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Two Sided She-Cat

Author: Brighty
Rating: Moderate
Status: Complete
Series: None
Preceding: None
Succeeding: None


I dread the sunset

She dreads sunrise

I am light

She is dark

We are the same

Yet different

She is my other half

She wants me dead

I say the same to her

For she is a killer

And I can't stop her

This story is rated Teen for blood and violence. (You have been warned)

Chapter 1 ~Beginning of the End~

My furs tears on branches as I race through the forest. My head spins as the sun starts to set. Not yet. But my thoughts are empty, as I feel myself rip open, and my second form show. I can only form one clear thought. Will this ever end?

My name is Sunheart. I am a warrior of DewClan, and my life is like nothing you have seen before. My life during the day in peaceful, and I have a mate and apprentice. Everything is simple, I'm your basic Clan cat. Then, the sun sets, and my life changes completely. When I was an apprentice I was hit by lightning. It was a narrow survival, and I thought I would never be free again. The Clan leader thought this was a sign that I would be the next leader. They were wrong. Now, every day when the sun sets, I transform in Darkshadow, a villainous dark she-cat, with a desire to rule the forest. When I am my true form, Sunheart, everything is clear, and I know everything. But when I am Darkshadow, everything is twisted. I can't control anything she does. Sunheart is compiled in a half conscious state inside Darkshadow by night, and when the sun rises and Sunheart is me again, I finally remember everything. It's never pretty. I blame myself for these actions, even though they technically aren't mine. Now, I never can tell what is real, and I feel as though I am tearing everyone is two as well.

My brain splits into it's second personality. I begin again the age-old argument. Why do you act like this? Isn't being you enough? I ask Darkshadow. Her malicious voice strikes me harder than usual. For a second, a jolt runs through me. Is she getting more powerful? I shake that away. Oh Sunheart, you just don't get it. I was destined to rule the forest. I just have the misfortune of being you as well. I flatten my ears. What is wrong with you? You killed my mother! Why would you do such a thing? A swat lands on my shoulder. Because the blame could easily fall on you. After all, no cat other you you even knows that I exist! She laughs maniacally. Don't worry Sunheart. I'll have you sorted out some day! The chilling reminder, that my other half is out to kill me. And that's when I'm no longer Sunheart.

My fur goes from bright ginger to black. My eyes go from emerald to poison. My lip curls in delight. Finally. I am out of that goody-four paws Sunheart, and ready to take over! Nothing can stop me now. Turning around, I race back to camp. Sunheart must think I'm an idiot! No matter how far she runs from camp, she'll never stop me! Pieces of my dark pelt get stuck in the brambles protecting the entrance. Normally, I'd stop and pull them out, but there is no time to waste. This must be finished now! I feel Sunheart thumping around, trying to escape. She's wasting her time. I'm much too powerful for her! I duck inside the nursery. Every cat is asleep. I wonder for a moment why I'm killing a kit, but I shake that away. Every cat must bow down to me, when I rule the forest! There! I slip into the back, and spot a small gray tabby tom. Aspenkit. Too bad for him! Unsheathing my long, dark claws, I lean down next to the kit. Carefully, I cut a small line across his neck. His blood leaks out, then rushes into a steady stream, staining his fur scarlet. His body grows cold. I feel a flash of remorse. I just murdered a kit! Then I roll my eyes. These emotions must be coming from Sunheart. Even is this stage, her mind is still sentimental. One last time, I look down at Aspenkit. I lick his blood and toss it across the nursery. Let them figure that out! Darting away, I hear a small confused mew. Whipping around, I see Mousepaw. That idiot apprentice! He must have seen me! Fox-dung! I make my voice as sugary as possible. "What's wrong?" He stares at me, clearly terrified. "Who-who are you? Why do you have blood all over your paws? Are you going to kill me?" Great. How could this possibly be explained? Then I remember who I am. Without a sing doubt, I bite his throat out, covering my own muzzle with his blood. I toss his body into the brambles, spraying blood everywhere. Problem solved. I return to my task. I must kill Beetlestar! He is the only cat that stands in my way, other than that pesky medicine cat. And Sunheart herself of course. Luckily for me, I don't have to worry about her. She'll die alongside everyone else! That when I realize I'm leaving a trail of my victim's blood. Should I wash it off in the stream? Then I get a brilliant idea. I'll leave until the sun comes up! Let's see how Sunheart can explain that! Speaking of sunrise, I see the tip of it on the horizon. No! Not yet! I still need to get rid of Beetlestar! My thoughts are empty prayers. Without a second thought, I return to the small glade. Far enough away from any stream! Ha! The sun begins to warm my fur. I crouch down. Good luck Sunheart. You'll need it! And then, I feel the return.

I finally awake in the glade. Why am I all wet? Then I see the pool of blood, and memories of last night flood back. Oh StarClan. Will I ever manage to stop her?

Chapter 2 ~Scarlet Waters and Juicy Lies~

Without a doubt, this is crummy. But right now, I have to explain this. Quickly, I head for the stream. What did I ever do to deserve this? But this is no time to be take pity on myself. Without a second thought, i jump into the churning water. It's a good thing DewClan cats are good at swimming. Otherwise, I'd be dead now. I exhale quietly and relax. The stream feels oddly warm. Then i look down. I do a double-take. The water is turning red from all the blood! I jump out, my fur spiked. Quickly I lick my fur until it dries. Luckily all the stains are gone. Terrified, I begin my return to camp, my heart heavy. Aspenkit. Mousepaw. Soon Beetlestar. Then myself. I shiver in the sunlight. Darting into my den, I lie in my cold nest. Soon the dawn patrol will be out. They'll see the stream. They'll see the trail. They'll see that Mousepaw and Aspenkit are dead. A body bumps into me. Minnowleap. Of course. He winces when he sees me. "Sorry Sunheart. I didn't mean to hurt you." I sigh. "It's fine. Where are you going?' I ask, trying to change the subject. He smirks. "I have to wake the lazy furball apprentice of mine." My heart skips a beat. "Mousepaw?" I mew, barely able to breathe. He nods. "I'm teaching him to catch birds today." He leaves the den, heading towards the clump of bracken where the apprentices sleep. Exhausted as usual, I haul myself out of my nest. The clearing is quiet, but there are a group of cats awake and whispering. Then I hear Dawnpetal's terrified scream. She must have discovered Aspenkit's body. Beetlestar jumps down from HighRock and races into the nursery. Nervously, I follow. Dawnpetal is sitting in a state of shock, staring down at her son's dead body. Beetlestar lets out a wail. "Why StarClan!?!?! He was so young!" My heart almost breaks in two. Why couldn't I have prevented this? Beetlestar calms down and looks a the blood spattered nursery. "What could have done this to my kit?" I lean down and begin to wash Aspenkit's body. His blood is still sticky and slightly warm. It sends shivers up my spine. Dawnpetal looks down at her son. "He looks so tiny now." I nod and continue cleaning. Then I give a fake gasp. "Look at his neck!" Beetlestar snatches his body. "It's unbelievable. But how could any cat get into camp?" He whips around and stares at me. "You were guarding camp! You must have been working with that killer!" All hope drains out of my eyes. How did I forget that? Beetlestar growls at me. "You helped kill my son!" I let out a terrified mew, preparing for his claws to rake down my throat. But they don't come. Instead, Dawnpetal gives him a horrified glare. "How dare you accuse her of killing our son! It's obvious she's innocent!" Thank StarClan. I lave the nursery, trembling as I walk. Minnowleap walks up to me. "Have you seen Mousepaw anywhere? He's not in his den, and Owlpaw hasn't seen him since sunset. I shake my head. Let's not go into that right now. "Let's head by the river. Maybe he went there for an early morning swim." I might be lying, but it's better than him finding Mousepaw's body. We head out of camp, and start towards the river. Minnowleap keep calling for Mousepaw, and I do too, but It's a lost cause. He's already dead. When we reach the river, Minnowleap lets out a shocked gasp. I look down at the water and curse myself. Why? Because it's bright scarlet from the blood. Oh Fox-dung! Minnowleap just stares at it. "How could this have happened?" He leans down and licks the water. "Blood. Some cat died." I wince. Then Minnowleap's turquoise eyes practically jump out of his head. "Mousepaw! He must be in the river!" Minnowleap dives in without a second thought. I want to scream at him, He's not there! But that would lead to an impossible explanation. I'm not about to tell the truth. Luckily, Minnowleap gives up soon. "It's no use Sunheart. The dark shadows make it impossible to see anything under the red." I nearly jump out of m fur. "Darkshadow? Where?!?!" I dive behind a tree and shiver. Minnowleap just stares at me like I'm crazy. I curse myself. How could I make such a stupid mistake?

