What’s this, another edition of BlogClanner In The Spotlight?
And this November I’m interviewing ……..
Q: How did you discover Warriors?
So my mom downloaded “Into the Wild” on my Nook in 2011 or something and so I read the first chapter or two. Nope didn’t even interest me at all (it made me bored). I left that book on the Nook untouched for almost 2 years. Later my family and I went on a heritage tour in China in 2013. It was hosted/organized by CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International) Agency/Service where many families around the world who have adopted kids from China go back to see where they were born! We went to lots of places and got to climb the Great Wall, hold/pet pandas, etc. But I won’t spend too much time talking about it 😛 Anyway, during the trip I met this girl (who’s Chinese obviously) – whom I’ll call Bluesong – and she talked A LOT about Warriors! She showed me all of her drawings, the main ones being Bluestar and Firestar that I remember, and I literally had no clue what she was even saying (and was like “uh who the heck are these cats?). And neither did I care at that time too haha. Some time after the trip, when I got home, I started looking at the Warrior books and man I was sooo shocked at how many there were! It overwhelmed me because I didn’t know which was the first book so I kinda just didn’t get interested. It was until February (I think) of 2016, when my family and I moved out to San Diego, CA from 2015-2016 to spend the school year out on our sailboat (in the Marina, but we lived by the bay), when I went into this bookstore (similar to Barnes&Noble) and found the Warriors section. And of course I was very confused since there were so many! But I was determined. I finally found “Into the Wild” and boy-oh-boy was I excited! I snatched it and started looking over it and when I actually felt interested, I grabbed the next two books (“Fire and Ice” and “Forest of Secrets”) and asked my mom to buy them for me. I went through those three books in a month! I was so sucked into it and my mind was going crazy at how I didn’t even read far enough in 2013 to actually know how amazing Warriors really was/is! (random thing: I cried so hard when Silverstream died) Yes I felt very ashamed of myself lol. The first three books I bought weren’t damaged so I returned them and bought the whole set of “The Prophecies Begin.” 😛 From then on Warriors had become my all-time favorite series, especially the first series because it’s the original and it was just so good (I also didn’t have any spoilers which was a miracle)!
Q: What made you choose the name Foxtail? 🦊
Oh dear,here we go into the long story of how I actually made a decision (I’m a very indecisive child) and stuck with a warrior name 😛 (I tend to change my mind a lot)
Alright so fun fact: My first-ever warrior name was Diamondheart! And I was a dark, dappled tortoiseshell she-cat with a white diamond-shaped patch on my chest and dark blue eyes. This was before I actually realized cats wouldn’t really know what diamonds were though haha. Anyway I had so many different warrior names and I just couldn’t stick with one! I went from Diamondheart, to Turtletuft (don’t ask, idk what kind of name that is lol), Brightfeather (I would be a fluffy black-and-white she-cat with emerald green eyes for this one), Sandstripe, Yellowheart, Deerspring (I would look similar to Kestrelflight), the list goes on! This was when I first started reading of course. But here’s the part where I actually agreed to something:
So, as a matter of fact, I had help from my friend Leopardfang (whom I also got sucked into Warriors – Muahaha!!) and I asked her all of these questions about what kind of cat breed I should be, etc. She then sent me these pictures of this specific cat breed called a Somali cat (aka the Long-haired Abyssinian or the “fox cat”). And I fell in love with it! But the problem was I couldn’t decide with COLOR/KIND I wanted to be. There was a lilac Somali cat, fawn, sorrel, Rudy, etc. I then decided that I wanted to base my name off of what the Somali cat is (sorta), which is the “fox cat.” This is when I agreed to have my name starry with “fox.” Another fun fact is that I absolutely loved Squirrelflight so I kinda wanted to be a ginger she-cat with a bushy tail! 😛 So I ended up being a Rudy Somali cat with green eyes (my favorite color is green; also Squirrelflight has green eyes too). But weeks turned into months as I tried to find a good warrior name for myself. I went from Foxflight to Foxwhisker (this turned out to be a minor-canon name…) to Foxleaf, Foxnose (this later ended up being canon), etc. Foxtail was one of the names I thought of too. Finally I decided to go with Foxtail because…..uh well one of the reasons is that I named myself after Redtail in a way because I always imagined him as a Somali cat after I learned of the breed. And I also named myself after Squirrelflight because she was named after her bushy tail so I guessed Foxtail would be a good name for my breed. Umm oh right for the “tail” suffix, well part of the reason is that it symbolizes balance and I tend to balance out everything (arguments, look on both sides of the equation, don’t like getting into fights, the peacemaker ✌🏽, etc.). Another reason is of course because of Redtail, but also because of Feathertail which is the first “warrior” name I ever created before I even read Warriors! It was the name of a Hippogriff (half eagle/bird half horse for those who don’t know Harry Potter) I played/acted out with one of my friends back in the day. Little did I know that it was canon! If it wasn’t, I probably would have used it as my warrior name but since it was I had to choose a different one. (this is why I like Feathertail a lot haha) There’s probably more reasons too but those are the main ones! 😛 Of course later I find out that “foxtail” is a flower/plant (a foxtail lily) haha. But that’s ok. I love my name now and I can’t imagine myself with any other!
🚨BEEEEEP BEEEEEEP BEEEEEPP 🚨
Sundance here, interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to share this AWESOME phenomenon I came across a few minutes ago — it’s called “fever coat” and it’s when a cat is born with silver fur that magically turns a different color as they age! Crazy cool and worth me hijacking this interview for, right?
Now back to it …
Q: Do you have any pets, and, if so, can you tell us all about them? 😛 (I know you have one CUTE corgi)
Ah yes, indeed I do/can! I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Jemma Mae (we gave her a middle name cause why not) and she is the most stubborn, most lazy dog I’ve ever met! She doesn’t like going on walks unless it’s somewhere new (so we have to drag her around the block sometimes) and she hates, HATES vacuums, metronomes (yes, metronomes), etc. She barks her head off! She thinks she’s fierce but really…..she’s a scaredy cat 😛 But don’t worry Jemma is very very sweet! She’s loud, very loud. But sweet. She loves attention and she likes to lay on her back and kind of wave her paws in the air (while barking) to get your attention. Oh yeah, Jemma loves food and she will eat ANYTHING. Even flies……(in a corgi’s world, they’re called “sky raisins.” This is a known fact 😛). One time she ate a bee which stung her so her face blew up 😂🙁 It was funny and sad at the same time. Jemma is very crazy indeed. And smart. She can be smart when she wants to be, but she’s just stubborn, that’s all (as a puppy she figured out how to get out of her cage; another time she figured out how to unzip the outdoor cushions so she could tear all the stuffing out 😮).
Right now Jemma needs a playmate though. She’s been very depressed since her best buddy Fiona Sophia (another corgi) died 🙁 Maybe that’s why she’s so lazy haha……she used to be a ball of energy as a puppy! (when we brought her home, Fiona was like, “What am I gonna do with you? Like what the heck are you?” Lol)
I also have a beautiful silver Siamese tabby mix! Her name is Xiǎo Lán Yǎn Jīng (shee-ow-lahn-yahn-jee-ng) which mean “little blue eyes” in Mandarin Chinese. And she has gorgeous big (haha yeah she has big) blue eyes! But we call her Xiao Xiao for short 🙂 which technically means “tiny” and she is actually very small for her age (she’s 15), or for a cat in general. She’s very affectionate and loud. Very loud. She likes to serenade/sing a lot with her pink “mouse baby” (toy) held in her mouth. Her meows/yowls are so bizarre! They scare the fur off of you, I swear! 😸 Unfortunately Xiao Xiao was never really that social when she was younger. She was very shy, and though she was still loud, she hid a lot. This was when our other cat, Jett (a black cat), was alive. He died of hip cancer when he was 16. Ever since his death, Xiao Xiao had been lonely so now she’s like super duper social (which is nice).
Fun fact: Xiao Xiao is a rescue. One of my mom’s friends found her as a feral cat and she had already had two litters (aww I wish I could have seen her kittens!). My mom took her in and we’ve raised her ever since. Oh, another thing: she also begs. She begs worse than the dog! She paws at you while you eat and stares at you to death. But of course you can’t resist such an adorable face so we give in most of the time lol. Xiao Xiao is our princess and whatever she asks for, she gets. (I love her so much!)
And lastly, there is Hector. His name is pronounced “Heck-tah” though, in an Australian accent. This is because he was named after a fish in the TV show “H2o: Just Add Water” and one of the main characters had a fish named Hector (Hecta XD). He’s a purplish-blue dumbo beta fish and surprisingly he also begs. He stares at you while you eat and wiggles his fins. But at times he can be very still that you have to wonder, “Is he dead?” Of course right when those thoughts come to your mind, he starts wiggling his fins as if he’s saying, “Uh nope! I’m still here!” Hecta was bought for my sister’s bio-dome thing experiment for 10th grade. We got to keep him which was nice so we named him and stuff. Hecta was adopted (haha) on May 11th 2017. Can’t believe he’s still alive! The person at the fish store said this breed usually lives for 3 years so we get to have him for a while. 🙂
Q: What other fandoms are you in?
