A Broken Life
Series: A Broken Life Series
Allegiances: A Broken Life Allegiances
Frostwing yowled as her last kit was born.
"A white she-cat." Nightclaw meowed and turned away from the kit, "That ugly thing has a crooked tail! She doesn't deserve to live!" He yowled.
Frostwing threw the kit out of the nursery and onto the ground, she ran at the kit and clawed her eye out, "She will never deserve to live!"
The tiny white kit mewled for help, was anyone willing to save the fear-filled kit? But then Larksong, the medicine cat went towards her. She picked the kit up and took her towards the medicine cat den.
"How could Frostwing and Nightclaw treat you so horrid. You were just born, my love. And already shunned by your parents..." Larksong meowed and started to treat her eye, "I don't think I can put the eye back in so you'll have to live that way, sadly."
Nightclaw padded in angry, "Let me have my kit."
"For what purpose?" The medicine cat snapped.
"To kill her!"
Larksong wrapped her tail around the kits body, "You dare not touch her. For she is my kit now. I will raise her myself. Whatever it takes to keep her away from you and your wretched mate!"
He rolled his eyes and padded out, "Just so you know...i'm naming her Crookedkit, after her crooked tail. So she never forgets."
"You poor kit..." She licked the blood off her scar where her eye should have been.
Crookedkit slowly opened her eyes, revealed to be an amber. She looked at Larksong and slightly smiled, "M..Mama?"
She nodded, "I may not be your real mother but I am your adopted one."
Crookedkit sat up from her nest of moss and feathers that Larksong had gathered for her. The feathers prickled her fur, but Crookedkit didn't mind. Larksong had her back turned and was counting leaves.
"Did you have a good sleep, dear?" Larksong asked, not looking up.
"Yes," Crookedkit replied simply and shuffled out of her nest. She elt herself wobble, unable to control her balance she fell with a little squeal. Crookedkit could feel the moss against her scarred eye. She heard Larksong hurry over.
"You're tail makes it harder to balance," Learksong observed, helping Crookedkit up. Crookedkit sighed.
"Can I go out?" She asked Larksong, before Larksong went back to sorting herbs. Hope bubbled up in Crookedkit. Larksong thought a moment. Crookedkit watched her adopted mother pad back over.
Larksong licked Crookedkit's ears. "You be careful, little one, there is danger out there."
Crookedkit snorted. I can face anything! Crookedkit backed away from Larksong's tongue and dashed out the ferns.
Why is Larksong so scared anyway? It's BreezeClan camp!
Outside, Crookedkit regconized her sister, Poppykit, and another kit playing.
"Whee!" Poppykit shouted as she slide down a mud-covered hill. The other kit slide down after her.
"Can I try?" Crookedkit asked as she dashed over. Poppykit scowled. "Your tail will get in the way!" She replied but let Crookedkit clamber up the steep muddy slope.
One by one the kits slid down. Crookedkit was last. She gingerly touched the mud with her paw, feeling the cool watery mud against her pads.
"C'mon!" Poppykit hollered from bellow. Crookedkit sighed. Here I come!
Mud splattered her face so she had no idea where she was going Suddenly something tripped her and she face-planted into the mud.
"Wow, Crookedkit, you found yourself your nest!" Poppykit meowed, harshly. Then she began to laugh, a harsh laugh.
The other kit didn't join in though, he backed away.
Crookedkit trudged back to the medicine den where Larksong cleaned her and then ordered her to rest.
"You will feel better in the morning, I promise, dear." Larksong meowed softly licking Crookedkit's flank.
As Crookedkit drifted off into sleep Poppykit's harsh laugh echoed through her head.
Crookedkit got up and ran across the clearing, she felt empty inside, like nobody cared about her...
A red tortoiseshell tom pushed her into the bushes, "Come with me!" He meowed.
She looked at him, "W-Why?"
He brushed up his sleek fur and looked at the moon, it shined brighter than Crookedkit has ever seen. It was surrounded by bright stars that filled the dark blue sky. He turned towards her, "I need to take you somewhere..."
