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Woohoo! First Omen of the Gleeks up!

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Prologue

Shaf Girl banged her head on the desk. “It’s no use! I can’t figure out a spoof for anything!”

“And why do you need a spoof again?” asked Firestar.

“Oh, I don’t need a spoof, Firestar,” said Shaf Girl. “It’s you who needs a spoof. The Warriors series needs a spoof.”

“What kind of spoof?”

“I don’t know, something funny, because if you haven’t noticed, the Erins are taking the series way too seriously at this point. A battle between the real world and the spirit world? Honestly, StarClan is supposed to be something the Clans could never, you know, touch. Figuratively, I mean.”

Firestar sighed. “I still don’t get what you mean. Besides, we already have a spoof running. Warriors Puppet Pals, remember?”

“But there haven’t been any new ones lately,” groaned Shaf Girl. “And I want a new spoof that’s not a complete copy of the original thing. I just need an idea and a basic plot to work with, and then add more depth and twist it into a Warriors fanfiction.”

“Well, that might actually be a good idea,” mused Firestar. “The other characters and I need a little bit of glee at the moment.”

Suddenly, Shaf Girl stood up. “What was that you said?”

“At the moment?”

“No, before that.”

“A little bit of glee?”

“Firestar, I think we have our spoof.”


A few months later…

“Okay, people, gather around me!” Shaf Girl called from her director’s chair.

“Um, you know, technically, we’re cats,” mumbled Ravenpaw as he and the other characters gathered around.

“Great, you’re getting into character!” Shaf Girl gave him a thumbs-up. “Now, everyone, the writers on Warriors Fanfiction Wiki cast their ballots for you guys, so it’s time to raise the curtain, roll the camera, type up the fanfiction…”

“WE GET IT!” shouted the cast.

“I see. Well, then, let’s get started. Yellowfang, extras, go to your respected positions on the set. Hurry up, hurry up, I want to get this done by sunhigh so I can get my donuts and latté. You, at the left, move a little to the right. No, no, too much. That’s it! Now, then…lights, camera, action!”

The Story

Yellowfang's POV

They leapt. They tumbled. They tried to claw each other’s eyes out. This was what I, Yellowfang Sylvester, liked to call “fine entertainment.”

Being deputy of McKinleyClan is hard, especially when you’re under a sniveling bag like Onestar Figgins. But through all the pain a loyal deputy must suffer, she must always rise above and bring spirit and moral to her Clan. That’s why I rounded up the most popular she-cat apprentices, put them on diets, worked and trained them twelve hours a day, and called them the Cheerios.

They are McKinleyClan’s elite she-cat apprentices—the best hunters, the best fighters, the best looking, all like me—and every cat in the Clan knows it, including Onestar. I’ll admit I may have slipped a few times when it came to the warrior code. In fact, I still do. But he’s not about to drop me from my position, after all the Cheerios and I have done for the Clan. Last moon, a group of Twolegs filmed my performers doing their battle routines, and ever since the people of Twolegplace have been putting out heaters in McKinleyClan’s camp every leafbare. While the other Clans freeze their tails off, we live through the hardship in style.

As I watched the Cheerios finish their not-so-decent routine, I cleared my throat and yowled, “You think this is hard? Try smelling an elder’s breath and not gagging, that’s hard!”


Crowpaw's POV

My friends would kill me if they knew I said this, but I felt sorry for Stormpaw. Here I was, with Bramblepaw and the other apprentices on the Special Guard, cornering this runt of a cat against a tree just outside of McKinleyClan’s camp. We knew Onestar and the warriors would be pretty angry if they found out some of the apprentices were about to dump another from the same Clan into Spottedleaf’s store of mouse bile, but we didn’t care. Onestar wasn’t cautious about that sort of stuff anyway.

So there we were, surrounding poor Stormpaw, who had that mouse-in-front-of-a-fox type look. And then we heard this crunching sound, like some cat was walking on leaves behind us, and we all turned to see Fireheart Schuester. He’s not quite what I would call a senior warrior, because he’s actually a pretty new warrior and not much older that us toms in the Special Guard. But I guess you can say he’s as mature as a senior warrior. He is my mentor, after all.

I’m not sure if Fireheart knew exactly what was going on, but if he did, he didn’t show it. “Hey, Stormpaw, you and the other apprentices are having a good time?”

“Of course he is, Flame Shoe,” Bramblepaw cut in before Stormpaw could speak, using his nickname for Fireheart (my mentor had never tried to stop him, or any of the other apprentices from using it—he’s cool like that, I guess).

