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Creekpaw's POV
Sunlight dappled Creekpaw's pelt as he moved silently through the thick undergrowth.
PebbleClan's territory was more grassland and hills, only a small part of their territory had woodland, which was where he was at now.
He didn't quite like the brambles, but the shade from the trees that towered above him was relieving from the greenleaf sun.
He was in awe when he first encountered the world outside camp. It was so big, so beautiful. Creekpaw could hardly even speak when Lilacheart asked him for his opinion on it.
When Creekpaw could finally utter a word, it was a small squeak with a big smile on his face. That happened about a moon ago.
Since then, Lilacheart had taught Creekpaw how to hunt, which he was shocked to discover he was quite good at... Not as good as Talonpaw, of course.
With the help of her mentor, Talonpaw took down a small buzzard who was feeding on a dead rabbit. The Clan was so proud, and so was Creekpaw.
Creekpaw had gotten over Talonpaw's lie to him when they were still in the nursery. They were as close as ever these days. But he still never found out what exactly she was lying about.
Through all the hunting he was doing, Creekpaw had also learned he had good hearing. He could hear a vole scuttling around four fox-lengths away!
Creekpaw froze, twitching his large ears when he picked up a quiet crunch of a dead leaf under small paws.
As still as stone, his icy gaze scanned the area, falling on a fat gray squirrel, whom was scuffling around for nuts and seeds, it's back to him.
His mouth watered at the sweet scent. If he manged to catch this, half the Clan could probably be fed! They'd be so proud! He focused on the breeze, pleased to find he was upwind to it.
He carefully edged his way closer, silently. His heart thudded so loud he was worred the squirrel would hear.
He stopped, crouching low to the ground, his belly fur brushing the earth. He was preparing his leap when suddenly the yowl of a cat farther off sent the squirrel running.
Creekpaw payed no attention to the squirrel now, his thoughts focusing on the yowl, listening close to hear it again. Were one of his Clanmates in trouble?
The yowl sounded again, this time closer. The fur along Creekpaw's spine stood on end and he padded warily toward the sound.
He pushed through brambles and past ferns, until the forest thinned out around him and he was in green grassland with the yellow sun scorching his back from a cloudless sky.
He ducked his head to hopefully shield his eyes from the harsh light.
He kept padding nearer to the sound. It grew louder - but this didn't sound like a cat. In fact, he had no idea what this sounded like. Could it be a rabbit in pain?
The grassy ground sloped steeply upwards. Creekpaw dug his sharp claws into the earth to stop himself from slipping down the slope. A rank stench flooded his nose as he came closer to the top.
Out of breath and muscles aching he halted to take a quick rest.
Whatever the noise was, it was coming from below the other side of the slope, covered by gorse thickets, so Creekpaw couldn't get a good view.
The eerie howling made his fur bristle and muscles tremble. He was sure he had never heard that sound before... it sounded big...
After he had enough breath, he began the desent down the steep slope.
His paws started to slid and his heart lurched. He whipped around, digging his claws into the ground, panic making him breath heavy.
Creekpaw forced himself to calm his breath, but he couldn't. Whatever that creature was could probably hear him a mile away...
He gave up trying to calm himself and just held his breath.
He slowly put one leg out, closer to the bottom, one at a time, heart-pounding.
The howling and whining pierced his ears, he flattened them to keep some off the sound out, but it didn't help.
Before he knew it, he had reached the bottom. He stared wildly around, head spinning, then he remembered he was holding his breath.
He let out a huge breath, relief making him even more dizzy, then he sucked another big gulp of air in.
Creekpaw knew the sound was coming from the gorse thickets, but he hoped with all his heart he was wrong.
He didn't want to go in there. He took small shaky steps toward the thorny bushes, stopping when his nose touched a branch.
He peeked an eye through an opening, glancing around. The yapping was still wildly burning his ears. A dark shadow fell across the hole, and a long thrashing snake like thing.
Creekpaw let out a squeal of fear, which he aburtly shut his mouth to stop. He reeled back. What was that thing!?
The snake thing was a brownish color, it was thrashing wildly, and it must be what was making all the noise.
Creekpaw turned around back to the slope, ready to run, when he heard a loud hiss from a cat, it sounded detressed; the yapping grew more frantic.
