July Art Contest Results! + Special Announcement!

Heyo, everybody! 😀 We’re back with the results of your very first monthly art contest! The first of many! 🙂

Before we get started, there was an amazing turnout! I’m so pleased with how many people joined! 😀 The participation level was positively astounding! You all had such wonderful art and I had a very hard time judging. 🙂 I feel like the next round will be even harder! 😉

While there are only three winners, just know that all of you had positively fantastic pieces and I can’t wait to see more of your art! 😀 A huge shout-out to everyone who entered – this wouldn’t have happened without you! 🙂

Without further ado, let’s get on to our results!

In third place, with her spookily good representation of the Dark Forest with the use of the Haunted Forest palette, we have. . .

Dewpaw!

Fantastic work, Dewpaw! Thank you! 😀

And in second place, with her positively amazing sketch of a certain character who we all know and don’t necessarily love, we have. . .

Kat!

This is gorgeous, Kat! I loved every bit of it! 🙂

And in first place, the grand prize winner, who will take the crown? With their hauntingly beautiful piece of a certain scene from a certain book, we have. . .

Clampaw! 😀

Absolutely stunning, Clampaw! Beautiful work! 🙂

Again, I loved every one of your entries! I had such a hard time deciding! But that just goes to show how wonderful everyone is. 😉

And now, onto prizes! 🙂

The third place winner will receive

A fursona drawing! It doesn’t have to strictly be your fursona, it can be an OC of yours or a Warriors character, if you prefer. 🙂

The second place winner will receive

Either a fursona drawing (again, it doesn’t have to be your fursona, necessarily!) or get to choose what the Cbox looks like for a day!

The first place winner will receive

All of the above! You get a drawing and get to pick the colours of the Cbox for a day! 🙂

(Note: Colours for the Cbox must be approved by a moderator so as not to blind everyone. Thanks. 😛 )

You can leave your fursona/OC/Warriors character request in the comments below, if you’ve won a fursona drawing. 🙂 If you choose to change the colours of the Cbox, you can contact a moderator and work with them to change the theme! 🙂 There are no specific dates for this, so don’t feel rushed if you can’t do this on a certain day. 🙂

Note from Icy: If you’re interested in helping out with the drawing of the prizes, feel free to contact me, and I’ll further explain the details. 🙂

And now for our very special announcement!

From here on out, we will have alternating art and fanfiction contests! 🙂 These will take place every other month, so as to let everyone show off their skills! 😀 This month we will be having a fanfiction contest, so let’s get onto the prompt!

Prompt

Cats have begun disappearing left and right. But what could be causing this strange occurrence? Only you know. . .

RULES

  • Keep it PG, please! No inappropriate scenes, excessive gore, cursing, etc. Any entries containing anything of this nature will be deleted. 🙂
  • Let your imagination run wild (But not too wild 😉 )! You can use OCs, canon Warriors characters, or even BlogClanners! 🙂
  • Only one entry per person, please. If you enter multiple times, you will be asked to choose one entry to be judged.
  • Keep it fun and fair for everybody Be kind and respectful to all participants, please. 😀
  • The deadline is August 30th at 11:59 PM, EST.

The winners will receive the same prizes as the art contest winners, in the same order! 🙂 If you need a refresher, here they are. 😉 Third place winner will win a fursona/OC/Warriors character drawing, second place will win either a fursona/OC/Warriors character drawing OR the chance to choose the Cbox colours for a day, and the first place winner will win both! 🙂

I think I’ve kept you reading long enough, so without further ado, get writing! 😉 We’ll see you back here soon, folks! 😀

  114 Replies to “July Art Contest Results! + Special Announcement!”

  1. Sky
    August 28, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    15 google doc pages

    And I don’t even know if I’ll catch the deadline.

    And I don’t know if it’s gonna be worth it.

    *dies of stress*


    2019, here I come!

    • August 28, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Just do the best you can! 😀 I’m sure it’ll be good, and there’s still about two and a half days left!

  2. August 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I need to motivation to finish my fanfic but I can’t find it ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • Sky
      August 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      OHH NOO I HAD THAT PROBLEM TOO A WHILE AGO.

      SEARCH EVERYWHERE.

      TRASH, JUNK, DELETED, SEARCH ALL OF YOUR OLD STUFF.

      FIND ITTTTT


      2019, here I come!

      1
  3. Sky
    August 29, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Snake

    A Fanfiction Contest Entry

    By Sky
    ~~~
    “We have lost another today.” Torrenstar mewed, his voice choked with grief, “My mate, Robincry, has disappeared, along with one of our kits, Fallenkit.”

    Sympathetic murmurs drifted across the Clan, although none carried any shock; any surprise. Cats had been disappearing mysteriously from StreamClan for moons, and although each loss was sad, the worst part was the Clan. Fearful cats had began to leave the Clan, with an agreement that once the disappearances had stopped, they would be welcomed back.

    Cowards. All of them. Snakepaw spat in her mind. When the Clan most needed cats, all of them abandoned it.

    First Juniperheart, Dusklily, and their to-be born kits. Snakepaw supposed she could understand that , as queens and kits were being targeted.

    But the others?

    Duckfeather and Showerspring, the two sisters as aloof and oblivious as ever.

    Iciclewing, the newest warrior. She’d always been jittery…..

    Rabbitrunner, Iciclewing’s to-be mate. He would have stayed, but he followed true love over loyalty. Snakepaw would never do anything as naïve. She’d already proven that.

    And….

    Falconflight. Snakepaw’s to-be mate and love.

    ~~~
    Torrentstar’s gaze swept through the crowd of cats.

    “If anyone would like to leave, speak now.” he mewed, his voice carrying through the silence, “I can guarantee you a full welcoming after the disappearances have stopped. Juniperheart, Dusklily, Duckfeather, and Showerspring have all already left. This is your last offer to leave in peace.”

    Iciclewing and Rabbitrunner stepped forwards, the new warriors cowering under the reproachful stares of their Clanmates.

    “W-We would like to leave…. on your terms….” Iciclewing stammered.

    Torrentstar nodded, “May you escape from this darkness.”

    The Clan wished them the best, though most were reluctant, and the two left.

    “Would anyone else like to leave?” Torrentstar asked.

    And then Falconflight stepped forwards, and Snakepaw’s peaceful little world came crashing down.

    ~~~

    Too many cats had left. In fact, there were only ten warriors and five apprentices left, barely enough for patrols, hunting, training, and guarding.

    “StarClan has left us!” a cat’s yowl of despair rang through the crowd. Calls of agreement followed.

    “We’ve lost seven cats already! One of them a pregnant queen and another a queen and one of her kits!”

    “How will we survive without StarClan’s blessing?!?” a panicked cry arose.

    “CALM DOWN.” Torrentstar boomed. Snakepaw looked up at her leader appreciatively. How could he stay so strong when his mate and one of his kits had just disappeared? When she became leader, she wanted to be like him.

    “Our Clan will stay strong. Tonight is a half-moon, meaning that our medicine cats will go share with StarClan.” he mewed loudly and firmly. A few doubtful murmurs arose, before quieting.

    “Clan dismissed.” Torrentstar sighed wearily as he padded into the nursery, no doubt to check on the rest of his kits.

    ~~~

    “This is an assessment of your skills. Whoever catches five pieces of each kind of prey first wins, and is granted the privilege of being a warrior.” Talonflight announced.

    Snakepaw stared, jaw agape, her eyes wide. Four moons of training, and they were offered a chance to become warriors.

    “Your assessment begins now.” Irisgaze mewed curtly, before slinking into the shadows with the other mentors.

    “Game on.” Foxpaw snarled, before leaping away.

    ~~~

    After a long and tedious day that seemed to stretch out for the longest of all training days, the five apprentices gathered together again in the Reed Circle.

    “Good job, all of you,” Quailnose began, “But one of you finished far before the others.”

    Snakepaw.

    Say Snakepaw

    It has to be Snakepaw.

    “Whitepaw, congratulations.” Talonflight purred.

    No…..

    He was

    Small.

    Frail.

    Weak.

    But he had beaten her.

    Beaten her to her dream.

    “As your mentor, I’ll speak with Torrentstar about your ceremony. ‘Paws, bring your prey back.” Irisgaze ordered, and Snakepaw slunk away glumly. So much hard work….. for this .

    ~~~

    “……From this moment on, you shall be known as Whitewhisper. StarClan honors your stealth and skill, and we welcome you as a warrior of StreamClan.” Torrentstar announced proudly.

    The Clan’s cheers rose up to the slowly solidifying moon.

    Everycat’s but Snakepaw’s.

    ~~~

    As the cheers died down, Torrentstar opened his mouth again, but was quickly cut off as Aspenlily, an expecting queen and Snnakepaw’s mother, burst into the crowd from the nursery.

    “Come quick! Eagletalon has disappeared!” she wailed.

    ~~~

    “Daddy, tell us a story!” Ciderkit squealed.

    “Yeah! Tell us the one where TigerClan gets stripes!” Foxkit added, as Snakekit and Barkkit nodded eagerly.

