By: TheEggy (Rating: Moderate)
NOTICE: I AM TAKING A WARRIORS BREAK, AND PROBABLY WON'T UPDATE FOR A WHILE, BUT KNOW THAT THIS STORY IS STILL NOT COMPLETELY ABANDONED. : )
Note: This story is about five clans: FrostClan, EarthClan, BreezeClan, SunClan, and MoonClan. They live on an island, far away from the other clans you may know, but many of their traditions are the same, except their warrior ancestors are called Starblaze. Now, to the story! (Oh, wait, there's the blurb first.)
Blurb: Silverpaw and Reedpaw have always felt like they never belonged. Then, when a mysterious loner, a disappearance of a clan, and a shattering betrayal shakes their world, they suddenly find themselves shoved into a prophecy that will decide the fate of the clans. The frozen echoes grow louder, and Reedpaw and Silverpaw have to decide: will they remain true to their clans, or try to distance themselves with the clans and the darkness that is overtaking them? Find out in The Lost Clans: Frozen Echoes!
Leader Frozenstar- white and light blue-gray she-cat
Deputy Flarepelt- dark brown tom with flame colored dapples
Medicine Cat Snowthorn- white she-cat with blue-gray spots and stripes
Warriors (toms, and she-cats without kits)
Darkpool- dark brown tabby tom
Briarshade- white and bracken-colored tom
Sunheart- dappled golden tom
Rosefur- white and pinkish ginger tabby she-cat
Icicletail- agile white she-cat
Mistclaw- long-haired light gray tabby tom
Fadingripple- mottled gray she-cat
Pidgeonbush- chocolate brown and black tom
Woodriver- white tom with gray paws and brown underbelly
Thistlefern- mottled tabby she-cat
Rainshiver- sleek dark blue-gray she-cat
Skymist- dark brown tom with light gray stripes
Falconcloud- pale ginger and brown tabby she-cat
Apprentices (over six moons old, in training to be warriors)
Robinpaw- dark ginger and white tabby tom
Starpaw- black she-cat with white stripe across her eye
Silverpaw- silver she-cat with a black tipped tail and deep blue eyes
Reedpaw- reddish-brown tabby she-cat with dark green eyes
Whalepaw- pale blue-gray tom
Twilightpaw- black she-cat with swirling gray stripes
Queens (she-cats expecting or nursing kits)
Willowsky- gray with cream spots, mother of Swallowkit (gray tom with cream ears and tail) + Creamkit (cream and white tabby tom)
Brookstorm- dusky brown with white dapples, mother of Rowankit (dark reddish-brown she-cat with white and brown streaks and dapples) + Blazekit (flame-colored she-cat with a golden underbelly and paws)
Whitesinger- white with brown paws, muzzle, and spot on her forehead, mother of Quietkit (white tom with brown paws and neck) + Beechkit (light brown she-cat with cream stripes)
Elders (retired warriors or queens)
Graysoul- scarred gray tabby tom
Leader Emberstar- flame colored she-cat with black stripes
Deputy Featherwood- brown she-cat with white ears and paws
Medicine Cat Jadefoot- mottled tabby tom
Leader Thunderstar- dark gray tom
Deputy Riverpetal- white and pale gray she-cat
Medicine Cat Gingercreek- pale ginger she-cat
Apprentice, Splashpaw (black tom with a blue-gray face)
Warriors (toms, and she-cats without kits)
Timberclaw- dusky brown she-cat with darker brown stripes and a cream underbelly
Apprentice, Clovepaw (brown she-cat with a fluffy white neck)
Rainleaf- black she-cat with a blue-gray tail, ears, and paws
Pinestorm- reddish-brown tom with darker dapples, gray stripes, and a white underbelly
Leader Wavestar- long-haired blue-gray tabby she-cat
Deputy Jayshadow- brown and black tortoiseshell tom
Medicine cat Ivydawn- dusky brown she-cat with bright green eyes
Leader Longstar- golden tabby tom with white dapples, a white muzzle, and long legs
Deputy Cinderwatcher- large light gray tom
Medicine cat Snowdrop- gray she-cat with white dapples
Warriors (toms, and she-cats without kits)
Hazelfoot- brown she-cat with cream dapples and white paws
Apprentice, Vinepaw (dark brown tom with dusky brown stripes and gray paws)
Flamecloud- white and ginger tortoiseshell tom
Pebbleheart- black she-cat with light gray and cream spots
Copperflare- pumpkin-colored she-cat with fiery ginger stripes
Leader Echostar- large black she-cat with light gray stripes
Deputy Ravenscar- black tom with long scar on his back
Medicine cat Sparrowfall- agile brown tabby tom
Warriors (toms, and she-cats without kits)
Cloudwhisker- fluffy white she-cat with light gray dapples
Apprentice, Spotpaw (calico she-cat with golden dapples instead of ginger)
Ashwood- spotted dark brown and gray tabby tom
Swiftclaw- dark gray she-cat with cream stripes
Cats Outside Clans
Winter- gray tabby tom with a white underbelly, formerly of BreezeClan
Cedar- dappled brown she-cat
Plum- dusky brown she-cat with cream dapples and stripes
Seaheart- cream and blue-gray she-cat, formerly of EarthClan
Amber- pale ginger she-cat with a brown tail and swirl-like stripes
Black paws trekked through deep snow. A blizzard raged around the figure, but they didn’t care. They kept walking, journeying to their new home. Only one thing kept them from collapsing in the cold snow, and waiting to become crowfood. Hope. Hope that they could finally get a better life- finally get another chance. A flicker of hope passed through the cats, but the leader’s face stayed grim.
“Can’t we rest?” one cat panted. “This is the worst snowstorm I’ve ever seen!” A black tabby with a long scar on his back who walked beside the leader cat snarled and spun around to face the traveler who had complained.
“Stay behind if you want. See if I care.” The large black she-cat in the lead stopped, and turned around. She narrowed her eyes at all the travelers, and took one pawstep towards them.
“Stop bickering,” she growled. “Do you want to get a new home or not?” Her eyes flicked to the sky, and she yowled a warning. Above, a falcon was circling the cats, deciding when to attack. She knew there was no chance of hiding; the cats’ pelts were too dark. The cats unsheathed their claws and got ready for a fight. Even in a snowstorm, they were ready to defend themselves.
Suddenly, the falcon dived, and all the cats lunged at it. The lead one pounced onto it, raked her claws across its back, and sunk her teeth into its neck. The falcon tried to take off back into the sky, but the cats held it down, so eventually they felt it go slack. They stopped attacking the falcon, and glanced at each other hungrily.
“Oh, go ahead. Food is food,” meowed the lead cat dismissively. She chomped down on the falcon, thankful for some nice, warm food.
After all the cats had eaten their fill, they padded on through the snow and ice. Eventually, the blizzard let up, but the cats were still practically pure white and freezing from all the snow. Nevertheless, they persisted, ready for warmer territories after they got out of this barren wasteland of ice.
The lead cat shook her pelt, spraying snow everywhere. She stopped, and scented the air. A hopeful glint shone in her eye for a second. They were almost to the rainforest. Home.
Night was falling, and the stars shone above. All the cats wondered if the so-called Starblaze really did live up there, watching over them. Thoughts of sleep and warm nests also passed through their minds, but they dismissed it. The leader again stopped to take in the scent of life. Without warning, she dashed ahead for the border determinedly.
This is our territory.
We can do it.
Watch out, Clans, we’re coming for you!
The cats yowled proudly as they crossed the border into the rainforest. They breathed in the wonderful rainforest scents, knowing that soon, they could finally get the life they had always deserved. That every cat deserves.
Except Mother and Father. I wonder where they are now… Did Mother go to Starblaze? I hope not. And father…? He probably died a fool. But sister… Could she be in the clans? ...Does she know? I must find her. She could either be-
Fierce growls surrounded the cats, so they stopped, unsheathed their claws, and bared their teeth. A large flame-colored she-cat with black stripes emerged from the undergrowth, and sized up the cats. Her sharp blue eyes unnerved them, and finally the lead cat couldn’t stand it anymore.
“What do you want?” she spat at the she-cat. The she-cat just calmly returned her gaze. “I am Emberstar, leader of EarthClan. Who are you?” she responded, sheathing her claws.
“I am Echo. He,” she flicked her tail at the large black tom next to her. “is Raven. We have come here to seek a new home. Life as a rogue is hard, and we thought clan life would suit us better. You see, my parents were clan cats, but they left the clans and raised me as a loner. I have always wanted to come back to the clans, and I brought some cats with me that would also like to come. We were wondering if you have any more room in your clan,” Echo responded. Emberstar looked unbelievingly at the large group of loners, and flicked her tail, so the cats that had come with her would go back to their camp.
“Well, EarthClan alone doesn’t have that much room for all your cats, but we could take a few, and then the others could go to other clans. FrostClan is closest, but SunClan also borders with us. MoonClan is extremely hostile towards visitors, and will attack on sight, but BreezeClan might also let you in…” she responded warily. Echo narrowed her eyes suspiciously at Emberstar. Was she telling the truth, or just lying so the loners would get off her territory?
The loners sheathed their claws, and relaxed, but Echo didn’t. She wasn’t sure Emberstar was being entirely truthful, and she wanted to be ready, just in case...
Silverkit rolled over nearer to her mother’s warm fur. She breathed in her wonderful, milky scent, and her stomach rumbled. Silverkit stood up. Whitesinger, her mother, was still asleep, but as long as the sun was up, Silverkit was up. She started padding to the fresh-kill pile, surprised to see a reddish-brown blur fly past her and get there first.
Reedkit! Silverkit ran over to the big pile of prey, and picked out a big brown squirrel that was just asking for her to eat it. She plopped down next to Reedkit, and dug into her squirrel.
“When do you think you’re gonna be apprenticed?” Reedkit asked, eyes shining. “Probably in a few days. I am six moons today, after all,” Silverkit said proudly. She gulped down the last few bites of her squirrel, and watched the clan slowly wake up. A tall, cream figure walked out of her den underneath the roots of a huge oak tree in the center of camp, and looked around, surveying her camp proudly. Morningstar, Silverkit thought. Another figure, way smaller than Morningstar, padded over and stood beside her. Silverkit squealed in excitement.
“Frozenfeather!” she ran over to the white and blue-gray she-cat. Frozenfeather was the nicest, smallest, youngest, deputy ever. She was amazing. She played with Silverkit, taught a few starter hunting lessons, and told her stories about the leader before Morningstar, Ryestar. One time Silverkit had asked her, “Were you alive when Ryestar was leader?” but, she just shook her head and said, “I wish I was.”
“Good morning, Silverkit,” she meowed. “I’m sorry, but I’m busy at the moment, and Whitesinger is probably worried about you. She already has enough kits to look after.” Morningstar grunted in agreement. “Whalekit, Quietkit, Beechkit, and you! The nursery has been packed lately! We really need some new apprentices,” she said, her eyes twinkling at Silverkit. Silverkit nodded excitedly, and bounced back towards the nursery. Whitesinger looked at her in surprise when she walked through the narrow entrance tunnel.
“I thought you’d never come back!” she said sternly. “Don’t just wander off into camp without telling me!” She sighed, and scooted over a bit so Silverkit could curl up next to her. Silverkit blinked affectionately at her little siblings, Quietkit, and Beechkit. They were very young, and had only just opened their eyes, so they would still have a long time until they were apprentices. Her older brother, Whalekit, however, was long due apprenticeship, and was actually getting his ceremony the next day, according to Whitesinger.
Silverkit looked up, only to see Skymist, Briarshade, and Woodriver crawling through the entrance tunnel to the underground nursery. Whitesinger also looked up, and purred loudly as she saw her mate coming towards her and their kits.
“Ah, look, here come the mates,” she purred. Skymist sat beside Whitesinger, licking her fur affectionately, while Briarshade turned towards Brookstorm, and Woodriver to Willowsky. Silverkit stood upright, exhilarated by her father’s arrival. Flexing and unsheathing her claws, she pounced onto his back with a triumphant yowl. He spun his head around to look at his attacker, and relaxed when he only saw Silverkit.
“Nice work, Silverkit, but remember, claws sheathed in the nursery,” he said half-heartedly. Silverkit let go of her grip on Skymist, and padded towards her littermates, tail drooping. Whitesinger shot a fiery glare at him, and Skymist mouthed something to her that Silverkit couldn’t make out.
“Are you okay, Silverkit?” mewed a tiny voice. Silverkit turned around to see Swallowkit staring up at her with big, round eyes. She forced a smile and nodded, but quickly turned away, and padded out of the nursery. A light, freezing rain had started, but Silverkit didn’t care. She just wanted to be away from the nursery.
