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Hello there. Have you come to tell me that I'm a traitor, a murder, and I don't deserve to be alive?
No? You're the first cat not too, ever since I was a tiny kit. I can't remember when anyone liked me. It was only him.
Just that one time.
No one else cared. Only the medicine cat, and he cared about everyone. Maybe me a bit more. I always wanted to be with him. Until that one faithful time.
You want to her my side of the story? It's...painful, but I will do it. For the one cat who thinks I deserve a better chance.
You think you know I deserve one? I wish. I appreciate that you care enough to listen though.
Listen carefully, and you will know about my life, the life of an accused.
The story of a misunderstood kit.
"Help!" Pumakit yowled before she slipped under the water again. Fireclaw dove in after the kit. He shoved Pumakit onto solid ground. He tried to swim back to shore but the water swept him away. "Pumakit!" he called before he died.
"No! Fireclaw!" Mistdapple yowled. She turned her eyes to her kit. Pumakit was laying on the ground, panting. "You killed your own father!" she yowled. "No!" Pumakit wailed. "I wish you were dead instead of him. I wish you had never been born!" Mistdapple's voice was a growl.
Mistdapple clawed at Pumakit furiously. Herbclaw shoved Mistdapple away. Pumakit ran into the Nursery. Her mother was collecting her nest. "Mama! What're you doing?" Pumakit asked. "Get away from me! I am not your mother anymore. And I refuse to live in the same den as you!"
Pumakit stepped out of the way as his mother strode by. It was all she could do. Pading to her littermates, desparate for sympathy, she saw Leopardkit, Tigerkit, and Lionkit, turn away from her. Pumakit took a step forward. "Murderer!" Leoardkit yowled, drawing away with unsheathed claws.
Pumakit's beautiful brown eyes filled with tears. "I'm not a murderer!" she wailed. She pelted away, only to run into Flamepaw. Flamepaw was Fireclaw's brother, who had been sick so he got held back from training for 4 moons. "Watch it traitor!" he snapped. Pumakit scrambled away from him and slid under some ferns.
Pumakit crouched behind the ferns. A cat sat down beside her. "It's okay, come to my den." It was Herbclaw. When Pumakit was settled, Herbclaw applied a poultice to Pumakit's scratches. "It will be okay." She murmered. Pumakit stared at Thunderclan's medicine cat.
"What? Nothing will be okay! My family hates me!" Pumakit said sadly. "No they don't. They're in a shock. Everyone will recover." Herbclaw soothed. "Not Fireclaw" Pumakit wailed. Herbclaw didn't answer.
Pumakit stared up at her leader, Squirrelstar. Her eyes glimmered as she looked at Leopardpaw, Tigerpaw, and Lionpaw. Then she turned to Pumakit. "Your mentor will be, Blackpelt." she called. Blackpelt rolled his eyes. Firepaw muttered something under his breath and shot Pumapaw a glare.
Pumapaw stood quietly beside her mentor. Blackpelt glared at her. "All right. First duty is mouse bile." Pumapaw nodded and went to the medicine cat den. She worked silently, ignoring Jaytail's barbed comments. She stood up when she was done and said, "Anything else?"
"Don't you take that tone with me!" Jaytail snapped, baring his teeth. "I could use some moss and fresh prey." he growled after a moment. "Right away" Pumapaw promised. She raced into the forst and started collecting moss. "What do you think you're doing?" Blackpelt asked, standing behind her. "I'm getting the elders some moss." Pumapaw said politely, struggling to keep calm.
Pumapaw slipped back into the elders den. "About time!" Jaytail croaked, sitting up. His mate, Cloverclaw, purred when Pumapaw entered. "Thank you" she mewed, taking some moss and thickening her nest. Pumapaw backed out and padded to Blackpelt. "What next?" she asked. "Oh, how about some fishing?" "I thought we don't fish." "Exactly Blackpelt smirked.
Pumapaw reentered camp at sun-down. She was soaking wet, had no prey with her, and hadn't had food all day. As she took a shrew, she heard Blackpelt purr, "Now, you didn't catch any prey so you don't get prey." Pumapaw placed the shrew back on the pile and slunk into the apprentice den.
"Oh no! You are not sleeping near me! You're soaking wet!" Lionpaw growled. "And she's a murderer!" Flamepaw added. "Yeah! Go away!" Leopardpaw snarled, shoving Pumapaw away from her. "Just leave our sight!" Tigerpaw hissed, unsheathing his claws.
