Acornstripe and Shimmerfur have a tough relationship. Not only are they in different Clans - he's in SandClan, and she's in SeaClan - but they know their relationship is wrong. Neither want to leave their Clan, yet their love is strong.
When a SeaClan cat finds out their secret, chaos erupts. Soon, their relationship will become rocky, and hard to control. They will have to stay strong, if their friendship isn't to shatter. But do they have the ability to keep their love alive?
Chapter 1 - Brams
Acornstripe padded along the sandy shore. He was alone, waiting for Shimmerfur.
I know this is wrong, he thought, but I love her.
He sat down at the border with SeaClan, their only neighboring Clan. Their salty scent washed over Acornstripe, who screwed his nose up in disgust.
Yuck, a patrol's just been past.
The SeaClan scent was disgusting - rather salty. They swam - a lot more than his Clan, SandClan. His scent wasn't salty - it was sandy.
In the fading sunset light, he saw the silver shape that he had known for so long. Her silver fur, that shimmers...
The silver she-cat purred as she approached. "Acornstripe."
"Shimmerfur. How's the fish swimming?"
"It's good. Prey is plentiful in greenleaf."
Shimmerfur nodded, and looked down at her paws. "It's hard to keep together."
"I know," Acornstripe replied: he didn't want any of his Clanmates to find out his secret.
"I wouldn't be happy if any of my Clanmates found out," she mewed fretfully. "What would Clawstar say?"
"I don't know," Acornstripe meowed. "I'm not SeaClan. But if Oddstar found out, I know she would go crazy." Oddstar had been named for the unusual amount of kinks in her tail.
He could imagine her, if she found out, saying: "Acornstripe! Why have you done this? You have betrayed SandClan!"
But that meant nothing to his love for Shimmerfur.
"Clawstar would exile me," Shimmerfur mewed quietly. "He doesn't like cats betraying SeaClan."
"But then you can join me. In SandClan."
"The thing is, I don't want to leave," Shimmerfur mewed. "I have many friends. I am respected. No cat would suspect me of meeting up with a cat from SandClan."
"It's the same here."
Sorrow showed in Shimmerfur's eyes. "I'm sorry."
"And I'm sorry for you, too."
"I know. Goodbye, Acornstripe."
As Shimmerfur padded away, Acornstripe felt a pang of regret. How could he love Shimmerfur, but not be in the same Clan?
He sighed and padded away. He needed to get back to his Clan, before Oddstar questioned him about his whereabouts.
Chapter 2 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur padded to the SeaClan camp. I know this is wrong meeting Acornstripe, but it makes me feel happy!
Shimmerfur sighed and squeezed into the camp boundary. Acornstripe is the light of my life. He loves me more than Galewind!
Galewind was the tom who was mooning over Shimmerfur. It was obvious to the Clan that he liked Shimmerfur.
At least everyone will never suspect me of going off to meet Acornstripe.
Clawstar was standing on the Meeting rock.
"Let all cats old enough to catch their own fish gather here for a Clan meeting!"
The Clan gathered below the rock, and Clawstar flicked his tail.
"Come forward, Poppykit!"
Poppykit, the only kit that survived a fox attack which was aimed at the nursery.
Clawstar continued speaking.
"Poppykit, from this day on until you receive your warrior name you shall be known as Poppypaw."
There was a sudden pause.
"Shimmerfur, you are a cat with strong courage. Mentor Poppypaw with pride."
Poppypaw padded up to Shimmerfur and she touched noses with her.
"Poppypaw! Poppypaw! Poppypaw!" The Clan yowled.
In the front row, Cloudwater, Poppypaw's mother looked at her daughter with pride and sadness.
She's mourning Waterkit and Hailkit. Shimmerfur thought.
Then she realized something a pang.
How am I going to meet Acornstripe now? I have an apprentice that will be watching my every move?
Chapter 3 - Brams
Acornstripe lay down in the SandClan camp, letting the warm greenleaf sun warm his pelt. He was having a break from patrols.
It had been a few days since he had last seen Shimmerfur. Tonight, proving that they were both free of their duties, they would meet again.
Heatherwhisker, the SandClan deputy, was organizing patrols. Acornstripe was hoping the small, pinkish-gray she-cat wouldn't call his name out for any patrols - at least not yet, anyway.
Especially not a border patrol.
He couldn't bear to be by the SeaClan border.
