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NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire

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1 NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire on June 10th 2015, 1:44 pm

Phantomstar57

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Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
NEW BLOOD - BORN OF SMOKE & FIRE 
A WARRIORS Fan Fiction
by Phantomstar57



SUMMARY


After the flood subsides, and things return to normal for all around the Lake, disaster to her two-leg home drives Kye, a pregnant Maine Coon queen, and her mate, out into the forest, alone and unprepared.
 
ThunderClan, after getting a message from StarClan, rescues them, then assists the two enormous kittypets, helping Kye birth her kits, and the Medicine cats treat Demon B's wounds. In return, Kye defends her clanmates against danger and learns to hunt, gaining the trust of her adopted clan, and,in time, the other three Clans.She also earns her warrior name of Kyestorm.

 
 As outside danger threatens all in the form of a new invasive dangerous species, Kyestorm wonders if she and her family will be able to help defend the Clans that saved their lives and accepted them as their own against the growing menace? Will they drive away the danger, or be destroyed by it? 

The time frame is almost two years or so after BRAMBLESTAR’S STORM, so beware of spoilers!!


NEW BLOOD CHARACTER LIST PAGE LINK



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:55 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Deleting some images)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

2 NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke and Fire prologue on June 10th 2015, 2:06 pm

Phantomstar57

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Limerick
PROLOGUE

One bitter cold night, many seasons after the Great Flood, Bramblestar braved the frigid wind, and sat on Highledge, looking to StarClan for answers. His thoughts dwelled on the horrific events the Clans still struggled to recover from; the Great Battle with the Dark Forest, and terrible storm that flooded the lake and surrounding territories. Competition from other creatures, such as foxes, left the Clans battling to catch enough food. Rebuilding after the  storms and flood took their toll, and the following Leaf Bare blew colder and snowier than in many, many seasons, during which greencough took yet more warriors. This Leaf Bare brought even colder weather, with violent snowstorms that covered the territories in deep snows.

Bramblestar worried about the lack prey and of kits. After Cinderpelt and Lionblaze’s kits became warriors, and his and Squirrelflight’s kits apprenticed, only Millie carried kits, and he worried that they might be born before New Leaf. With Graystripe in the Elder’s den, the announcement a quarter moon ago of Millie’s impeding kitting came as a shock, most of all to her and Graystripe. Though not an elder yet, Millie passed the age, a few seasons ago, where queens normally kitted.  Everyone protected Millie, giving her their prey, wishing so much to fill the nursery with kits come New Leaf, but Bramblestar worried. Millie continued to fret over Briarlight, sometimes giving her prey to her daughter, taking away from her unborn kits.

Bramblestar shifted his body on the cold rock, staring through the leafless trees at the frozen lake. His stomach twisted into knots. Strange dogs barked and howled in the distance every night, their voices sounding very different from the dogs of Two-leg origins. Their haunting cries sent cold foreboding deep into Bramblestar's soul.

"How can I help my Clan against these things? How much more can we endure?" he meowed. “Leaf Bare is taking its toll on us, and Millie is not young anymore. We can’t lose those kits,” he mumbled to the clear starry sky.

  No answer came out of the glittering stars, but the soft fall of pawsteps in the snow caught his attention. Jayfeather approached him, nimbly climbing the icy rocks. Bramblestar eyed his Medicine cat in surprise.

"What are you doing out here. Its beyond freezing."

"I had a vision." Jayfeather hunched down against the wind, facing his Leader. “It woke me, and I heard your plea.”

"Any word for us?" Bramblestar asked, as the bitter cold wind ruffled his short thick pelt. He shivered.

"It's rather unclear. I saw smoke and flames, kits, and a very large pregnant queen in need of help," Jayfeather grumbled. "All Firestar said was to help the giant red Queen."

"When?" Bramblestar scowled, flicking his tail, amber eyes glinting under the waning moonlight.

"I don't know." Jayfeather retorted irritably. "The vision showed patchy snow cover. Obviously late Leaf Bare or early New Leaf. This has yet to pass."

"Then when the time comes, we assist this strange queen. I’ll keep patrols alert for cries for help." Bramblestar stood up, surveying the snow-covered territory. A haunting howl echoed across the lake from the direction of the Horseplace. The dogs living there barked and snarled in response, and Bramblestar glanced again at Silverpelt.

"What new menace threatens us now?" Bramblestar frowned at Jayfeather "This help best come quickly! I don't like what I hear echoing across the Clans' territories."

“Nor do I. I have never heard such before. But I know its something dangerous, a real threat. So we will help the giant red queen.” Jayfeather turned and carefully descended the rocky ground, then veered off to his den.

“Giant red queen?” Bramblestar muttered. “Kittypet? I hope not. They are always so helpless at first. Rogue?  Mousedung! Another Clan cat? No. No big red she-cats in other clans are having kits. Maybe some loner? How can any loner help us?”

The wind whistled over the rocks, and Bramblestar jumped down from Highledge, heading back to his den.  He curled up, trying not to disturb Squirrelflight, but before he fell back to sleep, a swirl of mist and sparkles formed at the mouth of the den. He jerked his head up. A familiar red form stood before him, translucent, shimmering like Silverpelt. Squirrelflight awoke with a start, faced the apparition, A squeak of shock left her jaws.

“Firestar?”  Bramblestar finally found his voice.

“Do all you can to help the giant red Queen, her mate, and her kits.” Firestar’s green eyes shone. “Through fire and smoke, new blood is born.”

“I will,” Bramblestar meowed. “But, when, where? How?”

“You will know,” Firestar answered, and  vanished in a swirl of wind and snow as a bitter breeze blew into the den.

“Great StarClan!” Squirrelflight exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with annoyance.  “My father hated when StarClan spoke in riddles and vagueness, but now he does the same?”

“Maybe he has no choice, but at least we have a clue what to keep alert for.” Thunderclan’s Leader shook his head, then snuggled up against his mate. “Some unknown she-cat who has or will have kits. How under StarClan can she help us?”

“Are you sure it will be a cat?” Squirrelflight scoffed.

“I don’t know, but I assume, yes, a cat.” Bramblestar gazed at his mate. “I hope so, because queen means more kits. But I cannot see how this will help us catch more prey or fight some unknown enemy.”

“Then we should all keep watch for this big red queen.” Squirrelflight yawned. “Without kits, a Clan grows weak. My father has his reasons so we should heed his words.”

“I intend to, but, where will this queen come from, and when? It’s mid Leaf Bare.” Bramblestar lay his head down against his deputy’s flank.

“I don’t know,” she answered irritably. “Go to sleep. When Star Clan decides to send her, they will.”

“Out of fire and smoke new blood is born?  Let’s hope the forest doesn’t have to burn down for her to show up.” Bramblestar heaved a huge sigh, exhaling in a grouchy growl, visions of fire in the trees and smoke blanketing the snowy hills dancing before his inner eye.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:56 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove images)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAP ONE: ESCAPE
 


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PART I
“Get up!!”

The screech brought Kye out of unsettling dreams, and she jerked awake. She sat up in her soft plush bed, shocked by screams of her housefolk, searing heat, and choking smoke. Sirens split the night, pummeling her tall, tufted  ears, and flashing lights pierced the shadows of the dark cottage. Kye wailed in terror, and spun to face the speaker. Her gorgeous mate, an enormous black-smoke Maine Coon tom with white markings glared at her from bright golden eyes dilated with fear.

"What's happening?” Kye wailed, then gagged on burning smoke when she inhaled.
 
"We have to get out of here!" he commanded. "Fire!"

Something smashed into the front door, sending wood splinters into the cottage. Flames sprouted along the front window, engulfing the drapes. Kye screamed, then coughed, the air scorching her windpipe. Dread shot through her body. An apparition came through the door, hauling a huge snakelike thing that spewed water, flooding the floors, engulfing Kye’s bed.

“What’s that?” Kye yowled, scrambling away from her bed and the water, her cry cut off by coughing.

"Follow me!" her mate bellowed.

"What about our housefolk?"

“ It’s too late! Smell that?" he meowed. "They burn! We have to run! Follow me!" Her mate leaped away, rushing toward the rear of the cottage.

"Demon B! Wait!" Kye plunged after him, hindered by her swollen bellyful of kits. She raced into the small back room where her housefolk washed their removable furs, just in time to see Demon B hurl his twenty-five pounds of Maine Coon muscle at the small window. Glass shattered, shards blasting outward, and the outer screen popped out of its track, flying into the small garden below. Without further question, Kye followed him, sailing her seventeen pound red-tabby body through the gaping maw. Jagged glass teeth pulled at her long thick fur, but never touched flesh. She landed on the grass beyond the garden, following her mate, who raced for the woods. Terror pounded her heart, pumping adrenaline into her legs.She breathed deep and fast, coughing, worried for her kits.

The two Maine Coons fled, running blindly deep into the forest. Kye raced behind her mate in witless fear, her eyes adjusting quickly to the dark. Moonlight illuminated the forest. Her paws squelched through patchy snow, and above, trees stretched leafless branches into the sky. After a while, her mate slowed down, and Kye ran on his very heels. She slowed, catching her breath, trying to control her hysteria, and stopped coughing. Ahead, a building appeared out of the gloom, and Kye’s heart leaped. Housefolk. Demon B led her there, and  hobbled in, where, on the cold cement floor of the deserted dilapidated structure, he collapsed. Kye saw no evidence that any housefolk lived there. Dismay overwhelmed her.

"We’re safe," Demon B murmured, and Kye skidded to a halt, then saw the gash on Demon’s belly. Two more cut a hindleg and foreleg. Blood pooled on the concrete from the gashes.

"Demon B! You’re hurt! There are no housefolk here! We’re lost! Noooo!" she wailed in anguish. "Noooo! HELP! HELP US!" she screamed into the night, hoping someone somewhere might hear her. Her kits kicked and tumbled, and she wailed inarticulately in abject terror.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:57 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART 2

"Fear not. Be calm," a voice whispered in her ears. She stopped shrieking and opened her eyes, gasping in shock. Standing before her on the floor, a tomcat the color of flame stood before her, glittering like the stars in the skies above her.  She realized she saw through his form, but his green eyes shone bright in the waning moonlight.

Who, what, are you?" Kye found her voice.

"I am Firestar of StarClan. Stay calm, beautiful Red Queen. Help comes."

"S-s-starclan?" Kye stared in awe, noticing other ghostly forms standing behind Firestar. A blue she-cat stepped forward, her blue eyes shimmering.

“Yes, we are StarClan. I am Bluestar. We are here to make sure you fulfill your destiny. Do not fear.”

“What destiny? Are you spirits?"

"In a sense, but no time to explain. You’ll learn more over time," Firestar answered. "Help comes. When they do, tell them I sent you.”

“Tell then Blackstar also sends you, should you meet my Clan. Be strong, and shed your kittypet roots.”  A large white tom with black legs stepped forward. He nodded. “You, your mate, and especially your kits, such enormous Warriors to be, are important."

"What? How? Who comes?"

"My Clan. They will help you." Firestar faded.

"No Don't go! Please!"

"Remember, you are important to all the Clans." Firestar vanished, leaving Kye and Demon B alone.

"Did you see them?” Demon B rasped.

"Yes, but who will help us? We ran so far and the spirits are gone!”" Kye wailed, then froze as a voice echoed  through the woods.

"Up here. I hear them up here."

"Are you sure, Leafpool?" another voice answered with an annoyed growl.

"Yes, Jayfeather. I know you heard the pain in those cries. Someone is hurt, and I know a queen in distress when I hear it"

"So do I. I just hope you are right about their location.”

"What if they are other Clan's warriors?" another voice asked.

"Don't be mousebrained, Lionblaze. We help, and  never ever leave kits in distress, born or unborn." Leafpool’s voice growled back.

Down on the slope below, the undergrowth rustled. Kye tensed, not sure what to expect, knowing wild Clan cats came to her aid instead of housefolk. She heard rumors of them, as did every cat, but she always thought them myth to scare kits! According to legend, they killed strangers! Kye gasped as her kits wrestled inside, sending bolts of pain through her abdomen. She knew stress hastened their birthing time. She thought of the starry, kind, but courageous figures she saw moments ago, and decided to put her trust in StarClan.

"Help! Help us! Pleease!" she wailed.

Four cats broke from the brush, and halted on the cement floor.

"Great StarClan!" a golden tabby tom exclaimed. "Are you sure they are cats?"

"Yes!" the she-cat called Leafpool answered, after a moment of surprise. "Very large cats, and one is a very large red queen! These are the cats Firestar said to help. Come on."

Kye gaped in shock as a blind grey tomcat surged forward, gently running his muzzle over Demon B. Leafpool examined Kye with gentle paws.

"You will kit very soon!"

"Yes, in another quarter moon," Kye answered . "But it feels like now!"

"We have to get you to safety. Stress may bring on kitting. Jayfeather, how is he?"

"He lives. We need to get him to the Medicine Den, but who is going to carry him? He is enormous!"

"Mousebrains," the forth cat meowed. "Lionblaze, you and I will carry him."

"How? Cinderheart, have you lost your mind? He is larger than a big dogfox!"

“We will figure it out.” The dark grey she-cat stood beside Demon B, who gazed at the she-cat warily. "Can you stand?"

"I think so," Demon B answered weakly, and struggling, rolled over on his stomach and pushed himself up.

"He is so tall we can almost walk under him!" Cinderheart said. "What is your name?

"I’m Warlock Demon B"  Kye's mate grunted, as the two cats slipped under him and lifted him onto their backs. His hissed with pain “But Demon B is fine.”

"Mousedung!" Cinderheart grumbled "You are heavy. Why such, uh, a weird name?"

“It’s what my housefolk named me,” Demon B grunted. “My registered name is Tabbyskins Warlock Demon B.”

“Tabbyskins?” Cinderheart exclaimed with a querulous growl. “That sounds horrible. Do they skin cats?”

“No!” Demon B answered with a guffaw, which ended in a grunt of pain. “It’s the cattery name.”

“What’s a cattery?”

“It’s the place where he was born,” Kye answered. “The housefolk keep Maine Coons there and bred them. My registered name is Pangurban Madame Kye. Our housefolk adopted us from different breeders.”

“Breeders?” Cinderheart narrowed her eyes, all mirth gone from her expression. “They choose your mates? Like two-leg livestock?”

“Yes,” Kye answered, suddenly feeling embarrassed and chagrined. “Our housefolk adopted me and Demon B many suncycles apart, but over time, we became mates. They stopped us from breeding for many moons, but finally when I matured enough, they allowed it.”

“That sounds so wrong,” Cinderheart muttered as she helped Lionblaze steady Demon B.”Do you love him?”

“Yes!” Kye cried, as her kits kicked and tumbled again. “Why wouldn’t I? We grew to love each other!”

"Who cares how they met, or what their Two-legs did. Let's move. He is bleeding all over us," Lionblaze complained.

“All right, grouchy,” Cinderheart said, and Kye relaxed. She understood nothing of why they disapproved of her housefolk and the way she met Demon B. The cats headed out of the building and into the forest. Leafpool and Jayfeather flanked their companions, steadying Demon B. Kye trotted alongside, calmer, feeling relief help arrived. Might they save his mate's life?

"I can help," she said, noticing her mate's big paws and long bottlebrush tail dragging the path.

"We have this," Leafpool assured her.

"Thank you.” Kye trotted, careful not to trip over stones and roots. “Demon B and I are grateful for your help.”

“Odd names you have. Your mate’s sounds like something evil from the Dark Forest.” Cinderheart remarked.  

“He isn’t evil,” Kye retorted with a hiss, insulted anyone would think that of her huge gentle giant of a mate. “What is the Dark Forest?”

“Long sad story. Perhaps once we settle you in, someone can tell you all about it,” Leafpool answered.

“I’d like that,” Kye let her fur flatten, wanting to understand why they thought Demon B’s name so terrible.

“Good,” Leafpool replied, and halted at an overgrown dirt road. “This old Thunderpath is clear as usual, but better safe than sorry.”  Kye looked back at the overgrown road, as the they moved deeper into the forest.

“Thunderpath?” Kye asked.

“Yes, where the monsters go.” Jayfeather answered. “This one never gets used, but we are always careful anyway.”

“Oh, housefolk machines. They are scary. The flying monsters are frightful. We came here in one.”

 “Dreadful! You are so huge and unlike any cats we have ever seen,” Cinderheart spoke up. “Nobody ever spoke of enormous cats with thick long fur and gargantuan paws. You’re larger than the famed, but illusive wildcats that live far north of here. Your housefolk control your breeding. You must be a pair of pampered purebreds that never set foot outdoors.””

“We are allowed out in the Garden to play and hunt. I always loved being outside,” Kye meowed. “We’re not stuck up Persians or skinny cold-intolerant Orientals.” Kye’s voice rose. “We’re Maine Coon cats.”

“Maine what?” Cinderheart asked, then grunted as Demon B’s body shifted.

“Maine Coon cats,” Kye repeated. “We’re a breed from over the Great Water, and we came over here in a flying monster to live here a suncycle ago.” Kye replied.

“Suncycle? Great Water? You mean the Sundrown place?” Cinderheart exclaimed.

“Yes, a suncycle, many moons, twelve moons. Our housefolk finally let us have kits and they’re due in a quarter moon! But we woke tonight to fire!” Kye yowled with grief. “Our housefolk, the cottage, everything burned! It was awful. Demon B crashed through a window to save us. And he is hurt bad, but we made it to that old building”

“The old Two-leg place.” Leafpool said, her tone turning sorrowful. “You’re kittypets.”

“Kittypets? Yes, I suppose. Why is that so sad?” Kye mumbled.

“My father was a kittypet in his youth. He died in the Great Battle. He is missed.”

“Firestar?” Kye’s mind jumped with insight. “A red cat appeared to us, telling us not to be afraid.”

“I told you,” Jayfeather grumbled. “I saw this.”

“How do you know that name?” Leafpool urged Kye to answer, ignoring Jayfeather’s comment.

“You’ll think I’m crazy,” Kye meowed. “When we lay, scared, after our run, he appeared to us. He said he was from StarClan, calling himself Firestar. He said we are important, and that his clan would help us. We saw others, called Bluestar, and Blackstar.”

“You’re not crazy. Firestar, my father, is now with StarClan. Bluestar was leader before Firestar. Blackstar, leader of ShadowClan, died in the massive floods a number of seasons ago.” Leafpool leveled her amber eyes on Kye. “You were meant to come to us.”

“Really? But. . . our housefolk, they. . .”

“Tragic,” Leafpool answered, “but you escaped because StarClan touched you. Obviously they knew tragedy would fall.”

“They could not stop it?”

“No. They have no influence over Two-leg life, but, they could help you.”  Leafpool answered softly.  Kye fell silent, thinking about all this strange information. What did they expect of her and Demon B? She grunted as her kits tumbled vigorously inside her.

“Demon? How did you wake in time?” Kye asked.

“A dream,” he mumbled. “A bad dream filled with wild cats, fire, vicious dogs, and when I woke up, smoke filled the cottage. I heard our housefolk screaming in their sleeproom. I wanted to help but there was no time. Flames trapped them in the room, spreading so fast. We had to get out.”

Kye uttered a keen of grief for her housefolk. She loved them, but said nothing, sensing these cats did not approve of housefolk or the life she and Demon B lost in that fire. They trotted through forest. The terrain sloped downhill, and they turned slowly eastward. Ahead, Kye saw a gap in brambles at the edge of a hollow.

"There is our camp." Leafpool told her. "We are taking your mate straight to the medicine den. Someone will show you to the Queen’s den."

“Queen’s den?” Kye asked, but followed the cats through the gap and into  a quiet clearing.

“Yes, the Nursery, where our queens have their kits. They are well looked after,” Leafpool assured her. Kye gazed around, noting the intricately constructed nests and dens, and the cliffs that rose on the north side of the hollow. Kye glanced up, and saw dawn lightening the eastern sky, while the moon set in the west. As Leafpool led Kye across the hard ground, the camp erupted to life. Cats poured out of the dens. A long-haired cream she-cat approached, along with other cats. Kye bristled with anxiety, as they closed in around her, blocking the cream she-cat’s way.  Questions bombarded her from many.

“Who are you?” A large long-haired white tom asked, looking Kye up and down.

“A huge kittypet?” Another tom scoffed. “Its still Leaf Bare! We can’‘t help any more kittypets!”

“Shut it,” the white tom bared his fangs at the black, long-legged tom. “My uncle was once a kittypet and a better leader the Clan has never seen! How can you even say that?”

“I was a kittypet, too. Do you think I shouldn’t be here?” A grey tom snapped at the older cat.

“Sorry Cloudtail, Stormcloud.” The tom lowered his head, chastised.

“But times are so lean! The foxes plague us,” An old sandy ginger she-cat protested, but locked eyes with Kye. “How can our warriors feed more mouths?”

“Sandstorm, you of all should understand why we should,” the white tom said softly. Sandstorm gazed at Kye, her eyes full of sorrow, and Kye knew without a doubt the she-cat lost her mate some time ago.

“Halllo! I'm Hollytuft. Why do you smell like smoke?” a young black she-cat asked, distracting Kye from Sandstorm. The she-cat’s eyes met hers, wide, but inquisitive, with no hostility.

“Uh, we escaped a fire,” Kye answered, anxiety flaring up. Her kits kicked.

“We can’t feed ourselves now,” an elderly grey tabby tom said. “And my mate has kits, our last, and I would never to do anything to jeopardize them. But, Firestar would never turn away a cat in need. We should not either.”

“I agree, Graystripe,” the white tom said. “She is heavy with kits!”

“The other Clans will think we are weak again, Cloudtail,” the lanky black tom muttered. The white tom bristled, whirling on the speaker, but never uttered a single hiss.

“Enough, Spiderleg, Cloudtail.” A brown tabby tom strode through the crowd. They parted swiftly, showing utter respect, and the tom stepped in front of Kye, gazing up at her.

“I am Bramblestar.” The dark brown tabby tom regarded her with golden-amber eyes. “You must be the giant red queen we’ve been expecting. Greetings, and welcome to ThunderClan.”  

“Thank you,” Kye responded, sensing a kind and gentle soul in the battle-scarred tom. “Are you, are you, with StarClan?”

A few cats tittered, and an apprentice guffawed.

“No,” Bramblestar answered, a chuckle in his voice. “Leaders gain star in their names when they become Leader. You will learn over time, if you stay with us.”

“Stay? As in live here? Outside?” Kye lashed her tail, and alarm flashed through her. Cramps gripped her belly, and she uttered a wail

“Oww! Oh, no! My kits!”

Before anyone responded, the cream-colored she-cat she noticed earlier marched up to Kye, feathery tail flagged, and exchanged glances with Bramblestar. He nodded.

“Hallo, Kye, I am Daisy. I’ll take you to the nursery. All the excitement is making them enter the world a bit early.” Daisy hurried forward, snapping out the order. “Clear a path!”

“Oh, no!” Kye cried, but followed Daisy to a snug den protected by woven briars. Pain wracked her body and fear for her unborn kits shot through her. “Oowwww!”

“Come!” Daisy commanded, then barked out another order to an apprentice. “Alderpaw! Stop gawking! Fetch Jayfeather NOW!”

The young dark red tabby tom raced off.  Kye staggered after Daisy, her vision blurring as she entered the dark den.

“OWWW! My kits! Oh, please! Don’t let me lose them!” Kye shrieked in dread, before she crumpled to the floor, cramps engulfing her body. “Deeemon Beeeeeeeee!”

“Kyeeeee!” She heard his answering yowl before pain, terror, and darkness overwhelmed her consciousness.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on June 10th 2015, 3:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add title)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAP TWO: KITS
 

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
 
PART I
 
 
Kye slowly came out of her delirium, aware of cramps rippling her abdomen, but the pain seemed far away. She met the milky blue eyes of Jayfeather.

“Good, you are lucid,” he said.

“How do you know?” Kye asked, astonished that he knew she opened her eyes.

“My other senses are sharper than normal, and Medicine cats are more attuned to their patients,” Jayfeather answered in curt tones, his paws gentle as he examined her belly. “You have a vigorous brood here.”

“My dam had seven of us,” Kye muttered. “Medicine cat?”

“It is what it sounds like,” Jayfeather grumbled.  “If you have that many kits inside, stop pestering me and let’s get them safely into the world.”

“Let’s hope you don’t have that many!” Daisy’s voice responded with mirth and a touch of excitement. “Your first is huge.”

“Oh!” Kye struggled to lift her head, forgetting Jayfeather’s gruff comment. “I wish to see them!”

“I’ll help,” Daisy moved to Kye’s head, and offered her chest for support. Kye craned her neck to see a large bundle of damp fur. “He looks like his father, in solid black instead of smoke!”

“Your mate has unusual color, black with white roots.” Leafpool’s voice joined the conversation as she entered the nursery. “How many?”

“One so far,” Jayfeather answered. A contraction convulsed Kye, and she wailed, but surprised that birthing the second kit hurt less than she anticipated.

“Another big tomkit!” Leafpool exclaimed “So enormous!”

“This one looks like his sire in dark tabby!” Kye mewed, reaching over to nuzzle both kits to her belly. They mewled, then latched onto her to nurse.

 
“Sire?” Leafpool asked.

“Yes, sire.  A kit’s father.” Kyestorm answered, then groaned, feeling another enter the world.



“Another, like your mate, but no white markings! A beautiful she-kit!” Leafpool commented, and Kye noticed the medicine cat did not lift her eyes. Leafpool freed the kit from the birthing sac and it mewed. Kye’s heart jumped, feeling love and anxiety all at once.  “Another! They come so quick!”

“Such huge kits!” Another queen hissed. “She looks like a fox having foxcubs!!”

“Don’t be mousebrained, Millie!” Daisy uttered a meow of laughter. “None of them so far are red!”

“But she is! No she-cat is that large! I still say she is a fox!”  Millie curled protectively around her two kits, born a couple of sunrises ago. Kye turned to face the grey queen. Sharp blue eyes stared back at her, and Kye saw the older cat’s fur bristle with fear.

“Hello, Millie,” Kye mewed. “I’m not a fox. I’m a Maine Coon cat. Most of us are all rather large.”

“A Maine Coon cat? That is an odd name for a type of cat,” Millie growled. “Are you one of those snooty purebred cats Two-legs cage like prisoners?”

“I suppose we are, though being a show cat can be exciting. The cages are for our protection against thieving housefolk,” Kye answered, as a shiver went through her body. “But we come from ancestors that roamed the great forests and mountains across the Great Water! We existed before any hosuefolk decided to make us purebred showcats.” Kye grimaced at Millie. “We aren’t weak useless creatures.”

“Well, let’s hope you aren’t a drain on the Clan, when they try to feed such huge needy cats, that birth huge needy kits.” Millie glared at her. “How many mice will you eat being so huge?”

“Eat mice? I have never eaten one, but I have caught them.” Kye sneezed with mirth. “If you think I am big, wait until you see my mate.” Kye’s heart leaped, and she faced Leafpool. “How is Demon B? Does he live?”

“Yes, he lives, but is gravely injured. The gash on his chest and belly is deep, though it missed vital organs. His leg tendons were cut in one back leg and on one foreleg. He may be crippled for life.” Leafpool answered. “I am sorry. All we can do is wait.”

“I. . .” Kye groaned as another kit arrived into the world. She lifted her head, and guided the golden-brown tabby tomkit to her belly. The next two birthed quickly, and Kye nosed them both to her side. A brown tabby and white she-kit and a blue-smoke she-kit completed the large litter. The tabby and white she-kit nursed vigorously, uttering little growls. Kye eyed her feisty she-kit, then lay her head down as they nursed. “I don’t want to be a burden.”

“Nonsense,” Jayfeather snorted. “StarClan sent you to us for a reason, but like anything else, such things never go easy. But my visions were clear! Help the giant red queen, her kits, and her mate.  You are a gigantic red queen with kits!”

“I suppose I am,” Kye sighed.

“Are you hungry?” Daisy asked. “You need strength with six kits to feed.”

“Yes, but. . .” Kye stammered. “What will I eat?”

“Fresh kill, like the rest of us,” Daisy answered and trotted out of the den, her tail waving with excitement. Kye thought of the mice she caught in the cottage, and wrinkled her nose. She pounced on them in fun, and killed them accidentally with her large paws without meaning to. She always felt disappointment when the mouse stopped moving. She lost interest whenever Demon B landed on one with both enormous paws and squashed it. The thought of touching it again, let alone eating it, never crossed her mind. Kye growled softly when Daisy returned with a large mouse, and placed it by Kye’s paws. Kye sniffed,  repulsed by the fur.

“You expect me to eat this?” She turned her head. “It's, it's, nasty!”

“Kittypet foolishness! It’s the only food we have,” Daisy scowled, impatience flaring in her eyes.  “There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Eat it,” Millie spoke up. “I remember my first time. It really is better than the stuff two-legs give us.”

As the kits nursed, hunger rumbled Kye’s belly. She sniffed the plump mouse, and its fur tickled her nose. She sneezed.

“I can’t eat this! It's like eating a toy!”

“Oh, for StarClan’s sake!” Daisy growled, and marched over to the mouse, and with a quick motion, tore the prey open. Kye stared, but as the scent of blood and fresh meat filtered up through her nostrils, some deep instinct born of her ancestors across the Great Waters bloomed within her. Her stomach snarled with hunger. She impulsively licked the mouse, and tasted the warm blood. Obeying her instinct, she nipped the prey, and salivated, her distaste forgotten. Without further thought, Kye sank her teeth into the fresh kill, tore it apart, gulping it down in three bites. She crunched the bones and all, leaving only the fur in a neat pile between her big red-cream paws.

“I could get used to that. It was good! Now I wish I had eaten every single mouse we caught in our housefolk’s place.” She purred. “I’ll learn to hunt well. I promise.”

“I shall teach you,” Another she-cat entered the den, shadowed by two young cats Kye guessed were just past six moons old. “Greetings I’m Squirrelflight, Leafpool’s sister and Bramblestar’s mate and deputy.”

“Greetings,” Kye meowed. “I’m Kye.”

“You are every bit as large as Jayfeather claimed.” Squirrelflight said, halting in front of her. The youngsters hovered outside, whispering between themselves in excitement. “Great StarClan! SIX kits? And so big!”

“How will they help?” One of the young cats exclaimed. “They will all eat more prey than we can hunt!”

“Hush! You’re apprentices now. Act like it.” Squirrelflight admonished the large dark red tabby tom. Kye noted how much he resembled the leader, Bramblestar, recognizing him as the one Daisy called Alderpaw. “You’ll learn to hunt well for all of us, and that means all elders and queens with kits!”

“Hello, young one,” Kye faced the apprentice. She stretched out a large tufted paw, and unsheathed her impressive cutlery. “Don’t worry. I’ll learn to hunt once I can leave the den. With these, I don’t plan to miss much prey.”

 “Wow!” The youngster’s eyes widened. “You have such big feet!”

“Do you two not have anything else to do? Elders need tending?” Squirrelflight asked, hissing with annoyance. Kye watched the apprentices bound away, and noticed sunlight touched the tops of the trees.  She looked down at her kits, love filling her heart, wishing Demon B shared this moment with her.

“All went well,” Jayfeather said. “You do not need me any longer. Daisy will make sure you are taken care of.”

“Thank you,” Kye called after ThunderClan’s medicine cat. Leafpool followed, but glanced back.

“I will do my best for your mate,” she meowed, and left the den. Kye groaned and lay back down.

“I’m sorry,” Millie suddenly spoke up. Kye picked up her head and met Millie’s gaze.

“For what?”

“Being so nasty. You just scared me. This litter is my last, and I fear they may not survive. They surprised us both, and I can’t lose them.” Millie heaved a big sigh, blinking her blue eyes. “ My mate is now in the elder’s den and I know in a season or two I will join him. At my age I should never have had kits.”

“I will help you,” Kye felt sudden protectiveness of not only her kits, but the ones at Millie’s belly. She noted how frail the she-cat appeared. “I won’t let anything hurt your kits or mine.”

“Thank you. We all need you. Despite my kits, we still are short of queens. I know I am done after these two. StarClan dropped you in our camp as a gift, and I see my kits that way, too,” Millie said. “But I am so afraid for them. It doesn’t help that foxes are breeding like rabbits and out-competing us all over Clan territories.”

“Foxes?” Kye reacted, anger filling her heart. All foxes she ever knew of liked taking kits as prey. She growled.

“Doglike predators. They are slightly larger than the average cat, though you and your mate dwarf most! Maybe you are here to help us with this!”  Millie raised her head, joy lighting up her eyes. Kye turned to see an old long-haired grey tabby tom saunter into the den. Kye noted the darker blue-grey stripe running down his back, from which smaller fading stripes streaked toward his flanks. He stopped short.

“Millie?” His yowled querulously, then narrowed his gaze at Kye.

“Graystripe! I’m here! Our kits are safe! This is Kye, the giant Red Queen of Jayfeather’s visions.”

“Hallo, Kye. Giant indeed. I have never seen so large a she-cat.” Graystripe’s expression softened. “Forgive me, but. . .”

“I know. Your kits,” Kye finished for him. “Don’t worry. I’ll treat them like my own.”

Graystripe nodded, and trotted over to Millie and sat down. Kye listened to their soft tones as they shared tongues, longing to have Demon B at her side. Daisy sat beside Kye.

“If anyone can help your mate, it will be our medicine cats. They are the best in all the clans. Have you thought of names yet?”

“Names? Uh,” Kye looked down at her nursing brood. “I never gave it any thought. Our housefolk  usually give us our names.”

“Here it is different. Queens name their own kits.”

“Oh,” Kye murmured, then met Daisy’s gaze  “I so want Demon B to be with me for that.”

“Maybe in a few sunrises he can visit,” Daisy said hopefully. Kye lay her head down with a sigh.

“Thanks, Daisy. Maybe so,” Kye yawned, glancing at her kits.  The pile of fuzz by her belly stopped nursing and now slept. Kye sank into blissful slumber, exhausted, but feeling safe for the first time since she and Demon B escaped the flames.

“Kye?” The call dissolved her dreams, and Kye opened her eyes. Familiar golden orbs gazed down at her. Late after-sunhigh light slanted into the den.

“Demon B!”

“I can’t stay long, but the medicine cats let me come to see our kits.” Demon B sat down awkwardly, and Kye saw the gash down Demon B’s chest.  Leaf poultices secured by cobweb stuck to the wound, and circled his right hindleg just below the stifle, while another wrapped his left foreleg just above the elbow.

“Oh, no, you are so hurt!”

“I’ll need to go back to the Medicine cat den, but they were very pleased I could stand up. I just have to move very slow. I wanted to come and see our kits.” Demon B looked down at the pile of fur. “Six!”

“Yes, and we have to name them.”

“We do?”

“Yes. We have no housefolk to do it. I am sure, once upon a time, our ancestors named their own kits.”

“All right,” Demon B settled carefully on his chest, just as a cat strode into the den.

“Are you all right?” Kye recognized Leafpool’s voice. She came around to examine Demon B’s cobweb bandages.

“Yes. We are going to name our kits” Demon B answered. He winced several times, but finally settled in.

“Then do so. I will stay here.” Leafpool sat down. Daisy moved over to sit beside Demon B, blinking at him, eyes wide.

“Are you, are you, are you sure you’re a cat?” Daisy mewed, looking up into Demon B’s face.. “You’re so big!  Why do you have such a name? Did you walk with the Dark Forest?”

“Dark what?” Demon B asked, hissing when he moved his injured foreleg.

“Great StarClan!” Millie yowled in sudden fear. “Is that why he’s so big? He’s from the Dark Forest?”

“Mousedung!” Leafpool spat. “Listen to yourselves. Yes, he’s big, but he’s not from the Dark Forest!”

“How do you know?” Millie asked, suspicion haunting her eyes.

“They’re kittypets, like you were. Their housefolk named them.” Leafpool glared at the two she-cats. “Its not like he’s Tigerstar reborn.”

“StarClan would never have sent him here if he was. Let’s not be ridiculous.” Another voice joined the argument. Kye recognized Jayfeather’s gruff tones. “ We help the giant red queen and by helping her mate, we help her. Enough nonsense.” Jayfeather poked Kye with a paw.  “Name your kits so we can get the big lunk back to the medicine den.”

“Yes,” Kye looked down at her kits, who jostled each other to nurse. Their long fur stuck out, making them look like puffballs. Kye licked the closest, the black kit with white markings in the spitting image of his father. “This one I will call Demon, after his father.”

“You want to call him that?” Daisy asked softly.

“Of course! Demon B is a big gentle giant!” Kye snarled in sudden anger. “He’s sweet tempered, more so than I am. I will name a kit after him, and won’t suffer any more insults to my mate! ”

“Sure. Okay. Sorry,” Daisy mewed, and sat back, curling her tail around her front paws.

“Welcome to the Clan, Demonkit,” Leafpool said in firm loud tones. Kye looked at her.

“Demon, kit?”

“Yes, all cats are known by kit until they become apprentices. Then he will be Demonpaw until he earns his warrior name.”

“Will it be Demon still?” Kye asked.

“Yes, and if he ever became leader, he’d be Demonstar.” Leafpool snorted with mirth. “But let’s not count our prey before we catch it.”

Kye glanced down at the kit, then nodded, liking this custom of her new home. She nuzzled the second largest kit, a dark silver-tabby with black stripes, and identical white markings to his sire.

“This one is Phantomkit. He resembles his father too, like a phantom copy.” Kye licked the last little tom, a golden brown tabby with stark black stripes. “My sweet little one. I call you, Gentlekit.” Kye raised her head to face Demon B. His eyes shone approval. Kye licked the dark brown tabby and white she-kit, who squalled with temper. Kye laughed.

“She is an independent spirit,” Demon B murmured. “How about Indikit?”

“Perfect,” Kye purred, then touched her nose to the silvery black kit. “This inquisitive ball of smokey fuzz is Smokekit.”

“How about Bluekit for our smallest. Our little blue one with a white undercoat like mine,” Demon B murmured. “After Bluestar.”

“I love it,” Kye meowed. Leafpool stood up.

“Welcome to the Clan, Phantomkit, Demonkit, Gentlekit, Indikit, Smokekit and Bluekit.” Leafpool nudged Demon B. “Come! You must get back. You’re bleeding again. We must change your wrappings, cobweb, and poultices.”

“Can’t I stay here?” Demon B begged.

“No.  Your best chance is where we can monitor you constantly. Please Demon B, let’s go.”

“Go,” Kye urged, going against her heart. “Do as they ask. I want you to heal. And ignore the doubters. I know you’re not evil. Others will soon learn that, too.”

“All right,” Demon B agreed, and staggered after Leafpool, his bottlebrush tail dragging the ground. Kye knew how much energy he expended visiting his kits, and as much as she wanted him curled up beside her, she understood he needed to stay in the Medicine den. She lay her head down, hoping her mate healed soon. She worried. If he lived, but remained crippled, what might he contribute to the Clan? If he failed to hunt, or fight, would they drive him out? She knew the accusations of being evil cut his heart like a blade. Kye realized she liked it here, and dreaded the idea of wandering the wilderness alone, with six kits in tow, but the idea of separating from Demon B squeezed her very soul with pain. The thought of looking for new housefolk repulsed Kye. No other housefolk could ever replace what she lost. Her heart pounded suddenly and she buried her nose in her nest, thinking the worst. What if Demon B decided to drag himself away from those who thought him a villainous cat, and died from his injuries? She trembled, and concentrated on her kits, purring to them, trying to calm herself down.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:58 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
                                ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CHAPTER TWO   - PART 2
 

During the next quarter moon, Kye left the queen’s den while her brood slept to hone hunting skills. True to her word, Squirrelflight mentored Kye, teaching her hunting and battle techniques within the confines of the hollow. After a quarter moon of training, Squirrelflight insisted Kye receive her apprentice name.

