Chaosclan Writing Thread

Are you a writer or a poet? Come and share your creations with us, or discuss writing techniques with others
Forum rules
Please only post your own original work, do not post poetry or stories which were written by someone else.

Chapter 20 - "You'll get through this."

Postby Kazin » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:20 am

    He couldn't go back into his own den. He couldn't even move. He was too caught up in his own mind, drowning in his own thoughts. Was he dying? No. But it felt like his world was ending for the second time. There had always been one event that defined Atlasrain, the singular event that shaped him into who he was. He let it dictate his life, let it mold him into a nervous cat. He hated strangers, though he slowly learned to trust again. Could he do that again? Could he even step a paw outside of this camp? Or would he have to move in with Skymouse, become an elder before he truly had the chance to live his life? His clanmates were avoiding him again, just like the day he first arrived. They were scared of him again, though Atlasrain knew deep down it was only because of his zombie-like walk, his stare unseeing with what little sight he had left. They felt sorry for him, and they didn't know how to help him. But that was exactly what he needed... help. A friend. Someone to talk to. Anything.

    Atlasrain wasn't really paying attention to where he was going. It was by some strange coincidence, or perhaps a cruel trick of fate, that he found himself outside of the nursery, listening to the newest members of the clan. Still less than a moon old, he could hear the sounds of their stumbles, and the sounds of the older kits playing gently with the four bundles of kits. Sparkbreeze's kits were slightly older, stumbling after the older kits and joining in on their games. The two newest kits, still shaky on their legs, watched with interest. Atlasrain found himself staring in at them, the eldest of the pair catching his interest, even if he couldn't see that well. There was no mistaking the cloudy eyes of the small kit, the way he stared off into the distance without really seeing. It was clear that this kit was blind.

    Maybe it was knowing that the kit couldn't see that entranced Atlasrain, and he hardly realized what he was doing until he was inside of the monster, shifting uncomfortably under the gazes of the queens. Almondcloud gave him a small smile, welcoming him, though most of the others looked away, pretending not to notice him, hoping that he would go away. He was about to do just that, but Sealshine caught his eye, beckoning him over with an encouraging nod. "Hello, Atlasrain," she said softly, smiling as he nodded in response. He didn't have the energy to speak, not now. "Sharkkit was telling me that he wanted to meet you, because he's heard a lot about you. He really looks up to you and wants to be just like you, you know."

    Atlasrain blinked, his mind unable to form a coherent response for a long while. He could only watch the blind kit as he reacted to what his brother was telling him, giving him a play by play of the game going on with the older kits. It seemed they were pretending to be other cats of the clan, reenacting what had happened on different patrols. "Get help for Atlasrain!" Dogbanekit yowled, and with a jolt the scout realized they were reenacting that fateful day he fell to the queen's claws. He tensed, ready to bolt, but the kits continued. "Our bravest scout cannot be harmed! Back, you evil cat, back!" One of the other kits, pretending to be the queen that had attacked, wailed in anguish as the rest of the kits pounced on her, laughing and hissing at the same time. Atlasrain relaxed, though the confusion he felt still didn't leave. Why did these kits see him as brave and strong when all he had managed to do was get hurt time and time again?

    "Why?" Atlasrain finally whispered, just barely reaching Sealshine's ears. She touched his back with her tail, comforting him slightly.

    "Because you are strong, Atlasrain. You have a good heart, and a good mind. You will get through this, and even if you can't see as well as others can, it doesn't make you less of a cat. Sharkkit will never be able to see, but I know he's going to be a great hunter. Raptorstar lost his vision, and he still remains a protective and fierce leader. Thistlepaw is missing a leg, but he has never let that stop him. We are fighters, Atlasrain. Always remember that. The kits admire you because you have never given up."

    Never given up, huh? Atlasrain thought, sighing... but some of the weight holding down his heart seemed to lift. He would get through this, just like he always had. He could still be a great scout, and he could be a role model that the others saw him as. He would recover, for cats like Sharkkit. He would.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    "You'll be fine, you just need some borage." Amberdawn resisted the urge to yawn, blinking sleepily. She had been up all night trying to figure out how to take care of Atlasrain, how to prevent him from losing his sight entirely. She had spent all of the next day looking for goldenrod, realizing it was the only thing that could save his sight. She combing through every single piece of grass still left on the territory, even digging through the snow to find a bit of the elusive herb. It wasn't until the sun was starting to set that she had found anything, finally returning to give Atlasrain what he desperately needed. Had she been able to do that sooner, she would have found the herb sooner. She could have saved his eyesight in it's entirety, but thanks to her he would never fully see again.

    She wasn't thinking as she grabbed a random leaf, setting it in front of a very exhausted Weevilsnap. He had a very high fever, and was definitely going to get worse without an herb of some kind. As Weevilsnap mumbled a thanks, about to ingest the herb, Amberdawn's eyes widened as she realized her mistake. "Ah, wait a second Weevilsnap. Wrong one." She shook her head at her incompetency, putting the ragwort leaf back. "It wouldn't hurt you, it's just not the one I meant to grab. Here, this is the right one." Amberdawn cursed herself, nodding to Weevilsnap to eat that one. He obliged, too sick to really do much else anyway. "I want you to rest for at least the next moon, so I can monitor your fever. You can take Atlasrain's vacant spot; he'll be resting in his own nest tonight."

    Weevilsnap stumbled his way over to the nest, falling asleep before he was even really able to get comfortable. Amberdawn watched him for a few more moments, his chest rising and falling with gentle snores, and she grew drowsy herself. "I need a break," she mumbled, shaking her head to wake herself up. It was only sunhigh. She didn't have time to sleep now. She needed to find Atlasrain, to make sure the goldenrod was actually working. She needed to deliver the rush and the cobweb to Sealshine's kit so that he didn't have a permanently crooked tail. She needed to make sure that Sealshine's first kit really was blind and not just clouded. She needed to... the next thought was gone as she allowed her eyes to close, sinking down into the dirt floor. Well, she could always do those things later... it wasn't going to hurt anyone to take a nap...

    "..dawn. Amberdawn! Wake up!" Amberdawn blinked awake to the darkening skies, and to the surly face of Raptorstar. His tail was twitching in annoyance, and Atlasrain stood behind him nervously. At least the scout looked happier, she remarked, not so defeated. Perhaps her suggestion of walking around had been good for him, but she realized that something must be wrong if Raptorstar brought him here.

    "Sorry," Amberdawn mumbled, shaking the last of her sleepiness away. "What do you need?" She kept her voice down, glancing over to Weevilsnap's still sleeping form, deciding it would be best to let him rest as much as possible. "Let's step outside, if we can?" Raptorstar nodded, turning and letting Atlasrain lead the way back out of the den.

    "I wanted to know the status of Atlasrain's eye." Raptorstar wasn't one to beat around the bush, but she could see the heat creep up to Atlasrain's features as he looked away, embarrassed. "Will he go blind, or not?"

