- Frondstar - silver tabby she-cat
- Finchface - pale brown she-cat
- Birchtooth - dark ginger tom
- (Apprentice, Redpaw)
- Swiftberry - black and white she-cat, green eyes
- Moonpelt - black she-cat, blue eyes
- (Apprentice, Beepaw)
- Thrushfur - sandy-grey tom
- Suntail - black she-cat, amber eyes
- (Apprentice, Applepaw)
- Fallenfeather - grey tom
- (Apprentice, Wasppaw)
- Beetletooth - dark brown tabby tom, amber eyes
- Gorsefang - dark grey tom
- Redpaw - dark red tom
- Wasppaw - pale golden tom
- Beepaw - golden she-cat, faint tabby stripes
- Applepaw - pale brown tabby tom
Chapter One (Night)
The gentle wind stirred the river, causing the minnow struggling against the current to feel the breeze on her thin body. She forced herself onwards, marveling that a small minnow like herself was able to make any headway at all against the rapidly flowing water. Perhaps it was her motherly instinct giving her strength... her eyes flickered to her bulging stomach. She must beat the current, must succeed in reaching her kinds ancient birthing ground, the area her egg had been layed, the area her ancestors had been layed.
A shadow flitted over the water, and she glanced upwards, instantly aware that something was over her... and that something was a cat. That thought was the last that ever flowed through her mind, as the pale furred cat scooped his paw through the water, and batted the minnow out, ending the small fish's life with a nip to the head.
"Good catch," mewed Suntail, padding over towards Beetletooth.
He glanced up, seeming rather surprised. "Did you forget I was here?" Suntail teased, running her thin tail along his spine.
"How could I forget..." He whispered, staring into her amber eyes, which she rolled heartbeats later. "You're such a flirt." She batted him playfully with a paw, and he rolled onto his stomach, forgetting his surroundings and falling straight into the river.
"Beetletooth?" mewed Suntail, suddenly serious, rushing towards the river where the tom had fallen. He resurfaced moments later, another minnow in his jaws. He dragged himself out of the river, and deposited the fish at Suntail's paws.
"Don't tell anyone what just happened," he panted, and Suntail purred softly. "Fine, fine."
He nodded, satisfied, then picked up his original minnow. "You thake tha oder one," he told her through a mouth full of fish. Suntail frowned. "I'm not taking credit for your catch."
Beetletooth spat the noticeably smaller minnow from his mouth, and glared at Suntail. "Oh yes you are. You know Swiftberry will punish you if you don't bring anything back, right?"
Suntail stared at the minnow lying at her paws. "I... guess." Sighing, she bent her head, and picked up the small fish. Beetletooth nodded, satisfied, and retrieved his minnow. "Det's go den."
The two padded towards camp, Suntail occasionally casting glances at Beetletooth. Why is he so grouchy all the time? It's like trying to get close to a thornbush! And then... sometimes he drops the thorny wall... but those times are rather un-nerving.
They reached the bramble barrier that surrounded the camp, and Suntail ducked through first, depositing her minnow on the freshkill pile. Swiftberry, who was sitting beside the small pile of fish, glanced up at Suntail, green eyes glinting dangerously. "That minnow isn't very large... is that all you caught?"
Suntail ground her teeth, but nodded. "The hunting isn't very good at the moment."
Swiftberry made a small, disbelieving noise, but said no more, so Suntail backed away, glad to have escaped punishment. Although Swiftberry was not deputy, she practically was, as RiverClan's deputy, Finchface, was old and sickly.
Suntail's gaze flickered towards the old deputy, who was stationed beside the medicine cat den, posture straight, eyes moving steadily over the camp. Suntail veered towards the pale tabby, dipping her head respectfully.
"It's nice to see you are recovering, Finchface."
Happiness danced in the deputy's pale green eyes, and she spoke in a hoarse, croaky mew. "And it's nice to see you and Beetletooth hunting together-"
Suntail felt her pelt go hot, and she stared at her paws.
"Alone." Finchface finished, a knowing expression fixed on her grey flecked face.
Chapter Two (Hope)
Moonpelt lay down and rest her head. The wind rustled her black fur and she felt a sense of happiness. Her father padded over to her. "Moonpelt I was worried, I couldn't find you and I searched the whole camp and there was no trace of you." said her father worryingly.
"Father I am not a kit anymore!" said Moonpelt.
Her father nodded and he looked up at StarClan his eyes filled with sadness. Moonpelt knew that her father, Whitestripe still missed Breezefur, her mother. Breezefur had died in a battle when Moonpelt was young so she never really knew her mother.
"Father, she hunts with StarClan now. You can't change what had happened." explained Moonpelt.
"Thank you Moonpelt, I just wished I could have saved her."
Moonpelt had a lot of sympathy for her father.
Moonpelt saw her sister padding into the clearing. Whitestripe turned his head to meet Moonpelt's gaze.
"Hello Suntail, I was looking for you." their father explained.
Suntail rolled her eyes and Moonpelt let out a mreow of amusement.
"Oh father, you have to let it go." thought Moonpelt
Moonpelt walked over to the warriors den and sat down next to Fallenfeather, her mate.
"Hey Fallenfeather, how are you?" asked Moonpelt.
"I am fine how is your father? I saw him talking to you." replied Fallenfeather as facial expression changes from happy to concerned.
"He is fine he just needs time to forgive himself."
Fallenfeather nodded. He to had lost his mother when he was young but at least he knew her.
The two sat in silence for a minute. Moonpelt looked at the sleek grey tom. They understood each other. They were perfect together and nothing could change that.
Chapter Three (Night)
Suntail ran her tongue through her pelt, then glanced up at Whitestripe, who had his yellow eyes fixated her. She sighed, and adopted a straight posture.
"Whitestripe, I'm not a kit anymore, I can take care of myself."
He sighed, and averted his eyes, leaving Suntail feeling slightly guilty. "You remind me so much of your mother sometimes."
Suntail immediately felt the flame of guilt heat her pelt. "I'm sorry..." Whitestripe nodded nonchalantly, accepting the apology, but Suntail could still see he was slightly hurt. "What was she like?" She whispered, curious despite herself.
Whitestripe raised his head, and grief shone in his amber eyes. "Breezefur, your mother... you look so much like her."
Suntail frowned. What? That didn't make sense. "What? What do you mean? I heard she had white fur." She glanced down at her own black pelt, confused.
Whitestripe waved a paw, dismissing this. "I don't mean fur colour. I'm talking about the way you hold yourself, the way you talk, the way you act, hunt... you are so much like your mother. I see her in you everyday."
"She's dead, Whitestripe." Perhaps it was a rather blunt way to phrase it, but Suntail couldn't think of a better way to put it.
The black-and-white furred tom sighed, and averted his eyes from Suntail's. "I know she's dead, Suntail. I'm not insane..." He padded away, finishing the sentence under his breath. "Not yet, at least."
