Another old wonder from Honey. :D
Sequel: Bird's Call (Part Two)
Allegiances to SunClan
Leader- Kestralstar- dark gray tom with lighter paws
Deputy- Smallwing- small tortoise-shell she-cat with green eyes
Medicine Cat- Olivefoot- black she-cat
Jetfoot- light-footed black and white tom
Mallowtail- white and tabby she-cat
Rockclaw- tabby tom with white tail and paws
Petalfrost- pale gray she-cat
Rainstorm- gray tom
Ashclaw- gray tom with amber eyes
Crowstrike- muscular black, gray and white tom
Adderstrike- tortoise-shell tom
Dawnsong- ginger and black she-cat with blue eyes
Birdcall- ginger she-cat with blue eyes
Palepaw- tom with faint ginger-colored fur and amber eyes
Frostpaw- white she-cat
Pinepaw- brown tabby tom
Fallencloud- gray and white she-cat (Pregnant with Rockclaw's kits)
Tawnywhisker- brown tabby she-cat (Mother to Rainstorm's kits, Pebblekit, Berrykit, Owlkit, and Graykit)
Timberpelt- old brown tom with a battle-scarred muzzle
Goldennose- golden tabby she-cat
Embertail- gray tom with dark, amber eyes
Olivefoot squinted up to the dark sky. Dusk had fallen not long ago while she had just helped deliver Goldennose's kits. Silverpelt now glowed behind the clouds passing by, covering the moon and making it pitch-black now and then. She looked to the stars believed to be their warriors ancestors when she saw one star twinkle brightly than the others. Oh my! Is this a sign?
She was looking for a good legacy for Goldennose's kits but never had this happen before. What does this mean?
Chapter One: Nightmares
Dawn patrol. Birdcall thought as a paw prodded her awake. She was already awake of course, another nightmare ruining her sleep. It was the same nightmare that she has had for a whole moon. She talked to Olivefoot about getting poppy seeds to help her sleep, but all she did was dismiss her to her warrior duties.
"Nightmares are just what they are, nightmares. It'll go away before you know it." But that was days ago and still her fur ruffled everytime glowing eyes appeared behind a bramble thicket...
"Birdcall! Wake up!" Birdcall awoke with a start from her daydream. Those happened easily too.
"Ugh. Fine" Still sleepy, she got out of her nest and gave her self a quick wash and followed her Clanmate, Adderstrike, out of the warriors' den.
"Took you long enough" grumbled Mallowtail. The senior warrior was pacing back and forth while her apprentice, Frostpaw had a quick wash.
"Sorry." She mumbled her apology seconds before the four of them plunged into the forest.
Birdcall licked a paw and drew it slowly over her sister's ear. "And then when I leaped, the sparrow had already jumped away! I was mad!" Dawnsong told her poor hunting story as they shared tongues, but Birdcall was barely listening. She was still focused on the nightmare that has been haunting her for the past moon. She never got past the sight of the glowing eyes. Every time she panicked, she woke up, finding herself back in the warriors' den sending pieces of moss flying at her sleeping denmates.
"Birdcall! That's the second time today! What's worrying you?" A concerned mew came from her sister. She looked at the deep depths of her blue eyes wanting to tell her everyting but she couldn't bring herself to it. She didn't want her fur bristling every night too.
"Nothing." She muttered and licked down a piece of stubborn fur down on her paw.
"Are you sure? You seem really spacey lately."
"I said it was NOTHING!" Though she was furious, she didn't mean to yell like that. By now, there were cats staring at the two of them, making Birdsong even more guilty.
Her sister got up and replied a curt, "Fine." and slipped into the warriors' den with her tail high. Birdcall sighed and put her muzzle between her paws wrapping her tail around them to hide the embarassment of what just happened. These nightmares were ruining her life: socially and physically.
Chapter Two: Making Up
It was two days after Birdcall and Dawnsong had fought but still the two had yet to talk. Only being on patrol together once, they still didn't talk, only pointing to a squirrel or mouse in the bushes. This has even grabbed the attention of Goldennose, the mother of the two.
