Very little of this will be completed on account of school, so it will only get to maybe chapter 10 before summer. I really want to write it, but a lot progress cannot be made during school.
Riverclan's Rebirth Edit
LEADER Smokestar- a dark grey she-cat with black tabby markings and yellow eyes.
DEPUTY Maplesplash- a tiny dark ginger tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes.
MEDICINE-CAT Dustface- a large, sand colored tom with a dark grey face, legs and tail, blue eyes.
WARRIORS Whispersong- a long furred, dark grey she-cat with a deep scar on her throat.
Yellowpelt- a large, bright ginger tom with one green eye and one yellow eye.
Birchstripe- a thick furred, white and brown tabby tom with brown eyes.
Needleclaw- a dark tabby tom with long, straight claws, yellow eyes.
Mousetail- a brown she-cat with blue eyes.
Adderstrike- a small, black tom with long canine teeth that poke out of his mouth, and long front claw
Lilycloud- a long furred white she-cat with blue eyes and one grey ear.
Kestrelpelt- a white and brown tabby tom with green eyes.
Sorrelheart- a calico she-cat with yellow eyes.
Sapfur- a ginger tabby she-cat with green eyes.
APPRENTICES Hornetpaw- a black tom with large paws and yellow eyes.
Mistpaw- a black and silver tabby she-cat with blue eyes.
Brackenpaw- a brown tabby tom with white underbelly and blue eyes.
QUEENS Cinderpool- a light grey she-cat with green eyes. (mother to: Greykit- a grey tom with faint tabby markings and yellow eyes. Sunkit- a jet black tom with a bright orange tail and amber eyes. Adopted mother to: Whitekit- a jet black tom with a white patch of fur on his chest, yellow eyes.)
Cottonbreeze- a fluffy, white she-cat with blue eyes. (mother to: Tawnykit- a cream colored she-cat with light ginger patches and green eyes. Icekit- a pure white she-cat with silver paws and yellow eyes. owlkit- a heavy-set, thick furred, white tabby tom with green eyes.)
ELDERS Twistedleg- a young, ginger tabby she-cat with a horribly mangled back leg that is twisted backwards.
Antfur- a dark ginger tom with one black foot and several missing teeth, green eyes.
Fogsight- a blind, white and brown tabby tom with light grey eyes.
LEADER Claystar- an old, short-haired grey tom with yellow eyes.
DEPUTY Sprigstep- a sleek, tortoiseshell she cat with green eyes and several scars on her muzzle.
MEDICINE-CAT Birchpath- a white she-cat with black stripes running from her head down along her back, black forepaws and yellow eyes.
WARRIORS Wheatwhisker- a sandy colored tom with green eyes.
Breezestorm- a white she-cat with faded grey patches.
Cowpelt- a short-haired white tom with black splotches and yellow eyes.
Stripetail- a dark brown tom with black tabby rings on his tail, blue eyes.
Heathershine- a light pinkish grey she-cat with pale yellow eyes.
Bounceflight- a slim black she-cat with green eyes.
Gorsefur- a large grey tom with thick, wiry fur, green eyes.
Ashtail- a small grey she-cat with a darker grey tail and one dark grey ear, green eyes.
Cloudstorm- a pure white tom with large feet and blue eyes.
Quickfoot- a silver tabby she-cat with long legs and tail, bright green eyes
Shrewtail- a brown tom with green eyes and a long tail.
APPRENTICES Tanpool- a sand colored she-cat with bright green eyes.
Stormpaw- a grey tom with dark grey paws and ears, dark green eyes.
Stonepaw- a light grey tabby she-cat with blue eyes and dark grey ears.
Burrpaw- an unusually fuzzy tortoiseshell tom with green eyes and long from claws.
QUEENS Dewflower- a silvery grey she-cat with bluish grey splotches, black ears, paws and tail tip, and light blue eyes.
ELDERS Mudsplash- a light brown she-cat with dark brown splotches.
Brokentooth- a black tom with green eyes and several missing or broken teeth.
Snowmist- a long furred white she-cat with very faint light grey spots.
LEADER Dapplestar- a small, calico she-cat with black hind legs, white tail tip and amber eyes.
DEPUTY Rainpelt- a large, grey tom covered in tiny dark grey flecks.
MEDICINE-CAT Brackensplash- a white she-cat with light brown splotches and green eyes.
WARRIORS Sedgeheart- a long furred brown she-cat with green eyes.
Icewing- a silver tom with blue eyes and white tail tip.
Hailface- a white tom with light grey feet, tail tip and face, blue eyes.
Finchstorm- a light ginger she-cat with yellow eyes.
Thistlestrike- a large, black tom with white tail tip and long claws.
Leopardclaw- a leopard print tom with green eyes and long claws.
Redflower- a russet she-cat with blue eyes
Cedartail- a brown and white tabby tom with green eyes.
Crowstorm- a large, black tom with a white tail tip and yellow eyes.
Spottedpelt- a leopard print she-cat with yellow eyes and black tail tip.
Voletail- a small, light brown she-cat with a long tail, green eyes.
APPRENTICES Acornpaw- a small, brown she-cat with yellow-green eyes.
Skypaw- a small, pure black tom with sky blue eyes.
Mothpaw- a light grey tom with faint grey tabby stripes and pale blue eyes.
QUEENS Greencloud- a light brown she-cat with cloudy green eyes.
Flowerstorm- a brightly colored calico she-cat with amber eyes.
ELDERS Badgerclaw- a large tom with pelt patterns that are similar to that of a badger.
Stainedfoot- a white tom with heavy blood stains on his feet, and a large scar across his face.
Morningblaze- a bright ginger she-cat with amber eyes.
The group that lives by the code
LEADER Frost- an old, black and white tom with grey paws and blue eyes.
HEALER Furry- a very long furred black and white she-cat with yellow eyes.
Pebble- a young, brown tom with darker brown spots, green eyes.
Swift- a young, black tom with a white tail tip, green eyes.
Rift- a brown tabby tom with a dark brown dorsal stripe down his back, yellow eyes.
Silver- a white she-cat with silver splotches and blue eyes.
Web- a large black tom with white whiskers and yellow eyes.
Fog- a white she-cat with yellow eyes.
Small- a small, white she-cat with a grey patch on her face, green eyes.
Feather- a lithe, calico she-cat with tiny feet, green eyes.
Cats Outside The Clans
Fluffy- a brown she cat with black tabby stripes and an unusually fluffy tail.
Rose- a brown she-cat with russet feet and amber eyes.
Fox- a strong tom with a pelt similar to that of a fox, green eyes.
Bruce- a large, dark tabby tom with long claws. He doesn’t clean his fur well and as a result his long fur is tangled and knotted.
Butterscotch- a small, lithe, calico she-cat that is very energetic and hyper.
Rowan- a brown and white tabby tom with blue-green eyes.
Rocky- a sandy colored tom with black legs, tail and face, blue eyes.
Hugo- a black and white tom with green eyes.
Nilly-a small brown she-cat with green eyes.
Missy- a tortoiseshell she-cat with black front paws, yellow eyes.
Moonlight reflected off of the pelts of several cats as they padded through the thick snow by the bank of the ice coated river.
Trees dotted the side, some had branches that stretched over the river, others had roots that dug through the ice and dipped into the frigid waters. Leaves no longer filled the branches of the willows and ash trees. Instead, their branches bore snow and ice, the marks of a hard leaf-bare.
