Allegiances: Whispering Echoes/Allegiances
My gaze locked with his handsome, charming, daring amber-flame gaze. He padded over to me and mewed, 'Hey. What's up, Dewbreeze? Choked on fish bones?' He joked. I shook my head, ignoring the fact that Poolstar and Flutterleap had just told me a shocking omen-I mean, prophecy- The only thing left after fire is destruction. What was that supposed to mean? What was that even supposed to do with me? I thought prophecies and omens were for medicine cats and leaders, not for warriors and apprentices and queens and kits and anyone else. Then a thought struck me. Ember is the ash left after fire. And his flame-colored gaze... Would he... would he destroy RainClan? I felt the world spinning around me and felt grateful for his supporting shoulder. I cleared my thoughts and mind. He would never destroy our Clan. He's perfect, lovable, handsome, steadfast and... extremely nice. I repeated those words in my mind and reassured myself. He would never destroy RainClan.
'What should we do with him?' Poolstar mewed, her tail whisking around impatiently. 'He is a big threat to the Clan.' Flutterleap paused and said, 'Dewbreeze won't believe StarClan or us. She still thinks that Emberstrike is loyal.' Poolstar sighed before padding out of her den, checking what was the voices outside about. The sight of Drizzlestripe's bloody body froze Poolstar. The cats next to Drizzlestripe were Flutterleap, who was already applying cobwebs, and Mudpaw was doing the same. The only warrior next to him was Emberstrike. 'Oh no, oh StarClan...' whispered Poolstar. Emberstrike mewed, 'He was murdered by a badger-' 'Stop lying, Emberstrike!' spat Flutterleap. She showed the fur hidden in Drizzlestripe's claws. 'They are your exact fur color,' she hissed. Emberstrike narrowed his eyes. 'And so? There are many cats of my coloring.' 'But the scent on it is RainClan-that means it's you, Emberstrike, because you are the only ember-colored cat in the Clan!' Shocked gasps and murmurs rippled amongst the cats. I gaped in shock. Before Emberstrike could reach me with his tail, I turned her back and growled, 'I thought you were loyal. I've even denied Poolstar and Flutterleap that you will destroy our Clan. But oh, was I wrong.' My voice cracked. 'I hate you. You made me lose my father! I sacrificed my first litter for you!' Mintpetal hissed, 'In this case, Emberstrike, you should be exiled.' Poolstar spat, 'No. He shouldn't. He should be killed. He made my daughter give her first litter away and killed my mate.' Before any cat could object, she snapped his neck and he fell limp. My heart broke, but I kept calm and whispered, 'You deserved it...' I never thought my mother would force any cat to their deaths. No cat had a say. Then, Mintpetal walked by and whispered, 'You better be ready for what you will have.'
I knew exactly what was I going to have-
Chapter 2 (Mint)
I writhed in agony. 'Try to stop moving, Dewbreeze,' Mintpetal mewed gently. 'I feel the kits coming.' As I felt my belly being pressed by Mudpaw, a wet bundle slipped out easier than the last litter. 'A she-kit!' announced Mintpetal. She licked her before placing her next to my belly. Before I knew it, I gave birth to 4 kits. 'I'll bring you herbs later at sunhigh so you'll have time to rest,' Mintpetal's tail brushed the only tom before she padded out of the den with Mudpaw trailing after. I sniffed the tom. The first thing that flew into my mind was Emberstrike- his fur color, scent and tabby stripes were all on this kit. I closed my eyes, exhaling a scared, horrified breath before seeing a vision- this kit, in the Dark Forest, killing Poolstar and Drizzlestripe's spirit. I immediately separated this kit from the others and told Violetwing, 'I think this is too much. Can you help me suckle this kit?' She nodded and took him in before spiking her fur in horror. 'Why, Dewbreeze, do you have to love him? He is in this kit!' Violetwing whispered. I sighed and buried my nose into her fur. 'I don't know...'
