Chapter One - Willowpaw - RedWillow
I ran. Flames lapped at my heels, scotching my fur and the heat on either side of me was unbearable. All around me I could hear the shrieks of my Clanmates, but I couldn’t see them. The thick smoke that wreathed around me was clouding my vision, making it almost impossible to see more than a few tail-lengths in front of me.
I leaped forwards into the burning undergrowth, following the distant howls of my Clanmates. They had overtaken me, I was sure of that, as the echoes of their terrified wails were fading.
Scorched ferns brushed my sides as I plunged forwards. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, only that I had to get away. Away from the forest fire that raged all around me, following me in a bee-line, turning whenever I turned. I had no idea if I had crossed the ShadowClan border, nor did I care. They wouldn’t know now, and even if they did it didn’t matter. The fire was tearing through their territory as well, just as it had taken over RiverClan’s. They were all in this together and they would all get out of this together. All of them. I was determined of that. We all had to get out of the burning forest. We all had to find water.
My eyes watered as I sprinted forwards into the dark grey clouds that led to who-knows-where. The smoke was blinding me, stinging my eyes, causing tears to tumble uncontrollably down my cheeks. But even if I hadn’t been crying, I still wouldn’t have been able to make anything out. The cloud of smoke I was moving through was so thick and grey I couldn’t even spot my own paws.
I finally tumbled out of the cloud and now I could see. Although there wasn’t much to see except for the fire. All around me flames danced high up into the sky. They flickered and swayed in the wind but they were always growing taller. I charged forwards into the seemingly endless amount of trees and undergrowth. The sizzling pine needles burnt my paws but I found if I could lift my legs up high my pads didn’t get so red and raw.
A terrified cry from up ahead made me stop in my tracks. I pricked my ears and strained to see through the grey clouds in front of me.
I could see pale fur, stained grey with ashes and red from burns. As the cat turned it revealed honey-coloured eyes. My heart caught in my throat and I tore forwards, ignoring the flames that lapped up my legs and made my fur sizzle. All I knew was that I had to get to, Honeypaw.
Leaping over a fallen tree in a single bound, I emerged into the clearing where Honeypaw stood, encircled by flames.
“Willowpaw!” Honeypaw cried, spinning to face me. I gasped as I saw the fur that had been burnt off of one side of her face. “We’re trapped!” I spun around in the circle but saw nothing but angry flames, eating away the undergrowth, creeping in towards them...
“Maybe we could...” I realized there was nothing, we were stuck and I knew then that we would die. There was no way out of this, the fire would destroy us.
Honeypaw pressed against my side, whimpering. I gulped in a deep breath, my heart pounding and squeezed my eyes shut; waiting for the hotness to creep over my body, for my fur to go alight...
I opened my eyes and saw six figures emerging through a thick cloud of smoke. They were so dirty with soot and ash that I couldn’t tell who they were, I couldn’t even tell if they were from RiverClan or not.
“Who are you?” I demanded. One of the cats opened his mouth but the she-cat next to her took a deep breath, eyes rolling into her head, and collapsed onto the boiling ground. The tom next to her gasped and prodded her with a paw.
“I-is she dead?” his voice shook. I crept forwards and sniffed the tiny she-cat’s side. She smelt of ashes and smoke and as I breathed it in I sneezed violently. But the she-cat seemed to be fine, her sides rising and falling rhythmically.
“I think she just breathed in too much smoke,” I decided. The tom breathed out a sigh of relief. “But if we don’t get her out soon, she may die...,” I added.
“Well how do we get her out?” the tom hissed. “We are trapped!” A small, skinny cat at the edge of the group suddenly took off across the small clearing.
“Look!” it cried. “If we climb this tree we can reach the river!” Leaving the unconscious she-cat’s side and leaped to the tree that the soot-stained cat was sitting beside.
Sure enough, as I peered over the flames, I could see rushing water. I clawed my way up the trunk onto a low branch.
“Come on!” I called. “Let’s go!” The cats in the clearing below hurried to their paws, the tom grabbing the she-cat that was sprawled out on the ground. I scrabbled around the trunk and onto another branch. From here, I could reach the river. And as
I looked closer I could see a huge branch from a fallen tree caught in some rocks. If we climbed on to it, we could float down the river, away from the fire...
I crawled along the branch, well aware of the creaking beneath me. The branch bent right down as I neared the edge but I managed to leap onto the branch.
Honeypaw climbed up onto the branch beside me, shortly followed by the tom who was carrying the she-cat. The next four clambered up one by one and soon we were bobbing up and down, travelling down the river, being pulled along by the fast flowing current...
My thoughts flew back to my Clan who were still trapped in the middle of the raging fire. By escaping, we had abandoned them and now, looking back at the roaring flames, I doubted that I would ever see any of my Clanmates again.
Tears were now falling down my cheeks and I pressed against Honeypaw. The others were falling asleep now. I lay down, suddenly exhausted, and let the rushing water soothe me into a deep and well-earned sleep...
