They said that I deserve to join Starclan's path,

That I was not wrong in my deeds in near past,

That I am innocent though my wrongs arenot remedied,

They say I will get over grief with many a melody,

They are wrong. I have no more song.

I used to shine brigher than the stars,

My nature drew cats from lands afar,

My voice brought joy beyond Starclan's power,

My scent used to draw bees desiring flower.

I myself was once more desirable,

Than life itself, more than raw survival,

Now I am nothing.

A creature worth cuffing.

They beat me when they attacked my home,

Soon I was nothing but blood and bone,

And burned permanently into my brain,

Are the images of my loved ones crying out in vain,

Of my single kit, wailing in distress,

Her blood pouring across our invaded nest,

Before me they stole the tom I love more than life,

Teeth tore through his throat, as sharp as a knife,

My littermate, her stomach bloated with kits,

Yowled in agony as she was ripped to bits,

As I stood watching, shocked and unreachable,

I watched my love die, I am worse than despicable,

My family all died and I lived to see,

The inner monster that oneself can be,

As they were killed I stayed in my shock,

Useless and watching as still as a rock,

I was too afraid to pull the killers away,

My own actions are at the heart of my pain,

My deeds cannot ever be forgiven;

I let them die so I had a chance to stay living,

I deserve worse than death,

I do not deserve breath.

The invaders are gone but I am frozen here now,

No more shall words leave the depths of my mouth,

I bury my face in my dead true love's pelt,

My heart bleeding for the torture he has felt,

I lie down to drown in my beloved kins' blood,

Though I know I don't deserve to lie in it, I deserve mud,

But I have killed them so they must kill me,

I will die in the pool that is my loved one's sea.

Drowning in blood,

I am filth worse than mud.

I shall speak no more words.

I deserve worse.



Watershine curled protectively round her single kit. Her snowy white pelt contrasted sharply against the damp moss that made up her den.

"Mother, I love you." whispered the kit by her side, a perfect replica of her mother's beauty, but with sparkling green eyes instead of shining blue. She had got those eyes from her father. Watershine loved the tiny kit even more for that, although it was impossible for Watershine to love her offspring any more. To the proud mother, the kit was more beautiful than the first daffodill rising after a harsh winter, and more precious than a drop of water to a cat dying of thirst.

"I love you too, Streamkit." Watershine replied softly, hugging her daughter closely with her tail. The young cat mewed contentedly and closed her eyes. The nursery was silent except from the sounds of the gentle wind outside and the steady breathing of the only other queen in the nursery - Sparklesheen, Watershine's sister. The two were closer than best friends. They almost knew each others thoughts.

"Watershine!" a voice hissed from outside the entrance to the den. The queen looked up in surprise, to see a smoky black tom poking his head round the nursery entrance.

"Slashpaw... I mean, Slashtalon! What are you doing here? You're supposed to be on your vigil, remember?" Watershine scolded him, but her heart fluttered like a butterfly's wings in newleaf.

"I'm sure Starclan won't mind if I spend my first night as a warrior with the cat I love." his eyes were full of love as he padded quietly into the nursery. Delighted to have a chance to spend time with her mate, Watershine moved over to make space for Slashtalon.

"So, how's our kit?" he mewed eagerly.

"She's great! Pollenpool says he's never seen such a young kit so robust. She's already made up her mind about becoming leader of the universe. With this attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if she achieved it!" Watershine purred.

Their kit lifted her head wearily, her eyes half closed.

"I'm going to be the best warrior in world. Even better than the mythical warriors from the old forest, like Firestripe and Grayheart." she mumbled.

"You should be sleeping! How are you going to go hunting with Daddy tomorrow if you don't get some rest?" Watershine scolded. The tom purred loudly.

"Anyway, it's Fireheart and Graystripe, you silly furball!" he mock cuffed his daughter. Furious, Watershine rounded on her mate.

"How could you hit her? She's only two moons old! You could have killed her!"

"What? I remember my father used to mock-cuff me all the time! We had great fun; it's only playing around. Stop being too protective!" Slashtalon protested. Watershine rolled her eyes.