"Where?" the white she-cat mewed and looked around. She then noticed the moon, it gleamed as bright as no one could ever see.
There was something or someone else in the bushes. They could hear the rustles, it was a faint sound. Goldish brown ears popped up. Crookedkit looked at her, "Mama? What are you doing here?"
"Well I was heading to the gathering until I heard you speaking with this so-called BreezeClan apprentice! Redpaw, you should be with your clan, not ours." Larksong snapped.
"No buts! Now go!" The she-cat spoke and licked Crookedkit's white head. She looked to the sky when snow fell on their heads, it began to blizzard, "I'll dig the ground, Crookedkit! You have to get under me once I make the hole!" She dug at the already snow-filled ground. She finally found a tiny bit of a grass and forced Crookedkit down. She got on top of the kit and kept her warm, "Now go to sleep, my kit."
Stormpelt ran over and pushed the medicine cat out of the way. He closed his eyes, "I'll protect her. I can't let you die, you're the only medicine cat. None of us know the herbs better than you."
Larksong turned to look at Crookedkit, "She does. After all, she's my kit. She knows the herbs like the back of her paw."
"I don't care! I'll die to save her. I can't let you die." He mewed and looked at her, "Because I'm in love with you."
The goldish brown she-cat gasped. She looked at him in shock, "Y-You love me?"
He slightly nodded, "Yes...but it doesn't matter. I'm not letting you risk your life. I'll die for your kit."
A tear fell down Larksong's face, he was the bravest cat she could have ever known. The dark gray tabby closed his eyes and got on top of Crookedkit and let her be warm.
The following day...Stormpelt was found dead and was buried by Larksong and Crookedkit. He was loved by Larksong ever since, he was a hero to all.
Crookedkit stayed in her nest for the remaining of the day. She felt as if it was her fault that poor Stormpelt died.
She also wondered what that tom wanted to show her.
That one Larksong called "Redpaw".
Soon Poppykit rushed over to her.
"Crookedkit, take us to Stormpelt's burial place!" She demanded. The other kit from before was with her.
Crookedkit shook her head. "Why would you want to go there?" She asked.
Poppykit leaned closer. "Do it, Crookedkit!" Poppykit spat out the words Crookedkit like it was a sickness.
Crookedkit dipped her head and showed them underneath tall sweet smelling pines.
Poppykit thrust her way forward and began digging into the ground.
"What are you doing?" She cried. Poppykit turned to her.
"I'm going to leave the clan an unpleasant sign!" She growled. Crookedkit launched herself at Poppykit.
"He saved me!" She yowled. Poppykit shrugged and easily batted Crookedkit away. This time Crookedkit knocked Poppykit off balance as she hurtled at her. Stormpelt had protected her. Now she was going to protect him.
Poppykit hissed, "Fine, fine we're going!"
Crookedkit watched as Poppykit and the other kit padded off. Why was here sister like this? She finally padded back to camp.
"Where have you been?" Larksong asked as Crookedkit entered camp.
"I-I was.." Crookedkit was lost in thought. Should she tell Larksong about Poppykit? No, Larksong would get all sad about Stormpelt all over again.
"Could you tell me about that tom, Redpaw?" She asked changing the subject. Larksong eyed her suspisously.
"He is a EagleClan apprentice, that is all I know about him," She meowed briskly before giving Crookedkit a few licks.
"Larksong, when will I get to be apprenticed?" Crookedkit asked as Larksong groomed Crookedkit, who was lying down.
"Soon, dear, soon."
Crookedkit padded towards Larksong who was pacing outside of her den.
She padded towards her mother, "What's wrong?"
"Well, today is the day you're becoming an apprentice! It's a disturbing coincidence that there's a gathering tonight. I'm wondering if Snowstar received a prophecy and didn't tell me, or perhaps I could have forgotten, or maybe it has to do with me!" Larksong meowed.