The find Mousepaw's body. Broken. Torn. Ripped out throat. They say he fell in and died when the brambles touched his throat. But they're wrong. We sit at the vigil. Even me. But when the sun goes down, I escape. Just in the nick of time. Because Darkshadow escapes the second I leave camp. And the worst part is, she's getting stronger.

Chapter 3 ~Lonely Hearts~

Ugh. I thought that goody four-paws would drag on forever! Finally I'm myself again. Just in the nick of time too.They found Mousepaw's body. If they can recognize my bite mark, I'm history. I turn back and stick my head into the camp. Only Minnowleap, and Mousepaw's mother are still siting vigil. Should be easy enough. Beetlestar doesn't stand a chance. I slink past to 2 cats and begin to climb up the small rock wall leading to Beetlestar's den. It must have recently rained, because it's too slippery to climb up easily. So I walk around and climb up the beech next to it. It's hard to sink my claws in, but it's easier than trying to climb the rocks. Soon I'm at the top and jump across to his den. See Sunheart? I don't give up as easily as you might think. Pushing my way through the hanging lichen, I see his brown tabby body, rising and falling. I pause, and wonder the best way to bring down this leader. Then it hits me. With a smug look, I lean down and rip out his throat. I then proceed to tear open his belly and watch the blood flow out. Sticky, but worth it. The moss he sleeps on turns scarlet and soggy. Perfect. Walking through the blood, I make a small nick on his ear. This had better be his last life, because I'm not doing this again. Without another thought, I leap out of the den. I'm just about to escape, when I hear a thick voice. "What are you doing here?" Whipping around is surprise, I see Minnowleap staring at me. "I've never seen you before. I want to know what you are doing in my camp." He looks down at my paws and growls. "And I would really like to know why you have blood all over your paws!" I want to kill him. I have to. Before I jeopardize myself even further. But something inside me says this isn't worth it. It's likely Sunheart's soft side that stops me from killing him. Instead, I swipe my blood paw on his face. While he's caught off guard, I hiss at him. "My name is Darkshadow, and I am destined to rule the forest. Keep your nose out of my business." Then I leave without a second thought. This skirmish lasts longer than I thought it did, because I see a pale hint of the sun on the horizon. I don' want to repeat myself, so without further ado, I jump in the river. The water washes away all traces of my visit. Then I shake out my fur, and wait.

Oh StarClan I'm doomed. She killed Beetlestar. Even if it wasn't his last life, those wounds would have killed any cat. I drag myself back to camp, feeling sick as can be. Why can't I stop her? Minnowleap is nowhere to be seen. Probably helping bury Mousepaw. I hear a terrified yelp from Beetlestar's den. And it's his voice. Thank StarClan! He's alive! I creep over, and Twigclaw exits. I quickly dash to him. "Is Beetlestar okay? I heard him yell." The old medicine cat sighs. "He's okay now. I left Snowpaw in charge of him. She may be an apprentice, but she can handle this." His brisk voice worries me. "Something's wrong." I mew, hardly able to stand up. Twigclaw looks at me questioningly. "He woke up to find a blood soaked den and huge rips in his belly. He almost lost a life. But he's fine now." I nod. "Where's Minnowleap?" I ask, trying to change the subject. Twigclaw narrows his eyes. "I was just going to check on him. He was attacked by a cat last night." My heart skips a beat. Oh no. I follow him to the medicine den and look down at the small tabby tom. His face is covered in blood, and claws marks that look familiar. He can't die! Oh StarClan please! I hang my head. Please. I love him too much. Minnowleap doesn't love me. But I can't help but care for him. I lean down beside him. Don't go. My thoughts must rouse him, because he looks at me. "Sunheart? What are you doing here?" I jolt up. "I-I heard that-that you were hurt! And I wanted to um see if you were okay." I mew awkwardly. Minnowleap takes no notice> "You need to know this. The cat that attacked me said her name was Darkshadow, and it was her destiny to rule the forest." Darkshadow. Why am I not surprised? "She was pitch black, and her paws were covered in blood." I shiver. Minnowleap's description of her is claw point accurate. She's strong. She's learning to block certain memories from me. Because I don't remember this at all. The den is warm, but a cold breeze ruffles my pelt. Minnowleap may not know this, but I do. He's lucky that he's still alive.

Chapter 4 ~Hide Away~

"Are you okay?" Minnowleap startles me out of my thoughts. My heart is thudding and my fur is bristling. "Are you okay?" He repeats. My voice catches, but I manage to croak out, "I'm fine. I need to get some rest." I then leave the medicine den. It'll be okay. I promise. My mother's voice rings in my head. Oh Morningleap. How I wish it was. I lie down in my nest. I try to shut out everything, in hopes of getting to sleep, but nothing works. Even when I do sleep, I get nightmares. Clearly I can't rest, so I think about the past. Before the storm. Before Darkshadow. I close my eyes and remember. "From this moment on, you will be know as Sunpaw." That was Hailstar, leader when I was born. He was strong, brave, and smart. Then his bloody gruesome death flushes in. More work of Darkshadow. I push that away, and focus on the memory of my best friend, Goldenflight. Remorse hits me hard. You were so young. I don't know what you saw, but I hope it was worth it. I shake my head. All my memories are sad and worthless. I want to hide from this, but it's impossible. Even if I left, Darkshadow would continue to terrorize everyone. I collapse. It feels like nothing really matters anymore. Finally I get the strength and walk to the apprentice den. "Hey Ashpaw, ready for some battle training?"