    Amberdawn frowned, though didn't remark at Raptorstar's bluntness. She took a look at his eye, but nothing had worsened since she gave him the goldenrod. Perhaps she had done some good for the poor tom after all. "No, he shouldn't go blind. He'll have limited vision, but he'll still be able to see. Either way, he can remain a scout for as long as he wants to. I'm sure he could learn how to make up for his loss of vision." Atlasrain nodded, a determined look coming to his eye. He would. She knew he would.

    "Great," Raptorstar said, smiling at Atlasrain. "Thank you, Amberdawn. Why were you sleeping on the dirt, anyway?"

    Amberdawn wrinkled her nose in her own embarrassment now. "I... just closed my eyes for a second. I've up all night for the past while helping the kits, and then up all day today finding goldenrod, and I guess the sleepless nights just caught up with me. It's hard being the only one trying to save all fifty of your sorry hides, you know."

    Raptorstar had the decency to look abashed, a grimace of an apology crossing his face. "Yeah, I realized that as I was coming to ask about Atlasrain. We do need to get you an assistant, and I was hoping you would be able to hold out until Flickerheart's kits grew up. I realize now that was a mistake, but... we do have one of them that desperately wants to be a medicine cat. Just one more moon until he can be apprenticed. Is that okay?"

    The medicine cat sighed, closing her eyes again and letting herself deflate in exhaustion. She hoped that everything would stop going wrong for a little bit, anyway. "As long as no one else gets attacked by random cats, I'll be fine to wait. Thank you for thinking of me. Sunkit has always been helpful when I go to the nursery, so I'll look forward to having him as an apprentice."

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Scowling made him look just like his father. It was an unusual look for the usually optimistic tom, and Crowcatcher internally kicked herself for what she had done to him. It must have been her fault. She was too focused on getting to know Wrenbreeze that she didn't give Thistlepaw the attention he needed for his training. She didn't realize how much attention she would need to dedicate to figuring out how to train another cat. She didn't think it would be as hard as it was. She half expected Raptorstar to come rushing at her from the shadows, growl at her for being incompetent, and strip her of not only her newly acquired rank of soldier, but also strip her of her status of a mentor to Thistlepaw.

    "We'll try again another time," she promised Thistlepaw, unable to meet his gaze. He looked too much like Raptorstar. She didn't want to think of the disappointment.

    "I want to keep trying now," the tom growled, his tail thrashing as the pair made their way back towards camp. The light was fading, and it was growing dark. Crowcatcher didn't want Thistlepaw to grow more frustrated learning to hunt in the dark.

    She shook her head, not responding to the apprentice's lament. She understood his frustration, perhaps more clearly than he knew. But she also knew that nothing she said would really make him feel better, not while he was mad at her and blaming her for not passing. She couldn't deny it was mostly her fault anyway. Thistlepaw had all the technique he needed, she just wasn't good at teaching. Her mind was too caught up in thinking of Wrenbreeze...

    Maybe it wasn't all bad, though. Marshminnow had the same crestfallen look echoed across his face, and she sought him out with a squirrel in her jaw. "Hey," she mumbled around the prey, settling next to him. "Kiwipaw didn't do so well either, huh?"

    Marshminnow sighed, shaking his head. "No. Nothing I said could really get through to him! I think it's because his bobbed tail is throwing me off. I don't know how to tell him to keep his paws balanced without a tail. I didn't think about that being an issue." Crowcatcher nodded understandingly, thinking of her incompetence with Thistlepaw. She knew that it would be a problem, and didn't bother preparing.

    "We'll just have to try harder for them next time, right?" She whispered, watching as Thistlepaw vented to his siblings, and they all encouraged him; pieces of their conversation drifted over to her ears, and though Thistlepaw still wasn't smiling even as they all decided to go to bed, he at least looked happier, and his tail wasn't dragging on the ground after him anymore.

    "Right," Marshminnow agreed, sighing again. "We'll be great mentors for the, Crowcatcher. I know we will."
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

Chapter 021 - Blizzard

Postby Kazin » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:03 am

    It was a cold day, that was for sure. But no one expected a blizzard. Leafbare was winding down, wasn't it? Newleaf really should have been just around the corner. The thought of the melt excited everyone, and maybe it made them complacent to the impending snowstorm. Maybe they should have felt it coming, and have been more cautious sending out patrols, making sure they had a way to get back if the snow became too thick.

    Of course these thoughts would only cross her mind after every got lost. Songbirdstar scowled, growling at herself. She wanted desperately to stalk out into the whiteout, to find her clanmates, to lead them like she was supposed to... but she had been reckless as well. She was weak. One life of the four she had, gone because she was too stubborn to admit it was too cold to go hunting. And now, because she hadn't called off any other patrols, there were eight cats missing. Eight! "I'm so stupid," she growled again, tail lashing, sending dust from her Twoleg monster flying into the cold air. Amberdawn had sent her here to rest, to recover after losing a life. But to rest, when half of her warrior were gone?! "Worthless leader," she mumbled, taking a deep breath and deflating.

    They were gone. And it was her fault.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    "Are y-y-you sure t-this is where w-we came f-from?" Zephyrpaw was shaking heavily, the cold seeping into his bones. He was the smallest among them, and had the thinnest fur. Buzzardshade was nervous for the young apprentice, keeping the patrol moving to keep them as warm as possible. To hope that they could find their way back home to get everyone resting in their dens. But they had been traveling all day, and it was dark now, making the blizzard even harder to see through. It was hopeless. He would end up killing everyone. It was his fault.

    Buzzardshade didn't have the energy to reply to Zephyrpaw. He hadn't even gotten to know the young tom for more than a couple moons, stepping in as his mentor while Atlasrain took time off to recover, but already he had grown fond of the cat. He thought of him like a young brother, someone to protect, someone that needed protecting. And he had failed him. He failed his clan. The entire patrol was lost.

    "We should find somewhere with a bit of shelter, and try to warm each other." Petalsong whispered into Buzzardshade's ear, not wanting Zephyrpaw to overhear her. He was the one that seemed at most risk of freezing. He was going to die if they didn't find some shelter.

    "What do you think I'm trying to find?" Buzzardshade growled, hissing back at Petalsong. Blasted she-cat thought she knew everything. He hated her. She wasn't doing anything to help - it was Buzzardshade who had to take control once they realized they were lost, not Petalsong. She sat there in shock, her mouth hanging open, and nodded her head at Buzzardshade when he suggested they keep moving. And yet, now she wanted to take control, to decide what they should do?"

    Realizing that he was not going to talk to her, Petalsong fell back behind Zephyrpaw, letting the former soldier stalk ahead of the rest of the patrol, leading the way deeper into the blizzard. Perhaps they would be alright. Perhaps everything would be fine. They would keep warm if they just kept moving.

