This is a story idea I've had for along time. About a year or so ago I pushed the idea of this story into the back of my mind, but recently it has come back and begged to be written. Thinking about it now, the concept is a lot like The Sun Trail, but I did come up with this before I even knew the Sun Trail was going to be written into existance. I really hope it turns out great, and I hope you enjoy it! Cinderstar "We always have a choice. I think Pinestar proved that." -Sunstar 01:59, April 30, 2013 (UTC)
The forest is dark. No moon is to be seen in the sky, even if the heavy black clouds were to be blown away. Not even the stars shine through the thick blanket of clouds. Yet in this unsuitable, dark weather, two cats slink through the shadows.
"I don't see why you couldn't wait until morning, Duskfire." a she-cat's voice meows out of the darkness.
"Some things are best discussed where we cannot be disturbed." Duskfire replied. The tom's voice was dark and mysterious.
"Is this about the rogues we've been scenting?" The she-cat asked.
"You could say that, Dovestar." Duskfire replied.
"I think we've gone far enough." Dovestar suddenly halted. "No cat would possibly come out in this darkness. I can barely see well enough to avoid walking into trees. This place is as good as any to talk."
"Very well, as you wish." Duskfire purred. "You are my leader, and I must follow your orders."
"So, what were you saying about these rogues." Dovestar persisted after a lenghy silence. "You didn't just drag me out here for a nice midnight stroll." Her voice was cold, as if her patience was running short and all she wanted to do was return to her nest.
A grin spread across Duskfire's face, and he flicked his tail. Suddenly several rogues sprang from the undergrowth, rushing with silent paws towards Dovestar. The ThunderClan leader blinked, as though trying to figure out wherther she was imagining these wraithlike figures.
Soon, Dovestar's white pelt, which could formerly be seen as a pale glaw in the darkness, was hidden under the mass of the derk-pelted rogues. Duskfire could tell from the scent that she was bleeding, yet he did nothing. He watched indifferantly as his leader was attacked and mauled by the rogues. Not even a glint in his eyes showed what he was thinking.
The rogues would not let up, not even when Dovestar fell to the ground motionless. It was as if they knew that in a few short moments, she would be rising again. Not a sound was emited from the writhing whirlwind of fur and claws. These rogues knew that if they woke up a single cat, their mission would have failed. No rogue could successfully face a whole clan of cats. They also knew they had to keep their opponent quiet, which they did overly successfully.
"That's enough." Duskfire called out at last, once Dovestar's now blood-red body was lying on the ground in an unnaturally still heap. The rogues leaped away from the body.
"Go." Duskfire ordered. The rogues obeyed, dissappearing into the undergrowth, leaving Duskfire with the body of his former leader. As Duskfire look at the body, a triumphant grin spread across his face. He was leader at last. He picked up the body, and began to walk back to the stone hollow which made up ThunderClan's camp. He rehearsed his tale in his head. No cat would know he commanded the rogues responsible for Dovestar's death. He made sure to rub against thron bushes, so as to make it look like he'd fought to save his leader's life. No cat would know this was his fault, just as no cat knew what his plans for ThunderClan where.
Specklepaw blinked open her eyes. Sunlight shone through the opening to the apprentices den, landing in a golden patch on her white pelt flecked with silver. A yawn escaped her jaws as she got to her feet. Still half asleep, she wondered what Dovestar, her mentor and mother, had planned for her. Then she remembered, Dovestar was dead.
Unable to stop herself, her mind replayed the event of that terrible night. Duskfire had awoken every cat in the middle of the night to announce rogues had attacked and killed Dovestar. He explained sorrowfully how although he fought his hardest to save her, she had been wounded so badly that her remaining lives had been lost. Specklepaw still remembered every cats look of shock and grief, and how she had told herself over and over that the blood covered cat lying limply in the camp couldn't be her mother. Tears ran down her face as she remembered the moment when she realized that it really was her mother.
"Specklepaw, are you okay?" Wildpaw asked. Jolted out of the painful memories, Specklepaw shook her head.
"Dovestar..." She meowed in a voice thick with grief. She looked at Wildpaw. The dark brown tabby tom was the splitting image of his father, Duskstar, from his unnaturally red eyes down to every tabby stripe on his pelt. The only thing different about the two toms was their expressions, Wildpaw's face looked a lot softer than his father's. Specklepaw supposed he got it from his mother, Feathercloud.
