LEADER: Icestar- Blue-grey tom with dark, stormy grey eyes, lean, thin, but large compared to other cats
DEPUTY: Doeleap- Soft-furred shorthair cream she-cat with white paws and soft, doe-like, big brown eyes
apprentice, Fallenpaw- light brown-colored she-cat with cream colored underbelly and paws, has amber eyes
MEDICINE CAT: Shinepool- elderly silver she-cat with blue eyes so deep they look like an endless abyss
apprentices, Dewshine- medium-sized golden she-cat with dark, leopard-like spots, has moist yellow- green eyes
Gorsepaw- small, grey tom with heather colored eyes and white paws
(Toms and queens without kits over 12 moons old)
Thunderbird- Black tom with orange eyes, very large and broad-shouldered
apprentice, Riverpaw- A silver she-cat with pepper-like black spots, has green eyes
Crowflame- Black tom with amber eyes
Whiteleaf- White she-cat with green eyes
Smokeheart- Grey tom with white stripes and amber eyes
Firestripe- Ginger tom with green eyes and grey stripes
Mistlight- Grey and white she-cat with grey eyes
Dustwind- Light grey tom with silvery green eyes
Stagstep- Dark brown tom-cat with soft, doe-like brown eyes
apprentice, Snowpaw- Black tom with white paws and green-blue eyes
Echoleap- Grey she-cat with silver eyes and stripes
Flowerfur- Cream-colored she-cat with dark brown paws and blue eyes
apprentice, Flamepaw- white and ginger tom with green eyes
Fawnheart- Cream-colored she-cat with white under-belly and mottled brown spots and brown doe-like eyes
apprentice, Birdpaw- Dark brown tom with blue eyes
Shadowfur- Dark grey tom with black stripes and green eyes
apprentice, Blizzardpaw- white she-cat with ice blue eyes
Spiderspot- Black tom with grey spots around his face, amber eyes
apprentice, Sunpaw- golden tom with amber eyes
Iceflower- Snowpaw's mother; blue-grey she-cat with silver eyes
Brownfur- Light brown tom with white spots and amber eyes
Heatherfoot- White she-cat with grey paws and heather eyes
Firestep- Ginger-pawed white tom with grey eyes
(Cats that can't be full-fledged warriors due to "problems")
Tanglefoot- Clumsy, dust-colored tom with pale grey eyes, is blind
Brokensong- White she-cat with grey stripes and pale grey eyes; is blind
Silentwind- Black tom with a bright, cheery blue gaze; is mute
(She-cats with kits)
Shimmermoon- Silver she-cat with blue eyes; mates with Crowflame
Kits (second litter): Mistkit (silver she-cat with green eyes)
Mintheart- Black she-cat with green eyes; mates with Thunderbird
Kits (third litter): Jaykit (blue-eyed black tom), Ravenkit (black she-cat with green eyes), Hawkkit (silver and black tom)
Frostface- White-faced grey she-cat with blue eyes; oldest queen; mates with Firestripe
KIts (second litter): Leafkit (brown, ginger,and white she-cat with amber eyes)
Nightsnow- Black she-cat with white, snow-like drips spots, has pale grey eyes; mates with Spiderfur
Kits (first litter): Greykit (dark grey tom, silver eyes),Blackkit (black tom with white spots around his blue eyes),Shadowkit (dark grey tom with grey stripes, green eyes)
(Toms and she-cats over a certain number of moons)
Crookedheart- grey tom-cat with black spots and blue eyes
(Cats that left or were exiled)
Blizzardpelt- Thin, ragged white she-cat with a missing eye
Ashwing- Black she-cat with dark grey stripes and soft green-blue eyes
Raccoonstep- Black-and-grey striped tom with white paws and muzzle, and white-tipped bushy tail
Blazepelt- A ginger tom with black paws and amber eyes
CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH.
The dry grass underfoot crackled and broke with every light step she took. She winced when rocks got lodged in her soft pawpads, but she didn't break stride as she watched her apprenticed siblings trot by through the bramble tunnel and out of the camp. Their mentors smiled at them, avoiding her gaze.
