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I'm worried about going near anyone in camp now.

There is a strange sickness, never seen before. It causes awful bellyaches; you've had bellyaches before, but this is a whole new level. Eating and drinking seems to make it worse. It's making everyone weak and sick. After that is death. There is no cure.

Well, there is one cure but no cat would dare; seeking Twoleg help. Once you go into a nest you don't come out. Most of RockClan would rather die than have that.

But some cats' are willing to. Winterkit's mother and father; Ioheart and Runningstrike, took the sickest; Runningstrike's former mate, Stoatscar and Meadowbee.

Winterkit is scared that they won't return, so I sit with her. Me and her have grown close. She's nearly apprentice age, and I'm nearly ready to become a warrior. I am going to be disappointed we won't be sharing the den; unless something stops me from becoming a warrior that is. But I don't want Duskpaw to be made a warrior before me.

Winterkit is one of the few Clanmates I'm not worried about touching. I know she is smart enough avoid the sickness. But I think I'd still sit with her if she was sick

Anyway, it sucks even more that some of our prey have it. It's easy enough to scent though. It's disgusting.

"Are you alright?" I ask her quietly. "Yes. I know they will come back. They have to," she replies, but her cracking voice at the end betrays she doesn't believe that. "Of course they won't!" I hear the sneering voice of Winterkit's brother, Dewkit. Dirty rat-bag.

I can sense Winterkit tensed. "What makes you say that?" she asks boldly. Dewkit flipped his gray tabby tail around with a glint in his green eyes. "They don't care about us, or the Clan, at least mother doesn't, she hardly ever looks at us. And father is so crazy with his stupid 'voices in his head' nonsense, he wouldn't notice if one of us were taken by a fox right in front of his face!"

I can sense Winterkit is hurt, but is trying with all of her power to stop herself from crying out, or attacking her brother. "They do care, they just... have a hard time showing it," she said simply, then turned away and padded on to cower behind a tussock.

I give Dewkit a sharp glare. He doesn't believe his own words. He just wanted to upset Winterkit. "Watch your mouth, or I'll slaughter you, rip your guts out and spread them across the territory... You'd be a mighty fine tasty kit," I say cheerfully, tapping my tail lightly on his shoulder with a sinister glint in my eyes, then i pad away, tail and head held high and go to where Winterkit vanished. I can tell Dewkit is surprised. I'm snappy with my Clanmates but that was a whole new level for him.

Ha.

"Are you okay?" I ask, once I reach her side. She is huddled up with her face in her fluffy tail. She looks up at me. I can't see her face, but I can tell how sad her dark colored eyes are. "What if he's right?'" she seemed to be asking herself more than me. "What if they don't come back?"

"Don't worry," I try to reassure her, giving her a quick lick, then wondering to myself why I did it. "...they'll come back," I tell her, though I don't even believe myself.



A terrible screeching wakes me up. I had fallen asleep with Winterkit in the tussock. "What was that?" she asks, her voice sleepy, although she's now wide awake. I burst out of the den, she's hot on my heels.

"Badger!" comes the grief-stricken cry of a queen. A kit must have been killed or something stupid. As the screams fills my ears, I scent the rank scent of badger. My hackles raise. Winterkit charges past me, ready to fight. I lunge and grab her tail in between my teeth.

She whips around, she seems shocked. "You're not going into battle," I hiss, pulling her toward the apprentices den. 

"I have to fight for my Clan!" Winterkit yowled, waving her paws and tail wildly around, trying to losen my grip. But I'm a fat boy so it's just a soft breeze ruffling my fur. 

I squeeze through the brambles into the apprentices den and plop Winterkit to the ground. She's shaking. I don't know if it's from terror or anger at me.

I kneel down to her level and look her in the eyes. She doesn't seem weirded out by the fact I can 'look in' other cats eyes as if I can see them clear as day.

"Winterkit, please. You have to listen to me. I know you want to fight for RockClan, but it's too dangerous for a kit."

"But I'm not a kit! I'm only like four moons younger than you!"

"Well you haven't been trained! You cannot do this Winterkit, you have too much to live for. RockClan will be okay without you, for now."

I can feel Winterkit's gaze burning into the fur and sense the distress flooding off her in waves. 

More coming soon


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