Suntail watched him leave, quite aware of the last four words he had muttered. She frowned. Why does he have to be so difficult? The sound of pawsteps heading towards her made her turn.
"I was wondering if you wanted to share a finch with me?"
Suntail mentally groaned. Great. Thrushfur. Time with him was exactly what she needed. "No sorry," she mewed, getting to her paws. "I was going to eat with Moonpelt, I promised her I would."
Thrushfur's face fell, but he nodded. "It's alright, no need to apologize, I understand." He padded away, crestfallen, and Suntail sighed. Why didn't Thrushfur understand that she didn't love him? He was annoying, stinky, and annoyingly good-natured. Of course she didn't want to share a finch with him.
Her eyes strayed to Beetletooth, who was lazing in the sun beside Gorsefang, and a happy feeling swelled in her chest. Now that was the tom she wanted. As she watched, he stretched, getting to his paws, and muscles rippled underneath his smooth and luxurious coat. What she would give to be the one lying beside him... but she couldn't, not willingly.
She shook her head, and got to her paws, padding towards Moonpelt, who seemed to be sharing a moment with Fallenfeather. "Moonpelt?"
Her sister jumped, abruptly returned to the world of the living, and Fallenfeather turned, a protective gleam in his eyes. "Oh, it's you," he mewed. Suntail felt a stab of annoyance run through her. It wasn't a secret that Fallenfeather disliked Suntail, but there was no need for him to act so rude.
"Yeah, it's me. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to share a minnow with Moonpelt."
Moonpelt seemed reluctant, and didn't meet Suntail's eyes. "Um, actually... I thought maybe I could eat with Fallenfeather today? He caught a massive trout, and..." Her words faded into nothingness, but Suntail hissed, and stormed away.
"I see how it is," she muttered, lashing her tail angrily.
Chapter Four (Hope)
Moonpelt lay down next to Fallenfeather. He purred as there pelts touched. They looked at each other happiness gleaming n their eyes The trout lay in front of them. Fallenfeather nodded and Moonpelt didn't resist. She devoured it piece by piece.
"You must be hungry!" said Fallenfeather. Moonpelt could hear the amusement in his tone "At this rate there won't be any for me!"
Moonpelt swallowed and then replied with, "Here I saved some for you."
The grey tom dug in. He licked his lips and stood up. Moonpelt followed. "Where are you going?" questioned Moonpelt.
The grey tom turned and said "Don't you remember today is the day that Beekit and Waspkit are going to be apprenticed."
Moonpelt nodded. How could she forget, Those kits had been running around the camp telling every cat that they were going to be apprenticed. The two cats padded out of the warriors den. There stood Suntail giving Fallenfeather an icy glare. Fallenfeather flicked his tail and walked past her.
"Good job Beepaw you caught your first fish!" approved Moonpelt.
"I did." said Beepaw bursting with pride.
Moonpelt licked the apprentices ginger pelt and the apprentice purred.
Wasppaw and Fallenfeather ran up to the two she cats.
"Look Wasppaw I caught my first fish." beamed Beepaw.
"Lucky, I had to clean the elders bedding." explained Wasppaw with disgust.
Fallenfeather let out a mreow of amusement.
"We must get back to camp now." stated Moonpelt.
The four of them padded back to camp.
The two apprentices ran off to the apprentice den.
"Moonpelt, come look! I caught a trout much bigger than Fallenfeather's" boasted Suntail.
"Do you still remember that?' asked Moonpelt.
"Yes I do! So will you eat with me!" requested Suntail her eyes shining with hope.
"You can sit with her Moonpelt II don't mind." said Fallenfeather.
Moonpelt nodded and said eagerly "Sure Suntail!"
The two sisters padded over to the warriors den and they sat down next to each other. They had the same black pelt so in the shadows they wouldn't be seen. The two sisters dug into the trout not taking a breath. After they had finished Suntail asked " We are sisters no matter what?''
Moonpelt nodded and responded with "Of course!"
Chapter Five (Night)
Suntail purred, reassured. “For a heartbeat, I thought you’d say no.”
Moonpelt snorted. “Why would I deny our blood? We can’t change the fact that we are related.”
Suntail rolled her eyes, and batted Moonpelt with one paw. Her sister purred, and rolled over, kicking out at Suntail, who dodged, and leaped at Moonpelt. "Caught you!"
Fallenfeather was there in an instant. "Don't you dare touch a hair on her pelt," he hissed at Suntail, back arched. Suntail blinked, surprised and offended. "We were just playi-"
"Go play somewhere else." The tom snapped, glaring at Suntail and proceeding to stand protectively in front of Moonpelt. Moonpelt got to her paws, glancing between Suntail and Fallenfeather, a confused expression upon her face. "Am I missing something here?"
Suntail forced the hair's on her back down, and glared at Fallenfeather, adopting a straight posture. "You explain, Fallenfeather."
The tom returned the glare, then nodded slowly. "Fine. But only because Moonpelt wants to know." He took a deep breath, and glanced at Moonpelt, who was seated behind him, eyes wide with curiousity. "Are you certain you want to know?"
She nodded. "I am sure."
This answer caused Fallenfeather to sigh, but he nodded again. "As you wish... so, what do you wish to know."
Moonpelt rolled her eyes, rather exasperated. "I want to know why you and Suntail are at each other's throats so often!"
Fallenfeather's eyes flickered to Suntail, and he hissed softly. "It's her fault. She can explain." He flicked his tail in Suntail's direction, then stormed away. Moonpelt watched him, then turned to Suntail, who had her eyes narrowed to slits. "What do you see in him?" He's an arrogant twit! AND he hates me. I thought she valued her kin over some dumb tom...
"I've told you that before, Suntail," mewed Moonpelt. "Now, please explain. I am sick of you two fighting!"
Suntail steadied herself, picturing herself swimming, feeling the calming sensation of fish swimming between her paws, and the cool temperature of the water before continuing. "When we were kits, he was always... flirting around you."
A purr rumbled from Moonpelt's chest. "I remember." Suntail suppressed a frown. Why does she sound so happy? Does she really want toms to run at her, to flirt with her? Doesn't she understand what that could cost her? She threw away these thoughts, dismissing them.
"Yes, yes, of course you do."
Hurt briefly flashed in Moonpelt's eyes, but Suntail ignored her sister. She had to get this over and done with.
"I assume you remember Echoheart?" Moonpelt nodded, and Suntail felt anger ignite inside her. How could she just nod like that? Had she forgotten the pale grey she-cat, the one with the twinkling green eyes and the friendly, teasing manner?
"When, you, me, Echoheart and Fallenfeather were kits, Echoheart and her brother, Fallenfeather, both... liked you, Moonpelt. If you remember, Echoheart would tease you, hang with you and flirt with you often." Suntail meowed softy, traces of anger in her voice.