Leafkit wasn't envious. She had heard everyone talking. There was just something... off with her, and that was the reason she couldn't be an apprentice. She never complained. She had wished for a long time as a kit to become a strong, able warrior... but that fire had gone out. She was 7 moons old, and her siblings, of the same age, were excellent apprentices. She wasn't.
But what was the matter? Why was she excluded? Leafkit had heard her parents, Frostface and Firestripe, whisper about it deep into the night: about how she was different, there was something wrong with her. She was smaller than other cats. Despite being apprentice age, she still looked like a 3-moon old kitten. She had to stay in the nursery, due to the fact everyone was scared she would be caught and eaten by a hawk, due to the fact no one thought she'd amount to anything beside a Crooked-Fate.
Leafkit trotted sadly over to the Crooked-Fate den, and laid outside it. She listened to the inhabitants like she did everyday. There was Tanglefeet, the 13-moon old tom who was blind and extremely clumsy; there was Brokensong, the sweet white she-cat, aged 12 moons, who was also blind, and Silentwind, the mute 16-moon-old black tom. She smiled when she heard Tanglefeet and Brokensong banter... it made her happy to know that even cats who were different were mostly the same as normal ones.
"Do I hear someone outside?" came the soft voice of Tanglefeet.
Leafkit froze up, mostly out of excitement. It was time for the game.
"Hm..." whispered Tanglefeet, pulling his head out of the den, which was just a marigold tree with some bushes around the open gap at the bottom. He sniffed in a long, deep breath, and said, "Leafkit! Are you ready?"
"Yes," Leafkit said happily.
Tanglefeet smiled and said, "Rules the same as always. Brokensong and I will try and catch you while you run around the camp, Silentwind will keep score with his tail. And tell us who wins at the end." His blind pale grey eyes were full of something, but it wasn't sight.
"Yes!" Leafkit said, crouching and wiggling her rump, tail swaying. Her multi-colored pelt caught the Greenleaf light. "Go!"
Brokensong was the first to move. Her white ears swiveled, following Leafkit's rustling as the kit jumped from the Crooked-Fates den to the warriors', paws slipping. It was a rather short jump, considering that the two dens were set almost parallel to each other, their openings facing the sandy clearing and the fresh-kill pile in the middle of the camp.
"Hey!" hissed Crowflame, his black pelt glistening. "Don't-"
But Leafkit had already dashed into the sandy den, knocking into Dustwind, a rather grumpy and venom-tongued young warrior. "Hey!!!" the tom hissed, his dusty grey-yellow fur matted from just waking up. He swiped a paw at Leafkit, but she had already moved out of the way and out of the den. Tanglefeet was waiting just outside, and clamped his paws over her.
Silentwind whipped his tail in a way of saying, "Tanglefeet, 1. Brokensong, 0. Another match?"
Brokensong's blind eyes glittered and she said, "Why don't we take this next one into the forest?"
Leafkit froze, staring at Brokensong. The forest? None of the Crooked-Fates were allowed out there alone, only with a seasoned patrol of warriors. Leafkit was given the same treatment. "We're not allowed to go out there, Brokensong..." she said quietly.
Brokensong sat down heavily, like a kit having a tantrum. "Fine. But tomorrow, I'll get you!"
Tanglefeet grinned. "You can try, but I'll win again!" He made a circle around Brokensong, both of their ears swiveling, and they leapt on each other in a mock wrestling match. Leafkit laughed, and ran up to give each of them a lick, almost having to dodge Brokensong's paw as it swung around to latch onto Tanglefeet. Silentwind gave her a couple of licks back, and nudged her along to do other things. Then he jumped onto his fellow denmates, and after a couple of moments, they were broken up, walking back to the maple tree from which they came out of. A couple warriors watched them wearily from over by the fresh-kill pile.
After glancing about to the grove of trees on the right of the camp, she decided trot over to the medicine cat den, which was set in the cliff face overlooking the rest of the forest. Inside, it smelled of herbs and bitter flowers.
