Allegiances: The Tribe of Rushing Water
Teller of the Pointed Stones (Stoneteller)- dark grey tom, Brook’s brother.
Gray Sky before dawn (Gray)-pale gray tabby tom
Wing Shadow Over Water ( Wing )-gray-and-white she-cat
Stormfur-dark gray tom with amber eyes, formerly of RiverClan
Flight of Startled Heron ( Flight) -brown tabby she-cat
Screech of Angry Owl ( Screech)-black tom
Splash where Fish Leaps ( Splash )-light brown tabby she-cat
Brook where Small Fish Swim (Brook) - -brown tabby she-cat
Sheer Path Beside Waterfall (Sheer)-dark brown tabby tom
Moss that grows by river (Moss)-light brown she-cat
Pebble that Rolls Down Mountain (Pebble)-gray she-cat
Rain that Passes Quickly (Rain)-gray speckled she-cat (cave-guard)
Night of No Stars (Night)-black she-cat, mother to Sheer’s 3 older kits.
Moss that Grows by River( Moss) -light brown she-cat, mother to Gray’s younger two kits.
Dark Shadow on Water ( Dark) -black tom (prey-hunter)
Snow Falling on Stones (Snow)-white she-cat (cave-guard)
Pine that Clings to Rock (Pine)- light brown tom ( Cave guard)
Lark that Sings at Dawn (Lark)-pale tabby she-cat, ( prey-hunter)
Talon of Swooping Eagle (Talon) -dark brown tabby tom
Bird that Rides the Wind (Bird)-gray-brown she-cat
Kits: Moth that Hides in Shade ( Moth)- golden-brown she-cat with green eyes. Night’s daughter.
Hail that Rolls Across Sky (Hail)- black she-kit with green eyes. Night’s daughter
Rose that Grows on Bush- smoky-grey she-kit with green eyes. Night’s daughter.
Prologue: Blazey ( Warriorfan123)
Wind howled, and rain beat mercilessly on the mountain-tops. A heavy blizzard swirled and rages, concealing the two cats that crouched together in the midst of it. One was white with green eyes that glowed. The other was a grey-and-white she-cat with brilliant blue eyes that were screwed up against the storm. The white she-cat shifted her paws and sighed.
“ You must be guessing why I called you here,” she meowed. The grey-and-white she-cat shook her head.
“ I know, Half Moon. I sense it too. A great change is coming, I can feel it.”
“ We must warn them, Rising Moon.” Half Moon whispered softly. Her green eyes were dark. “ they must know before the disaster strikes.”
“ But what is this disaster?” growled Rising Moon in frustration. She lashed her tail angrily against the cold stone. Suddenly, the world spun. The mountain seemed to heave. The sky lit with lightning. Storm cloud amassed. Thunder boomed. The mountain shook, and groaned. Half Moon dug her claws into cracks in the stone and pressed close to her grey-and-white companion. Suddenly, a loud boom! filled the air. The mountain seemed to rock to its core. Rising Moon shrieked in terror, her eyes wild with panic. Another boom! followed, succeeded by a loud rumbling. Half Moon bushed out her fur in alarm. Tiny dots began to appear at the edge of her vision. She squinted, trying to make out more detail. They grew larger- and larger. Half Moon gasped. They were headed towards her and Rising Moon! The dots grew and grew, until both cats could make out that they were rocks. The rocks bellowed and roared past, while the mountain trembled and moaned beneath them. At last, the falling rocks ceased. Both cats stood trembling, eyes wide and scared. Rising Moon gently extracted her claws from the crevices and slowly padded away. The storm had ceased. Dead silence followed. Half Moon padded out behind her mother, glancing around warily. She stopped and shook out her pelt.
“ Now I know.” her voice rang with wisdom. “ There will be a storm, a storm of rocks. They will fall and crush everything. The mountain will shake, and everything the Tribe has known will be destroyed.” her whisper was filled with sorrow. Rising Moon’s eyes were desperate.
“ No!” she wailed, then dropped her head “ it can’t be.”