Creekpaw closed his eyes tightly. There just had to be a cat in trouble, didn't there? Paws trembling more then ever, he turned back to the gorse clumps.
He put his eye against the hole again, fast. The brown snake thing was still there, thrashing around.
Creekpaw gulped, then realized the snake thing led to something bigger. That's not a snake-thing; that's a tail!
The creature was tall, it's brown coat dappled with sunshine seeping through the leaves. It's head was large, with a long muzzle, sharp, gleaming teeth... terrifiyingly floppy ears...
It hopped jolily on it's long, well-muscled legs. With a pit in his belly, Creekpaw thought it must be a good runner.
He forced himself to look away from the towering animal and glance toward the back of the grose, where the thing had it's attention centered on.
He spotted a ginger-and-white shape huddled close to the leaves, giving the beast strong swipes from her front paws if it got too close. Wisppaw!
Beside her was a darker shape, the color of stones, looking more black in the shadow of leaves. But her amber eyes gleamed with terror; Creekpaw knew who they belonged to. Stonepaw!
Suddenly, Wisppaw's yellow eyes snapped in Creekpaw's direaction, lightening with hope and uncertainty.
"Creekpaw!" Wisppaw franticlly called, her yowls nearly drowned out by the bumbling creature.
When Creekpaw just stood there, frozen with a stupid look on his face, Wisppaw rolled her eyes, frustrated.
She beckoned him over to the other side of the gorse thicket.
Creekpaw pulled away from his hole, sliding along the gorse quietly, until he reached the spot Wisppaw's scent was strongest.
"Creekpaw!" Wisppaw yowled, so close to his ear he yelped.
"Help us! There's a bigger opening on the other side of the gorse where you can slip in, you're like a shadow, the dog won't see you, you can come in here and kick it's face in!"
Creekpaw shuffled his paws, looking down at the dusty ground, feeling overwelmed.
"I- I don't know if I can do that..." Terror squeezed him, threatening to stop him from breathing any moment. He couldn't do this, he'd end up getting them killed, or he'd get killed!
"I - I'm sorry Wisppaw."
Wisppaw stared at him with hard eyes. "So you're just going to leave us?"
Creekpaw shook his head, an idea coming to mind. "I can go back to camp and fetch a patrol!" He turned, ready to go when Wisppaw protested. "We're too far away! They'd never make it in time!"
Creekpaw anxiously paced around, hyperventilating.
"Uhhh- uh -uh - I - I - I!" Everything was happening so fast! Just a moment ago he was peacefully hunting in the forest, now he had to face this monster! It was too much to take in!
"'I' what?" Wisppaw demanded. A softer voice broke through the drooning howls and Creekpaw leaned toward the gorse as Stonepaw pushed her face to the hole.
"I know you're scared, but we're in trouble. You're our Clanmate, you have to help us," she said, with soft, anxious eyes, mixed with other emotions Creekpaw didn't know. "Please."
Creekpaw leaned closer, letting her soothing scent bath his nose, when she suddenly screeched and was yanked backwards.
Creekpaw and Wisppaw both let out destressed cries.
Creekpaw peered into the hole to see the beast had got hold of Stonepaw's tail and was now beating her with it's front paws; to his horror, it had huge, thick claws which were ripping out poor Stonepaw's fur.
Rage filled Creekpaw, clawing beneath his pelt and making his face burn. He lt out a loud battle-cry, racing around to where Wisppaw said the opening was.
She was right, a small hole with broken branches betrayed the entrance. He had no idea why he did this, he knew he was being crazy, but seeing Stonepaw get savagely beaten set something off in him.
He shot inside, skidding to a halt when he blowed into something horrible smelling and huge. Creekpaw realized it was the dog - it was so big, he couldn't even reach Wisppaw. No wonder why they couldn't just run past it! It was blocking the entire hollow.
Pushing the overwelming size out of his head, he focused on Stonepaw's still form.
This thing hurt her! It needed to pay! He snarled, leaping up onto the dogs back. He had perfect balence on it, it was like standing on a thick tree branch - it was so fat, yet well-muscled.
It yapped excitedly, bucking and prancing around, trying to shake Creekpaw off. But he dug his claws deep into it's flesh and started madly raking tufts of fur out.
