Sunbeam: Her Life As a Warrior
Type: Fan Fiction
Series: Their Lives as Warriors
Preceding: Tigerstrike: His Life As a Warrior
The end of the trilogy of embarrassing stories by Honey. This one, however, is really recent and actually not that bad. So please do enjoy and ignore the grammar and spelling. xD
Allegences for HollyClan
Leader: Tigerstar- muscular black and brown tom
Deputy: Rainpuddle- dark gray and white tom
Med.Cat: Blossomfall- long-furred golden-brown she-cat
App:Dockclaw - golden-brown furred tom
Mapletree- tortoise-shell she-cat
Liontail- muscular golden tabby tom
Ferntail- beautiful golden-brown she-cat
Rosefrost- golden-brown she-cat with ice-blue eyes
Daisypelt- black and gray she-cat
Blackwhisker- pure black tom
Shadowstrike- black tom
Smokeclaw- smokey gray tabby tom
Oaktail- ginger and brown tom
Mossfoot- brown, ginger, and white tom with a speckled head
Shadeleaf- gray she-cat
Honeyrose- golden tabby she-cat with small spikes of fur
Goldenbud- pretty golden-brown she-cat
Mistfall- gray and white she-cat with yellow eyes
Yellowtail- golden-brown tabby she-cat with spiked fur and bright yellow eyes
Dapplefur- tortoise-shell she-cat
Voleclaw- black and brown tom
Cloudflight- small gray tom
Toadleap- black tom
Ravenwing- dark gray, almost black she-cat
Sunbeam- golden tabby she-cat
Prickleleaf- old gray and white tom with spiked fur
Mothflight- speckled brown she-cat with white underbelly
Lilypetal- white she-cat
Longfur- long-furred golden tom
Leafstem- long-furred golden and white she-cat
A 'Fill you in' by Sunbeam
Hi! I'm Sunbeam, the star of this story. Before you start reading this, I need to fill you in on what is happening. It has been about 19 moons since my father, Tigerstar, recieved his 8 lives and 10 moons since I was born with two lives.
There had been an outbreak of greencough this past leaf-bare and killed many cats, including my father's first deputy, Kestrelpelt. Young Pebblepaw had passed along with Smallnose, Speckle-ears, and Sparrowwing. Even though we had lost warriors, we still had too many to contain in our Clan. My father called for a No-mating Era. This means, no more kits until we lose more warriors to death and/or retirement. I was the last warrior born.
SnowClan's reign has been deadly and killed a fellow warrior, Mudfoot a.k.a Mudkit. HollyClan, BreezeClan, and MarshClan have been successful in holding off SnowClan from anymore damage they can cause but this can only last for so long. SnowClan is willing to kill every cat in the three Clans to become supreme rulers of the forest. Times are harder with Twoleg threats and earlier and earlier leaf-bares.
May StarClan light our paths in this hard journey for peace and freedom forever...
Her whole life, Sunbeam has known what is expected of her due to the prophecy proclaiming her to save the Clans. She has been separate from the rest of the Clan, taking separate, special classes to prepare her for the battle of a lifetime. But what she and her family didn't expect was what SnowClan was planning.
"Sunbeam." I woke up to the sound of my name being called. My great-grandmother greeted me with a lick between my eyes.
"Hello, Goldenheart. What is it?" I tilted my head confused. She only talked to my every half-moon and I wouldn't see her until after this upcoming Gathering.
"They are ready." That was all she said before she disappeared.
"Goldenhea-" I broke off as I realized that I was being woken up by someone not Goldenheart. Instead by my mother.
"Mom!" I jumped right up startling her. "They're ready!"
Though my mother and father had taken my warning seriously, there were doubts through out the Clan. They never really had liked me; the special treatment, two lives, a strong connection to StarClan (perhaps stronger than Tigerstar's) and the blood that binds me to both the deputy and the Clan leader. One cat, though was some what able to accept all of this, besides my parents, Blossomfall. I know she's the medicine cat, but I know that, even though she's not telling me, she knows about the whole prophecy. I shivered at the thought of what I have to do to free all of the Clans from SnowClan.
"Honey, you okay?" my mother asked. She looked worried. I was worried too.
"Fine." I lied. I didn't want to get her sympathy. I was prophecied to this. Born to do this.
"Okay..." I watched her pad away. She didn't seem to believe me but she didn't push questions. That is what I love about her. I guess that's what my father saw too.
I glanced around. Despite everyone looking calm, eating fresh-kill, there was fear inside of them. Ever since Mudfoot was brutally killed by SnowClan warrior, nobody ever really felt the same. Two guards, Shadowstrike and Voleclaw, were watching the forest with cautious eyes and pricked ears. They would be there all night. Or, until SnowClan warriors arrived. I scratched the packed earth with unsheathed claws, thinking of clawing the fur out of Finchstar's fur. Tigerstar had done the same to Lilystar. That was when she lost her last life. It was vengeance for Mudfoot's life, I hoped that she-cat wasn't in StarClan. She didn't deserve them.
