|The Life of Brindlestar series|
|Preceded by: |
The Life of Brindlestar: The Great Ground Shake of Leaf-Bare
|The Life of Brindlestar: The Beginning||Succeded by: |
The Life of Brindlestar: The Dark Ages
Allegiances (Updated regularly)
Leader- Fallowstar: Pale gray she-cat with deep blue eyes
Deputy- Mintclaw: light gray tom with ice-green eyes
Medicine Cat- Larksong: Brown tabby she-cat
Tigerfall- dark brown tabby and white tom with gleaming green eyes
Flowernose- yellowish-ginger she-cat with green eyes
Emberwing- Fluffy light gray she-cat, dark blue eyes
Ashfall- Fluffy light tom, dark green eyes
Spidertalon- Large black and brown tom
Mousetooth- Massive brown and white tom
Hazelstorm- Light brown tabby tom with greenish gray eyes
Dustfoot- Golden brown tabby tom
Bluetail- White she-cat with a blueish-gray tail and piercing blue eyes
Heatherspring- Ginger she-cat
Leafwhisker- dark brown tabby tom
Gorsefall- light grayish-blue tom
Furzeberry- Tortoiseshell and white she-cat
Sandfoot- pale ginger she-cat
Lilyflower- brown and white she-cat with one blue eye and one gray
Oaktalon- Russet colored tom
Owlwing- Tortoiseshell tom with blue eyes
Kestrelclaw- short haired brown tom
Rosefall- Tawny colored she-cat
Whiteclaw- White tom
Snaketail- Tortoiseshell she-cat
Berryflower- Reddish-Cream she-cat
Sorrelpelt- Golden Brown tabby she-cat
Foxheart- Red-Orange tom with white chest and under-belly
Graypaw- Dark gray, almost black, she-cat
Darkpaw- Black tom with white spots and tipped-tail
Cloudpaw- White tom with ice-blue eyes
Brindlepaw- light brown tabby tom with one blue eye and one grayish-green eye
Pinepaw- plae brown tabby she-cat with gray eyes
Ravenpaw- Tall black tom with white chest and paws
Aspenpaw- dark brown tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Stormfeather- Black with amber eyes
Mother of Ashfalls kits: Cinderkit (fluffy dark gray she-cat with light green eyes) and Thornkit (Black tom with bright green eyes) (3 1/2 Moons)
Poppyleaf- dark tortoiseshell she-cat with dark amber eyes, expecting Tigerfall's kits
Pebblefoot- Very old dark gray tom. Grandson of the legendary Mistystar
Paleclaw- Very pale gray tom, with pale brown eyes
Nettleheart- brown tabby she-cat, green eyes
Littletail- short black tom with a stumpy tail with gray eyes
Birchpelt- short brown she-cat. Retired early due to unexplainable weakening of the muscles
Leader- Ivystar: Small reddish-brown and white tome
Deputy- Bonestripe: White tom with odd thin black strip on his spine, amber eyes. Great-Grandson of Dawnpelt
Medicine Cat- Toadleap: Furry white she-cat with black chest, tipped tail, and paws. Great-Granddaughter of Dawnpelt
Mousefoot- Gray tom with brown eyes
Eaglefrost- Pale gray tom
Berrystripe- Cream colored she-cat
Gingerpelt- Flame colored tabby she-cat
Ferretstripe- Black and gray tabby tom
Larkshadow- Dark brown tabby tom
Barktalon- Dark brown tabby tom
Breezecloud- Long haired light gray, with green eyes
Reedstorm- Tabby Queen
Dapplefur- small brown she-cat
Hollyclaw- Dark tabby tom
Yellowtail- Very pale ginger she-cat
Leader- Oakstar: Bright ginger tom with white paws and tail. Grandson of Lionblaze and Cinderheart
Deputy- Mosswhisker: Brownish gray and gold tabby tom with hazel brown eyes
Medicine Cat- Minnowflight: Slender mottled gray she-cat with blue eyes
Streamclaw- Gray tom
Poppyshade- Black she-cat
Nightfrost- Black and white she-cat
Silverheart- Blueish gray tabby tom
Tigerfoot- Dapple brown tom with gray eyes
Willowflower- Sleek light silver she-cat
Whitepelt- Large Black tom with white splotches and a white-striped tail
Grayfeather- Feathery Gray tom
Dustfur- Light Brown tom
Mintfeather- Pale gray queen
Rowanheart- Light Ginger tabby
Sunblaze- bright ginger tom
Frostheart- Pale gray she-cat
Dovewing- Pale gray she-cat, very old
Leader- Birdstar: Pale ginger tom
Deputy- Lakestorm- Dark, watery black, tom with brilliant blue eyes
Great-Grandson of Breezepelt and Sunstreak
Medicine cat- Cherryspring- dark reddish-cream she-cat
Sproutpetal- Ginger and white she-cat
Orangefur- Oddly colored orange tom with no tabby stripes, green eyes
Leopardpelt- Brown she-cat
Rainwing- Dark gray tom
Moleflight- Dark brown and gray tom
Foxstep- White she-cat with reddish-brown paws
Harepelt- Small, furry brown she-cat
Skyheart- Off whitish-blue tom apprentice, Mothpaw
Hawkeyes- Sharp brown she-cat with white ears, chest, two front paws and tipped-tail. Over-protective of hers (and all) kits
Daisystem- Skinny tortoiseshell with green eyes
Leopardstep- spotted golden tom
Coldleap- Dark black, watery black, tom. Green eyes. Grandson of Breezepelt and Sunstreak
- "Push Lilyflower, Push! Come on, it's the last one!" were the first things the newborn heard. He didn't want to come out. It was nice and warm in hear, and out there was loud, bright, and cold. No, he thought, Wait.... But no sooner had he thought those words that some invisible force pushed him out.