    They had to keep moving. They had to get back.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    The prey was smarter than the cats. At least, most of the prey was. The hunting patrol had come up empty-pawed, and Marshminnow felt like the stupidest animal in the forest for deciding to come deeper into the blizzard instead of deciding to turn around and cut their losses, and get warm. But he wanted to prove to Raptorstar that he could do this, that even in adversity he could lead his patrol well. The leader had seemed to think it was a good idea to push forward too, and Marshminnow could see the agreement in Raptorstar's eyes as he made the decision to keep looking. And it wasn't as if the decision had come up empty, too - they found a lone pigeon, bringing it down as it struggled to fly in the blowing winds. At least the clan wouldn't go hungry, right?

    But both he and Cinnamonflight would.

    Marshminnow didn't even know how it happened. He couldn't quite grasp when he had gotten separated from the others, Cinnamonflight by his side. He had been following Cinnamonflight's lead, the faint scent of a mouse in the air. It would be better to have more prey, they had both thought. Better to find this mouse and hope they could catch it. But they found nothing. And lost their patrol.

    "What do we do now?" Cinnamonflight asked softly, once the realization had come to both cats that they were lost. "Should we keep looking?"

    Marshminnow blinked into the blowing snow, imagining that Raptorstar would emerge after a few moments, scold them about being mousebrained idiots, and bring them back. But no one ever came. "I guess we find somewhere to take shelter," he finally said, looking at Cinnamonflight. "The blizzard can't last forever, anyway. We'll be okay if we just relax and take things easy."

    Cinnamonflight nodded. They would be able to find some shelter, for the both of them. After all, Cinnamonflight had lived through enough blizzards by themself that they would be able to keep them warm. Marshminnow fully trusted them, and Cinnamonflight just found themself glad that they had Marshminnow for some company. The upbeat tom was definitely the best one to be trapped with in a blizzard, in their opinion.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    She knew it was her fault Thistlepaw still had yet to learn anything. But Crowcatcher didn't have the heart to care, even though she knew she should. Her best friend was missing. Nothing else mattered but hoping that Wrenbreeze would be safe. Her mind drifted to the easygoing smile of the hunter the entire training session. She never even heard Thistlepaw's questions, never took it upon herself to even try listening. She couldn't even bring herself to get out of her stupor long enough to listen to Thistlepaw's angry beratement, and eventually, he just let the short walk back to camp pass in silence. He stalked away from the soldier as soon as they were close enough, leaving to talk with his siblings who were doing much better than him.

    Crowcatcher thought of her plan, a moot point now that Wrenbreeze was lost. She had found a bit of color in the forest during a patrol the other day, a bright purple flower pushing itself above the snow, growing despite the cold. Crowcatcher had carefully picked it, pressing it underneath a rock to keep it from blowing away. It was safely tucked in her nest, waiting for Wrenbreeze to come back so that Crowcatcher could give it to her... and ask to be her mate.

    Would Crowcatcher even get that opportunity anymore? Would Wrenbreeze come back? Would any of that patrol come back? Crowcatcher couldn't do anything - not eat, or sleep, or drink water. Her mind was only on Wrenbreeze, and that stupid purple flower.

    But that flower gave her a small spark of hope that Wrenbreeze would be okay. She had to give her that flower. She had to be alright.

    When it came time to organize the search parties, Crowcatcher knew she would be the first to volunteer to find the patrol Wrenbreeze was one. She would find her. She had to find her. The purple flower would stay in camp, and she could give it to her once this mess was over.

    Wrenbreeze would be alright. Right?
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

Chapter 022 - Carpe Diem

Postby Kazin » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:48 am

    It was so strange, seeing the territory turn an unimaginable shade of brown and green, the colors of Newleaf. Was it really that recently that there was a blizzard that separated eight cats from their home? It seemed like it was a dream. There was no way. And yet, the reality was that there were cats that were gone. Missing for a moon, and Songbirdstar couldn't help but think that they were gone forever. Letting out a growl, she shook her pelt, squeezing her eyes shut. No. She couldn't think like that. They were fine. They had to be.

    Opening her eyes, her jaw set, Songbirdstar made her way out of her warm den. She was going to find them, no matter what. Amberdawn had cleared her to return to light duties, but Songbirdstar just took that to mean normal duties. There was too much going on for her to take some more leisure time and rest. Besides, what was the worst that would happen? She would lose another life? She still had three, and the other cats in her clan only had one. She wouldn't slack off knowing that others were in danger.

    "My rescue patrol, please gather. We need to leave." Her voice carried easily across the pileup of abandoned monsters, and the other cats were just as eager to search for the lost patrol and gathered quickly. Across the camp, Raptorstar gave his co-leader a curt nod; his own patrol had already gathered, getting ready to search for Cinnamonflight and Marshminnow. "Crowcatcher, is everybody here that needs to be?" Songbirdstar already knew the answer, but she could tell the young soldier needed something to distract her. There was someone on the patrol that Crowcatcher cared deeply about, Songbirdstar could tell. She tried to hide her own feelings for a certain tom on the patrol, and so far she thought she had been doing a good job of it. Even from herself.

    Crowcatcher seemed to come out of a stupor, glancing around at the cats beside her as if for the first time. "Uhh... Yeah. Flickerheart, Emberlily, and Weevilsnap are all here, along with me and you." The leader gave a nod, satisfied, and led the way out of the camp. She would find them. She had to.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    He tried not to think of the hunger pains rattling in his stomach. He tried not to think of the aches that spread from his paws all the way up to his ears. He tried not to think of his best friend back at camp, whom he hadn't gone a day without thinking of. Yes. That was who he had to think of; he would erase every other thought, letting his paws carry him forward as if on auto. Gilapaw. He would get back to Gilapaw. He would get back for Ravenstrike. He would get back. He would get back. He would get back.

    Zephyrpaw was so busy clearing his mind that he almost missed the familiar scent that drifted to his nose. It made his heart skip a beat, and he hoarsely called out to Petalsong, who had been hunting with him, to alert her. His voice almost didn't carry to her, he was so emotional, but Petalsong was used to catching muttered words under her breath from her kits, and even from Raptorstar. She was practiced, and her own nose twitched at the air, her eyes going wide as she realized what was going on. "They've found us." Petalsong couldn't even use her own voice; it was Zephyrpaw who broke their silence. But she broke out of her stupor eventually, not daring to take her eyes off of Songbirdstar's distant form as she called out to the patrol, Zephyrpaw following suit.

    "Go get the others," Petalsong finally says as Songbirdstar grows nearer. It was real. They were here. They could finally go home again... at least most of them could. Flickerheart's wail of despair pierced into her soul, and she flinched as Buzzardshade delivered the news to their rescue patrol. The remaining cats from the patrol all grimaced, looking down in defeat. They weren't strong enough to keep Ravenstrike alive.

    A small glimmer of light flickered as Petalsong looked around at the faces of other cats. Flickerheart's despair was almost too much to bare, but the pure happiness in both Crowcatcher's and Wrenbreeze's eyes was uplifting. Nothing was alright now, but it definitely would be. At least some cats could be reunited tonight.

