Two cats stood in the clearing. One white, one ginger. It was dead silence. Then the cats saw it.
A big, lumbering creature toddled into the clearing. Fangs bared, beady eyes glowing. It snarled and lumbered towards the cats. Horrified, they shrieked in terror.
Then a third cat leaped into the clearing. Her grey fur shined in the moonlight. The quartz around her neck sparkled. Then it glowed.
She jumped into battle, clawing the badger and ripping off its flesh. The cats stared in amazement. Her fur was beaming. The quartz lit up in a green flame. Her claws grew. She raised her paw for a final strike. She let her paw fly. She sliced the badger and it fell to the ground, shattering into millions of luminous blue orbs.
The cat walked to the orbs, collecting each one as she neared them. After she collected them all, a bigger, gleaming orb appeared. She walked up to the orb and put her claws on it. She glowed.
A black stripe sliced through her and landed on her back. Her fur turned back to its natural grey. She sheathed her claws and padded away.
I woke up next morning and my claws still ached from my battle with the badger. I walked outside the apprentice den and saw my brother, Ashpaw.
Amethystpaw walked towards us with her posse, Glimmerpaw and Silverpaw. Ashpaw saw them and scampered to his best friend, Ironpaw.
“Hi, Quartzpaw,” said Amethystpaw in her snottiest voice. She looked down at the quartz around my neck. You see, nobody really gets the correspondence between my name and my neck accessory.
Amethystpaw spoke again. “I bet you just wear that to look better than me.” She laughed her tinkly laugh and whisked away Glimmerpaw and Silverpaw. Sometimes, I just want to rip that cat’s throat out.
There was an explosion from the other side of the clearing and Goldenflutter burst out of the nursery.
Stoneshade, Poppybird’s mate sprinted over to the nursery, closely followed by Stormstar and Fennelshadow, Poppybird’s parents.
I hoped to get a glimpse of the nursery, but Amethystpaw pushed me back.
“You’ll probably never have kits, so you don’t deserve to see this!”
I was rather hurt by her remark, but Ashpaw and Ironpaw offered me a seat with them. I murmured my thanks and settled down beside Ironpaw.
The kitting was over soon and now we have two more kits, Moonkit and Rockkit. The medicine cat, Roseheart, called to Stoneshade, “You have a son and a daughter!”
Stoneshade erupted into the nursery, but in this process the medicine cat apprentice, Darkflame, was knocked over.
New kits. Finally, something for MineralClan to celebrate.
In the past moon, Mineralclan’s quiet mine had been invaded, leading to the deaths of Bluetail and Herbfur. I thought about how nice it would be to stay in the nursery, nursing a litter of kits.
But as Amethystpaw said, that would probably never happen.
I waddled into the apprentice den for a good night sleep. Amethystpaw was already there, curled up beside Ironpaw. I don’t know why, but that made my fur itch.
I curled up at the edge of the den, as far away as I could get from icky Amethystpaw. Ironpaw’s silver fur twitched uncomfortably, and he got up from beside Amethystpaw and curled up beside me.
For some reason, I cried tears of joy.
Amethystpaw, Glimmerpaw, and shy little Silverpaw all returned to the mine, not with fresh-kill, but with flowers tucked behind their ears. Ironpaw rolled his eyes and got up from beside me.
“Wanna hunt with me?” He asked.
My heart skipped a beat. Nobody asked little Quartzpaw to hunt with them. Nobody except my mentor, Icebramble.
I replied, “yes.”
We left just as Amethystpaw was complaining to her mentor, Eagletalon.
“But I don’t want to take them out!” She screeched. Little, whiney Amethystpaw. She was always a pawful.
Ironpaw and I caught loads. Three mice, two squirrels, one thrush, and one crow. My mother, Echoswirl, was impressed.
“Wow that’s a lot. You and Ironpaw work well together. He’s not a bad looking tom. You may have found yourself a mate.”
I blushed. “Mom!”
