This is the first book in the Wishspirit Series!
A dark grey tom gently opened his mouth before leaning down gently, where a pile of three sparrows were sitting gently. He lowered his face, curled up his lip, stretched his jaw wider than I had ever known a jaw could possibly stretched, and attacked the poor, dead sparrows.
There was a silent moment, before he pulled his face back up, nothing remaining on it, but small scraps of blood and feathers plucked of the prey.
It looked exactly like the state of our poor Clan.
And it was because of what stood before me. I had named him Sagestar, after the plant which was supposed to heal not hurt, although I don't know what his real name is.
Sagestar is either the most evil, greedy, stupid or hungry cat the forest has ever seen. In fact, I am willing to bet he qualifies under all of those categories.
Looking around me, the stomachs of my Clanmates are hollow, and sharp bones peak forcefully out of them, threatening to cut through their pelts.
My gaze gently turns back up to plump, fat, Sagestar who has a master grin on his face, proud that he was able to devour so much food, in such a swift movement.
He forces us to come watch him break records of how quickly he can eat at once, and how much his stomach can hold, but a voice in me tells me that the Clan would come to watch anyways.
It's not like they had much better to do. And the scent of prey would be a reward if nothing else.
I came too; and I wasn't sure if it was only because such was being forced upon me. It felt like I had to know what was going on in my home, even if it may just be a fat, old cat trying to devour as much food as he can while the rest of his Clan starves.
I don't know how many young kits, queens, elders and even warriors or apprentices have died in the past twelve moons since I have become an apprentice.
And the saddest part is that I don't think Sagestar even knows that a single cat died. All we are to him are cats who have to bring him several pieces of prey each day, and pick the forest clean of whatever prey remains in this harsh season of leaf bare.
Somehow, I have managed to survive. I get the occasional pangs of hunger but its strange to me how little pain I feel, and how my bones are hardly visible under my starry pelt.
All the cats have looks of disgust on their face as Sagestar's trio of muscular and hard-working, but well-fed warriors flicks their tails, indicating that we are free to go.
As the cast paddle away I walk past Brambleberry, a tabby brown she-cat whose stomach looks far too plump for the season and the leader we are ruling under.
It takes me a few moments to realize that she is expecting kits.
It should be something for the Clan to celebrate and get excited for, and to be anticipated by all. A shine of hope, a chance of good fortune.
But even Brambleberry seems distraught.
Her eyes are weary and it is obvious she is already worrying for her unborn kits. I don't doubt they will die within their first half-moon in the clan. They don't stand a chance.
She gets a few supportive licks from the rest of the queens, all of whom seem to immediately understand that she has kits on the way.
I let out a soft sigh, not following the rest of the cats to their den, but instead deciding to head outside, and get some fresh-air if nothing else.
I have no friends in the clan; less than the average warrior who only has a few friends. With prey so scarce it is each cat for themselves. Apprentices have mentors, but they aren't taught anything except for how to respect Sagestar above all else, and the queens as well as elders are left to fend for themselves, get their own prey and care for their own kits, fighting all the competition.
But the Clan still has some hope and that comes from the stars that shine so brightly in the sky. Cats tell tales of strong, wonderful cats who live there.
I personally don't believe in them. Instead, I believe in fate.
Because legendary sky warriors would be more noble than to give us Sagestar and such oppression, hunger and disaster. Legendary sky warriors would try to help us regain our Clan and our honor. Legendary sky warriors wouldn't leave us for dead.
But fate would.
And it appeared that it was exactly what fate had chosen to do. No cat even thinks about trying to fight back against Sagestar when I doubt he could stand much of a chance.
He is fat, lazy and incredibly slow. Killing him should be no big deal.
But something is wrong with my world.
A lot of things are.
I have seen badgers running from mice, mice retreating to rabbit holes, and the day never seems to be right. You can never know when it will rain, snow or hail, or if there will be a bright huge moon, or a small one.
I have learned to take nothing for granted.
I don't think I would be surprised if I just dropped dead for no apparent reason as I gently paddled out of camp. It had happened to several cats before.
And I don't think I would be the slightest bit disappointed or anguished that fate had actually decided to be a little kind to me for a change.
The moon is bright, shinning fully, although moments before I could see sunlight littering into the floor of the camp, I have come to call home.
My head gently turns to the stars, and a full moon, something incredibly rare, as I let out a low breath, before turning my head back to the dark ground and continuing to paddle.
My ears could almost fill in the noises of a critter chirping or twigs snapping under the heavy step of prey, even though I knew they probably weren't there anyways.
It wouldn't be right to expect them to be.
My nose gently picks up a very fresh badger scent, but it isn't very new to me. Badgers are very heavily located around our territory and so we run into them a lot.
Which, if one could imagine, was exactly what our clan needed.
But this time, the scent is sharped than usual and I gently turn my head up to see a badger prowling, just a little further off and gently caught my breath.
But the badger must have heard for it gently veered around, before its eyes widened at the sight of me and it let out a loud roar, which I could tell as it gently flexed its jaws.
