Let the sky fall,
When it crumbles,
We will stand tall.
Let the sky fall.
-Adele in Skyfall
My past is a confusing place. In it lives a multitude of cats, young and old. they are all different now though- living in StarClan, meeting their loved ones. I don't have that choice.
I was different then too. Today, as you read this, I am different. I have no name. You cannot see me, hear me, smell me, touch me. I am simply there- like the wind, or the trees, or the grass. I am a part of life.
I do not live in a physical form- I am a sort of spirit, if you must. I live in your emotions- love, joy, hate, fear. I can see everything you do. I can see everything everyone does.
Again, I have no name- but I used to. My old name? A millenium ago, it was Maple, although I am not best known for that. I shall give you my most common name.
You may call me Skyfall.
Before you ask why my name was Skyfall, living in SkyClan, let me tell you this- my mother was a loner. It had always been her dream to join- living in a Clan was the best thing that could ever happen to a cat, was what she said. Every time, though, she was rejected by Sharpstar. She kept coming back, and asking. Every time was a different excuse from him. The first time it was the Clan was recovering from the death of Leafstar- the second the Clan was in famine and didn't need anymore mouths to feed- the third time they were greatly wounded from a battle- the fourth time just a flat out "no".
Mother was a very determined cat, though. She kept coming back and asking. She was rejected by Sharpstar eight times- yes, I counted. Finally, my poor mother was on her deathbed, having been rejected the final time.
"Maple,"-that was my name then-"go ask Sharpstar if you can join SkyClan."
I was worried, but not suprised. "I can't leave you mother! You're... you're..."
She smiled, her lips at the end of her muzzle grayed with age turning up faintly. "About to die? Yes, I am." The smile disappeared. "Please, Maple. I'm an old cat. Take it as my last wish?"
I felt a lump appear in my throat. I wasn't really much of a crier, but me and Mother had a closeness unnatural for two loners. She was my world, but she wanted me to go, so I would do that. "I'll do it. Try not to die on me though, please." She actually smiled at my joke attempt. A tear trickled down her wrinkled, grayed with age face, and she gave a weak lick.
"Go, my little maple tree. But first.." I, already on my way out, turned back towards her.
She smiled at me. "If they accept you... tell them your name is Skyfall."
"Why should we let in a loner? For all we know you could be plotting to kill us all." The lithe deep gray tom glared at me hostilly. I held his gaze.
"Can I at least talk to your leader?" I asked, fighting to keep down my frustration.
The tom kept glaring at me, but waved his tail for me to come to him. "Fine. But if you try any funny buisiness I'll-"
"- kill me before I can say 'thrush'? I know. You already said that four times." He kept glaring at me, but, nonetheless, led me into camp.
Inside, it was bustling with cats weaving in and out of caves. The was at the bottom of a cliff face, by the river below. Kits played near the water, older cats sat on the boulders sunning themselves, and younger cats, a bit older than the kits, play-fought and chatted.
The warrior noticed me looking at everyone. "Come on," he meowed gruffly, nudging me forward uncerimoniously. I shot him a glare, but he ignored my and kept padding towards one of the largest caves. He stood outside and poked his head in. "Sharpstar?"
"Come in," meowed a gruff voice from inside the cave- Sharpstar. The warrior padded in, me on his tail.
"Sharpstar, this"-he shot me a glare-"loner wants to join our Clan." The tom flicked his tail towards me.
Sharpstar shot me a glance. "I know you. Aren't the kit of that loner who keeps asking to join our Clan?"
I fought down my anger at his dissmissiveness of my mother. "Yes, that would be me."
His brown tabby tail flicked back and forth. "So you're asking to join?"
No, I'm asking you to grant me wings, I thought sarcastically. This leader was getting on my nerves, big-time. Think of Mother. Think of Mother. "Yes, I am, in fact."
Sharpstar studied me for a moment more. "What is your name?"
"Huh. Skyfall. Ironic." He thought for a moment, staring at me. Finally, he made a decision. "You can join, but you'll be sleeping in an abandoned cave instead of the warriors den for tonight." He got up from his laying position and shouldered past me and the warrior.
"Let all cats old enough to leap in the trees gather for a Clan meeting!" He leapt upon a large boulder in the center of the central area near all of the caves. Caves pricked their ears and gathered beneath him. A long-furred white tom leapt up on the boulder beside him- probably his deputy.
"Today I have an announcement. A cat, by the name of Skyfall, has asked to join our Clan." The cats murmured at this- who was this strange cat. "Skyfall, come up to the Boulder."
