as the shadows grow tall
the world will fall
dawn becomes dusk
earth blown to dust
the stars are dim.
the winds murmur a hymn
to the deceased cats she cared
war has been declared
but to the jet black night
she is nothing but its light
flames scorched her dull eyes
covering all of those lies
The black she-cat rose up. Her silver eyes were glinting.
What in the stars...
She could only remember the amber eyes…next thing she knew, she was here.
Coral. Blaze. Where are they?
A tom poked his head into the bramble thickets.
' Hi!' I found you in the forest yesterday, unconscious. By the way, my name is Chartreuse and this is my mate, Seacrest.'
Evanescence got up.
'No. I have to leave.' The black she-cat mewed. 'I'm sorry, but I must.'
Before the two cats could react, she ran.
She burst into a clearing. A white she-cat was calmly licking her paw, calm and undisturbed.
'Shaded?' Evanescence called out. The white she-cat turned her head towards Evanescence.
'Where's Coral and Blaze? Where are they?' Evanescence mewed.
Shaded's golden eyes glinted. 'They... well, you should see for yourself. Bring us to the Dark Forest!'
'No! No!' Evanescence shrieked.
Claws. Fur. My black pelt was bushed up.
'Evanescence...' Coral's motherly voice rang and echoed. I saw red. And amber. And black.
I blinked once to clear my vision.
A stream- no, a river of blood was running down the dying ground. Shaded was fighting with Purity.
'Leave my daughter alone! Haven't you gotten enough- StarClan is under your control, GemClan is also under your control- have you ever thought about me?' Shaded shrieked in rage. There was a hint of unfathomable emotion in her voice.
'No. This is supposed to be mine, too! But you broke free and now you robbed my land!' Purity spat.
' Your land? What do you mean by your land? Why do stars exist in darkness? It was originally mine!' Shaded's eyes glowed with pure hate. ' You robbed my land! You are a disgrace to my bloodline. You are no longer family!'
' Family?' I echoed.
' Indeed. Evanescence, she was your sister.'
Behind her, Coral gasped. Blaze plainly stared at her.
' But that means…' Coral whispered.
' Yes. Your daughter is your Queen's sister and I'm her mother.'
Purity's green eyes glowed in pure hatred. 'Then so be it.'
'Get out of my land, Purity! Get out!' Shaded screeched.
Purity hissed. 'I have the right to stay here.'
'No you don't.' Shaded's bright golden eyes burned as she opened her jaws, ready to command her illusions to fight Purity. Her fangs turned into dog claw-like infernos. Her paws lit up with flame and she levitated in the air, fire-like wings erupting from her back.
I gaped in awe.
Purity did the same. Her wings of a bat broke free from her back. Her fangs stayed as white as they could be.
'Evanescence, stay back!' Shaded yowled as she hurled herself at Purity. Shaded was strong; she easily wrestled Purity to the floor, bashing down at her face mercilessly.
'Shaded, can't you just escort her to the border?' I screamed.
'I- I need to kill her- to send her to a place- a place where she'll never come back,' she panted and raked her red-stained claws down Purity's right eye.
Shaded stuck her claw and pulled Purity's right eye out, veins snapping, blood flowing. The black she-cat was screeching in pure agony.
That was when I realized that her right eye was her Gem Core.
Or was it?
Shaded's claws smoothly raked down her former daughter's left eye, slicing half of her left ear off. A huge piece of skin fell off.
'I know you more than you know me, Purity!' Shaded snarled. The eye that was plucked out slowly crystallized into a mesmerizing green gem.
Purity fell limp.
Shaded padded towards the green gem and started to dig a decently deep hole. She pushed the round gem into the hole and covered it.
The black she-cat was faintly breathing.
'Evanescence, you should do the honors and kill her.' Shaded's spiteful voice burned like acid on Purity's pelt. The black she-cat convulsed once, clearly trying to move, but failed miserably.