As the morning waxed warm, with sunlight streaming into the hollow, Bramblestar stood on Highledge. Squirrelflight urged Kye to the center of the gathering, and the Maine Coon queen sat at the base of the cliff, gazing up at Bramblestar, wondering what came next.

“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here! I appoint a new apprentice today. Kye, though you still have kits in your care, you have shown great aptitude in your early training. Informally training with my deputy, and at times, me, you have shown you are ready for full apprenticeship.” Bramblestar’s voice rolled out over the hollow. “You came to us ready to bear kits, giving ThunderClan six gifts from StarClan, who has decreed we help you, your mate and kits. In training you, mentoring you, we do this to help strengthen all of us. Are you ready to continue your training?”

“Yes!” Kye answered enthusiastically, feeling eager to prove herself, and to repay this Clan for helping her in such a dire time in her life.

“Kye.” Bramblestar gazed down at her, his eyes gleaming. “From this day forth you will be known as Kyepaw, and your mentor is Squirrelflight. I know she will train you well.”

“Kyepaw! Kyepaw!” rose from many throats, and, in moments, the entire Clan joined in. Squirrelflight bumped her, green eyes sparkling with delight.

“Strange times call for strange ways,” Squirrelflight meowed. “But now, when your kits sleep, we train, full bore!”

“Of course!” Kyepaw agreed, embracing her new name, feeling acceptance. She worried for her mate, since many still distrusted him. After the Clan congratulated her, and dispersed to their duties, she growled under her breath, not understanding why her mate’s name unnerved so many. She returned to the nursery, and forced her annoyances away when her kits mewled for their meal. She stretched out on her side and fed them, anticipating her next session with her mentor, eager to learn the trick a smaller cat might use on a larger foe. She also wanted to learn how to hunt from above in the trees. The idea fascinated her.

After sunhigh, Kyepaw’s kits slept with full bellies and Squirrelflight called her out of the nursery. Kyepaw worked hard, and to her delight, other mentor and apprentice pairs joined the session. Thornclaw and Brackenfur gave her lessons by attacking her in tandem, then Squirrelflight joined them. Kyepaw reared, spinning and lashing out with her huge paws, slapping heads, bodies and anything she found within paw’s reach.

“Watch the big belly!” Brackenfur called out a number of times. “Small warriors can get up under you! Leap and twist so they never know where you will land.”

“Don’t let them land on you back, like this!” Alderpaw meowed, leaping on top of her. Kyepaw whirled, spinning the apprentice off of her broad back. Her long thick bushy tail lashed another warrior across the face.

“Mousedung!” Thornclaw spat. “That tail hurts!”  His eyes lit up. “Use it, Kyepaw! Whip your enemy hard.”

Kyepaw panted, pushing herself hard. Fighting lessons merged into hunting techniques. Primal joy surged through her, as mentors and apprentices gazed at her with respect in their eyes at  session’s end. Squirrelflight led her to the fresh kill pile.

“Here take the biggest one. You earned it. Go feed your kits. Well done today!”

“Thanks,” Kyepaw murmured, suddenly feeling exhausted as the exhilaration of her lessons ebbed.  She took a fat squirrel, and carried it to the nursery, then sprawled out beside her kits, who immediately nursed. She ate her meal, giving Millie a big piece, and fell deeply asleep while her brood fed.

Kyepaw jerked awake out of a deep sleep. Early morning light filtered into the den. Millie’s kits mewed and cried, and Millie fussed and worried over them. Kyepaw yawned, and  lifted her head. Millie’s kits mewled, suckling at her belly, and Kyepaw heard the distress in their little voices.

“What is wrong?” Kyepaw asked, blinking sleep from her eyes.

“It’s me and my old body! I have no milk! Oh, no! My kits are too young! What do I do? They’ll starve!” Millie’s voice rose to a heartrending wail. Her anguished cry brought Graystripe and Daisy in on the run. In moments, the entire camp milled outside the nursery. Jayfeather hurried in, followed by Leafpool. Both medicine cats examined Millie, and Leapool meowed. “Someone get fresh kill immediately!”

“That won’t help!” Millie cried in distress. “I am well-fed! My body won’t make enough milk!”

“I’ll get some. . .” Jayfeather started, but Kyepaw shook herself out of her daze, cutting him off,

“Stop fussing! I have more than enough! Bring them to me!” Kyepaw commanded.

Graystripe carried his mewling kits to Kyepaw’s belly, and placed them against her. The two kits found places to nurse and latched on with gusto.

“Thank you,” Greystripe mewed, and Kyepaw faced him. Millie rose and lay beside Kye, grooming her kits as they fed.

“Thank you, Kyepaw, thank you,” Millie mumbled.

“My pleasure.  No reason for your kits to go hungry.” Kyepaw reassured Millie.

Blossomfall entered the nursery, and dropped some fresh prey at Kyepaw’s feet, then padded to her mother, touching noses in greeting. The tortoiseshell she-cat gazed at the kits longingly. Kyepaw met the gaunt she-cat’s gaze, and nodded, before pushing the mouse back at Blossomfall.

“You eat it.” Kyepaw said. “I ate very well late night.”

“You just saved my little brothers from certain death,” Blossomfall mewed, then licked Kyepaw’s head. “I don’t care what others may say. Welcome to ThunderClan, Kyepaw. May StarClan bless you and your mate for more moons than we can count.”

“Thank you,” Kyepaw murmured, as Blossomfall walked out of the nursery with the mouse. Kyepaw watched until Blossomfall met Bumblestripe outside and stood a moment, heads together.They both glanced at her, deep gratitude in their eyes, then moved off to join a patrol. Kyepaw lowered her head and groomed the nursing kits, feeling more a part of ThunderClan now, glad that someone else appreciated her mate, too.

As the days passed, Kyepaw’s body produced more than enough milk, and she nursed Millie’s kits with her own on days Millie failed to produce milk, which happened more often than not, despite the fact that both queens grew plump. Thanks to Kyepaw’s rich milk all eight the kits waxed fat and healthy.

The weather continued to warm, and the last patch of snow in the camp melted into the ground. When Kyepaw’s kits turned one moon old, the trees broke bud, and creatures emerged from hibernation. Demon B rested in the Medicine den still healing from his injuries, but often lay out in the early leaf break sun. Kyepaw worried at his condition. Ragged clumps of fur covered his gaunt frame, and she knew he refused food for her and their kits. He looked beaten, defeated, and depressed, and Kyepaw hated how some of the Clan still shunned him. Demon B, always careful with his huge paws and jaws, never hurt a hair on anyone, but many eyed his askance, muttering and growling as they passed.


Most of the Clan cats also gave their fresh kill to Kyepaw and Millie, and the kits thrived. The rest of the Clan however, suffered from hunger, making sure what prey they caught went to feed the two queens and elders. Even Bramblestar looked thin and tired. Kyepaw vowed to hunt well, and feed her starving mate. Those who whispered behind his back, or avoided him and refused to speak to him, knew not the damage they caused. A half moon ago, Kyepaw learned the story of the Great Battle, and understood why everyone hated the Dark Forest. But StarClan and the Four Clans vanquished it. Why did so many insist on thinking Demon B possessed any connection to that horrid place at all?



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:58 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Add title)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAP THREE: FOXES
 
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART I
 
On a warm breezy morning during New Leaf, Kyepaw followed Squirrelflight out of camp for the first time since her arrival, eager for her first real hunt. She passed the Medicine Cat den, and she scowled at her mate. Demon B lay sprawled out in the sun, fur matted and clumped, parting to show the snowy white roots in a haphazard pattern, and not with the silvery highlights that should have graced his pelt. Her own red tabby fur shone with health, with the dark red stripes standing out starkly from her creamy red base color. She slowed her trot, meeting his golden gaze, and saw weariness in his eyes, and haunting hunger.

“No more giving your food to me,” Kyepaw admonished, baring the tips of her fangs. “ Eat and live, so your kits know their father.”

“I will make sure he does eat the next offering.” Leafpool walked out of the den, and raked her claws through a mat on Demon B’s haunch. He growled.

“Fluff-brain,” Leafpool growled back, and continued to gently rake his fur. “I will not be cowed by those huge feet any longer.”

“Let her do it,” Kyepaw meowed, back over her shoulder. “Or I will!”

“Okay! Do it, Leafpool,” Demon B groaned and lay flat on his side. “I don’t want her doing this. She will rip it all out!”

Briarlight dragged herself out of the Medicine den and hauled herself up on Demon B’s body. She glared at him, kneading his spine with sharp claws. Kyepaw paused, watching the crippled she-cat, admiring her pluck and determination. Briarlight gazed at Demon B with adoration, which quickly turned to dismay. She took one paw, and combed her claws through his matted fur.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself!” Briarlight admonished the gigantic tom. She dug her claws deeper into his fur. “You’ll heal and never be as crippled as me. I’ll help groom this mess you call a coat. And stop listening to fools!  Get well and PROVE how good and loyal you are. My parents and siblings already know this. So do many others. ”

“For you, little Briarlight, I will,” Demon B answered, his voice soft and high-pitched. Briarlight purred with amusement.

“So big with a baby voice!” She groomed his coat with tongue and claws.

“Very common with our breed,” Demon B responded. “You did notice that about my mate, right? When she isn’t screaming, growling or snarling.”

“Yes. We all have, but everyone is afraid to ask.” Briarlight’s purrs shook with laughter, and she glanced at Kyepaw. “But yours is higher than hers!”

Kyepaw watched the exchange, and met Briarlight’s gaze, then nodded her thanks.  Someone needed to convince Demon B to cease his pity party, and if anyone possessed the ability to do so, Briarlight did. Kyepaw glanced toward the nursery, and saw Millie watching anxiously, as she always did with her daughter, but in the old grey queen’s eyes, Kyepaw saw gratitude. At least Millie, Graystripe, and their grown kits, understood how much Demon B helped Briarlight, and vice versa.

 
Kyepaw never gave her voice a thought before training with Squirrelflight, who asked her with no fear. She gave the same answer Demon B offered Briarlight, and Squirrelflight merely responded “Well, only StarClan knows why such big cats must suffer such silly soft high voices. But you sure can bellow and yowl loud enough when you need to.”  Kyepaw remembered the great laugh they shared over it, but never gave the issue any further consideration.

 “Kyepaw? Do you want to hunt or not?” Squirrelflight’s sharp voice drifted back to Kyepaw, shaking her out of her thoughts.

 “Of course!” Kyepaw yowled, and followed Squirrelflight out of the camp, and down into the forest. Kyepaw remembered her lessons, and walked on silent pads, bushy tail tucked to her body. She quelled the urge to twitch it.  Leaves rustled, and she heard the chittering of foraging squirrels. Squirrelflight hung back, and vanished into the undergrowth, her pelt melting into the browns, rusts and golds of the brush A green blush of new leaves covered everything. Ahead, two squirrels raced around the base of a tree, digging in the leaf litter, chattering at each other. Kyepaw dropped to her stomach, and crawled, step by step, halting if one of them lifted its head. She watched every speck of ground for crispy leaves.

Out of her peripheral vision she spotted Squirrelflight paralleling her, heading for the other side of the tree. She kept her lessons in her mind. Concentrate! Move slowly, yet keep those hind legs tucked for the final pounce! The larger squirrel chattered at the other, and scurried toward Kyepaw, digging in the soil. Kyepaw judged the distance. The instincts of her long gone ancestors screamed in her blood, as she exploded from her crouch. The squirrel jerked up its head, but she landed her huge paws on its back, slamming it into the ground. She wasted no time delivering the kill bite to the back of the neck, then shook it for good measure. She salivated as the blood ran in her mouth, but resisted the urge to tear into the prey and gobble it up. She remembered; elders, injured Warriors, Queens and kits came first! The other squirrel screamed on the other side of the tree before silencing abruptly. Squirrelflight trotted over from behind the tree, dragging her kill, and seeing Kyepaw, her eyes widened with pleased surprise. She let go of her prey.

“Great job!” Squirrelflight inspected the catch. “Quick kill.”

“Yes,. I landed on its back. I hope I am always so lucky,” Kyepaw meowed around her prey.

“You have learned well and have fine instincts.” Squirrelflight picked up her fresh kill. “Let’s get back to camp and feed our clan and your stubborn, starving mate.”

Kyepaw followed her mentor through the entryway. The camp appeared deserted, but Kyepaw knew everyone roamed the territory, hunting. She worried, hearing so much about the marauding foxes this past moon. They competed with the Clan for every bite of prey. Squirrelflight brought her kill to the nursery, and Kyepaw heard the excited mews of Millie and Daisy. Kyepaw marched to the Medicine den, where her mate lay. He drowsed, and she noticed his fur looked better. Briarlight slept, draped over his flank, but she woke, sniffing the air.

“I’m hungry!” She nudged Demon B. “You better eat something!”

 Leafpool and Jayfeather walked out of the den.

“I smell fresh prey,” Jayfeather commented.

“Great Starclan! Look at the size of that squirrel!” Leafpool exclaimed. “You caught that? Excellent first kill!”

“Yes, and thanks” Kyepaw answered, and dropped it at Demon B’s paws. She tore off a hindleg and gave it to Jayfeather. “Please, take this. For all you have done.”

 
Jayfeather gratefully accepted it. Leafpool shook her head.

“I don’t need the other leg, Kyepaw. My sister has been making sure I’m fed, and though I refused many meals to feed you, I’m fine. Your mate needs this more than any of us”

“Eat!” Kyepaw faced Demon B, pushing the prey under his nose. He licked it, then leveled his haunted gaze on her.

“Give it to someone else,” he mumbled. “I am crippled. Everyone hates me. What good will I be?”

“Just stop it,” Kyepaw yowled at him, fury and sympathy flashing through her, wondering what happened in her absence to fling him back into such depression. “Would you see your kits fatherless? You don’t know that you’ll be useless! Didn’t  Briarlight knock sense into your mousebrained head? Promise me, please, that you’ll eat, exercise and get better!”

“Why?” Demon B flashed his impressive fangs. Briarlight cringed back, her eyes wide, but she stayed on Demon B’s back as he vented his despair. “So I can be a burden? I will never hunt like you just did. I can’t even fight as a warrior.”

“Maybe not now,” Kyepaw cuffed him on the head. “You always had strength! Remember when you sprained your leg and our housefolk took you to the vet?”

“So?”

“Think about it, mouse-brain!” Kyepaw clicked her teeth. “You may have been slow and clumsy during that time, but, you had no trouble pinning that intruder kittypet to the ground with one paw!”  Kyepaw lashed her bottlebrush tail.  “And held him immobile with those claws.”

“You did that?” Briarlight found her voice. The shock and fright left her eyes, replaced by admiration. “See? Spiderleg is wrong! He will see that soon! Don’t listen to him and the other doubters!”

“Listen to Briarlight! Once you gain your strength back, you will find your place! You’ll earn their respect! At seven suncycles old, you should know better!” Kyepaw added, her voice calmer.

“Seven suncycles?” Leafpool asked. “You mentioned that before.”

“Yeah, she did. It means a cycle of the four seasons,” Jayfeather grumbled, then faced Demon B, sightless eyes narrowing. “You are 28 season old?? You are older than me! Older than my mother, yet your wisdom fails you.”

“Seven suncycles is not old!” Demon B protested, then sagged. “I feel like I am fifteen suncyles old now.”

 “You’re not an Elder yet!” Kyepaw spat, then mewed softly. “Please, Demon B, for me, our kits, eat!”

“Eat, Fluff-brain,” Briarlight interjected, and glared at Demon B, picking up the piece of prey Squirrelflight offered her. “I am! So must you!”

Demon B dropped his head, then gazed at Kyepaw a long moment. With a sigh, tore into the fresh kill with gusto. He crunched the bones and ate everything but the fur. Kyepaw nodded approval and rubbed her head against his, and purred. His purr answered her, and love filled her heart. She knew she needed him, as his inner strength fueled her own. She poked him with a paw.

“If someone gives you fresh kill, you eat! Understand?”

“Yes, my Queen,” Demon B purred, mirth flickering in his golden eyes. “Keep rubbing it in that you are only three suncycles old.”

“Three?” Leafpool gazed at Kyepaw. “You’re twelve seasons old? And you are having your first litter now?”

“Our breed takes that long to full mature. Sure, I could have had my first litter at 9 or 10 moons, but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t full grown yet.” Kyepaw wrinkled her nose. “My kits won’t be fully grown for many, many of your seasons! To us, a season is one suncycle, a cycle of the seasons that begin with leaf bloom!”

“Well,” Jayfeather grumbled. “I hope you keep your longevity and pass it to your kits, and eventually, to your Clan, but our life is not always easy. It is rare to reach over forty seasons. Only kittypets can grow that old.”

“I’m not an elder, and I’m not a kittypet anymore,” Demon B retorted. “I will eat and get strong again.”

“Good,” Kyepaw mewed  “Now I’ll feed our kits. Soon they will leave the den to play in camp and begin learning about life. I want them to know their father!”

“And I want to see you recover! If I did, so can you!” Briarlight bumped Demon B with her head. Kye watched, amused, since Demon B’s head loomed over the little crippled she-cat like a legendary lion. He merely flicked his tail, and groomed the top of her head. She faced Kyepaw. “I can’t wait to play with your kits!”

“I don’t know if your kits will live as long as you.” A warrior spoke up, and Kyepaw recognized Stormcloud. “You had plenty of food and shelter as a kittypet. Like I did. I chose this life, but it’s not easy. You didn’t choose.”

“No, I didn’t.”  Kyepaw felt a flash of anxiety ripple her long thick fur. “But, I’m happy here and my kits are safe. StarClan chose for us, and it is a good choice.”

“Would you return to your two-legs if they showed up here?” Stormcloud asked. Kyepaw lowered her head, feeling grief for the loss of her housefolk.

“I, I, don’t know,” she admitted. “If they were my housefolk? Maybe, but strange two-legs? I don’t think I would.”

“Even if they cured Demon B’s handicaps?” asked a pretty ginger she-cat, who sidled up against Stormcloud.

“I, oh, I don’t know,Cherryfall,” Kyepaw gripped the ground, flexing her formidable claws, gouging the soil.

“We don’t mean to upset you, Kyepaw,” Stormcloud said, his voice soft. “Some   of us, well, we would hate to see you leave us. And not all of us distrust your mate. We understand that two-legs named him, and not some minion of the Dark Forest.”

“I’m grateful, and, I don’t think I’ll leave. My housefolk died in that fire. I have no two-leg home to return to.” Kyepaw mewed. “But if. . .”

 
"Stay," Another warrior insisted, and Kyepaw saw Bumblestripe and Blossonfall join Stormcloud and Cherryfall. Bumblestripe regarded her with a soft expression, his light green eyes in beautiful contrast with his silvery light grey base color with its jet black stripes. "We love you as kin already. And who can dislike Demon B when Briarlight loves him so much? Don't let a few foxhearts upset you or your mate."

“Stay, big red Queen,” Kyepaw recognized Purdy’s voice. He padded out of the Elder’s Den and sat beside Demon B.

“Purdy, I .  . .”

 “We need a youngin’ like yer kind around. Rare they are, since most purebred snooty two-leg cats ne’er step outside.” Purdy flicked an ear. “Yer different. Somethin’ runs in yer blood, a wildness  two-legs didn’t breed outta yer kind.”

“I, Well. . .” Kyepaw stammered, not knowing what to say.

“Go, feed yer youngins,” Purdy flashed her a broad feline smile, baring the tips of his worn fangs. “Make ‘em grow strong. Now I’ll show yer mate his worth, and tell’im not t’listen to fools.”

“I will, and thank you. Demon B should love your stories,” Kyepaw replied, then spun away and trotted to the nursery, concerned how this way of life might affect her and her kits’ lifespans. Stormcloud’s admission echoed in her head, battling Purdy’s words of encouragement.  Could she ever really leave her new home?



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:59 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦


CHAPTER THREE
PART 2
 
 
As Kyepaw entered the nursery, six balls of fluff attacked her, and she forgot her worry.

“Kyemama! We’re hungry!” Demonkit announced, his long tail straight up behind him. His white muzzle, throat and paws stood out in the darkness of the den. Phantomkit flanked his brother, his white markings mirroring Demonkit’s, but black tabby stripes over dark grey broke the illusion of twinning. Kyepaw purred and stretched out in her nest.

“Come and drink, my kits, but soon, you will learn to eat fresh kill.”

“I’ll be the best hunter!” Phantomkit bragged.

“No! I will be!” Demonkit argued, and Kyepaw’s purrs pulsed with laughter. The friendly rivalry between her two largest kits pleased her, since they also developed a strong bond that promised to be powerful. The six kits nursed, and Kyepaw flinched, feeling needle teeth pinching her belly. She sighed. Weaning time arrived, and with her next catch, she planned to introduce her kits to fresh kill.

“Your kits grow so big and strong!” Millie commented. “My two are so small in comparison.”

“Your kits thrive.” Kyepaw faced the old queen. “Remember, my breed produces very large kits. Don’t compare them.  Greykit and Rainkit are healthy and well!”

“Yes, you are right. I keep thinking they are behind, but, they aren’t, are they,” Millie said. “And thanks to your milk! If not for you, my kits never would have made it this far. I don’t have enough milk. Not enough for only two kits! Just dreadful. I really am too old to be having kits.” Millie’s eyes widened as her kits squealed. Long-haired pale grey Rainkit wailed.

“Millieee! We hungry!”

“So sorry, my little ones,” Millie mewed. “Go to Kyemama. She will feed you.”

The two kits scurried to Kyepaw, and bravely jostled Demonkit and Indikit. Demonkit moved away, and sat down, blinking. Indikit hissed between clenched jaws, her white legs latching on to Kyepaw’s tummy.

“Stop that!” Phantomkit bopped his sister on the head with a big fuzzy white paw. “Rainkit and Greykit need to eat! Remember?”

“No! I’m not full yet!” Indikit protested. “They can wait.”

“Look at your round belly!”  Phantomkit cuffed his sister on the head again. “Don’t be so selfish!”

When Indikit growled, refusing to let Greykit feed, Phantomkit pounced on her, forcing her away.

“Owww,” Kyepaw hissed, as Indikit’s teeth and claws scratched her belly. She tapped Indikit with a big paw on the kit’s exposed white belly. “Stop being such a brat and learn to share!”

“Okaaay!" Indikit wailed, and rolled over, her dark-brown tabby back visible again. Jet black striped her head before mingling in the  thick puffy fur of her rumpled back. She shook herself and pounced on Phantomkit The two wrestled on the moss bedding, and Indikit's loud squalls of rage echoed in the den.

"She is the only one of your kits that has a very loud voice!" Millie sneezed her amusement. "It’s as if she got all of the lung power."

"It happens," Kyepaw replied with a chuckle in her purr.  “Once in a while, one or two of us gets a big mouth. Phantomkit can compete with her when he wishes, but he only uses his strident voice when he has to. Indikit is just a brat.”

“She will be pawful, even for your huge ones,” Millie mewled with laughter, laying next to Kyepaw, grooming her kits as they fed. “If she channels that wild side, she will be a fine warrior one day.”

“Not if I flatten her out first!” Kyepaw bared her fangs. “She will . . .”  A commotion erupted out in camp, whipping Kyepaw’s head around as cat screeching filled the air.

“Foxes!” Leafpool’s wail echoed across the clearing. “Demon B! Briarlight! Get inside now!”

“They will not get past me!” Kyepaw heard Demon B snarl.

“ThunderClan warriors!!! Attack!” Kyepaw recognized Bramblestar’s yowl. “They’re running for the queen’s den! Head them off!”

Fear, then rage flashed though Kyepaw, and her maternal instincts rose up with tornadic fury.

“They dare think they can eat our kits?” Kyepaw hissed with wrath. “Not while I breathe!” Kyepaw leaped up, shaking the kits free, ignoring their protests, and jumped for the entrance.

“No!” Millie wailed in sheer terror. “Come back!”

“Kyepaw, NO! If something happens to you. . . ” Daisy shrieked, ranging herself in front of Millie. Kyepaw turned, and hissed at the eight kits.

“Go to Millie and Daisy! NOW!” The wall of fluff scurried back to Daisy’s flank, and eight pairs of bright blue eyes peered back at her. Kyepaw faced out at the camp, hesitating for a breath, before maternal fury overwhelmed her.

“NOBODY hurts our kits or my friends!” She snarled, and plunged forward, her long pelt bristling. She felt the briars on the roof of the den rip wads of her fur out, but she cared not.

“Kyepaw! No! Let the us take care of this!”  Kyepaw caught a glimpse of Poppyfrost, a tortoiseshell warrior, who raced at the oncoming threat and the nursery.

“Nothing threatens our kits! I’ll rip them apart!” Kye screeched, racing past her new friend, and inhaled sharply, as two red doglike creatures raced toward the den. The largest ignored the two warriors on his heels, his eyes fixated on the Queen’s den. The second stumbled, but followed, despite the two bleeding warriors, Berrynose and Spiderleg, hanging off its body. A third, smaller than the others, battled two other warriors, yapping and growling by the camp entrance, where Bramblestar stood, battling another young fox. The fifth fox, a smaller vixen, darted toward the medicine den.  Kyepaw saw Demon B stretched out in front of the Medicine cat’s den, bristling so he looked twice his already impressive size, and he completely blocked the entrance. His staccato growl echoed across the camp, and with one lightning swipe of his enormous healthy paw, he slapped the little vixen across the hollow, scouring her pelt with deep gashes. The vixen rolled over several times, laying sprawled on the ground, stunned. Bumblestripe, Blossomfall and Cherryfall blocked the Elder’s den, creating a fearsome display of fang and claw.

Kyepaw returned her attention forward, and raced at the menace heading straight for her. In a micromoment, she sized up the enemy, and realized the red dog-fox stood taller than she did, but lacked the sharp claws of her kind. Kyepaw shrieked, and launched herself at the dog-fox. Its yellow eyes widened, showing whites, but before it changed course, Kyepaw smashed into it, and extended her massive claws, latching onto her enemy. She bowled the fox over, and pounced, slashing, driven by raging maternal instincts. Her claws ripped open its face, drawing blood that poured from deep slashes. One claw tore an eye. Ruddy fur flew in every direction. Kyepaw spared one glance for the other fox, satisfied that the warriors chasing her foe turned to the other adult fox, which five warriors now attacked, slashing into its thick fur, drawing blood. Kyepaw renewed her attack, her massive forepaws blurs as she pummeled her enemy. She extended her claws fully, rending and tearing at her enemy, holding back nothing. Blood spattered the fox and Kyepaw’s bristling fur. She tore without mercy into the fox’s belly and flanks, furrowing deep gashes into its flesh.

“Leave us alone, and never ever attack our kits again!” she shrieked. The fox rolled over, and managed to get its legs beneath it, and with a shrill yap, fled Kyepaw’s onslaught. Its mate and half grown pups wiggled free of enraged warriors and escaped out of the camp entrance. The vixen Demon B flung across the camp staggered to her feet and vanished through a small gap in the thorn barrier. Kyepaw slapped the dog fox one last blow before it bounded away, leaving deep gashes on its rump. Kyepaw stood, framed by brambles and thorns, heaving for breath, wrath pounding through her entire body. She barely heard the cheerful meowing behind her, until her heart rate dropped. She walked over to her mate and sat down, regaining her breath.

“Great Starclan!” Lionblaze exclaimed, as cats crowded Kyepaw. “You beat him witless!”

“Fine battle!” Cinderheart added. “I had my doubts about you. Too big to move quick, I thought. Wrong!”

“Excellent job!” Poppyfrost exclaimed, her eyes gleaming. “I always wondered how a big soft kittypet might fight! I’m impressed.”

“Fine work, youngin!” Purdy’s voice called out, as he squeezed between Cherryfall and Blossomfall.. “Kits’ll  hear this story fer many seasons!”

“I only thought to protect the kits,” Kye[aw stammered, surprised by the admiration her adopted Clan showed her. She saw Daisy and Millie peering out of the Queen’s den, and clustered at their feet, the eight kits sat, eyes wide with wonder.

“Squirrelflight taught you well,” Demon B meowed, pride ringing in his voice.

“You were magnificent!” Briarlight clambered on Demon B’s back. “Kyepaw is a warrior! You too, Demon B! I saw what you did!”

“She had moves I never taught her!” Squirrelflight retorted, but Kyepaw heard the delight in her mentor’s tone. “Demon B is as powerful as a badger! Amazing move!”

“Great battle,” Bramblestar meowed, and he walked up to Kyepaw. In his eyes Kyepaw saw admiration and gratitude. “Well done to all. Kyepaw, you have shown yourself a worthy warrior, and your injured mate used his advantages to help protect the medicine den and our precious medicine cats.”

Bramblestar turned,and trotted up the cliff to Highledge. Warriors milled, mewling and muttering with excitement, many glancing at the large branch marked with memorials to fallen warriors. Kyepaw learned the tales of the Great Battle, heard how they almost lost the stick in the Great Flood, and the memorial meant more to her with each passing day. She vowed to defend her Clan and honor their memories by always fighting with all the strength she possessed. She heard Bramblestar’s paws land on Highledge. ThunderClan’s leader faced the expectant growing crowd, and uttered the command.

“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here!” Bramblestar’s voice rang out over the camp.  “We gain new Warriors this day!”

“Come on.” A cat bumped Kyepaw. She turned, meeting Cinderheart’s amber eyes. Excitement danced in their depth, and Kyepaw saw it mirrored in every pair of eyes. She followed the throng of cats, glancing at the nursery, where Millie and Daisy sat just outside the entrance. The eight kits, sat in front, wide-eyed and obedient. Even Indikit sat rooted to the ground, not moving or fidgeting. She stared at Kyepaw, her blue-green eyes wide with shock and wonder.

“Your kits are so fluffy and adorable,” Poppyfrost mewed, and Kyepaw heard the delight and longing in her voice.

“You’ve had kits?”

“Oh yes, I have, and long for more. After all that is happened, none of us, except Millie, has been able to have kits. She and Graystripe did not expect them, but they are a blessing from StarClan, as are yours!” Poppyfrost regarded Kyepaw with solemn green eyes. “We’re all hungry all the time. Hungry bodies can’t produce kits.”

“Then you keep your prey, mousebrain, and do NOT give your share to me any longer!” Kyepaw gently cuffed Poppyfrost. “I hope you do have kits soon.”

“Me, too. . .”  Poppyfrost paused. “It begins!”

“Today we name two new warriors.” Bramblestar’s voice thundered, shattering the conversation. Kyepaw shook herself and hurried to the base of the leader’s rock, joining her mate, who lay between Jayfeather and Leafpool.  “Two former kittypets displayed courage and bravery and helped their Clan this day. If any cat disagrees, please say so now, or forever keep your jaws shut!” Bramblestar's golden-amber gaze swept over the gathered clan “Kyepaw! You and your mate have proven your courage and loyalty in the face of grave dangers. I, Bramblestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon this apprentice and her mate. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as a warriors in their turn”

Kyepaw trembled in spite of herself. She felt acceptance wash over her, and knew her home lay here in this hollow.

“Kyepaw,” Bramblestar continued. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” Kyepaw answered without hesitation. She stood, pride and astonishment causing every hair on her long thick pelt to rise. She flagged her bottlebrush tail high over her back

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name Kyestorm. From this moment you will be known as Kyestorm, a storm that fights for and protects the Clan! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!”

“Kyestorm! Kyestorm! Kyestorm!” erupted from many throats.

“Thank you, Bramblestar!” Kyestorm sat down, and glanced at her mate, who lay beside her, still healing from his wounds. Blood seeped from the injury on his foreleg, but he ignored it.  Demon B purred raggedly, looking worriedly around at the throng of cats.

“Demon B!” Bramblestar called out, and with a flick of his tail, indicated that Demon B remain prone. Demon B gazed up at Bramblestar. His golden eyes blazed, and though his wound bled, he struggled to sit up. Leafpool moved, but Demon B shook his head vigorously. Bramblestar continued. “Though you have not apprenticed, in the light of special circumstances, you have earned this. Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan even at the cost of your life?”

“Yes, I do!” Demon B rumbled, flicking his thick bushy tail.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name Demonstone. From this moment you will be known as Demonstone. I give you this name in recognition of your courage, in making yourself a barrier to protect the Medicine cats and den, despite your own injuries. You have  shown your warrior spirit, strong and solid like stone. You have shown you have no connection to the Dark Forest. If Briarlight shows no fear, and only love for this injured warrior, then none shall fear him, except our enemies! Welcome to ThunderClan new warrior!”

“Demonstone! Demonstone! Demonstone!” The cries echoed in the camp. Kyestorm watched every pair of eyes, and saw acceptance. Warriors crowded Demonstone, gently bumping him or cuffing him, all eager to fight beside him in some future battle. Many witnessed the enemy vixen’s unceremonious exit from the camp. Kyestorm’s heart swelled with pride and gratitude that her adopted Clan finally accepted her mate.

“ThunderClan honors your bravery and dedication. We welcome you both as full members to ThunderClan.” Bramblestar jumped down to where Kyestorm and Demonstone rested. He touched his head to Demonstone’s, who licked his shoulder, then with his tail, Bramblestar beckoned to Kyestorm. She stared for a moment, before she realized she needed to lay down for Bramblestar to complete the ceremony. She dropped to her chest, and Bramblestar rested his head on hers. She impulsively licked his shoulder.

“Thank you for what you did this day,” he whispered, then raised his voice. “ Soon, in five moons, we shall have new apprentices!” Bramblestar nodded towards the Queen’s den. “ThunderClan recovers. We will meet any challenges ahead.”

Warriors meowed and yowled in agreement. Bramblestar stood up, and gazed at Kyestorm, his features breaking into a feline smile.

“Go to your kits. There is good reason why we sacrificed meals to you. And all should know what you do for Millie’s kits as well. By offering them your milk when she dried up, you saved their lives. I know you’ll take good care of them all.”

“I will,” Kyestorm nodded and turned away, hurrying back to her kits. She paused and looked back, worried for her mate, but Demonstone stood up, and hobbled back to the Medicine den. Warriors and apprentices alike assisted him, meowing all at once, asking him to tell the tale of the vanquished young vixen. Leafpool and Jayfeather swarmed all over him, replacing the cobweb, making sure the wound sealed. Demonstone stretched out, and Briarlight draped over him, purring. Kyestorm walked into the nursery, and the kits pounced on her.

“I am so thankful for your mate,” Millie meowed. “Briarlight does love him like a big brother. I don’t worry about her as much with him there.”

“He won’t let anything happen to her,” Kyestorm said. “And she gets exercise pulling herself off and on him all day.”

“I saw everything, Kyemama!” Phantomkit squeaked in excitement. “Demonpoppa was so brave, too!”

“We grow and be strong like you,” Demonkit added.

“I slap foxes! Slash and do the same!” Indikit exclaimed, pouncing on an imaginary enemy.

“Yes, my sweet kits. You’re the Maine Coons of ThunderClan,” Kyestorm mewed at them, mirth shaking her voice.  “Come and eat. Grow strong. Greykit and Rainkit, you, too.”

“Kyestorm,” Daisy murmured Kyestorm’s new name. “A great warrior name. Will you really fight?”

“Of course she will,” Millie scoffed. “Why wouldn’t she?”

“She’s a kittypet, like me. I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t,”  Daisy retorted with a hiss.

“I will fight. Foxes are too brave these days.” Kyestorm growled. “Invading our camp is just unacceptable.”

“They are too brazen,” Millie shifted nervously. “We head into Green Leaf soon, and prey should be plentiful, but Leaf Fall and Leaf Bare come so fast and last ."

“We’ll be apprentices then!” Phantomkit sat down, facing Kyestorm, intelligence flaring in his blue eyes, which glittered with flecks of sea-green. “They won’t get us!”

“Never! They won’t get any kit, ever! Not on my watch,” Kyestorm bared her teeth and hissed. Rage flashed through her. “Next time I will kill them!”

Her denmates purred approval and Kyestorm saw the hope shining in their eyes. A flicker of alarm rippled her fur, as she realized what she just claimed. She nosed all the kits to her belly, and as the adrenaline ebbed from her body, she felt tired. She heard Millie’s purring as she washed each kit. Daisy fussed with bedding. Fears crept in to replace Kyestorm’s bravado. What have I done, she thought, what have I promised? She shivered, trying to purge the anxiety from her body and mind before she sat vigil that evening.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAP FOUR: GATHERING
 


♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART I
 

The evening of the Fox Battle, Kyestorm walked out of the nursery. She waved her tail at Demonstone, and he got to his feet. He limped after her, joining her at the entrance of the hollow, sitting beside a clump of thick, tall ferns. They sat down, bodies touching, facing out toward the forest. They said nothing.

“Demonstone! Kyestorm? ” Leapool’s voice called out. “What are you doing?”

“We sit vigil, as all new warriors must,” Demonstone meowed back, his high voice dropping as he added. “Don’t try to stop me.”

“Kyestorm! The kits!” Leafpool hurried over on silent paws, not wanting to disturb the camp.

“They are fully fed, and can wait until sunrise for their next meal. Millie and Daisy will keep them snug and warm.” Kyestorm raised her voice. “It is my duty as a new warrior to sit vigil! I won’t be given exception.”

“Nor I,” Demonstone agreed, laying on his chest and settling in.

“Let them perform their duty,” Kyestorm recognized Bramblestar’s voice, and saw the Clan leader trotting toward them. “I see we won’t be able to talk them out of this.”  Bramblestar halted, the three-quarter moon shining in his golden-amber eyes, as he gazed pointedly at Demonstone. “New warrior, if you start to feel badly, you must retreat to the medicine den. Is that clear? Your duty will still be fulfilled.”

“Yes, Bramblestar,” Demonstone nodded.

“Good. Carry on,” Bramblestar said and sauntered back to his den. Kyestorm watched a moment, then turned her senses out at the forest. She heard nocturnal prey scurrying through the brush. Moonlight streamed past New Leaf growth, and refracted off the lake, sparkling like Silverpelt above. Kyestorm looked up, listening to the muted sounds of the sleeping camp, then glanced at her mate.

“We did well today, and showed ThunderClan we belong. Do you think we filled our destiny yet?”

“I don’t know,” Demonstone murmured, his gold eyes peering into the brush. “I don’t feel I earned my warrior name. I didn’t even apprentice!”

“Don’t doubt yourself,” Kyestorm retorted irritably. “As hurt as you are, you sent that little she-fox rolling like a stone across the camp! Cats noticed!”

“Was that our destiny?” Demonstone asked, his black-smoke fur bristling briefly. “It can’t be that easy.”

“Why not?” Kyestorm asked. “It. . . .”

A faint haunting howl echoed over the lake from well beyond the Horseplace, answered by another, dissolving the conversation. Answering barks resounded from the Horseplace, as the resident canines uttered defiance. Kyestorm shivered and met Demonstone’s golden gaze. She knew that howl, knew it to the bottom of her soul, and in Demonstone’s eyes, she saw recognition. The source of that howl did not belong here in the land beyond the Great Water.

“That is our destiny,” Demonstone rumbled, a growl deep in his chest. “They should not be here, yet they are. They are the reason our housefolk forced  us indoors at our old home.”

“How did they get here?” Kyestorm asked, a growl lowering her voice. “If they are male and female , and mate, they endanger us all!”