"You wouldn't attack me! We're littermates!" "We were! Not anymore!" Tigerpaw growled. Blackpelt stuck his head in. "Pumapaw! No threatening! You can go fishing tomorrow too!" Pumapaw sighed and put some moss as far away from the other apprentices as she could, in the far corner. Laying down, she felt a cold breeze ruffle her fur. There was a hole in the side of the den. Pumapaw looked up at the stars. "Starclan, help me. Please."
Chapter 3-Pumapaw's POV
I opened my eyes. My denmates were smirking at something. I realized that I was sopping wet. A puddle of water was forming where I stood. I shook myself off. Leopardpaw purred with laughter as I tried to lick it off. "Blech!" I shrieked. "Mouse bile" Tigerpaw choked, rolling in his nest.
Lionpaw stood there awkwardly. Flamepaw laughed and shoved by. I padded out of the den, biting back a wail. I was sick of my clanmates treating me like dirt because I had "killed" my father. Did I kill him? I thought to herself. No, of course not my little Puma. I bit back a screech. Only my father had called me Puma.
Padding to the prey pile, I reached for a squirrel, but then pulled back when I saw Blackpelt glare at me. "Like I said, no prey until you catch prey." He frowned. "Then teach me how to hunt!" I growled. "Okay. Let's go." Blackpelt hissed.
We padded along the riverbank until we reached a little clearing. Blackpelt nodded and said, "Here is fine." I watched him out of the corner of my eye. I didn't trust him. "The first prey you will learn to hunt is fish." Glancing down at the water, I felt a flash of fear. That was the water my father died in.
"No go into the water, and grab a fish." Blackpelt smirked. I winced and took a step back. "No. Get in!" Blackpelt growled, shoving me intothe water. I could feel the current tugging me downstream, but I dug my claws into the mud and hung on.
Fish flurried around me, but eachtime I lifted my paw, or tried to bite one, they would swim away and I would unbalance and topple against the bank. Blackpelt snickered and flicked his tail. "No leaving until you catch a fish." I growled and faced the water again.
The day crept into dusk, and I was still in the water. Blackpelt had long since left, and there was no fish on the bank. I heard someone walk up behind me, ad I stiffened. "What are you doing on the border?" A cold voice asked. I glanced up and saw a dark tabby she-cat, her fur bristling.
"Hi. I'm Pumapaw. My mentor told me to catch a fish." I stammered, flicking my soaking wet tail. The she cat leaped out of the way as shining drops of water flew off my tail onto her pelt. "Well, my name is Shrewpaw. I'm a RiverClan cat. I can tell from your stench that you're ThunderClan."
"oh, I smell? Give yourself a wash for once in your life!" I snapped, turning my back on her. Shrewpaw blinked, then grabbed a fish, killed it, and threwit at me. "There. Now get out of the lake and go home." I climbd out of the water and shook myself off. Shrewpaw hissed, and dove into the water.
I padded to camp, knowing what was going to happen. Sure enough, when I entered the camp Blackpelt strode ove to me, his tail lashing. "Wow," he smirked loudly, so everyone in the camp could hear. "A fish. How filling and ThunderClan worthy. I told you to go hunting, not to go play in the lake all day! You are a disgrace to ThnderClan!"
I dropped the fish and opened my mouth to argue, but Blackpelt wasn't done." "And, you will have no prey tonight as punishment, if of course, it's okay with you Squirrelstar?" Squirrelstar thought for a moment, then said, "I personally think she needs the strength, but she's your apprentice." Blackpelt dipped his head, then told me, "Go to your den." I backed away, then slunk into my nest, exausted. I closed my eyes.
Chapter 4-Flamepaw's POV
I growled and turned away from Pumapaw as she came in. She killed my brother! I thought furiously, unsheathing my claws and digging them into my mossy nest. She would pay for it. Feigning kindness, I called, "Pumapaw! How about I go hunting with you?"
She turned toward me, eyes fill of disbelief. And they were hollow. Like no one actually cared about her. Not anymore. She spoke. Four simple words.
"I don't trust you." And you shouldn't, not after what you did!
Instead, I pretended to be hurt. "You don't trust me? Now I'm sad."
She hesitated, then nodded. Suddenly she said, "You can kill me if you want. Everyone would celebrate. I don't even know why the Clan keeps me here."
I don't either, and I wish they wouldn't.
I nodded. "Let's go." She followed me out to the forest.