A Twisted Path

Reads: 364  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Rainkit wanted nothing more than to be a loyal warrior for her Clan. But as an apprentice, Rainpaw's Clan mate Toothpaw is struck by the death of his mother and sister. Their unlikely bonding turns what might have been a peaceful story into Raingloss and Toothclaw's epic race for survival.

Submitted: May 28, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 28, 2010

A A A

A A A


Rainkit pounced on her brother. “Ha! Gotcha!” the two kits rolled over the floor of the nursery as they wrestled.
“You two are much too old to be acting like this. For StarClan’s sake, Guststar’s going to hold your apprentice ceremony today! You ought to know better.” Pondripple admonished.
“What?” Rainkit squeaked, staring at her mother. Beside her, her brother Frostkit gaped. “He is? Why didn’t you tell us earlier?” she demanded.
“Can we go outside? I want to tell Eaglepaw!” Frostkit meowed. Without waiting for permission, the white kit bounded out into the snow-filled clearing, Rainkit on his tail.
“Eaglepaw?” Frostkit asked cautiously, sticking his head into the apprentices’ den. When he saw the brown tabby, he padded forward. “Eaglepaw, guess what?”
“Huh?” Eaglepaw mumbled, blinking the sleep from his eyes. “Mosstail, I…Oh, it’s you. You!” he gasped, catching sight of the two kits. “What are you doing here? I don’t want any more thorns in my bedding, thank you! I don’t care how they got there,” he added as Rainkit opened her mouth, “that earned me a moon of cleaning bedding for Thrushpaw! Now get out!” he spat as he chased the kits away.
“We’re sorry!” Frostkit yowled as he bolted.
“Yes! Yes, we a-“Rainkit broke off as she collided with a young russet she-cat, sending snow flying. “Dawnpaw! Sorry! We were just- is that vole?”
“Um…yes, it is. How did you ruffle Eaglepaw’s feathers this time?” Dawnpaw asked, setting down the fresh-kill.
“We didn’t do anything! We only wanted to tell him something, and he chased us out!” Frostkit’s innocent expression was only a bit overdone.
“I see,” Dawnpaw mewed, stifling a mrrow of laughter. “What were you going to tell him?”
“Pondripple said that Guststar’s going to make us apprentices today!” Rainkit squeaked excitedly. “Maybe he’ll give you your warrior name, as well! You’ve been training for long enough.”
“Huh. Maybe,” Dawnpaw grumbled as she padded away. “Flamespirit might not see it that way.”
“All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather here beneath the SnowStone for a Clan meeting!” Guststar yowled. Both kits scampered to the base of the huge rock and waited. “Today we acknowledge two apprentices who have trained exceedingly well. Dawnpaw and Thrushpaw, come forward.” The apprentices stepped up, looking nervous. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code and treat all cats with justice?”
“Yes,” meowed Thrushpaw.
“Yes,” agreed Dawnpaw.
“Then in the eyes of StarClan, I name you Thrushflight. StarClan honors your humor and bravery. Dawnpaw, I name you Dawncry. StarClan honors your inner strength and sense of fairness.”
As both cats licked Guststar’s shoulder, Frostkit leaned toward his sister.
“Poor Eaglepaw sure looks upset. I’m not looking forward to sharing a den with him tonight.”
“Mouse-brain, we’ll be sitting vigil outside the camp tonight! You won’t have to.” Rainkit finished as the leader began speaking again.
“Their places, however, will not be empty. Rainkit and Frostkit have reached their sixth moon. In the eyes of StarClan, I name you, Frostkit and Rainkit, Frostpaw and Rainpaw. Your mentors will be-“
All heads turned towards the nursery as a shrill cry rose from it. Rainpaw saw Nightflower vanish inside, Ripplewatcher behind her.
“Nightflower? Nightflower!” Cloudleap yowled. He bounded inside the nursery, and then reappeared in a moment. “The kits are coming!”
Rainpaw heard her brother gasp, and looked at Guststar. They didn’t know who their mentors would be yet!
“Stay calm,” he meowed over the murmurs of his Clan. “Ripplewatcher is an experienced medicine cat, and Nightflower is healthy. We will continue with this ceremony. Frostpaw, your mentor will be Snowstep. Rainpaw, your mentor will be Leafsky.”
Rainpaw touched noses with Leafsky, while Frostpaw did the same with Snowstep. Then she and her brother crept toward the nursery the moment that no cat was watching them.
“…Is almost there,” they heard Ripplewatcher mew. A gasp from Nightflower, and a small noise.
“Good job!” Cloudleap praised, and began to lick his kit.
“How-how many more?” Nightflower struggled to ask.
“I think two…no, three more. Here’s the second one!” the medicine cat warned. Now they heard Lizardpaw lapping at new fur.
“I thought apprentices weren’t supposed to eavesdrop?” a cat mewed behind them. Rainpaw and Frostpaw whipped around, their eyes huge.
“Pondripple! We, uh, we were just…” Rainpaw began, but stopped when she saw that her mother’s eyes were gentle and teasing.
“It’s all right,” Pondripple chuckled, “but you should be finding a nest in your new den. Besides,” she added, “I don’t think Nightflower would take very kindly to all this! Now I have to help,” the cream-furred queen meowed, entering the nursery.
The apprentices quickly selected nests, and then emerged from the branches of the den. Rainpaw looked around and saw her mother sharing tongues with Stonesong.
 