Once Upon A Time (I kinda stopped watching though for some reason)
My Little Pony (lol)
H2o: Just Add Water
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (this TV show is amazing!! You all should watch it!)
The Good Place
Miss In Kiss (Chinese drama show)
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (including the TV series’ like Dragons: Race to the Edge)
High School Musical
The Land of Stories series
The Ingo Chronicles (great Mer series)
Harry Potter again
The Bible..? 😛
Q: Who’s your least favorite character in Warriors?
Do I have to choose one? Cause I can’t make decisions 😛 (my life is full of indecision)
I’ll have to say either……
Graystripe: Don’t ask me to explain why; I have an entire article about it 😛
Brambleclaw/star: Just never really liked him cause let me point out that he was a jerk to Squirrelflight! I understand why he was mad at her for lying but isn’t that what relationships are for? – being there for your mate when times are tough? Accepting your mistakes/flaws? *shakes head* At least they made up later. It broke my heart when they split up 😢 (cause I ship them) There are other reasons (probably….) why I don’t like him but there’s that (cause I didn’t like him very much even before he and Squirrelflight became mates – he just annoyed me; I did like their funny quarrels though).
Leafpool: Cause Squirrelflight for the win!
Gray Wing: Yes. Gray Wing. Sorry but right now he’s not my fav character; don’t worry I don’t hate him!
Brokenstar: I will never forgive him for killing innocent kits and banishing elders from HIS OWN Clan!
Also Lionblaze used to be one of my least favorites but now I like him lol.
You know it’s really weird cause it seems that I tend to dislike characters who are loved by many fans and yet I like the characters who are hated a lot (I like Nightcloud….)
I know I’m weird 😛
Q: Which canon medicine cat would you want to be your mentor?
Yellowfang or Brambleberry
Yellowfang: I love her sense of humor and short temper. She’s very motherly as well and can be sweet when she wants to be and is fiercely loyal and protective to those she loves. She also has flaws and has made mistakes but that’s what makes her a great medicine cat cause your flaws and mistakes shape you into who you are. I bet I could learn a lot from her under her mentorship. Yellowfang is also said to be the greatest medicine cat (or one of them) of all time.
Brambleberry: She just seems like a really good mentor and I liked her a lot in “Crookedstar’s Promise”
Q: Which arc in Warriors would you most like to live during?
The New Prophecy” arc because I love traveling/journeys! 😀 Even though journey books/series’ can be tiring and annoying, well let me point out that this series wasn’t only on traveling, and neither was “Omen of the Stars.” But I think the reason we don’t like the other Journey books is because it isn’t exactly new. It’s not an amazing new journey (this could be why we also like “Dawn of the Clans” but I wouldn’t live in that time period because I don’t really want to be an Ancient 😛).
Also during this arc, there aren’t any big battles or evil enemies we have to look out for and it’s just a nice peaceful time. Of course there’s Hawkfrost and Mudclaw and all that drama but I just really like this period because there’s lots of secrets which makes it really interesting (without much bloodshed); new friendships; lots of lessons learned and growth in characters; The Tribe is introduced; And I just like the fact that it’s a peaceful time with hidden/dark secrets in between, but yet it’s a new beginning.
I also love nature and hate when humans keep putting up more and more buildings, destroying wildlife and ecosystems where animals and plants thrive. I know that our population is getting bigger (maybe?) but it still doesn’t sound entirely fair. This arc is about how the Clans have to find a new home (once again) because of Twolegs destroying their territories. And it makes me sad that the place we all knew where our childhood began (with Firestar in the old forest) had been destroyed. But yet, I like how they get to start fresh with a new life and get to make new friendships along the way. And I liked how each character had their own personality as well (on the expedition to find Midnight): Squirrelpaw was annoying, bouncy, adorable, and sassy; Brambleclaw was the leader of the group and had authority; Stormfur was the calm and collected dude who also had a leader-like spirit; Tawnypelt was fearless and courageous; Crowpaw was rude, snappy and impatient; Feathertail was sweet, gentle, and caring. Each cat played a role and in that role they made the journey an unforgettable one. Even The Great Journey.
The Great Journey cannot he forgotten. It is the story of uniting (whereas the journey of/on the sun trail seemed like the story of dividing) and remembering that the only true boundaries lie between night and day, light and dark, life and death, hope and loss.
“It’s the friends we meet along life’s road who help us appreciate the journey.”
“It’s not about the destination but the journey to get there.”
Q: If you could reincarnate one cat from the series, who would it be?
I’ve done a lot of thinking on this and I’ve finally come to a decision. I would reincarnate Fallen Leaves. I like the idea that he would remain a physical cat in the waking world so long as he stays brave, truthful, and unselfish *wink wink to OUAT fans* During his life with the Ancients as a Softpaw, he was shown to be selfish in a way because he did whatever it took to become a Sharpclaw for himself and so he lied to Rock that it was not raining. He died because of his dishonesty and selfishness. He was afraid of not becoming a Sharpclaw so he thought that he was being brave by facing the tunnels during a storm, when in reality he was actually being a coward and not being able to face the truth. Because of this he suffered many moons all alone, hoping that someone would come for him. He was also being selfish at that time. He couldn’t see past the fact that he put himself in this position. When Hollyleaf came, Fallen Leaves loved and cherished her, but deep down he knew she would have to go. Same with Jayfeather. He begged him to stay with him even though nothing could save him. (this is simply my own opinion though) StarClan should grant him a second life because he did indeed die at a young age, but he never truly understood what it meant to live.
“It does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~ Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter), Headmaster Of Hogwarts
Q: Out of all the fictional universes, which one would you most like to live in?
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER FOR LIFE
Q: Which canon character do you think is most like you?
Hmm probably Ravenpaw!
I get startled very easily, I am very cautious, I’m clumsy, I’m shy sometimes, I’m kind and caring, I’m honest, I tend to slip out secrets without knowing (Ravenpaw did this while talking about Redtail and Tigerclaw overheard him and made sure the secret wasn’t out), I’m very clingy (due to the fact that I was abandoned as a baby so I get very attached to those I grow close to; this makes me cry loyal to my family and friends), and I don’t trust many people unless I know them really well and they fully understand me.
Another reason why Ravenpaw is most like me is because as a young apprentice, he was shy, scared, and cautious of his surroundings and was careful with whom he became friends with, but as he grew older he became much more wise and had more confidence. This is similar to my childhood to my teenage years. It is explained that as a kit, it took a while for Ravenpaw to be coaxed out of the nursery. I relate this to myself because it took me a while to come out of my shell and actually smile for the first time after I had become adopted. Also, I am relating Barley to my sister since my sister is he one who helped me get through life and stuff. Ravenpaw was sent to Barley and his farm for protection and he and Barley became very good/close friends. He was the cat who would help get rid of Ravenpaw’s fears and help him gain confidence in what he believed in (what was right; what was unjust). My older sister did these things to me and without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Q: Who’s your favorite Disney princess?
This took me a long time cause at first I thought I didn’t really have one but I realize I do. So my favorite Disney princess would be Queen Elsa of Arendelle for reasons 😉❄️ I love her a lot cause #1 she’s pretty (to me she’s like….really pretty lol like tbh she would be my Disney Princess crush don’t judge me 😂) #2 she has a great singing voice (it gives me tingles like seriously I wish I could sing…..*cries* lol) and every song she sings I really like #3 she has powers!!!! #4 she has many flaws. Most princesses are kind and caring and loving and just have a good trait to them. Elsa? Yes she has those but at first she was very confused, scared, uncertain, cold/bitter, etc. She actually had to learn what love is. Then again so did Princess Anna (I like her too). But they later found love through each other and I love that. Love is a complicated thing. It can be the most painful experience ever but at same time be the best feeling in the world. Another thing is that this whole movie of Frozen teaches us that true love can be found through our family and friends, not just through a romantic someone (“Maleficent” also shows this).
Alright I guess Elsa is a little rebellious but all princesses are, right? 😛 Ok whatever I just love Elsa!! 😀 I know lots of people hate “Frozen” cause “its stupid songs get stuck in your head” but honestly “Frozen” is one of my favorite movies along with all the short films. I am probably the only one but I am really excited for the sequel! Kristen Bell (voice actress of Anna) has said that she really loves the plot for it and that it’s a story that must be told. So I have confidence that this next movie will be good!
Last but not least, here is a fantastic fanfiction Foxie wrote!!! 🙂[expand title=”CLICK HERE to read it!”]
A chilly wind swept over the grassy moorland as stars began to peek out from the darkening sky and rolling clouds. A night-black she-cat crept out from behind some browning stalks and waited there impatiently, her tail flicking back and forth. A rabbit’s nose poked out from its burrow, sniffing the air cautiously. The she-cat was thankful that the wind was blowing towards her, so the small white creature wouldn’t catch her scent as easily. Dropping lower into a crouch and wiggling her haunches, ready to spring, the she-cat watched the rabbit through narrowed amber eyes, willing it to scramble out.
She timed it right. The rabbit’s ears perked up and its fluffy body shot out of its hole. She pounded after it, every pawstep light and swift, and pursued it determinedly. After many heartbeats, the she-cat caught up to it and snatched it between her claws, her gaze glowing with triumph. She snapped its neck with one bite, killing it quickly as it stirred no more. Satisfied with her catch, the black warrior took her prey away with her back towards camp. Everything seemed oddly quiet and the cat wondered if any other hunters had been sent out as well. But nothing rustled, no screeches of prey as it was killed. All seemed to be stilled into a deadly silence.