I spend most of the time before sun-high, teaching Ashpaw. The only good thing that could ever come out of having Darkshadow exist, is that all my battle moves are sharp. It's the only part that might be helpful one day. Eventually Ashpaw gets tired, and I send her on a hunting assessment. But I don't watch her. I just wish I had never been born.

Minnowleap returns to the Warriors den. He seems fine, just a little shaken at Mousepaw's sudden death. I wish I could feel the same way. I want this nightmare to be over. I want this all to end. Yellowpelt tries to cheer me up, but her jokes just make me feel miserable. She soon gives up. I just lie there. The sun gets lower and lower in the sky. I want to leave, but there's no point. Darkshadow will find her way here anyway. But the odd thing is that I actually sleep that night. I don't feel any pain at all.

When I wake, everything is calm. I have no memories but of sleep. And I smile. Darkshadow couldn't take me! Maybe I can beat this after all! Maybe I don't have to deal with this. But a thudding heart, and cold nest tells me that I'm wrong. I just don't remember anything. No cat seems dead. I carry on with duties as normal, and the water look blue as ever. This leads me to think Darkshadow only wished to scare me. I think maybe she didn't do anything. Then we find Ashpaw's dead body. My heart is chilled.

The misery continues all day. I feel sick. Then Minnowleap pads over to me. "Are you okay? You've been feeling down, and now.. with Ashpaw." He trails off. I sit quietly and watch the sun sink lower and lower into the sky. That's when I break down and tell Minnowleap everything. Then I run, praying it's not to late to escape

Chapter 5 ~Broken Pieces~

I run. I run. And I feel the change. I feel it. But I don't think I can do this. But I must run. I cannot let her harm anyone. Darkshadow has taken to much. I will not let her take over. I'm stopped on the inside. Something calling me. I stop and listen. Don't let her take hold. Keep running. And I run. I reach Twolegplace. My heart thumps as I wait. And I cry.

Idiot. She really thinks she can stop me? I will stop her. Sunheart doesn't know what she's just gotten herself into…

I pad to camp. My night sight is better than before, but it's still too dim to make out anything in particular. Beetlestar is still alive. Tonight I will end this. I must be the new ruler! I climb up again to his den. This time, he's awake. "Ha! I knew it! There is an intruder!" My heart thumps loudly. Beetlestar hisses. "You think you can kill me again? Well good luck! I brought help!" Twigclaw, Snowpaw, and Poppyclaw, the clan deputy. I hiss back. "Wow. A leader with one life left, an old medicine cat, an apprentice that mixes herbs, and a strained queen. Wow. I'll be toast." I arch my back. "Looks like I'll just won't play by the rules." I leap at Poppyclaw first. She's a good fighter, but she's also old. I pin her down easily. She mutters a quick surrender, and I turn to Beetlestar. With my claws extended, I rip them down his face. He swats me, and I feel my face bleeding. I ignore this more now. It'll be Sunheart's problem later. I slit his throat, and blood gushes and gurgles from it. He falls, and his breathing stops.That was too easy. Snowpaw has disappeared, so there's just Twigclaw left. He glares at me. "I know what you've done. You are a terrible thing Darkshadow. StarClan warned me about you." I narrow my eyes. "If you know everything, you must know who I really am." I spit at him. He laughs. "Maybe not, but I know you change back in the sun. I know you will." I see the sun rising behind me. Cursing myself, I try to run, but Twigclaw pins me down. I feel disgusted that some old cat can hold me down, but he's stronger then he seems. The sun rises into the den. I feel the change. The last thing I hear is Twigclaw screech in surprise.

I blink open my eyes, to find myself in Beetlestar's den, covered in blood, with Twigclaw holding me down. His face is twisted with rage. "You!" He screeches. "You!" I am terrified. I have no idea what's happening. I have no memory of this place. Twigclaw seems to notice the tenor, and fear in my eyes, and releases his grip on me. "Sorry. Sunheart." I stand up and look around the den. It's hardly recognizable. Covered in blood and skid marks, it looks like 3 DewClan cats took on all of FireClan. I see Beetlestar's broken body. I almost lose what little insides I have. I look at Twigclaw. "I'm sorry." I mew quietly. He looks at me strangely. "Why?" I stare at my paws. "For all this. You know. I could see it in your eyes." I shut my eyes. "This is all my fault." Twigclaw walks over to me. "It's alright. Beetlestar may be gone, but Poppyclaw can rule fine. It's not your fault. The storm was not your fault." I cry. Twigclaw doesn't understand yet. He doesn't know about Mousepaw, Aspenkit or Ashpaw. "It's still me." I mew. "I brought Darkshadow to us. I should not be here." Twigclaw tilts his head. "Is that her name? I just knew she was a creature of darkness. Ruled only by her own power." I sigh and leave the den. I wash every strand of Beetlestar's blood off me. Pebbleheart joins me. I know he's liked me for ages. I've never felt the same. He's awkward, but funny. He rolls with everything. And I hate his guts for not having any problems. I shouldn't, but I do. He talks to me. I listen. He tells me how Twigclaw and Poppyclaw went to Starpool. He mention things. He says that Mistybird will likely be the new deputy. I don't reply. I just hope nothing will go wrong.

When the newly named Poppystar returns, we all gather to hear of the new deputy. She stands on the rockwall, looking nervous. I know Snowpaw cleaned off the blood, but she can still smell the stench of blood. The ceremony starts. My hearts stops. Because Poppystar says that, "The new deputy of DewClan, will be Sunheart."

Chapter 6 ~Stay With Me~

No! This cannot be happening! I can't! I ready myself to tell Poppystar that I can't do this. But It's too late. She's already in her new den. Cats are cheering my name. I can't be deputy! Darkshadow will truly take all advantage now! I sigh. We're all doomed.