- He let out a tiny wail of resentment. Next he was being licked by a gentle toung. The cat who was licking him chuckled warmly as the newborn started to fidget towards the scent of milk. You didn't let me stay inside that warm place, now I won't let you lick me! he thought defiantly. He nustled towards his mothers belly blindly, and started to feed.
- "Have you thought of the names yet, Lilyflower?". Lilyflower?... That must be my mothers name. There was a long pause. "Yes," Lilyflower said, "The white tom can be called Cloudkit-"
- "He's Beautiful!" a tom purred. There was a pause.
- "What about that one?" asked a she-cat with a gentler voice than his mothers. He felt the toms gaze rest on his pelt, and a sudden wave of awkwardness washed over the kit. "Hmmmm... I'd like to name him Brindlekit." she meowed. She looked up at the tom, who was still admiring Cloudkit. Frustration prickled her pelt. Brindlekit felt it.
- The other she-cat noticed this and meowed, "Hey Lilyflower," she joked, "Wouldn't it be nice if one of your kits had different colored eyes like you?". Lilyflower purred in reply. DIfferent colored eyes? Who would want that?.
- It was night, and for the first time Brindlekit thought of his name. Brindlekit...I'm Brindlekit.... And he drifted off to sleep.
- "Wake up! Attack! Wake up!" screeched a voice. Brindlekit's eyes shot open. His vision suddenly filled with color. In spite of the invasion, he always admired colors, ever since he was told his eyes were two different colors. Suddenly, he was tackled by a cat no larger than him. He let out a meow of fear as he saw ice-blue eyes staring at his. But suddenly, the cat stopped and started to laugh.
- "Cloudkit!" he squeaked. Realization dawned on him. "Theres no attack, it was you!" he meowed. He rushed up to Cloudkit and started to playfight. A moon ago they learned the basics of fighting by one of the apprentices, Sorrelpaw, who loved to spend time with the kits, all five of them. Ravenkit, Aspenkit, and Pinekit were born to Furzeberry only a quarter-moon after they were. So far Brindlekit's best friend was Ravenkit. Cloudkit would spend time with Aspenkit and Pinekit.
- "Hey! Can we join?" Pinekit interrupted their playfight. "Yeah! Me and Ravenkit versus You, Aspenkit, and Pinekit!" they agreed.
- They lined up, facing each other, but just when they were about to pounce, a tom came in.
- "Hi Cloudkit!" said Hazelstorm, their father. "Do you want to eat with me and my friends?"
- "Yeah! Let's go" he meowed happily. Just as they were about to leave, Brindlekit meowed "Hi Hazelstorm!". Hazelstorm flicked his ears and left without a word. Confusion and hurt towards Hazelstorm and jealousy towards Cloudkit erupted in his belly. Why didn't he ask me? he wondered sadly Did I do something wrong?. "Hey Brindlekit! Lets play now!" meowed Ravenkit. He looked at Ravenkit, "Not today, I think I'm gonna sleep." he walked, tail down, towards his mother, who was in deep conversation with Furzeberry and Stormfeather, who was expecting to give birth in two moons time. "Why Hello Brindlekit!" Furzeberry meowed. He flicked his ears, and laid rest next to Lilyflower. He closed his eyes.
- "What's wrong, Brindlekit?" asked Lilyflower concerned. "Nothing." he said in a muffled voice. He didn't want to say it in front of the other two queens.
- She stared at him for a couple heartbeats, then continued to talk with Furzeberry and Stormfeather.
- Not for the first time, he and Cloudkit lay in the shadows, side by side, while Hazelstorm and Lilyflower fought.
- "Two nights ago your son came to me looking upset, and I didn't need to ask him to figure out what's wrong. Darn it, you said you wouldn't do this, you said you'd wait!" she yelled. Luckily they were in the dirtplace, or else other cats would hear them. But Brindlekit didn't care, this fight was different, Cloudkit knew it to.
- "I can't wait for that long. They'll be apprentices in 4 moons! And that's too long to wait. I just-" his voice faltered and he looked down on his paws. "You what? Continue!" she yelled. The two kits were frightened. They never seen her look like this. She looked deranged, crazy.
- "I just can't do it anymore!" Hazelstorm wailed. "You, Brindlekit. I can't even look into Brindlekit's face without seeing you in it!" there was a shocked silence. "What do you mean?" Lilyflower meowed gently, but here voice betrayed the look in her eyes. It was past Crazy.
- Hazelstorm seemed to be gaining confidence "You heard me! Were done! You knew that since you were pregnant, and I told you I'd wait until they were older, yes, but I can't!" and with that, he turned and hastily ran into the warriors den. He was so in the moment that he didn't even see Cloudkit and Brindlekit. Brindlekit looked at his mother. She was just standing there, stunned. "Let's go!" Cloudkit meowed. His voice trembled and he looked sick. Brindlekit felt the same way. His parents weren't together anymore. Does that mean I don't have a Father anymore?
- He woke up, and felt the usual awkwardness that came with his parents separation. It's been three moons since that happend, but other than that, his kithood has been normal. Yes, the trauma of witnessing his parents fight still haunted his dreams, but he didn't want to waste his kithood. Together, Brindlekit and Ravenkit were inseperable. They explored the camp together, played in the small stream together, and would even fall asleep together. They were like brothers.
