This is a New Generation Series special. It was written by Artimas Hunter and has no chronological order within the series. It is a stand alone.
Have you ever looked at a spider web? Really closely I mean. I once just watched the dewdrops melt off of one. Then I noticed a fly. It was trapped in the web. As I watched, it struggle harder and harder but it only got more tangeled. Then, a great big spider came and advanced toward the poor trapped fly. I couldn't watch anymore, it was too gross. But I think that's a pretty good simile for my life.
I'm like the fly. I was trapped and every time I tried to get away, I was only caught deeper in the web of hurt and betrayal that would pretty much be the relationship with my friends. The spider could be a number of things. My death, waiting for the time to pounce or Tigerstar in a training bout, waiting for a weak spot.
None of this was really my fault! Well, some of it was. But I was forced and I couldn't stop. You know how the fly kept trying to escape? I tried. I would exhaust myself. But Tigerstar would just come up with more threats, more promises of death and pain.
I never told anyone else, who would believe me? I killed, betrayed, and was all in all a horrible cat.
But ask yourself after you've heard my story, can you still really blame me?
"All kits need a mother."
I could still hear Kinkfur and Ivytail taunting Tigerheart, my father. I had no mother, at least I didn't know who she was, where she lived. Or even if she existed. And I longed to know, why did she abandon me? What had I done?
Believe me, I love my dad. But after you spend a few moons in the nursery, listening to what bad fighters everyone else is while your denmates are playing and listening to REAL stories....let's just say it gets old.
But I always liked to pretend that it didn't hurt me, that I didn't care that my mother hated me. That I never once cried when the other queens told their kittens how much they loved them. One day, when I was older, a younger queen was talking to her newborn, "I will always love you. I'll always be there."
I don't know, but something inside me snapped. I yowled at her, "LIAR!!!" then ran inside sobbing.
No one came to confort me until it was time for bed. Then Tigerheart simply told me that some days were bad and good night.
Things were like that until one day I learned the truth.
I had 3 ThunderClan siblings, I was half-Clan, and my mother was that spoiled brat, Dovewing.
I was devastated. Nothing was the same. I still cared about Tigerheart but suddenly, I couldn't understand him. But I couldn't deny it. It was real, I could remember my mother saying good bye, "Call her Rainkit!" and I remembered something else. Something deeper, darker.
One day, I asked my father about it, "Dad? Were there any other cats ast my birth besides you and mom?" I couldn't say her name. He shrugged, "Who were you thinking of?"
I couldn't admit I had no idea, "I don't know! It was a brown tabby.....I think he had a white belly...."
Tigerheart spun around, "You don't listen to those cats! They are VERY bad cats!"
I was scared. Dad had always been kind and soft but now he was forceful, his voice loud, eyes blazing.
I nodded and went back to camp. I suppose that was the start of my rebellious bad streak.
Because I wanted to know who those cats were.
And I'd find out. One way or another.
Having a non-existent mother made me quite the ruse little kit but when I was an apprintice, my bad luck continued. I got Ivytail as a mentor. Great. I could have had Tawnypelt or Snowbird or Dawnpelt. But no. I had to have a cat that may hate me more then I hated her.
Half the time, she was to busy talking with Kinkfur to train me. The other half was "Oh. It's you. Go get us some fresh kill, clean our nests, and then fetch us some moss from the lake, wet with water. Hurry!"
I was constantly ignored. And once, I did get her to train me for real. But Kinkfur came too. After that it went downhill. They insisted I was ready to take on two warriors though I had only been an apprintice for a few days.
And, like a compltete sucker, I believed them.
As I crawled into the medicine den, bleeding and aching all over, Flametail saw me. He went out and began to yowl and Ivytail and Kinkfuir. They just laughed and promised to be nice.
It was one, of the many, promises they never kept.
That night I was upset. But the next day, I rested all day and tried to be a good paitent.
The day-light gathering was the next day. And no way were they going to leave me behind!
I walked to the gathering with no one. The Clan was all around me but I had no friends, no littermates. Humph. Mom could have at least given me some company over here!
Well, anyways. I was walking to the climbing contest when all of a sudden, I hear voices. They come from a thicket so I peek in. There is a black cat with a cowering she-cat behind him while another she-cat is yowling at him. I laughed. Then I heard something else. It was crying.
That was the first time I saw Mossnight.
I went up the tree and the only cat that was near me was her. She just went up and began clawing the bark as if it was her father.
I won the contest, I was so proud! But Russetstar didn't seem to care much. She told the other Clans I had done great but when we got home, she ignored me.
No one wanted to know me.
But I was excited to go to the ThunderClan camp for the party.
Maybe I would see Mosspaw and make new friends. Maybe.
We arrived at their camp and listened to Bramblestar drone on and on about rules. But then I found Mosspaw and we went out to play. We were hiding in the woods and we heard voices. So we went to check it out. It was a ginger cat and a golden dappeled one. I could barely see a brown tabby and just then a chubby black and white apprintice came in, pulling a bunch of prey. I heard Mossnight hiss and we decided to scare them.
We jumped into the hollow. The cats looked at us stunned and began to hiss, coming closer. I kept my cool and so did Mosspaw, though i felt her shivering. I stepped forword, "Look at these kittens!"
