Number of Books: Undecided
Books: A Summer's Day
"I give her to the Clan, so hopefully she can have a better life- a more fufilled life- than the one she would have with me." the dark tom moved a cluster of leaves closer to her, before setting the small kit onto the crackling cushion. The speckled Clan queen took a sniff at the kit, her green eyes round pools of pity.
"I will care for her as if she was my own." the brown she-cat looked up, locking her green eyes with a pair of blank amber ones. The kit let out a pitiful mew, opening it's small, round eyes to the harsh world around her.
"What is her name?" the brown queen meowed, standing up.
"It's Autumn." Allen meowed, looking at the fall-colored leaves, tinted with silver as the moon made it's move into the dark sky. The tom turned towards the path that would take him back to his Twoleg's nest. "It's time for me to go- Dappledstep?"
His head turned over his shoulder as the queen looked at him.
"Her warrior name should be Autumnbreeze- I want her to have a name that she can be proud of." The queen's green eyes flickered, and she nodded, scooping up the kit as the tom turned again, starting to walk. Dappledstep put down the kit again, and turned over her own shoulder.
"Allen- she will never know of her roots, and will never know her parents. There is a chance that she won't even survive to become a warrior- are you sure this is what you want? What Swindle would of wanted?" she called, and the tom stopped in his tracks.
"Is any cat ever sure, Dappledstep? And Swindle- Swindle wouldn't of cared. She ran away- I am making a choice that will alter Autumn's fate, so maybe.. Maybe she'll have a chance to be something greater than her parents- a kitty pet and a coward."
And so the tom left, sliding into the undergrowth, leaving the little kit and the brown she-cat standing there in the silver moonlight.
"I promise you, she will." Dappledsted meowed, scooping the kit up for the trek home.
Autumnkit woke up, aside the brown she-cat knew as her mother. Dappledstep was watching the she-kit, purring slightly, her green eyes warm.
"Hey Dappledstep, can I go out and play with the other kits?" Autumnkit squeaked, stretching.
"Little kit- you only just woke up. Have something to eat, and let yourself wake up first. Then you can go play." The brown she-cat licked Autumnkit's head, before chewing up a bit of a blackbird for the kit.
When she had her fill, Autumnkit leapt to her tiny paws and raced out of the den, squeaking loudly as she knocked into the other kits. She was very small for her age, which was now fastly approaching five moons. Getting up with a relaxed stretch, Dappledstep trailed out into the clearing. The MapleClan leader, Maplestar, was looking through narrowed eyes at the kit, who was playing with her daughter, Honeykit.
"Can I help you, Maplestar?" Dappledstep asked, sitting down next to her leader.
The dark golden she-cat hesitated, before opening her jaws to speak. "She's not yours, is she?"
The brown she-cat froze for a moment. "No."
"Whose is she, Dappledstep?"
"A kittypet's and a loner's. They didn't want her, what was I to do, let her die?" Her voice took on a challenging tone as she stood up, looking at her leader.
"No- of course not. I was just wondering, Dappledstep. She does look like you, but her build.. It's nothing like yours, or what Frostwing's was." Maplestar admitted, flicking her tail as a signal for the she-cat to sit down again.
"I want to raise at least one litter, Maplestar, without any cat getting in the way of it. Autumnkit isn't my own, but she will be raised and loved like she is." Dappledstep said confidently, sitting down. Maplestar nodded, watching Honeykit show Autumnkit how to do a very uneven hunter's crouch.
"Of course, Dappledstep. I would never question you or your motives.. But, may I ask, what compelled you to take this kit, when you could just retire? You're old enough and you've done more than enough for your Clan.." Maplestar meowed. Dappledstep sighed.
"I am, but something is special about this kit, I can feel it in my bones. I'm getting to old to have another litter, and after my mate and my last litter died just so recently.." her voice took on a bitter tone as she mentioned her late mate and kits. "I do think that any she-cat should be able to raise a litter. Weither of her own blood or not." Dappledstep watched Autumnkit, fondness clouding her gaze, watching the tiny tortoiseshell trip over her own paws as she scrambled after Honeykit. Maplestar didn't say a word. The MapleClan leader turned back to her den.
Leaving Dappledstep to think.
"Autumnkit, you have reached your sixth moon, despite the tragedy of Dappledstep's passing, you've stayed strong- it is your time now to become an apprentice. I name you Autumnpaw. Your mentor shall be Thornberry. May he teach you well." Maplestar called from the Big Boulder. Autumnpaw looked around, trying to pick out her mentor's pelt from the crowd of cats, then turned around, rather embarrassed. I've never met this Thornberry.. I wonder what he's like.. A muscular light brown tabby walked up to her, massive compared to herself.
"Hello, Autumnpaw. I'm Thornberry." He didn't seem as bad as what Autumnpaw thought. He touched noses with his apprentice.