“ But it is.” Half Moon murmured. “ and we will warn them. I will choose five cats to send the message to.” she licked Rising Moon’s ear and slowly walked away.Oh Jay’s Wing, please help us.
Meanwhile, a she-cat huddled in a tiny nest. Her body shook as her kits began to push their way into the world. She gasped and dug her claws into the feathers, moaning in pain. A light brown she-cat crouched beside her, gently licking her ears and face.
“ It’s going to be fine, Night.” she soothed. Night groaned in response and shuddered. A brown tabby padded through the entrance and dropped a bundle of green leaves beside Night’s head. Her eyes were round with concern.
“ Stoneteller sends these,” she meowed.
“ Thanks, Brook.” Night chocked. She flattened her ears as another spasm shook her. Brook watched her carefully.
“ Stoneteller told me to send him should there be any trouble,” she offered. As Night opened her mouth to say something, the light brown she-cat butted in.
“ You should get him. Night has been this way since dawn, and not one sign of kits.” she said urgently. Brook quickly darted into the cave, then reappeared seconds later with the tom on her tail. He crouched beside Night who was shivering with fatigue.
The night was long, but at last, three kits were born. Night's eyes were hollow with exhaustion, but she was purring.
" What are their names?" Brook murmured softly. Night bent down and touched a black she-kit. A loud rumble sounded from oustide the cave.
" Hail the Rolls Across Sky," she meowed. " Rose that Grows on Bush," she said, gesturing to the smoky-grey she-cat. " And Moth that Hides in Shade."
" Beautiful names," Brook replied. "I'll get the father." As she disappeared, two cats crouched at the back of the cave, barely visible in the weak light. The cats of the prophecy… They whispered, a sound that was not heard but simply carried on by the breeze.
Chapter 1: Rose P.O.V ( Fallenrose)
A tiny she-cat peeped out of her stone hollow where her sisters slept quietly. Rose padded over towards the gathering of prey hunters and cave guards that gathered at the mouth of the cave. Rose sneaked up to over hear what the older cats were talking about.
"Okay lets go prey hunters," Gray, the lead hunter called to his patrol.
"Okay cave guards, I need Moss you come with me on patrol with the prey hunters," Sheer called to the light brown she-cat that hung at the edge of the cave guards group. Rose saw the group leave and longed to go with them. Her curiosity got the best of her so she padded out of the cave.
Water splashed on her muzzle as she padded out of the cave to follow the older cats. She skirted around a sheet of ice that blocked part of the path in front of her. She jumped under a boulder as the older cats spun around, ears pricked. They had clearly spotted something behind her hiding place. Rose couldn't understand what they were looking at until a screech sounded behind her. Her heart froze with fear. A hawk! Night had told her many stories of these vile creatures that swooped up little kits like her away and killed them. She never thought they could be true, but she never thought she would go out of the cave but that happened. Rose was tempted to turn and sprint back to the cave but she knew some cat would see her and then she would have to face the wrath of her mother and she didn't know which was worse. Rose tried to bury herself deeper into the shelter of the rock but she couldn't. She glanced up and her heart sagged with relief as she realized that the Hawk hadn't seen her and flew away. She also noticed that the group had left to go find other prey. Rose didn't want her adventure to end so she padded away, trying to find the trail of her tribe mates but she couldn't catch their trail with the new layer of thick snow that began to fall. She trudged on trying to pick up the scent of cat but she found nothing.
Rose kept on walking for what seemed like moons until she realized a terrible thing. She was lost! Her heart raced. She had to find the trail but with all the snow, she couldn't even scent where she just stepped.