"Take Woollydapple, Rowanleaf, and Poplarpaw with you on a border patrol."
Acornstripe sighed with relief. Thank StarClan!
Tigerleap, a large dark brown tabby tom, gathered Woollydapple, Rowanleaf, and Poplarpaw together. Poplarpaw, a pale brown she-cat, fidgeted with excitement. It was her first border patrol, since becoming Rowanleaf's apprentice a quarter-moon ago.
"Poplarpaw!" It was Poplarpaw's mother, Ivytendril. The tortoiseshell she-cat fussed about her kits a lot - Poplarpaw, Hawthornpaw, Ebonypaw, and Walnutpaw. "Are you going to be alright?"
"I'm fine!" Poplarpaw squeaked. "I'm an apprentice now."
Ivytendril sighed, as her kit, and the patrol left the camp. "They grow up so fast," she whispered.
"Ivytendril, do you mind leading a hunting patrol? Take Archstripe and Wildspring with you. Crowflight will lead another, and Ebonypaw and Stoatfoot will join him."
Acornstripe let the sun touch his belly. This is what he needed.
Some time to relax.
Some time to forget Shimmerfur...
He didn't need to be with her all the time.
He heard his name being called. "What?"
"Do you mind leading the sunhigh patrol? That patrol was doing the rogue borders. Can you check the SeaClan border then?"
Now he wished he was on the border patrol. He didn't want to go to the SeaClan border.
He wanted to forget about Shimmerfur for a while.
This wouldn't help.
"Yes," he mewed brightly, making sure Heatherwhisker didn't see any of his doubt. "Yes, I will check the SeaClan border for you with the sunhigh patrol."
Heatherwhisker stared at him for a moment, then turned away.
He was troubled. Acornstripe was troubled.
He couldn't forget about Shimmerfur.
No matter how hard, he couldn't.
It didn't help that he had to lead a patrol to the SeaClan border later.
Oh, StarClan, what have I done?
Chapter 4 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur was in the warm sunshine of greenleaf. She had taken Poppypaw out to explore the territory, and she was now having a rest. She was going to meet Acornstripe soon.
Oh well, time to go now Shimmerfur thought.
She went through the camp entrance. She didn't want it so seem like she was sneaking out of the camp. Shimmerfur just assumed that most cats would think she was hunting, and leave her alone. Besides, Poppypaw had just finished sorting out her moss, just as she had taught her on the way back. She would never be following Shimmerfur! She would just be too tired.
Shimmerfur sat on the sand, the border of SandClan territory knowing Acornstripe would be their soon. Shimmerfur heard a rustling sound, and unsheathed her claws. An attacker was coming! A brown tabby flew out at her, but Shimmerfur was ready. She scooped the tom's body out of the air and pinned him down.
"Oww! That hurt!"
She looked below her paws, and the cat below her was Acornstripe.
Shimmerfur did exactly what Acornstripe told her.
"How did you know I was there?" he challenged.
"You stalk like a lopsided badger! You stood on a stick, and I could here you tree lengths away!"
"Ok! You win! And nice move back there!"
There was a rustle behind Shimmerfur. She looked behind her and a small figure came out of the reeds.
"Uh oh!" Acornstripe whispered.
Shimmerfur looked at the young cat in horror.
Her love had finally been discovered by the one cat she hoped would never find out.
It was Poppypaw.
Chapter 5 - Brams
Acornstripe stared. Why was that SeaClan apprentice behind Shimmerfur? She didn't need to know about this.
It's called being nosy.
"Shimmerfur, why are you meeting a SandClan cat?" squeaked the apprentice. "I should tell Clawstar about this."
"No," Acornstripe mewed hoarsely. "You can't."
"And what can you do about it?" the SeaClan cat challenged.
He and Shimmerfur exchanged a glance, one of horror, shock, and terror. This wasn't meant to happen.
This shouldn't have happened.
"Well," Acornstripe growled. "I could pin you down, and flick you over the ear with a claw -" He stopped speaking when he saw Shimmerfur staring in shock.
Shimmerfur nodded, and turned to the apprentice. "Poppypaw? What are you doing here? I thought I told you to sort the moss for the bedding."
"I'd finished, and I still wasn't tired," Poppypaw mewed boldly. "I saw you go out of the camp, so I decided to follow you."