Minnowleap finds me later. Brushing his fur to mine. "It's okay." He murmurs. "You'll make it." I'm crying. "Minnowleap, you don't understand. Darkshadow will find a way to make it terrible. She'll kill Poppystar, rule the clans!" Minnowleap sees the panic in my eyes. He gets that this is more then it seems. His pale green eyes are filled with sorrow, and longing. Is he thinking about his sister, Goldenflight? I reach forwards and lick his ear. "We have to make it through this." I mew. He nods. "Anything for me to do, deputy?" I nod. "Take Mistybird and Pebbleheart. Head by the FireClan border, make sure nothing is up." He pads off, and collects them. Less then a second later, Littlefawn is sitting next to me. "Minnowleap is padding after you." She smirks. I roll my eyes. "Great StarClan, I wish." She sighs. "You've got 3 toms vying for you!" "3?" I mew confusedly. Littlefawn nods. "Pebbleheart, Minnowleap and Quailheart!" Now I know she's crazy. Quailheart hates me! He's still mad over the fact that i was made a warrior before him, even though he started training before me. I bet he's fuming at the fact I'm now deputy. Littlefawn lies down. "I wish he were padding after me. He's always been so big, strong, and adorable." She sounds like she's describing a LionClan warrior. From ancient times. She's crazy. I look at her, carefully, checking if she's kidding. She's not. "Well then." I mew. "Take him and Robintail to the forest. I need a hunting patrol done." She grins, and gathers them up. This will get better. It must.

The days drag on. Surprisingly, Darkshadow seems to be staying away. It seems as though I've beaten her. But I know I'm wrong. She wouldn't give up that easily. She couldn't possibly be gone, could she?"

Then, one day, I head by the FireClan border. That's when it hits me. Feathers. Blood. FireClan scent. Those fox-hearts have been hunting on our territory again! I signal to Littlefawn to head back and get reinforcements. Stickpaw, Willoweyes, and Sunnytail follow me. I can hear them talking. I flick my tail, telling them to stay down. I strain to hear the cocky voices. "It's clear they haven't noticed a thing! Come on out and fight like a warrior!" Oh no they didn't! I leap out onto the back of the biggest one. It's Tanglefrost, the deputy! The others follow suit. Soon the air is full of screeching cats. I bite down hard on Tanglefrost's shoulder. He hisses, but seems to be weak. I rake my claws down his belly. First I feel sick for using one of Darkshadow's tricks, but it's worked. He's dead. or at least pretending. Then I turn to Lilyfoot. She's big, but no match. She rakes her claws down the side of my face. I feel the blood oozing, but there's no time to stop. I rip her back and watch the blood bleed out. I whip around to Hollyheart. She thinks it's a trick. She's caught off guard. It's tough. She sting. I swat her shoulder, and leap onto her back. She throws me off. I scatter some leaves as I race back at her, and use my muzzle to unbalance her. She falls, but quickly jumps back up. I pretend to go limp. "Ha!" She mews, and relaxes her grip. I punt up and kick her. She hisses, and bolts. No use trying to catch her now. Riverbolt is coming now. A small lithe tabby. It's clear he'll be no match for me, but he fiercer then he looks. Sunnytail leaps on him and bites his ears. She's taking care of him, while I head off the stream of FireClan toms and she-cats. By now, Littlefawn is back, and leading a second patrol. The FireClan cats know they're outnumbered, and run away, terrified. Tanglefrost and Lilyfoot don't join them. My heart feels sick. I just killed two cats. I'm turning into Darkshadow! Stickpaw snarls at the retreating FireClan cats. "Maybe next time you'll think before you steal our prey!" I lead everyone back. What am I going to do?

I have to do something. I can't just hide in my nest. Soon everyone will figure out that I killed the FireClan deputy, and his mate. I wasn't trying to, but I guess Darkshadow is taking over me. I remember a rule of the warrior code, that I now I have broken today. An honourable warrior does not need to kill cats to win their battles. I was a rouge. An outlaw. Something that never should have been. I'd have to tell Poppystar that I was not fit for deputyship. She'd appoint some cat else. I couldn't do this. I'm a traitor to the warrior code. I thought miserably.

I crawled out of my nest in time for the evening patrol. "Fuzzyclaw, Cherrypaw, Treetail and Wingfur!"I mewed. "Head over to the FrozenClan border." They nodded. I turned to a ticked Quailheart. "I want you to lead a hunting patrol by the Great Oaks. Take any cat you wish." He collected Owlpaw and Ambershine. They left camp. Now to find Poppystar. I thought. The tabby was sitting in her den. "Poppystar?" I called. "Come in" rasped the elderly she-cat. I aded inside. She was sitting down, looking confused. "Sunheart? Why are you here?" I took a deep breath and told her about the battle. How I was Darkshadow's other half. Her green eyes grew wider and wider as I spoke. Finally when I'd finished, she sighed. "How could I have missed this?" She mewed quietly. "No idea." I meowed. "But I can't be deputy anymore. I can't risk it." Poppystar shook her head. "No Sunheart. You must be our deputy. There was a sign. You are deputy of DewClan." Her eyes were full of disbelief. Still, I took it as a sign of being demised, and left. There's nothing we can do now. I thought.

Minnowleap met up with me, as I went to pick up a small vole. I hadn't eaten much since Ashpaw's death. I looked at him. "Don't go tonight." He mewed. "You're stronger than her. Stay with me." I heart thumped as I leaned in to his warm pelt. "Always." Little did I know, that would not be the case at all.

The sun sets. Instead of running, I curl up next to Minnowleap in my nest. He purrs loudly.He does love me. I mew, "I promised I'd stay." He licks my cheek. "Of course." It seems perfect. The kind of romance in a story. The kind an elder would say there was when they were a kit. But this is real. Minnowleap loves me. And this feeling is so strong, it seems to block out Darkshadow from this den. I feel, for the first time in a very long time, safe.

I awake, to the sun streaming into the den. The nest is still warm, and wet? At first I assume it's water, but then I see my paws. Blood red. I turn to tell Minnowleap, but let out a gasp of pure shock and horror. Before me lies Minnowleap. Dead.

Chapter 7 ~Regret At It's Finest~

My head spins before me. My vision is blurry. But the stench of blood tells me that I'm not dreaming. This is real. And I cry. Minnowleap is gone. The one tom I loved. Gone from me. My whole life is gone. I lost Morningleap when I was just an apprentice, my father already dead. Goldenflight had gone mad, drawn in by something I never saw. Killed herself in rage. Hailstar, my mentor. A victim of Darkshadow's murderous ways. Ashpaw, my brave apprentice. She was too young. Now, it's Minnowleap's bloodied body that snaps me back to the present. He's gone. And I let out a remorseful yowl of pain. Why did I stay? I should have run. Run away. He'd be here now. Minnowleap would be safe. Why am I such a stupid she-cat?!?! I collapse. Curling up to what little warmth is left in Minnowleap's body, a piece of me dies.