    Eagletalon purred, and sat down.

    “There were once three Clans, TigerClan, LionClan, and LeopardClan. LionClan had long, golden manes, while LeopardClan had spots. TigerClan was the only Clan that was plain golden.

    “One warrior of TigerClan particularly wanted something to make his Clan stand out. In a jealous rage, he stole Petalkit, Goldenstar of LionClan’s only kit.”

    Here, Snakekit interrupted, “Daddy, if I was stolen, would you find me?” she squeaked probingly, her eyes shining with a kit’s curiosity.

    Eagletalon curled around his four kits.

    “Always, kits. Always.” and he continued the story, his four kits snug against him. /em>

    ~~~

    “Always.”

    The words nagged at Snakepaw’s brain.

    Always.

    Always.

    Always.

    If he would always find her….

    Then Snakepaw had to do the same.

    But right now the world was becoming unfocused, unclear, it’s edges blurring and breaking with each tear Snakepaw and her family shed.

    A few warriors approached her.

    “I’m so sorry.”

    “He was a fine warrior.”

    Words. Blank and meaningless, carrying no real meaning or emotion in them.

    “SHUT UP!” she exploded.

    And then Snakepaw’s legs were off, carrying her out of camp,

    Out of territory,

    Out of her known world and life.

    Following a burning passion and need of vengeance.

    ~~~

    Snakepaw escorted Falconflight out of camp, and then she began to cry.

    “Falconflight….please, don’t leave me….” she pleaded. Falconflight’s eyes were downcast as he nuzzled her gently.

    “I have to.” he whispered.

    “You don’t have to do anything!” Snakepaw cried pleadingly, “We can find the disappeared cats together! Please – Falconflight, I need you!”

    “I wish you knew just how much you don’t need me, Snakepaw. Please, go back to camp, you don’t understand. I have to go, I love you, which is why I have to go.” he murmured.

    And then he left, leaving Snakepaw alone, confused and helpless, a wretched heap in the frosty sunlight, watching as he faded into a brown speck against the icy snow.

    ~~~

    A red haze filled up the non-blurry spots in Snakepaw’s grief-ridden look on life. Red.

    Red for anger.

    Red for vengeance.

    Red for maybe a tiny itty-bitty bit of fear.

    Snakepaw ran farther and farther, until her feet stopped running for her. She was in front of a looming forest.

    Good job, Snakepaw. It seems like you were the right one after all…. a gentle voice whispered, before fading.

    Who are you? Snakepaw asked in her mind.

    Raindapple of StarClan. the voice sighed, I was the one who pointed your feet in the direction to run. But I have to go….. StarClan won’t let me help you too much! In fact, they probably don’t approve of me doing this…. and with a laugh, she was gone.

    And, yet again, Snakepaw was alone.

    ~~~

    He wasn’t evil…. no, far from it.

    Falconflight was an average cat – doing warrior duties, spending time with friends, and going on moonlight walks with his to-be mate, Snakepaw.

    His life was perfect for him.

    That is, until Ashfur barged into his life, half-faded and desperate to keep on living.

    So he set his eyes on Falconflight, who was a distant relative of Bramblestar and Squirrelflight.

    We don’t get to choose our families, and it’s wrong to judge a cat based off of his or her family.

    But, the most misunderstanding ones do.

    And so do the darkest souls.

    ~~~

    Snakepaw padded deeper into the forest.

    It was as though a spell of death had whisked across the bleak forest moons ago. Trees were rotting, there was no sunlight, and gnarled trees and roots seemed to be trying to swallow her up. Not to mention the rotting carasses of animals that she tenderly avoided.

    This place could be mistaken for the Dark Forest.

    She heard a rustle in the rotting weeds nearby.

    “Who’s there?!” she called, unsheathing her claws, eyes scanning the area around her.

    Another rustle on the other side, this time with a glint. A claw, perhaps?

    “Show yourself!” she called meekly.

    A brown tom stepped out.

    “Falconflight!?”

    ~~~

    It was like drifting on cool air, thoughtless, peaceful, sleepily floating, looking at everything through foggy eyes of another.

    Slowly circling the strange cat…. seeming familiar, though he could not remember who, he could not remember much these days….

    She was calling something, the cat was…. he could not hear, though, only the voice rang clear these days….

    Step out, it now called, step out.

    And so I did.

    ~~~

    “Falconflight!?” Snakepaw gasped.

    ~~

    Snakepaw…?

    Enemy, you mean, the soothing voice whispered.

    Enemy…. he thought, and let the thought rest.

    ~~~

    “Falconflight, what are you- ”

    ~~

    Lunge, and kill… she will do great harm to us…

    So he did.

    ~~~

    “Falconflight? What? Wait, why -” she screamed as he lunged and claws began tearing her apart.

    ~~~

    Good job. Just one last blow to the throat….

    ~~~

    Raindapple here. Fight back, Snakepaw.

    How? I love him.

    Not with claws! Living cats these days… WITH WORDS! Snakepaw, your mate is in peril right now. Look at his eyes… He is being possessed by a cat you cannot trust….

    And then it was as though a wind had swept through, blowing away her words.

    Snakepaw looked up, and met glossy, angry, deep blue eyes.

    But that couldn’t be right, Falconflight had brown-green eyes…

    Unless Raindapple was right.

    Insanely, impossibly, right.

    ~~~

    Snakepaw?

    No, she is your enemy!

    No.. she’s Snakepaw…. my love… didn’t I leave my home to protect her from something?

    Fool, she will rip us apart!

    But Falconflight was not listening, transfixed by the emerald-green pools staring at his soul, as the dreamy fog began to fade.

    ~~~

    “Falconflight? It’s me, Snakepaw… your mate…” she began hesitantly. More anger in the eyes, and was that a hint of fear? But less glaze, less glaze.

    “Do you remember me? I’m that cat that took the moonlight walks with you…” she mewed, her voice becoming a bit stronger, pouring out memories.

    “We… used to have lots of fun, playing the in water. Remember when you found that really pretty moonlit shell for me? I still have it in my nest…”

    And so she continued, pouring out her life with Falconflight to this shell of a body in front of her, hoping to bring back the warm tom she loved.

    ~~~

    I think I remember now….

    No you… you can’t!

    What’s so wrong with remembering?

    Aaarrrrrgggghh… JUST KILL HER!

    But the command was lost as the fog disappeared in a whoosh, leaving Falconflight, confused, angry, and full of memories.

    ~~~

    The glaze was gone now, and so was the dark blue.

    “Falconflight?” she whispered, “It’s me, Snakepaw…”

    He got up, and nuzzled her. “I’m so sorry….”

    “I know, I know… but do you have any idea where the lost cats are?” she asked quickly.

    “I think I remember Ashfur commanding me an hour ago to tell them to stay in the camp… they’ve all been stripped of their souls, it was supposed to be use to build Ashfur’s control and power over me, I think.” Falconflight replied thoughtfully.

    “Ashfur??? I thought he was a StarClan cat!” Snakepaw exclaimed.

    “Old habits die hard. I guess he got bored of being good and containing his anger, so he took it out on me, the only living relative of Squirrelflight and Bramblestar. And I guess he wanted StreamClan, my Clan, to suffer because I’m in it…. it’s all confusing.” Falconflight sighed, “I think he targeted you to kill so that we could never have kits and be happy together…. if you were a regular Clanmate, he would have simply stolen your soul for power.”

    “But it wouldn’t matter, right? I thought he was using you?” Snakepaw inquired as Falconflight got up and began walking slowly.

    “Only to gain power enough until he could break free, and gloat at all the sorrow I had caused.” Falconflight explained, “At least that’s what I think…”

    “Probably right.” Snakepaw sighed.

    They walked in silence, their pawsteps in sync, until they reachd a rotted clearing. A couple rat carasses and dirt surrounded it.

    “What is this place?” Snakepaw exclaimed, disgusted. Falconflight tipped his head slightly, digging into his memory,

    “I think…. this is the soulless’ camp.”

    ~~~

    It was, somehow, familiar to Snakepaw. Like she had visited it before, although she hadn’t.

    “Look! I-It’s Robincry! And a kit!” Falconflight exclaimed, surprised.

    “They disappeared earlier today.” Snakepaw informed him.

    “Has Robincry really had kits? Already?”

    “You left for a moon, and Robincry was due a few days after you left,” Snakepaw replied, “That’s Fallenkit.”

    Snakepaw began analyzing the cats padding aimlessly around the clearing. They looked pretty normal, but their fur was shaggy and ruffled, and they had eyes that held no light.

    The eyes were scary, holding no life or soul.

    But, they were called the soulless for a reason, right?

    “Hello? I’m Snakepaw…..” Snakepaw called. Immediatly, all eyes were on her.

    “Master Falconflight, who is this cat?” Robincry mewed in a broken, lifeless voice. Falconflight seemed taken aback.

    “Snakepaw…. Erm, you can trust her…” he stammered. The cats nodded, and bowed their heads at Snakepaw, before walking away.