"Calm down, I'm sure it's just a coincidence." The white kit mewed and looked around camp for Snowstar. She finally saw him padding to the Brightrock.
"May all BreezeClan cats gather under the Brightrock for a BreezeClan meeting!" The huge tom yowled.
Crookedkit scrambled onto the Brightrock and fluffed her sleek fur. Poppykit pushed Crookedkit out of the way and smiled, she stuck her tiny pink tongue out and turned to look at Snowstar.
"Poppykit, you have reached the age of 6 moons and you are ready to become an apprentice. You are now Poppypaw. Your mentor will be Wildclaw."
Poppypaw ran towards her chocolate brown pelted mentor. She touched his nose and left camp.
"And Crookedkit, you have reached the age of 6 moons and you are to become an-"
Frostwing yowled, "She doesn't deserve to become an apprentice!"
"Silence!" He turned back to the white kit, "And you are ready to become an apprentice. You are now Crookedpaw." He turned to the new warrior, Dustcloud, then at Crookedpaw. "Your mentor will be Dustcloud."
Crookedpaw nodded and touched noses with her mentor. He smiled and licked her head, "Just because your father was my mentor doesn't mean I'm evil, ok?"
She nodded, "Ok."
"Why don't I take you to the forest so I can teach you how to hunt, and then we can go to the Gathering tonight?" Dustcloud meowed.
"That would be amazing!"
He fluffed his fur and padded to the forest.
Crookedpaw followed her mentor into the forest, it was bright and airy, it had more trees than Crookedpaw has ever seen.
"First time in the forest, right?" Dustcloud meowed and turned to look at her.
She nodded, "Yeah, it's beautiful!"
"I'm glad you like it. Now, have you ever done the hunting position?"
She shook her head, "Nobody thought I could, so nobody taught me."
He rolled his eyes, "Well I know you can. First, hold your belly low to the ground. Second, lower your haunch slightly but not too much. Then you're in hunting position."
Crookedpaw lowered her belly closer to the ground but fell.
She tried again but her haunch was too high. Dustcloud pushed her haunch down and she was in perfect position except her crooked tail was too high. He sighed, "This might hurt a bit." He pushed her tail lower to the ground, Crookedpaw yelped at the feeling.
"That really hurt, Dustcloud!"
He sighed, "I'm sorry, but now you're in perfect position."
She smiled, "What now?"
"You have to stalk your prey, look at that mouse over there. You quietly stalk it, and then, when you get close enough you kill it. Remember to never eat it. It's food for the clan, it will never be okay to eat your own prey."
Crookedpaw nodded and got into position, she quietly stalked the mouse while she was in the bushes. She batted at the mouse and killed it.
"Don't touch me! Don't touch me!" yowled a cat.
"Who's there?" Dustcloud yowled.
"Relax! Relax! It's only Wildclaw and I! We're hunting!" Poppypaw mewed.
Crookedpaw rolled her eyes, "Hunting? It didn't sound like it because it soudned like you were screaming don't touch me." She snapped.
"It was a frog! Did you think I would touch a frog?" she yowled.
"Don't touch me! Don't touch me!" Crookedpaw mimiced her sister.
"Oh, shut up!" Poppypaw growled.
"Whatever you say..." She murmered.
Dustcloud and Wildclaw looked at each other.
"Silence! The both of you!" Wildclaw yowled.
Dustcloud looked at them, "You'll never go to a gathering or become warriors by acting immature."
Crookedpaw and Poppypaw sighed, "Sorry Dustcloud and Wildclaw..."
"It's just about time for the gathering, go get ready." Wildclaw ordered.
Crookedpaw padded into the clearing of the Gathering. Hopefully she would find Redpaw.
A red tortoiseshell she-cat padded towards her, "First time?"
"Stick with me and my brother and you'll be fine! My name is Spottedpaw." She pointed to a tom that looked exactly like the tom Crookedpaw met before, "And that is Redpaw."
She ran towards him and tackled him, "I can't believe it's y-" She broke off as she realized she was nose-to-nose with him, "Uh...sorry." She rolled over.