Moonpelt shuddered. "What was she thinking!" She blurted out. "She was female, how could she possibly have liked me! Two she-cats can't be mates!"
Suntail turned her eyes to the sky. See, Echoheart? You shouldn't have bestowed your heart on her... Moonpelt didn't deserve or appreciate it. I would have been faithful, I promise.
"They can actually." Suntail's voice was cold. Echoheart... you were too young to die. He'll pay for what he did... I promise.
Moonpelt seemed rather surprised. "What? But- you couldn't have kits, an-"
"Love isn't about having kits." Suntail interrupted, mew colder still. "Love is about loving the other, wanting to spend the rest of your life with them." She lashed her tail angrily and stalked away, quite aware of Fallenfeather's gaze upon her back. She turned and stared at him, whispering the words, "You killed her. You killed your own sister, then steal mine. You... murderer."
Chapter Six (Hope)
Moonpelt watched as her sister ran off in anger. What had she done wrong? Moonpelt thought about what her sister said.
"Love isn't about having kits. Love is about loving the other, wanting to spend the rest of your life with them."
It rung in Moonpelt's ears. Her eyes shone with sadness. She never knew. What would Echoheart think of her! Fallenfeather flicked his tail angrily. "Echoheart liked me?" asked Moonpelt.
"Suntail has bees in her brain! Don't listen to her!"
"Don't you dare talk about my sister like that!" yelled Moonpelt.
She hissed at Fallenfeather and ran as fast as she could away from her mate. She didn't look back. She ran as far as her legs could take her. She wanted to find her sister who ran off this way. She found Suntail curled up in a ball under a bush. "Suntail, I'm-"
"Don't say sorry to me! It is Echoheart who you must say sorry to." interrupted Suntail.
"Sister please come back to camp! We must return before it gets dark. We can sleep in the warriors den as sisters. I will never be with Fallenfeather again. I promise. He is a mangy flea pelt! I can't believe I loved him!" said Moonpelt, blue eyes shining with anger.
Suntail got up and nodded. Moonpelt was relieved that her sister gave in.
When they got back to camp they saw Fallenfeather. He ran up to Moonpelt. "Moonpelt I was worried."
Moonpelt ignored him. She kept on walking. How dare he say her sister had bee's in her brain.
Once Suntail and Moonpelt got to the warriors den they found a place in the corner and snuggled together. It is was nice to have her sister with her. But once she snuggled closer she felt the sharp breaths that Suntail was taking. Was there something she wasn't telling her. Moonpelt lay her head on her paws and drifted off to sleep.
"Moonpelt." said a mysterious voice.
Moonpelt opened one eye to see a familiar cat standing in front of her. It was Echoheart!
"Echoheart... I'm sorry."
"Don't worry Moonpelt. There is something I must tell you." replied Echoheart.
"What is it?" asked Moonpelt.
."Two cats with black fur will meet on the brightest night'
'One with eyes shining with light'
'The other with eyes gleaming with spite'
'One of their paths is meant for darkness'
'The others is meant for light; oh, what starkness'
'One with the anger of the sun'
'The other with the patience of the moon'
'Do not let the sun die'
'Or else the moon will wither'
'Hope and despair are common'
'And without the sun they will rule supreme'
'Do not let the sun slip from your clutches'
'Do not let the enemy succeed'
'For life without the sun shining'
'Is hardly a life worth living."'
Moonpelt awoke, breathing heavily. Echoheart was beautiful. She had completely forgot how sleek her silver pelt was. But what did Echoheart mean?
Chapter Seven (Night)
Suntail pressed closer to Moonpelt, relishing the warmth of her sister. She had forgotten how comforting it was, how right it seemed curled next to Moonpelt. She felt sure that if someone was to stand over their entwined bodies, it would be difficult to make out where one sister finished at the other begun. Although they often seemed as different as the sun and moon, their pelts were both of the purest black, and Suntail knew that this was right. This was how it was meant to be.
Slowly, sleep drifted over her, comforting the torn, ragged edges of her mind, and soothing the scars that a certain silver she-cats death had ripped into her.
Suntail blinked, and opened her eyes. Darkness rushed up to greet her, and she swayed slightly. She knew that voice, but... it was impossible.
The sound of a twig breaking rushed to greet her, and the sound of a cat moving somewhere in the darkness. "Echoheart?" She cried again, hearing the note of panic in her voice, yet not caring to disguise it. This was sleep. There was no need to pretend to be someone she wasn't here.
"Yes, my dear?"
Although she was still blind, Echoheart felt her heart swell with joy. She knew that voice, she knew who it belonged to. "Echoheart... I missed you."
Slowly, dull colours came into view around her, and she could make out the blurry figure of Echoheart standing a few fox-lengths from her, two small shapes dancing around her paws. Suntail blinked, and the world sharpened, coming into focus. Now she could tell that the shapes at Echoheart's paws were kits, one with a pelt as dark as the night, the other with silver fur. But she only had eyes for Echoheart.
The she-cats pelt gleamed with health, her delicate facial features positioned in a way that showed her dancing spirit, and laughter, like they had always been in when she had lived. Laughter shone in her eyes, and the darker flecks of silver at the base of her tail seemed to shine. Her plumy tail twitched, a beckoning forwards, and Suntail rushed to greet her.
Echoheart purred, and twisted herself around Suntail, eyes closed so that she could relish the moment without seeing mundane things such as the starry meadow they were surrounded by. Suntail purred, and the grief that had always lurked in the semi-conscious part of her mind lessened slightly. Saying the silver she-cat's name, feeling her breath upon her face... this was better then any healing herb Suntail had ever come across.
She stepped back, although continued to run her eyes over Echoheart, drinking in the she-cat's appearance. Eyes brimming with emotion, she glanced down at the kits. "Who are these?"
Echoheart adopted a sad expression, and bowed her head, licking the top of the night coloured kit's head. "Moonkit and Nightkit." Her voice was soft and melodic, although there was a hint of concealed grief in her tone.
Suntail felt something snap within her. Moonkit and Nightkit. Of course. She had forgotten the affection Echoheart had felt for Moonpelt. How could she have forgotten...
"Who are they?" She asked again, anger audible in her mew. Echoheart seemed rather startled by the abrupt change in Suntail's mew, but answered. "I wasn't supposed to die. StarClan didn't see it, didn't think it was fair, especially because my death was at the claws of a Clanmate. They told me about my future. These would have been my kits..."
Hope flared within Suntail. Echoheart couldn't possibly have had kits with Moonpelt, as they were both she-cats. "A-and who would have been the father?" The tremor in her voice annoyed her, but she had to know this.
"A rouge," answered Echoheart, one ear twitching slightly. "A traveling rouge by the name of Claw. I would of raised them with Moonpelt though."
