A warriors worth is not proved by their origin, but by their deeds
|Preceded by: |
Lost and Alone
|Harsh Wild||Succeded by: |
Prologue - Unstopabble - StarClan
Bluestar was pracically bursting with anger. She had just heard from Feathertail that Tallstar and Blackstar had had another argument. As a result, Tallstar had sentenced 4 cats to an unnecissary and slightly cruel life.
She stalked up to the black and white tom, "What have you done!" she yowled. Talstar turned, his amber eyes smoldering.
"Bluestar, if you're refering to the kittypets-"
"Well of course I am! What else is there!?" she screeched.
Tallstar's fur fluffed up defensivly. He snarled, "I have picked 4 lucky cats to become part of the Clans and further more-"
Bluestar sighed, her eyes sad, "No. You've sentenced 4 cats to an unjust fate they didn't deserve. There are only 4 of them! 4 kittypets can't beat the wild!"
Tallstar nodded,"We can do something about that." Bluestar sighed, "Do it quick. I hate to see any cat suffer."
She walked away, leaving Tallstar to his thoughts.
Chapter 1 - Together Again - Moonbeam
I felt something cold touch my fur and I woke up, frightened. I had been chased by Twolegs util I was lost. I couldn't get home. This shallow dip was all I had left. I looked at what was poking me and saw Gingersnap. His ginger fur reeked and his eyes were wide.
"I found you!" he exclaimed joyfully. I asked him what happened. He told me the whole story, "I was thrown out of my home for....being bad and I noticed some of your fur on the road. I followed it, I thought you were in trouble. I found blood too. In the end, I followed your scent to here." Moonbeam purred and in turn told her friend her story, "I was outside and these Twoleg kits attacked me! They chased me and I was so frightened. They threw me and kicked me and kept throwing this boulder at me. I was so scared and hurt. I tried to get home but I couldn't"
We had begun walking while they talked and I tripped over something. I turned to see what had tripped me up. Nesteled in a dirty, torn basket was Joy! Her creamy pelt was racked with scars and blood and she was sleeping. "Joy!" I cried delightedly. My friend woke up. "Wha-oh. Well, I'm glad you found me. This awful new cat moved into my house and they drove me away!"
As they walked, I noticed a brown cat walking on the other side of the road. "Look! It's Shasta!" the others kept walking and after a brief argument, I convinced them to let Shasta join us. I walked over to him, "Hey!" he turned to me, his eyes sad, "Oh. Hey." he said glumly. He allowed me to lead him over to us. I looked around. Well, we were lost, hungry, and upset, but not alone!
Chapter 2 - Enter the Woods - Joy
We walked until my pads were bleeding and we came to a forest. I said, "Why don't we rest?" Moonbeam nodded, she can always tell when I'm mad. I was tired, hungry, hurting, and we had to put up with Shasta. He just...creeps me out. We found a small cave and Gingersnap went in. He yowled and ran out a minute later. 2 cats were following him. One was a smokey gray and the other was brown. I could see their eyes in the dark.
We tried to run but the cats cornered us. Moonbeam stepped forword tentivly, "Um...we don't want to hurt you. We're housecats who've lost their way. Can we stay for the night?" the smokey gray she-cat snorted, her turqouoise eyes gleaming. The tom looked unsure. He seemed timid, "I'm Chestnut and this is Rosebud. We live here but we need to find a new home soon. Dogs come here to often." Moonbeam nodded,. "They're so pesky! And they try to get us! But I've never seen them attack a cat before, they're to stupid!"
I joined in the others laughing and looked over at the others. Moonbeam seemed totally at ease. Gingersnap was more on edge but he was relaxing some. I looked at Shasta. He wasn't laughing. Hs jaw was clenched and his eyes were angry but there was a sliver of pain in them. I wondered what was wrong. For some reason it made me sad to see him in pain.
Eventually, we stopped laughing and Rosebud stepped forword, her eyes gleaming with warmth, "You guys don't seem to be bad. Or dangerous. How about you come on in. You can tell us about yourselves and where you're going!"