“Is everything OK?” she asked as she bounded over.
“Yes, it’s fine. Why don’t you go take a look at the new kits?” Pondripple suggested.
When they entered the nursery, Cloudleap looked up at them from where he lay next to his mate. Nightflower was on her side in a mossy nest, four kits squirming at her belly.
“The black she-kit is Crowkit.” Cloudleap informed them. “We’ve decided to name this one Dapplekit, because the patches on her pelt look like dappled sunlight through leaves,” he explained, waving his tail at Dapplekit.
“This one,” Nightflower continued, flicking her ears at a light brown tom “is Maplekit.”
“What about the silver tom?” Rainpaw asked.
“We haven’t named him yet.” Cloudleap replied, his eyes twinkling. “We thought perhaps you would like to? After all, it was your apprentice ceremony.”
Rainpaw couldn’t believe it. How could she name a kit that wasn’t even hers? She was just barely an apprentice, too! She was about to protest when Frostpaw interrupted her thoughts.
“What do you think, Rainpaw? I like Silverkit. Or maybe Icekit. No, I know- Ashkit!” he meowed eagerly.
“I don’t know… what about something that shows what kind of warrior he’ll be? Like Bravekit, or Fiercekit. What do you think?” she asked her brother.
“That’s a good idea!” Frostpaw squeaked, bouncing up and down on his paws. “But I like Toothkit.”
“Yeah, Toothkit!” Rainpaw agreed.
“Toothkit it is, then,” Nightflower mewed. She gazed fondly at her kits as they suckled.
Someday I’ll have a family like that, Rainpaw thought.
“Rainpaw!” a yowl sounded from outside. “Rainpaw, come on! It’s time for training! You too, Frostpaw!”
“Already?” Frostpaw whispered as he followed his sister. When the apprentices emerged from the nursery, they saw Snowstep and Leafsky waiting for them. Frostpaw padded away behind the white she-cat, leaving Rainpaw alone with her mentor.
“All right,” Leafsky meowed, “What do you want to do first? Battle training, hunting, or fetching moss for the elders?” she suggested with a chuckle.
“Um, hunting?” Rainpaw asked timidly.
“Sure.” the golden-brown she-cat agreed. “Hunting it is.” She led Rainpaw out of the camp. When they had gone many fox-lengths from the pine tunnel entrance, they stopped.
“So, tell me what you know,” Leafsky waited with patience.
“Well, I…” Rainpaw felt very nervous with her mentor watching her. “I know that you have to step lightly while stalking a mouse, ‘cause it’ll hear your pawsteps through the ground. And…when you’re ice fishing, you have to dig your claws into the ice to stay upright. But if you dig them in too far then the fish will sense it and swim away. Also, don’t let your shadow fall on the water or it’ll scare them. And…that’s it.”
“Very good, Rainpaw! Not even Flameheart knew that much on his first day!” Leafsky’s eyes were shining with approval. “You were right, too. Can you show me the correct way to stalk a rabbit?”
The silver apprentice slipped into a crouch and slid her paws forward, her tail twitching.
“Not bad,” Leafsky mewed, “But that would have been better for a mouse. There’s nothing wrong with sliding your paws, but it’s not necessary with rabbits. What you want to watch is your tail. Like fish, the shadow might fall on the prey and send it running. And there’s always a chance it would brush a fern or something, and then that shadow would move and warn whatever your hunting that you’re there.”
“Oh,” Rainpaw thought for a moment and then tried again. “Like this?” she asked. She repeated the crouch but picked up her paws slightly, and kept her tail low to the ground.
“Exactly. You’re doing very well,” Leafsky praised. “Now let’s try it for real. Can you scent anything?”
Rainpaw raised her nose and sniffed. She could smell herself, of course, and her mentor, but also the sharp scent of the lake and…yes! A rabbit was nearby! She crept towards it and spotted the brown shape hiding, like always, in the open.
Her lesson running through her head, Rainpaw stalked the mouse. She remembered just in time that her tail was straight up and brought it down. When she was a tail-length from the rabbit, she pounced. Her first kill!
“Wonderful! Now thank StarClan for its life.” Leafsky instructed.
Thank you, StarClan. I will take no more than I must, and give as much as I can in return.
 