At last dusk fell and all cats left the clearing to go to their dens. My mother glanced at me once more before the shadows engulfed her and she disappeared into my father's den. I sat down in the clearing and waited with the guards.
It seemed like an eternity until I heard a faint scuttling along the thorn walls that surrounds the camp. I got up immediately, ready to fight. Shadowstrike heard the noise too and is already half way around the camp, quietly waking up the warriors and apprentices to not alarm the intruders; we prepared to ambush them as they enter the camp.
I took my position by the entrance and bunched my muscles, ready to leap at a moment's notice. The cats around me do the same. We are all ready when the ears of a tom appears and everyone closest to the hole attacks.
"Hey! I come with peace from BreezeClan!"
BreezeClan!!?? What is BreezeClan doing here!?
Almost immediately the cats jump off a tom I recongnize to be Spiderfang, a new warrior that was named the last Gathering.
"Sorry, Spiderfang," I apologize. "We were expecting-"
"SnowClan?" I nod.
The brown tom sighed and replied, "Us too."
"Spiderfang" I hear the deep voice of my father and turn to see that he had arrived with Honeyrose. "What do we have the honor of seeing you at this late hour?"
"I-I bring news from B-BreezeClan. F-For you and your d-daughter" Spiderfang now starts to stammer now that he is in the presence of Tigerstar.
We had told the other Clans (of course not SnowClan) that I had an extra life and was prophecied to save us, so it wasn't a surprise that this message would be for me as well. "Well then," meowed Tigerstar, "Come on then."
Tigerstar leads the way to his den with Spiderfang, Honeyrose, and myself following. When we are inside, it takes a moment for my eyes to adjust before I could see my father and mother in the far end of the den. I join them and face Spiderfang.
Spiderfang clears his throat before he begins, "Well...we had met MarshClan at the border we share just this morning and they bring us the information that a stray apprentice of their's had wandered into the Twolegplace that borders us and met a group of wild cats. Much like us."
"And..?" prompts my father.
"They told us that Violetpaw, that is her name, told them that they were called TreeClan. She found out that they had a warrior code close to ours, despite a few tweaks, and that they had queens and warriors and a medicine cat as well."
They were like us? But in Twolegplace? I wondered puzzled. We have met other groups of cats from Twolegplace, but nothing like this.
My mother's fur was bristled. "Are they a threat?" She whispered.
"No. I don't think so. They were friendly and they seemed to like Violetpaw's adventurous attitude," murmured the warrior.
Tigerstar seemed to ponder this for a moment before asking, "So you came to tell us so that we could check this out together as three Clans?"
"Yes," agreed the tom. "That's why Swiftstar sent me. We already agreed with MarshClan to meet at their camp in two sunrises with two warriors each. I think we can all spare two warriors with the No-Mating Era, eh?"
My parents nodded and I agreed too. This would be great if we could befriend this TreeClan and maybe have them help us in the fight against SnowClan! The thought of the three Clans forcing SnowClan into exile made me purr with delight. My father looked at me like I was a bit odd before he meowed his farewells to Spiderfang and escorted him back to the camp entrance. I didn't care; we had a chance to have peace forever!!
It was not yet dawn when I pushed my way through the forest. Morning dew dampened my fur and I heard Ravenwing curse softly about it. My father had chosen Ravenwing as my companion to TreeClan, despite my protests. Even though she was my cousin, I hated her. We never agreed on anything, had nothing in common, and she was the one with toms crawling around her like ants. She was popular. I was not. But I was the Chosen One. That was one thing I could hold over her head. "My father said that we are still on the look out for an attack from SnowClan, so be on the look out." I tried to break the silence.
"I can keep an eye out on my own, thank you very much. I'm not the Chosen One but I can shred a few pelts too." she replied back stiffly. I couldn't help but roll my eyes.
We stayed silent the rest of the time until we reached Four-Rocks. Fog covered the enormous rocks that all four Clan leaders stand on for Gatherings. I hear the elders now calling it Three-Rocks for a joke against SnowClan's absence at Gatherings.
"Do you see anyone yet?" Ravenwing came up behind me, whispering in my ear. I guess she was scared of the possibility of an ambush by SnowClan as I was.
"No. But-" I broke off as we heard twigs breaking on the other side of the clearing. I held my breath as four cats emerged from the fog. Ravenwing and I stayed like this for a few moments more until one of the cats spoke out.
"You just gonna stand there and gawk at us like prey? Or are you two gonna come over here?" It was Spiderfang.
Ravenwing shook her pelt as if to shake away her fear and strolled across the wet grass. I huffed a sign of relief and silently thanked StarClan before joining Ravenwing.
