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Preceded By: None
Succeeded By: Fighting Hearts
Series: Drifting Feathers
Sweetsong always believed her father never loved her or her brother, Riverpool. She growls at the mention of "father" in her presence. Her mother never spoke of him, for it was forbidden. Sweetsong's mother dies and the truth about her parentage is undiscovered. What will Sweetsong discover on her quest for a secret truth?
Prologue ~ StarClanEdit
A beautiful, thick-furred gray she-cat stared at the four great oaks at Fourtrees. Her stunning amber eyes were filled with sorrow. "Oh, Sweetsong, if only you knew." she whispered to herself.
The bushes shook. A slender tabby tom pushed his way through the brambles. "Willowsong, what are you doing?" asked the tom. The she-cat looked back, startled. "Oh, Darkfang, it's you." Willowsong stared at her brother. The tom was broad shouldered, well built, and strong.
"Willowsong, whats wrong? You look sad." Darkfang mewed. As Willowsong sighed, a blue-gray tom flashed into her mind, a black she-cat with a white muzzle as well. "I'm thinkng about Sweetsong and Riverpool... and their father." Willowsong looked at her paws. Leave, Darkfang, this isn't the time! Her gray, starry pelt bristled with anger, but soon lay flat. "This was where I slept with him..." Darkfang walked up to Willowsong. "Do Sweetsong and Riverpool really need to know? Why can't they just not know who their father was?" Willowsong's pelt bristled again. "How dare you?!" She turned on her brother. "My kits should know who their father was."
"Why? Do they really need to know?" Willowsong looked away. How could he? Willowsong wanted to launch at her littermate's throat. "They have to know." she mumbled. "They just have to know."
Chapter 1EditSweetsong gazed at the apprentices. Her blue eyes watched them carefully. They were checking the elders for ticks. Sweetsong wanted to learn how to treat her apprentice when she got one. She examined Fuzzypaw and Dashpaw.
"How are they doing?" a booming voice asked behind the black she-cat. It was Flamesoul. The flame colored tom was a highly respected warrior of FeatherClan, though he was young.
"OK. Fuzzypaw has been complaining a lot, though." responded Sweetsong. She glanced back at the apprentices. Dashpaw was dabbing some mouse bile on Littlefoot's head.
"You stupid furball!" hissed the tortoiseshell elder, "You just missed splashing some mouse bile into my mouth, by a claw-length!" Dashpaw rolled his eyes. The blue-gray apprentice left the cranky elder.
"Fuzzypaw, I think you are done for today." mewed Shiningcrest, another FeatherClan elder. The fluffy apprentice nodded and followed Dashpaw out. The two young cats passed by Sweetsong and Flamesoul. "Would you like to come on the hunting patrol with me?" asked Flamesoul. The tomcat watched Fuzzypaw walk into the apprentice's den.
"Sure." Sweetsong nodded approvingly. She followed Flamesoul out of camp. As soon as they were out of camp, the two cats ran towards Snakerocks.
I hope we can find something there, she thought. FeatherClan's almost out of prey.
When Sweetsong reached Snakerocks, she instantly found a whole clump of chervil. "Flamesoul, look!" Flamesoul came rushing in, his green eyes filled with worry, as if he was scared something happened to Sweetsong. He calmed down when he saw the clump of chervil.
"This is great!" he exclaimed. "Cloudberry needs some of these, he's almost out of chervil." Sweetsong took a look at the plant and drank in it's sweet scent.
"Willowsong named me after this herb. She said it was the last sweet-smelling thing she ever had before she had me and Riverpool." Willowsong was Sweetsong's deceased mother. Sweetsong took another whiff of the herb before gathering a mouthful of it.
"Let's head back to camp." she suggested through a chervil-filled mouth. Flamesoul didn't respond, but headed straight to camp. No prey, but useful herb. In camp, Sweetsong and Flamesoul headed to Cloudberry's den. The medicine cat looked surprised at the bundle of chervil Sweetsong and her companion carried.
"My, my, what a good-looking clump of chervil you got there. I was in need of some." The white tom took hold of one bundle at a time, and placed it inside a crack in the wall. The sound of drops hitting the pool inside the den echoed, and bounced of the walls.
"Well, I better take Fuzzypaw out for battle-training. See you around, Sweetsong." "Bye, Flamesoul." The flame colored tom disappeared behind the strings of lichen that hung at the entrance to the medicine cat's den. "I better be going too. Bye, Cloudberry." Sweetsong dismissed herself, leaving the den.