My stomach caught in my throat and I squeezed my deep blue eyes together tightly before letting them open again, my stomach thrashing wildly.
In a quick movement, before I could make mine, the badger leaped onto me, its teeth pulled into a snarl, and bowled me over, fighting exactly like a cat might.
A great way to explain the whole of my life.
I had never been taught how to properly fight, so I was rather helpless in a fight against a badger. But, I still knew how to thrash and swipe my claws furiously at the creature, making it clear I wouldn't be taken down without a fight.
Although that would probably be much easier.
The badger stretched it jaws again, indicating that it had let out another loud roar. Letting out a muffled cry, I swiped my unsheathed claws at it again, before it finally loosened its grip and let go momentarily.
I took advantage of the distraction, pushing myself up to my paws and pounding away, my footsteps slamming against the grassy territory of my Clan.
It was the one thing I had never came up with a name for. I had scetched many, including GrassClan, BriarClan, NightClan, and even SageClan, wondering is Sagestar would have decided it would be a good idea.
Not that his real name is Sagestar.
I'm not really sure why. Maybe I felt it didn't really deserve a name. Or maybe I thought the memories of what it once may have been were too noble to give it a title in this world.
It could have been a combination of the two.
My Clan was just something I couldn't take as lightly as everything else. I made up names for the rest of my Clanmates, since I didn't know them and for the different areas of camp.
I was born knowing the names of several things, such as prey, other animals, landscapes and things that every living should be able to know.
The rest I have no idea how to obtain.
My feet continued to slam against the grass, and since I was unable to hear anything, I had to crane my head, turning it aroudn to see that the badger was in pursuit of me.
And it was catching up quickly.
My mind raced as I made a sharp turn and circled around a tree. A loud part of me was telling me to lead the badger back to camp, where the clan would have to deal with it, unless they wanted to be killed.
And I really didn't have a logical reason not to take that path.
But somehow, I found my paws leading me away from camp, and towards the pond, that was on the furthest border of it, where I knew there was no hope of being found or helped.
For a moment I wasn't sure why I made that choice.
Maybe I felt a scrap of sympathy for my clanmates.
Maybe I was eager to prove to myself that I was different from Sagestar, and not nearly as greedy or self-centered, not willing to think about anyone else.
Maybe I was a good cat.
Although I would have liked to pretend it was any of them, I knew better myself.
It was because I didn't care if the badger killed me.
My life was an endless turn of horrible leaders,nature which had no patterns of sense and constant disaster with no explanation.
Maybe if I did believe in the sky warriors then I would see hope. I would see a chance that everything just may be fixed and life may go on.
But I didn't.
Because, if they did exist-which I highly doubted-then they obviously didn't care for this clan anymore. They thought we were a peaceful place gone wrong.
With no fixing.
Every night I went to my nest and fell asleep wishing that everything would be fixed. That one day I could have a mate and kits and not worry about anything.
But I knew that none of them would come true.
The only wishes that came true were the ones that Sagestar made of us to catch him more prey for the day. None of the other ones survived.
I soon understood that the badger had turned as well, to follow me as I gently shut by eyes, feeling it gaining closer and closer on me, its breath against my back.
And as I took my final breaths I decided to make a last wish, before I died, and let it be one that had a chance of becoming true.
I wished that the the sky warriors were real. And that I would join them in a peaceful world with no flaws or disasters. And that, maybe, I could convince them that Sagestar wasn't nearly as strong as he seemed.
And the Clan could return to a supportive and peaceful one, even if I never got to see it.
And suddenly, I went from not caring about dying to almost wanting it, in case my wish actually became real. In case it actually found the stars and made their way back to me.
As I felt fierce badger claws piercing my pelt, I didn't let out a loud shriek like I had imagined I might. Instead, a soft sigh escaped from my body, as did the greatest wish of my life, as I gently let it soar to the sky, making its way up the dark, but starry night.
What I hoped might be my first surviving wish.
When I opened my eyes, I didn't meet stars but instead a shinning bright sun, forcing its way under my eyelids as I tried to blink it back.
I was alive.
I scrambled up to my paws, to find several scraps of fur and blood lying on them. Turning my head aside I see the dead body of a badger.
The one that was chasing me.
But I know that I didn't kill it. And at what was just the nighttime, clan cats wouldn't be wandering. Even if they were, they would have no reason to stop and help me. It was all so strange and made so little sense. I tried to remember what happened after the claws met my pelt, but couldn't recall anything.
As I searched through my brain I found that I did actually remember one thing. A color of green so deep, I almost felt myself getting lost in it.
What happened to me?
Shaking my head, I decided I should just be grateful that I was still standing. None of my wishes would survive anyways, and it was a foolish thought to think that one might.
It was foolish to think that a single thing in her life might possibly go right.
I forced myself to stay steady as I rose to my paws, brushing off the specks of badger fur and blood as I realized that it could actually be eaten.
It was far too large for me to eat on my own, but I decided to take what I had to before bringing the best back to camp for Brambleberry, who I was sure might appreciate it.
The meat was sticky and hard, but it was food, and it was meat. Most of the time, the Clan would have to live off plants while Sagestar hogged the rest.
