FOR ZAF'S COMTEST!!!!!!!!
The white furred she-cat dunked her head into her food dish with a happy meow.
"I got it from a different Petsmart." the female Housefolk was saying.
"It'll be fine." her mate assured her.
"The man who sold it to me looked so mean though..." the female fretted.
"It's fine." the male retorted, rolling his eyes.
The she-cat finished eating, licking her lips and settling down to sleep.
The patchy furred tom padded down an alley. Behind him, a small silver she-cat chased him.
"Don't do it!" she cried.
"Mockingbird, I'm not going to." he sighed.
"Yes you will!"
"I promise. Have I ever lied to you before?"
The she-cat looked at him in fear, then slunk away.
The yellow tom waited til she was gone, then picked up his paw, pressed it onto his throat, claws unsheathed.
The cat limped away, quicker and quicker.
"We found them!" a ginger tom murmured hoarsely.
"I can't believe we have to bring the useless freaks back." a blue furred tom growled.
"Let's not." a tan she-cat meowed excitedly.
"You're right." the blue-furred cat said, rising from his hiding spot with a rock in his paw. "Let's see how fast the little freaks can run with a stone in their brain."
He let the rock sail.
The running figure went down.
"This isn't StarClan!" the silver she-cat cried.
"Nope, but its where you'll stay...forever!" the cat behind her cackled. "At least, until we decide what to do with you."
"Father, no!" the she-cat cried.
The tom disappeared in a black portal, back to his shadowy forest.
The silver she-cat ran to where he had vanished, sat down heavily, looked at the snowy field around her. Her paws steps were the only thing visible on the clean white slate. She waited.
And then, someone arrived.
Chapter 1 - Jilliphant
I was out of my nest, farther then I usually was. Which was strange. But what was stranger was that I had no memories of anything before this. I remember my house-folk giving me some new type of food and then nothing else. I just ended here.
It was snowing over a large field. Scraggly pine trees surrounded it on all sides. I had followed a trail of snowy paw prints here and I was sure I was th only one here, though my senses told me that was untrue. It was a pretty place whatever. And I was enjoying it-while trying to desperately find my memories mentally.
This day reminded me of Patch...was he the fourth or the fifth? fifth I think....I had told him I was going to be his mate. The poor thing got his heart all up and then was shattered when I added I was kidding. I heard he went and got himself run over by a car, too bad. He was great fun.
So anyways, I was sitting there thinking about Pitch...no...what was his name again? Oh forget it, he's dead so I don't have to pretend to care. Speaking of...maybe I'm dead!
Oh, that would be dreadful! I think, Tonight's chicken night at Casey and Jills!
I look around and call out, "Hello!!!!"
No answer. If anyone heard me they probably wouldn't see me, what with my beautiful, lush, perfect snow white coat and sky blue eyes. Mother used to call me her Snow Angel. Then of course she named me Jelliphant.
No one else was here....for some reason I wasn't cold yet. I assumed I would though soon.No good cat should be out here freezing their tail off.
Then there was a noise behind me. I turned around and saw a limping shape.
"Ohhhhhh no...." I meowed in horror, "Ohhh nononononononoo."
But the tom didn't stop coming. Of course I knew him-not his name, but I knew him. I had told him I would mate with him a few seasons ago and he never got over it. But I didn't care. Until now.
He was a rugged rogue and he said it made his fur quiver whenever my soft house cat pelt touched his mangy one. Sweet, but I never will mate. Well, not for real.
He was getting closer to me and I saw he had his own set of paw steps guiding him. I was mesmerized suddenly by his sudden appearance. Those paw steps had never been there before.
The sound of crunching noises to my left suddenly became audible and I turned my head, blowing snow out of my face.
There were two cats crossing the plain, following their own paw steps! I rolled my eyes. How many cats were going to suddenly show up with-wait....that wasn't two cats.
"OHH! GROSS!" I shrieked before I could stop myself. The two headed cat looked up from where it's hideous two pairs of eyes were on me, one pair angry, one pair just sad. I felt guilt, but not much.