"Birdsong?" she had rasped. With her muzzle speckled gray and her voice failing, it seemed that anyday the she-cat would go, but for the past few moons, she has gotten better.
"Mother, you should be in the elders' den resting." She barely looked up from her mouse. Why did everyone worry about me! Worry about the borders or upcoming leaf-bare!
Goldennose ignored her daughter pressing on, "Rockclaw and Pinepaw told us about the fight when they brought us our prey." She layed down beside Birdcall, her bones creaking. She let out a sigh as she finally was in place but Birdcall took no notice,
"Why don't you just talk to Dawnsong and instead of me. I'm just wasting your time."
"I already did. She said the same exact thing."
"Then stop wasting your time on this. You should go back in the elders' den."
Goldennose glared at her daughter, getting up with more ease than she did laying down. "I'm a warrior, not a poor old mouse."
Birdcall put her muzzle between her paws like she did when she upset Dawnsong. I make every cat mad!
Birdcall finally looked at her mother with full sorrow in her eyes, "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out that way and I-" She broke off as Goldennose rested her fluffy tail over her mouth.
"Save it for your sister." That was all she said as she left her daughter, her mouth wide open, and padded into the elders' den in the bramble thicket.
Birdcall looked back at her golden tail disappearing into the den as she got up. She located Dawnsong by the apprentices' den, sharing fresh-kill with Petalfrost.
Chapter Three: Tooth and Claw
It was the morning of the Gathering when Rainstorm, Mallowtail, her apprentice Frostpaw, and Birdsong went out on a quick border sweep. Mallowtail lifted her white muzzle to the air and drank in the scents of the forest. Birdsong copyed and detected a faint scent of fox. Mallowtail glanced around, probably looking for the orange fur of a fox but Birdsong rested her tail across her shoulders.
"It's stale." She said this with a small smile and Mallowtail shook off her tail and continued forward, following Rainstorm. Birdcall brought up the rear of the patrol, just a tail-length behind Frostpaw. The white she-cat had been an apprentice for 5 moons but yet acted like a warrior,
"Catch up already, will ya?" Her white tail lashing in frustration, but Birdcall ignored her, casually padding along the old deer trail. Frostpaw sighed and ran ahead, shoulder-to-shoulder with Rainstorm. The tom took no notice as they neared the LightningClan border. Only having three Clans in the forest was easy on patrols. Though the number of the Clans was the same as always, Birdsong has hear of other Clans, up to four, in a group living around a large lake. It was too far for any curious cat to venture to, but it seemed that Twolegs could get there in only a few minutes...
Distracted, Birdcall ran into Mallowtail. The she-cat growled at her for a moment but broke off as another hiss sounded from the other side of the border. Peeking throught the brances of a towering oak, Birdcall could make out the shape of a cat in the lower branches. Another one was perched a branch higher. The closer she looked, she realized that a whole row of angry LightningClan cats were waiting on their side of the border. Hissing at the nearest cat, a gray tom, Birdsong began backing away towards Frostpaw.
Whispering in her ear she said, "Reinforcements. Now. Quickly." The white apprentice nodded before breaking into a run back towards camp, a far while away. A tom, a dark brown tabby jumped down from the oak tree and hissed to his group of warriors, "Get her, she's getting reinforcements!" A black she-cat and a gray tom obeyed and raced after Frostpaw.
Oh StarClan, save us!
Immediately, a she-cat with dark ginger colorings, jumped onto Birdcall's back, hissing. She instantly went limp, to fool the warrior, but she gave no sign of victory and continued to cling onto her back doing nothing. They're keeping us pinned down until they can change the border markers and claim this as their new territory!
Glancing over to her right, Birdcall could make out the tabby and white markings of Mallowtail underneath a tom's brown fur who had her pinned down as well. She couldn't see Rainstorm, though she already knew that the tom had already been stopped. The leader of the patrol, as far as Birdcall could tell, was LightningClan's leader himself, Toadstar. Most cats stayed in the oak tree on their side of the border while others had already started remarking the border, at least 5 to 6 fox-lengths further in.
