Gone in a Flash
Frostfur licked her daughter's ear. "My dear Cinderpelt," she mewed, "Please make sure not to make too much trouble on the journey." Cinderpelt fixed her sorrowful gaze on her. "I won't make any promises." Cinderpelt meowed, she tried to hide the thick sorrow in her voice. Brackenfur, Brightheart, and Thornclaw padded up to Frostfur and started sharing tongues with their mother for the last time. Frostfur's eyes sparkled with love that no cat could rival. "You have all made me so proud, please be careful on your journey and remember that I will love you until the end of time, no matter where you are." Firestar yowled, "It is time!" Frostfur's children rubbed their cheeks with hers and padded away, casting one long, last, loving look at their mother and bounded away. Frostfur watched as her Clan, her life, walked away, ready to face the dangers that lay ahead. Leafpaw was the last to go. Before leaving, she looked at Frostfur. "Goodbye Frostfur." she whispered. "Goodbye!" Frostfur called back.
Life as a Rouge
Frostfur's life had been full of sorrow. Her father, Azurestream, was the deputy of Riverclan. He had mated with a former Thunderclan warrior, Tulipcloud. Tulipcloud was half Thunderclan- half Windclan and had left Thunderclan when she learned that her mate, Tunnelfoot, had killed her father, Darkstar, to become leader. She was afraid that he would leave the clan a ruined mess, forever taunted by the other clans for generations. She was forced to leave her son, Redkit, in Thunderclan when she fled. Azurestream met her when he made his trip to the Moonstone with his leader. She had made her home in a hollow tree but she fared well. There was no clan to feed so she could eat as much as she liked. He had left the patrol and spent the night with her. Soon, after every Gathering he would travel to see her. She soon bore him a daughter, Frostkit, and Tulipcloud begged him to take her to Riverclan. Riverclan didn't take to her kindly. Most cats were disgusted by the fact that she was tri-clan. They all knew Azurestream had met with Tulipcloud by Frostkit's shimmering white coat. Only Tulipcloud had a coat as beautiful as that. One of the cats who was disgusted by this was the Riverclan leader, Hollowstar. Hollowstar commanded that Frostkit be thrown into the gorge. Frostfur remembered the moment vividly. Her scruff was let loose and she plunged down into the gorge.
Down she fell, her squeals of terror were drowned out by the roaring river below. Azurestream watched as his precious daughter disappeared into the mist below. He tried to jump in and save her but her was held back by his clanmates. They silently led him back into the camp. He was soon exiled from Riverclan. What they didn't know was that Frostkit was still alive. Frostkit clawed up the rock until she finally got on top of it. She looked down, aware that if the rock fell she would plunge into the river, the current taking her to places unknown. She flinched as the river splashed her with a ray of mist. She continued climbing up the gorge. She clawed feebly up the gorge and soon the exaustion became to much fo her. As she was about to commit suicide by throwing herself back down into the watery abyss, strong teeth gripped her scruff and pulled her to safety. She looked feebly up and saw a tom with a tortoiseshell coat staring anxiously at her. She let out a hoarse mew and collapsed in his paws. She had opened her eyes to find she was in a spacious den. Beside her two cats were discussing something, obviously not aware that she was awake. "Scorchpelt! Are you sure that this is a good idea, what if the clan doesn't accept her?" the she-cat said nervously. "Ambereyes, trust me. They wouldn't turn down a kit that was found almost drowned in the gorge. I've already informed Sunstar about it and he is alright with her. He's even having her initiation ceremony at sunset. Please Ambereyes, Tarkit and Aspenkit gave died of greencough and your this kit's only hope!" Scorchpelt pleaded. After a long pause, Ambereyes sighed and answered finally "Alright, I'll take care of her. Only because you're so sweet and this is the most beautiful kit I have ever seen. What's your name sweety?" Frostkit looked up at her, her eyes widened as she saw the beauty in the she-cat's face. She answered hesitantly. "F-F-Frostkit..." she quietly mumbled. "Hello Frostkit, welcome to ThunderClan." Destinyflower whispered. Soon sunset had arrived. Frostkit stumbled out of the nursery on unsteady paws and sat at the foot of the Highrock. Sunstar yowled and the Thunderclan cats swarmed to the Highrock. Many cats had cast curious glances at the white kit in the middle of the Highrock. Sunstar silenced the crowd with a flick of his tail. He began. "Cats of Thunderclan, we have found this kit dangling at the top of the gorge just near RiverClan territory. Ambereyes has graciously volunteered to suckle the kit until she is old enough to become an apprentice. Frostkit will now be accepted as a full member of ThunderClan." Sunstar touched his forehead to hers and placed a paw on her shoulder. "Welcome Frostkit" The clan burst out in celebration. "Frostkit! Frostkit!" they yowled. Frostkit smiled, now she really had a home.