Why doesn’t Skymist like me? Whenever Silverkit had said hi to him, he always just gave her a quick, slight nod, and then turned away. He was never impressed by anything she did, and he never visited her or talked with her. Whitesinger would always glare at him, or worriedly glance at her, like there was something important that she wasn’t telling Silverkit. Can’t he at least try to spend time with me? What’s wrong with me?
Silverkit turned around, and saw Skymist and Whitesinger walking out of the nursery. That’s strange. Where are they going? Quietly, Silverpaw crept after them, making sure to stay out of their range of sight, and glad that the pitter-patter of the rain hid the sound of her pawsteps. She kept following them, all the way to the tunnel that led out of the camp, but then paused. I’m not supposed to go out of camp until I’m an apprentice… Will anyone notice me? Silverkit glanced around, and when she saw that everyone was taking shelter in their dens, she slipped into the tunnel. Whitesinger and Skymist kept walking, until finally they stopped in a thick bramble bush, so Silverkit hid under some bracken, and strained her ears to hear their conversation.
“So, Skymist… We need to talk about Silverkit,” Whitesinger started. Skymist looked down at his paws and sighed. “I know it may be hard because she’s different, but she’s still my kit. Your kit. I just need you to accept that.” Skymist stared into her eyes with a resigned expression.
“I know, it’s just… every time I look at her, I-” Silverkit didn’t want to hear the rest. Stealthily, she slipped back into the tunnel and dashed into the nursery. Her fur was plastered to her tiny frame, because of the rain, and Willowsky looked bewildered when she plopped down in her usual sleeping spot.
“Where have you been, Silverkit?!” she burst out sternly. Silverkit looked at her paws and muttered, “Nowhere.” Willowsky glanced worriedly at Brookstorm and Reedkit, who were fast asleep, and then turned back to her own kits.
Silverkit curled up, and quickly fell asleep. She dreamed of having to fight a battle against a number of cats that seemed endless. I hate fighting, Silverkit thought in her dream. I want to heal, not fight. I want to help my clanmates by sharing dreams with Starblaze and interpreting omens. I want to be a medicine cat.
“Come on, your brother is having his apprentice ceremony!” Silverkit woke up to Whitesinger impatiently prodding her in the side with her paw. She stood up and sleepily padded over to the center of camp. It was almost sun-high, and most other cats were already awake. Silverkit glanced hungrily at the fresh-kill pile, but stayed next to her mother, and watched Morningstar climb up Talloak, while Frozenfeather sat below on the roots.
“Let all cats old enough to fight gather below Talloak for a clan meeting. Today one young kit has reached the age of six moons, and is ready to begin warrior training. Whalekit, come up. Your mentor will be Rainshiver. Rainshiver, you are renowned for your agility and cunningness. I know that you will carry on your impressive skills to Whalekit. From here until you become a warrior, Whalekit, you shall be known as Whalepaw,” Morningstar announced, smiling.
Silverkit stared up at Whalepaw, eyes shining. She couldn’t wait until she was an apprentice. She turned around to look beside her where her mother had been sitting, but she had burst through the crowd, and was talking with Whalepaw. Silverkit’s heart sank. Skymist was there, too, eyes brimming with pride. He was purring so loudly Silverkit could hear him all the way on the other side of camp. Will he be like that at my apprentice ceremony?
Boldly, Silverkit padded over to her family and congratulated Whalepaw. She caught Skymist’s eye, and he smiled tentatively at her, but she just glared at him. No, he probably won’t even be at my apprentice ceremony. He doesn’t care about me. Not at all.
“Silverkit, quiet now. The story is starting. Once, long ago, there were five other clans. Those clans had recently settled in, and were getting used to the living, but over time, there were too many cats in the forest. Prey became scarce, and living was hard, so several individuals from each of the Clans decided to move to different territory. They eventually found an island, the same one we are on today! Those cats formed five new clans, SunClan, MoonClan, FrostClan, BreezeClan and EarthClan,” said Graysoul. Silverkit loved hearing the Graysoul’s stories, so she visited him quite often.
“Silverkit, come on, you know those stories aren’t true!” mewed Robinkit. I bet you they are! I bet you on Starblaze it is! thought Silverkit fiercely. She had always believed Graysoul’s stories, for he was the oldest in the clan. Then, she heard the voice of a small she-cat. Silverkit’s fur bristled in excitement. It had been a full quarter moon since she was officially six moons, and every announcement made Silverkit jump, especially Mistclaw and Fadingripple’s warrior ceremony, and Starpaw and Whalepaw’s apprentice ceremonies.
My apprentice ceremony! Could it really be today?! She raced over to Talloak, where everyone was standing, and waited for the announcement to start.
“Let all cats old enough to fight gather by Talloak for a Clan meeting. Yesterday, sadly, our wonderful leader, Morningstar, died. She served us well, so a vigil will be held for her tonight. Tomorrow, I will make my way to the Mooncove to receive my nine lives. My deputy will be Flarepelt. You are dismissed,” meowed Frozenfeather resignedly. Silverkit was still just a kit, but she understood what had happened. Morningstar was dead. Gone. Forever.
“Oh no!” she blurted out. Everyone whirled around to look at her, so Whitesinger quickly scooped her up, and brought her back inside the nursery. She obviously wasn’t happy, and she looked at her kit and sighed.
“Silverkit, the clan is in mourning. You don’t just yell stuff like that,” her mother meowed sternly. “But-” “No buts, Silverkit. You are over six moons old, and it is time that you start your training,” she continued. That sunk deep into Silverkit. Soon, she would be an apprentice, racing into battles, chasing down prey, and scenting the border to keep her territory safe. But… do I really want to do that? Silverkit asked herself. She pictured herself healing her clanmates, scouting for herbs, and dreaming with Starblaze. Her tail thrashed wildly in excitement. She wanted to be the medicine cat, but instead she would be a warrior.
“C-can I be the medicine cat -in training?” mewed Silverkit. There was a long pause, and Whitesinger sighed.
“...I suppose, but it’s not for me to say. Frozenfeath- star, will decide that,'' she said. Silverkit’s spirits lifted.
“Silverpaw!” shouted the FrostClan cats. Silverpaw was welling up with pride, and was afraid she would burst. She was Snowthorn’s apprentice, and one day, FrostClan’s medicine cat!
“Patience, Silverpaw. Eventually they’ll get tired of yowling,” joked Snowthorn. Snowthorn was very popular among the clan, mostly because of how funny and lighthearted she was, even though she wasn’t exactly young. She loved to laugh, make jokes, and tease other clans. The whole clan would be devastated if anything happened to her.
“Remember, Silverpaw, tonight you will be having a vigil,” meowed Frozenstar seriously. Silverpaw just looked at her and nodded. Frozenstar was very young for a deputy, and now leader, so cats didn’t really respect her much, but she was still fierce and loyal. Silverpaw looked around at her clan. She knew every one of their names, and things about them. Up on Talloak, she almost felt like a leader. Then she saw Skymist. He was at the back of the crowd, studying his paws. Silverpaw wanted to break down and cry, right there. Why didn’t he care about her?
“Silverpaw, it’s time to climb down,” whispered Snowthorn. Embarrassment hit Silverpaw, and she quickly climbed down the huge oak in the center of camp. She padded to the fresh-kill pile, and started gulping down a vole so she would forget about Skymist. Sure enough, it worked. Excitement tingled in her, so much that she thought she couldn’t fall asleep if she tried.
“Frozenstar! Something strange is going on in EarthClan! I was patrolling the border and…” Flarepelt shouted as he bounded into camp, but broke off as he saw a long gash on Frozenstar’s hind leg. Silverpaw already knew what had happened. Frozenstar was hunting along the border, when three EarthClan cats attacked her. She said they had looked uneasy about what they were doing, but did it anyways. Soon, another patrol had appeared, so she only got one large cut, but the event was still strange.
“Frozenstar, what happened? Anyways… I have news. Along the border, I found Emberstar, dead,” Flarepelt continued. Silverpaw’s leader stared her deputy in shock. She flicked her tail, and the two disappeared into her den.
“I hope I can go to the next gathering!” joked Snowthorn. “EarthClan better explain themselves!” Silverpaw smiled. She had only been an apprentice for less than a quarter-moon, but she already felt so much more grown up. She knew she was still too young to go to a gathering, but that wasn’t a rule…
“Don’t worry, I’ll get Frozenstar to let you come!” said Snowthorn, answering her thoughts. Lots of cats seemed stressed about the whole EarthClan thing, but Silverpaw just didn’t see what it had to do with them. EarthClan probably attacked because Frozenstar was too close to the border, and Emberstar was probably killed by a fox or badger. Besides, that was their problem. FrostClan was a whole different clan with different problems.
Silverpaw basically got all the latest clan news from Snowthorn, who was close with Frozenstar. For example, today she would be making Robinkit an apprentice.
“Let all cats old enough to fight gather below Talloak for a clan meeting. Today one young kit has reached the age of six moons, and is ready to begin warrior training. Robinkit, come up. Your mentor will be Sunheart. Sunheart, you are known for your courage and loyalty. I know that you will pass on all of your knowledge to Robinkit. From here until you become a warrior, Robinkit, you shall be known as Robinpaw,” announced Frozenstar. Robinpaw touched noses with his new mentor, and then looked back at his clanmates, bouncing up and down.
“Robinpaw! Robinpaw! Robinpaw!” every cat chanted his new name. He leaped down from Talloak, and started talking with the other apprentices. Suddenly, a pang of loneliness hit Silverpaw. She should be over there, too. Sourly, she picked up some fresh-kill, her back to them. But, she glanced back at Robinpaw, and he noticed, but said nothing. Silverpaw quickly turned away, and stalked into the medicine cat den. She gulped up her mouse, and quickly drifted off to sleep.
“Silverpaw, know the path you should follow. Trust your heart,” said a voice in her dreams. When Silverpaw awoke, she had a terrible feeling, and then she remembered that today was a full moon, so there would be the annual truce with all the clans, to catch up on all the latest news and issues. Tonight, everyone would hear what was happening in EarthClan.
“Silverpaw, wake up!” said an energetic voice. Silverpaw groggily opened her eyes, and realized she had fallen back asleep. She heard Frozenstar’s voice outside of the medicine cat den, so she got up and followed Starpaw.
“I’m so glad I get to go to the gathering! I bet you Frozenstar is going to challenge EarthClan!” she mewed. “And we’ll get to see who the new leader is! Featherwood might have been killed too…” Silverpaw joined in. Then, when the two saw the group of cats going to the gathering, they raced to catch up, and Snowthorn dropped back to talk to them.
“This is going to be a good first gathering! I mean, Featherwood was a sensible cat, but the new leader might not be her. C’mon, let's hurry up!” said Snowthorn. Silverpaw watched her pale, dappled leader bound over dead logs and swerve around chunks of ice sticking out. She almost looked like a graceful icicle, with a ball of flames at her side. Flarepelt looked like actual fire compared to the cold, white landscape of FrostClan.
Finally, Frozenstar stopped, and then walked forward into the large cavern ahead of them. It was Glow Caven, the meeting spot of all the clans. Silverpaw opened her mouth, and took in the smells of SunClan, MoonClan, and BreezeClan. EarthClan hasn’t gotten here yet. Are they coming to this gathering? thought Silverpaw. As her clan settled down, Silverpaw took time to look around. It was a beautiful cave, with chunks of this stone that glowed sticking out of the walls. Most were green, but she saw some that were blue, or even purple.
“Ah, look! EarthClan is coming! We can start now,” announced Thunderstar, the BreezeClan leader. Then, a shape from the shadows leaped onto the giant ledge overlooking all the cats.
“Yes… We have arrived!” said an elegant black she-cat with light gray stripes. Uproar came from most of the cats below. Who is she? thought Silverpaw. She had a regal smile, a long, twisted scar like a diagonal slash along her snout, and a smaller scar above her eye.
“SILENCE!” she boomed. “I will go first. I am Echostar, leader of the newly established DawnClan.” more yowls of protest rose from below. “Emberstar was killed by rogues, and her deputy had just recently been made an elder, so I have become leader. But, since to many I am just a stranger, I thought that it might be time to make a new clan,” she continued. Many of the cats growled or muttered to another, so Echostar unsheathed her gleaming claws. Silverpaw noticed that an elder sitting near Echostar was smelling the air.
“Echostar is no leader,” he announced. “That scent.. you’re a rouge, aren’t you? I know that scent very well, and you have it all over you,” he glared at Echostar, who looked furious.
“How DARE you?!” she roared. “I am no rogue! I- I once was, but then Emberstar showed me how much better clan life is…” she lowered her head in mourning. Slowly, she leaped down from the rock, her head still down.
“Well, look at that, the glow stones are fading already. What a waste of a gathering,” grumbled the old MoonClan leader, Longstar. “No. Starblaze may be angry, but the gathering must continue. There is important news to discuss,” Frozenstar yowled. Cats started murmuring to one another, as they realized that Frozenstar was there instead of Morningstar. It was also shocking to hear her demand that the gathering must go on, even when Starblaze is angry.
