|The Twoleg Prophecy|
|Preceded by: |
|First Moon||Succeded by: |
Note: Do NOT read this unless you have read Part one yet, unless you WANT to be totally confused. XD
Part Two: First moon
A large tom padded into the one of the clearings in the Starclan hunting grounds, Searching for a certain cat. A tortoiseshell she-cat was eating fresh-kill, and looked up at the approaching cat. “Hello, Sunstar, How’s the prey running?” Sunstar narrowed his eyes. “I know how yours have been running, Spottedleaf.” “It’s not wrong to encourage him, Sunstar.” “But it’s wrong to give him false hope, Spottedleaf, you know that.” Sunstar growled. “Maybe it can change the course of the future for the clans.” Spottedleaf mewed calmly. “You have tried to change things before, but did it work? No. It’s inevitable what will happen to the clans. You are too far away from Firestar to protect him. The future is written.” Sunstar meowed grimly.
“Repeat that attack I just showed you.” Graystripe meowed. It had been five days after the announcement from Doomclan, and Firestar had assigned Graystripe as his instructor. Graystripe lunged at him leaving John only seconds to dodge. But he had an idea. As Graystripe jumped, John ducked , leaving Graystripe tumbling unto the grass undefended. John lunged at the exposed underbelly, batting at it with sheathed claws. Graystripe hissed in frustration, and John leaped off. “Good move.” “Thanks, Graystripe. Can I go now?” John asked. “Sure, John. You’re a great fighter.” He ran to the camp, wanting to talk to Jayfeather. He had wanted to talk to John, and he was wondering what it was. He walked into the medicine cat den, smelling the bitter scents of herbs. “Hello, John. Sit down.” Jayfeather meowed. John smiled. He liked Jayfeather. He was a straight minded cat, and, even though he was blind, He seemed to know as much as any cat did about their surroundings. “John, I have a secret. Do you know Hollyleaf and Lionblaze?” John’s paws tingled as he mentioned Hollyleaf. She’s so nice and pretty and… John noticed Jayfeather’s pelt bristling. “Yes, I do know them. What about them? You must trust me a lot to tell me this secret.” John meowed. Jayfeather looked uncertain about what he was going to say. “We are part of a prophecy too, John. Here it is…” He took a breath. “There will be three, kin of your kin, who will have the power of the stars in their paws.” John’s whiskers twitched, and he noticed Jayfeather had a serious face. “Do you think our prophecies might be connected, Jayfeather?” He asked. “Yes. When I heard your prophecy, I thought we failed. But I think we have the same destinies, now that there are two prophecies.” Jayfeather meowed. John knew that wasn’t entirely true. “Listen, there is another prophecy. ‘Five will become one, and blood and doom will flood the forest’. I heard it in a dream. Do you think anything of it, Jayfeather?” John asked. “Well, obviously, doom is Doomclan, but blood and the five will become one part confuses me.” Jayfeather meowed. “And another thing, Jayfeather.” “Yes?” “I saw Thunderstar in a dream. He told me to bring Skyclan back to the forest.” “Well, That is a help to the clans, because they could help defeat Doomclan. So I think you should go find them, if Starclan thinks they would help.” He concluded. “Will you think about the Prophecies while I’m gone?” John asked. “Yes, yes I will. Thanks for coming, John. Be careful. You must come back.” Jayfeather stressed. Then he started sorting herbs as John padded out of the den. The moon shone dimly in the distance, thin as a claw.
As John padded through the camp, Hollyleaf came up to him. “Hello, John. Do you want to join Brambleclaw’s hunting party with me? John made no hesitation. “Sure, you know I wouldn’t pass this up!” Hollyleaf smiled. They came up to Brambleclaw, who was calling out the cats he wanted for the hunting party. “…Lionblaze, Squirrelflight, and… oh! Hollyleaf and John. Let’s head out.” He padded trough the camp entrance, Hollyleaf at his side. He strode up to Lionblaze, matching his walk to his. “Hello, how are you, Lionblaze?” John had caught him in a bad mood. “Not good. Leave me alone.” John’s eyes widened. “Lionblaze, why are you so grumpy?” Hollyleaf asked jokingly. “Lionblaze’s eyes softened. “ It’s nothing.” He stepped up his pace. “He’s been that way ever since the clans had to leave the lake.” John listened carefully. “Where is that lake?” he asked. “Well, it’s down south from us, but the twolegs have torn the forests up around it.” John Knew what they had built there. A lakeside beach for tourists, and it was where the orphanage had taken some kids to for summer. “Hollyleaf, I need to tell you something.” John stopped. “What is it John?” She brushed her tail along his side. John winced. “I need to go…” “Why? Starclan called you to save us! Why are you going back?” No that’s not it!” John meowed. “Starclan have called me to help Skyclan come back to the forest.” Hollyleaf looked down. “Well, when do you leave?” “Soon. But I need to ask you a question. Do you want to go with me?” She cheered up. “Okay, John. You know I wouldn’t pass this up.” She purred.
As the hunting party padded back into camp, John had caught three mice, and Hollyleaf had caught a thrush, and a vole. They put the fresh-kill on the pile, and Hollyleaf whispered in his ear, “You should talk to Firestar about this. He has been to Skyclan.” John nodded, and padded across the camp to Firestar’s den. “Firestar? May I come in? It’s John.” “Come in.” John pushed through the mossy overhang that sheltered the den. “What is it, John?” Firestar asked. “I have had dreams about Skyclan, and Starclan have told me to bring them to the forest. What do you think?” Firestar smiled wistfully, as remembering something long ago. “Ah, my journey to Skyclan was a long one, But this far from their territory could be dangerous. Are you sure you can take that journey?” Firestar asked. John thought, It could be a long time before I get back. What if Doomclan attacked, What my siblings think? John shook his head. This is my destiny. I will do it. I have to. “Yes I can, Firestar. I’m ready.” John meowed. “All right. Go ask Jayfeather for the traveling herbs.” John started to leave, but Firestar wasn’t finished. “But, not today. Go rest first. I will see you in the morning.”
