|Preceded by: |
|Avoiding Death||Succeded by: |
p r o l o g u e
Five cats lay huddled near the gathering place.
"Dappledclaw, ShadowClan has lost more warriors than they could count. Can you grant them something?" This was one of the rare times Deerstar was so pleading.
Volestar was still muttering about his new born kits, Whisperkit and Spottedkit. But he was devastated when Spottedkit was a stillborn.
"I promised Spottedkit that I will show her the Warm Rocks," Volestar complained.
Ferretstar rolled his eyes. "Kits come later."
"You were like that when you wanted to meet Shinefur," Olivefoot growled accusingly.
"Let the meeting begin!" Dappledclaw's voice rang out.
"What?" A small gray tabby was hiding behind a rock.
"Spottedkit, I promised you not to come here!" Volestar's voice was clearly annoyed.
"I have a prow-po-see!" Spottedkit struggled to pronounce the words.
"A prophecy?" Dappledclaw said, her eyebrow raised.
"A prow-po-see! No… o-men." Spottedkit's eyes seemed like it was controlled now. It was glowing in a strange warm, pale, clear amber eyes. Her eyes were supposed to be pale gray, however.
"You must send an omen to Graystar. Anything really. But just a warning to indicate that ShadowClan is in the verge of collapsing. It will collapse if she will follow the bloodthirsty cat's ways. Make her not rush into battle. Don't make her. Or ShadowClan will fall into the hands of Talonstripe and his tempests," Spottedkit said in a strange unusual voice.
Dappledclaw looked like she saw a ghost. "Spottedleaf's voice…"
Everyone stared at her. "What?" Deerstar growled.
"That is Spottedleaf's voice and eyes. She is possessing her… in a good way," Dappledclaw sputtered out. "I never saw or met Spottedleaf but there is a tug that it is her."
Olivefoot nodded. "Volestar, I think Spottedleaf's soul came back somehow on this little kit. All I know that she wasn't meant to die."
Ferretstar looked ghastly in the moonlight. "Whisperkit was supposed to die. And Spottedkit was meant to be… something more important."
Volestar cried, "Now what?"
Dappledclaw whispered, "Even StarClan doesn't know everything, Volestar."
t h e s t o r y
My foot felt frozen to the ground. Yes frozen.
The world was messed up.
Entirely messed up.
Volestar was dead.
Mother and father was dead.
Newttail was dead.
And my mentor blames me for Newttail's death.
How wise was Volestar when he assigned Newttail's mate as my mentor?
And Ivypaw was AWOL until we learned about her fate yesterday.
I saw a black she cat, similar to Ivypaw's pelt, sinking her own claws on her chest. And she died.
We never got the chance to actually see her because a monster ran over her.
And I have no kin.
Mousefire is trying to lighten my spirits.
It doesn't work.
And I must try to avoid death for my family's sake. I must avoid death.
So much death.
"Breezepaw! Come here!" Yellowstripe barked.
Probably more torture session.
It was only dawn.
I don't know how Rosepaw and Petalpaw doesn't have Yellowstripe and Newttail's fight.
Petalpaw is more depressed these days though. Rosepaw still stays loyal to her sister.
Snowpaw, the other and youngest apprentice is quirky, humorous, and very mischievous. Mousefire favors him.
Graystar walks out of her den, her fur more ruffled then ever. Today was supposed to be the vigil of Ivypaw. But no one felt like doing it. No more sarcastic Ivypaw.
Grassblaze, her lazyish mentor is up at dawn for once.
Starlingwing is close by me. Leaf bare is coming closer and closer. We predicted it would rain but it was freeze rain.
Icicles hung on my pelt as I started walking towards Yellowstripe. Maybe she would kill me out of this torture, once and for all.
I hated life. I hated myself. I hated my role in the winds.
The only cat I was certain I loved was Flameheart. And I don't know if she is alive or not.
I want to kill myself. But I can't.
I made a promise to Ivypaw.
And I must make my last gift to her.
The apprentice den was less enthusiastic as usual. Yellowstripe thought I was fit for an assessment today. She reported to Graystar that I was very "Misbehaved and lost focus. Missed three squirrels. And didn't locate the scent of pine trees during observation skills."
I heard her. My wind skills are finally up to some use.
The Thunderpath was so loud today. And smelly. That is why I couldn't scent the pine trees.
And the squirrels were up in the trees. What did Yellowstripe expect me to do, be like those ThunderClan cowards and scurry up a tree?
And she bad mouthed me.
To make matters worse, everyone has a romantic relationship these days. Snowpaw and Mousefire and Pineclaw has an interest in Petalpaw.
Everyone expects me to be with Rosepaw but I have only one space for one love.
I thought about my capture last moon. And those feelings meant that I loved Flameheart. When I questioned Deerstar about it, he didn't say anything. He knew something was up though.
"I am sleepy," Snowpaw complained as he walked inside the room. Why was he saying that he was sleepy? He only brushed off ticks from his elders and went on a hunting patrol.