- He walked out into the sunshine and it reflected his eyes into the small puddle (it rained last night). He looked down and saw his brightened eyes. They were strange. It looked like the sky was reflecting onto his right eye, and the clouds were reflecting into his left eye, with little green leaves floating in front of the clouds. It was early in the morning, yet no one was in the clearing. Excitement flooded through him, he had an idea in his mind. Recently Windclan have been scented on Riverclan's side of the border. Should I wake Cloudkit? No, he would be to scared, he loves rules....Ravenkit?, he looked back at the nursery, "I risk losing my chance, since no ones awake. He knew Ravenkit would be angry, but he would worry about that later.
- Suddenly, a cat came out of the warriors den, he scurried off behind the tree to see who it was. It was Hazelstorm. The tom whom Brindlekit hated. Ever since that fight, he vowed never to speak to him again. He even said it ... I can't even look at Brindlekit's face without thinking of you!. His fondness he had for his Heterochromia vanished. His eyes, his eyes is what tore the family apart.
- But Hazelstorm didn't go to the fresh-kill pile, he headed towards the entrance. Curiosity swept through him. Maybe he's doing something wrong. Oh yes, then he could get in trouble. With that thought in his mind, he followed his father out into the entrance.
- Hazelstorm walked in a pompous sort of strut. A strut that came with the feeling of winning a major battle. Even walking through the marshy terrain didn't worry him, as it did with Brindlekit.
- Brindlekit's short legs caused him to be recently submerged into the water. Water was never there before, until that Great Ground-shake of Leaf-Bare (Which whiped out 95% of the Clans). His nose was barely above the water, and his vision became blurry with the muddy liquid floating around him.
- Suddenly, three cats walked up to a waiting Hazelstorm, who didn't looked alarmed or alerted at the sight. In fact, he greeted them like old friends. They began whispering
- "When is it going to happen?" asked a black she-cat
- "Soon, Luna." replied Hazelstorm.
- "And are you sure about this? You know that there are always cats who rebel." said a short, wiry brown tom. By the sound of his voice, he was nervous and doubtful of this supposed plan.
- "Yes, I'm pretty sure about this Pierre. We've been planning this for moons. If I felt unsure about this I would've backed out." he meowed curtly. Pierre looked down at his paws.
- What is this?! Hazelstorm what are you doing?! Brindlekit needed to hear more. But wait, he told himself, would anyone believe him? Would anyone believe me? He sat there for a few moments watching. No., he thought sadly, No one would believe a kits accusation against a warrior.
- "...in a few moons time, Hazelstorm. We're still training and recruiting." mewowed a deep voice, and as Brindlekit turned away, he saw that this cat was huge, bigger than Mousetooth even. He had long Black and gray fur, with many cuts, and a scar that makes his face look like a half-moon. He turned his head, and saw something hiding behind the ferns.
- Fear sprung up in Brindlekit. Oh no! Has that big cat seen me? He looked up tentatively again, and the big cat was staring at the spot, with the others trying to see what he was looking at.
- Noooo! He saw me! He saw me! he turned around swiftly, but too fast. He slipped off the tiny rock he was crouching on and landed face-first into the water. He got up panting. What the?... he looked up at the sky, trying to keep balance in the steadily growing pond. He was so intent on watching his Father, he hadn't noticed it started to rain, and hard. The pond was quickly turning into a raging torrent.
- "Help! Help!" he squeaked in terror. The cats, who were strong, except for Pierre, walked slowly towards the slowly drowning kit. Brindlekit tried to dig his tiny claws into the rock, but to no avail. He was swept away, and Brindlekit was almost knocked unconscious by the forge he hit another rock. Once again, he was swept away. Many times he was forced under the water. Stay awake..Stay awake...keep your eyes open! he thought. He saw a small branch big enough for him to stay on. He let the current lead him until he hit the branch. But Brindlekit mistimed his paw-hold, and continued to be swept. His body approached the island, where his head hit a rock, and he started to bleed. He was hanging on for dear life before being swept into the lake. And the whole time Hazelstorm, Luna, and the Big Cat were walking calmly, with the last two mentioned staring with no sympathy or regret at his struggling state. Pierre was struggling behind them, stumbling and tripping over the raging torrent.
- "Help me!" he yelped. For a moment his and his fathers eyes met. He looked about ready to save his son from a certain death. But remembering his words to the cat whom he most loathed: I can't even look at Brindlekit without remember you! His fathers face instantly turned cold, filled with hatred.
- "Please...please..." he moaned, almost hyperventilating from breathing so fast . "Please..."
- "Do you know it?" asked the big cat.
- His father stared at him for a long moment....
- "No. No I don't, Boothe. Come on," he flicked his tail, "lets continue with our plans." and with a last glance at his son, Hazelstorm turned away.
- Absolute shock made Brindlekit numb, and his grip got loose. he didn't even know that he was heading for the jagged rock, didn't even know that after the rock was the lake, and then who knows what predators lie beneath that surface? No, all he cared about was the look of hatred etched upon his fathers face.
- He hates me...He hates me...He hates me.... The lasts thoughts before he was knocked unconscious by the rock, which made him reflect off the surface to the lake.
(P.S.- the next 1 or 2 chapters are in the POV of Cloudkit)
- Cloudkit was dreaming. HE was playing with Aspenkit and Brindlekit. The two were play-fighting in a field of bright green hills and dark blue skies. There was plenty prey, and Cloudkit was stalking a rabbit. He lunged, and he was about to dig his claws into it's fur when-
- "MY KIT! MY KIT! WHERE'S MY KIT?" screamed a voice at the top of her lungs. Cloudkits eyes shot open from their sleep and looked up. Lilyflower looked frantic. She was sobbing. Furzeberry and Stormfeather were trying to soothe her.