Frostfur watched as Leafpaw followed the others through the entrance of the RiverClan camp. The clan that had accepted her, nurtured her, loved her was now gone. Only Speckletail was left with her but she could barely stay awake. Frostfur laid her head down on her paws and closed her eyes, waiting to die and reunite with the cats of her past.
Night to Remember
Frostfur stood and shook the sleep out of her eyes. She moved to nudge Speckletail from her slumber. As she tapped her with her forepaw, she shot back and squealed like a kit. Shadepelt flashed her eyes open and picked her head up. "What's wrong?" she mewed. "Speckletail... she's so cold" Frostfur whispered. Shadepelt stroked her shoulder in an obvious attempt to calm her down. "It was so cold last night that she probably couldn't take it. Loudbelly is gone too. I've already buried him along with Mudfur." Shadepelt meowed with a sigh. "No, this can't happen! I've already lost my family and now I've lost my only ThunderClan denmate to the cold! This is too much!" Frostfur screeched. Shadepelt rested her tail lightly on Frostfur's shoulder. "It will be okay. I'll bury her with the others." she whispered. Frostfur just buried her muzzle into her paws. She ceased her whimpering when she heard approaching footsteps. Who would come to the RiverClan camp during Leafbare? She leapt up and striked at the mysterious cat. She bit down on his tail and let him go when he finally screeched "It's me, Ravenpaw!" Frostfur stared joyously up at the tom. I'm not the only one left! She rubbed his cheek with hers. "Oh Ravenpaw!" she suddenly thought of something dreadful, "Do you have news on the others? Are they Alright?" Ravenpaw chuckled "Don't be such a snapping turtle. They're alright, here let me tell you the news." She guided him to a bushel of leaves and they sat down. Ravenpaw yawned and began his story. "Well, Firestar told me that you and Speckletail have decided to stay behind. I came to invite you to come with me to the barn. There is loads of warm hay and prey scattered everywhere. Will you come?" Frostfur looked over her bony shoulder to where Speckletail was buried and sighed. "Well, I'm starving and freezing so I guess I will go." Ravenpaw almost yowled in joy. Frostfur suddenly thought of Shadepelt. "Shadepelt, won't you come with us?" Shadepelt dipped her head graciously at the older elder. "I cannot." Shadepelt sighed, "I can't leave my mate. He and I have been through so much together. Apprenticeship, Reedpaw's birth, becoming an elder. I couldn't bear being away from Loudbelly." Frostfur felt hot tears tumble down her cheeks. "I respect your decision. May StarClan light your path you have chosen," Frostfur turned to Ravenpaw, "But may we accompany her on our last day in RiverClan camp?" Ravenpaw nodded and curled up into a tight ball. Shadepelt curled up next to Frostfur and soon fell into the rhythm of sleep. Frostfur yawned and laid her head down on her paws. She closed her eyes and let the essence of sleep take her.
