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For Zaffie's contest!--LeopardkitSunClan Forever! 23:42, November 11, 2010 (UTC)

Prologe

They called it The Cliff. The place where all whom had given up always found a home. Or a quiet, slow death. But that's what they wanted. An end to what they had seen, experience, done. Some were outcasts, some were spoiled and demeaning. Others, well, some didn't know why they were here. But, they always ended up at The Cliff.

Some cats thought it wasn't real. Just a tale to scare kits with. Some cats believed it was there. Others didn't know what this mysterious place was. But it was there. But only for those who didn't want it.

The Cliff was really a plain, a frozen field. But towards the end of the snowy terrain, was a cliff, a drop towards a seemingly endless bottom, the ground hidden between the ever lasting misty fog. Some cats had jumped off, not wanting to remain in suck a hopeless place. Others had fallen, intend on hunting scrawny mice, or fighting over the warmest den. Many cold-hearted cats pushed off enemies when they weren't looking. It was just that; A fall. No scream, no wail of agony when you reach the bottom. That's it.

Unknown to new arrivals, many cats inhabit The Cliff. They don't make themselves noticeable, don't cause trouble. That was the unwritten rule in this lawless land. The cats quietly lived their lives, hunting alone, not meeting the others around. Except for the ones who defied the law.

The survivors lived in an stone cave, with a line of paw prints leading up from it. Oddly, only these prints didn't dissapear in the snow. Perhaps it was because, in this strange land, these cats were so different, nature's forces wouldn't cover them. The cats had a kind of aura around them; with lively spirits, emotions of all kinds. They didn't have the same sunken eyes as the normal cats, the feelings of numbness they felt. These cats alone stood a chance of living. They wouldn't end up as the bony skeletons covered in flurring snow outside. They were real in this land of dream.

Chapter One- Banana

(AN:I put a Hunger Games mini quote in there! See if you can find it! First book, {BTW UPDATE: Sparrowfeather got it! The prize: A virtual cookie! OMS]).

The snow kept falling, settling in Banana's patchy fur. It couldn't be this cold! Banana thought nervously. It was so warm just a moon ago... But the weather didn't seem to listen. Besides, he knew what this place was like, it wasn't like home. An eternal winter. Maybe the snow might stop now. But in his heart, Banana knew it wasn't true. There must be layers of snow. Only the scraggly dark branches of pine trees stuck out of the ever growing mass of white coating the ground. His paws felt numb with exhaustion and the cold. Banana felt like just collapsing, give up. He knew where he was. This fearsome, dark land where cats who have nothing left for end up. He had heard depressing tales of this haunted place, but nearly everyone dismissed them as legends to scare young kits with. Now, Banana believed everyone of them. Every miniscule detail was true, from the lonely existence, to the ever falling blizzard. This was The Cliff.

Banana's legs gave up. He fell to the freezing ground. He couldn't get up if he even wanted too. This is an okay place to die, he thought. As he was closing his eyes for what he believed to be the last time, he focused on paw prints. A long line of them, not made by him. Maybe the led line went to other cats, or even better, a way out. It didn't occur to him it might be a trap, but if it was, Banana wouldn't care. This was the last glimmer of hope he held on to. If it led to death, well, bring it on. He wasn't afraid. He would choose death over further existence in this miserable world.

Far down the path of paw prints, Banana was growing exhausted. No way the path could be this long! His paws were sore from exhaustion, pain in every step. His pace kept slowing down, until he was hardly moving. His eyes flickered up, and in the hazing distance, he saw a cave. A thin opening inside a cluster of heavy boulders. The thin line of paw prints ended here. He could pick up the scent of many cats. Banana wrinkled his nose. He wasn't used to the scents of so many cats. He had only once lived with his mother and litter mates as a young kit. The whiff was unsettling. He didn't like the idea of being outnumbered, but what choice did he have?

"Hello?" Banana mewed as he poked his head through the entrance uncertainly. Cats hissed in the dark corners of the hollow. One figure leaped out, claws unsheathed. He felt sharp pain on his side that he weakly pawed at.