Then something out of everyone's expectations happened. Silver mist swirled around the she cat and when it cleared, Purity was standing, her eye as good as new.
'Fool!' She shrieked. ' Did you never know that I am immortal?'
Shaded's eyes flared in pure rage. 'I know everything! You're the true fool, thinking that I don't know you're immortal. I gave birth to you!' The white she-cat's golden eyes turned bright orange, fire reflecting back from her clear orbs. Her white pelt burned, the cackling fire searing the dark trees and scorching the fallen leaves that lay on the dead forest floors.
As the fire roar on, I realized Coral was the only cat in immediate danger. Blaze is fire powered, and the others were Powered Mimic, therefore unlikely to be harmed by fire.
Coral's back rippled.
Both Blaze and I gaped at Coral as huge golden wings formed. The dazzling golden wings were even larger than Purity's and Shaded's combined.
She flapped her wings once.
The fire hissed.
The cream she-cat rocketed into the air, barely ducking as she whizzed by a branch that was on fire. The she-cat turned and landed on the river unscathed. Her wings were keeping her in the air.
Purity's gem glowed in an eerie light. Smoke caressed her fur as her right eye lit up the shadow-filled clearing.
Black clouds of cinder and ashes drifted around. The fire was still raging through the Dark Forest. Shaded's cats all swarmed into the clearing within a few moments. Most of them were confused; few were ready to fight.
Purity cackled. 'Do you really think your mere illusions could defeat me? Is this a joke?'
Shaded only commanded, 'Battle formation!'
The cats didn't move.
Purity smirked. 'Seems like they're not listening to you. Oh well. I guess it's just your time to die.'
The corner of Shaded's lips twitched.
The illusions vanished and a gigantic monster took place. It was black-furred, mirroring Purity's body, with seven eyes in different shades of the rainbow.
' Oooo, you're playing with rainbows. I suppose you think it's so fabulous. '
Shaded hissed ,' No one ever insults rainbows in my face!'
With that, the monster lunged at Purity.
Purity leaped up and clung on the monster's right foreleg, only to claw off a tuft of fur. The monster was unscathed.
Shaded sat back, licking her paw.
Was that how Shaded fight? I thought. Why doesn't she fight herself?
The monster swept at Purity. The black she-cat tumbled into the river of slime and slush, but quickly rose up.
'Evanescence! Bring Coral and Blaze back to GemClan with you!' Shaded shrieked as she dashed over to slam Purity's skull and her body fell back into the river, bubbles rising up to the surface.
I yowled, 'Bring us back to GemClan!'
'Tawny!' Coral gasped.
The tabby was sprawled on a patch of shriveled grass, his flank as still as stone. A vibrant green leaf drifted onto his paws. Crimson blood stained on his patchy pelt.
'Tawny?' Blaze whimpered. The ginger she-cat's shoulders were hunched as she mourned wistfully.
The leaves around in the forest turned yellow, slow at first but gradually faster. I glanced up. What in the Stars…
The trees withered and died. Frost started to crawl up the tree trunks. The sun slid behind the clouds, casting shadows on the leafy grounds. A snowflake landed on my nose, causing me to sneeze. Snow, in mid-greenleaf?
Blaze and Coral stared at the sky, eyes glazed with grief but they already noticed something was wrong.
A powerful voice shook the air.
Tawny's corpse rose up and his spirit tore away from the tabby's body. The tabby was young as a spirit- his amber eyes were no longer clouded, his pelt was glossy but his torn ear remained.
'I have to go,' he murmured. 'I will fight for Shaded.'
Coral's jaw dropped. 'You know?'
He started to fade. 'You'll understand.'
'GemClan! We have to hunt Evanescence down!' Ametrine's shrill voice echoed around the camp. Sapphire stood next to Ametrine. 'She will lead the main patrol. We had last scented Evanescence near the Four Trees.'
Inferno's amber eyes narrowed. 'Are you sure she'll be there?'