'Come on, kits,' I purred, watching proudly. Echokit stopped playing with Bluekit, who was twice as big, and trotted over to me with her tiny head staring up at me. Sweetkit's tortoiseshell head turned over from the elder's den and dashed over to me, her cream patches glowing in the sun. Ravenkit crashed into my side and mewed a 'sorry' in the cutest way. Then Dustkit, who was about to come to me, halted when I hissed, 'Except for you.' Dustkit's tail drooped and trailed into his own nest. Sweetkit stuck her tongue out at him and spat, 'You fox-dung should be in the Dark Forest, not here!' I smirked. I've educated them well not to like Dustkit, but scorn him. But I noticed that Echokit's eyes had a sad, sympathetic look. I shook it out, thinking that she was just sad because he was evil and was scared that he will destroy the Clan. The replacement for Emberstrike was Rowanfang, who had similar markings and fur color, but with different eye color and more handsome looks. I couldn't believe I fell for Emberstrike, not him. Rowanfang padded over to me, glared at Dustkit, and purred. 'Dewbreeze, you're the best mate I could ever wish for.' I settled in the nursery and the three kits fell quiet when they started to suckle. He squeezed into the den with a tight fit and we started to groom each other, ignoring Dustkit's presence and the fact that he was only a moon but had started eating fresh-kill. The Clan usually leaves him the softest mouse or squirrel, occasionally a pheasant bird. No one showed him love or affection, except for Dappleheart, who lost her kits in a flood. She was the closest to a mother for Dustkit. The sun was setting and it touched the camp into a shade of orange- Emberstrike's eye color. Why does everything HAVE to remind me of Emberstrike? I thought. The scenery out of camp was magnificent, especially the sea and lakes. Rowanfang looked out of the nursery and mewed, 'I better go for the sundown patrol before Poolstar gets impatient.' And then he hopped out of the den with Poolstar glaring at him. Poolstar mewed something into his ear and leaped onto the Hightree. She yowled, 'May all cats who can swim over the sea to the island come and gather for a Clan meeting!' The moon was just rising and she mewed, 'We have to appoint a new deputy.' The last deputy had retired. 'Finchclaw, you will be the new deputy. Thank you for taking care of Violetwing and the Clan.' Finchclaw seemed surprised but dipped his head. 'Finchclaw! Finchclaw!' The Clan yowled. Then Poolstar dismissed the meeting.
When Dustkit was exiled he had a dream...
Feeling neglected, Emberkit scrambled out of camp. He wandered near the twisted, gnarly trees and wandered outside RainClan territory. He looked around warily, noticing a pair of gray eyes from inside the bushes. She padded out and peered down at him. 'Flame, come see the kit,' she mewed. A dark gray tom followed her and stared at him, eyes narrowed. 'Take him in,' ordered a golden she-cat. Flame muttered something under his breath before continuing on with the golden cat. 'Sun, you better bring him to Quail.' Sun scooped me up and brought him to a place somewhat like camp. He noticed something in Flame's eyes-love. Sun smirked and mewed, 'Seems like you've found some kit that has a special destiny...' Emberkit's head whirled. Special destiny? And why does Flame look so much like me? he thought. Especially his flame-colored eyes...
Then Dustkit woke from the dream and wandered into the pines.
