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NEW BLOOD - ONE SHOTS & Short Tales!

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1NEW BLOOD  - ONE SHOTS & Short Tales! Empty NEW BLOOD - ONE SHOTS & Short Tales! on June 12th 2015, 1:53 pm



 Smokewind hunched in a clump of heather with four other warriors, eying a small herd of Roe deer grazing the windswept moors. The creatures pawed away the snow to reach the dried grasses and brush. The brisk breeze blew into her face, carrying the strong scent of prey, and she glanced up at the clear skies, then back at her black-smoke coat which glittered with a coating of snow. Satisfied that her camouflage held, the Maine Coon of WindClan twitched  the tip of her bushy tail.

“You’re crazy,” Crowfeather growled. “We’ll never ever catch one of those! Especially being so dark against the snow.”

“Yes, we can,” Smokewind insisted in a whisper. “We’re downwind. They can’t scent us. Move very slowly.” Smokewind glared the WindClan deputy.“We rolled in the snow, right? It’ll hide us perfectly.”

“And cold, but it’s your hunt, warrior,” the dark gray tom grumbled, and nodded, a glint of approval in his eyes. He and Gorsetail exchanged glances. Smokewind eyed Weaselfur, the forth cat in the hunting patrol, and dipped her head with approval. The ginger tom gave away his position by blinking his green eyes. A thick mantle of snow covered his body. To her satisfaction, even Crowfeather’s dark pelt appeared pale in its coat of snow. Gorsetail’s pale-grey and white pelt disappeared under his camouflage.

“We’ve never ever caught a deer before,” Gorsetail murmured. “I know you did in ThunderClan but, we have no trees to ambush them from. How do you expect to even get near them?”

“Attacking from the trees is not the only technique. Just copy me.” Smokewind dropped into the snow, and crept forward, burrowing like a rabbit. She kept her tall ears flat to her massive head, eyes on the prey at all times. Her hunting patrol followed behind her. She stopped every time one of the little Roe deer lifted a head, then crept forward as they grazed. Smokewind and her patrol inched closer to the herd. When they reached but a few fox-lengths away, two bucks raised their heads, looking away from them. To her dismay, one bleated an alarm and the herd scattered.

“Mosuedung!” Smokewind spat. “Something spooked them. Attack now!”

Smokewind exploded from the snow, her long legs blurring as she raced ahead of her clanmates, a arc of snow sparkling in her wake. She focused on a small young buck that ran her way, and out of her peripheral vision, she spotted Harespring and Furzepelt running after a doe which swiftly outdistanced them. She knew now why the deer shied away and outrage flooded her.

“Fox-hearted saboteurs!” she hissed. Anger put springs in Smokewind’s large paws and she charged the little buck. It dodged, but she spun on toetip, spraying snow into the air, and launched herself at it, landing on its back. The buck sagged under her weight, but struggled to run, trying to toss her off. Smokewind snarled, wishing she possessed the weight of her big brothers, as she latched her long claws into the deer’s neck. She glanced back at her patrol, lead by Crowfeather.

“Assistance please! Hurry!” she yowled, before sinking her fangs into the back of the Roe deer’s neck. It bucked and kicked, but she sank her claws deeper, riding the little deer across the moor, slowing it down. Crowfeather caught up first and attacked from the side, leaping onto the prey’s shoulder. The buck staggered sideways as Gorsetail and Weaselfur leaped at the deer’s haunches. Gorsetail yowled in sudden pain, and Smokewind rolled an eye, never loosening her grip. Gorsetail hung onto to the buck’s hind leg, but blood trickled from a cut down his chest where the prey’s hoof struck him. Crowfeather dropped to the snow, and launched himself again at the buck’s shoulder. The prey stumbled and its hind end finally collapsed under Smokewind’s weight and her patrolmate’s ceaseless slashing claws. Smokewwind caught sight of Harespring and Furzepelt hurrying toward them, and rage flashed through her body. She shifted her grip, braving the buck’s front hooves, and sank her fangs into the soft throat, using all her anger to drive her jaws shut. The buck thrashed, then sagged to the snow, going limp in moments. Smokewind let go, sneezing the blood from her nostrils.

“Well done!” Crowfeather panted, rising to his feet. Smokewind caught her breath, noting, not for the first time, her clanmates’ gaunt bodies. She growled deep in her chest, thinking how close they came to losing a much needed meal for the clan.

