Minnie, a small black she-cat, turns at her name. Her housefolk smile down at her, and shake her purple and pink-striped bowl. They set it on the shiny ground, shake her food-pellets into it, and walk away. The small Twoleg pats her roughly on the head, before totteirng away after it's parents.
Minnie shakes her head slowly, and crunches a few of the dry pellets. Her housefolk are so naive. Not knowing anything about the outside world...Minnie casts her gaze out the transparent stuff set into the wall. She is able to see outside, to see a tall, black structure rising out of the low Twoleg buildings glittering with the light of tiny little stars.
The black structure is crisscrossed with beams, and pokes the dark sky. The buildings around it look like crouching vehicles, but larger, more silent, and darker.
"Minnie!" A stream of babble and chatter comes out of the older female's mouth, and she picks up her cat. Minnie doesn't struggle, just burrows her face into the soft skin of the Twoleg, purring contentedly as her housefolk strokes her glossy black pelt.
The Twoleg begins to walk, the big male following behind her. Minnie recognizes the room she's now in as the place where Twolegs go to sleep, and she watches, alert, as the female sets her down, and moves toward a separate room. Bright light streams out of it.
Minnie becomes drowsy, and sighs. She loves her Twolegs. Nothing could--
"Psst." Minnie jerks up, looking around. Her green eyes are wide with fear. Did she imagine the voice? Was it just in her--
She didn't imagine it. Minnie squints, leaps down from the bed and pads toward the translucent stuff. She has the same view out of this wall, the tall black spire rising in the distance, glittering lights gleaming around it.
"H-Hello?" Minnie asks tentatively. "W-Who's there?"
"A friend," a dark shape replies, speaking through a small hole in the grimy wall.
"W-Who," Minnie stammers, and strains her eyes to see. Is it a cat? Or a dog, trying to lure her out of the house? She'd never heard of a dog that could speak to cats before, so it must be the first.
"Anyway," interrupts the other cat. "Come out! It's brilliant outside!"
"But my Twolegs--"
"They won't notice," the cat says impatiently. "Hurry!"
Minnie slips out of the hole, her skinny flanks just barely fitting through the ragged aperture.
Gray-green eyes glitter in the darkness. Minnie narrows her eyes, and sniffs. She recognizes the scent from somewhere...
"L-Larchkit?" Minnie asks disbelievingly, and the cat snorts.
"I'm Larchfeather now," he says, and from the light coming out of Minnie's Twoleg den, she seees the familiar, pale scar above his left eye, separating his golden-brown fur.
"Why'd you come back?" Minnie asks.
"Because...I want you to join my Clan."
Minnie is astonished. "But I love my housefolk! And I love Paris too!"
"You'll love the Clan, too!" Larchfeather insists. "Come on. Just for a night?"
Minnie glances back at her Twolegs. They're climbing into their soft bed, turning off their lights, and closing their eyes. She doesn't hear the wail from the young Twoleg that comes every night. So much has changed with her home. It's not the same.
"Fine," Minnie decides. "But just because it's ypu asking."
"Great!" Larchfeather perks up. Minnie hesitantly steps down onto the bumpy roof. She feels her stomach drop, queasiness entering it as she peers over the side of the diagonal slope, seeing vehicles racing along on their paths, the lights shining harshly over their shiny exteriors. She can just imagine falling, through the air, hitting the ground, the impact, her body being crushed--
"Minnie," interrupts Larchfeather. "Follow me."
Minnie takes a deep breath, skirts the edge of the roof, and follows Larchfeather as he leads her off of the roof. "Here's the sort of frightening part. You can probably fit through, but I have to go on the outside. Don't be frightened if you hear the screeching of my claws on the outside, I'm just sliding down," Larchfeather lectures. He gestures to a long tube, the gutter, snaking down the side of the building. It's at least six stories.
"I don't know if I can make it," Minnie says quietly. "It's so far."
"There's no other way! Here, I'll help you. I can't fit, so you'll be going alone." Larchfeather leads her closer to it. Minnie coughs as the funny smell of dead, decaying, wet leaves fills her nostrils, and backs away. Her paws slip, and she remembers, suddenly, a flashback.
"Why'd you do this?"
She lunges out at him, stretching her claws, and feels her paw swipe across his face. Where her claw scraped, blood wells above his eye.
"I didn't know! I'm only six moons!"
"I'm only four!" she replies. "You said we'd be safe, and now we're stuck in cages!"
"I know a way to escape!"
"Then escape!" she snarls. He stretches his paw out around the cage, and unlocks it. The door swings open, and he gestures for her to follow him. She does, though reluctantly.
Leaping up on top of all of the now-empty cages, he leads her to the roof, where a small hatch is located. He bumps it with his head, and it pops open. "Come on!"
She follows him out of the dirty, smelly den, and they're on the roof. It's only a short drop, but on all sides are piles of sticks, poking, scraping, scratching, scarring sticks.
His tail flicks her nose. She stops, ready to sneeze. A flapping of wings interrupts her, and, startled, she trips. Her claws scrabble on the metal, a now-familiar noise.
He stands over her, reaching out his paw. She's hanging onto the roof with only one paw, and she stretches out her other one to reach for his. He lowers his head, attempting to grab her scruff, when her outstretched paw swipes his eye again, and he howls in pain, trampling around and dislodging her paw.
"Larchkit!" She wails as she falls. "Larchkit!"
Larchfeather's teeth meet her scruff. "I've got you," he murmurs around her fur. She shakily pads toward the pipe, and, closing her eyes, hops up over the opening.
"Lower your hindpaws in first," instructs Larchfeather. Minnie lowers her hindlegs into the pipe, supported just by her forepaws. "And let go."
Minnie takes a deep breath. She obeys his orders, and drops.
The descent is long, dark, and loud. The screech of Larchfeather's claws on the exterior of the pipe jerk her awake, she had been dozing.
She's at the bottom, suddenly. Larchfeather leads her away.
"Come on, Minnie!" Larchfeather encourages, as she clambers out of the gutter. He hares away, and Minnie races to keep up with him.
Soon they're out of the city, with it's dazzling lights and low, crouching buildings. They're in a forest, a river running through and ending in a large pond.
"That's RiverClan territory. I'm ShadowClan." Minnie barely hears his next sentence, but she hears it: "And you will be too, soon."
Suddenly, she's in the midst of a knot of silent, shining eyes, and Larchfeather's on top of her.
"Let me go!" Minnie spits. "I thought we were friends!"
"Clan cats are never friends with kittypets," snarls Larchfeather, as his Clanmates emerge from the gloom.
"Then what are you doing with me here?" Her sentences are barely coherent, Larchfeather's paw is pressing on her wind pipe.
"That's it, Larchfeather," a she-cat mews encouragingly. Larchfeather flashes a smirk at Minnie, and turns to beam at a tortoiseshell and whit she-cat.
"Release....me...." Minnie whispers. Spottedstar glances at Larchfeather, and gives a barely perceptible shake of the head. "....please...."
The world turns in circles around her, as Minnie's vision goes black. Only one thought floats into the fuzzy mess of her mind.
We were friends...