I was to happy to be inside with food and warmth to think about anything else and I followed them inside the cave.
Chapter 3 - Family Has No Meaning - Shasta
I felt my heart turn cold as they talked about dogs. If they never attacked cats, why was Seirra dead? I shook my head and followed the cats into the den. There was a big stone with a rabbit on it. We sat around it and ate. At first, Joy was squirmy and didn't want to eat it but hunger beat her mind. We were all stunned by its taste. It was amazing, better then Twoleg food!
When we were done eating, Rosebud meowed, "I'll tell you a bit about us. We've lived here for seasons but are leaving soon. We have a few kits but they're all gone. The only one still around is Josie. She has a mate now. How about you?"
Moonbeam explained our predicament while we listened. I thought about what Rosebud had said. Josie was the only noble cat out of their kits. To the others, family had no meaning.
I was thinking about that and I almost missed what Gingersnap said, "What if you came with us?" Rosebud and Chestnut listened, "There's strength in numbers. If you have to leave, you could come with us. I don't know where we're going but it'll be safe. And we could bring Josie and her mate with us!"
The strange cats nodded and I groaned on the inside.
It looked like we had 2 more traveling companions. And more to come.
Chapter 4 - A Clan of Cats - Gingersnap
The next morning, the others prepared while I walked with Rosebud to find Josie and her mate, Nicco. Rosebud was chatty but I wasn't in the mood. Finally, we stopped outside a den. Rosebud went in and emerged a while later with a big tom who I supposed was Nicco. Then came Rosebud and behind her was....the most beautiful cat I had ever seen. Josie. Her head was turned as she talked to her mother. Then she turned to me and I flinched. I couldn't help it. Across her left eye were a horade of ugly scars and her left eye was slightly smaller then her left. As I flinched, Nicco growled and Josie looked like she might cry.
We walked in silence and I fell in line beside Josie, "Look...I'm sorry. I was just surprised. I was a kittypet. I was shielded..." she turned to look at me, "A dog did this to me when I was a kitten. And suddenly, all the toms that used to like me were gone. All but Nicco."
As we approached the camp I could hear the comforting sounds of life. Shasta and Joy arguing as Moonbeam and Chestnut gather supplies and herbs. "What is that?" asked Moonbeam. Chestnut laughed, "That's jasmine and honey. And some nettle seeds. They'll make sure that we don't be hungry for a while on our trip." Moonbeam saw me enter camp and she smiled, "Better save Gingersnap's herbs for someone else! They won't work, he's always hungry!"
I smiled and we got together. Everyone ate their herbs. They weren't very good but the honey helped. It made me warm and soothed my throat.
"We all here?" asked Joy. Everyone nodded and we turned to the horizen where the sunwas rising. I took a deep breath and with the rest of the group, began to walk towards the unknown.
Chapter 5 - Missing Feelings - Moonbeam
I woke up early the next day. We had sheltered in a cove near a town. I went up to a grassy hill and stood alone, letting the wind ruffle my fur. I was surprisedat how much I liked being out here, wild, and alone. Well, I wasn't alone. I had my friends but there were no housefolk. No dogs. Just us.
I almost didn't want to leave here but it didn't feel right. We were to close to a town. There wasn't a ton of prey and we heard dogs in the night.
But it was really beautiful. The whole place smelled of flowers and there were several blooms that popped up every few fox-lengths. The trees here were a nice mix of pines and oaks and the leaves drifted down, swirling in the wind. There was a small brook, you could see the bottom it was so clear. The prey tasted good and the water was sweet. Living as a kittypet had never felt as good as this. But it was never as hard eather.
My paws were aching yesterday. I had burrs in my pelt and had never been so dirty. I looked in the brook and I was freaked out. I was so dirty I didn't recognize myself anymore. I was covered in dirty, burrs were in my pelt, and i had cracked and bleeding pads. But there was a light of adventure and excitement in my eyes. I liked it.