Yellowpelt shakes me awake. She's seen what happened. "Sunheart, how is he dead?" She mews. "Do you now?" I do know. But I can't say. It would only make everything worse. Instead, I mew, "Does it look like I know who did it?!?! If I did, they would be dead now too!" I shriek. She steps back. "S-sorry. I told Poppystar. She wants to see you." I nod and leave the den. Poppystar will know it's Darkshadow. She'll know how dangerous I am! She'll exile me. I just hope that's enough. I climb up the rocky ledge and mew, "Poppystar?" Her raspy voice mutters a reply. I come in, and am shocked. The once strong Poppystar looked weak, defeated. Like an elder who lived through a hundred battles. "Sunheart…" She mews weakly. "Yellowpelt told me that Minnowleap is dead." I nod. "It was Darkshadow, wasn't it?" I nod again, incapable of speaking. She sighs and stretches her legs. "Well then. We are certainly in a pickle. As long as Darkshadow is a part of you, there is nothing we can do, without harming you." I nod. "But we can't separate. We are one being, trapped together." Poppystar shakes her head. "Perhaps. Maybe you need to talk to Twigclaw." What? I dip my head respectfully. Poppystar smiles. "I have faith in you. Go rest in your den. I'll have Fuzzyclaw take care of today's patrols." I back out of the den. But instead of sleeping, I take a walk. To the border. The gorge. It's the FrozenClan border, and it works fine. It will be perfect for what I'm about to do. I bend my legs and jump. I expect to fall. To hit the rocks at the bottom, and have it be over. Then I could join Minnowleap, and Darkshadow would be gone. But I don't fall. My necks hurts. That's when I realize that something has grabbed hold of me. I struggle, but the shape in strong. It drags me back onto the ledge. I roll over, and see, to my dismay that it's Pebbleheart. "What in the name of StarClan are you doing?!" He belts. I wince. I had no idea that his voice could get so loud. I mew pitifully, "I was trying to die." Pebbleheart gasps. "But why?" I turn away. "Minnowleap is gone. I have nothing left to live for. I just want to end this. It will be best for everyone." "No." He rasps. "Not for me. I love you. I know I was never more than a friend, but this is how I feel." My heart thumps faster. It can't be! But I love Minnowleap. Pebbleheart is a good cat, but he's only a den-mate. Nothing more. He leans over my strained body and mews, "Come with me." I listen, but barely. I'm thinking of a way to die without him finding me. I won't let this stop me.

Day after day he find and foils my plots. I know he's following me, but I can't give up. I must get rid of this.. On the plus side, Darkshadow is staying off the radar. Unless she's killing cats from other clans, It's as if she's gone. But I know that's not true. She'll always come back.

Finally I give up. Minnowleap is gone. Pebbleheart can have his way. But I will not enjoy this at all. I will lose m mind. I tell him so. He's relieved. Sort of. He'll try to make me stay. But I can't listen to that. Darkshadow has killed every cat I've every cared about. Now, I want it to end. I tell Pebbleheart my story. He's shocked, but he understands. I feel safe talking to him. Like I did with Minnowleap. Before his untimely death. Pebbleheart rises me from my depression. I am at peace. He takes me to see Twigclaw. This is when I cry. "Sunheart, you have to stop squirming!" He meows angrily. I stop moving. "Sorry Twigclaw." He sighs. "She'll be fine Pebbleheart." He mews at last. "Just don't let her jump off any more cliffs." Pebbleheart laughs, and we walk. I feel brave, strong and free. But free is a word that I'm never going to be.

Chapter 8 ~How To Make An Entrance~

The moon rises. I've hid as far away as I can from DewClan. Darkshadow is coming. And i brace myself for this. I feel the split. Her cackle raises the fur on my spine. She's coming now. She's ready. And all I know is that she must die.

Why doesn't she just give up already? That measly little piece of crow-food. It doesn't matter now. This will end tonight. I'm tired of this. Only living while the moon is up. And I know Sunheart will do what's right. For me at least! Ha. Minnowleap is dead. Her only love. It was what kept her going. Now, she will fall. Nothing more to care about. I slink down off the ridge. She thinks she can hide from her fate. Then again, she thinks I won't kill anyone. Stupid she-cat. Through the gorse barrier, I see the Clan, restless. But there're not expecting me. I loop around the perimeter, and into the medicine den. There's Snowpaw. Silly medicine apprentice. She doesn't expect anything. I rip her throat out easily. Too easily. There's no blood. Se just falls over. It's a decoy! I whip around to see the real Snowpaw, her back arched. "So it is you!" She spits. "I'll flay you!" It's funny. How she thinks she can destroy me. I jump, but she's swift. I hit the dirt floor, and scrape my nose. Hissing, I turn around, but the white she-cat is ready for my next attack. I swat her face, and get her bleeding, but she doesn't stop. She tackles me and tries to hit my spine. I'm being beaten by an apprentice! What's become of me? I slash her back and she collapses. "You-you win." She mutters under her breath. "Just-just don't hurt anyone else…" Her breathing slows, and she dies. Like I wouldn't hurt anyone. What does she think she is? My therapist? I turn and slink off into the night, planning my next attack.

I scratch the dirt loosely. If I bring them from here, then we can invade from the heart of the Clan. Then, flood up to Poppystar's den, and get her. Everyone else will run away or die trying, leaving only Sunheart. She'll die soon, and I will rule the forest! MWA HA HA HA HA!

I wake in the bush. There was something scuffed in the dirt. Plans. But it's gone now. It's gone. I have nothing to go on. Looking down the hill, I see Pebbleheart climbing back up. "Sunheart! Snowpaw's dead." My heart falls and smashes into a million pieces. She can't. Pebbleheart seems to read my thoughts. "She is. Come on. I'm taking you home." I pull away. "Pebbleheart, I can't go back. I can't risk anyone. Aspenkit, Mousepaw, Beetlestar, Ashpaw, Minnowleap and now Snowpaw." He looks at me. "Sunheart, you must!" I shake my head. "Who's next? Poppystar? Twigclaw? You?" I start to shake. "I can't. I won't make anyone else suffer for my problems." He sighs, and picks me up. I try to struggle, but he keeps a firm grip, and I feel so weak. I've barely eaten since Minnowleap died. Pebbleheart force feeds me a squirrel, and tucks me into my nest. The instant he's gone though, I bolt into the medicine den. Twigclaw is sitting alone. I stand awkwardly. "I'm really sorry." I mew. He looks up. 'It wasn't your fault Sunheart. It wasn't your fault. I should never have left her alone." Sighing, I pad closer. "But I need your help." And I tell him a plan. To separate Darkshadow and myself. I can battle and kill her. End this. He nods. "I know of an ancient magic that may work. I might be able to help. Tonight we will go to Starpool and preform the spell. You can keep it safe.'

We go. it's a long treacherous journey, but we go. The sun is just beginning to set when we arrive inside the cave. I lean down and lap up some of the water, as per Twigclaw's instructions. He leans over me, and covers me with a strange kind of moss. "Now.' he mews. "Stay silent, and I'll preform the spell." I nod and sit straight. "Before the time. The storm. The darkness. Bring back the broken spirit. Change the design of fate. Break apart the evil. Tear it limb, from limb. Be the silent call. Take what's within." Twigclaw finished his eerie chant, and my brain fries. I feel ripping, and thunder. An evil cackle is rising out of my chest. My mouth and heart. Thunder crashes, and lightning strikes the water. Sitting next to me is Darkshadow, a malicious grin on her face. She laughs and runs. I feel the branches and cool earth beneath her paws. She runs. I exchange a glance at Twigclaw. What did we just do?