"It-it's fine. Y-you can lay on me if you want." Redpaw mewed.
"I better go..." Crookedpaw sighed.
"No! Don't go. Can I show you the thing now?"
She looked at him curiously, "Tell me why you want to show me it so badly."
"I'll tell you on the way! Come on!" He padded next to her.
Her eye bulged out as she felt his fur touch hers, she felt comfortable with him. No! I can't be in love! I, I'm just an apprentice! He's in EagleClan! He, he's the enemy!
He moved his tail closer to hers and twined tails.
Crookedpaw's heart started to skip a beat, she couldn't help herself, she was in love.
"We're almost there." He murmered.
In a few more pawsteps he began to mutter to himself. He then got in front of her, "Close your eyes."
She blinked for a few moments but closed her eyes, "They're clo-osed." She could hear him batting at some items.
She opened her eyes and noticed shiny bright lights covering everything in front of her. She looked at him, "What is this?"
He shrugged, "I don't know. I was exploring and I found it. It had all these shiny lights and I thought maybe a BreezeClan cat could figure it out because they're known to be very smart."
"You think I'm smart?"
He nodded, "Of course I do."
She smiled and as he licked her ear her heart began to melt.
I-I'm in love..
Crookedpaw raced ahead of the group. It had been two moons since she had gone to the gathering and had seen Redpaw.
Redpaw, The name sent shivers up her spine.
"Stop racing ahead. Your going to get yourself killed!" Poppypaw yowled, her eyes dark. She continued, "I don't really mind if you get killed though!"
A white tom snickered. Crookedpaw had learned that his named was Windpaw. Crookedpaw turned her back to them and padded on.
As she neared the Island she cought sight of a black tom with red patches. Sje dashed towards him but then noticed others were watching so she veered off and flicked her tail to a group of pine trees, signaling him to meet there.
She bound throught the prickly needles of the pines trees. She spotted the faint red spots of Redpaw and trudged over.
"Hey, how are you?" Redpaw asked. Crookedpaw couldn't meet his gaze. She was afraid she would just go all speechless and gooey.
"Well, if you have a broken tail and only one eye, it's hard to fit in," She murmured. To her suprise Redpaw pressed his flank against her.
"You will always look pretty to me!"
Crookedpaw opened her mouth but nothing came out.
"You-you th-think I'm pr-pretty?!" Crookedpaw managed to meow.
Dustcloud's voice drifted through the pine trees, "Has anyone seen Crookedpaw?" It was just like her mentor to be looking for her. He was the closest thing Crookedpaw had for a father.
"Um, see you, I guess. Maybe next time we can check that shiney thing out!" Crookedpaw murmured. Redpaw nodded then licked her ears.
"See you," Redpaw whispered. With that Crookedpaw washed herself and bound out of the pine trees. She almost crashed right into Dustcloud.
"You seem in a hurry," Dustcloud observed a glimmer of his humor in his bright eyes. Crookedpaw nodded.
"I was looking for you."
"Ah, I was looking for you. Let's see what the leaders say tonight," Hw meowed begining to pad to the clearing. Crookedpaw followed.
She caught the eye of Redpaw who gave her a warm look before looking away. Crookedpaw couldn't get his warm scent out of her head throught out the rest of the night.
Crookedpaw padded alongside her sister, Poppypaw, they were bounding towards the forest. "Try to keep up, slowpoke!" the brown she-cat mewed as she got far ahead of Crookedpaw.
"Shut up mouse-brain!" she snapped as she ran towards her sister. The grass was growing higher and sharper than she'd ever felt it before. The sun started to rise out of the trees, it glowed sharply and Crookedpaw put her head down so the light wouldn't hurt her eyes.
Poppypaw started muttering as her sister came side-to-side with her. She raised her head. "You see that tree over there with the vines near the river? How about we see who can get across the river without falling, using the vines?"
"I don't think that's a good idea. Besides, our main priority is to hunt!"
