Hey guys, thank you for being so patient with me. I'm hammering out these chapters whenever I get a chance and man, I've been improvising a lot I tell you what. Here's your next chapter!
Gingerfur awoke, his eyes opening and closing to wipe away the sleep, and he stretched. Standing up, he looked around for the Starclan cats and found that they were gone. Rather, the group of cats had fallen asleep in a circle of pawprints, and Gingerfur felt happiness flood through him from ears to tail tip. Through the dark, he managed to nudge his friends awake after finding them, and they all stood, admiring the work of the pawprints that were left so meticulously in the dust. They looked for a few more moments before Gingerfur stood and flicked his tail, giving the silent order for everyone to move out. No cat questioned, and oddly enough no cat spoke either. It was as if they were on a silent vigil after a warrior's ceremony, and none of them were allowed to. Instead of questioning the sacred silence, Gingerfur led them out of the ravine, and up towards the Thunderpath, where the river lay in wait on the other side.
Whitestorm was honest when he had said that Gingerfur had made the right choice, and it was proven with the empty Thunderpath and the silence that was usually overtaken by the roaring of the monsters. He led the way across, the feeling of the rough Thunderpath almost unable to be felt through their thick pads that had grown tough throughout their journey. His head was high, and he saw the river a few fox-length away, and turned to the group, giving a nod and leading the way between Thunderpath and the river.
The grass underfoot was soft and springy, and easier on the cats even though they're barely felt anything thanks to the mountain paths. The wind was cool, slightly blowing compared to the raging winds they had experience earlier from the monsters, and soon enough they had reached the moorland. They crossed it swiftly, some unknown force giving Gingerfur the exact directions to go which no cat questioned. He walked with his head high, eyes blazing with the force of Starclan and the excitement of their destination growing closer and closer rapidly. As they climbed a small rise they could see in the distance, silhouetted against the dark of the night and the moon itself, the peak that were mothermouth.
Gingerfur could no longer contain the excitement boiling within him, and neither could any of the other cats. Even Sonya was sprinting after Gingerfur, who had taken off at lightning speed. Another Thunderpath lay in front of them, still as the other one, and the cats leapt across it, only hesitating briefly to check for monsters. With that, Gingerfur skidded towards what seemed to be the entrance, only to stop dead as he realized what he was truly staring at.
Suddenly, Skypaw crashed into him, sending him tumbling forward and the pair flopping on the ground in an ungraceful manner. Gingerfur yanked his tail from underneath the white apprentice, and shoved all four of his legs off of his body, standing and shaking the dust that had accumulated on his pelt. He glanced at Skypaw and mrrowed in amusement at the apprentice's dirty and matted fur. The others caught up, eyes shining in amusement as the clumsy apprentice got to his paws.
"How often are you going to be attempting that maneuver?" Nightsplash asked, referring to when the apprentice had bowled over Springleaf in the mountains. Skypaw stood, his pelt prickling in embarrassment. Sonya glanced at him, nudging him.
"Maybe for your warriors name they'll call you Skyfall," she teased, and Gingerfur's tail curled up in amusement before he turned back to the entrance to the Moonstone known as mothermouth. What used to be a seemingly nice tunnel was now a narrow entrance, no light to tell how far down or if it was even possible to make it all the way through. The other cats fell silent, realizing that one cat might be able to make it through, and the rest were going to refuse to go. It was small enough that Gingerfur would have had to crouch, and even then his body wasn't going to fit. He was the largest cat in the group, in the clans themselves, it was purely improbable to send him. There was only one cat small enough to fit through.
"No, you're not sending Sonya." Skypaw snapped immediately as the older cats turned to the pair. Sonya frowned in confusion, and Skypaw crouched, tail lashing and teeth bared. "Gingerfur, no!"
"Skypaw, we have to get a piece of the Moonstone." Gingerfur meowed with a voice that was strained beyond control.