Frostfur opened her dark blue eyes and stared at the cat in front of her. It was a magnificent golden tom with a lions mane. The scent of Starclan swirled around hin. "Lionheart!" Frostfur cried and buried her face in his soft coat. "Greetings Frostfur, how are our kits?" Frostfur stopped nuzzling him and gave him a look of sorrow. "I don't know." Frostfur confessed. Lionheart sighed. "Not even Starclan can reach the place they are right now. But we will soon. StarClan will be leaving in a few sunrises" Frostfur sneezed and looked at the tom. "Is that all you came to tell me?" Frostfur meowed. "I am hear to give you a message," Frostfur twitched her ear is anticipation, "In three sunsets, the new will come the old will wilt. Of old, one shall save all, clan or not, sacrificing itself to the fires of the Dark Forest." Frostfur's eyes bulged with bewilderment. "What do you mean?" she yelled as Lionheart faded, only leaving a thin contour of his previous stance. Soon, the ground was bare and Frostfur was standing alone in the hollow clearing. Flames began swirling around her when a sudden fire engulfed the clearing. Her eyes were watery with smoldering ash that burned her eyes. She struggled to breathe as the smoke stuck in her throat and blocked oxygen flow. She coughed and gasped as she struggled to escape but the flames had blocked her only escape route. Her legs folded under her and she crumpled onto the dirt. She opened her bloody eyes and faintly saw past the salty tears that filled them. She was no longer in the clearing, but in a barn. She heard cats wailing and shrieking as their tails were burned by the fiery burning hay stacks. Falling debris fell from the ceiling and crushed a panicking she-cat. All of the cats evacuated the barn but one. The tom stood in the middle of the barn. Frostfur struggled to study the tom because the energy was rapidly escaping her body like the smoke from the flames. He looked like a shadow turned dark ginger from the burning flames. He stood tall, not cowering from the rippling fire and splintering wood raining down. He just looked at Frostfur with sharp, shining yellow eyes. Frostfur gaped at the sight and fainted from the burning fumes.
"Ahh!" Frostfur screamed and rapidly lifted her head. Ravenpaw shot up and studied her terrified face. "What's wrong?!?" he asked anxiously. "Oh, just a very bad dream, that's all." Frostfur lied. That wasn't just a bad dream, she felt the pain of the flames, the choking fumes of the smoke, the sweet reunion with Lionheart. It was all true! Frostfur blinked her sticky, crusty eyes and sighed. "I guess we have to leave now." "Yeah." Ravenpaw meowed, "Maybe we could bring Shadepelt some fresh kill sometime?" Frostfur looked at Shadepelt, a sorrowful smile plastered on her face. "May Starclan grant you peace and good hunting." Shadepelt rubbed Frostfur's cheek with her's. "Thank You and good luck to you too!" Ravenpaw sadly split the two up and led Frostfur out of camp.
Meeting the Rouges
Frostfur watched as Ravenpaw thrust his muzzle through the crack between the two doors. He easily opened the door and led Frostfur inside. The barn was pretty roomy and piles of straw laid everywhere. One lone window let rays of precious sunlight into the barn. Frostfur flinched as she heard scuttling up in the loft at the top of the barn. A black and white figure climbed from under some hay and shook his pelt. The air grew dustier with every shake he made. He stared at Frostfur with round, amber eyes as he climbed down from the loft. "Hello Darlin'" The tom rasped and coughed with a dry tongue. "This here is Barley" Ravenpaw explained and lightly touched his white tail tip to Barley's bony shoulder. "Be a pleasure to meet you m'lady" Barley extended his paw as a sign of greeting. Frostfur almost recoiled at the sight of the tom. He smelled of dust and bugs, his pelt was ragged, and he was covered in ticks. She just dipped her head in reply. Ravenpaw guided her away from the tom and into what looked like an old horse shelter. It smelled of stale oats and hay. "I'm sleeping here!" "Yes, this used to be a horse stall but the horse died 14 moons ago and the stall is pretty roomy so it would be perfect for you" Ravenpaw yawned and stretched his long legs. Frostfur sighed. Ravenpaw was so sleek and strong, he would of made a magnificent Thunderclan warrior. "I'll see ya in the morn'" Ravenpaw called (yeah, I gave him a southern accent, sue me) and leapt up onto the loft. Frostfur stepped into the rotting stall and laid down on the mossy flooring. Frostfur just closed her eyes. Hey, the stall is better than the Riverclan camp at least.
