Author: Aniju Aura
Prolog: The Prospect of a New ClanEdit
The starts shined bright in the crisp spring sky over the forest. Down below the speckle sky moved a group of furry animals. They were a group of cats heading for a grove. They were led by one big tan yellow tom. His blue eyes shined like little stars. He led the group of cats down into the middle of the grove surrounded by water. They met another group of cats led by beautiful blue gray she-cat with a white underside and paws. She led her own group of cats, around ten or so. The two groups greeted each other and soon another group appeared. This group was around fifteen members and was led by a fluffy ginger tom. His group joined the other two. The three leaders jumped upon three large rocks surrounding a tree. One rock remained empty. Finally one cat spoke.
“As you may already know,” he said. “StarClan has sent us a message of the last Clan that will join us soon.”
“This Clan’s hasn’t arrived yet?” asked the female leader. “We looked for cats in our territory but found none.”
“I regretted to say we have not located this Clan either in our territory,” said the ginger tom.
The cats in the crown mewed sorrowfully. This Clan was in anticipation for many moons now. The three Clans have been looking, waiting and waiting to hear of news of the new Clan that was destiny to form here alongside them.
“We have not seen of found any sign of them either,” meowed the big tom. “This means they are not here. They may be still traveling here or haven’t left from where they will come from. All we can do is wait.”
“Well when they do get here,” meowed the ginger tom. “I say we give them time to grow and settle down in their new home.”
“I agree,” added the she-cat. “Forming a new Clan is difficult as is without other bigger Clans to deal with. We should give them some moons to get on their feet.”
“How long?” meowed a voice from the crowd.
The cat who spoke was a dark brown tom with a white chest. He was a young cat only around eight moons old. All the cats in his Clan looked with shock that he had spoken when he was only a young cat. All the other cats sniffed in disregarded.
“How long, they should be ready to fight when they get here. We got no special treatment,” hiss another cat. The cat was a grey tom with yellow eyes .
“We will give them as long as they need once they get here,” said the big tom. “We don’t know how they will arrive or what condition they will be in.”
“I agree we should give them some time but when they get here no cat of WaterClan will harm them!” yowled the she-cat leader.
“And none of AirClan,” hissed the ginger tom at his own grey tom who had spoken earlier.
“No one from EarthClan will harm these new cats to come when they get here,” meowed the big tom. “They will be welcome to our home here.”
The cats yowled in agreement; some took a little longer to join in then others. And with that the meeting continued throughout the night.
Chapter I: Into the NightEdit
It was a cold night; Silverpelt glittered in the crisp air as seven dark shapes padded through out of the forest. These were cats, nocturnal creatures that lived wildly in the forest their whole lives. Now they left it behind them. The biggest lead the way in the shaded world. The kept close almost walking in single file. They shattered here and there but regrouped when their leader came to a stop to make sure no one was left behind. Then they set out again in a group but slowly fell apart in to gaps between each other. Finally they came to a group of bushes. The big cat checked the rim of the plants to make sure it was safe. He gave the clear and the seven cats disappeared into the darkness.
The biggest cat was a five year old tom, with red fur. He had a dark crimson stripe going down his back which gave him his name. He had a white underside but he was most a red color. His green eyes reflected the moon’s light. He checked each cat making sure each one had made it and was alright. He was a wise strong warrior and had seen many battles but his most recent one gave him the scar on his head right above his left eye. He was lucky he wasn’t blinded by that fight, a fight he wished he didn’t have to fight.
His son and only kit sat beside him. He was a splitting image of his father. He had the same red fur and white underside, but he had more white fur than his father. His eyes were a yellow green like his mother’s. He was barely a year old now and had only been a warrior for one moon. His father nuzzled him in the ear.
“Everything will be alright,” he whispered. “We will find a safe place to live as honorable warriors.”
“We need to find a place to live, Crimsonstreak,” meowed Silverfang.
She was a yearling too like Crimsonstreak’s son, Rustclaw. She was a sleek sliver white she-cat with deep blue eyes. She had been an apprentice aside Fireclaw. They had both become warriors together at the same time. They were best of friends. Both their clan had fattened under dark times, when the warriors started to not fallow the warriors code, she and Rustclaw had only been warriors for one moon or a month for human words. She had left her old clan after betraying the warriors’ code. She left to keep her honor and stay true to the code and also this would a chance at a new beginning. Crimsonstreak and Rustclaw would need more warriors. She was more than happy to come.
“Poppyflower will have her kits soon,” Silverfang went on. “If we don’t plan on going home then we need to find a safe place to call our home. Poppyflower will have her kits in a few days.”