It let out a confused cry of pain, shaking it's pelt out wildly, and Creekpaw lost his grip, flying into the wall of the gorse prision. He lifted his head; the dog was lunging toward him, it's excitement replaced by hurt anger.
As quick as a flash, Creekpaw sprang to his paws and pushed his way out the entrance, racing out into the blistering sun. Crashing behind him announced the creature was persuing.
Creekpaw risked a glance over his shoulder and yelped at how fast it was traveling, already right behind him.
He put on an extra burst of speed, soaring over the steep slope, not bothering to be careful as he raced down.
An unseen rock in the grass tripped him and he fell face first into the ground and continued to roll his way down the hill.
He struggled to get a grip on the earth, but just ripped out grass. When he stopped, reaching the bottom, he twisted off his back, leaping to his paws once more, and continued running.
He heard the beast hot on his heels and felt offended it didn't fall down the hill like he had.
It's breath burned his tail tip and fear gave him a surge of strength; he teared across the grassland, his paws barely touching the ground.
He felt like like he was part of the wind; he felt exhilarated and more alive than ever, despite death being right behind him.
After racing for a few minutes, Creekpaw's chest burned and he was having trouble breathing; he was getting worn out. He had to get this thing off his tail.
He veered to the woods, pushing himself to go a little faster. He could hear the dogs gasping breath behind him and felt hopeful it would tire out and give up.
But it didn't. He continued to run and run, but the dog kept pace with him. How is it still going? He wondered, panting. He spotted an oak ahead and shot up the trunk.
He dug in his claws and climbed like a squirrel onto the lowest branch.
The dog stopped at the foot of the tree, barking madly and scraping the bark with it's blunt claws. Creekpaw sat on the branch, exhausted and catching his breath.
After what felt like moons, he finally felt well enough to sit up and curiously watch the wild thing.
So this is a dog... The nursery tales were true, they were relentless, loud and scary, but they were also easy to fool, and quite dim. Why didn't it just climb the tree if it wanted him so bad?
More yowling announced a new animal. The dog ducked it's head as a strange creature padded toward it, standing upright on it's hind legs, holding a long vine like thing in it's paws.
Creekpaw could feel anger and relief blazing off it. That must be a twoleg.
The pink-pawed twoleg leaned down and hooked the vine around another vine like thing on the dogs neck.
With that, the twoleg and the dog padded away side by side, the dog looking downcast as the twoleg ranted.


Creekpaw didn't leave the forest until dusk light covered the forest, setting his surroundings aflame.
He didn't feel comfortable going on the ground right now, this was the time of day foxes liked to hunt, and there could be another dog.
Instead, Creekpaw took a great leap, soaring through the air and landing on a sturdy branch in the next tree.
He continued to travel this way, enjoying the feeling he got as he flew through the air; it made him feel free and in control of everything.
He reached the moor as the sky behind him was growing a deep blue hue. He flew down, landing on the soft grass below. In the distance, he spotted three shapes moving around at the top of a hill. He could faintly hear them calling his name.
Taking the energy he had left, Creekpaw ran towards them, a black blur on the fiery grass. When he got their attention, they raced toward him.
He skidded to a halt a few tail-lengths before they reached him.
It was Wisppaw, Flightpaw, and Falconpaw. "You're okay!" Wisppaw gasped, rubbing her muzzle along his cheek. Creekpaw was shocked she was being so nice, but he didn't let it show.
"We thought you got eaten by the dog!" Flightpaw mewed, an ear lopsided. "You saved me and Stonepaw!" Wisppaw added gleefully. "You're a hero!" Falconpaw cooed.
Creekpaw was taken aback. This morning he was pretty much a nobody in his Clan, but tonight he was a hero? That's a sudden change.
Wisppaw wouldn't look at him at all, and now she was purring, her eyes shining, at him. Flightpaw made fun of him constantly and now here he was, looking grateful and impressed.
"Where's Stonepaw?" Creekpaw anxiously asked, forgetting everything as the mottled she-cats sweet face appeared in his head. Falconpaw flicked his tail. "She's in the medicine den for a little while.
She's got some bad scratches and a broken rib."
Relief flooded over Creekpaw. Stonepaw would heal fine with Applepad caring for her. "Let's get back to camp," Flightpaw meowed, lashing his tail with excitement.
