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Essay
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Episode Ten, Season One, of Cold.

Finale of Season One! We've gone this far guys :D <33333 Enjoy! <3

Withstand It

I glanced at my sister, alarmed. Her gray eyes were dark and stormy, and her fur was standing on end. "Shade..." I knew that look.

"Why, Storm?" she growled. "Why them? I've seen three cats die now, and its more than I can bear." Tears began to leak from her eyes, and she let out a howl of despair.

"Shade!" I yowled. "Calm down for a second."

My sister took a deep breath, but her tail was still lashing. Then she whipped around, and bowled me over. "I can't stand this, Storm. I can't stand it when I see so many cats die."

Oh Shade... I remembered a few moons back when Leaf had died...

"Shade, take care of Storm, will you?"

My sister's eyes were filling tears. "Leaf, you can't leave us!"

"I'm dying, Shade. This cough has been eating away at me. I cannot hold on to life much longer." Our mother's pale green eyes fluttered shut.

I shut my own tightly, and heard the sobs of Shade as she shook Leaf's body. "Leaf, Leaf! Please don't die.. Please!" But it was too late, Leaf took one last raggedy breath, then whispered.

"Goodbye, Shade, Storm. You were the best children ever."

"No!" Shade screamed. Her eyes became a dark, stormy cloud, and she drove her claws deep into the earth. Then she yanked them out and slashed at me with them.

I let out a strangled yelp and scurried away. Her sharp claws dug deep into my shoulder, and I let out a high-pitched shriek. Then my sister turned and fled into the forest.

"Shade!" I yowled. I limped after her, but the older cat left me behind in the dust.

At this moment, I saw the look of terror and anger come into her eyes. "Shade, look at me." I growled, digging my claws into her skin.

As she struggled, I remembered the day, weeks after Leaf's death when Shade had returned.

"Oh Storm, I'm sorry about my outbreak last moon." She whispered as she wrapped her tail around me. "I was just angry that Leaf died so soon."

I nodded, and leaned against her. She traced the spot where she had clawed me. "I'm so sorry, Storm." She whispered softly, licking the wound tenderly.

Flinching away, I mewed. "It's okay, I learned how to take care of myself while you were gone." Shade seemed to sigh and mewed.

"I'm going go help the Clans. It's been leaf-fall since we were born, and it should be leaf-bare soon, and I want to make sure the Clans are well-fed."

"Alright." I whispered. "I'll stay here, Shade. You know where to find me."

She had returned to normal a moon after Leaf died, leaving me alone and let me with nothing. But now... Shade couldn't afford to stay away for a moon grieving.

"Shade, you can't do what after Lead died. You have to stay strong and hang in there." I looked into her eyes. "Come on, you can do it." I hissed.

Shade took one big gulp of air, and closed her eyes. "Thanks, Storm, I thought I was going to lose it." She whispered. Her voice cracked, and she sounded like a scared kitten. I stood up, and let her mourn for a bit.

"Roseleaf, you'll be in charge of Shade's group, bring them all back safely, my group will head on to find the land we are craving for."

The red she-cat nodded, and led the new arrivals out of here. I sighed, and turned to my group. "Well, we've got work to do."

~*~

I sighed as we were still trampling through the snow, trying to get to the land that we needed for the Clans. I scraped some snow out of our cave, and circled my nest.

Snowbreeze's light-hearted face seemed to smile in the faint light. I could see that she didn't look at Crowheart, anymore, and she looked more like herself.

Crowheart on the otherhand, kept glancing at Snowbreeze. He had a sorrowful look on his face, and he seemed to be debating whether or not he should walk over to Snowbreeze. (wetty, what do you say? xD Should he?)

I relieved his worrying by striding over to Crowheart. "So, how are you feeling?"

He glanced at me with those flashing, yellow green eyes. "Oh, I was just thinking about... about... S-Snowbreeze." He sighed.

I didn't react. "Did you make with her?"

The black tom shifted his paws. "N-no, but she seems f-fine with it."