Dustkit woke up on a cold rock. He stood up, his legs shaky. His eyes scanned the clearing surrounded by pine forest. Instead of leaping down from the rock, he turned around and gazed at the setting sun. He let out a low growl. Everyone who met him, rejected him. Was this going to be about that? Rejection? Pain and anger flooded through his body. "I will have no Clan name! My name is Dust!" he yowled. Dust leaped from the rock. He had to find some food. But first, he had to do something. He padded through the familiar forest where Dappleheart took him a few times. He knew the way to the camp good enough. He went restlessly up the hill, leaves crunching under his paws. Then he saw it. The clearing RainClan had its camp. He stopped. He could see it, but it was further away. Great. He went on a search for a new den. He came across an old, hollow tree. He picked a lump of moss at its roots, making a comfortable nest inside. It was perfect - he could see his old camp perfectly. And now the food. Of course, he had no idea how to hunt. Dust sniffed the air. He recognized various smells, but what was prey? Another, weird scent caught his attention. He followed it deeper to the forest. Suddenly, a bush behind him cracked. He quickly spun around. Too late. He saw a streak of gray fur. Then, something pinned him down. "What are you doing here?" snarled a voice to his ear. Dust felt the claws on his throat, ready to make a kill. "Thrush! Stop! Don't you see it's a kit?" another voice called. The tom gave Dust a glare and got off. A small, tabby she-cat. Her blue eyes gleamed. "Look at him! Poor thing! Where is your mother?" asked the she-cat. She started to lick his back, which made Dust remember how Dappleheart groomed him. "I have no mother," he told the she-cat. The tom snorted. "He's a liar, Sparrow. I can smell milk on him." "Why would a kit lie? He is barely older than your own kits!" Sparrow snapped. She then turned back on Dust. "What is your name?" she asked gently. "Dust," meowed Dust, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Sparrow sighed. "Come on, then," she purred. Thrush narrowed his eyes. "Do you really want to take it to the camp? Leave it to the foxes!" Sparrow spun around, claws on her paws outstretched as she slashed Thrush's ear. For a moment, Dust thought that he will attack Sparrow, but then he just hissed at the kit and padded to the forest. Sparrow gently lifted Dust and followed Thrush.
(thought it's dead, didn't you? Thought wrong)
Dust was carried to the 'camp' by Sparrow. By smell, she reminded him of Dappleheart, who hopefully missed him.
Camp was a small clearing with few dens and a fallen log in the middle. Near the entrance was a bigger den with the smell of milk inside. It reminded Dust of the nursery in some way. That was surely where Thrush's kits were.
The brambles around a den next to the log stirred. A massive, dark brown tabby tom padded out, his powerful shoulders rippling at every step. Sparrow dropped Dust down, staring at the dark tom.
His yellow eyes pierced right into him. Dust gulped.
"Who is this?" he slowly turned on Sparrow. She gave him a calm look.
"It's a kit. We found him while hunting," she answered in a calm voice. The tom narrowed his eyes.
"Oh," he let out. Sparrow looked a bit confused. "What do you want me to do with him?" he challenged her.
Sparrow sighed. "Take him in. Please Timber." The tom, called Timber, widened his eyes.
"Oh. Why?" he growled. Dust felt chills ripple down his spine. The fear faded once Sparrow curled her tail around him.
"It's just a helpless kit, Timber. What would others think about you if you leave a kit to die?" That worked. Timber gave Dust one last glance and nodded.
"Fine. Ask Stream if she wants to take care of him." With that, he went over to a calico she-cat and a small white tom.
Sparrow picked Dust up again, carrying him to the den with smell of milk.
Stream was a sleek and glossy silver she-cat with delicate silver markings and bright green eyes. She had white paws and chest and a fluffy tail. She was truly beautiful.
As they got into the den, they discovered it was bigger than it seemed. Stream was lying on a patch of moss next to Thrush, watching two kits play. As Sparrow said, they weren't older than Dust.
As they walked inside, Stream pricked her ears. "Hello Sparrow," she meowed softly as the tabby she-cat bowed her head in greeting. Once Stream saw Dust, she got up and padded closer.
"Who is this?" she asked Sparrow, sniffing Dust.
"This is Dust," meowed Sparrow, dropping the gray tom down. "We found him in the forest alone. I was wondering if–"
"If I can take care of him?" finished Stream, her eyes shining with happiness. "Of course I can!"
Thrush narrowed his eyes, watching his mate closely as she picked Dust up and carried him to her nest, giving him a few quick licks.