"Help me!" she wailed thinking that someone would hear her but no one came to her rescue. She would be trapped here for the rest of her life. She would never see her sisters again. And when it seemed things couldn't get much worse, she heard the dreaded blood-thirsty cry of the hawk above her. She sprinted away towards the direction she think she came from, but the hawk had clearly seen her so she pushed herself harder. She needed to get out but she had no idea where she was. The hawk circled above her and screeched as it dove down and raked its claws down her back. It was a pain like nothing she had ever felt before. She could feel the metallic fell of red liquid blood dripping down her lag, changing the snow she trod on to a crimson red. Was this her end? The hawk swooped again but missed sending a pile of rocks sprawling down the cliff face above her. A sharp, jagged stone fell down on her head and she crumpled onto her stomach, and the last thing she heard was the angry cry of the hawk before she lost all of her senses and her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
Chapter 2: Moth's P.O.V (Warriorfan123)
"Ow!" Moth shot up in her nest and rubbed her head. It was throbbing like fury. Hail stirred beside her and blinked drowsily.
" What?" she murmured. Hail shook out her black pelt and glanced around her. "Where's Rose?"
"Rose!" Moth gasped as the pain washed over her again. She thought she heard a wild screech. A sudden fiery pain burst up her shoulder. Moth yelped and nearly crashed into Hail in trying to get out of the nest.
"Moth, just where are you going?" Moth swung around as she heard her mother's voice. Night looked up, green eyes flashing with annoyance. Her slender muzzle pointed at the mouth of the cave. "Not going out behind my back, I hope?"
"Mother, Rose is gone!" Moth hissed. Night sighed.
" She's probably outside with Sheer. Your father will take care of her, and get back to sleep."
"It's the middle of the day!"
" And I don't care! Get back in here this instant, Moth that Hides in Shade!"
"Fine," Moth sulked, flattening her ears. Sometimes she wondered who she was more like, her mother or her father. Night was strict with her kits but nice to everyone else. Sheer was nice to his kits but strict to everyone else. None, I guess. And my pelt! It's golden brown. No one else's is like that. Moth settled down into the nest, feeling the soft feathers stroke her fur. I'm not going to give up on Rose. She outside, somewhere, and she's in pain.
" Get up, Hail!" Moth nudged her sister. It had been quiet a while, and Night was asleep. Hail shot up and hopped out of the nest.
" I know. We'v got to find Rose."
" Let's go," Moth whispered and headed for the entrance. It was easy to find her sister's scent trail. Moth bent down and sniffed, but she already felt that she knew where Rose was. A bunch of craggy rocks flashed in front of her vision. " She's at Sharp Rocks!"
"Sharp Rocks!" Hail gasped. " Eagles nest there!" Panicking, Moth hurried past the prey hunters, not caring what they thought. She spotted something flying in the air, beady eyes fixed on something below. An eagle!
" Get away from my sister!" Moth screeched, scrambling down the mountain and racing towards a bundle of grey fur. The eagle jerked its head to face her. Moth gulped. Uh oh.
"Run!" Hail screeched. She ran down and grabbed Rose's scruff, hauling her into the shelter of some rocks. Rose let out faint whimpers every time her head hit the ground. Moth shivered as she saw her sister's fur covered in blood. Moth bundled both her sisters into the shelter and turned around to face the eagle. It flapped to the ground and came closer, jagged peak poking at Moth. She whimpered and drew back, pressing against Hail's trembling flank. Save us, Tribe of Endless Hunting! The eagle was so close, Moth could see the snow on its feathers. I thought eagles never came out in the Time of Frozen Water. Moth thought to herself. Suddenly, a furious wail echoed around the mountains. A brown shape hurled itself at the eagle, throwing itself onto the creature's back. Sheer! My Father! Moth trembled with relief. Sheer doubled back away from the eagle and poked his head inside their shelter.
" Give me Rose! I'll take her back to Stoneteller. You two run!" he yowled. Moth took after him, thinking that there was nothing else she more wanted to do.
Later that day, Moth watched her mother herd Rose back into the hollow. She gave the grey-and-white she-cat a few sharp raps on the head with her tail, then purred and let the kit curl up to sleep. Then, Night lifted her cool blue gaze and narrowed it at Moth and Hail. She got up and strode over to them, tail twitching in annoyance.
“ And what were you two doing? Going outside without telling me? I’m very disappointed in you,” Night scolded. Not fair! Moth scowled at her mother.
“ Rose went out first! We just wanted to help.” she reasoned.
“ And how did you know this?” Night challenged.