On our journey to TreeClan, I learned that Spiderfang and his brother Darkfur would be representing BreezeClan and the adventurer, Violetpaw, and her mentor Mudnose were from MarshClan. Violetpaw led the way, being that she was the only one who knew how to get there.
It was strange to be bossed around by a she-cat so young and small. She told me she has been an apprentice for only two moons now. It made sense why she would would wander off. Violetpaw was a pretty gray tabby with violet-purple eyes, the source of her name. She made me wonder how she could have gotten such eyes, but she assured me she was no strange cat; her mother, Duskfall, had the same eyes.
While I was fascinated by her eye color, she pestered me with questions about my destiny, my second life, and of course my connection to StarClan. That question was the one most asked by other cats. I told her what I told everybody else, I was to bring peace to us all and get rid of SnowClan by forcing them into exile. My extra life will help me do this, while a normal cat's life span would not. My connection is like the one a medicine cat would have. None of these were lies, but I felt bad by not giving everyone the full story, the full prophecy, and my full connection to StarClan. And I never told anyone, not even my parents, that Goldenheart said that my lives cannot save me. I will die, saving the Clans, especially the one I love.
"You are training hard, daughter. I couldn't be so proud."
I smile back at Goldenheart. It was just another half-moon training I had with her and of course one of my lessons were going on. I finished the move and looked up, panting. My great-grandmother was smiling but her eyes told another story.
"What?" I joined her by the stream that ran through the sandy training space my grandmother had cleared off for me every half-moon. I took a drink when she didn't answer and asked again, the cool water cooling my dry throat.
"I was at a StarClan meeting last night. It is manditory for every day before our training now. We discuss your progress and what else we have found out by looking towards the future, but as always, the future is cut-and-dry like the prophecy."
I was confused. Why haven't you told me about these meetings before?! We have been training ever since I was named an apprentice! I screamed in my head.
Goldenheart looked up at me with sorrowful amber eyes, as if she read my mind. Maybe she had. " I know I didn't tell you aobut the meetings but-."
She stopped but I couldn't let her just stop here today. I could feel dawn coming, coming. If she didn't finish, I would have to wait a whole moon. " Continue. Please. I don't care about you not telling me. Just...hurry. Dawn."
She nodded and continued, "So, I asked Featherstar what she had seen and she quickly answered me. She said....she said that she saw you with one life gone. You had a faint outline of yourself in StarClan already. You...you were fighting Finchstar and you two were arguing about something Featherstar couldn't hear. Anyway...you eventually made him lose a life. But...he somehow came back too quick to be possible and...caught you off guard. You died right then. Honey, oh I'm so sorry! I didn't think this would happen! I love-"
I was too shocked to speak. To move. To do anything. But when dawn reached the skies of StarClan's hunting grounds, I didn't fight leaving. I let it take me back down...down...down. Down, to my nest, where I silently wept.
I watch as dawn streaks the dark, night sky while I am on watch. I keep thinking about what happened last moon and what would happen tomorrow, our next meeting. Maybe she wouldn't greet me because of my new journey to the mysterious TreeClan. I simply do not know.
I hear movement behind me and with instinct, my claws slide out and I am facing a mouse. Hello.
Seconds later, I have fresh-kill and Violetpaw is up and blinking her unusual-colored eyes. "Is that a mouse?" she whispers, trying not to wake the others. I nod and nudge it towards her. Her eyes twinkle with delight as she takes her first bite.
I turn away from the eating she-cat to not bother my hunger anymore and to hunt for some of the others. It doesn't take long for me to find a squirrel and two more mice. It takes two trips for me to carry back the fresh-kill to the camp. By then, every cat has awakened and waiting patently for me to bring the rest back.
"Nice catch." Spiderfang nods to the squirrel I had just dragged in.
"Thanks." I decide that I like Spiderfang.
Ravenwing just looks at me darkly before grabbing the squirrel from below my paws. Well, I didn't decide that I liked her.
The sun has risen by the time we have eaten and washed. It isn't long until Violetpaw is on her paws, leading the much older cats through unmarked forest between MarshClan and Twolegplace. I wonder what drove this young apprentice to such limits to adventure away. Boredom, possibly.
"We just need to get out of the woods and then-AHHH!" My fur bristles at the sound of a dog barking. Straight ahead, a large brown dog is bolting towards the young apprentice, sending her scurrying up a pine tree. Spiderfang follows, as he hisses at the canine. His brother, Darkfur, isn't far behind. This leaves me, Ravenwing, and Mudnose scrambling for somewhere to run.
"Over here!" called Mudnose. The brown tabby was by a hole in a wooden fence where some sort of animal had clawed it's way in. I didn't sit around to think of the claws' source and raced over. Ravenwing is behind me, taunting the oncoming dog.