Crimsonstreak nodded. He left after defining their leader, a dishonorable warrior who didn’t care about the code anymore. He battle his way out of the clan alongside his son and a small group of warriors. He wouldn’t go back to that clan if they weren’t honorable warriors anymore. He took his son with him who was his apprentice a moon ago. Rustclaw was his only kit. When he was a few moons old a fox had tried to get into the nursery den and Rustclaw’s mother fought it off. Crimsonstreak had helped her but she received terrible wounds. She lived long enough to tell Crimsonstreak to take care of their kit and train him to become a great warrior. Rustclaw was all he had left of his mate. He wouldn’t leave his son behind and Rustclaw would stay without his father, so they left together.
Poppyflower was expecting kits. She left with the others so her kits could grow up with the warriors’ code and be safe. She was a calico white, brown and tan fur with green eyes. She would have her kits any day now. Her mate stayed in the clan trying to fix it so Poppyflower couldcome home with their kits. She was frighten and tired. They hadn’t eaten much and had been hiding all day. Their old clan would attack them if they found out they were still in their territory.
Sitting beside her was Wild One, a fierce and brave young warrior. She was a little older then Silverfang and Rustclaw about two moons. They were den-mates when they were apprentices. She learned fast and became a warrior before Silverfang and Rustclaw. She was gifted as a natural huntress and warrior. Silverfang was happy to have her along. Wild One was the only other female beside her and Poppyflower. Wild One was a long haired cat with a black stripe on her back, gray on the sides and white chest, paws and tail. She came along to stay true to the warriors’ code.
Then there was Ashpelt, a gray brown tom with a white underside. He battled alongside Crimsonstreak who he looked up to. He was a fine young warrior who just got his apprentice who he brought with him. He believed in the warriors’ code was wanted to teach his apprentice to have honor. He had his apprentice for only a moon now just after Silverfang and Fireclaw became warriors. Ashpelt was a reliable and noble warrior to have along with.
Brownpaw was Ashpelt’s apprentice and had been for only a moon. He like his name suggested was a brown tom with a white underside tom. He was only seven moons old now. He left to become a noble warrior like his mentor. He was the only apprentice in this splinter group. He was the youngest till Poppyflower has her kits. Brownpaw sat shivering not from cold but from uncertainty.
“We will head towards Highstones,” declared Crimsonstreak. “We can stay in Mother’s Mouth. The cave will keep us safe from the wind and rain.”
“It’s good we left during new-leaf,” muttered Ashpelt. “If we need to start a new clan then we will have plenty of prey to do so.”
The seven cats had been out here for two days now. It had rained the other night. The ground was wet and there was plenty of prey but the cats were too scared to hunt much. They left most of the prey go pass them. They almost got caught by a patrol from their old clan. The warriors would have torn them apart since their leader didn’t want the splinter group. They hid in the grass and trees till they patrol had passed by without noticing them. Crimsonstreak started taking them towards the mountains or High Stones. That was one of the holy places for warriors and clans. The leaders went to receive their gift from StarClan. The cave would give them somewhere to stay.
“We will rest here for a while,” said Crimsonstreak. “Silverfang, Rustclaw, Brownpaw go hunting. Poppyflower needs food. Ashpelt, keep watch for any more patrols. Everyone be careful. Wild One, make a comfortable place for Poppyflower please.”
They cats dispersed. Silverfang trotted off into the grass with Rustclaw at her heels. The two cats found food easily. Silverfang caught a rabbit, a fat rabbit since the weather had been so nice and there was plenty of food. Rustclaw caught a blackbird. They brought back their kill to the group. They didn’t want to leave it and came back later if a patrol found the rabbit and bird then the patrol would know the splinter group was still in the area. Poppyflower ate greedily. Silverfang later caught two mice and a vole. Rustclaw found a rat and a lizard which was too easy to catch at night. They group ate what the two cats had found.
Silverfang’s ears pricked when she heard something was in the grass. The cats froze and the fur on their backs stood up. The grass moved and a red eyed rat jumped out. Brownpaw hissed in surprised. They rat wasn’t alone. Ten other rats jumped up and leaped on to the startled cats. Cats are much bigger than rats but these ones were big and had numbers on their side. Silverfang swung her claws and knocked a rat in mid air backwards. A rat grabbed on to her back. She could feel it’s teeth sink in. she swung around in circles but she couldn’t get a hold of the rat. Rustclaw jumped out of the fray. He clawed the rat off her back. It went flying with a screech. Poppyflower was sheltering under Crimsonstreak. He had a rat in his mouth. Brownpaw was battling beside Ashpelt who had his back to Wild One. The rats kept coming thought even if they had size on their side.