 
 
“Rainpaw! Rainpaw, can you teach me a battle move?” the high-pitched voice of Toothkit sounded in Rainpaw’s ears. She sighed inwardly. Barely a day went by that the kit didn’t ask what she had learned. It was like having an extremely talkative shadow.
“No, Toothkit! I’ve got to check the elders for ticks,” she mewed without thinking.
“Don’t worry, I’ll show you something. This is the back-leg-kick…” Frostpaw was saying as she padded away.
“Cats of SnowClan! It is time for an apprentice ceremony, the one that I think we are all looking forward to.” Guststar yowled from the SnowStone. “Toothkit, Maplekit, Crowkit, and Dapplekit have reached their sixth moon! Toothkit, your mentor will be Flamespirit. Maplekit, you will be mentored by Hareheart. Ferndrop will be mentor to Crowkit, and Stonesong will mentor Dapplekit. StarClan looks down on you and in their eyes, I name you: Toothpaw, Maplepaw, Crowpaw, and Dapplepaw. Also, Mosstail has told me that Eaglepaw is ready to become a warrior.” Guststar paused as the yellow-eyed apprentice padded up to him.
“Great,” Rainpaw whispered sarcastically, “No more Eaglepaw, but lots of Toothpaw.”
“Eaglepaw, you have shown great courage and a fierce protectiveness of your Clanmates.” The leader continued. “Do you promise to use these qualities for the best of your Clan?”
“I do,” Eaglepaw vowed, licking Guststar’s shoulder.
“Then by the power of StarClan, I name you Eaglewing.”
“Eaglewing! Toothpaw! Maplepaw! Crowpaw! Dapplepaw!” Rainpaw and Frostpaw yowled along with the rest of SnowClan. The silver apprentice saw Dawncry bound up to Eaglewing, congratulating him.
“Hey, Rainpaw! Hey, Frostpaw!” Toothpaw meowed as he padded over to them. “This is great! I’m finally going to sleep in the apprentices’ den. And I know Flamespirit’s gonna be a really great mentor.” The new apprentice purred.
He’ll have to be, with you as his apprentice, Rainpaw thought darkly. Although it was barely Moonrise, she padded off toward her nest.
 
 
 