Suntail yowled with anger and fury, and a haze of red settled over her. A sensation, a need to sink her claws into Echoheart, to punish her for loving Moonpelt ran through her, and when the red finally lifted, she was on top of Echoheart, claws buried in the silver she-cat's neck, muzzle stained with blood.
"Two cats with black fur will meet on the brightest night
One with eyes shining with light
The other with eyes gleaming with spite
One of their paths is meant for darkness
The others is meant for light; oh, what starkness
One with the anger of the sun
The other with the patience of the moon
Do not let the sun die
Or else the moon will wither
Hope and despair are common
And without the sun they will rule supreme
Do not let the sun slip from your clutches
Do not let the enemy succeed
For life without the sun shining
Is hardly a life worth living."
Suntail sat up, rather confused. Blood dripping from her chin onto the still twitching body of Echoheart, and she glanced down regretfully at it. She noted that the silver she-cat's jaws were parted, and a new bubble of blood had burst from them, and realization dawned in her amber eyes. A prophecy. With her last breath, Echoheart had delivered a prophecy. A prophecy concerning her.
Chapter Eight (Hope)
Moonpelt lay their still. The only sound was the wind rustling the leaves. Their was a twitch from Suntail which became a squirm. She was dreaming.
"Suntail, wake up!" whispered Moonpelt, worry shining in her eyes with worry.
Suntail kept on squirming and let out a cry.
"Suntail wake up!" yelled Moonpelt.
Her sister didn't stir but all the other warriors woke letting out an annoyed mew.
"Moonpelt be quiet." exclaimed Greycloud.
"Sorry my fellow warriors, I was trying to wake up my sister. She is mumbling in her sleep."
Fallenfeather shot a glance at Moonpelt his eyes wide with fury. Moonpelt gave him a cold icy glare. He looked down at his feet eyes wide with shame. Greycloud padded over to Moonpelt. "Suntail please wake up." whined Greycloud, "Your sister woke us up because of you."
Suntail jolted up. Her eyes wide with fear and sadness. Her pelt didn't seem to glow like it used to.
"What happened?" asked Suntail confused.
"You were dreaming." explained Moonpelt.
Her sister nodded. Her eyes filled with sadness still. What had happened in her dream to make her so upset?
Time passed really quickly for Moonpelt. "Suntail it is getting dark. We should be going to sleep now!" explained Moonpelt.
Suntail nodded. She hadn't spoken at all. Moonpelt was starting to get worried. They snuggled up together. Moonpelt lay her head on her front paws. Her mind wandered to Echoheart. Moonpelt had forgotten how beautiful Echoheart's sleek grey pelt was. "I wish Echoheart was still here, in RiverClan," thought Moonpelt "because I think I like her to!"
Moonpelt's awoke darkness around her. "Am I dreaming?" asked Moonpelt.
A bright light appeared. It was a white she-cat. Her eyes were as golden as Suntail's.
"Who are you?" questioned Moonpelt.
"Hello Moonpelt, I am your mother, Breezefur." explained Breezefur.
"Yes Moonpelt. You have grown so much." said Breezefur, her eyes shining with pride.
"Where is Echoheart?" asked Moonpelt.
"Moonpelt, Suntail killed her!"
Chapter Nine (Night)
The wind waved the tussocks of grass, creating an illusion that the grass was flowing like a river. The tom stared out over the many varieties of grass, flowers and mosses, jaws slightly parted, scenting the prey rich air around him. He padded further into the moorland, and a small purr escaped him, although it was easily swallowed by the gentle breeze.
"Breezefur," he whispered into the wind, sure that Breezefur, although she was all the way in RiverClan's camp, would know he was thinking of her. "I'm coming home."
Beside him, Heathermuzzle gave him a warning look. "Silence."
He dipped his black and white head in agreement, and continued to stare out over the moor. It was so beautiful. Why couldn't RiverClan have the moor? They would defend it carefully...excitement suddenly swelled through him. That was the entire point of this meeting. If it went as planned, RiverClan would have a stretch of moorland...
Heathermuzzle stretched, and shot the tom a glare, even though he not uttered a single word. "Whitestripe, would you please shut up?"
Whitestripe shot Heathermuzzle a glare. "I never spoke."
Heathermuzzle stiffened, and the wind abruptly changed direction, bringing the scent of a cat. Whitestripe watched as the cat came into view, and horror dawned in his eyes. Breezefur. What was she doing here? His eyes fastened on her stomach, which was bulging with unborn kits.
Her elegant head turned, and he saw that her amber eyes were lit with panic. "Whitestripe!" She yowled. "Heathermuzzle!"
Whitestripe felt as if his paws were rooted to the ground. How could she have been so stupid? Yes, she was reckless, but sprinting into the midst of WindClan territory carrying his unborn kits... no, he knew why. She hated being cooped up, hated letting others fight on her behalf. "Help!" She yowled, and Heathermuzzle ran forwards to meet her.
"What has happened?" The brown she-cat asked, yellow eyes glinting with concern. Breezefur didn't seem to see Heathermuzle, and her eyes found Whitestripe's own panicked green ones. "WindClan," she panted, breath heavily. "WindClan, attack, RiverClan camp."
Heathermuzzle drew a sharp breath, and she licked her chest fur, seemingly making her mind up. "Breezefur, are we losing?" Her voice was urgent.
Breezefur shook her head, but she still seemed scared and frightened out of her mind.
"How many of them are fighting?"
"Ma-maybe half of their warriors?" Breezefur whispered in response to Heathermuzzle's question.
Heathermuzzle frowned, then turned to Whitestripe, who was ready to bolt back towards camp, and spoke calmly, looking over the gathered warriors. "Whitestripe, Beetooth, Gorsefang, Thrushpaw, Beetlepaw, Bluepelt, Spottedpelt, Mottlefeather, Stripetail, Lilyleaf, Finchface. We are stronger then those scrawny rabbit chasers who call themselves a Clan, yes?"
Yowls of approval surged through them, although Whitestripe felt tension gnaw at his stomach. He thought he knew what was coming, and didn't like it one bit. Breezefur jogged over to stand beside him, and he glanced at her, reassured and scared by her presence. Heathermuzzle continued. "We could beat them if we were all blind, toothless, riddled with sickness, deaf, covered in blood, clawless and one pawed. They attacked our camp, so let us attack theirs."
Loud yowls of agreement followed these words, and Breezefur joined in enthusiastically. "Let's get them," she mewed, rather breathless. "You're not going."
Breezefur frowned at Whitestripe's words. "Yes I am. Just because I'm carrying kits doesn't mean I can fight. An expecting mother is fiercer then a badger."
Heathermuzzle beside them nodded apologetically at Breezefur's words. "I'm sorry Breezefur, but I can't allow you to fight. Maybe you could go back to camp and assist the battle there?"
Hurt flashed in Breezefur's eyes. "I can fight! I'm capable!"