Then something caught her eye. The she-cat dropped her prey so that she could taste the air.
“Who’s there?” She called out.
Soon, a scent wafted over her, filling her nostrils and entering her lungs. She began to become wary and unsheathed her claws, flexing them in and out and digging them into the ground.
“Looking for me?”
The warrior whipped around, bristling, to the darkness where the unfamiliar voice came from. Heartbeats passed until finally a silvery-gray she-cat padded out of the undergrowth.
Undergrowth? But WindClan doesn’t have any…… Her thoughts were cut off as the strange cat stepped towards her.
“Hello, Nightcloud.” She whispered calmly, her plump fluffy tail waving over the ground.
“Who are you?” The WindClan warrior demanded.
The she-cat said nothing as she walked towards her.
Nightcloud hackles raised as the stranger did so. “I don’t know you.”
“I don’t see why I’d need to tell you that at the moment.” The mysterious visitor meowed slowly. “But I do have something to tell you.”
“Well, then spit it out if you’re so desperate.” Nightcloud spat.
“A warrior does not talk back to its ancestors!” The she-cat shot to her paws and thrust her muzzle towards hers. “If you’re going to be so rude about it then I might as well just leave.”
Nightcloud hesitated, then meowed, “I’ve never been visited by a StarClan cat before.”
The silver she-cat glanced at her sympathetically. “Well, now you have. But this is not something you should be happy about.” she lowered her voice again. “You must beware, Nightcloud. Stormclouds are gathering on a dark breeze.”
Nightcloud snorted. “And this I need to know because why?”
The StarClan cat did not flinch from her rude comment. “You must choose your path wisely, Nightcloud. For the path you might choose may lead to great destruction, for you and all the Clans.” she continued warningly.
The black she-cat lashed her tail impatiently. “My choices are for the greater good for my Clan and my son.”
“Your son……” the starry warrior shook her head despairingly. “Dear Nightcloud, I’m so sorry. Please do choose your path wisely when the time comes.”
Nightcloud’s head was buzzing with questions, but all she could get out was, “My son will not be my destruction.”
“Choose wisely……a great darkness is coming……” the silver-furred cat was beginning to fade, along with the stars that danced around her paws.
“My son will not be my destruction!” Nightcloud yowled angrily at the StarClan warrior, but she had already gone and there was no trace of her scent any longer.
Sighing and grumbling, the WindClan warrior picked up her fresh-kill in her jaws and hurried back to the camp. Most of it was deserted and only the warriors on guard were outside. She dipped her head towards them as she dropped her night’s catch in the pile and headed for the warriors’ den. Her son, Breezepelt, was curled up next to Heathertail, while Crowfeather slept in the corner, excluded from the rest. Should I go to him? Nightcloud began to pad towards her mate, then stopped, her heart dropping like a stone weighing in her belly. No. He doesn’t care for me. Why should I sleep next to a cat who doesn’t want to sleep next to me? Breathing heavily, the black she-cat instead settled down next to Breezepelt. She wondered what he was thinking right now. You won’t be my destruction. You will make your father proud one day. One day……
But what if that day never comes? A voice haunted her mind. What if he does end up being your destruction?
Nightcloud shivered at the thought. Then my life would be filled with nothing but regret. Regret that I accepted being Crowfeather’s mate. Regret that Breezepelt never got to see the light of a loving father. Regret that I was never enough for him. Her mouth went dry and she gritted her teeth in pain. Or for Crowfeather.
“Have you seen Breezepelt?”
The next morning had gone by in a rush and Nightcloud felt as if the whole world were crushing down on her. She bounded up to her mate who was taking a piece of fresh-kill from the pile.
“Crowfeather, have you seen our son?” Nightcloud asked worriedly.
Crowfeather shrugged. “Nope.”
Nightcloud scowled at him as he just stalked away. He doesn’t even care! Huffing, she hurried over to Heathertail who was sunning herself outside of the warriors’ den.
“Hey, have you seen Breezepelt lately?” Nightcloud questioned breathlessly.
Heathertail blinked at her in surprise. “Well, I saw him just leave a moment ago. He said he was going hunting.”
Nightcloud looked Heathertail up and down. She knew something was up, but couldn’t put her paw on it.
She gave the tabby a curt nod before racing away back towards her mate who was now eating his prey.
“Any news?” Crowfeather murmured without looking up from his rabbit.
Hey, I caught that yesterday. Nightcloud realized. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, she sat down next to him and rolled her eyes drowsily.
“No.” she snapped, though didn’t expect it to come out so harshly.
Crowfeather said nothing. So what else is new?
Then he spoke softly, “He went out hunting, didn’t he?”
Nightcloud nodded awkwardly. “How did you know?”
“I saw him go out.”
Nightcloud jumped to her feet and glared at him. “Well, why didn’t you say so?” she demanded.
Crowfeather stared steadily back at her. “You worry too much. Breezepelt went hunting on his own. Is that really a thing to worry about?”
“Of course it is!” Nightcloud snapped. Her voice was unsteady as she replied and her legs were shaking.
“Is something wrong?” Crowfeather asked, taking Nightcloud by surprise.
“No,” she growled, even though that wasn’t entirely true. Why should I be honest with him? He’s never been with me. “Since when were you worried about me?”
“You are my Clanmate.” He mewed simply.
“Is that all I am to you?” Nightcloud hissed. Well that was a stupid question. Of course I am!
Crowfeather scrabbled to his paws, leaving bits of his meal behind, and stood up to face his mate eye to eye. “What did you expect? I care about you as a Clanmate because I am loyal to my Clan!”
“Oh? Loyal? If you were so loyal then you wouldn’t have broken the code!” Nightcloud retorted.
Crowfeather curled his lip. “I am loyal. That’s why I took a mate in my own Clan.”
Nightcloud’s mouth dropped. Her eyes flared with rage. “So that’s what I am? A piece of prey used to prove some evidence?” she spat. “Oh, now it all makes sense why you’ve never payed attention to our son or to me! I’m not your mate. I’m a plaything, aren’t I? And so is Breezepelt. He’s just another charm to add to your collection!” Anger fumbled out in her words and she had to look away from Crowfeather’s face to stop herself from clawing him to death.
“What? So are you just going to force me to love you?” Crowfeather argued.
“No, but I’ve been trying to get you to at least care about our son!” Nightcloud lashed her tail. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to act both mother and father to him? Even when he does actually have one? And you wonder why I worry about him so much and spoil him? Well, don’t blame me!” she bared her teeth at her mate.
Crowfeather’s expression told nothing, though his eyes were as cold as ice. “I loved Leafpool , Nightcloud. Why should I love you too? It’s Leafpool I ran away with, not you.”
“Exactly.” Nightcloud took a step forward. “Do you think I don’t know that? How you’re always lost in thought, probably thinking about her? I live with that everyday, knowing that you will never love me.”
“And I won’t.” Crowfeather hissed. “You can’t make me!” And with that he spun around and pelted for the camp entrance to the forest.
Nightcloud tried to swallow the bile that rose in her throat as she watched him run away from her. In a hurt, hushed voice she murmured, “I’m not trying to make you love me more than those you loved before.” she whispered. “I only just wanted to see if you still had a small bit of that love left for me and our son.”
But I see now that he’s used it all up. And all that’s left for me is a broken heart of stone. I don’t blame him for not loving me as genuinely as Leafpool. I just wish I could be a better mate for him now.
With her tail drooping, Nightcloud trudged across the clearing in a daze. She started to head for the fresh-kill pile, then stopped when she realized she didn’t feel like eating. Instead she decided to take a short walk out in the forest. Maybe I might find Breezepelt. She knew that she shouldn’t worry about him so much, but her recent vision scared the fur off of her. Summoning her energy, she bolted for the entrance and exited the camp. The wind slapped her fur against her sides and whipped her whiskers on her face as she raced over the moor. I must find him! The thought encouraged her to keep going when her muscles started to ache.
Suddenly, an unfamiliar scent filled her nostrils and she opened her mouth to taste the air. ThunderClan. Her fur bristled that the thought of the Clan who she hated so much. But another scent was mixed with the intruder’s as well. Nightcloud narrowed her eyes suspiciously. Breezepelt? She checked the scent more carefully and soon realized that the two scents were put there at different times. And Breezepelt’s was fresher. Now what’s he doing here with a ThunderClan cat? Nightcloud passed along the trail and followed the scents along the moor. As she trudged along the path, another scent entered her glands. This one she knew very well. She growled under her breath. Crowfeather has only one son! Nightcloud dug her claws fiercely into the ground. The scent of Jayfeather wreathed around her, making her blood feel hot like fire. Hissing with annoyance, Nightcloud kept up on the path of scents of cats and soon came to an abrupt halt when she reached the path that led down to the Moonpool. The sun was going down by the time she reached it. What in the name of StarClan would Breezepelt be doing here? Confusion passed through her mind as she set paw in one of the pawprints imbedded in the rock. She wondered how long these pawprints had been there. A shiver ran through her as she trotted down swiftly towards the pool. Tasting the air, Nightcloud soon began to pick out the scents of her son and the ThunderClan medicine cat apprentice. She stiffened when she caught the scent of milk drifting through the air. Nightcloud hid behind a boulder and peeked out cautiously when she noticed a pregnant tortoiseshell she-cat sitting by the pool and gazing up at the hole in the ceiling.