I roll my eyes. "Come on!" She looks over and nods. She gives the dog one more jeer about it's slowness and joins me by the fence. I let Ravenwing go first, as Mudnose has disappeared. I turn around one last time before going under too when I spot a lithe, gray figure below the pine tree, wailing in terror. Violetpaw.
I can't help but growl in frustration; why didn't she stay where she was. It is then that I realize that a fallen branch is below her. She had fallen. I dig my claws into the hard earth and propel myself to her rescue.
The apprentice's violet eyes light up as she spots me. "Sunbeam!" But they grow dark as she sees something else. "Watch out!"
I don't see the dog racing towards me, I only feel the impact. When teeth meet my ear, I muster up all of my special training from my night practices and knock the canine off of me. It looks startled that I could have that much strength.
"Well come see what else I got!" I hiss out loud. The dog growls in reply and advances once again. I let it come and I nimbly dodge, turning around to face the dumb animal again. I dig my claws down its flank while it is still confused and come in for a nip to his hind legs. It screeches in fury and turns to me again. This time, he lets me come but he doesn't dodge me, he faces me head on.
"Oof!" And my breath is driven from my body. I underestimated him, he underestimated me. I struggle to shove it off, but my movements are getting slower. Is this when my first life is taken from me? Why I will be easily beaten?
No. Because a great force is lifted off from me. I didn't do it. Not helpless Violetpaw. Actually, none of my companions did. A mysterious gray and white tom is my rescuer. He smells of sap and sky. I didn't think he was a loner or rouge.
The tom battles the dog with neat and skilled blows. The dog whimpers and cowers before he tries to retreat, but the cat doesn't let him off so easily. He gives him one more blow, a powerful slash to its muzzle. It will bare this for the rest of its miserable life.
"Mossfoot!" meows Violetpaw in delight. She knows this cat. And it has a warrior name?
It's then that I remember what we were here for in the first place. TreeClan. We found it.
Mossfoot happens to by deputy of this TreeClan. And he just saved my life.
He leads Violetpaw, Spiderfang, Dakfur, and I through the hole in the fence, the actual entrance to their camp. Ravenwing and Mudnose had actually run into Mossfoot as he was leaving the camp and convinced him that they were friendly and that they needed help, just in time.
"We live primarily in a large oak, hence our name." meowed Mossfoot as he guides us through the long grass that seperates the fence from the main camp.
"The entire camp is the backyard of an abandoned Twoleg nest, which is where we also hunt. Since we live in such a high Twoleg populated area, it comes in handy." I am in complete awe of this independent Clan. But I have one question: why is it a Clan and why is it in Twolegplace? I don't dare ask my rescuer, I'm already on his bad side.
Violetpaw runs ahead as the grass starts to thin out and disappears from view.
"Don't worry. She's fine." And Mossfoot is gone too. I look back towards Spiderfang and shrug. We both shoulder our way through the grass and find the Clan's heart.
Cats are busy moving around everywhere. Some are carrying prey back from the Twoleg nest, others are practicing battle moves. Clan battle moves.
I spot Violetpaw next to a group of apprentices. They all seem to be happy to see their friend once again. A gray and black tom breaks off from practicing a battle move with a silver tabby to notice my group at the edge of camp.
"They're here!" He yowls and pads over with a leap in his step. Others follow, murmuring and flicking their tail to and fro. Excitement spreads itself around the cats like fire and I start to shrink back from it all. I glance to my side and see that Darkfur and Spiderfang seem uncomfortable as well.
"Stop! Back away from our guests! Give them space." A loud command gives me the shivers and the cats around me start to slowly obey. A ginger tom breaks through the throng of cats and plants himself in front of me. "We have waited a long time for you, Chosen One. The stars practicaly sang to us last night as you came closer and closer."
I take this as being the Clan leader. He looks at me with deep amber eyes. I stare back at them until a lithe white figure appears behind him.
"Squirrelstar, be less clingy. And be more friendly." She turns her blue eyes on me. "You must be Sunbeam. I'm Sweetflower, the medicine cat. And this is the rude Squirrelstar, our-"
"-leader." I finish. "I know. Um...how do you know my n-"
"Name?" She echos. "Oh, well. How about you come with me then. I'll explain everything." I decide to like this hyper furball and follow her to the large oak, the center of the Clan.
"Mossfoot tells me that he explained the basics of the Clan to you already. So, at least I can save daylight with that." She bounds over to the roots of the tree and starts to climb.
"How do you want me to climb this monstrosity?" I mutter.
Her eyes sparkle as she hangs there for a moment. "With your claws."
I roll my eyes and slowly start to join Sweetflower. I realize that it wasn't as hard as I thought: cats had climbed this enough that clawholds were easy to spot. I stop on a thick branch next to Sweetflower where she waits by a small hole in the trunk. "In we go."