Birdcall hissed in anger and the she-cat on top of her batted her muzzle with her paw. How could she protect her borders if she is simply beaten by a fat and lazy she-cat sitting on top of her? With a burst of anger combined with adrenaline, Birdcall bunched up her leg muscles and leaped up as high as she could. The she-cat that had pinned her down was no longer on her, but instead, dazed, laying in the grass. With a yowl of happyness, Birdcall launched herself at the tom pinning Mallowtail down. She had gotten the tom off of Mallowtail enough that she had time to slip out and join Birdcall in slashing the warrior with their front paws. In the corner of her eye, she could see Rainstorm escape the same way she had done and leap onto the tom's back.
Another yowl, a loud, more fearsome yowl sounded from a little while away. The reinforcements! Frostpaw made it! Within a heartbeat, Frostpaw, Smallwing, and four other warriors came bursting through the undergrowth and started chasing the fleeing LightningClan warriors. Birdcall joined Crowstrike on sending an unusually small, black and white tom across the border, growling and leaving behind a blood trail. It wasn't long before Toadstar jumped down from his perch on the oak tree and joined his Clanmates in their fleeing. But before he disappeared he threw these words over his shoulder at Smallwing:
"Be warned you little kit, this isn't the last you saw of LightningClan!"
Despite the warning, the battle patrol continued to cheer with their reigning victory. Birdcall glanced over the border and saw the black and white tom she and Crowstrike defeated. The word 'kit' from Toadstar's departure still echoed in her ears...
Chapter Four: Too Young or Just Too Small?
That night, her nightmare still came back despite all of what happened at the Gathering later that night to think about. LightningClan had made more threats to the Clan. MarshClan simply didn't enjoy talking to the Clan nor look at them for defeating their allies. Even her nightmare now has a small, black and white kit straying too close to the bush where the eyes glowed...
Birdcall got up from her nest and gave herself a quick wash. Most cats were still sleeping. Even newly named warrior, Frostnose, who had received her name after getting reinforcements so quickly and later sending the two warriors who had followed her, a hard lesson from trying to stop her.
She padded out of the warriors' den feeling refreshed despite her nightmare. Her sister, Dawnsong, was eating a vole by the fresh-kill pile, her fur gleamed in the pale sunlight of dawn. Birdcall padded over to join her and grabbed a finch for herself.
"Hey." She greeted the ginger and black she-cat before taking a bite of her prey. The flavors of the forest tingled her taste buds. That was one of the things she loved most about living in the wild, "What's up?"
"Nothing." Dawnsong's mouth was full with vole so that 'Nothing' sounded like 'Nfufin'. Birdcall purred and flicked her sister's ear with the tip of her tail. "What?" She protested, this time with no food in her mouth.
"You sounded like an angry badger.", joked Birdcall as she prodded her sister in the side, playfully.
"HEY!" The two were, in seconds, tussling around with purrs of delight.
"Excuse me, but I think the nursery is over there." Birdcall and Dawnsong both looked up to see Jetfoot.
Dawnsong broke off from her sister and said, with a pit of a purr, "Oh, Jetfoot, didn't you do that with your sister?"
Jetfoot rolled his eyes. "When we were kits. She's the Clan medicine cat and I'm a responsible father to Crowstrike."
Dawnsong grumbled something Birdcall couldn't make out, but the senior warrior just walked away, his blue eyes with a gleam sparkling inside. A memory, perhaps?
Her sister came over and flicked Birdcall over the ears with her paw. "Let's go hunting."
Two mice and a large rabbit later, the two she-cats entered the camp and spotted a large crowd surrounding the nursery. Birdcall dropped her catch on the fresh-kill pile and found her mother among the throng of cats.
Goldennose's eyes gleamed with happyness, "Fallencloud kitted. Two she-cats." More warriors for the Clan...
"That's great!" exclaimed Dawnsong as she joined her mother and sister. "More warriors!"
