Will I ever become Starwatcher's to-be?
That was my first thought as I exited the kit-mother's den for the final time as a kit. Our Tribe lived in a valley, and it was nice and green. Except there are a lot of clouds in the sky.
I'm Cloud that covers Dawn, or Dawn. My sister is Petal that falls from Flower, also known as Petal.
"C'mon, Dawn! Hurry up! Or I'll become the healer's apprentices!" Petal called, running past me.
"No fair!" despite my smaller size, I easily overtook her.
"That's no fair!"
"Yes, it is fair!"
"But if you're going to act that way about it, then it isn't."
"Wrong! It'll be fair."
I ignored the question and stared at the black clouds in the sky. "D'ya think there'll be another storm?"
Petal shook her head. "I'm not sure. All I know is that I want to be a cave-guard and kit-mother."
"Not a prey-hunter?"
"Duh! Hunting is soooo boring....."
"No it isn't!"
"So are herbs."
"They are not."
"They are so. I can't believe that you like these things."
"Well, I do. Live with it!"
This was our average squabble. Petal almost always won, but this time I did.
I killed her.
"Dawn, are you sure you wish to be my to-be?"
Starwatcher nodded, then leaped down from the rock. I licked her tail-tip (which is unique to the Tribe of Floating Clouds), and she was officially allowed to teach me the ways of a healer.
"First, you need a nest in the to-be's den," Starwatcher said. "Go make one."
I sprinted off in search of moss, when I heard thunder rumble. I knew I couldn't run back, because I'm not a kit anymore. But standing in an open field when it is thundering isn't the greatest of things to do. I realized that soon enough.
I rolled the moss into a ball, then ran across the field to where the dens were. I push the moss ball in. I'm safe! I thought.
At least, I thought I was.
I spotted figure running in circles outside the den. I ran towards it. I had to save it, even if it was a rogue. It deserved to survive. I ran towards it and everything went black.
I woke up in the healer's den later. Starwatcher bent over me. "I never had such a brave to-be," she murmed. For some odd reason, I could only blink open one eye.
Starwatcher purred. "You have awoken."
"Yes, I have."
"We almost thought you were dead."
"You've been out 5 moonrises."
My one strech wide. "And why can't feel anything on this side of my face?"
Starwatcher turned around to look at the stars, and found a pool of water. "Look into that," she said.
I obeyed, curious at what she was showing me. A cat stared back, with the same tortoiseshell pelt as me. But she had only one eye.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"You've lost an eye," Starwatcher murmed, then padded off.
I could not stand it anymore. I sprinted, out of the healer's den, out of the Tribe. I ran at the same speed for a long time, when I finally got tired and began to slow down. By now, I couldn't see my home anymore; it was gone. I had left it, and that was my choice.
I was starting to adjust to my one eye; at least I could still see, and not be blind.
Finally, I stopped running. My heart was pounding. I looked off into the distance. Where could I rest for the night? I asked myself, though if I asked aloud, nobody would hear me.
I stopped and tried to hunt for a bit. The moor was flatter than it was in the valley, and the wind blew over it, away from the mountains. I thought about Petal, and what she would think if I ran away. Wait a minute. I did run away! I thought to myself. No more competition, no fighting, no snobby remarks.
I flashed back to the time Rock that Stays Still, or Rock, taught me the hunting position. A wave of loneliness crashed over me. But I couldn't turn back. I did what I did, and I face the consequences.
I spotted a rabbit, and slowly stalking it, I leaped on it and clawed it to death. "There must be an easier way to do this," I murmed.
I ate what was left of the rabbit, then continued toward the Sunset. It was slowing sinking in the ground. I realized there were no safe caves, caverns or shallow dips in the earth for me to rest. There were grey clouds hanging over my head, as to threaten my only good eye.
I spotted a small pile of rocks in the distance. I ran towards it. Despite my lack of energy, I ran towards it as fast as I could. I was about to enter, when a cat suddenly stepped in my path. "Stop right there."
I skidded to a halt, knocking him over. "Watch where you are going," he muttered.
I had a good look at him. He was a large, broad-shouldered black tom with green eyes. He was proud, cunning, and defensive of his territory.
"What are you doing on my territory, little cat?" he hissed.
"Nothing. Actually, I didn't even know it was your territory," I admitted.
"Fine. You may stay the night with me, and then you leave tomorrow," he meowed.