I turned my head back up to the sky where stars had once stood. Where I had once sent a wish flying, in hoped that it might reach someone.
It was strange how I felt safer in the night, then I did during the day. Stars had a strange, hopeful effect on me that the sun did not.
When I was done chewing up as much of the badger as my stomach could hold, I gripped its leg in my jaw and began to drag it back to camp, which was silent as usual.
When I entered the warriors' den, which I technically shouldn't be allowed in, but went into freely anyways because there were no cats with the energy to discipline apprentices, all of the warriors quickly turned to me, a combination of hunger, begging and curiosity on their faces.
Brambleberry was sitting in the edge of the den, and all of the warriors watched me with their eyes, as I felt my pelt burning fiercely.
The tabby brown she-cat turned her head towards me, when I gently placed the dead badger in front of her. For a moment their was silence before she opened her muzzle and gently meowed.
I didn't need to hear her to know how sincere, dear and grateful her thank you is. Her eyes say it all, as she lowers herself and attacks the badger.
The den was silent, or at least, I assume it must have been, because when I turned around and began to leave the den not a single cat was speaking.
If their stomachs were growling, filling up the silence, then that was a different story.
I tried to remind myself that I was not responsible for the whole Clan, but the looks they gave me caused my insides to rot with guilt as I forced my head to look away.
I gently paddled into the apprentice den which was oddly empty, but then, everything in my life was odd, so nothing really managed to surprise me.
Paddling over to the first damp, wet and gross nest that I could find, i curled up and tried to shut out the other noises of the night as I drifted into an uneasy sleep.
I felt a gaze burning through my pelt, and tried to force my eyes shut in hopes of being able to ignore them. I used to fear them, think they were someone trying to hunt me down, but after so many moons I know differently.
They are just a little eerie and annoying, and appear to be seeking too much attention, and apparetly like to invade my personal space.
I've tried chasing after the eyes before but their owner is fast and is gone before I can even exit my den, and so I have learned that nothing can be done about them.
Which is a shame, really, considering how deeply they annoy me.
And they always seem to know when I am the most deeply troubled. Like when I watched a pair of kits dying all at the same moment while their hungry mother dug away at the only piece of prey she had caught, too hungry to even notice her wailing kits, about to die of starvation, or the time when Sagestar called the clan for a meeting and I had no idea what he was saying but from the shocked expressions of the cats around me I knew it was bad, although I would never learn what he had revealed. Or like at that moment when I felt like the weight of the well-being of the whole Clan had just been placed on my shoulders because I had fought a badger.
Which really shouldn't have been the case.
They are a deep green, further in depth than the forest and as I felt them resting on my sily white pelt I felt a strong resemblance between it and something else.
But I couldn't quite figure it out.
I forced myself up to my paws, as the sun still shone through camp. There was no telling what would be going on outside of camp, the only thing which actually had a routine:
Watch Sagestar eating.
Watch others starve.
The rest was a wild blur, which was very hard to make out, and I doubted I could ever understand. But maybe it was best that I didn't. Sometimes, I wonder if understanding what caused everything to be this way, why and how it all ended up, would only make it harder to accept.
I think it really depends on what the answer is.
Brambleberry is sitting at the entrance to camp, grooming herself gently, while her stomach is even larger than before. It won't be long before she has kits.
But there are no medicine cats to help her giving birth. Only the really lucky queens have their kits survive the escape from their stomach, and I don't think any have reached the age of a warrior yet.
I should probably be a warrior now, but Sagestar is far too lazy and busy eating prey to worry about having warrior ceremonies. I feel a pang of resentment towards him flash through me as I gently paddle up to Brambleberry who gives me a soft lick.
She begins to murmur about something and I am not sure if it is her thanking me again or talking about her kits which are soon to come, but I nod my head like I understand.
The Clan doesn't know about my hearing disability and I prefer that it stays that way. I don't know what Sagestar woudl do if he found out.
Although he doesn't care much about his Clan, it could be a reason for him to kick me out. Not for any good reason, but just to prove the power he has.
How wonderfully he has corrupted a once noble clan.
And the lives of all those who belong in it.
When I returned from my hunt for berries the clan was bustling with action, cats scrambling around. Sagestar as his servants were nowhere to be seen, but something was obviously going on.
I saw Shimmerspeck, a former medicine cat who had to become a warrior once she no longer got fed for her service, rushing into the warriors' den, carrying a patch of herbs in her jaw, looking frantic to catch up to something... or someone. She was carrying borage leaves, and a couple slipped from her jaw as she ran.
I gently walked over to the leaves, picking several up, before following her into the warriors' den where all the cats were crowded around something.
As I came closer into sight, I realized that in was Brambleberry, panting heavily, while Shimmerspeck worked her way towards the she-cat and gently fed her the leaves she had brought.
Brambleberry was kitting!
I felt energy coursing through my body, as I shoved through the warriors all surrounding the she-cat, as she heaved, while Shimmerspeck whispered soft words of encouragement into her ears.
Everything appeared even more silent than usual to me, something I never knew to be possible as Brambleberry sucked in deep breaths.