“Poppyfrost?” Nightcloud almost jumped out of her fur when she heard Jayfeather’s soft voice echo off the rippling waves of the pool. Nightcloud heard the queen gasp in surprise. “Jayfeather! Did you follow me?”
“Yes.” Jayfeather’s reply was wary. “Your Clanmates are worried about you,” he went on. “You shouldn’t
have come up here alone.”
“My kits are fine,” Poppyfrost responded, her voice dull and listless. “Is Berrynose worried about me?”
Nightcloud noticed Jayfeather’s hesitation when he fumbled with an answer, though she saw that his eyes were full of desperation.
“You don’t need to answer,” the tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat went on bitterly. “Of course he isn’t! He doesn’t care about me. He’s still in love with Honeyfern.” Nightcloud glanced at Jayfeather, wondering if he would answer, but Poppyfrost went on at once, seeming to assume that he agreed with her. “I wanted to see Honeyfern so much. I miss her more than I can say, and I don’t blame her that Berrynose doesn’t love me.” Poppyfrost let
out a shuddering sigh. “I always loved him, even when he was with Honeyfern. But I would never have tried to take him away from her! Then when she died, I thought he might love me after all…but he doesn’t.”
“You don’t know—” Jayfeather began.
“Oh, yes, I do!” Poppyfrost flashed back at him. “You can tell from the way he behaves that he doesn’t care about me at all. Why else would he want me to go into the nursery so early? He doesn’t even want to see me in the warriors’ den!”
Jayfeather didn’t reply for a couple of heartbeats. Nightcloud assumed he must be struggling to find the right words.
“I’m going to take you home,” he meowed finally. “Remember I brought you home once before from a forest you visited in your dreams?”
Poppyfrost was silent for a moment; Nightcloud flicked her ears up in surprise. She suddenly found herself being intrigued by what Jayfeather was saying, stirring up memories in Poppyfrost’s mind, flickering like starlight on water. But she soon pushed it away. Crowfeather has only one son! I should feel nothing for this cat. Nothing!
“Yes, I remember,” Poppyfrost murmured, her voice scarcely audible above the sound of the waterfall. “I was sick, wasn’t I? But I didn’t really leave the stone hollow. So where was that forest?” She caught her breath, and her voice strengthened as she went on. “It was StarClan, wasn’t it? I was dying, and you saved my life!”
“Yes, that’s what happened,” Jayfeather mewed. “And I’ve come to help you again.” Nightcloud watched through slitted eyes as Poppyfrost rose to her paws and padded around the Moonpool until she was standing in front of the medicine cat. “If I went to StarClan once and came back, I can go there again! Please!” She pleaded, her body trembling with longing. “I want to see Honeyfern. I want to tell her that I didn’t mean to take Berrynose from her. Oh, Jayfeather, what if she hates me, too?” Jayfeather stifled a sigh. “That’s not possible,” he began. “Warriors can’t just stroll in and out of StarClan. I would have to hurt you or make – ”
Nightcloud turned her head away and flattened her ears, not wanting to listen anymore. Stretching her legs, she hopped to her feet and exited up the path marked with ancient paw prints. When she almost couldn’t hear the two ThunderClan cats’ voices anymore, another scent came upon her, though it wasn’t ThunderClan. It was a scent she knew very well. Huffing and lashing her tail, Nightcloud plodded along out into the open.
“What do you think you’re doing, Nightcloud?” She stopped in her tracks when she heard the familiar voice of a tom behind her.
Her son slinked out from behind one of the boulders and stalked up to her, his eyes blazing.
“I could ask you the same question.” Nightcloud retorted.
Breezepelt fluffed out his fur. “It’s none of your business.” he growled.
Nightcloud took a step toward him, their noses a mousetail away. “Oh, I think it is. You’re my son, and it’s my job to protect you.”
Breezpelt spat on the ground. “I don’t need protecting anymore. I can take care of myself.”
Nightcloud shuffled closer. “You need me, Breezepelt.”
“I don’t need anyone!” He snapped. “I’m perfectly fine on my own! What’s the point of having any company if no cat wants to be with me?”
Nightcloud saw anger and pain flash through his eyes. She took a deep breath. “What about Heathertail? You seem to take a liking for her.”
Breezepelt’s paws scuffled the ground and his claws slid in and out. “Heathertail’s just a friend.” he muttered.
Nightcloud wasn’t convinced.
“Besides, it’s not her I’m talking about,” the black tom scraped his claws across the stone.
Nightcloud understood everything in that moment.
“I’ve been trying to make your father proud of you. I really have!” She meowed despairingly. “I’ve spent my life taking care of, praising you, and guiding you all on my own, hoping that Crowfeather would come in.”
“Yeah well, look how far you got.” Breezepelt scowled.
Nightcloud bristled. “Don’t blame me! I’ve been trying my hardest to make you feel loved and wanted.”
Breezepelt’s eyes widened in rage. “Wanted? Wanted? ” he pulled his lips back in a snarl. “I was never wanted in the first place! No, I was never supposed to be born!”
Nightcloud tried to find the right words to contradict her son, but nothing would come.
“This is the only way,” Breezpelt’s voice was barely more than a whisper. “It’s the only way I can truly be free.”
Nightcloud was puzzled for a moment. “W-what do you mean?” she stammered.
A cold breeze swirled around her, making her teeth chatter. Hushed voices ringed in her ears, whispering prophecies and destruction about her son. Stormclouds are gathering on a dark breeze……
Choose your path wisely!
Your son will be your destruction.
“No!” Nightcloud yowled.
She clamped her jaws shut when she realized Breezepelt was staring at her, a devilish look on his face.
“No?” He snarled. “This is the only way to get my revenge, Nightcloud. You know you want him to die. You always have.”
Nightcloud gazed at him with a bewildered expression. “What? Want who to die?” she felt her paws buckle underneath her son’s penetrating glare.
“Why, Jayfeather of course!” Breezepelt thrust his muzzle to hers. “He needs to die! All of them do! They never should have been born. They don’t deserve to live.”
Nightcloud’s jaw dropped open at her son’s revelation. Do you really hate them that much? She questioned her son silently. Nightcloud blinked in surprise. Would I go that far in my jealousy for Leafpool? She shook her head in frustration.
“B-but Breezepelt! You can’t kill a medicine cat!” she blurted out, half shocking herself.
Breezepelt curled his lip into a sly grin. “Watch me!” He hissed at her, then turned tail and hurled himself down the sacred path, vanishing into the darkness.
Nightcloud could feel the blood pulsing through her veins. What do I do? For a while she thought deeply about what Breezepelt said, and wondered if she too really wanted Crowfeather’s other kits to die. She knew she hated every hair on Leafpool’s pelt, yet she couldn’t handle the thought of killing her. She thought about following the black warrior, but stopped herself when more troubled thoughts clouded her mind. I shouldn’t interfere. This is Breezepelt. I have nothing to do with this.
“This is your chance, Nightcloud,” a she-cat’s scent drifted towards her on the faint breeze. “Choose your path wisely.”
Oh, great. Is it that silver cat again? Nightcloud twitched her whiskers as, indeed, the same silver tabby glided up towards her, its paws delicately touching the ground.
“What do you want?” Nightcloud snapped abruptly.
The silver warrior blinked at her warmly. “You.”
Nightcloud snorted. “Me? Why me?”
“You know very well why I’m here.” She answered firmly.
“I don’t want to listen to your blabbering anymore.” Nightcloud turned away disgustedly.
The she-cat floated around her with piercing pale blue eyes, and brushed her pelt against Nightcloud’s.
“I care about your son as if he were my own,” she whispered, her voice full of love and heartbreak. “I will never take my eyes off of him as long as he stays loyal to the stars.” The StarClan cat then faced Nightcloud sternly. “But a great darkness is coming. You must be prepared to accept that your son may never grow into the cat who you wanted him to be.”
Nightcloud eyes locked with the she-cat’s. She could see pride, sorrow, and a mother’s love dancing like minnows in the StarClan warrior’s eyes.
“I have loved him as fiercely as ever and would protect him with my life.” Nightcloud meowed strongly.
The sleek tabby cat touched the black WindClan warrior with her tail tip.
“If that is so, would you be able to kill him in order to protect him and the ones you love?” she murmured.
Nightcloud eyes flared up in shock and indignation. “Why would I do such a thing?” she gasped. “Breezepelt means more to me than anything in the world!”
“I know,” the silver cat dipped her head. “But do you really believe that killing a medicine cat is the right thing to do? Let alone a pregnant queen being with him?”
Nightcloud was lost for words. She didn’t know what to think anymore. Her brain felt as if it was about to burst.
“You must do this for the good of your Clan.” she pressed her pelt against Nightcloud’s. “For your son.”
“I will not kill my son!” Nightcloud howled, anger and sorrow boiling deep inside her body.
