About the story
Cosmo is just a normal kittypet. He has a fear of the woods, and for good reason. His mother always told him what dangers lurked there, overexagerating them. But Cosmo can't help but be curious. Once he becomes six moons old, he gets taken to his new housefolk's house, which is closer to the woods than before, and one day he ventures farther than he ever planned to, only to descover something extraodinary. This story is written by Cinderstar.
For the allegiances, go here.
"And that is why we must never venture into the woods." Carly purred. Cosmo shivered, feeling thankful for the soft blanket in the basket. His mother was a great storyteller, and he could just imagine sharp teeth or talons ripping his fur and the bitter cold winds that swept through during the winter.
"Someday I'll kill a badger, and I'll bring home it's pelt for you!" Cosmo's brother, Eddie, boasted. Their sister, Dee blinked admiringly at him.
"The badger would rip your pelt off before you could get a claw into his." Carly meowed sternly. "Promise me you'll never go into the woods."
"I promise." Cosmo mewed instantly. Personally, he sided with his mother. He caught Eddie looking at him as if he were a coward. I'm not a coward! He glared back.
"I promise." Dee mewed. Cosmo knew his sister was too scared to go into the forest, and thought any cat brave who wanted to venture into it.
"I don't see why we should promise." Eddie mewed defiantly. "Our father was never afraid!"
"And look where that landed him." Carly meowed icily. "Hit by a monster as he was trying to catch a rabbit to feed himself. The forest is not the right place for cats, now promise to me."
"Fine, I promise." Eddie mewed, though Cosmo could tell he was lying.
"Good." Carly meowed. "I wouldn't want anything to happen to my kits." She gave each of them a lick on the top of their heads.
"Good-bye, my kits." Carly called out to Cosmo, Eddie and Dee as they all where being taken away in seperate cages. "I hope you're new housefolk's homes are close to mine!"
"Bye!" Cosmo called. He would miss his mother and brother, but he was excited at the thought of a new house to explore. I hope it's not close to the forest. Cosmo shivered. His mother had told he and his littermates stories about the forests every night, warning them of the dangers. It all sounded thrilling to Cosmo, but ventureing into it sounded foolish.
Cosmo's cage was put in the belly of a monster, along with Dee's. Cosmo could see through the bars of the cage and out the window that Eddie was going to a different housefolk's house.
"I bet the first thing Eddie will do when he's allowed outside is check out the forest." Dee commented. Cosmo nodded, remembering all the times his brother had argued with their mother about going into the woods.
Just then the monster started growling and began to move. About ten mintutes later the monster stopped. Cosmo looked through the bars of the cage to see where he was, and too his dismay, he saw nothing but trees. After looking around a bit, He noticed a house, set apart by several tree-leangths from the rest of the houses.
"We live in a forest..." Cosmo breathed. He turned and saw that his sister's eyes were wide with fear. "It's okay." He soothed. "We don't have to go outside if you don't want to."
Dee nodded, but kept her eyes fearfully watching the forest while their new housefolk carried them into the house.
Cosmo was glad when he was able to get out of the cage, he wanted to explore his new home.He looked around the room he had been put in. There were three twolegs sitting on couches around the room. Two of them were grown up, and the other one was their kit, but she looked almost fully grown. Lounging on a nearby chair was another cat.
"Hello!" Cosmo greeted the other cat. "I'm Cosmo." He looked at the young brown tabby and white she-cat, wondering who she was.
"I'm Emma." The tabby she-cat meowed. "Welcome to your new home!"
"I'm Dee." Dee introdueced herself. Cosmo could tell by the way his sister was looking at Emma that she was trying to figure out whether this cat could be her friend or not.
The younger twoleg came and picked him up. He purred as she gently stroked him. Dispite the fact that this house was to close to the forest for comfort, the house and housefolk seemed quite nice.
"I want to go into the town and see if we can find Eddie and Carly." Dee persisted. Cosmo sighed. His sister had been pestering him about it for weeks, but she was too scared to go across the short stretch of forest alone.
"Haven't you forgotten the promise we made to our mother?" Cosmo meowed. "If she found out we had to go through the forest to find her, she'll be frantic!" He shuddered at the thought of getting in trouble.
"Please!" Dee pleaded, her blue eyes widening. "Emma's been out in the forest plenty of times with no ill effects, and it's only a few tree-lenths. Besides, we don't have to tell her we've been through the forest."
"I think you should go see if you can find your family." Emma meowed, coming up behind the argueing siblings. "I miss my family so much, I'd give almost anything to have them live near here."
"Why don't you go looking for them?" Cosmo asked Emma curoiusly. "You could survive, and you could find new housefolk once you get there."
Emma shook her head. "I'd miss our holusefolk here to much, and their kit needs me. She's going through a hard time, I can tell, and she needs me for comfort."