"HELP! a deafening yowl echoed against the walls of the barn. Frostfur stood to see what was outside, but she fell with a shriek of pain. Ravenpaw leapt down from the loft and nudged her to her feet. Her brittle bones wailed in agony as she started walking with Ravenpaw for a support. The yowls got louder as the pair came closer to the entrance. The urge to help the mysterious being filled her with a newfound energy. She broke away from Ravenpaw and ran through the snow towards the wails of distress. She blinked at the sight of the beings she saw. There were three cats, one black, one tortoiseshell, and one pale ginger. The pale ginger tom flashed her a look of relief when he saw her. "Please help my mate!" he pleaded. The tiny tortoiseshell was writhering in pain, her dark fur spiked out in agony. This was obviously her first kitting. Frostfur put a paw to her belly. She felt tiny vibrations come from the kits. There were about two- no three- maybe four kits in the female's swollen belly. "It's okay, just push hard then soft, that's what got me through my kittings" The tortoiseshell nodded weakly and pushed as hard as she could. Soon, a sandy-gray tom-kit fell into the snow. Frostfur turned to the black tom. "Take the kit into the barn. Once you're in there, start licking it!" Frostfur ordered. The tom nodded and ran over to the kit. Frostfur turned to the laboring queen and cooed in her ear. "It's okay, it will be over soon" Frostfur whispered into her ear. It took until sunhigh until the second kit came, a golden tabby she-kit. "Help!" the tortoiseshell wailed, her voice now hoarse. "It's okay, the third kit is coming" The tortoiseshell screamed and shook as the third kit landed in the snow. It was a dark tortoiseshell she-kit. The black tom took the kit to the barn as Frostfur continued to tend to the queen. "The last one is coming" Frostfur announced. The dark she-cat shook and whimpered as the last kit arrived, a pure white she-kit with dark blue eyes. "It's okay, you have a set of beautiful kits" Frostfur cooed. She waited for the rouge to respond, but the she-cat just sat in the snow, limp and unmoving. "Miss?" The cat didn't answer. Frostfur placed a paw on her chest. The tortoiseshell's breathing was labored but it was steady. She would be fine. Out of nowhere, a golden dappled she-cat ran to the aid of the cat at Frostfur's paws. The two cats in the barn ran out to meet her as she inspected the small tortoiseshell. "Who are you guys?" Frostfur asked. The old black tom lifted his head to face her. "We will explain inside"
Frostfur, Ravenpaw, and Barley sat in a circle with the four strangers. The tortoiseshell was awake now and her kits were scuttling over her plump stomach looking for places to suckle. The old black tom spoke first, "I am Shadowed Stone," He flicked his tail towards the three cats next to him, "The pale tom is Gomito, the tortoiseshell is my daughter, Rising Dawn, and the golden tabby is Tinker." I nodded and noticed that Tinker was eying her inquisitively. I shuddered under her hard stare and shrugged it away. "So, where did you come from and why are you here in the middle of scenic nowhere?" Frostfur asked distantly. It was Gomito's turn to talk. As he opened his mouth to begin, Rising Dawn interrupted him. "I used to live with my grandfather and a few other cats at the edge of land that overlooked the massive body of water that the sun sank into every evening. We lived in a small cavern so close to the water that the ground was sodden and an overwhelming salty scent hung in the air. We were just coming home from a hunt."
It was evening by the time the cats had come home, their loads surprisingly light. Rising Dawn set down her catch, a scrawny fledging, and sneezed as it's downy feathers tickled her pink nose. She laughed, but winced in pain as her kits wiggled inside her stomach. Shadowed Stone heard her pained groans and ran to support her. She smiled at him, but soon tightly shut her eyes in pain. The other cats rolled their eyes and continued organizing their catches. A pale tabby she-cat sighed and walked over to Rising Dawn. "Oh, hello Sun's Sheen." Rising Dawn greeted softly. "Rising Dawn." Sun's Sheen answered coldly. Rising Dawn looked at her with a confused look on her face. "What's wrong?" Rising Dawn asked. Sun's Sheen laughed humorlessly. "You would know!" she meowed. The other three cats gathered beside her. A ginger tom spoke next. "Sun's Sheen is right, we know you've mated with an outsider!" he growled. Shadowed Stone quickly leapt to his daughter's defense. "Lightning Bug! You have no right to accuse my daughter!" Lightning Bug snarled and crouched down, ready to pounce. "We all know!" Lightning Bug hissed, "Isn't that right Jagged Crag and Blooming Bud?" The two cats nodded and mimiced Lightning Bud's offensive stance. Rising Dawn stared at them, utterly shocked, while Shadowed Stone snarled and unsheathed his claws. The two groups were silent, each silently daring the other to make a move. With the slightest flick of a tail, the cats leapt at each other.