Silverfang snatched a rat and shook it hard before she flung it into the air. Another had her by the arm. She reared up and came crashing down with her claws unsheathed right on three rats, the one on her arm and two in front of her. Rustclaw spat out a rat and swung his claws. He had two rats on his back and another on his tail. Silverfang cuffed the rat off his side but another had leaped on her.
“There’s too many,” wailed Ashpelt.
“Get free and run!” hissed Crimsonstreak.
Suddenly they heard a loud cry and a black streak dashed out of the shadows. It was a big black cat. He clawed the rats off of Crimsonstreak. Then he stormed through the mess knocking rats into the air. With his help Silverfang, Wild One, Rustclaw and Ashpelt drove back the rats. They scampered back into the grass. The cats gathered on the other side of the bushed just before a dirt road. The black cat came with them bleeding and scared.
“Blackjaw!” cried Silverfang.
It was Blackjaw, Silverfang’s mentor when she was an apprentice. He was a big black tom with a white underside and paws. His yellow eyes looked like moons in the darkness. He was bleeding but not form the battle, no those rats wouldn’t have done that much damaged. Those scares could only be made from the claws of a cat. Blackjaw was one of the last warriors who believe in the code, but he stayed behind. He had told Crimsonstreak he wasn’t going to run away from this problem like the red warrior. Crimsonstreak didn’t run away but was driven out by his clan-mates. Now it appeared Blackjaw was also driven out.
“Blackjaw, thank you for helping us,” Crimsonstreak said as he rubbed against his old friend.
“I’m still loyal to the code,” he replied in a deep voice. “They don’t believe anymore. They chased me out just like you. I nearly got away with my life.”
Blackjaw leaned over, beaten and depressed. The code was his prime. He was an honorable warrior and had believed the code was sacred. Now he felt beaten and was broken. His clan wasn’t the clan he was born into. When he was a kit, the warriors were honorable and respected. He wanted to be like that. He was only three or so and had been one of the most respected warriors in the clan. Now he was an outcast.
“Well Blackjaw, you are welcome to join us,” said Crimsonstreak.
Poppyflower trotted up to Blackjaw.
“Did anyone else come with you?”She asked worriedly.
“No, Darkstreak stayed behind hoping the warrior code would be re-established. No one came with me,” Blackjaw lowered his head to the queen.
Poppyflower turned and walked away. She sat down by the road. Her mate Darkstreak wanted to make a safe place for their kits but she needed him right now, more than a safe place. Toms don’t normally take care of their kits, but Darkstreak and Poppyflower had a special bond. Brownpaw was Darkstreak’s younger brother from a second litter.
“We are headed for Highstones,” declared Crimsonstreak. “If our old clan cannot be true to the warriors’ code then we will start a new clan, an honorable clan!”
The cats yowled in agreement. They couldn’t go back with the way the clan was, so the cats headed across the dirt road, on to dirt plains for Highstones.
Chapter II: Moonlight Brings A New TomorrowEdit
It took them only an hour or two to get to High Stones. The ground had been sloping upwards for some time. It was hard going and Crimsonstreak stopped a few times to let Poppyflower and the other rest. Finally they made it to Mother’s Mouth, an old mining cave that was now abandoned. The Moonstone was inside and would grow when the moon's light hit it. The cave was terrifying but Silverfang, Rustclaw and the others except for Brownpaw had been here before.
“All apprentices must travel to High Stones before they can become warriors,” said Ashpelt to his apprentice.”I guess it is your time to travel here.”
Brownpaw’s eyes light up. He looked around excitedly. The cats headed inside. Crimsonstreak lead the way with his son hot at his heels. It was dark inside too dark for even a cat to see. They walked signal file one keeping their nose at the others’ tail or side making sure they touched so no one got lost. Silverfang walked behind Rustclaw with Poppyflower at her flank. Behind her were Wild One and Ashpelt with his apprentice beside him. Blackjaw brought up the rear. Silverfang felt them turning in the darkness. Her whiskers told her so. She turned and felt the side of the wall on her whiskers. She pulled away so not to run into the side. They must have been going deeper; the ground started to slope and it was getting colder. After a while the ground leveled out and they came to a big chamber, in the middle stood the Moonstone. It shimmered in the light. There was a hole in the roof but the moon had set now and they could see the sky was binging to lighten.
“We can rest here,” said Crimsonstreak.
“Why did we come inside so far?” asked Poppyflower. “We can’t hunt.”
“There must be something on the other side of High Stones. I want to start a new clan there in a fresh new place.”
“What if the clan returns to normal after Darkstreak fixes everything?”