Great, now I had made a fool of myself in front of two...or was it three...? Whatever. I had made a fool of myself in front of two cats. I just hoped another didn't show up...
Another cat appeared from the hill. Swift as a shadow, she streaked down it, following yet another dumb set of paw prints. "A GHOST!" I yowled when I got close and I could see her.
She looked at me and I saw her expression first crumple then stiffen as she bounded down towards the center of the plain where I was standing, spitting snow.
I looked around. The other cats were all heading towards me as well. None looked very happy about it.
I face-pawed myself.
Chapter 2 - Banana
As the snow white she-cat started freaking out, I started to groom my fur while walking, thinking she, like most she-cats, had seen it and become instantly frightened. I wouldn't have blamed her. But after falling in the snow while trying to hop on three legs so I could groom the fourth, I realized that I recognized her. She was pretty, brilliant blue eyes, white fur...none other then Jelliphant! The she-cat who had broken my heart...sort of. I didn't really like her once I figured out she was a jerk. Which was after moons of sleepless nights where I was too exhausted from crying to go to sleep.
So anyways, I was following the paw steps. I was wondering why I was here. I must have been walking in my sleep (another reason for she-cats to leave me) because I had no recollection at all of anything before this. The last thing I remembered was pressing my own claws against my throat. Then I sort of woke up here.
How long ago had that been? Three days? An hour? A moon? I had no way of knowing and it made my ugly, patchy, matted fur stick out in clumps. Yet another reason for she-cats to-well. You get the picture.
I look around at my surroundings. 2 other cats are approaching Jelliphant. One is so shimmery and faint I can barely see her. The other is some kind of two headed cat. They both reach Jelliphant, first the two-headed cat and then the other, shimmering one. I reach her last.
"Hello Jelliphant," I meow coolly, gritting my teeth.
"Hi..." she narrows her eyes and I almost jump at her, claws unsheathed. Not only did she break my heart she forgot my name!
"Hi Banana!" she says at last, clearly trying to keep a straight face. Not cool.
OK, here's how I got my ridiculous name. My parents, my crazed, insane, jerk parents named all of their kits after fruit. Yes fruit.
"Fruit sticks together!" my father would jovially meow as he tossed me and my siblings into a fenced in area filled with dogs.
"Fruit doesn't talk back!" my mother would say as she sent us into snake infested, polluted, thorn patches to find pretty stones for her.
So I was named Banana after my ugly, patched, matted coat. It was humiliating. It was the only thing I kept that my parents gave me when I ran away. Perhaps some things they gave were worth keeping, I had thought. Now I think not.
"You know each other?" asks the shimmering she-cat. I can see her clearer now, she's a beautiful silver tabby with river blue eyes with white paws, belly, chest, tail tip, and dash on her head.
"I wish not.." mutters Jelliphant. Then louder, she meows. "Yes."
"Why do you wish not?" asks the shimmering she-cat, not even fooled by Jelliphant's lies.
Jelliphant flattens her ears to her head and turns to the double headed cat. "What-who're you?"
"I'm Amberpaw," meowed the head on the left, a lighter ginger then the other side of her body. She still had the same brilliant green eyes though. "And this is Rubypaw."
The dark ginger head dipped her head shyly.
"What about you?" I turned to the silver-she cat.
She looked awkward, like this was a strange question. "First I was Cashmere. Now I'm Stardust, but most people just call me Limbo.." she blushed and I backed up.
"Why do they call you that?" Jelliphant asks unkindly.
"Well my father named me Cashemere at first. Then I joined a Clan and was named Stardust. My father was an evil cat. He killed so many cats...then vanished. I died as a young warrior, the same age as you guys. And now they keep me in a kind of limbo while they decide whether or not I deserve StarClan. I didn't do enough for them to get a good read on me. They think I might be evil like dad." Her eyes fill with tears. "I'm a loser."
"You're not a loser!" Rubypaw says immediately, green eyes wide in dismay. Amberpaw nods, not looking so sympathetic. "We ran away from home because they wouldn't make us apprentices. Our Clanmates hated us, feared us. They tried finding us. I think one found us...they threw something at Amberpaw's head...a rock I think. Anyways, we woke up here. We're losers too."