He also taught me how to kill my prey using a swift bite to the neck. I knew there was a trick to it.
"Where do I sleep?" I asked.
"In the cavern of rocks above us," he said.
I carefully climbed up the rocks, then settled down on the moss bed without his scent on it.
"I see you've found the visitor's nest." He nodded. "Go ahead and sleep."
I closed my eyes and let darkness take over me.
When I woke up, it was almost sunhigh. I leaped down to the lower set of rocks. The tom was there to greet me.
"Oh, you've awoken! That's good. Would you like some rabbit?"
"Yes, please," I said.
"I was wondering...where are you going?"
"I have no idea," I admitted.
"Actually, I should have asked this earlier, but....what is your name?"
"I'm..." I thought for a moment. "Dawn."
"Nice to meet you, Dawn," the black tom mewoed. "I'm Night."
There must be a reason he is being so friendly.
"I was wondering...do you think I can accompany you on the journey?"
"Sure! I'd love the company."
"I know two other cats who are like me...would you mind if they came?"
"Then let's go get them."
After we picked up the two cats, who were named Sun and Dusk, we headed off. It was hard not knowing where we were going.
At least they were around the same age as me. Night was 10 moons, Sun was 9, and Dusk and me were 8 moons old. We walked opposing the sun for a while and when it was overhead, we stopped. Night stood up, then said, "We must find a spot to rest tonight."
"We'll see when we get there," I meowed.
"I don't know about anybody else, but I'm hungry. So you guys may continue to bicker, while Dusk and I catch food!" meowed Sun rather suddenly. It was the first time I had heard him talk.
"I'll come with you," I meowed.
"Glad to hear it. Night, Dusk, mind staying here?"
"Not at all," Night mewed.
Sun and I nodded, then padded towards the hills.
Sun had just missed another rabbit. I went over to the stream, to see if I could catch any fish. Although there isn't much water in my former tribe's territory, I realized I loved water. It was easier to catch fish than spot prey with one eye.
I bent over, when a fish jump out. My paw flashed out and in. I opened my eye. On the ground? A dead fish. On my face? A big smile.
I knew I could catch prey now.
"This is delicious!"
I blushed. Dusk was pleased with the fish; Night recoiled at it. "I prefer frogs," he hissed.
I rolled my eyes; who likes frogs? Yuck.
"That's good for you," I snapped back at him.
"Why are you like this? You used to be so sweet, and I have no idea why you are acting like this," hissed Night, then stalked away.
Sun looked at him, then us, then back to him. "I'll talk to him," he mewed quickly, and scampered off.
Dusk rolled her eyes. "What a pair of mousebrains," she purred.
"I'd say," I said, trying not to giggle.
"Oh really?" she raised an eyebrow, then leaped at me, claws sheathed.
After tussling for a bit, Sun and Night returned. Dusk and I immediately stopped.
"What are you two up to?" he growled. "Scaring Prey?"
"N-nooo.." stammered Dusk, embarrassed.
"Glad to hear it. Anyway, has anybody thought of why we all gave up our old lives to go on a journey to some place that we don't know about?" asked Night.
I knew why I left; my injury. I felt that nobody liked me anymore. I was interested in the other reasons.
Night started. "I had nothing to win, nothing to lose. I figure I'd come on the journey with the little scrap who came to my den, who I now know as Dawn."
"I'll go," I mewed. "I was struck by lightning and nobody appreciated me anymore."
Sun looked around, then said, "I was a loner. Nothing exciting. I needed an adventure."
Dusk remained silent.
I gave her a nudge. "It's your turn," I murmered.
She tremble a bit, then began.
"I was born into a Clan," she began. "ThunderClan, to be precise. Our leader, Thistlestar, was my father. My mother was the deputy. I was named Duskkit, for my dark tabby pelt."
"Question! Wha...?" Night began, but I slapped my tail over his mouth.
"Be quiet," I muttered.
She continued. "A new leader, Mothstar, had just became leader of ShadowClan."
"At his first gathering, Mothstar said something horrible: The Clans shall be destroyed, and re-unite under one leader," she stopped. "Him. Then the gathering broke into unsheathed claw and biting. I was only 5 moons old. But I remember one thing."
"What?" asked Night.
She hestitated, then admitted, "My parents never came back."