The medicine cat slips through the hole that I'm pretty sure would only hold a squirrel but as I squeeze through, I realize that up to four cats could fit in here at a time. And with the size of a medicine cat like Sweetflower, perhaps five.
"What is this?"
Sweetflower looks at me like I've sprouted wings and flown away. "The leader's den silly. Oh sorry. I forgot that you're not from here. It just feels like I've known you longer."
"Can you explain, for StarClan's sake?"
"Oh sorry." She gestures for me to join her on the bottom of the den. For a tree, this is pretty comfortable. "About a season ago, I was named a full medicine cat a day before our previous died. My first dream as a full medicine cat was of you. I was with your father, Tigerstar, and he was going into a bramble den. When I got used to the light, I saw a golden-tabby queen with a suckling kit--you."
I tilt my head why would StarClan send her-
"I see you look up at your father and mew your first words, 'Goldenheart.'"
Now I take my turn to look at her as if she had grown wings and flown away like a bird. "What!?" I screech.
"I know, I know. It's your great-grandmother, right? Well...that was my first dream. It ended right after that. Then the next moon, I saw you again, leaving the nursery. All the cats looked at you strange and muttered some very rude things, by the way."
I remember that. There was truth in this, but not the first one. It seemed crazy.
"You held your head high and ignored them. You even said to yourself over and over again, 'I am the Chosen One. I am the Chosen One. I am the Chosen One.'"
"Why are you making me relive my most humilitaing moments, Sweetflower?" I whine.
"Sshh. That was my second one. My third was you as an apprentice. You now train with your great-grandmother at half-moons, like medicine cats going to share dreams with StarClan."
I think again and again, and one question still pops in my head: why does she have these dreams?
"Why do you have these dreams?"
"I...I think Goldenheart sends them to me. My last dream before you came? It was your most recent meeting with her. She tells you that 'They are ready'"
I leap up. It all makes sense to me now. "It wasn't SnowClan, was it!? She meant you! She meant TreeClan. You guys are ready to help us defeat the evil!"
The medicine-cat looks startled by my sudden outburst. "Sorry." I mutter.
"It's okay. And I thought I was hyper. But there is sense in what you say. Maybe...maybe we need to talk to Goldenheart tonight. This is the half-moon tonight. I could join you in your dreams."
I strat to feel queasy but I know it needs to be done. "Okay. Tonight."
"Hello, Sunbeam. And Sweetflower," greets Goldenheart. She stands alone in our training area, as always.
"Hello. You must be the great Goldenheart. It's nice to finally see you," said Sweetflower. Her blue eyes gleam with excitement to see my grandmother.
Goldenheart smiles. "Oh, Sweetflower. You've seen me before!"
Sweetflower smiles back and dips her head. "Of course." She stays silent as she watches Goldenheart approach me.
"Daughter?" whispers Goldenheart. "You have many questions."
I nod. "Why is TreeClan in Twolegplace?" I decide to start with the questions not involving the prophecy or myself. I don't want another night of that.
"Why don't we watch and see?" Goldenheart nods towards the stream that cuts through the clearing. The three of us stare at the running water, expecting something to happen.
"Nothing is--oh, here we go!" squeals Sweetflower. I can't help but giggle at her enthusiasm in such a serious place.
At first the image is fuzzy, but it slowly grows like a kit to an apprentice.
The scene is at night, and the claw-scratch moon brings barely any light through the clearing. I recongnize it as Four-Rocks. A single, lone cat sits on one of the rocks that a leader would stand on. He looks calm.
"Treestar?" I gasp. It's the first leader of TreeClan.
A small ginger tabby appears in the clearing. She, too, is alone.
"Hollystar," Treestar greets the other leader.
"What are you doing here? You should be in your territory." Hollystar jumps onto the rock next to him. I recognize it as HollyClan's rock.
At first it seems like Treestar never heard the ginger tabby until he spoke, not looking at her. "Do you ever wonder why there are only four rocks here?" he whispers.
The she-cat shrugs. "Not really. I have bigger things on my paws to worry about."
Treestar nods. His green eyes become slits. "Do you ever wonder why those dastardly Twolegs are always so close to our territories?"
"Again, this isn't something that's on my mind all the time," Hollystar replies. She bunches up her muscles, ready to get off of the rock and leave when she stops. "Have you gone mad?"
"Why?" asks Treestar. Again, he doesn't look at the Clan leader and instead seems to look off to nothing. "Why do you ask?"
Hollystar's fur starts to bristle. "Because you are asking questions fit for a kit!"
"And you are insane! No wonder why Rain left you!"
Treestar looks at Hollystar now. His fur is beyond bristled and is now completely spiked out. "Don't you dare mention Rain! That was way before the Clans!"
"Is it though? Is this the reason she left or why you are this way?" pressed Hollystar.
"I don't know." Now Treestar just looked tired. Really, really tired.
As Hollystar jumped off of the rock and made her way into the shadows, Treestar called her back.