“Dogs!”
Rainpaw jumped up from where she was eating a mouse. Eaglewing, Dawncry, Thrushflight, and Falconwhisker came to a halt in the center of the camp.
Guststar leapt down from the SnowStone. “Dogs? Where?” he growled.
“Not again!” Threeleg was limping over to them. His amber eyes were wide with terror.
“Threeleg, you must stay calm.” Guststar mewed firmly. “Our camp is better defended now than it was all those moons ago.” The leader turned to the patrol. “Where did you find their scent?”
“Over by the gorge,” Falconwhisker replied, “but we didn’t scent them. We… we saw them. A whole pack of them!”
“How many?” Guststar asked tersely.
“About three or four, at the most.” Dawncry interjected.
Guststar lashed his tail. “That’s hardly a pack,” he snorted, “but it’s not good. Dogs are never good.”
Rainpaw padded over to her leader. “What are you going to do?”
“We need to size up our enemy before we fight.” Guststar decided. “You, Frostpaw, Toothpaw, Crowpaw, your mentors, and Nightflower will go check them out. Now you ought to tell the other apprentices.”
“Yes, Guststar!” Rainpaw mewed. She bounded away. Leafsky and Flamespirit were sharing tongues nearby. When they heard the news, they jumped up.
“Dogs? We’ll make crowfood of them.” Flamespirit growled. “They’ll wish they’d never set paw in our territory!”
Taking this as consent, Rainpaw went to the warriors’ den to find Nightflower and Hareheart.
“There are dogs in our territory, and we’re to find them.” she told the two cats. “Dawncry said there were four, and I’d tell you more,” she explained as Hareheart opened his mouth, “but I have to find Toothpaw, Frostpaw, and Crowpaw. Besides, I didn’t hear much.”
“Wait a minute,” Nightflower interrupted. “My kits are going?”
“Only Toothpaw and Crowpaw, and you’ll go with them. You can stop them from getting into trouble. Now I really have to go!” Rainpaw excused herself and bounded away.
“Frostpaw, where’s Toothpaw?” she asked her brother.
“Over there. Hey, Toothpaw! C’mon!” Frostpaw beckoned the silver apprentice with his tail.
“What’s up?” Toothpaw asked as he bounded over.
“There are dogs on our territory, and we have to go check them out.” Rainpaw informed him.
“Who’s coming with us?” Frostpaw asked quickly.
“Our mentors, Crowpaw and Ferndrop, plus Nightflower. Frostpaw, you have to tell Snowdrop. I haven’t found her yet.”
“All right,” he agreed, and left.
Rainpaw fixed Toothpaw with a glare. “Behave yourself,” she growled.
 
 
 