"Poppypaw!" Shimmerfur snapped, smacking her tail lightly over the she-cat's spine. "Didn't Cloudwater tell you not to follow other cats?"
"She didn't need to," Poppypaw meowed. "Not since Waterkit and Hailkit died in the fox attack."
Acornstripe shook her head. The SeaClan apprentice - Poppypaw - was snobbish, and rather ungrateful. It wasn't what he would do.
He remembered, when he was an apprentice, his mentor, Mintstream, died to save him from Clawstar killing him in a SandClan and SeaClan battle. Now, Acornstripe was grateful for living each day.
It was also the battle in which I first met Shimmerfur.
He snapped out of his memories, and turned his attention back to Shimmerfur, and Poppypaw. Defiance showed on Poppypaw's face - one of hatred, and of secrecy.
"I vow revenge," she growled, and she padded away.
Acornstripe and Shimmerfur shared a shocked glance. Finally, Shimmerfur spoke:
"I'd better get back to camp."
"Same here." Shimmerfur was right. "May StarClan light your path, Shimmerfur."
"And yours, Acornstripe," Shimmerfur whispered, before turning her back on him, and fleeing through the reeds back into SeaClan territory.
Acornstripe watched Shimmerfur go, then he turned his back, and returned his path back to the SandClan camp.
Should I tell Oddstar about this? he thought.
He decided against it.
No. I won't. What would she say?
Chapter 6 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur raced behind Poppypaw. She caught up and looked at her apprentice.
"Poppypaw!" The tortoiseshell apprentice stopped.
"Why do you have to be my mentor! You were acting friendly to that stupid SandClan cat!"
"Poppypaw! You don't understand!"
"Yes I do! You love him! You're breaking the warrior code! It's there for a reason!"
Shimmerfur forced herself to calm down.
"Poppypaw! I ask you to keep my secret, for now at least! It'll be between you and me. Clawstar will exile me and you know that I am one of the best hunters in the Clan. Don't you see how such a loss that would be to the Clan?"
Poppypaw looked at Shimmerfur with wide eyes.
"So, then can you keep my secret?"
Shimmerfur looked at Poppypaw. She was clearly unhappy.
"Hey Poppypaw! Would you like to learn how to fish?"
Poppypaw followed her to the river. Shimmerfur taught her the technique. She caught on very quickly.
"Ok. Now I'll show you for real. You make sure your shadow doesn't cast on the water, wait for a fish to come and..."
She flashed her paw under the water and scooped up a large trout. Poppypaw looked at it.
"Wow! Let me have a go!"
As Poppypaw looked into the river, Shimmerfur had a pang of horror.
How long will she keep my secret, until she lets the whole Clan know?
Chapter 7 - Brams
Acornstripe was nervous. He didn't want any cat to find out his secret.
But Poppypaw knows.
Acornstripe knew that a SeaClan apprentice knew. Had she told Clawstar?
Or had she kept it a secret.
Or, had Shimmerfur forced her to keep the secret?
Acornstripe sighed. He didn't know what to do, what to expect. It was all going wrong.
Their relationship was falling to pieces.
Oddstar's mew pulled Acornstripe away from his thoughts. The light brown she-cat was standing in the clearing.
"Why isn't Heatherwhisker organizing the patrols?" a cat mewed.
"She had to see Stonedapple about some pains she was having," Oddstar replied, flicking her kinked tail. "Don't worry. I trust that Stonedapple and Walnutpaw will be able to solve it."
The warrior who had asked her, Iceshard, nodded thoughtfully.
"Anyway, Iceshard, you can join Weaselheart, Snailleaf, Hawthornpaw, and Wavelap on the border patrol to the SeaClan border. Word has it that there's been some activity down there."
Weaselheart, a brown-and-ginger tom, gathered the patrol around him, before setting off. Hawthornpaw, the young apprentice, had to go fast to keep up with the patrol.
"Petalclaw, take Ivytendril and Acornstripe on a hunting patrol."
Acornstripe suppressed a sigh. He didn't want to go out of the camp right now. He slowly got to his paws, and joined Petalclaw and Ivytendril at the bramble barrier.
Petalclaw led the cats out, her thick, pale gray fur rippling in the light wind. Acornstripe lingered at the back.
He didn't want to be on a hunting patrol.
It's StarClan's fate, a voice whispered.
It's StarClan's fate.