Jelliphant rolled her eyes, "I'm not a loser. It's just, the other kittypets shun me because.." her eyes widen and her lip quivers, "Because..."
"Because....?" I inquire.
"Because I once caught a bird!" she wails. "And my fur isn't as soft as theirs! I'm a LOSER!!!"
"I'm a loser too!" I console her. "The other rogues loathe me for...for liking a kittypet. And for my name. And for being so ugly. And for being me! I tried to kill myself!"
A shocked silence ensues.
"So we're all losers," Cashmere finally says. "So now what do we do?"
No one says anything, we're all thinking about different things.
"Easy," scoffs Amberpaw. "We play Clans!"
Chapter 3 - Amberpaw
Since there were 5 of us, I counted me and Rubypaw as two cats, we split into teams of three and two. The kittypet's lip curled as I paired her with Banana. Rubypaw and I took Stardust.
"The rules of playing Clans is easy." I tell them. "We are two separate Clans. You two can come up with a name and we'll come up with a Clan name. Our boundary starts from the center of the paw prints to the edge of each trees. Yours is the rest of the field. Got it? Oh yeah, and come up with warrior names. Then we can play!"
I padded over to Stardust with Rubypaw.
"I'll be Stardust..." she says.
"I'll be Amberclaw!" I say. My dream warrior name...On my other side, Rubypaw meows wistfully, "I'll be Rubywing..."
"Let's be RiverClan!" squeals Rubywing. Stardust looks puzzled, but nods. I grit my teeth. My sister loves our Clan, even though they abandoned us in our time of need. Me? I hate them more then anything on StarClan's green earth.
We padded back over to Banana and Jelliphant and she tosses her head haughtily when she sees us.
"We're GemClan." she says. "I am Jewelstar and this is Bananabreath."
I was pretty sure Banana hadn't chosen his name, and Stardust meowed quietly, "How about his name is Yellowclaw?"
Banana looked relieved and Jelliphant snorted. "Fine, whatever."
We break up, Rubywing, Stardust and I immediately start pawing together snow when we get back to our side. All of us were Clan cats at some point in our lives, so we know how to make a camp out of the snow. Pretty soon, we have a large area with several dens. Stardust sits back, looking satisfied.
"Where's the others?" Rubywing whispers uneasily. I look to the left, she looks to the right and Stardust looks all around. I couldn't see them anywhere.
Then our camp exploded.
Yellowclaw and Jewelstar of GemClan pounced on us, clawing at our pelts with sheathed claws. Then they vanished.
I struggled up, pulling Rubywing with me. Stardust was lying in the ruined dens, panting.
"Stupid...light pelts..." she hissed.
Suddenly we hear a hysterical burst of laughter coming from the other side of the field. Standing in a camp made under a pine tree, the GemClan cats are laughing at us.
"Let's kill 'em." I growl.
My Clanmates nod and we get ready to attack.
The next hour or so turns into a flurry of attacking camps and mock-battles. I'm clawing at Jewelstar with sheathed claws. She rolls me over and scrabbles at my belly, but I thrust her off. She flies into the air and I tackle her, pinning her down.
"Truce!" she gasps, "Truce!"
The battlefield I had been seeing vanishes. Jewelstar is replaced by Jelliphant a kittypet. Stardust and Yellowclaw break away from their battle, turning back into a rogue and a dead cat. I feel Rubypaw at my side once again. I'm no longer Amberclaw, warrior of RiverClan. I'm Amberpaw, the kit no one wanted. With her sister on her side.
We all scruff about in the snow.
"Let's keep playing!" pleads Cashmere.
"I don't wanna be in separate Clans anymore though.." meows Banana. He glanced at Jelliphant and I got the feeling the easy friendship they had had while attacking us was gone.
"Let's be one Clan!" squeals Rubypaw, trying to jump up and down. Which meant I was jolted into the air and back down.
"Sorry." she whispers. "Let's be one Clan though!"
"Good idea!" says Stardust, her eyes gleaming.
"OK," I say grudgingly. I like to be the one with the good ideas. "But what should we call it?"