“Do you know what the creature is that howls like that?” Branblestar’s low voice startled Kyestorm. She whirled to face the ThunderClan leader. His eyes met hers and she saw deep concern glimmering in their depths, and the sure knowledge that she and Demonstone knew the answer. Demonstone hissed in the direction of the Horseplace.

“Yes,” Kyestorm answered. “If our destiny is to help you battle this creature, then Jayfeather was right. It won’t be easy.”

“Why? Is it a dog? If so what kind?” Bramblestar asked.

“It’s not a dog at all, but a wild canine. Our housefolk called them Coyotes.” Demonstone answered, still growling.  “Cunning and ruthless, they run in organized packs.”

“”They will be worse than any foxes,” Kyestorm added, her fur bristling with fear.

“How can we defeat them?” Bramblestar asked, and Kyestorm heard dread for the Clans in his tone. “I’ve never heard of such beasts.”

“Demonstone and I will not be enough. Our kits grow fast, but it will take all the Clans to fight together, but if the pack grows too large, they can drive us out, or worse, eat us all.” Kyestorm lashed her tail and uttered a fearful wail. “That is our destiny! To battle them with the Clans, to drive them out!”

“How can I help?” Demonstone muttered. “Slinging a little fox away is one thing, but Coyotes get larger, often to more than twice my size! They gather in winter to hunt, but otherwise hunt alone or in pairs. It will take me in full health to battle one of those wild canines.”

“If this is so, we have time before Leaf Bare to get your kits trained, and warn the Clans of the danger. We will do so at the next Gathering. I am sure others have heard that howl.” Bramblestar bristled. “Don’t fear. You have ThunderClan behind you, and we know how valuable you will be come next Leaf Bare. Kyestorm, you will come to the next Gathering. We need to convince the Clans danger comes.”

“I will do my best,” Kyestorm purred, trying to stifle her fears. She turned to Demonstone as Bramblestar returned  his den.

“We do have knowledge of this enemy,” he said softly. “I hope I is enough.”

“Me, too,” Kyestorm mewed. She and Demonstone finished their vigil in silence. As the sun rose, slanting warm rays into the hollow, Kyestorm stood up. Demonstone rose to his feet, slowly, with a few hissing grunts. Squirrelflight trotted past them on her way out on a hunting patrol. Her kits flanked her. Alderpaw, the young tom that resembled Bramblestar gave them a feline grin, while Sparkpaw, the bright red she-cat, nodded at them.

“Hallo, new warriors,” Squirrelflight hailed them, waving her tail in their direction.  “You are relieved of duty. Go and rest.”

Kyestorm nodded her head, and walked toward the nursery. She eyed Demonstone, noticing his stubborn leg wound leaked fluid, caking the black fur on his leg, which split to reveal the pristine white roots.

“Go to see Leafpool,” she meowed.

“Yes, my Queen,” he mewed, a rumbled of amusement in his voice. “Go see our kits. They must be hungry.”

“Of course,” Kyestorm laughed, watching him limp into the medicine den. Jayfeather’s grumbling echoed to her ears , but she only caught a few words, like “mousebrain” and “fluff-head.” Kyestorm halted outside the nursery on a sunlit patch of new grass, and lay down.

“Come kits! Time for breakfast!” she called.

“Kyemama!!!!!” Phantomkit and Demonkit bounced out of the nursery in tandem, followed by Indikit, Smokekit, Greykit, and Bluekit.  Gentlekit trailed them, walking slowly, his tail up over his back like a curved branch. Rainkit followed Gentlekit, blue eyes full of hope.

“Come. Time for breakfast.” All eight kits rushed to Kyestorm and found their place to nurse. Millie shuffled out, followed by Daisy.

“Sorry, Kyestorm,” Millie mewed. “My milk supply is dried up completely.”

“No matter,” Kyestorm met Millie’s gaze as the kits fed. “I have plenty and they are ready for fresh kill now. Little kit teeth are sharp!”

“Demonstone!” Daisy exclaimed, and Kyestorm turned her head. The giant black smoke Maine Coon tom hobbled over to the sunny spot, with Briarlight riding his back, and gently stretched his considerable bulk out. Briarlight maneuvered herself so she hung onto Demonstone’s shoulders.

“I am cleared for playing with my kits,” Demonstone purred. “Jayfeather fussed, but realized the vigil did no damage.”

“I am so excited to play with them!” Briarlight squeaked in delight. Her sky blue eyes shimmered with joy. Kyestorm looked the little she-cat over, noticing the bulk to her forequarter muscles.

Demonpoppa! Briarlight!” Phantomkit left his spot at Kyestorm’s belly and scampered to his sire. Demonkit followed, squeaking in delight. Indikit ran over, and skidded to a halt, smashing into her brothers.

“Move outta my way!” She squalled and swatted Phantomkit, who raised his paw to slap back, but Kyestorm stopped his action with a low rumble deep in her chest.

“What did I tell all of you about treating you siblings?”

“Indikit,” Demonstone growled, but his eyes danced with mirth. Indikit whirled to face her father, and her eyes widened with alarm. “Don’t react with anger when what happened was your fault!”

“Sorry Demonpoppa! Sorry!”

“It is not me you should apologize to,” Demonstone admonished her. Indikit turned to her brothers.

“Sorry,” she mewled, her eyes glinting.

“You don’t mean it,” her golden brown tabby brother remarked, his gaze deep with inner knowledge. “You shouldn’t be so bratty.”

“Quiet, Gentlekit,” Indikit snapped with sudden irritable temper. “You think you know everything.”

“I don’t,” Gentlekit purred. “But someday I will know a lot because I’m gonna be a Medicine Cat like Jayfeather!”

“Me, too!” cried Rainkit.

“Not me,” Indikit jumped to pounce on her own long tail. “I’m going to be a powerful warrior!”

“If you live long enough!” Smokekit laughed, jumping high onto her father’s back. She balanced on long legs. “Someone is gonna flatten you because you’re such a smartbutt!”

“It won’t be you!” Indikit retorted, her eyes twinkling. Smokekit dismissed her sister and leaned into Briarlight with a purr.

“Glad to see you!”

“Me too!” Phantomkit joined his sister, and in moments the eight kits all greeted Briarlight and Demonstone. Kyestorm relaxed, glad her kits returned to normal bantering. Indikit’s temper worried her, and she glanced at Bluekit, who struggled to join Smokekit on Demonstone’s back.

“How did we give birth to two kits with such differences in leg length?” Kyestorm snorted, flicking her long bottelbrush tail. “Smokekit is so tall and Bluekit looks almost stunted.”

“I don’t know,” Demonstone shook his head, his gold eyes shining with delight as Greykit and Rainkit climbed up his flank. “Where did Indikit’s temper come from?”

“StarClan only knows,” Kyestorm sighed, then tensed as Indikit slapped Rainkit off of her father’s flank. Rainkit jumped again, but Indikit barred his way, rump wiggling, tail straight up.

“Indikit!” Kyestorm hissed the warning. “Don’t be so rough!”

“No, Kyestorm,” Millie interjected. Kyestorm glanced at Millie, who lay next to Daisy in the sunny spot. “Let them play as they would with their own littermates. Your kits try to be so gentle with mine. Only Indikit disobeys that rule of yours. I want them to grow strong and competing with your behemoths will make them strong!”  Millie glared at Demonkit and Phantomkit. “Play hard with Rainkit and Greykit so they get strong and become great warriors!”

“Kyemama?” Phantomkit queried.

“She’s right!” Briarlight interjected. “Look what climbing on your mate has done for me! As long as they keep claws sheathed, they’ll make Greykit and Rainkit strong!”

“I’m gonna be the strongest little warrior ever!” Greykit announced.

“Not me! I’m gonna be a Medicine cat with Gentlekit!” Rainkit insisted, sitting beside Gentlekit on Demonstone’s flank.

“All right. But you both still need to train so you can defend yourself and the Medicine den one day. You heard her, my kits.” Kyestorm answered. “You need not be gentle, but do not hurt anyone on purpose.”

“Yes, Kyemama!” Demonkit and Phantomkit answered, and in moments, the eight kits rolled, leaped, and climbed all over Demonstone.  Briarlight joined in the fun, balancing on one foreleg to engage the kits with the other. Kyestorm shook her head, and the remnants of her ruff flared out, framing her face in ragged spikes. Daisy mewled with mirth.

“You’re shedding in huge clumps! If you keep doing so you’ll look like a shorthair.”

“It’s common for us to shed so much for Green Leaf.  We almost look shorthaired,” Kyestorm returned the laugh. “But we rarely shed our tails and britches and the ruff never goes away completely.”

A tuft of red fur drifted on the breeze. Greykit spotted it and leaped from Demonstone’s back, and caught it. He tumbled down Demonstone’s side and landed with a thud on the bare ground. Before Millie moved a muscle in alarm, Greykit leaped up, the hair caught in one paw.

“I caught a leaping WindClan warrior!”

“Great move, little one,” Bramblestar’s voice turned Kyestorm’s head. His amber eyes twinkled. Berrynose and Birchfall grinned. Brackenfur followed with his patrol, adding prey to the Freshkill pile.

All eight kits froze, staring wide eyed at ThunderClan’s leader.

“Wow!” erupted from Phantomkit.

“Carry on, kits. I expect new apprentices in five moons!” Bramblestar gave Kyestorm a wink, and headed toward his den.

“We’ll be ready!” Demonkit called after him. Bramblestar flicked his tail in acknowledgment. Kyestorm gazed at her brood with pride while they tumbled and pounced around their father.

“They are such big balls of fuzz,” Briarlight mewed. “Why don’t they have big huge bushy tails like you?”

“They will,” Kyestorm assured her. “At about  five to six  moons, when they lose their milk teeth, the tail inflates. But they will be ruffless wonders for a few more moons after that.”

“That’s funny,” Briarlight replied, clicking her teeth at Bluekit, who tried sneaking up on her from behind Demonstone’s haunch. “They will need all that fur if we have a Leaf bare as bad as the last.”

“No worries,” Kyestorm chuckled deep in her chest. “By Leaf Bare, they will look like us, full tail, ruff and britches but they will be lanky and leggy for a good twelve moons after that, until they finally fill out their frames.”

“If they grow as large as you,” Blossonfall said, joining the group, a large mouse dangling from her jaws. “They will be formidable warriors. But for now, they must learn to eat fresh kill.”

“Kits!” Kyestorm called. All eight stopped playing and gazed at her. “Blossomfall brought you prey. Come see.”

Phantomkit led the eight kits to the tortoiseshell and white she-cat, who placed the mouse on the ground. All the kits stared at the prey.

“What do we do with it?” Gentlekit asked, and Indikit prodded the mouse with a paw. The prey suddenly jerked, and rolled over.

“Its trying to get away!” Demonkit squeaked, and leaped on the incapacitated mouse.

Phantomkit joined him and both grabbed the mouse, playing tug-o-war.

“I wanna play!” Indikit squealed and joined her brothers. She tried to rip it free of their jaws. Smokekit and Bluekit rushed forward, each taking hold of a leg. Greykit and Rainkit grabbed the long tail. They growled, mewed and squeaked in excitement. Gentlekit sat, watching with interest.

“Why not play, too?” Kyestorm asked her sweet-tempered kit.

“No room for me,” Gentlekit purred. “I’d rather go see what Jayfeather is doing.”

“Really?” Kyestorm eyed her golden brown tabby son. “But you must learn to eat fresh kill. In a moon or so I won’t have any more milk.”

“I know,” Gentlekit answered. “I’ll learn to hunt.”

Kyestorm looked at her other kits, who tore the prey into pieces, and merrily ran around the camp with them. Phantomkit ate his, then chased his siblings.

“If you don’t eat yours I’ll eat it!” he mewed, and Kyestorm uttered a meow of laughter. “He is such a little glutton.”

“Take my place,” Rainkit mewled. “I wanna play with Gentlekit!”

“Well, well, do I hear right?” Jayfeather joined the group, sitting behind Briarlight. He glared at the youngsters with sightless blue eyes. “Two kits want to take my job?”

“No!” Rainkit wailed in dismay. “We wanna learn!”

“I will learn,” Gentlekit braved Jayfeather’s stern gaze, rising to greet the Medicine cat with a touch to the nose. Jayfeather’s expression turned to delight.

“You are way too friendly for your own good! Do you both promise to behave if I allow you into the Medicine den?”

“Yes! Yes!” Rainkit bounced on all four paws with jubilation.

“Of course,” Gentlekit answered, his tail flopping to and fro in his only display of underlying delight. Kyestorm stared in shock as Jayfeather led Gentlekit and Rainkit to the Medicine den. Both kits listened with rapt attention.

“They have great promise,” Leafpool commented, sitting beside Demonstone. “Especially Gentlekit.”

“He already seems more mature than his siblings, even Phantomkit, who is so smart, but, mischievous and naughty as any kit.” Kyestorm replied, twitching her tail. Red and cream tufts floated on the breeze. “He insists he sees star cats in his dreams.”

“He does?” Leafpool straightened. “He must be attuned to StarClan! Indeed, he knows his destiny with us.”

“Rainkit has not said that,” Millie murmured, disappointment in her voice.

“No worries,” Leafpool mewed. “The fact he has such an interest so young, he shows great promise in that he is choosing what his own destiny will be.”

“It isn’t because he adores Gentlekit? And just wants to do whatever his big brother does?” Millie asked, drawing her features into a frown.

“No. Most kits just want to play at being warrior. Rainkit shares the same interests and potential as Gentlekit, and that’s why they are so close.” Leafpool argued. “I am very surprised Gentlekit is seeing StarClan in his dreams. It is a bit unusual for ones so young, but all that shows is his enormous potential to be one of our finest medicine cats.”

“He does have the right temperament,” Kyestorm muttered with a wry grin, exposing the tips of her fangs.

“But he fears little, and I think he’ll be as good a taskmaker as Jayfeather someday.” Leafpool giggled like an apprentice. “I’d love to see someone match my son paw to paw in that respect.”

“Me, too” Millie mewed, and the entire group enjoyed a hearty laugh.

As the day passed sunhigh, the kits ran out of fuel. They toddled over, took a meal and promptly fell asleep in a huge ball of fuzz. Gentlekit and Rainkit returned, wobbling with fatigue, but eyes full of joy. They fed, and promptly fell asleep, while chattering on about what they learned under Jayfeather’s watch.  Daisy and Millie snoozed, as did Demonstone. Briarlight gazed at Kyestorm through half closed eyes.

“I heard you may go to the next Gathering,” she murmured.

“Yes, I am supposed to go.” Kyestorm yawned. “But I am so tired today, I might ask to stay here.”

“You MUST go. The Clans must meet you.” Briarlight insisted, her conviction sharpening er meow.

“Why?” Kyestorm met Briarlight’s sky-blue gaze.

“It is news! If you go, then the other Clan Leaders can’t accuse Bramblestar of lying or hiding secrets.”  Briarlight glanced at the pile of sleeping kits. “Take a good nap! Then you won’t be tired.”

“You have a good point. I must anyway, since Bramblestar wants me there.” Kyestorm yawned and stretched, then lay her head down. The sun warmed her thick pelt, and before she knew it she slumbered, romping in sunlit Green Leaf, with her kits, mate, and Clanmates.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

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Limerick
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire
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CHAPTER FOUR
PART 2

That evening, the full moon sent golden silver light streaming into the hollow. Silverpelt glittered above, as Clan members readied to travel to the Gathering. Moonlight reflected off the lake in shimmers of bright silver which sparkled between the trees. Not a single cloud marred the night sky, and Kyestorm knew StarClan approved of her decision to go.  Her kits slept in the nursery, tuckered out by vigorous play before the evening meal. With full bellies and exhausted bodies, they snuggled between Daisy and Millie, safe and secure.

“Don’t worry, Kyestorm,” Cloudtail meowed. “Your kits will be safe.”

“I know,” Kyestorm met Cloudtail’s blue eyes. Brightheart’s copper eye shone.

“We will protect them with our lives,” she added. Kyestorm impulsively reached forward and licked both warriors on the head.

“Thank you. I know they will be safe.”

“Kyestorm?” Leafpool called out. Kyestorm whirled to face the pale brown tabby she-cat. Leafpool’s amber eyes glinted with suppressed excitement. “Are you ready?”

“Of course!” Kyestorm pushed down her anxieties, and trotted to join the throng of cats at the entrance.  They parted, allowing her to take a place behind Bramblestar and Squirrelflight, who led the group down toward the lake. She heard the excited murmuring of the apprentices, and glanced back. Alderpaw looked more and more like Bramblestar in a dark red tabby pelt every passing sunrise, and possessed the same gentle, caring soul. His sister’s pelt gleamed bright red even in the night, but the moon cast a silvery sheen to it. Sparkpaw put Kyestorm in mind of StarClan’s Firestar, her grandfather. She looked just like the fire-pelted apparition that appeared to her and Demonstone that fateful night they joined the Clan. The apprentices walked close together, excited, yet ready to protect each other and their Clanmates at the drop of a leaf.

Since that day she showed them the extent of her paw grip, they often came to visit the kits, and with permission from their mentors, asked for strength training that everyone knew Kyestorm excelled at. She came to adore them almost as much as her own kits. They eagerly promised to help the kits learn to hunt and catch their first prey when they found out Kyestorm decided wean them.

Kyestorm anticipated the day her and Millie’s kits earned their apprenticeships, and hoped Bramblestar’s offspring might be warriors by then. She imagined going to a Gathering one moon with all her kits coming along, all proud apprentices. She followed the Clan leader along the lake edge, passing by WindClan territory.  Kyestorm glanced up at the windswept moorland. WindClan warriors ran down the slope, and slowing down,  allowed ThunderClan to pass.

“So we get to see the mighty red warrior?” one of them scoffed. “The one that made the foxes come to our territory?”

“Furzepelt, enough,” a red-brown tabby tom admonished. “We should be so lucky to have such a warrior.”

“I know, Onestar,” the grey and white she-cat replied. “Not fair ThunderClan gets such.”

Kyestorm strained to hear more, but nothing but mumbling and hissing reached her tall ears, as Bramblestar picked up the pace.

“They sound angry,” Kyestorm said to Leafpool, who walked beside her.

“They are all a bit grumpy,” Leafpool tried to keep the mirth from her voice, and Kyestorm raised her brows.

“Why? Prey has been running very well!”

“For us,” Thornclaw joined the conversation, his bright yellow eyes full of humor. “Since you put the fear of StarClan in those foxes, they avoid our territory, and have invaded other territories. ShadowClan and WindClan in particular. They seem not to like RiverClan’s lands much, but a few have been seen there.”

“They leave us alone,” Bumblestripe added. “So ShadowClan and WindClan think its our fault.”

“Will there be trouble tonight?” Kyestorm asked, appalled she might be the cause of any strife.

“Maybe,” Bumblestripe answered, a ripple lifting his silver tabby pelt. The moonlight illuminated the tom’s silver grey base coat, which contracted starkly with his black stripes. Kyestorm scowled inwardly. Dovewing’s a fool, she thought, he’s a handsome, sweet tom. Bumblestripe met Kyestorm’s gaze. “Rowanstar has some sense, but he’s too full of ShadowClan pride.”

“Onestar used to be so amicable, until he became Clan Leader. He’s a big grouch now.”  Squirrelflight added, glancing backward. “Don’t worry about it. If they act like fools I am certain StarClan will let them know it.”

The cats trotted along the shore, and a thrill shot through Kyestorm when she saw the island. To her left, the land rose up and Kyestorm scented the Horseplace. The ground turned marshy and her paws squelched in the shoreline mud. The others moved further upland, but Kyestorm merrily slogged through it. Mischief rose up in her, and she swung her massive paws, slinging mud in the air. Her Clanmates all protested with meows, hisses and squalls. She bared the tips of her fangs in a grin.

“Come, Kyestorm,” Bramblestar said sternly, but Kyestorm heard a chuckle in his voice. “Stop behaving like a kit.”

“Sorry,” she purred. “I love playing in water, and especially snow! Oh, I love snow.”

“Fluff-brain,” Bumblestripe meowed, his eyes slits. Kyestorm heard the guffaw rumble his voice. “Snow means bad Leaf Bare.”

“Great StarClan,” Thornclaw muttered. “Then why you end up with ThunderClan?”

“Maybe to teach you all some new things,” Kyestorm mewed with good nature. A wave of feline laugher ran through the Clan. “And prey hides in the snow. They think they are safe. Easier to catch with these.” Kyestorm flicked a muddy forepaw forward and spread her long toes exposing  impressive claws.

“Are all Maine Coons so goofy?” Cherryfall giggled, the tips of her fangs visible. “Do you behave like kits all your lives?”

“Yes!” Kyestorm answered and bounced forward, flagging her bottlebrush tail, glancing back at Cherryfall and Bumblestripe.  Mucky water flew skyward, sparkling in the moonlight. By time the Clan reached the fallen tree trunk, everyone meowed and chattered with good humor and anticipation.  Kyestorm followed her Clanmates over the tree trunk, amused at the fear of the water so many showed. Mistystar and RiverClan waited under the Great tree. Mistystar raised her tail in greeting.

“Hallo, Kyestorm! Glad to finally meet you!”

“Hallo!” Kyestorm stopped under the grand old tree, touching noses with RiverClan’s leader. In Mistystar, she saw StarClan’s Bluestar, and felt drawn to her. Miststar touched Kyestorm with her bushy tail.

“I see you enjoy water games.”

“I do,” Kyestorm answered, and shook her coat. Mistystar stood firm with nary a flinch.

“Maybe you can learn to fish,” Mistystar quipped.

“Yeeuck,” Bumblestripe yowled in disgust. “Never.”

“I love fish!” Kyestorm said. “Its tasty!”

“Ugh,” Thornclaw laughed, slapping her with his tail. “StarClan should have sent you to RiverClan!”

“I’ll eat anything I can catch,” Kyestorm chittered a laugh.

“I see you’ve met the giant kittypet,” someone said, as WindClan joined the Gathering. shattering the banter. Mistystar only glared at the WindClan deputy, her blue eyes sparking with annoyance.  She nodded to Onestar, who stared at Kyestorm, and she felt a mix of embarrassment and indignation. Rowanstar appeared out of the marsh and led his Clan onto the Island, silencing further retort from Harespring. With his arrival, the Clan Leaders all jumped into the old tree with their deputies.

“I’ll start since we have big news,” Bramblestar began.

“We know about your new kittypets,” Onestar interrupted, gazing down at Kyestorm. Kyestorm met his gaze, dipping her head respectfully but refused to look away. Onestar shifted on his branch, lashing his tail, but said nothing.

“They are kittypets no longer. Kyestorm here is a warrior now, earning that by her actions the day foxes invaded our camp to steal our kits!” Bramblestar paused, letting the gasp of dismay ripple around the throng of cats. “Her mate, though injured, smote the young vixen cub, and Kyestorm, by herself, drove the big dogfox out of camp, saving many from injury and kept ThunderClan kits safe.”

“Kits?” Mistystar spoke up, The moonlight shimmered her blue-grey pelt in silver. She raised her feathery tail. “Do they thrive?”

“Yes, and Kyestorm had six upon arrival to ThunderClan. Kyestorm’s milk saved Millie’s two kits from starvation since her milk supply kept disappearing, and dried up completely a number of sunrises ago. But we will have eight new apprentices in five moons.” Bramblestar answered. “And two new warriors once our apprentices earn it. Alderpaw and Sparkpaw apprenticed a season before Kyestorm joined us.This is their first Gathering.”

Happy meowing echoed under the trees. The cries of Alderpaw, Sparkpaw, reverberated under the trees and over the lake. As quiet settled over the Clans, Mistystar rose, balancing gracefully on her chosen branch. Kyestorm watched nervously, glancing at the bright full moon.

“RiverClan is well fed now that the ice melted and allowed us to fish, and we’ve not had much trouble from foxes . No kits yet, but we are hoping very soon!”

“No fox likes fishing or swimming,” someone quipped. Laughter rippled around the island, as Onestar rose to speak.

“WindClan is holding its own, but prey is still light. Our fox problems are still with us.” Murmurs of sympathy rolled through the gathered cats. Onestar continued. “But we’re strong and soon we’ll have those foxes driven out.”


“Nobody mentions the strange howling.” Rowanstar rose, his tail flicking to and fro. “Our patrols have seen strange tracks on our territory. Looks like we may have a dog problem.”

“Are you sure they’re just dog tracks?” Bramblestar faced the ruffled ShadowClan leader. “We have heard the howling. But Kyestorm here knows what it is. They are called coyotes, a wild canine from over the Great Water that somehow has reached our territories.”

“So?” Onestar sniped. “We can all handle dogs.”

“These are not two-leg dogs. They are wild canines, bigger than foxes. They are organized and in Leaf Bare hunt in packs. If they do this and they grow in numbers they can, not only drive us from our homes, but eat us, too.” Bramblestar retorted, and Kyestorm saw a flare of anger in his ambergold eyes. “This is a time when the Clans must come together!”

“How?” Rowanstar hissed. “There is no enemy to fight yet.”

“Not yet,” Bramblestar warned. “But there will be. Accept Kyestorm, her mate and kits, since without a doubt, they will help us all win this fight.”

“They are all in ThunderClan,” Onestar grumbled. “What good does that do us?”

“StarClan has not made that clear yet,” Bramblestar answered. “But one thing is certain. Kyestorm and her growing kits are important to all of us, not just ThunderClan. Please keep open minds and remember the code!”

The full moon blazed in the night sky, as if approving his words. Kyestorm relaxed, not wishing to anger the other Clan Leaders, even if she wished to bop two of them on the head with both paws. Mistystar stood up.

“We’ve heard the howling close by, and its only the Horseplace dogs that keep them away. For now. When Leaf Bare comes it might be different. We must not forget!” Mistystar raised her voice.  “Under StarClan, four Clans will be One, to preserve the Four.”

“There is nothing to fight,” Rowanstar spat with annoyance. “ThunderClan is always meddling! We are fine, and train to battle the menace ourselves when the time comes. We don’t need help from big clumsy kittypets.”

“Then you’re a fool!” Kyestorm jumped forward, standing below Rowanstar, her coat bristling. His eyes widened briefly before he scowled at her.

“You dare be disrespectful?” He crept down his branch, eyes blazing.

“Forgive me, Rowanstar, but these are no ordinary dogs!” Kyestorm meowed firmly, her heart hammering in her chest as she faced the angry ShadowClan leader. “My mate and I know of them. You will need our help if these coyotes band into a pack come Bare Leaf.”

“It isn't even Green leaf yet,”  Rowanstar hissed. “This seems another attempt at ThunderClan to meddle in our affairs! All you have done, Kittypet, is chase foxes into our territory!"

“I didn’t, I mean, Our kits . . .” Kyestorm stammered. Rowanstar glared at her. Kyestorm glanced at Tawnypelt, Bramblestar’s sister. The tortoiseshell she-cat just flicked her tail in sympathy, but said nothing.

“You come here and think to run how we fight threats?” Rowanstar stood up on his branch. “Then disrespect me?”

“Rowanstar,” Bramblestar growled. “She’s new to our ways, but she is right. These coyotes will endanger us all and we need to be prepared to assist one another.”

“I remember the code, even if I was dragged into agreeing,” Rowanstar snapped. “ShadowClan will be ready for whatever comes.”

“As will WindClan,” Onestar yowled. “We have foxes driving out rabbits and denning in the burrows thanks to your new pet, Bramblestar.”

Many WindClan and ShadowClan cats yowled agreement. Arguments broke out between visiting cats. The jovial atmosphere evaporated like a puff of mist in a breeze. The mingled cats broke up into tight Clan groups.

“What fools,” Mistystar spat with frustration. “You believe you can handle these unknown canines alone? Foxes will seem like mouse play in comparison.”

“We can!” ShadowClan’s leader snapped. “We don’t need your giant kittypet!”

“I am not a kittypet! When those coyotes attack your camps in search of food, you’ll be begging for my help!” Kyestorm snarled, her temper rising. She bristled until she appeared twice her size, causing both Clan Leaders to step backward on their branches. “You think I’m fat, weak and not a warrior?” Kyestorm flexed one of her massive forepaws, and her wicked pale-colored claws gleamed under the moonlight. “Do you wish to test that theory?”

“Don’t temp me, big ball of fur,” Rowanstar hissed, arching his back, stepping forward to the end of his branch. He jumped down, marching up to her.

“Rowanstar! Don’t!” Bramblestar yowled.

“Don’t what? Teach a kittypet a lesson?” he sneered, and with a lightening strike of his paw, struck Kyestorm across her face, His claws scratched her chin as she yanked her head back in alarm. Sudden outrage flooded her, and she reacted without thinking.

“Foxheart!” She leaped forward, and flicked out one muddy paw, catching Rowanstar on the head. She sheathed her claws at the last moment, but the thump sounded loud in the silent clearing. The ShadowClan leader staggered sideways, blinking furiously before leveling his yellow eyes on her.

“So you dare attack a Clan leader?” Rowanstar snarled, and gathered his hind legs beneath him. His claws kneaded the ground in warning. Kyestorm crouched, ready for the attack. Distant thunder rumbled, startling the Gathering. All arguing ceased, and Rowanstar turned his head. Kyestorm jerked her head up, and gasped in horror. Clouds banked in the west, and a few wisps drifted over the moon. In a few more moments, thicker clouds reached for the moon touching the bottom rim. All bravado drained from the Maine Coon queen, replaced by dread and dismay at her own behavior.

“StarClan is angry! It’s all my fault! I’m sorry, Rowanstar!” Kyestorm wailed, and bolted. She flew over the tree trunk, and onto the lake shore, squalling like a scared kit.

“Kyestorm, wait!” Bramblestar called after her, but she ran toward ThunderClan territory, her strong, long legs carrying her with great speed over the terrain. She cut corners, and plowed through the marshes, spattering herself with mud and muck. She shunned the curve of dry shoreline, sending up sprays of water as she raced through the shallows and under the broken half bridge.  Kyestorm skimmed along the WindClan shoreline, pebbles, sand and water flying up in her wake. She cleared the stream mouth in three leaps, and pounded up into Thunderclan land. She barreled through the entrance, skidding to a halt in front of her startled mate. Cats peered out of their dens, afraid to approach her, but she ignored them all. She buried her head in Demonstone’s ruff and collapsed to her belly.

“I angered StarClan! Ohhh noooo!” Kyestorm wailed hysterically. “I’m never ever going back there again!!”

“What happened?” Demonstone asked, and Kyestorm saw Briarlight, Jayfeather, and Leafpool peer out of the medicine den. They slowly walked over to her and Demonstone. She spilled her story.

“Rowanstar is a fool,” Jayfeather snapped. “StarClan should have let you slap him senseless.”

“Don’t fret, Kyestorm,”Leafpool meowed. “StarClan was not angry with you. But at Onestar and Rowanstar who started the strife. The fools reject you, which I am certain displeased StarClan as well.”

“I slapped a Clan leader!” Kyestorm wailed. “StarClan was mad! I am never going to another Gathering ever, again if those two are there, and they always are. NEVER!”

True to her word, Kyestorm refused to attend any further Gatherings. In the days that followed, her Clanmates continued to comfort her, reminding her how ornery Onestar and Rowanstar always behaved. She soon understood that perhaps, Onestar and Rowanstar angered StarClan more than her actions, but she wished never to attend another Gathering. Her temper simmered, and she knew if she met them again, and received the same treatment, she might commit an atrocity to regret for the rest of her life. She also wished to never ever anger those starry cats who counted on her, who saved her, who gave her and Demonstone a new home.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CHAP FIVE: PATROL
 
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PART I
 
Green Leaf waxed warm, and prey ran well inside ThunderClan territory. One sun-drenched morning, as Kyestorm engaged her and Millie’s four-moon-old kits in rough play, Demonstone dragged large stones of all sizes in a heap at the bottom of the cliff. He carefully placed them several fox-lengths away from a large flat rock he moved there two moons ago for Briarlight. Kyestorm sat down and watched, pride filling her to the tips of her thick long pelt. Her and Millie’s kits developed into fine young cats over the last several moons. Demonstone healed, and though he never ran and leaped in hunting or border patrols, he found a new calling, once his wounds turned to scars. With his great strength, he assisted Brackenfur in shoring up all the nests and the entrance barrier, pulling big vines and branches no other cat dared tackle. The giant Maine Coon tom moved a big stone to the growing pile, placing it in one of the ever growing stacks. The kits sat beside her, tilting their heads.

“What’s Demonpoppa doing?”  Phantomkit asked, then pricked his ears, his sea-green eyes widening with insight. “I’ll help!”

“No. Sit your big rump down.” Kyestorm grabbed him by the scruff. “Watch and learn how smart your father is.”

Demonstone paused his work, and lifted his head when Briarlight appeared at the entrance to the Medicine cat den.

“I’m ready!” she called out. Demonstone trotted over to the little she-cat, his gait rolling and pitching like a two-leg boat out on the wind-tossed lake. He halted and lowered himself to his chest, allowing her to pull herself onto his back. He stood up and she gripped his neck with strong forelegs, her atrophied rear limbs draped on either side of Demonstone’s body.

"Briarlight! Be careful!” Millie’s voice echoed through the camp as she raced across the hollow from the entrance to Demonstone, leaving her patrolmates frowning at her. Millie saw none of it. Her voice rose, as she skidded to a stop beside the huge tom. “Why must you stray from safety? This new obsession of yours is dangerous.”

“She’s safe,” Demonstone answered. “ I won’t let anything hurt her.”

“I’m fine, Millie!” Briarlight faced her mother, her skyblue eyes darkening with sudden annoyance.

“The rocks can crush the rest of you!” Millie danced in place with anxiety. Kyestorm growled deep in her chest, annoyed that Millie relapsed into old habits.

“Demonstone made sure my workplace is out of the way!” Briarlight’s voice rose. “STOP BABYING ME! I finally have a great task to do for our Clan! Don’t ever take that from me! I won’t let you! Leave me alone!” She raised a front paw and tapped Demonstone. “Bring me to my rock!”

“Of course,” Demonstone moved off, leveling his golden eyes on Millie. “Stop worrying so much. Do you think I would allow anything to harm her? ”

“No, but, it’s still so dangerous away from the Medicine den,” Millie mewled miserably.

“So I might get a bit dirty or wet,” Briarlight snapped. “I’m stronger now than ever before. Let me do my work! Stop obsessing over me, please!”

Millie gaped at them, while Demonstone carried Briarlight across the hollow. Blossomfall popped out of the warrior den, her eyes wide with suppressed shock and mirth.  She raced past Kyestorm, mrrows of laughter bursting from clenched jaws, and disappeared down into the training ring. There her hysterical guffaws pealed over the camp. Kyestorm looked at Millie, who lowered her head, and shuffled toward the Elder’s den. Rainkit jumped up and ran after her.

“Millie! Don’t be sad. Briarlight is safe.” He stopped in front of her, tail raised.  She mumbled something, then walked away. Rainkit’s tail sagged, and he returned to Kyestorm’s side, confusion in his green eyes. His long pale grey fur with darker blue-grey stripes bristled with emotion.

“Are you all right?” Kyestorm asked the kit.

“Yes, but, she told me I don’t need her anymore and to leave her alone.  If I have problems she said to see you, Kyemama. Why does she worry so much about Briarlight?” Rainkit glanced at his older sister. “Jayfeather says she’s healthier than ever. Why doesn’t Millie love me and Greykit anymore?”

“I don’t have a good answer for you,” Kyestorm said, licking Rainkit’s head. “I think Millie is just confused and scared. She thinks something awful is going to happen to Briarlight because she can’t run away from danger.”

“But Demonpoppa wouldn’t let anything hurt her,” Rainkit mewed. “Millie once loved me and Greykit. Why did that change? It won’t change with you, will it?”

“Never. Millie still does love you, little one, in her own way. She just gets tunnel-sighted and can’t see or feel past her silly fears. Don’t let it bother you,” Kyestorm murmured, her heart breaking for the kit. She licked his ear. “Just know I love you just as much as my own kits and I always will. Never forget that.”

“I won’t, Kyemama, my mama!” His tail rose above his back. “ I’m going to see Jayfeather and Gentlekit.” he mewed, and ran off to the medicine cat den. Kyestorm wondered why Millie feared so much again for Briarlight, and her lapse into old behavior baffled Kyestorm. Briarlight possessed more protection from her Clan, and developed more physical strength since Demonstone healed and joined Clan activity.  Kyestorm glanced after Rainkit, hoping he never grew to resent Millie or Briarlight. Kyestorm rumbled deep in her chest, and muttered, “not on my watch.”

 Movement attracted her attention, and she saw Graystripe emerge from the Elder’s den. Millie pressed herself against him. He licked her head, murmuring to her in comforting tones. Kyestorm’s rumble turned to a low growl.

“Coddling her,” she grumbled under her breath. “Leaving me to clean up the emotional mess for those sweet kits.”

“Kyemama! Please let me help Brairlight now?” Demonkit asked, breaking Kyestorm’s thoughts. He held up a big forepaw, and Kyestorm noted how much it resembled her hosuefolk’s hand covering called a mitten.  “She thinks my extra toes are so helpful in her weaving. ”

“Go, but stay out of the adults’ way. I know you’ve grown, but one of those big rocks can still hurt you.”  Kyestorm nodded, thankful for the distraction.

“Yes, Kyemama! I’ll be careful,” Demonkit mewed in his high singsong voice, and raced over to Briarlight, who greeted him enthusiastically. Together they sat on the slab and wove anything Demonstone asked them for. Kyestorm shifted her forepaws in delight, watching her kit use his dexterous paws to enhance Briarlight’s work. All the dens showed the improvements created over the last moon, which everyone noticed, especially on rainy stormy days, when the new walls kept everyone snug and dry. Why did Millie not feel pride, instead of throttling anxiety over her daughter?

 Kyestorm glanced at her mate and Brackenfur, and her annoyance turned to joy, so grateful of the strong bond which sprouted between her mate and the seasoned warrior over the last couple moons. The gigantic Maine Coon tom discovered he loved building and constructing, and won over Brackenfur the day he secured the biggest framing branch anyone ever used in a den. He also taught little Briarlight how to weave, and she improved on his techniques. Demonkit found he enjoyed helping her, and used his nimble paws to help her. She, worked diligently, creating rope, patches and ribbons. Demonkit chattered with her, and her eyes sparkled as bright as the sky with delight.

 
“Kyemama, why can’t I help Demonpoppa? Demonkit is always helping Briarlight!” Phantomkit asked boldly, his sea-green eyes full of indignation.

“All right,” Kyestorm mewed. “Go. If he says yes, you may help, but if he says no, you come back here immediately.”

“Yes, Kyemama! Thank you!” Phantomkit raced over to his father, and Demonstone eyed his son, before nodded and pointing with his huge bushy tail. Phantomkit, his eyes alight, merrily helped move long woven vines alongside Brackenfur.  Kyestorm uttered a mew of surprise, noting her son stood taller than the old warrior. Brackenfur noticed as well, glancing at her with a pleased expression, nodding his approval. Kyestorm turned, catching motion at the entrance, and spotted Poppyfrost trotting over to her father with a bundle of grasses she obviously plucked from the lake edge.

“Ah thank you, Poppyfrost,” Brackenfur praised her. “This is perfect stuff! Please, if you will, bring it over to Briarlight and Demonkit, the two best weavers the Clans have ever known.”

“Of course,”Poppyfrost nodded to her father, and dragged the bundle to the flat rock. She laid it at Demonkit’s paws, then glanced at Kyestorm, her tortoiseshell features breaking into a feline grin of delight, as she ran back out of the camp to gather more tall wide-blade grasses.