John blinked his eyes open. The silent darkness of midnight disturbed him. He hoped he could get a good night’s rest before his long journey to Skyclan, but his mind started to entertain the idea of a midnight cat stroll. His mind got the best of him. He stretched, careful not to wake Hollyleaf, who was curled up beside him. The camp at night was a bit foreboding, but he got over the chill of fear, and stepped into the clearing. The Warriors’ den rustled, And John’s fur bristled in shock. A Grayish she-cat padded into the clearing, and it looked as if she were leaving camp. John watched her closely. She made a quick turn into the medicine cat’s den. Maybe she has a thorn in her pad, or she might’ve had a bad dream. He thought. Anyways, I’m going to check this out. He tiptoed over to the entrance, and was shocked by what he saw. The she-cat had curled up with Jayfeather. What are you doing Jayfeather? Medicine Cats aren't supposed to love! He wanted to screech at him. He calmed down as they started to talk. “Were going to get caught one night, Cinderheart. We can’t keep this up.” So her name is Cinderheart. “Jayfeather, I can’t. Don’t you love me?” “Yes I do, but we need to find a way for you to hide if some cat needs me in the middle of the night.” Or if some cat spies, you need a way to stop him. Looks like you failed there! John thought. All of the sudden, Jayfeather mewed, “John, you can come in. I know you’re there.” Darn! John muttered under his breath. He padded in to the den. “How did you know I was out there?” John asked. “I’m not as blind as you think, John.” Jayfeather retorted. John felt his embarrassment well up inside him. Then reason and livid fury burst out. “What are you doing!?! Medicine Cats aren’t supposed to love! I mean, where is Leafpool? She be should stopping you! Jayfeather’s fur bristled. “She out helping Windclan. They have been attacked by Doomclan and before that they had Greencough.” “I didn’t mean literally! You know what? I’ll keep shut for now. But if I find out that you do this again, I might just tell Leafpool.” Cinderheart flinched, and John knew he said the wrong thing. Jayfeather bristled even more. “You better not! John, if you do, one day you will find yourself injured, and without a medicine cat to look to for healing.” John sighed, knowing that he had gone too far. “I’m sorry, Jayfeather. I know how love feels.” Jayfeather’s pelt smoothed. “How do you know how it feels? Who have you loved?” He asked. John took a deep breath. “Because I’m in love with…” His mew trailed off in his throat. “Because I’m in love with Hollyleaf.” John finally squeaked. Jayfeather looked at him in disbelief. “I’ve loved many others, too. My Mother and Father, Who are both dead,” Cinderheart blinked in sympathy. “And my siblings. But this love is different, like a part of me is torn when I’m not with her. Like you might feel with Cinderheart.” Jayfeather’s eyes welled with emotions. “I never knew… Have you told her?” “Told who what?” A voice came from the curtain of moss. It was Hollyleaf.
“That you’re allergic to Burdock?” Jayfeather blurted. John looked at him in confusion. “Just go with it!” Jayfeather muttered in his ear. “Uh, yeah, I’m deathly allergic to burdock, Hollyleaf.” “Oh, that’s too bad. And Jayfeather, you’d better get Cinderheart out of here. Leafpool is expected to return this morning.” Hollyleaf mewed. “That’s right! Bye, Cinderheart.” Jayfeather brushed muzzles with her and she ran off. “You know about them?” John asked Hollyleaf. “Yeah, I found out when we were still at the lake. But that’s not important. Do you have our traveling herbs, Jayfeather? We might as well leave now, since we’re up.” Hollyleaf asked. “Uh, okay? Give me a moment.” Jayfeather gathered some herbs and wrapped them in some leaves. “Here are yours, John. Hollyleaf, yours are on the way.” John sniffed the parcel. The bitter smell was enough to make him gag. He choked it down, holding back the bile that rose in his throat. “Ugh, This is disgusting!” “You’ll get used to it. Hollyleaf, here’s your traveling herbs.” Jayfeather nosed the bundle over to her. “Thanks, Jayfeather.” Hollyleaf swallowed the herbs. “Goodbye.” Jayfeather brushed muzzles with his sister. “You both must come back. The Clans depend upon it.” Stop worrying! We’ll be back! He wanted to meow. But he knew that was false hope. If they got too far away from the Clans that Starclan couldn’t see them, they might not make it. “We’ll be fine. Expect our return in one moon.” Hollyleaf meowed. They walked out of the den, and John remembered something. “Hold on Hollyleaf, I’ve got some goodbyes to say.” Hollyleaf nodded in understanding. John silently padded over to the den where his siblings slept. “Wake up, guys. I’m leaving.” Rob jerked awake. The others weren’t so fast to pull themselves from sleep. “Where are you going? Can we come?” Ashpaw, formerly Ashton, meowed. “No, I’m sorry. I am going on a journey, and I don’t want to lose any of you. I’ll be back in about a month. I love you guys.” A voice in his head whispered, And what about Hollyleaf? Will you tell her you love her? “John, Can’t I come? I won’t get into danger! Please?” Robpaw squeaked. “No, I can’t let you get in the way. I have to go. Goodbye.” He quickly removed himself from the den, unable to stay any longer. He padded over to Hollyleaf. “Let’s go.” As they left, the forest ambience seemed to say, “Goodbye. Travel safely. We await your return.”
“Look, John, it’s the sunrise.” Hollyleaf mewed. John saw the sun slowly rise over the pine trees that were at the edge of Thunderclan territory. The rays of light peeked over the tops of the trees and the sun’s light tinted the clouds to a purplish orange. “It’s beautiful, Hollyleaf. But we need to focus.” John meowed. They moved on across a quaint Twoleg path. Hollyleaf bristled with each step , and her fur flattened as the touched the forest grass on the other side. She sighed. “This was Shadowclan’s old territory. Now most of it is torn up.” “We need to go around the lake. There are Twolegs here.” John mewed. Hollyleaf nodded, though she looked disappointed. “Well, what can you tell me about the stuff that happened here? How did you get to the new forest?” John asked. “It’s a long story.” Hollyleaf sighed, whiskers drooping. “Well, I think we have a lot of time, don’t you?” John joked. “Hollyleaf smiled. “One day, Firestar, Graystripe, Poppyfrost and I were out on patrol. All of the sudden, a monster crashed through the trees, injuring Poppyfrost, and we got back to our camp just in time. As we told the Clan about the monster, more monsters and Twolegs started to push the trees in to the camp. They stopped eventually, and the Clan decided to tell everyone at the gathering. Shadowclan had problems too, but the other Clans wouldn’t help or leave the lake with us. After that, Twolegs started taking cats from every Clan, and we rescued some.” She paused. “But some other cats didn’t make it. One of them was mine and Foxleap’s only kit. He was taken into the Twoleg nest before my eyes. I never saw him again.” Hollyleaf mewed sadly. John pressed his nose into her fur. She continued. “That woke the Clans up. We moved from the lake immediately.” Hollyleaf finished. John frowned. “I’m sorry about your kit, Hollyleaf. I really am.” “Thanks, John. Now, about you. What happened to you that made you an orphan?” Hollyleaf asked him. John sighed. “Two years ago, I was headed home from…” He stopped, trying to think of a way that Hollyleaf would understand. “My training classes with my siblings. When we got to our home, it was on fire, and my parents died in it. Not one member of my family would take all of us in, so we lived in at a place for young twolegs that have lost their parents. After two years, I gave up looking for new parents, so we ran away. Shortly after, we found the Clans. Then I knew I belonged there.” John finished. Hollyleaf sat down and started to wash herself, and John did the same. All of the sudden, A gray cat burst through the bushes, followed by a silver she-cat. “Graystripe? What are you doing here?” John exclaimed. Graystripe stopped and shook the remaining leaves from his pelt. “Firestar noticed that you had left before he had talked to you. He had wanted for me and Millie to come and travel with you, since we have navigated some of the area before, though we haven’t been to Skyclan.” John nodded. “Well, let’s head out!” Graystripe meowed.