The four apprentices made their way back to camp, Falconpaw and Flightpaw flooding Creekpaw with questions, until Wisppaw shut them up, saying "Just wait until we're back to camp, give him some space!"
As they entered camp, Creekpaw nearly fell over by all the welcoming cats, saying how good he did, how he was a hero.
They paced around him, asking for details on what happened, how he did it. Creekpaw did his best to answer every question, feeling guilty if he left one out.
Lilacheart approached him, approval shining in his amber eyes. "Well done, Creekpaw. I told you you'd do great things one day." Creekpaw nodded respectfully to his mentor.
Close to the back of the crowd, Ravenstar watched with brillant green eyes, glittering with interest. "Ravenstar would like a word with you."
Lilacheart guided Creekpaw through the crowd of cats, stopping when they reached Ravenstar.
Creekpaw bowed respectfully to his leader, who let out a deep chuckled. "No need, son." Creekpaw lifted his head and stood up straight with his head high and frozen, staring at the large black tom in front of him.
"When we found you as a kit, we didn't have much hope for you, but today you've proved us wrong. You'll make a fine warrior yet, maybe even a future deputy, young Creekpaw." Ravenstar mewed in his deep voice, lightly touching Creekpaw's shoulder with his tail.
"You can take first pick of the fresh-kill pile tonight," he cleared his throat, adding louder. "Tonight we honor Creekpaw and his courage for risking his life for his Clanmates!"
PebbleClan's warriors cheered. "Creekpaw! Creekpaw!"
Creekpaw ducked his head in embarrassment and he wanted to hide in a dark corner; hide the dumb smile on his face. But deep in his heart he felt a glow.
He had never been treated this way before, he had never been shown so much approval and respect... they seemed to really care about him for the first time.
He felt his eyes start watering and forced them to stop.
Everyday he tried to prove himself, he tried working hard to show he'd make a warrior; he failed and failed, and now he finally did it. He finally earned his place in PebbleClan, and he was proud!
After that, he picked his prey, a plump mouse and ate it in the middle of his Clanmates.
He felt a little uncomfortable eating around so many other cats. Many of them stared at him with gleaming eyes, which was really creepy, but it felt good at the same time to be noticed.
Some of the young she-cats leaned over and were whispering in each others ears, giggling and giving him dreamy looks; He really didn't know what to think of that.
As the moon climbed high in the sky, the Clan began to go to their nests, most saying good-night to him.
Soon, he was the only cat left in camp, besides Frostwing, who guarded the camp entrance.
Creekpaw, full-fed and warm, walked across camp toward the apprentices den. He was still exhausted from the run earlier, he would be happy to sleep for a moon.
But before he set paw in the den, a shape slipped out of the shadows.
He glanced around and spotted his gray speckled sister, her pelt pale in the moonlight. He realized she hadn't came up to him during the feast; she probably had a bellyache or something.
As he watched her, she stared back, an odd unreadable look in her wide pale green eyes.
He opened his mouth to say something when she stepped forward, stopping in front of him, resting her head on his shoulder.
He had grown a lot in the past few moons, before she would have needed to lean down to do this, but now he matched her height, and that made him... kinda proud.
He didn't need Talonpaw taking care of him anymore.
"Good-job, brother. I am proud of you," she purred, and he felt himself glow more than ever to know Talonpaw approved. But something about her purr... it sounded forced and empty.
She pulled away from him; staring at him from narrowed eyes.
Creekpaw's pelt prickled with unease at how cold they were.
"Talonpaw, are you okay?" he asked, concerned. "Do you need to go to the medicine den? Do you have a bellyache?"
Talonpaw closed her eyes, purring once more, and this time it was more real.
"I'm fine, dear Creekpaw. Just tired. But you must be even more tired. Go now, go get some rest, you little hero."
Creekpaw purred, rubbing his muzzle affectionately along hers. He thought she tensed a little, but he probably just imagined it.
"Good-night, Talonpaw," he mewed, turning into the apprentices den and disappearing into the shadows.
"Good-night, little brother." Creekpaw heard her whisper.
He glanced over his shoulder to see her staring into the shadowy den, her eyes cold green ice. He turned away, padding into his nest and curling up.
Talonpaw was proud, he knew it! Was something wrong with her?
She was fine, she was just tired, she said so. Right?
But he had trouble sleeping that night, Talonpaw's chilly eyes still planted in his memory.
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