"Hi, Gorsepaw! Where's Fallenpaw and Snowpaw?"
Gorsepaw glanced around, and grinned a wide smile. "Um.. hi..." he stuttered, and Dewshine, the other medicine cat apprentice, gave him a rough nudge. Something was burning in her eyes. Gorsepaw cleared his throat, and the red blush that had appeared on his face disappeared. "Oh. Hello, Leafkit." he said, with professionalism.
Leafkit smiled back, and he ducked his head to hide his embarrassment.
'Mind if I wait here for them?" Leafkit asked, and sat down on the ground when Dewshine nodded. "Isn't there going to be a warrior ceremony today? For Birdpaw and Riverpaw?"
Dewshine nodded, using a paw to scrap a few mint leaves over to her grey apprentice,. "Icestar's gonna do it when the other apprentices get back. How's your brothers and sisters?"
Leafkit glanced up, confused for a moment. "Well... Blizzardpaw and Flamepaw are doing okay."
"I meant your warrior siblings."
"Oh! Heatherfoot and Firestep? They're great. Heatherfoot said she'll be becoming a queen soon. I can't wait to see her move in so I can see her more often!" Leafkit said, a bit of excitement piqued in her voice. It was true: she loved her older siblings much better than her younger ones, mostly because Blizzardpaw and Flamepaw usually teased and mocked her with the rest of the apprentices... occasionally, even the warriors jumped in in the ridicule fest.
"Whose the lucky tom?" Gorsepaw inquired. He was shifting herbs around. He was about the only apprentice, beside Fallenpaw and Snowpaw, Leafkit's friends, who actually genuinely liked her and wasn't mean to her.
"Obviously Shadowfur. Heatherfoot's had a crush on him since day one." Leafkit smiled, forming, in her mind, an image of her white-furred sister and the friendly, young grey tom sitting together by the small, thread-like river that ran through the south side of camp. "I hope that one day, that I grow a little bit and can have kits myself. But... it seems unlikely."
Gorsepaw glanced at her, a bit of sorrow in his eyes. "You know... um, if I wasn't a medicine cat, I would be with yo-"
Dewshine hit him hard on the back of the head with a paw. It made a muted sound against his fur. "Shush," she said roughly, now chewing some leaves in her mouth and forming it into a pulp on the cool stone floor and beckoning him to do the same.
Leafkit smiled. "That's nice to know..." she said absently, and Gorsepaw knew from her tone of voice that she hadn't heard him, and he was grateful.
She had glanced outside, where storm clouds were starting to gather, and the patrol was coming back home, where she could spot, in the throng, her best friends Fallenpaw and Snowpaw. Their fur was slick with river water and their mouths full of prey.
"Leafkit!" came the excitable voice of Fallenpaw. The light brown-colored she-cat's cream paws thundered across the ground as she ran as quickly as she could to the mouth of the medicine cat's cave. Leafkit braced herself, knowing what was coming next, and side-stepped as Fallenpaw threw herself into the den.
"Ouch!" she winced, her belly hitting the rough part of the cave floor. She had landed at the feet of Gorsepaw, who was staring at her with a bit of detatched humor.
"Hi," he said. Fallenpaw blushed scarlet, not meaning to have disturbed the pile of herbs he was working on, and she, in turn, had landed on. She smiled, embarrassed, and quickly scrambled to her paws. She then addressed Leafkit in a loud voice, as if to distract everyone from what just happened.
"Hey! Leafkit! You know what we found today?!" she said excitedly.
Leafkit glanced at her, a grin playing on her face. "What?"
"Oooh, maybe I should let Snowpaw tell you..." Fallenpaw said impishly. She was rarely this excited. She was the type of cat who was sweet and helpful, but never this happy.
"Don't hold out on me!" mewed Leafkit.
Fallenpaw smiled, and said, "Hey, Snowpaw! Whatcha doing over there?!"
The black tom was rummaging through the fresh-kill pile, arranging it in such a way that it was like a pyramid. He liked order. "What?" he said, glancing up from his activity, and then started towards them, shaking the water out of his fur.