The sun had started to set, and John was ready for some sleep. They had made it into Riverclan’s former territory by the lake. The others showed signs of exhaustion, and Millie was almost asleep on her paws. John finally spoke up. “Okay, I think we need to rest for the night.” Millie collapsed, letting out a sigh. Graystripe padded over to his mate. “Don’t worry my lovely. I will be back with a fresh mouse for you.” Millie’s only reply was a tired grunt. Hollyleaf curled up, too tired to move another step. Graystripe started padding away, and John caught up with him. “I’m coming, Graystripe, wait!” As he padded next to him, John asked, “Graystripe, how did you and Millie get so close?” “Well, it’s complicated. She was a kittypet originally, you know the story. I’ve told you before.” John nodded. He had told John during their first night of training. “Well, we got real close during that journey, and we became mates. It really can’t be explained.” John let out a sigh of disappointment. “I see. You like Hollyleaf.” John bristled with embarrassment. “You can’t just say that!” John shouted. Then he hung his head in shame. “Has it been obvious?" “She sleeps in your den, not the Warriors’ den, and every cat has noticed you padding after her, and you seem to gaze off every time you hear her name. You definitely like her.” Graystripe meowed. John sighed. “But I can’t say that to her face. I just don’t know what to say. I love her.” Graystripe let out a mrrow of laughter. John bristled again. “It isn’t funny!” “No, I’m not laughing at the fact, I’m laughing at how similar your situation is similar to mine. On the last part of our journey back to the clans, I realized I felt a certain way about Millie so much I wanted to tell her how I felt. But I just didn’t know how. It is, if you call it, a fear of what the other will think. And if you didn’t notice it before, I think Hollyleaf feels the same way about you.”
“You think so, Graystripe?”
“Yes, I do, John.”
“Then could you tell her for me?”
“Mrrow! No, I know for a fact that she-cats only accept it if the one who loves them said it.”
“She-cats and their endless riddles!” John exclaimed.
Both cats let out mrrows of laughter.
Special Chapter One
“Come on, we need to get out as soon as possible. We don’t want to stay long.” Graystripe meowed. “Hey, I know this place. Come on, I’ll get us out quick.” John meowed, padding to the front of the group. Hollyleaf padded up to John’s side, brushing her flank with John’s. He almost shouted, “I love you, Hollyleaf!” But he barely kept his mouth shut. Why is this so hard? Then he noticed Hollyleaf backing away. I blew it! Why am I so nervous? Because I’m scared. He hung his head in shame. “John look out! Hollyleaf shouted. He looked up and saw the Thunderpath ahead of him, and stopped just before he walked into the path of a car. He screeched in shock, and jumped back. “Are you okay, John? You almost got run over!” Hollyleaf meowed. I’m okay, I’m here, aren’t I? He almost mewed, but he bit back the retort. “I’m… Fine, let’s cross.” John meowed. The monsters were slow to go by, and the group crossed the Thunderpath. The twang of a guitar reached John’s ears, and he paused. An Adult Twoleg was playing a guitar near a fountain. He looked at the Twoleg. An aura of sadness revolved around him. “John, what are you doing?” Hollyleaf mewed. “Going to see what’s wrong with him.” “Who? I don’t see a cat in trouble.” “Not a cat, a Twoleg. He seems sad.” “John! We need to save Skyclan! We can’t afford a distraction.” “Don’t you feel some kind of connection to your kin?” “Yeah, but, I…” “I’m going to talk to him.” John transformed, finding it hard to visualize himself, but he got it. Am I losing my powers? John thought. He shook the terrible thought out of his mind. The twoleg had noticed him, and he started to walk away.
“No, wait!” John exclaimed. The twoleg stopped and stood in one place. “What do you want?” the twoleg asked. “To talk to you.” John said. “I don’t want to talk to a kid.” “But I want to talk to you.” The adult sighed. John sat on a wooden box, inviting the man to sit. The man sat, reluctantly, on the fountain’s edge. “What was that song you were playing?” “It’s my story. I warn you, it isn’t for the faint of heart.” “I think I can handle it.”
John had started to cry. This person had lost everything. His family, someone he loved, and his overall life. His heart never felt closer to a stranger. “What’s your name?” The man asked. “John. Yours?” “Jacob.” He answered. John had heard that name. Where, He didn’t know. “I have to go.” “Wait! May I come with you?” He heard Hollyleaf’s hiss, but he ignored it. “Okay, John. If you don’t have a place to sleep for the night, do you want to sleep in my apartment?” “I don’t want to be a burden to you.” “It’s not. Come on.” He hesitated, but he couldn’t pass up a soft bed. “Okay. Do you mind if my cats came?” He looked at Hollyleaf, who was lashing her tail in frustration. “Come on, He’s a friend.” Hollyleaf unhappily padded up to his side, followed by Graystripe and Millie. “Did you just meow?” Jacob asked. “Uh, … No? Of course not! Who ever heard of an obviously human 15- year old talking… to… cats?” John stuttered. “O…Kay?” Jacob mused. That was close. He sighed. “Well, shall we go?” Jacob asked. “Yeah, let’s go.” John coughed in awkwardness. Hollyleaf bristled, but she followed him anyways. Graystripe padded close to Millie as they headed off.
The sun was setting, and John was sitting on a bed that Jacob had just prepared for him. Hollyleaf was sitting on a window sill, looking outside at Twolegplace and obviously mad at John. Graystripe had curled up with Millie in a corner, and they had been sleeping for awhile. Jacob was standing in a doorway, watching John settle in his temporary room. “John, we will be getting up in the morning to go to a restaurant, so set that clock by your bed for seven-fifteen. The shower is across the hall if you need it. Good night.” He closed the door, and John saw a rat scatter across the floor. Hollyleaf jumped off the windowsill and pounced on the rat, biting its neck with pinpoint accuracy. “Good catch, Hollyleaf.” John complemented her. She ignored him, strutting over to a corner of the room and sitting down to eat her scrawny meal. John sighed. His heart was yearning for her attention so much that he ached. A tear formed at the edge of his eye, and he laid down and cried softly, feeling alone. He felt fur brush his back. Hollyleaf’s scent wreathed around him. He stopped crying, and smiled. “I’m sorry, Hollyleaf.” She padded over to lick his tear and sat down. “I should be the one to apologize.” “Hollyleaf… I… Uh,” “What is it John?” The words stopped in his throat. He couldn’t say the words he wanted to say. He felt like he was choking. He gave up. “Nothing.” “You need to rest, John. Good night.” She curled up next to him, and fell asleep. He felt immense love for her, but he felt afraid. They had such a good friendship. Why ruin it by becoming even closer? What if it didn’t work out? What if one of them died? What would her former mate, Foxleap, think? He slowly fell into a troubled sleep, the uncertain words stuck on his tongue.
Special Chapter Two
John was dreaming of a lush forest, surrounded by the scents of prey. He saw a shadow flash across the forest floor. John leaped, catching the fat mouse between his paws, swiftly killing it with a bite to the neck. As he ate the mouse, he heard paw prints padding up to him. He scented the air, ready for any intruders. But it was a sweet smell, and a familiar one at that. It was Hollyleaf, and she had rested her head on John’s shoulder. She got up and wound around him. Soon, the lush forest was gone, and all he saw in the darkness was her, and she soon faded as well.
John awoke in a cold sweat, nearly jumping out of the neatly placed bed sheets. He was grateful when he saw Hollyleaf on the side of the bed, still sleeping soundly. John wiped the chilly sweat off his forehead, drying his hand on the ruffled sheets. His heart was pounding, and he dropped down on the bed, exhausted from the dream. I dream of her now. Oh, great. He couldn’t get the image out of his head, and punched his forehead to try and get rid of the thought, to no avail. He slid over to look at the time. The clock read Four - Forty-Two A.M. He lay in multiple positions, and found he couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
John heard a soft knocking on his door. “Mornin’ John. If you need the shower, now’d be a time to use it. I’ve gotten mine already.” “Okay, Jacob. I’ll be out.” John replied. Hollyleaf got up and stretched. “What did Jacob want, John?” “Oh, nothing. We’ll be out, so I want you to stay here until I get back.” “Where are you and Jacob going?” “He is taking me somewhere to eat. I don’t want you leaving the house, okay? Do you promise me that you will stay here?” Hollyleaf almost resisted, but she didn’t want to argue with him. “Okay, John, We’ll stay here.” “Thanks Hollyleaf.” John walked out of the room, leaving Hollyleaf, Graystripe, and Millie alone.
John walked out of Jacob’s apartment, refreshed by the warm shower. “Where are we going, Jacob?” “A diner at the local truck stop.” John’s stomach let out a low growl. He hadn’t had a human meal in a long time. But he wasn’t sure if he wanted it. What he was really hungry for was a plump vole of some sort, but it would be rude to not accept Jacob’s kind offer. As they walked to the front door, a man outside puffed out smoke. John almost coughed in disgust, holding his breath as he walked by. His senses were been stronger than other humans, and the smoke had an intense and pungent smell. He gagged as they walked by, and the man harrumphed, obviously offended. The smell of waffles and other sweet smells were welcomed in, John letting out a deep breath in satisfaction. Jacob laughed, inviting him to sit in a booth near a window. A waitress walked over to them, surprisingly very young. John guessed this was her summer job. “May I take your order?” A disinterested voice grumbled out of her mouth. John heard a voice behind hers, coming from outside the diner. He listened closely. “Hey, Diesel, can you spare some food? We’re starving, as you can see.” “Harry, you know you can come in anytime.” “I just think it rude to eat your food without asking.” “Go ahead, I don’t mind.” John looked out the window and saw two cats, obviously having a friendly conversation. The one named Diesel padded out of his sight, followed closely by the other cat. He wanted to go and talk to them, but he realized the waitress was speaking to him. “What do you want?” She asked rudely. “Uhh…” John speedily fingered though the menu, awkwardly choosing a breakfast platter almost without looking. “Thank you, sir.” The waitress grumbled, stomping off in frustration. “John, what were you doing? She asked you at least four times.” “Umm, nothing, just thought I heard something.” “You sure are acting weird.” You don’t know how weird my life is, John thought. “Do you know why I took you in?” He asked unexpectedly. “Because you are generous to orphans?” John guessed. “No. Because I think… No. I know. You are my younger brother.” “What the heck?” John exclaimed. “I know it might be a shock, but when I heard your name, I knew it was you. I remember when mother had you. Then, you knew who I was. When I left home, I had already been out of the house too much for you to recognize me anymore. When mother died, I tried to become your guardian, but I had spent time in jail, so I couldn’t take you and your siblings in. But they said after I had spent so much time out of trouble, I could take you in. But when that time came, you had left the orphanage. Now that I’ve found you, you can finally come to stay with me.” John hesitated. He knew he would have to decline his brother’s open arms. He swallowed and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I can’t stay with you.” “Why not? I am your only real family, except your older sister.” “I can’t tell you my reason for declining your offer here, or now.” “Will you tell me when we go back to my place?” “Yes, I will.”
John sat on a couch, across from Jacob, who looked hurt. “Jacob, Promise me you will never tell a living soul about what I am about to show you.” Jacob looked at him with wide eyes, clearly shocked that John thought he would tell somebody about his younger brother’s secret. John visualized his cat form. He felt it happening, slower than usual and heard Jacob draw in a quick, shocked breath. John padded up to Jacob and jumped on his lap. “What sick witchcraft is that?!” Jacob exclaimed. “It’s not witchcraft. I don’t know what it is.” “John, you’re…. you’re a cat?!? How… Why…?” “How, I don’t know, but why, I do. Those cats, including the ones came with me, are depending on me to save them.” Jacob looked down at the floor. “Well, I guess I can’t stop you. If that’s what you have to do…” “And it is.” John interrupted.
“I need to let you do it. You may go.”
“Now wait. Thank you for everything. A guy couldn’t have a better brother.”
“John, don’t say that…”
“You deserve every word.”
Jacob got up and hugged John, sobbing.
“I need to go, Jacob.”
“Okay. I hope you save those cats. I’ll see you around.”
“Bye Jacob. I’ll miss you.”
“Oh, and John,” Jacob added, “You might want to see mom and dad’s grave.” John paused. “I know you weren’t allowed to go to the viewing after they died, but you can go see their grave at least.” Jacob stated. “I don’t want to go see their grave.” John mewed. He started to walk out of his brother’s apartment. “If you change your mind, it’s off hare hill drive.” John nodded and left the apartment. John was eagerly awaited by the rest of the group outside. Hollyleaf purred and stood next to him, her flank brushing John’s. “Come on,” John mewed. “It’s time to save Skyclan.”
Special Chapter Three
“Do we really need to stop here?” John mewed. Graystripe had been elated after he saw the truck stop, and had insisted on going there. John was curious why Graystripe was excited, but the true urgency of getting to Skyclan was starting to bug him. “Diesel!” Graystripe meowed. “Diesel, are you here?” John froze. He knew that name. It was the cat that had been talking outside of the restaurant that morning. “Graystripe, is that you?” a gurgling voice called. The cat it came from made a sound like he was choking on something. “Diesel! Are you okay?” Graystripe sounded alarmed. “No, please help. Ughh…” a dull thud came from the direction of the voice’s origin. “John, Hollyleaf, come help!” Millie yowled. John’s paws were already moving fast across the hard pavement of the garage, questions running through his mind. What happened to this cat? Or, more like, who happened to him? John skidded to a halt. A tom was lying on the hard concrete, blood pouring from his wounds across his neck and his flank was heaving with great force. “Oh, great Starclan! Who is responsible for this?” Millie screeched, obviously concerned about Diesel. Graystripe gave her a wary look. John didn’t care to know what got them so worked up. Diesel started to speak. “Harr… ” But, All of the sudden, he convulsed and threw up, blood tainting the crow-food smelling bile. John looked away, felling sick himself. “I know who did this.” John mewed. “He was talking with a cat named Harry later today. He did this.” John saw Diesel nod his head in agreement. “Wait… Just one cat did this?!?” Graystripe sounded shocked. Diesel coughed, and he started to shake his head and meow. “No… e…” He coughed up a bit of blood, gagged, and started over. “No… eight… cats… Not…his…family, like… he said.” Diesel managed those words, and then he collapsed.
“Is he dead?!?!” Hollyleaf managed to meow.
John noticed every cat had their eyes on him. He padded over to the seemingly unmoving cat, and with trembling paw steps he reached Diesel. He put his paw on the tom’s flank and listened. He could hear he steady breathing of the cat, but it was slowly growing faster and shallower. “He’s alive. I’m no medicine cat, but I’d say he won’t live long without help.” He saw Hollyleaf cringe, and all of the sudden, his vision faded, and he saw a younger frame of a cat, treating what looked like a battle wound. “Hollypaw, are you finished with that wound yet? You’ve been treating it for awhile now!” He heard Leafpool yowl. The warrior cringed in pain, and Hollypaw made a grimace as she put the poultice on. “I think you got it on good enough,” The warrior sighed. Hollypaw looked relived, and she lowered her ears in dissatisfaction as Leafpool called her again to treat yet another wound. John’s eyes faded back to the present. He drew his eyes to Hollyleaf, still with the uncomfortable look in her eyes. He padded over, and Hollyleaf looked unsure what to do as he approached.
“Hollyleaf, I need you to do something that will help us out a great deal.”
“I can’t do it, John, no.”
“You don’t know what I was going to…”
“I know. You need me to look after him. I won’t. I can’t.”
“No! I’m scared.”
John pressed against her. “It’s alright, Hollyleaf. I’ll be here.” “You’ll just stress over my lack of knowledge like Leafpool did.” John paused. “How do you know how I know?”
“That you were a medicine cat’s apprentice!”
“I’ve seen that look in Jayfeather’s eyes. He has visions too.”
“This is my first! It must have some importance to this!”
“Well, I don’t care. I can’t help him.”
John pressed closer. “I will be here. Just do this for me, if nothing else.” Hollyleaf looked scared, but she just nodded her head and walked over to the cat and inspected the tom’s wounds carefully. “Graystripe.” Hollyleaf mewed shakily. “Will you find some chervil roots for me? And Millie, I will need some coltsfoot and comfrey.” Graystripe and Millie looked confused. “Don’t you want to help Diesel?” Her voice held fear, but she kept it steadier than usual. They nodded and ran off, And John felt a sense of urgency in their minds. He shook his head. This was new to him, and he wondered what made his senses more attune. As promised, he padded over to Hollyleaf and brushed his fur with his. A long silence stood between them while she licked Diesel’s wounds. “Good job, Hollyleaf. I always knew you were courageous.” She looked at him, emotions swirling in her eyes.“Thanks for believing in me today.”
“You know my belief never stopped.” They looked at each other for what seemed forever, or it could’ve been less than a heartbeat. “Here are the herbs, Hollyleaf.” John jumped when he realized that Graystripe and Millie had been standing there for awhile. Hollyleaf took them from his jaws and started to apply the herbs to his wounds. John felt her pride in her accomplishment, and before long Diesel was breathing strongly again.
“Diesel, we need you to tell us what happened.” Graystripe mewed.
John had found Diesel the next morning awake and recovering, thanks to Hollyleaf. Now he was going to tell the traveling cats of the attack.
“Well, Harry had been here with his family a couple of times, literally begging for food. As soon as he saw the boundless supply of food here, he must’ve gotten greedy and told some other cats about me. They didn’t want to grovel for the food so they must’ve thought that they could just take it from me. Harry led me into the garage where they ambushed me and left me for dead. Luckily you guys showed, or else I would’ve been roadkill.”
“Are you fit to move some distance, Diesel?” Graystripe asked.
“I think so, why?”
“Millie and I have talked, and we think you should come with us.” John instantly agreed, nodding his head.
“What?!?” Diesel exclaimed.
“I’m sorry, but with what just happened, we can’t allow you to stay here. It’s unsafe.”
Diesel pondered the thought, then sighed. “Okay. Fine. I’ll join the cat caravan.”
“Good. We leave today. Skyclan needs us.”
“Do you really want those cats to come back and find you alive?” John interjected. “No.” Diesel grumbled. “While we leave town, do you mind if I do something before we go?” John asked. “If you don’t mind my asking, what is it?” Graystripe asked. “Something very personal to me. I’d rather not say it.” Graystripe nodded. “I will leave now. Hollyleaf, I helped you, now will you help me?” John asked. She nodded. “Anything for you.”
John walked into the lush, flowery graveyard, closely followed by Hollyleaf. He walked along the gravel path, where he saw markers on each row that were in alphabetical order of a person’s last name. As he walked by the multiple rows of graves he slowly thought his way through the alphabet.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N.
He stopped at the row marked with a sign that read,
- The Graves of the Deceased with last names starting with N.
Again he went through the alphabet, using the second letter in the name.
A, B, C, D, E.
At last he came upon his parent’s grave. The tombstone read,
Rick Neko and Margret Neko
- May they rest in peace
He almost turned away, but he saw words hidden by dust that had collected in the past two years. He brushed the dust away to these words:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
John cried, and then remembered that the poem said not to. It was his parents’ final wish. He turned away, and wiped his eyes dry. He nodded to Hollyleaf, and they left the empty graveyard.
John was aghast in disappointment. They had come to the clans’ old home. What laid in front of him was no forest, but a large thunderpath, rumbling with the noise of uncountable numbers of monsters flying past with great speed. “So this is what became of the forest,” John heard Graystripe mutter under his breath. A frail, old barn house caught John’s eye. It looked like it had been abandoned by the side of the bustling thunderpath, and was completely out of place. “We need to go there.” Graystripe stated quite commandingly, pointing out the barn with his tail. “I know a friend who will help us.” “Do we need to go that far? I’m really tired.” Diesel whined in pain. “Diesel, once we get there, there will be mounds of hay for you to sleep on.” Hollyleaf encouraged him, obviously tired herself. John almost couldn’t stand to walk to the barn as well, but if there was shelter from the elements, and hay to sleep on, he could hardly refuse.
“Is that Graystripe I see?” An unfamiliar voice mewed as they neared the barn. “Hello, Ravenpaw!” Graystripe meowed in excitement. John watched as a slim black cat slid through the wooden doors of the barn. His face glowed in happiness.
“Greetings! How are you and what brings you here, Graystripe?” The cat called Ravenpaw meowed. “Another journey. We will tell you about it inside.” Graystripe replied. “Don’t waste time! Come in, and have a mouse!” Another voice called from inside. Ravenpaw leaned close to Graystripe’s ear, and John eavesdropped unintentionally. “I have a surprise for you as well, Graystripe.” “What is it, Ravenpaw?” “You’ll see. They are inside.” Graystripe's gaze clouded with confusion, as if he did'nt know what Ravenpaw was talking about. As John walked in, He saw a tom lying sprawled on the hay. He nodded in a greeting. But what caught his attention was something else entirely. A she-cat was laying on the floor with three kits, old enough to be apprentices, and Ravenpaw padded over to their side. “Graystripe and Millie, this is my mate, Shelia, and our kits, Moon, Bird, and Honey.” Graystripe was obviously shocked, and it wasn’t before long that his face lit up in joy.
“I never knew you had it in you, Ravenpaw!” Graystripe blurted.
“Well, you thought wrong!”
“I’m so happy for you both!” Millie smiled. Suddenly the older cats were jabbering away, excited about the kits and the fact that Ravenpaw had a mate. John saw Hollyleaf avoid the conversing cats, giving away the obvious shyness in her eyes. He followed her as she wound around the others, and stopped next to a mound of hay that Diesel slept on. She started to tend to Diesel’s wounds, who was fast asleep on the promised hay.
“How are you, Hollyleaf? I noticed you weren’t chewing the fat with the other cats.”
“I can’t afford to chat now. Diesel needs looking over after the lengthy trip down here.” She replied.
“Stop for now, Hollyleaf. Just relax for a bit. You need rest.”
“But Diesel…” She retaliated.
“Hollyleaf, you really need to rest.” John firmly meowed.
She sighed, rubbing his muzzle; she padded over to lay down in an adjacent patch of hay.
“You got a lady there, don’t cha?” John nearly jumped out of his fur.
The old tom that John saw earlier sat down, waving his tail in greeting.
“Name’s Barley. What’s yours?”
“My name is John.”
“Why, hello John. And back to the question, is she your mate?” John found the question unexpected and hung his head. “No, she isn’t.”
“Why don’t cha ask her? She looks like she waiting for you to ask.”
John cast a glance a Hollyleaf. She was awake, but she didn’t look like she was worried about Diesel, but about something else entirely. John reached into her mind, but his suddenly overflowed with thoughts about himself. He stopped the flow of ideas by letting go of her mind quickly.
“It isn’t that easy.” John mewed uncertainly. “Ravenpaw sure pulled it off. He asked only two moons after meeting Shelia.” “In my book, that’s just too soon.” John muttered. “Well, for most cats it isn’t. If you wait too long, you never know when your last chance to ask is.” John nodded. He needed to ask her soon. He started to pad over to her. “Now don’t go rushing over there and tell her now.” Barley meowed. “Wait for the right time.” John smiled at the aging cat. “Thank you, Barley.” “You’re welcome, John.” He nodded in a good bye, and headed off to his sleeping place. John threw a look at Hollyleaf, who was sleeping soundly now, the anxiety gone from her face. He padded over and slumped down next to her. Her beautiful black pelt shone in the sunset’s glow, and John curled up next to her. Feeling the closeness of her made him feel secure, and he soon fell under the wave of sleep.
John awoke early, finding Hollyleaf still sound asleep. He got up carefully, so as to not wake his beloved. As he padded outside, the fresh dew on the morning grass damped his paws and he sniffed the air for mouse. Instead the air smelled of many cats. His fur standing on his back, he sniffed again and he noticed one scent had grown stronger than the others. It was a she-cat. Her voice called out of the bushes.
“Hello? Is some cat there?” The young voice called.
“Who are you?” John meowed carefully. The she-cat padded out, covered in scars and the smell of sickness. “We are Skyclan. I am their leader, Leafstar. Who are you?” John froze. The cats whom he was looking for had found him instead.
John stood before Leafstar in shock. “Who are you?” She repeated. John took a deep breath, and stated, “I am the Twoleg of Thunderclan, John.” He breathed out in each word, making them fall commandingly on Leafstar’s ears. “My medicine cat told me you would say that, Twoleg of Thunderclan. Please, come with me.” She meowed. John was surprised at the respect he was given. Maybe being special isn’t so bad. He thought.
The she-cat lead him through the bushes, and turned around the barn’s edge. John followed, and soon saw an entire clan of cats before him. They looked at him with reverence and honor. “Hello, John.” A she-cat mewed. “My name is Echosong. I am Skyclan’s medicine cat. Follow me.” She headed towards the back of the barn, and John noticed Leafstar stayed where she was. She motioned for him to follow, and John, taking her unspoken advice, caught up with Echosong. “John, Twoleg of Thunderclan, we owe you a debt of gratitude. Our ancestors have told me that you will lead us to safety.” She behold him with a reverence that shocked John. “Hey, I’m just a guy from Lyndhurst! What reverence do I deserve?” “Much.” Echosong replied. “I cannot tell you what will happen in the future, because it might influence you to do things in a different way. But I can tell you, but you will set us all free from a danger that could wipe all of the clans out.” Echosong gasped, clamping her mouth shut. “I have said too much.” “No, no, no! It’s okay. What will happen?” John mewed urgently. “I can’t say.” “Oh, because I will be ‘influenced’, Isn’t it?” “What is going on?” a familiar voice mewed. John looked at the speaker.
It was Hollyleaf. “Nothing, Hollyleaf.” John lied. “Why are you up?” “Everyone was wondering what all the commotion was about. Now I see you’ve found Skyclan.” “Yeah, more like ‘they’ found ‘us’.” John meowed, letting his anger out by ripping the grass in front of him. “Well, Ravenpaw is coming with us now.” Hollyleaf mewed. “Really? With his mate, kits, friend and all?” “Yes, really. I’m surprised myself.” Hollyleaf stated. John looked at the Skyclan medicine cat in anger. “Well, I guess these Starclan forsaken cats should come as well.” John spat. He now hated the reverence they gave him.
It made him sick that they all knew what would happen to him and he didn’t. Pity formed in Echosong’s eyes, along with the knowledge of John’s fate. John wished he had never come to help this Clan in the first place.
The moon shone between the branches of the drooping trees. John suppressed a shiver as he imagined the branches reaching down like claws and grabbing him, though he convinced himself that his imagination was definitely a bit too strong. Hollyleaf padded beside him, her eyes squinted in drowsiness, and her paws kicked up dirt. John himself was not that eager to continue, and the whole clan of cats behind him was already murmuring in tiredness. Ravenpaw looked at his mate, who had to carry her kits in her mouth because they were beginning to fall asleep. John stopped, and turned to face the others. “We are all very tired, as I can see, so find a place to sleep. We will continue in the morning.” The cats let out yawns and tired grunts and they started to find a place to sleep. Hollyleaf laid down where she was standing. Her eyes closed and she sighed. John rubbed her muzzle and looked outside the forest. A mountain range towered above the forest, slowly blocking out the sun. “I see you’ve found the mountains already.” Graystripe meowed. “What is so important about them?” “It is home to The Tribe of Rushing Water. It is also the home of my son and his mate.” John looked curiously at Graystripe. “But your son is back in Thunderclan, isn’t he?” Graystripe’s eyes twinkled with a look of reminisce. “He is my first son. He was mine and Silverstream’s.” Suddenly his eyes darkened in sadness. “She died giving birth to them.” “I’m so sorry.” Graystripe stiffened. “What’s done is done, John. If you can send a message to my son, that would be nice.” John nodded. “I can do that tomorrow.” “Thank you, John.” Graystripe padded off to Millie, who was waiting for Graystripe. John padded over to Hollyleaf, who was fast asleep already. John closed his eyes, feeling her warmth and slid under the cloud of sleep.
Hollyleaf heard a noise of rustling bushes, and looked up. She scented a weird scent, and, careful not to wake up John, she went to investigate. She took a look at John, feeling a feeling she felt for him for a long time very strongly, more than usual. She tore her glance away, jumping into the bushes. As she walked out, she saw a cat hunched over next to a tree. She caught her breath as she noticed the cat’s pale gray coat. His dark blue eyes caught her in his glance. He murmured something, and he kept repeating it as he got louder. His cry eventually rang in her ears clearly. “Why did you kill me?!?! Why, Hollyleaf, why did you kill me!?!” It was Ashfur.
A loud screech rang through John’s ears, waking him up instantly.
John looked around the surrounding forest and scented Hollyleaf beyond the bushes, just pawsteps away. He jumped over the bushes and saw a shadowy form of a cat about to leap on Hollyleaf. “Graar!” John let out a battle cry and landed on the cat. The tom let out a hiss and rolled over on to its back, squishing the air right out of John. “Oof!” John grunted, and then he started scratching the tom’s back to shreds. The cat howled in pain, and rolled onto his belly. The tom was unprepared, and John lunged for the tom’s neck. His teeth met their target, and the cat let out a gurgling screech of pain. John leapt back, watching the cat’s blood drain out of his neck. The cat fell to the ground, coughing out blood. John’s gaze clouded in horror as he saw the blood darken and vaporize to smoke. The cat’s tail grew dark too, and it vaporized to reveal a black skeleton underneath. The flesh slowly disintegrated, and soon the tom’s haunches were bones as well. The tom looked at John in hatred, and started to speak. “Do you…” He flinched as the skeleton started disintegrating, along with his back. “Love her?” He hissed. Hollyleaf looked confused, not understanding what he was saying. But John heard. He nodded his head. “Then you love… a killer.” He managed as his jaw blubbered with blood. As his back legs vanished, he fell on his side. John padded over an whispered in the dying cat’s ear. “I will still love her.” John mewed truthfully. The tom yowled in defeat, and as the slow disintegration of his body reached his heart, he shuddered and died. John looked away in disgust, sickened by the gory sight. Hollyleaf looked at him in sorrow. “John, thank you.” She meowed. John was surprised, expecting her to be mad at him. She brushed pelts with him, rubbing her muzzle down his jaw. John didn’t look at her as he mewed, “You need to rest, Hollyleaf, it’s been a long night.” She looked at him, and nodded. “Okay, John. Good night.” “Good night, Hollyleaf.” John said. They looked at each other for a long time, three unspoken words still left unspoken, flashed in their minds, but they soon looked away, and walked back to the temporary camp, not noticing that the dead cat’s body had disintegrated into dust.
John looked up at the mountains, still nervous about the perilous climb ahead of him. “Are you ready, John?” Graystripe asked.
“Yes, I am ready, Graystripe. What do you want me to tell him?”
“Just that I love him, and he has three half siblings now.” Graystripe meowed with certainty.
“Okay, I’ll tell him just that.” John meowed, making a mental note of the things to say.
“Oh, and take someone with you. You know, in case you get hurt.” Graystripe pointed out.
“Yes, I’ll do that.” John stated. “Good bye, Graystripe, make sure Skyclan get there safely.”
“Yes, I’ll do that, John. I’ll set them in shape, that unruly bunch!”
John mrrowed in amusement, noticing he hadn’t done that in a long time. He nodded in good bye to Graystripe, and set out to find a certain cat. Hollyleaf padded over to him, obviously looking for him too. “Hollyleaf, will you join me on the trip up the mountain?” John asked, already knowing the answer.
“Of course, John! Is it just us, or is Graystripe going too?”
“It’s just us, Graystripe is going to make sure Skyclan get home.”
Hollyleaf looked happy, and John wondered if this was the time to ask. But he decided against that, waiting for the time they could truly be alone.
John looked at a gap in the rocky path. They had been climbing for a while now, and John looked at the gap nervously, felling sick as he saw the drop below him. “C’mon, you big lug! That drop isn’t that far!” Hollyleaf joked behind him. “That big lug comment just made it worse!” He laughed, only half joking. John tensed for the jump, and took three steps back. He ran, the mountain wind ruffling his fur, and as he jumped, time seemed to slow, and he felt as if he were soaring. The kiss of the ground hitting his paws jerked him out of it, and he skidded on the rough ground. “Whoa! That jump was amazing!” Hollyleaf yowled across the gap. John looked behind himself, noticing he had jumped three tail-lengths away from the end of the jump. “Great Starclan, that was far!” He caterwauled, and soon Hollyleaf came to meet him at the other side. “C’mon, let’s get moving. We’re just about there.” Hollyleaf meowed in happiness. John padded forward, enjoying this time with her. He took a glance at her black fur that was being ruffled by the mountain air, and he slid his gaze to her beautiful green eyes that sparkled like emeralds. He felt light on his paws as he stared at her, his heart fluttering in his chest, and he felt his fear of asking faded, shaken off by his strong feelings. Hollyleaf looked at him, and smiling, she rubbed her muzzle over his neck. The thundering noise of the waterfall ahead jerked them out of their embrace. John looked around, and saw the drop below him had stopped, and there was a ramp leading down to a waterfall that had a entrance behind it, and John knew they had found the Tribe. All of the sudden, John noticed strange cats forming out of the surrounding rock. One cat strode forward, addressing John and Hollyleaf. “Who might you be, outsider?” He hissed with anger. John scented the air, and found the cat in front of him carried a familiar scent. This was Graystripe’s kin! “I am John, Twoleg of Thunderclan, and this is Hollyleaf.” “Thunderclan, huh?” The tom’s tone changed into a curious tone, and the other cats sat down, realizing there was no threat. “Come with us.” The tom turned around, and signaled to his cats to follow. They led John and Hollyleaf down the ramp and padded through the entrance. John’s mouth dropped open in awe. The camp was amazing, and many cats looked at the newcomers in interest. John saw kittens run up to Graystripe’s son, their eyes wide with interest. “Father, who’s that stranger? Where did he come from?” “Hush, Vine. Stars, Will get your brother back to your mother for me?” “Yes, father.” The young she-cat looked almost old enough to be an apprentice, and with much difficulty, got her younger brother back in a den John assumed was the nursery. The tom looked at John, curiosity in his eyes. “You said you came from Thunderclan?” He asked. “Yes, I have.” “Do you know my father? He is a gray tom, with…” “His name is Graystripe, right?” John interrupted. “Exactly. Is he alright?” The tom asked, anticipation lining his words. “Yes, he is doing great. He sent me here to tell you he is fine, and that he loves you. He also said you have three half siblings.” The tom’s eyes shone with gratefulness, and he meowed, “Thank you, John. Tell him I love him too, and he finally has two grandchildren.”
John smiled. “What is your name?” John asked the tom. “My name is Stonefur. Good to meet you, John.” “Good to meet you too, Stonefur. May we stay here tonight?” “I would be honored to have my father’s friends stay. We have some extra dens here. You two can find them over there.” He pointed to some dens that looked like they had been carved in the rock by the Tribe, the way they were lined up. “Thank you, Stonefur.” John dipped his head in thanks.
The moon shone behind the water fall, almost full.
How fast time passes. John thought grimly as he curled up next to Hollyleaf in their temporary den. Hollyleaf looked at him as he stared at the moon, resting her head on his neck. John soon heard her snores, and John drifted into sleep, lulled by her closeness and the silence of the night.
John looked at the forest in front of them, glad to see green again. They had spent the night with the Tribe of Rushing Water, and they were traveling to the clans, and John hoped they would be there in time for the gathering, which would be his first one since he joined Thunderclan. As his feet felt the soft touch of grass, he sighed in relief. He padded toward the trees, and he scented rats. He padded on unfazed, and all of the sudden his stomach rumbled. “Hey, Hollyleaf, do you mind if we stop and eat? I’m getting hungry.” John asked her. “I wouldn’t mind a vole right now, actually!” She purred. John set off, scenting the air for a mouse. He saw a strand of tall grass move, and he instinctively dropped into a hunting crouch. He pounced, squishing he mouse and reaching down to snap its neck with his teeth quickly. As he padded off, He heard a screech. Hollyleaf!!! He realized and shot after her. She was being chased by a group of rats, their eyes red with hunger. “Get away from her, you pieces of crowfood!” He screeched, and tackled a large rat. Its eyes gleamed as he clawed at it, and then, John felt a mass of wriggling bodies fall on top of him. John caterwauled as they bit and scratched, and he shook most of them off, but some still bit and clawed and wouldn’t let go. Hollyleaf screeched and one after another, pulled them off and killed them, snapping their spines in her mouth, the remaining rats, as they saw their brothers killed, their eyes blind with fury, attacked Hollyleaf, who hissed in pain. John helped her get them off her back, and one by one, they ether fled or were killed. John panted in pain, his wounds fresh and bleeding. He sniffed the air for Hollyleaf, but there was no trace of her. Where is she? John panicked, too afraid to think the worst. It felt like moons to John, who was lying on the ground in shock and half hoping his beloved was alive, until he heard her padding through the bushes. “Hollyleaf! Are you okay?!? Where were you?” John yowled. “I was looking for herbs! But I can’t find any other herbs!” John was confused as he managed to look at her. “What do you mean ‘other herbs’? I am sure there’s something here!” “All I found was burdock. And we both know we can’t use that.” “What do you mean?” John’s confusion had reached its peak and he was getting dizzy. “You’re allergic to burdock, John.” John’s confusion vanished. “I lied to you, Hollyleaf! I lied about the burdock!” John screeched. Hollyleaf looked confused, but John continued, spilling out everything.
“I lied to you so you wouldn’t know what we were talking about! We were talking about you, Hollyleaf! I was talking about loving you! I love you, Hollyleaf!!!”
For a moment Hollyleaf looked shocked, and then joy and love flooded her eyes. John was looking at the ground as Hollyleaf padded towards him, and she rubbed her muzzle across his jaw, murmuring in his ear, “I love you too, John.” John heart exploded in joy, and he felt as if they were floating on the highest cloud. He craned his head over Hollyleaf’s and rested it on her neck, and Hollyleaf did the same.
And for the first time, John felt complete.
John looked at the familiar sight in front of him with relief, taking in Thunderclan’s scent. They were home, and after the long journey, he was glad to be in Thunderclan once more. As they walked through the tunnel, a familiar yowl rang in John’s ears. Robert was running toward him in great leaps, excitement written on his face. “John, you’re back!” John braced himself as his brother bowled into him, and John shoved him off playfully. “Of course I’m back! Was I ever going to leave you guys?” John smiled. “I thought you might.” “What made you think that, Rob?” “The threat of Doomclan.” “I am never a coward, Rob, you should know be better than that!” John realized that Robert was shifting his paws in the dirt. “What’s the matter?” “Doomclan just attacked. They took Ashton and Rachel.” John gaze clouded in anger, and stormed out of the camp. He stood in a clearing and yowled his anger to the Doomclan cats. “John,” Hollyleaf pressed her muzzle to his flank. “There’s nothing you can do.” John looked at the ground. “I know. But I will get them back somehow.” “I know you will, but you need to rest.” She looked in his eyes, pressing him on back to camp. John leaned on her shoulder, weary with his loss. In his mind he vowed to find his siblings, if it was the last thing he would do. He looked at Hollyleaf, who looked at him in sadness, and she nodded as if to say, you will get them back. He nodded back, and they both padded to his den. The warm greetings of his clanmates fell deaf on his ears as curled up and fell under the darkness of sleep.
A tabby tom with ice-blue eyes padded into the clearing, followed by a large dark tabby. “Tigerstar, I haven’t seen Ashfur lately. Do you know where he is?” The dark brown tabby tom meowed. “He is dead, Hawkfrost. He died two days ago.” “How can he be? Surely one of us didn’t…” “He found A Way. The Twoleg killed him shortly after he got to the mortal world.” “That’s impossible! How could he die? He was already dead!” “We do not have the liberty of not dying in the mortal world. The rules are complicated, son.” Tigerstar growled. “Will he be back with us soon?” Hawkfrost meowed. “No. He is gone, and he will never feel life again.” He continued. “He was seeking revenge on Hollyleaf for killing him. Revenge always ends badly. But I don’t intend on killing myself there.” “But just you said revenge ends badly!” His son persisted.
“My way for revenge never does.” Tigerstar shot forward, leaving his son behind, leaving those last words ringing in his son’s ears.
Hawkfrost turned away to walk in the opposite direction, and froze. A tall, majestic cat stood in his way. “Who are you?” Hawkfrost asked. “I am Sol. I need to tell your father a secret.” “He went that way.” He looked away to show the strange cat where his father went, but when he turned around, Sol was gone.
- End Part Two
What is Sol's secret? Will John find Ashton and Rachel? Find out in Part Three now!