Acornstripe knew it wasn't his decision. But now, he had to put his service into the Clan.
In front of him, Petalclaw and Ivytendril were getting ready to hunt, crouching low, as they saw a rabbit in the distance. Acornstripe padded away from them. He wanted to be alone.
He needed to be alone, and wait for StarClan's fate.
StarClan's fate, for him and Shimmerfur.
A question, a thought, popped up in Acornstripe's mind, too strong to hold it in.
He'd never thought of this before.
What if Shimmerfur and I weren't meant to be together?
Chapter 8 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur was awake early that morning. She couldn't get to sleep.
Why were we found? Are we not supposed to be together?
She realized what had awoken her. She had a pain at her belly. Must have eaten a bad fish...
Then she remembered about the minnow that she had eaten last night.
Better tell Shellwater.
Shellwater, the SeaClan medicine cat, was asleep. His apprentice Lilacpaw was beside him also asleep. Shimmerfur prodded Shellwater with her paw.
"Mrrp? Oh. Hi Shimmerfur! What's the problem?"
"I have a stomach ache."
"Did you eat something bad?"
"I think it was a minnow."
"Ok. I won't use yarrow. Here! Have this willow. It might make you feel better, if you throw up."
Shimmerfur ate the willow.
Shellwater stared back at her, her blue eyes glistening in the early dawn light.
"You might as well stay here. We don't want any of the warriors to fall sick."
Shimmerfur sighed and settled down. She was dozing off as Lilacpaw woke up.
"Yes Lilacpaw? What's up?"
"I had a dream. There were two cats by the SeaClan and SandClan border. One from each Clan, I think. They had their tails entwined with each other. Then a cat jumped out and argued with one of them and vanished through the reeds. Then one of them followed the cat and tried to convince the cat about something, but It didn't work and the two cats were left in despair. Shellwater! What does it all mean?"
Shellwater looked thoughtful.
"I think it means a cat in our Clan is slinking off to meet a SandClan cat. They are in love, and one cat will find out and break it to their Clan. It will resolve in war."
Lilacpaw looked bewildered.
"Who will it be?"
Shellwater looked at his apprentice.
"I just don't know."
Shimmerfur was frantic.
Our love is in danger and we can't do anything to stop it!
Chapter 9 - Brams
Acornstripe woke up, with a pit of worry in his belly. Tonight, he was due to visit Shimmerfur again.
He didn't know if he should risk it.
Stretching, Acornstripe padded out of the warrior's den. He had a day ahead of him, before he had to see her.
Pushing the thought out of his mind, he went over to Heatherwhisker, but on the way, he was interrupted.
Furry bundles jumped onto him, latching on with thorn-sharp claws.
"Got you!" one squeaked, a black she-cat with white paws.
"We're going to be the best warriors ever!" a brown-and-gray tom added. "SandClan is the best!"
"SeaClan won't beat us!" a night-black she-cat mewed.
Acornstripe turned. Galefur and Snowbelly, the mothers of the kits, rushed over. The kits around Acornstripe jumped off, and backed away from him.
"Sorry, Acornstripe!" Snowbelly mewed, her dark gray fur shining in the sun. "These kits are being rather mouse-brained today!"
"No, we're not!" a gray tabby kit with green eyes mewed. "We're playing!"
"Graykit!" Galefur mewed crossly at the kit.
"It's not a problem," Acornstripe replied warmly. "I'd like some kits one day."
With Shimmerfur, he added silently, in his mind.
"You want kits?" Snowbelly asked. "My three little she-kits always cause trouble!" She flicked her tail at Darkkit, Blackkit, and Shadowkit, who had started play-fighting nearby.
"No, we don't always cause trouble!" Darkkit piped up, from where she was play-fighting with her sisters.
"Kits," Galefur muttered. "They'll be like these ones, I know it."
Acornstripe nodded, and mewed a greeting of farewell. He had to see Heatherwhisker about today's patrols.
"Patrol, I guess?" Heatherwhisker asked, as Acornstripe approached. "You're in luck. Rowanleaf, Poplarpaw, and Wildspring are about to leave on a hunting patrol. You can go with them."
"Thanks," Acornstripe mewed, as he went to join the three cats nearby.
"Joining our hunting patrol?" Wildspring, a long-legged ginger tom, asked. Acornstripe nodded in reply.