"Send someone else; Springleaf? Gingerfur, can't you? Why..- Nightsplash? I'll go, don't send Sonya!" his voice was high-pitched with fear, and he was speaking incoherent sentences, and Gingerfur and Springleaf glanced at one another. They all knew that the only cat who was going to fit was Sonya. Sonya swallowed, looking around and realizing what she was going to have to do.
"Skypaw," her tail rested along his shoulders, gaining his full attention. He turned, and she blinked, swallowing. "I believe that Starclan will protect me in here, and I know that they have entrusted a lot into a housepet- er.. kittypet. And now you must do the same for us all.' With those words, before any cat could stop her or argue with her, she slipped into the darkness that was all that remained with Mothermouth.
Redpaw looked up at Bramblestar, and found that anxiety and sleeplessness was apparent on his leader's face. Bramblestar had been dealing with more than he could handle whether it was Windclan, or the sudden rain that had driven all the animals to their dens for the past moon. The clan was growing hungry, and the hollow had flooded twice already, causing the clan to move out into the abandoned twoleg house and wait until the water had lowered. The clan was already weakening, and whether Bramblestar knew that tonight was the full moon and cats would need to go and gather on the island.
He now announced his arbitrary decision not to go.
The clan was in uproar, Dustpelt shouting that it was unnatural for such a thing to be. All cats were supposed to go to the gathering, and the rest of the clan yowled their agreement.
"Let me point out the fact that neither Riverclan nor Shadowclan were present at the last gathering!" Graystripe yowled over the other cats, and they fell silent. "We are weakened enough already, and the last thing that we need is to go back to the island to find that Windclan is going to attempt what they did the last time for a second chance at overtaking us."
"Don't fret my clanmates." Bramblestar meowed. "We will be sending a cat in to watch from afar and see what is going on." Murmurs spread through the clan, wondering who this mystery cat would be.
"If you would like, Bramblestar, I will go." Lionblaze stood, meowing loudly above the other mumbling. Cats began to murmur louder, approving him as their choice cat.
"Lionblaze, you are indeed worthy of such a mission, but unfortunately you are not the cat I've decided on." Bramblestar meowed, and Lionblaze dipped his head respectively, sitting down once more as the clan began to worry over who would be chosen. Who was more worthy than Lionblaze? "I have chosen a smaller cat, one who is more nimble and quick thinking when it comes to dire situations. A cat who has shown initiative before, and who is brave despite his small size. A cat who, if he does this properly and returns to us with what we need, will be made a hero and a warrior as well."
"You're sending an apprentice?" Cloudtail shouted for confirmation. Bramblestar nodded slowly, and it slowly dawned on Redpaw who their leader was talking about as he other cats in the clan began turning to look at him.
"Redpaw, will you do this for us?" Redpaw's eyes widened in amazement and surprise.
"Me?" he squeaked, and amused purrs rippled through the ranks.
"Yes, and for those who say it isn't wise I shall choose to ignore your words for now." Bramblestar added before any cat would speak. "I believe in Redpaw, and I know that he is more than capable of accomplishing this task, and once he does, the warrior name that he shall be given will be given in the greatest honor for being here in our greatest time of need." A shocked silence settled into the hollow, and through the mere moments it had taken Bramblestar to speak, the rain had slowed until it gently began to fall once more. Redpaw dipped his head.
"What do I need to do?" he asked, and Bramblestar stood taller at the apprentice's acceptance of the mission.
"Simply go to the gathering island to see whom resides. If any of the clans do show up, then return to us with whatever they say. If not, then return to us and we shall continue with your warrior ceremony tomorrow morning either way." Redpaw dipped his head, standing and heading towards the entrance as the other cats scrambled for their den when the rain began to beat down in sheets. "Hurry, and get there before any of the clans might!" Bramblestar's last orders were yowled over the rain as Redpaw shot out of camp.