Dust pressed closer to her, feeling the touch of fur he didn't feel in ages. Stream's warmth got over him as he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Chapter 5 (Lyrics or Minty but I'll call myself Lyrics from now on unless I forget)
Lilac and Melody were play-fighting in the nursery again. It was weird how their parents were gray and silver but the two she-kits were blue. Well, blue-gray. Sorrel tucked her tail under her paws as she observed the two kits with her belly plump. She purred when she realized that Dust was staring at her. 'What's happening? Why are you staring at me?' Her voice was soft, but with an edge that reminded Dust of Dewbreeze. He shook his head, blinking as he padded out and got a small vole for himself. 'I think it's time for the three kits to start their training,' Amber mewed to Timber, her voice hushed. Dust crept near the tree roots to get what the two leaders were saying. 'Dust seems strong. He can learn how to fight quickly. We should assign him to a strong cat,' the pale ginger she-cat continued. Timber nodded. Dust was surprised. He wouldn't have guessed that he was praised by two of the leaders of the group!
'Melody seems smart and sly... she could be assigned to you, Holly or Ice.' Timber rumbled. 'You are one of the main brains of the group- plotting, plotting, thinking, thinking, but not much fighting.'
'Lilac... she's fine with hunting and fighting, but I think she has a knack for herbs. Maybe... she can help Dewy and Sienna.'
'Then it's settled. We will have the ceremony right after sunhigh.' Dust slipped out of sight just as Timber padded out of the den. 'Why do she-cats smell like flowers and honey so much,' he heard the dark brown tom mutter. Dust snorted and went into the nursery, accidentally bumping into Violet. 'Woah, be careful!' The novice barged past Dust and pelted out of camp. 'Tell Talon that I'm not going to the Gathering of Rogues,' she hissed into her mother, Tansy's ear. 'I need to find Finch.' Tansy sighed and went over to Talon.
'May all rogues that can defeat another cat gather around for a group meeting!' Timber yowled. In Melody's opinion, it seemed like a roar, but instead of shrinking she strode over to the tall oak, right above the leaders' dens. 'We have three new novices today!'
Chapter 6 (Lyrics)
Melody looked up in surprise. So quick? We were just 5 moons! The dark brown tom summoned the kits and beckoned Ice, Dewy and Cardinal. 'Dewy, you will educate Lilac.' The silver she-cat dipped her head and convened the small blue cat over to her. 'Ice. Melody shall be your novice. Please pass on the cleverness and slyness the brains of the group have.' The pure white senior nodded as she scurried over to the teal and blue eyed she-cat. 'And at last, Dust. You shall learn the strength and skills Cardinal has.' His flame-colored eyes glistened with excitement. Cardinal's amber ones though, were calm. He touched noses with the young tom, a classical move that most teachers do. 'Now, I will disband the meeting as the ceremony is done.' Timber leaped off the highest branch with strength and he padded away, with the rest of the leaders leaping from each and every strong branch.
Sweetpaw, Echopaw and Ravenpaw were with their mentors, Ivywing, Flowerfrost and Birdchirp. The littermates stuck together, their fur spiked. Ivywing's eyes glowed menacingly, hissing, 'Show yourself.'
A dark brown tom with bright flame-colored eyes slid out.
'Hand me my daughters,' he growled, 'or no one here will be spared.'
Behind him, a black tabby and a golden she-cat leaped from the trees, their eyes flashing intimidatingly. Their sharp gazes and claws as sharp as lion fangs disheartened the two apprentices. They stuck closer to their mentors, tail quivering.
'You better listen to Flame-'
'Attack!' Behind, a beautiful silver and white she-cat screeched. She charged into the tom, who was apparently called Flame. 'You cats, exiled from the Clans, have caused enough trouble!'
'Stream! What are you doing here?' The golden she-cat's muscles rippled as she ran to bat off a white she-cat. 'I'm here to inform Flame that Dust is now ours! Sun, get out of my way; this battle is me and Flame's, not yours.' She padded over to Flame calmly. 'Dustkit, remember him? One of your kits with Dewbreeze?'
Ravenpaw gasped. 'I thought he was exiled!' Flowerfrost glared at her, telling her to shut up.
Flame spat in anger. 'I want him. Now.'
'How sad, because you are never going to get him.' Stream then proceeded to shred his ears, in the speed of lighting. He yowled in pain. 'What was that for?'
Stream was already sashaying away. She looked back and purred, 'For you to wake up and stop dreaming about getting your three daughters. They'll be ours soon.'