When all is lost Challenge from Waterstar03 | Warriors Challenge forum was created by Misgiving, and this Challenge was created by Waterstar. I was only given the main character's name. Thanks! =)
"Flamepaw isn't as strong as the other apprentices, Cloudstar."
"He can't fight at all!"
"He's too small! Even a kittypet could fight better than him!"
Flamedrop sighed as these voices continued to stick to his memory, making the situation he was already in worse, if that was even possible. When he was a kit and an apprentice, he'd ignored these cats, hoping to one day show them that he was just as strong as they were. To show them that even though he was small, he could fight off anything. Even as a warrior when he actually understood what his weakness meant for the clan did he strive to prove himself.
But not anymore.
Since that day down by the large river, Flamedrop had actually realized how true all of those voices were. He wasn't even close to being strong enough to fight off the large dog. Flamedrop was half it's size at most, so at camp no one blamed him, but he did. He knew better than to blame it on something else. This time it was actually his fault.
So as he sat by the ever flowing river on the large boulder that was slick with water, Flamedrop thought of only how he should rid himself of the painful memory as well as the deadly sin he'd committed two moons ago. He thought of nothing but an alternative he'd rather never think about. But it was the only option. . .
It wasn't raining like Flamedrop thought it was. In fact the sun was shining brilliantly on the mid-spring morning. Most of the kits would be playing right now, and the elders would be sunning themselves while they got the chance. If it were a normal day, Flamedrop would be hunting with Iceflower, a she-cat whom he'd been friends with for some time.
But today was not a normal day. Heck, it had not been normal for two moons. Ever since the accident, Flamedrop had been here. Right by the river where his sister died under the clutches of both a dog, and a frozen river. Such a painful death that had been his all his fault.
"Flamedrop, you've been sitting there all night," said a sweet familiar voice that had crept into his ears and through his thoughts so that he could actually register it. He didn't look around to greet Iceflower, though. He just wasn't in the mood. "Is it that hard to come down and hunt with me?"
"Go away," Flamedrop muttered, his eyes staring off into the distant meadow across the river where they would usually be hunting at this time. "I don't want to hunt." There was movement behind him, and though he tried to retreat back into his thoughts, curiosity got the best of him.
Iceflower's long white fur was flickering as the breeze blew past her, and the sun made her amber eyes sparkle with such perfection that made Flamedrop smile, if only slightly. This sight made Flamedrop remember when how he had met Iceflower so many moons ago.
It was in the meadow they were both looking at. Just six moons ago. The sunflowers and daisies were swaying in the warm breeze as the green-leaf sun was shining over them. It was such a beautiful day to tour the territory of MeadowClan, seeing as Flamedrop had just been named an apprentice. Iceflower, also an apprentice, had been hunting there with her mentor when she saw Flamedrop and his sister coming by. His sister had been really eager to see Iceflower, and they'd gotten along so well together.
This memory just reminded Flamedrop of his sister, so he pushed the memory away, and awaited the lecture he was sure to receive from Iceflower, who had turned her gaze to him after realizing what he must have been thinking of. After a few moments of silence, she sighed, a sad look in her eyes as she remembered that same day.
"I know how hard it was when you lost your sister, but you can't just waste your life away thinking about it," Iceflower told him. "Daisypetal would have wanted you to move on and become a strong warrior."
"But that's the problem," Flamedrop murmured. "I-I'm not strong at all." Iceflower rolled her eyes with an irritated sigh, making Flamedrop wish he'd never even said the words. He just lengthened the conversation, meaning he was probably not going to have any more peace and quiet, which was something he'd been craving for the past two moons.
"That's not true," Iceflower muttered. Flamedrop jerked his head around to face the pretty white she-cat, his eyes narrowed with anger.
"But it is!" Flamedrop hissed. "Cloudstar, Jaggedstripe, Snaketail—all of them! They all think that I'm too weak, too small, and too immature to do anything! Face it, Iceflower. It's because of my size that Daisypetal died, and it's because my weakness that I couldn't fight off the dog. It's all my fault!" Iceflower's amber eyes narrowed with irritation, and her white fur bristled with anger.