    “What now? There has to be some way we can restore their souls!” Snakepaw hissed under her breath to Falconflight.

    “I remember the souls were stored in a den somewhere in here.” he whispered in reply.

    “Well, where?” Snakepaw asked quietly, though panicking.

    They have to be somewhere, don’t they?

    Raindapple?

    Yeah.

    Well, can you tell me where that mysterious place is?

    Look to the den. It is not a den at all.

    And with that she was gone.

    Snakepaw turned to Falconflight.

    “Any idea on where this den is?” she repeated her question, though less panicked.

    “About… well, my memory leads me here!” Falconflight mewed, confused.

    In front of him, loomed a blackening willow tree.

    ~~~

    Faint music rang from inside.

    Snakepaw tilted her head.

    “Do you hear that?” she whispered.

    “No,” he replied, confused.

    “Don’t you hear the music?”

    “Nope. Let’s go inside though, Sna.” he sighed, using his nickname for me, “I trust you.”

    I smiled, and led the way in.

    ~~~

    “Welcome,” a too-familiar voice cackled, “To my space. Congrats, dearest body of mine.”

    I whirled around. It was Ashfur.

    “You!” Falconflight snarled.

    “Yes, me. I’m not over yet. I’ll never be over until I get my revenge!” and with a maniacal laugh, he pounced.

    The rest seemed to happen in slow motion, like in those exciting or terrifying moments in a cat’s life.

    “Snakepaw! Get the souls! I’ll fend him off!” Falconflight shouted.

    I stood, frozen, torn, undecided.

    And the I lunged for the souls.

    “No!” Ashfur howled.

    “Yes!” Falconflight cheered.

    And then the leaf wraps that had wrapped the souls so neatly shredded, as Snakepaw’s claws scored through them.

    ~~~

    A blinding flash of light lit up the den. The willow tree den seemed to become more beautiful by the second.

    “No! No, no, no!” Ashfur yowled. Then his eyes lit up, “But I shall still get my revenge!”

    Falconflight’s eyes widened as he lay there, pinned underneath the gray speckled tom.

    All Snakepaw remembers seeing is Ashfur’s claws scoring down Falconflight’s throat.

    A gurgle of blood.

    And then Falconflight’s voice whispering, “Snakepaw, I love you. Tell the Clan what happened, and that I’ll be watching them.”

    And then he went limp.

    “Falconflight!” Snakepaw shrieked. Ashfur cackled. Neither noticed the glowing orbs slowly drifting out of the den.

    Snakepaw turned to the gray tom, a new fury lighting up her eyes.

    “You’ve taken so many, and now you’ve killed one. So you’re going to pay. ” she snarled.

    Whipping around, claws unsheathed, and quick as lightning, she pinned Ashfur down, before quickly swiping at his throat.

    Snakepaw still swears that before he vanished, she heard him whisper, “Squirrelflight…..”

    ~~~

    “Snakepaw? Where is he?” a motherly voice rang through the room.

    “Who?” Snakepaw questioned, still panting.

    “Ashfur. And Falconflight.”

    “Both…. Dead.” the word fell like a stone in her mouth.

    A comforting tail rested on her shoulder.

    “What happened?” her father’s voice whispered.

    Slowly, more cats gathered.

    “Yes, tell us. We have memories, but what happened in here?”

    So, with a heaving sigh, Snakepaw told them what had happened in the willow tree.

    ~~~

    “I’m so sorry.” Eagletalon whispered, “I know that you loved him and he loved you.”

    Barkwhisper, another captured cat, bowed his head silently.

    “Let’s go home.” Robincry whispered.

    “I’ll lead,” Snakepaw mewed flatly, and got up, “But bring Falconflight’s body.”

    ~~~

    “She’s back!”

    “With Robincry! Torrentstar, look! Robincry and Fallenkit!”

    “Eagletalon!” Aspenlily cried.

    “Stemfrost! Applebird!” another shouted.

    Slowly, the chaos died.

    Torrentstar stepped forwards.

    “Irisgaze, and Talonflight. Go find those Clanmates that left.

    “And where’s Falconflight?” he inquired.

    Eagletalon silently laid Falconflight’s body on the ground.

    “What happened?” Aspenlily gasped.

    Torrentstar looked at Snakepaw. “Do you want to tell us?”

    “Yes.”

    And she recounted the story, starting from her first step out of Clan territory.

    ~~~

    Snakepaw’s voice faltered, then died down.

    “And now we’re here.”

    “Well,” Torrentstar got up on all fours, “I think,” he continued thoughtfully, “That every ending should signal a beginning.”

    The Clan started buzzing questioningly, but soon quieted.

    “Snakepaw, step forwards.”

    Snakepaw did so, though her paws felt like rocks.

    “Snakepaw, do you promise to defend StreamClan with your life, and follow the warrior code that binds us together?”

    Snakepaw’s head jerked up. Her warrior ceremony!

    “I- I do.”

    “Then you are not longer Snakepaw. From this moment on, you will be known as Snakestrike, warrior of StreamClan.”

    As his muzzle touched hers, he whispered, “I’m sure Falconflight is watching from above. And I know that he always loved the -strike suffix. He actually wanted his name to be Falconstrike when he was an apprentice. But then he changed his mind.”

    She smiled, softly, as the Clan cheered her new name, and the fiery sun set behind the mountains.

    ~~~

    “Falconflight!” Snakestrike yowled happily, flinging herself onto him. He stumbled a bit.

    “Careful, now!” he purred, nuzzling her.

    “I’m so happy to see you! But why am I here?” she asked, getting up.

    “Just because I wanted to see you, and you weren’t scheduled for a dream tonight.” he purred.

    “I can sense that there’s more.” she mewed.

    “Well,” he said, gently touching her belly, “Put your paw over mine.”

    Snakestrike raised her eyebrow.

    “Okay…” she did so, and then started. “What’s that? There’s something moving! ” she exclaimed.

    He mrrowed, “I thought you were smarter than that! Snakestrike, you’re expecting kits – our kits!”

    Snakestrike stood very still for a split second, before laughing.

    “Really?”

    “Really.”

    “I can’t believe it. I have to be the luckiest she-cat in the world. I thought you were…. gone from the living world, and that we’d never be able to have kits, but now….” she trailed off, purring.

    “I understand.” he smiled.

    The two cats sat together, leaning against the other, as the StarClan sun set, just as it had on the day of Falconflight’s death, the day the soulless reunited with their souls and returned home, and the day Snakepaw become Snakestrike.

    Snakestrike. Warrior and savior of StreamClan.


    2019, here I come!

    3
  4. Winterpaw
    August 30, 2017 at 9:23 am

    They Call it a Massacre

    •••••

    The first time I murdered a cat was at dawn, by accident. Sort of.

    Newleaf was humid that year, the rain abstaining from its descent, the clouds shying away from the bright blue sky. Despite the hydration, trees grew wildly and joyfully across the forest. The secret lives of prey became more apparent, less...secret.

    With my world in full sprout, it was unclear why there was a bloody body at my paws on a fresh morning. Or why a whirl of dark emotions pulsed through my mind, controlling my actions. Anger and frustration clouded the once-clean slate of my brain.

    If it was once pure, translucent... then now, it was an ashy mess.

    When staring at their ravaged body, sun glinting off dried blood, a name slid into my jumbled thoughts. While all else was a writhing storm, it shone out clearly.

    Daisyfrost.

    Dead. Broken. Beaten. I sliced her neck open at the front, broke it in the back, snapped her legs, shredded her fur, tore her ears, ravaged and ruined and wrecked.

    Violence it was, and it felt so good.

    •••••

    It started a half-moon earlier. My nerves were already fraying, bending at each problem. Newleaf had started, but snow still piled itself onto each usable surface. BlogClan was in danger. Life was.

    Kits were hungry. Elders were hungry. Warriors and apprentices were tortured with fatigue and constant hunting, searching, scavenging for any morsels of food we could find. Crow-food was the most popular. Prey was all hidden: frozen beneath the ground or off in another mysterious land.

    On one of the worse days — if any of them could be somehow deadlier than the others — I was sorting dried, dusty herbs into our storages. Cold, cold, cold.

    Kat was in a meeting with the senior warriors, Jayfrost and Cakestar. I was alone in a frosty den, the future uncertain. Murky water.

    Daisyfrost appeared in the entrance, a mixed look across her brown-and-white face. I looked at her, the light dappling the den. "Yes?"

    She thought, then spoke solidly. "We need you to come help with patrols and hunting, Winter. I know you're medicine cat apprentice, but right now no one is really hurt an—"

    I stopped her right there, my emotions rising. I was hungry. I was tired. If there was ever a time for me to be grumpy, it was now. It didn't take much, and my lopsided hormones jumped at any chance they could get to flare up.

    "No, let me set you straight before you go any farther. I am a medicine cat apprentice, and that only. Cats may not be injured, but some are getting weak and need herbs to keep them going. Don't you understand that?!" A hiss tries to slip through my teeth, but I bare them and hold it in. Don't go too far.

