Part Three: The Prophecy

The new leaders stood up. Their fur seemed to crackle with energy and almost glowed with light.

"Go now, rebuild the clans. Make them as you see fit, choose a new spot for territory. We give you our blessing," SpiritClan proclaimed. The leaders nodded, ready to start anew.

XXSEASONS LATERXX

Cloudstar flicked his tail as he shakily settled down into his nest. He coughed and wheezed, for he had green cough. His blue eyes were milky and his head lolled to one side. Brightwing padded in and dropped some catmint from their limited supply. The Clans had been restored, though they were still quite small. They had settled into a little forest with some rivers. Each Clan had claimed their territory.

"Really, you need to eat this," scowled Brightwing. She was the new medicine cat, named after Brightheart. Cloudstar saddened at the thought of her. He missed her deeply, but he would soon join her in SpiritClan because Cloudstar was on his last life.

He pushed the catmint away and hoarsely meowed, "Save it for the cats that need it the most. Brightwing sighed and left him to peacefully sleep. When she came in a little later to try and persuade Cloudstar to eat the catmint, Brightwing discovered that to her horror, Cloudstar's fur was as cold as the ice his fur looked like, and there was no heartbeat. He had finally joined SpiritClan.

She wailed, and collapsed on his body. Despite her efforts, the fragile, old leader was gone. She stumbled away and made her way to the rock CloudClan had been using for announcements.

"Let all cats old enough to hunt gather around this rock, for I have something to say," she cats sat around and looked at her expectantly. The sick cats peeked out from the medicine cat den.

"Cloudstar is dead." Wails of disbelief and cries of sadness echoed through the camp. The first leader was dead. When nightfall came the Clan sat vigil for him. Acornstar was now leader of CloudClan. He was kind and thoughtful. As Brightwing helped the two elders, Grassear and Lilysong, carry Cloudstar's body, she wondered what would happen. Would the Clans, fragile as they were, survive? She pondered this and much more as Cloudstar's body was placed in his grave.

She closed her green eyes and opened them. She was in complete darkness. Wails peeled through the air and mist wreathed around her, forming itself into the shape of a black cat with one white paw. He had a snarl on his face and looked so terrifying she nearly fainted. Brightwing heard voices and tried to find them but she was locked in position. The voices crept ever nearer, whispering and chanting.

Brightwing screamed in terror as blood began pouring like a river around her. Bodies floated in it, their mouths moving but never saying a word. Riding it was the black cat she'd seen earlier, an evil grin atop his face. Brightwing watched as he turned toward her and leapt. In that split second before he left the ground, time seemed to slow and Brightwing heard a crystal clear voice utter words.

"Four will come,
Hawk, Night, Sand, and Branch,
To unite the Clans with Peace,
Against the darkness to come."

Four cats were huddled against the tirade of crimson liquid. They seemed to be able to move even though Brightwing couldn't. One was a black she-cat with stunning green eyes. Nightpaw, a voice whispered. Two others, a cream she-cat, also with green eyes and a light brown tom with blazing amber eyes. Sandpaw and Branchpaw, the voice whispered again. The last one, a tan she-cat with brown spots, white paws, and multicolored eyes squished in further. Hawkpaw, the voice uttered again.

A brilliant white light, so bright Brightwing closed her eyes, flashed and the blood, the cats and the wailing vanished. A single, white kit stood on a rock overlooking the entire forest, determination set on her tiny face. Then everything disappeared in the blink of an eye.