A lithe gray she-cat stared into a pool of water as if transfixed. The feline could've been made of stone, she stared down into the depths of the water, never moving. Suddenly, a dark brown cat emerged from the darkness surrounding the clearing.
"Petalstream." he greeted the she-cat, and sat down beside her.
Petalstream made no sign that she had heard the other cat, except for a small flick of the tail.
"No action in StoneClan?" the tom mewed, glancing into the pool of water.
"None, Acornwhisker." Petalstream finally turned her head to the tom. Her eyes were beautiful, like orbs of bright blue fire.
Acornwhisker sighed. "Petalstream, why can't you forgive me? What's done is done. I'm sorry I chose Dovestreak over you."
Petalstream gaze turned to a glare.
"Even though I was already your mate? Even though, Dovestreak was actually plotting to kill you? We had kits, Acornwhisker, we were happy together. And yet, when she came along, you chose her, even though I warned you not to trust that fox-heart."
Acornwhisker's amber eyes were filled with sadness. "Petalstream-" he reached out to his past mate, trying to wrap his tail around her.
"No!" Petalstream leapt back, her eyes wild. "I don't want your forgiveness. Go off and be with Dovestreak, will you? She's obviously better than me, even though she twisted our son, made him want to take revenge on us, on StoneClan..."
The silver feline's sides were heaving, her eyes wide, seeing something no one else could see.
Acornwhisker kept strong, though his eyes were filling with tears as he saw what he had done to his mate.
"I don't want Dovestreak, Petalstream. I want you. You're a million times better than her."
Petalstream hissed. "I don't care! I don't care anymore. We're not alive. This is StarClan, not the real world."
Acornwhisker sat down, though he made no move to defend himself as Petalstream yowled at him.
In the middle of all of the commotion, a ginger tom slipped, unseen, into the clearing. Finally, he could take it no longer, and spoke. "I thought we were hear to talk about the prophecy, not mate problems?"
Petalstream spun around. "Treepelt. How long have you been there?"
"Only a couple heartbeats." Treepelt mewed, and walked over to join the pair. "Anyway, have you discussed the prophecy at all yet?"
Acornwhisker looked awkward. "Well, no. Not really. We've mostly been discussing..." here he trailed off, glancing at Petalstream.
Treepelt nodded, then turned to the pool of water. "Do you know who the prophecy is directed at?"
"No, though Rockkit, Sunnytail's adopted son has a small aura around him. It might be from the prophecy."
"Very well, I think you're correct." Treepelt had a small amused smirk on his face, as if he knew something the others didn't.
"You know, Treepelt, don't you?" Petalstream mewed, gazing at the medicine cat.
"As a matter of fact, I do. The echo, however, is not born yet." Treepelt answered, a shadow crossing his face.
"When will the cat be born?" Petalstream asked, her tail flicking with impatience.
"Today, I believe. Unless I am mistaken, it's your kin. Your daughter's child."
Petalstream's eyes widened. "Silver! But then the kit-"
"Will be a kittypet." Acornwhisker finished for her.
"Yes, the child will be a kittypet." Treepelt lowered his head. "However, I have no doubt that Silver will tell her kit all about clan life."
"Good, then I think we're done here." Acornwhisker mewed, and began to walk out of the clearing. Treepelt followed his brother, and soon only Petalstream was left. She stared into the pool, her slim frame tensing up again. No one was there to hear the whisper, no one was around to spot a glistening tear fall into the water.
Chapter One Edit
"Fleetfoot fought Fury for two days, and two nights, but finally, the brave LeopardClan warrior drove the beast onto the Stepping Stones, and it fell off, drowning in the fierce current. Goldenstar and Shadestar were ashamed of not telling Fleetfoot about Rage's mate, and gave LeopardClan the rights to the river forever."
Two tiny kittens stared up at their beautiful mother. "And that's how LeopardClan won the river!"
"Good job you two! Come along now, I think Daddy's coming to visit!" the mother lead her two children over to a russet tom who was trotting over to them.
Echo scampered over the soft grass. "Race ya there, Finn!"
Her brother sprinted over, then pulled ahead quickly. Echo shrieked with enjoyment, and forced her legs to move faster, her tail streaming out behind her like a silver flag.
Suddenly, Finn accidentally barged into the tom that was making his way over. The adult cat fell from the impact, and Finn took his chance.
"Daddy!" he squealed, and pummeled the feline's belly.
Echo quickly caught up, and began tugging her father's ears. "We haven't seen you in ages!"