"You only think it's your fault because you need to blame somebody!" Iceflower growled. "You're driving yourself crazy because all you can think about is how weak you were when the time came to save her! Flamedrop, that dog would have killed anybody, including you! Why do you have to beat yourself up over this?" Flamedrop looked away from Iceflower as the memory was once again brought out into the open.
He knew the answer to her question, but no matter what she said, he wouldn't answer. Flamedrop wasn't going to let the memory go because it was simply the last he had of Daisypetal, and he wanted to keep it forever. Unfortunately, that memory just reminded him that it was his fault she was dead, and then he'd blame himself, which would bring back the memory once again. A never-ending cycle he didn't want to stop.
"Before you continue blaming yourself, just start thinking of what life is really about," Iceflower muttered, the anger still covering her angel-like voice. "Until then just stay up here like a boring elder awaiting his death, for you are no use to the clan in this state." In that quick movement, the white she-cat turned herself around, jumped off of the rock, and walked away without another word.
Think of what life is really about? Flamedrop thought to himself. How? How can I do that when all I can think of is Daisypetal? It just reminds me that it was all my fault. Even though this was his final thought on the matter, he continued to bring out the happy memories from when he was younger.
The first memory that came to mind was the first time Flamedrop had caught a mouse. It was still green-leaf, but just barely, so the prey was even harder to catch. He'd run away from his mentor because she had been trying to make him 'take it easy' in battle training seeing as Daisypetal was twice his size. But he didn't want to be protected. He wanted to be strong.
So it felt as if he'd killed a fox as he proudly picked up his mouse, and though Flamedrop knew he would be getting in trouble, he didn't care. That was when Daisypetal showed up and though just an apprentice, he'd guess she was just as tall as a newly named warrior.
When Flamedrop saw her, his eyes instantly narrowed, angry that she had the nerve to tell him to go back. They had waited in silence for a long time before Daisypetal finally spoke up, talking of how mouse-brained his mentor was. This surprised Flamedrop, because most of the time his sister was more like a medicine cat apprentice in that she never wanted to hurt a fly. Seeing her talk bad about his mentor actually made him feel a lot better.
After he replayed the memory in his head again, his brain automaticly switched over to the most recent memory of Daisypetal, making him think of that snowy day near the river where that large dog came out and killed his sister. Flamedrop winced at the memory that reminded him of his sin.
Finally, after an agonizing ten minutes, Flamedrop shook his head and forced himself to think of something else. The memory of his first gathering came up, making him curious. It had been a warm late green-leaf night where the stars were shining brilliantly the sky.
This was where Flamedrop had met Otterpaw of LakeClan. They had talked for a long time before Daisypetal joined in, and in that time he found that the he and apprentice had a lot in common. But Daisypetal had begun to get jealous, and so she scared Otterpaw off. He never again did see the cheerful LakeClan apprentice after that, but he wasn't angry at his sister at all, for he knew she was just trying to protect their relationship.
But just as last time, after the memory stopped, Flamedrop thought of the day of her death once again, forcing the large knot in his throat to tighten. But he didn't cry, for he wanted to be strong. He wanted to show no weakness to those around him.
But who's around me? Flamedrop thought, frowning just slightly as he began to think of his actions from the past two moons. Everyone has left me alone these past few moons, and though some have tried to comfort me I just order them away. So why am I forcing myself not to cry? As Flamedrop thought of the question, another memory turned up into his head.
It was when they were elder apprentices, and they had both just witnessed the death of a very close friend. They were the first ones to reach Ivypaw's cold body, and after they sent their good-byes to StarClan where their friend would rest, Daisypetal had started to cry. Flamedrop stood up and had led her toward the apprentice's den where the tears continued to roll down her face. "Don't cry," Flamedrop had told her in a calm voice as he tried to hide his own grief. "I'm right here."
