"Humans!" some cat yowled.
We scattered on our rooftop. Warriors leaped off of this roof and onto other neighboring roofs. I scrambled over to a thick bush of ivy trailing the apartment building and dove inside. The roof became quiet. I heard the door that leads from the floor below to the roof open. I peeked through the ivy. A human walked out of the doorway. It stood there and looked around the roof. The roof is the the camp of SouthClan. The human stood there too long.
"I'm going in," I heard a cat hiss.
A gray tom with long legs stepped out from some crates. He fluffed up his fur and stalked toward the human.
"Go," the tom hissed.
The human couldn't understand him, but it was frightened because the tom hissed. The human ran away, slamming the door behind it. The tom waited for a few heartbeats before saying anything.
"Oy! Come out now!" he called.
SouthClan cats slowly appeared. I stepped out of the ivy. The long legged tom looked at me, amber eyes sparkling.
"That was close," he said.
This is Roofleaper, the deputy and my father.
"Yeah," I agreed.
"Breakingpaw!" a cat called for me.
I looked over and saw Fightingpaw trotting over to me. Walking lazily behind him was Calmpaw. Fightingpaw is a jet black tom with green eyes. Calmpaw is a very layed back tom. He has sandy tan fur with green eyes that shine with that good natured spirit that makes him the most liked cat in the Clan. Calmpaw never worries about anything and can cheer up anyone. Despite his lazy appearence, he is a very hardworking cat. I am proud to call him my friend.
"What?" I asked.
"Who was on watch? That was WAY too close," Fightingpaw asked me.
"I don't know," I answered and looked over at Roofleaper.
Roofleaper was looking at Dreamingspirit, a black she-cat with green eyes. As usuall, she was gazing up at the sky, her head in the clouds. Dreamingspirit doesn't focus for very long. She is always day-dreaming. She was probably the cat on watch, though I don't know why.
"Oy! Dreamingspirit! Go hunting!" Roofleaper yowled at her.
My dad has always had a wierd accent, but it doesn't bother anyone. In fact, alot of us have picked up his funny way of talking. He doesn't seem to mind it.
"Where's Saintheart? We were supposed to go on border patrol," someone asked me.
I looked to my left and saw my brother, Lakepaw, sitting next to me. Saintheart, a black tom with gold eyes, is his mentor.
"Haven't seen him," I answered.
Lakepaw is a silver-gray tom with blue eyes. Featherfur, our mother, is a long haired light gray she-cat with blue eyes. Every cat is curois as to how I got my coat color. I have brown fur and honey-brown eyes.
"Granitestar! Where is Saintheart?" Lakepaw yowled over to our leader.
Granitestar is a dark gray tom with blue eyes. He shrugged. Suddently, Saintheart leaped from the next roof and onto ours, crashing into Viperhiss in the process. Viperhiss growled and shook out her fur. Viperhiss is a black she-cat with dark amber eyes. She and Heartbreaker are the meanest cats in our Clan. Then again, all of us SouthClan cats are mean. We are the meanest Clan, but without the other Clans around, we are good natured and humorus.
"There he is," Calmpaw chuckled.
Fightingpaw snorted with laughter, his eyes flickering with amusement. Crestwood, my mentor walked over.
"Let's go hunting," Crestwood said and we leaped off of the rooftop and into our territory.
When we got back, Granitestar was choosing who would go to the Gathering. He looked at me.
"Breakingpaw, you're going too," he said.
I nodded and walked over to Fightingpaw, Calmpaw, and Lakepaw.
"Who else is going?" I asked.
"Me, Gardenpaw, Dreampaw, Musicpaw, Frostpelt obviously, Koiscale, Songheart, Crazyheart, Viperhiss, and Heartbreaker," Calmpaw told me.