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    "Hey." If Marshminnow hadn't been stuck with Cinnamonflight for the past moon, he might have missed the quiet exclamation from the cat he had grown to adore and admire. It wasn't a usual tone of asking for a conversation, but rather a tone that wanted Marshminnow to look in the direction they were looking. He didn't need to use words as he let his gaze follow to where Cinnamonflight was looking, and a huge smile split across his face as he realized what Cinnamonflight saw.

    They had come for them! And they had found them! "Raptorstar!" Marshminnow let Cinnamonflight stay in the lead as the pair made their way to the gruff leader, a look of surprise on his face. The four others behind him looked equally as surprised, the many eyes appraising the skinny forms of Cinnamonflight and Marshminnow. He couldn't even imagine how he looked - it must not have been pretty, but he couldn't find it in himself to care. He was saved! He could go home!

    "Hey, you found us!" Marshminnow let the smile stay on his face, unable to bring himself to frown when his friends were in front of him. Raptorstar frowned, his good eye saying what his words did not - he was worried about Marshminnow. The hunter had spent enough time with the leader to understand his expression as worry; even if he acted otherwise, he truly did care about all the cats in his clan. "We're okay, I promise. It was all thanks to Cinnamonflight, anyway - if they hadn't been with me to do most of the hunting, I'm sure I wouldn't be here. Cinnamonflight is amazing!"

    Cinnamonflight found themself sputtering quietly, flustered at the sudden compliment from the cat they considered to be a very close friend over the past moon. "I.. I was just doing my duty," they said softly, feeling the heat creep up their pelt in embarrassment. They felt Marshminnow bump gently against them, a gesture of affection.

    "Aw, come on Cinnamonflight! Don't be so humble." Marshminnow's voice took on a more serious tone, his gaze becoming far away, almost as if he was forgetting that the others were here. "I really wouldn't be here without you." The tom shook his pelt, regaining his joy and energy. "We can finally go home!"

    Raptorstar watched the exchange without saying anything, his whole body relaxing as he realized they truly were okay - just skinnier than he anticipated. It was so weird to see their spirits unbroken, their relationship stronger rather than flimsier. How something so detrimental could bring two polar opposites together, he would never know, but he was glad that the pair of them had each other. "Let's get you home," he rumbled, nodding to one of the other warriors to lead the way. Everything was going to be fine.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Songbirdstar's patrol returned as the sun was tucking itself away behind the horizon, bringing an end to the whirlwind of a day. Flickerheart was like a zombie, her eyes unfocused as she followed the cat in front of her, putting one paw in front of the other as they returned home. She said nothing as she made her way to her kits, shaking her head at their questioning looks. It made Songbirdstar freeze in grief, seeing the dead look in Flickerheart's eyes. She had lost her mate, something no cat should go through. The others gave her a wide berth, most uncertain, hoping they were wrong about their assumptions. Songbirdstar supposed that she had to tell the clan what had happened...

    "May all cats gather for a clan meeting." It was too important to wait, and Flickerheart and her family deserved time to mourn without questioning glances or voiced concern. It didn't take long for the clan to come together, most already nearby as they returned from patrols, or sharing some prey after a long day - especially those that had just come back. She spotted Marshminnow and Cinnamonflight together, sharing a rather large bird - both were certainly skinnier, but their eyes were bright as they conversed. She was glad to see they were safe. Raptorstar was the last to arrive, alongside Petalsong - they had been together, and with a sidelong glance at her, he took his place next to Songbirdstar, nodding at her to continue.

    "As you all know, Raptorstar and I went on patrols with others to find our lost clanmates. While we were successful in locating them, we were not able to bring every cat home. I would like to mourn the loss of Ravenstrike, one of our bravest and boldest. He was a strong presence in our clan, and he has taken his place among the stars, watching over us in Starclan."

    Heads hung low as the news washed over the clan, a lull stretching across the camp. The two nearest to the nursery, Rookfang sidled closer to Sealshine without realizing it, a deep frown etching on his face. The queen let her tail curl around Rookfang's body easily, pressing herself into his side, suddenly glad that her kits were asleep. They didn't need to hear this, and it was easier to comfort the cat next to her without them. She knew that he was close to Ravenstrike, always seeing the two interact like they were brothers. She knew it must have been very hard on him to not even be able to say goodbye.

    Sealshine felt a wave of protectiveness wash over her, something she had only felt when looking at her kits. She wanted to help him. She wanted him to be happy. She vowed to help him, and Flickerheart's small family, in any way that she could. Sealshine was smart, and she had a plan. She wanted to do it not just for Rookfang, but for the whole clan.

    Everyone deserved to be happy. Sealshine was glad that the clan, even as it grew, could come together. She had hope that her plan would work.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

Chapter 023 - Mourning and Newcomers

Postby Kazin » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:04 pm

    The birdsong went unnoticed to the cats that had gathered in the forest, the winged creatures unaware of the sadness that practically oozed between each furry body below, etched into their features, carved like stone into their expressions. There was no light behind their eyes; the sun could not reach the dark crevices of sadness. After all, only time could truly heal all wounds, especially a broken heart. Flickerheart was present, convinced to come into the burial grounds by her kits. Even though they were still relatively young, all were showing wisdom beyond their years as they coaxed their mother out into the forest, both to get some fresher air and a change of scenery, and to allow her to be a part of the ceremony Sealshine had thought up.

    Today was the day they were truly laying Ravenstrike to rest. It was a small gathering of cats, as Sealshine did not want any that would say something insincere, her own kits even back at the nursery, being watched by Heatherglow and Chickadeefeather collectively. Sharkkit and Skatekit hardly remembered who Ravenstrike was, and she didn't want them disrupting the moment for Ravenstrike's family. So it was Rookfang, Flickerheart, and Ravenstrike and Flickerheart's five kits. A small ceremony, but it was much needed. It was the queen's idea to collect some of the newly growing flowers of Newleaf to lay in a small hole they each dug out a portion of, a place for Ravenstrike to rest, even if he had been buried out in the forest. She could see it was good for Flickerheart to be able to truly mourn her lost mate.

    "I will miss Ravenstrike's neverending wisdom," Rookfang was speaking, his eyes carrying the weight that no cat should. "He was my best friend, and I will never forget him. I look forward to the day that I see Starclan, and see his black starry pelt among them. I know he is a leader among leaders, no matter where he is. Rest easy, my brother, and know that I miss you. And I will always look after your family, just as I know you are looking after me. I'll do whatever I can to protect them on your behalf." Slowly, Rookfang pushed the flower he had picked into the hole, sighing as he closed his eyes. The birds continued their song as the cats let the breeze carry Rookfang's words away, letting the moment come for the next cat to speak.

    Sealshine would remain in the back, out of the way, letting the family share their stories of the father, the mate, the brother. She could see their bond growing stronger, whether they were related or not, and found herself glad she was able to do something for them, and for Ravenstrike. They all deserved peace.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    The ground had been growing warm underneath his paws, the sun warming his fur. Newleaf was drawing to a close, he thought, as the gentle breeze cooled him off slightly. Greenleaf had never been his favorite season, despite the plentiful prey. It was too deceptively easy, he always said. Too tricky. Greenleaf would bring hardships, just like any other season, but unlike Leafbare, it hid them away in the deep recesses of the forest where he couldn't sense them. After all, he couldn't see the changes of the forest. He relied on his scent, and his ears, but even then, Greenleaf was tricky - the storms would blow in fast, too fast for him to find shelter. He hated the rain more than anything else, especially during Greenleaf as it usually came in buckets.

