Let the sky fall,
When it crumbles,
We will stand tall.
Let the sky fall.
-Adele in Skyfall
I can remember the day that it happened. I was sitting with Nightbird, in SkyClan, my old Clan. Back then, I was not who I am today. I was 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.