“I don’t think we should return to a clan that became tainted once and drove us out,” Crimsonstreak said calmly. “I don’t want to go back unless they bag me.”
Crimsonstreak was hurt badly in both ways, physically and mentally. His faith in that clan was broken. Silverfang couldn’t blame him. She was hurt too. The warriors’ code kept order and now there wasn’t even enough even for a mother and her kits. Silverfang was curious on what was on the other side too. She always wonder if there was more to the world then the territory she lived in. the Twoleggeds came from beyond High Stones. There must be something.
The cast settled down and soon they fell asleep. Silverfang didn’t sleep much. Her dreams were filled with fire. She was in a forest she didn’t know. The trees were on fire and it was warm. She ran for her life but all she could find were fiery trees. A white light appeared and she turned to face it. There stood a long haired white she-cat. Her deep blue eyes stood out against the red flaming trees. She wore a star around her neck. The flames didn’t touch her but moved through her around her, not interacting with her.
“Who are you?” Silverfang asked.
“I am Whitestar,” replied the white cat in a calm soothing voice.
She turned and bounded away. Silverfang followed her. She raced in the fire untill she could see the ground moving away from her. Whitestar had disappeared. She stopped suddenly when the ground shifted. The earth rose up into the air taking a small tree with it. Silverfang watched the ground heave and behind the tree a white light shined. Whitestar was at the top above the tree. Silverfang came forward to peer up. The earth now stood above the pillar of flames. There she would be safe. She stared for the hill but then everything started to fade.
“You’ll find a home in the Pillars of Fire,” Whitestar’s voice was the only thing left in the darkness.
Silverfang woke with a jolt. Her head hit Rustclaw’s side. He moaned and rolled over. He didn’t wake. Silverfang sat up looking around. She was still in the chamber with the Moonstone. It is said leaders can receive messages by sleeping next to the Moonstone but Silverfang was far away from it. Well it could just be her worrying. She worried about Poppyflower, Blackjaw, Rustclaw, and the others. She stood up and gave herself a shake. The sun’s light was shining in.
Crimsonstreak was stirring now. He stood up and gave a yawn. Blackjaw who lay next to him woke as well. The two warriors sat up. Silverfang was happy they had gotten some sleep. Everyone was tired. She looked over at Ashpelt and Poppyflower who lay still asleep. Wild One and Brownpaw were nowhere to be seen. They must have gone hunting for food. Wild One was hyper and couldn’t stay in one place for long. She would rather explore and Brownpaw would be more than willing. Silverfang nuzzled Rustclaw.
He stirred and groaned. He was sore from the rats, everyone was. He got to his paws while Silverfang went to wake Ashpelt. As Poppyflower was getting ready to go hungry, Wild One and Brownpaw came running back with food in their mouths. This time they were coming from another tunnel at the other end of the chamber. They hadn’t taken that one to get in here. Wild One dropped a mouse in front of Poppyflower. Brownpaw gave his mouse to Blackjaw who was sore and stiff this morning.
“There’s another world on the other side of that tunnel,” said Wild One excitedly. “There’s plenty of food.”
“So much that we couldn’t carry it back,” added Brwonpaw.
“Let’s have a look then,” said Crimsonstreak.
The cats followed Crimsonstreak out of the chamber with the Moonstone. As they were leaving Brownpaw ran up to the Moonstone and touched it with his nose. He jerked back and his nose sparkled with Moon dust. He shook his head as Ashpelt called for him to keep up. Brownpaw hurried after his mentor. Silverfang heard him behind her whimpering to his mentor.
“StarClan gave me a vision,” he said.
“StarClan only talks to Leaders and Medicine Cats,” Ashpelt told him. “Why would the talk to you?”
“They told me where we should live,” he insisted. “There is a hill with trees that look like fire.”
Ashpelt grunted. It was obvious that Ashpelt didn’t believe Brownpaw, after all he was just an apprentice. Silverfang wouldn’t have believed him if she had not had a dream with fire trees and a hill. The small group kept going despite what Brownpaw said. Silverfang kept quiet. The ground slope up and bit but not like the tunnel they had taken the night before. They were walking long when they soon saw a light up ahead. Wild One raced out into open air. When the rest of the clan made it there was a pile of fresh kill waiting for them. Down below was a Twoleg nest and city.