“Brackenfur!” Demonstone called out, distracting Kyestorm. The golden-brown tabby tom turned from weaving vines and grass ropes into the warrior’s den wall, then muttered to Phantomkit, who diligently obeyed, continuing the weave all around the den.

“What under StarClan are you doing now, you big gooffball?” Brackenfur meowed, and trotted over to Demonstone, tail aloft with anticipation.

“Watch and learn,” Demonstone chattered his teeth cheerfully. Phantomkit stood beside his father, his long tail aloft in joy.

“Get on with it,” Brackenfur mewed, slapping Demonstone on the shoulder, drawing Kyestorm’s attention. “Why the pile of big rocks?”

“We can use these as anchors for all the dens. As long as they are flattish and not round, we can use them to anchor vines and long briars my son and Briarlight are weaving. Then we can anchor the big logs and actually strengthen the roofing. We may be able to keep water from flowing under the walls in big storms.”  Demonstone flipped a large rock over toward the Elder’s den. “We start there.”

“Splendid idea, if we can do that,” Brackenfur exclaimed, then eyed the rock pile. “I can’t move those!”

“No, but I will, and my sons will be able to soon enough,” Demonstone purred with mirth. “I already gathered the thick heavy vines. Once I get the stones over there, we can, not only strengthen the Elder Den, and roof it well, we can enlarge it. Same with the warrior den. If you think its crowded now with me in there, wait until Kyestorm joins us after our kits apprentice! And, when my kits earn their warrior names. . . ”

“Ugh! Let’s do it,” Brackenfur agreed, and motioned with his tail. Mousewhisker joined him, eyes alight with excitement,his grey and white pelt rippling. In moments construction began, and Kyestorm watched with pride. Demonstone and Phantomkit dug trenches around each den, and filled them with stones, then, with the larger rocks, created a barrier to any flowing water. They moved the bramble walls out, and tied each section together, until the warrior den doubled in size.

“I get it now!” Mousewhisker exclaimed. “What a great idea! Great StarClan! We were fools to ever think you had anything to do with the Dark Forest! Where did you learn all this?”

“Watching my housefolk,” Demonstone answered. “When we lived across the Great water, they built a cottage there in the woods. They didn’t like that I was underfoot all the time, but it fascinated me.”

“We’ll have the best dens in all the Clans,” Brackenfur meowed, full of energy and anticipation. As the builders dove into their work, Kyestorm heard pawsteps behind her.

“Since he healed, and started working with Brackenfur, he is a new cat.” Kyestorm recognized Bramblestar’s voice. She faced the ThunderClan leader.

“You gave him the perfect warrior name that day,” Kyestorm said. “And Briarlight as well.  She and Demonkit have created wonderful bracings and windbreaks with what they can do.”

“I saw in him great strength, inner and outer, when he tossed that little vixen like we toss mice.” Bramblestar nodded. “I never imagined this though, nor what he’s done for little Briarlight,” Bramblestar chuckled, before leveling his amber gold gaze on her. “Do you think he’d make it to a Gathering?”

“I don’t know,” Kyestorm recoiled inwardly, but did not move a muscle. “He certainly isn’t as hot-headed as I can be, and the journey there should not bother him. He limps but he can move fast when he needs to. Why?”

“Because when your kits apprentice, I want all of you at that Gathering,” Bramblestar answered. “Green Leaf has brought much complacency, and to ShadowClan and WindClan arrogance. I have heard the coyotes again. Two, perhaps three. Sometimes my fellow Clan leaders have no foresight.”

“I can’t,” Kyestorm mumbled.

“Demonstone is your strength, Kyestorm. If they dare ridicule you again, one soft growl and raised mane from that giant of a cat might silence those two fools. The mere sight of the eight of you might keep them utterly silent, since your kits will be bigger than most warriors by then. Leaf Fall will be on us, and no doubts, the coyotes will make themselves known. Think about it. StarClan’s anger that last Gathering you attended was not your doing.” Bramblestar said sternly. “Rowanstar was disrespectful to you, me, and StarClan by his actions. StarClan chose you, remember?”

“I will never forget,” Kyestorm mewed.

“Good. In two moons, I expect you to attend with your newly apprenticed kits and your mate.” Bramblestar turned and hailed Brackenfur and Demonstone. Kyestorm watched as Demonstone nodded his head. Kyestorm looked down at the ground, knowing she will eventually have to show up at a Gathering again. She shook herself.

“Don’t worry, Kyemama. We won’t let anyone disrespect you,” Smokekit’s soft voice interjected. Kyestorm faced her young daughter, pride welling up. Smokekit stood so tall, and lanky, putting her in mind of Spiderleg, but the resemblance ended there. Her broad chest, long graceful body and thick muscles promised a swift very strong warrior to come. Silvery highlights colored her  ruff, belly and tail fur. Bluekit stood beside her sister, shorter in stature, yet very broad-chested, stout, and agile, sporting the same silvery highlighting with a bluish sheen.

“We'll defend your honor, Kyemama.” Greykit looked at her with shimmering blue eyes, his dark grey pelt gleaming silvery blue in the sunlight.

“If they do, they’ll have to deal with me, too!” Indikit joined the group, her green eyes shining defiance. Kyestorm noticed Indikit’s long, strong legs, large head, and very broad chest, and knew Indikit already vied with Demonkit and Phantomkit for sheer size. Indikit’s demeanor and body language screamed all warrior, and Kyestorm knew one day, her largest daughter promised to fulfil that destiny. Indikit held Kyestorm’s gaze. “We love you, Kyemama! I’ll slap Rowanstar for you, if he’s mean to you again!”

“No need, Indikit! No fighting at Gatherings, ” Kyestorm admonished gently. “I know, my kits, that you will defend me. I just want your first Gathering to go much better than mine,” Kyestrom meowed.

“It will,” Indikit stated, before cuffing Greykit. "Race you to the training area and back!”

The four kits darted away, mewing and laughing with joy. Kyestorm felt her heart tighten in dismay, knowing her kits grew so quickly. She inhaled a sharp little gasp, realizing she indeed, thought of Greykit and Rainkit as her own. If Millie thought likewise, it explained her woebegone state. Kyestorm shook her head. No, Millie reacted that way only when Briarlight chastised her, which happened because of the she-cat’s attachment to Demonstone! Millie made her choice when she left the nursery two moons ago, shortly after Demonstone showed Briarlight his weaving techniques. Kyestorm jumped to her feet, wanting to expel sudden excess anxiety. She saw Squirrelflight organizing a patrol.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:05 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER FIVE



♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART 2


“May I join a you? Need an extra body?” she asked, wanting to take her mind off her concerns.

“Certainly,” Squirrelflight motioned with her tail. Thornclaw, Ivypool, Bumblestripe, and Spiderleg joined Squirrelflight, and gazed at Kyestorm, their eyes blinking a silent greeting. Kyestorm dropped her eyes, surprised by Spiderleg’s lack of animosity.  Squirrelflight continued. “We’ll hunt, but we also check the WindClan border today.”

“All right,” Kyestorm agreed, and followed the four warriors out of the camp. They headed north, toward the old Twoleg place, alert for prey. A breeze rustled leaves in the trees, creating moving lacy patterns on the ground. Kyestorm drank in the scents of soil, leaves, and the ever present lake. The sun warmed her back, as they headed up hill and crossed the disused thunderpath to the northern border. She glanced though the trees at the old Twoleg place, remembering vividly when she and Demonstone arrived in ThunderClan territory, and silently thanked StarClan for their guidance that terrifying night.  Kyestorm scented Whitewing’s patrol, which headed west toward ShadowClan’s border. She blinked, thinking about how much she loved Cloudtail and his daughter, and of course, Brightheart, who never attended gatherings either. Kyestorm growled at herself. I don’t have any reason not to attend like she does, she railed at herself, I am just being selfish.

“Kyestorm?” Squirrelflight’s query shattered her musing. She looked up.

“Sorry, just thinking.” Kyestorm answered, trotting to catch up to her patrolmates, as they curved eastward toward the border with WindClan. Kyestorm glanced upward, catching a spot of gold, and noted a few leaves waving bright yellow in the noonhigh sun. “Look, leaves are turning already.”

“They shouldn’t be! Not for another moon!” Thornclaw exclaimed in dismay. “If so, it foretells a bad cold Leaf Bare.”

 
"I hope it's not a bad as last Leaf Bare," Ivypool commnted. "So much snow we had such a hard time catchng prey."

“Not a good sign,” Spiderleg grumbled, and slowed his pace until he walked beside Kyestorm. “I am sorry.”

“For?” Kyestorm met the black tom’s solemn gaze.

“My brother is right. I was a mousebrain to treat you, and especially your mate, with such hostility. Demonstone is fantastic, as are you.” Spiderleg frisked briefly like a kit on his long legs. “I wish I was there when you smacked Rowanstar. Birchfall said it was epic.”

“It was wrong of me,” Kyestorm said softly, lowering her head, feeling shame flash through her long pelt.

“Oh, please,” Spiderleg snorted. “Clan leaders are not StarClan. Rowanstar is just too full of himself. If he’d have challenged you, no doubts you’d have whipped that scrawny fluffhead.”

“I might have.” Kyestorm allowed herself a sneeze of mirth, then sobered. “But StarClan really was upset. I should never disrespect a Clan leader.”

“Don’t feel like that,” Spiderleg meowed. “StarClan was angry with Rowanstar and his attitude, not you. Sometimes they do need a bite in the tail.”

“Maybe, but it’s not my place,” Kyestorm argued “Maybe if I was a deputy or another Clan leader. . .”

“What would you do if you caught him trespassing and he refused to leave and also refused to see Bramblestar? And claimed he was on his own territory?” Spiderleg asked.

“Challenge him of course,” Kyestorm answered without hesitation.

“And if he accepted and attacked you?”

“Of course I’d thrash him.” Kyestorm flicked her tail.

“Then you just answered your own question,” Spiderleg laughed and thumped her with his tail.  “The only Clan Leader you never think about trouncing is your own. Remember, at the Gathering, you did not start the strife. You only tried to make him see reason.”

“Thank you for the support,” Kyestorm said, nodding at the rangy black warrior.

“He’s right,” Thornclaw added, as they approached the border. “Don’t forget, we all have your back, always.”

“Yes, we do,”  Bumblestripe said, coming up alongside Kyestorm as Thornclaw and Spiderleg surged ahead. “Blossomfall and I am so grateful for what you did for our little brothers.”

“I did what any queen would do,” Kyestorm mewed.

“Not all queens are so giving or accepting.” Bumblestripe touched his tail to her back. “One of the best examples of that was Lizardstripe of ShadowClan who resented the kit Raggedstar gave her to raise many, many seasons ago. That kit was Brokenstar.”

“Mousedung,” Kyestorm muttered, remembering Clan history well from days well-spent with the Elders. “I could never ever refuse to help a kit!”

“Such a queen as yourself is invaluable,” Bumblestripe said. “If not for you, my own mother’s neglect of herself because of her obsession with our invalid sister might have killed Rainkit and Greykit, and nothing rends a Clan’s collective heart than the death of kits.”

“She neglected herself?” Kyestorm stared, baffled even further by Millie’s actions.

“Yes, giving prey she needed to Briarlight. She didn’t need to do so since Blossomfall and I provided for our sister.” Bumblestripe scowled, a rare expression on his handsome features. “We do love her, but, we do resent our mother for the treatment we received after Briarlight’s accident.”

“I did notice tension between Blossomfall and Millie,” Kyestorm admitted. “I never wanted to muck in to another’s business.”

“Our mother treated Blossomfall terribly after Briarlight was injured. She ignored me, too. Our mentors helped us, but it does hurt when a mother ignores her kits at any age. Blossomfall was deeply hurt, and our mother seems not to care even now.”

“So her milk drying up was partially her fault? Not just age?” Kyestorm replied, simmering outrage knotting her stomach. “Why has she left the nursery?”

“Yes. As for leaving the nursery, I guess she thinks her job is done since Rainkit and Greykit are fully weaned, and you watch over them.She returned to fretting and hovering over Briarlight again.” Bumblestripe’s scowl suddenly turned to a smirk. “But she is suffering some consequences of conduct.”

“How so?”

“Well, Rainkit and Greykit view you more as their mother than her, and, get this, Briarlight is so infatuated with her new big “brother” that she is actually annoyed now with our mother’s obsessive attentions.”  Bumblestripe mrrowed with laughter. “I am sure you’ve noticed the relationship. He is wonderful with her and never coddles her like Mother does. He gives her tasks, and she feels helpful for the first time since she got hurt. Her lungs are stronger and she can move better than ever. Not to mention how well she and Demonkit work together.”

“Yes, they do. I have, and that explains what happened  this morning!” Kyestorm meowed, feeling a mix of guilt and mirth. “Millie came over and fussed over Briarlight when she pulled herself on Demonstone’s back to go to her workrock. Briarlight yowled  “STOP BABYING ME”, then told her to “leave me alone,” and went with Demonstone. I thought Blossomfall was going to blow apart with laughter.”

“Yes, I saw her in the training area, laughing so hard she just rolled around in the dust. Briarlight’s heath has improved so much.Her lungs are stronger and she can move better than ever.  I can’t understand why Mother won’t relax. When Briarlight saw how Demonstone weaves briars and brambles to protect our camp, she asked Demonkit to get tall grasses for her, which of course he did, then she worked for a whole day weaving them, then showed her efforts to Demonstone.”

“Yes, I remember that. She found her purpose, and everyone will appreciate their weaving skill when Leaf Bare brings those cold winds. I remember the day Demonkit first asked if he could search for grasses for Briarlight.” Kyestorm nodded. “I took him outside camp that day. I trust him now to go alone, as long as he does not stray too far.”

“Blossomfall watches out for him, too. That is how I knew of it.” Bumblestripe replied.

“I wish Millie would see how its helped her daughter and given her health and strength. Instead she continues to fret whenever Briarlight leaves the medicine den.” Kyestorm clicked her teeth. “Does she really think anything is going to get past my mate, or Demonkit, to get to her daughter?”

“Your sons are enormous already. With them and Demonstone with her. Briarlight is completely safe. Millie used to be much worse,” Bumblestripe said. “I know she loves Graystripe and he loves her, but she has to get over this fearful obsession. It almost killed Rainkit and Greykit. It’s completely understandable why they look more to you than her.”

“They do love their father very much. He spends time with them, and look to Demonstone as an Uncle and not their father.” Kyestorm flattened her ears. “I never intended to steal the love of her kits so much that they think I’m their mother.”

“Of course not, but who fed them, nourished them when they needed it? Once they gained their milk teeth she spent less and less with them in the nursery did she not? The only comforting tongue they will remember is yours!” Bumblestripe uttered a snarl of annoyance. “If she really cared for them as much as she does Briarlight, she’d never have left the nursery! You haven’t!”

“I should not until the kits apprentice and go to the apprentice den. I don’t understand why she left. Daisy and I have never been cross with her at all.” Kyestorm flicked her tail. “But she did, and the kits come to me and sleep with my kits. They have for almost two moons now.”

 “Don’t fret over it. One day, she will regret her actions. I just hope she comes to grips with her emotions soon, and lets all her kits know she cares, like you do.” Bumblestripe eyed her askance. “Maybe you should speak to her?”

“I’ve tried asking her why she won’t come back to the nursery. She won’t talk about any of it except to thank me profusely for giving her kits what she couldn’t. Graystripe just says to let it go. Today she said something to Rainkit when he tried to comfort her after Briarlight yelled at her. He looked confused, and maybe hurt. He asked me if I would stop loving him like she did, and went to the Medicine den to be with Gentlekit.” Kyestorm growled her frustrations, then gave Bumblestripe a quick smile. “But all the kits know love, and always will, from me.”

“They know the truth, and that is all we can ask. Secrets and lies hurt more. They all are such marvelous kits. I so wish to have kits, but, well, can’t seem to keep a mate,” Bumblestripe lamented.

“Not your fault!” Kyestorm exclaimed, and blurted, “if I wasn’t already mated, I’d choose you and keep you. You’re a handsome, smart, and sweet tom!”

“Really?” Bumblestripe brightened, then his eyes widened. “No, Kyestorm! Don’t even say that! Demonstone would just smash me to bloody bits! He’s the only cat I know who can throw rocks!”

“Don’t worry!” Kyestorm mrrowed with mirth. “I have no intention of leaving Demonstone. I’m just saying, if she-cats ignore you, it is their loss.”

A large rabbit startled the patrol, evaporating the conversation, and fled its hiding spot, racing for a burrow just inside the ThunderClan line. Kyestorm reacted without thought. She launched herself after it, and drawing her hind legs at the last moment, she pounced, her toes spread, claws glinting in the sun. She flattened the shocked rabbit, sinking her claws into the prey. It uttered a deafening squeal, but Kyestorm delivered the kill bite swiftly, then stopped, wondering why nobody congratulated her on a swift catch. Kyestorm glanced at her patrol, who looked past her with narrowed eyes. She turned her head in time to see a WindClan patrol appear out of the brush lining the opposite bank of stream that marked the border.

“Stealing our prey?” A brown tabby and white tom sneered. Two she-cats flanked him, bristling with hostility. A young black tom with white splashed across his chest hung back, and Kyestorm recognized Slightfoot.

“Not so, Harespring,” Thornclaw replied calmly, while Kyestorm fumed with indignation. “The rabbit and its burrow is on our territory.”

“Rabbits are not ThunderClan prey,” one of the she-cats hissed. Kyestorm recognized Furzepelt, and growled, baring the tips of her fangs, waiting for the opportunity to slap that bossy she-cat silly.

“Why not?” Thornclaw asked quietly. “If they run our land, we’ll eat them. We have kits to feed, so all prey running in our territory is fair game.”

“That rabbit ran onto your territory from ours. You’re stealing it,” Furzepelt insisted.

“No we aren’t,” Spiderleg growled, narrowing his eyes.

“The burrow is on our territory. We didn’t steal anything!” Squirrelflight came to Thornclaw’s’s side, green eyes spitting with anger.Ivypool flanked her.

“Yes, you are!” Harespring stepped forward across the stream.

“Kyestorm caught it fair,” Spiderleg growled, his long black tail puffing in anger.

“Give it back!” a black she-cat hissed.

“Harespring, Nightcloud! Furrzepelt! Slightfoot!! Get back on your own territory!” Thornclaw snarled. “You trespass!”

“The rabbit is ours and your kittypet stole it!” Harespring hissed, ready to spring on Thornclaw.

“You will pay!” Furzepelt screeched, landing beside the WindClan deputy.

“STOP!” Kyestorm yowled, her temper exploding. Slightfoot shrank back. She stood tall on tiptoe, towering over the WindClan cats. “I caught this fairly, on ThunderClan land and the burrow is right there, well within our territory! Its obvious we stole nothing.” Kyestorm pointed her tail at the burrow. “Do you call me a liar?” She minced forward, her high voice dropping to a menacing growl. She swiped a huge paw under Harespring’s muzzle, dagger claws flashing in the dappled sunlight, and, sheathing her claws at the last second, smacked Furzepelt on the side of the head

Harespring’s eyes widened, showing the whites as he hastily backed up into the stream, stepping into the deeper water. He yowled with surprise, and sprang in the air, splashing water all over his Clanmates, and landed on the far shore. Nightcloud followed, shaking herself, and glared at Kyestorm. Furzepelt staggered across the brook, shaking her head, obviously stunned. Of Slightfoot, she saw nothing Harespring bared his teeth, lashing his tail.

“We’re reporting to Onestar about this!”  Harespring snarled over her shoulder.

“Fine,” Thornclaw hitched his shoulders, gold eyes gleaming. “Just warn him not to start a war over your lies.”

Harespring and his patrol disappeared, and Kyestorm caught her breath, flattening her fur. She faced Thornclaw.

“Sorry,” she mewed. “I hate being accused of lying.”

“No matter,” Thornclaw replied, delight dancing in his eyes. “I see where Indikit gets her temper. Though hers is far worse. Yours takes a while to simmer.”

“Yes, it does,” Kyestorm deflated completely, her tail drooping to touch the ground. “I hope I didn’t start a war.”

“You didn’t, and if WindClan is foolish about this, I am certain any quarrel they bring will be squashed quickly.” Thornclaw uttered a mewl of laughter. “Did you see Harespring’s eyes when you flashed your claws under his nose? And Furzepelt may not remember our encounter at all, you hit her so hard.Slightfoot probably wet himself!”

“Yes, but. . .” Kyestorm stuttered.

“Great catch and defense!” Squirrelflight thumped Kyestorm with her tail, then marked the boundary. “Pick up your prey and let’s get it back to camp.”

“Why were they so ridiculous?” Kyestorm asked, picking up the rabbit, copying Squirrelflight, marking a stone just downstream. “It’s foolishness like that which makes me so angry!”

“Harespring is a mousebrained piece of foxdung,” Squirrelflight spat, in a swift change of mood. “I’ll never understand why Onestar chose him. I don’t blame you for being angry, Kyestorm.”

“I don’t go to Gatherings so I don’t upset StarClan. Maybe I shouldn’t patrol anymore,” Kyestorm muttered.

“Nonesense!” Squirrelflight snorted, putting Kyestorm in mind of Jayfeather. “You should come to every Gathering and knock sense into those mushroomheads with those big paws. It’s not your fault that foxes avoid our territory completely since you joined our patrols. It’s something the other Clans should covet and admire!”

“Is there not a way to chase the foxes away from all Clans?”

“Not really, unless every Clan had a cat like you,” Squirrelflight answered. “But at this rate, with their petty kittypet prejudices, they may never ever be lucky enough to gain what we have. Their fault, Kyestorm, not yours. And I think that is what StarClan is mad about. The other leaders, reject you, except Mistystar, who has half a brain!”

“I suppose you are right,” Kyestorm relaxed, her angst replaced by the exhilaration of defending herself, her prey and her Clan.

“You acted perfectly,” Squirrelflight assured her. “And we spilled not a drop of blood.”

“Good. I enjoy patrols,” Kyestorm replied. She followed them into camp, and placed the big rabbit on the fresh kill pile. Her kits swarmed around her, bouncing with excitement, questions bombarding her ears.

“Kyemama! How’d you catch it?” Phantomkit asked, in strident tones he now used more often.

“I want to go hunting, too!” Demonkit meowed, his voice as high pitched as his father’s.

“Ohhhh! I want to hunt on the open moors!” Smokekit squealed. “It sound sso fun! To run and leap without worrying about brush and trees!”

“We didn’t run the moors,” Kyestorm retorted, flattening her ears, feeling a stab of angst in the pit of her stomach. Why did Smokekit care about running WindClan territory?

“You got a rabbit!” Smokekit mewled. “They run the moors!  I know the tales!”

“I wanna go hunting, toooo!” Bluekit demanded.

“Me, too! When can we go?” Indikit demanded, her green eyes shining. “When?”

“You’ll apprentice soon enough,” Kyestorm admonished her noisy brood. “Enjoy being kits!”

“We may have to apprentice them at five moons,” Bramblestar commented, coming up beside Kyestorm. “Even little Bluekit is as large as our smallest warrior.”

“No,” Kyestorm shook her head. “Their brains have to catch up with their bodies!”

Bramblestar burst out in laughter, before eyeing Phantomkit.

“That young one is ready. Smart, strong, and fast,” he commented. “As is Demonkit. Gentlekit along with his shadow Rainkit, already spends more time in the medicine den than the nursery.”

“Smokekit grows so tall and graceful, while Bluekit is short, yet swift,” Kyestorm sighed. “I wish they could stay babies forever.”

“Greykit and Indikit have formed quite the alliance. I never expected Greykit to match Indikit for temper and mischievousness.” Bramblestar meowed. “They all will be fine warriors in their good time.”

“Yes,” Kyestorm agreed, then decided to brave the Clan Leader’s possible anger. “Must I go to the Gathering when they apprentice?”

“Yes,” Bramblestar answered without a speck of annoyance. Understanding shimmered in his amber gaze. “Remember, all eight kits will be there, and Demonstone already agreed. He is more than  strong enough to make the journey. Your Clan will be there to have your back, and remember, Mistystar is on your side as well.”

“All right,” Kyestorm lowered her head, angst twisting her stomach. As Bramblestar trotted away, she sat, trying to conjure up any excuse not to go to that Gathering. She knew the medicine cats and Gentlekit would never allow her to lie, and she shuddered at the thought of injuring herself just to stay behind. She sighed. No, she thought, I will have to do this, for my kits, for my Clan.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:05 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

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Limerick
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CHAP SIX: APPRENTICES


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PART I
 
Sunrise brought gray skies and cool misty rain the day the kits turned six moons old. Kyestorm awoke to a breeze rustling the leafy roof of the nursery. She felt a paw digging into her back. She slapped her tail over the offender’s flank.

“Demonkit, must you fling that monstrous body all over the nest?” Kyestorm growled. Demonkit rolled over and sprawled over Phantomkit, who woke up with a start. He shook his head, then looked at Kyestorm, and excitement chased the sleep from his sea-green eyes. His bushy tail slapped his siblings.

“Kyemama! We apprentice today!”

“Yes, you do,” Kyestorm yawned, listening to the soft rainfall. She felt so snug and warm she wished to stay put. Phantomkit pounced on her, and she grunted, his enormous paws punching air from her lungs.

“Get up!” he meowed with excitement. Kyestorm rolled onto her chest, eyeing her gargantuan son. He stood almost her height, and outweighed many of the warriors in camp. Demonkit matched him, and Indikit trailed her two big brothers, but surpassed her other three siblings. Smokekit stood as tall as Demonkit and Phantomkit, but her lanky body weighed much less. Gentlekit took after his father, with a powerfully muscled body. Little Bluekit weighed almost as much as Smokeekit, but promised to stay short and stocky, but even she dwarfed Greykit and Rainkit in height and weight. Kyestorm yawned, wondering if the weather might delay the apprentice ceremony. She scowled at her huge kits, and hoped not. They hogged the entire nursery now! Poor Daisy snoozed in her nest against the back wall, the only place free of blooming bushy tails, long bodies and legs, and monstrous paws. Daisy opened an eye.

“Special day,” she mewed. “Even though there is not much room in here, I’ll miss you all.” Daisy sighed. “And nobody else is expecting kits.”

“Give it a few moons,” Kyestorm quipped. “Cherryfall and Stormcloud have been making moon eyes at each other since I arrived. Poppyfrost has gained weight, and I know she and Berrynose want more kits. So does Blossomfall.”

“They’d best wait until New Leaf. As much as I don’t like to see the nursery empty, its better if we have no kits to raise during Leaf Bare.” Daisy lifted her head. “I think you’re right, too. Hard Leaf Bare is ahead.”

“And if I have more kits, this nursery will be too small,” Kyestorm meowed. “You should get Demonstone and Brackenfur to enlarge it before New Leaf. They’ll listen to you.”

“Yes, they will,” Daisy mewed, eyes shining. “Even . . .”

“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here!” Bramblestar’s yowl interrupted the conversation, and reverberated through camp.

“Kyemama! Its time!” Greykit pounced on Indikit. “Get up! Bramblestar is calling a meeting!”

In a flurry of huge clumsy paws, long bushy tails, and big bodies, the kits all leaped up and raced out into the hollow. Kyestorm followed, yawning, then saw Demonstone sitting at the base of the rocks, his golden eyes alight with pride. Briarlight clung to his back, her sky-blue eyes bright under the gloomy skies. Bramblestar stood on Highledge. Kyestorm walked to the center of the gathering, and sat behind their kits, joy filling her heart. Dovewng and Ivypool trotted out of the Warrior’s den, followed by Bumblestripe, who moved to sit near Kyestorm, using her bulk to block his view of Dovewing. Kyestorm shook her head, feeling sorrow for both of them, though she still thought Dovewing foolish for rejecting Bumblestripe as a mate. She sympathized with Dovewing, understanding what the she-cat lost once the Great Battle ended. Kyestorm shifted her forepaws impatiently as the last of the Clan shuffled out into the drizzle. Graystripe ambled out of the Elder’s den, and sat beside Millie, who hurried last out of the warrior’s den, braving the cool Leaf Fall drizzle. In moments everyone, gathered, ignoring the light misty rain, and drifting leaves.

“Good. Everyone is present for this special morning! I appoint eight new apprentices today. Demonkit, Phantomkit, Gentlekit, Smokekit, Bluekit, Indikit, Greykit and Rainkit, please come forward! You are ready for full apprenticeship now.” Bramblestar’s voice rolled out over the hollow. “Are you ready to begin your training?”

“Yes!” All eight kits answered in unison.

“Phantomkit.” Bramblestar gazed down at him, his eyes gleaming. “From this day forth you will be known as Phantompaw, and your mentor is Lionblaze. I know he will train you well.”

“Phantompaw! Phantompaw!” rose from many throats, and, in moments, the entire Clan joined in. Squirrelflight bumped Kyestorm, green eyes sparkling with delight.

“So exciting! Eight apprentices!” Squirrelflight meowed. “I do hope I mentor one of these youngsters, but even if not, I know they will train well.”

“Me, too. You were great with me,” Kyestorm agreed, then silenced as the ceremony continued for the other kits

“Demonkit.” Bramblestar shifted his gaze. “From this day forth you will be known as Demonpaw, and your mentor is Birchfall. I know he will train you well.”

“Demonpaw! Demonpaw!” rose from all throats, and Kyestorm heard Sparkpaw’s voice above the rest. She glanced at the apprentice, who stared at Demonpaw, her eyes shining. Kyestorm purred with amusement.

“Indikit.” Bramblestar nodded at her, his eyes sparkling. “From this day forth you will be known as Indipaw, and your mentor is Thornclaw. I know he will train you well.”

“Indipaw! Indipaw!” Bramblestar silenced the cheers with a tail flick.

“Smokekit.” Bramblestar meowed. “From this day forth you will be known as Smokepaw, and your mentor is Cloudtail. I know he will train you well.”

“Smokepaw! Smokepaw!” The Clan meowed enthusiastically.

“Bluekit.” Bramblestar looked down at him, his eyes shining. “From this day forth you will be known as Bluepaw, and your mentor is Whitewing. I know she will train you well.”

“Bluepaw! Bluepaw!” The Clan yowled. Kyestorm watched Greykit fidget, then jump when Bramblestar finally called his name.

“Greykit.” Bramblestar gazed down at him. “From this day forth you will be known as Greypaw, and your mentor is Cherryfall. I know she will train you well.”

“Greypaw! Greypaw!” The Clan meowed enthusiastically, and Millie beamed with rare pride, her head lying on Graystripe’s shoulder, but her eyes met Kyestorm’s. Kyestorm saw the silent thank you shining there.

“Gentlekit.” Bramblestar said, his voice rising. “From this day forth you will be known as Gentlepaw, and, since you have made it very clear you wish to train as a Medicine cat, your mentor is Jayfeather. I know he will train you well.”

“Gentlepaw! Gentlepaw!” The Clan meowed enthusiastically.

“Rainkit.” Bramblestar eyed the final kit. “From this day forth you will be known as Rainpaw. Is it your desire to train as a medicine cat?”

“Yes!” Rainpaw answered without hesitation.

 “Then your mentor is Leafpool. I know she will train you well.” Bramblestar concluded.

“Rainpaw! Rainpaw!” The Clan reacted with delight.

“I am so pleased we have eight new apprentices this day!” Bramblestar’s voice rang out. “Now we shall add two new warriors to our ranks!  Sparkpaw and Alderpaw, please come forward.” Bramblestar waited for the excited apprentices to step forth, then his voice rolled on. “I, Bramblestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon these young apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as a warriors in their turn”

Kyestorm trembled in spite of herself. She remembered her own ceremony as if it occurred yesterday, and she felt proud of her mentor’s kits. Kyestorm glanced at Squirrelflight, who sat stoic and calm, but her eyes sparkled with suppressed pride.

“Sparkpaw,” Bramblestar continued. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” the flaming red tabby she-cat answered without hesitation.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name Sparkfire, from this moment you will be known as Sparkfire! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!”

“Sparkfire! Sparkfire! Sparkfire!” erupted from many throats.

“Alderpaw,” Bramblestar leveled his gaze on his big broad-shouldered son. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” the sturdy dark red  tabby responded, his amber eyes glowing.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name, Alderfrost, from this moment you will be known as Alderfrost! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!”

“Alderfrost! Alderfrost! Alderfrost!” echoed through the camp.


“ThunderClan honors your bravery and dedication.” Bramblestar leaped down to the new warriors, pride sparkling his amber eyes.” We welcome you as full members to ThunderClan.” He laid his chin on each of his kits’ heads,  who each licked his shoulder in return. Cats yowled, meowed and purred approval.

 “ThunderClan prospers! New warriors and new apprentices show we grow strong! We shall have great news to bring to the Gathering in a quarter moon!’ Bramblestar looked over the gathered Clan. The drizzle turned to a gentle rain. “Our fresh kill pile is large, our camp protected by new barriers, and we should take this rainy day to relax. Squirrelflight, please organize a rotation of sentries for the day. I think we all deserve a day of rest.”

“I want to train!” Phantompaw blurted out. “Can we? Please?”

“Me, too!” Demonpaw and Indipaw echoed him, while Smokepaw, Bluepaw and Greypaw bounced in place, yowling, Yes, please?”

“That will be up to your mentors,” Bramblestar chuckled. Cherryfall, Whitewing, Cloudtail, Birchfall, Lionblaze and Thornclaw glanced at Bramblestar, then at each other. Lionblaze grinned, baring the tips of his fangs.

“I’m game. Rain makes for slick conditions. Perhaps perfect for training eager apprentices?” he drawled.

“Yes!” Phantompaw reared up like a horse, balancing on his hind legs, his bottlebrush tail, almost fully developed, lashed with excitement. “Yes! I’m ready!”

“Same here,” Thornclaw glanced at Indikit. “Eager to train, young scamp?”

“Yes!” Indipaw bounced stiff-legged, her bushy tail straight up.

“Oh, yes! Yes!” Greypaw frisked, and ran up to his mother, pawing her shoulder, delight shivering his stout body. “Isn’t it great, Millie? I’m gonna train today! Its so exciting!”

“Yes,” Millie answered, her mood shifting in a heartbeat. Her voice grew harsh. “Go, and act like the apprentice you are and not a silly kit!”

Greypaw stood rooted to the damp ground, tail drooping, eyes widening in utter embarrassment and dismay. Kyestorm gaped for a heartbeat in disbelief, before outrage exploded from her insides like a lightning strike. She leaped forward, raising a paw, toes spread, above Millie’s head. She trembled with the effort not to strike, but bared every tooth.

“Never ever speak to Greypaw like that! How dare you ruin his special day!”

“How dare I? He’s my kit! I’ll speak to him any way I want. How dare you tell me how to raise my kits!” Millie braved Kyestorm’s wrath, inflaming the Maine Coon queen’s fury.

“Raise your kits? You did no such thing! I am their milk-mother!” Kyestorm snapped her teeth, her voice bellowing like a wildcat, high and sweet no longer. “All you have done these last several moons is obsess over Briarlight, who has never been safer and stronger thanks to MY mate!” Kyestorm minced on tiptoe, her one paw still in the air. “If not for me, your kits would have died! I’ve been more a mother to them than you!”

“That is not fair!” Millie wailed. “My milk dried up!”

“So?” Kyestorm thundered. “You still could have continued to groom them, love them, long after they weaned. Instead you left the nursery! You should never, ever, reject your kits or treat them badly, ever!”

“Kyestorm, please! STOP!” Graystripe stood up, back arched.

“And YOU! Allowing Millie to continue this behavior when she has other kits! Coddling her! I will not STAND to see Rainpaw and Greypaw treated with such disrespect, and lack of love!” Kyestorm faced Millie. “You should be happy for him, not annoyed!”

 A touch on Kyestorm’s flank startled her, and she leaped sideways with a hiss. Blossomfall stood, tail down, eyes wide and solemn. Kyestorm’s rage drained out of her toes, and she stared at her friend. Out of her peripheral vision, she saw all the apprentices and mentors gaping in disbelief. Greypaw sat beside Cherryfall, eyes woebegone, and Cherryfall glared at Millie in disapproval.

“Thank you,” Blossomfall mewed softly. “She needed to hear that, but it may be too late for her. I wish I had a milk-mother that stood up for me as you have my brothers. Maybe the Dark Forest wouldn’t have lured me so easily.” Blossomfall gazed at her parents. “Mother, I wish you remembered you have other kits besides our sister. I understand its too late for me, but please don’t make the same mistake with Greypaw and Rainpaw.”

Millie stood, in silence, then leaned into Greystripe and closed her eyes. Her body trembled. Graystripe flattened his fur, and licked Millie’s head.

“You’re right, Kyestorm. But I am not sure she can help herself. I know things of her life nobody else does, and understand why she has these fears. Thank you for looking after my sons. Please continue to watch over them.” Graystripe mewed in a whisper. He looked up at Bramblestar, who wore a stunned expression. “I think its time for Millie to join me in the Elder’s den.”

“Is that what she wants?” Bramblestar shook himself.

“Yes,” Millie mrrrowed in a sad whimper, her frail frame shivering. Kyestorm felt sudden shame, knowing her one strike might have easily injured Millie, who, despite her weight gain over Green Leaf, looked fragile and weak. Kyestorm looked up at her Clan leader, as Bramblestar climbed back up to Highledge, and scanned the gathered Clan.

“Millie, is it your wish to give up the role of warrior and go join the elders?” Bramblestar’s voice rolled gently over the hollow.

“It is. I am so tired,” Millie answered firmly.

“Your Clan honors you and all the service you have given us.” Bramblestar raised his voice. “I call upon StarClan to give you many seasons of rest.” Bramblestar stepped down the rocks, and stood beside Millie, laying his tail across her shoulders. Sandstorm stepped forward, greeting the old she-cat, giving Kyestorm a sad glance. Purdy came up behind her.

“Rest, Millie. Yer youngin’ is in good paws.” Purdy purred, giving Kyestorm a wink. “I’ll tell stories to keep yer mind off o’ her.”

“I’m sorry,” Kyestorm walked up to Millie, and laid her thick furry tail over the old she-cat’s back. “I just lose my mind when kits are involved. I think I understand you better. But know that Briarlight is safe and happy. You can rest easy and enjoy time with Graystripe. And I’ll always love Greykit, oops, Greypaw and Rainpaw as my own, but they, nor I, will never forget who their mother is.”

“Thank you,” Millie whispered, and sagged against Graystripe. He nodded, then lead her to the snug warm Elder’s den. Kyestorm inhaled sharply, seeing a shimmering red shape weave around Graystripe, and she glanced up at Bramblestar who stared, eyes squinting. She knew he saw the same. The starry red shape turned, green eyes blinking once, as he nodded to both Kyestorm and Bramblestar. Bramblestar slowly nodded at Kyestorm, and with Squirrelflight, disappeared into their den.

“Are we going to train?” Phantompaw asked in a squeak belying his size. She noticed the new warriors retired to the warrior den to nap. She stifled a yawn, not blaming them at all.  Kyestorm faced the group of new apprentices and mentors.

“I am sorry to upset your wonderful day. “ She dropped her head, her fur flat.

“No matter. Something long overdue I think. That is why my grandfather made himself seen.” Lionblaze said. “Millie belongs with the Elders now. Hopefully she’ll be happier when she truly sees how safe and useful her daughter is. Let’s get to some serious training!”

