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autumnbreeze*preface

i guess we were together once

we had no amends to make

but as of right now

this is way more than i can take

~

Night greeted me like a slap in the face. Turning over in my nest, I realized that something was missing.

My brother, Snake. Climbing out of the nest, I look around, squinting into the distance. I can't seem to find his dark tortoiseshell pelt.

"Snake?" I can't afford to take night precautions - staying quiet and not seen. My brother - my only living family - is missing. I'm going to find him, no matter what it takes.

I hear a voice in the distance. Snake? I don't care who it is. They might have my brother. I run through the vast field, trying to stifle my laughter as the long grass tickled me.

"Snake!" I cry out. The voice is more audible when I hear it.

"Autumn!" It's him. It's Snake. I run towards the sound, ignoring the ache in my paws, and the drowsiness that should be gone.

"Snake!" I yell. 

"Autumn, help!" At his cry, I sprint as if I'm running for my life. I guess that in a weird way I am. Because if Snake dies, I'd lose a bit of myself that he brought forth in me. I'd be gone without him.

The moon finally decides to shine brighter than ever, and I'm able to see silhouettes - a broad one, which is probably Snake, and two small and lithe ones.

Who are they? Curiousity takes over my better judgement, and I slow down a bit, trying to get a better look. They look like she-cats. She-cats? A she-cat being able to control Snake is someone I really need to meet. 

I suddenly realize my motive - to save Snake. I run up there are fast as I can, only stopping when I hear Snake laughing. I look at him to see him perfectly fine, and next to a smoky-gray tabby and a mottled silver she-cat, who are both stuffing their tails into their mouths to keep from giggling alongside him.

"Wow, Autumnbreeze, just wow..." he shakes his head playfully, the fits of laughter taking over him. 

I take a step back. "W-What? Snake? What is the meaning of this? And who are these cats?"

"A, remember when I told you that I met a couple of cats near the river? I told you that you would meet them today."

"So I'm meeting them right now? In the middle of the night?" I ask, waving my tail angrily.

"That's correct, A. This is Owl," Snake pointed to the smoky-gray cat, "and Piper." he points to the mottled silver cat.

"Whoa. So this is basically what's happening right now: You met two she-cats by the river, and you wanted me to meet them. So you decided to scare me to death in the middle of the night so I can meet them. You pretend that you're in grave danger, so I can tire myself out, just to find you laughing real hard."

Snake smirks at the two she-cats. "That's it, A! Congratulations on finally acting smart for once." Snake starts walking, and he pats me on the head with his tail.

We start walking back to the nest, and I end up falling in pace with Owl.

"Hello, Autumn." I turn to a pair of hazel eyes.

"Owl, isn't it?" I ask her.

"Yes it is." Owl smiles. "Your brother loves you, don't worry." she adds.

"What do you mean?" I ask, quite perflexed. When did my brother ever come up in a conversation?

"He said a lot of good stuff about you. I think we'll be good friends." I smile back at her.

"Thank you, Owl. I think we'll make good friends too."

We come to our nest, and Owl and I start running. No way are we going to let Snake sleep in the only nest.

Owl flops down inside, followed by me.

Snake and Piper come over, breathless.

"Hey! That's not fair!" Snake says when he sees us laughing at him. "I made that nest!"

"Well then, deal with it. I'm the one who hunts, so next time you get the best piece of fresh-kill I'll be like 'That's not fair!' Suck it up, Snake." I mimick Snake, and he looks at us bewildered.

"Wow, Autumn. You're really one unique cat."

"Thanks Owl." I poke her with my tail. "That's what you get for working with a mousebrain like him." I point to Snake, and out of the corner of my eye, I can see him, getting ready to jump on me.

"Don't even think about it, Snake." I turn back to me and knock him over before he realizes what happened.

"Ha! Now I get the nest!" He tries to dash into it, put I jump into his way.

"Piper, you can have the honors." I make sure that Piper is in the nest before I stop blocking Snake.

"A... is this because I made fun of you?" he asks when we lay down on the stiff grass.

"Nope. It's because they're guests and they deserve better treatment than you ever will."

I turn my back to him. "Stupid mousebrain." I close my eyes and go to sleep.