"How can you tell that?" Cosmo asked. Even after a few moons, he still had trouble figuring out the reason for everything his housefolk did and often needed Emma to translate.
"I just do." Emma replied. She began to lick her paw.
"Okay." Cosmo meowed to Dee, convinced. "Let's go." Dee's eyes shone with happiness.
"Dee, It's time to head back." Cosmo meowed wearily. "They're not anywhere withing visiting distance."
"Can't we check one last yard?" Dee pleaded.
"Okay, one last yard." Cosmo agreed, even though Dee had been asking that for the last ten houses."
Cosmo watched as Dee gracefully leaped up onto the fence, and followed her. On the other side of the lawn a large dog was opening it's eyes.
"Uh Oh." Cosmo meowed when the dog perked up it's head. It rose to it's paws and ran, barking at the cats.
"Run, Into the forest!" Cosmo commanded. They had been following fences along the forest so they woulnd't get lost in the maze of houses, and since their old home had been next to the forest.
Dee stood still terrified of running into the forest. Cosmo stopped and turned around.
"Change of plan." He meowed. "I'll distract the dog and lure it into the forest, and you run home." Cosmo meowed. Dee nodded, her eyes wide with terror.
Cosm shot off, and he heard the dog race after him. He could only hope that Dee would make it back safely to Emma.
After a while a twoleg's voice called sharply in the distance. The dog whimpered and ran back to answer the call of it's housefolk. Cosmo breated a sigh of releif. It was then he reilized he had no idea where he was, and that he had broken his promise to his mother.
A shiver ran down Cosmo's spine as the truth beagn to sink in. What will Dee think when I don't come home right away! And even worse, I've broken my promise to our mother! He sat down and began to look at his surroundings.
The forest he was in was full of thick undergrowth He noticed thick moss growing off of a tree he could easily make into a nest if he were to spend the night here, and a hole lead to a nice den under the trees roots. But how could he be sure it wasn't the home of a fox or badger? Soon he was so cold that he decided he'd risk the hole. After all, there was no scent to suggest such creatures lived there, but what about food.
Just then the scent of mouse reached his nose. He instinctively dropped into a crouch and crept towards it. It heard him and darted out toward it hole, but Cosmo was too fast for it. He killed it cleamly. Hey, this isn't too bad. Maybe a cat could survive out here! He realized as he bit into the mouse. Just then he was aware of something moving swiftly through the undergrowth, and he found himself pinned down against the cold earth.
"Prey-stealer!" A pale brown tabby tom with yellow eyes snarled in Cosmo's face. "What are you doing on EchoClan territory!"
"For StarClan's sake Dustfeather." Cosmo heard a she-cat meow to the tom pinning him down. "It's only a lost kittypet!"
"He was stealng prey." Dustfeather meowed gruffly. "Where would we be if kittypets came in and went as they pleased, taking what prey they want. We'd starve this leaf-bare, Summerlight!"
These cats have strange names. Cosmo thought in amusement, despite the situation he was in.
"I'm sure he had a good reason, besides, Bravestar wants us to be kind to outsiders. Let him go." Cosmo felt Dustfeather get off him as Summerlight gave the command. "Now you, kittypet, why are you here."
"My name is Cosmo." He began to tell the story of everything that drove him into the forest, and all the tales his mother had told him about staying away, looking curiously at the tough forest cats. I was right to think that cats could live out here! It seems like a way better life than my soft life!
"And so I, acting on instinct I guess, caught myself the mouse so I could datisfy my hunger. I'm sorry. If you can lead me back home I promise I'll never return to disrupt your peaceful forest life." Cosmo dipped his head.
Summerlight looked at him in interest. "You're very different than other kittypet's I've met. Most kittypets, like your sister does, stay away from the forest if they've grown up on tales like that, even if it means risking their pelt to a dog."
Cosmo glowed with pride, though he tried to hide it.
"We'll escort you home." Summerlight continued. "But this may not be the last you see of me. You're home is just outside our borders, so we patrol it frequently." Her voice lowered to a whisper as she went on. "You seem to have the right instincts to live here in the wild with us, I saw how you caught that mouse. It was great for a cat that's never hunted before, especially a kittypet. I'd like to invite you to join EchoClan, but that's not my desision, I need to talk it over with Bravestar first."
"Let's get going." Dustfeather meowed. "Bravestar wanted us home by nightfall."
"Okay, we're coming." Summerlight meowed cheerfully. She gave Cosmo a wink as she lead Dustfeather and himself through the forest. Cosmo's paws trembled with excitment. Though he know he'd be breaking his promise beyond reapair, he felt he was ment for this sort of life.
'Tell me again about those forest cats you ran into." Dee meowed, eyes shining.
Cosmo sighed and told Dee the story of the previous night's events for the third time.
"That's so cool!" Dee meowed, hanging on to every word he said. "But if Summerlight comes back, you won't go with her, will you?"
