Outcast

Outcast. Rogue. Loner. Ripplepaw has been called all of those names and more. And yet she is a loyal apprentice of ThunderClan. No one thought the pretty blind she cat would survive. They thought she would only be a nuisance. But how can she survive when she doesn't know the pure joys of friendship, trust, and love?

Prologue:

The Blind Truth

A lone kit stumbled out of the nursery. She blinked as the light of the nearly full moon spilled over her soft fur. But the moon and stars didn't matter to her. Neither did the beautiful colors of sunset or the ominous dark of the sky before a storm. For her pale, sky blue eyes couldn't see any of that.

She twitched her ears as a cool breeze ruffled her fur. She lashed her tail in frustration as she realized that the world was still pitch black. She unsheathed her tiny claws and sank them into the rain softened earth.

A dark grey queen slipped out of the nursery. She sighed in relief as she spotted the she kit just a tail length away. As she padded forward, the little kit's head whipped around.

Her nose twitched as she struggled to identify the cat that was approaching her. "Mother?" she asked hesitantly.

The queen left out a soft purr. She sat down next to her daughter and drew her closer with her tail. "Yes dear one," she mewed as she smiled sadly, an expression that the kit would never identify. "Yes," she repeated. "It's your mother Ripplekit."

Ripplekit blinked, and then nodded. She leaned lightly on her mother's shoulder and sighed. She stayed that way, just breathing in the queen's sweet scent, for a couple of heartbeats. "Mother," she murmured softly, "I'll never be able to see will I?"

Even though it was a question, the dark grey she cat was sure that her only kit already knew the answer. The queen sighed, "No."

Ripplekit's gaze fell to her paws. After a moment she mewed, "I'm tired." She turned around and followed her scent trail back into the nursery.

The queen sighed and watched Ripplekit until she disappeared into the shadows of the nursery. She looked up at the moon and murmured, "StarClan protect her. Please…"

"Smokesoul?"

The queen whirled as another she cat spoke her name. Her dark blue eyes were wide with alarm and fur was fluffed out so she looked twice her normal size. She forced herself to relax when she realized who the cat was. "Yes Dawnstar?" she mewed with a respectful dip of her head.

The dark ginger she cat looked at Smokesoul. Her green eyes were glazed with uncertainty. She took a deep breath, unsure of what to say. "You know that she will never be a warrior right?" she meowed, flicking her tail at the nursery, referring to Ripplekit.

Smokesoul's pelt bristled and she unsheathed her claws. "Of coarse she will be!" she spat. "It may take a while for her to learn, but she will! I'll do it myself if I must. But whatever happens, she will become a ThunderClan warrior!"

Instead of being outraged by Smokesoul's outburst, there was only sympathy in Dawnstar's green eyes. "That's not what I mean. Think how hard it would be fight when you can't see you're enemies. She would be killed in her first battle… I'm sorry, but you know it's true."

Smokesoul hung her head in defeat. With a last, solemn nod of farewell to her leader, she turned and slipped back into the nursery.