"Kits for now," corrected a dark gray tom. His white paws made him known as Kestralstar, leader of SunClan. "But yes, warriors adventually."
"It may be a tough leaf-bare for the two," added his fair deputy, Smallwing, who was sitting only a tail-length away. Kestralstar agreed by giving a curt nod before entering the nursery.
"Is she taking visitors?" Birdcall asked her mother. She had always been anxious to see new kits. Being a mother was a long dream of hers, if only she found the right tom.
"Yes, but only a few at a time. Since Kestralstar just went in, you two can go next." Patiently, Birdcall and Dawnsong waited outside the nursery until the dark gray head of their leader popped out. Birdcall got up instantly while Dawnsong took a bit longer. Kestralstar gestured for the two to enter with his tail.
She was bursting with excitement when she entered the warm nursery. Its warm atmosphere was much more dramatic in change from the chilly evening air outside. After her eyes changed to the dim light inside, Birdcall could make out the mother and her two kits. The father, Rockclaw, sat with his tail rapped around his paws, watching the newcomers enter.
"Hello." the tom whispered. She guessed that the newborns had been sleeping but when she got closer, she could see the two suckling their mother. One was a tabby like the father while the other was gray.
"What are their names?" asked Dawnsong first, even though Birdcall was about to herself.
Fallencloud looked up from her suckling offspring and answered, "The gray one is Windkit and the tabby, Leafkit."
Rockclaw looked prouded as he added, "Leafkit is named after my sister." Birdcall nodded. His sister had been killed by a Twoleg monster. Leafpaw was only an apprentice.
As she was daydreaming, she didn't notice her sister had already backed out of the nursery. Birdcall quickly gave her 'congratulations', and followed her sister out of the nursery and into the warriors' den. It wasn't until she was already cuddled deep into her mossy den, that she noticed how familiar the size of those newborn kits had looked, compaired to that little LightningClan apprentice. Then she remembered the word 'kit' echoed from Toadstar's warning. Then she put two and two together...but forgot in the morning.
Chapter Five: Another Threat
Birdcall wiggled her haunches and leaped. The squirrel beneath her claws no longer squirmed and now lay limp.
"Yes!" she squealed. She dragged the fresh-kill over to the roots of an oak tree and sraped earth over it, to collect it later.
"Nice catch." purred a tom. His tortoise-shell pelt gleamed from the dappled sunlight.
"Thanks, Adderstrike," she replied back, sheeply, "You're blackbird was way more impressive."
The tom looked at Birdcall with a gentle warmness in his eyes. Her tail bristled his is gaze and it seemed like the whole forest was crackling with lightning. Wow.
After what felt like moons, Adderstrike cleared his throat, "Um..we should...head back now."
"Oh, yes!" Birdcall said with a bit too much excitement, but quickly calmed down and resurfaced the squirrel.
The two padded back to camp calmly and would from time to time brush fur, lightning would crackle again, and they would seperate, only to bump into one another once more. They were only a few fox-lengths away from camp, when Adderstrike abruptly stopped. He dropped his blackbird and a shrew, and looked at Birdcall. Curious, she dropped her catch too and the two went over to a flat stone sheltered by overgrown ferns and brambles.
"Birdcall, I-I don't know if you feel this..." Adderstrike began, but seemed to lose his words.
"Lightning?" she put in.
He seemed relieved, "You feel it too?" She nodded and he gave out a sigh.
"You think there is something...between us?" she asked, her heart pounding. A mate! Kits! A full life was in front of her now. She could imagine a bright future with the tortoise-shell tom, and it was only a simple answer away.
"Birdcall. Will you-" Adderstrike broke off with a screech as a large, gray tom barreled him over. Shocked, Birdcall stayed where she was, unable to bring herself to aid the struggling tom. Right when she was about to run for help, a white queen barreled her over and into the overgrown ferns. The she-cat nipped her leg and scrambled off of her, waiting for Birdcall's strike. She leaped with a screech of fury onto of her enemy's shoulders. She dug her claws in deep and using her hind claws to rip out patches off her white fur. She let go when she begged of mercy.
