I bolted through the dark trees as a heavy, starless night was blanketed above my head, blocking out the moonshine. Only an eerie, cold glow snaked through the shadowed, dense forest as I dashed into pitch-blackness. The dead trees surrounding me were black, its dying, jagged branches protruding out every which way, but they all faces upward in the end toward the sky. The night sky, or perhaps it was day, yet without a faint wisp of light.

The ground under my sore paws was cold, hard, dead just like almost every other thing in this dull, inky place. As my paws moved automatically, I couldn't even feel my being anymore. My pelt ripped, scarred, my ears shredded, blood leaking down my wounds. I winced at the pain but kept on running, farther, faster, toward some unknown destination. All I knew was to run, forward.

My ears ringing, my vision blurry, I knew they were after me. They were close, or at least I think. Either my fear or something else getting to me, as I can hear their paw-steps sprinting after me like a cold shadow following me wherever I go. Like ghosts. And perhaps it was only the echo of my own paws skimming the earth, but how was I to know?

I was accused. Only an apprentice, but they called me a murderer, a killer, a violation of the law. A mistake. Now, they were after me, and likely it'd be the last thing they ever do.

"You're a killer!"

I shut my eyes, hot tears threatening to fall.

"Nothing but a cold-blooded cat, deserving to die!"

They didn't understand. They never understood me, they judged me, but could I really deny the truth? What was I to do to protect a secret? When the others knew, I had no choice but to bring my fangs to their throat and feel their blood run down to the earth, then disappear.

My consciousness was dying. My hope was diminishing. Perhaps there was a light somewhere up ahead, but I didn't see it. Not yet. Maybe not until I fall into darkness.

They banned me from my own Clan, barely an apprentice myself. When the truth wasn't enough, I ran. And they sent the strongest warriors after me. To this day, I do not know where they are. But everyday, I keep running. Now, I am afraid to look at myself. Afraid of even a reflection, because what am I now? A living skeleton coated with blood and armed with claws, as it is. Only a young cat, but perhaps I truly am evil.

"One day we will find you. Spill your secrets. Kill you so you do not hurt more cats. One day."

Yet my own life is worth nothing to them.

I can feel the branches tearing at my pelt and flesh. I can feel the wounds opening up again, threatening to swallow me whole into an endless pit.

Perhaps I should die. If not now, it will be soon. What's the point of waiting, of suffering, of keeping a dangerous secret I know will destroy everyone, including myself, anyway? If I keep running, where will I end up? Who is following me?


Questions barge into my mind but I start to collapse. Maybe outside, maybe inside. I cannot tell by then. As I feel my skull hit the ground and feel my energy slowly vanish, I see flashes of light, of laughs, of joy, dancing in front of my eyes. I see happiness. A happiness that I was perhaps meant to have one day. But I cannot regret anything else now. This is the path I've chosen. This is the road I'll walk on, from the day I step into darkness, and to the time that I eventually fade away.

Challenge for SugarClan, and it's my last one. Just a little something about an apprentice on the verge of death. I'd say that this one is pretty abstract. I didn't want to explain anything in too much detail (such as what exactly was going on) and I only wanted to give a basic outline so readers can fill in the blanks. Or it's just because I'm lazy. But I prefer the first one. :P And after this, I won't post anymore stories in a long while. XD