“I told  you we could do it,” Smokewind muttered, shaking out her ruff. She slanted her ears back, hearing Harespring’s pawsteps crunching the snow.

“Hey, you took our prey,” Harespring sneered, lashing his tail. “We saw the deer first.”

“You spooked them so we’d fail!” Smokewind spat in fury, whirling to face him. Her bottlebrush tail whipped snow into the air.

“No, we didn’t,” Harespring drawled, contempt in his voice. “You interrupted our hunt.”

“How dare you claim what you could never catch!” Smokewind yowled, glancing at Crowfeather, who sat beside the buck, watching, eyes narrowed into slits. He gave Smokewind a barely imperceptible nod.  She stepped up to the buck. “I’ll be taking this to camp, not you.”

“No you won’t,” Harespring retorted, and reached down to grab a hind foot in his jaws. Furzepelt grabbed the other hind hoof.

“Let it go,” Smokewind advanced on Harespring, coat bristling, fangs bared, claws unsheathed.

“No, you stupid offspring of a worthless kittypet. We flushed it. Its ours,” Harespring jeeerd, and Smokewind caught Crowfeather rolling his eyes, before he met Smokewind’s glance.

“The one you spooked is long gone,” Smokewind snapped. “This is our kill. I’ll not let you take credit for it.”

“Really?” Harespring tugged the little buck, and Smokewind lost her temper. With an inarticulate screech, she plowed into Harespring, bowling him over in the snow. She sheathed her claws at the last moment, and pummeled his head, then pounced on his back, grabbing the scruff of his neck. He yowled like a terrified kit, eyes wide, unable to move a muscle under her grip and weight.

“Stop disrespecting me in front of our Clanmates, or I’ll do more than rattle your mouse-brains!” she growled through clenched teeth, dragging him away from the kill. Furzepelt bristled, and hissed.

“Leave him alone,” the she-cat minced toward Smokewind, who released Harespring, then slapped his head a few more times, hard enough to slam it deeper into the snow. She lifted a paw toward Furzepelt, toes spread, claws gleaming from between silver tufts of fur. Harespring lay prone in the snow, eyes unfocused, dazed, and battered.

“You want some of this?” Smokewind hissed at Furzepelt., who whirled and raced back to camp, her yowls echoing on the cold air.

“Oh, no,” Smokewind mewed, and sagged, the rage draining from her when she realized what she committed. “I’m in trouble for attacking a Clanmate.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Crowfeather finally spoke. “Onestar will know what happened up here. Come, let’s get your fresh kill into camp.”

“What about him?” Smokewind glanced at Harespring, a growl rising in her chest.

“Let him make his own way back to camp,” Crowfeather meowed, a chuckle in his voice. “Don’t worry about him.”

Smokewind lay down in the snow and allowed her clanmates to pull the buck over her back. She stood up with effort, and Crowfeather in slipped beside her, taking some of the weight. Gorsetail and Weaselfur steadied the fresh kill on either side as they walked back home.

“He’s so wrong about you and your family,” Weaselfur commented, steadying the buck’s head. “I’m so glad you’re here, to teach us to catch such excellent prey.”

“That fleapelt needed a good smack down,” Gorsetail added. “I can’t believe he chased those deer to make us fail. If not for your speed, we’d be coming home empty.”

“Thank you,” Smokewind replied, and met her clanmate’s gaze. As they entered WindClan’s camp, she lowered her eyes, feeling a flash of dismay. Onestar stood beside the meager fresh kill pile. She and her patrol carried the prey to the pile, then slipped out from under the buck. Did he mean to punish her? What if he believed Harespring’s and Furzepelt’s lies? Her legs trembled, and she felt a stab of homesickness for her former home in ThunderClan, and missed her mother and brothers.

“Nice catch,” Onestar commented. Smokewind lifted her head, and noticed Furzepelt standing behind Onestar. “Someone tells me this is her and Harespring’s rightful prey?”

“No,”Smokewind meowed, as a tremor lifted the fur along her back. Crusted snow crackled, and a few clumps fell from her flanks. She then noticed the twinkle in her leader’s eyes, and stopped the snarl before it curled her lips. “Its my patrol’s catch.”

“Crowfeather?” Onestar addressed his deputy.

“Smokewind speaks the truth.” Crowfeather scowled. “They almost ruined our hunt, and I think they did it on purpose. If not for this warrior’s great speed and skill, the hunt would have failed. I allowed Smokewind to, uh, defend her catch.”