"Please, please let me go. I-I have a young son and daughter at home. They-they are only 4 moons old and-"
She shoved the queen's muzzle into the ground. "Just tell me, what you are doing here. Then I'll let you go."
"Fine!" she mumbled and Birdcall released her hold on her. "We..we, I mean Toadstar, wants revenge from your patrol defeating us at the border. This is a warning though, but he plans to kill a cat or two to give a better point. Shocked, Birdcall let the queen go, and watched her limp out of the ferns and back into the clearning where she could hear Adderstrike pinning his attacker down. Kill? Revenge? This didn't sound good, and she needed to warn the camp, NOW.
Birdcall ran out of the ferns and met Adderstrike, who now had his attacker firmly down, in the mud. "Hi." He gasped, out of breath from his tussle.
"That she-cat, she told me more are coming, LightningClan is coming for revenge, and they are planning to go straight to the camp, and k-kill a cat or two."
"What!?" he screeched. He bit hard on the tom's ear, and sent him running. "We need to warn everyone, fast."
"How?! How-how much time do we have!?"
"I dunno! You're the one who told me!" he pointed out. Birdcall grumbled and burst through the camp tunnel. The camp was alive with battle. She was too late, Birdcall realized, they had snuck up while she and Adderstrike were distracted.
"No..." whispered Adderstrike behind her. The tom was now hanging his head in sorrow. His sister and Clan deputy, Smallwing, lay dead in the middle of the camp. The white queen was right, they were going to kill.
Dawnsong appeared, bloody and beaten, but she didn't seem to be defeated. A white tom, almost unrecognizable with the dirt and blood caked on him, leaped at Dawnsong, but she simply stepped aside and hissed. Birdcall ran over to claw the tom, and send him running.
"Thanks." Dawnsong muttered. Birdcall glanced at her sister.
"Are you okay?" she asked, worried.
Dawnsong shook blood out of her eyes. "I will be." Birdcall sighed and turned back to Adderstrike. He was oblivious to the fighting around him and was only occupied with the body that lay before him.
Dawnsong limped back into Birdcall's view and meowed, "She was the first to leap into battle. Smallwing fought like a true warrior." Birdcall wondered why she was telling her this, when she realized that she was really talking to Adderstrike, to comfort him. It worked a bit, but she could still see the pain in his amber eyes. She wondered how she would feel if that was Dawnsong, laying crumpled in the earth, dead. Horrible.
"Victory!" Rockclaw's yowl brought Birdcall back into reality, when she realized that all of the LightningClan warriors had fled, leaving a victorious camp and a dead deputy, behind. Olivefoot appeared from the medicine cat den, a hollowed out log, and began weaving in and out of the throng of cats, healing and tending to the wounds.
Kestralstar padded over and sighed when he saw the body of his dead deputy. Adderstrike didn't look at his leader, but acknowledged him with a flick of his ears.
"I'm sorry, for your loss. It's the Clan's loss too. She was a great deputy. A great warrior. A great...sister." spoke Kestralstar. Speaking more loudly now, "Let us hold a vigil for our fallen Clanmate." He padded away to his den, probably to think of a new deputy before moonhigh, according to the warrior code.
Almost immediately the whole Clan; warriors, apprentences, queens, elders, and kits, came over to mourn for Smallwing. Frostnose padded over and started grooming her pelt, along with Adderstrike. Birdcall joined the two in grooming and soon they had a clean body for vigil.
Chapter Six: A Bird's Calling
"Will all cats old enough to catch prey, gather beneath the Highrock for a Clan meeting?"
The yowl coming from Highrock brought Birdcall to her paws. It was moonhigh, the new deputy is being called. She looked once more at her fallen Clanmate before she joined her Clan in the clearing. The cats looked sad, but eager to see who would replace Smallwing. She was too.
"My Clan, my friends, my family: we come together at moonhigh to announce the new deputy of SunClan. I say these words before the body of Smallwing, so that she may hear and approve of my choice....Birdcall. Birdcall will be the next deputy of SunClan."