"What else?" Rubypaw asks, eyes aglow, "Then OutcastClan?"
Chapter 4 - Rubypaw
When that rock hit my sister, I felt it as much as her. Amberpaw and I are one cat. A lot of cats would say 'that's a great thing!'. But they didn't let us become apprentices. And they looked for us, but who tried to take us home? They threw a rock at my sister's head. And it hurt. A lot.
Amberpaw was giving me an impressed but kinda annoyed look although it was hard to see since we shared the same neck. Jelliphant just looked bored. Stardust in Banana looked excited. It was then I just realized how young Amberpaw and I were compared to them. Stardust was a young warrior, but Banana and Jelliphant had to be at least 15 moons. Amberpaw and I were only 6. But no matter.
We all came up with names. Jelliphant of course still wanted to be Gemstar so we agreed, 'just to shut her up' as Amberpaw said (which I didn't think was very nice). Banana asked to be just a warrior. To my surprise he asked for the name Sparrowclaw. I couldn't really blame Amberpaw for exclaiming, "That doesn't make any sense! You don't look like a sparrow, have the attitude of a sparrow..."
Banana just clawed at the ground and Jelliphant meowed unexpectedly, "Let him have his name." So we did.
Amberpaw wanted to be Amberclaw, the great deputy. I decided to be Rubywing, the medicine cat. The medicine cat and deputy were with the leader a lot together, so it made sense. And I didn't want to handicap Amberclaw. I always followed my sister. If I were Rubyflower like I'd wanted to be, the queen, she'd b upset. Our mother's name was Copperflower. Amberpaw hates our parents. So I changed my name to Rubywing. Amberpaw doesn't know Eaglestar's (our father's) old name was Eaglewing,
But anyways, I followed her everywhere. She ran away from the Clan, I went with her. She changed her name, I changed mine. She got hit with a rock, I followed her here. I think it has more to do with the physical bond that keeps up together, but who knows?
"I'll be Star-" Cashmere starts.
"Oh for chicken's sake girl!" Jelliphant cries. "Be something else!"
Cashmere blinks. "OK, I'll be...um...Rushingbrook."
"Cool name." I say. She smiles shyly.
So, we all started pushing around snow. I decide to make a huge den. Amberclaw is forced to help due to our...connection.... Gemstar starts on her leader's den and gives up time and time again in frustration. Sparrowclaw pads over to help her and unless I'm seeing something...there's some softness in her eyes. Rushingbrook seems quiet until we turn around and see her patting a large opening in the ground.
"And what the heck is that?" Gemstar asks, wrinkling her nose.
"Go inside!" Rushingbrook says, pleased.
We do, and find she's been tunneling an enormous cavern camp for OutcastClan.
"You rock!" I squeal, examining a tiny den. Rushingbrook says nothing, but her eyes glow blue in the snow.
"Well are we gonna play or what?" asks Gemstar, impatient as a kit.
We all laugh and she mutters something about 'overly happy excitable kits', but allows us to push her outside. First we pretend we're running away from Twolegs (which Jelliphant needs explained to that they're evil and don't have any chicken or cream).
"Runnnnnn!!!!" I shriek.
"No Rubywing, we have to stand and fight!" Amberclaw yowls.
"She's right!" growls Gemstar. "This is my Clan and I say-" she leaps in the air, pretending to be picked up.
"RUN!" howls Rushingbrook. We all skid into the ice den, then remember Gemstar and run out again. Sparrowclaw of course is still there, trying to save Gemstar. We all help and drag them both into the den, just as a make-believe Twoleg paw crashes to the ground next to the den.
After that adventure, we play regular Clan and fight battles against the evil rogues. To his credit, Sparrowclaw doesn't even flinch when Amberclaw starts proclaiming how nasty and terrible all rogues are.
Finally we're all lying in the snow, breathless and with bright pink noses. We're all telling stories and Banana is telling us about the time his parents dumped him in a fish bowl to catch a fish and he got stuck. Jelliphant is snickering and Amberclaw is snorting as well. Cashmere is smiling and nodding. It's only me who's thinking. About how a pain in my head is starting to become a real problem. Can I breath? Can I think?