    She recoiled. "I was just trying to get you to come help. You wouldn't need herbs and stuff if you would just come hunt and help feed the cats instead."

    She turned away, realizing her mistake, realizing it was useless. I watched her go, the herbs all scattered now. Any remaining ones, in perfect order, I smashed and scraped with my paws. Everything felt worse. "Yeah, because it's that easy!" If it was, we wouldn't have any problems right now, would we, I wanted to say. But she was gone, gathering others to help, those who had the tiniest bit of strength left to try. Some cats — Copperclaw; the elders, — hadn't left their den in days. Maybe even a quarter-moon. Time got lost in our turbulent universe.

    I also lost track of my health, of the weather, of knowing. Starvation burned inside me; it blazed through the forest.

    I saw some of them sneak glances. She whispered to them about what happened. They tilted their head just barely so they could peek inside, assuming I didn't know. Cats resorted to gossip and pettiness. Especially when they had nothing else to do but watch themselves die from the inside out. And very few chose that option.

    They thought I didn't know — Well, I did. And it didn't make me happy.

    •••••

    For the rest of the evening, and the days after, Daisy worked harder and thought of bigger ways to irritate me. Antagonize me. I was sure of it. Soon, I'd think I was sure of many things...

    A patrol entered camp as I went to throw out old herbs. This happened often. Too much snow meant too much dampness, which in turn, ruined our supplies. (Plus the secret few I would destroy in bouts of anger, on days when the cold reached farther into my bones, and there was nothing but hunger and shaking.)

    She was with the others, trekking along woefully. Skinny voles dangled in some of their jaws — but not many. Not enough.

    We passed each other, and she turned her head. "Oh, hey, Winter." She meowed, nodded her head, giving a disgustingly reassuring look. It was almost caring, questioning... or was it deceptive?

    Yes. Fake. She was putting on an innocent, new-to-the-world mask. She was not worrying for me from the kindness in her heart. She was trying to anger me in front of her friends, show them how rude and odd I was. She was trying to prove a point, one that would ruin the forest for everyone.

    Well, I wouldn't give her that advantage. But just thinking that, thinking so hard about how not to give her a step ahead, in some ways, completely did.

    I gave a toothy smile back. "I'm totally great, Daisy!" I purred, my voice high, and then padded away.

    I could hear her and the patrol stop in their tracks. A tired, somehow-there smile curled up my lips. I may have been weak, but I was still smart enough to know how to deal with enemies. They all appeared enemies.

    •••••

    She continued, days upon days. She'd check up on me, test my mood, put false worry in her tone. Nothing stopped her, I could tell. I noticed. And each time, I gave her a show.

    Nothing would stop me, either. I hoped.

    I'd overreact. I'd hiss. I would go crazy.

    But somehow she would keep returning, and my nerves would only pull tighter, become sharper.

    And... yeah, that's how I killed her. It took another quarter-moon. Some days she'd do too much, she'd even throw hints of anger beneath the lies. She would have a multi-layered tongue, one in the shape of a snake's. A devious serpent.

    I killed her.

    And it was delirium. It was hunger. Madness, maybe?

    When the sun rose above our leafy, ice-bathed lands on another day, she caught me alone behind camp, searching for feverfew.

    Only, feverfew wasn't there. Hadn't been for moons. And I knew that. But I went there, and some part of me told myself it was a setup to trap her. But another told me it was desperation, searching for something that wasn't there becuase I wanted it so badly. Because I, and everyone else, needed it.

    I never figured out which one it was. It should have been obvious, but all I knew was that Daisyfrost was a dead body below me, and I set to work on burying her far, far away.

    It might have been an accident. No, it was an accident.

    But was it an accident on purpose?

    •••••

    The reality of my situation hit me in the next few hours. I vomited before I even finished covering her with dirt. I cried, my tears turning the soil into salty mud. I shook. Broke a little more. Starved a little longer.

    I buried her by the run-down parts of Twolegplace, the far edges of our territory where no cat set foot. Sure, patrols would be sent out to look. But I took the liberty of digging under thorns and roses, brambles and berries, just to hide her well enough. Even a tree shaded the upturned dirt.

    I trudged back to camp, but not before washing my entire body in a stream. I drank water to hydrate myself, as if that did anything. I shuffled into camp and sneaked a feathery thrush immediately. This was supposed to be shared, even though it was barely enough to feed one cat.

    I will never, ever do this again. I promised. I hoped. Killing does not feel good. I miss Daisy already. I deserve to die.

    Those were the fist thoughts, the naive thoughts that we all get when we do something wrong. Then, the dark, inky horrors were dropped into the clear water that was once my head. The outrage and frustration I knew was coming.

    She deserved it. Daisy was being a horrible cat. She was taunting me, asking to be killed. I did BlogClan a favour, and it felt good.

    No, she was innocent. I'm making things up because I'm so hungry, thirsty, tired...

    You put her out of her misery. She was hungry too. Everyone is.

    Well then wouldn't everyone want to be out out of their misery?

    That struck me. I stopped. The world spun around me. Our forest plunged into Newleaf. BlogClan escaped my mind, the edges now blurry.

    Then, I continued, but now my thoughts were clearer.

    •••••

    The second cat I murdered was Flowerstream. And it was petrifying.

    She'd always been my friend. When I first stumbled upon a homely Clan, brambles and breaking hearts, she was welcoming. She represented the cats who knew how to be kind, knew how to help, knew how to lead.

    It was a half-moon after the Daisyfrost disaster. BlogClan was still a cacophony of sadness and screams. She was gone and no one had found her. My efforts of going to great lengths to conceal the body had been successful. In a shorter, more understandable version:

    I did a good job of murder, and its gruesome cleanup.

    That was all.

    I hid in my den and only left to wash myself, because it was a habit now. Because I could still see her face. Cats — specifically Iceflower and Goldenfawn — would bring me the prey I needed to eat, assuming I was just starving and working hard to help our Clan in their lovable naivety. So many cats fell prey to idiocy and delusion. This was the hardest period we'd ever faced.

    Drinking wasn't hard, with a puddle at the edge of our den. Kat didn't have the time or energy to focus on me, fortunately. She was restless in trying to save our Clan, while I slowly tried to do the opposite.

    But Flo, someone who I trusted and loved like a pesky older sister that I never had...

    Well, of course she was the only one who saw right through me. So I had to do what was necessary to stay secret and alive.

    •••••

    At the quarter-moon mark after Daisyfrost's disappearance, Flo really started to suspect me. I could see it in her eyes. See it in her actions when she passed me.

    One day, I was heading down to the stream. She was passing by with a patrol. Stopped when she saw where I was headed. Watched me.

    But I couldn't freeze up, couldn't show my true thoughts and emotions. I went down to the scintillating stream and drank, and she waited for me, silently.

    Flo had never been like this before. It was the famine. It was the incisive personality that pushed through when she had no other joys to focus on. She probably told Flameshine or Jetclaw. Her closest friends, her network of gossipers.

    She didn't leave. So I finished drinking and returned back to camp with her, still noiseless, because I knew and she knew that Daisyfrost's blood was on my paws.

    She was a risk. I wasn't willing to take it.

    I heard her suspicion in the wind, the water, and the waves. I heard it when I stumbled back down to the stream at night to wash, rub and scrub and rip and pull, to remove Daisyfrost's face and Flo's slowly coalescing head.

    I heard it in her voice when she confronted me, eventually, another quarter-moon later, when the night was young and bitter and she met me once again at the stream. Our eyes locked. Time stopped. Everything I had done so far flashed through me, along with my life, right before my eyes.

    There was the past of distant humanity and feline dilemmas, the present, of quick murder and cold friendships.

    And then there was the future, where the decision I was about to make changed everything.

    I ripped Flowerstream's throat out before she could say my name, or even take a breath of air.

    She didn't have to say. I knew she was accusing me. And I had my made my decision, with her sanguinary death being the first step of the future. The beginning of the end.

    I promised I wouldn't kill again. Yet I did.

    But why ... how was it so... effortless? Uncomplicated? Easy?

    A gory striking with no strings attached.

    My mind didn't scramble. It didn't tangle up like loose fur, clump into a writhing ball of madness. Whatever happened before, stayed in the before.

    I killed her because she suspected me and I still had my nerves. And no one could, or would, figure out what I did. Would they?

    I buried her beside Daisyfrost. It might have been a mistake. Or maybe not. Murde: a game of ifs and maybes.

    The tree was there, shading their decaying bodies. The bushes and shrubs with the hidden flecks of blood.

    Maybe the real mistake was burying the next four, five, eight, ten bodies there, too.

    •••••

    Flameshine was next. Number three. It went by quick.

    Everything did. It was a routine now. My life had been in slow-mention, the Clan a ticking time-bomb. We sat around and starved and watched ourselves die and felt our nerves pull and waited until someone would snap.

    And I did. I then murdered two cats, and it became so easy and regular that the next few events, the end, was all a fast blur.