Minutes later a small bundle of fur was lying on the ground quickly followed by one more. Brambleberry let out a loud sigh of relief, while the clan watched the two little kittens proudly.
I felt a small bud of warmth growing in me, as one of the older warriors, Thornbush, gently approached the kittens and began to lick them softly, while Shimmerspeck took the other.
For that, single, moment we were really a clan.
And then one of Sagestar's guards entered the den and began to shout orders at the cats, who all jumped up and rushed out of the den, abandoning the squealing kits.
I sighed softly.
We had been a Clan for a split moment, until Sagestar came and ruined it. So what would happen if Sagestar left? Could they become a Clan again?
It almost sounded true god to be true.
But a part of me knew it was. Sagestar was the reason that everything had gone so wrong in the clan. Maybe he couldn't control the moon and the sun, and the unexplained activity around me that I seem to be the only one to get worried about, but would that really matter with a Clan to look after you?
A real Clan.
I gave the kits a longing glance before turning around to head out of the den, and watch Sagestar swallow whatever we had agreed to catch for him, but as I did my eyes caught that of Brambleberry.
The relief in them had disappeared and was now replaced by a look of horror.
I felt guilt nagging at me, and finally decided that there was no way Sagestar would really patrol that all cats had came. He was far too lazy to bother.
I gave her a reluctant nod, and turned away from the exit, back to the kits, and softly began to lick the one that Shimmerspeck had abandoned while Brambleberry licked the other one, not opening her jaw once to say something at me, although her eyes shinned with gratitude.
The kit I was licking had a black and white tabby coat with amber eyes while the other one was a tortoiseshell with beady black eyes. No one could have ever guessed that they were siblings, if they saw the two kits playing together.
I was already starting to feel a strong urge to protect the kittens, no matter what the cost. I had given up a badger, and was now risking the possibility of getting in trouble with Sagestar just to look after them.
And they were so sweet, so innocent, they made it worth it.
I felt myself being dragged by a gruff warrior, one of Sagestar's cats as the scrawny gray leader eyes me cautiously, his whiskers twitching.
I felt my pelt itching miserably, as I shut my eyes and tried to block him out, however, it wasn't possible due to his breath which smelled like mice, fish and rabbits.
The only prey left in the forest.
He whispered something gently into my ear, and I pretended to understand what he was saying by ducking my head nervously. It wasn't hard to guess he was scolding me for not coming to watch him eat.
He growled something loudly, and I dipped my head further, pretending to be deeply ashamed by what I had done.
It all felt wrong, as he paced back and forth, and I assumed he was trying to come up with a proper punishment for me, mumbling angrily.
Finally, he sighed and turned to face me, babbling away too quickly for me to guess what he was saying. But I nodded anyways, pretending that I understood.
After a while, he finally flicked his tail, towards the exit to camp his eyes cruel and harsh. I felt my heart squeeze and I shut my eyes.
He wasn't really kicking me out of the Clan now, was he?
I may not have liked it, and certainly not the leader, but I couldn't imagine any life besides that in my Clan. What would I do? Where would I go?
Just because I didn't watch him get prey.
He gave me a nod, before his guards, fiercely pushed me, as he were far too great to spend another moment speaking with me about anything.
I just fought hard tears, as I gently paddled out of camp, wondering what had become of my life, just while trying to help a queen care for her kits.
It was strange that Brambleberry hadn't got in trouble as well, but even if I could speak and understand what Sagestar was saying I wouldn't have dared to bring up the queen or her kits.
Brambleberry was standing outside the warriors' den, her two kits at her paws, and she quickly locked eyes with me for a moment.
They were still, before they widened in horror, as she realized where I was being sent. I gave her a sad shrug and began to paddle faster as I felt myself being shoved by one of the guards again.
And this had been because of her kits.
But I didn't find myself regretting it. I had lost all my innocence to Sagestar, and maybe it was best that they kept theirs as long as they could.
I pulled into a hunting crouch before leaping at the mouse. Like always, due to a lack of training, I missed and had to chase it several times around a tree, before I finally pounced again and had it secured in my jaws.
I gently sat down and began to chew my mouse. It had been a few sunrises since Sagestar kicked me out of the clan for not watching him wolf down prey. When I think back, it actually sounds a little stupid and I can't help wondering if I misunderstood.
But it wasn't like he could have been signalling at anything else.
Within moments, without warning I can feel all the light fading and the sun suddenly fading into a moon, alongside the darkening sky as it becomes night within a few moments.
None of it made any sense.
But knowing that it would not be wise to fight against nature, I decided that as soon as I was done eating I would go to sleep.
For however long the sun decided to stay down anyways.
"Welcome, Wishpaw," I heard a faint voice whisper.
I was quiet for a moment before gasping, "I... can hear you!"
"Yes you can," a white she-cat with black spots stepped out from beneath a tree, her pelt even starrier than mine, her eyes sparkling wildly.
"But how?" I asked, my throat a little dry.
"This isn't real," she whispered, "I am a warrior of StarClan, or, as you know us, the sky warriors. I have been watching over you since the moment you were born."