Outside, the warm leaf-bare sun hit her face. It's good to finally have some warmth in leaf-bare, thought the black she-cat. Sweetsong galloped over to the pathetically small, fresh-kill pile. The only remaining prey was 3 voles, 2 thrushes, and a soggy sparrow. Sweetsong felt a rush of pity for the queens. They won't produce much milk with this amount of prey to eat.
Sweetsong grabbed a vole and thrush for Foxleap and Mistystone. The only two queens. The FeatherClan warrior bounded over to the thick bramble nursery. Sweetsong struggled to get passed the woven roots. Inside, Foxleap was speaking of the four Clans to her kits, Flowerkit and Talonkit.
"Is NightClan that evil?" asked Flowerkit. The white she-kit looked at her mother with curios yellow eyes. Foxleap sighed and explained the whole story again. Talonkit wasn't paying attention. The golden-brown tom was watching Foxleap's tail. Pouncing on it every time she flicked it. He turned his green eyes to Sweetsong. "Prey!" he scrambled up and raced over to Sweetsong. Flowerkit kept close to her mother. Sweetsong set down the kill.
"This is for Foxleap, Talonkit. And Mistystone." Sweetsong pushed the kit aside and placed the prey in front of the two queens.
"Oh, good, prey! I haven't had a sniff of prey since yesterday." mewed Mistystone. The gray queen gobbled up the scrawny thrush in a heart-beat. Foxleap looked at her prey with slight disgust. "I've had better." she growled lowly. Sweetsong was astonished. At least she has prey!
"You know, some cats are dying to have at least a scrawny vole." retorted Sweetsong. Foxleap glanced at Sweetsong for a while and finally ate the vole. Sweetsong felt proud of herself. The black warrior left the queens and kits. Talonkit jumped outside.
"Wow! You're the first cat to put my mother into place! Echoheart wouldn't do that! I want you to be my mentor now!" cried the kit. Sweetsong puffed out her chest. "It works if you had a brother to practice with." she joked. Riverpool would do the exact same thing. Complain, complain, and complain.
Sweetsong licked the kit "good-bye" and walked into Silverstar's den. A silvery she-cat was laying on her moss bed. She noticed Sweetsong and mewed.
"Come in." Sweetsong did so, she walked in. "Silverstar, is it OK if I take a hunting patrol to Twolegplace?" Silverstar stared at one of her many trusted warriors. Her blue eyes were discomforted.
"Fine, but take a strong patrol with you. Twolegs are out and about." Sweetsong nodded and bowed, then left. "Bramblestripe, would you like to go on a hunting patrol with me?" yowled Sweetsong.
A brown tabby tom appeared from under a big thorn bush, the warriors' den, and trotted toward her. "Sure, where are we hunting?" asked Bramblestripe. He was young for a deputy, but strong and brave.
The deputy's amber eyes stared through her as he waited for a response. "I figured we can go to Twolegplace. Muddyclaw said there was a whole bunch of prey there." Bramblestripe nodded. He called out two other warriors' names. "Wolf-eye! Frostline!" A blue-gray she-cat and a light gray tom appeared from the warriors' den. "You're coming with us on the hunting patrol! We need good hunters to go with us."
Frostline and Wolf-eye were the two best hunters in the Clan. "Where are we going?" asked Wolf-eye. "Twolegplace." answered Sweetsong. Frostline nodded. The patrol entered a thorn bush, the entrance to camp. At Twolegplace, the patrol already caught 4 magpies and a rabbit.
A Twoleg kit was wandering around. "Careful with the Twoleg kit." whispered Wolf-eye. The patrol was crouching low in tall grass. The Twoleg kit was hollering and screaming. Bramblestripe and Frostline looked at it like it was crow-food.
"Come on, let's get out of here before that thing gets to us." Frostline mumbled with disgust. The four FeatherClan warriors ran back. The cats stopped at SunningRocks.
"Let's rest here for a little." suggested Sweetsong, gasping. The patrol agreed and took spots on SunningRocks. After some time of resting, Sweetsong smelled something. It smelled of LightClan. Sweetsong opened her mouth to speak, but Bramblestripe beat her to it. "I smell LightClan." he growled. The brown tabby deputy glanced at the border FeatherClan shared with LightClan. Sweetsong saw a tail flicker in the distance.
"I see them." she mewed.