"Great, we can go now!" Poplarpaw mewed. "Heatherwhisker says that we must have-"
"- at least four cats on a patrol." Rowanleaf added, finishing her apprentice's sentence. "Come on, let's go. I want to show Poplarpaw a good place for hunting fish."
"Ah, hunting fish." Wildspring licked his lips. "Good for making us accustomed to swim, and good for attacks on SeaClan. Come on, let's go."
Acornstripe trailed at the end of the patrol as they went out of the camp. His head spun with thoughts:
Please, please let my secret stay secret forever.
No-one needed to know it.
Chapter 10 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur was padding to the place that she and Acornstripe always met.
This will be the last time I have to do this
Acornstripe was on the sand waiting for her.
"Why didn't you turn up last time?"
Shimmerfur knew she should tell Acornstripe.
"Our love is in danger." she whispered.
Acornstripe looked at Shimmerfur with bewildered eyes. Doesn't he realize the danger?
"Our medicine-cat apprentice had a dream about us being found out. We need to stop this Acornstripe!"
"Ok Shimmerfur. But let's spend one last night together,"
Shimmerfur glared in the eyes of Acornstripe.
"Yes, but I want to be back quicker than usual."
Shimmerfur and Acornstripe chatted on the riverbank. Shimmerfur looked at the moon. It was above their heads.
"I need to go now."
"Go where?" came a voice from the bushes.
There was a bigger cat. Not Poppypaw this time. But Hailmist, one of the bossiest, rudest cats in the Clan.
He would not keep their secret.
Chapter 11 - Brams
Acornstripe looked at the SeaClan tom with cold, unforgiving eyes. He knew who that cat was.
It was Hailmist, one of SeaClan's senior warriors!
Acornstripe knew instantly that what Shimmerfur said earlier was right. Their love was in danger.
"Go where?" Hailmist repeated, flicking his tail. His vivid green gaze shifted from Shimmerfur, to Acornstripe, then back to Shimmerfur. "Shimmerfur, tell me. Where are you going?"
"Why should I tell you?" Shimmerfur shot back, meeting Hailmist's gaze. "You're disrespectful to every cat in the Clan."
Acornstripe saw Hailmist's tail flick uneasily. Maybe the dark silver tabby was going to retreat?
He thought wrong, as Hailmist mewed loudly. "I am a senior warrior of SeaClan. You, on the other hand, are not."
"That doesn't mean you have to tell me what to do," Shimmerfur pointed out.
Acornstripe wanted to say, That doesn't mean that you spy on cats in your own Clan, but he held his tongue. Hailmist would shred him if he said anything.
"It is my business that you've met a SandClan cat!" Hailmist hissed, while he shifted his huge tabby body close to Shimmerfur. "Did you meet him suddenly, on accident? Or have you met here on purpose?"
"On - on accident," Shimmerfur stammered. "Yes - on accident. Definitely on accident."
Hailmist snorted. "Do I believe that? Your scent has pooled, and his, too. You're meeting with a SandClan cat! What will Clawstar say?"
Acornstripe's blood chilled. No...
"Wait until Clawstar hears this!" Hailmist snickered. "Shimmerfur likes a SandClan cat..."
Shimmerfur stared at Hailmist in shock, then she jumped in the river. Acornstripe watched, as the silver warrior rose above the top of the water, swimming in confident strokes.
Hailmist turned around, spotting Shimmerfur. "Do you realize that Galewind likes you?" he snarled. "Maybe I should tell him! He would be distraught! You should take to liking him!"
Shimmerfur shook her fur as she stepped out of the river, then she strode up to Hailmist. "Keep out of my business!" she hissed, swiping at Hailmist's face. The blow connected, and Hailmist's blood ran on Shimmerfur's claws. Hailmist stared at Shimmerfur with a look of fury.
Acornstripe watched in shock. What would happen to Shimmerfur? It was against the warrior code to hurt a cat from your own Clan!
"This - is - enough," Hailmist growled. "Shimmerfur, I am taking you to Clawstar right now! You have broken the warrior code!"
Shimmerfur didn't reply immediately, just watching the dark warrior. Then she rose to her paws.
"Take me if you wish!" she yowled. "I don't care! I'm doing what I think is right - and it's nothing to do with you!"
Hailmist growled under his breath, and started to escort Shimmerfur away. Acornstripe wanted to see her beautiful, dark blue eyes one last time, but Shimmerfur had gone before their eyes could meet.