"I did all I could to hold them off, but it was to painful. They had been our comrades, our friends, our family, and they drove us out." Shadowed Stone croaked. Gomito continued the story, "I lived on a farm with Tinker at the time. When I had heard of a group of cats had settled near the farm, I went to investigate. Then I met Rising Dawn. We started meeting in secret and eventually mated. I guess that wasn't such a good thing, because about six dawns after we learned that she was pregnant with kits, she and her father came running to our farm,"
Gomito was lazily plucking at the grass, sighing to himself. Tinker noticed his strange behavior and walked towards him. "Are you okay?" Tinker's steel voice was like a bell in his ear. "Oh, well, it's nothing...," Tinker shot him a disbelieving glare and he continued, "See, you know how I've been meeting that cat, Rising Dawn," "Yeah..." Tinker meowed. "I haven't seen her since we found out she was pregnant. I'm really worried about her." "She's probably just been busy preparing for the kits' arrival, don't worry so much!" Tinker teased and flicked his nose with her tail. "I guess you're right." Gomito said. Think again. "Gomito!" Rising Dawn's desperate mew rang through the air. She was running towards the barn cats with a black tom trailing behind. "Rising Dawn!" Gomito called back, his voice thick with relief. The closer she got, the worse Gomito realized she looked. She soon collapsed. She gasped and started coughing up blood. "Rising Dawn!" Gomito gasped, jumping to her aid, "What's wrong?" The black tom snarled. "This is your fault! If you hadn't been messing with my daughter, we wouldn't have been chased away from our home!" Gomito was genuinely hurt by the comment. Rising Dawn lifted her head and stared directly into her father's eyes. "Father, this is my fault, not his. I am sorry for getting us into this mess." Shadowed Stone glared at Gomito for a few seconds longer before cooling down. "I guess it wasn't anyones fault. Your only crime is loving each other." Rising Dawn smiled slightly before turning her head towards Tinker suspiciously. "Who's this?" she hissed. Tinker felt lip curl and she flexed her claws. It was taking every ounce of her self control not to leap and claw at the tortoiseshell's face. Gomito sensed the tension in the air and quickly stepped in. "This is Tinker, my best friend. Her mother suckled me when mine died from the cold." "Oh, well nice to meet you Tinker." Rising Dawn grumbled. Tinker just snorted hotly in reply. Rising Dawn's eyes narrowed and she rose, her hackles tightly rising in anger. Before the lash out at each other, a chorus of angry yowls echoed in the distance. Gomito turned in panic and saw a flash of glinting ginger fur before it disappeared into the bushes. "Get into the barn." Gomito whispered. "What?" Tinker meowed. "Get into the barn!" Gomito shouted and began to herd her and the others into the barn. It was too late, though, because on cue, Sun's Sheen, Jagged Crag, Lightning Bug, Blooming Bud, and multiple other cats leapt from their hiding spots. Each cat was perfectly positioned around the four that any attempt at escape would be futile. Gomito felt a whimper rise in his throat at the look of these cats. Each was well built with long, lethal teeth bared and muscles bulging under each pelt. They had obviously come to finish Shadowed Stone and Rising Dawn off. Shadowed Stone stepped in front of his daughter and hissed menacingly, "Get away!" The crowd seemed undaunted by the threat because they continued to advance toward the cats. Gomito leaned his head toward Tinker and Rising Dawn and whispered, "You guys have to run." Rising Dawn nodded eagerly while Tinker grimanced at him. "What makes you think I'm leaving?" she growled. "These cats are like twice as large as you! They'll shred you to ribbons!" Gomito retorted. The tiny golden she-cat snarled and stubbornly stood her ground. Leave it to Tinker to foolishly charge into danger. With no hope of winning this argument, Gomito sighed and turned to Rising Dawn. "Okay, than you, go into the barn.