"It must be hard." Wildpaw sympithised. "But it'll be okay. The clan will look after you, and one day you'll join your mother in StarClan, then you can be together with her forever." Specklepaw felt soothed by Wildpaw's words. There was something about the dark tabby tom that always made her feel better. He was her best friend, he always had been.
A yawn inturrupted the two apprentices. "Stop chattering like a bunch of birds! What gives you the right to wake up the whole den?" Wildpaw's brother, Blackpaw, asked groggily. Blackpaw was a black tom with ice blue eyes. Even though he did not look like his father, he had the same sharp look in his eyes. Specklepaw had never gotten on well with him. When they were kits he had always played too feircely. Spoiled rotten by his father, who claimed he'd be one of the best warriors in the clan, Blackpaw was the most arrogent cat she had ever met. He was so difficult, most of the clan had given up trying to befriend him. In fact his only friend was Specklepaw's sister, Larkpaw, who had addmitted to having a crush on the cold-tempered tom. This had never bothered Blackpaw.
"Apprentices!" Duskstar called into the den. "Up! Up! Up! We have a busy day ahead of us! We're going out for some battle training!"
Specklepaw groaned. Duskstar had ordered battle training everyday for the apprentices. He said they needed to be ready to fight off the rogues if they came back, but something made Specklepaw suspicious. She had the feeling Duskstar was planning something. She didn't know if it was good or bad, she only know there was something he wasn't telling them.
Specklepaw stretched and got up, shaking stray bits of moss out of her pelt. Then she, Wildpaw, Blackpaw and Larkpaw padded out of the den.
"What are you, slugs?" Duskstar hissed. "You should have been up earlier!"
"But nobody told us-" Larkpaw began before Duskstar cut her off.
"You should have known." Duskstar hissed.
"We're not mind readers." Wildpaw grumbled. Specklepaw suppressed a purr of amusement. Even though she knew that Duskstar had heard Wildpaw's comment, she also knew that he would preted not to because Wildpaw was his son.
"Enough chattering. I've told Lightningsky, Stormflight, Forestleaf and Whitesnow to take you out training." Duskstar told them. "Or rather, they requested to take you out training, since your mentors are busy."
Specklepaw flinched. Duskstar had not yet assigned her a new mentor after the death of her mother. Wildpaw's mentor was Duskstar, and Duskstar was taking Larkpaw and Blackpaw's mentors, Sweetpelt and Hawkthorn on a special mission. She wondered why Duskstar hadn't appointed her a new mentor. And Duskstar's remark had been thrown too carelessly at her grieving heart.
"Specklepaw, are you okay?" Whitesnow asks. Specklepaw looks up at the white she-cat.
"I'm fine." She replied, shaking herself from her thoughts.
"Good, because we're leaving now." Lightningsky said in a light-hearted meow. "We've got important work to do today." The big ginger tabby tom lead the way out of the camp.
As soon as they stepped out into the forest, Wildpaw broke out into a run. "Race you too the training hollow!" He yowled happily. Specklepaw just began to run when Stormflight's yowl stopped her. She turned and looked at the dark gray tabby she-cat.
"We're not going to the training hollow." Stormflight explained. "And we need to be quiet. I don't want to draw to much attention to what we are doing today."
Specklepaw was puzzled. What could they possibly be doing that the rest of the clan shouldn't know about? "Did Duskstar send us on a mission too?" She asked, confused.
"Not exactly-" Whitesnow began.
"Shush! Not so close to the camp." Forestleaf whispered. The fluffy brown and white tabby tom looked nervous. He looked around anxiously.
"What do you mean, not exactly?" Blackpaw asked suspiciously. "Surely your not doing anything against my father's wishes?"
"We have to listen to our clan leader." Larkpaw meowed, casting a glance at Blackpaw.
"No, no, not at all." Forestleaf looked a bit uneasy.
"We're just hunting, and we don't want to scare away all the prey." Stormflight broke in. "Splitting up will make things easier. How about Forestleaf and I take Larkpaw and Blackpaw, and Lightningsky and Whitesnow can take Wildpaw and Specklepaw."
"Are you sure-" Whitesnow glanced at Wildpaw.
"Positive." Stormflight meowed. "Now, let's go." Stormflight, Forestleaf, Larkpaw and Blackpaw broke of from the others and disappeared into the forest.
"Now that we've got that sorted out, let's go." Lightningsky meowed and lead Whitesnow, Wildpaw and Specklepaw through to forest.