Time froze as Birdcall heard the yowls of disapproval from her Clanmates.
"She's too young!"
"Birdcall doesn't even have an apprentence!"
"Why her!? She hasn't done anything worthy enough to be deputy!"
Hearing all of this, Birdcall couldn't help but agree herself. She didn't have an apprentence, she has been a warrior for less than 4 moons, and...that last comment...was completely true. She didn't deserve to be deputy of SunClan. One cat Birdcall noticed that didn't seem to be happy for her, or mad, or anything, was Olivefoot. The black she-cat's eyes were unreadable, unlike every other cat. If Birdcall had even blinked, she would have missed the unmistakenable small nod. Before she could even open her jaw, the medicine cat was padding back into the hollow log. She turned back towards Birdcall to almost be asking her, 'Well come on then!' Without a word, she followed.
When she had shoved past the crowd and entered the dark, hollow log, she saw the deep green eyes of Olivefoot in the back of the den.
She shrugged, "Thanks. I don't deserve it."
The she-cat looked at her as if she had grown wings and had flown away. "You do. I know you do. Do you want to know why I know, Birdcall?"
Birdcall nodded. "Well...when you were born, like any other birth, I look towards the stars, to determine your future. Normal cats, like your basic queen and warrior, show nothing. Just a simple glimmer to acknowledge their birth. But yours...yours was a spark."
Birdcall was confused. That could have been for Dawnsong. Or merely a flying contraption that Twolegs had built. But something in her medicine cat's eyes made Birdcall think that maybe it was her. Maybe she was special.
Olivefoot continued, " After Smallwing had passed, I had a vision. I saw you, fighting the intruders outside, I then saw you climbing onto a rock. A large rock. A Highrock. That was when I knew that you would be the next leader of SunClan!"
"WHAT!?" Birdcall screeched. She just became deputy, for StarClan's sake!
"I know, I know," The black she-cat meowed, "but you have to trust me. When I told Kestralstar, he understood and picked you."
"I don't have an apprentence." she said, remembering one of the comments outside, which she could still hear angry muttering.
Olivenose replied, "Doesn't matter. StarClan chose you themselves. Once the Clan understands, the better. Then in a moon, Tawnywhisker's kits will be apprentenced."
She nodded. She could deal with this. Talk to the Clan, start becoming a deputy, have an apprentence..she'll be in the clear. But, what would she tell Adderstrike? Adderstrike! She gasped.
"Mate. Mates. What about mates!?" she asked Olivenose, worried.
The she-cat got quiet, "Oh, sweetheart..."
"No." Birdcall said firmly. "I will have a mate. If I become pregnant, another warrior can take over until I can be a deputy again."
The glare from Olivefoot wasn't good. "Birdcall. It isn't as easy as that-"
Birdcall interrupted her, "There has been other female leaders and deputies before me. And there will be after me. I don't think having a mate is too hard to ask for." Before she could say anything else, Birdcall padded away.
Chapter Seven: See? It All Works Out In The End...
Birdstar looked down from Highrock. Olivefoot was right. I have become leader of SunClan after all.
Adderstrike's warm smile below her comforted her. The two had become mates and let her loyal deputy, Rockclaw, take over as temporary leader while-
Kestralkit, Smallkit, and Olivekit appeared from the nursery along with Frostnose, who had fed Birdstar's kits while leadership took her away from them. Frostnose's own kits, Gingerpaw and Fishpaw, were apprentenced two moons ago. The two now sat by the fallen log that was the medicine den.
"Kestralkit, Olivekit, and Smallkit, you three were named by three, very important cats from our past. They live in our hearts, and will live on inside of you as you make your journeys into warriors." Pride welled up inside of Birdstar as she named her kits Kestralpaw, Olivepaw, and Smallpaw. She knew that they would become strong warriors and that she would grow old, watching them age. And when the time comes for her to lose her last life, she will know that it was her calling to become what she was. She hoped that her kits will understand that too, as her Clan had as they chanted her name, 'Birdstar! Birdstar! Birdstar!'