    At least today, there was no scent of rain in the air, and the sun certainly told of a cloudless day. He had hope he would be able to find shelter before nightfall, and that he wouldn't be caught in the rain again. Never again, he grumbled to himself, his paws thudding on the ground in aggravation as he thought of having a wet pelt. Ugh.

    He was too focused on his own annoyance at water that he didn't catch the scent of the other cats until it was too late, and they had already spotted him. A stern growl snapped him back to reality, the tension in the air nearly palpable as he felt the hostility coming from others. There seemed to be... a family in front of him. Two parents, and four young kits, standing behind the older cats. The cat tilted his head slightly, wondering what this family was doing out here, travelling just as he was.

    "Halt," the male voice sounded again, though less sure of himself. "What are you doing?"

    "Just traveling," the cat said easily, relaxing his posture and sitting down on his haunches. He had no quarrel with a family that had kits, as long as they left him alone. "Trying to find my next place to sleep, as I'm sure you must understand."

    A brief pause echoed between the cats, the forest slipping into awkward silence. He imagined the cats sharing a glance of reassurance with each other, giving their kits a glance to keep them quiet. "Yeah, it's been pretty rough, not gonna lie," the male's voice returned, sounding less tense than before as he relaxed.

    The other cat smiled slightly, nodding. "Strange times we live in, too. Lots of rough characters out there, so I understand your tension. You can never be too careful. That's why I never stay in one place too long, I try to keep away from the bad areas. Which is hard, you know, since every area is pretty much just as bad as the last." The cat allowed himself a bit of a chuckle, earning a light laugh from the others as well.

    "I always just want to protect my kits," he said, voice growing more serious, lower as he admitted his weakness. "It is scary out there, and hard to deal with. Maybe... maybe we could all travel together until we find somewhere to be?"

    An offer of friendship? Usually cats just thought that he would slow them down. But... kindness? From strangers? "This really is a strange world, huh?" He said, shaking his head in disbelief. "I'd love to join you. I'm a pretty good hunter, believe it or not. I'm sure you could use some extra paws with all those mouths to feed."

    The tom let out a huge sigh of relief, nodding despite the fact the other cat couldn't see him. "Thank you."

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    "Hello?" It was Vanilla who was the bravest among them, choosing to call out into what must have been a large gathering of cats. Tsunami couldn't see them, but he could hear them and smell them. There must have been over twenty cats in the same place, something he had always dreamt of, but never actually thought was real. Until now. The small group of travellers was bunched together with the kits at the center, making sure they couldn't get sneaked up on.

    "Who are you?" The voice was female, and a small brown cat rounded the corner of an abandoned monster, other cats at her back as they peered out at the small group. "Why are you here?"

    "We're a family, traveling together to find somewhere safe. We... we had heard rumors of a clan, a safe place. We were wondering if we could join."

    The brown cat, smiled slightly, looking over at another small cat who was almost beaming. "I'm sure we have space. Come on, let me take you to Raptorstar. I promise you won't be harmed, and we won't force you to stay, if you don't want to. This is Chaosclan, and I'm sure we can offer you a spot to live. We make dens out of monsters, and as you can see, there are plenty of them around. My name's Crowcatcher, by the way, and this is Wrenbreeze. It's nice to meet you!"

    Nervously, the other cats meowed a greeting, loosening up their protective circle around the disgruntled kits, allowing them to see Crowcatcher. "I wanna catch crows!" Indigo yowled animatedly, his eyes lighting up in curiousity. "Can you show me how?"

    Crowcatcher laughed, nodding. "We can show you how to do a lot of things, little one. I used to be an apprentice, and Raptorstar taught me everything. I'm sure you'll make a real strong warrior, if you all decide to stay."

    "I wanna stay!" Indigo cried, his cheer echoed by each of his siblings. Only Azure seemed uncertain, but she stilled echoed his want to stay after a few moments. "It sounds like fun, if we can learn. Can we play too?"

    Another laugh, this time from Wrenbreeze. "Of course," she said, smiling. "We can't work all the time, can we?"

    It was the easygoing nature of the cats that make Tsunami realize he wanted to live here, and he could tell Vanilla, Dagger, and the kits felt the same. It was a weird process, getting a 'warrior name,' and finding somewhere to settle, but already there were others that were more alike to him than he thought possible. Another warrior, named Atlasrain, with a sightless eye. Even the leader had a blind eye, Dagger explained carefully, in awe that there were so many cats of different abilities living and working together. He said he even saw another kit with sightless eyes, manevouring just as well as the others and playing with Satyr, Nymph, Azure, and Indigo.

    They would all be fine here, all of them knew it. It was going to be a home, just like Tsunami, now Tsunamibite, had always wanted.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

Bonus: To Have a Name (023)

Postby Kazin » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:47 pm

    The sun was setting across the horizon, bathing the clan in soft shades of reds and pink. Every cat was relaxing, the atmosphere calm for what seemed like the first time in moons. There was no uncertainty, nothing they were trying to save, no one rescue, and nothing to figure out... except some names of the large group of newcomers.

    “What did you say your names were again?” Songbirdstar had her paws tucked underneath her as she sat with her new clan mates, getting to know them as Raptorstar sat nearby with Petalsong. It had been announced that the family, and Tsunami, were joining, but their clan names had not yet been discussed.

    It was the outsider that answered first, the one that wasn’t related to anyone. “I’m Tsunami,” he said, giving a nod in Songbirdstars direction.

    “Satyr!” The eldest kit cheered, beaming towards the leader. “And Nymph and Indigo are my brothers! And Azure is my sister! I don’t remember what dad and mom said their names were.” Satyr looked over at his parents, abashed as he grinned sheepishly. “What were they again, dad?”

    The black and white tom smiled at his son, his eyes growing soft as he poked him softly on the side, making him laugh. “Dagger, like a moth that lived near where I grew up. I was the one that came up with your names, you know. You’re all named after butterflies or moths, as there were a lot of them where I lived and I loved watching them and learn about them.” Dagger’s eyes got a far off look as he remembered his past, seemingly forgetting where he was or who he was talking to before he shook his head. “Sorry. And Vanilla is my mate.” He gave her another soft look, nothing but adoration in his eyes for his mate.

    Vanilla gave her own nod. “Yes, though I can’t say I’ve ever been certain what a vanilla actually is.” The she-cat laughed, shaking her head.

    Songbirdstar gave her own smile, watching the kits giggle as they started playing with a leaf. “We can work with those names, can’t we Raptorstar?” The tom gave a huff, and rolled his eyes, but his eye betrayed his true curiosity as he nodded.