“Good,” meowed Fireheart, nodding. “I know it’s hard for a tom outside of the Special Guard to make friends with toms who are part of it. Anyway, Crowpaw, I came over to ask you something.”

“What is it, Fireheart?” I asked nervously, afraid I was in trouble.

“Meet me in the training hollow at sundown.” He indicated with his tail towards the hollow, even though I knew where it was. “It’s already leaf-fall, so it may be our last evening battle practice before it gets too cold and too dark.”

“Okay,” I mewed, relieved.

As soon as he disappeared into the tunnel leading back to camp, Bramblepaw snarled mockingly, “Time for a wash, Fluffikins.”

And with that, my friend did the honors of pushing Stormpaw into the mouse bile, the tom’s perfectly clean fur now soaking wet and smelling awful. He had endured this too many times before, not making a sound as he lifted himself out of the bile, gave himself a little shake, and trotted off to the apprentices’ den.

It was odd, but I felt like something needed to change.


Fireheart's POV

It was odd, but I felt like something needed to change. Crowpaw and those other toms had been up to something, but I didn’t know what. I knew they had something to do with Stormpaw’s fur being covered in mouse bile. I considered mentioning it to Onestar, but Yellowfang would be asking something about the Cheerios or Tigerclaw would be asking about the Special Guard, and the leader would be off to discuss with them. I honestly don’t see the point of the Cheerios or the Special Guard; the groups are supposed to “enrich the minds of apprentices,” but I think the only reason Onestar keeps them around is for publicity from Twolegs and the other Clans.

There have been other groups like the Cheerios and the Special Guard, some not lasting very long, others lasting for a long time, a few still around. In my opinion, the best apprentice group we had in McKinleyClan was the Glee Club. The founder of the group, the former leader Bluestar, created the club to essentially bring joy to the apprentices. At the time, there were groups like the Cheerios and the Special Guard, where the apprentices practiced many hours a day and worked on intense battle formations and routines. Bluestar knew this wasn’t a good way to make the apprentices feel more like warriors. She used to be a kittypet and knew how to work a Twoleg machine called a piano. At Glee Club’s first meeting, she led the apprentices—I, little more than a kit, was among them—to a Twoleg dump, and we carted back an old, worn-out piano back to camp, along with some old sheet music we found on top of the soundboard.

She began to teach us how to play the piano and how to read music—all about music, actually. Then she taught us a few songs she had heard as a kittypet, and eventually, she taught us how to dance. That wasn’t at all like the battle routines the other apprentices practiced. Well, we leapt and twirled and made motions similar to hunting and fighting, but it wasn’t really meant for battle. It was made to create the mood of the song, and I guess it’s hard to explain, but it really helped me. I didn’t have to be the slow-minded apprentice that tried to act like a warrior anymore. I could just be myself and let my true emotions out.

It got even better when we started singing. Okay, at first, we weren’t that great. We sounded like, well, a bunch of cats yowling. But Bluestar helped us, and we got better and better. Some of my friends in Glee Club could sing like larks. And Bluestar was always there to encourage us. She even got some of the other Clans to create Glee Clubs, and we would have competitions. As proud as I was to eventually be made a warrior, I was sad that I couldn’t be in Glee Club anymore. I had been the youngest one there, yet I never felt left out; we were all friends, and we all felt great.

But after the first generation of “Gleeks,” as we called ourselves, became warriors, the club went downhill. Bluestar passed away, her deputy Onewhisker rising to power. Instead of promoting the Glee Club, he instead encouraged the newly formed Cheerios and the Special Guard. While the other Clans still had Glee Clubs and competitions, McKinleyClan’s Glee Club suddenly became very small and out of the rankings. It hadn’t been very popular in the first place, but now it was practically on its deathbed.

As for my old Gleek friends, we all went our separate ways. Some were killed in battle. Onestar, Yellowfang, and most of the other warriors said they died because they wasted their time with Glee Club; I think they lost the will to live after the group that brought so much joy into their life fell. Other Gleeks left the Clan to become loners or kittypets, like Bluestar was. Most of them forgot about Glee Club, or pretended to not like it and not have been a part of it for fear of unpopularity, something we had never been afraid of in the club’s glory days.

Now there was still a Glee Club in McKinleyClan, but it was a ghost of its former self. It was led by Darkstripe Ryerson, a former and slightly creepy rogue who was a so-so singer and didn’t know how to play the piano at all. As far as I knew, there were only a few apprentices in the club. Sometimes, after practice, I would look at the empty piano and remember how much joy it used to bring, not only to me, but to the entire Clan.