~

friends should always stick together

especially in times of need

now, the only times you've ever stuck by me

are the times when we've rarely agreed

~

"Had a good night, Autumnbreeze?" Roseblossom smirks as I shoot her a look. Roseblossom is probably the craziest cat I've ever met. She somehow knows things that I've never told her, like how every good dream I have usually means that something bad will happen when I wake. 

"Shut up, Roseblossom. Where's everyone else?" I ask, looking at the other three empty nests.

"Oh, they've gone outside to get our jobs for the day." I nod my head. In our Clan - it doesn't have a specific name - the deputy assigns every cat a job for the day that they must complete before they can do whatever else they want.

"Autumnbreeze, you won't get Repair Duty today." Roseblossom says when I turn my back. I stiffin. I hate Repair Duty because it reminds me too much of my old life - and of Snake and Piper. Repair Duty makes me feel nostalgic, because making nests and collecting moss was something I used to do daily.

"How did you know...?" I turn around to face her. But Roseblossom's dark brown eyes reveal no secrets.

"Just a hunch!" I can't help but laugh. We both know that it's not "just a hunch", but that I spend most of my work hours thanking StarClan that I don't have to do Repair Duty.

That's when I take sight of her pelt. Usually sleek and shiny, the light pinkish-red fur was a mess. My mother - I don't even know where she is now - drilled into my head that I should always keep myself looking presentable. That's how I learn to be able to sleep and still be able to look "perfect" all the time.

When she's done, we walk outside to see Skymist, Owlmoon, and Swanheart about to walk in.

"Roseblossom, come on! We've got Herb Gathering today!" Swanheart's pure white pelt is fluffed up with excitement as Roseblossom runs up to her.

"Alright. So the three of us - thankfully- have gotten hunting. Russetfire said that we to bring in seven pieces of prey each." Skymist waves her tail in greeting as Owlmoon stands at her side.

"Hey Skymist, Owlmoon." I smile warmly at them.

Owlmoon turns and starts walking. Skymist follows suit and runs to catch up with her. I try to move, but I feel like my feet are stuck to the ground. I can't move. Trying not to panic, I close my eyes, calming myself down.

"Hey Autumnbreeze! Come on!" I open my eyes to see Skymist waiting for me. And thankfully my legs work again. I run up to her and start walking at her pace, when I see Owlmoon's expression. Something between jealousy and rage meets me, and I take a step to the side. I glance at her again, and she's Owlmoon again - same hazel eyes, same happy expression. No trace of her glare from before.

Coming to the forest, I stop.

"Let's all split up; that way we'll have a better chance of getting more prey." Skymist nods her head while Owlmoon scuffles her feet and looks at the ground.

Skymist nods her head. "Yeah, that's probably a good idea, Autumnbreeze. I'll go towards the river. Autumnbreeze, go towards the moor because I know you can catch a rabbit or two there." I smile, pride making me glow. Skymist doesn't give out praise very often, and when she does, the cat she gives it to is usually happy for the rest of the day.

"And Owlmoon, you can go further into the woods. Let's try to meet back here at sunhigh; we'll see where we are then." Owlmoon suddenly looks up as soon as Skymist starts talking. 

I start towards the moor, letting my stealth mode take over my senses. Soon I have loads of prey - but still no rabbit. I want to get one for Skymist. I want to prove myself to Owlmoon. I don't know what's up with her, but I'm not going to let myself lose her.

I'm Autumnbreeze. I can do anything. I can find new friends. I can keep them happy. I can live my life without having to dwell on memories of Pipes and Snake. I can get Owlmoon back. I can catch a rabbit. 

I bury my prey under a fir tree and run out onto the surrounding moor. A rabbit jumps out of it's hole, and the chase begins. Sprinting until my legs ache, I poune on the rabbit and bite it in the neck before it can seriously hurt me. Dragging it back, I carry all my prey to the meeting place in the middle of the woods. 

Owlmoon shows up, and I wave my tail in greeting. She doesn't respond. She just stares at me with those beautiful hazel eyes - but they're empty, as if something is missing. Skymist finally returns, and Owlmoon is happy again. She talks to Skymist nonstop, while I ponder over the question.

What in the name of StarClan had happened to Owlmoon?

~

i wondered what has happened

and if there is anything i can give

but if spend all your time shutting me out

what did i do that you have to forgive?

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