"Rain is dead."
"I know," Hollystar said simply.
"How?" Treestar asked, cautiously.
"I killed her, of course."
I watched in horror as Treestar killed Hollystar in the shadows. No cat saw him or stopped him as he ripped out her throat and watched her die.
The scene changed then, it was now Treestar infront of the remaining three leaders and Hollystar's supposed deputy.
"By the order of StarClan, we exile your entire Clan from our territories for your actions." A gray tom spoke for all four of them, the others just sat there.
"Of course," Treestar said simply. "Thank you. May we have a day to get everything in order?" How could this tom just sit back in accept this calmly? Maybe he is mad.
The gray tom looked astonished too at how easy this was. "Um..yes. We'll all send warriors to escort you safely out of our territories at dawn tomorrow."
Treestar said his thanks before he left, flick his tail back and forth. He seemed...happy.
"That's it?" I ask as the memory starts to fade.
Goldenheart nods. "Was that what you were looking for?"
Sweetflower is silent for once. She just sits there at the stream again, silently urging it to continue, to show her more.
"Sweetflower? You okay?" I rest my tail gently on her shoulders.
"No," she whispers. "This can't be what happened."
She looks me in the eyes, her's are sad. "We were told as kits that we were always there, always part of that big oak tree. It was all lies."
"No, no, no! It's not lies! They are a distraction from the horror of the truth. Do you want to be told that your Clan came to be in that oak because your leader murdered another?"
"No. I guess you're right," she sniffs. "Thanks, it's just hard to picture after what I've been told."
Goldenheart clears her throat, to break up our bed of roses. "Sorry, to interrupt, but dawn is coming. Do you have any more questions?"
Sweetflower shakes her head. Her question was answered, but I still have one.
"What, in the name of StarClan, do we do next?"
Goldenheart laughs now, making the clearing more welcoming than the past few visits. "Bring TreeClan home."
And with that, dawn comes and Sweetflower and I are waking up in the oak tree. Home. That's sounds nice.
"You're leaving?!" asked Squirrelstar, astonished.
I laughed. "I know, we just got here, but you don't understand. We must defeat SnowClan before it's too late. It's my destiny."
Squirrelstar still looked uncertain but he nodded. "And we must join you in this?"
"You would help us, and you could come back and join the Clans again."
"I still don't believe that was the reason TreeClan's here," he said.
"It's true, Squirrelstar. Treestar killed another leader and we were banished, I saw so myself. And if the Chosen One's ancestors can show us the truth about out Clan, they deserve our help. We belong with the other Clans," meowed Sweetflower.
"I-I was told by my great-grandmother that 'they are ready'. I rushed ahead that night, expecting that 'they' was the dangerous SnowClan. But I was wrong, my grandmother meant you and your Clan. You must believe us," I add.
Squirrelstar licked his lips. "Fine. I believe you, Chosen One, and I think my Clan will follow."
"Thank you, Squirrelstar, leader of Treeclan. StarClan honors your decision and will guide you on your Clan's journey home."
I glance behind me as I maneuver around bramble thickets and dips in the ground. I have safely gathered all of TreeClan into the Clans' territory. I spot Squirrelstar, his ginger head high; he brought his Clan home.
Sweetflower isn't too far behind either, carrying a kit. Her blue eyes sparkled with happiness.
Violetpaw was jumping around, telling TreeClan apprentices all about Gatherings and the other Clans. I chuckled, she was going to make a great warrior one day. One day when SnowClan didn't create fear over the other Clans. One day when the Sun will melt and reform the Clans for peace forever.
Ravenwing cleared her throat. "So, I don't think your father expected us to bring a whole Clan to his camp. What do you suppose we tell him?"
I honestly didn't think about that. I blushed. "I forgot about that part."
"Good job, Chosen One," replied Ravenwing. "I think we may as well bring them into our territory, as well as our adventurers." She gestured behind her where Spiderfang and Mudnose helped to guide mothers and their kits through unfamiliar territory.
"Yeah. I guess," I meowed, uncertain. Tigerstar wasn't going to like all of these cats in his camp; we can barely contain our own.
"And there's Four-rocks, where we go for Gatherings, like I mentioned!" exclaimed Violetpaw. I barely noticed where we were. Seeing the familiar rocks gave me a shiver. We were so close to home!
All of the apprentices 'ooh'd and 'ahh'd as we passed Four-rocks and stepped over HollyClan's scent markers.
"And this is HollyClan's territory. I don't live in HollyClan but the Chosen One does."
Now we were passing familar landmarks, the training center where apprentices learned Clan battle moves.
"Wow, look at that rock pile, it's huge!" The rock pile, infamous in the Clan to be the place where you shared secrets.
"The camp is reinforced with brambles, not like your wooden fence back in Twolegplace." The camp!