Featherpaw's POV

“Onestar! Onestar! I need to speak with you!”

I had just spotted my leader speaking with Yellowfang. Of course it was probably some important Cheerio business, and I respected that, but I had extremely important news.

“Onestar!” I yowled again, rushing over to the two elder cats. “Onestar, please, may I speak with you?”

“What is it, runt?” growled Yellowfang. I knew her well; as the deputy, she was only trying to look tough so she could fit the stereotype, because that’s what most cats expect. I don’t, though, as much as I had tried to explain to her.

Normally, she pretended not to listen to me, but I knew she could hear. After all, who can ignore an apprentice as talented as me?

“Excuse me, Yellowfang, with all due respects, my name is Featherpaw, with a gold star,” I corrected her politely. She had most likely forgotten my name on purpose as well. “And it will only take a heartbeat for me to explain this to Onestar.”

“What is it, then, young apprentice?” asked Onestar, using what I believe was a mock impatient tone. Cats tend to use that voice around me because they like to hear my talent for talking very quickly.

I took a deep breath, something I was an expert on from singing. “Onestar, I would like to inform you that Darkstripe—”

“—gave another solo to Birchpaw?” he interrupted me. For StarClan’s sake, he was quite good at acting impatient. “Featherpaw, you can’t expect every solo to be given to you. Birchpaw is Darkstripe’s apprentice, after all.”

“Well, yes, Darkstripe did give him another solo,” I admitted shamelessly. “Not a very good decision in my opinion, but as he is leader of the Glee Club, I respect his choice. Anyway, what I wanted to tell you was that…that…” I sniffed dramatically. “Darkstripe was brushing his tail on Birchpaw’s back to ‘congratulate’ him—it was so wrong!”

I swear, I literally heard a snapping noise as Onestar’s face contorted with anger. He was obviously very displeased with Darkstripe’s behavior.

“Featherpaw, if you are going to keep complaining about this petty nonsense, I might as well just end the Glee Club!”


Spottedleaf's POV

I made my way over to the fresh-kill pile, careful not to step on a dead bug some cat had squished. The least they could have done was move it out of the way. The nerve of some cats!

There were three other cats gathered around the pile: Yellowfang, Tigerclaw, and (my heart beat in excitement) Fireheart. I also noticed that the fresh-kill pile was much smaller than it was this morning.

“Hello, Spottedleaf,” Tigerclaw greeted me warmly. A little too warmly.

I nodded back curtly, then turned to the other tom. “Hi, Fireheart.”

“Hey,” he meowed back, biting into a mouse.

“Why’s the fresh-kill pile so small?” I asked.

“You wouldn’t believe how horrible the Cheerios were this morning,” Yellowfang complained. “Even my star cheerer Squirrelpaw couldn’t complete a single triple backflip combo. So I decided to give them a short break from their diet before leafbare sets it and let them get their pick of the fresh-kill pile.”

“But more than half of the fresh-kill pile is gone!” I retorted.

“My performers have to be in top shape and moral, Spottedleaf Pillsbury,” the deputy snarled. “Surely, as the medicine cat, you would know that.”

“Yes, but since when are warrior apprentices considered performers?” I asked.

There was silence for a moment. Then Yellowfang growled, “Your resentment is delicious,” and trotted off to the apprentices’ den, probably to torture more of the poor young cats.

“So, uh,” began Tigerclaw nervously. “I thought we were going to go hunting yesterday, Spottedleaf.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Tigerclaw,” I apologized, not very sincerely, I’ll admit. “One of the kits started sniffling, and I had to make sure it wasn’t kitcough. The last thing we need as we get closer to leafbare is an outbreak of disease.”

“Well, it’s good we have a careful medicine cat like you, Spottedleaf,” purred Fireheart.

I was quiet until I realized I was staring stupidly at him. Then I shook my head and picked a thrush from the fresh-kill pile.

Trying to think of conversation, I began with the biggest news I had heard. “Did you know that Darkstripe was exiled?”

Fireheart paused, still chewing on his mouse. “Really?”

“Yeah, I heard that, too,” mewed Tigerclaw. “Onestar wanted to keep it pretty hushed up, though. Probably because he didn’t want anyone to say anything bad about that creep.”

“But who’s going to take over Glee Club?” Fireheart asked, his mouse forgotten.