They cats wandered for three days and moons in the forest and one in a Twoleg's Nest. The ground was hard and made of stone. The twolegs’ monsters where everywhere and so where their dogs and cats. The small group didn’t talk to any kittypet there. They went through a small community with cozy homes and nice yards. There they found many things to eat. This is when Rustclaw got brave and went up to a sleeping monster resting in front of a Twolegs’ nest. It was a silver shine thing on round feet. It sat on a small Thunderpath in front of the nest. Rustclaw sat near it for a while then got up and padded over slowly tapping it with his paw. It didn’t move. Crimsonstreak yowled in terror at seeing his only son so close to a monster. He called his son back over in an angry tone. As Rustclaw crouched down with his ears back and tail low, the monster suddenly beeped like a growl. Rustclaw jumped in the air and took off running before he hit the ground. He dashed into the bushes where everyone was. A young twoleg came out of the nest calling to his mother about something. He got into the monster and woke it up. Then the two took off down the street.
“What were you doing over there?” hissed Crimsonstreak to his son.
“I don’t think it was awake dad,” mewed Rustclaw. “It didn’t know I was there.”
“That young twoleg woke it up somehow,” added Blackjaw. “It must be like a dog. They own it and take care of it and it takes them places. It must have been waiting for him.”
“That doesn’t explain why Rustclaw was near it!”
Rustclaw got his head crewed off by his father for awhile after that. Rustclaw stayed away from the monster from then on. The cats kept moving mostly at night or on the edge of the nests. The twolegs nest ended and their big building began. The cats found a river in the city. It was flat and had no plants, rocks or fish. They walked along it for hours till they came to the forest again. There they hunted and rested before taking off again at night. they cats had to climb another High Stone before they reach the other side. It was dark when the reach the top but the sun wasn’t too far away. They cats climbed down as the sun was coming up along with the best view ever.
They were on the other side of High Stone and there was in a valley. The valley curved in a U shape where more High Stones stood. They could see everything. The valley below had a Twolegged camp to one side of flat prairie lands that was dotted with small forests and trees here and there. Straight in front of them stood a tall forest with huge canopy trees and beyond that a great forest lands and then something they never seen before. They biggest lake they ever saw so big that couldn’t see the other side. They could see the earth curve something never seen before. Cats don’t know that the earth was round. That’s something that wasn’t important to them.
The air was cool and crisp and clean very clean. They could hear the wind howling through the valley and trees. The ground was starting to warm from the sun’s rays. The birds sung sweet music. The cats stood for a long time not speaking. Finally hunger took hold and the smell of fresh kill was too much. Each cat took a piece and ate looking out over the valley.
“Why didn’t anyone tell us this was here?” asked Rustclaw.
“No one knew this was here,” replied Blackjaw.
“Do you think there are any other cats?” asked Ashpelt.
“Well where to the rogues go and the Twolegged must have some cats with them down there. Maybe a few became wild like us,” answered Silverfang.
“Is this where all the rogues go,” muttered Poppyflower. “I don’t want to live with groups of rogues living around down there.”
“Well they’ll think we’re rogue warriors too,” commented Crimsonstreak. “We just need to start our clan and teach our kits the ways of the warrior. No rogue will come near us with Blackjaw around.”
He looked at Blackjaw who then lifted his head proudly. The other cats agreed with Crimsonstreak. Blackjaw was a great warrior. The group was mostly warriors anyways except for Brownpaw and the unborn kits. The cats ate their food and rested for a while before setting out. It was still early morning now and would be a few hours before Sun High, or noon in human terms. Crimsonstreak lead the way with Blackjaw staying at the back to keep watch. Everyone felt better with him on guard but they were all on guard in this new strange place.
The trees here were small for the rocky earth was low in nurturance. These trees were older than they look but that doe wasn’t concern cats, trees are trees. The air was thinner than in the low valley on the other side of High Stones and the cats had to breathe hard. As they got lower into the valley the air thicken but it was still cleaner and thinner than back home. There was plenty of prey here those it still felt like bare-leaf high on the mountain. Back at their old territory new-leaf was in full swing. The ground was rocky and covered with dead leaves and twigs but as they walked down the air warmed and the ground become softer and grass began to grow. In the valley new-leaf had took hold of the plants. There were different types of trees here and many thick bushes to hide in. some of the trees had ruddy red dark and their leaves were flaming red like they were locked in dead-leaf. But it was clean these were new and strong leaves. They were just red. These trees were red maple and as they kept going the trees became more numerous. These trees only grew to a few feet, about five or six fox lengths high in some cases higher.
The earth suddenly flatten now on to a plateau just above the land forest lands. The maple trees started to thin till they were replaced by huge red barked trees so tall that the cats craned their neck and were unable to count how many foxes it would take to get to the top. The trunks were so wide whole clans could stand around one end to end around it. Some of the trucks had massive hole at the base so wide and tall that another maple tree could fit inside. They clan cats never seen such trees, they were giants. Poppyflower was frighten at first and would not go near the massive trees. Brownpaw ran up to one with a huge hole so wide they whole clan could shelter in. he ran inside and out the other meowing with excitement.