"Wolf-eye, go back to camp and report back to Silverstar." ordered Sweetsong. Wolf-eye raced towards camp. After a while, LightClan warriors, Robinstar in the lead, surrounded the three remaining warriors. "We'll give you a fair warning," boomed Robinstar. His bracken and black pelt ruffled in the wind. "You leave now and we take SunningRocks, or we shall attack."
"Forget it! We aren't afraid of the likes of you!" hissed Sweetsong.
"Oh? But you should be." growled Tidesong, a LightClan she-cat. "LightClan, attack!" Cats flashed around. A dark gray tom, Feralclaw, pounced on Sweetsong. She clawed and bit into his paws. Feralclaw yowled, but bit down into Sweetsong's paw. Sweetsong growled and scratched Feralclaw's belly with her hind paws. He yowled in pain. Sweetsong tossed him over and ran toward Frostline, whom was surrounded by three warriors. The she-cat scratched at a dark brown tom.
Chapter 3EditThe tom's left eye was badly scratched. He snarled. Sweetsong threw herself on top of a white and ginger tom. "Leave, fox-dung!" she bit into his scruff. The LightClan warrior fought back. Sweetsong scratched his back. Just then, Wolf-eye, Echoheart, Flamesoul, Riverpool, Streamtail, and Silverstar all appeared and jumped on top of any rival cat they saw. Sweetsong was knocked over by the warrior she was battling with.
His green eyes were determined. The rival clawed at Sweetsong's flank, then nose. She snarled in pain. Suddenly, his weight started to decrease. Flamesoul pulled off the LightClan cat. "Come on! Frostline is badly injured, we need to take her back to camp!" Sweetsong jumped up.
The sound of yowling cats filled her ears. The white hairs on her muzzle stood on end. She followed Flamesoul to Frostline's body. It was covered in blood, entirely. Her paw was limp.
"Help me!" she growled. Flamesoul and Sweetsong picked up her body, and took her back to camp. Cloudberry was waiting outside his den. "Wash her." Sweetsong and Flamesoul set down Frostline's body and Cloudberry began to lick. He was nearly finished, when Frostline unsheathed her claws.
"Oww! Stop licking my paw!" she snarled. "Her paw is broken." announced Cloudberry. Talonkit appeared out of nowhere.
"Is she OK?" asked the kit. Cloudberry shook his head. "I'll be right back." Cloudberry walked into his den. Sweetsong looked back at Frostline. Her blue eyes were bewildered.
"I was fighting, then something flung me over. I flew into the air, a little, I landed on my paw. I didn't know what happened." Frostline was speaking fast. She was shocked. Cloudberry came back with some chervil, cobweb, and comfrey. He gave each herb, one by one, to Frostline.
The blue-gray she-cat's one white ear swerved back and forth. "It's a good thing you brought me chervil today. Frostline's wounds are infected." explained Cloudberry. The white tom wrapped some cobweb on Frostline's broken paw, and chewed some comfrey into a poultice. He dabbed some of it onto the broken paw.
"Will she be able to continue being a warrior?" Sweetsong was nervous about the response Cloudberry might give her. "Depends. I'm sure she'll be fine. It's just a busted paw." Sweetsong instantly sent a prayer to StarClan.
Please! She's my closest friend, I lost my mother and father, don't let me lose her. We hunt together, fight together. Please!
Flamesoul licked Sweetsong's ear tip. The flame colored tom pressed his head against her flank. "She'll be alright, have faith." Sweetsong sighed, grateful for his warmth. The two of them headed back to the fight. "You can go on back." Cloudberry had said. Now, they were trotting over to Sunningrocks, where LightClan and FeatherClan were battling. Silverstar, Wolf-eye, Bramblestripe, and all the other warriors, appeared from the thorn tunnel.
"We won the battle." reported Silverstar. Her voice was filled with pride, her crystal-blue eyes were glimmering with satisfaction. "Where were you? I was worried!" growled Bramblestripe. The brown tabby went up to Sweetsong rubbed her cheek. Sweetsong glanced at Flamesoul. The tom was narrowing his eyes at Bramblestripe.
"Silverstar pinned down Robinstar!" exclaimed Streamtail, a gray she-cat. Riverpool and Wolf-eye were murmuring to the other warriors on how well they dealt with LightClan warriors. Dashpaw appeared from the apprentices' den, with Fuzzypaw at his tail.