He watched the two cats go away. Worry flirted in Acornstripe's belly. What would happen to Shimmerfur? Would she be exiled? Would she say in SeaClan? What if she was killed?
Whatever happened, Acornstripe would have to accept Clawstar's word. Anxiety flickered through him as he looked at SeaClan territory, then he turned away. He couldn't bear to think what Shimmerfur could be going through.
Chapter 12 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur was back at the SeaClan camp. Worry swept through her. What if i never see him again? Then a more shocking thought came to her mind.
What are they going to do to me?
Lots of bad thoughts went through her.
They could exile me, even kill me, every cat knows that Clawstar's a blood thirsty leader!
Then Clawstar walked out and called the Clan together.
"Everyone, there was been a truly shocking discovery tonight. Shimmerfur has been found to be a traitor!"
There were gasps of worry and her Clanmates eyes, which were once warm and friendly turned hostile.
"What did she do to make her a traitor?" Said a voice. It was Galewind.
No. Not him. He's going to be so heart broken to find out why I'm a traitor. Why Starclan? Why...
"Hailmist confirms that she has been meeting with a SandClan cat!"
Galewind looked at her sadly and turned towards the warriors den and slowly padded away.
"Shimmerfur, who is this SandClan cat?" Asked Clawstar.
Shimmerfur stood up. "Why should I tell you? You are such a bloodthirsty leader! You probably wouldn't care if I was dead!
Clawstar looked at her with surprise, then with a sickening smile, he adressed the Clan.
"I have finally thought of a sutiable punishment. Since she has seemed to place her point, as she said, I don't care at all if she is dead, so she will be killed at sunhigh tomorrow. Hailmist, You can guard her while she sleeps in badger hollow. Everyone, now it's time to sleep, especially if your on the dawn patrol! And if any of you spill a word to anyone in SandClan your as good as dead, just like Shimmerfur."
He flicked his tail and walked into his den. Shimmerfur just stood there, frozen.
"Come on, get a move on!" Hailmist said as he rudely shoved her towards the Badger hollow.
Acornstripe, help me!
Chapter 13 - Brams
Acornstripe hurried back to camp, but he - once again - was worried about Shimmerfur. What if she got exiled? Lamed? Or worse - killed? He couldn't risk it. He knew - Acornstripe knew - that they had to attack SeaClan - to save Shimmerfur, wherever she may be.
But how will they believe me, without telling the Clan about my love for Shimmerfur?
That thought was obvious - Acornstripe knew he wanted to get Shimmerfur away from SeaClan - if she was still there - unharmed. But how would he be able to convince the Clan to attack them?
However, as the SandClan camp came closer to him, Acornstripe had an idea.
He sped up, and cantered into the camp, his eyes wide with fear. As he came in, heads turned towards him.
"Acornstripe?" Acornstripe could hear Oddstar's voice. The light brown tabby she-cat came closer, her kinked tail twitching. "Is there a problem?"
"SeaClan - have - been - stealing - prey - off - our - territory," Acornstripe lied, making it realistic by puffing with tiredness after each word.
"SeaClan? Trespassing?" Oddstar looked unconvinced. "Tell us more, Acornstripe."
Acornstripe raised his head. "I saw a group of five SeaClan warriors. They had crossed the river, and they were looking for mice in the reeds. And they were fishing on our side of the river."
"Do you know who any of them were?" Oddstar queried, staring at Acornstripe with wide, icy blue eyes. Beside her, Heatherwhisker, as always, looked unconvinced by Acornstripe's argument.
"Er..." Acornstripe remembered a few of the SeaClan warrior's names. "Galewind, Hailmist, Cloudwater..." He hesitated again. "Shimmerfur." He felt it hard to say the name of the cat he loved, but he continued. "And Slightheart."
"Slightheart?" Oddstar looked furious. "The SeaClan deputy, putting his paws on our territory?" She started to pace up and down the camp, a few cats watching her eagerly.
"You can never trust SeaClan," an old, scarred black tom rasped. Acornstripe turned his head to see Scarface, one of SandClan's three elders. "When I was a warrior, there was a great war between us -"
"Yes, yes, we know," Oddstar meowed, cutting Scarface off. "I got my warrior name after that battle."
"- which caused both the leaders and deputies of SandClan and SeaClan to die," Scarface continued, ignoring Oddstar's protest. "There was trouble for days afterwards... that was what made Ravenstar leader."