“Be careful,” Nightflower whispered. The black she-cat was crouched low to the ground. “We’re near the gorge now.”
Rainpaw scented the air, and detected the foul reek of dogs. “They stink!” she hissed to Frostpaw, and got a mouthful of fur as Leafsky slapped her tail over her mouth.
Quiet!”
As the patrol crept forward, the trees thinned. Ferns and grass gave way to hot sand. A few pawsteps out, a river cut through the rocks. The ground dropped away steeply. Any cat that slipped there would almost certainly not come back up.
Rainpaw squinted in the blinding sun, the heat making her pelt itch. In the distance she saw several huge shapes moving. Dogs, she thought grimly.
When they were only five fox-lengths away, Nightflower turned.
“All right. We’re just going to watch them for a bit. No cat is going to fight the dogs, is that clear?” she whispered. The black she-cat seemed to be looking especially at her son, Toothpaw. All the apprentices nodded.
Rainpaw settled down in the sand, waiting. As far as she could tell, the dogs weren’t doing anything special. The dry ground was hot, baking her and her companions. She yawned.
They sat there until sunhigh. Only the warriors seemed alert; Toothpaw and Crowpaw were dozing. Frostpaw was tracing shapes in the sand with one claw and looking sleepy.
A thump jolted her. Crowpaw had truly fallen asleep and slumped onto the ground. The black apprentice was wide-awake now, and the rest of the patrol was staring at her.
Unfortunately, the dogs had noticed too. Their heads whipped around and their teeth glistened. All four of them formed a line and began to advance on the cats.
“Shouldn’t we run?” Rainpaw hissed to Leafsky.
“No. They might follow us, and we can’t risk leading them back to the camp.” her mentor murmured.
Every cat was on their feet now, fur bristling. Nightflower looked unusually terrified, and Rainpaw guessed that she was scared for her kits.
Crowpaw looked ashamed, and was kneading the ground with her claws. “Let’s get’em!” she yowled, launching herself at a brown dog.
“No!” Nightflower whimpered, but stayed where she was. The patrol could only watch as another dog seized Crowpaw’s tail. The apprentice screeched as teeth ripped at her legs and a set of gleaming claws tore her belly open.
Toothpaw yowled with rage and sprang at the dogs, who dropped his sister’s body and snarled. The rest of the patrol quickly followed.
Soon all nine cats were fighting for their lives, drawing closer and closer to the gorge. Rainpaw saw Snowdrop and Frostpaw battling a gray dog with a spiked collar. Her brother’s fur was red with blood, but he didn’t seem to notice. Flamespirit was next to Toothpaw, and the pair was batting their paws at the brown dog’s muzzle. Ferndrop and Nightflower were side by side. The black she-cat was crouched low to the ground, and her eyes were closed tight. Ferndrop was lashing out at a white dog. The warrior was putting up a great fight, with hardly a scratch on her.
Rainpaw’s attention was jerked back to her own battle as a huge black dog bore down on her. Leafsky was next to her in a flash. They drove the beast back tail-length by tail-length, and Rainpaw saw its feet slip over the edge of the gorge.
The dog yelped as it fell, and she didn’t stay to watch. Instead, the silver apprentice leapt onto the back of the gray dog that her brother was fighting with his mentor. Digging her claws into its eyes, she hung on as it thrashed.
With a terrifying lurch, the dog lost it’s footing and began to fall into the gorge. Summoning her last bit of strength, she jumped up and flailed her paws to find the ground. There was none.
Then she was hanging in midair with the dog plummeting below her. She twisted her head to look up, and saw Frostpaw. His face was contorted with the effort of holding her, and she could see his paws sliding forward. But Snowstep’s face appeared and grabbed her scruff, hauling her up.
Rainpaw collapsed, breathing hard. When she could lift her head again, she looked around and realized that she could only see one dog, the brown one, and it was dead.
Rainpaw struggled to her feet and staggered over to Frostpaw. Her brother was slumped in the dust, his fur covered in blood and sand. She gently began licking it off.
“Stop it!” he snarled, his eyes flashing. Rainpaw took a step back. “You shouldn’t be helping me. You could have died, for StarClan’s sake! I almost let you,” he finished in a whisper.
“But…Frostpaw, you didn’t mean to. And I didn’t die.” Rainpaw meowed. “Let’s go find out what happened to the others.”
Rainpaw trotted away and, with a heavy sigh, Frostpaw followed her.
The apprentices found the rest of the patrol clustered around two cats: Crowpaw and Nightflower. Rainpaw thought at first that Nightflower was dead, but could just barely see the rise and fall of the she-cat breathing.
Nightflower was crouched next to her daughter’s body, staring at nothing. As they watched she lifted her head to the sky and yowled, “Why? StarClan, why have you done this to me?”
A whimper of fear caught Rainpaw’s attention, and she saw Toothpaw nosing his mother’s flank. His ears were back and his pelt was smeared with blood.
Rainpaw was overcome with guilt. She had helped to name him, but had never really cared. She had snapped at her Clan mate, resented him. What if he had died in this battle?
“Nightflower…” Toothpaw whispered. Nightflower crumpled into a heap on the ground, and as she fell Rainpaw could see the long gash in her side and her mangled paw.
Nightflower’s eyes found her son, and she blinked slowly. “Toothpaw,” she rasped, “You are…so brave. I am so-so proud. Tell your father I…” She never finished. Nightflower’s eyes glazed over, and she grew still.
“No! Mother, please, wake up!” Toothpaw yowled. Snowstep licked his ear comfortingly.
“There’s nothing you can do, Toothpaw. She’s gone,”
 
 
 