"I never said you weren't," Heathermuzzle stated flatly. "But it is reckless. You can't endanger your kit's life as well as your own."
Breezefur hissed, and lashed her plumy white tail angrily. "It's not fair!" She wailed, but Heathermuzzle had moved on. "Then we attack."
Whitestripe nodded, and began to follow the ranks of warriors who were streaming over the hills towards WindClan's camp. Breezefur followed him, but he shook his head slightly. "No, Breezefur. You cannot come, you heard Heathermuzzle."
He glanced at Thrushpaw, who was close by. "Thrushpaw, could you please accompany Breezefur?" The sandy-grey tom nodded.
She ground her teeth in frustration, but nodded, and slipped away, Thrushpaw beside her. He watched them leave, rather relieved to see her white pelt disappear from view. She can't get hurt... she can't. She means everything to me. He shook his head, and ran towards the hill, following his Clanmates. Time to go fight the wind itself.
Whitestripe slipped away from WindClan's camp, dragging the heavy body of Heathermuzzle as he went. He could picture the tom who had struck the killing blow clearly, the white fur, the wide, innocent blue eyes. He snarled, and stared into Heathermuzzle's glassy eyes. Those eyes would never see again. She would never walk, fish, or order others around. She was dead.
Thrushpaw came rushing up to Whitestripe, eyes widening when he noticed the corpse the black and white tom was dragging. "Whitestripe!"
Whitestripe sighed, and nodded. "Yes Thrushpaw?" The sandy-grey tom's eyes glinted with sorrow, and apprehension built in the pit of his stomach. Please let Breezefur be alright. If she's dead... half of me is dead as well. "Breezefur... s-she encountered another pregnant she-cat on the way back to camp. They fought, then both kitted... Breezefur didn't survive the kitting..."
Whitestripe swayed, and fell to the ground. Breezefur. Dead. Breezefur, the only thing worth living for. Dead. Dead and gone.
"And the kits?" He choked out.
"Four of them," Thrushpaw mewed. "Three she-cats and a tom. One of the she-cats was still born, and the tom died moments after birth. The other two are healthy. You're a father."
Suntail woke with a start, breathing hard. Moonpelt beside her let out a small murmur, and turned over. Suntail sighed, and watched her sister, remembering the burning love Whitestripe had felt for Breezefur. Did he feel that way for her? Did he feel the way for Breezefur that she felt for Echoheart? Horror ran through her. She had hated Fallenfeather for killing Echoheart... a crime she was now guilty of as well.
Chapter Ten (Hope)
Moonpelt awoke with a jolt. Breezefur her mother had came to her, to tell her that her sister killed he crush. Moonpelt must of misheard. Her sister had feelings for Echoheart as well so why would she kill her? Moonpelt lay still. "Moonpelt, Suntail killed her!" rang in her mind.
Moonpelt knew that it was clear. Why would Breezefur lie to her? Suntail must have killed Echoheart. Moonpelt's eyes shone with sadness. How could Suntail do that? " I should have told Echoheart how I feel." thought Moonpelt sadly.
Suntail awoke. Breathing heavily. Moonpelt shot her an icy glare and walked out of the clearing. She could hear Suntail's paws behind her.
"What was that glare for?" asked Suntail confused.
Moonpelt kept on walking she didn't even want to look at her sister. After what she did to Echoheart.
It was dusk. Moonpelt decided to sleep in the other corner of the Warriors Den tonight to try to avoid Suntail. She spotted Suntail storming up to Moonpelt.
"What is your problem Moonpelt. You haven't spoken once to me today!"
Moonpelt decided that she must tell her sister why. She got up from the cold ground. Moonpelt padded out into the forest signalling with her fluffy tail to Suntail to follow. Suntail followed. Moonpelt stopped by a tall tree. She scraped against the hard bark while waiting for Suntail. The roughness scratched Moonpelt's itch that she had all day. "So why are you mad at me?" asked Suntail angrily.
"Why am I mad at you. Let me think. Maybe because you had killed my crush. She had already died once! It is unfair that you yelled at me for being rude to Echoheart and then once I actually start to like her you kill her! What is wrong with you?" yelled Moonpelt.
Suntail stood there in shock. Her black pelt stood up. "How did you know?" stammered Suntail.
"Breezefur, our mother told me!" answered Moonpelt her blue eyes shining with disappointment.
How could her sister do this?
Suntail nodded. "Why did you kill her?" asked Moonpelt angrily.
Suntail took a deep breath."Because she loved you, Moonpelt. Because she wouldn't stop loving you. You didn't deserved to be loved when you said love was about having kits. She was going to have kits and raise them with you. I felt a flash of anger and I couldn't control myself. I killed her because of you!"
Chapter Eleven (Night)
Suntail felt her fur bristle as she glared at Moonpelt. "I am not guilty," she announced, although bitter worms of guilt snaked through her stomach.
Moonpelt's eyes hardened, and for the first time, Suntail noticed the shadow of Breezefur in her. "You killed her, Suntail! You're a murderer."
The amber eyed cat shook her head, indignant. "No. You did that, Moonpelt. You and Fallenfeather. I see how you guys got along so well. You're both murderers."
Guilt sparked in Moonpelt's blue eyes, and Suntail felt satisfaction burn within her. Yes, Moonpelt. See how that guilt tastes? You killed her. A nagging voice at the back of her head disagreed though. How could Moonpelt have possibly killed Echoheart? You struck the killing blow.
"Shut it!" Suntail snapped at the nagging voice, not quite aware that she had spoken aloud. Moonpelt gave her an alarmed look, and Suntail noted that her sister's claws momentarily dug into a piece of bark at her paws.
"You're insane, Suntail."
The finality in her sister's voice made the slight fear she had had before multiply, grow, expand. You're insane, Suntail. You're insane, Suntail. You're insane, Suntail. Moonpelt's words ran through her, her annoying voice continuing to chant. You're insane, Suntail. You're insane, Suntail. You're insane, Suntail.
"Enough. I never killed Echoheart." Somehow, the fear that now controlled her wasn't audible in her voice, only cold anger and mistrust. "I am not insane, Moonpelt. You are."
Moonpelt shook her head, lashing her tail angrily. "No I am not! Listen to yourself Suntail, you're raving!"
Suntail hissed softly, unsheathing her claws but not responding. "I'm not mad!" There was now panic in her voice. Fear. Instability. Moonpelt ignored these, and continued to speak.
"You told me I didn't know what love is, and here you are, killing the one you loved. Why did you do it, Suntail? Why? Tell me, and I won't reveal this to the Clan. Tell me, and perhaps I will forgive you." Desperation sparked in her voice, and Suntail flinched,
"I didn't kill her!" She protested once more, anger now entirely non-existent. "I'm innocent!"
Moonpelt lowered her head, disappointment evident in her stance. Finally, she raised it once more, and a new emotion shone through her eyes. Determination. "I see you are not ready to repent. It saddens me greatly... but I have to tell the Clan what you have done. I must for your safety as well as theirs. You are out of your mind."