Sapphire shot a glare at Inferno. 'I scented Blaze and Coral in the forests. Are you doubting my senses?'
Lily frowned. 'What about Emerald? Do you think she's with Evanescence?'
'Most likely.' Ametrine stared at Lily. The worried queen was stressing herself out; she needed to take a break. 'You should go to the nursery.' she mewed gently but it was obvious how fake it was. The weary queen noticed nothing and stumbled towards the nursery.
Ametrine looked up to the stars and vowed to the spirits. I will haunt her 'till her last breath. There's nothing to worry about. We will win this, mother.
Purity heard and smirked.
The snow was falling fast, covering the lands in a white blanket. I shivered. Even my thick coat wasn't enough to keep the cold out.
Coral and Blaze were having a magpie when a crisp sound of a branch breaking was made.
I scented Shaded.
The white she-cat hurried over, her golden eyes glowing. 'Beware! GemClan's scented you near the Four Trees!'
It wasn't until then I realized that the cat wasn't Shaded.
'W-who are you?'
'An illusion. There's no time left, we have to go!'
'Where to?' Coral asked innocently.
The illusion rolled her eyes. 'Dark Forest. Duh.'
Coral widened her eyes. 'Bu-but I'm not allowed to go there! Purity's going to kill me for that! '
Blaze pounced on her playfully. 'As if she wouldn't kill us already.'
The illusion was getting impatient. 'Come on! You guys are wasting time.'
'Okay, chill!' Blaze snorted. 'Evanescence, you coming?'
The black she-cat halted. 'But-'
'You have to!' The illusion exclaimed. 'Shaded's orders.'
'Coral?' I whispered.
'I'll see you around I guess.' Coral blinked.
The illusion turned and yowled at the shadows. 'Take us to the Dark Forest!'
The Dark Forest looked somehow different, not like the Dark Forest she knew. The forest seemed more dismal, more bleak, even when the strong icy feeling was covered by the gentle wash of glowing stars, warming the land. The canopy of dark bushes and leaves were slowly clearing out, bits of the starry midnight blue sky were peeking out like orbs of blue staring down at them. This wasn't calming- it seemed like thousands of eyes were glaring down at them, the bloodied floor was splotched with clumps of fur. Cold and icy winds blew across the forest from time to time, and as those winds attacked the trees, a shower of leaves rained on them.
'Where's everyone?' I asked. 'Last time this place was camp.'
The illusion merely shrugged. 'They've been moving so much, even I lost track.'
A battle yowl rang in the distance. The thunder of pawsteps neared and the Dark Forest's spirits burst out, with Starclan hard on their paws.
'Hold your lines!' A familiar voice commanded. The white she cat summoned a new surge of mist and shaped them into cats. 'Fight to death!'
The Starclan party stopped charging. They broke ranks and scattered, surrounding the rival's attack force completely. A lone black she cat, so much like me in appearance, stayed in the center.
'Oh, my dear mother thinks she is so winning this.' Purity smirked.
'You brat.' Shaded's words were barely a whisper. 'Never. Would. I. Ever. Hand. My. Territory. Over.'
Pure, frothing fire poured out of her bright golden eyes vehemently, her eyes darkening into a storm of flames, her sanguinolent white pelt was in a ruffled manner. Her gaze seared into the black she-cat's pelt, causing her to yelp; a fresh burn laid on Purity, stretching from muzzle to chest. It looked awfully agonizing.
Shaded was unaware that her younger daughter was present. Her glare was barely darker than pure flames, as it was stormy and whirling.
A white tabby tom wove from the rank of warriors, his teal eyes glinting in resent as he glowered at Purity. The black she-cat returned his glare steadily with icyness.
'Shaded, Mistress,' he growled, 'she ought to be back in StarClan.'
The black she-cat's lips twisted into a sneer. 'Do you think you- a pure mortal- can manipulate me?' Venom trickled abundantly from her revengeful snarl, her green eyes flashing menacingly.