“ I could feel her emotions! She was scared and angry,” Moth replied. She caught Hail shaking her head frantically at the corner of her vision. It’s nothing wrong. Night should realize that it’s not just Rose and Hail who can do things.
“ Sure,” Night huffed. “ And I can fly. I think you’d better see Stoneteller.”
“ I’m telling the truth!”
“ See Stoneteller. Right now!”
“ Stoneteller!” Moth gasped. “ Why him?”
“ You’ve been very naughty. Go. Now!” Night added as Moth sat down stubbornly. Letting out a heavy sigh, Moth got her paws and trudged away. Hail didn’t follow. Of course, Moth thought bitterly ‘Moth is the troublemaker’. ‘ To willful for her own good’. I was just helping my sister! She remembered the eagle’s ferocious eyes and her sisters blood staining the snow. How could I leave her alone? The entrance to Stoneteller’s cave was dark. A cobweb glistened in the shadows. A big, hairy spider was perched on a rock shelf above it. Moth swiped a paw and squashed it flat. Head ducked down, she entered the cave. Chills went up her spine. Her claws clicked on the stone floor and sent echoed everywhere. Where is Stoneteller? At last, she spotted him. He was lying beside a pool in the center of the cavern. His breath stirred the water as his dark grey flanks rose up and down slowly. He’s Brook’s brother. She remembered the kindly she-cat with warmth. She was Night’s best friends and had practically raised them. Her son and daughter were now to-bes. That was four moons away for Moth. She peered forwards and gasped. There was a moon on the surface! It was white, with a claw of darkness around the side. She looked up, but the entrance was sealed. How on earth is there a moon in the water? Whiskers trembling, Moth leaned forwards to look at it in more detail.
“ Hello,” Moth nearly jumped into the pool in fright. Stoneteller moved his head and looked at her in bemusement. “ I didn’t send for you.”
“ Night sent me,” Moth growled and turned away. “ Sorry to bother you.”
“ Why did she do that?” Stoneteller inquired mildly. “ Kit mischief?”
“ Do you ever know what goes on around here? Rose was attacked by an eagle, so Hail and I went to help.” Moth didn’t want to recount the adventure in detail. She’d only get scolded.
“ And you heard her cries from all the way up here?” Stoneteller continued. There was so sarcasm in his voice. Moth was surprised to hear genuine interest.
“ Not exactly. I can feel her emotions, sort of. Like, I suddenly felt afraid and saw a sharp beak above mine. Then I realized I was seeing through Rose’s eyes.” she explained. Stoneteller tipped his head to one side.
“ Does Night know about this?”
“ She said I was lying,” Moth hissed. “ I bet you think I’m lying too.”
“ I don’t,” Stoneteller replied evenly. Moth swung her head around in surprise.
“ You don’t?” She gaped. “ That’s a first.” Stoneteller looked amused. His amber eyes glowed in the darkness.
“ Moth, you haven’t done any harm. Be a little less reckless next time. Night worries, Moth. She lost her first litter,” Stoneteller whispered softly. Moth pricked up her ears. She hadn’t known that. “ Grass that Waves in Wind and Stream that Bubbles died within two moons of each other . They never reached eight moons,” he continued, eyes downcast in grief.
“Oh,” she said awkwardly. “ Bye?”
“ You can leave Moth. Best not tell her I told you. It causes too much grief,” Stoneteller replied.
“ Okay.” Moth turned to pad away, then looked back over her shoulder. “ I have a question.”
“ Oh?” Stoneteller shifted to look at her eyes.
“ Why is there a moon in your pool?”
“ Moon?” Stoneteller’s gaze sharpened. She heard something click and his eyes raised. In the waning light, she could faintly make out his outline. “You see it?”
“ Doesn’t everyone?” Moth shifted her paws.
“ No, Moth. That is a special gift.”
“ Special?” Moth raised her muzzle to try and meet his gaze. “ A power?”