“Come, let’s go,” Thornclaw said, and lead the group down to the training grounds. Kyestorm watched, then yawned. Her stomach twisted into a sudden knot, as she trotted to the warrior’s den to join her mate. In three sunrises, the next Gathering loomed. She looked toward the Elder’s den, and mumbled, “Firestar, please give me the wisdom not to make a fool of myself and smack a Clan Leader again at the Gathering!” She thought she heard a soft chuckle in her ear, but saw nothing as she entered the enlarged den, found her mate, and curled up beside him She listened to the wind, and the light drip of rain on the leafy roof. She snuggled against Demonstone, pride in him infusing her with joy. Not a drop of water seeped past the well-woven roof, attesting to the builders’ skills. She drifted off to sleep, knowing ThunderClan possessed the best dens in all the clans.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER SIX

 
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PART 2

To Kyestorm’s dismay, three sunrises flew by like frightened sparrows, and the dreaded evening arrived. The full moon shone in clear skies, and a cold wind whistled through the forest, ripping down leaves from trees readying for Leaf Bare slumber. Kyestorm sat outside the warrior’s den, waiting, as excited Clan members gathered, ready to brave the brisk chilly night to attend the Gathering. Demonstone joined her, and she inhaled deeply.

“Why did you agree to go?” Kyestorm asked, letting her thickening ruff mantle. Her breath condensed in the cold air before the breeze whisked it away. “You could have easily said you can’t make such a journey.”

“I’ll never lie about things like that,” Demonstone answered, his own thick silvery ruff fluffing against the wind. “I look forward to this. Don’t fret.”

“Come, let’s move.” Bramblestar commanded, and led his clanmates out of the hollow. Squirrelflight trotted beside her mate, and glanced back at Kyestorm.

“It shall be a great Gathering,” she insisted. “Every clan has an apprentice or two this moon. Concentrate on that.”

“I’ll try,” Kyestorm mewed, staying beside her mate, who loped along, swaying from side to side like a log floating downstream in rough water. They reached the lake shore, and Kyestorm uttered a mew of surprise when ice crackled beneath her paws.

“Ice?” Spiderleg muttered. “Not good. It’s too early.”

“It’s going to be a wicked Leaf Bare,” Kyestorm remarked, glancing at the lanky black tom. “Your fur is getting thick. You look almost normal.”

“Oh, funny, coming from a giant red puffball,” Spiderleg retorted, a chuckle in his voice. “Even your big ears are so fuzzy you look like a rabbit!”

“Ha!” Kyestorm mrrrowed. “Let WindClan mistake me for one! Especially that mouse-brain, Harespring.”

“Kyemama!” Smokepaw exclaimed. “What would you do?””

“She’d smush him under those enormous things she calls paws!” Spiderleg replied with a humourous snort, as the clan traversed the shoreline along WindClan territory. He glanced up the windswept hill. He blinked a grin, baring the tips of his fangs. “I’m just teasing, Smokepaw. Don’t look so shocked. Your mother and I have an understanding.”

“Oh, here they come,” Kyestorm growled, her laughter stuffed back down her throat. She spied Onestar leading WindClan down the hill, with Harespring at his side. “Yes, Spiderleg, I’d love to flatten that fool.”

“Who? The red-brown tabby tom?” Demonstone asked, alert, his black smoke coat rising. He lashed his tail.

“No, the brown and white one. The red-brown tabby is Onestar. Harespring is his deputy. Look at Furzepelt! Prancing like I never knocked her brain loose,” Kyestorm answered, her voice dropping to a growl.

“Oh my, that was funny!” Spiderleg’s guffaw tempered Kyestorm’s rising aggression. His voice rose with mirth. “I bet she had a headache for days!”

Everyone around them laughed, and Bramblestar quickened the pace. They skirted the water, and this time Kyestorm avoided the marshes and sandy shallows. She knew her kits well, and nobody needed a drenching from six sets of huge wet paws when they followed her into the muck. She traversed close enough to crackle freezing water beneath her well-insulated paws and her kits followed suit. The crunch of ice, amplified by feet larger than Kyestorm’s, echoed across the lake.

“Crazy goofy Maine Coons,” Spiderleg guffawed. “Lucky are you with all that fur around your toes.”

“Something I wish I had,” Bumblestripe said, staying well up on shore. “I hate cold wet paws.”

“Most of us do,” Berrynose meowed, as the Clan neared the tree bridge. Kyestorm watched, amused, as her clanmates crossed, wary as ever, of the water below. Demonstone moved cautiously but with confidence, his thick muscular legs keeping him steady. Kyestorm followed her kits and their mentors, not surprised when every one of her kits frolicked across the log, startling and shocking their mentors.

Demonpaw, Sparkfire, and Phantompaw raced along the trunk, leaving Birchfall and Lionblaze glancing at each other in disbelief. Smokepaw danced across on nimble long legs, while Cloudtail hung back, grumbling. Bluepaw trotted quickly, looking down into the cold water with no fear. Whitewing flattened her ears, waiting for the apprentice to jump free before walking across. Indikit pranced along, batting at old branch nubs, and Thornclaw looked back at Kyestorm.

“Your kits are insane,” he grumbled, before walking across. Kyestorm noticed WindClan closing in on the marsh.

“Go,” Kyestorm urged Gentlepaw, Rainpaw and Greypaw. Gentlepaw walked confidently, encouraging his milk brothers. They followed, along with Jayfeather and Leafpool. Kyestorm crossed, followed by Squirrelflight and Bramblestar. Mistystar stood below the Great Tree with her clanmates, and her feathery tail rose in greeting.

“Hallo! Oh my, Kyestorm! Your kits are big and beautiful! Glad to see you all!”

“Hallo!” Bramblestar called out, and Kyestorm saw Rowanstar under the tree several fox lengths away from Mistystar. Kyestorm bristled involuntarily, glancing at the ShadowClan leader. She saw a challenge lurking in his eyes, and growled under her breath. She moved over beside her mate, who sat next to Brackenfur. Her kits lined up in front of her with their mentors, as Onestar led WindClan across the fallen tree. Onestar scowled at ThunderClan. As his eyes roved over Kyestorm, Demonstone, and the kits, his expression softened, becoming thoughtful. Kyestorm noticed his eyes rested on Smokepaw, who stood tall and proud, her vivid golden-yellow eyes braving the Clan leaders scrutiny. He nodded at her, jumping up into the Great Tree. The other leaders followed suit.

“Greetings to all,” Bramblestar called out. “I am excited to announce new apprentices. As you see, we have eight this moon! Please welcome Demonpaw, Phantompaw, Indipaw, Smokepaw, Bluepaw, and Greypaw! And of course, our medicine cat apprentices, Gentlepaw and Rainpaw!”

Joyous congratulations and greetings rippled around the Gathering. Bramblestar continued. “We are in debt to Kyestorm, for birthing her kits with ThunderClan, raising them as Clan, and saving the lives of Greypaw and Rainpaw, by becoming their milk-mother.”

“Kyestorm we know,” Onestar said gruffly. “Who is the huge tom beside her?”

“Please welcome Demonstone, Kyestorm’s mate.” Bramblestar stood up on his branch with excitement. “He . . .” Bramblestar paused when Brackenfur stood, and waved his tail, eyes bright. “Please, Warrior. Speak!”

“I wish to speak on behalf of Demonstone, for despite his injuries and kittypet past, he has become a huge asset to our Clan. There has never been such a builder of barriers and dens as he.” Brackenfur’s golden brown tabby coat rippled with his conviction. “His strength and abilities in fortifying our dens and barrier has just been phenomenal. I want to formally welcome him into the Clans. Demonstone?”

“Greetings,” Demonstone stood up. His long black smoke fur ruffled in the cold breeze. Kyestorm felt pride as her mate moved to stand beside Brackenfur, dwarfing the old warrior. His bright gold eyes shone as he respectfully nodded to each Clan Leader.“I am happy to be here, and to finally meet other Clans.”

Surprised muttering and cheers went up from the gathered cats. Brackenfur stepped back, and Demonstone returned to Kyestorm’s side. Bramblestar waved his tail.

“We have new warriors as well! Sparkfire and Alderfrost,” Bramblestar finished, and Kyestorm swelled with pride as Squirrelflight and Bramblestar’s kits stepped forward. Both sported their sire’s broad shoulders, but only Alderfrost’s eyes shone the same color as his father’s, while Sparkfire’s glimmered bright green. The young warriors stood proud and quiet, but Kyestorm sensed their excitement and joy. She did not miss the exchange of eye contact between Sparkfire and Demonpaw, and purred. Bramblestar continued, his voice full of pride and love. “Prey runs well despite the cold, and, we are ready for Leaf Bare. We also hope for more kits next New Leaf. That is the news from ThunderClan. I hope everyone else has good news to share.” Bramblestar sat down.

“We, too, have two apprentices this moon!” Mistystar announced. “Come forward Silverpaw and Troutpaw!”

Two silver-white long-haired cats stepped forward, a she-cat and a tom. Black tipped their long hairs, giving it the customary sparkle Kyestorm remembered in fellow Maine Coons colored shaded-silver, a pigment lighter than the smoke she knew so well. The young tom’s coat darkened more around his legs, face and tail and along his back, while the she-cat’s pelt glistened lighter, with just a blush of shadings in those same areas. Kyestorm heard someone inhale sharply and glanced to her side. Bluepaw’s blue eyes locked onto the RiverClan apprentices. Kyestorm slapped her kit with a big bushy tail.

“What, Kyemama? They have such pretty coats!” Bluepaw hissed in annoyance, then raised her voice to join others. “Silverpaw! Troutpaw!”

“We, too, have apprentices this moon,” Rowanstar announced. “Snowpaw and Pinepaw.”

The entire Gathering cheered their names, and Onestar rose to his feet.

“We also have two apprentices this moon. Rockpaw and Icepaw. We also have new warriors, Slightfoot, Feathershine, Hootflight, and  Oatwing!” The six stepped forward, and Kyestorm raised her voice with the others in congratulations. The two young red tabby toms stood proud, yet quiet, their green eyes shining. Three of the new warriors nodded politely. Kyestorm recognized Slightfoot as Harespring’s former apprentice, and tried not to scowl at the black tom. He glanced at her, an apology in his eyes, and Kyestorm flashed him a feline smile, feeling mollified. She returned the nod to grey tabby Feathershine, and dark gray Hootflight. The fourth new warrior, a pale brown tabby with jet-black stripes stepped forward. His white paws quivered with the effort to keep still, and Kyestorm relaxed. The cries died down, and Rowanstar stood up. Kyestorm’s body tensed, and she lashed her tail.

“Nobody mentioned the coyotes. The howling still continues, yet nothing has happened. Perhaps this nonsense about four Clans will be one, will never be needed.”

“You can’t know that,” Kyestorm blurted out. “Blackstar said to tell your Clan he sent us, too. He was there when we saw Firestar. Why would he care about enormous warriors to be if you all didn’t need us one day?”

“You saw Blackstar?” Rowanstar stared, taken aback, then he scowled. “And you wait six moons to tell me this?”

“I had forgotten in all the chaos,” Kyestorm answered, braving Rowanstar’s blazing yellow eyes. His ginger coat bristled.

“How convenient,” he growled. “You lie now just to make yourself look good.”

“She does not lie,” Demonstone surged forward, and stood, coat flat, gold eyes calm, and held his bottlebrush tail over his back. “Please, Clan Leader, my mate speaks the truth. We did see Blackstar, a huge white tom with black feet and yellow eyes. We come on his behalf as well as other members of StarClan.”

Kyestorm held her breath, proud of her mate, relieved he came to this Gathering to buffer her temper. Rowanstar stared, his fur flattening, his eyes roving over Demonstone’s enormous form, then sat down.

“Very well,” he grumbled. “But we have seen no coyotes or strange wild dogs. They do not pass the horseplace. We have kits on the way. Tawnypelt and I.” Rowanstar’s voice rang with pride. “And we will get them through Leaf Bare with no problems.”

“Congratulations! A reason to enjoy this Gathering, for who knows what Leaf Bare may bring,” Onestar spoke up, his golden-copper eyes calm, yet Kyestorm saw a spark of concern flash in them. “If all news has been shared, let’s mingle and enjoy.”

“I concur,” Branblestar said, glancing at Onestar with a befuddled expression.

“I don’t! This queen and her kits are just kittypets! Weak and fluffy!” Harespring yowled,

“I’ll show you weak and fluffy, mouse-brain!” Kyestorm hissed. Harespring glared at Kyestorm, and she growled, daring him with her eyes to start something. How she wanted to flatten that arrogant tom into a pile of lifeless fur, and she knew how to do so without spilling a drop of blood. He accepted her unspoken challenge, and leaped at her. She rushed to meet him, rearing up as he tried to slash her throat. His claws came away only with hunks of red hair from her ample ruff. She struck him, one paw on his face, the other on his shoulder, and slammed him to the frozen ground. She held firm, even as he twisted under her grasp. His rear claws raked her flank, but she moved aside, and his flailing claws caught just more thick red fur. She held his face to the ground, clawtips just pricking past his pelt to his skin. He struggled to curl his hind feet around to rip her body, but his claws only swished through cold air. She pushed down with a firm grip, flexing her claws and toes.

“Oww! You’re pushing a rock in my eye!” he hissed. “Sand is going up my nose!”

“Give me an excuse to squash your pathetic skull, you mouse-brained lump of crow food!” Kyestorm snarled. She caught movement to her right, and glared at Furzepelt, who crouched, ready to pounce. “Want some of this? I’ll rattle your brain so hard you’ll need someone to help you find fresh kill for the rest of your life.”

Harespring yowled in pain, and he went limp. Only his tail twitched and slapped the hard ground. His scent turned from indignant to fearful. Furzepelt’s eyes widened and she slunk behind another warrior.

“Stop,” Onestar commanded. “Kyestorm, please, let him up. Harespring! Don’t make me sorry about my choice of deputy.”

Kyestorm sprang back as the battle haze fled her mind, and she released Harespring. He scurried over to sit under the Great Tree, shaking his head. Horrified, Kyestorm looked up at the moon, which shone bright in clear skies. Silverpelt sparkled. Kyestorm stared in stupefied amazement.

“StarClan isn’t angry with me?” she finally managed to squeak.

“No, nor am I,” Onestar broke the tension with a rare hearty mroow of laughter. Someone else tittered.

“Wish I had done that,” another cat meowed. Kyestorm tried to locate the speaker but laughter met her quest. Even Rowanstar looked amused, and Tawnypelt purred with mirth. A feline grin of pure delight spread over Mistystar’s face. Kyestorm looked at Bramblestar, who looked ready to roll off his branch, his body shook so much with suppressed laughter. Demonstone looked ready to pop with pride, and all eight kits gaped in pleased surprise. Harespring shook himself, and groomed his face, looking at the ground. He glanced Kyestorm’s way and she saw pure hatred in his eyes. She responded with a growl, matching his glare, her loathing of him burning hot in her guts, but she looked away, satisfied with smushing his head into the dirt.

“You have a way of getting the point across without spilling blood,” Brackenfur bumped her with his head. “That was splendid!”

“Well done,” whispered a dark gray tom, walking past her without looking her in the face. “I’ve wanted to do that for many seasons.”

Oatwing sauntered past, then paused, glancing at her. His green eyes danced with delight.

“I agree, and Crowfeather should be deputy instead of Harespring,” the young warrior mewed just above a whisper. “Glad to finally meet you, Kyestorm. I'm Oatwing.”

“Glad to meet you, too. Congrats on making warrior.” Kyestorm answered, as Smokepaw stepped up beside her. She boldly greeted the tall tom.

“Hallo! I am Smokepaw!”

“Hallo Smokepaw!” Oatwing’s featured broke into a broad feline grin. “I finally became a warrior this past moon!”

“Do you hunt the moors?” Smokepaw asked enthusiastically.

“Of course!” Oatwing answered, as Smokepaw came alongside him. Kyestorm noticed how much taller Smokepaw stood than the young warrior. He looked up at her dark face, his whole demeanor one of sudden eager infatuation. “Maybe one day I can get Onestar to let us run together.”

“That would be great!” Smokepaw mrrrowed, her bottlebrush tail high above her back. The two moved off into the crowd of cats. Unlike Kyestorm’s last Gathering, cats mingled, purring and mrrowing in good spirits, sharing tongues, and Kyestorm calmed down. Most other cats eagerly greeted her and her family. A young apprentice from ShadowClan stalked proudly up to her. His long white pelt puffed against the wind, and Kyestorm noted the black patches on the apprentice’s tail, head, and ears.

“Hallo! I’m Snowpaw.” His gaze fell on Indipaw, and his yellow eyes widened briefly. “Who’s that?”

“I’m Indipaw,” Kyestorm’s temperamental kit stepped forward, and to her shock, Kyestorm saw not a shred of animosity. Indipaw’s green eyes shone with interest. Snowpaw looked up at Indipaw, and like Oatwing, only blinked, then purred delight. The two moved off, chattering like sparrows. Bluepaw moved off and stood near Mistystar, engaging the RiverClan leader in conversation. Silverpaw and Troutpaw joined her. In moments, Kyestorm lost sight of all her kits as Greypaw, Demonpaw, Sparkfire, and Phantompaw vanished into the Gathering, greeting everyone enthusiastically. Gentlepaw and Rainpaw located the Medicine cats and joined them. The moon filled the island with silver light. Cold winds blowing across the lake sang in the trees, and nobody complained, not even Harespring, who joined Onestar on a lower branch in the Great Tree. Kyestorm pointedly ignored the WindClan deputy, but saw Onestar’s eyes following Smokepaw around the Gathering. Kyestorm twitched her tail, and walked over to the Great Tree.

“You seem interested in my daughter,” Kyestorm commented, ignoring a growl from Harespring.

“She is magnificent,” Onestar answered. Kyestorm gaped at him in shock, but before she protested, he continued with a rare smile. “I’m not interested that way, Kyestorm.” He laughed, short and harsh. “No. I’m way too old for one so young and energetic. But I can’t help but notice her long tall body. She has your powerful build, but, it is obvious she is fast and agile, too.”

“She will fill out more,” Kyestorm said, as a pang shot through her body. “Why do you care?”

“I’m surprised I do,” Onestar muttered. “But I can’t help thinking how perfect she’d be as a WindClan warrior one day.”

“But she is ThunderClan,” Kyestorm meowed, recalling Smokepaw’s fascination with the moors. She also recalled StarClan’s words, ‘Remember, you are important to all the Clans’. Anxiety rippled through her as she realized what those words might finally mean.

“Yes, she is,” Onestar replied. “But, despite taboos against it, cats often change Clans, and for good reason. It helps us stay strong as blood mingles. But many of us dislike it when it occurs. I am one who feels that way, however, for your daughter, I’d make an exception.”

“Seriously?” Harepsring suddenly snarled. “I don’t want any of her ilk in our Clan!”

“Then you are a mouse-brained fool,” Onestar spat at his deputy. “If you can’t see the new blood that will make us stronger, I chose a fluff-head for a deputy.”

Harespring lowered his head, but said nothing. His pelt bristled, and his claws shot in and out, kneading the bark in obvious outrage. Kyestorm involuntarily unsheathed her claws, then, with strength of will, drew them in, and smoothed her fur.

“I am flattered, Onestar, but the choice will be Smokepaw’s,” Kyestorm said, and retreated, fearing what her daughter’s choice might be. Kyestorm eyed Harespring a moment, but turned away before their eyes met. Kyestorm wanted no further animosity to develop during this Gathering just because she and Harespring despised each other. Everyone moved with freedom and no fear, and even Rowanstar looked content, though he scowled on occasion. Kyestorm saw nothing of what annoyed him, but felt relief she no longer wanted to slam him into the dirt. Because of the jovial atmosphere, the Gathering broke up later than usual, and all friends old and new, said their farewells while the moon hung low over the lake.

Kyestorm trotted along with her Clan, her eyelids drooping, wanting to curl up in her nest. Her kits chattered with excitement, and all Indipaw spoke of was her new friend, Snowpaw. Smokepaw meowed on about her new friend, Oatwing, and how he promised to show her the moors one day. Bluepaw wanted to learn to fish like Mistystar, Troutpaw and Silverpaw, but Kyestorm understood that desire. She always wished to fish the lake for tasty little fish, but refrained from it since her Clamates so abhorred the idea. Greypaw and Phantompaw rambled on and on about future training, and meeting their new friends again next Gathering for friendly competitions. Demonpaw and Sparkfire walked together, glued to each other like a wet leaf to a stone, heads together, tails twined. Gentlepaw and Rainpaw grilled Leafpool and Jayfeather about the Moonpool, and every herb concoction under StarClan.

“See?” Kyestorm recognized Bramblestar’s voice. “Not all Gatherings are so terrible. In fact, this one went very, very well!”

“Yes, but now I fear I’m going to lose a daughter or two to other Clans. Isn’t that discouraged?” Kyestorm asked.

“Normally, yes, and, once everyone is home, any budding inter-Clan relationships will be quite discouraged.” Bramblestar leveled his golden-amber gaze on Kyestorm. “But, if what StarClan said to me and Jayfeather is truth. "Out of fire and smoke new blood is born" they said, so we may lose a kit or two of yours to other Clans for seasons to come.”

“That upsets me so much,” Kyestorm mewed. “I can’t imagine being hostile to any of my kits during patrols should they belong to other Clans! Yet I'm expected to do so?”

“Yes, I'm afraid so,” Bramblestar said, his voice gentle with understanding. “Just remember, that no matter what others may say, some kin ties can never be broken, and shouldn’t.”

Bramblestar trotted on ahead. Kyestorm moved along, taking pleasure in the crunching ice under her paws. Lake water lapped the shore, freezing with each wave. The ice patches grew larger and the crunch turned to loud cracking.

“I am so glad I am strong again and came to this,” Demonstone’s voice broker her thoughts. She glanced at him, admiring the muscles rippling under his black smoke coat. “Brackenfur and I gave suggestions to many on how to strengthen dens.” His eyes twinkled. “We start work on the nursery tomorrow. Daisy insists it needs enlarging.”

“It does. I know everyone just loved you.” Kyestorm rubbed her head against his shoulder. “Everything would have been perfect except for Harespring.”

“Ignore the little fluff brain,” Demonstone laughed. “Oh, you were magnificent, pushing his obnoxious face into the freezing sand. That is going to hurt for a good moon. He’s just lucky I didn’t do it!”

“I don’t trust him,” Kyestorm growled, then purred. “You’d have crushed his puny skull.”

“I don’t think Onestar even trusts the little foxheart after this evening, but for now, we all have to deal with the little piece of crow-food.” Demonstone quickened his odd rolling trot. “Come, let’s get to the camp. Tomorrow I want to start making bigger windbreaks for our dens, and start work on the nursery. I fear this Leaf Bare will be wicked harsh.”

“Yes, I feel the same way.” Kyestorm agreed, as they crossed the stream into ThunderClan territory. “The air smells more like our old home. Like snow.”

“Snow?” Spiderleg glanced backwards. “Many moons away yet.”

“Not so,” Demonstone took a deep breath, curling his lip to catch all information. “Snows will be here very soon.”

“That is too early,” Berrynose chimed in. “Its only mid Leaf Fall.”

“Where we come from, its not uncommon,” Demonstone said, his tone turning serious. “Clouds hide the moon now, and its not because of StarClan. The weather changes. We have a lot of work to do.”

“And the wind is cold tonight. Lake water freezes,” Kyestorm added. “We may see snow tonight!”

“I hope Rowanstar allows Crowfrost to use the techniques we told him about. I think everyone will need the extra shelter.” Demonstone said.

“Tawnypelt looked fascinated when I told Crowfrost what we’ve done.” Brackenfur piped up, his eyes shining with delight. “If she agrees, Rowanstar will, too. He can be prideful and stubborn, but he’s not stupid.”

“True,” Kyestorm admitted, following Brackenfur through the entrance. “He’s not a bad cat, though something at the Gathering annoyed him.”

“You didn’t see?” Poppyfrost said, coming up behind Kyestorm as she entered the Warrior’s den with Berrynose.

“No,” Kyestorm murmured. Warmth enveloped her, and she squinted to find her nest. She dropped into it and curled up, bushy tail over her nose. She pushed her back into Demonstone’s.

“Indipaw and Snowpaw, were, uh, very friendly.” Poppyfrost answered, curling up beside Berrynose.

“So?” Kyestorm yawned, then popped open an eye. “How friendly?”

“They made moon eyes at each other all night!” Poppyfrost’s purr quivered with laughter. “This may be a mixed Clan pairing nobody can break apart. Rowanstar looked so upset with the obvious.”

“Will they be exiled?” Kyestorm abruptly raised her head.

“If Snowpaw came here, no. Bramblestar would never do that. Rowanstar would be a fool if he did so with Indipaw.” Berrynose commented. “That apprentice is already a fine fighter.”

“She trains so hard and so well, any Clan would be utterly stupid to reject her,” Thornclaw spoke up. “If I were Rowanstar I’d be praying to StarClan that Indipaw and Snowpaw choose ShadowClan. Because I know one thing, if they wanted to stay here, they would be most welcome. Indipaw will be a powerful very smart, if temperamental fighter. A true asset to any clan. She already can kick my old body around the arena. I am finding it difficult to find new ways to improve her skills. Just don’t tell her that!”

“Maybe it is time her father joins her training,” Demonstone spoke up. “And Spiderleg, too. Two total opposites in warrior types.”

“No, I will,” Kyestorm said. “Me and Spiderleg. You have important work to do Demonstone. Leaf Bare is almost here.”

“I think you both have bees in your brains,” Berrynose commented. “Its barely mid Leaf Bare. It never snows this early, not even last Leaf Bare, which was bad.”

“Oh, stop arguing. Go to sleep,” Blossomfall growled. “Sunrise will be here all too fast!”

“All right, but Demonstone and I are right. Snow flies soon!” Kyestorm retorted, then dropped her head to her nest, covering her face with her ample tail. As her eyes closed, and her mind drifted, a cry from the sentry broke into her slumber.

“Snow!” She recognized Molewhisker’s voice. “Its snowing!”

She tucked up her paws, and buried her nose in her tail. The wind whistled over the den, and cold seeped through the few gaps the builders missed.

“Told you,” she mumbled, “we Maine Coons know snow!”

 Muttering rippled around the den, but nobody moved to look outside. Kyestorm’s delight turned to concern. The coyotes so far, stayed clear of the Clans and the Lake, but once the two-legs vanished completely for the cold seasons, which might be sooner now with the arrival of the first snow, those creatures certainly would invade looking for food. Kyestorm shivered, knowing the first test of her destiny lurked, waiting for the time to strike.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
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 CHAP 7: TROUBLE
 
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PART I
 
Kyestorm snuggled in the warrior’s den, as sunrise slanted light into camp. A cold wind blew, roaring in the trees, and Kyestorm twitched her ears. She looked past her denmates, and beyond the den’s entrance, sparkling snow covered the hollow. Kyestorm purred, satisfied her prediction proved correct. In the last moon since the Gathering, after those first flurries, two late Leaf Fall snowfalls buried the lake and Clan territories. The lake surface froze early, thawed and froze again a quarter moon later, before staying frozen the last half moon. Kyestorm listened to the wind, her desire to hunt and run in the snow battling her wish to stay warm in the den. A shadow blocked the entrance, and Kyestorm blinked.

“Come on, lazy tails!” Squirrelflight meowed. “We need to hunt and patrol.”

Growling and groaning filled the spacious warm den. Kyestorm raised her head and yawned, and reluctantly uncurled her body. She stood up, and shook herself. Beside her, Demonstone did likewise, and Spiderleg guffawed as he stretched his lean body.

“You both look like two-leg sheep you’re so woolly!”

“They make me look downright shorthaired,” Cloudtail remarked with sneeze of mirth.

“Funny,” Kyestorm grinned, baring the tips of her fangs. “You just envy our warm coats!”

“That’s no lie,” Brackenfur commented, as the warriors exited the den into chest-deep snow. Out in camp, Squirrelflight organized the patrols. Demonstone and Brackenfur hurried to work, checking dens for wind damage, breaking trails through the snow. Briarlight’s rock lay buried, and Kyestorm knew she stayed in the medicine cat’s den.

“Come, Kyestorm, Lionblaze, Phantompaw, Birchfall and Demonpaw. Check the ShadowClan border, mark it well, and hunt.” Squirrelflight frowned. “Prey is hiding. The snow spooked them all.”

“We’ll bring back something,” Lionblaze said.

“I think this might be time to try our aerial stalking skills.” Kyestorm exclaimed. “I’ve wanted to try that for moons.”

“We patrol the border first, then scale the larger trees and give it a try,” Lionblaze said, and led the group westward toward ShadowClan’s border.

“Hunting in this snow will be difficult,” Birchfall said with a grunt, falling behind his apprentice, allowing big Demonpaw to break a trail. “We stand out like flames in the dark in all this white.”

“Cloudtail should be very successful in these conditions,” Kyestorm remarked.

“He’s not in our patrol today.” Lionblaze grumbled, and allowed the apprentices to pass him to break trail in the snow. Demonpaw and Phantompaw plowed ahead, flanking Kyestorm, leaping and rolling in the snow like kits. Kyestorm watched, trembling all over, resisting the urge to do likewise, until an idea struck her. She jumped forward and rolled, then scrambled to her feet. She refrained from shaking herself.

“What under StarClan are you doing?” Lionblaze yowled.

“Old trick we used at our home across the Great Water! The snow sticks and we have camouflage!” Kyestorm answered, noting how the snow sparkled on Demonpaw and Phantompaw. “Don’t shake it off.”

“I’m not doing that,” Birchfall muttered with a shiver.

“Nor I,” Lionblaze narrowed his eyes. “I’d freeze even in my thickened fur.”

“In our old home we’d burrow under the snow and wait to ambush each other and mice.” Kyestorm eyed the two older warriors. “I may try that later, but today I want to try our ambushing from the trees technique.”

“I do, too,” Lionblaze agreed, as they broke into a small clearing. The wind buffeted them, and Kyestorm crouched.

“I love the snow, but I hate the wind,” she growled, as the patrol reached the border. The brook flowed, but ice rimmed the rocks and formed a crust on back eddies. Lionblaze and Birchfall marked the border, moving slowly downstream. Kyestorm followed enforcing the marks and adding ones in between. Demonpaw and Phantompaw added their own marks. The patrol reached the lake shore, and Lionblaze halted, ears up. Kyestorm jerked her head alert as distant yipping echoed over the frozen lake.

“The coyotes,” she muttered. “They sound closer than RiverClan.”

“I hope ShadowClan is alert,” Birchfall said. “Let’s hunt.”

“Okay,” Kyestorm agreed. “I want to use the big trees near the Ancient oak.”

“Good idea,” Lionblaze said. “Time to see if we can bring home some fresh kill today.”

The patrol trotted along the shore, and at the Ancient Oak, headed into the trees. Kyestorm glanced up, and chose a low limb on a large oak. With her tail she motioned to her kits.

“Remember your training,” she meowed. “Roll again and get fully camouflaged.”

“Yes, Kyemama,” Both apprentices obeyed.

“Never tried this for hunting before,” Lionblaze commented.

“We must try.” Kyestorm insisted. “Might be easier in these conditions to drop on a rabbit or squirrel from above than chase it through the snows. There is not a lot of brush cover now.”

“True,” Lionblaze nodded. “Let’s give it a try.”

In silence, Kyestorm, the apprentices, and their mentors leaped into the low branches of the large trees surrounding the Ancient Oak. She crouched, watching the forest floor. The sun crept up into the zenith, and as it reached sunhigh, Kyestorm shifted her front paws, ready to give it up. She barely inhaled to call to her clanmates when a small group of deer moved to graze below the trees. Kyestorm forced herself not to start with surprise. Such small deer! They stood no taller than a medium sized two-leg dog! She salivated, recalling her days living across the Great Water when her hosuefolk hunted deer, and shared the bounty with her and Demonstone. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect to taste venison again, until this moment, as several specimens of a small species of deer foraged under the trees. She twitched the tip of her tail, and moving slowly, glanced at Lionblaze, indicating her intent. He stared back in astonishment, eyes wide. Kyestorm ignored his reaction, and concentrated on the little group, targeting a small doe who walked with a very slight limp. The prey sidled under Kyestorm’s branch, stepping through the snow on spindly legs, standing slightly taller than a big dogfox. Kyestorm made her decision, and without a single sound, dropped from her branch. The doe leaped at the last moment, but not before Kyestorm landed on the deer’s rump. She dug her claws into the doe’s pelt, and her weight drove te doe’s rump into the snow. The deer struggled to rise

“Demonpaw! Phantompaw! Assistance!” She yowled. Kyestorm hung on, riding the doe that weighed only a bit more than Demonstone. Lionblaze leaped from his tree branch and closed from the front, while Demonpaw and Phantompaw closed in from either side. Birchfall joined Lionblaze in a frontal attack of flying claws. The doe bleated, kicking out with a foreleg, striking Lionblaze on the shoulder. He grunted, but never stopped the attack. Kyestorm dropped her hind feet to the ground and leaped forward on the doe’s back, and the prey’s front legs buckled. Snow flew in every direction as they dropped the deer, and Phantompaw delivered the killing bite with his huge jaws.

“Great StarClan!” Birchfall exclaimed. “We caught a Roe deer! They are usually so fast and too large for us! I can’t recall anyone catching one of these! What made you even think to try?”

“I have never seen so small a deer!” Kyestorm panted, catching her breath. Excitement and anticipation flashed through her. “The buck was large, almost 3 times the size of my mate, but many of the does were not much bigger than that large dogfox I beat the pelt off of! All I could think of was eating venison again!”

“Impressive!” Lionblaze gazed down at the prey. “We will use this technique again for certain! This will feed the whole Clan! Let’s get this back to camp!”

“Toss it over my back, and steady it. I’ll carry this like you and Cinderheart brought Demonstone into camp.” Kyestorm lay down, and waited while her patrolmates pulled and dragged the doe over her back. She stood up, and Phantompaw and Demonpaw crawled under the prey, joining her. Birchfall and Lionblaze steadied it from either side as they moved through the snow. As they climbed the slope to the entrance, Kyestorm stopped.

“Fresh kill! Lionblaze’s patrol brought home HUGE fresh kill!” the sentry yowled with excitement. Kyestorm recognized Dewfoot’s voice, and she grabbed the doe by the back of the head. She dragged the body through the entrance while her patrolmates pushed. Cats swarmed around them, meowing and yowling in amazement. Demonstone pushed forward, his eyes gleaming.

“Such a small deer! I never thought I’d eat venison again!” he meowed with delight. He grabbed a foreleg, then using all the strength in his massive musculature, hauled backwards. They dragged the prey to the center of the camp, just as Bramblestar returned with his patrol, empty-jawed and looking tired. Demonstone trotted to the medicine cat den, and Kyestorm knew he fetched Briarlight.

“What under StarClan is going on?” Bramblestar demanded, but gaped in shock when cats parted to allow him through. “A Roe deer? How? It wasn’t crow-food, was it?”

“No!” Birchfall answered, tail shaking with delight. “Our patrol caught it. It was Kyestorm’s idea to use our tree technique to hunt and it worked! Kyestorm dropped on this doe and held it down! Lionblaze and I attacked from the front and our apprentices from the side, and Demonpaw delivered the kill bite!”

“The kill was quick and efficient,” Lionblaze added. “I’m still shocked we caught a deer! But Kyestorm seemed so excited. She said she’d never seen such small deer before and wanted to taste venison again!”

“Well done!” Bramblestar meowed, pride ringing in his voice. He gazed pointedly at Kyestorm. “I’ve never regretted taking you and your mate in, and you’ve paid us back with more than I ever expected. We’ll all feast before it freezes!” Bramblestar tapped a haunch. “Take this to the Elder’s den.”

”No. I’m thinkin’ we feast t’gether, like lions o’ ancient times!” Purdy strolled out of the Elder’s den, eyes alert, nose twitching. Sandstorm, Graystripe and Millie followed. “Fine catch, youngin’! I knew yer instincts ran true.”

“Amazing. This will feed all of us today!” Leafpool said, as the medicine cats joined the crowd around the prey, Jayfeather at her side. Gentlepaw and Rainpaw trailed, eyes wide with awe. Demonstone strode back into the crowd, Briarlight on his back. The entire Clan gathered around the fresh kill, and Bramblestar stood, while everyone sat down.

“This is a new experience for me,” he meowed. “That big gull we caught seasons ago we just tore up and gave to clanmates was one of the larger prey we’ve ever caught. We had enough for everyone to have meal, but this is truly a gift.” Bramblestar looked skyward, “We thank StarClan for this abundance of food, and for the cat and her kin who think outside Clan convention, who caught this meal for her clan. Elders first, then the medicine cats and Briarlight, then we all feed. There is more than enough for all of us.” Bramblestar turned to Kyestorm. “You take my place, and the first meal, Warrior, for without your extraordinary thinking, we’d not have this bounty.”

Kyestorm obeyed her Clan leader, and settled in by the doe’s belly. She tore it open with one pass of a large forepaw, and the scent and taste of venison filled her senses. She ripped off chunks and gulped them down, before slowing down to savor the venison. Her clanmates settled around her. Apprentices carried large portions to the Elders, Medicine cats, Briarlight and Daisy, before taking their own meals. Good-natured banter echoed in the hollow even as jaws tore meat off of the enormous fresh kill.

The entire Clan hung in camp that afternoon, taking bites from the enormous fresh kill when trips to the dirt place made more room in bulging stomachs. As the sun sank in the western sky, the satiated Clan pulled even more meat from the carcass, until only skin and bone littered the ground. Kye sprawled on patch of ground swept clean of snow by the wind, crunching on a rib bone. Demonstone stretched out beside her, doing likewise. Demonpaw, Phantompaw, Smokepaw, Gentlepaw, Bluepaw, and Indipaw copied their parents, breaking off small bones, giving them to clanmates, then snapped off larger pieces for themselves.

“This is a feast I will never forget,” Brackenfur sat down next to Demonstone. “I’ve never ever cracked bone larger than a rabbit leg before. The marrow is delicious!”

“Aye!” Purdy called from just outside the Elder’s den. “Tis feastin’ fit fer kings! Or queens. Great red queen, I hope yer prowess brings more deer meat o’er Leaf Bare.”

A cheer went up from the entire Clan, and Bramblestar returned to the fresh kill, and nibbled the last scraps of meat from bone. He took a leg bone and chewed, then gripped it with his forepaws and pulled. Kyestorm rose and joined him.

“The legs are thick. But maybe we can break it.” Kyestorm chewed, but even she failed to crack it. Demonstone waltzed over, and tried. The sound of his teeth scraping bone echoed in the silent camp as every cat watched. He grasped it, and yanked to and fro, then slipped in the snow. He fell to his chest, and the long bone struck a rock. The crackle reverberated through the hollow. Demonstone jumped to his feet, spraying snow everywhere, his golden eyes gleaming. He reared and pounced, landing on the bone, each paw on either side of the round rock, which stuck out of the ground. The long bone snapped in two, sending splinters skyward.

“Well done!” Bramblestar exclaimed. “Come on all. We can break all the bones this way and marrow for all!”

