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Song seven of Night Visions.

Try to hear my voice

You can leave, now it's your choice

“Mossspaw!” yowled Flame. “You’re back!”

Mosspaw half-heartedly ran up to her and licked her cheek. “It’s good to see you too,” he murmured. His voice came out cracked, and Flame looked at him oddly.

“Is something wrong?” she asked him.

Mosspaw shook his head, as if to shake off his negative feelings. “No,” he said. “Nothing’s wrong.”

Flame purred. “Well, come and tell me all about your mission.”

Maybe if I fall asleep, I won't breathe right

Maybe if I leave tonight, I won't come back

So Mosspaw told her about Larknose’s ghost, and the kidnapping by twolegs. He left out the parts about Martha and her friends, because he didn’t want Flame to suspect anything about his plan.

He lay awake that night, summoning up the courage. Tomorrow was his rogue name ceremony, but he was planning to leave tonight.

Mosspaw needed to clear his thoughts. He stepped outside the den and inhaled the night air.

“Mosspaw? Where are you going?”

He turned around. Flame stood at the other end of the camp. “You need your sleep,” she urged.

“I’m nervous. It’s my naming ceremony tomorrow, and it’s all so sudden. I just need to clear my head.” He turned away and left Flame standing there, alone.

Mosspaw smiled to himself. Maybe he would leave tomorrow night.

I said it before, I won't say it again

Love is a game to you, it's not pretend

Maybe if I fall asleep, I won't breathe right

“I now name you Moss, and welcome you as a full member of White Ashes,” declared Flame.

Moss looked around the camp. Spring had just begun, but there were still traces of winter.

Moss bounded down from the Bloodrock. He ignored the cats congratulating him. He remembered the visit from Larknose’s ghost. Was this really the best choice to make? 

~ 

Can nobody hear me?

I got a lot that's on my mind

I cannot breathe

Can you hear it, too?

“Fight!” shouted Flame. Moss leapt onto his opponent, a tom sent to execution for treason. The tom bit Moss’s leg, but it wasn’t powerful enough to break the bone.

Moss spun around and slashed his opponent more viciously than intended. The tom crumpled to the ground.

“That was good,” praised Flame. “Quick and vicious. Just how I like it.”

Moss reeled away. “I’m going to hunt, I’m starving,” he said quickly.

Tears streaming down his face, Moss fled blindly into the forest. He had to leave. But why wasn’t he doing it already?

~

You kiss and you kiss

And you love and you love

You got a history list and the rest is above

And if you're warm, then you can't relate to me

Song and Bane dragged a body into the camp, followed by Flame.

“She was trying to escape,” she spat. “Leaving? I don’t think so. “ She licked her lips.

“So you killed her?” asked Moss flatly.

Flame cuffed him over the ear. “We’re rogues! What do you think we did, fleabrain?”

Moss studied the body closely. It was Little Snowflake. Why did she choose to leave?

He groaned. “I feel ill,” he muttered. Instead of going to the medicine den, he went straight to his den and cried for the rest of the evening.

How much longer was he going to stay here?

From the floor to the floor

And the sky to the sky

You've got to love and adore and the rest is awry

And if you're warm, then you can't relate to me

“So,” meowed a cat called Elyssa. “Why do you want to leave?”

 Moss felt uncomfortable telling the truth about his mission to a cat he didn’t trust, but Elyssa was a nice and loyal cat.

“I love a cat called Martha, and I want to live with her in twolegplace, and to do that i have to leave, but Flame thinks I love her, so leaving White Ashes is treason and leaving.”

Elyssa shifted uncomfortably. “So you could die.”

“Yes. Exactly.”

Elyssa shot up suddenly. “Idea!” she squealed. “Fake your death. Its easy. I’ll say we were hunting and there was a sudden rockfall. Your body was crushed by the tumbling boulders and I couldn’t find the body.”

Moss was now pacing the are where they sat. “Perfect!” he exclaimed. “I’ll leave tomorrow, and you can fake my death.” ~

I said it before, I won't say it again

Love is a game to you, it's not pretend

Maybe if I fall asleep, I won't breathe right, right, right

Moss squirmed in his den. Tomorrow was his great escape!

“Dude,” growled the cat next to him, “let me get my sleep.”

Moss was about to burst with excitement. He ran out of the den, feeling himself explode with excitement.

Tomorrow he was going to be free.

~

Can nobody hear me?

I got a lot that's on my mind

I cannot breathe

Can you hear it, too?

“Martha?” gasped Suzanne. “What are you doing here? Why are you not in bed?”

Martha ignored her mother. She continued to stare at the night sky.

“You miss him, don’t you?”

“He loves me, mother,” sobbed Martha. “And I love him.”

Suzanne hopped onto the windowsill with Martha. “He will come back to you, darling,” she soothed. “But these things take time.”

“But how long will that be?” wondered Martha. ~

Leave your shoes at the door, baby

I am all you adore, lately

Come with me and we will run away

“Elyssa?” gasped Flame. “Wheer’s Moss? I thought he was hunting with you?”

“He’s dead,” whispered Elyssa. 

Oh my goodness! “How?” gasped Flame.

“Rockfall. He was crushed, and I can’t find his body.”

Flame crumpled to the ground in slow, heaving sobs.

“Take me to the rocks,” ordered Flame. “I need to see where he lies.”

“Sure,” shrugged Elyssa. Flame noticed that she had lost her grief-stricken mood. 

Flame bubbled up with anger. Is Elyssa lying to me? Is Moss still alive?

Then why did he want to leave?

~

Can nobody hear me?

I got a lot that's on my mind

I cannot breathe

Can you hear it, too?

Moss laughed as he sped through the forest. He remembered every detail of the route to twolegplace.

Twolegplace, here I come.

And Martha. He was going to see Martha again.

And he would have a new life, and he would be able to forget his past.

~

Can nobody hear me?

I got a lot that's on my mind

I cannot breathe

Can you hear it, too?

“Martha!” called Suzanne from the kitchen. “Someone’s at the door!”

Martha trotted up to the door. “It’s Sunday. No-one ever comes here on a Sunday.”

She opened the door, and staggered back when she saw who it was. The light grey ragged coat, the smoky blue eyes, the smile.

“Mosspaw? Is that you?”

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