“These trees look like that are on fire,” mewed Silverfang looking up in awe.
“How old do you think they are?!” cried Brownpaw as he was running back.
“They were saplings maybe when the clans started, or could have been adults when the great cat clans once lived. Who knows, maybe they were before StarClan,” meowed Blackjaw. “These trees are old.”
Looks like there was a fire here a few years ago,” Rustclaw pointed with his nose to a tree with fade scorch marks.
"I don't think fire could burn a tall tree," meowed Crimsonstreak. "They are too big for flames to climb. That would explain the small trees we jst saw and why the land is so fertile."
Poppyflower finally followed the others after hearing these trees couldn’t be burned. What a safe place to live if the trees couldn’t burn. There weren’t too many medium trees as they could see. There were some small saplings of the giant red fire trees. Those trees that weren’t tall enough burned and fell over, a few were lying on the ground and the cats had to jump over them. Little did they know, that the giant red wood can only produce seed pods after fire. The seeds only open under certain temperatures that are produced in a forest fire. Once they get to a certain size their bark in too thick for fire to burn.
The cats might be able to climb these trees, the bark had some grooves and pieces missing making good perches for them to get their claws in and sit on. The clan stopped for a rest and Ashpelt attempted a climb. He jumped and gripped. The bark was hard and a few pieces fell out from under him. He shimmied up using the chucks for foot holds. He climbed five fox lengths up before settling himself on a ledge. He looked down and realized how high he was. He mewed down with pride, probably the first cat to ever climb so high on one of these things. It would other ten fox lengths to get to the first small branches. As they could see the biggest branches looked like another trees growing out of the side of these massive towers.
“How’s the view up there?” called Rustclaw.
“I can see something big in the bushes other there,” he signaled with his head. “It is bigger than any animal I ever seen but it is nibbling on the leaves. You have to take a look at it form down there.”
Rustclaw was more excited than and afraid and he frolicked off in the direction Ashpelt had said. Silverfang fallowed with Wild One close behind. The three cats didn’t have to look for long. The huge creature was making some noise. The cats too shelter under a fallen tree’s branches. The animal was big like Ashpelt had said. It was a dark brown color and stood on four long stick like legs. It had a long neck and two huge ears. It had a small nose and month on a long muzzle. It lowered its head took a bite then looked up around. It small white tail flickered back and for keep flies away. It move slow nibbling leaves as it moved. Ferns were common here and it seemed to like the fresh new leaves.
“It doesn’t look dangerous but who knows,” said Wild One.
“It’s eating the leaves,” meowed Silverfang. “I don’t know of any animal that eats leaves and meat. Normally they eat one more and the other as a snack like us.”
“This is a different place so maybe the animals are different,” warned Fireclaw.
“Well we have to find out then,” said Wild One and she crawled off.
“Wait where are you going!” whispered Rustclaw worriedly.
She didn’t answer. She crawled on to another small tree. She was in plant sight but the animal just looked at here with wide eyes as if afraid. The animal’s ears were facing Wild One and the creature started to move away into the forest. Wild One leaped out at the tall creature. The animal dashed away bounding over fallen trees and over bushes till they could no longer see it but hear it running away. Wild One meowed satisfied and amused. She sated back to the others.
“That was dangerous,” hissed Rustclaw.
“It was fun,” smiled Wild One with a gleam in her eye.
“We better not tell Crimsonstreak you jumped at it.”
Chapter 3: The Déjà VuEdit
They got back and told the others it ran after seeing them. It didn’t appear to be dangerous but they weren’t going to put their guard down. Ashpelt had climbed down and rejoined the others. Crimsonstreak wanted to find a place to stay for the night. In the distance they could hear another storm coming. Rain would be here in a few hours most likely before sun set. They traveled a bit in the direction they were going but the sounds of a river took them off course. Water it what they needed at the moment. Poppyflower need water and rest. She was feeling tired and was slowing the cats down.
The trees broke away and the ground sloped up a few fox lengths. The cats stopped and looked up. It a hill that appeared out of nowhere. There was small maples tree at the top. The sky shown bright blue behind it making the tree appear to be on fire. There were a few bushes grown on the slope dotting it like a spotted cat. Silverfang meowed loudly. She stared for the hill.
“Wait, where are you doing?” asked Crimsonstreak.
“I’ve seen this place in a dream,” she said no looking at him.
“I did too!” wailed Brownpaw excitedly. “StarClan showed it to me when I touch the Moonstone!”
Silverfang started back up the trees. Rustclaw followed with Ashpelt. Brownpaw was stopped by Blackjaw. He meowed angrily.