"Welcome to HollyClan!" I purred, pushing my way through the thorn tunnel.
My eyes couldn't believe what they saw. Everywhere were my fighting Clanmates. Blood and fur was scattered on the ground. Underneath the sound of screeching and claws finding fur was the sound of wailing kits, crying for help. The elders were fighting for their lives, one already lay dead. Home sweet home.
"Oh my StarClan!" I cried. I leaped into battle with Ravenwing at my side. She grabbed the first tom she saw, a brown tabby. He stunk of SnowClan. I peered around, hoping to see my father, but he wasn't visible. With his special gift, he could end this fight, but he wasn't here.
Sighing, I ducked under Shadowstrike's leap onto a SnowClan warrior's back. I jumped over Mapletree's quarrel with another queen. I nimbly dodged Voleclaw's retreat from a large black tom, spitting fury. Not one of them noticed my arrival. Not one asked for help. Not one even realized that the Chosen One should have been here. I didn't even realize that my father's body lay infront of me. I didn't even realize that Finchstar was fighting me. I didn't even realize I had died until I woke up, looking at Goldenheart.
"It was meant to happen, sweetheart. I'm sorry."
"It wasn't meant to happen! My father should never have died. He was supposed to help me defeat SnowClan, welcome TreeClan home, see me off when my last life was taken away from me. He is not supposed to be here in StarClan. Only me. It should only me me!" I yowled at Goldenheart. I spat every word into her face, yet she didn't move a muscle.
"Why are you just sitting there you old hag! You are supposed to help me defeat Finchstar and yet you let me get killed. I may have one more life left but I now can no longer lead my Clan into battle without worrying that I have a lifespan too short for me. I am now normal enough to be shoved aside and laughed at. I am no longer the Chosen One! I am just Sunbeam, I worthless piece of fox-dung that left her father alone to die. Die!" Again, Goldenheart didn't say a word.
"Fine. I knew you were worthless anyway. You let yourself get killed too. You and your mate and your son. You left your daughters on their own and created some stupid prophecy to create chaos for her children and their children. Genius! Pure genius."
"Are you done?" whispered Goldenheart, light enough that I had to strain to listen.
"I think so," I murmured. I blinked up at her. "Who else died?"
Goldenheart sighed. "Lilypetal, Daisypelt, and Tigerstar."
"Honeyrose is okay?"
"Despite the fact that her mate died and her daughter is half-dead? Fine."
I flicked my tail. "Send me back. I have a lot to do."
Goldenheart smiled. "That's my girl."
"She's back!" cried a distant voice.
"I told you she had two lives!"
I blink my eyes open and realize that I'm back in camp. The entire Clan surrounds me with thankful faces and happy yowls.
"Help me up," I murmur. Rainpuddle dashes up to steady me.
"Are you okay?" he whispered.
I blinked. "Yes. But are you?" I glanced at a long scar on his flank, it looked pretty deep.
He shrugged. "I'll be fine."
"Where's my father's body?" I asked, louder.
"We buried him last night," he sighed. "I need to journey to the Moonstone now, and get my name and lives." His eyes shone with adventure and worry for the future. I rested my tail on his shoulders.
"You'll be fine, Rainpuddle, I promise. When you come back, we are going to war," I meowed loudly, daring every cat in the Clan to speak louder.
"For Tigerstar!" cried Oaktail, his head lifted up to StarClan.
"For Tigerstar!" followed Yellowtail.
"For Tigerstar!" My mother yowled the loudest. I shut my eyes. For Tigerstar.
"Squirrelstar, is your Clan ready for battle?" I asked the ginger tom. For the past two days, TreeClan had been staying in HollyClan's camp. It was overcrowded and loud. I angled my ears away from the sound of crying kits in the Nursery.
"Yes," he meowed. "Are our nursing queens with their kits and the elders staying behind?"
I nod. "I'll be leaving three warriors from my Clan and your Clan, each, to help defend the camp."
Squirrelstar glanced behind him where his pregnant mate, Mintleaf, lay in the sun.
"She'll be fine, Squirrelstar. I promise," I replied, catching his eye again.
He nodded and went over to his mate. She looked up with such happyness, I had to look away. I would never be able to have kits; I will die tonight.
"Sweetheart?" called my mother. I greeted her with a lick between her eyes.
"Be careful, okay?" Her amber eyes still thick with pain. She knew I might die tonight, but for her sake, I'll fight hard. I can't leave her without my father too.
"Okay," I whisper.
"HollyClan! Gather around the Highboulder for a Clan meeting!" Rainstar padded out of his den, his blue eyes shone with the light of battle.
"As you know, tonight is the night we avenge Lilypetal's, Daisypelt's, and Tigerstar's deaths."
"Yeah!" hollered Blackwhisker, Daisypelt's brother.