    Flo definitely said something to Flame and Jetclaw. Flameshine padded around camp with a look of uncertainty, fear. She saw me in the den and her eyes would widen (I was always looking outside, because cats were watching me I knew it I knew for sure yes they were watching me and trying to plot against me and—)

    She would turn away, hustle across camp, and starving cats wouldn't bring their bony faces to look up and see the problem. Which worked in my favour.

    On one of the many, countless nights I ran down to the stream to clean (and sometimes retch, because while in the day I might have been thoughtless and a cold-hearted murderer, at night my soft side cried beneath the stars I think), she was unfortunate to cross my path. I should have picked a stream farther away from our camp. My temptations were not easy to control when I saw innocent cats alone in the dark. Then again, nothing was easy.

    Except slaughter.

    She must have come to uncover my secrets. She must have come to see for sure that I was the murderer and then try to rat me out. She must have. She didn't actually have to do anything, I didn't have to spend more of our risky time starving and losing energy and solidifying my assumptions of her. It was pointless. I had a hunch, and I couldn't wait and make things harder.

    If she was going to die, it was now or never.

    I looked at her and gave a callous grin. She screamed, and that could ruin all my plans and secrets and covers. So I leapt from the stream and began to bolt towards her.

    She ran. It was like one of the movies I had watched as a human. Someone in a dark forest, a maze of wiry branches and twigs, fog and restless clouds. A murderer with cold eyes and a grin wildly chasing that certain someone.

    And the murderer always caught up to them.

    •••••

    Yes, I buried her beside the other two. A neat row of horrific deaths and memories. A line of former love or hatred. I could have put flowers on their graves, shown some respect for the dead because maybe I wasn't fully insane or gone, maybe I could have some ounce of care left in me.

    But no, I didn't. I could sense it all nearing the end. But I wasn't done yet, and I wouldn't give up without a fight. I chose that path, so I would go down it with my last breath.

    •••••

    Jetclaw gave me a frigid stare. I swear. She left camp to make dirt. I followed her and stomped on her neck until she suffocated. It was quick yet painful. Time smudged, quickly passing.

    It was so natural and uncomplicated now. Murder was in my blood, in my schedule. Any stories I read as a human mentioned homicide, how it got easier the more it was done, how people could fall prey to its addictive feelings.

    But I never, ever read, or expected, this.

    •••••

    Kat, my mentor, knew. I could tell! I knifed through her chest at dusk, the opposite of Daisy's time of death. Another one down.

    •••••

    Frostfeather bumped me. An act of aggression. He knew. I drowned him, and lost another bit of myself.

    •••••

    Emberdawn cried for her friends. Saw me and stopped crying. I choked her.

    •••••

    Hazelburrow gaped. I disembowelled him.

    One thing, and then he was gone.

    One thing, and that was all it took. There was no reason anymore, except insanity.

    •••••

    They all looked. They all knew. They all died. Except three.

    •••••

    By the end, I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I didn't even drink. I washed and murdered and melted and maimed. I looked at herbs and murdered them too, ripping off their dried leaves, biting their stalks. Besides, who was left to use them now?

    A deathly grin bubbled up from inside me.

    Iceflower, Goldenfawn, and Gladepaw. The final three, who always seemed to elude me. Why hadn't they killed me yet, or even tried? Wh hadn't I killed them?

    Maybe it was love. Maybe I just couldn't do it. But after moons and days and hours and seconds of killing, of falling deeper into a pit with no way out, there was no good reason why they were left to live.

    But I figured out the explanation the moment before I lay down in my own grave: because they knew I would die by myself.

    •••••

    Somehow, the final day, when I was starved and weary and wondering, it all hit me. Every one of them. I cried and cried but no tears came because I was thirsty and hungry. I was hurting. Hadn't I been here before?

    Memory was another one of the losses that came with lunacy.

    I went over to the spot, the row of endless graves. And I made a fresh one. I lied down in it. I covered most of my body up.

    The last cat to die was myself. From hunger, from thirst, from hurt, from sorrow, from fatigue.

    And from loneliness.

    •••••

    They call it murder. They call it a massacre. They're all right, but that isn't the full truth. It never truly is.

    I just call it madness.

  5. Mistypaw loves Winterwatcher (and wished that it was canon)
    August 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Yay horrible looooooooooong fanfic time!

    Horrible fanfic written fur fun
    Prologue
    The sky was covered with dark clouds. Thunder roared, lightning flashed, silhouetting a cat underneath the trees. The cat glided forward slowly, muscles tensing, ready to pounce. Its eyes were intently focused on its victim.
    It didn’t notice the dark mass quietly approaching it.
    Rain began to fall. The cat has finished its kill and is burying the small scrap, it would take it out later to carry it back to its group. It kept on sniffing the undergrowth, looking for prey. It seems to smell something different, and its fur fluffed up to twice the cat’s size. It hissed and turned around.
    The dark mass tensed, staying where it was.
    The rain stopped, making dripping sounds as a wind blew by, rattling the trees. Thunder boomed again.
    A stronger wind blew from the dark mass to the cat. The mass seized its chance.
    The last thing the cat saw was a long, bright blue lightning splitting the sky apart, then a pain splitted its own head apart, and it fell into the soft comfort of darkness and nothingness.
    Then the rain fell again.

    Chapter 1

    Rain purred happily. He caught his first rabbit and clamped it tightly in his jaws. There’s no way he was going to let random rogues steal it from him. He’s just a part of a small band of cats that live in the forest. So many cats live beyond the forest where they claimed home. Some were meanies. They steal food because they are too lazy to hunt, as Marsh has described in the oldies’ den.
    He dug a really deep hole beside the tallest maple and placed his rabbit in it. He twitched his nose and smelled the faint scent of mouse. He breathed deeply again. There. There was a mouse under the ferns six tail-lengths away from the maple. He turned around and quietly stalked it. He nearly got it before a silver blur whirled in front of him, killing the mouse with a single bite.
    “Hey! Silv-” He managed to stop himself when he realized that the cat who stole his mouse wasn’t his littermate Silver. She was a wiry silver she-cat with black tabby stripes and brilliant green eyes, unlike Silver’s amber ones.
    “Who are you?” He hissed. “Why are you stealing my mouse?”
    “Mouse?” She stared at him and twitched her whiskers. “What mouse? This is a vole.”
    Oh, I got it wrong again. His tail drooped. This is not the first time he’d mistook a vole for a mouse. “Sorry, I got it wrong. But I was stalking it, though. I’ll have to catch another one to get my teacher’s appraise.”
    “Teacher? You must be a cat from the group living in the center of the forest,” she fidgeted, “I want to join your group. I caught that vole for your leader, or whatever you call it. You can have it, I’ll catch another one.”
    “Wait!” He stopped her before she can leap away. “I’ll take you to our base.” He picked up her vole and dropped it on her paws. “I can say that I met you when I caught my rabbit and immediately took you here. I’ll be fine when our leadcat asks me why I haven’t caught the other prey. She’ll accept the reason.”
    “Sure.” She grabbed the vole by its tail and followed him to the maple tree where he buried his rabbit. Luckily, it was still there. He decided to perform as he owned the land so she would feel like his group is really the owners of the forest and not doubt their authority.
    “Now you have to follow me. I’m the one who knows where the base is.” He mewed confidently.
    “Sure. Lead the way, Bighead.” She twitched her whiskers and followed him.
    Rain tensed. How dare she tease me like that! But he didn’t feel angry. He felt weird. If his siblings teased him like that he’d rip their fur off. But she…
    Instead he twitched his whiskers back at her and teased, “Well, follow then, but stay close. My denmates liked to eat loners.”
    The she-cat mrrowed with laughter and crossed over a root. They walked in silence until Rain forgot that he hadn’t asked her name yet.
    “Oh, and I am Feather, by the way.” She suddenly said, like she was reading his mind.
    “Hello, Feather,” he mewed, “and I am Rain.”
    “Nice name. So you called the rains yesterday, right? Please don’t try to drown me again next time, will you?” She joked.
    They talked and laughed on the way back to the base. He ducked when he entered the holly tunnel, and Feather came in soon after. She glanced around, whiskers trembling.
    “Who is this cat?” Rock asked. He’s a student of Cloud’s and is sniffing Feather’s pelt curiously. Feather drew back with a hiss.
    “A loner I met by the edge of the forest. She wanted to join our group. Now excuse me, I have to go see leadcat Shadow.” He pushed Feather away from Rock and in front of the leadcat’s den.
    “Who’s there?” The leadcat asked.
    “Rain and Feather, a loner.” He replied.
    “Come in,” the leadcat’s voice was clear. She eyed Feather from ear to tail and turned to Rain. “Why did you bring this loner back? And did you finish the task your teacher gave you?”
    “I only caught a rabbit. I was stalking a m-”
    “A vole.” Feather leaned in and whispered.
    “Oh right, a vole, and she pounced on it before I can take it down. She said she wanted to join and I took her to the base. And here’s the vole.” He pushed the vole onto Shadow’s paws.
    The black she-cat stared at it, then leaned down to take a bite. She chewed slowly. “Tender and juicy. Hmm, nice vole, I’d say.”
    Feather gave Rain a delighted look. “Can she join?” He asked.
    Shadow poked the vole’s legs. “This creature has muscular legs. I reckon it’s quite a fast little fellow. She certainly proved her hunting skills. I guess she can.” She padded out of the den and yowled loudly. “All cats please come to a group meeting in front of my den!”
    Cats began to gather. Shadow called Feather up. “This loner has requested to join our Clan. She had proved her hunting skills and is ready to become a part of us. What is your name, stranger?”
    “It’s Feather.” She dipped her head.
    “Feather, you have to pledge loyalty to us. Now repeat the words I say. I, Feather, will promise to uphold the pride of the group,”
    “I, Feather, will promise to uphold the pride of the group.”
    “-and be loyal to the group no matter what, putting the group’s needs before myself-”
    “And to be loyal to the group no matter what, putting the group’s needs before myself.”
    “I will do anything for the good of the group, even at the cost of my life.”
    “I will do anything for the good of the group, even at the cost of my life.” Her voice wavered a bit when she repeated.
    “And now,” Shadow beckoned her forward, “After she swore the oath, she will now have to let me poke a hole in her paw. Lift your paw up.”
    Feather obeyed, shaking a little. Shadow lifted her paw up and unsheathed her claws. She poked a small hole on her pad. A small stream of blood trickled down. But when Feather licked it, Rain can see that the wound isn’t deep.
    “Now go to the healers after this, and from now on, this loner will be a part of the group, and she will be known officially as Feather. How old are you?” Shadow asked.
    “Six moons old,” her ears twitched.
    “So you will be a student. I will assign River as your teacher. You have to learn from her and listen to whatever order she gives. The meeting’s over, everyone back to your place.” Shadow leaped into her den.
    “Come on, I’ll take you to the healers.” Rain gently nudged her and pushed her into a den under the bracken. The healers nodded at her and he saw Berry putting a weird dressing on her paw and Pigeon telling her something. She meowed something back and went out.
    “What did they say to you?” He asked.
    “They are greeting me. Your group is so nice!” She sniffed her paw and drew back. “Ugh, this thing smells so…grassy. Are you sure they did their thing right?”
    “I’m sure they did, since most cats describe herbs as ‘grassy’. Do you want a tour?”
    “Yes!” She skipped beside him and he told her everything about the group.
    “That’s the leadcat’s den, you’ve already seen it-” He pointed his tail at the den. “And you’ve got the seniors’ den here-” He angled his ears at another direction. “They are the cats who did great things for the group, and they are called their names with something at the end, for example, the gray cat walking out is called Stormflight. The ginger cat licking her paw there is called Sundapple.”
    “What?” She purred, “your group’s names are funny.”
    “Not really,” he said, “You haven’t seen the worst of it. That den over there is called the oldies’ den.”
    Now Feather really was cracking up. She rolled on the ground, laughing for heartbeats. Then she stood up and she still couldn’t stop giggling.
    “Is it really that funny?” Rain let out an exasperated sigh. “Fine, we’ll keep going. That den is for the mothers. The kits are named with a “y” at the end of their names. Like Dawny over there. The little cream kit running out.”
    “Cool.” She commented after she could speak.
    “Now let’s go into the student’s den. We sleep there.” He pushed some moss from his small hollow to an empty one beside his. “This is your hollow now. You will sleep in it and you can gather more moss and feathers tomorrow. Good night.”
    Rain settled down in his hollow, and later he fell asleep.