"No- Don't want- want- to hurt- you..." Banana feebly pleaded.

"Let go!" A firm voice rang in the darkness. He felt his attacker being lifted off of him. Banana scrambled to his paws, panting. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness.

He saw many cats in the dimly lit cave. His attacker had retreated to the other side of the den. The cat who had just spoken stepped out. A small, older-looking tom, with tabby brown fur and a scar here and there. "Are you new?" he demanded. Banana nodded. The tabby then addressed the others. "He made it. He's different. One of us," he hesitated. "I supposed."

"How can we accept a new member!" another cat demanded. She stepped out into the better light and Banana had to suppress a gasp. The most beautiful she-cat he had ever laid eyes on was standing in front of him. She held herself gracefully, he head held high. Her eyes had a cold feeling in them. Like she felt that anyone else was below her. He knew that she would be unfriendly and hostile. "We agreed to stop having cats join us, with so little space and prey-"

"Nice of you to say, Jelliphant! Especially considering you're the newest!" spat the cat who had attacked him. Now that he could see, she had an odd body, with- wait- two' heads! He stared at the strange looking cat, and they stared at him. "He's just like everyone else! Staring! Thinking we're freaks! Monsters!" she shrieks. The other one says in a defeated voice, "He can't help it-"

"I'm sorry," Banana interrupts. "It's just that I've never seen cats like you. Sorry." He looks down at his paws.

The older tom gives him a strange look, as if trying to figure him out. "I think he's trustworthy. I mean, he even apologized to Rubypaw and Amberpaw! More than Jelliphant ever did, or," he pauses. "Even I." Now he approaches Banana. "Welcome, stranger. This is the Hollow. I trust you'll fit in here fine."

Chapter Two- Pine

(AN: Harry Potter reference this time! Please tell me in the comments and you'll get a different mystery prize! [UPDATE!] Snickers won! Cool! :D The prize? A cupcake! With blue frosting- and chocolate sprinkles!! Yum!!)

That yellow cat was strange, for sure. Not just his patchy pelt was different about him. His eyes were honest, kind. Like they still cared in this dark, lonely land. He still stood a chance. He had to join us. He couldn't just lay out there to die.

"The name's Pine," Pine told the newcomer. "Really Pineheart, but..." Pine looked up at Banana. "Call me Pine." Now Pine turned to the others. "He's coming with us." Now Jelliphant started hissing.

"But he's so scrawny! And.. ugly", she growled at Banana. She's right, a small voice in his head said. His fur had always been scraggly and unkept, but his travels had exhausted him. He was sick of moving around. He just wanted a den that he knew he would wake up in, not freezing to death in the dark.

"Please," he mewed. "I can hunt, fight, what ever you would need! If you don't let me join..." Banana paused. "Kill me now. I don't wanna suffer."

Amberpaw answered, looking aghast. "We won't kill you!" she says, looking hurt."We're not going to hurt you for no reason. We're decent cats!" Rubypaw looks sullen. "Or, most of us are." shooting a look at Jelliphant. Jelliphant simply sneers and turns over to Banana.

Pine padded over to Banana. "Come on, now. We're pretty okay cats." "Amberpaw, Rubypaw, care to hunt? We're low on prey and the storm is dying down." The twins nodded, and the three cats walked out.

With the winds now just a cold breeze, Rubypaw and Amberpaw headed for a patch of scraggly pine branches. Pine scampered over to a patch of rocks sticking out of the icy landscape. The only way to hunt was splitting up.

Pine crept over and sat still next to a fairly large opening in the rocks. He knew it was a den full of mice. Sometimes, they would have to sit here for so long they could hardly feel their paws. Luckily for him, a mouse emerged after a few heartbeats. It wasn't too thin, either. He quickly ended its life with a snap of its neck. Pine didn't like to see creatures suffer. It was just the was he was.

After a while, Pine trotted back to the cave, with a couple mice dangling between his jaw. He saw the twins in the distance, pulling an enormous hare, struggling with the weight. Quickly burying the mice, Pine set off after to help.