Echoswirl laughed and padded away to share tongues with Ironpaw’s mother, Featherwing. Could what mom said be true? Ironpaw was handsome. I glanced at him. He was pacing around the mine to avoid a blabbing Amethystpaw.
Glimmerpaw and Silverpaw were mooning over Ashpaw. I already knew that my brother liked Silverpaw; he told me. I couldn’t resist another glance at Ironpaw.
I thought about what Echoswirl said; maybe, just maybe, Ironpaw would be my mate.
I was outside the nursery, playing Moss Ball with Rockkit and Moonkit. Watching us a little further off was Poppybird and Goldenflutter, who were basking in the sunlight.
Then I heard Icebramble and Whitevine (Ironpaw’s mentor) call me asking “Quartzpaw, will you help Ironpaw fetch moss?”
“Sure!” I mewed. “Sorry kits”
“Aww!” Squeaked Moonkit and Rockkit.
I bounded over to Ironpaw. “Let’s go.”
So that’s what I did, helping Ironpaw collect moss.
And it was perfect.
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join under the StoneLedge for a Clan meeting!” Caterwauled Stormstar.
“By naming new warriors we keep the clan strong,” continued Stormstar. “Quartzpaw, Ironpaw, Ashpaw, Glimmerpaw, Silverpaw, and Amethystpaw, step forward.” Tingling with excitement, I stepped forward.
“Icebramble, Whitevine, Fennelshadow, Ambertail, Blackflight, and Eagletalon, are your apprentices ready to become warriors?” Asked Stormstar.
“Yes,” all of the mentors meowed in unison.
“Then by the powers of Starclan, I give you your warrior names. From this moment on you shall be known as Quartzflight, Ironheart, Ashpelt, Glimmersplash, Silverlight, and Amethystfur!” Stormstar bent his head to tap us with his muzzle. “We welcome you as full members of MineralClan.”
I shone with pride as my clanmates called our names.
“Quartzflight, Ironheart, Ashpelt, Glimmersplash, Silverlight, and Amethystfur!”
I was a warrior now.
I was Quartzflight.
The following day Ironheart asked if I could come into the forest. I said ‘yes,’ of course. I followed him into the forest.
“Come sit beside this pool,” Ironheart said.
“Will you be my mate?” asked Ironheart.
My heart leaped with joy. “Yes.”
Now Ironheart is my mate.
My life is perfect.
And I like it that way.
A grey she-cat lay in the small cave that was the nursery. She squealed in pain, and a dark brown tom resumed massaging her belly.
"Don't worry, Quartzflight, it will be over soon." He meowed.
The rest of his sentence was cut of by a spasm that rippled through Quartzflight's stomach. A worried silver tom popped through the opening to the nursery.
"Is she alright?" asked the tom.
"She's fine, Ironheart," Meowed a dark silver she-cat with lighter silver patches.
"Thanks, Silverlight." Meowed Ironheart as he ducked back through the entrance to the nursery.
"Geez, new fathers." Muttered the brown tom, shortly before before yowling: "The first kit is coming!"
Quartzflight shreiked in pain, gulping deep breaths before the first kit slithered out beside her.
"It's a tom!" Meowed the brown tom, then he hissed to Silverlight, whom was sitting beside him, "lick it the wrong way to warm it up!"
"Sure, oh great and powerful Darkflame," Chuckled Silverlight before licking the little tom.
"Ha, ha, very funny Silverlight." Meowed Darkflame.
The kitting didn't take a long time, before you knew it an exhausted Quartzflight was pulling three kits, a she-kit and two toms, towards her to suckle.
Ironheart burst into the nursery. "I was told I have a daughter and two sons. Am I correct?!"
Quartzflight laughed. "Yes, it's true. What should we name them?" She said as Ironheart nuzzled his kits. They opened their tiny pink mouths to meow.
"Let's name the grey-silver she-kit Willowkit, the brown tabby tom Oakkit, and the black tom Nightkit. What does the mother think of these names?"
Quartzflight mewed her response. "They're wonderful names. Our kits are the best kits in the world."