“Well, Frozenfeather, it seems like you have some news to share, or is it Frozenstar, now? We have no recent news in BreezeClan, so you can go ahead,” sharply meowed Thunderstar, the BreezeClan leader. Frozenstar jumped up onto the tall ledge, looking down on all the cats. Then, the glow stones began to glow again. Starblaze was calm now.
“I am very sad to announce that our beloved leader Morningstar drowned recently,” many cats lowered their heads and yowled in mourning. “I have also recently gone to Mooncove and received my nine lives, and my new name as a leader. Now I shall be called Frozenstar. Finally, we have four new apprentices, Whalepaw, Starpaw, Robinpaw and Silverpaw, and two new warriors, Mistclaw and Fadingripple,” she reported. She leaped down, but neither Longstar or Wavestar, the SunClan leader, took her place.
“Well, Frozenstar told her urgent news, so the gathering is officially dismissed,” Wavestar meowed. Silverpaw’s mind was exploding with all the information she had just heard. But, she ended up with only two extremely pressing questions. What was the deal with this new DawnClan? Why didn’t Wavestar or Longstar tell their clan news?
“FrostClan, follow me,” Frozenstar meowed. Slowly, Silverpaw got up and followed her leader back to camp. On their way back, the cats were slower, and many looked either confused or angry. Silverpaw was deeply in thought, wondering if Echostar really was who she said she was. She sure was regal and demanding, but there also seemed to be a lot that she was hiding. There was a small chance that Echostar was everything she said she was, but Silverpaw wasn’t convinced. And where did they find Emberstar’s body? Echostar didn’t mention anything about that… Does she really know what happened, or did one of her patrols find the body, just like in FrostClan, and she’s just lying about it?
Silverpaw looked up, and saw the huge spears of ice that made her camp safe and sound from attackers. Somewhere around the circle of ice spikes, there was a small tunnel that led to the FrostClan camp, which was inside the spiky circle. Most of the dens were either small caverns that were dug out of the ground, or hollows in the ice. In the center was Talloak, a huge oak with a small place where the leader sat on top during clan meetings, and the leader’s den was underneath the large, twisting roots of Talloak. This place was home to Silverpaw, and she would defend it with her life.
“Silverpaw, come to bed and get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow I need you to get a nice restock of most of our herbs,” Snowthorn meowed from across the clearing. Silverpaw slowly padded over to the fresh-kill pile and picked out a vole for herself and a mouse for her mentor. Most of her clanmates were chatting about the gathering together, but Silverpaw didn’t feel like talking about the event, so she kept walking to Snowthorn’s den where she stayed.
“Mmm… I haven’t had a mouse in a while. C’mon Silverpaw, let’s talk together,” Snowthorn meowed as Silverpaw entered her den. It was a cave, but an awfully pretty one, with little holes in the ceiling where light streamed through. She sat down next to the medicine cat, plopped the mouse down beside her, and then promptly started hungrily chowing down on her vole. It wasn’t much, but all of the FrostClan cats were used to living in a never-ending leaf-bare. They all had thick pelts, and didn’t need to eat as much as the other clans, so they were usually skinny, though with their long fur, it wasn’t easy to tell.
“Silverpaw, what do you think of that Echostar? I just don’t know whether to trust her or not…” Snowthorn asked unexpectedly.
“Won’t Starblaze tell you eventually? I mean, you are the medicine cat, and we did just hear about it today,” she answered. Snowthorn looked up at the stalactite-dotted ceiling. Silverpaw wondered what Starblaze was thinking right now. Were they like “Echostar is gonna be the best clan leader ever!” or like “No! Echostar is so evil! Ahhh!”?
“Starblaze doesn’t tell me everything, Silverpaw. I only know what is necessary for them to tell me. They never go into detail, just vague prophecies or visions, and even those happen rarely. But, I do have a special connection with them that-” Snowthorn cut herself off. “It’s very late. We should go to sleep. Goodnight, Silverpaw,”
Slowly, Silverpaw walked over to her nest and curled up into her warm bedding. Even with the crazy events of the days, Silverpaw soon felt darkness closing in around her, and she drifted off into deep, dreamless sleep.
Reedkit woke up to find her mother’s swollen belly rubbing against her side. She let out a soft mew as she stretched and walked out of the nursery. The clan was beginning to rise along with the sun. The party that went to the gathering was home.
“Hello, Reedkit,” said Rosefur as she walked past the nursery to Frozenstar’s den. Reedkit gave another soft mew.
“Let all cats old enough to fight gather beneath the Talloak for a Clan meeting!”
Reedkit let out an excited squeak! She ran to the big oak tree. Frozenstar was sitting on top of the trunk of the huge oak. Reedkit’s mother, Brookstorm, pushed her way out of the narrow entrance to the nursery.
“Reedkit, step forward,” Frozenstar said. “Today one young kit has reached the age of six moons, and is ready to begin warrior training. Reedkit, climb up. Your mentor will be Darkpool. Darkpool, you are respected for your determination and wisdom. I know that you will pass on all of your strength to Reedkit. From here until you become a warrior, Reedkit, you shall be known as Reedpaw.”
A feeling of excitement surged through her! About one moon ago, her friend Silverkit had been apprenticed, and her name had been changed to Silverpaw. Now Reedpaw would join her as an apprentice!
Silverpaw trotted out of the medicine cat’s den. “Congrats!” she said.
“Thanks!” exclaimed Reedpaw.
The hunting party returned with loads of fresh kill. Reedpaw took a vole and started eating beside Silverpaw, who was eating a small mouse at the medicine cat's den.
“How’s Brookstorm?” Silverpaw asked.
“Good. Snowthorn says she’ll be kitting any day, so she’s resting in the nursery.”
Suddenly, Rosefur was beside them. “Your mother has kitted, little Reedpaw,” she said, out of breath. Reedpaw hurried to the nursery with Silverpaw and Rosefur at her heels. As she squeezed through the narrow tunnel to the nursery, she saw her mother nursing two tiny little kits.
“Hello, dear,” her mother mewed weakly. The larger kit was dark reddish-brown with white and brown streaks and dapples, while the smaller one was flame-colored with a golden underbelly and paws. Their eyes were still closed, and Snowthorn was sitting beside Brookstorm.
“Reedpaw, come closer,” Brookstorm said as Reedpaw took another step toward her mother. “Meet your two new sisters. The little one is Blazekit, and the larger one is Rowankit,” she finished, gazing fondly at her kits.
The next sunrise, Reedpaw woke up to find Darkpool looking at her from the opening of the apprentices den. “Hello, young Reedpaw. Ready for hunting training?”
“Yes!” replied Reedpaw enthusiastically. “What are we doing today?”
“I thought the clan needed more fresh-kill, so we will be hunting today with Sunheart and Robinpaw.”
“Oh... okay, sure, I guess.”
Darkpool replied gently, “I know, being the youngest apprentice can be hard, but you will grow in skills and strength. Don’t worry.” Reedpaw brightened up. Maybe if she showed him how great of a hunter she was, then he would let her go do some actual training. She glanced around. Her friend Silverpaw was applying some herb mash to Falconcloud’s paw. Reedpaw shivered in disgust. Maybe hunting wasn’t as fun as battle training, but at least she wasn’t doing that.
Reedpaw turned around to find that Darkpool had already left camp. Burning with embarrassment, she stalked after Darkpool, tail drooping. Why do I have to make such a show of myself? I’m supposed to impress on my first day, not lose all my dignity!
“Reedpaw? What are you doing out here all by yourself?” Reedpaw looked up to find a sleek white she-cat looking worriedly at him.
“Sorry, Icicletail. I was just going out to find Darkpool. He left without me,” she explained. Icicletail cocked her head to the side and gave Reedpaw a confused look. “No…” she started. “When Darkpool was talking to you, he said that before the patrol went out, you would be checking the elders for ticks.” Reedpaw groaned. Anything was better than checking the elders for ticks. She had heard the other apprentices complain endlessly about doing it, and the concept just grossed her out, anyways. I mean, what sensible cat wanted to touch mouse bile, a.k.a. mouse barf.
Nevertheless, she followed Icicletail back to camp, and got ready to have the worst time in her entire life. However, when she got to camp, she already saw other apprentices taking mouse bile to the elder’s den. Everyone looked tense, so she asked Icicletail what was going on.
“You’ll find out when it’s time,” she responded warily. Reedpaw glanced at Silverpaw, still by the medicine cat’s den, and when she caught her eye, Reedpaw saw intense concern.
What? she mouthed at Silverpaw. Silverpaw shook her head.
N-no, she mouthed back, then looked away. Reedpaw sighed. Was no one going to tell her what was going on? It seemed unfair that other apprentices got to know stuff, but she didn’t. Sure, she was the youngest apprentice and it was her first day of training, but she still wasn’t that young and naive. Reedpaw thought that she deserved to know things, no matter what.
“Reedpaw,” Darkpool meowed, breaking her free from her spiraling thoughts. “Where have you been?! I was so worried!”
“Sorry,” Reedpaw mumbled. Darkpool muttered something about apprentices being so crazily eager to get out of camp, and Reedpaw looked down at her paws. She had made yet another mistake on her first day of training. Darkpool noticed her regret and embarrassment, so his expression softened. He stroked his tail across Reedpaw’s back, soothing her worries.
“It’s fine, Reedpaw. Other apprentices have already been told to check the elders for ticks in your place, so we’ll just go ahead hunting, and you can deal with the ticks tomorrow,” Darkpool’s forgiving voice made Reedpaw relax. Darkpool had forgiven her, and now she was going to go hunting for the first time! Sunheart and Robinpaw were already waiting at the entrance to the camp, Sunheart’s golden pelt gleaming in the sunlight, and Robinpaw’s handsome dark ginger fur, ruffled from the wind.
It had been no surprise to any cat that Frozenstar chose Sunheart as Robinpaw’s mentor, because Sunheart was the most patient and kindest cat in the entire clan, and Robinpaw could certainly use some humility. He was definitely the most good-looking apprentice, but he was awfully ambitious, and had quite the ego. He was still kind, though, and liked helping out the senior warriors.
“All right, then. Let’s go hunting,” Sunheart said, with not a hint of annoyance in his voice. Excitement tingled Reedpaw’s pelt as she padded out the camp, and her tail was held high. She remembered all those moons, waiting for the chance to get out onto the snowfield and hunt with the warriors, and now she was finally doing it!
“What do you smell, Reedpaw?” Darkpool asked her. Reepaw opened her mouth and took in all the scents of the snowfield, the most overwhelming smell being FrostClan’s distinct scent. Then, she thought she picked up something that made her mouth water, and her stomach rumbled.
“Hare!” she exclaimed.
“Shh! You’ll scare it away!” Robinpaw warned her. Reedpaw ignored him, watching Darkpool demonstrate how to do a hunting crouch. When she had finally perfected it, Sunheart told her to go ahead and try to catch it.
It took a while for Reedpaw to track the hare, but one she had it in her sight, she crouched down, moving silently across the snow. Finally, she pounced, but just a second too soon, and the hare dashed away from her outstretched claws. Mouse-dung! she thought bitterly. Suddenly, a dark ginger flash landed right on the fleeing hare, and Reedpaw heard the snap of its neck.
“Robinpaw!” Reepaw exclaimed, still surprised at the sudden appearance. “Well caught,” Sunheart added. Robinpaw beamed up at him, eyes shining.
“I thought Reedpaw probably wouldn’t catch it, and when I saw how plump it was, I knew I had to help!” he explained. Reedpaw scowled at him. She would’ve caught it, if she didn’t have so many thoughts swirling around her head!
When they returned to camp, Reedpaw had caught nothing, Robinpaw had caught that plump hare and a dove, and Darkpool and Sunheart had both caught a few hares and crows. They all seemed pretty satisfied with their catches, except Reedpaw. She couldn’t believe that she hadn’t caught a single piece of prey! Darkpool had told her that most apprentices didn’t catch anything on their first day, so there was no reason to be so upset, but Reedpaw wasn’t convinced. I’ll catch something tomorrow, she promised herself.
Reedpaw yawned. She stood up and stretched. It had been her third time sleeping in the apprentice den, and she loved it. No annoying kits arguing over which spot they got, waking up in the middle of the night to find that Quietkit and Swallowkit were playing a game of moss ball, and most of all, no snowball fights when the sun has barely risen.
“Going air hunting today, Reedpaw?” Whalepaw teased. Reedpaw whipped her head around and glared at him. She still hadn’t caught a single piece of prey, and all the apprentices had been teasing her about it endlessly, especially Whalepaw and Robinpaw.