    “I think we can work with everything but Vanilla’s old name. Perhaps she can match her family?” The leader meant it sarcastically, but Dagger and Vanilla both looked at him expectantly, their eyes bright. “Er, though I don’t know much about bugs to be honest.”

    “That’s ok!” Dagger mewed enthusiastically. “There are a lot of butterflies your color, Vanilla. Like the fritillary, monarch, imperial...” Vanillas eyes lit up, and she smiled. “You should choose, Songbirdstar. You are the leader after all.” Raptorstar gave her a look of his own, as if to say yes please.

    “Ok... I think I’ve got it. Daggershade, Fritillarystreak, Satyrkit, Nymphkit, Azurekit, Indigokit... and Tsunamibite. How about those?”

    The smiles of the cats said it all. They were perfect.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

024 -- Arc Start -- Prophecy Received

Postby Kazin » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:19 pm

    Everything felt different. This couldn't be real... could it? But he could feel the air moving through his pelt so easily, it was almost scary. Most of the time, his dreams were only about flying; something he knew was impossible, which made it easy to tell he was dreaming. This was so different to his normal experiences, he felt himself freeze, overcome with fear. He had heard Skymouse and Littledust tell tales of a Dark Forest, of evil cats convincing clan cats to train against Starclan. The young cat always thought the elders were just being facetious, but this dream was so real that they must have been telling the truth. His mind whirled with the tales, of cats who denied the Dark Forest being injured even though it was supposed to just be a dream, of clan cats slowly turning against their leader, causing an uprising and a war. He didn't want any of that to happen to him.

    As he closed his eyes, willing himself to wake up, a weirdly familiar scent drifted over his nose. He knew he didn't know this smell... but somehow, he felt like he should. A new feeling of calm washed over him, and he opened his eyes to see a starry pelt in front of him. Not a Dark Forest cat, but a Starclan cat instead.

    "Hello, young apprentice." The cat smiled warmly at him, eyes twinkling. The cat came closer until the pair were about three tail-lengths apart, and then the starry cat sat slowly, tail curling over their paws in a sign of friendliness. There was nothing aggressive about them, and they certainly didn't look like the Dark Forest cats Skymouse had described. They didn't seem that bad...

    "Hi," he returned, eyes shifting to the area around him. There really was nothing remarkable about, well, anything. If he had to describe it, maybe he was in the clouds. "Where are we?" He asked, unable to contain his kit-like curiosity.

    The smile reached the other cat's eyes now, making them close slightly. "You are in Starclan now," as the apprentice's eyes widened, thinking he was dead, the Starclan cat shook their head. "You are not dead, merely dreaming. I have a message to give you."

    "A message... for me?" He tilted his head very slightly, trying to understand why a Starclan would be contacting an apprentice at all. "Isn't that Amberdawn or Sunpaw's job?"

    His latter question was ignored, the cat rising to all four paws. "Darkness approaches, young one. You must not let the clan run away. Do not let them lose hope. You are one of the ones that can save the clan, and restore light to the dark world... Do not run..." It seemed to be all the cat was going to give him, but the dream left the apprentice with more questions than answers.

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    "Hello? Snowypaw? Snap out of it! Wake up!" Petalsong was growing impatient, tired of dealing with the dazed apprentice. He hadn't been paying attention to the training session for quite some time, and she strongly considered failing him for the moon... though figured Songbirdstar probably wouldn't like that much. Resisting the strong urge to roll her eyes, Petalsong prodded the apprentice with her paw. "What's wrong with you?"

    Snowypaw frowned apologetically, standing and shaking off his pelt. "Sorry, Petalsong. I was just thinking about a really weird dream I had last night. Some cat was telling me I had to save the clan, or something... and then she told me not to run... and I woke up."

    Petalsong opened her mouth to respond, to tell her apprentice to focus on the living world right now, not the sleeping world, but one of the new apprentices spoke before she could. They were supposed to only be observing, their training not technically starting until next moon, but his eyes were wide and his mentor didn't bother to shush him. "Wait... did she tell you that darkness approaches?"

    Snowypaw startled, his fur raising on his back slightly. "Yeah. How did you know that?"

    The other apprentice - Petalsong realizing it was Dogbanepaw - looked away quickly. "Uh, well, I sort of had that exact same dream last night."

    She had heard enough. There was no time for this. "It is not an apprentice's job to worry about dreams," she said, a hunt of impatience crossing her voice. She had hoped Raptorstar would let her get away without training an apprentice, as she found she already didn't want to deal with her own kits in their moody apprentice stage of life, but she knew being a Soldier required her to take an apprentice. At least Snowypaw had been calm and respectful towards her. It was the other more energetic apprentices she was leary of. "We should focus on training now, and maybe you can talk to Amberdawn later."

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Amberdawn was busy in the den. It seemed there would never be an end to eye injuries. Maybe she was cursed. Maybe it was Raptorstar that cursed the clan. Whatever the case may be, Icetuft needed her help. The tom was going to be blind, and there was no sugarcoating it. His tail had dropped, his posture sagged, but he took the news as well as could be expected. A piece of Amberdawn was glad she could give Sunpaw some paws-on experience, especially since eye injuries seemed to find the clan more readily than other injuries.

    "I can still be a scout, right?" Icetuft's voice was quiet, and she could tell he was trying to remain strong, but there was no hiding the fear he had in his voice. She knew that he prided himself on being an elder scout, on teaching the other cats how to best patrol without being seen or without making noise. She had heard him talk about how he couldn't wait to teach Fireflypaw her last skill - stealth. It was his favorite to perfect in the other scouts, too.

    "You can do whatever you put your mind to, Icetuft. Atlasrain still does his job. Tsunamibite has caught more prey than nearly any other cat. Raptorstar refuses to acknowledge his blind eye. I know that you can continue being a scout, if that is what you want. I will never tell you to retire early unless that is something you want to do." She kept her voice low, not wanting the cats passing by outside to hear her. "I suggest you talk to the others, too. Even Sharkkit. I know he looks up to you - and I know he's given Atlasrain some great advice when he thought he might go blind."

    "Sharkkit, huh..." Icetuft's voice trailed off as he thought. Amberdawn sensed that the older tom would seek out the young kit, and learn from him. Perhaps Icetuft could teach him a thing or two about being stealthy, too, though from Amberdawn's observations the young kit didn't seem to need any advice in that area. He was constantly sneaking away from Sealshine, much to the queen's dismay. Skatekit would follow behind, but he wasn't as quiet as his brother, and ultimately it would be Skatekit giving the pair away. "Thanks, Amberdawn," he said earnestly, standing to leave.

    "Just stay in camp for three moons to let yourself heal." Icetuft nodded, unsteadily bringing himself out of the den. It would be a transition, but he would be fine." Amberdawn sighed as the tom left, but felt herself relax. "Time for a break," she announced, both for herself and for Sunpaw. The young apprentice needed no more prompting, scampering out of the den to find his littermates. They shared their training stories every day, eager to stay close to each other.