“ Not exactly a power...” Stoneteller’s voice trailed off, then he shook his head. “ I’ve got to think about this. Good day, Moth. You wouldn’t want to miss the meal.” Moth felt something barge into her shoulder and she stumbled out of the den. Moth let out an indignant huff and stood up, shaking out her fur. She couldn’t surpress a shiver of excitement and what had taken place in Stoneteller’s den. He said seeing the moon was special. Maybe I am special! Night will be proud, Moth mused. Hail was half-heartedly batting at a stray feather. She saw Moth and scrambled to her side.
“ Stoneteller didn’t seem mad,” she observed.
“ He wasn’t.” Moth didn’t want to tell her sister about the moon in the pool yet. She felt a twinge of guilt. We share everything. But this was too big to share, at least not now. “ Where’s Night?”
“ Talking to Brook,” Hali replied, seeming disappointed at not getting an earful of information on Stoneteller. “ And Rose is still asleep in her nest.”
“ Moth!” Night darted forwards to stand in front of her daughter. “ Was he angry?”
“ No,” Moth shrugged “ don’t be disappointed. I know you’d love to have my ears clawed off,” she added snidely. At once, she felt bad. Night’s eyes flashed with hurt and anger.
“ Now I do! What did I do to get such a disagreeable daughter? Get out of my sight,” Night spat, and turned away. Moth shrank back. Her words stung. Hail’s round eyes followed her as she slouched out of the cave. Spray from the waterfall caught on her fur and Moth shivered. Snow was falling gently on the stones beneath her paws. Moth licked one of her snout. She saw cats sharing today’s meal. The pale grey sky was a large dome over her head. Moth padded forwards, as if going to get some prey, then darted back and pressed behind a rock. She peered back urgently into the cave and spotted Hail watching her. Moth jerked her head. Hail quickly ran out of the entrance and huddled against Moth’s side. The golden brown kit wriggled to make room for her. Hail’s back pelt blended in neatly with the shadows.
“ What are you up to?” Hail muttered. I should tell her. As kits, it was Hail and Moth that had done everything together. Hail understood her. Rose was the quiet outsider. Moth loved her other sister, but it was Hail who was her best friend.
“ I’m going out to hunt,” Moth announced.
“ Moth, you serious? Night’s just mad. She’ll get over it. You don’t need to prove anything to her.” Hail replied.
“ I do, though! Then she won’t think I’m annoying and useless.”
“ Oh, Moth. You aren’t annoying and useless. She loves you. We all do,” Hail whispered softly.
“ She thinks I am, then.” Moth shook her head stubbornly.
“ You won’t get very far,” Hail warned.
“ I will!”
“ Okay, go. I don’t care,” Hail grumbled and turned her back on her sister. She’ll still be watching me, Moth thought. She stuck to the shadow of the great waterfall and felt water splash onto her tail. Snow crunched beneath her feet, looking grey in the dark evening sky. She could make out the outlines of prey-hunters and cave-guards as they ate their meal. Two to-bes scuffled in the corner, their purrs echoing softly through the camp. Moth heard paw steps. Quickly, she wriggled behind a tangle of weeds and held her breath. Sheer! Her father. He stopped, then tipped his head to on side and sniffed.
“Moth?” he called. “Moth that Hides in Shade!”
He let out an exasperated sigh and stomped off.
“ Hey, Sheer. Moth been acting up again?”
“ What else is new? You’re lucky your kits don’t push back every time you tell them to do something,” Sheer replied to the speaker. Moth bristled in indignation. Excuse me?
“ Moss might disagree,” the other tom purred. Moth knew who he was now. Gray. His two kits were born last moon. Moth waited for both toms to pass, then raised her head above the stinky weeds. I’d better get going.
“ Moth, what are you doing in the ragwort?” Moth spun around and saw two pairs of eyes watching her from the shadows. Great. Moth shrugged.
“ Just watching… for birds?” she suggested. The pair of eyes rolled and grew as a pretty pale brown tabby revealed herself. It was Lark that Sings at Dawn, a to-be training to be a prey-hunter. The ragwort rustled as a light brown tom came to join her. Their pelts were the same shade of brown, their eyes the same shade of amber. Pine that Clings to Rock. Lark’s brother, training to be a cave-guard.