"It'd be nice to have some sun right about now," he grumbled. The sky was still grey.
"You should really have been a medicine cat," Gorsepaw said forlornly. "I mean, you love order, you love helping cats and things like that."
Snowpaw shook his head. Water sprayed everywhere. "I actually wanna have a family," he said, sitting down and running a tongue over his fur. "Like, a mate and kits. Can't have that with being a med cat, Gorsepaw. Didn't you know that when you signed up?" His green-blue eyes traveled between Gorsepaw and Leafkit.
Gorsepaw blushed. "Don't suggest anything," he said, "I d-don't like Leafk-kit like that!"
"Sure," said Snowpaw. "I mean, you're both really small. You may not be destined to be a Crooked-Fate like her, but you're really close."
"Don't joke about that," said Leafkit sternly. "One day I'll grow and I'll be able to help the clan somehow."
Snowpaw smiled. "Yes, you will," he assured her. "Now. When's the ceremony for Birdpaw and Riverpaw?"
"Should be going on in a few minutes," answered Dewshine, from behind Gorsepaw. "You two," she said to Fallenpaw and Snowpaw, "better go find your mentors. I want to have a word with them, if you don't mind." she was now arranging the pulp she had chewed up into a paste.
"Why?" inquired Fallenpaw.
"Didn't Doeleap and Stagstep recently decide to have more kits?"
"Yes," Snowpaw answered. "They really wanted another litter, since Fawnheart and Flowerfur have been warriors for a couple moons now."
"Well, since Doeleap's pregnant, soon she'll be in the nursery. I might as well check on her. She shouldn't be allowed to take another patrol until her kits are apprentices. She should be talking to Icestar right now." Dewshine replied, and Snowpaw nodded, already out of the den and scrambling up to the leader's den, which was situated above the medicine cat's. It was basically just the top of the cliff covered a huge tree that extended from the ground below, it's leaves and top branches serving as a type of heavily sheltered den.
"So..." Gorsepaw said slowly to Leafkit. "Wanna go outside and wait for them?"
Leafkit snapped out of her stupor, which she had inducted on herself due to boredom. "Oh! Yeah!"
Gorsepaw smiled. Beside Leafkit, he was only a couple pounds heavier than her, but it was a big difference. He really liked Leafkit, because she was confident and didn't wish to chnage the fate StarClan had set for her. He couldn't say the same about himself. He wasn't sure if what he felt for her was love, but what he did know was that if he could, he would have never become a medicine cat. Why he became one, he didn't know. Maybe it was the pressure of his mother, Echoleap, who had him with a rogue cat, and she wanted to be accepted as a part of the clan again.
Leafkit had no idea that Gorsepaw liked her. It wasn't that she was ditzy or ignorant, it was just that she didn't pay attention to such things. After all, since she was so small, no bigger than a kit of 3 moons, she never thought anyone would like her like that.
Dewshine turned to Leafkit as they waited for Snowpaw to return. Fallenpaw was yawning, curled up in a little ball. "Leafkit, I had a dream about you yesterday."
Leafkit perked up. "Really? What'd StarClan say?"
"They told me that every few moons you'll get a little bigger." Dewshine said, "but you'll only grow to the size of an apprentice, or slightly bigger. You'll only look eight moons old, at most."
"Still better than now..." Leafkit sighed.
"It's okay," Dewshine assured her. "You're still growing, just not very fast. And if you want, you'll be big enough, when you hit 12 moons, to possibly have kits. But they'll be very small, just like you."
"But everyone says I'll be a Crooked-Fate."
"Sure," said Dewshine, "you'll be a small cat. But I don't think you'll end up as a Crooked-Fate."
Leafkit sighed. "Thanks, Dewshine." She settled down onto the ground, her paws tucked beneath her. "Even if I do, I don't care. I like Tanglefeet and Brokensong and Silentwind. They're very nice." Gorsepaw smiled at her.
"I'm glad you think so." said Dewshine.
From outside, the booming voice of Icestar filled the camp. The rain had begun.