Amberpaw looks uncomfortable too.
Finally I can't take it anymore.
"I don't feel good..." I moan before rolling over, face down, in the snow.
Chapter 5 - Cashmere
"Rubypaw!" I shriek. "Amberpaw!"
They don't seem to hear me, but I know they must because Amberpaw gasps, "Just....a...limbo."
They glow and Jelliphant shrieks, averting her eyes. Banana instantly jumps on her. Poor fool, I think. He clearly likes the kittypet. I don't have to close my eyes. Being dead has it's advantages. But I close my eyes in respect, a small idea of what has happened forming in my head.
When I open my eyes, and the two apprentices are gone, I'm almost positive. I purr though when Jelliphant struggles away from Banana.
"What're you trying to do?" she growls. "Smother me to death?"
"No, I thought it might hurt your eyes so I-"
Jelliphant let out a ghastly scream. Banana crouched low to the ground as if it was him being taken back. I lick Jelliphant's ear in sympathy.
"My stomach hurts.." she whimpers.
"You'll be okay when you wake up." I soothe her.
Her gaze shifts to Banana. "C-Come visit me?"
His eyes brighten considerably. "Promise."
My heart softens. I've forgotten what it's like to feel for another cat.
Jelliphant's head falls back among the crisp white snow, her collar bell giving a jingle as she fades away in a burst of light.
"W-What happened?" Banana asked, looking at me with terrified eyes. "You k-know, don't you?"
"She's gone back to the living." I try to explain simply. "We're all here because of death. A rock hit Amberpaw in the head, hurting her brain, and Rubypaw as well. Jelliphant ate some poisonous food. You tried to commit suicide."
"And what about you?" he asks. I find that more difficult to answer.
"Me? I was in limbo." I bite my lip. "I think meeting you guys was a sign. That I would loose everything and go to the Dark Forest....or that I'd be blessed to meet great friends and go to StarClan."
"I'm guessing the second one." he meowed, eyes aglow. I smile, then I falls, noticing that he's a lot lighter then usual.
He looks down, "I know."
"Bye..." I murmur, tears coming to my eyes, "I hope..I hope I see you again." he looks at the spot where the others vanished. "I hope I see all of them again."
"You will." I say confidently. Then I faltered. I wouldn't. I was dead. And unless I became powerful enough, I'd never see my four best friends in the whole wide world again.
Claw marks have appeared on his throat, growing larger by the moment. How hard did this cat claw himself? His voice grows weaker, "We'll find a way Stardust."
My warrior name. The one thing I took pride in.
"May StarClan go with you Sparrowclaw."
His eyes brim with pain. "I if live through this I'll be a real warrior."
"You already are." I meow softly. "We all are."
He shimmers. "OutcastClan will meet one day again." He explodes into shatters of bright light and I am left alone in my Limbo.
"Why'd you do it?" I ask. "Was it a test?"
"No." The shadowy outline of a dark blue she-cat appears, etched in the stars.
"Outcasts need the comfort of knowing there are more of them. But each outcast must walk alone."
She vanishes in a burst of shooting stars that reminds me painfully of my friend's vanishing.
I sit in the snow, hoping that soon I would be out of this place. Too many cats had been trapped here. Too much death. Too many sad memories.
A place for outcasts.
A silky white she-cat padded out of her house. She stretched in the sunlight, ignoring the glory of the icicles as she broke them off their tree branch white walking over to the fence. She hopped up, curled her tail around her paws and waited. He promised!
Her paws started feeling like they were going to fall off and her fur had little drops of frost on it. She could smell the chicken and cream scent wafting up from her Housefolk's place, but she couldn't leave. Not without him.
A shape appeared on the end of the road and dashes towards me. I sit on the fence, looking down at the patched yellow shape that skids to a halt before me.
"Sorry," he meows. "Rutabaga was holding me up."
"What kind of a name is-"
"Jelliphant..." his eyes are the only thing I can look at. "Do you love me? Is this real?"