- "Don't worry, the patrols are out already and the Apprentices are looking in the dens. Sure enough, Poppyleaf and her apprentice Darkpaw came in the den looking grim.
- "I'm sorry Lilyflower, we can't find him." she said. Lilyflower wailed and slumped to the floor. It was a pitiful sight, enough to make anyone wail. Sure enough, the Queens and Poppyleaf started to cry. Tigerfall, a senior warrior, came in. Poppyfrost buried her muzzle into his shoulder.
- "Poor Brindlekit! He's all alone, in who-knows-where territory right now!" she yowled.
- "It's ok, at least it's not raining." he meowed hopefully. But not even as he was done saying it, it started to pour. He looked up and gave a loo of are-you kidding-me and left the nursery.
- Oh Brindlekit, Cloudkit thought exasperatedly, while his mothers cry filled the den, you should've just followed the rules...
- By mid-day they still havent found Brindlekit, and Cloudkit had to admit he was starting to get worried. But he was stuck in the den. Fallowstar declared that all kits stay in their nursery, apprentices in the camp. And even warriors were only sent on hunting patrols and 1 border patrol for each border and that's it. It was half because of Brindlekit, half because the rain was almost flooding the river.
- But their was another cat no one could find, or no one tried, or noticed. So it was easy for Hazelstorm to slip into camp unnoticed. But he didn't, he walked in the entrance, carrying in his mouth a extremelly soaked, soggy, what looked like a red-stained furball. He layed it gently down in front of the medicine cat den.
- "Brindlekit!" "It's Brindlekit!" "Is he dead?" "LILYFLOWER!", came the surrounding voice of the crowd. Lilyflower sprinted from the nursery to see her kit.
- "Brindlekit? Brindlekit? Mother's here now. Mother's here. You'll be alright. Please don't die!" she half-wailed, half-soothed. She was licking her kit frantically, while Hazelstorm got Larksong. From here, Cloudkit watched in horror, because Brindlekit looked dead.
- His head had a deep gash that reached from his left ear, striking diagonally through his face, and reached his chin. Many cuts, some deep, some not, littered his body. One of his paws was broken, his tail dented, and his ear totally shredded.
- The next few days saw symapthetic glances from almost every member of the clan for Brindlekit's family. Cloudkit, at first grateful, now found it annoying. His pelt got hot every time it happend. He couldn't even play, because Lilyflower would be super over-protective. The day after Brindlekit's accident, he started to rough-house with Ravenkit. Lilyflower came in with fresh-kill, dropped it, and hurried over to yell at Ravenkit to "not hurt my child!". This caused some tension between Lilyflower and Furzeberry, and every time he made eye-contact with Ravenkit, he would look away, and an awkward silence would fall between them.
- But Brindlekit hadn't woke up yet, and it has been a week since his father found him. Cloudkit didn't know what to think. He was scared that Brindlekit would die, and he loved his brother very much, but at the same time he couldn't even follow one of the most obvious rules, and thsi is the price he had to pay. Also that they would be apprentices anytime soon, and if Brindlekit didn't wake up, or worse, he wouldn't have any friends as an apprentice. The confrontation with Ravenkit scared even his sisters, so they wouldn't talk to him, and he had no one. He couldn't confide to any of the older cats, they wouldn't listen or they don't have the time. The elders are asleep half the day. He was so mad at the queens he wouldn't talke to them, let alone sleep with them (he slept in the corner on his own bed of moss). The apprentices would just make fun of him, they were so insensitive.
- He felt like he was going crazy, he had no one, he was all alone. The closest he would be to talking to someone would be in a few moons or more, when Stormfeather's kits were old enough to understand. She had her kits the same day they brought back Brindlekit's body.
- And, like Brindlekit, he swore he would never talk to his father ever again. In despair, he flopped down on his make-shift nest in the dark corner. I have no one, he thought, Oh please wake up Brindlekit! I need you!.
(Back to Brindelkit...)
- Brindlekit woke up, but it was still dark. He realized that his eye-lids were still closed, and he opened them, but immediately closed them. The light from the outside was blinding him. He tried to call Larksong, but he couldn't speak. He tried to get up, but his muscles seemed to have deflated and what was left screamed in protest. Since he couldn't move or speak, he looked out of the corner of his eye. He saw the rise and fall of a slender brown and white body. Lilyflower! he thought. She looked somewhat older. How long have I been unconscious? he thought.
- Lilyflower's eyes started to flicker open. She looked at her son, and noticed he was awake. Her eyes shone with happiness one hundred times brighter than the sun. "Brindlekit!" she screamed. She ran off to get Larksong, and the first thing Lilyflower did was frantically lick Brindlekit's face. He had to duck from drowning. Lilyflower ran off again.
- Meanwhile, Larksong was busy giving him herbs. "Take these to soothe any pains, and if you get too tired, you just let me know and I'll-" Brindlekit interrupted.
- "I'll be fine, honestly." Just then, Lilyflower came in with a white cat, who looked familiar, and a light brown tom. He recognized them as Cloudkit and Hazelstorm.
- "Cloudkit!" he yelled. Cloudkit just smiled, but he did looked awkward.
- "Actually...I'm Cloudpaw now." He looked down at his paws. Brindlekit felt crestfallen too. They had promised each other since they were kits that they would be apprentices together.