I sat down and sighed. I was not looking forward to this Gathering. NorthClan was blaming SouthClan for stealing prey. Again. I looked over at the nursery. Alleykit, Amberkit, and Daykit were outside. Amberkit and Daykit were wrestling in the dust of the roof. Alleykit watched, uninterested. Alleykit is a black tom with amber eyes and white paws. He could easily join the Nightcrawlers. The Nightcrawlers are a small group of cats that live at the Gathering place. The keep it clean and free of humans when the Clans are not there. They are responsible for delivering messages from one Clan to another. Each Clan has one specific Nightcrawler. When that Nightcrawler becomes an elder, they live in the Clan they were assigned to. It's a big complicated mess, but we respect them for the hardwork they do.
"Alleykit could be a Nightcrawler," I said.
Lakepaw, Calmpaw, and Fightingpaw nodded in agreement. If a Clan cat has a black pelt, is fast, and mysterious, then they can become candidates as a Nightcrawler. Very few get in, however. Shade, an elder and our previous Nightcrawler, walked over to us.
"Darkness came over the other day and told me who the new Nightcrawler for this Clan is," Shade said.
I perked up. There could only be one reason why Shade was telling us that.
"It's Raven," Shade said.
"YES!" all four of us apprentices exclaimed.
Raven is my brother who joined the Nightcrawlers as an apprentice. He is a black tom with green eyes and one white paw. We bolted to the edge of the building and looked over. The street was far below us, but we could see a familiar black tom.
"Raven!" we called.
He looked up at us. He flicked his tail and sprinted across the road. The apprentices and I ran over to the fire escape. Raven was already to the top rung and he leaped over us and onto the rooftop. We rushed over to him and all of us began babbling excitedly. Raven raised his tail for silence.
"Oh boy! I really have missed this place," Raven exclaimed softly and looked around.
Raven wouldn't stay for long. On the evening of the Gathering, each Clans' Nightcrawler would lead their Clan to the Gathering place. It was a ritual that came about many years ago. When the Gathering was over, the Nightcrawler leads their Clan back to the camp and then leaves when no one is looking. I always found it sad, but at least I will see him every moon.
"All right, SouthClan! Time for the Gathering!" Granitestar yowled and jumped onto the fire escape.
The cats that were going to the Gathering followed behind him. Granitestar perched on the top rung of the fire escape. He flicked his tail to the right and hissed softly. That was a wierd habit of his. Raven perched beside him and paused. The leader and the Nightcrawler nodded to each other and leaped down the fire escape, the Clan following close behind them.
I ran beside Calmpaw. I glanced at him. Only he could look lazy while running at almost a sprint. I dove under a dumpster and flew out the other side. We leaped over a wall and down to the street. We ran across a road infront of car. It screeched to a halt and the human inside layed on the horn.
"We're going! We're going! Sheesh!" Crazyheart yowled.
I stifled a purr and ran faster. This was the hardest part. A huge wall loomed before the SouthClan cats. Calmpaw and I sprinted as fast as we could, bunch up our back legs, and sprang from the ground and up onto the wall. From there, my Clan climbed up to the roof of the nearset building and continued our run. We leaped from building to building, enjoying the rush of hight. The buildings in SouthClan's territory are pretty close together, but it would still be hard for a regular cat to leap from them. You see, SouthClan cats have powerful hind legs and can jump really high and far. We were nearing Central Park, the Gathering place. We slowed down until we were walking.
"Can't wait," Calmpaw muttered.
A change came over the SouthClan cats, including Raven. Before, we were happy and exhilerated. Now we became stone cold, mean cats. It was something we naturally did. Any cat looking at us right now would see cats with eyes as hard as flint. We walked with an accusing gate that made us look fierce and mean. This was what the other Clans saw, not the good natured and humorus cats we really are. We entered Central Park. We trotted into the woods and to the Gathering place. We entered the clearing looking more mysterious and mean than ever.
WestClan leader's P.O.V.:
I turned and watched as SouthClan entered the Gathering place. All that was left was EastClan. They would be here soon. SouthClan mingled with NorthClan and us, but mostly with us. NorthClan and SouthClan don't really get along, just like WestClan and EastClan don't get along well. WestClan and SouthClan are generally allies, and NorthClan and EastClan are generally allies. The SouthClan leader, Granitestar leaped onto the concrete slab in the clearing. This concrete slab is called the Great Slab. SouthClan looked dangerous tonight. I hope NorthClan doesn't go and cause trouble. I leaped up beside Granitestar.