Silver, the mother, was third to get there, and she grabbed Finn, scooping him up by the scruff. Echo felt herself being pulled away by her mother's paws, though she struggled, not wanting to leave her father.
Echo's dad finally struggled to his feet, and Echo fell off, her back hitting the dirt below.
Silver laughed gently, her blue eyes filled with warmth. "How's everyone, Red?"
Red shrugged. "They're fine. A couple more attacks on the edge of town, and Spring got a sprained ankle, but other than that, nothing much."
Echo kept quiet. She knew what her parents were talking about. Both her and her brother had eavesdropped long enough to know.
They kept happening. Echo knew that they came from other Twolegs, ones that didn't live here. They had been stealing crops, killing and eating animals, and taking the townsfolk that lived here. Luckily, the attacks only happened on the edge of Twolegplace, while Silver and her kits lived in the center.
"Poor Spring, I hope she'll be okay! She's a good cat. The Cutter won't let her go the same way as Cricket." Silver was saying.
Echo snapped back into the conversation, her sadness doubling. Cricket, a cat that often came to visit them with Red, had died two days ago, due to a wound in the stomach.
"I better go soon. Say, do you mind showing me a good spot to hunt around here, Silver? Prey's scarce, and my Twolegs are forgetting to feed me. Can't blame them though, after what happened to one of 'em." Red mewed, quickly changing the subject.
"Go to the end of this street. Turn to the direction that the sun sets, and walk to the third Twoleg nest on the left side. The Twoleg there scatters seeds and stuff for the birds, and bunch of rodents visit the place too. I would come, but-" Silver flicked her tail towards the kits. "I have responsibilities."
Red licked her nose in thanks, then nuzzled Echo and Finn. "Be good to your mother while I'm gone. I'll see you soon!"
Echo and Finn cried their goodbyes, and Silver waved her tail at the disappearing red dot at the end of the street.
"Time to come inside, it's getting dark." Silver mewed softly to her two kits. "Come along!"
The siblings stumbled after their mother, their paws weary after playing all day in the Green-Leaf sun.
Echo was first through the flap. She wrinkled her tiny pink nose, her eyes scrunching up in concentration. What was that smell? Echo trotted towards the other room, where a young Twoleg kit awaited her, the creature's hairless pink paw raised in greeting. Echo nuzzled her Twoleg's paw, the scampered off in the direction of the stench.
A different, older, Twoleg was bending down, spraying a clear liquid out of a strange looking container, then rubbing the spot where the liquid had touched with a blue two-leg pelt.
"Mama!" Echo called, and Silver trotted into the room, Finn by her side.
"What?" Silver inquired, tilting her head slightly.
"What's our Twoleg doing? I've never seen him do it before." Echo squeaked, bouncing up and down.
"He's cleaning. The stuff he's using cleans. It makes it shiny." Silver replied, herding her kits out of the room. Come on dears, off to bed. If you're ready quickly, I might tell you a story!"
Echo and Finn trotted up the stairs, entering a small room where a small basket awaited the small family.
Silver nuzzled her kits goodnight, and they hopped into their bed, their tired eyes already closing.
~Cats Introduced in Chapter One~ Edit
Silver - A light gray American Shorthair female with darker gray stripes and blue eyes
Echo - A light gray American Shorthair female with black stripes and green eyes
Finn - A ginger American Shorthair tom with blue eyes
Red - A ginger American Shorthair tom with green eyes
Chapter Two Edit
Echo woke up abruptly in the night, her green eyes opening. She had been having a nightmare about Rage and Fury fighting Fleetfoot.
"Mama, I had a nightmare." Echo mewled. Finn grunted in his sleep, but didn't move.
Echo suddenly became aware of the coldness next to her. She nudged where her mother usually slept, but her nose bumped into blankets.
Silver had disappeared.
Echo woke up Finn, alarmed and slightly annoyed.
"Finn, Mama's missing!" Echo whispered. Finn jolted awake. "Yeah, I know. She leaves every night."
Echo stared at her brother in shock. "You knew? Why didn't you say anything?"
"Well, I assumed Mama was fine, seeing as she always came back, so I didn't tell you because it didn't seem worth it. Also because you never asked." Finn said calmly. "Though we could go find out what she's doing if you want. She left only a couple heartbeats ago."
"Lets go then!" Echo mewed, and her brother lead her down the stairs and out the cat flap.
"We have to be quiet, Echo. I think she's in the yard. However, I don't know, because I've only followed her to the cat flap." Finn murmured, but Echo hesitated.