"No!" yowled Suntail, leaping at her sister, anger constricting her vision. And at that moment, there was nothing she wanted more then to sink her claws into Moonpelt's neck, ending her sister's life. But something stopped her. A hard, strong, muscular something. Fallenfeather.
The tom collapsed, Suntail's claws buried in his neck, blood leaking from the wounds. "Moonpelt," he croaked, eyes searching for the black furred she-cat. "Moonpelt- I-I'm so sorry for everything."
Moonpelt couldn't speak. She stared from Suntail to the dying tom, horrified. Suntail drew her claws away from Fallenfeather, shaking. What had she done?
Fallenfeather continued to speak. "Moonpel- Moonpelt. I n-never des--deserved you. I should never ha-have killed Echoheart, I-I didn't mean to-to-t-," the light faded from his eyes, and he feel still. A whisper seemed to ease from his jaws. "I love you..."
Suntail shuddered, backing away. "I-I'm a murderer. I killed him. I killed a cat. I-I'm a monster."
Chapter Twelve (Hope)
Moonpelt stood there shocked, her mouth wide open. Her sister murdered Fallenfeather. She looked at Suntail who was slowly backing away. "You did this!" yelled Moonpelt, her eyes filling with sadness.
"I-I didn't mean to." stammered Suntail.
"You're a monster Suntail. First you killed Echoheart and now you kill Fallenfeather!" screamed Moonpelt angrily.
Suntail eyes shone with sadness. Moonpelt's sister was evil. She was a murderer. Suntail ran off in shame. Moonpelt lay down next to Fallenfeather. "Fallenfeather wake up." whispered Moonpelt desperately.
The tom did not stir. "I love you..." was the last words Fallenfeather said. His last words were for her. Moonpelt nudged the tom. She wanted him back. She wanted him here now. "Fallenfeather please come back!" begged Moonpelt, her tone was sad not like the way she usually spoke.
"The two cats I loved, killed by my own sister! I will never love Suntail never again." thought Moonpelt, her thoughts were angry every time she thought about her sister, the murderer, the killer.
Moonpelt lay her head on her front paws. She lay next to Fallenfeather's body and she never wanted to leave. He was the tom who loved her for so long. She closed her eyes and drifted off into a deep sleep.
"Moonpelt I am here." whispered a voice, calm and soft.
Moonpelt opened her eyes to see Fallenfeather, his pelt gleaming.
"Fallenfeather, please come back. I loved you, I loved you and Echoheart and I still do. Please come back. Remember we were going to have kits." pleaded Moonpelt.
"Moonpelt, we were going to but we can't now. I will guide you Moonpelt, I may not be able to go on hunting patrols with you or share tongues with you in the shade but I will always be here. I will be here, watching over you. I will never stop loving you Moonpelt. Bye Moonpelt but I will see you next time. Next time isn't long so don't worry I will always be with you" explained Moonpelt comfortingly.
"No Fallenfeather don't leave!" pleaded Moonpelt.
Moonpelt awoke with a jolt. She noticed Fallenfeather's body was still there she must bring it back to the Clan, so the Clan would honour his bravery.
Once she got back to camp there was a huge crowd of cats surrounding Fallenfeather.
"What happened? Who will be my mentor now?" asked Wasppaw his tone was sorrowful.
"He was obviously killed by a cat but who?" asked Gorsefang.
The crowd of cats turned silent and stared at Moonpelt. "I must tell them that it was my sister otherwise they will think it was me but then my sister will be punished and I can't do that to her. I have made my decision the clan must know the truth!"
But before Moonpelt could say anything she heard "I did it."
Every cat turned around to see Suntail standing behind them. "Suntail came clean, well that is a start." thought Moonpelt.
"You are a murderer Suntail, you murdered my mentor!" accused Wappaw, his voice angry and despairing.
There was a murmur of agreement through out the cats. Moonpelt thought to herself "Suntail was a murderer and she will have to live with that."
Chapter Thirteen (Night)
Suntail shook her head, staring at Wasppaw, sadness shadowing her eyes. It wasn't like that. I can't explain, I don't understand...
Suntail frowned, staring down at her paws. "I didn't mean too," she whispered, although she wasn't certain anyone could hear her. Applepaw stood off to one side, confusion evident in his amber eyes, and Suntail inwardly sobbed. I didn't mean too, Applepaw.
Applepaw then stepped forwards, pelt smooth, his eyes which had been shadowed moments before now clear. "Suntail is a loyal warrior of RiverClan."
Mutters of disapproval ran through the Clan, and Wasppaw snorted. "How can you say that? She killed a cat. She killed Fallenfeather! That can't be forgiven."
Applepaw turned to face the younger apprentice, frowning. "Wasppaw, you're practically a kit. Don't talk of matters you don't understand."
Redpaw let out a small purr of amusement, but stopped abruptly when others did not join in. Wasppaw however, did not find this statement amusing, and launched himself at Applepaw, claws unsheathed. The pale brown tabby nimbly stepped to one side, causing Wasppaw to crash into the ground.
He blinked angrily, getting his paws once more, ready to spring, and Suntail prepared to intervene. However, before she could run, Beepaw leaped in between the two apprentices, glaring at them. "No! Don't fight because of her. She's not worth it."
Wasppaw shook his fur, lashing his tail angrily. "She can't just get away with this! She's killed my mentor!"
Sympathy sparked in Beepaw's eyes, but she shook her head slowly. "Wasppaw, it doesn't work that way. Fallenfeather wouldn't want you to fight before his still warm body, it wouldn't be right."
Wasppaw sighed, and attempted to smooth his fur. "I-I guess you're right..." He turned to Suntail, and a wild fury danced in his eyes. "But, after he has joined the ranks of StarClan, after he tells me he has, after this happens, I'll have my revenge. I'll avenge him."
Suntail stiffened, but nodded. "I-I understand." Her eyes found Applepaw, and a wordless exchange passed between them. Thank you, Applepaw. I don't deserve you.
Moonpelt attempted a purr, her face set in an expression of mourning and pride. "Beepaw, that was spoken like a true warrior."
Before Beepaw could give a rather soppy and affectionate response, a silver cat made her way out of her den, and silence fell.
"Enough," she murmured, and every cat seemed to hold their breath, leaning towards her so that they could catch every word she uttered. She turned to Moonpelt, eyes passing over the prone figure of Fallenfeather, grief sparking momentarily within them.
"Moonpelt, please give your recount of what happened." Her voice was quiet, but like so many leaders before her, Frondstar had a gift with her audience, leaving them hanging on every word she said.
Moonpelt shuffled her paws, and Suntail hissed softly. "She's going to lie! I never killed Fallenfeather, she did!" Almost immediately, she frowned. What? That didn't make sense. She'd killed Fallenfeather, not Moonpelt, so why had she said that? Why had she blurted it out?