"Why?" I asked, feeling so free to be able to express myself as I pleased, without any disabilities to hold me back. Hearing, although I had just experienced it, appeared to be such a great gift.
"You aren't an ordinary cat, as you know," the cat whispered, "And this isn't an ordinary world you live in. Something went wrong not too long ago to turn it all around."
"I knew it wasn't normal!" I exclaimed, almost with a little too excitement, before slowing myself down and turning to face her again, with a slight amount of worry but more curiosity, "What happened?"
"A wish that was never meant to be will destroy all in its wrath. Two small kits will be the cause of a path, while green must meet blue and white must meet black. The eyes must meet and face their new, darkened path."
"What?" I asked, shocked for a moment.
Only, when she began to repeat did I realize it was a prophecy.
"A wish that was never meant to be will destroy all in its wrath. Two small kits will be the cause of a path, while green must meet blue and white must meet black. The eyes must meet and face their new, darkened path."
"I'm still confused," I whispered softly.
"Soon you will understand," she promised, "Until then, try to interpret what you can. You will have to make a choice, that can mean the difference for your clan when you wake up," she quickly added, before I could open my jaw to speak some more while I still could.
"A choice?" I whispered softly, and she nodded.
"When do I have to wake up?" I asked her, feeling a longing sense to stay with her forever so that I could speak and hear what was going on.
And escape the world I knew for even longer.
"Now," she whispered, and before I could even remind her that I didn't know her name I felt the trees and stars, and the first cat whom I had actually spoken to fading away.
And just like that, she was all gone.
But her words were not.
The were still ringing loudly in my head.
I blinked my eyes open harshly, trying to fight the fierce light that was forcing their way underneath them. I didn't know how long I had been asleep and there was no way of really telling.
It almost seemed like the sun and moon relied on us to know what time it was more than we relied on it.
"A wish that was never meant to be will destroy all in its wrath. Two small kits will be the cause of a path, while green must meet blue and white must meet black. The eyes must meet and face their new, darkened path."
As the prophecy returned to my head I began to feel myself getting a little dizzy.
Almost as it on cue, I turned my head up to see two bundles of fur, scrambling around the large tree where I had caught my mouse, scared expressions on their faces, as they were obviously lost.
They were Brambleberry's.
The tabby one starred at me with wide open eyes for a moment as soon as it noticed me. It was quiet for a moment, before light reached its eyes and it began to scamper towards me, running quickly, as my head began to turn.
Their eyes were closed yesterday. They should not know how to walk... and they certainly shouldn't be strong enough to make it out here on their own...
But then, in my world, such a thing should be expected.
If I could speak I would have demanded what they were doing there. But I didn't know how to, and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to hear their response.
The tortoiseshell soon followed her sister as they left the tree and began to runs towards me.
These were certainly the ones. There were no other kits in the Clan, unless the strange cat was referring to badger kits or those of a loner, none of which I knew around the area.
So what did they have to do with me?
And what were they doing out of camp?
The tabby looked up at me with deep, watery eyes and meowed something I don't think I would have been able to make out. It was probably a cry for help.
They were lost.
I purred softly and gave the tabby she-cat a soft like while the tortoiseshell hung more shyly around the corner. But her eyes were welling with tears of fear, that she may never make it back to her Clan.
It's okay, I won't either, I thought with a sharp sympathy before I realized that I could show them their way back, if I wanted to.
If I wanted to.
But why shouldn't I? What reason did I have not to send them back to their mother who had milk, if they still needed it seeing how quickly they had grown in a day, and a Clan to look after them?
I almost snorted.
The Clan did such a poor job looking after them. Living among their Clanmates would make it harder for them to survive as opposed to easier.
I felt my mind gradually working towards something.
They were better away from the clan...
And maybe, if Brambleberry wasn't able to see it, I would have to do them the favor of keeping them away from my old Clan for her.
The tortoiseshell gently takes a few steps forward and joins her sisters side and I feel torn. I could give them a better life than their clan life, I was sure that I could. I knew how to hunt, and I could find them shelter, be a proper mentor to them...
But it wouldn't be fair to Brambleberry.
Brambleberry was a loving mother, though. She would want the best for her kits and knew how difficult it would be to raise kits while worrying about catching enough prey for Sagestar.
And so, perhaps, she would want this.
I surveyed them both closely. They were healthy kits and with a fair amount of nurture and care, they could grow to be very strong she-cats.
But they wouldn't get that care in my Clan.
And so, that was when I made my mind.
And I couldn't help wondering if I was doing what the prophecy wanted me to do or if I was ruining it by making this choice. I desperately hoped it wasn't the latter.
I carried a squirrel in my jaws, the moon hanging in the sky, as I advanced through the ferns and quickly slid into a small den I had made at the base of a tree where the two kits were waiting for me.
Their eyes lightened at the sight of prey and I purred graciously, as I handed it to them, and they began to wolf it down. I wondered if I should be worrying about the fact that they were already eating prey so quickly at such a young age; they were barely half a moon old.
Which was just as long as I had been caring for them.