Ever since that day he'd promised himself not to cry, for Daisypetal needed him. But now she didn't, because StarClan was the one protecting her. Flamedrop realized that he was allowed to cry, but stopped himself just as the first tear was about to make it's way down his cheek. He forced himself to stop as he figured out that he still couldn't cry, for that would just worry Daisypetal, no matter if she was in StarClan or not.
The memory of her death played in his mind once again, giving Flamedrop the urge to scream. He was yelling at StarClan within his own mind, asking them why it had to be her. Asking them why it couldn't have been him that the dog grabbed just before it fell into the frozen river. It would have made things a lot easier.
Iceflower's last words to him rung in his head: "You are no use to this clan in this state." Flamedrop sighed as he realized how true that was. Being a sad depressed warrior on the verge of suicide wasn't helping MeadowClan at all, but he couldn't think of anything else to do. Daisypetal was the only cat he had left to think about, and she was dead.
But then Iceflower's previous words suddenly came back to his ears. "Why do you have to keep beating yourself up over this?" The answer was easy, but Flamedrop was now aware of what the white she-cat was really asking: "Why are you killing yourself over your sister when you have me?"
In this new realization, Flamedrop felt the knot in his throat tighten even harder, almost choking him. Iceflower had been his friend since they met, and that's all he thought of her. Until now. He noticed how she'd just looked at him when those words were spoken. She was pleading for the real him to return home. But the only thing Flamedrop could think of was why.
Then he remembered that day after he'd become a warrior. Iceflower, who was also a warrior, had come up to him and congratulated him, but only received a quick 'thanks' in return. Iceflower had frowned before sulking away, and when Flamedrop had tried to comfort her later on that day, she had just walked off with a huff, unable to look back.
Flamedrop realized the betrayed look in her eyes when she'd run off. It was also a look of love. This brought back so many memories when Iceflower had hinted her love for him, and he'd just gone back to Daisypetal. Flamedrop wasn't brought back to the memory of his sister's death. Instead he went back to the memory of just a few moments ago when Iceflower had spoken to him.
"Before you go blaming yourself again, think of what life is really about." Flamedrop understood what she'd meant now. Iceflower had been trying to make him think of what he had to live for, which was next to nothing. But Iceflower was someone that Flamedrop had always wanted to protect, though not as much as his sister. Still, Iceflower's reminder made him realize just what he needed to feel in order to move on.
Now the question was, could he?
The answer he finally gave? No.
How could he move on? Flamedrop was no longer considering himself a warrior or an apprentice. He wasn't even considering himself to be a kit. He was a loner now, because no matter how hard he would try, there was no way he'd be strong enough for the clan. He was just an extra mouth to feed.
Then he remembered the death once again.
It was a very cold day, and though Daisypetal had been trying to hunt, he wasn't. Flamedrop had found no point, seeing as it was leaf-bare and there was no prey left. It was too cold to hunt anyway, and the blizzard around them was too powerful. He just wanted to go home. Daisypetal had insisted on catching something, so like always, he went along with her.
When they reached the river and found that it was frozen, they sighed and stared at it for a few moments, silently praying that the storm would stop. But after a few moments, they had finally given up. So they turned around and made their way back to camp, which was further away than Flamedrop would have liked.
About half way there, he had noticed a growling noise that Daisypetal had looked past, too busy talking about something that Flamedrop had ignored because of the threat that seemed to have an advantage over them. His sister didn't notice that something was wrong until it was too late.
The large fluffy black dog ran from the bushes, attacking Daisypetal as Flamedrop watched in horror. He had immediately attacked the dog, only to be thrown off seconds later. Flamedrop kept trying, though with each second, his sister was dying as the dog shook her as it's large teeth continued to sink further into her fragile body.
Finally getting angry enough to be stronger, Flamedrop had lunged toward the dog with narrowed eyes. He'd given the black dog a large gash on it's shoulder, but that was all. The dog noticed Flamedrop after a few moments of complete silence, and then grabbed his small body with it's sharp teeth and threw him into a near by tree.