"I don't know." Cosmo admitted. "It seems like... like I'm meant to be a part of EchoClan." His mind flashed back to all Summerlight had told him about clan life. It seemed so organized, and like It was so much of a fuller life to live than his kittypet one.
"Why?!" Dee meowed with shocked. "How could you think of leaving me here all alone! Yesterday you were blaming me for breaking our promise, but now you want to break it beyond repair and live there?"
"No, It's not like that." Cosmo soothed. "I'm not leaving forever, I'll still come and visit. And you won't be alone, you'll have Emma."
"Let’s see what Emma has to say on the matter." Dee suggested, pain still in her eyes.
Emma walked into the room. "On what matter?" She meowed.
Cosmo opened his mouth to speak, but Dee broke in. "Cosmo wants to go off and live in the forest with the forest cats he met in the woods last night." She meowed helplessly.
"I'm not surprised." Emma purred in amusement. "He always seemed like the type to me."
"What to you mean?" Cosmo asked, confused.
"I was once a member of one of the clans." Emma explained. "I was a warrior of FireClan. Then my sister, Honeypelt, was accused of killing a cat from our clan, which seemed impossible to me, because that cat had been her mate. She was exiled from the clan, and she begged me to go with her. She was my best friend, so of course I agreed, About a moon later she told me she couldn't go on lying to me anymore. She confessed to killing her former mate, because he was leaving her for another she-cat. She regrets doing it, and now wanders around wallowing in greif as a rogue. I couldn't stand her depression and parted ways with her, where I came to this twoleg nest. Now here I am."
Cosme's eyes widened in shock. "How did you know I would be the type?" That was the only question he could think of asking.
"After being raised on such stories your mother told you, you didn't shy away from the forest like Dee." Emma explained. "I've seen you looking curiously into it when you think no ones in it, and when you play with our toys, The way you pounce is almost perfect."
"I see why you have to go now." Dee meowed sadly to Cosmo. "You're right, I do have Emma. I'll try to be brave when you go, like you."
"Thank you Dee." Cosmo dipped his head. "I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too." Dee purred. "Look, It's almost sun-high, and you said that's when Summerlight would next be on patrol."
"Good-bye!" Cosmo meowed before turning around and pushing his way out of the cat flap. He looked into the trees and saw a flash of golden fur. "Summerlight?" He called.
"Hello Cosmo." Summerlight meowed, stepping out of the thick undergrowth. "Bravestar said you can join EchoClan. In fact, this is him." She flicked her tail to a longhaired ginger tabby tom who was just stepping out of the bracken.
"Hello" Bravestar meowed. "I've been curious to meet you."
"Thank you for letting me join your clan." Cosmo dipped his head in respect.
Bravestar dipped head and turned to Summerlight. "Shall we go home?"
Summerlight nodded and flicked her tail for Cosmo to follow. Excitement coursed through his fur as the three cats raced into the undergrowth and into the forest.
Cosmo could hardly believe his eyes as he walked into the camp. There were so many cats! He could hardly believe he'd someday know every cat's name and scent. He couldn't wait to get to know his new clanmates better.
"I'll introduce you to the clan." Bravestar meowed, leaping onto a large rock. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather under the Smoothrock for a clan meeting!" He yowled.
Cosmo watched intently as the clan gathered. He noticed most of the cats were looking at him. Most of the gazes were curious, but he noticed some of them, like Dustfeather, were glaring at him.
"Cosmo, a former kittypet, has been permitted to join our clan." Bravestar meowed. "Cosmo, you will now gain the apprentice name of Brightpaw. Summerlight will mentor you."
"Brightpaw! Brightpaw! Brightpaw!" Brightpaw felt almost overwhelmed by happiness at being greeted by the clan. He couldn't wait to meet the cats.
"So we just take in an outsider like that?" Dustfeather's voice rose above the cheering. "How do we know he'll be loyal?" Brightpaw noticed two other cats nodding to each other in agreement with Dustfeather. One was a golden brown and white tabby tom with amber eyes, and the other was a tortiseshell and white she-cat with golden eyes.
"Sparrowcall and Flowersong, you feel that way too?" Bravestar meowed, dipping his head to the two cats who nodded to each other. The long haired ginger leader sighed. "I trust my deputy's judgement, and Summerlight told me Brightpaw had the makings of a warrior. However, if Brightpaw proves to be disloyal, he will be proberly punished for it. However, there is no reason new blood, even kittypet blood, will weaken the clan.
Flowersong seemed to be convinced by Bravestar's words, but Sparrowcall and Dustfeather still looked doubtful. No cat spoke up again though. Brightpaw watched as Dustfeather leaned over and whispered something into Sparrowcalls ear. Brightpaw strained to hear what they were saying, but he couldnt hear their whispered words.
Suddenly Summerlights mew distracted him.