My eyes grew wide. That was why she never talked about her parents. That was why she was so lonely. The root of all her problems was the fact that her parents weren't there.
She shuddered, then continued. "After that, the clans split up."
We all looked at each other, then thought the same thought at once: We must rebuild the clans.
As I went to sleep, I somehow was awoken again. Except I wasn't in the grassy moorland with my friends beside me. I was on an island, in the middle of a large lake. It looked lonesome. I could hear cats yowling the calls of battle. I tore up some grass with my claws. Down by the shore, I saw a silver tabby and a kit floating in the shallow part of the lake.
I whipped my head around. "Who are you, and where am I?"
I saw an old grey she-cat with badly matted fur. "I am Yellowfang," she mewed. "A medicine cat of two of the former Clans, ThunderClan and ShadowClan. And you are on the island, where gatherings used to be held."
"Two?" I asked. "How is that possible?"
She shook her head. "Anyway, we are going to stop wasting time and get on with the message."
"A message?" I asked, confused.
"Yes. A message. Why else do you think I'd come? For the sake of it?"
I shook my head.
"You must rebuild the Clans."
After she said that, Yellowfang began to fade.
I sighed. I guess we have to. No questioning, anymore.
When I awoke, it was nearly Dawn. I couldn't think of how beautiful it looked. I guess I, too, looked like that. Stupid lightning strike.
Night got up and stertched, while Dusk slowly awoke. Sun was snoring, but after some prodding, he, too, woke up.
We began the longest journey of our lives.
We started out, determind to make it to the lake. We all had a dream: Dusk had one by a cat named Feathertail, Night by a cat named Raggedstar, Sun by Tallstar. Once we figured out we all had a dream, we set out.
Sun was tired, and so was I. I felt almost homesick for the Tribe.
I could not forgive what they did to me. The ignorance and intolerance of them sickened me.
I focused on the journey. Although there was a spreading moor ahead of us, pictures flashed in my mind. A forest? A lake? Streams? Rivers? Floods? Fires? Blood...everywhere...
I shook my head and the images disappeared. My mind flashed back to when I was a kit in the nursery.
(This is when she is a kit)
"Can I get another mouse?" a kit asked.
A tabby shook her head. "No," she meowed.
"Why?" the kit mewed, letting her voice squeak.
"You've had two already," she mewed, and gave a small nudge to a large gray and white she-cat. "Go on," she murmered. "Have a third."
The kit narrowed her eyes. She always favoured Petal! They think I won't survive!
I turned my attention towards the voice. "What?"
"What are you thinking about?" It was Sun.
"Nothing," I muttered.
Sun gave me a curious look. "Oh really?"
"Of course, mousebrain!"
Sun twitched his whisker. "Feeling a bit grumpy today?"
"A little," I mumbled.
Sun nodded. "I admit, I miss things too."
I nodded. "I'm going to see about stopping. What do you say?"
Sun nodded, and padded up to Night. He nodded.
Breathing a little easier, and sat down.
"I'm going hunting," mewed Dusk, and padded to a nearby river.
I looked after her, thinking about these new clans, and what would happen when we would get there.
By the third moon, I was officially sick of traveling.
I'll admit that I loved it at first, but this was pushing it.
But as I matured, I realized how little prey there was.
Then again, had I stayed in the Tribe, I would've been neglacted, whatever I did. So I was better off out there, but it didn't mean that I loved it.
I hope we don't get a reputation as rogues, I thought. Dusk told me that rogues annoyed Clan cats.
As I was thinking about this, I heard yowling.
I shook my head, coming back to reality, and saw a large, black and white thing rumbling towards me.
I narrowly dodged a charge while Night leaped onto him and began clawing madly. He was 14 moons old now, almost a full-grown cat.
I decided I was useless just standing around, so I grabbed the badger's ear.
He went for my leg, so I jumped off the other side.
Another cat appeared out of nowhere. His dark tortoiseshell fur was slicked back. His amber eyes glowered at the badger.
And the oddest thing about him: he only had 3 paws.
He began clawing fiercely at the badger, as if he was avenging something. Then he clawed the eyes.
The badger ran away, blinded and defeated.
I turned to the tom, and cocking my head, I asked:
"What's your name?"
He looked back at me.
"Pine," he mewed. "My name is Pine."
I stared at him. How can a cat with three paws manage?
As though he could read my mind, he added, "It's not that hard. How do you survive with one eye?"