All the warriors gathered, taking turns using the rock to shatter bones. Laughter, yowling and purring filled the camp, and by time the moon rose, only the fur and skin remained of the little doe. Berrynose and Thornclaw trotted to the entrance, taking up sentry duty. All the apprentices dragged the deerskin out of camp, leaving it down by the lake shore, by the stream. Kyestorm listened to them chatter and mew with happiness, and wanted to be there when WindClan patrols discovered it. She eagerly awaited the next Gathering, knowing Onestar would mention it. The apprentices returned, led by Demonpaw and Greypaw, meowing and laughing as they retired to the Apprentice den, and Kyestorm shook with mirth. Those silly youngsters not only left it right on the stream bank, but marked it as ThunderClan property. Kyestorm, her belly full, drifted off to sleep, and dreamed of shocked WindClan patrols as they discovered the impossible item.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER SEVEN


♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART 2


“INDIPAW!” The screech jerked Kyestorm out of her dreams. She and her fellow warriors jumped up, and scurried out of the den. The moon hung low in the western sky, and Kyestorm blinked, feeling disoriented.

“ShadowClan intruder!” Birchfall’s voice echoed in the hollow. He stood by the entrance, bristling with indignation. Indipaw launched herself out of the apprentice’s den, followed by her siblings. She stood, poised for action, legs trembling. Kyestorm sensed a high level of anxiety from her daughter.

“HELP! HELP INDIPAW!” The desperate shrieking drew closer. Kyestorm trotted up beside Indipaw, hearing someone pelting headlong up the slope from the lake. Twigs snapped, rocks bounced, and ice crackled under the paws of the incoming cat.

“Snowpaw!” Indipaw responded, running to the entrance just as Snowpaw barreled in, shoving her body between a bristling Birchfall and the wild-eyed terrorized apprentice. “Please, Birchfall! Don’t attack! He’s alone!”

Screeching of cats echoed across the lake, followed by howling and yelping. Kyestorm’s heart leaped into her throat. Coyotes! Bramblestar leaped down from his den, Squirrelflight at his heels.

“What under StarClan is going on out here?”

“Please! Bramblestar! Kyestorm! Indipaw! Please help us!” Snowpaw yowled in misery. “Coyotes attacked! My Clan’s in danger! Warriors are hurt and dying! Please come! They’re destroying us!”

“You ran instead of staying to fight?” Thornclaw asked, his voice soft, taking the sting out of the question.

“Someone had to!” Snowpaw wailed in anguish. “I think they killed my sister! Please! Help us! I don’t care what our leader thinks. We’ll all die if you don’t help!”

“Warriors!” Bramblestar’s yowl reverberated off the cliff. “We fight to help ShadowClan! Two Clans will be ONE!”

He leaped forward. Kyestorm followed, as did all the warriors. Snowpaw surged to the front, leading them down the slope to the lakeshore. Indipaw followed on his heels. Kyestorm raced alongside Bramblestar as they skirted the shoreline, cutting across the ice at the mouth of the stream into ShadowClan territory. The desperate screeching of cats and the sharp yelps of the invaders filled the air.

In Indipaw’s demeanor Kyestorm saw deep angst, and realized her daughter loved the ShadowClan apprentice and he reciprocated the feelings. Kyestorm laid back her ears. If her daughter loved Snowpaw, he then became kin in her eyes.

“Hurry!” Snowpaw wailed. “Tawnypelt’s kits!”

Anger erupted from Kyestorm’s gut, choking out her own dread. She surged ahead of Bramblestar, flanking Indipaw as the warriors of ThunderClan charged into ShadowClan’s camp. Kyestorm’s heart skipped a beat as the scene spread out before her.

 
Three coyotes, two adults and a half grown pup, ravaged the camp. Warriors clawed and tore at the canines, slowing them down. Kyestorm saw one young apprentice lying a fox length away, bleeding, and recognized Pinepaw. Warriors ranged in front of the nursery and Elder’s den, as the yellow-eyed canines snapped at them, trying to get the terrified kits and helpless queens. Rowanstar fought like a tornado with claws, and Tawnypelt stood just inside, striking at any muzzle that neared the entrance. The big male coyote reached its head forward, braving Tawnypelt’s wails and claws and grabbed a two moon old kit. Kyestorm’s rage exploded in a haze of red.

“NOOOO! DROP THAT KIT!” she bellowed, her voice loud and booming, and she plunged at the male coyote. She launched herself at him, hearing nothing but her own blood roaring in her ears. She landed on the coyote’s face and sank her monstrous claws into his head and slashed in a fury. He howled and dropped the kit, who shrieked in terror. Snowpaw grabbed the kit, and returned him to the nursery.. Kyestorm caught movement out of her peripheral vision and saw Phantompaw, Demonpaw, Sparkfire, and Bramblestar rushing the coyote from the side. They slammed the male coyote into the ground with such force it yelped in sudden fear. Squirrelflight joined them, spitting and clawing in wrath. Kyestorm hung on and furiously ripped its ears and face. The coyote scrambled to his feet and bolted, trying to shake Kyestorm free. She let go and dropped to the bloody, churned up snow. The coyote raced out of camp, sporting ripped ears, one clawed eye, furrowed bloody face, and many deep slashes on his flanks and belly.

Kyestorm panted, catching her breath as Indipaw, Snowpaw, Alderfrost,and Smokepaw attacked the female, along with Thornclaw, Spiderleg and Bumblestripe. Bluepaw, Greypaw, and Brackenfur attacked the half grown pup along with Gentlepaw, who looked nothing like his name implied. His deep bellowing yowl of rage echoed through the camp. His amber eyes burned with fury. The female leaped up, and followed her mate, yelping as if the hounds of **** nipped her tail. The pup rolled over, his body covered in wounds, and flew after its parents, kiyiing his terror to the moon.

 All the warriors stopped, and faced ShadowClan, most of whom lay injured. Rowanstar stood in front of the nursery, gold eyes wide, heaving for air, bite marks riddling his shoulders. Kyestorm realized in a flash of horror Rowanstar lost a life protecting his kits and mate. Tawnypelt moaned, and Kyestorm’s heart broke, until the three kits wobbled out and pressed against their mother, unhurt. The one the coyote grabbed sat, wet with drool with a few chunks of missing pelt, but no wounds. Bramblestar hurried to his sister’s side, and Tawnypelt leaned into him, holding a foreleg clear of the ground. The remaining elders crept out of their den past Crowfrost, Tigerheart, and Scorchfur. Rowanstar shivered, then leveled his gaze on Snowpaw. The blood-spattered apprentice dipped his head.

“You ran away, not from fear, but to bring help,” Rowanstar murmured, his voice hoarse.

“Yes. I knew Indipaw would help, and if she did, so would her mother and siblings, and all of ThunderClan,” Snowpaw answered. Indipaw sat beside him, and licked blood from his fur. Rowanstar turned and gazed at Kyestorm.

“You saved my family, my clan, by agreeing to come with our apprentice,” Rowanstar nodded. “This night, two Clans truly became one. I shall not forget this.”

“I could never refuse to help,” Kyestorm mewed, and glanced around. Snowpaw’s sister, Pinepaw, lay silent, and two older apprentices lay sprawled near the elder’s den. And Elder lay prone just outside the den, eyes unseeing, teeth bared in fury. Their mangled bodies drew a keen out of Kyestorm. Kyestorm inhaled sharply, seeing a shimmer appear beside Rowanstar. The StarClan cat turned piercing gold eyes to her, and nodded. Rowanstar glanced at the starry apparition, and dipped his head in acknowledgment.

 “I’m sorry we didn’t get here sooner.” Kyestorm mewed, and Blackstar’s form glittered, his body becoming translucent. Gasps and startled meows went up from the battle weary cats.

“Don’t be,” Rowanstar sat down, his body trembling.

“They died with honor and your arrival prevented them from becoming Coyote food,” Blackstar argued. “You have passed the first test of your destiny, and you honor me by what you did here this night.”

Blackstar’s form swirled and he vanished. Rowanstar stared for a long time at the empty air.

“Kyestorm, I wish I’d listened to you that long ago Gathering. I’m happy you are on our side. Snowpaw, I am sorry about your sister. She defended me with everything she had while I lost a life.”

“She’s alive!” Gentlepaw meowed, joy in his voice, his cry breaking the sad moment. Kyestorm looked at her son, and saw Littlecloud and Gentlepaw working on Pinepaw. The little black she-cat moaned, and Snowpaw raced to his sister’s side. Indipaw followed. Rowanstar bowed his head, and Kyestorm sensed his relief.

“Will they come back?” one of the kits asked in a small squeak. Kyestorm walked over to the kits, and licked their heads.

“We won’t allow it. My daughter, Indipaw, if she wished, can stay here and make sure of it. If it is ok with Bramblestar and Rowanstar.” Kyestorm paused, as Leafpool walk up to her.

“I’ll stay, too” she meowed. “So many are injured. And if those beasts return, I’ll fight beside my sister. Gentlepaw says he will stay, too. Littlecloud needs all the help we can offer.”

“Agreed,” Bramblestar said. “I’ll leave a few warriors who wish to stay, behind.”

“Thank you,” Rowanstar sagged to the ground. Kyestorm watched the medicine cats work on Pinepaw and the other injured warriors, amazed at how much her son knew in the ways of medicine cats. With his huge paws, which like Demonpaw’s, possessed an extra toe, he wrapped cobwebs and leaf polices with thin vines and woven grasses with leaves for wound coverings. He executed every task gently, but with expert motions. Leafpool tended to her patients, leaving Gentlepaw on his own. Kyestorm realized Gentlepaw’s first trip to the Moonpool might be very soon.

Sudden pawfalls echoed in camp, and Kyestorm whirled, bristling, ready to attack, until Mistystar and a large patrol of RiverClan’s best warriors burst into view. They stopped short, and Mistystar gaped.

“We’re too late!” Mistystar glanced at Kyestorm, and took in the scene. “How did you get here so quickly?”

“Snowpaw alerted us and we came at his request. If not for him, we’d have gotten here way too late,” Bramblestar answered. “We were all dead asleep, stuffed to our teeth in deer meat.”

“Deer meat?” Mistystar questioned, then uttered a mewl of laughter. “You seriously are not telling me you caught a deer?”

“That is news for the next gathering,” Bramblestar responded with a wry smile, baring one upper fang. “I hope Mothwing or Willowshine accompanied you. So many are injured here.”

“Of course.” Mistystar motioned with her tail.Mothwing and Willowshine hurried out of the group, and joined the other medicine cats. Gentlepaw carried Pinepaw to the medicine cat den, and helped move many wounded to the medicine cat den. Mothwing met him, her eyes blinking a greeting.

“My little kit has turned into a wonderful medicine cat. He knows so much.” Kyestorm said.

“He does indeed and from what Willowshine says, he has a sharper, closer contact with StarClan than she does.” Mistystar tilted her head. “Where is WindClan? Didn’t they come to help?”

“I don’t think they know,” Kyestorm said, just as noise erupted on the lakeshore. Onestar raced into camp, flanked by a large patrol. Harespring hung close to Onestar’s side, eyes baleful.

“Mouse dung! Are we too late? We heard the battle cries, the howls, and came to offer aid,” Onestar gazed at Kyestorm. “How did you get here so quickly?”

“Snowpaw ran for help and came to us,” Kyestorm answered. “We arrived just in time to save the kits. Rowanstar lost a life. How can we fight these creatures if it takes so long for us to get to the battle area?”

“I don’t know,” Onestar said. “Maybe we ought to create a battle plan or system by which we can drive these beasts out for good.”

“And perhaps, agree on a type of alarm system. A certain cry or screech that will carry across the lake and alert all of us trouble is brewing. Instead of one sentry, perhaps rotate two or three, so the creatures can’t sneak attack,” Bramblestar said. “I think we have a lot to discuss at the next Gathering. This threat we can’t fight alone.”

The four Clan leaders gazed at each, other and slowly nodded. Kyestorm eyed Harespring, whose ears flattened, and she knew he disagreed with his leader. She walled calmly over to Onestar, pointedly ignoring his deputy.

“If we can imitate the coyote howl and add a screech to it, that might work,” she suggested. Onestar nodded thoughtfully, but Harespring’s pelt rose.

“Nonsense,” he growled. ‘Why are we even here? The battle is over.”

“So what?” Kyestorm turned and snarled. “ShadowClan still needs help! I assume one of your medicine cats is here, too? Even an apprentice?”

“Not all of us have more than one apprentice,” Harespring retorted. Onestar scowled, and raising a paw, slapped his deputy on the head.

“Flea-brain,” Onestar snapped. “This is serious. Try to forget your grudges for a while, will you? You’re a deputy! Act like it!”

“I’m sorry,” he muttered, glaring briefly at Kyestorm, then sagged. Kyestorm growled deep in her chest, knowing their hostility only intensified. She trembled with the desire to flatten him to the snow and shove his pompous face into the ice. With force of will she turned away from him, and looked over the carnage the coyotes brought to ShadowClan. Her anger faded, replaced by worry, grief and the desire to assist. She forced down her annoyance with Harespring, and joined her Clanmates in helping ShadowClan recover from the horrendous attack. She called to her sons.

“Demonpaw, Phantompaw!”

“Yes, Kyemama?” they answered, hurrying to her. Lionblaze trailed them, intrigued.

“Come. We hunt. Roe deer roam all the territories. We must find at least a fawn.” Kyestorm ordered.

“I’ll assist,” Lionblaze said, his eyes alight. Kyestorm regarded him, amused. Her clanmates acquired a sudden taste for venison. “Please, Kyestorm. Lead on!”



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:08 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER SEVEN
 
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
 PART 3

Kyestorm led her small patrol out of camp, and with a flick of her tail, let Bramblestar know her intent, then trotted up into the pines. He nodded his approval. They traveled for a while until she spied a large old pine with sweeping lower branches.

“Up there,” she commanded. Her sons leaped up into the tree. Demonpaw scurried up quickly, while his bulkier brother slipped a few times.

“That’s what you get for being such a glutton,” Demonpaw sniggered. Phantompaw’s sea-green eyes flashed, and he only bared the tips of his fangs at his brother, then settled in his chosen branch. Lionblaze climbed nimbly up and selected a branch, then froze in place. Kyestorm followed, and settled on the branch, close to the trunk, thankful her two behemoth sons quieted and concentrated on their task.. She settled in for a good wait, hoping all prey did not flee the territory because of the battle. The moon sank to touch the horizon, and dawn light brightened the eastern sky. She glanced backward, stung by pride. Both her enormous sons stayed still, eyes watching the forest. Lionblaze lay still, his eyes slits. Patiently, the patrol waited, and time passed.

Kyestorm shifted her weight, ready to try another tactic, when a small group of animals moved into the area below the tree. Kyestorm nearly mewed out loud in pleased delight. These creatures stood even smaller than the roe deer! Tiny little deer, not much larger than her mate, walked with hesitation across the forest floor, staying under pines with low branches for cover and food. Kyestorm’s mouth watered. The little herd pawed the snow, then reached up to eat the pine needles and cones in the branches below. Kyestorm froze, not daring to blink, until the little buck, larger than the does, walked underneath her branch. She dove out of the tree in silence. Her sons and Lionblaze copied her. She landed on the tiny buck, held it down when it collapsed under her weight. It flailed its legs wildly, but with a quick bite to the throat she killed the prey. She glanced at her sons. Demonpaw straddled his catch, a small doe, holding it by the back of the neck, where it bled from a kill bite. Phantompaw sat on his, where the doe lay on the snow, neck broken.

Lionblaze landed on a doe, but she thrashed and struggled, bleating in terror. Though big for a Clan warrior, Lionblaze lacked the weight to drive the prey into a quick demise. She kicked him in the shoulder with a foreleg, then scrambled to her feet, and attempted to leap away. He jumped for her, and caught her rear leg in his claws, just as Demonpaw darted forward and with his front polydactyl paws, grabbed the other rear leg. Lionblaze surged forward and leaped on the doe’s back. She staggered under him, falling to her knees, and Lionblaze grabbed her by the throat and dispatched her. He sagged on the prey, panting with exertion, but his eyes blazed with jubilation.

“Thanks!” he said to Demonpaw.

“Excellent!” Kyestorm meowed, and waved her tail in salute. “Let’s get this fresh kill to ShadowClan.”

As Kyestorm and her hunting party entered camp, dragging their bounty, all turned to them, some bristling, some ready to bolt, until they saw the fresh kill.

“Muntjac deer?” Mistystar exclaimed. “They’re so fast! How’d you catch them?”

“Well done!” Bramblestar called out, forestalling Kyestorm’s reply. She dragged the prey to the center of camp, and looked at Rowanstar.

“This should help you all regain strength.” She said quietly, and stepped back. Demonpaw, Phantompaw and Lionblaze likewise, though Demonpaw gazed wistfully at the fresh kill.


“Two-leg pig,” Demnopaw guffawed. Phantompaw only lashed his tail, and hitched his shoulders in a shrug, but his sea-green gaze never left the prey.

ShadowClan warriors descended on the fresh kill, tearing it in pieces to give to injured warriors, elders, Tawnypelt, and her kits. Rowanstar staggered to the fresh kill, and stared at it a long moment, then looked at Kyestorm.

“Many thanks, and well done, Warrior.” Rowanstar gazed a moment at her, respect shining in his eyes, and took a chunk of meat, then gestured with his tail. “Take some yourself.”

“Thank you, Rowanstar,” Kyestorm replied, and took a tiny bite.

“Come on,” Rowanstar scoffed. “There is plenty here for everyone.” He glanced at Onestar and Mistystar. “Including all of you.”

“Many thanks,” Mistystar dipped her head. “We feasted earlier this night and are full of fish, but I wish to try deer meat!”

“As do I,” Onestar said, moving to another deer. Everyone ate a generous chunk, though ThunderClan cats took less, still full from the big meal earlier that night. When everyone ate their fill, Bramblestar stood up from his place beside Tawnypelt. The kits slept beside their mother, who drowsed with a full belly. She looked up.

“Must you leave?” she asked.

“Yes. But I will leave warriors and our medicine cats here to help until you no longer need them. We must take our leave. Sunrise is near and we need to return to our camp. Next Gathering is a moon away. We must find a way to alert each other before this ever happens to any of us again.” Bramblestar turned to Kyestorm. “I imagine Indipaw is staying? With Gentlepaw?”

“Yes, along with Phantompaw, Greypaw and Alderfrost.”

“I need a few warriors to stay, and help in case those beasts return,’ Bramblestar yowled the command. “Who will stay?”

“I will,” Lionblaze stepped up. Birchfall moved next to Lionblaze.

“Me, too.”

“I will, too.” Thornclaw said, glancing at Indipaw.

“I will,” Dovewing stood beside Birchfall, glancing at Tigerheart. Kyestorm noticed the look that passed between the injured ShadowClan warrior and Dovewing. The answer to why Dovewing rejected Bumblestripe stood now before her eyes. Perhaps, Kyestorm thought, this wasn’t a bad thing, if only cats would get over their mixed clan prejudice.

“I’ll stay,” Spiderleg walked up to Kyestorm. “Someone has to watch that temperamental daughter of yours.”

“Good,” Bramblestar nodded approval, then met the glances of his fellow Clan leaders. “Until next gathering?”

“Yes,” Rowanstar responded.

“Of course,” Mistystar meowed.

“WindClan will be there,” Onestar said.

“Until then.” Bramblestar moved off, and Kyestorm followed, glancing backward. She spotted Indipaw, Snowpaw, Demonpaw,Sparkfire, and Phantompaw examining the coyote tracks. drinking in the scents. Other warriors joined them, and learned the odor of the enemy. Kyestorm watched a moment, as Phantompaw and Demonpaw gestured with paw and tail, and she knew they suggested using vines, large stones, and briars to reinforce the camp, and to set up barriers on trails leading into the camp. She nodded with pride and approval, as her sons used their father’s knowledge and skill to fortify ShadowClan’s camp.

“They’ll be fine,” Kyestorm recognized Dovewing’s voice. “Your sons and daughters are apprentices in name only. They’ll handle this well. They’re already fine warriors.”

“Don’t worry, Kyemama,” Bluepaw trotted up to her. “We’ll be fine. All of us are learning what those coyotes smell like. If we had enough warriors, we could track them to their den!”

“Don’t even consider that!” Kyestorm meowed in alarm. “Not until we know more! Promise you and your siblings will obey this!”

“We promise,” Bluepaw agreed, and turned back to the knot of warriors and apprentices. Troutpaw and his sister Silverpaw welcomed Bluepaw with raised tails, and delighted expressions. Indipaw and Snowpaw appeared glued to each other’s sides, tails up, fur flat. Cats usually gave Indipaw space and respect, as she hated being touched and she often refused sharing tongues because of it. In the apprentice’s den, Indipaw slept alone, and nobody dared snuggling up to her for warmth. Now Snowpaw pressed against her, rubbed against her, licked her face or head, oblivious to Indipaw’s eccentricities. Kyestorm uttered a sighing growl, then turned to follow her Clan back to ThunderClan territory, knowing deep in her heart she might lose her temperamental daughter to ShadowClan, and the thought convulsed her guts with despair. Hatred for those coyotes flared, then simmered. Somewhere in her mind rested a solution, born of her knowledge of housefolk and life outside the clans, but the more she pondered, she discovered no solutions, only a deep burning anger.

“Those beasts will pay,” she growled under her breath, as she returned to the Warrior’s den. Her clanmates all dropped into their nests, and nobody engaged in the normal pre-sleep chatter. Kyestorm wished her clanmates good sleep, and curled up next to Demonstone. He tilted his head, nudging her with a paw.

“For what?” Demonstone asked in a whisper, his gold eyes full of questions.

“For everything,” Kyestorm hissed, then recounted the battle to her mate. “We may lose our daughters to other clans. I can’t deal with the idea of meeting them in border skirmishes or worse, once this coyote menace is over.”

“We knew this day might come,” Demonstone answered, a tremor in his voice. “But we raised them well. Our bonds are strong. We’ll handle this as it comes.”

“I hope so,” Kyestorm bowed her head. “I don’t think Demonpw and Phantompaw realize what is happening. How will they handle it? I never want to see my kits battling each other.”

“We’ll figure it all out,” Demonstone murmured and licked her head. Kyestorm rested her head on her paws, and despite her angst, drifted off to sleep. She twitched and mewed, her dreams filled with menacing yellow eyes and long-snouted faces that morphed into the beloved faces of her kits, who faced off, tearing into one another, drawing blood, and wailing insults, ignoring her cries and pleas to remember their kinship and bonds of love.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:09 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CHAP 8: MIXING
 
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART I


 
The moon rose in clear cold skies, sending silver-gold light into the hollow. Frigid air blew over the lake, sending small snow twisters over snow-covered ice. Kyestorm shivered, her thick coat billowing out to block the wind as her and Thornclaw’s patrol, brought in a Roe fawn fresh kill. Over the last moon, the technique of dropping from the trees worked as a very efficient strategy for hunting the swift wary creatures, keeping the Clan fed during the harsh Leaf Bare, where tracking and stalking in the unusually deep snows proved quite difficult.

“Well done!” Bramblestar called out, returning with his patrol, who, with Phantompaw, carried home a small young yearling Roe deer.

“This tree diving technique works great for hunting,” Bramblestar said. “I am concerned that it is getting harder to find these creatures. They used to be everywhere.”

“Any scent of other predators that might be hunting out territory?” Demonstone asked, coming up alongside Kyestorm. “Are we making them more skittish?”

“No, I don’t think so, but this prey roams well beyond our territories,” Bramblestar replied, halting to allow his patrol to place their fresh kill in the center of camp by the rounded rock where they ate the first venison meal. “I have no doubts coyotes might hunt these creatures, too. Another reason to deal with them. They compete us for those deer.”

“It never mattered before, but now that we can catch them, the competition is a problem. We have a lot to discuss at tonight’s Gathering,” Squirrelflight said. “The howls have begun again just past the horseplace. I don’t like it at all.”

“Certainly we hurt them bad enough that they won’t return,” Kyestorm said, her fur bristling. “They didn’t get anyone that night as a meal!”

“Maybe not, but will it prevent them from trying in other territories?” ThunderClan’s deputy glanced worriedly eastward. “They can come in from any direction.”

“Then we will prepare,” Kyestorm said firmly. “Our tree diving technique should work great in battling them. Their only real weapons are those long jaws and big teeth!”

“I can climb well enough now,” Demonstone growled. “Let me drop on a few of them. They’ll not dare trouble us any more.”

“Such optimists, but I am glad you’ll be able to join us in battle, Demonstone,” Squirrelflight sighed. “Let’s eat. The Gathering is at moonhigh.”

Kyestorm eyed Demonstone, realizing how much he developed his own special skills over the moons. Climbing rocks and logs in his work increased his musculature, and she knew he gained weight since the night of the fire. He might not run fast, but in close quarters, Demonstone battled with the best. As large and heavy as a big male badger, he possessed many fighting techniques reminiscent of that enemy. She imagined his bulk landing on a coyote head, smashing it to the ground. He padded over, in his rocking gait, carrying Briarlight with ease.

Kyestorm joined the Clan as they milled around the Feasting Rock, awaiting Bramblestar’s first tearing open of the prey, a new tradition born of the size of the meals these creatures supplied. The Elders crowded the entrance of the Elder’s den, eagerly awaiting their share, but unwilling to brave the bitter winds. Briarlight rode Demonstone’s back, sliding off at her place by the bulging stone. Kyestorm noted her muscular forequarters and thick healthy coat. She glanced around, and all of her clanmates, including the Elders, brimmed with health and vigor, thick-furred, bright-eyed, and muscular, in complete contrast to the gaunt hungry cats she met upon arriving almost eleven moons ago.

“Clanmates,” Bramblestar meowed, his voice flicking away Kyestorm’s reminiscing. “We are about to enjoy another Leaf Bare feast, We thank StarClan for this bounty, and as always, for our Clanmates sent to us by StarClan so many moons ago, who taught us to catch such prey. Let the feast begin!”  Bramblestar hooked his claws into the belly of the fresh kill and tore it open. He spilled the guts and organs out onto the snow.

“Elders first!” he called out. The youngest Warriors, Sparkfire, and Alderfrost walked forward, and took chunks of organ meats to the Elders. The apprentices came forward next. Greypaw and Rainpaw carried portions to Briarlight, who showered her younger brothers with thanks and love. Phantompaw, Indipaw, Smokepaw, Bluepaw and Demonpaw carved gargantuan hunks from the carcass, and brought them to the Elder’s den.

“Eat it all,” Phantompaw’s voice carried out of the den. “Or I’ll be back and eat it for you!”

“No need, youngin’” Purdy’s laughter followed. “I kin eat up as much o’the two o’you. Yer wastin’ yer time.”

“Oh, Purdy,” Indipaw replied, her meow shaking with mirth. “You know my brother’s a glutton!”

“Yer sibling won’t find anythin’ left to eat when we’re done,” Purdy retorted in good humor. Indipaw only laughed and left the den. Kyestorm noted with amusement how Demonpaw and Sparkfire worked together carrying a large portion to Sandstorm, tails entwined. Sandstorm flashed them a feline grin of gratitude and humor. Kyestorm bumped Demonstone.

“Look at our son and Bramblestar’s daughter. He’s twice her size but they look so adorable together.” Kyestorm brushed his back with her tail.

“Everyone has noticed,” Demonstone purred. “And everyone, to a cat, approves.”

“Medicine cats next!” Bramblestar called out. Decreed by new ritual, the medicine cats came forward to claim their meals. Gentlepaw marched to the fresh kill, and tore off large portions, honoring his mentors as he gave the servings to them.  Rainpaw joined him. Leafpool and Jayfeather thanked him and Rainpaw. Daisy stepped forward with Cherryfall, who glanced at Stormcloud, then her Clan Leader.

“Everyone knows,” Kyestorm guffawed. “Eat for you and your kits!”

Cherryfall took a large chunk of leg meat, and hurried back to her mate. Bramblestar nodded at his warriors and apprentices. The apprentices and warriors filed past, in complete organized precision, and sliced their meals from the carcass. Paired warriors went first. Cloudtail and Brightheart took their share, followed by Lionblaze and Cinderheart, Poppyfrost and Berrynose, then Whitewing and Birchfall. Kyestorm followed Demonstone, tearing off their portions, then Bramblestar and Squirrelflight took theirs. The rest of the warriors followed, and Kyestorm watched them file by, taking big meals, laughing and chatting, noting they walked past by seniority. Brackenfur, Thornclaw, Mousewhisker, Rosepetal, and Spiderleg lead the line, with Dovewing, Ivypool, Blossomfall, Molewhisker, and Bumblestripe, then the younger warriors; Lilyheart, Dewnose,  Snowbush, Ambermoon. Hollytuft, Sorrelstripe, and Fernsong. The youngest warriors, Alderfrost and Sparkfire brought up the rear of the line.

The apprentices took their meals, trying to behave as well as the older warriors, but many failed. Sparkfire and Alderfrost scowled as Phantompaw, Smokepaw, Bluepaw, Indipaw, and Greypaw slapped at each other like kits. Demonpaw stood behind Sparkfire, glaring at his siblings. Gentlepaw and Rainpaw took their meal and joined their mentors. Kyestorm grimaced when Phantompaw snatched the last piece of organ meat, added a huge hunk of shoulder meat, and carried the gargantuan serving to his spot beside his siblings.

 
Feline laugher pealed from the group as the apprentices teased Phantompaw, who only grinned, baring all four fangs before wolfing down his meal. Kyestorm knew her gigantic son planned to visit the fresh kill at least three times, depending how long the supply of meat held out. All of her offspring visited the fresh kill, tearing off every scrap of meat long after the rest of the clan lay around, half asleep with bulging bellies. She watched them carry the meat to their little circle on the other side of camp. She flicked her ears, knowing they planned something. She dismissed the actions of greedy apprentices, and ate the last of her meat, turning her attention to the ceremonial breaking of the first bone for the delicious marrow.

Demonstone and Bramblestar performed the breakage over the Feasting Rock once the Clan licked the bones clean. Demonstone balanced himself over the first leg bone, as Bramblestar stood beside him.

“We thank StarClan for this wonderful bounty. Demonstone, proceed!”

The snap of bone echoed over camp when Demonstone broke the leg. The prior ritual repeated, as Clan members took their share of bones to crunch. Phantompaw graciously gave Purdy and the Elders chunks of large leg bones before taking one for himself. Demonstone cracked ribs bones, his favorite, while Kyestorm gnawed a foreleg fragment. The bitter wind swirled around the camp, but not one cat complained.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:09 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER EIGHT
 
                              ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART 2

As Moonhigh approached, only the skin and partial skull lay near the Feasting Rock, while the Clan prepared for the Gathering. Kyestorm felt eager to be off, an attitude the complete opposite of a mere few moons ago. Bramblestar stood up and stretched, then eyed Kyestorm and Demonstone.

“You and your kits will attend,” he stated, a twinkle in his eye. Kyestorm feigned distaste before returning the grin. She danced in place as cats going to the Gathering joined her by the entrance. Thornclaw, Bumblestripe, Spiderleg, Sparkfire, Lionblaze, Cinderheart, Dovewing, Squirrelflight, and Dewnose completed the party. Bramblestar gazed at Cloudtail and Brackenfur.

“ I trust you to keep things in order while we’re gone?”

“Of course,” Cloudtail glanced at Brackenfur. “We won’t fail you.”

“I know,” Bramblestar nodded and raised his voice. “Let’s move!”

Bramblestar led the procession out of camp and down the hill to the Lake. Kyestorm trotted behind him and Squirrelflight, Demonstone at her side. She heard her youngsters chattering with excitement. Indipaw wanted to see Snowpaw again. Bluepaw focused on Troutpaw. Smokepaw spoke about Oatwing and Onestar. Phantompaw and Greypaw eagerly anticipated competing with their fellow apprentices. Demonpaw trotted with Sparkfire, tails entwined, eyes only for each other and Kyestorm knew without a doubt their bond ran even deeper than the one she shared with Demonstone.

As they neared the stream mouth, Kyestorm noticed a pile of snow-covered deerskins on an open stretch of rocky beach. Pawprints crisscrossed the snows on the other side of the brook, and only two sets crossed the stream. Kyestorm bared her teeth, realizing who one set belonged to.

“Harespring dare crosses here?” She paused and sniffed the stiff hides. “These are still ours.”

“If they keep drying out like that, they may be great to line the floors of the dens with them.” Demonstone commented, then marked the snows around the hides. Kyestorm and Thornclaw followed suit. “We won’t know for certain until New Leaf.”

“Too bad we can’t let them dry in camp then,” Thornclaw commented. “But they stink.”

“That’s why we left them by the lake. That spot gets sun all day.” Indipaw spoke up, glancing back,  as the group crossed the stream out of ThunderClan territory. “And we keep watch on them, too”

“Harespring doesn’t come here anymore,” Smokepaw flicked her tail, ducking her head. “He crossed over and I had to slap him. I promise I kept my claws sheathed! But now Crowfeather patrols down here. He asked us to take the skins elsewhere but I said no. They’re drying out well here. He accepted it.”

“WindClan dare not touch them,” Kyestorm added, and eyed her daughter. She decided not to pry into some mouse-brained thing her offspring conspired to carry out. As the Clan moved quickly along the lake, Kyestorm felt thankful for the windswept shoreline, which gave her and her family a break from constant trail breaking in deep snow.

“They probably are very confused by what we’re doing,” Bramblestar meowed, and increased his pace. Kyestorm looked up the hill and saw Onestar crest the open moor. Harespring appeared next. WindClan moved slow, traversing old paths refilled in with fresh snow. Kyestorm growled deep in her chest.

“One of these days, he’s going to get what he deserves,” Demonstone said quietly.

“Just because he’s awful, doesn’t mean the rest are,” Smokepaw interjected. Kyestorm eyed her daughter, and Smokepaw dropped her gaze. Kyestorm smirked, knowing Smokepaw and Oatwing rendezvoused often near those skins.

“Will I be going to the Moonstone soon?” Gentlepaw asked, taking Kyestorm’s attention off of her daughters. She noticed how her son looked longingly up the stream toward the Moonpool, which lay high out of sight. His golden brown, black-striped coat, fluffed out by the cold, rippled down his back.

“You’d have gone already if not for these deep snows,” Jayfeather remarked with a snort. “You are a fine medicine cat. I know its hard, but have patience.”

“I can break trail like my brothers and sisters do,” Gentleaw said quietly, but Kyestorm heard the edge to his voice.

“Don’t fret,” Leafpool assured him. “We can’t wait much longer, anyway. I know StarClan urges you.”

“Yes,” Gentlepaw admitted. “I want to meet them all at the Moonpool and get my warrior name.”

“Patience, my son,” Kyestorm interjected, as they traveled beneath the broken halfbridge. “Your siblings don’t have their warrior names yet.”

“True,” the tall muscular youngster capitulated. Kyestorm met his amber gaze briefly, and blinked him a silent kiss. He blinked back, and Rainpaw purred loud and strong, trotting beside his milkbrother, his blue eyes full of anticipation.

Bramblestar led them across the sandy spit, then paused at the frozen marsh. Kyestorm stepped on the ice, bounced once, then nodded. Bramblestar took the lead and crossed the frozen swamp to the head of the fallen tree. Kyestorm held her head up with pride, happy her Clan leader trusted her judgement when it came to the ice. Deep instincts about such ran true in her heart and mind, and she just knew when ice posed danger or safety. She followed him and Squirrelflight , leaping up the shore onto the island.

“Hallo!” Mistystar greeted them, a look of surprise on her face. “Brave for ones who fear the water!”

“You forget,” Bramblestar guffawed, his voice full of mirth. “We have water happy Maine Coon crazies in our midst.” he sobered. “Kyestorm and her mate have uncanny knowledge and instincts about ice, and I’ve learned to trust them.”

“Crazy,” someone muttered, and Kyestorm saw Rowanstar standing below the Great Tree. His eyes flashed with humor, and Kyestorm raised her tail. She noted the absence of Tawnypelt and felt a pang of concern. She glanced around at the gathering Clans, and all of them looked gaunt, though RiverClan less so. Onestar led his Clan over the fallen tree, glancing at Bramblestar and shaking his head. The leaders sprang up into the tree, as others greeted new and old friends. Kyestorm noticed how quickly her daughters found their beaus, and Phantompaw and Greypaw found their new friends. Demonpaw walked with Sparkfirel, tails tightly entwined, bodies pressed together, eyes shining, leaving no doubts in anyone’s mind about their status.

“Greetings!” Bramblestar’s voice rang out, starting the official gathering. The moon shone bright from clear skies, and not a single wisp of cloud marred the night sky. Silverpelt glittered, unusually bright, despite the full moon. Kyestorm sat down beside Demonstone, and waited, as Bramblestar continued. “ All is well in ThunderClan. Prey is running light, but we’ve been very successful in catching larger prey this Leaf Bare. No greencough, no illness. I hope all have fared well this hard season. We have a lot to discuss about the coyote threat.”

“We’re fine. Despite the cold, the fishing is good.” Mistystar said. “We’ve been supplementing with the occasional Muntjac deer that come to the stream to drink.”

“We’ve learned to ambush them at night,” Rowanstar said, “but it is very difficult. It takes a large patrol to take one down.  Our kits thrive, despite the coyotes. And we’ve only seen white cough.”

“We’ve had it rough,” Onestar said, standing up. “Those deer are impossible to catch on the moors, but, someone, uh,  or something, has left fresh kill just inside our territory. If not for that. . .” Onestar trailed off, eyes widening as if he knew he said too much. Kyestorm noticed the other three leaders staring at him. Mistystar and Rowanstar exchanged worried glances. Bramblestar scowled.

“Near our deerskins?” he asked, bristling. He suddenly locked eyes on Smokepaw. “What have you apprentices been up to?”

“I’m sorry!” Smokepaw jumped forward and stood before her Clan leader. Her black smoke coat remained flat, but the wind parted her fur, revealing its pure white roots. Her gold  eyes locked onto her Clan leader’s amber gaze  “I, well, we, have been sharing our excess. Gentlepaw and I have been giving some of our deer to Oatwing.”

“What?” Bramblestar snarled with sudden outrage. “Are you completely fluff-headed?”

“Wait,” Onestar interrupted. “Please, don’t be angry. If not for them, many of us would have starved. Rabbits are in semi -hibernation. We’ve never seen this kind of thing. This has been a terrible Leaf Bare for us. We have failed to catch any Roe or Muntjac deer roaming our open moors.’ They are, as always, too fast and even if we manage to snag one, they kick and hurt us, then leap and get away. We don’t have the weight and size to take one down.”

“I concur,” Rowanstar jumped in. “Indipaw, Demonpaw, and Phantompaw have given us deer meat as well. Our kits would have starved because Tawnypelt’s milk failed and we have no other nursing queens. I will never forget your apprentice’s generosity and I made sure she was not taking away from anyone in your clan. She assured me it was extra and you had plenty. She saved the kits’ lives. Tawnypelt’s milk returned.”

“We didn’t take the meat Bluepaw and Greypaw brought,” Mistystar said. “We gave it to Tawnypelt. But we asked Bluepaw to help us hunt the Muntjac deer. Please, Bramblestar, in a Leaf Bare such as this, your apprentices helped all of us and we are still the four Clans to be one under StarClan. The coyote threat is still out there.”

Bramblestar stared, teeth bared with outrage, his broad shoulders trembling and in his eyes, Kyestorm saw the battle between his good nature and the old traditions of separate Clans and the warrior code. His brown tabby coat slowly flattened, and he covered his fangs. He nodded at his apprentices, all of whom sat in a furry knot, eyes wide, but in each, Kyestorm saw a soft defiance, showing their Clan leader they understood the consequences, but also knew they saved lives with their actions. Alderfrost and Sparkfire sat with them, bravely facing their father, and Kyestorm knew they assisted the apprentices in this plan.