I pause for a moment. How can I answer that truthfully with my past? Is this real? I remember that other the tom- the one who died under a car's black, black tires for me. No...not for me. Because of me. I never wanted Banana to be like that.
"Real." I whisper.
I pull Jelliphant close to me, thinking of all my starving siblings, trying to kill each other for food. I was like that once. But none of them have a friend, none of them are in love. I have 3 great friends. And one amazing she-cat.
"You wanna come in for chicken and cream?" she says, licking her lips and looking at the Twoleg den.
I smile. She hasn't changed like I have. She just accepts me. I treasure her.
"Sure." I purr.
But she's already gone, bolting into the den, mewling for food.
I laugh quietly on the fence for a while, then sit thinking. She comes out after a few moments. "Aren't you ever coming?" Jelliphant demands.
"You care?" I asked, surprised.
"Of course I care! I like you Banana! And any cat who's lucky enough to eat with me and doesn't insults me, so c'mon." she drags me into her den and I smile as I eat, watching her most of the time.
The cheers of my Clanmates, even though they are reluctant, warms my heart. I stare down at them, hoping some day I really will be Rubywing, warrior of ShadowClan one day.
"Your mentor will be Bearfoot." Ivystar meows, nodding to a brown tom. I wait for her to go on, but she doesn't. We only get one mentor? I understand that being an apprentice is a huge milestone for cats like Amberpaw and I, but still. This is kind of insulting. But I let it slide, my joy clouding my vision.
Amberpaw won't though.
"Who's mentor is he? Rubypaw's or mine? And who is the other mentor?" she meows bravely, stupidly.
Ivystar's nostrils flare.
I glare at my Clan leader. I didn't run away from home, almost die, almost get my sister killed, and leave my 3 best friends for nothing! I was going to be treated like any other cat, whether she liked it or not.
"Very well." she meowed icily. "Dapplepelt, you will be Rubypaw's mentor."
I dipped my head, staring into Ivystar's narrowed amber eyes.
It looked like living in the Clan again would be a never ending battle.
And I was ready to fight it.
I crunched through the snow, feeling the white powder disappear under my paws to be replaced by cool, springy grass. I give a sigh of delight and cross the ridge.
Under the moonlight, one cat waited. I padded foreword, ready to accept my destiny.
"You're father was supposed to come." the blue-furred she-cat meowed. "But he didn't show up. And without him, we need more judges, so you will have to wait a while longer."
I looked at my paws, trying not to cry. I had already waited so long!
I spun around. Two cats were barreling down the slope, the third and fourth hobbling together. I couldn't stop the tears now-but they were tears of happiness.
"You guys found me!" I cried, leaping up the slope.
"Of course we did!" Banana meows, eyes gleaming.
"We're not stupid you know." Jelliphant snorted, rolling her eyes.
"Are we gonna start of what?" Amberpaw demanded. Rubypaw nodded, eyes aglow.
"Very well." the blue furred she-cat meowed. She stepped back and my four friends encircled me.
Rubypaw stepped foreword first, dragging her sister with her.
"Stardust has a true warrior's spirit." she meowed solemnly. "She should go to StarClan."
"Stardust has a warrior's heart." Amberpaw meowed beside her. "She should go to StarClan."
They stepped back and Jelliphant stepped up.
"Stardust has the courage, wisdom, and strength of a warrior."she meowed. "She should go to StarClan."
She stepped back and I blinked at her in gratitude. It sounded like Jelliphant wasn't such a jerk after all!
Banana had padded foreword silently. "Stardust is herself." he meowed. "She has become her own cat, not a shadow of her father. And she should not be treated as such. She should go to StarClan."
He steps back and the blue-furred cat smiles. "Well them, welcome to StarClan Stardust." she purrs.
My eyes widen in amazement. I turn to my friends. "I-I don't know how to thank you."
Banana smiles. "OutcastClan sticks together."
I purr and we all touch noses.
They lick my ear friendly each, promise to visit me again, and vanish. I turn and follow the blue-fur into my new home. I wondered if the other cats were all thinking what I was.
Things have changed, but I will always be an outcast...at least I'm not alone.