“Stay here and protect Poppyflower with Blackjaw. She needs you more than us. We’ll just take a look. Something might be up there,” said Ashpelt.
Brownpaw was still disappointed but he nodded and sat next to Poppyflower. Ashpelt ran to catch up to Silverfang and Rustclaw. The cats were facing straight up and the sky look massive in front of them. The slope was sharp and the cats weren’t used to looking up but they could hold their heads down to seeing where they were stepping. There were a few bushes and the cats kept close in case there was danger. They didn’t’ know what kinds of animals lived here. Only Silverfang kept her head straight up keeping her eyes at the summit. It only too then less than half a minute to get up there for they ran. The top was flat dot o wind and rain. The maple wasn’t the only tree up here but was the only one at the tip. The hill was a long flat plateau on a plateau. It stretches about ten cat lengths till a group of trees rose at the end. It was ten cats wide from end to end till the sides started to slope. Silverfang looked around while Rustclaw pocked his head into the hole under the tree.
“It looks like the trees was pushed back at one point but the wind brought it back up right. The roots are thick now so it shouldn’t fall over. This must have happen when it was young. It looks like an animal once dug out under it.”
“But the wind would blow right into it,” said Silverfang.
“That’s probably why the animal left but I can’t smell what it was, too old.”
Silverfang pocked her head around the truck of the maple. There were a few bushes on top that would give some protection form winged animals. The cats could hide behind them to stay hidden while keeping watch of even when they were being attacked by a rival clan. No one would suspect it. The idea of the possibilities brought a smile to Silverfang’s face. Fireclaw came out of the hole and looked around.
“Where’s Ashpelt?” he asked.
Ashpelt was gone? Silverfang hadn’t notice. He was a quiet cat. She sniffed unworried for he did this offend. She found his scent went to bush to bush. He was heading for the group of trees at the other end. These trees were also maple but of a different kind. They leaves were green and fresh form the warm and rain of the weather. The group around their trucks was covered with bramble and buckthorn. A small hole was pushed and torn trough where Ashpelt had clawed his way in. Silverfang pushed through the thorn scratching at her sides. Rustclaw moaned as he came in after her. The bramble and buckthorn grow in a somewhat circle, the cats could clear it away a bit. There was a fallen tree than lay through the thorns right in front of them. The space was only three cats long and five wide till the tree. There was a hole in the tree’s side. Silverfang pocked her head in. the tree was hollow after termite and bugs ate it out. Ashpelt wasn’t inside. Only one cat could fit and maybe be able to turn if another cat was behind.
She heard a thump above her and she backed out. Ashpelt sat at the top of the truck. He looked excited and motioned with his tail to follow him over the fallen tree. Silverfang and Rustclaw followed him. The other side was like the front but the end of the plateau met the side of a mountain. The bramble and buckthorn grew in a circle and arched over the trees’ trucks to the left. There was a small red fire tree that grew below the bramble. It had a hole in its truck and a few roots grew on top of a large rock that judged out. It had fell year ago in its place and that tree grew over it and now it was stable.
Silverfang wandered around. There was a bush growing in front of a hole in the mountain side. She pushed her way through. It was much bigger inside and more cat than the eight now could fit with room to spare. She found it and a few tunnels for rabbits once lived here with a few mice then a bear moved in one winter and dug it out. It had been unused for years now but the fur and claw marks remained as a reminder of the home this cave had been too many animals. Silverfang knew this would be great shelter for the cats tonight when the rain hit.
While she was inside the cave, Rustclaw and Ashpelt were exploring the gnarly old oak tree to the right side almost across from the red wood with the rock. It was small for an oak but it was hollowed out but animals, mice and bats mostly after so termites got to it. It had tunnels and path ways for a small cat to fit in. Ashpelt was a small cat for his age and was thinner than he looked. He quizzed into the tunnels. He came out another hole on the other side. He meowed to the other two to come.
Silverfang and Rustclaw met him at the edge of the thorn bushes. He smiled at them and they had no idea what he was so happy about. He reached out a claw and pulled up a branch of thorn and the other side of the hill and forest could be seen. It was a secret path way. The branch appeared to be a bush but wasn’t and it had a bare none thorny twig they could touch.
“We could use this to escape from attacks from enemies and we can get down faster than going all the way to the front,” he said.
“We should get the others,” suggested Rustclaw.
The three cats headed back now. They had good news. This would make a great place to live if there was food to be had. Well the shelter was welcome. Poppyflower h safe place to rest and have her kits. It didn’t take them long to get to the edge of the hill where the fire maple stood and it look them let time to get down.