The smallest of the cats, a young she-cat with bright pale fur, lifted her head suddenly and opened her mouth, scenting the air around her. Her blue eyes lit up as a soft wind ruffled her fur, bringing with it the scent of prey.
“Gorsestar!” She hissed excitedly to a sleek, sand colored tom, “I can smell rabbit!”
Gorsestar opened his mouth to scent the air himself, then raised his tail, gesturing for the patrol to stop. He flicked his tail towards the top of a smooth rising slope that lead to the Shadowclan border, a small brown shape huddled just above the snow, its long ears flat against its body from the cold breeze. He looked back at the patrol, flicking his gaze along the cats.
“Sunstorm and Dawnpaw,” he hissed to the small she-cat and a large ginger tabby tom that stood next to her. “You two are the fastest of us, you should go get it.”
At his words the two cats shot off, pelting through the snow to get in position. Sunstorm ran around the bottom side of the slope, while Dawnpaw, keeping low to the ground, stalked slowly straight at the rabbit.
“Oh, I hope they catch it!” A black and white she-cat meowed from behind the black tom. “With Snowtail expecting kits, we need more than just crows to feed her.”
A black tom let out a huff of frustration, “I still don’t understand why she got her warrior name and I didn’t! we’re littermates, for Starclan’s sake!”
“Because you failed your assessment, Blackpaw.” Gorsestar meowed back, “you don’t know how to catch a bird.”
“I would if I had a better mentor.” Blackpaw mumbled under his breath, his gaze drifting towards Sunstorm, who had blocked the path of the rabbit, which was now running right into the paws of Dawnpaw. She grabbed it and killed it with a bite to the neck.
“It has nothing to do with Sunstorm, you just don’t listen. And I wouldn't worry about Snowtail, Longwhisker. You gave birth to very strong kits, she’ll be fine.” Gorsestar mewed comfortingly, resting his tail on Longwhisker’s shoulder.
As Sunstorm and Dawnpaw trotted back with the rabbit dragging behind, Gorsestar made his way towards them, meeting them half way up the slope. His gaze turned dark as he saw the alarm in Dawnpaw’s eyes, and the worry in Sunstorm’s.
“Good catch!” Longwhisker meowed, her eyes gleaming at the plump rabbit that Sunstorm had dropped at their paws.
“We smelled Shadowclan, Gorsestar! Past the border!” She looked wearily at Sunstorm, who confirmed her claim with a short nod.
“There was Nightclan scent, too. Not as thick, only a few warriors, but…” Sunstorm trailed off, and he shuffled his paws.
“It’s finally happening,” Longwhisker let out a gasp that caught in her throat, her eyes clouded with fear.
“I’m afraid so.” Gorsestar hissed, his eyes drifting towards their camp. “I knew it was going to happen, but… I-I didn’t think they would do it in the middle of leaf-bare.” He didn't wait for the other cats to respond. “Let’s go,” he mewed quickly as he began to run back to camp.
As the patrol approached the Riverclan camp, yowls of battle could be heard before the camp was even in sight. Blood and fear scent engulfed the patrol, and Dawnpaw could be heard panting nervously from behind.
Gorsestar gestured with his tail for the patrol to stop. They were just outside the camp entrance when he turned to look at them.
“The day I have been afraid of for so long is finally here. Shadowclan has finally decided to wipe us out just like they did with Thunderclan.” He was cut off by a gasp from Blackpaw, but quickly continued. “We have a chance to end this. I recently spoke with Starclan, they warned me, and told me what to do. We are too outnumbered to save Riverclan, but we can end the tyrants.” His gaze drifted off, as if he was looking at something in the distance. Then he looked at Dawnpaw and Blackpaw, his gaze hardening. “I am sorry I have to be so blunt, but the truth needs to be spoken for us to succeed, and we don’t have much time. I don’t expect any of us to survive. But we must stop them before they can do the same thing they have done to Thunderclan and us to Windclan. I want you to forget everything the warrior code has taught us about killing, sometimes it is what needs to be done. Hawkstar only has a couple of lives left, I will take him out. Sunstorm, I want you to go after Darkstorm, he is just as bad as Hawkstar, if he is left alive it won’t matter.” He looked calmly at the terrified apprentices, “Dawnpaw, I am sorry you have only been an apprentice for three moons, but no matter how much training you have, nothing can prepare you for this. Nightclan has not been recognized as a true clan by Starclan, so Batstar only has one life. Blackpaw, I want you and Dawnpaw to kill him. You have to work together, neither of you can beat him alone. Finally, Longwhisker, you must take out Waspclaw." He began to address the patrol as a whole now. "You must not let your target escape, they must die! I just hope that when all of this is over Starclan will send a sign and choose better leaders for both clans. If you have killed your target, assist with the death of one of the others.” He gave one last look at his clanmates, then stood up, “may Starclan go with you!”
He turned and plunged into the clearing of the Riverclan camp, the smell of blood and fear hit him like a rock. He looked around the clearing for his target, and spotted him clawing into the body of an elder. I’m sorry, Brokenfoot… He shook away his grief and charged full speed at Hawkstar, leaping and digging his claws into his dark tabby pelt. Hawkstar snarled furiously as he thrashed around, trying to fling Gorsestar off. But Gorsestar had already began to go for the kill. He dug his hind claws into Hawkstar’s flank, and clawed viciously at his eyes, sinking them deep into his sockets.
Hawkstar yowled in pain and bucked Gorsestar off. He landed cleanly on all fours, facing Hawkstar. “You fox-heart! You will not see the death of Riverclan!” He shot forward, swinging upward with his forepaw, making contact with Hawkstar’s chin. He sent him stumbling backwards on his hind paws, and he shot forward again, biting down hard on Hawkstar’s throat.
The taste of blood filled his jaws, and he bit down as hard as he could. He thrust forward even more, knocking Hawkstar on his back. He pinned him with his fore paws, and clawed his soft belly with churning back claws. Hawkstar’s body went limp beneath Gorsestar’s weight, but he didn’t stop. He released his grip on Hawkstar’s throat, but continued to slash at his throat, leaving dozens of deep gashes that left blood spitting out.
Gorsestar took a moment to look around the clearing of battling cats. He spotted Dawnpaw and Blackpaw over taking Batstar, and Blackpaw yowled in triumph as his body went limp. Dawnpaw and Blackpaw split up to go help Longwhisker and Sunstorm.
Longwhisker was struggling against Waspclaw. He was much larger than her, and was standing on his hind legs, ready to slam down on Longwhisker. But Blackpaw leaped onto his back, and Longwhisker was up again, spitting and hissing while she dealt heavy blows to Waspclaw’s head.
Sunstorm was in the opposite position. His large size allowed him to easily overtake Darkstorm, and he was battering him with his forepaws along with Dawnpaw.
Gorsestar looked around to see how the rest of the clan was doing. He spotted his deputy, Rockfoot, defending against two she-cats from Shadowclan. He seemed to be effectively fighting them both off, dashing quickly in and out to deal blows at both the the warriors.
He brought his attention back to Hawkstar. Using a single claw, he cut a deep gash that ran from Hawkstar’s chin all the way down to his lower belly. Blood poured out from the wound, and he felt Hawkstar’s body spasm beneath him. After a couple more spasms, Hawkstar’s body stopped moving, and he went limp for the final time.
Gorsestar let out a yowl of triumph that split through the hissing and yowling of the battle around him, and he dashed towards Waspclaw to finish him off. He let out a hiss of pain as he felt thorn sharp claws slash his flank. He spun around to see the two she-cats that had been fighting Rockfoot swinging their fore paws at him. He glanced past them to see Rockfoot’s body sprawled out, blood seeping from a large wound in his throat.