- "Oh. Wow...congratulations..." He meowed awkwardly.
- "But Fallowstar said that you can be an apprentice once you get better!" said Hazelstorm. His eyes were excited and happy. Suddenly he remembered the cat who let him drown, making him miss out on a lot. He's the one who was planning something with the rogues.
- He looked coldly at his father, "Yeah, I could already guess that."
- Hazelstorm continued to smile. But he turned away quickly and went to the warriors' den, as Larksong came in carrying a bundle of herbs. Her eyes widened as she saw all the cats in the den. "Out!Out!" she yelled, and she shooed Lilyflower and Cloudpaw out of the den.
- Cloudpaw stuck his head inside really quickly, "Fallowstar says you can be an apprentice tomorrow!" but the last words were muffled as Cloudpaw's mouth was filled with Larksong's claw.
- Brindlepaw was enjoying a beautiful day with Cloudpaw and Darkpaw, Cloudpaw's best friend. Since it was only 5 days since he was released, his mentor, Owlwing, let him explore the territory with his friends first. Brindlepaw liked Owlwing very much because he was laid-back, smart, cool, and that he was his uncle. He was Lilyflower's brother from another litter, the only surviving one (the other three died from frost and hunger). He also wanted to hear from his brother what had happend while he was awake. He had learned that Longclaw, a young warrior, died only a half-moon after his incident.
- "So how did Longclaw die, exactly?" Brindlepaw asked.
- "Well, you know how there's a mini forest on the west side of our camp?" Brindlepaw nodded. "Well, we're not experienced at climbing trees, you know. We were built for swimming. And Longclaw, he wanted to show off to....him-" Brindlepaw nodded in knowledge. They both knew how he was, but Brindlepaw already knew what was coming up next. If Hazelstorm was there, anyone could know what was coming up next. "And both of them were racing up the tree, and, Longclaw sort of...fell. Hazelstorm brought him back to camp, but he died the next day."
- Brindlepaw was shocked. Another cat had almost- well in this case did- died while Hazelstorm was around. Why had Hazelstorm killed Longclaw? Had Longclaw overheard something, just like Brindlepaw did? What was Hazelstorm planning with those three cats, Luna, Pierre, and Boothe? They had mentioned something about "training and recruiting". What could that mean? He wanted to confide these secrets to his brother, but with Darkpaw staring at his brother, he had no chance.
- He tried to shake the thought off. "So, umm, what else happened?" he asked innocently.
- "Oh! Uh, Poppyleaf is expecting...Tigerfall's, of course. Ravenkit, Aspenkit, and Pinekit are supposed to be apprentices some time this week...Birchpelt and Littletail moved to the elders' den...and that's it." Cloudpaw finished. Brindlepaw wasn't interested. Darkpaw's tail kept sweeping over Cloudpaw's side, and Cloudpaw wasn't doing anything about it. Brindlepaw got up, feeling self-conscious. They both looked at him. "Uhh...I want to go see Ravenkit and the others." he paused, Cloudpaw nodded and continued to let Darkpaw's fluffy tail sweep over his side. "So, uh, bye!"
- When he re-entered the camp with a fresh fish caught in his jaws, he saw that Cloudpaw and Darkpaw were already there, and Ravenkit, Aspenkit, and Pinekit were in front of he crowd. It must be their apprentice ceremony. he thought. Putting his fish down on the fresh-kill pile, he found a spot between Owlwing and Mousetooth. Owlwing looked at him as Fallowstar started her speech.
- "Finally." he meowed sternly out of the corner of his mouth, "I thought you got yourself lost. Didn't I swear to be back before the ceremony?"
- "I'm sorry." he had a sudden thought. Lie, he won't know. Act politely and truely sorry, he looked down at his paws, acting sorry, "I just wanted to bring back the most plump fish I can find for Poppyleaf and the kits. Can you forgive me?" he looked up at Owlwing's face and he gave the best face he could give. Owlwing searched his face.
- "Alright, I'll let you off just once, but don't do it again!" he turned his back towards him to face the ongoing ceremony. Brindlepaw looked too, satisfied that he managed to talk his way out of a moon of dawn patrols. Sucker, he thought. His attention was now focused on the ceremony.
- Fallowstar was looking down at Aspenkit. "...Recieve your warrior name, you will be known as Aspenpaw. Sandfoot will be your mentor." Aspenpaw touched noses with Sandfoot and they fell back into the clearing. Fallowstar turned to Pinekit. "Pinekit, until you recieve your warrior name, you will be known as Pinepaw." she turned to the clan, "Pinepaw has chosen a special route in our clan," she beckoned Larksong with her tail, "Larksong has agreed to take on Pinepaw as an apprentice." There were general meows of surprise and delight amongst the clan. Pinepaw raced up to Larksong to touch noses, and they, too, fell back into the clan. Finally, she turned to Ravenkit, who was quivering with excitement. "Ravenkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be an apprentice. From this day forth, until you recieve your warrior name, you will be known as Ravenpaw. Hazelstorm will be your mentor."
- Brindlepaw let out a yowl of shock that was louder than it was intended to be. Some of the surrounding cats turned to stare at him, and he shuffled his paws. He looked at Hazelstorm, who was now touching noses with Ravenpaw. HE saw his eyes. They weren't full of excitement or affection. They were full of devilish delight, full of satisfaction, as if he was excited to teach him his ways and his ways only. No! he thought, How could he let this happen?. He made up his mind, he was going to tell Ravenpaw about everything.