“You know what is right, Nightcloud.” The she-cat’s mew softened. “Our lost friend wouldn’t want to lose her brother. She knows your pain. You must listen to her.” The StarClan warrior’s fur sparkled in the rays of dusk, and faded slowly as night began to dawn.
“Wait!” Nightcloud raced clumsily after the she-cat, but she stumbled to the ground in a heap of black fur.
Who was she talking about? Nightcloud wondered.
Scrambling to her paws, Nightcloud blundered down the path towards the Moonpool, dazed in confusion, rage, and sadness. She gasped in horror when she reached the sacred pool. The two toms were screeching and fighting each other, a flurry of black and gray tabby paws flailing through the air. Breezepelt was on his back with Jayfeather trying to slash his muzzle with his claws. Nightcloud had to admit that Jayfeather was pretty good with fighting even though he was blind. Breezepelt threw the gray medicine cat off and flipped him over onto his back. Holding him down with one paw, Breezepelt landed several hard blows on Jayfeather’s belly. Jayfeather wriggled in a vain attempt to escape.
Poppyfrost’s terrified wail came close to where Nightcloud was hiding in terror. “Stop it! You can’t kill a medicine cat!” “Watch me,” Breezepelt growled, to Nightcloud’s dismay once again. Poppyfrost aimed a blow at his shoulder, but she was heavy with her kits and clumsy; Nightcloud could tell the blow had no force behind it.
“Get out of here!” Jayfeather gasped as another blow to his belly winded him. “Think of your kits!”
Poppyfrost backed away, whimpering, but she didn’t try to leave. In the next heartbeat Breezepelt sprang away from Jayfeather, who scrambled, half-dazed, to his paws. Breezepelt leaped back in front of him, lashing out with his paws, claws still sheathed as he just brushed Jayfeather’s ears and muzzle.
“Go on, see if you can hit me!” he taunted. Jayfeather sprang forward, but before he reached the WindClan cat, Nightcloud almost choked when she saw a very faint outline of a cat land on him from behind rake its claws across Jayfeather’s shoulders. Nightcloud whimpered from behind the boulder as she watched the medicine cat get beaten up by the two toms.
Help him! Her ear fur twitched as a mysterious cat called out to her. Please, don’t let him get killed!
Nightcloud could make out a very faint outline of a spiky black she-cat not far from where she was crouching.
“Go away!” Nightcloud hissed softly.
The she-cat didn’t seem to hear and just kept mouthing towards her. It took Nightcloud many heartbeats to finally understand what she was saying: I know your pain! I’ve felt it before!
“You don’t know me at all!” Nightcloud flashed at the black shadow of the cat.
She let out a muffled screech as some cat bowled her over from behind. She clawed desperately at its face and tried to slash its stomach, but the weight soon vanished to her surprise. Shaking her fur, Nightcloud leaped to her paws and whirled around to face her attacker. She relaxed a bit when she realized it was just the silver tabby cat again.
“Would you stop following me?” Nightcloud growled impatiently.
The she-cat said nothing, and only walked towards her and touched her small pink nose to Nightcloud’s black nose. She was soon plunged deep into darkness and the reek of blood filled the air. Nightcloud wailed for help but someone slapped her mouth with their tail. She wriggled in frustration in an attempt escape the cat’s grasp but she was so limp that she couldn’t move a muscle. Starting to feel hopeless, Nightcloud started to close her eyes, but only a heartbeat later they flashed open and the vision of a black cat and a speckled gray cat appeared. The gray cat had fallen into the stream with a gash in his neck, while the other stood over him triumphantly, blood dripping from her paws. Before Nightcloud could get a good look at them, the vision ebbed away and she was suddenly forced into another one. This time, she was in a medicine cat’s den. The same black she-cat was there, but instead of blood at her paws, there were brilliant red berries. She was snarling at some cat that Nightcloud didn’t recognize, until its brown-and-white tabby pelt became clearer. That’s Leafpool! The brown tabby was gaping at the black she-cat, as if she had told her something horrible. Nightcloud strained her eyes to see better when the black warrior shoved the berries towards Leafpool, yowling madly. Even though Leafpool looked bewildered, she sat up straight and murmured something that Nightcloud couldn’t hear. I can’t hear anything at all for some reason. Leafpool’s eyes were filled with sorrow, strength, and gentleness as she talked softly to the spiky black warrior. There was a bit of hesitation, before the black cat stepped aside, and Leafpool padded out of the den, with the death berries untouched, and the black warrior glaring after her with hatred, regret, and relief reflecting in her sharp green eyes. Nightcloud felt as if her heart was stabbed a million times. Wanting to get closer, she tried to struggle forward, but the silver cat beside her held her in place.
“Why can’t I follow her?” She demanded.
The silver tabby shook her head. “That is not why we came here.”
“Here? Where is here?” Nightcloud meowed, alarmed.
“Nowhere. I only allowed you to see into the memories of the past.” The silver cat explained.
“You needed to understand that you weren’t the only one who felt painfully betrayed.” The StarClan warrior glanced away.
Nightcloud thought she was going to fall off of her paws. She struggled with her reply.
“T-that was Hollyleaf, wasn’t it? The cat who revealed it all at the Gathering?” Nightcloud murmured finally.
Her companion nodded. “This is not the place and time to discuss this again. What’s done is done.”
“Hollyleaf tried to kill Leafpool!” Nightcloud gasped, her eyes brightening.
The silver cat soon rounded on her. “You don’t wish she did, do you?” she demanded.
Nightcloud looked at her paws. “I don’t know.”
“So you’re just going to let Breezepelt kill Jayfeather then?”
Nightcloud swallowed the bile that rose in her throat.
“Nightcloud, this is your choice you make. It’s your path, no one else’s.” The silver warrior touched her muzzle to her ear. “Choose wisely.”
Nightcloud pulled away and swerved her head to glare at the she-cat. “I thought that the great darkness you mentioned will come no matter what.”
“It will.” The StarClan tabby sighed.
“Then why me? Why is it all on me now?” Nightcloud’s eyes pleaded for an answer.
“What you will do won’t change the fate of your son. But if you choose the right thing to do, it will cause less pain for everyone, including you.”
“But what is my son’s fate?” Nightcloud hissed.
The silver she-cat’s gaze dulled. “The time will come when he will no longer fight beside you.”
Her answer confused Nightcloud for a moment.
“What do you mean?”
The cat did not answer. Instead the surroundings were beginning to fade away, along with the StarClan warrior.
“No, don’t leave yet!” Nightcloud yowled.
Her body jolted as she felt the cold hard stone beneath her paws. She opened her eyes and gasped in shock when she saw Breezepelt trying to bite Jayfeather’s throat out.
“A great darkness is coming,” Nightcloud heard the warrior’s voice suddenly repeat in her ears. “I’m afraid a greater power than StarClan will only be able to stop it.”
Nightcloud saw that the outline of the silver tabby was staring at Jayfeather as he struggled to fight. Her son was glaring down on him with a menacing stare and his lips were pulled back in a snarl. She shrieked inwardly when she noticed a big ragged dark brown tabby tom with him, getting ready to strike a blow as well. Her mind racing, Nightcloud finally understood the reason for what she needs to do. Jayfeather needs to live so that the darkness can be defeated. Her gaze traveled sadly towards her son, whom she loved more than anything else. And yet he really had become her description: An evil cat with a thirst for revenge. I’ve been trying to make Crowfeather proud of you all my life. She told Breezepelt silently. But what you are about to do, what you think will satisfy your thirst, it won’t. Nightcloud bowed her head. Crowfeather will never be proud of you if you end up killing his other son. As much as I hate them and their mother, I know that this isn’t right.
Summoning up her courage, Nightcloud sprang to her paws and shot out from behind the boulder. She gave an enormous leap and landed on Breezepelt’s shoulders. Her son shrieked, pulled his claws out of Jayfeather’s pelt, and turned on his mother, his eyes stretched wide in disbelief and rage.
“Mother!” He yelped, startled.
“Get off of Crowfeather’s son!” Nightcloud screeched.
Breezepelt’s gaze scorched her pelt as he turned his head to stare at her. Flames flared up in those amber depths, and Nightcloud realized this wasn’t the cat she expected her son to grow to be. But isn’t it my fault? Echoes of doubt and discouragement crowded her brain. I raised him to think Crowfeather hated him, in which Crowfeather did neglect him, but maybe he never did hate him.
“He is not Crowfeather’s son!” Breezepelt raged, flinging Nightcloud off of his shoulders. “My father has only me! Only me! These cats should never have been born!”
“You’re wrong!” Nightcloud snarled, getting to her paws after being winded. Am I doing the right thing?
Breezepelt’s fur bristled. “What happened to you? Are you gonna hate me now too?”
Nightcloud stuttered breathlessly. “Never! I would never hate you, Breezepelt. But this has to stop! This is messed up. It’s all wrong.”
“No! I will make these cats pay for what they’ve done!” Breezepelt turned and lashed out a paw into Jayfeather’s side. The medicine cat writhed in agony as the black tom dealt a few more blows. Nightcloud yowled and launched herself into Breezepelt. Give me strength, StarClan! She dug her teeth into his scruff and hauled him off of the blind tom. The weight of Breezepelt wriggled underneath her and she gave a small blow to his head. How can I kill my son? Breezepelt flailed his paws as he tried to dislodge Nightcloud’s mouth from his neck fur.