Rage filled Gorsestar as he fought against the Nightclan she-cats. But he was no match for two of them at once. One of them pinned him down while the other dug her claws into his flank. He yowled in pain and thrashed wildly to get away, but it was no use.
He looked around the clearing to see if his clanmates had succeeded in their missions. He smirked a little at the sight of Waspclaw’s dead body hanging limp in the jaws of Blackpaw as he threw him to the ground. He kept looking, and spotted Sunstorm and Dawnpaw dealing death blows to a limp Batstar.
But his moment of triumph collapsed around him as four large Shadowclan warriors surged into Dawnpaw and Sunstorm. when they ran off to their next target, they had left their bodies in a bloody mess, clumps of fur strewn around them. Dawnpaw was gasping for air, but made a sickening gurgling sound as blood welled from her throat, while Sunstorm seemed to already be dead, a deep gash across his stomach.
Now the group had moved over to where Longwhisker and Blackpaw were, leaving them in the same state that they had left the others.
Sadness welled deep in Gorsestar’s throat, but he shook it away. We succeeded. Thank you. He went limp, accepting death.
Claws dug themselves deep into his throat, and he could feel his own blood soaking his pelt as the two she-cats slashed at him wildly. He felt dizzy as he tried to catch the eye of his killer. A grin crossed his face, and he managed to catch the surprise in the eyes of his attackers before darkness took him.
Chapter 1: Dreaming of Death Edit
“Great Starclan!” The sharp cry of a she-cat’s voice split through the air as a small black kit stumbled through the frozen snow. The she-cat's sudden yowl made him jump, and he swung his head around wildly, unable to see as he had not been able to open his eyes yet.
Sharp teeth gripped his scruff, and he squealed weakly in protest, but was silenced by a rank scent that surrounded him. The she-cat's scent flooded over him as she lifted him into the air, the snow’s frosty grip releasing his legs and belly. He crinkled his nose and curled his lip at the smell, but did nothing to fight the grasp.
Hot, moist breath flowed through his neck fur as the she-cat spoke to him through closed jaws. “Don’t worry, little one! I won’t let you freeze!” His weightless body swung wildly and a cold breeze ruffled through his fur as the she-cat bounded through the woods with him in her jaws.
The small black kit had been wandering around, unable of where he was going, for some time now. His body felt frozen from exposure to the snow.
His body suddenly lurched itself forward as a fit of coughs erupted from him. His throat began to ache as the hacking came to an end.
“Hush, little one. You will be safe and warm now.” The she-cat’s words soothed him, and somehow he found himself trusting and believing her. But that didn’t stop his body from releasing another convulsing flurry of dry coughs that once again left his throat ringing with pain.
“It hurts!” He whimpered, but as he finished he was hit by a wall of more strong scents, all very similar to that of the she-cat who carried him.
He felt softness under his paws as the she-cat laid him back down. Hunger that he hadn’t been feeling earlier suddenly hit him as the soft scent of milk surrounded him. He followed the scent desperately, and quickly thrust himself into the belly of another she-cat.
“Oh, my!” He felt the she-cat jump as he thrust himself into her, but was too distracted by the sweet taste of her milk to care. “Smokestar, where did he come from?”
The next voice was small and felt as soft on his ears as the bedding he was in now did on his paws. “Where did she find who, Cinderpool?”
“This kit!” Cinderpool mewed, her breath hot on the black kit’s head as she sniffed him.
“I found him near the clearing on the way to the Grove.” Smokestar meowed calmly. “He needs food, he would have died if I left him.”
“He smells like the river!” Cinderpool exclaimed. “You don’t know where he came from-”
She was cut off as the kit erupted in another fit of coughs, once again his throat ached and his body convulsed and shivered.
“What did you want me to do?” Smokestar snapped back, “Leave a helpless kit? He’s no more than a moon old!”
“What’s going on?” Another small voice mewed, and for the first time the small black kit noticed that he had squeezed himself in between two other kits. “Who is this, Cinderpool?”
“Go back to sleep, Sunkit. There is nothing to worry about.” Cinderpool meowed back soothingly.
The small kit broke into another coughing fit again, but he felt Cinderpool’s tongue rasp over his head a few times, and he went back to drinking her milk.
Eventually his hunger subsided, and he curled up. Another fit of coughing sent his body into convulsions, but the soothing warmth of Cinderpool sent him to sleep.
His eyes snapped open, and he was back in the snow, but he couldn't feel its frosty cling this time. His eyes were open, and he took in all of the sights. He was in a wide open clearing, large trees surrounded him on all sides. He could hear faint whispers all around him, but couldn't make out what they were saying. He smelled the scent of Cinderpool and Smokestar, but they were mingled with many others, as one.
He began to walk the way he thought Smokestar had carried him. He padded across the clearing, and through a small gorse bush. He padded past several trees that seemed to extend all the way to the stars.
Eventually he found himself in another clearing, but he couldn't make out any trees on the other side. Instead, he only heard soft gurgling. He began to follow the sound, and eventually he found himself in front of a fast flowing river. It spit icy cold water into his face, and small shards of ice were forming on the banks.
He heard a sharp cry from above, and looked up to see a large hawk flying through the sky. As it passed over his head another scent flooded over him, even more repulsive than the one that Smokestar and Cinderpool shared.
A sharp buzzing made its way to his ears, and he swung his head wildly to avoid the annoying sound. He spotted a wasp darting around in the space around him.
He swung at it with his front paws, but he lost his balance and tipped over the side of the bank. Fear flooded over him as he prepared to be flung into the frigid waters, but instead he hit ice.
He looked around, confusedly, at the new ice that had formed underneath him. He spotted the wasp once again, but instead of swarming around him, it was flying in the same direction that the hawk was.
He spotted the large bird of prey again, and saw it circling around a patch of large bushes. It let out a large cry that sent shivers down the black kit’s spine, and then it dived into the bushes. Where is it going? As it disappeared behind the bushes, the land in front of the kit suddenly stretched forward, then shot back toward him as darkness engulfed him and he was once again surrounded by the already familiar scent of Cinderpool’s nest.
He sat up groggily and sniffed the air, then realized that Cinderpool was no longer in the nest with him. Instead, he could hear her voice from a small distance away. He let out a few small coughs, and he tried to force his eyes open, but he couldn’t find the strength.
“He is ill, Smokestar!” Cinderpool’s sharp mew made the small kit jump. “You have seen how he coughs. He needs to be taken to the medicine den. You must let Dustface treat him!”
“He is too small! He won’t survive without milk!” Smokestar retorted.
“He won’t survive in the state he is in anyway! I won’t risk the lives of my kits for him!” Cinderpool snapped back aggressively.
Smokestar said nothing in return, and a deafening silence engulfed everything for a while before sharp teeth gripped his scruff and he was lifted off the ground again.
Fear gripped his chest again like an icy claw. Are they going to leave me out there again? How could they do that? I am just a kit!
He fought wildly to release himself from Smokestar’s grip. “You can’t leave me back out there again! It’s cold! And I-” His voice was cut off as his body convulsed with another flurry of painful coughs.
“Don’t worry, little one.” Smokestars meowed back soothingly. “I don’t believe what they are saying. You may be small, but I can feel your strength.”
A new scent flooded over him as he was placed down in another nest. It wreaked of many different types of plants, and he curled his lip and crinkled his nose as they flooded his senses.