"Why are you so nervous?" I whispered softly, looking him up and down. He then looked at the ground, and didn't talk for a long time.

"I hate seeing death," he hissed softly, after awhile, "It's the one thing I don't want to see. We shouldn't have charged that second time, costing Leafflower's death. We shouldn't have."

"But we did." I growled back. "And we have to live with it."

"Oh but wasn't it your decision to keep going?" He pointed out sharply. "We're you the one who let Reedtail fly off into the rogues' grasp?" He glared at me, then took a step back, realizing what he just said.

I lowered my gaze, and then snarled. "You don't understand," I hissed. "What it is like to suffer from these doubts and worries. I didn't want to lead this patrol, but Shade trusted me with you guys. When Reedtail was blown away, I thought I would never be able to forgive myself. I still haven't. How am I supposed to do that, if you're all blaming me for his death?"

"Maybe it was your fault." Came the reply.

~*~

Maybe it was your fault, Storm. The echo of his words bounced in my head. I hissed softly and snuggled closer to the wall. It's not my fault so much misfortune is happening because of me!

Even Snowbreeze stopped talking to me. Dawnfur was always snorting about how I couldn't make the right decision, and how in the end, this whole patrol would die around me.

Minnowfur was a wreck. Ever since Reedtail had been taken by the rogues, she had been struggling to cope with it. Then when he was killed, she broke down. She didn't eat much, and her eyes were always casted down. At night, you could hear her sobs ringing in the back of the cave.

One night, she padded over to me. "I forgive you, Storm."

I didn't reply. She brushed past me, and turned back, meeting my eyes for the first time. "You shouldn't go so hard on yourself, Storm, it wasn't really your fault."

"But it still is to them." I snarled, jerking my head towards the chatting Clan cats. Clan cats, I hissed to myself, They don't think highly of us just because we're not part of their Clan.

Minnowfur sighed. "I blamed you at first because I had no one to blame, I felt despair take over, and there was nothing I could do but blame someone, you."

I closed my eyes tightly. "You have every right to blame me. If I had moved faster, we would have gotten him, and he wouldn't have been caught by the rogues, and then he'd be alive."

"But everyone has to die at some point, even Dewheart."

That last part hurt badly.

The next few days, we traveled sullenly, no one wanting to chat with me. Then, I felt a cool breeze brush by me. I sniffed the air, and I swore I could smell the fresh scent of prey in the air.

"We're here!" I yowled, jumping in joy. "We're he-"

Then I froze, no one looked happy, and Dawnfur gave me a scathing look. "No one asked you to speak, scum, I'll lead this patrol now." She shouldered her way past, forcing me to the back of the patrol. I glanced at Crowheart for help, but he didn't even glance at me as he shoved by.

My head drooped, and I trudged after them. How am I ever going to do this?

Snowbreeze sniffed the air, then smiled happily. "I think we've found it! The land we've been searching for!" I glared at her through slanted eyes, and I felt a nudge from Crowheart.

"Hey," he growled gruffly. "Don't stare at her like that, she wasn't the one that killed Reedtail and Leafflower."

I watched as my former love and maybe mate walk over to Snowbreeze and touch noses with her. They broke up a few days ago too... Crowheart acted like she was an angel that fell from StarClan to do his wishes. And only a few days ago I was his angel.

Sighing, I padded after them, and looked at the land beyond. It's beautiful...

And just like you, a voice whispered. "Dewheart." I whispered softly.

Don't pay attention to what your group thinks. They're just grieving over Reedtail and Leafflower. They'll get over it soon, and then you'll be the perfect she-cat that Crowheart craves for right now. But for now, you might as well share your victories with yourself.

I glanced at the lands sparkling in the sunlight, and saw rabbits darting everywhere. The sun seemed to shimmer and smile at me, telling me I had done it. The birds sang their gorgeous melodies, soothing my heart. I sighed in relief.

I've done it, we've done it.

The End. End of Season One too! <333

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