I often got the feeling that they missed Brambleberry. Sometimes they would cry, and although I couldn't hear what they said I knew they were calling for Brambleberry.
And I felt so guilty each time I watched them.
But I tried to remind myself that this was better for them, and this would ensure they lives a better life and had a better future.
Still, I felt horrible about my choice.
And I couldn't help wondering what would happen if Brambleberry caught me. Each night I went to bed fretting that she would find her kits the next morning.
And than I have no idea what would happen to me.
I'd imagine that the next morning I would wake up in StarClan while the kits would wake up in my old Clan, and would begin to wonder why exactly they missed it so much.
And although they were the cause of worry and many nights with an empty stomach I truly appreciated their presence. Without them, I would probably be spending my whole days mopping.
Some days I even forgot that I was ever kicked out of the Clan.
And if I wasn't so busy, stressing myself about the well-being of the kits I don't think that it would be the case. I would probably spend my whole day mopping.
The only thing that still disturbed me were those eyes.
They were still green, but yet they seemed to penetrate through the bushes, the trees and the leaves. They were everywhere all at the same time.
According to the prophecy I was supposed to meet them.
And I did chase after them a few more times but they are fast and they are out of there before I could get close enough to even see the color of their pelt.
I wish things made a little more sense, in my world.
Everything didn't try as hard to hide as much from me.
And maybe that is another purpose the kits serve. They are the only things that I really know for sure at the moment. They need food and shelter, as well as fresh-air and some time to play.
It is hard, but I know what to do.
And I can't say that for most things in my life.
I don't know if they can speak yet, but I occasionally get the feeling that they have started to learn. They are slower than most cats, of course, but they must remember some speech from the Clan.
As soon as they are done with their squirrel the two kittens rush outside to practice some battle moves and I stiffle a purr. We have yet to run into any threats but yet all they can think about is battle.
They are true warriors at heart.
If only there was a Clan to raise them in.
Sunlight gently filtered the inside of our bramble den, as I blinked my eyes open and gently began to look around me, trying to take in my surroundings.
But instead of taking in what was in my surroundings I took in what wasn't.
I jumped out of my nest, checking again to make sure they weren't there, before exiting the den, and quickly glancing around to see if they were up early, playing around.
But they weren't.
Great StarClan, I lost them!
My heart thumped wildly as I whirled around, trying to calm myself over the missing kits.
They were almost a moon old, surely they would be able to find their way back...
But I couldn't stop myself from worrying. Already, I could feel myself being weighed down by a pile of guilt, and I gently squeezed my eyes shut.
What have I done? Taking them away from their mother? Trying to raise them on my own... This was such a mistake. How could I have been so stupid?
I was already beating myself up, unable to bring any mercy to the cat who had been the cause of two innocent kittens disappearing.
I swallowed hard.
Maybe they would have been better off in the Clan. Away from me. Because trouble seems to have a way of finding me and huting me down so mercilessly.
Why couldn't StarClan show any mercy?
I swallowed back hard tears and forced myself to concentrate on finding the kits, for that was what mattered. Chances are that they were still alive. They couldn't have gone far and as I gently sniffed I realized that I could pick up a fairly fresh scent coming.
But then... in my world nothing could be taken for granted.
They may have been eaten by a badger, attacked by one of Sagestar's cats or they could have even drowned in the lake near the edge of the territory.
Tears continued to try shoving their way through my eyes but I didn't let them come. I don't even remember crying in my whole life and I can't think of anything that would bring me to that point.
Even losing the kits.
I gently placed my nose in the grass, trying to detect which way they had left in. My nose was met with a jumble of scents before I finally decided to head the lake, from where the scent was the strongest.
I gently let my paws carry me towards the lake, my eyes stinging with the memories of the kits and my heart burning with pain.
Losing them had not been what I had in mind when I decided to start taking care of them to give them a better future. I had hoped that I could save them from Sagestar.
But it appeared I was only making their future worse.
The scent gradually began to fade as I came closer to the lake, which was strange. The more I followed it, the more stale it became. I realized it must be my world, messing everything up again, before I wondered if the whole scent trail wasn't even real and I was scenting something that didn't belong.
Suddenly, I felt my morale dripping as I wondered if I would ever find the kits.
The thought of is was numbing.
My pawsteps gradually increased as I came closer and closer to the lake, without picking up any sights of two little furballs running around playfully.
At least, that was what I was hoping to find.
As opposed to two lifeless bodies.
I hid my worry and took in deep, easy breaths, letting my pawsteps slow as the edge of the lake became in sight, shimmering playfully under the sunlight.
But there were no kits there, with eyes that sparkled playfully.
I sighed, wondering if I had actually been hoping that I may find them there. It would have been too simple for me to just find them there happily enjoying the lake.
Something would have to be wrong.
After all, I reminded myself, it was a world where Sagestar became leader.
And in a world like that, nothing should ever be expected to go right.
Or that meant something was desperately wrong.
Realizing that I was confusing myself a little, I decided to stop thinking about how unfairly difficult everything was and try to focus again.
Where could they have gone?