'Do you think a piece of StarClan scum can stop us?' Without a second word, the Dark Forest cats let out cries and charged towards the starry cats fearlessly.
I froze in horror. Shrieks of agony and triumph echoed in the hollow woods, when Blaze's bright amber eyes shone in determination.
'We can win them, can't we?' the ginger she-cat's tone was hopeful as she saw the Dark Forest cats pushing their opponents back towards the border.
'C'mon.' I whispered and led Blaze towards the clash under the shelter of trees, bringing the element of surprise. Several starry warriors shreiked as they neared. 'Now!' Shaded commanded, pushing her lines. 'We will not lose this.'
Purity hissed. The light from Shaded's flames faded slightly, but after a few moments the fire seemed to rage even more. It scorched the blackened forest ground, creating a force field that was impenetrable.
Cats were howling in fury.
Shaded shrieked, 'Three, two, one!'
Every single cat had plummeted over to the starry cats, sweeping over them like hail.
The starry cats shrieked and retreated, some stumbling over their own paws like kits. Purity turned before disappearing into the shadows of the trees.
' This is not the end, dear mother. '
'Evanescence.' Shaded purred. 'I never thought you would choose to come here.'
'You sent the illusion after me.'
'And you chose to obey.' Shaded's gaze hardened. 'Stop denying it.'
I recognized defeat and flattened my ears.
'The war is waging, Evanescence. You know very well that we have the upper hand, but Purity's army is very strong. We need reinforcements.' The white she-cat sighed.
'Over the decades, Purity made sure she had the first pick of dead warriors. She favored the strong. But she never saw the point of thinking or the powers that are much deeper. She understands nothing. She calls the ones who doesn't fight full force weak. But sometimes, power is stored so it can burst out, stronger than before. She understands nothing about these. Completely nothing.'
'But then it means that they'll have the upper hand when it comes to fighting!' Evanescence protested. 'Why don't we get stronger warriors, stronger fighters? Then we'll be able to flatten them and outwit them!'
'Do you not understand?' Shaded spat. 'I have the power to make whatever illusion I want- that includes lions and dogs and snakes and any creature that lives on Earth!'
'Then why don't you?' I hissed defiantly.
'Have you ever heard of a fair game?' Shaded snarled.
'When it comes to war, there isn't anything called 'a fair game'! We just have to win, that's all it matters-'
'Listen! If you insist that victory is more important, you are as myopic as Purity and her cats!' Shaded snarled savagely, not caring that she was talking to her daughter. 'We do not want victory! We just want honor, we want nothing to do with StarClan!'
'But-' I insisted.
'-Fine! If you don't believe in me,' the white she-cat spat, 'you can go back to GemClan and bow down to Ametrine!'
And she stormed away.
I took in my moment of silence, away from battles. The GemClan territory looked the same as ever, but it was too late to flee when I scented cats. I was cornered.
'Well, well, well. Look what we've got here. Poor lil' kitty thought her mother would aways protect her. ' Purity taunted.
My silver eyes glinted menacingly, a sadistic grin appearing on my face. Sadistic? Evanescence, what are you doing?
Purity chuckled. 'You really think this could frighten me, sis?'
'Oh, no, I thought that you were always frightened of me before.' I purred silkily. 'Phoenix, please, let me go!' I was mocking her voice mercilessly.
Purity snarled, her grin dropping immediately. 'That did not happen!'
'Oh, oh, it sure did.' A ginger she-cat appeared behind Evanescence. 'If you're going to kill my best friend, you've got to get past me first.'
'No. I'm sure your friend will be quite safe. I've came here to talk.' Purity narrowed her eyes. 'Alone.'
Blaze bristled. 'If you dare touch one hair of hers-'
She met my gaze unwillingly. 'Okay fine.' She turned and left.
My pelt prickled uneasily as the she cat surveyed me through narrowed eyes.