“Who is this?” A new voice, deep and raspy, spoke up.
“I found him in the forest. Dustface, h-he was freezing, and now Cinderpool says that he has greencough.” Smokestar mewed back, her voice beginning to sound shrill with a combination of anger and panic.
The kit was very confused. What is greencough? Is it dangerous, is that why they took me away from Cinderpool?
He felt Dustface’s hot breath on him as he sniffed the kit. He erupted in another fit of coughing and he felt Dustface jerk away. Then he felt leaves being pushed at him. “Eat this, you’ll be alright, it will help with the cough. That's what catmint does.” Dustface mewed smoothly. “He is very sick. But let’s talk outside, so we don’t frighten him.”
He heard them pad away, but he could still faintly hear what they were saying. He sniffed the air to locate the leaves, and their sweet and delicious scent drew him to them. He lapped them up quickly, their taste leaving him wanting more.
“He doesn’t have a fever.” He heard Dustface speaking in a hushed tone to Smokestar. “But Smokestar, he does in fact have greencough. Kits don’t usually survive, and he is the smallest kit I have ever seen. If I was cruel I would say that it is a waste of rare catmint to try and treat him.”
“Why don’t any of you think he can make it?” Smokestar snapped back viciously. “Just because he is small? He will make it! I believe in him." Her voice paused for a moment. "His name will be Whitekit, for the snow I found him in, and he will survive!”
“I am not so hopeful. He was out there in the freezing cold. He is not even from a clan!” Dustface hissed back. “He smells of the river and fish…” Dustfaces voice slowly faded off, and Whitekit slipped back into sleep.
He awoke once more in the clearing surrounded by trees that reached into the starry sky. The whispers still rode on the winds around him, and it was still impossible to tell what they were saying. Whitekit followed the same path he had taken before, determined to get to the place where to hawk and wasp had gone.
He came to the river again, and looked up, expecting to see the hawk once again, but instead he saw a single bat. It fluttered through the air, letting out several high pitched squeaks before diving into the bushes.
Whitekit raced after it, already knowing that the ice would freeze underneath him as it did before. But instead of his paws reaching the hard ice, they struck the frigid river, and he was forced underwater by the rough current.
Fear flooded through him as he thrashed wildly to reach the surface of the water, but everytime he managed to peek his head out of the water, it was forced back down.
His head rushed frantically with thoughts of how to survive. He began to churn his paws to lift his head out of the water again, but instead of air, his head hit ice. The layer of ice that was supposed to stop him from falling in had formed above him, and was now stopping him from getting out.
His lungs screamed for air as a tight pain gripped his chest. He lashed out at the ice frantically, but the last bit of air in his lungs was knocked out as the rough tide threw him into a rock.
He gasped awake, panting wildly as he tried to suck as much air into his lungs as he could. He looked around blindly, trying to force his eyes open. He caught a glimpse of two blurry figures at the entrance to a small cave that he was in, but his eyes forced themselves closed before they could adjust.
“He may just spread the disease to the rest of the clan!” Dustface mewed quietly to the other figure. “We can’t risk the lives of the other cats for a kit who isn’t even clan born, let alone from Nightclan.”
Whitekit recognized the other cat’s voice as Smokestar, and he guessed he must not have slept long, as they were in the same argument. “We cannot just let a helpless kit die! He has slept for a day, he is already getting better!”
A day? That can’t be right! “He has greencough, and he is barely bigger than a mouse! There is no way for him to survive.” Dustface rasped back, sounding annoyed.
“I know I found him for a reason. Starclan wanted me to find him, I just know it!” Whitekit was soothed by Smokestar’s insistence that they don’t abandon him. He didn’t like Dustface, however. Why was the tom so sure that the right thing to do was let him die?
“Starclan sent me a sign.” Dustface whispered, almost too quietly for Whitekit to hear. “More of an omen.”
“What was it, Dustface? And why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Smokestar mewed back, sounding bewildered yet intrigued.
“You are a young leader,” Dustface sighed. “You have a lot to learn.”
“Just tell me!” Smokestar snapped. Whitekit could hear a low growl rumbling deep in her throat.
“I had a dream,” Dustface began, almost too quietly for Whitekit to hear. “I was walking through the forest, following the sound of cats whispering, when I came to a river.”
Whitekit let out a small ghasp. That’s the dream I’ve been having! He craned his neck even more to hear Dustface’s mews.
“The river wasn't like any river I have ever seen,” Dustface went on. “The waters were black as night, and they rushed so fast I could barely tell which direction they were going. In the river, stood a large, white stone. I looked further down the river, and I could see that it had branched off into two separate paths. One path, lead into a dense, dark forest. The other lifted up into the stars. When I looked at the forest, I felt great despair and pain.” He paused to take a breath, and for a while, neither him nor Smokestar said anything. Then Smokestar spoke up, sounding like she was struggling to understand.
“But what does that mean?” She muttered quietly.
“He is the rock.” Dustface informed her. “The split in the river marks the two paths that his life could lead, a path to Starclan, or a path of destruction, the Dark Forest.”
These strange words brought great confusion to Whitekit. What is this Starclan that they keep mentioning? And why is the Dark Forest the path of destruction? How could he cause destruction? He doesn’t know what he is talking about! I have a choice! Just because he got some dream doesn’t mean I am bad!
“So you are saying that he could destroy us?” Smokestar spoke now, her confusion still appearent in her voice.
“Yes, I believe that there is a good chance. The dream was telling me that he could either bring great evil, or good.” Dustface meowed back.
“Well, if there is an equal chance of him being good, then why should we worry? All we have to do is make sure he is on the right path.” Smokestar concluded, sounding very confident in her plan.
“It doesn’t work that way. The choices are his, and his alone. No matter what we do, he will take the same path-” Dustface argued back, but was cut off by Smokestar.
“We will make sure that he chooses the right path! He is just a kit, you cannot condemn him to death based on what you think!” Smokestar sounded as if she was finished with the conversation.
“But are you really willing to risk the destruction of Nightclan?” Dustface pressed on. “If you just listen, you will-”
“This conversation is finished!” Smokestar snapped back. “We will raise this kit as one of our own!” Whitekit heard footsteps padding away and assumed that Smokestar had walked away.
His theory was confirmed as Dustface’s musky scent filled the air, mingled with the scents of more catmint.
“Eat this.” Dustface whispered as he nudged Whitekit. Whitekit let out a few coughs and lapped up the sweet herb.
“Here,” Dustface spoke again, nudging something wet at whitekit. “Lap up the water from this moss, you need it.”
Whitekit obeyed, although he didn't trust this tom. Why had he wanted to allow Whitekit to die? How could Whitekit destroy them?
When Whitekit had finished lapping up as much water as he could from the soaked moss, he found his way back to the nest he had been in and curled up, his muscled aching with tiredness.
It wasn't long before he drifted off into sleep, and awoke back in the clearing from his previous dreams. But something was different.
He looked around, but couldn't notice any major difference at first. He began his usual path to the river. This time, when he looked up at the sky, expecting some sort of bird, he saw nothing. Only dark clouds that filled the sky and blocked out the stars and moon. Everything was darker than it had been before.
Then he finally noticed the difference. The whispers he had heard in all of his other dreams were gone. He wasn't sure if he was thankful of this, or upset that something was missing.
The storm clouds above moved rapidly across the sky, then a loud clap of thunder shook the ground beneath Whitekit. Blinding, white lightning struck into the same clearing that the hawk, wasp and bat had disappeared in. It set the bushes ablaze, and rain poured down from the sky.