“Though I can’t condone fighting with a clanmate,” Onestar said, the humor leaving his golden copper eyes. “I also despise lying, and almost depriving the clan of food because of a personal grudge.”

“He isn’t injured,” Crowfeather grumbled. “And if Furzepelt told you otherwise, she lies.”
“I see,” Onestar tilted his head, sparing Furzepelt a glance. He lashed his tail, and she ducked her head away. “How close did they get to a catch, and where is Harespring?

 “Those two couldn’t catch a Roe deer if it walked up and presented its throat to them.” Crowfeather shook himself, and Smokewind realized he struggled not to laugh. “Harespring will be along shortly, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t remember much.”

Gorsetail and Weaselfur guffawed. Smokewind allowed herself a toothy grin when she understood her clanmates supported her, and she felt accepted by her adopted clan. She relaxed her guard.

“I may have smacked him silly,” she admitted.  “Like Kyemama once did to Furzepelt. But I never unsheathed my claws.”

“Well done, young warrior.” Onestar returned her smile, then glanced past Smokewind. She turned her head, and she bristled with agitation. Harespring stumbled into camp, weaving to and fro, tail dragging behind him, his eyes unfocused. Furzepelt ran up to him, mewing and fawning, then assisted him to the warrior’s den.  Smokewind relaxed, feeling a short pang of remorse for striking him so hard, which evaporated with Onestar’s next words.

“Come, all cats to this feast! Make sure elders, queens and kits are fed first,” he yowled, delight in his tone. Smokewind tore off a huge chunk, and carried it to the Elder’s den. Both of them lost their cranky expressions and gaped at the gargantuan fare before them. Whitetail moved forward, her ragged white pelt hanging on a gaunt frame.

“Excellent catch, young one,” she purred. “Perhaps we elders won’t die this leaf bare after all.”

“So,” Whiskernose grumbled, his eyes straying to the warrior’s den. “Since that young fool almost blew your hunt, may I have his share?”

“If it were up to me,” Smokewind meowed at the brown tabby tom as she exited the den “I’d give you his share of the entire kill.”

Cackling raspy laughter followed her out into the center of camp. Oatclaw and his hunting patrol loped through the entrance, returning empty-jawed. His light brown tabby coat covered a thin frame. He paused in shock, spotting the new fresh kill. Smokewind hurried to greet her mate, and he eyed her.

“Your patrol caught that, didn’t they?” he purred.

“Yes, but we almost didn’t, thanks to Harespring,” Smokewind grumbled, just as the former deputy emerged from the warrior den, still unsteady, led by Furzepelt. Harespring kept his head down and avoided her gaze, but Furzepelt glared at her as they moved to the fresh kill. Smokeiwnd bumped Oatclaw. “Come on. No way do they eat before us. Not after they almost sabotaged our hunt!”

Smokewind ran to the deer, and brazenly took a place. Oatclaw settled in beside her, forcing Harespring and Furzepelt to wait their turn. She pointedly ignored both of them, filling her stomach, and taking more pieces for the elders.

“No,” Onestar’s voice groiwled, and Smokewind glanced backward. The Clan leader stood, his expression stony, one paw on Furzepelt. “You two wait until everyone is finished. Then you may take your share.”

“But we . . .  “ Furzepelt protested.

“But nothing,” Onestar thundered, his anger causing both cats to cringe. “You two purposely disrupted your own Clanmates’ hunt. I won’t tolerate such behavior.  So you’ll wait until everyone is filled to the brim, and has a second meal before you can eat. Go to the warrior’s den and wait until I say you eat.”

Smokewind’s heart swelled with satisfaction as Harespring shuffled back to the warrior’s den with Furzepelt. He glanced back once, and hate glittered in his eyes. Furzepelt looked back, and disdain gleamed in her eyes. Smokewind growled so deep in her chest her whole body vibrated. Oatclaw uttered a hiss.
“They’re such fluffheads. Even mice have more brains,” the lanky tom murmured, nuzzling Smokewind’s ruff. She ignored him, her attention on Harespring and Furzepelt, who turned away quickly and disappeared into the den.

“Next time,” she muttered. “Next time, you flea brains, next time we meet as adversaries, I’ll kill you and not regret a thing.”



Author of Warrior fan fiction,
NEW BLOOD-Born of Smoke & Fire and all its spinoffs and one shots. 

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
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