“ You’d better get back to the Sleeping Hollow,” Pine rumbled. “ It’s dangerous outside for kits.”
“ Kits yourself!” Moth retorted. Lark’s eyes flashed.
“ Maybe, but you’re smaller. You aren’t even up to my shoulder,” Lark pointed out calmly in her soft voice. She nudged Moth in the direction of the hollow. “ I’ll take you out hunting tomorrow, if Night allows.” She never will. Moth grumbled and hissed the whole way as Lark herded her back. She saw a thin black tail disappear into it as well. I’m not giving up, Hail.
Later that night, when she was sure everyone was asleep, Moth got up and shook out her pelt. Feathers floated to the ground and settled on Hail’s muzzle. She sneezed and pawed at it in her sleep. Moth flattened her ears and tiptoed around Night. The black she-cat was snoring, ears flicking back and forth as she dreamed. Moth lightly leapt over her tail and headed for the entrance. I’m going on a better adventure than Rose. Moth felt snow crunch beneath her paws and knew she was outside. Darkness rolled in from everywhere, and Moth suddenly felt afraid. Something rustled behind her. Moth’s heart leapt up into her throat. She let out a relieved sigh as a hoot told her it was an owl. It was so dark, Moth couldn’t even see her paws. But she kept going, whiskers quivering with effort to sense her surroundings. A wind blew through her fur and made her shiver. She kept plodding on, floundering through snow as high as her shoulder. There’s no smell of prey. Moth realized. Suddenly, Moth’s paws slipped out from under her. She gasped as her belly hit the ground, and suddenly, the ground tilted and she went sliding backwards. Moth let out a sharp cry as she frantically tried to grab the ground. It shredded beneath her claws. She flipped over and kept falling and falling. Suddenly, boiling agony came from her hind leg and Moth screamed. It burned ferociously. Then, there was blood. Moth saw it gush from her leg as she thumped onto the ground and stopped falling. She howled in her furious pain, but the sound bounced back at her. A startling and frightening thought came into her mind.
Am I going to die?
Chapter 3: Hail's P.O.V (Warriorfan123)
I knew she'd try something stupid! Hail turned over and found out that Moth was no longer sleeping beside her. She sighed. Why does she think she has to prove herself, over and over again? Hail closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. She was aware that a power resided within her, that let her see through her sisters' eyes. Hail pictured Moth's golden tabby pelt and shining eyes. Suddenly, cold wind whipped her pelt. Hail fought the urge to whimper in fear for her sister. Blood was staining the pristine white snow. Her leg was throbbing. Hail opened her eyes. Moth's hurt her leg! Panicking now, Hail struggled to her paws and hopped out of the nest. Her body protested, comforted by the soft fur of Night and the downy feathers in her nest. Hail looked at Rose's sleeping form. Should I wake her? She's been through a lot today. Hail sometimes felt like she was the older sibling by many moons, not only a few heart beats. But to her surprise, Rose's eyes blinked open. " I'm coming with you," she said in her small voice. Hail wasn't surprised. We've always known what the others are up to.
" Let's get Stoneteller," Hail replied, skidding across the smooth stone. Rose followed, her breath making a cloud around herself in the chilly air. Hail halted before Stoneteller's cave. Cold droplets of water fell down from the entrance. Hail poked her head inside. The light was dim. She could just make out the shape of a mound of fur beside a pool. Hail flicked her tail to show Rose it was safe. Cautiously, she padded in. The stone was like ice beneath her paws. Hail approached Stoneteller and poked him with a claw.
" Stoneteller!" Rose leapt forwards and stuck her muzzle close to his ear. " Get up!"
He didn't budge.
Something flashed at the corner of Hail's vision. She nearly yelped. A huge white moon was in the center of the pool.
" Do you see that?" Hail whispered to Rose, creeping forwards and dabbing at the surface with her paw. Ripples coursed across the surface, making the image of the moon shiver.
" It's a moon!" Rose exclaimed. " Why is it there?"