A second lightning strike accompanied the return of the whispers. But this time, Whitekit could clearly hear what they were saying.
“He must forget.” One whisper spoke.
“He knows what he cannot.” Another stated.
“It must be different.” A third whispered.
Whitekit spun around, hoping to catch where the voices were coming from. They rushed at him all at once, repeating the same things over and over again.
“He must forget. He knows what he cannot. It must be different.”
The voices repeated over and over again. The rain drummed on his ears, and he covered them with his paws frantically. Crouching down in the sand by the river, he covered his ears and eyes with his paws, and began to scream.
More thunder clapped in the distance as Whitekit let out desperate wails that got sucked up by the wind.
“Stop!” He begged. “Shut up! Leave me alone!”
But the voices kept coming, instead of clearly saying the same things they broke apart and morphed together again, making it impossible pick out what one was saying. For what seemed like seasons the voices continued, tearing through his ears. For so long, nothing existed but the rain, the thunder, and the voices.
Then everything stopped with another huge crack of thunder. The rain ceased, the voices went silent, and as Whitekit lifted his head and opened his eyes, the clouds parted and a bright light shone in his eyes.
He blinked away the blinding light, and everything was quiet. He flicked the rain from his pelt, and the hot sun warmed him.
Then one voice, a whisper that called to him louder than all the others, sounded from all sides. “He will forget.”
Then everything went dark.
Chapter 2: Introductions Edit
The bright sunlight pierced through the lichen that guarded the cave from the frosty breeze of leaf-bare. The cave was dug under the roots of an old, dead oak tree. The roots could be seen supporting the walls from caving in, and the roof was made up of branches pushed into the soil above, as well as the beginning of the tree trunk where the roots came together.
It had been a few days since Whitekit had woken and finally found the strength to open his eyes for the first time. His mother, Cinderpool, had visited him every day, to feed him her sweet milk. She told him that she had to do it separate from his brothers, Sunkit and Greykit, because she didn’t want them getting sick. She told him that his body had been laden with a disease called greencough ever since he was born, and that he had finally started to recover.
Dustface, the Nightclan medicine-cat that took care of him every day, told him that soon he would be able to leave and go back to the nursery. He told him that he had taken much longer than cats usually do because of his small size.
It was true. He had seen the other kits playing outside the nursery, and had compared his size to theirs. He had decided that he wouldn’t let this get him down, as he was only about a moon and a half old. He still had time to grow, and when he was finally out of the medicine den he would play with his brothers as if he was as big as them.
But for now he would have to settle for the boring sights of the medicine den. He looked around, yawning groggily. He noticed Dustface’s body, and envied the steady rise and fall of his flank. Why do I always wake up so early! It must be this stupid sickness that's making me so restless.
He decided to get up and pad to the curtain of lichen that unsuccessfully blocked out the sunlight. He stared at the snow cloaked camp. A large clump of powdery white was barely hanging from the top of the nursery, and Whitekit purred with amusement at the thought of Sunkit and Greykit running out and having it fall on them.
Then Whitekit noticed two cats sitting in the center of the clearing, facing the log tunnel that marked the entrance to the camp. He recognized the ginger tabby she-cat as Sappaw, and the calico she-cat as Sorrelpaw. Why are they just sitting there?
Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Smokestar pad out of her den in the dugout under the roots of another large oak tree. Her dark grey tabby fur reflected the bright morning sun as she walked over and met Sappaw and Sorrelpaw. She gave them a curt nod, and they stood up and padded over to the warrior’s den, which was a large thorn bush with a gaping entrance. Were they warriors now?
Whitekit quickly scurried over to Dustface, and prodded his belly with his forepaw. “Dustface!” He hissed, a little annoyed at how much the sandy tom slept. “Dustface! Wake up!”
“What is it, Whitekit? Can’t any cat get some sleep around here without you waking them up?” The grumpy tom mewed back, his voice raspy as ever. He lifted his dark grey head, and flicked Whitekit across the ear with his dark grey tail.
“Stop that!” Whitekit hissed playfully as he began to swat at the tail with his forepaw, but he reached so far up that he fell backwards and onto his back. “Ouch!” He hissed, this time with anger. “I can never keep my balance.”
“Your balance will come with time.” Dustface mewed as he stretched out his dark grey legs. He shook his fur wildly,sending little scraps of moss everywhere. “Now what is it that you wanted?”
Whitekit thought for a minute, then suddenly remembered what he wanted to ask. “Why were Sorrelpaw and Sappaw going into the warrior’s den?” He squeaked confidently. “They are apprentices, aren’t they supposed to sleep in the apprentice’s den?”
Dustface flicked his ears and stared at Whitekit, his eyes laced with confusion. “Sorrelpaw and Sap- oh yes!” His eyes brightened as he cut himself off, his whiskers twitching with amusement. “Those aren’t their names anymore.” He chuckled.
“They’re not? What did I miss?” Whitekit’s pelt prickled with anger. I always sleep through the interesting stuff! “Did they become warriors?”
“Yes, little one.” Whitekit spun around, a little surprised, as he recognized Cinderpool’s voice. The light grey she-cat shouldered her way into the den, and gave Whitekit a quick lick on his head. “They became warriors yesterday, Sapfur and Sorrelheart.”
“Now I don’t have Sorrelheart to collect herbs with me.” Dustface sighed as he ruffled through his herbs and pulled out the sweet smelling catmint. “Here you go, Whitekit.” He meowed as he pushed the herbs in front of Whitekit. He lapped them up, relishing their delicious taste.
“I really need an apprentice.” Dustface continued to Cinderpool, giving a quick glance to Whitekit, then back to Cinderpool, who nodded back. “I’m getting too old to collect herbs on my own.”
Why did they look at each other like that? “Did you want Sorrelheart to be your apprentice?” Whitekit asked gingerly. “You seemed pretty upset when you talked about collecting herbs with her.”
“I don’t care who my apprentice is.” Dustface huffed as he sat down and licked his paw. “I just know I need one.”
“You should ask Smokestar to appoint you one.” Cinderpool suggested. “I’m sure one of the apprentices might be interested.”
Whitekit remembered the other apprentices. Cinderpool said that they had left the nursery only a few days before he was born. He always noticed them leaving for training and patrols.
He didn’t think Wasppaw or Brackenpaw were very suited to be Medicine-cats. Wasppaw was always shouting about how he would shred any cat that he saw on their territory. And Brackenpaw always seemed to be so interested in being the best hunter. Maybe Mistpaw would have an interest, but even that didn’t seem likely. She never talked about how she was going to be the best, but she never passed up a chance to brag if she made a good catch when hunting.
“I think I’ll do that now.” Dustface announced, his chest puffing with determination.
“Good luck.” Cinderpool called after him as he trotted out of the den towards Smokestar, who was talking with Maplesplash, her deputy.
Whitekit looked the dark ginger tortoiseshell she-cat up and down, a little bit of encouragement sparking inside of him. She was small, even for a she-cat. Even Smokestar seemed to tower over her. Even if I am small, I can still be a great warrior! Maplesplash is deputy!
Whitekit’s thoughts were cut short as Cinderpool called to him from his nest. “Are you coming, or are you not hungry today?”
Whitekit’s stomach growled at the thought of his mother’s milk, and he scurried over to her to begin.
Whitekit looked through the hanging lichen at the front of the medicine den, he felt his mother’s tail hanging over his shoulder.