“I won’t let you harm another hair on that cat’s pelt!”
Breezepelt caterwauled as his mother’s teeth dug deeper into his neck.
“I’m sorry, Breezepelt. But I can’t let you harm anymore cats!” Nightcloud bit down hard, and Breezepelt yelped in agony. “You’re my son. It’s my job to protect – ” her meow was suddenly cut off.
She began to feel this choking sensation in the side of her neck, and painfully turned her head to see what had happened. Blood was welling up along her black neck fur, and Nightcloud struggled to breathe as it flooded down her chest and sides. The pain from the gash in her neck and the struggle of gripping her son in her jaws began to become too much for her to bare. She limply let go of Breezepelt’s scruff and fell to the ground, panting. Her son gasped for air as he coughed onto the stone floor. His eyes were still filled with hatred for the gray tom though, and Nightcloud knew that he wouldn’t stop until Jayfeather had fully paid for his so-called “crimes.” She strained her neck to see who had struck the deadly gash that bubbled with dark-colored blood and dribbled onto the floor, staining it with streaks of red. A massive dark brown tabby tom stared at her from afar. He had many scars down his body and had a small bent in his tail. Nightcloud didn’t recognize him, but she guessed he was one of Breezepelt’s allies. His body was faintly outlined and was slightly glowing, so she guessed he was from somewhere like StarClan. But he seemed way to evil to be from a place like that. The tom was beginning to fade by the time her son had gained enough strength to walk.
“Nightcloud?” Breezepelt coughed out loud again, and limped over to his bleeding mother.
Nightcloud gulped as her son padded towards her.
“G-get away from h-here, Breezepelt.” Nightcloud tried to sound defiant, gritting her teeth against the pain. “You don’t belong h-here!”
Breezepelt stared at her in horror, though rage still reflected in that flame-colored gaze.
“You tried to stop me from killing Jayfeather,” Breezepelt hissed softly. “I thought you’d be smarter than that. But now look,” his gaze traveled over her limp body. “This is what it feels like to be unwanted. This is what it feels like when your father has betrayed you and neglected you.” His voice faltered. “So much blood. So much red…..I can’t believe that you failed to see it. I thought you’d be on my side.”
Breathing started to get harder and harder for the WindClan she-cat as she listened to the anger in her son’s voice.
“I trusted you.” Breezepelt murmured. “But now you’ve betrayed me too.”
Never! Nightcloud wanted to wail. She looked up at the black tom, agony rimming her eyes.
“I t-trusted you t-too.” she stuttered.
I don’t regret having you. Nightcloud added to herself. I only regret that you became the devil you are now, because of the cats who raised you. I’m so sorry…..
Breezepelt snorted and turned away to glare at Jayfeather who was now beginning to struggle to his paws. Poppyfrost was beside him, helping him up by letting him lean on her shoulder.
“This isn’t over yet,” he snarled at them. “I’ll make you pay for what you’ve caused me!” Breezepelt pretended to lunge at them, but veered off at an angle and fled up the trail of ancient pawprints.
The blurry body of Jayfeather came into view at the side of her vision, and Nightcloud could feel his breath on her fur.
“Thank you.” He whispered.
Nightcloud’s only response was a whimper and a cough.
“I would have been crowfood there if you hadn’t been here. Though I didn’t expect that you’d be the one to save me.” Jayfeather’s blind blue gaze swept over her broken blood soaked body.
Nightcloud tried to take a deep breath, but the pain stabbed its way back in. She could feel the medicine cat’s stare burn through her fur.
“I know that I wasn’t the one you meant to save but – ” he rumbled softly. “Thank you.” his voice then hardened. “Breezepelt doesn’t deserve a second chance, but since you were here, maybe he’d rethink attacking a medicine cat again.”
Nightcloud coughed up some blood on the stone floor when Jayfeather had finished.
Summoning up all her strength after many struggling breaths, she finally managed to choke out her last words, “I didn’t do it for him.”
A shriek came from the other side of he pool. “Well, aren’t you going to save her?” Poppyfrost whimpered.
The gray tabby tom shook his head. “There’s nothing we can do.”
Suddenly, a faint shimmering outline of a cat appeared beside him and bent her head over Nightcloud’s body. She nodded her head to Jayfeather before backing away and waited solemnly. Nightcloud’s vision ebbed slowly away and stars began to whirl around inside her mind as the vision of a silver tabby shown in front of her in the distance.
“I’m here to guide you to StarClan,” she whispered.
Nightcloud struggled to her paws and gaped at her misty surroundings.
“Don’t be afraid,” the starry she-cat touched the tip of her tail to the wary WindClan cat. “Come. Follow me, and I’ll lead you home.”
Nightcloud padded slowly after the StarClan warrior, regret and sorrowful thoughts clouding her sight, making her stumble every few steps. The silver warrior pressed her pelt against hers to steady her.
“We’re almost there.” she meowed.
A large opening appeared in front of them. Glistening pools and towering trees popped up on every side. It’s just like the waking world, except more……
“We’re here.” The warrior’s tail flicked in front of Nightcloud’s chest, gesturing her to stop and look around.
Many StarClan cats filed down into the clearing, chattering and whispering away like energetic apprentices. A dark mottled brown tom trotted up to her and the silver cat and bowed his head respectively.
“Greetings, Nightcloud.” He murmured roughly. “It’s good to see you again.”
A gasp almost escaped her as she stared at the tom.
“You haven’t forgotten about me, surely?” He growled amusingly.
“Mudclaw! Of course not.” Nightcloud purred. “I still think that you should have been leader.”
Mudclaw shuffled his paws uncomfortably and flattened his ears. “It just wasn’t meant to be.” He replied simply. “We might not have agreed with Tallstar’s decision, but he was leader at that time and we must respect his choices.”
Nightcloud gave him a curt nod and a wave of her tail in farewell as her guardian lead her away from the assembly of crowded cats.
“Where are we going?” She called, giving a confused glance over her shoulder at the starry warriors in the background.
“You’ll see.” The silver tabby gave an excited skip as she raced over the ground on shimmering paws.
Days seemed to pass by until finally the two cats reached colossal gray cliffs and a large roaring waterfall.
“Where are we?” Nightcloud yowled over the echoing splashes.
The silver tabby stopped for a heartbeat and turned to look at the night-black she-cat.
“Do you know who I am?” She mewed suddenly.
Nightcloud licked her chest fur impatiently. “No. Should I? Most of these cats here I hardly know!” she retorted.
The StarClan cat circled around her and when she came around, the two cats locked stares. Nightcloud had a strange feeling that she knew this cat, yet had never even met her in real life.
“I was Crowfeather’s first love,” she announced firmly. “My name is Feathertail.”
The blood suddenly drained out of Nightcloud’s face and she soon found herself boiling with burning anger.
“I was one of the chosen cats on the journey to find Midnight, but I died on our way back saving the Tribe from a mountain lion – ”
“I know who you are!” Nightcloud snapped irritably. “You don’t have to boast all about his love for you to me.” she lashed her tail.
Feathertail blinked halfheartedly. “I wasn’t boasting. If I was, why did I even bother to help you?”
“Help me?” Nightcloud’s rage fumed out. “Help me with what? Having Crowfeather love me like he loved you?”
“You can’t change Crowfeather’s heart!” Feathertail bursted out. “I gave you a second chance, Nightcloud. Not for Crowfeather to love you, but to do something good for once that would actually unburden you from this pain.”
“Well, it didn’t!” Nightcloud spat. “I’m done playing your games.” she turned away stiffly and began stalking away.
“Wait!” Feathertail bounded after her.
Nightcloud dodged bramble bushes and streams as she raced blindly away from the cat who thought she could mend her broken heart. Wet sensations flooded over her paws and she screeched at the swirling clear pool underneath her body.
“Nightcloud, stop!” Feathertail gasped as she splashed into the pool with the black warrior.
Nightcloud hissed in frustration as the silver cat sprayed water all over her.
“You shouldn’t have died.” Nightcloud growled. “If you hadn’t, Crowfeather wouldn’t have ran away with Leafpool and then used me for loyalty. It’s the worse pain ever.”
Feathertail widened her eyes in shock. “I had to save the Tribe! I had to save Crowfeather. I couldn’t just let him and the others die.”
Nightcloud opened her mouth to argue, but closed it when she thought a bit more sensibly.
“Ever since I died, all I wanted was for Crowfeather to be happy.” Feathertail murmured.
“Oh, sure. He is very happy at the moment.” Nightcloud meowed flatly.
Feathertail sighed. “Leafpool made him happy. But I knew that it would cause more pain than any other relationship before.”
“Then why did you let him do it?” Nightcloud hissed.
“StarClan does not interfere with the destinies of other cats. The Three needed to be born – ” Feathertail stopped herself abruptly.
“The Three? What do you mean?” Nightcloud demanded.
“It’s a prophecy that has existed for some time. It was finally given to Firestar in a dream saying: There will be three, kin of your kin, who will hold the power of the stars in their paws.”