“Actually, I’m doing battle training today,” she tried to say matter of factly, but a little excitement leaked into her voice at the end. Whalepaw just stalked out of the apprentice’s den. Beside her, she heard a loud yawn, and saw Starpaw stretch and walk out of the den. Robinpaw was still asleep, and Twilightpaw was scratching weird shapes on a block of ice.
“What are you doing?” Reedpaw asked curiously. Twilightpaw didn’t look up, but just kept scratching at the ice for a few more seconds, until she said, “Carving this ice.” Reedpaw wondered why anyone would want to do that, and then padded out of the den to get fresh-kill before training. It was still Sunup, but Rising sun was just around the corner, which meant battle training. Reedpaw’s pelt prickled with excitement, especially when she saw Silverpaw waiting for her by the fresh-kill pile.
“How’s Thistlefern?” asked Reedpaw. Recently, the warrior had come down with a bad case of whitecough, and the whole clan had been praying for days that it wouldn’t turn into greencough. She was an older warrior, but she was still strong, and the clan couldn’t afford losing another warrior in all of the DawnClan craziness.
“She’s doing well, actually. I don’t think her whitecough will turn into greencough, and Snowthorn agrees with me,” Silverpaw responded. Reedpaw relaxed. Greencough was the last thing the clan needed. She picked up a sparrow, and quickly gulped it down in large bites. Silverpaw giggled at her ferocity, and Reedpaw swatted with a paw. She loved being a warrior apprentice, but missed the days when she and Silverpaw would play all day. Then, Silverpaw got to know Snowthorn more. She started spending more and more time helping in the medicine cat’s den, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to Reedpaw when she became a medicine cat apprentice, but she was disappointed that they couldn’t train together, and constantly missed her friend.
“Reedpaw!” a dark tabby shouted from across the clearing. “It’s time for battle training!” Reedpaw said goodbye to Silverpaw, then bounded over to Darkpool. Last sunrise, Reedpaw had spent the whole day exploring clan territory, trying to remember landmarks, and listening to Darkpool tell about the best places to hunt. So. Boring. Battle training, on the other claw, sounded so fun, and Reedpaw was so excited that she would finally get her first session of it.
Reedpaw followed Darkpool to the training area, which turned out to be a large crater with white sand on the bottom, and three huge willow trees around the crater, creating a thick canopy for the training cats. Reedpaw had to admit, she hadn’t expected the training crater to be so cool. She stared down into the crater, and saw Twilightpaw already training with Woodriver.
“You may go down, Reedpaw,” Darkpool told her, amusement twinkling in his eyes. Reedpaw immediately dashed down into the crater, startling Twilightpaw while in the middle of move, so she lost her balance and careened over onto the sandy floor of the crater. Reedpaw couldn’t suppress her laugh, and soon Twilightpaw joined in, too.
When they finally stopped laughing, Reedpaw bounded down into the crater, excitement bursting inside her. When she finally got down, she looked at Darkpool expectantly.
“Today you will be learning a simple offensive move used against opponents who are larger and heavier than you,” he told Reedpaw. “To do it, you slide under the opponent, and latch onto their underbelly with your claws in the process, then twist in mid-air and send your opponent slamming into the ground.” Reedpaw stared at him in dismay. That sounded hard. Really hard. Woodriver glanced worriedly at her.
“Are you sure, Darkpool? That’s an advanced move,” he commented. Darkpool lifted his chin, eyes shining with pride.
“I know my apprentice can do it,” he responded stubbornly. “Now, Reedpaw, try it on me, since I’m bigger than you.” Reedpaw repeated all his instructions in her head five times, then slid under Darkpool. Unfortunately, she slid too low, and her hind paws got covered in the white sand. Darkpool awkwardly shifted away from Reedpaw, allowing her to stand up. Flashing the instructions in her mind a few more times, she slid under Darkpool, but keeping her paws from going too low, she latched onto his underbelly. I’m doing it! Reedpaw flipped in midair, and… nothing happened. Exhausted from the effort, she let go of Darkpool, and he once again moved away from her so she could get off the sand.
“Oops. I didn’t think about you having to flip all of my weight,” Darkpool glanced embarrassedly at Woodriver. “Maybe you should try it on Twilightpaw, instead.” Reedpaw immediately slid under Twilightpaw, catching her off-guard, sank her claws into her underbelly, and twisted so Twilightpaw was knocked off her paws. She landed into sand with a thud, pinned by Reedpaw, whose heart was exploding with joy.
“Wow,” Twilightpaw meowed. “You’re amazing.”
Patrol wasn’t nearly as fun as battle training, but Reedpaw thought that not even checking the elders for ticks could stomp out her high spirits. She bounded along, following the patrol as quickly as she could. The patrol consisted of her, Darkpool, Rainshiver and Whalepaw, and Mistclaw.
“Ughhh. This is almost as bad as listening to Graysoul’s stories,” Whalepaw whispered to Reedpaw, dropping back to walk beside her. “I’ve never gotten why Silverpaw likes them!” she added, giggling. She looked up, and saw that the rest of the patrol had stopped. Whalepaw raced ahead to find out what was going on.
“MoonClan,” Rainshiver growled. “They changed the border again.” Reedpaw sped up, and when she got closer, she could smell the distinct scent of MoonClan.
“There they are!” Mistclaw whispered, pointing his tail in the direction of the MoonClan patrol. “MoonClan! Why did you change the scent markers again?” The patrol slowly padded toward the FrostClan cats, tails lashing, and claws unsheathed.
“Ah, Mistclaw, this is our territory now,” a slender brown she-cat hissed at Mistclaw.
“Not for long, Hazelfoot,” Rainshiver growled. “FrostClan, attack!” Reedpaw immediately leaped into the fighting, but she felt a strong cat’s teeth pull her out. She struggled and thrashed, trying to break her attackers grip, but they kept pulling her away. She yowled as loud as she could, trying to get help, but nobody came. Starblaze, help me!
“Reedpaw!” Reedpaw was let go, and she spun around to face her opponent. It was Darkpool. “Reedpaw! I need you to warn the clan! I think MoonClan has reinforcements coming, so I want us to have some, too. Reedpaw immediately bounded back to camp as soon as she could, and yowled, “Border attack! MoonClan invasion!” She helped everyone get ready, but just as new cats were leaving, a gray shape appeared outside of camp.
“There’s MoonClan!” Willowsky yowled as the figure bounded into the entrance tunnel. Everyone braced themselves for a fight, but as the cat walked in, waves of relief passed through the clan.
“It’s okay! We won!” yowled Mistclaw as he bounded into the center of the clearing. Everyone celebrated, as the rest of the patrol came back. Reedpaw didn’t even notice Silverpaw slipping in next to her until she said, “I’m glad you’re not hurt.” Reedpaw leaned in closer to Silverpaw, and took in the glory of their one, short victory. Reedpaw still just didn’t trust that DawnClan, and she guessed it would cause more battles to come.
“Then, once the traveling cats finally arrived at this very island, the snow and ice stretched throughout all of the clan territories we know today. It was unlivable. After staying there for about a quarter-moon, all the travelers faced death, so Starblaze did something amazing. They created borders for the ice, so the island was free from the endless snow. And, y’know, those borders are the very same ones we have for FrostClan, today,” Silverpaw stared wide-eyed at Graysoul as he told the story, and listened intently.
“Silverpaw! I need help!” Snowthorn’s anxious yowl sent Silverpaw bounding towards the medicine cat’s den as fast as she could. Recently, four cats in the clan had gotten whitecough, so Silverpaw barely got any free time. Thistlefern was the first, but soon after, Briarshade, Pidgeonbush, and Rainshiver had gotten sick, too. Snowthorn had also gotten more snappy lately. Silverpaw understood that she was probably just stressed because FrostClan cats didn’t get sick often, so it was rare to have four warriors sick at once. Still, Silverpaw missed all her light-hearted jokes.
“Please leave, Whalepaw,” Silverpaw glanced at the entrance, only to see Rainshiver’s apprentice. He had been bugging her constantly, ever since his mentor had gotten whitecough, which was about a quarter-moon ago. Whispers of the battle also were around camp, but Silverpaw was a medicine cat. She didn’t need to worry about anything to do with border skirmishes. Still, I wouldn’t mind showing those MoonClan cats who’s boss! she thought, tail lashing.
“Silverpaw, calm down! You’re going to mess up all the herbs!” Snowthorn meowed, making Silverpaw jump. Snowthorn padded over to the pile of comfrey, accidentally treading on her tail in the process. Silverpaw sighed. She wished Snowthorn would take out her anxiety on some other cat, but understood that she was the only cat Snowthorn had really been around lately, besides the patients. Plus, the next day was the gathering, so everyone was wondering if Frozenstar would call out MoonClan for trespassing, or just keep quiet. Silverpaw secretly hoped she would challenge them. They had intruded, after all, and she didn’t want them leaving thinking they had gotten away with it. Silverpaw padded to the entrance of the medicine cat den. She turned to Snowthorn, her gaze softening. Snowthorn was hurriedly trying to treat all her patients' needs at once, from giving them healing herbs, to helping them scratch themselves in a place they couldn’t reach.
“I’m going to try to find more catmint. We have barely any left, and I want to be ready if the whitecough turns into greencough,” Silverpaw told her, stress cracking her voice.
“Yes, yes, of course, Silverpaw,” Snowthorn replied hastily. Silverpaw turned around and walked into the center of camp, blinking from the sudden light. She suddenly realized how tired she was, and then guilt washed over, remembering how much work Snowthorn had to do. She bounded out of camp, thinking of the best places to search for catmint. Since it was technically leaf-bare, MoonClan would have snow, too, so the EarthClan border would be the best place to look.
Silverpaw stopped as she caught herself thinking about EarthClan. I… I mean DawnClan, she corrected herself shakily. It had been almost a moon since DawnClan had settled on the island, and so far, they hadn’t caused any trouble at all, much to most cats’ surprise. In fact, no cat in FrostClan had run into them at all, just smelled their scent markers along the border.
“Maybe they really are just a good, honest clan,” Silverpaw murmured to herself. She looked up, and smelled something amazing. Something rare. Something useful. Catmint. She raced ahead, following where the scent was strongest. Exhilaration pounded through her, making her feel like she was running on air. The wind and snow whipped in her face, and she leaped over dead logs and prickly bushes. Silverpaw was running faster than she ever had before. She wondered if this was what it was like to be a warrior, chasing after prey, and fighting off other clans in battles… She shook the thought away. The clan could use a medicine cat much more than another warrior, and she preferred it, anyways.
“Wha?” Silverpaw stopped running. She was standing on a small frozen lake, and in the middle, was a clump of healthy catmint, with large, green leaves just calling out to Silverpaw. She took a step forward. Suddenly, huge cracks sprung out from where she had steps, the sound of the cracks echoing in Silverpaw’s mind. Echoing?! The echoes grew louder, and kept growing until they were ear-splitting loud, blinding Silverpaw’s vision with pain. Blindly, she dashed forward, with words now also echoing in her ears.
The frozen echoes grow louder…
Silverpaw tried to look ahead. The catmint seemed close, but her vision was hazy. Desperate, she lunged forward, trying to reach the island where the precious herb grew, but the cracks jutting under her paws finally opened up, and she sank into darkness. Silverpaw tried to flail her legs around and propel herself to the surface of the water, but she felt like she was moving through sand. Her lungs screamed for air. Time seemed to slow down. The echoes disappeared. Everything went black.
When Silverpaw awoke, she was in a cave made of black rock that had frost covering its walls. As far as Silverpaw could tell, there was no way out.
“Hello, young Silverpaw,” Silverpaw jumped as she turned around, and saw a starry jet black she-cat with deep blue eyes. “Our time is short, so I must say this quickly.” Silverpaw took a deep breath, bracing herself for what either incredibly terrible or wonderful the she-cat would say next. Amusement twinkled in the she-cat’s eyes.
“Beware the thorns and briars of cold. Beware the path that slowly unfolds, and prepare for an attack by the one you trust most. May Starblaze light your path,” Silverpaw stared blankly at her, trying to figure out what the prophecy meant, and why this strange cat would give it to her. She hadn’t even been training for a moon and a half! Surely Starblaze would have given this message to Snowthorn instead?
A freezing cold bit through Silverpaw, and echoes of the prophecy grew around her. Not again! She sank down to the floor of the cave, and covered her ears to stop the noise. Silverpaw closed her eyes, and everything turned into nothing.
A shrill wail cut through the blackness. “Silverpaw? Silverpaw! Please, wake up!” Silverpaw tried to move, but pain surged through her, and her eyes felt frozen shut. Everything was stiff. Even just breathing took a huge amount of effort, and Silverpaw found herself battling to stay conscious. She was just grateful for the familiar scent of one of her clanmates that flooded her nose.
“She needs help from a medicine cat. I’m sure her clanmates will understand,” said a third voice, kinder than the second. So these cats aren’t from my clan… but which clan are they from, then? Silverpaw tried to think of a plausible theory, but her mind kept sliding farther away into darkness. Finally, she gave in.