Swallowing nervously, I padded up to Sharpstar and his deputy. Sharpstar looked down at me. "Am I correct that you know how to hunt and fight?"
"To learn the rules of the Clan, your temporary mentor will be Stormflight. Stormflight, come up here please."
The lithe gray tom who I had first seen, with a sulky expression on his face, padded up, glaring at me. I glared right back at him. Sharpstar pretended not to notice.
"Stormflight, you will teach Skyfall about this Clan. Is that clear?"
Expression growing sulkier by the second, Stormflight nodded, still glaring at me.
"Clan dismissed." Sharpstar leapt down from the Boulder, and padded back into his den. Me and Stormflight just continued to glare at eachother.
Perfect. The one cat who hates me most is my mentor. Thanks, Sharpstar-the-idiot.
I half-heartedly reprimanded myself. Think of Mother. Think of Mother.
"Please tell me you're not so useless you don't know how to hunt."
I glared at Stormflight. "I'm a loner, not a kit." He glared at me.
"If you're so good," he meowed, "let's see you climb that tree." He gestured to a huge pine with his tail.
I sized up the tree. It was big, all right- but I could climb it. I would climb it just to spite that idiot. Crouching down, I summoned all of my strength and leapt upward onto the trunk, my claws digging into the rough pine bark. A branch was just up ahead- I leapt, again, with all my might and caught it with my two front paws. Gripping the limb, I hoisted myself up. Stormflight sneered up at me.
"Try not to fall," he hissed. I growled, deep in my throat, and ignored him. Crouching down on the limb, I leapt upward, grasping the next one up. Gradually, I made my way to the topmost branches. Pine needles pricked my fur, and the tree swayed slightly.
"Happy?" I yowled down at him. I couldn't see him- the pine needles were so thick up here- but I could hear him growling in frustration.
"Have fun getting down," he spat back. I hissed, and lightly leapt off of onto the branch below- except my claws only grazed the branch. I free-falled towards the ground below, and possibly my death.
Now, whichever cat might be reading this, let me tell you- do you think I really died? It's allright, there is no right or wrong to an opinion. Well, did you? Let me tell you- I did not die, though looking back it might've been better if I had. But, nonetheless, I survived. And you will find that out once you keep reading. So do that, please.
Paralized in fear, I lashed out a paw to grab a surrounding limb. A jolt flew up my leg as my paw caught brutally on a limb. Grimacing, I hoisted myself onto the branch and tediously made my way down, limping as I was. Finally, I was on the branch closest to the ground. But it was a long leap, and I wasn't sure if I could make it. I was stupid then- I'm not afraid to mention that. Of course, I did not have the wisdom that a millenium gives you, but that comes later in the story.
I decided to leap and hope for the best. It was a primitive plan, but seemed good at the time- land on three paws, the other tucked under me. So I did, hoping for the best- unfortunately, Fate had something else in mind for me.
I landed as planned- the hurt leg tucked under me, my back and front right paw hitting the ground. A sickly crrrrrack sounded, and I looked down. I, as much as it pains me to say, retched on myself. My right leg was twisted at an unnatural angle, paralel to my body with the paw-pads facing the sky. The first few seconds I just stared at it in horror. it could have been seconds -- hours -- minutes before I started to feel pain. At first it was just a throbbing sensation- almost like losing a claw in a fight or getting a thorn in your paw. Then real pain came. I gritted my teeth, feeling like my head would explode. It blurred my sight, my brain- I couldn't think. it's the scariest feeling, not being able to think- you can feel your consciousness in the back of your head, but can't reach it, and just sit there, helpless, submitting to the pain. I think I screamed- I don't quite remember what, though. Black and red spots danced before my vision. Finally, I was granted the gift of unconsciousness.
I blinked sleepily. "Wha-?" Echosong, SkyClan's gentle, but now quite elderly, medicine cat looked down at me. She flicked her glance to someone out of my vision.
"Sharpstar, would you like to-"
"No, I think you'd best do it."
Echosong mustered a weary smile. "Skyfall... I'm afraid something bad has happened to you?"
I sat bolt upright, squeaking with pain that coursed down my right leg- the one twisted oddly. Echosong couldn't hide her grimace. "You...might want to take a look at your leg," she meowed quietly.
I looked down at my left leg- it looked normal. "I don't see what the-oh."
I looked down at my right leg. It was twisted completely backwards.