“What has happened?” Guststar demanded as the patrol stumbled into the camp. His eyes widened as he caught sight of the bodies.
“The dogs killed them,” Leafsky explained, “but we killed the dogs.”
“Nightflower! Crowpaw!” all cats turned and saw Cloudleap bounding toward them. The green-eyed tom trembled as he nosed his mate. “Nightflower!” he repeated.
“Come, all of you. Let’s get those scratches treated.” The subdued mew came from Ripplewatcher. The medicine cat led them to her den where Lizardpaw stared, wide-eyed, at their injuries.
“OK, which cat is hurt the worst?” Ripplewatcher asked. Rainpaw supported her brother as he stepped forward. She could feel him shaking. “Where are you hurt?” the golden she-cat asked.
“I sprained my paw, and I…” Frostpaw fell silent as his legs gave way. He fell, unconscious. Rainpaw gasped as she saw a huge gash in his belly.
“Cobwebs, Lizardpaw! Now!” The medicine cat apprentice jumped up and stuck her paw into a cleft in the rocks. She drew it out covered in sticky threads, and plastered them over Frostpaw’s wound.
Frostpaw opened his eyes, and Rainpaw crouched next to him. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she whispered.
“I…didn’t want you to-to worry…” he moaned, then stiffened. “What are they doing? It feels like they’re jabbing thorns in it.”
“We’re putting a poultice of marigold on it. That stops infections,” Lizardpaw explained briskly. “There, that ought to do it.” she turned to Rainpaw. “How badly are you hurt?”
“I scraped my pads on some rocks, and my ear’s torn. I think that’s all.”
“Here are some dock leaves,” Lizardpaw meowed. “Chew them up and spread them on your pads. Hang on a second; I’ll get you some more cobwebs for your ear.”
Rainpaw sighed in relief as the cooling juices from the leaves seeped into her pads, and then hissed as Lizardpaw returned and began binding her ear.
“Is that better?” the medicine cat apprentice asked.
“Much better, thanks,” Rainpaw mewed. “Can I go? I’m sure you’ll need the space for other cats.”
“Sure, just be careful with your paw and don’t brush your ear against anything. Come back if it gets worse.”
Rainpaw limped out of the den and into the bright sunshine. She shuddered: the heat reminded her of the terrible battle by the gorge. She saw Cloudleap crouched beside his mate and daughter’s bodies. Toothpaw, Maplepaw, and Dapplepaw had joined him. As she watched, Streamjump left the elder’s den and sat by them. Rainpaw remembered that the silver she-cat had been Nightflower’s mother.
Trying to make herself invisible, Rainpaw scurried away and into the shade near the edge of the clearing. She lay down and tried to sleep, but raised her head as the sound of pawsteps reached her ears. Her mother stood in front of her.
“Rainpaw, are you all right? I was hunting…” Pondripple meowed. “I came back and saw the bodies, and I was afraid…I thought…” her mother trailed off and licked her ear. “I’m so glad you’re all right.” she whispered.
Rainpaw struggled to her feet. “How’s the prey running?” Her attempt at nonchalance failed.
“You should be resting. Go to the apprentice’s den, I’ll bring you something. Any preferences?”
“No, whatever’s there. I don’t mind.” She padded to the apprentice’s den and settled into the moss. Rainpaw fell asleep as soon as she closed her eyes.
When she woke up, Rainpaw had to blink to make her eyes adjust. She could see moonlight through the entrance to the den. A stale mouse was in front of her; Pondripple must have brought it while she was asleep.
A rustling outside caught her attention. She silently slipped into the camp, where Nightflower and Crowpaw’s bodies still lay. Cloudleap and his remaining children were nearby, and they all seemed to be asleep. All except Toothpaw, that was.
Rainpaw padded over to where the silver apprentice sat, staring at Silverpelt.
“They’re up there tonight,” he whispered. “Aren’t they?”
“Yeah,” Rainpaw murmured. “They’re watching us.”
“Crowpaw’s not. She’s probably… probably annoying all the StarClan cats with questions.” Toothpaw’s voice broke.
“I’m so sorry, Toothpaw. For everything.” Rainpaw mewed suddenly.
“S’okay,” her companion muttered. “I was a bit of an annoying beetle-brain, wasn’t I?”
Rainpaw nodded and pressed her pelt next to his. “This will all work out, you know.”
“Yeah,” Toothpaw meowed, his green eyes staring into hers. “I know.”
The next day, Rainpaw woke at dawn to Guststar’s yowling.
“All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the SnowStone for a Clan meeting!”
Rainpaw nudged Toothpaw awake and they sat among the cats that emerged from their dens.
“In honor of yesterday’s battle, I am going to make three apprentices warriors. Toothpaw and Rainpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and honor it with every breath?”
“I do,” both apprentices mewed fervently.
“Then by StarClan, I give you your warrior names. From this moment, you shall be known as Toothclaw. StarClan honors your bravery and skill in battle. Rainpaw, in the eyes of StarClan I name you Raingloss. StarClan honors your compassion and sense of justice.”
Raingloss stepped forward and licked Guststar’s shoulder, and Toothclaw did the same.
“However, we have one more warrior ceremony to hold today. Frostpaw cannot become a warrior yet because of his injuries, but one other brave apprentice can. StarClan, I call you to look down upon this cat, Crowpaw.”
Shocked whispers swept through the Clan, and Toothclaw’s eyes gleamed.
“In honor of her bravery, I ask you to accept her once again, this time as a warrior. Her name will be Crowspirit.”
“Crowspirit! Raingloss! Toothclaw!” the cats of SnowClan yowled.
“Congratulations, Raingloss!” Pondripple meowed.
“Thanks. I’m going to go see Frostpaw,” Raingloss excused herself.
When she entered the medicine cat’s den, her brother was asleep. But as she sat down beside him, he opened his eyes.
“Hey, Rainpaw. What’s with all the noise?” he mewed weakly.
“I…I’m not Rainpaw anymore. Guststar just held my warrior ceremony. I’m so sorry, Frostpaw!” she squeaked as her brother’s eyes flashed.
“It’s not your fault,” he growled, giving her a look that plainly said he thought it was.
“Wouldn’t…wouldn’t you rather become a warrior when you’re strong?” she ventured.
“I suppose,” Frostpaw sighed. “So, what am I supposed to call you now?”
“Raingloss,” she replied.
 