Several days had passed since Dustface began searching for an apprentice, but so far he had had no luck. Wasppaw had adamantly denied, along with Mistpaw. Brackenpaw, however, pondered over the idea for two days before deciding he’d rather be the best hunter there ever was.
Whitekit had grown increasingly aware of Dustface and Cinderpool talking about him, and on a few occasions even Smokestar joined in. Whitekit assumed that they were talking about his illness, and how he was becoming better. He hoped they were talking about whether they would let him finally leave or not.
His mother had woken him up this morning with great news. She informed him that he was finally going to meet his clanmates, as well as his littermates. His heart raced with excitement. He already knew many of their names, but most of the clan he would be meeting for the first time!
“Now don’t get ahead of yourself.” Cinderpool’s voice sliced through his excitement in a stern, yet soft tone. “Remember, Dustface has not permitted you to leave and live in the nursery yet. You are just going out so he can see how you do and so you can meet everyone.”
Whitekit nodded quickly. Cinderpool looked back at Dustface then leaned down and whispered in Whitekit’s ear, “don’t worry. You’ll be out of here soon.”
Dustface’s grunt alerted them to go, and Cinderpool gently nudged Whitekit out of the medicine den.
Whitekit’s paws felt cold against the snow, but his pelt felt hot against the beating sun. He looked around to take in all the new sights for the first time. He spotted his brothers, Sunkit and Greykit playing outside the nursery.
He looked at Cinderpool expectantly, but was rejected immediately. “No.” She scolded. “You are still sick, you won’t be going near the nursery today.” Her eyes soften, and she had obviously seen the hurt in his eyes. “I’m sorry, Whitekit. It’s just that Cottonbreeze just moved into the nursery. We can’t risk her getting sick with greencough and giving it to her kits when they’re born. You wouldn’t want anyone else going through what you had to, do you?”
Whitekit felt guilty for not thinking about that. “You’re right.” He sighed, and trudged past Cinderpool towards the apprentices den where Dustface was going.
Whitekit stopped behind Dustface in front of a large, thick bramble bush. Dustface called into the den with his usual rasp, and three cats came out. He recognized them as Mistpaw, Wasppaw and Brackenpaw.
Brackenpaw padded out slowly, giving a large yawn as Wasppaw pushed past him roughly. “Why are we up so early?” Wasppaw complained. “We don’t have any patrols or training.”
Cinderpool spoke up, resting her tail on Whitekit’s shoulder as he stared up at the apprentices. “It’s Whitekit’s first day outside of the medicine den, and we are showing him around the camp and letting him meet everyone.”
“I’m Mistpaw!” Mistpaw shot forward and gave Whitekit a lick on his head. “Nice to meet you!”
Whitekit’s heart warmed as Brackenpaw gave a murmur of agreement, but it was cut short by Wasppaw’s sharp mew. “Why is his name Whitekit? He isn’t even White! He’s completely black except for that little spot on his chest.”
I do? Whitekit looked down at his chest, and for the first time he noticed a small, white tuft of fur that stuck out against the night black. He then looked up at Cinderpool, confusion lacing his eyes. Why am I named Whitekit? The thought had never occurred to him until now, but it was a question he wanted an answer to. Cinderpool cast a weird glance toward Dustface, as if asking for help, and Dustface shook his head in return. After a while of silence, Cinderpool looked back at Whitekit, her eyes shining. “I named you Whitekit because of the cold snow that gave you that horrible disease. I knew from the start that you would beat it, so I named you after it so that we would always remember.”
Whitekit pondered the idea for a moment, then, satisfied with his answer, he looked back at the apprentices. Mistpaw was cleaning her silver and black tabby pelt, while Wasppaw was scooping up and throwing large amounts of snow with his massive black paws at Brackenpaw.
“Stop it!” Brackenpaw hissed at the black tom, shaking the snow out of his brown tabby fur. Then he proceeded to bat at Wasppaw’s ears with his paws, and in an instant they were rolling around in the snow with each other.
“Do all apprentices play like kits do?” Whitekit asked Mistpaw innocently, flinching as snow was flung towards him.
“They do.” Mistpaw responded in between licks. “But we aren't supposed to. Our mentors don’t stop us, but in order for us to learn properly we have to act mature and pay attention.” Mistpaw got up, ducked her head towards Dustface and Cinderpool, and padded towards the fresh kill pile, where several other cats we already sitting.
“Let’s leave them to their little fight.” Dustface rasped as he lead the way to the next den over, the warriors den, which was another large bramble bush. Whitekit peered in cautiously, and was able to see four shapes, slowly rising and falling in nests of moss and bracken.
“Everyone up!” A familiar voice sounded in a commanding tone. Smokestar padded into the warriors den past Whitekit, prodding the blobs with her forepaw. He didn’t understand why, but he felt some sort of strange connection with Smokestar, but he couldn’t quite put his paw on it.
One of the cats rose their bright ginger head to look at Smokestar, “What’s happening?” He mewed in a groggy voice as he stood up and stretched his legs with a huge yawn.
“Whitekit is meeting the clan today.” Smokestar mewed softly as she prodded the others awake.
The four cats slowly padded out of the den, past Whitekit, and sat near the entrance in a line. Smokestar then padded over to Whitekit and began naming them.
Whitekit recognized only one of them, and that being Sapfur. He mewed a greeting to her as Smokestar introduced them.
“Hello, Whitekit.” Sapfur mewed sleepily, bending over to touch her nose to his head. Whitekit swerved his head to avoid it, remembering that he had greencough and could get her sick. He then started to panic a little, remembering that Mistpaw licked the top of his head.
“It’s okay, Whitekit.” He heard Dustface mew. “You’re not ill enough to get a warrior sick.” With that said, Whitekit felt a bit more comfortable allowing Sapfur to touch him, but he was still wary.
Smokestar eyed Dustface, a flash of smugness appeared across her face for a short time, followed by a pair of narrowed eyes from Dustface. Smokestar then began to list off the cats that sat in front of Whitekit, who looked up in amazement. Smokestar named the line of cats in order from left to right, flicking her tail towards each one as she went. “This is Sapfur, Yellowpelt, Mousetail, and Lilycloud.”
Most of the four cats payed little attention to Whitekit at first, Three of them sat with drooping eyes, cleaning their pelts. Only after a quick hiss from Smokestar did they acknowledge Whitekit. Why had they been disregarding him before? Whitekit found this confusing, but decided that it was a dilemma that would be dealt with at a later date. for now he focused on memorizing the names of all the new cats he was meeting.
Of course Whitekit already knew Sapfur. Out of the four of them, she was the only one who seemed happy to have Whitekit there. She had a constant smile on her face. He remembered Sapfur taking some interest in him. She occasionally would visit him, although she had no real relation to him as far as Whitekit knew. He never really bothered to ask Dustface or Cinderpool about it, though, as something always managed to distract him.
Yellowpelt was the largest of the four. He was a bright ginger tom, which was why, Whitekit guessed, he had been named Yellowpelt. He was, in fact, essentially yellow. He had one green eye, and one yellow eye. Whitekit tried not to stare at them, as he didn’t know whether or not it was a problem. Nobody else seemed to pay any mind to it, however.
Next was Mousetail, who looked miniature compared to Yellowpelt. She sat with her tail neatly placed over her paws, and her fur was a glossy brown. Her eyes were as blue as the sky, and they contrasted so much with her dark brown fur that Whitekit felt like they were emitting light.