"You were much older than Streamkit if you can remember it." she reminded him. Slashtalon opened his mouth to argue, when a distant rumbling sound was vaguely audible.

"Can you hear that?" he whispered. Watershine shook her head, confused. She had been attacked by an eagle when she was younger, and it had torn one of her ears, permanently deafening it. Her hearing was never as good as the others.

"Revengers, attack!" a distinctly audible yowl made Watershine's heart race. The familiar Thunderclan battlecry was repeated by several cats in the camp. They were being attacked in the middle of the night. Which clan would have the indecency to do something like that?

"It's those rogues I was chasing earlier. They've returned." Slashtalon realized, his eyes full of horror. The two mates' eyes drifted to their single kit.

"I have to go and fight off the attackers. Promise me you'll protect Streamkit?" Slashtalon mewed urgently.

"Yes. But you might be k..."

"Swear it by Starclan, Watershine." he spoke with urgency yet he maintained an admirable calmness. He was not shaking like any other cat might on their first battle as a warrior.

"I swear it by Starclan." she promised. Relieved, Slashtalon tore out of the nursery. Watershine noticed a reddish-brown she-cat leap on his back, and in a blurr of undistinguishable limbs, he was out of sight.

Watershine crouched next to Sparklesheen, with Streamkit lodged tightly between them.

"Mother, can I go and join in?" the tiny she-cat pleaded. Watershine hushed her, but it was too late. A group of rogues had heard and burst into the nursery, looking in eager anticipation at their easy prey.

"They're dead. You pick which one to kill first, Orange." a black she-cat hissed. The ginger tom behind her nodded slowly. Watershine dug her claws into the floor, trying not to wail out loud.

"Don't attack. We can't fight. Please!" she pleaded, desperate for a show of compassion. The rogues did not back off.

"Slashtalon! Slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaashtalon!" she called. There was no reply; he was to caught up in battle.

"That won't work. We know that there's no-one coming. Don't think we haven't heard that before." He pounced at Sparklesheen, bowling her over instantly. Watershine knew she had to protect her sister, but she couldn't. All she could think of was how sharp the rogue's claws looked, how dagger-like his pearly-white teeth looked. The queen could not launch herself from safety.

"Help... Water...shine..." Sparklesheen gurgled as teeth met her throat.

"No!" she wailed, but it was too late. The black she-cat turned to Watershine.

"Coward!" Orange snarled at Watershine, leaping at her.

"No!" Slashtalon, a rogue still clinging to his back, leapt to intervene. Watershine could only watch in horror as a rogue with bloodstained lips tore through his body. He convulsed in spasms, shrieking in pain as life left him. There was no time for even final words to leave his lips.

Watershine's heart burst into flames. It tore into a thousand tiny pieces and blood seeped out of it. Did that actually happen? She could not tell. Her sorrow was so agitating that it felt like her heart had literally been put through torture that intense. Every second brought on a new bout of pain. This was the worst type of agony. A cut will heal in time. But Slashtalon would never come back, so the flames of agitation would never cease.

"I'll save you!" Streamkit tried in vain to pull her father off the floor. A huge paw pulled her tiny, sleek body through the air. A tiny wail escaped her mouth, revealing raw pinkness. She squirmed, her tiny limbs flailing in an attempt to escape the huge tom's pinning paw. Another wail filled the air as her legs flew through the air uselessley. Her eyes shone with fear.

"Mummy, help me." she squeaked, trying to push the tom away. His grip only tightened. The kit was quivering as her wailing grew louder, but she was too weak with the pain to let out more than the smallest sound.

"Die, little filth. You filthy, revolting piece of crowfood. May the worms bask in your blood." he growled, and tightened his grip a little more. Streamkit gave one more helpless squeal, and her body went limp.

Watershine watched it all. She was like a rock in the background, useless and irrelevant.

"Shall we kill the pretty one?" Orange looked regretfully at the shivering queen.

"Please kill me." she whimpered.

"Leave her. It would be too kind to kill her, and she doesn't deserve kindness." the black she-cat decided. The group of rogues left the nursery, leaving Watershine to drown in her loved ones' blood.

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