" What is it about this den that makes it so attractive to kits?" Rose and Hail nearly leapt out of their fur as Stoneteller spoke from behind him. " First your sister, then you."
" Stoneteller, Moth is in danger!" Hail shrieked. We don't have time for casual conversation!
" How do you know?" he said.
" I can see it. She's bleeding. You've got to help us!"
" Okay," Stoneteller grabbed a mouthful of leaves and darted out of the entrance. Relieved, Hail followed. Stoneteller curved around the path that led around the waterfall, splashing through puddles in his path. Hail spluttered as a douse caught her in the face. Rose's breath blew on her tail. Hail was struggling to keep up with the lean tom. She felt an icy shock as snow touched her pads. Tribe of Endless Hunting, help my sister! It's the Time of Frozen Water. Don't let her freeze to death! Hail closed her eyes and focused on Moth again. Through her sisters eyes, she saw a steep hill dotted with jagged rocks. She fell!
" Stop!" Hail yowled. Stoneteller did so, and Hail nearly crashed into his rump. " There's a slope! Moth fell down it!" Stoneteller stretched out a tail to stop Rose. He placed a paw in front of him and dabbed at the snow. Hail widened her eyes as it crumbled away from beneath his claws. Stoneteller frowned.
" Moth fell down that? " Hail knew what words he hadn't said. I'm afraid she wouldn't survive the fall. Chills crept up Hail's spine.
" You have to try!" she wailed.
" I didn't say I wouldn't. I'll go down to fetch her, but I want you two to stay here," he said.
" I want to rescue Moth!" Rose protested.
" He's right, Rose. Stoneteller can get down faster if he doesn't have to worry about us on the way," Hail pointed out. Stoneteller shot her a grateful glance, then disappeared. Rose huddled closer to Hail, shivering in the cold. Hail guided her sister to the shelter of a rock. They crouched, trembling, in the shadows, squinting into the night for the shape of Stoneteller. It seemed like forever. Hail kept praying to the stars, begging them to spare her sister. She's a good cat. She really is.
" Hail, is that you? Rose that Grows on Bush! Hail that Rolls Across Sky!" a deep meow called. Nearly knocking over her sister, Hail darted to the entrance and found herself staring into Stoneteller's dark eyes. Heart leaping into her throat, she smelled Moth.
" We're here!" she meowed. " Is Moth-"
" Alive, but not well. We've got to hurry if we want to spare her life," Stoneteller hissed. Hail tapped Rose on the shoulder. The grey she-kit got up and stiffly walked to the entrance. She shrank back.
" It's snowing! I'll freeze," she whispered.
" Be brave, Rose. For Night," Hail nudged her sister. Rose pressed close to Hail and the two of them set off. Stoneteller plowed through the snow, so they only had to really walk over ground. The walk seemed endless. Every time Rose tripped or Hail nearly fell into a snow hole, she felt another douse of weariness. The cold was settling into her bones. Her teeth rattled. Please be home. Please be home! Hail wished with all her might.
When they reached the cave, Hail nearly melted in the warmth. It was so bright compared to the darkness outside! She heard a shrill screech and saw Night shoot up in her nest and look at Moth. Up until now, Hail hadn't been able to see her sister. If Night had made such a terrible sound… Hail didn't want to look.
" Hail, Rose, my babies!" Night wailed and hurled herself at them. Rose whimpered and buried her face in Night's fur. The black she-cat drew Hail to her and licked her head lavishly. " Oh, my daughters. Why do you wander so?" The guilt weighed as heavily as a hundred mice in Hail's belly. She looked into Night's eyes and saw sorrow and pain.
"Hail? Will you help me, please?" Stoneteller called. Hail wriggled away from Night and scampered across the cave floor. Cats were up and about, murmuring darkly. Brook walked over to Night and wrapped her tail around the she-cats shoulders. Hail saw Lark and Pine sitting together, glancing at the Cave of the Pointed Stones with grim expressions. Hail saw Stoneteller emerge from the cave, eyes wide with worry. " Get me something to make a nest with, Hail. I need herbs, but I don't know which! It's so bad…" he trailed off.