'What do you want?' I asked.
'To talk, of course.' Purity purred silkily.
My tail flicked impatiently.
"Shaded isn't as good and nice as she seems, is she?" Purity mewed. "She's cruel. Have you ever heard of the tale of the dark times?"
My pelt bristled. "That's only a legend." but my heartbeat quickened.
"No, silly girl. It's the truth. Shaded once killed the whole clan and left one kit alive without a mother caring for her."
Purity ranted on, but I was hardly listening. Memories flooded back, I remember the tiny ginger kit wailing for her share of milk, her desires never rewarded. Every story, every victim, I remembered them dearly. Their wails of destress had echoed into the skies, and I had helped them where I could. But I couldn't help the fact that Shaded continued to show no mercy towards the weak. Have I ever seen anyone truly?
The monster inside me took over.
Sometimes I realized I had fur between my claws, I could scent the fear and taste the blood in my mouth. Sometimes it was midday, then suddenly I was in a strange place at midnight.
Whatever that is happening, I'm sure the fear scent is Gemclan's.
What is happening to me?
Sometimes dawn is bloody, crimson with flames, wisps of bloodsoaked cobwebs unable to stop the infinite flowing of red. Sometimes dawn is serene, pale blue with gold, tufts of fallen white fur stopping the neverending gleam of sunlight.
One night I found myself stranded in the Dark Forest. I did not recognize the vague shadowy shapes of cats that I might've knew in the past. There was a white she-cat, commanding, golden eyes blazing, dripping with menace, the taste of blood and burnt bodies rising from my throat.
From then I knew that I was free from the raging hatred, the destructive monster from inside of me.
'Purity,' Ametrine frowned. 'Shaded had managed to save Evanescence.'
'I can see that.' The black she-cat snapped. 'It is now time for Plan B.'
'And may I ask what is Plan B?' Ametrine asked.
'Another name for it is, "The Plan That Will Not Fail". Now, come join me as I plot.'
The black she-cat's bright silver orbs glared in the green of the woods, hungriness digging in her stomach, the greed for fresh flowing blood caving in her head, her claws begging to come into contact with flesh.
The she cat padded deeper into the territories, her eyes staring unknowingly, her thoughts unconscious.
Her head swivelled around, searching for her next victim.
A flash of white.
And the silent pain of breathing.
Staring at the tom, my eyes widened.
What have I done?
'No...no...' I recognized the pale tabby tom as Powder. Although he showed no apparent affection for me back in the times when I was a kit, he was still nice to me in a manner. At least he didn't taunt or harm me.
I backed away slowly. The tom was badly scratched, and his throat was bleeding. If I just dug my claws a little deeper...
I shook my head. Evanescence, get a grip on yourself!
'Evanescence...' It was Blaze. 'Are you okay?'
'Don't-don't touch me!' I backed away as Blaze padded closer. After a few heartbeats, I turned and fled the scene.
She wondered if the world would still be the same without her.
Would the river still flow and splash as always, the clouds drift and wander as always, the sun still rise and fall as always?
The black she cat closed her eyes as the fire in her heart died.
The golden glow of eyes shone like the sun, the bittersweet scent of home.
I woke up to the feeling of water in my lungs. I choked amd spluttered, trying to reach out for more air. So far, I was failing miserably.
A soothing paw ran along my spine, filling my chest with her powers, drawing the water out. She nudged me into a more comfortable curling position and I soon was engulfed in darkness again.
Distant echos purred agaimst my ears. A voice, an oddly familiar one, gentle as the summer breeze breathed out my real name, the name I had almost forgotten, the identity I had as a kit which I had long since lost.
Memories of my past life washed over me. The voice. I recognize it.
The memories pulsated through my veins as though they were yearning to come alive. The blazing turmoil tore through my body as I snapped awake.
I tried to speak, but nothing came out.
'Lemuria.' The golden she-cat whispered. 'You're awake.'