    Chapter Two
    “Emergency meeting! Emergency meeting! All seniors and teachers please gather at the clearing behind the leadcat’s den RIGHT NOW! No other cats!” Shadow’s voice boomed through Rain’s ears.
    Rain yawned and saw Feather trying to poke him with a stick. “Oh! You’re awake!” She exclaimed after he lifted his head. “Great. Want to eavesdrop?”
    “Eavesdrop? Is that allowed?” He asked.
    Feather snorted. “Of course it wasn’t allowed. That’s why it’s eavesdropping. If it’s allowed they’d just have their meeting right in the middle of the base. Now are you coming or not?”
    “Fine, let’s do it. Just be careful.” Rain padded out and saw the dark sky with thin streaks of cream down at the bottom. It’s not even dawn yet!
    They crept silently towards the den and stopped when the cats are visible through the fern fronds. They heard muffled and quiet meows from the senior cats.
    “Adder has gone missing since yesterday morning.” Yellow, a teacher, whispered worryingly. “He’s one of the most loyal cats here. He wouldn’t be gone for over a day.”
    “Yeah. Snow, Thorn, Flicker, Wing, and Flower are all cats that leave the base for over a day sometimes. Now that we thought about it, Snow has gone missing for six days. She won’t be gone for so long.” Fishflop, a senior, mewed.
    “We have to go and find them! What if they are in trouble?” Bubble, Rain’s own teacher, shifted his paws.
    “Also, Bird has gone missing too. I couldn’t find him since yesterday night.” Eagle, Bird’s teacher, mewed sadly.
    “Aww, it’s okay.” His mate, Ice, twined her tail around his.
    “Let me speak.” A cat pushed her way through the seniors.
    “Hollystar. Our star healer. Speak, please.” Shadow backed away.
    “What’s a star healer?” Feather whispered to Rain.
    “They interpret omens and receive prophecies from her dreams. She is a healer too, but with these connections.” Rain whispered back.
    “I have seen an omen at the rainstorm the day before yesterday. It showed a feather dancing in the middle of the rain. But after the storm, I went closer to examine the feather, and found out that it was dry. Then it escaped my paws and drifted away to where the storm clouds went.”
    “So do you mean…Feather the former loner should go on a quest?” Ice asked.
    “Huh, I have no objections at pushing her into the fire first. Don’t trust strangers that much, I’d say.” Fishflop growled.
    Feather looked at Rain with a heartbroken expression. He tried to make a reassuring face, hoping to make her feel better.
    “Don’t say that, Fishflop.” Hollystar mewed sharply. “And I don’t think she should go on this journey alone. There should be someone to accompany her.”
    “Who? Stormflight?” Bubble asked.
    “No, I believe it’s Rain.” Hollystar said.
    “RAIN?” Bubble shrieked. “He’s just a student! A student and a former loner go on a deadly quest together? I wouldn’t allow it! He may be so dumb that he couldn’t tell the difference between a mouse and a vole but he’s still my student!”
    Rain didn’t know if he should be happy or mad at this moment.
    “That’s what fate wants.” Shadow mewed. “I will announce it once we get back.” She started to turn away from the band of cats.
    “Quick! We have to go back!” Feather tugged Rain by his scruff and they ran back to the students’ den.
    “Let all cats come in front of my den to have a group meeting!” Shadow yowled just a heartbeat after they settled down.
    “My cats, cats have been missing since six days ago.” Shadow started once everyone has settled down. “Snow, Thorn, Flicker, Wing, Flower, Adder, and Bird are all missing. After our discussion, we’ve decided to send two cats on a quest. The two cats are Feather and Rain!”
    Indignant yowls came from the crowd.
    “An apprentice and a loner?”
    “Really? The dumbest one?”
    “Not fair!”
    “Boo! Choose someone else! Someone more experienced!”
    “SHUT UP!”
    Shadow’s bellow shut the crowd down. “Hollystar, explain your omen to everyone.”
    Hollystar began to describe the same thing he and Feather listened to when they eavesdropped on the secret meeting.
    “…so that’s that. I can’t decide what fate wants, but if they chose them, then we must follow.” Hollystar finished.
    Then, one by one, they turned to Rain and Feather.
    Are we really going on a quest together?
    I think I would like to spend time with her alone. Look how shiny her eyes are. And her sleek pelt. Oooooooooooh I would love-
    STOP THINKING ABOUT THE THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T BE THINKING RIGHT NOW AND FOCUS!
    “We will go on the quest.” Rain announced, trying not to tremble as much as his insides. “We will. Right, Feather?”
    “Yes!” She puffed out her chest and smiled.
    “Then we wish you a safe journey.” Shadow leaped from the crowd and touched noses with both of them. “Bye. Even though you may not return, our spirit will be with you always.”
    Then, with a glance at each other, Rain and Feather padded out of the base entrance together.