" Maybe the moon in the pool will tell you," Hail blurted out.
" The moon in the pool?" Stoneteller hissed, tabby fur fluffed up in shock.
" Y-yes?" Hail shrank back. Stoneteller shook his head.
" Moth is bleeding heavily. Her leg is injured, it may be broken. I don't know what to use. I've never treated anything like this before!" Hail had never seen him so agitated. She reached up and clawed some cobweb off the roof.
" Use this to stop the bleeding," she meowed. Chervil will help stop the infection, if any. Feverfew will also help, so mix that into a poultice with chervil. Juniper berries as well. Hail had no idea how she knew that. She repeated her thoughts to Stoneteller. He blinked in astonishment but made no comment.
" You truly are a remarkable cat, Hail. I will follow your advice," he turned and padded back into the shelter of the cave. Hail made a motion of follow him, but he stopped her.
" Why can't I come in?" she asked.
" You won't like what I'm about to do," he said, looking slightly queasy.
" What's that?"
" Let's just say that when I'm done, Moth will only have three legs."
Chapter 4: Lark's P.O.V (Fallenrose)
Lark stared off into the depths of Stoneteller's, unable to turn away. Her brother, Pine, stood next to her with eyes wide with terror at the sight of a mangled body belonging to the kit Moth being dragged into Stoneteller's den. Lark broke away from his gaze as he entered his den, summoning Hail and Rose with him. Lark turned to Night to see her eyes blank. She wrapped her tail around Nights slender neck to try and calm her down. Night broke away and headed back to her stone hollow nest. Lark was hurt by her brusqueness but shook it off.
"Lark," a light brown tabby she-cat called.
"Hurry up, its hunting time," Fish called. Lark padded over to be with her mentor and Fish draped her tail soothingly over her shoulders. Fish had always been a sweet cat and knew what to do if some cat was upset.
"I know you are upset about Moth, but the tribe life must go on," Fish meowed, "come one, hunting always does make you feel better." The group of cats headed out of the mouth of the cave and the freezing spray of the thundering Waterfall. Lark padded behind Fish with Dark behind her. Fish knew Lark was a ferocious hunter and always let her lead with her keen sense of smell. She tasted the air and caught the faintest scent of snow hare ahead. She flicked her tail as a signal to keep quiet and follow her. She dropped into her best hunters crouch and followed the fain scent trail. The stale scent grew stronger and stronger until a small hole was filled with the scent of snow hare. She had it cornered! Lark scrambled through the small opening that led into a large room filled with the snow hare scent. It was the nest! Lark bounded forward, finding a large, plump snow hare pressed into a small corner with three other small hares curled up with it. This will make a good meal for the tribe, Lark thought. She lunged forwards, sinking her sharp teeth into the warm body of one of the hares as the smaller ones darted out into the paws of the other hunters. Lark felt the rabbit go limp in her jaws as she padded back towards the entrance and shoved the snow hare through the opening. When she emerged, she found the snow lettered in blood, blood of her tribe mates.
"F-Fish," Lark called. A soft moan came from a huge bolder that had not been there when they had set off. Lark dashed over to see her mentor trapped under the boulder.
"Don't worry Fish, I will help you out just stay strong!" Lark called as she scampered around to try and find a way to dislodge the bolder from her mentor's mangled body. She found a large branch lodged under the bolder that could act as a lifter to free the bolder. Lark jumped on the stick but she was to light and cold not alone lift the branch. She needed Pine. Her heavy brother could help her move it!
"Hold on Fish, I will go get help!" Lark shouted as she ran toward the direction on the cave. Huge boulders much like the ones that trapped Fish littered the mountain face making it almost impossible for Lark to move around. She left on top of a smaller boulder that dislodged underneath her paws, sending her tumbling down the cliff side. Lark cried out as she hit the ground. She struggled to her paws and brushed of small pebbles that lodged themselves in her tangled fur. Just as she finished, the earth began to shake wildly, sending masses of boulders tumbling down, crashing on jagged rocks splintering to pieces.