Rainstar lashed his tail. "My deputy, Sunbeam, and I have discussed our battle plans and are ready to leave. Cloudflight, Blackwhisker, and Rosefrost will be staying behind to guard the camp."
The three cats named by Rainstar nodded, even though I'm sure they would rather avenge their Clanmates' deaths in battle.
Squirrelstar made his way in front of Highboulder. "My Clan is ready to leave as well. Kestralnose, Fallensnow, and Mudstrike will stay behind with our queens and elders," he declared. He glanced behind him. "Whenever you're ready, Rainstar."
Rainstar dipped his head. "Let's go."
I give my fur a quick sniff, it's covered in mud and earth, covering my HollyClan scent.
Rainstar is beside me, his dark gray and white fur tainted with the mud, making it a sickly brown. He stood with his chest puffed out, showing the Clan that he wasn't scared.
"You don't need to do that," I whispered.
He shrunk back and flicked his ears. "I know."
"We are all scared, everyone knows that. I'm scared."
Rainstar chuckled. "You're just as vulnerable as us now, huh?"
I didn't answer that. Instead I said, "You have nine lives...use them for your Clan, don't waste them and you'll be fine."
Rainstar nodded and waved the Clans around him. "Listen up," he said. "We're just a few fox-lengths from the border. Once we are over the markers, everyone is silent. Got it?"
The Clans nodded, fur bristling.
"Good," Rainstar meowed before continuing. "I just wanted to tell you that I'm proud of you. It's not guaranteed that all of us will...make it.." He broke off and stared into his daughter's eyes. Dapplefur motioned for him continue, smiling. "...but I know we can do this and I just wanted to tell you that before we continue."
The HollyClan moved together, pressing on each other for comfort. "We can do this," I mewed, pressing into Honeyrose's shoulder.
Squirrelstar leaped onto a fallen log, peering through the fog. "We better be moving. It's getting more foggy."
Rainstar released himself from the crowd and joined the TreeClan leader on the log. "No, the foggier it is, the better. We need to keep SnowClan clueless as long as possible."
Squirrelstar rested back on his haunches before nodding. "That is wise, Rainstar. For being so young, you know quite a lot about battle tactics."
Rainstar jumped off the log muttering, "This war has kept me on my toes."
The smell of SnowClan was overpowering, clouding my senses. I was alarmed at first, but after awhile, my nose adjusted and I led the Clans further into SnowClan territory.
Squirrelstar flicked his russet tail at his Clanmates, ordering them to keep low. I did the same and ducked under a drooping branch.
It wasn't until we almost reached the camp did we spot a SnowClan warrior. He was partially hidden by a tree, but his white fur stood out against the dark bark.
Are you kidding me? SnowClan picked the only cat with white fur to guard the camp? Whatever works for me...
I caught Smokeclaw's eye and nodded at the white tom. His eyes flashed with glee and he brought Liontail with him.
"Who's there?" asked the guard.
"Oh, you know...your worst nightmare," whispered Smokeclaw.
"He-" The tom was cut off and I heard a scuffling and muffled voices before Liontail reappeared through the fog.
I waved my tail for the Clans to follow me as I pushed through. Smokeclaw waved his tail from where he kept the tom pinned down. "I'll stay here," he whispered. I blinked and continued, letting Rainstar take the lead.
He stopped abruptly. Rainstar turned, his fur prickling. This is it.
Rainstar gave me a lick behind my ears before he shut his eyes yowling, "For our freedom!"
"For our victory!" I yowled as battle washed over me.
The blood welling from the she-cat's scratch was minscule, but the she-cat wimpered as she retreated from my grasp.
"Do you call yourself a SnowClan warrior?" I spat at her.
I gasped as a black and brown tabby swept my front paws from under me, making my face connect with the ground. "Oof," I breathed, twisting around, exposing my underbelly, taunting the warrior.
He fell for it, leaning in for a deadly cut, but I lifted my hind legs from the ground, connecting with the tom's temple.
He fell back, giving me enough time to get on my paws and face him properly. "Who killed my father?" I asked him, taking a step closer.
"Finchstar," he growled, stepping closer too. "And I'm his deputy, Adderpelt, and if the Chosen One thinks she can just stroll into our camp, demanding that she sees their leader, she's mistaken."
I stepped back. "Oh, I didn't mean to intrude, I was just curious...and so were my Clanmates," I replied, looking around. No bodies yet...
"Cute," he patronized, leaping towards me.
"Huh, playtime's over, I guess." I nimbly dodged Adderpelt, giving him a scratch on the ear.
He turned to face me, blood seeping into his eyes. The tom shook his head, scattering blood drops. "Enough!" he yowled. He jumped again, twisting in the air to attempt to land on my shoulders. An old move, but I was taught ancient moves by Goldenheart every half-moon...
I collaped on the ground, allowing him to land on my shoulders. He was light, easy to buck off, but that was too predictable.