“I wish you would have come to me with your plan,” Bramblestar growled at the knot of youngsters. “I probably would have agreed if you presented the arguments I just heard from my fellow Clan Leaders. Though I commend you actions, you still must suffer punishment for doing this without my permission. You will stay in camp, cleaning the Elders dens, attending the Elders meticulously, and assist Demonstone with den repair. You will assist the medicine cats with chores. No patrolling or hunting for a moon.”

“Yes, Bramblestar,” all eight youngsters murmured. Bramblestar leveled his gaze on his own offspring.

“You two will concentrate on bringing home fresh kill for the Elders, without the help of your apprentice Clanmates.” Bramblestar stated, and Kyestorm watched them exchange glances of alarm. They knew without Demonpaw or Phantompaw or their sisters, downing even a small deer might be downright impossible, forcing them to hunt smaller much more difficult prey. They lifted their heads, and met their father’s eyes, and nodded.

“But, we really did the right thing.” Indipaw protested. Bramblestar’s amber eyes darkened and narrowed.

“Clan Leaders,” Rowanstar’s voice broke the tension. “Bramblestar, please. I think its time we dealt with the inevitable. Indipaw? Please. Come forward. Speak now, young apprentice, if what you told Snowpaw is true.”

Kyestorm stared at her daughter, noticing Bramblestar’s surprised look. His eyes widened, then narrowed again, but he nodded at Indipaw. Indipaw stepped forward, the entire gathering silenced until only the wind whispered in the trees.

“Speak your mind, apprentice.” Bramblestar said, his voice calm, belying his expression.

“Clan Leaders, “ Indipaw began, then paused, her green eyes wide with uncustomary nerves. Her tabby and white coat rippled down her body. Another apprentice slipped out of the crowd, joining her. Snowpaw leaned into her, entwining his black fluffy tail with her tabby bottlebrush of a tail. Kyestorm’s heart melted, and in Bramblestar’s eyes, she saw understanding, as he glanced at his sister. Tawnypelt merely blinked him a feline kiss. Indipaw drew a deep breath and continued. “Snowpaw and I love each other. We want to be together, so one of us has to join the other’s Clan. I think of how we came to be here and just know my place is with Snowpaw, and ShadowClan. My time here after the attack proved it. If all the leaders approve, I’d like to go to ShadowClan and complete my training there, with Snowpaw’s mentor. I expect to serve out my punishment there, too”

Murmuring rippled through the Gathering, and a few cheering yowls erupted from ShadowClan cats. Rowanstar nodded, flicking his ears. Kyestorm realized they knew Indipaw well, and not only accepted her, but liked her.

“I accept, with Bramblestar’s. . . “ Rowanstar raised his voice, until Harespring jumped up and cut him off.

“No! Its wrong! Very wrong! Mixed Clan cats are wrong!” The disgruntled WindClan deputy’s redbrown and white coat bristled all over like a hedgehog.

“Yes, we are of ThunderClan,”  Bluepaw meowed firmly, her blue smoke fur puffing out revealing even more silvery highlights. Her vivid blue eyes sparkled. “But we’re Maine Coons, and we’re supposed to spread to other Clans! Firestar said so. StarClan said we’re important to all the Clans, not just one. If RiverClan will have me, I want to be with Troutpaw.”

Kyestorm glanced at her sons, and saw resignation on their faces, as if they knew all along this might occur. Kyestorm’s throat closed and she resisted the urge to wail. 



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:10 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
 CHAPTER EIGHT
PART 3
 

“Smokepaw," Onestar said, standing up. "You are welcome in WindClan, if that is your desire. It’s the least I can do for what you have done to help my Clan during this brutal Leaf Bare.” Onestar actually smiled, and Kyestorm saw another side to the gruff, pompous Clan Leader, something he always hid beneath a facade. Onestar’s confidence in his leadership shone through, and peeled away that old mask he erected in trying to prove himself over the seasons.

“She trespassed,” Harespring snarled. “Sneaking here to run with her consort.”

“Smokepaw!” Kyestorm exclaimed in a shocked yowl.

“What have you done?” Bramblestar glared at the young apprentice. Smokepaw shrank down onto her belly, flattening her ears.

“I’m sorry, I am, but I love the moors! Always have, and I love Oatwing!” Smokepaw wailed like a scared kit, but her eyes glittered golden fire. “If not for that, we’d have never gotten deer meat to those who needed it!”

“She ran our territory!” Harespring glared at Onestar, protesting with a snarl. “And you never punished her! You ignore the Code. We aren’t like ThunderClan, to accept every rogue and kittypet that comes along!”

“Oh shut up, Harespring! Its because you don’t want me to come with Oatwing! You hate me because I run faster than you! You hate that I saved your Elders and other Clanmates with our spare deer meat!” Smokepaw leaped to her feet. “Because I have no problem slapping you down just like Kyemama does!”

“You break the code running our territory,” Harespring retorted, eyes blazing, but he stepped backward. He spun to face Onestar. “And you show weakness by allowing it.”

“You dare question my decisions?” Onestar stood up on his limb, claws unsheathed, tabby pelt brisling, fangs bared in fury. “Even after you ate as much of that deer meat as any of us? If Smokepaw wants to join WindClan, so be it! She has my permission, if she has Bramblestar’s. She belongs here.” Onestar growled, his voice low, his eyes spitting fire. “Perhaps it is time to relieve you of your duties?”

“You can’t,” Harespring snapped. “I am your deputy! I’ll be Leader of this Clan one day and things will change!” Harespring sprang at Smokepaw, landing in front of her. “And in my Clan, you’d never be!”

“I will be! Onestar said yes! You can’t stop this.” Smokepaw defied the WindClan deputy, her thick black smoke coat fluffing out. She bared her fangs, standing tall and menacing, towering over Harespring, who reared up to attack her, hatred in his eyes. Kyestorm tensed, growling, ready to kill the WindClan deputy with one blow of her paw if he so much as raked a claw in Smokepaw’s fur.

“STOP!” Onestar leaped down from his branch, dropping between Smokepaw and Harespring, his tabby coat puffed up. Harespring spun away from his leader, and dropped to the snow, teeth bared in a silent snarl of defiance. The wind suddenly roared in the trees, and Kyestorm looked up at the skies. The moon shone bright, but a wisp of cloud appeared just above the horizon. Kyestorm’s heart raced, and not one cat moved. Bramblestar, Mistystar and Rowanstar exchanged shocked glances.

“I see things clearly now. I’m not clouded by indecision, or broken old friendships anymore. This stops now! I obviously chose poorly when Ashfoot died,” Onestar roared with anger, then glared up at the moon. “Forgive me, StarClan, but this must be done now.”

“What?” Harespring’s expression changed to one of astonishment.

“I say these words before the spirits of all StarClan, before all Clan Leaders, at moonhigh, that they may hear and approve my choice!” Onestar’s voice rang over the island, rising above the wind.  “Crowfeather will be the new deputy of WindClan!”

After a  moment of complete silence, WindClan cats yowled their affirmation. The other Clans joined in enthusiastically.

“Crowfeather! Crowfeather!”

Crowfeather walked to stand beside Onestar, his eyes wide with surprise.

“Thank you, Onestar. I will never let you down. I’ll support you, and offer advice, but never defy or usurp you.”

“You can’t do this to me! I’ve been a faithful deputy!” Harespring stepped toward Crowfeather and Onestar, and wailed, ears flat, eyes full of rage. “Crowfeather broke the code consorting with a medicine cat! He’s not fit to be deputy!”

Before Onestar opened his mouth to reply, a gust of wind whistled through the trees, moaning in the leafless branches of the great oak. Kyestorm gaped, as the starry figure of a black and white tom partially solidified in front of Onestar, standing beside Smokepaw. Smokepaw started, but then stood proud, towering over the StarClan cat. He looked at her, a brief flare of delight crossing his features, before he looked at Harespring.

“Tallstar!” erupted from the throats of older cats. The starry apparition glared at Harespring. Kyestorm stared at the long-legged black and white tom. He spared her a glance, his eyes gentling for a moment, before returning his attention to Harespring.

“You defy StarClan at every turn by rejecting Smokepaw and her family. She fulfills her destiny this night under StarClan. Onestar chooses a new deputy, and rightly so!” Tallstar yowled at Harespring. “We want no question that we approve. The future of the Clans will NOT SUFFER for your intolerance.”

Harespring stared, his anger turning to fear, as Tallstar stepped up to him, standing nose to nose with him. Kyestorm watched with satisfaction as other starry shapes joined Tallstar, and she recognized Bluestar, Blackstar and Firestar amongst them. Harespring shank back from the outrage blazing from their eyes.

“Forgive me,” he mewled. “I only tried to keep to the code.”

“And forgot the most recent addition,” Blackstar snarled at him. “Go back to your Clan, but realize you are no longer deputy.”

Harespring scurried to hide behind his clanmates, most of whom scowled at him. Furzepelt nodded at him, and he sat beside her.  He looked at Kyestorm, and in his eyes, she saw pure hatred.  Furzepelt lifted a lip, distain in her gaze. Kyestorm’s  emotions reciprocated, tumbling in her stomach. She held down a growl, and turned away from them, just as Tallstar raised his tail.

“Carry on,” Tallstar meowed, and in a swirl of stars vanished, Blackstar and his fellow StarClan mates followed, but he glanced back at Indipaw and Snowpaw, nodding before he disappeared into the wind. Silence hung over the clearing, until Rowanstar sneezed, and spoke.

“As I was going to say, I accept, with Bramblestar’s blessings, Indipaw into ShadowClan.”

“You have it, since StarClan has already blessed what will occur here this Gathering,” Branmblestar gazed at Indipaw and Snowpaw, then Smokepaw and Bluepaw, and nodded. “May StarClan light your paths, always.”

All three apprentices ran to Kyestorm. She trembled as they crowded her. Demonstone, Phantompaw, Gentlepaw, Greypaw, Rainpaw, and Demonpaw joined her, pressing against her.

“We love you, Kyemama,” Indipaw mewed. “But, these are our lives we are meant to live.”

“Never ever forget how much your father, brothers, and I love you,” Kyestorm whispered. “I will never raise a claw to you in battle, never.”

“Don’t worry, Kyemama,” Smokepaw murmured. “We all decided never to hurt each other. We can pretend to be angry, but we all know it’s not for real.”

“Do your new Clans proud, and always use your heads before your claws,” Kyestorm mewed softly, her voice shaking.

“We promise,” Smokepaw meowed and licked Kyestorm’s cheek. Indipaw and Bluepaw copied their sister, before moving off to mingle with their new Clans. Kyestorm quivered as her daughters moved off to their new lives, her vision blurring. She wanted to keen her dismay to Silverpelt, but understood why she must let this play out.

“We’re still here, Kyemama,” Demonpaw murmured into her ear.

“Don’t worry,” Gentlepaw said. “All will be well.”

“I know, “ Kyestorm mewled, feeling like a helpless kit. Demonstone licked her head.

“Come, let’s enjoy this Gathering. Everyone is happy, and friendly.” he urged. Kyestorm lifted her chin, and caught a glimpse of Harespring and Furzepelt glowering at Smokepaw. Smoldering anger replaced her angst.

“If that piece of rotten crow-food and his fluffhead friend touch a hair on Smokepaw’s body I will rip them to shreds and dump their useless bodies in the lake,” she growled deep in her chest.

“Kyemama,” Phantompaw uttered a guffaw. “Do you really think they can hurt her? She’ll whip either of their sorry rumps like you did. Plus Oatwing and Onestar will probably assist!”

“True,” Kyestorm glanced at her gargantuan son, and his sea-green eyes blazed, despite his mirth. She decided to enjoy the Gathering, and she mingled. Indipaw and Snowpaw moved around, never untwining their tails. Smokepaw hooked tails with Oatwing, while chattering with Onestar, who wore a pleased, genuinely delighted expression. Bluepaw joined Troutpaw and Silverppaw, her blue eyes shining. Kyestorm’s despair abated as she realized the strength and depth of her daughters’ happiness, and understood she must let them go. She padded to the base of the Great Oak and stopped.

“Clan Leaders, may I speak to the Gathering?”

“Please do,” Bramblestar answered, and moved to allow her room. She gaped, until he gestured with his tail to join him on the limb. In a spray of snow, she leaped up, and stood just below Squirrelflight. Bramblestar uttered a piercing yowl and the noisy Gathering silenced. Everyone faced the Great Tree. Kyestorm stood up, balancing on the branch, tail up.

“Esteemed Clan Leaders, warriors, apprentices, elders, I say this under StarClan, so everyone hears my words. The night Demonstone and I escaped the fire, ready to bear my precious kits, I did not understand all of what StarClan wished from us.” Kyestorm’s voice strengthened, and the moon glowed. “The Maine Coons of ThunderClan are meant to be the Maine Coons of all the Clans, to help us build our strength for the battles to come. As my daughters seek their destinies, I truly hope we stay, under StarClan, four Clans as One, to preserve the Four, because I fear if we don’t, the coyote menace will destroy us,” Kyestorm finished.

A moment of quiet hung over the Gathering, then Mistystar raised her voice.

“If StarClan approves, so do I. I welcome Bluepaw into our Clan, delighted to have her here.” Mistystar’s blue eyes grew solemn. “We have to find a way to deal with the coyote problem. We  must devise a call or alarm that will carry over the lake, so other clans know when trouble approaches.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Rowanstar agreed, his yellow eyes bright.

“We’ve been experimenting,” Lionblaze spoke up. “Maybe something like this.” Lionblaze pointed his muzzle at the moon and uttered a fine imitation of a coyote howl, and followed that with piercing warrior’s battle shriek.

“That might work very well,” Rowanstar spoke up. His ears twitched. “Hear how it reverberates over the lake?”

“We also have to make sure we have more than one sentry,” Bramblestar added. “We don’t want them sneaking up on any of us again.”

“They caught us by surprise,” Rowanstar admitted. “By time our sentry yowled out a warning the coyotes already  plowed into camp. If it happens again, we will be better prepared.”

“We also must suspend borders once that alarm goes up so help may take the shortest route,” Mistystar added. The other three Clan leaders nodded affirmatives.

“We should run a test upon returning to our camps. Call and wait for the reply, so we are certain we will hear any Clan’s call.” Onestar suggested.

“Good idea,” Bramblestar looked up at the skies. “We should adjourn, then do this test. It grows late.”

Kyestorm noticed how low the moon hung in the western sky, and yawned. The other leaders agreed, and the Gathering broke up. Kyestorm walked with her Clan, trying not to look back, but caught sight of Indipaw, Smokepaw and Bluepaw as they left with their new Clans. They glanced back at her, reassuring her by waving their tails. She plodded along at Demonstone’s side, traversing the frozen lakeshore, listening to the discussions around her.   

“Don’t be sad, Kyemama,” Kyestorm recognized Gentlepaw’s voice. She lifted her head to meet his amber gaze. “This is how it must be.”

“I know,” Kyestorm replied. “They all seem so happy, but I will always worry about them.”

“Her brothers do, too,” Gentlepaw said. “But they are where they should be.”

“You’re so wise for one so young,” Kyestorm meowed. “I know soon you’ll earn your warrior name and become a medicine cat. I will miss your naming, and theirs, too.”

“You’ll miss theirs, but not mine,” Gentlepaw whispered into her ear.

“I can’t go with you to the Moonpool.” Kyestorm bit her tongue to keep her voice down, as they passed the border, She glanced at the deerskins, and the paw prints, realizing many of those prints belonged to Smokepaw.

“No, but don’t worry. You’ll see,” Gentlepaw assured her, before hurrying ahead to catch up to Leafpool, Rainpaw, and Jayfeather, as they turned away from the lake, following the trail through the snow up toward camp. Kyestorm eyed her son, wondering what he meant. As they entered camp, Birchfall and Whitewing greeted everyone enthusiastically. Kyestorm nodded, and raised her tail in greeting, but wished not to speak. She yawned.

“Forgive me, “ she meowed. “I’m just so tired and want to sleep.”

“We understand.” Whitewing nodded. “We can wait until sunrise.”

“We raised fine daughters. I am sorry we won’t see their warrior ceremonies, but we’ll see them at the Gathering afterward and honor them then,” Demonstone murmured, as they ambled across camp.Demonpaw, Phantompaw and Greypaw looked subdued, and none of their normal banter filled the hollow.

“You’re right,” Kyestorm capitulated, walking into the spacious warrior den with him. “But I will worry about them.”

“Of course you will. We both will,” Demonstone purred, as she snuggled against him. “You’re their mother, and I their father. It’s only natural. But we have to let them go.”

“Yes, their destiny, I know,” Kyestorm grumbled, tucking her nose under her bushy tail. “But I don’t have to like it.”

Demonstone responded with rumbling purrs, and licked her head. She blinked, watching all her fellow warriors curl into their nests to sleep. Kyestorm heaved a huge sigh, listening as Lionblaze uttered the alarm call, and, as answering calls echoed across the lake, Kyestorm felt a stab of anxiety. She opened an eye.

“The call is working great, but, would we get to any of the other Clans in time to help? Especially RiverClan.” Kyestorm fretted. “Snowpaw raced away at the very start of trouble to get help, yet Tawnypelt almost lost her kits. Rowanstar lost a life. What if we’re all asleep full of deer meat again and don’t hear the cry? Birchfall heard little that night until Snowpaw screamed Indipaw’s name.”

“We’ll always have sentries that will hear it. He said he heard some cats screaming, but didn’t think much of it. They will be always alert for it now.” Demonstone rested his head beside hers. “But I see your point. By time WindClan and RiverClan realized there was trouble, it was too late.”

“I fear it won’t be enough,” Kyestorm mumbled.

“And that is why our daughters are where they are.” Demonstone argued. “Bluepaw is almost as large as you, and Smokepaw and Indipaw are larger than you, and promise to grow into powerful she-cats. Indipaw will be as big as me. They will give us the time we need to reach trouble.”

“True,” Kyestorm thought about his words. “But, what if there are more coyotes next time, and . .?” Kyestorm trailed off, and Demonstone’s golden eyes clouded over with sudden concern

“We can only do our best,” he rumbled. “The rest is in StarClan’s paws.”

Kyestorm closed her eyes, and thought of the starry cats that visited the Gathering tonight to approve Onestar’s change of deputy. She understood coyotes might not even respond to StarClan’s presence, and realized the power to ward off that danger lay in her claws, and those of her mate and offspring. She prayed to StarClan, as she drifted off to sleep, and dreamed of racing endlessly across snow and ice to assist her daughters’ Clans, while the new alarm calls shrieked over the lake, mingled with the heartrending screeches of desperate cats fighting off howling coyotes.


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Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:11 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CHAPTER 9: WARRIORS
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PART 1

Half a moon later, in the warm, spacious Warrior’s den, Kyestorm rolled over, ears twitching, and snuggled back up to Demonstone. She finally accepted her daughters’ transfer to other Clans, and life returned to normal. Despite the snows, the little deer ran well, providing the Clan with big meals at least twice a moon. Kyestorm glanced out of the den at the sunrise, which brought blustery conditions, strong cold winds, and ragged clouds scudding across deep blue skies.

“I think a storm approaches,” she muttered. “Maybe tomorrow.”

“The last thing we need is more snow!” Spiderleg complained, opening one amber eye.

“I’m glad we finished much of the anchor work on the dens,” Brackenfur remarked, “I don’t know how we’d ever have competed these dens after all the snow fell.”

“I suppose we’ll have hunting patrols all day to get fresh kill before the snow flies,” Thornclaw said with a yawn.

“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here!” Bramblestar’s yowl interrupted the conversation, and reverberated through camp. Kyestorm and her fellow warriors leaped to their feet and hurried out into the cold camp. They gathered with the rest of the Clan at the foot of Highledge, where Bramblestar stood, facing the bitter breeze. Kyestorm watched her sons gather, blinking sleep from their eyes. All three hastily groomed themselves and each other, as they realized the importance of this moment.

“Today, we shall add new warriors to our ranks!” Bramblestar’s voice rang out. “Now Demonpaw, Phantompaw, and Greypaw, please come forward.” Bramblestar waited for the excited apprentices to step forth. Bramblestar’s voice rolled on. “I, Bramblestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon these young apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as a warriors in their turn”

Kyestorm trembled with pride, though the absence of Indipaw, Smokepaw, and Bluepaw trickled disappointment into her mind and heart. She shivered, and concentrated on her sons.

“Demonpaw,” Bramblestar continued. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” The enormous black and white tom answered, his black bushy tail sweeping snow off the rock behind him.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name Demonstreak, recognizing your swiftness in mind and heart. From this moment you will be known as Demonstreak! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!” Bramblestar announced, his amber eyes sparkling with delight.

“Demonstreak! Demonstreak Demonstreak!” erupted from all throats. Sparkfire sat by his side, her green eyes shining with pride, her red pelt gleaming. Her tail twined his. Kyestorm drew back her lips, revealing her sharp fangs in a quick grin at the couple.

“Phantompaw,” Bramblestar leveled his gaze on the youngster. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” the gigantic, dark silver-tabby meowed, his sea-green eyes gleaming in the bright sunlight that now poured into the snowy hollow.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name, Phantomstrike, to honor your hunting skill and sharp wit. From this moment you will be known as Phantomstrike! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!” Bramblestar nodded.

“Phantomstrike! Phantomstrike! Phantomstrike!” echoed through the camp.

“Greypaw,” Bramblestar looked at the grey tom. “Do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?”

“I do!” Greypaw answered, his blue eyes shining.

“Then by the power of StarClan, I give you the warrior name Greywind, to honor your hunting skill and swiftness. From this moment you will be known as Greywind! Welcome to ThunderClan new Warrior!”

“Greywind! Greywind! Greywind!” the Clan cheered. Kyestorm glanced at Millie and Graystripe, pleased to see pride on both faces. She flattened her ears briefly, noting Millie’s straying gaze.  Briarlight sat next to Demonstreak, her blue eyes shimmering with joy. Kyestorm felt a stab of indignation, thinking how she will miss her daughters’ warrior ceremonies, while Millie watches her son’s with little real appreciation. She growled irritably, then pushed the emotion away, when Greywind turned his excited glance to her first.

“ThunderClan honors your bravery and dedication.” Bramblestar leaped down to the new warriors, pride sparkling his amber eyes.” We welcome you as full members to ThunderClan.” He laid his chin on each of their heads, and they licked his shoulder in return. Cats yowled, meowed and purred approval.

 “ThunderClan prospers! Our new warriors are powerful and strong! We shall have great news to bring to the Gathering in a half moon!’ Bramblestar looked over the gathered Clan. “We should hunt today despite our ample meal yesterday. A storm may be brewing for tomorrow, and we need to keep the fresh kill pile stocked.”

Squirrelflight organized hunting patrols, and Kyestorm waited for her assignment. Leafpool, Gentlepaw and Rainpaw trotted over to her.

“Kyemama! Tonight I go to the Moonpool!” Gentlepaw mewed in excitement. His long bushy tail rose over his back, hooking to one side like a two-leg fishhook. “I’ll earn my warrior name and become a true medicine cat.”

“About time,” Kyestorm meowed with delight, noting a glimmer of concern in her son’s amber eyes.

“He already is,” Leafpool said. “This is just formality. Before we go, we’re off to try and collect any freeze-dried herbs we can find. Our stores are well stocked thanks to our unusually good health this Leaf Bare, but we can never be too cautious.”

“True,” Kyestorm cocked her head. “Gentlepaw? Something bothering you?’

“Just about the approaching storm,” he answered with a flick of his tail, and his eyes brightened. “I am just eager to go to the Moonpool!”

“Come, let’s move,” Leafpool ordered.

 “Happy searching,” Kyestorm said, as the medicine cats moved off toward the entrance. Squirrelflight turned to her.

“Kyestorm, go with Phantomstrike, and Spiderleg with Lionblaze’s patrol,” Squirrelflight emphasized Kyestorm’s son’s warrior name, her green eyes sparkling with delight. “Good hunting!”

“Ah, stuck with you two,” Spiderleg teased, before baring the tips of his fangs in a grin. We are the finest venison hunters in the Clan!”

“We are, though Demonstreak thinks he, Bramblestar, Birchfall and Cloudtail catch more!” Phantomstrike retorted.

“We all do well enough,” Lionblaze said. “Let’s move.”

The patrol trotted along the trails in the snow, heading down to check the deerskins. At the border they halted, and Kyestorm eyed the stiff skins, sniffing the air.

“They will reek when New Leaf arrives,” she commented. “But the sun is still drying them out.”

“I hope we can make use of them,” Lionblaze added. “Especially for the elders and queens.”

“Will we tree dive today?” Spiderleg asked.

“I think we should do that, but also have one of us hide in the snow.” Phantomstrike suggested.

“I’m not doing that,” Spiderleg shook his pelt. “I ‘m getting too old to freeze in the snow.”

“I think I’ll stick to the trees,” Lionblaze agreed. “That is just cold.”

“Kyemama and I can hide in the snow and ambush the little deer,” Phantomstrike pointed to a thicket with his tail. “They eat twigs off of that bush and others like it.”

“Sounds like a plan. Let’s find a place where the snow is deeper,” Lionblaze said. They moved along the stream, and Kyestorm glanced across the icy water, wondering how her daughter fared. She paused, hearing a rustle in the dead brush on the opposite shore. Impulsively, she uttered the soft twittery purr she used to call her kits with, not expecting an answer.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:12 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
CHAPTER NINE


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PART 2

“Who’s there?” someone answered with a snarl.

“Oh, hush up, Nightcloud! It’s only Kyemama!” Kyestorm recognized Smokepaw’s voice.

“Smokepaw?” Kyestorm called, delight filling her heart, and she ran to the edge of the brook.

“It’s me, Kyemama!” her daughter answered, her large body breaking past the brush and snow lining the stream bank. Her golden eyes sparkled. “I’m Smokewind now!”

“A wonderful Warrior name! Onestar chose well!” Kyestorm perched on the snow and ice edging the narrow channel and stretched her head to touch noses with her daughter.  

“Smokewind!” Phantomstrike meowed, coming to stand beside Kyestorm.

“Phantompaw!” Smokewind mewed in delight. “Are you a warrior yet?”

“Yes! I am Phantomstrike!”

“Fantastic name!” Smokewind waved her tail, ears up, whiskers forward, inhaling her brother’s scent. A black tom and a black she-cat flanked Smokewind. They glared at Kyestorm and Phantomstrike, but said nothing.

“Are you all safe?” Kyestorm asked, placing one huge paw on the ice.

“Don’t think about crossing,” Nightcloud growled, hackles rising.

“We are fine,” Smokewind answered, baring the tips of her fangs. “No coyotes. No rogues or foxes. One fox pair will never show itself here again after I slapped the dogfox senseless.”

“I knew you could handle foxes. You are taller than I am,” Kyestorm answered, noting how Smokewind towered over her companions. She bulked up over the last few moons, looking as strong and powerful as her brothers. “I know you’re strong, but please never be afraid to ask for help.”

“We can handle ourselves,” the black she-cat hissed. “We don’t need Thund. . .”

Smokewind whirled and cuffed her patrolmate hard on the skull. Nightcloud shook her head.

“Don’t be mouse-brained!” Smokewind snarled. “I lead this patrol. We’ll need every warrior in every clan should coyotes breed and increase their numbers! Stop the quibbling!”

“Youngster too full of herself.” Nightcloud flashed Smokewind a defiant brief glare, before dipping her head. “But, you’re right.”

“Really?” the black tom muttered, causing Smokewind to bristle, and her golden eyes blazed.

“Enough!” She raised a massive paw over Breezepelt, and he dropped to a submissive crouch. Fear scent wafted off of him, and Kyestorm knew Smokewind battled over the last few moons to win respect in her new clan, and succeeded to the point she led a patrol! Pride and love swelled her whole insides. Smokewind met her gaze, her expression turning cheerful again, reciprocating the scent that swirled out on the wind from every hair on Kyestorm’s coat. Phantomstrike stretched his head to touch noses with his sister, his scent joining with his mother’s and sister’s. Breezepelt’s eyes widened, and he glanced at Nighcloud, but she looked down at the snow. Kyestorm wondered why mother and son lacked the bond she and her kits shared. If they never possessed such, it explained some of their cantankerous nature.

“Well done, Daughter,” Kyestorm meowed. “We must move along. May StarClan light your path always.”

“Yours, too, Kyemama, and Phantomstrike!” Smokewind meowed cheerfully. “Good hunting and give my other silly brothers my love!”

“I will.” Kyestorm reluctantly turned away from the WindClan patrol, pride and longing warring within her. Phantomstrike gazed after his sister, and lashed his tail. Smokewind and her patrol disappeared up the stream, and Kyestorm’s delight in her daughter’s success won out. Even Nightcloud and Breezepelt appeared well-fed, so Smokewind succeeded in teaching her new Clan to catch the elusive deer.

“Come, Phantomstrike.” Kyestorm meowed. Phantomstrike turned away from the stream, and took his place beside Lionblaze, who gazed at them, admiration in his eyes.  Kyestorm felt the irresistible desire to check up on her other daughters.

“Let’s check the ShadowClan border,” Kyestorm begged. “The little Muntjac deer like it over there better.”

“Sure,” Lionblaze shrugged, and nodded, staying on the well-broken path edging the territory. They veered off the track, and Phantomstrike broke trail as thy followed the western edge of the territory. Lionblaze, Spiderleg and Kyestorm marked the border. Kyestorm peered into the forest, flicking her ears, listening for foxes, badgers, rogue cats and coyotes. She heard and scented nothing. They reached the stream bordering ShadowClan territory, and turned down toward the lake, reinforcing the territory line, and looking out for prey. A sudden hiss halted Kyestorm.

“Who comes so close to ShadowClan land?”

“I do! Kyestorm of Thunderclan!” Kyestorm answered, a thrill shooting through her when she recognized Indipaw’s voice.

“And I, Phantomstrike of ThunderClan,” Phantomstrike added, his pelt fluffing with excitement.

“Kyemama? Phantomp. . oops, Phantomstrike?” Indipaw’s huge head broke from the brush on the other side of the stream. Her patrol materialized around her. Kyestorm recognized Snowpaw, Pinepaw and Scorchfur. Scorchfur looked annoyed, and Kyestorm knew her daughter broke protocol, and probably not for the first time. In Scorchfur’s eyes, she saw resignation as well, and wanted to mrrow with mirth.  She glanced back at Lionblaze, and saw the same expression in her patrol leader’s golden  eyes.

“Indipaw!” Kyestorm mewed with delight, echoed by Phantomstrike.

“I’m Indiclaw now, a warrior,” Indiclaw meowed, a ring of pride in her voice. “As are Snowsquall and Pineshadow.”

“Congratulations on becoming Warriors!” Kyestorm exclaimed, before dropping her voice. “I wish I could have been at your ceremony.”

“Me, too,” Indiclaw mewed. “Rowanstar is proud of me, and I know you and Demonpoppa are, too.”

“I sure am!” Phantomstrike added, his sea green eyes shining.

“We all are,” Kyestorm murmured.

“I am sure at the next Gathering, he will mention ShadowClan’s new warriors.” Indiclaw waved her bushy tail. “Well met, Kyemama! Phantomstrike!”

“Stay safe, Indiclaw! You, too, Snowaquall. I expect to meet your kits next New Leaf!” Kyestorm yowled.

“Don’t rush things, Kyemama!” Indiclaw mrrowed in mirth, but Kyestorm caught a sly smile slanting Snowsquall’s eyes.

“Have you seen your sister?” Kyestorm blurted out the question.

“Yes, if you mean Bluefrost. She’s a warrior now, too.” Indiclaw puffed her long fur with pride. “We see each other almost every day on patrol. Have you seen Smokepaw?”

“Give Bluefrost my love. Smokepaw is Smokewind now, and leads a patrol,” Kyestorm meowed, wanting to touch noses with Indiclaw, but knew Indiclaw still disliked any physical contact. Her scent swirled with her love for her kit, and Indiclaw inhaled it, returning the favor, with a lash of her tail. Phantomstrike moved to the edge of the stream, head stretching toward his sister. They exchanged feline smiles and the joyous scents swirled around them.

“That is wonderful. I always knew Smokewind would run those moors!” Indiclaw glanced at her brother. “Fine warrior name, Brother!”

“Yours, too,” Phantomstrike replied.

“Take good care. Remember I love you always,” Kyestorm said, emotion filling her heart.

“I love you too, Kyemama!” Indiclaw called, then turned and vanished with her silent patrol into ShadowClan’s territory. “You, too, big brother!”

“Good hunting and stay safe!” Kyestorm called after her temperamental daughter, as she and her patrol moved off downstream.

“We will,” came a sharp yowl of reply.

“Great StarClan!” Lionblaze exclaimed. “She is bigger than you!” He glanced at Phantomstrike. “Almost your size!”

“I knew she would be. She has her father’s build and strength.” Kyestorm replied.

“But not his personality!” Spiderleg guffawed. “She’s a wild lightning strike! Someday she will be Leader.”

“Really?” Kyestorm shook her head. “She’s far too impulsive. Maybe Smokewind, or Phantomstrike, but not Indiclaw.”

“Not me.” Phantomstrike shook his head. “Demonpoppa says I am too reckless.”

“Ah, but you’re young. Your sister is the perfect ShadowClan cat, impulsive, quick-tempered and proud. And fortunately, unlike most of them, not in a bad way. She’d straighten them all out.” Lionblaze agreed with Spiderleg, then motioned with his tail. “We have some hunting to do.”

Kyestorm followed her clanmates along the lakeshore. She gazed with longing across the frozen lake toward RiverClan.

“I know you want to go there, Kyemama. So do I.” Phantomstrike mewed softly. “But we’ll see her at the Gathering.”

“I know,” Kyestorm sighed, and capitulated. She eyed her gargantuan son who already stood taller than his father. His lithe long body showed his youth, but Kyestorm knew maturity would bring weight and strength to that big body. She waved her tail. “Find somewhere to burrow in the snow. We shall catch deer this day.”

“Sure,” Phantomstrike agreed and scanned the terrain. He hurried up ahead to Lionblaze and pointed out a thicket with a huge drift nearby. Lionblaze nodded.

“Fine. You two can do that. We’ll head up hill and hide in that tree.” Lionblaze pointed his tail at a gnarled oak just past the thicket. Phantomstrike agreed, and waited for Kyestorm.

“ Sounds good,” Kyestorm mewed. “Come on. Let’s get into that drift from the other side.”

Phantomstrike nodded and they broke trail to the far side of the drift. Kyestorm noticed her patrolmmates leaping into the stout oak. She and her son reached the drift and quickly burrowed into it, stopping when their muzzles barely broke the other side. Kyestorm saw the thicket, full of dead leaves, old seedpods, and twigs. She settled into a crouch, ready to spring, and waited.Phantomstrike hunched beside her, and she felt his body quivering from growing impatience. He shifted his feet several times.

“Keep still,” she whispered. The wait grew long, and trickles of snow melt seeped into her thick coat. She resisted the urge to shake herself, but knew she needed to move before her paws went numb. Sunhigh passed, and Kyestorm stifled the urge to lash her tail. Cold crept up her toes and into her paws, reaching into her lower legs, but she twitched not one muscle.

“Kyemama, look.” Phantomstrike’s voice barely reached a mumble. Kyestorm moved her eyes and saw a small herd of Muntjac deer moving to the thicket. The little herd of  seven stopped and nibbled at the thickets. A small doe moved within range and Kyestorm hissed.

“Now!”

Phantomstrike shot out of the drift like a lightning bolt, but Kyestorm saw nothing after that, when her paws slipped on the slush under her. She flopped unceremoniously onto her chest, paws outstretched. Snow exploded in a wave ahead of her, sparkling in the after-noon-high sun. The deer scattered.

“Fox dung!” she swore in a frustrated hiss, angry she did not obey her instincts to shift her feet. She scrabbled to her paws in a spray of snow, and saw Phantomstrike grappling with the little doe, straddling it on its back like a cougar from her old home across the Great Waters. She bounded over to him, shaking her coat free of slush, and attacked from the front, braving the doe’s flailing hooves. One struck her chest while the other swished by her head. She closed swiftly and latched her claws into the deer’s neck pulling its head down, funneling her anger into every action. The doe’s legs caved, and she dropped to the snow. Phantomstrike delivered the killing bite to the throat. Kyestorm stood back.

“Well done!” she meowed.

“What happened?” Phantomstrike asked. “I thought you were right next to me.”

“I stupidly did not move my paws around, so the snow melted and turned to slippery slush! I fell on my face!” Kyestorm hissed at herself, then mrrrowed with sudden mirth. “Glad you didn’t listen to me.”

“I . .”

“Heeeeey!” An interrupting  yowl came from Lionblaze near the gnarled oak. “Assistance pleeeeease!”

Kyestorm and Phantomstrike raced over to their clanmates, to find them struggling to down a very young buck. Spiderleg rode the buck’s back while Lionblaze strove to get a hold on the buck’s neck. The feisty deer kicked and head-butted in fury, keeping Lionblaze at bay. Phantomstrike charged in from the side, and leaped, smashing his bulk into the buck’s shoulder, rolling the prey into the snow. Kyestorm closed from the opposite side, and the four hunters quickly dispatched the buck.

“Thanks!” Lionblaze sat down, catching his breath. “Two of us are not quite enough with the larger ones.”

“I caught a doe, but even I had trouble alone.” Phantomstrike purred his laughter. “Kyemama fell down! Left me to handle it alone.”

“Funny,” Kyestorm growled with good humor. “Come on. Let’s get our fresh kill home.”

Lionblaze and Phantomstrike dragged the little buck, and Kyestorm and Spiderleg hauled the doe back to camp. They passed the drift and all the evidence lay clear in the snow. Lionblaze guffawed.

“How did you fall?”

“Stupid mistake,” Kyestorm grumbled. “I kept so still I never shifted my feet as I should. The snow turned to slush and when I leaped, my feet slipped and I fell forward in a big mouse-brained furry heap.”

“I wish I’d seen that!” Spiderleg purred. “Oh mighty hunter flopping like an six-moon old apprentice!”

“Did it feel like flying?’ Lionblaze chittered. “Get enough lift to go airborne?”

“Yes!” Kyestorm exclaimed. “Up and flat on my chest, face in the snow!”

Kyestorm mrrrowed in laughter with her clanmates. The more she thought about how she must have appeared, the funnier it struck her. By time they climbed the slope to the hollow, they all laughed like silly kits.

“Great catches!” Kyestorm recognized Ivypool’s voice. “What under StarClan is so funny?”

“Me,” Kyestorm looked up at the two sentries. Ivypool purred, in response to the laughing. Her co-sentry, Poppyfrost, just stared. Kyestorm felt her features relax into a full feline smile. “It really was funny, and very stupid on my part. Thanks to my son, though, we didn’t lose the prey!”

“And I saw nothing,” Phantomstrike griped, his sea-green eyes mere slits. “Missed Kyemama’s flight into failure!”

Ivypool and Poppyfrost hurried forward to help drag the prey into camp, and the six warriors hauled it to the Feasting Rock. Bramblestar’s patrol returned, just as they dropped the fresh kill. Demonstreak carried a small fawn, hauling it to the fresh kill pill. Bramblestar hurried to the doe and buck sprawled over the Feasting Rock, delight in his expression.

“We shall feast today.” he exclaimed, then motioned to the busy medicine cats who returned from searching for herbs. Leafpool led them over.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“Eat well before traveling to the Moonpool tonight,” Bramblestar said, motioning at the fresh kill with a flick of his tail. Kyestorm glanced up at the sun, which hung low over the western horizon. She knew Leafpool planned to depart shortly after moonrise.