    Chapter Three
    Rain and Feather sniffed the ground. Feather suggested that they try and scent the missing cats first. But so far they had no luck.
    “Let’s try and ask cats if they saw any cats like them. Adder has a huge tuft of fur on his forehead, so he should be the easiest to recognize.” Rain suggested after sunhigh.
    “Fine. My neck is tired after sniffing on the ground all day. I look like a dog.” Feather agreed.
    “Let’s go near the river. There are more cats there.” Rain took the lead.
    They traveled beside the river until sundown, and then they finally spotted a cat.
    “Hey there!” Rain called.
    “You scared my prey away! Y- Wait, Feather? Is that you?” The tortoiseshell she-cat tilted her head.
    “Yes, um, do I know you?” Feather asked.
    “I was a friend of your mother’s.” The she-cat mewed. “My name is Flora. I visited her litter when you are just a moon old.”
    “You knew Thrush?” Feather’s voice shook.
    “Yes.” The tortoiseshell licked Feather’s ears. “Good to see you.”
    “Um, I may be interrupting your significant moment, but did you see a dark ginger tom with a tuft of fur on his head walking by in the past few sunrises?” Rain mewed awkwardly between the two she-cats.
    “Oh, um, yes, what he said.” Feather shifted her paws and licked her chest fur.
    “Oh, yeah, that tom.” Flora’s tail-tip twitched. “He was acting so crazy. His eyes are all clouded over or stuff. Couldn’t hear a word we say. Then he walked into the deeper woods and vanished.”
    Feather and Rain exchanged glances. “Um, did you see other cats like him?”
    “Yeah, there’s a white she-cat like that too six days ago.”
    That’s Snow. Rain realized. This must have something to do with the missing cats. “Thanks! And my name is Rain.” He told Flora. “But we have to go. Thanks again! You helped us a lot.”
    “No problem, Rain.” Flora flicked her tail.
    “Come on, let’s go into the forest and see what we can find.” Feather ran into the deep forest. Rain followed her.
    They ventured deeper into the forest. But they haven’t found anything. Just when Rain wanted to go back, he stepped on some black powder.
    “Ewwww! What is this?” Rain looked at his pads. They are all covered with the black powder. Just when he tried to lick it off, Feather slammed into him.
    “Ow! What did you do that for? Now my flank is covered in that disgusting stuff too!” He complained.
    “My mother told me when I was young that you shouldn’t lick any unfamiliar thing! What if it’s poisonous?” She hissed. “Let’s go to the small stream I saw earlier. Wash it off and then you can lick yourself as much as you want.”
    When they arrived at the stream Feather dunked him into the water.
    “Hey! You don’t need to do that, okay?” He hissed.
    “Sorry.” She shot a mischievous look at him.
    He growled and splashed some water on her. “Hey!” She laughed.
    “Wait, look!” Rain stopped her before she splashed back. “Look at that cat!”
    A black tom was drinking the water downstream. His head suddenly went up, his tail raised. His eyes were glazed and vacant as he walked upstream.
    “That looked exactly like how Flora described Adder and Snow! Let’s follow him and see what happens.” Rain leaped out of the water and chased the tom. The tom ran deep, deep into the woods and suddenly climbed up a tree. Rain followed him and Feather did the same.
    “Wow,” mewed Rain. He saw a canopy full of petrified cats. Some cats even had a weird thing growing between their ears. The tom found an empty branch and sat there, rooted.
    “Oh, look!” Feather angled her tail to one of the largest things. “There is some black powder on it! It must be the thing that made all these cats like this! I told you that you shouldn’t lick it! Or you will end up here!”
    “Oh, my. Thanks, Feather.” Rain mewed breathlessly.
    “THANKS? By saving your LIFE, that’s TOTALLY NOT an apology I accept.” Feather’s fur fluffed out.
    “Oh, SORRY. I thank you SOOOOO MUCH. Now is that okay?” Rain mewed.
    Feather snorted. Rain supposed that’s a yes. Then Feather’s eyes suddenly widened and she bounded over to a cream cat by the edge of the tree they climbed. “Oh no…it’s my brother, Butter!”
    “What’s a butter?” Rain asked.
    “It’s something that Twolegs have that looks creamy. My mother used to be a kittypet.” Feather’s head lowered. “Oh, brother, that’s why you went missing after the day our mother died.”
    “I’m sorry.” Rain dipped his head.
    “He shouldn’t rot here.” Feather growled. “I’ll get him down and bury him.” She started to tug his scruff. Rain helped. To his relief, the weird thing on Butter’s head hasn’t had the powder yet. They dragged him down the tree and dropped him in the hole they dug afterwards. Feather sprinkled petals all over his body and whispered, “Farewell, my brother.”
    “Wait, are they really dead?” Rain suddenly thought out loud.
    “Of course they are! Feel, his heart isn’t beating and he wasn’t breathing.” Anger flashed in her eyes. But it faded quickly and she stood up again. “Let’s go up again. I think I saw your groupmate Adder.”
    They climbed up again and Feather’s tail pointed to a dark ginger tom with a tuft of fur on his forehead. “Yes, that’s Adder. Oh no, there’s Bird. And Snow. And…oh dear, they’re all here!” Rain exclaimed and looked around.
    “Rain?” Feather called. He hasn’t realized that she’s already down the tree. “I think I saw a trail of black powder. Should we follow it?”
    “Yes! Wait, I’m coming down!” He looked down and saw a clear trail of black snaking through the forest. Why haven’t we seen that before?
    The two cats followed the trail until nightfall. Then Feather gasped and Rain saw what she saw.
    The trail led them into a giant cave that was yawning in front of them. And in the cave, a gigantic cat was sleeping inside.

    Chapter four
    “Eeepmmmmmmmmf!” Rain shrieked, but it was muffled by Feather’s tail slamming on his mouth. Oh, could you just be a bit quieter? She thought crossly.
    Oh, that cat was HUGE. Even bigger than her father, Blaze, who was probably the biggest cat she’d ever seen before this one.
    “Cmm yoomm gmm ymm tmm owmm omm thmm wmm?” Rain muffled through her tail.
    “Oh, sorry.” She released her tail from his mouth and he drew in a breath.
    “Holy shrews is that even a cat?” Rain breathed.
    “Let’s go in.” Feather suggested.
    “WHMMM? YMM CMM DMM DMM!” Rain yelled and Feather stuffed her tail in his mouth again. She whisked her tail away and he mewed, “sorry.”
    “Fine, let’s do it.” Rain sighed and crept towards the huge den.
    “Don’t get caught.” Feather reminded him.
    “I know,” he hissed.
    Together the two cats went into the cave. The enormous cat was snoring now, the sounds rattling the whole cave. Rain and Feather exchanged looks, and they spread out to see what they could find.
    “Rain!” Feather called when she saw giant leaf wraps at the corner.
    “What? Oh-” Rain’s eyes widened when he saw the wraps. Carefully Rain and Feather worked together to open the wraps silently. Inside, there was a giant thing that grows on the cats they’ve seen earlier. They opened and closed the other leaf wraps and saw that they all consist of the weird things.
    “What are we going to do?” Rain asked.
    “I have an idea,” Feather told Rain. “But it’s too late. Let’s rest before we follow my plan.”
    “Huh, fine.” Rain and Feather padded out. She made both of them nests and they slept.

    “Wake up!” Feather urged.
    “What? Dawn again? I hate dawn! Dusk is better, right?” Rain asked her.
    “Let’s save this conversation for another time.” Feather said briskly. “The cat was still sleeping. Let’s do this, fast, before it wakes up.”
    She led him around trees, and they arrived at a poppy field.
    “How did you know this place?” Rain sniffed a poppy pod and sneezed.
    “I remembered that my mother has brought me somewhere around the cave before.” She explained. “We have crossed this poppy field, and I figured out that it was the season for harvesting seeds. Now that’s what we are going to do. Pick as much as we can. We are going to take the powder down and replace them with these seeds. The seeds are larger but hopefully he won’t notice. Also I’ll grab some leaves so we can wrap some of the powder and give it to Shadow to see.”
    “Wonderful, Feather!” Rain’s amber eyes gleamed and he started picking the seeds right away. Feather ran into the forest and grabbed some bigger leaves. Together they got enough seeds before sunhigh and they carried it back to the cave.
    “Nice, the cat’s still asleep. Now let’s creep in.” Feather instructed and they went to the leaf wraps. Feather brushed off powder and buried them while Rain crushed pods on the things, making the seeds look like the original powder. It took them a long time to finish, but they did it before the cat woke up.
    “Now let’s go.” Feather dashed out. But Rain tripped on the humongous cat’s whiskers.
    “Oh no…” He trailed off after the cat gave a sleepy snarl.
    “Quick! GO!” Feather pushed him away and they ran until they are out of breath. “Did it see us?” She asked Rain.
    “I…don’t…think…so…” He panted.
    “Now let’s go back.” Feather mewed. She picked up the leaf wraps and Rain trudged behind her.
    It was a day after before they arrived at the base.
    “Feather! Rain!” They heard Hollystar’s cry as they entered.
    “They’re back!” River yowled.
    Bubble raced forward and touched his muzzle to Rain. “Welcome home.” He mewed softly to him.
    “Come to my den.” Shadow’s commanding voice reached them. She pushed through the crowd and beckoned them forward. She led them straight into her den. “Tell me about your journey.”
    And so they explained everything. The powder, the cats, and the giant cat. Shadow looked thoughtful as Feather pushed the leaf wraps to her. “Be careful. They make cats sprout weird things on their heads.”
    “Okay.” Something glittered in Shadow’s eyes. “Gather up all the cats. We are going to battle.”