Ravenstar was the leader before Oddstar. He died a few moons before Acornstripe was born, but Scarface, and the other elders, Kinkfoot and Doveheart, liked to tell many stories of him to the young cats.
"If Slightheart was trespassing..." Heatherwhisker was muttering angrily. For once, the SandClan deputy actually believed Acornstripe. The pinkish-gray she-cat turned her head towards Oddstar, mewing, "We must attack. We need to teach SeaClan a lesson for trespassing on our territory!"
A couple of warriors - Archstripe and Tigerleap - overheard Heatherwhisker, and yowled eagerly in agreement.
"You are right," Oddstar murmured to Heatherwhisker: Acornstripe could barely hear their words. "Shall we attack at dawn tomorrow?"
There was some tense discussion between Oddstar and Heatherwhisker, before Oddstar straightened up. There was silence from the SandClan warriors.
"Heatherwhisker and myself have decided that we shall attack SeaClan at dawn!" she yowled. "There will be two patrols. We will attack the camp - but no queen, elder or kit is to be harmed," she added, as she saw Stonedapple, the medicine cat, tense nervously. "As will the medicine cats."
Acornstripe felt a sigh of relief hit him - but would Shimmerfur be there? He knew that this would be the fight for what's right - once and for all.
Chapter 14 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur looked out a hole that looked out of the hole she was in. Dawn was approaching.Gonna die this morning, gonna die...I heard a voice outside, to muffled to understand who it was, but could still make out what the cats were saying.
"You've had a long shift."
"Yes, I guess I have"
"Clawstar said I could give you this piece of prey. You must be pretty hungry."
"Thank you Galewind"
Galewind. Galewind and Hailmist are out there. And Galewind going to see my excecution. The only cat in my Clan that loved me.
Galewind burst into the Badger Hollow.
"What are you doing here?" I asked. "You're not supposed to be in here unless Clawstar says so."
"I know. I'm here to save you. Don't ask why. I fed Hailmist a fish stuffed with poppy seeds. Gulible cat."
I just smiled.
"We need to escape. Now. While we have the time."
I scampered out of the hollow and started to exit the camp when a smelt a scent. It was SandClan.
Acornstripe? No He wouldn't have come to the camp just to talk to me. No. It's not even his scent...
I heard a snarl and a yowl. It was Galewind.
"Get off our territory!" He snarled.
"Then don't go on ours!"
I rekcon I know that voice. Yes, it was Redfish, a young warrior. I sprinted back to camp. I know i'll get in trouble for this.....
"Seaclan! We're under attack!"
Clawstar sprinted of his den in suprise.
"You." He said. "How about we kill you now?"
Chapter 15 - Brams
"Let's get them!"
Acornstripe heard a triumphant yowl from Redfish in front of him. He'd just seen the reddish-brown tom scare off a couple of SeaClan warriors.
Acornstripe knew who they were. One was Galewind... and the other was Shimmerfur.
Reflecting on it now, as he and his Clanmates leapt across the border into SeaClan territory, Shimmerfur didn't look like her normal self. She looked malnourished - compared to Galewind, whose gray pelt looked very sleek, compared to Shimmerfur's, which - for once - had looked dull.
"How much further?" he panted heavily, as he and his Clanmates sprinted across SandClan territory.
"It's not that much further," Oddstar replied from the front of the group, flicking her long, unusually kinked tail.
Oddstar was right. Acornstripe could see a shape emerging in the distance.
As they got to the entrance, Oddstar yowled: "SandClan, attack!"
The SandClan cats leapt onto the SeaClan cats, but none of them moved. All their gazes were beadily fixed on Clawstar.
"You," Clawstar was snarling at a gray she-cat. "How about we kill you now?"
Acornstripe recognized the cat at once - but Oddstar had already noticed. The light brown she-cat's amber eyes were blazing with fury.
"You don't kill cats from your own Clan!" she yowled, as she landed on Clawstar. The gray she-cat that had been threatened by Clawstar scattered away at once.
"SeaClan - attack -" Clawstar managed to choke under Oddstar's grip.
The SeaClan warriors then leapt on the SandClan cats. Before he knew it, Acornstripe was face-to-face with Cloudwater - a SeaClan she-cat.
"You shouldn't be in our camp," Cloudwater growled crossly, as she aimed a blow at Acornstripe's leg.