Chapter 9 ~Separation~

Twigclaw breaks our terrified silence. "We just released to biggest threat to the Clans out into the open." I'm speechless. This is all my fault. I wanted to protect my clanmates. Instead, they're probably dying as we stand here. Twigclaw sighs. "We better go. I-We have to get back to DewClan." Nodding a reply, I deploy myself from the cavern and run outside. Rain has begun to fall, and we struggle to keep going, but we must outrun Darkshadow. Twigclaw is old, but he has strong stamina, so he can keep up with my long strides. It seems that Darkshadow has not yet reached the camp, but we keep running. We must stop her. I can't let- oh fox-dung! We scurry into the edge of camp, but she's there. Poppystar is crouched in surrender. She's struggling to stay alive, I can tell. Darkshadow is making an announcement. We can't hear it, because of the bracken by our faces, but her cruel voice rings loud inside my head. I quietly relay to Twigclaw what she's saying. "I am your new leader. The age of your Clans are gone. It is my destiny to rule over you measly flea-bags." A few cats hiss angrily, including Pebbleheart, Littlefawn, Quailheart, Ambershine and Willoweyes. Darkshadow continues on. "I am also telling you now, if you have a complaint, file it to the complaint department." She flicks her bushy tail to a large tabby tom, that I've never seen before. "This is Stitch. Talk to him about your problems." Stitch flexes large muscles. Littlefawn steps out of the crowd, hissing violently. "What if we don't want you as leader!" She shrieks, loud enough for us to hear. "What if we'll fight you?! You don't deserve to be a leader of any kind! Poppystar is the rightful leader of DewClan!" I admire her courage, but she's just made a terrible mistake. Darkshadow laughs. "This miserable tabby? Your leader? Ha! It's not wonder you're weak. Now, cats of 'DewClan', your friend here, whatever her name is, is going to demonstrate what happens if any of you defy me." She leaps down from the Leader's Rock. My voice grows thick, and I try to call out,  but it's too late. Darkshadow has ripped her claws through Littlefawn's neck. Her brown and white tabby pelt is oozing scarlet blood. The once beautiful tabby is dead before me, and it's obvious that the others are terrified. Darkshadow leaps back up and licks her claws. "And that my friends is what will happen if you dare defy me. Meeting dismissed." She walks into Poppystar's den, signalling for Stitch to follow. The others retreat quickly. Before anything else can go wrong, I hiss to Pebbleheart and Cherrypaw, who are passing by. "You two! We're in here!" Pebbleheart stops dead, and whips around. Seeing my yellow coat, he relaxes, and brings the startled apprentice into the bracken. I nod at them to follow us, and we run as far as we can. I know Twigclaw must be tired after running all the way back from Starpool, and to wherever we're going. We stop in a small glade, just outside the Clan's territory. Cherrypaw looks from me, to Pebbleheart to Twigclaw with a confused expression. "Now will someone please tell me what's going on?" Twigclaw looks at me. "Sunheart should explain. She knows the most." Of course. I lean down to the she-cat and tell her about Darkshadow. She's real angry, but she's calm enough to listen. "So it's all your fault that she's just taken over the Clans." I nod. "That pretty much sums it up." Pebbleheart intervenes. "It's not all her fault. Don't blame her Cherrypaw." The russet she-cat backs down. I realize she's almost as big as me. She should have been a warrior a long time ago. She doesn't seems to care about that though. She's too busy examining some plants. I leave Twigclaw to tell her what it is. I lie down in some mossy grass. Pebbleheart lays beside me. "Rough night?" He mews jokingly. "You don't know the half of it." I mutter. He licks my sodden, mud  splattered, pelt. I feel like a kit again, back when Morningleap was still alive. Back when my biggest worry was who my mentor would be. Pebbleheart senses this, and tries to make me calm, but I'm freaking out! I can't stand it. I begin to shutter and shake, foaming, and trying to keep myself together. But it's not working. I can't deal with this separation. I'll never be the same. Little do I know, I'm right in more ways than imaginable.

Thump, Thump, Thump. A loud noise wakes me up in the middle of the night wakes me. They know! They are coming! I try to run, but my legs are melting into the ground. I'm running, but I'm stuck, I can feel them coming closer. Darkshadow has slain my friends, she coming towards me, and she slashes my throat. I die, and hear her voice laughing. Her cruel, cold, malicious laugh. I've lost. We lost. The forest is doomed. It's all my fault.

Then I wake. It was a dream! But it was not just a dream. More than a nightmare even. The echoing tells me that it's a prophecy.

Chapter 10 ~No Turning Back~

My heart is thumping, and I'm screaming. Yet no sound comes. The others lie asleep. I'm the only one who saw the omen. Help Me!  Finally air comes. I'm safe. For now. But my heart is spinning, and I'm trying not to die. My pure anxiety wakes Pebbleheart. "Sunheart!" he mews. "Are you alright?" I shook my head, and tell him about my dream. His eyes grow wider and wider in shock and terror. "This is horrible! We can't let this happen!" I turn away. "I don't know what else we're going to do. There's four of us, and a million of her. She's more powerful than you think." Pebbleheart licks my cheek. "We'll stop her. I promise." I purr, and groom his ears. "You are what I was searching for." I murmur. "You are the cat I need." Maybe once I needed Minnowleap. Maybe I still do. Maybe my love for Pebbleheart is a lost echo. I don't know. But what I do know is that he will be there for me. He will always stand my my side. There's no turning back now.

Pebbleheart pitches his idea to Twigclaw. An idea of a rebellion. To find the DewClan cats that won't follow Darkshadow's rein. Twigclaw is interested. "I think it could work. We should be able to round up the remaining cats." I nod. "I agree." I mew. Twigclaw nods. "I second it." I turn to Cherrypaw, who's been very quiet. "What about you?" I mew. "Do you have an opinion Cherrypaw?" Cherrypaw shakes her head. "And it's not Cherrypaw. I'm a medicine cat, by the name of Cherrywing." Twigclaw explains that we made her a medicine cat last night, at Cherrywing's request. "Congratulations." I mew. She looks away. "It's not much."

For the next quarter moon we plan and plot our rebellion. We recruit cats from DewClan, FrozenClan, FireClan and even some loners. We have an army. We have a chance. We can stop Darkshadow. We can save the clans.

I'll kill that idiot. The second I find her. She's mine, and they better not forget it. I have my Clan. My slaves. I've killed off so many of them. It's hard to keep track. But the medicine cat is gone. I could swear he's still alive. Which leads me to wonder if he's helping my traitorous other half. I doubt he would be much use. He;s just an old cat. Not enough to help her. Besides, she's probably weeping over poor Minnowleap, and how she's going to die so she can be with him. it's pathetic. Seriously pathetic. That's why I never bothered with anything like love. Stitch keeps command of the Clan well. They are all terrified of us, except for the few that are actually on my side, without me having to use violence. It's nice to know that there are some cats with some sense around here. But it isn't until I search the medicine den, that I find something worth using. It's a spell carved into the side of the wall. To bring the shadows of time. To bring back the shadow. This could help me take over the Clans, once and for all.