Chapter Two - Fallowkit - SmudgyHollz
I opened my eyes. My fur began to rise and an icy dribble of water seemed to run down my spine. Rushing water gushed around me, violently rocking whatever I was laying on. Claws digging deep into the thing that was underneath me, I dared to get to my paws and look around.
The thing that I was standing on was a log and all around me were sleeping cats. They were smothered grey and stank of smoke and ash. The only one I could recognize, though, was the tom curled next to me. Patches in his ember stained fur betrayed only hints of his ginger tabby pelt and his green eyes were as wide and warm as ever.
“Blazingpaw,” I whispered, prodding his side with a claw. The ShadowClan tom jumped and looked up at me.
“Fallowkit!” he exclaimed, sighing in relief. “You’re awake! I was so worried!” My brown eyes narrowed slightly and I looked around.
“Where are we?” I asked him. “How did we escape the fire?” Blazingpaw gestured to a small apprentice-sized cat nearest the edge of the log. If her one white ear had not been showing then there would have been no way of telling what her true colour was.
“She figured out that if we climbed this tree, we could reach the river,” he explained. “Lucky enough there was this branch caught in the rocks and it started to move once we were all on it. We’ve been floating ever since.” I nodded, suddenly dizzy with shock.
I was floating down a fast-flowing river with some unknown cats, having just escaped a forest fire that had probably destroyed all of my family and friends. My heart was aching for my sister, Brindlekit. Although I hadn’t even left her for a day I still missed her and although I was still only a kit I wasn’t stupid. By escaping I had left her forever.
A shudder ran down my spine and I tried not picture her burnt body curled up in the debris of the fire.
“It will be okay,” Blazingpaw whispered, touching his nose to my fur, comforting me. I gulped. Did my thoughts really show that clearly on my face? “We will find them again.” But Blazingpaw’s last line brought me cold dread. He had said it as if he were trying to convince both me and himself and by saying it the spark of hope inside of me, the spark I hadn’t even known had been burning, went out. There was no way any of us would ever see any of our Clanmates ever again, and that was definite. There was no way round it, no way of escaping it.
“But we won’t, will we?” I growled, anger boiling up inside of me, replacing the heart wrenching grief. “We’re stuck here on this log in the middle of a river! We’ve left them, Blazingpaw! Even if we do make it back, they will all be dead! All of them!” Blazingpaw took a step away from me, taken aback by my sudden rage. Hurt clouded his eyes.
“Fallowkit,” he meowed, sighing. “Don’t talk like that.” I hissed angrily, my tail lashing back and forth and my claws working furiously on the water-laden wood. All I wanted was to be alone. And that certainly wasn’t possible; trapped on a stupid piece of log with seven other cats.
“Just leave me alone, okay?” I meowed, settling back down. I hid my face with my paw to hide the tears that were spilling. I wasn’t going to let Blazingpaw see me cry, and not just because it would make me seem weak. These were tears of self-pity as well as anger and grief, and I was ashamed of that. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling sorry for myself, that I should be thinking up a plan to get off of the log before we were completely lost and out of reach of the lake.
I think I must have fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes again, the sun was setting, the light so dim I could barely see. But I could make out several pairs of glowing eyes. That meant the others were awake now.
“Are you okay, Fallowkit?” Blazingpaw asked timidly. He was obviously still shocked at me sudden outburst and did not want to upset me again.
“Fine,” I replied gruffly, praying to StarClan that my voice wouldn’t break and more tears, tears that were already welling in my eyes, would spill over.
A pale grey she-cat shuffled over towards me so that our fur was brushing.
“I’m, Willowpaw,” she mewed. “I’m from RiverClan and so is Honeypaw.” I glanced over at a reasonable sized she-cat sitting on the middle of the log.
“I’m, Whitepaw of WindClan,” the small she-cat with the one white ear announced. She flicked her tail at the tom beside her. “Emberclaw is my mentor.” The two cats that hadn’t introduced themselves open their mouths and mewed in perfect unison, “We’re ??? and ??? of ThunderClan.” I nodded.
“I’m Fallowkit,” I told them.
“Blazingpaw told us,” ??? mewed gently. “We were just thinking of a way to get off of this log.”
“I thought of-“ Blazingpaw was cut off as the log gave a sudden lurch. I cried out in surprise and dug all my claws into the wet and slimy bark.
Waves sloshed over the sides, drenching me to the bone and it took all of my might to cling on. The branch continued to rock and sway wildly and Whitepaw gave a screech. I watched in horror as she was thrown into the river. Her white body writhed and squirmed under the surface. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting...
But Whitepaw didn’t emerge. Emberclaw, Willowpaw and Honeypaw dived into the roaring waves.
I didn’t have time to see if they dragged her up because my claws slipped and I slid down the log, straight into
Blazingpaw. The ginger tabby clawed desperately but he couldn’t stop himself. He slipped down into the river. When Blazingpaw had been trying to regain his balance, I had had just enough time to dig my claws back into the wood. I looked around for ??? and ??? but realized they had fallen into the river too. I was the only one left on the raft and I was still moving further and further down the river.