Lilycloud, however, had blue eyes that seemed to flow perfectly with her fur, which was as white as snow. Her eyes were not striking, like Mousetail’s, but they seemed close enough to the same colour. She had one ear that was grey. Her fur was glossy, like Mousetail’s, however unlike Mousetail’s, it was very long. How does she clean that much hair every day? Whitekit’s eyes widened.
Lilycloud’s eyes were not looking back at Whitekit, however. They had drifted towards the fresh kill pile, in particular, they rested on a cat who had found a place to lay down. Whitekit followed her eyes to a cat he recognized as Birchstripe, who was a white and brown tabby tom, with thick fur. His fur was so thick, that sometimes Whitekit could see him near the entrance, struggling to pull burrs out of his pelt.
Whitekit only knew this tom’s name because he had come to the medicine den several times a few moons ago, complaining about an aching stomach. After about 7 times returning to Dustface with the same complaint in one day, he left the medicine den with a mouthful of foul smelling leaves. Whitekit could remember hearing him hacking up outside the den, followed by an enraged Dustface yowling something like “Not inside the camp, you mouse-brain!” Whitekit didn’t remember seeing Birchstripe come anywhere near Dustface since then.
Whitekit looked back towards Lilycloud, wondering why she stared so soft-eyed at the tom, and concluded that she must like him.
The introductions were broken up as Yellowpelt, who had grown tired of the silence, announced that he should go wake up Mistpaw for training, and proceeded to march off towards the Apprentice den. Smokestar sighed as she watched him pad off, giving a concerned glance to Cinderpool and Dustface, who returned the gesture.
Whitekit had no time to be confused before Smokestar was leading them towards the fresh kill pile, where two cats sat. Birchstripe was laying down, picking at the remains of a mouse. When asked by Dustface if he was going to finish it or waste it, he offered it to Cinderpool, who gladly accepted.
“Oh, if you won’t finish it, I guess.” She downed rest of the mouse quickly, then introduced Whitekit. “He is meeting the clan today. He is very excited.” Cinderpool looked around the camp for a bit, her face portrayed confusion. “Where is everyone else, anyway?”
Birchstripe opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off by the raspy voice of a dark grey she-cat, with long fur. She looked up at Whitekit, pausing from her own meal that consisted of a robin. “They are all out on patrols. Maplesplash found Windclan scent over our border, so they are going back to strengthen the scent and check for intruders.”
Dustface sighed, “those mouse-brained Windclan cats, why can’t they keep to their own side?”
“Well, leaf-bare has always been harder on Windclan.” Smokestar spoke up in a soothing voice.
“Yeah.” Agreed the dark grey she-cat, sitting up from her robin, which she had finished. “They have no trees for prey to hide in during the cold.” With the grey she-cat sitting up, Whitekit was able to see a long path along her neck where there was no fur. The skin looked rough, and Whitekit spoke up immediately, the urge to know was too strong.
“What happened to your neck?” He exclaimed, padding closer to the she-cat.
“Whitekit!” Cinderpool hissed, “don’t be so rude.”
The grey she-cat let out a small chuckle. “It’s okay, Cinderpool, if he wants to know, I’ll tell him.”
“Are you sure, Whispersong?” Cinderpool mewed in a sympathetic voice. “I know that it was pretty traumatic for you.”
“It’s fine.” Whispersong rasped. “It’s not like I don’t remember it every time I hear my own name. No, I got over it a while ago, after all, you can’t change the past.” She gave Whitekit a stern look, then began.
“It happened many seasons ago.” Whispersong said in a hushed voice, her eyes gazed right into Whitekit’s. “I was on a usual patrol, with Smokestar and Yellowpelt. Back then Smokestar was only deputy, and she went by the name ‘Smoketail.’ And Yellowpelt had only just become a warrior.” Smokestar let out a small sigh, and removed herself from the circle of cats that had formed.
“I have heard this story too many times.” She meowed, padding towards her den.
Whispersong watched Smokestar pad away, then continued. “Anyway, we were on a patrol along the Shadowclan border, like any usual border patrol. Setting scent markers, a little bit of hunting. I had chased a squirrel up a tree, but I lost it in the branches, and that’s when it happened!”
Whitekit’s eyes widened, he longed for more. “What? What happened?”
“I was attacked!” Whispersong shouted, as best she could. “I was knocked out of the tree by the biggest, meanest, and angriest raccoon ever to set paw in Nightclan territory!”
Whitekit gasped, now fully invested in the story. His yellow eyes were now just small rings around fully dilated pupils.
“When I hit the ground, I was in a complete daze! I didn’t know what had happened, but I knew I was in the fight of my life! The raccoon rushed down the tree, and tackled me right away, but I wasn’t scared! I knew how to fight, and if I needed help, I could always call for Yellowpelt or Smokestar. I was pinned down pretty quick, but that raccoon was no match for me. I kicked it off and raked my claws down its sides, and it squealed like a mouse! But the only problem was that it alerted its friend, who was just as big! At that point, I knew I was in big trouble. I called for the help of my patrol, and I could hear them running in to help, but by the time they got there, it was too late. The raccoons had me pinned, and before Yellowpelt and Smokestar could fight them off of me, they did this.” Whispersong lifted her chin and pointed at the scar with her tail.
“They did that? To you?” Whitekit couldn’t believe the twist that the story had taken, and looked at Dustface and Cinderpool in disbelief.
“They sung their claws in and pulled down, left me gagging on the forest floor. If Smokestar and Yellowpelt hadn’t been able to fight them off and get me back to camp, my voice isn’t the only thing I would have lost.” Whispersong went back to her laying position, her gaze setting on the medicine den. “I was in there for moons.” She stated, “I couldn’t speak for so long, I feared that I would never speak again. That’s how I got my new name. I used to be called Ashsong, but the wounds were so bad, that our leader at the time, Mudstar, decided that I should have a name change, to honour my bravery.”
Whitekit was filled with awe, “wow.” He mewed, amazed by the story. “Well, where are the raccoons now?” He quizzed, a little afraid that they would attack him one day.
“Oh, they’re still around.” Whispersong mewed, her voice dropping down to a purposeful whisper. “You never know, one day, they might attack…” Her voice trailed off as she leaned in towards Whitekit. “You!” She lurched forward quickly, the drew back, laughing as Whitekit jumped, startled.
“Oh, come on now, Whispersong. You’re scaring him!” Cinderpool scolded, resting her tail on Whitekit’s shoulder. “Come one, Whitekit, you have met enough of the clan for today. The rest won’t get back until later.”
Whitekit groaned in disappointment. “But Cinderpool. I want to stay longer.”
"No. It is time to go back. We don't want you getting worse again. It is cold out and there is snow up to your belly." He was hushed by Cinderpool, and he decided that there was no point in arguing. He padded with her back to the medicine den.
Chapter 3: The Mossball Edit
The iced over snow was just thick enough for Whitekit to climb on top of without breaking through. He could feel the layer bend and quake and he shifted his weight across it. He looked back towards Sunkit, who was a little more clumsy than Whitekit.
“Come on, Sunkit! Are you scared?” Whitekit taunted as he watched Sunkit land on his stomach, spread eagle, and attempt to slither his way towards Whitekit.
“No!” Sunkit protested, narrowing his eyes at the snow. “I just slipped, is all.” Sunkit placed his paws back on the thin ice layer, and pulled himself up. “You just watch! I’ll catch up to you in no-” Sunkit was cut off as the ice layer snapped, and he fell into the snow beneath, his night-black fur getting covered in a white cloak, his ginger tail swinging in anger.