"Stitch, get in here." I mew. The tom follows. "What's wrong Darkshadow?" He meows. I show him the runes, I tell him of the Shadow. The Shadow Bringers. They will help me rule. Stitch nods. "Of course. And tonight has the same moon described to have them appear again. You just have to make it clear that you're their leader, and you can control them." I roll my eyes. "Duh. Come on. We have to announce that we're heading to Cloud Mountain." He nods. As we leave the den, I kick the brown and white tabby pelt that used to belong to Poppystar. She's gone now. Like any cat would miss her. A gray she-cat stumbles into camp, her pelt torn. It's Mistybird. "You!" I hiss. "Where were you during roll-call?" She shrugs. It's pure arrogance. Without a second though, I tear her throat open. She bleeds out quickly. "Useless scum." Mutters Stitch. I quickly make the announcement to the Clan. I'm putting Spiderface in charge until we return. She's one of the few cats who actually supports me. Tonight is the night when I take over the forest.

I creep up to Cloud Mountain. So far from territory. I turn to the pool. Following the ancient runes, I whisper to the smoke gathering on the water. "Bring on the fire, bring on the hell, burn away, until no trace remains. Bring on the fire, bring on the hell. Destroy my enemies, for I am Darkshadow!" I finish the chant, and the cats rise up. They rise to serve me. The spirits of the past. "Welcome." I say. "My name is Darkshadow, and I am going to be your leader."

Cherrywing tells me all this. Darkshadow is taking over the forest with her Shadow Bringers. How they will hide in their fortress. An admin castle. I'm scared, as I tell the crowd of our followers. But they want to fight. Defeat the cats we lost. And our army tells Darkshadow this. We will meet at dawn tomorrow on the open plains. We will fight do the death. And all I know is that Darkshadow must die, at all costs. There's no turning back now.

Chapter 11 ~Battle Of The Shadow Bringers~

They think they can beat me. Ha! I've killed them already. The Shadow Bringers are the most powerful thing in the forest. But they can fight. They can die. They can all die…

I wake up, drenched in sweat. I've just seen inside Darkshadow's mind. She's going to kill us. But I force myself to tay strong. For Pebbleheart. For Twigclaw and Cherrywing. For Willoweyes, Stickpaw and Sunnytail. For the cats of other Clans, and those lost. We must win the battle. We must survive. The Clans must survive.

She thinks she can stop me. She think she and her measly clan army can win. Sunheart doesn't know how wrong she is. She doesn't know how wrong she is.

I'm terrified. We're reading each other's thoughts. We know what the other thinks. We can feel emotions, ideas, threats, and pain. I'm shaken to the bone. This is it. This is when I stop the battle. This is when we win.

And our united Clan sets out to the battle field. To challenge an evil from before the age of time. To end this.

"LionClan, attack!" I mewed. We charge at the fortress they've built themselves. And I lose myself in the fight. The fight that changes everything.

"Shadow Bringers, Attack!" I mew with full force. Sunheart can try. She can try. But my army will not die. They will. This is how we win. This is how we rule the forest. My destiny will soon come true. I will rule over everything. And I believe it, until I see Stitch lying on the ground, bleeding out. I race over. "How did this happen!?" I mew in rage. Stitch coughs. "Spiderface. She's a traitor. Kill her." I nod. It must be done. But before I go to purse her, Stitch calls out one last thing. "Wait Darkshadow. I need to tell you something." I turn around, annoyed. "What?" I mew. Stitch's tabby pelt is bloodied, and he's dying, but he manages out four words. "I love you Darkshadow." Then his eyes close for the last time, and I'm left standing in shock. I lean down and lick his pelt. "I love you too." Then I shake myself. I was a victim of Sunheart's sentimental nature! I never loved anything. Nothing except power. But to avenge Stitch's death, I find Spiderface and rip her to pieces. This is something I won't forget.

Our spy is dead. Gone. But she took down Darkshadow's large crony. She did something. And that's when it hits me. Darkshadow showed emotion other than hatred. For one moment. In that tiny moment, she showed love. Then denied it seconds later. Maybe we can win this thing. My energy is renewed, and I fight. Selecting a large gray tom out of the crowd, I leap upon him, and start tearing out his fur. He yowls, and throws me off, leaving a large welt down my back. I rake my claws on his flank, and he howls. He disappears in a puff of smoke. Yet behind me, more appear. That's when it hits me. These spirits won't die, until their leader is gone. My heart starts to pound. My breath heavy. If we are to win, I'll have to fight Darkshadow, and beat her. I have to win. For the Clans. I whip towards the sidelines, and find Pebbleheart. His face breaks into a smile when he sees me. "Sunheart! You're okay!" I sigh. "Not for long, I'm afraid." I tell him how I'm going to face off with Darkshadow. "I'm scared Pebbleheart." He nods. "I am too. But I know you can do this. I know you can beat her." I lick his cheek. "I'll be back." And without a second thought, I charge back into battle. I'm coming for you Darkshadow. Get ready for your worst nightmare to finally come true.

"Darkshadow!" I mew, my face in rage. "Come and face me!" The black she-cat steps out of the crowd, her glossy coat shimmering. "Tell you what Sunheart. I'll call of the battle of you can defeat me. The Shadow Bringers will be gone, and you can go back to happy-go lucky land. But if I win, we will rule the forest!" I nod. "I accept the deal." Darkshadow flicks her tail, and the Shadow Bringers stop. Everyone, Clan, no Clan, Shadow, gathers around us. Without another thought, I throw myself at her. She evades me easily. "You've got to do better than that sweetheart." I leap on her back, and rake my claws down her flank. She bowls me over, and shreds my ear with her razor sharp claws. I pull myself up, only to be struck down again. I take advantage of Darkshadow's brief distraction to leap up, and rake her belly. She recovers almost instantly, and hurls me towards a rock wall. I leap off the side, and land on her back, my heart pounding. "You can't win Sunheart!" She meows. "Better to give up now, save your precious little friends." I slash her face, letting the blood drip out. Darkshadow makes a nice comeback. That's when Willoweyes cries out, "Look out Sunheart!" Darkshadow going for her signature move. Going straight for my throat. Before she can go anywhere, I leap at her's and slash through it with my claws. Her face registers surprise, and for one fleeting moment, we share the same shocked look. Then Darkshadow falls down at my paws. Dead.