Frondstar turned slowly, disapproving eyes trained on Suntail. "Suntail, you will get a turn to speak. Please, wait for Moonpelt to give her account for what happened."
Suntail hissed, but nodded. "Fine." She glared around the clearing, getting angry looks in return.
Moonpelt gulped, then begun to speak. "Fallenfeather and Suntail have always hated each other... a few days ago, Suntail told me why. Fallenfeather is a murderer. He killed Echoheart." She paused, and gasps of shock ran through the Clan.
"Never!" exclaimed Wasppaw. Beepaw glanced at her brother, swishing her tail over his mouth. "Quiet," she whispered.
"Fallenfeather killed Echoheart, because she loved me and he thought I loved her back. He killed her to gain my love," Moonpelt continued. "Suntail told me. I believe her."
"That information must be faulty then," Wasppaw sneered. "Just a murderer trying to lie to save her reputation." Applepaw shot him a glare. "Shut it."
"Echoheart appeared to me in a dream the next night. She told me she loved me... and I thought that perhaps I loved her as well. And then..." her voice wavered, but she steeled herself, and continued. "My mother came to me in a dream the night after that. She told me Echoheart was gone... that Suntail had killed her."
"A double murderer then!" Wasppaw yowled. "She must be punished!"
Frondstar flicked her tail in Wasppaw's direction, and he instantly quietened.
Moonpelt once more began to speak. "I confronted Suntail about it, and she... tried to kill me. Fallenfeather intervened... he took the killing blow." Taking a deep breath she finished. "She should be killed for this crime."
Chapter Fourteen (Hope)
"What Moonpelt I thought we were sisters! Why would you want me to be killed?" stuttered Suntail nervously.
"Silence Suntail. No cat should be killed. Fallenfeather killed Echoheart so it would be like saying if he was still with us he would be killed as punishment." explained Frondstar.
"I guess you are right." nodded Moonpelt.
"Why would I even say that. Suntail is my sister, I would never want her to be killed." thought Moonpelt, as she whacked herself with her paw.
"We will sit a vigil for Fallenfeather. He is a RiverClan cat and nothing can change that." Frondstar said peacefully.
Moonpelt's leader was always very knowledgeable and calm. Frondstar would always handle things in a peaceful way and only use violence when it is necessary. Beepaw lay down next to Moonpelt. "Will you be alright?" whispered Beepaw sympathetically.
Moonpelt nodded. "Thank you Beepaw. Make sure your brother will be alright. he is the one we must take care of." acknowledged Moonpelt.
Beepaw snuggled closer to her mentor. "Beepaw, you are like the kit I never had."
Beepaw let out a purr. "Thank you Moonpelt, you will always be like a mother to me."
The two snuggled closer. Seeing as Moonpelt never had kits, she would raise Beepaw and Wasppaw like their mother.
They padded up to were Wasppaw was standing. "He is gone, I will never see him again." whimpered Wasppaw, his tone was sorrowful.
"It will be alright Wasppaw. You will see him again. You will one day go to StarClan and be reunited with him." explained Wasppaw.
"But who will be my mentor?" questioned Waspaw sadly.
"That is up to Frondstar to decide."
Moonpelt licked Waspaw's head. She knew how Wasppaw felt. She wanted Fallenfeather back, she wanted Echoheart back but her sister took them away from her.
Chapter Fifteen (Night)
Frondstar flicked her tail in Suntail's direction, beckoning the black furred she-cat towards her. Suntail frowned, but nodded, slipping through her Clanmates and seating herself beside the silver she-cat. "Frondstar? Did you want me?"
"Yes, I did Suntail," Frondstar replied, fixing Suntail with a stern look. "We must discuss your future."
Suntail felt irritation build up within her, but she nodded placidly, attempting to appear docile. It would be reckless to snap at her leader, or even simply allow her to notice that she was feeling rather irritated. No, that would be very foolish indeed.
"What about my future?" Despite Suntail's best efforts, there was a note of impatience to her voice. Oh well. At least it didn't reveal the full measure of frustration she felt.
Frondstar, who seemed to realize what this conversation was making Suntail feel, sighed, but did not explain the reason for this exhale of breath, although Suntail understood it to be because of her.
Finally, the silver tabby spoke, her muzzle twitching slightly. "Suntail, I do not want to punish you, although I see that I must. You obviously feel no remorse for your actions, and the Clan is yowling for your instant exile from the Clan, perhaps instant execution. I do not believe such drastic measures need to be taken, but still, you must be punished."
Suntail nodded, jerking her head in a rather aggressive manner. "Yes, I understand that," she growled, grinding her teeth. The result was not the passive, remorseful cat ready to attempt themselves, like she had wanted, but an angry warrior wishing Frondstar a painful death. Suntail had never been great at socializing.
Frondstar dipped her head. "Good. Now, what punishment do you think would suit your crime best?"
"I don't think I should be punished."
Suntail didn't know what had made her say it, but something had. Something had inspired her, something had made her. It was a stupid thing to say, but she had done it. Why though?
Frondstar arranged her face into a skeptical position. "Suntail, you need to be punished. You cannot recieve no punishment after killing a Clan member. Surely you recognize this?"
"Yes Frondstar," Suntail muttered darkly, staring at her paws.
"Good, Suntail. Now, I think you should no longer train Applepaw."
Suntail blinked, then stared up at Frondstar, eyes wide with surprise. "What?!"
"I said that I think you shouldn't be Applepaw's mentor any longer," Frondstar repeated. "I will train Applepaw. He seems like a bright young tom, and I do not want him to follow your pawsteps."
Anger flared within her, but she nodded. "Yes Frondstar."
Frondstar dipped her head again. "I am glad you agree. Now, I also think that you should be given all the nasty apprentice chores, such as cleaning the elders den and ridding them of tics."
"Is that all?" groaned Suntail, annoyed. She was a warrior, she shouldn't be forced to do such tasks.
"No actually," Frondstar murmured. "You shall also assist Birchtooth by collecting any herbs he might need."
Suntail made an impatient noise. "But why?"
"Because," Frondstar finished with an air of finality. "Suntail, I am stripping you of your warrior rank. From now on, you will be known as Sunpaw, the RiverClan medicine cat apprentice. Redpaw is ready to become a full medicine cat, so Birchtooth will be able to train you."
Chapter Sixteen (Hope)
The days felt long. The nights weren't the same without Fallenfeather. Moonpelt missed him. She missed him so.
"Why Suntail, why did you have to kill him? wailed Moonpelt to herself.
Frondstar had given her a fair punishment. She must learn to respect her own Clan cats and the best way for that is to learn to do it every day. Moonpelt looked longingly out of the warrior's den and looked at the moon. The light from the moon was quite dim but it still made her feel a sense of happiness. She arched her back and padded out into the clearing. She lay down in the clearing, the moon danced on her pelt. The sound of cats snoring made her laugh. She lay her head down on her paws and slowly drifted off to sleep.