The brown she-cat grinned. "Then I guess you're afraid!" the word afraid pierced through Crookedpaw's head. She shook the word out of her head.
"Fine. I'll do it. But after that, do you promise there won't be any more games?"
She nodded. "Fine." the two cats bounded towards the tree, fear pulsing through Crookedpaw's head. What if Poppypaw falls in?! Should I save her if that happens?
She sprinted up the tree and grabbed onto a vine. She forced herself off the tree and got closer to the river. She pushed her back legs off and the vine started moving. The next moment, she fell into the ice cold water. "H-help! Poppyp-" she started going under. No! I can't die!
She opened her eyes and saw a red and black figure gripping onto her neck, pulling her to safety. She was dragged onto the sharp grass by the figure, all she saw was the red and white figure, she couldn't see the grass, the trees, nothing. She started hearing a voice saying "Crookedpaw, Crookedpaw! Come back to me, please!"
As she heard the words she instantly knew who it was, Redpaw!
Crookedpaw woke up later that day to find Redpaw and Larksong fighting in the medicine den.
"You shouldn't be in the territory at all, Redpaw! You're not of this clan so go this instant!" spoke Larksong as she put one of her brown paws on top of Crookedpaw as if she was her guardian.
Redpaw shook his head and growled. "No. I'm not leaving Crookedpaw. She..she means everything to me!"
The white she-cat weakly moved one of her paws near the tortoiseshell. "P-please, don't m-make him leave..."
Larksong looked at her in shock. She then turned towards the tom and sighed. "Fine. But once Crookedpaw heals you're out of the clan. We'll treat you as a prisoner and a prisoner only. Why should we treat you as one of our own if you're the enemy?"
Redpaw nodded gratefully. "Oh thank you Larksong!"
Crookedpaw turned her head towards Larksong. "I ache everywhere. Is there anything you can do?"
"Poppy seeds might help." she padded towards a bundle of the seeds and grabbed two. She scrambled towards the white she-cat and dropped the seeds next to her face. "Eat these, they should ease the pain."
She reluctantly ate them and gulped. "Thank you."
Larksong nodded and padded out of the den. She turned to face Redpaw but stalked out, watching the tom's every move.
Redpaw turned to face Crookedpaw. "You should probably get some rest. It'll help your bones heal faster. After all, I have a feeling Larksong would be upset if I kept you awake."
"You're right. But would you mind staying here? I'd feel more comfortable knowing you're in here." she mewed and blinked slowly. She watched as he padded closer and plopped down next to her. "Thank you...Redpaw."
Dustcloud padded into the medicine den to see whether or not his apprentice would be strong enough to continue her apprentice duties.
The tom padded forward, into the EagleClan-scented den. He went wide-eyed when he saw that the Redpaw was still with Crookedpaw. He growled under his breathe and straightened up for the sake of his apprentice. He looked at her. "Do you think you're strong enough to return to your duties?"
The white she-cat got to her paws. "Yes, I feel much better." she looked towards Redpaw. "I think you should get back to your clan."
Redpaw nodded sadly. He gave Crookedpaw a swift lick and padded out of the medicine cat den, tail drooping. Dustcloud wanted Crookedpaw to be happy-but not with a EagleClan warrior!
Dustcloud padded up to Crookedpaw and helped her up, Crookedpaw was covered in EagleClan scent. Dustcloud couldn't help but let out a growl. Crookpaw looked up at him with her one good eye, "What is it?"
That made Dustcloud growl more, "Crookedpaw, you must know that you cannot befriend EagleClan apprentices!" Crookedpaw looked away sadly.
Dustcloud felt instantly bad to growl at Crookedpaw, her life was so hard and he was her mentor.
"Shall we exercise your legs to make them not as stiff?" Dustcloud asked in a much nicer tone. Crookedpaw nodded but she seemed far away.
"Were to?" Dustcloud pestered.
"Where ever you want," Crookedpaw replied her eyes still staring at nothing, her voice hollow as if she didn't even know she was saying it.
What is she thinking about?