Chapter 12 ~Simple Treasures~

arkshadow has fallen. She lies dead on the ground in front of me. Her glossy black pelt is torn, ripped and bloodied. She's gone. My legs are weak, and I want to keel over. But I've defeated my other half. I've beaten Darkshadow. I expect her evil spirits to retreat. But they don't. There are more. They are powerful. But they have to die. Their master is gone. They fight harder, stronger, as though a new leader has given them orders. It chills me to my bones. Willoweyes and I exchange a horrified stare. "Why aren't they going?" She mews. "They have no leader!" I stare at my paws, covered in thick, sticky blood. "I don't know. I thought I saved the forest from the menace. But it's only just started." She nods. "I'm going to take Stickpaw to the shelter. He's bleeding heavily." "I'll take him. You need to fight."  I reply half-consciously, and pad to the small shelter. Sunnytail is huddling over Quailheart, her voice choked. "He can't be dead! He can't! He and Ambershine had so much to live for!" Looking over at the russet she-cat, I realize for the first time, that she's expecting kits. We have to end this. I won't let those kits die. With a sigh, I turn to Twigclaw, who's examining Pebbleheart's shoulder tear, letting Cherrywing look at Stickpaw. "You'll be fine." He mews. Seeing me, he nods. "Sunheart, what's wrong?" I explain how Darkshadow died, but her allies were still fighting. "Something's wrong." Pebbleheart nods. "It's as if she gave them some kind of legacy. To fight until the Clan cats die." He's right. Twigclaw puts his paws on my neck. "There's more." He mutters under his breath. Pebbleheart looks concerned. "What is it?" Twigclaw sighs. "it seems when we released Darkshadow from your mind, a small fragment of her spirit remained in your soul. That's how she's controlling them." Darkshadow still lives inside me. Giving orders. It won't stop! My breath rises to a panic. "No! This can't happen!" Twigclaw sighs. 'It's the only way." Pebbleheart seems to reach the final conclusion a split second before me. His face is stretched into horror, as I say, "If the battle is to end, I'm going to have to die."

Robintail has heard the conversation. She's ready to freak out. "Sunheart can't die!" Twigclaw looks at her in pain. "She must. Unless you want to watch everyone else die." Robintail cries. "I don't want you to go. You've always understood me, even when I was just a scatterbrained apprentice! You always helped me, even when I was told I couldn't" She sniffs loudly. "I can't watch you leave." Pebbleheart mews, "I don't want it this way. If I could change it, I would." He looks at me with a glimmer of sadness in his eyes. "I wish you could stay." He leaves to go calm down Robintail, who has broken into hysterical sobs. Twigclaw and I battle hard now. We fight the Shadow Bringers, but they keep on coming. One is huge. Her face twisted with pure and utter rage. She's twice my size. I jump on her back, and rake my claws down her flank. She screeches, but tries to get me off. I jump away before she throws me off. She could probably cannon me pretty far. I swat her stomach, but she catches me and swigs her enormous paws at my face. I scuttle and weave around her body and slit her throat. She thrashes and yowls, but she's gone. Yet 6 more replace her in the field. They just keep multiplying There's nothing I can do but die. That's when I hear Twigclaw's screech of pain. I whip around to see a Shadow Bringer biting out his throat. I kill the dark cat with a slash across the belly, but it's too late. The elderly medicine cat falls. "Go Sunheart." He croaks. "You can stop the battle…" The cat who helped me. Trusted me. Who helped me get through this. He helped start the rebellion. He was trained in the ways of herbs, but he was braver than any warrior I ever knew. Twigclaw gave up his passion for healing, just to save the Clans. Now his eyes are glazed silver, his last words etched upon his face. He's gone. I know I have to stop this. For his sake, and the sake of every cat I've watched die. I call Pebbleheart to the edge of the field. And I tell him what I'm going to do.

I stare around at the mayhem. I know what must be done. Pebbleheart presses his warm body to mine. "You can't go." He mews. "I won't lose you." I lick his pelt. "I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to. It's the only way." He shakes his head. "Twigclaw must have some kind of spell to get that fragment out." I tear away, tears blinding my vision. "Twigclaw is dead. There's nothing I can do. I must die." Pebbleheart's voice chokes up. "Sunheart, you have to stay! I-I love you." In spite of all this, I purr. "I love you too. I have to do this. I'll miss you, but StarClan holds every cat I lost." He nods. "I suppose." I lick his pelt. "Poppystar, Morningleap, Goldenflight, Littlefawn, Ashpaw, Snowpaw, everyone." I'm careful not to mention Minnowleap's name, but Pebbleheart knows what I'm avoiding. "You always loved him. I was just here. Minnowleap was always the only tom on your mind." He turns away. "I was nothing but a denmate." No. You were more. I look him in the eyes. "I love you too. Minnowleap may have taken me first, but you are what I found. I love you. I'll miss you, but this is what must be done." He stares at me. "You can't kill yourself." He meows. I mew, "Then you must kill me. It's the only way." He stutters, "No way!" Sighing, I turn towards the battlefield. "Then I will kill myself." He stares. "It's clear I can't stop you from making up your mind." he meows with a sigh. "Just promise you'll wait for me." I nod. "Good luck Pebblestar." He gives me a strange glance before he realizes I've just made him deputy. I'm technically leader, and I won't make it past this. "Are you sure?" he mews, as a last ditch resort. My eyes tear up, but I answer as steadily as I can. "I'm positive. Goodbye." I step out into the middle of the battle, and yowl. "Shadow Bringers! Stop!" They turn, and stare at me. Come on! This was your idea! "I want you to stop fighting. This battle will be over." They stares at me. Reflecting their fierce gaze, I say, "I am going to die, right now. This will stop, and you will vanish." With that, I unsheathe my claws and slash my throat. My world flashes white, and I fall. I know they've gone, because I hear them cheering. Pebbleheart rushes up to me, along with other members of DewClan. He's shaking me, but I barely feel it. I know I'm dying. With the last bit of strength, I mew, "Pebbleheart is to take leadership after me. This is my last sunrise. I love you Pebbleheart. Good luck." My head falls. Minnowleap appears beside me. I know I've just died. "He rouses me up, and I stand, full of strength. I rise into the clouds, watching my pale yellow coat become a smaller, and smaller dot. At last I sit in StarClan, surrounded by my family and friends. Minnowleap look at me, his brown eyes forlorn. "I'm sorry." I mew. He laughs. "You saved everyone. You sacrificed yourself to save everyone. You are the bravest cat I ever met. Which is probably why I love you." He sighs. "But Pebbleheart would probably not approve." My heart sinks. I'd have to choose between the two cats I loved most. "Let's worry about this later." I whisper into his ear. Looking at my friends that fell at Darkshadow's paws, I mew, "I have a few apologies to make."

StarClan is where I remain. Pebblestar has come, and received his 9 lives. One of which I gave him. A life for loving. He is a strong leader, with Willoweyes as his deputy and Cherrywing as his new medicine cat. He is safe. The forest is safe. I am free from Darkshadow's terrible reign. Still, some secrets lie in the forest, some in places one never forgets.

The End

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