Flamedrop had found himself in darkness moments later after he hit the tree, but he was only unconscious for a few moments. When he opened his eyes he saw the dog take off toward the frozen river with his bloody sister in it's jaws. The feeling of panic overpowered him, but Flamedrop forced himself to run to his sister's rescue.
The dog was too fast for him though. By the time Flamedrop reached the river, the only thing he could see was the cracked ice smeared with blood as two dark figures struggled to find their way back to the surface, only to find that they were trapped under the ice.
Suddenly Flamedrop felt the sensation of being choked with grief. The knot in his throat continued to get tighter and tighter until he could no longer breath, and suddenly he got colder. Flamedrop was confused, even more as he felt rocks beneath him. In the memory there was nothing but snow, so why would he be feeling pebbles beneath him?
Flamedrop abruptly opened his eyes to reality, finding that he wasn't on the rock by the river anymore. He was in the river. Though it was new-leaf, the river was still cold, and judging by the pebbles he was scrapping his paws on, he was at the very bottom of the river, unable to breath as the water swallowed him.
As Flamedrop's instincts immediately screamed at him to return to the surface, he stopped himself. He didn't find it a coincidence that he was drowning. Instead he found it as a sign from StarClan that it was just his time to die. It was also Flamedrop's time to show StarClan that he was good. It was his time to show StarClan that he knew what he'd done.
So as his remaining breaths of oxygen leaked out of him, he prayed to StarClan that this would be enough to ask them for forgiveness. But just as Flamedrop thought it was all going to be over, someone grabbed his scruff, pulling him out of the pebbles that he held on to.
At first Flamedrop refused to move, but after a few moments, his body gave in, no longer having that bit of strength to hold on. The cat who was trying to save Flamedrop pulled him up to the surface, which wasn't that hard since everyone in MeadowClan knew how to swim brilliantly. Then in just two seconds, he was in the meadow on the other side of the river, breathing heavily as his lungs automaticly called for air.
"Flamedrop?" asked the cat beside him. "Flamedrop, are you okay? Flamedrop!" A white blur pushed him to his senses as he coughed up the water in which had filled his lungs. After that the cat sighed with relief, a certain feminine edge to it that sounded familiar.
"Are you mouse-brained?" the cat asked him as he stared at the ground. "You're soaked! Do you have any idea how worried I was?" Flamedrop lowered his head as he realized just who was talking to him and how much she knew. It was Iceflower.
"I-I'm s-sorry. . ." Flamedrop murmured, though it was quiet because of how much he'd made his body work just a few moments ago. "I-I just. . .fell. . ." Iceflower growled lowly with anger, taking his words as an insult.
"Do you think I'm stupid?" Iceflower snapped. "You tried to drown yourself on purpose! Do you think that would do our clan any good? Do you think that would do you any good?" Flamedrop stayed silent, knowing that he was in no position to answer the questions.
"We need to get you to Mudroot," Iceflower said after a few moments, trying to help Flamedrop to his feet. "I'll need help getting you dry, because right now you'll just catch a cold." Flamedrop tried to get up, but he couldn't. Literally, he couldn't. His body wouldn't move when he told it to. It just stayed still, leaving Iceflower to panic.
Flamedrop's ears blurred out the sounds of Iceflower's screams for help as his vision turned to complete and utter darkness. His breathing slowed down, and soon, he was nothing but a lifeless figure of ginger fur. In a few moments, he couldn't hear, feel, smell, or see anything.
Just as Flamedrop was about to think he was going to the Dark Forest, a figure appeared in front of him, lighting up the lush forest around him. The figure was starry and ghost-like, as if attempting to hide the cat's real fur color. But the eyes gave everything away. Flamedrop would recognize those eyes anywhere.
It was Daisypetal.
A/N: I do not own warriors.
Not my best peice of work, trust me, but it's okay I guess. =)