"Hi! What are we going to do first?" Autumnpaw meowed, twitching her ears and tail as she watched her mentor, feeling rather nervously. Thornberry tilted his head, trying to think.
"I was thinking we could go out into the forest- I'll show you the three borders," Thornberry decided. Autumnpaw jumped a bit, more than ready to impress her mentor. She delved out of the thorn barrier, with her mentor trailing close behind. He led her through the forest through awhile, silent except for the chirping of the birds and squirrels, and Autumnpaw's gasps of awe. They soon arrived to a very clearly marked creek- on the other side was what seemed to be an endless forest, where the creek delved deeply into.
"This is the LeafClan border- take a good whiff. LeafClan is a peaceful, kind hearted Clan- but do not let that fool you. Their Clan is one of the fiercest I've ever had to meet in battle." Thornberry meowed, letting his wide-eyed apprentice take in the warm, sweet, oak-sap scented scent of the other Clan. He stepped away quickly, and Autumnpaw jerked herself after him, stretching her long, spindly legs after him. They arrived at another border, that wasn't too clear, besides the stench of CloudClan.
"This is CloudClan's border- the last Clan we share borders with. They spend most of their time in the trees, and are very versed in tree combat, making them very, very dangerous. They're good cats though- Sunfall and Briarfrost, their medicine cats, are very good friends with Stormpelt." Thornberry said. Autumnpaw opened her jaws to taste, what she thought, was the rather unpleasantly strong mix of tree-bark and pine needles. Did they have those in their territory?
"What about the other border? You said there was three- but this is the last Clan border.." Autumnpaw chirped, sniffing the air. Thornberry waved his tail, laughing slightly.
"That's the kittypet border- it's a bit of a walk from here, but I'll get to show you the Great Maple, and the Pond-Clearing on the way- let's get going, shall we?" Thornberry asked, taking off at a run. Autumnpaw took this as a huge challenge. She sprinted after her mentor, dodging a pile of moss and slippery leaves as she caught sight of his pale brown pelt, a blur to her wind-burnt eyes.
They stopped in front of a huge maple, its leaves multiple colors, waving in the wind. As they rounded the massive tree, Thornberry told Autumnpaw of it's history- how it was the mother of all the trees in the forest, because the first leader of their Clan had accidentally brought it's seed to this spot- it was now used for climbing and tree-attack lessons.
Not far from where they were was a pond- it's beautiful shimmering surface coated in lily pads that had beautiful flower blooms. It was connected to the creek that ran to the LeafClan border- it was also known as the Leaf Pond, because it was discovered when a warrior of MapleClan was with their mate from LeafClan. The two Clan cats had been meeting there for some moons- but the she-cat, from LeafClan, had died while giving birth there. This pond was named so all of MapleClan would remember what happened when you had a mate from outside the Clan. Autumnpaw was still in awe as they trekked on.
When they next stopped, the pair were tired, standing in front of a wide field that was suddenly cut off by a weird looking, stone den.
"Take a good breath and tell me what you can smell." Thornberry meowed. Autumnpaw sucked in her breath, and with it, took a big gulp of the scent choking on the overbearing taste.
To her, it smelt like a million different smells- had there not been an overwhelming stench of what Autumnpaw realized were a pair of overly curious kittypets that were most likely poking around here a few moments ago, she would of had nothing to answer her mentor with that would of made any sense what-so-ever.
"I smell... Two kittypets that were here awhile ago. Other than that, it's just the smell of those dens over there.. It's crazy- so many scents!" Autumnpaw gasped. Thornberry nodded, looking alarmed when his apprentice told him of the kittypets.
"This is the kittypet border.. You never, ever, ever cross this border, unless ordered to. This is one of the things that keeps us from becoming soft, like them. Our borders- keep them out, and us strong." the brown tabby meowed loudly. Two kittypets, a gray tabby and a fluffy white, were running back to their nest, most likely hearing Thornberry and getting terrified.
"We'll head back to camp now- you've seen the whole territory. We'll begin battle training and hunting soon, perhaps tomorrow."
Stuck in the stupid camp, while they get to go out and fight! That's not fair- I've been an apprentice longer, and I'm way better than they are at battle moves! Autumnpaw huffed, lashing her tail as she paced around the camp. Her mentor was watching over the camp from the top of the biggest maple tree in the camp. All he could see was a dark figure moving in the camp- the faint glow of familiar white patches told him it was his apprentice.