Mosspaw laughed and the cats hissed. The brown tabby yowled at me, her eyes cold emeralds.
Mosspaw looked at them, I could feel her spirit rising, "They look like losers. Should we take their prey Rainpaw?"
I loved watching the other cats squirm and was ready to suggest we hold them hostage (just to scare them!) when there was a brightflash in the trees above us.
We all looked up and little did I know, but from that moment, my life changed. I was marked as a StarClan hero and I would be hurt for it. My life veered off its course and though i hadn't been happy before, my life steadily grew worse for a while.
All because of a flash.
A silver cat stepped out of the bracken. At first I was thinking Darn it! We got caught!
But she just smiled.
She told us her name was Feathertail and that we were apart of a phropecy. She also asked Mossnight a bunch of weird questions about her grandpa....uh...Crow...something.
It was that brown tabby, Bramblepaw who suggested we all dreamt.
I was impressed by her but it seemed like she was always trying to wrong foot me. And I wanted to be leader. So did she.
I didn't like having to admit she, or anyone but me, was right, but it made sense.
So I dreamt. I thought I'd go to StarClan, but I was wrong. I was in a shadowy forest. And I saw two cats approaching. One was the cat at my birth!
I dipped my head, "Greetings! I am Rainpaw."
The slightly shorter one, with the white stomach began to say someithng but the bigger one silenced him.
"I am Tigerstar. This is Hawkfrost. We will be your dream-cats."
I nodded and we began practicing. Nothing but fighting. Night after night.
I won't bore you with the details of the next 5 moons, it is too boring. I learned to do things myself and from my shadowy mentors. And I was rewarded.
I became Raincloud.
I remember the night after my warrior ceremony, I climbed to the very top of the Great Oak. I felt so powerful , so great and mighty. i knew it then.
I wanted to be leader.
I told Tigerstar and he was ecastic. We began training harder and more often. But it didn't feel like that to me.
I wanted to train every night. I loved it. And something more......
I had no idea until I slowly realized about a few days after my epiphony.
I was in love.
Happily, excitedly, and forbiddenly, in love.
And by some miracle, he loved me too.
Before and after Tigerstar arrived and left we would play together. I never really understood what happiness was until then. He told me he had been drawn to me at my birth and that he loved me since then. I'm not sure if that's true but I think and hope it is.
One day, we weren't careful enough. Tigerstar caught us. He yelled at us and Hawkfrost defended me but then acted like he didn't care anymore! I was heartbroken.
But when Tigerstar left, he told me he had too, that Tigerstrar would kill me otherwise. I believed him.
He made me promise that I would always love him and that we would keep our love a secret so neither of us was in danger. I promised. And in the darkness of the shadowy Dark Forest, we made a sacred oath. And we kept it forever.
But we didn't know that Tigerstar knew us better then we thought. He figured we might do this and he was thinking of ways to force me to train without having Hawkofrst distract me.
And, unluckily for us, he figured out the perfect plan.
And for a short while, I didn't se Hawkfrost. i thought he was mad. I was wrong, he had been taken. Snatched from me.
And there was only one way to get him back.
I had learned what happened when we were trapped in the Dark Forest. Tigerstar found me and told me whathe had done to Hawkfrost. The only way he would let him go was if I trained. Hard. So I did, what would you have done?!
But eventually, my mind slipped with all the training. This was Tigerstar's real plan. I began to forget about Hawkfrost and my friends. As I trained, I forgot about my life. I simply became a bloodthirsty monster.
And that was what Tigerstar wanted. He would always smile when we would go hunting for enemies. When I would attack and kill.
And I lickd up his praise like a gullible fool. But still, I was gone by then. The real Raincloud had been pused back into a corner of my mind that, then, was unreachable.
One night, Tigerstar had seemed on edge. He said that the prisoners had escaped. I didn't think of Hawkfrost, I just thought about catching them, attacking, killing.
So we trained hard, Tigerstar said I might have to attack one of the cats. And I was prepared. I couldn't wait to find them. But I didn't have to.
Right in the middle of our training, they found me.
My friends were all there with Hawkfrost and those 2 StarClan cats. I snarled. Bramblepath hissed back, "Raincloud! C'mon! We're getting out of here!" I yowled and pounced but she ducked. We began to circle. I could tell Hawkfrost was upset. And scared. But I didn't care. Suddenly, Mossnight just jumps up, "STOP!!!"
We did and she starts rasnting about how evil I"ve become and how much she wishes I was with them. I felt a flicker of doubt in my mind. Was Tigerstar wrong? No, he had promised me power and happiness. I was so sure I would get them.
I pretended to turn in submission to Mossnight's words but then I spun around. I clawed her face and she howled in pain. The clearing exploded. Everyone was trying to hurt me or get Mossnight away.
"MONSTER!" yowled Bramblepath as she tried to attack me. Leopardheart held her back, "We have to get Mossnight out of here! She could die from massive bloodloss!" Bramblepath looked confused as to what her sister was saying but turned awy. And in a minute, they were gone. But I can never forget that last look on Bramblepath's face. It was hate, sadness, and anger.
I saw Hawkfrost was still in the clearing but I didn't care. I was angry and hurt and confused. I just wanted some answers and peace. I wanted to get away. But a big part of me said to stay and see what would happen.
So I stayed.