“Silverpaw? ...That’s your name, right?” a voice sweet like nectar pushed Silverpaw into consciousness. Immediately, the overwhelming scent of MoonClan stunned Silverpaw. Her eyes flew open, and she saw two cats bending over her, looking worried. The first one was gray with white dapples, and the other was white with a brown spot on her forehead. Her mother! She was the first voice Silverpaw heard when she woke up from her dream! Warmth flooded Silverpaw. Someone had really cared that she had been gone.
“My Silverpaw! You finally woke up!” Whitesinger started vigorously licking Silverpaw’s freezing pelt to warm her up. Silverpaw looked around. She seemed to be in MoonClan’s medicine cat den. It smelled earthy, and the scent of pine sap and dead pine needles overwhelmed all of Silverpaw’s senses. Near the entrance, two other warriors were watching her, along with a lithe apprentice who was staring at her, so Silverpaw looked down at her paws. He was a dark brown tom, with dusky brown stripes and gray paws.
“Why are you in here?” Silverpaw asked him, skeptically. He shuffled his paws and looked up at the big ginger tortishell tom beside him. The tom sighed, and looked disgustingly at Silverpaw.
“I am Flamecloud. That kit of an apprentice next to me is Vinepaw, and the black, gray, and cream cat on my other side is Pebbleheart,” he growled. Silverpaw realized with a shock that Flamecloud was the second voice she had heard when she was rescued, so Pebbleheart must have been the third. She certainly looked nicer than Flamecloud.
“When can I go home?” Silverpaw asked the medicine cat as she turned away from the other cats.
“You can come to the gathering tonight, and regroup with your clan there. Also, the name’s Snowdrop,” she responded sweetly.
Silverpaw’s heart pounded. Tonight, she would finally get back to the clan she loved. To Reedpaw, and Snowthorn, and... no. Her father probably wouldn't want to see her, anyways.
Silverpaw’s pelt tingled with excitement, and her paws ached to dash all the way to the gathering, and reunite with her clan. Instead, she was stuck slowly walking along like an elder, with pine needles slicing her pads and clinging to her fur. Vinepaw told her Longstar usually started out slow, but then went really fast the rest of the way to the gathering, but now Silverpaw wasn’t convinced.
Suddenly, she felt herself falling behind the rest of the clan, and raced to catch up. Vinepaw was right! Silverpaw ended up running beside Vinepaw, matching his long strides and quick swerves around trees step by step. He was fast, but Silverpaw wouldn’t let the MoonClan apprentice in a race. She had to show him that FrostClan was the fastest, best clan on the island!
“Wow! Do you get your speed from chasing tons of hares?” Vinepaw remarked as she passed him.
“I’m a medicine cat apprentice, actually,” she said smugly. She slowed down so Vinepaw could catch up, and started noticing the faint scents of BreezeClan, DawnClan, and… FrostClan! Silverpaw skidded to a halt as Longstar, the MoonClan leader, stopped, then trekked forward to the Glow Cavern, the meeting place of all the clans.
“Reedpaw!” Silverpaw exclaimed as the reddish-brown apprentice bounded towards her. Then, a dark ginger and white tom joined Reedpaw with a relieved expression. Robinpaw? Why…?
“Oh,” Reedpaw said, making this weird expression at Vinepaw. “Who is this?” Silverpaw tilted her head, wondering why her friend cared about the MoonClan apprentice.
“I’m Vinepaw,” Vinepaw answered, suddenly very interested in his paws. Silverpaw rolled her eyes, and tried to spot Snowthorn.
“I’m glad you’re fine, although I would have never expected that you were staying with MoonClan,” Robinpaw meowed, making Silverpaw jump. She turned around and met his forest green eyes, wondering if she should tell him what had happened, when one of the leaders yowled for attention. The gathering was about to begin.
Silverpaw turned around, realizing just how many cats were packed into the one cave. At her first gathering, she had been so excited that she had barely noticed anything besides the leaders talking. Now, she noticed it all. The murmurings of warriors, the apprentices trying to finish their “battle” quickly, but most of all, the absence of Snowthorn. Silverpaw thought she would have come to see her, but maybe she was just really busy. An image of the four whitecough patients in the clan popped into Silverpaw’s head.
Of course! Snowthorn had to stay to tend to them, she realized. As if answering her thoughts, Reedpaw leaned over to her and whispered, “Today, at Sundown, Snowthorn noticed that Pidgeonbush’s whitecough turned to greencough. We’re all pretty scared for her.” Silverpaw agreed. It was rare for FrostClan cats to get whitecough in the first place, not to mention greencough.
“Ahem!” Silverpaw whipped around to see who was on the ledge, and saw none other than Longstar. “MoonClan will go first. I am sad to announce that our deputy, Cinderwatcher, recently died in a battle against DawnClan. Our new deputy is Copperflare,” he said, glaring at DawnClan. Echostar just smirked, and got ready to pounce up onto the ledge, so Longstar jumped down for her.
“What Longstar said is true. There was a horrible battle, in which one of my warriors died, too. We mourn for you, Weedstalk!” several other cats joined in with mournful yowls before she continued. “We had a proper vigil for her, and we have one new warrior! Lakepaw is now Lakefeather, and so far she has been a wonderful warrior!” Echostar gracefully leaped down from the ledge, and Frozenstar took her place.
“To start off, unfortunately, three of our warriors have gotten whitecough, and one greencough. However, three new kits were born in our nursery. They are Brookstorm’s kits: Rowankit and Blazekit. We also have one new apprentice, Reedpaw,” everyone turned to look at Reedpaw, so Silverpaw fluffed up her fur, trying to hide her friend. Unfortunately, that just made cats stare at her too, so she padded away into the mass of FrostClan warriors. Settling into a spot away from other non-FrostClan cats, she listened to what Thunderstar was about to say, because he had just leaped up onto the ledge.
“BreezeClan has had one elder get-”
“What was MoonClan like?” Silverpaw nearly jumped up when she heard Robinpaw whisper into her ear. He hadn’t been sitting there when she first came to the spot. Had he come over, just to sit with her?
“Weird. The leader’s den was actually in a tree, and there were pine needles everywhere,” she responded. “I didn’t notice that Cinderwatcher wasn’t there, though. I thought he was just really busy.” Robinpaw scooted closer to her, so their pelts were brushing, and Silverpaw felt hot with embarrassment. She really needed the gathering to end already. Her paws ached to be back on the snowfield, and she needed to get away from Robinpaw. Since when did he care about anyone but himself? He was always an arrogant hare-brain, and that’s it.
After what felt like a few eternities, the gathering ended. BreezeClan just had a sick elder, and Wavestar just talked about how well SunClan was doing the entire time. Compared to the last gathering, it was pretty boring.
“FrostClan! To me!” Frozenstar yowled from the entrance of the Glow Cavern. Silverpaw bounded over to her, not caring when she saw Flarepelt glaring at her. She could almost hear his lecture on making sure FrostClan’s apprentices didn’t look completely helpless. She had heard him lecture plenty of younger warriors and apprentices when she was a kit, and they didn’t sound fun. Frozenstar, however, wasn’t really the stern type, and she was usually too young to give most warriors lectures anyways, even when she was deputy.
Silverpaw turned around, and saw Reedpaw bounding towards her. Her eyes sparkled with excitement and curiosity, so Silverpaw guessed she was going to be getting a lot of questions once they got back to camp.
As she bounded through the dense pine forest into FrostClan, Silverpaw’s heart felt like it was beating faster than a hare could run. Home! she thought as the smell of snow rushed through her nose. Faster and faster she raced, lengthening her strides, until she was practically a bird skimming over the tundra. That is, until she had passed Frozenstar by quite a few fox-lengths, and skidded to a halt, on fire with embarrassment. Fortunately, when Frozenstar caught up with her, there was surprise and pride on her face, instead of anger that Silverpaw had run ahead of her.
“That was wonderful, Silverpaw! I’ve never seen a medicine cat run that fast in my life!” she exclaimed. “Just make sure not to run too fast sometimes.” Silverpaw smiled, and turned around to see the shape of their camp, closer than she expected. I’m home.
“Got a thorn in your paw again, Robinpaw?” Silverpaw said as the dark ginger tom bounded into the medicine cat’s den. Ever since their greencough and whitecough patients had healed (which was five sunrises ago), Robinpaw had been visiting her almost daily, taking any chance he got once Snowthorn was away, and when he didn’t have to do his apprentice duties. He would always come with some minor injury, just as an excuse to talk to Silverpaw. And, ever since the gathering (which was a quarter-moon ago), Reedpaw had been bugging her about it constantly. Her recent conversation with her still rung in Silverpaw’s ears.
“He was so worried about you when you didn’t come back. And now, he always visits you. I can’t believe you haven’t already figured it out!” she had said. “Figured out what?” Silverpaw had responded. Reedpaw took a long, dramatic sigh.
“He liiiiiiiiiiiikes you.”
“What?! That's absurd! He definitely does not. Besides, I’m a medicine cat, so I can’t have a mate anyways. Furthermore, I’m only an apprentice, and way too young to have kits. And, lastly, I DON’T EVEN LIKE ROBINPAW THAT MUCH!” After she had said that, Reedpaw had collapsed in giggles.
“Are you okay?” Robinpaw broke her out of her thoughts with a start.
“Umm… Yes, yes, of course. Of course I’m fine.”
“Alrighty, then. Hey, by the way, have you seen Snowthorn a lot? She’s been pretty absent lately.” Silverpaw realized that it was true. Ninety percent of the time, FrostClan’s medicine cat was off collecting herbs somewhere.
But… she couldn’t spend that much time just getting herbs, could she? And, if so, what is she really doing?
Reedpaw growled quietly. Robinpaw was visiting Silverpaw again. Sometimes she wondered if she would ever get to talk to her friend again. It seemed like the dark ginger apprentice was visiting Silverpaw every second he could. It was clear that something had damaged his brain when Silverpaw went missing, so he completely forgot about the rule that MEDICINE CATS CAN’T FALL IN LOVE. Still, he very obviously had fallen in love with her, and now suspiciously got TEN INJURIES A DAY. The most annoying thing, however, was that Silverpaw seemed fine with it. In fact, she was probably even enjoying it. Had she completely forgotten about the warrior code? Had it just FALLEN OUT OF HER HEAD?!
“Reedpaw! Are you going to groom my pelt, or what?” Graysoul snapped. Grudgingly, Reedpaw bent over and began to groom his course, untidy fur. As she kept doing it however, angry thoughts kept filling her head, so she didn’t even try to be gentle.
“All right, all right! That’s enough,” Graysoul meowed snappily. Reedpaw sighed with relief. Darkpool said that he would take her hunting (only so she could catch a piece of prey for the first time), and Reedpaw was determined to finally catch her first piece of prey. She bounded out of the elders’ den, and looked around for Darkpool. After a few seconds, she spotted him laying out in the sun by the fresh-kill pile.
“Ah, Reedpaw, good news! Today, after hunting, Snowthorn has decided that it is time Silverpaw learned some battle moves, so she will be training with you!” Reedpaw’s pelt bristled with excitement. She could finally show Silverpaw all the cool moves she had learned! First, though, she had to focus on hunting.
Reedpaw bounded out of the exit tunnel in camp, barely containing her exhilaration. She would FINALLY catch a piece of prey today, she knew it! Almost immediately, she caught the scent of a dove. Crouching, she stalked up close to the dove, waited until she was sure it felt safe, then pounced! Reedpaw landed right on the dove, not even giving it the time to try to fly away. Reedpaw loudly yowled in triumph. She had done it! SHE HAD CAUGHT HER FIRST PIECE OF PREY!
“Well done, Reedpaw!” Darkpool’s meow was overflowing with pride. “Now, let’s go to the training crater! Silverpaw and Snowthorn are probably already there.” Darkpool immediately broke into a run, and Reedpaw raced to catch up with him. She kept running, lengthening her strides, until she passed Darkpool. Then, turning around, she saw the giant pit in front of her. Trying to stop herself, she lodged her hind paws in the snow, but slipped, and…
Slammed into a hard willow tree.
“Reedpaw! Are you okay?” Reedpaw heard Silverpaw’s anxious mew from the bottom of the crater. Reedpaw nodded weakly, and stumbled to where Darkpool was standing, at the entrance down into the crater.
“Hmm. Reedpaw, how about you rest for a few minutes before you train with Silverpaw. I want you to be fully prepared, and not to have a disadvantage,” Darkpool said, worry leaking into his voice. Reedpaw nodded again, carefully padded down into the crater, and curled up comfortably on the white sand. Closing her eyes, she realized how very tired she was.
“Reedpaw! Wake up! It’s time for training!” Darkpool’s meow broke Reedpaw out of her peaceful sleep. Suddenly energized, she leaped up, flexing her claws.
