A Clan's Heritage
My first day as an apprentice! Swanpaw sat bolt upright and looked around her den. The apprentices den!
Next to her, her littermate Falconpaw slept peacefully. His black fur rose up and down as he dreamed, his eyes shut tight.
"Falconpaw!" she hissed urgently. He didn't move. "Falconpaw! Wake up!"
"Ugh, what do you want Swanpaw?" he meowed groggily.
Swanpaw sighed, "Are you blind?" she mewed angrily, "It's clearly day, our mentors will be here soon, telling us to wake up."
Falconpaw turned over, "Well they're not here yet so I'm gonna get more sleep." Swanpaw stuck her tongue out at him and widened her eyes. So what if he didn't come out, she would.
Pushing her head out of the den entrance, she looked around in awe. Yeah, she had seen the morning before, but she had never paid much attention to it. Now she realized just how beautiful it was.
Shivering, she stepped into the morning light. The camp was the same as always. Swanpaw found it a little boring.
One of the reasons she couldn't wait to be an apprentice is because she could explore outside of the camp. She could trek through the undergrowth, hunt for her Clan. Be free!
She sighed, if only she could do that now.
But she could! Swanpaw gasped. She could, she really could. Now she was an apprentice she could roam as free as the moon itself.
She turned around, wanting to tell Falconpaw about the freedom they had gained, but he was sleeping deeply. It seemed a pity to disturb him now.
Looking forward instead of back, she took a deep breath, and stepped into the darkness.
Breathing in the fresh air, Swanpaw raced through the trees. She wanted to scream with joy, laugh and cry all at the same time. What had she been missing out on?
But all at once she stopped. Where was she? The air was filled with all sorts of unfamiliar scents. None of which she had smelt before in ForestClan. She shook her head. Just some prey which had made a den somewhere near here, Swanpaw would probably be told it was a gold mine for hunting in her apprentice training. She continued.
The further she went, the less, forest like, it became. Soon all she could see were thin rows of trees. All the same shape and size, so close together she had to weave in and out of them.
Soon Swanpaw started to become tired. She sat down and started grooming her fur until a different yet familiar smell wafted under her nose.
She stopped in mid-lick and stood up. It was the prey she had smelt earlier. Hunting time! she thought.
Although she didn't know exactly what to do, she had a faint idea and crouched down low. Watching and waiting, Swanpaw stared ahead. The scent was so strong, she was sure it would come out soon.
"What are you doing here?"
Swanpaw almost screeched. A dark brown tom was standing behind her, inspecting her with a confused look on his face.
He cocked his head to one side, "Why are you here?"
"Umm, err..." Swanpaw stuttered. Why was she here? She wanted to explore, that's why, but somehow that didn't seem like the right answer."I don't know." She mewed at last.
"Really I'm supposed to catch you but," he sighed depressingly, "I don't think I would do a good job."
"Oh," Swanpaw didn't really know what to say, "I'm Swanpaw?" it came out as more of a question and she clamped her mouth shut.
Luckily, the tom didn't seem to notice her mistake, "I'm Barkpaw," he meowed, "I live here, in TreeClan."
"Hi Barkpaw, I'm live in ForestClan..." she trailed off, only just realizing her mistake, "Look, I've got to go."
Barkpaw nodded, "I know, but don't."
"I have to!" she mewed desperately, "I'm in your territory!" she started to make a run for it.
"COME BACK!" she heard Barkpaw yell, but she didn't listen to him.
Gasping for breath, Swanpaw finally made it back into ForestClan's familiar territory. The sun was well up and shining brightly. Falconpaw and the others would have started their training by now.
Soon the camp entrance came into view and Swanpaw cried out in delight. She knew she would be in trouble but all she cared about was making it back safely. With no hesitation she marched into the clearing receiving angry yet relieved looks from everyone.
"What did you think you were doing!" Swanpaw whipped her head around to see her mentor, Marshleaf, stomping towards her."We've already sent out a search party for you and now you return with a smile on your face!"
Swanpaw gulped. The only reason she was smiling is because she was happy to be back but she didn't know how to word it properly. "I was happy to be back." She mumbled.
Marshleaf sighed, clearly agitated, "We could have used your help whilst you were gone. Your family skill would have come in handy."
Swanpaw looked up, "What about mom and Falconpaw?" she asked.
"Your mom's in the patrol looking for you and Falconpaw's gone."
Swanpaw gasped, "Gone? But--"
"We believe he went looking for you." Marshleaf growled, "Your first day as an apprentice and you've already shamed ForestClan."
Swanpaw was dumbfounded. Whatever she did had to result in a punishment, good or bad. She trudged sadly back to her den, ashamed of herself.
She didn't wake until she heard the search party arrive back. She didn't move though.
"Swanpaw!" she heard someone shout, "Swanpaw!"
Slowly, she unpeeled herself from her moss bed and went to look. In the middle of the clearing a blood red body lay unmoving and silent. Swanpaw ran over and pushed her way through the crowd.
Laying dead as clear as day, was Falconpaw.