"Finn, her trail leads out of the yard." Echo mewed finally. "I don't think we should-"
"C'mon, lets go." Finn cut across Echo, and pulled his sister out of the yard and into Twolegplace.
"Finn, this is a bad idea. What if we get lost? What if Mama comes back and finds us missing? What if we get attacked? We're only a moon old. We can barely walk, we definitely can't defend ourselves." Echo kept shooting protests at her brother as they walked across the Thunderpath.
"Oh hush. We'll be fine. Come on, her trail leads this way."
Echo stumbled after Finn, still half asleep. "But Finn-"
"Echo, please. Stop worrying. Are you a mouse or a cat?"
The silver tabby glared at her brother. "A cat."
"Exactly. Now would you please follow me?"
Echo scampered after her brother, trying not to be afraid. She hated it when someone compared her to a mouse.
Finally, after what seemed like forever,
"The trail leads into this Twoleg garden."
Echo stared at her brother. "Will we go in?"
"Of course. Now come with me, and keep quiet."
The siblings crept slowly and quietly into the Twoleg garden. Voices could be heard, one was definitely Silver's. One was Red's. Echo nudged her brother and pointed to a mud puddle.
"Disguise your scent." she breathed, and Finn stepped cautiously into the mud. Echo went in after him, and the two took a deep breath, then dove their heads under.
The mud was cold and damp, but Echo knew it couldn't hurt her. She lifted her head up, and she was out. Finn stood beside her, shivering.
"C'mon, let's go." Finn whispered, and they both hurried across the garden to where two silhouettes stood.
"Red, you obviously weren't telling Echo and Finn everything when you gave us news. What's going on?" Silver mewed, looking at the russet tom.
"Ebony's mother is dead." Red choked out sadly. "I didn't want to tell Echo, because she'd break the news to Ebony quicker than you could say mousebrain."
Echo stifled a gasp of surprise. Ebony, her best friend, had been separated from her mother at birth, though they had recently found each other, and Cindy came around often to say hello to her daughter. Echo felt Finn beside her, and she calmed down a bit, knowing her brother was safe.
"Oh dear, I liked Cindy. She was so polite to me whenever we met." Silver sighed, hanging her head. "I wish the attacks would stop."
"But here's another thing. The attacks have started to move inwards, towards the center of Twolegplace where you live. When they come, you and Finn and Echo have no chance of surviving unless you run." Red mewed softly.
Echo felt Finn tense beside her, and pressed against her brother, trying to comfort him. "It's okay, Mama will protect us." she breathed, and Finn nodded slightly.
"We can't run, they're too young. They can hardly walk, let alone run from a Twoleg. Even my housefolk's kits can catch Echo. She'd have no chance against a grown one." Silver sighed. "There's nothing to be done unless we run, now."
Silver's words made a stone fall in Echo's stomach. Leave? Why?
"I see. It is for the best." Red meowed. "What will you tell the kits, however?"
"I don't know. That we have to leave or we'll die, I guess." Silver mewed.
Red laughed glumly. "That'll go down well."
Silver purred hoarsely. "Ah well, at least they'll know. I better be going, Red. The kits wake up sometimes, and I don't want them to worry."
Finn pulled Echo away, and the kits dashed back to their Twoleg Nest.
"How'll we get the mud off?" Echo hissed suddenly. Finn lead Echo to a small thing the Twoleg kits called a 'kiddie pool'.
"Care for a swim?"
~Cats Introduced in Chapter Two~ Edit
Ebony - A black and white Munchkin she-cat with green-brown eyes
Cindy - A black Munchkin she-cat with green eyes
Chapter Three Edit
Echo cautiously stepped into the water, her green eyes wide with worry. The water was cold, but not freezing. Finn dived in after a heartbeat, watching Echo impatiently. Finally he pushed her head underwater, tired of standing there while Echo barely got her feet wet.
Echo came up for air, spluttering nasty things to her brother that will not be put in this book. She got out quickly, most of the mud washed off, and her sopping wet. She marched back inside, annoyed, angry, and scared. Echo hopped into the nest, and turned over, trying to relax, to fall into the welcoming void of dreams.
But sleep wouldn't come.
Thoughts chased through the young kitten's mind, thoughts of her family, being separated, running away from the only life Echo knew. Finn had fallen asleep beside her, the rise and fall of her brother's side steadying the worried cat. She finally slipped into sleep, and never noticed Silver walk quietly into the room, and fall asleep next to them.