Moonlight lit the clearing, staining the rocks and eerie, ghastly white. The trees' leaves were pale mint, and their bark was tan like dust.
A group of cats, six at most, rushed through the forest to the clearing. Caterwauls and screeches echoed throughout the trees. Barking followed closely. They were being chased by dogs, and the mutts were gaining. If they could only get to the clearing, they could climb beneath the rock...
Whimpers were heard, and abruptly cut off as a dog picked off the cat in the back and threw her to the side. The cat in the lead looked back.
"Sapphireeyes," he whispered. They finally made it to the rocks and dove underneath them. Much as the dogs tried, they couldn't fit through the gap. They tried and tried, but eventually gave up and went away.
The cats breathed a sigh of relief. They were safe, for now at least. But as soon as they cautiously exited the havens, the dogs turned around and rushed back. The cats were forced back under.
Suddenly, fur brushed against the leader's pelt. It wasn't one of his cats. He'd gone under a separate rock than the others. He looked around.
A blue-gray she-cat with midnight blue eyes stood in the cave, half transparent. "Hello, Darkstar," she said softly.
He gasped. It was Sapphireeyes! "My mate," he whispered.
"Yes," she answered. "My only regret in death is that we never had kits. But I will always visit you. Do not worry, my mate and leader..." Her voice trailed off, and her touch and scent disappeared.
Darkstar woke with a jolt. He peered through the brambles that guarded his den. Sunlight was filtering in throught the gaps between the thorns.
He breathed heavily. He was remembering a time, at least fifteen moons ago, that his beloved mate had died. He'd been a young leader, a new leader, then.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed, but it was enough that six lives had slipped from his grasp. He never forgot that day.
Fortunately, Sapphireeyes kept her promise. He saw her nearly every night. Unfortunately, the nights she didn't come, he had visions of the day she died.