“No need to tell us twice!” Gentlepaw meowed with eagerness. Rainpaw trailed him, eyes bright. Jayfeather ambled up behind them.

“At this rate, I’m going to be as plump as a kittypet,” he grumbled, but Kyestorm heard the anticipation in his gruff voice.

By sundown, the remainder of the patrols returned, and the entire Clan gathered around the Feasting Rock to enjoy another enormous meal. Bramblestar sliced open the buck, and the clan dove into the meal, following protocol.  Happy meowing and chattering echoed in the hollow.  Kyestorm settled beside Demonstone, enjoying a section of haunch. Once they gorged themselves on the meat, Demonstone broke the bone on the rock to access the marrow, sharing chunks with the elders. Kyestorm watched Purdy gnaw his share with worn teeth, noting the thick fur and filled out flanks on the once shabby old tom.  Everyone looked as healthy and plump as a kittypet, though Kyestorm kept that thought to herself.

“Kyemama?”

Kyestorm turned at Gentlepaw’s voice, and faced her son. Leafpool and Rainpaw flanked him.  Kyestorm glanced up and noted the half moon hanging low over the top of the cliffs, bathing the snow in silver light.

“Oh, Gentlepaw,” Kyestorm mewled with distress. “I wish I could witness your ceremony.”

“I do too,” Gentlepaw blinked at her. “Think of me as you fall asleep tonight.” His voice dropped. “You’ll see.”

“You know I will,” Kyestorm answered, frowning briefly with confusion. She glanced up at the sky again, noting more silver lined clouds moving on the winds. “Travel safe, my son.”

“We will,” Gentlepaw assured her. “As long as things go as normal, Leafpool thinks we should be back long before the snow flies.”

“Good,” Kyestorm eyed him, seeing a flash of concern in his golden-amber eyes. She knew he sensed the far off storm, instinctively recognizing the scents on the wind as she did. “Be safe.”

“I promise,” Gentlepaw meowed.

“Come, let’s move,” Leafpool urged. “We don’t want to be late.”

“Of course,” Gentlepaw whirled, and followed his mentor out of camp. Rainpaw ran after them. Kyestorm watched, wanting to follow, but her stuffed stomach rooted her to the ground. She yawned.

“Come,” Demonstone spoke up. “We are in the sentry rotation late tonight. We should rest.”

“Agreed,” Kyestorm rose, and bid her lounging clanmates a good night and retired to the Warrior’s den. She settled in next to her mate, and drowsed. Many warriors followed suit, and soon the den filled with furry bodies and the den warmed up. Kyestorm thought about her son traveling, and concern flashed through her. She soon drifted off to sleep, with him firmly in her thoughts.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

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Limerick
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CHAPTER 10: BLIZZARD
 
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PART 1
 
Kyestorm’s dream opened up before her. The half moon bathed the world in silver light, as she moved out of the forest onto the open moors.  Everything felt so real, as she experienced the trek through her son’s senses. Gentlepaw climbed the trail up the stony, icy path, following Leafpool. The wind moaned over the rocks, and Gentlepaw scented the air, eyeing the clouds that gathered on the northwestern horizon. Kyestorm agreed with his uneasiness, catching the strong scent of snow on the wind. Other pawsteps alerted Gentlepaw and he glanced behind him, noting the hurried steps of other medicine cats; Willowshine, Littlecloud and Kestrelflight. Willowshine walked behind Littlecloud, who picked his way up the trail with shaky steps. He paused every few strides to shake the snow from his tiny paws.

Gentlepaw turned his attention forward, as Leafpool led him past the trail head into a small clearing. The Moonpool shimmered, as the wind blew snow from a drift across its glassy frozen surface.  Rocky cliffs rose up behind the pool, and Gentlepaw noticed the deep snows clinging to the ledges and outcrops. Leafpool halted in a small sandy spot beneath the cliff, and faced her apprentices. The other three medicine cats sat behind her, watching respectfully, expressions full of delight.  Gentlepaw halted and sat down in front of Leafpool. Rainpaw copied him, his body trembling. Gentleoak glanced at his milk brother’s wide eyes and twitching ears and knew no cold touched Rainpaw’s skin. Leafpool regarded her apprentices, and raised her voice so it echoed over the Moonpool.

“I, Leafpool, medicine cat of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices, Gentlepaw and Rainpaw. They have trained hard to understand the ways of a medicine cat, and with your help, Gentlepaw and Rainpaw will serve their Clan for many moons.”

“Gentlepaw, do you promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry between Clans, and to protect all cats equally, even at the cost of your life?

“Yes, I do.” Gentlepaw answered, amber eyes shining, his voice soft.

“Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your true name as a medicine cat. Gentlepaw, from this moment, you will be known as Gentleoak. StarClan honors your intelligence, intuitiveness, empathy, stoic strength, gentle touch, and skills. We welcome you as a full medicine cat of ThunderClan.” She turned her attention to Gentleoak’s milk- brother.

“Rainpaw, do you promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry between Clans, and to protect all cats equally, even at the cost of your life?

“I do.” Rainpaw answered, his voice quivering with excitement.

“Then by the powers of StarClan I give you your true name as a medicine cat. Rainpaw, from this moment, you will be known as Rainsleet. StarClan honors your enthusiasm, ambition and sharp intuitiveness. We welcome you as a full medicine cat of ThunderClan.”

Leafpool rested her chin on Gentleoak’s, then Rainsleet’s heads. Both licked her shoulder. Kestrelflight, Littlecloud and Wiilwoshine walked up to Gentleoak.

“Gentleoak, we are happy to see you here this half moon. Welcome, Rainsleet.” Willowshine said.

“Gentleoak, Rainsleet, we welcome you both.” Littlecloud greeted Gentleoak, stretching his muzzle up to his. Gentleoak lowered his head to touch noses. Littlecloud’s eyes slanted into a smile. “You’re so opposite your sister. But we all love Indiclaw. She is a fine warrior.”

“I’m glad she is happy. My brothers and I do miss her.” Gentleoak replied, then sensed another moving up beside Littlecloud.

“I welcome you, Gentleoak, and Rainsleet.” Kestrelflight meowed, his eyes squinting into a smile. “I know you miss Smokewind, too, but she is a fine asset to WindClan. She can outrun us all, and can snap a rabbit up before it dives into its burrow. And I don’t think I need to embellish what she has taught us in catching those fleet deer.”

“I welcome you both, too.” Willowshine interjected, her eyes twinkling. “Your sister Bluefrost is a fine addition to RiverClan. She can break holes in the ice where no cat has done before. She says her father taught her to throw rocks for fun! We are in your parents’ and Clan’s debt for allowing her to join us.”

“I don’t think anyone was going to stop my sisters from following their hearts,” Gentleoak meowed, a laugh shaking his voice. The others nodded in full agreement.

“Come. Time to meet StarClan and receive your blessings.” Leafpool interupted, and gestured at the frozen pool with her tail. “Place your paws on the ice and touch the pool with your muzzle.”

Kyestorm felt Gentleoak’s eagerness as he obeyed and stepped onto the edge of the pool. Ice crackled and tinkled, and the clear ice reflected the moonlight and starlight which filled the small gorge. He placed his huge golden-brown paws with the black toe tufts on the ice and lay on his belly. He dropped his muzzle to the ice, and closed his eyes. His mind quickly drifted. After a moment of dark, Gentleoak’s vision cleared, and Kyestorm saw nothing of the other Medicine cats. Gentleoak stood up, glancing around, and Kyestorm felt his awe.

The Moonpool shone, released from its icy grip, reflecting Silverpelt, the half moon and hundreds of starry figures poised on the stones and craggy cliffs. Kyestorm recognized Firestar, Bluestar, Blackstar and Tallstar. Another cat joined them, a grey she-cat with a messy unkept coat and amber eyes. Gentleoak reacted with recognition, while Kyestorm stared at the she-cat’s snub-nosed face. Her mind filled with questions concerning the she-cat’s obvious Persian ancestry, which explained her unkept appearance. Kyestorm understood well how maintaining Persian coats proved utterly impossible without two-leg help. Before Kyestorm thought anything else, Firestar led the StarClan cats to Gentleoak.

“Welcome, young Medicine cat, of new blood born of fire and smoke,” Firestar said. “We’re more than thrilled to finally meet you here, and not in your dreams.”

“About time you arrived here,” the old she-cat grumbled, eyeing him. “I am Yellowfang. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“I’m honored, and you’re no stranger to me,” Gentleoak replied, and Kyestorm felt his stab of worry, that they may realize he carried a passenger in his mind, especially short-muzzled Yellowfang. Kyestorm, nor Gentleoak, never forgot the tales of ThunderClan’s medicine cat who served the clan before they moved to the lake so many seasoncycles ago. She gave her life for her Clan in a horrible fire. “I will work hard and never give you reason to doubt your trust in me, and my family.”

The old she-cat gazed sharply into Gentleoak’s eyes, and flicked her ears before uttering a sharp mroow of mirth.

“Carrying a visitor are we?” Yellowfang bared the tips of her yellowed eyeteeth. “I’m impressed, but not sure I like this.”

“Sorry, “ Kyestorm murmured through her son. “I, I had to see this important event in his life. Don’t be angry with us.”

“You have never disappointed us, Gentleoak” Firestar nodded slowly. “Nor you, Kyestorm. We know he lets you see through your dreams.”

“We understand,” Bluestar spoke up, shooting a glance at Yellowfang, stopping a retort. “It only shows how powerful your mind is, Gentleoak, to allow your beloved mother to witness. Show caution in revealing this, since some may wish to use it for ambitious purposes, but this shall be a wondrous aid to healing no other medicine cat has known.”

“I would never use it to hurt anyone,” Gentleoak assured Bluestar.

“We know,” Yellowfang assured him, then leveled her piercing amber gaze on him. Kyestorm felt Yellowfang’s amusement and cantankerousness flash through her.  “Kyestorm is it? Haarumph. Don’t fret yourself over my ancestry. My mother consorted with a pretty boy who blessed me with this wretched pelt.  If I had a coat like yours or your son’s, . . .ahhh, no use wishing. Its done and over.”

“Sorry!” Kyestorm whispered in her son’s mind. “Tell her I’m sorry.”

“No need,” Yellowfang lifted a lip, her eyes flashing with approval. “You birthed a fine medicine cat, and your kind bring good blood to our Clans. We’ve needed it for a long time. Gentleoak, use your sharp mind and wit, always. We will watch your path, always.”

“Do allow me to greet this new young medicine cat,” a grey she-cat stepped forward. “Greetings, Gentleoak. I’m Cinderpelt.”

“I know of you,” Gentleoak replied. “Honored to meet you.”

“Always use your intuition, for it serves all medicine cats well. In you, I sense great depth. Indeed, StarClan medicine cats shall light your path.”

“Thank you. I will not disappoint you,” Gentleoak looked over the group, amazed by so many starry shapes, and sparkling colors in their twinkling eyes. The starry cats flickered, and Kyestorm felt a cold breeze. Firestar stood up suddenly, uneasy, and scanned the heavens. Blackstar popped in beside Firestar.

“Lounging and gossiping, wasting time,” he warned with a growl. “Time to go!”

“Farewell, young Medicine cats,” Talllstar flowed in behind Firestar. “Hurry now. You must return home.”

“What?” Gentleoak meowed, dismayed as they winked out, leaving the Moonpool. The water rippled. Gentleoak strained is senses, but all the starry apparitions vanished, leaving the sparkling cliffs empty. He looked down at the Moonpool, and the ripples turned to waves.

“Gentleoak! Gentleoak! Wake up! Please wake up!” Leafpool’s alarmed tones stabbed into his mind. The sparkling pool and glittering rocks disappeared, and Gentleoak woke with a start. A cold wind whistled over the rocks and above, thick clouds covered the moon. Snow blew in, pelting the medicine cats in a barrage of fine particles. Gentleoak blinked, momentarily disoriented.

“Thank StarClan!” Leafpool explained, releif in her voice. “We’ve been trying to wake you!”

“I wouldn’t wake up?” Gentleoak leaped to his feet, and his shock and dismay lashed into Kyestorm. The ice tinkled beneath his enormous paws. He looked up at the roiling grey skies. “The storm!”

“Storm?” Leafool asked. “Was it not supposed to get here until tomorrow?”

“Storm! And it is almost tomorrow!” Kyestorm said, and Gentleoak parroted her. “A wicked Nor’easter! Get home! Fast!”

“Come on!” Leafpool yowled and Gentleoak leaped down the path, astonished at how quickly the snow piled up.

“Was I out that long?” Gentleoak asked Rainsleet, who ran at his side.

“Yes,” Rainsleet answered. “Everyone awoke before the snow started. At first we were reluctant to wake you for fear of disrupting something, but when the snow started, we kept shouting. We could not touch you. Everyone said no to that, but Leafpool was ready to break protocol. I’m just glad you finlly woke up!”

“Me, too,” Gentleoak met his mik brother’s green eyes, and Kyestorm felt his guilt. He glanced backward, and noticed Wiillowshine and Kestrelflight walking slowly beside Littlecloud. ShadowClan’s aging medicine cat shivered, and Gentleoak knew without a doubt, he might not make it home. As the medicine cats stepped slowly down the path, they halted, surveying the lands between them and home. Snow swirled out of the grey skies on a ferocious wind, blanketing the territories in yet more snow. Littlecloud’s shivering increased.

“I can’t make it,” he mewled, sinking to his belly.  Gentleoak rushed to his side.

“I’ll carry you,” Gentleoak dropped beside the prone tom.

“I don’t think I can get through that either,” Willowshine said, and Gentleoak spun his head around to her. She trembled, her short fur sticking out, and for the first time, Gentleoak saw age in the RiverClan medicine cat. Leafpool glanced at him, unsure of herself, as a tremor passed through her body.

“What can we do?” Rainsleet yowled, and Gentleoak noted how small his milk brother appeared. Though stocky, he possessed no ability to carry another cat alone. Kestrelflight stared toward his home, before looking at Leafpool. Snow coated his mottled grey pelt, and Gentleoak saw age in the WindClan medicne cat’s face.

“We should find shelter to ride out the storm,” he suggested.

Gentleoak glanced at Littlecloud’s shaking body, and he thought, if I carry him, who will break trail? He looked at his companions and realized he needed help to get Littlecloud home safe. His mind lashed out in desperation.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
CHAPTER TEN
PART 2

“KYEMAMA! INDICLAW! SMOKEWIND!” His thunderous mindcry bounced Kyestorm from his consciousness, and she jerked awake, thrashing, her tail slapping Demonstone’s flank.

“Gentleoak!” she wailed.

“Kyestorm! What’s wrong?” Demonstone asked, as the entire warrior den awoke. Outside the wind screamed through the trees, and in the dim light, snow swept across the hollow.

“Look! It’s halfway up the entrance!” Spiderleg cried out, his voice full of astonishment.

“The Medicine cats!” Kyestorm scrambled to her feet. “They are still up by the Moonpool!”

“They’ll be trapped!” Brackenfur exclaimed in horror. “The moon was out earlier! All was fine when they left!”

“This is a wicked bad storm, like the nor’easters we used to know.” Demonstone stood up. “Gentlepaw may get back, but Littlecloud and Willowshine . . .”

“He won’t leave them!” Demonstreak yowled. “He needs help!”

“We have to do something!” Kyestorm yowled, and plunged out into the belly deep new snow. Warriors behind her halted at the door, chattering in distress.

“ It’s so deep!” Birchfall meowed. “How’d it get so deep so fast?”

“It’s too much! It’s too cold!” Poppyfrost wailed, and shrank back into the warm den.

“In storms like this,” Demonstone replied. “It can fall very fast. It will be much worse by morning.”

“Follow me,” Demonstone plunged out into the camp, leaping like a two-leg’s horse, plowing a trail toward Highledge. Only Kyestorm, Demonstreak and Phantomstrike followed. He raised his muzzle to the snowy skies and bellowed. “BRAMBLESTAR!”

ThunderClan’s leader appeared at the mouth of his den, flanked by Squirrelflight. Both gaped at the howling snowstorm a long moment. Bramblestar carefully stepped down the rocks to the bottom of the cliff. Snow sprayed off the rocks, swept into the air by the wind with each step they took.

“What is wrong? Why even come out into this?” he asked.

“The Medicine cats, along with Gentleoak and Rainsleet, are still up by the Moonpool!” Kyestorm yowled in anguish. “Littlecloud! He’s so frail!”

“They’re not back yet?” Bramblestar asked, his eyes widening in surprise, before narrowing. “How do you know?”

“I watched Gentleoak’s ceremony. He let me tag along in his mind. Please, don’t be mad at him!” Kyestorm begged. “We have to go after them.”

 “The snow is already very deep.” Bramblestar gazed around camp. Elders peeked out from their den, eyes wide. Jayfeather stumbled into the snow from the Medicine den.

“Great StarClan!” his exclamation, muffled by the snowfall, barely reached Kyestorm’s ears. “The medicine cats are still up near the Moonpool. They’re having trouble.”

“Kyemama!” Phantomstrike spoke up. “We can go. We’ll get them home, all of us, you, me, Demonstreak, and Demonpoppa!”

“Intruder!” the sentry by the entrance yowled. Kyestorm recognized Cloudtail’s voice as he suddenly greeted the unseen cats. “Indiclaw! Snowsquall?”

“Hallo, Cloudtail! Kyemama! Gentleoak needs us.” Indiclaw barreled through the entrance, Snowsquall on her heels. They halted in a spray of snow. “Littlecoud is in peril! Gentleoak can’t get them home by himself!”

“We’ll help, too” a familiar voice floated up the slope.

“Bluefrost! Troutleap!” Cloudtail yowled, as Kyestorm’s smallest daughter plowed through the entrance, dwarfing Troutleap and Snowsquall. “Gentleoak called us.”

“You must go,”Jayfeather said, trudging through chest deep snow. “Kyestorm, you must try and connect with Gentleoak again so you know where to go.”

“How? I was asleep when he let me in on his ceremony!” Kyestorm danced in place.

“Concentrate,”Jayfeather answered sharply. “Call out to him in your mind.”

“I’ll try,” Kyestorm stopped moving, and closed her eyes. “Gentleoak! Gentleoak, where are you?”

Silence hung over the hollow, and Kyestorm listened to the wind, but nothing else came to her mind. Fear for her son flashed through her, and she ignored the shriek of the wind.

“Gentleoak, please, tell me how to get to you,” she mewed softly.

“Kyemama! We’re here,” Gentleoak’s voice whispered in her head. She focused, straining her ears, wishing Dovewing still possessed her powers. She struggled to see what he saw, but only swirling snow filled her vision. “I can’t tell where they are. Doesn’t anyone know how to get to the Moonpool?”

“I do,” Dovewing’s soft answer started Kyestorm. She opened her eyes and looked down at the pale grey she-cat. She stood in chest deep snow, already shivering.

“No, Dovewing,you’re shivering already. Of course I know the way,” Bramblestar added, then paced. His broad shoulders and chest pushed through the deepening snows. “All right, we should get moving. Squirrelflight, you are in charge of the camp while I’m gone.”

“We can’t risk you!” Squirrelflight jumped down the last of the rocks, halting in front of him.

“Yes, we can. I can’t risk losing perhaps one of the most skilled medicine cats in Clan history in Gentleoak, nor can we lose Leafpool. ShadowClan can’t lose Littlecloud! WindClan can’t lose Kestrelflight and RiverClan needs Willowshine.” Bramblestar headed for the entrance, head low, ears flattened against the wind. “Demonstone. You and I will lead. Kyestorm, Demonstreak, Indiclaw, and Phantomstrike, flank us and take turns breaking  trail. Snowpaw, please stay in Indiclaw’s wake.”

“I’m coming,” Dovewing announced, running up beside Phantomstrike.

“Me, too!” Sparkfire insisted, following Demonstreak. Bramblestar halted, glancing backward at the stubborn, shivering she-cats.

“I must come! My brother is up there!” Greywind burst from the warrior’s den.

“No. Stay here. Is that clear?” Bramblestar commanded with a growl. The she-cats stared a long moment before bowing their heads in capitulation. Greywind held his head up, braving Bramblestar’s glare.

“I’ll come,” Greywind announced, waving his fluffy tail. “I am not large, but I can withstand the cold, and I’m strong. My milkbrother needs me”

“All right,” Bramblestar agreed, eyeing the young one’s broad stocky body. “Let’s go.”

Kyestorm followed him out of the camp, and turned northeast into the forest. She and Demonstone surged to the front when Bramblestar sank to his neck in a drift.

“Mousedung,” he sputtered. “How are you two not floundering like a RiverClan fish out of water?”

“These!” Kyestorm raised one massive paw, while Demonstone helped Bramblestar out of the drift. She spread her furry tufted toes. “Our housefolk used to say we have natural snowshoes!”

“Snowshoes? Shoes?” Greywind asked. “What are those, Kyemama?”

“Housefolk put stiff pelts on their feet,” Kyestorm answered, and remembered why she felt the need to keep the deerhides. “Made out of something like the deerskins. They have weak feet.”

“Two-legs are just utterly weird,” Bramblestar muttered, and shook his thick short pelt. “Lead on, warriors.”

Kyestorm and Demonstone stood side by side, then heaved themselves ahead, packing a path though the deepening snow. Kyestorm flattened her ears to her head, eager to help her clanmates, desperate to find her sons.

“Leaving without us?” Kyestorm recognized Onestar’s voice. She spun around, and her heart jumped. Smokewind stood with him several foxlengths down the plowed trail, tall and unfazed by the snows and wind. Rowanstar and Mistystar, with Bluefrost, stood behind them. Indiclaw leaped down to her Clan leader.

“Follow in my wake, please! Stay safe!” Indiclaw meowed.

 “Lead on, warrior.” Rowanstar nodded, his eyes gentle.

The group trudged though the snows, making headway up the slope toward the Moonpool. In tandem, Kyestorm and Demonstone plowed ahead, their huge paws and bodies cutting a path through the deep fluffy snow. Bramblestar trudged behind them, unable to handle the constant trailbreaking, despite his broad build. Kyestorm and Demonstone plowed ahead, breaking through a huge drift. They reached the edge of the trees, and hesitated, gazing at the white-out conditions over the open moorland.

“Keep the trees on our left,” Bramblestar said. “We should reach the stream soon.”  He eyed Kyestorm and Demonstone, who both heaved for breath. “Fall back, Warriors. Demonstreak, Phantomstrike! Your turn!”

Kyestorm gratefully allowed her sons to take over. They surged to the front of the procession, and took over the lead. They broke path, lumbering like a pair of big two-leg horses. Kyestorm turned to Demonstone.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes,” he answered. “Just winded, like you. Otherwise, I am fine.”

Kyestorm moved into a brisk walk, catching her breath as she followed the group on the packed snow. Both of her sons possessed larger paws than hers, and Phantomstrike’s surpassed his father’s in size and width. The two young warriors called out to their brothers, but the wind whisked the cries away, muffling every sound except the moaning roaring winds. A cough sounded behind them and Kyestorm turned her head.

“You should have stayed back at camp,” Bluefrost admonished Mistystar, causing Troutleap to gape at her brashness.

“Nonsense,” Mistystar snorted. “I’m fine. This air is just so cold, and I’m not a young kit anymore.”

“Kyeeemammmaaa!” whispered through Kyestorm’s mind. She faced forward, ears up.

“Gentleoak! Gentleoak! Rainsleet!” She yowled into the wind.

“Here!” came the faint answer. Kyestorm focused on her inner vision and from her son’s view, she saw trees. Snow obscured landmarks, blurring distant detail, but the medicine cats hunkered in a copse of trees. She saw Littlecloud hunched with Willowshine between Gentleoak and Rainsleet, shivering. Kestrelflight  and Leafpool stood, shielding him, opposite a large rock protruding from the ground, which protected them from direct exposure to the wind. Snow coated all the medicine cats. Gentleoak and Rainsleet used their tails to brush the snow from Littlecloud’s back, and draping them over him, trying to protect his frail form from the storm.

“They’re in a group of trees! The stream is there and the slope rises behind them.” Kyestorm surged to Bramblestar’s side. ThunderClan’s leader raised his weary head.

“I know that place!” Bramblestar glanced back at his fellow Clan leaders, then called out to Demonstreak and Phantomstrike. “We all do. Head to the stream. Follow it!”

Kyestorm swelled with pride as her youngsters churned through the snows, showing little sign of fatigue. Ahead, the brook wove through the landscape like a dark, broken ribbon.  They followed it northward. The wind screamed across the open moorland, pelting them with fine snow. Everyone soon wore an mantle of white, and Snowsquall nearly vanished under the covering. Only his vivid yellow eyes gave away his position. Ahead, a shadow loomed out of the gloom, and Kyestorm recognized trees. Upstream the brook forked, and Kyestorm knew the lower tributary led to the Moonpool. They halted at the stream bank. Kyestorm looked down at the ice, noticing the thin ribbon of open water in the center. The bank on the far side sported a wind-sculpted dune that curved over the bank like a wave. The cats moved slowly upstream, until a cluster of windswept stones broke the flat surface.

“We cross here,” Bramblestar indicated the icy boulders.

“Remember to use these, and be careful.” Kyestorm raised a large paw. Demonstreak led the procession along with his brother. They leaped from stone to stone with ease, purposely clawing at the ice, breaking some free. It tinkled to the frozen stream. They plunged to the other side, opening up a new trail. Bramblestar followed, scrabbling a few times on the slippery surfaces. Mistystar, Troutleap, and Bluefrost followed. Mistystar let out a yowl, as she slipped. Bluefrost shot out her head like a striking snake and grabbed her Clan leader by the scruff, hauling her back to the top of the stone. Indiclaw landed on the rock, lending assistance in steadying Mistystar. Kyestorm noted the wide-eyed surprise on Snowsquall’s face, amused that Indiclaw continued to shock her mate.

“Mousedung, I am not as young as I used to be,” the RiverClan Leader grumbled, shaking off the enormous paw holding her.  “Thank you.”

“Great catch, Warriors,” Onestar commented in a grunt, carefully joining them on the big rock. Smokewind landed behind them, her large paws nimble, her tail up and waving for balance. Kyestorm jumped up, as the procession continued to meticulously cross the stream. Demonstone leaped after her, followed by Greywind. Greywind tapped the ice, and Demonstone turned.

“Don’t risk it,” he meowed into the wind. Kyestorm watched, as Greywind leaped over the frozen expanse to the rock. Strong muscles rippled under this thick pelt, covering a stocky frame, and Kyestorm noted how much Greywind presented a bigger more powerful version of his father. Kyestorm uttered a purr pf delight, knowing spending his kithood with her huge kits produced such strength in the young tom. She turned her attention to the front of the procession and saw her two sons steadily breaking trail along the stream, heading straight for a copse of trees.

“Halloooo Gentleoak!!” Demonstreak yowled into the winds. “Rainsleeeeet!”

“Here!” Gentleoak’s bellow drifted to them from the copse.  Phantomstrike and Demonstreak increased the pace, and in a short time, reached the medicine cats. Kyestorm surged up to her sons as they headed into he little clump of trees and brush. She spotted Gentleoak first, his amber eyes glowing like beacons in the swirling grey.  She barreled into the copse.

“Kyemama!” Gentleoak and Rainsleet cried in unison. “Demonstreak! Phantomstrike! Bramblestar!”

“Demonpoppa, Indiclaw! Smokewind! Greywind! You all came!” Rainsleet exclaimed, and swept snow from Littlecloud’s back. Indiclaw surged to the front, and dropped to her chest in front of Littlecloud.

“Can you get on my back?” she asked. Suddenly Phantomstrike stood before her.

“Let me carry him. I can make the crossing carrying him,” Indiclaw bowed her head to her big brother in affirmative. Phantomstrike turned solemn sea-green eyes to Littlecloud, who gazed up, shivering violently. “Do you have the strength to cling to my neck?”

“I think so,” Littlecloud answered, and pushed himself to his feet. Ice hung from his ears and tail. He shook himself, and clambered onto Phantomstrike’s broad back. He wrapped his paws around Phantomstrike’s massive furry neck and dug in. Phantomstrike flung his enormous tail over his back, covering Littlecloud. The small tom sighed with appreciation.

“All right, we walk three abreast, and keep one of these frozen medicine cats between you.” Bramblestar took control, organizing the pairs.

“Agreed,” Onestar added. “Smokewind, take point with Kestrelflight.”

“Bluefrost, assist your sister with Willowshine,” Mistystar suggested. Bluefrost nodded, and bounded over to Indiclaw. Snowsquall and Troutleap closed in behind their mates, shielding Willowshine from the wind.

“Please, Phantomstrike, don’t drop Littlecloud,” Roawanstar said.

“Never,” Phantomstrike assured the ShadowClan Leader. “I have my tail pressed against him. He’s so small its like holding a kit in place!”



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : remove image)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

Phantomstar57

avatar
Limerick
 CHAPTER TEN


♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
PART 3

In moments, the leaders finished yowling out orders with flawless precision, and the feline posse set out, traveling back down the trail through the deepening snows. The wind roared across the moor, battering the feline caravan, sucking heat from their bodies. Kestrelflight walked between Smokewind  and Gentleoak. Willowshine shuffled between Bluefrost and Indiclaw, with Snowsquall and Troutleap behind her. Mistystar and Greywind trotted on either side of Rainsleet, who needed little protection, but welcomed the opportunity to talk his brother’s and the Clan Leader’s ears off with his excitement. Rowanstar trotted beside Phantomstrike, watching Littlecloud with concern. Kyestorm and Demonstone sandwiched Leafpool, who shivered violently. Bramblestar took the lead, using his broad-chested and wide-shouldered body to plow through any drifts that accumulated in the long path back to camp. Onestar traveled beside him, assisting. They moved swiftly on the downhill slope.

Bramblestar and Onestar paused on the stream bank, then leaped ahead, bounding from rock to rock, brushing fresh snow from their surfaces. Kyestorm watched nervously as Phantomstrike glided from rock to rock, every bit of his playfulness shuttered, as he carried Littlecloud safely across the stream. Kyestorm scurried across with Demonstone, relieved when everyone reached the other bank safely. They followed the trail back to the trees, and finally back into the forest. The trees broke the ferocity of the wind, and the group moved faster on the trail. Warmed by their companions Leafpool and Willowshine stopped shivering and Kestrelflight moved with some spring in his step. Onestar stopped where the forest thinned to the east. The wind drove snow through the gap in the trees.

“We’ll go home from here.” Onestar said. “Thank you all for helping rescue our medicine cat.”

“We worked four clans as one.” Bramblestar nodded. “To rescue all of our medicine cats.”

“May StarClan light your paths home!” Onestar moved off, heading down to WindClan’s camp down the hill. Smokewind waved her tail at her siblings, and followed Onestar and Kestrelflight across the moor. Onestar paused once, and waved his tail in salute, before heading down the open moors to his camp. In moments the blizzard swallowed them, and they vanished from sight. Mistystar eyed the way home dubiously, and Kyestorm saw a tremor shake the RiverClan leader’s body. She thought of the long trek down to the lake and around to get to RiverClan’s territory, and she shivered, shaking out her long thick pelt.

“Come with us. Shelter overnight.” Kyestorm blurted out the invitation.

“I shall consider it, but only if Bramblestar agrees.” Mistystar nodded, hope in her tired features, as group turned back down into the forest. The wind swirled around them, less intense.
 
“Of course I will allow it. I insist. We have deer meat,” Bramblestar said, and led them into camp.

“How can we resist that invitation,” Mistystar answered, her eyes lighting up. Bluefrost and Troutleap exchanged glances of anticipation, and Kyestorm eyed them with understanding. Who in their right minds would decline a deer meat meal? Bramblestar led them down to the hollow.

“Hallo! We’re back!” Bramblestar announced, forestalling the sentries’ queries. He nodded at Birchfall and Lionblaze. They dipped their heads, acknowledging all the Leaders, before gazing up at Phantomstrike and his passenger. Cats peered out of dens, but none braved the deep snows to greet the returning rescue party. Bramblestar looked up at his den, where Squirrelflight peeked down, her green eyes shining with pride and delight. Bramblestar turned to Rowanstar.

“Let Littelcloud stay in our medicine den. Jayfeather will look him over. Take a meal and rest before going home.”

“Agreed,” Rowanstar nodded, and with a tail flick, told Phantomstrike to carry Littlecloud to the medicine den. Kyestorm saw Littlecloud lose his grip, just as they passed over the threshold. Jayfeather’s gruff scolding rose briefly above the wind, and Rowanstar merely lashed his tail as he allowed Littlecloud to fall on his body. Phantomstrike picked up the little medicine cat by the scruff, and carried him like a kit into the medicine den. Indiclaw and Snowsquall followed.

“We’ll keep him warm,” Indiclaw’s loud imperious meow drifted on the wind.

“Your warrior name should have been Indibrat,” Jayfeather’s grouchy retort followed. “But I can’t disagree, so yes, stay with him. Snowsquall, get him some fresh kill.”

Snowsquall ran from the medicine den and, halted, scanning the camp. Kyestorm held back an amused mew. She flicked her tail at the big hump of snow hiding the feasting rock.

“Over there.”

“Thank you, Kyemama!” Snowsquall replied in gleeful tones, his yellow eyes glittering with mischievous intent.

“Welcome, Son,” Kyestorm yowled cheerfully, watching his tail flag in answer. He dug into the snow-covered fresh kill pile and dragged out a Roe deer fawn haunch.  Grasping the leg in his jaws, he pulled it across camp and into the medicine den.


 “Leafpool, go get warm.” Bramblestar insisted, drawing Kyestorm’s attention. “Before Jayfeather comes after you.”

“I will, “ Leafpool answered, attention on Willowshine. “Come, get warm. Have a meal. The trek back to RiverClan will be long in this storm.”

Leafpool and Willowshine trudged through the snow to the medicine den, passing Rowanstar as he exited. Rowanstar stopped in front of Bramblestar.

“I’m heading back to ShadowClan camp.” he said.

“Alone?” Kyestorm asked, exchanging glances with Bramblestar.

“Yes, I am fine. I want to get back to Tawnypelt and the kits.” Rowanstar lifted his head, gazing toward his territory, peering through the thick snow.

“Understood,” Bramblestar meowed, and gestured at the fresh kill pile where a Muntjac deer leg stuck out of the snow. “Take some fresh kill home to them.”

“Thank you,” Rowanstar accepted, uncharacteristically gracious. He took the leg and dragged it toward the entrance. He paused. “Tell Indiclaw that she and Snowsquall may stay as long as Littlecloud needs rest. Then they may bring him home.”

“Of course,” Bramblestar dipped his head. Kyestorm wanted to squeal like a kit at the respect both leaders showed each other. She hoped this attitude prevailed over the next number of seasons. Kyestorm shook the snow from her coat, and  trotted to the medicine cat den. She halted at the entrance, watching her son tend his patients with expert techniques. Jayfeather flicked an ear in her direction. Littlecloud lay between Indiclaw and Snowsquall who vigorously shared tongues, drying Littlecloud’s coat. Willowshine rested comfortably with Mistystar. Troutleap and Bluefrost kept him warm, sharing tongues to dry his coat. He gnawed a leg bone, and nodded at Kyestorm.

“I don’t think anything like this has happened to us before.” Jayfeather grumbled. “Have we lost the ability to sense weather?”

“My fault,” Gentleoak mumbled. “I insisted. I wanted to go to my ceremony and did not want to wait another moon.”

“So you did know the risk?” Jayfeather snapped at him, then faced Leafpool. “And you allowed him to go?”

“The moon was out with clear skies.” Leafpool retorted. “I thought we had time.”

“Don’t blame Gentleoak.” Willowshine spoke up. “We went up there, too. The storm caught us all off guard.”

“He knew the risk more than the rest of us,” Jayfeather growled. “Yet he said nothing.”

“I thought we had more time, too,” Littlecloud retorted. “If Gentleoak didn’t go, would we have stayed home? I don’t think so.”

“He should have told us all to wait a month if the storm was that close,” Jayfeather grumbled. Gentleoak flattened his ears and pelt, his shame scent filling the den.

“Stop it,” Indiclaw snarled suddenly. “Even with heightened senses, my brother could not know exactly when the storm would strike! He may think he knew, but all he felt was his intuition and nothing more.  Do you really think with his medicine cat instincts and talents, he’d have risked you all just to not wait a moon? Am I right, Gentleoak?”

“Maybe,” Gentleoak mewed. “I did know the storm was coming.”

“But you did not know when!” Indiclaw snapped, her thick white ruff bristling with indignation.”Right?”

“No. I did think we’d have time, but, maybe my time with StarClan was longer than I thought.” Gentleoak murmured, his bushy tail twitching.

“It was! Very long!” Leafpool yowled. “We waited, and the clouds covered the moon, and I tried to call you.” Leafpool unsheathed her claws, digging into the stone floor. “Snow started falling so I called louder. I was ready to shake you awake, something we should never do,  but then you came out of your trance. But by then, the storm was in full fury.”

“That is why Blackstar and Tallstar appeared, stopped everything, and told me to go home.” Gentleoak bowed his head. “I was so excited and awed. I’m sorry.”

“He did get help,” Kyestorm reminded the disgruntled medicine cats. She leveled her gaze of Jayfeather. “Even you didn’t know they were in trouble until Gentleoak called out to me and his littermates. Everyone is safe now, and perhaps StarClan used it to remind us all why the last of the code exists.”

“I agree,” Mistystar nodded approval. Affirmative murmurs rippled around the den, The wind screamed outside in a sudden gust, and Kyestorm jerked her head up. She thought she heard howling. Her ears quivered, straining to pick up any odd sounds. She thought of the coyotes, and wondered where they holed up, and what they might do once the storm broke. She turned her head, peering past the wall of snow, and eyed the fresh kill pile, feeling apprehension, knowing coyotes likely ate deer, too. The clash between them and the Clans loomed large in the future.  She sensed it with deep unwavering certainty, but not knowing the when filled her with anxiety. She suddenly felt exhausted, and wanted to sleep.

“Its all over and everyone is safe. “ Kyestorm yawned.

“Thank you for coming for us,” Willowshine replied. “You saved  Littlecloud’s life, and maybe mine, too. We planned to go this moon, and none of us thought this would happen.”

“We knew a storm brewed,” Littlecloud meowed. “But it was a risk we all took. Don’t blame the apprentice, oops, I mean new medicine cat.”

“Mousedung,” Jayfeather grumbled. “I don’t blame him. If I thought for a moment there was such danger I’d have convinced them all to wait another moon. StarClan knows, bad things happen. It could have been so much worse. Time to focus on warming up our visitors for their trip home.”

“Come, let’s all get some rest, and thank StarClan nobody froze to death out there,” Bramblestar said. “Something tells me we’ll be literally digging out our dens come morning. Best we get back to them and stay warm.”

Mews of agreement answered him, and everyone slogged through the deep snow, bracing against the wind to return to their dens. Kyestorm followed her sons back to the warrior’s den to rest her weary body, and curled up with Demonstone, who settled in ahead of her. She snuggled against him, and trembled with a mix of anger and dread. The wind howled and moaned outside the den, and Kyestorm shivered. She soon slipped into a nightmarish slumber, filled with driving snow, running deer, and attacking howling  coyotes.



Last edited by Phantomstar57 on April 18th 2016, 5:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removing images)



Phantomstar
Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 
Author of KHAN: A MAINE COON

Those who refuse to learn from the past--are condemned to repeat it. In a truly free society, individuals succeed or fail by the consequences of their conduct
  
http://www.mariejsphillips.com/

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