    Just as the medicine cat was circling her nest, two voices whispered outside her den. "I don't want to bother her," one whispered, and the other argued about going in. Finally, she had heard enough, and called them in.

    "Speak," she nearly snapped, wanting to take a nap. "What is it? You don't look hurt or sick?"

    "Uh, no, not hurt or sick," the younger one said sheepishly. It was Dogbanepaw, recently made an apprentice. "But uh... Snowypaw and I... we think we got a prophecy... or something... from Starclan."

    Oh no. Here we go, she thought. She, too, had received a prophecy...

    Beware the darkness, for it approaches without warning.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

025 - What it Means

Postby Kazin » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:44 am

    It was supposed to be a normal patrol. Just hunting, just catching some prey, and it wasn't even supposed to be a stressful hunt. Just to make sure they had a buffer of food. But with a clan named Chaosclan, who should ever expect something to go uneventfully? Marshminnow couldn't believe the terrible luck of his clan. He wanted nothing more than everyone, his friends and even the cats he didn't talk to much, to be happy and safe. But everything can't work out the way you'd want it to, can it?

    It had been a sunny Greenleaf day. Birds were singing, the prey was plentiful, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Until Marshminnow saw something he thought he'd never see again. A Twoleg. Every cat thought they were gone, that they had gone extinct, never to be seen again... but there were a lot of them. A whole pack of Twolegs exploring the nearby abandoned town, picking up random things and pocketing them or throwing them away, their loud laughter easily drifting to the ears of the cats on patrol. None of the cats said anything, none of them needed to; everyone saw what was happening, even if they didn't believe it.

    "They're back?" It was Kiwipaw who dared break the tense silence, his head slightly tilted as he listened to the Twolegs rummage through their own abandoned town. "I thought everyone said the Twolegs were gone forever?"

    "That's what we all thought to," Longbranch grunted, his head shaking in disbelief. "All the cats we've met had reports of the Twoleg's disappearance. I never imagined that they were just in hiding. I guess... we have to go tell everyone back at camp."

    Somewhere in the back of Marshminnow's mind, the words of a strange cat echoed from his dream. Beware the darkness, for it approaches without warning. Could this be the darkness they spoke of?

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    There wasn't a tail that wasn't lashing, an ear that wasn't twitching. Scowls were etched across each cats' features, making the meeting a somber one. "We need to be prepared to move camp," Songbirdstar finally broke the tense silence, sighing as she made her statement. "If the Twolegs come to reclaim this Thunderpath, it would be bad news for us."

    "We shouldn't leave until we're certain they will come back," Raptorstar countered, his tail trashing harder than before. "I will not be driven out by mere speculation and fear."

    Songbirdstar dipped her head in agreement, saying nothing. The other cats remained silent as well, lost in their thoughts. Crowcatcher wanted to find Wrenbreeze, to ask her mate what she had seen with her own eyes. Or to go out and look for herself, to see if the Twolegs really were back after all. She couldn't imagine leaving their camp, not after being here for most of her life. It was home.

    "I'm going to agree with Raptorstar here," Amberdawn said after a few moments of silence. "There's no sense in leaving early, and who knows where we'll be able to go with so many cats anyway. We can't sacrifice the safety and health of everyone until we know the Twolegs' return is an actual threat." The medicine cat paused, letting her words sink in, airing out a small portion of tension in the Monster. "I also have something else to share; another prophecy. I was going to wait to tell Songbirdstar and Raptorstar alone but... I think we should all hear it. 'Water, earth, fire, and air must rise together, despite opposites they may seem. The clan will die apart if unity is not achieved.'"

    If it were possible, it seemed the Monster's temperature dropped to freezing levels, sucking all the air from the den. No one moved as they let the words wash over them, the chill causing a couple of them to shiver. Fallencrow's gaze became far away, and Petalsong unconsciously shifted closer to Raptorstar, who had finally stopped pacing.

    "We need to find the prophecy cats." No one really knew who spoke, but it was the same thought echoing in everyone's head. They needed to find the prophecy cats.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    "Everyone seems really jumpy and tense today." Sharkkit was sitting out of the game his brother and his denmates were playing, too preoccupied with his thoughts to want to play a game. Besides, he was almost an apprentice, and he needed to focus on more important matters - like who his mentor might be, or why everyone seemed so uptight. Something was going on, and he wanted to know what it was. He could hear the quiet whispers drifting about the camp, but all the cats were careful to keep their conversations away from eavesdropping ears like Sharkkit. He let a frown etch across his face. "I wanna know why."

    He was talking to his mother, who was trying to catch a quick nap in the afternoon sun. Sealshine repressed a sigh, flicking her tail over the top of Sharkkit's head. "I don't think these matters pertain to young kits that aren't even apprentices yet." Her tone was light, but she was frowning; Sharkkit could hear the frown in her voice.

    "You don't have to protect me all the time, mom. I know something is going on. Isn't it better if I'm prepared and now what it is?"

    Sealshine couldn't hold back her sigh anymore, cursing inwardly that her sons had to be wise beyond their moons. "It appears the large creatures we thought were gone from this place are slowly coming back, Sharkkit. And we aren't sure if they are going to push us out of their home. We need to be wary, and everyone's nervous about it, especially because Starclan seems so distant lately." Sealshine stopped herself suddenly, realizing she had said too much. Her kits were five moons old, not even close to warriors, and she shouldn't be burdening them with this. "Sorry, Sharkkit. I didn't mean to tell you all that." She glanced over at him, trying to read his expression, but she startled once she saw the awe and surprise in his face. "What is it?" She asked, her voice higher pitched than normal.

    "Starclan... I think I know them," the kit said slowly, his sightless eyes narrowing as he thought. "I had... a weird dream last night. A starry cat told me I needed to help find them again, and help save the clan... I thought it was, you know, just a dream but... maybe it actually meant something."

    Could her son really be one of the prophecy cats she had heard the leaders and deputies whispering about?

    "I think Infernokit had the same dream too," Sharkkit said after a short pause, tilting his head questioningly at his mother. "Do you think that matters?"

    "Yes, I think... you might need to find Infernokit and go see Amberdawn. I'll... stay with your brother, but make sure you tell Amberdawn everything you told me, alright? She knows more about Starclan, and she'll be able to tell you if it was just a dream or not."

    Sharkkit nodded, leaving to go find Infernokit. It was certainly turning out to be an eventful moon, and he wasn't even an apprentice yet! Despite the tension and fear radiating off of his clanmates, so strong he almost felt like he was suffocating in their feelings, Sharkkit felt a wave of excitement. He could save his clan! He could be one of the most important cats in the forest!