I shrugged. “I don’t know. There were only a few apprentices in it. It’ll probably just fade away.”

I didn’t see what was the big deal that Fireheart was making. I knew he was in Glee Club as an apprentice, but did it really mean that much to him? None of the other former “Gleeks” or whatever they called themselves seemed very interested in the club. Since I was a medicine cat apprentice, I had never been a part of the groups and clubs, so I didn’t know exactly how they worked. But I could tell from the look on Fireheart’s handsome face that he had something big on his mind.


Fireheart's POV

“I’d like to take over Glee Club,” I told Onestar, plain and simple. It had taken me forever to get a private meeting with him in his den, so I wanted to get straight to the point.

“Do you have bees in your brain, Fireheart?” he asked in disbelief.

“I want to bring it back to its glory days,” I meowed. “You know, back when I was in the club, when Bluestar led it. Now, there’s no joy in the apprentices, in or out of Glee Club. We need to bring life back to the Clan.”

Onestar sighed. “Alright, but you can’t use the training hollow anymore. We already have a tight schedule there for Cheerio, Special Guard, and individual battle training.”

“Then where do we meet?”

“I don’t know, somewhere on the territory! With any luck, you’ll find a vacant spot in Twolegplace.”

I gulped. I knew there were two things my mate Sandstorm hated with all her heart: Glee Club and Twolegplace. As a member of an early form of the Cheerios when she was an apprentice, she always said being a Gleek was my worst flaw, and she was one of the few cats that openly challenged Bluestar about her heritage. And since everyone hated the now-exiled Glee Club leader Darkstripe just for his personality, imagine how Sandstorm felt about him.

And I knew I had an even bigger problem than Sandstorm. I needed to motivate the apprentices to convince them to join the club. I figured we needed a name change, since the name “Glee Club” was unlikely to attract any apprentices at this point.

As I lay awake in the warriors’ den that night, listening to Tigerclaw’s snores, I came up with the perfect name: New Directions.


Featherpaw's POV

I waited anxiously for my turn to audition for the new Glee Club, New Directions. There were only four other apprentices before me, and I was eager to sing my song I had learned from the old songbooks that were kept in the piano, now here at the auditions. I found it very fascinating that the auditions were being held where Bluestar and the old Glee Club originally found the piano: the Twoleg dump, which was rumored to be where New Directions would practice.

The first apprentice up was a she-cat named Hollypaw Jones, singing “Respect” by Otis Redding. She had a powerful voice, but I knew she wouldn’t mind if I had most of the solos.

The next cat was Stormpaw Hummel, the tom with the cleanest fur I had ever seen. He sang “Mister Cellophane” from the musical Chicago. He had a nice soprano voice that surprised all of us, including Thornclaw, one of the original Glee Club members who was assigned to play the piano for us.

The third who auditioned was Mothpaw Cohen-Chang, singing a rather new and, in my humble opinion, grotesque song: “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. I always found Mothpaw rather odd; she was a perfectly fine—albeit shy—cat when she was a kit, but when she was made an apprentice beside me, she began stuttering. She didn’t stutter when she sang, though, which made it much less painful.

The apprentice right before me was Ravenpaw Abrams, a poor tom who was paralyzed from the waist down. He had to put on those back wheel things that Twolegs’ dogs wear before he became an apprentice. I felt sorry for him as he half-walked, half-wheeled forward and sang “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin,’” by Journey.

Then it was my turn. With all my heart, I began singing “On My Own” from Les Miserables.

Click [1] to listen to Featherpaw Berry sing “On My Own.”

You may laugh because every time I say my name, I say “with a gold star” after it. But it’s a metaphor for me being a star, and metaphors are important. And just so we’re clear, I was not responsible for Darkstripe getting exiled because he gave Birchpaw the solo I deserved.

I don’t remember my mother much; I was raised mostly by two toms in the Clan, Cloudtail and Thornclaw. They were once both “Gleeks” and taught me how to sing, dance, act, anything to give me a competitive edge. I was apprenticed to Cloudtail, and when Thornclaw told me that he had been asked by Fireheart to be New Directions’s pianist, I encouraged him like he encouraged me to audition.

I try to practice singing every day while doing my normal apprentice chores—hunting patrols, cleaning the elders’ fur, bringing bedding to the queens. Sometimes a few of the Cheerios will stop and stare while I sing, and they’ll start giggling, but I don’t care. It doesn’t even hurt when that rude Special Guard member Bramblepaw spits mouse bile in my face. Just because I prefer New Directions to the Cheerios doesn’t mean I’m not tough or able to become popular.