 
 
“Frostpaw! What are you doing?” Raingloss demanded. Her brother, still frail, was padding shakily across the camp towards her. Moons later, he was barely recovered from his injuries.
“I’m going to check out my nest in the warriors den. Guststar said he’d hold my ceremony today!”
“That’s great!” Raingloss meowed. “I’ll bet he-“ she broke off as the Clan leader yowled down from the SnowStone.
“Cats of SnowClan, gather! Today, we acknowledge three apprentices who are ready to become warriors. Frostpaw, Maplepaw, and Dapplepaw, please come forward.
“Maplepaw, you will be known from now on as Maplejump. StarClan honors your humor and energy. Dapplepaw, you will be called Dapplelight. StarClan honors your spirit and loyalty. And Frostpaw,” Guststar mewed, turning to the oldest apprentice. “You will be known as Frostwing. StarClan honors your courage and determination.”
“Maplejump! Dapplelight! Frostwing!” Raingloss yowled as her brother licked his leader’s shoulder. She saw Pondripple bouncing on her paws like a kit, her eyes glimmering with excitement as she watched her son become a warrior at last.
“You must be so happy,” Toothclaw meowed as he stood beside her.
“Yes,” Raingloss agreed, “I am. He’s waited for this much longer than he should have.”
That night in the warriors’ den, Frostwing was welcomed with more enthusiasm than average. When Raingloss and Toothclaw took up their nests side by side, he did nothing but twitch his whiskers in amusement.
 
 
 
Raingloss padded through the forest, lagging behind the hunting patrol. It was nearly sunhigh, and she felt so tired.
“Hey, Raingloss. What’s up?” Frostwing asked cheerfully as he fell back to be beside her.
“Nothing much. I just feel…weird.”
“Do you think you should go see Lizardback?” he asked worriedly. A moon after her brother’s warrior ceremony, Ripplewatcher had given her apprentice her full name. The next sunrise, the old medicine cat had been found dead in her den. Now Lizardback was the sole healer for the Clan.
“I guess. Tell the rest of the patrol, will you?” Raingloss asked. When Frostwing nodded and jumped ahead, she turned and walked back to the camp alone.
“Lizardback?” Raingloss called as she stuck her head into the den.
“Yes, Raingloss? What is it?” the medicine cat looked up from counting poppy seeds.
“I was wondering if maybe I’m ill. I’m always tired, no matter what I do or how much I sleep.”
“Well, Raingloss, frankly I’m a bit surprised that you haven’t realized what this is about yet.” Lizardback was giving her such a strange look that it made her pelt itch.
“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Raingloss was perplexed.


© Copyright 2019 edwardandbellaarestupid2gether. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Action and Adventure Short Stories