“Reedpaw. Today you will be practicing using any move you want on Silverpaw, and Silverpaw, you will be trying to defend yourself. Got it?” Darkpool said, and both apprentices nodded. Reedpaw knew exactly what move she was going to use. Readying herself, she repeated the instructions for the move inside her head. Then, making sure not to slide too low, she slid under Silverpaw, and latched onto her underbelly with her claws. However, before she could flip Silverpaw over, Silverpaw flipped herself onto her back, and used her powerful hind legs to spring Reedpaw off of her, and send her slamming onto the sandy floor. Suddenly, Silverpaw had Reedpaw pinned, and Reedpaw gaped up at her in dismay.
“Excellent, Silverpaw! That was wonderful! Great training session!” Darkpool exclaimed as Silverpaw let go of Reedpaw.
You too, Reedpaw!” Silverpaw added. “I never knew you could fight so well!” Well, apparently that’s still not enough to beat the medicine cat, Reedpaw grumbled to herself. Next, Darkpool had them practice stealth moves, and how to sneak up and surround your opponents when fighting in a group. By the time they were done, it was almost Sundown, and Reedpaw was exhausted.
“Alright! Snowthorn, you can take Silverpaw back to camp, and Reedpaw and I will be going on a short border patrol,” Darkpool said briskly. Snowthorn nodded; the first time Reedpaw noticed her doing something, and Reedpaw groaned quietly. The last thing she wanted to do was a border patrol.
“Who is it with?” she asked.
“You, me, Sunheart, Robinpaw, Skymist, and Falconcloud.”
“That’s a big patrol.”
“We need to be prepared in case MoonClan is crossing the border again.” Darkpool said goodbye to Snowthorn, then bounded in the direction of the border, where the others were already waiting. Reedpaw’s tired paws ached in protest, but nevertheless, she kept running. If there was going to be a battle, she wanted to be a part of it.
Suddenly, the overwhelming smell of pine hit her nose, and Reedpaw skidded to a halt. She looked around, and a few tail-lengths away were the rest of the patrol. Everyone looked calm and normal, except Robinpaw. His tail was twitching like crazy, and he kept glancing worriedly off into the distance, like an enemy could appear out of thin air. He’s worried about Silverpaw, she realized. Exasperated, she turned away, and started following the senior warriors, who were already starting the patrol.
“Do you really think we-” Reedpaw began.
“Shh! MoonClan scent!” Darkpool cut her off. Reedpaw opened her mouth to take in the scents, and sure enough, the smell of MoonClan was almost overwhelming. Crouching down, Reedpaw unsheathed her claws, and tried to spot the MoonClan cats. After a minute, she spotted them. Six burly warriors and one apprentice. They certainly looked ready for a fight.
Then, Sunheart made the slightest flick of a tail, and all the FrostClan cats, including Reedpaw, leaped onto the MoonClan patrol without making a single sound. Reedpaw ended up on one of the smaller warriors, and mercilessly slashed at her back. The warrior shook her off, but Reedpaw wasn’t giving up. She slid under the warrior, sank her claws into his belly, and twisted with all her might, to send him thudding onto the ground. Reedpaw pounced on him, slashing at his underbelly and side, when a large shape bowled her over. They pinned her to the ground, and Reedpaw squirmed under the weight of the warrior, when suddenly the weight was lifted.
“Robinpaw!” the dark ginger apprentice had his teeth clamped firmly on the large warrior’s neck, and Reedpaw realized with a start that it was Flamecloud. She moved closer to him, surprised that she felt calm.
“Get out of here,” she hissed at him. Robinpaw let go of him, and sure enough, the ginger warrior bolted for the border. She turned towards Robinpaw, who seemed to be waiting for her to say something else.
“Aren’t they other cats to fight?” Reedpaw asked.
“Darkpool told me that we need to stay together.”
“Alright, then… let’s fight them,” Reedpaw said with a flick of her tail at a slender she-cat and a big tom standing in the shadows of pine trees near the border. They raced over there, and Reedpaw leaped at the tom, while Robinpaw took the she-cat. She scored her claws across his neck, and bit down on his back. He flung her off, but Reedpaw quickly regained her balance and raced at him again. Before she could leap at him, however, she stopped, realizing something about the two warriors. There was something wrong with their scent. It wasn’t MoonClan… it was DawnClan.
Suddenly, Reedpaw was knocked over, her face pressed to the ground. She tried to break free, but she could barely even move. She felt herself fading into blackness, but then a shaft of light broke through. Reedpaw blinked from the light, and looked up. Instead of her attacker, she saw Darkpool standing over her, looking anxious.
“Are you okay?” he asked. Reedpaw nodded. She stood up, and saw the battle. Her heart dropped. The FrostClan cats were badly outnumbered, but the MoonClan warriors looked like they could fight all day.
“Falconcloud is getting reinforcements,” Darkpool said, as if he read Reedpaw’s mind. She turned back around, trying to see if she could spot one particular dark ginger apprentice. Strangely, Robinpaw was nowhere to be seen.
“Have you, um, seen Robinpaw at all? I mean, after I got pinned down,” she asked hopefully. Unfortunately, Darkpool shook his head. Reedpaw’s heart stopped. Is he… dead? A picture of Silverpaw flashed into her mind, and Reedpaw was filled with guilt. I was supposed to stay with him… How will Silverpaw react when- No. I’m not going there.
“FrostClan! Attack!” Reedpaw whipped around to see reinforcements bounding nearer, led by Frozenstar herself. Seeing all the warriors, MoonClan turned and fled, and the FrostClan warriors erupted in triumphant yowls. But Robinpaw’s still gone. Will he come back?
Silverpaw shuffled her paws nervously, and her tail twitched. The battle was taking forever. A while ago, Falconcloud had raced into the camp, yowling that there was a battle, and they needed reinforcements. Frozenstar had quickly assigned a battle patrol, led by her. However, that was a while ago. Falconcloud had come near the end of Sundown, and it was the middle of Moonrise.
“Don’t worry, they’ll come back soon,” Snowthorn reassured. Silverpaw turned around to face her, grateful but surprised. Snowthorn had gotten even more snappy lately, and didn’t make jokes. Silverpaw often wondered why that was, but she could never come up with an answer. Maybe…
“Here, you should sleep, Silverpaw. You’ll see them in the morning,” Snowthorn continued. Silverpaw wanted to protest, but she was tired. Battle training had been tiring on its own, but then she had to do another herb restock, which took forever. She yawned, padded back to her nest, and curled up in the warm moss and feathers. Snowthorn is right. I’ll see Reedpaw and Robinpaw tomorrow…
“Silverpaw! They’re here!” Snowthorn’s relieved meow woke Silverpaw up with a start. Realizing what she had said, Silverpaw bounded out of the medicine cat’s den, and saw the battle patrol walking back into camp. But… they looked… like something bad had happened. Silverpaw walked over to where Reedpaw was, and licked her on the ear.
“Why is everyone like this? Did you lose?” she asked anxiously.
“No, we won, but… um…”
“But what? Reedpaw, come on. Tell me!”
“Uhh, well, umm…” Reedpaw took a deep breath. “Robinpaw’s missing, okay?” she finished hastily. Silverpaw stared at her in dismay and disbelief. She shook her head, and scanned the patrol for the arrogant apprentice. She didn’t spot him, but she did notice Sunheart. His golden pelt looked dull in the moonlight, and his head was hung in grief, while Darkpool was next to him, trying to comfort him.
“Okay,” Silverpaw finally told Reedpaw. “I- I believe you.”
“Yeah. Sunheart’s devastated. Robinpaw was his first apprentice, you know.”
“I feel so bad for him. Will he get another apprentice?”
“Definitely. Frozenstar already promised him that he could mentor Quietkit.”
“Great.” Silverpaw finished. She was done talking. For the first time, she actually wanted to sleep. She wanted to sink away into darkness and forget about the events of the day. Then, when she woke up, everything would be fine. It had to be fine.
She wanted to sink away into darkness and forget about the events of the day. Then, when she woke up, everything would be fine. It had to be fine.
Silverpaw sighed. She walked away towards the medicine cat’s den, and, once again, curled up to sleep, hoping that no dreams would intrude on her peaceful rest. Unfortunately, it wasn’t up to Silverpaw. Nevertheless, she soon slid into nothing.
“Silverpaw.” A calm, but somehow familiar voice jolted Silverpaw back into the black cave she had seen in her dream when she had been drowning. And there, standing in front of her, was the black she-cat with deep blue eyes who had told her the prophecy. However, this time, worry and desperation filled the she-cat’s gaze.
“There is little time left. You must remember the prophecy! You cannot let it happen! Something terrible draws near, Silverpaw, and you must stop it!” With her final words, the she-cat and the black cave faded away…
Silverpaw jolted awake. Fear pulsed through her, and she desperately tried to remember the prophecy. Hmm. I think… um… oh! Beware the thorns and briars of… snow? No, it’s cold. And then… beware the path that slowly unfolds, and prepare for an attack by the one you trust most. But… thorns and briars of cold? I guess Briarshade could be the briars, and cold could just mean he’s in FrostClan. But, no, that doesn’t make sense. Does it?
“Silverpaw!” Silverpaw stood up, and walked to the entrance of her den. Snowthorn was standing outside, looking annoyed.
“What is it?” Silverpaw asked.
“It’s almost Rising sun, and I need to get to the Mooncove. We also have some… things to discuss.”
“Stop being nosy.”
“Just tell me!’
“A prophecy! The shining cat shall make the echoes fade. There, happy?”
“Yes, thank you. Now, let’s go!” Silverpaw was glad to be done arguing with Snowthorn, but now her mind was really swirling. Another prophecy? Didn’t I just get one? Nevertheless, she tried to focus on what was in front of her, and not lose sight of Snowthorn, who was guiding her.
“Isn’t this the route to the Glow Cavern?” Silverpaw asked, confused.
“Of course. The Mooncove is connected to it. Didn’t you know that already?” Snowthorn answered, and Silverpaw shook her head. She bounded ahead, glad when the Glow Cavern was finally in sight.
“Alright,” Snowthorn meowed when they entered the Glow Cavern. “See that dark corner of the cavern over there? That’s where the tunnel to the Mooncove is.” Snowthorn went ahead to the tunnel, lowered herself down to fit into it, and then started crawling in it. Silverpaw followed her, scarily aware that she couldn’t see a pawstep ahead of herself. Eventually, the tunnel roof became higher, so Silverpaw could stand, but the walls still pressed in on either side of her, so her fur brushed each side of the tunnel.
Then, Silverpaw gasped. Ahead, she saw a bright light, and when she ran towards it, it opened up into a huge cavern, way bigger than the Glow Cavern, except this one had no ceiling. In the center, there was a large rock like a pathway that went higher and higher up, until it finally stopped at a small area just big enough for two cats. The air was crisp and fresh, and Silverpaw almost felt the spirits of Starblaze around her.
“Welcome to the Mooncove,” Snowthorn meowed. The Mooncove, Silverpaw echoed in her mind. Snowthorn started to walk up the rock pathway, so Silverpaw rushed to join her, fur bristling in excitement. When they finally reached the top, Snowthorn stopped, and sighed.
“Silverpaw, when you reach the center area, sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Then, you will dream with Starblaze,” she instructed. Silverpaw bounded ahead and sat down, closing her eyes. She took a deep breath, breathing in all the wonderful scents of the Mooncove, and faded into darkness.
“Silverpaw,” Silverpaw stared in shock at who the voice came from. It was Morningstar. Joy filled her at the sight of her old leader, and she wanted to tell her all about what had happened in her life since she died, but Silverpaw guessed she already knew.
“It is wonderful to see you again. I have been watching you, and you have grown into such a lovely young cat. I wish I could send you news of joy, but unfortunately I must give you a warning, instead. The fate of the clans will soon be decided, and you are the only one who can save them. Keep your senses alert, Silverpaw, and be ready,” she continued. Silverpaw’s shoulders drooped. Not more news to make her feel like she had a belly full of crow-food! Still, it was good to see Morningstar again…
“Silverpaw! We need to get going!” Snowthorn’s voice pulled Silverpaw out of her dream. She blinked sleepily, then followed Snowthorn back down the rock path. Will these warnings ever stop? she thought. She looked ahead towards Snowthorn, who had a determined look on her face, and her tail held high. What had she heard from Starblaze?
“Oh! I forgot!” Snowthorn exclaimed, stopping in her tracks. “The- um… nevermind…” Silverpaw looked at her, bewildered. Why was she acting weird. Did Starblaze also give her a warning?
“I’m SOOOOO tired!” Reedpaw yowled grumpily. Silverpaw giggled. Reedpaw had done a full border patrol and some hunting, so she was constantly complaining about how tired she was.
“Will you sleep with me in the apprentices’ den tonight?” she asked Silverpaw.