NorthClan leader's P.O.V.:
EastClan finnaly entered. I looked over at Granitestar. Stupid prey stealing SouthClan. I snorted as Peacestar jumped onto the Great Slab. Time for the Gathering.
EastClan leader's P.O.V.:
Slushstar snorted when I jumped onto the Great Slab. I rolled my eyes and sat down inbetween Slushstar and Flowerstar, leader of WestClan. I looked over at Granitestar. His eyes glowed with anger and resentment. Slushstar better not start anything tonight. I scanned the croud of cats. Every SouthClan cat had the same look in their eyes as Granitestar did. Oh boy.
Back to SouthClan:
I watched from the clearing as Flowerstar stood up to start the Gathering. Raven and Calmpaw sat beside me. The WestClan deputy, Roosterpelt, sat straight up with his head held high beneath the Great Slab. I shook my head. Roofleaper and Fadingfeather sat on Roosterpelt's right and Barkfur on his left. I looked at Granitestar. He had his head tilted in such a way that it made shadows cover his eyes. He looked really fierce like that. I noticed Slushstar flick his tail nervously. This was going to be interesting.
"All is going well in WestClan. Dogs have stopped coming by our camp and the prey is running," Flowerstar said and sat down.
Peacestar stood up, calico and white fur rippling. Her frosty luminescent blue eyes shimmered.
"The days have been beautiful next to the river, but the humans are clogging it up again with their waste. Besides that, we have had a good prey season," she said and sat down.
Granitestar stood up slowly, shadows still shading his blue eyes.
"All is well in SouthClan. We are pleased to announce that Raven is our new Nightcrawler," Granitestar said.
The Clans murmured and nodded their heads. Granitestar flashed a scathing glance at Slushstar and sat down. Slushstar stood up and took a deep breath.
"NorthClan is also doing well. I noticed, Granitestar that you didn't say anything about your prey," Slushstar began.
SouthClan cats growled softly, including me. Slushstar flicked his tail nervously.
"Stay off of our territory. We are stepping up border patrols. This is the last time you steal prey from us," Slushstar said.
The Gathering was deathly quiet. Granitestar stood up.
"The patrols are wasted. We would never steal prey from the likes of you, Slushstar. Your prey is worthless to us," Granitestar growled.
They stared at each other. SouthClan cats stood up and hissed. Claws came unsheathed. Danger crackled in the air.
"Maybe so, but your filthy Clan needs food, and you are willing to steal from us, you crow food eating scum," Slushstar taunted.
Granitestar took a menacing step toward Slushstar. NorthClan cats stood up and hissed at the standing SouthClan cats.
"Do you really want to chance a war now, Granitestar? You lost many cats to the last one," Slushstar asked.
It was true. Too many good cats died defending our honor, and we didn't even win that war. Granitestar took another step forward.
"I mean, just look at how many cats you brought to the Gathering compared to how many the other Clans brought," Slushstar said.
He was getting nervous. Peacestar stood up and stood between the two angry toms.
"What will StarClan say when you two start another war? And at a Gathering, too?" the calico and white she-cat said.
I admire Peacestar. She is willing to put herself between to raging toms just to stop a war. That is one dedicated cat. You see, Peacestar is very loyal and can be very politician like, but she hates war. She made a pledge to do all that is in her power to stop wars. Unfortunatly, she couldn't stop the last war between NorthClan and SouthClan. Granitestar sat back down.
"My main priority is to my Clan. I will not let more cats die in a pointless war, because unlike what you and everyone else sees, I have a heart. I suggest you sit down and drop the subject," Granitestar said.
He now sat with his head held high and you could see his sparkling blue eyes. Slushstar stood open mouthed for a heartbeat, then sat down. SouthClan and NorthClan cats did the same. A black tom with green eyes addressed the Clans.