When I was finished with my song, Fireheart meowed, “Very nice, Featherpaw.”

“When do we start rehearsals?” I asked promptly.


Fireheart's POV

I could tell we needed work. A lot of work. I had chosen “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls as our first song to practice, and it wasn’t going well. Ravenpaw was a little off-key on his lead, as well as the other members singing background vocals, and the choreography was quite awkward. The apprentices kept bumping into each other, and Ravenpaw’s wheels ran over more than a few paws.

When we were finished practicing that first rehearsal at the Twoleg dump, Featherpaw growled, “We stink like crowfood.”

“It…it could be better,” I responded diplomatically. “We just need a little bit of work?”

“But how ironic is it that a tom with wheels for back legs is singing lead on a song telling someone to sit down, you’re rocking the boat?” she asked, exasperated.

“Perhaps Fireheart wanted to use the irony to enhance the performance,” suggested Ravenpaw.

“There is nothing ironic about show choir,” snarled Featherpaw. She looked from me to the other New Directions members—I didn’t see them as “Gleeks” yet—then turned and ran in the direction of camp.

“Not a very new direction, is it?” Thornclaw half-joked, stepping off the piano.

I sighed. “I’ll go find her. The rest of you are dismissed.”

I found Featherpaw sitting at the edge of the training hollow, watching the Cheerios practice. As usual, Yellowfang was yowling her head off at them.

“Featherpaw,” I meowed, sitting down next to her. “I understand how difficult it is to be the best one there, and I want you to know that—”

“Look, I know I’m just eight moons old,” she interrupted, “but I don’t want to become a warrior with nothing to show for it, besides the usual training. Nowadays, every cat in McKinleyClan has something unique and cool about them when they become warriors—if you want to be popular, that is.”

“But Cloudtail tells me that you are above and beyond an average apprentice’s skill level at eight moons,” I mewed. “And you’re a fantastic singer.”

“Every cat hates me,” she whimpered. “Maybe not you or Cloudtail or Thornclaw, but all the apprentices and the warriors and everyone else thinks I’m just a snotty know-it-all. If anything, I need a tom who can keep up with me vocally in New Directions. Ravenpaw’s okay, but he’s not good enough. Otherwise, I’m just wasting my time trying to be a Gleek, and even if I do become one, it won’t make me anymore likable.”

“Fireheart!” a voice yowled.

I turned to see Tigerclaw behind me.

“Onestar wants you!” he shouted, even though he was right next to me.

I gave Featherpaw a friendly bump with my tail, then headed into the tunnel towards camp. Onestar was waiting for me at the other end.

“Fireheart, Glee Club’s got to go,” he growled.

My eyes widened. “But we just started rehearsals. And it’s New Directions now, not Glee Club.”

“Yellowfang has informed me that there are various disease-ridden rats at the Twoleg dump,” he meowed, his tail swishing. “I don’t want an epidemic running wild when leafbare starts settling it.”

“Spottedleaf is the medicine cat, not Yellowfang,” I growled softly. “Why do you not care about the club returning to its glory days and cheering up the entire Clan?”

“And why do you care so much about some club that’s worth a mousetail?” Onestar snarled back. “There are only five apprentices in ‘New Directions,’ if you prefer to call it that, and one of them is a crippled.”

“Then I guess you’ve got nothing to worry about,” I meowed in finality.

Onestar groaned. “Fine, but I’m reducing your fresh-kill rations by half and putting you on tick-ridding duty for a moon.”

I went from brief elation to total devastation. “Er, deal.”


Sandstorm's POV

“Come on, Barley, I just need a little moss for my bedding!” I meowed to the black-and-white tom, who was standing just outside the nursery, staring at me like the idiot that he was. He had once been a loner, after all, and you can’t trust them. So, as a respectable queen, I was giving him the easy job to fetch me some bedding, but he just gave me excuses.

“I don’t even know where the moss is, Sandstorm,” he whimpered.

“Oh, just go fetch me something from the fresh-kill pile,” I growled in defeat.

As Barley wobbled away, I brightened up as Fireheart approached the nursery.

“Hello, there, handsome,” I purred, licking his chin as he sat down beside me.

“I just came in for a visit,” he meowed. “If you want, we can go hunting by the stream tonight.”