“Actually, I think that’s a great idea,” Snowthorn meowed unexpectedly. Silverpaw blinked at her gratefully. It would be nice to finally sleep in the same den as Reedpaw again. She yawned and stretched, then headed towards the apprentices’ den, Reedpaw beside her. Excitement sparked in Silverpaw, every pawstep she got closer to it. Reedpaw showed her to her nest in the back, and Silverpaw curled up comfortably in the nest beside hers. Today was fun, Silverpaw thought. But tomorrow will be even better...
Silverpaw stirred in her nest, or, the nest she was borrowing. She had easily fallen asleep earlier that night, but she was wide awake now, and couldn’t fall back asleep. Something was tugging at her mind, and something was wrong. Very wrong. Dread filled her, although in the apprentices’ den, it was quite peaceful. Everyone was fast asleep. Everyone except me.
After a while, Silverpaw finally decided to stand up and stretch her legs. Just arguing with herself wouldn’t make anything happen. Still, when she started walking around her temporary denmates, her heart quickened. In the eerie silence, Silverpaw thought she heard a quiet purr, but she decided it was probably just from one of the apprentices. Stop being so jumpy! she ordered herself. Everything’s fine. You’re probably just scared because it’s so dark out.
Silverpaw stopped. Did something smell weird? She opened her mouth and took in all the scents around her, but just smelled FrostClan. See? There’s NO REASON TO WORRY. She dug her claws into the snow, as if she were a tree, rooted to the ground. Next, she took a step forward. Then another. Then two more.
“What?” Silverpaw breathed as she heard a soft yowl. Worried, she bounded out of the apprentices' den. And she opened her mouth… but nothing came out.
Standing in the center of camp, outside of Frozenstar’s den, was Snowthorn. Her amber eyes gleamed maliciously, and her claws were stained with blood, turning the snow around her red. She was not the Snowthorn that Silverpaw knew. She was a different cat. Or was she?
“Ah, couldn’t sleep, Silverpaw?” she meowed smoothly. “W-hat? Why? Did- um,” Silverpaw stuttered, barely able to make sense of what she was seeing. Snowthorn scratched a large X in the snow, her grin widening.
“Didn’t you know? This was my plan all along. Kill Frozenstar, take over FrostClan… ever since I was a kit,” Silverpaw kept staring at her in disbelief. Was Snowthorn’s tone almost… wistful?
“Then I’d make this helpless bunch of loners into a real clan. Who knew that all it would take was a bit of patience, a fake prophecy, and a very helpful… partner? Already took over a whole clan for me.”
“You mean Echostar? But… then…” The pieces started to fit together in Silverpaw’s head. Snowthorn helped Echostar get into the clans, so together they could take over all the clans. EarthClan and FrostClan were just the beginning.
“She’s evil!” Silverpaw blurted.
“Now, now,” said a voice in the shadows. “Evil is a bit harsh. We just have… different motives.” Echostar stood beside Snowthorn, flexing her claws. That’s putting it mildly. Silverpaw stared at the two she-cats, at a loss for words, and Snowthorn chuckled.
“But… how did you even get in here? I thought Fadingripple was standing guard!” Silverpaw hissed.
“She was, but she’s dead now.” replied Snowthorn.
“Still, just- just- WHY?!” Echostar snorted, like Silverpaw was amusing.
“Allow me to explain,” Snowthorn meowed. “DawnClan is just the start. Next, DuskClan will appear alongside DawnClan. Then… we’ll be unstoppable! No, almost unstoppable. Practically unstoppable.”
“Yes. MoonClan and SunClan have already joined us. Wavestar was wise. She easily promised SunClan to us, purely because of fear. Longstar, however, had to be convinced by force,” Echostar added. “Such a shame, too. Cinderwatcher was a good deputy.” Silverpaw’s mind was swirling. That’s how the MoonClan deputy had died! Longstar had said he died in battle, which was true, but he really was mainly killed to scare MoonClan into joining DawnClan.
Silverpaw looked around, suddenly noticing the many pairs of glowing eyes around her. DawnClan’s going to attack, she realized. We’re going to be invaded, just like MoonClan, and I’m the only cat who knows.
“Oh, and tonight…” Snowthorn’s voice broke Silverpaw back out of her thoughts. “Tonight... we will build DuskClan. Tonight, FrostClan will be gone! D-” she was cut off by Silverpaw, who pounced on her, and yowled, “FROSTCLAN… ATTACK!” She slashed her claws at Snowthorn’s underbelly, anger filling her up to the brim. Soon, however, another shape pinned Silverpaw to the ground. Echostar! No, no, no! Starblaze, SAVE ME! Snowthorn started attacking Silverpaw, too, and her vision started to swim. Yowls from the battling cats erupted around her, and Silverpaw vaguely wondered if Reedpaw was fighting.
Suddenly, part of the weight was lifted off of Silverpaw, so she used her hind legs to spring her attacker off of her. Echostar snarled at her, then raced away to fight another cat. Silverpaw turned to find Snowthorn, when a thought popped into her head. When I first saw Snowthorn, tonight, she had blood on her claws. It could have just been Fadingripple’s blood, but she was standing outside Frozenstar’s den… so… Starblaze, NO!
Silverpaw sprinted into Frozenstar’s den, horror running through her when she saw her leader’s limp body, blood welling from a cut in her neck.
“Frozenstar!” Silverpaw yowled desperately. To her surprise, Frozenstar shifted a bit, and moaned.
“Is Snowthorn gone?” she meowed weakly.
“No, she’s fighting outside in the battle with DawnClan.” Frozenstar sighed and sat up. She looked weary, like her few moons of leadership had taken a toll on her sleep. Silverpaw understood. Snowthorn had been one of her biggest supporters, and her older cousin, for Stablaze’s sake! Learning that her true intention was to kill Frozenstar and take over FrostClan was a huge shock, and Silverpaw thought that she would never get over it.
“That was my fourth life,” Frozenstar said unexpectedly. “I lost two from trying to save Morningstar’s body, almost as soon as I got them. The third was when I accidentally chased a hare over the border with DawnClan, because they forgot to mark their borders, and one of their patrols surrounded and attacked me.” That’s strange. A normal reaction would be to just give her a warning. Unless…
“I think- I think they didn’t mark their borders on purpose,” Silverpaw said, and Frozenstar stared at her, eyes wide with disbelief. “They wanted some cat to chase prey over the border, so they could ambush and kill them. Then, FrostClan would have one less warrior to fight when they invade. They didn’t know they would catch a leader in their trap. They probably were overjoyed when they saw you.” Frozenstar lowered her head and nodded.
“Um… but… why are you telling me all this anyways?”
“Because you’re our medicine cat now, Silverpaw.” The words struck Silverpaw like lightning. She was FrostClan’s medicine cat. Not just another apprentice. But… was she ready? Could she really save cats like Snowthorn had? “That’s why there’s one other thing I need to tell you. I’m having kits. With Flarepelt. I’ve known for a few moons now. Only- only Snowthorn knew.” Silverpaw took a few steps back. Frozenstar was having kits with her deputy? In FrostClan, that was generally frowned upon for many reasons, mainly because then they both could be distracted from their duties.
“Now you must go, Silverpaw. You have to find Snowthorn! The clan depends upon it. Upon you.” Frozenstar yowled desperately, and Silverpaw bounded out of her den. She opened her mouth, trying to find Snowthorn’s distinct scent, when she spotted her racing towards the exit tunnel. No! Silverpaw shouldered her way through the fighting cats, trying to keep the rogue medicine cat in her sight. She sprinted through the exit tunnel, trying to catch up with Snowthorn, when something echoed in her ears.
“Beware the thorns and briars of cold. Beware the path that slowly unfolds, and prepare for an attack by the one you trust most.” Silverpaw gasped. The prophecy had come true. The thorns of cold, Snowthorn, had betrayed the clan, and attacked them, when Silverpaw had trusted her with her life.
“Snowthorn! Stop!” she yowled, but the icy wind ripped her protest away. To Silverpaw’s surprise, Snowthorn didn’t seem to be headed towards the DawnClan border. She was going to the Cave of Frosted Tides. It was known for having great floods, which had killed many cats in the past. Why was Snowthorn going there? When she finally got in, Snowthorn turned around and looked at Silverpaw expectantly. Grudgingly, she kept running into the cave. She had to stop Snowthorn from getting away.
“Why did you betray me?” Silverpaw gasped once she ran into the cave. “You were the medicine cat! I was your apprentice! Everything- everything was good then!” Silverpaw felt tears pour down her cheeks.
“Oh, Silverpaw, I only became a medicine cat to gain trust. So no one would expect me to be a traitor. And it worked! Oh, and trust me, you’re much better off a warrior. You’re a horrible medicine cat,” Snowthorn hissed. Silverpaw’s world seemed to be dropping away, right there. She wasn’t meant to be a medicine cat. She couldn’t fufill a dumb prophecy. She couldn’t stop Snowthorn.
“Shame I’m going to kill you right now. You know, at the beginning, I thought we could join together. That’s why I was so nice to you. Then, I realized you were too loyal to your clan, so I had to sever our relationship. But now I’m giving you one last chance. We could be such a wonderful team, Silverpaw. It doesn’t have to be like this.” Snowthorn’s words sank right into Silverpaw’s heart. Still, she wouldn’t let her clan fall apart. It was her choice: power or loyalty.
“No, Snowthorn. It does have to be like this,” Silverpaw growled. In the distance, she heard crashing waves. A flood was coming. Silverpaw held her breath. She was going to die, but she would also stop Snowthorn. She would.
Then, Snowthorn pushed Silverpaw over onto the ground, and bounded out of the cave. Silverpaw turned around, and saw black water rushing towards her. She tried to stand up and run away, but she was too slow. Icy water swirled around her, and strong currents pulled her under. A faint memory of the first time she had almost drowned flashed in her brain, but this time, she was going to die. And she hadn’t stopped Snowthorn. Silverpaw felt her breath fade away, and her vision went black. I’m ready for you, Starblaze.
Silverpaw awoke on the border to a gorgeous field dotted with starlight. Two figures were standing over her: Morningstar and the jet black she-cat with deep blue eyes that had given her the prophecy about Snowthorn.
“Ah, Silverpaw. It is wonderful to see you again,” meowed the black she-cat.
“Um… yes, but… won’t you tell me who you are?” Silverpaw mewed awkwardly. The she-cat laughed.
“Well, I suppose you deserve to know. Whitesinger and Skymist aren’t your parents. I am your mother, Shadowbreeze. That is all I can tell you,” she answered. Silverpaw froze. Quietkit, Puddlekit, Beechkit, Whalepaw… they weren’t her littermates?
“Wow. Well, um, then, can I come into Starblaze?” Silverpaw asked. She started walking forward towards the meadow, but Morningstar blocked her.
“No,” she said. “You are too important to the Clans’ futures, so we have decided to give you another chance at life. Use it well, Silverpaw, and defend the clans!” Then, Morningstar, Shadowbreeze, and the rest of Starblaze faded away.
Reedpaw rolled over in her den. When was the last time she ate? It seemed like forever, but that didn’t matter. She wasn’t hungry. Ever since her friend Silverpaw’s death a quarter moon ago, she had eaten a single mousetail, or gotten a second of sleep. She was devastated, and angry too, because of the conversation she had heard between Frozenstar and Flarepelt, the night after she had died.
“This is just one disaster after another,” Flarepelt had growled. “Now we don’t have a medicine cat! What if your kits come, and we still don’t have one?!”
“I don’t know,” Frozenstar responded. “But right now we need to focus on the present. Now that Fadingripple’s dead, and Rosefur has retired, we need new warriors and new apprentices. I think Willowsky and Whitesinger’s kits are ready, and Whalepaw and Twilightpaw are old enough to be warriors. I’ll hold all of their ceremonies tomorrow.”
“Yes, and one of those kits must be a medicine cat apprentice. Quietkit seems like he could do a good job. But most importantly, we must forget about Silverpaw. The clan needs to be strong. I know it’s hard, but for the welfare of the clan, we have to move on.” Reedpaw had stalked away after that. She didn’t want to hear any more about forgetting Silverpaw. Because Reedpaw was definitely not going to forget. She was going to remember. And that’s it.
“Let all cats old enough to fight gather below Talloak for a clan meeting!” Frozenstar yowled, and Reedpaw bounded towards the center of camp.
“I, Frozenstar, leader of FrostClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Whalepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?
“I do,” Whalepaw meowed, obviously trying to stay calm.
“Then by the powers of Starblaze, I give you your warrior name. Whalepaw, from this moment on you will be known as Whalefin. Starblaze honors your loyalty and quickness, and we welcome you as a full warrior of FrostClan.” Frozenstar took a deep breath and turned towards Twilightpaw, who was surprisingly calm.
“Now, Twilightpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your clan, even at the cost of your life?”