- "Ravenpaw...I need to talk to you."
- "Sure Brindlepaw. What's up?"
- "Well, It has something to do with Hazels-"
- But he was interrupted by the cats who were emerging from the thicket. Cloudpaw looked troubled and terrified, and he was being urged ot do something by Darkpaw.
- "Please...Not now...I'll tell him later..." Cloudpaw pleaded.
- "The sooner the better." Darkpaw said firmly.
- Cloudpaw stared sorrowfully into Brindlepaw's eyes. They darted to Ravenpaw and back. He turned to Darkpaw "Ravenpaw doesn't need to know, does he?" he added hopefully.
- Darkpaw still looked firm, "The more the merrier."
- Cloudpaw looked absolutely terrified. He turned back to Brindlepaw.
- What is he going to say?...Had they found out about something?...About Hazelstorm? he gasped then shook his head, No, Cloudpaw is such a goody cat that he would go straight to Fallowstar..
- Cloudpaw opened his mouth, "Brindlepaw, you love me no matter what, right?" he asked.
- Brindlepaw stared at him, How could he ask such a ridiculous question?. "OF course I do! Your my only brother! And one day we promised we'd be the best uncles to each others kits ever!"
- Cloudpaw looked on the verge of tears, "Well...That's the thing...I'm not going to have kits..."
- "What? How do you know? I know there aren't alot of pretty she-cats out there right now, but when were older-."
- "Please!" Cloudpaw was sobbing now, "Just please try to understand. Im not going to have kits because I don't want to be with anyother she-cat!" he added in a smaller voice, "I have Darkpaw..." it was barely more audible than a gentle greenleaf breeze, but Brindlepaw felt as if Cloudpaw had just screamed in his ear that sentence. HE felt as if he was going to faint of shock, and behind him Ravenpaw gave out a spit of disgust.
- "What do you mean "you have Darkpaw"? Are you saying you aren't normal?" Ravenpaw asked harshly. Cloudpaw looke more defeated than ever, and Darkpaw, who was older than Ravenpaw by several moons, but not as tall, came to his defense. "What do you mean by "not normal"?" he spat in Ravenpaw's face. Ravenpaw tackled him. He pinned him down and he spat back in Darkpaw's face, "Your an abomination! A disgrace in the eyes of Starclan! Your lucky I'm not evil, or the whole clan would've known by now!" he got up, and raced trough the land back to camp. Darkpaw followed shortly after. Now it was Brindlepaw and Cloudpaw. Cloudpaw was quietly sobbing into his front leg.
- Brindlepaw felt so sorry for his brother. He rested his nose into his side, "I'll love you forever Cloudpaw. Normal or not Normal, your still my brother."
- Although he wasn't showing it, he was secretly dissapointed that he had figured out Cloudpaw's secret. He was dissapointed only because Ravenpaw would no longer talk to him, and they've been friends forever. His plans of telling him the truth about Hazelstorm flew out the den. HE wanted to tell Cloudpaw, but they've never got the chance, they were to busy with norml Apprenticeship.
- But finally, almost 2 moons into Brindlepaw's apprenticeship, Brindlepaw had his chance.
- It was a normal day, he and Cloudpaw were sent out on their second and third assesments, respectively. Owlwing and Bluetail, Cloudpaw's mentor, allowed the to work together for this one. They followed each other side by side through the mini forest, heading towards Shadowclan territory. But once they were there he scented a familiar scent, three of them, and one new one. He signaled Cloudpaw to duck and silently pad through the forest. As they prowled, he saw a scene that made Cloudpaw cry out, but luckily he stuffed Cloudpaw's mouth with his tail. He though he saw Boothe's ear twitch, but Boothe didn't show any sign of hearing Cloudpaw's cry.
- "Master," said Boothe, "We are finshed. Finished with your project. All of the recruits are done training, and they are ready to deploy at your command." Boothe ducked his head low and backed away. Next was Pierre: "M-Master, I-I scouted the Area for an-n-ny eavesdrop-pp-pers and there were none." he swiftly ducked his head too, and backed away fast. The next cat Brindlepaw didn't recognize, but she was a very beautful she-cat. Sleek Ginger pelt. Smooth as a new kit's, starling light green eyes. She suavely walked up to Hazelstorm. "Hazelstorm." she meowed, he voice was the sound od the stars, "I have been informed that they're a few cats that are suspicious of your behaviour. Some in Riverlclan, and some in the other clans. At the last gathering, hiding behind a bush as you ordered me, I overheard a group of Thunderclan apprentices comparing you to Tigerstar."
- Hazelstorm pause, then luaghed. A high, cold evil laughed that filled the forest.
- "They think they're insulting me. I am glad they compare me to my mentor."
- Brindlepaw stifled a gasp. Hazelstorm was being mentored by the most evil cat who ever lived!
- Suddenly, he sensed pawsteps behind him. Slowly, he turned his head and saw Owlwing and Bluetail prowling jsut like they were. They looked shocked and furious. Bluetail mouthed "We overheard them too!". Owlwing gestured her to be quiet and listen.
- "Scarlet, my love, when I have reformed all four clans, our kits would be able to grow up in a world where they can be strong and unafraid." he sighed.
- "Well, I guess were done." he paused, then added "And I guess our two little eavesdroppers can run along now to, can't they?"
- Pure shock rippled through the four cats. Then, Bluetail and Owlwing got up, and walked into the clearing. Brindlepaw realized what they were doing, they were saving thier apprentices lives by being the two cats.