"See Moonpelt, I told you it wouldn't be long." whispered a calm and soft voice.
Moonpelt knew that it was Fallenfeather before she even opened her eyes.
"Fallenfeather I wish you could come back. The days aren't the same without you." explained Moonpelt sadly.
"I know Moonpelt but you are a strong cat. You will do fine without me." nodded Fallenfeather.
There was a shuffle behind the sleek tom. Moonpelt saw that Breezefur was sitting behind Fallenfeather. Breezefur came and stood next to Fallefeather.
"Moonpelt, you must forgive Suntail. I know you will never forget what she has done but you must. Something is coming. Something is coming to tear the forest apart. Murders and mysteries must be solved." exclaimed Breezefur.
"Moonpelt you are waking up now. I love you Moonpelt." said Breezefur.
"Moonpelt, remeber that I will always be with you. I miss you Moonpelt but I love you even more." gushed the sleek grey tom.
"Moonpelt, wake up." whispered a small voice.
"Beepaw what is it?" asked Moonpelt.
"You were squirming in your sleep like you had fleas in your pelt." laughed the golden apprentice.
Moonpelt stood up and whacked her tail in Beepaw's face.
"Hey!" mewed Beepaw.
"You better watch what you say to your mentor." said Moonpelt.
"Today Wasppaw will be finding out who his new mentor is." exclaimed Beepaw excitedly.
Moonpelt nodded as they saw the group of cats gathering around.
"Due to the loss of Fallenfeather, Wasppaw needs a new mentor." declared Frondstar with a tinge of sadness in her voice.
Moonpelt shot Sunpaw a glance and her sister turned her head to look away.
"I have chosen Thurshfur to be Wasppaw's new mentor." ordered Frondstar.
Thrushfur jumped up in happiness and ran over to his new apprentice.
"Who was your mentor?" asked Beepaw curiously.
"Thrushfur. He was a newly appointed warrior and at that time there were only a few warriors in RiverClan." explained Moonpelt.
"Who was Sunpaw's mentor?" questioned Beepaw.
Moonpelt replied with, "Frondstar herself."
Chapter Seventeen (Night)
Sunpaw slunk back into the medicine cat den, pelt bristling. It wasn't fair. Of all the punishments Frondstar had to inflict upon her... this one was the worst. She'd worked so hard to become a warrior, and Frondstar knew that!
"It's not fair," she grumbled, grinding her teeth. Redpaw, now Redflight, glanced over at her. "What's not fair? Thrushfur getting Wasppaw as his apprentice?"
Sunpaw shook her head, lashing her tail angrily. "No! I-Everything's not fair! I don't want to be a medicine cat!"
Redflight walked towards her, eyes wide with sympathy. "Sunpaw, you'll eventually learn to like it. There is something satisfying that healing brings to one... instead of killing, you're helping your clanmates. Instead of mindlessly attacking others, you're making sure that your clanmates aren't injured too badly."
Sunpaw snorted. "You mean there's something satisfying about being a coward?!" She stalked out of the medicine cat den, pelt hot. The stares that followed her did not help, and she glared at all those who dared to stare at her. "Go away," she grumbled at no-one inparticular, and hooked a minnow with a claw.
She began to eat slowly, savouring the taste of the minnow, but still full of anger. Frondstar was wrong to do this to me, she thought savagely, tearing out the minnow's eyes and wishing they belonged to her leader. I don't deserve this. And then, the memory of Fallenfeather came to her mind. How his blood had tasted, the sensation of biting into his throat... and she had meant to kill Moonpelt. She had meant to kill her own sister. I'm a monster...
"How are you doing?"
A kind voice jolted her out of her state of misery, and she stared at Thrushfur, frowning. "Why would you care?" she spat at him, small flecks of minnow flying out of her mouth.
Much to her delight, Thrushfur winced. It's good to know that other's feel pain too... she shivered slightly. I truly am a monter...
"Because... because you're my clanmate," Thrushfur murmured, although something in his eyes told her that he wished they were far more then that.
Sunpaw let out a harsh purr of amusement. "Ha! Like I believe that." Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Beetletooth, the handsome warrior's pelt gleaming in the glare of the setting sun. "You love me, don't you, Thrushfur." She hissed at him. "Well, guess what? I'm a medicine cat now. That means no mate for me. And even if I wasn't, even if Frondstar had chosen a fair punishment, I wouldn't want to be your mate! I'd rather love a blind, crippled and tail-less rouge."
Thrushfur simply stared at her, tail-tip quivering. He nodded slowly, and something in his eyes seemed to shatter, his spirit dimming. "I-I see. I'll go now." He dipped his head to her, and departed, heading towards Wasppaw, who observed from afar.
Sunpaw watched him go, satisfaction and horror building up inside her. Why did I have to say that to him? It was horrible! I don't love him... but I'd rather like him then a crippled rouge.
She gulped, and turned her attention back to the minnow, the fish flesh not tasting so sweet anymore. I truly am a monster.
Chapter Eighteen (Hope)
Moonpelt took a deep breath. She had to calm down before talking to Sunpaw. She grabbed a piece of fresh-kill from the pile. The trout was quite big so she decided to sit next to Sunpaw to share it. Moonpelt padded over to the black she-cat and sat down next to her.
"What do you want?" hissed Sunpaw
"I wanted to sit with you." lied Moonpelt.
"Oh Queen Moonpelt has come to talk to the commoners." teased Sunpaw.
"Oh StarClan help me!" whipered Moonpelt.
"So you got the message too?" asked Sunpaw.
"What?" questioned Moonpelt.
"Mother came to ask me to talk to you." explained Sunpaw.
"Was Fallenfeather there too?" wondered Moonpelt.
"Yes he was there. I didn't kill him because mother was there and because of this stupid punishment," growled Sunpaw.
Moonpelt winced that Sunpaw was even thinking about killing Fallenfeather again.
"Would you like ome trout?" asked Moonpelt.
Suntail nodded and started to take small, polite bites out of the trout. Moonpelt watched her sister then did the same. The trout's flesh tasted fresh and delicious on Moonpelt's tounge.
Moonpelt licked her lips as the last piece of the trout was eaten.
"That was a good trout." exclaimed Sunpaw.
The two she-cats padded over to the warriors den.
"Are you come-" Moonpelt stopped herself as she realised what she was saying.
"No, remember I am an apprentice now." grumbled Sunpsw as she turned and ran off.
Moonpelt walked into the den. She sat down near the edge of the cave and the stone felt like a cold leaf-fall. She looked at the place where Fallenfeather and her used to sit. Her eyes flled with sorrow.
Moonpelt wailed "I miss you Fallefeather."
Chapter Nineteen (Night)