“Yes, Frozenstar. But…”
“What is it, Twilightpaw?” Reedpaw could hear the tension in Frozenstar’s voice.
“I’m not meant to be a warrior, and you know it,” Twilightpaw demanded, and everyone stared at her. That was not how you talked to your leader. “I’m a terrible hunter, and a clumsy fighter. I can’t be a warrior.”
“Then what do you want to be?”
“I need to be a medicine cat. I know I’ve never had any training for it, but Starblaze will be my mentor. Please, Frozenstar!”
“Yes. I will allow it. By the powers of Starblaze, I give you your name as a medicine cat. Twilightpaw, from this moment on you will be called Twilightsplash. Starblaze honors your wisdom and quiet dignity, and we welcome you as a full medicine cat of FrostClan.” Everyone stayed silent for a second, but after Flarepelt gave the FrostClan cats a pretty intimidating glare, they erupted in yowls to celebrate the new warrior and medicine cat.
“Now, today, four young kits have…” Reedpaw padded back to her den, barely listening to Frozenstar. All she heard was that Beechpaw's mentor would be Falconcloud, Creampaw’s mentor would be Skymist, Swallowpaw’s mentor would be Flarepelt, and that Quietkit would be a medicine cat apprentice, with Twilightsplash as his mentor. Fury surged through her when she heard the Skymist was getting an apprentice. That fox-hearted excuse of a father! Reedpaw thought she would never forgive him for not sitting a vigil for his only daughter. Whitesinger deserved a much better mate than him. Frustrated, Reedpaw closed her eyes and faded into darkness…
Fury surged through her when she heard the Skymist was getting an apprentice. That fox-hearted excuse of a father! Reedpaw thought she would never forgive him for not sitting a vigil for his only daughter. Whitesinger deserved a much better mate than him. Frustrated, Reedpaw closed her eyes and faded into darkness…
When Reedpaw awoke, it was Moonrise, which meant it was time to go to the emergency gathering Frozenstar had summoned. Only four other cats got to go with her: Flarepelt, her deputy, two warriors, and one apprentice, which Reedpaw hoped was her. She wasn’t exactly sure what the meeting was about, but she was almost positive that Frozenstar was going to talk about Snowthorn’s betrayal.
“The cats going with me are: Flarepelt, Mistclaw, Sunheart, and Reedpaw. We’re leaving right now,” Frozenstar meowed dismissively. Reedpaw could tell her mind was on something else, but was too excited to care. She was going to the secret gathering! She immediately bounded to where the other cats that were coming were, her tail twitching with impatience.
“Reedpaw,” Frozenstar meowed quietly to Reedpaw. “I’m thinking about having you speak at the gathering, so if I call you up, be prepared.” Reedpaw nodded. She couldn’t wait to talk about avenging Silverpaw’s death to all the other clans. Well, except DawnClan, because they were talking about them. And if they ran into a DawnClan patrol, they would just think the FrostClan cats were on their own patrol. At least, Reedpaw hoped they would.
Finally, the Frozenstar raced out of camp, and the others followed. Mistclaw ended up running beside Reedpaw, his every pawstep matching hers. She looked at him just as he looked at her, so Reedpaw met his gaze, but quickly turned away, embarrassed.
Mistclaw was fluffy tabby, with almost all the different shades of gray you can imagine on his pelt. He was the one of the youngest warriors in the clan, only second to Whalefin. The image of his bright yellow eyes still burned in Reedpaw’s brain, even when she tried to push it away.
Reedpaw suddenly realized that the others had stopped, and looked up to see the Glow Cavern looming in front of her. She opened her mouth, and detected the scents of MoonClan and BreezeClan. Where’s SunClan? Are they just not here yet? Dashing ahead to catch up with the other cats, she noticed a dark brown tom with dusky brown stripes and gray paws sitting among the other MoonClan cats. How do I know him? ...Oh! He’s Vinepaw! Silverpaw introduced me to him...
“Reedpaw! Over here!” It took Reedpaw a second to realize that Vinepaw was calling to her. She padded over next to him, wondering if he noticed that she had been looking at him.
“So… what is it?” Reedpaw asked.
“That’s what I was going to ask! Why did Frozenstar summon us here?”
“I can’t tell you the details, but… since you knew Silverpaw…”
“Why? Wait… knew? Not know?” his voice grew panicked, and her eyes were as big as Reedpaw's head.
“She’s… in Starblaze now,” Reedpaw could barely say the horrid words.
“Oh. Oh, no! No, no no no no! I- Well, I’m sure she’s watching you Reedpaw. She was really nice while she was at MoonClan. So respectful, too!” Reedpaw nodded, still not wanting to face the truth. But… Vinepaw was right. Can you see me, Silverpaw? Are you really watching me?
High in the stars, Silverpaw’s heart twisted in pain. She turned to the cream she-cat beside her.
“Are you sure I can’t go down yet, Morningstar?” she asked. Morningstar nodded sadly, and Silverpaw rested her head on her paws, tired and frustrated. I'll come soon, Reedpaw. You just have to wait until then.
“I have called you here today for a very important announcement. A few sunrises ago, Snowthorn betrayed us and led Echostar to invade our camp,” Frozenstar meowed, rage burning in her eyes. Surprised gasps echoed around the cave, but Frozenstar kept going. “She took one of my lives, killed one of our younger warriors, Fadingripple, and drowned her own apprentice, Silverpaw. And who helped her commit this betrayal? Echostar! DawnClan also attacked your camp, Longstar, and Cinderwatcher ended up dying! DawnClan must be put in their place! These acts definitely violate the warrior code, and as true warriors, we must show them they cannot do that!” rage, pain, and desperation made Frozenstar’s shake so much, Reedpaw was sincerely worried for her leader.
“Frozenstar, we are deeply sorry for losses, but it would take a while for BreezeClan to actually get to DawnClan territory, and by then, our warriors would be too tired to fight. Plus, more bloodshed will just make DawnClan even angrier, which will lead to worse tragedies,” Thunderstar meowed, sounding sincerely apologetic. Longstar and Wavestar nodded.
“Yes, and Frozenstar… I’m afraid it’s too late to stop DawnClan,” Longstar said, frustration leaking into his voice. Wavestar looked down at her paws, and started to gather her warriors. Frozenstar leaped down from the ledge that Reedpaw had recently learned was called Lightledge.
Suddenly, just as FrostClan was about to leave the Glow Cavern, even though Reedpaw was still sitting in her spot, large rock debris hit Reedpaw in the chest, and she was sent flying back towards the wall, but when Reedpaw landed, well… she didn’t.
She had fallen into the large gap next to the wall that every cat knew to avoid. Panicking, she flailed her limbs, and reached to get a pawhold on the cavern floor. Then, her paw slammed onto rock, and she desperately tried to heave herself up. Unfortunately, the weight was too much for just one paw, and she was forced to let go. But… she wasn’t falling. Someone had grabbed her scruff, and was pulling her up! Clawing back onto solid ground, she looked up, and saw Vinepaw.
“Um… thanks,” Reedpaw said awkwardly. Vinepaw just shrugged.
“Any cat would have done the same,” he said dismissively.
“Yeah, but now MoonClan has left without you.”
“I can find my way back. And… I’m really, really, super sorry about Silverpaw. You must really hate Snowthorn and Echostar, now.”
“Mmhm. Except, loathe describes it better.”
“Ha. I wish the other leaders would listen to Frozenstar. She must be having a hard time. I mean, especially since she’s having kits during all this.” Reedpaw stared at him in dismay. Then, she remembered the conversation she had heard between Frozenstar and Flarepelt. They had mentioned it would be bad if they didn’t have a medicine cat when Frozenstar’s kits came! But… Flarepelt had said it with such defensiveness and concern that it almost sounded like… Oh no. Frozenstar is having kits with her deputy!
“Wait- how do you know?”
“It’s pretty obvious. Her belly’s huge!” Reedpaw surprised herself, and burst into laughter. It was the first time since Silverpaw’s death that she had truly been happy. She stopped, remembering her friend.
“I wish Silverpaw were here,” she sighed.
“Maybe she’ll visit your dreams so you can catch up and talk about life and stuff,” Vinepaw suggested.
“Actually, I have had one dream about her, but she wasn’t talking to me. She was yelling at Morningstar and this other black she-cat I don’t know. She said, ‘You lied to me! You said I could go!’ and then Morningstar responded, ‘I’m afraid I was wrong. You’ll have to stay here for about a quarter moon.’. After that, Silverpaw just sighed and then I woke up,” Reedpaw explained. Vinepaw narrowed his eyes, clearly deep in thought.
“Oh!” he exclaimed at last. “What if Morningstar was telling Silverpaw that she couldn’t go into Starblaze yet, and that she needed to wait a quarter moon?!” Reedpaw’s eyes widened. That made perfect sense! She looked at Vinepaw, and smiled. She knew it was against the warrior code to be friends with a cat in another clan, but Vinepaw was just what she needed. Besides, this was only a one-time thing. Right. Just once. Or maybe twice. Argh, Reedpaw!
“Um… why is your face acting so weird right now?” Vinepaw asked. Reedpaw laughed, and lunged at him, claws sheathed. He dodged, and swiped Reedpaw’s side, but Reedpaw took the opportunity, and leaped on him.
“Alright, alright! You win!” he yowled at her, although still trying to shake her from his back. Reedpaw smiled, and then looked around, realizing how dark it was. She could barely see a tail-length in front of her! There was no way she could get back to FrostClan tonight.
“Well, looks like we’re spending the night,” Reedpaw sighed. Vinepaw nodded, and curled up next to her on the rocky sand floor. It was soft, but the sand kept getting into Reedpaw’s fur and making her all itchy. Tomorrow I’ll be sleeping in my soft den with the other apprentices...
“Where are they, Cloudwhisker?” yowled a gruff voice. Reedpaw would’ve been excited- their clans were coming to get them! But, instead of the scents of FrostClan or MoonClan, Reedpaw smelled DawnClan. Why them?
“I don’t know! Ashwood, can’t you just- wait! Spotpaw! Go farther into the cave and tell me if you smell anything. I thought I just caught a fresh whiff of FrostClan, but I might have been mistaken…” Cloudwhisker responded. Reedpaw tensed, and quietly shuffled deeper into the cave. Vinepaw did the same. Unfortunately, Spotpaw seemed to be following their scent trail easily.
Without warning, Vinepaw silently dashed ahead into the tunnel to the Mooncove, and Reedpaw followed. She glanced back behind her, and saw Spotpaw following. They were deep inside the tunnel, but Spotpaw was fast, and…
“Mrrow!” Spotpaw had leaped onto Reedpaw, and was pinning her down. Reedpaw desperately glanced ahead towards Vinepaw, but he kept on running. A burst of anger exploded inside Reedpaw. A little help here?! She struggled and tried to break free of Spotpaw’s grip, but she held on.
Then, Spotpaw let go, and shoved Reedpaw farther into the tunnel. Reedpaw dashed as fast as she could, and kept running until she reached the far side of the Mooncove, Spotpaw beside her.
“Follow me,” she whispered to Reedpaw. Reluctantly, she followed Spotpaw into a small, dark crevice in the wall that they slid into. Reedpaw stared up at the big she-cat in astonishment. How did she know about this little hiding place? And why is she suddenly helping me?
“Alright. Now that we’re safe, there are a few things I need to tell you. You’re Reedpaw, right?” Spotpaw meowed, and Reedpaw nodded. “Well, I’m Spotpaw of Daw- um…”
“No. I’m actually a spy for EarthClan. And yes, it does exist, it’s just been reduced to a group of loners. But we will get our territory back, believe me. Anyways, remember your friend who disappeared?” Reedpaw’s head was spinning, but she managed to say “Robinpaw?”
“Yes. Him. Well, what really happened was that at the battle with MoonClan, he followed one of our observing warriors all the way back to camp, and heard something secret and important. That’s why Echostar forced him to stay there for a while, but… A few sunrises before w- they invaded, he vanished. No one’s seen him since. Echostar was furious.” Reedpaw stared at her, surprised at all the information she knew. Can I really trust her? She glanced up at Spotpaw. She was a big calico she-cat with golden dapples instead of ginger ones, untidy fur, and amber eyes that told Reedpaw she wasn’t lying.
“So… are there any other spies in DawnClan?” she asked.
“Just me and Swiftclaw.”
“Well, then… I want to help you. Keep me in touch, please. You don’t know how much I want to drive out DawnClan.” Spotpaw stopped cleaning herself and looked deep into Reedpaw’s dark green eyes.
“This is very dangerous, Reedpaw. If Echostar finds out, she won’t hesitate to kill you. Also… I do know how you feel. I know Silverpaw died because of them. I know they were cruel to Robinpaw. But most of all, they exiled my family and friends.” Spotpaw’s voice cracked.
“So you’ll let me help?”