to wait until tomorrow." The dark ginger tabby dipped his head, amber eyes forlorn. Voice softening, Willowflight reassured the deputy. "She's in StarClan, now. Brindlestar will be at the Moonstone to gift you one of your nine lives." Brackenwhisper nodded, and turned toward the entrance. Wishing that she could have done more to comfort him, Willowflight followed.
The journey was long, even though the pair were travelling as fast as they could. By the time they arrived at the Moonstone, the moon was almost gone, with nothing but a sliver of light shining upon the stone.
"Quick! Touch your nose to the Moonstone." Brackenwhisper pressed his muzzle against the cold rock, and Willowflight followed suit. However, a heartbeat before she was swallowed by sleep, she noticed a pair of cold amber eyes piercing through the darkness. Before she could dwell on the mystery cat, she was asleep, her worries washed away as she plunged into StarClan's hunting grounds.
"You should not have come here." A cold, gravelly voice sounded from behind Willowflight. Spinning around, she faced her former flat-faced mentor.
"Stoneheart!" Willowflight cried. "B-but we had to! Brackenwhisper needs to recieve his nine lives!" Stoneheart looked away.
"Your circumstances... are difficult. However, I'm afraid that it's too late. Nothing may be able to save you now. Take heed of my words, Willowflight. Be careful, for you may not make it back to your clan alive, after this."