Whitekit burst into laughter, but it was cut short as he fell through himself. “Woah!” He yowled as the snow puffed up around him like a cloud.
“See!” Sunkit yelped, standing up. “You fell through also.”
“So?” Whitekit yelled back. “I made it way further than you did!” He shook out his fur, flinging the snow off, and began padding back towards Sunkit.
“That’s only because you’re tiny.” Muttered Greykit as he padded out of the nursery. His grey pelt sticking out in places. He remedied this by shaking it out. “At least we are normal sized.”
“That’s not true!” Whitekit squeaked in defiance, his eyes flaring. “I am a normal size!” I’ve grown a lot in the last moon since I left the Medicine den! He was sick of being teased by Greykit because of his size, and every time the subject came up, he would always point out how small Maplesplash was. “Maybe you two are just big for being two moons old.
Whitekit was sick of Greykit in general. He was always mean to him. Whitekit would always try to join in on a game with Sunkit, only to be pushed away by Greykit, who always told him that he wasn’t big enough for the game.
“No,” Greykit said in a confident voice. “You’re just puny.” Greykit turned his back to Whitekit, and turned his head to look at him. “Now go back to the nursery, it’s time for the big kits to play.” He flicked Whitekit’s nose with his tail, which caused Whitekit to flinch and scrunch up his nose.
“We’re the same age, you mousebrain!” He countered, but it was for nothing. His eyes drooped as he was overcome with sadness. He slowly stood up and padded back towards the nursery, longing for Cinderpool’s comfort and warmth.
As he pushed back the lichen that covered the entrance, he was enveloped in the sweet scent of the nursery. He saw Cinderpool and Cottonbreeze talking, and instantly moved towards Cinderpool. Cottonbreeze’s stomach was swollen and pink, and it was easy for Whitekit to guess that she would give birth any day now.
She looked at Whitekit and immediately knew what was wrong. “Is Greykit being mean to you again?” She asked in a soothing voice that made Whitekit want to tell her everything.
“It’s okay,” he lied, hoping not to bother Cinderpool.
“No, it’s not.” She countered, licking the top of his head. She wrapped her tail around him, and coaxed him towards her. Her soothing scent was familiar and comforting, and he found himself nuzzling into her warm belly.
“Tell me what happened.” She mewed, beginning to clean his fur.
“Well…” He began, not knowing exactly where to start. He settled on how Greykit treated him as a whole. “It’s just, I don’t like how Greykit treats me. He always makes fun of my size, even though he isn’t much bigger. He never lets me play with him and Sunkit. He always says I’m too little to join in.” Whitekit’s head swirled with confusion. Was he too small? Why did Greykit feel the need to tease him all the time?
Cinderpool’s warm breath flowed over Whitekit’s pelt as she spoke. “Well, maybe you just need to show him that you can play with them. After all, you said it yourself, he isn’t much bigger. It’s just all in your head.”
“I just can’t wait until Cottonbreeze’s kits are born.” He muttered, resting his chin on his paws. “Then I won’t be the smallest, and maybe they will play with me.”
Cottonbreeze could be heard giggling, “You and me both. The sooner these kits are born, the sooner I can walk without my back aching.” The three cats sat in silence for a moment, none of them reacting to Cottonbreeze’s attempt at a joke.
Whitekit’s mind whirled and raced as he sought for a solution to his predicament. Whitekit’s eyes brightened up as he had an idea. He giggled slightly before looking up at Cinderpool. “Thank you so much, Cinderpool.” He mewed as he stretched up and touched her nose.
“For what.” She meowed as she touched his nose and unwrapped her tail from him.
“For giving me the best idea ever!” Whitekit squealed as he rushed towards the back corner of the Nursery. He swiftly picked up the mossball that he used to watch Sunkit and Greykit play with while he was sick, and rushed outside with it.
He quickly spotted Sunkit and Greykit in between the medicine den and the Apprentice den, throwing snow at each other. I could have played that. Whitekit thought as he rushed towards them. With a large swing of his head, he launched the ball at Sunkit, “catch!” He yowled as the ball sailed through the air.
Sunkit’s reaction time was sharp enough, but he didn’t hear Whitekit, and instead of catching it, he completely avoided the ball all together, ducking and waching as it flew out over the thick thorn bushes that lined the camp. Whitekit’s felt his heart drop as he watched the ball of green float out of camp, and he flinched as he heard it land on the other side.
Greykit didn’t hesitate.
“You stupid mousebrain! That was the only mossball we had! Do you have bees for brains or something?” Greykit growled, squaring up to Whitekit, his yellow eyes conveyed the message of a challenge.
“I’m sorry…” Whitekit muttered, but his apology was not appreciated by Greykit’s fury.
“Sorry isn’t going to get that ball back, is it?” He growled, coming so close to Whitekit that he nearly headbutted him. “You are so useless! You don’t belong here! All you ever do is cause trouble and then others have to clean up after you!”
Whitekit flinched, drawing back and getting smaller with each word. He squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for Greykit to attack him.
Greykit let out a snarl, puffing his hot breath at Whitekit’s face, before he turned his back to him again, his yellow eyes filled with anger.
The three kits stood in silence for a few moments, Whitekit, in a hunched position, once fearing further threats and abuse, he now formulated a plan. Just as Sunkit opened his mouth to speak, his amber eyes filled with concern over everything Greykit had said, Whitekit spoke up.
“I’ll get it…” He murmered. Greykit turned his head slightly back to look at him, the anger not fully gone.
“What did you say?” He hissed. “Like you would ever do that. You’re probably too scared. You won’t really do it!”
Sunkit pushed in, “no, Whitekit. You can’t, you’ll get in trouble.”
Whitekit looked up at the two, his eyes laced with determination. “No! I will do it!” He squeaked, his chest puffing with confidence. “I’ll get that ball back, and when I do, you’ll have to let me play with you!” Whitekit sat up, proud of himself, his eyes narrowed at Greykit.
Before Greykit could think of a scathing retort, Whitekit was already marching towards the entrance to the camp, plowing through the snow. Sunkit raced after him, followed by Greykit.
“Think about what you’re doing!” Sunkit yelped after Whitekit, catching up to him and slowing down to a walk beside him. “If you get caught, you are going to be in so much trouble!”
“Then I won’t get caught.” Whitekit said curtly, stopping at the entrance. The tunnel through the thorn bushes stretched before him, and he was suddenly having second thoughts.
This was clearly detected by Greykit, because the second Whitekit attempted to swallow back his idea, he was already taunting him. “I knew you couldn’t do it. Just look, Sunkit, just look at how scared he is!”
Whitekit’s pride allowed him to force his paws to carry him out of the camp. He knew that this was the only way he could get Greykit to stop bullying him.
He could feel the cold winds drifting through the Nightclan territory before he was even outside. He let out a loud gulp as he swallowed his fears. The hard earth under the thorn bush hadn’t been touched by snow, because of the bush above it, but that didn’t stop the cold. It felt like a rock beneath his soft pads, but it wasn’t long before it was replaced by snow again.
He could feel it before he could see it. Out here, the winds weren't blocked by much, and they sailed freely, blowing into his face, freezing his ears, which were now firmly attached to his head. While there were trees, it wasn’t nearly as thick as he had imagined every time he thought about hunting. He took a deep breath, realizing for the first time what a large step this was in his life. These were his first moments outside the safety of his camp, this was where his life as a clan cat would take him. This was the territory he would defend from foxes, other cats, and raccoons. This, was Nightclan.