The bushes and grass were wet underfoot, and Redpaw had trouble keeping his grip from time to time, but managed to run straight out of Thunderclan territory, leaping over the bordering stream with a mighty jump. He sprinted along the shores of the water that were a few fox-lengths further up the beach due to the rain, and didn't stop running until he reached the marshes. There he slowed to a quick stride, unwilling to stop completely as the gathering time would normally start soon. His fur was soaked, and he shivered against the rain that bore down on him, but kept moving so that he would not be too cold. He quickened his pace as he neared the tree-bridge, and found the stench of Shadowclan to be alarmingly strong. Knowing that they weren't on the island yet relieved him, but once he had crossed the bridge as quick as one could without taking an unnecessary dive, he found that Shadowclan was hot on his tail. Shadowclan? He dashed into the clearing, looking for a hiding spot that wasn't too obvious and also not too far away that he couldn't hear the leaders speaking. He knew there were leaders because the smell of Windclan was becoming stronger as well. How his nose worked so well in the rain, Redpaw wasn't sure, but he was thanking Starclan for every moment that he could use it. Without even considering what he was doing, knowing that he was out of time, Redpaw picked the nearest tree, a large one at that, and climbed all the way up it's trunk until he could see all but no one would notice him hiding. Only when Blackstar began climbing up the bottom and stopped to sit on a large limb did Redpaw realize he chose the best and also the worst hiding spot. The leaders' tree. It was good, because now he could hear. Yet is he was caught, there was no easy way of escaping.
Onestar yowled to signal the arrival of Windclan, and the cats all mingled together as one clan. Onestar joined Blackstar, even sitting on the same branch as the Shadowclan leader, and the cats below all huddled together, shivering to listen to what the leaders had to say.
"At the last gathering, Windclan heard what Shadowclan and Riverclan were up to, and for unknown reasons Riverclan won your battle; the defeat must have been as cold and difficult to chew as the prey we manage to find in this inclement weather." Onestar spoke, and Redpaw could practically taste the deception in the air. "However, Windclan has felt your defeat, as we tried to take over Thunderclan, and a single apprentice managed to escape and bring more troops, deeming our attack worthless. If that apprentice were only here now.." Onestar trailed off, scratching the branch with his claws as furious hissing and yowls protruded from the crowd. A cold feeling of dread coiled its way into Redpaw's stomach, but he managed to swallow and continue listening. "So, what I propose is that we take both our clans, and in a couple of moons we gather together and we bring Thunderclan under our reign, then take on Riverclan as well. The whole forest will walk under our paws, and we will never taste the ashen sorrow of defeat again!" Onestar yowled, and the clans stood up as one, cheering, nuzzling one another and leaping into the air with claws unsheathed. Redpaw's stomach seemed to plummet into his paws as he realized that they were more outnumbered than they expected to be. There was no way that Thunderclan would be able to take on both Shadowclan and Riverclan at the same time. He shivered, stepping backwards onto a small twig that snapped in two and fell. Redpaw watched in horror as it fell to the cats below, and he prayed that it would hit the ground without notice. Yet Starclan's luck seemed to dissipate as the twig clipped Blackstar's ear and then hit his paws. He frowned, then looked up to find nothing there but the rain and darkness. "What's the matter?" Onestar asked, nudging the white leader. "Let's celebrate!" And with that, the cats all left to go back to their clans, and discuss how they were to attack.
Redpaw managed not to move, despite the immense pressure on his claws, until both clans had gone, and then he dropped down, branch by branch, onto the ground. He had leapt off the leader's tree onto another, digging his claws in and sliding down the tree about two fox lengths before stopping and hanging by his claws. They would be sore for a few days, but the information he had received was vitally more important than his own self. He sprinted off the island, the wind buffeting him and slapping the rain against him. Now, to get home and report to Bramblestar. The only thing that bothered Redpaw was his ceremony. What's the point of becoming a warrior when what was about to befall upon them was nothing that 10 warriors could stop?
Oh, how about that cliffhanger? Here's a secret about me: I'm a hypocrite. I hate cliffhangers, but I always enjoy leaving them!
So, will Sonya make it through the damaged, tiny remains of Mothermouth?
Will Thunderclan be able to live through the attacks from Shadowclan and Windclan?
Let me know what you all think!