“And who might those ‘Three’ be?” Nightcloud flicked her tail.
Feathertail was hesitant. “Can I trust you?”
Nightcloud raised her eyebrows in surprise and suspicion, but nodded her head.
“Jayfeather is one of them,” she explained. “And his brother as well.”
“And the third?” Nightcloud prompted.
“At first we thought it was Hollyleaf, but we were wrong. Dovepaw is the true third.”
Nightcloud thought for a moment. Indeed, Jayfeather really needed to live that night.
“What is the purpose of the Three?” She asked in a demanding tone.
Feathertail closed her eyes tightly, then slowly reopened them. “Remember when I told you that I would be able to watch your son, so long as he stays loyal to the stars?”
Nightcloud nodded warily.
“Well, a great darkness is coming. The spirits of the Dark Forest are rising, and we will need a power greater than us to stop them.”
“The Dark Forest?” Nightcloud was confused.
“It is the place where cats with ambitious and bloodthirsty hearts go when they die.”
Nightcloud almost choked out her next reply. “Wait, so then Breeze – ” she took a deep breath.
“I am afraid that he has chosen their side. When the final battle comes, he will fight with them.” Feathertail bowed her head silently.
There was a short moment of silence between them. Finally, the lifting of Nightcloud’s head broke it.
“Why are you telling me this?” She questioned.
Feathertail swished her plumy tail. “Because I trust you.”
“Me? You trust me?” Shock flooded her senses and flowed from her ears to her tail tip.
“Yes.” Feathertail turned towards her.
“But – ” Nightcloud stuttered. “But you loved Crowfeather! And I…..I loved him too and – ”
“It’s alright to be jealous, but your actions due to your jealousy is what you must watch.” Feathertail cut her off. “You can kill me if you like, Nightcloud. But the consequences are very great.”
Nightcloud’s jaws dropped open and she was shunned to silence.
“Come.” Feathertail purred, pressing her pelt against Nightcloud’s to guide her once again. “We must head back to StarClan now. The Tribe of Endless Hunting does not need me at the moment. There is something I want to show you.”
The two she-cats had trekked back to the clearing where the ranks of StarClan had gathered before. Feathertail was bent over a starlit pool, her reflection a shimmering outline of her beautiful silver tabby pelt. Nightcloud stood quivering beside her.
“What do you see?” Feathertail prompted the black cat.
“What do you mean what do I see? I see myself of course!” Nightcloud growled.
Feathertail curled her tail over her back and twitched her whiskers. Her gaze was filled with warmth and sympathy.
When she spoke, her voice only echoed the patience and intelligence deep within, “I see your son,” she murmured quietly. “He is quite angry. And look, there’s Crowfeather.” Feathertail gestured for Nightcloud to come closer.
The WindClan warrior was doubtful, thinking that the pain of betrayal and hurt would flood back. But the silver tabby kept looking at her expectantly, so Nightcloud reluctantly came over.
“Stare into the water for a bit.” Feathertail mewed. “Do you see them?”
“Yes.” She answered, as a vision of her mate and son appeared in the rippling water.
“They’re troubled. Both of them.” Feathertail swished her tail while letting out a long sigh. “I wish I could help them. Especially Crowfeather. He’s suffering so much right now.”
“How could he possibly be suffering?” Nightcloud hissed. “I’m the one who’s suffering!”
Feathertail shook her head. “No. Not anymore.” she lifted her head up from the pool and glanced at Nightcloud. “Crowfeather’s love for Leafpool is stronger than I thought. I mean, it always has been.”
Nightcloud rolled her eyes in disgust. “Those traitors don’t deserve each other. Just look where it got them! Leafpool is no longer medicine cat and ever since after they ran away I had to spend my life being used as evidence to prove that Crowfeather is loyal to his Clan.”
“And where would we be now if the Three hadn’t been born? Choose your words wisely, Nightcloud.” Feathertail warned.
Nightcloud hung her head as collisions of thoughts and memories jumbled up in her mind.
Feathertail soon touched her shoulder with the tip of her tail. “Don’t chase a breeze if it’s heading away from you. You shouldn’t waste away your time here by chasing something that doesn’t want to be caught.” She explained gently, but firmly. “Move forward. You can’t enter the future if you stay stuck in the past.”
Nightcloud raised her eyes upward and eyed the she-cat. “But how can I? Breezepelt is still down there trying to murder cats and Crowfeather is….is….” Nightcloud snapped her gaze back onto the pool as a faint glimmer of a dark-furred cat appeared, and steadied it for a while. It was gazing up at her through slitted eyes, though instead of the familiar ice-cold stare Nightcloud grew so accustomed to, it was more of a soft distant look. No, is he? I thought…….
“He’s mourning you, Nightcloud.” Feathertail whispered. “Just as he mourned me when I died.”
Nightcloud let out a small gasp. “But of course he would have been much more depressed about your death all those moons ago?”
Feathertail nodded. “Yes. But that doesn’t stop him from mourning others.”
Nightcloud dropped her gaze. “I’m still just a another Clanmate to him again, aren’t I?”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Feathertail murmured.
Nightcloud blinked in confusion. “But he doesn’t love me! He never has.” And he never will. She added silently.
“You can’t force a cat to love you, you know.” Feathertail commented.
“I know. But I just wanted at least some cat to love me.”
“Not every cat gets a mate though. Sometimes it’s just not in their future.” Feathertail continued before Nightcloud could argue. “And we must accept that. Love is a complicated thing. It can cause you the most unbearable pain, yet it can fill you with the most joy and comfort you’ll ever experience.”
“I think I experienced the “pain” part of it.” Nightcloud muttered.
Feathertail frowned. “You should stop torturing yourself by reminding yourself of the past. It will only make your life more miserable than it was before.”
“What if I want my life to be more miserable?” Nightcloud challenged. “Don’t I deserve it? I’ve caused so much pain myself, I’d rather consider I deserve some too.” she mumbled under her breath.
Feathertail blinked at her. “Find someone else to chase.” Her eyes sparkled. “Someone whose breeze is blowing towards you.” she touched her nose to Nightcloud’s ear before drawing away and padded softly towards the clearing.
Nightcloud followed her in curiosity. She stopped abruptly when she noticed that the silver tabby had a worried, slightly scared expression on her face as she stared into the distance.
“Are you okay?” Nightcloud asked as she trotted up to sit next to her.
Feathertail closed her eyes tightly, as if she were trying to get rid of a horrible memory. Or maybe it was a vision?
“Feathertail?” Nightcloud nudged her with a paw.
The she-cat’s eyes soon reopened, though instead of the warm, loving gaze Nightcloud had seen before, they were dark and terrified instead.
“They’re coming.” she meowed in a hushed voice. “The battle is so close.”
Nightcloud perked her ears in misunderstanding. “What battle?”
“The battle between StarClan and the Dark Forest.” Feathertail declared darkly. “Even though I am apart of the Tribe now, I still have one paw here. I will fight with the Clans in this battle.” she then turned to Nightcloud. “Will you?”
Nightcloud stuttered. “Yes.”
“Even if there’s a huge chance of fighting against your own son?”
Nightcloud gulped. “He has chosen the Dark Forest. It was his decision, no one else’s.” But I probably influenced him. Her eyes grew big. What have I done? She then thought of Crowfeather. What have we done? “So yes, I will fight for the Clans in the final battle. I will fight alongside you and every other cat here and in the waking world.”
Feathertail nodded determinedly. “I have given my life once for the Clans, and the Tribe. I will now willingly give my life again.”
Nightcloud looked shocked. “What? But you’re already dead!”
“Even we cannot last forever, Nightcloud.” Feathertail mewed solemnly in sadness.
Nightcloud felt a harsh retort coming on, but she closed her mouth and choked it down, and instead replied, “Then I will die a second time as well. I gave my life to save my son,” But failed. At least Jayfeather survived. “And I will give my life again to save him from the darkness that shadows his soul.”
“His spirit has already been shadowed.” Feathertail remarked, half in anger and half in grief.
Nightcloud tried to swallow the bile that began to rise in her throat again. Oh StarClan. I can’t attempt to kill my own son a second time, can I? She wished that time could simply just rewind itself, so that she could go back and make things right between her, her son, and Crowfeather. But that damage has been done. No one can go back to change it.
Nightcloud and Feathertail shared tongues together along with the other starry warriors in the clearing. It had been a few moons since her untimely death and when Feathertail guided her home to StarClan. Nightcloud was still a bit wary of her surroundings, but she was glad that she finally got to experience some relaxation after stressing for so long. Her life was such a chaotic mess back in the waking world. It actually felt kinda nice to be with someone who actually cared about her son in a loving way, someone who actually liked her for who she was.
“When do you think the battle will happen?” She murmured to her silver companion.
Feathertail flicked her ears, telling Nightcloud that she had heard the question, but said nothing. Nightcloud scrabbled to her paws and gave a long luxurious stretch, her claws flexing in and out, her pelt glowing in the light.
“Are you tired?” Feathertail asked drowsily.
The black warrior shrugged. “I’m just restless.”
“Is it your son?” Feathertail observed.
Nightcloud let out a long sigh. “I don’t want to fight him.”