    But what he didn't know was that with great power, comes great responsibility. He was too young to understand it yet.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

026 -- Moonpool

Postby Kazin » Sat May 09, 2020 8:30 am

    The walk began as a quiet one, paw steps quietly thudding against the ground in a rhythm as they moved deeper into the forest. Ears twitched at the sound of birds, interest piqued as they went deeper into the territory than they'd ever been. Thistlepaw couldn't help the small wave of excitement that washed over his mind, giving his heart a jolt of adrenaline, his paws carrying him faster as he quickened his pace to catch up to his father and brother. "Do you go here often?" Thistlepaw couldn't hold back his questions anymore, the unknown making him both scared and excited. It was a weird feeling, but it was no stranger for Thistlepaw. Often, he found himself cursing his emotions, cursing that they would give him such conflicting thoughts. It happened during training, when he saw the glances from others that thought he wouldn't be able to do something. It happened when he doubted himself, and even when he proved himself wrong. Perhaps the anxiety was just a part of his life, and he had grown to accept that, now that it was finally happening. Now that he was finally becoming a warrior.

    Raptorstar's response was a non-committal 'yes,' but that suited Thistlepaw just fine as his thoughts wandered to his days as an apprentice. He had been angry at Crowcatcher at first, blaming her for being unable to teach him. Slowly, the anger towards his kind mentor ebbed away and was replaced with anger for himself. He had to let that anger burn away into passion, into his own competitiveness to prove that he could do it. He wouldn't be an apprentice forever.

    What helped was that he had Kiwipaw by his side too. His brother was clumsy, and had his own challenges as he learned how to hunt or climb without the use of a tail. Together, they grew stronger, and learned about themselves. They would encourage each other, challenge each other, and Thistlepaw counted himself lucky that he had a brother like Kiwipaw. The two shared a nervous glance now, wondering what Starclan would say. They could feel Raptorstar's nervous energy too, though the leader was good at hiding his emotions - his sons had known him well enough to know what he was truly feeling.

    "This is it," Raptorstar muttered lowly, coming to a stop beside a pool of water.

    Thistlepaw shifted on his feet, frowning. "It looks... less magical than I thought it would." Raptorstar allowed himself a laugh, quickly covering it into a cough.

    "Don't let the ancestors hear you say that," he said sarcastically as he turned to lay down next to the water. He beckoned the apprentices over, and they shared another glance as he nodded at them to copy him. "Put your nose in the water and close your eyes..."

    Thistlepaw thought that Kiwipaw and Raptorstar would be with him as he felt himself get pulled away into a cloudy scene. His heart skipped a beat when he realized he was alone, though not completely alone; a cat seemed to be waiting for him, their pelt littered with stars, their eyes an icy blue that sent shivers down Thistlepaw's spine. Starclan and Chaosclan cat stared at each other for a few long moments before the former opened their mouth to speak.

    "Raptorstar says he has brought you here to announce your warrior-ship to me, among other things." A pause as the cat tilted their head, seemingly listening to something else. They raised an eyebrow, almost smirking. "He's hoping that I will tell him neither of you, two of his sons, are the prophecy cats because he doesn't want to see you hurt." Thistlepaw shivered again as the Starclan cat spoke, the blue eyes staring through him and leaving him vulnerable. It wasn't often that he wished he could hide the fact that he had only three legs, but this was one of those times. "Unfortunately for him, and maybe for you, I cannot do that. Thistlepaw, you are here for your warrior name. This, I can give you, as one of the last acts I am able to perform. I must also tell you that you are destined to save your clan, and if you run away from this destiny, your clan will perish."

    Thistlepaw could only stare in horror as the cat's words sunk in. Save his clan? "How am I supposed to save-?" His words began shakily, but he was cut off by the other cat.

    "I cannot tell you more than this - your father will hear it also. The stars will fall, leaving only darkness and silence. Five paws will come together alongside three claws; the clan can only be saved by them. Ask him for the other piece of the prophecy, and that may help you find the others you need to unite with..." The voice was growing fainter, and the stars becoming less bright as the cat spoke. "I do not have much longer. Starclan will not.... save.... you.... find.... us...."

    Abruptly, Thistlepaw found himself back at the water, Kiwipaw and Raptorstar both staring at him in shock.

    "We need to get back to camp." Raptorstar growled, setting a brisk pace as the two apprentices followed him. The journey back was silent, even though the urge to speak was strong. He didn't know what he could say.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    His warrior ceremony was supposed to be great. He was supposed to cheer, to celebrate, to feel something. But instead, Thistlepaw was numb. Not even the anxiety had come forward. Even when the clan started chanting his new name, Thistlepaw - now Thistlepath - couldn't bring himself to look into their eyes. Their lives were in his paws. And he didn't even know who else he needed to find.

    "Come in here," a hiss came from the medicine den as Thistlepath was absentmindedly walking past, his mind anywhere but where it should be. Kiwituft seemed excited, talking animatedly to his and Thistlepath's littermates and Petalsong, and even the new warriors that hadn't gotten to see a proper ceremony yet. Thistlepath kept his gaze on them for one last moment, locking eyes with Kiwituft, before following the voice into the den.

    There were more cats than Thistlepath expected to be in here. He thought it would just be Sunpaw and Amberdawn, but there were two of the newest apprentices sitting there too, their eyes wide, and their nervousness clearly written on their features, despite the one being blind. "Why am I here? Why are we here?"

    Amberdawn shared a look with Sunpaw, blinking at each other. "You are just like your father," Amberdawn said, rolling her eyes. "Not everything is an attack, I promise. I'm here to help you, since it seems Starclan cannot. Sharkpaw and Infernopaw are two of the other prophecy cats. And Sunpaw has just been revealed as the fourth. I was hoping seeing half of the needed cats would give us some sort of clue as to who else was a prophecy cat."

    Thistlepath felt his frustration bubbling inside him, and he tried to keep it at bay, choosing to say nothing instead as Sunpaw took over. "Water, earth, fire, and air. I must be fire, along with Infernopaw. That would only make sense. Sharkpaw has to be one of the water cats... and you would be an earth cat." Thistlepath closed his eyes, but nodded his head in agreement. "We have four others left to find. I'm sure we can do it - we just have to think of who our possibilities are, and hope they get some sort of sign."

    "Skatepaw could be the other water!" Sharkpaw said, his tail fluffing up as he got excited. "Or maybe Marshminnow, or maybe Tsunamibite, or maybe my mom! Or maybe even Atlasrain!"

    "Yeah, and it could be Otterleap too," Thistlepath grounded out, his frustration growing at the sheer amount of possibilities. "Why don't we gather again if we actually have something useful to say to each other?" In proper Raptorstar fashion, Thistlepath turned and stalked out.

    He needed to be by himself.
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

027 -- Tensions

Postby Kazin » Sat May 23, 2020 5:56 pm

    don't have time to write in full, but here's the outline for the 27th chapter before I forget.

    --eventually when i write, the next prophecy cat(s) will be revealed - maybe the final batch to be revealed. (there are four left to reveal).
    --tensions grow between Petalsong and Raptorstar
    --Nightmint shares a moment with young Sharkpaw as word gets out about his role in the prophecy
    --Eclipsefrost and Kestrelchaser rebel and run off for a while, not wanting to deal with their clan right now
User avatar
Kazin
 
Posts: 10988
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:19 am
My pets
My items
My wishlist
My gallery
My scenes
My dressups
Trade with me

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests