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This story is a featured story.
The following story is rated Moderate.
Essay
This page contains a fan fiction written by Forestpaw13.
This page contains the opinions of the original author(s), and is not patrolled for factual accuracy.
Remember that this story is non-canon. It may contain false characters, plots, or locations.
Responses, comments & other feedback should be made on the Talk Page.

Author's Note

This story takes place between the time when Bluekit was a kit (way before that), and after the time that Owlstar ruled. It's set in the old forest.

After this, you won't be hearing from me. When text appears in italics, and there's an entire section dedicated to it (for example, Let's stop for a moment and smell the horror radiating from the audience is a good one), then the main character, Water, is speaking to you. You should listen. She's got a lot of important stuff to say. Forestpaw13

Prologue - Memories

A memory.
As a young girl, I liked to play on my tricycle. I remembered pedaling around and around in a circle...
Another memory.
My claws sunk into my first prey. I dug in, ripping the warm meat off the body...
Yet another memory.
I raced through the forest, avoiding bushes and trees.
The thumping paws behind me told me that they were still chasing me.
I glanced behind me. I could see an angry face in the distance, but nothing-
I felt claws in my throat.
That memory is the one that led me to where I am now.

Chapter 1

"Hey."
I looked up. My guard, Brackenclaw, was standing facing me. Is he actually talking to me? I wondered. Should I reply?
"What?" I hissed.
"Gorsestar wants to talk to you."
"Great," I said. "He has to come here."
"He's letting you come to him. By yourself." Brackenclaw looked angry.
"Great!" I yowled. I had never been outside the prison before.
"I can't come?" a small voice asked behind me.
I turned. "I'm sorry, Smoothpaw." The small cat, a former apprentice of WindClan, was shivering in the early morning sun. It was cold.
"It's okay, Water." Smoothpaw stood up and nudged my flank. "I hope you come back."
"I will," I purred.
"Hurry up!" Brackenclaw hissed. "Goresestar doesn't have until he joins StarClan!"
I shot him a peeved look as I left the den.
The ThunderClan camp wasn't very big, in my opinion. Not compared to the house I lived in when I was a kittypet.
I glanced around, trying to find a cat that looked like he was a leader. No luck.
A small cat, probably a kit, came up to me. "What do you need?" they asked in a squeaky voice.
"Gorsestar," I growled, trying to look tough.
The kit didn't flinch. "He's over there in that den," they said, pointing with their tail.
I clawed the ground. "I don't see it!" I spat.
"You don't scare me," the kit hissed. He stomped away.
Brackenclaw hissed from somewhere behind me. I turned and stared at him before I continued my quest to find Gorsestar.
"Look," a golden-brown tom snarled, "Gorsestar is over there." He pointed with his tail to the same spot that the kit had pointed to. "I would appreciate it if you didn't do that to Sunkit," he added, "my son."
"Why shouldn't I?" I asked, tilting my head to one side.
"Because it's unnecessary!" the cat hissed.
"Goldfoot!" a cat called. A white she-cat. His mate, obviously.
"Yes, Whitepelt?" Goldfoot asked.
"I need you to lead the hunting patrol tonight." Whitepelt padded over to us. "Who are you??" she snarled.
"I," I said, "am Water."
"The prisoner," Goldfoot mewed. "Go away," he added to me.
I sighed and headed toward Gorsestar's den.
The den wasn't very brightly lit. A little sunlight shone through the lichen that hung over the entrance. The floor was sandy.
"Hello." A voice spoke. "I am Gorsestar."
A cat emerged from the back of the den, where it was shadowy. The cat had a dark brown pelt.
"Hi," I mewed cautiously. "Why do you need me?"
"I think it's time that you aren't a ThunderClan prisoner." Gorsestar paced around me.
I blinked. "Are you the only cat that thinks so?"
"Brackenclaw doesn't want you to be a prisoner either," Gorsestar informed me.
"That's a first," I muttered.
"How would you like to train to be a warrior of ThunderClan?" Gorsestar asked.

Chapter 2

I sat, astonished at Gorsestar's offer. "Um," I began. "Why don't you offer this to Smoothpaw?"
"Because WindClan wouldn't like it," Gorsestar replied.
"They probably think he's dead," I commented. "He's been here for a moon."
Gorsestar nodded. "Good point. He'll train with you."
"How will he know that?" I asked.
"Goldfoot!" Gorsestar yowled.
Oh, no... I thought.
The golden-brown cat stuck his head through the entrance of the den. "Yes, Gorsestar?"
"I need Smoothpaw."
"We don't have an apprentice named Smooth- oh. Okay," Goldfoot mewed, and his head disappeared.
"Goldfoot is a good deputy," Gorsestar mewed, "but he can be a little slow at times." He twitched his whiskers with amusement.
Soon, Smoothpaw was shoved into the den by Goldfoot. "Let go of me!" he yowled.
I realized that Goldfoot must be holding onto his tail.
"Here you go," Goldfoot mewed from behind Smoothpaw's tail.
"Let go of his tail," Gorsestar mewed sternly.
Smoothpaw's tail was dropped as Goldfoot left the den.
"I want you both to be warriors of ThunderClan," Gorsestar explained.
Smoothpaw was instantly on his feet. "No way," he hissed. "I'm from WindClan! Why would I join ThunderClan?"
"Because WindClan thinks you're dead." I stepped forward. I knew that I had to get him in ThunderClan, so I... I lied to him.
"No they don't." Smoothpaw raised his chin in sudden defiance. "A cat tried to rescue me just last night."
And Smoothpaw yowled in pain.
I realized that Gorsestar had just clawed him across the face. Now the cut was bleeding.
"No prisoner of ThunderClan gets rescued," Gorsestar growled. "Ever."
Smoothpaw raced out of the den.
I heard yowls of disbelief outside the den. "Stay here," Gorsestar ordered me. He raced out.
"He's escaped, Gorsestar!" I heard a cat yowl. "He was a blur- I didn't expect it-"
"Be quiet, Bearface." I heard Gorsestar growl at the cat, who had obviously been guarding the camp.
"He just rushed right by me-"
"Bearface!" Gorsestar yowled, "be quiet."
Bearface was silent.
"Gorsestar, Bearface didn't expect it, he was turned the other way!" I heard Goldfoot stick up for his Clan mate. "It's his first time guarding the camp!"
I stuck my head out.
"Water, come here," Brackenclaw called.
I padded across the camp to him. "What?"
"Did you two plan this?" he asked.
"No," I said cautiously. "I didn't know that-"
"That your apprentice ceremony is right now!" Gorsestar yowled from the Highrock.
The ThunderClan cats gathered around.
"Until you receive your warrior name," Gorsestar began, "you will be known as Waterpaw."
There were halfhearted calls of "Waterpaw!"
"This cat is going to be mentored by one of the greatest warriors in ThunderClan history. His bravery has shown. So has his kindness. I hope that Goldfoot will pass these attributes on to Waterpaw."

Chapter 3

"Your form is wrong," Goldfoot repeated. "Let me help you-"
"No! I want to learn on my own. Without you as my mentor!" I hissed angrily.
"It's not-"
"I know it's not your fault, but I'm still angry!" I paced around the sandy hollow. I shivered in the cold morning air.
"Hi, Waterpaw!" I turned to see Brackenclaw and his apprentice, Stormpaw, enter the clearing. Stormpaw had greeted me.
"Hi, Stormpaw," I replied.
"You two sound like you're having trouble." Brackenclaw padded over to me, beckoning for his apprentice to stay behind.
"He's having trouble leaving me alone," I growled.
Brackenclaw gave me a look of pure annoyance. "He's not supposed to!"
"Well, if I'm going to stay in ThunderClan, I'm going to be taught when I want to be taught," I proclaimed.
"Take her back to camp," Brackenclaw suggested to Goldfoot. "Talk to Gorsestar."
I rolled my eyes. "Don't you see? I have different talents. They just don't show."
"Oh yeah?" Goldfoot asked. "Then make them show." He stormed away.
Stormpaw bounded to my side. "You're going to get it now," he whispered in my ear.
I gave him a look. "Gorsestar can't hurt me."
Brackenclaw stared at me in disbelief. "You just said all that and you're not scared?"
"I'm not scared. So what? I'm a warrior. I'm done with this game. Let me go home!"
Brackenclaw directed me back to camp, saying, "This is your home now. Like it or leave it."
I sighed and grabbed some fresh-kill from the pile. I dug into the warm squirrel outside the apprentices' den.
The other three apprentices padded up- Stormpaw, Runningpaw, and Birdpaw.
"Do you need any help?" Birdpaw asked kindly. "Me and Runningpaw are going to be warriors soon," she added proudly. "We know everything!"
"Who was the second medicine cat of ThunderClan?" I challenged.
"Okay, so we don't know everything," Birdpaw mewed, sighing. "I meant everything about being a good warrior."
"You should know the history of your Clan, too!" I pointed out mildly.
"That's not a requirement," Runningpaw sneered.
"You guys," Stormpaw mewed, "I'm tired."
The three of us stared at him. "Great," I mewed sarcastically. "So go to sleep."
Stormpaw let his breath out in a hiss. "Fine."
I heard a weak voice call, "Help!"
"I've got to go," I explained to my friends. "Um, the elders need fresh-kill!"
"Okay," Runningpaw mewed.
I raced to the fresh-kill pile, grabbed a rabbit, and raced out of camp.
I bounded through the forest until I heard the voice. I stopped and listened and realized that it was near.
I found myself at the river and crept along the bank. There, I saw the source.
Smoothpaw was clinging with his claws onto the edge, trying to avoid being swept away. He seemed to have lost all hope.
"Smoothpaw, I'm-"
"No!" Smoothpaw was swept away.
I can't swim as a cat! I reminded myself. But...
I transformed.

Chapter 4

I dove into the river, soaking my clothes. I moved my arms, trying to go faster than the river, but Smoothpaw was being swept further and further away...
I dove under water and used the breaststroke to propel myself forward.
When I approached Smoothpaw, he was shaking. I didn't know if it was from cold or from fear of me- I was a Twoleg.
I grabbed him and pulled him to shore, taking care that his head was above water.
"It's okay," I mewed, having trouble with my Twoleg tongue. "It's me, Waterpaw."
"Water?" Smoothpaw gasped. "I... I hate water."
I felt my head lower.
"You don't hate me," I said. "I just saved your life."
"Huh?" Smoothpaw asked.
I quickly started to meow again. "I just saved your life. How do you hate me?"
"Water..." Smoothpaw sighed. "Water."
His body suddenly felt cold. I set him down on the ground.
His last word was "water." I told myself.
"I have to get him back to WindClan," I proclaimed.
I set off, trudging through the forest at a fast pace. I passed Fourtrees, and entered WindClan territory.
There was a patrol going by.
I quickly dodged behind a large bush and turned into a cat again.
"I smell a rogue," a WindClan cat growled.
I have to make it look accidental! If I drag him out dead, then WindClan will think I did it! I told myself.
I emerged from behind the bush, shaking. The WindClan patrol turned to look at me as I mewed, "I got him out, but he died anyway. I'm no medicine cat."
"What are you talking about?" the cat closest to me snarled.
"Come see," I mewed.
I led them behind the bush.
Three gasps behind me were audible as I walked away.
I changed into a Twoleg so I could walk through the forest faster.
I sat, leaning against the Great Rock so I could think about my horrible mistake. What did I do wrong? I asked myself silently.
"Hey!" a voice shouted. Human. "It's her!"
I jerked my head up. Oh, no!
"We've found her!" a man shouted. He ran towards me.
I scrambled up into a standing position. I never got a chance to run away, because he grabbed me.
"Back to Kentucky," he growled.

Let's stop for a moment and smell the horror radiating from the audience

I forgot to tell you a few things.

  1. I can transform from a Twoleg to a cat and back again at will.
  2. All of America have been searching for me.
  3. That's because I ran away from home.
  4. That's because my parents are abusing me.

Explanations? Okay.

  1. I can transform from a Twoleg to a cat and back again at will. That basically means I can do that. But why? See #4!
  2. All of America have been searching for me. I ran away from home. Why? See #4!
  3. That's because I ran away from home. I ran away from home because of number 4.
  4. That's because my parents are abusing me.
My parents are big scientists. They gave me water once. They didn't know that it was their cat potion- whoever drank it would turn into a cat. But the glass I was using had some real water in it, because I had melted ice in it. (What? I like to drink melted ice!) When I drank the water/potion stuff, nothing happened... but my parents realized their horrible mistake.
But it was too late.
I became their tester. Whatever they wanted to do to me, they did. I saw so many horrible things during an experiment to see brain waves leaving the brain. No such luck seeing those. Another time, they tried to figure out how long a bird could live in a microwave. They recorded zero seconds, because the bird exploded. No biggie, right? Wrong. They tried lowering the temperatures, but every time the explosion was more violent. They made me watch- it was still part of the experiment to see brain waves.
That's why I left. After the dog-cat mating thing, I just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't want to see mutations, I didn't want to listen to people screaming, I wanted to live a normal life. That's why I left Kentucky.
I traveled across the country, eventually finding this place in Tennessee. During the journey, I discovered my transforming power. Only one person in the world knows about it- me. I won't tell anybody.
Except you.
Please believe me, because this entire story is true. Entirely true. I haven't been more serious in my life.
So, I bet you're wondering what happened when the guy caught me. Well, I was about to get to that...

Chapter 5

"Ouch!" I yelled.
"Get over it," the man snarled. "Your parents want you back. They're nice people."
"That's what you think!" I yelled, but the man had already closed the door.
I looked around the truck that they were taking me home in. It had some cheese in one corner, and a pillow in the other. I sighed. This is going to be a long trip.
The truck started to rumble. I could hear the men talking in the front, through the wall. I pressed my ear against the wall so I could hear.
"Joey, can you get out the map?" a voice asked. I heard a rustling as the map was retrieved.
"What do you need?" another voice asked- obviously Joey.
"Find route 32," the voice directed.
As he was looking, Joey imitated the voice. "I am Chris. I rule. This truck," he said in a growl. "I will always. Win."
"Shut up!" Chris said. I heard a slap. I gasped out loud.
Every noise in the front of the truck stopped. "She's listening," Joey hissed.
I instantly moved away from the wall. I heard a banging from the front of the truck. "Are you in there?"
If I don't answer, I have a chance of escaping," I thought.
I placed my hands on the floor. They won't get one sound out of me, I vowed.
The back door of the truck flew open. There was a man standing there, seething.
"What are you doing?" the man asked. I recognized his voice. Chris.
"Answer me!" Chris yelled.
I didn't do anything.
Chris climbed into the truck and got his face close to me. I could see the anger radiating from him, I could almost feel it hit my skin.
"Speak," Chris growled.
I just blinked at him. I'm not talking, I thought.
Chris cursed, then climbed out of the truck. "I'll be back," he vowed.
He left the door open.
I quickly transformed into a cat, then leaped out of the truck. I was free!
I walked around to where Joey and Chris were arguing. They were both outside the truck.
Without hesitating, I leaped up and grabbed Joey on the leg, holding on with my claws.
"Ow!" Joey yelled. "Get off, you dumb cat! What did I do to you? Nothing!"
Chris made a move to pull me off of Joey. I grabbed his arm with my claws and climbed up it, coming to rest on his head.
Chris went still. "Nice kitty," he crooned. "Nice kit-"
I clawed his face. One, two, three, four...
I leaped off and escaped towards my home, the forest.
I was free.

Let's stop again

You may of noticed something. When I'm a cat, I can understand what Twolegs say. Why? I'm a Twoleg myself. Being in a different form shouldn't change that.
And when I got Smoothpaw out of the river, I talked to him using what I call Catspeak.
I haven't tried talking to humans as a cat yet. I should try that...

Chapter 6

When I made it to the forest, I realized I didn't know where I was. I looked around, making sure there was no cat around, and I started my journey to find ThunderClan territory.
I pulled myself across the ground, avoiding sticks that could snap, or leaves that could rustle...
Snap. My back foot landed on a stick. Snap. My front paw landed and a twig. Snap, snap snap.
I stopped moving. Snap. I looked around to see if there were any cats coming towards me, claws out.
There was a puddle next to me. I stood up, and looked at myself in it.
A black cat looked back at me. I looked young and scared, like an apprentice assigned on their first mission into another Clan's territory. The cat in the pool had dark blue eyes, that looked like a lake. That must be why I'm named Water, I realized.
I enjoyed myself, staring into the puddle. The cat staring back at me did whatever I did, and it made me feel like Gorsestar.
I stood there, staring into the puddle, until I heard a stick snap behind me. Snap.
I whirled around, claws out. There was one cat in front of me, and he looked angry. "Who are you?" I asked.
"I am Stonestar, leader of Riverclan."
I had heard of the other Clans before. ThunderClan said that RiverClan posed more of a threat to WindClan. But that sure didn't look true here.
"You look like a rogue. If you were a member of one of the other Clans, we would chase you out." Stonestar paced around me.
I couldn't believe my luck. He thinks I'm a rogue!
"But, don't cause trouble here. Cause it in ThunderClan territory," Stonestar continued.
I nodded, not daring to speak.
"Do you know where that is?" Stonestar asked.
I nodded again.
"Good, now go," he growled.
I bolted away. I could feel blood pulsing through my veins as I escaped onto ThunderClan territory. Now that I recognized where I was, I could catch some prey and head to the camp, where nobody could find me.
I snagged a mouse by the Great Oak and ate it in swift bites. I found my way quickly back into camp.
As I crawled through the tunnel, I heard yowls of fear.
"Warriors, to me!" Gorsestar yowled.
The battle cry. Oh, no.
I burst out of the tunnel, yowling, "It's me, Waterpaw! Stop!"
There were gasps of recognition.
"Waterpaw!" Stormpaw yowled. "You missed so much! Runningpaw and Birdpaw got their warrior names-"
"Yeah, we did, Stormpaw," Birdpaw mewed. "But I would appreciate it if you let me tell her my warrior name myself."
"Sorry, Birdheart," Stormpaw mewed, backing away.
"Nice name," I commented. "What about Runningpaw?"
"Runningfoot!" he mewed, looking proud.
"Enough of this." Goldfoot and Gorsestar stepped forward. "Where were you?" Goldfoot demanded.
"That doesn't matter," Gorsestar growled. "What really matters is what you did."
"What did I do?" I asked.
Goldfoot answered first. "WindClan says that you killed Smoothpaw."

End of Book 1

The next book is called River.

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