“I won’t force you to. But you must make the right decision when the time comes.” Feathertail meowed firmly.
Nightcloud dipped her head. Feathertail pushed herself onto her paws and stalked over to her. Nightcloud allowed herself to be comforted, though she couldn’t help but think about what the coming battle will bring. Feathertail soon pulled away from her and blinked up at the dark sky.
“What is it?” Nightcloud whispered.
Feathertail narrowed her eyes in suspicion, ears peeking up in alarm. Low growls and high pitched screeching echoed in the distance.
Feathertail gave Nightcloud a grave look, her eyes widening in shock. “It’s happening.” she whispered.
Nightcloud flicked her tail. “The battle?”
Feathertail nodded. “Quick! We must go and help our Clanmates!”
Without waiting for Nightcloud to answer, Feathertail took off at high speed, fleeing the clearing and plunging into some undergrowth.
“Feathertail, wait up!” Nightcloud sprinted over patches of grass and leaped over streams, her long legs making it easy for her to catch up. But when she began to become out of breath, her body slowing down, she realized that there was no sign of the silver she-cat.
“Feathertail!” Nightcloud called out. “Feathertail, where – ” she didn’t finish. Paws slammed into her side and knocked her off of her feet.
Teeth dug into her shoulder flesh and claws sunk into her belly fur. Nightcloud yowled in desperation as her attacker dealt some heavy blows to her head. Anger builded up inside of her as her face was shoved into the dirt floor. Gravel and sand went up her nose and mouth; she tried to roll over and fling her opponent off of her, but more pain flooded her senses whenever she tried and the stench of fresh blood hung in the tangy air.
“Think you’re so much stronger than me, do you? Well, think again!” A tom’s voice snickered mockingly into her ear, his breath tickling her ear fur.
Nightcloud shrieked as he struck a gash into her side and slammed some claws down over her eyes. Blood welled up beneath them and dripped down over her face.
“I should have known that you’d betray me like everyone else. Such a wimp. Such a fool.” The tom spat onto the ground as he held her down beneath him. “Crowfeather will never love me, no matter what you do. So you’d better stop trying and start fighting!”
My son! Nightcloud felt tears cloud her vision as the black tom slashed her muzzle and lunged to grip her throat.
“Breezepelt!” Nightcloud wailed as she rolled over onto her side, barely avoiding her son’s snapping jaws.
“Don’t try to talk me out of this,” Breezepelt growled, hatred flaring up in his shadowed eyes. “Mother.” he spat the word out as of it was piece of crowfood.
Nightcloud couldn’t believe that this was her son. He has been so innocent – rude – but innocent. I made him this way. It’s all my fault!
“You may think that I hate those pieces of foxdung,” Breezepelt shot his gaze over to where Lionblaze was fighting and where Jayfeather and Leafpool were hurrying about the edge of the clearing, checking for wounds. “But congratulations. You have just become one of them.” He snarled.
“Breezepelt, please! I’m your mother. You can’t kill your own mother!” Nightcloud pleaded.
“Watch me!” Breezepelt raised a paw, ready to strike the final blow. His mother’s whimpering seemed to satisfy his thirst for revenge. “This is where you die, Nightcloud. Where you truly fade away forever from my life…..”
“Get off of her!”
Nightcloud eyes widened in shock as a shadow fell over her body and Breezepelt was flung off of her, and became pinned down a few fox-lengths away.
“Go and fight someone your own size!” Her rescuer hissed.
“Run home, Tribe cat! This isn’t your battle.” Breezepelt retorted, obviously remembering who Feathertail was.
“No, it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help my past Clanmates!”
“Nightcloud isn’t a RiverClan cat.” Breezepelt gasped, lashing his tail.
“All the Clans are my Clanmates now.” Feathertail snapped. “You seem to have forgotten that.”
Breezepelt curled his lip. “My loyalty is to the Dark Forest. The Clans mean nothing to me.”
A strange calmness soon entered Feathertail’s vision, edged with grief and dismay.
“Well, that’s too bad. I guess you’ll never know what it’s like to be a true warrior.” Her tone was airy, but firm. “Warriors fight to protect the ones they love. They don’t kill for enjoyment or for revenge.”
Breezepelt rolled his eyes as he crouched low, ready to spring. “Sucks to be you then!”
Feathertail dodged as the black tom leaped at her, claws out, teeth bared. But to Nightcloud’s horror, the silver she-cat not only avoided Breezepelt’s aim, but also hurled right into the same dark brown tabby tom with a bent in his tail, who had struck Nightcloud dead at the Moonpool that dreadful night. Feathertail squeaked in surprise when she looked up to see him looming over her, his eyes sparkling with hunger. In anger and desperation, Nightcloud’s paws soon carried her towards them, yowling in pursuit. But time seemed to stop as she watched the Dark Forest cat bite down into Feathertail’s neck and dropped her into the ground, bleeding to death.
“ No!” Nightcloud lunged at the tom and scored her claws across the his sides before he fled the scene and raced back into the thick of the battling cats.
She screeched and howled at him until he completely disappeared into the bodies of fighting warriors. Fighting to catch her breath, she turned her gaze onto the she-cat’s blood stained pelt and buried her nose into her fur.
“No, no, no….” Nightcloud moaned in grief.
She stiffened in surprise when she saw the presence of another cat beside her.
“F-Feathertail?” he murmured, his voice cracking in despair.
“Crowfeather?” Nightcloud raised her head and gazed blearily at her mate.
The lithe, dark gray tom crouched low beside her and gazed sadly into her eyes. He’s never looked at me like that before.
“Nightcloud?” Crowfeather lowered his eyes and stared at the dead body in front of them. “What happened?”
Nightcloud was lost for words. “She was killed by that Dark Forest cat with a bent in his tail.” she muttered.
“I don’t mean that.” Crowfeather whispered. “I meant…….this.” he flicked his tail at Feathertail, then at Nightcloud.
“Oh,” Nightcloud breathed. “Feathertail was the one who guided me to StarClan.”
Crowfeather blinked at her in surprise.
“I didn’t know who she was exactly at first though.”
“Were you angry?” Crowfeather suddenly meowed.
Nightcloud nodded her head regretfully. “She taught me so much though.” she mumbled. “She helped me to…….to move on.”
Her mate stared at her for a few heartbeats, his blue eyes flashing as bright as a jay’s wing, before taking his gaze away and sat in silence.
“I didn’t think that you’d actually allow her to.” He finally replied.
“Neither did I.”
“But now she’s gone. She’s dead.” Crowfeather choked as he bowed his head.
“I would give my life for her to still be here.” Nightcloud meowed.
“Yes.” Nightcloud closed her eyes, trying to hold back the bile that rose in her throat.
Crowfeather gave a slow nod. Nightcloud figured that he was deep in thought. She flinched when she felt the tip of his tail rest on her shoulder.
“You’ve changed.” He murmured thoughtfully.
Nightcloud dipped her head. “I guess I have.”
The two WindClan cats sat together for a while, neither talking, both grieving. Nightcloud relished the moment like it was the last day to live.
I have saved my son, become friends with Crowfeather’s dead mate whom I should be jealous about, forgiven those who I have hated, and finally understood the true meaning of love and sacrifice. Nightcloud’s pelt brushed against Crowfeather’s as she thought about what she had done in the past few moons. Thank you, Feathertail. You have given me a chance to redeem myself for the wrongs I’ve done. Perhaps now, Crowfeather will forgive me at last.
“The battle’s still going.” Crowfeather jerked her awake from her thoughts. “We should go and help our Clanmates. There’ll be time to grieve later.” Even though he seemed confident, there was reluctance in his voice.
“Okay.” Nightcloud struggled to her paws, her legs numb from laying for so long.
Feathertail’s body had disappeared by now, and all that was left was blood stained grass.
Crowfeather cleared his throat. “Er, Nightcloud?”
Nightcloud turned towards her mate. “Yes?”
“Will you fight beside me today? I know it’s a bit awkward but Leafpool’s busy with wounds, Breezepelt is our enemy at the moment, and Feathertail is – ” he stuttered. “Dead. I know you might think you’re just a Clanmate to me, but right now I’d like no other cat beside me.”
Nightcloud thought her heart skipped a beat at Crowfeather’s shocking explanation.
“Yes, of course!” She stopped herself from giving an excited squeak.
Crowfeather purred. “Well, be my guest. Let’s teach those mangy crowfood eaters what true loyalty and courage is all about.”
Nightcloud wished she could twine her tail with his, but she knew better than to do so. But as she raced side by side with her mate into the Great Battle, even though she should feel exhilaration running through veins, instead – for the first time – she finally felt a sense of peace.
Thank you, Feathertail. You have given me a chance to redeem myself, and for that I will always be grateful. May you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep, my dear friend. You will be greatly missed.
Ahhh I just loved this fanfic <3 <3 Just by writing it I came to just love Nightcloud (and the NightxFeather ship; I unintentionally convinced myself lol. I actually thought I created the ship but it might have been created before) and this fanfic made me cry 😛 (don’t judge me haha). Also guys I technically got 4th place with this! So not the top three but was the first in the honorable mentions 😀 So I am quite proud of this fanfic 😛 Hope you guys enjoyed it too![/expand]