- "We have heard quite enough. And whatever your planning you can just stop, because Starclan wont allow it!" meowed Owlwing
- Hazelstorm laughed, "Starclan? You really think Starclan can stop me now? I, soon to be the most powerful cat who ever lived? And you think dead cats can stop me?"
- Hazelstorm and his group of rogues laughed again. Bluetail looked furious. She jumped with a furious screech and aimed her front claws at Hazelstorm. But Hazelstorm was to powerful for her. Acting as if she was just a fly, he swiped his claws in the air and raked her face deeply. Bluetail fell with a thump! and didn't get up. Cloudtail eyes widened in horror and he let out a muffled wail. Hazelstorms eyes were impassive as he turned to face Owlwing.
- "You see what happens to cats who defy me? The same will happen to all warriors, elders, apprentices and kits who do the same.
- Owlwing was still looking in horror at his clan-mates body. Hazelstorm's hard face suddenly grew into an evil smirk. Scarlet walked up from behind him and whispered in his ear, "What should we do with him?" she asked, looking at Owlwing. Hazelstorm looked at Owlwing for a moment, who hd stopped and looked at them, his eyes pleading for mercy.
- "...Kill him."
- Violet, Boothe, and Luna lunged at Owlwing and viciously tore at his fur. His screams of terror almost blocked out Hazelstorm's next command:
- "Pierre, bring the recruits. It is time."
- "Run! Run! Just keep running!" Brindlepaw yelled to Cloudpaw. Brindlepaw couldn't beleive what he saw. He had always thought that cats just move on, even if they see someone die. But he just say two grown cats getting murdered. Now he was being chased by the three killers. It was lucky that the two of them inherited their mother's swift legs. Brindlepaw, though blinded by fear, could see the stream that was always the trail to the camp. He kicked up dirt as he jumped over the stream behind Cloudpaw.
- He glanced behind him, but they were gone. The forest was filled with an empty silence. He looked at Cloudpaw, who was breathing heavily, then let out a gasp of terror.
- A black paw had come out of the ferns and bushes that fenced the camp and put itself over Cloudpaw's mouth. His eyes widened, and his screams were muffled. He was jerked back and he disappeared into the shadows. "Cloudpaw!" he yelled. But suddenly, two paw attached themselves to his head, and it's claws dug into his flesh. His screams were audible for about one-tenth of a second before another pair of paws were put over his mouth, and he, too, was jerked backward. He was wriggling to get free so much, infact, that his cat-nappers were struggling to keep hold.
- "What do we do? What do we do?" asked the frantic voice of Violet. Luna, who was much more stronger and more bloodthirsty, said "Here, keep a good claw-hold on his neck, and don't let him go!" she traveled through the undergrowth and was heading in the direction of the lake. It was silent for a minute. He was still struggling to get free, but Violet was still stronger than him, and had a good grip on his neck. He started to bleed in his neck, where her claws were. Finally, Luna came back with a large stone. His eyes widened and he started to wriggle harder, and he was screaming, because he knew what was going to happen.
- "No...No...Please!" his words were muffled. He just woke up from his previous concussion, and he didn't want to go back in. Luna stared on with cold eyes, and Violet's were just as impassive, but she was looking the other way, so it was hard to tell. She carried the rock a mouse length above his face. "You want to know what we do?" she asked. She dropped the rock with a thud, and Brindlepaw moved no more, "That's what we do." she looked at him, and she started to smirk. "Come on! Master's waiting..."
- Brindlepaw had a massive headache, and he regretted waking up at once. He groaned for a secone, but not that loud. He looked up, and it was all misty. He didn't know where he was. Suddenly, he wasn't being carried anymore, but he was layed down on soft grass. Some cats were staring on, and a cat was tending to his wounds. He looked to his right, and two blue-gray she-cat's were looking on with concerned eyes. They noticed he was awake and leaned closer. "Oh Brindlepaw...I'm so sorry..." said the one who looked younger. He didn't know what she was talking about, but suddenly he knew who she was "M-Mistystar?" he asked. This cat in front of him was his great-great grandmother, according to Pebblefoot, his grandpa, who also was Mistystar's grandson.
- Mistystar nodded, the cat, who was obviously Bluestar said, "I never thought any kin of mine could grow up this blood-thirsty." she meowed solemnly, "For that, I'm sorry your not dead."
- "What do you mean?" he asked "How could anyone want to be dead?"
- "In these times, your going to wish you were dead." said Mistystar.
- "Dark times are coming, for all clans. Brindlepaw, your only an apprentice, and we're asking great things from you." said Bluestar.
- "Brindlepaw, you have a chance to save the clans. But you will be faced with a choice, and based on that, it decides the outcome that could change the clans...forever." Mistystar's voice faded into the mist.
- "Wait...WAIT!" he meowed frantically, but the mist was swirling, and in an instance, cleared up and became the night sky. He didn't know what to think, Was I just given a prophecy?...
- "Brindlepaw!" meowed a voice. He looked up to see his mother was running towards him. Brindlepaw suddenly smelled a horrible stench, one that smelled of crowfood. He also heard the sound of many screeching cats. A major battle was happening. Lilyflower dodged a wiry gray tom and picked up Brindlepaw with her teeth. "What's happening?" he asked. "I'll explain once were inside the den."
- Inside the Elders log were the elders, the queens, Larkson, Pinepaw, Cloudpaw, and a moderately injured Sorrelpelt. Her Golden fur glistened with blood in the moonlight coming in from a crack in the log.
- "What's happening mom?" asked Brindlepaw frantically. "Does it have something to do with Hazelstorm?"