"You shouldn't be trespassing on our territory, then," Acornstripe replied innocently, dodging Cloudwater's attack. "Stick to your own territory, and then we'll stay off yours."
"Oh Shimmerfur, come out wherever you are..."
Acornstripe moved away as Cloudwater turned to face Archstripe. Clawstar had changed his diection, and was now facing the bushes surrounding the SeaClan camp. Oddstar was lying on the ground, ominously still.
That wasn't Oddstar's last life, was it? Acornstripe thought worriedly.
"I will flay you, Shimmerfur," Clawstar hissed angrily. "Come out and face me."
With an angry yowl, Acornstripe jumped on Clawstar. The brown tabby tom yowled in surprise, but he wasn't fighting back.
"Slightheart..." Clawstar choked.
Acornstripe turned his head. The SeaClan deputy's body was lying around nearby. Oddstar had come back, as she smirked in delight. Without hesitation, she charged towards Clawstar.
"I had to kill your brother, Clawstar," Oddstar hissed, as she and Acornstripe landed blows on the battle-scarred tom's flanks. "I had to avenge the death of Archstripe."
Archstripe's dead? Acornstripe thought. No!
"You don't deserve to lead a Clan anymore, Clawstar," Oddstar hissed, as she landed another blow.
"No - he doesn't!"
Acornstripe backed away in worry, and so did Oddstar. Clawstar staggered slightly in shock. A cat had stalked into the clearing, gray pelt bristling angrily.
"This is what you were going to do to me," the cat continued, as a paw hit flesh. With a gush of blood, Clawstar collapsed to the ground.
"Oh no..." Acornstripe gasped, as Clawstar's blood seeped along the ground of the SeaClan camp. He hadn't expected that cat to do something so heartless.
"Shimmerfur..." Acornstripe choked out. "How could you do something like that?"
"SeaClan is not my Clan anymore," Shimmerfur mewed quietly. "I'm on your side. How could he do something like that to me?"
"What are you hinting?" Acornstripe mewed sharply.
In embarrassment, Shimmerfur licked her chest fur rapidly. "I'm so happy I'm not injured, but... Acornstripe, I'm expecting your kits."
Chapter 16 - Rainpelt
Shimmerfur looked at Acornstripe. He looked bewildered. He's going to be a father. He should be so proud!
Oddstar whipped her head around.
"Acornstripe, first you go off with a cat from another Clan, and then your going to have kits with her? You should be ashamed of youself."
Acornstripe bent his head and scuffled at the ground.
"I'm sorry Oddstar. Punish me however you want."
"No. I won't. You've suffered enough. Shimmerfur, are you really going to join SandClan?"
I looked Oddstar in the eye and replied;
"Yes. Clawstar has shown me I don't belong here. I don't want to stay in a Clan whos leader almost killed me."
Oddstar dipped her head.
"You will be welcome in our Clan."
Around the camp, the fighting was starting to die down. Oddstar jumped up onto a nearby rock.
"May all cat come here to talk about what will happen to Seaclan!"
All the cats obediantly sat down infront of Oddstar.
"As a lot of you know, Clawstar has tried to execute Shimmerfur from his own Clan."
There were gasps from the SandClans cats, and then Oddstar continued.
"Shimmerfur was going to be executed because she loved a SandClan cat, who is now to be confirmed as Acornstripe.
I curled my tail around his.
"They have been meeting each other for moons. This explains dissapearrances from both cats. Acornstripe said that there were SeaClan cats on our territory, just so he could save Shimmerfur. This is how much they loved each other. This is why we are all here today. But now we have a problem. Who is going to be SeaClan's leader?"
A strong breeze ruffled all the cat's ears. Suddenly, Shellwater, the SeaClan medicine-cat padded outside of her den.
"The wind is a sign! I know who SeaClan's new leader's going to be!"
Brams: Oh yes, this took a while to do (that's mainly Rainpelt's fault though). I'm so happy this is done <3333 SHIMMERSTRIPE FOR LIFE
Rainpelt: I enjoyed writing this book. It was fun to do it with another person. GO SHIMMERFUR!!!!!
We will be having a sequel to this, called Split Allegiances. Rainpelt will continue to narrate Shimmerfur, while Brams will be narrating the new SeaClan leader (oooh, Brams says guess. XD)
Until next time,