I went on two border patrols, one with a small skirmish with RiverClan, an assessment and collected moss for Softwing and the kits.
Speaking of kits, I never knew that Graystar was pregnant. But she was but never mentions his name. But Whisperkit resembles Volestar so much.
And Spottedkit died. She reminded me of Birdcloud. So much. I never met her but her tiny dappled body was like Birdcloud. I pushed that thought away.
"So what, Snowpaw?" Rosepaw murmured sleepily. She was lucky. She at least has a peaceful sleep without learning some new stuff about the winds.
Petalpaw growled, "Sleepy? Snowpaw, you are really lazy today! And fat."
She got my point. Good.
"Anyways, you didn't talk much, Breezepaw. Is it because of Ivypaw?" Snowpaw asked trying to brush the "fat" comment away.
"Nothing," I snapped.
My personality changed. Greatly. When I was a kit, I was a stuttering ball of fur. Now I am snappy.
"It is something," Snowpaw insisted.
Stupid furball. None of these apprentices know true sorrow.
"Do you want your neck to be sliced open?" I challenged.
Snowpaw shook his head quickly and rest his paws on his neck, making sure it was still there.
"Then don't ask me about it," I finished.
"Why are you so moody, Breezepaw?" Petalpaw whispered.
I was suddenly taken back a few moons ago.
My mother was saying good night.
It was the day before Snakepaw's death.
And everything seemed perfect.
Birdcloud came into the doorway of the den. "Time to sleep, Snake, Ivy, and Breeze."
"We aren't kits anymore," Ivypaw protested.
"You are always kits to me, Ivypaw. Good night." Birdcloud gave a soft lick to Snakepaw's fur. "I should have named you Burrkit when you are little. You look like a giant burr." She walked out with an echo of her voice still left.
Maybe I should tell you this now.
What do we do in the wind practice.
Really, I can just control them by speaking.
That is all
How did a skirmish turn out to be a all crazy battle?
The dawn patrol reported to Smallpebble that there was RiverClan scent in our border.
And then they came.
"What? Battle!" Rosepaw's voice broke the silence.
RiverClan was nearing towards our territory. They were swimming in the lake.
"ShadowClan, we will advance in three patrols. Willowtail, Pineclaw, Redfur, and Grassblaze, you will defend the territory by attacking directly. Forestfur, Yellowstripe, Smallpebble, and Rosepaw will go attack on the far left of our territory. Go and surprise them when RiverClan thinks that they had won. And Snowpaw, Mousefire, Breezepaw, Petalpaw, and I will defend the camp in case any cats manage to sneak in."
Graystar's voice was filled with authority.
Robinfur's voice was instructing Starlingwing around. "We will stay in the battle field."
I was ready for RiverClan. But a nagging thought kept me awake.
Someone was going to die.
No one went to the camp other than this crazy apprentice named Fishpaw. We shooed him away.
But it was peaceful.
It wasn't fair that we were peaceful and maybe Rosepaw might be fighting for her life. So I went against Deerstar's orders. I used my powers.
The wind was blowing west, where the battle was going on. First the wind was a slight breeze, then a regular wind, then a huge tempest that tore trees.
I knew destruction.
"StarClan must be mad at us," Graystar muttered right before a snap sound was made and a large brown cedar went crashing down on her.
I killed Graystar. I rushed towards the rubble, not caring about my power. The winds faltered. Snowpaw and Mousefire rushed towards me and we dug. We dug what it seemed like hours.
We found a limp Graystar. Her body was limp but a slight bit of warmth was in it. Small light in a harsh blizzard.
We had hope.
Graystar soon opened her eyes.
"One life lost… where is others? Other patrols?" she croaked.
I had no idea.
I was thinking about something else.
I was responsible for one of Graystar's lives.
And Deerstar was going to kill me.
It was Snowpaw who replied.
"They must be."
And then that was the moment when the patrols returned, with Rosepaw limp in Forestfur's paws.
Yellowstripe mustn't have notice that her daughter was dead. A deep agonizing cry came deep from her heart. A wail. Something that will go on forever and ever.
Petalpaw was frozen in shock before she just buries her head in Rosepaw's fur.
Smallpebble was explaining everything.
"RiverClan attacked. It attacked the main group. The direct fighting one. And we jumped out of the shadows. Rosepaw was a whirlwind. She fought harder than me and Pineclaw combined. Rosepaw… a large hefty tom grabbed her and pulled her to the water. It was my fault. I was within her reach but I watched Rosepaw getting killed by that tom. Sorry, Yellowstripe."
But she didn't listen.
This morning, Rosepaw was eager for battle, her voice ringing above the others. And I will never hear that voice again.
Too many deaths.
And I am in the middle of it.
Death is normal.
I can't avoid it.
I might be next.
I buried my nose into Rosepaw's fur and my tears that were kept in secret exploded on Rosepaw's cold fur.