“That would be lovely,” I mewed, rolling onto my back. “I have to talk to Spottedleaf today and see if I’m actually going to have kits. I’m beginning to question her abilities to read the signs; you and I have already tried so many times, and not once has she been even remotely positive that I’m to bear offspring…”

“It’s alright,” he whispered, touching his nose to mine.

I couldn’t help but sniff, and I drew back. “Why do you smell like mouse bile?”

He suddenly looked very nervous. “I’m kind of on tick-ridding duty this moon. If I didn’t agree to it, Onestar was going to cancel New Directions.”

I groaned. “Fireheart, it was one thing when we were apprentices and you were obsessed with the Glee Club. But you’re a full-grown warrior, and at the moment, I think you should remain focused on becoming a father instead of hanging around those nerdy apprentices. You already have one in the Special Guard, why have six more in show choir?”

“Five more, actually,” he mumbled.

“My point exactly,” I meowed.

“Hello, there, Fireheart and mate,” came a familiar voice. I shivered as I saw Darkstripe’s head peek into the nursery. “Onestar said I could stop by, so I thought I would visit the current leader of the Glee Club.”

“Oh, uh, hi, Darkstripe,” Fireheart greeted uncertainly. “I hope you’re not too upset that I’ve taken over the club.”

“Of course not!” Darkstripe rumbled, purring in amusement. “It was so depressing. Being exiled wasn’t easy at first, though. My old friends in Twolegplace didn’t want to be around a Clan cat, and of course I couldn’t come back here. But I stole a pawful of poppy seeds from Spottedleaf’s stores, and it is genius!”

“Are you sure you should be eating that if you’re healthy?” I asked.

“You cool cats want in?” He ignored my question and instead pushed a leaf full of poppy seeds towards Fireheart.

“Darkstripe, Sandstorm and I are trying to have kits,” my mate began to explain.

“Oh, come on, Flame Shoe or whatever that badger of an apprentice calls you!” Darkstripe meowed loudly. “You’re the one with all the tone-deaf apprentices. Trust me, this will help.”


Yellowfang's POV

I was chowing down on a plump vole when Fireheart came up to me and meowed, “Hey, Yellowfang, can I talk to you?”

Looking up, I purred. “Sure, buddy, what can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if any of your Cheerios would like to join New Directions.” He went right to the point in his usual, overly cheerful way. And I know cheerful.

“Why do you think any of my apprentices would want to join the club?” I asked, playing dumb.

“Well, I don’t know if they want to,” he admitted (yes!). “We just need a few more cats in the club.”

“Okay, Fireheart, let me explain.” I went slowly, as if explaining to a kit. “What you are doing is called blurring the lines. You may recall from your own days of apprenticeship that Clans are a caste system. Not just with the leader and deputy and such, but among the apprentices. The members of the Cheerios and the Special Guard and the popular kids are like the leaders and deputies. The shy, invisible apprentices who spend all their time pretending to be legends are like the regular warriors, nothing special.”

“And what rank are the Gleeks, or soon-to-be Gleeks?” he asked, mocking me by using a similar slow voice.

“They might as well be specks of dirt,” I meowed. It was the truth. “If you really care about these apprentices, Fireheart, you should just leave the social order alone. Don’t make them believe they’re something they’re not.”


Spottedleaf's POV

“Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew,” I murmured to myself. Leave it to my clumsy paws to waltz over a spoiled grape in my own stores.

Just then, Fireheart trotted into my den. “Spottedleaf, can I speak with you…what, did you step on something?”

I nodded furiously, still trying to rub the grape off my paw without letting it get stuck to the clean dirt floor of my den.

With no fear at all, the brave warrior gently pushed the grape away with his paw. “So, anyway, I wanted to ask for some advice on how to get apprentices to join New Directions. You know, you’re the medicine cat, you know what goes around in the Clan.”

“Well, I guess I do,” I mewed shyly, twitching my ear. “One thing I know for sure is that apprentices have leaders among them, and they follow those leaders, or ‘popular’ apprentices. If you can get some of those guys to join, the rest will follow suit. Apprentices will do anything they think is cool, not necessarily what they like.”

“Okay, thanks for the help,” he meowed sincerely, then turned to leave.

“Wait, Fireheart,” I called after him, padding up towards him. “I’m sorry you had to see me all worked up over a spoiled grape. I just have trouble with the messy things, and…and I appreciate how much you care about me, and about the apprentices.”

He twitched his whiskers and blinked in gratitude. “It’s alright, Spottedleaf. Thank you.”

Tune in soon for more exciting and hilarious adventures in Omen of the Gleeks!

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