But there was something else. In the moon light, there were pelts. Ragged ones. Thornberry let out a low growl that carried down into the camp. Autumnpaw flicked her ears to Silentbird, who growled angrily and slipped in front of the nursery. The queens inside were shushing the kits, who were mewing fearfully. A tom slid into the clearing, and launched himself at Autumnpaw, yowling. Silentbird was attacking a she-cat who had decided to head for the nursery. Thornberry had just gotten down to the bottom of the tree, before hopping onto a tom that had drug Autumnpaw to the ground. Meowing a quick thanks, Autumnpaw leaped back into battle with a fierce caterwal. More warriors raced into the clearing, and two or three rogues joined the battle as well. Though she wasn't quite sure she could handle such a powerful opponent, Autumnpaw sent Brackentail away from her fight with a snarl. The MapleClan tom retreated, going back to fight another rogue.
An unsheathed furl of claws came blow after blow to the tom's head. He hissed, and slipped his paw out, sending the she-cat sprawling. In that instant, her claws forgot her balanced, and precise moves. She was going to have to fight like a rogue to beat this rogue. Autumnpaw launched herself forward, turning over and clawing his stomach with thorn-sharp claws. Her head was spinning, and she felt faint and tired- this fight needed to be over, soon. The tom started to retreat, hissing and spewing curses at the young she-cat. Autumnpaw raised a paw, claws extended, and lurched at him- that sent the tom running for the hills.
All around her, the rogues slowly retreated, and the only cats left were the exhausted, wounded MapleClan cats. Thornberry walked up behind his apprentice, heading to the nursery to check up on his mate and kits.
"Go get fixed up with some cobwebs and herbs, and then go rest in your den. You fought amazingly tonight." he said, which earned him a delighted, but tired purr from his apprentice, who stumbled to the medicine den.
"Great StarClan, you look like you were fighting the whole of the Dark Forest!" Stormpelt exclaimed. "Honeyflower! Come on, we've got many cats to treat!"
Autumnpaw had grown into a fine young cat, though she stumbled and fell all the time.. No cat could understand why- Thornberry though, had put it down to her easily exciteable nature and her eagerness.
It was the day of her warrior ceremony- and the young she-cat had never been any more excited than this moment. Her pelt hadn't been groomed for the life of her- but nonetheless, it was shiny and sleek.
Thornberry stood next to her, looking excited for his apprentice's big day. Though yesterday cats were made warriors- Autumnpaw would have her own day. Maplestar stood next to them, her eyes blazing with pride.
"Autumnpaw.. Dappledstep would of been so proud of you and your accomplishments. You fought courageously, and your courage and bravery shall be rewarded. StarClan, I call upon you too look upon this apprentice.. She has trained hard to learn your ways, and in turn, has earned her warrior name. I name you.."
Maplestar paused, trying to think of a name for the she-cat. A quiet, barely audible whisper came to her, along with the gentle scent of pine and ferns. Dappledstep? Maplestar thought, blinking. The name-less she-cat below her was looking at her, many emotions clouding her bright green eyes. A dark tabby stood next to Maplestar, her pale green eyes shining as she looked upon the lithe she-cat she had mothered. As the words came to Maplestar, Dappledstep faded away, to stand near her adopted daughter.
"I name you Autumnbreeze. We welcome you as a full warrior of MapleClan, and StarClan honors your bravery, sharp-wit and quick way of action." Maplestar finished, and the newly made Autumnbreeze hopping around, her eyes wild with excitement. Dappledstep's pale frame faded away, the only color left was that of her fading green eyes.
I am proud of you, so proud. When you do not remember where you come from.. Do not fear, because you are a true warrior.. Blood does not determine your strength, little one. Only your heart can tell you what you are.
Autumnbreeze's green eyes went blank, and was tinged with grief. Thornberry was happily meowing something to her- the only cat that noticed Autumnbreeze's look was Maplestar, who said nothing as she watched the young she-cat.
"Congrats, Autumnbreeze. Welcome to the warrior's den!" Thornberry laughed.
"Yeah... It... It would of been better, had... Had she of been here." Autumnbreeze choked out. Thornberry sighed, flicking his tail over her shoulders.
"She would of been proud- and trust me.. Dappledstep- she was there with you. Every step of the way." Thornberry said cheerfully.
"Yes.. Thank you, Thornberry.. For everything!" Autumnbreeze purred, cheering up to her normal self as she bounced around.
"Remember your vigil!" He laughed, watching his former apprentice leap and bound around the clearing in excitement.
She would one day be an excellent warrior... If she'd control her paws.
The she-cat's green eyes were wide open, and rather alert when Thornberry released her from her vigil. She looked dazed, but still alert to her surroundings.
Once or twice she had thought she had fallen asleep, because it seemed that the landscape would morph into something different.. She swore she had even saw some snow. Perhaps that was the lack of sleep though.. Yeah, that's what she'd blame it on. She stumbled after her former mentor as he led her into the warrior's den, showing her a nice nest near the corner- she liked sleeping in corners.
UNFINISHED. TO BE CONTINUED.