“Now we have a camp to live in,” said Ashpelt on their way to the maple.
“We need a leader too,” Silverfang pointed out what they were all thinking.
“We’ll decide that later,” meowed Rustclaw as they heading down the hill.
They ran down too fast that Ashpelt tripped and rolled to the bottom. Rustclaw leaped over him and Silverfang skid to a spot almost falling over Ashpelt. Blackjaw came up to the pile of cats, Crimsonstreak followed.
“Well what’s up there?”
“We can live up there,” said Rustclaw excitedly. “There are places we need to work on but there’s a cave and lots of bramble and buckthorn to protect our camp.”
“There’s a place for Poppyflower to have her kits and they’ll be safe,” added Silverfang.
“Rain is coming so we have no choice but the take shelter up there soon,” advised Blackjaw.
The cats gathered at the bottom of the hill. All would go up together. Poppyflower was slow to her paws. Wild One and Ashpelt put themselves on both sides of her. Rustclaw lead the way with this father behind him. Silverfang walked behind him with Brown paw. Black jaw was on high alert. Being in the open was something he wasn’t used to. The summit was easily reached. Crimsonstreak wasn’t impressed but his empty tree but Rustclaw shoved him along. This wasn’t where they were going to stay. They headed for the bramble buckthorn. The cast pushed they way through. Blackjaw clawed away more thorns at the front entrance for Poppyflower. Her sides were bigger than the others. Poppyflower didn’t go to the other side of the fallen tree. She just went inside the hole and sat down. They others let her rest, Wild One stayed with her.
Rustclaw showed them Crimsonstreak around. Silverfang showed Blackjaw the secret door way in the thorns. Ashpelt showed Brownpaw the oak tree. The cats were impressed by how nice and lucky they were to find this place with no other animals living here. The fire must have scared them away. Brownpaw came out of one of the holes and stood on a branch. He looked out from his high point of view.
“There’s the river down there,” he meowed.
“Good, there be moss for Poppyflower,” Ashpelt smiled.
As soon as he said that, there was wail form Poppyflower. All the cats rushed over to her.
"The kits are coming!” cried Wild One. “We need moss fast!”
Ashpelt headed for the secret passage. It would take too long to go around. Silverfang and Brownpaw followed him to the thorn. Ashpelt moved the branch and let Silverfang and Brownpaw through first before he slipped pass. They hurtle themselves down towards the river. It was more of a shallow stream then a river. It met the river further down but they didn’t want to go that fur. The stream was only seven fox’s leaps down from their camp. There was plenty of moss here, the rocks and tree trucks were covered in it. Silverfang pulled off and good clump with her claws and scooped it up in her month. Ashpelt was on the truck of a tree. He pulled back a lager clump with his month. There was a hiss and Ashpelt leaped backwards almost landing in the water. There was a snake curled up in the roots. Silverfang dropped her moss clump.
She searched till she found a stick. She clutched it in her jaws. It was angled, pointing away from her. She pushed the stick towards the snake with her paws and teeth. She pocked the snake a few times till he started too slithered for safety. Once it was out she pushed it onto the stick and trough it into the water. The snake and stick washed down streak till the stick caught on to a log sticking half way out of the water. The snake slithered up on to the other side of the bank. The cats grabbed their moss and started up the other side of the hill. They couldn’t’ go back the way they came, the thorns were sharp on the other side of the branch. It took them longer to walk up the hill and around the bramble and buckthorn. Finally they made their way inside. Poppyflower didn’t move from inside the fallen tree. Wild One’s flanks were sticking out.
“A kitten has been born!” she said as she backed out of the hole. “Give me the moss!”
Ashpelt fell over on his side. Everyone looked at him. Silverfang brought her moss over and gave it to Wild One. She then took Brownpaw’s moss and gave it to Wild One when she came for it. Then she took Ashpelt’s who still lay on the ground with Brownpaw standing over licking his head. Silverfang gave Wild One the moss and started to lick the kit that was crawling out of the hole. Blackjaw, after Ashpelt woke order that the females be left along and they the males needed to prepare the den so everyone had a place to sleep. It wasn’t till sun down when Poppyflower had all three kittens. Wild One had crawled to the over side of her and Silverfang managed to squeeze inside. The three females licked the kittens clean and curled up with one another. Poppyflower wouldn’t move her kits in this weather and just after being born. They would stay inside the hollow tree for the night. Blackjaw didn’t feel comfortable leaving them alone so he crawled in the other side and slept there. It rained lightly that night and wasn’t too cold with all the cats tucked inside the hollow log. The others slept inside the cave.
Preview: Poppyflower has a surprise and a new cat joins the group.