Everyone knows the tale of Tigerstar.

I watch, regretfully as clan life goes on. New members greet me.

I am known as the elder. One of the oldest, I am. But my fighting skills are sharper than ever.

I just tried to love. That was my only fault. And Ashfur did too.

But where did that make him land? In StarClan.

Maybe I have been bitter too. I lived as a rogue. Why didn't Leafpool get cast away, like me?

I am fading away, sure enough. I am almost invisible. I can only see a faint line of my tortoiseshell fur.

I never thought about my terrible memories of the past. Too painful.

I should have been leader. I should have been Maplestar.

Do you know what my name is?

My name is Mapleshade.

Chapter One

Happy didn't describe me today. Neither did joyful or any of the synonyms of happy.

It was my first day out of the nursery. Yay, right?

First Tanglefern, my mother, decided to kick me out of the nursery right away. She seems anxious be back a warrior.

Secondly, Spiderkit blamed me for making her trip on the root. Tanglefern always baby her so I got in trouble. I was halfway across camp and how can I magically make Spiderkit trip? Using StarClan power?

So here I was, in the middle of camp. One thing that was good was that Spiderkit is confined to the medicine cat's den for today. The medicine cat, Whiteberry, said that she just had a sore foot for the next few sunrises.

Good riddance, sister.

The other kits in the nursery were either older or younger than me. I was the youngest kit, being only four days old but Larkwing gave birth to Snowkit yesterday. It wasn't fair that he got to be out of the nursery on the first day but I had to go out on the fourth day.

The other kits in the nursery is Echokit and Sparrowkit. They are a real pain in the tail. They are about five moons old and they already act like apprentices.

I started to wander before I heard laughter and started heading that way. Sparrowkit and Echokit was teaching Snowkit how to do the front paw swipe. They taught me how to do it too and I learned it the hard way.

Snowkit was tripping over his feet while being teased by Sparrowkit. Normal life.

"Hey, Snowkit! Want to explore camp?" I ask him.

I heard Sparrowkit whisper something harshly to him but Snowkit paid no attention to him. "Yeah!" Snowkit exclaimed.

I tug Snowkit by the scruff. "I want to explore the Warriors Den first. I want to see my father! Like in camp. I saw him before in the nursery," Snowkit was saying.

I wanted to see my father too. He was the deputy of ThunderClan so he was busy with his responsibilities. Tanglefern says that he only visited me once and named me personally. That was the only time Tanglefern said a decent comment.

"Come on, slow poke!" I yell at him.

But as it seems, I was the slow poke. I tripped over three twigs, four tails, and once with my own feet. But we finally made it.

The den was warm and comforting. The scent of fresh kill filled the air. "Wow, this place is cool!" Snowkit exclaimed.

"This place is interesting. I think I like the nursery better," I said hesitantly.

"Ahh, my daughter. I wanted to see you when you were awake. Now I see you, Maplekit."

I turned around, being face to face with my dad, Ashfall.

I expected a handsome face on Ashfall. Not this.

I can't describe it. Half of the face was torn up. Just torn up. The fur was shredded. It dotted with scars and a huge scar running from his eye to his jaw. He had been in an accident. One of his eyes was completely sealed, shut.

I expected Snowkit to run away. He didn't.

He was braver than I thought he was. And stupid.

"Hey, ugly face! How did Tanglefern got in love with you? Maybe she thought you were a—"

"Shut your face, Snowkit."

At the mention of Tanglefern, Ashfall's face got a little harder.

"Never mention my mate in a bad way. Or do you want your face to be like this?"

He pointed to his face. His voice was hard and guarded.

"I think there is a kit that might need to go to Poppystar," Ashfall growled.

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