~ This is a /Warriors/ fanfiction by Eevee ~
That was all she thought she could do. Run and not look back. She wished this hadn't have happened to her. The small she-cat's paw pads ached. Her mouth was dry, and the sun was like fire beating down on her back. But she couldn't stop. She would have to run.
It seemed like she would be pursued for the rest of her life, never to stop and rest. Never to do anything but run. Or be caught first. Maybe she could out speed it. Maybe.
But the ginger she-cat knew that thoughts could kill. "Is it gone?" she whispered, daring to twist her head and look back.
Eyes and claws flashed as it lunged for her, jaws opened wide. Screeching, the she-cat leaped forward, the creature's jaws barely missing the tip of her tail.
It opened its jaws again, its sharp, white teeth gleaming. "I'll get you." it hissed, before it evaporated, leaving nothing in its wake. The ginger she-cat kept running, knowing the serene power this thing held and could unleash in a heartbeat. The young cat whimpered as she slowed down, spotting a large pool of fresh water. Glancing around frightfully, she crept toward it, ears flattened to her head.
She touched her nose to the surface of the water and murmured, "SpiritClan, please remember me. Falconstar, Shadowclaw, Cinderpool... I didn't leave you on purpose.
"Please, forgive me..." she sobbed, eyes squeezing shut. A tear rolled out of her eye as she remembered the dark-furred leader, the loyal deputy, and the intelligent medicine cat. "I hope that you get this message from the Starpool, and that you remember me... forever..." She lie down, eyes opened to slits. "Please..." She fell asleep, her nose still touching the water.
Opening her eyes, the ginger cat knew something was wrong. She wasn't near the pool anymore. She was bound in brambles and thick vines. Her eyes widened, and she looked around swiftly. "Help!" she screamed. Her surroundings were dark. Tall trees towered over her, and their long branches appeared to reach down for her, threatening to tear her to shreds. The grass around her was dry and yellow, stained with something... something red and liquid-like...
She knew what had happened.
It had captured her, and now she was destined to die.
A long, icy hiss came from the shadows. "Hello, little Gingerrrrrrrcloud." It stalked out of the shadows, its horribly long claws scratching against the ground. "I've finallyyyyyyy caughtttttt youuuuuuu..." It grinned, red eyes glinting maliciously.
Gingercloud screamed again, trying to carry her voice as far as it would go. "Help! Please, somebody!" Claws dug deeply into her flank, and she grimaced in pain. She sobbed as it stood over her, revealing itself. When Gingercloud looked up into its eyes, she regretted it.
Its eyes were only red and pupil-less slits, and its fur. Its fur was perfect, no ragged, patchy spots, no scars. Black as night.
Blacker than night, blacker than the darkest night.
"Help me! Please!"
It growled, "I warned you. Now, you can't risk your life anymore..."
Gingercloud screamed again as the long claws placed themselves over her throat. "I beg you! Don't!" It thrust its muzzle in her face, its rank breath filling her nostrils.
"Say good night." It hissed as it ran its claws over her throat, slowly drawing them in deeper.
Shadowclaw looked up, bored. He stood up, eyes half-open, and stepped over the still-sleeping warriors. He looked outside, green eyes bright. The apprentices were already up, all of them play-fighting. Eagerly waiting for their mentors, it seemed. Snowpaw, Shadowclaw's apprentice, was pinning Silverpaw to the ground. Silverpaw kicked at Snowpaw's belly, making the small white apprentice stumble backward. Silverpaw leaped up and batted at Snowpaw with her front paws, but was dragged back by Robinpaw, who purred in triumph. "Nice job, you three!" Shadowclaw called out. The apprentices looked flustered as they dipped their heads in greeting.
"Thanks, Shadowclaw," Snowpaw mewed, looking up into his mentor's eyes. His white fur was fluffed out in excitement. "Can we be warriors yet? Please? Please please please?"
Shadowclaw let out a mrrow of laughter. "No, Snowpaw. You're too young, and Falconstar wouldn't want little apprentice-warriors running around in battles." He swept his tail over the ground and over his paws.
"Ah, c'mon, Shadowclaw," Snowpaw whined. "Ple-e-e-e-e-ease?" He bounced from paw-to-paw.
Robinpaw and Silverpaw purred in laughter. "Nice try, Snowy." Robinpaw meowed, amused.
"Yeah, Snowy." Silverpaw teased.
"C'mon guys, my name's not Snowy! It's Snowpaw!" Snowpaw insisted.
"Snowypaw, then." Robinpaw blinked. "Snow-y-paw, Snow-y-paw~!" she chanted, lifting her head in triumph. She nudged Silverpaw's flank with her muzzle. "Come on, Silverpaw. Back me up, here."
"Snow-y-paw, Snow-y-paw, Snow-y-paw!" the two chorused, lifting their paws and stomping the ground with them as they sang out.
Snowpaw grumbled and hissed playfully, "Stop it, you guys!" He leaped at Robinpaw, both of them collasping in a flurry of pelts.
Shadowclaw rolled his eyes and flicked his tail. "Robinpaw, go fetch Firewhisker. Silverpaw, you get Sunfall." The two apprentices nodded, then turned tail and ran across the Clearing into the warriors' den.
-To be continued-