I turned back to the hollow where everyone was sleeping. Rosebud, Chestnut, Nicco, and Josie were all sleeping together. Gingersnap sat next to my crumpled nest. I looked around for Shasta and Joy.
But they were missing.
Chapter 6 - Can You Escape From A Nightmare - Joy
I knew Moonbeam liked this. But I hated the wild. I had made my plan last night. I would sneek into the town, get adopted by a Twoleg, and come back for Moonbeam and everyone. It would be perfect. But I didn't know if I would take Shasta too. I hated him in a weird way but....I don't know....there's something about the look in his eyes....I sighed.
I had already snuck into the town. I was looking around for what looked like friendly housefolk. I saw a male housefolk washing a truck and I approached. I had washed my face and pelt this morning so I would look good. I approached him and meowed softly. He looked at me and I purred as he smiled.
He went into the house and I looked around. Suddenly, I saw Shasta in the bushes, "What are you doing here?" he asked. Before I could answer, the Twoleg came out. I purred at him but stopped as the biggest dog I'd ever seen ran out of the nest.
Right at me.
I was frozen but Shasta pulled my tail and I was able to run. We dashed through the city, trying to get back to the others. I saw the forest up ahead when I tripped. I couldn't get up, my paw was stuck under a root. I sat there in fear waiting for death.
I heard the dog panting, getting closer.
Then I heard Shasta run at it.
Chapter 7 - Merciful End - Shasta
I don't know why or how I did it. I don't even like Joy. Not even close. And I am scared of dogs. But it was like all I could see was that day. Seirra. The dog clawing as she yowled in pain. I had to help.
Joy was trapped for a while and was scared to get up so I attacked the dog head on.
I jumped on it as it rounded the corner. It barked in surprise but I was shaken off. I hit a building and fell down. The dog ran at me. I dodged its slavering jaws and ducked to the side. I jumped on its back and just began clawing. It hopped around, trying to get me off.
Finally, the beast shook me off. All I could hear was Joy screaming and the dog coming at me. I tried to get up but the dog pinnded me down. All I saw was stars and memories. Mom. Seirra. Joy. Moonbeam. Gingersnap. Josie. Nicco. Chestnut. Rosebud. Shasta. Gone.
Fionally the dog left. All i could register was that I couldn't get up and I was in severe pain. I could hear Joy crying as she sawed at the root with a claw.
Then I saw a starry cat descend. Seirra! She licked me. Her lips moved but I heard nothing. I strained to hear but I could tell what she was saying by looking at her lips. What did she mean she'd see me soon-? Oh. Joy leaped up, freed from the root. "I'm going to get help." she told me tearfully. She staredf at me as if she couldn't leave, I didn't want her too eather. Then she ran off, leaving me sad and expectant at what would happen next.
Chapter 8 - Snap Out Of It - Gingersnap
We carried Shasta's body back in silence. All he said when we arrived was how sorry he was. He told us we were the best friends he'd ever had. Then he looked at Joy and had muttered something we couldn't understand. Then..he was gone.
We buried him in the dip before Moonbeam turned to Joy, tears streaking down her face, blue eyes wide with anger, "Where were you!? You made us so worried!!!! If Shasta hadn't followed you...you'd be dead. And now...he's.." she sobbed.
Both Joy and I pressed against her sides and Joy sniffeled, "I know!" she wailed, "It's all my fault! I was so stupid! And then I got stuck! I'm a useles bundle of fur who-"
Josie wrapped her tail around Joy. "It's ok." she told her in her singsong voice, "When I was mauled, there was a tom that watched. He did nothing to help. You tried. You did better."
Joy sniffeled, "But not well enough."
I licked her while rolling my eyes, "Joy, look. Let's just agree. We all will mourn Shasta. But no more going up to Twolegs! From now on, we're on our own!"
Joy nodded and we all looked at the horizon. With one last look at Shasta's grave, we headed to the unknown.