A large voice in the back of my head was blaring for a place that I never wanted to visit again. A place that I thought I had left behind forever.
A place I would only return to for the kits.
But not without making sure that it was absolutely necessary. Although a loud voice in me claimed that it certainly was, I decided to ignore it.
It would be my last resort.
I felt my breathing growing shallow and forced myself, again to concentrate.
Where might they be...
After a few long moment, when I realized that I couldn't really think of anywhere I decided to head back to where our den was an see if I could pick up another scent trail.
I turned around, after getting a quick drink from the lake.
I gently sniffed the air for a moment, looking at the sky again to make sure it was still the day, before I turned back towards where we had set up our den and began to run back.
Not here either...
I let out a low sigh, as I made a couple laps around the large oak tree. It had been several days since the two kittens went missing and now I was sure that something was wrong.
I felt my heart wrenching mercilessly and shut my eyes, trying to block out the pain.
And I felt a small voice whispering in my head.
"You know where they are?"
"Who is that?" I whirled around, trying to find the face of the cat who had spoken to me. The cat of whom I had been able to head.
But I saw nothing.
"It shouldn't matter who this is," the voice whispered again, "What matters is that you know what you need to do if you are that devoted to these kits. You know where you need to go."
"Are you sure they will be there?" I felt immense surprise as the words slipped from my mouth.
It felt even greater to talk outside of my dreams!
But it was hard to enjoy it at the moment.
"My Clan's camp..." I whispered gently...
"Exactly," the voice replied.
I was silent for a moment before I realized that the StarClan warrior had decided that was all they were going to say. I had to return to camp.
I didn't really have a choice.
But as I turned around my deep blue eyes caught a pair of green ones and my heartbeat completely stopped for several long moments as we locked eyes.
Was he the one who spoke to me?
But the was no way I could tell, as the stared through a leafy bush. I couldn't even make out the color of his pelt or how large he was.
And I knew what would happen if I tried to approach him.
Besides, I had more pressing matters at the moment, such as the fate of two young kits, who depended on my courage to return to my dreaded Clan to save them.
I begin to wonder if they are more trouble then they are worth.
Then I snap the thought out of my head, and remind myself how useful they had made me feel. How well they had consumed all of my thoughts and left no room for me to spend my day mopping. How they could smile and make me feel, for a slight moment that everything was okay, just by the innocence in their eyes.
I may have taken them in thinking, when I first took them in, that I was doing them a favor, protecting them from Sagestar and the rest of the clan.
But in all reality, they were doing me the favor.
I had just been to blind to realize it. Maybe I spent too much time obsession over how I was deaf that I never stopped to question my other senses.
Either way, I had no time at the moment to do so.
I had to save the kits.
My pawsteps are light and gentle, as I squeeze my eyes shut, willing myself to breath normally. The entrance to camp is empty and unguarded like always.
This should be pretty easy, as long as I don't have absolutely horrible timing and end up coming right when Sagestar was eating, or right before he did.
Looking at my luck, that would probably be the case.
But before I could enter the camp, I felt my a small tuft of fur getting stuck between my claws and gently lifted my pad, examining it for a moment.
I immediately recognized the fur as the two kittens, and a combination of a tabby brown cat's fur. I look at it closely for a moment before I am struck by a load of terror.
She had been near their kits... and she probably picked up their scent on me...
My throat tightened and I began to pace back and forth quickly, now debating if I should enter camp or not. If Brambleberry was there, and she recognized me as well as what I had done.
But that wasn't what sacred me the most, to be honest with myself.
It was the thought that the kits might not want to return to me.
My mind spun wildly, and I finally decided to wander around the outside of camp a bit and see if they ever decided to leave, and return to me.
Although I knew that wasn't the case.
I turned my head gently to the side, and what I saw caused my throat to dry all over again and my head to throb uncontrollably.
I began to dash towards the two kits, who had horrorstruck looks in their eyes as they faced a mighty large tom, with unsheathed claws.
But as I came closer and closer, running for their lives, I realized that the tears that had stained their faces weren't because their lives were being threatened.
It was because Brambleberry's limp body was lying on the ground before them.
I instinctively wrapped my tail around the two kits, barring my teeth at the cat who was threatening them and who had killed their mother.
I didn't know what had happened, why they were meeting her, and how long it had been going on, but at the moment I had more pressing matters to worry about.
I could question it all later.
Sagestar's cat gently squinted his eyes for a moment, studying me closely before they flashed with recognition and he remembered who I was.
His eyes widened in a slight shock, and taking advantage of the distraction I leaped onto him, baring my teeth and with unsheathed claws. I had never fought a real battle, except for the occasional defense against badgers and foxes which showed up a lot in our territory.
But if I didn't fight then, and improvise a little, I realized that the kits would probably be killed, something I couldn't afford to allow happening.
I would protect them with my dying breath.
And if I died, then at least I would get to find joy in StarClan where I would at least know that I can speak and listen as freely as a pleased.
A world without the troubles of mine.
For a moment he was caught of guard as he was tossed onto the muddy ground and rolled over several times while I jumped off him, but he didn't take long to recover.