I looked back and could see the several drenched bodies staring helplessly after me as I floated away. My mouth opened in a silent wail as I was separated from the rest of the group. Right then, I knew that there was no hope for me. Without the others I would die.
Wow! I slipped really easily into RedWillow's writing style! My apologies for making it s-o long! Oh, and FirePelt, next time you are on can you fill in the ???'s with your cat character names!!
Chapter Three - Birchy
I stepped into a fallen tree and appeared inside a cave. I set the two rabbits I was carrying on the dusty floow. I shook my fur and saw a brown tabby, my apprentice, walk to me. "We will train now, Leaf," I meowed. I gave my silver pelt with swirling marks a quick lick. The brown tabby nodded and we padded to a tunnel. A shout came from behind us. "Deathstar wants to see you!" I turned to see a blue grey tom. Nodding, I followed the tom. I jumped up three ledges and we stood in front of a crack in the wall. A rusty meow came from inside. "Come in."
We entered the gloom. Two blue eyes shone in the shadows. "I am making Leaf and Ice followers now. Leopard, prepare them for their battle with me," The owner of the rusty voice ordered to me
I nodded and left. "Wait. You will take them and Blaze on a territory prowl." I nodded again and left the gloom. Deathstar, the owner of the eyes, sat down. "We will scavenge across territory tomorrow. BloodClan will rise from the ashes."
Chapter Four - FirePelt - Blackheart
- I dased across the wet ground. A small log was making it's way down the churning brown river. "I have to make it to the log," She thought, mind racing. Only one chance stood between her and living. If she missed, she was sure to fall and die. She shuddered, the very thought of rocks and sticks and other things slamming into her body, battering it, made her cringe.
- I gulped for air, bringing in all the air my lungs could possibly hold. "Here it is! Just jump!" I yelled out. I leapt, and felt as if I was flying through the air, like I was going to be safe, and as it turns out I am. I opened a single red eye, and smiled. The log was tossed about, but my claws were sunk in, and I was sure of foot. Good enought for me.
- I sighed, as the log floated down the river. I looked around, and sadly, I saw no more cats. I was alone.
Chapter Five - Sparrowfeather - Whitepaw
For some reason, my first thought when I slipped into the river was, Emberclaw is going to be so mad. Then I realized what had just happened and terror washed over me. I began to panic.
Okay, now, before I continue, there is one thing I would like to say. I am not a bird-heart. Generally, I like water! But in this case, thrown into a raging river by a wave, I couldn't help but be frightened.
I gasped for air and flailed around helplessly as I went up and down with the bobbing of the waves. I saw the two RiverClan apprentices fling themselves off the safety - or at least, relative safety - of the log. I wanted to yowl 'go back!', but I couldn't. The water flooded into my throat and it became harder and harder to breathe. Suddenly I felt teeth bite into my scruff and drag me around like a piece of fresh-kill. I opened an eye and saw a pale gray pelt. Graytail? I wondered, thinking of the WindClan warrior. What's she doing out here? After what seemed like seasons, or maybe just a heartbeat, I felt sand beneath my fur. The pinching grip on my scruff released and I began to breathe.
"Is she alright?" I heard a worried voice ask. It seemed familiar, but I didn't open my eyes.
"I don't know." Another voice, a she-cat, and much closer. In fact, right by my head. The cat in the river! But, no, not Graytail. Footsteps approached, and I heard breathing near my face.
"She's breathing." The first voice mewed. Something heavy hit my chest and I coughed. I felt liquid coming out of my mouth and opened my eyes. There, standing over me, were the two RiverClan apprentices.
"There, now she lives." The one I knew as Willowpaw, the one with the pale gray pelt, mewed. I scrambled to my feet. There was an akward silence.
"Hi." I mewed, trying to break it. "Thanks."
"I guess that that should teach you to stay out of the way of waves!" The other apprentice, the one with the honey-colored eyes, tried to joke. I had forgotten her name.
"Well, I think it worked." I admitted. I heard something near the shore. I looked to see the one cat from WindClan who had managed to escape the flames. "Emberclaw!"
"Hello." My mentor replied from where he was at the riverbank. He shook himself and walked over to us three.
"Did anyone else make it?" Willowpaw asked and looked around. I did, too. We were on a sandy beach, littered with rocks and mud. Beyond us was a thin wood with two-leg buildings showing in between the trees. This is no place for a WindClan apprentice! I thought, panicked.
"I can't see anyone in the area, but maybe they washed further downstream." Emberclaw suggested. I glanced down the river. There was nothing in sight besides churning white froth and blue ripples. I shivered and prayed to StarClan that the others had washed up on shore.
"We could look." The RiverClan apprentice who's name I forgot meowed hopefully.
"Yes, let's." I decided. As the four of us padded across the muddy ground, I kept my ears cocked and eyes wide open. But despite our best efforts, the search seemed fruitless. At least, fruitless until we heard,
"Hey! Over here!"
Chapter Six - RedWillow
Chapter Seven - SmudgyHollz
I was alone and cold with no idea where I was, but there was only one thought running through my mind;
Is Fallowkit okay?
More coming soon - sorry, I just couldn't wait for RedWillow any longer!!