    Chapter five
    Shadow led all the cats out of the base. Feather directed the cats to the big cat’s cave. And finally they arrived. The giant cave loomed in front of them. But every cat looked fearless. Shadow let out a high and loud growl.
    The giant cat stepped out. “Who dared to wake me, Ripper, the greatest cat, up?”
    “We come in peace.” Shadow mewed. “We just want to know why you are attacking us with the powder.”
    “Ha! The spores! They are a kind of fungus that infects you, tiny kitties!” He scoffed. “Now who wants a dose?” He laughed cruelly and threw his fungi out.
    Cats screamed and ducked to cover their noses. Shadow yowled through the chaos. “Don’t panic! They are not spores, they are poppy seeds!”
    “Yes they are!” Rain’s voice rose higher than anyone else’s. “Don’t panic! Listen to Shadow!”
    Feather looked at him fondly. But then the giant cat snarled and leaped. “How dare you mess with me! I will show you the price!” He pounced on some cats and slammed his great paw on their faces.
    Cats shrieked and went into battle. Feather started to claw his sides. She also saw Rain slashing at its tail with his teacher, Bubble. Ice and Eagle fought side by side, pressed to each other and lashing out. Shadow roared loudly and pounced on Ripper, slicing one of his ears off and clawing at his eyes.
    Ripper roared with anger and threw Shadow off with brute force. The leadcat fell to the ground, eyes closed, neck bleeding.
    “No!” Rain yowled. “Healers! Bring Shadow to safety!” He turned around and slashed at Ripper’s nose again. But Ripper hooked him up with one of his large claws and ripped a large wound on Rain’s throat.
    “No! Not him!” Feather screamed, heartbroken. She roared and clawed with all her strength to blind the giant tom. He bellowed and tried to shake her off, but she clung to him like a burr on a cat’s pelt. After his eyes were bleeding horribly, she went down and sliced her claws across his throat.
    Ripper fell down. His howls filled with crazed agony. Other cats swarmed up and slashed his throat too. Finally he lay dead on the ground.
    “Rain? Rain.” Her voice came out as a sob when she saw his body lying limp on the ground. “Wake up! Wake up, please. I can’t live without you. I love you!” She cried.
    Rain’s eyes opened. “Really?” His voice came out barely as a whisper. “I love you too.” His voice cracked and he drew in a deep breath, but he went on. “Then I’ll be happy, knowing that it’s my last memory.”
    Feather can’t stop her tears streaming down her face. “But…but…”
    Rain reached up a paw weakly and wiped her muzzle. “Don’t be so sad. Remember, be happy. That’s what I would want. And I love you too, always.”
    Then he sighed and his eyes closed. He stopped breathing.
    Feather let out a grief-stricken yowl and flung herself on his cold body. She kept sobbing and she curled up beside him.
    “Oh, Feather, I’m so sorry.” The healed Shadow walked over and touched her nose to Feather’s ear. “He was a great cat. I should have made him a senior before he died.”
    Then she yowled, “All cats! Listen to me! Feather has done a successful quest with our fallen cat Rain. We will always remember him as a brave and noble cat that sacrificed himself and saved us all. And now, Feather, your name will be Featherheart. I hope you can remember Rain with all your heart and love him always.”
    Feather sat vigil with him all day. When dusk finally fell, she stood up wearily. She turned and saw the brilliant pink and amber sky, much like Rain’s eyes. She sat down and watched the sunset, knowing that the sun will rise again tomorrow. But she knew that Rain will never return, and it will always be something she can’t bear to think about.

    1
  6. clampatch
    August 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    oh heck, i got a good idea for an entry like 2 days before the deadline 😛 i guess if i dont finish ill post it in the fanfic page tho :”3


    [he/they]

    • Flowerpaw (Peto)
      August 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      yayayayaa id love to read it! 😀

    • Lionpaw (Lionfire)
      August 30, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      I only remembered now when I saw this on recent purrs 😛 I guess I’ll just do next month’s competion, besides, I’m a horrible writer 😛

  7. Embertsar (Emberdawn)
    August 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Invisible

    “Quietstream has disappeared.”

    Murmurs rippled around the ever-shrinking Clan; this was the eighth cat to go missing in…two moons? Three?

    The days are blurring together, and I can’t remember what I did yesterday or the day before. Did I go hunting for the Clan like I should be?

    But what does it matter? I’ve always been invisible, throughout my entire life; I’m a ghost among my social clanmates, drifting from one task to another, taking in the latest gossip or scandal about the neighboring clan’s deputy. Even as an apprentice, my mentor barely noticed me. The only praise he gave was how my silent demeanor was perfect for stalking or spying. Even the leader hesitated during my ceremony when trying to figure out my warrior name and traits.

    I’m the perfect listener with no one to listen to.

    No one casted a second glance at me, looked at me like a loving mother to her kit or a warrior to their special mate; they stared right through me like I was made of air.

    Either way, I still trudged through my daily life; I still caught the prey I was supposed to, helped the elders, and didn’t cause trouble. It was better for me to stay invisible, since I didn’t want to be a burden to others, nor did I want them to be a burden to me.

    I just watched the Clan live its life without me. I notice every single little thing that’s a change from before; Redfang’s nervous fidgeting whenever he talks to Hollystorm; Rushkit’s slight limp from tripping and not telling his mother; Fennelleaf’s absence as the first disappearance…

    And the only other ghost in the Clan: Morningshine. She’s beautiful, stunning even, and I can’t believe that she’s ignored like me. I like to fantasize about us being invisible together, appearing to only each other’s eyes. But those are dreams meant to be dashed, just like everything else in my life.

    I watched her float from cat to cat and it was only by the third disappearance had I realized that she had talked to them the day before.

    I just knew. I knew that the goddess I see was responsible for all the missing cats and the grief and the wails of mothers who were never supposed to outlive their kit.

    But even still, I suddenly found myself waking up every morning with Morningshine whispering fantasies into my ears, her voice dripping with honey.

    Before long I was at her beck and call, swaying in an ever-present melody that only I could hear; a melody that lulled me to sleep, gently woke me and stayed as a constant source of joy and comfort.

    I had never noticed like this, and I was drunk on the feeling.

    And when I started being noticed, I stopped noticing. The days are indistinguishable now; I only lived for Morningshine’s love. It didn’t matter to the Clan since we were never noticed; they can continue their lives without a couple extra pieces of prey, especially without the cats who disappeared.

    The Gathering came and went, and my goddess and I spent our time in camp without a care in the world. StarClan must have approved of this newfound love; there was not a cloud in the inky black sky.

    One day, (whatever day it was; I’m not exactly sure), Morningshine was not by my side. I was lost without her, but for once, I could think and breathe. A part of me, the part that was still the invisible cat from before, struggled to take hold.

    I know it’s wrong.

    I know she’s dangerous.

    But the feeling of being loved, of being noticed, was so good. And eventually she came back to me, at the end of the day, out of breath from being on a patrol all day, and euphoria returned.

    Time is meaningless when I’m with her, but now, I’m kicking and screaming; during the day, I’m floating on a cloud; but in the dead of night, I’m staring up at the top of the den and wondering why I haven’t left for my own good. For StarClan’s sake, I always stay invisible so other cats don’t become a burden to me, but here I am, drinking in Morningshine’s love like a cat drinks water.

    A part of me is drowning in danger and the other part is drowning in sweet nothings, wasting days away outside of the camp.

    And those sweet nothings led me to standing on a tall cliff, staring up at the starry sky with her.

    I was screaming and yelling, but no sound came from my mouth. I wanted to protest, to claw at her throat, to run away and be free, but she kept me rooted to my spot.

    There was one last taste of honey before she pushed me over the edge. It was the second right before I hit the jagged rocks below when I realized that I had lived this moment countless times and I’ll continue to live it because this is my punishment.

    “Quietstream has disappeared.”

    I’ve always been invisible, throughout my entire life.


    Writer, photographer, mod

    2
  8. clampatch
    August 31, 2017 at 2:17 am

    WHOOH BOY i cant believe i finished on time!! at least i think i did?? i hope????? if not then ah, oh well :’3

    but here it is i posted it on stash so it doesnt clog anything up aaa! also bc idk how to format comments : https://sta.sh/0189ki6b9dc3
    and here’s the summary/preview if ur interested in reading it:
    > “You watched as the kits were stolen…
    > “Why won’t any cat listen when you tell them what you saw?”
    It’s not very telling of what actually happens, but i tried. again thanks for hosting, i would never have written something at all if not for this contest!!
    I kind of put a twist on the prompt but hopefully i didnt stray too far?


    [he/they]

    1
    • Sky
      August 31, 2017 at 2:32 am

      Nice work

      • Sky
        August 31, 2017 at 2:36 am

        This is gonna hands-down beat mine.

        • clampatch
          August 31, 2017 at 3:36 am

          oh, I wouldn’t count on that :0 I really liked reading yours, don’t underestimate it!


          [he/they]

      • clampatch
        August 31, 2017 at 2:43 am

        thanks!


        [he/they]

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