"How was the fight? Did we win?" Fuzzypaw and Dashpaw threw out whatever questions that included the fight. Echoheart answered all of them.
"Good. Yes." Sweetsong ran over to the nursery to se how things were going. Foxleap was sleeping with her kits curled up beside her. Mistystone was also curled up asleep. Her round belly showed she was going through labor any day now.
"What a good mother you'll be." she whispered. Sweetsong left the milk-smelling nursery. Outside, cats were lining up outside Cloudberry's den. Sweetsong went up to Silverstar, whom was just finishing getting checked over.
"Silverstar, I think Cloudberry's going to need an apprentice soon. And Frostline is injured, a broken paw." Silverstar looked at her. "When you were my apprentice, you would worry about everything, like so. You care about every cat in this Clan, that's why I chose you to become my apprentice." Silverstar smiled.
"And I know about Frostline. I've spoken to Flowerkit and she said she wanted to become a medicine cat. We have everything under control." Her voice was calm and casual. Sweetsong wondered how her former mentor can keep her voice at that level.
"OK, sorry for getting all worried."
"There's nothing to be sorry about, Sweetsong." Sweetsong smiled and tripped to the warriors' den. She lay down on her moss bed. Flamesoul and Bramblestripe appeared. They sat down next to Sweetsong. All three cats shared tongues for a while, then drifted off to sleep.
Sweetsong lifted her paw into the air.
A fish swam by.
Sweetsong threw the slimmy creature into the air before it escaped. She settled the fish on a pile near the river. The water shimmered, it shone with such brightness. A pale ginger shape appeared at the other side of the bank.
"Greetings, Sweetsong." Sweetsong's friend, Goldenrise greeted. "Hi, Goldenrise." Sweetsong sank into a conversation with her friend, her LightClan friend.
"Tonight's the Gathering, are you coming?" asked the LightClan she-cat.
Sweetsong thought about it for a moment. She didn't recall Silverstar asking her if she wanted to go to the Gathering. "I don't know. Silverstar hasn't spoken to me about it." Goldenrise seemed to beam with pride. "I'm going! Robinstar said he was going to speak about the battle tonight, though." her voice dried up. The black warrior of FeatherClan nodded.
She flicked her tail "farewell" and started to collect her pile of fish.
The silver fish were plump.
She resisted not gobbling one up. In camp, the warrior settled her fish into the fresh-kill pile. It was growing, leaf-bare was over and Mistystone had her kits a moon ago; two sunrises after the battle with LightClan.
Her kits, Applekit, Breezekit, and Thunderkit, were rumbling around with Talonkit. The sensitive Flowerkit was curled up with her mother.Watching her brother play with the others.
Foxleap roughed her tounge on her white daughter's head.
Mistystone watched as her kits played.
Riverpool, the father and Sweetsong's brother, sat beside his mate. Breezekit looked much like Riverpool.
The same blue-gray pelt, but with Sweetsong's blue eyes. She'll grow up to be much like you, Riverpool, thought Sweetsong.
The black she-cat straightened up when she noticed Talonkit marching up to her.
"Sweetsong, would you like to came and play with us?" the handsome golden-brown kit looked pleading.
Sweetsong walked over to where Applekit, Breezekit, and Thunderkit where waiting. "Yay! Sweetsong's come to play!" Applekit threw himself on top of the older cat.
Sweetsong dropped onto the ground and shrieked playfully, "Oh no! Applekit is attacking! I hope no other kit comes by!" suddenly Sweetsong was covered in a pile of kits.
"Kits! Come, it's time to nap!" called Mistystone.
The gray she-cat lay at the entrance of the bramble nursery.
Thunderkit and his siblings trotted over to their mother. "Can Riverpool take a nap with us, too?" asked Thunderkit.
Mistystone nodded and the family curled up together.
She wanted kits, and a mate. Sweetsong wanted to take her mind off that, she walked over to the warriors' den.
When Sweetsong woke from a nap, she wasn't in the warriors' den anymore.
The black she-cat yawned and stretched before standing up. Sweetsong heard rushing water and followed the sound. When Sweetsong reached the river, she saw a black and white she-cat, pregnant by the looks of it, fishing at the edge of the river.
"Hey!" called Sweetsong. The she-cat didn't stir. "Hello?" Sweetsong called again. Nothing. Sweetsong shrugged and trotted off. Suddenly, the winds picked up and Sweetsong heard a soft voice. Feather will help River.