Soon he was back on his paws with a grand look of malice in his eyes as he glared at me for a moment before unsheathing his claws so that they shinned under the sunlight.
We locked eyes for several long moments, and although I couldn't hear it, I could feel my heart beating loudly, as I felt the horrid gaze of the two kits on my pelt, and I swallowed hard.
If they watched him kill me ruthlessly, like he probably would be able to, and somehow managed to survive the rest of their lives would be haunted with the nightmares of these moments. I began to debate if it was a better idea to run away and assure that we would all remain intact, when he leaped on me forcefully.
I had named him Fierceclaw, and not without reason. The tabby ginger tom was a strong and muscular cat, and soon had me bowled over as I struggled under his massive weight.
For several long moments as I panted I debated if I should just give up, when I caught a glimpse of the scared yet hopeful expressions on the two she-kits' faces.
They were counting on me.
And I knew that I would never be able to let them down.
Sucking in a deep breath, I let my body go limp. Fierceclaw obviously thought he won, because he released his grip and I could see the kits starring at me in worry.
I forced my muscles to stay limp.
He finally let go of his grip and lifted and unsheathed claw. It glimmered dangerously under the light. I squeezed my eyes shut for several long moments, as he held his paw in the air.
Just as he brought down his claws, I found myself slipping under his body, as his claws missed me by a fraction of a mousetail.
He tried to tighten his grip on me again, but I had already slipped out of it, and quickly around before he could pounce on me again, striking at him with my claws.
Blood began to well around his cheek where her claws had left a scar that would be sure for at least another moon, before it faded away.
He snarled at me, baring his teeth again, and I gave the kits a quick glance as I realized that they had wide looked of horror in their eyes.
Forcing myself to continue I faced Fierceclaw again.
My mind was spinning, trying to realize if there was a way I could stun him long enough to run away with the kits with a large enough head start that he wouldn't be able to catch up.
But at the moment my mind was completely blank.
He leaped at me again, but this time I managed to dodge his sharp claws, and quickly ran under him so that his claws reached the rough grass I had been standing on.
He opened his mouth and began to snarl. I could tell he was trying to say something, probably threaten me, but I realized it probably didn't matter.
Unless he was giving up.
And I really didn't see that happening.
The kits must have understood what he was saying because their eyes widened and they quickly scampered behind me, probably scarred of whatever threat he had made.
I wondered if I should have been grateful that I didn't here what he was saying.
He leaped at me again, and this time, instead of running I met his claws midair, toppling over to the ground with him. We rolled around for a little while, while I nimbly avoided his teeth and claws.
My fighting abilities were surprising me. I hadn't been expecting to put up a fight so long, and it seemed like we were even at the moment.
That was until he landed on top of me, securing his grip yet again and he slashed with his claws across my face. I felt their harsh sting and forced my eyes closed, trying to block out the pain.
When I opened them again I felt another pair of claws coming at me, and tried to maneuver my head out of the way without any success.
Closing my eyes yet again, I waited for another pair of claws which came quickly followed by another pair, until I realized he was trying to claw me to death.
Is this going to be how my life will end?
After a few moment I realized that another pair of claws wasn't coming. I forcefully blinked my eyes open as I realized that they weren't coming.
But I didn't meet the deathly gaze of Fierceclaw but instead I noticed two balls of fur, scratching his legs and driving him off me with such determination.
I purred in a combination of amusement and relief, blinking blood out of my eyes, as the two kits drove the mighty warrior off me and I quickly jumped to my paws.
Before I could rush to their aid, however, he had managed to pin them both down, and was holding a pair of claw to their necks, in a way that could kill them with a slight movement.
I swallowed hard as I felt myself sweating heavily, and my heartbeat growing faster, the realization of what he was about to do dawning upon me.
And I couldn't move to save them, for that would only cause him to kill them even faster.
StarClan, please, if you hear me, do something...
And they must have.
Because at that moment, a black tom with a shimmering pure pelt burst out of the bushes behind them and leaped onto Fierceclaw before he had any time to react bowling him over.
The cat was small, probably the same age as me, but he was strong and Fierceclaw struggled under him. I knew to take advantage of the distraction, quickly running up to the kittens and helping them to their paws, before quickly pushing them away, trying to get them as far away from camp as quickly as I can.
Before disappearing through the bushed that the strange cat had jumped out of I quickly turned to him, wanting to thank him with my glance, as we met eyes.
Deep green eyes.
The ones that had been haunting me for seasons.
I felt something prodding my side and grumbled softly as I woke my eyes to find the two kittens starring at me, their eyes wide with curiosity.
I purred gently and licked them with amusement when I realized that there was another pair of eyes on my pelt. Familiar eyes.
I turned around to see the same black cat who had saved us, his green eyes shimmering like usual.
"Hello," he whispered, "It's nice to finally meet you Wishpaw."
I was so surprised that I didn't even bother to ask how he knew my name.
I could hear him.
And better yet, I discovered I could respond. And I knew exactly what the first words I said to the strange cat who had saved the kits' lives would be.
"Who are you?"