"Hey Pine!" Rubypaw shouted. Oddly, Pine could always tell apart the twins. "Are you gonna help or sit around until the blizzard ends?" Everyone in the group joked around about the never-ending blizzard. If you couldn't do anything about it, why worry?

Grabbing one end of the hare, they set forward, with their feast. Pine dropped it once the had reached the cave, and grabbed the mice. Enough prey for today and tomorrow. When Pine entered the cave, he passed Jelliphant, who was guarding the entrence. After enchanging a curt nod, Pine moved forward and dropped his catch. He saw Amberpaw and Rubypaw taking their prey to a corner of the den, and saw Banana talking to a plump black cat- Tonks! He hadn't seen her in a while- She was a loner, who liked to stop by the cave occasionally and share news. A good friend and ally to have in The Cliff.

"Wotcher, Tonks!" Pine said brightly to his friend. From what he had heard, she had been explaining the land to Banana.

"Pine- Good to see you." Tonks replied brightly.

"Seen anything lately?" Pine asked nervously. He always asked that.

"Oh, nothing, just a couple mountain lions, a few dozen avalanches and this scrawny cat over here," Tonks said casually. Her eyes lit up with amusment at Pine's horrified face. "Honestly, haven't you heard of sarcasm? It's been quiet, like always."

What am I going to do with that she-cat? Pine thought. He always acted like everyone's father, and that made him a beloved friend here. Pine wasn't too old, but most cats out here died pretty young. Pine had never met his own kits, though he knew he loved them the same. He always wondered if they were alive, and what had happened to them, if StarClan was watching out for them...

No, thought Pine. StarClan didn't help you. Stop acting like they're in control. It's up to you to live or die. That was the advice he followed his life by. Yes, he'd been in some tight spots once, and he'd been helped out of it, and, of course, he had helped other cats as well. Why else would they be here? It was nice, living with cats who really understood the meaning of survival, even Jelliphant could tough it out in harsh times. They were built for living out here, with nothing but freezing snow that numbed your paws, with winds that whipped your fur back. But this wasn't anybody's land. It was free, the way that Pine liked it.

It was now dark, but the cat's eyes had adjusted enough to see their den mates and surroundings. Tonks was persuaded to stay the night, enough though she was a natural wanderer and preferred to live on her own. Then, all six cats curled up and fell asleep, content with what they had left in this world, happy with each other

Chapter Three- Amberpaw

(AN: Doctor Who reference! Get out your sonic screwdrivers and bowties, everyone!)

The sun woke up Amberpaw and her sister. They stretched and looked out at the weak dawn sunlight illuminating the den. Looking at Rubypaw, who nodded her head, the twins stepped outside and looked around. Both Amberpaw and her sister were connected in more than body; they were the same in many ways, their own best friends.

The pair stepped outside, the sunlight bright, reflecting off the snow. Snow flurried around the she-cats, whose long, fluffy fur shielded them. They went off in a search for food to eat tonight, which was special, with the new cat. Interesting, thought Amberpaw, with his funny yellow coat, but not as interesting as themselves, Pine or Tonks. The twins liked the wandering she-cat, with her stories about high up on the mountains on either side of the valley, ventures into caves, and stories about icicles the length of a dozen cats!

"Amberpaw!" Rupypaw whispered to her sister, who had spaced out. "I smell a hare. Care to join me, or will I have to do it myself?"

Amberpaw giggled quietly. "Fine, let's go!"

They set off, treading lightly on the finely packed snow, approaching a hare who was munching on a bit on vegetation poking out of the dusty snow. The two leaped out at the animal, who realized what was going on, albeit too late. It tried to flee as Rupypaw and Amberpaw landed on its backside. After a struggle, Amberpaw bit at the creature's neck. It was not a clean kill, but meat was meat. Enough to feed them tonight, and perhaps with a bit to spare in the morning.

"Let's go, before someone smells the blood." Amberpaw said.

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