"Tonight, I would like to recognize Raven, Crow, Dawn, and Dusk for their service to the Nightcrawlers. They have done an excellent job and deserve praise," the black tom said.
This is Shadow, leader of the Nightcrawlers. The Clans cheered for the named Nightcrawlers. The leaders jumped off of the slab. This horrible Gathering was over.
The next few days went by fast. Stonechip had her kits and Lovingsoul's kits are becomeing apprentices. I walked into the nursery to see the new arrivals.
"Hello Stonechip," I greeted the gray she-cat.
She looked up at me with her green eyes.
"Hi there, Breakingpaw," she greeted me.
I looked at her kits. One was a silver tom with green eyes. The other was a small white she-kit with green eyes.
"This is Mythkit," Stonechip said and pointed her tail at the silver tom.
"And this is Smallkit," she said, pointing her tail at the other kit.
Stonechip gazed at her two kits.
"They opened their eyes on their first day. How wonderful," she breathed.
I excused myself and left the nursery. I walked to the edge of the building and looked at the city skyline. A cat sat next to me and sighed.
"Beautiful isn't it?" he sighed.
"Yeah," I agreed with Calmpaw.
We sat quietly for a moment.
"Frostpelt said my mother might not make it," Calmpaw said quietly.
I pressed against him.
"You and your brother are strong cats. So is your mother," I said softly.
He shook slightly.
"So was my dad," he said.
His father, Windview, had died a few moons ago to Blackcough. Blackcough is similar to Whitecough and Greencough, but is caused by different things and can happen all season long. It is caused by all of the pollution in the city and tainted meat. The good thing is, cats hardly ever get it, but it's still around.
"It'll be OK," I said sadly.
I hated seeing Calmpaw like this. He is so relaxed and doesn't worry much, so this is really wierd. I sat up and flexed my claws.
"Wanna go hunting?" I asked.
He brightened. He loves to hunt.
"OK. Let's go get Crazyheart," Calmpaw said and we left to look for his crazy mentor.
I sat in the middle of camp, Calmpaw and Fightingpaw pacing around me. Frostpelt was trying desperatly to save Grassflower, Calmpaw's and Fightingpaw's mother. Normally, this would hve been a relatively normal thing, if you can call sickness normal, but Grassflower is expecting kits. We bolted for the Medicine Cat den when Gardenpaw walked out, but the white she-cat with leaf green eyes barred our way.
"I'm sorry," she said sadly.
Calmpaw and Fightingpaw staggered backwards. Calmpaw's eyes filled with pain while Fightingpaw's eyes filled with disbelief.
"Your mother didn't make it," Gardenpaw said softly.
"No..." Fightingpaw murmured.
Calmpaw stared at Gardenpaw. His green eyes were no longer the familiar good natured eyes that I normally see. They were wild and painfilled. Calmpaw staggered backward a few steps. He turned quickly and ran to the edge of the roof. He leaped over onto the fire escape and down the rungs to the concrete below.
"Calmpaw!" I yowled and ran after him.
I ran after him for what seemed like a life time, all the time only seeing a flash of his pelt or the tip of his tail. I followed him into an alley, far away from SouthClan territory. I looked around, but didn't see him. His scent had comepletly stopped. In front of me was a buildng with nothing to climb on, so he couldn't have gone that way. At my sides were the same thing.
"Calmpaw?" I called.
"Calmpaw?!" I said.
Lightning flashed and thunder crackled. A drop of rain hit my muzzle.
"Calmpaw!!" I yowled and the rain started pouring.
I looked around frantically.
"Calmpaw..." I murmured sadly.
I turned and walked away from the alley and back towards my Clan.
How did y'all like the first book of this series? Sorry if it's not that good. This is kind of a thing to do when I'm bored or (untill recently) something to do inbetween writing each Scruffs' Series book. Hope you enjoyed it anyway. RainfireThe Scruffs' 00:29, June 14, 2010 (UTC)