- Lilyflower looked shock, "Y-You know?" she stammered.
- "I know about everything! He let me drown and let me be swept into the lake the morning I got unconscious, because I overheard him planning with three rogues! And Longclaw didn't fall from a tree while playing with Hazelstorm, he was murdered! Longclaw must have overheard something, becuase I know he pushed him off the tree! And we overheard him today on our assessments! He's planning to kill Fallowstar to declare himself leader!" He exhaled heavily. Larksong made a funny noise, and she looked extremely guilty.
- "What happened Larksong?" he asked
- She looked at her paws, "About a half-moon ago, I was preparing some herbs. Ha-Hazelstorm was in the den, he said he wanted thyme for shock, because it was the day Longclaw died. I told him to lay down on some moss, and Fal-Fallowstar walked in. She said she wanted to talk to me in private, so I led her into the back of the den. She said she was worried, because....because she's on her last life!" Everyone in the den glanced and leaned further, "I didn't think Hazelstorm would be listening, because hes so nice and quiet, and I never would've thought he would be eavesdropping." she gasped "No! That's why he picked tonight! He's going to kill Fallowstar!" she immediately looked in the entrance. All the cats raced out of the den, to find that most of the clan were already defeated, many cats lay on the ground, dead or injured. Only a few cats were left fighting.
- The strong Mousetooth would never bakc down from a fight, and he had a tight hold on a scrawny she-cat. Before he could perform a death bite, to Brindlepaw's horror, Boothe jumped on his back, and with a ferocious yowl, bit his spine. Mousetooth didn't even screech, and he hit the floor. Another cat screamed.
- Falllowstar looked hysterical, watching her clan die around her. She was trying to get Hazelstorm off her back, but he turned her around so he can face her.
- "Hazelstorm! What are you doing? This is your clan, your home! You'll be the end of RiverClan! Let me go! I order you!" she screamed. But Hazelstorm just laughed, "Silly she-cat, I, the end of Riverclan?" he swiped at her neck with his big claws out, and a deep gash appeared on her neck, she screamed in terror. "I will make RiverClan one of the greatest clans in history!" he swiped at her belly, and gashes appeared there too. The cats watched in horror as they saw their leader dying before their very eyes. Sorrelpelt tried to get up and out of the den, but Larksong stopped her.
- "No! There's nothing you can do for her!" she struggled to keep her back.
- "No. I-must-get-Hazelstorm!" but eventually she gave up hope, and she threw herself back onto the nest.
- Back outside, Hazelstorm was climbing onto the branch of the willow tree, "Let all cats come outside to the clearing for a clan meeting!" he announced. No cats came out of their dens. Hazelstorm's eyes flashed dangerously, and he flicked his tail to towards the rogues as if giving them a command. The rogues went out to the different dens, and one by one they were dragging struggling cats out. Four rogues were walking towards the log that they were in. Cinderkit and Thornkit gave out tiny mewls of fear and nustled closer to their mother Stormfeather. The four cats came in; A massive gray tabby grabbed Larksong in one paw and Cloudpaw and Pinepaw in the other. A sleek brown she-cat made her way towards Brindlepaw. Instinctively, he backed up. But unfortunately he backed into a black and white tom who was grabbing a screaming and struggling Lilyflower. He casually flicked his paw, but with so muhc force that he stumbled into the wall opposite of him. "No! Stop it, don't hurt him!" Brindlepaw's mother yelled as the black and white tom did that. The she-cat grabbed him and took him into the clearing, where many other cats were there already.
- Immediately he let go and ran to his other clan mates. He wanted to look for Ravenpaw, and he found him leaning on his mother Furzeberry. He was looking up at Hazelstorm with dismay, and he glanced at Brindlepaw staggering towards him. Brindlepaw started to fall, and Ravenpaw quickly got up and let Brindlepaw lean on his shoulder. "I'm sorry for not talking to you, my friend. Can you forgive me?" Ravenpaw asked. Brindlepaw just nodded, because a reddish she-cat was giving him a cold and dangerous glare, because Hazelstorm was talking.
- "Attention cats, I have a very important thing to tell you." he paused, "Fallowstar is dead, and I'm sure that under my leadership, Riverclan will go back to being a clan that is feared and respected by all cats!", he paused again. "First things first. In StarClan's eyes, I am not the rightful leader. So where is he- uh, yes their you are." he pointed his tail at Mintclaw, who looked weak and ready to die at any moment. "I'll give you one chance, Mintclaw. Say right now 'I am not the deputy any longer', and you can walk away with your life. Anything other than that," he flexed his claws, "you will be killed. So what is it?", he jumped down from the tree.
- Mintclaw walked up to Hazelstorm, so they were face-to-face.
- "I will never do what you say after what you did today, you Foxhearted Coward!" and he spat in Hazelstorms face, "Long live RiverClan!" he yelled. Hazelstorm flicked his tail and Boothe walked out of the shadows, and pounced on Mintclaw. He did nothing as Boothe shredded him, and when he died, he had a smirk on his face. And although his eyes were sightless and glazed-over, they were staring directly at Hazelstorm.
- Hazelstorm climbed up the tree again, and faced his clan, "You see what happens to cats who defy me? In my clan, no one will defy me. Not me, Hazelstar, the new leader of RiverClan." he looked down at the cats, where there were mixtures of rage, horror, and weariness etched on their faces.
- "My clan, you are now apart of the most important event that ever happend to the clans. Each and every one of you are the members of the New Era of RiverClan!"